Chapter 1: Feysand: Daily Peril
"Rhys! How many boxes of towels do you have?” I yelled into the other room where my fiancée was cleaning.
Today was the day we were finally moving in together. We were a month into our engagement, and half of our respective stuff was already at the other's house anyway. It only made sense for us to share an apartment. Mine was bigger, making it the one we would share - I was definitely getting a bargain on my rent, too - but Rhys had a ridiculous amount of stuff. It was all neatly organized into labeled boxes and compartments.
Unfortunately for him, my apartment could be perceived as....well, an absolute mess.
Being a painter who lived alone, I rarely had houseguests besides the close friends I had long ago given up cleaning house for to impress. The last cleaning I had done occurred after a pint of emerald paint spilled on the hardwood floor of the kitchen. As a result, clothes were strewn on all over the floor, the garbage was close to overflowing and what Rhys described as a “solid inch of dust” coated half the countertop.
“Four, Feyre darling." Rhys replied, answering my question. "And it’s a good thing I do, because I’m beginning to think you dry all your dishes with your shirts. Almost every article of clothing in this basket seems to have some type of stain on it.”
“Prick.” I muttered under my breath halfheartedly and went back to putting things away in the kitchen. In addition to the fact that he was much more organized than I was, it didn’t help that almost all of his things were shiny, new and spotless. It wasn't that Rhys tried to flaunt his wealth....it was just how he had been raised. And how I had most decidedly not been.
“I have to say, if I knew the full extent of how messy you really were I’m not sure I would’ve agreed to move in with you!” Rhys called back.
"Oh no, you didn't finally open the closet at the end of the hall, did you?" I called back in mock horror.
"Now I'm concerned - you told me that was just storage." He joked.
I rolled my eyes, stood up and looked around. My – no, our apartment was starting to look alright, despite clearly clashing decorating themes.
Thoughtlessly, I glanced at the clock. “I’m just going to heat some leftover pasta up for dinner, alright?”
I took his faint “Mm-hmm” as agreement, and pulled the noodles out of the fridge. Out of habit, I tried to pull the nonexistent handle on the microwave – and promptly groaned. I had bought my microwave at a yard sale a few years back, but judging by the design and the speed at which it heated things, it was probably thirty years old. Even so, it worked just fine for me, but much to my chagrin Rhys had insisted we use his shiny new one. Unfortunately, with a button instead of a handle and an unnecessary plethora of power settings it appeared a complete mystery to me.
Pressing in a few likely buttons I pressed start and walked away, hoping for the best when - “BEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPP. BEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPP BEEEEEEPPPPPP.”
The loudest, most high pitched sound I had ever heard emitted from a microwave pierced the air. I spun back around to see lights flashing from it.
“Feyre? What’s going on?” I heard Rhys’s concerned voice from down the hall.
“It’sfineitsfine! I have it all under control!” I rushed, smashing the cancel button and was greeted with silence as the beeping and flashing stopped – “BEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPP. BEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPP BEEEEEEPPPPPP.”
And instantly started up again, twice as high pitched and loud as before.
"Technology hates me! Oh my God, Rhys! I killed the microwave!" I yelled.
Rhysand came running in skidded to a halt in front of the microwave. He took one look at it, pressed a single button, and instantly – the microwave finally shut up.
“Why the hell did it do that?” I demanded.
Frowning, Rhys opened the door and promptly rolled his violet eyes, brandishing a fork. "Trying to start a house fire already?”
“Maybe I wouldn’t have been so distracted if I hadn’t been trying to figure out how to work this…this ridiculous contraption!” I replied pointedly. “Besides, I’ve put a fork in my old microwave at least three times before. Don’t tell me you haven’t ever either.”
I cocked an eyebrow, watching Rhys bite his bottom lip as he tried to hold in a laugh, and completely failed, letting out a roar of laughter. “Fine, Feyre Darling, you win. We can use your absolutely horrible microwave. But if you burn this building down, don’t blame me.”
