A/N: Companion piece to Gaining the World, Islanzadí's Lament, and The Heart Goes On.
I came to see him, to see Eragon Shadeslayer, the man who conquered Galbatorix in a battle of wills. My entire village had left their fields and forges, for the opportunity to lay their eyes on him. He was a young man, good looking but nothing out of the ordinary and yet we all crowded around him, edging closer and closer before his dragon let out a pillar of flame, urging the crowd backwards.
He spoke loudly, revealing the true reason for his visit, Dragon Eggs. Thirteen multicoloured stones lay in front of us, before a single file line was paraded through, each villager placing their hands on the stone before them. I approached the first stone, placing my hands upon it. A few seconds passed and nothing happened; moving from one to the next. On the ninth stone my eyes locked with his and we shared a brief look as a loud crack was heard.
I jumped, as the orange stone before me was crisscrossed with jagged cracks, and Eragon Shadeslayer stood before me with a wide smile on his face. People they had known me since I was a babe looked at me with reverence, and in a blur I was taken from my village, taken from the place I called home for all sixteen years of my life.
The third night away from home, away from my family, I broke down. My dragon's comforts were not enough; even as he heard my pain it could not be soothed. Faranth prodded at me with his nose, trying to soothe my cries and I curled up around him. He was all I had, even though he cost me everything. People would give anything to have a dragon, to have the constant companion, but all I wanted was to go back to my family.
The tent flap opened, and he stepped in, before taking a seat across from me on the ground. He didn't look at me in pity but rather understanding. The silence was broken, as he began to talk about meeting Saphira, about how his whole life was changed, about the young farm boy who just wanted to be normal.
He went on for most of the night and whatever loneliness I was feeling was gone. His tale came to a close, before he gave me a smile and wished me goodnight. I didn't sleep that night, I didn't feel happy, but no more did I feel lost. I belonged. Eragon and the others were just like me; ordinary people meant for something more, I was not alone.
We arrived, out of Alagaësia and into New Vroengard, the home of our people. Our entire party was amazed, eyes taking in the beauty and splendour of the place. I couldn't blame them, it was truly stunning but while they gazed in wonder, I turned away; while this may be our new home I still missed my own. Our eyes met and he gave me a nod, before Saphira took to the air, prompting us all to follow.
The first few weeks were just a blur and the few moments of peace and quiet were spent resting. Faranth and I were succeeding, every task put before us we thrived on as we grew closer still. We were dragon and rider and whatever bitterness at being chosen had long since past. While I had left many things behind, Faranth was part of me now, so integral to my being that I couldn't imagine being without him. So each morning before dawn we would ride, reveling in the freedom and closeness that the air brought us.
Time passed, and my homesickness lessened as each day was filled with growth, both with Faranth and with the ancient language. We were fifty strong by now and each day brought confidence and strength to our order. No one was happier about this than Shadeslayer, it was his vision, his efforts that had brought us all together and he was reveling in it.
Faranth was almost fully grown by now and we were thriving, both with magic and sparring. None of the other trainees were at our level and our enthusiasm was acknowledged as the Shadeslayer lauded our dedication and closeness. He began to join us on our morning rides; Saphira and Faranth competed to outdo each other in the air, while we grew closer on the ground.
Even in the silence, the time we spent together was meaningful, as he would wait outside my tent in the mornings, and usher me to it at night. I was feeling things, and he wouldn't act, as if something was holding him back, so in my frustration one morning I told him everything. About how much I enjoyed being with him, about how different he was than I expected, that I had begun to have feelings for him. His face was panicked and he bolted. Faranth was furious, I was distraught, and the Shadeslayer was a coward.
Everything had crashed down and I was lost. The next day came and only because my dragon nudged me out of my bed roll did we even fly that morning. Flames spit from his maw as we flew, he was feeling my emotions and let it be known he was not pleased. Our flight together was not about freedom, not about enjoying the air, but rather was furious and fast, about exhausting ourselves of everything and feeling something.
He was beside our tent the next day and only my quick intervention kept him from being roasted by an angry orange dragon. We walked in silence, away from New Vroengard and into the nearby forest. He spoke of his quest, of the journey he had taken. I had heard most of it before, but this time he spoke of Arya, of the elf who had his heart and his true name.
I walked beside him in silence, digesting what I was being told, making sense of this new information, better understanding who he was. He spoke to me of how even when she had a dragon, even when the Riders were being rebuilt she would not accept him. And how I had changed everything.
He felt the same and it had terrified him. His love for Arya was so integral to him, to who he was, that in professing my feelings it threatened his very being and he had no idea how to respond. And yet he felt the same. So it was in tears that we embraced and in this moment whatever he felt for the Elven Queen was forgotten and I was made his.
Faranth was overjoyed on my behalf and whatever anger was soon forgotten. New Vroengard was soon aware of our relationship and all was well.
Time passed, we grew closer and were wed, and a baby boy was born, who he insisted we name Brom. I could not refuse him, and Saphira crowed at the choice and no one wished to draw her ire so it was settled. He looked like his father in almost every way except for my brown eyes and he was the joy of my life.
An emissary came from Ellesméra bearing a message from the Queen. Faranth stiffened but I was unconcerned. Eragon had given me Brom, and another was on the way. He was mine, even if she always be a part of him, it was I who he loved, who he had wed. The next day we took flight, Brom and I on Faranth and Eragon on Saphira with a dozen of our brethren to visit the elves in Du Weldenvarden.
We arrived the following week, to much fanfare and celebration, the first arrival of the Dragon Riders in an age, held in the highest regard as fourteen dragons and their riders were welcomed by the Queen. She greeted us kindly, eyes fixated upon Eragon meeting him with a wide smile and a hug. Brom had toddled forward and bumped into Arya, who froze upon seeing him.
Her smile vanished and she stood transfixed, eyes darting from Brom, to Eragon, before resting on me and my swollen belly. Her face betrayed her thoughts for but a moment before she steeled herself. "May I -", she began stumbling over her words. "May I hold him?"
I nod and she takes my son in her arms, a faraway look in her eyes and seems to age in but a few seconds. She thanks me, before stammering something about duty as she blinked back tears. Our eyes meet; pity in mine and pain in hers and my heart breaks for you.
Your Loss, My gain.
A/N: Special thanks to Toby860