When Soul Meets Soul-Between the Two of Us? Really?
This story is a prequel to my story "More than What Meets the Eyes" and is also a slightly alternative universe story. This veers off of canon a little. You will see that I Dodia's son is a tiny bit younger than what was represented in Barry Blair's "Fire Eyes" just like my other story. Hope you like and let me know either way.
I own nothing. Poop!
I slept once again for a long, long time. I knew that I slept, but the rest wasn't good. Dreams, nightmares, and horrible visions.
"No!" I screamed, coming awake as my tribe jumped while I rolled to my feet and backed away from them.
"Chot?" Door questioned as I panted, "Look at me. Look at me. Who am I? Look at me. Who am I, Dearest?"
He was Door. The other half of my soul and I hurt so badly. I sobbed as I fell into his arms. This was all wrong. I never cry, but I hurt so damn bad.
"Oh, Fledgling," I heard whispered in my ear as a hand stroked my hair while Door lowered us to the ground so I could curl up against him tighter, "I am here. What is this pain I sense? Why are you locking me out?"
"What is this, Door?" Jethel questioned as I felt his hands stroking my back as my tears fell, "This is not Chot's way. He doesn't cry."
"I don't know," Door admitted, "However, I have my suspicions. I think…I think that Chot is doing harm to himself. I think he may be straining himself beyond his limits, trying to shield me. He's sick again and maybe he has been for a long, long time."
"A secret to protect the tribe," Jethel gasped while I shook in Door's grip, "Brother, what have you done?"
"Whatever he needs to do to protect his own," Door murmured as he rocked me, "We'll get no answers from him now. Chot has blocked me out and what I can feel is muddled. Just help me settle him, Jethel."
That voice. That precious voice. Get it together. The cub is near. Get it together.
"No-name?" I questioned, struggling from Door's arms as the cubling ran straight to me, "Are you hurt?"
"No. See?" the cub chirped, showing his arms to me, "Chot-pa sad?"
"Not anymore," I declared, scooping the babe up as I turned and left the cave we were all in while fresh strength surged, "Let's leave. Humans are too close. Come on."
"Chot?" Jethel questioned as the rest of the tribe scrambled to follow me, "Chot, wait. You are not well."
"I'm fine," I denied, "I want the cub as far from those dull-bladed humans as possible. We go now."
Arms encircled my waist as I twisted. Door held me close while I hissed like a wildcat.
"You are not being honest with me or yourself," Door voiced as I stilled, "You are not fine, Dearest."
"Don't tell me what I am," I growled, shoving the Glider back as I held the cub closer in my arms, "I will decide when I'm not fine and I'm not fine with No-name nearly being skewered! I'm taking the cub somewhere safe with or without you!"
I wasn't thinking right. Where was I going without even a weapon on me? But away I marched with my tribe trailing after me. Only Dodia walked by my side. The mother wolf agreed with my thoughts for her son, but I felt her worried eyes on me. I wouldn't stop no matter what they said. No matter what they asked of me. No-name stayed silent and slept on and off in my arms. The cub's grip around my neck let me know he was frightened which spurred me on further. I had no idea when I finally sank to my knees. My last bit of energy was spent. Never had I felt so raw in my head and heart as my personal shield finally broke when I fed Door's barriers as automatically as I always had since our recognition.
"You…High Ones," Door gasped, taking the cub to hand to Dodia before gently making me look up at him, "You lying, little creature. The shields are not hurting you. They're killing you."
"No, no. You're wrong," I hissed, trying to rise, "I'm fine."
"No, you are not," Door insisted as I finally stood while he reached for me, "Stop denying the truth. Drop the shields, Fledgling. I'll fight my own internal battles. I have more than enough reasons to want to do that now so I won't lose against the black snake. Let go of your shields, Dearest."
"No," I whispered, backing up, "I'm fine. I'm poking fine."
"Oh, Chot," I heard Jethel sigh as I shook.
"I'm fine," I whimpered, shaking my head as Door reached for me, "I'm fine!"
