a/n: Ha!  Ha!  I'm updating!  Er. . .sort of.  Anyway, thank you so much for all your reviews!

Espers: Thank you!  I'm glad you think Ren is a good character!

Opal Ballerina: ^^ hehehe.  The Old Hag was fun to write though. Lol, I love crazy characters.

Sylver-Ajah: -_-;; gee, thanks. Naw, joking. I'm glad you like this!

Sompersen: Thank you!

Black Sheep Alone: *winces* I know, I know, Ren seems pretty clueless; especially in this chapter.  Ah well.  ^^ Hehehehe. . .Thanks for reviewing!

Clover Tarrian: I know, I'm sorry. *tears* Thanks for reviewing!

Morbidly Perky: *cracks up* Hahaha. . .thank you!

Who cares4: ^^ hehehe.  Why 'poor' Ren? 0_0 or maybe I'm just being stupid. Sorry. *smacks head*

Russell Hawkings: Uh, thank you. . .I think. . .Thanks for reviewing!

Razzberry: ^^ hehehe.  And here I was thinking that they were similar.  Well, you've put my fears at ease.  Thank you!

Cheband:  My birthday?  It's on April 15th. . .midlle-of-the-month!  hehehe. . .

BrEaKOuTChIcK-USA: Hopefully I got that right. . .No, actually.  I don't really like carrots (unless they're cooked, which is weird). Lol.  Glad you like it!

Lady Fayette: ^^ I know.  That's why it's so fun to write, hehehe.  Thanks for reviewing!!!

The Dark Elfy Chick: ^^ Yeah, this was my first story on fictionpress, so it's not exactly one of my best works. Lol!  But I'm so glad you like it anyway!!!  Er. . .where can you get a Varien clone?  Sorry, no can do. . .but you can have a stuff toy of him! *gives stuff toy* okay? ^^ Thank you!!!

Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize.  Or the song 'I will survive' by I-don't-know-who.  Or 'Where-o-where', if that's what it's called.  Okay?  So don't sue me!!!!

And now. . .yet another attempt to break the writer's block!

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Twitch.

Drip.

Goody.  It was raining.

Dolefully, Ren glared up at the hole in the tent where droplets of water were rapidly beginning to descend. . .

Down her shirt.

Now, if she didn't know any better, the gods had strategically placed that hole in just the right spot so water would drip down into thoroughly uncomfortable and humiliating places.

Mentally, Ren prepared her little surprise for Varien.

Once she got out of these gods-cursed ropes.  What were they, enchanted or something?  Well, knowing Varien, she wouldn't put it past him.

"Psst!"

Huh?

"Psst!"

What?  What was that?

"Ren!  Are you deaf or something????"

HA!  Someone was here to help her!!!  Someone concerned about her well-being and would let her go fight!

Hold on. . .that didn't make sense.  Whatever.

"Irindelia!!" Never was Ren so glad to see her as now.  At last. . .at last. . .at last she could go fight!  Okay, and bug the crap out of Varien, but same old, same old.

Wow. . .Irindelia really was selfless to come back just for her. . .

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

Irindelia glared.  And glared.  And glared some more.

Wow.  Ren was really influencing her.  Scarily so.  Unfortunately, Ren's Evil Glare only seemed to work on Varien when Ren did it.

Finally, Varien turned around (after ten minutes) of consecutive staring, and said monotonously, "No, Irindelia, Ren can NOT come.  No, you can NOT give me that excuse about how you need a model for your new designs.  And NO, you can NOT help her escape and get herself get killed.  That is all."

And promptly turned back around to whatever he was doing.

Fairy boy had mocked her designs.  Fairy boy had mocked her designs.  FAIRY BOY HAD MOCKED HER DESIGNS.

He was going down.

No, right now this had nothing whatsoever to do with Ren.  This was a matter of pride in her designs---

Okay, and in her matchmaking skills, but you know.

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"Now, once you get out of here, head immediately down about three miles or so, and you'll catch up.  Here's all your stuff---" Irindelia threw a saddlebag at Ren, who. . .missed.  "Go go go!" And with a final push, Ren was outside and blinking in the bright sunlight.

Meanwhile, Irindelia headed to meet Araleen, who was currently on the other side of the tent. . .ah, the rewards after a job well done.

Throwing back her head, Ren laughed (albeit slightly insanely) and spun around.  Of course, it was only then that she realized that Irindelia had dressed her in a cute-enough-to-be-nauseous outfit. . .

