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#a court of frost and starlight
lala2sstuff · a day ago
Burn and Fade, pt01
Everyone has a breaking point—a moment where it all becomes too much. It’s one thing too many, one mistake or burden more than can be handled. One truth more than should have been revealed. One betrayal more than can be forgiven. For Cassian, it’s probably this moment. Two souls meeting on a battlefield, two former lovers with a connection that neither of them wants to acknowledge. Two opposing families fighting for control in a world that is growing smaller by the second. Because Nesta Archeron, enemy of the Night Court, is standing before him with her sword drawn, and the only way that Cassian is leaving this place alive is if Nesta leaves with him.
OR, that AU I decided to write for some reason, where the Archeron sisters are fae and raised in the Night Court until Mama Archeron decided to start a war to take over and everything went to hell. Mentions of blood and violence, implied character death (spoiler--I can't bring myself to kill my babies), tons of angst, kind of dark, Nesta almost kills Cassian, and oh yeah, where did Feyre and Rhys run off to? And where did Lucien take Elain? Story will look at all three sisters, but starts with Nessian.
Read it on AO3 or Check out my Masterlist for more chapters and stories
OR leave me an ask with a request or comment on the story, I DARE YOU
Pt01 behind the cut
Everyone has a breaking point—a moment where it all becomes too much. It’s one thing too many, one mistake or burden more than can be handled. One truth more than should have been revealed. One betrayal more than can be forgiven.
For Cassian, it’s probably this moment. Two souls meeting on a battlefield, two former lovers with a connection that neither of them wants to acknowledge. Two opposing families fighting for control in a world that is growing smaller by the second.
“Nesta,” Cassian can barely catch his breath to force her name out, his voice ragged and pained. He’s holding his side where he’s already been stabbed by an enemy blade, nearly run through, the warm blood seeping through his fingers and caking in the lines of his hand. If he somehow manages to survive this, if he somehow makes it back to Velaris, it will take hours to scrub his palms clean, and probably even longer to clean the blood from around his fingernails. But it’s hard for Cassian to imagine that far ahead right now, harder still for him to contemplate what it would mean.
Because Nesta Archeron, enemy of the Night Court, is standing before him with her sword drawn, and the only way that Cassian is leaving this place alive is if Nesta leaves with him.
Her blue-gray eyes are cool and distant as she gazes at him, but Cassian knows it’s only for show. He’s seen Nesta when her guard is up, when she’s determined to keep her emotions at bay for the sake of whatever task is at hand. He fought side by side with her once, years ago, to help protect the humans and find freedom for them on the other side of the wall. He knows that she’s trying to distance herself from what has to be done.
“Nesta,” Cassian breathes, barely able to speak at all. At this point, he’s not sure how he’s still standing. The battlefield has grown cold and quiet. The world around him is dimming. Even in the coming darkness, however, he can still make out Nesta. “Nesta, don’t—don’t do this. You don’t want this.”
The problem is that Nesta really doesn’t want this. Maybe, once upon a time. So long ago, now, that she can barely remember where the idea of it started. Two powerful fae families, the Night Court split between them, and each vying for control. Power. 
Where had the idea for war come from? Was it her mother? Was that how it had happened—her mother, beautiful and cruel and filled with ambition, whispering quietly in her father’s ear. Her father, desperate to please a wife who would never be satisfied. Like Feyre and Rhys, she and Cassian fought together, killed together, bled together. In those days, they had gone into battle as if they were born to fight, feeling fully alive. It was like a game, then. To see who could fight the longest, who could survive the worst, who could kill the most. In the hours and days after a battle, they’d come together and compare their wounds, counting the bodies of those they’d slain without any thought of what it truly meant—the lives they had ended, the families they’d destroyed. It was a heady rush of violence and sex that was deliciously distracting in the face of whatever it was her mother had been planning.
A political marriage between Feyre and Rhys, one meant to end in murder. Instead, the lovers disappeared. War began.
The Court of Nightmares was bathed in blood and Velaris was in shambles.
And for what—Nesta stares at Cassian and wonders. What is all of this for?
A court that Nesta never wanted? Revenge for a sister who wanted to escape? 
