Notes: I can't believe I actually did this. It started as a harmless post by @nessiansimp and here we are. I did not edit this much. I just wrote it non-stop for 3 hours because I couldn't not. Also, I know the title is basic. I don't care. I'm obsessed with Suits right now so that's what you're getting. Also, I know nothing about law school except for Legally Blonde, Suits, and Google searches. So I apologize in advance for all the stuff I portray incorrectly.
Summary: Nesta is stressed the day before her first day of classes in Law School. She calls up a familiar face to set herself at ease, not realizing just what trouble she's about to get into. A student/teacher fic. Everyone is an adult!
Warnings: NSFW, swearing
Nesta turned her phone on and off again, for the sixth time in a row. She needed to get her head straight.
She'd be starting school again tomorrow. Her first day of law school. Her first day of law school.
Fuck, she needed a drink. Or dick. Preferably both.
But there was no way he was awake at...she glanced at the clock. Way past midnight. No way in hell.
It won't hurt to try.
No it definitely wouldn't. The worst that could happen was he didn't pick up, and Nesta went to bed like she should have done 3 hours ago. But the nerves...
The nerves were going to end her if she didn't let herself loose a little.
Picking up her phone one more time, dialing the number from memory, she lifted it to her ear, listening to the ring and wondering if she'd hear something different.
The voice was deep and masculine and utterly perfect. At least, she'd found it to be, from the second she'd heard it.
"Can you come over?" Nesta didn't bother with trivial cover-ups. She needed to sleep and she had no plans of using alcohol to get it done. Not the day before classes started. Mindblowing sex would just have to do for the night.
Nesta couldn't see his face, but she knew the grin that'd be playing on his face at her request. He'd say yes. He always did. And within fifteen minutes, she heard the knock on her apartment door, telling her that she had been right to call him.
He hadn't let her down yet.
Cassian looked just as good at two in the morning as he did at any normal hour of the day. Shirt clinging to his muscled torso, a peek of black ink at his collar that she knew crept all over his chest, back and arms. And the telltale leather jacket that had made her want him in the first place. It was either that or the hair. Or the hazel eyes. Maybe it was just all of him. He was too beautiful for words on most days, and in her current sleep-deprived state, Cassian looked like a god.
A smirk played on his lips as he asked her, "Are you going to stare all day or can I at least come in first before you jump me?"
Nesta rolled her eyes but moved away from the doorway to let him in. He snuck in a quick glance at her own attire and she inwardly cringed at the fact that she was wearing only an oversized T-shirt and no pants. Not that it really mattered considering what they were about to go on to do. But, that stupid smirk on his face, the knowing look in his eyes, had her irritated.
Insufferable ass. That was why she'd kept it so casual with him. Gods knew they'd tear each other to pieces if it ever became more than just physical between them.
Cassian didn't go to her bedroom, instead stopping in her small kitchenette, drinking from her bottle in the fridge. It was almost domestic to see it happen, and Nesta almost laughed at it. Almost even smiled at him and the sight of him like this.
"Let's go, I have an early morning tomorrow," she called from the hallway, knowing he'd follow. He knew the layout of her small but functional apartment. She knew all about his too considering she preferred to go over to his place rather than he come to her.
She didn't like to show the cheap secondhand furniture she'd purchased with Emerie and Gwyn's help from a thrift store. Or the fraying carpet and cramped hallways. It was home for her. At least for now. But that didn't mean she didn't feel slightly embarrassed by it each time Cassian visited.
She likely never would have felt so strongly about it, had she not gone home with him one night instead of the other way around.
Condo didn't seem like a good enough word. Cassian was rich. In all the ways that Nesta's family had been a long time ago. Maybe he was richer. She really didn't know nor was she going to ask. All she knew was that his bedsheets felt like heaven and everything in that damned apartment was a guilty pleasure. From the type of coffee he had to the stupid multiple settings in his showerhead.
Cassian entering the room behind her dragged her away from her thoughts on who had more money and better showerheads.
He'd taken off the leather jacket somewhere and Nesta took in the plain black button up that outlined the cord of muscles all over him. She wanted to tear it off of him.
Cassian began unbuttoning his shirt walking towards her. Nesta backed up, caught in his thrall, in the snare of his glinting eyes. When he reached her, the back of her legs had already hit the mattress of her bed. His shirt had already been discarded. Nesta raised a hand to his chest, to trace the tattoos, to maybe follow the outline with her tongue afterwards.
But Cassian caught her by the wrist, stopping her advances. He went for her shirt instead. Pulling it up above her waist and then her head as she lifted her arms to help him.
He growled as he took her in then. She hadn't bothered with a bra. Just a lacy black underwear she'd forgotten she owned until after Cassian had told her he was coming.
"That's a nice surprise," he muttered, ducking his head down towards her. She wrapped her arms around his neck, expecting a kiss.
Instead Cassian bypassed her lips, going straight for her peaked nipples.
The first flick of his tongue had her reeling. The hot and wet sensation had her keening into him for more. Looping her fingers into his belt and pulling his closer as he kissed a path up her chest and nuzzled her neck. Pressed a kiss to a spot under her ear that made her whimper and wetness to pool between her legs.
Then she got a hold of herself.
"Get on with it," she warned, breathless and not quite in any shape to be making demands. Cassian seemed to think the same thing because when he kissed her, he nipped just a touch harder than usual on her bottom lip. Just this side of pain and pleasure and enough to cause Nesta to moan into his mouth. He swallowed that moan up with a long, languorous drag of his tongue against hers.
Quicker than she'd expected, Cassian had wrapped a hand across her waist and she'd locked her legs behind his back as he put them both down on her bed.
Gasping for air, she broke their kiss and Cassian used it to drag his mouth lower. Lower. Lower...
"Yes," she hissed, as Cassian pushed the lace fabric to the side and dragged his tongue down her sex. She could feel how wet she already was, how wet he was making her with his tongue. With how good he was tasting her.
Cassian broke away from her skin, lips glistening as he smiled at her, and with her head still fogged up from a near orgasm, Nesta returned it. Never mind that she didn't like to show any softness like that to anyone to, especially not in these moments. But he'd broken down her defenses with that infuriatingly talented mouth of his. Had almost brought her to lay herself bare to him in ways that sex never had before.
