She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not by Emachinescat

A Great Tree of Avalon Fan-Fiction

SUMMARY: Tamwyn has a hard time confessing his love to Elli on their quest to go to the stars and some interesting questions are raised. Like will Tamwyn ever work up the nerve to confess his love? And where the HECK did Batty Lad get that cupcake?

A/N: This was an entry for a story contest on my forum. It is a Valentine fan-fic for the great tree of Avalon.

Okay, this is my entry. goes! The guidelines were:

- In honor of Valentines Day, the story has to be a romance fic (you can include another genre if you want)
-Must be in story format
-The title must include the the name of the show/book/movie you're writing about (i.e. "Harry Potter in...")

The following items must be included:
- A rose
-A cupcake
- A pair of tweezers
- A harmonica

The following MUST be said:
- "HOLY CRAP! Is it hot in here or what?"
- "Kiss me, you fool!"
- "I love...tacos."

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

"I can't believe it..." Tamwyn jumped and gripped his staff tighter as he heard a soft voice behind him. He relaxed when he saw a young girl of about sixteen standing behind him. Her thick, curly hair blew wildly in the wind and her hazel green eyes sparkled wondrously. "You, the true heir of Merlin. And I told you over and over it was impossible..." Eyes twinkling merrily, she gazed into Tamwyn's dark ones.

Laughing slightly, Tamwyn said, "I guess I owe you an apology, Elli. You did say that I could be the Child of the Dark Prophecy and the True Heir of Merlin."

"Yes, next time you'll have to listen to me."

"Hmph!" came a small, grumpy voice from Elli's shoulder. A small sprite, purple at the moment, stood there. "You're hopeless without us!"

"Not completely," said Elli. "We weren't there to help when he stopped Kulwych from destroying Avalon."

The threesome stood in silence for several minutes. Tamwyn thought about what had happened to him in the past months, amazed about what he had learned and accomplished. He had discovered that he was the Child of the Dark Prophecy-the dreaded person destined to destroy the Great Tree of Avalon, as well as the One True Heir of Merlin the Wizard-the one destined to save Avalon. "They will be like brothers," he muttered, recalling a part of the old prophecy. Now he must wield Merlin's staff, caring for it carefully. It had great powers that should never be misused.

Besides finding out what his destiny was, he also found out that his father had descended from a long line of wizards that could change into a deer at will. Tamywn himself had that power. His mother had been a flamelon and he could now make fake fire. He had also been reunited with his adopted brother, Scree, an eagleman-he could turn into an eagle at will.

He had made many new friends. Like Nuic, the sprite, for example. He may seem rough around the edges (which he probably was), but all in all, he offered great advice and could be a wonderful, valuable friend. Then there was Brionna. An elf, this beautiful girl had just lost her grandfather to the evil wizard Kulwych, and was still greatly mourning her loss. However, when the time came, she was both cunning and a great shot with the arrow. Shim was the smallest giant in the world. When Merlin was in Avalon, he had made Shim a humongous giant, but recently, he had shrunk again. He had lost most of his hearing, so it was rather hard to carry on a conversation with him, but amusing as well. Then-he grimaced, chuckling at the same time-there was Henni. Henni was an annoying Hoolah (a creature that lived for nothing but causing trouble) that had taken a liking to tormenting Tamwyn from the start. Now, however, he seemed to have calmed a little bit and was something like a-although Tamwyn hated to admit it-something like a friend.

Tamwyn felt something shift in his pocket and smiled slightly. Batty Lad. This bat spirit was a great friend, and extremely entertaining. He loved to babble, and never left Tamwyn's side. Then Tamwyn lifted his gaze. Elli's green eyes stared back at him. He felt his face redden and his heart pound madly. Why he couldn't quite say. He remembered when he had met the priestess. They had gotten off on the wrong foot. Within the first thirty minutes that he knew her, she had given him two black eyes. They had bickered constantly after that. But then-things changed. Tamwyn didn't know exactly how or why. All he knew was that when Elli was on the verge of death, he had risked it all to save her...and they had been close friends ever since.

"So...are you ready for your journey?" It was several days after Tamwyn's breathtaking encounter with Elli. His brother, Scree, smiled at him.

The seventeen year old frowned. "I don't know, Scree...I'm leaving today. I have to find a way to get to the stars...just like my father...but...I don't just feels as if there is so much I'm leaving behind." He pushed his shoulder-length black hair out of his face, frowning.

"Well, you are leaving a lot behind...and risking everything," said Scree slowly. He put a muscular arm around his brother's shoulder. "But you feel that it's the right thing to pursue the dream that your father always had but was never able to accomplish. We will all miss you...but we understand."

Tamwyn sighed and heaved his heavy pack to his shoulders. "I guess...I guess you're right."

