Don’t think about the Inner Circle reacting to the realisation that Rhys has effectively sacrificed himself to keep them and Velaris safe.
Don’t think about Mor’s anger and anguish that he’s engineered this so they can’t go to him; can’t save him; can’t get him back because he knew that she’d want to tear the world to shreds to bring him home; the only blood family she has left.
Don’t think about the silence that would cling to Azriel like a veil, the shadows around him becoming so thick and dark that the others can’t see his agony for what his brother has done for them.
Don’t think about Cassian slumping into the nearest chair, utterly speechless, for the first time he can remember, as he thinks about the enormity of what his brother has done and the horror of it brings tears to his eyes.
Don’t think about Amren reacting with stoic calm, quieting Mor’s rage, drawing Az out of himself, rallying Cass. She’s as angry and shocked and horrified as any of them but she is Rhys’ Second. She will hold them together for him. As he would want her to do.
Don’t think about how, as the years drag on, and they’re confined to Velaris by Rhys’ sacrifice; unable to leave lest the magic he tethered to them break and expose them and put them in danger; something he has worked so hard to do and they can’t bring themselves to make in vain, hearing the rumours that surround him.
Don’t think about them hearing how he has become Amarantha’s whore and everything that entails. Don’t think about how that makes Mor feel sick to her stomach that the same fate he wants saved her from and helped her heal from is now his lot in life.
Don’t think about Azriel imagining his brother trapped beneath the earth, unable to see the sun, unable to spread his wings and fly the way he knows he loves to do. The way they did to him when he was a child.
Don’t think about Cassian seeing everyone he loves around him; Mor and Azriel and Amren, being there with them, safe for Rhys’ sacrifice, and shattering when he remembers that his brother is completely alone. An outcast. As he once was.
Don’t think about them hearing about all of the horrific things that Amarantha forces Rhys to do; killing all of the Winter Court children. Don’t think about Amren, Amren who knows how much he struggled with his power, how hard he worked to contain it so it would never control him, so it would never hurt anyone, who helped him leash it and contain it, hearing this and feeling something die within her because she knows what this will do to Rhys, how much it will destroy him.
Don’t think about the Inner Circle beginning to lose hope too; as Rhys did. Don’t think about them being sure that they’ll never see him again. Even if Mor and Cassian come up with a new scheme to try and break him out of there every other week; and Azriel takes risks the other would kill him for to try and get ears Under the Mountain because maybe that would help; and Amren keeps herself going through the long years by telling herself that she has to keep the court together, has to keep the Inner Circle strong, has to keep his people alive and cared for and hopeful so that when he comes back he can resume his rule with ease.
Don’t think about the fact that Rhys and his Inner Circle were separated from each other for fifty years and how much that must have broken all of them. Just don’t do it.