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Happy Thoughts, Anders/Theodora

Title: Happy Thoughts
Rating: G
Pairing: Anders/Theodora Amell
Spoilers: None, pre-Origins stuff.
Summary: Private tutoring sessions rarely involve actual studying.

“I thought you were supposed to be teaching me how to form a paralysis glyph.”

“I am.” Anders rested his chin on Theodora’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around her.

Theodora rolled her eyes. “If this is your idea of teaching, I pity your other pupils.” She sighed contentedly, tilting her head and closing her eyes as Anders placed a series of kisses against the side of her neck.

“I don’t have any other pupils,” he told her, nipping at her earlobe. “I’m still surprised that Irving allowed his pet to be alone with me for so long.”

She frowned. “I’m not his pet,” she grumped. Just because she was one of the few students to actually take lessons from First Enchanter did not mean that she was his favorite in the entire tower. She bit her tongue, deciding that telling him that the real reason Irving had appointed Anders as her mentor was because she was the only apprentice he trusted to keep an eye on their resident flight risk. First Enchanter figured that if Anders was responsible for one of his closest friend’s education it might mean that he wouldn’t have as many opportunities to escape.

Theodora had bit her tongue there too; no matter how many responsibilities First Enchanter gave Anders, Theodora knew that he would always find some way to make a break for it sooner or later. The only plus to this arrangement was that she and Anders would have more time alone to themselves. He had only recently passed his Harrowing – how he had managed to do so even though she’d been studying magic longer still threw her for a loop – and he had been put in charge of improving her grasp on the Creation school of magic. So far, they’d spent the majority of their lesson times necking in abandoned rooms – they’d also taken advantage of the fact that he now officially had a semi-private bedroom, which was a refreshing change from trysts against walls or bookcases in the dark corners of the Tower - than actually learning anything. Feeling paranoid, she’d gotten into the habit of studying late at night on the things they should have covered, just in case she’d be quizzed by any other senior mages. The result was that while she might know the mechanics and theories behind each spell, she still couldn’t perform anything higher than the most basic healing casts.

“I have absolutely no talent for Creation skills,” Thea complained, leaning back against Anders’s chest. They had taken over one of the smaller classrooms on the second floor of the Tower for the afternoon, choosing to sit against the wall closest to the bank of windows. Warm sunlight streamed through, highlighting the dust motes dancing in the air.

“That’s true; you tend to be better suited for setting things on fire.” He laced his fingers with hers, bringing their hands up to eye level. He flexed his hands, urging Thea to mimic his movements. Lazily, she realized that he was manipulating her fingers into the motions needed to actually form the glyph they were supposed to be practicing, but her attention was drawn more to the differences between their hands. His were so much larger than hers and besides the slight callus on the side of his right ring finger from the way that he usually held his pen, his fingers were relatively smooth. He kept his nails trimmed close; the cuticles and nail beds stained a dark green from concocting potions, no matter how many times he scrubbed them.

“You’ve got the movements down,” he started, taking his hands away from hers. “But when you put the smallest bit of magical energy…”

Thea performed the hex, a weak outline appearing on the ground in front of them that wavered before quickly fizzling out. “I don’t get this,” she said, propping her elbows on Anders’s knees. “Give me any primal spell and I can do it without any issues, but this…”

Anders frowned and pressed the side of his face against her hair. “Do me a favor and cast something. It doesn’t matter what, just give me a spell.” Thea held out her hand and instantly a round ball of bluish flame appeared in her palm. She closed her hand into a fist and then reopened it, frost covering her nails. “Good beginning to a blizzard spell. And how come I can’t get my arcane bolts to look that good?” he commented, his breath stirring the little hairs that had escaped the braided coils at the back of her neck. “Now, what were you thinking of when you conjured it up?”

She shrugged. “Nothing. Spells like that come to me as easily as breathing.”

