Castle Roland


by D'Artagnon


Chapter 15

Posted: 24 Dec 14

Symbols, Signs, & the Meaning Behind

That night, Juan stayed in the spare room downstairs. Not that we wouldn't have been just fine with him in the room with us again. Actually, I wanted to just stay up all night with my two best friends and chat away most of the night, burn off some nervous energy, you know, goof off, watch movies and just try to be kids for a little while longer. But Kenny felt that if we were about to face mortal peril, certainly pain and doom and very likely the chance that a few of us might come home missing some parts, if we came home at all, well, he felt that every moment until we set out was precious.

We did stay up for a while watching movies, Juan lying across the beanbag chair, chest down, Kenny likewise belly down on a huge pillow, while I was laying sideways on the couch. Juan seemed to be better, which made me feel a hell of a lot better myself. I guess its part of his Redcap nature that he doesn't feel totally at ease unless he's about to go chew through something that would normally be impossible to eat.

About 2 am Juan got up and sleepily walked out mumbling something approximating good night in Spanish. I'm no linguist, so I don't know exactly what he said. All I do know is that as he left, he winked at me, smiled and softly closed the door. I watched him the whole way out, craning my neck about.

"Well, he's certainly in a better mood," I said, sighing. Just as I turned my head back around, though, Kenny was suddenly there. Somewhere between Juan saying goodnight and the door closing, Kenny had managed to get right up next to me. I looked up into his eyes and he pushed me flat on my back, straddling my hips. He had somehow also dropped his briefs well before getting over to me, because when my hands went up to his hips in surprise, I only encountered one layer of cloth, one of my slacker tee's that he was wearing like a nightshirt.

"Alone at last," he said, grinning down at me. He lowered himself down and kissed me gently on the forehead. Then down to my nose, then on the lips, just a delicate brush of flesh. He leaned back and let his hands drift to my chest, lightly scratching through the cloth of my own shirt. "Juan's great, isn't he?"

"Did you ask him to go?"

"No, he said we needed time alone. He told me it might be the last time, so, uh, well, he wanted to let us be together. He's really a good friend."

"Yeah, I guess so. Kenny, I'm still kinda weak, you know. My shoulder…"

"Then you just rest and enjoy. This is all for you, my Robby. My Robyn."

"Kenny, I…" but he prevented me from saying any more with his mouth on mine, his tongue going around inside my mouth, seeking the sharpness of my teeth, the slick silk of my tongue on his, even just tickling inside my gums. He was slow and deliberate, and his hands were in motion, trying to raise my tee shirt. Got to admit, my hands weren't idle either, riding up the fabric of his shirt, tickling his back and hips. He inhaled through his nose, still kissing me as I traced my fingers over his favorite spots on his back. He slipped the hem of my shirt up enough that his hard boyhood rested against my belly. He was raging hot against my skin and I felt him shudder at the contact of our flesh.

He backed up from the kiss long enough to try tugging off my boxer-briefs while he was still straddling me. It wasn't working but it made for several minutes of interesting attempts, punctuated with giggling and squeals as he tried pulling the waistband past Mr. Pickle and the twins while still sitting right on top of them.

"You know, it's not gonna work like this."

"Oh really?" he said, raising his hips off of me and then stared at me, crossing his eyes and blinking rapidly. My underwear practically shot itself off me, smacking into the farther end of the couch. My eyes shot open in not-so subtle shock as he settled down over my hips again. "How's that?"

"Cheater!" I said, savoring the Glamour of his quick pants removing cantrip. I sat up under him and brought my hands up under his tee shirt, sliding it up. My hands were spread wide, applying very slight pressure against his ribs and back as I pulled his shirt up. He fairly groaned under the teasing contact, leaning his back into my fingers. I kissed his neck and then used my teeth to help lift the shirt up over his shoulders, grazing his skin with my pearly whites.

His hands quickly helped get my shirt up to my arms, but just as he had the fabric covering my face, arms trapped and bent over my head, he pulled the fabric tight. I tried to wiggle free, feeling his breath through the fabric before me, feeling him nibbling at my face through the cloth, but he had me trapped, thoroughly at his mercy.

For a moment I was frightened, not sure what he might be up to. But then he began teasing me again, his breath and his fingers and his mouth finding open spots of skin to dig into. He nibbled at my nipples, let his hot breath tickled against my throat and collar bones, his free hand tracing a single finger up and down my back. He had me guessing what he was doing and for some reason, not knowing, not being able to stop, help or even meet him half way made it all the more erotic for me. I was helplessly his, and I loved every second of it. Oh, I struggled against his hold on my arms, don't get me wrong, but that just seemed to make it better for both of us.

