A long oneshot.(reposted due to alert probs from a few weeks back)
Disclaimer: Nope. I still dont own them.
~I wish I could dry these tears~
He had lost all sense of time, throwing himself into the paper work that came with a year of war. Notes, reports, piles and piles of documents that required his signature, had been piling up on his desk for too long. It was only when the waiting became so achingly long that he dragged his tired body to his desk and began the monotonous task. However, no matter how much work there was to be done, she never left his thoughts. More than two months of separation from his Magelet left him heart sore and desperate to wrap her in his arms. Sleepless nights filled with worry caused the handful of grey hairs that coloured his raven locks to double. Waking from dreams of being surrounded by her, her heat, her scent, left him breathless, tears streaming down his cheeks as his fingers stroked the empty space beside him.
It was thoughts of her that caused him to throw down his quill once more and scrape his hands through his hair. It had been more than 3 weeks since the mage had heard from his wife. Daine was spying, close to the Scanran border with the Own and Riders. So close to the enemy that –
A sound from the main room caused his thoughts to end midstream and the mage stood slowly, feeling years older as he walked to his study door and stopped at the sight before him. Daine was standing there, in the middle of the room, one hand resting on her belly as a smile coloured her full lips.
"Lo' Numair." She murmured tiredly, her face was flushed yet drawn, exhaustion forming lines around her mouth and eyes. His heart almost stopped at the sight of her, in excitement, relief and worry. Numair stood frozen in the doorway, drinking her in, sure that he was dreaming. His eyes roamed her body, taking in every detail. The bruise that coloured her arm. The slight bruise that shadowed her cheek. But he could feel his blood running hot after being cold for weeks on end. Her hair was longer, she was thinner. But she was home. With a raised brow the Wildmage's smile widened, her words cutting through his current stupor. "Mithros, Numair. I'm whole, sweetheart." With thats, a smile lit his face and in two steps he had his wife crushed to his chest, inhaling her sweet scent as her own arms came about him.
"Gods know you take my breath away." He murmured, lips brushing her neck, her ears, her eyes and nose, kissing her entire face before pressing his forehead to her own. "Mithros, Mynos and Shakith Daine." His whole body trembled as she clung to him, breathing become more of a task with every heartbeat. "I don't know how I survived this long without you." Leaning back, Numair noticed the roses blooming on her cheeks and the clamminess of her skin beneath his gentle fingers. Pressing the back of his hand to her cheek he frowned as she sighed.
"You have always been more observant than I give you credit for." It was Numair's turn to raise an eyebrow.
"You have a fever Sweetling. You're ill. That bruise in your cheek-" The back of his knuckles brushed the purple blemish. Eyes met hers as his hand dropped and took her bruised arm. "You always seem to get hurt when I'm not there." Pushing his hand away the Wildmage traced her thumb over his bottom lip before tracing a line down his chin and smiled into his face.
"I'm just exhausted, you know how demanding war is when it's just starting. And the bruises are nothing Numair. I have been safe."
"Safe? Magelet if you had been safe you wouldn't have those bruises." He felt the loneliness that had shadowed him for weeks creep up once more and he crushed her to his chest. His voice was filled with emotion as he said "You have no idea how close I was to dropping everything and coming for you."
A wicked look that he recognised instantly crossed her face and she pressed herself against the length of his body. "One more night away from you would have killed me." However her teasing banter didn't reach her eyes and the mage felt her hands fist themselves more firmly in his shirt. Her next words were filled with the loneliness of the past months "Don't let me be alone tonight."
The speed in which his heart reacted to her pain left him breathless and dropping an arm to the backs of her knees, Numair bent to lift her so that she was cradled in his chest before moving to the couch before the fireplace.
"No Magelet. You're mine for a while yet. Gods only know how much I have missed you." Her face was pressed into his neck, lips resting on the strong pulse point as she took in his unique scent of soaps and spices. The perfection of the moment took her breath away.
"It's so good to be home. I hate being away from you." Her whole body tensed suddenly as a yawn took a hold of her and the mage chuckled as his wife relaxed into him. "I'm sorry." She murmured with a sigh, but he felt her lips curl into a smile against his neck. "I was going to let you ravish me all night." He was suddenly very warm as he tightened his hold and felt her yawn again. He laughed a little more heartily and stroked her back.
