Hey guys, here's another chapter to my TxR mix. It's not really new, I'm just moving it of my dA account and on to here. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own CoAD or it's characters, I own what I write.

Theme: Valentines

It was interesting really, that she should come into my life at that exact point. At the time when everything began to change.

It wasn't a good changing, but neither was it a bad one, just different from what I'd known before.

And before that day, when she caught me, I'd never seen much of other people. But as I said before, change.

Fa was gone, Wolf was new and it took me a while to decide that she was friend and not foe.

I think that first adventure we had was what affected my life the most, while the bear and Fa's death were life altering, she introduced me to the idea of a purpose beyond things like getting food or building a shelter.

The idea that I could change the world. Though it wasn't till the islands that I found out how exactly I should do that. She'll tell you about that next.

Anyway, what I also found in her was a fresh perspective on things I knew and also on things that I had never thought about or didn't understand.

She and Wolf were my guides during that time, she still is now and then. My rock during good and bad.

`He finished as a tear ran down his cheek at the thought of Wolf and a well known touch on his arm comforted him.`

I sometimes think that I should have shown him the idea of working together, before the idea that he could save the world, but then if I had, I suppose the first islands encounter wouldn't have happened the way it did.

He got the impression that he had to do things on his own, a problem that has lasted a long time.

`She felt a nudge at her side.`

Hmm, well it was on this trip that he learned exactly what he was…after trying to find the cure on his own and ending up with the Seals, which wouldn't have been a problem if their mage hadn't been their too.

But these things happen, fate and blood meeting at one specific point, and he found out about spirit walking and the gift he had been given or the curse that had been laid upon him.

It was the first battle we had fought with a soul eater, we did it together. Not side by side, but still together.

I still only thought of him as a friend then, he still is my friend but there is more to it now. I also thought he was valuable to my clan and I wasn't going to let that go. My uncle and clan were all I had.

`She paused before her next account and carefully adjusted the sleeping form in her arms.`

The first time we travelled the ice was when we were still looking for the third piece of the Nanuak. It was a short harsh trip that wasn't nearly as bad as the next time we set out through the snow.

That was when the soul eaters had captured Wolf and he asked me to go with him on his search. How could I not? Our friendship was growing and I was quite attached to Wolf too at the time.

I knew the risks, the ice had killed my Fa when I was small, but we set out anyway. He was so determined.

A few times I felt that he didn't realise I was a friend and he had a family with my uncle and I.

We both proved our courage during this. He fought with the ice bear and went into the soul eater's lair alone, and I was willing to give my life to destroy part of the fire opal for the good of the clans.

Each of us learnt more about each other and ourselves. I started to see him in a different light. And him me as well.

During these dangerous and difficult events I discovered something that I'd never thought I'd need before. It was deep in my heart that I realised what I hoped to have from him and with him. Young as I was at that point, I still knew within myself.

The feeling was only going to grow over time and I realised it when he was out cast.

I think it was some time during then that he realised too what I meant to him. Though with being out cast and the soul eaters still around, he had other things to worry about besides young affection.

`She smiled to herself and savoured the feeling caused by the hand playing with the hair that fell down her back.`

When he was out cast, it was the same emotions that took over when my Fa had died. The idea that the world was stealing the people I cared about and my hatred and frustration.

I had to use my talents more than I would have liked from then on. I didn't mind when it was to save or help him, though I never enjoyed it like my mother. Something I'm glad of.

And so, as he became soul sick, Bale and I searched and searched. Coming across the Otters and it was very soon that my secret was to be revealed.

He found her first but it wasn't till later on that he was told that my mother was the soul eater. I understood his anger, but it hurt when we fought. Our argument seems so small in comparison to the bigger happenings of that night.

The flood wave and my mother's death, lightened slightly by Rip and Rek joining us.

But then there was celebration, people had been saved and he had been fostered into the Ravens. I still remember the feeling I got from his arm around my shoulders, the feeling that later turned into some kind of hunger.

`With a yawn, she indicated that her accounts were finished for the night and he took over.`

Well I had met the people of deep forest before, when I was trying to find a cure for the sickness, but I learned much more about them when we ventured into their secrets together.

Her uncle accompanied us for a time but we fell into a trap and we had to go on with out him. Something we both found hard, but worry gnawed at her the most I think. I was too blindly focused on my own tasks.

