Okay, so this was kind of a writing exercise to get me back into the writing mood after a (sinfully) long absence. The summary gives you the basic idea...not that happy, but that's that I guess. Possibly a one-shot, not sure yet.

Disclaimer: not mine.


She had watched him all night even though there had been much else to distract her. They had stopped at an inn on their way back to Corus and soon found themselves immersed in the festivities of the Beltane celebration. The entire city, the name of which Daine couldn't recall for the life of her and hardly cared, had been alive with the festivities and passion of the holiday. Children ran through the streets with brightly colored ribbons as their parents looked on smiling. Newlyweds jumped over embers in hopes of children of their own while less reputable couples sought quiet corners. There was dancing and drink and plenty of young men who had asked for her hand in dance, or perhaps for less reputable acts, but she refused each time. Instead, she watched him the entire time.

For the first part of the night he had stayed with her, talking in the atmosphere as they talked and joked quietly among themselves, and even asked her to dance a few times, to which she most certainly agreed. Soon, however, the crowd had separated them and by the time she had spotted him again he had most obviously found something else to occupy his interest. The something in question was blonde, curvy and absolutely gorgeous. She was almost as beautiful as the woman after that, and the one after that. She watched him as he asked the various women to dance, holding them closer than he ever had her. She watched him as they leaned up to whisper seductively in his ear, brushing strands of his black mane out of the way with feather light touches. She watched as he leaned down to reply to the third woman, pausing briefly after the murmur to softly run his lips against the woman's earlobe, so subtlety that unless you were watching as Daine was, you would never see it. At this point she very nearly got up and strode over to cut in, but stopped herself. She could never do something like that. This was Numair she was watching, Numair she was jealously thinking of. Numair her teacher, her friend, nothing more and she was never to be more than that.

Numair would laugh at the mere thought of taking her as a lover just as he had so often laughed off the accusations that they were indeed having an affair. Must the thought be so ridiculous to him? She had clenched her hands into fists as she watched them stride out of the square and off into the dark. Every other time she had seen this happen, which was a number not so small, she could always tell herself that he was merely walking them home and that it was entirely innocent, this time however it was impossible to invite the delusions that so often brought her comfort. Every other time they had not been in hotel rooms separated by a thin and crumbling wall, every other time their headboards had not both been against that same wall.

Now as she sat leaning against her headboard intently listening to, yet trying to block out, the sounds from the other room. The soft thump of the headboard against the wall and the muffled sighs and moans she imagined herself in that woman's position, wishing with all her heart for it to be true. She closed her eyes and imagined that is was her beneath him at this moment, her who caused him to shudder and lose control in a way that she would never see him do, her name that was whispered from his lips in a half muttered avowal of desire. Not hers, not, what was he saying? Cecily, so that was the woman, not Cecily, never her. She knew however, that it would always be Cecily, maybe not the woman in question, but someone just like her. It would always be a mature, beautiful, charming woman. It would never be Daine, not scrawny, wild, childish Daine. Not that she was childish anymore, but he would always fail to see that. To him, she must still be the thirteen-year-old girl who talked like the commoner bastard from the backwater village she was. Not what he wanted at all no matter how much she wished he would see.

She stayed up for most of the night, listening to the sounds from the room next to her, not passing into sleep, sweet nothingness, until the resonances had subsided. Before drifting off she muttered, in a half unconscious state, a simple plea to the goddess on a cold and lonely Beltane to ask for nothing more than a chance to make him see.

She sat at a table in the inn with heavy lidded eyes and a blank expression, moving the food around on her plate idly, as she waited for Numair to make his appearance. Finally he sat down in front of her, groggily ordering a small breakfast from the innkeeper.

"Sorry I'm late, festivities must have gotten to me." He smiled sheepishly, taking a roll of her plate and buttering it. "Luckily we don't have to be anywhere on a deadline, we can take all the time we need. Anyway, have fun last night magelet?"

She stared ahead, not at him but off into space, too wrapped up in her own thoughts to answer.

"Daine?" He asked again softly, trying to get her attention. She closed her eyes briefly and imagined that that soft invocation of her name had been for some other and far more clandestine reason. A wave of nausea rolled over her as she remembered that it was a wish far too impossible for her to ever see come true and silently cursed herself for doing this to herself. She opened her eyes and looked into his and for a moment felt herself drowning again, being pulled into him like so many times before but then she saw the concern. He was looking at her with the same brand of worry he always did when he thought something was amiss, and unless she alleviated his fear he would not rest. She then put on her best smile and nodded.

"Yes, yes I did. It was a good night."


So at the moment I am considering adding another chapter or two. I have another sequence in mind involving Daine that I may add and I am also toying with the idea of putting in Numair's side to this event and the other one if I do it. Depends if I decide it's worth continuing.

Aslo..when it comes to Modern, for any of you who have read it, don't worry! I havn't abandoned it. Very unfortunately this is the first time I have been able to log into my account for almost a year, something went horribly wrong there so that is why I have been so absent. At the moment I have been going through and revising some of the chapters (I will hopefully get to all of them) to fix the numerous gramatical errors that reside there. It's amazing what you are ok with in your writing when you are 13 (Which is what I was when I began that fic) that by this time in my life are completely unnaceptable. So now that I am back it should only be a short amount of time before I begin updating that!

also, REVIEW! It makes the fanfiction world go 'round...