SUMMARY: Details of Wink's visit to Lorelei in Chapter 41: Silver and Gold, of "Once Upon A Time," by LA Knight. After Wink has delivered Nuada's presents to Dylan at dawn (flowers and silly socks! whoo!), he takes his own sweet time making Nuada wait, and comes back to the lair at sunset with a smear of Lorelei's lip-rouge on his shoulder. Hmm, how'd he get that there?

PART 4: Directly continued from the end of Silver And Gold Part 3 (chapter 12 of this fic). Lorelei is about to show Wink the gun that she was shot with back in the 1930s, but the day's not over yet...

A/N - I was going to post this with the rest of everything Silver And Gold once it was all finished, but this scene was just too much of a battle to write, and frankly too important a scene, for me to just let it sit quietly. I henceforth declare my victory over it by posting it. Please enjoy.

BIG THANK YOU to Ruby Red-ink for reviewing Chapters 1-3 of this fic (as of posting this).

Upon departing the living room, the enormous cave troll and the slender rhinemaiden started down the main hall together, when a loud *ping-a-ding!* sounded from one room that had a pair of glass doors with soft white curtaining over the glass-panes from the inside. Lorelei paused, and then headed into that room, Wink trudging behind her.

It was Lorelei's office. There were shelves of binders, notebooks, and files that were all hard-copy archives of ledgers, accounting, and other business-related documents no doubt. There was an oak-wood desk, with a silver-framed, black-and-white photograph - a picture of Lorelei, roughly around the time that her aging halted, attired in sleeveless Landhausmode and smilingly cuddling a wolpertinger - and a computer on the desk, but the desktop unit was not quite like common human models. Some of the materials used in its composition suggested that gnomish tinkering had been involved.

Lorelei bent down a little to get a better look at the screen, as she moved the mouse to make it light up to life. As she bent further down to type some sort of message into the proper section of the interface, her long, coal-dark hair fell in front of the side of her face. With a short toss of her head it fell to the other side, over the shoulder that was opposite Wink, like a sleek dusky curtain behind her profile, exposing the alabaster expanse of the side of her slender throat, from her collar bones all the way to the delicate point of her ear. The silver troll was aware of how his eye was drawn to that now-open, vulnerable-looking line, but he didn't bother trying to look anywhere else. The comely water-faery payed no mind to his looking, however, as she clicked an icon that said "all sounds off" and turned back to regard her guest. "This way," she said.

The river maid approached another set of curtained, glass-paned doors in a wall adjacent to the doors that she and her bristly companion had just come through... and walked right into the greens and blues of a room that had several handcarved wooden dressers and jewelry cabinets, and one enormous mattress lain atop a tight row of thick, carved oaken slabs, and spread over with a dark blue brocade coverlet. (Wink's brow lifted a little at the sight, the thing could have fit four of Lorelei, conservatively.) The prevailing theme of the room seemed to imitate the serenity of a calm river, or a pond or lake, with dragonflies, cattails, and waterlilies carved into the wood of the furniture and the bed-support, or embroidered onto the coverlet and the curtains. The whole room could have made one feel almost as if they were in deep water.

Lorelei approached one dresser by an open archway that led out of the room proper and into a tile-floored area with a long, wide mirror, a granite sink, and - further away and to the left - a very large granite bath next to a dark gray marble shower. She pulled open one of the smaller top drawers, and put her hands inside, and when she pulled them out again the sleek, dark lines of a semi-automatic, nineteen-thirties-make pistol filled the grasp of her soft, white fingers. Lorelei released the magazine from it (which Wink noticed was fully loaded) and put it back into the open drawer, then she turned to the silver troll and held the handgun a little ways out in front of herself, to better show him. "This is an original Walther Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell, or 'PPK,'" she told him. She shifted her hold on the weapon to demonstrate the proper grip with it, turning and aiming at the wall above the bed (to which the warrior's eye was unavoidably drawn, once again). "Traditional double action trigger mechanism, so no need to manually cock the hammer before firing. Not as much magazine capacity as the original 'PP' that preceded it, but more concealable. A reliable and enduring favorite among many acquainted with the use of firearms, even to this day."

