Author: silvereyedbitch PM
At end of CoS when Andrys breaks into the secret room and Tarrant orders Damien to leave. This is what I would have rather taken place between the Hunter and that stupid little boy. Warning: M/M, Emotional Angst, bit of fluff.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Words: 1,793 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-19-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8623908
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Disclaimer: Still just playing with these characters, and they still aren't mine, much as I wish otherwise.
Setting/Summary: At end of CoS when Andrys breaks into the secret room and Tarrant orders Damien to leave. This is what I would have rather taken place between the Hunter and that stupid little boy.
Warning: M/M, Emotional Angst, bit of fluff.
Once Damien was gone, Andrys and Tarrant faced one another across the darkened room. Andrys was tensed and ready for trickery, unease shadowing his fair features. "I will not fight you," Tarrant said weakly, "I probably couldn't even if I had wanted to." Edging closer, Andrys studied the adept in front of him more closely. Covered in ash and paler than usual, every breath a hitch in his side, Tarrant looked a poor specimen indeed. Andrys felt no pity for this murderer, though, and steeled his resolve. Seeing the internal debate within the face so very like his own, Tarrant sighed, "I will even make it easier for you." He leaned onto the alter-like stone in the center of the room and made a very undignified and pitiful clambering up onto it. Breathing heavily once there, he lay supine and closed his eyes. He had seen almost a millennium, and he was tired, so tired. Even the jubilation that should have been rampant in his soul at the breaking of the Unnamed's contract was absent.
"How will you do it?" Tarrant whispered into the gloom. Uncomfortable with the prolonged and calm interaction with his family's murderer and the very man he planned on murdering himself, Andrys forced all emotion from his voice, "Beheading. I will need proof of the deed after all." Tarrant nodded at this, in seeming acceptance of this gruesome and looming fate. Thoughts flew through his mind as he unconsciously listened to Andrys coming closer and readying his sword. The young man's movements were tentative and slow. He still feared treachery. That was a good quality concerning the company present. Why did I never tell him? Tarrant lamented. He was always there, always so close. But it might have broken him before. It will be different now. Oh, Vryce, Damien, I am so sorry for the pain this is causing you. Out loud, Tarrant said, "I would like to thank you for allowing the priest to leave. He is…special to me…" Tarrant heard Andrys snort with disbelief and continue readying himself for the act. He probably considers me incapable of feelings toward anyone, thought Tarrant, And he is almost right. There is only one for whom I care anymore, and I refuse to be a lasting cause of pain for him. I do this for you, Damien, my friend,my confidante, my love… A tear slid down the side of the Hunter's face, invisible in the obscurity of shadows.
Events seemed to slow then as Tarrant lay there, calmly accepting the oncoming press of oblivion. He held perfectly still, as if death had already claimed him. There was a soft rustle from beside the alter as the other readied himself. The sword went high, final resolve shining in Andrys' eyes as he fully committed to the act. And yet, as the blade began to fall, something changed. Andrys sensed it too late, the presence forcing him from his body easily with only an instant of recognizable terror resounding from him. Ripped asunder and thrown violently into an unfamiliar body, the young man could only watch in horror as he himself completed the arc of violent death that severed his new head…and with it his life.
Gerald Tarrant gazed down at his body for long moments before moving. He calmly laid the blade of the sword across the now cooling form. Stepping back, he clenched his hands into fists a few times and stretched his arms, getting a feel for the new him. Seeing blood on the boots, he frowned and looked to the feet of "Andrys." After a closer examination, he removed the boots from the body and exchanged his own for them. Looking down at the results, he smiled, "Excellent." Yelling from above told him that they were readying to burn the keep. Time to go, he thought. He picked up his grisly trophy and made his way toward the upper levels.
