Pools of Sunlight is a shipping story. But not a regular one. The authors actually did their homework, tried to make it plausible, and, finally, wrote an original ship!
I have looked for any Sunpool ship on any site, and I still haven't found one (except for this, briefly). -Matau
Credit to Sutherland for the characters. This should be considered AU, but with everything at the start as it is in canon.
This is a very fun story to write, and if you want updates, then leave posts on both mine and Lumin's walls, as neither can continue without the other. -Matau
Pools of Sunlight
Sunny is feeling left out and unneeded. Whirlpool is on the run from his own tribe. The two couldn't be more different - Sunny is naïve, Whirlpool is ruthless, Sunny is cheerful, Whirlpool is pessimistic. Whirlpool decides to go to the rainforest, and meets some old enemies.
Chapter 01: Whirlpool
(Six Days Earlier)
The palace was burnt to a crisp. No one on any side was alive. It was finally safe.
Whirlpool walked out of the prison. He staggered from the pain everywhere on him, and the burns that covered him. He weighed his options. He didn't want to risk attacking Tsunami, that was for certain, but he wasn't sure what to do with his life.
The Kingdom of the Sea was no doubt against him, as Anemone would plant falsified evidence of treason that would be exhumed and name him as the worst traitor in history, even more so than Webs. He wasn't going to risk death. His plans of becoming king had been annihilated. His longtime friends were mortal enemies if they even thought he was still alive.
The NightWing who had visited, Morrowseer, was a possibility, but a dangerous one. Whirlpool had glimpsed an intellect far superior to his own, and that frightened him. Morrowseer's intentions were unknown. Blister was another possibility, but he didn't trust her. Finally... there were the RainWings. He hated the thought, but it was better than dying.
He decided lazy, pathetic, worthless losers were better than having to face his former allies or Blister, let alone that NightWing. He took flight for the rainforest.
Chapter 01: Sunny
The day was glorious – brightly colored fruits were strung about the canopy, and a rainbow of dragons were enjoying the sunny afternoon.
Sunny, however, was not exactly enjoying herself. As she watched the dragons training below, she felt a little lonely. The others were far too busy to spend much time with her, and with Starflight missing, she really only had Webs for company. Not like she felt he wasn’t good enough – he just couldn’t talk often.
Sighing, Sunny listened to the SeaWing’s snoring, hoping for him to suddenly get up, and act like he had when they were under the mountain. It was what could be expected, though; there was a war on the horizon, speeding uncontrollably towards them. But she still wanted it; wished for it. It was an almost indragon obsession of hers – she felt, if they all went back to normal, they could be a family.
Webs rolled over in his sleep, almost knocking Sunny out of the hut. She sighed heavily, I guess I should go do something useful, for a change. Spreading wings like amber, she took off into the thick rainforest air.
Chapter 02: Sunny
Sunny had found a small river, and stuck her snout into the water. It was murky, but she could spot a few small creatures moving about. Sunny wondered for a moment what it must be like; being so small, and then she proceeded onward, searching for fruit.
I wonder what the others would think, me going off on my own. But for some reason, she wasn’t fearful of being taken by the NightWings. After all, they wouldn’t be interested in a scrawny SandWing like herself. Or, maybe her lack of a stinger would make them think she was a RainWing.
She took a long, calculating look at the scenery around her; puffing smoke to make sure any watchers would know her tribe. Sunny then shook her head, let out a snort of laughter at herself, and kept on flying. By now, she had passed many boughs of flowers, but had not yet found the fruits she was seeking.
Then, she spotted them – bright purple-red in hue, with green-tipped ridges along its surface. Inside, it was white, with tons of little black seeds. She landed in the tree, careful not to knock the precious fruit to the ground. As she carefully plucked one off the branch, she inspected it for bugs, or anything else she really didn’t want to eat. It seemed alright enough, so she ate it, and proceeded to collect a few others.
Out of boredom; and knowing the likelihood that anyone would notice was slim, she decided to continue exploring the vast Rainforest.
As she made her way through, Sunny passed by beautiful arrays of plantlife, coupled with beams of sunshine, and her genuine 'sunny' attitude. She did not know what else lay in wait for her that day.
