I love the ACOTAR series, but I think I’d adore a version of it where fairies (and High Fae too) are a bit weirder and dangerous and monstrous and inhuman: still beautiful, but beautiful in a way that is not uber-movie-star perfection, but a wicked, disturbing and definitively otherwordly thing.
Like, Tamlin would still be the High Lord of spring, sure - but his hair would be actual flowers, closing and blossoming with twilight and dawn, and antlers on his head, and maybe sometimes, when he’s sleeping or fighting or fucking, thorns would spread from under his skin, bleeding with wild roses.
Rhysand would still be breath-takingly handsome - but he’d be a sleek, smoky thing of moon and dark, pianist fingers ending in talons he can’t hide, and raven’s feathers instead of hair. His eyes would stil be lovely and violet-blue, but they’d be an actual moonlit sky - with stars slowly spinning in them, and a solitary moon rising and waning where pupils should be.
Mor would still be herself, but a tad more like the Celtic Goddess she takes her name from: sweet and silvery, refreshing like clear water, with hair spun in starlight tumbling down her shoulders and snagging in her amor, the maiden and the mother. But then she’d step on the battlefield, and warriors would fall at her blade, and then her cheeks would flush crimson, her eyes bleeding red, and she’d be beautiful and horrible at the same time, beaming with silver light, a quartz princess of the dark caves of her kin.
Elain would get out of the Cauldron with fawn’s velvety ears, vines and blossoms spiraling and spreading across her skin, almost tattoos, shifting with the sun and her emotions. At first, they’d stay tightly closed - shivering and wrinkled liker her soul. And Lucien would have true fox ears, and clever, gold-flicked fox eyes, and his ears would tremble with delight the first morning he would make one of Elain’s blossoms open to him.
Nesta would forever be beautiful, but she would never be lovely again. The Cauldron didn’t leave her any softness, any warmth, any sweetness of features or shape. Looking at the sharp planes of her face, at the bloody-red slash of her lips is like looking at the jagged peaks of a mountain - at white wood washed over a shore, polished and hard and dead. She mourns her youth in secret: she mourns whatever girl-like beauty she has ever had, that scrap of Elain that used to live in her. Now she looks like a monster. She looks like something you should be scared of. But Cassian has teeth, predator’s teeth, and his hands have claws, and when he’s holding her she’s not afraid he will be scared.
Maybe they’ll devour each other, but they’ll do it together.
And Feyre… Feyre would find herself with new joints, new hands - with eyes that could see clearer and wider than ever before, but that are also pure pools of black, with no pupil no iris and no white. Her teeth are sharp - they tear through her lovers’ skin and don’t stop till they draw blood. And there’s something of the forest in her, too, of the woods where she had made herself a hunter: twigs and leaves growing amidst her hair, corsets made of leather and oakwood, so that when she’s running through the trees she looks like a sprite or a pixie - barefoot, quiver on her back, fangs bared in pleasure. She passes by with the rustling of fallen leaves, the whisper of squirrels and owls’ wings. You wouldn’t know she’s behind you till she’ll lean in to kiss your cheek, or stop your heart.
“Feyre darling,” this strange star-eyed Rhys would say, cupping the cheek of his wood-made girl, holding her close so feathers and twigs would mix together, and they would smile mirror fanged smiles, and they would still be beautiful.
I NEED HELION CALLING LUCIEN “SON” REALLY AWKWARDLY AND LUCIEN WANTING TO DIE. I NEED HELION TRYING TO GET LUCIEN TO WEAR A TOGA AND SAYING HORRIFYING THINGS LIKE “You get a nice breeze! And it’s so much more convenient to get laid in these; incidentally have I mentioned I invited Elain” WHICH MAKES LUCIEN BURY HIS HEAD IN A PILLOW AND SCREAM. I NEED FEYSAND HAVING THAT THREESOME WITH HELION AND LUCIEN CATCHING HIM THE NEXT MORNING SNEAKING OUT AND BEING LIKE !!?!?!?!?!?! WE TALKED ABOUT THIS STOP FUCKING MY FRIENDS. I NEED LUCIEN WRITING ERIS, WHO’S NOW HIGH LORD OF AUTUMN, LIKE “MY REAL DAD IS THE WORST CAN I COME HOME.” I NEED LUCIEN CONTRIVING TO KEEP ELAIN FROM TALKING TO HELION AT ALL COSTS BECAUSE OH MY GOD, 80% OF WHAT COMES OUT OF HELION’S MOUTH IS INNUENDO AND ELAIN COULD NOT HANDLE IT (he fails. it doesn’t go half as badly as he feared but he’s still mortified.)
