Dear Journal, 

I have not written in some time and I feel bad for that because I promised the Justicar I would. Many things have happened. It will take lots of entries to cover them all but I will write them in short right now. 

The most important thing: 

[an entire line of scratchouts]

I have a girl friend. The romance kind. It is not something I expected. But I realized I was in love with Petal. Then I was sad because Petal is my best friend and I did not think she loved me that way becus I learned there are different ways to love people. It is not a nice thing to ruein a friend ship because you love someone in a not-friends way. We helped take back her temple from the demons and we all fought and both of us got hurt and then she said she had loved me for a very long time. I could not breathe for a second. It was that much of a surprise. 

xxxx

She pauses, remembering the moment. 

xxxx

“You… don’t?” Petal takes a breath.. mutters something in Pandaren. “Cael… no matter what, you .. won’t stop being my friend, right?”

“I-I will be your f-friend until the end of t-time,” Cael says simply.

“…. Okay.” Petal takes a breath. “Okay. Right. Okay.” She looks up at Cael – and studies her a long moment; it has the air of one capturing an instant, holding on to it. “I don’t really know when it started. I mean, I do, but I don’t. It was before those weeks in Northrend – I know that, at least. When Kun and I came to find you? I’d already fallen. Now … I kind of never stop thinking about you. Kun’s so tired of hearing about it… I even told the Captain.” She snuffles, and squeezes on the worgen’s massive hand. “I have this idea that you have no idea how absolutely amazing you are. You’re… just so /good/, Cael. You really are right out of a storybook.” The Pandaren searches for words for a moment – then just, closes her eyes and forges ahead. “I would do anything for you. Mostly, I just wish I could make you smile – I don’t know everything, but I know that if anybody deserves a life of nothing but joy, it’s you.”

“The thing is… I know how my story ends, or, at least, how it’s supposed to. I don’t think I’m supposed to survive… everything. The box only leaves the temple when there’s great need… and every time it has, the protectors don’t… usually…” She sighs. “And I’ve tried, really really hard, not to be selfish. I didn’t want to tell you how I feel, mostly ’cause I … I know you don’t look at me the same way, and you probably never will, and … then I’m going to lose you as a friend and, in a lot of ways? You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. Imagining my life without you in it, at least as my friend, hurts so much I can’t even begin to picture it. I haven’t really.. been in love before, and I have no idea what I”m doing. But I am. I mean. I do. And.. ” She squeezes her eyes tighter shut – “I still don’t know how to tell you. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But before… everything? I need you to know that there’s one person – just one more among the many – who loves you. Always… and I know. I /know/.. I … please don’t go? It doesn’t change anything. I promise.. I won’t say it again. But I do. I love how you smile when you think nobody’s watching, and … how strong you are. And how kind. How much you care – even your anger. If I could give you the stars, I would.”

Kun talks, and talks, and talks, and as she does Cael’s face morphs: puzzlement, dawning realization, sadness/concern, a flicker of terror, then…. straight and serious.

Words don’t come for a long, long moment, as she processes this, all of this, and those life changing three words: I love you.

She remembered falling off a mountain and scaring Petal that first time and refusing to back down and the dagger across her face, not being sorry, getting down on one knee, gutclenching worry, at least they don’t have Petal and how that sustained her, the starry night sky above her bed, the way Petal snored slightly.

Laughter and tea and sword dancing.

In front of the Universe, the Light, and every deity on Azeroth, Cael got to her knees a second time, kneeling there in front of Petal. She still had blood and demon gunk in her fur and it smelled a bit and she tried not to shake, because this could only backfire this was going to backfire but. But.

But she was no more incapable of this than she was the first time she kneeled, when she promised to do everything she could to help Petal get home.

And she closed her eyes.

There, for the first time in literal years, and the first since Petal had seen her….

…Cael changed.

Her snout shortened. Her ears shrank. Fur recerded, teeth blunted themselves, eyes shifted, freckles appeared, her hands shrank. Her shirt threatened to fall off (thankfully her pants had a belt) and her armor was suddenly clunky.

Cael- plain, freckled, blunt featured human Cael, all tomboy and lanky limbs and freckles and big ears and the scar the same on her face now as it was wolffish, looked at Petal and swallowed.

“…I-I- I’m- I haven’t- I’m not- Damn. I’m b-b-Bad with- words.” The growl is gone, the voice softer. Strong scarred hands brush unruly short hair out of her face. “I, I’m not- safe or- but you, you, Petal. You make me feel s-safe. I couldn’t… be h-h-human if I didn’t- I h-haven’t, in, in, in years. Couldn’t. Too much t-to… do. Fight. Um. I- even if I- didn’t f-f-feel the same- I would never not be your f-friend.”

