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Vanyel hummed to himself as he worked, the words of Stef’s new ballad running through his mind. His young – friend, his friend – had sung it for him the night before, and he thought that with a bit of creativity, he may be able to split out the lyrics into a duet. He just had to work out the right transitions, and the points where the harmony would be most effective.

If, and here he felt rather less certain of his success, Stefen was open to the idea of experimentation on this piece. Vanyel’s hands stilled for a moment before continuing their task. He and Stefen had altered songs before, adapted them to accommodate two voices instead of one, but never with one of Stef’s own compositions. Perhaps the achingly beautiful redhead – sorry, the precociously competent young man – would be more averse to Vanyel meddling with his own song. It was, after all, a very intimate form of creative intrusion, and Stef might not be comfortable with –

Vanyel sighed, forcing himself away from thoughts of intimacy and intrusion.

He was finished with one project, at least. He tied off the last thread and set the needle aside. Rising to his feet, he shook out his creation: a patchwork quilt, eight by eight feet. The patches were taken from scraps of old clothing – his own, as well as discarded tunics of Stef’s that he’d begged from Medren.

Isn’t that a bit of a, well, more than friendly sort of gift? Medren had asked when Vanyel explained. Vanyel had laughed; he still had no idea, definitely no idea at all, of what Medren had been talking about. The blanket was a perfectly platonic gift, merely a symbol of their lives sewn inextricably together, the tattered pieces of each individual soul given a new and unified purpose.

“Perfectly platonic,” Vanyel reminded himself aloud. He stared down at the blanket, inexplicably nervous. “Oh gods, I hope he likes it.”