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Beautifully drawn by Sid (Erasvita@DA)!
Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 503
▶ Season || Summer
▶ Temp || 74℉ (23℃) - 100℉ (37℃)
▶ Weather || The end of Spring brings about, once more, the warm embrace of Summer. While some flourish in the comfortable glow of the sun, others take shelter from its sweltering midday heat. Even so, it is now that the continent bustles with life - for it won't be long until a cool chill returns.

Spotlight

Character of the Season
El Toro

Member of the Season
Griffin

Thread of the Season
Bring Me Thunder; Bring Me Steel

Pair of the Season
Eik and Isra

Quote of the Season
"Her mother lives all in day, her father all in night, and Apolonia straddles the thin, dusky line halving her heart with not so much grace - startling awake in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn, trying to find some way to compromise." — Apolonia in
The Vine & The Rain & The Light

see here for nominations


DISCORD

Private - small as a wish in a well;
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#1
asterion*



It is snowing as he walks the streets of Denocte, his shadow soft beside him on the cobblestones. It is not the fearsome kind of snow that blanketed the desert, borne by unnatural winds; it is a soft and lovely fall, less like ashes and more like hope. It is beautiful.
 
For the first time since their arrival in the city of starlight (and now Asterion has seen how it earned its name) he is alone, and grateful for it.
 
Even Cirrus has let him be; the gull is only a dim presence in a corner of his mind as she joins her fellows on the cliffs alongside the crashing winter sea. Despite the snow the streets are full of color, though the bright blues and yellows of the flags are muted by the flakes, and each step he take leaves a small half-moon print behind him.
 
Asterion can feel himself healing: reknitting after the stress and weariness of the last few weeks, the tension and the terror. He had never paused long enough to mourn, to worry; there had been too much to do. Again and again he had used his recently-returned magic until the ocean inside him was nothing but a tidepool, a puddle left behind by something far stronger and stranger. All of Terrastella had given everything they could.
 
And none of it had been enough.
 
Is it a weakness, that he led them with their backs to their home, seeking shelter from a stranger? Guilt like gall churns within him and he shakes his head with a sigh. When he lifts his dark gaze once more, there is a figure before him. Like the flags she, too, is veiled by the snow – but still he would know that color anywhere. She flares bright as a phoenix, and the bay’s steps falter.
 
“Moira?” he says, and can already feel heat flush through him, prompted by memory, despite the bite in the air.

 






@Moira






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Moira — Night Court Medic Signos: 1,090
▶ Played by e-cho [PM] Posts: 76 — Threads: 8
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#2
Swaying in the breeze like the leaves did as they fell during the months of Fall, she lets the snow take her to the fresh pines of the Mountains that are to be replanted so life will flourish once more, lets the crisp air bring back memories of honey and cider and candlelight and novels, lets the scent of burnt wood pull forth choruses of song as bright as day to flood over her. Today it is cold and misty, soft, large snowflakes landing on waterproof wings, singed hair, and long, charcoal lashes that flutter closed on a sigh. Isra pulled from her the story of her home, of all the people the phoenix had burned in the aftermath of storm, and ripped open the wound so freshly sewn shut. Coldness is what she needs to wrap about her, to encapsulate all of those roiling emotions and neatly package them with a bow, to keep the tumultuous interior hidden from all that lives outside of her mind. There are too many people, too many variables.

Life is easier when they are merely patients and portraits.

But here... In Denocte and all of the lands, she seems to have found friends - faces that burn in her retinas even when both eyes are closed. If you ask, she can paint you a portrait of Eik without having to look upon him, she can sketch Caine in the night sky and wonder if he is alright, she can draw Bexley and Serafina and Isra in the sand with berry-blood as her only coloring, and she can sing verse after verse of the dreams that are etched into Asterion's sides until her voice is hoarse and she is unable to continue on. So many variables have come into her life, and all seems too overwhelming. What is she to do with faces that are fond of her in one form another, and worse yet...people she's grown rather fond of as well? The fewer people you care for, the Tonnerre girl learned early on, the less likely you are to get hurt.

Yet her net is cast.

