A Drabblet by Heist
It is madness, Cassandra thinks, that she might find the love of a god.
She wakes in slow wonder, but flinches away at the double-vision. He warned her before, but she didn't truly comprehend the true meaning. Blink, and it is Hector's death. Blink, and the burning of Troy overlays the smoke-trails of dim braziers.
Apollo wakes, but his rising is languorous, a study in perfect carelessness. Her name falls softly from his mouth as he presses it against her shoulder. "Cassandra?" The syllables roll in honeyed tone, and she might shudder to hear them but for the nightmare before her eyes.
"I can't do this," she whispers, harshly, in the still air.
"Hmm?" Apollo's lips move upward, trail over her pulse to settle before her ear. "What, beloved?"
She pulls away from him, ties the bedclothes around her body and turns her gaze upon him. The visions cease while his eyes gleam into hers. "You didn't tell me," she accuses. "You knew!"
Apollo settles back against the pillows, uncaring of his nakedness. "Of course," he answers with a light shrug.
"I can't stay here," Cassandra murmurs, and she searches for her dress. She sees the destruction of the temple where they rest and gasps. "I have to go back, to warn them. Surely they can't know what's coming!"
"Cassandra," Apollo says, and there is a shadow to the lightness of his voice.
She turns to see the faintest hint of anger in his face. "You must have known I would want to save them when you—"
"—gave you such a gift?" He scoffs, and it is the harshest sound she has heard from him. "I gave the visions that you might see how you cannot stay among them. You must not remain tied to such mortal foolishness."
"They are my kin," she protests. "And I am still mortal."
In a moment, Apollo is beside her, pulling her into an implacable embrace. "Yes, and do you refuse me now that is all you will ever be."
"I'm sorry." Cassandra's voice breaks hoarse. "I can't stay with you."
He stiffens, and she imagines blades poised beneath his perfect skin to destroy her. "Imagine," he breathes into her ear, "how you might have saved them had you accepted my offer." She inhales sharply with comprehension and looks up at his unforgiving eyes. "You might have been a god, Cassandra."
Apollo raises her face, and the kiss is devastating; not even their first joining was so bittersweet. For a moment, the feel of his tongue in her mouth steals her words. "I have to go. I have to do something, warn them somehow…"
Apollo laughs bleakly, and his summer-colored eyes turn colder. "You will try. They won't hear you."
"Drown your tears in Troy's ashes!" he curses her.
Such a curse… They will say she is mad, that the well-meant words come from a ruined mind. And she will believe it.
There is madness in love, no less in mortality than in divinity. Cassandra knows, and thinks on Apollo's ways. He is the god of the tracing future, and he must have known this was to come. She suspects that even without the power of prophecy, she should have seen this coming.
It is madness to love a god, and pure folly if he is also the god of madness.
Notes: Rediscovered! I had entirely forgot about this until I was cleaning out my hard drive of extraneous ficbitsies. Enjoy.