“Because they’re not going to beat the shit out of Tamlin. We’re not savages, Lucien, we don’t resort to violence. Although I would like to break his face repeatedly, I tend to do it in my imagination - helps me sleep at night.”
Part 9- The air was thick with tension, unspoken words lingered on tightly closed lips.
Part 10- “…I think that everything slows when you laugh because it makes me want to savour the sound. You are like a burning supernova because you inject more light in the world every time I see you. You are explosive and consuming and …I think you’re spectacular Feyre Archeron.”
“No wonder you’re good at poetry.”
Part 11 -
He had basically just confessed his love to Feyre in front of his entire family yet Feyre seemed to remain completely unaware that it wasn’t part of the act. Fuck his life.
Part 12 -
“Well isn’t this just the perfect fucking family reunion.”
Part 13 (NSFW) - Lucien looked up to find a very oversized Shaggy and a rather uncomfortable looking Scooby Doo.
“Am I high?”
“You’re a stupid prick. Why didn’t you fight back?”
“Your freckles are adorable, especially up close.”
Part 15(NSFW) - “Ah fuck this is so embarrassing.”
“Because I can barely control myself when you touch me.”
Part 16 - “Feyre, whatever is in this damn box, I will love it because it came from you.”
“Even if it’s something gross like a dying pigeon?”
“Even then.”…”Please tell me it’s not a dying pigeon.”
Part 17 - “How do you go from smooth, witty, insufferable prick to a flushing teenage boy in a matter of seconds?”
“Maybe, Feyre Archeron, it is because I am both of those things.”
“I don’t know. What do two kids in love normally do in the films?”
“Well Romeo and Juliet committed suicide, Jack died for Rose on the tit-“
“I said normally, you idiot.”
Part 19 -
Feyre was the type of girlfriend that called him to just rant about something insignificant, to be constantly holding his hand, to blush when he kissed her openly in public. Then she was also the type to have his cock in her mouth while he was driving - well, stuck in traffic on a dark winters rush hour.
I’ve always been fascinated with the fact that according to legends big-old-tall-frightening Ban has a son with Elaine. And I wondered, which got me to thinking, which made get ideas; and my friends know, don’t leave me alone to have IDEAS.
So, here’s what I came up with. Elaine, who will smile but is making sure to keep her brother’s influences from her Lancelot. And Ban, who smiles without needing booze to do it. Merlin once asked him, “how many people could you kill, for you son?” Which confused him, as he bluntly stated, “Who wouldn’t I kill, for him?”
I have been musing on Elucien again (because this is what my life has now become devoted to) and I enjoy the similarity of these two lines:
‘And it was Elain—Elain—who sighed and murmured, “I hope they all burn in hell.”’
“Well, that explains the wings.”’
It’s got exactly the same set-up and sentence structure, same emphasis, same everything. But what I like most of all is that the phrases they spit out that seem unusual for them are 100% things that the other would say?
Elain’s ‘I hope they all burn in hell’ is just, straight up savage Lucien snark. And Lucien’s ‘well, that explains the wings’ is just so 100% Elain’s matter-of-fact, shrugging off chill (See: ‘Nesta did. I just stabbed him.’) Exactly the same tone. So there’s a little bit of the other inside each of them and that’s just beautiful, bless.
-Once Nesta and Cassian are actually sleeping together, as in snoozing, not sexually, Cassian always wraps his wings around her.