News that Dusk would be joining Denocte due to their own cataclysmic events reaches her late, and the woman cannot help the thrill of excitement despite the sorrow that runs through her. That means that Asterion will be within the walls, likely already is.

His voice is as unexpected as the clear patches of sky in the distance. Washing over her like a blessing, like a prayer she did not know she needed, like a light and warmth only he could bring, Asterion materializes out of the snow itself. Perhaps, she muses with a wry grin, this is a winter wonderland after all. With a single wing arching (the other safely bandaged against her side), Moira smiles that sweet smile, reserved only for those who know her better than the rest. "If I were younger, I would think this was a dream," and it is a shy greeting that draws ehr nearer, eyes quickly moving over his body to be sure that the man is whole and unharmed from whatever may have happened in Terrastella. "Asterion, it's good to see you." Gently she reaches around, curling him into a hug just to feel the warmth of his skin and hear the beating of his heart. This is real, she thinks, repeats like a mantra, forces herself to believe that it is not but a silly girl's whimsical dream showing her something that will not be. 



@Asterion (I'm so happy they get to meet again omg !!!! ;u;) 


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#3
asterion*



There is a moment where they stand, each with their gaze on the other, and there is no sound but the sigh of the snow and everything is still save for the plumes of their breaths and the softly drifting flakes.

It is Moira who moves first, the arc of her wing a vivid flash of color in the pale. It takes him a moment to notice that only one of her wings had so gracefully arched, and even longer to realize why. Oh, was there anything good in Novus that would not be bruised? If anyone deserved to survive unscathed, it was Moira. (And Florentine, his mind whispers, and Cyrene, and-)

His heart, which had soared to his throat to see her, falls like a stone. Simultaneously, he realizes for the first time why Calliope clothed herself in rage, a fierce violence tough as chainmail. It is not so hard to see why that might be the only way to survive, and to do what must sometimes be done.

And yet he still smiles back at her, still turns his dark ears forward to catch her words. Asterion still inhales as he, too, steps closer, and the scent of sharp pine and clean snow is like a balm.

“There are far sweeter dreams than me,” he says, and his soft laughter plumes silver between them. But the bay king is remembering another meeting, another Night Court woman both winsome and wild. I do not wish for this dream to end. His eyes find Moria’s injured wing, wrapped in bandages pale as the snow, but before he can ask she pulls him into an embrace.

Oh, he flushes warm enough to melt the flakes on his back, but it is her heartbeat quick and vital that is more of a comfort than he can name. Their festival kiss feels a lifetime ago, before the world went so terribly wrong, before he was named king.

It’s good to see you, she says, and he wonders what it is she sees - his washboard ribs, the weary lines of his face, sorrow in the shine of his eyes? There is little stardust left to him, he thinks. Hard to think that not so long ago he was just a boy, happy and foolish, streaked with paint beneath the glow of dusk and lanterns.

”I missed you.” The truth of it is simple, soft on the air, but then his muzzle ghosts against her shoulder, near her injured wing. “What happened?”

Well, he is still foolish, at least.






@Moira






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Moira — Night Court Medic Signos: 1,090
▶ Played by e-cho [PM] Posts: 76 — Threads: 8
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#4
He is a song she did not realize until that moment that she has missed so much, and as tears curl in the corner of her flaming eyes and freeze just as easily, she squeezes him harder and lets out a laugh at his silly words. How long has it been since she's heard that throaty sound come from her lips, let it roll easily into the air like the chiming of silver bells for the changing of the season and the oncoming winter and joy that should sweep in with it? Asterion pulls it from her as easily as strumming a harpsicord, the sound floating around them until he pulls back enough to touch the base of her wing, enough so that when her eyes meander over him once more she notes how much leaner he is, the weight he has lost. What burdens does he now carry, she wonders with a graveness returning to her spirit.

