Thena x fem!reader
Summary : Let’s say.. the princess had some interesting ways to lure her in.
Words : 9.5k (wow??)
a/n : not really proofread, idk I hope it makes sense LMAO enjoy love y’all
The joust was ended with loud cheers by the people, low and high-borns, their arms lifted high and clapping, excitement clear still in their expressions as the King congratulated the winners. It was organized to welcome the arrival of the group of fighters - and others not, who called themselves the Eternals. Legend had they become, tales of them you’ve heard since you were a mere babe, now coming to reality before your own eyes.
It was true; the deviants had showed itself days before, terminating almost a quarter of your subjects and leaving those who survived shaken from the traumatic event. No one knew what drove them away—some said it was a dark mist clouding over their vision, rendering them helpless and forced to withdraw. Once quiet, there was no trace of who or whatever fought against it. Some believe it might be the Eternals, some not so convinced. Was it a coincidence that they showed up not long after?
The winner of the tourney strutted towards you with a sweet smile, his gentle eyes twinkling as they caught yours. A Prince from the South, no doubt here to confront your father for the answer of his request. Only months ago, he’d ask for your hand in marriage which your father had laughed off as it was a hilarious jest, later told him it was in consideration. You had rejected it at once when the King proposed it, and he had nodded along to your decision. Now, seeing your kingdom in distress, he might take it as a chance to be a hero in an attempt to win you over—if not, your people might be enough to snatch what he wanted.
(you didn’t blame it on him, it is indeed, a very good time to step in.)
You faked a smile as he took your hand and placed a kiss upon it, suppressing a laugh that threatened to spill over. He wasn’t bad looking, no, any one of your ladies would kill to be called his wife. They fanned over him for his looks, squeals and dramatic sighs emit from them just by a small glance he gave. You simply left them to fawn over the handsome Prince, not a slightest idea in their minds as of the reason you turned down the man.
You had a plan, though, and Gods be good that it would work as you hoped.
“Leave us.” Your maids left you with no hurry, eyes sporting a clear disdain for the man who’d been insisting for your hand. He wasted no time in diving into explicit details of your future were you to marry him, high heels scraping against the stone floor and arms moving in every direction and voice raised in a higher octave than his usual as he put on a show for the ladies gathered on your door.
“Alex! Would you stop that, please.” His motions halted and he slumped in relief, taking off the heavy armor in a hustle and sighing as he freed himself of the heavy metal. “This is getting ridiculous.” You raised your eyebrows and took a seat on a long chair near the window, relaxing at the view of the castles around. “You were so dedicated I might actually believe your deceit, my Prince.” He exhaled loudly, the wooden chair creaking as he sat upon it. There was a crease on his forehead as he rubbed his eyes, resting his arms on the windowsill and joining your people-watching hobby.
Seeing the Eternals roaming on the castle grounds would never get old, though it was too soon to say—they’d only been here for two days. You hadn’t seen all of them, unfortunately. The King was informed there were 10, yet you’ve only seen the fighters of the team; Ikaris, a handsome man, that one, Kingo, a good sense of humour, Gilgamesh the power house, you’d make sure not to stumble into his bad side, and then.. there’s Thena. She was intriguing, to say the least.
They had an aura that surrounds them, the Eternals, something that was not from Earth. It says something about the truth they were telling, and it says something that Thena’s was different from the other three you’ve encountered.
She was beautiful, ethereal, unlike anyone. She carries weapons like they were a part of her, her body moving like fluid in a battle, swift as lightning as her power accommodates against her enemies. She stood out amongst her teammates, and if people weren’t so busy falling in love with Mr. Good-looking that could fly, you would’ve guessed she was the leader.
She looked as she’d rather be somewhere else when the royal guide continues on explaining the great extent of the castle, her interest clearly not located around the topic. Your heart skipped a beat when her head lifted up - green, emerald eyes meeting yours for the first time and it felt as the world had stopped moving. It was only a matter of time before the spell was broken, a loud gasp pulling your eyes away from her and onto the Prince sitting on your window.
“By the good Gods, you fancy her.” Your eyes widened at his accusation and you shoved his shoulder, effectively shushing him. “Quiet down, would you?!” He averted his eyes and clamped a hand over his mouth, realizing the outburst he’d done. He still held a questioning gaze when you turned your head towards the window again, finding the courtyard void of anyone. “I don’t know her.” Oh, but you will, won’t you?
It was eerily quiet in the night, the creeping sounds of the midnight creatures accompanied your lone watch over the Kingdom. Knights and soldiers were lined up at the gates, and many more spread out over the lands to secure its people. The silence felt unsettling, what with the lingering sense of danger lurking behind the shadows, hiding under the trickery of a false calmness.
“Don’t you have a curfew?” You jumped out of your sitting and clutched your chest at the sudden voice, eyes widening as you registered the low and teasing tone that sent butterflies flying in your stomach. Her silver hair flowed over her shoulders like a curtain, long and wavy, and you suddenly had the urge to run your fingers through it. Somehow, she’d landed from wherever she was onto your open balcony, the highest spot in the castle gave you a wide view ahead.
“I’m not a child, I don’t have a curfew.” She only hummed, your eyes darting anywhere but her while you tried to ignore the protruding stare burning a hole on the side of your face. “You don’t have keep watch at night. That’s the guard’s duty, you know that, right?” You took a breath in at her words, gripping on the stoned railing until the tips of your fingers turned white.