-It gets to a point where they literally take naps together because the weight of his wings are a staple in their sleeping process On the bed. On the couch. In a cot. In a hammock. Sometimes, on the floor. Literally, everywhere.
-They never talk about it, though. It just kinda happened once or twice, and then they kept doing it. It’s been months now.
-But Cassian gets hauled away for a few days, and it’s a problem™
-Nesta literally cannot sleep. She tries, but she can’t even get one second. She knows it’s from a lack of favorite Illyrian’s wings cocooning her.
-After two days, the entire Inner Circle knows how irritable Nesta is. They’re chilling at the townhouse, and there has been a tense silence for the past ten minutes after Elain said something and Nesta verbally berated her.
-Mor watches with her mouth agape. Azriel looks everywhere but Nesta. Amren left. Elain blinks a lot at her sister. Rhys’s eyebrows are raised. They all know Nesta would raise hell at anyone, except Elain. Never Elain.
-Feyre breaks first and asks, “Are you sure you’re okay?”
-”I’m fine,” Nesta snaps back very sharply.
-”You know he’ll be fine, right?” Rhys asks.
-Nesta snarls at him because of course she knows he’ll be alright.
-Nesta has a third night of no sleep.
-The next day she adventures into Velaris to try and find one of those “weighted blankets” that she heard were great for children. At the store, they also sell those human torso cuddle pillows. She buys one of those too.
-When she goes to bed at night, the weight of everything matches her usual sleeping buddy, but the scents off. She climbs out of bed and changes the torso’s shirt to Cassian’s, dresses herself in one of his shirts, and squirts his cologne on the blanket. It literally takes seconds after she slides into bed for her to fall asleep.
-After her three all-nighters, she swears that she’s never slept that good in her entire life.
-A week passes, then Cassian comes home in the middle of the night.
-He slips into their room, quietly undressing himself so he doesn’t wake Nesta. When he turns around though, he’s very confused as to why the blankets look different and everything’s so lumpy.
-She cracks open a sleepy eye at him from under her brow. “Hey,” she smiles slightly, “You’re back.”
-”Yeah, I am. What happened to our bed?” he asks carefully.
-She looks slightly confused, but moves the weighted blanket with some effort to reveal the cuddle pillow. “I missed you.”
-He gives her an almost pitying glance before finding their old blanket tucked in the corner and replacing the weighted one. The cuddle pillow is thrown across the room, and his wing wraps very tightly around her.
-”I missed you too, Sweetheart.” He kisses her forehead.
-”I couldn’t sleep,” she mumbles, clearly about to succumb for the night.
-”I’m sorry I have that effect on you.”
-”It’s okay. I managed.”
-She lets loose a yawn similar to a cat before burrowing tightly into his chest. They both sleep well into the afternoon. Nesta can’t believe that her homemade concoction was anywhere close to the real deal.
Elain wakes slowly, consumed by how nice the sheets and the sunlight feel against her bare skin. The moment is quiet and still and she languishes in sleepy contentment, feeling Lucien shift next to her.
She freezes, panic shooting through her veins. Lucien. She’s in Lucien’s bed and she’s naked and he’s next to her. The night before shoots back to her with mortifying clarity, and Elain manages not to groan out loud at her own stupidity. Cauldron, what must he have thought?
Last night, she’d been—well, drunk was a strong word. It was exceptionally hard for high fae to get drunk, in fact, and Elain knew because she’d been trying all evening. But she’d been tipsy, and had unfortunately begun to dwell on how frustratingly slowly her and Lucien’s physical relationship was progressing, despite it going remarkably well in all other ways. He’d been out late taking care of something in the village, and Elain, in a prolonged moment of boldness bordering on ridiculousness, had stripped naked and posed provocatively in his bed, waiting for him to come back.
And then she’d promptly fallen asleep.
In the daylight, her own stupidity is nigh unfathomable. She barely dares to breathe with the fear of waking him, but sits up just enough to eye the floor next to the bed. Her dress is right where she dropped it. If she can sneak out of bed, put it back on and get to her own room—but what then? It’s not as though Lucien didn’t see her when he came home, there’s no undoing this, no avoiding that conversation.
