“If it wasn’t Real Madrid, it would have been very, very difficult to ever leave,’ he says. ‘I hope the fans have forgiven me now. It was incredible to see all the messages of support from Tottenham fans after the Champions League final. So many people said how proud they were of me, and that felt amazing. I loved my time at Tottenham and the fans were always incredible to me. (…) without Real Madrid, I would have loved to still be there playing for Spurs.”
“I still want Arsenal to lose and Spurs to win.” (x)
Helpless Part 1: In The Eye Of A Reckoning - A Nessian Fic
Follows on from Hurricane but you definitely don’t need to have read that one in order to read this. Thank you, thank you to my darling @widowshulk for betaing and my dear @illyrian-baby for cheerleading me allll the way through this.
I’ve been working on this piece for a long time now (it was actually prompted but I think that poor person has since died of boredom waiting for me) so I’m a bit nervous about it all things considered.
Helpless Part 1: In The Eye Of A Reckoning
Summary: Set post ACOMAF. Cassian and Nesta first time scenario. The two work out the secrets that have been poisoning their souls for some time now and surrender themselves entirely to one another.
Teaser: He’s…Different. Unlike anyone else she’s ever met. Hard and soft all at once; a gentle warrior; a compassionate killer; a kind battle commander; a good man.
And somehow; some faint but insistent feeling deep in her gut whispers that he’s hers. Her counter and balance. Her match, able to handle her without ever conquering her. Her equal – one who can and will always give as good as he gets. Her destruction or her salvation, the one who has the potential to be either or somehow both at once. When most of the men around her had struggled her entire life to be anything to her at all… This man; Cassian; was everything. And she had no idea how to respond to that.
There’s a fire that burns inside her.
Burns and burns and burns. In that miserable, frozen hovel they had struggled
to carve out an existence in it had been her salvation. Feyre had had her stubborn
defiance and the oath she had made their mother. Elain had had her gentle,
unassuming hope which had been the greatest strength and light any of them had
shown in that darkness.
But she had only had that bitter anger to
fuel her and keep her going. Now the thing that had given her life all those
years is killing her. It’s ceased fuelling her and has instead begun feeding on
her. It’s devouring her a little more and a little more every day, destroying
her from the inside.
Pain and guilt and grief join the torrent
of anger and her soul becomes a hurricane beneath her paper thin skin. Terror
flares as it rages inside her and she realises she can’t control it. Magic
begins to well inside her, the sting of it now sickeningly familiar. Everything
amplifies, getting bigger and stronger and louder until it numbs and deafens
and blinds her to everything that isn’t her and this twisted power.
She fights it. She clenches her fists and
clamps down upon it. She tries to force it to submit to her. She
tries to wrestle it into submission. She tries to force it to yield
She fights. It wins.
The scream – of agony, of anguish – bursts
from her as the pulse of magic erupts. Nesta crumples to her knees as her room
explodes around her. It wrecks her in the process. She is left more
shattered than the smashed windows and splintered furniture. The destroyer of
the destroyed. The powerful powerless. The unbreakable broken. The Made unmade.
The invincible immortal ruined by her own hands.
Cassian yawns expansively, giving his
wings a habitual shake to try and rouse him. The still tattered edges sting at
the sudden, jolting motion and he grits his teeth, biting back the hiss of
pain. They were better than they had been. In that regard he hadn’t lied to his
brothers but…Rhys and Azriel knew anyway. They knew that he pretended to be
better than he was. They knew some small part of him still feared, even
after all these centuries, not being important, not being useful, not being
So he insisted he was all right, ready to
return to his duties, to prepare them for war. And his brothers accepted this,
even when they knew he lied. Azriel’s eyes he felt on him in particular.
Watching, his brother was always watching, watching everything. But when his
hazel eyes watched him they were riddled with pain and guilt.
At night he’s felt his brother’s quiet,
anguished presence there with him. When he wakes sweating and screaming, his
wings ripped from his back again, he feels Azriel’s guilt there too. That only
made him more determined to keep going, to be fine though he was far from it.
Weeks ago he had told Nesta he would have
given up those wings a hundred times over to save his brother’s life. That
hadn’t changed. It never would. Nesta had believed him; had understood that
sacrifice. Azriel never would.
His brother burned with guilt for his loss
– a loss he knew Az understood; pain he knew Az saw. They knew each other too
well for him to truly hide anything. But for now Az knew he needed them to
pretend they believed him, pretend everything was all right and so he did.
Cassian sighs heavily, rolling his
shoulders to work the tension from them. That unbearable, near continual
restlessness that has plagued him since Hybern builds in him once again.
Ordinarily he would have flown to chase away these feelings. He would
have launched himself into the sky until the cool night air swept away
every issue and concern. What he wouldn’t give to lose himself once more
in the wind’s tender, comforting embrace.
But…but there was no point pining after
what he couldn’t have. They all had too much to concern themselves with now war
was brewing to worry about what they didn’t have. The healers told him to have
hope; that he may fly again. In a way that vague promise was worse than none at
He wanted to know what he was
dealing with. He wanted to be able to see the field before him. He could work
with the soldiers he had, train them, shape them, inspire them, command them.
He could deal with resources he knew he didn’t have; find ways to work himself
around their lack. Things he mighthave frustrated him. Those he
could do nothing with. They weren’t real and so couldn’t be used. But they
might be and so they could not be dismissed either.
Growling darkly to himself Cassian drags a
hand through his shaggy hair. Then he squares his shoulders and forces himself
to continue on down the corridor. Marshalling himself he tries to go back over
the points discussed at the meeting he had just left, seeking to distract
himself. He has little success.
