Title: With one hand on the Diamond

Paring: Lief/Dain

Summery: Dain has a few questions for Lief. The third part of the 'Deltora's King' sequence. Warning, Slash

Disclaimer: Fanfiction is simply polite plagiarism. Aren't we glad Emily Rodda allows it?

"Lief, may I sit with you?"

Dain had just found Lief seated beneath a tree near the palace gates. It was several days after the defeat of the Shadow Lord and about a week since the Belt had revealed Dain as King. The sun had just set and with its passing came a cool wind that dispersed any heat that had found itself lingering.

"Sure. It seems like ages since we were alone together. The last time would have been before we left Tora for the Valley of the Lost." Lief's eyes clouded over with the memory of that terrible place.

"I'm sorry, I meant to find you sooner, but everything has just been so hectic…"Dain was tired, you could barely hear it in his voice, but it was easy enough to see in the way he slumped against the tree.

The wind had piked up and was now quite cold. "Don't even try to apologise. I saw it all, remember? The battles with the ols and the Grey Guards, how you have worked so hard to get the palace in order, and all the time you have given to get to know the people."

"What do the people think of me?" asked Dian, uncrossing his legs and drawing his knees up to his chest, in an effort to keep warm.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you know the people so much better than I do, surely they tell you what they think." Dain let his head fall back against the tree, staring at the branches above them.

"Where is all this uncertainty coming from?" Lief asked, concerned. "Is anything wrong, Dain?" He shifted over so he could wrap part of his cloak around the shivering boys shoulders.

"No, I was just wondering." Dain move forward slightly, so the cloak could pass behind his back, before leaning into Lief's side, grateful for the extra warmth.

"The people have complete faith in you. You've made a fantastic King. No doubt the best since Adin himself. I… they love you."

Dain lent his head against Lief's shoulder, his eyes fluttering closed "Really?"

"Of cause."

They sat there in silence as the night grew darker, content just to enjoy each other's presence.

"What do you need the strength for?" Lief asked, curious.

"Hm?"

"I thought I would ask why your hand is on the diamond," replied Lief as he placed an arm around Dain's waist to pull him closer. "No doubt you're probably just trying to stay awake."

Dain glanced up at him. "Lief you know better than that, the diamond isn't just for strength."

"Apart from strength there is innocence and purity. You needn't be afraid that it might be stolen because it is guarded against that. Is there anything else I might have forgotten?" asked Lief teasingly.

"Yes there is." Replied Dain, seeming to wake a little more.

"Are you going to tell me?" Lief's quietly pleading voice was almost drowned out by the cry of a night bird.

"No." Lief couldn't see Dain's face but it sounded as if he was pouting.

"Really?"

"Perhaps if you ask politely." Dain replied quietly.

"Dain would you please tell me that which I have forgotten but could have remembered at any other time provided I could be bothered."

"Lief that wasn't necessary. All you had to say was please," counted Dain, feinting a hurt tone of voice.

"Please." Lief whispered into Dain's hair.

Dain yawned sleepily "The diamond aids in the cause of true love." He wrapped both arms around Lief and rested his head against Lief's chest, before finding himself unable to keep his eyes open.

"I'm glad to hear you say that. 'Cause I love you too." Lief pulled his cloak tighter around both of them, content to let Dain sleep. He could certainly use the rest. For tomorrow would no doubt be as hectic as today had been. Even with peace there was still so much to be done.

Originally this was meant to be pure fluff, but as I was writing this it seemed to be trying to write its self. So I let it.

Tell me what you think.

Flames…. well I can't find anything witty to say, so think of something yourself.

Reviewer adored.

Shadows