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Enchanted

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"If you will not do it for the brotherhood, then do it for me... Please."

Yennefer ground her teeth and tried desperately not to be weakened by Tissaia's ocean eyes. She was taller, more superior in a sense. So why did she feel as if she could fall to her knees before her sorceress this very moment. Yennefer was not the broken battered girl Tissaia had bought all those years ago. She was much stronger and more powerful now, but in many ways she was still that same girl, and even worse in some aspects. 

Worse like how she'd given herself to any man that had shown her attention. Worse like how she used her body to manipulate and take what she wanted. Worse like how- how she averted her gaze away from Tissaia due to her heart spasming in her chest. Her sorceress had never known that her words hurt Yennefer the most... And Yennefer had still somehow fallen for her. 

It was perverse and probably some form of Stockholm Syndrome. But oddly enough the fantasies of Tissaia kissing her didn't stop after Yennefer left Aretuza. She would dream of her often and think of the blue eyed rectoress at least daily. 

She knew that behind all of Tissaia's cruel words there was a lesson. But for some reason, after the lesson had been learned, Tissaia's words still stung her. She knew her sorceress didn't feel- couldn't share in her feelings, because Yennefer herself knew that these feelings were vastly out of place. 

She had fallen victim to those alluring eyes and her enchanting voice. And her feelings were undoubtedly one-sided. 

Yennefer attempted to ground herself from her wandering thoughts and stared into Tissaia's eyes once more. "Have you ever used that word in your entire life?" Because it was easier to rebel. To let Tissaia think that things were complicated at best between them... Because if she showed any cracks in her facade she would make a fool of herself. Tissaia would laugh bitterly in her face and mock her for her wretched feelings. 

"No." But... Tissaia was looking at her as if Yennefer was the most precious thing her eyes had ever landed on and Yennefer found herself having to look away again. It was all a trick of the mind. Tissaia must have been able to discern Yennefer's feelings at some point. She always knew these things, and she knew that she could get whatever she wanted from Yennefer if she simply used the right tone of voice and fluttered her eyes in a certain way. 

Tissaia was a master enchantress after all. 

"So then why start now?" Yennefer muttered as she tried desperately not to fall victim to Tissaia's allure. 

Tissaia blinked and gave a small shrug but never broke their eye contact. For a second Yennefer thought she would say more, but Tissaia didn't offer anything else. Perhaps she knew Yennefer had already conceded to go along with her and fight in Sodden. Or Perhaps Tissaia knew that Yennefer was as fragile as a wine glass, and that if she made one wrong move Yennefer would break. 

"Why do you look away from me like that?" She finally asked, and it was by no means what Yennefer expected to hear. "Can you not bear to look me in the eyes anymore? You used to-"

"I used to do a lot of things." Yennefer interrupted lowly, dangerously skirting on the edges of her terrifying feelings. "I've changed." She gathered herself and was able to say it with a more level voice. 

The sorceress opened her mouth to speak, but her words died on her tongue when she was met with Yennefer's aloof gaze. For a moment Yennefer thought that she could decipher a wave of conflict radiating from Tissaia, but she ignored it. She wouldn't dare ask her of her troubles, too fearful of getting swept away... Of getting too close to the enchantress. She was best kept at an arm's length. Yennefer would never make herself vulnerable enough for Tissaia to hurt her like she did in the beginning.

"We leave at dawn." The sorceress breathed, choosing to ignore the venom in her voice. She always did, and Yennefer resented her in many ways for it. But she knew she was the one to set these boundaries. She knew Tissaia viewed her as much more than a student now and wouldn't dare push her in the same ways she did before. Yennefer would never allow that now, and Tissaia knew, so she didn't ask. 

Yennefer felt like she'd won something when she turned to leave, but her world almost spun off its axis when she felt a soft hand placed on her forearm. The spot burned with a heat that radiated into her chest and sent an eruption of butterflies in her stomach. 

Truly, it wasn't fair how Tissaia could get such a reaction from Yennefer against her will. She heard the other woman inhale as if she would say something and Yennefer stood there, back turned,  waiting with bated breath. Violet eyes flitted to the side in contemplation of meeting Tissaia's gaze head on but when Tissaia spoke it wasn't with her mouth. 

