“Don’t.” Anaïs’ voice is softer than intended, but she’s preoccupied with keeping her mouth above water. Dastan floats with enviable ease. “Don’t you dare.”
Black eyes hover over the water’s surface, narrowing in tandem with the green. They disappear, and Anaïs is left with nothing but her barely effective paddling. There isn’t even any time to turn around, legs pumping furiously in the water, before something ensnares her ankle.
A rush of salt replaces Anaïs’ stream of curses. A shadow encircles her and she freezes, unable to discern anything beneath the surface. Panic feels a lot like a pair of hands on your face and lips against your mouth, curiously warm within the ocean- something about oxygen deprivation reminds her about sharks.
Anaïs’ fist has never seen much use on the surface, but proves to be more effective than either expected. The apology, if it could be called that, is spluttered out once they both retreat to the shore. Of course, the whole thing could have been avoided, but would she have preferred it that way? Dastan doesn’t receive an answer; Anaïs is shaking the water from her ears.
You win or you die ❧ ft. the Danes of Verona
When she pushes her sleeves back, the color drains from his face. Her arms are covered in half-dried blood, so mottled with bruises and scars that it looks more like a battlefield than her skin. Alastor looks at her as if they were his own arms, his own blood, his own bruises.
Now she is certain she’s dreaming.
Arya tries not to cry, she really does, but dreams aren’t the same. A whimper slips past her tongue and she buckles, bends, tears herself apart, absent even her usual dignity. There is no pain her arms. Instead, it is nestled in pieces: her throat and her chest and her lungs and her eyes, which sting with tears. And he is there, holding her with his chin atop her head, rocking them back and forth as she sobs.
They stay like that for a long time, and when she can’t cry anymore, she presses into the warmth at her cheek, the slow rise and fall of two tender bodies. None of this is real, but does it matter?
“I miss you,” she says at last, quietly.
“Shhh.” Alastor catches her hand and lifts it to his lips, kissing the inside of her wrist as gentle as a whisper. His blue, blue eyes meet hers with conviction. “You always come back, Arya Coulter.”
“Always,” she murmurs, and drowns in his arms.
Time stretches and falls apart as they talk. She tells him of many things: her mother, waking dreams, the cave behind the waterfall that she and Lyanna and Noelle swore he would never see. It is a vow she happily breaks.
When she looks again, the bruises are gone, at least until the morning.
There is a new routine to learn, manners to perfect, names to remember. Henry hardly has a moment to himself unless he sneaks off to the river under the guise of relieving himself.
"Nature calls," he tells his new captain (a Prince), forcing cheer. If Artair Dane is suspicious of his new knight’s absences, he doesn’t say anything. He’s too preoccupied with the packing up of the Royal Pavilion to pay much mind to the overgrown hayseed with a small bladder.
At the river, at least, he can be alone. Henry has time to reflect on his new life when he’s there. A Knight of the Kingsguard. But no true knight at all, he reminds himself as he crunches through the underbrush, dry in the summer heat. He’s a liar and a coward, among other things but to tell the truth now would make him a lot worse. Henry’s head clouds with the muck he’s made of his life.
He draws up short as he reaches the bank, the roar of the water drowning out all other sound. There, across the stream, the unmistakable stance of the one woman Henry can’t bear to see. Bridget has seen him too; he can tell by the way she suddenly straightens her back, immediately on the defense. He hasn’t seen her since she left his tent in a huff, and him in a fever. Henry meant to seek her out, to tell her that he wished it could be some other way, but his new duties had kept him. For a moment he thinks he might shout that to her, from the safety of the other side of the river. This is the next in a long line of stupid ideas but reason, a rarity, prevails.
They stare at one another for a long while, and Henry wonders if she’s thinking the same thing. That they will likely never see each other again. If Henry had a head for metaphor, the symbolism of the river between them would be affecting. As it is, he simply wonders whether their children would have had red hair like her, or as been as tall as him. Would their daughters grow up in the snowdrifts of Ironhal, or the gardens of Rosecourt?
