Disclaimer: Tammy owns all of the characters. I just borrowed them for a bit.
It is a timeless story of two people from very different environments. One a street rat, self-named. The other, a Countess by tradition.
Both stories begin with unfortunate circumstances. Parents pass on well before their time. One too young, left without a roof over his head or any way to earn an income, turning to the darker side of the streets: a thief. The other, slightly older, has life torn apart by both smallpox and a faceless mob, left all alone in the dark, seized by fear.
Both are saved and end up at Discipline Cottage.
What does he think of her? She is an alien to him. She has everything he doesn't have and wants. No worries, money, memories of loved ones. Of being saved by loved ones. She is nothing but a Bag.
How does he react? The only way he knows. He tugs at her braids and speaks his street talk around her just to irritate her.
He watches her stick her neb into everyone elses business including his own. Sometimes badgering him to the point he finally gives in. Like making him pick a birthday. A birthday for a Roach.
What does he see? A vast distance that can never be breached.
What does she think of him? The same thing she thinks of everyone. He is a person, no matter what his past. A person who needs to be given kindness.
How does she react? The only away she knows. She just deals with it and tries to boss her way into his life.
She tries to teach him right from wrong. Tries to make him realize that he is a person. A person worth having around. A person who deserves to be cared for.
And she succeeds.
What does she see? A boy who is not only troubled inside but cause trouble on the outside. Simply Briar Moss.
Friendship grows and blossoms between the two. Friendship turns into something more. It becomes the special link of family, they become mates.
Challenges are faced and defeated. More challenges are to come.
They are both at the same level. Their rank is student, ambient mage, friend.
But the world catches up. They both leave the safety of their cottage home.
He goes off to see strange new lands, eat strange foods, learn strange languages, and meet peculiar plants. All things she had done earlier in life. He grows and discovers who he is. Becomes who he wanted to become. He gains money, memories of his sisters, and for a time no worries. Everything he thought he wanted.
She stays home, trapped by duty. Watching life continue around her full of people who can make their own decisions. People who are free. She puts on the life she was groomed for like a dress, nothing but a necessity. She understands she was born to privilege, and that with that comes the responsibility to take care of others, to help others gain both what they want and need. Never for herself. A prearranged life.
They both gain students. They both gain new experiences.
One gains more experience than they can handle. He shuts everyone out.
Life marches on and he returns to where she stayed. Everyone tries to go back to how things were before. All find they cant.
A chance to travel comes around. To Namorn, her cousin, to a gilded cage full of the privileged, the wealthy, the truly powerless.
They all try out the cage for a bit. Beautiful people are inside. He becomes close to a Candy who will never know him as well as she does, he will never let Candy in. She becomes close to a Shan, who never even attempts to see the person behind the tittle.
The person he sees with every hidden glance.
They all finally meet in the middle, him and his sisters. He lets them in, she lets feelings out. They grow even closer as they slowly move apart.
Working together they finally return home.
At some point he decides he must be becoming a daftie. He no longer can find pleasure with women like he did before. None of them have her sun-streaked hair, her soft smile, her strong chin held high as she faces down those who seek to control her.
He becomes ashamed to have these feelings. They are not the kind one should have for a sister.
She sees his struggle but can do nothing to help. She is trapped by her own feelings. Feelings that tell her he is the only man in the world that could both ground her and let her remain free to be herself. That he is a man who would not seek to control her. Use her to gain money and tittles.
She is not ashamed and content to wait. She knows when he finally decides to cross that vast distance that is only in his head, it will be because he is ready for forever.
And so the morning Briar Moss finally decided to take a great leap, Sandrilene fa Toren was ready.
No words were exchanged; there would be time for that later. Briar merely held out one single miniature red rose to Sandry and she accepted.
Over the years that rose would grow and bloom like no other before it.
It itself became a timeless story.
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Thank you -Ranna