"Incredible," remarked Wink, not really understanding or caring for the specific details and other what-nots surrounding the human weapon, but more remarking upon the fact that Lorelei somehow remained unaffected by it and, moreover, clearly knew what she was doing with it. "How is it that you can handle it with no adverse effects?"

"It is cursed," she told him with a grin, auriferous eyes a-sparkle, relaxing her grip and lowering her arm. "It was during the flight from Deutschland that one of my fellow travelers - a gypsy wise woman - caught me with this among what other things I had and asked how such a thing came to be mine. She was of the opinion that one who slays their foes in defense of the lives and freedom of those who would remain free, more than anyone, should always have the right to take up their fallen enemy's weapon and to wield it as they see fit, as has always been done with fallen adversaries' swords since time forgotten. This gun's curse," the Germanic siren looked down at the semi-auto in her hands, "is to never deny me that right." She lifted her eyes to meet his once more, "It knows its master and it knows whom I can trust. Its metals cannot harm me, nor anyone that seeks no harm against me to whom I have given leave to touch it. Other than that..." A mischievous glint caught light in eyes like dragon's gold, and a wicked smile curled the corners of carmine lips as she shrugged in affected nonchalance. "Well, all bets are off. Needless to say, whatever bullets I require are not bound by any such magic, as they are separate from that which comprises the gun itself." Lorelei turned and took aim at the wall behind the bed again. (Was she doing that on purpose? Wink wondered.)

"Incredible," was all the veteran warrior said aloud, repeating his earlier sentiment.

After a moment or two, the faery beauty slanted her troll companion an enigmatic look, and slowly lowered her arm, turning to face him. The Rhine daughter seemed to be considering something, her eyes searching his in silence for a while. "What are you thinking?" Wink grunted, his deep voice sounding low with intrigue.

Lorelei licked her lips, opened her mouth to speak, hesitated, still considering, and finally asked softly, in a voice as clear as a spring, "Would you dare touch it?"

Wink's brow lifted, his craggy, tusked head cocked ever-so-slightly to one side. Now it was he that bore a considering look over his trollish aspect. The cadence of her query had been as one of simple curiosity, as though she were asking if she would see him at a festival that she was going to, or if he would try a new ale. But her gleaming eyes, still fixed on his and searching, and the low tone of her canorous voice gave full disclosure to the gravity of what she asked.

Would he dare touch it?

While clearly not some fearfully kept secret, it was no small thing that she had just shared with him... This "sword" of human's fire, steel, and thunder. A human-born fey creature carrying a gun was one thing - vampires, cursed lycanthropes and the like - but this... Wink knew full-well that there were a few amongst the Fair Folk (But even a meager few is more than enough, he thought) who would be very likely to regard the idea of a river faerie, a siren daughter of the river Rhine, bearing a heretofore purely human weapon of poisonous metal as a threat. This was both lessened and worsened by the fact that Lorelei neither owed nor gave her allegiance to anyone, but only gave her loyalty to those that she loved, there was no crown and no clan that she ultimately answered to. Yet all of this was mitigated by the fact that she maintained this space of neutrality in this all-important city, this multi-layered epicenter of the world, both worlds, here in Fafner's Cave. A hostess of peaceable goings-on, where quarrels were left at the door for a time. Only Lorelei's reputation, easily known and vouched for by anyone, saved her from whatever possibility there could have ever been of a few certain fae interests in influential places attempting to end her if it ever came to their attention that she had this gun, and could use it.

If ever there was a sign that she trusted him, this was it.

Did he trust her as much?

Wink's one eye stayed locked with Lorelei's... as he slowly held out his open hand - his flesh hand - palm up, thinking somewhere in the back of his mind that he had to be crazy or a fool, or finally senile, to be doing this. The river-faery stepped nearer to him, closing the distance between them. She ever-so-gently took his massive, rough hand in her smaller, softer one, as if she could somehow keep him from pulling away, and carefully placed the handgun in the center of his palm. Wink tensed, but did not pull away, did not even flinch.

