Adrian and Sionann’s wedding was unlike any wedding Lyra had ever seen before. It was nothing like the exorbitant affairs Lyra had photographed, or the traditional event her own spectacular failure of a wedding had been. When Lyra thought of weddings, she always thought of the same themes.
Classy venues. White or cream dresses. Bridesmaids and flower-girls and groomsmen and ring-bearers. Veils.
The wedding was held outdoors, with nothing but nature around them. The only two people who were dressed up were the bride and groom. Sionann wore her hair loose, flowers skilfully tucked amongst the strands, and she was wearing a green dress, cut the typical style Lyra had always imagined fairies would wear in, well, fairy-tales. Adrian too wasn’t wearing a typical traditional suit, clad instead in shades of green and white, cut in a decidedly non-traditional style. The two arrived hand-in-hand with each other, and the guests formed a circle around them, the fairies amongst them dancing and singing in some obscure language Lyra couldn’t even begin to decipher. Not a single guest wore shoes, and neither did Adrian.
The singing and dancing of the fairies formed an alien rhythm that resounded in Lyra’s bones and resonated deep in her chest. It filled the entire clearing, and something about the whole affair was off, like Lyra’s perception of the world had shifted a fraction of a degree, causing every detail to stand out in sharp and vivid clarity. She felt hot, her heart racing, and her thoughts skittered all over the place, an overwhelming joy rising deep inside her heart.
A hand fell on her wrist, startling her out of her confusing reverie. She tilted her head up, staring at Blaise and meeting his overly blue eyes. He, too, was barefoot.
“Don’t fight the magic,” he murmured in her ear, his breath cold against her flushed skin. She gazed at him with dazed eyes. Why hadn’t she ever realized how beautiful he was?
Her feet felt warm, and tight. What were her shoes doing on her feet? They needed to come off. Her feet were aching to feel the grass and bare soil beneath her.
“Don’t question, just obey,” Blaise coaxed her again. “Laugh, enjoy, feel. Be joyous. Let the magic guide you.”
Her fingers fumbled on the straps of her shoes. They had to come off, now. She breathed heavily as she struggled with her shoes, her senseless fingers slipping on the slender straps. The relief she felt when she finally got them off and buried her toes in the soft green grass was indescribable.
Around her, the singing of the fairies got louder, and their dancing got wilder. Spinning around and around, they kept singing in that oddly harmonic language, stomping out a rhythmic beat into the ground. Sionann’s silver laughter rang out amongst them, and she spun Adrian around in time with the music. He, too, was laughing, and the sound caused Lyra’s heart to sing in happiness.
Again, Blaise touched her, this time on her waist and shoulder.
“Don’t fight,” he ordered again. “The fairies are enacting the binding, and what you’re feeling is the magic guiding you to perform your part, as witness. Just let the magic flow through you, and listen to what your instincts tell you to do.”
She turned her eyes back to Blaise, blinking dazedly at him, trying to get her thoughts back in order. Her heart leaped in her chest, and her lips tugged into a broad smile, against her will, but she didn’t care. Her instincts were screaming at her.
This isn’t the time to question. Now is the time to laugh, sing, dance, and be merry.
She laughed more than she could ever remember doing back home, and she sang and danced with wild, reckless abandon, letting the fairies and her instincts guide her. Her heart beat in time with the cadence of the fairies’ song, and she danced with many, many different partners, never dancing with the same one for more than a few minutes.
In the centre of everything, dancing and singing and laughing just like all the rest, were Sionann and Adrian, and every time one of them laughed, Lyra found herself laughing as well. The day was about them, and her heart leapt with happiness every time she heard their laughter.
Sometime during the course of the celebrations, the skies opened up and it started raining, but the revelries didn’t stop, and Lyra found herself gravitating towards Blaise. The cadence of the harmonic rhythm still rang through her bones, guiding her to dance with reckless abandon, and while she danced, she met his eyes unabashedly. His eyes were an absolutely vivid blue, and she felt butterflies flutter in her stomach at the way he met her gaze. His normal scowl was absent, a corner of his mouth pulled up in a satisfied little smile, and there was something burning in his gaze she couldn’t identify. They danced around each other, close enough to dance with the other, but never touching. Their bodies flowed around each other in perfect harmony in a way not unlike their spars.
