Cassian, lounging idly on a chair in front of the fire in the main lounge area of the House of Wind, yelps in sudden shock as he feels something cold press against his wings.
After the…incident at Hybern instinct has him tucking them tight against his body, crouching into a defensive position, whirling to find- Elain. Elain tutting and frowning at him as she nudges him back, with surprising strength, to sit on the couch, easily overbalancing while he’s caught off guard with the sheer shock of finding her there.
“Look at the mess you’ve made,” she huffs as she idly hooks a finger underneath the talon at the crest of his wing and tugs, opening it up as casually as though it’s a lady’s parasol.
“Elain-” he croaks, not entirely sure how or why this is happening, just knowing he needs to stop it before things get…decidedly uncomfortable for them both.
“Hush,” Elain cautions him, the soft word somehow so subtly threatening he finds himself obeying it without thought. “It needs to be done,” she says firmly, another dollop of the cold…something splattering against his open wing. “There’s no use being a baby about it.”
With that she sets to rubbing what he now recognises as the salve the healers have provided for his still raw and tender wings in with gentle, careful circular motions that have him melting into the couch. Oh Cauldron fuck me sideways, thinks with a groan. This is not the way he pictured leaving this world for whatever’s beyond. Mostly that image involves Nesta and a fair amount of lube. It does not involve him imploding as he tries to contain himself and not destroy Elain’s innocence. Whether he succeeds and the resulting stroke kills him, or he fails and Nesta slaughters him the outcome is depressingly similar.
“Elain, really,” he begins hoarsely, shifting before her and trying to politely squirm out of her reach. “You don’t have to do this, honestly, I’ll just get-”
“There’s no-one else here,” Elain tells him brightly, “They’re all…Away somewhere.” She says vaguely, voice trailing off as though she’s going to tell him where they all are, exactly, and why none of them are sparing him this horrible fate, then she shrugs and decides against it, returning to his wings instead. Cassian clenches a hand into a fist and tries to force himself to resist but Cauldron boil him, she’s entirely too good at this.
“But you’ve been so good to me, Cassian,” she goes on, her voice so earnest and sweet that he can’t bring himself to tell her what a terrible mistake she’s made. It’ll just have to be something they laugh about a century on at parties…Or a secret that he takes to his grave for fear of Nesta. More likely the latter. “I just want to help you relax! This salve is very important for your wings healing properly…”
She continues babbling on, listing the various ways it’s good for his health, missing the biggest reason that it’s very much not. Cauldron boil him, how can no-one have told her about Illyrian wings and how sensitive they are? No…No he understands. How could anyone destroy sweet, gentle Elain’s innocence that way? Impossible. Impossible for him, too, even as he feels his cock starting to respond to her attentions.
Cassian becomes aware, dimly, in the back of his mind still connected to this unfortunate reality, not imagining what the afterworld looks like, that Elain has stopped prattling. “Are you alright, Cassian?” She asks, concerned, peering at him over his shoulder.
“Fine!” he yelps, not particularly needing that part of his anatomy to give him away at the moment when he’s trying so hard not to ruin her. It’ll be fine. He can just…Just get through this, it won’t take long, the salve will be on his wings, her innocence will remain intact, and he’ll have to go and spend some quality time alone in the shower with the water so cold ice crystals are practically forming in it.
“Alright, just, tell me if it hurts, okay?” she tells him, still sounding worried, bless her.
Then she moves on to the other wing. Cassian beings praying to the Cauldron, the Mother, whatever else might be listening, to give him strength.
Elain, apparently considering it her duty to apply the salve to his wings and distract him from what she seems to think is a rather harrowing process (it is, just not for the reasons she assumes) and so she starts talking about Nesta. Thoughts of her don’t entirely help matters, not least because he starts picturing her hands on his wings, applying his daily salve…Images of her hands on other places intrude unhelpfully as well.
He clears his throat pointedly, “Why don’t we- Why don’t we talk about something else, Elain?” he rasps out.
“Oh dear,” she says, and he can picture that sweet little face falling, her hands pausing on his wings. He isn’t sure if that’s a mercy, giving him some recovery time, or curse, prolonging his torment. “Are the two of you fighting again?” she asks sadly.
“Mm, something like that,” he mutters noncommittally.
Fighting. Fucking. Same difference, really.
“Is that why she left with Mor this morning?” Elain asks conspiratorially, “So that she wouldn’t have to do this for you?” She taps gently on his wing to indicate her meaning and Cassian wonders how it’s possibly for someone to go through so much of life so utterly oblivious to this aspect of it.
