• The Lights of Avalon written by alkaline_frog, |PODFIC| by SANTAtheGREY (RotG, HTTYD crossover, HiJack. AuArthuriana) Transcript of the comic drew by the author and the podfic by the wonderful Santa. The narration is at the bottom of the post. Both are amazing

╰┈• “Hey, Jack?"


"Can you tell me a story?"

"Certainly, my good lord, oh honorable, noble, stunning Hiccup."

"Ha. You're hilarious."

"Sorry, sorry. Yes, what kind of story?"

"Hmm... Maybe one with...

Magic... and adventure. One of love... and loss. Of second chances... and new beginnings.

Does that make sense?"

"Hm-hm. Then I know the perfect one to tell."

"Oh, do you now?"

"Of course. This... is the story of us."

  • North of the Wind, West of the Wilds by spirallings (RotG, HTTYD crossover, HiJack. AuFairy Tale)

╰┈• Unwitting, Jack’s eyes fell to the crooked but gentle curve of Hiccup’s mouth as the prince smiled. It faltered a little when Toothless nudged his head further into his lap, then parted to show white teeth a little too large as he laughed, brushing snow off of the dragon’s brow.

I wonder what they’d feel like.

It came as a whisper and as it sunk in, Jack felt his face grow too warm for comfort and he had to look away, staring out instead into the dark clouds of the night, snow descending from up on high. He could feel it in his hair and on his face. The flakes melted against his too-warm skin. His strokes along Toothless’s tail were no less affectionate.

“I’m happy that he likes me,” Jack said softly with a smile. “I like all the dragons here, along with everyone else.”

Hiccup’s brows rose and he shifted slightly, just enough to not disturb Toothless. “Really?”

“Well,” Jack said, eyes glittering with humor, “I like some people more than most, but, yeah. I do. I.. I really like it here.”

Hiccup’s eyes lowered to his knees and he worried his bottom lip. “Do you really?”

“Yes,” Jack said, feeling not a sliver of hesitation. He was looking at Hiccup now and he wasn’t smiling. His lips were in a firm line, not stern; only self-assured.

He watched how Hiccup chewed on his lip. “Do you miss your home?”

Jack stared at the other male and upon seeing that vulnerable crinkle of the prince’s eyes, he looked away. His fingers curled against Toothless’s scales, his jaw clenched.

Bright green eyes slit open to glance at the two humans.

“I miss my family,” Jack admitted, “I think about them every day and I miss them horribly. I write to them as much as I can but, well, it’s never quite the same as being with them. I want to see them again, soon.”

Hiccup hummed and when Jack looked at him, he saw that he was smiling. It wasn’t a happy one; more sad, but also affectionate. “I know. You can go see them again whenever you like, you know. All you have to do is ask, and I can take you back.”

And you don’t have to return.

It was left unsaid, but Jack could still feel it in the air. It made him frown heavily, some annoyance curling up in his chest at how overly self-sacrificing Hiccup was; to forget about his own feelings for the sake of Jack’s, to go back on his own wants so that Jack could disregard his own promises and agreements. As if he hadn’t agreed willingly and consciously.

As if Hiccup believed that Jack’s own feelings weren’t as strong or as serious as his.

It infuriated Jack.

“I want to visit my family soon, but I’m not going to move back in with them. I’m not going to leave.”

Jack had always marveled at how still the air was whenever it snowed thick flakes, big as aqua marbles, and yet trickles of warmth still lingered in the cold air. He admired how the snow stuck onto everything. White crusted along the crown of Hiccup’s hair as the prince stared at him in astonishment, green eyes wide. His mouth was slightly parted, lips pink from the cold and teeth constantly chewing on them.

Now, the snow was even more pleasing and beautiful as it landed in Hiccup’s hair.

Steeling his resolve, Jack swallowed and continued, the words falling out of his mouth before he could swallow them shut.

“Hiccup, I love it here. I love being around the dragons everyday, knowing that they’re living in peace with humans and befriending them. I love the cold, the snow, the mountains, the sea that’s so close I can smell it every time I step outside. I can’t wait to see what Berk looks like in the spring or summer. It might be rough here but I think it’s beautiful. I like how everyone is just.. themselves, and I--”

Jack paused and closed his mouth before words he was not ready to say came out. He licked his bottom lip and felt Hiccup’s gaze on him, intense and piercing. Hiccup hadn’t said a word to interrupt him. He seemed too in shock to say anything.

Toothless was awake now and he slowly slid his head off of Hiccup’s lap.

Sucking in a breath and feeling more bashful and unsure than before, Jack continued.

“..I like it here, and I like being here with you. If I hadn’t meant it, I wouldn’t have agreed to come here and marry you in the first place. Idiot.”

Hiccup blinked slowly and a sudden chortle leapt out of his throat, higher pitched and almost disbelieving. His ears were red but there were hints of a smile on his face. The smile was almost there, but it was still too shy, too self-deprecating.

“You don’t need to tell me these things to make me feel better--”

“I’m not,” Jack snapped, frustration spilling over and shutting the prince up in an instant. “I’m not saying all this to make you feel better, I’m saying this because I want to and I mean it.” Sucking in a breath to calm his racing nerves, he sighed and his face softened.

He didn’t know when he edged closer to Hiccup, but their shoulders were just centimeters from touching now.

Jack could feel Hiccup’s breath on his face.

“I want to see my family, but I don’t want to leave Berk. I made a promise and I intend to fulfill it.”

Hiccup stared at Jack and he swallowed.

Jack followed the line of his throat and then looked into forest green.

Hiccup raised a hand to brush snow out of Jack’s hair, smiling at the scrunched expression on Jack’s face. “Sorry,” he murmured, “It was getting in your bangs.”

His smile was warm, small as it was, and the movement of his fingers was gentle. Jack looked at him and his body moved of its own accord.

