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Fantasy a love/hate relationship

Sub Genres
  1. LGBTQ
  2. Romance

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
For a brief moment, Nikolai thought he might be imagining things. He felt the subtle shift of Alexander’s body, but it didn’t move away. In fact, it shifted closer. The hand on his cheek set a quiet fire in chest, as if that’s all he’d been waiting for. He did pause, just long enough to pull away from the kiss and assure himself this really was happening. His face lingered a mere few centimeters away from the warlock’s, breathing quiet and slow.

His lips parted as if he were going to speak, but instead closed the gap again, unable to form coherent sentences. The hands that rested on the prince’s chest slid up, slowly wrapping around his neck. One hand found its way into the hair as the siren focused all of his attention on the kiss. At that moment, he’d almost forgotten who they were. Not once did his own situation cross his mind. Never did he think about his actions having possible consequences later on.

He just wanted this. He wanted Alexander. It’s the only thing he could think about.

His hips inched closer. As close as he could possibly get without pressing his entire body against Alex. His mind fogged. Nothing else felt like it mattered except his desperate need to keep the warlock’s lips on his own. It was only when he needed to breathe that he reluctantly pulled away, taking in a deep breath as his gaze searched the other’s features, looking for any indication of what he was feeling.

His hands slowly slipped out of the brown locks, resting around the broad shoulders just as the other had been. He was normally good with words, charm dripping off every syllable. But right now, all he could do was stare in silence. The first sound to leave his lips was a quiet “Uh…” He hesitated again. It seemed to be happening often around the warlock. “I’m…sorry.” Unsure of what he was apologizing for, he quickly came up with a follow up question. “Are you allowed to kiss before marriage?”

Not that he cared much for tradition, even when it wasn’t his own. It was simply the only thing he could do to keep himself from going back in for a third kiss.
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s eyelids slowly opened as Nikolai pulled back for the first time. He hadn’t expected for him to do such a thing, his mind having been far too focused on continuing the kiss. It felt like a part of him had been missing all of these years and it was now brought back to him. This felt right for the two of them in a way nothing else had before. He only hoped that Nikolai was feeling the same. His eyes flickered back down to his lips, wanting to press them together once more. He hesitated in an attempt to not overstep any boundaries the siren prince might have in that case. He had already done enough to upset him the day before.

Any worry about boundaries was chucked from his mind when they kissed once again. This one was far more passionate, a longing attached to it. His eyes fell shut once more. His one hand that had been gently holding his cheek dropped, moving slowly down his side. His other hand came up as well, both hands resting on the sides of his hips. His fingers curled into the pants the other male wore, tugging him closer as he did. He could feel the gentle touch of his hand as it made its way to his hair. It sent a shiver down his spine.

The world surrounding them felt like it had frozen once more. This time wasn’t as fleeting of a moment as it had been before. This seemed to be permanent and he greatly appreciated it. He needed to enjoy this with Nikolai for as long as he could. Anyone could come barging up to his door at any moment. All that mattered to him then was the siren prince. Everything plaguing him had faded. It was probably the happiest he had ever felt.

He could feel the shift in Nikolai as they pressed against each other a bit more. He didn’t mind, the heat from both of their bodies combining. The two of them seemed to have become one in that moment, something rare within the warlock’s relationships. He was far more grateful for it than he could properly express, nor would Nikolai probably understand it if he tried to explain. His people had odd ways of going about their traditions and were rather old school when it came to them. Yet, he couldn’t help but think that the bond between them must be destined. That they must’ve been fated to meet.

His breathing was a bit heavy when Nikolai pulled away from the final time. The desire he was feeling hadn’t faded away, it taking a bit of self control to not kiss him again. The happiness he felt shone in his eyes, the blue brighter than they had been in days. His shoulders had relaxed as well, his entire posture not having the usual rigidness it did. He almost seemed like a normal person for once. He shook his head slightly, a small lopsided smile coming to his face. “You don’t have to apologize.” He promised, his voice rather husky tone. “I honestly don’t know. That isn’t something we’ve focused on. I know my parents did before their marriage so I am sure it won’t be too frowned upon.” He assured.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
The sound of Alexander’s heavy breathing was almost satisfying to listen to for Nikolai. Knowing he’d been the one to leave the prince breathless brought an odd sense of pride to his chest. He almost had to wonder if the warlock had ever kissed anyone before. He couldn’t quite tell based on his demeanor, but he didn’t think it was the right time to ask. It certainly wouldn’t be the first for Nikolai, but something about this felt… new. Deeper than anything he’d felt before, like an invisible force he couldn’t fight was pulling him towards Alexander.

He was a bit surprised to hear that kissing before marriage wasn’t something frowned upon within the warlock customs considering how old fashioned they seemed to be. He was willing to bet that if Alexander’s parents walked in on them right now they’d be mortified. He almost had to laugh at the thought of the warlock king staring at them in shocked confusion. This arrangement was already not sitting well with him, that much was very clear. Perhaps the queen was a bit more enthusiastic about it, but who’s to say it wasn’t for pure appearances?

It didn’t matter. Not to Nikolai. He’d already decided he’d do things his way. As long as his actions didn’t directly interfere with Rowan’s plans, he could go about warning Alexander of what was to come without his people suffering the consequences. He’d just have to find a way to do it. Maire and Delphine came to mind for a brief moment. At the very least, he knew he could count on them. His thoughts didn’t wander for long, however.

There’s no guarantee he’d get to stay with Alexander after things were revealed. In fact, there was a big chance he’d never be able to see the prince again. That meant that there was no way of knowing how much longer Nikolai had left with him. The argument from the day before had all but been forgotten. Overshadowed by the day’s bizarre events, and the overwhelming need to make the best of what time they did have left.

To kiss him until they both grew dizzy.

His hands snaked back around the shoulders as he inches closer, his face close enough for his breath to brush against Alexander’s lips. “We’ll, in that case…” the third time was somehow better than the first too, as if the warlock had suddenly become an expert at kissing. Nikolai’s hands traveled down the prince’s arms, down to his hands. He took hold of them, pulling them back around his own waist before his own hands rose back up to the soft brown locks. Silently giving and open invitation for Alexander to do as he pleased.
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander studied Nikolai’s face, trying to see a reaction to the kiss that they just shared. It seemed as though he had enjoyed it. He knew that he certainly had enjoyed it. He had kissed someone before, but it had been nowhere near as incredible as this was. He supposed that it might just be due to the affection, if he could call it that, that was beginning to grow for Nikolai. He believed it even could be the way in which the two seemed destined to be together. The gods worked in strange ways after all and this just seemed to be another one of those moments. It wasn’t as if he minded it. He was truly savoring each moment he got with Nikolai.

He had been caught up in his thoughts, his minded wandering as he gazed at the other male. His entire expression had softened and his ring was glowing a bright pink. He didn’t bother trying to hide it from him. There wasn’t any reason to. The two would be married soon and he honestly thought they would fall in love with one another. He was snapped from his thoughts moment that Nikolai brought his hands back up to his bare shoulders. The gentle touch sent a shiver down his spine. The close proximity made him want Nikolai even more. His breathing was finally evening out by that point.

It was one of the many reasons he didn’t mind the siren prince pulling him back into a kiss.

He returned it with far more passion that he had before, his hands tightening their grip on his waist. They stayed in that position for a few moments before shifting to his back more. He tugged Nikolai as close as he could get him, their bodies now pressed tightly against one another. His fingers hooked through the belt loops of his pants, making sure that he kept the other male there. His eyes had fluttered shut by that point and he was clearly in pure bliss. He wished he could stay forever in that moment, enjoying the feeling of Nikolai’s soft lips on his own. It seemed as if the fates had a different wish.

