((RP post, of historical note. Staggeringly long.))
She moves to the bathing pool, in Lumindor-that-was, a mood slowly growing she cannot find means to dispell. Perhaps, she thinks, the water will soothe her cares, or at the least, the mineral scent of the springs, the cool green breeze, will distract her somewhat.
She walks, climbing over the rocks, and stops, pinioned by the gaze of a distant friend, dragonchanger, seeker of knowledge, fellow shifter. Not Sidhe but something else. She nods carefully.
"Hello," he says, and she nods once more.
His presence stops her not in removing her garments, and sliding her pale form beneath the waters. The dragonchanger sits on the rocks, then slides in, keeping to the far side of the pool.
"You'll wet your clothes."
"It's all right."
She makes idle, drifting conversation with him while she smoothed water down limbs, over torso. Her attention was not on the changer, to be sure, as she hears her once-love approaching. She also hears long knives ring against each other in the night.
"I hear swordplay about."
Her love walks into the clearing.
"As do I," the changer says, "but my eyes are elsewhere."
That earns him a guarded smile, but her eyes soon turn to her love. She greets him, watches him grow closer. He seems, if possible, more tense than she.
"Hello dragon", he says, then greets her, and sighs. "It is almost time."
"Almost..." she says. She shakes her head slightly. "Oh, you're not..."
"Aye." He gives a grunt of pain, bending forward slightly, as the change he was now used to, overtakes him, distorting his frame, realigning sinew and strand, bone and blood.
The Sidhe in the water lays flat on a rock outcropping, pillowing her head on her outstretched hands. She peers through them, watching her love transform to the full demonic.
"This is getting...tiresome."
She nods. "Aye, but at least you can speak, now."
The configuration of his teeth previously, a mouth full of knives, practically...she remembers, shivering.
"That's something of a change."
The changer urges him on. "Getting more control, good sir."
The Sidhe shakes her head. "Just...always meeting you at night...changed or changing..." She sighs. "Mayhap I'll take up religious orders."
The demon blanches. "...Do not even joke about that!"
"It's not entirely a joke! It's been..."
Her eyes narrow, looking at the changer. Her demon notes the look.
She shakes her head, turning her eyes away. "I should endeavor to be more patient."
"Yes, and nay," he says, while her demon watches. His voice grows dark.
"Forgive me. Was I intruding?"
The changer shrugs. "You were destined to be here. As fate dictates, our lives."
She does not answer, or at least, doesn't answer him.
"Yes, o Dragon, but destiny seems to leave me in a place of...well."
The demon watches her. "Hmm..."
She turns her gaze back to him, shrugging herself now.
"Again, my circuitous nature has made me subtler than usual."
She moves deeper into the water, standing, letting the warm drops sluice over her limbs. She catches a thought from the demon that he wishes he could join her, but will not. She shakes her head.
The changer makes a move to withdraw. "As I said, respect...I will leave thee be to relax."
She merely shrugs. "As you wish, sir, though you are always welcome to talk."
"Heh," the demon laughs, faintly. "Since when have Sidhe cared who saw them naked?"
The changer looks around. "I wish to know more of these customs. As I am a Seeker."
"Which ones?" she asks.
"All," he says.
"So, customs of the Sidhe as well?" She smiles faintly. "We are not a body-conscious people, o'erall. The body shown, the body observed, it means little. It is the body shared, that makes intimacy."
"Yes," the changer says, his tone musing. "I remember the bonding of you and another some time ago."
She smiles. "Ah, and do you remember who it was?"
He shakes his head. "I but remember your voice, distinctly. I do not remember the other, I never saw his face."
"Mm," she says softly. She cups water in her hands, lifting it, pouring it over her dark hair. "There is no one here, now, who was not here, that day."
"Ah, so your lord, here, then."
"Even so." She looks over, frowning. "Considerably less entaloned, though."
The changer's eyes grow soft. "Ahh...he had you in ecstacy..."
Her eyes drift closed a moment, remembering. "That he did..."
His tone turns curious. "But form is not what lies beneath. It is a shell, as you said."
