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[personal profile] belltrigger
Oh my god, what am I doing. Writing for Camp NanoWriMo?

This is part one. It's WoW fanfiction, I guess. I'll post more when I get another giant ass chunk.


The summers in Silvermoon were not always that interesting. They were generally warm, and generally held the visual appeal of perpetual autumn elsewhere. However, after so many years living there, one became accustomed to the 'supposed' wonders of the land, and it merely became routine.

When Feliks awoke to the tittering of birds outside his window, he muttered an unpleasant word and rolled over, pulling the thin fabric he'd been using as a blanket over his head. If he was given a day to sleep in without his elder brother Fahr storming into his room to wake him up, he was going to take advantage of it. There were no promises made to his friends about being up at a certain time either, so blessed extra hours of sleep were his to take.

Outside, the sounds of the nearby bazaar were already at a dull roar, and Felik's eyes opened, peering over his pillow. There was something to be said about having their home so close to the center of trade in Silvermoon, and Feliks often said that thing was ”loud.” But, at the same time, the fairly young blood elf enjoyed the convenience of being able to yell down from his window to any nearby merchants who'd opened their stalls. It made receiving items and exchanging gold fairly easy as well. Feliks had developed a pretty good throwing arm simply from the purchases he'd made from the fruit vendor.

And the few trees that dotted the insides of the city limits provided nice shade from the sun, so his room was always pleasantly cool, allowing him to spend many hours watching the merchants work while he read at his desk. The rich deep wood of his desk had been purchased from the forests all the way by Stormwind, brought back from an excursion his brother had taken about 20 years back. It was one of the few nice things that they had afforded, even though he wasn't quite sure where Fahr had gotten the funds for such fine wood. But still, being able to tell there was value in it, Feliks had been sure to take great care of it, and used it whenever he could.

Usually, using it involved reading books about religious energy and how it was supposed to be effective in healing the wounded, both physically and emotionally. It was a whole bunch of bunk, as far as he was concerned, the murmurings of feeble minds that couldn't tie a proper tourniquet. Still, for as much as he thought the topic incomprehensible, he still read the books, hoping that one day he would just understand it. After all, there were many books, scripts, and manuals written about it, lauding 'the light' as the one true method of providing magical healing. There was even a church in Stormwind, full of people chanting the same as the books.

Sometimes, the topic made Feliks wonder just why he'd decided to be a priest in the first place. His friends openly wondered the same thing, using his somewhat lacking social skills as a key point in their argument. As far as Feliks was concerned, his personality had nothing to do it with it; if someone wanted a competent healer, they'd bring him without caring about how abrasive he may (or may not) have been.

Rolling onto his back, Feliks stared up at the ceiling, watching as the lamp usually filled with phosphorescent blue light swung lightly in the warm breeze. His mind was calm, thoughts still half asleep as he pondered if he could get away with lounging in his bed all day. Long elven ears perked, he listened for the sound of Fahr's voice as a way of confirming that ponderance.

Oddly, he didn't hear Fahr at all.

Usually, Fahr woke him up before he went anywhere. Feliks wasn't quite sure why he had that strange habit. It was, perhaps, because their father had just left one night while they'd slept, never to return, but Feliks had never thought Fahr the type to be swayed by supposed painful memories of the past. Especially considering Fahr and their father had never really gotten along, and Feliks barely remembered their father. He had no particular interest, either, in learning of their father or his whereabouts, because who needed a useless warrior who probably got himself lost in the swamps to the south.

Still, Fahr's missing presence caused him to sit up, head tilted as he continued listening for Fahr's voice, or any other sound inside the household. It was not odd for Fahr to have visitors before he woke Feliks up, sorting out spoils from recent ventures, or assisting travelers by creating portals to other major cities. Some were even just social visits; though not necessarily all of them were by people Feliks was particularly fond of. That night elf druid, as an example...

However, the one saving grace of the silence was that he didn't hear that particular baritone, so he could venture down from his room without the possibility of being entangled by strangling vines at the foot of the stairs. Hopefully. Feliks didn't find being humiliated in front of company as entertaining as Fahr apparently did, especially when said company was the source of the humiliation. And when they were both more magically powerful than he was, once he was caught in their trap, he was at their mercy, only to be let go once they were finished.

Despite being fairly certain that said company, whose name he really never bothered to remember, was not around, Feliks still slowly opened his door. After a moment of scanning the short hallway had passed, the chance that Fahr was indeed gone had risen to an acceptable amount, and allowed him to step out of his room with some small parcel of confidence. Another pause, and another suspicious sweep of his eyes around him, waiting for a magic trap to snap on him.

He was usually not this careful, especially when he heard Fahr moving about in their home. But the silence was too suspicious to ignore, and he would rather Fahr not laugh at him for being careless. Now, he just had to worry about Fahr teasing him over being too cautious, for still stumbling into a trap despite being so cautious. But this silence didn't fit any trap that Fahr had ever placed, since he considered bold and flashy traps to be the best. Something where magic circles flared and leafy tendrils wrapped in intricate patterns around everything they could grab hold of.