“I have been watching since I was a child. And you don’t know about my duties.” It was short and blunt, the way you’ve been taught to retaliate when people started talking about your status – “Be tough, my lady. Do not let anyone oppress you.” – Your teacher’s always told you. You wanted nothing more than to know her; and you regretted your response soon as it came out of your mouth.
You stomped into your chamber – your limbs moving faster than you could stop them, slammed the doors hard and leaving the Goddess of War flabbergasted on your balcony.
Well, that was not how either expected your first interaction would be like.
“They came to secure the city. Not to show off, Father.” You sighed for the umpteenth time, rolling your eyes at the King’s stubbornness. He had arranged another sort of competition; a match against the Eternals. Nothing too extra—you had pointed out that they were to protect humans, not fight them. However strong your insistence that it be cancelled, he was persistent to carry it out, so you gave him one condition to work with. You wouldn’t attend.
Instead of going to the pointless tournament, you rode your beautiful mare to an abandoned section of the forest where you’d made it a personal training ground. Living in a castle with no brothers to take on the throne in the future took its toll, not only they expected you to excel at everything, Princes and Lords alike were all after you – more like greedy of the thought of being a King, but none of them were worthy. There was one, though.. and he wasn’t after you (safe for the front he was putting on), or the throne. It was a plan already in motion, so you didn’t worry much about it.
The skies were clear this day, only a few white clouds present on the blue-ish hue it’s adorning. Your skin sizzled from the heat of the sun, sweat rolling down your neck and dampening your hair. Gripping your bow tighter with your hand, you aimed a target you’d set on a leaf, the slight winds making it move just a little. You missed it by a millimeter, your arrow sticking onto a higher branch instead.
You had taken on archery since you could hold a bow and won most of the tournaments ever held that people started losing their motivation before entering it.
The repetition of choosing a target and firing mindlessly had your thoughts wander somewhere else, or rather someone. Were you too defensive last night? She had only pointed out the obvious, as many of others would think and expect; it was no duty of yours to keep watch during the night. But if you hadn’t been doing the exact thing that one night, your home might’ve been destroyed to bits by crazy monsters who prey on humans. Thena only meant it as a conversation starter, though, it seemed, so you decided there was no reason to snap the way you did. Should you apologize? It wasn’t your fault that her first words to you were questioning your duties. Was it an insult, or a mere tease? You had never met each other yet, so it would be strange to tease a stranger who also happened to be the princess of the kingdom you were trying to protect.
Suddenly fed up with your own thoughs, you switched the bows to the long swords your father had gifted you. Given you grew up with no mother, no one was there to pester you on being a ‘lady’, and your father loved you too much to decline anything you requested – so at the mere age of 9, you learned how to wield a sword. Girls your age were annoyed and envious of your abilities, while the boys were intimidated and taken off guard. Not one kid of your kingdom’s guests stuck to being your friend, all but fled the room once they learned of your preferred activities – except for Alex, which was why he’s here.
Your feet moved with practiced ease, the swoosh sound your swords made as it slashed through nothing but air broke the silence in the calm forest, not even the winds could cover up the sounds of your heavy breathing. Your braid had loosened up from excessive movements, strands of hair sticking to your cheeks as your body heated up from the work-out.
“Your anger could demolish a deviant.” By surprise, you lost your hold on the hilt and off it went toward her direction. There was no time for you to react, panic rising from the pit of your stomach only for relief to flood through your system as she absently snatched it with one hand. Your breathing was the only thing both of you could hear over the cricket sounds and the chirpings of birds. Thena stabbed the sword into the ground before circling your slouched form, examining your surroundings and yourself.
Her eyes wormed over your form, drinking in the sight like a human being starved of water. Thena didn’t know what came over her; neither did she know what to do against the growing.. attraction towards a human being. “Don’t fall.” Ajak had said, she scoffed lightly. As if she could. Would it be considered interfering if she was to fall for a human? Only the one.. She stopped herself and gathered her thoughts, losing the lost look of her gaze that you were too distracted to notice.
Having collected enough air in your lungs, you stretched out your back and stood straight, walking to the lost sword and pulled it out with no effort. “I wasn’t angry.” You huffed, not quite understanding the motion behind her words. The Eternals tend to be complicated at times, but you think Thena would win an award if there ever was a competition. “Your form suggested otherwise.” You narrowed your eyes, confusion written all over your features as you recalled everything you just did. It was how you were taught to fight, pour your heart out, keep your guards up, and prioritise strength over anything.
Clearly you were wrong. Before you could open your mouth, a weapon materialized from her palms, bright and hot from the cosmic energy it emitted. She gave you no time to anticipate her assault, and seconds later you were on the ground, the sharp end of her blade pressed against the skin of your neck. There was only a few seconds of breaths before she was on your back again, the never ending attacks starting to wear you down as she looked like she had been relaxing all day long and hadn’t tried to unalive the daughter of the King for the past hour.
Your breath hitched in your throat as her palms touched your wrist, your heart beating faster than it’s ever been and so hard that your chest started to hurt at the proximity the both of you were in. “Your wrist shouldn’t be so tense.” The grip you had on the hilt of the sword loosened, the weapon almost sliding off your hand as you processed her words. Goosebumps raised on your skin at her smooth voice, but recovered quickly from your trance as you shook off her hold and took a step back. Thena’s heart dropped at your retreat, thinking she had done something unacceptable to the Princess, her weapons dissipating soon as you drew a breath in.