“That’s what I thought.” He lifted his hands and performed the same motions they had been practicing all afternoon, the glyph on the floor glowing a bright green, the lines perfect, just like they should be. “That’s how the Creation school is for me. If I want to zap someone with lightning, I have to think about it first.” He rubbed her fingers and brought them to his lips to warm them again. “I wonder if that’ll work for you. Whenever I think about bringing up fire, I have to picture the way that it looks and feels before I can cast successfully. The same goes for any of the other primal spells.”

“So what do I think about for creation spells?” She tilted her head up at him, her eyes inquisitive. “What does it feel like for you when you cast?”

He wrapped his arms around her again. “I feel like I’m giving something back. It might sound silly, but I feel the most at peace whenever I heal.” He gave her an encouraging squeeze. “Think of something that can give you the same feeling.”

“So I should think of my happy place, huh?” She said it with a teasing tone, earning a smirk from Anders.

“Humor your mentor, okay?”

Theodora took a breath and closed her eyes. His suggestion had some merit; she had just finished reading a study on how mages tended to cast stronger spells when their minds were clear. It had something to do with their connection to the Fade or something; she had skimmed the article over breakfast one morning while trying to listen to Jowan with half an ear, so she hadn’t quite gotten the facts down. She settled against Anders, letting all her thoughts drain away. She’d never truly meditated before, and definitely didn’t have a so called happy place established, so she didn’t know what image to settle on. Knitting had always been a peaceful outlet for her, so her mind instantly snapped to her latest project. She’d managed to get her hands on some of the softest wool she’d ever worked with in a beautiful slate grey dye that had just screamed Anders’s name to her. Winter would be there before they knew it and Anders had always hated having his fingers confined in gloves or mittens, so a pair of fingerless gauntlets had seemed like the perfect solution. Theodora concentrated on how the yarn felt between her fingers, how her wooden knitting needles clicked and slid together with each stitch. She took another breath and thought about her surroundings, trying her best to get centered.

It was a surprise when she imagined herself knitting not in the Tower, but in a little stone cottage. She tried to grab onto any details, but all she got was the comforting warmth from the fire blazing in the hearth and bright sunshine that flooded the room, the large front windows displaying golden fields for as far as the eye could see.

“Mama!” Theodora looked away from the window to see a little boy run inside. He was all gangly arms and legs with a shock of tousled honey blond hair atop his head. He ran straight up to her and she could clearly see that he had her bright green eyes. “Papa said I’m big enough to help with the harvest this year!”

A laugh drew her eyes up to the doorway. “He might be excited now, but I bet that’ll fade once we start gathering wheat and cutting hay. Next thing I’ll know, I’ll find myself minus a partner.” Theodora couldn’t help noticing how Anders looked, the linen shirt stretched over his broad shoulders and his work trousers were tucked into sturdy boots. By far, the simple outfit looked far better on him than any mage robes she’d ever seen. “Dinner smells wonderful, Love,” he said, going over to her. She closed her eyes, feeling a bone-deep sense of contentedness wash over her as he cradled her cheek in his palm and kissed her.

“I almost hate to bring you out of this,” Anders murmured. Theodora slowly blinked and once again, she was back in the Tower. “It’s the happiest I’ve seen you look, and that’s saying something for someone that’s always so disgustingly optimistic.”

Theodora raised her hands, her fingers weaving out the pattern she had memorized weeks ago. She stared at the floor where she wanted the glyph to go, remembering just how it felt to see her husband stare down at her with so much love in his eyes while their child laughed in the background.

It was as if a lock had clicked into place. “Fantastic!” Anders said, kissing her cheek. “Textbook perfect: straight lines, strong mana flow, and I bet that it would hold something for the usual amount of time.” He moved out from behind her so he could stand up and examine her work.

“It looks pretty good, doesn’t it?” she asked, standing up and walking to his side.

“Good? This looks like something I could have cast.” He slung an arm around her shoulders, his eyes shining with pride. “And it’s something that I had faith my star student could accomplish.”

She smiled before tracing his jaw with her palm and going up on her tiptoes for a kiss. “What can I say? I managed this all because of you.”


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
simply adorable!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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