He could feel something around him change and it was as if he opened his eyes. He found himself not in his room anymore, the scenery around him darkening. He looked around with rather wide eyes. Panic was beginning to fill him. He took a few steps forward, moving slowly in order to not place his foot where he shouldn’t. There was a loud clap of thunder directly above him that made him flinch. He lifted his gaze towards the sky as rain began to pour down around him. It was freezing, soaking him to the bone.

He tried to move forward, tried to get out of it only to find himself stuck. His feet were slowly sinking into the mud that surrounded him. He yanked his legs once more in his last attempt to move. The force caused him to fall to his knees, a light gasp leaving him as he did so. The screams from the nightmare he had before began to fill the air. They moved towards him as if it was a wild beast charging him. He couldn’t hear anything other than them once they finally approached. There were a few flashes of lightning, illuminating the area surrounding him. He could see someone laying in front of him. It took a few flashes before he realized it was Nikolai. He opened his mouth to cry out for him, reaching his hands towards him.

He was completely stuck then. There wasn’t a thing he could do. The screams paused and he could hear gentle hissing. “Look deeper!” The hissing subsided into words he hadn’t expected. He found his eyes rolling into the back of his head, only to realize he had opened them and he was still kissing Nikolai.

He slowly pulled back, his ring having immediately changed colors due to it. It was back to flashing through them at a half-hearted attempt of understanding what he was feeling. His eyes were wide and panicked like they had been before. “Did you see that?” He whispered.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Pure bliss turned into confusion as Nikolai’s eyes opened to find himself alone, in a vast space he immediately recognized. Horror began to fill his expression as the lightning crackled across the sky, raindrops falling on his skin like bullets. His limbs felt numb, and in the distance he could hear screaming. Cries of pain and dispair. The familiar smell of blood and silver hit his nostrils.

Why? Why was he back here?

He attempted to sit up, but his entire body felt paralyzed just like it had back then, the mud around him gripping him to the ground. There was nothing and no one around him. All he could do was stare up at the sky, tears falling and blending with the rain that soaked into his skin. The thunderous smacks of the raging waves against the shore filled his ears, but the louder they got the louder the screams grew. Nikolai shut his eyes, shouting into the air, begging for it to stop.

He felt a sudden shift, no long dark and raining. The screams were gone, and when he opened his eyes all he saw was Alexander. The prince stared back at him with horror in his eyes.

“Did you see that?”

No… why had he seen that. That was Nikolai’s memories. Why would a warlock be able to see them. What the hell was going on? He shifted a bit, slowly pulling away from the prince as he thought of what to say. If he admitted to having seen it, would that do anything? The fear of mistepping and causing more destruction left him grasping for something to say. Eventually, he simply tilted his head in confusion as if nothing ha happened.

“See what?”

Alexander was quickly spooked by what he saw. Nikolai buried his hands into his pockets to keep the ring from giving him away. He had to leave. He had to get out of this room before Alexander caught on. He nervously but his lip, doing his absolute best to hide the fear deep within his chest. “Are you feeling okay?” Perhaps the excuse of caring for Alexander could be his only way out of this. “I can get you some water.”
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s eyes were still wide as he gazed at Nikolai, his body feeling as if he was in shock. Between the nightmare he had the night before and this now, he surely must be going crazy. It was the only possible explanation he could think of. Why in the world would he be seeing such things if he wasn’t? He blinked a few times as he waited for the other male to respond to him. He didn’t know just what was going to come out of his mouth. The moment the question left Nikolai’s lips, an overwhelming amount of dread hit him.

He stumbled back a few steps, turning his head to look around him as if he was trying to reassure himself that he was actually here and that he was alright. His fingers curled into his palms, his nails digging into the soft skin. There was a tinge of pain due to it though it helped ground him. Tears began to prick at the corner of his eyes, a familiar burning sensation overcoming them. He couldn’t stop them as they began to fall down his cheeks. “No, I’m not okay.” He confessed. His voice was no more than a choked whisper.

“That is the second thing I have seen in a day Nikolai. Y-You were in front of me in mud and—“ He broke off as he struggled to take a breath in. He brought his hands up to cover his face for a few moments. “Look deeper!” He could still hear the voice hissing at him from where he stood. He didn’t know what it meant or why he was seeing any of what he was. He rubbed at his eyes in his best attempt to clear the tears away, though it wasn’t working. His face was beginning to redden as he cried, it being obvious when his hands dropped. “I’m going crazy. That must be the explanation for this.” He muttered mostly to himself.

The offer for Nikolai to get him water was something he hadn’t expected, a quick look of bewilderment crossing his expression before returning back to the despair he was feeling. He nodded his head slowly. “Thank you.” He agreed, his voice the strongest it had been since he pulled back. His chest was still heaving though and it looked as if he was on the verge of a panic attack. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin the moment.” He added quietly and quickly. He adverted his gaze, not wanting to see any disappointment or concern lingering in Nikolai’s eyes. He already felt terrible as it was. That would only push him over the edge.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Memories of what his curse caused for others had always been painful. Nikolai had learned to move past them, or at the very least ignore them. Pretend they no longer hurt. But they did. They hurt just as deeply each time he thought about them. No one but his sister knew the burden he’d carried, and even she couldn’t understand what it felt like. Nikolai never thought it possible for someone to feel them as deeply as he, someone who’d lived through it.

Alexander’s tears surprised him. The prince always seemed calm, easily able to control his emotions. Even earlier, when he’d fallen in the garden there was still a sense of collected clarity. That was all gone. Part of Nikolai felt guilty for watching him stumble and break down, and not say anything . Not that he was able to. Was the prince’s sanity worth the safety of his people? The siren prince would always put them first, especially after the horrors they’d lived through.

Still, he found himself searching for a way to comfort. He took a breath, held it for a moment to clear his own thoughts. He’d seen it too, and it haunted him even more than it did Alexander. The main difference is, Nikolai had no choice but to learn to live with it. “Alright-“ he’s get the water, but first he needed to make sure Alexander would be okay while he was gone. He took a few steps forward, taking hold of the prince’s hand and leading him to the edge of the bed.

“Have a seat for a moment.” He gently tugged on the hand, guiding the prince until he sat down. His eyes wandered the room for the short he’d taken off earlier. Once found, he returned to the bedside. “Arms up!” He waited for Alexander to con play before slipping the shirt back on. He could deal with the bruising later. Right now, easing his panic was most important. He reached over, grabbing a small throw blanket from the foot of the bed and wrapped it around the prince’s shoulders.

“I don’t usually take naps but…I think you need one, and I don’t trust you to sleep alone right now.” He commented, giving the hands a gentle squeeze. “Just wait here. I’ll get some water and be right back.” He hesitated a bit, unsure of what would happen if he left the man alone. A few minutes apart would do them both some good. Nikolai especially, hoped to calm his pounding heart before he returned with the water. The moment he stepped out of the room, he let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding before walking off towards the dining hall.
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s body trembled where he stood, unable to stop the gentle shaking from what he had witnessed. He hadn’t a clue as to why he was seeing these visions, why the gods were cursing him with this. He didn’t believe he had done anything wrong. He had followed everything his parents told him, sticking to every tradition he possibly could. He didn’t believe that his engagement to Nikolai would cause such a thing either. The rain had blessed him, that much he could recall from the day they met. His thoughts were racing through his mind, every one tormenting him.

