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Not all stories start with love and not all tales end with a princess, such is the fate of time.

The air smelled of rich green earth and the subtle pine smoke of a campfire that permeated deep in the forest just off a main thoroughfare between kingdoms. Good things never happened this deep in the forest. The beasts were bigger and the men just as roguish. Bandits could have picked a body clean like vultures to a skeleton. Yet, so deep on this fine afternoon, no evil lurked in the shadows.

The heavy rain had been deafening against the power of the shallow meandering stream, it’s banks risen under the seasonal downpour to fill a magnificent glade. Heavy tree coverage kept some of the rain at bay, allowing what little sun did shine to filter through their boughs to bathe the cove in gold. The scent of florals grew as one drew near, of blossoms at their peak of season and some that shouldn’t even be there at all.

Asleep at the water’s edge against a fallen log, like the Barberini faun, was a saytr; freshly washed of his day’s travel alongside the smoldering ash of a fire. Sun kissed skin was dewy, entirely unphased by the falling rain while soft golden curls had been pulled into a braid that trailed down along his chest like a vine with small violet blossoms woven in. He held a half drunken bottle of wine in one hand, some of its contents threatening to spill to the earth as the other hand tried in vain to support the weight of spiraled horns so large they could have broken any other man’s neck. Mosses and wildflowers seemed to rise and bloom around the satyr, slowly creeping out around him like a pool of blood. Almost as if the very earth was tapping into the faefolk’s magics.

They may not end with Princesses, but perhaps they can begin with one.

Why, speak of the Devil! The teenager had been soaring overhead when the skies above welcomed a traditional downpour, as only fitting for this time of year. She navigates well enough despite the unpredictable winds, landing gradually with an air of grace. A dark emerald cloak conceals the formal attire worn beneath, a custom fit allowing the large wings to sprout proudly from the young Lady's back, though her tail is also concealed for the time being. Ivory ringlets that reach either hip cling with water, promptly lifting each wing as a makeshift umbrella, the black sleek feathers allowing the cold droplets to roll from the feathers well. A light smile graces her face as she moves onward through this thick forest in search of decent cover, curiously admiring the way the dampened ground offers a little give with each gentle step. If she were home everyone would be sure to make a fuss, but out here there is a nostalgic and precious sense of freedom.

Finally, a wider trunk of a particularly handsome tree beckons the Devil closer still, turning so she might lean against it for a time, either wing promptly folding out of the way thereafter. Chin tilts upward to enjoy the delicate pitter-patter of rain hitting the surrounding foliage like freshly tuned piano keys. Ironically, it takes her another moment or two before she has any idea of the Someone sitting along the trunk's opposite side. It is the growth of stunning flowers creeping closer that shifts her focus at last, flinching slightly at the sight of someone there. "Oh by the Twins.." Carabia curses beneath a breath, her laughter soft as a palm briefly flattens at her chest, willing her pulse to return to normal after this brief jump-scare. "Forgive me Sir, I did not see you until now. I hope I hadn't disturbed you." Crimson eyes lift to his face, admiring the blonde braid before her brow narrows gently, a vague sense of familiarity reaching her as she steps closer, not yet entering his space from around the trunk's curve out of respect.

The satyr did not stir when she first landed. The moss would continue to creep before it hit a nearby stone and subverted its path around it not unlike the flow of the stream. There was a sudden crack, and a vine would burst though the middle, years’ worth of growth done in mere seconds. One could only imagine what it would be like if he was in control of this.

The male didn’t seem to notice when she first spoke, the subtle drunken blush over his cheeks could have suggested as much that his sleep was perhaps not entirely his own. Yet as Carabia continued, he began to stir. A soft melodious groan passed his lips and the wine bottle fell from his hands with a clatter, finally spilling another quarter of the deep crimson brew that had stained his lips the faint colour of roses. The slow creep of foliage stopped then, as soon as he’d become cognizant of his surroundings, of the presence of another.

