Fairy Tale Dreams
Disclaimer: You know I’m really beginning to hate this part. I’m forced to say the same dreadful thing over and over again. And again I must say it. I do not own Nuada *cries* I really wish I did; he is one smexy elf. Also, I don’t own Dawn, or anything that pertains to her.
I’d like to give a shout-out to my muse, and biggest supporter, SolitaryMovement
. You are the bomb, Jorrie!
I’m sorry if this chappie isn’t what some of yall are hoping for, but it's very late and I'm really tired right now and I’m trying to work around a major migraine and shoulder-pain. So, please, a little grace would be helpful *lays wet rag over eyes while leaning back**throws Eeyore-plushy at lamp* Stupid bright lights! P.S. sorry for the lame chap title, but, like I said, I am very tired and I am in a lot of pain.
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all (well, to those that celebrate it) and enjoy!!
The small click of the lock sounding as the door closed behind Liz was like a chime from heaven for Dawn. She sighed tiredly, hitting the lock again before moving from the door. Liz and she had just spent –she glanced at the bedside clock- 3 hours chatting and having ‘girl time’, and she was now more exhausted than she had been when she had gone to sleep earlier. Who knew that gossiping could be so tiring!
Dawn now knew more about the petite woman than she knew about Anya -which was saying something since the vengeance demon wouldn't shut up about herself if given the chance. Not to say that that was a bad thing. It was just something that was going to take some getting used to. Having a friend was a somewhat foreign experience for her. Aside from the very few friends she’d had in jr. high, she’d never really had any friends. Well, she did have friends when she'd been a kid, back in L.A., but considering those were constructed memories, they didn't count. So, aside from her monk-made friends and jr. high, she'd been without any friends of her own. They’d always been Buffy’s friend humoring her. Like always.
Isn’t that just depressing?
Deciding to put those thoughts (as well as all the other ones that were just smashing themselves together in her head) aside, she grabbed up her robe and headed for the bathroom. Maybe a nice long shower would make her feel better. Or at least make her able to process her thoughts rationally and clearly without sounding like a petulant child. She really needed to work on that. Besides, she needed to know that the bathroom of her new place was worth the move.
It was. It may be small-ish, but the place was as good as heaven to a girl that had had to share a bathroom with a bunch of hormonal super-girls for a couple weeks a few years back. All of the SunnyHell survivors had come to really appreciate the little things in life after that. Especially restrooms.
Dawn tossed her clothes and towel onto the edge of the sink counter before turning on the water and stripping while it heated up. Once the room was practically filled with steam, she stepped under the hot spray of water, sighing softly at how nice it felt. And then Dawn couldn’t help the cringe as she realized just how on the mark she was with her earlier thought.
It was depressing.
She had spent the last couple of years trying to get off of Buffy’s coattails and yet here she was, still sounded like a *sigh* petulant child. She wondered if that would ever go away. She certainly hoped so. This new team that she was a part of didn't need a bratty kid sister constantly getting kidnapped and bringing in trouble. They needed an equal member that could hold her own, and Dawn was determined to do that. She wasn't a kid anymore and she was done acting like one.
She wasn't Scrappy, anymore, dammit!
Dawn nearly shrieked when the water around her suddenly went cold. She hadn't realized it, but she'd already finished bathing and had just been standing under the pouring water long enough for the water to turn frigid. Quickly turning off the shower, Dawn yanked on her robe and headed back into her room with her bottle of lotion in-hand.
Perching herself on the end of her bed, she lost herself again in her thoughts as she starting rubbing lotion into her skin. The pleasant scent of plumeria filled the room in a matter of seconds. It was her favorite scent. When Anya had learned that during one of those babysitting gigs she'd done with Xander, she'd taken to making for Dawn lotion, perfume, and even soap of that scent whenever her birthday and Christmas rolled around. Dawn had been very touched that the usually selfish ex-demon would do such a thing, but it had made so much more sense when Anya had explained -in her usually blunt and loud way- that it was cheaper just to make it by hand than to buy it somewhere.
Oddly, Anya still refused to make anything for Buffy and Willow, even though they've practically begged her.