Feliks slowly moved down the stairs, as he tried to remain upright and not just outright creep down them like some sort of scurrilous rogue ready to snatch all the valuables in the house. If, on the off chance that Fahr was actually in the house, it would be easier to pretend he hadn't been a bit nervous about the silence. A casual sigh and Fahr would be convinced that nothing was out of place. If Feliks was unable to do anything else, he could play antipathy and indifference quite well.

As he reached the bottom of the stairs, however, Fahr entered from the front door. Their eyes met and for the briefest of moments Feliks was fairly certain that he'd startled his brother. Fahr was quick to hide it, however, and cleared his throat calmly.

“You're up late, I see,” came the cool rumble of Fahr's words. Apparently, Fahr could play indifference as well. Without waiting for Felik's assuredly acidic response, which was probably along the lines of how he never got to sleep in late normally, Fahr immediately moved to the back of their house, towards the kitchen. As he had passed, Feliks noticed that he'd been carrying a small package tucked under his left arm, covering it from the front with his right hand.

Fahr was clearly caught with something that he didn't want Feliks to be aware of, perhaps contraband that the elven mage had intercepted using less than morally just means. But what could possibly be in a package so small? Judging from the size of the box, it couldn't be holding anything much larger than a medium sized dagger. And if that was the case, then there was no need for Fahr to hide it. After all, mages and priests were trained in the use of daggers as self-defense when their mana ran too low to cast any defensive spells. A mage with a dagger would have probably only brought attention from the fact that he probably should have had a staff instead.

So it was decorative, or radiated a strange light, or any other type of highly visible difference. As Feliks entered the kitchen, he considered to himself where Fahr could have placed it in such short notice; Fahr certainly didn't have the package in his arms by the time Feliks had entered the room. Knowing the extent of the mage's powers, he could have just sent it away with magic, but why bother bringing it inside in such a conspicuous way if he was just going to try and hide it once Feliks saw him with it?

Unless he wanted Feliks to see it?

But what possible reason would Fahr have to make Feliks curious about the item, if his plan was to hide it? Feliks was so engrossed in figuring out this seemingly unnecessary riddle that he didn't even notice when Fahr was speaking to him. Shaking his head to clear it once he realized that his brother was talking, he focused his glowing blue eyes on the slightly taller mage.

“What?” The eloquent statement fell out of his mouth before he was able to stop it. And he knew he'd lost his chance to have the upper hand against Fahr, because his brother had begun to chuckle, amusement so obvious on his face that Feliks would have slapped the expression off if he hadn't held himself back. Instead, Feliks placed himself at the kitchen table, shutting his eyes in the most dismissive manner possible in the hopes that would cut off Fahr's amusement.

Unfortunately, it did little to stop it, but at least the amusement was muted in Fahr's voice when he spoke again. “I asked if you were upset that I wasn't here when you woke up.”

That comment earned a very venomous stare from Feliks, who then propped his chin up in one of his hands. “You continue to consider me a child, Fahr, and I don't appreciate it. When have I ever cared about your whereabouts?”

“Ah, of course. Why be concerned when you can laze around in bed all day while others are up and busy.” It was hard to tell if Fahr was teasing, or actually chastising, but Feliks was not in the mood to stick around to find out. He pushed his chair back from the table and stood up, hands flat against the tabletop.

“And with that, I'm gonna go out.” Feliks then leveled his best superior look on his brother, and turned to leave the kitchen. Fahr didn't call out to him as he left, perhaps relieved that his irritable little brother hadn't pushed the topic of the package he'd brought in.

But, despite the fact that Feliks hadn't pushed it, he was still thinking it over. He wouldn't be satisfied until he discovered its contents, or perhaps caused Fahr to slip up enough that he had no choice but to admit to it. It wouldn't be easy; already this morning Fahr had escaped him twice, and left him in this state of puzzlement.

Once he stepped outside, he gave a good stretch, feeling his back pop pleasantly. The extra time in bed had really helped, at least, the relaxed feeling reaching all the way into his bones. Not even Fahr's smug attitude had budged his mood that much. In fact, Feliks thought that a stroll to the Court of the Sun via the 'long way' seemed quite appealing.

The priest training chambers were in Sunfury Spire, the main attraction of the Court of the Sun, and he found that was one of the best places to think and ponder in the city. Although there were often many gathered to seek audience with the king, and there were always many priests-in-training running about on errands for their educators, it was actually one of the less crowded spots in the city. Well... one of the less crowded spots in the city that wasn't filled with dangerous riff-raff hell bent on summoning demons or slitting your throat.

Feliks skimmed his fingers across the top of the water in the fountain that was situated at the entrance to the Court of the Sun. The crystal water was somehow always cool and clear, no matter what the weather, and no matter few attendants seemed to maintain it. He glanced up the sets of stairs that led up towards Sunfury Spire, taking in the glorious towers as they rose above the city walls, and a stray thought of seeking out his trainer skittered through his mind. It was, after all, several days since he'd gone for some training, and spare energy crackled at his nerves, as if begging for some sort of practice.