He let go of my shirt, basically letting me free of the trap, but I left it in place as he started kissing down my body, his fingers on both hands trailing seductively down my belly, around the crests of my hip bones and across the white flesh of my upper thighs. I knew where his first destination was and I was so ready to feel his hot mouth envelop my aching cock. The anticipation was mounting in me, even as he began to trace his fingers back and forth across my inner thigh, never keeping any kind of pattern. Again, I still couldn't see, and he was teasing me to no end.

"I wonder what this does?" Kenny said playfully, licking the inside of my left thigh, and I shuddered as he brought his teeth down and grabbed the thick band of muscles that comes from my butt forward into the inside thigh. He didn't bite, but just put enough pressure there that he had a solid grip. His hair brushed against my leaning tower of meatza, passing like a silken wave against the underside of my dick and tickling ever so gently against my scrotum. I tried to pull my hips back, to get more contact with his hair on me, but it wasn't working. Then I felt him apply a powerful suction against my thigh muscle. For a second it was like pain, like pleasure, like hot and cold and streaming sunlight and spikey pain all at once. He just kept sucking against my thigh, his teeth putting almost a crushing pressure on me, his lips vacuum sealed to my skin.

"Oh, god, Kenny, what are you doing to me?" I moaned, caught between pleasure and pain. I felt like he was actually trying to suck my bone out through the leg. The sensation caused pins and needles in my wrists and ankles, and I could almost feel like every blood vessel (especially the ones in my throbbing boy meat) was suddenly caught and pulled backwards by the force of Kenny's suction. Like he was using my blood itself to make me go absolutely friggin' outta my head nuts.

Mind you, he hadn't touched my dick with anything more than his hair since he got off my hips. Nothing, nada, zilch, nil, zero, zip. Yet here he was just holding me perfectly still, his mouth still locked like a lamprey onto my thigh, and he nearly had made me cum, just by doing that. My breathing quickened and I felt that muscle harden with the blood building up there.

He released his grip, the suction gone and he must have flicked the spot he had bitten with his finger, because it stung like hell. And then the blood surged back through my body and I did cum, not hard, not anything earth shattering, but it seemed to rise up in me and dribble down the length of my cock, just sliding out. I cried out once and then sighed long and slow as the feeling speed throughout my body, every blood vessel an extension of my dick.

I eased my arms out of my shirt, pulled it off my head and then just let everything go totally slack. Riding the bliss of the afterglow. I wanted to kiss Kenny, to hold him against me, promising to try that with him once I got my breath back, but he apparently wasn't done yet.

He lifted my legs apart and set them up on his shoulders. I looked up at him in sudden awe at what I though he was contemplating. "Kenny?"

"You didn't think we were done yet, did you, Beloved?" His voice was suddenly husky, dark, heavy, like his breathing.

"I want to do, uh, whatever it is you just did to me to you. I just need a sec."

"I'm not finished with you yet," he snarled. It was a different thing to hear from Kenny and at first I thought it was kinda funny, like how you laugh at something someone does because it isn't a joke but it just seems right to giggle about it. He smiled down at me, but it was kinda a hungry smile. Like he was about to satisfy his own need for something as well as satisfy me. And you know what? Whatever it was, I was suddenly totally prepared for. I wanted to do whatever he had in mind, mostly because I knew that it was his dream, his fantasy.

"In Cerulean, I was the girl. I was your betrothed, and we kinda practiced for the wedding night a few times before everything went wrong. We did it slow, we did it nice and we did it rough and fast and nasty," he said, moving lower against my legs with his shoulders, bringing his tongue down to lick at my cum slickened penis, to lap at the pool of my rather meager spurting that had formed on my sack, between the twins. He looked up at me over the hump of my own chest. "And while we've both done each other here, like we are now, I've never gotten rough with you, like I've always wanted to, like how I like it when you sometimes are in me."

"And this may be our last chance to try?" I said, licking my lips.

"This may be our last chance at anything, Robby." He stopped and looked up at me. "I love you. You know that, don't you?"

