his damn hair

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Nessian. 1: Angry, fiery, bitter Cassian, and Nesta being the soothing one (just for him of course). 2: Nesta being the protector. Accepting Cassian and protecting him as fiercely and savage as she would her sister.

Cassian feels incapable after Nesta defended him at the Illyrian camps. Now that they are back at the House of Wind Cassian struggles to deal with his doubts of his own strength. The fact that he can’t even tie his hair back without being in pain is only adding to the fire. That is until someone needs his help. 

And he’s not about to say no to Nesta’s request.

It hurt. Everything felt in pain. Cassian sat on his bed with shoulders hunched over. Eyes staring mournfully out the window where the sky was clear and bright.

Taunting him. For his wings were a mess and he was currently no better than a caged bird. He hated it. Not being able to answer the wind’s call. Or feeling the way his body soared through the air as if it was second nature.

Even his troops began whispering behind his back. Staring in horror at the bandages and knowing that underneath the white gauze there were shredded wings that may never be healed.

Cassian showed them that he could still take them with on with brute strength and the magic that channeled into his siphons. Match after match he took down any soldiers that tried to usurp him. After hours of fighting for the days he began to feel his strength waning.

And that’s when she stepped in.

Nesta sliced into each warrior with words that made them pause and reconsider challenging the Commander. And when one warrior still tried to pick a fight, Nesta volunteered in Cassian’s place. She won. Easily pummeling the male and giving every other Illyrian a stormy look that boded wrath for anyone that dared to step forward.

It pissed Cassian off. Not that Nesta dealt punishment to the warriors. They deserved that and more with the way they treated her early that week claiming she was nothing, but a weak female. Of course they were swiftly proven wrong.

But it was the fact that Nessian defended Cassian that bothered him. Made the self-loathing he felt increase with every punch, snarl and biting remark she said in his defense.

He should be the one protecting her. That was the promise he made. One that he still hadn’t been able to keep.

He was supposed to be stronger than that. Strong enough to spare Nesta from the pain of being tossed into the Cauldron and from the upcoming war.

He failed her.

Cassian rubbed his palms over his eyes trying to calm himself. Attempt to dampen the burning rage that was about to send him to a dark place in his mind he didn’t want to think about.

To distract himself he reached for the leather band on his bedside table. A strong gust of wind from Velaris blew into his room at the House of Wind causing his long hair to brush softly across his shoulders. His intention was to tie up his hair and train. Work off some steam that had been building ever since he and Nesta returned from the camps.

His hand grasped the brown leather band, but as he pulled his arms back to tie it up his shoulders stung and in a gasping breath Cassian quickly dropped his arms. His wings quivered in aftershocks of pain.

It became evident that Cassian wouldn’t even be able to lift his arms. The pain was worse today than it usually had been. Probably from all the previous battles he fought at camp.

With a frustrated shout Cassian threw the leather band onto his bed and rubbed a hand across his face. Trying to stay calm even though his emotions were far from it.

A knock at the door was his only warning before he turned around to see Nesta opening the door and striding in as if this was her room and not his.

“What is it?” Cassian growled. It wasn’t a threat. He simply didn’t want her to see him like this. In such a weak position that he couldn’t even tie his own damn hair up.

She watched him closely for a moment before slowly closing the distance between her and him. As if she was nervous that he would order her away.

“I need your help.” She stopped at the foot of the bed. Her eyes taking in the scene before her. She glanced between the leather strap and Cassian with her brow slightly raised.

“You seem capable of being able to help yourself recently,” Cassian replied with less bite than before. He was proud that Nesta was becoming stronger both physically and mentally. It was only just before their trip that she asked to come along and be part of the training process. She wanted to assist them. And she wanted to do so with Cassian.

Nesta blinked before looking out the window to consider her next words. She was biting the inside of her cheek. Cassian could tell that she always did that when she was either nervous or holding something back she wanted to say.

“Never mind then,” she turned back to face the door. Turning her back to Cassian. “It was a silly request. I’m sorry I bothered you.”

And from the tone of her words Cassian could tell that something was bothering her. He quickly wrapped his hand around her wrist to stop her from leaving. He kept his face clear of the pain his shoulders felt at the movement, but Nesta’s eyes flickered to them. A flash of worry and then her eyes were steel again.

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