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The Darkest Night Would Shine

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Selene once called me a fire fairy. At the time she'd been holding my sister hostage and preparing (again) to kill me, so I hadn't really thought much about what she meant.

I should have known, though. The only thing that can truly fight fire is more fire. And I was about to be truly set ablaze.


As Cal recovered, Hunter grew more and more agitated with each passing day. I knew that he was thinking about what Cal had meant to me. Now that Cal had risked his own life to save mine, Hunter was troubled. I knew that he saw things in black and white since his brother's death. It was one of the things that made him such a good Seeker for the Council. I wanted to tell him that things, that people, were more complex than that. But every time I tried, we wound up fighting.

When I dreamed at night, I dreamed about Cal, as though our souls were still entangled, as though I could still hear his voice. When I woke, it was to long for Hunter, for his touch, his wisdom, his unerring faith in me.

I knew Hunter hadn't been to see Cal in the hospital. I knew that rationally I couldn't blame him: he had tried to kill me, and Cal's mother might have had something to do with their father's disappearance. But I couldn't help it: it seemed silly to me. I wanted a way to break through the wall Hunter had built around himself when it came to the subject of Cal and what he still meant to me—what I knew on some level he meant to both of us.

My mother gave me the idea, though it was an idea that like everything else she gave me arrived with pain. I'd been pouring through the pages of her diary. The more I uncovered about my past and her flight from the Dark Wave, the more I understood what she'd written, and I often found myself revisiting Maeve's journals and discovering more and more details—both in the "public" sections and the parts she'd spelled away that only I could read.

I know that I must choose between them, Maeve wrote near the end of the diary, before she chose in spite of everything to be with Angus. But sometimes I wonder: is there another way? Do I really have to choose? What if I could—Belwicket preserve me!—have them both?

As much as the idea of her choosing to stay with Ciaran, the man who had burned her and Angus alive, was horrifying, I understood it. After all, Cal had tried to kill me, yet I still dreamed of the way his hot smooth skin felt to touch, the way his broad, thick chest felt beneath my fingers. And despite everything I knew deep down that he had truly rejected Selene's influence.

The first opportunity I had to broach the subject came about a month after Mary K's kidnapping and Selene's death. I had just been to see Cal at the hospital. Though he wasn't talking much, he was making obvious progress. I'd held his hand for a while, and we'd sat without talking.

When I got home, Hunter was waiting for me, his battered Honda parked on the curb. His face was like a thunderstorm, and it made me angry even before he started speaking. He accused me of not being honest with him about my feelings for Cal. "I know you still love him," he fumed.

The words left my mouth before I'd considered them. "Then do the tàth meànma with me," I snapped. "Let me show you exactly how i feel."

I had expected tàth meànma brach to show Hunter what I felt. Instead, when our minds merged, I saw into his past, into his first meeting with Cal—or, as Hunter thought of him, Sgath.

I saw—no, I felt—Hunter's overwhelming attraction to him when they had been introduced at the conference of witches. How they were drawn to each other, the sparks that had smoldered between them. I felt Hunter's embarrassment in the face of Cal's steady flirting, the way his self-confidence left Hunter flustered and thrown. Hunter had wanted him, then, before he discovered who Cal really was. He'd felt as though Sgath had known, must have known all along. He'd felt toyed with. But through it all—even now—he'd wanted Cal.

Hunter's face was ashen when we ended the tàth meànma. We stared at each other.

"Morgan," he started, his voice shaking. "It's not like that, not anymore. I don't—"

"It's okay," I told him, because it was. "It's better than okay."

I knew what I wanted now, and what I had to do.

Perhaps because of the tàth meànma we shared, Hunter seemed to relax in the next few days. Sky approached me about holding a Kithic prayer circle for Cal. After the circle took place, Cal's recovery sped up. I think if he had stayed in the hospital longer, I might have convinced Hunter to visit him.

But that didn't happen. Instead, Cal sent me a witch message a week later. Hunter and I were coming from the antique mall when I felt it. I was driving, so I turned Das Boot towards the old Methodist cemetery, where I knew Cal was meditating, before Hunter caught on to what I was doing.

He argued with me about it, of course. But I could tell that deep down he wanted to see Cal again. Since our tàth meànma we'd each felt the hum of tension, the throbbing possibility of more, with each other and Cal. I didn't know what had come over me. If I hadn't known better I'd've suspected Cal of ensnaring me with more spells, more charms to keep power over me. But Cal wasn't that person any more. And I wasn't shy little Morgan. I was the fire fairy, daughter of Bradhadair of clan Belwicket.

Whatever was coming, I wanted it.

Hold on, I told Cal with my mind. I could tell he was currently overwhelmed with grief for his mother and regret for what he'd done to me, and what he'd nearly done to Hunter and Mary K. It was a potent mix.

When we got to the cemetery, Cal was scrying with luegs. It was a strange thing—I'd only ever tried scrying with fire before now, and Cal seemed like so much flame and ash to me that I couldn't associate him with any other element. But as we approached, he turned, his golden tiger eyes lit from within, and I was reminded that stone can burn hotter than any other element.

Cal stared at us, especially at Hunter. "What's he doing here?" he said, gaze darting between the two of us.

Hunter had slipped his hand protectively around my waist, but I shrugged it off as we got closer. Instead I took his hand, and reached my other out to take Cal's. "I missed you," I greeted Cal, instead of answering, and then I kissed him. I heard Hunter make a noise of protest, but he kept his hand in mine, and as Cal murmured my name and deepened the kiss, I entangled their fingers together.

