Chapter 2

Your eyes
Like the blue in the summer skies
Caught my gaze as I looked across
Feeling lost in a magic maze
It's too soon for a new love

You can't hide that look in your eyes
Open wide, you seem so surprised
Searching around for somebody new
True love is hard to find now

When you smile your eyes show your heart
I feel mine is falling apart
Can't you see the way that I feel
My loving is real

Your eyes...

When you're lost you eyes show your heart
I should like to know I'm apart
When your eyes shine I'll know you're mine
For all of the time

~Your Eyes
Sung by Cook Da Books

Quatre sighed dejectedly. Even his pointed ears seemed to droop a bit. His father, Oberon, had protested against his mission. After all, he was the heir to the throne. Currently, his father and mother, Titania, were arguing with each other about whether or not they should let him go on his journey to find his partner.

Absently, he traced the golden character on his forearm. It was one of the prophecies of his people that a descendent of Winner would be part of the answer in the very survival of the Earth. His parents were just not prepared for the fact that the descendent would be him. After all, he did have 29 other sisters for the Guardians to pick from.

He got up from his chair and began to pace a bit in an attempt to calm his nerves. Quatre looked nervously at the ornate doors that his parents had disappeared into just moments before. There were angry shouts coming from within just a second ago but now they were gone. He hoped his mother didn't turn his father into a toad like the last time she got angry.

Titania was the one who supported him. She didn't coddle him like his sisters, servants and father did. She came out with the hard truths; untainted with the emotional cushion everyone else gave him. For that, he loved her dearly.

The door creaked open and Quatre nearly jumped a foot into the air. His father was the first to walk out, looking a bit defeated. His mother came out behind him, with a triumphant smile on her face.

"Your mother and I have decided...to let you go on your journey. You are after all seventeen and a certified adult in our clan. Just...be careful, Quatre. You're my only son and heir," he said, hugging him to his chest.

"Thank you father!" Quatre cried out joyfully. He threw his arms around his mother and whispered, "Thank you for everything mother. I'll never forget this."

"You better not," she whispered back with a smirk. Louder she said, "However, there is something you must do. Your father had stubbornly disagreed with the journey so we had made a compromise. You must bring the Maganacs with you."

"B-But..."

"I forbid you to go until you bring them. I will not have my son all alone in the woods," Oberon said strictly.

"Yes, father," Quatre sighed. Oh, well. At least I get to go on the journey, he thought to himself.

"Now shoo. The servants have your things packed and the Maganacs are all ready to go. Good luck, dear heart," Titania said, kissing his cheek.

 

An hour later, all the people of the kingdom stood at the city gates, waving to their beloved prince, Quatre, as he began his journey. The young Adonis merely smiled and waved at his people, his expression turning dark the second they were far away from the city. One of the Maganacs, Rashid, noticed his dour expression.

"What is the matter, Master Quatre?" he asked.

"It's nothing. I just wished father would have let me go on the journey by myself," he sighed.

"You are his only son, that is why he worries, Master Quatre," he stated.

"I know, I know, but I sometimes I just wish I was a normal teenager without having father going crazy just because I cut my finger or some other insignificant little wound," Quatre said sourly. His expression cleared as he took on a more optimistic approach. "Then again, I have all the company I want. It wouldn't be as lonely," he smiled.

"That's the spirit," Rashid said, returning the smile.

 

"What do you mean you're taking a temporary leave from the circus? You're our best act!" Catherine and the ringmaster shouted. Triton winced inwardly but showed no emotion.

"I was chosen by a Guardian to protect the Sank Kingdom," he said.

"I can't believe it!" his sister yelled, throwing her hands in the air. Triton pulled up a sleeve to show the green mark on his forearm that stood for Nature.

"I can contact Guardian Hyo to prove it," he suggested.

"No, no. Forget it. It's just rather sudden," the ringmaster sighed.

"I will only be on this journey for about four months and fighting for the rest of the year, less if the other Chosens are powerful. The sooner we can defeat the enemy, the sooner I can return," Triton said.

"Fine, you can go, but I don't have to like it," Catherine reluctantly said.

"Thank you Cat," Triton said, giving her one of his rare smiles and a hug for understanding.

"Just...be careful. You're the only brother I have," she said, eyes starting to mist up.

"I always am," Triton stated.

"Come on, let's get you packed up and on your way," the ringmaster suggested. Triton nodded and followed him to get some supplies.

 

An hour or two later, he went on his way, leaving the only place he called his home both in his heart and mind with staff in hand. Triton wandered through the forest, wondering if Fate would actually play a hand in the game and enable him to find the Chosen he was assigned to meet. He really didn't care much about it. He much rather work alone anyway. He wasn't very good with people. He was much more used to animals, they didn't expect too much from him.

Guardian Hyo had told him to travel in a northeastern direction from his position and he would meet his partner somewhere along the way.

