A/N: Wow, it's been forever since I updated. Thanks to Mist of Pandaria, I have been itching to write more for WoW, especially, my favorite couple that never was. Thrall's baby should be in Jaina not Aggra! /cry
A demon howled out its ear piercing death cry as Jaina let forth a crackling fireball to the chest. Sparks of fire and bloody pieces of rough porous skin sizzled and burst into a fetid plume of burned and charred gray flesh erupting upward to the shaded heavens.
The air was thick with the stench of bubbling skin melting upon bones, boiled blood simmering in deeps puddles upon the verdant land and the banshee shrieks of demons befalling such terrible ends. Smoke, vile and acrid wafted about the coppices of trees wreathing their full branches in their odorous reek of deplorability.
The arch mage allowed a small upturn of her lips, only taking a moment to relish the satisfaction of the ugly creature squealing and slapping furiously at what was used to be its protruding chest now a melting hunk of flesh. His claws scraped at his own sable scorched and blistering skin to dampen the ravenous flames devouring his thick hide.
With a guttural, blood filled groan, it swayed unsteadily upon its clawed feet, digging into the lush earth, and then toppled.
Instantly, two more, larger, demons looking like they had just climbed their way out of the darkest pits of the nether took their fellows place. Their claws were shaper than newly forged daggers and slashed dangerously close; eager to rip the sorceress pale flesh to bloody ribbons.
With smooth, practiced skill Jaina called upon the powers of frost like a well versed bard relating a tale she knew by heart. A barrier of ice enshrouded her, temporarily delaying their attacks meant to dig into her porcelain skin and yank out her tiny heart.
Oh how the wretches howled in cheated rage! Their knife like talons swung viciously into the shield of ice, taking out massive chunks or scraping deep gashes in the hardened carapace engulfing the battle hardened sorceress.
Fronds of frost and small flakes of ice melted against their tarry, taut, hides as they burrowed into the coldness mindlessly attempting to reach their target with a rabid fervor.
Air heaved like forge bellows from her burning lungs as she stepped back to catch her breath from the savage assault being doled out upon the shield of ice. Her lips were cracked and mouth felt dry and parched in want of water. These demons were far more persistent than the other gang they had tussled with.
The sorceress couldn't help but jump as she accidentally backed up into Thrall. The barbaric attack had her nerves more tense than usual.
"Looks like we've really stepped into it this time, Jaina." Thrall said after taking a few deep, laboring breaths. A roar of blood and defiance against the howling demons sprang from his lips, making him appear all the more barbaric than what the legend spoke of the orcish kind.
Stretching forth his free hand another arch of lighting slammed into a frenzied demon turning him into a small mountain of ash upon the leaf strewn ground.
A blizzard of ice crashed down onto a small knot of charging demons changing the white ice into a black oily hue of foul blood of the minions of the nether. Blood splashed on Jaina, who spat in out of her mouth like bile.
The taste was bitter and horrendous nearly making her heave her last meal upon the verdant forest floor. "Uhg, and I thought the scourge were the worst it could get." She wiped her mouth with the edge of her blue cloak. "The oracle said elves would be in this forest, not these craven beasts at every turn!"
Another demon, running on all fours towards Thrall, leapt up its claws flexing in eagerness and slavering maw wide displaying rows of serrated teeth to slash him to bits and tear out his jugular.
"Your left!" Jaina warned. Speaking a freezing spell as quickly as the words of hazard wrenched from her lips, the racing demon slowed in mid air, transforming into a veritable ice cube.
The powerful, yet taxing spell left the demon frozen with its arms upraised to the leafy boughs up and claws ready to tear down and rip the Far Seer's face into a shredded crimson mess.
With a heavy grunt, Thrall swung his hammer with the strength only an orc such as he could possess, smashing the ice into a myriad of shimmering pieces. The deadly shards whirled in every direction like shrapnel projecting through the smoke filled air. One slashed along side Jaina's cheek, creating a thin oozing scar of ruby, but so caught up dealing with another sordid being pouncing upon her, she hardly noticed.
"Thanks." Thrall growled in appreciation.
Some days he wondered what he would do with out her. She had his back better than any one he had ever known, in any situation, orc or otherwise. A week and a half under the darkened glades of the strangely bleak forest, searching for the mysterious elves, had nurtured a trust and fondness for the human. The last human he had ever felt fondly of had been bright, kind Taretha, but he had grown comfortable with her as a friend, But Jaina…that was a different matter altogether.