He brought a shaky hand up to rub away the stubborn tears that still fell. He couldn’t recall the last time he had cried. He had always done well to keep his emotions from bubbling over like this. He allowed the hand to drop as he realized there was no use in him trying to keep brushing away those that still fell. He finally forced his gaze to look back at Nikolai once he walked over towards him. He couldn’t entirely read what the siren prince was feeling in that moment. It was as if he had put a wall up.

He held onto Nikolai’s hand tightly once he took his own, the only sense of comfort he could find within that moment. He slowly walked with him towards the edge of the bed. He made sure his steps were careful in order to not trip and fall like he had before. He sat down and let go of his hand, his fingers interlocking in his lap. His leg was bouncing slightly and his body still shook, though it wasn’t as bad as it had been. Some confusion came to his eyes when he watched Nikolai walk away only for the other male to return with the shirt he had taken off before. He allowed for his hand to disconnect before he lifted his arms.

He truly felt like a child within that moment. The overwhelming emotions he felt and the way in which he had to be comforted was something that brought him back centuries. He tugged the blanket tighter around himself once it was over his shoulder. “Alright. Thank you Niko.” His words were quite once more. He took in a deep breath, his breathing still not calm in the way it should’ve been. His mind was in complete overdrive still. He watched as he left the room. The silence was almost too much for him, the sound of his labored breathing filling the air. He tried to turn his mind to something, anything that might help him calm down. He decided on the kisses that they shared moments before. He closed his eyes partly as he kept his mind focused solely on that.

It had been absolutely wonderful. Their lips had molded together and the world felt as though it had gone still. It seemed to him that the two were meant to be together. He wondered if Nikolai felt the same way he did about the situation. He made a mental note to ask him about it at some point in time. Slowly his mind began to ease and his breathing did as well.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
The second time Nikolai walked back towards the dining hall, both families were already gone. It was a relief. Having to explain why he was back already would be a bother. He’d planned to simply brush it off on the way down, but now that he was here alone he allowed himself to relax. He would’ve liked to take a little longer in going back to the room, if only to have time to compose himself from what he and Alexander had both seen. None of it made any sense. Was this some form of punishment? Nikolai didn’t think he’d done anything that would warrant that. And why Alexander who had nothing to do with it.

He sighed, looking towards one of the staff members that walked back in to gather plates. ”Oh, your highness, did you need something?” He shook his head, going for one of the water pitchers that still sat at the table.

“No, just some water-“

“Oh, please, allow me to get you a fresh one!”

“That’s alright, it’s not nece- alright…” He cut himself off after the woman had already left the room with the old pitcher. She came back seconds later with a new one along with a couple of glasses. “Will this do?” Nikolai nodded, offering her a relaxed smile. “It’ll do just fine, thank you.”

He walked a bit slower on the way back to the bedroom. Spilling the water wasn’t a concern. Not to a siren that could control it. But the slow walk helped to calm his mind. He knew he couldn’t take too much longer. Who knows what state Alexander was in now. He’d fully expected the prince to be having a panic attack once he returned, so he was surprised to find him a little calmer than when he’d left.

“You okay?” Nikolai still thought it right to ask. He set the water pitcher next to their leftovers, and poured Alexander a glass. “Here.” It was fresh and cold. Of course water wouldn’t have the same effect on a warlock as it would on a siren, but it should at least help calm the nerves a little. He waited for the prince to drink, taking the glass once he was finished and sat it down nearby.

“How about that nap?” Truthfully, Nikolai was never a fan of sleeping. Sirens only did it to pass the time sometimes. When the rest of the creatures slept, they stayed awake. But sleep sounded like their only escape right now. He didn’t even wait for an answer, but instead kicked off his own shoes and climbed onto Alexander’s bed. He patted the space next to him, inviting him to move closer.
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s mind had been completely absorbed with the shared moment of affection the two had before the vision that he almost didn’t realize Nikolai had made his way back to the room. He blinked a few times, lifting his head up. His posture was still off, shoulders slumped forward and his back arched down slightly. He was lacking all composure that he normally pride himself on. He couldn’t find it in himself to care about it at the current moment though. He watched as the other male stepped forward with the pitcher of water in his hands. He forced the brightest smile he could into his lips though it was still rather weak.

“Not really, but I am trying to not dwell on it too much.” He confessed. The last portion wasn’t entirely truthful. He had a feeling this would be plaguing him for quite some time. Between the nightmare the evening before and this, he didn’t know if he would find an end to this torment. “I just don’t even know why it is happening and I have no clue who I could even ask about it.” He added in a solemn tone. If he suggested that he was experiencing these terrible visions about the sirens to his parents, they might believe him to have gone insane. He knew that he couldn’t have that. The two people were just now planning on finally stopping the war they had been engaged in for centuries. He didn’t want to risk anything.

He lifted a hand to take the glass from him, mumbling his thanks as he did so. He brought it to his lips and quickly drank it down. The cold liquid helped ease the discomfort in his throat from the panic and tears he had earlier. He handed it back to him once he finished it. He shifted to tug the blanket tighter around himself once again. The mention of the map caused him to perk up slightly. He had completely forgotten that Nikolai suggested it earlier. Part of him worried that he would just be revisited by the visions again, but the other part of him knew that having Nikolai beside him would help more than he could ever admit.

He carefully slid his own shoes off and tugged the blanket off from around his shoulder. He held it in one hand as he scooted his way towards Nikolai. Once to the siren prince, he carefully covered both of their legs with the throw blanket. Any sense of embarrassment had left him by that point. He immediately shifted to wrap his arms around him in a gentle hug, head resting on his chest. He didn’t know if Nikolai preferred physical touch, but it was something he needed at that moment in time. After the two kissing in the manner they had before, he didn’t think a bit of cuddling could hurt them.

He was silent for a few moments as he laid there beside the siren prince. His eyes were partly closed, listening to the sound of his heartbeat. “I’m sorry for ruining the moment earlier. I really enjoyed it before that all happened.” He whispered. The attraction he had for Nikolai was growing at an alarming rate. He was beginning to not mind it though. “Thank you for helping me so much today. I can’t believe I’ve been such a mess. I swear I’m not normally like this.” He added in a mumble.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Nikolai’s eyes followed Alexander’s movements as he climbed onto the bed beside him, draping the blanket over their lower halves. Somehow, even after everything, he didn’t expect the prince to wrap his arms around him, or rest his head on Nikolai’s chest. The warlock still struck him as someone who never took risks or made a first move, but maybe the shared kisses had made him a little braver.

Nikolai’s arms wrapped around him in return, shifting a bit until they were both comfortable, their legs tangled together under the blanket. One of his hands absentmindedly moved to run through Alexander’s hair. It was soft to the touch, just like him. The siren allowed his eyes to close for a moment, letting his hand move from the hair to the prince’s back, his palms tracing small invisible circles along it. He’d heard from someone that it was supposed to help the muscles relax.

He didn’t know where things stood between them. After everything that happened just that morning, the fight from the night before almost felt insignificant. They were both in the wrong, at least Nikolai could admit that to himself. Maybe…he’d even manage to get past his pride enough to properly apologize to Alex for getting so angry. Laying with him in his bed, their limbs lazily tangled together, hearing his quiet breathing. It was nice. He liked it. He might even dare to say he liked Alexander. But he wouldn’t. Physical attraction didn’t have to come with anything else attached. Nikolai could not handle getting emotionally attached only to have him be taken away.

“-sorry-“

He’d been so lost in thought he almost missed Alex’s first words. He remained quiet, listening to what the prince had to say. In truth, he could think of a couple of people that could probably help them figure out what was going on, but that would mean getting Alexander directly involved. As much as Nikolai loved taking risks, that was too big of a risk that he was not willing to take. Thankfully, he moved past it, and Nikolai wouldn’t have to think of an answer right that second.