There was a small commotion behind him. He turned to see a small group of people heading toward him, no doubt meaning to say their goodbyes. He saw Brionna and Shim…Henni…and—his heart leaped, but he could not fathom why—Elli and Nuic. The group clustered around him, and he felt regret fill his heart. He didn't want to leave his friends—but he had to.

Brionna smiled uncertainly as she neared Tamwyn. "Thank you for helping me," she said softly. "And thank you for not giving up on me. I only tried to steal your staff to save my grandfather." Tamwyn nodded. Then Shim stepped forward.

"Wellsy well, it'll be mightsy hard seesin' you goes, buts I's sure that we'll gets through its all," the "giant" said.

Hiding a smile, Tamwyn gripped the old giant's hand in farewell. "I am sorry to leave you. I wish you the best of luck in life."

"Whats did yous say? You wish I would get a duck for a wife? That's not very niceys, I'd say."

Tamwyn shook his head. Henni bounced to his side, grinning a devilish grin. "Eee-hee-hee ho ha!" he giggled merrily. "You know I'd go with you, Clumsy-Man, but I've found that since the evil wizard is gone—eh-he-ho-hee-ha—there is even more veggy-tables to steal!" He pulled an apple from behind his back and hurled it at Tamwyn. It hit the boy's head and he staggered back, dazed.

"Yeah, take real good care of him, feed him well," he said, gesturing to Henni. "That way, there'll be more of him to kill when I come back."

Henni whistled. "HOLY CRAP! Is it hot in here or what?" he said, fanning himself. "Clumsy-man's gotta big bad temper!" Chortling, he bounced off.

Elli then stepped forward, Nuic perched solemnly on her shoulder. Tamwyn looked down, stomach lurching uneasily. "I'm—er, really going to miss you," he muttered, avoiding eye contact with the young girl.

"Miss me?" snorted Elli. "We're coming with you!"

Tamwyn protested at once. "No, you can't! Do you realize how dangerous that could be?"

Elli laughed. "Right…and our earlier quest wasn't?"

Tamwyn opened his mouth to protest once more, but then closed it, realizing that she was right. Come to think of it, he would rather enjoy her company. But still…could he allow her to put herself into anymore danger? He struggled within himself, trying to decide what to do. "Well…I mean, Elli…are you sure you want to…?"

She moved closer. His heart skipped a beat. "Yes," she whispered, face inches from his own. He could feel her breath on his face.

He knew why he felt like this…he knew what this meant. He looked right into Elli's green eyes and said, "Elli…I love…" He broke off, feeling foolish.

"What?" she whispered. They were blissfully unaware of all the eyes on them. "What do you love?"

"I love…" He couldn't do this. No, not now. It wasn't the right time. "I love…tacos."

A wave of disappointment swept over her face, but despite that, a snort of laughter escaped from her mouth. "Tacos?" she giggled. "You really are crazy…Shim was right…you'll end up just like Merlin…a bit mad." Still chortling, she turned to say her goodbyes to the group, Nuic doing likewise.

"Tacos," he muttered to himself. "The nerve…" He was now a bright shade of pink.

Seconds later, there was a disturbance in Tamwyn's pocket. A small, bat-like creature stuck his head out, blinking his eyes blearily in the sun.

"Ooosy-woosy!" he babbled. "Is its timesy-wimesy to say bye-byie?"

"Yes," answered Tamwyn, smiling.

The creature said his goodbyes ("Bysie-wisey, friend", or "Sees yous later, buddy-boo", or even an occasional, "I hopes to sees you 'gin vewy soony-soon, buddy wuddy!"). It was several minutes after that before Tamwyn, Elli, Batty Lad, and Nuic left. (The bat had retreated back into Tamwyn's pocket.)

Soon they were on their way through Woodroot, heading towards the North portal that could take them to Stoneroot. They planned to take the trail that went deep into the mountains, a legendary one, one that they had only traveled along once. But in that instance, Henni had pulled Tamwyn in head first with himself, and they had no time to see if there was another trail that might actually lead up the trunk of the Great Tree and to the stars.

They walked all day. Tamwyn couldn't keep his eyes off of Elli. She walked along merrily, humming to herself, occasionally skipping ahead. He smiled, watching Nuic buzz along beside her. What a faithful Maryth he was. And a faithful friend as well.

Two days later, after much traveling under perfect conditions, the weary group finally stopped for the night. As they sat at their newly made camp, they gazed up at the stars, wondering if the stars in the Wizard's Staff would ever be relit. As if he was confirming an unspoken understanding, Tamwyn said (after glancing at Batty Lad and Nuic, who were both asleep near the fire), "Yeah, I've got to do this."

"You will…" said Elli, smiling at him. He felt a rush of excitement.