I have always possessed a certain... Fondness of you.  Yennefer felt herself gasp as Tissaia spoke using their telepathic connection. Something that was supposedly a weapon, a way to plan attacks and ambushes in secret. But Tissaia wasn't using it for that, and the proximity coupled with the soft lull of Tissaia's words made Yennefer's knees go weak. Even if you hate me now, I still... Im still-

Tissaia seemed to struggle to communicate what she was really trying to say and Yennefer could only stand frozen in her spot. She bit her bottom lip to distract her from the way Tissaia's hand trembled against her skin. 

Was she afraid of Yennefer? 

I still carry that... Fondness. And with one swift motion the hand on her forearm disappeared along with the sorceress herself. Tissaia always had a dreamlike quality about herself. She often left Yennefer questioning after each encounter if they'd ever really interacted at all. One minute she was there and the next she was gone. 

And Yennefer was supposedly the coward. 

Of course running away had to be taught to her by someone. However she shook the thought away, sighing heavily and rubbed the spot Tissaia touched her before she too disappeared to her sleeping quarters. 

X

Tissaia avoided her the next morning and on the boat ride. And Yennefer hated herself for stealing glances and wishing Tissaia would start a conversation about what she'd said the night prior. She'd spent the entirety of her night fretting over the war in her head and her heart. And now they were going to fight in a real war, and Tissaia hadn't even bothered to look her way.

Where was that fondness she spoke of?

Yennefer walked back to the campground with slouched shoulders and she'd only barely caught sight of Tissaia having a drink with Vilgefortz before a playful voice erupted in her ear. 

"Is Vilgefortz to be our new daddy?" Yennefer looked to find Triss smiling playfully at her as she bit into her apple. 

And despite her own reservations about Tissaia, Yennefer found that phrase a bit amusing. She gave a smile, but the threat of a war at her doorstep had began to consume her thoughts. "You did time in Temeria. Do you believe King Foltest will bring Northern Armies?" 

Triss flashed Yennefer her best version of a reassuring smile- well the best she could give with a mouthful of apple. "I know he will." Yennefer wanted to believe her, but if living the life she lived taught her anything at all, it was to be a sceptic, and Triss seemed to sense that. "His daughter was cursed. A striga. I guess I was the only one who didn't see her as a lost cause."

"You saved her?" Yennefer asked curiously, stopping their stroll to face Triss. 

"Well, we did. I enlisted a witcher. Geralt of Rivia, I often wonder where fate took him." 

Yennefer wanted to roll her eyes at the mention of Geralt... He had been the only lover aside from Istredd whom she thought she could be happy with. But he was much the same as any of the others... And Tissaia had occupied her thoughts during each of their encounters.

With thoughts of the blue eyed sorceress floating around in her mind, Yennefer looked away from Triss in search of her, and found her almost instantly. She was alone now, though Yennefer figured Vilgefortz would be back soon, as Tissaia was now equipped with a second pint in her free hand. 

"Somewhere unpleasant, I'm sure." She turned her attention back to Triss. "You should be weary of his kind. They're so often disappointing." Yennefer parted with those words and Triss skipped off into the opposite direction, clearly not in such a sullen mood. 

The violet eyed witch thought it best for her to retire for the night after that. She was searching for a spot to lie down when Tissaia's voice drifted through the air and beckoned her. 

"The ale won't disappoint." 

Yennefer turned to see the sorceress holding out the pint she'd spotted earlier as an offering. It took only seconds for Yennefer to make up her mind and join Tissaia, but she didn't dare get her hopes up. Maybe this was just a parting drink before they both died in Sodden.

"We should enjoy it while we can." She said, taking the drink from her former teacher. "It's the first thing Nilfgaard will destroy." 

Tissaia eyed her every move and Yennefer drank in her attention after being deprived of it. The way her heart leapt in her chest nearly made her roll her eyes in annoyance at how strongly a silly crush had grown. 

"Must you always be so fatalistic?" 

