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A Light From Far Away

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“Do you think… we could have children?”

The tome slips from Wrathion’s hands, making a loud thud on the carpeted stone floor of their shared room. Turning his head stiffly in Anduin’s direction, he stands there and stares, mouth slightly open as though he wants to respond but clearly doesn’t know how. The regret hits Anduin immediately.

“I’m sorry, that was foolish,” he says, blushing furiously as he turns back to the book lying open in front of him on his desk. He had stopped reading it a while ago. Instead, his mind had drifted to perplexing thoughts of him and his lover’s future—one that involved them together, and… the possibility of an eventual family.

This isn’t the first time he’s thought about it. For a while now there’s been this part of him that’s wanted to bring it up to Wrathion and another part that didn’t, because the entire idea is ridiculous and clearly he’s just being naïve. 

Of course, the former had still won out.

Wrathion takes a moment to respond, and when he does, Anduin is genuinely surprised. “N-no, no it’s fine,” he stammers, and in the corner of Anduin’s eye he can see that suddenly it’s like the dragon is trying to avert his gaze to anywhere but Anduin’s face. “I… ah, I’ve wondered the same thing myself, at times.”

With a hammering heart, Stormwind’s prince turns his head back to his partner at that, silently praying that his cheeks aren’t as red as he thinks they are.

“Are you—wait, really?” he asks, and Wrathion blushes, looking embarrassed.

“You look surprised,” Wrathion snaps. Anduin raises his eyebrows. “Even I think about these things too, my dear.”

“I’m sorry, I just…” Anduin shifts to lean his head in his hand, elbow pressing into the desk’s firm wooden surface. “I don’t know, I guess I wasn’t expecting you to be so forward about… well, about thinking of having children with me.”

Wrathion’s blush deepens. Still refusing to look Anduin in the eye, he fixes his tabard with his hands. “Well I—do you see anyone else in this room? Anyone else I’m courting? And besides, I’m not sure if it would work anyway. I’ve never heard of a dragon and a human mating before, not to reproduce at least, so even I don’t know the answer to that one.” He turns his head away with a scowl, but despite Wrathion’s stubborn demeanor, Anduin is able to catch the disappointment that he isn’t quite able to hide in his eyes—disappointment of not being able to have children with Anduin. It’s subtle, but the look is there, evident not only in his face but in the slight tensing of his shoulders with his head hanging just a bit.

Anduin, however, feels nothing but flattered, and can’t stop the smile that makes its way onto his face. He hadn’t even been sure if Wrathion would be okay with the idea of using his body in this sort of manner, and had been extremely worried that he was going to horribly offend or upset the dragon in some way by bringing it up. As Wrathion had pointed out, he doesn’t know if it’s possible for a human and a dragon to have children together either, but it hasn’t stopped Anduin (and clearly his dragon companion) from entertaining the idea. If Anduin has to produce an heir with anyone, he wants it to be with Wrathion. They’ve been in a serious relationship for quite a while now—it was only a matter of time until the topic of children, and perhaps some other discussions, were to come up between the two of them.

After bending over to pick the tome up off the floor, Wrathion tries to place it back on the shelf. The spot it belongs in is just out of his reach, even when standing on his toes.

Anduin watches him struggle for only a moment before moving over to help him. Wrathion’s human form hasn’t grown much since Anduin had met him when he was fifteen, even though he’s pretty sure that the dragon has control over his height. He has a sneaking suspicion that Wrathion actually likes the idea of Anduin being bigger than him.

After reaching down to take the tome out of the dragon’s clawed hand, Anduin swiftly puts it back into its proper place on the shelf. “Thanks,” Wrathion murmurs, his blush from before still very evident on his face and in the tips of his ears. Anduin is overcome with the desire to kiss the shorter man on the forehead, so he does.

Wrathion leans up into the touch.  The taller prince can’t help the fond smile on his face as he pulls back, the warm, fluttery feeling in his chest much too great, especially when he sees Wrathion return a small smile of his own.

 


 

The next time Anduin brings it up, Wrathion already knows what he’s talking about.

“If you could, you would… want to, right? With me?” he asks. “Because I would want to, with you. It would certainly promise a future for us to be together.”

They’re in the garden courtyard of the Stormwind City keep. Anduin stands at one of the open arches to peer down at the lake below. Wrathion accompanies him, standing at his side. They aren’t doing anything in particular, apart from enjoying each other’s presence as well as the breeze from the fresh, cool air of the outdoors, and Wrathion is nothing but grateful for it. Sometimes Anduin runs off to be by himself, taking a short break from his responsibilities when it all becomes too much, and usually Wrathion comes to find him at one point or another, either to check up on the prince or because he wants the company. It’s probably a bit of both.

The dragon doesn’t know how to respond. Of course he wants to. He wants nothing more than that, but he isn’t even sure if it’s possible. He had never planned to fall in love, certainly not with a human prince.

Of course, here he is, a dragon in love with a human.

Wrathion had taken a risk coming here to live with Anduin. He still considers himself Neutral, and always will, but after a long time of thinking to himself, conversing with his lover and guards about his options after the Burning Legion invasion had ended, he had come to the conclusion that out of any leader, both Alliance and Horde, that Anduin would be the one most serious to reunite the factions. He’s probably the most Neutral of them all, even if Wrathion doesn’t always agree with his approach.

That, and because he loves him. There was a point after the war where it had become too painful to be apart from Stormwind’s Prince, the one he had come to love more than anyone. From a first glance, Wrathion might seem like someone who prefers solitude. This isn’t the truth. He doesn’t like to admit it, but the Black Prince yearns for company like everyone else. Doesn’t he deserve the right to a family too? The possible risk or harm that might come from staying by Anduin’s side could never compare to the pain he would feel being alone.

Or worse—backing off to allow Anduin to become close with somebody else.

No, nothing could compare.

“You would, right?” Anduin asks, interrupting Wrathion from his thoughts and looking into his eyes with such a look of hope that it breaks Wrathion’s heart a little. Of course he would. He would if it were possible.

“I would,” he says, and the look Anduin gives him now makes his heart feel like it’s about to burst.

“We’d continue the line of the black dragonflight,” Anduin says, his voice incredibly soft and soothing, and Wrathion thinks it’s the most beautiful sound in the world. “You wouldn’t be alone anymore.”

Naïve, he wants to say. It’s not that simple. But if Anduin is naïve, then he is naïve too.

He doesn’t completely notice the emotion that overtakes him until Anduin is there with his thumb and Wrathion feels its soft touch on his skin, gently wiping away the tears that run down his cheeks. Anduin is smiling at him and it’s an absolutely lovely smile, and Wrathion wants to lean in and kiss him on the mouth but he’s feeling too overwhelmed and emotional to act on it.

Anduin’s words are still ringing in his ears. You wouldn’t be alone anymore. He wouldn’t. He would no longer be the last of his kind, and the blood of his black dragon ancestry, of Deathwing, of mother, Wrathion thinks, would run through his children’s veins. The thought both terrifies and thrills him at the same time. He isn’t quite sure how he should be feeling.

He wouldn’t be alone outliving Anduin, either. In a way, Anduin would live on as well, and the idea of the Wrynn line continuing through his children also excites him in a way that he can’t quite explain or wrap his head around.

Anduin must have noticed Wrathion glancing at his mouth, because suddenly the prince’s lips are on his.

Before Wrathion can really process what’s going on, they’re in each other’s arms, desperately clinging to one another as though it’s the last time they’ll ever see each other again. Anduin’s chest is firm and warm against his and Wrathion likes the way it feels. He isn’t sure when he’d brought his arms around Anduin’s shoulders but he grips at his back all the same.

When they break away, Anduin’s hand is still on Wrathion’s cheek. His thumb strokes the skin there gently until he moves it down to his chin. They’re both out of breath as they stare into each other’s eyes. Wrathion can’t look away. Anduin’s eyes are a deep, stormy blue, and Wrathion is as intrigued by them as much as Anduin is by his own, bright and red. Tears threaten to sting his eyes again. He bites down on his bottom lip, now trembling from nerves, in an attempt to calm himself, but Anduin knows. He runs the pad of his thumb gently across the dragon’s lip and then down through the hair on Wrathion’s chin, only to grasp his face and pull his partner into another kiss.

“It’ll be okay,” Anduin breathes when they break away again, and Wrathion desperately wants to believe it.

 


 

Ever since Anduin had first brought it up, Wrathion has been thinking about it.

He’d thought about it before as well, but it wasn’t until that day that he’d really realized just how important it was to him. The confirmation that Anduin also wants children, to have them with him, had given the Black Prince a certain sort of hope that he can’t seem to let go of. It’s difficult for Wrathion not to feel both excited and anxious when entertaining the idea of…

…a family.

Which is also why he’s here, sitting in the Stormwind City keep’s royal library, turning the pages of a large, thick book that lies on the table in front of him.

He’s beginning to grow frustrated. For such a massive book, why doesn’t it have any sort of answer he’s looking for?

He closes it, heart sinking. So, not this one either.

He turns his head to look at the stack of books on the table that his two personal guards, Left and Right, had gathered for him. They had scouted out all sorts of places in order to obtain these—places inhabited by dragons, or once inhabited by them long ago. It had taken them a while, but they had not disappointed their prince when they had returned.

Now, he feels disappointed. Wrathion wants to kick himself, thinking about how foolish he had been to think that he could find any sort of record on a dragon that had mated with another race before, let alone reproduce with them…

He hates how much he doesn’t understand about his own body.

Leaning over the desk, he rests his chin in his hand, thinking. Dragons have two forms: one mortal, and one dragon. Through the use of magic, they are able to choose whichever mortal form they wish. Many dragons only really do this in order to interact more efficiently with ‘lesser races’, as some dragons call them, or as Wrathion’s ancestors had done, to manipulate them. It’s true that at times, Wrathion uses his human qualities and charm to get what he wants. Yes, it becomes easier to converse, but that isn’t to say he isn’t fond of his mortal physicality either. He’s said so before: he isn’t his father, and he isn’t his family. He considers this form just as much of a ‘true form’ as his dragon guise. It’s one thing that he and Kalecgos have always been able to agree on. His mortal form is just as valid—it’s a part of who he is.

Wrathion rubs at his temple with his thumb, frustrated. Hypothetically, if their forms are physically able to change, shouldn’t that apply to their internal anatomy? If conversing with mortals is easier like this, then surely that includes things like intimacy.

