Love and War - 3
Description: In a harsh medieval world, you set out on a perilous quest that will lead you onto a forbidden land. A land ruled and controlled by a ruthless Warlord King, one who does not look favourably upon trespassers of any kind, and punishes all with an iron fist. You may not know exactly where this quest will end, but what you do know is you will forever be altered by it. And that knowledge alone is what truly terrifies you the most.
Catch up HERE.
Word Count: 4,220 ish.
Pairing: Medieval!Steve Rogers x Reader.
Rating: PG for now. May become 18+ later.
Warnings: Violence. Curse words. Mentions of fears and potentially brutal medieval tactics. Most likely more to come down the road. Please don’t let these warnings scare you too much, give the story a try before you judge it.
A/N: I sadly don’t own any of these characters. And no beta reader, so I do proudly own all the errors and this story, so there’s that.
“Alright, so everyone knows the plan?” You ask quietly, not wanting the guard to hear you.
“Yes,” Wanda says back.
“Yeah,” Piet replies, “though, I will just put it out there that I think this is a horrible plan, but it’s really all we’ve got at the moment.”
“Oh shhh,” you hiss, “have some faith, you negative nelly.”
He chuckles and murmurs something playfully that you don’t quite hear, but don’t really care to hear either.
“Okay, it’s go time,” you whisper then raise your voice to yell, “excuse me? Guard?”
You notice Wanda move up against the wall, hiding herself in the shadows as best as she can. And then, she slowly starts to vanish before your eyes, using her magic to make herself disappear. She can’t make anyone else vanish, or stay that way for long, but you just need her to hold it for a few minutes. At most.
“Hellooooo! Guard!” You continue to yell, hearing his heavy footsteps coming towards you now.
“What are you hollering about, wench?” He asks gruffly once he reaches the cell door.
“I seem to have lost my cellmate,” you point out, innocently.
His eyes widen slightly as he looks around the small area, “where the hell did she go?”
“Ya know? I’m not entirely sure,” you glance around and then shrug. “One minute she was here, then the next poof,” you wave your hands around with a flourish, “gone.”
“A witch!?” He snaps, clearly angry now, “they didn’t mention you lot were witches.”
“Oh, I’m not a witch,” you shake your head, vehemently, “if I was, don’t you think I’d have escaped with her?”
“Back up,” he commands, ignoring your question, and you comply, reaching the back wall of the cell as his keys jingle and he unlocks the cell door.
“Stay right there,” he orders, “if you so much as move a muscle, you won’t like what happens to you.”
“Don’t move, got it,” you nod.
He comes towards you, pulling shackles off his belt as he does, clearly he plans to restrain you so he can check the cell over. But just as he is about to reach you, Wanda appears and jumps on his back, putting him in a steadfast chokehold. And then you spring into action, you lunge forward and kick him right where the sun don’t shine, causing him to hunch forward as he drops to his knees. Wanda still secured tightly around his neck, he tries to fight back, but you use all your weight to keep his arms down and away from reaching your sister.
After a few tense moments of struggle, he finally slows and then drops forward with a thud, unconscious. Wanda detaches herself from him and then you grab his weapon as she grabs his keys. You both quickly exit the cell, locking the guard inside and then go to release Pietro. Once his cell door is open you all share a quick group hug and then hastily make your way towards the tunnel door.
Pietro motions for you both to hang back, and then he takes the guards weapon from you and opens the giant wood door. Poking his head out to look both ways before he motions for both of you to follow him.
You make your way into the tunnel, and head back towards the large iron doors. This will be the hard part, dealing with the two guards on the other side.
After a few moments you reach the doors, and Wanda closes her eyes and focuses her mind. You aren’t entirely sure what she can see, or do in this state, but you have faith she will give you the window you all need.
After a silent and tense moment, she snaps open her eyes and goes to pull the doors open. Pietro and you quickly moving to help her, as the three of you pull with everything you have, hearing the same creaking sound as the doors open.
