A Grisha Trilogy Fanfiction
"I'm going to go find you a healer and then I'm going to bed," my hand reached for the bolted door and the sound of the click as my shaking hands unlocked it sent a surge of relief at the prospect of leaving all this madness behind.
"Look at me, girl."
My hand was already pulling at the handle and I dared not look back and risk being sucked into more of her lies, and even worse, that I might begin to believe it all.
I should be planning our trip north. But I'm not, am I?"
I could still feel the texture of his lips on mine, his hips pressing up against me, his hand trailing closer and closer to my thigh. The rush of heat I felt coursing through my entire being with each beat of my heart. Just the memory set my body and mind ablaze.
I guess I'm asking you to trust me.
"I'm sorry Baghra, but I don't think I'll be coming by for your help anymore. Goodnight," I unleashed a bright wave of light that surrounded me in hopes of blinding her. I rushed out and closed the door behind me before she could do anything to keep me there any longer. I ran back the way we came, my heart beating with fear that she would unleash the secret power no one knew and keep me there forever. I ran up the spiral staircase where I could see light escaping through the cracks in the bookshelf that served as a secret entrance. I pushed through and did not stop running even after I could hear the sound of people's voices around me.
Without realizing where my feet were taking me, I was standing in front of door marked with the Darkling's symbol, the very doors I knew belonged to the war room.
A part of me was desperate to see him, wanted him to ease the tinges of doubt Baghra had created inside of me. Without thinking I opened the door, and every occupant in the room turned to look at me. Oprichniki and Grisha stared in confusion, but I merely gave them a passing glance before my eyes settled on the figure I was looking for. His quartz eyes bore into mine with curiosity and confusion from his place at the end of the table where he sat. He must have seen something in my own eyes, for he stood up.
"I'm afraid I will have to cut this meeting short, I will call for you when I need you again. Please, feel free to enjoy the festivities offered by our dearest King."
No one seemed upset or ready to question the Darkling and bowed to him before nodding towards me on their way out. I saw Ivan linger at the back of the group, but one look from the Darkling seemed to tell him he was not needed. As he passed me he smirked and winked at me but I ignored it. I heard the sound of the doors closing and suddenly the realization of what I had just done came to me.
I was alone with the Darkling, the very Darkling who only moments ago Baghra had accused of being the very being that had created the Shadow Fold hundreds of years ago. But that had been lies, hadn't they? The lies of a deranged old woman who didn't know what she was saying. So why did his approaching figure cause my heart to beat with fear? I had been afraid of Baghra and I had come to the strongest being that could protect me from her, but I had forgotten just how fearsome he truly was. Such immense powers held in a lithe and beautiful body that called out to me and made my knees feel weak.
"You seem shaken. Is something wrong?" his low voice pierced my thoughts and made me panic. I didn't know what to tell him, I hadn't sorted my thoughts enough to be able speak them a loud so that I did not sound crazy myself.
"I… uh…" the storm of thoughts in my mind didn't allow any words to be formed and I merely shut my mouth and stood by the doors. I felt lost and embarrassed at how idiotic I must look, especially after the incident in the room when I had been so close to giving in to him.
He was right in front of me now, studying me closely and I felt as if he could see right through me and into my bare soul.
His hand rose up to touch my face and I flinched from his touch without meaning to. I was surprised at my reaction, and I could tell that so was he as his eyes narrowed slightly.
"Did I overstep my boundaries tonight Alina, is that what troubles you?" he looked hurt as his hand retreated back.
"No! It wasn't that, I… I didn't mind that," I reached out and took a hold his hand, the familiar tingles shooting up my arm from where we touched. I could feel his eyes boring into me, but I avoided his gaze.
"Then what is it?" he stepped even closer, his free hand cupping my chin and turning my face towards his. He leaned in so we were mere centimeters apart.
"Let me help you."
And with that I felt my doubt dissolve and my will bend to his.
"You told me to trust you, and I said I would, and that's what I did tonight. I just want to be sure that I won't regret it later."
His eyes seemed genuinely concerned and a bit suspicious.
"Did someone say something?"
I hesitated, not sure if it was right to tell him about Baghra. What she had spoken of was practically treason to the Darkling, and who knew what he would do to her if I told him about what had happened. Baghra was not my favorite person around, but she had helped me refine my powers too. And I didn't want something bad to happen to her either. But I also couldn't go back to training with her, not when she spoke of such crazy things, not when I was afraid of what she might do next.