"Sweet Asterion," Moira croons, pulling away to peer at him through those lashes that go on for miles, days, an eternity that stretches between them. As taught as the air is cold, she can feel the tension in his words; something has changed, and yet nothing has at all as those star-strewn eyes peer at his own that still burn (yet they are colder, dampened). In him, she finds a galaxy unexplored, a future of hope, a friend in the most unlikely of places. He is like the sea that they found one another next to - a world unexplored, but she would like to feel what it is like to let his waves beat against her walls, to know the lapping of his emotions alongside the fraying of her edges until she is not so guarded and hidden from all those she holds dear. "You are a sweeter dream than I deserve," and it is a gentle whisper like his own that at last falls as a mere breath from her lips.

After a pause, the phoenix is alight in flame once more, cut hair and injured wing not seeming to bother her any longer as she nods toward the bobbing lights of Denocte, of the shelter they could seek if only to reminisce on all that is good and bad in the world.

"I am a healer who thought to fight a bird made of storms and fury. We were under attack, for a time, and I managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is of little consequence - there are others who need much more than my simple bandages. After... After things calmed I tried to help those I could - I tried, Asterion." And it is then that she almost breaks, almost forgets what Eluoan taught her - do not get attached. How many had she seen go from pneumonia at home or old age? Moira did not know war there, where she was protected and safe... Here, this battle that so sought to take the flight she has not tasted, and others in her court where she finally claimed a home... Oh how it hurt so much more than watching an aunt or uncle she hardly know go in sweet repose. Children maimed from fallen buildings, bodies on the beaches who did not escape the tides and were thrown upon the rocky shores, so many unending horrors that should have turned her stomach. Instead they ate at her mind, haunted her dreams until she could not sleep well, until she was forced to wonder the night - like she'd done before they met in this fog - until exhaustion would weigh her down instead.

"And what news do you bring? You were not so heavy last time we met - no, you danced like the summer breezes then." A smile pulls the corner of black lips up, a ghost of those demure glances and inquiring grins he'd known before, but it is better than indifference she offers to the rest who inquire of her. "It seems you have a tale to tell," and with an arched brow she shuffles forward, pushing at his shoulder enough to spur them into action once more to walk toward the lamplight that would lead them to warmer places and food that would return his strength once more.
@Asterion sorry this is so late !


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#5
asterion*



Like it is magic, he can feel the change in both of them at the sound of her laugh: worry easing, shoulders loosening, maybe hearts sighing softer, too. Asterion only has time to be grateful for it, and none to think deeper, none to wonder if their hearts beat the same rhythm, if their dreams reached for the same things.

Any of these things he might have thought of are forgotten when her eyes turn to his own, when he searches for the sunlight in her bright and burning gaze. There might be no snow falling, then, and no Night Court and no Novus at all - only the two of them, frosting on a cheek, stories given to the wind to carry out to sea.

Moira Tonnerre is a promise that everything will be well, for her story could never end here. Not in blood, or rain, or sorrow. She is made for something else.

I am nothing like you deserve, he might have said, but Asterion has learned well from his sister not to protest against girls with starlight in their eyes and flames in their heart. Instead he says nothing, only breathing in the scent of her, only listening to the lull of her voice as she unspools a tale heavy as peridotite. Still her words are bright as diamonds.

“To try is all any of us can do,” he says, and when he blinks he sees bodies of his own, drowned and muddy or battered  to bits or suffocated beneath black dirt. Asterion’s sleep is no more easy; he is a dreamer no longer, not with nightmares chasing him beneath the thin smile of the moon. “At least you beat them back.”

The bay doesn’t answer her again until after she pulls away - unless the look in his sea-dark eyes counted as a response, the spark of a summertime memory there despite the grim line of his lips. The cold finds him most boldly in the place where her shoulder had pressed against his, and he shivers as he follows her to the golden halos of lamplight. “Too many tales, maybe,” he says, matching his steps to hers. Already he misses the nearness of her, though there is still little room between them.

“It rained for weeks, until the hills gave way from mud above and tunnels below. We saved dozens from the currents, but were not without our losses either. You already know the sickness that follows such a thing.” A sharp inhale; he welcomes the cold that burns in his throat, then, for it is a brighter feeling than such dark memories. “At least we had no birds of storms. Our strange beasts were gophers, oversized but not, luckily, violent.” One of only a few blessings in the strange turmoil since the Summit.