Cassian hooked his fingers into the sides of her underwear and made to pull down.
"Lift up for me baby."
She did and the cool air hit her already warmed and wet skin, making the sensation all the more delicious when he fastened his mouth back onto her clit, and began all over again.
Cassian didn't take off his pants even when she'd asked him to. He'd made her come once with his mouth. She'd stayed there on bed, catching her breath for just a minute before reaching for his belt.
Cassian had denied her, catching her by the ankle and pressing a soft kiss to the skin there before working his way back up. Running his lips over her calves, her knees, the insides of her thighs. And then he'd eaten her out again, much to her protest in the beginning. But she'd quickly forgotten that she'd asked him here to fuck her when he dipped his tongue inside of her, curling upwards while she cried out his name over and over. Until her climax had been wrung out of her in an almost dizzying finale.
Then and only then had he let her undo the buckle at his hips, a cool, wicked smile dancing on his face at her eagerness. She'd opened the zip and almost slipped her hand in to palm him right then and there, but Cassian had laughed at that and pulled away. Moving off the bed to discard his pants himself before joining her again.
Nesta's mouth had dried as she'd taken him in. Naked. Hard. His cock already dripping with moisture at the tip. She wanted him in her mouth. Wanted to taste him. Feel him along her tongue, along her lips until she could take him deep in her throat.
"What are you doing?," Cassian asked with a laugh, grabbing her wrists again and hauling her under him.
Nesta huffed. "What did it look like I was doing? I was going to suck your-"
Cassian silenced her with a kiss.
"That mouth will be the death of me," he muttered, kissing her again and she couldnt help but twine her fingers into his hair. And pull slightly.
"Maybe you should fuck it and make it better," she whispered, dragging her tongue along his jaw and down his neck. Biting at the delicate skin there. Cassian didn't even flinch at the teeth marks she'd left behind beside the tattoo along the column of his throat.
Cassian chuckled darkly at her antics. "Maybe I'll just fuck you instead."
"It would be about time," she shot back, not at all caring how he'd take it. How he'd make her beg for being so mouthy.
Cassian seemed to even consider it. She could practically hear the thoughts in his head. But in the end, Cassian instead settled on leaning back until he rested on his knees before her. Kneeling he grabbed her legs, hauling her closer as he pulled them up until their undersides rested on his chest. Her feet hooked over his shoulders as her hips became flush with his own. With the hard demanding press of his cock against her sex, Nesta couldn't help but writhe desperately, craving any friction she could get.
Cassian didn't enter her right away, choosing instead to take his two fingers and place them at her mouth. Nesta took them in, swirled her tongue over them as she bobbed her head like she was sucking him off instead.
"You look perfect like that," he breathed, when she let his fingers go with a pop. Nesta didn't respond to the compliment. Not when he dragged those fingers through her folds, smearing her wetness around her clit until a soft, glowing pleasure began to build.
He entered her slowly. Much too slowly for her to take it well. Stretching and filling, in and in and in he sank. Deeper in until there was no more room for him to go. It was always too much for her. In those initial moments that he entered her. Nesta swore she stopped breathing every time he filled her up. Swore he'd filled her to a breaking point, no matter how burning and good it felt. But he'd always done it so fast, the moment of breathlessness was there and gone. A moment barely captured in the sharp intake of air she took.
But today, he'd gone slow. Had given her time to adjust although, with his size, it didn't really matter how fast or slow he went. He'd always be a touch too large for her. Just this side of stretching pain, which she loved even if she never admitted it to him.
And when he fucked her, it wasn't their characteristic way of doing so. There was no savage pounding of him into her, so hard and rough she could only scream most of the time. There was no dragging of nails across skin that sometimes drew blood. Nor any bites or bruises that she often loved to look over when he was long gone.
She couldn't lie and say this slower, almost romantic way of fucking didn't have her heart pounding for a different reason.
Because it did.
Almost as if he were making love to her. Something they'd never bothered with before. She supposed something in her had told him she was upset. That she'd needed the reassurance of his body in more than just their casual fucking ways.
As he drove his hips upward into her over and over, rocking on his knees as he held her legs tight against him, Nesta couldn't help but let the tumble of cries and moans fall out of her mouth. Not when he went faster, hit that spot deep inside her that had her on the verge of screaming her throat raw. Not when she came in a glorious crest that made everything bad go away from her mind. In that stilted moment stuck between reality and forever, Nesta had felt peace. Had forgotten her worries and troubles and the whole reason behind why she'd called Cassian over in the first place. Instead, she let it go through her until she was boneless and spent, Cassian now no longer thrusting into her, but his hard cock still inside.
He'd made her come first. Had made sure she'd come at least three times tonight with not one care at all for himself. It shouldn't have bothered her so much. After all, they just fucked. It wasn't a serious relationship. Yet it bothered her enough that when she caught her breath, Nesta unhooked her legs from his shoulders and pushed him down to where she'd been.
Climbed over him and sank down without a moment's hesitation, causing Cassian to groan aloud at the sheer ecstasy she too was witnessing.
That second time, she made sure he became unchecked and wild. No matter that she rode him. Nesta had circled his wrists and placed his powerful hands at her hips.
"Fuck me as hard as you want," she told him, leaving his hands tightening at her hips. "I want to feel it when I move tomorrow," she added salaciously.
Cassian seemed to appreciate that. When he thrust up into her those final times, Nesta swore she saw stars dance across her vision with her head thrown back. When she came to, pleasure slowly leaving her body, Cassian was panting just as hard underneath her, softening inside her and leaking out.
It had been his climax, the moan he'd let out as he'd reached that precarious precipice, so close to falling off, that had made Nesta come. She'd known how close he was, and so she'd flexed her inner muscles once, twice, and the sound of his moaning her name had had her tightening involuntarily as her orgasm crashed through her. He'd followed not long after and she'd cried out his name along with an incoherent mess of sounds she'd deny he'd ever gotten out of her.