Blood drips from the tip of Nesta’s sword, the sound carrying to her ears over the quiet breeze that sweeps the battlefield, and Nesta can feel her heart keeping pace with each droplet that falls. The blood belongs to Cassian. Her former lover. The beautiful male who once stood by her side through unspeakable darkness, when it felt as though all the world was ending and she would cling to anything, anything, to feel grounded. To survive.
Cassian had once been her survival.
No, she doesn’t want this. But she doesn’t know how to walk away, either. “Give up, Cassian.” She takes a step forward on blood soaked ground, the dirt caking like mud around her heels. She’s wearing the Illyrian leathers she trained in so long ago, the same ones that still bear the scars from when she’d practically been cut open in the last war. She was certain that she was going to die. Cassian had rushed to her side. He’d cradled her in his arms. He’d spoken things...things he hadn’t meant for her to hear.
She’d heard the word that neither of them wanted to say, the truth that neither of them could bring themselves to speak. It quietly whispered to them, then, a gentle tug in the back of their minds, the same way it whispered to them now in a strangled sort of agony. Mate.
“You can’t win this.” She closes the distance between them, trying to ignore the something inside of her that’s screaming with panic at the scent of Cassian’s blood, the sight of him barely standing, the knowledge that time is running out. She watches Cassian fall to his knees, wincing as he does, and crouches down beside him so that they’re close to eye level. He’s in so much pain. She can hear the thought as it passes through her mind, as if someone else is speaking to her. He’s in so much pain. He’s not going to make it. “Give up, Cassian.” 
It’s hard to keep his eyes open. It’s hard to keep his hand in place. It’s hard to hold onto his sword. Cassian can tell that his siphons are beginning to dim. He can feel his wings drooping lazily, splayed on the ground behind him. The walls are closing in. He can still see Nesta clearly, her golden hair bright even on such a cloudy, bloody day as this. The blue-gray in her eyes is thawing. 
Good, he thinks softly. He prefers when they blaze, when all her fire and passion is on display instead of hidden behind that practiced indifference that she worked to master all those years so she could please her mother. He likes it best when they blaze at him, bright and unyielding, filled with humor or hatred, or desperate need, anything but that cold look. “I can’t.” He pants, sword falling from his hand. It barely makes a sound. “I can’t.”
Nesta wants to be angry. She wants to scream, to cry in frustration, to tear this godsforsaken world into two. She wants it to end—all of it. She can’t keep fighting. She can’t keep killing. She wants to see Feyre, to know that she’s okay. She wants to find where Lucien has hidden Elain, stolen away in the night to try and protect her from watching her friends and family destroy the only home she’s ever known. She wants to go back in time and stop all of this from happening.
She wants Cassian to live.
He’s in so much pain. He’s not going to make it.
“Velaris is gone,” Nesta can hear her voice cracking, the sound of her heart finally beginning to break. “There’s nothing left. The Court of Nightmares already belongs to us.” Us, Nesta thinks. Her. Nothing has ever belonged to Nesta, not really. Nothing except what she once shared with Cassian. “You don’t have anything left to fight for.” 
She hates to see Cassian so weak, pulling his hand from his side to reach out and support himself as he falls forward. She rushes to catch him and prop him up, silently hating herself for making him so weak. She hates her mother, for raising her to fight and scheme and envy power. She hates Prythian for not stopping any of it from happening. She could destroy everything, everyone, for what this fight has come to.
He surprises her, though. He smirks. It reminds her of the first day she met him, when they were barely more than children and he and Rhys were still fighting with each other more often than not. He’d made some smartass remark about Nesta then, about how she’d never be a good fighter with all that golden brown hair of hers always getting in the way. It had only taken one hit for her to knock him on his ass. She’d come back to training the very next day, her long hair pulled up into a braided crown. He’d said she looked like a queen, then. A goddess.
His voice had been mocking, but they both knew it was sincere.
He smirks and looks up at Nesta through eyes that are half-open and drifting closed. “I wasn’t fighting for Velaris.”
Cassian and Azriel had already saved everyone they could. Everyone, Cassian had thought, except for one person—the one person.
Cassian had been fighting for Nesta. To stop the war. To save her from her mother. To save her from doing anything else she would regret.
