I kinda did a thing because @throne-of-omg-the-feels absolutely killed me with this post and I couldn’t stop myself… (might have gone off on a tangent but I hope you all enjoy it)
Azriel had always had trouble sleeping, especially in the pitch black of the night. It surprised most people, that a shadowsinger like him should have so much trouble in the dark. But the dark… the dark reminded him too much of the cage of his childhood. It reminded of cold rags on the floor, of constant, gnawing hunger and the agony of freshly burned hands.
Even five centuries of freedom hadn’t completely purged him of that little spark of irrational fear, that fear of the dark. It was for this reason he always kept his curtains open the tiniest bit, so that the gentle light of the stars filtered through. Enough of a reminder that he didn’t destroy his bedroom every time he ripped himself out of a nightmare. (For Azriel could walk in darkness and shadow, could dance in it, could listen to its song… but sleep, sleep was another type of vulnerability entirely. Sleep was dangerous.)
Still, even this small precaution wasn’t enough for Azriel to let his guard down and let someone sleep next to him. Oh, he’d had lovers over the centuries - sometimes even ones that stayed for longer than one night. But he’d never laid beside them. (For so long he’d hoped, dreamed, that one day Mor might be the first by his side - glorious, free Mor. But she’d since told him that this dream was impossible… and so he had let it go, in little bits until the last vestiges of it had faded into a beloved memory.)
And then there was Elain. Unexpected and utterly beautiful in every way. She came into his life, into his heart, slowly until one day it hit him, what this feeling that had grown inside his chest was. And she was like him. Different. Different in a way the others couldn’t understand. The seer and the shadowsinger. What a pair they would make. And by the Cauldron, he’d longed to be a part of that pair, a half of a whole… to be something to Elain Archeron that he never been to anyone else before. He longed for her body lying next to him in the cursed dark, quiet and at peace. But he didn’t deserve that kind of happiness, that kind of companionship. Certainly not from someone as wholly good as Elain.
So he hadn’t dared hope that she might pick him, not after Mor and not when she already had Lucien Vanserra for a mate.
And yet she had. She’d picked him over her Cauldren-chosen mate.
And Azriel, damn him, couldn’t refuse her. Not when she looked at him like he mattered.
The second their lips met for the first time, the shadows retreated from him completely for the first time in centuries. They stayed away all night, when he learned her body so thoroughly with his. (She was so heartbreakingly lovely, delicate in a way that was uncommon among their kind… but despite appearances she was not weak. Never weak. Too often did people forget the kind of strength it took to stay kind in a cruel world. And she was a curious creature too, as eager to learn him as he was to learn her. Azriel also quickly found that her shyness did not extend to the bedroom, not with him - Mother above, she would truly be the death of him, one of these days… but he would would only be too happy to go.)
And when they were finally sated, and Elain slid into his side, draping her naked body over his, he did not find it in him to move away. To his eternal surprise, he drifted off into peaceful sleep.
His sleep remained completely undisturbed, to the point that when he finally opened his eyes, he was utterly disoriented. He sat up slightly in the pre-dawn light, running a hand through his ruffled hair and catalogued his surroundings with a shocking lack of panic.
He was home and-
“Elain,” he murmured softly, voice gruff with sleep, as he spotted her lying in his bed with him. Unharmed by his night terrors. Still so devastatingly perfect.
He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her, the bare skin of her back aglow in the light of the slowly rising sun.
Azriel moved closer to her without hesitation, curling his naked body around hers and using a hand to pull her firmly into him, her back curved perfectly into his chest. She sighed contently against him, still fast asleep, and Azriel found himself pressing light kisses to the apple of her cheek, peppering them down and down until his face was hidden in the crook of her neck. His hands roamed freely over her sides with no real intent, simply touching her to revel in the feel of actually having her here with him.
He pressed another soft kiss under her chin, to her throat, her shoulder. Again and again and again, until his mind was filled with nothing but Elain, Elain, Elain.
Azriel immediately felt it when Elain finally awoke in his arms, despite the fact that she kept her eyes firmly closed. A small smile played at her lips, as if she couldn’t quite suppress her happiness.
He kissed her cheek again, lingering there as he spoke. “I’m afraid aren’t quite stealthy enough to fool me just yet,” he whispered, grinning when she sighed with faux disappointment.
Elain blinked her eyes open then, turning her head slightly so she could gaze up at him. Her gaze was soft with sleep, sparkling with quiet, gentle mischief. “I didn’t want to risk you stopping,” she told him, reaching up to trail light fingers down his jawline.
Azriel kissed her behind her ear in response, still grinning like a fool. He didn’t deserve this, he didn’t. But he couldn’t let go of it, of her, either. So he would stay with her, for as long as Elain found him worthy. He would stay for her.
His wing curled in around them then, cocooning them gently until their world narrowed down to this beautiful moment. “Then I won’t stop,” he said.
Boy do I have a lot to say about this cover. And what Sarah said about it.
It’s a scene from A Court of Wings and Ruin.
But look at the backdrop, Feyre is definitely in the Spring Court. Yet her hand is engulfed in flames. No darkness, no hint of the Night Court. Flames are the Autumn Court. Flames are Lucien and Elain. What is little Lucien up to?
And look at our badass of a High Lady with her hand engulfed in flame, even as she is trapped in the Spring Court. (Not to mention she’s wearing a tiara, bless her.)
But also, look at the flowers. One is definitely wisteria, and I believe the other is ranunculus. But idrc about the ranunculus right now, because wisteria has so many meanings.
Now, I may be overthinking things a bit, but look at all of that.