Triton closed his eyes to calm himself. He wondered briefly about the reason Guardian Hyo had picked him to protect the kingdom. He didn't know how to act around people. He straightened his dark green tunic and adjusted the strap of his pack more comfortably on his shoulder.

Reminiscing about why he was picked to become a Chosen wouldn't get him out of it nor would he meet his partner any faster. Clearing his mind, he proceeded single-mindedly in a northeast direction, no matter how much he didn't want to meet his partner.

After traveling for several hours through the forest, he still didn't bump into his partner. Idly, he wondered why he didn't bring a horse or call a unicorn. He then dismissed the thought. The only horses they had at the circus were the ones who took long years to train. He didn't have time to go into town and get a horse.

Unicorns had a natural cloaking ability. How else could a white horse hide in a forest? The ability also encompassed the rider as well and it wouldn't do for his partner to miss him because he was near invisible.

Out of seemingly nowhere, a group of thieves descended from the branches of the trees. They surrounded him, each looking deadlier than the last.

"Such a purty jewel you have on that staff of yers. Give it to us and we might not hurt you TOO much after we have some fun," said the obvious leader.

Triton analyzed the situation. Even if he gave them his jewel, which he was not going to hand over either way, they would most probably kill him anyway. He had no choice but to fight. He would most likely lose of course with the odds being at least forty to one.

"I happen to be fond of my stone," Triton said softly before launching himself up into the air in a triple axle, knocking two thieves out of commission before he spun around and hit another one with his staff. The circle was quickly closing in on him but he wasn't about to give up.

 

Quatre looked up at the rapidly darkening sky. They would have to set up camp soon. After traveling for several hours in a southeastern direction, he still did not see any sign of the Chosen Guardian Hirde had said he would meet. He wasn't the kind to give up so easily so he continued to walk on, with the 40 Maganacs trailing behind him.

The sound of fighting reached his elven ears and he managed to spot a dull blue glow flashing in the distance. "Rashid, someone's in trouble. I'm sure it's those thieves that we were warned about," Quatre said, running toward the glow.

"Are you sure we should help the unlucky soul, Master Quatre?" Rashid asked.

"They're in trouble! As a son of Winner, I have a responsibility to help those in need of assistance," Quatre said.

"I'm sorry, Master Quatre."

"It's understandable. You were told by Father that I am to complete this mission as soon as possible," Quatre sighed.

His previous assumption was correct. In the middle of the fray of bodies, a male with brown hair styled in some peculiar hairstyle was valiantly fighting off the thieves, though he was slowly being overcome.

Quatre motioned for 15 of the Maganacs to follow his lead and help the slowly tiring man. He unsheathed his scimitars and gracefully fought his way through the men. More thieves appeared but they all fell under the combined efforts of Quatre, the Maganacs and the mysterious stranger.

The golden elf was left standing alone with the brown haired male, the Maganacs right behind him. At the same time, they went at each other, gundanium staff hitting gundanium scimitars. Quatre's main thought was, why are we fighting like this?

"We shouldn't be fighting each other," Quatre said. His opponent said nothing. The Prislani elf tried to push him away but his shorter stature gave him a disadvantage. Somehow he managed to get away. He threw down his swords. The Maganacs immediately came closer to him.

The green eyed boy, knowing that Quatre's followers were experienced fighters, surrendered by throwing down his staff and holding his hands into the air.

"Put your hands down. I was the first one who threw my weapon down," Quatre said with a gentle smile.

 

Camp was set up, with Quatre and the brown haired boy in the main tent. The Maganacs eyed him warily, ready to suppress him should he attack their master.

"Are you a Chosen?" Quatre asked, his head tilting to the side in curiosity. He began to lift up the sleeve of his tunic, revealing a glowing gold character that stood for Intelligence.

"Yes. You must be the partner my Guardian had informed me about," he simply said, lifting his own sleeve upwards, letting Quatre catch a glimpse of the green character of Nature.

"My name is Quatre Raberba Winner, a Prislani elf," the blonde said, holding out a hand for the brown haired boy to take.

"Triton Bloom," he said, shaking Quatre's hand.

"We're going to be together for the next four months alone until we start to travel towards the Sank Kingdom," Quatre said, stating the obvious.

"Alone? You have a small army with you," Triton said, his voice emotionless and flat.

"Anou...My father insisted that I bring them or else I couldn't go on this journey," he said with a bit of disgust. "I've lost them before, I could easily do so now," he whispered to Triton.

He almost gave Quatre a full-blown smile when he stopped himself. Triton slapped himself mentally and told himself that it wouldn't do for him to get involved, especially in the midst of a war. It was better for him to stay away.

 

The next day as usual, Triton woke up with the sun, used to waking so early at the circus. However, unlike most times, he awoke to a warm feeling he could only describe as being safe. The bundle in his arms moved a bit and that knocked him to a fully aware state.