The awkward silence that followed left both of you uneasy, Thena cleared her throat to break the tension only for your horse to neigh loudly, cutting her off and stomping the ground from his place. Emerald eyes met yours wide ones, alarm written on your face as hers showed anticipation of what’s coming. “You have to go back. now.” Her tone was nothing but demanding, the panic in her eyes betraying the authority she held in her speech. The air around you shifted and it was your turn to grip onto her arm, the other clenching into a fist as you darted your eyes at every corners of the forest.
“They’re surrounding the castle.” Thena stared questioningly at your statement, wondering if it was another skill you had –to be able to figure out what any other humans couldn’t – even those who’d lived hiding from the deviants themselves. You’d only seen them once; there wasn’t even a guarantee that you saw them, maybe only heard their roars or the screams of the people.
If you ran towards the castle now, you’d only be blocked by them halfway; and Thena felt dread settle in her stomach at the thought of the deviants growling and preying after you, though she did not understand that it was more than her protective nature over humans. A spear was already in her hold when you turned your gaze back to her, your eyes glinting against the light her powers emitted.
Your hold on your sword tightened, shoulders tensing as you walked to your horse and mounted it robotically. “You should go.” Her brows furrowed and she opened her mouth to object but screams cut her off. It was unreasonable to leave the heir of the throne alone, in the forest where their greatest enemy was roaming around. “I know a secret passage. They shouldn’t be able to spot me.”
A million ‘what if’s were at the tip of Thena’s tongue, thinking that they should hold off for a few moments as she deliver you to safety. No time was given to her however, as one deviant came charging towards the two of them and unfortunately, she had to divert her attention – her ears only catching a faraway shout of “Good luck!” before you were off from her side.
Remnants of corpses laid all over the ground, some lifeless, and some had only a glimpse of life left in them. Scratches were inevitable, but Thena was doing better once Gilgamesh joined her side as they swiped over the entire kingdom to make sure not one of the monsters was left. While Thena sat on a bench, Ajak’s fingertips lightning up in gold strands against her back, her posture finally slumped in relief. She held a dazed look on her eyes, thoughts filling with the mysterious cloud mass that assisted their fight.
She wasn’t the only one who witnessed it; nor was she the first one to see it. The Eternals sat all around the room, exhausted from the long battle, more curious than threatened by the little surprise they received. It was fleeting – only mere minutes before it cleared and the deviants were weakened, therefore it needed only a little effort to take them down. But Thena had a feeling. It wasn’t a good assumption, but her mind couldn’t keep away from thinking of the possibility.
Her feet carried her numbly through the unfamiliar halls, a destination planted in her mind, only then she halted, realizing she had no idea of the direction. Or where it’s located, since she only visited once and through the balcony. So she stood in the darkness, staring at the cackling torchlight as she pondered on whether she was to head back and asked the others if they knew the way and visit you the upcoming morning, or if she should sneak in everyone’s chambers to check out which one was actually yours. The latter sounded ridiculous, now that she thought about it.
“Boo!” Her spear glowed in the darkness as she spun around, meeting your mischievous eyes while her wide eyes softened as quick as you burst out laughing, the sound echoing through the empty halls. She wondered if you were allowed to be this carefree to a stranger as a Lady of the Kingdom, then her heart warmed at the thought that you were comfortable enough to not wear the invisible mask she’d seen the first time she caught your eyes.
Once you’ve calmed down and your laughs turned into a smirk on your lips, you folded your arms and leaned on the stoned wall. Thena couldn’t help her own smile forming from the joy that elicited from you, too caught up in her little head that she didn’t catch your words. “I said, did you get lost?” You gestured to a direction with your head and started walking that way, falling into slower steps as Thena matched your strides.
“When did you get back?” Thena tried to come up with something that would answer her questions while staying unsuspecting, gauging your reaction as you climbed the long stairs. “Just a little before you did. The Eternals did a great job faster than I expected.” A well sense of pride coursed through her body and she straightened, and she was happy that you didn’t lie. Thena cleared her throat, “Yes, well. Something else helped us. I wondered if you knew anything about it.” You let out a low hum of thought as you neared her chamber and only then did Thena realized you were walking her back and not the other way around. A sharp pain shot in your chest and you stopped abruptly, tripping on your own feet as you gasped for air. Your face would’ve kissed the floor if not for the strong hands gripping your shoulders and holding you up as you heaved a cough.
You did look paler than usual – not that Thena knew your usual, at all. She totally hadn’t been watching you every waking chance she’s got – and your breaths were uneven, your eyes hooded despite having a certain glimmer in them. The Eternal said nothing, only provided her presence and touch as comfort, figuring you would explain yourself even when she tried to wipe the curiousity off her stare. “The journey back was long, I think I should’ve taken a break in the middle.” You shrugged it off after the pain subsided, the pulsing in your heart barely present as you pointed to the door, silently telling her you’ve arrived. Did you really think she was lost trying to get back to her own chamber?
Thena wasn’t having any of it, though, “Does this happen often?” Your feet stepped through her door before she had a chance to decline, her made and fluffy bed seemingly calling your name and you made a way to it without thinking it over. “Only because I haven’t exercised in a long time.” That, was also the truth – half truth, but still. You mentally fist bumped yourself at your answers, your eyes closing as you stretched out on her bed like a starfish, depriving Thena of any ability to speak, her eyes widening at the scene in front of her.