Falling back into her thoughts, Dawn suddenly found herself remembering her dream from earlier. The one that she'd just woken from when Spike had called and then Liz had arrived and it had been pushed to the back of her mind for the past 4 hours as she'd hung out with Liz and then showered. She'd forgotten about it when Liz had been there, but now that the other woman was gone she it was flooding back into the forefront of her mind like a tidal wave. Questions soon followed.
What had Tara meant by 'he was her destiny'? It sounded all kinds of... a lot of adjectives. Creepy? Prophetic-y? Downright disturbing? That one, definitely. There was a lot of the disturbing going on.
But what about romantic? It did sound like the kind of thing that fairy tales were made of. Beautiful (at least in her mind) young princess (again, in her mind) comes to the rescue of the handsome young prince. It was like a backwards telling of Cinderella or something. Or maybe it was going to be like Beauty and the Beast, since Tara had said that he wasn't human. And, to be honest, Dawn didn’t know how she felt about that.
Whatever Tara had been meaning by what she'd said, Dawn still wasn't sure that she was ready for it. Him. Love. Whatever.
She definitely didn’t know if she even liked that this guy that she had never even met -who wasn't even human, mind you- was supposed to have his destiny in some way entwined with hers. It practically reeked of that Dracula-like cheesy thrall crap. Definitely screamed Buffy.
So, what could Dawn do? She was Dawn. Miss Slayer-Lite. How was she supposed to save him? She was just the Slayer’s 'little sister'. The girl that got kidnapped every Tuesday! The one who was always smothered and mothered and protected from the everything even when she didn’t want to be.
But... she'd left England to get away from all that. To blaze her own trail as her own person, that's why she'd left. How could she do that if she didn’t give herself a chance? It wasn’t about them holding her back now that she was here, with the BPRD, but about herself still stuck in that mentality (whatever that mentality was defined as). And hadn't she just been thinking that she was done being Scrappy!? That meant no more Scrappy-thoughts!“This isn't Buffy's mission.”
There we go. Much better.
Regardless of her doubts and fears, no matter what, this wasn't something that Buffy was meant to handle. This had nothing to do with her. It was Dawn's turn. She wasn’t going to be benching it anymore.
It was time that Dawn got to be Scooby. As stupid-sounding as that was, Dawn couldn't help the smile that lit her face. Finally, she was getting a chance to prove herself. This was her chance to show everyone that she wasn't just the Slayers Little Sister anymore.
Now she was going to be the hero, not the damsel in distress. By what Tara had said, this guy was going to be the damsel in distress. Yup, definitely starting to sound more and more like a fairy tale. She just wondered where her fairy godmother-“Well, I'm supposed to say something cryptic...”
Oh, right, there she was. This really was a fairy tale. There was a fairy godmother (after a fashion), a prince, a princess-shaped girl, and a potentially dangerous adventure that had to be completed before said prince and princess-shaped girl shared true-loves first kiss.
And she was going to blissfully forget that last part. She didn't even know the guy yet so she shouldn't be getting with the smoochy-thought-having. At least not yet."You're gonna meet a most extraordinary man.”
But he wasn’t a man. He wasn’t human, at least. But, then, what was he? Was he good? Evil? Well, considering Tara had said that ‘his destiny is one with hers’ she could hazard a guess and say that he wasn’t evil. Or... maybe he wasn't evil... just bad.
Dammit! What was with the Summers' girls and their habit of attracting the bad-boys?! That was the last thing she needed right now."You must save the Silver Prince from himself, Dawnie... He needs you.”
He needed her.
Dawn may be a lot of things, but she could say with complete honesty that she has never turned her back on someone that needed her. And he needs her, Tara had been pretty clear on that score. He needed her to save him from himself, to make him stop fighting and rest.
But just thinking that isn't going to made a difference. From everything Tara had said (and then what she hadn't
said) Dawn had a feeling that this wasn't going to be an easy... what could she call it? Case? Mission? Job?
No, not job. She had her new job, and she wasn't ready to let it mesh with her old life anymore than it already has. But, that wasn't something to think about right now. Right now she needed to dwell on this 'Silver Prince' guy that needed her to beat the tar outta him and make him take a much-needed nap. ‘The tough part’
Dawn thought wryly. Yep, she could just imagine that he would make it difficult. From what she got from Tara, this guy was a warrior. Dawn knew warriors. If he was anything like Buffy or Faith or most of the rest of her family, then chances were very good that he was going to kick and scream and fight her every step of the way.“I know you can do it, it'll just take some time."
