DIS: I've begun to read the Dragonlance series again. And when I say that, I mean specifically "Legends," because I have no patience for Tika in the rest of the series. But I do like Crysania...
Title: A Dreamer's Eyes
Summary: Takes place in 'War of the Twins.' She thought she saw his eyes turn towards her, but perhaps it was just the light and her hopeful heart. One shot.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Dragonlance Series
Notes/Warnings: Raistlin/Crysania; one shot; takes place in 'War of the Twins,' book two in the Legends series; first attempt in this fandom
A Dreamer's Eyes
Crysania glanced at Caramon, who was crouching at the fire, attempting to cook some meat they had been able to obtain. It had been some time since they had left the Tower of High Sorcery at Palanthas and the travel had been wearying. Crysania was unaccustomed to riding for such long periods of time. Up until she had begun her mission, she had hardly been near a horse, with the exception of those attached to her carriage. The hard travel reminded her of how sheltered she had truly been. She had once thought that her intelligence and divine faith made her a worldly woman; now she saw that she had been rather ignorant in that respect. Once again, she turned her eyes to Caramon, whose face had turned from its concentrated, twisted look to one of satisfaction. He remained kneeling near the fire, where the meat was now sizzling in the bright flames. A corner of her mouth tilted up. While he was not nearly as brilliant as her brother in regards to logic and the world, he was quite gifted at survival and warfare. She admired his strength and often wished that she was able to protect herself more easily.
And to protect others, she added, her eyes turned to the other brother this time. Raistlin was close to the fire, his hood drawn over his head securely, a large blanket pulled around him. He had just drank his potion recently, easing his cough. She worried for his health and wished that she could do more for him. Instead, she was forced to allow Caramon to care for him as Crysania watched helplessly. Once, Raistlin's eyes flickered to her and perhaps sensing her depression, requested her help in sitting up. It had made her feel somewhat relieved, but she often felt that she was more of a burden than anything else to the two men. Paladine looks over us, though, she assured herself. If I were not here, they would not have the power of Paladine to protect them.
As always, a tiny whisper moved through her faith, asking, But does Paladine truly protect any of you?
And, as always, Crysania felt a rush of confusion flood over her.
"Here you are," Caramon's bright voice interrupted her dark thoughts. She turned her eyes up, puzzled, and then took the meat that was settled on a large leaf. He smiled at her, as though sensing her sadness. "It's good," he added, as if she had spoken a word of doubt.
"Thank you," she said quietly. He lingered, eyeing her as she took a hesitant nibble from the meat. He brushed a hand over her head, as though to reassure her. Through the corner of her eye, she saw Raistlin shift and then Caramon moved to his brother, offering him his food as well. Raistlin took it without a word, but as Crysania took another bite from the chunk of meat, she saw Raistlin's eyes following Caramon as the big man lumbered over to the other side of the fire. Contemplating the look briefly, Crysania continued to eat the meat, realizing only then how famished she had been. She could not recall the last time she had eaten and did not think it very important. "It's been a long time since we've had meat," she remarked. Caramon paused, chewing his food thoughtfully.
"I think it's hard to come by in this time," he admitted. "We got lucky. I think we would have been forced to eat more lettuce and bread if we hadn't bartered a bit for this." When Crysania looked at him curiously, he shifted uncomfortably and said, "I gave away some of the gold equipment that came with that outfit of mine. I still have most of it, just not the trinkets that I wouldn't have been able to do anything with anyway."
"Oh..." Crysania shifted and looked down at the gold that was around her arm. "I could have given this to you, Caramon." His eyes followed her gaze, where the golden piece was firmly clasped around her arm. "I had forgotten I even had it." Such wastefulness, she thought not for the first time. How the gods must have hated the Kingpriest and his clerics!
They fell silent then, neither having much else to say. Crysania finished her meat slowly, wishing to savor it, as she was unsure when they would be able to obtain more. They couldn't have saved it, as it would have rotted, so Caramon had cooked all they had for that night. As the three sat around the fire, each buried within their own thoughts, Crysania looked once towards Raistlin's direction. She thought she saw his eyes turn towards her, but perhaps it was just the light and her hopeful heart. He had not spoken to her much lately and as much as she wanted to be near him, he would not allow it. More times than not, Crysania found herself helping Caramon set up their camp and talking to him. If Raistlin had anything to say, it was always to his brother and rarely to her. She felt so disconnected compared to their closeness in Istar. It was unfair.
I want to be near him, but he won't allow it. But perhaps it is better that I am not, she reflected quickly afterward. I am of no help to him now, not with so little faith. Paladine must be ashamed of me, ashamed of my desire for something so wicked...but I am sure there is good in Raistlin! I am sure that Paladine wished me to cleanse him, to let him see his power. Yet it seems Paladine has become angered by me... Crysania was once again full of confused thoughts for her god and involving the archmagus did not help sort them.
Raistlin, for his part, was more focused upon his brother. While he appreciated Caramon's help and clearly he was a quite willing protector to the cleric, he could not avoid sensing Caramon's increasing tenderness towards the cleric. While it did, in fact, help Raistlin's cause, he was filled a subtle, smoldering rage. He knew that look in Caramon's eyes and the way he would only slightly touch Crysania. He was not unaware of his brother's tactics, nor was he ignorant of his brother's loneliness. Crysania, for her part, was equally depressed, conflicted with her inner thoughts. But overall, Raistlin was aware of one, somewhat familiar, but surprising emotion.
What do I care for the cleric? he thought grimly to himself. She is merely a pawn in my plan. But he knew this was not entirely true. As he thought this, Caramon began to talk inanely about how nice the weather was and that he was thankful they had such a clear sky, along with other odd topics that Raistlin knew was meant to comfort Crysania. Irritably, Raistlin noticed Crysania rouse from her thoughts and smile at him, agreeing with him. He listened with half an ear to their conversation and then, angrily, closed in upon his thoughts again. Is it my queen that causes these feelings? he wondered. But then, he called the tension in his body in Istar, the intensity that he often felt when near with Crysania. Furthered enraged by these thoughts, he erupted in a fit of coughing that had both Caramon and Crysania looking to him in concern. He waved his hand sharply to indicate that he was fine and they returned their attention, although he saw the cleric cast him a sidelong glance. She would worry, he thought bitterly.
He sighed very softly to himself, inaudibly, and leaned back against the pack that he had been sitting against. This constant struggle with logic and human desires grows wearisome... He could not and would not admit his own feelings for Crysania. He had successfully convinced himself it was nothing more than lust, yet he could feel the tell-tale signs of love drifting just below the surface. He had hastily converted them into just another aspect of his body's lust for her, even though a corner of his mind nagged at him, mocking him, spitting at his intelligence. How he loathed the feeling. What good does any human emotion do for me, but get in my way? It will only hinder me and cause me to be unable to achieve my ultimate goal.
However, as the night began to draw in and Caramon and Crysania settled into sleep, Raistlin could not help but turn his head and watch the cleric sleep. Her cheek rested on her folded hands, her tiny shoulders lifting with every deep breath she took. His hand ached for the wish to reach out and stroke her smooth cheek. Carefully, he rose to his feet and stepped towards her, pausing to ascertain his brother's own form was asleep. He knelt next to Crysania and brushed her dark hair from her face. He frowned, his eyes drawing over her face. Her delicate lashes were curved upon her cheeks and her face, which was often drawn in worry or exhaustion, was still with the peace of sleep. After another moment of looking upon her, he smoothed his cheek along her cheek bone and then withdrew, settling back near the fire.
Once again, he berated himself for his lack of control, but as he slipped into a light sleep, it was with Crysania's face in his mind.