"True," she says. "I do not hold his current form against him." She glances over, her gaze falling to his hands, those talons.
"But some injuries, even to my flesh, are harder to heal. Full demons, I've learned this, to my sorrow."
The demon shrugs a bit, feeling excluded. He thinks of withdrawing, that his place is not here, and again, she catches the edge of that thought. She wonders how strongly she would have to shield to bar him from her mind at all. She begins to wonder what his place is, this eve, if it is not at her side.
The changer senses the rising tension, moves to soothe it, and she waves his words aside.
"Nay, sir, I am...taking things, this eve, perhaps more personally than I should." She relaxes back against the warm, wet stones, breathing deeply, centering; it comes with difficulty, and she blames her current...distraction.
The demon's eyes narrow. "You are...comfortable, then?"
She answers, her eyes still closed, still breathing quietly.
"Currently. Why do you ask?"
"Because it concerns me when you are uncomfortable."
She shakes her head. "Ah, love, it's my issue, I will find means to understand it. It is nothing of yours. You, yourself, have said there's naught you can do."
The changer lifts his head, staring at them.
"It is not just you..."
She opens her eyes, leaning up and out of the water slightly. "Hmm?" Her eyes again narrow. "I may require more of an explanation of that statement..."
"...Me as well."
He looks at them, one face pale as moonlight, the other dark as a night without a moon.
"I have mentioned my travels...and in all of them, the Love, it is something I cannot begin to understand. It...hurts me, somewhat."
She blinks. "You cannot...feel Love?"
The sudden spike of rage, from her demon's mind to hers, disorients for a moment. Her brow furrows, her breath catching, but she speaks not. Still, the changer reads their emotions as if they were written in formal script.
"Touchy subject for all parties, it seems," he said quietly.
The swirl of pain, anger, confusion, from the demon sets her off, somewhat, and she flicks a leaf from the surface of the pool with force enough to spiral it away into the night air.
"I am Sidhe," she says, tossing her hair, biting off the words. "I love whom I will. Or not. As I choose."
She looks down, muttering balefully. "Are we not known for our inconstancy?" Her eyes close for but a heartbeat, then open, staring piercingly into the eyes of the demon by the pool. "So you would have blunt human words from me? Is that what you wish?"
Her demon looks back, his eyes attempting to look soft. As if he wishes her not to see his rage. She narrows her eyes to slits.
"You...dare. You DARE be angry with ME."
He shakes his head. "I am not angered with you at all."
She cocks her head, puzzled, then sighs. "Ah, then, it's the nature of things, now."
"Perhaps it was I," the changer says softly, and she shakes her head once more.
"It could have been anyone, no one. It is not you."
Her expression grows bitter once more, though, thinking on it.
"Blunt, then, my lord, and hear it now, for I will not say such again."
He closes his eyes, her demon. "As you wish. What do you wish to speak of?"
"I miss you. I miss holding you close, I miss you inside my body, I miss the challenge and the sweetness." She slaps her hand down on the surface of the pool. "But I will not spend the next four days, after any encounter with your talons, recovering! Even one such as I have limits!"
The demon stops breathing, just for a moment. Then his eyes flare.
"...Do you think I enjoy this?" he hisses. "I despise this form and all the rage that comes with it.
She drops her head. "...I know this, love. I do."
"Do you think I do not lust for you? That I do not wish to hold you in my arms and caress you as I did?"
She sighs. "I...am sorry you have to put up with my ill mood on top of everything else."
He only shakes his head. "I cannot risk hurting you. I would never forgive myself if these talons drew your blood. I would kill myself." He thinks for a moment, a quirk of his old humor pulling up his lips. "And likely half the town as well."
She shrugs merely, remembering. "The bruises faded from my throat. You have bitten me before and drawn blood."
"That...was different. That was sweet pain."
She shrugs again. "Truth be told in this place, you've done worse, and I have yet survived it. Others have, and I have lived."
His gaze darkens. "Aye...and that is why I cannot, and will not allow myself to touch you."
