Summary: Following King of Swords, Muraki metes out his promised revenge to Hisoka by using his empathy as a weapon against him.  Warnings for non-consensual behavior.

Unravel

            For you and you alone, I shall spin a dream.  Of course, by the time you wake, it will be too late.

            Let us then, my dear puppet, play.

            It was a trap, and Hisoka knew it.  But he couldn't turn away – he couldn't turn back.  It drew him, irresistibly, a will so strong and beguiling that he could only watch as he turned the latch, helpless as he opened the door.

            Muraki's silent call drew him closer.  He made his way through the black door of the white house, past the vase of fragrant white roses, the bare wooden floor slippery against his sock-clad feet.

            I told you that I would get my revenge, did I not?  The poker game's consequences leave a long shadow.

            Even though I wasn't ready for him quite yet that night, Tsuzuki, it doesn't mean I won't keep my promise to you.  I like to think of myself as a man of my word.

            It seemed as though he was caught in the midst of a dream, but it wasn't – he was awake, he was sure of it.  Hisoka forced himself to try to focus, try to fight against that soft siren call, the voice that commanded the firing of his neurons to place one foot forward at a time, sending him ever closer to Muraki.

            Past the side table with a carelessly discarded newspaper, the bookshelves with their neatly piled burdens, the ornate workings of a deep plush rug, the polished curve of the banister.  Hisoka felt his fingers scrabble against the smooth wooden rail, his fingers the only parts of him that seemed to work properly, trying to resist, trying to keep the rest of his body from ascending.  But he couldn't seem to get a grip on the wood, and instead, his feet kept propelling him forward, even as he tried willing muscles to tense, to wait, to stop.  But nothing seemed to work properly.

            You struggle so beautifully, your slender fingers the only hint that your will is betraying mine.  It's as lovely as a butterfly caught in a spider's web, bedangled in silver thread and crystal dew. 

            I can only hope to be as relentless as the spider I wish to be.

            Hisoka's breath was running fast – in his mind, he wondered if there was anyone who knew where he was, any person that would find him, would rescue him.  Now wasn't the time for bravado – all he wanted was to get away, no matter what.

            Instead, his feet blithely brought him to the top of the winding staircase, pausing, before continuing down the hall to his left.  The late afternoon sun poured in hazily through the tall windows, leaving his shadow to trail against the wall to his side, a slave to his own will just as he was a slave to Muraki's. 

            Hisoka's eyes betrayed his fear as he came closer to the closed door at the end of the hall.  His hand reached up to tap the door, even before he could try to stop himself. 

            "Come."  Muraki's voice.  Hisoka's heart pounded faster.  Panicked, he tried to force his hand from opening the door, but it reached out anyway, and turned the handle, pushing the heavy wooden door open.  Hisoka stepped inside.

            "Ah, it's you," Muraki said, looking up from his desk.  It was a markedly small room; an antique writing desk that Muraki was working at, a cushioned alcove seat in the tall paned window, a bookshelf that took up part of one of the walls.  It didn't seem like much, but for the two other doors that branched off from it.  They were closed.

            Hisoka opened his mouth to speak, but it seemed that nothing would come out, no words, not even a whimper of negation.

            "Suffice to say, I think we can skip the preliminaries today since we both know why you're here – why don't you have a seat?  I'll be with you in a bit," Muraki said, gesturing at the window seat.  Hisoka's body turned and without further complaint, seated itself in the dusty cushions of the alcove.

            "I'm afraid I can't offer too much along the way of company just yet," Muraki's voice continued, as he turned his back on Hisoka.  "I've some work to do.  You seem so very tense.  Perhaps you should relax for now."

            At those last few words, Hisoka was suddenly freed.  He spent a few seconds catching his breath, his muscles shaking from the sudden release.

            "Wh…where am I?" Hisoka's quavering voice came haltingly, as he tried to piece together the last few hours of his day.  He remembered waking up, showering, making a phone call, getting dressed…it was all so mundane, yet the memories kept shifting and breaking as if not quite founded on solid reality.

            "Here.  It's just a house," Muraki said absently, as he continued working, the scratch of his pen audible as he moved along loose sheets of papers.  "Ah, I wouldn't try that if I were you," he said, as Hisoka moved to stand.