True, Emillian was just as surprised as she was to have been woken when he thought he’d gone far enough to be alone but in such a torpid state he couldn’t quite comprehend it just yet. Sitting up and stretching as if raising out of a hundred-year slumber; the satyr would adjust the woven tie at the end of his braid before pushing it back over his shoulder to keep from tangling up in his horns. He’d rubbed his face in some semblance of waking up before gazing up at the devil with those dazzling blue eyes with the beast like slits for pupils, although they seemed unfocused as if he was still trapped in the haze of sleep. Those eyes though... they were so unlike any she’d ever seen before… except perchance, in childhood.

Unlike his unique jewelry fashioned from the earth itself, the only visible jewelry of her own are the golden bangles hugging the base of either horn. For a time, she seems downright content to blatantly stare at this would-be stranger. She only stirs from her unblinking stare at the movement rolling among the corner of her vision. A bottle? Crimson is quick to stain the dampened grass below as the wine spills free. Clumsy fellow. The rosy cheeks prove to be enough, immediately guessing he is some drunk passing out in the forest by accident. In truth, it has been quite some time since she saw another of his kind. Very long, in fact. Watching the gentleman stir some, the layers of skirts beneath her cloak flare around either leg when she drops into a squat beside him.

Pokepoke.

Indeed, a single finger kept snug within a white pair of gloves is straightened outward, poking and prodding at the drunk's shoulder. "Sir? Are you okay?" Crimson eyes drop to the blonde braid moved out of his way, lids widening as she freezes there for a moment. "What.." Without so much as asking, the teenager throws out an arm to try snatching the poor guy's braid. Not enough to pull upon the thing, yet enough with hope of inspecting the tie. If he keeps her at bay instead, the grabbyhands are sure to continue. "Where?!" She asks of him quickly. "Where did you get this?!" While she has yet to yell outright, Carabia's tone is that of a frantic and determined nature.

Emillian had been gone from this realm for so long, trapped in a dizzying world for so long, that he wouldn’t have even recognized his own mother if she fed him from the teat. Booze was no cure for trauma, but it did provide a nice blanket. The golden child nearly fell back asleep before she started poking him. Eyes closed he’d lean back again trying to brush her off before he suddenly made for his braid. For his only treasure.

Snapping up instantly the male would quickly grab hold of Carabia by the wrist and tried to push her back, only the nearly half a foot she had on him made a significant difference. “No! Stop it!” he’d cry in a mellifluous voice that seemed far to stable for how drunk he appeared. Being so close to him would start to feel familiar, he smelled almost the same. Sweet and floral under the sharp pangs of wine but how could she know that all satyrs didn’t just smell like this. He’d quickly snap, trying to push her away, “It’s mine. It’s always been mine. This is precious to me.” If not outright grabbed the satyr would start to back up slowly, left in the wake of his hoof prints in the soft earth were small mycelial half moons. Fairy rings that couldn't quiet get enough time to form. Clearly this... this woman was trying to rob him.

As though they were children again in an instant, they end up arguing back and forth. "You stop it!" Carabia fights against his grasp even with each wrist snatched up in her attempt to see closer. "It is? You made this?" She demands of him quickly, allowing the fellow to back away from her. Truthfully, it's as though the teenager does not hear him at all. Convinced he was a thief just as he is suspecting of her now, her gaze narrows some. Among the brief struggle, the young Devil had shifted from a squat to plopping atop either knee without care for the soaked grounds below. Why, she even misses sight of the unique rings he had left behind. With shoulders rising and falling quickly, Carabia simply stares at him for a few more moments, desperately searching for familiarity among his now grown up face. "This.." She finally speaks up once more, digging inside her cloak to slip free an identical woven bracelet. Visibly swallowing, her voice grows timid as she struggles to find her thoughts. "Did...Did you not make this for me?"