He huffs, lost in thought. It’s not easy for a dragon to change the look of their mortal form, either. It just doesn’t work like that. Transforming uses up a lot of energy, and the more a dragon transforms into a specific form, the easier it becomes, so most prefer not to tamper with their appearance once it’s been decided. Wrathion is one of these dragons.

Plus… there are things he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to change, no matter how experienced he becomes with his magic. His dragon form is physically female, so it’s always naturally been easier for him to take on a female mortal body. When he’d first tried to make himself appear as an adult, his human body had responded accordingly, and even now, Wrathion still finds that it takes way too much of his energy to try and change it. One day, he might be able to go as far as to transform into a man with a flat, masculine chest, but for now he is content with his narrow hips and deeper voice. As long as he appears as the man he truly is to others, he is comfortable.

Maybe, Wrathion thinks, this is his body’s way of telling him that he really will be able to produce children with his lover all along… Perhaps it is fate that he and Anduin are together.

Somehow, he doesn’t feel convinced.

               


 

“Do I have to go with you?” Wrathion’s arms are crossed against his chest as he watches Anduin bend to pull on his boots. The dragon’s coat and boots are already on despite his reluctance to attend the inspection at the city’s orphanage. He doesn’t take his eyes off of Anduin’s body; the curve of his spine is quite pleasing to look at, so he stands there and stares, unashamedly, at his lover’s figure while he waits beside him in the front hall of their private quarters. 

“I think you should,” Anduin responds. “I think it’s a good idea. What we’re doing is important, and I’d love to have you at my side.”

“What do I care about a bunch of human brats?”

“I’m human, aren’t I?”

“You’re different,” Wrathion pouts, and Anduin turns to give him a knowing smile as he pulls on his coat.

“These are the children of the strong men and women who lost their lives fighting in the war, robbed of their homes and futures. Their parents risked everything for the kingdom and we owe them a lot, so it’s important that we go there today.” Closing up the last few ties on his coat, he turns to fully face Wrathion. “Please? I’m not trying to force you, but it would mean the world to me if you came. I’d be really happy.”

They risked everything for your kingdom maybe, but certainly not for me. I don’t owe them anything, Wrathion thinks with a scowl, only for it to soften when he looks into Anduin’s hopeful eyes. There’s a small smile on his face as he reaches for Wrathion’s left hand with his right. He strokes the dragon’s fingers with his own, the pressure through the material of his gloves soft and soothing. Wrathion sighs.

“Alright, I’ll go,” he says, and the expression Anduin gives him makes him smile. “Only for you, my prince.”

“Thank you.” Anduin leans in to kiss Wrathion on the cheek, then once more on his mouth. It’s chaste and quick, but the warm sensation of his soft lips lingers on the dragon’s skin. Wrathion can’t help but wish that it had been slightly longer, for he knows that outside, away from the safe privacy of their rooms, they’ll have to cease nearly all forms of intimacy. Under the circumstances it would be unprofessional if they didn’t, but Wrathion knows that the real reason isn’t so simple.

Anduin turns, Wrathion’s hand still in his, and begins walking towards the door.

They meet with one of the king’s advisors on the way out, accompanied by two guards as they step out into the city streets, now out and away from the keep. Before they’d left, Wrathion had told his own guards to stay behind. He’d have asked a small group to patrol nearby in case he actually did need to call for them, but had decided against it, considering it’d probably upset the city’s people. He doesn’t want to get on their bad side more than he already has. Thankfully, the possibility of risk is quite low, and although Wrathion feels uneasy as he follows Anduin down the cobblestone pathways along the canals, he knows his anxiety has little to do with the slim chance that this task might lead to danger.

Wrathion’s heart feels heavy, as though made of lead. Anduin had dropped his hand long ago—he’d had to, as they were embarking on an official royal task out in a public space. Cathedral Square isn’t far from the keep, and although initially offered to travel by horseback, Anduin had declined, opting to walk instead.

Wrathion would have preferred to take the horses. Not only would it have been faster, but walking is so… ordinary. In Wrathion’s opinion, it even seems unprofessional.

But Anduin is modest, and always has been. He doesn’t want to come across as better than his people, wanting them to understand that he is their equal. Wrathion has a dozen opinions on the matter, but at the end of it, these are Anduin’s decisions to make.

These aren’t Wrathion’s people, and this isn’t his kingdom. Stormwind isn’t his city.

Nor does he have a place in it.

He scowls, his heart feeling heavier than it did before.

The Black Prince longs for the time when his dragon form was small, small enough to perch on the comfort of Anduin’s familiar shoulder, nose close to Anduin’s neck, the man’s scent reassuring and putting Wrathion at ease. He’d sit there, gone entirely unnoticed by passersby, safely nuzzled against Anduin’s warmth.

He can’t do that anymore.

Wrathion can feel them—their distrusting, suspicious eyes, full of a certain suppressed hatred, watching him walk at their beloved prince’s side.

He doesn’t belong here.

Orphan Matron Nightingale is waiting at the building’s front doors when they arrive, stepping out onto the front steps to greet them. There is a surprisingly serene atmosphere to the Square. It’s quiet and there aren’t a lot of people and it makes Wrathion feel slightly better.

They walk into the front room. Wrathion trails the back of the group, feeling small with his shoulders stiff and his arms crossed against his chest, claws digging into his arms. He doesn’t know why it’s so hard for him to pretend, like he always does, that everything is fine, that he is secure and confident and doesn’t care what others think, presented with a usual charisma that normally comes so easy to him.

He doesn’t know why he feels lightheaded and sick to his stomach, why his first instinct is to run away.

Within moments there’s a child poking her head out from the hall at the back of the room to see what guests have appeared in her home, followed by another behind her. “Prince!” she chirps, and Wrathion notices immediately the way Anduin’s face brightens as he smiles at her from across the room. The dragon doesn’t understand why this makes his heart sink, why it’s suddenly hard for him to breathe.

Except that deep down, he does.

As other children shuffle out of the back rooms to see what’s going on, a blond woman much younger than Nightingale steps out from behind them. Placing a hand on her hip, she calls out in a strong voice, “Alright, alright that’s enough! Go play outside, all of you. You can speak to the Prince after he’s finished speaking with Matron Nightingale.”

“Okay!” They scramble, giggling and whispering as they head through the room towards the front door to go outside, casting shy, excited glances at Anduin and some at Wrathion, eyes curious as they pass. The dragon instinctively tries to straighten his back, feeling awkward and really, what is he trying to prove here?

No one seems to take notice. Nightingale turns to the blond woman. “Thank you, Shellene,” and Shellene grins, moving to walk up beside her.

“Of course,” she nods, and they both turn to Anduin, bowing politely. “Prince Anduin, thank you for coming.”

“Not at all.” Anduin’s voice is kind. He smiles at the both of them. “You seem to have things under control, but is it just the two of you working here? This seems like a lot to handle for just two people…”

“Occasionally we have others come to help out, but for the most part it’s just us,” Nightingale says. “Generally our care ends up resembling a school environment rather than a proper household, and it’s true that it can be difficult at times to give each child the one-on-one attention they need, but I raised children of my own once upon a time, and Shellene grew up in a large household with four younger siblings. We both have the experience and the knowledge to manage on our own.”

“I see…” Anduin looks thoughtful. “Well, we’ll definitely get you more people to help out. Volunteers or paid workers, I’m even willing to help out myself-”

“Your highness, you mustn’t. This line of work is well beneath you,” interrupts the advisor who accompanies them—Keaton is his name, an older man of noble blood whose family has been a part of the royal court for years. 

Anduin turns his head and gives him a pointed look. “I may be a prince, but I am also a priest. Helping people is what I do,” he says, voice firm. “I understand your concern, but this is my job. Please notice where this building is located, beside the Cathedral,” and the argument is over.

They’re taken into the back rooms, where the children play and sleep. As the conversation continues, Wrathion begins to drown their words out, instead taking in the contents of the room. Hand-made children’s toys scatter the floor and shelves in both neat and messy piles, and about a dozen bunk beds, even some baby’s cribs, line the walls. Most of the furniture seems mismatched—donated, Wrathion assumes. Beside each bed is also a drawer, most likely to hold any personal items belonging to the children.

The dragon steps away from the discussion to get a closer look. On top of the drawers are unimportant, needless things, like marbles or unusually shaped stones, things only a child would find any value in. He notices the drawings tacked to the walls above, too.

Everything about this place is absolutely unfamiliar to him, so foreign.

With an ache in his heart, he realizes that it probably always will be.

Head hurting, he closes his eyes.

During the first few weeks that they try, Wrathion notices nothing. No change, no anything.

They’re hopeful. They don’t know for sure yet. It still might work.

They attempt again. Weeks pass, and still… nothing.

Those weeks turn into months. Months turn into years.

From somewhere far away, Wrathion can hear the voice of King Varian Wrynn tell him,

“You have no place in his life.”

The sound of a baby’s cry snaps him out of his thoughts. Wrathion jumps, startled at the source of the mewl—an infant, with distressed puppy-like eyes reaching its tiny hand out from inside the crib beside him. He hadn’t even noticed it and he is way too close but he’s too uncomfortable to know what he should be doing or what to do, so he stands there, frozen, staring down with wide eyes.

Shellene quickly comes to his rescue. Scooping the child into her arms, she softly murmurs against its ear, slowly soothing it back to sleep. Wrathion stares, dumbfounded and mesmerized, until he nearly jumps again at the gentle touch of a hand on his right shoulder.

He turns to see Anduin giving him a small, reassuring smile, and Wrathion doesn’t need this right now so he moves away, shrugging the hand off, embarrassed and miserable with his jaw clenched so hard it hurts.

The look Anduin gives him is first one of confusion, then frustration. Turning away, he returns to his conversation with Nightingale, glancing once in Wrathion’s direction before giving her his full attention. The smile he puts on doesn’t reach his eyes, and Wrathion knows it’s because he’s masking the hurt he probably feels. Pushing down the guilt that attempts to override his thoughts, Wrathion leans against one of the walls beside the doorway, unable to think of nothing else than how much he doesn’t want to be here.

It feels like ages have passed by the time the conversation finally ends and they’re walking back outside. The children take notice immediately, running up to their prince with excitement and asking him why he’s here to see them.

