|Darth Calliope's Creative Journal. (dee_cees_cj) wrote,|
@ 2010-10-11 23:03:00
He always saw it in his dream, and it all ended the same way: A screaming face emerging from the flames, skin peeling and flaking away from an already charring skull. An eyeball oozing out of its socket, the tongue shriveling up and starting to sear. The smell of burnt hair and flesh wafted from the inferno. The screams. Oh my god, the screams, they still haunted him. Vitali knew that some people had seen way worse, but it still scared the shit out of him. When he woke up, his flesh always felt as if it was on fire and his lips were starting to crack and peel. And, in the second between being lucid and being awake, that moment where everything seems incredibly real, he honestly believed he was burning right along side them.
This is what you deserve, this is for letting them burn. Could’ve done something, but you didn’t because you’re a wuss and a terrible person. They were looking to you for help and you just walked away, vomiting and crying. If that were Levin? He would be rushing in there, trying to help people. You’re no-
“I’m not Levin, though.” Vitali finished quietly. He sat up in bed and very slowly lowered his feet to the ground, his green hair matting into damp clumps. He placed the palm of his hand against his forehead and closed his eyes. He hated those dreams. Moreover, he had a feeling that they liked him too well. Well, at any rate, he suspected that a cool drink would help him feel better.
Hell, at this point something alcoholic would be just dandy.
He padded softly across the floor, grabbing his robe on the way out. The halls were silent, as they normally were in Christophe’s place and for that, he was grateful. He wanted to make something to eat, but he was afraid that would act as some form of trigger and the last thing he needed was to throw up. It would be very hard to explain why good old Vitali was losing his lunch or dinner out on the balcony. Of course, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference, but it still didn’t seem really appropriate.
The next thing the mage knew, he was in the kitchen, unconsciously pouring himself some liquor. He typically didn’t drink alcohol, but he felt as if he needed it. After all, that dream was far from pleasant, and he figured the booze would take a bit of the sting off. He knew, also, that the dreams would come again, but that would be another night.
At least I hope so. I don’t think I can handle the same dream on the same night.
He cringed a little when the bitterness touched his lips and cascaded down his throat like a warm waterfall. He looked at the bottle he was holding.
Maske’s Coffee Liquor: You can rely on us to keep you awake!
“Hm. I think I could use more of this…” he poured himself another cup and looked out the window. Everything was so nice and quiet and then:
“Why are you still awake, man?”
Vitali spat the liquor out and snapped his gaze towards the young Sepp that was staring at him from the doorframe.
“Damn it, Levin!” He grunted and started to wipe the coffee booze from his robe and face. Levin twisted his head to the side and blinked.
“Could you at least tell me that you’re about to ta--Ugh. Never mind.” He feel silent and looked out the window, again.
“Same bad dream, eh?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
Levin sat down in front of Vitali and picked up the napkin he had been using.
“Missed a spot” he pointed out, dabbing at Vitali’s lips with it and then putting it back down. Levin’s laugh startled the young healer.
“So, does that mean if I clean my mouth with this, does that mean that we just kissed?”
Vitali said nothing. He was trying to keep himself from blushing.
“I suppose so.” he said after a moment of silence.
“Why have we never kissed, anyway?”
“I don’t know, perhaps it has never crossed my mind.
“Well, I don’t suppose it would be too bad. I mean, hell, you look like you’d be a damn good kisser.”
Vitali could no longer hide his blushing.
“Look, I-I.” He took in a frustrated breath. “I don’t know if I even like me like that! Could it be a possibility? Maybe. Have I considered it? Yeah. However, I doubt very seriously that I could ever pull through with it. I’m just…”
“Too shy?” offered Levin.
“Eh, something like that, yes.”
“Well, you really don’t have to be shy with me! Shoot, man, just give me your best shot!” smiled Levin, poking his friend. Vitali squirmed a little.
“Hey! Stop that, would you?” Levin cackled and poked him again.
“I sa-said stop that!” said the young mage between his giggling.
“And if I don’t?”
He was blushing, again. Damn it.
“I-um. I. Well, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t?” He really didn’t intend for that to come up as question, it just so happened to form that way.
“…You’re cute when you blush.” said the brawler after a few bouts of awkward silence.
The cleric had no response to this.
“…Vitali, I had been meaning to ask you.”
“If it’s about…that, then I have nothing to say.”
It was Levin’s turn to be silenced.
“Man, why do you just hold it all in? You can trust me, okay? You know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, right?”
Once again, there was silence.
“I’m…just such a coward.” he wasn’t expecting the tears, but nonetheless, they were forming. Levin blinked and then got up and walked around the table and kneeled beside his friend, putting his hand on Vitali’s lap.
“Look, you don’t have anything to gain by staying silent. You can’t always go it alone, man. Sometimes you just have to rely on oth-”
“Just like they were relying on me?” Vitali huffed with frustration, unable to hide it any longer. The young Sepp stood up and wrapped his arm around Vitali’s shoulder.
“There was nothing you could do, Vitali, even if you had tried. That village…”
“That village was my fault, I could’ve prevented it, but I was too busy vomiting to care.”
Silence and then: “Why do you beat yourself, still? Seriously, to be so smart, you sure can be dumb.”
Then he leaned down and whispered in Vitali’s ear.
“I would have been the same way, Vitali.”
Vitali couldn’t get past his shock: he knew Levin would never lie about this, and even if he were to lie, Vitali could see right through it.
“What do you mean you would’ve done the same thing? You’re you, for crying out loud; surely you would have done more than sticking your tail between your legs and running away while people were screaming for you to save them!”
“I’d not be too sure of that. As strong as I am, I still have weaknesses and I’d have to say that burning corpses begging to be saved is one of them. I couldn’t have done anything, I’d be too terrified to do anything but stare. Vitali, you are strong, you just see everyone else’s strengths. You’re a spy, but you’re also a good, caring, guy. Would I lie?” laughed Levin, leaning up from his friend’s ear. Vitali couldn’t help but smile.
“Levin, you’re a terrible poet. Was that supposed to be some form of love ballad? If so, I can’t say that I approve. “
Levin scratched the back of his head, his smile mile widening by the minute.
“Listen, dude, seriously, you should just try to remember what you’re good at. Beating yourself up is just going to bring the dreams down harder and more often. If you want to talk then talk, it’s pointless just talking to a wall; walls can’t talk, after all.”
