Disclaimer:  All concepts relating to the world of Velgarth, and kingdom of Valdemar, are the sole property of the author Mecedes Lackey.    

The song is Roulette by System of a Down and can be found on their spiffy Steal This Album! album.

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I have a problem that I cannot explain,
I have no reason why it should’ve been so plain,
I have no questions, but I sure have excuse,
I lack the reason why I should be so confused,


I wish someone could help me.  I don’t know what to do— what to say— anymore.  Here I stand at a crossroads in my life and I don’t know which way to turn down.  I wish that you could help me.

But you can’t, for a very good reason; you don’t even know I exist.

More than that— if I can’t help myself, then what use am I?  I can’t even articulate what precisely has got me so tied up in knots and scared to my bones that I’m floating around in a numb holding pattern of nothingness.

By all rights I shouldn’t be feeling like this.  I guess I’m just wrong, or broken… or maybe even both.

I had questions, but I answered them for myself, without ever once involving you, because involving you was—is— out of the question.

It’s not fair.

A feeble excuse, and then I remind myself that life isn’t fair and that I can’t condone my own happiness by breaking someone else’s.  That would be unforgivable.

And so I stand trapped, and confused at this crossroads of my life; confronted by a choice that only I can make.

A choice that I don’t want to make.


I know— how I feel when I’m around you,
I— don’t know— how I feel when I’m around you,
Around you,


I saw you again today, although I doubt if you saw me.  You were walking along the edges of Companion’s Field and the wind was catching at your red hair and attempting to pull it loose from the sensible horse-tail that you had confined it in, before turning it’s attention to your emerald green robes and tugging them this way and that.  You simply smiled at the joy of being outside and grabbed hold of the wayward material with gentle, herb stained hands, smoothing it down as you quickened your pace, heading for the shelter of the salle.

You were in the salle for a short time— I guess you must have been checking on the first aid kit that the Weaponsmaster keeps in case of emergencies that require immediate action.  A rare occurrence, I admit, but to not be prepared for such a scenario would surely tempt the imps of perversity beyond what is sensible.

I was standing off to one side when you emerged, the wind trying to get a reaction out of me as much as it had from you.

You probably don’t even realise that you smiled at me— or rather in my general direction as a polite acknowledgement of my presence, the same as you did for the occupants of the Field standing nearby.

That smile hurt, you know.  It made me even more confused.  I look at you and I know what I want but… is it what you want?  Can I just cavalierly march into your life and ruin everything that you’ve built up since you arrived?

No, of course I couldn’t.

Which is why you don’t know who I am.

It’s better this way.


Left a message but it ain’t a bit of use,
I have some pictures to what might be the deuce,
Today you saw, you saw me you explained,
Playing the show and running down the plane,


I didn’t mean to, I really didn’t.  I wish I could make you believe that.  But in order to get you to believe that, I’d have to explain the meanings behind those dreams… dreams that my own traitorous sub-conscious tortures me with nightly.  I didn’t want them to attack you as well.

So, now it is the afternoon after that night and you are once more wandering around the Field.  This time you are not alone, you have company in the shape of a young man dressed in the grey uniform of a Heraldic trainee.  I—

I won’t complete that thought.

Instead I’ll just continue to stay in the comforting shadows that this small grove of trees and bushes are providing me and watch you with shadowed eyes.  Watch the way that the sunlight catches on the copper glory of your hair and how it makes your blue, blue eyes sparkle with more love of life and self than I can believe.

The green of your Healer’s robes is rivalling the lush shading of the grass that you and your friend are strolling over, his Companion in trailing attendance— the bright light gleaming off pristine silver hooves and a coat of spun ice and diamond in a display that almost eclipses you.  Almost.

There is a whisper of a breeze, enough to carry your words over to my place of semi-concealment.

“—had the strangest dream, everything was blue and silver and there were bells.”

That was me.  Oh Gods, I’m so sorry.  I didn’t mean to let that happen to you.

He laughs in return and adopts a teasing tone of voice.  “Maybe that means you’re going to be Chosen?”  He grins as he says this and you smile in reply and chuckle.

“I hardly think so, I am quite happy being a Healer, thank you!”  You rejoin in a spirited tone of voice.


I know— how I feel when I’m around you,
I— don’t know— how I feel when I’m around you,
I—I know— how I feel when I’m around you,
I— don’t know how I feel when I’m around you,
Around you,


I must have made some sort of involuntary movement as those words reach me, as I suddenly find myself pinned in the shade by the piercing sapphire eyes of the Companion.  I freeze and stare back dumbly.  A confrontation with a Companion in the middle of the Field is most decidedly not what I planned.