Before Hiccup could lower it, Jack took the prince’s hand in his own while he leaned forward. Jack’s eyes closed and he used his knees to lift himself up, mouth parting, seeing a flash of Hiccup’s widening eyes growing closer and the snowflakes resting on his lashes before they fell shut.

Chapped. Thin. Unmoving but so very warm and soft.

It was only a mere press, quick and stumbling. A little peck and yet Jack still felt his heart in his throat, beating too fast for him to breathe normally. It was quickened and his face was far too hot.

Jack pulled back, both hands now gripping Hiccup’s. They shook a little as the reality of Jack’s own actions rushed to meet him. Face flushed, he pressed his own lips together and stared at Hiccup from beneath his snow-crusted bangs.

Hiccup’s mouth was parted and his eyes were wide. His ears were a stark red and he looked so adorably shocked, stunned and amazed that Jack couldn’t help his silly, teasing grin.

“For such a genius inventor, you’re kind of dumb sometimes, you know.”

His grin grew at the prince’s scoff and the upward twitch of Hiccup’s mouth. The prince was visibly startled and flustered still, but no longer did he look like a frightened rabbit caught outside of its den by a hunter.

“Still going at it with the insults and stuff, I see,” Hiccup rasped, smile slowly widening.

Jack shivered at how husky and low his voice was and his grin grew at the hesitant happiness that Hiccup was starting to allow himself to feel, visible in his face, masked as it was. Jack didn’t need to see the face beneath to see it--

All he had to do was look at those beautiful green eyes.

“Sorry,” Jack smirked, not apologetic at all. He sounded more confident than he felt. “That’s not going away anytime soon; you’re stuck with me.”

Hiccup tilted his head and he looked so hopeful that the smirk melted away in an instant.

“Are you really?” Hiccup asked.

Jack felt Hiccup’s hands squeeze his. Those fingers, rough and calloused, scarred from years of work and violence, shook against his own smooth skin. He squeezed them back and Jack gave a hard swallow, the smirk long gone and replaced with a more wry smile.

“Let me put it in a way that’ll finally get through that stupidly thick, stubborn, big-haired head of yours,” he started, ignoring Hiccup’s ‘hey!’ of protest and shutting him up with another squeeze of his hands. “If you asked me again, right now, I-”

Licking his lips, his smile widened.

“I wouldn’t hesitate.”

Toothless sat up and lifted his head towards the clouds, thick and heavy with the snow that continued to fall. He unfolded one wing and held it above the pair of humans, shielding them from the faint light of the moon hiding behind the churning darkness of the night and keeping the snow from interrupting them.

The dragon chanced a quick glance towards his human and the boy that smelled of the south. A soft, deep-throated purr rumbled in his chest at his rider’s happiness, so strong that he could taste it.

Jack’s hands released Hiccup’s and raised to the prince’s face.

Hiccup’s eyes widened, hysteric happiness dashed with fear, and he lifted his own hands to stop Jack---

But Jack’s hands landed on the back of his head, fingers lost in the thick auburn hair and Hiccup’s spine shuddered at his soft touch. He sagged beneath it and his eyes closed, palms clasping around Jack’s upper arms.

Their lips met in a proper kiss, soft and yielding.

Elation rushed through Hiccup like an avalanche and his hold on Jack grew just a bit more firm. His hands moved and they shook as, for the first time, Hiccup let himself hold the sides of Jack’s face in his palms, bringing him closer as he kissed him.

He felt Jack’s smile against his mouth and he returned it.

Hiccup’s lips were as warm and soft as they were the first time and they fit so nicely against Jack’s. And this time, Hiccup wasn’t frozen stiff in shock; he was returning it and his hands were on his face, holding him with such tenderness that Jack nearly vibrated from how warm he felt. His lips were warm, his hands were warm and Jack wanted to feel more.

Leaning forward enough so that their chests lightly pressed together, Jack wrapped his arms around Hiccup’s shoulders, pressing his lips against Hiccup’s with more firmness. The hand still in Hiccup’s hair tightened its hold when Hiccup returned the pressure in equal measure. He rubbed the pads of his fingers against the back of Hiccup’s skull and moved closer, their chests now pressing more fully against each other.

Sweet as the kiss remained, as gentle as Hiccup continued to be with how he held Jack, he wanted more and pressed his mouth harder against Hiccup’s after a short gasp for breath in hopes of deepening it. He was quickly becoming addicted to how Hiccup’s lips felt on his.

He just might have miscalculated how much he’d weigh pressed against the prince, seeing as not moments later, their heavier kiss was cut short by a garbled shout as Hiccup teetered backwards, falling right back onto the ground. He grunted as Jack fell on top of him as a result, knocking their chins against each other.

Groaning and rubbing his chin, Hiccup pushed himself up onto his elbows.

Half-laying on the prince, Jack hoisted himself up onto his palms and looked down at him, noses inches apart.

They stared at each other, their faces flushed, ears pink, and noses bright red from the cold. Snow was sticking to their hair and their clothes were growing cold and wet from sitting in the snow for so long.

Toothless cocked his head and pulled his wing back as he stared at the suddenly laughing pair in confusion.


Toothless sniffed and helped pull his rider up, grabbing the back of his flying suit with his teeth. The humans were still giggling amongst themselves and they smelled like each other. His human was smiling at the other, so bright and so happy that Toothless found the smell overwhelming.

The other human. He was happy, too. He couldn’t seem to stop holding Hiccup’s hand.

They were happy, and Toothless was satisfied.

Humans really were the silliest of creatures.

  • Snow-Crested Shrines by turkeyvultureinavest (RotG, HTTYD crossover, HiJack)

╰┈• Suddenly, the front doors get slammed open, a howling wind whipping into the room.

