The red glare never left Brand's eyes, it seemed.
Logrus-rage, Logrus-madness, whatever he - or anyone - wanted to call it...it was there, and it burned. The frustration radiated from him as he struggled to bring the suddenly-instinctive physical changes back under conscious control.
Llewella stood back, uncertain, waiting.
"Is there anything...?"
The only response was a curt shake "no" from what passed for a head at that point.
His hands were reaching out to draw in some invisible something. Then, there was a knife where none had been. He grasped it by the blade, seeming to ignore the trail of blood dripping from the talon-like hand.
No. Not ignoring. Pleased.
"What are you...?" The words formed on her lips, died somewhere in her throat, as she saw the process repeat with his other hand.
The blood turned to fire, angry burning drops.
"What...why...?" The words just wouldn't come. But movement would. She ran to him, willing to surrender control of her body's form as long as her strength remained to overpower him, to take the knives from his hands.
And it did. For a moment, something in his eyes cleared enough to recognize her.
"Lillie...Lillie, please. Please don't...it's not worth the risk."
"We settled that long ago, love. I risk what you risk." By force of will, the words came then, calm and unyielding. For a moment, they were both themselves again, their true selves in their own form, identical green eyes pleading with each other. And in that moment, speech became unnecessary.
You know what Fiona wants to use me for...to destroy...I will not involve you, nor our child in that destruction.
You have no choice. We have no choice. Certainly since his birth, we have had no choice in the matter, if we want him to live. I don't like it any more than you do, love, but you know what Father would do, given half a chance...
I should never have involved you, never have brought a child into the world that I would be unable to acknowledge as my own. If I die and he remains unknowing, the King would have no reason to seek him out, to call for his death, and it would end...
"What of me? What of the lonely days and years and centuries ahead, without you?" She did not realize she had slipped back into speech, her pain and fear too much to maintain the connection of mindspeech that they had shared.
His eyes darkened, the red glare returning to overwhelm them. I don't know if...this...is forever. Better for me to die while you can still remember loving me.
"It changes nothing. I swear it."
"But it must..." The words were forced out and barely understandable, the inhuman form of his body barely recognizable, his mind barriered and barely reachable, even by her.
We have to get out of here... Llewella thought, desperately. Somewhere nobody can reach us for a little while. We need a day - just one day - for things to be all right again. Just one day that we can look at and know they can be. Just one day. Just one... She focused on the blurry bloodstained reflection in the dagger on the floor. Just one day...
They faded from the room in a swirl of mist, to find themselves in a quiet place with a sunset-purple sky and soft green clouds. A small, cozy-looking house was directly in their path. It was perfectly furnished and completely unoccupied.
He was silent, but calm. They slept for a long, peaceful night.
When they woke, she could see herself in his eyes again, not the red glare of the Logrus. She could touch him without watching him flinch, kiss him and know he would respond, pull him closer without him pushing away.
They spoke little that day, most of what they said being the words, "I love you."
It wasn't the ecstasy of the day he taught her to fly, or the joyful passion of the night they cast truthspell and shared the ritual meal, fireside, and bed to pledge themselves to each other. But it was peace and calm and the absence of pain or fear, and it was enough.
At the end of the day, he slept peacefully. She fought sleep, the fear returning. No day could last forever, but oh, if it could...
She settled beside him, daring one more kiss, one more night sleeping curled in his arms. Whatever he was when they woke, it would have been worth it. The rage was returning - she could somehow see it behind the closed eyes, could somehow sense it. But it had been worth it. Even if she, if they, never woke again.
The memory of that single day sustained her as she watched him struggle to regain his own mind, away from the pull of the Logrus and from the influence of Fiona's schemes - could either of them say which was which, in those days?
The memory carried her through the weeks that stretched into months of pulling sharp weapons and super-heated metal away from his hands when he wrenched them from some fathomless elsewhere, of struggling to restrain him when he tried to destroy himself and his surroundings - all she could do was trust his love for her, that the rage would never turn to destroy her...after all, would he have risked the Logrus or the madness that it brings in the first place if not for her, if not for their son?