Hello all! Well, I've decided to dive deeper into the past of Amaranth/Ryukiba and Ral'thes! So if you haven't read 'Never Meant to Be' you probably wont know who these two are. You don't really need to read it to follow along, but it's the origin of this story so to speak. I really shouldn't give all my characters such extensive backgrounds... Expect to eventually see one of Dimitri's past in how he became a Worgen as well! Seeing as how NMB is drawing to an end, the sequel will be soon to follow. This is a long series of my random imagination!

~Never Fading~

CHAPTER 1: FIRST MEMORIES

An eleven year old Amaranth sat with her nose deep in the holy writings. Her mind anywhere but her studies. The tiny elf let out a sigh closing her eyes drifting off into her own childish thoughts. She would would rather be anywhere but here. Even the children she had been studying with had all advanced to physical training by now. Resting her chin on her fists she opened her eyes again watching the other children all hitting practice dummies.

Their control over the light wasn't very strong, but it was there none the less. What Amaranth couldn't figure out is why she couldn't do anything at all. Even the little tingling feeling in the others hands as the light danced playfully from their fingertips didn't exist. Frowning she slammed her book shut.

"Giving up already little one?" She held back her grunt and turned to face one of the trainers that had stayed behind to watch her.

"...No Lady Noellene." She opened the book again staring at the words. They only confused her more each time they appeared before her. The trainer nodded her head returning to her comfortable position in her chair.

She watched for several grueling hours longer before she spoke again. "Go, you've studied enough for the day." Amaranth jumped from her chair racing out of the room. Noellene shook her head sighing as she picked up the forgotten holy book. Placing it carefully back where the young trainee would find it later, she too left to assist the older Paladin's in training.

Practically skipping down the street Amaranth hid herself around the corner. Watching a group of older Paladins she peeked her head farther around the corner. They laughed about a something that had happened earlier in the day. Her eyes imminently fell on the youngest, maybe fourteen summers old. She couldn't tell, it was hard to tell the difference in age between those she lived around. All she had to go on was his height and build. He wasn't a child and yet not quite an adult yet either. He was somewhere in between the two.

He looked over, his smile instantly vanishing.

Amaranth jumped giving a little gulp not expecting being caught so soon. The other men turned around to see the small girl hiding behind the plant. She felt like her heart would burst from her chest if it didn't slow down.

"Child stop cowering behind that plant." One spoke in an authoritative tone. "You are a Quel'dorei, you do not show fear."

Eyes cast down to the ground she stepped away from her cover. The older man was right, and she knew her father would be furious. He had already lost one son because of cowardice. She didn't want to continue to disappoint her father more than she had already had. Looking up she then quickly gave her superiors a bow, and turned tail trying not to run. The youngest male rolled his eyes at the girl, shrugged his shoulders and continued to banter on about the days events.

The day had quickly passed into night, and the next morning came as it always did. Amaranth stood waiting for Lady Noellene outside of Farstriders' Square. The female paladin hadn't shown up on time, but that wasn't anything unusual. The other children began crowding around talking playfully to one another. Games began to break out among the ever easily diverted children. The trainer finally appeared, behind her the same group of Paladin's that Amaranth had seen the day before. The children all immediately stopped their games to stand stark still.

"Children, I am ashamed of each of you..." She jumped from the back of her steed, followed by the men. "For your impatience I want each of you to break off into groups of four." She waited for the children to do as ordered. Giving a soft sigh she nodded her head to the men behind her. Each took a small group of the children, ready to grind some respect into their tiny minds. Once the youngest made to move to take his group; Noellene threw her arm out blocking his path.

"Lady Noellene?"

"Amaranth!" She called to the girl. Turning around shakily she faced her trainer. "You will be training with Ral'thes." The young man held back a huff of irritation.

"As you wish Lady Noellene." Crossing his arms as he turned his back on his young charge he waited for farther instruction. "I take that I will be her trainer for awhile yet?"

"Perceptive as ever, Ral'thes." She placed an armored hand on her hip. "Maybe with your help you can get through to her. I have tried all I can, and can do nothing more."

"If I may say Lady. I'm not a fully fledged Paladin myself." He bit on his cheek, he wasn't a babysitter. "How will I succeeded where you have not?"

"You'll think of something. Now, do what-ever it takes, understood."

"Yes Lady Noellene."

With no farther word the two were ushered away from the other students. At first Ral'thes merely wandered around Silvermoon, the young girl following behind him. Waiting for some kind of instruction.

"Um... what are we doing?" She jogged trying to catch up to the male. He lead his Charger to a stop, mounting up on the giant horse. Amaranth gasp watching as the horse started off at a slow trot, then took off down the street. Elves jumped out of the way of the horse as it barreled down the large streets with the tiny girl far behind.

Sometime later, Ral'thes lay on his back along the rivers edge. His eyes closed in light slumber. He was awoken all to soon by panting. He peeked through a narrowed eye at the doubled over girl. "Lady... Noellene... said to help … me..." She looked down at him through tired eyes. Ral'thes sat up slowly, reached a hand out, pushing the bleary eyed girl over. He stood trying to lose the girl once again, only managing it when he rode far off into the forest.

Every day would end up close to the same. Ral'thes would leave with Amaranth in toe, but ditch her soon after. She hadn't told Lady Noellene of the events, to embarrassed that she couldn't hold her own against the other Quel'dorei. Each day she told herself that she would stand up to the bully, but each day she only ended up on her own ass, left alone in Eversong Woods.

"You're supposed to be training me!" Amaranth panted standing over a dozing Ral'thes. With a little huff she sat down beside him crossing her arms. She didn't know when she had fallen asleep beside him; curling up into his side for warmth. Ral'thes opened one eye staring down at the white blob of hair laying on his arm. He rolled his eyes trying to ignore her, hoping she would just go away. When she didn't he opened both eyes to glare down at her. At first he wasn't going to do anything to rash to her, but he caught a glimpse of something blue in the corner of his eyes.

A mischievous smirk spread across his face as he scooped up the girl carefully. She mumbled something to herself, but remained asleep as he carefully carried her. Then without warning he dumped her into the river. Awake the instant she hit the water she surfaced splashing wildly as she sputtered. Ral'thes gave himself a congratulatory pat on the back, laughing he turned around to leave.

"Help," She coughed trying to keep her head above the water. " I can't swim!" About to just ignore her he turned to see her sink under again. She didn't surface like he thought she would.

"By the light..." He muttered, giving her a second longer before diving in after the tiny elf.