Everyone snaps around to the sound of the doors hitting the wall. Those doors were nearly as big as the building, built out of the thickest tree trunks of their isle. Hiccup could barely open them enough to squeeze through as a kid – they do not yield easily.

A couple Vikings rush over to force the doors closed, and the room calms again. It’s around the same time as everyone else that Astrid notices the wind still blowing even with the closed entryway. Murmurings pick up, and Astrid stands up a bit straighter, peaking over shoulders towards the entrance. A bundle of snowflakes twirls from the doorway, swirling and dipping on some unknown breeze towards the front of the room. The crowd parts for the little swatch of snow, people scratching their beards in confusion. The crowd closes the gap to form a half circle around the phenom. The bundle twirls in a circle in the center of the room, and then-

The breeze twitches upwards, and two individual flakes stop midair.

They look frozen, hovering. The crowd gasps, leaning in to watch. Astrid squints – and in front of her those two flakes become eyes.

Well, he certainly chose a dramatic entrance.

Jack materializes slowly, almost hesitantly: first the face, white hair curling around an invisible finger before falling onto a head, powdered snow dusting the floor in its wake.

Then, the rest of his body comes shimmering into existence, cloak rippling behind him before draping itself over his shoulders. Glinting jewels and metals adorn his neck almost in a wreath, overlain by a thin layer of frost, glimmering like diamond dust.

The rich dyes in the clothes are deep, exaggerating the contrast with his white hair and pale skin, and Astrid suddenly remembers all the free-time Hiccup used to have, how he spent one winter holed up and convinced he could become a tailor if not a dragon killer.

She sees those months now spread out in the elegant embroidery dancing along Jack’s shirt sleeves: he dressed him up like something to be worshiped. Wonders if Jack knows he kind of is, in his own way, by the hands that made those clothes.

By the bracelets and small wrappings around his wrists and hands adorned in stones and fairy bells, solid silver to glint against the firelight. Those that can’t fit on his arms and neck are wrapped delicately around his staff, the crook laden in chimes and dangling carved charms.

Once he fully forms, his bare feet touch the floor, like his body is finally given weight. His expression is blank, face passive. Not the laughter greeting them at the Edge, not the casual entrances, sneaking into rooms to be tackled by Toothless. Not cold, but… not the warmth she’s used to seeing, that kind brought by familiarity.

Astrid has never seen him materialize in front of her before, he’s always flying down from somewhere, barking out some joke that has her forgetting just who is before her. Is this the man that Hiccup found in that blizzard?

He looks…otherworldly.

  • Deseos Inconfesables by AobaRitsu (RotG, HTTYD crossover, HiJack)

╰┈• Busca un sitio en el que tu corazón sea libre y vive atado a lo que ames.

╰┈• El dolor se fundió con el placer.

La inocencia se había ido.

Dos corazones latían a un mismo ritmo, era amor.

  • Invisible To All But You by forkdotjpg (RotG, HTTYD crossover, HiJack)

╰┈• As soon as he left the doors and was out of sight he bolted down one of the pathways carved into the rocky hillside. The afternoon was still pleasantly sunny when he finally made it to that lovely peaceful hill. The nymph sat there comfortably in the grass, looking over at Hiccup when he approached. Hiccup was about to spew apologies for keeping him waiting, but Jack smiled warmly as he stood.

"What took you so long? Were your new fans swamping you again?"

Hiccup just groaned, shoulders sagging as he slumped forward into Jack, face buried in his chest.

"That bad?" Jack said, raising his brows and giving Hiccup's shoulders a pat.

"You have no idea" Hiccup mumbled, his voice muffled. Jack Frost giggled, wrapping his arms Hiccup and gently rocking side to side with him before slowly leaning back, floating the two of them to the ground. Hiccup's voice softened, his arms rising to return the hug.

"That's not what I wanted..." He said quietly. "I-I wanted this..."

"You worry waaay too much, Hiccup." Jack said matter-of-factly. "The day's not over yet, is it? There's still time!"

"No, i-it's not that...!" Hiccup said, sitting up a little. Jack's brows pursed in worry, seeing the look on Hiccup's face. "They want ME to kill the dragon in front of the whole village, ME!"

"But you've never even hurt a dragon! We made sure of that!" Jack said.

"It doesn't matter to them, apparently." Hiccup mumbled, rubbing his eyes with his palms. "Gods, when my dad hears about this..."

There was a pause between them, a swell of what-ifs brewing in Hiccup's mind until he felt a gentle touch on his face, cold hands on his cheeks pulling his head up. He was met with Jack Frost's gentle eyes, his features etched with a soft look of sympathy and understanding.

"They can't make you, I won't let them. I won't let them put you in danger like that." The nymph said, his tone turning serious and his brows pursing again. Hiccup sniffled, still exhausted and trying to get a hold of himself.

"What am I supposed to do now...?" He asked, his big sad eyes striking Jack right in the heart. "I don't want to let everybody down, but I can't kill that dragon..!"

Jack's furrowed brows eased, his hand rising slightly to pat Hiccup's hair. Hiccup closed his eyes, leaning his head into Jack's hands, his frown straining.

"We could always run away." Jack said softly. "Take a little vacation... forever." He was half-joking, trying to lighten the mood a little; he expected Hiccup to shoot it down right away. But Hiccup stayed silent save for one sharp exhale that could have been either a laugh or the start of a sob. He put his hand over Jack's on his cheek.

"Together...?" Was all Hiccup said, his voice small. Jack Frost's eyes widened, his cheeks turning pink. The grass around him froze over slightly, the blades twinkling with frost. In the air, tiny flakes of snow formed, falling to the ground.

"Always together..!" The nymph answered quickly after his surprised pause, lifting Hiccup's face up to meet his gaze. "You and me, Hiccup."

Despite the bright sunlight he saw Hiccup's pupils dilate.