That had to mean something. Tara believed in her. She trusted her. She'd... called her the 'Emerald Key'? Why had she done that? And why did she feel a tingle go up her spine whenever she thought about it? Yeah, the title did sound a bit self-explanatory, truth be told. But there had to be something more to it, right? More than just because she was the Key and the Key was green it meant that she was an emerald-anything. There had to be something more to it. Why call her that if it didn’t mean something? Did it have something to do with being cryptic? Cuz, if so, then it was spot on in that area.
Could it be tied in with this guy that Tara was saying she had to help? Maybe the two things tied in together? They had both been in the same dream, and Tara had called him 'the Silver Prince'. It did sound just as self-explanatory as ‘Emerald Key’, though she was still confused as to what it could mean.
Maybe it just meant that he was a prince... and silver? Or... maybe it had nothing at all to do with it. Dawn finished with her lotion and grabbed up her brush, attacking her long hair without fanfare. She just didn’t know what it all meant, only that she was using a lot of ‘maybe’s'.
There could be something in those books she brought with her from England. Those things were just packed with pages and pages of demons, and prophecies, and lore that may just hold something useful. Then again, if there was something about a being -whatever its species- known as the ‘Silver Prince’ having correspondence with an ‘Emerald Key’, then she should have already read about it, right. After all, she had spent so many hours and days simply pouring over those texts in the past that she could probably copy them verbatim at the drop of a hat.
Unless... unless they'd been in one of those books she suspected that Giles kept from her. The ones they hadn't denied holding back from her. Those damn books they wouldn't let her translate for fear that they might 'traumatize' the 'kid', or whatever B.S. they spouted off to themselves to absolve themselves of any guilt they may have felt.
She wondered just how much she didn't know about herself because they had hidden the books away “for her own good”. Well, she was going to find out!
Dawn jumped up from her bed and scooped up her cellphone. There were a couple of reputable books shops in town that she had looked up before she'd left London, so that's where she would start. She remembered most of the names of the books and tombs that Giles and Willow had kept from her. Hopefully, she'd be able to find them all at a single store because she really didn't fancy hopping all over New Jersey and New York trying to get them. She wanted to find out what the PtB had planned for her.“His destiny is one with yours.”
Besides that. She knew that he was supposed to be hers, already. This prince, whoever he was, was destined for her. A part of her couldn't help but point out that destiny always seemed to follow the Summers women. Destiny had made Buffy into the strongest -and longest living- Slayer to date. Destiny had then sent her this powerful key in the shape of a sister.
And now destiny was setting up that sister with her own destiny.
She didn't know whether to curse the PtB or thank them. Maybe she'll find out when she got a hold of those books.
Nails trailed over hips.
Lips dusted across a chest.
Strands of dark hair teased pale skin.
A gasp. A sigh.
Calloused hands sought the source of temptation. Found soft, pliant flesh.
Silver tresses tangled in burnt cinnamon locks. The perfect contrast.
Delicate fingers caressed battle scars; soothed away the old pain.
A moan. A growl.
Words whispered on the winds brushed over lightly pointed ears.
Electricity arced through the air.
"You think you know what you are? What's to come? You haven't even begun…"
Nuada shot up in bed, wide eyed and gasping for breath. For a few desperate seconds all he could do was breathe deep. His thoughts were all over the place and all he could focus on was the heavy gasps coming from his mouth. His chest heaved with every huff and sweat beaded over his alabaster skin, running down his clavicle and over his abs to absorb into the light sheet thrown haphazardly over his waist.
Slowly, he became aware of his surroundings. He was in his den off of the Troll's Market, surrounded by dank walls and remnants of his former renown. It would probably surprise the lords and ladies of court if they could see how he lived. What was likely even more surprising was that it didn't bother him to live in such a way. He felt closer to his people here. And he had learned so much from them.
When he had left the royal court so long ago with only his loyal friend Mr. Wink at his side, he knew next to nothing of living as a nomad. Mr. Wink had taught him much, though, and Nuada finally found his thirst for knowledge being quenched.