“Can I really do that?”
“Would I say it if it weren’t doable? Vitali, I believe in you, you just have to believe in yourself. I can’t be you; I can instill what you need. Gotta dig deeper, man. Just gotta. “
“Yeah. Yeah, I know.” was Vitali’s sad response.
“Then why the long face?”
“Because it’s hard and I don’t know how to start.”
“Well…” Levin said, thoughtfully, “Why don’t we go up to your room and discuss what happened from the very beginning?”
“Why my room?” stuttered the healer, unable to cohere words and sentence after that.
“Because I said so.”
Vitali raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah. Because I have all the good ideas, tonight. “
Vitali still looked incredulous and a bit concerned.
“This can not end well.”
“Why do you say that? It seems as if you don’t have confidence in me…”
Vitali’s features softened.
“I do believe in you, Levin, in fact I believe in you more than I ever have with anyone else. It’s just that I don’t like scratching at old wounds. It reminds me of an ability that I rather not have.”
“And what would that be? Turn into a pumpkin at midnight? Maybe grow horns and chase after red flags? Or maybe turn into a he-wolf? Or may-”
“I can… how do I put this? I can un-heal people. I can make them worse off than they were when they needed the healing. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I often contemplated using it on me. I…” he unconsciously moved his hand towards his arm.
“There are plenty of wounds I can just as well open with me.”
“But you wouldn’t do that because that’s stupid and you’re not.” interrupted Levin, grabbing his friend’s hand and pulling up.
“Come on, get up. We’ll finish this up in your room.”
Vitali hesitated, all of the sudden he wasn’t too sure of anything.
“Vitali…” Levin was starting to run out of patience.
“Okay, okay.” sighed the young man, rising into his friend’s hand.
“Good.” The young Sepp grabbed his friend’s shoulder gently and started to push him towards his room.
Do I really want to do this?
However, before he could contemplate thinking anything else, they were already at his doorstep.
“Go in, would you?” huffed Levin, opening the door and half-heartedly pushed him in. Vitali stumbled forward and glared at the young brawler from over his shoulder.
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t do that again, Levin.” huffed Vitali, squaring his shoulders and walking towards the bed. Levin couldn’t deny he enjoyed the view. He had always seen Vitali as an object of desire. He liked everything about the mage: the way he moved, the passion he felt when Vitali healed people, his half-hooded eyes, his long hair, his seemingly frail frame, he loved them all. He loved Vitali.
“Sorry, just kind of got carried away, I guess.”
“Well, close the door!”
Levin very quickly did so and watched as Vitali sat on his bed, the moonlight making him even more pale.
He’s so beautiful.
“So, this is how your room looks, huh?” he looked around and fiddled with a mysterious hollowed out globe that had smaller planets going through its center, carried on a single gold band with a small pulley system, perpetuating the planet‘s movement.
“I’d rather you not mess with that, Levin. That thing has been in my family for years, if you break it, then I might have to break you.” Levin stopped messing with it, a mischievous smile crossing his face.
“Oh? Is the great Vitali threatening the poor, defenseless, Sepp? That’s so mean.” he simpered, his bottom lip playfully twitching. Vitali started to chuckle.
“Yes, because we all know that I could just kick your butt with one hand tied behind my back and with one foot tied to the other. I’m just so scary.”
Levin quickly his way to the other side of the room and sat down beside Vitali. Levin wiggled a little and then got comfortable.
“Your bed is really soft.” he bounced up and down a few times and then tumbled into Vitali.
“Hey, ow! Would you mind not trying to crush me? Seriously.”
The young Sepp pushed himself away from his friend, looked down at his hooves, sheepishly.
“Sorry, your bed is soft and I get hyper, and I really don’t pay attention to what I’m doing. You’re not hurt, are you?”
“No, Levin, I’m not. Thank you for being so concerned.” Levin leaned in and put his head on Vitali’s shoulder, inwardly laughing at how fast Vitali tensed up.
“Oh, come on, man! Why are you being so damn shy? We came up here to talk, not to be sitting in silence. I hate silence! It’s just so…boring.”
“… Fine. Just… get off of me, okay? I’m tired and, quite honestly, you’re not all that light.” Levin complied, of course, but he still felt somewhat down.
“Gee, man, I’m sorry.”
There was another beat of silence and then: “It’s okay. Is it okay for me to start? Or are you going to paw on me some more?”
Levin shook his head and sighed.
“Man, why do you have to be like that? I was just playing around…” he was about to say more when he saw Vitali’s eyes darken a little. He had to admit, that was another thing that he found attractive: when Vitali was mad, his reddish eyes darkened into a rust color. That feeling of danger, that knowing that Vitali, while small, was still reasonably strong, and, since he was a spy, he was quite sure that he could take him down rather quickly.
“I’m quite aware of that, Levin. My point is this: I thought we were coming up her to talk, not hit on each other. Had I known that we had came up here just for you to hit on me, this conversation wouldn’t be happening and I’d be in my bed, still depressed and slightly drunk.”
“Slightly drunk? Man, had you drank more, you would’ve been sloshed. You are many things, Vitali, but a heavyweight drinker you are not. I could just blow on you with liquor and you would be drunk off your ass, singing a song that even you didn’t know the words to! It would be like: Suh-suh weeet. We-ee. Duh-rrink. Gluggle, glug, the be-ack!” Levin’s sentence was cut off when Vitali wrapped his hands around Levin’s throat.
“One more word and I will throttle you.”
Levin calmed down a bit and rested his hands around Vitali’s.
“You can let go at any time, you know?”
Vitali sighed and released his hold on Levin’s throat. Levin’s hand fell from Vitali‘s and he felt his hands reaching up towards his own neck.
“So-sorry.” stuttered Vitali, quite flustered with himself. Since when was he the violent type?
“It’s okay, man, I sort of had that coming. I really do want to hear your story; I’m just too damn, well, dense to control myself. “
“I see.” was Vitali’s only viable response.
“Well, why don’t you start on your story? From the beginning would probably be best.” offered Levin with a quick grin. Vitali couldn’t be mad at his friend for long.
“From the beginning, huh?”
“That’s the idea, yes.”