"Just you and me..." His voice grew even softer, his thumb gently running across Hiccup's cheek. Even though the moment was serious, Jack could hardly help himself from admiring Hiccup's face. For a moment, just a moment, he considered doing something dangerous. It wasn't as if he hadn't wanted to before, after all. He'd had it all planned. Hiccup's birthday was going to be the day he said something, the day he made his move. He didn't mind waiting around for Hiccup to finally show up, but he minded if Hiccup was upset. He was mindful that this situation was sensitive.

But, god, the way Hiccup had said that one word...

He didn't say no, Jack would have even expected a don't be ridiculous... But no.


Hiccup's heart pounded in his ears, yet ironically it was the safest he had felt all day. Jack took Hiccup's hands, squeezing them.

"And who cares what they all think? Because you and I, we'll have a great time, we'll be fine!"

Hiccup was thinking of what to say next, when a snowflake fell softly onto his nose. He blinked, eyes fluttering as a soft haze of sparkles danced across his lashes momentarily. After rubbing his eyes, he noticed that the weight of anxiety in his chest didn't feel so heavy all of a sudden. In fact he felt strangely comforted. Nobody had ever understood him like Jack had, nobody had ever bothered. In a slightly selfish way he was glad nobody else could see his nymph. How lucky was he to have somebody so kind, so smart, so optimistic? Jack saw the fun in life when Hiccup could only offer dull sarcasm. And how he loved that.

Jack's eyes widened when Hiccup's shoulders began to shake, worried at first that he may be crying until a laugh crept from his mouth. Jack was prepared to comfort him if he was in tears, but this had caught him by surprise.

"Hiccup, we don't have to-"

"You know what..? Yeah, you and me! Let's go, let's... I'd run away with you..." Hiccup met his gaze once more, his face softening from that manic high. After a pause, as though to reaffirm it, he continued, "I would..."

Jack's snowy eyes twinkled, his lips slightly parted. Hiccup felt strange, yet the feeling was familiar by now. He felt it every time Jack Frost smiled at him, every time their hands brushed, every time he woke up with the nymph's sleeping head resting against his shoulder. He felt it every time he held himself back from leaning just a little bit closer. Today... It was going to be the day Hiccup finally said something, he'd had it all planned. And by now, Hiccup was tired of the obstacles, the distractions. He was tired of waiting. Jack's cheeks grew pinker as Hiccup leant closer to him, no longer holding back.

"Any day..." Was the last thing Hiccup whispered before he closed his eyes and pressed his lips gently against Jack's. The first thing he felt was a flare of cold as Jack froze up, the grass and air around them struck with ice, but a second later it practically melted away as the nymph wrapped his arms around him, squeezing him tightly. Hiccup always thought he'd be far more nervous for his first kiss, but he felt strangely light and free. Perhaps that's just what it felt like if you found the right person, he thought.

The kiss, though feeling like it went on for eternity, lasted only a gentle moment before Hiccup cupped Jack's face in his hands, pulling away but not far. Jack's pink cheeks complimented the stunned twinkle in his eye.

Hiccup was then met with a playful shove.

"Damn you, Hiccup Haddock! You stole my moment! I had a whole speech planned!" The nymph said with a big smile, before pulling him back in by the fur jacket and peppering his warm cheeks with kisses. Now that the barrier of affection was broken, Jack was wasting no time. Hiccup squirmed and laughed, his cheeks growing red.

"You too, huh?" He said, smiling crookedly before holding the nymph's face and kissing him once again. This time they didn't break apart for a minute, eyes closed and tranquil.

Jack's heart was pounding in his ears, his chest filled with an unrelenting happy flutter. His grip loosened on Hiccup's jacket, once-tense shoulders relaxing completely. He couldn't remember ever feeling this elated. He'd kissed him, oh gods, Hiccup had taken him by the face and actually kissed him! Any worry Jack ever had about Hiccup being with somebody else melted away.

"So, what does this make us...?" The nymph asked softly once they parted again, the sunlight catching on his icy white eyelashes. Hiccup leant his forehead against Jack's, opening his mouth to speak, when his first word was cut short before it was even uttered by the sound of a twig snapping nearby. Hiccup's head darted up, eyes scanning the treeline. Oh no, had he been followed?

  • A House Built by sunflowerwonder (Homestuck, JakeDirk, royalty. Part 1 of A House Built, and Other Royal Fuckups)

╰┈• “I used to come here when I was younger,” he says. Then stops short. You watch his body stiffen as if he’s said too much. You lean your head towards him, coaxing him to continue.

“Nightmares,” he continues, a bit quieter. “I got tired of sitting on the ground.”

“Ah,” you say, “I’ve heard such dreams are fairly common in Derse.”

“Yes,” Dirk says. He stills in his seat. His pale complexion beneath the lighting of the moon masquerades him as a statue.

“…Though I imagine you and Her Highness will return to Prospit long before they start to affect you,” he continues.

“I imagine so,” you reply.

“There are ways to sooth them, you know. Local remedies,” he says.

“Is there?”

“Yes. Alchemic mixes, natural compounds, Rose swears by a particular blend of tea–”

“It must be nice,” you say. “I’ve heard the dreams can get quite violent. Tentacles crawling up your neck, dreadful beasts whispering in your ear–”

“There are ways to avoid them,” Dirk repeats. His voice wavers. It pitches up at the end, cracking like a young page’s.

You stare at him.

“There are ways to counteract the effects, if you,” He stalls.

“If I?”

“If you,” he says, slow and deliberate, “…were to stay longer.”

The still of the forest sinks into your bones in the subsequent silence. You attempt to look through him but fail. His face is so honest. His mouth so innocent. His eyes so amber–as golden as the finery of your bedroom back home. The glint of familiar color sends a warmth through you.

Prospit. Your birthright. Reflecting in the eyes of a poor, dreadfully inexperienced Prince with a taste for male attention and no way to obtain it.

