3 Brothers x 3 Sisters - Spicy😏
(By the amazing @jessdraw.s on Instagram)
Dancing in the House of Wind ♥️ Nessian
Art by_ink.eyes, commissioned by me and leilateq.
Please do not repost without permission.
“Cassian smiled at her, and the world faded away. The music was no longer the most beautiful thing in existence. He was. Nesta couldn’t stop it then. The answering smile that bloomed through her at last, stealing across her face, bright as the dawn.”
@gokushairgel on Instagram
Can we just accept that the Archeron sisters are simply... different?
Different personalities with different mindsets that will react to certain situations differently. None of them are perfect but none are complete villains either.
Their journeys and stories resonate with different readers. You don't have to love all three of them but you also don't have to bring one or two down to lift up the other.
At the end of the series, all of them will end up where they are supposed to be and will reach to a point where they are at their best and happiest versions of themselves.
You can critique and call out their actions but you don't have to shred each other over it or paint each character in a worse version than they actually are.
people who dismiss elain’s trauma in regards to being made against her will and instead sympathize only with nesta’s trauma because nesta’s is more “loud” and elain seems more well adjusted and quiet can just block me and never speak to me again because that is vile
“Nesta around Gwyn was a wholly different creature than who she was with the court. They didn’t tease or laugh with each other, but an easiness lay between them that he’d never witnessed, even when Nesta was with Elain. She’d always been Elain’s guardian, or Feyre’s sister, or Cauldron-Made.
With Gwyn … he wondered whether Nesta liked the girl because with her, she was simply Nesta. Perhaps she felt that way around Emerie, too.” -ACOSF Chapter 27
Whenever someone asks me why I love the Valkyries I’m just going to show them this quote.
In the Night Court with the IC and even in their old house with the Feyre and Elain, Nesta still had to hold up a certain image because she was so used to that after being around these people after so many years or just because of the things these individuals heard about her.
With Emerie and Gwyn, there’s none of that. Neither of them had any sort of negative reaction to the animosity Nesta displayed.
““He does, but I am …” Fine. If the female could be blunt, so could she. “I’m cut off.”
Curiosity flooded the female’s eyes. “Why?”
Nesta stiffened. “I don’t know you well enough to tell you that.”
The female shrugged.” -ACOSF Chapter 9
“I doubt you’ll enjoy the way I speak to most people,” Nesta said.
Gwyn snorted. “Try me.”
Nesta looked at her from under lowered brows again. “Get out of my sight.”
Gwyn grinned, a broad, bright thing that showed most of her teeth and made her eyes sparkle in a way Nesta knew her own never had. “Oh, you’re good.” Gwyn turned back to the stacks. “Really good.” -ACOSF Chapter 9
Both of these women just understand Nesta and from the very first moment looked past her front. There was no history between them before they met, no Feyre or Elain to talk about their messed up family dynamics, no high tension first meeting, there was nothing but a clean slate for the eldest sister and that’s what she so desperately needed in my opinion. If there’s one thing I adore about Nesta’s journey it’s that she was able to find two friends, two sisters who see, acknowledge, but also look past her faults and love her.
I just absolutely adore these girls and I’m so excited to see their dynamic more in the upcoming books.
Elain literally went from "Don't you touch my sister!" to
Refusing to visit Nesta at her apartment or at her favorite tavern (even though Nesta said that's what she wanted)
Questioning whether Nesta was even still part of their family
Packing Nesta's belongings knowing full-well the IC were going to lock her sister in the House of Wind
Visiting Nesta in the House without her permission
Slut-shaming her sister
Having the audacity to claim she handled her trauma in a better fashion, and
Only giving Nesta two weeks to get better before claiming she wasn't trying (even though Elain didn't try for months while Nesta took care of her).
So...what caused the change? I fully believe that Elain started working with Koschei and Briallyn after ACOWAR in an effort to gain her humanity back. Since Briallyn hated Nesta for stealing the Cauldron's powers, she probably brainwashed Elain into being a Nesta anti.
If I'm right, then Nesta finding the Dread Trove saved all of Prythian because Elain would have just given the trove to Koschei.
Eris with 12 dogs 🤝 Nesta with 15 cats
Soft nezriel doing aftercare after sex 😩
I didn't do necessarily aftercare... it ended up being slightly off when I was writing comfort. But whatever. Do not care.
He hears what they say about her.
He’s the spymaster of course, he does. She’s vile to her sisters, to Cassian, to their peace and then some. She sticks her nose up in the air as if she’s better than they are. She’s cruel and vindictive. Spiteful with that rapturing roar. Teeth so sharp she'll bite.
Azriel finds that the cruelest thing out of Nesta's mouth is the way she whines and pleas. Her face flushes so sweetly, and after she gasps his name, she curls into his side.
No part of her is malicious, but that cheeky grin is wicked. Something comical always crosses her thoughts and Nesta makes a joke that has him rolling his eyes and nipping at her lips.
“No more of that,” she waves off at the swipe of his tongue. “We can’t possibly do that again.”
Azriel is prone to disagree, but he kisses at her forehead instead. He half wishes to start mumbling praise, but he knows that will only elicit a scrunch of a nose. Nesta’s all too bashful when she’s not heady with lust, and so he only moves for a towel to clean them both off.
Nesta stretches an arm towards him as he shifts out of bed and Azriel smiles down at the movement, lifting her hand up to his mouth. Her skin is soft against his lips, and he should have already memorized the feel of it. It shouldn't shock him so, but it does. The fact that he can touch her like this is shock to him every night. That she reaches for him, as if to say come back to bed.
Nesta frowns lightly at his burning gaze.
"It'll be morning soon," she says and in her voice there's an air of finality.
That's more cruel than anything else. The look on Nesta's face is resigned and he doesn't need mind reading abilities to know what she's thinking.
But why should they not seek comfort in each other's embrace? If two lonely people find each other, why would they not hold on tightly, desperately? It's the natural order of things. Don't the wicked need love to?
So Azriel reaches for Nesta, for her cheek that's much holier than him, and he holds her head in his palms like he's holding the world in his hands. Somehow, it's become more precious to be here. It's easier to breathe when she's near. Easier to be who he is. To smile. To laugh.