Wrathion backs off instantly. It’s best to keep his distance—he has no place here like Anduin does. Wrathion doesn’t know the first thing about children, how he’s supposed to handle and interact with them, what he’s supposed to do. They make him nervous; it’s laughable how he wants his own.

He stands alone, off to the side, hands balled into fists as though he’s frozen, like he can’t move. Anduin is showing the children some trick using the Light and there’s a look in his eyes that Wrathion’s never seen before, a look so unfamiliar that it makes his heart silently cry out in pain.

His eyes sting and it hurts. He doesn’t belong here.

There’s that little girl again, the one who had originally snuck out into the hall from before. She wears an oversized tunic layered over a pair of loose breeches, and her hair, blond like Anduin’s, is cropped short. She leans over to whisper something in his ear as he gets down on one knee to lean in and listen. He laughs. He’s so natural at this and he seems so happy, and Wrathion can hardly watch, because this is probably something he’ll never be able to give him. These are not his children, these are humans; they’re not half-dragon or half-human or whatever it is he desperately wants.  Anduin deserves to be happy and it’s clear that a future spent with a black dragon is not going to give that to him.

Why did he come here? He shouldn’t have come here. He should have told Anduin no, but the look on his face had been so hopeful and it had warmed Wrathion’s heart, like it always does. His head is hurting so much and he doesn’t know where he should be. Despair quickly overtakes him and he’s thinking about the future again.

The eggs don’t hatch.

All Wrathion can focus on is how cold the smooth, hard shell feels against his fingers as he brings one to his chest. Nothing else matters. Not anymore.

He can’t breathe. He must be in shock—the dark, knowing, looming shadow of panic ready to overtake him.

His hands are shaking.

Anduin stands across from him, looking heartbroken and overwhelmed with despair. The look of such hope and excitement he had often worn on his face before is gone.

Gone.

All of it is gone.

There isn’t a point anymore and there is no hope.

Wrathion barely snaps himself out from his thoughts.

He can’t stay here any longer. He needs to leave.

He doesn’t belong here.

He doesn’t belong here.

Without a second glance, he turns.

And with a damaged heart, he runs.

He runs until he cannot run anymore, and without thinking about it he transforms, taking off into the sky. He flies for a long time, back towards the city’s keep and onward through the mountains. The air’s temperature begins to rise but he barely notices, being the black dragon that he is. He doesn’t realize what direction he’s gone in until he recognizes an ominous, dark mountain in the distance. Blackrock Mountain. He had flown into the Burning Steppes.

He almost laughs. How ironic, that he ended up here.

Wrathion heads north towards the mountain, although it looks a lot closer than it actually is. It’s not until about an hour later that he finally reaches it.

Looking for a place to land, Wrathion circles the mountain until spotting a patch of flat terrain that he can easily land and transform on. He does so, placing two feet firmly on the rocky, elevated ground. He takes a deep breath in and then out slowly, attempting to calm himself down.

The air is hot despite being so high, due to the volcano at the top of the mountain. It’s the perfect temperature for a black dragon such as himself, and Wrathion feels no discomfort whatsoever from its immense heat. He wonders… if a place with a hot climate such as the Burning Steppes would be a suitable place to protect the eggs. It’s very close to Stormwind City, which would make it easy for him and Anduin to travel back and forth. Wrathion could stay here and find somewhere secret and safe with their unhatched young to hide away from any unwanted guests. Yes, his children could hatch here. Black dragon whelps have hatched here in the past. It would definitely be sufficient, with a climate warm enough to allow them to develop strong and healthy.

That is, if he is able to bear half-human children.

He wants to see what they will look like, and which one of their parents they will take after. Are dragon genes more dominant? How would they age? Would they be able to change their human shape? Would Anduin’s human genes prevent that? Would any of them follow in Anduin’s footsteps as priests of the Light, or would they take to studying the magics that dragons do? They would be strong people, like both their parents.

He smiles. It’s a tired smile. 

He would probably never find out.

He is the last.

And he is alone.

The Black Prince leans over the edge of the mountain, and looks down. It’s an incredibly long way to the bottom, and he can barely make out the ground below. His feet stay situated firmly on the mountain floor despite the pain in his heart.

It’s tempting, really. He doesn’t have to worry about the Burning Legion anymore. He has fulfilled his purpose, and the world would probably rejoice, if he dies right here and now. The black dragonflight would be gone forever.

“We’d continue the line of the black dragonflight,” Anduin had said to him, not very long ago. They'd be able to produce a new, uncorrupted flight, and their children would bridge the strained, tense rift between mortals and dragons. It might even help heal the dark history between the Wrynn family and Wrathion’s as well; however, it could also do the opposite. Wrathion scowls bitterly at the thought.

There are indeed many dragons in every flight, not just black, who believe the mortal races to be lesser, inferior, nor as intelligent as themselves. The blue dragonflight of Northrend are known for this in particular, and maybe, just maybe, Anduin and Wrathion’s children would be a symbol of hope, and unity. It would be the start of a new era.

Anduin says he thinks it would be wonderful.

Wrathion thinks it would be wonderful too.

He sits down on the ground, hugging his knees to his chest. Wrathion thinks, what is the point of this body if he can’t even reproduce with the person he loves? Why did he have to be last of his kind? Why him? And what was the point of being the first of the uncorrupted if he wouldn’t be able to continue the line?

What is the point, if it isn’t with the person he loves?

He buries his face in his arms and he sobs. Anduin had looked so happy with that little girl at the orphanage, the way he smiled when she leaned over to whisper in his ear. He’d never seen him smile like that before.

He couldn’t handle watching it any longer, so he’d run away.

Anduin deserves to have a family—a normal family. Wrathion imagines his fair haired lover with a family of fair haired human children, and a partner at his side who isn’t him.

He breaks down. He doesn’t want that. It isn’t fair; they should be his children too. He doesn’t want Anduin to start a family without him, and leave him behind. It would break Wrathion’s heart. It would kill him.

The dragon prince doesn’t know when he’d started bawling. He’d finally given into his contained gasps and sobs when he had first arrived. It doesn’t matter though, because he’s so high up on this awful, isolated mountain in the middle of nowhere that there is absolutely no way that anyone can possibly hear him.

And even if they could have children, and dear gods he really hopes that they can, what would happen if they took after Wrathion? The human people of Stormwind City would hate them. They would absolutely reject an heir to the throne that looks like a black dragon; like Wrathion.

Like Deathwing.

You have no place in his life.

He cries to himself for a very long time. He cries until he cannot cry anymore, until he’s run out of tears and he’s choking and hiccupping with his forehead pressed against his knees, and the sky has become dark and hours have passed.

He heads home. It takes a couple of hours but he makes it back, bitterly making his way to one of the top windows of the keep and transforming just before climbing through. He strides down through the numerous hallways that make up the royal quarter. Every step is soundless—Wrathion’s time around rogues, being raised by them, has taught him well.

Right, Left, I’m back, he thinks, finally communicating through his blood gems after ignoring them for so many hours.

Prince Wrathion, where were you? Anduin Wrynn has been asking around in a panic. The entire keep has been on edge, Right responds, her voice neutral, although Wrathion can sense her concern through the blood gem. He ignores it.

Just out. I needed some time to think by myself, is all, he thinks back to her, and closes the connection.

Wrathion opens the door to his and Anduin’s quarters. The spacious room is dark, looking the same as it had when they’d left this morning, absent of any traces of his fair haired lover. Where was Anduin? Oh well, he supposes he’ll find out eventually. Making his way to the large bed at the back of the room, he drops down onto its soft sheets, pressing his face into the expensive blankets that span across its surface. Muscle’s sore from flying for so long, he exhales, feeling physically and emotionally exhausted after crying as much as he had.

He feels awful.

Just as he finds his eyes falling closed and he’s drifting off to sleep, the door abruptly slams open.

“Wrathion!” Anduin shouts, rushing into the room and towards the bed. “Where were you?! I’ve been looking everywhere for you. It’s been hours, what happened?! You didn’t even tell Left or Right.”

He sounds like he’s out of breath. Wrathion doesn’t turn to look at him, nor does he verbally respond. Instead he lies there, turned in the other direction with his back to his lover.

“I told the guards to tell me if they saw you. I was just informed that a black dragon was seen flying into one of the upstairs windows of the royal quarter. I’ve been sitting downstairs for hours. I can’t sleep when you disappear like that, okay? Something could have happened to you, and not even your own guards knew where you were. How could you be so careless?!”

Wrathion lies still, unsure how to respond. He doesn’t want to have to deal with the sadness tugging away at his heart, or hear the panic in Anduin's voice. He feels guilty and angry and doesn’t want to be awake anymore.

“Anduin,” he says, voice tired and dry. Anduin stiffens. “What will you do if they take after me?”

“Wh-” Anduin starts, confused. “I would love them no less. Why does this matter, Wrathion?”

“Would the human people of Stormwind not be frightened? Would they not be absolutely disgusted that the heir to the throne looks like a black dragon, a descendant of Deathwing?”

“They would learn to love them. They would, because-”

Because people are essentially good?” Wrathion says, mocking something he's heard Anduin say numerous times before. He sits up sharply and glares at the prince. “My dear Anduin, you are still as naïve as ever. It wouldn’t be long until they revolt. It’s easy to reject what doesn’t look like you, what is different. Would you be able to stand watching your child die?”

“Wrathion, stop-”

“Your people love you, Anduin. You are their light. A symbol of hope. But me? They carry hate in their eyes when they look at me. They always will. My family has been despised for too long. Will half the Wrynn bloodline be enough? If our children take after you, perhaps.”

“Wrathion.” The confused anger in Anduin’s voice is suddenly gone. Instead, he sounds… concerned. “What happened?”

Wrathion can’t help but to laugh. If you must know, my dear prince, I almost threw myself off of Blackrock Mountain today, as well as any chance of us possibly having children. Despite his bitter smile, it isn’t long before his shoulders are shaking and his chest starts to hurt, and he begins to cry again. Anduin is at his side in an instant with a hand at his back.

“I’m…” Wrathion tries to say, his trembling voice interfering with his speech and making it hard for him to properly articulate how he feels. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t… watch it any longer, you alongside those human children.”

“Human children…?” Anduin asks before he understands what Wrathion means. Realization dawns on his face. “Ohh, you mean the children at the orphanage? Why?"

He sounds genuinely curious and confused. Wrathion doesn’t answer.

Anduin looks thoughtful. “Were you… jealous?”