He looked down to see a golden head buried in the crook of his neck, unconsciously nuzzling the skin there. Briefly, Triton fought the urge to moan before trying to back out of the arms loosely wrapped around his waist. Trying was the keyword. They only seemed to tighten.

Last night, Triton had found out that he had left his dimensional pouch back in his trailer and so did not have a bedroll with him. Quatre, who had an exceptionally big one courtesy of his overprotective father, had offered to share. He had agreed.

Triton knew he should have just slept on the ground with his pack as a pillow, but Quatre was just so...convincing. Actually he was more of a manipulative son of a gun, but the Maganacs didn't think so. Somehow, the blonde elf had been able to keep him busy while he was steering him towards the exceptionally large sleeping mat. Before he knew it, he was under the covers.

Resigning to his fate, Triton decided to get an hour or two more of sleep. Besides, he didn't need to get up to feed the animals today. This was a once in a lifetime chance to indulge in a bit more sleep. Anyway, it was kind of nice. He could easily get used to waking up with the golden elf curled up at his side. Triton yawned once, unconsciously pulled Quatre closer and fell back into a deep sleep.

 

Slowly, Quatre opened one turquoise eye and found himself looking at the peaceful face of Triton Bloom. Sometime during the night, he had started thrashing in his sleep and nothing Quatre in the attempt to wake him had worked. His sensitive psychic abilities had detected a faint bond between them so he used it to go into Triton's dreams.

What he saw had chilled him to the bone and a wave of protectiveness ran through him. Quatre pulled out and berated himself for intruding upon Triton's privacy. The said person interrupted his thoughts with a whimper and seemed to gravitate towards his touch. Quatre tentatively rested a small hand upon his forehead and a barely visible smile appeared upon Triton's face. When he removed his hand, Triton began whimpering again. His touch seemed to soothe the distressful Chosen so Quatre had settled down onto the bedroll with his arms around Triton's waist.

He looked at his watch and saw that it was about time he should get out of bed. Quatre reluctantly teleported himself out of Triton's embrace and grabbed his scimitars, stepping outside for his morning exercises.

The sudden disappearance of Quatre's warmth was as good as the most expensive of alarm clocks to Triton. Groggily, he got out of bed and out of his sleeping garments. Feeling a bit more awake, he stepped outside only to see a topless Quatre practicing with his scimitars.

Quatre had taken off the top of his tunic at the beginning of his practice and had already worked up a sweat. Despite his small stature, he was rather well built in a compact package. The blonde elf definitely deserved his place as a Chosen, whereas he was just some clown in a circus. He could defend himself rather well with his staff and he knew he was a more than formidable opponent for most, but he no longer possessed a pure heart or soul. He had lost that years ago.

Why was he Chosen to become a defender for the capital of the kingdom when his soul was tainted? That would probably be a forever unanswered question. As if sensing Triton's thoughts, Quatre stopped his practice and walked over to him.

"Are you okay, Triton?" Quatre asked.

"I'm fine," Triton fibbed, he did not want to worry the seemingly innocent elf.

"Oh, alright. We have to begin training right after we finish breakfast. The Maganacs are going to help us in that department. We're going to work our way through them one after another. We can have two rests each. They are all great fighters so that will not be easy. After we defeat the last one, we fight each other in a mock battle. Sounds good enough?" Quatre asked. Triton nodded.

Two rings were drawn into the ground using some chalk. If either fighter stepped out of the circle, they would automatically lose the match. Triton stepped into one and Quatre the other.

Abdul was the first to face Triton. He fought with the same weapon as Quatre except he only used one. The Maganac went at him with surprising speed despite his large size. Triton spent a while trying to avoid his shots before he managed to find an opening. He unhanded him and the next Maganac came before he could stop to take a breath.

Triton was quite impressed by their abilities. Then again, they had to be experienced or else they wouldn't be able to protect their master. He took a breather after the seventh fighter and jumped back into the training five minutes later. He was starting to get tired faster since he was not really used to fighting for such a long period of time. After calling a second time out after the 13th fighter, he got his second wind and went through the Maganacs quickly.

Soon, Quatre and Triton were circling each other in the now one ring in the middle of the clearing. On the sides, the Maganacs were cheering for both. They were rather impressed by Triton's skills as well.

"You know that I'm not going to go easy on you because you're my friend, right?" Quatre said.

"This is a battle like any other," Triton merely replied. As one, they met in the middle, weapons clanging. Despite their weariness, they went at each other as if it was a life or death battle. Somehow, they went faster than the human eye could see. Only those gifted with a bit of elven blood managed to catch them.

 

Rashid looked on in approval. He was a mage, a fact only known by himself. He had sensed the bond between the young master and the silent Chosen, Triton. They were soulmates. From what he had seen so far, Triton had been wronged when he was but a child, what he had no idea. Master Quatre would be able to heal his soul and Triton would be able to provide the lonely Prislani elf with companionship.