“I doubt that,” he says sardonically, before he can stop himself. Fortunately, Elain misses the little flick of sarcasm on the end of his words and simply returns to her task.
Dutifully she switches the topic away from Nesta and starts chattering about her garden instead. Cassian is very fond of Elain, and very fond of the garden she’s impulsively started on top of the House of Wind but Cauldron boil him…Her talk about daisies and dandelions and how she’s amazed Mor hasn’t learned the difference between weeds and flowers, which is the reason she’s now banned from said garden, really isn’t distracting enough to take his mind off his current predicament.
Finally, he can’t take it anymore, she’s so close, but unfortunately so is he, and he can’t stop himself from biting out roughly, “Elain, stop, please.”
She does at once, nearly dropping the little tub of salve in her surprise at his sudden outburst. “But I’m nearly finished-” So am I- “You can’t hold on just a little-” she breaks off, apparently noticing him trembling and gasps, hurrying around to the front of the sofa, her mouth covered by her hands. “Cassian, I’m sorry!” she gushes, “I didn’t realise it was hurting so badly. Nesta does this for you every morning and, well, she sometimes isn’t the gentlest person in the world-” No, she’s not, and Cass loves every second of that…Not that he’ll tell Elain. Having her think she might have hurt him isn’t ideal but..It’s a hell of a lot better than the alternative. And so he lets her babble to her heart’s content until- “I just wanted to- Oh.”
Cassian makes himself take a little more notice of her then and realises that her eyes have managed to fix between his legs, wide and shocked. Despite his best efforts at hiding it, there’s really no question that she’s finally noticed the full effects of her good deed.
Her hands fall slowly away from her mouth and he really does wish she’d stop staring. Then she meets his eyes instead and he decides he’d much rather have them returned to where they were, thank you. “Mor,” she swallows and continues, sounding a little faint, “Mor told me Illyrian wings were sensitive but I…I thought. Oh, Cauldron.”
Clearing his throat and trying to maintain a little dignity, which seems to dictate that he remain seated for the time being, Cassian says, “It’s really not a problem, Elain, you didn’t know, you were just trying to help.”
“Even so, I, I-” she’s slowly flushing a deeper and deeper shade of red and Cassian thinks that if that continues he might have to summon a healer to come and check on her. “Is there anything….I can do to…help?” she asks delicately.
Cassian can’t help the bark of laughter that tears out of him. She’s just so earnest and sweet in wanting to assist him with his current predicament. He does force himself to bite his tongue and stop himself winking at her and making some comment loaded with innuendo, which he would to anyone else that managed to find themselves in this current situation. Not Elain though.
For her he just reaches out and gently pats her hand, eyes twinkling, “I’m sure I’ll be alright,” he tells her with a faint smirk, “Maybe just…Give me a few minutes?”
“Of course,” Elain yelps, abandoning the salve on the table in front of him as she makes, what’s clearly a very welcome retreat across the room.
He leans forward and picks up the glass of water he hadn’t dared touch while she’d been dutifully rubbing salve into his wings and takes a small sip, settling back to wait for himself to calm down, glad that the House is empty save him and Elain.
At the doorway however, she pauses. He’s about to turn around and ask her what the matter is but then Elain says, an oddly sly note in her voice, “So…This is why Nesta helps you with your salve every morning.”
“Tikki I am so in love with Adrien Agreste” “Ok well then why don’t you talk to him?” “no”
“Gosh Nino Marinette is such a good friend. She’s so friendly! I really appreciate her in my life!” “That’s awesome man you should tell her that, I think it would mean a lot.” “Uh….no”
“Tikki I really do love Chat Noir but I wish he would stop flirting with me. I don’t reciprocate his feelings and it makes my life so much more complicated because I worry all the time about letting him down.” “Maybe say so? He’d never do anything to make you uncomfortable on purpose!!” “Oh, I couldn’t-”
“Plagg do you think that Marinette has a crush on me???” “idk kid why don’t you ask her?” “nO!”
[post accidental reveal] “TIKKI Adrien can’t possibly like me for me !!!!!!!!!!!! He only loves me because I’m ladybug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t possibly be together with him my HEAR TIS BROKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “Or what if. And i might be stretching here Marinette but what if. You had an open and healthy dialogue about your feelings and concerns to resolve this issue” “nO TIKKI WHY WOULD I EVER-”
Keith’s vision is real bad, like …. the poor boy is near-sighted af. (He watches too many conspiracy documentaries in the dark.) Usually he wears contacts, but one day he’s too lazy so he puts on his glasses.
Lance feels betrayed™ like wow, this whole time he’s been deprived of glasses-wearing Keith. But of course he can’t let Keith know that he likes the glasses so it’s like….