Emillian glared at her when she asked him if he made it.. Of… of course? He couldn’t quiet remember just what made this so special to him. All that he knew was that he’d had it for a very long time. “I! I think so? Pfffft! Why does it matter to you?!” and then all of a sudden the memories felt like a punch to the gut. As things started bubbling up from the depts of his addled mind the satyr fell back, no longer in quite the fighting stance while he tried to remember why he had the little tie in the first place. Though at the sight of the second, though admittedly in better condition, twin to his own. “I… I can’t.” Breath hitched in his chest the satyr stared at Carabia finally seeing her. One hand gingerly moved up to his mouth as he stared at her with those blue eyes wide with shock. Quickly welling up with tears.

The Satyr would look away then scrambling to grab his fallen bottle to take a swig. Only it was empty, and he had no crux to bare. No protection from himself and his own mind. Hands trembling, Emillian moved forwards slowly and reached out for her. If not stopped he’d cup her cheek tenderly, “I- I’m not… I feel like some how I know you.”

Despite that she doesn't dare to blink, this usually well spoken and composed young Lady finds her vision beginning to blur. Warm tears find their way down her face one after another, long before he moves closer in order to cup her face. Damn this rain. Why did they need to reunite during this time of year?! "You do.." Carabia chokes out softly, her breath sharper as the tears seem to rival the downpour around them. "It's me, Bucha.." Finally, she smiles again while still sat atop her heels. She knows not of the depth, nor the complexity of this partial memory loss. Yet unless he halts her, the young Devil springs upward to wrap her arms around each shoulder, meaning to embrace him within a fast and unrelenting hug. "It's me, Carabia.." She squeezes him, so certain that she would never ever see him again, much less among her own homeland.

Either shoulder visibly trembles as she hopes to clutch onto the poor fellow, at least if he hadn't stopped her to begin with. Finally, she finds her voice. "..Where did you go? I came back, Bucha. I really did, just like we promised." Unable to see the memories flooding before his mind's eye, she continues onward. "I was playing when I first saw you, remember? One of Mother's Imps were with me that day, and we played together on a bench. You were practicing with a fencing Tutor, and we met after.." Carabia sniffles. "I missed you, you big doofus. Why'd you have to wait this long?" At this, she finally laughs, if not mostly at herself for rambling on with such borderline hysterics.

Nothing could have stopped this. No amount of magic in this would could have kept the two apart. It felt like a veil was being lifted from his eyes as the embrace was connected with the same desperate force. Memories hit like shrapnel; things he hadn’t thought of in what felt like decades. “Carabia? I didn’t want to leave but I was taken. It hasn’t been very long since I managed to slip away.” He’d look deep into her eyes and it was plain to see that he was struggling. The pain behind those eyes was heart breaking, “I… I um- It’s been so long, honestly I’m still not even sure if this isn’t a dream too. When I came back nothing was where it was supposed to be. Everyone was gone. I was worried that I had outlived everyone.”

Things finally started to click for him and his legs gave way, bringing him down to his knees, and perhaps toppling them both as he was unwilling to break the connection least he loose Carabia again. Reaching to wipe the tears from his eyes, Emil continued "I feel lost. I can't ever remember where I am or where I'm supposed to be any more." Emillian looked away then trying desperately to stop his face from ugly crying. This was supposed to be a joyous occasion Emil used to dream about this when he was young, that he’d go back home and his mother would be there and that he’d never lost his closest friend. "I’m-“ he'd laugh a little through the water works and finally pulled away so they could gaze into each other’s eyes. Finally cracking a smile, "I'm sorry I'm a mess."