"I'm just glad you're here and safe Magelet." She was laughing now and she pulled back to look him tiredly in the eyes. He knew what she was about to ask. "Kitten is asleep in her cot. She has been keeping me on my toes." the Wildmage just grinned before yawning hugely once more. "Perhaps I should get you to bed too Magelet."
"I was going to let you have your way with me." Her tired blue-grey eyes were now full of the spark he had been aching for these last months and he couldn't resist pressing his lips to hers, moving a hand up her neck and into her curls, relishing in the feel of her silken locks through his fingers. He forced down the wave of concern that her hot skin and thinness lit within him, her hips were less than full and her shoulders seemed sharp beneath his fingers. The Wildmage tensed suddenly, her lips pulling away from her husband's. Her face was pinched as he smoothed fingers over her frown.
"Magelet?" he asked worriedly, the Wildmage's body was stiff with pain, her fingers clenching her shirt over her lower belly. "Whats wrong?"
"Pre-monthly cramps." She replied with a slight blush, fingers clenching a little tighter.
"Have they been like this the entire time you have been away?" the mage smoothed fingers over her face as she thought for a second, her frown turning from one of pain to one of confusion. "Sweet?"
"I – I don't think-"she paused, thoughtful as he waited. "-I can't remember." She stated. "Since early this morning – I think… it's just been a long trip-"
"Perhaps you should see Alanna." He murmured a frown on his own forehead. A soft smile lit up the Wildmage's face and she pressed her face to his, her calloused fingers burying themselves in his raven locks.
"I'm fine. Better than fine, I'm home with you, even if it's only for a short while." Words heavy with exhaustion, her old Gallan accent lilted her words as she tensed in his hold again. "I might just use the privy." Her blush covered her already rosy cheeks as she untangled herself stiffly, a hand clenching her shirt as she stood. It was a second later that the mage was up beside, gripping her elbow as she swayed on the spot.
"What is it Daine?" His whole body was tense as she groaned and closed her eyes but when she spoke her voice was firm.
"Stood too quickly. I'm just over tired, love." after a moment her eyes opened and she straightened. Catching the frown of concern she patted his chest. "It's been happening this past week love." her fingers were still clenching her shirt.
"Just this last week?" He knew her better than to believe she was telling him the truth. The Wildmage sighed and rubbed her temples "Longer then, if you must know. Please Numair, let me be for the moment." The plea in her voice made him release her and plant a worried smile on his face as she walked away from him and into their room. His eyes remained on the empty space for a moment before he sank down into the couch.
Mayhap he should call for Alanna. He had never seen her this worn down. It was a physical pain to see her so spent. His thoughts were cut short as a noise from their rooms caught his hearing and standing, the mage cocked his head – sure that the noise had been Daine groaning.
Her reply was strained, "I'm fine love." and sticking her head back around the door she smiled, albeit weakly, before ducking back into their room. He realised then that he was grinning like a love-struck teenaged fool, and he couldn't be happier despite the worry. Pulling his hair back the mage tied it into a low pony-tail as he sat back into the couch, comfortable in the feelings of happiness and joy that washed over him, knowing that his Magelet was back with him.
Another groan he was sure of it, had him twisting in his seat and looking over his shoulder, and it was then that a strangled cry filled the room. Numair's core froze from the utter desperation and despair that came from the noise. It was a heartbeat later that he realised it was Daine and he was into the privy in an instant. The scene that awaited him filled his heart with instant terror, his love kneeling on the floor, arms wrapped around her middle. The mage didn't see what was so horribly wrong, but when he did the shock of it almost forced him to his knees.
Blood was covering his Magelet's breeches, the insides of her thighs scarlet as it spread further. Her eyes looked up at him, tears streaming down her flushed face.
"Numair-" The voice that called to him wasn't recognizable, the grief and utter anguish that cried out caused him to fall beside her, his arms around her.
"It's alright Sweet." But he didn't know that, and his voice was shaking with so much fear that he didn't feel like himself at all. His mind was blank. Her next moan of pain filled his mind and he watched as she panted in the aftermath – tremors shaking her body.
