By Your Side

Yesterday, I wrote of dreams. Today, I write of nightmares.  Very real nightmares, nightmares that have taken my Gwyn from me; for the moment at least.

I dreamed strange dreams, and in my dreams, there were three figures, figures of light. One was Gwyn and I think the others were Blaise and Aislyn, but I could not be sure. The three of them were together and about to be set upon by some malign creatures that looked like old men. Gwyn raised a hand and light burst out, some form of magic, trying to defend herself and the others from this attack. I felt the jar of this magic deep in my bones and it jolted me awake.  This was more than a dream, and the feel of magic was very real. I could rest no longer, so got myself up and headed down towards the sithen.  I almost collided with one of the servants who had been sent to fetch me. He told me that Gwyn was unconscious and that I should come as soon as possible.

In the sithen, I rushed to the pavilion with which I was most familiar. Blaise was there, looking tired and drawn, hunched over the form of Gwyn, wrapped in blankets on a chaise. It was Gwyn, but at the same time, not. The feel of her, her scent or her, was the Gwyn I knew, but she seemed taller, more mature, and with longer hair. My heart felt cold, colder than normal, and I feared that what she had spoken of had come to pass, that she had attempted the process of sudden maturation, trying to come into her full powers ahead of her time.

Blaise told me that they had been on a seer’s journey, trying to find out the meaning of Gwyn’s vision – the one she had been speaking to Aerodine about, I assumed – but they were set upon by a bunch of redcaps, which are some kind of malevolent goblin, I think. These would apparently not have been particularly dangerous foes for Blaise, but Gwyn, in her inexperience, tried to defend them all and used far too much power than was good for her in her young and experienced state. I mentioned my fears about her premature maturation and he agreed with me. Unfortunately, the use of the magic – something called hands of power – had hastened the transformation.  All we could do now was wait. She would be unconscious for a few days, but he was sure she would pull through.

I asked what I could do, with my limited knowledge of fae affairs and even more limited powers. He told me that I would be needed, especially when she woke up, because she was likely to hate him for what he had to do.  When I asked what this was, he explained that he would have to bind her powers, because it was the only way she could heal.  This, he explained was something that parents often had to do with sidhe children to protect them from the consequences of uncontrolled use of their magic. That made sense to me. I likened it to a kid I had known, who grew up to be very tall, but when he was younger, often hurt people by accident because he didn’t really know his own strength.  He told me that the binding was only going to be as a last resort, and he didn’t want to do it without consulting with Aislyn.

I told him that I was quite prepared to sit there all night, holding her hand, calling her name, reading poetry to her, whatever it took. I did ask if there was anything more direct, I could do, explaining that if she were of my kind, or human, then my blood could help her heal, albeit with consequences. He smiled and told me that Gwyn had good sense in her friends. He needed to rest for a while, but would not do so unless there was somebody that Gwyn trusted and who cared for her by her side. I looked at him and said that while I was not overly familiar with the ways of the fae, he looked like he needed the rest and told him to go and get some. I would take care of Gwyn as far as I was able. He was relieved at that, saying he knew I would not let her down. He then took himself off to another chaise in the pavilion and stretched out, telling me to wake him if she started sparkling with energy.  I pulled the chair closer to the chaise, so I could rest Gwyn’s hand on my knee while I got a book out of my bag. I knew she liked Shelley, which was fortunate, since that was what I had with me.  Taking her hand again, I began to read to her, softly, so as not to wake Blaise. Perhaps the familiar words would reach her, perhaps not, but I felt some comfort in reading them anyway. Part-way through the night, Valene joined me, and we held each other, joined by our love for each other and for Gwyn, keeping vigil through the night.