Nicknacks and bits and ends sat on tabletops and benches in his chambers showed just what he enjoyed doing with that knowledge. The finished fruits of his labor were proudly displayed everywhere the parts weren't taking up room. This rundown, dark and dank underground hovel was his sanctuary. It had started out as a simple means to an end, since this was the city in which his father had settled what remained of their once vast people, but had now become home to him.
Now that the pounding of his heart had slowed and Nuada could think more clearly, he began to remember his dream. It was fragmented, only coming back to him in bits and pieces. The thoughts danced away from him every time he tried to reach it, like smoke or fog, but came easily to him when he laid back and relaxed. He was jerking back up into a sitting position again in shock barely a minute later.
His hand flew to his chest, fingers ghosting over the plains of his skin, following the trail of that phantom touch from his dream. His eyes moved to follow the motion, wondering at how his touch on his own skin felt so different from what he had felt in his dream. It was more than simply the touch of a woman in his dreams. It had felt so real, as if that faceless maiden were actually in this hovel with him, seducing his sleeping form. But her touch had held something more.
Those fingers had become like hot brands across his flesh, burning away the pain memories caused him. The battle scars and lines marking his chest had become just so, no longer holding the thoughts of the past within them.
He felt it still. An after-image of her touch. Feeling the scars with his own hand didn't bring forth the painful recollections of all the wars he'd fought so long ago. It was dull now. As if there was something between himself and those dark memories. It was fading though, he could feel it. Soon it would be gone and he would be resistant to even look at his body again, dressing quickly in concealing garb to cover the marks.
But for now he relished in the peace from his anamnesis.
And he questioned who his dream-temptress was. Who was the inspiration for the dream?
An image of dark hair and green eyes flashed through his mind.
Could it be her? Nuada was horrified at the thought. He couldn't have had a romantic dream involving that- that- human
! He had only seen her once, for Danu's sake! Yes, she was slightly more attractive than most humans, but only just barely! He was an elven prince! There was no way she could effect him in such a way.
But that little voice in the back of his head was telling him differently.
In an effort to escape his suddenly unreasonable thoughts, Nuada vaulted up from his bed -nearly breaking his neck on the tangled sheets- and surged from the room. Sweeping up his lance as he entered the circular chamber next to the railway and moved into the middle of the room. Holding the lance in front of him with both hands, he took a deep cleansing breath, centering himself, and became a burst of movement.
The motions were graceful and smooth as he moved, the twirls and jabs fluid, as if he moved through water rather than the air. Spins and turns were carried out with deft ease, the muscle memory taking over as his mind went blissfully silent. Nimble, beautiful, motions as easy to him as breathing. The deadly dance was one he had mastered long ago. The blade had long been an extension of his arm.
As he began moving faster and faster, getting deeper into the repetition, he could feel his mind begin to wander back to his dream. He tried not to let it happen, but it wasn't long before he could remember almost every detail of that dream with startling clarity. What he remembered the most, though, was the words at the end."You think you know what you are? What's to come? You haven't even begun…"
What could those words mean?
He knew what he was. Nuada was the crown prince of the Clan Bethmoora elves; the Silver Prince. He was Silverlance. Son of King Balor and the future leader of the Golden Army. He was a warrior. A fierce patriot. He knew what he was. And no dream would ever question him!
What did it mean by 'what's to come'? The Golden Army? Yes, he knew very well what would happen when he summoned the Army to serve him once he had all the pieces. He knew very well. All the humans would die and his people would once more be able to step from the shadows, forests, and sewers these humans have banished them to. And of course he hadn't even begun! He'd barely even started searching for the crown piece the humans possessed.
The world would know when he truly began!
So... if those words were only speaking about his place with the Golden Army then why were they even in his dreams? A piece of his subconscious suddenly sprouting forth his hidden fears? But then why were those words at the end of his dream when there had been nothing in his dream to hint at what was to come. They had been spoken by a woman, though. That had to mean something. Whose voice had that been?
Not Nuala, that's for sure. He would be able to recognize her voice out of a crowd of screaming people. Her voice was like sad waters, like the blue of which she was so fond of. Oh, how he wished to hear his dear sisters voice again. It had been many many winters since he had last heard her, and his heart suffered for it. This voice was completely different than Nuala's. It was like sunshine, all warm and soft and comforting. But who could it be other than his dear sister? Her voice had always been the only one to disturb his dreams. So why was this one now doing so?