With the war fast approaching, they would need that bond. Already, he could Feel their psychic link strengthening. His premonition had informed him that it would only be that bond that would save the Earth and themselves.

 

Quatre irritably blew his blonde bangs out of his eyes. They were sticking to his skin because of his sweat. Both he and Triton seemed to be evenly matched and from his slight gift of clairvoyance, they would most likely drop from exhaustion at the same time. His energy reserves were already starting to run dry. He was aware that Triton's strength was waning as well.

Meanwhile, Triton was having similar thoughts. Somehow, he knew that Quatre was starting to tire at the same rate he was. They were evenly matched and the fight would have gone on till the end of time if they had the energy. His eyes started to cloud as he pushed his body beyond the point of exhaustion. He was running on pure adrenaline now.

Their weapons met once more before they both fell backwards from the force of the blow, unconscious. The Maganacs immediately came forward and tended to the fallen Chosens. The fight had gone on for over two full hours and both had matched the other, blow for blow. Neither managed to get a single hit in. Their moves were so synchronized, that they appeared to be one being rather than two radically different persons.

They were moved to the main tent, obeying Rashid, who was the leader in Quatre's absence, to put the two together in bed rolls just a couple of inches away from each other.

The two Chosen's slept for the rest of the day and night, making all of the Maganacs worry, with the exception of Rashid, who knew for a fact that they were both fine. Having taken his Oath of Secrecy, he could not tell his fellow fighters about his premonition of their well-being. Besides, it was rather amusing to see them running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Even though their beds were already rather close, they seemed to gravitate towards each other. Hands dangled off the sides of the beds as if reaching for each other even in sleep.

For the next two days and one night, they stayed relatively in the same position. Rashid, who was fed up seeing his fellow Maganacs going nearly insane with worry, had had enough.

"Fellow Brothers, I am sure that they are fine. After all they had fought twenty of us and then fought each other for more than half the day. Master Quatre and Master Triton only need to regenerate the energy they had used in the mock-battle. I am sure they will wake up soon," Rashid said to the Maganacs.

They visibly relaxed. They all knew of Rashid's uncanny luck for his words to be true so they resumed a semi-normal lifestyle, every so often looking in the direction of the main tent.

On the night of the same day of Rashid's speech, Triton and Quatre woke up at the same time. And as Rashid expected, asked for each other's well-being before realizing he was sitting right next to him.

"Aa, so both of you have decided to get up," Rashid said with a smirk.

"How long have we been unconscious?" they said in unison. They looked at each other in embarrassment. Quatre blushed and turned back to Rashid.

"Two days and two nights, starting from the afternoon both of you collapsed," Rashid said.

"WHAT?!" they both shouted at the same time. Rashid just nodded. Immediately they jumped out of bed. But since they were weak because they had been asleep for so long, they nearly collapsed. Only a tight grip on the side of the cots saved them from falling flat on their faces.

"AFTER both of you get something to eat, then you can continue your training. Working until you collapse is not something any skilled fighter would recommend," Rashid stated.

"Yes, mother," Quatre said sarcastically before yelping and running out of the tent to escape from Rashid.

"Mother, indeed. I was appointed to be his personal bodyguard by King Oberon and he knows that. When he was a young elf, he actually went out of his way to give me trouble!" Rashid exclaimed to Triton.

"King Oberon? As in King Oberon of the Prislani elves?" Triton said in surprise.

"Didn't you know? He is the heir to the throne. Out of 29 children, he is the only one that's male," Rashid sighed. He remembered those days about 100 years ago. Thank the higher powers those days were over. It was not amusing to deal with several young girls running around and causing havoc around the palace.

"Oh," Triton merely said. Quatre was a prince? He definitely had to keep his distance now. It wouldn't do to sully the golden elf's reputation. What would his people think of their future king having a lifemate that was nothing more than a circus clown?

 

Triton had made up his mind to keep his distance from the beautiful blonde elf. For two whole months, he kept his normal emotionless mask from slipping. Quatre began to grow frustrated. They trained together as usual, but he could never catch the Chosen at any time but during training periods. He just seemed to vanish into the forest, then again, that was predictable. Triton was half Dryad.

He became short-tempered and was frustrated by things he never would have before Triton began his avoiding game of his. Rashid was determined to get to the bottom of the situation. The two Chosens were meant for each other and Triton was only pushing Quatre away. The blonde was patient, but he couldn't wait forever.

Rashid bided his time until he managed to catch Triton in the midst of sneaking away to who knows where. The long banged boy had slipped into the forest and out of Quatre's sight. Rashid used his mage abilities to the fullest and found Triton sitting some several miles away from the campsite.

"Master Triton," he said. The said person nearly jumped ten feet into the air, which was quite possible in his case. Green eyes narrowed predatorily.

"How did you find me here? I hid my tracks well," he said, his voice flat as usual.