Cal broke away and looked at me in confusion. "This is—Morgan, are you sure you want this?"

"She can decide what she wants without you helping her, Sgath," Hunter broke in. His voice was cold but he was right behind me, and he hadn't moved his hand away from where I was loosely clasping their fingers together.

"It's good to see you, too, Giomanach," Cal smirked. "I'd be lying if I said I'd missed you, but—" he stopped and looked Hunter up and down. I knew he was enjoying what I enjoyed: Hunter's long, lean body, his tight abs, his stunning green eyes and marble cheekbones. He stepped in closer, trapping me between the two of them, melting me with the heat of their bodies. He ran a hand slowly up Hunter's bicep, then slid it up his shoulder, his thumb sliding over Hunter's chiseled collarbone. "But you are a sight for sore eyes," he said.

Hunter made a noise, less a growl than a guttural sob, low in his throat. He seethed, "Fuck you," and grabbed Cal by the lapels of his polo. Yanking Cal forward, he kissed him viciously, their mouths meeting and locking together almost as angrily as they used to fight.

When they lunged into each other I ducked out of the way, but Hunter found me immediately. He pulled me into his side and I couldn't tear my eyes away from where Cal was devouring Hunter's mouth. "Giomanach," he murmured, his eyes flickering closed. He put on a good show, but I was stunned: he wanted this as much as Hunter.

"Shut up," Hunter breathed. "Just... shut up." His fingers tightened around Cal's collar; Cal brought one hand up to draw through Hunter's pale hair, the other to rest around my waist.

The thought flashed through my mind then: I'd been so sure, once before, that Cal was my mùirn beatha dàn. Now I wondered: could I have been right?

Could a person have two soulmates in a single lifetime? Let alone two at once?

I inserted myself between them, running my fingers under Cal's shirt and over his smooth chest. I felt Hunter's lips against my neck. I arched into him. Cal hoisted me and my legs went easily around his waist. "Morgan," Hunter said into my throat. I murmured a chant in Gaelic: ligimis, let us let go. I banish limitations, I thought, and I sensed rather than saw Hunter relaxing into the hold he had on me, pressing forward to crush his mouth against Cal's.

Cal was hurting, I could tell, but at the same time his passion was burning me from within. I couldn't help it; I needed more. I rocked into him, enjoying the feeling of being trapped between two rock-hard bodies and their need for each other—and for me.

"Don't think for a moment this changes anything," Hunter said against Cal's lips, but I could hear how ragged his voice was, roughshod like the strands of Cal's hair he couldn't seem to stop touching. I wanted them both naked. A whispered word and it was done, and they didn't seem to notice that this was more effortless exertion of power on my part than I'd ever evinced around either of them. Cal especially was probably used to it, having spent so much time in the company of Selene. At the thought of Selene my blood quickened, with disgust but also adrenalin: would she have been impressed by my strength? Would it have incited her jealousy? Turned her on?

In any case, I was where she could never touch—and I had Cal. I had them both. I moaned as I felt Hunter's lips skate over my neck and down my spine. Cal's fingers were fumbling for my bra, and I smiled as I remembered how eager he'd been for me just a few months ago. How things had changed, I thought, as I tugged them down onto the grass with me. Twilight was falling, and the air was chilled, but we were warmed through with energy and magick and each other. Hunter fell against Cal, his hands roaming everywhere, their bodies rutting together, desire coming in wisps of gasps and shocked breaths. I ran my hands over my own body while I watched them, dizzy with the feel of the soil below me, the sizzle of death in the earth all around us, the indigo night approaching above us.

"You were saying?" Cal said an eternity later, and it took me a moment to realize he was teasing Hunter, Hunter whose liquid green eyes were blazing with lust, his jeans pooled around his knees and his cock jutting into the juncture of Cal's thigh. Hunter groaned and kissed him again, and Cal cupped his ass and arched into him. I couldn't help myself; I leaned over and sucked a kiss onto Cal's nipple, even as i joined him in exploring Hunter's gorgeous body. When our hands met against Hunter's skin, I felt the crackle of energy and lust skate between us. Cal dragged his lips away from Hunter's and found my own. I still loved him; I'd been crazy to think what we had was over.

We took turns; Hunter fucked me, so gently, so very tenderly, while Cal sucked sarcasm and sin into my throat, leaving a red ring of desire at my collarbone, impossible to ignore. I loved it. I came in his arms and then came for him again while he fucked me from behind and Hunter fucked my mouth full. I was dizzy, high on enchantment; I wanted them again and again, and they gave me exactly what I wanted, taking me until I was sobbing and stretched and deliciously sore. Then I watched as Cal fucked Hunter until Hunter came, gasping and wrecked and shouting Sgath into the night.

(No one could hear us; I'd made sure of that.)

Afterwards, I watched as Hunter, strung out and still high from the endorphin rush, stretched out against Cal and kissed every inch of his body, as if Cal was a drug he couldn't stop tasting. Cal languidly stroked his hair and murmured soothing words into his kisses.

He and I looked across Hunter's used, satiated body at each other. There were no words. Just like before, we needed none.

In my hand, the talisman necklace Cal had given me when we first met glowed warm and sure. I had been a fool to take it off.

I knew better now. The way ahead was clear. The three of us, Cal, Hunter, and I, together, our love uniting us, our magick joined and stronger than the world.

Overhead, the moon was full.