Nuada wished that his dear sister were here. She would know what this was about. Nuala had always been better suited at understanding other individuals emotions and the could-be meanings of dreams than he. It was just her way. He had always envied that about her.Nuala... my sister...
She did not answer him. He was not surprised. She never answered him anymore. The chamber in his heart where she dwelt had long-since become cold and empty, the cobwebs and dust filling it now familiar to him. She had not been there for quite some time, and his soul had suffered for it. She was his anchor. His light in this dark, evil world. And because of his fathers machinations he could not find her. He had always sought to shield her heart from the shadows and darkness of his.
It was a vain hope that he would not ‘corrupt’ her.
The pale prince dove through the air with careless abandon, slashing through nothing, but wishing it were his thoughts. Nuada landed in a crouch, head bent, suddenly feeling the loss of his sister more keenly then usual. His heart ached for her and he vainly called out for her again, begging her to answer him, just this once, but his call was once more unanswered. It just made the pain more palpable.
He knew she was near, could feel
that she was near, and yet there was no touching her. His father was willing to tear his heart to shreds just to “spare” hers. Nuada almost viciously thrust those emotions away before he became even more disconsolate. He'd come into this room to escape his troubling thoughts, not add more to them. It would not do to think on his sister right now. There was nothing he could do at this moment.
He stayed kneeling in that show of defeat that none would ever see him in willingly until he was sure his thoughts were his own again and would not deviate to thinking about the beautiful sister he longed to be with again.
A motion outside the doorway had him on his feet again in a flash, his lance held at the ready. He relaxed when he saw that it was only Mr. Wink stepping from the shadows that disturbed his silence.
Nuada sent him a tired smile as he walked over to where a towel lay and snatched it up from the anvil it had been carelessly tossed upon some time before. “Hello, old friend. Any news?” He asked, dabbing away the glistening drops from his face before then reaching for the canteen beside it for a drink of cool water.
Mr. Wink chose to ignore the tired look in his friends eyes as he shook his head in negative, rumbling a few choice words about how difficult it was to find out anything in the Aboveground for one such as him. He made sure to add a few rather colorful comments about the shoddy conditions and poor service of a few of the places of gossip that were open to a troll, for good measure. This made Nuada smile slightly, which had been Mr. Wink's intention.
His friend was looking much too serious lately. He didn't smile nearly as much as he used to. Looking for this crown piece was really starting to wear on the silver prince, and Mr. Wink could tell that it was beginning to effect his sleep. Now, he wasn't very smart -though much smarter than most trolls- but even he knew that that wasn't a good thing. But he wouldn't say anything. His friend needed a companion and ally right now, not a nanny.
“Well, my friend, it is only a matter of time until we find it.” Nuada said reassuringly, apparently not noticing the thoughtful look on his friends' visage. “It is in this city. I can feel it.” And he could. It was this feeling of absolute certainty in the pit of his stomach. That crown piece was nearby.
And he wanted it.
Sorry it's taken me so long to update this!! I was just very stuck on this chapter, and I had no idea where I was going to go with it. Not to mention my beta has kinda gone MIA on me, so I'm working double-time right now. I'm sorry to all of you that found that dream-thingy not to your liking. It was one of the things that I had asked my beta for help with before she went MIA, so I was kinda winging it there, walking a fine line between my morals and my somewhat dirty mind.
Bit of good news, though. I have a new laptop!! As I said in one of my previous chapters, my old laptop was a piece of crap and would randomly shut itself off in the middle of things. Well, earlier this year I got a new one! And it don't shut off!! Yay!
More good news, my sister (ya know, the preggers one I mentioned before) had her baby (a boy!) last year on Nov.6 (almost an hour after Guy Fawkes Day ended dammit!)! He's named Zachary and he was huge! My sis had him naturally at home, and he weighed in at a whopping 10lbs 4oz! And he was 22 ½ inches long! Even those of you that don't understand babies have to admit that that's big. I'm really thankful that my 7-yr old niece (well, she was 6 then) is such a heavy sleeper, cuz she was sleeping like a rock while her mom was just down the hall, screaming and yodeling in the middle of the night. I'm pretty sure that that would've traumatized her to hear.