Thena was not dumb; in fact, she was the smartest in terms of fighting, and It was a wonder how the rest hadn’t figured out the person behind the shadows that gave them a hand. It was only fleeting, but Thena swore she inhaled a gust of your scent – and she meant that in the least creepy way possible. “Do you think they’ll come at us again?” Thena was snapped out of her thoughts, quickly clearing her throat to gain a composure before moving to sit on the side of the bed casually. “They will come as long as there are humans to prey.”
You sat up at her side and sighed, mulling over the Kingdom’s future if it was to stay like this forever. Thena didn’t have much idea on how to comfort your troubled mind, but her presence were more than enough – funny, since you were the one invading her space – and it wasn’t long before you were yawning, the exhaustion from the previous day finally catching up to you.
The warrior couldn’t help but admire the way the crease on your forehead softened as you smiled, the way you kept on going about how you almost fell off the hightower even though your eyes were already halfway closed. Thena didn’t realized that she’d scooted closer to you, her arm brushing over yours as she quietly responded to your story.
“You know, I-” Your words were caught in your throat and your heavy eyes were wide open, your heart thumping loudly in your ears that you felt dizzy from the lack of distance between the other woman and you. Her eyes were as captivating as the first time you caught them from the window of your balcony, your eyes flickering down to her lips just as her tongue swiped over it to wet them. You swore she held a victorious glint in her gaze when you visibly swallowed.
It seemed the both of you were getting sick of the silence and too long of a pause that filled the room, her lips meeting yours in the middle, your hands tangling in silver strands as hers gripped your waist and fumbled with your dress. Your mouth latched onto her neck and Thena sighed, her head tilted backwards to grant you more access, the plan of prying your secrets out of you pushed to the back of her mind.
Thena wasn’t sure how to process the whole situation – look at her, ready to fall into bed with the princess, of all people – and it seemed neither did you, as you stopped your ministrations and traced your fingers on her cheek until she blinked her eyes open. “How many women have you laid with?” The Eternal raised an eyebrow, the question amusing her more than anything. With a quick swipe of her feet, you were on your back and she was on top of you, the dimmed lightning casting a hue upon her skin and you felt you’d stopped breathing.
“How many have you laid with?” Her cheeks held a pink blush and a smirk made its way to your lips, catching the Goddess of War right-handed. Questions were answered with questions, and it would be a lie if Thena said she wasn’t enjoying it. You said nothing, and Thena took that as a green light to swoop in on your lips again, loving the taste she’d became addicted to just by a few kisses. Her eyes were hooded – with lust, or something else, she didn’t know – but as your body turned cold to the touch, the mist cleared and chills crawled up her spine as your breath hit her ear.
“Oh, wouldn’t you like to know, Thena?”
Your orbs turned sky blue and your body disappeared into black tendrils of smoke, floating out of her window in a hurry and it took the Immortal being more than a second to understand the meaning of your last question. You knew what she wanted to know.
And you’d left her a fumbling mess in her own bed.
No one knew about your… curse. Safe for your father and a few of the castle maids, of course, but they were obligatory, you see, it wasn’t like the King knew how to take care of an infant – even when it was his own blood and flesh. He was a fine man, a gentle father and a good King, alas, he was still a normal human being. The Queen, however, was loved by her subjects; more than they loved their King, you could say. No one knew, either. Not even her beloved husband had any ounce of idea of her secrets, and he loved her deeply, unknowing of the truth about his so called ‘other half’.
Dark secrets as they were, she brought it to the grave. Or, to the empty grave, as her body turned to ash after her last breath left her lungs and a baby’s cry was the only thing filling the room. Your father didn’t love her any less after finding out, nor did he stop loving you like a daughter, a loved one he held dear.
And so he did everything he could to ensure your safety; forcing you to take classes, risking himself as he accompanied and guided you through your ‘cursed episodes’, as he called it. He’d seen and witnessed enough to know that it was you against those deviants, and it was only about time before he gave you a lecture as he was busy with the guests and resurrection of the city right now. The thought made you shudder in fright, no one wanted to ever be in his presence when he’s angry.
Wait until he found out you told one of the Eternals. Well, you showed more than told, which was considerably worse. You mussed over a string of lies you could say should he question it as you stood in front of the mirror, smoothing your palms down the seams of your dress and fixing up your hair. It wasn’t anything fancy; a simple white with scents of blue, long sleeves and several beads that complimented your eyes embedded onto it. Satisfied with the way you looked, you nodded to yourself before heading to the main hall.
The party started slowly, only a few royals chatting amongst themselves, the quiet murmur surprisingly making your eyes heavy. The muted sound became deafening in less than a second and your eyes snapped open, settling on the Eternals entering the hall and some people stumbling over their own feet to see it for themselves. Not all of them were available, you were told, they agreed only the ones battling directly for your Kingdom would attend, but you didn’t stop yourself from counting the lot. A frown etched itself on your face and your shoulders slumped in disappointment upon not catching the pair of eyes you were hoping to see.