He inhales then, gaze moving to her softly, almost tentatively. “And Florentine was injured. She will recover, but…she named me sovereign in her stead.”

It is only the second time he has spoken it out loud (and oh, how different it feels from when he told Raymond in the solemn quiet of the Terrastella throne room). Asterion had been so nervous to tell her -

but now he realizes that, for him, it changes nothing at all.




@Moira  I could have kept going but figured I should not xD






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Moira — Night Court Medic Signos: 1,090
▶ Played by e-cho [PM] Posts: 76 — Threads: 8
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#6












M O I R A
she looks into her mirror,
wishing someone could hear her, so loud







He's working up to something, the push and pull of his words draws her in, captivates her until she's nearly hanging off the edge of each one, until they are the center of the world which she revolves around, until he is all that she knows. There is no end nor beginning nor middle. His story simply is. Oh, and the phoenix can feel how he forces light into those dark spaces that threaten to overcrowd and dilute all things pure and sweet and good, how he ignites a flame and keeps it burning despite everything that tells him otherwise, pushes him towards those shadows creeping nearer and nearer, hovering like some meddlesome siblings just waiting to pounce. When he slows, when he pauses, she can almost see the ghosts of his dancing before them, pirouetting and waltzing through the snow without a care in the world - after all, they are dead now anyway. But it is not the end to his torrent of words.

Were his voice a tsunami she gladly would have drowned, thrown herself body and soul into the riptide just to hear him speak again, to hear the gentle intonations rise and fall with the beating of his heart. Thankfully, it is not so fearsome as that, nor as destructive, yet it still leaves her feeling incomplete when he's silent.

"That means...."

She muses, unaffected by his announcement. Although, if she's terribly honest with herself she thinks he makes for a dashing king. Weight, that burden he's worked up to, is finally laid bare and she cannot help but grin like the Cheshire cat despite their conditions and the states of their peoples.

"That means, Asterion, that you should be able to find me something sugary and sweet to share ! You can't let a lady eat something so scrumptious alone, after all."

Throwing a harmless wink his way, she giggles once more and finds her way to his side as they come to the edges of Denocte where buildings are crumbled from the waves and storms that battered them not so long ago and only flowers are left to mourn the dead. Were it brighter, were it less frigid, they would hear voices by now. Looters, people exploring, others looking for salvageable supplies... But it is not, and she's quite happy to be alone - just the two of them where the world can melt away and their troubles seem less heavy for at least a time.

"I think I'd like your gophers. At home, they were always so cute, and when they chirped my cousins just about went berserk. It reminds me of springtime at the estate. Much better than birds."

She smiles just for him, letting that fire blaze in those amber eyes, letting her carmine lips twist into something so comfortable and at ease it would have been hard to believe just what they'd done to survive. This... This is what she lives for now - Asterion and Denocte and her court of dreamers with sweet Isra at their head.





@Asterion <3 ;u;


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#7
asterion*



He does not expect her grin (oh, but shouldn’t he have learned to, by now? It is another way Moria is not so different than his sister; it is an other way that loving her is easy, a foregone conclusion), nor the way that she switches the tone of their conversation like a swallow shifting in flight with the sun on its wings.

Her wink, too, is a balm. Like they could be anywhere at all, back among garlands of flowers and sweet strains of music in Delumine. The new king does not answer her laugh with his own, but when she steps nearer again, so that there is no room between them for snowflakes to fall, he lips at the tangle of dark curls just before her ear. “I’m beginning to wonder if you live on sweets,” he says, a silver laugh in his voice so she knows he isn’t serious, “and never eat anything sensible, like clover. But I suppose if there is anything sweet left in the castle, we can find it.”

Moira has worked her magic on him again. Despite her bandaged wing, despite the wreckage just visible beyond the swirling veil of snow, despite the hungry sounds of the sea as it pulls and pulls against the shore, Asterion thinks we will be alright. Hope: rare but indelible, a gleam of sunlight that splinters through clouds that promise only rain. He can’t remember the last time he felt it, and he can’t imagine how he survived so long without it.