Chapter 02: Whirlpool
Whirlpool looked down at the outskirts of the Rain Kingdom. Six days had passed since his decision to flee his home. He'd evaded all the guards by alternately flying and swimming. He doubted anyone was even looking for him. Falling in an electric eel moat in an area subsequently attacked by an enemy army made one look quite dead. He had carefully avoided the MudWings too, but he was still very nervous. One slip-up and I'm dead, he reminded himself.
He landed just inside the row of giant trees. It was foggy and raining. The moisture was nice, but the muckiness was very annoying. The open ocean was what he loved, with its bountiful prey and oxygen-rich water. He would miss it.
Whirlpool scanned the trees. It was the perfect setting for an ambush. Unsuspecting, full of poisons, foggy enough to hide an army, muddy enough to hide countless pit traps, and no doubt even worse things lurked within. He doubted if anyone in the past 10 years had ever come out alive save NightWing research parties and whatever Talon stole the RainWing replacement's egg. He flew deeper, fast but low.
He came to a sunnier area after a few hours of flying. It was no longer foggy but shining. Fruits Whirlpool didn't even know existed were everywhere. He salivated at there intoxicating aromas. Maybe this isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to me. Maybe I still have a chance of getting everything back on track. Or at least something.
Chapter 03: Sunny
She yawned apprehensively, maw still wide opened when her eyes skimmed a sight that left her tripping on her tail.
There was a SeaWing. In the middle of the jungle. And it wasn't Tsunami.
Her instincts were screaming for her to flee, but after a while of deer-in-the-headlights paralysis, curiosity got the better of her. Sunny scrambled up as tree, hoping to avoid sight in the leaves. Right then, she really wished she had Glory's camouflage.
As the dragon passed, she felt a little shiver go down her spine; she knew this dragon, but she couldn't quite place a name to the face.
After a while of staring at the stripe patterns, a golden gleam caught her eye. She reared in shock, falling off the tree, and landing in a yellow heap in front of the dragon, tail sticking up.
So much for staying incognito. Grunting, she rose to her talons, "Uh, hello."
She blinked at the dragon who likely haunted Tsunami's nightmares. Whirlpool was alive, and he was in the Rainforest Kingdom.
Chapter 03: Whirlpool
Whirlpool looked at the dragoness who had just fallen out of a tree. He recognized her from the Summer Palace. She was a dragonet of destiny and friend of Tsunami. His first instinct was to run. His second was to attack. He decided his instincts were in mutiny against him, and he'd try to lie his way out. He gave her a polite smile with all his small teeth, and eloquently said, "Hello, I am Convection. I mean you no harm. What is your name?"
Sunny's eyes darter around, scared. "I'm Sunny. Please don't kill me! I'm not a fighter!"
Whirlpool sighed extravagantly, secretly relieved that she was scared of him. "Neither am I," he said. "Just a scholar, injured in the war. I too lack skills in combat. How about we just go our separate ways?"
Sunny suggested, "It's safer in groups. What if we stick together? Also... you remind me of someone I knew named Whirlpool. Do you know him?"
Whirlpool feigned ignorance. "I'm afraid I only know the name. He was relatively famous in the Kingdom of the Sea. As to your former question, I would acquiesce, but I have a bit of a fear of other dragons. So, I'm afraid-"
"Oh, don't worry, I'm not a threat! I just like making new friends!" Sunny exclaimed. "I won't hurt you, I promise!"
Whirlpool gestured to his burns, and said, "Well, I could use some medical assistance. If you would assist me, I would be very grateful. After that, I'd have to be on my way."
Sunny gave him a spontaneous and irrelevant hug that he almost thought was an assassination attempt. "Alright, W- I mean, Convection! We'll be great friends!"
Perfect, he thought, she doesn't suspect a thing. With any luck, she'll take care of me and never even know who I am. I can survive and live on the run.
Chapter 04: Sunny
Sunny grinned, "Follow me!" She turned, and marched off into the forest. How odd, he looks just like Whirlpool. I hope he doesn't act like it.