She nods vaguely, lost in memory. "I was many days recovering from his...attentions..." she murmurs.
"Aye...and if you ever slip your tongue and tell me his name as well, he will die."
She looks up, meeting the demon's eyes. "Don't tempt me." Her gaze turns dark. "I am yet upset with him."
"I am tempting you. I will kill him, at your behest, my love."
She looks over, her breath catching again, her gaze intent.
"I know that you would..."
For a moment, it might as well be just the two of them standing there, moon-dapple shadows racing over the waters.
"As I will kill any that stand in your way," he says finally. "But please...please, my love. Wait just a bit longer, and I will be with you again."
Such a confession loosens her tongue, her eyes blinking largely. But she must look away before her next words are spoken.
"Here is the rest of the truth, then, my Raven love. It is far easier to wait for sweetness to come, when there can be sweetness with others." She sighs. "But no one has strayed to my side. And I...I am made snappish by this."
He nods. She splashes the water in pique.
"......It is me, isn't it? I scare away those that would find your side and please you while you wait."
She stares at him. "Do you?"
"I...do not, on purpose. But it would make sense. Considering my penchant for...violence."
He looks down. "I deprive my lover of what she desires, and cannot give it to her myself....that is not respect. It is an insult."
The changer speaks, their gaze drawn to his; in their urgent communication, they had nearly managed to forget his presence.
"You are in need of something neither she nor I can give you. Once you find that then you may have some comfort."
She cocks her head, thinking. "How can he best find it?"
"Perhaps you find it a curse, but also somewhat a blessing, that your form has given you power over your enemies." He looks at the Sidhe in the water. "But if he cannot be in the arms of his love, can that be called a blessing?"
"Eventually, I am going to control this. A little longer," he says softly.
"He..." the Sidhe begins. She wraps her arms around herself, looking into the waters, whispering.
"He...could. I...could allow it."
She still whispers. "But...he has the capacity to hurt me grievously, and..." She swallows, shivering, even though the waters are warm. "But I could allow such. If he thought it would help. I would..."
She looks up, meeting the changer's eyes. "I would risk that, for him."
The demon looks from the dragon's still face, to the Sidhe's strained one.
"What on earth are you talking about...?"
The changer raises an eyebrow, and she shakes her head, sliding under the water for a moment, wetting her hair. When she surfaces, the changer meets her gaze.
"Speak your mind, do, since we have come this far."
Only her eyes can be seen for a moment, above the water. Then she sits up fully.
"Would it matter?"
"What are you speaking about?" the demon asks, mystified. "Yes, it would matter."
She seems to ignore him.
"Would it only enrage him further to have a close target?"
The changer shrugs. "I would take the target..."
"Venting his rage," she muses. "That would not empty him of the capacity, it's part and parcel of his nature."
"...and be the target..." he continues, and she cocks her head.
"I believe I was the sacrificial lamb under discussion."
"What are you speaking about??" the demon cries.
"To cure him is to sacrifice his reason for controlling himself."
She thinks on that. "Then what is your alternative?" she asks.
"I cannot give an answer, because i know not what he is fully," he says.
"I am rage," the demon says, darkness in his words, sadness in his thoughts.
She shrugs. "I know half-Drow."
"Incarna," the demon adds.
"I know half-demon."
"Demon is a general term for many forms," the changer says. "Evil beyond forgiveness."
She shrugs again. "I do not know what strain, or from what Court."
The demon blinks, looking from one to the other. "Of a lesser court, not as powerful as some..."
"Interesting..." the changer says, watching him.
She turns her gaze to him as well. "So and thus," she whispers. "Rage. Incarnate. As he said." She cocks her head, wondering. "What to tempt that rage to expression?"
The changer smiles softly. "But you soothe his rage, lady."
She shrugs. She seems full of shrugs this eve.
"Even if not at all times, you do more alive, than in the spirit."
"I know not how. I've never understood."
The demon makes a small sound, as if her words struck him.
"...You do not know how you soothe the rage?"
She looks over, her gaze softening for the first time.