You glance out and don’t see a guard in sight, turning to give Wanda a curious look but she waves a dismissive hand, murmuring, “I’ll tell you later.” Huh, turns out, this was actually not the hard part after all. Go figure.
The three of you venture out the doors, pulling them closed behind you, as to not alert any passers by before you can get far enough away. Then you all head into the dense woods, knowing that taking a path isn’t an option currently. You quickly and quietly move away from the Kings city, wanting to put as much distance between yourselves and it, as fast as you can.
Your heart is pounding again, your legs ache from the day you’ve already had. Something in you is telling you to stay, begging you to go back, but you ignore it. You push on, knowing that if you did go back, you’d surely die. There was no sugar coating that. But then why does every step feel painful? Every additional pace making your heart scream out to stop. To turn around. To go back. You shake your head, now is not the time to listen to your foolish heart.
You all run for a while, putting some good distance between yourselves and the city, enough distance that finally Pietro believes it’s safe to stop for a bit. To rest. And your aching lungs want to thank him. They want to jump out of your body and bow down at his feet.
You’re exhausted, utterly and truly spent. Your whole body hurts, even your fingers ache. You just want your comfy bed and your sketchbook. Though you’re sure you wouldn’t even be able to draw at the moment. Not with how much both your mind and body, pulsate with pain.
“We will rest here for a moment, but then we have to continue on,” Pietro says as he sits down on a stump, “they will figure out we are gone soon, and then they will come searching for us. We can’t risk staying in one place for too long.”
You nod, as you pant heavily and slump down on a fallen tree. “I was not built for this,” you mumble breathlessly.
Wanda giggles and Pietro shakes his head, chuckling, “that you weren’t. But we love you just the way you are. Sluggish and pesky.”
“Sluggish!?” You gasp trying to pretend to be offended, but then you burst out laughing, quickly slamming a hand over your mouth to muffle the sound. You shouldn’t be so loud right now, but you couldn’t have prevented the laugh even if you’d tried. You and Pietro both knew you were neither sluggish, nor pesky, but this is what he did. He messed with you. This is just the relationship you both have, you sass each other but it’s all out of love. “This coming from the witless trespass—“
Your words are cut off by a deep earth rumbling howl, one that strikes fear into your very soul. You have no clue what would even cause a howl that loud, or that menacing, but what you do know is, you do not want to hang around to find out.
“How could they have figured out we were gone so quickly?” You whisper glancing at the other two as you all quickly stand up.
But neither of them seem to have the answer to that, and then you all begin to run in the opposite direction from which the howl originated. Your body instantly trying to protest every step, but fear keeps you moving. Though not as fast as Pietro, though he has always been much faster then Wanda and you. Especially because you’re both wearing these damned skirts. The two of you should have each warn a pair of Pietro’s trousers, what were you both thinking!? Coming to this Godsforsaken place in skirts! Damned fools!
“Come on you two, we have to pick up the pace,” he says as he slows down and waves a hurrying hand.
“We are trying,” you say through your heavy breaths.
You hear commotion getting louder behind you, but refuse to look back. You don’t want to know what is currently chasing you. You don’t want to risk tripping if you aren’t watching exactly where you’re going.
The heavy sounds of …hooves? No! Paws! The heavy muffled sounds of large paws hitting the ground is what you hear next. And there is a lot of them. Way more than you could ever stand to fight off. Whatever it is behind you, you do not want to face it. Not even a little.
Your mind kicks up a thought and you almost shutter in horror. A half breed army, man by day, beast by night. Oh Gods, maybe that rumour is actually true. A loud growl echoes through the forest, bouncing off the trees and causing every muscle in your body to tense up, instantly. As if the growl is controlling your physical body, telling it to stop running, and what’s worse is it wants to freaking listen. Your body wants to halt entirely, and face the damned beast. It’s actually begging you to.
