The Apology

Lilybeth woke to a soft knocking on the railing of the tower. Taking a moment to fully come around, she blinked a few time. Kalithil had already left for the day. Where he had gone this time, she had no idea. She tried to sit up, her body sore, a grin appearing on her face. He had kept her up most of the night again. Not that she minded at all. Opening her eyes she saw Tindomiel standing at the top of the ramp. Smiling. “Gods!” she yelped, yanking the covers over herself.

“Don’t worry dear, I am very aware of what you two have been up to. I’ll give you a few minutes to get yourself together. I’ll be downstairs, looking over your books.” The silver haired woman smiled again before turning and making her way back down the ramp. Lilybeth summoned a simple dress and quickly ran a comb through her long locks. Taking a breath, she hobbled her way down to the second floor.

Tindomiel stood at the far side of the tower, an open book in her hands. She gently turned the pages, long fingers running along the delicately written runes on the sides. “Are you awake now?” she chuckled. “I didn’t realize I was arriving too early.”

“It’s alright, sometimes he leaves without waking me and I sleep in after….well, you know.” She blushed a deep purple as the beautiful woman turned to face her. “I wasn’t expecting a visitor today. Can I…get anything for you? I have some tea I can brew, or juice? I could conjure up some breakfast. I don’t have anything prepared…why didn’t you say you were coming?” She seemed a little frazzled, but her usual cheerful self was starting to come to the front.

Tindomiel laughed, the sound musical in the room. “Lilybeth it’s nearly lunchtime!” Shaking her head she walked over to the younger elf. “But some tea would be lovely. And it might wake you up a little more.” She held up the volume she had been reading. “May I borrow this?”

The blue haired girl tipped her head to read the cover. “You want to read about ley line discovery methods?” her face showing confusion. “Whatever for?”

“Because it’s something different. And sometimes it gives me insight into the people I love. How they work and see the world. What to expect if I am assisting them.” She pushed a lock of bright blue hair away from Lilybeth’s face. “Let’s go upstairs. I can braid your hair for you while the water heats up.” The younger Kaldorei nodded.

“So…why are you here?” Lilybeth asked as she sipped her tea. Her nervousness was very apparent. Her hands fidgeted on her cup as she waited for Tindomiel to answer. Kal had told her to be careful how much information she shared and the situation she had created made conversation with Tindomiel treacherous.

“Lilybeth, you can relax. He told me everything. It really is alright.” Her voice calm and gentle.

“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to say too much to him! I didn’t think it would be a bad thing! No…I didn’t think. I never think before I speak. I really need to, but I get so caught up with things sometimes that I….” Tindomiel’s hand came up to slow her down. “I really am sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize to me for. Please. If anything, I owe you an apology.” Lilybeth blinked. “I am sorry for what happened to you. For what Tellanon put you through. His behavior toward you was inappropriate at the very least. In my mind, for many, unforgivable.” She sipped her tea, her eyes sad. “Kalithil tells me he is broken. And a drunk. But that is no excuse.”

Her eyes fell to the floor, her voice soft, hurt. “It’s my own fault. I shouldn’t have pushed him. I should have taken my thoughts to Kalithil. But I just couldn’t help myself. I thought he would be happy to know that Kalithil was alive. That he had a child.” She shuddered. “I never would have thought that he would…would…do that.” Her hand instinctively went to her arms, touching the points where the rope had bound her. She started to curl in on herself.

Tindomiel stood and moved to her side. Placing her hands over Lilybeth’s, she very gently let soft healing energy flow into her. After a moment, she pulled the girl into her, just holding her there. “People do things out of fear sometimes. Out of despair, or confusion… I am very grateful that he did not hurt you more than he did. But it doesn’t make it any easier to process.” Lilybeth quietly sobbed into her. It had taken a couple of days, but the numbness she had felt was beginning to wear off. And the awareness of it was terrifying.

“I wish,” her voice was barely audible. “I wish he would have just believed me. Talked to me.” She curled into Tindomiel’s embrace. “I never meant to cause all of this.” Tindomiel’s hand squeezed her arm. “I am sorry.”

Tindomiel sat her up, tipping her head down to look her in the eye. “You didn’t do anything to deserve that. You may have said too much, but his reaction was far worse than it should have been. But that is Mire’s doing. Not yours. She makes people paranoid. And if his name is any indication, he has been alone for a very long time, despairing what happened. With no one to keep him grounded.” She gently wiped the tears from Lilybeth’s cheeks. “You did well though. You recognized him and what he could be. You told Kalithil. Now, maybe, we can figure out how to help him.”

Lilybeth smiled weakly. She didn’t feel like she had done well at all. But Kalithil was right. Tindomiel possessed a wisdom that was far beyond her years. “Thank you,” she said softly. “For understanding. For being so kind. I don’t deserve how patient you have been with me. But it means a lot.” Her face flushed. “And you don’t owe me an apology for what he did. You haven’t even met him. How could you be responsible for his actions?”

Tindomiel smiled, laughing a little. “That doesn’t mean I cannot show sympathy and concern for the woman who holds Kalithil’s heart. You have become so important to him. So you are important to me. Lilybeth, you are so sweet, and kind. What would it say of me if I didn’t feel badly for what happened?” Lilybeth smiled, a small tear rolling down each cheek.

“He said he loves me. He…he said he would die without me. I never would have imagined anyone feeling that way. Especially not him. With everything he has seen and experienced in this world. And he said he has never felt this way. It is incredible. And overwhelming.” She sighed happily. “And the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.”

Tindomiel’s smile could barely be contained. “I know exactly what you mean. And most never find it. I am so glad you two have each other.” She stood up and stretched. “I would love to keep talking about this, but I think we could both use a meal. How about we head into Stormwind and get some lunch?” Lilybeth beamed.

“Let me grab some shoes.” She bolted down the ramp. In moments, she was ready to go. Tindomiel laughed at her enthusiasm. She gathered up her bag and walked down.

The Recluse was quiet for a change. They ordered a few things each and sat down to talk. Lilybeth asked softly, “Is it the same for you? The overload of emotion?” She flushed as she asked her questions. “How did you know?”

Tindomiel chuckled. “How did you know? There’s not a special thing that tells you. You just know. Down to your very core. That being separated would be the worst thing that could ever happen to you. For me it’s less of an overload now. It was just that at first. Now it seems the most natural, easy thing I have known.”

They settled into an easy conversation. Asking and answering till they had finished their meal. Tindomiel relaxed back into her chair, waiting for the inevitable question. Lilybeth shuffled nervously. She tugged on her braid, chewing on on her words before letting it go. “Are you going to look for him?” Tindomiel sighed.

“I am going to let Düzulf do his job first. After that, what will be will be. But for now, I think you should talk to Kalithil. This is going to take some time for you to get right in your head. He needs to know what you are feeling. And I am here if you need me.” She placed a hand on Lilybeth’s shoulder. “Don’t go through it alone. You have all of us.”

Lilybeth smiled faintly and nodded. Barely above a whisper, “Thank you, I…I appreciate that. I think I…I want to go back to bed. If that’s alright.” Tindomiel tipped her head to the younger Kaldorei.

“Go. Rest. Send word if you need anything.” Lilybeth stood and bowed. Without saying anything, she pulled out a hearthstone and disappeared. Tindomiel sighed and walked to a mailbox. She quickly penned a letter to Kalithil and sent it off. She could only hope that together they could help Lilybeth find her way through.