The space between them was positively vibrating, and the rhythm of the fairies’ dance kept ringing through her bones, egging her on to push for more and more. For every challenge she made, Blaise responded in kind, never once giving ground in this non-verbal challenge they were competing in. It drove her nuts. She wanted him to touch her, but he kept his distance, refusing to rise to the bait she was offering.
Then he grazed his hand against the small of her back, fast enough that she wasn’t sure if she had merely imagined it, but the smirk on his face confirmed her suspicions. She threw her head back, laughing out to the skies before she threw caution to the wind and slid her hands into his. She felt like she was riding clouds, her entire being and all her thoughts overruled by the overwhelming joy strumming through her veins.
The celebrations continued for many, many more hours, and she danced the night away. She didn’t dance with Blaise again, but the skin on her back and hands still tingled with promise.
Life in the house hadn’t changed much after the wedding. Adrian and Sionann were still lovey-dovey as always, and everyone still followed the same routine as before. Things didn’t change much. About the only difference Lyra could see was that Adrian and Sionann were even more lovey-dovey than before.
Then, of course, there was the tension between her and Blaise, more from her side than Blaise’s. The dance she had shared with him at the celebrations stood out in her mind with vivid clarity, and despite all her efforts to drive the memory out of her head, she kept coming back to it.
They had shared something during that dance, she couldn’t deny it. She just wished she knew what it meant.
Then again, Blaise’s attitude towards her hadn’t really changed, so maybe she was just overthinking things. His unrelenting taskmaster-like behaviour during their daily self-defence sessions certainly hadn’t changed.
“You’re not focusing,” Blaise scowled at her. “Focus, or we’ll stop this right here. I’m not going to waste my time instructing an idiot who won’t pay attention. I have better things to do than that.”
Lyra shot him a foul glare, but she tried her best to drive her previous thoughts to the back of her mind and regain her focus. A deep breath later, she felt calm and focused again.
“Better,” Blaise approved grudgingly. “Keep your core in line with your centre of balance, and focus on…”
Lyra listened attentively, fixing the instructions in her mind and trying to fold her body into the movement she was trying to perfect.
Her perception shifted a fraction, and an abrupt, unreasonable sorrow suddenly rose in her chest.
When did it get so cold?
She blinked. Her perception corrected itself, the day returned to a normal temperature, and she was left standing bewildered, wondering what the hell just happened.
Blaise was looking at her with a carefully blank expression.
“I guess we’ll be focusing on something else today,” he stated neutrally. “Sit.”
She ignored his order outright, her mind still struggling to come to terms with what happened. She simply couldn’t figure it out.
“Sit,” Blaise insisted impatiently when she didn’t immediately obey. “Your magic is unstable. You need to learn to control it.”
That definitely broke her out of her senseless reverie.
“What?” she asked, completely baffled. She crossed her arms across her chest, staring sceptically at Blaise. “What are you talking about?”
“Don’t tell me you’re such an oblivious idiot you didn’t even notice casting that spell at me.” He pointed at the ground between them, which, to Lyra’s surprise, was covered in frost – frost that definitely hadn’t been there before they started their self-defence session.
“I…” She stared at the frost, trying to make sense of it all. Her thoughts were scattered all over the place, flitting from one idea to another, and again that inexplicable sorrow started to build in her chest.
Blaise grabbed her hands with an irritated sigh. For a second, his touch was unnaturally hot, and then, just as suddenly as it came, that pressure in Lyra’s chest disappeared. She jerked her hands out of Blaise’s hold, staring suspiciously at him. That was not normal.
He growled and folded his legs beneath him, sitting on the damp grass and staring at her with a pointed glare, waiting for her to do the same. Realising she wouldn’t get anything else out of him until she obeyed, Lyra sat down with an irritated huff. Almost immediately, the water on the damp grass soaked through her jeans, leaving her with wet panties and a cold ass. She grimaced at the feel.
“Close your eyes,” Blaise instructed, his voice barely louder than a murmur and his breathing calm and even. Far too used to Blaise’s different ways of instruction, Lyra wordlessly obeyed, her breathing automatically mimicking his. He remained quiet for several minutes, simply breathing and exuding a sense of calm, and before Lyra realised, that same sense of calm had fallen over her. She felt curiously detached from the world around her, but a different, previously unidentified part of her brain was hyper-aware of her surroundings.
“You wouldn’t have noticed your magic before,” Blaise explained quietly, careful not to startle her and break her calm, “because that part of your brain was dormant. The ambient magic from Adrian and Sionann’s bonding reawakened that part of your brain. It’s wreaking havoc with your emotions because you don’t know how to control it.”