He took a few steps at a time as he climbed towards the Court, following the stairs as they turned bluntly to the right. The many alcoves around the long staircase that led towards the Spire were mostly empty, a few other elves lazing here and there. Some were engaged in what seemed to be stimulating conversation, what with all the hand waving that was going on, but Feliks found himself to be lacking in interest towards the concerns of random elves.

However, before he was able to seek out an alcove for himself, a cold snout nudged his hand, followed by a snuffling sound of greeting. Feliks sighed, hand extended to pet Bertrand without even looking.

“Your master is around, huh.” It wasn't even a question, but when Bertrand's tusk poked insistently at his arm, Feliks amended his statement. “Right, your partner. Sorry. I forget you're sensitive about how I address him.” Another, happier snuffle came from the boar, and Feliks finally glanced his way.

Bertrand was never far from Kael'thunas, one of Feliks' more tolerable friends. Though Feliks liked to remind him that he used the term 'tolerable' with as little attachment as he could. After all, he allowed Kael'thunas' presence, though he'd much rather be around Antherion, Feliks' closer friend.

For one thing, Kael'thunas was loud, raucous, and liked to go to all the best elven parties. And some human ones all the way over in Stormwind. He was a military man, a ranger, and almost always looked like he'd just been tramping through the woods with his boar companion. It never surprised anyone when he admitted to having been in the forest, for his squad was often out patrolling to ensure the Amani troll warbands hadn't moved any closer. That was something that Feliks could at least give Kael'thunas; he was devoted to fighting the trolls with everything he had.

Antherion, on the other hand, was completely the opposite. Not only was his hair and skin pale compared to the warm tan skin and black-as-ink hair of Kael'thunas, but his energy was not quite so exuberant. Unlike Kael'thunas, and indeed even Feliks, Antherion had no chosen class, no magic ties or physical discipline. He was content to work cloth and leather, forever studying the most intricate weaves for priestly robes, or the strongest ties for leather armor. His crafting left him lean and wiry under his robes, but no better for being out on any potential battlefields.

Yet, despite their differences, Antherion had somehow fallen for Kael'thunas, and the ranger for him. And because of it, Feliks was forced to deal with them both at nearly every turn, whether he wanted to or not. It was not nearly as frustrating to deal with as Feliks complained, but their overt displays of affection everywhere were something Feliks needed less of. He had no interests in pursuing romantic affections himself, and he'd be damned if he wanted to watch someone else do it every moment of every day.

So, he feigned complete indifference as Kael'thunas strode up to him and Bertrand with Antherion next to him. He offered them a slight nod as they reached him, Bertrand's tail wagging at his partner's arrival. Antherion gave Feliks a calm smile in return, while Kael clapped him on the shoulder, merely because he knew Feliks saw such things as unnecessary.

“Morning, Feliks. Seems Bertrand was looking for you,” laughed Kael. The boar seemed to offer his agreement to the statement, though it was sort of incomprehensible to Feliks just how he knew that. After all, Feliks wasn't all that great with animals. Sure enough, he knew how to ride a hawkstrider, but most were taught how to at least climb atop one of the large birds at a young age. And maybe Feliks was partial to one of them, the red and purple hawkstrider he'd named Merrith, but that hardly counted as a way to understand the subtle differences in a boar's facial expressions. If you could call them differences.

“That doesn't explain why you had to follow him. Perhaps he and I were having a perfectly fine conversations before you came along.” A pause, and then, “Good morning, by the way, Antherion.”

The blonde nodded to Feliks, his high ponytail causing his hair to drape over his shoulders as he did. “And good morning to you as well. You're looking well.”

“An overly formal greeting. What's wrong with you?” Feliks placed his hand on his hip, shifting his weight to the other foot; he gave Antherion a displeased frown, as if that would force the tailor to fess up to something.

“Maybe I just like to be formal,” Antherion shrugged. “After all, we can't try and pretend to be young forever; someday we'll have to speak to others with a measure of politeness.” Kael clicked his tongue in an attempt to not laugh at the obvious jab at Feliks, but only barely succeeded. Antherion ended his statements with a light laugh of his own, and even Feliks managed to look at least a bit amused.

“Ha, ha. I'm glad my forthrightness is taken in such contexts.” Antherion shrugged again at the flat tone of Felik's response. The banter between the three was often like this, and after so many years, it was hard to be offended by each other. Antherion was fairly certain that Feliks didn't mean most of the things he said, or at least meant no malice in his words. Kael wasn't as sure, but Antherion assured him that he could tell, that Feliks wouldn't be looking to be a healer if he was truly malicious.

“So, why are you wandering around the Court like this? You get lost?” Kael'thunas rested his hand on the pommel of his sword as he got one last jab in at Feliks.

“Unlike you, you wandering vagabond up to no good, I was thinking of doing something worthwhile with my time.” Feliks' eyes scanned the surrounding area. There were no free alcoves now that he looked closely, and an Arcane Guardian rumbled past, propaganda for the Sunstrider dynasty's glory spoken in robotic tones. Bertrand sniffed after the lumbering magical contraption for a few steps before returning to Kael'thunas' side.