"Kenny," I said, sitting up, opening my legs so that we were face to face. "I love you more than I love myself, more than my own life. I would do anything for you. I'll give up the throne, let whoever wants to claim Cerulean as his own take it if it means I can spend this lifetime and the next and the next, for all eternity, with you. I want to be watching football games with you on TV when we're both old and gray. I want to have a home and a life with you. I want only you." I kissed him on the cheek. "Just you."

"You make me so happy," he said. "This thing we have to do tomorrow, chasing down that dragon, Robby… I'm scared. This might be the final curtain, the true final death for us."

"I know," I said, sobering. We just held on for a long time, not tight, not hard, just the two of us, eye to eye, foreheads together, with our arms about each other, mine at his hips, his around my neck. "Kenny?" I said at length, looking into his face. "Do you remember our oath?"

"About dying together?"

"No, the Oath of Clasped Hands. The one that you started and we repeated to each other when you stabbed me a few days back."

"I remember," he said, his fingers tracing the edges of my Cold Iron scar on my shoulder.

"There's an oath even stronger than that, isn't there. The one we would have said… should have said had we been properly married those eons ago in Cerulean."

"Yes, milord, there is such an oath."

"Would you take that oath with me now?" I asked, my hands slightly trembling. Ever since Kenny and I found each other again, my hand has been steady and true where he's concerned. There might be a tremble in the heat of passion, when a certain nerve gets moved a certain way, but other than that, I've had no problems with just putting my skin on his, in any way either of us wanted. Now, asking him this, I felt like it was the first time we were alone together, the first time we were bold and experimenting together, the first nervous, intimate touch of a young male Fawn and an Eshu girl with dazzling gray eyes, both of them locked in love and lust and trust with each other, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Yeah, I was fully nervous. I had just asked Kenny to recite with me an oath that was as binding as marriage (and more powerful than a team of divorce lawyers). It was frightening and exciting and terrible and glorious at the same time. And the look in Kenny's eyes, the look of absolute joy was tinged with a certain reservation.

"You aren't asking just because we may both be Undone, are you?"

"Actually, I was kinda half hoping you'd say no." The mouth was on autopilot, taking my thoughts and saying them without asking the second guessing part of my brain for confirmation. I almost regretted saying it.

"You were?"

"Yeah, for one reason. And one reason only, Beloved," I said. He looked at me with slight confusion for a moment and then we said it simultaneously, both smiling.

"No Words."

"None needed, my love. None will ever be right enough."

"Oh, Robby, I'd take that oath with you in a heartbeat, but you're right. We're already everything that oath pledges, and more. No words," he said and kissed both of my horns and then down between them and then down my nose to my mouth.

"So, what was this thing you had a mind to try?" I asked, between kisses. He grasped my ball parkness and caressed my face with the other supple hand. His grin turned slightly competitive, slightly aggressive, and one hundred percent all boy.

"I wanna fuck you into unconsciousness!" he said, coming forward at me with an almost feral aspect to his face. I'd never seen him so aggressive at sex and I have to admit it was one hell of a turn on!

Okay, so we hadn't been at it for that long, at least in this incarnation, but my memories of other times were pounding back down the door of forgotten memories, and I can't ever remember Kenny, Kay or any of his previous variations ever being like this. I was so excited that I got hard all the way in just a few seconds. His kisses were hard, powerful things, with his tongue dominating mine, forcing me to stay in my mouth.

It didn't take him long to get me ready. Usually, two fingers is enough, since neither of us is carrying heavy lumber in our jockeys (not that I would say that to anyone, a guy's got to have some pride, you know). Besides, I think he was anxious to get to it. An I'll tell you, I was more than a little ready for him. After that thing with my leg, anything on his mind would have been fine with me!

He entered me slowly, squeezing past my body's natural protection slowly. I tried to relax and help ease him in, but it just wasn't happening. I was too keyed up. He eventually got lodged past the entrance and paused above me, sweating. My hands went to his shoulders to rest as he panted above me. His eyes were closed in concentration. I reached up with my head and licked a growing drop of sweet sweat off of his nose. He kept his eyes closed yet smiled down at me. I let my fingers toy with the back of his head, twirling in his dark hair as he slowly sank the rest of the way in me.

I didn't have long to wait. Like I said before, neither of us is hung like a bear (and we've had a chance to compare, we're fairly much the same size). We're more hung like puppies. Well, that's not true either. Let's just say that we aren't gonna be staring in porno's anytime soon. We haven't grown enough yet to be hanging out with the big guys.