Nothing happened.

No burning, no sickening pain, no anything. The metal was cool and lifeless to the touch, but for the barest residual warmth from Lorelei's grip.

Wink stared at the gun in his hand, his one eye wide, very much at a loss for words. Lorelei's fingers whispered softly over his skin, his hand still in her gentle grasp, reassuring him of the solidity and the reality of what was transpiring.

After a while, the ebon-haired maiden murmured, "Was denkst du jetzt?" Her euphonious voice broke the silence as a kiss wakes one from sleep, breaking them from the hold of phantasmagoric visions brought by night.

The silver warrior's eye flicked up to meet his companion's golden gaze, then back to the gun in his hand, running his thumb once over the cool, sleek metal. "I am thinking..." he rumbled, "that this could be counted among the handful of most bizarre moments that I have ever lived through in all my years."

Lorelei laughed, eyes dancing and pointed teeth gleaming as she smiled broadly. She had ascertained as much. Even without the look on his face, the knotting and re-knotting threads of his disbelief and amazement were quite apparent to her perceptive sensibilities. She placed one fair hand in his and took the gun back from him, heading over to the dresser that she had pulled it from to return it to its proper place, replacing the magazine into the pistol and closing it up in the drawer.

A sudden thought sparked in Wink's brain. "You say that it was cursed in the course of your escape to North America," he rumbled, and Lorelei nodded in affirmation. "How did you get out of Germany, by the by?" He inquired, a twinkle of curiosity in his one good eye. "You have mentioned embarking from a port near Lisbon, in the past, but you have never told how you..." He trailed off when he saw how Lorelei's smile slipped utterly away at his question; how the sunlight of her golden eyes seemed suddenly swallowed up and obliterated by invisible clouds.

Wink frowned.

Something was very wrong here.

"What happened?" He growled.

Lorelei said nothing, only stood stock-still in a state that could have been described as mild, silent panic - of the sort that one feels when they are trying to hide a bruise somewhere on their body, but then they are found out anyway. Why did he have to ask that question, so directly? Why now? Was there even any chance that she could get out of this? She concentrated on everything that she could pick up on empathically from the battlescarred behemoth.

His protective instinct was notably on edge. The hotly glowing threads of it lashed about, seeking the thing as yet unknown to him that had evidently made her stop smiling once he had asked her about her escape. Thickly weaving and twining with that, and extending towards her as though it desired to be her lifeline, was his deep concern and care for her... No, there was no getting out of this. Lorelei took a deep breath and let it out slowly, very heavily. She would have to tell him something.

Wink watched Lorelei's face very carefully. Oh, but he knew that look that she had about her now, knew it very well after seeing it for thousands of years. She was thinking, carefully considering and weighing whatever words she would choose to say to him. Knowing this did nothing to assuage his concern, but only served to make him uneasy. Something had happened, long ago, something that she did not want to divulge. Had something been done to her? To someone who had been with her? Had she had to do something that she thought he might think less of her for? She had done better and worse things than break a man's neck before, when she had to, and no one judged her any lesser for it. He himself had done worse things... Far worse things. As had his prince. He did not think there was much of anything that he could think less of her for. Didn't she know this? "Lorelei...?"

Eyes of dragon's gold flicked up to meet the dark glitter of Wink's one good eye and then away once more. Taking another deep breath, Lorelei pressed her palms together and brought her joined hands up in front of her face, steepling her fingers so that the edge of her index fingers touched her rich crimson mouth. Out with it, her mind told her, get it over with. "Safe exit from Deutschland was secured for my family and I through the incurring of a favor, to a former associate of one of my brothers."

Wink stiffened. Something unpleasant began to creep up his spine. His back-bristles prickled. His deep voice stayed even, however, as he rumbled with a thick hint of a growl that he yet managed to hold down, "What manner of favor?"

The Rhine daughter's eyes flashed to his with something in them that seemed to snarl in warning Do not ask! yet pleaded Save me! Something intense that stalled the very breath in his chest.

