The moon at day, the sun at night... (ThaneXAmber)[Author's note: Hello and welcome to my first story written for QFeast! As the title and the description already stated, this fanfic is going to be a collection of one-shots about my favorite pairings of the world of Armello: one chapter, one couple (though other heroes will be referenced by the protagonists of each one-shot). The chapter title had probably already clue you in, but because I like being needlessly redundant I will explain that too: The main paring of this this chapter will be ThaneXAmber, which is also, without a doubt, my OTP since the release of the game because... C'mon! They are a bunny and a wolf! I couldn't possibly think of a cuter interspecies paring at the top of my head! This chapter (and by extension, every single one-shot) will have canonic elements mixed with my own headcanon to strengthen the narrative because of the lack of a true story mode in the game and of more information about the backstories of the heroes (Still waiting for those audio books!), in other words I'll try to be as close as possible to the source material while writing these stories but fill the holes with my own imagination when necessary. Again, fell free to review, even if it's going to be an extremely negative one, I'm no writer and this whole project is just for fun, but I would gladly accept any kind of criticism as it would help me improve my writing skills! One last thing: A big thanks goes to Wolfbourne, who gave me inspiration for this writing experiment, please go check out his profile sometimes as he made stories, RP groups, quizzes and much more stuff! And if you are reading this Wolfbourne, thank you very much pal for giving me the thumbs up! I hope you will enjoy this work of love!]
It was a peaceful night in the Shamrock Fields, next to Dawns Call settlement, as the moon was releasing its pale light on the plains, giving to the various travelers the opportunity to pass through them without worrying about being unable to see anything beyond few fees in front of them, only a single person was walking through the green hills.
This traveler was a female rabbit, her white fur was gently brushed by the moonlight as her pretty brownish eyes were carefully scouting the road ahead, she wore a high-class golden dress with different motif of different colors in different parts of it, she also had with her a small bag holding some scrolls and a seemingly harmless parasol inside of which was hidden an oriental sword she used to defend herself from monster, bandits and other kinds of enemies.
The name of that rabbit was Amber, the Far Seeker. She was one of the two heroes of the Rabbit Clan, one of the most wealthiest clans of the kingdom of Armello.
Amber herself was able to make her own clan even richer thanks to her findings inside of the many ruins, caves and dungeons she explored in the past as she was a expert tomb raider, in fact her reputation was pretty much defined by her many archaeological achievements she made before starting her quest...
What was her quest you may ask? Curing the King of Armello of his sickness: the Rot, a terrible disease brought by avian, crow-like monster called Banes which caused the infected to slowly lose their mental sanity and life force while also giving to the one who were "corrupted" by it a big boost to their combat proficiency at the cost of tuning them into mindless beasts and, in the end, killing them...
The King was driven insane by this plague and because of that the whole kingdom was suffering as the mad sovereign made a different declaration every day, which often had something to do with increase of taxes, release of dangerous rouges from the prisons, bounties on innocent people, royal guards on war foot for no apparent reason and, at worst, the public execution en mass, bordering with genocide.
Yes, the kingdom of Armello had surely seen better days... But that was the reason as to why Amber decided to start her quest! To gain enough Prestige to be able to make coup d'état and become the Queen of Armello!
...Well, at least that was originally the reason as to why she started this adventure as her priorities changed after a fateful meeting with Sana, the Forest Sister: one of the two heroes of the Bear Clan, the most religious and closer to nature out of all clans of Armello, as they were the only ones that could truly understand the power of the Wyld, the magical force of nature that was in contrast with the all-consuming Rot.
Sana was a powerful druid, sorceress, shaman and priestess (Yes, she was all those things together) that Amber met one day in the Acrdale Woods and easily befriended thanks to her kind and friendly personality. The bear explained to the rabbit the nature of the King's illness and asked her help for her crusade against the Rot in the name of the Wyld and the people of Armello and tasked the bunny with finding four magic stones with the power of restoring the King to his normal self.
Amber, fully realizing the threat the Rot was posing to their realm thanks to the bear's explanation, agreed to help Sana's out and dedicated her quest no more for gaining Prestige but instead for finding the 4 mystical Spirit Stones: one of the few magical artifact with the power of expel the Rot out of someone's body and, according to Sana, one of the keys to defeat the Rot once and for all!