Lance: wow Keith you should wear those glasses more often Keith: …..really? Lance: *sweats* y-yeah, so …. so I can make fun of you more. because they’re terrible, hAHA.
Also Pidge and Keith do that thing where they try on each other’s glasses (idk I always do that with my fellow glasses-wearing friends) and discover that Keith’s prescription is like 10,000x stronger than Pidge’s. Like, when she puts on his glasses everything turns so blurry she almost falls over.
A lot of you guys are always concerned about me because the more that I share, the more you realize I’m a real person with struggles and issues and I’m not 100% okay 100% of the time haha so I just wanna give an update and share some insight on how I’ve been doing and what I’ve been working on.
The hair cut is the visible part. The change is sooooo real. I look like a different person but I seriously FEEL like one. Surface changes: I live in Tennessee. I have short blonde hair. I’ve now dated two guys that I actually loved. I own a house and a car. Before, I lived in California, I had freaking long brown hair, I shared a mini van with four other people, I’d never been on a date and truly questioned whether I’d ever meet anyone that liked me for who I was, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life past like two years into the future and I felt like I would live with my parents forever. So a lot of big things have changed but honestly the biggest changes happened inside with less visible results. You can only see it in my smile and hear it in my words. But really you’ll see it in my actions over the next 12 months. It’s just the beginning.
I honestly don’t know where it came from. The last six years I have been so passive. My life has been happening to me. There have been some breakthrough moments where I learned a lot about myself and my confidence and self love, yes. I had some good times for sure. But as far as knowing what I want and where I wanna go, I was not good at that. I felt SO powerless and began to withdraw more and more, in my friendships, my career, our band, my family, everything. I shared so little each day, I had so few ideas, I didn’t create much, I only wrote when I was really upset or inspired (which wasn’t that often), I had no social life, no vision for myself, no confidence that anyone would ever love me and I just wasn’t living a rich life at all. I was an observer hoping that one day someone or something would come along and make my life actually enjoyable. I was constantly waiting. I journaled a lot and released a lot of emotion, that part was good. I just felt like I was living in a cave, stuck in the past, not doing much each day to actually experience life.
Then we moved across the country. *shock* *panic* *whoa*. That was the first time I was really shaken up.
Then I had my heart broken. Twice. I fell in love and both times it didn’t work out. I NEEDED that, to meet people who actually got me and appreciated my personality and loved all my quirks and my strange mind and how childlike I am. For the first time I felt understood. I wouldn’t change a thing. I was so closed off for so long and suddenly I was ripped open. Someone was asking for my time and attention and I had to give it to them. I was so scared but I really wanted to experience that side of life so I had to let those people see me and experience who I was. It was so good for me omg. I felt like my heart was shriveled and frozen before that, it had seen the sun maybe three times, but once that happened it absolutely bloomed. Not everyone has to fall in love to open their heart but for me that’s how it happened.
Anyway it was really intense and pushed me to the edge, dealing with that loss. I cut off all my hair. I just had enough. I was so drained. I had felt so vulnerable throughout my dating experiences, such a long period of trusting and hoping after so many years of doing the opposite, I guess I became a little over exposed. I pictured myself feeling tough and strong after a particularly intense weekend of fighting and I saw myself with no hair. It was kind of a crazy idea at first but it turned into a real desire. After a few days of thinking it over, I took the plunge.
What. A. Rush.
Suddenly I just wanted to feel alive. I went a little overboard but I did so many things. Concerts, road trips, bonfires, social plans nonstop, shopping, reinventing my style… I was really hurting during this time and I just wanted to feel better. I don’t regret doing so much but I’m glad I came down after a month and examined myself. I realized how much I was hurting and I faced it. I felt scared, hurt, abandoned, broken and vulnerable but it was comforting to identify that. Once you face it, you can feel it, release it and eventually let it go.
In October I realized I wanted more. I actually had dreams. Cutting my hair showed me I could have an idea, see it through and that it could actually go well! I wanted that on a bigger scale. I started writing again, all the time. I took an interest in my appearance again. Before, I just wanted people to think I’m pretty. Of course I still do but now it’s so much more than that. It actually is for me. When my outfit/makeup/overall look matches my mood, I feel so much more confident, comfortable with myself and ready to take on the day. Even in my work out clothes, I always try to coordinate them now and make them feel good because I know I just do more with my day when I feel confident and ready to put myself out there. You don’t need to look perfect AT ALL, in fact sometimes that can cause more stress because it puts more pressure on you. Just take the time to put yourself together and feel GOOD about what you’re wearing each day. It seriously makes a huge difference. And especially DO NOT wear anything that makes you feel bad. GET RID OF IT!!!! All your clothes should make you feel cute in some way.