What an odd situation, he's found himself in. That he's always wanted someone that lights up a room, and the person who offers him the most comfort is a female who's found herself in the shadows. Who's perhaps lived there for as long as he has... always so alone.
Azriel's grateful for it, and perhaps that makes him vile. He's angry for her, and maybe that makes him say cruel things. But why do they have be lonely? Why do they have to keep punishing themselves?
"I love you," he says and he can't hold it in any longer.
Azriel doesn't care anymore. If everything about the two of them is to be wrong, if both of them are unforgivable, then... why are they trying so hard to be good?
But he feels good when he's with her. So damn happy, he doesn't ever want to leave.
Nesta's eyes widen at the words, and her lips part but she doesn't say a thing. That's okay, he thinks. He's already given her his whole heart, his time. Like a fool. There's nothing left of him to give her but his words. "I'll stay, if you let me."
"And if I don't?" Nesta meets his gaze head on, and it's equal part callous as it is unsure.
Azriel slips back under the covers, pulling her close to him. Just for a minute. A moment to remind her that it's him. That she can show him every part of herself that she doesn't like, say every word that's not easy to swallow. He can take it. He'll hold all of her.
"Then I'll hold you like this until the sun comes up." Like he usually does, as he contemplates every reason why he belongs in her arms. "I'll kiss every inch of your skin one more time." Enough to leave phantom ghosts on her skin. Better than bruises left from his bites. The bumps on her skin raise as if she can remember him completely. "I'll stay until you sleep, and then I'll leave like I was never here at all."
"And if I do?" Nesta's voice is soft. Trembling and tender. Her nose grazes against his and he pecks at her lips. It's a version of an I love you, he's learned long before he's ever said the words aloud.
I love you. I love you. I love you all along her skin.
"Then I'll cook you breakfast when we wake up." Azriel isn't being careful when he says the word we. He's being reckless and stupid, but he wants her to know... He wants them together. He wants to hold her without a deadline, without fear of it ending.
Nesta only scoffs, "you burn everything you touch."
"Then we'll order in." Or out, he thinks. But he's not so sure what that means for both of them, for the situation that hasn't righted itself quite yet.
But Azriel's always been the reckless one. "I can take you out of the city, and we can go somewhere else." Somewhere far.
So Nesta can see everything she's ever wanted. He'll give her everything she asks. She'll never have to wonder.
"You wanted to see the world," he offers quietly. "We could go. Leave today," he shrugs. "Return when we're ready."
Nesta sighs, as she pulls him closer, tucking her head on his bare chest. "You dream very big dreams." Nesta yawns lightly, closing her eyes. "No wonder you belong in this place."
I belong with you, he wants to say, but it seems... wrong, somehow. Untrue at least, since he doesn't in fact belong with Nesta. Someone else belongs with her. To her. "Is that so bad? To dream."
Azriel can feel her soft shrug.
"Not as long as you remember to wake up and... face the world for how it truly is."
That might have been an answer in itself, so Azriel squeezes at her palm and kisses at her forehead, resigned.
With her head on his chest and his hands combing through her hair, he'll wait till she sleeps. Then he'll slip out the door. Like she wants.
But Nesta hums softly, shifting in his arms and snuggling close. "I have some jam and bread in the cupboard. We'll have to settle for toast."
Azriel can't stop the giddy swell of his heart.
I love you, he offers with one last kiss.
Guys this shit has been way too one dimensional lately. What is UP in this fandom. It’s always been a mess but come on. Literally everyone is out here claiming misogyny over people having a preference in female characters ….
You are going to prefer the woman you relate to and/or aspire to be like the most.
I’m fucking done with the narrative that to like a series you have to like every character and are somehow less a fan if you dislike certain characters or call out certain characters.
Characters, like people, are different. And readers, again, like people, have different preferences.
I don’t care who or what you like, don’t let anyone gaslight you like this. Be in whatever side of the fandom you want and don’t let anyone tell you that is *wrong*
It’s only wrong if you’re a dick to other people and what they like. Don’t attack anyone (and by that I mean don’t be rude to other real human beings, not don’t criticize inherently flawed fictional characters), the good Tumblr lord literally invented hashtags for this reason.
I will defend your right to attack every character I love and defend everyone I hate so long as you do it in the appropriate hashtags, don’t antagonize people on purpose, and don’t go on anon to send hate to others. That’s all we owe each other and it’s all we can ask for.
You aren’t a misogynist because you like one Archeron sister more than the others.
You aren’t a misogynist because the Valkyrie didn’t resonate with you.
You aren’t a misogynist because You dislike Mor and Amren.
You are only a misogynist if you think women should be treated in real life the way they are in these books. (fantasy is fantasy and it is fun and sexy and fine in FANTASY … but it isn’t real life and that is the point of ALL OF THIS!)
I know there's always talk about the Valkyries and the Pegasi, and a lot of how much Gwyn would love them. Now imagine how Emerie would feel. Emerie who can't fly anymore unless she's being carried by someone. Imagine how she'd feel if she went on a pegasus and started flying by herself for the first time in a long time.
A/N: Did I decide to write this mostly out of spite and because I was feeling hella petty today? Yes. Yes, I did. But that does not change the fact that ever since I heard this song yesterday, all my brain could think of was Nesta, that this was Nesta’s song, and well, here we are! Honestly, it was a bit cathartic writing this, but I hope everyone enjoys this latest song prompt drabble :) Trigger warnings for discussions of depression and suicidal thoughts
You can let it go
You can throw a party full of everyone you know
And not invite your family ‘cause they never showed you love
You don’t have to be sorry for leaving and growing up
Nesta arranges the various plates and bowls neatly on the table, stepping back to admire the spread of food options. She heads back into the kitchen, collecting the bottles of wine she’s purchased, adding them to the table as well. All of the windows are open, and with each brush of the breeze through the curtains comes the salty scent of the sea below.
It almost feels odd to think that she’s lived in this cabin for over a year now. There are days where the quiet is still jarring. Just the wind rustling through the wildflowers that dot the tall grass all around the cabin, the waves crashing along the sands and rocks at the beach just below. Sometimes the howl of a creature in the distance; recently, the sound of pounding wings closer. But there’s the taste of freedom on the sea mist, the feeling of calm that washes over her with each wave that laps against her ankles and feet. With each month that passes, the weight on her shoulders finally begins to lift bit by bit.
