Cat Fight - The Darkling x Reader
Some fluff cause all I have in my drafts is angst, angst and more angst 😈
You peeked your head out into the hallway to check if the coast was clear, turning it left and right then ahead, eyes searching for that black kefta and its owner. Once you were satisfied with the emptiness, you burst into a quick sprint, heading directly into your quarters which are hopefully empty. Aleksander is supposed to be back from Kribirsk any minute now so the cruciality of the situation remains high.
Your boots are still covered with muck and grass from your morning ride as they sully the clean carpets of the Little Palace but you couldn't care less right now, the small ball of black fur under your kefta needed to be hidden as soon as possible.
You pull the door open quickly expecting a quiet room but are met with the remnants of the inner circle. Ivan, Fedyor, Genya and Zoya stand around the table, their General nowhere to be seen. You stand there like a deer caught in headlights and have to remind yourself no one can see beneath your heavy coat. You clear your throat, shutting the door behind you.
'Ivan, you're back, where is the General?'
'He is in the Fabrikator workshops' You nod and walk to the far door in the room leading to your private chambers but his voice rings out again 'Y/N we need you to look at these reports from Kribirsk.' You whip around and force a quick smile and make your way over to the small stack of paper. If your walk was funny, nobody questioned it but as you awkwardly leaned down to grab the pile, a small sound erupted from the kitten, one that definitely wouldn't come from a human. Your eyes widened and you silently prayed nobody noticed. It was too late to cover it with a cough or fake sneeze, so hoping nobody heard it was your best shot at survival.
With your back to Fedyor, you didn't see the confused look on the heartrenderers face as he listened to the extra heartbeat coming from under your kefta. Ivan must have heard it too, for his eyes were as wide as saucers. The pair looked at each other in horror. The only logical explanation they could think of was obvious; you were pregnant.
Zoya and Genya watched the two in confusion as you stood back up, straightening your back and giving everyone another smile. 'Let me carry those for you' Fedyor pried the stack from your hands before you could ask why and stood in front of you now with a beaming smile. Your own smile faltered at the look on his face. Had he heard the cat? Just as Zoya started to give mission report on her solo trip to a border camp, the kitten started moving.
You tried to look inconspicuous, but the lip between your teeth and the small whimper you let out were far from normal as you pretended that everything was fine when in fact the kitten was clawing its way up your stomach with its very sharp claws, scratching your skin through your thin blouse. You turned away slightly, biting onto your clenched fist as the animal desperately tried to move up from its nestled position in your skirt pocket.
'Are you okay?' Her smooth voice tinged with an underlying sense of offense rang out in your ears, not only were you blatantly ignoring her report but the faces you were making did little to impress her.
You didn't have time to catch Fedyor's sharp look in her direction because before you could stop it, the small black kitten peeked its head out through the lapels of your kefta.
You could hear Genya gasp and then her soft 'Awwwww Saints look at it'.
Ivan and Fedyor burst out laughing, clutching their stomachs in the fit that almost brought them to their knees.
You sagged your shoulders and took out the animal, holding it in your hand. 'Uhhh so I found this little guy in the woods' The black ball of fur looked around the room, its cute tiny nose sniffing the air around him.
'Is that a cat?' Zoya spat out.
'Congratulations Zoya, you're not blind' Genya retorted as she walked forward, petting the kitten. A quiet purring sound erupted from its throat in enjoyment. Genya all but melted from the adorableness. 'Are you keeping it?'
'I don't really think animals are the General's thing' you laughed but everyone in the room knew that you were in fact, keeping it.
'Here' Ivan brought over a small container of water, placing it on the table next to you. The big bad Heartrenderer seemed to have a soft spot for cats. His hand gently caressed the young thing in your hands. You thanked him and placed the kitten beside it and watched as it drank. 'Is it not supposed to be milk?'
'That is actually false.' Fedyor mused, amusement still abundant on his face.
'Did you give it a name?' Genya said
'I said I'm not keeping it'
'Keep telling yourself that' she laughed and then said 'What about Inky? Or Cinder?..... Graphite?'