Kael'thunas drew in a breath in mock hurt, as if he was amazed at the sting in Felik's words. But the light in his eyes made it clear that he was just as amused as before, if not more so now. “I'm just trying to be friendly, Feliks. In fact, Bertrand and I were looking for you specifically. Though, I suppose for me, that's pretty much the best definition of 'up to no good' am I right?”

Ignoring the slight, Feliks raised an eyebrow at the ranger. “Looking for me? You've got to be kidding.” Kael'thunas never looked for him, not unless he was looking for Antherion as well.

“Not at all. Wish I was. But, you're definitely the one I want to speak with.” The hand he gestured at Feliks wore a heavy leather glove, which stretched almost all the way up to his elbow. The sword at Kael'thunas' side was not his true strength, much the way a dagger was not Felik's true strength. Above all else, Kael was an accomplished archer, and generally dressed for combat at a distance, preferring to stop an enemy well before it ever approached him.

Feliks was hard pressed to figure out what Kael'thunas could want to see him for, since Kael'thunas was already able to find other methods of healing himself in combat. After a long pause where Feliks tried to run through any number of scenarios, he finally threw his hands up in frustration. “So?! Stop staring at me and tell me what you needed to say!”

Kael brought his hands up in an attempt to hush Felik's voice, and looked around rapidly before he returned his gaze to Feliks. A few elves had poked their heads out of the alcoves to stare at the noisy trio, disapproving looks firm on their faces. “Shhhhhhhhh” Kael'thunas sputtered out, practically handing sheepish grins out to the nosy elves that watched them. “Keep your voice down to a low roar. It's sensitive information I came with.”

Feliks just crossed his arms, and gave the onlookers the best angry glare he could muster, which quickly dispersed the judgmental eavesdroppers. He then leveled the glare on Kael'thunas, demand for answers a silent threat in his eyes. “Answer now, or I leave. And that's the nicest thing I can think of to say.”

A brief wave of his fingers motioned Feliks in closer to Kael'thunas, and the priest did so with the heaviest sigh he'd made all day. However, the ranger was no longer amused, expression serious as his voice lowered even more. “They found your father.”

There was silence. And then, Feliks just turned and began to walk away.

“They found his father?” Antherion gave Kael'thunas an incredulous look, with a bit of excitement breaking through. Surely, Feliks must have been overcome with emotion over this, worried about showing just how happy he was in front of his friends, at least in public. After all, Antherion knew that it had been hard on Feliks and his brother because of it.

“Yeah, but it was under a pretty bad situation. It seems he was working with the human prince Arthas on some strange mission to the great north.” The ranger frowned as he continued. “He's pretty messed up, and judging from the reports that my unit got, it's not of a physical nature. It's his mind.”

Antherion bit his lower lip, “We should follow Feliks to make sure he and Fahr don't try to do anything rash. After all, if their father is damaged like you say, they should probably wait to see if he can be set right.”

They hoped that Feliks had gone home, and so they cut directly through Murder Row in an attempt to get there before he did. Feliks never went through Murder Row if he could help it, mostly because he despised those who traversed the dirty, unlit alleyways and hid under the shadows cast by the surrounding buildings. Feliks was forever convinced that those who dwelt in Murder Row were not to be trusted, though it was likely due to Fahr's influence in Feliks' upbringing.

Because of his deeply ingrained mistrust of the 'only seedy underbelly in elven history', Feliks often had to travel through Farstrider square, and partly through the Royal Exchange, instead of the relatively short trip offered by Murder Row. Kael'thunas often said he thought Feliks actually traveled through the Royal Exchange because it was the other main gathering of merchants and traders in the city. Although Feliks lived in the same plaza as the city's other auction house, the one in the Royal Exchange was where the foreign traders spent the most of their time; Feliks would often be seen dragging his recent trade conquests to the bank that was only a few feet from auction house.

Their prediction proved accurate, and they were waiting outside Feliks' home by the time the priest made it there. Feliks barely feigned surprise, sarcasm refusing to be hidden. “How did you two figure out I would return here?” he quipped, hand coming to rest in the middle of his chest, as added flair for his heavily faked surprise.

Kael'thunas pushed himself forward from the wall he had rested against, hands adjusting his bow as he straightened up. Antherion had chosen to remain upright, waiting for Feliks with all the half-contained energy of a mother-hen. “We hadn't finished talking, Feliks...”

“I think we did. You presented a topic that I have no interest in, so I left you two to discuss it.” It seemed Feliks was debating if he could make it inside his house before Kael or Antherion would be able to stop him. He knew better, though, that Kael'thunas, or perhaps Bertrand, could intercept him easily. And far be it from Feliks to want to create a scuffle that would bring Fahr outside; just another situation where Fahr would consider it necessary to protect his 'cute baby brother.'

“But, your father--!”

Antherion went to protest, but he was cut off by a smooth voice coming from the doorway of Feliks' home. Fahr was there, shoulder against the door frame and arms crossed. He watched them all, but seemed to keep his gaze on Feliks, as if challenging him to explain the situation. “What of our father? Has the no good lout finally gotten himself killed in a run-in with an angry troll?”

