“Stop it.” Cullen pleaded, gazing up at Nevena from beneath damp, messy curls. She blinked owlishly, the smile that had been fixed on her face faltering a little. “Stop what?” - blustersquall
AHHH I’ve been so nervous if I should post this or not but srsly you make such great fanfics and I personally loved “The Ways We Fall Asleep” and I got so very inspired while I was having an art block and um here you go for all the wonderful beautiful Cullen fanfics they’re really great and I should just shut up now =///=
I basically plowed through it off and on all day, although my ereader app seems to swear I didn’t spend more than four hours reading in total. I livetweeted a lot of my reactions. I wanted to write some kind of response, “this is my impression as an adult and not a small child in elementary school” but I’m not sure how much I have to give.
The big thing that got me, which I doubt affected me nearly as much as a child, was the theme of families. Daine has lost hers, and she’s trying to find her way in the world without, not having other humans she can trust and relying on only animals as friends. The book really is about found families and how Daine makes one for herself, one that includes animals and people until by the end of the book she has gone from not having a home to having too many. And the bits contrasting her situation, with the prince and princess and Alanna’s son, especially when these small, brave children talk about their parents having to fight and show how clear a perception they have of adult responsibilities, just fucking slices me open and hurts me to the bone.
The other thing that resonates with me so strongly it’s painful is Numair’s mentorship of Daine. He’s just this great big puppy of a man, so enthusiastic about learning and eager to teach. I love how Daine flips fluidly between treating him like a respected elder and calling him things like “master,” and treating him like an equal, down to making jokes and more or less scolding him and yelling at him. I love how stupid fucking protective he is of her, and how much he flips off the handle when she almost dies trying to talk to the dolphins. I love how he slowly becomes possessive of her as he feels responsible for her, calling her “his” magelet and going so far as to throw his hat into the ring for where she should live at the end – with him in his mage tower where he can’t even keep servants on to stay.
I still ship Daine and Numair something terrible. I can’t tell if it’s because I know how the story ends, or if it’s just that I’ve come a long way in all this time and the potential for a May-December romance is just too strong a siren song for me to resist. But there are a lot of things I notice that build into it in interesting ways. I like how when Daine first meets Numair as a man, she seems pretty taken with his looks. But she’s also so clearly unused to boys, and he even reassures her that boys worry about their appearances, too, to make himself as a man seem less alien.
Then when Daine gets to the palace, she meets the king and she swoons hard. I feel like I might be biased, but her narration seems to be far more impartial as she describes how handsome the king is, but in between her objective judgments of his appearance, he’s charming and impressive and that wins her over. Past that point she knows all of these male people and Numair’s male-ness is no longer special; when her friend Miri comments on him being handsome, Daine couldn’t care less. He doesn’t compare to the king, and he’s just her friend.
Past that point, when they’re on the road to Pirate’s Swoop and at Pirate’s Swoop, the amount of physical affection they display seems to pick up. I can’t say this for certain, but I feel like it comes after Daine confesses to Numair and Onua about what “the madness” was before she left her village. Past that point, Numair freely gives her reassuring hugs, and she gives him a (uncertain) kiss on the cheek. After the battle, when she’s magically exhausted and he’s already passed out from the same, she just curls up with him, wrapped in his blanket right there on the roof. The level of trust they have going on is objectively adorable.
Basically, they’re sweet and stubborn and stupidly devoted to and protective of each other, and they also happen to be two individuals with abilities so unique and terrifying that few people could understand them, besides each other, and I want them to kiss on the mouth really, really badly. I ship them so hard and it hurts me.
I still love these books so much, basically, is the verdict here.
“So the rumors are true then. Tudor has won and he will be king…”
“And you will be his queen, Lizzie.”
“Perhaps, dear Cecily…”
“Henry Tudor needs me, but I do not need him. Tudor may have won the battle but he has not won me. Now the real struggle begins. He knows that if he wishes to secure the throne and the country he will need to marry me to gain the support of the Yorkists. That’s if he ever hopes for stability in England. And I may not yet give my consent to him. After all, no matter what is said, I am the true heir to the throne. I am Elizabeth of York.”
Jaime stood guard at the door. A maester was within, but
that was not unusual. Princess Elia had always been sickly and even more so
after birthing the Princess Rhaenys. He enjoyed the change of duties with the
visit of Prince Rhaegar and his wife, he had to admit. It was boring, but he
preferred boring to the other, to Aerys.
“Is the princess well, Ser Jaime?”
Jaime gave Lady Ashara a smile. “I think that is a question
for the maester, my lady. I took vows but mine do not allow me such close examination
of the princess as his.”
She laughed, shaking her head and he watched her pass. She
was beautiful with her dark hair and violet eyes but she wasn’t Cersei. Jaime
resumed his boring duties, passing the time by filling his head with images of
his golden twin. His imaginings did not stop him seeing the maester’s grave
expression when he passed through the door to take his leave of the princess.
The man shook his head, muttering under his breath.
“This is folly,” Jaime distinctly heard.
He turned to look in the open doorway, too curious to keep
watch on the empty corridor. Elia Martell was within, pale and sickly but no
worse than he had seen her before. She beckoned to him.
“You may enter, Ser Jaime.”
Her smile was gentle and warm but that didn’t surprise him.
The princess had always been kind and gracious. She invited him to sit. He
“Is something wrong princess?”
Elia Martell laughed.
“I am not ill, Ser, you need not fret.”
Jaime frowned. It was not his concern but the prince had requested
he protect Princess Elia and he could hardly do that if he was not informed.
She waved her hand dismissively.
“It is a woman’s ailment.”
Jaime did not want to hear any more. He began to make his
excuses and she laughed at him, not unkindly.
“The maester tells me I am with child.”
The maester’s expression now made sense. Jaime remembered
what he had heard of Rhaeny’s birth and his thoughts went briefly to his own
mother. He struggled to hold his tongue and failed.
“Is that wise?”
Elia smiled, a sad smile this time.
“Rhaegar wants three children.”
This time he managed to stay silent, if only for a moment.
“If you carry a boy, he will have his heir your grace.”
Elia raised her chin and her expression became hard.
“He has an heir,
A daughter is not a
son. He almost said it too before he remembered Dornish custom. In Dorne
Rhaenys would be heir, no matter the child Elia now carried. Her face softened
once more and her hand brushed over her stomach, just gently.
“This will please Rhaegar, for a time.”
For a time.
“The prince will not risk you princess,” he insisted. “He is
fond of you.”
Elia kept her face lowered.
“As I am of him,” she whispered. “He will still want three.”
He did not know what to say to that. Jaime loved his brother
but if his father had known that birthing Tyrion would take their mother he was
certain he knew what Lord Tywin’s choice would be. He sat with the princess,
silently, thinking thoughts he dare not share. Rhaegar would be king after
Aerys, a finer king than his father for certain.
“Forgive me,” Princess Elia said suddenly. “I trouble you
with matters I should not speak of.”
“You do not need my forgiveness princess,” Jaime said
quickly. “It is forgotten.”
He swore he would forget it as he rose to take up his post
once more. The past held enough ghosts for him. He did not intend to dwell on
the possibility of new ones. He closed the door behind him, unable to quite
ignore the forlorn expression on the princess when he left. He stood as he had
before, filling his mind with images of Cersei once more.