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You waited, smiling, for this?

Chapter Text

He was certain, so was I

There was comfort, in her sighs

Dreams and ideas should not be the same thing

You waited, smiling, for this?

 

Oh she’d want it, it she knew

She could take it, I thought too

Be careful, be cautious but you just wished harder

You waited, smiling, for this?

 

Humans were not supposed to have connections to the Primal sources. Oh, by the moon, she knew this so well now. Humans were never meant to have magic, and it had always been that way for as long as anyone could remember. Until now. Until Callum. He’d awoken from his dark magic-induced coma feeling better than ever and had excitedly told her he’d gotten the Sky arcanum.

 

And she’d been so happy for him. Rayla had watched him perform aspiro all by himself without the primal stone he had shattered back at the Moon Nexus, and she’d been happy for him. But the moment after he’d finished performing the spell, something had gone wrong- very wrong.

 

He’d waited, smiling, for this?

 


 

Something was wrong. Rayla had turned around after his performance, only for a second just to grab something, his backpack, his sketchbook, something, when she heard him fall to his knees. Heavily. She immediately turned back around to face him, scared out of her mind that the dark magic was still having an effect on him, but she was soon to find out that dark magic had nothing to do with this.

 

“Rayla..? I… I think I messed up.” Callum breathed out, his tone sounded forced, labored. Like it was suddenly hard for him to breathe again- oh, not again, please…!

 

“Callum?! What’s wrong, are you okay?!” Rayla screeched, rushing over to kneel alongside his grounded body. He was on his hands and knees now, one hand clenched tightly against the fabric of his jacket near to where his heart was. This made her panic even more.

 

His breath shuddered and heaved with the most raspy tone. She dared to place a comforting hand on his back, which was the final mistake she made. In one swift motion, his arm swung out and collided with her torso, and with no known strength she’d ever seen, flung her back so far that she hit the wall of the cave with a painful thud. She let out a gasp of pain and surprise as she fell to the ground, but she found that the hit took so much energy out of her that she couldn’t get up.

 

“H-help!” When he cried out, his voice sounded wrong, distorted with something terrifying, but very much afraid all the same. It broke Rayla’s heart all over again to hear him scream the word that he’d been mumbling in his coma so very recently before. There was nothing she could do to help him once again, and that broke more than just her heart.

 

“Rayla! Ezran! Anyone?” He was pleading now, and Rayla felt tears in her eyes again.

 

She watched helplessly, beaten to the floor and unable to find the strength to stand. With horror, she noticed that his healthy pink skin was changing, changing to a petrified bluish-grey mass that looked like it was cracking and flaking away. She watched as the color spread up his body, almost like it was paralyzing him as he struggled to move now. He was crying. She was crying too, with every terrified and distorted sob that came from him.

 

“I’m sorry… please…” He breathed out one final time, before the diseased looking color overtook him entirely.

 

Rayla managed to push herself up a little as her tears freely fell. Was he…?

 

Her question was answered in full as suddenly a great burst of energy came out like a shockwave from the petrified body as a mass bubbled and burst forth from under the skin. A terrifying roar broke out into the surrounding area as she watched with her own two eyes as the human she once knew changed into something… horrible.

 

“Nooooooooooo!” The voice that shouted this was deep, not like Callum at all, but it was still him screaming.

 

Rayla could barely contain her sobs of terror and anguish as she watched as a blinding light radiated out from the pulsating body of her best friend. The light became too much for her, and she closed her eyes, leaving only the heart-wrenching sounds of Callum groaning and gasping in pain as something unknown overtook him.

 

And then… silence.

 

Rayla was afraid to open her eyes again. She could hear the faint rasp of a heavy breathing that she knew had to be Callum, but she was scared to see what had happened to him. Her will not to look faded rapidly, however, as she heard growling whimpers coming from in front of her.

 

She opened her eyes.

 


 

Oh, how fitting, for one so fake

Make me a fairy, whatever it takes

And just like her tale my dream was a scam

You waited, smiling, for this?

 

I am burnt out, I smell of smoke

It seeps through her cracks and so I start to choke

Sentences sit in her mouth that are templated

You waited, smiling, for this?

 

He’d waited smiling for this. This… corruption. Rayla knew this now. Humans were not meant to have magic. Nothing was ever fair for them. The one chance a human had to change the world, the primal sources did this to him… perhaps the Primals had hidden evil. Just how different were they to dark magic now?

 

Oh gods, what were they to do now? Returning Zym to his mother, an elf and a human working together to do so, that was going to be the gesture to stop the war. How could they do that now, with what he was now? How could she convince the dragon Queen that her other companion was once human?

 

He couldn’t even talk anymore. Rayla doesn’t think he remembers much of anything now. He remembers her, that’s for sure. The first thing that had happened when she’d opened her eyes was to come face to face with this beast. A beast with a chocolate brown mane like a lion’s, a curved nose like a beak or a snout, and with tattered wings attached to its front legs. Its stunningly bright green eyes were fixated on her as it seemed like it was bowed in front of her, waiting for her to do something.

 

It was with another painful sob that she realized this beast was Callum. 

 

Don’t build hope on something broken

I am not cartoon

Cry for help, I am not joking

I just might leave soon

 

Ezran had been nearly inconsolable when he’d come back from his walk with Corvus in tow. She’d tearfully told them what had happened the best she could between her sobs. Even Zym had been scared. It took him a little while to get used to Callum in the way he was now. Despite the circumstances now, Ezran had still left back to Katolis with Corvus to take back the throne.

 

Rayla felt empty. Hollow. Like a husk of a person as she rode upon Callum’s feathered back. He was at least two times her size now, and genuinely terrifying to look at, but he seemed to have an undying loyalty to her in this form anyway. Part of her was glad that despite this horrific change he’d undergone, he still remembered her. If he hadn’t, well… she might have been dead hours ago.

 

She could feel the ghosts of tear tracks on her cheeks. She said nothing, outside of the slight guiding motions and words she used to make sure Callum was taking them in the right direction. Zym was sat on his back behind her, deathly silent as well, watching the three bird feather-like tails Callum now possessed swish through the air.

 

“We’re going to find a way to fix you…” Rayla mumbled with a shaky voice, rubbing her hand over some of his brown back feathers in a petting motion. “I promise.” She said a little more solidly this time. There had to be a way to get him back. There had to.

 

All that was given to her in response was a low grumble from her princely steed.

 

Don’t build hope on something broken

I am not cartoon

Cry for help, I am not joking

I just might leave soon