Summary: Set immediately after the events of ACOMAF. Azriel recovers with Mor at his bedside - when her nightmares cause her to scream in terror he wakes to comfort and soothe her but it’s a short-lived solace before danger calls again.
The thud of wood impacting flesh and the shatter of
splintering bone haunt her.
Her own scream howls through her dreams in a rising
crescendo until it reaches a pitch that finally wakes her and casts her into
the cool, welcoming blackness of Azriel’s bedchamber where she’s taken up
residence as he heals and the slow, steady rhythm of his deep breathing soothes
her the way the quiet, softly sung lullabies used to when she was a child.
But tonight it doesn’t come. The familiar planes of Azriel’s
sick room don’t wrap around her as she jerks awake. She doesn’t wake at all.
Instead she drowns in darkness; forsaken and alone as the symphony of her
screams engulf her and pin her down, the weight of the world’s agony crushing
her chest and making it impossible to rise, to breathe, to save him.
The pain that lances through her is his pain; the physical
agony of the wound cleaving her chest in two, bursting through her heart like
vicious forked lightning separating two halves of the world, like the spirits
shooting across the sky on Starfall, taking him from her, his soul now among
them, nothing but a faint glimmer against an ocean of night.
She screams again. Screams for someone, anyone, to hear, to
save her, to save him. Screams until
it’s the only sound left in the world. Screams until there’s no blood Screams until her throat is raw and her lungs
are burning as though they’ve poured oil into them and set her alight.
But no-one comes to her in that darkness and she burns,
burns like the blood that splatters her skin, the blood that pours from his broken
chest, the blood that oozes between her fingers as she fails to stop it.
And in the dark there’s nothing but the scent of blood and
death and ruin.
So she burns. Burns until there’s nothing and no-one left in
that darkness; burns until she’s destroyed the world for grief and spite; burns
until there’s only her and the realisation that she’ll be ash and dust and
emptiness soon, unable to feel, to hate, to hurt anymore.
But a hand reaches for her. A hand that closes around her
wrist and pulls her back from the brink, reels her in and calms her and brings
her back to that quiet, shadowed bed chamber. His touch is cold, as it always
is, cooling her burning rage, his skin always contrasting the feverish heat
that sears through her flesh; the only one of them who could ever truly handle
her at her worst.
Her chest is heaving, she can’t get enough air into her
lungs, doesn’t think there’s enough air left in the room, in the world to let
her breathe properly. Icy sweat coats her body like a second skin that she
longs to claw off. Bile stings the back of her throat and the nightmares still
shreds at her nerves, urging her to run and run and run and not stop until
she’s in a place they’ve never heard of Hybern or ash or poison or horror.
But the look in his eyes – awake and alert and fixed on her soothes
her as nothing else possibly could and she lets herself sink in to them.
They contain that same, anchoring calm
she’s always found in them as they pierce her now, tethering to her him,
willing her back to herself, back to him, back to this reality, grounding her
and settling her and pulling her back in, containing that untameable power that
howls for release.
“Azriel,” she whispers, her voice a hoarse rasp as tears
sting her eyes and she slides out of her chair and onto the bed beside him,
close enough to feel those steady, reassuring breaths she prays never falter
His hand is still wrapped around her wrist, a tether to him,
to what’s real, his thumb softly strokes her arm and he says, his voice as flat
and calm as she mountain lakes they used to visit together, “It was a dream,
Mor,” the tenderness in his voice as he says her name makes her move in a
little closer to him, seeking more of that, seeking to reassure herself
completely that she hasn’t lost it yet, that the world hasn’t lost the coarse softness
that is his alone, “It was a dream. It wasn’t real.”
Slowly, hands shaking slightly, she covers his hand with her
own, “Except it was real, Az,” she says, struggling not to let her voice break
on his name but it does anyway.
Her other hand hovers
over the still healing wound in his chest and the tears she had sworn she was
done shedding for him fall silently from her eyes once more. A rough hand
reaches up and wipes them away with heartbreaking tenderness. Her fingers
clench and unclench on his chest like a heartbeat and fresh tears wet his
“It was real,” she can feel it, the ragged wound, the new
scar it will leave on his already violence stained body.
It will be a constant reminder of that fear. That fear she
thought she had long since left behind her that had reared up like a vicious serpent
and coiled itself around her chest again at the thought of losing him; at the
thought of watching herself lose him and doing nothing about it. Helpless as
she’d been at seventeen; something she swore she’d never be again, never. But
there, watching him bleed out, that arrow in him, so dangerously close to his
heart, spreading poison through him…She would have done anything. She would
have torn apart the fabric of the world with her bare hands and drained the
marrow from its bones without a flicker of thought if that had been what it
took to save him.
Listening to Kylo Ren’s and Rey’s themes, is like living a dark fairytale, where the lonely Dark Prince transformed in a dragon, abducts the Princess of a lost kingdom, fascinated and intrigued by her spirit, braveness and the loneliness she carries her whole life, like him.