we build castles with our fears [mordred]


Alethea stood in the middle of the room, staring at nothing. There was nothing new to see. The drum of rain on the window and the footsteps of servants in the hall were the only sounds, and they were dim and distant, as if she were underwater. In her dreams, she was often underwater – swimming for the surface that night, hearing the muted laughter of boys already half-drunk, her new power like a current in her blood. It was a lifetime ago, but in her dreams it seemed even longer. Aeons. A universe far away, that only existed in the echo of its light.

Everything that had belonged to Tristan was gone. The room was scrubbed of him. The bed he’d slept in had been replaced, the desk, the wardrobe, the rugs on the floor and the curtains on the windows and the tapestries on the walls. The walls themselves had been repainted. Alethea wondered if they’d merely moved all his affects into storage, or if everything with the barest taint of the traitor prince had been destroyed. Burned? She closed her eyes and breathed, with a shaking effort. It must have been her imagination, but she was sure she could still catch his scent, as if a whole life spent sleeping in this room meant the essence of him could not be wholly cleansed from it.

She knew she shouldn’t come here. She couldn’t imagine what her Queen would think…or her King. She couldn’t even place her own thoughts. And anyway, there was nothing left of him here. The only thing left was a ghost hounding the edges of her mind.

It had been raining the night everything had happened, she remembered as she stared at the storm beyond the window with unfocused eyes. She had been terrified, locked in her room with a guard outside the door, Leto standing bravely before it, heckles raised. Alethea was reminded of the night on the beach, when she’d lost Gibbs and could do nothing. Tristan had been there to help her, then. But that night, the night absolutely everything changed, she’d lost Tristan too. And could do nothing.

Powerlessness was a familiar feeling, like a well-worn coat. But she was beginning to feel like it no longer fit, and it certainly didn’t look good on her. Light sparked around her fingertips, little unconscious motes of pink and gold that drew her eye from the melancholy weather. Powerful felt better. Capable felt better. Somewhere in her, there was a wolf just like Leto, with a mouth full of sharp teeth, howling at the moon. Alethea did not know how to uncage that part of her. Like the magic she had longed for, it seemed forever out of her reach…but then, one day it wasn’t. One day she’d reached for it, and it had answered her.

She flexed her fingers minutely; the light flared, went out.


ooc: sorry this is very little activity and very much internal reflection!

I'm figuring it's evening, and she stopped here on her way to her own room, probably coming from Gaiane. If that doesn't suit your purposes, feel free to make it any other time of day/situation :)


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