Though you just keep pushing yourself anyways, ignoring the inner urges coursing through you, but finding each step even harder than the last. What with your body trying so desperately to deter your escape. To prevent you from getting away. Getting to freedom. You glance up and ahead, seeing Pietro and Wanda about 6-7 yards in front, you know they wouldn’t leave you behind. They clearly haven’t turned back yet to realize they’ve started to lose you. Their bodies just don’t seem as affected by all of this as yours currently is.
A howl off to the right has your eyes snapping that direction, but you can’t see anything, it’s just too dark, the moonlight unable to penetrate the tree tops in most places.
But then, a large mass running alongside you through the dense trees catches your eye, and on instinct you veer left. Hoping that you can escape whatever it is.
“Y/N!!” You hear your siblings both yell and you look up to find them, but can no longer see them, and that only makes you panic more. Where did they go? You just saw them only moments ago. You couldn’t have gone that far off course!
Another growl rips from behind you, this time much, much closer. You know it will be on you soon. The end is near for you. You just hope that Wanda and Pietro can escape, can get to safety, that’s all you pray for now. You are truly doomed, but maybe they aren’t.
And just as you are entering a small clearing in the woods, something large—extremely large—collides with your back, knocking you on to your stomach on the ground. A massive weight landing on you, though not enough to crush you, but definitely enough to render you immobile. You clench your eyes shut, too afraid to look, while feeling the heavy panting of somethings warm breath hitting the back of your neck. You feel the weight lift off you, just as something large and warm slips under your stomach and flips you onto your back.
But you still refuse to look, to petrified to even peak at the beast above you. A deep, menacing growl reverberates through you and it feels like a warning. Like it is telling you not to move, or something—you obviously don’t speak wild beast so you really have no clue. But just in case, you decide it best to not move a muscle, for fear of only angering the beast more.
Another deep, rumbling growl rips from above you and this time your eyes involuntarily snap open, only to lock onto an eerie glowing set of blue eyes. If you weren’t so damned terrified, you might have even found them breathtaking. Entrancing even. You’d love to draw them, though you probably wouldn’t be able to do them justice. You find yourself just staring into them, you could easily get lost in these beautiful blue eyes—what are you even saying?! This thing is about to make you dinner and you’re admiring its eyes?! Give your head a shake, woman!
You tear your eyes away from the piercing, glowing blue orbs and drop them lower, taking in the sharp white teeth gleaming in the moonlight at you. The long snout connected to a body covered in thick, coarse golden flax coloured fur. Instantly you know exactly what it is, it’s a wolf. And a freaking huge one at that. Larger than any animal you’ve ever seen before. You can tell that even if you were standing up, it would still be taller than you, on all fours. And what’s worse, is that it probably still would be, even if it was slouching. This thing could easily eat you in 4 bites, max.
A huff noise, accompanied by a gust of air hitting your face causes you to furrow your brows and flick your eyes back up to meet the beasts. Why hasn’t it killed you yet? What is it waiting for?
Then, for some unknown reason, the beast starts to step back, removing itself from over top of you. And in a complete daze you sit up as it does, completely lost as to what is happening right now. But more curious about what is to come.
The sound of a branch snapping startles you and the beast’s head snaps to the left, towards where the noise came from. Then it hunches down low in a defensive stance as it’s hackles rise, causing the wolf to look even larger than it did before. Which is hard to believe is even possible. And then it growls deeply, the sound causing every muscle in your body to tense up once again. You vaguely hear the sound of retreating steps over your heart, which is once again pounding in your ears, but then the beast relaxes, huffing once more before it sits at your feet, just staring at you. Watching you.
What is going on? Why is it just looking at you? What does it want? You go to stand up but just as you reach your full height, your legs give out, sending you plummeting to the floor. But before you make contact with the ground, you feel something brush up against your side, and then a large furry neck is tucked under your right arm, helping to slowly lower you back down to the ground. And once you’re settled, it pulls away, going back to sitting in front of you, just staring once again.
Before you can even think about it you mumble a, “thank you.” Instantly realizing you are talking to a freaking wild animal. But oddly enough, it nods back at you. Or maybe you are just imagining things now? Or maybe you are actually dead? Because there is no way this giant wolf actually understands you, is there?