Anyways, Kenny reached the end, his belly pressing on mine, with my dick stuck between us. I held him tight then, hooking my feet behind his knees to hold him against me. I think we both like that part of sex a lot. I mean, all the rest is good too, and I just totally lose myself in the after-sex heat and tingles, but that moment before it starts getting vigorous, before it gets all grunty and sweaty and you are trying to please yourself as much as him, that moment when he's (or when I'm, when we do it the other way) fully inside you (him), I wouldn't trade that moment for anything in the world.

That feeling of being totally full of someone else, or being fully in someone else. That sense that your love is not just something you write on a greeting card or tell someone across an internet connection. That awesome moment of being totally one with someone else, of joining, of taking up the same space, that makes sex with Kenny so fantastic for me. I mean, I like getting off with him as well, but just being part of him, him being part of me, of not feeling lonely… that is worth a thousand orgasms to me.

And Kenny is worth a million, even if he's just sitting beside me. So you can imagine that when we just lay there, delicately kissing and nibbling at each others ears, just waiting for my body to relax, that moment was more of a bonding moment for us than even the best sex we've ever had would be. You may not think so, but then again, you don't have a Kenny of your own. If you did, you'd understand. Even if you don't, you might understand, simply because you want one. Well find your own, pal. I've got mine!

"You ready?" he asked, breathlessly as he raised his weight up off me on his arms. The combined heat we released just doing that caused a small wind in the room, a breeze blowing across our chests. I looked him in the eyes as his elbows locked out.

"Do me!" I whispered, harshly. For some reason, I wanted him to be hard, brutal, powerful. I needed to be pounded into, laid hard and flat, pushed to the edge and then over it, just as much as he needed it for himself. "C'mon, Kenny, give me all you've got!"

He pulled back roughly, and I felt my butt muscles clench, clamp and strain in protest. Then he surged forward with his hips, and his cock head slammed hard inside me, pushing rudely at the soft muscles of my backside, banging hard on that spot inside. My head rocked back almost at once and my legs shook as a powerful jolt ran through me. It wasn't an orgasm all by itself, but he had just put me so close so fast that I nearly lost it. I felt my throat tighten as I stifled a very loud groan. He arched his back as he made that first brutal thrust, hammering my hips with his, his teeth gnashed with his effort. I found my hands pulling at the small of his back, trying to get his hips to follow his cock and just shove him fully into me.

He began in earnest then, his hair dripping in sweat, swaying back and forth except where it clung to his forehead. I kept trying to bring my knees up to my chest, and he grabbed the underside of my butt, lifting, one hand actually grabbing onto my stubby Satyr tail to keep a grip. He pounded into me relentlessly and I tried my best to grind up onto him, twisting, writhing. He brought me to a small orgasm from the inside and kept on pounding me through it, no mercy. I cried out in an odd mix of pain and pleasure but he didn't stop.

"Oh God, Kenny, that's so good… ugh! Oh yeah! Oh gododgodohgod oh gawd!"

He grunted above me like some animal trapped in a cage. I felt his arms switch from holding his weight up above me to grabbing me under my butt and back, and he lifted me up, while he was still inside me, and sat me down on his still throbbing cock. I was half out of it, still twitching against his cock while he moved my legs around. He grabbed my ankles while I was coming back to myself and lifted me from there.

My hands flew to his shoulders for balance as he brought me back down on his cock, my own weight pushing me hard down onto him. I tossed my head back and let him slide my body up and down on him, concentrating on using my internal muscles against him, trying to do what he had done for me back in the shower stall in Salisbury. I wound up using my thighs to help lift me higher and then back down onto him. But this wasn't working as well as he'd hoped. He was rapidly becoming frustrated, I could see it in his eyes, hear it in his frantic breathing.

Without warning, he lifted me up by the small of my back, twisted about violently and threw both of us, still connected by his dick, to the other side of the couch, my head landing next to my underwear. He then began to pummel me rapidly, grinding our hips together like he was the pounding surf of a surging ocean tide and I was the rockbound coast of Maine. His eyes got a wild look of abandon and I knew he was desperate to cum, that he was feeling it starting, but he couldn't quite finish yet. He needed something more.

I clawed my hands as he focused his whole being on jamming himself into me and I dug into the flesh of his chest. I scratched along his chest, brought one hand up to his neck and grabbed the back of his neck firmly while my other hand went to his hips and dug into his butt. His eyes rolled back into his head and he groaned loudly, something that almost sounded like my name. That's when I felt him shooting, his spurts driving hard against my insides. I came again then, with him, calling out his name as well as he stopped his assault and simply tried to push his pelvis through mine. He collapsed on top of me, nearly ramming his forehead into mine as we fell together in a heap on the couch.

