Breaths.

Slow and steady. A pulse. A heartbeat.

Life. It blossomed up inside Tristan's heart, weak at first, but it gradually grew stronger until it was in his power to move again. A faint smile traced the corners of his lips as he heard his name glistening under the breath of someone. His name of two syllables bounced off her tongue, so complete and perfect. His groan sounded beastly in comparison.

"Tristan," The female voice repeated. "You can wake up now."

And he obeyed. His eyes flickered open to observe the face of his saviour. It was a lilac face, slender yet healthy, with pale purple floral markings etched onto her cheeks like a tapestry. She had a curious expression. Her glowing eyes smiled at him, framed by long eyebrows that bloomed away from the opposite, and deep blue hair that trailed in waves down her back and shoulders.

"Maerad?"

The young night elf's smile transformed into one of relief. "I'm sorry about that lifebloom. I'm no healer like you."

Tristan sat up and ruffled his light blue hair. "Well it worked, didn't it? I'm alive, scratches and all." His comment was rewarded with a light blow to the head.

A casual silence followed as the two night elves paused to think. The tiny, damp cavern they were situated in grew unbearably quiet, to the point where you could hear the soft hum of the luminous blue glowflies as they circled the ancient tree roots that inhabited the mountain. Tristan subconsciously considered the light tap of Maerad's leather soles as they touched the cold, stone floor, and the way the sound changed as she stepped into a small puddle of cave water. It made him thirsty.

"You need to stop having these silly disagreements with nightsabers. You should know by now that they never listen." Before Tristan had a chance to reply, Maerad went on. "Now, I've found a new escape method, and this time, I know it's going to work."

Tristan chuckled. "What, are we going to dig our way out?"

Maerad ignored his remark. "Cae. Cae is our way out of here. You see, he's a master of the alchemy. He can-"

"Maerad," Tristan interrupted. "The guards can detect all methods of invisibility. You can't fool them."

"I know. Let me finish. Cae can brew us a potion which can transform us into whoever we choose. We will go as my mother and father, and attend to an 'urgent matter' outside the mountain. The guard's won't be able to identify us."

Her idea alarmed Tristan. The possibility of escaping made every little game and dream of theirs seem all the more real. He was afraid of what might happen, the dangers that would ensue if the plan went ahead.

"Maerad..." Tristan began.

"I know, I know. But he's my uncle. And I am Maerad. I'll find a way to persuade him into making us one, don't you worry."

"No, Maerad, I'm not sure about this anymore. Even if we do make it out, we risk the chance of exposing Indrac'aar to the world. Our peace will be devastated. You know the teachings- Alliance and Horde are not permitted to unite. If we were ever discovered..."

Maerad's eyes were downcast, yet behind this shield Tristan could see the unwavering determination set in her face.

"I know. And I know I'm being selfish, but I can't stay here any longer. I need to live my life; I need to explore Azeroth. I don't want to live under the beliefs and criticism of the Songwarden anymore." Maerad wouldn't meet Tristan's eyes.

Tristan grew mad with himself. How had he let it get to this? As Maerad's best friend, and blessed upon by her parents, he was expected to protect her at all costs. Had he failed his tribe? Perhaps if he took a stand against her, she would come to her senses.

He forced himself to look into her eyes as he spoke. "Maerad. I want you to know that from here on, you are on your own with this...little quest of yours. I won't betray the Songwarden."

Both Maerad and Tristan felt their hearts heave in pain as they comprehended what he had said. He had not meant to sound so scornful.

"Wait, Maerad!" Tristan began, but she had already left the cavern, cloak sweeping behind her.

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Excuse the shortness. This was the most writing I've done in quite a while, haha. I hope you've enjoyed. Please leave a review, short or long :)