Cassian had let himself take a minute to recover, and then he was pulling her off of him, walking over to the bathroom joined to her room. She'd heard the run of water and soon he returned with a warm, wet washcloth to clean between her thighs. It was moments like this where she was glad of being with Cassian, even if it was just for sex. Her past whatever they should be called weren't very good in bed. And they weren't very good out of it either. Nesta had opted for condoms then, when she'd hated having to waddle over to the bathroom, some stranger man's release dripping out of her.
It wasn't until after she'd fully caught her breath, gotten up to pee because she'd be damned if she got a UTI tonight, and taken a long swig of her water bottle that Cassian had brought over, that Nesta settled down. Pulled the covers up to her breasts, not bothering to get dressed, and just breathed.
Cassian had pulled his boxer briefs back on, but that was all. His clothes still lay discarded haphazardly around her room, although that was the deal for most things in her room anyways, so she shouldn't be surprised. Cassian seemed to think the same thing as he looked up from typing something on his phone, surveying the room around him with a hint of distaste on his face.
Her hackles began rising. No she didn't like her place that much either when remembering the type of place Cassian lived in. But that didn't mean she'd take shit from him about it.
Before she could say anything though, Cassian turned his attention to her, "Who lives like this?"
"I beg your pardon," she spluttered, not expecting that as his first comment on the state of her home.
"I mean," he gestured around them, "why is it so messy? Have you never cleaned up your room?"
Nesta snorted. "What am I a child and you my mom? It's my place. I'll keep my room as tidy or not as I like."
Gods knew she'd earned it after the way she'd been living before.
"Very mature," Cassian remarked, shaking his head in disbelief as he went back to whatever was going on in his phone.
"I think so," she added, rather coldly if were being honest with herself.
Cassian was older than her. Not old enough for it to be creepy or gross, but old enough for Nesta to know he no longer ate ramen for dinner because he was behind on student loans. Old enough to keep things like bourbon and whiskey and other really old bottles of liquor he often poured for her when she went over. It was a stark contrast to the refreshments she could offer. Hard lemonade or coke was about it in terms of choices.
Cassian had flicked his eyes up at her from her sudden change in tone but had decided not to
comment, going back to whatever business he was attending to. Or texting to, whichever it was.
She had no idea what he did. Just that he was rich, gorgeous, drove a really fast, really expensive car, and that he could fuck her silly.
She'd seen the college diploma in a wall in his living room in passing. A few family photos with two other men that looked like him in the way people from the same country often did. He'd mentioned his foster brothers to her a few times. Nothing about foster care itself, and she hadn't felt it right to pry. Not when she wasn't sure what exactly they were.
They weren't supposed to be anything anyways if she really thought about it. She'd run into him in a club of all places. He'd been with his brothers, she'd found out months later, and hadn't wanted to be there. She'd been dragged along by Emerie and Gwyn for Gwyn's 21st birthday celebration. Nesta who was already 22 hadn't been as excited to go to a club when she'd been sneaking into them since she was 16. But Gwyn was her best friend so she had relented. Once Gwyn had come across some handsome tall stranger on the dance floor, Nesta had been left behind. Emerie finding her own dance partner in the form of a petite, curly haired woman named Maria hadn't helped Nesta's situation.
In her haste to go home, or at least take a breather from the stuff nightclub, Nesta had run into a very large, very solid mass of some sort.
It had been Cassian. With his infuriating smile, disarming charm, that leather jacket and those fucking tattoos. She'd chewed him out for not watching where he was going.
Then she'd let him fuck her in front seat of his car. Or, she'd fucked him. It didn't really matter to her anymore. It had been the best sex of her life and when he called her up a few days later, Nesta hadn't hesitated to let him come over to her apartment.
Gwyn had been horrified when she'd found out. Emerie had warned her about bringing home a serial killer. But it had already been done and Nesta had known deep down, she'd never be the same again. Her friends didn't really get it. Their entire situation, but Nesta didn't really care about that either.
Cassian was easy. Easy to he around. Easy to talk to. There were no expectations. No rules and no limitations either. He just...was.
And he let Nesta breathe in a way she hadn't thought she would in a long time.
So what if she didn't tell him that she'd gotten into law school after working her ass off in her last year of undergrad? After the hell her junior year had been for her, he was lucky she told him where she had even gone to college. After graduating, Nesta also hadn't told him where she worked. Nothing about the paralegal job, the name of the firm, or the application she'd put into law schools.
She couldn't risk whatever tenuous normalcy she'd finally reached if Cassian did indeed end up becoming a problem for her as Gwyn and Emerie were worried about. Definitely not after she'd worked so hard to get where she was.
In that spirit, Nesta didn't ask about his own life either. Not outside of anything he offered her, which also wasn't much.
She liked that too. No expectations. For all he knew, she was a part-time hooker. But he never asked.
Eventually, Nesta had ended up crawling over to where Cassian had sprawled out on her bed, and tucked herself against his chest as he'd continued typing away. No matter that the blanket had become a bunched mess underneath her or that they never did this. He'd stayed longer than he ever had before and Nesta didn't care if she admitted to herself that she hadn't cuddled with anyone in a long time. Certainly not with anyone worth the effort.
Cassian hadn't seemed miffed at all. Running a hand down her hair as she'd tucked closer, pressing a kiss to the crown of her head. Nesta had soon fallen asleep to the sound of his beating heart.
When she came to, Nesta awoke alone. It wasn't the first time. In fact, she'd never not woken up alone after Cassian visited. And yet, after last night, she'd felt some sort of change between them. Had sworn Cassian could too. Which was why his disappearance seemed to harp on her so strongly. Why his text that he'd talk to her later but that he'd had to run to work had left her feeling empty. And when she entered her first class of the day, after barely finding it, and only being on time because she'd come earlier, thoughts of Cassian still swirled around in her mind. More than she ever should have allowed herself to.
Nesta turned on her laptop, taking in the students filing in around her. It was a full class. She'd taken the elective on a whim, seeing the class was a seminar that discussed criminal cases, taught by a professor Emerie had said was an easy A if you showed up and talked a few times. Easy enough. Nesta had no plans of messing up her first class of her first day in her first step towards a better life and better future. She'd do the best. Be the best. It was what she'd lived on for most of her life anyways.
