Happily Ever After All
A Mystic Prequel
By: A J
(Standard Disclaimer Applies)
Author's Warning!: This work of fanfiction is a long-term look at the relationship of several adults, and as such, I'm not gonna pull any punches. This means Language, Nudity, Violence, and Sex! If any of those are not for you, turn back now, and read some of the gentler fictions by others and myself. For those with some fortitude, let's get on to the story.
Chapter 8: Sword, Story, & Song
Something none of them expected woke up all eight teens the next morning. Will and the others snapped out of their comfortable rests to a sudden rainstorm beating relentlessly over their tents. "Howinthe … whointhe … wha ..?" echoed between the girls fuzzily as they all popped up from their sleeping bags.
"What, no warning, Miss Atmosphere?" Eric groaned as he burrowed further into their multitude of pillows.
"Shut it ..." Hay moaned in return. She pulled the zipper up on the front of their tent a couple inches to see out. She was spattered immediately, and she shrank back with a squeal. Then something else registered, and she grew a feral grin. "You guys … the sun's still shining out there," she sent to the other three tent-bound Guardians.
"You mean ..?" "No way!" "When I get my hands on her …" flew back, and Hay and the other girls all popped out of their tents at the same time, bare-naked and battle-ready with fistfuls of their Elements primed.
"You know, if I knew it was this easy to get the rest of you up in the morning, I'd have started instituting group showers at sleepovers years ago," Irma smirked, letting the last of her artificial rain fall on the four.
"Oh, you should all just be glad I left the security retinue behind," Elyon giggled, as the naked Guardians all started clamoring for Irma's head on a platter and other such dire fates. "How would the Royal Irregulars react to the sight of our world's saviors screaming bloody murder at each other in the buff?"
"Oh, I don't know," said Caleb, standing up behind a still-fuming Cornelia clad in just his pants. "I think they'd sit back and enjoy the show," he continued, surreptitiously goosing his girlfriend. She whirled around to start screaming at him too, and he pulled her in for a long kiss while wrapping her in his long coat. The spectacle of a silenced Cornelia got the others to stop yelling as well.
A now-awake Taranee dove back into her tent with an 'Eeeep!' to find clothes, even while Matt and Eric were climbing out of their respective canvas huts. The boys at least had taken time to find covering for their more personal bits.
"Goo … 'Yawn!' … ood morning, Your Majesty," Eric said by way of greeting.
"And a soggy hello to the court jester, too," Matt added at Irma, his eyes glowing green for a second while he steam-dried Will, who thanked him with a quick kiss, then ducked behind him to find her underwear and tiny-tee.
"Well, I could've just flooded the tents instead, and let you all know how laundry feels with a tumble down the beach," Irma said with a grin. "I should be applauded for my restraint."
"Oh, I'll applaud you all right, right into traction," Cornelia snarled. "I just got this permanent. Now look at it!"
"Yeah, I'd go get your money back, Corny. If one night roughing it is gonna give you permanent bed-head, it's time to switch salons." The others laughed while Cornelia screamed, checking her hair. Irma's thorough soaking had erased any evidence of the problem, however.
"Just you wait, Irmy. Some day, when you least expect it, I'll get you back for this …" the blonde Earth-girl fumed.
"And she called us childish," Will chuckled to Matt.
"I take it it's after noon on Earth, then?" Cornelia said with a squeeze on her soaked hair.
"Just," Irma replied. "Mom came home, Chris whined, I dressed and skedaddled. By the way," she continued, turning to Elyon. "We could all use a dupe of that mirror, your Highness."
"So I've heard," Elyon replied with a dry grin at the rest of the semi-dressed girls around them.
"What mirror?" Nigel asked Taranee closely.
"We'll show ya later," she giggled at the scratch of his incipient whiskers.
"So … what have you all been doing to entertain yourselves out here? As if I even need to ask," Elyon said, grinning devilishly at the blushes that covered most of the teens' faces. Hay just grinned back, giggling furiously, while Caleb rubbed the back of his neck, refusing to meet his Queen's eyes.