Breaking through the dense undergrowth came another slew of feral demons, bigger and angrier than the ones Thrall and Jaina were currently battling. They were a menagerie of evil and decimation of all shapes and sizes, each more snarling and feral than its dying predecessor bereft of their vile blood.
The sorceress felt disparity grab at her resilience looking at the throngs breaking through the dark undergrowth. There appeared to be no end in sight charging through the ancient glades.
Thrall bit back a black curse as he swung his mighty hammer with numbed hands, slick with the blood and spittle and gore of his foes. How on Azeroth would they find the mysterious dark elves, the oracle had told them of if they were spending most of their days fighting demons and resting from their exhausted battles?
It was a vicious cycle with no end in sight unless they retreated back to their outposts, but then they would never be privy to locating the elves.
A sharp zipping sound rippled through the air taking down the demon that was almost upon Thrall. The blood spurted in his sweat stained face as the abberation let out a confused bloody growl at the pain that had struck unexpectedly in its back. Its dirty stained claws touched the arrows razor tip sticking out of his chest in dumb curiosity before crashing forward.
More of the same, Thrall recognized now as arrows, whizzed dangerously from the shades of the dark forest in a host of uncountable directions. Demons screeched in the stinging pain suddenly rained down upon them and began dropping like huge flies swatted from mid air.
He and Jaina would share a horrible, similar fate, Thrall realized if they didn't duck for cover soon. Already one arrow had skimmed across his upper arm while one had bounced harmlessly off his plate armor.
Grabbing the sorceress by the fur lined hood of her cloak he tossed her down covering themselves with a hulking Nazareth corpse to avoid the arrows searching bite.
By the time the arrows had stopped their deathly deluge nothing was heard save for a brief rustling of the leafy canopy above and the whispering wind gliding through the trees.
"Do you think it's over?" Jaina probed in a whisper.
It was not an inquiry of fear, Thrall noted. The Far Seer had never seen the arch mage fearful, but only in studious curiosity.
"Sounds like it." He replied grunting as he lifted the demon corpse from atop their respective forms.
The hulking demon creature torn from nightmare now looked more like a pincushion on the outside. Shafts quivered still on the bloating form of the stench ridden demon as Thrall heaved the huge body over and stood up to view the bloody carnage.
Instead, both stood stock still, looking around at the female elves that had irrepressibly surrounded them; all bows drawn and pointed for the kill.
Directly in front of them, two of the female muscle toned archers stepped to their respective sides letting a ferocious white tiger, easing smoothly through the monolithic forest and a furious looking rider, pass.
The beautiful but dark colored elf, was garbed efficiently in swirling armor that looked both like cloth and mail sewn together flawlessly. The impressive raiment glittered down the radiance of whatever light passed through the dense canopy overhead making it shimmer slightly like stars in the velvet night.
Her hair was the color of newly bloomed ivy that cascaded down her back and was pinned neatly behind her for combat purposes.
The being glowered at them with lilac colored eyes that sparkled with fury. Her tranquil, soft voice growled sharp and dangerous as her tiger padded forward alertly. "You do not look like, nor fight like demons. Who are you, and what are you, trespassers? Speak quickly if you desire to live."
The elf spoke common which surprised both Thrall and Jaina though it was probably due to some enchantment or perchance some ancient grasp of the simplistic language of the humans.
Jaina, the more diplomatic of the pair, stepped forward warily though exuding friendliness, only to have the tiger bare its ivory fangs and the rider draw her own bow with an expert ease. "No closer, creature. You smell of 'high elf' magic. Speak, now before I decide to do away with you!"
The sorceress to a tentative step back, her blood stained hands upraised to show she meant no harm. "My name is Jaina Proudmoore, a human from across the great sea. And he is Thrall, son of Durotan. An orc, also from across the sea." She added proffering back to the Warchief amiably. "Before we continue, may we know your name?"
