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Saerrina's dilemma
#1
((Saerrina is floundering around trying to find her own way after the break-up of the relationship that has been her anchor for the past year or more, throughout her training and beyond. The following story is her rambling thoughts on the past two months, up until about a week ago. Got a little long but … she's working things out. *grin*))

Saerrina's smile faded as he disappeared from view. She stared out at the cold North Sea, as tumultuous as her thoughts. Fleetingly, she wondered if she should return to the sanctuary of Silvermoon or perhaps even ride to the western coast where the sea was warmed by the presence of the sun beating down upon it. As was the case more often than not of late, her lethargy interfered with choosing either.

She kicked off her sandals and moved the few steps to the sandy beach, curling her toes in the grainy sand for a few moments. She tried to focus her thoughts in one direction, any direction, but they were all a jumble. She sighed and moved closer to the sea. Perhaps the shock of the cold water would help. She lifted the long skirt of the robe she wore and tentatively stuck her toes into the surf then began to wade, pacing along the shoreline as her toes squished in the wet sand and the cold water lapped at her ankles. She tried to make sense of all those thoughts and searched for a starting place to begin sorting through them.

Northrend. Everything had been fine until the passages to Northrend had been opened. She was secure in her place within the Tribe, secure in the love she shared with Alfin, and generally happy with her life. The thought of those far-off frozen lands must have stricken a certain terror into her though because she was far behind her comrades in responding to the call that eventually took them all there. She had struggled to complete her assigned tasks, working her way as quickly as she could toward them.

Dragonblight. Her first big stumbling block had been the work of the Royal Apothecary Society, in Howling Fjord before Dragonblight. However, by the time she reached Dragonblight and was nearly within reach of those she was trying to find, she had begun to doubt her common sense in taking on some of the tasks she had been assigned. She did as she was told though, wishing the entire time that she had been able to talk about it all with Alfin. He wouldn't let her make mistakes, do things she shouldn't. She remembered now how excited she had been when she was reassigned to Korkron Vanguard, learned he had as well, and would be there when she arrived.

Korkron. She had watched from above in anguish as the new plague was unleashed on the unsuspecting: horde, alliance, and scourge alike. Completely helpless. Wracked with guilt for her part in creating the catastrophe, the work she'd done for the apothecaries these last weeks. She watched in disbelief as Alexstrasza and her dragonflight blasted the entire area with a cleansing fire. All that remained of the fallen were flowers sprung from the flames, random pieces of scorched armor, weaponry, shields. No bodies, no injured where the plague had fallen. No way to know for sure who had fallen and who had not. She combed the perimeter and down the pathway, searching the faces of the injured, dead, dying, and assisting along the way. Until she was finally, harshly, reminded her duty was in Undercity. To help reclaim the city.

Undercity. She'd delayed long enough, Thrall and Sylvanas had already led the troops into the city. She struggled and cried as she fought desperately to make her way deeper into the city, doing her best and often failing to dodge the remaining enemy forces. She had made it through eventually but only to find she was again too late. The battle was over. The fallen were being moved to infirmaries in and around Undercity and even sent to Orgimmar.

For two weeks, she had traveled. And searched. Undercity, Orgrimmar, Korkron, every tiny place anyone told her the injured had been moved. Or had fled to. She searched every face in every location, always disappointed. She became a mere shadow of herself. The color shocked from her hair, the long tresses limp and stringy, she had resorted to just chopping it off. Her clothing, ragged and unkempt from lack of care. All that kept her going was the overwhelming need she found in each place for healers. This was the one thing she still had, the healing flame that burned so deeply within her that would not be extinguished. She'd even stopped looking deeply into the faces she came across. She'd glance at each, tend the wounds, and be on her way. Her lethargy then had caused a delay in their reunion, neither recognizing the other through the changes their recent traumas had wrought.

Thunder Bluff. Winter Veil. She hadn't felt much like celebrating. But she'd promised a Tribemate to stand in his absence and she wouldn't break the promise. She'd slipped in between the gentle tauren hunter and her faithful companion, hiding in Goldberry's shadow and scratching behind the beast's ears. She'd long since given up finding Alfin, had not even remotely expected to see him at that gathering, and only wanted to complete her obligation so she could go off and be alone.

The moot had ended, people were mingling, she rose to leave. She felt eyes float over her, only briefly, but a feeling she could not ignore. She looked around, frowning at the figure sitting at the far side of the amphitheater. She moved closer and couldn't … wouldn't believe what she was seeing.