"Alina," he whispered as he brushed his lips against mine, "You can tell me."
My eyes fluttered shut for a second as he brushed his lips against mine again, and my heart pounded in my chest.
"Baghra came to me tonight and took me to a secret room somewhere. She was talking nonsense, saying I had to leave tonight. She said that you… that you were the Black Heretic who created the Shadow Fold and now planned to use me to expand it and use it as a weapon."
I watched as his eyes darkened and his lips turned down into a frown as he leaned away from me.
"I knew that old hag didn't like me or my plans, but I never thought she would be capable of going to such lengths and try to deceive and scare away Ravka's only hope in order to foil them."
I could hear the anger in his voice, and I was still afraid for Baghra.
"Please, don't do anything rash to her. She must not have been in her right mind tonight."
The Darkling looked at me for a long moment before his lips turned into an amused smile followed by a chuckle.
"And still you try to protect her. You are truly a righteous one, Alina Starkov," he leaned in and cupped my face before kissing me passionately on the lips.
"And I can't help but keep wanting you more."
All thoughts disappeared as I gave in to the feeling and returned it. In a flash I remembered what Mal had said.
Just admit it. He owns you.
The pain that accompanied his memory was piercing and I almost stopped kissing the Darkling then and there, but I forced myself not to. I had let Mal go, and he had given up on me. So what if in a way the Darkling did own me and so many others. I didn't care that it was true. At least he made me feel valued and wanted, he gave me the passion and trust that Mal had not.
But I hated that my heart still ached for him and his approval of my new life.
He pulled away and leaned his forehead against mine, his shining eyes soft as he stroked my cheek.
"Thank you, for not believing her."
And just like that I forgot about Mal. I smiled at him, glad that I had left that room before I almost did believe Baghra. I leaned against his touch and enjoyed the warmth it brought me, feeling suddenly more grateful and comfortable in his presence.
"I told you I would trust you."
Something flashed across his eyes at that moment, something I couldn't quite recognize, but before I could regard him further he pulled away and grabbed my hand.
"Come, let us enjoy the rest of the night."
On our way back to the palace I saw the Darkling say something to Ivan that made his face turned serious as he nodded and marched off in a hurry. I could only imagine that he given him some orders regarding Baghra. I wondered if she was still in the same room I had left her, or if she had escaped and gone somewhere after I didn't listen to her. Surely she wouldn't have stayed unless she believed I wouldn't tell the Darkling of what had happened. I felt a thread of guilt at the thought that she could place such a trust on me, but shook it off. She was not sane. I did what I had to do.
When we returned to the ballroom, the party was still in full swing. Men and women alike were more drunk and laughed hysterically and swayed as they made their way around the large room that. Just as before more guests approached us, although I did not miss how they seemed wearier while in the presence of the Darkling. I couldn't say I was surprised, I knew the feeling as well as anyone.
Once again it seemed impossible to get a break from the guests, until the Darkling grabbed my hand and pulled me to the dance floor where others were waltzing. I flushed as I looked around and felt as if everyone had stopped to look at us. The Darkling took my hand and placed his other on the small of my back and it only took a moment for me to match the lead he took.
"What do you think is more likely, them staring to see the Sun Summoner, or because they didn't know you were capable of dancing?" I couldn't help but ask.
"Did you think I was not capable of dancing?" he asked with a bemused grin.
"Well, it's not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Darklings, but I guess you should have fun at least once in a while," I was never very good at waltzing, as Ana Kuya had often pointed out while she tried to teach Mal and me. She said everyone should know to waltz, but only she could turn something as harmless as learning to dance and making it feel like a torture exercise. But all those training exercises with Botkin had made me lighter on my feet and more in tune with rhythm. I soon forgot about the stares we were receiving and merely enjoyed the sound of the music as I swayed and looked into the Darkling's quartz eyes.
"Who said waltzing was fun, I merely did it to get you away from all those guests. You seemed overwhelmed."
I raised an eyebrow as a thought entered me.
"What do you consider fun? Interrogations, torture, prancing through the woods and picking flowers?"
He laughed and I felt my heart flutter at being able to cause it.
"Yes, maybe, and… no."