Of course, the darkness never really goes away, just recedes. There are still days where that darkness will try and creep back up on her, midnight claws threatening to sink in. Days where the sound of the fire has her swallowing around a sharp intake of breath, where the bath seems to bubble and whisper. Nights where the nightmares rear their ugly heads until her lungs are heaving, a scream trapped in her throat. But in those instances, Nesta will think about the family she’s found, the people who love her despite any cracks or jagged pieces. Who saw through her shields and peeled back her armor piece by piece. Who reached out their hand and guided her back to where she could breathe again.
A knock at the front door draws Nesta from her thoughts. She pads over and pulls it open, only to be greeted by a large, stuffed bear. A pair of black, beady eyes stare back at Nesta, surrounded by soft looking brown fur, a bright, red ribbon tied in a bow around the bear’s neck.
“Happy birthday, Nes,” comes the deep rumble of Cassian’s voice, his head popping out from behind the bear.
“Where did you even find that?”
“Does it matter?”
Nesta merely shrugs and steps aside, allowing Cassian and the stuffed bear to step inside the cabin. It still feels a bit new, him and her, like small, cautious steps on a freshly built bridge. It took sorting through the questions, the feelings, the muddied water that flooded between them. Took determining where they both fell when the fire and dust from those around them finally settled. But now Nesta finds herself returning Cassian’s smiles, comfortable and looking forward to his company.
“Where should I put this?” Cassian asks, raising the stuffed bear in his arms in indication.
“Wherever you can find space,” Nesta tells him, heading back toward the door when there is another knock.
When Nesta pulls open the door this time, Gwyn, Emerie, and Balthazar are waiting on the other side. All three are wearing wide smiles, packages wrapped in bright colored paper held in each of their hands.
“Nesta! Happy birthday,” Gwyn greets, holding her gift out. “Open my gift first.”
“No, open mine first,” Emerie cuts in, knocking Gwyn’s arm away with her own.
“I won’t say you should open my first,” Balthazar teases. “Clearly, I can’t compete with these two.”
Nesta can’t help but laugh at her friends’ antics, the lightness bubbling up between her ribs. She steps back to let them inside, closing the door quietly behind them. Her friends place their gifts beside Cassian’s, and Emerie eyes up the large, stuffed bear before turning toward the gift giver in question with a smirk.
“Compensating much?” Emerie asks, a playful, mischief glint to her brown eyes.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Cassian quips back, a smirk of his own pulling across his face.
“I can assure you I most definitely would not, <em>General</em>.”
The way Emerie drawls out Cassian’s title has Nesta pressing a hand to her mouth and swallowing down a snort. Cassian just grins, his loud, booming laughter echoing in the small living room of the cabin. He raises his glass of wine toward Emerie in salute, and Emerie turns away with a proud smile to pour herself a glass.
With plates full and glasses more so, they all settle in. A fire burns in the grate, but for once, Nesta doesn’t even notice it. Instead, she is too focused on the laughter, the chatter around her. On the easy happiness that comes with being surrounded by her chosen family. It has warmth spreading through her chest and veins like soft, unfurling blooms, has a smile firmly ingrained across her face until her cheeks begin to ache. Especially when Emerie and Cassian are enough wine glasses in to start up a game of charades.
Another knock at the front door has Nesta blinking in surprise toward it. Everyone she knows is already here. Slowly, Nesta stands, heading for the door and pulling it open.
“Feyre,” Nesta greets, unable to hide the confusion underlying her tone at finding her youngest sister standing on her front doorstep. “What are you doing here?”
“It’s your birthday, is it not?” Feyre shoots back before her eyes drift over Nesta’s shoulder, to where more laughter rings out from those inside. “You’re having a party.”
“There’s no need to sound so surprised.”
“I’m not surprised by the party, I’m surprised that—” Feyre sighs softly. “You always could hold a grudge, couldn’t you?”
“I wasn’t the one who held a grudge for years, who felt the need to dole out punishments left and right.”
“Punishments? Is that what you think I did?”
There’s a moment where the two of them just stare at one another. Feyre’s eyes are so like her own, that same shade of blue she sees each day in the mirror, but there’s a pain there, as if once again it is Nesta that is the big bad monster hiding under the bed. And Nesta can feel that darkness beginning to seep in around the edges in response, but she refuses to let it drag her down again. Instead, Nesta straightens her spine, raises her chin, and lets Feyre finally see everything she had buried deep down, had hidden away behind a mask all these years. The grief, the anguish, the internal torment. With her family at her back, her family who never balked from it all, Nesta finally feels free to let it out.
“Did you know I wanted to die?” Nesta asks, her voice quiet but steady. “That I spend every night hoping for it? And what did you do? You locked me up in a house against my will.”
“We were trying to help you,” Feyre pleads.
“We? You and your mate?”
“I meant Elain and me.”
Nesta can’t help the humorless laugh at that. “Elain? And where is she tonight?”
“That’s not fair, Nesta,” Feyre shoots back, that temper of hers beginning to rise to the surface. “We’re your sisters. We care about you.”
“What’s not fair is you coming here and lying to me. Neither of you ever cared. I was drowning, and the only thing that mattered to you was that I was unseemly, that I reflected poorly upon you as the High Lady’s sister.”
“It does not matter now,” Nesta cuts in, offering Feyre a final, sad smile. “I’ve let it go. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a party to get back to.”
With nothing left to say, Nesta closes the door. It feels like closing a book, the end of a chapter. But more than that, it feels like a rush of relief, of finally moving on.
Taglist (let me know if you would like to be added or removed): @moodymelanist @hellogoodbye14 @nestaspegasus @nesquik-arccheron @sv0430 @lady-winter-sunrise @talkfantasytome @secretlovelybeauty @dontgetsalmonella @swankii-art-teacher @mis-lil-red @bookstantrash @vinylcryes @sleeping-and-books @wonderland--memories @theoverlyenthusiasticwriter @sayosdreams @ubigaia @cannellefawn @duskandstarlight @live-the-fangirl-life @chosenfamily-valkyriequeens @fromthelibraryofemilyj @luivagr-blog @autumnbabylon @xstarlightsupremex @lifeisntafantasy @deedz-thrillerkilller16 @superspiritfestival
The deleted Nessian and Azriel threesome gives me nightmares. I‘m so glad she didn’t put it in the book. Just imagine the utter mess we would be in because of it. Do you think people would‘ve shipped Nesta and Azriel?
