Summary: Sometimes, love can be found in the most unexpected places
Pairing: Namor/K’uk’ulkan x reader
Fandom: Marvel- Black Panther Wakanda Forever
Word Count: 8,262
Warning(s): !!There are/maybe spoilers!!, canon divergence, violence, slight/sort-of Hades-Persephone trope (I hope ☹), fluff
A/N: There are details in the story here that don’t exactly follow canonically, per se but I hope I got this right! I came across this post by @beautybyfire and I thought of giving the idea a shot. This is a very loooong piece too.
A/N 2: I hope I didn’t overdo it on the suit because I tried my best to keep it true as to the movies. And tbh, this isn’t exactly my best piece. But, enjoy and comments are appreciated! ;-;
The day was solemn, the skies were shining ahead brightly yet the air was heavy. [Name] hung her head low, the white veil covered her expression from the others. Mother held Shuri as she sobbed on the black casket before them. She felt the tight squeeze in her heart, eyes closed as she took a step forward. A hand placed on Shuri’s shoulder while another on her brother’s casket. “Death is never the end, brother. May Bast grant you peace in the afterlife with the ancestors,” She muttered. Mother wrapped her arms around both of her children, gently tugging them back as the Royal Ship took away T’Challa’s casket. Mother moved a hand to [Name]’s chin, her eyes filled with so much sadness after the loss of her son. The princess leaned into her mother’s shoulder, her cries silent as she mourned for the loss of her brother.
Life has to go on. T’Challa would want that.
A year has passed since T’Challa’s death. Everyday, by the river of her getaway home, [Name] prayed to Bast, praying that her brother was well with the ancestors and that She gave her the strength to push on every day. Life was hard after T’Challa’s death but she had to move on. As the middle child to Queen Ramonda and the older sister of Shuri, Princess [Name] was next in line to be Queen and the next Black Panther. She felt that it was too quickly for her to take up the mantle but she cannot leave Wakanda defenceless. So, she and Shuri got to work over creating a synthetic heart-plant. The siblings would spend days and weeks on the creation and even with the help of Griot, it was time consuming and everyday, [Name] prayed that their formula would work.
Her prayers did not fall on deaf ears because when they finally got the right formula, Shuri immediately instructed Griot to print the plant. Mother was present too and [Name] thanked Bast for the absolute miracle, Shuri bringing over the plant that was cupped in her hands.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Mother asked and the princess looked up. She nodded, shedding her coat and folded it on a nearby chair.
“I want to, Mother. T’Challa made me promise him. A promise that I would always keep you, Shuri and Wakanda safe. How am I to fulfil his wishes if I do not take up the mantle of the Black Panther,” [Name] replied softly and her Mother smiled. The Queen moved around the table, bringing her daughter into a hug.
[Name] sighed softly, returning the hug. She didn’t want to break her promise to T’Challa. After all, she was ready. All of her time spent training beside her brother led to this moment.
Mother pulled away, taking the plant from Shuri. “I will get the plant ready for the ritual,” she said, leaving shortly.
[Name] sat on the bed and Shuri approached her with a sad smile. The elder princess took Shuri’s hand, recognising the look on her face. “I know that look, Shuri. What’s wrong?” And at that, the genius woman sighed.
“I’m just..I’m just afraid that I would lose you too. Taking up the Black Panther mantle..it’s a big responsibility, you know? What if you run into battle and never return? What if you fought and didn't survive? You and Mother are all I have left,” Shuri confessed. [Name] smiled widely at her words.
“Shuri, little sister. You won’t lose me. I promise you this. Whatever happens in the future. Whatever threatens our kingdom in the future, I promise you this, Shuri. I will never leave you or Mother alone. Okay?” [Name] gently pinched her sister’s cheek and the princess grumbled at the gesture.
“Why do you keep doing that? I am not a five-year-old anymore,” Shuri rubbed her cheek and [Name] laughed.
“To me, you will always be that adorable little girl,”
The siblings shared a laugh as Mother returned with a bowl in her hands. Shuri stepped back and [Name] laid on the bed, exhaling deeply. “You know what to do if this doesn’t work, right?” she looked at Shuri. The young princess nodded, removed her Kimoyo beads and placed them on her sister’s chest. Mother brought the bowl down onto [Name]’s lips and as the liquid seeped past her lips and down her throat, Mother and Shuri began chanting.
[Name] shut her eyes, praying to Bast that this would work.
[Name] awoke with a loud gasp, looking up into the purple skies. She swallowed, the sound of water caught her attention first as she stood up slowly. She noticed she was dressed in white, raising her head to face the river. [Name] took a step into the water. It was cold and shallow and the peace she felt was beyond anything. She wondered who she would see. Would it be an ancestor? Her father? Or perhaps her brother? She leaned down, her fingers dipped into the cool water. Her eyes fluttered shut, easing her mind and body.
But the silence was soon broken by a low growl behind her. [Name] furrowed her brows, regaining her posture as she turnt. A tall figure stood before her, a goddess, one with the head of a Panther.
“Bast!” [Name] gasped, moving to kneel before the Goddess but she was stopped by a hand under her arm.
“Please, my devoted child. There is no need for that,” The Panther said and the woman stood back up.