But in the next heartbeat her eyes broke away from his once again, and her voice carried all the depth of a creek that had swollen with the flood of a stormy downpour - to the point that one could no longer ascertain the bottom of it, and dared not step into it lest they be swept away - as she murmured cryptically, somewhat strainedly, "One where the original favor bears its full repayment in never being fully repaid." Another deep breath. Her hands separated and went up to the sides of her face and a little ways into her thick hair. "Bitte, I wish you would not ask more of this. It is not something that I feel comfortable talking about."

Wink regarded the beautiful faery woman sharing her company with him. "Lorelei-" he started, whether to argue or to say something else, the river maid did not know, and it did not matter, as she cut him off anyway.

"It was a long time ago, Wink," she interrupted, moving to sit on the edge of the bed with her back to the hulking warrior, uttering one of her rhymes as she did so.

"What's done is done,
What's said is said,
And no one lives
To raise the dead."

Wink only continued to regard her.

She trusted him enough with her life, with her cursed gun, and with sundry other things... But was reluctant to open up to him about this piece of her past...

He supposed that in some way, on some level, he should have felt wounded by that, in some measure, but he did not.

It would have been quite the paradox for him to feel that way, when he trusted her enough to hold iron steel in his bare hand, and yet... The image of golden clockworks surfaced in Wink's mind, and for the briefest, bitter instant, he felt like the most selfish coward ever to walk this city's streets. He shoved the image and the emotion roughly away with a mental snarl.

The entirety of his situation with Lorelei was like a sick joke. A man who had shot her had, even in that moment, had a choice: to act as service to his fuhrer required of him, or to do otherwise. A choice, however slim in its chances, was still a choice, humans were not bound so deeply and utterly to their oaths and their duties of service to each other as fae were. Yet Wink the troll had no such choice, not by any chance, least of all with his service sworn to Prince Nuada of the Bethmooran elves. He dreaded the day that he would ever see Lorelei look on him with pain in her eyes, when all he wanted...

Lorelei felt a heavy but gentle hand on her shoulder, and turned her head to see that it was Wink's bronze one. She raised her ultra-gold eyes to meet his. "Forgive me," he rumbled sincerely. His deep voice was low and quiet, and the sound of it sent butterflies kissing along her spine. "It was never my intention to upset you." Lorelei said nothing, but only nodded as he knelt before her, so that he was almost – almost, but not at all quite – eye-level with her. "What you say is true. The past is dead," he continued. "Unalterable. Nothing comes of dwelling on what cannot be changed. Nothing can undo what has been said, or seen, or done."

"'Learn from the past, live in the present?'" Lorelei softly broke in, postulating in adage.

"Mm," concurred Wink, with a slight smile that was mirrored on the river maid's exquisite face, and a short inclination of his head which meant Exactly. The cave troll's metal hand slid lightly from the rhinemaiden's slender shoulder, down the length of her arm to rest by her thigh on the mattress. He brought up his flesh hand to hover by her knee, palm up and open, uncertainly awaiting a fate somewhat different from when he had let her put a gun in his hand.

The soft, light brush of her fingers over the skin of his palm set small shivers through his great, broad shoulders, as she took his hand in both of hers. So soft, he thought, always so soft, her touch. When he had a care enough to move his thoughts beyond only the feeling of how her fingertips seemed to be kissing each little nerve in his hand, he asked, "But... You are certain that you do not wish to speak of it?" Lorelei froze, and slanted him a look up through her long, black lashes. Wink canted his head with another slight smile. "I understand," he rumbled, and said no more. A grateful smile curled the corners of the Lorelei's garnet lips, and that familiar sparkle that the troll warrior had always loved returned to her aurulent eyes.

The featherlight attentions of the river maiden resumed, softly igniting ribbons of sensation in the wake of her touch. A couple of times, Wink flexed the muscles of his hand so that his great fingertips would brush against her delicate palm in return, sending sweet electricity up through the nerves of her arm, and for a while, they just sat there, enjoying the moment between them. Lorelei eventually broke the comfortable silence that had taken over the room by saying, as if it had just now occurred to her, "You never pressed the subject of how I left Europe before."

