Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners
Fandom: The Originals
Pairing: Trilijah – Elijah Mikaelson x Tristan de Martel
Genres: fanfiction, slash
Characters: Elijah Mikaelson, Tristan de Martel
Summary: Took place after Tristan tortured Lucien in The Originals 3×03 – I See You in Hell or New Orleans
Until the end of his life, Tristan could never forget how it felt to have his neck punctured by something sharper than iron and copper.
Until the end of his life, Tristan could never forget how it felt to have his neck punctured by something sharper than iron and copper.
Perhaps if he had never ventured into that shady passage in the corner of the west garden, none of this nonsense would have happened, and he would have remained ignorant of the walking, talking peril so close to his family and himself − there was bliss in ignorance after all. Nevertheless, how many ‘ifs’ would not suffice to alter the reality that Tristan had done the shouldn’ts out of his own arrogance. This castle had been home to the de Martels for generation after generation; why should the future head of the family deter his steps due to fright of a dark spot in his own garden? It was not only absurd but cowardly as well, and cowardice in any form or shape never bode well with his proud lord father.
Tristan spotted a shadow at the dead end of the passage and his right hand immediately went to the dagger lodged in his belt. It would be too cumbersome to carry a sword around in time of peace, so he opted for a smaller, more portable weapon and a well-whetted dagger was perfect. His father had had the exotic blacksmiths from the far East crafted the blade for his eighteenth name day and it had been Tristan’s favorite item ever since.
His ears picked up a whooshing sound and a whiff of crisp air brushed his cheek, seeping into his skin through the pores to raise a layer of goosebumps on his arms. The atmosphere seemed off somehow − unusual, condensed and ominous. It should have alarmed him into retreat, yet he ignored his visceral feeling and did the opposite: brandishing his dagger and bracing himself for an attack. He should have shouted for the guards right at the moment he saw a suspicious figure, later he would reflect on this particular incident, and when he decided to do so, it was a tad too late. Something clamped over his mouth − perhaps a large hand − and any attempted sound never made it out alive. At the same time his left wrist was caught in a vice-like grip. An assassin! His mind deduced. Strong enough to suspend the use of his left arm while cunning enough to bypass the myriad of guards to enter this central area. Someone of this caliber didn’t come this far for a simple sack of gold or jewel; he was determined for blood. The thought of his Aurora, alone and vulnerable in her boudoir flashed. A helpless girl made an easy prey; this scum would no doubt go for her first. He would burn in hell before he allowed it! His free hand that was holding the dagger raised, and all its strength was poured into a single thrust. He was certain the fine blade had lived up to his expectations, and the penetrating wound would be fatal even for a strong, robust man. However, not one to exult over a small triumph, he prized the dagger out of its fleshy grasp for another strike, this time aiming for the assaulter’s chest. Its tip had barely pierced the fabric when his wrist was seized with a pressure so sharp and intense he thought his bone might have already snapped. Were it not for the hand still covering his mouth, he would cry out. His strength fled, his hold was relinquished with sudden and acute introduction of pain and the weapon slipped from his tremulous fingers, clanging as it hit the cobbled ground. His back hit the wall due to a violent shove, the impact of which made his teeth clatter.
“Don’t move!” a voice inhumanly growled. Tristan couldn’t despite all of him was screaming to, pinned to the walls as he was now. The hand had never left his mouth, its long fingers imbued with virility digging into his cheeks as though penetrating the muscles to crush the bones. The vein on his neck was pulsating to the suffocating pressure on his jaws, protestant of such violation of which he had never been at the receiving end.