Of course I was jealous, Wrathion almost snaps. He manages to stop himself.

“You looked so perfect with them. Like a real father.”

The dragon doesn’t know what comes over him. He’s normally so reserved, all too skilled at hiding his emotions—he’s a master at it, easily able to pass anything off with a smirk or a couple of words that people want to hear. He slips up sometimes, it’s true, but never is he this open, not even to his own lover.

He’s at his limit.

“I-I can’t watch that. It hurts too much,” he gasps. “I can’t bear to watch you leave me behind.”

He buries his face in his hands.

“Please don’t leave me alone... I don’t want to be alone. I have no one else.”

You’re the only one who’s ever treated me like a person. Who wanted to know me for who I am and not what I was.

He’s crying, but Anduin’s arms are around him, pulling the side of Wrathion’s body against his front in a tight grasp. Anduin doesn’t say anything, and somehow, the prince’s wordless, gentle gesture, the way he squeezes the dragon’s back, makes Wrathion feel like things might be okay. The look on Anduin’s face is attentive and serious, as though nothing else in the world is as important as his dragon companion.

“Wrathion,” he says, slowly. “I don’t want anyone but you. It will always be you. And it isn’t true that I’m the only one who likes you. Jaina has really taken the time to get to know you over the years, and the two of you actually seem quite close. Even my father has grown to like you. He’ll never say it, because he’s literally just as stubborn as you are, and don’t look at me like that because you know it’s true.” Anduin smiles at the light scowl Wrathion gives him. “You’ve proven yourself to them during the Burning Legion invasion, and really, it’s kind of hard not to come to like you after all the years you’ve lived here.”

I do not care what anyone here thinks of me, Wrathion wants to say, but after becoming such a major part of Anduin’s life, it’s hard for even Wrathion himself to believe that now. He doesn’t think that King Varian Wrynn has grown to like him, however. Tolerate, for sure, but not like. Black dragons have taken too much from him, and Wrathion is probably even stealing away the ideal future he had wanted for his son.

"Even if we aren't able to naturally have children between the two of us, I want you to know that it wouldn't change anything," Anduin says, his voice gentle. "There are other options. We'll figure it out together. I'll make sure of it. We’ll make sure of it."

He sounds so genuine and honest that Wrathion can’t help but to believe him. He begins to relax in Anduin’s arms, feeling calmer after being held for some time. Anduin is watching his face closely and it’s like he can sense the way he feels. Bringing Wrathion’s wrist to his mouth, he trails gentle kisses up towards the palm of the dragon’s hand, knowing he loves the way it feels. It’s soothing, and Wrathion can’t help but find himself slowly leaning over to rest his head on Anduin’s shoulder.

“It’s been ten years since we met,” Anduin says against his palm, warm breath and gentle lips tickling Wrathion’s skin. Despite his fatigue, Wrathion is awake enough to listen. “And we both want children.”

The dragon nods into his shoulder. That’s right, it’s been ten years. They’d met when they were teenagers—two princes who couldn’t seem to look away, with much more in common than they both wanted to believe. An attraction of sorts had bonded them together, and even after their separation during the war, it had reunited them again.

Wrathion waits for Anduin to continue, although somehow, he has a sneaking suspicion about what it is he’s going to say. What he’s about to ask.

“I love you,” Anduin says, moving to press a kiss to his partner’s temple. Wrathion leans into its touch. “And I’ve been thinking of asking you to marry me.”

The dragon shuts his eyes, blood rushing to his cheeks and heart pounding in excitement. Moving to bury his face into his lover’s neck, he presses his mouth to the skin he finds there, earning a pleasurable shudder from his lover. Anduin, in return, moves a hand to run his fingers through Wrathion’s hair—it’s another thing he knows he likes. The dragon lets out a pleased sigh.

“Is that a yes?” Anduin asks, trying to turn his head as much as he can with Wrathion’s face pressed against his neck. He gasps when Wrathion scrapes his teeth against the sensitive spot where his neck meets shoulder.

“Yes,” Wrathion responds, and Anduin begins to nudge him over, seemingly down towards the bed’s surface.

“Come to bed with me,” Anduin says, implication clear, so Wrathion does, lying down on his back against the large mattress with his head on a pillow, hiding his blushing face with an arm as he does so.

“Look at me,” Anduin says again, leaning over his lover and gently taking Wrathion’s arm to bring his hand up to his cheek. Anduin’s skin is warm, and his eyes are so blue, even in the dim lighting. “I love you.”

The prince leans down to kiss him, and when their mouths touch, Wrathion’s body reacts immediately. Anduin’s mouth is so smooth and warm and the sensation sends a pleasurable shiver down his spine. He isn’t sure how he’s gotten so worked up—perhaps his body is searching for relief after today’s stress, or maybe it’s from his possessiveness over Anduin after witnessing the events in the city. He could also be excited that Anduin has asked him to marry him. No matter the reasons, he doesn’t think when he arches his back, seeking more of that wonderful feeling of Anduin’s body and lips against his own. Wrapping his arms around Anduin’s shoulders, he hugs the prince close.

“We’re going to get married,” Anduin says when he breaks the kiss. He’s smiling and it’s just so adorable that Wrathion can’t help but smile back.

“We are,” Wrathion agrees, laughter finding its way into his voice. He’s certainly tired after such a long, draining day, but he doesn’t mind staying up a little longer.

 


 

“Anduin,” the fourteen year old prince hears his father say. He looks up from his book to see King Varian Wrynn standing in the library doorway.

“Yes, father?” Anduin asks, turning his head in curiosity, wondering why his father is here to see him. Varian Wrynn is a busy person, and doesn’t always have time for his son, so he’s a little surprised to see that his father has sought him out.

The king steps forward, making his way to where Anduin sits. “What are you reading?”

Anduin closes the book to show him the cover. It’s a large, old tome. “Oh, I’m just studying. I want to attune myself better with-” he stops himself, feeling self-conscious. He isn’t out training with a sword or an axe, or whatever it was his father probably wants him to be doing. Instead, he had been reading about the light, and the history of various types of healing and healers.

“…with the light,” he manages to finish, although awkwardly after the moderate pause. Thankfully, his father seems unphased, and doesn’t look upset. Anduin decides to continue. “Although, I find I learn more by actually using it, like when I was given the chance studying with Prophet Velen. It’s important to know the history too, though…”

“I’m glad to see you studying something you’re passionate about,” his father replies, and Anduin can’t help but feel flustered at the… compliment. His father is probably pleased that he’s back safe in Stormwind, where he can be watched over by trusted guards. Although Anduin loves his home, he finds it suffocating at times with someone always having an eye on him. He is plenty capable on his own.

He isn’t a child anymore.

“Anduin,” his father says, breaking the prince from his somewhat bitter thoughts. “There’s something I’ve wanted to talk to you about, and unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to bring it up yesterday, it being your birthday."

Anduin looks up at his father curiously, his initial questions of why his father is here to see him back in the forefront of his mind. He’d almost forgotten that the day before today had been his birthday.

“You’re fourteen now, Anduin,” the king says, and the prince can’t help but wonder where exactly he’s trying to go with this. “And there’s going to be a time where you’re probably going to fall in love, and will want to marry.”

It feels like his stomach is sinking, or caving in—some dreadfully awful feeling like that.

So that’s what this is about.

Marriage.

Of course he’s going to have to marry someone, and now that he’s turned fourteen, this is probably all people are going to expect from him now. Anduin is a prince—the Prince of Stormwind, no less, and of course marriage is the priority, of course. It isn’t like there’s a war going on or that there are people who are in need. His studies can wait, for sure! Anduin refrains from rolling his eyes. His father probably thinks he’s going to fall in love with some woman too, which is something that Anduin highly doubts will ever happen. He has never had those feelings towards girls, and probably never will.

His attraction towards boys, however… well, that was different.

“Yes father, I’m sure I will,” Anduin responds, trying his best to keep the bitterness out of his voice despite how his heart silently screams out in protest.

“Yes, and when you do, you’re going to want to propose to them, and with that, you’ll need a ring,” his father agrees, and it’s then that he holds out the heirloom to his son.

“A ring?” Anduin asks, staring down at the old, golden ring that sits in the box in his father’s large hand. This isn’t the first time his father has given him something, and Anduin has to make a conscious effort to stop himself from moving his hand to touch the silver locket hanging around his neck. When his father had given this to him, it had been a pretty special occasion, and even though it was his birthday yesterday, Anduin still can’t help but feel surprised that his father is presenting him with something so important at such a casual time as this. Is he going somewhere…?

“That’s right. I proposed to your mother with this,” his father says. So it belonged to Mother… “My father proposed with it as well, and it would make me incredibly happy to see you give this to the one you love too, when the time is right.”

Anduin stares at the ring. His father is probably expecting him to take it.

He’s hesitant.

“Father,” Anduin asks, nervously.

“Anduin?”

“You’re…” he begins, his voice shaking. He swallows, forming the words in his mind, and tries again. “You’re going to let me… choose who I get to marry? It’s not going to be arranged for me or anything?”

To Anduin’s surprise, his father looks confused, and then his expression slowly softens. “Of course. I would never force something like that on you. I only want to see you happy, Anduin.”

Anduin is shocked. He can’t help his stare, eyes slightly wide.

His father wasn’t going to force this upon him.

I-it’s not like he knows that Anduin is attracted to men, but it’s a start, after all, and Anduin is ready to take it.

Trying is best not to cry, his lip trembles, and before he realizes what he’s doing, he’s already leapt forward to hug the tall, armoured man he calls his father standing in front of him.

Varian Wrynn starts with a surprise, frozen in place in shock for a moment as he stares down at his son, his son who looks so small compared to him, with his arms wrapped around his waist. Then, he smiles. Anduin had been afraid all this time.

The king tells himself that he must make the effort to talk to his son more, to learn about all the things that he still doesn’t know about Anduin. He wants him to know that he can tell him anything, and no matter what it is that troubles his son, Varian is willing to work through it with him together.

 


 

The spring air is cool, despite the time of the year. Anduin’s robes are a little heavier than usual, hanging low on the cobblestone path as he kneels before his Mother’s grave. Wrathion stands there beside him, though about a step behind, allowing the prince some space while he prays. He could even be on alert for any potential danger. It wouldn’t be the first time that Anduin has been attacked in this very place.

Mother, Anduin says, although in his thoughts. His eyes are shut. I’ve asked him to marry me.