“Unfortunately, it's worse than that, Fahr,” Kael'thunas answered for the others, most especially because he knew the most of the situation. “We're afraid he has lost his mind from the stress of a mission he took on with the prince of Lordaeron.”

Fahr looked unimpressed, as if he'd been told that it might rain on a day he'd planned to stay inside anyway. “And?”

“A-and...” The ranger seemed a bit taken aback by the calm response of the mage, as if he'd expected more. Feliks scoffed by his shoulder. “And he's your father, so I was sure you'd want to know that he's still--”

“Still alive, and thus still just as useless as ever. Couldn't even die on a dangerous mission.” The shoulder that wasn't against the door frame shrugged, and Fahr shut his eyes.

Antherion stayed quiet, silently disappointed that Kael's news had been received so harshly. He dipped his gaze, turning his head in Kael'thunas' direction as Bertrand pressed his side against the outside of Antherion's leg. The boar was not sure who to stand beside, Antherion who was feeling uncomfortable, or Kael'thunas who seemed not ready to stand down.

“It was still good of Kael'thunas to deliver the report to us. We no longer have to wonder.” Feliks was the first to respond to Fahr, however, and shoved his way past his elder brother into their home.

“I suppose. Though I will continue to wonder just what it is that will finally take the old fool down for good.” That said, Fahr stood upright, and smirked at Felik's friends. “Do keep an eye out for that, if you would be so kind,” he said just before he stepped inside and shut the door firmly.

Once inside, Feliks noticed all the curtains had been drawn, and the lights dimmed. Stopping in the middle of their living room, Feliks glanced over his shoulder, blue eyes glowing softly in the darkness of the room. “You're terrible.” The statement had great heat to it, but perhaps a touch of resignation as well; Feliks knew that no matter how he chastised, Fahr would never change his ways. At least not without Feliks gaining significant magic skill.

The mage all but floated to his younger brother, magic slowly gathering like fog around his legs and hands as he got closer and closer. Wrapping his arms around Feliks from behind, he rested his chin on top of his younger brother's short, wild-fire colored hair. “You say that as though you wish me otherwise.”

“And you say that as if I don't.” Feliks' shoulders were stiff in the embrace, but he did not shrug out of Fahr's arms, nor did he push away from him. He just stood there, as if accepting that he had no choice. His brother was aggressive in all ways, and this sort of thing was no different. Elder brothers were just a pain.

It was Fahr's turn to scoff, the sound a rumble in his chest. “Did you want to go and see our now mentally destroyed father? Bring him back home so that we have to take care of him for the rest of our days? Because I assure you, that old sack would surely outlive us both.”

That brought a wince from Feliks, though the priest himself was not quite sure what he was wincing about. Their callous attitude towards their father? The thought of taking care of someone completely out of their mind for hundreds of years? Feliks looked down then, deep in thought, and Fahr took advantage of the movement by running his nose down the back of Feliks' neck. The priest stayed firmly in thought, Fahr's action completely ignored. Finally, he spoke, “What was the human prince doing that brought him all the way to the North?”

Not one to be distracted from a goal, Fahr rested his cheek on Feliks' shoulder, and watched his little brother. “I hope that's a rhetorical question. I'm in no mood to continue a discussion about our worthless father, and his worthless dealings with worthless humans.”

“As worthless as they are, they are still our allies. That they would move in that direction is strange.” Feliks worried his brows together, too focused on his thoughts to care what Fahr was doing, because honestly, Fahr was always like this. It was no reason to stop his thoughts, no reason to not work on the second puzzle he'd run across today. “And if you don't wish to discuss that, perhaps you could instead tell me about that package you brought home today.”

That question caused Fahr to pull his arms away, though he continued to linger close to Feliks. The mage staunchly remained silent, despite his over-dramatic action of letting go. It was as though he hoped to intimidate Feliks out of pressing further merely by looming over him, magic having taken on a more aggressive swirling motion around his limbs.

“I thought while I was out, you know. And I decided that you want me to wonder what's in that package. You want me to try and figure it out, and even complain to you about not being able to figure it out.” Feliks remained calm in the face of his brother's steadily gathered magic energy, confident that whatever was in the package wouldn't cause his brother to suddenly decide to kill him.

“Oh?” his brother's voice, despite how he continued to gather magic, stayed relaxed.

Feliks nodded in response, and continued speaking. “I don't suppose you'll be disappointed, because I am going to keep thinking on what you are hiding from me.” That brought a smirk to Fahr's face. “But, don't think that I'm going to keep running to you, begging for an answer.” Fahr continued to smirk; perhaps he had thought Feliks to just be putting up a tough front, or perhaps he was glad that Feliks would attempt to work it out on his own. It was hard to say what the mage's goals were, beyond what he wanted anyone to know.

Without continuing the conversation though, Fahr just dismissed all the magic he'd gathered. He stepped away from Feliks completely, and as he did, the lights in the room flared back to life. Unimpressed by Fahr's dramatics, Feliks moved to the windows and pulled the curtains back to let daylight in. “Turn the lights off; stop wasting your magic just to be flashy.”