Bridget is the first to turn away. She stomps up the West Bank as though she’s
"My Lady!" he calls above the rush.
Bridget’s answer is a stone thrown, and the sharp crack of it against his forehead is her farewell kiss.
♫ BAND AU; house preston as a folk-rock supergroup
"music isn’t about cursing twelve times in a single verse or fifteen-minute drum solos or how high you can autotune your voice — it’s about the music.”
"shut up, alastor."
The day is fine and warm and lazy, and made all the better for they are finally reunited.
Fate has brought Godric and Alastor home, and for a while they regale Beatrix and Nora with stories of their squirely duties. When the girls have grown bored with their brothers’ anecdotes, the four children find their eldest, and drag him out in to the sunlight despite his protests. Maxton has duties to attend to, real obligations, he tells them, with an air of self-importance.
They laugh at him, refusing to see him as anything else than what he is; their brother. Alastor pushes and prods and teases until Maxton bellows that he can sail their father’s yacht, and damn them all if they think otherwise. Nora claps her hands with glee, and Godric’s eyes are alight. He has a map, he promises, that leads to buried treasure on the little island, too small to map, at the South East end of the lake.
Working together (or trying to), they manage to get the skiff moving across the water. Beatrix bosses them about, certain that she knows better than all of them combined until Alastor threatens to dump her over the side unless she shuts up. She retreats, sulking, to the bow, until Nora convinces her that they need her help reading the map.
“Do you think there’ll be brigands?” Nora asks, half fearful, half hopeful, as they approach the little island. Godric consults his map, the little crease between his eyebrows making him look so like their father. One hundred and one paces from the shore, he instructs them, and they set out slowly, sometimes having to stop and recount their steps, or for Nora to examine this flower or that stump. Bea worries that they’ll still be stuck here if night falls, and clucks them along, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred…
It isn’t a treasure in the traditional sense, but they are awed to silence nonetheless.
“What is it?” Maxton asks, leaning on the stick he’s adopted for walking. They all look to Godric, the expected expert.
“It’s a… chapel,” he answers, with more certainty than he feels. Indeed, it may very well be a chapel, with its high arched windows for holding glass, and a crumbling font at one end. But it’s so old and so ruinous that it’s hard to tell. Still, it’s been long abandoned, which means it belongs to them, and they play chase, and duck and goose, and knights and dragons until the woods around them are lousy with twilight and it’s time to go home.
Bea falls asleep on Alastor’s shoulder as they slip silently across the lake towards home. Tomorrow, Alastor will return to Whiteridge, and Godric will be sent back to the Gracelyns. They are purposely slow in tying up the skiff, trying to dredge the last moments from the day.
“That was nice,” Nora purrs sleepily as Bea tucks her in to bed.
“That was a good day.”
we are the reckless
we are the wild youth
chasing visions of our futures
one day we’ll reveal the truth
that one will die before he gets there
WELLLLLLLLL IF UR GONNA BE THAT WAY THEN MAKE IT RIORLAND
"We’re old friends, Hart," Roland said disdainfully, and Riordan nodded in agreement. "Old as balls.”
"Prove it," said Mordred, but on the inside….He could tell this ship was canon, just by the way they gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes while discussing their personal lives.
"Fine," snapped Roland.
"Good," sneered Mordred.
Fixing his archnemesis with a burning glare, Roland leaned down and pressed his lips against his best friend’s forehead. Old as balls, mouthed Riordan, and Mordred backed away with narrowed eyes.
♫ now does our world descend; a dastanaïs fanmix
.zip download (mediafire), album art included/ listen
the xx ► angels / the national ► don’t swallow the cap / seeker lover keeper ► even though i’m a woman / nickel creek ► can’t complain / the beatles ► girl / the swell season ► i have loved you wrong / bastille ► flaws / cake ► sick of you / to kill a king ► cold skin / the white stripes ► the denial twist / fiona apple ► love ridden / daughter ► youth / the maccabees ► grew up at midnight / josé gonzález ► slow moves / iron & wine ► cinders and smoke