The elf regarded her for a silent, tense moment, as if judging the request before nodding tersely. "Tyrande Whisperwind, high priestess of Elune, trespasser." In mere seconds the face of the elf took on a furious edge again her voice just as sharp as before. "We elves see all in our lands, don't think we don't know about both your camps in our forest. Your warrior in suits of metal with axes deforesting our home. If not for your superior ability to fight I would slay you were you stand but you both appear very efficient high ranking to your own people. You could come in handy as bargaining chips and information. Furion will help me decide." She stated venomously. "But we will not speak of these things in the open, vulnerable to attack. From demons or your folk."
In a swift intricate language that made, Thrall and Jaina's head spin the elves moved into action binding the pair. Their very walk was graceful as though they glided upon the leaf strewn ground.
Thrall was clasped in simple chains despite his ability for magic, but with Jaina, shackles that seemingly blocked her magic like the totems that surrounded her in the caverns were slapped upon her wrists.
A glint of assurance in Jaina's eyes told him that her chains had been designed for powerful mages but not as powerful as her, should the need arise; it would be a simple matter to escaped.
An un-mounted saber tooth was brought forward as the elves prodded the pair of prisoners forward with the ends of their bows.
"Wait." Tyrande called out making the fierce warrior women halt. "The human rides with me. I have handled her chaotic, dangerous, magic before. If she tries anything, I can control it better than you, my sisters."
Thrall very nearly laughed, as Jaina hid a smile behind a wall of neutral features. They knew not who they called captive.
Jaina needed no prodding as she was led to the high priestess; she was taller up close and had muscles to complement her graceful, sensuous form. The sorceress might have had magic to aid her but if the elf wished to hurt her with fist and brawn, it was no contest. With little effort she was on the sabers back. She could feel the muscles of the beast under, testifying to its ferocity and sending an icy shiver down her spine.
Tyrande shackled the woman's hands around her waist then suddenly jerked the girl close enough to hear her whisper in a deadly promise. "If you try anything. By Elune I swear I'll rip you limb from limb, human."
"Jaina. You may call me Jaina." The arch mage replied amicably not daring to take personal offence over her captor's violence when they needed them so.
From the corner of her eye, however, she could see Thrall bristling at the rough treatment Jaina was receiving. Why were they treating her like a dangerous criminal?
A better question of course was why he cared, she wondered to herself as the beast sprang off into the forest with its burden of priestess and sorceress.
After what Jaina could only assume as an hour or a bit more they arrived to a shaded grove of moving trees. The sight gave both prisoners pause at the sight of monolithic trees lumbered along and moved as though they were merely bark skinned people.
The grove itself looked half like a war camp and half like a refuge camp. Almost all the elves sported some sort of injury, and all looked worse for wear.
A horn heralding their arrival had many racing to greet Tyrande back with shouts of joy at her safe return and words in their flowing complicated tongue. When they saw the two prisoners many cried out in their language angrily more than likely recognizing the odd creatures invading in their sacred lands.
With a quick, nearly scolding word, the high priestess ordered the angered, plum skinned elves away allowing their trek further into the encampment with their prisoners.
From a thankfully solid tree in the middle of the grove came a towering male elf that gazed at them both when unveiled suspicion and anger. He was bedecked in teal and cobalt feathers about his muscled arms and horns atop his head that flowed through the marsh green tresses of his long hair.
Thrall didn't know weather the animal like parts were real or simply ornament, but guessed the latter.
As the tigers eased to a uniformed halt, Thrall was allowed to dismount, while Jaina was dragged from back of the leader woman's tiger with more chains attached to her shackles.
"You alright, Jaina?" Thrall asked in orcish. Struggling minutely against his bonds he hoped it was one language the dark elves didn't understand.
"Yes." Jaina replied grimly, the weight of the chains on her wrist, waist, neck, and ankles feeling very stifling. If she didn't know better she would say they were afraid of her.
"You will only speak in one language, human!" Tyrande snapped tightening her grip on the sorceress' arm to a vice.
The arch mage winced. "Of course, High Priestess," Jaina spoke in common, fighting the urge to freeze the elf were she stood to teach her a lesson.
The large male elf, stood silently like the trees enshrouding them. His complete lavender eyes critically searching the prisoners, before he spoke to the high priestess; his voice trembling in rage. "I commend your wisdom, beloved. If I had been there these two would be dead." Turning to Thrall there was a fury there that would have made a lesser orc shrink in fear. "Your kind killed the good hearted Cenarius. Demons blood ran through the veins of your kin." He paused for a moment his voice softening. "Though I do not sense it tainting your kind now. The spirits of beast tell me the elements speak highly of you."
