Here it is... The last chapter of this extened oneshot. I hope you all enjoyed it and it satisfies your crave for a fic for a few weeks (If you're anything like me then thats not likely)
Thank you for all sticking with me so far!
Disclaimer again: Its all TP's. I also need to acknowledge the brilliant Julliet Marillier as I borrowed some of her words from her book Son of the Shadows.
She slept through the night, dreams of Cloud and her since they had left their home in Galla. One dream was odd to Daine, it was not a memory, nor where they in a place recognizable to her. She was in the forest, tears falling as she stared at the soft mound of dirt before her. A stone with Cloud's name carved into its surface.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she whispered to the grave. "I could have saved you."
-Don't be a silly foal- a tart voice said suddenly causing the scene to change. Daine still didn't know here she was, everywhere she looked was white, there were no contours or angles. Just an empty white. But it wasn't empty. Daine turned and her eyes stopped on a small, gray, shaggy mountain pony, standing a ways off. Delight filled her to the core.
"Cloud!" she cried, launching herself across the white, and upon reaching her oldest friend, threw her arms around her neck, holding on for dear life.
"Why did you leave?" she sobbed into her pony's neck before stepping back slightly.
-Stop that cursed crying. It was my time to go- Daine obeyed orders and dashed the tears away but shook hear head.
"I could have saved you. You could have stayed with me." Cloud butted her head against Daine's belly affectionately.
-No Daine, it was my time to go-
"You were all that I had." Daine whispered, tears flowing freely again.
-I said stop crying!- strong teeth bit down on her arm, causing Daine to wince at the sharp pain.
-And what do you mean 'You're all that I had'- Cloud mimicked, butting her more firmly as Daine looked at the ground.
-You stupid filly! Your Storkman is at home. He is your family. Your friends are there, they are your family- Cloud stamped a foot for good measure.
-Stop weeping. Move on. Its not as though we wont see each other again. I will be waiting for you with my Dam and Sire. I like to look at it as an extended break from you and all your gallivanting across the country side- Daine looked up and met her Pony's eyes, before wrapping her arms around the mare's neck once more.
"What will I do without you?" she murmured, breathing in her scent.
-Live- she answered bluntly. –Just like always. Get less scars and bruises- Daine laughed wetly and moved to kiss her mounts velvety nose.
"I'll miss you Cloud."
-Yeah, you'd better- Cloud breathed over her face, before adding quietly. –I'll miss you too; don't do anything stupid- The whiteness began to fade slowly, becoming dark. Cloud disappeared as tears began to stream down her face once more.
"Cloud." She whispered in her sleep, and realised that she was now awake, the slightest tint of grey in the sky. The pillow beneath her face was wet with tears.
Daine looked around the room slowly, noting Alanna's sleeping figure in the chair in the corner of the room, a blanket wrapped around the Knight's shoulders.
Rolling slowly, feeling exhausted and heavy lidded, the Wildmage placed her feet on the floor, breathing deeply as she looked about her. Onua was asleep on a bed roll against the wall, snoring softly. A sudden, soft smile came to her lips and a single thought crossed her mind. 'My family'.
Standing slowly, Daine made her way silently to the door, her grief falling away with every step she took. Her sudden need for Numair's warmth and strong arms almost caused her breath to catch in her throat. Buri was asleep in the main room, body curled under blanket on the couch before a smoldering fireplace. Daine looked around, searching for Numair.
"Daine?" The Wildmage started violently, trying to remain silent as she turned to face the person that had called to her softly. Alanna stood opposite her, looking a little worse for wear.
"Where is Numair?" Daine asked quietly, hoping not to wake Buri.
"I sent George looking searching a few hours ago. He found him up at the university tower." Daine nodded her thanks, causing a hesitant smile from Alanna. The Wildmage smiled in return, before rushing forward and wrapping her arms around the Lioness.
"I'm sorry." She murmured, feeling Alanna's arms holding her tightly.
"No Youngen, we understand that you needed to grieve. We are your family Daine, albeit an odd one. You will never be alone, you're our family." Daine nodded against Alanna's shoulder.
"I need to apologise to Numair." She murmured, and with a last squeeze from Alanna, Daine stepped back. "I know it hurt him to loose Cloud too, and saw it that I was hurting him even mor-"
"He will understand Daine. He just wanted to be there for you."
"I sent him away though." Daine said with another tear. "He needed to grieve too, but I told him to leave." Alanna's hands came to rest on Daine's shoulders.
"He will understand Daine." Daine nodded at Alanna's reassurance, before stepping towards the large window, pulling her shirt over her head, Daine shaped her body to that of a sparrow, zipping out of her clothes to rest on the window sill and call a soft cheep to Alanna.
The Lioness grinned and unlatched the panes of glass, pushing them open for her. Daine shifted again, this time into the hawk body she loved so much, before launching herself into the graying sky.
She was bombarded with calls from the people around her. Her mind filled with calls of sympathy and understanding.
-Our sorrows for your sorrows- an owl called, flying beneath her and then swooping off to the trees. Daine's heart swelled, but pushed them to the back of her mind as she soared towards the Universities tower up ahead. She could see a lone figure, sitting in a crenellation of the wall, eyes focused on the distant horizon.
She landed silently, a few yards away, before taking back her original human shape. Her heart was thudding in her chest, and she was unsure whether she should speak first or wait for him to turn and see her.
It was the biting wind against her bare body that changed her mind and Daine took a step closer to her lover.
"Numair?" he turned instantly at her soft voice, eyes wide with shock as he took in her bare body. It was a heartbeat later that his own cloak was around her and she was crushed against his own warm body, palms flat against his chest. She knew in that moment that she needn't have worried. He understood.
"I'm sorry Magelet." He whispered into her hair, arms wrapped around her under the cloak so that he could feel her skin. "I'm sorry I can't bring her back for you." Daine shook her head and placed her lips against the V of skin that showed through his shirt.
"I shouldn't have said those things." She murmured in return, relishing his strong hold around her. "Forgive me Numair. Please forgive me." His arms tightened around her, his lips bent to press against her shoulder.
"There's nothing to forgive Sweet." His voice rumbled through her and Daine felt tears come anew. Leaning back from her, Numair tilted her face up and pressed his own against hers, his tears mixing with Daine's. "I wish I could dry these tears Magelet." His warm breath washing over her face. "I wish I could make this better for you." He moved his lips to her closed eyes as soft sobs escaped her lips, his voice continued to whisper against her, soothing her better than anything else. The sun rose silently behind them, casting its rays across the city of Corus. The man and woman remained entwined, the only thing heard were her soft sobs, and his gentle words of comfort. The sun casting its glorious light over them once more.
Well there you have it! I hope you all enjoyed it. Please, it would be very much appreciated if you could pass on a review about what you thought. Constructive critisism is welcome.
Thank you all for reading and thank you all for those that have left reviews. Take care till next I post a chapter or Fic
Your ever diligent Authoress