He chuckled quietly, his cheek resting against the soft locks he’d been playing with earlier. “Hey, I happen to think it’s cute that you’re a mess.” He teased. “I much prefer this than whatever that was the first day we met.” One of his hands ran down the other’s arm until it reached his fingers, taking hold and giving them a gentle squeeze.

“Whatever it is you’re seeing, we can figure it out together.” Part of Nikolai felt the guilt of lying to the prince, but it’s not like he could outright talk about it and Alexander would not have to find out about what was happening for as long as Nikolai could help it. “For now…just try to get some rest. I’ll be right here.”
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander relaxed more as Nikolai wrapped his arms around him in return. He was a bit surprised for him to do such a thing, but he preferred it much more compared to anything else. He stayed cuddled into his side, allowing for his mind to ease. He knew that he was safe here beside him. Everything that had been plaguing his mind before was being shoved to the back of it as he stayed beside him. All that mattered to him in that moment was that the two of them were there together. Nikolai had been such a huge comfort to him as of late. He almost didn’t know how he had gone without him for so long.

He let out a gentle snort, burying his head into his chest more. The other male’s familiar scent washed over him, his shoulders finally relaxing fully. His only response to his words had been a few mumbled, though nothing had come from it. His eyes slowly fell shut. It took quite a bit of time for his breathing to even out, but he was then asleep. His body had gotten rid of the tension that it had held while he slept. His face even seemed to be at ease. It was rare for him to ever have a moment where he was as relaxed as this. He always had things he was worried about and working on. Sleep was the only time he ever got a chance to be calm in this way.

No other visions broke through his sleep nor did any dreams. Everything was a welcome blank slate, one he wished he could experience more often. His body had shifted to be closer to Nikolai while he did sleep, his body yearning for the warmth coming from the other male. His grip on him had tightened as well. He didn’t know how much time had passed when he finally did open his eyes. His vision was blurry for a few moments and the bright light streaming into the room didn’t help him. He immediately shut his eyes for a few moments, a loud groan leaving his lips. When he finally did open then again, he realized that he was not by himself.

He lifted his head slowly while his mind recalled the events that brought him back to this point. The first time to pop into his mind was the kiss, followed by the visions. He took in a deep breath before allowing himself to rest his head back down. “Hi.” He mumbled. He knew that he didn’t need to keep the formalities going. It felt like the two were far past that point in their friendship, or relationship. Well, they were far past that point in whatever the two considered themselves to be. “How long was I asleep for?” He inquired. His voice was still rough from sleep and it was clear he didn’t want to move anytime soon.

He was rather aware the two of them probably had duties to attend to that day, if they hadn’t wasted the entirety of it laying on this bed. He hoped his parents wouldn’t mind his missing out on it. After all, Eloise did seem keen to hear that Nikolai and himself were beginning to gain a better relationship. The two would also be married soon. No one should suspect a thing when it came to the two of them wanting to spend time together. At least, he hoped.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Time drifted by slowly while Alexander was asleep, but the siren didn’t mind it. He closed his eyes for a little while, letting his mind drift to nothing in particular. He could fall asleep if he wanted to, and he did a couple of times for short bits, but every time he woke up he could feel Alexander still breathing peacefully beside him. They’d somehow ended up more entangled than when they’d first gotten in bed. Nikolai’s eyes watched the prince for a moment, his hand gently stroking his hair.

Do not grow attached…

It was the mantra he repeated time and time again in his head, and despite it, there was nothing he wanted to do more than to stay there, together in their quiet space, for as long as he could.

He moved very little, and Alex never seemed to mind nor notice. He was deep in his sleep, as if he hadn’t properly slept in days. Nikolai was thankful no more visions seemed to be bothering him during his nap. He even dared to think he might find a way to make them stop before it struck again. He hadn’t a clue why it was happening to the warlock prince more than to himself. Maybe it was something, or someone, telling Alex to stay away from Nikolai. Someone that knew him and his situation well. But very few people knew. It wouldn’t make sense for Rowan to be doing this. His master plan included Nikolai gaining the trust of the warlock family, so he wouldn’t do anything that could potentially ruin that. Delphine, though not fond of the prince, didn’t have the power to do something like this. Even if she did, Nikolai didn’t think she would stoop that low.

The only other person to know would be the warlock that cursed him. Nikolai hadn’t a single clue who they were, or where to even find them. But, he did know someone that may be able to help.

The groan that left the man beside him almost made Nikolai flinch. Having been so immersed in his own head, he hadn’t realized he’d finally woken up. The moment his head lifted to examine his surroundings, the siren offered a soft smile. “Hey.” It was nice having him like this. No formalities, no pretenses, just…them. He let out a quiet chuckle at the question, his gaze shifting to the clock on the wall. “Mmm…a few hours.” He half mumbled, his hands finding its way to Alex’s hair again. “About four to be exact.”

He shifted a bit so his chin could rest on the other’s head. He knew his family would be leaving soon, and he would have to choose whether to stay or go with them. Being away from the ocean for so long made him a bit antsy, but being on a boat for two days on the trip back didn’t sound as enticing as laying in this bed with Alex felt. “Your mom came by.” He informed, an amused little smile on his face. She’d been surprised, but didn’t look upset. If anything, she almost looked gleeful. “She was worried about you.”
 
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david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander shifted his positioning slightly to get more comfortable. He hadn’t realized just how twisted he had gotten with Nikolai during his sleep. Part of him was embarrassed, but the other part was doing its best to not let it bother him. It was something that he had been working on even before Nikolai came for his first visit. He had a terrible habit of allowing things to get the better of him, dwelling on each little moment as if it would end him. His overthinking always came back to harm him in the future. He had decided months ago to allow himself to move past it all and so far it seemed to be working, other than the visions. No matter how hard he had tried to push them away, they continued to haunt him.

His eyebrows furrowed when he heard the length of time he had been asleep. “I can’t remember the last time I took a nap, let alone one that lasted that long.” He admitted, his voice still rather quiet. The familiar touch to his hair helped keep him relaxed. His mind had focused solely on the moment the two were sharing, keeping everything else at bay for the time being. “I didn’t have another one of those nightmares. Maybe it was just stress or something.” He informed. The excuse was a lame one and he knew that it must be something else. He wouldn’t have seen the one during their kiss if it was just something as simple as stress.

He blinked a few times and his eyes widened. “Did she really?” He asked, surprise clear in his tone. “I guess it makes some sense. I don’t usually take an entire day to relax. It has been nice though, despite everything that happened this morning.” He spoke truthfully. He found everything with Nikolai to be pleasant, something he hadn’t expected one bit. He was dreading the other male’s eventual departure as he believed he would leave with his family. Nikolai made him feel as if he was a normal person and not a prince. It was something he had always craved.

“She likes you a lot, y’know. I overheard her talking to my father about you. She really thinks you are a perfect match for me. Of course he grumbled about it, but he didn’t argue it either.” He mused after a few moments of silence. He had shifted his arm to have his hand resting lightly on Nikolai’s stomach. He allowed his fingers to trace gentle patterns. “You are nothing like what I thought a siren would be and I am so grateful you changed my perception. You’ve actually changed my perception on a lot of things already.” He added.

He felt as though he had been sheltered for a decent portion of his life, being fed lies about everything around him. The change was rather appreciated, though it made him wonder just what else he might’ve been told that was incorrect. He didn’t kind the process of changing his mindset. He was sure he would end up changing it more then longer that he spent with Nikolai. He knew it was finally time to grow.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Stress….

