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Welcome to 21 Days of Valdemar!


Put on your party hats - it’s time for the Dead Vanyel Memorial Party! Vanyel is OFFICIALLY the Woobiest of the Woobies, and we celebrate in his honour!

WE'RE DONE.

No More Fills posted here! Post to AO3 or FF.Net and post the link here!


Discussion Post | Mod Call Post | Resources Post


Schedule
 

Day 1 -Aug. 9 - Prompts! You will have seven days to put as many prompts as you'd like on this post. And if you start writing them early, well that's just good planning!

Day 8 - Aug. 16 - Prompting ends, posting begins! You have 14 days to write, draw, and potentially diorama as many prompts as you can.

Day 19 - Aug. 27 - This is the cut-off day for prompters to reply to any questions about their prompt. Unanswered questions are considered enthusiastic agreement.

Day 21 - Aug. 29 - Last day of posting! All fills must be posted by 11:59 PM North American Mountain Time.
Day 22 - Aug. 30 - Party time! You now have the option of going unanon and reposting everything you've done to AO3 under our fancy AO3 Collection. Or unanoning in whatever manner you please.

(Click on the dates for countdowns; the fest is following MDT/Mountain Time)



Rules

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From: (Anonymous)
"Respite"


CW: What it says in the prompt, pretty much ;)

--

His cocoon of blankets was warm and he knew the world outside was cold, but hunger drove him from his makeshift bed—a nest of pilfered blankets piled around his bedroll in a corner of the ruined cottage. He had taken the crumbling structure as his camp when the weather worsened. After all, its unfortunate former inhabitants had no need of it.

Vanyel stood too quickly. His vision darkened; he swayed, reached a hand out to steady himself against the wall until his sight cleared. He was concerned, in a distant sort of way, but unsurprised. This had been happening more and more over the two months he’d been holed up here. It was just getting more difficult to keep it from Yfandes.

His Companion had been staying in main room of the cottage, too large to fit through the bedroom door. There was a large fireplace there and a smaller woodstove in the bedroom, so he could keep the whole cottage warm, more or less. When they began their occupation, after patching up the burned roof, he had rigged the front door’s latch so that she could enter and exit at her leisure. He had stacked plenty of hay and wood inside, and there was even more in the shed out back. Yfandes would not lack for food.

Vanyel considered this a respite of sorts, without active combat, though they’d been far from idle. From their position, Vanyel had been able to bolster this border section’s magical defenses as well as channeling energy to other Herald-Mages along the border. Despite his productivity, he knew he’d be able to do more if he was out on the road, facing the demons and Karsites himself. He couldn’t help the guilt that settled deeper with every passing day, until it was a hollow part of him.

But the sleet had alternated with hail for weeks, and Yfandes was still recovering her strength from their last close encounter. He didn’t dare move until she was in fighting shape. All he could do was hibernate in this godforsaken wreck and send out as much power as he could to those able to make use of it. If it was getting harder and harder to get out of bed every morning—well. He must be getting soft, he chided himself hazily.

Vision and balance restored, Vanyel stumbled to the woodstove and prodded the embers with the poker. They were nearly dead, and the cold cut through his loose Whites as if he wore nothing at all. He used a tendril of magic to fortify the flames for the time, until he could bring in more wood.

Yfandes looked up when he entered the main room, then returned to her breakfast. She was filling out again, her coat regaining its luster. Traces of snow tracked in by the door let him know she’d already been outside while he slept.

:You seem tired, Chosen: she said.

“Simple inertia,” he replied. “I’ve been in one place for too long; the more I sit around and sleep, the more I want to keep sitting around and sleeping.” The lightness of his voice was reflexive—how long had it been since he last let down his guard? Since he last admitted weakness, even to Yfandes? But he was, certainly, merely tired. And lack of sleep was nothing he had the right to complain about.

She snorted and returned to her meal.