Sadly, Amber's quest for the Spirit Stones was shaping up to be anything BUT a success: it took almost an entire month for her to find just 1 Spirit Stones and the leaders of the Rabbit Clan did NOT approve that Amber decided to neglect her archaeological and political career just to focus on searching those "ludicrous, fabled knick-knacks" as some elders called them, because it caused, respectively, to dramatically drop the income of Gold to the clan and to fall behind other rivals clans which were contending to have one of their heroes gather enough Prestige to become "The Prestige Leader" in order to get them to become the King's adviser and grant to their clan more political power.
Because of these and many other reasons, the leaders of the Rabbit Clan refused to finance Amber's quest anymore, forcing the rabbit to pay every cost by her own pocket, driving her and her family almost to bankruptcy. Plus, the King was pretty much on his death bed and, if her informer wasn't wrong, then Amber had only one week to find the other 3 magic stones before their ruler would go to the big Lion's Pride in the sky...
In other words, everything seemed to be hopeless to Amber...
Even if her cheerful snout tried to hide it, she was really depressed... The thought that her whole adventure for gathering all 4 stones, cure the king and save Armello from the Rot could be all for naught really made her wondering what was the point of going on in she was probably going to fail and if the people of Armello truly deserved to be saved after all, because, if what Sana said was true, it was the corrupted hearts of the citizens of the kingdom that created the Rot and by extension the Banes...
Her train of thought came to a stop when she heard a sound from the distance...
But not ANY howl... Amber could recognize this howl between thousands!
"It's... Him!" the noble rabbit thought and, in an instant, she ran towards the source of that sound.
After roughly ten minutes Amber manage to find the source of the howls...
She reached the top of one of the highest hills of the fields and finally found him...
In front of her was standing a young wolf, around the same age of Amber, if not a bit older: his fur was grey, though the moonlight made it almost look like it was bluish, his eyes were, like Amber's, brown, but in the darkness of the night they appeared to be like golden rings; he was wearing a chestplate with the symbol of a stylized star on the center, a shoulder plate on his right, two bracers on each arm and one ring at the base of his fluffy tail. The wolf was holding a longsword with runes of an ancient language carved on the flat edge with his left paw, and it was quite clear by the way he was grasping it that he knew how to use it!
The name of this wolf, you may ask? He was Thane, the Winter Wolf, a gifted fencer and one of the two heroes of the Wolf Clan, easily the strongest clan from a military standpoint.
Because of the rivalry between the Wolf and the Rabbit Clan, Amber and Thane were for all intents and purposes enemies, and their encounter would probably bring them to only one outcome: a duel!
Normally, when faced against an enemy, Amber would have drawn her sword from her sheath hidden inside her parasol and shield her body with the parasol itself!
...But she didn't do it.
She, instead, stood in front of the wolf as he turned to face her and walk towards her direction...
Thane was getting closer and closer to the vulnerable rabbit, his walk was unflinching as he only stopped once Amber was within arm's reach...
By now, Thane didn't even need to use his sword to end the life of the pretty bunny, he could easily bite her neck and made her bleed out if he wished...
What he did, however, was something that NO member of the Rabbit or Wolf Clan would ever expect...
Thane bowed before Amber, getting on his knee and taking her free, right handpaw in his and kissed it "It's an honor meeting you again, princess..." he said in respectful tone
Amber blushed brightly because of Thane's antics, before she whisked away her paw and loudly replied "Stop it Thane! I'm no princess! I'm not even a part of the royal family!" Which was something she was THANKFUL of, because of the King's penchant of randomly sentencing to death one of his family members for "treason", known by the mentally sounds as "paranoia"
"I know..." said Thane as he was getting up "But you are a princess to me!" he finished to say, smiling brightly at her.
Amber cheeks became reder after that, as she tried to find a way to make a sarcastic retort, but found it difficult when she was at loss of words like now...
She couldn't lie to herself: meeting Thane was the best thing that ever happened in her life... In fact, if she didn't meet him she most certainly wouldn't be still alive...