“You have suffered greatly, [Name]. The loss of your father, losing your family to the universe cleanse and now, you have lost your brother. Yet, with each turn, you sought me for help. Child, I admire your strength and your devotion towards me. You seek power in the heart-shaped plant and I am giving you so much more so you shall keep your promise to your brother. Your protection to your family and your kingdom will last endlessly,” Bast said, laying a hand on [Name]’s head. At her words, the princess allowed her tears to fall, tearing down her walls as she silently cried.
“Thank you, Goddess..Thank you..,” She wiped her tears, closing her eyes.
“My brother..is he with the ancestors?” Her voice was quiet.
“Yes, my child. He rests with the ancestors. He is very proud of you and Shuri, little one. Though he may have left the world, he still resides in all of your hearts. Never forget that, child,” Bast’s voice faded, leaving the woman alone.
[Name] sat up from the table, gasping hard. Mother and Shuri had their hands on her as the princess slowed her breathing.
“Who did you see? Did you see T’Challa?” Mother asked and she shook her head.
“No, Mother. I saw our Goddess. I saw Bast,”
“But how is that possible? How could you see Bast?”
[Name] swallowed, shaking her head.
“I don’t know either. I thought I would see our father or our brother but Bast herself came to see me,” The woman moved, swinging her legs off the bed. She flexed her fingers, feeling normal so far.
“If I met Bast..this would mean that the ritual worked, right?” [Name] questioned, approaching a mannequin. Examining it to ensure it was sturdy, she gave it a hard kick.
The mannequin was shoved backwards, hard, wedged into the wall.
[Name]’s jaw dropped, snapping her head towards Mother and Shuri.
“Woah..,” she said, attention turning to the small glass of water on the table. She furrowed her brows, moving a hand up in the direction of the glass. [Name] moved her fingers and the contents within the glass moved along with it.
“But…But that is impossible,” Shuri tilted her head. Mother too had a shocked expression but it returned to a smile.
“Bast has granted you the power of the Gods indeed. The Black Panther lives!”
“The Black Panther lives!” Shuri copied and [Name] knew this would be the beginning of her heroic life.
The testing lab was bustling with technicians and engineers, Shuri’s minions, of course. The youngest princess was busy working on the final touches of [Name]’s new Vibranium suit while the newest protector had spent her time assisting both her mother in the royal duties as well as her sister in testing out the new suit. Truthfully, apart from her new strength and enhanced abilities as well as water manipulation, she did not know what else she got.
“The suit is ready,” Shuri set down her holo-tablet, picking up the metal bangles from the table. [Name] approached the table as well. “This is still very new but I can promise you that this suit is perfect,” Shuri fastened the Vibranium bangles on each of her sister’s wrist. She stepped back, activating her Kimoyo beads to record.
“How do I activate the suit?” [Name] adjusted the bangles, stepping back just in case anything happens.
“I simplified it. Cross your arms over your chest,” Shuri instructed.
The princess nodded, crossing her arms over her chest. The bangles touched and soon enough, she felt her body engulfed in the nano-suit. The helmet covered her head and [Name] opened her eyes. They widened, looking down at her hands. Shuri was cheering loudly, ending the recording momentarily.
“Damn, sister. You look good,” Shuri took one of her sister’s arms and dragged her to the mirror.
[Name]’s jaw dropped, looking at Shuri’s new masterpiece. Her suit reflected most of the past Black Panthers but it came with many modern twists. The nano-tech was the first example but the colours, while it was traditional, instead of the usual black and gold or black and purple, her suit was black, blue with some bits of silver-white. There was a short cape that connected to the fur around her neck.
“You know, maybe I should start getting you to design everything for me because Shuri, by Bast, this is amazing,” The nano-helm retracted back to reveal the wide smile on [Name]’s lips.
Shuri clicked her tongue. “Anyway, I designed this suit specifically to match your abilities. Strength, agility, durability, all the usual stuff. Flick your wrist for me,” [Name] did as she was told and claws shot out from the nails as well as her toes.
“The suit is water-sensitive. Which means, once it touches water, it will power up the suit. You will get stronger. Of course, in addition to your new water bending powers,” Shuri chuckled as the older princess relaxed her fingers. The sharp vibranium claws retracted. She brought the bangles together and the suit quickly disappeared back to the metal bands.
[Name] exhaled softly, the excitement slowly dying down upon realising that the first anniversary of their brother’s passing is in a few days time.
The younger stopped, turning around.
“Do you remember what’s coming up soon?” Her voice was quiet as she approached her sister. Shuri’s expression faltered, a frown clear on her face.
“One year since brother’s passing,”
“Yes..Do you have any plans for the day?”
Shuri pursed her lips as [Name] took her hands. It was clear the pain still rests in her heart.
“No. Not at the moment. I’m afraid that If I do something, I will reopen the wound,”
“I know. I’m afraid too. But Mother says she has plans and she wants the both of us to come with her,”
Shuri raised an eyebrow. “Where?”
The older one shrugged. “Mother didn’t say,” And Shuri nodded, leaning in for a hug. [Name] sighed softly, returning the tight hug. She knew how Shuri felt, sympathising with her sibling. “I love you, Shuri. I won’t ever leave you, okay?”
Shuri gave a muffled reply.
