A/N: I AM SO SORRY THAT I KEEP LETTING LIFE GET IN THE WAY. Scratching Cats! University is not easy :( There is a lot of work that I have to do. I'm sorry :( I'm in the process of changing my major from History to Drama right now so things are getting a little hectic on the academic front.
Bramblepool: Thank you for complementing my grammar? And death handling? No one's ever complimented my grammar before, so I'm not really sure what the right response to that is...? But thank you very much. It really means a lot :)
Second Daughter of Eve: I've missed you, bro. You know how much I love driving you into a depression ;)
nenya61192: OMG I AM SUCH A HUGE FAN OF YOURS! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED TIKAL! HOLY GOSH! Okay. Fan-girl freak out over. *carefully pulls down cardigan in attempt to salvage dignity* Thank you :)
Anon: I wish I knew who you are so I can properly thank you, but thank you...?
He was sitting in the car watching the landscape go by through the window. The beautiful Austrian countryside passed by in a rush of greens, yellows, and browns. Alek watched his country go by in a blur, it seemed like it had been only a few days ago that he had been awakened by Volger and Klopp and told that he was to pilot the Walker at night. It had not been days, he knew, but instead years. Nevertheless, the countryside was timeless and ethereal, constant in comparison to the rapidly changing world beyond its borders.
So much had changed. His life had changed. Alek himself had changed in so many innumerable ways. The stiff, conceited, and naïve fifteen-year-old prince was no longer present in his stance. No more was there air of superiority that had once been his identifier. No, that was all gone. In that young boy's place, now stood a clever young man, whose eyes were wise beyond their years, and accepting to anyone who was in need of acceptance.
Alek glanced down at the sleeping form of his wife, her head was resting on his lap while her body was curled up to fit on the two other seats of the back of the car. He stroked her fine, white-blond hair, letting the thin stands tickle the in-between of his fingers and the softness envelop his hand. Deryn looked so at peace with the rest of the world. Nothing could bother her in her sleep anymore; not since they had gotten married. There were still nightmares, of course, but they were now less frequent and only came after provocation.
The car hit a hole in the road, so Alek and Deryn flew to the top of the car. Deryn was abruptly awakened by the sudden jolt, and immediately sat up.
"What?" She asked, still a little dazed and groggy. "What's happened?" She looked around, taking in her surroundings.
"You're fine, love." Alek said to her. "We're in the car, remember?"
Deryn squeezed her eyes shut, and rubbed them angrily. "Yes, I remember." She said, a slight whine in her voice. "How long do we have left, anyway?"
Alek pulled out his gold pocket-watch from his jacket and checked the time. As always, he was greeted by Deryn's smiling face within it. "A few more minutes." He assured her. "I remember this road well. We just have to turn onto the next road and we'll be at the back entrance to the Palace."
"Right." Deryn said through gritted teeth. He knew that she hated this, the whole welcoming that they had to go through for Alek's coronation. They had to make their way out of the car and walk down the enormous staircase of the Palace to greet the media and the people of his country. Deryn could deal with the people and the press, that wasn't the issue. The issue was the clothing. Deryn had refused to conform to the traditionally stiff Austrian garments that Volger wished her to wear. Instead she wore what the fashionable city ladies of London wore. The fact that it was a dress was an improvement from earlier years. The fact that it was short and, well, shiny, was only slightly problematic. It was the best compromise they were going to get.
"You'll be fine." He assured her, sensing her worry. "Everyone loves you."
"Ha!" She laughed sarcastically. "They don't love me! They think that I'm a no good, godless, Scottish suffragette with the intentions of corrupting the Austrian monarch and turn him into a feminist." Deryn looked into his eyes through her own narrowed ones.
"Those aren't your intentions?" He asked sheepishly.
She slapped his arms lightly. "I'm serious! And don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about, I read the news, you know."
There was no way to get around that one, so he went with the other approach. "I don't care what they think. I love you. And that's all that really matters anyway."
"Nice try, your princeliness, but that doesn't work on me. At least not anymore." The car came to an abrupt halt and Deryn looked out the window to the large, looming castle ahead of her and squirmed slightly in her seat, the tassels on the hem of her dress swayed and caught the light seeping in from the window. Alek laced his fingers through hers and squeezed her hand lightly. Her shoulders relaxed only a bit.
Alek understood why she was nervous. Hell, he was nervous. He was going to take over a kingdom. "You'll be fine." He told her, although the words held more comfort for him than for her.
The car came slowly to a halt and an attendant opened the door. It was Alek who stepped out first, as he was the man, and then, as a good gentleman, he waited for his wife to come out so he could help her down the steps. Not that she needed him anyway. Deryn would do what she wished on her own terms, even it meant letting her lead a revolution again.
A/N: The title is a reference to the eponymous song by You Me At Six. It is an incredible song and I just can't stop listening to it. Here's a link: watch?v=dXrlPZYBvcQ