Nikolai knew even Alexander himself didn’t believe that, but he was glad to move past the subject. For now. Even if the vision-like memories didn’t come back to haunt the warlock, they had still happened. Nikolai had no reason to believe he was the direct cause of it. When it happened the first time, he hadn’t been anywhere near Alexander. There was something so…unsettling about it. Try as he may, he couldn’t think of a good reason for why the warlock would be seeing such things.

What could he do? There was nothing anyone could do to help not. Nikolai would have to deal with this on his own. It was strange, the worry that bubbled up in his stomach at the thought of Alexander getting hurt because of him. He’d already decided he would find a way around Rowan’s plan, but seeing the prince in physical and emotional pain today had served to motivate him. He would not be a cause of pain for anyone anymore. The past was just that. In the past.

“Does she?” He muttered, eyes only half opened as they stared at nothing in particular. “I thought she was just being nice.” He joked. For the most part. Part of him had been confused about the queen’s acceptance of him and the marriage. He’d expected her to be like most warlock nobles, raising their noses up at the sight of sirens as if they were some sort of pest. Compared to that, her excitement over the wedding almost felt disingenuous.

But she had been kind to Nikolai from day one. That much was certain. “She’s not what I expected her to be like.” Nikolai admitted, almost echoing Alexander’s words. “None of you are.” He added, almost afraid to say what he was truly thinking. He hadn’t expected to be here now, at the point where he wanted Alexander’s company over going back to the ocean. It was alarming how quickly his view of this family had changed. Nikolai knew first hand not all warlocks were bad people like siren children were meant to believe. People like Maire, Anette and Claude. So many others he’d met during his time in land. None of them had fit the mold of what warlocks were supposed to be.

Alexander himself didn’t fit it either. It was both refreshing and frightening. To think he was living in the same palace as the only one that truly fit the part of the evil creature depicted. Rowan was everything warlocks said sirens to be and more.

“We’ve been fed so many lies all our lives…” he sighed, his hand gently stroking the brown locks under his fingers. “Of course there’s rotten ones on both sides, but warlocks and sirens… turns out we’re not that different after all.” Could he even dare to dream of a world where they’d ever live in peace? He’d already decided he was tired of Rowan and his stupid curse ditectating what he did. Even if it killed him, he would do everything in his power to assure none of his people ever suffered like that again.

“At the end of the day, we both just want peace…” Saying it out loud made it all sound so easy, but there was nothing easy about it. He shifted a bit, sliding his body down until he was almost at eye level with Alexander. There was a hint of something in the warlock’s gaze he couldn’t quite translate. Surprise, perhaps. A little bit of kindness and honesty.

Love? No, that couldn’t be it.

“I’m sorry.” Nikolai stated plainly. “About what happened last night.” He added for context. They had both been in the wrong, but Alexander had already apologized. Nikolai found it hard to do so, but he felt it necessary. “What you said did hurt…but you weren’t completely wrong. I shouldn’t have stormed off. I’m just… “ he pondered on saying his next sentence. Would it be vague enough to be safe? But something about Alexander’s gaze made him want to spill his emotions in a way he never had before. He felt…safe. At last.

“I’ve been hurt a lot in the past…I guess I’m just…I’m not as tough as I pretend to be.”
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s expression softened slightly as he listened to Nikolai talk. The tiredness was still somewhat clear, but it was leaving him the longer he stayed awake. Nikolai’s presence was comforting and almost enough to lull him back to sleep. He knew that he couldn’t let himself do so though. He already wasted far too much of the day and refused to waste anymore. His index finger continued to trace the little patterns, pausing every few moments before continuing. He found himself to be so entranced in the simple motion, hoping that it was as comforting to Nikolai as it was himself.

He paused once more at his joke. A soft smile broke onto his lips. “I know it might be hard to believe, but you can easily tell the difference between her being just nice and her being genuine.” He confessed. He had seen it multiple times during his years. The facade she put up as queen and the way she acted around his father sometimes were the best example of the former while the way she acted around Nikolai and himself the latter. “She might almost like you more than me.” He returned a joke in a rather lighthearted manner, knowing his mother loved him tremendously.

It was one thing that he had gotten rather lucky with. Despite all that happened and all the trials they had faced, his parents adored him and only wanted the best for him. There were times when he had doubted his father’s intentions only to be proven wrong when the time came. The only thing he had truly despised was the way his father got them into the war. The longer that he spent around Nikolai, the more he was realizing that the war was useless and taxes the two nations far more than it ever should’ve. He didn’t believe they needed the war in the first place.

It seemed as though the siren prince agreed with him, the echoing of his own words breaking through his thoughts. “I agree. I honestly thought I would hate the siren I was meant to marry. I’m glad I don’t though. I really am grateful that you proved all the rumors wrong.” He murmured. The gentle stroking of his hair kept him relaxed, though he felt as if he was on the verge of dozing off once again. He forced himself to blink and pull himself away from it.

“I wish I could remember exactly what happened to cause the start of the war. It was so many centuries ago and I was still rather young,” He paused, a soft sigh leaving his lips. “There just isn’t anything that I can think of that would cause such a thing to happen for such a long time.” His eyebrows furrowed as he tried to think back on it all. Each memory from that portion of his life was rather blurry. “I know we will get peace soon though. I can’t wait for that day. Who knows? Maybe the narrative about both of our peoples will finally change.” He whispered.

His expression slowly began to lighten once more, though he lifted his head as he heard the apology leave Nikolai’s lips. He hadn’t expected to hear him say it, especially since he knew he was the one at fault. “You don’t need to apologize to me.” He assured, shifting in order to meet the other male’s gaze while he spoke. “I had no right to explode on you in the way I did. I don’t even know why I was so upset about it. I knew from the day I met you that our beliefs were different. I wish I could just blame it on the stress of the engagement party, but I truly just don’t know what came over me.” His words were almost like a ramble, trying to reassure Nikolai in any way he could.

He had opened his mouth to speak again when he heard the final sentence. Sympathy flashed across his gaze, the bright blue of his eyes immediately softening again. “Do you want to talk about it any? I might not have the best advice, but I am always open to listen.” He offered.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
What starts a war?

The question was much more complex than either of them could begin to understand. Sirens and warlocks had been at each other’s throats for centuries, long before either of them was born. And wars had existed long before that. Sometimes all it took was one simple misunderstanding or mistake to start centuries old feuds. Both sides were too proud to admit their mistakes or give into defeat even if the future looked bleak. It was ridiculous and unnecessary. It wouldn’t solve anything.

Alexander seemed to believe that their marriage was the key to peace. Truthfully, Nikolai would give anything to be able to believe that too, but he knew pieces of the puzzle that the warlock didn’t. Marriage or not, the feud would rage on for centuries to come. He was sure of it. Even then, their people clung on to the hope of one day seeing the end of it. Perhaps that’s why they had latched onto the marriage so enthusiastically. They, like Alexander, seemed to think it was the key.

Nikolai’s eyes traced over the warlock’s features. His big, bright eyes full of hope. He was once that way too, until that hope was ripped away. Now Nikolai never dared to hope for anything. His rebellious reputation birthed from his need to focus on the here and now, not knowing what would happen the next day. It’s the only way he could keep himself sane. Laying here, with Alex, it almost felt like this could last a lifetime. But Nikolai knew better, so he was determined to enjoy every moment of it while it lasted. For that very reason, he shook his head in response to Alex’s question.