There’s a breeze. It ruffles his hair slightly and his bangs tickle his forehead.

Mother, he thinks. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. We’re going to try and have children. I pray to the light we are able to. I wonder if they’ll take after you.

I have yet to tell Father, he tells her. I hope he understands, and I hope he will support me. I don’t want this to cause some sort of fight, especially after we’ve worked so hard to become close again. You’d support me, wouldn’t you?

He can hear Wrathion breathing softly behind him, as well as the way his feet shuffle on the stone path as he changes his footing. Anduin hopes he isn’t too cold, even with his coat. Being a black dragon, Anduin knows that Wrathion isn’t too keen on temperatures too cool, especially with the wind.

Wrathion is worried. He’s scared that our children will be treated unkindly, or that our marriage will upset our people, Anduin thinks. He takes a deep breath in, and then breathes out, slowly. He’s right to worry. I understand, but I think we’ll be alright. We’ll get through it, and I’ll talk to Father about it. This is so exciting. I think the two of us can really make a change.

I miss you, he adds, before opening his eyes. He sees Wrathion walk passed him to place a bouquet of flowers down on the grave. It appears that others have left flowers and wreathes here already, and Anduin can’t help but smile a little at the sight. When he stands up, Wrathion takes his hand.

“You’re alright?” Wrathion asks.

“I’m fine, nothing to worry about,” Anduin says, smiling at his partner and lacing their fingers together. “Are you? I know you aren’t fond of the cold.” Wrathion’s gloved hand is warm in his own, but he asks anyway, because Wrathion‘s natural body temperature is always going to be warmer than a human’s.

“I’m fine as well, my prince. You don’t have to worry about me, and it’s not that cold,” Wrathion responds, and then there’s a playful look in his eyes. “I wouldn’t be opposed if you wanted to warm me up, though.”

Anduin laughs. “Later,” he says, taking the lead and guiding them towards the castle gardens. “I promise. Once we’re back inside. I just wanted to spend some time out here with you first.”

“I’ll hold you to it,” Wrathion smirks, and Anduin can’t seem to stop smiling. His heart is beating quickly from a sudden excitement by the time they reach their destination. Attempting to calm down his nerves, the prince sticks his free hand into his coat pocket to touch a smooth little box that hides there, reassuring himself that he does indeed still have it.

He’s glad that Wrathion is much more at ease now—he seems to be back to his usual self. Anduin can tell from Wrathion’s flirtatious remarks and eagerness to hold his hand, as well as the dragon’s consistent casual, comfortable body language. His shoulders aren’t tense and he isn’t trying to hide himself anymore as he had a couple of nights ago when they were in bed together. He stands tall and confident, instead of trying to make himself appear small like he had when they’d gone out into town. Anduin hasn’t seen the dragon cry since that day either.

They sit down on a stone bench in the garden, right by the city’s lake next to the keep. Anduin tries to relax, breathing in the floral scented air. It’s the time of year when flowers begin to bloom, even despite the cool weather of this particular day.

He shifts closer to Wrathion, closing any distance between them so that the sides of their bodies are pressed right up against each other. He is grateful for the close contact immediately, moving to lean his head on the dragon’s shoulder.

“I hope you’re comfortable,” Wrathion remarks, attempting to shift his body even closer against Anduin’s side.

“Mm,” Anduin responds, his mind drifting to the box in his pocket and wondering if now is a good time. Wrathion doesn’t seem bothered by his lack of response. Anduin hears him take a deep breath in, only to breathe out slowly. He smells the smoke before he sees the sparks of ember in the dragon’s breath.

Anduin can’t keep back his giggle. “Are you trying to warm yourself up?” he asks.

“Maybe,” Wrathion says. “Being pressed up against you certainly helps, however.”

Anduin laughs again, moving to lean up closer to Wrathion’s face.

“You’re really pretty to watch, you know?” Anduin says, his heart swelling with affection. “It’s really cute when you do that.”

“Cute… when I breathe fire?” Wrathion asks, looking at Anduin with a confused expression, as though he’s wondering what could possibly be so cute about breathing fire.

Anduin nods. “I think it’s cute.”

“I just hope our kids don’t burn the keep down,” Wrathion responds, rolling his eyes. “Imagine that. How unfortunate that would be.”

“Oh, stop,” Anduin says, nudging Wrathion in the arm but smiling nonetheless. The dragon responds with a smirk.

“You really are beautiful though,” he says.

“Oh, now you stop,” Wrathion says, mimicking the prince playfully. “You’re awfully flirtatious today.”

Anduin giggles, leaning in further. “Can I kiss you?” he asks. Wrathion turns his head to face him, their mouths suddenly close.

“You don’t need to ask permission for that,” Wrathion says, and Anduin’s lips are on his. His mouth tastes like smoke from a hearth, his breath still hot, and Anduin doesn’t mind. It’s little things like these that remind Anduin that Wrathion isn’t human, and it’s these same things that Anduin finds all too charming.

When they break away, Anduin asks, “Can I ask you something else?”

Wrathion nods, smiling. “Of course.”

The prince doesn’t hesitate, the energy from their kiss giving him a sudden confidence. He reaches into his pocket, and pulls out the box, then shifts his body on an angle as much as he can to face his lover, holding it out between them. Wrathion looks down at the box, then glances back at Anduin, waiting.

“We’ve already spoken about this,” he begins. “But I wanted to propose to you, properly.”

Wrathion’s smile grows a little wider, and he watches Anduin with affection as the prince gets up off the bench to kneel down on one knee in front of him. He opens the box. The ring situated inside it is of a pale gold colour, with an intricate design traveling around the outside. It looks like it’s relatively old, but beautiful nonetheless.

“This belonged to my mother,” Anduin says. “My father told me that Wrynn kings have proposed with it for generations.”

“So your father proposed with this? That’s a bit awkward, isn’t it?” Wrathion says, and for a moment, Anduin is slightly worried, until the dragon lets out a soft laugh. “That’s very bold of you, giving a black dragon such an important family heirloom.”

“Well what we’re doing in the first place is pretty bold, isn’t it?” Anduin says, smiling.

“Yes, that is true,” Wrathion responds.

“So you’ll marry me?”

“I already said I would, didn’t I?” he says, holding his right hand out in front of him.

Anduin’s heart is pounding from nerves as he takes the ring from the box to place it on Wrathion’s finger. Wrathion’s hands aren't in any way large, and it slides on smoothly. Taking the dragon’s hand in his, Anduin brings it to his mouth, kissing the knuckles he finds there. His lips linger for a time, and when he looks up, their eyes lock, red with blue.

There is a sudden tension, and they both feel it. Wrathion’s skin is as soft as ever against his lips, and Anduin’s fingers idly stroke the tips of the dragon’s dark claws.

“I love you,” Anduin says. “I cannot describe how much I do.”

Wrathion laughs. “Well the ring is doing a very good job at convincing me,” he says, his expression fond. “I love you as well, but I would hope that was already obvious.”

Anduin stands up and then leans over to kiss him. It’s tender yet passionate all at once. They embrace each other, arms squeezing each other tight when Anduin sits back down at Wrathion’s side. When they break away, they’re both out of breath.

“I… I assume things would about to be going very differently were we indoors,” Wrathion says, and that playful lilt from earlier is back in his voice.

“Probably,” Anduin says, running his fingers down Wrathion’s sides. The dragon shivers. “But doesn’t that just make what’s to come later all the more exciting?”

“I guess that’s true,” Wrathion says before leaning in to kiss him again, chaste and quick, and Anduin, obliging the dragon’s wishes to heat things up a bit, moves his right hand to Wrathion’s thigh, earning a sigh from the other prince when he gently strokes the spot with his thumb.

He hugs the dragon against him, and they sit like that for a short time, before Wrathion speaks up again.

“My dear prince, I didn’t want to steal attention from you, but I do have something of my own prepared for you too,” he says.

“Oh?” Anduin asks, leaning back to give his lover space. He watches as Wrathion reaches into his own pocket, pulling out a small wooden box. When he opens it, Anduin can’t take his eyes off the ring.

“Ah, it’s an exchange!” he laughs, holding his right hand out for Wrathion to place the ring on his finger. The dragon does exactly that, and the ring fits with an almost calculated ease. “You didn’t… make this, did you?”

“Well of course I did,” Wrathion speaks as though the answer is obvious. “His highness deserves the finest, after all.”

Anduin kisses him, overjoyed. So Wrathion had taken the time and used his draconic abilities to make a ring for him as well. He’s very pleased, and after the initial surprise has begun to worn off, Anduin realizes that of course Wrathion made a ring for him. There’s no way he’d let Anduin do all the work.

Anduin leans back, turning his body to hold his hand out in front of him to examine the ring. It actually doesn’t look all too different from his mother’s, and when he looks closer, he realizes that the design along the side is that of a dragon’s twisting body.

“This is really amazing,” he says, in absolute awe. “I love it.”

Wrathion smiles, moving to hold his own hand out in front of him, next to Anduin’s to compare the rings. “You’re quite welcome,” he says. Wrathion’s hand is much smaller and narrower than the hand of Stormwind’s Prince, his dark claws quite the contrast compared to Anduin's pale, blunt fingertips, and Anduin can’t help but admire the differences.

“Usually in human culture, a typical engagement involves a man providing a ring for a woman, but since neither of us are women, I wasn’t sure what to do when it came to traditions...” Anduin feels a little flustered. Surely there have been men who have been married in Stormwind before, but he personally doesn’t know of many, and isn’t sure what was done in terms of the proposing procedure. “So I just went with this.”

“We’ll make our own traditions,” Wrathion responds, as though the answer is simple. Anduin likes the way that sounds.

“Yeah,” he agrees, placing his hand on top of his lover's, squeezing it once before lacing their fingers together. “We will.”

 


 

A knock on Jaina Proudmoore’s door is what wakes her from her studies. It’s hesitant and a little quiet, but Jaina, always on alert, has no problem hearing it. Fixing her robes as she stands up, Jaina walks towards the door. When she opens it, she is surprised to see no other than Prince Wrathion standing alone in the hallway outside.

For such a timid knock, the prince stands straight and confident with his arms crossed against his chest. She’s honestly surprised that such a knock belonged to him. Was something the matter, or had she just imagined it?