Idk how this happened but I kind of just realized nothing is a big deal. The way I used to live, EVERYTHING was a HUGE deal. Texting a guy? Leaving the house? Spending 30 dollars? Calling someone first? All terrifying things I dreaded and avoided at all costs. I had to work through so much INTENSE anxiety when I first started dating, it was really sad how much that freaked me out and how much I had to work through just to get to a point where I felt comfortable going on one date or being the object of a man’s attention. I felt so incredibly unworthy.
Anyway, maybe it was the hair cut but sometime around then I just became really bold. Right now I feel like almost nothing scares me. My biggest fear is probably trusting people that have hurt me. That’s one thing I can think of that I’m struggling with and truly terrifies me, trying to rebuild broken relationships. I’m having help working through that. Other than that, there are so few things I won’t try, won’t pursue, won’t say to someone. I am becoming more bold, confident, comfortable in my own skin and sure of myself with each passing second. I just feel GOOD. Nothing is that big of a deal! Seriously force yourself to take more risks and you’ll quickly understand what I mean. You can spend weeks, months, even years fearing things and trying to predict what will happen but once you finally do them you’ll see just how unnecessary all that stress was. Nothing is that hard, that daunting, that permanent. Heck, even tattoos can be removed these days.
I think that was the biggest change of all so far: the removal of fear. Fear used to be the gas in my tank, it absolutely fueled me. Now it’s faith. I am so ON FIRE for my life!!!!!! I have so many exciting dreams I want to pursue, so much I want to create, so many places I want to go, things I want to experience, learn, master, people I want to meet and be around….. I love it all. I decide what I want and I go after it. I look at myself in the mirror and I smile. I’m starting to look as bold and unique as I feel. The long hair was beautiful and fun and maybe one day I’ll want it back but for now, it just feels too plain for how colorful and out of the box my mind is. I always used my mind a lot but I wasn’t exploring it much before. Now that I’m embracing my unconventional brain, I just want to express that openness and share it with the world.
Also I’ve noticed I’m getting disappointed comments from traditional, conformist men I never wanted to date anyway that used to love my hair 😂 so no offense but I was never interested in you anyway, there are soooooo many long haired women in the world you can comment on that you’ll probably never even meet but i’m just one less you need to worry about hahaha. All of the bold men that liked me before just like me more now. And I think it’s because I also like myself more! Confidence attracts confidence! I’m growing into the baller I was born to be and it’s just helping me attract more ballers 😂😂
BTW THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING LONG HAIR OR A MORE SIMPLE STYLE I FULLY SUPPORT IT. YOU DONT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE A CRAZY PERSON OR LIVE A WILD UNCONVENTIONAL LIFE TO BALL OUT ON EVERYONE THATS JUST HOW I CHOOSE TO DO IT HAHA. EVERYONE IS A BALLER IN THEIR OWN WAY I EMBRACE AVERAGE LOOKING PEOPLE AND WILD LOOKING PEOPLE, AS LONG AS YOURE LIVING A LIFE YOU LOVE AND CHOOSING WHAT TRULY FULFILLS YOU!!!!!!!!!!! WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE JUST LIVE IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT 🙌🏼
Anyway, I feel so much more confident in myself, men or no men. It’s funny cuz I finally stopped worrying about guys and now I actually interact with them the way I always wanted to hahaha.
I no longer rely on the approval of others to get through the day. I no longer feel paralyzed by fear every morning and night. I no longer ponder whether I’m worthy of a date or not. I no longer look in the mirror and sigh. I no longer think of the future as a blurry grey blob filled with hopelessness, uncertainty and fear. I know it will be whatever I make it and I am going to make it freaking phenomenal.
That’s a huge key, putting YOURSELF in the drivers seat. Forget this message of victimization. You are the person holding yourself down but YOU can be the one to lift yourself up!!!! Wow I just got a huge craving for meat loaf and mashed potatoes. HAHAHA. Anyway, put yourself in control. Ask God for guidance. Trust that you are taken care of always because YOU ARE. Embrace yourself. Stop thinking you have to be perfect. Stop thinking you’re unlovable. Realize how cool you are and how much you have going for yourself. Jump in and try things. Stop thinking you have to be “ready”. THE LESSONS OF FAILURE ARE FAR MORE VALUABLE THAN THE PRIZES OF SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!
On that note, go kill it. Embrace yourself. Blossom. Live. Come alive. You got this 👊🏼💗