“No need, it’s all in the past now.” He could see his own reflection in the depth of the prince’s eyes. There was still that fear and anxiety from what he’d seen earlier, no matter how hard Alex tried to hide or ignore it. The visions of these memories, the events from the past, the possible downfall of the warlock family, it all came down to the same root problem. Himself. It was he who was the problem. He’d been looking for a solution all along, looking for a way around Rowan’s plans, for a way to solve the problem when in reality the problem was with him.

He stared at his own reflection in Alex’s gaze, and for a moment wondered what would happen if he were no longer around. Perhaps all the problems he caused would finally disappear. He felt his own gaze drop for a moment, the gem of his ring glowing a dark gray as he inched his hands closer to Alexander. They gently cupped his face. “Whatever happens from here on out, just remember-“ he leaned in, placing a tender kiss on the other’s lips. “I don’t regret meeting you.” Maybe Nikolai disappearing was the solution he’d been so desperately searching for.
 
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david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander didn’t know where his hope and optimism came from. He liked to believe it was a trait his mother passed onto him. The queen had always done her best to look onto the brighter side of things and it was something he knew the warlock citizens appreciated. She balanced his father out perfectly. Despite the two hiding their affections most of the time, he knew that they really did love each other. Seeing those moments between them must’ve led him into this mindset from a young age. He was beginning to realize it was futile the more the years passed and the war raged on. But the thought of his marriage with Nikolai ending whatever struggles their people had was enough to keep him going. It was more than enough to reignite the hope within him.

He could feel the close nature in which Nikolai gazed at him, it seeming as though the other male studying each of his features. He didn’t mind it in the way he thought he might. There was an odd comfort to the intenseness of his gaze. He blinked slowly and offered the other male a gentle smile. Despite everything that had happened the night before, he was beginning to understand the bundle of feeling in his stomach. It was affection towards Nikolai. He wouldn’t dare speak on it or let it be known just yet. He hadn’t a clue if the siren prince would feel the same way. While they had spent these precious moments together, it could lead to nothing and he didn’t want to get his hopes up to be disappointed again.

“Alright. If you do ever want to speak about it though, I am always hear for you. I truly don’t mind listening. I feel like I owe it to you with how much you have had to take care of me already.” His tone was joking, a weak attempt to lighten the air between them. Everything had taken a rather dark turn. Between the visions he saw that day and the confession from Nikolai, it was teetering on the edge of being something he might not be able to help with. He wasn’t the best at processing and understanding his emotions or acting on helping others with theirs. He blamed it on the lack of relationship he found himself in from a young age and the sheltering his parents put him through.

His heart dropped at Nikolai’s statement, his eyebrows furrowing. He gladly returned the kiss, but had no plans on disregarding what had been spoken. “Niko, what do you mean by that? It almost sounds as though you know something I don’t.” His voice had lost all of the joking nature it held before, slipping to be just as serious as his own had been. He studied his expression for a few moments. “What aren’t you telling me?” He inquired, the question almost sticking in his throat. He worried that he might’ve crossed a line in asking it, but he needed to know.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Emotional as he was, Nikolai didn’t expect his own resolution to make him feel so… scared. He watched Alexander’s expression immediately shift, the looming color of his ring matching Niko’s own. He thought he’d been vague enough, but perhaps Marie’s gift had given him away. There was a pain in his chest, a pain that came with the thought of not getting to enjoy Alexander’s company anymore. Or getting to teach him new things and places he’d never been to. He wondered if Alex would find someone else to fill that spot were Nikolai to vanish.

There was a place deep within the ocean, said to be a black hole for any creature that entered it. Whoever went in, never came back out. Perhaps that’s where Nikolai belonged. Forgotten along with all the troubles his existence caused. His eyes watched the warlock’s expression. The more Nikolai’s mood shifted, the more worried the prince appeared. Were it not for their close proximity, and the rings, Nikolai would have probably been able to brush off the questions. But claiming everything was fine would be futile now.

Instead, he said nothing. He inched closer, arms wrapping around Alexander as if in that moment his life depended on it. He felt the hot tears threatening to spill, and quickly shut his eyes, head hurried into the other’s chest. The rhythm of his heartbeat was almost hypnotizing. For a moment, he’d forgotten his troubles. But it was short lived. A gentle knock on the door grabbed his attention, his eyes flickering over to Alex before he sat up.

Seraphina’s face came into view, her gaze falling on them, though her expression didn’t change much. It’s likely she’d been expecting to find them like this, especially if she talked to Eloise. “Niko, dear. It’s time we head back.” She silently examined Alexander for a moment as she continued. “Are you coming?” His initial instinct was to say he’d like to stay, but given everything he’d put Alexander through already, he nodded.

“Yeah… just give me a minute.” Seraphina nodded in acknowledgment and left them alone once again. A quiet sigh left the siren as he inched towards the edge of the bed. “I supposed I should go then.” He would have liked to tell Alexander he’d see him soon, but who’s to say if he actually would.
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s arms wrapped tightly around the other male in return, his concern only growing at the manner in which Nikolai moved closer to him. It almost seemed as if the other male was clinging onto him as though he was his lifeline at that current moment in time. He didn’t know what to say in order to reassure him, to make him feel better about whatever his mind was tormenting him on. He placed a gentle kiss to the top of his head and stayed silent. He believed it would just be best for the two of them to enjoy each other’s company for the time being. That was, until he heard a knock on his door.

He immediately lifted his head to see who it was, only for Seraphina to pop her head in. His heart dropped as he realized the firm the two had spent together was officially coming to an end. He removed his arms from the grip that he held Nikolai in, his eyebrows furrowing while doing so. He slowly nodded then. He didn’t know why, but he had a terrible feeling about the other male leaving. Maybe it was just his nerves. With everything that had been happening, he had the right to be concerned about being left alone. Yet he knew that he couldn’t force the other male to stay if he didn’t want to. He just leaned forward and pulled him into a kiss once more, savoring the taste of Nikolai’s lips on his own. “Have a safe trip. I will see you whenever you are able to come back.” He murmured.

But that moment was weeks ago. Unfortunately, to Alexander, it felt as though it had been years.

The first night after Nikolai had left him hadn’t been terrible. He had a peaceful nights rest without any visions or nightmares tormenting him. The night after was when it began again. The visions felt as though they were scattered throughout periods of time he didn’t understand. Each one was stranger than the next, bloodier too. He wished he could leave them behind while going about his daily tasks, but he saw glimpses of them every single time he closed his eyes. It had led to rather long and restless nights for him. He would just lay in his bed, wishing that he could forget what he was seeing.

It only got worse from that point on.

What he didn’t see during the night anymore caught him during the day. He could usually play it off as if he wasn’t paying attention to whatever information his parents were trying to tell him. It got harder as the time went on. The visions became more frequent, that voice still screeching at him to look closer. He had managed to make some connections about what the visions were telling him. They clearly involved the life of a siren. Who it was he hadn’t a clue. The poor creature must’ve had quite the terrible life from what he could make out.

The only time he felt as though the vision had changed was when he saw Nikolai. He didn’t know what was happening exactly. He felt like he was suspended in water, watching the other male from a distance. The water surrounding them was murky. He guessed they were probably at a depth not many sirens planned to go. The two moved along together, going deeper and farther away from the light. There was one point in which he could no longer follow him. He was stuck, suspended too far away. Any time he tried to shift closer, he was unable to do so. He reached a hand out in an attempt to grab the other male. For a moment, he could’ve sworn Nikolai turned to face him. He could’ve sworn that their eyes met. Then he turned and continued on before disappearing into the darkness.