I remember when I was in my early twenties; I frequented a little village known as “Tuatha”. The people there were good people, decent people that tried to make an honest living off the land. Everyday I’d go there, there would be their elder welcoming me. He was a chubby little fellow, his cheeks were red, as if perpetually drunk, and he had a laugh that you could hear from miles away, he also happened to be a great man. I had volunteered, more often than not, to train the cooks around town and heal minor injuries or illness. In return, I received a few coins and the affection of most of the people there. Now, you have to understand something about me: I’m very shy. I don’t know how to talk to people on an intimate basis; I always focused on the academic viewpoint and shied away from any real relationships that involved courting a female or male. I’m not really attracted to superficial things, but I do have some weird standards and I think that’s partially what started this whole mess.
I remember walking around the village, helping the people I saw that were in need. There were a few female acquaintances and one of them wanted to step it up a notch and become girlfriend and boyfriend. I told her I didn’t know what to do and she said: “Come to my place tonight and I’ll show you.” She winked at me slinked towards her house. I’ll admit it, I was confused. I mean, sure, she was pretty and all, but there was something really off about her, and even to this day I don’t know what it was. To me, she seemed rather…rabid. Well, I did show up at her house and bought some hotpods with me because I figured that a relationship needed to be started off on the right foot and that food should be prepared for the host. I was rather surprised when I saw that the house seemed to be deserted but there was a light on and it was coming from her room. I just assumed that her power was being screwy and that she focused it mainly in her room, imagine my surprise when she pulled me to her as soon as I walked through the door and kissed me. I dropped the hotpods, my eyes widening in shock. I didn’t even know this girl and she was already invading my personal space. I pulled away, somewhat disgusted.
“What the hell are you doing?” I spat, wiping the residue of her lips off with my hand. She winked at me again and said: “Don’t you know, Vitali, this is how it is to be with a real woman. Now, come here.” and she reached for me, again. I took a few steps back and told her that a true woman didn’t force herself on to a man and that I would have rather it go slow. Of course, she’d have none of that and tried to force herself on me, again. I finally fled the house, too disturbed to listen to her laughing maniacally. She had tried to break me, to make me into something that I was not, and that angered me. How dare she degrade me into a sex object! In retrospect, I have to admit I was a bit flattered, but at the time, I was still quite insecure. Things seemed to be perfect, until her sister came into the equation, and then things just went downhill from there. Don’t misunderstand me; her sister was everything she wasn’t: she was shy, soft-spoken, and very studious. I saw her looking at me a few times, but then she’d start blushing and look away. I had assumed, since the encounter with her sister was a mess that things would be awkward and I was right, but not for the reason you’d think. The shy girl’s sister started to completely ignore me, every time I’d come into the house to perform exams, she’d look the other way with disdain or leave the room altogether. Her sister, however, walked up to me and handed me a book.
“C-can you teach me h-how to c-cook, p-please?” I don’t know why, but I found her shyness attractive, namely because she was socially awkward like me.
“Why would you like for me to teach you? Doesn’t your sister do that?” She quickly shook her head no and started to blush.
“N-no, she doesn’t, she’s always t-too busy trying to s-snag men. I-I don’t know w-why.” I couldn’t help but feel amused.
“Sure, I’ll teach you how to cook.” and all of the sudden she seemed to brighten up and for the first time, I saw her face. She was cute, to be sure. She had a round face, a small nose, and bright, blue, eyes. She wore her hair in pigtails and she looked at me with admiration and, later on, I found out, attraction.
“Wh-when can we s-start?”
“We can start whenever you’re ready.” She nodded and was about to say something when her sister roved in, looked at me and told her sister that I was a whore and that I shunned her and hurt her and then she started to cry. Her sister seemed to be in a bit of a spot and didn’t know how to get out of it.
“I’m sure Mr. Vitali didn’t hurt your feelings on purpose, my dear sister. He seems like such a good person.”
“Don’t let him fool you, sister mine! He’s nothing but garbage! He forced himself on me and then left when I tried to escape. “
You could see the cogs in her head turning as she fiddled her thumbs and looked around.
“But dear sister, I saw what you did to Mr. Vitali, and it was the exact opposite of what you said. You were the one that forced him around, not the other way around. Don’t think that you can pull the wool over my eyes, sister.” and for the first time, I saw this insane spark, this passion that I had never seen in a woman before.
Her sister’s face screwed up into a ball of fury and red.
“I thought you were on my side, Elzaphine?”
So her name was Elzaphine? I had finally found out the name of the cute hermit.
“I’m only on the side that is right. You were in the wrong, so I’m siding with Mr. Vitali. Nilia, forgive me, but I cannot stand around whilst an innocent man suffers.”
Nilia seemed frozen, set in her anger; her eyes were that of a deranged demon.
“I see, sister mine, and if that’s how you feel, you can have him!” and with that, she stormed off. Elzaphine was blushing something fierce now and when she looked at me, her whole face was red.
“I-I a-apologize for my si-sister’s ways. Just know that I believe in you, no matter what.” For the first time, I actually felt attracted to a woman and for a while, things seemingly returned to normal. When Nilia wasn’t out trying to snag men, she was sitting in her room, read the book of the gods and for some reason, that seemed rather off but I ignored it, thinking it was just one of her many ploys to get back at us. Every day, I’d teach her how to cook, the dear Ms. Elzaphine and she was surprisingly good! One day, I was teaching her the proper mixing techniques to fold in the eggs for a batter and it happened. When my hand wrapped around hers, things seemed to be right. I stepped in closer, closing the distance between her and I, I could feel the heat from her and I leaned down to smell her hair, it smelled beautiful, like peppermint and rose.
“Mr. Vitali, wh-what are you doing?” She leaned back into my chest and my hands fell from hers and wrapped around her waist.
“I honestly don’t know.” I whispered into her ear.
“I-I really don’t, either.” She turned towards me, her eyes hooded, confused.
