A talk with the elf

(( It should be noted that this takes place shortly before Darion Mograine sends Valinar on a quest in which he's tasked with recovering Light's Vengeance, and several days before Shadow's Edge sends Valinar out on A Feast For Souls. ))

Eight years of journals was a great deal to sift through. Ovistine had, at first, started at the beginning and worked her way forward, looking at entries about her mum's return from the war and all the speculation her older self had done about where Nancie had been, who she'd been with, why she'd come home the way she had–but it was a hell of a lot of reading in order to find out that yes, Mum had eventually gone back to fighting, because Mum was a fighter at heart. Well, fine; Ovistine knew that already.

Of more interest were entries that started five or so years back, entries about an elf–an elf named Valinar, who started off as "Mum's friend from the Stormpike Guard" and eventually progressed to just "the elf".

Ovistine wrapped a braid around her wrist a few times, tugging on it nervously as the entries kept coming. Found an anonymous bag of candy hearts in the mail today, which have been meticulously picked through to leave just the ones that say "Be Mine", "You're The Best", and "I'll Follow You All Around Azeroth". I put them under my Ultrasafe Magnifier and found traces of thorium dust, which wasn't so telling as the purple hair that clung to the outside of the bag. I only know so many elves with purple hair, and I'm quite sure the bag did not come from Harken.

She nearly choked on her own tongue as she got to the entries about being trapped in shadow, patting herself down all over to be sure there was no sign of leftover troggishness. She hadn't noticed anything, but then she hadn't exactly been looking. The entries throughout the shadow days were all transcribed, occasionally marked with strange numbers–perhaps Gnomish binary?

Mention of a few dinners out in Ironforge, a restaurant Ovistine had never heard of called the Barking Murloc; detailed entries on the elf's search for Ironfoe and how she'd helped him find it; the way she'd brought him home for Pilgrim's Bounty and then Winter Veil, and all the while, little mentions of him even if he wasn't part of the day's events…

She put the latest journal down and swallowed hard. There was nothing for it; she was going to have to have a talk with Valinar herself.

* * *

The Barking Murloc had sounded intriguing, and it seemed like as good a place to have this conversation as any. Valinar was eager enough to have dinner with her, and over a nice plate of appetizer-sized sausage links–all different sorts of sausage, with a flight of beers to match them–she fidgeted a little, trying to work out how to ask what she wanted to ask.

"This is quite nice," Valinar said, lifting a bite of spicy goat sausage and nodding at the hearty stout suggested for it. "The richness of the stout stands up well to the spices."

"Aye, it's a tasty bit there," Ovistine said. "I liked the pork sausage with truffles meself."

Valinar nodded. "That was good, too."

She sighed and twisted her napkin in her lap. "I wish I remembered this place."

Valinar's expression turned immediately sympathetic. "No progress on recovering your memory, then?"

"None so far. But I have been reading up on her–my–our journals, the last eight years, an'–" She sighed and dropped the napkin; better now than later, she supposed. "Valinar, forgive my needing to ask, but–are we dating?"

Valinar blinked a few times and sat back; he polished off the last of the stout before answering. "I… wasn't sure if we'd quite… gotten there, yet," he said.

"That explains the vague bits," Ovistine muttered. Valinar seemed puzzled, and Ovistine sighed. "She was–I was–she didn't really ever say it. Which is why I had to ask. But she obviously–" She blushed and pulled one of her braids into her lap. "I mean, you're clearly someone she–"

And how fair was it, talking about herself as if she was someone else entirely? To the elf sitting across from her, she was still Ovistine Lighthammer; a Lighthammer lass with eight years fewer memories, but a Lighthammer all the same.

"–that is," she said softly, "from all I've read, I care about you a great deal. An' I can understand that. You're tough an' kind an' you drink like a dwarf."

"Thank you," Valinar said. His ears seemed to bounce a little at the compliments; Ovistine could see why her future-self had found them so adorable. "I care for you, too, Ovistine."

"Aye, but–" Ovistine sighed. "It was different when it was just me. Me an' maybe Mum an' Da, I guess, an' some old friends. Mum's not changed much, Da's just the same as ever, Agness an' Vaelen have gone an' got married, but that's hardly unexpected, an' certainly I've new people to get to know all over again, but–" She blinked across the table at him. "But if you were–if we were–I mean, even if we're not yet but maybe we were going to–I mean, I brought you home to Pilgrim's Bounty an' you met my grand-da Arktur an' you still came back for Winter Veil!"

At that, Valinar smiled just a little. "Your family was very… welcoming."

"Aye, an' that's the root of it, eh?" She bounced the end of her braid off the edge of the table and sighed again. "I can't just ask you to do these last few years over again. Not when you're–when we're–I mean, when you an' she, no, me, I mean–oh, feck." She covered her face in her hands for a moment, trying to settle down. When she looked up, Valinar was still watching her, patiently, those glowing eyes of his seeming to radiate concern and not exasperation.

How patient would I be if I were in his place?

"What I'm saying is, I think I need to step up the process of getting my memories back. It was one thing for it just to be me, but–it really isn't, is it?"

And for all she'd known him just a few weeks, she knew full well what Ovistine Lighthammer had thought of "the elf". She could see it, now, all the little things that she'd thought were so charming; maybe they'd still take some getting used to, maybe he'd take some getting used to, but… how crazy was it to be this hopeful that she wasn't–that neither Ovistine was–imagining things?

"Well…" Valinar's brow furrowed, and Ovistine found herself holding her breath. "In the sense you mean–your memory loss certainly does affect… your friends." Perhaps this time it was Ovistine whose brow was furrowed, or, in her case, who was outright frowning, because Valinar cleared his throat and said, "And me. But…" He sat up straighter, which left her doing the same and struggling to keep on an eye-to-eye level with him; he was so tall, so much taller than even the humans. How were they ever going to manage to… no, no, she'd think about that later. "After all, my parents' courtship took three hundred years. Repeating the last five hardly seems like an insurmountable burden." And he smiled.

Ovistine blushed from her fingertips to the roots of her hair and quickly grabbed the nearest pint off the table, drinking down a good bit of it. She hoped it was hers and not the elf's, but then she hadn't been looking very carefully. She set the pint down again and wiped her lips carefully.

"So what you're saying is–if I don't get them back–you'd still want to…" She blinked up at him. "I mean, we were… before, even if we weren't… but we were sort of… and you'd still want to… be sommat special to each other, then?"

"You're still Ovistine," he said, still smiling. "There will be more adventures."

Jan 18th, 2010
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