He paused when he reached the cupboard—the room again seemed to darken and spin. A quiet part of him whispered that he ought to be more concerned about these dizzy spells, but he couldn’t bring himself to worry. He felt he lived each day through a thickening fog. Where once he dreamed of ice and snow, the isolation that numbed before it burned, he now dreamed of clouds shrouding his eyes and softening the painful touch of war against his soul. He felt less of everything—less pain, less regret, less concern, less warmth, less himself—and he couldn’t bring himself to be ashamed of the relief.

Only cautious enough to shield his condition from Yfandes. She would worry, and nag, and he knew he wouldn’t have the energy to assuage her fears once roused.

He could see clearly again, and he rifled through the available food. Dried meats and fruits, wrapped travel-breads, a combination of what he had brought and what was left by the cottage’s deceased owners. There was more left than he would have anticipated, but he hadn’t been eating much of it. Low appetite was a blessing when rationing meals.

Once again, though hunger drove him out of bed, he found his appetite fled when faced with the opportunity to sate it. He took a few pieces of dried fruit from a pouch, something to chew on in between channeling sessions.

The room was suddenly colder, though Yfandes gave no indication of having noticed. Perhaps later he would start a pot of stew, nothing that would use up too many of his rations, just a way to warm up. He always felt so cold after using magic these days.

He choked down a sliver of apple that tasted of chalk.

Vanyel considered hauling a log or two back into the bedroom to build that fire up again, but the thought alone was exhausting. He could work just as well here, where the larger fire was still burning steady. He sat before it, legs crossed, and closed his eyes. Today he would try to reach Herald-Mage Ora—she was new to a rough patch of border, and would likely need all the energy he could send her.

He centered, grounded, reached for a leyline, and –

A haze, dark, like passing through a shadow, and he was slumped on the floor with no memory of falling. Odd, he thought, staring at his outstretched arm. The small pieces of apple and pear were scattered beside his hand. His sleeve pushed up above his narrow wrist. His ears rang.

A shove against his back, warmth behind him—Yfandes. Another shove. He tried to push himself up but his arms shook and collapsed beneath him.

: —is on his way,: a voice, Yfandes, was saying. :Delian says— :

Vanyel heard no more as he slipped again into unconsciousness.
From: (Anonymous)
He next woke to gentle hands on his face, then two fingers pressed against his neck. Checking his pulse. A friend, he knew by the mental presence, a fellow Herald, someone to trust without question. Vanyel groaned and struggled to—turn over? Get up? Whatever he’d meant to do, the hands’ owner evidently decided to help him, and Vanyel found himself half sitting, half leaning against a muscular chest, with strong arms propping him up.

“Hey, Van,” said a familiar voice. “You’re not looking so good.”

Syllables resolved into words; his exhausted mind managed to connect the voice to a memory of dark hair and dusky skin. “Tantras,” he said, and opened his eyes. “How—”

He found himself unable to form the remainder of the sentence. His thoughts refused to translate into speech. Tantras seemed to understand him anyway, and answered, “I was on circuit nearby, and Delian heard Yfandes calling for help. Come on, let’s get you up.”

Tantras stood, then, lifting Vanyel up with him as easily as he might lift a ragdoll. Vanyel tried to keep his own balance, but the room blacked out before him again. He could do nothing but lean against Tantras, who kept a firm grip on his waist.

“Gods, Vanyel, did you run out of food a month ago? You look like someone dressed a twelve-year-old up in whites.”

Vanyel was not so lost in his fog of confusion that he couldn’t hear the worry in Tantras’s voice. He let the older Herald maneuver him towards the kitchen table and prop him up in a wooden chair; he held the edge of the table in a death-grip to keep himself upright when Tantras pulled away.

He could see Yfandes watching from the other end of the room, her ears pinned back with stress. Delian stood next to her, his attention clearly divided between the three of them. The stallion was still saddled and bridled, with sweat-marks dark beneath his girth. They must have just arrived.