They were relatively imperceptible, the twin pinpricks on the side of his neck, as compared to surge after surge of pain on his jawline, yet he felt it so keenly as if it had dimmed out all other sensations to overwhelm his sensory system. Tristan hadn’t an idea what they were at first, until the warm, tingling dampness of soft lips in contrastive with scratches of stubbles gave him hints of what was happening. Truth be told, those were not new to him as the lord’s son had experienced on countable, sporadic occasions where he sneaked out of the castle at odd hours in the night to squalid taverns providing makeshift bed rest at the curtained back and only came back when the moon almost retired. Now and then he would get, encourage even, a scraping of teeth against his erroneous skin, but it never went beyond the definite borderline of playful tease and certainly it was never meant to hurt. What he was subjected to at the moment was the exact opposite: while it was, he admitted with a touch of shame, stimulating in a masochistic sense, to invoke pleasure was not its aim but something more sinister and perhaps impossible to conceive with the conventional logic. Though chance a noble son had bled was low but Tristan had had his blood spilled a number of times as per carelessness or overexertion during combat training; bleeding from the neck, however, was a never-before. He felt it leaving his body in gentle and steady current via the opening of his vein. How marvelous it was for so much blood to be contain in such small vessel, barely noticeable by the naked vision, and for it to be drained so quick. Yet blood wasn’t the only that left; together with it were the ache in his wrist and the biting pressure on his jaws. It was hard to tell whether they had truly drowned or he simply did not retained enough of his mind to be affected by them. The latter appeared to be the likelier case, for he hardly felt the cold, horny surface of the wall on which he was pinned against. In front of his eyes were a spot of black which was growing like a drop of ink in a bowl of water, but instead of thinning out as it spread, it gathered the water and stained it with the same essence. His sight was swallowed up by blackness, and his consciousness followed suit…
Tristan woke up to the sunlight scathing his close eyelids. He made no attempt to depart his old bed yet, having just returned to the land of reality from a peculiar dream, and while he was unsure what to make of it, its after-effect was the cause of his heart’s pounding against his chest. If it had a solid fist, his heart, it would no doubt punch through his ribs. The remnants of the dream in his memory bank was dominated by an obscure figure possessing bestial strength, the kind of which had nearly smashed his wrist bone, and teeth which were akin to man-eaters’. Or ‘fangs’ should be more fitting, considering how the dream had unfolded, further cementing his belief that the malevolent assaulter had been less than human.
Strangely enough, the beast in the dream had carried a sense of familiarity.
Tristan touched his neck, where he had received the pointed ends of the predator’s canine. A jolt ran through him as the tips of his fingers found unsmooth skin, marred by some sort of injury. He put his legs on the ground, intending to search for any reflective surface, when he realized how wobbly his knees were. As a matter of fact, his heart seemed to be the only part of him which was over-rigorous while the rest was beyond fatigue. His breathing was uneven, his temples and palms perspired, and he was plagued with sickening vertigo in a stubborn attempt to force his feeble knees to stand up. He covered his mouth to prevent himself from vomiting, though he doubted there was hardly anything in his stomach. He was frail and very sick, which struck him more than a simple surprise because he had been illness-free for a long time. He did not doubt there was a solid connection between his weakened state and the stinging sensation on his neck he was determined to figure out just what caused it.
Tristan found a basin of water and brought it under the light. His reflection appeared on the surface once the water was free of turbulence; he wasn’t too shocked when it shown two puncture wounds on his vein.
The tips of his fingers were smeared with brown-colored dust after he examined them, this time more carefully. It gave off a faint metallic tang and its rusty taste as he licked his finger confirmed his assumption that it was dried blood.
No wonder he was feeling so exhausted even though he hadn’t performed any laborious task, Tristan thought. His mind was beginning to collect scattered pieces here and there to put them together and form the whole picture. The weighing fatigue, the bloodied wounds, the fact that he wasn’t wearing his nightclothes and the absence of his favorite weapon on his belt all pointed to a conclusion that his memory of venturing into the dark corner in the garden was as real as his crusted blood on his hand. So were the rumors of savage beasts preying in the nights he had heard from a handful of frightened peasants. Being an innate skeptic carrying a relatively atheistic attitude, much to his father and the priests’ dismay, Tristan hadn’t been much bothered by the church’s teachings of evils lurking about. Yet it seemed whoever above had decided to make him see the error of his thinking by providing solid evidence of the darker truth beyond his ignorance.
He could have been dead − deprived of his blood and left out in the fields for the ravenous vultures like the victims rumored to be killed by the bloodthirsty creatures − but for better or worse, he was alive despite being burdened with fatigue and vertigo only God knew when would cease. That aside, what troubled him was a burning question: Why wasn’t him dead now? Was it simple carelessness that had made the beast overlook the state of his victim? Unlikely. If rumors turned out to be truth, which they were, then no-one had lived to tell the tale, all rigid cadavers dead for hours before they were found. Those monsters were ruthless as they were conscientious, which had no doubt played the key in their discretion until now. A swift, effortless twist of those steely hands or a simple choke and the Count’s son wouldn’t be on this earth to contemplate his survivor, so why the beast had not only spared Tristan’s life, despite logic, but also carried him back to his room? He couldn’t imagined the castle servants having discovered their injured and left-for-dead young lord without a ruckus to alert his lord father.
