the end

May. 5th, 2017 11:43 pm
twilightscribe: (lancer 05)
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Title: the end
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIV
Prompt: 004. the end
Pairing: Aymeric/Durae (WoL)/Estinien
Words: 1066 words

the end

Bands tighten around his heart, which has leaped up into a throat gone tight.

All he wants, in that moment, is to run to Estinien and hold him.

But though the figure before him is his beloved, it isn’t him.

Nidhogg roars, clutching his lance, “I am Nidhogg! I am of the first brood! And I will end you with mine own hands!”

His globe spins and Durae readies a shield for himself against the lance he feels must be coming.

It does not come.

Rather, the lance clatters uselessly to the ground. Nidhogg’s hand spasms.

“What–”

“It is not your hand!”

His heart leaps. Estinien.

Durae sends a prayer to each god that might be listening. Estinien is still in there, still fighting. It has not all been in vain; he can still fulfill that declaration he made to Alphinaud all those days ago.

“Estinien!”

Estinien jerks, his hand flies and grabs his own throat.

“Obey me!”

His voice, when it comes, is choked and weak, but still it reaches into Durae and eases the ache that’s been there since that fateful day on Azys Lla.

“Please,” Estinien manages. “You must end this now. I ask this of you, my love: Kill me now.”

His heart pangs.

No.

He puts away his weapon, glances to Alphinaud. Nods.

The internal fight going on between man and dragon is a fierce one. But it gives Durae and Alphinaud the opening necessary to run towards Estinien, to wrap their hands around Nidhogg’s eyes, embedded within the warped metal of Estinien’s armour, and begin the arduous task of pulling them free.

When his hands close around the eye, it’s as though every nerve-ending is on fire.

It burns up his arms, levin shooting through his veins. There’s fire and smoke in his lungs, choking his every breath.

But he does not let go.

Again, Estinien pleads, “My love, you cannot – you know how this must end. I’m sorry.”

I would gladly give my life for yours.

“Not like this,” Durae grits out.

I won’t lose you. Not you.

He remembers Aymeric lying in bed, wounded but alive and the fear that had pulsed through him had been real. It had been all-consuming. And he had thought of Estinien. Then, he had known that he could not bear the loss of either man; it would destroy him.

So, he ignores how his hands have been burned so badly that they’ve gone numb. Instead, he tightens his grip, pulls harder.

Don’t leave me.

Perhaps it’s a trick of exhaustion from the battle, or simply a hallucination brought on by Nidhogg’s eye clenched between his hands. But there is Haurchefant, his hand over Durae’s and he looks at him and smiles.

“Don’t worry, my friend. It will all be fine.”

His nails dig into the flesh of the eye.

It comes free, sending Durae tumbling backwards, as power and energy flood upwards and surge around him.

He can feel Nidhogg’s rage, his hatred and drive for vengeance clawing at Durae’s mind. Nidhogg is insidious tendrils skittering along the edges of his being, searching for some crevice or weakness to exploit and worm his way in. A new host, he seems to whisper. Feed me, fuel me, let me IN!

“Durae! Throw the eyes into the abyss!”

Aymeric’s voice cuts through the swirl of Nidhogg’s cloying thoughts, the tingle of power at his fingertips.

He lets the eye fly.

It’s not even out of sight before he’s at Estinien’s side, leaning over him, and pressing a hand lightly to his chest.

His aether is weak, still tainted slightly with the dredges of Nidhogg’s vengeance and rage, but it’s unmistakably Estinien. Durae’s throat tightens and he hunches forward, tears pricking at his eyes as relief sweeps through his exhausted, sore body. Whether he trembles from the force of his own sobs or the exertions of the day, he isn’t sure.

Aymeric kneels beside him, laying an arm about his shoulders, “My love…?”

“He’s alive,” Durae chokes, wiping at his eyes with clumsy, still numb fingers. His voice cracks, “He’s alive, Aymeric.”

“I know, my love,” Aymeric says, quietly. “And so are you.”

He kisses Durae’s forehead, lips soft against the skin and it’s all Durae can do to keep himself from sagging into the warmth of him.

“We must get him to the healers,” Aymeric says. “Lucia–”

“No!” Durae says, grabbing Aymeric’s arms. “I will tend to him! Simply–”

Aymeric smooths his hair back, holds his face in his hands, “Love, you are exhausted and need rest. We have been through much today – you most of all. Let the chirurgeons tend to him till you are recovered. I would not have one lover kill themselves for another.”

He’s trembling now, violently, but he can see the reason in Aymeric’s words. He nods, “Will you – I don’t want to…”

“If it pleases you, I will bring him to your rooms,” Aymeric says, softly. “Do not worry, my love. I will see that he is tended to until you are rested. I will stand watch myself.”

Durae wants to point out that Aymeric has been through just as difficult and trying a day as he, but the words die in his throat. He simply nods, grateful that, for once, someone else is taking charge. He will dutifully follow orders, so long as it means that his lovers are close at hand.

His legs are weak and tremble under him, but he ignores that and forces himself to put one foot in front of the other. He stumbles, but Lucia is there in the next instant, offering him her shoulder even as Artoirel helps the still shaking Alphinaud back to his feet.

And, beside them, Aymeric kneels down at Estinien’s side, “Allow me this, my love.”

Despite the fact that his own body must be protesting the effort, he makes no show of it. Rather, it’s effortless as he picks Estinien up from the ground, cradling him close.

Hraesvalgr bows his head, “May his recovery be swift.”

“Thank you,” Aymeric says. “You have my eternal gratitude for all that you have done this day.”

Lowering his head, Hraesvalgr looks at Durae, “It is not I you should be thanking. But we will see if your beloved recovers. For both of you, I hope that he does.”

And, with that, the great wyrm takes wing.

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