It had been said as a statement, but Wink recognized the underlying question wrapped within it. "It was enough only to know that you were safe and alive, before," he softly growled in reply.

Manhattan, New Year's Eve, 1938

"Should I feel insulted that you have been in my city long enough to go into business for yourself, yet haven't sought me out?" Asked a masculine voice like golden audial velvet from behind Lorelei von der Strom's turned back, with an impish tone of amusement that was only too obvious. It was a voice that she well recognized even over the hubbub of her crowded tavern.

Lorelei whirled around with a gasp and a radiant expression of happy surprise. She was faced with the smiles of Prince Nuada Silverlance and his valet, Wink Ironfist, along with two others – a dökkálfr and a Bethmooran goblin.

The river maid all but jumped to reach over from where she was stationed behind the bar and pulled the crown prince of Bethmoora into an excited - if a bit awkward – hug. Nuada's firegold eyes went a little bit wider at the unexpected embrace, but then he quickly recovered from the surprise and returned the gesture in full measure, smiling broadly and laughing heartily. "I swear to the Everlasting Stars, I did not forget you," declared Lorelei, with a dazzling smile as she let him go, and then her eyes turned to Wink.

"Laaaaass," the troll half-drawled, half-roared, as the alluring water-faery came out from behind the bar to be pulled close to him in another embrace of happy reunion, his dark eye glittering brightly.

"How did you find me?" Lorelei inquired as Wink released her, turning to face the prince, but not moving from the troll's side.

Nuada's shadow-framed, amber eyes twinkled as he answered oh-so-casually, "Wink informs me that word about the city's faerie markets of late tells of a rather charming, golden-eyed woman, tall in stature, with a face like the midwinter moon and hair like a midsummer midnight-" Lorelei ducked her head with a modest, light gold-kissed blush that was quite endearing to the eyes of the gentlemen around her "-who is recently come from overseas and gone into business for herself here, and that the service of her house is without fault." The blond elf gave a scant shrug, that impish smile simply unerasable from his handsome face. "Needless to say, the description was too familiar to ignore."

Lorelei grinned, the sharp, pearly points of her teeth flashing in the tavern lights. "Who are these two gentlemen?" She asked, indicating with a slight tilt of her chin the two companions that the elf-prince and the cave troll had brought with them.

Nuada turned to the dökkálfr. "This is Erik, the one who assisted with fashioning Wink's famous hand,-" as if on cue, Wink flexed and curled his bronze fingers impressively, smirking when Lorelei giggled "-and this is Laigdech," continued Nuada, gesturing to the sallow-skinned goblin. "He is a member of the Artificers' Guild, and it was through his connections and information that we were able to find you." The conversation, heretofore in German, switched to the Brooklyn-born troll dialect that served as the common trade language of the Troll Market, found under the Brooklyn Bridge, out of common courtesy to all present company, as Nuada said, "Erik, Laigdech, may I present Lorelei von der Strom, a dear friend to Mr. Wink and I."

Laigdech bowed deeply, with a softly uttered, "Mo Mhuire," as Lorelei inclined her head in turn to the goblin. As he stood straight again, he said, "Any friend of His Highness is a friend of mine." Erik took the rhinemaiden's soft, slender hand in his calloused grasp, and murmured what a pleasure it was to make her acquaintance. He laid a very brief kiss to the back of her hand, his garnet eyes twinkling as she returned the sentiment with a smile.

"You have done well for yourself," rumbled Wink, looking about the busy tavern, appropriately named Fafner's Cave. "Word has it that you came to this city nigh only two months ago."

"Word travels faster than fire in the Hidden channels of this city," assented Lorelei. "Much faster and more widely than anywhere else that I've seen. I developed a good rapport with what contacts I had to make to get business started, and that was all it took to get my first patrons in the door. After that..." The Germanic siren gestured about the tavern. "Reputation and service vouch for each other, and business speaks for itself." The smile on her face was quite fetching right then.

"How have things been in Europe?" Nuada inquired. "The last that we saw you was just ere the Summer Solstice." There was a carefully neutral expression on the royal elf's face and the tone of his voice was deceptively mild and conversational.