Ahead of them the keep takes shape, walls dark behind the drifting flakes. Now there are others, in pairs and threes and alone drifting to and from the archway, but the bay finds it easy to keep pretending they are alone. The snow dampens sound, acts a veil between the world and the two of them, and the king finds it impossible not to remember the kiss, not to have every heartbeat say what if, what if

Ah, but every dream is not so easy. As she speaks again, even as he laughs, shaking his head, he lets a step grow between them, then two. Never does his gaze stray from her (especially that smile), but he keeps that small distance until his heartbeat is his own again.

“You are most welcome to them,” he says dryly. “I think I much prefer birds, at least when they are not made of storms.” Asterion smiles, a match for hers, even as he thinks down his bond with Cirrus there is no question about it.

And then the dark mouth of the keep is before them, warmth ahead and the snow behind, and the bay stallion steps alongside her again. “Tell me more of springtime at your estate,” he says, and wonders at how natural the words sound, rolling off a tongue that learned to speak alongside a lonely wild beach. Oh, many are the ways that Novus has changed him - he wonders what others are still to come. “And show me the way to the kitchens, so we can satisfy your sweet tooth for at least a little while.” This time it is Asterion that winks, and the smile he wears then is like the silver line of horizon after the storms have passed.  




@Moira 





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Moira — Night Court Medic Signos: 1,090
▶ Played by e-cho [PM] Posts: 76 — Threads: 8
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#8












M O I R A
she looks into her mirror,
wishing someone could hear her, so loud







"Something has to make me soft when the world demands we be so hard," Moira says, lazily rolling her eyes and smirking, thoughts stuck on the way his lips brushed back her hair. Both honeyed mirrors were wide then as he pulled away - no one had done that for her. She cannot remember a moment when anyone but her mother had touched her hair, fingers deftly pulling it into a tight braid or up in pins and curls to keep it out of her face, to show off her cheekbones and lashes. Even the twins did not brush her hair. Even Estelle had not pampered her in that way - so tenderly as though they could have been lovers. It's so foreign and shocking, but she did not push him away. Silence met him with those wide eyes, and then they continued on past it like ships in the night.

It probably meant nothing to him anyway...

He is an anchor in a storm, drawing out the brightness in her, the velvet surfaces left untouched for ages, curtains drawn over large, gothic windows where no light and no dust touched. Asterion pulls those curtains down, demands light reach every bit of her shattered soul, sings to the darkness and loneliness that bites at her heels every day. She cannot help but feel close to this man who was her friend long before he was a monarch. Ah, but like the great monarch butterfly he is charming and meant for beautiful things in life. When all else falls, she knows he will not. Withstanding, a lighthouse beckoning her forth, Asterion cannot help but shine even when he does not know he does so.

It is a comfort.

When the wind brushes her wings that are still pressed so tightly against her sides, when she cannot feel him beside her as ghosts in the snow begin to take form, when only his voice is left to tie her back down to the world she might float away from... only then does she pause, only then does she turn.

Warmth whispers against her ribs, a blush spreads over already dark cheeks, golden eyes glance to his lips, to the smile he wears so easily. "You're beautiful," she breathes, words as soft as the snow melting down his nose, unable to hold it in. And he is - resplendent in this dreamlike world meant just for them. Asterion takes her breath away.

The phoenix huffs a laugh then, tension curling in the sway of her hips, shoulders drawing closer, wings clutching tighter. Are there lines she's crossing? Should she toe them or touch them with a pole and stay away wholly? But to avoid such a storm he offers, such a taste of life; to withhold herself from the chance to taste starlight, to love satin and silk and swallow pomegranate seeds not yet offered... She should be stronger.

Between them, she does not try to bridge the gap again, to feel darkness meet her sunset skin. (But how she yearns for his starlight touch - what if...what...if.