'Are you just naming everything that's in David's workshop?' She turned her head away, hiding the blush creeping up her face.
'Alright then. What about Shadow? Hm? That one's good.' Zoya suggested.
'Oooohh I like that one' You picked up the kitten and held it up 'Everyone meet Shadow'
In that moment, the door to the room opened and Aleksander waltzed in with an ease only he possessed. He stopped short and stared at the five of you, one holding a kitten and the rest fawning over the small thing. You all froze but the kitten meowed at the sudden lack of attention.
'Can someone tell me why my deadliest soldiers are swarmed around a cat?' Ivan and Fedyor straightened up, clearing their throats and addressing their General but Zoya was already out the door, Genya trailing behind her like a lost puppy.
'His name is Shadow'
'And what is Shadow doing in my Palace? In my rooms to be specific' He approached you, signaling for Ivan and Fedyor to leave you two alone.
He stared at the small black cat and sighed. If you didn't know Aleksander as well as you did, you would have said he was scared of the animal.
'Go on, pet it'
'I don't want to'
'I said pet it' You all but shoved the kitten into his face, his large hand coming down to touch the soft black fur. The kitten leaned into his touch, eyes closing as it purred.
'You're keeping it, aren't you?'
'I think you mean we're keeping it. I can't resist cute things dressed in black, you know that' You winked.
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Symbolism/Analysis of the Black Kefta
The Kefta to End all Keftas
She reached into the box and pulled out yards of rippling black silk. The sleeves and neckline were delicately embroidered with gold and glittered with tiny jet beads...The neckline of the gown was laced with a black velvet ribbon, and from it hung a small golden charm: the sun in eclipse, the Darkling’s symbol...
the black silk clung to my new form, shifting and sliding like sewn-together shadows ...in the other boxes on my bed we found golden silk slippers, glittering jet and gold earrings and a thick fur muff
"Black," Genya whispered.
His color. What did it mean?
I am so glad you asked, Alina! There are several possibilities that I will gladly talk for far too long about:
This black kefta is a claim- it's saying; Mine, do not touch.
This black kefta is protection- it's saying: Touch and I will destroy you.
This black kefta is a statement- it's saying: Power, I have it in spades, don't try anything.
I'm going with all the above.
On a more serious note, while this does have undertones of possessiveness and control it should be noted that Alina is in a precarious position. There have been assassination attempts made against her, she is in danger.
The Darkling is saying- the Sun Summoner is under my protection. She wears my colors. She is no ordinary Grisha, she carries the weight of my protection wherever she goes, and I will come down on you like a ton of bricks if this nice kefta gets torn.
I don't believe it is full possession/claim because he didn't need to add the gold. Do I think that he should have consulted with Alina? Yes. But also, no.
He's her direct superior. (But he has crossed personal boundaries) It's perfectly within his power to make this decision, although I certainly wouldn't hold it against Alina to be miffed.
The neckline of the gown was laced with a black velvet ribbon, and from it hung a small golden charm: the sun in eclipse, the Darkling's symbol.
The symbolism of Alina carrying the Darkling's symbol against her heart... need I say more?
The sun in eclipse may be his symbol but I've increasingly felt that it represents both of them. If it were merely the Darkling's should it not be a new moon? All shadow. But it's not. It's both (maybe I’m just being whimsical).
I can’t help but think of the Darkling waiting centuries for the Sun Summoner to be born, and how that might have played a role in his own external sigils. An outward symbol of his desires he’s unable to fully realize.
They cannot be one without the other. It's a symmetry that I adore.
The Jet Stones: I go lapidary
There are repeated references to many small jet stones in Alina’s kefta and in her earrings. I admit, at first glance I was disappointed. Why not onyx? Or obsidian? Those seemed more elegant somehow, more valuable.
Well, I was wrong. The symbolism is on point!
Jet Stones were made popular by Queen Victoria in the 1850s (and they only grew in popularity, reaching their peak in the 1870s). They were a symbol of mourning (Queen Victoria wore them to her daughter, Victoria’s, funeral).
At least, this is a neat reference to some quite period appropriate costuming.