Ah. That explained why she had acted so completely uncharacteristic during the wedding celebrations. Or it should. The magic influenced her emotions; because she was magical. It was still difficult to wrap her mind around the fact that she was magical. She had known that on an intellectual level, but she had never paused to consider what it meant. She should’ve known it meant she’d be able to perform magic herself.
“The more you practise, the more you’ll be able to control your magic,” Blaise continued calmly. “Before you can practise though, you need to identify the ‘feel’ of your magic. The best way to do this, is to meditate.”
Lyra continued focusing on her breathing, nodding at Blaise to show she was still listening and following.
“A part of your brain should feel ‘awake’. Focus on that part, then focus on me.”
Lyra tentatively followed his orders, and couldn’t quite stifle her gasp when her world suddenly expanded. Her eyes were still closed, but she could sense Blaise in front of her as clearly as if she could see him. To her senses, he was a bright, luminescent ball of white fire, glowing brightly and holding a touch of utter destruction, tightly contained right in the middle of that fire. It was oddly mesmerizing.
On a touch of whim, she turned her senses inward, wondering what she would look like in this strange reality that existed only in her mind. Her own magic swirled in a reddish-orange ball of fire, furiously snapping out tendrils of red-hot fire. Spitfire. It was the very personification of the nickname her dad had given her so long ago.
“Focus on what I’m doing, Lyra,” Blaise’s voice drew her back to the present. Energy coalesced in the palm of his hand, all verdant and sugary and –
“That’s impossible,” she pointed out, utterly bewildered. What he had just done…it went against all laws of science. Conservation of energy, conservation of mass…he had just violated both of those laws. It wasn’t possible.
“In the laws of magic, it’s not,” Blaise disagreed, like he knew exactly what he was thinking. His brows sank a bit, like he was on the verge of scowling at her, but was trying his best not to. “Don’t fight this. Don’t think of science, or methods, or reasons. Just trust your power, and your instincts.” He leaned back on his hands, staring at her with bored eyes. “Try it. Focus on the magic you felt, and will it into being.”
It was impossible. He was literally asking her to do the impossible. But she didn’t argue with him, because there was an absolute trust in his eyes that she had never encountered before. Like he fully believed she was capable of it, and that the idea of her failing had never even existed in his mind. It was such a powerful emotion that Lyra closed her eyes and tried, despite knowing she was attempting the impossible.
She focused on her hand, and the way the energy of the apple had coalesced in her mind’s eye when Blaise had done it. She focused on the imaginary apple, and willed it to appear.
Her hand glowed brightly, and suddenly she could feel something forming in her hand, light at first and then heavier as it gained substance.
She opened her eyes, staring mutely at the object in her hand – a perfectly formed apple. She had just broken the very laws of science. Her mind boggled at it.
On Blaise’s face was a small, satisfied smile. It filled Lyra with happiness, and she quietly admitted to herself that his approval meant more to her than she had previously thought. When he smiled at her like that, she felt like she was capable of absolutely anything.
Sionann was strangely preoccupied lately, Lyra mused as she idly stared at the fairy, hands busy preparing dinner. She was on food duty tonight, and when home, Sionann normally kept her company, talking about recipes and herbs and just about everything else she could think of, all the while drinking copious amounts of deathly-sweet tea. Tonight though, she was quiet, and there wasn’t a single cup of tea anywhere in sight.
Instead, she was staring over the backyard, hands resting idly on her belly. It was really strange seeing the fairy so quiet. Even her wings were strangely motionless.
“Is something wrong?” Lyra finally asked, unable to stand the quiet any longer. Sionann jerked in surprise, completely caught off-guard by the question.
“What? Oh, yes. I mean, no, nothing’s wrong,” the fairy stammered uncharacteristically. Lyra simply lifted an eyebrow and waited for Sionann to elaborate. She was simply unable to maintain a proper poker-face under pressure.
“I think I’m pregnant,” came the confession in a quick and rushed voice. Lyra dropped the knife in her hand, absolutely shocked by the admission. She had definitely not expected that.
“Wait, seriously?” she asked incredulously, bending over and picking the knife back up. Sionann nodded, her arm cradling her belly protectively.
“About seven weeks, I think,” Sionann continued. “My magic’s all wonky, and it started just after,” she paused and gave Lyra a side-long glance, “well, I don’t think I need to elaborate.”