            Sudden dizziness.  Hisoka's legs seemed watery beneath him, wobbling as badly as the spindly legs of a newborn ungulate.  He tried a hesitant step forward and wavered, stumbling for a moment before he managed to catch the edge of Muraki's desk, disturbing his paperwork.

            "There now, what did I say?" Muraki scolded, standing up.  He caught Hisoka's shoulders in his steady hands.  "You really ought to listen sometimes.  It would cause you less trouble." 

            "Wh-what's wrong?" Hisoka gasped, as he struggled to focus, the room spinning.  Momentarily, it seemed as though the ground was rushing up toward him before Muraki's grip tightened, and he was sat down firmly in Muraki's chair.

            "Simple enough – it takes quite a bit of energy to control you, my dear boy.  Don't think that I've been wasting myself trying to bring you here when I can draw upon your own strength and use it against you," Muraki said, drawing close, his right hand moving to tilt Hisoka's face toward him, his pale fingers stroking Hisoka's honey-dark hair.  "There now, isn't that better?"

            Hisoka recoiled from the touch as if it were poisonous.

            "Ah, so rude, so rude," Muraki sighed as he leaned casually against his desk.  "Yet so very eager at the same time.  I could tend to that first instead of work," he said thoughtfully, looking at the scattered papers before turning his attention back to Hisoka.  "Either one is fine with me.  I've time enough to manage both."

            "N…" The word of negation was on the tip of his tongue, but it never came out – Muraki caught him up in his arms suddenly, a force sweeping him away from the relative safety of the chair.  It was an embrace that was both cruel yet gentle, grasping but with the edges of care along its confines – Hisoka's breath caught in surprise as he was picked up and taken into the other room, the door opening briefly to let them in before closing behind them.

            The next thing Hisoka knew, he was being deposited upon a large bed, the sheets cool beneath him.  The room swirled around him madly for a moment as he tried to gain his bearings.  Looking up weakly, he could see Muraki moving above him, could feel his wrists being deftly bound with some sort of silken material, his hands drawn up over his head.  He strained his neck to see what was going on – it made the room dip nauseously again, before he settled and realized it was the dark gray of Muraki's tie that secured his arms.

            "Really, it's for your own good," Muraki said, noting the direction of Hisoka's gaze.

            "For my own good, I'd be home reading a book," Hisoka snapped.  "What do you want?"

            "Want?  You know what I want," Muraki said, his eyes softly predatorial.  "After all, can't you feel it?"  He sat down next to Hisoka's prone form, the mattress shifting under his weight.  Hisoka took deep breaths, trying to calm himself down, trying not to evince fear as Muraki leaned down toward him, as intimate as a lover, as dangerous as the coiling of a serpent around a stone.

            "Let's try this, shall we?"  Muraki smiled, his right hand lifting toward Hisoka's brow, brushing away stray strands of hair, the slender fingertips coming to rest against Hisoka's forehead.  "Don't worry.  It won't hurt."

            A building charge of energy, and it was gone as quickly as it came.  Hisoka blinked, wondering what Muraki had done – it was a spell, certainly, but nothing where Hisoka could immediately sense the consequences.

            "W-" Muraki's finger rested lightly against Hisoka's lips, effectively sealing away the questions.

            "Just rest for now.  I'll be back for you."  Muraki smiled, almost gently, but for the glint of hardness in his visible quicksilver eye.  Muraki stood up and briskly straightened the collar of his white shirt as he left the room, closing the door carefully behind him.

            Hisoka tugged against the bonds of his wrists experimentally, before forcing himself to relax, realizing that he couldn't escape.  Surrounded – the bed, the walls, the furnishings – everything felt like Muraki.

            Hisoka closed his eyes, and tried silently calling out to Tsuzuki, feeling for his presence, the familiar warmth and absence of loneliness that signified Tsuzuki's mental touch.

            He, however, was alone.

            Except that wasn't completely true.  There was Muraki, after all.

            Hisoka looked at the window as the sun's rays dipped lower, casting the room in growing twilight.