Some years ago, the heroic rabbit raided an ancient temple with a squire she hired a week ago, a toad named Guppy. She didn't knew Guppy very well as they only stuck together for a brief period of time, but she was still ashamed of being unable to save his life...
After finding the treasure they were attacked by bloodthirsty brigands. Before she could do anything one of them slit the throat of her squire, killing him instantly. She was enraged by the cruelty of Guppy's murderers and resolved to pay them back with their own coin. She succeeded to slay the criminals and avenge Guppy's death, but was mortally wounded in the process...
Amber tried to limp back to the closest settlement in order to get some medical assistance, but her bleeding didn't stop and it was becoming more and more obvious to her that the forest she was traversing was about to become her grave...
That was the time she stumble upon a wolf, who was camping there for the night.
When Amber realized who was just in front of her, she resign herself to her fate...
Her parents taught her that wolves were merciless creatures that were ready to kill on sight every animal of a different species than theirs if they were allowed to do so, and to never get caught by one of them in a moment of weakness, otherwise she would be doomed.
Amber knew perfectly that she was in no condition to start to either fight or escape, so she just accepted her incoming demise...
When the wolf was walking closer to her, she just told him to do his worse and that she would never beg for her life.
What did the wolf do? He gave her his last Wyldsap, a powerful healing potion made of the nectar of the oldest and largest trees of the kingdom, capable of healing even the most lethal wound, saving her life.
Amber was truly touched by the wolf's kindness and even asked him why he decided to save her instead of killing her and take all her valuable goods.
He replied that he was something dishonorable attacking the defenseless and that he wasn't a heartless beast just because he was wolf.
He then offered her to camp with him for the night and Amber accepted said proposal.
The rabbit and the wolf pretty much chatted the night away, talking about all kinds of topics, from the most frivolous to the most serious matters.
Amber find out more about his savior: the wolf was Thane and he was an adventurer like herself. What was the objective of his adventure? Defeating the king, put an end to his unjust regime and becoming the new king of Armello!
After Thane found out that Amber was also trying to depose the king he proposed to form an alliance that would benefit both of them.
Amber was at first insecure about accepting it, as she knew that her clan would not be thrilled by the fact that she became an ally of a member the Wolf Clan, but she changed her mind once Thane promised to keep their alliance a secret, as he didn't want his clan to find out he made a pact with a member of a rival clan either.
Since then Amber and Thane faced various quest together: with the wolf's strength and the rabbit's cleverness the two were able to overcome every enemy and obstacle that tried to stop them and always earn their bounty...
As time went on, however, Amber started to develop strong feeling towards the wolf... She at first thought it was simply because she started to consider him a friend, but as time went on she realized that her feelings were clearly of romantic nature!
It took all her courage to do so, but she was able to confess her love to Thane. She expected him to either laugh it off or be disgusted and find her attraction towards him an "unnatural perversion"...
Amber DID NOT certainly expected to hear Thane admit that he reciprocated her feeling instead!
And so it started one of the most beautiful romantic relationship the kingdom of Armello has ever seen!
Well... At least for what little Amber and Thane let slip...
In fact the two heroes kept their relationship a secret: if someone spread the news that two members of rivals clan were in love an enormous scandal would explode in the already damaged kingdom of Armello and the two of them would be persecuted. So publicly, Thane and Amber were still enemies...
Despite the huge risks, Amber never regretted her choice: she was happy to have fallen in love with Thane, as he was easily the most noble, kind and selfless person in the whole kingdom, let alone wolf, in fact he made her completely reconsider her opinions on all wolves!
She was truly happy with him: when she needed his help she KNEW that he would give it to her and he would not even ask anything in return, to the point she would have to FORCE him to take at least half of the rewards they earned after a quest!
Even when she revealed her complete change of heart and her search for the Spirit Stones to save the King, Thane didn't call her crazy or foolish like many did and end their relationship like she imagined, he kept helping her, even if it meant losing his chance to become the king, just for her sake!
Thane was the reminder to Amber that there were ALWAYS something for which it was worth fighting for, no matter what!
"Thane, why are you here? And how did you find me? I never told you where I was going..." the stalwart bunny asked to her fiancé.
"Yeah... About that... I had to... Use the Wolf Clan's Spy Network to find you..." he answered awkwardly, saying the last part quickly in a low voice as he was pretty sure she wouldn't like that answer...