I just held him to me, letting our sweat mingle as he panted against me, trying to regain his breath. Our body heat multiplied almost at once and I licked his face, tasting his salt. His heart was bounding against mine through our chests, and I felt him shrink and slide out of me even as we lay together, twined up like snakes in a mating ball.

"That was so awesome, Kenny," I said, my fingers getting thoroughly sweat soaked against his hair as I stroked his head. He lay his head against my shoulder, still recovering his breathing. "I love you, my Kenny. My Kay Neth."

"Glad… glad you liked it," he panted. He nuzzled against my neck and pulled his chest tightly against mine. I rolled us to a more side by side position on the couch, rolling him to the outside. Still we held on, which was kinda a common practice with us. Even after the bodies returned to normal breathing and pulse and heart speed, we just savored the touch of each other. Even when we couldn't stand the sensations running through our overworked boyhood's, we just needed to be together.

"I'm glad you liked it, too. We gottah do that some more."

"Not just now," he rasped out. "So drained."

"Yeah, me too. And I know where some of that drained out to," I joked. He tried to stop giggling but he couldn't, despite his breathing almost returning to normal.

"Not funny," he managed to giggle out.

"I guess not," I replied.

He sat back from our tight embrace and looked me in the eyes suddenly all serious. "I'd follow you anywhere, Robyn."

"I know, Kay Neth."

"And I'll always love you. Always."

"No words," I said.

"No words," he smiled back.

We kissed gently, then, just letting our lips touch for a moment. He broke our embrace and stood up, giving me a hand up. My ass hurt. I'll be honest. If felt great when Kenny was ramming into me like a pile driver, but I was sore when I tried to move around. It wasn't the kind of pain that said "you're hurt, you'll never be the same, you need a doctor." It was more like the kind of pain you get from sitting in the car too long, or like how your arm feels in the morning if you sleep on it wrong. It was just my body trying to go back to normal. Kenny usually didn't bang me that hard. I guess the soreness was to be expected.

We made our way to Kenny's bathroom and took a shower together, washing each other, Kenny making sure I was okay before washing my back. His hands were gentle and shaky, but I knew it was his concern showing through. I smiled and brought him up to my face to kiss him after he finished. He smiled and kind of just leaned against me and buried his head on my good shoulder.

I don't know how long we stayed in the shower like that, but the water started to go cold, so I turned it off and let Kenny just hold me as I was holding him. "Beloved," I said, rubbing his back, feeling the muscles there twitch. "It's gonna be really hard to get any sleep like this."

"I don't want to sleep. All my dreams are coming true in you right now."

"We have a lot to do tomorrow, Kenny."

"I know, and I don't want tomorrow to get here."

"We can't stop the sun."

"Robby… I'm really scared."

"So am I, but we have no choice. If I don't face it, it's gonna keep on killing."

"I know. I just… Robyn, my Eshu nature says it's the right path to follow, but I don't know. I have a bad feeling about this."

"If it makes you feel any better, so do I."

"I didn't bring you into the magical world just so that you could be killed less than a week later."

"Yeah, well, I don't intend on just getting killed. You're not getting rid of me that soon. Especially after what we just did on the couch."

"Did I hurt you?"

"I'll be okay. That was really awesome, Kenny. I think we both needed it like that."

"Yeah, I guess we both did. It was kinda awesome."

"Just remember that we can be like that too, you know. Any way either of us needs it… you know."

"No words," he smiled. "Not that I don't like being this close to you, but could we get some towels?"

"Thought you'd never ask," I quipped. We got out, dried each other quickly, took care to get our hair combed right and then stood staring at ourselves in the mirror.

"I think we're as ready as we're gonna be, my lord," Kenny said, reaching back to my face as we stared at ourselves together, me just behind Kenny.

"It'll have to be enough, Kay. We'll have to be enough."

"May you win all your battles."

"May you always know the right path, my love." I leaned my chin on his shoulder, holding him from behind even as his arm snaked up to hold my head.

We left the bathroom and climbed into bed, facing each other, gently holding each other and fell to sleep.

Sometime later, while it was still dark out, I woke to the sound of crying and found Kay had turned away from me, spooned inside my arms.

"Kay? Hey, Kenny?"