Translation, thought Lorelei, why are you here in New York and not Bavaria? Were you in danger? Have you been alright? Why didn't you reach out to us sooner? She knew full-well that Prince Nuada kept himself and his bristly vassal apprised by various means of the goings-on that were of note across the ocean. He knew exactly how things were in Europe right now.

"Ich weiß nicht," answered the rhinemaiden, speaking plainly, neither attempting to hide nor to reveal anything with her voice, but letting the words stand for themselves. "It was no longer safe for us to stay. My family and I left Europe by sea, embarking from outside Lisbon and arriving here discreetly within the city, as Wink mentioned, almost two months ago. Was möchten Sie trinken? First drinks on the house, for all four of you." This last statement was met with much appreciation by goblin, troll, and both elves.

Erik did not stay long. After a few rounds, the elvish smith departed to return to his family. Laigdech was soon hailed by two other Irish goblins that he knew and got into a drinking game with them. Nuada eventually became lacking enough in sobriety that he did not mind at all when he was approached by a red-haired pixie to dance in the front room of Fafner's Cave, even though there was a lively swing-dance tune currently playing – a genre of music that Nuada could easily tolerate, but generally did not care for. Wink and Lorelei were left to each other's company at the bar.

"It is good to see you doing alright for yourself here," the grizzly warrior rumbled to the elegant bar-keeper.

Lorelei gave him a warm smile. "Everything that you have ever told me or taught me about this city and this country has helped me to settle in and adapt," she told him, the sound of her fey voice was like a sun-shot stream effortlessly tumbling gold across its bed. "I don't think that I could do that anywhere else, not yet."

After a moment or two - spent staring at the drink in his hand - Wink came out with what rested more heavily on his mind. "You could have reached out in some way," he rumbled softly, not looking up from his drink and not disguising the slight edge in his voice that betrayed just how he had worried when he thought of her since the last time that he saw her. "We would have come for you if you had need of us, Silverlance and I."

Lorelei shook her head at him gently. Her voice had all the liquid softness of a deep river as she said, "Try not to let your drink talk for you, Wink." She turned away to stow a departing patron's payment in the proper place behind the bar. "We both know what could happen if the powers behind the Reich ever managed to somehow get their hands on an elfin prince, and the circumstances would have made it exactly that kind of a risk. I am not worth that."

The hard THUNK! of a tankard meeting the solid surface of the top of the bar immediately prompted her to whirl around. Her wide golden eyes were met with Wink's scowling face and glittering eye. He growled, deep voice rumbling low as he spoke, "I do not ever want to hear you talk like that again."

For a while, Lorelei could only stand there, utterly stunned at the troll's sudden outburst. After a few moments, when she remembered once again how to move and how to breathe, she nodded, just the barest movement of her head, and whispered, "Na schön." She continued that ever-so-slight nodding of her head for a few seconds more, as Wink, coming down off the sudden surge in emotion that her words had unintentionally aroused, took generous swigs from his drink with his mechanical fist while he crept his other hand across the bar towards her – very, very subtly reaching for her.

Lorelei slid her hand, soft and pale as a snowflake yet as warm as Life itself, into his rough-hided grasp, and his large fingers closed around it protectively as she gave his hand a small squeeze.

All was well in Manhattan.

Wink gently grasped Lorelei's fingers in his, and lifted her to rise with him as he got up from where he knelt on the floor. Lorelei followed the pull of the motion that he'd started easily. They were standing so close now, as close as they had been in the kitchen, but when the silver troll pulled the beautiful rhinemaiden closer it was not for a kiss. It was just to have her near. Just to feel the rhythm of her breath within her body, pulled against his. Just to deeply inhale that refreshing, watery scent that hung as closely and thickly about her as mist over the surface of a wide, deep river, and let it banish all other thoughts in his brain... And Lorelei just leaned into him, and let him.

