Fandom: Original; Magik?
Characters: Waice, Zephyr
Notes: Because I couldn’t think of much to do tonight, I took Puck’s advice and wrote about the backstory of some of my babies. This time, Zephyr and Waice from “Magik?” :)
The first time they met was at the annual gathering. Waice was bored and more than a little fidgety. His sister had to reach down every once and a while to keep him from scratching at his clan marks, newly tattooed on his cheek. They would likely have been easier to care for if they’d been applied the traditional way, with scars- instead, seven-year-old Waice had to undergo daily treatments to ensure that the vivid dye marks wouldn’t fade or peel. He didn’t see the point in being different and, despite his relative’s boasting about how superior these types of marks were to others, didn’t see the point.
In short, he hated them. And was beginning to hate Gayl when she kept him from scratching at the ridiculously itchy marks, but of course a smile from her made those feelings go away immediately. There was no way he could stay mad at her, especially when she ruffled his hair like that. He had the urge to yank on her clan braid, but resisted it. She’d spent an hour specially braiding it for tonight. He didn’t get it, but it was important to her.
So he shuffled in place, bored and wishing for something to happen. Anything to distract from the boring elders milling around and speaking in subdued voices. He was vaguely aware that something bad had happened, but that was all. He couldn’t understand the worry in everyone’s eyes, or the way certain people darted nasty looks at the people dressed in dark robes at the edges of the room. He also missed the way that the two groups of Half-Breeds, Dragul and Aviea, no longer mingled as freely as they had in years before. But then, he was too young to remember those days.
One thing he did understand, though, was other children- and when one of the Aviea women he kindof recognized walked into the room with a baby in her arms, he was drawn to her immediately. Eyes fixed on the little bundle in his arms, he didn’t hear his sister call his name softly, or notice the looks he was getting as he moved past the adults. The woman with the baby seemed a little annoyed that he had come over, but eventually smiled. “Hello, young one. You must be … ?”
Gayl reached his side in a moment and put her hand on his shoulder. “Damiven, Lady Dorver. He is the heir to our House.” She sent a look down at Waice that meant she would talk in that quiet voice later, the one that wasn’t mean but meant she was disappointed in him. “Please forgive him, ma’am. He is still a child.”
“Boys will be boys, I suppose,” the other said with a smile, and started to move away. Waice couldn’t help himself, and grabbed at the hem of her dress. “Yes?” she asked, and this time there was an edge of impatience in her voice.
“May I please see the baby, ma’am?” he asked in his most polite voice. There were so few children he was allowed contact with back home, and being able to see a baby- especially an Aviean baby- was something totally out of the question. She must’ve seen some of that longing in his face, because she sighed and kneeled down, graceful in her long robes, to give him a better view.
He gasped. The baby was tiny, so much smaller than a Dragul baby, and, just … TINY! Those little hands couldn’t have been much bigger than half of Waice’s palm. His hair was so light, almost a white-blonde and thin as the fuzzy down that graced the curve of his skull and peeped out of the back of his tiny shirt, hints to the wings and feathers he would grow in later years. Waice, staring in fascination, watched his eyes open with wonder. They were huge in that tiny head, and a brilliant blue-purple that matched his mother’s. “His name is Zephyr,” she said, answering his unspoken question. She hesitated for a long moment, seeming to be torn between something or the other, then apparently came to a decision. “Would you like to hold him for a little while?”
“Yes!” he said, and reached out his arms eagerly. Aviean babies were so much lighter than Druguls, probably because their bones were mostly hollow. That was what his mother had mentioned once, anyway. Still, it was a decent weight for a seven-year-old. He couldn’t help but notice how dark his skin looked next to Zephyr’s, and was amazed at just how different the two of them were all over again. Gayl carefully guided him toward the couches at the back of the hall and sat with him a moment while he got situated.
“Do you think you can be careful enough with him, Waice?” she asked, looking back at the gathering. She belonged there; at twelve, she was already a fully-fledged spokesperson for their family. Waice knew that much, and nodded gravely. She studied him for a moment, then reached over and patted his head, careful to avoid the little nubs that would one day grow into horns. “Good. Take care of him.” With that she rejoined the meeting, a small figure among the much larger adults of both clans of Half-Breed.
Zephyr made a cooing noise, and Waice looked down. The baby’s eyes were fixed on his clan braid, slung over his shoulder along with a dangling string of beads braided in. Waice grinned and, making sure that the baby’s head was always supported (he had learned that much from his sister), put the beads into the baby’s reach. He protested a little when they immediately went into Zephyr’s mouth but, since none of them could come off and they could just be washed later anyway, tried not to fuss too much. He had to show Gayl, and Zephy’s stuffy mom, that he could take care of babies too.
The little while Lady Drover had spoken of actually took quite a long time, and both children were asleep when their families found them. Zephyr’s mother actually managed a smile for Waice as he blinked up at her, still sleepy. “He’s usually such a fussy child. He must like you.” The baby struggled a little as she gathered him into her arms, but quieted when Waice gave him a goodbye kiss on the cheek.
That meeting lasted a week, and he attended every day. From then on, it was as though the two were drawn together. During these yearly meetings Waice would always end up watching Zephyr for the duration, a job he took even more seriously after Gail told him that their families were distantly related. He was there when the child took his first steps, helped teach him his first few words, and dubbed them to be true cousins. The younger boy returned affection in his own way, with quiet smiles and little hugs here and there. Observing their relationship and spurred on by other business, Waice’s parents even made an attempt to bring the boys together more than once a year.
After a while, however, things weren’t so simple. He was allowed less and less time with the younger boy as years went by, until the only glimpses of him he got were as he was hustled by, guarded by his mother’s cloak.
It would be years before he understood the growing threat to their world, and the way it had strained the already fragile bonds between their clans until they broke apart completely. The year he turned fourteen, a year before his sister would disappear during a trip to the Aviean city Erenbor, he didn’t meet Zephyr at all.
Those yearly councils, something he knew now to be more like an odd mixture of war and peace meetings, were over. For good.
It would be less than six months until their real enemy, led by disciples wearing the same dark cloaks as the people in the meetings all those years ago, began leading attacks on their country’s major cities. A year until Gail disappeared forever during that trip to Erenbor, carrying a treaty and proposal of alliance toward their distant families. It was another two years before Waice completed his active training and ignored his parent’s requests in order to go to the front lines.
Another three years, and he found himself swept up in a journey that would take him all the way from his parent’s fortress to the front door of Zephry’s mansion, accompanied by (or rather, accompanying) two Feluion Half-Breeds and three humans from a different world. He hadn’t seen the boy in years, and things had changed. His hair had deepened to almost a gold, and he had the thin, lanky look of somehow uncomfortable with his body. This was unsurprising for a thirteen-year-old who would soon undergo a growth spurt, if his own history was anything to go by. But the eyes were the same- still that brilliant blue-purple, still that same little Zephyr.
The boy froze, standing just behind the servant who had opened the door, and Waice grinned. “It has been a while, cousin,” he said with a little wave.
The flying tackle generated more of a scene than he’d wanted, and Waice’s presence in the city immediately made things quite a lot more complicated for the people he was traveling with, not to mention Zephyr. Their situation would soon spiral into more and more danger, and eventually into a conflict that would shake the entire world.
But after all this time, Waice and Zephyr had finally met again. If nothing else, that was something to smile about.