You nursed your drink lazily, only sending a polite smile everytime someone glanced at your sitting form. Your lips pressed into a thin line and you raised your glass when Alex shot you a sympathetic look, noting how miserable you were being in a room full of people. Anyone would’ve guessed that Thena would want to question your.. ‘reveal' the night before, but the absence of the silver hair amongst the crowd made you sigh in defeat. Your safe bubble was broken, however, when Alex curtsied in front of you, asking your hand for a dance. You chanced a look at your father and for a moment, your eyes flitted to the entrance to see her, say.. the culprit of your misery this fine morning.
Without any further hesitation, you placed your hand in his and he led you to the dance floor, hips swaying dangerously like you were seducing your partner. But oh, were they wrong, for it wasn’t the man in your arms that it was intended for. Thena’s eyes flashed ferociously at the display, Kingo’s words at her side falling upon deaf ears as all she could hear was a ringing and the strange urge to rip you out of his arms. “T! Are you listening to me-” The Eternal stopped himself and followed her lane of sight, a smirk raising on his lips as he realised the scenario he’s caught her in.
“Don’t fall.” Ajak’s words rang in her ears. But she couldn’t help her heart, couldn’t stop herself from wanting to feel what they said to be ‘love’, couldn’t dismiss the pull, the effect you’d inflicted on her the moment she stared up at that balcony on the first day they’d arrived.
“You didn’t have to come and entertain me, you know?” You placed your arms on his shoulders as his rest on your lips, your legs moving in practiced patterns immediately as you stepped into the dace floor. “It is my honor to dance with my ‘future wife’, my dear friend.” A snort escaped your nostrils and clasped a hand on your mouth, looking over his back to catch Lou’s eyes who sent you a wink before going back to the people she was talking to. “The woman you’re courting might not feel as delighted with your notion, my Prince.” He seemed to be looking at something ahead of him before leaning down, “Well, someone might be jealous, and it’s not my girl, it seems.” He gave a teasing remark and your skin prickled from her stare on your back, a red blush adorning your cheeks and you slapped his shoulder lightly, rolling your eyes playfully.
“Oh… don’t they look good together?” Kingo almost took a step back and recoiled when he was met with an angry stare from his friend, though he knew deep down that she wouldn’t hurt him, a punch or two might land on his face tonight.. but he didn’t stop his mouth from talking more than his brain allowed. “Isn’t that the suitor that’d marry her?” Thena’s jaw clenched and her emerald orbs scanned the two dancing figures, her hands balled up into fists when he leaned down and whispered in your eyes that made your eyes shine and a laugh escape from your delicious lips. Hold on.. what?
“Don’t fall.” Despite his teasings, Kingo was well aware of the rules they’d set, the silent agreement they all signed when they set foot on this earth. Thena bit the inside of her cheek, crossing her arms as she took a defensive stance.
“Sersi and Ikaris did.”
“Yeah, to each other, not a human.”
Thena didn’t like that. You are human. And that’s special, you’re trusting – too much, if she was to be honest – bright, strong, and most of all, lovely. She thinks the fact that you’re human made it all more special, more.. remarkable, exceptional.
She only sulked at a faraway table with a glass of wine she’d rather trade for a bad battle, her line of thinking was very much distracting her from the world, not only a loud clink of another glass on the table woke her up from her daydreaming. A cold object poked her cheek and Thena blinked, dumbfounded when she found your cheeky grin inches from her face. “Thought I lost you there for a second.” Her head was a jumbled mess because of you, yet it seemed all her problems vanished when she caught sight of you, the anxiety in her chest turned into loud beatings of her heart as she tried to hide her blush. Thena flexed her shoulders and shook her head, bumping her glass into yours.
“Aren’t you tired?” “From what?” Thena shrugged, directing her eyes straight on yours as you averted them. “Hell of a show you did last night.” You didn’t know how to react to her statement, in fact, you had no idea what it meant. Was it a compliment? She didn’t sound angry, even if, why would she be? Oh Gods, how many people have she told? “You shouldn’t over exert yourself just to show me, you know?” Oh, you did, but you didn’t know how to approach the subject. Yes, let’s stop in the middle of a make out session and say, ‘Hey, I was cursed because my mother was a witch and I fight the deviants with said curse.’ It didn’t sound much compelling to you.
“Where’s the fun in that?” You winked, and one would think that the Goddess of War wouldn’t blush this much, but they were about to be proven wrong. She didn’t ask more questions, though her eyes screamed that she was dying to know everything, she refrained from opening her mouth. She was a stranger, known you not longer than a month, and already knew your biggest secret, she assumed. It would be considered improper for her to probe even further.
“Father knows. A few maids, Alex, too.” Her blood boiled at the mention of his name, the damned guy.. she couldn’t believe you were betrothed to that handsome prince, and charming too, her brain supplied unhelpingly. “Oh! And his girlfriend, of course.” Her eyes almost popped out of her sockets and she choked on the air, completely losing her composure as you bit your lip to stop yourself from laughing.
“How does he date someone else while courting you?”
“It seems like he was courting me.”
Thena furrowed her brows, confusion written all over her face whilst you only smiled, resting your chin on your hand and popping a cherry from the plate between you into your mouth. “You do realize I just kissed you last night, don’t you?”
“Don’t fall.” It was a constant ick she had to get rid as soon as possible.
“And you do remember that you bolted out right after, don’t you?” She mimicked your question and raised an eyebrow, challenging you for an answer. “And miss out showing you a cool trick? Never.” A laugh bubbled up from inside her chest and she rolled her eyes softly, she could never win against you, and it surprised herself that she was okay with it.