The bitterness that the water-faery had sensed in her bulky companion some moments ago had confused her, even moreso the fact that it was primarily directed towards himself. Why should he feel that way? All he had done was ask an innocent question, he didn't know. But after what had amounted to their consensus not to speak of what had happened... such a melancholy had slipped over him, and her only thought now was to chase it away, burn it, leave no corner for it to safely reside. Lorelei began lightly tracing again the fine lines that crisscrossed Wink's dark gray hide over the planes of his broad chest, lines made by muscle and memory, with her soft lips. The touch was slow and lingering, hot with her breath, and that heat traveled in a shimmering whisper down his spine, curling around his insides and blooming into something incandescent within his core. The urge to catch her mouth with his could not be denied.

Lorelei was only too happy to respond, and she soon lost her sense of awareness to the firing of her own calescent veins, as she met his hungry mouth and gave to him willingly. That was, until...


"Oh!" Lorelei gasped, as the backs of her legs bumped into the bed behind her. She glanced briefly behind her at the grandiose piece of furniture and then turned back with a sheepish smile to Wink, who was eying the brocade-covered mattress with a wry look of his own. "Impressive, isn't it?" The Rhine daughter quipped. "But that's not where I sleep."

Wink made a very swift decision to not let his mind wander down the paths of all the possibilities that could have meant, instead giving her a look that said Oh?

But no sooner were the words out of Lorelei's mouth than it seemed that a light flicked on in her head, and that sly-as-a-fox smile that made the troll's heart jump more than it ever did before lately appeared again on her luminous, moon-pale face, and she said, "Komm," grasping Wink's meaty hand in hers and leading him out of the room, all the while with him grinning like an idiot behind her and wondering what adventure she was dragging him off to now.


A/N – Although it can be validly argued that Wink is still making excuses to himself, who else finds it ironic that a man who shot Lorelei had a choice, but a man who loves her has no choice? Before all is said and done, both will have hurt her, in some serious and unforgettable way.

- Landhausmode refers to dresses that are loosely based on the dirndl, a type of traditional dress worn in Germany and Austria. You might recognize it in the typical "brewmaid" attire of Oktoberfest costumes, but that's only one variation.

- Wolpertingers are critters from Bavarian folklore, most commonly described as a rabbit with wings, fangs, and horns or antlers (I'm partial to the antlered description). Not at all to be confused with the North American jackalope, they're completely different creatures.

- The Walther PPK is a double action semi-automatic pistol that loads with a magazine, and has its origins in the Weimar Republic (Germany) in 1931. Smith & Wesson currently manufactures them in the USA under license from Walther these days. Many would know it as the same gun that James Bond used, and it is also the make of gun that (officially) Adolf Hitler committed suicide with. But in the Hellboy universe, the official story is a hoax and Hitler's death happens discreetly in the 1950s.

- Historical note of interest: Hitler made it so that the German populace could not own guns, only the police and military. Well, guess what, the Nazis were the police and military. Needless to say, you can see what disarming the population did in the average German's favor. :P

- "By the by" is not a typo. It is a mostly archaic term that means "by the way."

- Lisbon is the largest coastal city and capital of the country of Portugal, the Western-most country in all Europe. Directly between Germany and Portugal are the countries of Spain and France (going West to East).

- The Born-in-New-York trade dialect of troll was inspired by the character Johann Krauss's line from the Hellboy II movie where he relates that the tooth-fairy informant remembers market sounds "and a peculiar troll language." Since over 800 different languages are spoken in New York City, some dialects of which were actually born and evolved there (i.e. Nuyorican), I figured the spoken trade language of the Troll Market could possibly count as one, being evidently "peculiar."

- In 1938, things were not good, in Europe. The very next year, in September of 1939, World War Two officially began.

- It is my impression that music genres like jazz and swing were among the last handful of what could be considered "enjoyable" or at least "tolerable" music by older fae such as Nuada and Wink before the evolution of music in human culture went down the drain with the 1950s and beyond. Hence, why they don't mind it so much and might even like it in a few cases.


Deutschland = Germany

Was denkst du jetzt? = What are you thinking?

Bitte = Please

Mo Mhuire = (Gaelic) My lady

Ich weiß nicht = I don't know

Was möchten Sie trinken? = What would you like to drink?