No one could ever really understand the depths of the pity that Eridan Ampora felt for his little princess. Least of all Feferi herself.
He had come to acknowledge this fact after ages of confusion and pining and attempts at rivalry with her other suitor. Feferi would never understand, and he had come to be alright with that fact.
It still hurt, there was no doubt about that. Being shoved aside from what had been a good thing in and of itself, their moirailegiance...it would have been a painful blow even if he hadn't been feeling so flushed for her. But what was that saying, if you pity someone, set them free and hatefuck the guy they left you for? Yeah, something along those lines.
Bitter? Yes, one could say that Eridan was. But he had the perfect right to be. After all, didn't he have far more right to the affections of the tyrian blooded beauty than the dirty piss-blooded landdweller? Wasn't it his birthright to be within the royal circle?
Wasn't it right that someone who knew what she was going through should have her hand?
Someone who could see her painful struggle to obliterate sweeps of class and racial divide that were pointless to even attempt to combat?
Someone who saw how much it stung her every time she had to feed her lusus to keep her people alive?
Someone who knew just how hard it was for her to live up to her destiny?
Eridan couldn't count the number of times he had helped Feferi through her life. She was a foolish girl with ridiculous idealism and a kind heart, and he pitied her for it. Oh, how he pitied her. It was no way to live in troll society, much less a way to rule. She needed him as much as he needed her, he had always been sure of it. But then it all seemed to have faded away...
But oh, if she had been his. He would have treated her like a princess, the way she deserved. She would have no more need to deal with the harshities of their world; he would protect her thoroughly from anything life could throw at her. She would have been gifted the greatest of treasures, adorned in jewels and finery; he would have shown her every depth of the ocean and height of the sky, the planets at the furthest reaches of the Alternian empire and beyond. Her life would have been nothing but beauty and music and that magical smile of hers.
He would be sure that her every day was brought in with the sweet songs of chirpbeasts crooning to the sky. Her eyes would open slowly, and he would be there to stroke her hair and wish her a good evening. He would accompany her through the gardens, tend to the affairs of her palace, be sure that only the most honorable and deserving and delightful of guests were graced with her presence. He would work harder than any man to be sure that her every waking moment was as pleasant and enjoyable as he could possibly give to her.
And when day would start to break over the horizon, he would take her dainty hand in his and guide her away, up grand spiraling staircases into their chambers, where they would be hidden from the burning stare of the sun and of the people. It was there that he would grace her with the tenderest of kisses, where he would draw her into his arms, where he would whisper into her finned ear how beautiful she was and how he would stay forever at her side.
From them would be born many beautiful, strong, noble-blooded young trolls, who would be sure to make the empire flourish and bring her glory. And as she looked proudly upon her precious people, he would have been smiling upon her graceful form, thrilled as any man could be merely to have made his Emperess' life as magical as it was.
But none of that was ever meant to be. There was no denying the fact that there had been a battle, and the lesser man had won.
Won the heart and body of his beautiful princess.
His rightful matesprit.
The lesser man had won.
Merely a battle was won.
The war would be his.