“Then, I guess we should do what comes natural.” The next thing I knew, we were kissing. And it wasn’t a lustful kiss; it was a genuine, warm, kiss. She ran her fingers through my hair and pulled me into a deeper kiss. I pulled her towards me, pulling her as close as I could get her. We stayed locked like that for a few moments and then we pulled away from each other. I couldn’t help but notice that El was blushing something fierce. Ha ha. In retrospect, I found her nickname to be rather cute. She looked at the batter and said to me: “Mr. Vitali, I think that our batter is messed up.” We laughed like were in love, and perhaps we were. I never knew, though, as the next day I found out that she had contracted a virulent strain of Scarlet Iago and was dead within a few days. The next thing I knew, I became the most hated man in the village. Rumors were being whispered, saying that I raped El, that I abused her sister, that I made the version of Scarlet Iago that El had. It hurt. It hurt so much. I don’t recall crying as much as I did when I found out that she was dead, and what hurt even more was that they believed in what Nilia said. I had a feeling that she gave her own sister the disease and then started to spread under the pretense it was I. The next thing I knew, I was exiled from the village. As I was walking away, I saw a barrage of burning arrows flying towards the village. I ran as fast as I could, but I arrived a bit too late. All I remember were the screams, the pleas, the bargaining. They all screamed so loud and the smell of burning flesh and hair was too much to bear. I wanted so bad to be with the woman I loved, but I knew her fate, she was burning right along side her sister. For some reason, I took joy in the fact that that bitch burned but I was also deeply saddened by the fact that I’d never see El, again. Part of me wanted to save the village, whilst the other half of me shunned them like they had shunned me. So, essentially, one woman’s action and one woman’s reaction was what caused the destruction of the village. Rumor had it that an underling from Yesterwind had gotten wind of the spread of Scarlet Iago and told the underlings in Raide about it. Raide, of course, were reluctant to act at first, but I suspect that the little underling had way too much power.
It haunts me because I want to feel love, again. I want to love El. I want to be with her. She’ll never be beside me, again. I’ll never feel her touch; I’ll never feel her lips against mine. El. My dear Elzaphine.
.:.Vitali’s Story. Fin.:.
Levin leaned back in shock; he never knew that Vitali, at one point, had a lover. What shocked him even more was that Vitali was just as passionate as he was, at times. He honestly didn’t know what to say.
“Hey, listen, I-I really am sorry about El. She seemed to be a really sweet person. And you were right for hating that bitch of a sister. I know you’ll never find happiness like that again, but can I at least make you happy for a minute? I know nothing about relationships, honestly, namely because I’m entirely too reckless to make any decisions that have an impact like that, but I can say that I know how it feels to fight a seemingly impossible battle and that I truly can understand your reluctance to get into a relationship, again. If you want for me to, I’ll leave this room. I will look back, I’m not going to lie, but I will leave you alone.
Alone? Do I want to be alone?”
He stood up and turned around to look at Vitali.
“What would you like for me to do?”
Vitali looked around nervously and then looked up at his friend.
I don’t want to be alone, anymore.
“Please, stay.” whispered Vitali leaning down, his head in his hands and his elbows resting on his knees.
Levin leaned down, wrapping his arms around Vitali’s shoulders.
“I’m not going to leave you, Vitali. I’ll stay with you.”
The young Sepp kissed the top of Vitali’s head.
“I love you, Vitali.”
Vitali answered with a low sob.
“I know you’re not El, Levin, but you… you are a lot like El. I want to… teach you how to cook. “
Levin, for some reason, knew exactly what that meant.
“Teach me how to cook?!”
Vitali let out a laugh and pulled away from the young guard.
“Yeah, Euphoria’s cooking is toxic, after all.”
“Hey, don’t talk about big sis that way! She… she tries.” admitted Levin, shaking his head back and forth.
“You really are a sister lover, aren’t you?” smiled Vitali.
“Hey! You know how I feel about that word! Damn it, Vitali, not you, too?”
The young mage laughed.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s just fun tormenting you.” Vitali’s laugh was cut short and soon he was serious, again.
“But I will teach you tomorrow; right now I am tired and need some rest.” Levin nodded and headed towards the door.
Levin looked over his shoulder at him.
“I- I love you, too.”
Levin was glad that Vitali couldn’t see his wide smile. He was so much closer to Vitali, now, so close that he could practically taste him.
.:-Chapter One. End.-:.
They woke up in bed together, honey smeared all over them. How this happened, Levin didn’t know, but he most certainly was sure that they were naked.
He sat up slowly, so as not to wake Vitali.
“Man, what the hell happened last night?”
He found no answer in the grey of dawn.
He wasn’t complaining, of course, he had wanted to be with Vitali for a while; he just wanted to remember how they got together in the first place.
Aw man. He’s asleep and I don’t want to wake him up but…
“You’re wondering how and why we’re in bed together, yes?” Levin jumped in shock and looked to his side, just in time to see Vitali sit up and run a pale hand through his hair.
“Ho-holy shit!” sputtered Levin, narrowing his eyes at Vitali.
Vitali blinked, unable to comprehend why Levin was so startled.
“What do you mean “What?”? You damn near scared the hell out of me, man. “ Levin scratched the back of his head and winced when he felt a knot forming there.
What the hell?
“You know, I’m all for mysteries and whatever, but, seriously, why is there a bump on my head and why are we smeared with honey?”
“Um.” started Vitali, his eyes darting around and then finally landing on Levin. Levin twisted his lips to one side and then the other.
“There’s no “um” to it, Vitali! What did you do? Hell, what did we do?”
Vitali took in a deep breath and then started the story.
“Well, it started off innocently enough. You had come down shortly after I had arranged everything for our cooking session and stated that you were hungry. So, I asked you if you’d like some hotpods or something else and you said: “I want hotpods, and I want them sweet.” So, I obliged. However, I had forgotten a very key ingredient for making sweet hotpods: honey. I sent you for it and was quite surprised by the fact that you had found it; good job on that, by the way, I had hidden that honey away so that nobody would eat it all. You have a very prominent sense of smell. Anyway, you brought it to me and I added it in. You were looking kind of glum, so I offered you a chance to stir it. Surprisingly enough, you ambled right over to the stove and took the spoon from me.
“How do I stir it?” At this point, Vitali paused and smiled at his friend.
“I told you that you had to stir it from left to right and then up and down. You seemed confused, so I helped you. I wrapped my hands around yours. Here.” Vitali wrapped his hands around Levin’s and guided them in a circular motion. “Just like this.” he continued. Levin was blushing, now and he couldn’t hide it.
“A few minutes later, the glaze was done, but you insisted that we keep stirring and that I could lean in and smell your hair at any time. By the way, Levin?” The brawler took his hands from his friend’s
“Were you drunk when you came down? Because you were acting kind of weird.”
Levin thought back and drew a blank.