            /Please find me.  Tsuzuki./

            It was a constant murmuring drone that would not stop.  Irritated, Hisoka's eyes fluttered open.  Had he been asleep?  The room was dark now, but for the seep of light from the other room framing the door.  The embroidery of the coverlet was smooth beneath his cheek, and he shifted, arms aching and uncomfortable.  For a moment, Hisoka wondered where he was before he remembered the bonds that ensnared his wrists.

            He felt better, no longer weak and dizzy from lack of energy.  But it seemed so noisy, the noise that went on and on.  Fumbling, he managed to sit up, leaning against the hard carved wood of the headboard, his arms still strongly secured behind him.  By touch, he could make out that he had been tied to the spiraling rails of the headboard, the silk tie knotted so that it looped through the wooden slats, his wrists tied individually. 

            "What is that sound?" Hisoka muttered, as he worked at picking the knots.  They weren't tight at all, and it would have been ridiculously easy to undo if it was possible – but it seemed that Hisoka couldn't even get a hold of the cloth correctly.  He wasn't sure if it was the aftereffects of the earlier bout of weakness, some sort of subtly crafted spell, or the irritating unrelenting noise that was throwing off his concentration, but whatever it was, it was thwarting him from freeing himself.

            "Shut up, Shut Up, SHUT UP!"  Hisoka snarled as his fingers slipped on the cloth again.  He tore viciously at the bonds in frustration.  They didn't shift an inch.

            The noise changed – it now had a hint of curiosity to it, and maybe something involving satisfaction.  Then, it began to grow louder as it came toward him.

            Immediately, Hisoka understood that it wasn't a sound.  It was the mental noise of another person.  Another…

            "Muraki."

            The door opened, casting a flood of sharp light in the room, momentarily blinding Hisoka before his eyes adjusted.

            "Is something the matter?"  Muraki entered the room like a black storm, a thin veneer of amusement over the bubbling roiling blackness that was his aura, his feelings.  Hisoka flinched as Muraki's stepped closer, shrinking against the wood, feeling the hard uneven knots of the carvings against his shoulder, forcing himself against it as if he could melt through it or somehow dig into it to get away from the ugly prickles and twists that sank into his senses as Muraki drew near.

            "Go away…goawaygoawaygoaway…" Hisoka shivered hard as if in caught in the icy clutches of a deep winter blizzard.  "Go away…" He whispered in horror, shaking his head in negation, trying to block out Muraki's emotions, struggling wildly at his bonds.

            "Are you cold?"  Muraki looked at him, evincing sympathy, yet feeling none at all.  "How uncharitable of me to leave you to catch chill.  Let me alleviate that," he said, as he sat down beside Hisoka, reaching out with his arms, as if to pull him close.  Hisoka began straining even more madly at the tie, kicking out at Muraki, desperately trying to keep that feeling away, the rolling wave of blackness that was like the touch of a thousand spiders crawling over his skin.

            Suddenly, skin contacted skin as Muraki's hand touched Hisoka's and the sensation hit a sickening feverous pitch.  Hisoka's powers came flaring into existence, trying to blast Muraki back, but it seemed to have no effect on the man, merely ruffling his hair as if nothing more than a strong breeze.  A moment later, Hisoka was trapped, Muraki's arms wrapped about him from behind.

            "Now, you shouldn't thrash around so much," Muraki murmured into Hisoka's ear as Hisoka frantically tried to pull away.  "You'll hurt yourself."  Muraki's hand wandered until he found what he was looking for, his fingers pressed expertly against a certain point on Hisoka's back.  Immediately, Hisoka's muscles froze up, and he was paralyzed, pain dancing along his spine.

            "What did you do?" Hisoka's voice cracked, as he fought between the conjoined sensations of the physical torment and of Muraki's presence, amplified to unbearable levels. 

            /LetmegoletmegoletmegoI'mgoingtogoinsaneifyoudon'tletmegoletmegoletmego…/

            "Do?  Just a little something that I put together," Muraki's breath was soft against his cheek, his voice a gentle rumble against Hisoka's ear, pulling him out of the cycle of his thoughts.  Muraki shifted their positions, so they were more comfortably seated, Hisoka cradled against him, a mocking parody of a lover's embrace.