"Aa, that is for me to know and you to guess. I am concerned about Master Quatre's well-being," Rashid simply said. He let a frown wrinkle his brow. Triton reacted as expected.

"Is he alright?" Triton immediately asked, unable to keep the concerned note out of his voice.

"Physically, he is perfect. Mentally...I'm not quite sure. You have been pushing the young master away. You know very well that he has feelings for you."

"It will only interfere with the war. I am merely a commoner, not worthy of being in your prince's presence. Besides, he needs an heir to ascend to the throne. Neither I nor Quatre are equipped for that," Triton said, turning away from the Maganac.

"That will not stop him," Rashid said. He then sighed deeply and asked, "Children today seem to have forgotten the Old Ways already. Have you ever heard of the Generation Spell?"

"It sounds vaguely familiar," Triton said, face scrunching up in concentration.

"It is a rather old spell, made for males who wish to have the ability to have child and women who were barren. The spell only works for those who are serious in the desire of having a child and those who are pure hearted. The reason both of you were Chosen is because of that little fact. That should solve the problem of providing an heir to the throne well enough. Now, will you go back and stop avoiding Master Quatre?"

"How did you--"

"Know that you were avoiding him? The rest of the Maganacs are not aware of the fact. I am much more than I seem to be Master Triton. Now, go! Master Quatre is in the main tent," Rashid said with a smile.

Triton numbly turned and walked back through the forests towards the direction Rashid had pointed him to. He had a lot of apologizing to do.

 

"Stupid war. Stupid weapon. Stupid Triton. I wish he would go jump of a cliff," growled Quatre as he stared up at the top of the tent from his bedroll. A voice startled him out of his malicious thoughts of a certain long banged, green-eyed Chosen.

"I hope not," Triton answered. He was casually leaning against the pole that supported the entrance.

"Hmph," Quatre snorted as he rolled off the bedroll. He grabbed his violin from its case and stalked outside to blow off some steam. How dare that oblivious green-eyed boy ask him that! And they said that blondes were clueless! Ha! That was an understatement.

"Quatre, wait--" cried Triton.

The Prislani elf ignored him and stomped off towards the brook he had discovered some ago during one of his escapades. Quatre saw some of the Maganacs look at him and some of them separated to follow him. He recited a teleportation spell to lose them. The last thing he heard from the campsite were several undignified squawks of annoyance from the Maganacs.

When he was once again aware of his surroundings, Quatre sat down with a thump on one of the large rocks by the brook. He let his violin settle down in the familiar position on his shoulder and lifted the bow up to play. At first his song was angry, loud and yet it still contained a certain beautiful quality to it. Several minutes later, the song leveled out to something happier and bright. Playing his violin always seemed to calm him.

Out of nowhere, a flute joined in. Their music twirled around each other as if in a dance as the ethereal beauty of the song attracted several forest dwellers to observe them. Deer, rabbits, unicorns and a couple of miniature dragons cocked their heads to listen to the song better. As Quatre would have gladly played till the end of time, he was rather curious as to who was playing on the flute. He always kept his eyes closed when playing the violin because it seemed to enable him to better feel the vibrations of the strings. Besides, he always lost track of his surroundings when playing so he might as well close them.

Reluctantly, he brought the song to a close and put down his violin in his lap. Quatre looked behind him to see Triton standing with a flute in his hands. The green eyed nymph shooed their audience away.

"They always seem to do that whenever I play," Triton shrugged.

Quatre glared at him and turned away, crossing his arms across his chest. The nymph sighed deeply. Rashid had warned him of this. "Did I do something wrong?" he asked.

The blonde elf turned on him furiously, turquoise eyes blazing in his anger. "Wrong? Where did you GET such an idea?" Quatre shouted.

"You're shouting," Triton said simply. Quatre sent his violin back to its case with a teleportation spell, then turned tail and ran. Elves were very fast and Quatre was no exception. Nereids were not runners, but swimmers. Dryads, thankfully, were and he inherited that trait from his father. Triton took off after the nimble elf. Somewhere along the line, he had lost the blonde. He stood in the middle of the forest, trying to find the trail.

A tiny strand of gold caught his eye. It was Quatre's hair. Triton plucked it off the ground and twined it around his long fingers. A small voice in the back of his mind told him the whereabouts of his quarry. He ran off in that direction and saw the Prislani elf skip gleefully out of his grasp.

Sometime during the chase, Quatre began enjoying himself. Prislani were attuned to the plants around them as well as the elements, it was just which element you communicated with best. Quatre, being the prince of the Prislani, was best at most everything. Nature sang songs when he was happy, rained when he was sad. The elements awaited his bidding.

The trees seemed to vibrate with Quatre's laugh as it rang throughout the forest. Even Triton smiled. There was nothing more beautiful nor precious to him than that golden laugh of the blonde elf. Seeing that he was gaining on Quatre, he jumped up into the air and flipped over the blonde, landing just in front of the elf. Quatre ran straight into him with an 'oof', slightly muffled by Triton's shirt.