"I'm alright," he said, sniffing back tears. "I just wondered about what it would have been like if we hadn't left Arcadia. If we'd been truly married."

"Hey, listen… even as young as we are, as we were back then… I remember only one thing worth saving. US!"

"Robby, I… I want to take the Oath of Truehearts with you."

"No words, Kenny. We both already belong to each other. No oath we could say is strong enough to match what we already have." And in the darkness of the night sky above, a flash of rippling lightning shattered the sky's shadows, illuminating a gathering of clouds.

"No words," he repeated, leaning back into me. I simply held him until I heard his breathing return to the normal flow and pattern sleep. I nuzzled the back of his neck and then fell to sleep myself.

But sleep wasn't a safe place either. I'm not sure what spurred it on, but somehow I wound up awake in my dream. It sounds weird to say it now, but that's kinda like how it felt like. More real than dreams, less dream than reality, yet some kind of focusing of both extremes. I found myself on some kind of open lava field, yet the fiery molten rock beneath my feet both supported me like solid ground and didn't burn me. Now if that wasn't unreal enough for you, both of me was there. Robby and Robyn, as two different people.

It was hard to tell which body I was truly in. To be honest, I think I was in both. Both bodies moved and seemed to feel the same thing, even though they were separated by about two meters. We even looked at myselves (oh, you know what I mean, geeze this is hard to explain).

In the dream, it was Us/Me alone, and then the lava field erupted, showering magma chunks the size of school buses and compact cars down all around us. I/We ran, jumping over partly cooled lava rocks and dodging falling debris like linebackers. Just as We/I reached the end of the crater rim that rose up before us, the Robyn me jumped straight up on his powerful Satyr legs and scrambled up onto the top. But the Robby me couldn't make that leap. He just didn't have the leg strength.

Robyn used a fast cantrip and shot Robby up to the edge of the rim, reaching out to grasp his hand and help him up. Together they turned and bolted down the side of the slope and ran until they ran to a snow covered embankment. Robby ran to a toboggan and gestured wildly for Robyn to join him/me. We/I used the toboggan to slide down the slope, gaining speed, Robyn holding tightly to Robby for dear life. Something was pursuing, something unstoppable, something that neither mortal dreams nor changeling Glamour magicks could prevail against. Something we had both failed to see, both failed to recognize.

The snow gave way to grassy hillside and the toboggan slid to a halt. I/We looked back and a shadow fell over Us/Me. Whatever it was We/I only got a brief glance at it before I/We decided to run for it. The toboggan left behind I/We headed for the small village down at the bottom of the valley from the hill. Somehow, without even knowing why or how, I/We knew that the thing We/I was so afraid of was still stalking, still chasing, and gaining ground.

I/We gained the village and looked around. Everything was distorted, like looking at a 3-d movie without the special glasses. My/Our eyes were looking at both the enchanted and the physical world at the same time, overlapping. I/We had to shake my head to the sense of double vision. Still, the thing came on, relentless, terrifying even in its ambiguity. The sense of rushing danger and raw fear on an adrenaline and Glamour fueled power-up gripped Me/Us.

Then a great crash happened, and a large building was squashed and shattered at the same time. The thing chasing turned into the dragon, gianormous and terrible as it reached into the wreckage of the building. It pulled out a small, old woman and turned to face Us/Me. The beast held the woman before it in one huge clawed hand, and instantly I/We recognized the woman as Queen Mab.

"Only you will be able to save my people! You must pull yourself together!" the Queen shouted. The dragon crushed Mab in his fist, however, killing her instantly and then biting her head off. The dragon spat the head down at My/Our feet and shouted. It's voice was like a craggy piece of granite dragged across slate.

"Atlantis was fun; let's do it again!" And then the whole world went blinding white then painfully, coldly dark.

I sat up in the bed, and a pain shot through my left shoulder as I inadvertently jerked that arm out from under Kenny. He woke a moment after that, looking about in confusion.

"Robby?" he said with a sleepy growl to his voice. "What is it?"?

"Bad dreams," I said, hunching over. Kenny's hand found my back and rubbed small circles there.

"Tell me?" he asked, and I smiled slightly, laying back down. He leaned over me, supported on his elbow and looked down on me in the darkness. I told him the entire dream, making sure he understood that I was both of me, but separate. Even retelling how I told it to him was weird. He gently caressed my face as I finished the tale.

"This is not as bad as it sounds." He shifted his weight so he was lying belly down on the waterbed. "It's a meaning dream."