Tantras had moved to the cupboard and stood motionless, staring into the well-stocked shelves. Vanyel couldn’t see his expression, couldn’t properly interpret the tightness in his voice when he asked, “Looks like there’s plenty of food here. Is there a reason you haven’t been eating it?”

Vanyel blinked, slowly. He’d been—rationing, conserving resources—he wasn’t hungry most days, he wasn’t doing much to expend energy in the first place—but he somehow knew none of these answers would satisfy Tantras, and he knew also that he had to be missing something.

“I ate when I was hungry,” he mumbled.

A growl—of anger? Frustration? Tantras stalked from the cupboard to his Delian and rummaged through a saddle-bag. He returned to Vanyel and uncorked the green glass bottle he held before kneeling down. “You’re going to drink this,” he ordered. “Just a sip.”

Perhaps it was the stern voice, perhaps the earnestness plain on Tran’s handsome face, but Vanyel felt no urge to resist the command. Especially not with a firm hand cupping his chin as the bottle tilted against his lips—Vanyel took the meager amount Tantras gave him and swallowed it quickly. The taste was bitter.

“—will help settle your stomach,” Tantras was explaining. He brushed the hair back from Vanyel’s face, let his hand linger on the younger Herald’s forehead. Then he pulled away, and Vanyel nearly whined for loss of the simple touch.

Tantras was back soon enough, and Vanyel found neither cause nor strength to protest as his friend hand-fed him half a bar of journey-bread and a meager portion of jerky, piece by piece. He felt neither hunger nor satisfaction as he ate, but the bitter liquid must have accomplished something—though the act was purely mechanical, he felt no nausea.

Instead, he found his eyelids drooping. Between one piece of jerky and the next, he slipped again into slumber.
From: (Anonymous)
Vanyel woke to such warmth that his first conclusion was that he still dreamed. He kept his eyes closed to savor the sensation—from the feel of it, he was back in his nest of blankets, cheek pillowed on his own arm, on the worn rug by the bedroom woodstove. The heat wavered against his face.

And he was not alone. Behind him, a man’s bare chest pressed warm against his back; Vanyel’s shirt had vanished, and he felt every inch of broad muscle, the slight scratch of hair. Steady arms around him, holding him close. An aura of protection, of affinity, an invitation to relax and forget the cares of war. To relinquish control, if only for a moment.

He’d had this dream before, on many a cold border night, though usually the dream did not include trousers, or even blankets. And his fireside lover was not usually—

Vanyel froze, fully awake, eyes wide. He suddenly remembered, vaguely, the events of his last spell of wakefulness, and he recognized the mental aura behind him. “Tantras?” he ventured.

It was strange to hear his friend’s laughter from so close, to actually feel the deep rumbling. “Sorry, handsome,” said Tantras. From the clarity of his voice, he’d been awake a while, if he’d been asleep at all. “I couldn’t keep you awake, and you were cold as ice. This was the best way I knew to make sure nothing important froze off.”

“It’s all right,” he said faintly. He was tempted for one sweet moment to remain in the embrace, to rest, but he wasn’t deluded enough to think that Tantras would welcome that. Tantras was a good friend, and sharing body heat was a logical remedy, but the man preferred women. Vanyel counted himself lucky to get this small taste of intimacy without it leading to revulsion.

So he pushed himself up again, and again Tantras rose with him. A hand splayed against his ribs, another curled around his upper arm. The hands tightened when Vanyel tried to stand, held him gently in his seated position.

Gently, but without any possibility of escape. Vanyel blinked, taken aback. He’d always been a match for Tantras in physical combat—his friend should not be able to hold him down so easily. They sat in parallel, half facing each other, Tran’s legs still mired in the blankets.

“Now you’re lucid,” muttered Tantras. He wore an unfamiliar scowl, and continued, louder, “I need to know what you’ve been doing here.”