“Not that I could remember.”
The healer stroked his chin in thought.
There were a few bouts of silence and then: “But I really did want for you to make the moves on me; I guess I wasn’t drunk, I was just being too damn brash for my own good. Is there anything else I said or did that lead up to us being naked and covered in honey?”
“Well, I was getting to that part.” huffed Vitali, glaring at the young Sepp.
“Anyway!” coughed the mage, still glaring at Levin. “You told me that you were about to turn around and that I should surprise you with something.”
Levin blinked a few times.
“Was it a kiss?” A man could be hopeful, right?
“No, I squirted honey on you, got it in your eye, I did.”
“That…sounds really perverted; you do realize that, right?
It was Vitali’s turn to blush.
“Only if taken out of context, Levin! Only out of context! Anyway, you wiped it out of your eye, grabbed the bottle and sprayed me with it! Do you know how hard it is to wash that out of your hair? It’s not easy, let me tell you! Regardless, you managed to get it all over my face, too.”
Holy Haephenus! He does realize that he’s sound like a dirty old man the more he talks, right? Right?!
“And why, exactly, are you looking at me like that? Levin! Hello? Anyone home?” Vitali started to wave his hand in front of Levin’s face.
“Huh? What? Man, I think you’re doing that on purpose!”
“Doing what on purpose, Levin? Talking? Making cohesive sentences? What am I doing on purpose, exactly?” Levin started blushing.
“You’re making me feel kind of dirty. Really sticky. “
Vitali scrunched his face and blinked a few times.
“All of this talk about honey and getting dirty makes me feel like you’re hiding something! Get to the good part, already!”
“G-good part? Levin, do you realize how much trouble it’s going to be trying to get the rest of this off?”
“…” One of the times ellipses were truly needed.
“…Your mind still is in the gutter, isn’t it?”
Levin nodded to this.
“Mmf. So, it’s like this: I pushed you, angry that you had covered me with honey and I--”
“B-but you started it! You were the one that sprayed me with honey first!”
“was mad that you got me dirty.” continued Vitali, undeterred by Levin’s defense.
“What, did I hit my head or something?” Levin was truly curious, now.
“No, not exactly.” The two guys were taking turns blushing.
“You pushed me back and we started to fight. It got pretty rough; I was hitting you with a spoon and you were parrying my attacks with your head, it was quite disturbing. So, your head was bleeding, I was covered with honey, and it seemed that both of us would lose, so I did what came natural as a spy: subduing a threat. I swept your feet out from under you and pinned you. At some point, your head hit the ground and I think you played dead. I was terrified; I thought I had killed you. At the last minute, however, you sat up, knocked me to the ground and pinned me.”
Levin was intrigued; it was starting to get good.
“You were hovering over me, smiling. “Looks like we’re even, now.” you said, leaning down and licking your lips. “So sweet.” you said, leaning down so that our lips were mere centimeters apart.
“So pretty.” you continued, lightly touching my lips with yours as you spoke. I was both paralyzed with fear and anticipation; I didn’t know what you were going to do next. The next thing I knew, you were kissing me and I was kissing back. It felt right for some reason. Our kiss triggered the memories I had with El and I reached up and pulled you into a deeper kiss. I think I was depriving you of air, because you were turning slightly blue. I pulled away and watched you as you turned from red, to pale, to purple, and then back to red. I suppose the same thing could have been said about me, too.”
“We were on the floor for maybe five minutes, but it really seemed like an eternity. After awhile, you decided to get up and you helped me to my feet. I thought it was over, but I was wrong. You drug me to my room and we…” At this point, Vitali was as red as a stewed hotpod. Levin rotated his wrist in a prompting motion.
Vitali closed his eyes in an attempt to hide the fact that he actually liked the where this was going.
“We got undressed and hopped into my bed. By the way, you are going to help clean this mess up when all is said and done. My sheets are all sticky and I…”
Levin started giggling, he couldn’t help it.
“Y-your sheets are…”
“Sticky!” Offered Vitali, heatedly, opening his eyes.
“Y-yeah, th-they’re so s-sticky. “ Now the young Sepp was laughing.
“What’s so funny? Sticky sheets are no laughing matter!”
“--eets ---mm… ha ha ha. So dirty St-sticky. Oooh, sticky.”
Vitali could no longer hide his irritation.
“Stop taking things out of context, Levin!”
Levin tried to stop laughing and, after a minute or two, succeeded.
“Can I continue, now?”
Levin nodded, trying to put on a serious face.
“Well, we got into bed and…” Vitali’s voice trailed off and he looked out the window.
“We made passionate love and fell asleep in each other’s arms?”
Vitali’s head snapped back towards Levin.
“How did you know?”
“Um. O-oh. So, we, uh… Huh? Dude, are you telling me we did… we did that?”
“Yeah. that and then some.”
“How did that happen, exactly?”
“Well, after we got into bed, you mentioned that I was sticky and it was annoying you. The next thing I know, you’re licking the honey off my face. It felt good, I’m not going to lie to you, but it was also quite awkward. Licking people’s face is not a normal practice amongst people, and you were enjoying it way too much.”
“You’re shitting me, right? I- I’d never do that! And since when were you the talkative one?”
“Do you want me to finish this story or not?” huffed Vitali, looking at his friend with annoyance.
“Yeah yeah, I’m all ears.”
“So, you’re licking me, right? Then I leaned forward and pushed you away long enough to grab you by the horns, quite literally, and return the favor. You seemed shocked but content. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, we’re licking each other. As naughty as it sounds, that’s what happened.
“Yes, yes, but what about the love making part? That has me curious, now.”
Vitali took in a breath before continuing.
“The honey had run down my body and you were happily licking it off, your tongue is kind of rough, really. Kind of made me giggle. Um.” Vitali turned red, again.
“And it had dripped down… down there, right?”
Levin nodded his head, prompting Vitali to continue.
“…And. Um. That is to say. When you were down there, you decided that licking something else would, how can I say this, be a bit more…uh, what the word I’m looking for? Stimulating. Yeah, that.”
Levin liked where this was going. Why didn’t he remember it when Vitali did? Was he that far gone by that point?
“You knew what you were doing, that was for sure! I was rather surprised of that fact. Which makes me curious. Levin?”
“Did you do that before we met? The reason I ask was because you were good and I’m not just saying that, I mean it.”