The light tone of forced laughter disappears within a moment's notice. "Taken?" She repeats him, feeling the need to cling onto him protectively but resisting the temptation to do so. He had escaped from whatever horrid person dared to pluck him as a child, after all. "I am sorry, Bucha. I honestly had no idea. Since Miss Brianna was also gone, I was sure you two had simply moved just like Mother and I had. Now, perhaps she left to search for you.." The teenager considers aloud, for she feels outright guilty for asking why he had left while being so ignorant herself. For now, she resists asking him of details with the pain as obvious as the continued downpour that surrounds the pair. "No, no. That is not so." She reassures at the mention of outliving his loved ones. "It has perhaps been a decade depending on when they..Moved you, but it has not been much longer than that. Thank goodness.." Since she too will outlive many, at the very least, their friendship is sure to be a long one.

The young Devil topples right along with him. Thankfully, she tenses enough to support his weight so the pair may remain kneeling, however. "Many of us do not know where we are supposed to be. That much is okay." She answers with a gentle smile, knowing full-well that this is not so simple. Gloved hands finally release their hold once he pulls away, doing the same as she laughs lightly along with another sniffle. "We are both making a mess of things." This much is made known by lifting the sleeve of her cloak to wipe at her own dampened gaze. "Thinking back, perhaps I could have greeted you after all this time with a little more tact." She shakes her head at the visual of nearly pulling on the poor guy's braid. Good grief!

Brianna’s name shook him to the core when he realized who she was referring to. There was nothing that felt more shameful than the fact that he couldn’t even remember his mother’s own name. Emillian had been so young then that he’d never even learned it. “I don’t think anyone was looking for me. She had just given birth to the triplets and I had become prone to running away. I don’t remember why exactly, but my father had always found me that day.”

The mood lightened significantly upon hearing Carabia speak of their reconnection. A grin soon cracked his forlorn demeanor, with s flash of those pearly whites he’d tease “Oh yeah, like you have ever been capable of tact?” Their short reintroduction had been quick, but she still acted so much like she did as a child, at least in this moment. They had always seemed to get in more trouble together than apart.

The saytr reached up and plucked one of the violets that had been braided into his hair. Petals swelled under his touch in the same pleasure a flower takes from a kiss of sun. “You’ve grown to be so beautiful. I really-“ the flower was tucked behind her ear with care, “I hope you have found someone who is worthy of you. Someone who makes you happy.” Carabia would soon feel the weirdest sensation. Almost like he’d set a bug on the side of her head. Small tendrils from the flower would begin to tangle itself into place like a pair of tiny hands, “So… what brings you so deep in the woods? I didn’t think I would run into anyone here, not in this weather.”

She feels so sure that Brianna had left to search for him. Yet in all honesty, who is she to know that for certain? Just as she recognizes that it is only her own hope to believe Bri's past actions, he receives her light joke well enough, tension fading for the time being.

A bright smile makes way for a louder, more sincere laugh. "Excuse you! You were always the one coming up with the plans!" She remarks regarding any tact. In some ways he is completely different, yet his humor hasn't changed a bit. Other than her words perhaps sounding more regal this time around, she too hasn't grown up entirely, clinging to the few months left before she will certainly need to grow up for those around her. Eyebrows lift quickly at the sight of petals blooming beneath his touch, failing to remember his magic acting this way as children. "Beautiful.." Carabia compliments aloud, smiling brighter still when he tucks the violet behind an ear. Convinced the grabbyhands of the flower is an insect, her right hand lifts to drift fingers among the ivory ringlets, certain she will find a stray bug there.

However, she all but pauses when he compliments her, those fast blinks evidence of her surprise, no doubt. She laughs lightly, pausing to clear her throat. "Thank you.." The young Devil is honestly proud to have inherited features from her Mother, allowing her own reflection to bring about treasured nostalgia. "Yes, actually. I have. Tis' an arranged marriage, though we have yet to set a date. I do hope it will come about before this year's end." Carabia answers him, for there is so much to share since their separation. Forgetting all about the flowers' grabbyhands mistaken for a mere bug, her gloved hand lowers to lace with the other among her lap. "Oh! There is a lot to catch you up with. I am under some dedicated protection which is...Rather boring, at times. I love to sneak away now and then just to escape for some peace and quiet. T'was a good day to fly until the rain began, but thank the Gods I made that landing when I had." If she hadn't, perhaps they wouldn't have found one another!