She leapt over a hidden rock, and turned around, to warn him of it. Convection had already done it. The dragon batted his eyes innocently, and asked, "Something amiss?"
"Nothing," she smiled, and continued on her way, leading the injured dragon back to the village. Sunny had quickly decided to take him in through the hidden way, just in case Tsunami or Glory saw Convection, mistook him for Whirlpool, and attacked. She'd really prefer to keep this dragon alive.
"Almost there," she whispered, and pranced into the healing hut. The eager RainWings looked up, and smiled. One in particular, however, did not look so pleased.
"You brought in another one? We're already overloaded from those NightWings that tried to attack Tsunami!"
Sunny frowned at Firelilly, "Sorry, I couldn't leave him out there. He was injured."
The dragon snorted and rolled her eyes, turning away to help another dragon. Sunny sighed, and turned to Convection, "Go try to find an empty spot. I'll see if we have anything for burns. If not, I'll have to go out, so don't leave the hut. And if any other SeaWings come in, hide."
She turned her back on Convection, and started to nose through a box stuffed with herbs of every size, shape, and color. Soon, Sunny came around with a talonful of aloe vera, and carefully instructed Whirlpool--no, Convection, on how to use it.
Then, she turned to see Tsunami gawking at her.
Chapter 04: Whirlpool
Whirlpool followed Sunny, interested by her cheerfulness. She seemed to have a perpetual smile strapped to her face. He carefully crafted the illusion of a harmless scholar. Once they got to the healing hut, Sunny helped him use some aloe vera. He decided he'd remember this. She was clearly a very kind dragon to heal someone she had suspected of going to kill her.
Then a shadow passed over the door, and Tsunami came in.
His heart rate skyrocketed, and he could feel his breathing speeding up. He barely stopped himself from screaming then and there. If Tsunami was here, he would be in grievous danger. Sunny turned, and, clearly confused, said, "Hello, Tsunami!"
Tsunami raised her brow, and asked, suspicious, "Sunny, who's that? Is that... wait...?” She dashed over, and pinned him down. She angrily yelled, "What are you doing here, Whirlpool?!"
Sunny rushed over and tried, mostly in vain, to make Tsunami release him. "That's not Whirlpool," she said, upset, "That's Convection! And you're hurting him!"
Tsunami snarled, "No, that's Whirlpool. When a dragon tries to kill you, you know when it's them. You just know." She dug her claws in deeper, a few drops of blood oozing onto them.
Sunny cried out, "You're not sure of that! And even if it is Whirlpool, which it's not, he's still injured! Let him go right now!" She pushed Tsunami as hard as she could, which wasn't very hard.
Tsunami growled, and let go, still in a combat stance. "I don't trust him. He's too much like Whirlpool. No one else can look that ugly."
Whirlpool said, indignantly, "What do you mean? I'm not ugly! You're very mean, you know!"
Sunny added, "Yes, he's definitely not ugly! Why are you being mean to an injured dragon after you attacked him? Just leave him alone!"
Tsunami stomped out. She spared a parting shot over her shoulder, "Just don't come running to me when he tries to kill you. Actually, do."
Whirlpool watched her leave, very relieved. He sighed, comforted.
Sunny said, "Don't mind her, Convection. She's just worried. You're not ugly. I hope your injuries get better soon."
Whirlpool said, "I don't. Thank you, though." He mused to himself, She's falling for it, and possibly for me. This is very convenient indeed.
Chapter 05: Sunny
There she was. A "sunny" little desert dragon. In a rainforest. She wasn't much - small, no stinger. In fact, Sunny was nothing at all. But, for some reason, she felt whole watching Convection sleep. Something inside of her was throbbing less. The SeaWing acted so much like Starflight.
Maybe that was it. She was just missing her best friend; maybe Tsunami was right. Maybe he was Whirlpool.
But to her, it didn't matter. If she was able to help someone, anyone, then she would be more than happy to. Even Blister - the dragoness had discovered her entire being, and summed it up in one word; cute.
No dragon had ever been more right. No dragon had ever caused more hurt, or jealousy. For Sunny wanted to be big, to be cunning, and look normal, something I'll never be.