"Oh, boy," Irma groaned, rolling her eyes.
"You mean, oh, boys," Elyon whispered, enjoying the sight of shirtless Nigel, Matt, Eric, and Caleb.
"I heard that," still-nude Hay whispered back to the pair, her grin widening lecherously. "And Irma ..? My offer still stands. I'd even be willing to include Elly, if she's in'tristid …" she added, her arm wrapping sinuously around Eric's.
"What is she ..?" Elyon started to ask the Water girl, when Irma told her with a quick, and private, mental response. "OH!" the young Queen blurted, and blushed fit to match Will and Nigel's hair.
"Sprite, what trouble're you getting into now?" Taranee asked the Air girl.
"None, yet," Hay replied with sincerity, and a pout. Eric chuckled and kissed her.
"So, how about that tour, your Majesty?" Nigel asked, distracting the already-distracted Queen.
"Er … yeah, the … tour …" Elyon stuttered. Giving Nigel a grateful glance, she straightened her plain, 'off-duty' dress and smiled at the rest of them. "G'head and get dressed, gang. It's still chilly in Meridian in the morning."
"Aye-aye, your Worship," Hay said smartly, delivering a Meridian salute, fist over her heart. Her cheeky grin as she turned and dragged Eric back into their tent had the others laughing all over again.
Only Elyon and Irma heard her faint "Your loss, ladies …" on the wind.
Once dressed and packed, the teens teletransported back to the Meridian Palace, where they dropped all their bags in Caleb's quarters for the day. Then they followed him and the young Queen on an insider's tour of the castle and the surrounding grounds.
They made a point to stop at the Royal Guards' training yard, where the boys got a chance to show off for the Guardians for a change. First was a demonstration by the band members and the younger trainees in synchronized drilling with pikes, (which Hay telepathically told the other girls Elyon had lifted whole cloth from 'Army of Darkness', giggling the while,) then they participated in individual sparring matches.
Matt and Eric went first, showing what they'd learned of staff-fighting against the teens' new friends, Vathek's nieces Bruyere and Acebo. Then Vathek himself and Bruyere's boyfriend Jadzj came forth, blades at the ready, to challenge Nigel and Caleb.
"Neimad's gonna be frelled," Jadxj told Nigel with a grin. "He's always told me he wanted to be the first in our squad to cross blades with Captain Caleb."
"Is he that good?" Nigel gulped. Caleb had been the one to teach him, after all.
"Neimad likes to think so," was the reply, before Jadzj brought his blade up in an en garde. The two worked out for several minutes, semi-distracted by the more experienced pair of Caleb and Vathek nearby fairly killing each other in an over-the-top exhibition of furious swordsmanship.
"Good … workout … man …" Nigel panted, several minutes later, when the pair finally parted. "I'll … haveta rem … ember to come … back again soon." He grinned and clasped arms with Jadzj, who just gave him a sweaty grin and a nod.
"Had enough?" Elyon giggled as the four perspiration-soaked boys came back their way.
"For this trip, anyway," Matt grinned back. He waved their farewells to the gathered guards, and the Guardians' guys' tour continued into the city.
Hours later, when even hyper Hay and indefatigable Irma were dragging their feet, Elyon drew them to a halt before an otherwise-freestanding door in the furthest corner of Meridian City. Briefly recharged by muffins from the bakery next to Aldarn's father's smithy, the teens were now all tired and hungry.
"We'll leave the Infinite City for another time, I guess," Elyon said, taking in their exhausted expressions. "But there's one part of it I never get tired of seeing. Join hands, everybody."
When they were all hand-clasped, Elyon teletransported them to the Mage's Grotto. Remembering the last time they were there, the Guardians tensed for a moment, expecting Nerissa to appear once more and do … something. The five girls relaxed, Irma and Cornelia first, after a breathless minute of quiet nothing.
Stepping over to the burbling pool beneath the waterfall, Irma knelt to run her hand through the water for a moment. "Next time I'm bringing Cass to see this," she said softly.