"W-WHAT?! YOU SENT SPIES TO FIND ME?!?!" she shouted, clearly not happy (as he expected) that his beloved used mercenaries to find out where she was.
"I swear! It was for a good cause!" Thane said, trying to justify his actions.
"Like what?! Finding out if I was cheating on you!?" she said accusing him without reasons out of anger.
"Oh, please Amber! You know perfectly I'm not that kind of guy! And I never was in a competition with another to win you over!" he said, annoyed by the fact she was playing that card.
"What about Mercurio, then?" she said smugly, already imagining his reaction...
"I..." Thane tried to say before realizing she really got him there...
Mercurio, the Grinning Blade, was one of the two heroes of the Rat Clan, the most corrupted clan of the whole kingdom, so rotten that thief was consider a honest job between the peers of that clan.
Mercurio was... well, a scoundrel, but compared to other corrupted individuals of Armello, he was borderline a saint and truly deserved his title as a(n) (anti-)hero when someone consider how many poor families he saved from starvation with his "legally acquired" riches.
He was also a ladies' ma... Er, rat, who changed his girlfriends faster than how he changed his clothes.
Amber and Thane met him the first time inside a tavern of a distant village where he was trying to pick up some girls as usual.
After failing to get any of the women that were inside the tavern before they came, Mercurio tried to flirt with Amber... With Thane sitting next to her... You already can see where this is going, can't you?
Long story short, Mercurio and Thane got in into a heated argument until they came to blows and started a brawl inside the tavern.
The most ironic thing about the whole ordeal is that the rat and the wolf became best friends after the whole mess!
"Alright! Alright! Maybe I have been jealous of someone else when you were giving them more attention, but don't believe yourself to be above that, my dear! River told me that you asked her if we were mates once!" Thane said, trying to beat Amber at her own game.
Considering Amber cheeks heated up as her usual when embarrassed and she was unable to counter that argument it was safe to say that he succeeded!
River, the Howling Arrow was, with Thane, one of the two heroes of the Wolf Clan: An expert archer capable of hitting even the most far away targets with her bow and arrow; that didn't mean however that she was defenseless in close combat as she was just as quick to stab with her her hunting knife as she was to shoot her arrows!
River was the closest friend of Thane, as they knew each other since they were pups, she was the only one of his clan Thane trusted enough to reveal his relationship with Amber, even introducing her to the huntress.
At first River wasn't happy to find out about their love story, as she believe that Thane was taking a huge gamble and that Amber just seduced the wolf to use him for her owns ends...
But as time went on, River warmed up to Amber as she saw that she and Thane really loved each other and went as far as considering Amber herself a friend!
"I thought River would have kept that a secret..." the bunny said, still embarrassed by what Thane said...
She once asked River if she and Thane were ever more than friends and the wolfess answered that she and Thane were always more than simple friends... They were pretty much like brother and sister in anything but blood and that she was happy that Thane finally found the love of his live in the rabbit.
"You never told her to keep that as a secret... Or at least, that what she said! Sure enough, I'm happy that we never fell in love! I think I could never stand River cold-as-ice personality if she actually became my mate!" Thane replied, simply shrugging.
"Fine, whatever... Then why did you need to come so fast to me, to point of having to violate my own privacy?" she asked, just annoyed at this point.
A smirk appeared on the wolf muzzle as he took out of his armor something he kept very well hidden: it was a light blue, long stone with cyan, spiral lines on the surface that radiated a gentle blue light.
It was a Spirit Stone!
Tears of joy began to wet Amber's cheek as she realized that she was one step closer to save the king and the kingdom of Armello, thank to her beloved wolf!
"T-Thane... is that really...!?" Amber asked, still unable to believe her luck.
"Yes, Amber... A Spirit Stone! You cannot imagine what I had to..." Thane tried to say before getting interrupted by the rabbit as she hugged him and kissed him on the nose!
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" she said before taking the stone in her own paws and examine it.
"Y-you're... W-welcome..." said the wolf, as his own cheek became red, unable to say anything else as he was still dazed by the kiss.
"So... what I can give you in return for this magic stone Thane?" she asked, her tone becoming much sweeter after seeing that Thane truly had good intentions.