Sighing heavily, she moved away so not to wake Convection with the hot tears dripping down her snout. She wished Starflight were here. He'd always known how to cheer her up. To bring a silly smile to her face. Though, the part she missed the most, was when he defended her. It was like he left behind all of his nervousness, and simply was. That was the Starflight she knew, and, just maybe, loved.
That's why she had never felt so guilty before. How could she betray such feelings? How could she betray him?
I'm a terrible dragon, she thought. No wonder I'm so useless. I deserve it.
Wrapping her arms around herself, she started to sob uncontrollably. Her shoulders shook, and Sunny dropped to the floor, soundless in self-hatred.
Then, she felt it. Looking up, she saw it. Breathing, she smelt him. A talon reached out, and she took it. Dune smiled at her, then dissolved into the light.
Sunny managed a graceful smile, rose to her feet, and stared breathlessly at the sunlight streaming through.
Chapter 05: Whirlpool
Whirlpool opened his eyes slowly, watching Sunny. She was very interesting, for many reasons.
She was a dragonet of destiny, which put her on the list of the twenty most powerful dragons in all of Pyrrhia. It always was good to gain the favor of those in power if you wanted power yourself.
She was kind, which automatically made her easy to manipulate. After all, he was injured, and that would act like a magnet for all sympathy. He had learned by example how to control others from his time in the palace, and he knew she would be a pushover.
Finally, she was loyal. She would stick with her friends, no matter what. She always wanted to help them. This was an extremely valuable trait for an ally of a schemer to have.
If Whirlpool could get her on his side--really on it--then his future would be secure. He needed to be as nice to her as possible so that she'd vouch for him to his friends, and perhaps so he could erase some of the planted data and clear his name. If he had the dragonets of destiny on his side, his previous crimes would seem intangible. It would be a great step towards becoming king.
As for Sunny herself, she would probably remain his friend. She struck him as the kind of fool who always assumed the best of everyone. He rather liked her. It had been too long since he'd had a real friend. He felt slightly guilty for tricking her, as she had been so nice to him. He looked away, feeling kind of bad.
And he did have to concede, she was quite pretty.
Whirlpool saw her crying. He calculated this would be an optimal time. He got up, and walked over to her. She seemed to be in a dream, or perhaps a memory. He stood next to her, and asked, quietly, "What's wrong, Sunny?"
She looked at him. She just covered her eyes. He couldn't decipher it. What had he said? He walked away slowly.
Chapter 06: Sunny
Sunny couldn't sleep. Something was keeping her awake. And it wasn't Convection. Her thoughts were marching in formation, drilling down on her the importance of the Prophecy, and how they still had so much to do, and ARGH! Now it was giving her a headache. Clearly, there was something she had to do.
I'll just go grab some herbs. We're running low, anyway. She looked both ways within the hut, made sure, as effectively as she could, that no one was awake. Then, in a silent golden streak, she was away.
The rainforest was just as loud at night as in the day, but something about it tonight held a special energy. It was magnetizing, and though she had not originally intended it, she soon found herself infront of the portal to the NightWing Kingdom. Why hadn't anyone sent a rescue party for Starflight yet? If only they actually tried to find him, instead of wasting valuable time trying to make up reasons for him to have betrayed them. Why were they so convinced he would have done that in the first place escaped her, but that didn't matter now.
Perhaps this was what was keeping her awake? Could this be what role she was meant to play in the prophecy - to keep everyone together, and protect them when no one else would - or could.
Morning birds began to stretch their voices to welcome the sun; if she was going, it would have to be now. Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the overwhelming wrongness, and closed her eyes, tight...
... And opened them not to the dark land described by Glory, but the desert from before. Stupid, stupid Sunny! She'd stepped through the wrong portal! Hopefully none of those guards were awake yet.
As discreetly as she could after messing up so badly, Sunny slivered into the next portal, this time keeping her eyes open, and being alot more careful, since, if all NightWings were like Morrowseer (in her opinion, of him, anyway), then they would be mean and grouchy and rude. Or, perhaps not.
Poking her head both ways when she reached the other side of the tunnel, the littlest dragonet took her first taste of sulfur.
(Look here, finally, I have responded.)