Note to Readers: You guys rock beyond belief, especially for sticking by me through my dry stretch. Two down, one to go. There's also three short songfics that will work on a subplot thread. The first of the three will take place between ATTN and Dawn. And one last disclaimer: "All Through the Night" was written by Sir Harold Boulton, and used without permission. It has no actual connection with the title of the 'fic, outside of the name, but...
~ Zanne

All Through the Night

It was a thorn in his side, one he wouldn't remove. He hated and loved it at the same time. For every moment it twisted and galled him, it offered a flip side of reminding him of the freedom it gave.

It glimmered in the shadows of the cave, half-buried under rocks, mocking him with every ray of light it caught.

Valgaav lazily gnawed on a bit of cow, staring balefully at the barrette. He could destroy it, and perhaps escape having her constantly lingering in his life and on his mind.

But if he did that, he might forget why the barrette came to be there in the first place. He knew he could forget the questions, the things unanswered, and the answers given.

She wants you out of her life. My little Dragon has chosen me over you.

He hated her for those words, hated her for that choice. She gave him back his life, only to turn away when it mattered the most...

...or so he kept telling himself.

But underneath it all, he didn't want to know. He didn't want to look. He didn't want to find out it was the truth, that she did make that choice. What then? Wasn't false hope better than none at all? He didn't want to find out that it wasn't, because what then? Once upon a time, he could have gone toe to toe with Xellos with a better than even chance of coming out on top, but now...

More than anything else, he didn't want to know. He didn't want to find out that at the end of everything, it truly was for the best.

What if he was a danger to her, still a monster at heart, if not in body? And what if Xellos was the better choice between them?

He knew he could forget the fear.

So the barrette remained.

Wearily, Amelia rubbed her eyes and stared up at the ceiling, barely visible in the dark, as she tried wake up enough to consider moving. The plaintive cooing across the room grew louder after she moved, and Amelia sighed heavily.

"Shush, shush, I'm coming," she told the hatchling as she kicked off the blankets. His crying grew louder, and she pulled on a robe, walking over to the custom-built bassinet. "Shh, you should be sleeping. What's wrong?" she asked, keeping her tone low and soothing as she stroked the dark furred head. Von only cried louder, nuzzling against her palm and clutched the sleeve of her robe with his little, needle-sharp talons. "Are you hungry?" Amelia asked, looking around for the hourglass. "Food? Do you want food?"

He clung tighter to her sleeve, and Amelia picked him out of the bassinet. Little talons hooked onto her robe, and the hatchling nestled closer, nuzzling under her chin and finally settled down.

"Aw, is that it?" Amelia asked softly, walking over to the window as she stroked his back. "Are you lonely?" She leaned against the window frame, looking out over the courtyard below. The moon was bright, and reflected off the white spring blossoms on the trees below as if they were decorated with droplets of silver. It was still cool, but Amelia pushed the window out, letting the breeze carry in the springtime perfume she loved so much.

The baby Dragon's wails had died down to a soft, rumbling purr, and Amelia sat on the window seat, tucking her feet under a pillow to keep them warm.

"You're not the only one who's lonely," she whispered against Von's soft fur. "We both wish certain somebodies were here."

He cooed quietly, snuggling closer to her as she petted him. Amelia rested her head against him, and began singing quietly, an old lullaby she could just barely remember hearing her own mother sing, like something from an almost-forgotten dream.

"Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee, all through the night. Guardian angels God will send thee all through the night. Soft the drowsy hours are creeping, hill and vale in slumber sleeping; I my loved ones' watch am keeping all through the night."

His purr softened to a low, barely audible buzz as the hatchling drifted back off into sleep. Amelia rested her head against the wall, lazily stroking his fur.

"Angels watching, e'er around thee, all through the night. Midnight slumber close surround thee all through the night. Soft the drowsy hours are creeping, hill and vale in slumber sleeping; I my loved ones' watch am keeping all through the night."

She yawned, giving up the efforts to keep her eyes open, and snuggled deep against the pillows on the window seat. The hatchling stirred a bit, grumbling in protest as she shifted position, then quickly settled down again.

"While the moon her watch is keeping, all through the night; while the weary world is sleeping, all through the night," Amelia continued, reciting the old lullaby softly between yawns. The pauses in her cadence grew longer as she drifted back to sleep. "O'er thy spirit gently stealing, visions of delight revealing breathes a pure and holy feeling, all through..."

-= All Through the Night =-
The End...
...or is it?

Will Valgaav ever get his memory back?
Will Filia's sanity survive?
Will Seyruun experience a famine once
Von, Lina, and Gourry are all in the same place?

Tune in to 'Then Came the Dawn' to find out!

Keep watch for the first installment of the
Subplot Trilogy, 'Someone to Watch Over Me' soon!