“Wrathion,” Jaina says, quickly glancing down at the ring on his finger and then looking back up to smile at him. It seems that Anduin had finally taken a step forward and carried out what she had wondered for a long time if he would ever do. Could this be why Wrathion was at her door? She wonders if it has something to do with the ring. Either way, Jaina can’t help the pleasant feeling in her chest when realizing that Wrathion really does trust her enough to feel that he can speak to her about whatever is on his mind. The two of them really have gotten fairly close over the years, or at least Jaina thinks so. Their shared interest in magic has given them more than enough to talk about, and Anduin had done a lot to help her better understand the boy as well. He had spoken openly to her about Wrathion’s feelings, enabling her to know a little more about his way of thinking and what he was going through, more so than she would have been able to guess on her own.

“Come in,” Jaina says, opening the wooden door wider to let the dragon through. “Would you like some tea or anything to eat?”

Wrathion stands there, hesitating for only a moment before stepping inside. Jaina watches as he takes in her room, despite the fact that he’s been here numerous times before with Anduin at his side. Although the leader of the Kirin Tor resides in Dalaran, she also has a room here in Stormwind—both Anduin and Varian consider her family, and her nephew had urged her to make the keep her second home, given how frequently she visits. Wooden bookshelves packed with hundreds of books line the stone walls. Tomes lie in stacks on the carpeted floor, and numerous plants hang down from the single windowsill in the room. It really does look like a mage’s study, and with a dull ache in her heart, Jaina can’t help but be reminded of her room in a long gone Theramore Isle. Time has certainly done its job towards slowly helping her heal, as reading books have lately been able to give her the same joy that they used to; however, Jaina knows that a part of her, no matter how small, will always be broken.

“Um, that would be…” Wrathion stops for a moment. “…really great. Thank you.”

Jaina raises her eyebrows at that, confirming her initial suspicions that something is definitely on the dragon prince’s mind. It seems that Wrathion’s common smooth way of speaking and usual charm is faltering, and that isn’t like him at all.

Although, Jaina doesn’t think it’s possible for Wrathion to ever completely lose his charm. In fact, his shyness seems so natural and honest that it’s almost cute in a way.  It puts her at ease. She’s glad she offered him tea. Anduin has told her before that it’s one of Wrathion’s favourite things in the world, and he looks like he might really be able to use it.

“Please, have a seat,” she says, gesturing to one of the two chairs that sit at a small table by the window. Walking over to one of the shelves along the wall, Jaina pulls out a silver tray holding her own personal tea set and carries it over to place on the table. She could easily call for a servant, but there is no need.

The small smile that forms on Wrathion’s face as he watches her conjure up a plate of cookies doesn’t go unnoticed.

“I can teach you how to do that some time, if you’d like,” Jaina says, knowing full well that Wrathion is a mage in his own right. She conjures up several different types of teas, laying them out on the table in front of him. “Choose any tea you’d like.”

“Thank you, Jaina,” Wrathion responds, picking out a black breakfast tea. Jaina brews it for him in the pot, heating the water with her magic.

“Anduin has told me you really enjoy tea. Do you have any recommendations?” she asks with a smile, hoping to make him feel a little more comfortable after his hesitant entrance. The young man across from her nods, slowly, and any stiffness in his shoulders begins to disappear.

“The teas from Pandaria are my favourite,” Wrathion says, watching Jaina as she boils the tea and then leaving it to steep. “I was able to try many during my stay at the Tavern in the Mists, although you can find some here in Stormwind now, thanks to the Pandaren shopkeepers that have moved here. It isn’t hard to get to Pandaria by portal, mind you.”

“The Tavern in the Mists. That’s where you and Anduin first met, wasn’t it?” Jaina asks, her tone casual as she pours the tea into two cups.

“Yes, that’s right,” Wrathion says. Jaina watches as he pours both sugar and milk into his tea once she’d moved the cup towards him. “Where the start of a relationship I’m sure many are still currently unhappy about began,” he hesitates again. “Jaina, I came here to talk to you because… I’m not sure what to do.”

Jaina’s eyes flicker to the ring on his finger. She had recognized it immediately when Wrathion had appeared at her door. It was the one and same that Tiffin Wrynn, Anduin’s mother, used to wear when she was still alive.

Wrathion seems to notice where Jaina’s eyes have gone. He smiles sheepishly.

“Yes, no doubt you’ve noticed it,” he says, touching the ring self-consciously with his other hand, although there’s a small smile on his face. “Anduin… asked me to marry him yesterday, and I said yes.”

“That’s wonderful, Wrathion, I’m happy for you. Is this what you wanted to speak to me about?” Jaina asks, and Wrathion nods. “You seem a little troubled.”

“I am,” Wrathion says. “Anduin’s people hate me. It’s doubtful that many approve of our relationship, and the two of us being together endangers both of our lives. What if people revolt? We’ve only been okay until now because we haven’t done anything to set it all in stone. There are those still hoping for us to break it off. Once we marry, everything will change.”

Jaina doesn’t say anything, waiting for him continue. She can tell he needs to talk about this, and hasn’t been given the chance to until now. The dragon prince probably hasn’t told this to anyone but Anduin.

“I am a black dragon, and I’m also a man, which I’m sure is troubling to some people already. If Anduin and I weren’t princes, maybe things wouldn’t be so complicated. But Anduin is heir to Stormwind’s throne. The person he marries won’t necessarily be someone he loves. Everything he does becomes political. This is no exception.” Wrathion stares at his tea, left untouched. He scowls. “But knowing all of this, I don’t care. I’m selfish. I want to marry Anduin, and I’m going to. I don’t understand human royalty traditions. I don’t know why he must marry a woman or produce an heir. He isn’t attracted to women, so why should he? And I don’t understand why humans choose who will lead them based on blood, instead of by the strongest, or the smartest, or one everyone decides together on. Being born a king does not make someone a good leader.”

“I must say, I’ve never quite understood the tradition either,” Jaina admits, feeling a twinge of sympathy for the dragon who sits across from her. She’s known several princes who were not meant to be leaders, and when she had been in love with one, nobody had ever tried to stop her.

Wrathion seems pleased that she agrees with him. “Anduin is… hopeful. You know him. He thinks people will learn to accept us, to accept me. He believes in his people. And…” he’s hesitating again, looking incredibly uncomfortable. “A-as I’ve stated, Anduin needs to produce an heir at some point as well.”

Jaina feels another ache in her chest. She remembers the day Anduin told her that he was attracted to men and not women. She was the only one he had told, being afraid of what other people might think, including his own father. She remembers wishing she could fight away all the unfair expectations that her nephew had to face, but Anduin had been strong. He always has been. When he thinks something isn’t right, he doesn’t stand for it.

Anduin is a strong person, stronger and smarter than many realize. He isn’t one to be pushed around so easily and his relationship with Wrathion is no exception. If he thinks that marrying the last of the remaining black dragonflight is the right choice to make, then that is what he will do.

“I think that… Anduin understands that change is possible, and that these traditions can indeed be changed,” Jaina says, slowly. “And being a prince, he knows he has the power and influence in order to do so. I have faith in Anduin. If anyone can do it, it’s him.”

“I’m trying my best to believe so too,” Wrathion responds. “I’m… so happy that he asked me to marry him. I’m trying to tell myself that for once, I need to have the same outlook that he does. I’ve told him many times that he is much too naïve and soft for his own good, for his kingdom’s good, but perhaps it’s this way of thinking that I’ve actually been relying on this entire time.”

Jaina watches him closely as he speaks, looking down at his hands in his lap. She thinks about what he had said before. An heir.

“You have options, when it comes to an heir,” she says, and then suddenly Wrathion sharply looks up at her to interrupt.

“Anduin wants children,” he says. “A-and I do… too.”

She remains silent, allowing him to continue. The look in his eyes seems so troubled.

“I want to have children, but I am the last of my kind,” Wrathion says, staring back down at his tea. It’s going cold, but she can easily reheat it with her magic later.

“Jaina,” he says, looking up at her again. “Anduin and I… we want to have children. Together. We want to try.”

Jaina isn’t quite sure what he means, but she is here for him. For the both of them.

“My body… it isn’t biologically male, technically speaking. As far as I understand, I have a reproductive system, and I should be able to bear children if I choose to,” Wrathion says. Jaina is honestly surprised, but the sadness and despair on the boy’s face is much more of a concern to her. “It isn’t a question of us both being men that is the problem. It’s that he’s human, and I’m a dragon. It might not even work. I don’t want it not to work. But even if it does work, won’t it cause so many problems politically speaking? How will people react to their heir looking like a black dragon?”

Jaina remembers a time when she once wanted children. She had been so hopeful, back then. It’s not such a big deal to her anymore, but looking into Wrathion’s eyes, she can see the same hope that she had felt so long ago. She doesn’t ever want to see that hope leave his eyes. She wants to see it protected and safe, and she’s willing to do what she can to make that happen.

“You haven’t tried yet?” she asks.

Wrathion fidgets awkwardly in his seat before shaking his head. “Surprisingly, no, we haven’t. Anduin won’t do anything unless I give him permission first, and I’ve been… too afraid to try. I’m not quite… ready, to face the outcome.”

Jaina sits back in her seat, thinking. “Hmm,” she begins. “Well, you’re right, it’s true that people might react badly. But you’ve also said that there are people who are already reacting badly when it comes to your relationship alone. It’s hurtful, and it can be difficult to deal with, I understand, but I also think that if you and Anduin really, truly cared about what others thought of you, you’d have ended your relationship a long time ago.”

Wrathion stares at her, his expression anxious. Before he can say anything, she continues, “But see, you didn’t end your relationship a long time ago. Instead, the two of you are engaged, ready to marry and ready to have kids together. As you’ve stated, your relationship is a risk, yes, but you and Anduin have always known this from the start. It never stopped you when you first met. It never stopped you when you decided to live here with Anduin. So why should it stop you now? I believe your bond to be much too strong to be broken by any human politics.”

“I suppose that’s true,” Wrathion admits. “But unfortunately a strong bond between two people isn’t enough to just… allow them to magically be able to procreate when it isn’t thought possible.”

“I don’t think that’s necessarily true,” Jaina responds, her voice sure and confident. “Do not forget, Wrathion, magic exists in this world. It’s all around us,” she says with a motion of her hand. “In my experiences as a mage, I have learned that there have been times where the impossible is able to become possible. I have been shocked by numerous things I never thought could happen throughout my life, times where I thought I would surely fail, but I didn’t. Instead, I had succeeded. No matter how outrageously low the chances might be, no matter what anyone says, and even if it’s never been done before, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. There is always a chance.”