Lyra abruptly turned back to her task. She had absolutely no desire to hear about Sionann and Adrian’s sex-life, thank you very much.
“It’s okay, I think I can draw my own conclusions,” Lyra agreed firmly, adding the chopped ingredients into the pan and listening to it sizzle as it hit the heated oil. “Does Adrian know?”
“Not yet,” she admitted nervously. “I know he won’t mind, not really, but…” She sighed, a tone of resignation in the sound. “We weren’t exactly planning on having children this soon. We both still have so much to do on the island and with the Hunt and,” she swallowed nervously, “and we both agreed to settle affairs first before trying for a family. Now though…” She sighed again, petulant. “I guess now we won’t get that chance. This little one didn’t want to wait, it seems.”
“You don’t even know for sure you’re pregnant, right?” Lyra pointed out, stirring the mass of veggies cooking in the pan. “Maybe you’re just overreacting. Maybe your magic is ‘wonky’ due to something else.”
Sionann gave Lyra a sardonic smile.
“I’ve been a healer long enough to recognise the signs, Lyra,” she declared flatly. “Trust me, I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on.”
“Well, congratulations, then?” Lyra replied, not really sure how else to respond. “If it helps, I think you and Adrian will make amazing parents.”
“Thanks,” she agreed lightly. “It does help, a little. I mean, I’m really excited about this and I can’t wait to be a mother, but…it’s just a really inconvenient time, you know?”
No, Lyra didn’t know. In her opinion, it was never a convenient time to have children. But she kept her mouth shut, because it was definitely not what Sionann needed to hear right now.
“Tonight, I think,” Sionann confessed unsurely, tapping her chin with her finger. “It’s still a bit early, as most pregnancies need about ten to twelve weeks to really get established, but…” She shrugged, in a what-can-you-do manner, “Adrian should know, I guess. The sooner we can discuss this and what it’ll mean for the future, the better. Whether we like it or not, our lives are definitely going to change soon.”
Sionann did tell Adrian that night, but she did it in a way Lyra definitely wouldn’t have. Lyra honestly hadn’t planned to witness the moment Sionann informed her husband of his impending status of fatherhood, but of course the fairy had to do it when the entire goddamn household were present.
“So…” the fairy began, idly picking at the food in front of her. “It seems we need to leave the island.”
Lyra, having taken a bite of her food, immediately started coughing, trying to dislodge the piece of tomato she was choking on. She knew exactly where this conversation was going to lead to, and Plumbbob, she did not want to be present. And yet there was no decent way to remove herself from the conversation without giving the ball away, so she was stuck where she was. Adrian and Blaise, the poor oblivious idiots, had no idea what was coming.
“Why?” Adrian asked, baffled, at the same time Blaise said, “What the hell are you talking about?”
Sionann smiled sheepishly at Blaise. “Well, Adrian and I are going to have to leave the island sometime soon. I guess you don’t really have to.”
Her answer still didn’t make any sense to them, as they simply continued to stare at her with confusion. Lyra desperately wanted to bang her head on the table.
“Sionann, you’re not making any sense,” Adrian declared, gently taking her hand in his and staring at her with concern. “Why would we need to leave the island?”
Because she’s pregnant, you dolt! Lyra screamed in her head. For crying out, he’d been the one to explain to her what happened to people who expected children on the island. Surely, he could draw the right conclusions from that.
Sionann smiled hopefully at him and raised her eyebrows expectantly. Even she expected him to be able to draw the right conclusions.
Across from Lyra, Blaise did. He, too, started choking on his food. Unlike Lyra, he had no reservation in speaking his mind.
“Shit, Sionann,” he exclaimed incredulously. “You’re pregnant?!” Beside him, Adrian stiffened, his eyes widening with shock. He looked at Sionann in wonder.
Sionann gave Blaise an unimpressed stare.
“Thank you, Blaise,” she replied primly, “for informing my husband before I could.”
“Well, you were taking ages to do it,” Lyra couldn’t help but interject, grateful that the cat was now out of the bag.
Sionann threw her hands up in exasperation. “Sorry that I was expecting you guys to have a little more decorum!”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have done it at the dinner table?” Lyra pointed out. “Just a suggestion, you know.”
“A bit late for that, now,” Blaise growled in response, also engaging in the banter.