Nesta. How strange it is to be at the end of the story, to know that you’re dying and to feel the life leaving your body, and to hear that small voice, that gentle tug. Mate. It was terrifying that first time he’d heard it, still barely more than a child. She’d knocked him to the ground when they were sparring together, taunting him with a kiss. The thread between them had snapped into place, pulling so sharply that it had stolen his breath. He hadn’t been ready to acknowledge that voice then, the quiet whisper in the back of his mind, even as that thread kept pulling them together day after day, night after night. 
Mate. It’s not frightening now. It’s soothing. It’s comforting. If Cassian has to die, then at least he’ll die for something good. For someone, Cassian thinks, that he loves.
But Nesta is not comforted. She is not soothed, nor placated, nor appeased or satisfied. Nesta Archeron is furious and panicked. Mate. It’s not a whisper for her now but a scream, sharp and unrelenting in her ears. Her heart is pounding so fast that it aches, the adrenaline flooding her body so quickly that her hands are starting to shake. Cassian’s eyes close and his breathing slows, and Nesta can’t ignore the truth anymore. She can’t pretend that it isn’t Cassian’s blood on her sword, that she hasn’t brought destruction to the home that she loved, that she wasn’t complicit in unforgivable atrocities. She fought in her mother’s name. She destroyed everything that mattered to her.
Including Cassian.
Including, she thinks, her mate.
The sound that escapes her then is something she can’t comprehend. It’s too filled with pain and terror, with knowledge of what she’s done and who’s become, and everything she’s lost. 
Her home is destroyed. Her sisters are gone. Her mate is dying.
Everyone has a breaking point, that moment when you can endure no longer. For Nesta, it is this moment. All thoughts of war forgotten, she cradles Cassian in her arms, the last few moments of his life slipping away. She closes her eyes, silently praying that there’s still enough time. 
She thinks of the farthest place from this wretched court she can, holding Cassian tightly, and winnows them away from the battlefield to find a healer.  
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hbeeez · 7 months ago
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Here’s some sketches of the bat bois from the night court. Did these a while back and forgot to post em. Struggled a bit with the faces but I think they turned out alright.
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morgana0anagrom · 7 months ago
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Here it is guys... The promised Nessian art 😅 finally finished it 😌😩 I just finished moving out and I will have more time to draw and share with you guys 🎉❤️ characters are Nesta and Cassian from A court of thorns and roses by @sjmaas Hope you guys will like it xoxo 
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elithien · 8 months ago
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𝓐𝓒𝓞𝓣𝓐𝓡 𝓓𝓾𝓼𝓽 𝓙𝓪𝓬𝓴𝓮𝓽 𝓒𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓻𝓼
So excited to finally share with you this amazing project I collaborated with @illumicrate, featuring 5 full alternative dust jackets for the ACOTAR book series, to also celebrate A Court of Silver Flame’s release. The dust jackets are fully illustrated, gold foiled, spot UV coated and finished with velvet lamination. I have also featured several stunning photographs taken by these talented people. Instagram handles in the order they appear (after the first 3 images):
Thank you to everyone who supported me in this! It’s definitely one of my proudest works for this year and I’m so honoured I got to illustrate books from my favourite author <3 Let me know which dust jacket design is your favourite!
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annashoemaker · 7 months ago
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I’ve finally started a painting of Nessian! 
I know Cassian has officially been described with straight hair (I’m not crying, you’re crying!), but I can’t un-imagine him with some kinda texture at this point. . . .
Tools: Photoshop, Cintique13HD
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aelin-world-walker · 9 months ago
New internal jokes in the acotar fandom
“Go fly into a boulder”
The miniature pegasus and dancing frogs
“The book... is about... a book.”
Az as a chaperone
“Sounds like you have a lot of time on your hands, Cassian.”
“What are you thinking about? || Your mother.”
The new ribbon.
The biscuit.
dumb and dumber energy
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cybelleslettres · 9 months ago
Nesta : I gave you an anatomy that will allow you to have Illyrian children later.
Feyre : Omg thank you !
Nesta : Yeah your welcome. I did it for me too.
