The Ancient One


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1. In the Beginning

Preface:

Which was worse; to make the right choice for the wrong reasons, or the wrong choice for all the right reasons? This was the question Illidan pondered over and over, whilst trying to justify to herself, the decision she was about to make. Her arm shook nervously as she dipped the tip of her quill into the ink and hovered it over the surface of her parchment. As she bent forward to scratch the first character, her corset dug in to her hipbone and she let out an audible gasp of pain. It was a physical reminder of the pain she was about to inflict upon all those she loved, and then those whom she didnt. With a sigh, she clutched at her side, put her quill to parchment and set her plan into action.

 

In the Beginning:

She kept her head bent over her writting, furtively trying to block out the stares and bewildered glances cast in her direction.

"Illidan?" He enquired again, his face an expression of worry. She lifted her head slowly, shamefully even. As her eyes connected with his he gasped loudly, unable to conceal his shock at her scarred and damaged apprerance. His eyes automatically dropped in shame and he felt hers do the same. He stood there, admiring her slowly. She was so much more beautiful than he had ever imagined. She was long and slender, mocha colored skin and loose fitting clothes. Her midnight coloured hair hung in loose curls down to her shoulders as yet another reminder that she was just as much of an outcast in this forign world as he was. Her head flicked up to meet his as she struggled to contain her curiostity. What was it that she could possibly have done to have attracted the attention of such a handsome stranger?

"You are Illidan, unless I am mistaken, correct?"

"Y-Yes Sire." She responded meakly. He smiled sweetly

"Well in that case you may want to gather your belongings and follow me, as we will not be returning here anytime soon." She studied him, why should she follow this rugged looking man? His stance was formal, but with a slightly arrogant edge to it. His clothes were worn and faded, but to the degree where they almost looked artistic. His face was hard edged, engraved with lines of worry but amongst all this there was an aura to him that screamed "Ïm a giant softy" . After taking this all in Illidan stood up, gathered her belongings and walked towards him, oblivious to all the gawkers, decided that whatever this man was about to throw at her, could not possibly be anyworse than anything else she had already faced.

Whilst they were walking side by side down the old faded school corridor, Illidan cast a look up to her mystery man and caught him staring at her. Making eye contact she smiled just as he opened his mouth to speak to her."Now I'm sure that you are incredibly curious as to why I have come to gather you today, but this is going to be an extremely..." he struggled for a moment, trying to grasp for the right word, "interesting, shall we say, conversation."

Illidan laughed "I have encountered many different kinds of interesting in my years, and I bet nothing you have could suprise me, but in saying that, I understand your desire to keep this more private."

"Why thankyou, " He smiled appreciatively. "Now I’ve heard that there is a great little cafe around the corner that serves mouthwatering pastrys, so do you care for a coffee?" "And the soft side emerges" Illidan murmered with a smug smile.

"Pardon dear, what was that?

"Oh nothing dont worry," She looked up at him a gentle espression on her face, "A coffee would be lovely"

"Delightful!" He exclaimed, looking genuinely pleased, "Yes, well, right this way then," and with that he bustled out the door, leaving an extremely curious Illidan to follow.

As they walked down the paved cobblestone path, Illidan was bursting with unsaid questions. Who was this guy? and what about him made him so alluring? He seemed so familiar to her, and yet she could not place where she knew him from. It was driving her crazy. Illidan smiled gleefully, the only way to solve these questions was to weasel answers out of him inconspiciously. Looking up at him, she made contact with his glistening eyes and she could not help but notice they were almost identical in colour to her own. The resemblence was uncanny.

"I didnt manage to catch your name" Illidan began, eager to unearth as many answers to this strangers mysteries as she could.

"That would be because I have not yet offered it to you" He replied with a gleeful smile on the edge of his lips. She tilted her head back and laughed at the cheesy, a-typical line. He really was gorgeous when his eyes lit up, Illidan caught herself thinking.

"Well what can I do to earn the privilage of knowing your name? She enquired playfully.

"Ah, now see Im not too sure," He replied quickly, that gleeful smirk still lingering on the edge of his face, "I wouldnt like to bestow such a burdan on a fair maiden like yourself." He winked, the smirk now in full swing and he felt himself relaxing. How easy it was to be himself in her prescence, with no pressure or responsibilities to weigh him down.

She blushed a deep rosy red and he felt a surge of pride well up inside him, a feeling that was strangly unfamiliar.

"Oh so im just supposed to walk out of school with a complete stranger, who openly admitted I wont be returning anywhere anytime soon, and wont even trust me with his name?"

"Well that was the general idea yes, but hey, Im a stranger whose buying you coffee so thats a bonus right?" It was strange how the more time he spent with her, the more he found himself feeling carefree and enjoying the moment. He was beginning to feel a strong attraction to her, as if she had walked right in to the middle of his universe and he was gravitating towards her. "Okay how about you call me Patch, would that be suitable?"

"That would be perfect, seeing as im not worthy enough to know your real name" Illidan replied with a smile, but inside her heart was slowly sinking. What had she done for him not to trust her with something as common as a name? What he must think of her.... Patch's smile faltered slightly,

"Oh it has nothing to do with you love, I merely dont give away much information about myself, and trust me, I have plenty of reason too. Information is a powerful tool, and can affect many people, more than you would ever have dreamed of and in ways that you would never expect. Please, do not take this to heart, I just have made many mistakes in the past and am now much more of a cautious man than I was." Illidan stopped and stared at him. Those were truer words of wisdom than she had ever heard anyone speak, and she found a great rush of respect towards Patch. She smiled gently, her heart warmed buy the use of his simple and innocenct pet name.

"It is no matter, I understand completely, now lets go get some caffine, lord knows I need some." In a hurry to escape off the topic Illidan stepped lightly from one stone to the other and Patch started after her with an expression of bewilderment. Never had he encountered such a majestic creature as this Illidan Grey.

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