There was a harshness in Tantras’s voice, and Vanyel felt an answering spark of irritation flaring inside him. His emotions, long muffled, were raw from exhaustion, from weeks of enforced idleness—from moments of intimacy followed by entrapment. Tantras was a friend, not his keeper, and had no right to hold him.

He let that irritation color his words, snapping, “I’ve been doing my duty. I can’t ride out in this weather until Yfandes is up to it, but I’ve made up for it as best I could.”

Tantras inhaled, exhaled slowly, schooling his features into a more Heraldic neutrality. He couldn’t, however, stop his hands from trembling against Vanyel’s bare skin. “I’m not talking about the damn war. What the hell have you been doing to yourself?”

He could stand, Vanyel knew, if he truly wanted. A twist of magic could send Tantras flying; even a knee flung into his side from this awkward angle could loosen his grip on Vanyel. But a strong disapproval radiated from the next room—Yfandes wordlessly ordering him to stay put. More than that, he was left profoundly disturbed by the fact that thoughts of violent escape had even crossed his mind.

His irritation of mere moments ago had vanished into a gaping chasm of uncertainty. Something was wrong inside him, had been wrong for weeks, and he didn’t know what to do before an enemy he couldn’t even name.

Tantras seemed to sense his dismay. “You really don’t see it, do you?” he asked gently.
Vanyel shook his head.

“All right,” said Tantras. “I’ll show you. Duck into my mind for a moment.”

And Vanyel felt the other Herald’s shields dropping before him. Not everything, no, there were thoughts bundled safely away beneath the surface, but Tantras’s mind and soul were laid bare. Vanyel had not been offered such vulnerability in years. Not in so dangerous a world as the one they now lived in.

Hesitantly, he accepted Tantras’s invitation and eased inside.

What he saw through his friend’s eyes was such a shock it nearly threw him back out. He held on, forced himself to look, to listen.

Pale skin, so much paler than last time we met, near white. The only warmth reflected from the flames. Silver eyes gone dull, sunk deep, sunken cheeks. Lips chapped and ashen. His ribs—skin stretched tight over dead tree branches, brittle, shuddering in winter winds.

Tantras’s hand shifted then, slid down his side to settle over a too-sharp hipbone. Immersed in the other’s thoughts, Vanyel felt the caress simultaneously through his own skin and Tantras’s hand, felt the nicks and scars as if they rippled under his own fingers.

Patchwork of scars held together by breath and luck. Quick shallow rabbit’s heartbeat. Limbs thin, too thin, I saw him just a year ago, shouldn’t see every crack and crevice of his shoulders. Shouldn’t see, his eyes, lost—

Vanyel made a small sound, something between gasp and whimper, at the warm gliding touch along his collarbone, back down his arm, closing around his wrist. He felt the tightening hand like a shackle; he felt the circumference of his own wrist like a promise to be broken.

Trembling, he kept the link. Tantras had more to share.

A memory. A small form sprawled before the dying fire. Still. Silent. Not dead. Not dead. Please. Pulse—slow, but there. Scared. Calm. Please, calm. Not dead. This is nothing new. A memory, deeper. Scared for the boy before; remembering grief unleashed and rain-lashed pain. Held him then; will hold him up again.

On that promise, Tantras gave a mental nudge. Vanyel took the hint and drifted from the connection, returning fully to his own fragile body. Thanks to his friend’s clear eyes, he saw now what he’d dwindled to. He felt dizzy with the revelation.

He’d seen worse, of course, and so had Tantras. They’d all seen worse of the course of the war with Karse. But to have lost so much so quickly, to not have noticed, to not have hungered even as he withered away—Vanyel found himself speechless.

Tantras, eyes softened with pity, asked again, “What have you been doing?”

Quietly, Vanyel told him about the battle they’d won, Yfandes’s exhaustion and injuries, the worsening weather. He described how, chafing within the two-room cottage, he’d managed to atone for his absence by aiding the other mages on the border.

