Nights and the Sun

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Chapter 8

The wind blows across the tree tops. Brushing past their bare branches. The birds who live here have left, for the time being. Fleeing to the warmer islands a few miles away from the Kingdom's shore. A light dusting of snow blankets the once grass covered ground. The surface of the lake bellow the empty trees is frozen over. Some of the water still moves beneath the ice. Rebelling against it. Shifting wildly in its prison. It slams against the glassy wall, focusing all its power on the barrier. Nothing happens. The trap holds. The wind glides over the smooth surface as if mocking the elemental trapped inside.

Winter is a time of rest for water elementals. They go into a sort of hibernation. Allowing their bodies on the corporeal plane to solidify while their conscious remain alive in the magic plane. Those whose bodies normally reside in the ocean migrate to the lakes and streams and the like with their brethren. While ice is a subset of their element, few water elementals could not manipulate it. Fewer could wield it as their own.

Aquanious sinks further into what remained of the water, his hair an icy blue to match his surroundings. He had not the power to break ice as thick as that keeping him from the surface. He looks up at the barely discernible dent he made in the hard surface. He huffs gathering most of the remaining water to him and forcing it back against his jailer. The water strikes the ice hard, pushing against it with near impossible force. Aquanious spends much of his energy on this task before he stops. Allowing himself a break to recharge. A face peers down at him from above the ice. A face white as the snow littering the ground. Aquanious' sapphire eyes widen. He calls for his friend. Moving rapidly in pointless circles to get his attention.

Cassidy stares down at the water moving beneath the coating of ice. He looks back at Sparks, whose hair has taken to encompassing his face. Covering his exposed skin with warming caresses. Even still, the half fire elemental is shivering. And glaring at his charge with burning eyes shifting like the water. Cassidy points to the ice. A silent order burning within his own violet eyes. Sparks gives a long suffering sigh, breath coming out in a large puff of steam. He motions for Cassidy to move. Cassidy obeys, moving from the ice to stand behind his blood cousin. He shields his eyes and grins. Sparks growls lowly in irritation. He slams his hands together, generating a myriad of his namesake. He catches a handful in his hands then flings them to the offending ice. And waiting water elemental. Another growl and the sparks begin to burn. Their flames meld together to form one blazing inferno. The inferno is so strong that, even from where it sits in the middle of the pool, the surrounding snow begins to melt. Sparks presses his hands together for warmth as he watches the fire burn through the solid barrier of his opposing element.

Aquanious watches in excitement as the fire digs further into the ice. He can feel the water returning to hm. He breaths it in. His hair turns from ice blue to a brighter retelling of his default sea foam green. He gathers himself once again. His sapphire eyes glint mischievously. He slams full force into the remaining layer of ice, made weak by the others flames. Aquanious bursts forth from both ice and inferno. He steps onto the newly melted ground. His hair flowing around him openly. As if reaching out to Sparks. Sparks stares at him, disinterest shining alongside fire in his amber eyes. Aquanious pouts and lets out an irritated huff. His hair turns a chilling blue for a brief second before returning to sea foam. Cassidy pokes his head from behind Sparks' back just in time to see a mass of partially frozen water fling itself at Sparks' face.

Sparks' blinks away the water. His amber eyes wide. The flames having retreated at the attack. He stares blankly at the giggling water elemental. His hair, which had fled to the the top of his head, coils back around his face and neck possessively. Amber eyes narrow. A smirk works its way through the flames on Sparks' face.

"Think fast, Aqui." He whispers the warning in the silent winter air. Aquanious barely has time to react as a fire ball, similar to his snowball, goes flying at his face. He ducks quickly. Wincing at the hissing noise it makes when it hits the newly exposed water of his lake. His sapphire eyes narrow playfully. A smirk to match Sparks' is formed by frostbitten lips. Cassidy backs away again, opting to hide behind a tree. He is in no condition to spar alongside the elementals, even if it is a game.

Fire and snow fly across the white and gray landscape. The fire lights everything up for brief moments at a time before colliding with the snow. The trees shown signs of the fight. Some are burnt. Others given an unseasonable bath. Save for Aquanious' fist shot, the opening attack, neither elemental gets truck by the hurtling projectiles. They are smiling and laughing as they dodge each others element. Cassidy watches them with a smile planted firmly on his own face. His guardian is always so serious. Burdened with watching him at all times. Burdened with the stress of having nearly the entire Kingdom, save for a very select few, hate and fear him. It is nice, Cassidy decides as Sparks rolls by his tree, to see him so relaxed.

An hour later finds Sparks and Cassidy sitting on a patch of dry land Sparks had cleared. Cassidy curled close to his guardian's side for his warmth. Aquanious lays near them in the snow. His head is turned to Sparks, sea foam hair acting as a cushion for the older elemental. Faint giggles still move through his body. Sparks looks down at him and snorts. He raises a hand and gently hits him on the forehead. Aquanious cries out in protest but it dissolves into a fit of giggles before too long. Silence descends as Aquanious' giggles fade. The trio sits staring at the moonless sky. All submerged in their own thoughts. All content, in their own way. The companionship being shared between them only making the moment all the more peaceful.

"Aqui," Sparks voice is as quiet as they're breathing. Questioning. Aquanious hums his own question in response.

"I don't expect you to but, I was wondering," his voice tapers off. Aquanious sits up leans closer to his friend. His sapphire eyes hold nothing but concern and the desire to help. Sparks continues, "Do you know what happened to my mother? She disappeared after my father and I were captured." Cassidy looks at his friend closely. His violet eyes mirroring the concern in the water elemental's. Aquanious leans back. His eyes shine with sorrow, regret, and guilt. Both Sparks and Cassidy are taken aback by these emotions shinning in the water elemental's sapphire eyes.

"As I have mentioned before; elementals are not fond of humans. Your mother and I are anomalies amongst our kind. We willing sought out humans to interact with, and not in any malicious intent. Your mother committed a big offense to elementals. Such that. Such that," Aquanious struggles to find the words. His mouth opening and closing. Starting and stopping.

"I harbor guilt for an act I did not participate in," he says finally. Sparks and Cassidy blink. "It is nearly impossible to kill an elemental. They can only be killed by either starvation or by totally overwhelming them with an opposing element. It was decided, by who I do not know, that you mother was to be killed. My kin," Aquanious spits the word. His noble blue hair darkening to an inky black. "My kin were called upon to overwhelm her. I would have been asked to participate had they found me. I. I am sorry." The water elemental looks away. In shame or whatever else, the others did not know. Sparks reaches a hand out to his friend. He cups the water elemental's cheek and forces it up. Dark sapphire meets light amber. Sparks smiles a small, reassuring smile.

"It's okay, Aqui. I miss her, yes, but only as a child would. I have not seen her for too long, and too much has happened, for me to remember her enough to feel much besides a distant longing to see her," Sparks whispers. Aquanious stares at him uneasily. Sparks presses his forehead to Aquanious' and shushes him before he can say anything. Aquanious smiles again and accepts the comfort the younger elemental is giving him. Cassidy smiles at the pair, cuddling closer to Spark's side. Sparks and Aquanious brake away. The trio return their gazes to the sky and their minds to their thoughts. More content, perhaps, than they had been prior to the conversation. The wind whirls around them. It stirs up snow and broken twigs. Aquanious gives it a chilling glare. He moves subtly closer to the half elemental. He sniffs haughtily at the air. His eyes slip close as he basks in the stillness. In the companionship provided by his friends.

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