Disclaimer: I don't own 'Wings' -- the fabulous Aprilynne Pike does.
I keep my promises
I walked in the forest, taking in the scents of the awakening flowers. The birds chirped and sang, but they could not lift my melancholic mood. I remembered walking through this way so long ago, but it was still just a distant memory and still painfully out of reach. I could never be who I was back then…but I had a mission today. I was set upon it. If I couldn't do anything to stop them, I would do something to help her. She would probably never remember it, but I had to try. I walked further towards the old clearing, where I used to play. To see her, and another young faerie, playing and giggling -- rejoicing in their last few minutes together.
I remained hidden in the shrubs, but I couldn't help listen as those familiar words stung my ears.
"Tam…you know the quest the elders spoke of…about a changeling?" a young Laurel asked.
"Yeah…?" Tamani replied, cocking his head in wonder.
"I—I've been chosen for the mission…and I accepted it." She avoided his gaze, finding a sudden interest in the soil beneath her. I didn't blame her.
"What? You're not serious are you?" I still couldn't believe it myself.
She began shifting nervously, unable to stay still. After a deep breath, she looked up and nodded.
"There has to be some mistake—you can't go…I won't let you." I would have liked to say the same, but it was impossible.
"I'm sorry, Tam, but I have to go."
"It's my duty. They need me. They're depending on me. If I don't go, who can be certain of our security? I don't want to leave you, believe me on that. But if I stay…it might be our downfall."
"No. You can't go. Let someone else do it. Why don't we just…run away?" his eyes sparked as a toothy grin spread across his innocent face, "Yeah that's it, we can run away, and then nobody can pester us ever again. It'll be great Laurel. Come on, let's go. Before the others awaken." He tugged on her hand, noting the path leading away from the opening.
Laurel didn't budge. "I can't," she breathed, holding back her tears. Please don't cry, Laurel. It'll be okay.
"Yes you can, come on." He tugged her hand again, but this time slightly harder, more desperate.
"Tam, I'm going and that's that. You may not realise it today, but someday, when we're older, you'll know it was the right decision. You'll understand. Sometimes we have to think of others before ourselves…and that's what I'm doing now." For someone so young, she was so wise…it was entrancing to remember. It was hard to believe. This was her. This was actually her.
"But Laurel, we might not ever see each other again," he said. And you might get hurt.
"That's just a risk we'll have to take." It's not worth the risk though. It's not worth it. Why couldn't she stay? Why?
He sighed. "I hate that you have to go, but…" he looked directly in her eyes "it looks like your mind's been set. I'll miss you Laurel." I know I did too.
"And you I," she sniffed. "You won't forget me, will you?" That's impossible.
"Me? Forget? Never." His smile was melancholic, "How could I forget my best friend?"
She smiled. "Thanks Tam, that means a lot. Will you…" she slipped the ring of her finger and gave it to Tam. "Will you give this back to me, when the time is right?"
Oh the ring, the saplings ring. I had nearly forgotten about that. I remember her reaction to it…She wore it everyday…
He nodded, curling his fingers tightly around it. If this would bring her back, help her remember. He would do it. He had to help Laurel. "Do you think it'll work?"
"I hope so, Tam. I really do. Just promise you won't give up on me. No-matter what I do or say, don't give up on me," I never did, "I'll come back to you someday, but today, I have my duty to take care of."
"I promise," he said, then looked away and sighed. "You're so much braver than I; I could never be as strong as you. I'm just a lowly spring faerie."
"Don't you dare say that Tam!" she grabbed his shoulders and looked him directly in the eyes, "You're great and you know it. Never forget it. Spring faeries are just as magical as any other faerie. You have magic, Tam. You are magic." And so are you.
That was the last time I saw them together, hand in hand yet ruefully tainted by the elders worries. Younglings shouldn't have to be cursed by them -- especially not those two. But time was calling, and I had to complete my own mission. I just hope that it would work out. It was then I personally saw to it that those two would be reunited someday. I left them to have their last few moments together in peace. Then, when the sun began to rise, I returned.
"Laurel?" I asked, walking towards the bravest little faerie I had ever seen. She tore herself away from Tamani, and gazed back at me. Her eyes watered over, but she was set on completing her mission. I just knew she would succeed.
"Is it time?" she asked. I nodded regretfully. Then I remembered my position, I could still help them. I would not—could not, let another pair be separated. It was wrong.
She was meant to be with m—him. It was destiny. A stray tear rolled down my cheeks, glistening from the suns rays. I rubbed it away quickly. The pain was still prominent in my mind. I took Laurel's delicate hand in my own, and then lead her away from the clearing. The worst part was coming; they would make her forget. We walked in silence until we met with the other faeries. "It is time," they said, gazing down towards Laurel.
I bent down towards her and whispered into her ear, "Be strong Laurel. Don't forget. We'll always be here for you, every step of the way. You'll never be alone. I promise." I never left her for a moment. I always stuck to my word.
She smiled back at me with those soulful eyes of hers. I sniffed; she'd never be the same again. She'd probably never remember. But who was I to care? This was the way it had to be. But I would do my bidding, and she would do hers. I watched her silently as they led her away. Pitter, patter. Pitter, patter. Her footsteps echoed in my mind. Pitter, patter. Pitter, patter. And then she was gone.
Six eyes wept that day, four were determined yet scarred. And two were never forgotten.
"Goodbye Laurel," I whispered. "I'll miss you." I stopped in my tracks. It would all end someday. And she would never know who the stranger was who led her away. I wonder if she ever knew. But now she's gone. She's never coming back. I couldn't withhold my tears. My Laurel was gone and she would never know the whole truth.
I took the ring on my hand, and rubbed the golden seedling. I watched it grow and sparkle, then I stepped back into the portal. Away from my Laurel.
In a blink I was surrounded by darkness. The rain pounded onto me, mixing with my own tears. I walked blinded into the nothingness: into the blackness. Then, a figure grabbed my shoulders.
"Did you see her?" he asked, "Did you stop her going?"
"I—I'm sorry. I couldn't, David. I just couldn't." my knees buckled as the final mourning surged through my body. "I couldn't stop her going. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I wept.
He bit his lip, "It's okay Tam, we'll think of another way."
"But she's dead!" I screamed, slamming my fist in the darkness.
"No, Tam. She's alive somewhere. I just know it. Jamison said—"
"What if he's wrong? What if there is no other time portal? I've looked in so many…I don't think I could bare another."
"I—I'm sorry," he looked towards the ground "I shouldn't have taken her from you all those years ago—she was always yours…"
"David, how could you have known the tricks the demons held up their sleeves?" I questioned, "You couldn't have known. We couldn't have known…"
"Then we'll just have to keep searching, but until then, we'll never forget."
He was right. I couldn't forget. I promised.
And I always keep my promises.
Thanks for reading :) If you have a spare minute, please review! Oh, and do you think I should continue with this piece or just keep it as a one-shot?
Thanks again, Zoe x