The rumour said they were beasts by night and men by day, so maybe somewhere in there, there is actually a man, one who can understand you. It sounds ridiculous and farfetched, but then again, it hasn’t killed you yet. And on top of that you swear to the Gods that it truly nodded in response to you.
But the only way to find out is to test that theory. You make eye contact with the massive blue eyed wolf and then ask quietly, “can you understand me?”
And you honestly almost fall over when the wolf nods its head, again in response to you. You are talking to a wild animal right now, what are the odds? “Are you—are you going to kill me?”
It tilts its head to the side, inspecting you for a moment, then huffs loudly and shakes its head. As if it’s frustrated by you? Seriously? “Then if not, may I leave?”
You go to stand again but a deep warning growl erupts from the large wolf and you halt your movements instantly. Lowering yourself back down slowly, as not to piss it off again.
But now, as you sit in complete deafening silence, with only the sounds of the woods around you, a stream running off in the distance, crickets chirping, and an owl hooting, you realize again that your legs ache.
Though it’s more than an ache, now that the adrenaline is wearing off, your legs feel severely cramped and your right thigh muscle is throbbing and pulsing uncomfortably. While your lower left leg now stings from your sweat entering all the scraps from your earlier tumble.
And your breathing is still crazy and erratic, though your heart has slowed down a little now, not beating at such a rapid pace anymore. You just continue to sit in the intense silence, while this wolf thing just watches you. Studies you. Every small twitch of your fingers, or quiver of your lip, or twitch of your leg from the pain. It just keeps its eyes on all of it. Not missing anything.
It’s rather nerve wracking, if you’re being honest, just having this predator stare at you, as if you are the most interesting thing in the world. Or maybe it’s looking at you more like you’re dinner, like you are the meal that will help sustain its life for a little while longer.
As the minutes tick on slowly, agonizingly slow, you become more frustrated. More antsy. Why are you just sitting here, still and unmoving? What does this beast want with you? And where are Wanda and Pietro? Did they get captured as well? Are they also just sitting around being watched by some other massive, intimidating beast?
“P-please,” you stutter out, “just let me go, I promise to never come back. If you—if you just let me—“
The beast growls at you again, abruptly stopping your words in your throat. And then it stands up and the threatening pose it gets into is not a friendly one. Not even close. It’s hackles are up again and it’s baring it’s large teeth at you. But then, it turns it’s massive head and looks to the right, just as you hear footsteps in the distance the beast moves towards you.
You flinch away, thinking it’s going to attack you, but instead it towers over your smaller, still sitting form. It stands sideways, directly over your legs. Your face almost pushed into the side of it’s stomach, and everything in you is telling you to reach up and pet the damned thing. To run your fingers through it’s golden fur, but you fight that urge and instead focus on whoever—or whatever—is coming towards you now.
And then you see it—or him, rather—a large, ridiculously large, man appears from the tree line, coming towards you both. The wolf growls menacingly and the man kneels down and bows his head. You are utterly confused as to what is going on right now. You just glance back and forth, between the man and the wolf—who’s still hovering directly over you. And then the wolf visibly relaxes, and a moment later the man stands back up right, to his full height and then cautiously steps towards you.
And it’s then that you notice he has something in his hands, you squint your eyes trying to make out what it is in the dark. Is it…rags? Blankets? Clothes? You can’t overly tell, but the man holds them out for the wolf, who takes them in his mouth and then looks at you, locking eyes and you can almost see a warning it’s the beautiful glowing blue orbs. Something tells you to stay put, some weird force making you acutely aware that you are not to move a muscle. You nod, not entirely sure why, but figuring it wants you to agree to it’s terms. Whatever they are.
That is, if it even gave you any terms in the first place.
Then, strangely enough, it nods back once, and steps away from you. Slowly removing it’s body from above you, and taking it’s warmth along with it. You shiver as the cold air surrounds you again and just watch as the beast vanishes into the dense tree line.