As more students filed in, Nesta wondered where the professor was. Emerie had mentioned he was old, sort of deaf, but a softie if you talked to him enough. Yet, everyone looked to be around the same age in the room. No sign of a professor anywhere.
The clock struck 8:00 AM, and as she typed in her password, she saw a figure get up from the front row and make their way to the board.
What idiot was already playing pranks on the still absent professor, on a first day no less, Nesta had no idea. She wanted no part in it though, she knew that much.
"Alright everyone, good morning. I'm sure some of you are wondering where Professor Jackson is. He's unfortunately going through some medical problems and I was asked to step in for him. Now, Professor Jackson taught me, in this very same classroom, in the very same way that he planned to teach all of you. And I'm going to, hopefully, be just as great and inspiring as he was." The man laughed and added, "Hopefully," earning him a round of chuckles scattered across the room.
But Nesta had frozen. Hadn't moved from the moment she'd heard his voice. Because she knew that voice, could pick it out from anywhere. It had been a voice that greeted her with teasing jests every time she glowered at him and his antics. A voice that whispered sweet nothings and the most filthy delicious promises to her when his body pressed her deep into the mattress.
As she stared transfixed in horror towards the front of the room, Cassian smiled brightly towards the class, scanning the room as he opened his mouth.
"My name is Cassian Virin and you can call me either Professor or just Cassian. Either is fine. I'm a practicing attorney at Solis and Vanserra. It's a firm in this city that I'm sure many of you have heard of." More chuckles arose because who hadn't heard of Solis and Vanserra.
"I'm going to be here just for this semester while I also work on some pro bono cases at my firm, and-"
Cassian stopped talking as he finally saw her. She was sure the same panic was evident on her own face that she mirrored in his own. Except Cassian mastered himself faster than she ever could in such a fucked up situation.
Not breaking eye contact with her, Cassian finished his sentence. "And I'll be your teacher this semester for this class. Welcome to Criminal Law.
I want to talk about how, through her white female supremacy, SJM entirely neglects every other aspect of morality...including aggression and rape targeting men. This that we read right here that all of you most likely ignored...is RAPE. He is telling her to stop and she continues regardless of the reason. If a woman was to do this(and I am a woman so you can’t go yelling male patriarchy and ignorance), all of us would go yelling about it. However, we didn’t, because SJM pints this as beautiful. She wants us to see that Cassian is a caring male who cares about his partner. However, in doing this, we(and it’s not your faults bc this is what she wanted) ignore the fact that this is...wrong. This is not a relationship that any young or elderly female or male reader should crave. SJM disregards aggression and rape against men in order to place white female supremacy on a pedestal and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of seeing young girls across the world have their perspectives changed because of the immoral messages SJM is spreading. This right here is RAPE. Let us call it out for what it is. I used every tag for the series because this is more than split sides...this is about something that’s actually messed up about an author and a book many of us look up to when we shouldn’t. This is about young readers, young boys and girls, and elderly ones too. This is about all of us and the kind of impression this type of writing leaves on our brains and the way we interact with others in society. This is about US. I’m not saying you have to hate nesta, cassian, or nessian, since this is actually on SJM and her writing, not the characters as it is clear she was trying to make it seem romantic when it’s utterly and completely repulsive and unacceptable.
Nessian prompt? Nesta braiding Cassian’s hair (or vice versa)
"I think I'm doing pretty good."
Nesta winced. "Yeah, Cass. You're...doing great."
Cassian's fingers stilled. "Too rough?"
Nesta laughed, quietly, as she looked at their reflections in the mirror. Cassian was sitting on the edge of their bed, his fingers in her hair, while Nesta sat cross-legged on the floor, a book in her hands.
He had been learning how to braid.
Nesta had been his practice-tool.
"Stop looking at the mirror," Cassian said, his wings wrapping around her, hiding her line of vision, for emphasis. "I want the end result to be a surprise."
"Then why did you make me sit in front of the mirror?" Nesta asked, unable to stop her laughter. "It brings temptation."
Cassian shrugged, continuing to braid her long, golden-brown hair. "I've always thought you were pretty good at controlling your temptations. We lived under the same roof for months before you finally caved and crawled into bed with me, after all."
Nesta looked over her shoulder and rolled her eyes.
Cassian laughed, quietly, and straightened her head. "Keep still, Nes."
She did as she was told, holding her book back up so that she could see the pages.
Braiding had been Cassian's latest hobby. Since finding out Nesta was with child, he was destined to learn everything he could about being a father. The week before, he had brushed up on every Illyrian lullaby and folktale he could find in the library's history section. The week before that, he had learned how to crochet from some elderly women in town.
The first blanket he'd brought home was rough.
The second one was slightly better...it was currently sitting in the nursery, draped over a chair, but Nesta hoped he'd give it a third try before the baby arrived.
This week, his mission was to perfect the art of braiding.
Cassian was halfway done with her braid as Nesta looked up to the mirror, but Cassian’s wings were soon blocking her view, yet again.
She snorted. “Seriously?”
“I told you not to look until I’m done. You get the wings.”
With quiet laughter, she said, “Fine.”
As Cassian was nearing the end of the braid, Nesta reached up and brushed the tips of her fingers along the edge of his wing.
Cassian jumped, swearing as he did so, which only made him pull on the end of Nesta’s hair, making her yelp.
“Ow!” she laughed.
“You can’t touch me there!” he scolded, tying a ribbon around the bottom of her braid.
“Why not?” she crooned.
“You know why,” he muttered. “It...tickles.”
“Illyrian baby,” she mumbled.
“I heard that,” he said, only to see Nesta’s shoulders shaking with laughter. “Alright, alright.” He moved his wings out of her view and she met her reflection in the mirror. “How’d I do?”
Nesta looked at the braid, twisted her head to the left, then to the right. She pretended to study it far longer than she typically would have, only because she knew it drove Cassian mad.
She leaned her head back and looked at Cassian. “My honest opinion?”
His eyes narrowed. “Yes.”
