The Heart Of Forever
Introduction & Disclaimer
Title: The Heart of Forever
Spoilers: The Bewitchments of Love and Hate.
Date Posted: September 2004
Disclaimers: All characters, etc, associated with Wraethuthu and everything else all belong to Storm Constantine. I’m just writing this for fun and love of the fandom, and I’m making no money off of this.
Story Summary: AU-ish. From Terzian’s and Cobweb’s points of view. Just a little look inside the head of the dying Terzian, and at the end a peak inside Cobweb’s. Has the additional pairing of Ashmael/ Cobweb.
The Heart of Forever
Ah, Cobweb. My dear, faithful, never appreciated concubine. Although, you are no longer faithful, or mine.
Lying here, dying and decrepit, all I’ve had time to do, whilst not longing for him, is think. Though I’m loathe to admit it, even here in the secretive dark, to myself, the other har plaguing my thoughts is you. You’ve always loved me, and I’ve always shut you out in return, and I’m not sorry. Yet, despite all I’ve done to you, you’ve stayed by my side, given me my fine, traitorous, beautiful little Swift. I’ve always claimed him to be mine, but he is you all over. He has your looks- that pale, soft skin and large, haunting dark eyes, and your heart. He’s always been more yours than mine.
Funny how approaching death can make us face the truths we’ve always known deep down but ignored. You’ve never been like that, my once-faithful one. You have an inner strength and resilience- the strength of woman- that let you face truth, that let you stay by my side and love me. Either that, or fear of the outside world kept you here, in Forever’s nurturing womb. You know very well the cruel, hurtful dark things out there in the world. Perhaps you truly do belong in the womb of Forever, where it’s an easy, luxurious life, except for the heartache I’ve put you through. Then again, true happiness never would’ve made you happy. You’ve always bloomed under tragedy and misery. The most beautiful, most tragic flower of Forever…
Ah, another thing I can no longer claim. My back stabbing son now holds Forever’s heart, is its new master. But Swift, he is mine; it is my blood that flows through his veins. Blood traitor of a brat though he is, he is still partly mine. ‘Ah, no, not yours, Terzian. The blood, yes, but the rest… Swift is all me.’ Those large, mysterious eyes of yours tell me, Cobweb.
Here is where I’d refute you, snap and tell you you’re mine, you pretty, dark little bauble. But this isn’t true; you’re no longer mine. You are still here, at my side, yes, but you’re no longer mine. I can see it in your eyes, swirling in your secretive depths I’ve never been able to understand. It is only pity for a dying but strong and true to the last, fool that keeps you here.
Yes, tragic beauty, that much about you the once-mighty Terzian knows. I’ve always claimed to know everything that went on in this house. I was-am, am, no was-the lord of Forever, and I did know it all. Except for what went on in that fathomless head of yours, which was why I feared you and treated you as I did. But, for once, you waif of the moon, I have discovered one of your mysteries. Perhaps, on my deathbed, I’ve become less self-absorbed or more retrospective, or perhaps you’ve just let your veiled down more. Either way, it matters not, for I know. Yes, that’s right, I know you’re as much of a traitor as the brat that once passed between your legs and into this world.
Oh, how I’d love to see the look on your face as I told you. But all these things keep themselves locked inside this dying fool’s proud head. My body and spirit may be weak and broken, but I still have my pride. Even they haven’t managed to strip that off of me, although they’ve taken everything else. My strength, my town I built up with my own two hands, my son, and you.
Yes, that’s right, I know of you and the Gelaming Ashmael. I know it is he who has stolen your heart from me. You’ve never had my heart, but I’ve always had yours. I had it when I didn’t want nor appreciate it, took it as just another of my prized treasures, but now when I need it, for he isn’t around, it is no longer there. The Gelaming have taken everything from me.
And how would this fading façade of the proud, strong, warrior I once was know this? I’m sure, moon imp, that even you, with all of you secret, wise ways, wonder this. I’ve never been able to read or predict you-no one has, you’ve seen to that quite well-but I’d have to be blind, deaf and crazy not to know.
I can see it in the haze of your dark eyes, the way they sparkle. They’ve never done that for me. It’s the way you smile a happy, secret smile as you sit with me, staring out the window. Your mind isn’t in Forever; it’s in Immanion.
My presence isn’t even blighted from this earth yet, and already the only one I ever had has left me. I’ve never wanted your love; Calanthe has always held my heart, yet I’ve never been more than a game of revenge, amusement, to him. He bore my child then gave it to you. Ironic, isn’t it? You loved me, I didn’t love you; I loved Calanthe, long to see him one last time before I go. I have to; it’s the only thing holding me here. My desire for him, my last strength. He’s left me; he’s never loved me… But all the same, he’s given me a child, as have you. As you now have Ashmael.
Yes, secret cloud, I know of more than one secret of yours. There is a slight roundness to that flat, slim stomach of yours, and you often have a slender hand upon it. Your eyes shine as they did when you carried Swift.
Your traitory, and your warm, soft body, are all of you that I’ve ever know. Ashmael seems to know all about you. Or as much as you’ll let him. You’ve always loved being a mystery and having all the answers, leaving the rest of us guessing and afraid.
I hear about you and him in the hushed voices of the house-hara. Everyone walks on tiptoe, skirting around me, but I know. I always know, don’t I? I know all about you- that’s why you’ve now left me, forgotten me so easily, and given your heart to the enemy.
Terzian, your body now resembles the darkness in your soul. Dead and blackened ash. You’re gone, and forgotten. I suppose I should grieve for you, but there’s too much going on to be sad. Rest assured I still find time to be tragic and mysterious- how else could I keep Ashmael so enchanted?
But I’m alive and you’ve left no other endearment upon me other than Forever and my precious little pearl. My beautiful little Swift. Yes, Terzian, you tyrant, my son. My son, who has made me a grand-hostling, who is now the Master of Forever and Galhea, who brought to me Ashmael. They say Gelaming do no believe in love, but they do know how to be happy. And happy I am. It scares me, but in a good way…
There are too many memories, too many shadows, for me to leave Forever; I’ve no desire to see the outside world. Forever is my home, and Ashmael visits often, as do Swift and Seel, plus I have the harlings. Forever is changing, as happens in life, and I’m changing with it. But I know come what may, our hearts-and yours- shall always dwell in Forever.