You glance up at the man, he looks even larger now that he is up close, and clearly your spot still sitting on the ground, isn’t helping that at all. You give him a once over, noticing he is rather handsome, with shoulder length brown hair, that is twisted into a bun at the back of his head. However, a few parts of his hair have fallen loose and hang down on his face and shoulders. Your eyes then flick over his face, before locking onto his crystal blue/grey eyes. And you instantly realize that you are just openly staring at this man, and he knows it. If the smug smirks now on his lips is anything to go by. That causes heat to rise in your cheeks and you quickly glance away, looking down at your hands to hide your embarrassment.
The silence is, once again, deafening. The man hasn’t said a word, nor has the wolf returned and you still have no clue what is currently going on. Nor do you know what you should be doing in this moment. Do you beg for your life? Plead that they let you go? Ask where Wanda and Pietro are, if they are alive? Oh Gods, please let them be alive and safe. That’s all you ask.
“Am I—am I going back to the cell?” You go to ask, but it comes out a quiet whimper, lost in the wind, and you aren’t sure if the man actually heard you. But then he scoffs and shakes his head, as if your question is stupid and ridiculous. But he doesn’t offer you anything else, not even a voiced response. So either he doesn’t actually know your fate, or he is just refusing to tell you.
Either way, all you want is to go home, to be in your cosy room. Wrapped up in a throw blanket and lounging on your bed as you draw the world around you. But you know deep down that even if you do live, you will never see your little room again. Nor get to just lounge in it, drawing.
Rustling bushes and footsteps draw your attention up and you see another huge man enter the clearing, this one even bigger then the one currently next to you. But this one, this one takes your breath away, instantly. He is stunning, in every way imaginable. All hard muscle, broad shoulders, and slim waist.
But then as he nears you, you notice his chiselled jaw line, one that could probably cut diamonds, and then his luscious golden locks, that you instantly have the urge to run your fingers through, it just looks so soft, so fluffy, so damned touchable. But as your eyes travel down lower, you notice his piercing blue eyes, and you completely freeze. They are the exact same eyes as the wolf, that much you know for sure.
‘An army of half breeds, men by day, beasts by night’. Oh Gods, that rumour is actually true. These men are clearly half breeds. You side eye the brunette, giving him a more thorough once over. But that doesn’t really give you much to go on, you honestly can’t be sure if he is a half breed or not. But you know the blonde is for sure. He was the wolf who caught you, and now stands before you in all his rugged, manly glory. Your eyes flick back to him and your heart skips a beat as you realize he is still studying you intently.
“Can you walk?” The large blonde asks, gruffly. His voice deep and penetrating. Like nothing you’ve ever heard before, it’s like his massive body only stands to amplify his voice, ten fold. You figure he could easily command a room full of men with just his voice alone.
“I-I think so,” you reply.
“Then stand up,” his deep voice now commands, and it sends a shiver down your spine. You nod quickly and slowly push yourself up onto your wobbling legs. Unsure if they will be able to hold all of your weight, but you don’t want to anger this man. Something deep inside you aches just at the thought of upsetting him. At the thought of causing him any more grief than you already have.
But just as you reach your full height, which is still a few feet shorter then the two men, you start to feel light headed. Black spots start to appear all throughout your vision, causing you to glance around, as if to look directly at them. But every time you aim your sight at a new spot, it vanishes and then reappears somewhere else. The movement of your eyes only stands to make you more dizzy.
You know what’s to come, you know you’re about to faint and you try to warn the men, you try to tell them. You’re eyes lock onto the beautiful, entrancing blue ones again as you manage to whisper out, “I think I’m about—“
But the words end there, dying in your throat, as your vision starts to turn fully black now, and you feel the momentum of your body plummeting to the ground. With no chance to prevent it, or to protect yourself, all you can hope is that you don’t hit your head once you meet the forest floor. The last thought to cross your mind is, ‘Please Gods, let me land softly’.
And then the world disappears into a lonely black, cold abyss.
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