“Actually,” recounted Levin “I played the scenario in my head many times. And, strangely enough, they all had you in it. Kind of funny, really, all things considered. That was kind of a fantasy of mine.”
“So you gained experience from your dreams? Wow.” Vitali scratched his head, he was rather flattered.
“Then what happened?”
“Well, you were kind of sucking and not in a bad way at that. After that, you stopped and started to lick your way back up. I have to admit, that was interesting, too. When your lips mine, we kissed, Levin, just for the record, try not to bite my lip, again. I’m going to have a bruise I can’t explain.” Vitali sure was blushing a lot, tonight. “Of course, I’m not really complaining, it was actually really fun, but you’re going to have a bruise, too, namely because I bit back.
“Oh.” Levin said simply rubbing his lips. “So that’s why it kind of hurts. Hm, Vitali, I didn’t realize you liked it like that… I’ve gotta remember that.”
“But that’s not all. You drew a bit blood and licked it from my lips.
“You’re mine.” is what I remember you saying. That was enough to make me want to…um…get loud. I was trying to close my mouth and you were trying to keep it open with your tongue, I’m somewhat glad that I didn’t bite it.
“Shut up!” You said, silencing me with yet another kiss. By that time, I decided not to get vocal and enjoyed the kiss. You finished kissing me and licking the blood off and then lightly pushed me the side, by back towards you.
“I remember being terrified, because I knew what was coming and I had never done that before, especially with a man. You leaned over me and whispered in my ear.
“Don’t worry, we’ll go slowly.”
I nodded and closed my eyes, finding my calm. You leaned in and bit my shoulder, drawing more blood. I remember whimpering. I was thinking too much, again. You licked my blood again and nibbled on my ear.
“I promised you I wouldn’t hurt you, and I’m not, but you have got to relax…” I relaxed, you leaned in, bit my ear and then you pressed your chest against my back and whispered and asked if I was ready. I managed to get out a meek yes and you pushed yourself into me. It hurt like hell, everything burned, if that was what love felt like, I most certainly didn’t like it… at first. Then, the more I relaxed, the easier it got. You were moving slowly to be sure, but I suspect the honey made a reasonably good lubricant and you were moving smoothly. I pressed the pillow against my face to silence the small yelps of pain and pleasure. You pulled out, draped your arm over my chest, and asked me if I was okay. I answered yes, of course, because, honestly, it felt really good.”
“Several minutes had passed and we were still in bed, together. I think you were drifting off at that point, because you were starting to mumble. That was okay, though, because I knew, when you woke up, I could tell you this story. So, you’re awake, you know the story, and I’m hoping we could maybe make a new date for this sort of thing. Oh, and Levin?”
“Hm?” pushed Levin’s words through his amazement.
“I didn’t have a nightmare that night. Thank you for that.” Levin snapped out of his daze and smiled.
“Any time, man, any time.”
-So Another Tale Begins-
“So, I remember you telling me the story of how you can undo your healing spells and you said that you can rip apart wounds that you had received? Remember how I told you that it was stupid to do that? I still do, but I think it would be interesting just to try it; if you don’t like it, or it gets too painful, heal, if not, though…” Levin let out a short laugh, “I can make it so that you do like it.”
Vitali was a bit curious, he had to admit.
“What are you talking about, Levin? Yeah, I can do that, but why would I? Do you just like to see me hurt?” Vitali looked a bit wounded; he most certainly wanted Levin to see him more as a friend or lover opposed to a plaything.
“Hey, don’t look at me like that! It was just a suggestion. I figured we could always…pretend.”
Vitali didn’t like where this was going, but nonetheless, he bit.
Levin slowly walked up to him and cupped his chin with his hand.
“That you’re bleeding and you need me to “heal” you in my own little way.”
Okay, now Vitali was truly interested, if not a bit terrified.
He was so used to healing that it didn’t occur to him that Levin had that ability.
“How would you heal me? To the best of my knowledge, you were a brawler, a warrior.”
Levin tightened his grip on Vitali’s face and lifted it up so that their eyes met.
“Did you know that when an animal like a dog or cow licks your wounds, your wounds tend to heal faster. Something I was told, anyway. I could always lick your wounds.”
“Um. What? I mean, I’ve heard about that but…Levin.”
Then it dawned on him and the terror opened up, again.
“Do you want for me to hurt myself so you can lick me? That’s…disturbing.”
Levin said nothing but tightened his grip a little bit more.
“Come on, Vitali, humor me a bit, okay?”
He loosened his grip and caressed the young mage’s face. All of the sudden Vitali relaxed, it was a good feeling to be caressed by his friend…his lover.
“Okay. Very well.” Vitali stepped back, away from Levin’s touch.
“…” Levin smiled and watched as Vitali closed his eyes.
All of the sudden, Levin felt as if he were being pulled back by the hands of time, tints of pain and flashes of blood crossed his sight and all of the sudden he felt ill. Was Vitali opening up his wounds or…?
There was a thunderous boom and all of the sudden Levin saw a part of Vitali’s past being played in front of him like a play.
He grabbed his shoulder as soon as the blade was removed from it; he remembered feeling the blade cleanly slice through his muscles and flesh, the sickening feeling of slowly bleeding out. He remembered that the Sepp was angry and she was about to go in for the killing blow when her blade was blocked by another’s. It was Hilde, if memory served him right.
“Hey, if you’re gonna pick on someone, may as well pick on me, eh?” ribbed Hild as she parried the other woman’s blade and decapitated her. The blood splashed across both of their faces and Vitali stood there in shock, still holding his arm.
“Well, are you going to just stand there and bleed to death or are you going to heal yourself? I didn’t save you just to have you die. Heal yourself, you dumb ass.”
That snapped Vitali out of his stupor and he focused, imagining the damage repairing itself, muscle, sinew, and blood vessels weaving back into their original, true, form. Slowly his wound closed and he healed Hilde. Hilde smiled, and put her hand on his good shoulder.
“You’re a good man.” She said as she removed her hand and walked off to start another fight and to save another life.
In another instant, Vitali was standing above a Redflank, pointing down to him.
“You killed Hilde.” he said between angry breaths.
“And now you’re going to join her.”