Adrian held up his hand, halting the banter. “Stop it,” he ordered Lyra and Blaise, turning to look incredulously at Sionann. “Sionann?”
She gave him a sheepish smile and a slight shrug. “It’s early yet, but yes. We’re going to have a child.”
He stared at her in wonder for about two seconds before his entire face lit up in adulation. He was up from his chair way faster than Lyra had seen him move before, and so was Sionann, and he lifted her in the air, spinning her around, absolutely delighted.
Lyra watched the spectacle with a small smile. She was glad Adrian seemed so happy. She considered both Adrian and Sionann to be her closest friends, and seeing them so happy…well, it made her feel like the world was just that little bit brighter.
Parenthood would suit them. And curiously enough, despite her own very firm views on having children, she was strangely looking forward to meeting the pending little bundle of joy.
Lyra stiffened guiltily at the voice drifting out of the open window, lowering the book in her hand. It was Adrian’s voice, and he sounded more tired and vulnerable than Lyra had ever heard him before. For a moment, she considered closing her book and going somewhere she wouldn’t be able to eavesdrop, but the second voice and the words he spoke caused her to halt curiously.
“You aren’t happy about this pregnancy, are you,” Blaise’s voice replied. It definitely wasn’t a question.
“I am,” Adrian immediately disagreed. “It’s just…” He sighed despondently. “There’s a new Hunt coming up.”
Lyra cocked her head curiously. How had they gone from the topic of Sionann’s pregnancy to that?
Blaise simply grunted in response. “I know.”
There was a sound coming out the window, and Lyra had been exposed to it enough times to recognise it as Adrian sweeping his hand through his hair, something he only did when he was upset about something.
“Your father asked me to lead a team during this Hunt,” Adrian confessed quietly. There was a rustle, and Lyra could just imagine Blaise crossing his arms and scowling at Adrian.
“The fuck?” he swore lowly, his voice incredulous. “He knows we’re partners. Why would he split us up?”
“I don’t know,” Adrian immediately declared. “It’s just…Keeper, Blaise, you know how short we are on manpower. I can’t afford to leave the island until we get reinforcements, but with Sionann expecting…”
“You can’t afford not to leave,” Blaise finished the sentence for him. There was a moment of silence.
“Yes,” Adrian admitted, subdued. “I can’t put her at risk like this.”
Blaise snorted derisively.
“You can’t put yourself at risk, Adrian,” he pointed out sharply. “Sionann needs you to stay alive, child or not. You knew this before you married her.”
Lyra frowned contemplatively, wondering why the heck they were talking about this. It sounded awfully serious, talking about risk and staying alive and…Plumbbob, things weren’t really that bad. They made it sound like just by living they were in this incredible danger, like they were stuck in the middle of a battlefield.
A shiver ran down her back as she remembered that technically, they were. They were living on a Gateway World. It had been easy to forget, in the normal routine of everyday life, that they were all fighting a battle she herself didn’t participate in. Putting their lives on the line was a normal, everyday routine to them.
There was another moment of silence before Blaise continued.
“Don’t accept Leneo’s request,” he pleaded. “Leave. Go to the mainland. We’ll cope without you.”
Adrian didn’t reply. Lyra’s grip on her book tightened as she ran the conversation through her head, trying to figure out what it meant. Surely things weren’t so dire on the island that one person’s absence would make a difference. And what did it matter, in the end? Didn’t Adrian say that Alison forced everyone who expected children to leave and go to the mainland? She didn’t understand why Adrian was even contemplating not going.
The wind started to pick up, and Lyra rubbed her bare arms, startled out of her thoughts by the chill. The wind was bitingly cold, and it carried a hint of moisture in it. It was going to rain again soon, and judging by the clouds above her, Lyra guessed it might even snow. Autumn was finally over.
Adrian sighed. “You’re right,” he murmured. “We should leave. I’ll let Lord Leneo know tomorrow. You’ll be fine without me, won’t you?”
“Of course I will,” Blaise assured him. “Don’t worry about me. It’s time to focus on your family.”
A/N: Hmm, let’s see. Happy wedding? Check. Romancy relationship stuff? Check. Sorta. First baby for the next generation on the way? Check! Yes, Sionann and Adrian’s baby will be one of the counted children of generation 4. :)
Also, why do all the good couple poses have to make the male pose taller? It annoys me way more than it should. Every adult in TS3 are the same height, dammit. Now there are continuity issues when I use those poses. -_-