a shadow will overthrow it [m]

Content/Trigger Warning: death themes, nudity, sexual situations


She does not recognize him, advancing on her like a mountain cat, reaching out like he might capture her. His light is warring with the darkness in the room, with his own darkness, and for a moment Electra thinks him some dispossessed god, roiling with forgotten power. A flower of fear opens in her belly, so low it feels suspiciously like desire. The reins she uses to control her feelings are far too tight; she can feel her passions bucking beneath the surface, too numerous to contain, wearing her control to meagre threads.

Oh, it is he who is testing her, not the other way around.

“If you haven’t broken it, then why do you treat me this way?” Her voice is slick with anger, her throat outstretched as she tilts her chin up toward him, lips pulling back over teeth in something like a snarl. But there is conflict in her eyes. The rage there jockeys with pain, with fear – she is terrified of the way he is making her feel, of wanting him, of driving him away. Merely its importance to me? How can your judgment possibly be better, about a thing you do not understand?” It seems inevitable now that they will shatter, that this is the fated end of hope, and she will drive the final dagger home as she has always done. There is nothing that she touches that she does not destroy. And this, too, enrages her, makes her hate him a little, for making her love him.

For that is the problem, isn’t it? They leapt too soon into a chasm without first taking the depth of it. Without first knowing what they must lose. She meets the darkness in his gaze with her own, fury and want making her pupils wide.

“That’s it? You are angry with me because you do not know me? At what point in our very few, very brief interactions was I to lay my life bare before you? The first moment, or the second?” She is fuming, color high in her skin, her words tumbling over the clenched gates of her teeth. “You want to dredge the darkest parts of my soul before knowing anything else about me. That much trust, after one month of living time, is the price for my request? Is that how you fairies fall in love, by clawing out each other’s secrets, withholding anything until you know everything?” No, this is too close to the truth. She paces away from him, her hands gripping the base of her horns, wanting badly to strike something with them. Her breath is quick and ragged; her heart beat is a frantic bird.

“I do not need a champion! I need…I need…” What does she need? She knows, but cannot bear to tell him. She is too ashamed. It is a thing she cannot have, a person he cannot be. When she turns back toward him, fists clenched by her sides, her expression is fraying and wild. How dare he make her feel this way! How dare he cause her longing, and wanting, and fear, and pain. Has she not endured enough of these in her short life? And somehow they are nothing, all those storms of her past, compared to this.

“You do not understand! You have no failures – you have no regrets! When you died you were wiped clean! Why do you insist on knowing the thing I hide even from myself? Why can we not start with things I hide merely from other people? My hopes, my stupid fears. My body, she says it spitefully, hands fumbling with the sash until she can tear it open, leave the robe hanging uselessly from her elbows. There are tears pricking the corners of her eyes, but the face she tilts toward him is bright and sharp and challenging beneath their glitter. “Are you so harmless now, Jack? This body has been seen only by my slaves, in that life long past. You are the only man I have ever permitted to look at me that way. Does that please you?

The emerald gleams against the copper of her skin. He’d used it to make carousel creatures dance around the room, once – it does not look so innocent, now. Her breasts are piqued against the chill in the air, and goosebumps bloom in waves across her shoulders. She is flawless: her body is one that has been dutifully cared for and protected, subjected to painful treatments in the name of beauty, honed and molded and polished and shorn. She flicks her gaze down the shape of him, slowly, lingering below the belt before lifting again, burning and aware.

“It does, doesn’t it? You want what no one else can have. You believe you have earned my trust. Fine. I give it to you.” She lets the robe fall carelessly, steps out of it toward him like a queen walking on water. It seems almost a practiced motion, but Electra has never been so bold. She wonders at him as she draws near, crowding into his space as he had hers, pretending the enormity of her composure overwhelms the smallness of her form. She leans in very close, looking up at him beneath lowered lashes.

“But I think you do not know what to do with it.”


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