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Andriona: The End and the Beginning

Rhianon's picture

"I was heading down to Spring Street with a suitcase in my hand / Filled with love and life and grand illusion, I knew you'd understand / I left you by the stairwell and your eyes were wet with tears / Mother, you knew you had to let me go even after all these years."

Rune's room was the only room in the villa that had some semblance of organization; the other rooms were still in bits and pieces, boxes scattered across the dusty floor boards and piles of laundry gathering dust in corners. She had taken care with his room, though: books and stuffed toys paraded neatly across the freshly white-washed shelves, blankets were folded and put away in the linen chest and the night-time breeze, fresh and cool in this part of the mountains, wafted in through the open window, rustling delicately embroidered curtains.

She reached out, running the edge of one of the curtains between her fingers. She had never much been one for handicrafts; her mother had always scolded her for pricking her finger and bleeding on her sewing projects. These curtains, however, with their finely stitched elf mages and knights charging up and down the edges, had been entirely different. She had joked to Kirlas that the month of bed-rest before delivery had given her the far too much free-time for such silly projects, but the truth was that she had relished every minute of their creation. She had imagined how she would hang them up in the room, given names to each of the figures on the curtains. She had pictured herself holding her unborn child up to the curtains, telling him or her stories about the adventures the figures on the curtains had.

Adventures with dragons and demons. Scary adventures, exciting adventures, adventures that could span a whole lifetime of story-telling. She smiled to herself, rubbing the tiny black dragon embroidered into the furthest corner of the curtain panel. What would he think of Lady Prestor and the great big black dragon she became?

Or the blossoming burst of fire known as the Lord Ragnaros?

She turned away from the window and walked over to the crib on the far side of the room, leaning down to adjust the blankets on the sleeping figure. One finger stroked a pointed ear-tip and then a soft, pink cheek. Rune's baby fat had already started to give way to toddler pudginess; he was already sitting up and picking out his own toys easily, soon he would be crawling - and then walking.

And then? Would he want to be an adventurer like the figures on his curtains?

She sighed and nestled the edge of his blanket up against his chin. In his sleep, Rune gurgled and rolled onto his side, clutching at the stuffed frostsaber doll his father had given him. How could he ever be anything other than her sweet, vulnerable little boy?

"Andri?"

Andriona looked up from the crib, turning around to see a silver-haired elf leaning against the doorframe. He smiled at her and she reached up to brush the tears out of the corners of her eyes, absently, as if they were nothing more than flecks of dust. "I was just checking to make he's okay."

"Well, I'm sure you'll be able to do that in a few hours when he's woken back up," Kirlas teased, stepping into the room. He approached the crib and leaned over, patting his son's curly red hair. "I think I rather enjoy him like this sometimes, don't you?"

She nodded, swallowing, and Kirlas continued, "Of course, he can't smile when he's asleep. Not really, anyhow. And I do like his smile very much. It's just like his mother's." He glanced over at her. "Ona, are you okay?"

"Y-yes," she stammered out. "It's just..." Andriona blinked her eyes and wiped at them with the back of her hand. "I just understand my mother now, that's all. I don't think I ever really did before."

Kirlas's eyes fell onto her face and his mouth curved in a soft smile. "Ona, you are a mother now. It makes perfect logical, scientific sense." 

"I - I always wondered why my mother just was happy dabbling in work around our village. The...the best alchemists, you know - they always worked out of Stormwind...or a big city. Or traveled around, researching recipes." Andriona shook her head. "I used to think that she must not have been very good. Or that she didn't care about her work very much at all. That she was just a backwoods hedgewitch."

She looked down at Rune, his skin flushed from slumber and mouth pursed open like a flower bud. "I wish I knew then -- knew this feeling that if you turn away for just one second, everything will pass you by."

"Then don't turn away," Kirlas said, kissing the side of her mouth. He then draped his arm around her waist, gently escorting her from the room. "Come now; no more unpacking tonight. We'll go have something nice to drink. Have you seen the view from our bedroom balcony? I never thought I would be so awestruck by anything in dwarven territory."

Then, just as easily as the night-wind drifted in through the nursery windows, the two of them disappeared through the curve of the doorway, leaving only a small boy to slumber peacefully in his bed as paladins and mages marched in form on the curtains above his head.

"And I moved out of the city to start a family of my own / When I look into my daughter's eyes, I don't feel so alone / And as I walk her down to Spring Street, she holds onto my hand / Mother, you knew my eyes would be wet with tears and now I understand."



((Lyrics from 'Spring Street' by Vanessa Carlton.))

((I always knew Andri would get her happy ending. And yes, I teared up writing this. I hope everyone who has known Andri as a character for five years is equally as affected. It's something very special to see your character come full circle like this...and bittersweet to know when it's time for it to come to an end.))

Comments

Darlain's picture

((Sometimes the greatest gift

((Sometimes the greatest gift an adventurer can give is to stop being one. A very sweet and lovely ending to the character I met all those years ago. Thanks for writing it.))

Henii's picture

((Aw! Yay Andri! Even though

((Aw! Yay Andri! Even though I've only gotten to know Andri ICly a little while ago, it's great to see her get the ending she deserves.))

How would it end
If the truth was re-writable
Break with past
Whatever dreams you long for
I've seen what the future has in mind for me