You dip your nose close to his. He does not meet your gaze.

“I’m flattered by your offer,” you say.

“But,” he tacks on for you. Bitter. As if he is expecting it.

“I already have a home, Your Highness.”

“Dirk,” he says, exasperated. Borderline desperate. “My name is–”

“Dirk,” you interrupt. “My home is a floundering mess. Our fields have been burned and our food is short. We have not raised an army in seven generations and have no means to defend ourselves from outlying territories.”

“That is hardly your fault,” Dirk says. “Blame your ancestors. They are the ones who built a kingdom on perishable wheat and precarious treaties. They are the ones who–”

“I am needed there.”

He immediately pulls back. You did not realize he had leaned so far forward in his sudden passion.

His side of the bench suddenly seems so far away.

“I’m holding negotiations with Her Highness come sunrise. I will see what Derse can spare.”

You need more than what Derse can spare. You need almost everything Derse has in order to scrape by.

“Dirk,” you say. He inhales a deep breath when you speak his name. “I–”

“Can I kiss you,” he interrupts.

You stare at him. A sore swallow slides dryly down your throat.

“May I kiss you,” he says, correcting himself. “Please.”

You don’t tell him that you were expecting to do more than that tonight. You don’t tell him you thought him easily seduced. You don’t tell him how hopeless he looked at the moment, clutching the fine material of his cloak in apprehension and unrequited feelings.

You don’t tell him you’re just as desperate, if for different reasons.

You lean forward, and press your lips to his.

It’s unexpectedly somber. A silent, pitiful affair drawn out by a low cry from the back of his throat. His hands grip the unruly strands of your hair and when you threaten to pull back they hold you to him.

“Stay,” he whispers against your lips. They’re not as soft as you expected from a royal. “If you feel the same of me, you’ll stay.”

You may have been a bit dense in your youth, but even the lowliest of fools can sense when they are given an ultimatum.

You do not tear away from him. Instead, you stare deeply into the wheat-gold of his eyes. They were clouded with infatuation. Jaded with desperation. With eagerness. With hope.

You were never meant to be a manipulator.

“I think…” you choke out, words caught in your throat. “I think I’d like to return to my quarters, now.”

With a stoic face, Dirk releases you.


Jane’s eyes are wide when Dirk places his offer on the table the following morning.

It’s a literal table with a large map of Derse and its border states carved in striking detail upon the surface. Dirk has littered it with chess pieces–pawns outlining bartered trade routes and a handful black, horse-shaped Knights designating the Dersian Calvary to be stationed around Prospitian borders. Scraps of parchment are strewn about, calculating percentages of Prospitian debts to be worried over when the lot of you were back on your feet.

A council of Derse advisors sit around Dirk’s side of the table. They grimly look from the offer–heavily generous towards your broke farming nation–to the price: three ships, a handful of trade routes, and you.

“Absolutely not.”

Jane’s shrill voice echoes against the negotiation room’s stonework. She reminds you of a mother boar you once stalked on a hunt, bristling in front of her vulnerable children.

You look to Dirk, his face impassive, but don’t say a word.

“You have my offer,” he states. His voice is stone cold. You have little idea how he could be the same man who kissed you under the murky visibility of moonlight. Who begged for your attention, your affection. Who laid his heart bare for you to consume, only to be abandoned.

You suppose, bitterly, that this was your comeuppance for leaving him in the courtyard.

“I don’t bargain with human lives,” Jane says. Her tone carries an air of finality. She will not let you go.

“And exactly what, dear princess, do you think armies are made of?” Dirk replies. He’s remarkably levelheaded for someone with such a positively batshit offer on the table.

Jane splutters. Her anger was rare but notorious in your kingdom. “What decent use does a Dersian prince have for a member of Prospitian royalty?”

Rose’s words echoed:

Present. Gift. Truth.

You were playing his heart to save your kingdom. Now he was forcing your hand to obtain reciprocation. It was the same delicate dance that had always existed between Prospit and Derse; the kingdoms of light and darkness, good and evil, locked in a stalemate. To think things had changed was foolish.

“I’ll do it.”

Everyone in the room turns to where you had been effectively ignored the entire conversation. You stare only at Dirk.

“Jake, don’t be ridiculous,” Jane scoffs. “I am not desperate enough to sell off my own cousin to–”

“Derse has been right generous with their offer.” You lock eyes with the prince and refuse to move. “It would be a token of good faith to offer up an ambassador.”

“Ambassador,” Dirk repeats. He mouths the word pointedly, as if tasting it.

“Jake,” Jane cries. Her hands grip your arm. You break eye contact with Dirk to face her.

“It’ll be quite alright,” you say. You nod, once, at her. It’s slow and deliberate.

She shakes her head, mouth forming an objection.

“Jake,” she repeats. “I refuse to let you–”

“I’ll be an ambassador,” you reply.

Her voice lowers to a harsh whisper. “If you think that’s all you’ll be–”

“For Prospit,” you say. “I’d be anything.”

For the first sturdy truce between Derse and Prospit in history, it’s a surprisingly somber experience.

Hands are shaken. Papers are signed. Jane looks ashen throughout the affair. When the bulk of the newly hatched treaty is finished, she excuses herself to her rooms.

You answer questions. The current state of Prospit was something you were knowledgable in. You tell Dirk and his advisors of the most profitable lands taken from your kingdom, the direction of the attacks, the bulk of the foreigners’ numbers, and the coveted valleys destined for the next ambush. Dirk adjusts chess pieces accordingly. You avoid looking at the white knight he places next to the black queen. A pretty white stallion surrounded by enemy lands. It makes something deep in your chest ache, to see Prospit reduced to a chess board. To see you nothing but a captured pawn.

“I don’t love you,” you say suddenly. Right in front of the war table, the Dersian council, the servant boy who almost drops his wine pitcher. Your cheeks burn hot.

