Flame had interesting days now. Some days he would lie around on his cot staring at the ceiling supposedly in deep thought. Other days, he would be out there in the field with me training with intense focus. Other days, he would run around the whole city with Blaze, laughing uncontrollably at who knows what. I could not make any sense of this bizarre pattern. But I decided to work around it. Regardless, I had other things on mind.
Like the fact that the stupid strategist was at it again. He now seems to think that because the Water tribe is with us, and the Earth tribe seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet like the weaklings they are, that we can sit back and relax, and let the rest of the war play out in front of us like we were never involved, like we shouldn’t be involved. I nearly took the man’s head off. Only Tamwyn’s coarse hands gently resting on my waist refrained me from beheading the strategist. I had been dangerously close to doing so, only moments ago.
I argued that before we sat on our lazy asses, we should hold council with the generals and leaders of the Water tribe. The strategist reluctantly agreed with my unexpectedly calm and rational suggestion. At least, it was strange to him that I was not demanding immediate action. I guess it was unusual.
But we did have a plan, at least a plan to go make plans with the guidance of others who perhaps had more wisdom than we did, at the time. But I was willing to try anything.
Tamwyn had stayed behind to talk to a friend of his, but I couldn’t handle that small, crowded space any longer, so I set off, headed towards the training center. As I walked, enjoying the darkness and the silence, and the fresh air. I liked being able to see all of the stars clearly, because where humans inhabit the world, they are not seen quite as easily. After a few more minutes of this, Flame appeared by my side.
“I have a few questions for you, Starfire.” He said conversationally, though at the same time making me feel as if I should be preparing for an interrogation. I tensed slightly, but replied
just as calmly “Ask away, Flame.”
“First.” He began, and I realized he was reading off of a short list. I tried not to laugh, and listened as he continued. “What are we?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, laughing softly at the absurd sounding question. “We are people of the Fire tribe, my dear.”
“No, I mean, like, there are humans. And dogs, and cats and trees and artichokes. So are we Fires or something”
I snorted loudly. “Flame, you need to understand something. It is not that we are creatures that can control fire, or that we are beings that are immune to fire; it is that we are fire. We are the absolute embodiment of fire, just taking a form that is in some ways less wild, and in other ways more wild than fire on its own. I am not a living being that manipulates fire, I am fire. And so are you. This goes for all the tribes. There is a reason that Flame and Air can fly – Air for clear reasons, as they are Air, and can travel like it, and it costs them no effort. We can fly because Air breathes life in to fire, and carries sparks around, but it takes us effort for eventually Air can put Fire out. Earth loses all their powers when they aren’t touching the earth, which is where the Greek legend about Anataeus sprung about. But when they are in contact with the earth, they are ridiculously strong and make formidable enemies. They are part of the earth. They are earth. Those in the Water tribe can jump into any body of water and reappear in a completely different body of water, anywhere in the world. They are water, and water is everywhere, do you see? It’s like they travel through under ground water in seconds, moments, in the blink of an eye. This isn’t magic. This is how it is.”
He nodded slowly, and had been listening with rapt attention the entire time. I was not used to being around someone who wanted to listen to me because they cared about what I had to say. Usually people listen to me because they are afraid I will kill them if they do not listen to me, which is generally right of them to assume. Finally he asked “So we are just Fire?”
I smiled again. I could not remember smiling this much in such a short amount of time. “We are Fire. You are Flame.”
He nodded again. “I am Flame.” He whispered, more to himself than to me.
“So.” I began. “What’s next on that list of yours?”
“Oh,” he said, looking surprised that I had seen it. “I had started this list expecting to write more, but I could only think of two questions I really wanted answered.”
“And the second one is…?” I inquired.
“What is the significance of silver, weapon wise? I mean the metal, you know.”
“Ah.” I said smiling for the fourth or maybe even fifth time that night. What was wrong with me? “You, Flame, have just asked the million dollar questions, as I believe humans would say.”
He gave me a puzzled look. “What do mean, Star?”
“I mean, that silver used in a weapon is lethal, and kills nearly instantly, and there is no way to fix the wound. The arrow that had hit Blaze was made of iron, and there fore there was hope that he could be saved. The dagger that had been used to kill Spark was made of silver, so all I could do was ease her passing. No one knows why this is – people have speculated, but each theory is more ridiculous than the previous one. It doesn’t make sense to any body.”
Flame pulled out his silver dagger that I had given to him some time ago, so he would always have protection. He stared at it wide eyed. “So you mean to say, this knife-”
“- Should be used sparingly, and in emergencies only. Though silver only has this attribute when used against an element. Though it will most definitely hurt to put that deadly point into another creature. Do not worry too much about it though Flame. It is time for bed anyway.”
We had reached the training center. I climbed into my cot as I watched him walk to his. I bade him goodnight, and watched him place the silver dagger carefully on the floor beneath him, next to his sword.
Flame was restless most of the night, not truly sleeping, but not truly awake either. Tamwyn had long since joined me in my cot, and I could feel his steady, comforting heartbeat beneath me. I shifted, but even the tiniest movement woke Tamwyn up. He looked down at me, eyes wide open, not looking even the slightest bit sleepy any longer.
“Couldn’t sleep?” he whispered, smiling slightly at his own joke.
I rolled my eyes at him. “You know I do not ever sleep, Tamwyn. I apologize if I woke you.”
He smiled again and kissed me on the forehead lightly. “And you know that if I could, I would stay up all night with you.”
I sighed, making it long and drawn out, which would supposedly give me the feeling of tiredness. It didn’t. “You really shouldn’t stay up all night with me, Tam. It’s probably bad for your health.”
He cocked his head to the side, and raised an eyebrow teasingly. “Are you saying that you are an exception to that particular rule, my dearest?”
I grumbled and rolled over on my side, so my face was buried in his shoulder. “I am the exception to everything, am I not?” I mumbled. He snickered softly and soon the two of us were asleep, me for real this time around.
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