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She's afraid of you. Hard as it may be to believe, when times are as bleak as they are, she fears you. Maybe she's grown superstitious, attuned to the dance of Thief versus Maid, locked in cycling war. Perhaps the pattern isn't simply a funny coincidence. Destiny appears to enjoy writing itself large.

Or maybe it's because you won't die, won't ever die, are Life itself. The Black Queen is used to killing her heirs. Poor girls, raised in brightness and luxury, soft as gold instead of honed to steel. How many do you think have been born, in the thousands of years of her reign? How many live, still?

But not you. You live, and thus you frighten her. You've made a fierce enemy of someone you've never even met.

***

You laughed when I told you what your title meant. Prince of Heart. Destroyer of Souls. I could see the tension in your shoulders, the way your eyes narrowed. The way your mind began to calculate all the outcomes. All the ways you could conceivably betray them. And all the ways you would refuse to. You're eager to look fate in the eye and tell her in rather crude terms that you won't bend beneath her will.

So many plans. You never sleep, never shut down, never let out a breath and let your shoulders slump.

You left only one man out of your strategy. The prince, too, has a heart; the destroyer a soul. And as wide as the range of an active class may be, in the end, it will always spiral back to itself.

***

You are their Hope. I do not mean simply the good citizens of Prospit, nor your function within the game, though there is that, of course. You know they all love you, far more astute than anyone gives you credit for. They all love you, so much, and that love is a driving force.

Do you remember the last time you loved someone? How did it feel, when she died?

Close your eyes and remember the heat of your grandmother's pyre on your face, the sparks popping so close you thought your hair might catch fire.

Remember that empty, scraped feeling, hollowing out your ribs. Will they feel it too, when you die?

If you try to recall how you regained hope and clawed your way back to happiness, you probably won't be able to. It was gradual. And they don't have the luxury of time.

***

You were the first person to ever tell me you loved me, even if you didn't mean it. There's power, even in careless words.

You're... to be perfectly honest, you are the one I understand least of all. Perhaps the Void is to blame. There is too much of your life, your experience I simply haven't seen.

Perhaps it's because you're the one I would most want to be. Can't you just picture it? Someone like me, going back to lead my compatriots through a flaming city? I didn't think so.

You're still sleeping, but you will waken soon, and awake, you will blaze so brightly.

I may be a little bit jealous.

I've already told you too much, but I did not want my name to die with me. Names have power, too. It just happens to be power I can't use, by its very nature.

It appears I have convinced myself that a passive class cannot act, for all that I know perfectly well that is not the definition.

Would you act for me, if I asked you to? Or is it already too late?

***

I know the ways each of you will die. The books are ruthlessly clear on that matter. And yet...

Would it be naive of me to say that I still believe in you? That I think you capable of fighting the inevitable?

It doesn't matter what I think, in the end. All I know is that it's a Muse's job to inspire, but you were the ones who've changed me, beyond the boundaries of what I had thought was possible.

I believe in you. That is all.