Author: This is crack. Sheer, unmitigated crack. It came about as a result of a conversation with a friend about why Draenei have such a drastic size difference. It then de-evolved into something along the lines of this story. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: WoW does not belong to me. The characters do...sorta. I make no money from this...yet. I aspire to be a Blizzard lore writer, just for kicks. :P
As the group settled in for the night, it was obvious that Fae had something to ask the two Draenei in their party.
Lelian was more than happy to let her squirm as the druid phrased, and re-phrased, and re-re-phrased the question mentally.
Lelian's twin lost patience before she did and asked, "What do you want to know?"
"Howdoyouhavekids?" Fae asked in one breath. The night elf hurried on so that she wouldn't lose the nerve to ask what was obviously bothering her, "I mean, look at the size difference! Wouldn't carrying a child to term be painful? And how would the um..um...y'know...work?" she asked, eyes darting between the siblings, obviously craving an answer.
Lelian's eyebrows snapped up as there was the distinct sound of Minamie's palm making contact with her forehead while Neyli snickered.
Weiaru sighed, "Why do you want to know?"
"Well, I mean, just curious. I know how other races work—hello, druid—but...you aren't from 'round here. Soooo..."
"It's none of your business how we conduct our intimate relationships," Weiaru said primly.
Lelian looked at her brother thoughtfully before a grin formed on her face. "Aw, c'mon Wei. There's nothing to be embarrassed about."
Weiaru looked at his sister sharply, "Don't you dare—"
The interchange obviously only served to provoke Fae's curiosity further. "What? What? Wha~t? Is it a secret? I can keep secrets. They can too," Fae commented, gesturing to the other party members before looking thoughtful. "Well, I don't know about Ney, but—"
"You're not exactly known for your self-restraint," Minamie drawled in her thick dwarven accent, her gnomish partner giving her a dirty look for the affirmation of Fae's statement.
"Please?" Fae pleaded, giving her best imploring look.
Weiaru looked at the ground darkly as Lelian snickered.
"I suppose I can put it this way," Lelian said slowly. "There is a reason why the males are bigger than the females."
There was a long, puzzled silence, during which Weiaru and Lelian had a heated conversation in Draenei.
"Are you insane?" the priest hissed. "It's better if we keep the peoples of this world in ignorance!"
Lelian sighed in exasperation. "We're good at being all hush-hush about it, but word'll get out eventually."
Weiaru sighed and rubbed his temples. "Yes, but the longer we keep it a secret, the less damage there can be done."
Lelian's shoulders slumped. "I know, I know. But still. Why can every other species brag about how many conquests they've had when I have to keep quiet about it?"
"Because they'll assume that you're a whore, not desirable."
"Oh, you flatter me so. Why do you keep on turning down offers? You have received quite a number."
"Because the female I want I'll never be able to have," Weiaru answered glumly.
Lelian lightly patted her brother's shoulder. "You'll find someone."
"I don't want to," the priest said almost petulantly.
"Seriously. You have to carry on our bloodline, since everyone else in our family died in the crash. You know that there aren't nearly enough children. It's...see it as a priestly duty. You're not required to be celibate, you know," the paladin pointed out.
Weiaru shook his head sharply. "You do a good enough job of spreading our bloodline around."
"You know it's a greater honor to be the carrier than just the contributor," Lelian said, exasperated. "Why must you be so stubborn?"
"About being monogamous? Oh, I don't know..."
Lelian's features softened. "Look. I want you to be happy, and I know that with your temperament, a child would be the greatest joy you could ever have in your life. You're not meant to be out in the world fighting monsters and putting your life at risk. That's more how I am called to live. I want to protect you, because you're my only family. My only real family. You know I love you."
Weiaru sighed and drew patterns on his tabard. "I know." After a moment, he sighed heavily. "Still, could you stop courting other races? I did not appreciate when you tried to seduce that Blood Elf female."
"But she was so pretty," Lelian sighed. "Why can't you all be pretty?"
Weiaru looked offended. "A great many Draenei do find me attractive, you know."
Lelian nodded. "I do. It's because we're siblings. We have good genes."
Weiaru shook his head in exasperation. "Lels..."
Lelian sighed in defeat. "Fine, fine."
Weiaru paused. "Question: Are you appearing to court other races just to get the males jealous?"
Lelian grinned. "How'd you guess?"
The priest's shoulders dropped. "Naaru preserve my sanity."
"What are you guys talking about?" Fae asked petulantly.
"How Wei should have babies," Lelian answered flippantly.
"Lelian!" Weiaru yelled, half-embarrassed and half-sort-of-angry.
There was a pause before Minamie spoke: "Wait. Hold on a moment. Weiaru would have the kid?"