He looked off and seemed to think for a moment as he took the opportunity to spin me.
"I enjoy riding on horseback," he said as our eyes met once more followed by another spin.
"I also enjoy having time on my own and…."
"And….?" I pried. He smiled.
"Why don't I show you instead?"
We made our way off the dance floor and through the crowd of guests to the doors that lead to the outside. We walked to the lake where I often came with the other Grisha to practice and found a spot away from people that littered close by.
A part of me was wary being so far from everyone and surrounded by the darkness of the night, not to mention the thought that Baghra might be lurking about.
"Are you afraid?"
I saw his gaze watch me closely under the illumination of the moon, waiting for the answer.
"Well actually… I feel a bit uneasy."
He turned back to gaze out onto the lake.
"I do not blame you, it is instinctual to be afraid in the darkness in all creatures that do not belong to it. My darkness is the reason people fear me. They see it as a place of secrets and where things are kept and locked away, it makes them weary of things they cannot see and understand. It is the reason others don't trust me."
It was true, I was a testament of someone who feared and didn't trust him… and yet… so many were still drawn to that darkness. And I was no exception.
"But you did Alina. You trusted me when no one else might have."
I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything and waited to see what he wanted to show me.
"Darkness is consuming and overpowering, as you can see from the Shadow Fold. But you can see it at night too. And there is only one thing that can pierce that darkness, and that is light. Look how the moon and stars shine amid the night."
I did as he said, looking up at the full moon that filled the sky tonight, saw its reflection on the lake and the way it illuminated the surrounding area. I saw the random pattern of stars that littered the sky and even recognized some of them.
"I may be a creature of darkness, but even I can enjoy the beauty of light shining through."
I had never heard him speak like this, but I was drawn in by his words. I often forgot just how insightful he was, being over a century old must give a lot of time to learn a lot about yourself and form opinions of the world.
"What about the sun?" I asked, curious to test his knowledge and opinions.
"The sun is powerful, able to wipe out the darkness completely. But I think it is more beautiful this way, when darkness and light intertwine and give each other room to still exist in harmony."
I remembered our demonstration back at the palace, the way his darkness and my light had danced and worked together to create an astounding show even to me. I smiled, and agreed that there was a sense of tranquility and wonder when you stared into the sky and looked at the moon and stars in the night.
"I enjoy being among the night," he said as he gestured to the scene around us.
I nodded, suddenly seeing it in a whole new light.
"It is beautiful."
I felt him move behind me, and felt a thrill of excitement as his arms wrapped around my waist from behind and felt his warm breath on my ear.
"As are you."
I felt heat rush to my face and all over my body, my heart raced and I sighed in contentment. I was exhausted from today's events. The festivities and the incidents with Mal and Baghra had taken their toll on me. And yet, they were at the back of my mind as I leaned back against the warm and solid form of the male behind me. How was it that someone who I once feared could be the one to bring me comfort on a day like this?
If Baghra and Mal had done anything tonight, they had brought me closer to the Darkling.
Authors Note: Okay so I just finished reading Shadow and Bone, and even though I just knew that the Darkling was going to turn out to be the "bad guy"(I still don't think he really is), I was still hoping it might not happen. So I had this giant plot bunny that wouldn't leave me alone. At first I was going to make it take place after they enter the Fold and have Mal killed off, but then I realized it would be harder to think of content that didn't include so much hate on Alina's part, cause well, I'm Team Darkling all the way :) so I thought, hey! What if she doesn't listen to Baghra and runs off! How could things be different? And voila! Here it is.
The title translates into "Trust" in Russian and there will be a lot of discussions on that, as you probably already saw. I have plenty to add to the Darkling's character and I'm pretty excited to do it, as long as the author doesn't get mad at me since we won't know his full history until the other two books are published. BUT its fanfiction so I hope none of us take it too seriously! I am in no way making money off of this, unless you count reviews, that are currency for my muse *hint*hint*.
I saw that there is only one other fanfic for this category, which is better than none really! So I was just glad the category was there to begin with. And since the only other fanfic is Malina, here is a Arkling/Darklina? Yeah, I'll go with Darklina for those I KNOW are rooting for the Darkling. And I hope not to disappoint.
That being said, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. And since my muse is strong with this one, I should be able to post up again soon as long as I see people are coming across it and like it too.
Reviews are welcome :)