"Look at all the symbolism here. Both sides of who you are helping each other to survive. That's the changeling way. A powerful fearful thing you are running from, that turns out to be the dragon. Well that part's a no brainer."

"Good thing. I'm pretty sure you're the brains of this operation," I sighed, turning over on my belly as well.

"Don't put yourself down. Besides, you're the hero here. I'm just the one who shares your bed."

"Now look who's playing martyr!"

"Okay, we both have significant parts to play," he smiled. "The dragon crushing and spitting out Queen Mab's head is a sure sign that the entire kingdom is in danger. Her calling to you is just part of your own personality telling you to get it in gear. You are her champion. Saving the kingdom is your responsibility."

"Could you explain something to me?"


"This bit about me being Mab's champion. It pissed Donna Trag off and made both Korbesh and Grahame uneasy. Exactly what kind of status does that give me here? Cause I get the feeling it's a hell of a lot more than I think it is."

"Well, what it effectively means is that your words carry the weight of the crown royal behind them. You are basically an extension of Mab's will. It's a great deal of authority."

I sighed again. I kept getting deeper into the politics of the land instead of just getting deeper into my own ambitions, my own dreams. "So I'm Mab's super cop, now, huh?"

"That's about the size of it. You're expected to be her strong arm, especially now that she knows you're back."

"Great. Grand. Lovely."

"Oh don't take it so hard," Kenny said bonking my head sideways with his left hand. "You knew that there was more going on from the moment you stepped into Donna Trag's court. You could feel that everyone was worried that your mere appearance would have upset all their little power games and plans."

"Well, maybe. Mostly I was looking at Grahame and the Redcaps."

"You might know more than you know. All of your memories aren't back yet."

"So you're saying that bits and pieces of what happened in the past, of things I once knew, all that's just happening?"

"Something like that."

"You know, if I didn't just live all this, I'd think it was pretty weird."

"All of it?" he asked, slyly.

"Well, got to admit, it's not run of the mill. I mean, this isn't what you hear about in school. Reality for normal folks must really suck."

"I kinda like being in two places at once, living beyond the bounds."

"Well, it's only been a few days back for me, but so far," I broke off, biting my lower lip for a second, "despite all the scary bullshit and the pressure and the political crap, I'm starting to like seeing things in different ways. And even if I have to give it all up tomorrow, the only thing I want to take away from this whole week is fencing… and you."

"Awww, you're just saying that because you like fooling around with me," he teased.

"Kenny, we could never do it again, I'd still be with you, always."

"I'd hope not."


"I don't mean that I don't want you. I mean that I hope we never stop doing it. You know?"

"Well, just so long as we come up for air. And food. And something to drink once in a while."

"I swear, sometimes I think you've got a three track mind. Food, fighting, & fucking," he grinned. "The three F's."

"Not necessarily in that order," I returned quickly. "So everyone is worried that I'm here to step on toes for the Queen?"

"That's one way to look at it. Another way might be to say that you are an unexpected level of authority that can pretty much do almost anything you want as long as the Queen backs you."

"Whoa! That's mad deep."

"Yeah? Well, so's the courage of the guy with that authority."


"No seriously. She wouldn't have chosen you for that if she didn't have faith in your abilities, both with a blade and in figuring out tough problems."

"As long as my herald is with me the whole way, I'll be able to live up to that. I need my wisdom," I tapped him on the chest, "as well as my strength."

"Now look who's flattering who."

"It's true, Kay. I'm still floundering in the dark here. Aside from kicking ass and being one myself, I don't know as much about being a changeling as you do. I'm lost without you, more ways than one."

"You always were," he said, tucking a strand of his hair behind his ear.

"Tell me about before, something from Arcadia, from Cerulean… from home."

"Are you sure you want to hear about that?"

"Kay, I'm fighting dragons and ghosts here. At least let me know about the ghosts as I face the dragon down."

"Alright," he said, sitting up. He lifted my shoulders and placed them in his lap, so my head was resting against his belly. "Comfy?"


"Let's see if we can stimulate another memory." He began stroking my forehead, between my horns. "Do you remember the palace?"

"No. Maybe. There were three towers?" He nodded down at me. "My parent's had one, another was for visitors and the last tower… the last one had the magic stuff in it?"

"That's right."

"There was… some kind of huge wall, facing out over the forest?"

"You are remembering."

