Summary: Gavan normally shoulders his burdened thoughts alone. Eleanora can change all of that. GavanxEleanora oneshot, post Gate of Bones, may contain slight spoilers for the e-book, The Prince of Nowhere. May contain overly fluffy romance.
A/N: Second fic. Let's do this thing! I'm betting most people haven't heard of this series. It's only the best series of books out there, of course…well, not to bore anyone with my musings on my favorite series. Warning: May contain overly fluffy or sappy romance!
Disclaimer: The Magickers and all related characters belong to Emily Drake – I wish they were mine! Forgive me, for the way in which I've horribly altered your wonderful characters' personalities!
The moonlight shone in through the enormous window behind the man, throwing his slightly angled features into sharp relief as he sat writing at an enormous desk. It was a grand old thing, perched in the corner of the Iron Mountain Academy library, surrounded by shelves upon shelves of ancient magical scriptures, generously donated by Aunt Freyah, and a few of the other council members. Some had given looks of disdain as Gavan Rainwater had vied for their assistance, but contributed nevertheless. There weren't many who supported his forward-thinking ideas and planning, after all.
Although his, as well as Eleanora's council visits were occasional, due to the immense backwash of Magick that was created whenever one of the Gates opened or shut, Gavan couldn't help but attend the meetings occasionally, even if it meant tiring Jason out, moreso out of curiosity to see how Allenby and the others were faring than to give reports on the Academy. After all, what was there to report? It was flourishing, after all, with classes running smoothly and as planned. Well, except for the fact that they were a bit short on teachers. But even after Madame Qi and Rebecca Landau had left, Aunt Freyah had opted to stay on and teach, if only for the sake of her niece, Eleanora…or at least, that was what she had said.
Nevertheless, Gavan was satisfied with the situation. He had teachers, even if few, and pupils, ready and eager to learn. The only thing that was amiss…and it wasn't even…it kept biting at the back of his brain, however, and he couldn't ignore it.
He put down the pen he had been gripping, to his surprise, rather tightly, and shuffled the papers on his desk as if trying to get away from his thoughts. Stacking them neatly to his right, Gavan smiled to himself as he thought of how Eleanora had reprimanded his untidiness – seeing as she was the one who usually cleaned up the mess, with little complaint, and for that he was grateful. With that having been said, in a slightly perturbed tone, she had ordered that he keep his desk clean, for her sake as well as his.
The headmaster stood, then, and turned to face the pale light that streamed in from the window behind his desk. Gavan's piercing blue eyes reflected the moon, and he found himself thinking of all of the other things that Eleanora Andarielle had done for him. Most importantly, she had put meaning into his life, true meaning, other than just living to pursue Magick. He loved her with all of his heart, and strove to protect her; after the incident with the now-ruined Dark Hand, Gavan had sworn to never lose her again, to anything or anyone. So far, he had kept his promise. But with the new threat that the Magickers now faced, starting with Rich and Stefan's scare, how could he?
A soft sound behind him startled Rainwater, and he turned sharply, only to see Eleanora silhouetted by the soft glow of the few candles and lamps that he had lit at the front of the study. With a shawl wrapped about her shoulders, and her long, dark curls pinned up for the night, she looked both beautiful and fragile, Gavan thought as she strode slowly to his side, not bothering with her customary habit of elevating herself three or four inches off of the ground.
"Thinking?" She wondered softly, resting a hand on his arm. The headmaster felt his heart begin to beat faster, his normally piercing gaze soft as he glanced at the other. When he nodded, the lovely Magicker laughed, and said, "Don't you always." It wasn't a question, more of a statement. She knew him too well to doubt the rest.
Gavan Rainwater laughed then, his tone pleasant as he murmured, "It's too late for thoughts such as mine. But despite that, they'll most likely come knocking again tomorrow." And it was the truth, though he didn't want to worry her.
"What are you thinking about?" Eleanora was persistent, and Gavan winced inwardly. He didn't want to trouble her, so soon after her recovery, but she seemed to sense this and murmured, "You can tell me, you know. I don't want you to have to worry alone. And I'm not as fragile as some might think." Her voice acquired a teasing tone, then, and he laughed in spite of himself.