A big, big inhale.

“….B-But.”

She looked away. And… human, blushing Cael blushed to the tips of her fucking ridiculous ears.

“I will n-n-not let you d-die.” The second vow on blended knee she’s ever made. “A-and… I-I-I- if, I never thought you- I might have a-a-suspected a little b-because you’re not subtle but I don’t know anything about- being friends or g-g-g-girlfriends or- so I just… but you’re a-amazing and smart and powerful and pretty and s-s-stronger than you think by so much and I would d-definitely fight and die for you and probably k-k-kill for you if you ever wanted. And I’m not s-safe and I don’t, I’m a m-m-m-mess a lot and you’re- just-“

She stopped, and visibly brought herself on track again.

“I-I-I don’t know what it f-feels like to be in love, I don’t think I’ve ever- I mean, there was a demon hunter but she j-j-just wanted s-sex stuff and I didn’t because she surprised me and I’m not good with touching and- but I… like it. When, um. You touch me. Nobody else…”

“….I love y-y-you too. Im pretty sure. I didn’t think- but I don’t think just friends do- and I’m not sure I feel j-j-just friends anymore. A-And if you let me I will love you until the end of t-t-time, too.”

The third vow on bended knee. Those human gold amber eyes are so serious and so scared and so very stubborn.

“….I-I don’t know how to- do- love things. The flowers and stuff. I’m not… I don’t re-remember. But. Maybe- I-I’d like to try. W-with you. I-if you feel the s-same. And want t-to. You don’t have to, t-though. I will be your f-friend regardless. Bu- But- I-I- I c-can’t- don’t leave me. Please.”

She swallows again.

“….Please.”

She could not handle Petal dying. She just couldn’t. She would die too, in her very innermost heart and soul, and it showed in how her voice cracked on “please”.

Petal… stares at her, incredulous; the words take a very long time to sink in. When they do? The wounded Pandaren just pulls the now-human in for a hug, nuzzling her cheek once – “… I don’t need flowers. Just you.” So quietly – “I don’t know if … I… I can’t promise I won’t ..” She swallows. “But as long as I live, I’ll be right here. We can be messes together.”

And.. she simply doesn’t let go – almost as if letting go would mean this was a dream, or not real, or something /else/. Blood and ichor and everything else be damned – she just holds on.

“P-Promise you’ll try your b-b-best?” The quaver hasn’t left Caels voice. But her hands bunch in Petals fur. She’s much bigger now, it’s kinda funny, Cael being the one enveloped in someone’s arms.

“Always.” Petal rubs her cheek against the side of human-Cael’s head. “Always.” She chuffs, sofly – “I make messes better than anybody.”

“T-To not die, P-Petal.” She’s very insistent. And human. And cold. Actually, Cael is shivering, now, in the Temple in clothes and armor now six times too big for her.

“… I am going to try really, really hard.” Petal just tries to keep her close – and warm. “I… we need to go home. Somewhere warm – the Temple..” She takes a deep breath. “Here, your cloak – “

“L-Let Kun have it.”

Changing back feels natural, it’s clear- she gets one arm in the wrong hole for her shirt but she manages. She shakes herself, furry again. “…I-I… c-can’t do it for very long. S-Sorry,” she said, sheepish.

xxxx

It makes her smile, soft and fond. She keeps writing.

xxxx

But we are in love now. We sleep together and I sleep better, and I hope she does too. Though she has bad dreams and won’t (cannot?) talk about it and it makes me feel sick to my stomach when I think something is hurting her and I can’t make it stop. I would kill for her if she wanted. I would die for her too. It is scary but it is also very true and sort of peaceful as well because she is worth it. 

I ought to smack the Kirintor for being idiots and not taking her. They are very stupid. SUPER STUPID KIRINTOR. I wish I could cheer her up more. I need to find books on being a good girl friend. Maybe I can ask Aunne for flowers? Girls like flowers. Even I like flowers and I am not much of a girl. 

We have not done sex. I… can’t. Yet. We hug and stuff though. I like hugging. Maybe… [long line of scratchouts].

Also the Legion is in retreat. They have done many bad things though and the sword in thenworld… 

I do not know what will happen next. Except that we will face it. Together. 

I must also talk about Kun, and Aunne, and Praytors and Paladins. And Joilinn and rockets. But that will have to wait. 

It is late and Petal is making the before-bed tea that tastes like flowers. Time for bed.

-CAEL

Author Cael
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