Many, many thanks to @saessenach for the jurassic beta service and additions, ily.
Once upon a time, there was a Prince who loved the night.
It was his kingdom and his home and he loved to fly
between the stars with his Mother, the Queen, and his younger sister, circling
up and up in the sky on his little wings until the first rays of sunlight came
and dawn shone bright with the sound of their laughter.
His Mother was soft and wild, as was his sister, and the
Prince felt like his heart could burst with all the love he felt for them.
His Kingly Father, though, was another matter.
The Prince could see the thread between his parents, the
one that proved how destiny, how fate deemed them worthy of each other. But
alas, he couldn’t see any happiness, or love, in it.
And yet, he
couldn’t help but dream of when he would find that perfect someone, the one and
only for him.
He loved his life, loved his family and his kingdom and
his life was the happiest life a boy could ask for.
That is, until his Queenly Mother brought him to a
The Prince could remember her shaking wings as she walked
away from him.
Not that the Prince needed training, mind you. It was
just that his talents were more like starlight at his fingertips and not like a
fist between the teeth, and his Mother wanted him to be always able to protect
himself, in any occasion.
But there the Prince met a boy, a boy who was Fire made
Fire kicked the Prince up and down with a grin that
didn’t reach his eyes and that day the Prince came back home with several
pieces of clothing less. He found himself completely at loss in this new,
strange and unfamiliar environment, where his own powers where frowned upon.
But, while reading by his window in the house his Mother
bought outside the camp, the Prince saw Fire walking through rain and mud and
his soaked shirt seemed even bigger, the sleeves covering his hands.
The Prince’s brows knitted together.
It sure wouldn’t be safe to leave Fire under the rain,
what would it be of him?
So the Prince went to the boy’s tent, if one can call it
that, as silently as he could. Fire was asleep, but he awoke the moment the
Prince set foot in the tent.
“What do you want, Princeling?” Fire drawled, ready to
attack despite how tired he looked.
What did the Prince want?
Perhaps, a friend?
“How can you sleep in this?” the Prince asked, gesturing
to the tent around them.
“I lay down and close my eyes, Princeling. It’s not that
But there was no bed, only a strip of fabric on the cold
“I-I dare you to sleep in a bed!” the Prince said with
all the conviction he could muster. Fire raised an eyebrow, a challenge in his
The Prince couldn’t help the shiver of fear that ran down
He was a Prince, the moon was his confidant and the stars
were his friends but this boy-
He was a fighter, used to bruises and loneliness and
split lips and the blood trailing down his chin went only in the way of his
“I dare you to sleep in a bed.” the Prince repeated.
Fire chuckled, “And what do I get if I do?”
“A warm bed and clothes you don’t have to fight for.”
Fire stared at the Prince and the Prince looked at Fire’s
matted hair, his mismatched clothes, the bruises and cuts which no one would
“Where’s the trick?” Fire asked.
“I’m no liar!” the
Prince answered quickly, his temper rising.
Another chuckle, a disbelieving laugh.
“So you say. And if I don’t accept?”, this was a taunt,
the Prince knew it.
They both knew the answer.
“You’ll stay here.”
And the Prince was surprised to find himself thinking
that it would sadden him, should Fire be hard headed enough to remain in his
The boy hummed and then said, “Then by all means, Princeling,
lead the way.”
The Queen was not very pleased at first, but she quickly
grew to love Fire, much to the Prince distate.
Things would be so
easier, the Prince thought, if Fire
wasn’t such an ass.
He still kicked the Prince to the ground while training
and they both behaved in the house to not displease the Prince’s Mother, but
now there was always an outstretched hand for the Prince to take.
After a year, another boy came and tendrils of darkness
swirled in his wake.
Shadow was strong and had an outstanding, peculiar power,
yet silence fell on his marred hands.
After Shadow’s arrival, the three boys formed a strange
unit and soon a brotherhood was born, out of footsteps that didn’t bring mud and
legs shattered as a payment for loneliness.
But no one liked this kinship, least of all the King.
He tried and tried to separate the brothers, in armies
faraway or in a mountain of death and bounded wings.
And it was all in vain.
The brothers knew the one word on everybody’s tongue as
they passed: threat, threat, threat.
But they were family, and they were happy.
Until one day an Evil Queen sought to destroy everything
they all loved.
They fought her, and the Prince was taken.
But as faith would have it, he survived when so many of
his men did not because the army of the Evil Queen didn’t know of his mother’s
gift buried underneath his skin, her heritage, his wings. His Father rescued him but the Evil Queen won and a wall
was built, keeping immortals and the ones who lived with Death’s breath on
their necks divided forever.
And then one day, the current brought the Prince two
smiles frozen in death, hair black as night flowing in the current, and when
the boxes clashed on the shore all the Prince could feel was rage.
For he knew that that bloodshed had fingertips like
flowers blossoming all over it.
He knew who was to blame, he knew, he knew, he knew.
A golden Prince he thought was his friend, a golden
Prince who knew where his Mother and Sister were, a golden Prince he trusted.
So the King and the Prince of Night went to kill the
males that had blood filled with moonlight on their hands, who kept wings as a
reminder of cruelty. To kill the King of Spring, a dear friend to the Evil
Queen, a monstrous partnership.