The pain hit again so suddenly that I saw fire. I screamed in agony as Door reached me to stop my fall as I clutched my head. This was worse than it has ever been and this time I did feel the nose bleed begin. No, no, no. She couldn't have him. That yellow snow-eating bitch couldn't have what was mine!
"Drop the shields!" Door roared as I screamed again, "Drop them, Chot! Please, Dearest! You're killing yourself!"
"Never," I panted as I arched in Door's grip while the heavens began to rumble with impending storm on the way, "Can't have him. Won't. Can't"
"He won't, Door," Jethel stated as he stooped to gently wipe the blood from my nose and lips, "Chot won't stop shielding you until he burns out. That is my brother's way. He's a Go-Back. Brother fights to the end."
"No, no," Door blurted, pulling me closer despite my shaking, "My fledgling can't. He can't leave me. Chot, no!"
"We've got to do something," Dodia growled, holding her sobbing child close.
"We will do something. Right now," Jethel snapped, "I wish I had known all of this sooner. Chot didn't know that we could have called for the palace anytime we were in need. He couldn't send well enough to hear the call of the palace back then. I'm a fool for not realizing that sooner. Suntop will bring his mother. She is a great healer. If you are healed, Door, then Brother can drop his shields. Leetah can also heal Chot."
"Hurry up then!" Door snapped as I drifted under another wave of agony.
I heard, but I didn't hear. The pain was making my body seize as I screamed again. I remember Jethel's and Door's panic-stricken faces, the sweet cubling's frightened wails, and then nothing, but agonizing fire that burned through every fiber of my being as the sky opened and wept for my pain. My last thoughts were a prayer to the High Ones to give me the strength I needed to keep Door safe. Then nothing registered except for echoes of voices. I understood very little of what I was hearing.
"You said you'd call for the palace, but a full day has gone by while Chot suffers. What is taking so long?"
"I can't get through. There is nobody who is hearing me. Suntop isn't answering, Door."
"He's dying, Jethel. The fever that began yesterday is cooking him from the inside out. He's shielding me still, but I can't feel his mind very well and what I can feel lets me know that we will lose him soon. High Ones, the shields are keeping me from working with you and Dodia to reach this friend of yours. Never have I felt so helpless!"
"I know, Door! No…I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled. I'm as scared for my brother as you are. Just let me continue trying. You latch yourself onto Chot's soul and hold on. We can't lose him."
"We can't, Dearest. Do you hear us? We can't lose you. Hold on. We're trying to get you some help. Just hold on, Chot."
I understood that last bit. I'd try to hold on. Then I did hold on tight as I felt something foreign try to take my shields down.
-Stop, Chot. I'm trying to help you. My name is Leetah. I am a healer.-
-Can't have…leave him alone…stop.-
-He doesn't understand, Leetah.-
-I know, Mender. He's too enmeshed and as stubborn as any Go-Back I've ever met.-
I fought these invaders until Door appeared within my mind a little later. Was he real? Was this really my soul brother?
-Let go, Dearest. We have healers here to help you now.-
-It is I, Fledgling. Let Leetah and Mender do their work. You know them. Don't you remember?-
-From…from the Sun Village?-
-That's right, Chot. I am Leetah. I'm going to help you lower your shields so I can rid your soul brother of Winnowill's taint. You want him healed, right?-
-I do. Don't hurt him.-
-We won't, Chot. Remember me? I'm Mender. Try to relax.-
-Hold on, Dearest. I'm here.-
I felt Door's concern and his affection and then blinding pain. Leetah's and Mender's powers fused as the pain was chased away. The last bit of awareness I had was seeing Door's soul free of poisonous taint. If I died now, then I could die happy. Not bad for a useless Go-Back like me.
-I won't let you die and my Go-Back is not useless, Dearest. Never think that again. Rest, Fledgling. I am right here waiting for you.-
Sneaky Glider. I could sleep now. The other half of my soul was safe. Thank the High Ones for small miracles. Now if the High Ones could help me convince Door to stop calling me such stupid, poking names.