At most, I adore the implication that this could be Alina’s mourning gown.
Because this is the chapter before everything changes, before the death of her time at the Little Palace and this Black Kefta is a symbol of a life she could have lived. But didn’t .
The Sun Summoner
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Familiar - The Darkling x Reader
He was living his worst nightmare. You were in danger because of him. He swore to protect you, to get himself caught in the crossfire if it meant saving you but right now he was useless and you were suffering. He didn't know where you were or who took you from the Palace, the place he said was like a fortress, the safest place in Ravka. You were swiped from right under his nose, most likely roughly and mercilessly and it was all because you loved him.
He never wanted anyone to know of your relationship, you were his most protected and valued secret and he would put his life on the line to keep it that way. But now you were gone and he couldn't bare to look at himself. The promise he made to you was broken and he let you down.
For our love is a ghost that the others can't see
You agreed with it too, knowing that you would immediately become a target if Aleksander introduced you as his. But here you were now, sitting in the back of a moving coach, gagged and handcuffed with a blood and tear stained face.
The ride was more bumpy and painful than it was at the start, having now been on it for at least 4 hours, you knew you were far from home and heading to Fjerda.
The realization hit you as soon as you felt a pair of strong hands at your wrists, holding them apart in the safety of your chambers to prevent you from summoning. The festivities were loud and blocked out your shouts of self-defense and cries for help. That's where Aleksander's protection had run out, right there in your shared rooms.
You cursed yourself as more tears slipped out your eyes, you were a fool who didn't listen to their own advice. Ravka didn't know about you, the Darkling seemingly had no weaknesses until your irrationally tipsy behavior. Tonight's stupid actions would cost you your life.
'Enjoying the celebrations?' You held your fourth champagne glass of the night tightly in your hand as you walked up to Aleksander and Ivan. They were all business and no party as the Little Palace roared to life following a day of successful business negotiations. Grisha of all orders let loose and had fun, forgetting the troubles of war as foreign delegations joined in, all in unity for a single night of fun.
The Zemeni were dancing with the Kerch, the Shu were peacefully discussing with the Kaelish, it was a utopia. Your own mind was for once calm, be it the champagne or the vibes you didn't know and didn't care.
'You did a very good job Y/N, I'm impressed.' Ivan gestured to the party and pride filled you. It was stressful and nerve-racking to plan a banquet of this magnitude, but seeing it all accomplished and with no fights made you unbelievably happy.
'Thank you Ivan. Go enjoy yourself, I'm sure Fedyor is looking for you.'
He walked away just as you'd hoped, leaving you and Aleksander alone. You moved a step closer, taking his hand in yours.
'It is magnificent darling, you look magnificent too.' His head dipped as it usually did when he was about to kiss you, but he stopped himself and instead looked around the room, inspecting it to make sure no one was watching him.
'Relax, we're in a large crowd, I highly doubt anyone is paying us any mind.' With the foreign ambassadors here, Aleksander's black attire was balanced out with black tuxedos and suits. He wasn't sticking out anymore, he blended in. You wanted to be with him, and perhaps you could be right now.
'If you say so' Although your words did something to reassure him, his sweet lips were brief on yours. It was a short kiss, but he somehow conveyed his love for you in that quick second before he was back to his usual General persona.
'Alright General Kirigan, I'll go annoy Genya.' You joked and in the process knocked the glass over onto your fine silk kefta. 'Shit'
You didn't miss the look of amusement on his face as you tried to dry the stain with your sleeve. 'Or I'll go and change' you laughed, leaning into his laughing body.
You were certain the moment was intimate and private, that nobody was watching, but a pair of eyes closely watched the scene from afar, mouth open ajar as he found the Darkling's only weakness; You.
'Moi Soverenyi what is the meaning of all this?' Ivan didn't expect to be dragged out of bed at this hour and see the General's inner circle crowded around his war table in their nightclothes. He thought the banquet went well: nobody fought or got injured or even argued, it was the perfect night so to speak. But the powerful Grisha still dressed in his silk black kefta was restless and panicked.
