Disclaimer: I own nothing, and just borrowed them for my own entertainment for a while.

Author's Note: Set immediately after The Realms of the Gods.

On the very edges of his awareness, it came to his attention that his bedroom door was most likely being opened. When the door shut and he heard no other noise, he wrote it off as a dream, slipping back into the blissful sleep that had been a long time coming.

Sleep was put off a little while longer though when he realised that he had suddenly gained a bed partner. Shooting up in bed, his eyes flew open as he regarded the young woman lying beside him. 'Daine!' exclaimed Numair scandalously.

'Oh shush,' she said, every bit of her exhausted. 'I'm tired, and I know if I sleep here, nothing will happen.'

He was prepared to give her a lecture on the inappropriateness of her sharing his bed, and no matter how much he loved her, she really shouldn't be in the same room as him just yet. It was a moot argument though as he found the woman already asleep, her hands gripping at the bottom of his loose shirt.

He thought about it for a second before he decided that he really didn't care. He was tired too, sleep was precious and he knew that he would be up and running again way before he was fully rested to help with the mopping up of the war.

Decided, he stretched out his long form on the bed, one arm taken captive as a pillow for his loved one as his foot hit something solid. 'Sorry Kit,' said Numair in apology as the dragon trilled her indignation. When had she arrived?

Using what little energy he had left to rearrange his body, Daine's own fitting into his form far too easily, he vaguely wondered how many animals he would be sharing the bed with tomorrow morning.

It wasn't morning when he woke up next. Willing an eye to open he looked around the room and noted that it was still dark. The loud noise entered his conscious again and he realised that someone was at the door.

Groaning, he was tempted to yell at them to go away – to come back when dawn had arrived – but he knew that he had to rise. What if the king needed him? Unfortunately, magicking them away wasn't going to work either, his powers not yet fully returned after his showdown with Inar Hadensra.

It took his hazy mind a long moment to realise that he was having great difficulty in slipping from the bed. Looking down, he realised that his magelet was wrapped around his body, her head on his chest.

Gently easing Daine from his body, smiling tiredly when she moaned in complaint at his absence, he swung his feet to the ground. Rubbing the head of the dragon still curled up at the bottom of the bed, he stumbled to the door.

Throwing it open with more energy than he realised he had, he was thoroughly annoyed. 'What?' snapped the great mage. Seeing who was on the other side, he was surprised. 'Alanna?' he asked, tiredness momentarily forgotten. 'How did you get here?'

'I hitched a lift,' responded Alanna wryly, but he could see that her sarcasm was spread woefully thin at best. 'Nice company you're keeping these days.'

Numair nodded his head somewhat dumbly, feeling the bone-weary tiredness sinking into him once again. Was there a purpose for him to be leaning against the door conversing with the King's Champion when he could be sleeping?

He didn't need to put his question into words as Alanna spoke once again. 'I can't find Daine,' said the short woman worriedly.

'Don't worry,' yawned Numair, edging the door open a little more as he flicked a lazy arm toward the bed. 'She's here.'

'Numair...' said Alanna in a warning tone. He raised his hands in defence. 'She crawled in and I haven't the heart to move her.'

He could sense his friend's eyes analysing his face, and wouldn't be surprised if now was the time that the lady knight declared that she could read minds, before she nodded her head wearily. 'Tell her I said goodbye.'

'You're leaving?' he asked. He could see the pleasure at the prospect in her violet eyes as she nodded. 'I'm going now,' she said delightedly. 'There's a husband and three monsters waiting for me at Pirate's Swoop.'

'Say hello to them for me,' said Numair, not even bothering to cover his mouth this time as he yawned. 'Until the next battle!' he added wryly, leaning his head against the door.

'Uh uh,' replied Alanna with a firm shake of her head. 'Jonathon's under strict orders that unless Mithros himself comes knocking on his door, I'm not going anywhere for the next month.'

'Good luck,' snorted the tall man in response.

'That's what our illustrious king said too,' sighed Alanna. 'I got a week.' She rolled her shoulders and winced when she hit a sore spot. 'I'll be glad when this is over.'

'Hear, hear,' agreed Numair wearily, suddenly looking twice his age. The friends nodded their farewells to each other, and then the King's Champion was gone.

Shutting the door, he returned to bed. By some unspoken command, the various beings on the bed shifted and he had a place to lie down once again. His head hit the pillow and he reached out for the most important thing to come out of his last four years.

Daine tucked tightly against him, her head resting in the V of his loose shirt, he had one last thought before he shut his eyes and entered Gainel's realm once again.

Woe is he who disturbed him again tonight!