Nesta sighed, and looked back at her reflection. “I think it’s beautiful, Cass.”
Cassian reached forward and pulled Nesta’s back against the bed, between his legs. “Beautiful enough to cross braiding off my checklist?”
Nesta chuckled. “Depends, what’s next on your checklist?”
“Hmmm,” Cassian began, his head tossed back as he looked up at the ceiling. “Wood working, I think. Kid’s gonna need a crib.”
A light sparked in Nesta’s eyes as she looked back at their reflection, and Cassian wrapped his arms around her. She reached up and fiddled with the end of her braid. “Yeah. I suppose you can cross braiding off the checklist.”
His grin made her toes curl as he kissed her forehead, then stole the book off her lap before pulling her onto the bed on top of him.
I have this head canon, that when Nesta does something intimate and unexpectedly nice for Cassian, something that no one ever did for him--gets his favourite soap, because she noticed that he is running low, or washes his shirts, or brings him a beer, or just buys him a pastry from the bakery--he gets very emotional, and sometimes, teary-eyed. But he is a General and a warrior, so he can’t just go breaking down in front of her. Therefore, even though he is in tears, he has to save face, so he starts blaming it on ‘pollen’. He rubs his eyes dramatically, sniffles and declares ‘pollen!’.
At first, she believes him, but then, it’s January, and they are in HoW. So she knows that there is no pollen, and he is just being grateful and emotional, but she doesn’t comment. And then it happens again, and that time, she just asks in her Nesta nonchalant way “pollen?” And he knows that the jig is up, but she is kind and gracious about it and doesn’t embarrass him. From then on, it becomes a thing with them, and any time either one cries from happiness they just shrug it off and say ‘pollen’.
So, I find it kind of weird how Briallyn knows so much about Nesta’s life. Like she decides to ensnare Cassian because she knows that Nesta would do anything to save her mate, even give up the Dread Trove. Except, the thing is, Nesta and Cassian didn’t even acknowledge they were mates until like a week before. Yeah they knew, but no one was saying anything out loud. How does she know? She knew so much about Emerie being Nesta’s close friend after...one interaction with Bellius? How does she know that Gwyn is a “half-breed” as she calls her?
The original ending made me cry I'm not ashamed to admit. It was always on my mind to write an alternative ending so here it is.
Original story is Chapter 1 on AO3 and alternative is Chapter 2.
Somewhere in Illyria
They knelt by the absolute black rectangular column which rose twenty feet high with three small black cubes placed in front of the monolith. The black cubes were, like the monolith, cut with precision and smooth across all surfaces, absorbing the light rather than reflecting it. The bottom surface of the cubes could fit into the palm of a large Illyrian but the weight was heavy enough that anything less than a tornado would not be able to move it from where it lay. All four objects were enchanted to push back the ravages of time, leaving them as an unending reminder to what they represented.
They were reminders of those gone.
The monolith was Lady Death herself, the daughter of Time. Illyrians bowed before Death. Always.
The cubes were three people taken by Her, loved by the two who bowed before them now.
The huge Illyrian male was speaking in muted tones, telling the cubes of the stories and events of the past year. The female was an arms length away, unable to speak. Just staring at the final cube in the line. Her body had been unbearably tense for the last thirty minutes, and it finally capitulated to the tidal wave of emotion that swept through it. A wracking sob ripped through her, she buried her face in olive hands and let the tears fall.
Within a moment the male had moved behind her, enfolding her in his warm embrace. “It’s alright. Let the tears fall. Let it all out”, he whispered in her ear. So she did and let the memories come forth.
At five years old, sprinting down the corridor to hide in the linen room under the lowest shelf. Hiding from the inevitable wrath of her mother when she found out her latest prank, whether it was ‘redecorating’ the kitchen with a bag of flour, stealing her favourite lipstick or whatever naughtiness took her fancy. Waiting under the shelf for the door to open and watching for booted or slippered feet to come in. Feeling safe as she was pulled out, lifted up with one arm under her and the other holding her head safe against her mother’s neck. Her own arms wrapped around her tightly.
At eight years old, reading endlessly in the library, discussing and learning about the world and its best stories curled up on a comfortable sofa with her mother. Every question was answered patiently and with love.
At twelve years old, days and hours walking ‘La Passagiera’ in Adriata, holding her mother’s hand. Almost everyone was greeting or smiling at her beautiful parent, it was obvious she was well loved by all. Enjoying the cafes and cakes by the harbour, life was magnificent.
At fourteen years old, studying and training hard in Adriata, Velaris and Windhaven. Her mother being a tough, but fair instructor. She loved and hated her for that, but always understood the why of doing these activities.
At sixteen years old, introducing her first boyfriend. Being impressed that he didn’t piss his pants when examined and assessed by her mother’s steely gaze and icy, precise questions.
At nineteen years old, feeling her mother’s eyes boring into her back when she left home to start training with the mendicant wing of the Court of The Wind*. Always knowing that her mother would never stop loving her.
At twenty one years old, coming home because her mother was seriously ill from a mysterious, magical plague that had killed hundreds in its wake. No one knew where it came from or how it disappeared, but her mother was one of its victims. Brave to the end, she fought it to the last, but slipped away peacefully surrounded by her family. Her mother's last words to her family, “I love you.”
Her mother. Nesta Archeron.
She did not know how long she wept, but understood that she must have stopped as her father whispered in ear, “Alexeya? It will be dark soon and we need to get back before the snow starts falling.” Nodding agreement she rose and addressed the cubes, “Goodbye Grandpa Archeron, Grandma Skye** and Mother. See you again next year.” This was their third annual visit, the pain was undiminished by the short passage of time.
They took flight from the hidden valley near the hot springs. The micro climate allowed longer visits there than Illyrian winters normally permitted, but by the time they arrived back at the cabin near Windhaven they were both chilled to the bone.
Quickly, her father, the great warrior Cassian lit a fire and they huddled round it to get warmth back into their bodies. A clever system of piping ensured the rest of the house was heated at the same time.
His golden gaze turned to her emerald green eyes, “What are you doing tomorrow?” he rumbled, a half smile on his face. Alexeya spoke quietly, “Back to Adriata, spend some time with Hatterius, before hitting the road with the other mendicants. How about you?”