-oOo-

The night passed in the company of Percy Bysshe, though I suspect I dozed a little, with Gwyn’s  hand in mind. Either that or the fae are remarkably good at creeping around, for I came to and found Blaise, Aislyn and Renata there. I must have been asleep, I guess, and Val was gone.  They were talking about what to do about Gwyn. Aislyn was saying that binding was not the answer, because she was powerful enough to break the bonds. Somebody needed to stabilise the power, which was something she or Saone could have done, but not in their current state. The only person left was Isabella, and it might be hard getting her to come into the sithen again.  She looked at me at this point. I told her that I had not seen Isabella in some time, and that the only way I knew to contact her was through Aoibheann. Renata came in with some herbal preparations, which she tucked under Gwyn’s pillow. She also offered what I guess she intended as words of comfort, saying something about how she was confused for a long time, but got better, and so would Gwyn, and neither of them would squish anything.

Blaise said he could contact Isabella, but he did not want to leave his daughter’s side. His method was to go into the woods and spout bad poetry until she came out of the woodwork to shut him up. Aislyn had suggested that either Renata or I could go in his place, but I declined, since I didn’t want to leave her side either, and I respected poetry too much to go and spout the bad stuff. I neglected to mention my appreciation for William McGonagall, as it would have been too complicated to explain. I asked for a simple explanation of what the problem was, asking them to bear in mind that I was only part fae and probably wouldn’t understand half the lingo. As I understood his explanation, Gwyn was a powerful sidhe, with a gift called hands of power. The magic she had channelled, which brought out her adult side prematurely, was too powerful for her to handle. Had she been properly adult, she would have known how to channel the energy and disperse it safely.

That gave me an idea, but one I wasn’t entirely sure I was comfortable discussing in front of Blaise. I suggested that if he wanted to go and try to summon Isabella, I would stay with Gwyn and talk to Aislyn about my idea. He wasn’t entirely happy about that, but grudgingly agreed. Before he went, he disappeared off with Aislyn for a private word.  I got the distinct impression that Aislyn was also depleted of her powers, but I wasn’t about to get involved in that discussion.

Renata kept me company while they were gone. She was entreating Gwyn to come back so that she could learn how to grow bacon, so that they could all try it.  She then tried to blame me for ‘blowing up Gwyn – by doing that thing that Sidhe do to make more Sidhe – because last time she did that, she blew up a goldfinch. I swear that girl is not right in the head. I assumed she meant sex, as exploding wildlife had been mentioned as one of the possible side-effects.  I assured her that this was not the case, and explained what Gwyn had been doing to cause this problem. To avoid any further discussion of our sex lives, especially since my idea was related to that, I pulled out my poetry book and started to read Shelley’s Love’s Philosophy.  While I was doing so, Gwyn suddenly opened her eyes, looked at Renata and asked where her mother was, then immediately went back to being unresponsive. I leaned in and kissed her, telling her, even if she couldn’t hear, that we were all there for her.  Renata got quite excited and called Aislyn and Blaise over. I could have sworn that he was slightly hurt that she was calling for her mother. We debated which mother, but from things she had said previously, I was fairly sure that her strongest urge was for her real mother.

Blaise left us then, and so did Renata, the latter going off to look for some more herbs, and so I put my suggestion to Aislyn. I told her how I had survived absorbing a very great amount of energy from Isabella. I also told her about the amount of energy that Gwyn channelled while we were being intimate and how, despite dire warnings of exploding birdlife, I had managed to absorb that without ill effects.  I also mentioned Valene’s help with channelling her energy, hoping that she wouldn’t make the connection between that and our joint intimacy. I asked her if there was some way that I could help mop up that excess energy that Gwyn was carrying. Could there be something in that part of me that was fae, which could channel and absorb that energy.

Aislyn managed to only blush a little at the mention of sexual energy. To some extent, she agreed, in that this was something a queen could do – channel the energy and divert it back to the earth, however, it would be dangerous for me as I did not know how to channel and disperse the energy. I told her that I fully realised that I did not know how, but was willing to learn. I did not care about the risk to me, even if one of the queens had to directly implant the knowledge in my brain or something. Whatever it took, I would do it, no matter what the risk. Aislyn seemed almost tempted, but she was weary.  She did not know how to teach me, and did not even know if it was possible, as these were energies she was not sure she could manage, even at her full strength.  All I could do, she told me, was to be there for her.  Isabella was the only one who could deal with this now.  And, with that, she was asleep, leaving me alone with my love, and our poetry.

 

By Your Side from Sade…

 

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