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Title: Adventurous Contentment
Characters/Pairings: Margaret LeFay/Leanansidhe
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Adventure had become commonplace for her; Lea never would.
Author's Note: De-anon from the kink meme.

I loved water, circumstantially detrimental to magic or not, and there was nothing quite like standing on the white cliffs of Britain and watching the ocean’s horizon while my mind wandered. I liked the wind in my hair, the sea-salt scent, the crash of waves when the tide was rough and the contrasting stillness far above. Finding a gate to the cliffs from the Nevernever had been one of my first priorities when I started my mission to learn as many of the Ways as possible. All the strategic placement in the world didn’t do you any good if you didn’t have a place to relax and get your head screwed on right before you put them to the test.

Growing up, swimming had been second-nature to me, and my father stopped the weary sighing somewhere between when I was five and six, after I’d jumped off enough docks and bridges to escape stuffy meetings with elders for it not to be a surprise anymore. Likewise, he stopped putting me in expensive dresses for the aforementioned meetings somewhere around that same timeframe. I don’t think he liked dressing up either, and there was no reason for both of us to suffer (eventually he stopped too; I think he figured he’d spent enough time wearing formal robes and suits to earn points towards freedom later in life, so the hell with it). Even my horse liked water, and had a habit of kicking up a spray towards me whenever she felt like I’d grown too contemplative or worried.

My love for water only grew when it concealed a chest containing a magic rapier that I could either sell for a hefty price or keep for an even heftier power.

Said chest was narrow and not very high, but it was long. The weight of it told me that while it might also contain some coin, the rapier was likely the object of interest when its last owner had laid it to rest on the submerged stone plinth. I pushed off easily from the well’s bottom and started the journey upward to where the last stretch of discovery, and the person I’d made the discovery with, was waiting for me.

Hands pressed to the steep, sheer walls of the well, the handle of the chest hanging off my wrist, I felt my mouth shape a triumphant grin as the water sluiced off my head when I broke the surface.

Lea was laying on her front, back arched as her torso rested on her forearms, hands hanging languidly over the rim. I surged up to kiss her knuckles, and the amused twist of her lips widened to a real, delighted smile that never failed to make me happy that I’d put it there.

Carefully, I swung the chest up and over the rim, far from where the metal could touch Lea. There was a flash of something behind her eyes, but she didn’t flinch, and her smile didn’t falter. She trusted me. Once upon a time it had bothered me that I didn’t wholly return that trust. Lea was my best friend; she was also one of the top-ranked beings on my mental list of people most likely to kill me. I never forgot that… but I found that if I was to be killed one day, I’d much rather it be Lea than a variety of others. I could pro-actively do my best not to die whilst also acknowledging and being at peace with the possibility. It was part of that special brand of Multi-tasking In The Face of Peril that I was particularly good at.

“You’re so happy with this little treasure,” Lea noted in a fond murmur as I hauled myself up beside her. Sunlight pouring in from an opening worn in the cavern’s ceiling made the red of her hair seem to burn around the multi-faceted green of her eyes as it framed her face. “I could have made you one.”

“It used to belong to a wizard who became a pirate captain,” I said by way of explanation. After having checked to make sure the rapier was actually there, I reclined backwards, staring up at the cave walls. “Can you imagine? A wizard who spent his life on the sea…” I was still trying to wrap my mind around the situations he could have gotten himself into, the ways it could have both hindered and saved him. Nevermind the prejudices that had to have been overcome for a crew to have him in the first place. That fact alone must have had something to say about the type of man who made a weapon that would cut veils and glamours but not flesh. “It’s interesting, and there’s history to it.”

Lea turned her body and redistributed her weight along my side, our hips and shoulders brushing. “And you do so love both…” She lifted a hand to pet a strand of water-slick hair from my face.

I turned my head towards her, still wearing a giddy smile. It was one of a few of my expressions that she seemed incapable of not kissing. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t worn it at least partially for that exact reason. I loved seeing Lea like this, leisurely taking her time with me. It was so different from the mantle of hemmed in violence and madness she donned with a licked-lip grin in her queen’s court, so different from the almost childish glee she presented in battle when the flecks of blood on her skin weren’t nearly so red as the jeweled tone of her gore-matted hair, so different from the sensuous machinations of deceit that slipped off her tongue as easily as it slid against mine. If I was honest with myself, I loved all those sides of Lea, but this… this was mine, ours.

Lea kissed me, and the rapier stopped mattering, the way my clothes were soaked through and stuck to my skin stopped mattering, and all the internal warning signals I had regarding her peppered the forefront of my mind with a sort of resigned weariness that clearly stated ‘you’re going to do it anyway, so why do we exist’. One second she was at my side, and the next she was a cold weight above me. Everything was slow and strong and tasted of the blueberries and honeysuckle from a garden in the Nevernever that I would never tire of visiting. Her hair fell around our faces, and I gave a breathy little sigh as she traced a fingernail down my throat to the hollow of my collarbone.

So, in a prime example of the life I lead, that had to be the moment when we discovered that not only did Wizard Pirate Captain, whose name now warranted an amendment to the effect of Accidental Cockblocking Asshole, have a weird proficiency for setting up obstacles of puzzles that were harmless but almost impossible to pass through on the way into the cavern, but decided that if there was one cliché he was going to follow through with, it was the one where the cavern collapses after the treasure gets taken.

He’d just been extra considerate and put in a delay so the people who reached the sword had sufficient time to escape.

That would have worked… unless, of course, they’d taken the opportunity to make out with a gorgeous faery first. I was confused for about five seconds when Lea suddenly sprung off me, laughing and doing a little two-step spin as she grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet. Then I realized rocks were falling and got with the program, reaching down to grab the handle of the chest as we made our getaway. Lea didn’t open a path to the Nevernever, and I didn’t question her judgment, just as I hadn’t when I’d first learned the rapier’s location and I’d broached the question. I figured I didn’t want to know.

Lea’s laughter sounded like notes from a song that belonged in a ballroom-gone-bloodbath, just as it always did, and I found myself laughing with her as we bolted for safety.

When we reached the sanctuary of the beach, she lifted her arm, spun me in a circle in the sand, caught my waist, and kissed me with all the delighted fervor of someone who’d found a game that they never tired of playing, a game that never seemed to end.

I hoped to God it wouldn’t. I could go on this way for the rest of my life.

Dimly, like a message in small print far beneath a picture of something bright and ensnaring, I realized I would for as long as I was able.


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August 2011

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