"Mmot pher," came the mumbled statement.

"Hmm?" Triton inquired, letting his arms loosen its hold around the turquoise eyed elf's thin waist.

"I said not fair," Quatre grumbled, lifting a small fist to beat it against Triton's chest. The green-eyed boy merely grunted a bit before tightening his arms, hugging the elf closer to his body. Triton laid his chin atop the blonde head.

"Aa, all's fair in love and war," Triton said absently, breathing in deeply to prepare himself for what he was about to confess.

"And which would this be?" Quatre found himself asking.

"Whichever you want it to be," Triton simply said.

Quatre found himself sighing and closing his eyes. He wrapped his own arms around Triton's waist and listened to the rhythmic beating of his heart. They stood there, with their arms around the other's waist for an indeterminable amount of time as Triton's heartbeat lulled the blonde elf into a comfortable sleep.

Triton picked up the petite elf into his arms and walked towards the campsite. Maganacs immediately started for him but Rashid stopped them with a glance. The half-dryad gave him a look of gratitude. When he walked into the main tent, he gently laid Quatre down onto the bedroll and stripped him of his shoes, socks and blushing quite a bit, changed him into his sleeping clothes. He did so for himself as well. Triton wrapped his arms around Quatre's waist as he pulled the covers over the both of them and curled his body protectively around the smaller one in his arms. Not too soon later, he, too, fell into Orpheus's embrace.

 

The elf prince sneezed and turned away from the annoying object tickling his nose. However, it seemed to follow him. "G'way," he mumbled.

"It's time to get up, Quatre," came a familiar voice.

"Wanna sleep," Quatre said groggily before pulling the covers over his head and curling up into a ball.

"It's no longer morning anymore, Little One. You've slept long enough," came the voice again.

"Sleepy," came the muffled reply.

Cold air hit the prince as his covers were forcefully pulled off his body. Quatre nearly shrieked. That immediately woke him up to look into the twinkling eyes of Triton who was leaning over him with a feather in one of his hands.

"About time you got up," snickered Triton.

"Stupid nymph," Quatre said under his breath as he grabbed his clothes and roughly pulled them on. "What do you want?"

"You're not a morning person are you," Triton asked.

"Not when I'm nearly kicked out of bed," Quatre spat, arms crossing over his chest as he gave Triton a glare.

"We need to talk."

"What about?" the elf asked, suddenly nervously. He sat down at the edge of the bed and his clasped hands resting in his lap in his lap.

"Why I was avoiding you for the past two months," Triton said, sighing deeply. Quatre looked down at his hands. The green eyed boy took that as a sign to continue. "As you know, I am half Dryad, but you don't know that I'm a quarter Nereid and Siren. You've heard all of the legends of Sirens, right?"

At the question, Quatre nodded. "What you don't know is that there are several types. I know of two types. Those who attract men and women with their voice, and those who do so with their looks alone. My mother inherited that trait and from her, I did as well. That is why I am so skilled in combating. My mother was as well."

"As a child, that sexual desire is just a mild buzz, most choose to totally ignore it. After all, it is unjust to see a child as a sexual partner. Others, use it as an excuse for their actions. Nine years ago, when all of the audience were supposed to be in the tent, I was...a-attacked. Y-You can probably guess the rest. I am nothing but a tainted being, you would be better off without me," Triton said, closing his eyes as he recalled the painful memories. He was startled when a warm hand cupped his face. He looked into a pair of guileless turquoise eyes, idly he recalled that they were the same color as the stone on his ring and fighting staff.

"Never. In my eyes, you are perfect Triton. You have a caring heart under all those emotional masks you insist on wearing over your real face. I never really knew how alone I was until you. You taught me how to be strong. And most of all, you taught me how to love.

"How can I be better off without you? I've been sheltered for most of my life since I was born Triton. Being the only male in my family puts many responsibilities on my shoulders. I was forced to grow up faster than my carefree sisters and trained to become the ruler of the Prislani since my birth. My father thinks of me as a fragile glass figurine, which would shatter on contact. You can tell from the forty Maganacs that follow me nearly everywhere I go.

"You gave me my freedom. Rashid knows about my feelings for you and he approves of it. And about your painful childhood past, nothing can make you any less perfect than you already are. Know this, I love you for who you are and who you will be. What happened to you nine years ago holds no precedence over my love for you Triton. But I understand the fact that you feel uncomfortable because of your past. I am content to merely remain as your friend if you like," Quatre said with a sad smile. He removed his hand and walked outside, leaving a stunned Triton standing in the middle of the main tent.

His shoulders no longer held the burden of keeping his feelings locked up inside, unlike his usual nature of announcing his soul to the world. Quatre began to walk towards the forest, leaving the campgrounds with his hands stuffed into his pockets. He spotted Rashid and gave him a thankful smile before walking off into the night. He breathed in deeply, inhaling the night air which seemed to have a certain bite to it.