"The kitchens are in the keep. And the spring... We did not have an ocean at our backdoor, but there are pools longer than the eye can see stretching through the gardens. Many families had a maze, and the Tonnerres were no different. Gardenias and lilies and chrysanthemums were plentiful along the hedges and in the beds. There were sections devoted purely to my herbs and Eluoan's. He...he taught me of my practice in those fields and in the silent halls. But the spring at the Tonnerre Estate was a time for celebration." Perhaps there is a note of longing, of that echoing loneliness that finds her in the night, on the edges of her sultry voice. She's slips into the past, passing so easily from time frame to time frame as though she's still there, walking the halls, dancing in the ballroom, dreaming under the daisies. Her heart thunders at the memories - the bittersweet goodbye she left all she'd loved before with.

While she walks a path she knows by heart, she does not know if he follows or leads or is simply by her side (where she would have preferred him if she were not so uncertain). "Estelle would take me there to paint her portrait by the waters. The twins used to throw her in just to see how she would screech. There was a ball, a debut for all who were coming of age. The party would last for a week with courting and dancing and walks under the moon... My mother was proud when they let me walk along the balconies, stand center stage to be presented... I loved the chocolates the most, I think. Estelle said it was sweeter from someone's lips, but I don't quite believe her. She lives in a world built of roses and dreams... It's so easy to get lost when she's around, so easy to lose your inhibitions. She makes me feel alive. My sweet Estelle is the better half of me - all that I will never be. Perhaps you'd like her... I think you'd like the gardens and the pools the most though. The storms and squalls always bring such a wonderful taste to the air. I used to sit by the garden pools for hours and let it fall down on me and memorize my lists. I felt freer then, it was easier when no one was watching because you did not have to worry of prying eyes or judgement..."

Stopping, realizing she's talked so much and that they are nearly to the doors of the Keep, she gives him a rather self-conscious smile. How, she wonders, has she come from being unable to utter a word of that place to this? It's easier to talk to him than it is most of her court, and for that she worries more. "We should go in, get out of the cold."





@Asterion


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#9
asterion*



She speaks of softness in a hard world and Asterion nods, but where he might have said more his words are forgotten at the look in her eyes. He’d only caught the edge of that glance, but it was enough to catch his breath, enough to make him again wonder —

Ah, but they are never quite still enough for these moments to demand an answer. On they shift again, butterflies on a breeze, always circling something he can’t yet name.

Moira calls him beautiful and he knows better than to protest, but the bay stallion does laugh, a silver mist into the quiet air between them. Lucky thing she laughs too, so that he has a distraction from the warmth that pools in his belly like mulled wine. Beautiful, he thinks again, and thinks of the lean slats of his ribs, the dull brown of his coat, more dust than stardust. Oh, Moira Tonnerre and her honeyed throat, her sugared tongue, words sweeter than any oat-cake. She makes him forget he was anything but a dreamer, anything but a boy with constellations in his eyes and a saltwater tide tugging at his feet.

And Asterion lets himself forget. He lets her words, her memories, push away the thoughts of his tattered court, his healing heart, his weariness and the burden of gods who did not care for their people. Alongside her again, Moira’s voice is soft and bright in his ear, a bell ringing him home.

As they walk toward the keep, as she names family and flowers and friends, the new king wonders if he should be jealous of any in those memories. Of Eluoan, and the way her lips shaped his name, or even of Estelle. But he cannot find it in him, not when it is he she walks beside, despite the note of longing in her voice then.

“It sounds magical,” he breathes, and is surprised to find that despite his own upbringing (no buildings, the only flowers what grew wild in the dunes and the fields, no parties, no music but the wind and the waves and his mother’s solitary voice weaving stories of the stars) he almost longs to visit her home. To see the things that made her. “You must miss it terribly-” his dark eyes go to her as he says it, already regretting the words, not wanting sorrow to crease her brow, cloud her eyes. “The chocolates most of all,” he adds, and nudges her cheek with a grin.

They stand before the doorway, and he is a little sad to leave behind the snow and the way it gave them a world to themselves. Already he can feel it melting on his coat, fragile stars disappearing. But he nods, and gestures her in first, and tries not to imagine them walking together beneath the archway of Terrastella’s castle each night. “Onward, then, miss Tonnerre,” he says, as though he were a prince who belonged in her world, and he does not look back at the snow-bright city behind them as they step into the keep.




@Moira 





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