Disclaimer: The setting and the characters who inhabit the world of Watership Down are the original creations of Richard Adams and/or whoever owns his estate now, they are only 'borrowed' for the purposes of the story. Note: the story was originally written and posted for Annwyd's unfilled request from the 2010 Yuletide Rare Fandoms Exchange.
"Fiver, Beyond" by karrenia
Sleep is elusive for him no matter how hard he tried to relax his racing thoughts or his pounding heartbeat, for it thrums in his blood and his bones. The stillness of sleep, the rest and rejuvenation that comes with it would be welcome. But it is not to be, for Fiver, the smallest, the runt, the odd one out is the one given to visions.
He'd rather not go into the mist that takes his spirit, or soul, away and out of his body and into that invisible plane that seems to exist both without and within the waking world of moon and sun. It is a given that a rabbit's sense of hearing, smell, touch are far keener than that strange upright creature called man, even for a rabbit Fiver's were exceptionally sharp.
He doubted that the others could have understood, even if they had wished to; he barely understood much himself. Even if he could control when the fits come upon him, what would he do then? If these visions were indeed a gift from Lord Frith above then who was he to dispute their coming to be? These episodes are always intense, vivid, when the come upon him.
Enveloped in the white fog he does not feel his body, the heat of the sun beating down on his back, the moonlight bathing his face, it as if he is outside of his body and yet inside of it. There is no other way to adequately explain it.
The fog is always there: It is omni-present and it is omni-directional, and even if he had been in his body he usually kept his eyes squeezed tight, as if by doing so he could shout out the visions. Try as he might there is no denying them, there is no use in his attempting to kept them away..
The power of his visions is undeniable, but Fiver, always on the small side, always considered not of much account by bigger, stronger or more important rabbits in the home warren, knows that this power is not his.
And that's fine with him, there were times on the journey to Watership Down when he may have wanted, just a little bit of the respect, admiration and regard he saw for Hazel, he came into his own as a leader, for Dandelion, the brilliant and dashing storyteller, the clever Blackberry, and others. Fiver, knows that the accept as a matter of fact that his visions are true one; hadn't they save all of their lives time and again?
'Well, yes,' he thought as lay in the grass before the farthest hole that he shared with his beautiful and intuitive doe, Vilthuril's. 'But, the night under the yew tree, was the worst. I would not have wished the way that felt on anyone, even my worst enemy.'
The events of that night and the ones that preceded are a dark spot in his memory, the shining wire, the blood underneath the moon, and Bigwig nearly dying are ones better left to a back corner of his mind. The others were angry, angry that no sensible rabbit would refuse to the chance to get in and out of the storm into a warm sung warren. 'That warren was Os, as I have never felt before,' he mused.
'I was afraid in ways that went beyond words. They others were, also, they would have lost heart that night, but they did not, and a good thing, too.'
His visions hardly ever prove false, despite outside evidence to the contrary.
Whenever he came out of these trances, out-of-body experiences, is also problematic because in his own he has trouble relating them to his friends and fellow rabbits.
Hazel, of all of them could understand, they were brothers aft all, but even Hazel could not completely understand, not in the way that he and Vilthuril had reached.
Her head is resting against his flank and it is warm and comfortable and familiar. He had never known anyone like her, she sensed that there was something different about him upon their first meeting, and while she has never experienced the mist of visions, she has never doubted that they were true. Again, it is difficult for him to adequately explain this to anyone else, but in a way that goes beyond the spoken; that tacit understanding is enough for both of them.
Reaching their new home, building it up and making it into a safe and secure place had done much to change what they had been and what they could be and much for the good.
In fact, as he felt more than saw Vithruil stir beside him and drowsingly whispered that might as well venture forth to silfay before they lost the last of the light of the setting sun, that Fiver realized that he could be content with that, visions or no visions. In fact, since arriving here, they had come with less and less frequency, and might even cease all together.
This would be good thing, if so, he blew out his front whiskers and skinned back his mouth, in a small smile at this thought and turns to regard his mate who lay next to him. She is kind and patient and in her own ways knows that she has to give him time to sort through these things when the moods come upon him.
"Are you going to be all right?" she asked.
"I am right now, and I think it will be," he replied.
He levered himself up from his prone position on the ground nodding in assent at his mate's suggestion of a late silfay; the grass still wet and springy from the early afternoon rainfall; saying as he did so, "You're right. There's bound to be plenty still to eat, if we hurried up before nightfall."
"Race you," she exclaimed darting down to the narrow rut to where she believed would the choicest grasses and roots even this late in the day and where the others might have overlooked some of the tastiest ones.