An acotar AU where Elain is taken to spring court instead of Feyre. Thoughts??
This is an excellent AU because it solves ACOTAR’s biggest narrative problem (the fact that there’s like 300 pages where nothing happens except Tamlin and Feyre being awkward and emotionally inarticulate and it’s super boring) and replaces it with a fuckton of Lucien having internal conflict + Elain going after his dick, two of my favorite things.
Let’s assume it’s still Feyre who killed Andras/the wolf, because I do not see Elain doing that, but Tamlin found Elain first, assumed she was the culprit, and took her. And let’s also assume Elain figured out what happened and did not correct him, to protect Feyre.
So Lucien still kinda hates her the way he did with Feyre because he thinks she killed Andras, BUT ALSO HE’S GOT ALL THOSE WEIRD PESKY FEELINGS coming from the dormant mate bond that have him like ??????? and of course Elain thinks he’s the hottest thing she’s ever seen. Even with the mask. She’s Down to Hit That.
Tam “your hair is clean” Lin is still obligatorily hitting on her, badly, but basically Lucien and Elain spend the first half of the book with Elain trying to be friendly to Lucien (recall that Lucien is also just more available than Tamlin, even to Feyre) and Lucien being GRR I DONT LIKE YOU first because he doesn’t, or he’s at least telling himself that, and then increasingly because…. he does, and she for some reason seems to like him, and he knows he has to shut that down, unequivocally. Once lucien can actually admit to himself how he feels (he still doesn’t recognize the bond for what it is, but it doesn’t matter, he’d fall in love with her anyway) he has to choose to ignore his own desires and push her towards Tamlin anyway, even if he is experiencing Extreme Conflict about it. The fate of the world depends on her falling in love with Tamlin, and even if he really, really, increasingly cannot stomach the thought of that, it would be PROFOUNDLY stupid of him to get in the way.
Which….. of course he does anyway.
Elain has no idea about any of this. All she knows is that Lucien is weirdly standoffish sometimes but it’s not preventing her from really, really liking him. and the sexual tension is off the fucking charts. (it is NOT Tamlin she has an Encounter with on Calanmai, is all I’m saying)
It’s Elain confesses to feelings first and Lucien is so shocked he panics and rejects her. It comes off harshly and they’re both upset about it–not long after, Tamlin, who is Fucking Oblivious as Hell to all of this, makes lucien third wheel on his and Elain’s date (because they’re always AWKWARD, tam and elain have NO chemistry) and then promptly strands them together when he’s called away last minute on high lord stuff. Lucien literally cannot handle Elain being upset with him and breaks down and confesses that he loves her and he reacted badly before because they can’t be together because REASONS and they make out really angstily and proceed to have a secret relationship. Elain’s still not really sure why it has to be secret?? But Lucien is afraid Tamlin will freak out and accuse Lucien of sabotaging the whole BREAK THE CURSE thing, which…. is kind of what happens. Tamlin eventually walks in on them kissing and loses it and tries to fight Lucien, but Lucien manages to defuse the situation by confessing–to both of them–that Elain’s his mate. (He figures it out the first time they sleep together, probably) and like. you can’t really argue with that. Possibly they also find out Elain didn’t even kill the wolf so it never mattered anyway.
So then Elain and Lucien get to be happy together for like…. three whole days before the curse expires, and Lucien sends Elain away on some errand and when she gets back they’re all gone and she’s FREAKING OUT and alis probably explains stuff to her and also probably lucien left her a sappy ass love note apologizing for the stuff he couldn’t explain and how much he loves her and how she should go home and try to be happy.
so the question becomes HOW DOES THIS END and to that, I say:
This AU happens concurrently with my Feyrhys cupid and psyche au.
Nesta chooses this moment to show up. She has had TWO sisters get stolen by fae and she is NOT DOWN WITH THAT so she doubled her efforts to get over the wall and rescue them and succeeds! She found Elain! But there’s nothing left to rescue her from? And Elain is freaking out? Nesta gets The Whole Story and reluctantly agrees to go under the mountain with Elain, although she’s not overly thrilled elain has a faerie boyfriend who needs to be saved from an evil dictator, but whatever, they can look for feyre while they’re there.
They SOMEHOW manage to go undetected UTM and do find Feyre, who is now doing the trials to save Rhysand, and help her, along with lucien who they also find. He and Elain have a big gross emotional reunion.
As I said in the cupid and Psyche AU, i don’t know EXACTLY how the ending works, but Feyre still dies and is reborn, and she saves Rhys, and breaks Amarantha’s power, and Elain takes lucien’s mask off and they vigorously make out in front of everyone. Nesta has to cope with the fact that both her sisters have fae boyfriends now. Maybe Tamlin, who basically Did Nothing in this story, hits on her and she serves him the most stone-cold rejection Prythian has ever known.
the end. thank you all for taking this trip down the AU rabbit hole with me.