A feeling of contentment and unity ran through him and he frowned. Quatre was sure that he was feeling someone else's feelings. Perhaps the other Chosens have found someone or maybe it was Triton, thankful that he had left him alone. Quatre's frown grew deeper. That was a depressing thought. He was starting to have a lot of those lately.

A snap of a twig caught his warrior instincts and he admonished himself for going into the dark woods relatively unarmed. He had two throwing daggers in his boots but that would not be enough to fully defend himself. He began to walk faster. There were various thieves in the forest and they would most likely be out for his blood because of what he did to their fellow thieves. Quatre was a more than adequate hand-to-hand fighter but if whoever was stalking him had weapons, he was as good as dead.

He couldn't use his elven powers because he had forgotten to wear his earring, the object that gave him control and focus over his powers. He could very well kill himself with the backlash if he didn't have the object. Quatre could outrun them but whoever that was following him was blocking that direction. He couldn't risk getting lost in the forest.

"Well, well, if it isn't that pretty boy who interfered with our plans 'bout two months back," came a gruff voice.

Well, if you have to cross thin ice, might as well cross it in a dance. Quatre pivoted on his left foot to face them. "Well if it isn't the dumb thieves who almost gotten themselves beaten by one fighter," Quatre said cheekily.

The man growled and lunged at him. His fellow thieves stood by and observed.

 

Triton stood there for several minutes staring at the place where Quatre had been standing just a while ago. He loves me. Quatre Raberba Winner loves ME! he thought. He entertained the idea of suddenly tap dancing but remembered that he didn't know how to do so. Shaken out of his stupor by a wave of contentment he recognized as neither his own nor Quatre's, he identified it as the other Chosens. After all, Guardian Hyo had said that they all had a connection with each other.

A minute or two later, a mild feeling of helplessness reached him. Quatre! He immediately ran outside to look for the blonde elf but he was no where in sight. He spotted Rashid and ran over to him. "Have you seen Quatre?" he asked.

"Master Quatre went off into the forest after he left the main tent," he frowned when he saw the apprehensive look on Triton's features. "Is something the matter, Master Triton?" he asked.

"I think he might be in trouble. I'm going on after him. If I don't come back on in about ten minutes, gather the rest of the Maganacs and go in after us," Triton said before running back to the main tent and grabbing both his staff and Quatre's scimitars.

He tried looking for Quatre's trail like he did during the chase but like last time, he could not find it. The damn Prislani elf seemed to walk on air, which was quite possible. Triton was then hit by a sudden realization. The Chosens had a psychic bond with each other. Surely he could use that to locate Quatre.

Triton closed his eyes and concentrated. In his mind, he saw five other people that looked to be around his age, one of them being Quatre and one man who seemed to be about three or four years older. A girl with a long chestnut colored braid and wide violet eyes stood next to a boy with moss green hair, which fell into piercing prussian blue eyes. Another girl with black hair and deep brown eyes stood next to a boy with black hair and black eyes. The last was a man with ginger colored hair and cornflower blue eyes.

Between them, a red thread connected each to the other. Somehow, he knew them to be the other Chosens. He looked at himself and found a red thread, although not as strong as the others, connecting him to Quatre who seemed to have donned a disguise as a human. All of a sudden, he seemed to be drawn to that thread and found himself falling. Images flashed through his mind, quicker than he could observe them. Instantly, he knew which direction he should go to find Quatre. This happened in a span of mere seconds.

Running on light feet, he quickly made his way towards his partner and soon-to-be lover. A flash of fear flashed through his mind and he urged his body to go faster. Quatre was in trouble. In the distance, he could see a flickering turquoise colored aura that he identified as the blonde elf.

 

Quatre stifled a whimper of pain from coming out of his mouth as he turned and launched a roundhouse kick to the guy's head. He was pitifully outnumbered. There were an even bigger amount of thieves than the day he found Triton. His dagger was still in his hand while the other one was lodged in another's throat. He tried to steal a weapon but the thieves seemed to close in over their fallen before he could do so. He gritted his teeth when he felt a slash on his arm.

Then, like an angel, Triton sailed over the heads of the thieves, throwing his scimitars in his direction. Some idiot who thought he could intercept the weapon touched them and got the shock of his life, literally. Quatre smiled wickedly and called his weapon to him. Before, he was much too far away to do so.

He threw one of the scimitars at one of the thieves and smirked when he felt another one materialize back into his grasp. His movements were a graceful yet deadly dance of which there was no escape. These thieves shall know never to mess with the Prislani prince.

