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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2. Breaking the Ice

A chill wind pierced Corrienda's skin as she stood on the Path of the Titans, and she tried to hug her cloak around her a bit tighter. The sounds of battle echoed from every side - Twilights, elementals, dragonkin, and mortal allies locked in combat for the right to determine whether Azeroth lived, or died. Corrienda took a few deep breaths to try to quell the gnawing anxiety inside her. Facing Deathwing's lieutenants was no small matter, and by all rights, that was what she should have been fretting about. Her anxiety was of a much more personal nature, though. After avoiding him for three days and nights, she was going to see Galedorin again.

It was foolish, she knew - she should keep her fingers limber for spellcasting, she should review her healing strategies, she should make sure the feasts and flasks were ready to serve to the rest of her team - but really, was it any more foolish than how she had been behaving this week? It had made so much sense at the time, but taking Myrodan to her mother's for sitting while she fought had given her a dose of reality. Her mother's questions had been innocent, of course, but they'd planted the seeds for a growing guilt to overtake the sense of righteous self-justification she'd been cultivating.

She nervously played with one of her violet braids as she heard the other members of her squad approaching behind her. It was time to get organized - they'd have to start the assault soon. Mustikka bounced past her, and Silmiron the Highborne smiled a greeting. Then, she felt a familiar, ungloved hand on her back.

Corrienda stiffened and moved away. Not here. Not yet.

The minions on the Path to Wyrmrest Temple were no match for her skilled team of adventurers, which was a relief. It was so much more difficult to fall into a proper rotation when she was fretting over something. She worried that she was giving Galedorin undue attention, because he was on her mind, or not enough attention, because she was cross with him. Corrienda took a deep breath and tried to just let it go, and prayed the other healers would make up for her deficiencies. Fortunately, they didn't know her well enough to ask.

After the band had fought their way to the top of the temple, they took a break to rest and regroup before boarding the Skyfire. Corrienda sat by herself, stretching her neck and brushing debris from her robes. She glanced at Galedorin, who was also alone. She sighed. This had to stop - she couldn't keep carrying on as if they had already split up! She took a deep breath and wandered over toward him.

"Um, hi," she said awkwardly, folding her arms. The cold was nearly unbearable.

Dearest, he replied in her head with a nod. She wasn't sure if she was glad he lacked a smile or not. How is Myrodan?  

She flinched inwardly and looked off into the distance. "He's, um. He's good."  

That's good, he replied measuredly. Has your sabbatical been well?

"I... er... suppose." He was so calm. He was always so calm. She hated it.  

I'm glad. She kept staring - maybe she could see Naxxramas if she looked hard enough. When will you be returning? I've picked a few stories to read to our son for bedtime.  

Corrienda felt sick to her stomach. She had honestly not considered that in her intercontinental flight, she was stealing his son from him him. She'd brought Myrodan with her because he needed to eat, of course, and she'd thought little beyond that. He must have thought she was such a monster.  

"I... ah... I don't know. Maybe... maybe tonight. I don't know." She swallowed and forced herself to look at him. His face was stony, as it often was, but his eyes spoke volumes. She swallowed again. "I'm, um. I'm sorry I, ah, I screamed at you."  

It is all right, he replied. I imagine some of it came from my slip of the tongue.  

She looked away again, certain he could see her anger transforming into guilt. "We should, um, we should talk."  

Just then, Lightlance gave the call to take up arms again. Galedorin glanced toward the dwarf, then back at her. Very well, but perhaps not here?  

"Well... no, of course not here." She cast one last glance at him before the screech of a twilight drake ended the conversation.  

Some hours and a few narrow victories later, they received clearance to go home while a fresh team took their place. Silmiron's portal brought them to Stormwind; she and Galedorin walked together, yet separately and silently from the Mage Tower.  

"Um. Myrodan - he's, ah, he's at the Stronghold with Mother," Corrienda finally volunteered, biting her lip. "I wasn't sure if... where I would want to sleep tonight."   Shall we pick him up? he asked, studying her. She looked away from his scrutiny.   "I, um. I don't know." She forced herself to meet his gaze. "Will we, ah, be able to talk soon?"  

Whenever you wish, he replied. He looked at her pointedly. Of course, it is somewhat hard to do so when you're away.  

"It's also somewhat hard to do so if I haven't sorted through my feelings to determine what is wrong!" she snapped. He did not flinch.  

I can help you, he replied slowly, but that requires communication. I'm not entirely sure why you went to your mother's in the first place.  