But the Night’s Prince didn’t want to kill the Prince of
Spring, his one time friend. There was already enough blood after the killings
of the King of Spring and all his other sons and the Prince was ashamed of the
female blood on his Father’s hands.
An he was tired. So, so tired.
But the King of Night wanted revenge, more of it, and
moved to kill the Spring’s last Prince, but found his end instead.
And so the Princes became a Kings, through tears and
blood and loss.
After this events, the newly-made King came back to his
kingdom of starlight and Fire was nowhere to be seen.
In time, the loss and pain became memory and the King
knew there were two new beautiful stars watching over him from the skies above.
But he still had family through blood: the King had a
cousin, Light, and Shadows purred in her presence.
Cruelty wears many shapes, though. It can look like the
nightmares children fear or like a forest in the midst of October and a brash
decision whispered by a green monster can lit the world ablaze.
And with that, Fire, Shadows and Light froze in time.
But life went on and they were joined by a Creature of
Old and it felt like family.
Even then, when the Evil Queen returned, only two words
ringed in the King’s mind:
kill her, kill her,
So he went under a mountain built on madness, making the
Queen and everyone else think he was there for politics, to make pleasant conversations
with the sycophants that surrounded her, but the reality was that he wouldn’t
be satisfied until her blood ran cold. He brought no one of his family with him
and so no one could warn him of the poison in his cup that leashed his powers.
And as the King watched the Evil Queen slaughter half the
men he brought with him, he thought of his City, his lovely Kingdom blessed by
the light of the moon and the dark night, to what lengths he would go to
protect it, to protect the people in it, to protect his family.
So he bound his family to a shield he threw around the
He thought he heard Fire’s roar and Shadows sharp intake
of breath, the sadness in Light’s cries and the quiet rage of the Creature of
In that dreary place, the King of Night learnt pretty
quickly to play is new cold and ruthless role at the Evil Queen’s side, to give
pleasure to a monster who deserved pain, to close his eyes and see stars, to
imagine the wind in his hair and the booming of wings.
And it went on and on, names spat at him along narrow
corridors, cruelty beyond reason adorned with roaring laughter.
Until one day, a blur of an image made it’s way into his
mind; a slender, delicate hand holding a brush with care and love
It was the portrait of Hope.
And the King wanted to give something back to the
painter, to his Hope, so he gave her the night sky and the stars and the moon
and everything he loved and missed.
Those images were what kept him going, as he was forced
to do vicious, horrible acts in the name of the Evil Queen mad with loss. Acts
that even eternity would be enough to make him forget.
Until one day, the images weren’t blurry anymore, but clear
and perfect and as the King got over the shock, he recognized where Hope was.
The kingdom of Spring.
The King of Night felt the bile rising in his throat.
He need to get to her and why was she there with him, why.
So he lied to the Evil Queen, lied through his teeth and
she believed him.
The King went to the kingdom of Spring and saw his Hope,
so young and fragile and mortal and she was the most beautiful thing he ever
Even if the encounter was brief, it filled his heart with
such joy and so he tried to find new excuses to visit her, but-
The way she looked at the King of Spring, it was like
she…like she loved him.
And when he knew the Spring’s King sent her away to the
Mortal Realm, he was happy because
she was safe, she would not witness
the monstrosity of the Evil Queen.
So when he saw her under that damned mountain he thought
his heart would stop and his mind went blank under the claws of pure terror. He
could only see and hear Hope, his eyes wide.
I’m here to claim
the one I love.
And of course, the Queen didn’t make her quest easy.
She made Hope prove herself, again and again and the King
of Night couldn’t keep himself away from her, he felt the need to consol her,
to be there for her, to do everything he could for her.
More so when it was clear the King of Spring would not
move a finger for her; the only one that tried aside for the King of Night was
an Orange Flower, friend of both the King of Spring and Hope, who looked like
no one ever tried to give him water.
And as the last trial approached, the thought, the word, that slithered through the King of
Nights mind was more insistent than ever.
So the King made a bargain with Hope: he healed one of
her wounds and in exchange, she had to pass with him a week of every month. It
was foolish, selfish, but…it meant he would see her again.
And when the last trial arrived the Queen, the Queen was
killing her, his Hope, his love, his-
He wouldn’t stand there and watch, he had to try to save
her, he had to kill the Queen, he had to, he
Hope was his mate,
his mate, his mate.
But he heard the sound of the fragile bones breaking when
the Queen snapped Hope’s neck.
The King pulled on the bond, pulled with everything he
had and convinced the other Kings, prisoners no more, in giving their powers to
Hope, to give her another chance at life.
And they did.
His Hope was now alive and immortal and safe and he was
so incredibly happy.
Even when she ran to the King of Spring.
When they last saw each other, she looked at him and he
loved the way she looked at him, like he wasn’t a monster or a nightmare or a
demon but then-
Then he felt it, that string between them, like a constellation
tying them together, wrapping them in eternity and beyond.
And he was so, so scared; the King vanished in front of
In that moment he decided he would free her from their
bargain, he would give her the freedom to love whom she wanted, to do what she
wanted, to be free.
So he flew away, to his City of Starlight and when he saw
Light for the first time in fifty years his first words to her were,