            "Did you know?  Almost all mechanisms in the human body, including spiritual powers work on the basis of negative feedback, where the body protects itself from extremes with defenses that negate those extremes…" The fingers on Muraki's free hand traced along Hisoka's cheek, gliding along the petal-soft skin, and Hisoka strained, trying to force his muscles to move, to escape, but the pressure on his back kept him immobile. 

            Muraki's lips closed in on the tender flesh of his earlobe, coyly nipping at it, the tip of his tongue hotly wet against Hisoka's ear.  "Knowing this, I merely switched that aspect of your control to positive.  The response then, to extremes, is to escalate.  Over the last few hours or so, your powers have become more and more sensitized as the feedback loop cycles…it's quite unbearable now, isn't it?"

            Hisoka whimpered, biting back a scream as true to his word, the pressure of Muraki's mind seemed to grow, leaving him almost uncertain where he began and where Muraki started, as if he could do nothing to push away that alien presence grinding at his senses.

            "Oh, but that isn't the worst of it," Hisoka could hear the smile in Muraki's voice.  "I don't even have to touch you…just the thought and…"

             This time, he really did scream.  It was that night all over again, the drafting lines of blood against his skin branding him in ways that he couldn't even begin to imagine, Muraki buried within him, the slightest movement on the man's part causing his muscles to tremble and spasm and the hurt oh god, it wouldn't stop, it was so…so…please let me go I don't want to die…

            Immediately, Hisoka was jolted out as if the link was severed perfectly, and for a moment, he couldn't feel anything, other than himself.  But suddenly, it came back again, just as bad if not worse, Muraki's emotions crushing him underneath their punishing weight, the darkness choking him, making the air seem unbreathable as Hisoka gasped, trying to reconcile the onslaught.

            "Still, the past is past…we should make ourselves some new memories…" Muraki let his fingers caress the quivering muscles of Hisoka's throat.  "You know, you're an exquisite toy…so very finely tuned for feeling…"

            "N…n…no…" Hisoka's throat felt tight, as if somehow he was being strangled by the weight of the emotions swirling around him – his own fear and anguish; Muraki's brittle amusement; the black shadow of insanity that seemed to snake out and about him like thick tendrils of choking smoke.  Without meaning to, a tear slid down Hisoka's cheek, the hot liquid streaking down his face before dripping down his chin.

            "Tears?"  Muraki turned Hisoka's head toward him, tilting his head in his free hand, all the while holding him steady, making sure that he was immobilized by the pressure point.  Muraki leaned forward, his silvery hair brushing against Hisoka's cheek as his tongue searched out the meander of the salty track, following it along the hollow of Hisoka's throat.

            "Yes…so very sweet.  Did you know, of all my dolls, you're my favorite?" Muraki's breath was hot against the fragile skin of Hisoka's neck, his lips brushing faintly against Hisoka as he spoke.  "I always save my best for my favorites."

            Hisoka whimpered, his breaths catching in his throat painfully as his empathy once again sensitized, the press of Muraki's interest increasing against his mind, the lethal edge of his lust slicing against Hisoka's nerves, pushing him toward the precipice of screaming again. 

            "But perhaps that's just a little too much for you right now," Muraki said softly, letting his free hand wander to Hisoka's forehead.  Another building charge of energy, and Hisoka nearly moaned in relief as the intolerable pressure of Muraki's mind retreated from his, leaving him soothingly blank. 

            "There, there…" Muraki whispered into Hisoka's ear, enfolding Hisoka in his arms tighter as he let go of the pressure point, freeing him from the stinging pain that had left Hisoka immobilized.  "It won't do to break my most favorite," Muraki said, brushing away the tears streaking down Hisoka's cheeks as Hisoka brought himself back under control.

            Muraki turned Hisoka toward him and cupping his face with one hand, his thumb and forefinger guiding Hisoka's chin as he kissed Hisoka gently on the lips, a surprisingly chaste, sweet touch, without any of the hint of cruelty that he had manifested earlier.  Compared to the earlier agony, it was a pleasing respite, and Hisoka responded before he realized what he was doing, his body stirring under Muraki's ministrations.

            Muraki's other hand moved to unknot the bonds that had held Hisoka's wrists, and the sudden slackening of the pressure holding Hisoka's shoulders back made him sigh in contentment as his muscles untensed.   Muraki's lips sought Hisoka's with kisses that grew in intensity and ardor, his hands reaching up to knead at Hisoka's sore arms and shoulders, carefully erasing the vestiges of muscle strain with his expert touch.