"It's … beautiful," Nigel blurted, staring raptly around, then up. The source of the waterfall was shrouded above by the crashing flow's misty back spray.
"We're getting hand-fasted here," Caleb said to Cornelia. She gasped and whirled in his arms.
"Is that a proposal, Mister Hart?" she managed to utter, staring into his eyes.
"You're the only one I'd ask," he said softly. Hay whistled.
"I guess you two aren't fighting anymore?" Will murmured, grinning.
"Oh, we're still fighting," Cornelia said, now with a sappy grin. "We're always gonna be fighting … but … our differences make for good sparks … Don't they mister Hart?"
"Mister Hale," he corrected, to the giggles of the girls and the chortles of the boys.
"Hmm, only one problem left then," Elyon said with a wicked grin.
"What's that, your Holiness?" Hay asked breathlessly, already swept up in planning the reception at the Silver Dragon in her head.
"You aren't marrying my best friend without my blessing, Sir Caleb, and I'm saying no."
"WHAT?" the Guardians all cried in confusion. Elyon's grin just got wider.
"Not until she graduates," she added.
"Elly ..? Oh ..! You ..! Cornelia stamped her foot, making the grotto around them rumble ominously, then disappeared in a green flash.
"What was that?" Eric asked nervously, eyeing the ceiling far above them.
Cornelia reappeared next to Elyon as suddenly as she vanished, hands behind her back. "Not 'til I graduate, huh, Elly?" she asked, with a strange look on her face.
"Hey, if I gotta stick out high school, why should I let my subjects get awa … OOF!" Elyon never got to finish her rant, as Cornelia walloped her with the pillow she'd been hiding under her hair.
"Nice shot Corny!" Irma sang, as the rest of the teens laughed around them.
"If that's how you're gonna take it …" Elyon smirked. With a wave of her hands, she teletransported them all back to her sumptuous suite in a flash. "PILLOW FIIIIGHT!" she shrieked, grabbing a cushion off the nearest divan and counterattacking.
The others joined in quickly, rejuvenated by their stop in the grotto. Several minutes – and several burst pillows – later, they were all collapsed and laughing around Elyon's rooms, when young Alanna peeked in.
"Is ever'thin' arroight, yer Hoighniss?" she uttered. Elyon and the others, exhausted once more and covered in feathers, all looked over and chuckled together.
"Yeah, we're fine, Alanna. I think the Guardians and their friends are finally ready to go home to Earth."
"Finally? You're the one who walked all over half of Meridian," Will giggled.
"Eh, if I got here at noon, it's probably close to six, now," Irma sighed, sitting up slowly. "Ow. Man, Olsen; It's a pillow fight. Is a little restraint too much to … OOF!"
"Nice shot, Idazmi," Caleb chuckled, helping the Earth girl back to her feet and giving her a kiss.
"There's that name again," Taranee said, frowning. "We never did hear that story."
"Neither have I," Elyon added, picking feathers out of her braids.
"Oh, an' i's a beautiful one, too," Alanna sighed, stepping into the room shyly.
"Alright, let's clean this up while we hear it then, gang," Will sighed, blowing a stray feather from her bangs with a grin.
"Ten steps ahead of ya, Will," Hay sang. With a puff of breath and a wave of her hands, she created a micro-whirlwind that sucked up all the down from around the teens and funneled it back into the popped pillowcases. With a laugh and a wave of her own, Elyon resealed the seams, and the pillows were as good as new again.
"I guess you'll just have to tell it to us on the way back to your room, Tantris," Cornelia told Caleb with a return kiss. She stooped to grab the pillow she'd hit Irma with last back up. "It's where this one's from, anyway," she admitted with flushed cheeks.
Caleb and Alanna regaled their Queen and the other teens with the saga of 'Tantris and Idazmi'* on the walk down the interminable hallways of the palace, finishing in Caleb's quarters. When they were finally finished, Will checked her phone for the time back in Heatherfield.
"Omigosh, my mom's gonna ground me 'til I'm outta college," she swore. She leaned across and hugged Elyon tightly. "We gotta motor, Elly. It's almost eight o'clock!"