The look Wrathion gives her is skeptical. His head is tilted and there’s a slight frown on his face, but that awful look of despair he had in his eyes earlier is beginning to fade. Instead he looks… hopeful.

“So you think there’s a chance,” he says.

“I do. After all, and I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but there were supposed to be no more uncorrupted black dragons left, am I right? Yet here you are, sitting in front of me, engaged to my nephew on top of it all. You, Wrathion, are a shining example of that hope I am talking about.”

Wrathion’s eyes are wide as he listens. Jaina can’t tell if he’s worried, or if she’s offended him somehow, or if he’s actually happy; he even almost looks like he’s about to cry, but she can’t be too sure.

Just as Jaina is about to ask if the dragon is okay, Wrathion speaks up. “Anduin thinks that our children will be a symbol of hope,” he says. “Of hope and unity between dragons and mortals. They’d be black dragon and human, after all, and adopt traits from both of us; a constant reminder to people that change is possible.”

“I think Anduin is right,” Jaina says, confidently. “The Prince of Stormwind and Black Prince are not afraid to see change take place, and they will be the ones to initiate it, no matter the risk, if it is the right thing to do.”

“The right thing to do,” Wrathion repeats, looking thoughtful. “I suppose what’s right or wrong is completely subjective depending on who you ask, but…” he stops, momentarily. “For me, this is the right thing to do.”

“Indeed it is,” Jaina says, and she can’t help but to smile. “How are you feeling?”

Wrathion looks almost taken aback by the question, as though he’s almost surprised that someone actually cares for his well-being. “I’m… I feel better,” he nods. “Thank you for listening to me, Jaina.”

“Of course. You can talk to me anytime, Wrathion,” Jaina says, and then there’ a playful look in her eyes. “I must say, I’m looking forward to becoming a great aunt. I miss having young children around to liven up the place. It’s a really refreshing thought.”

At that, Wrathion laughs. It’s soft and genuine and as charming as Anduin always describes it to be. Moving her hands forward to reheat the forgotten tea on the table, Jaina can’t help the warmth in her healing heart at the sound of the dragon prince’s joy, his voice echoing off the walls in her little room.

 


 

King Varian Wrynn is working in his study when he hears a knock on the door. At this time in the evening, he can only assume it to be Jaina or his son. Putting his quill down, he calls for his guest to come inside.

It’s Anduin who walks through the doorway.

“Father,” his son says, and Varian recognizes the look he has on his face. It’s the ‘I have something important to tell you but I’m not sure if you’ll like it’ look. Varian has witnessed it too many times not to know it by now.

“Anduin,” he says, motioning with his hand for his son to sit across from him. There’s a gentle casualness in the movement, a casualness he’s spent years practicing for it to finally feel comfortable, and it does. His son’s feelings are important to him, they always have been, and Varian has tried hard to close the terrible distance that had settled for a long time between father and son. He wants Anduin to feel like he can talk to him, even despite his twenty-five years; however, Varian can’t help his feelings of worry when looking at the expression Anduin wears currently.

“Would you like anything? Tea? I can call in a servant to bring you something,” the king says, stacking the papers he’d been looking at into a neat pile to place at the side of his desk. Anduin shakes his head as he sits down.

“That’s quite alright father, thank you,” Anduin says, and he smiles. Anduin’s smile is always kind. Varian can’t help but be reminded of Tiffin. He wonders what it is he did to deserve a child as compassionate and gentle as Anduin. He certainly is Tiffin’s son, taking after her in ways that go far beyond his appearance. “I hope I’m not interrupting you.”

“You aren’t, don’t worry,” Varian says, attempting a small smile of his own. Soon, Varian would step down as king for his son to lead in his stead. He’d put a lot of thought into the decision—Anduin is an adult, and he’s done much for his kingdom, giving their people a sense of hope when there was none. Although Varian would certainly never remain idle, ready to help his son however he can, his responsibilities would become his son’s responsibilities, and he still can’t help but worry about whether his son is truly ready to take his place. “I can make time right now.” 

“Oh… okay, good,” Anduin’s says a little awkwardly, looking down at his hands in his lap. He sits there quietly for several moments until he looks up to make direct eye contact with his father. “There was something I wanted to talk to you about,” he says, exactly as Varian had expected him to.

“You can tell me anything, Anduin.” He means it.

“It’s um, about Wrathion… and me.” Anduin looks slightly nervous, but he doesn’t drop his gaze. Somehow, Varian isn’t surprised that this has to do with the black dragon boy. Nevertheless, he’s beginning to feel on edge.

“It’s nothing bad,” Anduin quickly says, although it doesn’t do much to quell Varian’s worry. “Um, at least I don’t see it as bad.”

They’re both silent, for a moment. Varian sees no point in saying anything until his son is ready to speak; he isn’t even sure what he’s supposed to be responding to yet.

After fidgeting for a while longer, Anduin opens his mouth to speak. “I asked him to marry me,” he says. “I proposed with the ring you gave me, and he said yes.”

Varian’s jaw clenches involuntarily.

“Your mother’s ring?”

“You told me to give it to the one I love, so I did. That’s what you said.”

Varian doesn’t quite remember what he said. It had been a long time ago. If he recalls correctly, Anduin had been about thirteen or fourteen, and Varian could never have imagined that his son would propose to a black dragon. Not at the time.

The idea isn’t so foreign to him anymore, now that his son has been in a steady relationship with Wrathion for a few years; however, there’s always been a part of Varian that had really hoped that the two would eventually break apart, and it isn’t because he hates the dragon. No, he doesn’t hate Wrathion. Varian might have been able to say that at one point, but not anymore. After seeing the way the dragon prince has treated his son over the years, he’d come to the conclusion that Wrathion isn’t a threat to Anduin’s life.

There is a side of his son that comes out only when he is with the dragon—one of trust, of security, despite their common debates of politics and world views. And in Wrathion, Varian had noticed a certain softness in his eyes, in his personality, when he looks at his son. As reluctant as Varian is to admit it, the king has come to care about the Wrathion’s wellbeing. The dragon pisses him off daily, sure—Wrathion certainly doesn’t show the same charm and pleasantries to Varian as he does Anduin, in fact he’s usually rude at best, but he makes Anduin happy, and that’s what matters most.

This doesn’t mean Varian had ever expected them to marry, nor does he believe that the dragon’s extreme views would have a good influence on their people. Varian has always worried about the backlash Anduin might receive for maintaining a romantic relationship with the Black Prince; now more than ever. It’s true that Anduin is in no danger to Wrathion himself; however, he will be based on his romantic association with the dragon alone, and Varian can’t help his shock over the bold step forward his son has initiated. This isn’t an easy path Anduin has chosen to walk.

And he can’t help but be unsettled by the idea of that boy walking around with Tiffin’s ring on his finger. Varian had proposed with it once himself, after all.

That was a long time ago.

“Your life is not going to be easy if you decide to do this, Anduin,” Varian finally says. “Neither of your lives will be. There are going to be people who will reject the idea of you ruling with a black dragon at your side, and you’ll be in constant danger.”

“I already am in constant danger, aren’t I?” Anduin says. “And my life has never been easy.”

“Have you ever considered walking a safer path? One our people will agree with.”

“Walking a safer path is never going to change who I am,” Anduin’s says, tone firm. “I’d be lying to everyone if I went and married some woman I don’t know or love. You married someone you loved.”

“You don’t have to marry a woman, Anduin, nor someone you don’t know or love. The issue I have is that he’s-”

A black dragon? I know,” Anduin’s voice is bitter. “But would this not be the beginning towards healing the rift between our family and his? Between all humans and dragons alike? How many times does he have to prove himself?!”

“Not everyone is going to see it that way. Have you even thought about how you’re going to produce an heir? You need to think about the future Anduin, and I don’t mean within the next few years. He’s going to outlive you. He’s going to outlive your children and their children after them. This beginning you speak of will only last so long until he’s forced to withdraw and live on his own. And would that be fair to him?

Anduin clenches his jaw at that—he doesn’t speak, and despite the defiant spark in his eyes, he looks a little guilty. Just as Varian is about to continue, Anduin speaks up.

“There’s something I’ve never told you.”

Varian doesn’t like how that sounds, nor does he appreciate the icy defiance that emerges in his son’s voice.

“Something you’ve never told me,” he repeats.

“Yes, about Wrathion. It really isn’t my place to say this, but I’ve already asked his permission if I could tell you, because Light, I’m not going to make him do it,” Anduin says, crossing his arms. He’s silent again, scowling, yet looking anxious. Taking a deep breath, he continues, “Father, of course I’ve thought about producing an heir. Wrathion and I are going to try together.”

Varian is beginning to grow tired and frustrated. What is his son going on about? “Anduin, you’re both men. How could you possibly-”

“Wrathion is a man, but his body is biologically female. He has a reproductive system. And he wants to have children, with me.” Varian is getting tired of being interrupted, but after listening to what Anduin has had to say, he’s too shocked to care.

“His body is female,” he repeats, dumbly.

“That’s right.”

“And you would know.”

“Since I was fifteen,” Anduin says confidently, chin up with his arms still crossed—that is, until his face pales slightly at the implication he’s just revealed to his father in terms of how long he really has been with the Black Prince. The King of Stormwind tries not to think too hard about it.

This new information that Anduin has revealed about Wrathion does nothing to soothe Varian’s worry, in fact, it makes him worry more. It has never occurred to him that his son and the dragon boy would be able produce an heir—he would never have thought that his grandchildren might be anything other than human.

To heal the rift between humans and dragons—so this is what his son was getting at.

“Alright, Anduin,” Varian sighs, bringing his hand up to lightly pinch at the bridge of his nose. “And how are you going to explain to people that you had children with another man? How many people are going to understand that? Believe that? How will they treat Wrathion?”

“I… don’t know yet, but-”

“And are you sure it’s possible to produce half-dragon children? I’ve never heard of this before.”

Anduin bites his lip, his sudden show of defiance and confidence now beginning to fade.

“No. I don’t know.”

The despair in his son’s eyes is difficult for the king to look at.

This is why Varian is worried. More than anything, more than the way people might react or think, more than politics, Varian is terribly afraid of seeing his son’s heart broken.