"Gods Numair-" his fingers trembled over her white knuckled hands, not sure if he should touch her. Another groan from her lips had him on his feet and to the door, blasting through it with his power. A young maid that had just walked past screamed and dropped to the floor.
"Find Lady Alanna!" he barked, black and silver magic twisting the air around him. When the maid hesitated, eyes wide and body quivering his magic lit up the hall and his bark turned to a roar. "NOW!" without waiting to see if she ran to his bidding the mage raced to his wife's side, brushing curls away from her clammy skin. Another guttural moan escaped her lips and she whimpered his name, her bloody hands gripping his as she clung to him…
The door of the study burst open so loudly that Buri was instantly up, a throwing star in one hand, a dagger in the other. Alanna jumped up and unsheathed her sword as Thayet looked up from her desk to the intruder. A young maid, fifteen at most, was gasping for air, her face red as she searched the room.
"Sir Alanna." She gasped, hands on her knees, relief from having found her filling the girls very core. The Lioness instantly felt her body clench, something was wrong.
"What is it?" the Lady Knight demanded, sheathing her sword and stepping up to the girl.
"You ha-have to come quick!" the maid gasped, her chest heaving with the effort. "It's Master Numair, in his quarters. He demands to see you!" the girl had to jump away as the Lioness raced passed her, her companions following close behind.
He heard the door of their quarters burst open and he sighed in relief. The Lady Knight called "Numair?" into the empty main room, the others falling instep behind her as they searched the quarters.
Relief washed over him "Alanna!" he shouted, "come quick!" She rounded the corner of the privy her violet eyes instantly drawn to the bloodied couple.
"Gods no." she whispered, and watched as Daine's head came up.
"I – Alanna I did- didn't know." the younger woman cried, her whole body trembling as her arms held her stomach. It was as Daine tightened her hold around her belly that the Lioness felt a sharp pang in her heart. Tears filled the Knight's eyes as the young woman cried over her lost child.
"Whats happened?" a voice called from behind the Lioness. The new voice seemed to snap her out of her reverie. The Lady Knight ordered "Buri, run and fetch Baird. Fast!" knowing that she didn't need to turn to know that the woman had already raced away.
"Warm water Thayet, and cloths. Now." She too ran from the room. Her violet eyes caught that of the mage before her. His face was retched, anguish for his love and lost one tearing his features. Their eyes held.
"I'm so sorry." She murmured, feeling her chest tighten. Kneeling carefully beside them, Alanna stretched a hand towards Daine, but withdrew instantly as a snarl came from between the woman's lips.
"No." she cried. "I didn't know."
"Hush Daine. Its alright." Alanna murmured again, knowing that she had to stop the bleeding soon. The breeches that the Wildmage wore were ruined; blood had seeped into every seam. "Numair I need to heal her."
"I didn't know Numair. I'm sorry-" the woman's voice was unrecognizable, it tore from her very center, her head was back against Numair's shoulder. Grief and heartache tearing her features. Her Gallan accent was heavy, her whole body stiff with exhaustion and pain as those that loved her moved around her in a thick haze. Alanna shifted towels to the floor beneath her as Numair held her to his chest. She wanted to drift away with the haze, to finally sleep, but a new voice calling for the Knight and another cramp in her belly had her gasping in the disgusting air.
"Alanna." The lady knight turned to the voice, tears beginning to form in her eyes. Baird entered the small room, sliding to stand before Daine.
"I didn't know Numair." She began whispering once more. "I'm sorry, so sorry."
"Shh Magelet. Let Alanna heal you. Everything will be alright." The Knight's hands rested over Daine's, feeling the dread and darkness that came from within the Wildmage.
"I'm sorry Daine." The words caught in her throat. "But the babe is dead. It was not meant to be." Baird rested his hands on Daine's head, the soft glow from his fingers starting from her scalp and dripping down.
Thayet called from the other room. "We have what you need Alanna." As Baird nodded to the Knight. "I have stopped the bleeding and calmed her." His sad eyes travelled to Numair. "I'll leave you and her Majesty to care for Veraldaine. Numair I'll be out in the main room. But the mage ignored the older Healer and focused to getting his wife to her feet with the utmost care. Together, they made slow progress into the bedchamber and had Thayet and Buri hold her up, speaking to her softly as Alanna turned to the Black-robed mage.