"It's only appropriate, seeing as we might die." Yennefer tried her hand at nonchalance, careful not to allude to how she was really feeling- a mixture of terrifying excitement and exhilarating fear. She took a sip of the ale and felt her gag reflex jump. It was awful to say the least, but she held down the grimy liquid if only not to look weak in front of Tissaia. 

"All the more reason to live tonight." Tissaia said gazing at her profile. 

"Mm. Like you." Yennefer was looking at Vilgefortz and soon Tissaia followed her gaze. For a brief moment he looked up and smiled at Tissaia, but went straight back to chatting with his comrades. 

Not a chance in hell. The telepathy was unexpected, much like the night before, and sent a buzzing feeling through Yennefer's whole body. Their eyes met and they both laughed in unison. Maybe the alcohol aided in their current state, but Yennefer felt almost as if she could let her guard down tonight. If it was their last night together and she'd die tomorrow then what did she really have to lose? 

And the way Tissaia kept looking at her as if- as if she wanted all the same things... It just made her feel everything all at once. Her fear of the war, her hopeless despair, and her- love for Tissaia. Every emotion was swirling around in her head and it made her dizzy. 

"So are you ready?" Tissaia quipped, possibly to fill the silence. Yennefer, thankful for the distraction, looked at the sorceress with a questioning gaze. "To die?" 

"Yes." And truthfully Yennefer didn't need to think of her answer. She wouldn't have come if she wasn't ready to face the possibility of death. "I've lived two or three lifetimes already." She said almost callously. 

Tissaia looked at her as if she wanted to say something to counter that. A brief look of sympathy washed over her face before it disappeared and Yennefer silently dared her to say what she wanted to say. "But you haven't been satisfied in any of them." So it would seem that tonight was indeed about taking chances after all. 

Yennefer contemplated those words until they grew and grew and there was no room left for her silence. "And why would you think that?" 

Tissaia braved a gulp of her ale and eyed Yennefer over the rim of her cup. Maybe she needed a moment to think of what she would say next. "I can feel you, you know?" 

Yennefer's eyes went wide before she quickly composed herself, however she hadn't been expecting that response in the least. "And what do you mean by that?" She asked cooly. 

This. Our connection runs deeper than just being able to speak to each other with our minds. She sipped her alcohol again, and continued the conversation using her voice. "I know when you're hurting. I know when you're afraid- like you are right now, and I know that... That you've fallen in love with me." She said boldly. 

Yennefer was taken aback and her first instinct was to feel angry and betrayed that her own thoughts had given her away. But before she could deny the claim Tissaia had placed her ale to the side and was leaning in ever so slowly. 

"And if you concentrated hard enough, you would be able to feel me too." She inched closer while Yennefer sat frozen. "You would know how my heart rate quickens when you're around." Tissaia gently took Yennefer's hand and placed it over the left side of her chest so that she could feel the way her heart stuttered in Yennefer's presence. "You would know how often I send a signal to you only for it to be ignored." This time Yennefer could feel a faint lull through their bound, it took the form of a dull ache, and seemed to be searching for a way "in." But it passed when Yennefer still didn't open her end of their connection, and Tissaia's face fell in response. "And, you'd feel my disappointment whenever you try to pull away from me... When you try to deny me, just as you did." The aching sensation was back, taking residence in her heart, drawing her nearer and nearer to her sorceress.

Blue eyes never strayed from violet ones, and when Yennefer did try to look away Tissaia placed a soft hand on her cheek and directed her attention back to her. 

"What do you want from me?" Yennefer breathed just above a whisper. They were so close now she could feel Tissaia's breath on her lips. 

But the sorceress didn't answer, not with words anyways. 

If we're going to die tomorrow, then we might as well live tonight. Tissaia felt the question from Yennefer's end of their connection and she smiled despite herself. 

"Isn't it obvious?" Tissaia answered, pulling back ever so slightly to gaze into violet eyes. "I'm in love with you."

Yennefer's breath hitched and she disregarded the space between them, letting their lips meet. She whimpered as if she'd been starved of this. She clung to Tissaia as if she'd never let her go, and she vowed in that moment that she would not die tomorrow. And she would protect Tissaia with her life, because for the first time in her life, Yennefer felt as though she finally possessed something worth fighting for.