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true home / true name

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"goodbye, my love"

he doesn't remember his name, the one he was born with, but he remembers the press of soft lips on his head and a whisper as he is left in the street

when the sorceror found him, they called him "boy"

or "you"

"why give you a name now, when you'll leave it all behind soon enough?" said the sorcerer.

and then, later, hadn't he been so proud, to finally have a name to call his own?

a name that told of his power

roaring through his veins?

---

he feels it, consciously, for the first time when she calls out his name--Sar-kan. like being called home--but not quite right, just almost there. and then there was no more time to think of what was missing.

---

he returns to the capital, alone. he buries himself in work, ignoring the edginess he feels as he avoids the longing in his heart

he realizes she had not told him her new name, and he had not asked.

he realizes they must have christened her new name with 6000 bodies

and more

when he checks the List, the deep throbbing pain of not being home gnaws in his lungs

Agnieszka, he reads like a spell.

and that longing erupts like fire-heart potion, agonizing as it rips its way through his body--where is his home?--what is his name?

---

he feels it, again, when he steps into the firelight. she is surrounded by people, fire, contentment, and love. her magic breathes of wild unstoppable things, roots buried deep into her impenetrable core.

seeing her, firelight flickering shadows over her face as she steps up to him, feels tentatively like finding. like he is almost there.

---

and later, in the midst of his struggles with the feeling, he wonders how much is the trick of the Wood, and finally,

with her hand clutched in his, as she shows him the seedling rising from the ashes, the walkers chittering quietly amongst themselves, her hair and nature wild and untamed,

he knows, suddenly, unexpectedly, truly, for the first time, that home was her, was here. he has finally found it and because he found it for himself,

she says, hand clutched in his:

"welcome home"

and his name rolls off her tongue:

"my love"