Deeper and deeper into the darkness we went, missing the openness our own forest.

We stumbled right into a war and had to disguise ourselves, but eventually we ended up with the Red Deer, who were my mother's clan.

I learnt much about my kin from their leader, but not before I had defeated the mage of oaks. She was captured by him and imprisoned in the hollow tree that I had been born in.

Some kind of fate again I guess, that she was in there and not in the tree's contrasting twin. For in there, were the pegs my Fa had placed for climbing in and out.

I was angry at the time, Wolf had left and I was still blinded. The battle was of fire and black horses with Thiazzi's life being at an end after the eagle owl had taken its prize.

I went over to her then, with the guilt weighing on my shoulders. Seeing her there, skin showing on her neck I realised I had done wrong and knew that the protective feeling I had needed to grow.

I pulled her close, trying to shield her from the world for at least a moment. Then the humming by my side began, I looked up and saw it. I suddenly felt that I had done something good, something right.

Sometime later when were still in the deep forest she came and kissed me on my cheek. Save for my mother, who I couldn't remember, I had never felt the lips of a woman on my skin before and so I wasn't prepared for the fire that coursed through my body, nor the dazed feeling I felt for some time afterwards.

`He tried to hide a smile at his naivety and the thought of all the new sensations since then.`

When I turned fifteen summers old, her uncle kept separating us. Rarely letting us go on hunting trips alone together and things like that. He was just looking out for her I think, like the father that wasn't around anymore.

I didn't really understand at the time, though I do now.

Wolf and Darkfur were still raising their cubs then, Click had died a moon before and Shadow soon joined him in the first tree after being struck by the eagle owl.

Pebble lived, though we didn't find that out till some time later. That cub had quite an adventure.

My blindness almost got her killed when we were struck by an ice storm. I had left without her you see and she followed knowingly.

We met up with an old friend of mine who had helped in the time of the bear. He helped us then too and we were soon on our way to the place of the last soul eater. Into the mountain range that divided the known forest from the unknown.

She injured herself before we got there and I had to leave her behind. Again.

Though before I left, I returned what she had given to me after I killed the Oak mage, a kiss. But not on her cheek, on her lips instead, as I'd wanted to do for a long while.

Afterwards, that sensation kept me warm in the cold.

I soon met Dark, the boy who was completely white. He became a good friend of ours and after the deed was done he took the place that she didn't want. To be mage of the Ravens, so that we could leave.

I died and then lived on that mountain. And I saw the unknown forest, finally understanding where I wanted to be.

After everything had calmed down and Dark knew his place, I asked her if she would come with me to the new forest and to wander for the rest of our days. She said yes and then a whole new part of our lives began.

`He stopped and ended the story.`

"But Fa! I want to hear about the new forest!"

Torak looked down at his daughter, her thick hair was tied in a loose plait. In the firelight her clan tattoos stood out sharply against her pale skin. She was born in the new forest and so they had not named her as part of the old clans. Instead tattooing either of her cheeks with a small dark green tree, the same as on his mother's medicine horn.

"Well, you'll hear about that some other time, now you need to sleep. It's your brother's third birthday tomorrow." It was Renn that spoke this time, their son sleeping in her arms.

The young girl pouted, "When will I get to see the old forest and meet everyone?"

Torak chuckled, "So many demands." He placed a hand on her head and ruffled her hair a little, "Soon. When you turn seven summers and your brother four summers. There will be a clan meet that winter and he (Torak nodded towards the small sleeping boy) will be old enough to travel over the mountains."

"But that's a whole summer and winter away!"

His daughter's lack of scale amused Torak. He was 25 summers old now, a summer and a winter didn't seem that long to him.

Soon Renn got up and put their son to bed and Torak eventually managed to persuade the young girl to do the same. Then the camp was silent, save for the crackling fire.

Torak and Renn sat together, her smaller form encased by his. She spoke after a while, "You know, I like this tradition."

"What tradition?" Torak asked, lazily tracing her arms.

"Of telling our story on the 14th sunset of the second moon. We did it last time too."

"We should do it every winter."

"Mmm, good." Renn's eyes drifted lower. Neither of them had realised how tiring raising a family would be without the help of a clan.

Though they didn't mind, all that mattered was that they were with each other on that night.

The night of lovers.