To his surprise, Tantras nodded thoughtfully. “That explains it, then.”

“Explains what?”

“Well, I’m no mage, but I’ve been hanging around Savil long enough to know that using magic can take up all your physical resources if you aren’t careful.”

“I know that,” protested Vanyel. “But I’ve hardly been doing more than channeling energy. I lit the fireplace, once or twice.”

“You’ve lost perspective. Like I said, I’m no expert. But what you consider minor magic is probably pretty damn strenuous for any normal mage.”

Probably true.

:It is true,: said Yfandes, listening in. She’d been keeping quiet in the other room, and Vanyel got the sense that she was wrapping herself up in guilt for not having noticed his condition. He sent back, alongside a wordless rush of love, :I kept it from the both of us, it seems.:

Kindly disregarding the mental whispers, Tantras continued, “And of course, using magic dampens your appetite, so—”

“It what?”

Tantras stared at him. “Magic suppresses appetite. You wouldn’t have felt hungry. Gods help me, you didn’t know? You, Vanyel Demonsbane?”

Vanyel flushed and shook his head. He hadn’t known. Tantras spoke as if it was a widely known piece of common sense, like everyone from King Randale to the youngest page could confirm it if he asked them. Vanyel racked his brain and found a dozen memories of Starwind or Moondance or Savil forcing him to choke down a meal he didn’t want after practice or combat, but couldn’t remember an accompanying explanation. The Hawkbrothers must have assumed Savil had explained; Savil must have assumed they had. And at the time, he simply assumed they all were acting like overprotective mother hens, and went along with the unwanted meals to avoid confrontation.

Out on the border, he always ate after combat, because he was ravenous. But in all those cases, he realized, he hadn’t just been spell-casting. He’d been riding, stalking, evading, fighting with blade as well as witchcraft, and his body had responded to the effort by demanding restoration. Here, he wasn’t expending any physical effort, just acting as a magical conduit. All the drain of magic use with none of the appetite to compensate for it.

“That’s why I lost so much so quickly,” he said slowly.

“Exactly,” said Tantras. “And once you were undereating, you weren’t thinking straight, I bet.” He rubbed a slow circle on Vanyel’s back, fingertips catching on the ridges of spine and ribs. Vanyel relaxed into the touch, and only then realized how tense he was.

The touch vanished and Tantras was standing, extricating himself from the blankets. “Stay there,” he said, and Vanyel obeyed. He watched as Tantras left the bedroom, and if his eyes lingered over tanned skin and broad shoulders—well, Tantras didn’t have to know. In the absence of his friend’s warmth and conversation, Vanyel found himself succumbing again to lassitude.

Yfandes brushed against his mind. : Let Tantras worry about this one, Beloved. Just rest, and do as he says.: It seemed a sensible suggestion, even if he had been alert enough for dissent.

The Herald was back soon enough, and administered another taste from the green bottle before supervising a small meal of fruit, cheese, and bread. Not much food, but he seemed to spend hours getting through it. Vanyel barely remembered being laid back down and bundled up in blankets before his eyes closed.
From: (Anonymous)
The next week passed in a blur. Vanyel slept through most of it. His waking hours focused on frequent, supervised meals, interspersed with stories shared of their time at war. Tantras had heard more than a few improbable ballads of Vanyel’s adventures; he’d been forced to confess that most of them were actually true. The weather continued playing havoc with the land. Whenever there was a clear hour, Tantras would go out with Delian to hunt. He wouldn’t let Vanyel join him, saying he was still too thin to stand up to the winter winds.

Vanyel was forced to agree; his trousers barely clung to his hipbones and he’d had to add a new notch to his belt. Tantras didn’t seem to need his help anyway. He had never been on patrol with the older Herald before, had never seen how the man behaved outside Haven’s protective walls. Tantras proved to be steadily competent at everything he set his hand to—hunting, cooking, bolstering the roof repairs, scrubbing the stains from their Whites, entertaining the Companions, and, perhaps the most difficult of tasks, keeping Vanyel in line. No magic, no shirking meals, no exercise more strenuous than stretching or pacing around the cottage.