"Mm-hm," Lelian murmured smugly as Weiaru gave her a glare that should have killed her.
Fae frowned. "But...he's a guy," the druid said slowly, brain obviously working overtime to comprehend what she was hearing.
"Your point being?" Lelian asked as Weiaru growled at her in Draenei something that was obviously along the lines of "SHUT UP!"
"Guys don't usu..." Fae's eyes went wide in something that was close to glee. "By Elune, that's fantastic!" she said with all the enthusiasm of the young. "So, so, how'd it happen? So, did we label you wrong based on our own racial preconceptions? Should Wei be the female and Lels be the male?"
Lelian burst out laughing as Weiaru looked sullenly at the ground, obviously embarrassed.
"No, no," Lelian said after catching her breath. "Your labeling was correct."
"Then how does it work?" Neyli asked, her own curiosity obviously aroused, even as Minamie was struggling to pull her conception of the world back together.
"That's a secret," Lelian said, voice teasing.
Weiaru seemed obviously relieved that she chose to keep at least one thing quiet.
Fae and Neyli wouldn't leave it alone, though, constantly pestering for more information from the Draenei paladin.
"Have you ever...y'know...mated?" Fae asked, slightly scandalized at being so bold, but knowing that Lelian's temperament wouldn't allow her not to answer.
Lelian looked smug. "Of course. I'm one of the most sought-after females on Azeroth, at least by the Draenei males."
Fae looked awed. "Wow. That's really cool. Y'think one day I'll have men begging me to mate with them? Unfortunately, I'll have to carry the kid, but still. To have all those big, handsome night elf men throwing themselves at my feet..." the druid sighed wistfully.
Neyli waved a hand flippantly. "Men're overrated. Still...the role reversal for the dwarves would be hilarious." Neyli paused. "Speaking of dwarves, where'd Mi go?"
"She left a while ago. I think we broke her brain," Weiaru muttered, clearly sulking.
"Still, I think it's funny that you're like...like...hippocampi or something," Neyli chuckled.
"I can assure you that we aren't mythical creatures," Weiaru murmured.
"Well, I mean, it kinda makes sense," Fae said. "You got hooves, so you're like horsies, but the males carry the kids...oh, hey, do you mate like seahorses? The girl drops an egg or eggs in the male and he fertilizes it and then that's how they conceive?"
Lelian merely shrugged, face unreadable. "Maybe. Maybe not."
"Nonetheless, it's awesome that the guy has to carry the kid for once," Neyli snickered.
Lelian grinned. "I never knew it'd be such a big deal until we got here, since it was normal for us. I was quite scandalized when I found out that the females carry the children here. Many of us were."
The two other females snickered quietly.
"So, how do you guys date? And flirt? Do you get married?" Fae asked in rapid succession, making Lelian laugh.
Weiaru simply sighed.
"I can't tell you everything, now can I?" Lelian said with a sly wink. "You'll have to figure some stuff out for yourself."
Fae and Neyli protested fervently, but Lelian remained unresponsive, instead cajoling Weiaru into cooking for them, since he was the best among them.
"How are kids taken care of?" Fae asked, abruptly concerned. "There seem to be a lot of Draenei running around helping save the world..."
Weiaru sighed. "Are you going to tell them about that, too?" he asked Lelian in Draenei.
Lelian shook her head. "That's dangerous. We're in uncertain territory—if there is anyone who can translate common, we'd be screwed."
"I take it that's a no," Neyli said sullenly.
"Again, there are some things that you have to find out on your own," Lelian teased. "Now, let's hope Mi doesn't stray too far away—although, her being a hunter, I don't think we have to worry..."
Weiaru sighed in a long-suffering way and poked at the Brilliant Smallfish he was cooking, pensive and unhappy.
Lelian gently rubbed his back and murmured in Draenei, "It'll be alright. For all the teasing, Neyli really won't tell anyone and Fae will file it away and be smug about knowing when one of the male Draenei come to term outside of Draenei territory for one reason or another and people panic. Mi won't tell because she doesn't want to believe it, and you know how stubborn she is."
Weiaru sighed. "This is true."
"So don't worry, little brother."
"...how many have you been with?" Weiaru asked hesitantly, uncertain as to whether or not he really wanted to know.
"Enough," Lelian answered and gently stroked her brother's head. "Don't worry your pretty little head about me. I'm careful and picky—I can afford to be."
In time, Minamie did indeed return, refusing to meet either Lelian or Weiaru's gaze, resulting in the dinner being more than slightly awkward.
Still, when they all went to sleep (save Minamie's boar, who served as their lookout), it had been tacitly agreed upon that no-one would mention anything about it again—unless necessary, of course.
Note: Hippocampi are sea horses. Mythical creatures that were half-horse, half-fish. Mm-hm...