Although Tristan never thought himself a foolish man, quite the contrary in fact, he couldn’t fathom the motive yet.
There was another that added to his confusion. As his mind regained more of the missing fragments, the sense of familiarity also grew stronger while it had been vague before. The arms that had eradicated any shred of his resistance, Tristan believed he had tasted a fraction of their might in countless parrying matches. He had suspected their owner holding back the whole time, minding not to crush his ego perhaps, and now his suspicion was confirmed. If it was swordsmanship, Tristan was confident that he wasn’t inferior to anyone, yet in terms of raw strength and endurance, he was clearly no match. Last night had proven it.
Arms aside, it was the voice that gave him a true daunting sensation. True it was hoarse, bordering on inhuman, but the timbre, the thick, sort of outlandish accent, those weren’t easily masked by the rawness in the voice. To the ears hearing it almost on daily basis, it was even harder to conceal the identity of the speaker.
Not to mention the hearer was especially keen on voice recognition.
To learn that the monsters were living and breathing right under his roof, being wined and dined at his table every day… such notion gave him a bone-chilling thrill. They may have spared him so as not to cause a ruckus and get themselves exposed; still, if push came to shove, who dared guarantee they would not lash out and massacre the whole castle? With their superior in strength, even numbers weren’t in the humans’ favor.
As the holder of this secret, he had to tread very carefully.
There were knockings on his door, followed by Aurora’s sweet voice. “Oh Tristan, wake up you lazy bones. Don’t you want to be late and upset Father?”
All the jumbled thoughts and blood-loss-induced sickness had diverted Tristan from today’s schedule − a hawk-hunting with his lord father, which, Tristan admitted, was the last thing he wanted at the moment.
He pulled the collar high and tight, checked whether it safely covered the marks before going to open the door.
Seeing her vibrant with energy hit him with a pang of guilt. For all the time he had wasted pondering his attacker’s intention after awaken, he should have sprung out of this room and checked for her well-being first thing.
“I might have overslept a little,” Tristan explained.
“For goodness’s sake, brother,” Aurora gasped. “You look ghastly pale. Are you feeling unwell?” She laid the back of her hand against his forehead, the same gesture her brother often used to check her temperature. “And you’re really cold, too. You must be ill.”
“I probably caught a cold during the night,” he lied through his teeth. “Careless me. You go down first. I’ll change and be there shortly.”
“No!” Aurora protested, pushing him back with the strength of her petit body until they reached the bed. Amused by her, Tristan allowed himself to be forced to sit down.
To tell the truth, standing made he feel dizzy. He didn’t want to throw up in front of his little sister.
“You will stay in bed and rest,” she ordered with her hands on her hip, her trademark pushy little lady’s stance. “I cannot have you riding all day long in this condition. You’ll fall off the horse in any minute.”
That might very well be true, Tristan thought.
“Father and his ceaseless boring hunting. He won’t chastise you for missing one of those due to illness. Besides the Count du Guise’s sons will have all his attention occupied.”
The monster siblings. Tristan’s heart sank upon their mention. Could he trust them not to harm his father in broad daylight and the presence of many?
“Rest, dear brother,” Aurora said, gently pulling the blanket to his chest. “I’ll come back with breakfast. Your favorite.”
He nodded and closed his eyes in a pretense of sleep.
Thus Tristan spent the day in his bed resting for an illness he didn’t contract, with Aurora within arm’s reach to aid him with every big and small task he could otherwise perform on his own. The sight of Aurora busying herself like a fussy mother hen was his only source of amusement. She seemed excited being able to take care of him for the first time, her brother who was usually the one to care for her when she got sick. She even canceled Rebekah’s date for a picnic by the lake to be at his side.
He would tell her to go and have fun with her new friend if it wasn’t Rebekah du Guise. He had better not allow Aurora to come too close to them.
To Tristan’s confusion, at the end of the day, he received a surprise from Elijah du Guise, who had heard of the Count’s son’s illness and sent his best catch in his sincerest wish for his quick recovery. It turned out to be a full-grown stag that was sent to the chef to be processed into sumptuous dishes.
Looking at the pair of impressive antlers mounted on the wall of his room, Tristan honestly didn’t know what to make of Elijah’s intention.
To be continued