His hair was disheveled and he looked ready to kill as he stood with his back to everyone, facing the big map of Ravka. The room was silent save for a few yawns and sighs. Nobody knew anything about why they were there but the tension surrounding their commander was hostile and frightening.
'Y/N Y/L/N is missing from Palace grounds. I think she may have been taken.' Ivan stilled, he was the only person in the room who knew of the relationship between his General and you and had grown to like your refreshing presence. He cared for you in a brotherly way and your disappearance ignited a fury in him.
'I need you searching the streets, interrogating the delegates, anything we can to bring her back.' His face was still turned away from them, and Ivan knew he wouldn't turn around.
Aleksander was beside himself with worry and guilt, he was on the verge of tears. You were gone and it was his fault. His mind was swirling with the accusations and the self-hate, but also with memories of you. Your life echoed around the walls of his head, bouncing off of his heart with a shatter.
He wasn't going to wake up tomorrow next to you curled up in his arms. He wasn't going to hear you rant over breakfast. You were gone and it was his fault.
He was trying so hard to devise a plan to find you, to command his Grisha and be a General, but in that moment he was just Aleksander, Y/N's Aleksander. Worry took up his mind and all the commanding bones in his body yearned to have you next to him.
He turned his head briefly to Ivan, who had the same expression on his face that Genya wore when he woke her up searching for Y/N. She was already out in the streets of Os Alta with David, trying their luck with tracking your jewelry.
'We leave in 10 minutes. Every single Grisha in the Second Army will be used if need be.' If you listened closely, you could hear the edge to his voice, a slight pang of heartbreak and anguish. He was trying to hide it, but alas he was only a man.
The Grisha started muttering amongst themselves and Ivan caught a few words of their conversations and couldn't help but let the rage rise in him 'She's not even that good of a soldier.....' 'Who is that?' 'I want to go back to bed....'
'A foreign dignitary had the audacity to kidnap a Grisha after we let them into our home and you speak of going to bed?'
'Ivan.' Fedyor warned him.
'Moi Soverenyi, with all due respect, Y/L/N was simply a teacher to the younger Grisha, not a high-ranking soldier with valuable intel. Should we really assume a kidnapping happened? For all we know it was desertion. Y/N found a good moment to slip out and escaped.'
Every shade of us you fade down to keep
Them in the dark on who we are
The second those words were spoken by Polina, Aleksander's black shadows let loose. They crept up her legs and around her throat, tightening and tightening until air could no longer enter the inferni's lungs. She was petrified, she was simply stating another perspective on the situation but her General's and Ivan's responses told her her opinion was not wanted at all.
Aleksander stopped himself before he killed her. It was his fault, all of it. His Grisha didn't take this seriously because they didn't know who Y/N truly was to him, perhaps a secret ready to be shared, spoke a voice deep in the back of his head, not your voice though. He wouldn't tell anyone anything until he had your approval. If he ever got it.
'Believe me, Y/N was no deserter.'
'10 minutes!' Barked Ivan at the Grisha when none of them moved from their tired trance.
You didn't know Fjerdan fluently but you knew enough to make out the most important words 'We crossed the border', 'Witch', 'let her burn'. It was enough to drown your hope of escaping and coming home to Aleksander and your Grisha.
You never got involved in any war or fighting, simply choosing to teach the young students the basics of summoning. It made you content and happy, whereas war made you anxious and nervous. Your body had only ever known the luxuries of the Little Palace, the feel of a pen or book in your hands. To add to it, your powers were never used in a defensive way only summoned when you taught, so this was a drastic turn of events to say the least.
Being dragged and beaten by the Fjerdans, insulted in a foreign language, and cuffed so the one comfort you had available to you was useless, brought you to your knees despite the initial training you received when you joined the Second-Army. I am no soldier, I am a teacher.
The border had been crossed and you were officially a Fjerdan captive, ready to sit a trail where you would be found guilty and hanged for your gifts. The chances of Aleksander finding you were slim to none as you tried to remember if any clues were left behind at the scene of your kidnapping. The Fjerdans were quick and concise, neat and skilled, leaving no traces of their presence in your chambers.
