Slip of the Tongue

This story takes place in the World of Warcraft universe - the main character, Corrienda, is my night elf druid on Feathermoon server. Everyone else mentioned in the story (save the baby and the mother) is also a player - hurray for roleplay!

Corrienda's always been very emotional, and this story is based on actual roleplay. It's not a story about battling the various evils that exist in the Warcraft universe - rather, it's simply a romance: a fight between lovers, and their reconciliation.

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1. Cold Feet

Corrienda thanked the innkeeper for her key and hurried up the stares to her room. She could feel the eyes of all the Blue Recluse's patrons upon her - the tavern could get noisy, of course, but that was with the raucousness of revelling patrons, not the screams of a hungry baby. It was a necessity, though - she still didn't feel like returning home, and a request to stay with friends would be met with worried questions about her and Gale. She didn't need them asking - especially if she had no answers.

 After hastily slamming and locking her door, Corrienda slumped on the bed and uncovered her breast for her son, who eagerly latched on and began suckling as if he hadn't eaten in days. It was oddly symmetric to be here again, brooding about Galedorin. The last time she'd done this, she'd been nursing a bottle of wine, not a baby, of course, and it had been just before the beginning of her relationship with him. She hoped that this time wasn't just before the end.

Why was she even thinking like that? A week ago, everything had been fine. They'd even discussed some difficult subjects, like having more children and planning the wedding. He hadn't  even been annoyed when her mother had detained her overnight for a proper scolding, and they'd cuddled in the back corner of the Rose meeting as usual, a perfect little kaldorei family.

But then... during the meeting... had he always been so snide? She supposed it was possible - before he'd regained his voice she'd never been able to hear what he said to other people. She'd told him to be nice and he'd insisted he was only joking, but with his stoic countenance and imposing demeanor, how was anyone to really understand that? She felt like she was seeing an entirely new side to him - one that both disappointed and embarrassed her.

After the meeting, though, was even worse. They'd been talking with a certain kaldorei man regarding sponsorship. He had been kind and helpful to Corrienda and Myrodan when they'd attended the weekly picnic by the pond, and she was more than happy to vouch for his application to the Rose. Before she could say much of anything, though, Galedorin had sternly informed him that his endorsement was not lightly given, but that his "wife's sponsorship is entirely up to her."

Wife.

He'd called her his wife.

This flustered her horribly, of course, and it had been all she could do to stammer out answers to Amatlarn's well-meaning questions. Galedorin, for his part, had simply watched with an amused expression on his face, and when she'd demanded an explanation on the way home, he'd responded, "Oh, that's right. We still aren't married," as if he'd misspoken about something inconsequential like the weather.That was all he would say, though, and she'd gone to bed with his words continually echoing in her mind and a knot in her stomach.

She'd hoped to feel better upon waking in the morning, but the entire scene continued to bother her. At first Corrienda thought it was because she'd generally been having cold feet about the wedding - the rest of her life did seem terribly final when she'd only just begun it - and she worried why they should even bother to wed if he couldn't even seem to remember that they hadn't in the first place. Unfortunately, she made the mistake of ruminating in a public channel, and before she knew it, Sister Thistlepix and a cadre of gnomes were planning a tea to remind her of her unwedded state. That, combined with her initial brooding mood, the still stinging wounds of the tongue lashing she'd received the previous day, and Myrodan screaming all day for some reason only Elune knew, caused her to snap. She no longer cared to be a participant in her own life.

" I hate everyone and I want to be alone!" Corrienda screamed in Galedorin's face when he came home and saw her preparing to leave. She took off on her hippogryph before he'd even had time to respond. At the time, she didn't even feel remorseful - it was, after all, entirely his fault. She flew and flew until she arrived at the Cenarion Wildlands in Desolace, the druids there happy to let her sleep in an empty house if only for a night. She wept as she snuggled with Myrodan - how had her life become so dreadfully complicated?

The next day, Corrienda took a portal to Dalaran - a bit of mindless window shopping would help calm her mind a bit. The city was much quieter now that the war in Northrend had essentially concluded, and it was somewhat relaxing. By the end of the day, though, the solitude had begun to wear on her, and she'd asked Kaetta Hammerclank to meet her in the Legerdemain Lounge to talk. Not having identified the problem made discussion little more than an exercise in frustration, but there was something that Kaetta had said that stood out in her mind.

"... of course, it could just be that there's something behind all this... something that you're foolin' yourself into thinking you're not bothered about but are..."

She should have gone home and talked to Galedorin that night. She should have. Instead, she'd found herself walking up the stairs to a room with a bookshelf and fancy bed in it. Was Kaetta right? Was she so bothered because her subconscious was trying to tell her something that she didn't want to see clearly? She thought she simply didn't want to get married - was it possible that she didn't want to marry Gale? It seemed absurd, but... his behavior at the meeting had bothered her. He was only the third man she'd dated while not living under her mother's roof. And he had admitted that, while he would never touch her birth control, he'd secretly wished to get her with child every time they'd made love, a confession that Corrienda found much more creepy than endearing.

On the other hand, he'd always taken exquisite care of her, and now their son. He never hesitated to put her needs above his own, and was always quick to show her affection. He listened to her ramble about whatever was bothering her, no matter how silly it seemed. The way he touched her, the way he looked at her - anyone could tell how he loved her, and had loved her for more than half a decade. How could she possibly be considering throwing all that away?

This morning, Corrienda had risen and bought a new outfit for both her and the baby - she was out of clothing that she had packed - and took the portal to Stormwind. Mr. Zhàlar was mourning, true, but perhaps he'd have a few words of advice for her - or at least he could act as a sounding board while she tried to figure things out herself. And he did. Granted, speaking with a polyamorous man about the virtues of marriage wasn't exactly helpful on that front, but he did help her remember more vividly how she loved Gale, and how he loved her.

The rest of the day she'd wandered, pondering what marriage meant to her and why she was still so bothered by what happened on Sunday. She thought about the night he proposed to her, how amazing and thrilling it was, and how she'd hinted to him all summer that it was what she had wanted. Why? What had she been so sure about then that she couldn't quite grasp now? She couldn't make herself go home until she answered it, and so here she was, her third night on a third continent in a third bed that didn't belong to her.

The baby gently loosened his latch, dozing off in a milk coma, and Corrienda gently laid him on the bed while dabbing away stray droplets of milk. He looked so much like his father, from the point of his nose to the wisps of cobalt hair that were just starting to grace his head. In that moment, she missed Galedorin very dearly.

She sighed and leaned back, replaying the scene from the meeting again in her mind. Of course she was afraid of getting married. It was a major life transition, something that would redefine her as a person - that should be enough to scare anyone, shouldn't it? Gale's words didn't bother her because she didn't value marriage, because she did. Just... not yet? Maybe? She remembered the amusement painted on his face, the lack of concern he showed afterwards... Suddenly, Corrienda became very angry.

He knew she would be flustered by his words. He had to know how embarrassed she would feel as she fumbled around for words in front of a man she barely new. And when she confronted him afterwards, did he apologize for putting her on the spot, whether on purpose or not? No - he had brushed the entire exchange off nonchalantly as if it didn't matter. As if marriage didn't matter. As if she didn't matter.

Corrienda stormed over to the washbasin and threw some water on her face. Was his little joke just an extension of the smugness he had shown toward everyone else during the meeting? She didn't know, and she really didn't care. She did know, though, that they were overdue for a serious chat, and that she likely wouldn't return to his bed until they'd done so. She doubted he thought it was amusing now. And with a flick of the wrist, she summoned a breeze to snuff out the light.

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