"Let me take that back, then, my Raven. I know how. I only wish...that I could do more."
He nods, and extends a taloned hand. "Come with me, my love."
She cocks her head, but stands, and makes her goodbyes. She slings her garment over her shoulder, and follows, nodding her thanks at the changer as she goes.
"This way, dear," he says, and sets off for the sithen, and they enter by the secret way, climbing for the heights above the Queen's chamber.
He steps towards a large outcropping of granite through the basalt, taking his seat beside another pool. He folds himself, beginning to breathe, chanting a language she only barely knows. She takes a seat beside him, but it is cold, so cold. Her fingers trailing through the water almost instantly chill to pain, and she growls softly. He looks at her measuringly.
"This...is what I do, every night," he says. "Every night, for hours on end, I sit here. I take over the rage withen me. I do this all for two people. Our Queen, who, I love. And you, whom I love in a very different way."
Her breathing grows slight, her eyes grow wide.
He nods, closing his eyes, and the chill of the stone begins to make her bones ache. She blinks, his words becoming clear. He sits here. In this chill. In this painful place. For hours, he said...
"It is agony. Sitting here. Not quenching my urge to kill...I can hardly stand it, my love."
She watches, thinking, her thoughts like birds. "Does it help?" she asks softly.
He nods. "Every day, I gain a little more control over it, over the rage that looms within me. A part of me."
She swallows. "Hard, what you've asked of yourself."
"For you, and for our Queen, I will do almost anything." He breathes out, centers, the rage she can feel, tangible and thick on the air, quelling. "In fact, I will do anything."
She swallows again, pulling on her garment to stop the shivering. He grins slightly at that.
"I'd prefer you naked."
She smiles ruefully. "I can be naked, if you wish. I was...removing temptation."
"I do so wish, my love. I ask only that you...wait for me a little longer, my love."
She nods. Resolve grows in her, along with the cold. "I can wait, I can. Celibacy pushes me to strange reactions, but...I can wait."
"...Morning. Wait until morning. I will have you then. When the rage slumbers. I have learned to control the rage, during the daylight."
She cocks her head. "A night of this...will not you be tired?"
He nods. "I will be exhausted. Physically, and mentally." He opens his eyes, red-burning orbs, and smiles. "When has that stopped me from pleasing my lover?"
She smiles ruefully, shaking her head. "I do not know that I could ask such a thing."
"My nature is to see my lover happy."
She shrugs. "I try...so very hard...to make few demands."
"You make none. None at all save for demands that a lover should make." He grins. "You simply came at a...heh...bad time, I suppose."
He slowly breathes, she watches him, rubbing the back of her neck with icy fingers.
"Mayhap. It's the way of my luck."
"But it will be over soon. This...problem of mine."
She tilts her head from side to side, rolling her head on her shoulders. The slight chill in the cave is motivating her towards fur, but she represses the impulse.
"Aye, but my Raven, I've felt slightly discomfited even making a lover's demands. You're busy, as am I. We have little enough time as it is. I don't want to interfere and demand more."
He nods, then shrugs himself. "I believe...our relationship is also like a training. We train one another as lovers. How to act, what to demand, what to expect."
She nods, her voice turning quiet. "I am...ill used to such things."
"As am I," he agrees. "That is why I see it as training. And yet, I see it as much more than that. It is..." His gaze falls to the pool for a moment, his moving hands stilling on his thighs. "An adventure," he says quietly. "A dream. One demons are not supposed to be allowed to have..."
She shrugs, looking away. "Demons before you have had such dreams..."
"Because they have them does not mean they DESERVE them."
"Do you deserve your dream?"
"I do not know yet," he says. "I hope so. I truly do."
"...You speak as if we must earn such things."
"You do not. You deserve it simply by living."
She cocks her head. "Then so must you."
He shrugs. "I am...different. As a demon."
"You are not mere demon. You are also Drow. And you are fae."
He nods. He inhales. He looks at her.
"My love...I am going to try and change back now. Before...normal."
She breathes in carefully.
"As you will."
And she watches him change...