That vision had occurred a few days prior while he had been sitting and having dinner with his parents. He must’ve started thrashing while experiencing it because he came to on the ground of the dining hall, his chair tipped over and worried warlocks surrounding him. His parents insisted on him resting until Nikolai returned. He did as they asked, though he still was unable to shake any of what he had experienced. He truly felt as though he had gone crazy and the gods were punishing him for it.

He finally was allowed to emerge from his solitude when the ThŸella family returned to help with the final planning stages for the wedding. He stood beside his parents as he waited for the siren royal family to come inside. His gaze was vacant, the once vibrant color of his skin having pales. Dark bags were present underneath his eyes from the lack of sleep. He looked as though he had gone to experience what the war was like and he felt as if he had done such a thing.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Time and time again, Nikolai went back to that place. It truly was fear inducing. Dark and lifeless, as if it was capable of sucking the soul out of anything that dared to go near it. The siren’s eyes had stared into the void more times than he would have liked to admit, but each time he felt more terrified of what could happen if he were actually gone. Many times he thought of Alexander. Of the last time they had been together. It was the most peaceful time he’d ever spent with another person.

His heart aches at the thought of never seeing him again, but it also aches at the thought of being the reason he suffered. Which would be worse? Nikolai couldn’t decide, and until he did he couldn’t go through with it. No matter how many times he thought about it.

Going through with the wedding wouldn’t change much. At the very least, he may be able to give Alex some piece of mind, and who’s to say it wouldn’t actually help with the peace. Between the marriage of both kingdoms and Nikolai disappearing, it could bring a new start to both species. He was convinced that Alexander would be a good ruler, capable of bringing about a better future for both warlocks and sirens. If he were to vanish after the wedding, the kingdoms would be left in good hands. He knew that now. And still, he couldn’t pull himself away from the water.

His family must have made it to the warlock palace by now. They probably assumed he wasn’t going to show, perhaps even thought he’d gone missing. He recalled the last conversation he’d had with Delphine. She seemed to have caught on to something, but didn’t say a word. Not to Nikolai anyway. As he stared at the sun rays beaming down from the opening on the cave, shining down on the moon pool’s clear water, he wondered if she would miss him. Tough as she was, Delphine had always been the one to care for him when no one else did.

And Alexander. The last time Nikolai had been on the edge of the black hole, he could’ve sworn he heard the prince’s voice call out to him. It would have been impossible for him to be there. He would have drowned king before he’d made it that far down. But his presence felt real. It pulled Nikolai out of his thoughts, making way for fear to strike him again. He hadn’t gone back there since. Now he sat here, in the same cave they’d spent hours that first night, wondering how he could face Alexander again.

Nikolai twisted and twirled the golden band around his finger, it’s color settling into a murky, storm blue. He really did miss the prince, but the more attached he grew the harder it would be to go through with his plan.

-

Delphine’s worry was evident on her face the moment they walked into the warlock palace. Her last conversation with Nikolai replayed in her head over and over. At the time, she thought he may just be having regrets about the marriage. She expected to find him in his bedroom the next morning, sulking but unharmed. She didn’t. He wasn’t there that morning, nor the morning after that, nor the morning after that…

It had been days now since anyone had seen her little brother, and what angered her the most is that she seemed to be the only one in the family that cared. Rowan was convinced that this was another one of Nikolai’s “stunts” to get out of his responsibilities. Delphine had never wanted to punch him square in the face as badly as she did now.

“Hello, thank you for having us again!” Rowan’s booming voice echoed throughout the palace room walls. The princess’ gaze navigated between each member of both families. Everyone looked so calm, so unbothered. Everyone except her…and Alexander. There was something in his gaze that didn’t sit right with her. He looked tired, distant, almost as if he were being haunted. Their gazes met, and Delphine could feel her stomach knot as Rowan spoke again.

“Allow me to apologize on Nikolai’s behalf. That boy is always up to something.” The words barely registered in her mind, her thoughts focused solely on the warlock prince. She was sure of it now. He felt the same thing she did. Something wasn’t right. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon.” Rowan added. The moment he was finished speaking, Delphine stepped forward, her hand taking a firm hold of the prince’s wrist.

“Pardon me, I need to borrow Alexander for a moment.” She wasn’t sure how far they walked with him in tow, but when she was certain they were out of earshot, she finally let him go. She turned to face him, the mild panic in her eyes almost mimicking his.

“Nikolai hasn’t been home in three days.” There was no point in sugar coating it. If her brother was in trouble, they needed to move quickly. “Has he been here? Have you seen him?”
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s eyes had been staring ahead, glazed over and unfocused. It was clear that his mind was leading him elsewhere. He hadn’t been the same since that last vision of Nikolai. The others before it had tormented him plenty, had made him wish he wasn’t living. But the manner in which he saw Nikolai swimming towards that hole away from him, it was his final breaking point. Each meal he had been brought was left relatively untouched. His hunger had completely vanished. He had managed to use some magic to make it seem as though he was still eating and carrying on as if the vision hadn’t been debilitating. He didn’t know how he was going to get through these next days of joining everyone for each meal again.

He hadn’t seemed to have noticed that the siren royal family stepped into the hall with them, only blinking when Rowan began to speak. He forced his posture to be a bit straighter though it lacked the common proper nature he forced himself to have. He could feel his father’s gaze looking to him for a moment. The way in which he studied him normally would be a case for worry, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care. The only person he cared to see at that moment was Nikolai.

He looked amongst the members of the family as they stood there, eyes glancing from one to the other in a desperate attempt to find the siren prince. He tilted his head slightly when he didn’t immediately spot him. Any remaining bit of hope in his chest dissipated as he met Delphine’s gaze. His blue eyes were still rather dull. Worry was the only emotion beginning to clearly overtake his expression. It seemed that she was feeling the same way he was at that moment. His lips parted slightly as though he was going to speak, but he quickly shut them.

He didn’t fight her when she grabbed ahold of his wrist and dragged him away. Normally he would be absolutely terrified of her in that moment, but each emotion he gets was none in comparison to the panic that was beginning to rise in his chest. It reminded him of the day back in the garden where he had stumbled back and fallen after seeing the reflection in the fountain. His breathing was already starting to grow uneven. He was doing his best to keep his mind calm, to reassure himself that Nikolai might just be running a tad late.

The words that left Delphine’s mouth broke any composure he had. Tears immediately began to form in his eyes and stream down his cheeks. It was obvious that he was a shell of how he normally would be. His body began to tremble and his fingers curled tightly into his palms. His nails dug into the soft skin, the only reminder as to where he currently was. He felt as though he could hear whispers from the vision surrounding him. Then there was that dreaded voice, the one reminding him to look closer. It wasn’t screeching in the way it normally did. It was a gentle whisper in the back of his mind.

“He hasn’t been here.” He managed to stammer out, his own voice cracking multiple times. It was a bit hoarse from lack of use. “I-I saw him in a vision a few days ago. He was swimming and I don’t know how deep we were. He went into a black pit and didn’t return. I thought it was just something untrue. But with the other visions, I don’t know anymore.” His words fell out of him as if they were water coming from a faucet. The disconnected look was back on his expression and his knees felt like they were going to buckle. He stumbled back a step to lean against the wall behind him.