I’m writing this after I’ve finished the post and it’s quite long but please read it ‘cause I really wanna know what you think and it’s worth it I promise.
So I was skimming through my tabs in acowar and I think I cracked a clue I’d never picked up on before. We know SJM loves her fair share of retellings and mythology, right? Take a look at this:
This is page 337 of the paperback of acowar. All the other times I’ve read it I didn’t give it any thought because the scene was quite centred on Vassa but let’s have a look at the rest of it:
“… save for them. The girls. He keeps other girls-“
I obviously started asking myself who those girls are. And why they are so very vital to Koschei.
“He keeps them all at the lake.”
“Other women like her?”
“Yes- and no. Their feathers are white as snow. They glide across the water- while she rages through the skies above it.”
So I naturally tried to figure out what kind of birds they are, right? My best guess is- they are swans. After that I basically went down a rabbit hole of legends about swans. I’ll provide proof in a second but, for dramatic purposes, guess what many of them are linked to! You’ll never guess it so I’m gonna tell you- valkyries. Which, as we all know, we were introduced to in ACOSF, conveniently before dealing with Koschei. Here goes the proof:
But mostly, the one I think is quite spot on for our specific situation:
Now, let’s talk about these swan-shirts: they are feather cloaks or garments, obviously magical, that allow the bearer to shift into said bird. In Norse mythology, swan-shirts and swans are closely related to the valkyries:
Most myths mention the swan maidens bathing in a lake when they get their magic garments stolen, but every tale agrees on one thing, steal the swan-shirt and you control the swan maiden. In most stories they are stolen by the evil fairy king and kept away in a secret location. Which brings us back to the start of the page:
“There is an onyx box he possesses, more vital than anything…”
More vital than anything save for the girls. So could that box contain their swan-shirts? Or maybe SJM decided to stray away from the legends and make them into something else, but still- could that box (that is so very precious, but not more precious than the girls) contain the reason they are trapped? The key to break their curse? I think there is a big possibility, but tell me if you agree or not.
If you’re still here, thank you, I’m sorry I’m taking this long lol but I’d like to talk about who these girls really are too:
This specific tale has nothing to do with what I’m saying but the highlighted part is quite interesting; what it basically says, in the loose meaning of the thing, is half-human, half-fae is it not?
Now, we know that half-breeds didn’t fare quite well at the end of the war and were rejected basically by both the humans and the fae; but what if Miryam wasn’t the only one who dreamed of peace between people but the then-queen of Scythia did too. What if Vassa’s ancestor pulled a Velaris in some way and Scythia has been harbouring half-breeds all along without anyone knowing. Specifically, one kind of half-breeds that I want to talk about.
Furthermore, we know the valkyries hailed from different kinds of fae and disappeared after the war, letting themselves die of grief and shame that they had survived and their sister hadn’t. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t have had children, even with humans (they fought in the human-fae alliance, so they didn’t despise them at least. But tbh even Clythia who did despise them fell in love with Jurian, so…). Children that were then basically alone in the world, maybe after losing both their parents in the war, and needed someone to take care of them. And the adult ones a place to live in peace and perhaps have children of their own.
So to resume my theory, half-breed descendants of the valkyries lived in Scythia until Koschei found out and cursed and stole them from their home, making them his personal army. It would make sense why he cursed Vassa specifically, shackling her to the lake to be unable to help and perhaps to not be able to talk about it (sounds familiar?), and also why those traitorous mortal queens didn’t hesitate betraying her (she was harbouring half-fae on their continent. Even if I think there’s another reason but I can’t think about it right now lmao). And also why Vassa “rages through the skies” above the lake, “…screaming. With rage. Utter rage.”, because she “failed” them.
This would also mean that Vassa’s kingdom is in ruins basically, right? So why did the mortal queens shield it too? Why bother ask the king of Hybern to erect wards around it too if not to hide the evidence of that? Because I know for a fact Scythia was warded, otherwise Azriel and his spies would’ve found out and nothing like that was stated in any book, they couldn’t get in any of their courts.
And, to kinda reiterate back to the beginning, perhaps only another valkyrie can break the curse you know? But Koschei is not worried ‘cause they all died long ago, right? Yeah…
All of this being said, if this happens, I think it would be a great plot for acotar5 only if it’s a gwynriel book. I already think it will be Azriel’s, but Gwyn and the valkyries need to be in it and it would make great sense for them to indeed break the curse and free the girls. But not Vassa.
Because then in acotar6 they will need to break her curse and find Koschei who conveniently slips away and end him for good.
And who better to do that than naturally Jurian who in my head is in love with Vassa, Lucien who became her dear friend and who has some day court ancestry, spell-cleaver/cursebreaker powers to discover and Elain who is a Seer and can literally track him down. I mean- Elucien|fated mates who don’t know each other|forced proximity|slow burn.
I can see Elain wanting to finally help, wanting to discover her powers and explore the freedom of growing into her own person.
After this ramble in my mind I’ve confirmed both gwynriel and elucien and cracked the plot of the whole saga, thank you very much lmao
But seriously, if you got here, please tell me what you think ‘cause personally my brain is melted right now and I think I need a nap.
STEEL & FLAME - Chapter 14
Both love sick puppies after their big argument in the woods.
Each morning that Nesta woke alone, her heart cracked further. The absence from Lucien hadn’t made her harder. It had wrenched her heart from her chest and twisted it painfully.
Jurian would greet her gruffly but he was colder towards her. He only spoke to her if she engaged him in conversation but even then, it was brief and monosyllabic. As for Vassa, the mortal queen gave Nesta nothing but a hard look whenever they crossed paths. In the evenings, Vassa would close the living room door as a sign that Nesta was not allowed to enter. She understood. Lucien was their friend and she had hurt him then forced him out of his house. He was too good for her. Any other male would have thrown her out of his home, but Lucien had gone back to Velaris to respect her wishes.