It wasn’t a threat, it was a promise and Vitali was very intent on carrying it through. His eyes flashed briefly and then the Redflank’s scars began to open up and seep blood. At first, it was a slow bleed, but as time past, it came down in what seemed to be torrents. The Redflank screamed as his arm started to fall apart, some of the sinew clung to the muscles in his flesh, but it was soon severed and the cow like creature’s arm fell to the ground in a wet thump.
He saw it in his mind: all of the wounds the old Redflank received, who delivered it, and why. Everything was so clear, all he had to do was rip them apart, rend them asunder with a twitch and a twist, he saw the scars unravel like a frayed rope. He smiled, he continue to see this destruction as the Redflank pleaded and reached out towards Vitali’s feet, his shaky, seeking, hands grabbing Vitali’s robe.
“Please help me. I’m sorry.”
There was silence and the Vitali’s smile curled into a bloodthirsty grin.
“But I’m not sorry. Die.”
The Redflank fell down face first onto the ground and ceased to move.
Then the memory slowly started to pull itself apart, inch-by-inch until there was a single strand and that, too, faded.
Vitali laughed as he dropped to his knees, holding the bleeding wound, smiling as his life leaked between his fingers.
Something about seeing the mage in his state of mind and body turned Levin on. He closed the distance between them and slowly pulled the robe from Vitali’s neck and draped it around his shoulder. The wound was there, all right, and it wasn’t small: it was a vertical slit, the small amount of fat between the skin and the muscles were stretching and contracting with every breath the healer made, small spurts of blood were bubbling from it, forming small steams that trickled down Vitali’s arm. Levin dropped down in front of him and lifted Vitali’s chin up towards him and nearly let go when he saw Vitali’s eyes: they weren’t human, anymore, they were the eyes of a man lost in the haze of anger and self-loathing, they were the eyes of a killer and he was there with him, about to “heal” Vitali.
But what if he decides he wants to “un-heal” me? I might be in trouble.
He shook those thoughts aside as he pressed his lips against the cook’s, starting when Vitali bit his lip, again, drawing blood. Levin bit back and was able to lick a drop of blood before the rest of it trickled down Vitali’s chin.
“S-so…” whispered Vitali around Levin’s lips. Levin pulled away and looked at him, puzzled.
Vitali’s eyes darted around and then focused on Levin’s and, for the first time in a long time, Levin was scared.
“So foolish of you to bring up memories like that; I had tried to forget them, to push them away and live a normal life but you…”
Vitali’s eyes darkened even more and grabbed Levin by the throat.
“You decided that it would be a great idea to scrape at my wounds. You scraped at them. You were the one to make me remember.”
He started to tighten his grip on Levin’s throat.
“So very foolish of you…Levin.” Levin started to claw at Vitali’s hand and, having no effect, wrapped his free hand around Vitali’s throat. Vitali tightened his grip on a certain point of the brawler’s neck and all of the sudden Levin felt light-headed and nauseous, the next thing he knew, he was on his side, his vision blearily focusing on Vitali’s lithe form. Vitali’s hand was no longer around his throat; it was starting to pull chunks of flesh from his wound.
Levin had seen some truly horrendous thing, but seeing his friend peeling flesh from his shoulder nearly made him vomit.
“Man, stop this…” whispered Levin, reaching up and grabbing the bottom half of Vitali’s robe. Vitali stopped his clawing and tilted his head to the side.
“But I thought this is what you wanted, Levin. I thought you wanted to see me hurt and bleeding…”
He knelt beside his friend and stroked the hair from Levin’s forehead.
:”Isn’t that what you wanted?”
Levin had no words.
“Oh, come now, Levin? Did you honestly believe that you were the only one that had a demon in him?”
Vitali leaned down and whispered into his ear.
“All of us, even the most pious, have their demons. They live amongst us, talking like normal people, living normal lives, but deep down something howls within them, something so primordial that they fear it, but, Levin, the true “demons” are the ones that don’t act on that fear, they push it away in hopes that it will manifest into something far more desirable. Kindness. Hope. Justice. These are just masks that fear wears. Levin, demons aren’t something foreign, something lurking behind a wall of darkness or beneath the flames of the underworld, no, they’re lurking inside of all of us, looking for a way out. Some take different paths, but ultimately they meet here, here being insanity. “
To Levin’s surprise, Vitali kissed the top of his head, dribbles of his blood dripping down Levin’s neck. Levin didn’t know what to say or do, until Vitali started to kiss him; it was a kiss of passion, a kiss that transcended any of the kisses he had shared with Vitali. He could taste the mage’s blood, feeling it as trickled warmly down his throat.
This is how I imagined he’d taste.
Levin leaned into the kiss and gripped the back of the healer’s head, deepening it. Vitali didn’t struggle; he simply draped himself over Levin, supporting his body against Levin’s. When they pulled apart, some of Vitali’s insane fervor started to disappear.
Vitali pushed himself up, shakily, and started to cough up blood in wet spurts. Levin picked him up with no effort and set him against the wall in a sitting position, his legs sprayed in front of him in a v-shape.
“I promised I’d heal you.” he leaned down and started to lick the wound, the taste of blood salty on the tip of his tongue. With every lick, Vitali would moan; that was enough of an incentive for him to continue. He slipped his hands around Vitali’s now bare shoulders and leaned back long enough to kiss his collarbone, neck, and cheek before continuing his blood lapping. He could feel Vitali’s shoulders quake at every lick and Levin found that the hard he’d lick, the more his shoulders would heave. To his surprise, the licking actually worked, slowly but surely, the wound started to cease its bleeding and start to scab over. Levin leaned back and licked his now bloodied lips.
“I think…”Vitali said quietly, smiling at Levin in a not so vicious way. He could actually see the smile in his friend’s eyes.
“I think I should heal myself, I’m starting to get dizzy.” Levin nodded as he pulled himself to his feet and dusted himself off.
“Yeah, I think you should, too.”
Vitali focused his healing energies and his body started to recuperate from its past traumatic state and with his body healed his mind. All of the dark patches, all of the violence, all of the bloodshed, were sealed away, hopefully never to return. The only reminder of the incident was Levin’s bloody lips and Vitali’s sore shoulder.
No one had to know what happened. Cuthbert, however, felt rather traumatized. He couldn’t unsee what he saw.