“The other visions—“ He broke off as they flashed through his mind once more. This time they were different. Instead of being broken apart, it was a reel of everything occurring in order. He still didn’t recognize who it was about, but the connection to the sirens was far too much for him to ignore. “The sirens. They are about the sirens. I keep seeing from the same person and there is so much destruction. Then all the blood. I don’t know why, but there is so much blood. I want to stop seeing them. I need to stop seeing them!” His breath hitched into soft sobs and his knees finally gave way. He slid down the wall, sitting on the floor. It seemed like Nikolai not showing up had been the last thing to break the very small thread holding him together. His eyes were wide and his face somewhat red. The ring on his finger was flashing through the colors, unable to settle upon one like it had done many times before.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
There was plenty of sunlight, but Nikolai felt like he was still in the dark. The eye of the abyss stared back at him anytime he closed his eyes. It really was fear inducing. Despite everything he’d been through during his short life, all the horrible things he’d had to live through and witness, he’d never felt fear quite like this. The lifeless void didn’t move, didn’t speak, didn’t breathe, yet it was more terrifying than anything he’d ever seen.

His gaze fell down to the ring once more. It seemed to want to change colors, but couldn’t quite decide on what to pick. He had to wonder if that was him, or…

With a sigh, he rose to his feet. No matter what he did, no matter where he went or what he was resolved to do, Alexander continuously appeared in his thoughts. His voice, his face, that scent that followed him everywhere. He’d never experienced anything like this. His gaze watched the water sway to the rhythm of the breeze. It should have been calming, but he felt like he was suffocating.

“Ahhhhh-!!” The scream bubbled inside him until it had no choice but to be let out. He screamed again, all the tension in his muscles carrying his voice. The water responded with large ripples smashing against the rocks. It took on a life of its own, rising in large pillars, as if it were trying to reach the very skies above it. The rings flashed through colors, each one matching the frustration pent up inside Nikolai. It was only when he’d run out of breath that the waters ceased to move, settling down into their usual calmness.

He quickly wiped at the tears that had fallen down his cheeks. Facing Alex again would be difficult, but he couldn’t bring himself to go without seeing him one last time.

-

Whatever Delphine had been expecting to get in response, it wasn’t this. She watched silently as Alexander slowly crumbled before her very eyes, the panic very evident on his face. He was saying so much. Some of it made sense, some didn’t. But there was one sentence in particular that caught her attention.

“Wait-“ she kneeled down in front of him to meet his startled gaze. “A black pit? And you’re sure it was him?” Her eyes flickered to the ring, immediately recognizing it. She took his hand, probably not as careful as she should have been considering the prince was already scared out of his wits, but it seemed he could have the key to finding Nikolai.

“This ring. Niko had one just like it. What does it do?” She didn’t know a lot about warlock magic, unlike her brother. He frequented the land enough that he’d learned things about the warlocks Delphine never even imagined. He’d only ever shared a coupl;e of things with her, but he never mentioned a magical ring. “Alexander, I need you to focus for a second.” She spoke again, her gaze filled with determination. She had never been the type to comfort others, and right now, finding Nikolai was her only focus.

“Can this ring somehow help us find him?”
 

david tennant

daydream believer
Alexander’s eyes were staring at nothing in particular as his mind continuously went through everything he had been experiencing these past few days. The tears wouldn’t stop falling down his cheeks and his body couldn’t stop trembling. He felt completely stuck in that moment, stuck in the terrifying nature his mind had created for him. “They need to stop. I need them to stop.” He whispered, repeating his words a few times. “I can’t keep doing this. I can’t. It is too much. The gods shouldn’t have cursed me.” His voice was twisting into a gentle gargle, his sobs beginning to rack his body. His shoulders shook more as the breaths that left him turned into gasps for air.

He could hear Delphine’s words through it all. The voice of the woman that he feared more than anything in this world was enough to keep him anchored to the current moment. He’s missing. The words repeated in his mind. Look closer Alexander. He is missing! They repeated with a sudden urgency, one he hadn’t heard before. They hadn’t been screeched at him as they had during his visions before. It was a soft voice, a reassuring one. It was as if someone was trying to guide him through what he was experiencing.

He was unable to get himself to calm any, but the recognition flared in his eyes as he finally seemed to focus on Delphine. “He is missing.” He repeated what the voice had told him, his tone mimicking it exactly. It was almost as if his voice wasn’t his own at that moment. He nodded slowly, his breathing finally seeming to control itself. “I-It was him. He looked at me and then disappeared. But I would’ve known. I would’ve felt it if he had gone. It would’ve told me if he was gone.” He stammered out, not elaborating on the figure he was referring to. If anyone were to see how he was acting, they would believe he had gone completely insane.

His eyes darted down to the ring on his finger at the mention of it. “It connects us. If one of us is in trouble, it will let the other know. The colors are emotions.” He managed to explain. It was the most clarity that he had given in quite a while, though his words were still fluctuating with the soft sobs that spilled from his mouth. His voice was beginning to grow nasally from the mucus stuffing his nose. His eyes were burning from the tears spilling down his eyes. The whites of them were turning red as well as the delicate skin on his face. He felt as though he was partly suffocating. His skin was feeling hotter and he wanted to get out of the castle. He needed to get out of the castle.

“I don’t know if it can. I never tried to use it like that. I thought these rings were a myth. Everyone said they were until we were given them. I don’t even know if the rumors about them are true.” He confessed. He tried his best to take a few deep breaths before he continued. “I-If they are true, h-he will find me now. This will be enough for it to warn him I am i-in trouble.” He continued.
 

SleepingInTheGardens

Junior Member
Try as she may, Delphine could not follow Alexander’s train of thought. He kept mentioning visions, but truthfully she had no idea what he meant by that. Her focus zeroed in on the mention of the dark pit. She’d never been one to take the word of others, always needing to see things for herself before believing anything. However, she had no choice now but to believe that what the warlock had seen was true. That Nikolai truly was alright, at least physically. Suddenly, she regretted all the times she hadn’t been there for him when he needed it.

She had tried her best to make up for it over the years, but showing affection had never been her strong suit. Yet, she wanted nothing more than to hug her brother right now, and know he was safe.

Her gaze fell to the ring, attempting to decipher Alexander’s stammering. The gems on it continued to flash different colors. If it connected them somehow, it could probably guide them to Nikolai. Her head lifted, hands landing on Alexander’s shoulders as she gave him a bit of a shake. “Get it together, child!” Her eyebrows knitted, the urgency of her tone matching her words. “He’s *missing*, remember?” He had repeated it earlier, but with the words that followed, she wasn’t entirely sure he understood what that meant.

“Niko has wandered out plenty of times before…but he’s never not come home. Her head lowered for a moment. “Something’s wrong…” She knew Nikolai enough to know that he would be capable of just about anything for the safety of the sirens. Something not even their precious king would do. “Come on!” She latched into Alexander’s hand as she got to her feet, pulling him along with her. “Take some deep breaths and forget whatever you saw for now.” She glanced around then to assure no one was listening before she continued.

“I need you to help me find him.”

-

Nikolai’s steps had taken him out of the cave, away from the moon pool, back into the forest with the intent of going towards the palace. But the more he thought about it, the less his body wanted to cooperate. The forest was lively this time of day. A place that would normally bring him so much joy now had him filled with dread. At the end of that Forrest was the palace grounds.

He turned in the opposite direction, heading back towards the caves. Perhaps he wasn’t ready after all. The ocean called to him again, but as he stepped closer to the water, he could feel the oncoming headache. Mild and barely noticeable at first, and then all at once it was excruciating. He let out a cry of pain, his back landing against the rocks of the cave wall. Flashes of color clouded his vision, like a spinning kaleidoscope. Whatever he was supposed to be seeing, he wasn’t understanding.

The headache was debilitating. Both his hands pressed tightly against his head, body sliding down to the ground as he attempted to focus. The colors continued, except this time he could have sworn he saw Alexander. There was a pull, an invisible force wanting to move him towards the palace, but the pain, the images. All he could do was sit in agony and hope it went away quickly.
 

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