Elain : That’s so cool ! And for me ? ☺️
Nesta, a hard Gwynriel shipper :
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adamarart · 21 days ago
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So, here we have the last piece, Feyre Archeron from the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It took me some time to finish it by I’m really happy with the finale result. Now I’m trying to figure out how to do the fínale illustration with the three girls. Well… hope you like the solo illustration 💙🗻🌙 ⠀⠀
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annashoemaker · 8 months ago
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Soooo it’s been over a year since my last post 😅. I didn’t intend to be off that long, but it turns out a new baby + pandemic was the extent of my mental capacity.
I had a bit of downtime between commissions and decided to sketch up a portrait of Nesta. I’ll be sticking mostly to sketches as I ease back into posting (I *may* have a sketch of Helion, too, but I’m trying to decide if I like it or not). Hopefully I’ll get around to finishing some personal pieces at some point 😗.
Tools: #photoshop, #cintiq13HD
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unhealthyfanobsession · 7 months ago
ACOMAF: Nesta steals power from the cauldron
Me: oh DOPE I can’t wait to find out what that power does in the next book!
ACOWAR: the power is death. Maybe, probably. She might be able to do something with a wall... nope wall is broken. She felt it though. Also she can blast white death just like the Illyrians? But it’s different? Ice flames, apparently?
Me: man that’s cool, can’t wait for the post war book when we really dive into what this does and she gets control of it!
ACOFAS: Nesta is very depressed. Power nowhere to be seen. Oh wait... sometimes it breaks things when no one is around?
Me: Ok. Fine. I get it. Saving the big complicated explanation of life and death and the cauldron and all the things this power can do for Nesta’s book. That’s fair. I’m excited to finally know though!!
ACOSF: The power IS death.
Me: Cool. What does that mean?
ACOSF: It makes silver flames in her eyes and grey dream mist. Cassian finds this hot.
Me: Right. Yeah. But what does it DO?
ACOSF: She can find trove items with it. And Make things.
Me: That’a an interesting side thing. But what is it ACTUALLY?
ACOSF: The power is now gone.
Me: 👁👄👁
ACOSF: NOT ALL OF IT THOUGH! Plus there’s a fun new connection with the mother!
Me: ohhh ok. So... in the NEXT book we’ll really get to know what it is/was?
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moodymelanist · 7 days ago
It’s Nesta’s first thanksgiving with her boyfriend Cassian. Dreaming of the perfect holiday, she’s planner out a traditional thanksgiving feast. However things begin spiralling out of control with the unexpected arrival of her sisters and Cassian’s adoptive brothers.
You really send the best prompts 🥰
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate! 🦃🤎
Nesta sighed happily as she finished checking the turkey one last time, closing the oven and putting his oven mitts on top of the counter.
Thanksgiving was in full swing at her apartment, and it was the first one she was celebrating with her boyfriend. They’d gotten together almost a year ago now, and she was determined to make sure their first Thanksgiving together went off without a hitch.
She normally wouldn’t be caught dead in the kitchen, but considering how badly she wanted everything to go right, she’d forced herself to learn how to actually use her oven. Gwyn and Emerie had been huge helps, with Gwyn sharing family recipes and Emerie offering to be Nesta’s partner at a couple of cooking classes. Cassian had no idea what kind of feast Nesta was whipping up, and she couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when he showed up.
Her boyfriend wasn’t supposed to get to her apartment for another half an hour, so she decided to finally hop in the shower and get presentable. As she quickly washed her body and face, she wondered what her family would be doing without her. Elain had been pretty understanding when Nesta said she wanted to spend her first Thanksgiving with Cassian only with him, but Feyre had been fuming. Thanksgiving is for family, she’d said, but she’d resorted to a serious pout once Elain had given her a stern look.
Nesta had just put the finishing touches on her makeup when there was a loud knock at the door. She smiled to herself as she got up to answer it, already thinking about the kisses she’d hopefully be showered in momentarily. Cassian was such a good kisser it was practically unfair, and he could melt even her strongest glared with a few well-placed kisses.
“What are you doing here?” Nesta asked, all fantasies of making out with her boyfriend disappearing at the sight of her youngest sister standing on her stoop.
Feyre grinned and shouldered her way into Nesta’s townhouse, her hands full with two bottles of wine. “Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Nesta.”
“Don’t Happy Thanksgiving me, Feyre,” Nesta hissed. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Coming to celebrate a major family holiday with my sister?” Feyre rolled her eyes like Nesta was being intentionally difficult. “What are you doing?”