The fateful day arrived and Mother had brought them to the Wakandan Rivers. Shuri had started a fire while [Name] gathered the stick for burning. The skies were dark but the moonlight above shone bright. The sound of nocturnal animals was somewhat comforting during this dark time.
[Name] stood by the water, kneeling before it as she prayed silently to Bast. Mother was speaking to Shuri. [Name] felt minor vibrations from the water, looking up to find a small herd of elephants approaching the water for a drink. She moved a hand into the water, feeling the vibrations. The water was calm, ripples light until the ripples got faster and heavier. Her head snapped up, a figure hovering over the water.
“Mother!” She called out, alarming the older women and Shuri. Both moved to grab their spears and [Name] stood guard as the figure hovered to land. Water dripped from his body, the jewels he wore glinted under the pale moonlight. [Name] wore a calm expression, studying the potential threat before her. His ears were pointed, wings on his ankles which gave him flight. He wore nothing but a green short decorated with gold. His pectoral, a gorgeous shade of blue and gold, fulgent under the moon. He glanced over to the woman, his own eyes studying the woman’s form.
Namor approached the three, Mother and Shuri had the spear tip pointed towards him.
“Stop right there!” Mother hissed. Namor raised a hand up, running his fingers through his dripping hair.
“Who are you and how did you get in here?”
Namor inhaled deeply, looking around. “This place is amazing. The air is pristine,” He faced the river. “And the water..,” The King turned back to Mother.
“My mother told stories about a place like this. A protected land with people that never have to leave, that never have to change who they were..,” Namor turned to [Name], keeping his eyes on her momentarily before returning to Mother.
“What reason do you have to reveal your secret to the world?”
Mother gripped her spear, [Name] was ready to defend her in case he decided to attack.
“I am NOT a woman who enjoys repeating herself. Who are you?!”
Namor had a smug look on his face.
“I have many names. My people call me..K’ul’ulkan. But my enemies call me Namor,”
“I need your people to do something for me. It is something..important to me and my people. Surface dwellers intruded my waters, bringing their technology to my sea in search of Vibranium. They talk of a scientist in America. I want you to bring her to me,” Namor stepped forward, placing the conch shell down.
“Should you have acquired this American scientist, speak into the shell. I will come. I leave that in your hands,”
Namor gave one last look to [Name], jumping back into the water.
The tension in the air left as soon as he swam away. [Name] looked ahead, a large piece of equipment sat on the grass. “How did they do that?” Shuri thought aloud as she laid the spear down.
“Mother, what should we do?” [Name] turned to the Queen, who visibly relaxed. The silence indicated that she was deep in thought, possibly planning out future situations should they not comply.
“We will take the device back to Shuri’s lap. Both of you will work on this together. This changes everything,”
Work could never be finished especially when the many lives within Wakanda are under threat. Shuri took apart the machine, examining each part closely to find out more about the device. She was impressed at the fact that this machinery was mostly made out of everyday materials. Garbage, to say the least. ‘Whoever made this is a genius and resourceful,’ Shuri made a mental note, pulling up the protective goggles as the piece of metal she was cutting fell off the side.
Meanwhile, [Name] was working on decoding the device’s internal drive, digging deeper on where the device came from.
“This is some impressive coding. Whoever did this..it’s clearly above their paygrade,” She told Shuri. “The codes are simple but they work so perfectly in what they do. How is it possible that that piece of junk can even detect Vibranium?” [Name] leaned back on her seat, tapping the tip of her pen against her lips.
“All of this is made of..trash,” Shuri set down a piece of equipment. She hadn’t realised Mother had entered her lab and was talking to Okoye. [Name] wheeled herself over to the big machinery, looking up.
“What do you think they’re talking about?”
Before Shuri could reply, both had turned to the siblings.
“Okoye is insisting that she takes the lead in the investigation in America and she wants to bring Shuri and [Name]-,”
“When are we leaving?” Both asked, interrupting Mother. The older woman sighed, lips pursed as she turned to Okoye. She worries for the wellbeing of her children going on his mission but she trusts the General and her oldest daughter.
“We leave as soon as possible,” Okoye nodded.
Just when [Name] thought things couldn't get any worse..
The trio had managed to track down Riri Williams, a student studying in MIT who had apparently made the Vibranium detection device. Shuri managed to persuade the young girl to follow them to Wakanda and she had agreed, not wanting to succumb into the hands of her supposed water hunters.
The team hid in Riri’s warehouse, red and blue lights flashing through the tinted windows.
“We meet at the rendezvous point. Shuri, get in the car,”
“No, sister. I think it’s best if we separate. Don’t make us easy targets,” Shuri reasoned. [Name] thought her reasoning. It was true. Okoye was about to protest but the older princess raised her hand up. “General, take the wheel. Shuri, ride safely. Riri, watch the skies. Let’s get out of here,” [Name] got into the car with Okoye, the car revving to life with the help of Griot. Shuri had rode off with Okoye’s car following suit. The American authorities were hot on their tails. “Griot, follow Shuri. Don’t let her out of our sight,” Okoye instructed. A HUD formed on the windshield of the car, directions to their rendezvous point clear on the screen. [Name] turned around, bullets struck the back of the muscle car.
