|Origins Written in Blood
Author: shutterbones PM
Some things were best left forgotten, while some should have never been remembered. I remember slipping, falling. Blood. Andraste help me, I was being devoured by the Fade itself, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to fight it anymore... BloodMage/CullenRated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Horror - Surana & Cullen - Chapters: 52 - Words: 131,805 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 12-24-12 - Published: 06-02-10 - id: 6020383
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: I'm making a warning of this now, before you start reading. This chapter contains a very graphic trigger for rape. It's not funny, and it's certainly not very comfortable to read. I apologize in advance for this portion of the story; it took me a few weeks to get the courage up to write this part. It upset me a lot to write it. Hopefully things will start looking up after this portion of the story. Anyway, continue forward - but with caution.
Little, Sweet Isthalla..
I opened my eyes to the sound of soft Antivan melodies humming in my ears. The darkness around me receded, and beneath me - the soft, pearl-white fabric of a dress. It felt warm, and scented of fresh lilacs. I breathed deep the familiar scent, closing my eyes. Her hands threaded through my hair as she continued to hum such comforting songs. I felt my chest welling with deep-buried desire, longing for something I had never owned. I clung to her dress, my chest clenched with a foreign pain.
"Hush, sweet Isthalla…" she murmured in her wonderful Antivan accent. It sounded like the softest silk, and filled me with sharp, prickling sensations of grief. I wanted so desperately to remember, to will this into being. I wanted this; something I had been robbed of my entire life.
Why can't you be my mother?
I could feel the tears brimming as I hugged her waist and wept, burying myself into the familiarity, the warmth, the safety of her loving arms. Completely, unconditionally loving arms. Those that didn't judge me or shun me away. She did not fear me; she welcomed me. She protected me.
She hushed me and continued humming her soft tune, then brushed the hair out of my eyes.
"Sweet Isthalla, do not cry," she whispered to me. "You have a visitor." I rose my weary head from her lap, still tear-stained and eyes reddened, to find him standing there, his armor gone - replaced by the leather brown trousers I'd seen him wear once at the training grounds. He wore a simple, white tunic, with his bare flesh just barely visible beneath. He looked so very human. A great smile spread across his face as he opened his arms to me.
I stumbled into him, a fresh wave of joyful tears springing to my eyes as I buried myself into his enveloping arms and breathed him in. He smelled as wonderful as I remembered; so very real.I didn't want to let go.
He laughed and adjusted himself to my weight, pulling me into him until my feet lifted just slightly off the ground. He set me back down, taking a deep breath in and leaning back. I turned wet, tear-stained eyes up to his face. The untouched affection in his eyes nearly sent me into another fit of sobs. Instead, I felt my heart jump into my throat when he leaned forward and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt a jolt of fire spread through my chest as he left his lips there, simply pressed against me. My eyes shut.
"Cullen…" I breathed in a tremble, completely loosening my posture against him. I melted into his arms, and he - welcoming me - brought me to him as he sat me upon the ground and wrapped himself around me. I curled up into his lap, feeling small and feeble. I felt safety in his arms, in his voice, and in his touch. He ran rough fingertips through my hair, adjusting himself to rest his forehead against mine.
"Stay with me," he murmured. My heart clenched up again in my chest as the foreign feelings spread through my body. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I breathed in a shuddering breath, trying to stay my overwhelming emotions, and placed a hand on his face. So warm. He turned to press a chaste kiss into the palm of my hand, making my chest hurt more. My face crumpled.
"I want to," I whispered. "More than anything, Maker I would stay here forever.." I felt new tears beginning to form. The foreign sensation began to build until I could no longer ignore it; grief was beginning to consume me.
You know what you must do.
My breath hitched in my throat as I tried to qualm the feelings, grasping onto the collar of his tunic. He tried soothing me by petting my face, but it only made it worse. The tears began to pour down my face. My entire body was shaking in his arms as I felt the guilt settle into the pit of my chest - a great, entrenching grief.
"I can't…" I choked out. Faint, threading memories of screams and blood filled my mind. The desperate sound of his voice. The tower. I began to pull away as I remembered.
You're still in danger..
I could feel his grip tightening on me now, fingertips lessening their kindness. Pressing, more urgent. Forcibly keeping me there. I felt panic building in my chest as I opened my eyes and looked at him.
"I'm so sorry, Cullen," I choked out. "I swore I wouldn't abandon you."
I have to go back…
"But I'm right here," he pleaded, though I could already hear the desperation pulling at his voice. I choked back another sob as I took his face in both hands and pressed my forehead to his. I shut my eyes, taking in a deep breath and shaking my head.
"No, you're not," I whispered. "I still have to save you."
I opened my eyes to the empty, black gaze of my captor, though still using the form of my beloved. A stab of terror pulled at my chest as I witnessed the image of Cullen, my templar, with the eyes of a demon. I began to pull away, feeling his claws tightening into my sides.
"Y-You're hurting me, Cullen," I whimpered, fear betraying my voice. A snarl began to pull at his lips. A faint glow of purple enveloped his eyes as he dug his hands deeper into my sides, making me yelp.
"This is what you want," he hissed, his voice mirroring that of another's - a foreign entity. Panic spiked in my mind as I began to thrash and struggle to get away. I managed to shift to my feet, but still his arms grasped around me like iron. I began to yank his shirt and thrash violently back and forth, the sobs overtaking me the longer he held on.
"Don't go, Isthalla," he pleaded. I felt my heart pounding in my chest, trying to force myself to ignore the sound of his gentle voice. I had to resist.