Tears came often. Nesta’s mind forever wandered to Lucien. Knowing he was in Velaris – a place she detested and a place that had never welcomed him either – made her suffering worse. How could she be so foolish to blame him for having a life before she was even born? How could she have let Eris’ poison infect her so quickly?
‘I want him back,’ she voiced on the third day to Jurian as she gazed with longing out of the window as if Lucien might appear on the lawn at her summons.
‘I can’t winnow. You can’t winnow. What do you want me to do?’
In reckless thoughts, Nesta had even imagined taking Sorrell and finding her way to the Spring Court to beg Tamlin to winnow her to the Night Court. Her sheer desperation to apologise had her considering every possibility. The only thing stopping her was the thought of endangering herself; her worry was not for her own safety though, she worried for Lucien’s well-being if she was hurt. The male did not deserve any more pain.
No task could hold her attention for long though Nesta did more than before – sweeping out fireplaces, scrubbing everybody’s clothes clean and hanging them to dry, preparing more meals to ease the burden off Jurian. It was all a tithe so that Nesta could present it to Lucien and prove she was not wholly wicked. She would drop to her knees and beg him for another chance if she had to.
Her own room felt like a tomb. She had taken to sleeping in Lucien’s vacant one and clinging to his pillows to inhale the faint traces of his scent. If he snapped the bond, it was her own fault. The Cauldron had been wrong to pair one as good as Lucien to her. He did not deserve her vicious words or cruel behaviour. The words she had uttered in the forest – the ones that had made him flinch – had caused irreparable damage to their bond already. Why was her first response always anger? Why couldn’t she ever learn to remain silent?
She wished she could take the words back. Wished she had never lashed out at Lucien. It was all she knew - but she should have tried to be better. That part of her that was warped and wicked was the part of her she hated most.
‘Can you mend these?’
Jurian dumped a basket of clothes in front of her. They were mortal garments of varying sizes for both men and women.
‘May as well earn your keep. Villagers have paid to have them fixed. Get to it.’
It had been Lucien’s coin supporting most of the manor. Lucien who paid for everything without complaint because he was a good male, with a good heart, who was always happy to help.
Nesta sat for the rest of the day, straight-backed at the table, sewing lost buttons back onto shirts, mending tears in seams and darning socks. Her eyes had stung with tears frequently throughout the day but she hadn’t let herself stop. She had spent five agonising days without him. Even if her thoughts constantly tracked back to Lucien like a summons that she couldn’t help but answer, she could busy her hands and prove herself useful.
Sewing was something Nesta could do easily. Hours and hours as a child, she’d spent perfecting her needlework on little cushions and embroidery hoops. It had been Feyre who’d sneered at her as a child and said that of course her favourite hobby was one where she stabbed things. Had Nesta always been a bad person?
The day her mother died, Nesta’s world had become colder. That was the day she began growing her own armour to harden against the world. Her mother was also a cruel thing – but Nesta had been her favourite. Nesta had been wanted and praised. She sat through the funeral alone. Her father had been busy with guests all paying their respects, but prior to it, he had walked hand in hand with Feyre and Elain behind their mother’s coffin. She was old enough to walk by herself, he had said – as if Nesta had not needed support too. It was that day that Nesta decided, if her father would not be a loving husband who would have searched the ends of the earth for a cure for his wife, she would not be the dutiful, eldest daughter either.
‘I’ve finished,’ Nesta said quietly as she folded the last item – a long-sleeved, velvet girl’s dress – onto the pile.
Jurian closed the back door behind him, trapping the frigid air from entering. His muddy boots from clearing Sorrell’s stall were dumped on the mat. The male glanced at the full basket and nodded his head appreciatively. ‘Quick worker. It wasn’t a punishment. You didn’t have to sit all day without moving.’
Nesta turned her eyes to her lap. She deserved much worse. ‘You’ve watched me working here all day. Equally, you could have told me earlier that I didn’t have to do it all.’
Jurian shrugged. ‘Lucien’s my friend. I’ll always be on his side. If it had been me that you said those things to, your head would be spiked in the garden.’ The male clapped his hands together, those words scattering to dust. ‘Let’s eat. I’m starving.’
‘I’m going to bed.’
‘Vassa’s not even awake yet. Sit.’
‘I’m going to bed,’ she repeated.
‘No. You’re not,’ Jurian said, a slight snarl in his voice. ‘Because you didn’t eat yesterday and you barely ate before that and your mate is too good and asked me to take care of you. So, you will sit down and you will eat at this table.’
The words weren’t harsh enough for Nesta. She deserved far worse. Each time she entered Lucien’s room in the evening and felt the lingering warmth of the dying hearth, she knew it had been Lucien who’d asked Jurian to keep her warm in his absence. It broke another part of her. Nesta turned on her heel and went to the bedroom.
It took almost an hour before Jurian came stomping through the bedroom brandishing a tray of food. If he could have thrown it at her, Nesta imagined he would have. He certainly looked as if he wanted to.
‘I won’t coddle you. I’m not that sort of man. You fucked up. Don’t fuck it up even more. Just eat the damn stew. Lucien will be back in a few days and you can grovel then.’
Food tasted like ash in her mouth. Nesta could not even imagine how it was for mates who willingly severed their bond. When he was so far away in Velaris, Nesta felt as if she’d lost a limb. She missed his company terribly. Missed the constant physical touch of fingers interlinked or a hand weaving through her hair. Missed Lucien’s beautiful smile and brilliant sense of humour.
The man had taken a couple of steps from the room when the front door knocked. He froze. It knocked again and Jurian pressed his finger to his lips, urging Nesta to stay silent. She sat on the edge of the bed, heart hammering wildly against her chest like an animal demanding to be freed.
For a third time, the door knocked. This time, however, the figure rapped and rapped playing a rhythm on the panels of wood with his knuckles. Nesta held her breath as the door scraped along the floorboards.
‘Good evening, Jurian,’ a slick, voice came. ‘Where might my brother’s lovely mate be hiding?’
It would be a lie to say that Lucien continued easily without Nesta, but he certainly presented that way. He was used to bundling up his hurts and continuing on. One week without Nesta was an eternity. Often, he had found himself about to winnow back to the mortal lands then had to grit his teeth and remain in the inn.