“We have to get clear of their guns,” [Name] turnt back, her hands moving around the HUD screen to find their next best route. “Take a hard right into the alley. There’s a road on the other side that leads towards the bridge,” She swiped the GPS back to Okoye. The General swerved the car, the wheels skidding hard against the asphalt as she turned into the alley. [Name] was focused on her sister and planning on their escape route, the bridge was in view and the authorities were falling behind.
But, she snapped back into reality when a sudden force struck the car.
“Shuri!” [Name] screamed, the impact threw the bike mid-air. The car overturned, slamming down on the hard floor with a loud bang. The princess groaned, knocking her head to the side of the door upon impact. Something felt damp on the side of her head and she knew it was blood. “Shuri!” [Name] groaned out, tugging on the seat belt. It wouldn’t budge. In the distance from Shuri, she could see the authorities had stopped, guns in their hands as they approached the site cautiously.
Okoye groaned, lifting her head to assess the situation. “[Name], are you hurt?”
“I’m good. Check on Shuri,” Okoye carefully crawled out. A hook grabbed onto Riri’s unconscious form and the warrior woman didn’t hesitate to cut the wire with her spear.
The wire was pulled back over the bridge. Okoye rushed over to Shuri, shoving the helmet off her head. “Griot?”
“The princess is well, General. She should return to us in a few minutes,” The AI confirmed, the Kimoyo beads on the woman’s hand lit up, showing Shuri’s stable heartbeat.
Meanwhile, [Name] still couldn’t get the seat belt off. She growled, flicking her wrist. The nanotech formed around her hand. She flexed her fingers, blue claws ripped through the belt easily. She fell with a soft groan, slowly crawling out of the car. Her eyes looked around, the cold wind bit on her skin. Shaking her head slightly, the princess moved to Riri, cradling the young girl’s head on her lap. She felt a pulse on her fingers and sighed in relief, turning to Okoye.
“She’s well, princess,” Okoye reported and she nodded.
“Call for extrac-,” [Name] stopped, the sound of water splashing harshly. Five Talokanils jumped off the back of a whale and onto the bridge, weapons ready. The princess stood, rushing over to defend her family with Okoye doing the same.
[Name] had her eyes on the pair of blue-skinned people, studying them. They certainly did not look like some common soldiers. They wore elaborate garments and guessed that they should be Namor’s champions.
The large male looked at the woman, speaking in a language she didn’t understand. The female nodded, joining the other three soldiers to fend off the authorities. Okoye raised her spear. “How should we do this?” Behind, Namora and her soldiers easily incapacitate the men. “I’ll take on the four. Can you take the big one?” [Name] crossed her arms. Okoye removed her coat and threw it aside. “I got him,” She held her spear in a defensive position as the two circled one another.
[Name] had to help the Americans. She ran towards the four Talokanils, her suit wrapped around her like a glove. She lept in the air, swinging a kick to one of the unsuspecting warriors. He was knocked back, slamming on the side of the bridge. The next noticed her presence, twirling his own spear towards the Black Panther. She knew better than to hurt them so knocking them out was the better option. The second warrior yelled, jabbing his spear forward. It grazed [Name]’s side, her heart racing with adrenaline pumping in her veins. She grabbed the spear, pulling the Talokanil forward towards her. Then, she dropped the spear, a foot on it to prevent the Talokanil warrior from taking his weapon back. She rammed her shoulder into his chest, knocking him back with ease.
The third warrior lept in the air, slamming the spear on [Name]’s shoulder. She hissed, leaping away and landed on the hood of the car in a stalking position. The female spoke in her language but the Panther waved her hand, a wave of water grabbed the three and threw them into the water, hard. She doubted it would do much but hoped it was enough to stun them.
Namora whipped the end of her spear onto the last American, turning to the Panther. [Name] flexed her fingers as Namora slammed her spear down, both women facing one another.
“Túun, k'a'abéet a beel le leti'ob guerrero Wakanda,” (So, you must be Wakanda’s own warrior?),” Namora spoke, her head tilted, anticipating the fight to be a good one.
“K ilej bix a meetik justo ti' jump'éel ba'ate'el,” (Let’s see how you fair in a fight).
[Name] circled the Talokanil woman and she mirrored the Panther. Namora ran to [Name], twirling her spear in her direction. The Panther kneeled down, narrowly dodging the tip of the spear as it brushed the pointed ears of her helmet. She twirled around, spinning backwards to get up. A leg hooked onto the Talokanil’s spear, pushing her down from the force. The Panther hadn’t expected Namora to recover so quickly, already whipping her spear in her direction. The hits were sure to cause bruises but her training allowed her to take in every hit. Namor slammed the back of the spear into the Panther’s chest, slamming her down harshly into the asphalt road. [Name] groaned, hands on the body of the spear and lifting it to try and ease the pressure. She growled, waving her hand.
Water slammed into Namora’s side, sending the Talokanil woman hitting the side of the car. Namora seemed surprised at the unexpected attack. The Panther jumped to her feet, turning around to find Okoye on the floor with the male warrior approaching her. She ran to Attuma, jumping on his back with ease and had both arms squeezing his neck. The Talokanil thrashed around, hands trying to pull [Name] off but she refused to let go. She flexed her fingers, claws on her hairs and dangerously close to Attuma’s neck.