Saerrina retreated from the water's edge, pausing in her reminiscences, unwilling to allow thoughts of Kardwel's unpleasantness that evening or his awkward apology a day or so later to further confuse the issues she had been struggling with these past weeks. She settled herself on the grass and stared out to sea as she continued instead to recount in her mind what had followed between her and Alfin since the new year.

Very much. The first few days. Then very little. Their reunion had been tearful, been interrupted, then resumed and been absolutely beautiful. She'd been so happy, they both had. In those first days, her vitality had returned and she'd sought to restore her physical appearance and her failing energies. After a few good meals, an initially disastrous trip to the barber (another story entirely), and a few hours with her needles, the outward signs of the past weeks were put behind her. During the same time, Alfin had worked to secure quarters for them in lovely and bustling Dalaran. He'd been so pleased to take her there the first time, and she pleased in return to see the care he'd taken with making a home they could share.

Here the lines began to blur, confusion over how they had drifted apart. And how another had become so prominent to her.

Although she had recovered physically, she still had not regained any desire to return to her work. Very occasionally, she would return to her tasks in Northrend. But more often than not, she remained in the sanctuary of Dalaran. She became something of a hermit. She even missed some of the Tribal moots, gatherings she had relished in the past. Now, she only attended when she was certain Alfin would be there with her and she stuck close to his side every moment, almost as if she feared he would disappear on her if she was not within arm's reach.

Alfin, on the other hand, seemed revitalized. He tackled every new task that was put before with him with new vigor. Mundane tasks, forays into dungeons, even heroic undertakings few would attempt. Eventually these led him and the Tribe into the dread citadel, Naxxramas. He honed his skills, obtained newer and better armor, made a place for himself among the regular raid company.

Now that she looked back on the way they had been, she could see how clingy and fearful she was and how … glory-seeking he had appeared. Yet she recalled his words, that he only sought to impress her with his prowess. It was impressive and she could admit that now. But she'd only wanted him. Yet she'd failed him too. Because she had not joined him in life. She'd stayed in her comfortable state of limbo and expected him to find her. She'd been lonely. Perhaps he had too. But … now she could not ask. The loneliness was probably why she'd been so vulnerable to the appeal of another.

He'd approached her that first morning, only days after she'd been reunited with Alfin. They had chatted, shared the breakfast he'd brought to the Lounge for them. And then surprised her with his request to see her. Exclusively. She'd responded poorly, she was afraid. Saying something about how Alfin would not like that, not voicing her own thoughts or feelings. Perhaps this is why he was not daunted by her refusal at the time. She did not see him for a couple weeks after that, only spoke to him remotely on occasion whenever their communicator frequencies happened to align. Yet she rarely saw Alfin. As much her fault as his, she could see that now. Although at the time she had blamed it entirely on him.

Just three weeks ago, she'd given him the cold shoulder and silent treatment when they'd met at the weekly moot, this time in Dragonblight. Perhaps it was Dragonblight that affected her and had her acting so … churlish. He'd tried, truly he had. She'd not been receptive. That night, he'd left her a note. Asking for a lunch date 2 days hence. She'd been confused then excited but failed to send a response. The day of the proposed date, she had flown around Crystalsong Forest for an hour or more trying to find a really nice spot for a picnic. Then she tried to reach him via their communicators. She'd never had a problem before but he wasn't answering. Search for the perfect site abandoned, she found a floating rock near the city where she could simply stare at the crystal trees that fascinated her so. And continue to try to reach him.

She'd been sitting there when Arimanthael happened upon her. He joined her for a while and they had talked. He told her tales of his family, recent tragedies as well as discoveries. Some of the things he told her set her to thinking about her own mysterious beginnings. And the way he looked at her made her feel important again, as if sharing these things with her was significant. Eventually, he received his own call to return to duty and had to depart. She hadn't realized how long they had sat there and chatted. And had thought nothing at the time of the friendly kiss he placed on her cheek as he departed. When he was gone, she returned to Dalaran herself and gave up any hope of the lunch she'd expected to have with Alfin, closing herself off from the world again.