It was remarkable how much room Nesta had claimed in his heart in such a short space of time. One week. One week and he’d return with his tail between his legs and beg Nesta for the chance to talk. He would tell her everything, even if the truth hurt both of them. Every instinct had him crying out to get back to her, to feel the softness of her skin, the warmth of her body. Those smiles – so rare like sunlight in the winter – freely given to him as they played board games or discussed the most toe-curling aspects of her books. He’d loved the latter, loved watching Nesta squirm as she tried to read passages from the book aloud or how she’d dissolve into unrestrained giggles when he read it to her. She’d snatch the book out of his hands and fight to disguise her amusement.
One week was hell – but Lucien had to respect Nesta’s wish to stay away. He was determined to prove to her that he could be a good mate rather than push and push until he got his way. Nesta had had too much stolen from her; Lucien refused to take away her choices even if it was not what he wanted.
It was better to stay busy then to dwell on what a failure he had been in every aspect of his life. Any duty Rhysand asked of him, Lucien had completed. He had even helped Azriel write reports to ease the burden on the busy shadow singer who was keeping a watch on the house in the mortal lands as often as he could. Each day, he’d take a walk around Velaris in an attempt to run from his thoughts. Not that it ever worked.
The tavern that he’d found lodgings in reminded him too much of Nesta. He’d had the window open the previous night to allow a breeze in but music had travelled upwards. It had been a song they’d danced to so he’d slammed the frame so hard, it trembled.
Feyre paid him a visit once on the fifth day – likely out of pity or to be nosy or both. In their stunted conversation, Lucien revealed nothing of Nesta or why he was in Velaris. It felt too much like a betrayal to tell her sister about the blazing argument they’d had in the woods. Nesta would not want others to know her business.
They walked along the Sidra together, Feyre was bundled in a thick coat from the harsh wind carrying across the water and he had wrapped a scarf tightly around his neck. They had ended up taking refuge in a quaint tea house near the centre of Velaris. Spring was coming round the corner, but not quick enough. Most of the snow had melted from the cobbled roads, but the bitter winds bit the skin.
Feyre settled for black tea whilst Lucien sipped at jasmine. He longed to conjure a flame into his hands to warm them, but his mother had always told him it was improper to use their magic indoors – much less in a tea house. Feyre drummed her painted nails on the wood, watching the waitress potter off to another table.
‘I don’t think Nesta knows how to let anyone in.’
Lucien’s expression tightened at the sudden mention of Nesta. ‘I didn’t come here to perform an autopsy on your sister’s character.’
‘She’s always been this way, Lucien. Even with the bond, Nesta has-’
‘Feyre,’ he snapped. The anger had risen quickly where usually he could master himself. ‘I will not sit here and discuss my mate.’
If Feyre was shocked by his tone, she quickly composed her features though her eyes had gone slightly distant as she stared from the window. The corner of her mouth turned upwards and she shook her head with a little laugh.
‘Must you constantly have private conversations with your mate?’ He asked tersely.
‘Sorry. We have a meeting in the Hewn City tonight. You are welcome to attend as our emissary.’
‘Why is not being held in Velaris?’
‘Your brother will be attending.’
Whatever alliance they had with Eris was fragile at best. Enough warnings had been given to the Inner Circle about his brother’s character yet Rhysand had insisted on ploughing ahead. Let them deal with the consequences of being in Eris’ pocket, Lucien thought. Because that was what would happen. Eris was too clever, too quick to be caught. Even if the Night Court thought they had the upper hand, Eris would change the rules of the game – and Eris never lost. His brother always ended up on top.
‘Why would I want to spend a minute of my time with Eris?’
Feyre clenched her jaw. ‘You know him best. Rhys has asked if you will attend, as our emissary. You might be able to tell when he’s lying.’
Lucien let out a low chuckle. ‘Everything out of Eris’ mouth is a lie. It’s when he tells the truth that you need to be worried. But fine. What else am I to do here?’
‘Like hell I will,’ Jurian spat, casting an arm out blocking Nesta’s path. ‘Whatever you want to say to her, you’ll say to both of us.’
Eris smiled blandly, enjoying the discord he was spreading yet again in the mortal lands. He had a talent for it, Nesta acknowledged. The male shook back his long, wine-coloured hair then said, ‘I think Nesta has a voice that she’s quite capable of using, Jurian.’
The man’s chest rose and fell, the sword still was in his hands. He’d killed fae before – many fae. From the feral look in his brown eyes, Nesta knew he was considering how quickly he could cross the living room and plunge his sword through Eris’ heart.
‘A moment, please.’ She murmured to Jurian.
The door slammed when Jurian departed. Nesta listened to his boots stomping up the stairs then his muffled voice was snarling something at Vassa as she woke.
In their solitude, Eris cocked his head to the side. ‘A lovely display last week, you clever female.’
Nesta folded her arms across her chest. ‘What do you want?’
The fire cracked in the hearth, making her flinch. Eris did not miss it. She clenched her jaw to prevent the involuntary reaction happening again – and to prevent snapping at him for that loathsome grin spreading across his face.
‘I merely wanted to get acquainted with my baby brother’s mate.’
‘A shame I don’t share that sentiment.’
Eris rose from the chair in a graceful movement. His height struck her; she had never stood face to face with him before and Eris stood almost a head taller than her. Flames uncoiled themselves from her marrow, flickering over her hands. Eris raised a hand, letting a ruby flame weave through his fingers and dance with her own silver one.
‘Your power is magnificent.’
Nesta forced her magic to engulf his until it devoured his flame. Eris drew back his hand, shaking away the pain of her icy flames. A laugh broke out of his lips, the sound like silk running over her bare skin. When he took a step closer to her, Nesta backed up until her shoulders hit the wall.
‘The Night Court? The mortal lands?’ Eris glanced up at the cracks in the ceiling, sneering slightly. ‘You are wasted here. Absolutely wasted.’
‘I’m not sure that’s a compliment.’
It would be a denial to say Eris wasn’t handsome, but it was a cold, ethereal sort of beauty. His amber eyes scanned her face; they were unnerving. They lacked the warmth of Lucien’s russet ones. There was no joy in Eris’ face. It was a mirror of Nesta’s own - the aloof mask of disinterest. He trod another step towards her and braced his hands either side of shoulders.