By the time Feliks had turned back from the windows, Fahr had draped himself across the short couch they had in the living room, head propped up in his hand. The mage lifted his other hand languidly, made the motion for Feliks to move over to the couch and sit with him. The priest, however, muttered something rude and headed to the kitchen instead.

Feliks had never been a slouch in the kitchen, mostly because he'd never wanted to count on Fahr's magically produced food to last forever. That, and he'd always found it boring, never properly spiced, and without fail tasted like magic more than the item it was supposed to be. Fahr had called him picky the last time he'd complained, and said he should just cook everything himself then. He had to have expected his little brother to agree, even though Fahr had obviously been surprised by Felik's agreement.

Since that day, Feliks had made most of their meals, even if he hadn't originally been all that familiar with a variety of recipes or ingredients. It was another thing he had trolled the bazaar for, and something he always bargained for with the local merchants: recipes from far away lands. Whenever he had gained a new recipe, he had always scuttled right into the kitchen. If Fahr ever tried to peek in and find out just what recipe it was, or even what ingredients Feliks had brought home, the priest had always just kicked him right out. Preferred to do it alone, Feliks said, without Fahr's injected opinions or contrary statements.

So, even though Feliks was sure the package was hidden somewhere in the kitchen, he didn't poke around for it. Not yet, at least. Instead, he set himself to the task of meal preparation, having decided he would make something for Kael'thunas, Antherion, and, well, maybe Bertrand too. After all, although he found himself uninterested in the topic of his father, Fahr had been a bit too harsh to his friends. Kael'thunas and Antherion were not aware of the distaste held for their father, only knowing that he'd disappeared. It was a family issue, as far as Feliks was concerned, but that was no call to be harsh when someone was legitimately trying to help.

And if Kael'thunas thought this was some sort of olive branch, he was wrong. It was merely payment for bringing information to them, and for having to deal with Fahr's terrible personality. Though, Antherion and Bertrand could certainly enjoy it too.

As he sliced up the sagefish for the main course, Fahr called out to him from the living room. “Feliks, are you busy?” Feliks ignored him, eyes focused on the fish on the cutting board in front of him. His brother called again, “Feliks, you're not looking for that package are you?” Again, Feliks gave his brother the cold shoulder, because he wasn't looking for the damn package, and anything else he was doing was none of the mage's business.

“I'm going to come in there, if you don't answer.” This time, Fahr drew out his words, as if he would tease Feliks into a response. Again, the priest stayed silent. He wouldn't give Fahr the satisfaction of a response to that statement. Finally, after a few minutes of silence, it seemed Fahr had given up on trying to get an answer, or perhaps he realized that Feliks was in the middle of cooking, and knew he would get nowhere if he hounded the priest into telling him so. Perhaps wouldn't even get his little brother to make dinner tonight.

Feliks spent the rest of the time cooking in peace, and even had time to make a small chocolate cake. He had even frosted it, mixed cherries into the batter, between the cakes and topped the frosting with them as well. Satisfaction evident on his face, he boxed everything up, stacked the boxes atop each other, and tied them together with a thin, satin purple ribbon. He picked the stack up, and headed from the kitchen, through the living room, and passed Fahr as he went straight to the front door.

Fahr was still on the couch, of course, having made no movement to get up to investigate Feliks' actions in the kitchen. Though, Feliks had no idea if maybe Fahr was able to see inside the kitchen through other means. There were many magical spells that Fahr didn't even tell Feliks about, and insisted they were secrets only mages could learn; their enemies had to find out the hard way. The use of the word 'enemies' had brought a disapproving look from Feliks, but Fahr hadn't even tried to apologize for essentially lumping his little brother in with the rest of the world.

“I'm going out,” Feliks said, as something of an afterthought as he shouldered the front door open.

“I gathered.” Fahr radiated annoyance, but kept the creeping emotion out of his statement. Not that Feliks minded, because at least he was being kind enough to tell Fahr, even if it was as he walked out the door.

Once outside, he let the door shut behind him. Maybe he was predictable, but he didn't have the first idea of where he could find his friends at any given time. So, he stood at his front door for a moment, eyes shut as he thought. Kael'thunas liked a stiff drink, so they could still be in Silvermooon, at one of the few taverns connected to the inns. But, on the other hand, maybe he had convinced Antherion to travel with him to Saltheril's Haven in Eversong Woods.

When Feliks had done a quick sweep through Silvermoon with no sight of Kael'thunas or Antherion, he decided that they must most certainly be at Saltheril's Haven, and so he began his trek there. The plus side was that it was fairly easy to get to, all he had to do was follow the path. However, it was easily a half an hour walk there, further south than Farstrider's Retreat, the small fort where the rangers tended to congregate when they were planning missions to deal with warbands of trolls. Feliks would have to cross the river to the south of Silvermoon as well, moving southwest of Fairbreeze village to reach Lord Saltheril's immense villa.

