NB: I don't own 'em

NB: I don't own 'em. If I did, there would be waaaaaaaaay more mushy stuff in the Pellinor books!

This is one of my favourite fanfics, I don't know why but it has always struck a note with me! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! And sorry about the poem…I'm not much of a poet…

Love In War

For the fifth time that week, the Dark Army launched a nightly attack on Til Amon, and for the fifth time that week, Maerad found herself at Cadvan's door.

She paused nervously, then entered, as she had done all those nights before, when the cries and screams of war had been heard outside and had disturbed her so.

Cadvan's room was well lit and almost cheerful compared to the dark corridor outside, and Maerad instantly felt her spirits pick up. She looked around comfortably.
Cadvan himself was lying on his bed, his feet up on the footboard and his nose in a red, leather bound book. He had glanced up as soon as the door had opened and as now peering at Maerad over the top of the book, a twinkle in his eyes.

Maerad hestitated, feeling slightly foolish.

"I couldn't sleep," she said, as she had on all those nights before, gesturing to the battle-roars outside.

Cadvan gave her a small smile.

"I'm surprised anyone can, with that noise." He turned his attention back to his book and continued a little distractedly, "The night shift sounds hard pressed tonight."

Maerad stayed where she was, hesitating by the door.

"Do you think they'll call for our help?" she asked. She didn't think she could bear that - she had only come off her own shift a few hours ago.

Cadvan shrugged and turned a page, and Maerad plucked up enough courage to enter the room properly. She approached the bed.

"What are you reading?" she asked curiously.

Cadvan flipped the cover in her face.

"The Ballad of Endmien and Nenia."

Maerad stared at him and he squawked defensively,

"What?!"

"That's a romance," she said - she had sung that ballad many times; it was a long and slightly dramatic piece with a little too much repetition, but it had some good verses.

"So?" Cadvan asked, again a little distractedly, as he flicked through the pages.

"So there's a war going on outside! I thought you would be reading up on tactical measures...or something...Not about love!"

Cadvan glanced up and gave her a sudden, brilliant smile.

"Who's to say that love is not the most important thing in war?" he said.

Maerad blinked, both taken aback by his comment and taken in - as she so often was - by his rare, bright smile. They looked at each other for a long while - for a heartbeat too long - then Maerad quickly looked away.

The war rumbled outside. Cadvan turned back to his book, and Maerad decided it was safe to look at him again.

"Go on then," she said. "Read me some."

Cadvan flashed her an incredulous look and she grinned and jumped onto the bed, peering around his arm so that she could see the writing; it was not the translation but the text in the original language, as she had expected of Cadvan.

"Don't you think you're a bit old to be read to?" Cadvan asked, his incredulity straining his voice.

Maerad gave him her best child-like, wide-eyed look, and he smiled, shaking his head slightly.

"The original or the translation?" he offered.

"The translation," Maerad insisted. "Your translation."

Cadvan sighed, but continued.

"All right. The translation.

And so their hands clasped
As all around them lay still - ravaged
By Death and Dark.
And their hands clasped.
And they sang;
'Never let me go.
Do what you will with me.
Sing me into madness
Or fill me with fantasy.
Do what you will with me.
But never leave me.' "

Cadvan stopped abruptly, his eyes faraway, and Maerad looked at him but knew better than to say anything.

The battle boomed beyond the windows.

"Maybe you're right," Cadvan said finally, closing the book with a snap. "Maybe it is foolish - to read of love in times of war."

"No," Maerad said quietly. "I liked it."

Cadvan did not look at her, but placed the book on the table beside his bed, then put his arm around her shoulders and drew her closer, as he had done all those nights before, and Maerad placed her head on his chest and twined her arms around his waist, holding him tight, as she had done all those nights before.

They lay in silence as the war raged outside; they did not say anything because there was nothing to say.

Eventually, both fell asleep.

So?? Read and review or I'll drop a bomb on Edil-Amarandh and decimate the whole place! (cackles evily)