I leaned over to give him a kiss. “How exciting would our lives be if they didn’t include some form daily peril?”
The corner of his mouth quirked up. “Should I be surprised you haven’t made me sign a waiver yet?”
I laughed, stepping away to go retrieve my beloved microwave from the trash.
Chapter 2: Nessian: You're Satan
Cassian checked the clock on the wall of his apartment. 5:52, Nesta would no doubt be arriving in exactly eight minutes.
Luckily for him, he was still on schedule. Peeking in the oven, he checked the enchiladas, which were browning quite nicely. Perfect.
That gave him enough time to dash up the stairs and change into a dark red dress shirt. Rolling up the sleeves and taking one last look in the mirror, he dashed downstairs at exactly six, the sound of the doorbell beckoning him.
Nesta had never been to his apartment before, and though Cassian had offered to pick her up, she had said she was perfectly capable of driving herself. And that was that.
He opened the door, greeted by the sight of Nesta. “Hey, Nes.” He grinned, earning a small smile back from her as she stepped through the doorway, taking off her coat. Underneath, she wore a high-collared lacy black shirt and jeans, hair pulled back into a low bun. No jewelry, per usual.
He escorted her into the kitchen, pulling out one of the pine dining chairs for her to sit down in. She raised an eyebrow. “Fancy tonight, are we?”
Cassian smirked. “Only doing my duty as a gentleman, doing all the work by myself.”
Nesta snorted, watching as he dished up the enchiladas and sprinkled cheese on top. “I offered to help.” A pause. “Those aren’t spicy, are they?”
Cassian shook his head. “No. Why? I thought you had an iron stomach.”
“When eating anything else, yes. You know damn well I can out-drink you any day." Cassian winced at the reminder of the bet they had had several weeks back. "But I react....poorly to spicy foods."
"Did I hear that right? Did Nesta Archeron admit weakness?” Cassian gasped.
“Hardly.” She scoffed lightly, causing Cassian to laugh.
“Well, now I know how to poison you if ever such a situation arose.”
“And what situation, pray tell, would cause you to poison me? Is my sister friends with a serial killer?” She quipped in reply.
They went on like that until Cassian set both steaming hot plates down on the table. Nesta had to admit, they looked delicious.
Smiling slightly, Cassian took the first bite. Perhaps they had a bit of kick to them, but after a lifetime of dousing things in jalapenos and sriracha, this barely registered with him.
Nesta stabbed a medium-sized piece, chewing it slowly. Cassian looked up from his plate when he noticed her face turn from pleasant to one of shock.
Gasping, she spit the enchilada bit out onto her plate, grasping for a glass of something other than water to ease the burn. “So…spicy. What the hell?”
Cassian sprung up, grabbing a carton of milk and pouring Nesta a glass swiftly. She grabbed it, drinking quickly.
When her mouth had finally cooled – though her face was no less red – she finally formed coherent words.
“You’re Satan. You’re actually Satan. Not spicy? In what circle of hell is that not spicy?” She spat at him, gesturing to her plate
Cassian held his hands up. “I didn’t think it was bad. And I don’t think I can possibly be Satan. I’ve heard his jawline isn’t nearly as sharp.”
Her eyes narrowed, though Cassian could’ve sworn the corners of her mouth twitched as she poured herself another glass of milk, face finally returning to it’s natural color as she took another gulp.
“Well, if this was all a plan to find the best way to murder me, you’ve succeeded.” Nesta’s tone was neutral now, calmer.
He gave her a half smile. “I hate to break it to you, Nes, but I kind of like you. I can safely say that I’m not going to poison you next time we sit down for dinner.”
She finally relaxed, shoulders losing some of their stiffness as she finally cracked a smile. “Alright, Not-Satan. I’ll find it in my heart to forgive you.”
They both laughed as Cassian reached for the phone to order a pizza.
Chapter 3: Feysand: Bad Dreams
This is one of my oldest fics, written pre ACOWAR. Originally published on my tumblr as "The Darkness that is Nightmares." Angsty with a happier ending.