The weather stayed nice, though, and as Feliks walked, many merchants drove their carts up and down the well-maintained roadways, carts drawn by one or two hawkstriders. A few travelers to Tranquillien also walked the roadways, though Feliks was glad he had not as far to travel as they did. He really liked the days where he could travel to Tranquillien, because he always learned so many recipes there. But he had some food to deliver, and he'd be damned if he would carry it all the way to Tranquillien and then return to Fairbreeze village.

He did stop, however, on the bridge over the river, taking a few moments to watch the water travel under it. He became lost in his thoughts while watching the water, and only snapped out of it when a couple of very young elves scampered past him, one running backwards to joyfully call out to his parents so they would hurry after the children. Mentally chiding himself for having been so distracted, he waited until the parents had traveled the bridge past him before he resumed his own trip to Fairbreeze village.

The road began to slope upwards as he neared the village, and as he got closer, he could hear the fireworks from the revelry at Lord Saltheril's home already. Somehow, Lord Saltheril always managed to be throwing a party, a fact which astounded Feliks greatly. He had no idea how Lord Saltheril could manage to have enough funds to perpetually have close to a hundred guests while still feed and entertain them all. But, if the rich wanted to spend it having a good time, it wasn't Feliks' place to tell them to stop; though he's sure he would do more with all that money than just have wild parties.

Kael'thunas seemed to like it well enough, though, and he often tried to get Antherion and Feliks to come to the parties with him. Half the time, Feliks was sure that was the only reason Kael'thunas returned to Eversong in the first place, wanting to switch up his party atmosphere from the The Guilded Rose, located in the trade district of Stormwind.

It was probably alright, in the long run, since the other portion of Kael'thunas' time was spent risking his life in the constant pursuit of the Amani trolls that meant to do the elves harm with all their blood-thirsty being. The rangers did a fine job, even without the humans, keeping the trolls back in their corner of the Eversong woods. If Feliks had to do something like that, he'd probably spend the rest of his time pursing pretty elves and drinking like a man in a desert. After all, he knew what the trolls wanted to do, and he'd heard stories during the few times he'd actually gone drinking with Kael'thunas of what the trolls already did, even to their own kind.

The thought of the cannibalistic tendencies of an entire race sent sickening chills down Feliks' back. He shook his head to free his mind of the disturbing thoughts and picked up his pace to the junction where the road split, one direction heading to Fairbreeze, the other towards Sunsail Anchorage, with a tiny path along the way which lead to Lord Saltheril's home. Heading towards Sunsail, he focused his thoughts on how to gives his friends the food without them making a big deal about it.

He hadn't come up with anything, even by the time he spotted them up on the hill, backs towards him. Bertrand, however, was looking his way, probably keeping watch in case a lynx wandered its way towards the party despite the noise. When the boar spotted the priest, he let out a little snort of glee, all but galloping down the hill towards him. Kael'thunas was the first to glance over his shoulder when Bertrand went running off, Antherion following suit after just a moment, once he realized that Kael had stopped listening to whatever he'd been saying.

“Hey, it's Feliks!” The ranger waved widely to Feliks as he continued up the hill, Bertrand bouncing beside him as he followed. The priest shoved the boxes right into Antherion's arms once he reached his friends, hands immediately placed on his hips.

“I knew I'd find you here. You're probably already soused, aren't you.” It wasn't a question. “You better not have done anything shady to Antherion before I got here.”

Antherion sputtered as the boxes were placed in his hands, and he struggled to balance both them and the drink glass he'd had in his hand already. “What is in these boxes, Feliks?”

Feliks glanced over at Antherion once he'd spoken, “Food for you and this idiot here.”

Kael'thunas took the boxes, finally placing pity on Antherion, and gave him a playful kiss on the cheek for his troubles. A blush sprung up on the blond's cheeks, but he said nothing about it. Instead, he opted for continued conversation with Feliks. “Food for us? Whatever for?”

“Maybe he felt like being domestic?” Kael'thunas had already undone the ribbon, the shiny fabric hanging loose over the hand that supported the boxes. He lifted the lid of the top box slightly. “Oho, I see cake!”

“It's payment for your services rendered. Although the information was not appreciated, the effort you put into obtaining and delivering it was.” Feliks crossed his arms over his chest, and glanced away.

The ranger moved over to the closest table, setting the boxes down next to each other, instead of in their stack. He opened the second box and let out a pleased whistle. “It's been a while since I've had any good cooked meals!” When he was out fighting, he subsisted on army rations, which were like boot leather at best. When he was travelling with Bertrand, he and the boar shared whatever he could catch and roast. Not exactly gourmet or lovingly prepared. Bertrand preferred eggs or mushrooms, though he would eat most everything that Kael'thunas cooked on the fire. “And sagefish no less.”

It was a fairly common fish around the area, and Feliks was easily able to catch a great deal of them any time he'd gone fishing. But, for some ridiculous reason, Kael'thunas considered them the pinnacle of delicious fish, and yet never learned to fish. Feliks sometimes cooked it just to rub in Kael's face that the ranger knew all the survival skills in the world except fishing. … The ranger never seemed to realize that was the reason, though, and usually just thanked Feliks with great fervor for preparing his favorite.