Elain is momentarily so paralyzed with indecision, holding a sheet to her chest with a tightly fisted hand, that she doesn’t hear Lucien shift again behind her.
His voice is rough with sleep, traced with what might be amusement—Elain turns, a rush of embarrassment rising in her throat. He’s propped up on one elbow, languid, casual. Smiling at her.
“Good morning,” She manages, clutching the sheet.
Lucien regards her for a moment, cocks his head slightly. He’s beautiful, the light flattering the cut of his cheekbones, lending a gleam to his mussed red braid and a little highlight to his gold eye. Focus, Elain.
“Come here,” he murmurs, not a command but an affectionate little request. It catches Elain off-guard, and she doesn’t resist when his arm snakes across her waist and pulls her to him, the sheet between her and his obviously bare chest. He nestles into her neck with a satisfied, sleepy little noise. He’s disarmingly warm, arm still slung around her, and Elain finds the tension leaving her body against her will. Lucien’s scent is thick around them, sweet and smokey at the same time; she can feel the weight of him next to her, the fuzzy sensation of him through the bond. It’s absurdly pleasant, it makes her want to melt even as confusion wracks her—where’s the questioning? The teasing, at least? He can’t possibly be so unconcerned with this situation.
Finally, she can’t stand it. “You… didn’t wake me up when you got back last night.”
“You looked peaceful; it seemed a shame to disturb you.” He almost mumbles it, like he’s so sedate with contentment it’s too much effort to articulate.
Elain nearly laughs. Peaceful. That’s one way of saying nude, she supposes.“Are you going to ask why I’m naked in your bed?”
“I wasn’t, no.” She can feel his breath against her collarbone. “If you’d like to tell me, I’m not opposed to it, but I’ve been enjoying it too much to question it.”
It’s almost annoying, how thoroughly his acceptance of this thwarts her mortification. She huffs, and it ruffles his hair. “I’m trying to be embarrassed, Lucien.”
“Mm.” A lazy adjustment of his head, his nose brushing under her ear. “Why would you be that?”
“Why would I be embarrassed?” Elain half-cries, drawing back so he’s forced to look at her. “Maybe because I’m naked in the presence of a man I’ve barely touched before, because I was trying to drunkenly seduce him and instead fell asleep?”
Genuine surprise flickers across his face, followed by sheer delight–Elain covers her face in her hands; Mother, she shouldn’t have said anything, here it comes–
“That’s what happened?” Lucien says, almost dissolving into laughter. “You were trying to seduce me?” His voice goes up a whole octave on seduce. Elain’s face is so hot it hurts and he tries to pull away from him, bury her head into the covers. “Elain, Elain, sweetheart,” he soothes her quickly, still chuckling as he moves to hold her, presses a kiss to her forehead.“You’re adorable.”
Elain is about to protest that she is not adorable, that there is nothing adorable about this situation and cute forehead kisses can’t fix it, but she’s suddenly distracted by the fact that the shift in Lucien’s position has left him on his stomach and the sheet pushed down around his thighs.
And also, he’s not wearing any pants.
Elain isn’t as bashful as she once was, but Mother save her, she can see Lucien’s entire ass. She feels her mouth drop open, quickly comes to her senses and claps a hand over her eyes with a little squeak. “Lucien! Why are you naked too?!”
He’s laughing almost too hard to respond. “You were; I figured my stripping down was only fair.” Elain, still with a hand firmly over her eyes, has to bite back a hysterical giggle; her mate is ridiculous and does not need encouragement. “And maybe you’d become mysteriously allergic to all clothes and I shouldn’t risk exposing you,” Lucien adds. “Which I wouldn’t mind at all, by the way.”
She wants to hit him with a pillow, but there’s a lot of nudity happening in this bed, so she does the safe thing and pulls the covers over her head with a groan. “You absurd man–go put pants on, for the Mother’s sake,” she says through them.
She can hear the smirk in his voice. “Wasn’t the goal of this endeavor to get me out of my pants? You’re contradicting yourself, dove.”
