A romance in seven days

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Warnings/notes: Laamgarnas/Gil, slightly weird, drabble-ish, repetitiveness, ooc?

Disclaimer: I don't own Dragon Knights.

(!) Based on volume 9, in particular those three pages about Gil's past. Spoilerish for those (but then again, if you haven't read those pages, you don't even know who Laamgarnas is).

written at 11th march 2005, by Misura.

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"Are you in pain?"

On the first day, there was a question. He ignored it, knowing that it didn't matter, that ignoring the bad things wouldn't make any difference in the end.

Those who spoke to him would do exactly as they pleased, or, at least, not pay any mind to what he might have to say to them. He'd discovered this at a time that seemed long ago, yet probably wasn't.

Regardless, he refused to play word-games when there wasn't any chance of him winning. Thus, he clung to his silence as the one way in which he could protest and fight back, even if none of his torturers had appeared to care one bit about his lack of conversation.

He waited for five minutes, three-hundred heartbeats, though his heart might beat a little faster under the circumstances, with the prospect of more pain looming over him.

Nothing happened. As he lifted his head just slightly, he noticed there was no shadow being cast anywhere near him; it looked like the unknown demon who had approached him had left without so much as a verbal slap in the face.

Gil decided it was a bit strange, but that there probably was an explanation for it all that would make perfect sense to a demon. Which he wasn't, not really.

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"Are you in pain?"

On the second day, there was a response.

He couldn't quite say why he'd shown a reaction when he'd sworn not to. Perhaps, he'd reflected in later times, he had known something, heard something in that voice.

Most likely though, he'd simply been tired, or maybe there'd been sweat or tears running down his face and he'd wanted to clear his eyes.

Whichever the reason was, he shook his head when the question he'd heard the day before was repeated by what he assumed to be the same person.

There were no further questions, at least, not for a while.

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"Are you in pain?"

The third day was a bad one. He had no idea if there had been some event that had put the majority of the demons in such a foul mood -he tried to be happy about the possibility that things might not be going as they'd planned, yet the result hurt too badly- or if there was another reason for their worsened abuse, and he had to admit he didn't particularly care.

"Leave me alone."

He'd have snarled the words, had there been enough strength for anger and defiance left in him, but there wasn't, and so they passed his lips like a whisper, a prayer lacking hope and faith.

To his surprise, his wish was granted. More surprising still was how that didn't really cheer him up in the slightest, instead making him feel even more lonely.

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"Are you in pain?"

The fourth day was worse than the third.

Human ears surely would never have been able to catch the answer that he gave to that same old question. Fortunately for him, his visitor wasn't human. (The first time that being a demon actually turned out to be a recommendation, rather than a reason for distrust.)

"What does it look like?" Granted, not a very polite reply, but true all the same.

"Yes." And what kind of an answer was -that-?

He didn't hear the sound of departing footsteps -he never did. Still, when there were no more questions, he looked up to find nobody there.

At that moment -in a flash of inspiration- he wondered if just maybe he'd gone a little mad, imagining things that weren't there, conversing with the voices in his head.

If he had, he guessed that would be the best that had happened to him in this place so far.

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"Are you in pain?"

On the fifth day, he felt better. His wounds had been treated with some stuff that smelled very bad and made his skin alternately itch and burn, yet it did numb the pain quite well. He didn't fool himself into believing they had done it out of any concern for him personally.

Still, his head was almost clear, better than it had been for a long time.

"Yes, I am."

A short silence, that caused him to steal a glance at the floor further away from his feet. He generally preferred not to meet the gaze of the demons here -not so much because they considered him their inferior, their unbeloved pet, but rather because he usually saw things in their eyes that he had little desire to see- so he was careful not to lift his eyes too high.

There was an unmoving shadow there.

"Would you like me to help you?"

Help him? A dozen interpretations flashed through his mind, ranging from an offer to kill him -slowly, probably- to a promise of freedom -real freedom, not the last way out that he considered death to be.

"Help me how?"

The shadow moved and was gone. He wondered what that meant.

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"Are you in pain?"

On the sixth day, he found himself waiting for the voice, the question, the shadow. It distracted him during the morning, when some other demons came by to give him what they called 'breakfast', and the afternoon, until the evening.

He debated which answer to give, which reply would -work-. Apparently, his visitor thought he was taking too long, for the next question was directed at him before he could make up his mind.

"Would you like for me to take you away from here?"

That, too, could mean a great many things. Away from this room that was his prison? Away from Fedelta's demons and their cruelties? Away from this life that he didn't particularly value but still was worth holding on to for that slim chance that he might actually be able to pay back some debts?

Hands, soft-skinned, gentle hands, touched his face, cupping his chin to lift his head. The face that stared back at him looked human -a disguise, of course. The fact that it also looked friendly and like its owner was hurt by his pain, -cared- about him, unsettled him a little.

It was an illusion, a trick. Yet the deception was so obvious that he couldn't think of any reason why the demon would bother. What did this one think that could be gained by appearing to be sympathetic, different from all other demons he had met? He was just Gil, nobody special or powerful, and he never would be either of those either.

Which meant that maybe ...

What did he have left to lose, anyway? If they wanted to kill him, he was as good as dead already. He might as well allow himself to grasp at straws on his way down.

You never knew, after all.

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On the seventh day, Gil was fast asleep.

A pair of not-quite-human eyes studied him, pulling up the blanket that had been tossed off to cover a body that was scarred severely, but that also was healing before his eyes. Not as fast as he'd have liked, but then again, he didn't possess a particularly strong talent for magic -especially not for the type of magic that healed, rather than destroyed. Even if his own kind had cast him out, after all, he was still what he'd been for as long as he could remember. A demon.

Laamgarnas sighed.

x- might be tbc, might be not -x