"Elli…about earlier…I didn't mean it. About the tacos. I mean, I do like tacos, but what I meant to say was…erm…" He faltered, wondering how he could have been so brave, even after being captured by Kulwych, but was so afraid to tell Elli how he really felt.

He cleared his throat and said, "Remember when we first met? How I…erm…crushed your harp?"

Elli's face darkened momentarily. Tamwyn knew she was thinking about the harp, the only thing she had left of her parents before they were murdered, and how he had accidentally stepped on it, shattering it. He winced, fearing he had said the wrong thing. But after a second, the shadow passed, and she said, "Yes, I do."

"Well, I wasn't able to get you another harp; however, would this work? I know it's not the same at all…but I mean, I just thought you might like it."

Out of his pocket he pulled a harmonica. It was beautifully fashioned, with amazingly detailed carvings etched all over it. Elli took a sharp breath. "It's beautiful…" she breathed. "Where…?"

"My little secret…okay, okay…it was an heirloom of my own…it belonged to my mother."

"But surely you want to keep it."

"No…it's yours. Of course, you're the only one I would ever even consider giving this to."

"Why's that?"

Tamwyn cleared his throat, feeling uncomfortable. "You know, it's getting pretty late. Why don't we—" he yawned, "—turn in for tonight? If we get a good start tomorrow, we should get to the portal before sunset." Disappointment showed briefly on Elli's fair face, but it was gone in an instant, and replaced with a slight smile. "Okay, Tamwyn," she said. "See you tomorrow."

The next morning, the group set out bright and early, with Batty Lad flitting alongside Tamwyn and Nuic buzzing beside Elli's head. "We should get to the portal by evening," said Tamwyn.

"I know, you said so last night." Tamwyn looked back at Elli, embarrassed. Unfortunately, he wasn't looking where he was going, and he stepped into something very painful. They had been traveling through the woods, and he had noticed everything. All the beautiful flowers, the trees, the life. But the one thing Tamwyn had failed to notice was the rosebush he had just stepped into.

He yelped in pain, struggling to free himself, all the while driving thorns deeper into his skin. "Tamwyn! Stop struggling! I would think as a wilderness guide you would know that," said Elli gently, placing a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder.

"Right," gasped Tamwyn, pain searing through his bleeding foot. "I'll remember next time."

It took several minutes to untangle him from the bush. When they finally succeeded, Tamwyn still had several thorns lodged in his foot. He sat down next to the bush, panting. His foot was covered in blood. "Ohhh…" he groaned. Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a pair of tweezers.

Despite the situation, Elli found herself laughing slightly. "Why do you carry tweezers around?"

Tamwyn grimaced as he wrenched a thorn out from the depths of his foot, drawing a new flow of blood. "It's part of being a wilderness guide. You have to be prepared for anything…rosebushes being one of them."

Finally he had cleaned up his foot enough so that they would be able to move on, despite Elli insisting that they rest some more. Before they continued on, however, he picked up one of the roses that had fallen to the ground when he had thrashed around—the only perfect one left. "My lady," he said, bowing slightly. He gave the rose to a smiling Elli. Nuic grimaced as usual. Batty Lad continued to flit about. But Tamwyn's heart bubbled up inside of him and he led the group on with more zeal than before, despite his injuries.

Later that night, they stopped for dinner right before they came to the portal. As a special treat, Tamwyn had gotten some berries along the way…enough to make at least one very special cupcake. For one very special person, he added in his head.

After dinner, he and Elli sat on a log together, looking at the portal, no more than twenty feet away. "You know, we're taking a big plunge," said Tamwyn slowly. Elli nodded, brown curls bouncing. Tamwyn loved her curls.

"Elli…" he said, moving closer. Hope shown in her eyes as she took both of his hands in her own.

"Tamwyn…" she muttered, looking deeply into the boy's dark eyes.

Tamwyn suddenly felt overwhelmed. She moved closer. She was about to close in. He didn't know if he was ready for this yet. Just as her lips were about to touch his, he pulled the cupcake from behind his back.


Elli blinked in surprise. She took the cupcake calmly and tossed it to Batty Lad, who was poking about nosily, trying to get in on the conversation. When he received the food, however, he flew off to consume it.

"For goodness' sake!" snapped Elli, eyes shining. "Kiss me, you fool!"

At last. He knew for a solid fact that he loved her as well. And he did as she said. She was very persuasive.

Half an hour later, the group got ready to enter the portal. Tamwyn took Elli's hand. This time, there was no hesitation.

They were not afraid of what lie ahead of them. They knew that no matter what happened, they would have each other. Together they stepped into the portal. The last thing to be heard before everyone disappeared into the portal was Batty Lad's eager voice. "Are we there yet?"

A/N: So that was it...what did you think?

~Emachinescat ^..^