She held no idea of your plans as a princess, and her curiousity about this Prince and his supposed girlfriend were buried deep to the back of her mind. Eternals weren’t meant to intervene with human conflicts, and she was doing just that. To have known you in her time on earth was enough, she thought.
“Oh, it’s you.”
“You could at least fake some enthusiasm.”
You laughed lightly at her words, slumping onto a chair as you huffed a sigh, finally catching a break after the full day of royal duties. Thena wasn’t faring off any better. To be honest, none of the Eternals were.
Their arrival was followed by festivities and celebrations, the relief and gratitude people had felt and shown was nothing short of overwhelming. Unexpected as it was, their stay wasn’t a brief one. Now – following two years they’d been here, the peak of your Kingdom has been reached, it seemed. No one knew where those monsters kept coming from when every single one of them were slaughtered everytime there was an attack. They were bound to be low on numbers, but all they’ve done is multiplied as the time goes on. It was a logic none could solve, not even the smartest Eternal, Phastos.
They had been restless, the whole kingdom was – no one had been able to rest easy, and it didn’t help that your father had fallen sick and refused to take on any duties; said it was time for you to take over. He was stubborn, but so were you. Only days since he was bedridden, the man was sitting ln his chair in the Great Hall barking orders left and right. He wasn’t pleased, but no one was, at that point.
A warm hand covered yours and you shivered, a yawn overtaking your features when you opened your mouth to speak. You could feel Thena’s concerning stare burning a hole on your cheek but chose to ignore it, instead flipping over your palm to intertwine your fingers. Between sleeping and fighting for your life, the former had been easily discarded to the side for your quest to help them out. Lately, though, little to none tendrils of shadows were sighted, only so brief it wasn’t visible to the eye.
Thena had held you back from exerting the limits of it, but she knew you wouldn’t hinder her warnings of possible death that awaited you anytime your chest constricted in pain in the morning. Least she knew of the forming plan you’d drawn in your head to end this once and for all. The painful news your father had rained down upon your heart just nights ago a heavy reminder of your time.
“There is a way.” Your ears perked up, even though his tone was filled with dread. “A prophecy laid out in front of me the day you were born. I’d hoped to never have to bring it up to you, but our matters are urgent, daughter.” Your heart fell to your stomach, already feeling uneasy of what would flow out of his mouth.
“Call the shadows, and you shall be free.” of pain, of suffering, of life. The words echoed in your ears like a whisper, a reminder.
Thena was none the wiser, taking the dark circles under your eyes and your long sighs as exhaustion, the most common illness amongst humans when they overwork their feeble bodies. Maybe, you should stop sulking and work your way to the ends of this problem. The sooner it ends, the better it is for everyone. You hoped no longer for them to stay in one place and let the deviants roam free in others, prolonging their time here only ripped away the chances of saving so many.
So lost in your mind, it only registered that you were in your bed when a set of arms wrapped themselves around your torso, the pressure of her head on your shoulder somewhat a reassurance that kept you grounded and you let out the breath you didn’t know you were holding. “I’m sorry.” A movement told you she was shaking her head, tightening her hold on you. She remained unknowing of meaning behind it, because you owed her nothing, if not only being conscious of your health.
Thena knew, that it was temporary. This, she told herself over a million times, would end, because her life was not meant for this. It wasn’t meant to carry love and joy, inside jokes and affection, no, it was to fight, to kill – monsters, but it was still killing. But she didn’t stop herself when she fell deeper into the hole she dug for herself every single day, she didn’t stop when your taste intoxicated her body and soul, when your smile was all she could think about day and night.
“Don’t fall.” It was too late now. They could do nothing to stop her; just like they were helpless against the growing numbers of deviants that kept swarming the city. Would she be wrong if she hoped for them to never stop?
Yet another boring meeting with the board of the King. The shine of the sun was dulled by the slightly pouring rain on your window this morning, your bed empty and cold a subtle reminder of your pathetic loneliness. The only thing getting you through these meetings were what comes after; your discussion with the Eternals themselves. Or, more specifically, a certain silver haired woman you had missed terribly despite having seen her just the night before.
“Is it just me, or did you glow brighter everyday, my lady?” You bit your lip to stop your smile, but it broke the moment you saw their figures entering the room, shaking your head at the obnoxious flirting filling your ears. Your spirits were immediately lifted, your grin growing wider the moment she walked to your side, delivering a kiss on your cheek as greeting.
“Alright everyone, listen up. New plan!” The room fell silent, every pair of eyes watching you carefully, awaiting your command as though you were a leader – even Ajak was among them. Your gaze never strayed from the layer of map laid on the table, pointing and directing orders and suggestions, finding ways of holding back and demolishing the human eating monsters. No questions was asked, they nodded and agreed to take your King’s counsel as their new plan. With a heart beating out of your chest, you shared a courtesy and they flew out of the room, their feet carrying them with a certainty that filled your brain with anxiety at the amount of trust they put in you. Sometimes, the fact dizzies your head and skipped at your heart.
“Shall we take a walk?” It was no secret, this.. situation between you and one of the Eternals, and as expected, only a few had accepted the way it was. You worked hard to build back the trust they lost in the perspective they held, fights weren’t an uncommon thing with Thena. It was often brought as a problem that you didn’t belong together, and she was to continue living after you die, the fact that you were to marry as the only heir, it goes on and on, the list was never ending.