“Enough!” [Name] growled. Okoye slowly stood, grabbing her spear as her chest heaved from exhaustion. Attuma stopped moving, head tilted back and away from the shining claws. Namora and the three soldiers had seemingly recovered and ran towards the end of the fight, the Panther getting off Attuma’s back. The helmet pulled back to reveal [Name]’s damp face, claws retracting back.
Shuri let out a soft groan, carefully standing up. The elder princess turned, running to Shuri to catch her sister in a hug. Shuri let out a soft ‘oof’ as she returned the hug.
“You’re alright, sister. You’re alright,” [Name] patted Shuri’s back as she pulled away. The younger looked behind to find the five Talokanil soldiers.
“Did I miss something?”
“No, not much. I want to make an offer with them,”
The Panther turned, looking at Attuma and Namora. She raised her wrist up, activating the kimoyo beads. “Griot, I need translation,”
“I am a Wakandan royalty. I have an offer to make to your King. Take me to your King but let them go. Namor has no more quarrel with the girl. I wish to make a peace offering with him,”
Attuma and Namora turned to one another.
“Leti' le realeza Wakanda,” (She is Wakandan royalty?)
“Míin le ajawo' aceptaría u ti'ibil óolala',” (Perhaps the King would accept her offering)
Namora turnt to the princess.
“Le ajawo' taak le ch'úupalo'. Yaan k bisikech ta yéetel le ch'úupalo', chéen ba'ale' P'at bin a kiik yéetel a guerrero,”
“The King wants the girl. We will take you and the girl but let your sister and your warrior go,” Griot translated and just as Okoye was about to protest, [Name] held a hand out to prevent her from furthering her actions.
“Fine. We will come with you. My sister and my General will return home. Take us,” [Name] flicked her bangle, her suit disappearing into the metal completely. Shuri grabbed her hand and tugged her aside.
“What do you think you’re doing?! You want to willingly give Riri away? He will hurt her, sister,” Shuri frowned.
“Shuri, please understand. We don’t fully know Namor’s capabilities. For all we know, his army could best us in every fight initiated. I want you to get ready Wakanda just in case my peace offering does not go as expected. I promise you that Riri will return safely to you. Okoye, take Shuri back. I don’t wish to discuss this further,”
[Name] turnt to Namora, a mask held in her hand. She placed it over her mouth and nose, a soft hiss emitted from the mask itself. Attuma had picked up Riri, making his way to the edge of the bridge. The princess felt her vision blur, Namora quickly catching the woman before she could fully pass out.
She could hear Shuri’s faint scream and that was the last thing she remembered.
[Name] felt hands on her, eyes fluttering open to the soft, blue light. Slowly, she sat up, finding Riri in front of her with a worried expression.
“Oh, I thought you were dead or something,” Riri heaved a sigh, sitting on the hammock. She pursed her lips, unaware of their whereabouts. It scared her.
“Where are we?”
[Name] rubbed her head, shaking it.
“I..uh..I don’t actually know,”
“What happened on the bridge?” Riri turned to the princess, awaiting some answers.
[Name] furrowed her brows, recalling the events.
“A fight with the people who wanted to take you. I had to end it,”
“And..exactly how are you going to do that?” The young girl crossed her arms over her chest.
“An offer of peace,” She said sheepishly, scratching the back of her neck gently.
“A peace off- Are you serious, right now? Man, you are crazy, seriously,”
[Name] laughed nervously. “Yeah, maybe I didn’t really think this through properly but this man..he has the power to hurt my people and you and I had to do something. What better way to talk, right? War and violence isn’t always the answer..,”
“Oh, I’ll show him violence,” Riri mumbled.
A pair of Talokanil maiden approached the two, one carried a basket of fruits and another held a garment in her hands. The second maiden held up the garment.
“Nook' teechi', princesa. Bey teech u le realeza, láayli' k'a'abéet a beel tratado bey tal way te' Talokan,” (Clothes for you, princess. As you are royalty, you are still treated as such here in Talokan)
[Name] took the garment, the material was soft but the dress itself was hefty.
“K ajawo' k'áato' wilech,” (Our King wishes to see you) The maiden gestured for [Name] to follow her but before she could leave, Riri grabbed her hand.
“Wait, where are you going? Don’t leave me here!” She squeezed her hand. [Name] smiled softly, gently taking her hand.
“I won’t be long, Riri. I will be back soon,” The princess released Riri’s hand, following the maiden deeper into the cavern systems.
[Name] was led to a small area where she could change out of her clothes and into the dress. She had to admit, it was the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. A white and blue garment decorated with jade. She inhaled deeply, following the maiden once more towards a secluded part of the cave.
In the middle, was a small hut of sorts. Inside, she could see Namor with his back facing towards her. The maiden left the two alone. [Name] looked up, glow worms lit the cave gorgeously. There was a pool of water by the step stone and it looked very deep. She slowly made her way across towards the hut, swallowing as Namor slowly turned to face the princess. He had donned a cape to cover himself mildly. He was distracting but the art behind her pulled her attention fully. “It’s beautiful..,” She acknowledged the mural. It was painted in various colours and it told a story, one she couldn’t exactly figure out.
