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For All Eternity

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The moment Jocelyn's body slumps to the floor you're suddenly hit with an overwhelming flurry of indiscernible feelings. Immediately you turn and make your way out of the Hall, for some reason you were unable to look at her for a moment longer than necessary. As you walk away your pace gradually quickens, and your eyes begin filling with uncontrollable tears that you try to blink away. You hear Alcina calling out to you as you leave but rather than turning around, you burst into a swarm of butterflies, speeding across the Castle, leaving everyone behind.

Eventually, you make it to your shared bedroom with Alcina. Practically breaking the door down you make your way into the room, scaring a maid out of her wits in the process. When she sees you she flees in a haste, leaving you by yourself.

The moment you're alone you collapse onto the bed, breaking down into sobs.

All the guilt and feeling of wrongdoing you had pushed down days ago suddenly hits you at full force after hearing Jocelyn's story, it was practically eating you alive. Your heart felt like it was being clawed out of your chest, the feeling debilitating as your body trembled. You could hardly breathe properly, your breaths instead coming out in heaving gasps as you tried getting oxygen into your lungs but to no avail.

Desperately you tore at the gear you were wearing, the sword and daggers are violently thrown to the ground, your jacket getting ripped off of your body as you tried anything to feel at least a tiny bit better.

You felt guilt, yes, your morals being questioned after so long of ignoring them. But the emotion you felt strongest was the utter feeling of patheticness. You felt so weak, small. Like you were this tiny little thing surrounded by the big wide world. You hated the feeling, despised it.

You've been surrounded by bloodshed and death for so long. It was your family's way of life after all. It didn't take long for you to stop batting an eye at it. You thought you were immune to it, believed you wouldn't give a second thought the moment you had to kill for yourself. And you did it to protect your family, so why was it tearing you apart? They were the ones that tried to hurt your loved ones first, was it so bad that you killed them in retaliation? It was a preventative measure to ensure no harm would ever come to your family, so why did it feel so wrong.

You curl yourself in a ball, trying to process this complex swirl of emotions you were feeling. What even was right and wrong? You didn't know if you knew anymore.

In your hysterical state, you see a figure making their way through the door. Alcina. She lets out a quiet gasp and in a few strides, she is sitting next to you on the bed. With a gentleness you didn't think you deserved, she pulls you into her arms, rocking you back and forth and soothing you softly. You grasped her dress as you sobbed harder than before, hanging onto her with all the strength you could muster.

The anguish you felt rolled over you in waves, each one seemingly worse than the last. You just couldn't seem to stop crying. Alcina takes note that her methods of calming you are not working, and adjusts you so that you were now straddling her waist.

Grasping your hand within hers, she places your hand on her chest so it rested directly over her heart.

"Shh, you're safe, my love," she says softly, running her fingers through your hair. "Just look at me, okay? Look into my eyes, focus on them, and feel the beat of my heart. Breathe as I do," she breathes in deeply, holding it for a moment before exhaling. You try doing as she does, albeit very shakily, but nonetheless, you feel yourself beginning to calm down.

Keeping your eyes on hers, you allow yourself to get lost in her honey eyes as you keep in time with her breathing, the familiar scent of her perfume filling your senses as you do. The steady beat of her heart thumps beneath your hand, keeping you grounded as the sorrow you felt slowly eases away.

Finally, you stop crying and adjust so that your head rests on her chest now, the sound of her heart soothing you greatly. Alcina only continues to hold you, one hand on the small of your back and the other resting on the top of your head. The both of you sit in silence, no one wanting to speak just yet. Eventually, Alcina takes the initiative to speak first.

"How... are you feeling, darling?" she asks hesitantly, testing the waters.

You let out a soft sigh. "Honestly I just feel tired now, Alci." Closing your eyes, you try to process what you just went through, she sits patiently, waiting for you to continue.

"I don't even know. The sight of Jocelyn just triggered something in me, nothing I could process. It was just... overwhelming. Like all the feelings that I had building up in me suddenly burst to the surface all at once," pausing, you take a breath. "How do you... how do you do it? Live with the feeling of guilt, knowing you kill people because you need their blood?" you ask softly.

You don't mean it in an insulting way, Alcina knows this, you just need to find a way to cope with everything.

It was all so new, and sudden. The attack, the cadou, the blood, the powers, the killing. Everything kept stacking on top of you, higher and higher and higher until you finally broke, unable to handle any more. So you needed to find a way to be able to live like this.

Alcina looks off into some far-off distance, thinking about her answer.

"I... suppose it's been so long that I haven't thought on it for a while. I think of it... as a necessary means to our survival, like eating and drinking for humans. We don't have much choice on the matter, after all, our kind needs human blood to survive. So we simply must make do with the situation we are in. Like how humans slaughter millions of animals each year for sustenance, we must do the same."

"Of course, there remains some humanity in our actions. I suppose you weren't very involved in our feeding processes before, but we don't go around killing people left and right. Typically it is people that have done us wrong, like Camila, or people that do more harm in the village than good. In the end, it's still better than becoming a Lycan, a mindless beast that loses themself. The people we feed on at least get to die as their own person." she explains. It eases your mind a bit, knowing that innocent people aren't getting snatched up and taken away.

"I know that wasn't very adequate reasoning for you, my darling. You have such a kind heart after all and only recently stopped being human, but we don't have a choice in this matter. If we want to continue living, we must do the things we do, monstrous as they may be." A pained expression settles on her face, and it hurts to see her like this. You place your hands on her cheeks so that she looks down at you.

"I understand Alci. It'll... take a while to get used to. But I understand." you say, leaning up and placing a kiss on her forehead. "And don't say you're monstrous. None of us are. Monstrous would be killing blindly without regard for anyone or their feelings, cruel without thought. We're not like that, we feel everything everyone else does, happiness, sadness, guilt, pain, love. As you said, we're only living the life fate has given us, there's nothing wrong in that." Alcina closes her eyes, listening to the words you say.

Turning her head, she presses a kiss to the palm of your hands, her lips lingering there for a few seconds before pulling away, looking at you once more.

"Thank you," she whispers as if that was what she always wanted to hear, and the look on her face makes you believe your words to be true too.

Leaning down, she presses her lips to yours and you share a kiss, tender and loving. A reminder that you both could never be monsters, for how could they feel a love like this?