Still, no one could deny the love you possess for her, and the way you were clutching each other’s hearts on your hands, fully giving yourselves until there were nothing left to give. And so you fought, and make up, forgive, and grow together. There was something heavy on the pit of your stomach when they went to kill monsters, and you couldn’t decide where it came from; the chance that they could fail, or that they could succeed?
Despite being the only child to the King, you had zero intentions in leading the country. Some might say you strayed from the norms and curse you out in public, some might call you ungrateful of the gift the Gods had presented on your face. But they didn’t say that, they hadn’t, because no one should ever know, not even Thena, not yet.
“Every walk is just another chance to overthink, hm?” You didn’t jump by her sudden voice, it’s became a routine by now. You’d get lost in your head, and she’d pull you out of it with a gentle touch, soothing your troubled mind just with the smallest contact. “You’ve nothing to worry about, you know? Everything will turn out.” You pressed your lips into a thin line and shot her a look, a squeeze on your hand signaled that she, too, worries about it constantly.
Two years could be considered long for humans, or really brief for an immortal being like Thena. She’d joke about stealing you away to come with her wherever she was going, and though she knew the possibility was slim to none, she still hoped. The Eternals was not so complicated, after all. The stories Thena told were wonderful, all the places she’d been was recounted in every detail that you could see it through her descriptions. Though she could say you’ve known all of her, she had yet to figure out your life, regardless of the huge difference of years you’ve lived compared to her.
“I have a suspicion.” Your steps slowed to a stop as she turned to face you, thoughtful of her way of approaching the subject. “You know that we’re not supposed to shove ourselves into conflicts, and I didn’t want to accuse anyone of anything and I hold no place to do such things, but-” You brought up your hand to fix her hair with your fingers, effectively shutting her up from her nervous ramble. A soft smile took over your features and Thena felt a breeze that cooled down her anxiety, your sparkling eyes staring up at her so, so genuine and lovely that she was afraid to see it any other way.
“I think the King is onto something.” Your smile faded and eyes turned hard, quickly ducking away from her gaze as a frown settled on your face. She can’t possibly know, can she? Of the prophecy? No one else had any knowledge of it, your father was sure of it. The prophet had passed away years after your birth, and so it was never told or spoken of ever again. You tried to mask away any visible panic before you faced her, a curious squint of your eyes made the innocent expression you wished to display.
“What made you think that?” Thena must’ve mistaken your pause as dismay and took your unsure question as a way to doubt her judgement, so she stopped herself from launching into deep details of what she knew, only covering it as basic thoughts she’d been having. “He’s up to something, and they might have something to do with the deviants.” And you. But she didn’t continue, only searching for your reaction. You seemed deep in thought, tilting your head to the side as you considered the words against your father.
“And I assume it’s not good?” Thena didn’t need to say anything for you to guess it right, dismissing her with a shake of your head and sighed. You trusted her, but your father was the only family you had left. A part of you wanted to hear her out, but you knew you were bound to lose temper if she were to accuse anything bad of the King, and she knew it, too, so she kept her silence, awaiting your response.
“I don’t know her.” You told your ‘prince’ years ago, but you knew her now. Better than anyone, you could say, even than her own fellow eternals.
“I trust you, Thena.” Out of all the possible reactions she anticipated, this was not one of it. A low chuckle emitted from your throat at her wide eyes, “Close your mouth, darling. You’re catching flies.” Thena wondered if you took her seriously, as it was hard to tell with the change in your mood in such a short period of time.
You turned and continued walking, fingers lacing through hers as you pulled her along. You fixed your eyes on the ground and ahead, “No one in this world is innocent, Thena.” Don’t she know that? She’d lived on earth for far longer than you, yet there’s still so many odds about humans that she couldn’t comprehend. But she knew that she’d witnessed them fight and kill each other for their arrogance, because of their greed for temporary objects and possessions. What she didn’t know, was that you would accept them so easily, as if it was a second nature, as it was normal to commit monstrous acts in favour of some gold. She hoped you’d at least try to change it.
“I’d look out for them.” for him. It left a bitter taste on your tongue despite only having hinted on the crimes you’d yet to discover. “He goes to the cliff at the edge of the border two hours after midnight.” You nodded, this was not how you imagined your walk when she asked this morning.
“Thena!” Several heads snapped to the side where she caught Phastos in a flurry of urgency, panting like he’d ran miles to reach her and eyes wide in terror. The woman in question stood from her stool and stared at him in question, “Something’s happened.” It was well over midnight, just a bit before the sky shifted its hue to announce morning. She shared a look with the rest of them, heart in her mouth as she was too stunned to speak. Thena had wished for you to consider, hopefully tell her your next move and form out a plan. What she didn’t expect was for you to dive into it in that exact day.
“They’re still alive.” It took everything in her to not break down into sobs of relief, her feet moving before she could register it. Ajak blocked her way, a frown on her face and Thena seethed in anger. “I might’ve just as well sent her to her death. If i-” A touch to her shoulder – gentle, but confident. “We’re going together.”
It was dark, the moon and stars hidden by the forming clouds and an upcoming storm, leaving them counting on the torches that formed a circle around the ground.
