It had always been there, a nagging thought in the back of her brain. But she hadn't known to look for him, to understand. She knew it was important and that was as much as her mind could reasonably understand. Till that day, when her Lady made her bigger, stronger, wrapping her in a dark cloak that seemed to come out of nowhere, hiding nudity Lucasta was sure she was suppose to feel embarrassed about but did not all the same.
It's a fleeting thought, her eyes finally taking in the rest of the world around her and him. Almost pitch eyes looked at her, she wanted to fall into him as she had the forest ponds when she was a kit. He seemed to jump, as if he had burned, and turning his gaze quite suddenly away. With a flick of her wrist, much like the one that had changed her shape, there was a blur of black with a caw that had always signaled danger but seemed oddly comforting.
"I think we shall call you, Lucasta," grinning with knowledge only Maleficent seemed capable of, "Come, I have much to teach you and very little time."
She's flitting through the tall grass, letting the young girl chase her. When she does manage to catch the bouncy white it seems to mind very little that she grabs fistfuls of short hair and tugs hard on ears. He watches, just out of sight, allowing their mistress the comfort of knowing the young child was being looked after without having to spend every moment watching over.
Catch me if you can!
It's her, he knows it's her if only because he can't stop thinking – and dreaming- about that voice. But there should be no way for her to speak it, for him to hear the thought. He writes it off to imagination, perhaps it had been young Aurora and his distracted mind had a little too much fun.
But Diaval still wondered, the girl was just that, a girl. With a high voice that still squeaked in a way only a child's could. Not the lilting and excitable voice of their other companion. Perhaps he had simply imagine it. It could not be her voice inside his mind, just as it had not been when they had first met.
He mused to himself, when the day had ended and she curled herself into a bed of leaves and fabric in the hidden roots of a tree, and he could watch her without her knowing. He wondered with everything that had happened why them being connected in such a way was so impossible.
Maybe it wasn't, maybe there was something else.
It's her who asks first, she has no sense of tact or shame. It's something that more often than not makes him smile and even laugh. This time it makes a pit grow in his stomach and wish he were anywhere but there.
"Why do I hear Diaval in my head?" she asks it just as one might inquire about the weather.
Maleficent seems almost surprised at the question herself, turning pointed eyes to Diaval. It sends a shiver down his spine, he's in trouble. She looks between of them, back and forth, back and forth, as her brows begin to knit in confusion.
"Have I said something wrong?" she sounds almost distraught.
He doesn't know why he steps forward, placing his hands on her shoulders and gripping them gently, "Not at all. There's just a time and place for those kinds of questions."
She seems just as confused as before, "If not now then when? If I can't ask them here where can I ask them?"
"Yes, little birdie, when is that right time for that kind of question?" there's that song in his mistress' voice, the one that says she knows much more than he does and isn't sure if she plans to tell him.
"When you understand more," he answers, choosing to ignore the other question for now, it will be a chat he has later.
Just like that it melts away, that big, bright smile takes over her face, "That sounds fair," patting his cheek.
It sends a different sort of shiver down his spine and he watches that same shiver follow the same path down her own, "Off with you, before I decide I'd like to make you my dinner after all."
She laughs, diving off into the woods, somehow laughing in the darkness that enveloped them. He wants to follow after her, not just to avoid this unavoidable conversation but he was finding himself enjoying her company more and more with every passing day. He should, shouldn't he? He had heard tale of soulmates that shared some deeper connection, he had hoped for it. Didn't all of his kind? Wanting their one and only mate to be the one meant for them from the beginning? As time had gone on, he believed it to be a thing simply meant for humans and he would find himself a lovely lady raven and continue on as his parents had before him.
Maleficent had changed that, somehow, whether simply by her existence or what she had done to them he didn't know. But it had happened after all and he had no idea what to do. He'd spent so long being sure that it would never happen he hadn't thought to prepare for in case it did.
"I don't believe I've heard the one about the Rabbit and the Raven?" her voice is that pointed cynicism that tells him whatever is happening is amusing to her for all the wrong reasons.
He sighs, turning to look at her, "That is not nearly as helpful as you seem to think it is."
She throws her head back, letting out that loud laugh that makes it clear he hasn't quite caught on, "It was never my intent to be helpful, my darling, but I'm sure Lucasta might be so inclined," reaching out to lift his chin with her hand, "She is much smarter than you would like to give her credit for."
The world is as it should be, the Moors filled with light, their mistress able to soar through the skies. He eavesdrops, he shouldn't, and he's sure that Lucasta knows he's there, their bond having grown deeper and yet never discussed over the years that had flown by. She sits by the water with Aurora, weaving long stemmed flowers into the girl's hair. They joked, talking about things that only young girls that still chased rainbows spoke of with big grins.
"But, how do I know I love him?" it's the young princess, turning to look at her friend.
She looks wise, as if the seeming innocence had been a mask hiding an old soul, "If you do, you know," pushing the decorated strands behind her ear, "It's this pulsing deep inside your chest that seems like another heartbeat, it's not yours but you feel empty without it. It's spending hours together and never speaking a word, not because there's nothing to say but because you simply don't need to," she takes her hands, helping her climb to her feet as she did her own, "If you love Phillip, you know. Nothing less will do."
He felt horrible, wondering all these years what his mistress had meant, watching her dance, play, and sing without seeming to age. Forever some innocent thing the world couldn't touch. It had never occurred to him she had been such because he needed it from her, because he wasn't quite ready to accept it yet. She had known, all this time, all this time she had loved him and kept it inside. Choosing instead to be the troublesome youngling. He'd make it up to her, he promised himself. Even if it took another 16 years.