There are some things we definitely want (victory over hardship, releasing burdens, good luck, etc.); some things we already have (serious devotion, longevity, honor, etc.), and there are some things that have been motifs and themes throughout the series so far (duality of love, creative expansion, releasing hardships, etc.).
Sarah never does anything for no reason, so what on earth do these flowers mean.
- Is the duality of love Tamlin’s poisoned love vs Rhys’ love, or is it more familial love and the duality of Feyre’s love for her sisters and the inner circle vs Rhys.
- A spring birth, does that contribute to the theories of Tamlin knocking up Ianthe?
- Victory over hardship? Is that Feyre’s victories in the Spring Court and role as a spy?
- honestly, I could analyze most of these (in further detail too) but I’ll spare everyone.
If anyone knows something about the maybe-ranunculus or the flower they actually are, please chip in. (I’m also probably definitely overthinking all of this.)
But in the mean time, I’m going to keep staring at this scene and trying to piece it together, because what is it and what’s happening to our badass darling Feyre.
A lot of people ask for recommendations from me, so I’ve compiled a few photo collages of some of my favorite books. This theme is classic literature featuring the following titles:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and 1984 by George Orwell | Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell | To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee | The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger | Animal Farm by George Orwell | The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough | Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Guys, I never expected in a million years, not only so much Cresswell in W&N, but SO MANY SHIPPER SCENES. And every single one was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing! Just when I thought I couldn’t love Cresswell more:
- Cress calling Thorne “Carswell”. ^.^
- Thorne asking if Cress could use her hacking skills to his advantage at one point, and she goes, “I could. But I won’t.” and being all smug about it. Like, Cress wouldn’t do anything illegal just to please Thorne but Thorne isn’t even surprised. I’m sure similar scenes have already occurred before. I don’t know I just loved the whole panel.
- Them bantering about going to the gala. They are so cute and all sorts of adorable. I’m sure they couldn’t be cuter and more adorable if they tried. And it just shows how they interact in their relationship. I NEEDED THIS!!!
- The whole escort droid scene. Thorne going for the one that looks like Cress (because it’s modeled after her) and then totally falls in love … with the one that looks like him, haha. :D
- And seriously, can we talk about how Thorne looks when he thinks he angered Cress by suggesting going with “Cress”-bot instead? Cress is not a timid girl who can’t speak her mind. And Thorne is not the one who holds the power in the relationship. This is their post-“Winter” relationship and we got to see it!!!
- Thorne being all sorts of worried when Cress gets sick and takes care of her!!! THORNE - THE GUY WHO ONLY EVER LOOKED OUT FOR HIMSELF - TAKING CARE OF HIS GIRLFRIEND AND BEING ALL SORTS OF SWEET! *cries rainbow tears of joy* He prepared food “made with an extra helping of LOVE”! Like, this sentence is there and in black and white forever. I’m a hardcore Cresswell shipper and even I almost couldn’t handle the feels. *cries some more*
- Also, my poor pumpkin, always being sick. :( I mean it makes sense but still. But look at Thorne being all reassuring (“We still have our whole lives for me to show you the world”). Seriously, if any Cresswell shipper had been there with me, this would have been me:
I’m so sorry but I would have just screeched into your ears for hours, then cried and hugged you. Guys, our babies! Am I hallucinating? I was seriously scared to wake up and all of it was just an amazing dream BUT IT’S NOT!!!
- And then Thorne still goes on to say that “all the phlegm and mucus in the world couldn’t make [her] any less beautiful”!!!! *incoherent sounds*
- Thorne’s speech when he receives the medal and publicly announces what Cress means to him. “This medal is for you, Cress”. I don’t care anymore, I’m just screeching and fangirling but I think I deserve it. It’s like Marissa came down from some angel-rainbow-sunshine-island, floated to Earth just to give her loyal Cresswell shippers W&N, with harp music and a floaty dress. And she goes, “I’ve seen what you’ve been doing. The fanfics, the fanart, the headcanons. Yes, you and @lovelunarchron, and @regolithheart, and @shanlightyear and @nothingtoseehere-move-along (and I know I forgot tons of people so don’t be mad) but here, this is for you. You gave Cresswell life and now, Cresswell will give you life in return.” I mean the plan backfired, because now I’m dead instead, but I appreciate the sentiment. :P
- Thorne being worried, even frantic when he thinks something happened to Cress. “If you hurt her, I will skin you alive.” I live for this kinda Thorne who is so open and shows every raw emotion! *swoon*
- And then it’s Cress who saves the day because of course she does! Who would ever expect anything else? ^.^ And she’s so smart and Thorne likes his girls smart, we know that, we’ve seen it in CGTBL, so of course he has to kiss her (and she’s WEARING HIS SHIRT!). And give her his medal for “bravery and extraordinary heroism”. Guys, just bury me with these panels.
I’m now in happy Cresswell-shipper-fangirl heaven. I had one one-shot planned that would take place during the same time as W&N and while it’s not canon-compatible, I can still try to work in snippets and hints of what we see about their relationship. I’m so happy right now. My babies. ^.^
He gets all the credit for clothes,” Mor said, examining the fabric of Nesta’s skirt while my sister monitored like a hawk, “and he never tells me where he finds them. He still won’t tell me where he found Feyre’s dress for Starfall.
A Court of Wings and Ruin
OKAY BUT IM SO DOWN FOR RHYSAND BEING HIS OWN TAILOR. LIKE IMAGINE HIM MAKING FEYRE THAT STARFALL DRESS?? AND LIKE MAKING SURE EVERY DETAIL IS PERFECT FOR HER.