Namor moved to the princess.
“I thank you for your kind words, princess,”
[Name] tilted her head down, eyes meeting Namor’s.
“Thank you for agreeing to this meeting, Namor. I’m just disheartened it had to be under tense circumstances,” She began. Namor gestured for her to sit and she did.
“My warriors told me of a peace offering you had,” Namor adjusted his cloak and the woman nodded.
“I’m doing this for the benefit of your people and mine, Namor. I hope you understand that I would do anything for peace and for my people. As a king to your own empire, I’m sure you share this with me…,” She trailed off, reading Namor’s expression.
“I don’t want war, Namor. I bring the girl to you to show that I do keep the end of our bargain. But I cannot willingly give her over to you. She did no wrong, Namor. It is her country’s people who have acquired her project for their usual selfish usage,” At this, Namor lit up. Her views were similar to that of his own. He felt his own heart skip a beat at that.
“My views are the same. Surface dwellers are the true monsters of our story. They are selfish, destructive and they cause harm to everything they touch,”
[Name] had to thread carefully now. She didn’t want to give Namor the wrong idea.
“What I’m trying to say is that, you have no quarrel with the surface world-,”
“No, princess. I bear hatred towards the surface dwellers,” Namor’s eyes darken and [Name] leaned back, afraid he might do something irrational.
He reached towards the table, picking up a jaded bracelet.
“This belonged to my mother. She gave it to me before she passed all those years ago,” Namor held the bracelet out to [Name] and she took it. She brought it up closely, examining its own beauty. “It’s so pretty,” She smiled softly, fingers dragging to study each carved jade.
“We were not always who we are,” Namor began, looking at the mural on the wall.
“My mother and her tribe were born human, living on the surface world where they thrived greatly. Then, one by one, they fall ill. Strong men would grow frail and die. Children barely reach the age of maturity, dying in the arms of their mothers and fathers. Their tribe was stricken with a sickness brought in by the colonists. As a final resort, the tribe shaman sought help from the gods, seeking for a cure to their ailment. The gods gave him signs, where it led him to a water hole,” Namor moved a hand over the mural of the depiction.
“The Shaman found a blue plant beneath the water hole and made a cure for the tribe. The plant alleviated the sickness but it left them with a gift. A gift you see before you,” He paused, turning to the princess.
“At that time, my mother bore me. Despite her wishes not to consume the plant, the shaman had begged her to do so, foreseeing that the child would not survive if she did not consume the plant. So, she did. I was the firstborn son of Talokan, a hybrid that gave me powers beyond anything imaginable. I was a mutant,”
[Name] stood, joining Namor by the mural.
“But my mother, over time, grew sick. She couldn’t bear the thought that she could not live on the surface anymore. She longed for it. She died not long after and as per her wishes, I buried her on her land. But, what I saw was the seed to my hatred towards the surface dwellers. My mother’s people became slaves, treated poorly beyond anything I have ever seen. So, I killed them all, burning everything to the ground and killing everyone,” He paused again, looking at [Name] in the eyes.
“A Spanish man of faith cursed me as he died by my hand. He called me, ‘El Niño sin Amor’. A child without love. And I took my name from there. Namor. Because I have no love for the surface world,”
[Name] understood his feelings. He was the ruler of a hidden tribe, one hidden for very good reasons. If she were to be placed in his position, she would have done the same thing.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Why? Because you and I are the same. We would do anything to keep our people safe from the outsiders,”
Namor’s hand moved to [Name]’s, fingers moving to tie the bracelet around her wrist. Her heart raced at his sweet gesture, cheeks reddening under the blue light. He was such a strong warrior but his hands felt nothing as such. They were soft, warm and large enough to cover her own hands.
“Thank you, Namor,”
Their eyes meet momentarily, until Namor pulls away.
“Talokan is a beautiful city. I want to share it with you but the water down there..it’s enough to kill you,”
[Name] was taken aback by his words but then, a smile formed on the King’s lips.
“We have a diving suit for you,”
Oh, she couldn’t wait to see his world.
Talokan was unlike anything [Name] has seen. To see a home thriving under the sea, she fully understood why Namor was so driven to protect his people.
She sat by the water, Namor beside her.
“Namora told me of your special abilities. Do you love the water?”
She looked over to the King, her lips pursed to bite back a smile.
“I do. More than anything. When I took my own version of the blue plant, I was met with our god, Bast. I was a devoted pupil of hers and that pleased her. In return for my devotion, she granted me the power of the Panther, alongside with a few extras,” She waved her first finger, a small wave of water brushed against her bare feet.
She hadn't realised that Namor was staring at her, one filled with admiration and adoration.
“K’uk’ulkan, there’s a reason why I offered myself here. I want to have peace between our kingdoms and there has to be a less violent way to do so. Riri, she’s only a child. What she made was merely for a school project. She had no way of knowing that her country’s government had intended to use it for their own. There has to be some other way, K’uk’ulkan. I am willing to offer a peace offering in return for peace. But, you should pick whatever peace offering you wish to have. I believe it’s only fair,” [Name] turned to Namor. He looked relaxed but behind those brown eyes, he already knew what he wanted.
“Anything?” He repeated.
