Day Two: Family
(This prompt is a bit rushed, sorry)
The first few nights at Evernight Castle, Althea couldn’t sleep hardly a wink. Maybe it was because she hadn’t slept in an actual bed in a while. Maybe it was because she’d had a huge bomb of information dumped on her like a gallon of ice water after she’d come here. The Maidens. The Relics. Salem’s mission and her promise.
It was more than enough to keep a person up at night.
She found herself wandering the halls on nights like these, slithering back to her bedroom if she thought she heard someone else who was up and about. She wasn’t necessarily scared of her new “team”. Hazel and a huge man but he hardly spoke and he didn’t seemed gentle if he wanted to be.
Watts was a bit snide, and Cinder was just a power hungry child by what Althea had seen, with two followers who weren’t completely sure if they were where they belonged.
And Tyrain…he was odd. But she wasn’t scared of him.
No, Althea just wanted to avoid that awkwardness of stumbling upon someone in the darkened halls. If they were already having trouble sleeping, she didn’t want to make it worse by…
Tonight the castle was dead silent. Outside, the landscape was cast in red and mauve, a constant state of twilight. The place lived up to the name, Evernight. The only thing that told Althea that it was truly nighttime was the clock on her scroll.
The broken moon shined bright through a window and Althea paused as she looked up at it, remembering old tales and stories of the Man in the Moon. Stories her mother had told her when she was small and innocent. Althea wondered if her mother had hated her even then at that age.
Althea pulled herself up onto the windowsill ledge, bringing her knees up close to her chest as the glass radiated cold.
Black pools bubbled and toiled out in the distant plains, the place where Grimm were born. Even though Althea had seen it when she’d first arrived, it still didn’t seem real that those creatures had a master. And yet, here this castle sat, with Salem in it.
Althea couldn’t help but wonder where that woman came from. How she had come to be. Tyrian had referred to Salem as the Goddess, but that didn’t seem quite right to Althea. Despite the white skin, red eyes and a very old air about her, there was something very human about Salem underneath it all, even if it was a minor something.
Althea pressed her forehead against the glass and felt a stiff shiver run all down her spine. Salem’s origins didn’t really matter…did they?
“Can’t sleep either?"
Althea almost slipped from her perch at the voice. She hadn’t heard even the slightest noise to indicate anyone had come near her, so the familiar lilting voice that could only belong to Tyrian had made her heart leap into her throat.
A string of giggles left the scorpion faunus’s lips as he realized he had caught her off guard.
"You’re gonna kill me, sneaking up on me like that.” Althea hissed as she collected herself. But she couldn’t deny that had been impressive. Not many people could sneak up on her. She glanced over Tyrain, a little surprised to see his hair was free of its usual braid. It was as long and wavy as Althea had expected it to look. He was dressed in sleep clothes, a slightly torn purple tank top and a pair of sleep pants that, by judging by their style, had probably been “borrowed” from Watts.
“Why, that’s the whole point of sneaking up on someone.” Tyrian chuckled as he joined Althea on the windowsill. “But I would hate to kill you, someone so valuable.”
“Thanks?” Althea smirked softly. “Valuable” was not something she would typically consider herself, ever. “So, why can’t you sleep?"
"Why can’t you?” Tyrian deflected with a smirk.
“I just can’t shut my mind off.” Althea says. “Just keep thinking about…people. And who they make me think of.”
“Do tell.” Tyrian almost purred. Almost. Althea hesitated. She never really told anyone about herself because she’d never stuck with people before. What could the harm be in talking to Tyrian?
“My mother.” Althea’s eyes found her lap as she thought about that woman. “I don’t know what it is…Salem just reminds me of her somehow."
"And how is that?” Tyrian asked.
“My mom had a…selfishness about her. I don’t know what it was. It was just me and her, I didn’t have a father or siblings and she kept me kind of isolated when I was younger so I had no friends and…she would make me feel so guilty if I didn’t do everything she asked.” Althea sighed. “I had to fix everything. Anytime she felt bad or depressed or something I had to "fix” it, no matter how I was feeling or how much it drained my own emotions.“ Althea took a moment to breathe, to swallow down a lump forming in her throat. "And if I couldn’t do it…couldn’t "fix” it well enough or long enough…well what use was I, you know?“
"Our Goddess is more understanding than your mother.” Tyrian assured her. Althea would believe that when she saw it.
“What about your family?” Althea asked, desperate to stop thinking of her past, of all those nights she was sent to bed with no dinner, or days on end spent locked in a closet…
“Never had one.” Tyrian says coolly with a small shrug. “Well aside from my mother who abandoned me when I was small. But I hardly remember her. I suppose the circus I spent most of my youth in could be considered a family but…”.“ He smirked softly, lost in memories for a moment before he looked back to Althea. "None of those past lives matter anymore.” He finally sighed. “All that matters is here, and our service to our savior.”
“I suppose you’re right.” Althea glanced out the window, up at the moon. He definitely was correct about how past lives didn’t matter anymore. All those people left far behind in time.
“If you truly can’t sleep, perhaps you’d join me in one of the practice rooms to sparr?” Tyrian offered, golden eyes meeting Althea’s emerald ones.
“Gladly.” She she finally nodded as Tyrian took her hand and lead her down the dark hallways.