NOOOOOOO!!!  How could she fight in this???  Okay, okay.  Observations: Corset-type-thingy covering green bodice/leotard and off-shoulder sleeves.  Good.  Short skirt.  Not good.  Try a kick that she would never be able to pull off in the middle of a battlefield.  Well, at least it allowed her room to maneuver.  Thigh-length stripy stockings. . .

WOOHOO!!!  Ren was very fond of stripy stockings.  Yay!

So, whistling cheerfully to herself, Ren started jogging towards the army. . .

By the time she reached it, she was practically crawling.

"Must. . .fight. . .show. . .Varien. . .Not. . .wimpy. . ." She panted and gasped with every crawl.

Where was the dramatic music, huh?  Huh?  Huh?

And so, strengthening her not-so-hidden resolve (face twisted into a steely expression of determination---resembling constipation), she crawled up a tree to wait until the big battle. . .

SQUAWK!

"OOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!!!!" Ren howled in pain as a mother bird pecker her again and again away from the nest.  "I'M SOOOOOOORRRRYYYY!!!! I DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS YOUR TREE!  OW!  OW!  OOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!"

Meanwhile, Irindar poked his head up from his magazines, murmuring, "Did someone hear a dog?"

Everybody around him shrugged.

"Guess not."  And returned to his magazines.

And preparations for the battle looming ahead continued. . .

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"FORM POSITIONS!" A general's voice boomed.

"ATTACK FORMATION!"

"GET UP, YA LAZYBUM!"

Ren, meanwhile, ignored the belligerent sergeants, knowing full well that when the actual battle came, after about five minutes it was every-man-for-himself, or, occasionally, every band-of-heroes for itself.

And Ren, being the incredible planner and having the foresight that she had, would take it upon herself to re-gather the Band and survive it together.

Okay, maybe die together, but that never happened to the main characters.

Okay, so maybe one person would probably die.

But she trusted it to whoever invented this world she lived in that none of her Band would have to die.  She was feeling rather parental towards it at the moment.

"Okay.  Battery-in-carrot which makes it a Carrot Sword: check.  Bag of Magical Carrots: check.  Cute little outfit: check.  I'm all set." Ren murmured to herself, before leaping out and joining the formation.

And Varien, still in his own little tent planning out the strategy---still didn't see her.

Gods, these people are blind.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

Up ahead was Caet's formidable fortress, highlighted by the sun and casting shadows on everything.

And there was a big moat with big alligators (or were they crocodiles?) in it.

Let's not forget big walls.

And pointy towers!  Can't forget those!

All in all, it was the perfect fortress for a tyrant.

Varien grinned to himself, battle lust already in his eyes.  Oh, man, this was going to be fun.

Until he heard:

"WE'RE GONNA FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FOR VICTORY TODAY!!  COME ON, SAY IT WITH ME, LOUD AND PROUD!!!!"

Oh.  Gods.

SHE WAS HERE.

Drum roll.

"HEY VARIEN!  THOUGHT YOU COULD GET AWAY WITH IT SO EASY, HUH?  WELL THINK AGAIN, BUSTER!" She roared at him.

Varien started hyperventilating.

Not helped by the fact that the drawbridge opened and tens of thousands of Big Bad Monsters came pouring out.

Who were they kidding.

They were so screwed.

"WOO-HOO!  PAR-TAY IN THE HOOOOOOUUUSSSEEEE!!!!!"

Did she have any clue what was happening around her?

Varien observed her doing a little victory dance before the battle even started.

No.

AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!  SCARY RED WOMAN WAS COMING OUT TOO!!!  AND MAKING OBSCENE GESTURES AND GLANCES TOWARDS HIM!!!

Okay, must not panic.  Varien is the prince of fairies.  Varien must set and example towards others.  Varien is a prince.

Ren is a princess, and she's. . .

Singing loudly, "I'VE GOT ALL MY LIFE TO LIVE!  AND I'VE GOT ALL MY LOVE TO GIVE!  SO I'LL SURVIVE. . .IIIII WWIIIILLL SURVIIIIIVE!!!"

Reverting to Fairy Guardian mode.

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Of course, that was before he was thrown into the middle of the battle with monsters in heavy-duty armor surrounding him and blocking his frantic attempts to get to Ren before she got killed.

And Ren, meanwhile, unbeknownst to her Hyperventilating Fairy Guardian, was cheerfully bonking Monsters with her magical carrots, turning them into all sorts of weird assortments of. . .things.

Hey!!  This carrot turned that guy into a vaguely humanoid creature doing the turkey-dance!!!!