“You should try some this time, Antherion. You don't know what you're missing,” Kael'thunas said as he gleefully began taking portions of the fish out for himself, and then brought some out for Bertrand as well.

“That's alright. While I'm sure it's good, sagefish is not my--”

“Not eating someone's food is kind of rude, Antherion.”

“F-Feliks, that's not..”

“The priest has a point,” Kael'thunas said around a mouthful of food. He was already digging in with more energy than Feliks had ever seen anyone eat with before. It seemed there were two pigs here, instead of one, and the true boar had better manners. “You should just have some. Then you can eat as much cake as you'd like.”

“This isn't really a matter of wanting to jump straight to the cake, I hope you understand...” But, the peer pressure must have gotten to Antherion, since he began to take out some fish for himself. After he took a bite, though, “Ah! This is really good.” It was practically the same breath that he'd just complained with.

Feliks grinned, arms still crossed across his chest, and raised an eyebrow as if to say 'I told you so.' Bertrand made a squeal of agreement, munching happily away as Kael'thunas continued to share his food with him. “Now you know never to doubt my skills again, Antherion.”

Antherion flushed a little bit, but it didn't remove the small smile from his face as he enjoyed more of the sagefish delight. He nodded in response, and seemed to be enjoying the peaceful moment between them all, where no one was bickering or thinking of other things.

“So, you really came all the way out here to give us food? Thanks Feliks.” Kael'thunas looked up from where he'd knelt down next to Bertrand, petting the boar's head with one hand, feeding him sagefish with the other. “No matter what your reasoning was supposed to be, I think it was nice.”

It was Feliks' turn to flush, and he scoffed loudly in response. “I knew you'd make a big deal out of this. Just... Just eat, alright?” Compliments made him feel awkward. Being agreed with was fine, and he didn't mind being thanked. But, something about compliments was off-putting, his body reacting strangely to them. Perhaps it was because the only person that offered compliments frequently was Fahr, and it was usually in situations that were already awkward for Feliks, thereby training his body's reaction.

Kael'thunas laughed in response to the obviously awkward reaction from the redhead, thinking it only from shyness on Feliks' part. “With great pleasure!” He stood up, hand automatically moving to the box with the cake in it. Kael grabbed a nearby knife and set of plates, and cut a piece of cake for everyone, setting a fork on each plate as he passed the slices out.

At the request of Kael'thunas, they spent the rest of the evening at Lord Saltheril's manor, even watching the spectacular display of fireworks once it got dark. There had even been dancing, the open area lit by lanterns of all colors that flashed like lightning bugs. Feliks hadn't indulged in any of the dancing, but he did help himself to the liquor that was being passed around. He didn't have a terribly great tolerance to alcohol, though he kept himself mostly in check during the evening.

By the end of their time at the Haven, he was able to walk home, but it was probably not a grand idea to do it himself. Wandering through the throng of dancers, he tugged harshly on the back of Kael's armor, frown hidden in his slightly tipsy mannerism and the flashing lights. “Hey, I want to go home. You guys done yet, or what?”

Kael straightened up, blush heavily on his cheeks as he looked over his shoulder. Only then did Feliks notice that there were arms wrapped around the ranger, and the sleeves, dyed a rich, dark purple, could only belong to a certain blonde leather-worker. “O-Oh, hey Feliks,” stammered Kael'thunas as he pulled back from Antherion. The redhead watched, unamused, as Antherion came into his view, obviously all askew from lavishing affections on Kael, and receiving them as well. His face was red just as much as Kael's was, somehow surprised they had been caught. Feliks didn't want to double check on the rest of the dancers, in case he found them all to be engaged in such activities.

“... You're busy. I'll just go home on my own,” he deadpanned, and turned on his heel before Kael or Antherion could protest. He weaved through the dancers, and once he was off the dance floor, he spotted Bertrand curled up, trying his hardest to stay away and alert. Feliks patted him on the head as he passed. “Make sure those two don't fall in the river, Bertrand.”

The boar peeked his head up, both to enjoy the petting, and to show he'd understood Feliks' request. Once Feliks was sure that at least his stupid friends would be okay, he made his way down the hill from Saltheril's Haven. A few of the guards from Silvermoon passed by on the road, and he halted as they passed, letting them by. He would probably wobble his way home, and didn't exactly feel like being followed by some guards that might give him trouble.

Once they were far enough ahead for his liking, Feliks continued his return trip to Silvermoon. He stopped every so often to slap his cheeks briskly as he attempted to keep himself awake. The alcohol was getting to his head more than he'd thought, and he just wanted to sit down and sleep, maybe against one of those nice trees surrounded by some moss...

“No. I'm not going to fall asleep out here, where any lynx could come and eat me, or even a wandering troll....” Ugh, the idea of the troll convinced his feet to keep moving even more than any roaming lynx could, and he even picked the pace up a bit. In this condition, he couldn't take on even one troll, no matter how normally capable he was.
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July 2013

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