            Hisoka moaned softly against Muraki's lips even as Muraki's tongue sought the heat of his mouth, the soothing touch forcing away all thought and reason within him.  Muraki's hands began to wander away from his shoulders, Muraki laying him down so that Hisoka rested comfortably against the yielding surface of the bed.  One of Muraki's hands slipped within the loose collar of his shirt sliding down to seek the nubs of his nipples as the other stroked the tender flesh of his inner thigh, finding and enflaming nerves that seemed somehow more receptive to Muraki's touch. 

            Muraki's fingers moved teasingly over the front of Hisoka's jeans, causing him to arch against the caress, seeking more.

            "Please…" The word escaped Hisoka before he could stop himself, a breathless exhalation against Muraki's mouth.

            "Just close your eyes," Muraki said, a sensuous whisper against Hisoka's lips.  "It's all right."  Muraki's fingers moved to unfasten Hisoka's jeans and just as he did that, a sliver of dark lust slipped into Hisoka's emotions before disappearing with a flash.

            "No…" The word was a horrified whisper, as Hisoka began to understand what was happening.  Muraki's mind had not really withdrawn from his, but had shifted so perfectly into enfolding him in such contentment and desire that Hisoka couldn't help but be drawn into the trap that promised succor instead of suffering. 

            "No."  Hisoka tried to pull away, but found that he couldn't, the discipline of Muraki's mind flooding him with its insistent probe, feeding him the promise of ecstasy, ensnaring him more thoroughly than anything Muraki could physically tie him down with.

            "No…I don't…please…" Hisoka protested, his mind trying to block out the escalating waves of ravenous longing as Muraki's hands moved on him adeptly, causing him to shudder pliantly beneath Muraki's attentions.  Yet for all his attempts at protest, his body didn't seem to want to respond to anyone but Muraki as Hisoka moaned softly, writhing as Muraki brought him perilously close to the brink.

            "Ne," Muraki pulled back, releasing Hisoka's mouth, his hand moving away, leaving Hisoka trembling with need.  "There's something I wanted to tell you."

            "W-w-wh-at?" Hisoka panted, as Muraki's fingers moved teasingly against him, before withdrawing again, Hisoka's hips involuntarily following the retreat of Muraki's hand.  Hisoka wasn't sure whether to cry from relief that Muraki had finally let him go, or to beg Muraki for more.

            Muraki sat up so that he loomed over Hisoka, unbuttoning Hisoka's shirt, parting the fabric as if flaying the skin of a victim. 

            "I want to tell you a secret.  It's very important.  Try to pay attention," Muraki smiled, as finished, he returned his hand to grasp Hisoka again, this time earning gasps of delight from the boy.

            "You see, the trick to unraveling this curse of mine…" Muraki said smiling, as Hisoka's hips bucked under his hand.  "Is to know the direction and placement of each character that creates the whole…are you listening?"  Muraki asked as Hisoka moaned beneath him.

            "Yessss…" Hisoka struggled to pay attention.

            "Oh good.  Now, here's the first mark," Muraki said, his free hand going up to stroke a point a few inches beneath Hisoka's heart, the faint scratch of his fingernail as he delineated the beginning phrase of the curse causing the mark to blaze into existence.  "Now pay close attention, because the placement's not as obvious as it seems…"

            Hisoka's breath hissed as the sear of fire began its dance across his skin along the curse marks, the affliction blossoming as Muraki's finger retraced the curse that defined his very death and life, even as Muraki's other hand kept him rigidly hard, on the verge of orgasm. 

            Hisoka's breath turned from harsh pants to cries of pleasure or was it pain but Hisoka wasn't sure anymore of what was what, his senses completely twisted about by Muraki's actions.  And it wouldn't stop, either one, neither the hurt nor the building charge of sexual tension.

            Muraki then turned him, so that he could continue on Hisoka's back as he continued to stroke Hisoka, both hands ravishing him, bringing him ever closer to the edge, as Muraki explained each character in a detail that Hisoka could not concentrate on.