You stood there, unharmed, but Thena couldn’t help but grimace at the state of your surrounding. “I loved you. So real that you couldn’t differ good and evil.” He said it calmly, like it had been rehearsed and waiting to be recited for a long time. There was a root-like scar scorching throughout the King’s charred skin, anything with eyes could tell that life had taken a toll on the man. “Everything I’ve done, it’s for her. You took her away. Anyone in their right minds would choose her over a cursed daughter who only brings death to this world. And today, I could have her back.” No one could bring the dead back to life. Not the Gods they believe, not Arishem, and definitely not whatever promised the King of it.
You could feel eyes burning onto your back, and you could almost see the fear in his eyes when he anticipated your response.
If that was what he wished for, then who were you to deny him? “Thank you.” A shiver crawled up their spines at the ice in your tone as they watched the scene unfold, but nothing could’ve prepared them for what comes next. Screams echoed and rang in their ears, his, and yours. Thena couldn’t remember if she kissed you goodnight before you parted ways.
Call the shadows.
Dark mists clouded their vision, nothing could be seen or made out. Druig couldn’t sense any thoughts, but there was a void, like a brain lacking oxygen yet still breathing like nothing happened.
And you shall be free.
A sound called their attention, one of disbelief and they could make out an outline of the globe – Phastos’ device doing something strange. The dots that adorned it turned off one by one, leaving them with their mouths agape; some in confusion, some in awe at the realization.
Of pain, of suffering.
They travelled to those dots on the globe – it’s a tracking device Phastos had made long ago to navigate their locations, and now they were disappearing before their eyes. Either it was broken – unlikely – or something major happened that caused the deviants to suddenly perish. They weren’t dumb; it wasn’t a coincidence that it happened after you were… lost.
When the smoke clears, they had to drag Thena back to the castle. Her eyes couldn’t afford to strand from the burned ground where you stood with your father, the heavy weight of guilt settling on her heart painfully as she struggled to breathe. Why is it so suffocating? If she didn’t tell you of it, you’d still be here. Alive. Living. Breathing. But you were not, were you?
“Don’t fall.” But she did. She fell so hard, that she didn’t see the hard end of the deep pit she jumped into, not until her knees hit the ground and hurts like she’d just lost the limbs.
Her tears had dried when they arrived, only stains left on her cheeks that she was too exhausted to wipe away. It was eerily quiet, but the sounds of horses’ hoofbeats perked up their ears – a man and his advisor – arriving in a hustle. He didn’t know, but once his gaze settled on Thena, he could tell stuff didn’t go much as well as they planned. He walked over to the eternal and clasped her shoulder that she shook away, glaring daggers at him for no reason he could understand. A piece of paper was on his hand, he showed it only to her; “It’s time.”
Three days after, the King was announced deceased from a sudden illness, and it was declared that his daughter had gone into isolation to serve the realm the other way – whatever that meant. Riots broke out, not accepting the sudden change of rules, talks spread out that he was sacrificed in order to free them, the cost he had to pay with for their lives. Humans are strange beings. They’d make up anything to believe in, to ease their own hearts even knowing that it wasn’t true.
Druig told them about the prophecy then, the way you must’ve planned it all out before taking a step – just without anyone knowing. Except the Prince that was soon to be crowned, it seemed, and Thena couldn’t help but felt a slither of jealousy seep into her bones knowing the amount of trust you’d laid upon him. And not her. You had your reasonings, and still she had hers to be upset by your decisions. She wasn’t well in that part yet, though, her heart still squeezes at the memories that flashed before her eyes when she walked through the garden, the ghost of your smile that haunted her night still brought tears to her eyes.
“Why not tell them she’s dead?” His smile was laded with sympathy, his kind eyes crinkled and she hated that humans are so riddled, complicated. She hated that he reminded her of you, the childlike grins he held when he tells a joke, the skips on his steps that made the exact resemblance of you. You told her he spent too much time around you, and Thena thought that was what made him like-able, at least for her.
“Why would I tell them a lie?” She almost scoffed. He did lie, about the King, about the princess. Who knows what else he could lie about? The piece of parchment with your signature stating he was the next successor? It all seemed too odd to be true, the Kingdom was in ruins because of it.
“It was my orders.” She froze, her breathing ceased and she saw his gaze flicker to a figure standing behind her, his lips pulled into a smile of acknowledgement, raising a cup of wine and taking a sip as if he did not just see his best friend return from the dead. When she turned, she stood for what seemed like hours, accessing your body, head to toes, blinking her eyes rapidly to make sure that you were real. Besides having fresh, angry red scars on your skin, you were very much alive. Why didn’t you tell me? The question sat on the edge of her tongue but she couldn’t form any coherent words, her feet carrying her towards you until your body collides with hers.
She felt you, the steady rise and fall of your chest, the pulse on your neck as she shoved her head there, breathing you in like a creature out of air. Her eyes glistened with tears, this time not in grief or anger, instead it was in joy, happiness and relief. A million questions scratched at the back of her throat, but you’d have plenty of time to unbox it later, she hoped.
She’d joke about stealing you away to come with her wherever she goes.
She saw you then, fully open for her to take in, to admire, your eyes twinkling and the apple of your cheeks raised high from the wide smile you were sporting. You caressed her cheek, wiping her tears away with your thumb and leaned in until your foreheads were touching.
“Steal me away, Thena.”
She gripped at your shirt so tight, as if you’d disappear if she even let loose for a second.
“With pleasure, your Majesty.”
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