Ren sighed.  She had better get to Varien before he got killed.

Fairy guardians these days.

Repeatedly bonking monsters with carrots (occasionally smiting them down with her sword---Irindelia seemed to have 'borrowed' her bow and arrows, as could be seen), Ren calmly made her way towards where Varien was surrounded by, well, a lot of. . .creatures.

"Tsk, tsk, Varien." Ren remarked lightly as she casually swung her sword and her carrots around.  "Didn't I tell you that I wasn't a damsel in distress?  Why, the roles seem to be reversed instead!"

Varien snarled at her.  "You get your royal arse back down to where I left you and stay there."

Ren shook her finger at him.  "Temper, temper.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a tyrant to find---and convert to good and set up with Irindar."  She pranced off into the teeming crowd of fairy-against-monster.

Eye twitch.

Varien let out a horrific groan, and tried to follow her (again), but was stopped by more. . .and more. . .and more monsters.

Ren, don't get yourself killed, you hear me?

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Ren, however, was blissfully unaware towards the tumult of emotions in Varien's poor, tortured, throbbing skull.

"Where-o-where has that tyyyyyrant gone.  Oh where, oh where can she be?  With her. . .uh. . .hair so red and her. . .uh. . .mind so evil; oh where, oh where can she be?" She sang to herself.

And then, just her luck!!!  She saw Irindar!!!!

WHAHAHAHA!!!

Grabbing Irindar by his collar, she yelled above all the noise, "Hey!  Can you find Caet for me?  Just. . .sniff her out like a dog, or something."

Hey, it was Irindar.  He'd be able to find her in five minutes flat.  In fact---Ren resolved to time him.

"Will do!" Irindar replied, far too cheerfully.  He did, in fact, have his own ulterior motives.  Ulterior motives that Ren un-ulterior-ized.  Or just saw, to put it simply, and used to her own advantage.

She was a princess.  A Warrior Princess, to be exact.  AND ARMED WITH THE CARROT SWORD OF DOOM!!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!  She could get away with it.

"Six. . .five. . .four. . .three. . .two. . .one. . ." Ren counted.

"There she is." Irindar said, stopping still and looking at Caet with admiration.  He still hadn't quite realized that Ren was NOT supposed to be on the battlefield.

"Caet!" Ren shouted, brandishing her tacky sword.  "I. . .uh. . .command you to. . .uh. . .convert to good and. . .uh. . .uh. . ." She stopped there.  She was stuck for ideas.  She knew she should have been paying attention when all her tutors back in the kingdom were instructing her upon calling truces, etc.

But noooo. . .she just had to run off, didn't she?  And get into all sorts of trouble?  And. . .and. . .

And meet so many new friends (aaaw, how sweet and corny, just like a children's book) and. . .meet Varien.

Bah.  No time right now.  He was her annoying fairy guardian, that's all.

Right?

Okay, you're not supposed to be reflecting upon your life so far WHEN CAET'S ABOUT TO KILL YOU!!!!"

"DODGE, YOU IDIOT!!!!" Ren dimly heard Irindelia shout out from behind her, and Araleen blocking the first ball of fire, before another one hit Irindelia.

"No. . ." Ren whispered.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.  They were supposed to win.  No one was supposed to get hurt, least of all someone in her Band of Heroes. 

She saw it all in slow motion.  Irindelia---eyes widened in surprise, Araleen's cry of denial as he caught her.

So much death. . .

"Caet. . ." She choked.  "Stop. . .no more. . .I call a truce. . ."

At that, Caet's finely shaped eyebrow rose, as she descended from her perch.  "Is that so, little princess?"

Little. . .

Oh, no.  She did not just go there.  No way.  Raising her head, Ren replied in the same tone, "Don't.  Call.  Me.  Little.  You bitch."

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the smartest thing to call Caet a bitch.  And maybe Ren should have moved quicker, but as it was. . .

"MOVE, YOU IDIOT!!!" Registed faintly.  "MOVE, HONEYBUNCH!!!!!" Was finally heard.

Varien.

Ren cocked an eyebrow.  He.  Called.  Her.  Honeybunch.

What was up with people and calling her things she didn't like to be called today???

These two things were thought in a fraction of a second as Ren instinctively moved away from Caet's uber-big ball of fire. . .

But not enough.

And not before Varien gave a panicked yell and jumped in front of Ren; taking the destructive magic meant for her.

Ren stopped; watched in slow motion as Varien's blue eyes clouded over and he fell to the ground with a thump.