The risk is worth it. One hand holds the sheets and the other blindly lobs a pillow at his face, eyes still screwed shut.
He’s still laughing as he fends her off. “Alright, a moment, please, pet.” The mattress shifts under him as he gets up, and Elain hears him cross the room and open a dresser drawer. “Next time you decide to seduce me maybe send me a formal invitation, that way I won’t be so late I miss the whole thing. On nice stationary: ‘Dear Lucien, your seduction has been scheduled for ten PM, in Elain’s room.”
Elain has to smile at his absurdity, and feels like… maybe she should open her eyes a little. Just to check. He didn’t tell her not to.
He’s rifling through the drawer with his back to her, and she tentatively gets a second, more thorough look at his ass, at the slope of his leg muscles and the powerful lines of his back, where his braid hangs down over a series of scars. Maybe he can feel her looking, because he glances over his shoulder just long enough to give her a cheeky grin, and tosses her something she doesn’t identify until it lands on the bed. It’s a shirt. He’s still on his invitation bit: “Please RSVP so she doesn’t get naked for no reason again,” he goes on.
Elain tentatively ignores her embarrassment and plays along. “What would I tell you to wear?” While he’s still turned away, she relinquishes the blanket to quickly slip on the shirt–it’s long enough on her that it might as well be a nightgown. It smells pleasantly like Lucien and the wood of the dresser. “Formal dress doesn’t seem appropriate.”
He laughs. “What would you like me to wear? Anything in particular you’d like to strip me out of?”
“I could tell you to just arrive already naked. That would save time.” Emboldened now that she’s at least decent, Elain gets out of the bed and gathers up her clothes from the floor. “But you’d have to walk from your room to mine nude, then.”
Lucien’s slipped on loose trousers, and ties them up as he shoots her a wolfish grin. “You know I’d do it.”
“That’s why I wouldn’t ask! I don’t want you to traumatize poor Alis.” She stifles a smile as she passes him, heading towards the washroom.
“Where are you going?” He asks, and she pauses on the threshold.
“I have to put this on.” She raises the bundle of her clothes, full of ties and layers and things she needs privacy to wiggle into. Not like he hasn’t seen everything now, she thinks, flushing a bit, but she’d like to return to some semblance of modesty. “I can’t very well walk all the way back to my room wearing only your shirt,” she adds, awkwardly.
Something shifts in Lucien’s face, something playful and a little predatory as he steps towards her slowly.
“So don’t.” His voice is a lover’s murmur as he gets close enough to kiss her, close enough that Elain can feel the warmth of his only half-clothed body. “Stay here wearing only my shirt. It looks good on you.”
Elain is about to decline, but his hands find her waist and his lips find her neck and the words slip through her fingers like water. For all that they haven’t done very much together, Lucien has still managed to figure out which spots under her jaw turn her into a boneless mess.
“I’ll have breakfast sent up for us,” he murmurs into her skin, persuasive, as he braces one arm up against the doorframe to better pin her there.
“Don’t you have obligations to take care of?” A weak protest–it comes out almost as a gasp.
There’s a smile in his voice. He can feel her crumbling. “Nothing that can’t wait a bit.”
Since she woke up, Elain has primarily wanted to wash her mortification away in a long bath, put on something very modest, and pretend this never happened; she knows he certainly wouldn’t fault her if that’s what she did now. But she is also rapidly recalling why her less sober self was dead set on seducing him last night. And eating breakfast with him in his bed–really, any activity that would allow her to keep looking at him shirtless like this–is very, very appealing.
She huffs, and surrenders. “You win. I’ll stay.”
He grins, moves to kiss her properly–but Elain meets it with a grin of her own and ducks under his arm, darting out of reach.
“You have morning breath,” she says lightly, by way of explanation. She’s such a pushover when it comes to him that she feels obligated to give him a little trouble sometimes.
With the way he’s smiling at her, he knows it. “Then I’ll just be a moment.”
Lucien goes to brush his teeth, and Elain dives back into bed, burrows under the sheets warm and happy and waits for her mate to join her.