The first night was the worst.
It was well past midnight when I finally stumbled off to bed, after having stayed up for hours until receiving the news that Cassian and Azriel were in stable condition and would survive. Hearing it had taken a load off my chest, but my heart was still weighted down with emotion – with worry, with guilt, with fear. Mor forced me off to bed as she kept her vigil next to the Illyrians.
Opening up the door to our room, I still half expected to see her there, already asleep. But the bed was still empty, the room still save for the soft breeze coming in through a partially opened window. Exactly as we had left it this morning – one door of her wardrobe open, the bedsheets unmade. Only hours ago I had held her in my arms, had whispered into her ear, had watched her braid her hair in front of the mirror. I had felt many types of pain before, but none of them were quite like being separated from her - my moon and stars, my everything.
The pain I was feeling made me like I was being slashed at with an Illyrian blade from the inside, my ribcage falling apart as my heart was torn to ribbons. That prick had taken her, forced her back into a docile mask, because he believed he was entitled to her. Your fault. Your fault. Your fault. The mating bond sang to me, tugging and insisting in a voice I couldn’t block out. I should’ve been better prepared, had better shields up – there were a thousand things I could’ve done differently that could’ve changed the outcome of the day.
Peeling off my grime-crusted tunic, I climbed into bed, sent a wave of love to Feyre down the bond. Hours passed as I tossed and turned before falling into a fitful sleep.
I had only just fallen asleep when I heard her screams through the bond.
Sitting up faster than a shot, I could barely do anything, rendered with fear. I followed the bridge into her mind, where her mental walls were as light as paper and just as easy to get through. With horror, I watched the scene unfold from her eyes.
Heavy chains kept her down if the wounds on her torn-apart back weren’t enough to do so. Still, she managed to prop herself up with her arms, refusing to crumple in front of the plain-faced guard that stood before her with an ash-tipped whip.
“What is Rhysand planning?” The guard asked tonelessly.
Feyre had long since given up the guise of innocence, and spat out breathlessly, “Why should I tell you?”
“Hybern has ears and eyes all over. We’ll find out whether you tell us or someone else does. But if you do, I’ve been given orders to spare your life.”
“By whom? Tamlin? An eternity with him would be worse than death.”
The guard raised his eyebrows. “You think someone as esteemed as Tamlin would let you back into his house, into his rooms? After you’ve been with Rhysand before you ever left Tamlin? He would never take someone like you back.” He let out a low laugh. “No, you’ll be sent off to Hybern. The treaty doesn’t allow human slaves – but it says nothing about fae ones.” The guard’s eyes glinted as he raised the whip again and I was cast out of her mind, thrown back down the bond.
Hot tears slid down my face, accompanied by boiling rage. Bile rose in my throat and I let loose a scream of anguish that no one would hear because she was trapped and she was the only light and without her I was alone who could love someone like this how could I pay for my sins how could I lead a court with out my mate, my mate, my -
My eyes flew open. I rushed for the toilet, where I heaved over the side for several minutes. Not real. Not real. Not real. I cast myself down the bond, repeating her name over and over, hoping for an answer. I had been trying for five minutes and was about to fly over to Spring in a panic to find her when I heard her sleepy voice.
“Rhys? What’s wrong?”
I could’ve wept with relief if I hadn’t been a sobbing mess already. “You’re okay.”
The pain must’ve shown in my voice because her next words were panicked.
“Cassian and Az? Has there been an attack? What’s going on?”
“Nothing, darling. Cass and Az will live.” I forced calm into my voice. “Just a bad dream, that’s all. I’m sorry for waking you.”
I could feel her sorrow, her love, through the bond. More powerful than any words. “You have nothing to apologize for. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“I have to go now. I can’t risk being discovered.”
“I understand, darling. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” She closed off the bond, raising her iron mental shields. I fell into a fitful, dreamless sleep again for several hours, the remnants of the nightmare still with me.
Just a dream.
Just a dream.
Just a dream.