There were heartbeats, one pounding after another, starting to get faster. His hardened shell quaking with every heartbeat. She looked so kind, so tender. He didn’t want her to see the bloodshed. No, he wanted to pull her close to him, to tell her quietly that he did care for her. Sadly enough, things weren’t that simple. He had to play his part, designated to himself, by himself.
“Trish…” His voice wasn’t loud enough to be heard.
Oh, Trish, I want so bad to tell you.
Through all his harsh, angry, words, Raksha wasn’t completely bad.
Perhaps I could’ve chosen another path?
Too late for second guesses, he had something to do.
“Wh-what are you doing here?! You should be asleep!”
Was that he all he could muster?
Come on, Raksha, she’s just a damn girl!
“I happened to see a couple of mice sneak out of Mr. Vangogh’s house. I haven’t been sleeping well lately…”
Little mice? Heh. Only Trish would come up with something like that… What am I talking about? Her name is Tricia! Not Trish! Damn Raksha, snap out of it… Trish hasn’t been sleeping? Have I turned into such monster. Why do I feel as if Shauna had something to do with this? Had Shauna not killed Hawthorne, chances are Tricia would still be there but… That would also mean that Tricia may have fell victim to that bastard’s deeds. I am a World Eater.
His movements, however, belied his thoughts; his swaying arms started to slow and he felt himself lurch forward a few steps. What was he going to say to her, now?
Well, may as well speak my mind and find out what’s going on in that head of hers…
If I can talk her out of being foolish, perhaps I can settle the score with Gig, Gamma, and Joules without having to worry about destroying anything else… What the hell am I saying? I want to destroy everything…
“It’s because of Shauna and Hawthorne, isn’t it? You should just forget about that crap!”
But if it weren’t for Shauna…
“Listen, I’m about to drench this place in blood. A rich girl like you doesn’t belong here. So go away!
Tricia. I really don’t want to see you cry. Please go away, don’t make me hurt you, too. I…
“My, such consideration. Only Levin would care so much.”
But I’m not Levin! I’m…
“Please, Levin. Can’t you just stop this…this blockhead stuff?”
A blockhead? No! No, I’m Raksha, damn it! I’m not Levin and I… I’m not a blockhead.
The fiery World Eater was starting to get a bit huffy, his chest was heaving and his swaying hands were now shaking a bit.
“Call me whatever you want. I’m not nice, okay?!”
He looked down at Tricia and then shot his gaze towards the Town of Thuris. He didn’t sense life there, which was good because he was about to make a very important point using that town as an example. He concentrated and focused his energies to form a burst of energy in front of the Town of Thuris and then through it.
That should prove my point. Tricia…? Are you… are you crying? No. She’s not. She’s just mad. Mad at me. Good, Tricia, be mad at me, hate me, but please don’t cry…
Raksha was pretty intuitive in that respect; Tricia was furious but she wasn’t about to back down. Not yet. She walked up to him, she could feel the heat from his flames, the embers flittering around her body like nervous butterflies. Raksha looked down, shocked at her bold stance. He saw passion in her eyes, a fierce determination to keep him safe.
Why would she want me to be safe? I eat souls, I shed blood, I cause pain and suffering! I’m not a nice…
Then it started to dawn on him: Tricia still saw him as human. She wanted to protect the part in him that was still human-still Levin.
Raksha struggled to regain his composure and he glared down at Tricia, attempting to scare her away.
“Ha ha ha! See what happens? Some city just got blown away! Aren’t you scared?! Get out of here!”
Tricia stood her ground and continued to look up at him, her eyes softening a bit when she saw Raksha’s faltering movements.
“I…I won’t leave. I’m not afraid of you… Levin.”
Levin? Levin? I am not Levin! I’m Raksha, damn it. Why can’t she get that through her thick ass skull? Damn it, Trish, stop being so… loving. No. No! I have to stand up, otherwise they’re going to win and I’ll be knocked down, again. I won’t let it happen again, Drazil is not going to keep their reign very long. But…
Raksha was beyond frustrated, now; no, he was flustered beyond belief. He was letting some… some girl dictate his actions…
But she’s no ordinary girl… For but a brief moment…
The flames started to die down a bit.
I want her to know that I truly do love her.
His eyes started to flicker a bit, his hands shaking, but no longer with hatred or excitement, but with nervousness.
So much for gracefulness.
Good going, Raksha, you just succeeded at one of the most lame one liner in history. Trish. One more time. Look up at me.
Raksha was startled when he found her looking up at him, her eyes soft and kind.
Trish, I can’t say it out loud, but I do love you. If you understand me, nod. Please nod.
Deep within his shell, Raksha smiled when he saw her nod.
Trish. I love you. A monster that has stained his hands with blood doesn’t deserve your kindness.
He shifted a portion of his soul and reached out an invisible hand, touching her face, She smiled as he caressed it.
I love you.
The hand started to lose its strength and started to fade, his caress loosening.
No! Just awhile longer…
Tricia reached her hand up and Raksha shuddered as her hand touched his.
I love you, too, Levin…
He lost control of his hand after that touch. It was jarring when his invisible hand snapped back into his body. But the touch… her voice… it was all he needed. That was all he ever wanted.
Maybe, when this is all over, I will be reborn and I can touch her with hands not stained with blood. Perhaps I can even kiss her and whisper to her that I will always love her. Perhaps I can even lie next to her and smell her perfume. Maybe when this is over with… I can be Levin.
“Ha ha. Lord Raksha, why are you having such trouble with these weaklings? I know I was told not to interfere, but you clearly need my help.
Goddamn it, it’s Dio… Bad timing, you pompous asshole…
“The hell? Where’s his voice coming from?” was Gig’s ever intrusive question. Raksha was about to answer that question when the unexpected happened.
“Huh? What--?! M-my body?” With that said, Tricia disappeared. The red headed World Eater beat him to his own disbelief.
Son of a bitch! No! Damn you, Dio…”
“Don’t worry. I just moved her somewhere safe. You can summon her later. But we were at a stalemate there.” Was the blond headed sorcerer’s response.
Well, at least she doesn’t have to see what will transpire but still…
“Was that really necessary? But thanks, I guess. Girls like that just get on my nerves! Now leave the rest to me! Here we go!”
This was the point of no return and all of the sudden Raksha wasn’t sure he meant what he said. This was his destiny, though, this was his meaning… and Trish was his paradise waiting at the end of the massacre and the sorrow. His Heaven. He would see his blond haired angel, soon.