Laughter rang at the notion that Carabia was avoiding her guards and Emillian couldn't help but tease, “Well that’s not very responsible of you.” A sudden crack of thunder in the distance soon drew heavier rains upon them. Emil was not one for this weather as it affected him in much the same way that it did in his youth, only now that he was older it was much easier to keep from wearing his emotions right on his sleeves. Not that he ever wore sleeves of course. The satyr would tip his head up to gaze at the branches above them that no longer seemed to be able to provide them much protection from the heavy rains. A quiet gasp of 'Oh bother' passed his lips before pushing back up to a stand. "I’m sorry, I’d invite you inside but there isn't really an inside to go into. Eh- give me a moment. Maybe I can fix it up a bit?”

Taking Carabia's hand in his, the satyr would lead her to the soft patch of moss that had grown under him while he slept. The plush floral surface was surprisingly dry. Moss had a habit of wicking away every drop in thirst. “Come sit,” he’d muse while gesturing to the dry space, “If this works then maybe we will both be a little less moist.” Once she was settled, Emil offered an exaggerated bow like a proper performer before he meandered up to the base of the tree large tree he'd fallen asleep under. Another sad glance was given to the empty bottle of wine on the ground before the most mellifluous sound passed those lips. A song spoken in an old language, it’s nearly gaelic roots might lead one to believe that it was a love song, but who would woo a tree? Bucha. Emillian definitely would.

It wasn’t that he was was showing off... Well maybe just a little. A golden mist began to spill from his lips, pouring into the rough bark. The live wood creaked and the rustle of leaves was heard over head before the tree’s upper branches began reach down towards them. Each one swelling with new growth and leaves to create a thicker canopy. Something truly impenetrable to the rain. Bucha had done something similar when they were children, to create better underbrush in the bushes in the gardens to play in since he always had the most wonderful forts, but it was never something of this magnitude. It only took a matter of minutes, perhaps six maybe more than a dozen but it was easy to lose track of time when he sang. As soon as the satyr finished he'd plop down beside her, looking a little worn out but in high spirits.

Her mouth is quick to drop open in jest, as though she were ohso hurt by his mere suggestion. "Me? Responsible?! Nauseatingly so, thank you kindly!" The young Devil laughs loudly, feeling more eager than ever to share where fate ran following his impromptu departure. While she adores the stormy weather, the thunder's song ringing true throughout the forest leaves her shoulders flinching for only a moment, a gloved hand flattening against her chest sheepishly with embarrassment thereafter. Crimson hues drift skyward to follow him as her dearest friend makes to stand, hoping he is kidding surrounding the suggestion that he just lives out here. No, he is surely passing through instead! "Maybe so! By all means, Bucha. I do not mind where we catch up." She reassures him simply, realizing now that he must be one of the few people that she can lack formalities with.

Carabia smiles warmer still as he kindly helps her to stand, accepting the gesture with a silent nod of her head, the ivory ringlets that would ordinarily bounce with such a gesture remain flushed against her face, neck and wings with water. Shuffling on over among the soaked gown, the teenager follows his lead to sit as directed, hopeful that she shall not be in his way now. Another laugh only bubbles past the confines of her smile when he offers that theatrical bow; there's the Bucha she knows! However, a sincerely fascinated tilt of her head follows, for she recognizes Gaelic in an instant, perhaps one of the earliest languages she had the opportunity to learn. Not that she is able to translate the song should it be in ancient tongue, however. As though she were a child all over again, a look of pure awe or even wonder washes over as she gazes upon the manipulated tree, the creaks of the bark and rustle of new growth a wonderful song to add to his own, admiring how even the rain appears to sing as the drops tap against their thick canopy of sorts. "That was wonderful! We're sure to dry in no time now." Carabia praises as he joins her.

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