"And there was this small stream in the forest. A spot where the water dripped down several levels of little waterfalls, none deeper than knee high… that's where we used to meet." He only grinned down at me, his hands working through my hair and between my horns. "I'd take my unicorn out there. His name was… Onyx, because he was jet black."

"Batting a thousand so far."

I chuckled as a memory came back to me. "Onyx wasn't a very good steed. He liked to take his own course through the woods and kept trying to knock me off by running under low branches. Dad said he was destined to be the herd stallion. God, I loved that horse."

"He was as rebellious at times as you were."

"Yeah. When… when we were betrothed I gave you a dappled yearling mare unicorn with a silvery mane and tail. You called her…"

"Goszymer," we said as one. "I do remember!"

"And I was sad because you gave me such a beautiful gift, yet I had nothing for you."

"But you did give me something," I said, the memories coming to me stronger now. "You held my face with both hands… god, we must have only been about 8 at the time, and you kissed me, right between my horns," I tilted my head up against him, seeking his eyes in the darkness. "That's when we made the Oath of Clasped Hands, right there in the presence of our parents and siblings. You started it and before I even knew what I was saying, I was saying it with you." I saw him actually grinning down on me, a tear peeking around the corner of his cheeks. "We used to play by that wall as children. Your parents were over to the castle about three times a week so we could visit. When we were a little older than that, we found the stream in the forest and the little waterfalls."

"Do you remember what I called the waterfalls?"

"I think so," I giggled. "You called them bum-thumpers, because we went swimming in the stream one time and fell down the entire set of them and our butts were sore from each fall."

"That was a fun day. That was the first time we made love, as I recall. I used to love to run in that forest, or take Goszymer and Onyx out there and dodge trees."

"We actually were out in the forest when the palace got attacked," I said, my memories turning sour. I could feel the worry lines forming between my horns, and Kenny let his hands drift to my cheeks and chin. "That's how we escaped. We were already out and away. It was some sort of family picnic, oh, it was my sister Gwynethir's birthday! But we had broken away to be alone. Sherwyn…. He tried to warn us, told us to warn my father, but we hid in the forest instead."

"We couldn't go around them. There were far too many to fight, and for some reason, our powers were blocked," Kenny explained.

"We were helpless… trapped." I felt him brushing at my eyes and there was wetness there. My cheeks burned. I turned over in his lap and wept like a child, like I was four years old again, and scared of the dark. Kenny just held me in his lap, held me and petted my hair and cried with me. He had lost parents on that night as well, oh so long ago, when the Dragon's Ire was lighting the skies all over Cerulean.

The memories were coming unbidden to me now. We had barely escaped, hounded the whole long night by beasts and dark knights and their wicked weapons and dauntain warriors with their hideous powers to drain the Glamour right out of a fae's very soul. We barely found sanctuary and decided to try one of the safe trods on Capricus' ship, with Caspian and a few of my father's loyal knights protecting us on the dangerous journey to the Earth realm. As we left, sailing into the Dreaming itself, we watched as Cerulean burned. My parent's final fate, as that of my younger brother and all my sisters I'll never know for certain, for none else save our band, in five small ships, managed to escape the sacking of Cerulean, at least none that I had ever met. Other loyalists that were already in the Earth realm rallied to our cause, but by then, all the trods home had dried up. There would be no counter-attack, no reclaiming the throne, no hope of home.

And I finally understood what we had lost in the exile. Not just a home, and a place of power. Not just family and a place full of magic. When we lost Arcadia we lost our identity. We lost a lot of ourselves. The throne no longer meant anything to me, but the land did. It wasn't just my family that had been supplanted and murdered that night. A lot of people of all kiths had lost out on that score. A lot of them never even stood a chance. The carnage was too swift, too overwhelming, too well planed for anything we could have done to have mattered.

And that burned me deep down. I might only be a kid in this incarnation, but I suddenly felt the full weight and power of my family's monarchy resting on my shoulders. Sky Fire was my crown and my destiny. I had chosen it without knowing the consequences, but like so much else in life, I was beginning to see, you just have to deal with things as they come at you. And like so many other revelations, something else just came to me, forming in my mind in the heart of the memories and the anguish and the anger.

Rolling partway off his lap I reached up and drew Kenny's sweet lips down near mine, and in the darkness I kissed him gently once. "I know what we must do, once this dragon is dealt with. I know now."

"What, Beloved?"

"Justice," I said, and drew him back by my side. I held him through the night, and slept. The morning's light would be upon us far too soon, and we had much to do the next day.

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