“If the two of you aren’t able to do this, it’s going to hurt you,” the king begins, slowly. “It’ll hurt the both of you.”

He doesn’t want to see his son in pain. He doesn’t want to see Wrathion in pain, but it’s just that everything about their relationship is a massive risk. Even if they were to successfully have children, how would those children be treated? How would Wrathion be treated? What about his son? Would their people still be able to trust him, seek guidance from him? Would they really be able to just sit back and accept a black dragon as the heir to the throne? To stand up and lead them?”

Dozens upon dozens of questions swarm Varian’s mind. He’s so lost in thought, he almost doesn’t hear Anduin speak.

“It’s going to hurt me more if I don’t try,” Anduin says, eyes downcast, voice quiet and shaking and barely above a whisper, yet somehow, he still sounds sure of himself. “If it doesn’t work, then I’ll figure something else out. But if it does, he won’t have to outlive me alone.”

Varian can only guess his son is trying not to cry.

“I-I don’t want him to be alone anymore. Father, I-I almost lost him. He told me he almost threw himself off of Blackrock Mountain. If I… if he doesn’t have a family there for him, who will be? Nothing is going to change who he is. Please understand.”

Anduin wipes at his eyes, Varian watching him closely. He wants his son to know that it’s okay if he cries, that his tears do not make him weak.

“Anduin, I wasn’t going to say no. I just wanted to make sure you understand the risk involved,” Varian says, and then hesitantly adds, “I care very much about you. The… both of you. I don’t want to see you hurt.”

“This is the right thing to do,” Anduin says, looking up to meet his father’s eyes. “Father, I am thinking politically. I care about our people, but I’m also thinking about the rest of the world, too. I really do think this to be a bridging point between not just humans, but all mortals and dragons. It’ll take generations to change things, sure, but the change needs to start somewhere.”

“You’ve achieved things that no other human leader has been able to do, Anduin.” Varian thinks of his son’s relationship with other world leaders, including those of the Horde.

“I do not believe that making choices for tradition’s sake means they are the right choices to make,” Anduin continues. “I don’t understand how marrying a woman is better for my people than it would be to marry a man.”

“No, you’re right. It shouldn’t make a difference.”

“No,” Anduin agrees, leaning back in his chair, now looking more relaxed and much less tense than he had. Wiping any remaining tears from his dried cheeks and sniffing once, the prince reaches into his pocket to take out something small and silvery. Holding it out in his hand, he places the shiny, round object on Varian’s desk.

It’s a ring, bearing a design Varian has never seen before.

“He made it,” Anduin says, tearing his gaze away from the ring to look up at his father. “Being a black dragon, he can manipulate the earth, metals included, so he made it. For me.”

Varian picks it up and examines it. “It’s very beautiful,” he admits. “Impressive.”

“Isn’t it? I was so ready to propose to him with Mother’s ring in hand, and when I did, he already had one prepared for me too.” The look of such admiration and affection on Anduin’s face is clear, and Varian can’t help but feel warmed by his son’s soft expression of happiness. Perhaps every now and then, Varian should try to share the same outlook as his son—one of positivity and hope, of peace. He still cannot help but worry, as a father he always will, but despite the risk, his son is getting married. Shouldn’t he be overjoyed?

“I love him very much,” Anduin says, smiling warmly. His gaze is back on the ring. The metal is cool and smooth against the pads of Varian’s fingers.

He nods. “I know you do.”

 


 

Anduin loves the way Wrathion’s body fits against his. They lie together in bed, safe and secure, and Wrathion’s skin is so warm as he cuddles up against Anduin in his sleep, pressing his face against his chest and sighing softly. Only the top half of his head is visible from Anduin’s angle. The rest of the dragon is burrowed under the numerous soft, expensive blankets that lie atop them, as though he’s slumbering in a snug little cave with Anduin as his treasure. Wrathion is like a cozy personal fireplace—a fireplace one can cuddle with, and Anduin absolutely revels in the heat that his lover generates against him.

As a black dragon, nearly everything about Wrathion seems to be hot or warm in some way. He could withstand a fire if he chose to stand in one, and can breathe it as well. Anduin ponders this and wonders, if they had children, would they inherit this trait? Wrathion had asked him, “what if they take after me?”

Anduin thinks it would be wonderful if his children took more after Wrathion, aside from the possible negative reactions they might receive from people if that were to happen.

Anduin doesn’t care what other people think. There are no other black dragons left on Azeroth and Wrathion deserves for his race’s characteristics to live on. He and Anduin look so drastically different and the idea that their children would adopt traits from both of them excites the human prince in a way he can’t quite explain.

Black dragon and human. They would be both.

The fire Wrathion breathes is messy, aggressive, yet elegant all at once, and he tends to breathe it most often when he is angry or worked up in some way. Sometimes, when Wrathion is extremely frustrated, Anduin notices thin trails of smoke start to seep out from the thin gaps in his sharp teeth, rising into the air like steam from a copper pot. He’s even seen smoke come out of his nose before, and if Wrathion is especially angry, he’ll emit actual flames or embers. Anduin doesn’t think he does it on purpose, and usually the dragon prince doesn’t even realize he’s doing it until someone points it out. Perhaps in his anger, he doesn’t care enough to notice.

He also breathes out smoke or fire when he’s excited and overwhelmed, and it’s in these moments that Wrathion definitely doesn’t realize he’s doing it—not until Anduin gasps out in pain. They’ll be making love, and Wrathion, in the thrill of the moment, will bite down on Anduin’s shoulder and it’ll hurt because his teeth are sharp and in a way Anduin doesn’t mind because he finds it to be a little bit of a turn-on, but then Wrathion will breathe out unbearably hot air right against his skin and that’s when it becomes unbearable. Anduin is grateful for his skill in healing; otherwise he’d be making up all sorts of excuses to those who ask about the light burn marks on his skin, or worst of all, to his father.

Anduin moves his hand to pull the covers down, just passed Wrathion’s shoulders so he can better admire his sleeping form. Wrathion always looks to be at such peace when he sleeps. When awake, the dragon wears a small guarded smirk at nearly all times, only broken in private moments with Anduin. Asleep, his chest rises and falls slowly and a faint, pleasant smile surfaces his lips.

Anduin gazes at his face for a long time, admiring the faint scales that scatter the dragon’s cheeks and how they trail down what he can see of Wrathion’s chest peeking out from under his loose tunic, his breasts unbound for his safety while he sleeps. These scales have always reminded Anduin of freckles with the way they dust Wrathion’s skin.

The human prince kisses the top of his partner’s head. Soft, dark waves of hair tickle his lips as he remains there, Wrathion’s scent strong against his nose. He imagines dragon children with this same dark hair and dark scaly-freckled skin. He imagines them with bright draconic red eyes like Wrathion’s, or blue eyes like his own.

They’d be so beautiful, just like his lover.

He smiles.

Anduin shifts slightly, finding Wrathion’s hand beneath the covers and raising it to his mouth. He kisses it, squeezing the dragon’s palm gently, lovingly. His companion also has sharp, dark, black claws on the tips of his fingers. They’re nothing like the flat, blunt nails that Anduin has, and like the scales on his skin and his red eyes, Anduin thinks they’re beautiful too.

He imagines a tiny baby with tiny hands and tiny claws. His heart swells, and he wants nothing more than to be able to hold that baby to his chest and protect it.

He places more kisses across Wrathion’s hand, down his knuckles and then up towards his wrist, mouth firm against dark skin. He feels Wrathion shift against him, letting out a breath deeper than the ones prior. Anduin suspects he’s awoken the sleeping dragon.

“Mmmyou okay?” Wrathion asks with a sleepy voice, moving up to press his face into Anduin’s collarbone, his head fitting perfectly under Anduin’s chin. His breath is pleasant and warm against the human’s skin. “Awake?”

Anduin releases Wrathion’s hand, wrapping both arms around his back instead, embracing him protectively. Wrathion’s chest is soft against his, his breathing slow and steady.

“I’m okay. I was just thinking,” Anduin whispers.

“About?”

He strokes a hand down Wrathion’s back. The dragon sighs.

“About what you said earlier. About how they might look,” he says.

“Mmm…”

“I think it’d be wonderful if they took after you.”

He continues stroking the dragon’s back. When Wrathion doesn’t respond, Anduin, wondering if his companion has fallen back asleep, moves his hand to run his fingers through the dragon’s hair instead.

“Wrathion?”

“That feels nice… don’t stop,” Wrathion mumbles. “Actually wait, I’ll fall asleep again if you do, so you should stop.”

Anduin slows his hand, but keeps it in place in Wrathion’s hair. “I like doing it though,” he whispers. “You look so sleepy. It’s really cute...”

Wrathion lets out a small growl, but Anduin knows it lacks any sort of anger. He’s pretty sure that secretly, Wrathion actually likes being called cute, even if he’ll never admit it.

“Well,” Wrathion finally says. “I think it’d be wonderful if they looked like you. You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

“Is that because if they inherit human qualities, they’d be safer?”

“Yes and no. You’re pretty cute yourself, you know,” Wrathion says, lightly nipping at Anduin’s skin with his teeth, and Anduin can’t help the soft moan that escapes him.

“Oh…” Anduin whispers. “Well, no matter how they look, I’ll love them no matter what.”

Wrathion wraps his arms around Anduin’s waist and hugs him tight. “Me too.”

“We’ve come this far, and despite how people might feel, it hasn’t stopped us,” Anduin says. “I love you, and I’m going to spend my life with you.”

“Yes,” Wrathion agrees. “And I mean,” he starts with a playful smile, “If worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to kidnap you. It is the logical solution, you see.”

“Obviously,” Anduin laughs. “The dragon kidnaps his prince.”

“And they live happily ever after,” Wrathion quips, shifting his body up so he can press his mouth to Anduin’s. The kiss is slow and passionate, and Wrathion’s dark lips are so soft that the human prince finds himself craving more. They lie there like that for a long while, kissing back and forth, snug in each other’s arms, until Wrathion shifts to kiss Anduin’s cheek, his neck, and then finally back down to his collarbone again. He nuzzles the spot with his face, cheekbone rubbing affectionately against Anduin’s shoulder.

“Anduin?” Wrathion asks.

“Yes, my prince?” Anduin responds, voice sweet and fond.

“Stroke my hair?”

“Of course,” he says, leaning down to kiss Wrathion’s head once more before obliging his lover’s request.