Title: Midnight Blue
Day/Theme: November twentieth | _____'s no good, very bad day . (late)
Character/Pairing: PelleasMicaiah of sorts
Word Count: a little over 1,000
A/N: An early Christmas present for Runespoor7.
Micaiah finds him in a corner of the royal library seated on the cushionless, cold, drafty stone floor. There is small mountains of books stacked beside him, many of which are open at all angles, as if he was trying to read all of them at once. The Republic is the book he is clinging to as if his life depended on it.
She notices the tremors before he even senses her presence. He bites his bottom lip repeatedly as he flips though another page. His hands shake and his eyes pass over the lines of text too quickly to actually absorb the words contained. Anxiety hangs over him, a smog, a thick poisonous cloud. His thoughts are the rain against her windows.
I can't even—
–It's useless considering it's me–
—They're right, I can't—
She leans over him and finds him so caught within his world of books that he does not notice her presence.
"King Pelleas," she says softly.
He drops his book in a startled fright, and for a moment his expression is one that has witnessed a specter, not a beloved underling. He feels his way across the floor, like one blind towards the lost volume.
"...the page, I lost the page, where I was reading I—"
He searches, almost with a panic-stricken edge and she bends to find the tome where it has fallen at her feet. She replaces it, to his larger, trembling hands.
"I'm sorry, that's no proper greeting," he bows his head for a moment, as if shamed by the hurriedness, the fragmented sight of him that she has seen.
"Let's– Let's start this over, shall we? Hello, Micaiah.. I usually don't see you here this late. Is something the matter?"
"No, nothing. I had something to take care of. I wanted to check in on you before leaving," she says. "You seemed discontent last I saw you."
"But it's quite late... You should be sleeping. If not then you might catch ill and I wouldn't wish to see such a thing again."
"I was about to say the same," she replies. "Shouldn't you be asleep as well?"
"I'm studying," he says. Despite his attempt at strength, in the end he only looks weary. So weary as if he was collapsing under some Atlasian weight.
"Perhaps then I can be a proper king for my people," Pelleas says, the bitterness slipping out, though she saw he tried to hide it.
I can't believe I'd make such a mistake––
"Everyone makes mistakes, King Pelleas."
"Most kings," he says, "Can make it through the day without insulting half the court by bowing wrong."
"You'll learn," she says.
He sighs. "If the country doesn't fall apart from my 'help' first."
He doesn't say but she feel under the rim of his skin and body, through his life and soul – hints fall at how bad the day has been for him. How many disrespected a seemingly unworthy king? The beat of his heart is strained, uneven. She knows this subtle drumbeat, like the feeling of pushing her head underwater.
He smooths his fingers through his wavy hair, it seems more a desperate gesture, a cry of one drowning.
"...I'm sorry for complaining like this. I've..had a long day."
Images flash before her eyes and she knows. He need not say the kinds of injustices he ensures on a daily basis. She'd willingly fight his battles for him but some things she cannot win for him and the only thing she can offer is whatever comfort there is to be had.
She closes the book and takes it from him. Outside it is dark and he is pale like night sky and stars.
"Then you should rest, you can begin studying more tomorrow. You could hardly absorb all the knowledge needed to be a king in one night's time."
"..You're right. You're always right. – but of course I mean that in a good way, not as an insult or anything of that nature. I hope you would never take it as such–"
"I know," she says.
He smiles then, a weary, burdened smile but the first she has seen in a long time.
"Thank you, Micaiah," he says. And she hears the unsaid gratitude really, what would I do without you?
"Sleep well, king Pelleas."
He lifts himself from the enclave of books and dusts himself off.
"I should clean these before I take leave, though," Pelleas says.
"You're a king, no one will fault you for a few piles of books."
"Oh... Yes, quite. I'd almost forgotten for a moment. Um, I hope they won't be too burdened."
"I'm sure they won't."
"Then...good night, Micaiah."
She inclines to a bow, but it is unnecessary. King Pelleas never demands such formalities, especially not to her. With his presence the humming, hazy white montage of feelings dissipates. There is just the silence and the night as her companion.
The view outside the windows captures her eye. She moves closer and touches both hands to the cool panes of glass. Through the condensation she can see Daein. It is painted midnight blue, a shade similar to his hair. Deep outside it is mountains and craggy, angular points. It is forbidding, the soil is so hard that each person living here must fight against the earth itself to bring forth life in such ground.
And she loves every harsh point of this land.
It is their country. She knows he wants to guard and guide and save this land just as much as she does. She feels it over the countries of his body, she knows it through his stutters and ungainly clumsiness.
Deep inside there is a gentleness, a still and a hope and because of that she believes in her king, right or wrong.