Dirk doesn’t react but his movements do freeze.

“Why Jake,” he says, finally, gesturing towards the measures of peace and protection in front of him. “Relationships have been built on far less.”

When you were young, your Grandmother taught you how to carefully shoot a gun. She told you that it was powerful but it wasn’t a plaything, and that if incorrectly used the backfire could surely kill your small form.

You toyed with the Prince of Derse’s heart. You deserve the bitter-tasting gunpowder hurtling towards your face.

╰┈• You have gotten a haphazard layout of the castle by now, and after three wrong turns you manage to navigate your way back to your designated rooms without an escort. The quarters were now permanent. Littered about with Prospitian artifacts that looked far too out of place to be comforting. Jane had left a remarkable amount of her things here, in some effort to make it feel like home, but it hardly helped.

You haven’t even turned to close the door yet and your prince is there again. As always. With silent footsteps and a tight, impassive frown.

“I’m afraid I’m feeling rather ill. I’d like to be excused for the evening,” you say to him. Your voice is empty. It sounds strange passing over your tongue. Dirk lingers in the arch of your doorway. “…If His Highness would grace me the luxury.”

“I want to apologize,” he says.

You raise an eyebrow and move to rest a hand on the heavy door.

“Hear me out,” he interrupts, his hand extending to place itself over your own. You don’t move a muscle.

“I’m not in love with you,” he says. States, as if it were a royal decree. “I know what you did. I know why you did it. I may be foolish enough to fall for the oldest play in the parchment roll, but I’m not that desperate.”

You nod, once, at him. But if he was looking for an apology from your end he would have to continue his quest elsewhere.

“But I am fond of you,” he says, softly. “And I want… I want to make this right…”

His words melt away when you lift his hand into yours and softly bring it to your lips. You bend your waist. Strands of thick black hair curtain your view. Your breath ghosts over his knuckles and you feel the heat rush to his face without needing to glance up to see it.

“I want to apologize,” he repeats.

You look up, and find yourself smiling. “If you wanted to make up for soiled ground you would have let me return to Prospit.”

“I can’t do that.”

“I know.”

A thumb, worn ragged from gun usage, traces over the skin of his hand. He has callouses too. A fighter, you think. At least you were equals on that front. You briefly muse what kind of weapon would suit him.

“You know?” Dirk seems perplexed, the light behind his eyes flickering in confusion, looking for an answer he–for once–does not know.

“I know why I am here,” you say.

Dirk’s cheeks darken more. “I’m not going to touch you–”

“I’m here because I needed an army,” you say. “And you, as you’ve so clearly laid out in your terms, needed a companion.”

Dirk fails to comment.

“A fair trade, I think.” You drop his hand. “Dirk.”

Dirk looks a bit struck at the bluntness of it all. He pulls his hand back and rubs at it, as if burned.

“Is that all we are,” he says. His voice has lost it’s princely echo. He frowns. “Is that all we’re ever going to be?”

You think on this for a second. Trace the edge of the door with fingers that return to it.

“If you’ll allow me to quote you, Your Highness,” you say. “Relationships have been built on far less.”

You tell him you’ll see him at breakfast the following morning, and promptly shut the door.

  • A Spark, A Flame, A Fire by callmearcturus (Homestuck, DirkJake, royalty. Part 2 of A House Built, and Other Royal Fuckups)

╰┈• You push your way to the front, only resting when you have both hands on the smooth marble of the barrier and a clear view of the throne room.

Your voice catches in your throat.

The Queen sits upon her golden throne, her gown spilling cerulean and gold, down in a cascade. With the tall windows surrounding her, she gleams in the light, and for the first time your Janey looks like a ruler, her head steady and lifted against the bulk of the Prospitan crown with its high points and mirrored suns.

Twenty feet away, standing before a regiment of uniformed Dersian soldiers, stands the Prince of Derse. The daily finery of his that you’ve grown so used to is missing. In its place is a severe military attire, its form closely fitted to his body, midnight violet with silver epaulettes and buttons, a long hanging cloak swishing silently against his boots and the carpeted floor. Upon his head there is no crown, but a helmet, obscuring his face with metalwork, the impression of a sharp beak and splayed feathers highlighting the angles of his face.

With his sword drawn, staring down your Queen, he doesn’t look much like your Prince at all.

“Treason is a powerful word, Prince Strider,” Jane says, voice carrying without volume, as though the entire room bends its ear to hear her.

“It’s a powerful crime against a sworn ally,” Dirk says, flat and inhospitable as a salt plain.

“And how does the alleged crime justify your invasion. You march upon my city for what? The hearsay of black magic and bird squawks?”

“You came to me in the harvest, starving and in need of assistance. I gave it, and for my mercy you’ve dragged your nation back to its feet only to repay me with theft and violence against my heirs?” Even from afar you can see the pale fire of his eyes. “I’ve crushed people for lesser acts.”

Jane leans forward. “I don’t know the theft you speak of, and yet you come to me while my kingdom mourns the last of the English name, lost while in your care--”

“You maintain that the Prince is dead?” Dirk snaps back, cutting her off, drawing a gasp from everyone.

Jane breathes deeply, furious at the affront, eyes flashing. “My own cousin--”

He does it again. “Yet lives in these halls, Your Majesty; I did not ride up to your useless fallow kingdom on a guess.”

This is getting out of hand, and you can’t bear to stand by. You shove two raptly watching courtiers out of your way in your haste to reach the stairs. One turns to see who’s so rudely shoved him, and lays eyes on you. Awareness dawns, and he lets out a wordless gasp, pointing.

It draws more eyes. You ignore them and put your hand on the stone bannister, keeping your eyes on your feet as you descend into the throne room proper.

There is white noise all around, cresting, rising in volume as more eyes inevitably follow the movement in the room and find you.

