Pipe dreams


Warnings/notes: Kit SummerIsle-David Deathstalker, drabble-ish shortie, oocness on David's part?

Disclaimer: The wonderful world of the Deathstalker-universe was created by Simon R. Green. The song 'Pipe Dreams' belongs to Travis.

written at 9th december 2004, by Misura.


/And it all boils down to the same old pain
Whether you win or lose isn't gonna change a thing
I'd pray to God if there was heaven
But heaven seems so very far from here/

('Pipe Dreams', Travis)

There was a flash of silver, a mere blur of steel reflecting the light, and then there were two blurs, two flashes again, as the two swords clashed and disengaged again.

David parried and attacked and riposted and parried again. Kit mirrored his movements perfectly, foreseeing every defense, every strike, before it was made. In theory, this might have suggested that he ought to be able to win this duel, but David too possessed that gift that kept good swordsmen -living- swordsmen, and so the balance was restored.

It turned their practice-bouts into elaborate dances, and the times in which they teamed up against someone into bloodbaths that left only two men unscathed.

Kit wasn't sure what he'd have done if it had not been so, if David had been just the way he was now, only without a skill to equal his own in wielding a sword. It would have made them different, certainly.

He wasn't quite sure if it'd have made him David's protector.

He wasn't quite sure if it wouldn't have made him David's murderer.

Of course, it didn't matter. David -could- match him, and if Kit sometimes refrained from using a dirty trick he might have used against another opponent -any other opponent- well, that was not that important, was it?

Kit parried and feinted and parried again, mildly annoyed with himself for letting his thoughts lose him the initiative for a while. David hadn't used the opportunity to his maximum advantage, Kit observed. He fervently hoped that was only because it was -him- and not some thug.

David might accompany him in most of his attempts at finding a distraction, a new thrill or a mere amusement, but he wasn't ruthless. He wasn't a killer.

Barely escaping a cut to his shoulder, Kit grimaced, forced to correct his last thought. David wasn't a killer, but he -was- lethal with a sword in his hand. He knew how to use it, for one, which was more than could be said for half the Court.

Kit danced backwards. David followed, not yet perceiving that to do so meant that he'd lost the initiative again, by allowing Kit to lead him.

Sensing that victory was within reach now, Kit raised his sword, nimbly moving to strike at David's left side, counting on the element of surprise to keep open the small gap in David's defense there.

In the end though, -David- was the one to take -him- by surprise. Rather than attempting to parry Kit's blade at an awkward, if not impossiby so, angle, David stepped forwards, meeting Kit halfway and effectively blocking the attack.

"You're dead," David remarked.

Kit stared at him, wondering if his own cheeks were flushed too, if his eyes also were sparkling with excitement. Wondering if David liked his smile, which he wore in spite of having lost.

"That was good," Kit declared, contentedly. "Really good."

David eyed him oddly, before shrugging. His breath was already slowing down again, going back to its normal rhythm, and his blush was fading. Kit felt sorry to see it go, to see David put on the mask of a courtier again. Even if they were both considered outcasts, the Court had still shaped them, changed them both to lesser versions of themselves.

There were recompensations, naturally. Lionstone made sure there were plenty of fools for him to kill, and he generally managed to have a tolerably enjoyable time. He was only bored for five days out of seven nowadays.

"It was okay, I guess." David shrugged. "It feels pretty useless, dueling you. We're too well-matched."

Kit studied him, searching for something he couldn't quite name or explain. He just knew what it was well enough to realise it wasn't there. To David, this truly was mere practice, a way to keep in shape and hone his skills.

He sighed, dropping his sword.

David, who'd turned around to get a drink from the cool-container they'd brought, nearly jumped at the sound, though he did maintain a firm grip on his own sword, even lifting it in a defensive position.

"Don't -do- that."

Kit silently picked up the sword again, placing it back in the sheath on his side, making a gesture with his hands to say 'There, happy now?'.

"Are you all right?" David frowned. "You look kind of - "

"I'm fine," Kit assured him. And smiled.