“Waiting on my boyfriend to come celebrate with me,” Nesta ground out. She resisted the urge to throttle Feyre as her sister started making herself at home. “Alone.”
Feyre was saved by having to respond to Nesta when someone else knocked on the door. Nesta had never been particularly religious, but she prayed to every deity known to man as she got up to answer the door that her boyfriend had finally arrived.
“Holy shit Nesta I am so sorry I tried to stop her wow it smells good in here,” Elain said in one breath.
“You should’ve tried harder,” Nesta replied tiredly. Elain gave her an exasperated look and Nesta knew her sister had at least tried to stop Feyre, but the youngest Archeron was so stubborn she rivaled Nesta herself when her mind was made up.
“I’m sure Cassian won’t mind.” Elain attempted to mollify Nesta as she stepped inside and motioned toward the bag she was holding. “And I brought three pies, if it makes you feel any better.”
“It doesn’t,” Nesta muttered, but her protests fell on deaf ears. Elain “scolded” Feyre for showing up uninvited, but Nesta got the sense that Elain was happier than she let on that they were all together for the holidays. The middle Archeron busied herself by helping to set the table and put the wine and pies away so that Nesta had less to do, which somewhat softened Nesta’s irritation, but when Cassian finally arrived that irritation returned in full force.
Nesta answered her door for the final time to see Cassian flanked by his two brothers, and she couldn’t even muster the energy to glare properly.
“Just come inside,” she snapped, stepping out of the way to let all three men inside.
“I tried to stop them,” Cassian said sheepishly. He leaned down to kiss her on the cheek in apology. “They were in the car waiting for me when I went to leave. I don’t even know how they managed to do that.”
“Feyre and Elain just… showed up,” Nesta replied with a sigh. “So I can’t even be that mad at you.”
“That’s a relief.” He shot her a relieved smile and kissed her for real as their families mingled in the kitchen, his lips soft and familiar against hers. “You really went all out, huh?”
“You deserve the best,” she mumbled against his lips.
“Lucky for me that I have it, then,” he murmured back. “Let’s deal with these idiots, yeah?”
Nesta sighed and forced herself to pull away. She grabbed Cassian’s hand and led him into the kitchen to see Feyre and Rhys making eyes at each other and turned to roll her eyes with Elain; Feyre would flirt with anyone with a pulse, but from Cassian’s stories, Nesta knew Rhys was ten times as bad. She supposed it was the likeliest outcome from finally getting them in a room together.
Azriel broke away from his small talk with Elain to offer his help wherever Nesta needed it, which she was eternally grateful for. As she told him to start bringing dishes to the table, she thought about sending Gwyn a thank you note for having such a helpful boyfriend.
By the time they all made it to the table, Nesta was slightly less ready to kill everyone. Azriel and Elain had been fairly helpful, and even Rhys had helped by flirting with Feyre so much that she forgot to tease Nesta over how mushy her and Cassian were being.
“Let’s go around and say what we’re thankful for,” Elain suggested as she scooped some mashed potatoes onto her plate. “I’m thankful for such a wonderful, understanding, non-murderous older sister who loves me so, so much.”
“I am also so thankful for that,” Feyre chimed in, grinning at Nesta over her wine glass. Nesta rolled her eyes but didn’t comment. “And I am also thankful for Cassian having such wonderful relatives.”
Cassian choked on his turkey while Rhys winked at Feyre, those violet eyes twinkling with amusement. “I’m thankful for Nesta having such wonderful sisters.”
“I’m thankful for Nesta making such a delicious dinner,” Azriel complimented, pulling a small smile from Nesta as she decided he was her favorite of Cassian’s brothers. “And for also not murdering us for showing up unannounced.”
“I’m also thankful for Nesta not murdering you,” Cassian joked. Nesta glared at him and he laughed, which she knew made her eyes go soft around the edges from the way he looked at her. “But mostly, I’m just thankful for Nesta.”
“I guess I’m thankful for you all,” Nesta grumbled, earning cheers from her sisters. “But if you ever pull a stunt like this again, I will personally ruin your favorite holidays.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Feyre brushed her off easily. “We love you too, Nesta. Please don’t ruin Halloween.”
“No promises.”
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