His attention turned to Jaina though there was regret and anger dancing in his eyes instead of clemency. "You stink of chaotic magic of the forbidden arts, pale creature. If you so much as find a way to cast one spell, I will personally see you never leave this forest alive. Are we understood?"
Jaina's eyes flashed angrily her jaw clenching. There was only so much one person, no matter how patient could take.
Thrall saw the look and her mouth open to spit a stinging retort. Taking a step closer to her he whispered almost pleadingly. "Jaina, don't…"
There was a tense moment both elven leaders slightly confused or game for trouble. Jaina took a deep breath nodding. "I understand, sir…"
"Arch druid Malfurion Stormrage."
"My mate." Tyrande tacked on proudly confirming Thrall and Jaina's hunch.
"Now tell us what are you doing here?" Furion asked firmly.
It was obvious he was talking to Thrall, much to Jaina's ire, but she let it slide taking in her surroundings.
"Oddly enough," Thrall chuckled humorlessly. "We were seeking you."
"For what purpose?"
"The legion." Thrall replied, then silenced by the loud murmurs heard around. "We bring news of its coming."
Tyrande looked to Furion who was glaring at Jaina suspiciously as though she were the loadstone that had guided the horrible nether army towards Azeroth.
"Lets speak inside." Tyrande suggested soothingly to her mate and placed a gentle hand on his tattooed shoulder, leading him in the command center with Thrall and Jaina being goaded to march from behind.
Inside the large tree looked much bigger than outwards. Wooden tables and benches, seemingly still bound to the tree but reshaped, were set in rows in a wide circular room that seemed to be the base of the tree. Once inside, Tyrande closed the huge double doors door gently, leaving only a few guards and the four leaders alone.
"What about the legion," Furion dove in instantly; not bothers to take a seat.
"We were told by an oracle that the legion was coming back and that if we don't all work together our world as we know it will be destroyed. He told us we needed to find the dark elves." Thrall responded evenly.
"We…" Furion mumbled, caught up on the one word. "Surely you cannot mean you and that…chaotic, power hungry, monster that caused this in the first place."
"Enough!" Jaina growled, pounding a fist onto the table. The guards around her leapt back, telling Jaina her first assumption had been correct, they were afraid of her. "I don't know what makes you look at me and determine I'm some sort of monster simply because I am a mage."
"We know what your magic is capable of!" Furion roared back. "It tore our world asunder ages ago!"
The confusion on Thrall's and Jaina's faces told Tyrande instantly what the matter they were both plagued with was, and the reason the woman of the pair had no idea why such precaution was being taken with her. Still, it did nothing to stop her from being astounded that they didn't know the core history that shaped their world.
"Furion." Tyrande chided quietly, drawing her husband to silence. "They might not know."
"Know what." Thrall growled his eyes narrowing dangerously at Furion for treating Jaina in such a manner. Had he not had to endure the chains, he would have given the odd elf a solid punch to the jaw for speaking to Jaina in such a manner.
The candles had melted down to nubs before the entire tale of the legion had been told, leaving the two prisoners astounded. Hours had passed with the telling of the history of the known world as had been resided in for centuries in their separate parts.
"And so became Kalimdor, Northrend, and what you call the eastern kingdom." Tyrande finished stifling a yawn.
"I can see why you don't trust mages but…" Jaina began before realizing it was to late for another story. They were not all like the queen Ashazara of old that Tyrande spoke of, or the traitorous brother Illidan Malfurion had related.
Tyrande appeared to understand Jaina's halting, smiling slightly she nodded to the arch mage. "It is late we will continue on the morrow."
Guards that had been interchanged thrice walked the prisoners to a place that, Jaina was absolutely certain, had not been there when they arrived. It was as if it had been molded from the grove or grown from the bare ground in a matter of minuets; a prison cell in the middle of nowhere.
The two were pushed roughly into the tiny quarters with several units of guards encircling the premises so secure their imprisonment all and entirely.
"Well that could have gone better." Thrall whispered in orcish; settling down on the leaf strewn floor he rubbed his neck to relieve a kink.
A breeze winded through the tiny crevices springing a chill into the cramped room. Jaina wrapped her arms around her body, since her cloak had been taken away. It was only then they realized how small the prison actually was.