Triton was right at his side, covering his back. Soon after, those who had not ran away were all heaps of bodies surrounding them in a crude circle. After all, they were still relatively fresh while the thieves had to have travelled for some time already and were tired. That was the reason they managed to win. Quatre's wounds were bleeding profusely, the sudden drop of adrenaline unblocking the pain. His eyes rolled back into their sockets and he fell to the ground in a dead faint. Or nearly did. Triton just managed to catch him before he could fall. Closing his eyes, he let his powers wash over the prone body to heal what he could.

His sensitive ears picked up the sounds of feet and he looked up to see Rashid with several Maganacs with him. His eyes widened when he took up Quatre's state.

"I am not very familiar with healing magic so I just managed to stifle the bleeding a bit. You'll have to get a professional healer," Triton said worriedly. He stood up in one graceful movement, careful not to jar the body in his arms.

 

Some time after the healer had done what he could to let Quatre sleep with the least amount of pain (with the help of pain blocks and several choice healing herbs), Triton found himself keeping a vigil over the petite elf. He felt it was his fault for the injuries the blonde had sustained. After all, if he had responded quicker than he did to Quatre's words, he wouldn't be lying down so still on the cot.

He held the smaller hand in his, twining their fingers together and kissing the back of Quatre's hand. Triton stayed like that, long after he fell asleep. His dreams, usually haunted by his childhood demons were clear for once, inhabited by a bright eyed elf who chased all the bad memories away.

Triton awoke to a hand running through his hair and groggily looked up to see Quatre awake and alert. "Oh, I didn't wake you did I?" he asked, concerned.

"No," Triton said softly, giving him a small smile. He then frowned when he recalled the previous events. "Never run off like that again, do you hear me Quatre?"

"You are not my keeper!" Quatre yelled, jerking his hand out of Triton's grasp.

"That is true, but I would like to be your lover," Triton said, reaching out to hold one of Quatre's hands.

Turquoise eyes widened and filled with tears in a display of astonishment and happiness. Quatre swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat as he digested the statement Triton had said. The green eyed nymph immediately wiped away the stray tears. "I didn't mean to make you cry," he said nervously.

"These are tears of joy, love," Quatre said as he threw his arms around Triton, who numbly wrapped his own arms around the smaller body. He let his chin rest on top of the blonde head.

"I-I cannot say those words yet to you but I know that I...care about you. I have lived far too long with a mask of indifference to change so quickly. But for you, I will try to do so," he said.

"I don't care when you say it. I'm just happy you don't hate me," Quatre said with a slight sniffle.

"I would never hate you! That idea is absolutely ludicrous," Triton said, holding him at arms length. The elf now had red rimmed eyes and slightly mused hair and still he saw him as the most beautiful creature he had ever set his eyes on in his short life.

Quatre gave him a bright smile as radiant as the sun itself in acknowledgement to his words. Triton tipped the beautiful face upwards with a graceful fingers and brushed his lips lightly over the fey creature below him. "No more doubts?" he asked.

"No more," the blonde said as he wrapped his arms around Triton's neck and pulled him down. Their lips met in a heated kiss, a promise for the present and one for the future. A sea green light wrapped around them in a warm embrace as each felt an increase in each other's powers.

When they separated, Quatre noticed that Triton's ears were like his, pointed and raised a quizzical face towards his partner, who merely shrugged. They were startled when two lights, one gold, the other green, appeared out of nowhere. Both Chosens ran for their weapons in preparation for a mage battle.

The light cleared and two figures appeared. One Quatre recognized as his Guardian, Hirde. The other, he surmised as Triton's Guardian.

"I still know how to make an entrance!" Hirde said, giving them a big smile and lifting a hand up in a victory sign.

"Don't mind the five year old," Hyo said, rolling its eyes. "We're here to explain the changes that you just experienced. Basically, you are soulmates and as Chosens, that enables you to share each other's powers. Dryads and Nereids basically look like humans but elves have the pointed ears so, now you know why you changed."

"Now, your powers are connected and a stronger psychic and telepathic bond has been forged. You will be able to locate your lifemate whenever you desire as long as he wants to be found, subconsciously or consciously and tell whether or not he is in trouble. It's rather handy if you ask me," Hirde said, twirling a lock of hair around her finger.

"Well, I have to go. Gacho is waiting. Adios Chosen! Good luck in your quest!" Hyo said before disappearing.

"I better go as well. Triton, make sure to take care of my Chosen! I'm counting on you. Sayonara!" Hirde said. She, too, teleported back to whence she came.

Triton and Quatre looked at the spot where their Guardians had just stood mere seconds ago and looked at each other, blinking in confusion.

"Did you get what they said?" Triton asked.

"Yes, but I think we have better things to do than dissecting their little speech. Don't you think?" Quatre leered, a predatory light in his eyes. A slow smile spread across Triton's face as he processed the words his little lover said.

"I believe you are right, Little One," Triton said. As one they met in the middle of the bed, lips fused in a passionate kiss. No more words were said that night and coincidentally, the Maganac's tents were moved a few...hundred feet farther than normal, courtesy of Rashid.

 

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