I don't own the characters or any recognizable scenes. This is a retelling or the end of the riddle and the singing picking up the night Maerad was supposed to leave Arkan-Da. Forgive me for leaving Cadvan dead. Keeping in mind I'm going to stick to the original story line as close as possible but adding a Arkan/Maerad relationship.

Chapter 1

"You are the Fire Lily. And I am the Ice king. Does fire melt ice? Or ice put out fire? Or may they come together, fire and ice, neither melted nor quenched"

Those words haunted Maerad, as she lay in her room which glowed with enchantment. She knew that she should leave and go find Hem. Hem, her brother, she missed him dearly. However, when she thought about leaving the words Arkan had spoken to her rose up in her heart and she didn't want to leave her icy prison. "I'm not even sure what to do if I left here" she thought ruefully. "I have to find the other half of the Treesong and the music. Then, I have to make it whole, I think. This is all so confusing and now Cadvan is no longer with me."

At the thought of Cadvan Maerad cringed. The weight of his death and the arguments and distance beforehand was heavy on her soul. She knew that his death like Dernhil and Dharin's would stay with her all her life. She wished she could take back so much but she knew that it was wishful, futile thinking. She began contemplating her life with Cadvan and she realized with a start that she couldn't make it without him. She was too inexperienced in the ways of the world too ignorant of the ways of people. He always knew the way to go and the where to stay and he could tell when a person would help or hinder. Her mind flinched at that thought when the image of Ilar of Desor appeared in her mind. No, she would not make it on her own.

As she brewed on these thoughts a knowing arose in her heart. Arkan. He knew what she needed to do. He knew, like he knew about those runes. She would get him to help her. She thought about the way he had reacted when he ordered her to leave him earlier in the throne room. She could see that he was deeply pained by something, and it had to do with the Treesong. She would have to convince him, somehow. She would convince him to help her then she would defeat the Nameless One, Sharma, when she figured out how. Then, maybe, she could find her brother and study the lore and be a normal bard. At that thought Arkan flashed thru her mind. Well, maybe, not a normal bard, and that thought startled her more than anything.

She decided not to dwell on these thoughts anymore and go to sleep. In the morning she would meet with Arkan again and she would go from there. She drifted to sleep and dreamed that she was kissing a river, deep and sweet tasting, like the cool waters that bubble up from hidden springs in the ground. The dream faded into another and then another. Eventually the memory of the dream was lost altogether but she awoke with the feeling of the kiss still there.

When Maerad woke again she found Gima had already been to her room. There was a bowl of hot gruel sitting on the table beside the bed. As she ate she thought over what she was deciding to do. She had to finish finding the Treesong and putting it back together. To do that, she needed Arkan's help. She knew that with absolute certainty but how was she going to get his help. She would have to take this carefully. She had seen his temper. She didn't want to envoke that wrath again.

She finished her food and decided to go see the outside world once more. She made her way the winding twisting corridors and found the door that led outside. As she stood there taking in the fresh air she jumped when he appeared beside her.

"Are you thinking about leaving again?" Arkan asked amusement on his voice.

"No" She could see the surprise flicker in his blue eyes.

They stood there together gazing out over the frozen tundra. After a while, Maerad risked a thought.

"I thought you might tell me about the other half of the Song. Is there another lyre like mine?" She looked up just in time to see the sadness pass through the Ice King's eyes.

"No" he replied. "You have the only lyre."

"Where is the other half?" she dared to ask.

"Where do you think it is?" His anger boiling to the surface like the water that boiled up hot and angry from the earth in the fire isles in the Lamenken Sea. "It's with Sharma" He spat the name out like it was a disgusting taste in his mouth.

Maerad was silenced by his answer. Her mind tumbled with thoughts. How was she to defeat the Nameless One if she needed to Treesong to do it and she had to defeat him to get the other half? Even getting to Sharma she would have to make it into Draga where the Iron Tower stood. Cadavn had told her before that not even the bravest bards ventured into Draga. It all at once seemed even more impossible. Without Cadvan there would be no way for her to make it there. Tears welled up in her eyes. She had failed. She was too young, too inexperienced, too scared to do this alone.

Arkan noticed her tears. "Why do you cry?"

"I can't do this. I can't just march up to the Iron Tower and demand he hand over the other half. I have failed."

The Ice King sighed "You are the Foretold, the Fated One, you will make the Treesong whole again."

She glanced up at him and found herself lost staring into those chilling blue eyes. Her heart caught and she found her gaze drifting down to her lips and once again, found herself, imagining what it would be like to kiss those lips.

"Come inside. You mortals can't last very long unprotected in this snow and there is a blizzard moving in."

"Can't you just make the blizzard go away?"

"I could, but I like the beauty of it wild and unpredictable. It could easily destroy everything in its path but then it could just move out leaving behind a glistening paradise"

Maerad had a feeling that he was taking about more than just the storm. She felt a longing pull at her heart again as they walked back along the corridors.
When they reached her room, Arkan surprised her by taking her hand and placing a single delicate kiss on it. She felt the cold of his lips spread through her body yet at the same time inexplicable warmth. The feeling was so overwhelming she immediately fled into her room and shut the door quickly. As she leaned against the door trying to settled the pounding in her heart, she heard him chuckle as he faded away.