Additionally, this was the first time they’d spent so long in such close quarters together. As much as he enjoyed the company, Vanyel feared that the prolonged proximity would soon drive him mad. It had been far too long since his last lover, and Tantras was far too attractive for Vanyel’s piece of mind. A strong jaw, honest smile, a hint of mischief in his eyes—the situation reminded Vanyel of the older, fragile tomes in the palace archives: look, but don’t touch.

Made all the more frustrating because Tantras didn’t seem to understand the “don’t touch” part of the rule. The man would clap him on the shoulder every time left to go hunting, brush his hair from his face without any warning, sit so close their thighs touched when they settled in to share tall tales and gossip with the Companions every evening.

And several times after meals, Vanyel found himself seized with stomach cramps, his body unaccustomed to the size or content of the meal. When he curled up in his chair, shaking with nausea and fighting back tears, Tantras would rub his back and stroke his neck. His hands would linger long after Vanyel waved him off, lingering on his spine and the sharp lines of his shoulders.

Despite the setbacks, Vanyel’s body strengthened over the course of the week. The weight itself was slow to return—he seemed to have gained no weight at all, though Tantras said there was a difference—but he was no longer on the verge of passing out at any moment, and that was some small comfort.

They shared the bedroll and blankets by the woodstove. There was no discussion, and therefore no opportunity for Vanyel to protest. It made logical sense; by sharing heat, they didn’t have to worry as much about the fire dying in the night. And, as Tantras had put, “So I know you’re not dying in the night.” Still, once Tantras had been there a week and the immediate danger seemed passed, Vanyel decided that enough would have to be enough.

Not that he disliked waking up in Tran’s arms more often than not, or finding that he’d curled up with his head under Tran’s chin in the middle of the night. Rather, he feared he liked the situation too much, and sooner or later he’d end up doing something that made his friend uncomfortable.

He brought it up while they were cleaning up from dinner. There was a pot of rabbit stew they planned to leave covered to reheat in the morning—stuck in a cold corner of cottage, it would keep well enough overnight. The snow had stopped an hour ago and the Companions were out catching the fresh air; Vanyel really didn’t need Yfandes listening in on this conversation.

“You know,” he said as he rebuilt the fire, “If you’d like, I think we can sleep separately tonight.”
Tantras looked up from drying off their bowls, some of the only dishes still intact in the cottage. “You’re still skinnier than a broomstick, Van,” he said, brow furrowed.

Vanyel stood and replaced the poker. “Don’t worry about me. I just don’t want you doing anything you don’t want to. Especially on my account.”

He wasn’t sure whether to feel affronted or relieved when Tantras laughed. Tucking the bowls back into the cupboard, he said, “Vanyel, I’ve been worried about you the past ten years straight. You make it so easy.” Tantras walked closer to Vanyel, who stood rooted by the fire. “But what’s this about things I don’t want to do?”

“You—you know what I am,” said Vanyel. He wanted to sound matter of fact, but he couldn’t look Tantras in the eyes.

A footstep closer. “Yep. Bit of an idiot sometimes, but a damn good man, and a damn good friend.”

I’m shay’a’chern,” he spat. “And I know you don’t judge me for it, but I also know that doesn’t mean you want to be sharing a bedroll with someone like me either.”

This time Tantras didn’t laugh, but the warmth still lingered in his voice. “And here I was thinking you just weren’t interested.”

Vanyel started, and his eyes snapped up to meet Tantras’s. He thought at first that he had misunderstood, that this was mere wishful thinking or confirmation bias, but under the veneer of charm and familiarity there was no mistaking the hungry slant in his friend’s smile. Tantras wanted him, though he was a man, a demon-dealer, and nearly an invalid.