Damien could watch no longer once Andrys threw Tarrant's head into the fire. The universe could be damned right now, he needed to get the hell away from this place. He jogged off and into the edge of the Forest. The silence of a grave hung throughout its leafy boughs. Damien found a knot of roots and practically fell down upon it, so careless was he feeling about his own safety. Sitting there amongst the trees, Gerald's creations, he began to weep. His grief was a terrible thing of confusion, self-hatred, and longing. He had planned on saying something to the adept once they were in better shape, for he had seen into the Hunter's own desires for the short period that they shared the strength of the blood bond. He knew, with a certainty, that Gerald had felt the same about him. And he also understood that he had been Worked into leaving that room. Once he had arrived outside of the keep, his desire to leave Tarrant with Andrys vanished. But when he turned to run back to the man, he had felt the most horrible of rending sensations within himself, and he knew…he knew…
"Damn everything! Everything!" Damien screamed into the trees before resuming his mourning. "And why would you curse the foliage so, brave knight?" came a voice from about fifteen feet away. Damien looked up and saw Andrys, so like Tarrant in appearance he could almost fool himself into believing the Hunter still alive. "Leave me be! You are not safe in my presence right now. And though I understand your hatred and need for revenge, I can tell you from experience that it solves nothing," Damien said, "He may have been the Hunter to you, something to be feared and loathed. But he was my friend…and maybe something more," he trailed off into the silence. Steps came closer, so soft and silent Damien was unsure if it was so. Stopping merely feet away, the figure replied, "Truly Vryce, I am flattered, but when have you ever known me to allow the rules of man to apply to me?"
Damien's head shot back up, and he stood quickly. Facing the young man, he saw Andrys' body and something more. Where the features used to merely reflect a close impression of Tarrant, now they seemed almost symmetrical with adept's traits. The way he spaced his legs, his posture, and that delicate half-smile that played across his mouth…and the eyes! While Andrys' had been a vibrant green, they were now a kind of grey, sea green mixture, and they held you captive in their vision, just like… "Tarrant!" Damien yelled, half in joy and half in anger. He grabbed the adept by the shoulders and twisted him around to force his back against the large trunk. "You asshole! You…you…asshole!" he screamed into the Hunter's face. "Yes, well, you always were the one for loquacious conversation, priest," the Hunter teased, "And before you accuse anything further, let me indulge you in an explanation."
The Hunter began, "I did not waste time while in the presence of the Undying prince of Lima, Vryce. I learned his odd trait of switching bodies, although it is not to my tastes to keep alive the main body in such a way, and so I merely filed it away as an interesting fact. However, presented by the young and healthy body of Andrys, who already held my blood, diluted though it may have been, I saw an unprecedented opportunity. No need to keep alive the old body when his was already possessed of the perfect genetic compatibility. This moment also presented me with the perfect and ideal sacrifice. I sacrificed the identity of the Prophet, and I sacrificed the identity of the Hunter. The first allowed me to transfer to a new body, and the second to retain my access to the fae. I needed you away from the room, though, and so I Worked you, and for that I am sorry. But it was necessary, because when I transferred out of my body, my soul would flow to the closest life form. Unfortunately, this all occurred with such speed that I had no way to tell you, and so I sent you away. I truly am regretful of the pain caused by this, but there was no other way. Please, believe me. I would never wish harm upon you…not now."
Damien had absorbed all of this quietly, with no emotion displayed on his face. When the Hunter had finished, he let the silence fill between them again, almost palpable in its fullness. When he spoke, it was low and choked with feeling, "What I know is that I hurt, Gerald. I hurt so fiercely inside when I felt you die that I contemplated joining you. I couldn't conceive of going on in a world without Gerald Tarrant. I've seen inside of you Gerald, and I know what lies hidden. Let me tell you a secret now. We have traveled together for almost two years. I am not afraid to admit my disgust and automatic hatred of you upon our first meeting. But you showed me something that is always remarked upon, but almost impossible to prove. You have given me proof that the human spirit is truly resilient even when smothered for centuries within absolute blackness. And you have also shown me that love can change anyone…even an undead adept who stubbornly denies it to himself so very cunningly."
For a moment, Tarrant seemed he would fight back, deny the words, try…something. But he didn't. Slowly, he closed his eyes and looked downward. He seemed almost lost in his contemplation of the allegation laid against him. Taking a steadying breath, he gazed back up into Damien's eyes and whispered, "Guilty…so very guilty," as he reached up and pulled the priest to himself. Their lips met like a clash of thunder. No room for arguing who was right or wrong, no accusations of pain given or received, just the two of them and their love for each other remained. Prima could have fallen to Erna with the stars close behind, and the two men wouldn't have shown any recognition of the fact, so locked into each other's embrace were they. They moved as one, each one seeking the other's pleasure and receiving equally in return. Nothing existed in their world but themselves and the love that even death could not sever.