The wooden structure was a hairsbreadth taller than Thrall and approximately just as long. The wood and vines made it so slender, that the pair was hard pressed for any room at all.
Thrall politely faced away from the sorceress, enduring the chill stalwartly as the wind buffeted his thick green hide. The intricate vines that made up the prison gave him a headache as he lay down stiffly.
He could feel Jaina settling down to rest, her back brushing up against Thralls own in a testament to just how tiny the prison was. The awkwardness in the small room was nearly palpable with them so close after what had happened those nights before.
Jaina couldn't help but laugh. "We must look pretty stupid."
A smile crept to his lips. "Indeed." He agreed.
It was stupid they would be cold because they didn't want to turn around and share body heat.
"Maybe we could…" Jaina began.
"It's only sensible…" Thrall added.
Slowly both turned to face each other. The moon light shimmering through the trees dappled Jaina's face in odd yet beautiful patterns.
Thrall had never truly noticed how blue her eyes were or how soft her features until the moon beams played upon her soft flesh and danced with the winding shadows.
Jaina admired Thrall's tusked lopsided grin, that he appeared to be unaware of plastered across his rough face was strangely endearing. His jet black hair looked so silky and soft, the arch mage had to fight the urge to card her fingers through the onyx tresses.
Thrall stretched his arms out as Jaina shifted closer to him laying her head on his bulging forearm.
Perhaps it was embarrassment or the rapid beating out the heart, but both suddenly felt much warmer. It was a different warmth than that of the heat they shared to combat the chill, but warmth that sparked in the heart.
"Good night, Jaina." Thrall said softly. His calloused thumb traced gently over the place where the shard of ice had cut a thin slash.
She smiled sleepily, hoping the pale luminous disks in the satin firmament hide the rise of heat mounting in her cheek. "Good night, Thrall."
Strangely enough, both slept well despite being in one another's arms.
Creaking wood giving way heralded the arrival of guards who led them back into the main command quarters in the still dark morning in the shaded glades. There was breakfast for four waiting on one of the tables, still piping hot with a kettle of tea steaming in the center.
"Please, sit." Tyrande bade the pair to two seats opposite of her and her husbands.
She didn't appear as hostile as yesterday but there still was an air of suspicion lingering around her like the dawn mist lingered upon the upper boughs of the monolithic trees.
As soon as they sat diving into their meals, Furion was on them again questioning ruthlessly for information.
"Who are your leaders, so we may know who to address for talks for freedom?" He poured himself a clay beaker of tea.
"That would be Thrall, lord of the clans and Jaina arch mage of the Kirin Tor." Thrall answered tactfully hiding a smile.
The two elves shot their heads up; long green eyebrows arched wildly in surprise.
"You mean…" Tyrande trailed off in shock looking at one to the other.
"As you said, because of our battle prowess was the only reason you let us live." Jaina chimed in slyly.
"Prove it." Furion growled; breakfast forgotten. "I won't believe we captured the two leaders of such vast forces until you do."
"If you insist." Jaina nodded unable to keep the mischief out of her voice.
A quickly spoken spell rendered one of the guards, who were quickly becoming uneasy and casting glances to one another into a bleating sheep.
The poor elf belated belatedly in panic as it milled about in a frenzy. Another spell brought forth a bubbling water elemental from nothing but a bit of water from the floor. The gurgling elemental froze Thralls chains with one word from its mistress. With a grunt he broke through the now fragile iron links, showing testament to his strength.
"The magic dampening shackles!" Tyrande cried leaping up.
"Are not sufficient." Jaina finished with a smile.
The high priestess blinked owlishly. "You could have killed me at any moment." Tyrande concluded shocked. A lance of ice could have broken through her skull and speared her brain if the human had wished it so! "Why didn't you?"
"Because we come in peace." Jaina replied gently. In some way it had been worth holding back her powers for so long to see the expression on the elf's face and the sudden realization that they had never truly held the two outsiders captive at all.
"Such power. It's unnatural and dangerous beyond reason…" Furion mumbled outraged.
"It is dangerous for those who do not know how to control it." Jaina countered simply. "I don't bargain with demons, like your kind did, I kill them."
Furion searched her critically, before giving a disgruntled snort. "I don't trust you, but my beloved was correct, you could have slain us at anytime."