'Perfect!' "Okay, I'll see you guys tomorrow in school," Elyon sighed. "And Will?" "You know this one, Hay-hay, help the others …" she whispered as the redhead turned back her way, one hand already around the Heart.
"Aaaa … very merry un-birthday … to you, to you …" Elyon started singing, to be joined a second after by Hay, Irma, and the band-boys, and then a reluctant giggling Taranee and Cornelia. Caleb and Alanna looked at each other blankly in confusion for a second, then both just shrugged.
"Earth girls," Caleb sighed with a smile.
Will folded them all back to the basement of the Silver Dragon, blushing fit to match her hair, and the teens dispersed to their homes for the night.
"You want a snack?" Will asked as they came in her new home's back door. She and Matt had just folded back from the Dragon, and they shucked their coats onto the rack inside the door. He leaned over past their backpacks and kissed her cheek.
"Sounds good, Babe. I'll meet you in there. But first ..." He gave a nod towards the downstairs half-bath, and she grinned. Meridian still hadn't graduated from outhouses and chamber pots, so the majority of them had learned to 'hold it' until they returned home. One of these days, 'Hopefully SOON,' he thought as he jogged towards the blessed miracle of indoor facilities, Elyon would be able to introduce plumbing to Metamoor.
Will was pulling the parts for sandwiches out of the drawer in the fridge when he got there, and he stepped behind her and slid his hands up her hips to wrap around her waist. "Hey-y-y," she giggled as he kissed the back of her neck. "Food first, Romeo."
"What if I told ya I'm not really hungry ... for food, anyway ..." he murmured before another kiss.
Will let the lettuce tumble from her hands back into the fridge and turned in his grasp, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him deeply. "I'd say you're not alone," she whispered against his lips, before dueling tongues with him again. She used her Guardian strength to move them over and kicked the fridge door shut behind her, then pushed Matt onto the closest stool by the island in the middle of the kitchen.
They were digging at the buttons on the front of each other's pants when a throat cleared across the room.
"Well, I guess you really are going to have to marry him someday," Dean Collins chuckled as the two furiously-blushing teens hurriedly straightened their clothes. "So … you two ready for Will's birthday party?" Will made a disgusted face.
"Ah, c'monnnn ... you two promised me … no surprise parties," she whined good-naturedly.
"And it's not a surprise," Dean replied, with a grin. "I'm telling you now."
"He's got ya there, Angel," Matt chuckled, pulling her against him and kissing the back of her neck again. She elbowed him lightly, and looked over the food she'd already pulled out.
"So long as there's food there, I'm all for a party," she sighed, and started gathering the sandwich fixings back up to return them to the fridge.
"Who else is gonna be there?" Matt asked Dean while lending her a hand.
"Well, I know Susan sent invitations to all your friends, and had Taranee ask the band to come as well ..."
"First I've heard of it," Matt sniped.
"I think she knew you'd be there either way," Dean countered with a grin, nodding at the pair's twined hands. "The Swim Team got invites as well," he added, almost as an afterthought.
"Huh, wonder if Elly'll be back in time from her weekend family trip," Will pondered lightly, glancing back at Matt.
"The invitations went out over a week ago, so she's had plenty of time to R.S.V.P. one way or the other," Dean said, "though I haven't heard anything. We'll just have to find out together, hmm?" He pulled his driving gloves on again and waved the pair back towards the door across the kitchen.
"Where're we going anyway, Mister Collins?" Matt asked as the two teens got their coats.
"Wow, they really didn't tell you anything, did they?" Dean chuckled. He continued after an expectant pause, "Dave and Busters." Will and Matt both groaned good-naturedly as they followed him out to his PT Cruiser.
*Author's Note two: 'Tantris and Idazmi' is my own take on the origins of the First Heart of Meridian, a story somewhere between 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Tristan and Isolde', with all the magic one would expect in a guardian tale. To be released whenever I actually get done with more than half a chapter … ;D Catch ya on the flipside dear readers, don't forget to review please, A J.