The mare in question bobs her head at her Chosen—stab of jealousy— and turns to amble away…

She’s heading towards me.  Oh Gods.

And then she’s in front of me and you and her Chosen are heading back towards the Terilee, and the path that leads away from the Field and back to the Palace.

:Sarrian?:  The mare—Breccir— looks at me with puzzlement clear in her deeply blue eyes.  :Why were you watching Ralf and Ferhn like that?:

I blink and take a deep breath before replying.  :I—I don’t know.:  Which is a lie, a blatant lie; I do know.. I was watching you, Ferhn.

Watching what I want, what I can’t have— what I won’t let myself ruin your life in order to gain.


I lift up my head, dragging my gaze away from your almost vanished figure and look at Breccir.  :She’s happy as a Healer.:  I say, and it’s true— you are; you said so.

‘Cir looks rather non-plussed at my abrupt statement as she stares at me for a long moment and then I can see a rising tide of understanding in her bottomless blue eyes.

:You’re feeling your Call, aren’t you?:  I don’t answer, for your sake.

:Sarrian…:  Breccir pauses and eyes me sideways, her tail flicking intermittently from side to side, a shimmering waterfall of living ice.  :It’s Ferhn, isn’t it?:

I blink and break eye contact, my own sapphire eyes shadowed over with regret.  :I won’t steal her life away.:  I am adamant on this.  I won’t.  I’m not going to rip you out of your happy life to satisfy my own needs.

:Choose her, Sarrian.:  ‘Cir urges, stepping forwards to nuzzle at my cheek, before turning and heading out into the sun-drenched glory of the Field.  I stand and stare after her.


I—I know— how I feel when I’m around you,


I want you, I need you.  That much I know.  I can’t be complete without you and each day that I deny this pulling at my soul, at the deepest roots of my being, is a day of indescribable pain.

I can’t survive without you.


I— don’t know— how I feel when I’m around you,


Catching sight of you as you harvest herbs in the House of Healing’s garden and I am filled with confusion.  The part of me that hears the Call is vibrating with longing. But…  You have your own life, you’ve been leading you own life for the ten years since you arrived here as a wide-eyed child in possession of an awakening Healing Gift, and I don’t know if I can justify taking that away from you.

Surely, if I take that which you love away from you, then you’ll hate me and we’ll both be miserable?

It’s better this way—

I think…


I—I know— how I feel when I’m around you,


You probably don’t remember me at all, but I remember you.  When I was born, you were the first thing I saw when I opened unfocused eyes; a strong and proud figure with green, with a halo of golden red surrounding your head.  I think some part of me knew then.

Knew that you and I were meant for each other and that nothing could keep us apart—

—except for me, and my cold realisation not so long ago that you already had everything that you wanted— everything that I could see that you’ve ever want out of life.

I did not figure at all in my visions of what you wanted, despite how much I wanted to—


I don’t know, how I feel when I’m around you,


Doubt is not an emotion or a state that one would associate with a Companion, but we do feel it… we do… and I, perhaps, am a fine example of that fact.  Here I stand in a lonely cloud, watching you, yet again from afar as you skirt the edges of the Field that I call home.

The Call is tugging at my mind, focusing on you and highlighting you to my sight without any need for sunlight and other such mundane practicalities.

I stare.

Maybe Breccir is right—  after all, she Chose and neither her nor Ralf seem to regret any moment since then…


Around you,


Would you consider the offering of all that I am, of myself completely and utterly as an adequate compensation for loosing your life?


Around you,


Could I be there for you, always and forever?  I think I could, but I doubt— and so I fear that I will fail you somehow—

One life and the chances within.

The Groveborn, Dadero told me that once before.  I never understood what he meant, but I think I do now.  Confronted with you, as I step to block you path across the green grass as you head for a walk, I think I do know what he meant.

What he means—


Around you,

“Umm… Can I help you?”  Your voice is quite literally music to my ears, and they eagerly prick upwards to catch each nuance, as my eyes gradually trail up your Greens clad form.

I take a deep breath, and Dadero’s words, ringing in my mind, I fearlessly meet your sky blue eyes with my own bottomless sapphire orbs.

You gasp, eyelids widening, pupils contracting and then flaring open with shock, and I lift my head up.

:Hello Ferhn,: a snatch of wind catches your hair, striping loose strands of it across your forehead and making them tickle the ends of my nose.  :I am Sarrian and I—: one life and the chances within, :—I Choose you.:

We stand and stare as hair of ice and hair of fire dance in the breeze in random patterns and I don’t know how I feel—

—how you feel— and then, then— you cry out and fling arms around my neck and everything is right and the me and the you is no longer important because there is us.

And I know— we know— that everything is alright, will be alright, as long as I’m around you, and you’re around me.


Around you…


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