Steeling yourself, you step out, and look up at the Prince and Queen.

Jane has gone ashen pale, her lips pressed into a white line. You can’t help but admire her poise; otherwise, she’s still, giving nothing away.

Even so, you know that… there is something incandescent and furious just behind her eyes.

You probably deserve that.

And Dirk.

The Prince of Derse stares at you, still as a statue and unblinking for a long, agonizing moment.

Then, in one movement, his head snaps back to fix upon Jane. You feel it like a fish hook brutally yanked from your chest.

“What say you now, Radiant Queen of the Sunburst Throne?” The quiet is deafening, like a physical pressure wrapping around your ribs and squeezing. He takes one step forward, head bending almost like a bird’s, a mockery of curiosity. “What stories do you have for me now?”

“Your Highness--” you begin.

“Be silent, Jake.” Jane’s voice hits you like a whipcrack, and you freeze, lips still parted.

The Prince… smiles. It’s not a kind thing to see, no gentle curve of his mouth. It’s angry. It’s angry like you have never seen before.

“If the Queen has nothing to say and has her Prince leashed, then I humbly offer my own words. I only hope they are adequate to repay what I have been shown.” The Prince lifts his blade, pointing it at Jane. “I declare the kingdom of Prospit a kingdom of snakes who bite the hand that protects them. You came to my court, Jane Crocker, and asked for aid, and I gave it. And this is how I am repaid.”

Jane stands, and if the silence could go hushed, it would. “You are so quick to damn us. With one hand you offer salvation and with the other, you embrace the very nation that seeks to burn us out. We are not some songbird that will be caged within your cold talons and the Empress’ claws. Your charity is unwelcome when it comes at the price of our freedom.”

“My aid was not an act of charity, Queen, but as part of a deal. One you have broken.”

For just a second, Dirk’s eyes cut to yours, and hold.

The chasm stretches.

The Prince looks down the line of his sword like a rifle. “Here is the new deal, Your Radiance. I demand your crown. If it falls to me to save your kingdom from your treacherous heart, so be it.”

The quiet of the room shatters like glass as it erupts with gasps and shocked exclamation, horror and fear in the eyes aimed at the Prince. A few people you see hurry out through the side doors. The royal guards flanking step forward in anticipation, putting themselves between Jane and Dirk.

This was never supposed to happen.

He sheathes his sword. “Prepare for surrender or prepare for war. I’ll see to your answer in the morning.” His cloak swings with him as he pivots on one heel and stalks down the room, his soldiers parting like water and closing again behind him as he takes his leave.

It takes everything you have not to fall to despair right then and there.

╰┈• “I know I’m not.” His fingers tap against the desk, eyes downcast. “I… need you to understand. You can’t leave Derse again. You can’t return to Prospit ever again. Not after this. But I don’t want it to be a-- a prison. So, there’s a fort. You may even like it. You’ll be away from the Court itself, away from the obligations of it. You can do as you wish.” He looks at you, through his lashes. “So long as you stay.”

“You could do a better job of explaining,” you say, faintly. “Why am I leaving? Are you… sending me away?”

Dirk’s entire body goes tense, hands clenching, shoulders tightening, until he breathes out again, slow and painful-sounding. “I can’t keep you here. I can’t continue doing this, Jake, out of this--” he stops, shakes his head hard. “You drive me mad. And I cannot keep putting you ahead of Derse. Apparently I’ll do anything in the world you ask of me. It’s like you’ve put me under an enchantment, but Roxy’s checked for that. So no, this is just how I am.” A small, delirious little laugh breaks out of him. “I tried for so long to just keep you at arm’s length and wait for it to pass, but I’m out of my mind, I rode out to take a kingdom and instead I took you.” He lowers his arms, hanging long and bereft at his sides. “Again.”

The cold visage of the other Prince is gone, so thoroughly you can scarcely remember how it wore Dirk’s face. Now, you watch him nearly wilting as you stare at him, turning away from you to lean on the desk, breathing deeply, as if through an injury.

“I refuse to be a mad king like my father,” Dirk says quietly. “And this, this shouldn’t happen, I’m supposed to be…” He presses his fingers against his chest, over his heart, before letting them fall to his side again.

You step closer, and Dirk nearly flinches, looking… raw and hurt. “I spared Prospit for you twice now. What more could you want of me?”

It’s all slowly settling in your head, and you offer the words as you put them together. “Is that why you think I’m here?”

“I don’t know.” He leans further onto his desk, bending like a frozen tree. “Nothing has gone the way I intended, from the very beginning of this. And that’s my fault.” He huffs out a self-deprecating laugh. “Have I ever told you I was sorry? I don’t remember.”

“Considering the alternative--”

“Do not,” Dirk says gravely, “give me platitudes of how I was less cruel than I could’ve been.”

This was not what was supposed to happen. You thought that you’d… that he understood. “And if I don’t want to go? You and Jane both, you made me into a pawn in your game. No, sorry, a knight, was it?” Dirk flinches again, eyes shutting. “Is that all I am to you?”

“No,” Dirk says. “That’s the problem. And it’s mine, and it’s my weakness. But I… want you to be happy, and I’ll see to it you have anything you desire.”

“Anything I desire,” you repeat. “Then let me be clear.”

When you bridge the space between you and the Prince, he straightens, leans back with a wary look, like he expects something in particular. You’ve faced off with him before in this room, and know what he’s waiting for. A strike. And you’d bet what final possessions you have in this world that he’d welcome it.

He’s even waiting for it, eyeing your hands considerately before telling you earnestly and whisper soft, “Go ahead. Make it count.”

You don’t punch him. He’s hurt enough, by you or by himself or by the circumstances that brought you here. Whatever it is, it’s done as far as you are concerned.

You reach up, take his face between your hands, and pull him down far enough to kiss him.