Cassian turned to look at the fire, “Tonight, update the journal. Tomorrow, start renovating the north wing of the cabin. After that, maybe Velaris to see the others.” He shrugged. She knew that he was just trying to keep busy, stop thinking about the loss of his beloved wife even if just for a little while. The cabin wasn’t really a cabin anymore. It was a decent sized house able to house twenty guests easily and was split into four wings mirroring the points on a compass. Alexeya had no idea when he would stop adding sections, if ever.
The journal was where her father wrote down everything that had happened on that day. He updated it for every day he lived, sometimes a few days after if he was busy with other matters. But for every day that he lived he wrote in it, always starting with ‘Dear Nesta’ and ending with ‘Your mate, Cassian’. Alexeya read it sometimes, but the emotions grew too dark if she spent too long perusing its contents.
“I’ll make dinner while you write in the journal,” she offered, “I’ll shout up when it’s ready.”
He nodded and made to leave the room, but halted at the doorway of the main room. “How long will you be in Adriata for? I thought I might come visit and we could go to the harbour cafes that your mother loved so much.”
Alexeya grimaced, “I was hoping to spend a couple of days relaxing with Hatterius, but that should be fine.”
A sound emerged that she heard all too rarely these days. He laughed heartily, “You’re just like your mother and I,” and then walked off. She sprang to her feet and yelled to his retreating form in the hallway “And what do you mean by that?”
“Sex mad,” came the chuckled reply.
Alexeya stood stock still for a second, then sprinted for the front door out into the freezing night. The snow sizzled as it collided with her super heated cheeks that were flaming in embarrassment.
Velaris, Fifty Years Later (Alt ending)
Cassian struggled to be at the House of Wind, the memories still incredibly sharp as the passage of time had failed to dull the pain of Nesta’s passing. Alexeya, her husband and Gundarsson were due in two days time and he wanted to make sure everything was fine. The House itself and him had developed an effective way to remind themselves of happier times, normally initiated by the House dropping its favourite books it shared with Nesta on his lap. Cassian took the time to read them out loud, chuck;ing and flickering lights uniting them in their memories of her.
Cassian, are you there? It was Rhys.
‘Yes, I’m here….at the House.’
Helion and Thesan have arrived at the River House. They want, no need, actually have insisted on speaking with you. Can you come down? Or do you want me to winnow them up?
‘I’ll come down. I just finished reading and my family isn’t due for a couple of days.’
We will expect you soon, brother.
Shortly after Cassian landed on the lawn and proceeded inside the House.
“Greetings Nyx, how are you?” A smile as his nephew met him at the door. “Fine Uncle, always nice to see you. And before you ask,” a slight tension in his voice, “the High Lords have not seen fit to tell me what’s on their mind.” Cassian looked at his nephew, he was around the same height as his father but a more slender build, but possessing of a wiry toughness inherited from his mother. Cassian encouraged Nyx into a better mood with a low laugh and ruffling of his hair, “One day you will be glad for ignorance, sometimes it’s just better not knowing.” With companionable banter they wound their way to Rhys’ study where Nyx bowed to the three High Lords and left the room.
The High Lords were seated but rose to greet Cassian, who inclined his head in a nominal display of deference to their positions. Helion’s eyes could only be described as glittering while Thesan’s were more guarded, Rhys’ just seemed a mixture of perplexment and astonishment. Something was up, something was very up thought Cassian while scanning the room for his High Lady who was noticeably absent.
Rhys opened up, “Feyre isn’t here,” without even needing to read his brother’s thoughts, “we felt it was better to talk to you first.” Cassian sat down after the High Lords had returned to their seats and waited for them to continue. Helion started, “An event has happened, which cannot be explained….yet. But it involves you. And here I need you to trust us in that too many details here and now wouldn't be helpful. I’m asking a lot from you old friend, but this is something that is almost unprecedented as far as I know.”
“And you’ve been around for a long time,” chuckled Cassian before turning serious, “and you’ve always played me fair. But why High Lord Thesan?” The Dawn Lord’s demeanour remained calm as he sat forward, “It’s because it defies what I know of the fae body. Helion asked for my help and right now I don’t have any explanations. It’s frustrating, but this subject needs to be treated with respect and more than a little caution.” The Illyrian turned to Rhys.
“I know nothing except what they have repeated to you. They have come to me purely because I am High Lord here.” He shook his head, “I think ignorance may be bliss, for however long I am left bereft of the facts. Which, if my suspicions are correct, won’t last too long.” Cassian stared at him, weighing his words and the inferences of the other two. “Are you asking me to trust you implicitly with something very serious and you’ll give me no details?” Two nods came back at him. “Assuming I agree to what you’re asking me, which is nothing so far besides just to trust you, what happens next?”
Thesan looked at Helion with a hard expression, which the Day Court’s Lord took as the prod to continue. “What happens next is we go to the Dawn Court where before we leave you will swear to secrecy of what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch until I release you of your oath. It’s really that big my friend.” Rhys frowned at this, but nodded assent when Cassian looked at him questioningly. “Very well,” rumbled Cassian, “I give my oath not to reveal what my senses tell me at High Lord Thesan’s palace until you release me of this oath. When do we leave?”
The High Lords stood, Helion offering his hand, “Now Cassian. Now”. The Illyrian grasped his hand and the three of them winnowed away.
Thesan’s palace was as magnificent as Cassian remembered it, but after arriving they walked lower and deeper than he had ever been. Past the hospital rooms and magical laboratories, below the dungeons and into a large room which glowed white. Not too painful on the eyes, but certainly it took a readjustment to focus properly. After he had done so he found Helion smiling at him, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “Remember the oath, my friend. Remember. And I pray the Mother gives you the serenity and clarity needed.”
Cassian smiled back, still wondering what in the name of the Cauldron this was all about. Thesan moved his hand and whispered words, a glamour in the middle of the room faded and a large bed was revealed with a fae lying on it. The High Lords gestured for Cassian to approach, which he did slowly and with no small amount of trepidation. It was a female, dressed in a sky blue dress, breathing evenly. Then he stopped dead in his tracks, the resemblance to Nesta was uncanny. There were some very small differences, tiny to be honest, which unless you knew his dead mate, even a fae would struggle to identify.