            Muraki's fingernail lightly traced the last line of the curse, enflaming Hisoka's skin with its lacerating torment as he triggered the line of the spell.  Finally, it was too much.  Even as the agony sang blindingly through his body, it was pierced through with engulfing bliss as Hisoka came, shuddering against Muraki's hand, his voice coming in open-mouthed cries as the contradicting sensations escalated to a climax, distorting his responses so that he couldn't tell where one began and the other ended.

            Finally, it was over.  The pain receded, as did the pleasure, in twitches and spasms.  Muraki did too, smoothly retreating, leaving Hisoka gratefully alone in his mind.

            "Sweet dreams," Muraki murmured with a slightly sardonic smile, leaning down to kiss Hisoka on the cheek as he withdrew, leaving Hisoka alone in the room, closing the door behind him with a click of finality.

            Exhausted, his breaths evened out, and Hisoka sank further into a deep, dreamless sleep.

*******

            Noise.  It wouldn't stop.  Hisoka woke up with a gasp, sitting up suddenly, remembering the bare edges of what had happened as he fumbled for his alarm clock, shutting it off.  But he wasn't in that strange house, the place where Muraki had been – he was sitting in his own bed with the sunflower sheets that Watari had given him entangled around his legs as if he had been thrashing about in his dream.  Sunlight was pouring through the high windows of his bedroom, and he could hear the lilting song of the birds.

            A dream.  Wasn't it?  Hisoka fumbled at the long sleeves of his pajamas, pushing up the loose green cotton, and there, the marks – they were itching red, flared into being as neatly as if Muraki was in the same room with him. 

            As if Muraki had touched him.  Hisoka shivered involuntarily, as snippets and pieces of the dream came back to him, the dark press of Muraki's thoughts, Muraki's hand forcing him into pleasure, his responses completely warped into whatever Muraki wanted of him.

            Involuntary tears sprang into his eyes, blurring his vision, as Hisoka realized that he had forgotten the details of what Muraki had told him, the secret to undoing the curse, everything laid out so neatly for him and he couldn't, couldn't remember, not even the focal point of the curse which Muraki had explained in long and loving detail.

            "Damnit," Hisoka's voice cracked on the word, his fists clenched in anger, fingernails cutting into the palm of his hand, hard enough to draw red crescents of blood.   He stumbled out of bed, nearly tripping over the twisted sunflower sheets as he angrily wiped at the tears, smearing them across his face while he made his way over to the telephone on the dresser across the room.

            Dial tone.  Press the buttons.  Hold the receiver up.  Hisoka's hands shook so badly that it took him four tries to successfully call the right number.

            "Moshi moshi?"  Tsuzuki's voice was gratifyingly real.

            "Ts…Tsuzuki…" It was all he could make out before the phone dropped to the floor with a clatter from his nerveless hands as Hisoka crumpled to the floor, uncontrollable sobs tearing at his throat.

            "Hisoka?  Hisoka, are you all right?"  Tsuzuki's voice came over faintly from the receiver.  "Hisoka?!"

            I think we're even now.

End.

Disclaimer: Yami no Matsuei belongs to Matsushita Yoko

Author's notes: This is dedicated to RubyD, who inspired the fic with her MuXHi snippet goodness, which may be found on the Hiraki community on Livejournal.  She also preread this fic.  Thank you, D!  Also, a special thanks to Imbrii, who came up with the title.  ^_^

Continuity is post-King of Swords, pre-Kyoto.  I wanted to do something involving a bunch of different things I've thought about/wondered about but haven't seen in Yami fanfics (not that I've read anywhere near all of them): Muraki promised revenge at the end of King of Swords but I haven't ever seen anything about that.  I haven't seen a MuXHi fic that doesn't have Hisoka unable to sense Muraki or has his empathy dampened, instead of the other way around.  So just a jumble of those ideas stuck together with a few self-imposed conditions, the main one being that Muraki can't physically rape Hisoka.

Random trivia: would you believe I have bad dreams about houses like the one Muraki's in?  :o  Fortunately, Sensei isn't in them.  ^^;;

Thank you very much for reading!

Questions?  Comments?  You can AIM me (evilasiangenius), email me at cori_ohki@hotmail.com, or come visit me on #squidkitty on irc.starwars-irc.net