╰┈• Already, he is worried. You reach back, take his hand. “Let’s…” You cast around for the right thing as Dirk watches you. “Take a walk with me?”

You offer your arm, and see the small realization on his face. This moment, but almost a year ago. There is a slight hesitation there, the memory of when you didn’t know how to handle the coldhearted yet demanding Prince of Derse, were ready to bed him for what he could give you.

Everything, changed by time and this small spark nurtured to fire.

He joins you, arm threading through yours, still looking a little mystified by it all, like he can’t fathom you being here.

“Do you have to… see to things? The things Roxy mentioned?” You keep your voice pitched low, as if his duties might overhear and leap upon him from the shadows.

“Hm, no. I will, but if things required my immediate attention, she would have said. I have time for you.” His thumb strokes your hand slowly. “Could we… would you come with me?”

The familiarity of it is so strange. You might even take a similar path from before, down to the lower level and around the long curved corridor that encapsulates the courtyard. You get the idea before he even opens the door for you, and while you wish you’d had the chance to retrieve a coat beforehand, you take to the autumn air, holding out your hand until Dirk takes it again.

He does, the warmest thing you have to cling to right now. You refuse to complain about the chill just yet, though, just let him lead you past the scattered seating, the open area he uses for his sparring, and into the copse of trees, clustered dark and deep.

You don’t know when the last time he took this path was, having never spotted him disappearing into the trees from your window, but he still clearly knows it well. You follow his steps as best you can, footfalls matching his to avoid the less hospitable bits over undergrowth in the way.

He holds a branch out of your way so you can emerge and stand upright, in the little not-quite-clearing in the middle. Here, it’s much darker, with the trees blocking much of the daylight, though the shafts of light that make it through are bright and lovely. It’s less intimidating than the last you were here. You wonder if that’s an effect of the day or of time.

The ornately carved bench beckons, and you sit, putting your hands between your knees to warm them. As soon as Dirk notices, he takes them both, breathes against your fingers, and presses them with his.

“It’s too cold for sentimentality,” Dirk says apologetically.

“I can survive a few minutes.” You squeeze his hands lightly. “This is where you come for… nightmares, and for privacy, if I recall.”

He nods. “I want to… talk.”

Silence stretches, as Dirk strokes your knuckles and stares at your hands. His pale pallor looks nearly sunbleached white against your darker skin. You admit you find it captivating too, but not enough to let the quiet sit so long.

“Dirk,” you prompt.

“I did mean it. It’s foolish and not something a person in my position should say, but I would… give you anything you desired. But I can’t send you home. Do you understand that?”

“I did when I climbed on your horse,” you inform him gently. “I love Prospit. I think I always will. But there… was no place for me there. Nothing but a lonely life on an island.” You inhale deeply. “I think… here, I can be more than a spare heir who puts his Queen at risk.”

Dirk lets out a hard breath. “The, ah. The entrance from the stairs was certainly not the kindest thing you’ve done for her. Though if you hadn’t, who knows where we’d be.”

“Warmer places, by the ocean,” you say truthfully.

He lifts his eyes to yours, solemn.

“Don’t look at me like that,” you tell him. His face is as warm as his hands, and you trace his furrowed brow with one finger. “You asked me once if I was unhappy here.”

“You said no,” Dirk says. “But before--”

“Here,” you tell him, cutting him off curtly, “I have tempestuous children to dote on and a very good friend who indulges my wanderlust whenever I ask, and. You.” His eyes turn so hopeful, you can’t help but smile. “I’ll miss it. And I’ll… always be Prospitan. I’ll always regret how things went. However.” You tap his temple, narrowing your eyes at him over your glasses. “I made a choice. If you try to spare me from my own decision again, Dirk, I swear--” You take another deep breath, forcing your voice to remain steady. “I am still learning how to… want things. To say what I want. To not just sit around and hope someone will take the bloody hint,” you shoot him a little glare, “and put me out of my misery.”

Dirk blinks and his mouth forms a little oh of surprise. “I didn’t realize. Though this, erm, new tactic of yours is… helping. I’m not really used to a direct approach, but.”

“Well,” you say darkly, “thanks to my indirect approaches, I nearly lost everything I’d come to care for. It’s a singularly motivating event, let me tell you.” Dirk nods slowly, eyes a little wide. You lift your eyebrows. “Is that a problem? The-- forthrightness?”

“No. Whatever-- however you want to do… this. I’m willing, and at your service.”

Even now, you can feel the twitch in his hands, the slight tremor to him. You’re sure it’s not from the cold. Even here, there is a tentativeness to Dirk. He’s so still, so bloody careful.

Scared, maybe.

You run your thumb over his face, under his eye, against the scattering of freckles there. “Your Majesty,” you say softly. “May I kiss you?”

This close, you can see how his pupils contract, the minute way he parts his lips to breathe. He nods, and you lean in, holding him there as you meet his mouth softly, watching his eyes slide shut.

After the night before, it’s strangely delicate. The slow sliding touch, his tongue dragging along your lower lip, deeper, but slow as slumber.

Parting, Dirk rests his forehead against yours, shaking a little. His hands run up your arms to hold your biceps. You smile. “I love you, you know. Even when you drive me mad. Maybe especially. You do it a lot.”

His eyes flutter open, then widen. “Jake.”

“There is a strange thrill to honesty, I must say,” you add jovially. “Like the first breath of air after a long dive.”

“You do?” Dirk asks, a second behind you, looking lost and vulnerable and so, so far from the stonehearted man you’ve seen in his place. Both of them fit the same shape, but this man, desperate and hungry and sweet, is yours, you think.

You have always wanted something of your own. It just took a rather long time to sort out what that was.

In that secret place in the heart of Derse, you kiss him until he starts to believe you.

sep 15 2023 ∞
oct 8 2023 +