"Eh... You already gave me my reward so... no problem!" he said, his blush still visible on his snout.
"What are you talking about? I gave you literally nothing in exchange!" the rabbit said, not fully understanding what he said before.
Thane pointed at his nose "That kiss was more than enough..." he said softly.
Amber smiled at Thane before putting the Spirit Stone in her bag and starting to walk away. As much as she wished to stay with him a little more, time wasn't her ally and she needed every second she could get to find the other 3... No, 2 Spirit Stones!
Before she could actually go away Thane called for her "Amber, wait! Can I tell you something?"
She turned around and walked back towards the wolf "Please Thane, be quick! You know I don't have much time!"
He scratched the back of his head, unsure how to split it out "You know Amber... In case you... were not able to find the stones in time... And worse come to worst I had to fight the king... And somehow I manage to defeat him and not get sliced into shreds..." Thane's blush became brighter as he wasn't able to find the right way to express what he was trying to tell to his lover "I mean... I would become the king, right? So... I would not like to be lonely at the top and... what I'm trying to say..." the brave wolf grabbed the hasty rabbit handpaws as he finally found the courage to say it "Would you like to become my queen?"
Once more, that familiar hot feeling reached the rabbit snout as she was left wordless one more by the wolf "Thane I..." she tried to say before getting interrupted one more...
"Even if you succeed, this doesn't change my feelings Amber" he said, taking only one her handpaws in both of his as he knelt before her "Once this whole fuss is over, with the king dead or not, would you marry me Amber?"
After Thane's proposal, Amber was experiencing feelings she never has felt before: an enormous joy that was soon smothered by a terrible sadness as she remembered that this love story couldn't have a happy ending...
Amber muzzle was clouded by despair as she one again pulled her paw away from the wolf as she said "I'm sorry Thane... I can't accept..."
Thane could almost hear, after Amber answer, the sound of his heart cracking and shattering, just like a window broken by a rock thrown at it.
He almost feel to the ground, his arms barely able to sustain him after the shock, as he let out a whine of pain asking her "W-why?"
"They found out Thane... The Rabbit Clan found out about our relationship!" she said grimly.
"What?! When?!" he asked as he got up immediately, unsettled by the implication of that news.
"Some days ago I was called by the elders of my clan for a meeting, at first I thought they were trying once again to dissuade me from my search of the Spirit Stones but their gaze made me soon realize that it was something much more grave" Amber said in a somber tone "They didn't trust me anymore Thane and so they told me that they sent spies to find out what I was doing in the past and that they reported that they found me having an "intimate moment" with a member of the Wolf Clan..."
Thane was now tightening his fists, angry with himself for not being able to spot those vermins before it was too late...
"They originally planed to punish my betrayal with banishment or an execution, but, as much as they didn't like to admit, they said I was still a valuable asset to the clan and they were even ready to let me continue my search for the Spirit Stones on one condition..."she said, stopping mid-sentence, unable to continue...
"W-what condition?" the wolf asked, already knowing he would not like the answer.
Amber eyes, once again, let out few tears, but this time not certainly of joy, as she said looking away "If I met you again... I had to slay you..."
Thane grabbed his head, looking down depressingly, as he felt like their ideal world was just destroyed...
"I lost everything Thane... Even my parents hate me now" she said as even more tears were cried out "Yesterday I got a letter from them... They disowned me and told me to not even bother coming back to visit them..."
"Amber..." Thane tried to say before getting interrupted by her.
"It was a mistake Thane..." she merely said.
"What do you mean by that?" he just as simply asked.
"Falling for each other Thane! That was the biggest mistake of our lives!" she shouted, as she started to cry harder.
"No, this isn't true!" Thane replied , putting one of his paws on Amber's back, trying to comfort her "Falling in love with you was the best thing that ever happened in my life!"
"Thane, how long do you think it is going take for the Wolf Clan to find out about us!? They will eventually, and probably punish you more harshly than how my clan punished me..." she said, trying to make the wolf reason.
"Then I will have to avoid participating to any future clan meetings..." he simply replied.
"Thane! I'm not joking!" Amber said angrily, going as far as slapping away Thane's paw...
