Pairing:→ Edyn, Strag & Tony
Theme Set:→ Valentine's Fest (Cuddling)
Title:→ When the Dream is Over
Notes/Warnings:→ Set immediately after the celebration of Agram's defeat in the second season. Written for allbingo's Valentine's Fest.
Summary:→ After the adrenaline of Agram's second defeat courses out of the Moonlands' veins, its Final Dreamers settle down for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
The celebration following Agram’s defeat lasts all through the night. So many familiar faces and memories revisited, Edyn muses as she clears another banquet table. It’s as if the last year or so of her life finally caught up with with in the past few hours.
“We’ll take care of the clean-up,” Poad reassures Edyn as she reaches for another plate. “It’s the least we could do considering your efforts.”
Evu smiles at that and turns to suggest, “Why don’t you see where Tony and Strag wandered off to?”
Relieved that her presence is no longer needed, Edyn gladly surrenders with a smile of her own and a nod before sauntering down the beaten path towards the library. Their journey began here, she figures, so it’s the only logical place for her fellow Final Dreamers to be. She cracks one of the double doors open to peek inside, finding it emptier than she ever recalls it being before.
A strange calm blankets the place now. Edyn almost frowns at the feeling, too peaceful for someone used to grand quests and rescues, and that’s about when her exhaustion overwhelms her all at once. For the first time in what seems like eternity she feels at ease, thoroughly spent, and as she turns to leave, a voice catches her from across the foyer.
Sitting on one of the leafy sofa with a book in his lap, Strag waves to her and pats the spot beside him. “There’s plenty of room.”
A sigh escapes Edyn as she drags herself across the way and flops down on the sofa. “It’s been a long day…”
Strag chuckles and lifts his arm, offering Edyn a place to rest her head. “Go ahead,” he adds.
The arm that encircles Edyn’s shoulders is strong, warm and welcome. Her forest-fire eyes blink in and out of reality as she struggles to stay awake and provide her friend with some coherent companionship. “You know, Tony surprised me today. I didn’t think he had it in him to…sacrifice so much…”
“I know you would have done the same,” Strag finishes for her, adjusting his hold so as not to discomfort her. “Both you and Tony are full of surprises.”
Edyn laughs and tilts her head to glance up at him. “What about you? Resisting your own flesh and blood? Agram’s influence was great but you came back to us each time he tempted you, Strag; you’re full of surprises.”
“She’s totally right, you know.”
Strag smirks and cranes his head to spot the boy on the landing just above them. “How long have you been standing there and listening in?”
“Eavesdropping is rude regardless where you’re from,” Edyn chimes in, not bothering to lift her head from Strag’s chest.
Tony swings over the railing and lands feet first in front of them, spinning around to face them with mock disappointment. “Rude even though I took your side?”
“Even then,” Edyn jokes, opening one of her eyes and giggling. “But Strag and I have come to expect such things from a clueless bumpkin like you, so it’s forgivable.”
Strag’s chest rumbles with suppressed laughter. “That’s a little harsh, Edyn, even for you.”
“For me?” She snaps her head up suddenly and purses her lips. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“Uh-oh. You just walked into the Hyren’s lair without a relic, pal.” Tony whistles and plops on the sofa beside Strag, leaning over to peer at Edyn. “Yep. She’s got that look in her eyes.”
Edyn grunts and casts a little glare in Tony’s direction before turning her attention to Strag again. “Well?”
“I thought you were tired?” Strag attempts to shift the conversation with a sheepish grin. “You could barely keep your eyes open a moment ago.”
“I think he’s trying to say that being nit-picky and uptight is how you usually are,” Tony cuts in for Strag, still leaning over.
A huff escapes Edyn this time. “Because I’m a girl?”
Tony shakes his head and leans on the back of the sofa, folding his arms behind his head. “No,” he murmurs, “because you’re Edyn.”
“You have a very strong personality,” Strag joins in again once her senses the sift in tension. “That’s not a bad thing, either; everyone is different.”
Edyn sits very still for a moment with her gaze fixed on the floorboards below them. Her nature is explosive and sharp-witted sometimes, she’ll admit, and it’s their differences that really bound them together as friends. There are also things about Strag and Tony that annoy her, but more that she adores also. Those differences, some small and some major, are important, and she should treasure them as much as she does their friendship.
“Hmph. So I am a bit bossy and uptight sometimes,” Edyn mutters before laying her head on Strag’s chest again, feeling him relax beneath her cheek after she settles. “I was only joking about the rude bit, anyway.”
Laughter does escape Strag this time. “You’re not a cruel or vicious person, Edyn, and like you, I was also joking about the quip I made.” He rubs her upper arm to get her attention, their eyes meeting in the middle. “I’m sorry if I upset you.”
Edyn’s smile returns and she’s about to say something sweet, something heartfelt, when Tony buts in again.
“That is because she’s a girl,” he points out. “My grandma and mom used to get mad over the weirdest stuff, so it has to be a girl thing.”
“Now, now…” Strag grips Edyn’s shoulders gently as she twitches in his embrace. He glances over at Tony and sighs. “As true as that may be, you still don’t have to bring attention to it. Apologize.”
Tony cracks an eye open and frowns, intending only humor in his last remark. “It was supposed to be a joke! Grandpa said the same thing to my grandma all the time and she just laughed it off! It…” He stops himself and leans over to catch a glimpse of Edyn. “I, uh…I’m sorry, Edyn. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings or…I was just trying to lighten you guys up and…”
“Oh, for Naroom’s sake,” groans Edyn out of the blue, “do you ever shut up? I’m trying to sleep here.”
Both Strag and Tony get a good look at the grin on her face and hear the giggles that soon follow. Laughter bursts around the Final Dreamers and fills the library.
“Well, excuse me, Your Highness!” snorts Tony, leaning back on the sofa again. “Don’t wanna interrupt your beauty sleep!”
A long, low yawn slinks out of Strag’s mouth as he grabs Tony by the shoulders also, dragging him closer. “I think we’re all overdue for a nap.”
Tony eyes the hand on his arm warily at first, but then he catches little glimpses of Edyn’s peaceful expression as she starts to doze off and Strag’s smile, and all the unease leaves as soon as it came. “A nap sounds awesome, actually.”
“Edyn is more exhausted than I thought,” Strag whispers and pats the girl’s arm as she snuggles closer to him.
“That’s ‘cause she’s an over-achiever,” Tony adds with a cheeky grin. “Unlike you and I, though. We know when to call it a day, right?”
Strag beams back at him and nods. “Indeed,” he agrees and flinches a little as Tony’s head touches his shoulder. His smiles softens after a moment of adjusting. “Goodnight, Tony.”
Tony sniffs and mumbles back, “G’night, Strag.”
Hours later, after the celebration is long over and the clean-up taken care of, Orwin and Evu return to the library and happen upon the snuggly, huddled mass of children on the sofa in the foyer. They look at one another with knowing smiles, and Orwin finds a blanket while Evu lends her magic to a nearby lamp, giving it a dim glow.
“If that isn’t a testament to the true force behind the Final Dreamers,” Evu says in the quiet of the evening, looking up at Orwin, “then I don’t know what to call love.”
Orwin returns her sentiments fully, smiling himself. “And we couldn’t be prouder.”