“It is strange is it not?” He hadn’t heard Helion approach, Thesan moved to his other side a few seconds later. “The resemblance, it’s like looking at a mirror. A very very slightly warped mirror, but nonetheless.” Cassian released a breath that he hadn’t realised he was holding. “What is this?” His body was trembling as he spoke in a strained voice, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the sleeping beauty.
Thesan sighed, “A relic of the Koschei War. It appeared that disparate elements in Vallahan hatched a plan to create a duplicate of Nesta Archeron. This female would infiltrate the Valkyries, after assassinating your mate,” a snort of derision from Cassian, “and then kill you.” At this he turned to Thesan, golden eyes burning, “Are you serious?” The Dawn Lord grimaced, “If you remember, everything was very serious in that war. They were losing and needed to do something that could tilt the odds. This was one of their secret weapons. But it appears from…..my sources….that the time taken to create, magically accelerate the growth of the body and train in the ways of Valkyries was too long. The war ended before the plan could be executed. This female was scheduled to be killed but her training was too effective and she escaped to live a quiet life further away where she was unlikely to be recognised.” Thesan put his hand on Cassian’s shoulder, “For all intensive purposes, you are looking at a perfect copy of the body of your mate.”
“What happened? Why is she here beneath your palace sleeping?” Cassian was on edge and his voice came out as a growl.
“She died,” replied Helion simply, “of what we don’t know for sure, but it happened around six months ago. And this is where Thesan became so important. Her body did not decay. The people of her village hailed it as a miracle, so she had lived a valiant life defending them from raiders and all manner of good deeds. She had not taken a male in her life, just seemed content to give as much as she could. They kept the body safe and gave it water and soup after it started growing thinner. Eventually they sent word to the capital of Vallahan where the ruling Lord came to investigate. He recognised Nesta’s visage and listened to the story before contacting Thesan to understand why the body may not have died.”
Cassian buried his hands in his face and shook his head. This was a lot to take in and he still had no idea where it was going or why they were making him see a sleeping copy of his wife. After a deep shuddering breath he steeled himself and spoke to Thesan, “Please carry on.” Thesan made a sympathetic noise and continued, “There is nothing wrong with the body, it is perfectly healthy and around two hundred years old if I am right. The brain is functioning, but just dreaming. That is when I called in Helion.” He looked across Cassian’s chest to his counterpart from the Day Court.
“I was intrigued when Thesan advised me of this...happening. That was one month ago.” He faltered slightly at the glare Cassian levelled in his direction but carried on without flinching. “I used my magic to determine if there was a soul residing in the body. There is a soul in the body, one which is struggling to adapt and adjust to a new existence. A soul which I had met before. It’s Nesta’s soul.”
Cassian’s mouth went dry, but he managed to rasp out, “Are you telling me that my mate’s soul has been reborn in an almost perfect copy of her body?” Helion didn’t dare shrug, but he nodded, “That is exactly what I think. We suspect that you are the key to finally bring her back here with us. But, only if that is what you wish. We don’t know if she will hold the memories or love that you had before when you were together. So, this is why I asked you to take an oath.”
The Illyrian stilled and let the scent of the female fill his nostrils, it was identical. Whoever had magicked this new body had done it perfectly. Aside from the almost unnoticeable distinguishing marks, this body was the same, and if Helion was right the soul was now Nesta’s. “I am willing to take the risk. I have been without her for too long, Alexeya as well and, by the Cauldron, she’s never met her grandchild. Surely the Mother is not so cruel as to let her return and rip her away from me again? Surely I would have a chance to fall in love with her all over again?” His voice had taken a desperately pleading tone as tears threatened to fall.
Helion and Thesan looked at each other, “We don’t think that the Mother would be so cruel as to allow this to strip it from you. We truly don’t.” Cassian tried to think rationally, but only the emotions came bubbling up. “Tell me what you think I need to do.”
The High Lord of the Day Court spoke carefully, “This is why it has taken me a month to research this and give it my full attention. You will need to seek the bond again, use the siphons to power it because they are keyed to your every essence. I will help you seek and direct the power to the female’s soul, to rekindle the connection. We can but try, my friend.” Cassian nodded and managed to squeeze out, “Let’s do it now. I can’t wait.”
“Summon your power and feel inside for where the bond was. Use your siphons to breathe air on any embers you can find. Once you have found it, and find it you must for this to work, flash your siphons and I will guide the end of the bond into this body, towards its soul.” Cassian closed his eyes and focused inwards, flared his Killing Power in its rawest, purest form and poured the most powerful memories of Nesta he could summon. Their fights, their conversations, their training, their love, all of it, everything inwards to find a bond’s light that had disappeared many years ago. Tumbling and falling into the darkness that had clouded his soul since her death. A drop into sheer darkness off a high cliff, using spiritual wings to fly the currents of his soul.
Down, down, deeper and deeper. So far, that he wondered if he would ever find the bottom, or maybe even find his own way back. Cassian had no idea of the passage of time in the physical world, just his own deep dive within himself. Then he saw a change, the rippling of waves in a vast sea bathed in the red lights of his siphons. This is the end of my soul. Either I turn back and give up, return to Alexeya and Gundarsson, or it ends for me here and now. He sucked in a huge breath, tucked in his wings and hit the water like a spear.
Powerful arms and legs pushed in deeper, the water glowing an eerie red. Things in the water whipped and flashed around him, but always at the edge of his vision, never being able to see them properly. Cassian’s lungs were bursting now and the end was almost upon him. He exhaled, started to take in water and felt his body panic automatically. His consciousness was slipping away. It ends here. Now. Those were his final thoughts as blackness claimed him.
Cassian’s lungs heaved violently expelling water, his spirit was being lifted at a dizzying speed higher and higher. His back was being supported but his arm, legs and head were limp hanging downwards. Opening his eyes he could see gold, he twisted his head and saw his body was being borne aloft but a golden disc with a thread extending down to the water. The bond had caught him and was pushing him back up to the physical world. He lay there utterly exhausted, still no idea of the passage of time. Voices came to him, “He’s gone hasn’t he? We’ve lost him and need to explain this to Rhysand.”