"Let me go," I sobbed, but I was already losing the battle. I could not fight him; this was too much, and the demon knew it. My heart was too soft, my mind too readily buried within a realm that gave into everything he was - his voice, his touch, his love. I could not fight it alone.
You must resist..
Her voice returned to me, though distant. I froze in his arms to find her hovering some five feet behind him over his shoulder, her black eyes fixed on me.
"I can't!" I sobbed, still struggling but finding my heart no longer in it. I couldn't bring myself to hurt him. I felt his arms tightening around my waist, pulling me in. His hissing in my ears; claws digging into my skin. I squeezed my eyes shut, frantic and desperate for an escape.
P-Please, help me! I can't do this!
What is it you want me to do?
Choose your words carefully, mage. Lie to me and you will suffer.
"P-Please," I begged her, craning my view over Cullen's shoulder. "Help me!" He began to envelop me more - like a great, consuming shadow. I twisted around so my back was to him, and arms cradled into my body. I felt a cold chill sweep over my body.
Should you ask, I will always comply..
But know that you must do this yourself.
I felt a weight drop into my hands. I opened my eyes to find the cold steel of a dagger in my palm. My eyes widened as I looked down at my reflection in the metal, and over my shoulder - the black eyes of Cullen. I squeezed my eyes shut.
It's just an illusion..
Though I repeated the words to myself, I couldn't help but feel a terrible dread overwhelm me as I took the knife in shaking hands and twisted back around to face Cullen.
"I'm so sorry, Cullen.." I whispered before driving the dagger into his face. The creature let out a shriek before releasing me and stumbling back, clawing at his face. I stood and watched, frozen in my fear. Where the dagger had sunk turned to smoke and ash, then reformed again into the face of my templar as if the wound had never happened. The dagger was gone, and he was no less enraged than before. Smoke curled from his empty eyes as I saw black veins began to spread across his face. I took a horrified step back, hands raised in shaking surrender.
"N-No, Cullen-" I begged, feeling the terror envelop me as I saw the fury blaze in his eyes. "P-Please, don't!" I was paralyzed from movement. I could not face the man before me; the same man that had so kindly offered his affection and safety to me in the past. I could not bring myself again to raise my hand in defense.
He grabbed my wrist with a rough, clawed hand and jerked me to the ground. I screamed and felt my body crash against the earth, head ringing and eyes spotting with bursts of light from the impact. He smashed a boot heartlessly into my back. I yelled in pain and jumped, then breathed in the stink of dirt shoved into my face. I coughed and tried to stand, but instead felt a sharp pain go down my spine.
"Please, no.. not like this," I whispered, though I could feel my voice fading. I was losing the ability to speak. No one would hear my screams; not even she was able to save me from him. I had no strength left to fight.
I can't move..
My body was frozen to the ground. I stared, eyes wide and heart pounding in my chest, at my trembling fingertips poised against the dirt. I willed them to move, and found myself unable to budge them even an inch. My breath began to shallow and flounder in my throat as my heart quickened its pace. I couldn't move. My body was shoved harder into the ground; a breathless yelp erupted from my paralyzed mouth, and again I was forced to meet a face full of dirt. I felt the weight of his boot press into the back of my skull, savoring the slow torture of pressing my face and mouth further into the ground. I coughed and choked on the grime filling my nose. I couldn't breath; I couldn't think. I began to cry again - a desperate, petrified kind of crying that made me want to scream. My entire body was shaking with the apprehension of what was happening - the unbelievable sin I knew to be unfolding right in front of my eyes. I could not bear to watch.
He moved his boot from my head and leaned down, grabbing a fistful of hair and jerking me back up. I tried to scream, but found no sound producing from my throat. Instead, I could only offer terrified tears that streaked down my face as I was forced to turn and face my attacker.
The warmth was gone from his eyes - replaced by a cold, empty blackness I could never wash from my mind again. The man before me was a monster; twisted and formed only to the partial shape of the templar I knew, while the rest adopted the true form of its master - a demon. His black claws grabbed my dirty, tear-stained face and pulled me close, his lips writhing into a vicious snarl.
"Now you know what it's like.." he growled before throwing me back to the ground. I yelped upon impact and crumpled into my body, shaking and sobbing.
"You will know what you did to me, Isthalla," he stood over me. I stared, shaking and wide-eyed, at the space between his boots. I tried grasping the edges, begging for mercy.
"Please, Cullen-" I begged. "D-Don't..." He slapped my hands away and shoved me hard into the ground, falling to his knees. Panic was overtaking my chest, filling my lungs with a dry suffocation that left me choking for air. I sobbed and screamed, trying to form the words to tell him to stop. I could not find my voice. I could feel the sensation of my body leaving me again, rendering me helpless; frozen and terrified. Weak.
I could already feel the weight of his body pressing against me, hungry and violent. I squeezed my eyes shut and tightened my fists, praying to the Maker to stop this. Praying to Andraste, to anything that would listen.
Someone save me, please..
"You stole everything from me," he growled into my ear. I withered under the heat of his breath, recoiling my body under the weight of his. I tried struggling again, but found my body no longer responded. He dug his claws into my neck, burying fangs into the flesh of my throat. I screamed in pain, then resumed sobbing as he began yanking up the skirt of my gown and forcing my legs apart.
No, Maker NO please not like this-
I screamed under his grasp until my throat went dry and numb, feeling the cold grip of his hands as he tilted my head to the side and put his lips to my ear.
"You will know my pain. I shall take everything from you now, my love.."