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Recipe for Gold

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Kel sometimes thinks her relationship with Dom is a little like alchemy. Not in the sense of occasional and unpredictable explosions - they bubble along very nicely, thank you very much, with hardly an explosion in sight - but in the way they make it work by adding this and that disparate ingredient until what comes out, oddly, is pure gold.

Kel pours in her Yamani calm, her iron-hard determination to do the right thing, her habit of collecting animals and people and causes. Dom contributes his good humor, his easy competence, his cheerful flirting. They both bring far too many obligations: to king and country, to Sir Raoul, to their commands and their families. They both bring allies - Lalasa and Tobe and Neal, Wolset and the rest of Third Company - but only Kel brings enemies. (She feels guilty about that sometimes: Dom wouldn’t get nearly as much shit as he does from conservative nobles if he wasn’t with her.) They both bring scars.

And somehow, they put all of that into the crucible of their relationship, and what comes out is smooth and shining and beautiful, malleable but strong, shining even in the worst moments. Maybe they don’t see each other too often, but every time Dom comes riding in through the gates of New Hope, it’s as though he never left: what’s between them is still there, unchangeable and golden. There are new scars to compare, new stories to tell, new refugees or King’s Own soldiers to meet, but under all of that, beautiful and impossible, is love.