"Let us take care of her Numair." Alanna murmured, pushing him to the door.
"She needs me Alanna." His own voice was strangled with emotion, his eyes never leaving the figure of the Wildmage as she stood motionless between Thayet and Buri.
"What she needs is a moment to be cleaned and healed, and then you can see her."
The Lady Knight's next words were firm, eyes blazing. "I have to console her Numair. I have to convince her she wasn't to blame."
Numair tore his eyes from Daine and met Alanna's violet gaze. He saw her determination and felt his shoulders drop.
"I'll be right outside the door Sweet." He murmured softly, brushing a tear from the Knight's cheek as she nodded to him. At the door he stopped, but if the Wildmage had heard what he said she didn't show it. Stepping into the other room, Baird waited for him. When the door was shut behind them, Numair sank onto a chaise, closing his eyes in desperation to stop tears from overflowing.
"She is blaming herself." He muttered. "How could she blame herself?"
"Daine is not thinking rationally at the moment Numair, she feels that she should have known that she was with child and prevented this from occurring."
"How?" he spat at Baird, his emotions overflowing. "How could she have known? When would she even have had the chance to count that there may have been a chance she was pregnant." He stood and paced across to the room, Baird silent behind him. "She has been so exhausted." Tears began again and he shut his eyes pressing his fists against his lids, stopping the flow.
"This war has taken a toll on us all Numair-" the Healer began, but was cut short by the snarl that came from the mage.
"And we shouldn't have to pay for it with children." He snarled, the air rippling around him. "Daine shouldn't have to suffer the consequences when all she is doing is working to stop this damn war."
"Its all anyone is doing Numair." That was Alanna, her own violet eyes red as she, Thayet and Buri stepped from the room. "She is resting." Standing straight now, the mage nodded and walked to the door. Alanna's hand stopped him momentarily, her calloused palm squeezing his arm for a moment before releasing him. He nodded his thanks before opening the door and stepping into their bed-chamber.
"Magelet?" he called softly, his eyes instantly drawn to the pale figure in the bed. She was curled on her side, eyes staring blankly at the drawn curtains. The dragonet was standing beside the pallet, her small head resting on the coverlet as her silver scales portrayed her despair. With a slow movement, Kitten reached towards Daine, trying to reach her in her sadness. "Daine?" When she didn't answer, the mage stepped towards the bed, the ache in his heart deepening when he saw the damp spot under her cheek on the pillows, her face awash with tears. "Sweetling?" again the Wildmage didn't reply, just lay perfectly motionless, her arms curled into her chest. It wasn't until Numair had laid himself behind her, his mouth against her soft hair and his hand resting on her shoulder that she spoke.
"It's my fault." Her voice was hollow, empty of emotion. He didn't hesitate then; his arms wrapped around her tightly and pulled her to his chest, remaining gentle as he breathed into her hair.
"No Daine. It isn't. It just wasn't meant to be." He reassured her softly, feeling his own tears come anew.
"I didn't realise at all." She continued, as though he hadn't spoken at all. "I'm so sorry."
"Hush my Magelet, just rest."
"I can't even carry your children." She whispered. "The one thing you want more than anything-."
"Sweet no, please don't think that, please stop these thoughts-" his pleas were cut short by hers as she turned into his chest, wrapping arms around him as her chest heaved and her voice became more and more distraught.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She was gasping for air as she apologised over and over, Numair's eyes clenched shut, trying to hold back the continuous rush of hot tears as he held his lover even tighter, letting her cry. His own tears fell into her curls as he pulled her even closer to his chest.
"My Magelet." The mage murmured into his wife's hair, his fingers now stroking her back, more for his own comfort than hers. Tears fell down her pale cheeks as he spoke to her. Moving his hand once more, he brushed his fingers across her cheeks tenderly, catching her tears. "I wish I could dry these tears my love." he whispered, leaning forward to kiss her eyes. "One day, we'll be surrounded by children."
Kitten crawled between them, tiny whimpers escaping her muzzle. Numair made room for the dragon before catching Daine's chin and holding her sorrow filled gaze. "I promise you Sweet. But rest now." Pressing his lips to her eyelids, he lulled her to sleep with tales of their adventures. The time they first met. The apple tree in Dunlath. Their first kiss. That time he had found her in the bath with a cat, and stupidly accused her of betraying him. He kept on with their stories long after she had fallen into an exhausted slumber, making himself continue to stop himself from falling to pieces while she slept until he too followed her into waves of darkness.