She nodded. “Anything,”
Namor leaned forward, a hand moving to cup the woman’s jaw.
“In that case, I believe the best and most traditional way for two kingdoms to form an alliance would be a marriage, no?”
She gasped, wanting to pull her gaze away but kept it firm. Her cheeks were hot and reddening.
Namor wanted a marriage..with her?
The King of Talokan wants to get married to the Princess of Wakanda? What would mother think? What would Shuri think? [Name] closed her eyes, calming her erratic mind. She parted her lips to speak but Namor beat her to it.
“The marriage is one thing but the other thing..I want you to stay with me,”
“K’uk’ulkan..,” She began, taking a deep breath. She moved a hand over his, the one that laid on her cheek. She took his hand, placing her palm on his.
“This marriage, I can agree to. But to stay with you? Please, Namor, I cannot simply abandon my family and my people. I am still their protector,”
Namor gently gripped her hand.
“Then for six months, stay with me. The remaining half, you may return to your kingdom but once it ends, you stay with me again. Do you agree?”
[Name]’s eyes met with Namor’s. She knew what she was walking into. If she had to do this for the safety of her people as well as form an alliance with Talokan, it would be a win for both parties.
She nodded, a smile on her lips.
“I agree to your terms,”
Namor leaned in close and she did the same. Their foreheads meet, eyes fluttering close at the intimacy they shared. [Name] will learn to love the King.
The times the princess had with the King were well spent. Namor was relaxed around her and [Name] opened up to the King. He became her listening ear when she had to release the emotions she withheld about her late brother. He understood perfectly what it was like to lose a family member. He sympathises with her.
When Namor was busy, [Name] had Riri to go to. Riri eventually eased up around the Talokans but there was still some form of tension between them. She didn’t tell Riri of her arrangement with Namor.
The princess was unaware of the fact that Nakia had infiltrated Talokan. Her eyes darted to the silhouette beyond the far edge of the caves and she stood immediately, stopping her conversation with Riri.
Nakia had a rifle up, pointing to the Talokanil guard.
“Nakia!” She rushed over, the guard held her spear up.
“They’re friendly, Nakia. They are friendly,”
Nakia furrowed her brows. “What? But I was briefed-,”
“Nakia, I have established an alliance with their King,”
At that, the other woman froze. “An alliance? The Queen told me they were dangerous beyond anything Wakanda has faced,”
“Yes, they are but trust me on this..please?” [Name] begged, approaching her friend slowly. Nakia lowered her rifle and the guard, her spear. The princess nodded to the guard, who stepped back. She rushed to her friend, hugging her tightly.
“It is so good to see you, Nakia. I know you have your orders but take the girl,”
“Take Riri and bring her to Wakanda. Namor has agreed to let her go and our alliance in exchange for a peace offering. I will stay here but please, tell mother and Shuri that I am safe and I will return soon,” [Name] gestured to Riri to follow Nakia. Nakia wanted to say more but the princess urged them to leave. Soon, the two disappeared from sight. [Name] knew better than to argue with the princess. A soft, sad sigh left her lips as she made her way to Namor’s home. She allowed her mind to drift as she sat on a stool, staring up at the painted murals, thoughts filled with how she yearned to return home and to reveal to Wakanda of their newly formed alliance.
[Name] wore a wide smile on her lips as Wakanda came into view. She wore her suit, protecting herself from the water as she swam. With the aid of her powers, she moved quick, though Namor was quicker. The princess had got into contact with her Mother a few days back and the worries the older woman had almost drowned the princess. She had to assure Ramonda that she was alright and that Namor had done nothing to hurt her. He had finally agreed to go to Wakanda with [Name] and her kingdom prepared for their arrival. Talokanil soldiers rode on whale-back into the Wakandan waters, royal ships hovered overhead to lead them to the palace. [Name] resurfaced, jumping out of the water and onto land. Namor returned to her side.
“Are you ready, sthandwa?,” (my love)
“I am, princesa,”Namor nodded as a royal ship brought them to the palace.
[Name] could see that Mother, Shuri and the Dora Milaje were waiting for their arrival. The ship landed shortly. [Name] was out of her suit, running to her Mother and Shuri.
“[Name]!” Shuri caught her sister in a tight hug, faces buried in each other’s neck as Queen Ramonda approached her children, hugging her eldest tightly. Behind, Namor stood by the ship, his soldiers behind him. The Queen pulled away, her gaze dark as she glanced at the King.
[Name] pulled away.
“Mother, Shuri, I know you have questions but we have more pressing matters. It is related to the future of Wakanda and Talokan,”
“Nothing is more important than the safety of my child,” Mother cupped [Name]’s cheeks, her shoulders visibly eased up knowing her first daughter had returned.
“I know, Mother. I have missed you and Shuri so much. I miss home so much,” [Name] turned, Namor had approached the family.
“Mother, Shuri, you know K’uk’ulkan. He isn’t here as a threat but as a friend to Wakanda,” She moved to Namor, arms brushing against one another.
“Let’s talk inside, Mother,”
Mother glanced between her daughter and Namor, a frown clear on her lips and an obvious displeased expression. Shuri was confused, following Mother into the gathering hall.
[Name] turned to her lover.
“For what, my love?”