"I didn't go to my mother's!" she exclaimed, eyes flashing. "And talking through problems with you helps with most things, but when you are the problem, it feels much more difficult."  

A pause. I did not mean to be presumptuous, he murmured quietly in her head.  

She sighed heavily. "Well, that's... something... at least." She stared at the grass and twiddled one of her braids as the silence stretched on between them. Finally, she looked back up at him. "Let's... um... let's go and get Myrodan. Maybe... um... maybe instead of going back home we can spend the night at the new resort at the steam pools." She hated the resort, the goblins and the commercialism, but the idea of going home just yet was unappealing. Trying to have a serious talk at the Stronghold, surrounded by people she knew, was even worse.  

If you wish, Dearest, he replied, and if you wish to talk, or anything else, that would be fine as well. Corrienda scowled and stalked off towards the docks. Anything else, indeed.  

They passed the boat ride to Darnassus in silence, Corrienda curled up in a hammock facing the wall. She tried to actually sleep, but slumber was elusive with the thoughts churning in her head. Upon disembarking, Galedorin invited her to ride with him on his nether drake to Feathermoon Stronghold; when she summoned her hippogryph, she could detect a flicker of disappointment before his face settled into its characteristic stoicism. She wasn't quite ready to give up her solitude.  

After a long flight, they set down in the front yard of her mother's house. Galedorin followed her up the ramp. "I'm back," she called softly as she stepped into the doorway.  

"Corrienda!" exclaimed Kylanna. Her initial smile gave way to surprise. "And... Galedorin! How did your... ah, expedition go tonight?"  

"Well enough," rumbled Galedorin. He smiled warmly at her. "And how did Myrodan behave for you?"  

"Very good, as usual!" Kylanna glanced curiously between her daughter and Galedorin. Corrienda sighed inwardly. Sometimes her mother could be about as subtle as a hurricane.  

"That is good to hear," Galedorin replied. "Is he sleeping now?"  

"He is!" exclaimed Kylanna. "Will you be -"  

"No," interjected Corrienda quickly.  

Kylanna raised her eyebrows at her daughter, then glanced back to Galedorin. "Well, then. Let me get him for you." She began walking up the spiraling ramp.  

"Ah - I will accompany you," said Galedorin, quickly moving to follow her. "I am most eager to see my son."  

Corrienda sighed and slumped in a chair as she watched them disappear up the ramp. Of course he would be. She wished she had come alone to pick up the baby - she had a pretty good idea what her mother thought of her right now.  

Several minutes later, her mother and fiance reappeared, Kylanna bearing the baby's bag of necessities and Galedorin carefully carrying a tightly wrapped bundle with a tiny purple head in his ungloved hands. He was beaming. "Thank you for tending him this evening, and every week," he said to Kylanna.  

"Of course! I'm always happy to see my grandson," replied Kylanna, offering the bag to Corrienda, who accepted with a wan smile. "Corri...?"  

Corrienda sighed. "I know, Mother. We'll talk later." She stood and pushed toward the door.  

Galedorin was reluctant to relinquish the child, but he did not want to injure the boy on his spiky fullplate, so he stood patiently by his nether drake while Corrienda carefully performed the wrapping job to secure the baby to her chest. He offered her a hand when she finished. Will you ride with me this time, Dearest?  

Corrienda glanced over her shoulder. "Gale, my hippogryph..." She sighed.  

Ah. He made no effort to hide his disappointment this time. I was merely... eager... to embrace my entire family once more. He turned and swung a leg over the saddle.  

Corrienda bit her lip, watching. With another sigh, she tentatively offered him her hand. He smiled widely at her as she helped her climb onto the drake. Her cloak and leathers cushioned the hardness of his plated armor, and despite it, his embrace was firm and comforting. Corrienda held tightly to his arm as the drake took off toward the hills.  

The room at the resort was surprisingly spartan - the place had evidently been designed with the idea that guests would spend more time on the beach than in their rooms. Corrienda and Galedorin had to take turns showering in the tiny stall out back, and then took turns holding the baby so the other could brush out long, wet hair. Their bedtime preparations were in silence, on opposite sides of the room, until it was time to sleep.  

Galedorin sat on the bed and reached for her. Corrienda hesitated, then allowed him to pull her in. As she laid down with his warm, brawny arms gently wrapped around her, the remaining shards of resentment that she held to dissolved in his embrace.  

"Oh, Gale," she whispered. "I'm so sorry." And she wept against his chest until she fell asleep.

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