A scream catches his attention instead,
obliterating everything else around him. Chaos erupts following the shriek; as
though a hurricane is tearing through part of the house. Causing his Siphons to
burn like flames Cassian draws on his power. He lets it thunder through
his blood, flooding his system, reading him for the fight. Then
he sprints towards the source of destruction while servants hurry away.
They part to let him pass, knowing better than to stand between him and
whatever dares to try and harm those he loves.
As he draws nearer he realises that the
source of the disturbance is Nesta’s room. His power flares more sharply in
him, longing to devour any who would hurt her, his High Lord’s ward, his High
Lady’s sister, his…
The snarl of fury rips from him as he
bursts through her door. The action sends it flying off its already
damaged hinges. As he balances himself he reaches for the sword at his
back, taking up a position to both attack and defend.
He had promised to protect her. He failed
her in Hybern. He had sworn a second, silent oath to himself never to do so
Scanning the room for any threats he keeps
his practiced eyes sharp, even through his blind fury that any would
dare threaten them here. However Cassian realises within a few heartbeats
that they’re completely alone in her room.
Understanding floods him the moment he
finds her hunched on the floor in front of him. She's cowering – cowering – head hung, body slumped in the midst
of the wreckage that surrounds him. Both the eye of the hurricane and its most
Despite her newly enhanced Fae form and
all its accompanying strengths she seems so small huddled before him. In the
mortal world, as a human, she had stood before him with the confidence, bearing
and command of a queen. Now, as a Fae….That Cauldron hadn’t Made her; exactly
Releasing his power and allowing the build
up to dissipate, leaving only the usual faint rumbling behind, he steps into
the room. He goes to her, steps deliberately heavy so he doesn’t startle her by
approaching her from behind. Once he’s close enough to her small, hunched form
he reaches out and places a gentle hand on her shoulder, trying to offer her
some comfort and solace.
It’s thrown off with a violent strength a
heart beat later. “Don’t touch me!” she spits viciously at him.
Her whole body trembles uncontrollably
like a wild animal that’s been wounded and corned. Somehow he can sense the
terror and pain rippling from her in waves, like the aftershocks of a boulder
hurled into a pool far too small to contain it.
Cassian takes a step back, his hands
raised in a gesture of surrender even though she’s shrunk in on herself again,
back to him, and can’t see. Resigned, he decides to leave her in peace.
Giving her a chance calm down should help. He'll return and see if she’ll let him help
her once she’s had a chance to compose herself and doesn’t feel as ragged and
raw and vulnerable.
Then he notices the trickle of blood that
weeps from her shoulder in soft crimson tears. He freezes mid-step then changes
his mind. Padding into the adjoining washroom he gathers together water,
bandages and a bottle of ointment to tend to the gash. It needs to be bound up
until her depleted strength returns enough for her to heal it herself.
Returning to the bedroom he crouches down
in front of her. She refuses to acknowledge his presence but he sets down the
things he’d collected from the bathing room anyway.
“You’re bleeding,” he tells her in a low
growl, gesturing to her torn shoulder.
His warm hazel eyes seek out the cold,
battered blue-grey steel of hers. She avoids him still, sparing a cursory
glance to her shoulder instead. Shrugging, she hunches further away from him,
dismissive. “It’s fine,” she mutters back to him, a flicker of characteristic
snap edging her words but no more.
“It’s not,” he says words blunt but still
gentle. They soften further when he adds, “Let me take a look.”
Her eyes meet his this time. Drawn to
him by the same irresistible instinct that kept him here even after she’d
snarled at him to leave, wanting to make sure she was all right. Whatever she
sees in his gaze, in him, seems to thaw the armour of ice that always entombs
her. After a long moment she jerks her head at him, permitting him to
approach and tend to her.
With careful, if callused fingers, Cassian
eases the strap of her dress down her arm, baring the wound to him. Leaning
in close he can feel her ragged breaths hot on his cheek for a moment.
Then she turns her head away from him, staring out of the now empty window
to avoid him. He probes cautiously at the long, deep rents in her skin, trying
to assess the extent of the damage.
Nesta jolts round to face him with a sharp
hiss when his thumb grazes over one of the raw edges accidentally. He flicks
his eyes up to check on her but she’s already looked away again, as though
afraid of looking at him. Or else of being truly seen by him.
“Sorry,” he growls quietly to her.
That makes her turn to face him again. For
the brief moment that their eyes meet Cassian feels something stir in him.
Something that ties him to her. It’s there, if only for that single pounding
heartbeat. And gone again the moment she tears her gaze from his.
Pulling himself together Cassian irritably
brushes off the flash of feeling. Then he uses the ointment to clean the cuts,
murmuring soft apologies to her when she grimaces in pain. Then he bandages
them, trying to avoid touching her bare skin with his as much as possible.
Every time he does so a spark seems to jump between like, like lightning
flaring from her to him. He knows that she can feel it too, though she tries to
pretend otherwise. Neither of them mentions it.
As he works Cassian fixes his gaze on her,
trying to assess her condition. His hands remain gentle but a trace of steel
lines his next words. “You need to learn how to control this,” he tells
her flatly, keeping eye contact with her the whole time.
He feels her body stiffen beneath his
touch in response to those words. Softening slightly he caresses her
arm with his hand he slides it slowly down until it meets hers. Then he
takes it between his fingers and squeezes gently, trying to take some of the
sting out of the admonishment. “You’re going to hurt someone,” he murmurs,
trying to make his intentions clearer. “You’re going to hurt yourself.
And it could be much more than a scratch next time.”