Alfin had stayed away for two days. May have even longer if she'd not come across him in Crystalsong. She was upset by what she saw as his deliberate absence. He was in a foul mood because of what he'd witnessed, without her knowledge and with a different eye. They had argued fiercely. Him accusing her of seeing another, her insisting Ari was only a friend. She had been so confused already. Then faced with his anger and jealousy, she could not see what was happening to them. He pushed and she retreated, arguing all the while there was nothing for him to be concerned about. Ari was her friend, Alfin her love. But Alfin did not see it that way. And she could not force him to understand her point of view. He'd walked away from their argument with the assertion she needed time away from him to make up her mind what she wanted.

She'd cried there beside the river, completely at a loss as to what she should do next. She felt she had no choice though. She'd removed her belongings from their home and left him a note. It was the home he'd prepared, his home before he'd taken her there. She would not put him out so she'd removed herself. The letters he wrote later alarmed her, so much so she returned one last time. To see the destruction he had wrought on the beautiful quarters they had shared. What she saw frightened her, that the man who had always been so gentle with her and so watchful over her could have such anger and violence running through him. Was this a normal reaction though?

He'd later written asking why she was silent, threatening to remove himself completely from her life. She'd retorted, in writing of course, that he scared her and she didn't know what to say. His final missive to her claimed the reaction was normal but she hadn't seen soon enough that perhaps it was. And his anger was not directed at her, merely vented on what was in his way at the time. Again, the fog that prevented her from seeing his point of view had lifted too late. In any case, the damage had been done between them. The young love had been tarnished and could never be the same. They needed time apart to heal then … perhaps in time they could have learned to love one another again and the love would have been deeper, richer for the experiences they had been through. But it was not to be. For two reasons.

First, he had disappeared, just as he'd told her he would. Without a trace and likely never to return. She would probably never see him again. Even now as she sat staring into the sea, she was not entirely sure how she felt about this. Part of her missed him deeply and what they had shared, her heart broken over the loss of her first love. Yet there was also the part of her that felt relief she need not face the jealousy he displayed – or the aftereffects – when he'd made his accusations, seeing Ari as more than friend.

Second. She breathed deeply and then sighed as she thought of all that had happened since the night Alfin had destroyed their home. And pushed her toward Ari. She hadn't been seeing him then, at least not as anything more than a friend in her eyes, but she definitely was now. When he'd learned of what had happened, that she'd fled to Silvermoon and was without a place to call home, he'd gone so far as to offer her a sanctuary in his own family home. Right in Silvermoon where she had fled. Not knowing what else to do, she had accepted the offer. He returned there as often as it seemed he was able, and she suspected more often than he had before she'd come to stay. Yet he did not push her. She'd been given her own quarters, where she might think and heal and recover, figure herself out. But he didn't stay away from her entirely. He always greeted her with a kiss, always left her with a kiss, and often found opportunity for kisses while they were together. And he'd declared his feelings for her. Love and longing for her to be a part of his life.

She sighed again, drew her knees to her chest, hugged her arms around her legs, and rested her chin on her knees. Darkness was beginning to fall over the sea and she knew she should return to the city soon. But she had resolved nothing, only reviewed what she'd already known. Perhaps she understood a little better now what had happened and she could let go of some of the hurt. Alfin had been wrong to seek glory in an effort to impress her, taking away from the time they might have had. But she'd been equally wrong in not recognizing his efforts, joining them, and sharing life with him rather than becoming the recluse she had. He was her first love and she would always love him, with some part of her. The question before her now that needed to be answered, “Could she move on?”

She rose stiffly, realizing hours had passed since Arimanthael had left her by the shore, answering the latest call to duty. She brushed the sand from her feet and retrieved her sandals. She then whistled for her steed and rode slowly toward Silvermoon as the moon began to bathe Eversong with its pale light and the stars twinkled in the sky. As she rode, she considered the question.

If she allowed herself to love Ari, would it only be because she felt alone without Alfin? Or did she truly have feelings for him? Was it fair to him that a relationship between the two of them would begin with such a shadow over it? She enjoyed his kisses, thrived under the attention he gave her, and struggled to understand the intricacies of his past and present (much of which frightened even while intriguing), that she might truly know the person he was and is. But could she trust her heart regarding him when it had not yet healed from the other?

She nodded to the guards as she entered the city, continued to ponder as she rode the streets, absently greeted his majordomo as she reached his home … hers for the time being, and retired to her room. The dilemma still weighing heavily on her mind, unresolved.
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#2
((*clap clap* Very nice! I would love to read more.))
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