I sighed as No-name wept against my shoulder while we lay upon my pallet of furs together within what I now knew was the palace. My illness and collapse had terrified the poor child and this was the first time he'd been allowed to visit with me since I had awoken. Door hovered anxiously with Dodia and Jethel watching.
"There, there," I tried again as the cub sobbed, "I'm all better now and soon I'll be able to sit up. I'll let you play with my hair then."
"Wanted my Chot-pa," No-name whimpered while he clung tighter.
"My son was pretty scared, Chot," Dodia fussed as I sighed once more, "You'd better never put us through that again. You've rubbed off on me and my son needs his father."
I blinked in shock as Dodia smiled at me while Jethel cheered softly from beside Door. What?
-Dodia and I've spoken on this, Chot. You have more of a right to be called a parent of our son than the two of us.-
-What in the shadow of the great ice wall are you talking about, Door? You and Dodia are No-name's parents.-
-And so are you, Chot. I am my son's mother, but you are his Chot-pa and my cub has been inconsolable without you. He overly tired, clingy, and won't listen because he demanded his other father. You, Chot. Welcome to fatherhood.-
I spluttered in surprise. Me, a father?
"I missed my Chot-pa!" No-name wailed, making me focus back on the cub as he nearly strangled me, "You were all yelling and hurting and then went all quiet and I didn't like it!"
"Careful, Cub. I'm not strong enough to handle your grip right now," I warned as Door reached for his son before pausing as I shook my head at him while I patted the babe's back, "Sit up. Come on, Cub. That's it. Deep breath. Okay. You can hold my hand, but…don't you dare wipe your poking nose on my hand. Pfaugh!"
My teasing made the cub grin, but he had been about to wipe his snot on me. Ugh!
"Cub, elves do get hurt or sick sometimes," I explained as No-name sniffled while I reached to wipe his tears away, "I didn't mean to scare you, but your father needed my help and I did what was needed."
"Were…were you going to go away forever?" No-name questioned, looking so heartbreakingly sad that I gasped, "Chot-pa?"
"I won't leave my No-name," I vowed as the babe smiled and gripped my hand tightly in glee, "You're my favorite cub, right?"
"Yes," No-name agreed, knowing this word game, "Favorite cubs get biggest hugs!"
"I don't like hugs," I grumped while my adopted son hugged me close as he snuggled against my side, "Ew. Cub germs."
"Do too like hugs," No-name denied, "Chot-pa likes my hugs."
"Maybe," I agreed, feeling pretty tired as the cub yawned, "Close your eyes and go to sleep. All of us are here and you are safe. We're all okay now, Cub."
"Mama's okay," No-name murmured as Door tucked his son under my furs, "Father and Jethel-Brother are okay. Mostest importantly is Chot-pa is okay again and that is the best."
I rolled my eyes as the cub drifted to sleep. Parenthood wasn't so bad. Maybe…maybe not that bad at all. Dodia squeezed one of my hands as she left to have some free time while her…our cub napped.
"Our tribe is finally back together. This feels better," Jethel whispered as he stooped to gaze down at me, "Welcome back, Brother. Never, ever do that to me again."
"Aye, my chief," I breathed, watching as Door shooed Jethel out, "I'm fine, Door."
"Heard that one before, Sleepy Head," Door teased as I snorted, "You scared all of us very badly, Chot. Please don't ever do that again. Please."
Sighing, I gazed down at the sleeping babe at my side and nodded. When I looked back up, I was shocked at Door's closeness as we gazed into one another's eyes. I was surprised, but not displeased, as Door reached to stroke the side of my face.
"Sleep, Beloved," Door whispered as he curled next to me, "We can talk more later. You and I have much to discuss."
Beloved? Seems that Door and I did have much to discuss. More than I ever expected. For once, things couldn't be summed up by the words…rotten fish guts. No. There wasn't anything rotten about this.
Thanks to all who read and reviewed.
I still love Chot and thanks to my friend, Was-Mokie, for writing her own version of a tale about my favorite elf called "What Decisions Can Bring To Be." Check it out because that story is so good! I have another installment to my saga that is shorter, but tells the story of what happens between Chot and Door once he heals. I'll publish that on Friday.