“Patience my boy, not all is as it seems. Patience. Ah! There he is, I feel the power returning. And the bond. Now let me concentrate.”
Cassian’s consciousness felt the power of Helion hovering just above as he was slammed back in place into his physical consciousness. His mind also felt the bond being gently guided to the female’s body and he stayed with it. Close and closer until the bond rippled through her chest and sought the soul it needed to link to.
The soul had settled in the body, that seemed clear, but a tiny tendril of golden light was forlornly moving around. Sadly seeking something, its efforts tiny and weak almost like it had given up. His bond felt it, moved to it with purpose and the presence of Helion’s magic receded swiftly. The female’s bond swelled as it sensed his approach glowing more brightly now. His bond slowed its approach and with a tenderness that was featherlike touched the lonely tendril.
He was flung back into his body wholly as the bond snapped into place and a welter of emotions from both them crossed this shining bridge of light. Cassian rushed to her side, knelt by the bed and held both her hands with his, silently praying to the Mother for Nesta’s return. His eyes didn’t move from her face as he poured all his love and longing down the bond.
The female’s eyes fluttered, then opened fully. As she turned her head her stormy blue eyes met his intense golden gaze. Nothing else in the room mattered now, Helion and Thesan were forgotten. “Cassian….is that really you….or am I dreaming again?” came the soft whisper. The tears fell uncontrollably from him as he whispered back, “It’s me Sweetheart. You’re back with me now. I promise it’s not a dream. I promise on my life.”
Nesta Archeron sat up slowly, pulling her hands from his. She slid from bed on her knees and cupped his face wonderingly. “It is you. I’m not wandering in the dark anymore. Seeing flashes of your life, of our daughter’s. I’m really here with you now.” Both of them had tears streaming down their faces as they embraced, simply lost in the pleasure of touching each other. Cassian drew them to their feet, Nesta grumbled only a little, and turned to face Helion and Thesan, “Thank you for this. I cannot thank you enough, repay you enough…” He stopped as Day’s High Lord held up his hand. “You owe us nothing, it was just friends helping each other. Because that’s what friends do. I release you from your oath. Go in peace and love Nesta and Cassian.” The two High Lords turned and left the room giving them privacy.
“There is so much to tell you, I don’t know where to start,” smiled Cassian to his mate.
She smirked, “You don’t need to. The black cubes did their job wonderfully well. Now I need to meet Alexeya, my grandchild and our daughter’s husband. But after…..” Cassian looked a bit perplexed, but understood soon enough after Nesta tugged him down onto the bed.
Assuming that my theory is right, look at what I created:
Everyone discovered that Nesta and Cassian are the reincarnations of The Mother and Enalius, lovers from the past.
Beside Nesta, Cassian stares at his brother and all the assembled High Lords, utterly disbelieving what his ears are hearing.
"So you mean that my mate and I are reincarnations of two mighty gods, who apparently were lovers who betrayed the only High King in history?"
Trying his best to keep the facts straight, Rhys calmly replies "Does it sound impossible?"
Cassian slams both hands on the table "This is complete absurd!" Running trembling hand through his hair he says "I'm a bastard, if the Ilyrians heard you implying that I'm Enalius' reincarnation we would both be hunted to death!"
Rhys kept his gaze on his brother, but before he could respond, Helion intervened. "For many centuries you have been remembered as an great warrior, not just among your people."
Glad by the words of his ally Rhys continued in a softer tone "And it wasn't us who spread rumors that you could surpass Enalius. You earned your name with your own strength brother..."
Still flustered, Cassian sat down and Nesta, still silently, held his trembling hand. He took a deep breath and said "When I was young and arrogant, I trained hard enough to overcome an impossible target. This was supposed to be the symbol of my determination, not a nonsense like that..."
In a soft voice Nesta replied "Even unconsciously we tend to pursue what we are entitled to."
Still skeptical Cassian looked his mate in the eye and asked "Do you really believe that?" Feyre replied instead "That's very logical Cass, it explains how Nesta was able to control such extraordinary powers."
Cassian leaned his head back against the chair. "Well, don't get me wrong, if I found my mate, and she wanted me. I wouldn't mind to kill any bastard who threatened to take her from me, whether she was married or not..."
Mor's disbelieving laugh could be heard in the background.
"But to betray my King and stab my best friend in the back..." Now looking at Rhys he asked "Do you think I would do something like that?"
Not hiding the amusement from his eyes Rhys replied "It doesn't seem so unrealistic..."
Cassian's eyes widened, as thoughtful laughter echoed through the room. "I've been loyal to you my whole life, do you think I would do that to you?!" Rhys replied dryly "If we weren't mates..."
Pointing a finger at Feyre who was squirming to hide her smile Cassian said "She's like a sister to me!"
Coolly but sharing the amusement Azriel replied "It's nothing you haven't done before..."
Cassian was still indignant. But Rhys interrupted him "What do you think Nesta?"
All eyes turned to her, as if she was reflecting her answer she said,"When it comes to you, my mate, I would have no restraint from betraying any male whether he was my husband or king."
Nesta said simplistic eliciting a loud laugh from Helion. Amused by the situation but a little shocked Cassian said "So you are saying that you seduced me into betraying my kingdom and my best friend?"
Amren added "That sounds very realistic..."
This is just my imagination, it would be a much more dramatic revelation, but it's fun!!!
“I’m thinking,” he said, following the flick of my tongue over my bottom lip, “that I look at you and feel like I’m dying. Like I can’t breathe. I’m thinking that I want you so badly I can’t concentrate half the time I’m around you, and this room is too small for me to properly bed you. Especially with the wings.”
Here is how this works: It is a chain of people being brutally honest about the characters. You just reblog and add something to it, until we have a lovely collection that calls out all of the characters in a brutally honest way.
Mor, the girl who dragged a guy on for centuries, just because she was unwilling to come out of the closet and needed a cover story.