The back of the carriage yanked open and let in the evening sun, blinding you in the process. You stopped counting the time after the 8th hour passed and your space was still pitch black. The shadows once were a comfort, now they were simply a tool to frighten you even more.
'Let's go, Witch.' A tall man spoke as he grabbed you by the arm, dragging you as if you didn't weigh anything. You complied, not seeing a reason to tire yourself by fighting back. It was pointless and futile.
You were in the middle of nowhere, a field of open green space with patches of snow. Fjerda. You'd never been anywhere near the border even, but the cold wind was whiplash-inducing just as Aleksander once described it.
'I thought I am to face trial.' You had barely spoken a word in fear in the carriage but the suspicion had rousted you to mutter the words.
'You? I'd rather kill you right here' joked the man and his companions laughed along as if what you said was the beginnings of a hilarious joke. 'You are the Demon's vulnerability, we hurt him for revenge' He pushed you to your knees roughly.
This love is gonna be the death of me
It's a danger
'So I am to die in a field?'
'Not before you tell us everything about the Darkling' then a kick to your stomach shut down your senses.
'We are crossing into Fjerda Moi Soverenyi' Ivan shouted over the galloping horses. Not even 2 minutes after the meeting, Fedyor noticed 3 Fjerdan delegates missing from their rooms in the Little Palace and raced to tell his General who was now fiercely riding his black stallion with a fury no one dared to comment on. He had Squallers feeling the air for you, Durasts tracking your jewelry, and Heartrenderers listening to heartbeats as they all made their way up to Fjerda, the enemy country.
As time passed, the fear rose and turned into a strange combination of denial and grief. Aleksander tried to desperately shoo it away, to rid the thought as it came. You were alive. You had to be.
He felt his crew getting restless and tired but he didn't dare slow his pace. His stallion seemed to understand the urgency of the situation and for lack of a better word, legged it as his master requested.
'General, we think we can feel something.' The Durast and Squaller riding right behind him suddenly burst out. 'About 5 miles northeast, I can direct us from there.' The man in the purple kefta bellowed and Aleksander's heart picked up the pace to a deadly rhythm. He was immortal, but he was sure this was going to be the death of him.
It took every ounce of courage and pride to not give in but you hurt all over. Your ribs were cracked, lungs quickly collapsing, your arms and legs unmoving. The only aspect of you that looked normal was your face
'I'll leave it, let him see you dead in a coffin with only your pretty face as a reminder of how disgusting he is, how disgusting all of you are.'
You had told them nothing, not a word, not even a cry of pain to satisfy them. If these were truly your last moments, you wouldn't go down as a traitor. Your eyes closed on their own accord a while ago, your ears stopped listening when you heard the first bone crack in your leg.
You didn't see Aleksander's shadows flood the field, cutting down everything in his path. You didn’t hear the Fjerdans scream out in pain and fear. There was blood everywhere, not just yours as he ran to you.
'HEALERS NOW' you didn't see him, you didn't hear him, but he saw you beaten and dying right in front of him. His hands traced the side of your face lovingly as a small tear escaped his eye. You felt it, his touch on yours and your lip pulled up in the faintest smile you could manage. He was here.
Ivan was next to you in an instant, attempting to quicken your heartbeat, fill your weak lungs with air and keep you alive but his shaking hands were rigid and stiff with fear at the possibility of losing his friend. The other Grisha watched with perplexed faces as they quickly approached, the Healers running for dear life to get to you in time. You were only a teacher in their eyes, not the General's love or the Heartrenderers comrade.
'Y/N you'll be okay, I promise.' Aleksander left a kiss against your forehead, keeping his lips there for as long as he could before the red keftas swarmed around you and fought to save your dwindling life.
And the dark was opening wide, do or die
You registered his touch, his kiss, before the itching took over and the pain slowly lifted. The darkness was back as a comfort and death seemed far away.
The Darkling only had one weakness, one vulnerability, and only one reoccurring nightmare; the death of Y/N Y/L/N and he made sure to let the world know if you ever came to harm, he would kill anyone and anything in his path.
Here’s my masterlist 🥰
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