A year goes by…

A year goes by, and things change. When we last left Ovistine, she'd accidentally used a dimensional ripper to trade bodies with an elvish version of Ovistine — and here we go, catching up rapidly:

1.

The rift opened, and Ovistine squinted through it. There was… a dwarf on the other side, yes, that was promising, a tall dwarf with a strong stocky build and a somewhat erratic beard, one carrying a huge axe with traces of frost wisping out around all sides.

"–vi? Ovistine! I see you, I–is that you? Can you hear me? Ovistine!"

"Yes, it's me, but who are you?" Ovistine yelled at the rift. There was a brief pause, and then–

Another dwarf. This one with long brown braids and a terrified expression, and then–her hands came up to her face as eyes met eyes through the rift, and Ovistine's own hands flew up to cover her mouth. Me. She stretched out a hand, as if she could actually touch the rift, and the dwarf on the other side was doing the same thing. If she'd needed any proof, there it was: she and this other Ovistine had the same thoughts, the same instincts. But on the other side of the Dimensional Ripper, this Ovistine was an elf, and if the Ovistine on this side wasn't mistaken, the other dwarf must have been Valinar.

A world where Ovistine was an elf and Valinar was a dwarf. Ovistine had never thought to see something so strange, but it was there, big as life and swimming before her eyes.

Swimming–no, not swimming, no, but the image was getting murkier and murkier around the edges, fading fast.

"–this time tomorrow!" the dwarvish Valinar was yelling. "This time tomorrow, and we'll try to keep the rift open longer–"

"Yes," Ovistine yelled back. "Yes, this time tomorrow–"

The rift twisted in on itself, spun around, and finally disappeared. Ovistine sagged, her short blue braids bouncing listlessly against her shoulders.

"Well," she said softly, finally looking up at the Valinar of her own dimension, "at least we've found them."

~*~

Another few nights' worth of experiments and they'd actually rigged something up; like the original experiments, it was working fine on frogs and ale and hammers, but unlike the original experiments, they knew now how wrong it could go.

"Worth the risk?" the other Ovistine asked. "I–I don't mean to be rude, but–"

"I don't like this body, either," Ovistine agreed quickly. "I'm ready whenever you are."

The other Ovistine nodded–and then looked back behind her. Ovistine did the same, looking up at Valinar, who'd stepped away to give them some privacy.

"I wish–" The other Ovistine bit her lower lip; Ovistine nodded, knowing exactly how she felt.

"Maybe… tomorrow," Ovistine said quietly. "This time tomorrow. To give us time to–"

"–say goodbye," the other Ovistine said, nodding, still looking at her own Valinar. Ovistine sighed; she'd seen the other Valinar time and time again, and it was strange–he was Valinar, he was a dwarf, he was all she'd ever imagined during those few times she'd pictured what might be if Valinar had been born a dwarf, and yet–no. He wasn't her elf, and it was wrong somehow.

Still. Tonight, and hopefully for the last time, she was an elf. And Valinar was an elf. And on the other side of the rift, she knew the other Ovistine was thinking the same thing.

"Tomorrow," she said, and the other Ovistine nodded again at her. "This time tomorrow."

"Yes," the other Ovistine said. "We'll see you then."

~*~

It wasn't easy, being here at Valinar's home in Thelsamar. She'd visited, of course; she'd been here more times than she could count on both hands, both feet, and both braids together. But to live here–it'd been very, very different, and even if it had been far more comfortable than staying in Dalaran and trying to explain, over and over, what had happened to her, it was still–difficult.

Tonight was likely to be the most difficult of all, mostly because–she had to do this. She had to. And all the same, she had no idea what he'd do, what he'd say, if he'd think it was wrong somehow.

We agreed on it, she thought, and she could tell him so–it was clear what both Ovistines had been thinking, as they'd looked back at their elf, their dwarf, and they'd given permission and blessing in that one small look. One chance, really, perhaps never to come again.

She knocked on Valinar's bedroom door, and after a moment, he answered.

"Yes?" His glowing eyes looked down at her, but not very far. She was nearly eye-to-eye with him, rather than being several feet shorter. "Do you need anything?"

"I–aye," she murmured, reaching up and stroking her hands down one of her braids. "Valinar–you know we'll be back in our own bodies, me an' the other Ovi, if all goes well tomorrow."

"Yes," he answered, nodding. His ears bounced a little at the tips. Her grip on her braid tightened; she wanted to reach out and touch that bouncing ear-tip. Wanted badly.

She wondered if the other Ovistine was having similar thoughts about her Valinar's–beard, probably, if not the ears.

"So it means there's–this one night. An' then we're back to how it was."

"Yes?"

Ovistine sighed; like always, it'd be up to her to say it. Fine, then. Fine. Her mother hadn't raised a coward.

"Valinar–I'm an elf, tonight." His gaze was still steady, but still only curious, too. "An' you're an elf."

"Well–yes…"

"An' there's–things. That can happen. Between an elf an' an elf. That maybe we don't want to shy away from, if it's not to happen again."

He blinked at her, blinked down at her–only a little, but still–and she stepped forward and reached slowly, slowly up to his ear, her fingers tracing a gentle curve up and over his ear-tip.

"I'd like to spend this night there," she murmured, "with you, an' not in my room. If you're amenable, I mean."

He held her gaze for a long, long moment, and when she was just beginning to wonder if the answer was no, he took her hand in his and threaded their fingers together.

Nov 30th, 2010
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