Story: The Sword and the Staff (chapter 19)

Authors: bleeding.blade

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Chapter 19

Title: Chapter 18

She dreamt of the forbidden. In her dream, she smelt the scent of forbidden desire, tasted the tang of forbidden flesh, heard the moans of a forbidden delight. She had tried so hard to resist it—had tried to resist the enchantments of a blonde-and-green-eyed angel. She was a Mage, perhaps the greatest to emerge in recent times. In her, the potency of blood had only ever been actualized by duty. And she was violating duty now, by loving one who belonged to another.

But there were no duties in dreams, were there? No duties, no loyalties, no ties that bound—and love could be expressed as freely and nakedly as raw desire.

In dreams, only desire mattered. Not the obligations that prevented its expression, or the inexperience that hindered its caresses. In dreams, desire made the annulment of obligation an excitement and the overcoming of inexperience an adventure.

In dreams, she could kiss Saber as she was doing now, undress her as she was doing now, run trembling hands over her bare flanks as she was doing now, suckle her exquisite breasts as she was doing now...and inhale and taste the secret pleasures between her legs as she was doing now.

And in dreams, Saber could kiss her back as she was doing now, moan in her ear as she was doing now, dig nails into her back as she was doing now, press her face against her trembling core as she was doing now...and shudder and cry her name as she was doing now.

And, finally, in dreams, one could do what the other had done, and both could repeat what both had done, and repeat it for as many times as desire required.

But only in dreams.


She found them just as the twinkling stars in the sky had begun to give way to the gleaming rays of the sun.

They lay entwined, the raven-haired girl's arms wrapped protectivelyand possessivelyaround the blonde.

Viviane smiled, though her pleasure was tinged by shame and regret. In the end, she had become just as interfering as Merlin. Perhaps this was his revengeallowing her to live long enough to commit the mistakes she'd punished him for.  

It had been her parting gift to them: to the golden-haired child she considered as her own; to the raven-haired child who was of Merlin's blood. Her feelings toward the latter had been the most surprising of all—for she found that she could entrust Arturia's happiness to Rin's hands. Over the last few days, she had grown to love the Mage, for she combined Merlin's power and ingenuity with her own strength and integrity. She knew, for instance, that it was Rin's sense of duty that prevented her from expressing her love for Arturia—in the same way that Arturia's sense of duty prevented her from expressing her love for Rin.

Knowing the characters of both, she knew that unless she intervened, the two girls' sense of duty was far likelier to win over their instinct for happiness. So she had done something to even the scales somewhat.

But because she was who she was, and not Merlin, her interference had remained a cautious one. The potion she had mixed with the cider was the same used by all the Sorceresses of Avalon prior to consulting an Oracle. It was designed to lower the inhibitions that restricted the free play of the subconscious—while also suppressing memories of the subsequent impulses if they proved too threatening to the conscious mind. In short, it was designed to provide a temporary psychic bubble for Sorceresses to safely conduct clairvoyant activities. And in this case, she had used it to create a temporary psychic bubble for Arturia and Rin to express their feelings toward each other.

Viviane doubted though that their conscious minds were ready to accept what had been so blatantly obvious to her. And so, they would wake up without remembering what had happened. Her final gift would be to return them to their respective beds in their respective clothes so that they would never have to remember.

In her heart of hearts though, she hoped that they would.


She hadn't realized how much the final moment of departure would hurt her—hadn't realized how much she'd wanted to stay with the Land, the Water, and the Mistress of both.

She and Rin were already in the Circle, the Sorceress standing a short distance away, all the goodbyes having been said the evening before. She had woken up that morning with a vague sensation of having...forgotten something, but that concern had been quickly replaced by the mounting anxiety of impending separation.

She wavered.

Then ignoring the wall that had been erected by a crown from ages past, Saber ran towards the woman who had been the only mother she'd ever known—and clung to her tightly.

"Come with us, Viviane," she whispered fiercely into the Sorceress' shoulder. "With your power and Rin's, we can take you back with us."

Viviane smiled through the film in her eyes. "I cannot leave Avalon, Arturia. At least, not yet. At least, not now." Then tilting Saber's face upward, she wiped the tears in the emerald eyes. "There's no need to weep, my child. There will never be goodbyes between us." She looked searchingly into Saber's face then. "But promise me one thing, Arturia."


"Promise me you'll be happy. Promise me you'll find the happiness Merlin and I denied you."

"You and Merlin didn't deny me anything." Saber replied softly. "You have to believe me when I say that."

Viviane hesitated, then finally smiled and nodded. "I believe you. But do you promise?"

It was Saber's turn to hesitate. "I promise. I don't know how, but I will do my be happy."

The Sorceress nodded and smiled again. "Alright then."

And when Saber was finally back in the Circle, and Rin held the last of the Time Stones in her hand, the Sorceress waved one final time.

"Heaven bless you, my children. Fare you well and may the future bring you joy."

Then the Stone flared white—and Saber and the Sword disappeared from Avalon for the final time.

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