Summary: Because a random stranger dropping inside the room you haven’t left for years does have the tendency to change life as you know it.
A Nalu!Tangled AU.
Notes: For @ff-darkshininglight : Surprise, Tsuyu! It’s been an honour to be your (very fickle and hardly regular) Secret Santa! You are a wonderfully talented person and one of my favourite people to take out all my pent up shipper and frustrated-fan rants with. I feel so blessed to be able to call you a friend! Happy holidays, and I hope you enjoy this! <3<br>
This had never happened before.
In his entire 22 years of existence, the only significant movement that ever came from the one window in the tall tower that was his home, was when his brother came over.
And that was usually with a loud call of his name.
But now…now he could hear the steady sounds of someone scaling it - softly grunting the whole while.
He was very unsure of how to react. Sure, he could breathe and conjure fire, but the last thing he ever wanted to do was to hurt anybody.
He was pretty certain his appearance alone would do significant harm to the poor soul about to reach his quarters. He knew, since his brother had constantly, constantly warned him of the fear that he would bring.
But when one dainty human hand was visible on the ledge of his one window, he found himself ducking into the shadows, hoping against hope that that wouldn’t be the case.
He so desperately wanted to make a frien -
His thoughts were brought to a halt as the mystery person hauled themselves into the room, panting as they did.
As she did.
No, a woman!
He had only vaguely read about those, back when he had a small interest in books.
But no book could do any justice to the form in front of him.
Her long golden hair was pulled back and tied, allowing them to flow but not get into her eyes. She was wearing what looked like men’s clothes - trousers, a shirt, and a belt with rope, keys and a sword - but the way she wore them made him question what kind of clothing suited whom. They fit her frame well, complimenting it but also loose enough for comfortable movement.
She was a vision.
He instinctively took a few more steps back, avoiding the large patch of light coming from the window - which happened to be lending the stranger an almost ethereal glow.
And though it was instinctive, he found himself feeling safe hidden there. Well, relatively speaking, since his heart was still pounding a mile a minute.
He watched with a weird mix of anxiety and wonder as the person dropped from the ledge onto the floor, sitting down and catching her breath, before turning around to peek over the ledge.
Was she looking for something?
Suddenly she froze, and he did too in response, ready to attack if the unfortunate need arose.
He watched as one hand quickly darted to the sword on her hip. “I know you’re there,” she said, low but steady. “Are you one of my father’s men?”
But he was too busy being fascinated with what her voice was doing to him - unsure if he had ever heard anything as lovely before.
“Okay, that was stupid,” she seemed to correct herself under her breath. “Way to barge into someone’s place and then make seem yourself sooo unsuspicious, Lucy.”
He could hear all of it of course, and snorted at the sarcasm, making her jump. The action, in turn, scared him as well, but for totally different reasons.
“Please don’t leave!” he said in reflex.
The plea - for it was a plea - had her brows furrow and a frown form on her pretty face. Squinting into the shadows, she was obviously trying to make him out in the shadows.
‘A demon? A monster?’ his brain supplied on her behalf.
“Are you okay?”
He found himself mutely blinking back at her and the very simple question. A simple question that nearly plunged him into an existential crisis, with him questioning everything that was currently his life. No, his existence.
He was a monster, sealed away from the world for nearly all his life with only one person - his brother - who wasn’t scared of him.
So, was he okay?
“You..don’t have to be afraid of me,” her lovely voice came, snapping his thoughts back to her. “I don’t mean any harm,” she said, raising her hands so he could see she was being sincere.
He felt the need to respond bubble up in him, and for once, he did as he wanted. “Why are you breathing so hard?”
The woman’s face still seemed worried, though funnily enough, it didn’t look like it was herself she was concerned for when she distractedly replied, “Was running.”
He found himself stepping further into the shadows when she didn’t relent in trying to catch a glimpse of him. “Why?”
“I can’t tell you more until I know who you are,” she said gently, but with firm authority.
“I don’t want to scare you,“ he admitted.He didn’t want her leaving just yet. She didn’t seem like a threat - according to his instincts anyway - and he was far too fascinated to let her go. He barely recognised the other, more dominant emotion she drew from him, something he hadn’t truly felt in years.
“Why would you scare me?” she asked, genuinely puzzled.
He couldn’t respond to that, fearing that she would run if she knew. So he decided to do the easier thing - take a shot in the dark and step out of it.
He saw, his heart clutching in fear and dread as her eyes widened as he slowly slid into the patch of sunlight coming from the window.
“You…” she whispered, one palm reaching to cover her gaping mouth, the other pointing a finger at him.
He stood still, his heart frantic and his thoughts a mess. Everything he had ever been told was coming true. She was scared and she would run away, because he was the monster he was. The demon he was.
“You’re.. you’re a - ”
- he braced himself -
“A dragon, oh my gosh.”