The guard returned to its night elven form; quivering in fear. It screamed hysterically, running out of the room in abject terror and into the safety of the towering forest away from powerful mages.
The four leaders took a moment to stifle small smiles of amusement. There was not much to be amused at in the times they fought in with the legion a looming threat to darken the world.
Tyrande hoisted up her spoon again, blowing on the piping hot meal. "Since we seem to know one another better at present, then let us speak of the oracles words."
It was very late before Tyrande and Malfurion retired for the night, their minds whirling over the news of the legions return along with the sinister being Mannoroth, the orcs had slain to be free of their blood taint.
After a few moments, lost in deep consideration, Tyrande wrapped her arms around Malfurion, just focusing on how good it felt to have him near her once more. 2000 years away from their heart and love made a person grateful about the simple thing in life like sharing a bed.
The thoughts soothed her enough so that she put the worry of the legion off for a little while.
"Tell me truly, Beloved, what do you think about the human and her mate?" Tyrande whispered to Malfurion.
She could hear him grumble slightly bringing a smile to her lips. "I don't trust that human, but if what they say is true we really don't have another choice but to ally with them."
Her finger traced the outlining of his swirling tattoos. "I don't know, I think she's sincere about defeating the legion and I haven't had an inkling of foul magic's at play." Tyrande replied.
There was a long silence as both elves thought to themselves. Malfurion broke the silence by tilting his head down to look at Tyrande's who head lay on his chest. "What makes you think they're mated?"
Tyrande chuckled quietly, "Have you not seen the look they give each other."
"What look?" Malfurion asked. It was not often the arch druid was confused, making the situation even funnier. For all his sagely knowledge and several human lifetimes' worth of wisdom, such things concerning the heart of love and emotion had often eluded him.
Tyrande shook her head pityingly, mumbling something about all males before sighing and drifting off into slumber.
"Rise and shine, you two," Tyrande said opening the door to the cell.
Thrall and Jaina squinted in the sunlight that filtered through the open door. Sometime in the night, although he didn't know it, Thrall had put a protective arm around the sorceress gently curving her small body to his so that fit like a perfect piece to a puzzle Her golden tresses and mingled with his coarse beard in strand of honey and onyx.
Like two teenagers caught by disapproving parents, the pair awkwardly parted ways not noticing the peculiar look Tyrande gave them.
"So have you decided on a course of action, High priestess?" Jaina asked wiping dirt and leaves from her skirt.
Tyrande nodded smoothly. "I and Malfurion believe you're telling the truth about the legion invasion, we will give our aid. Now come, we must leave to you and your mates encampments will due haste."
"No need to rush I can conjure a porta-WHAT!" Jaina asked far louder than she'd intended just registering the last statement from Tyrande. The aghast word rang about the thriving, festering forest like some death shriek.
"To your encampments." Tyrande said again a hint of suspicion weaving its way into her voice.
"No, no, not that," Thrall piped up, with Jaina still to stunned to speak. "We aren't…um…mated. In fact our peoples, more often than not hate one another…"
Tyrande looked almost as surprised as Thrall and Jaina, she coughed awkwardly. "Forgive me for jumping to conclusions. You two just look so…never mind. On our way then, Lady Proudmoore, you said something about a portal."
"Yes." Jaina shook her head slightly as if to shake off the last few minuets. "I can conjure one right now if you'd like me to; directly outside my encampment."
The high priestess managed somewhat of a graceful nod, even though her inexcusable blunder still resonated in their minds akin to the peals of a battle. "I see, Lady Proudmoore. While I gather a few of my choice forces I would appreciate if this portal was up and running."
"Of course, Lady Whisperwind." Jaina managed to finally speak normally and even add an insincere smile of cooperation.
As the lithe, sensuous, night elf sauntered courteously back to the towering tree barracks housing her female sentential, Jaina spared a small glance Thrall's way hoping to judge his reaction at her observation.
He too, turned to her at the exact moment, causing the pair to look into one another's cobalt depths both housing the same inquiry. Did they truly radiate the impression of husband and wife? The high priestess did not seem like one to cast her judgment on rumored trifles, especially not something so ludicrous as an orc and a human being wed.
Thrall inclined his head, hoping to break her gaze, while she as well swiveled away going to prepare the portal and hope to banish such thoughts back to whence they came.