“For bringing me home. To see Mother and Shuri again,” [Name] reached up, arms around his neck as she pulled the King down for a hug. His hand gripped her waist comfortably, lips brushing her neck as she pulled away.
“I hate to see you unhappy, Princesa,”
[Name] smiled widely, turning to follow her family. Namor gestured for Namora and Attuma to stay with the other soldiers as he followed his lover.
Mother sat on her throne, Shuri beside her as [Name] and Namor stood before them. The elders were all here in the citadel, surrounding the pair.
“I know you have a lot of questions, Mother, Sister, Elders but what I did, I did it for a good reason. What reason do we have to seek war with Namor and Talokan? Yes, his motive at first may be unjustified but he did it to protect his people, to protect his kingdom from the touches of the outside world. Are we not the same? We protect Wakanda and her resources from the touches of the outside world and we would do anything to keep us safe, don’t we?” There were murmurs going around the hall. It seems the Elders were agreeing with her words.
“Did he force you to stay?” Mother asked, her voice was firm and hard.
This time, it was Namor’s turn to speak.
“No, I did not force her to stay. At her own will, she chose to stay with me in Talokan so we may talk about peace between our worlds. What she speak, is true. Princess [Name] has opened my eyes to the surface world, helping me see that there is more than just war, violence and greed. We share the same vision and the same mission. She made a peace offering with me,”
“And what is this peace offering exactly?” Mother hissed.
Silence fell on the Citadel momentarily.
“To ensure an alliance between Wakanda and Talokan is forged..I have agreed to marry K’uk’ulkan and to stay with him for half of the year,”
Loud gasps and louder whispers went around the Citadel. Mother stood up, horrified.
“What?! No, absolutely not. I am not losing my child again. I will not agree to this peace offering,”
“Mother..,” [Name] approached her mother, a small smile on her lips as she took Ramonda’s hands in hers.
“Mother…K’uk’ulkan has agreed to this alliance. Think about how it would benefit our people, how an alliance would mean that Wakanda would grow stronger. This marriage is for all of us, for both Wakanda and Talokan. I will come back for the next half of the month. I will always be your daughter, Mother..I will always be the protector of Wakanda. You will never, ever lose me. I promise you, Mother. I promise you, Shuri and the people of Wakanda,”
Queen Ramonda looked defeated, clear tears pricked her eyes. Her heart grew heavy, turning to her daughter. Her hand cupped her cheek, tears threatening to fall.
“Is there no better way?” Her voice was soft. The princess smiled sadly, shaking her head.
“I..share feelings with K’uk’ulkan, Mother. He has treated me with nothing but kindness and my heart is for him,”
Tears fell as the Queen stroked her daughter’s cheek.
“I always told T’Challa that you would grow up to become a strong, independent woman who would be fit to be Queen of Wakanda one day.. If your brother could see you right now, he would be so, so proud of you,”
This time, it was [Name]’s turn to cry at the mention of her brother. She hugged her Mother tightly, sniffling into the older woman’s shoulders slightly. Mother gestured for Shuri to join and she did, hugging her family as tightly as she could.
[Name] pulled away, wiping her tears with her sleeve. Mother took in a deep breath, quickly wiping her tears.
“Are there any objections to this alliance?”
The elders looked at one another, nodding in agreement.
“There are no objections from the River Tribe,”
“There are no objections from the Mining Tribe,”
“There are no objections from the Border Tribe,”
“There are no objections from the Merchant Tribe,”
All eyes were on M’Baku, the Jabari Clan leader, who inhaled sharply. If all of Wakanda would benefit from this alliance, then it would be the same for his clan.
“There are no objections from the Jabari Tribe,”
“Then it is agreed. Wakanda sees Talokan and her King as our allies. Therefore..this marital alliance shall be the beginning of our endless alliance,” Ramonda announced.
[Name] turned to her mother and Shuri, a smile on her lips.
“Thank you, mother,”
Ramonda cupped her daughter’s cheeks.
“It would be wrong of a mother to hinder her child’s fullest potential. It pains me and Shuri to be separate from you for six months. I know you’ll return but the hole still burns in my heart,”
“I know, Mother. I feel it too but I know you two trust me on this. This will work, I know it will..,” [Name] trailed off, glancing at Namor.
“Will you be staying?” Mother asked and she shook her head.
“No. There are some matters K’uk’ulkan and I have to attend in Talokan but I promise to keep in touch,” She brushed her fingers on the Kimoyo beads, smiling as she pulled away.
[Name] gave her family a last look before leaving the Citadel.
She found Namor speaking with his people and her presence made him stop.
“Don’t stop on my account, my love,”
Namor wore his beautiful smile, one she grew to adore so much. Her cheeks felt hot.
“In yakunaj, words cannot express my adoration for you. My heart races whenever you are around and there is so much I wish to do to you,”
[Name] gasped at his words, not expecting his confession. She smirked, leaning close to the King. An arm snaked around his neck, fingers tangling in his hair.
“Why don’t you start by giving me a kiss and then..we can continue once we reach Talokan,”
Namor didn’t hesitate next, capturing his future queen’s lips in a soft kiss.
This was a start of a new chapter for both kingdoms and a start of a beautiful relationship between the King of Talokan and the Princess of Wakanda.