“You’re not shay’a’chern,” he said after a moment. The room wavered before him, like yet another dizzy spell, but this time there was no darkness.

“Certainly not,” said Tantras. “But I’m not picky either.”

And before Vanyel could properly parse that statement, Tantras had closed the narrow gap between them, running his hands up down Vanyel’s arms to grasp his wrists and pull him even closer. He whispered, lips brushing Vanyel’s ear, each syllable a spark of wildfire, “And there is a long and storied tradition of snowed-in Heralds becoming much better acquainted, you know.”

“I know,” breathed Vanyel, and then the moment caught up to him and he flushed, the years of pent-up desires caught up to him and he could not crawl deep enough into Tantras’s arms. He repeated, louder, “I know.”

Vanyel couldn’t tell which of them moved first, but they were turning, the room was spinning, their lips met and for the first time in a long time he was not alone. Shared breath to keep him from drowning. He pulled his wrists free and tangled his fingers in fine brown hair, stretched up and arching forward, back bones and muscles tensing until Tantras’s hands settled on his waist, dug into what little soft flesh was left on him.

“You’re still so thin,” muttered Tantras, his lips moving to kiss soft along Vanyel’s jawline, and fear was just the flipside of desire. “Let me know if I hurt you,” he murmured against Vanyel’s collarbone.

“Of course,” Vanyel lied, letting his head fall back. This hunger had hidden for so much longer than the hunger for food; once awakened he was ravenous. He had suffered worse hurts than Tantras could ever dream of inflicting, and he craved bruises dark and deep.

Because this wouldn’t last, Vanyel thought, as Tantras half-pulled, half-lifted him into the bedroom. They were Heralds, and this was war; neither of them could afford the distraction of affection.

But for the night, it was enough.
From: (Anonymous)
Aww! This is lovely!

-not the prompter, but I really enjoyed it
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you, I'm glad to hear that :D
From: (Anonymous)
(also not OP) AAAH SO SWEET. I love seeing Van fail to get it. I think you got Tantras just right, too. Caring and easygoing and teasing Van at every opportunity.

(I'm trying to piece together what canon says about magic and appetite... I know it says somewhere that mages do need to eat a lot after using magic but I'm imagining that the exhaustion it causes hits first, and Van's problem is that he's using magic all the time and never broke through the exhaustion of it to realise he needed to eat! Works for me.)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you!! Tantras's characterization was something I had to think about a lot, since he's in so few parts of the books.

And there's actually a part in the Winds trilogy where Darkwind explains to Elspeth that magic suppresses appetite, so that part jives with canon! I kind of handwaved Vanyel not knowing about it, but he can be kind of oblivious, so *shrug*
From: (Anonymous)
OP here! ;)

This is everything I wanted. And I've bookmarked it, and it's so very wonderful--I love the entire first bit of Vanyel starving and hating himself, that's totally Aces, and I adore the second bit for all of Vanyel's reluctance to take anyone's affection, and his continued grim certainty that him being gay is literally the most horrible thing about him. So in character! :P

And Tantras comforting him? A++ Would prompt and read again, oh yes!

(love it!)
From: (Anonymous)
A!A

Thank you for prompting in the first place! I had a blast writing this :D And thank you for the feedback too, I'm so glad you liked it :D
From: (Anonymous)
Just read this. It's now personal canon.

This was a real treat, nonny! Love what you did with both Van and Tran here. :)
From: (Anonymous)
Thanks! I really appreciate that :D
From: (Anonymous)
Lovely story! How like Vanyel to miss the obvious and it is very good Tantras is around to take care of him in some many ways.
From: (Anonymous)
DA

I'm going to be reading this at work tonight but I just need to say:

His cocoon of blankets was warm and he knew the world outside was cold

It opens with a sequence of words that are so quintessentially Vanyel. :D

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