‘Don’t settle for Lucien.’
Nesta stiffened her spine. Perhaps her and Eris were more alike than she knew. Both were the eldest, both modelled into warped, little monsters by their parent. And both had the innate need to break everything in their life because they knew they deserved nothing good. Lucien was his brother. Just as Elain and Feyre were her sisters. How many times had Nesta passed a mean comment or tried to tread on her sisters as a deflection rather than facing her own insecurities? Eris was the same creature she was. They were mirrors of each other. Eris would stamp on Lucien, try to snatch his mate, rather than face the truth that he was alone and friendless too.
���I can show you how a future high lord plays.’
The Hewn City was magnificent in the same way a mausoleum was, Lucien thought as he followed behind Cassian along the marbled floor of the moonstone palace. Its inhabitants had not been expecting a late-night visit from the high lord and lady though this was the Night Court, after all, and none had been in bed. Kier had bowed in the shallowest stoop that it ought to be considered disrespectful – but Rhysand had completely breezed by him without any sort of acknowledgement. Feyre had her arm looped through his and Azriel flanked her left side. Cassian followed after them then finally Lucien brought up the rear. It displayed their pecking order. Mor and Amren had remained behind for their visit, along with Elain who was content to remain in Velaris for the rest of her days it seemed.
Lucien had spent the few hours prior to the meeting trying to understand Eris’ goal. He would have known his words had caused disruption – perhaps even expected him to show up at the meeting. And knowing Eris, if Lucien didn’t show up, he’d see it as a victory. Eris might have spent his life playing Beron’s game, but so had Lucien. He knew every move, every counter, just as Eris did.
Unexpectedly, Eris was late. He played many games, but manners were not one. Eris was never late to anything. Their mother even laughed that he was early to his own birth.
Cassian swung on the back legs of his chair, tossing a knife in its scabbard in the air. ‘Maybe Beron’s found out and snapped his neck. Can’t say I’ll be too broken up about it.’
‘Play nice,’ Rhys winked though the shadows around Azriel lightened at the joke.
Feyre groaned. ‘I wanted an early night.’
‘We both know that wasn’t happening, Feyre darling.’
The shadows were back and Cassian made a retching noise. ‘Disgusting. I thought that mating frenzy was supposed to wear off.’
The high lord and lady shared a heated look across the room. Lucien hated it. Hated seeing mates in love and happy. Hated that he hated to see it.
For a short while longer, they remained sat at the obsidian meeting table with the only noise coming from the squeak of Cassian’s chair as he rocked. The male, it seemed, was unable to sit still.
Finally, the door slipped open. They heard Eris quietly thanking a servant. Eris would stab someone with their own knife – but thank them for letting him use it.
‘What the fuck happened to you?’ Cassian was torn between shock and joy.
Eris sat in a chair at the far end of the table. A vibrant purple bruise sealed his right eye shut, but the left one turned to Lucien. ‘Your mate happened to me.’
Cassian clapped his large hands together. ‘Who the hell taught Nesta to throw a punch like that?’
‘You should have seen the hit she landed on Graysen. I thought she’d snap his neck,’ Feyre said nostalgically.
Lucien didn’t revel in their amusement of Eris’ black eye. A fire blazed in his chest as he pointed a trembling finger at his eldest brother. ‘Why did you seek out Nesta?’
Clever, clever Eris had waited until the watch on the mortal manner had stopped. He must have swooped in there the moment Azriel had winnowed back to Velaris.
‘Can’t I get to know my brother’s mate better? What a darling she is. Father is just brimming with excitement at meeting her properly.’
The male was too bold to bait him like that – and in front of Nesta’s own sister.
‘If you have harmed a single hair on her head.’
No other words of his threat would come out. Images of Jesminda thrashing in the arms of Autumn Court sentries as they marched her grim-faced to Beron flashed through his mind. Lucien would rather watch the whole world burn than ever see Nesta in Autumn Court territory.
Pulse throbbing in his neck, Lucien surged out from the room, passing through the wards that prevented winnowing. The frigid Night Court air barely had a moment to whip against his skin before he winnowed right to the front door of the manor in the mortal lands.
His breath came in ragged gulps as he fumbled for the key. It was late. Nesta, if she was still there, would usually be asleep by now. She might cast him out, might screech at him to leave again, but he had to know she was safe.
Lucien called her name as he charged through the hallway.
Nesta stood at the top of the stairs as if she was staring at a ghost. The sconces along the hallway bathed her in golden light. He saw the gasp escape her lips.
Her pale grey gown washed out what little colour she had left. Her body shook with each precise step down each stair then she was racing down the final few.
Her arms locked around his neck, her cheek pressing against his.
‘Come home.’ Her voice cracked – and it was the most painful note Lucien had ever heard. ‘Please, come home.’
His mate was burying her face into his neck, the warmth of her tears soaking into the collar of his shirt. He cradled her face. ‘Did Eris hurt you? Nesta, did he touch you?’
Tears traced down her cheeks. ‘No. He. I don’t know why he came. Just to tease me. Lucien, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Please, don’t leave again. I love you so much.’
Her mouth pressed to his in a slow, yielding kiss.
‘I love you,’ she breathed. ‘I love you.’
Lucien touched his forehead to Nesta’s, hardly daring to believe that she was in his arms again. ‘I love you. I will tell you everything – anything. No secrets, no stone uncovered.’
‘I don’t care about your past. I want a future with you. I want you. Now. Forever.’
Eris after causing chaos in the last chapter and fixing it in this one in his own chaotic way
the acotar fandom is so weird. i love feyre and nesta. i love gwyn and elain. why are y’all determined to put women against each other? it reeks of misogyny.
nEsTa DidN't WaNt To SeE eLaIn Or ThE iC
It's almost like Nesta suffered from depression.
Do Elain stans and IC stans not know the signs of depression? Their ignorance has real-life hurtful consequences, so here's a list of depression signs according to the Mayo Clinic. The ones relevant to Nesta are highlighted in blue.
Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation
Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite
Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Also common: poor appetite or repeatedly going over thoughts
As you can tell, Nesta showed a lot of signs of depression that Elain and the IC were either ignorant about or chose to ignore.
remember when Nesta threw herself on Cassian's body - willing to die with him and then was like "ugh i hate him so much" immediately afterward
I would die for scene in your nezriel fic (is it a fic? is it a long snippet?) where Cassian sees a hickey Nesta left on Azriel’s neck and starts questioning him about his new lover and meanwhile Azriel’s inner monologue is just like: well fuck… I bet he’d kill me if he knew…
To fit "canon" and I mean my fics world, Azriel would probably be more envious about Cassian and the mate bond in particular, and petty because he wants to rub it in that she's not his. Also technically, I've pretty much established that the hickeys don't stay for long periods of time, like they immediately heal, which is why Azriel hates that he can't have something permanent on/with Nesta. I suppose because of the last snippet, there's less time for them to disappear since he spent the day with her. But they disappear pretty quickly (I would assume because fae healing) and also I'm assuming that he needs to leave earlier so that he can get rid of her scent.
So... I tweaked it a little (A lot).
Cassian's smug as he orders another drink and Azriel takes a sip of his water. He wills himself not to pull out Nesta's ribbon, a token he's stolen from her vanity, and wave it in front of his nose. This is who you're missing. This is who you can never have. The scent--her scent--is for his nose only.
It would coat his skin even now, if they knew for a fact the situation wouldn't blow up in their faces. Azriel would never go against Nesta's wishes to keep their relationship a secret even if his own wishes have now changed, and there's too many moving pieces.
In another court, their might be a duel. If their court was crueler, there might be a law that would put Nesta at risk. Whatever keeps Nesta safe, he tells himself.
Secrets are safe...
At least, he's told himself that. Their secrets are safe with him. But are they safe when they keep secrets?
Azriel's begun to wonder that. He's known his brother for centuries. Right now, Cassian orders another drink and swipes at Mor playfully when she pleads for him to come dance with her. He's half drunk already, but are they safe from him?
Azriel's fucking his mate after all.
Still, some part of him wants to pull out the ribbon, he keeps touching in the pocket of his jacket. I'm fucking your mate.
What will he do? What will he say?
Azriel is above such childish things, yes, and frankly it'd be disrespectful to Nesta and their time together. She isn't a stolen toy--a weapon he waves around saying look what you don't have. So Azriel takes a sip and looks to crowded room.
Sevenda's is blooming this evening, and the noise makes his skin itch. In just a few more hours, he'll be with Nesta again. He'll kiss her until she's blushing red, until her lips raise and he'll think he's seen the sun. Something angelic. And he'll worship her with his lips, with his touch, with books... if that's what she likes.
Time is precious now and though he loves their trysts by moonlight, he doesn't want her to think he's only there for the lay. Azriel wants all of her. The way she inhales romances... the odd little routines she has for her hair. She uses several kinds of soap for her bath and he wants to pour it in, to see exactly what makes Nesta smell as sweet as she does.
"You're quiet today," Cassian remarks, laughing under his breath. "Hot date?"
I'm fucking your mate.
"Nothing of the sort."
"You've been gone a lot lately," but it's Amren who speaks this time. She holds the glass of wine and it's the same color as the blood she used to drink. Interrogation, Azriel thinks as he resists rolling his eyes. Not so deadly anymore.
"I've been on assignment," he offers raising a brow. He doesn't look to Rhys, nor does he offer his mind up for chatting. Azriel doesn't care what that prick of a brother will say to him now.
But Feyre catches his gaze and she purses her lips as if she's disappointed by these state of affairs.
Affairs is not a good word to describe Nesta's and his relationship. Nesta is single. He keeps trying to remind them. She's not owned by anyone, least of all him. But the person she wants to spend time with, is him.
Cassian sighs, a deep, torn sound. "Too many things have changed... and not at all."
Mor glowers at that, as Cassian swirls the drink in his hand. Clearly, he's much more drunk than Azriel's realized if he's already getting melancholic.
"You're gone," he says, taking a sip wistfully, "Mor leaves more now. Rhys and Feyre are always fucking... Amren's the same, but I don't want to spend time with her."
"Spend time with the girl then," Amren says, rolling her eyes at Cassian's dramatic antics.
Azriel feels his heart skip in his chest, but he breathes a guilty sigh of relief when Cassian sighs once more. He rubs the ribbon with his thumb willing himself to calm down.
"She doesn't want me."
No, she wants me.
Mor opens her mouth, probably to say something cruel abut Nesta, but Feyre glares up at her friend. It's silent at their little table, and Azriel can feel a stare on him.
He doesn't need to look to the side to know it's Rhys.
See, he probably wants to say, this is who you're messing with. Don't you love Cassian? Your own brother.
But why does Cassian deserve Nesta? Here he is whining over drinks, instead of earning his keep and doing right by his mate. He's here with Mor, letting her pat him on the arm and placate him with worried words, while his mate on the other side of town is stuck in her apartment with four locks on her door, because she's deeply changed from what she's been through.
Don't you love Cassian?
"Do you even love Nesta?"
Azriel straightens at the bitter taste of his words. Cassian, luckily, is too drunk to hear the anger. His head lowers, like puppy who's been kicked. "She doesn't love me," he says.
As if it were that simple.
She loves me, though, Azriel wants to say. There's an ugly part of him that wants Cassian to hate him, to hate Nesta too, if only so they could be free from him--from this guilt. He can see it every time he's there, the hesitancy in Nesta's gaze. That brief admission of her eyes, that it might just be easier to give in to that mate bond and do away with this, because their relationship will never be easy.
It will never be accepted like Cassian's would be. Gifted by the Mother. Blessed and holy.
Maybe that's why her kisses taste like sin. Mother damn him then.
I'm rereading acosf cause I should be studying and I need you all to remember this scene, thanks for your attention
Cassian pulled back, and remained that way long enough that she opened her eyes again to find his face inches from her own. “You’re not going to marry Eris,” he said roughly.
“No,” she breathed.
His eyes blazed. “There will be no one else. For either of us.”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Ever,” he promised.
Nesta laid a hand on his muscled chest, letting the thunderous beating of the heart beneath echo into her palm. Let it travel down her arm, into her own chest, her own heart. “Ever,” she swore.
It was all he needed. All she needed.
Cassian’s mouth met hers, and the world ceased to exist.