No.

Okay, NOW she was mad.  NOW she was thoroughly, and completely pissed off.

And, letting out an incredibly loud-seeming yell, Ren jumped towards Caet, and threw the carrot sword straight towards the tyrant's heart. . .

Which was deflected by an invisible shield.

And Ren broke down.  There was nothing she could do.  Irindelia was injured but alive, while Varien. . .

She looked down at his unmoving body.

Varien was NOT dead.  He couldn't be.  He was unconscious.  Yes, that's all.  Unconscious, and soon he would wake up, smirking at her, and saying, "Got you all worried, didn't I, princess?  Guess you do care for me, honeybunch."

Caet looked down in shock at the fallen fairy.  She had never, in fact, actually killed someone in person.  And. . .

She fell to her knees, murmuring, "Sorry. . .sorry. . ." not noticing the male elf coming over and wrapping a blanket around her. 

It was over.  The battle had been over as soon as Caet had killed Varien.

And Ren. . .

Ren didn't move.  Ren just squatted there, looking at Varien's lifeless face.

He's not dead.  He's NOT!!!!!!

Eventually, five fairies had to drag her off from her immobile position, leaving Varien with the rest of the dead to come back and bury once the diplomatic ceremony was over.

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". . .Caetlin here has agreed to a diplomatic arrangement between  Trelayn and Leerandra.  In exchange for trade, she will agree to. . ." Ren said in a monotone voice, before breaking off and wandering away.

Looking sympathetically after her, Irindelia stepped up instead, and said, "You'll have to excuse the princess.  She's going through difficult times.  As she was saying, Caetlin will agree to ban all slavery. . ."

I never knew.  He's gone. . .And I'll never get to see him again.  Never get to call him a pervert or slap him again, never be comforted by him again.

Never get to tell him I love him.

With a long, heavy sigh, Ren sat on the hill, spreading her wide skirts about her.  Irindelia's going to kill me if I get grass stains on this. She thought vaguely.

And then, coming up over the ridge, she saw somebody.  

Was it. . .?

"VARIEN!!!!" She yelled, sitting up.  "VARIEN!!!!" Crying, tears of joy pouring down her cheeks as she ran to him, banging into him.  "Varien. . ." She murmured quietly, still not releasing him. . .

And then, "YOU ASSHOLE!!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU COME BACK???!!!!  YOU GOT US ALL FRIGGING DEPRESSED!!!! GODS, I'M GONNA KILL YOU!!!! WHAT HAPPENED?????!!!!"

Laughing and smirking that wonderful, wonderful smirk of his, Varien replied, "Why, I woke up just as those bloody stupid guys were about to bury me.  And came back.  Nine lives, baby!"  And then abruptly, "Gods, thank the gods you're okay. . ."

At that, Ren sat up, firmly, and resolved to say what she had thought she was never going to be able to say.  "Varien, I love you.  And I don't care if you don't feel the same way.  I mean, I just wanted to tell you 'cause I thought I wouldn't be able to, and. . ."  She continued babbling, turning redder by the second.

Varien, meanwhile, was amazed.  She loved him.  Ren loved him.  SHE LOVED HIM.  And he loved her too.  And. . .

Ren's babbling was stopped by a kiss.

Ren had been kissed before, mainly by a guard she had taken up with in defiance of her father and mother.

But this. . .

She flung her arms around him, and kissed him back.

This was the life.

Until. . .

Pinch.

SMACK!

"PPPPPEEEEEERRRRVVVVEEEERRRRTTTT!!!!!"

"JUST TRYING TO LIGHTEN UP THE MOOD A LITTLE, HONEYBUNCH!!!" Varien grinned to himself as he ran away from Ren's Carrots of Doom.  

"DON'T CALL ME HONEYBUNCH!!!  JERK!!!!"

"PSYCHO COW!!!"

"PERVERT!!!!"

"DAMSEL-IN-DISTRESS!!!"

"YOU'RE GOING DOWN, BUSTER!!!!"

And up on the hill, Irindelia, Irindar, Caet, Araleen, Seiral, and the rest of the kingdoms watched as Varien's head turned into an assortment of strange creatures.

And they all lived happily ever after.

THE END.

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a/n: Phew!!!!  I'M DONE!!!!!!  WOOT WOOT!!!!  Okay, tell me if that was too abrupt an ending.  'Cause truthfully, I was getting kind of sick of this one, so I wanted to finish it.  Hope you liked it!!!

Please review!!!