"I was being serious! I frankly don't give a rat's ass about what my clan think of me! The only reason why I kept our relationship a secret is because you asked me to! I would happily scream from the rooftops that I love you!" the wolf said, trying to hug her.
"Thane, this is against nature itself! Different animals like us are not suppose to love each other like this!" Amber said, getting away from him and putting a great effort into convincing Thane to end their affair.
Thane growled "And do you think the King cared about that when he force other women that were certainly not felines to marry him before murdering them because they didn't gave birth to a possible successor or dying by the Rot they contracted from him?!" he asked.
"You are comparing yourself with a creature corrupted by the Rot!" she said exasperated.
"And I still do have a point! I'm sure there are other like us out there Amber, like Mercurio and... well, most of his lovers! I'm tired of this double standard where only the king is justified in establishing interspecies relationships while other people have to hide them away! We can give the example to the mass Amber, and make them see there's nothing wrong with loving someone who isn't from your same species!" he said convinced.
"We will get persecuted by both of our clans if we go down that road, Thane!" Amber said, her voice starting to sound raspy from her crying.
"Then, I'm ready to fight for you Amber because it's worth it!" he said, holding his sword with determination!
"What about your family, Thane!? What would they think of you once they find out the truth!?" she asked hopping that would be finally the question that would dissuade him.
"I DON'T HAVE A FAMILY ANYMORE, AMBER!" Thane shouted, as he also started to tear up...
Amber was taken off guard by Thane's reaction, he never told her anything about his family before and now she understood why...
"My mother... she died when I was a pup... My father... he was killed by some assassins... And my brother... he is in exile for years by now and he didn't wrote me a letter for months so I think he might have..." Thane couldn't end his sentence as he sat down on the grass holding both of his paws against his muzzle dropping his sword as he started to cry his eyes out "I have nobody left Amber... Nobody..." he sobbed.
Amber now deeply regretted her choice... She didn't want to make Thane suffer so much, making him remember the loss of his family...
She felt... horrible...
"Aside from River, I had nobody else left... This quest... To end the King madness... The same one that may have cause indirectly or even directly the death of my father and brother... It's the only thing left me to do with my life" he said, not being able to look into her eyes "I originally didn't care if I would have died or not... I just wanted revenge..." the wolf, however began to slowly get up "Until... I met you Amber... You were injured, vulnerable and... I wanted to help you..."
Amber stayed still, carefully listening to Thane as he got closer to her...
"You... Made me truly happy once again... With you I felt like my life had a purpose once more... That I had a future! All the moment we spent together still bring me pure joy to my heart!" Thane was now in front of her "You are the most precious gift life gave to me Amber! And it doesn't matter how many will be against us, I will never leave your side!" the wolf said smiling despite his eyes still tearing up, hugging her in as he stroke her cheek with his left paw, drying her own tears "I love you Amber, more than anything else..." he simply whispered.
Amber was driven like before to tears of happiness by the words of the wolf, as by this point she didn't care what her family or her clan would think of her, being with Thane was all that it matter to her and if they had to face many perils to be with each other so be it! They were going to save the kingdom together!
"And I love you with all my heart, Thane..." Amber said lovingly before kissing him on the lips, pushing her mouth against his.
Thane was briefly taken by surprise but he soon returned her kiss with all his passion, holding her gently against his body as she did the same.
After their long kiss, they both laid on the grass next to each other, with the intent of sleeping on this field for the night before resuming their travel tomorrow.
"Do you think we will find the other two Spirit Stones in time, Thane?" Amber asked to her beloved.
"With you, I feel capable of doing the impossible, so, yes, we will!" Thane said optimistically.
"You know Thane..." Amber said lying on top of him on his armor, as her parasol covering the both of them "Whenever I'm blinded by the light of the day that all false treasures reflect into my eyes, you are my moon, that let me rest my eyes and see what it is truly important under its shadow..."
Thane put his arms around her back once more, looking at her wonderful eyes before speaking "And you... You are my sun Amber, as whenever I have lost my way in the night and I think it's all hopeless you light my way and remind me that there is always hope!"
After exchanging those wonderful words, the rabbit and the wolf kissed each other again before falling asleep as the moon watched over the two young lovers...