"I know you're not. And I appreciate that." The headmaster moved so that he was behind her, and both gazed out at the starlit night in silence for a time. Without knowing why, Gavan narrowed his eyes slightly, and broke the peaceful silence.
"I was thinking about a lot, actually," he admitted. At Eleanora's questioning glance, he continued, "About Rich and Stefan, and the medicine. And our new threat, whatever it may be," Rainwater frowned, his blue eyes becoming stormy once more. "It would seem we've got another conundrum on our hands…though this one may prove to be tougher and more dangerous than most others we've had to solve." The young woman shifted her weight slightly, as if not used to standing on the wooden floor (which she probably wasn't). She brushed a stray piece of hair out of her face, and turned to look at Gavan.
"Then I'll help you solve it – and I have no doubt that everyone else will, too," Eleanora said, her eyes meeting his. He felt his heart skip a beat, then, and thought how breathtaking she looked, her pale skin accented slightly by the moonlight. It reminded him of that time, what seemed like so long ago, where they had spent another moment like this, on the shores of Lake Wannameecha, at the old Camp Ravenwyng.
After a long moment, Gavan looked away. Eleanora frowned at him, however, and said with a slight edge, "I mean it. You don't have to be alone in this, Gavan – that's what I'm here for." Looking slightly affronted, in a teasing manner, she turned back to watch the skies once more, which had become slightly overcast without the pair of them noticing.
Taking a slight breath, the headmaster opened his mouth as if to say something, then closed it once more and pursed his lips. It wasn't that he didn't want to confide in her – it was that he wanted to protect her, and everyone else – teachers and students alike. A heavy silence hung between them, and after what seemed like an eternity, Gavan said, "Eleanora."
It might have been something about the seriousness of his tone, or the way that he gently touched her shoulder. But whatever it was, the beautiful Magicker turned toward him, a look of faint annoyance crossing her delicate features, mixed with slight amusement and inquiry.
"What is it?" Eleanora's tone softened, and her stance became more relaxed as she turned to face him. After hesitating, Gavan murmured, "It's not that I don't want to tell you everything…but I worry about you, even after your reassurance. I know you're perfectly fine and capable – I don't know many people with a stronger will than you, Eleanora. But I suppose I feel this way…because I love you so much." He kissed her forehead lightly, and wrapped strong arms about her. Even several months after recovering, he could still feel slight weakness running through her, no doubt brought on by the Chaos poisoning.
She shifted once more, and looked up at him, her dark eyes bright.
"I know you do, Gavan, and I love you. Whatever may happen in the future, I trust that you will lead us strongly and without fail, like you have always done. And I will always be here to support you." Gavan tightened his hold on her; he was unable to share her confidence in himself, but despite this, he felt strangely at ease, for the first time in a long time. Eleanora was right – whatever happened, he would do his best for her, their pupils, and the Academy.
"Eleanora…thank you." He whispered, cupping her pale cheek in his palm. Ever so slowly, Gavan Rainwater leaned down, and kissed her gently upon the lips. If Eleanora showed any sign of surprise, it was either very well concealed, or it vanished so quickly that he didn't have time to see it.
After a long moment, or even perhaps a few days, they broke apart, and Eleanora smiled.
"I take it you'll be all right now?"
Chuckling, the headmaster nodded, and leaned over to kiss her once more.
Outside of the study, looking out from behind the heavy oak doors, two smaller figures crouched in the dim twilight of the Academy's halls. With a muffled squeak, Bailey clapped a hand to her mouth, her eyes gleaming, and grinning madly. Next to her, the slightly-taller dusky-haired boy gave her a slightly exasperated look, and muttered, "Why are you looking like that?"
With a shushing motion, Bailey whispered to him, "You wouldn't understand, Jason." She wrinkled her nose, her dusting of freckles crinkling, and peered around the corner again. Jason frowned, and shrugged to himself, leaning back against the wall. He'd think about it in the morning, and maybe the interaction he had just witnessed would make a bit more sense then, after a good talking-through with Trent.