When Numair awoke the room was silent. There was only the slight whisper of Kitten's snores at the end of the bed. Taking a deep breath the mage sighed and wiped a hand over his face. He felt bruised; his eyes were puffy and there was an ache in his chest that he hadn't noticed earlier. As his eyes became accustomed to the darkness he noticed the space beside him was cold, like it had been for months before. He was up instantly, pulling the curtains back and searching the dark room.
His voice was less than quiet when he called her "Daine?" and waited a moment in the silence. Her answering "Out here love." was barely a whisper but he heard her voice and it drew him to her like a sirens call.
She was reclining on the soft chaise before the large windows, the moon shining into the room and illuminating the tears that rolled down her face. Body curled under a soft shawl, the Wildmage sighed heavily as a soft breeze caressed her curls. The owl on her knee hooted softly, turning its head into her palm as she scratched its neck before launching back into the night. He watched all this with tear filled eyes. There was nothing he could do to fix this, nothing he could magic up to make it better for her. He had come to accept that he couldn't always keep her from harm but this was a harm he had never even imagined. The war was still going to happen. They were still going to be separated when the King ordered it. He couldn't stop her from blaming herself even if he was blaming himself. He couldn't stop that.
The loss washing over him anew caused him to suck in a breath and press a fist to his mouth, closing his eyes at the site of his heart broken wife. He had been strong for her this afternoon. Had tried to be strong for the last months of loneliness but it had eaten away at him. And finding himself in bed alone once more had torn him in two.
Arms caught him as he landed on his knees and he turned to press his face into her chest as sobs finally tore him apart. "Oh Sweetheart." She crooned to him; fingers tangling in his curls as she held him to her with all her exhausted strength. "I wish with all my heart I could make this better for you Numair." She had wrapped the shawl around his shoulders and was rocking him gently, "I wish I could dry these tears." Her own tears soaking into his locks as she cried with him. Crying over their lost babe.
"Alanna told me-" her voice caught on a sob but she continued. "She said she felt it, that it was a boy." He realised then that he didn't want to hear her, it was shredding him apart. He tried to pull away but she only tightened her grip around him. "I named him Numair. I had to name him to give us closure." He was shaking his head, telling her no but she ignored him and pressed her lips to his ear, holding him against her as his sobs intensified. "His name is Arran, Numair. Arran Salmalìn." At this he collapsed against her completely as she crumpled into him, the moonlight filling the room as they held each other. But when their sobs eventually calmed she pulled him to his feet and coaxed him to the chaise, pushing him down before disappearing into the darkness and returning with a blanket. They lay together silently, watching the moon dropping even lower in the sky until finally, both mages fell into an exhausted slumber.
When he woke, he opened his eyes to Daine's soft smile, her fingers stroking his shoulder softly. He knew his return smile was weak but he gave one anyway as the suns first rays illuminated the sky.
Her words were soft when she spoke. "Ma came to me." He raised an eyebrow as he replied, his voice hoarse. "In a dream? Gainel allowed her that?"
"She didn't say, she couldn't stay long. But she told me that-" her voice caught and his arms come about her and pulled her up so he could rest his head atop hers. "She said that Arran was with Granda. That he is safe within the Black-God's Realm." His chest tightened and even though it didn't take him with the force it had last night, the pain of it still left him breathless.
"I'm glad to hear that Sweet. It makes it easier, knowing that we'll meet him one day." Her murmur of agreement had him crane his neck. "What aren't you not telling me Sweet?" When her eyes met his he saw the healing there. He saw a glimmer of hope that had not been present yesterday.
"She told us not to worry. That she'll be there the day we name our children." He knew he stopped breathing at those words. But he didn't say anything. It would take them time to heal. True that this news would possibly help them along, but it would, none-the-less, take time. Instead, the mage pulled her higher and pressed his lips to hers in a tender kiss, before letting her slide down and lay so that together they watched the sky lighten as the world woke up around them.
I'm not to sure where this came from. I have reposted it as when I did put it up alerts were on strike or something... Review so I can get your thoughts :)