Diamond ice

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Warnings/notes: Ellisander/Rosarion (present), hints at Ellisander/Saralynne (past), drabble-ish shortie, ooc?

Disclaimer: The wonderful world of the Branion Realm was created by Fiona Patton. Ellisander DeMarian, Rosarion DeLynne and Saralynne DeLynne are characters in 'The Painter Knight'.

written at 29th december 2004, by Misura.

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Ellisander is a good kisser, Rosarion thinks.

Then again, Ellisander is good at anything he does. The man's a perfectionist, as ruthless in driving himself as in driving others.

Somehow though, for no reason Rosarion can recall at the moment, he's always expected Ellisander not to be as skilled here, in bed, as he is outside of it.

The question of why flutters through his mind for a few moments, distracting him almost to the point where he's sure Ellisander will notice and ask him if something is bothering him, if perhaps he is in some discomfort. Rosarion doesn't want that, doesn't want Ellisander to remind him of the small bottle standing on the nightstand, containing his medicine.

Rosarion tells himself that he's lived with unanswered questions for the bigger part of these past years, and they're ones he'll likely never receive any answer to. Most of them start with 'why' too.

Why did Fate make him a seer?

Why did Ellisander came in time to save him, but no one else?

Why did Saralynne have to die?

That last question especially haunts him, for it seems that everything else, all the events that have brought him to the here and now, pivots on that one point. Saralynne, he is sure, would have made a difference to his entire world.

Especially, even, to Ellisander. Who is kissing him so expertly.

Rosarion sighs, frustrated with himself, hoping that Ellisander will take it to indicate contentment, or simply tiredness. He's certainly worked hard enough these past weeks and months to have earned the right to feel in need of some rest.

"What is wrong, little seer?" Ellisander asks. Because he has seen, of course he's seen, that yes, something isn't quite right. Rosarion hates him for it, or would like to do so.

"I was just wondering if you were kissing me, or Saralynne," Rosarion replies. Honesty is dangerous, yet not quite as dangerous as lying. Ellisander doesn't like deceptions, unless they're his, or done on his command.

Ellisander is cold, yes -and that's probably why Rosarion expected him to be cold in bed too, not warm, like a blanket or a hearth-fire. In his own way though, Ellisander has this high sense of honor and righteousness that enables him to walk with his head held high.

The quest for power might have degraded a lesser man, but not Ellisander. Rosarion doesn't know if that's admirable, or merely an indication of how dangerous Ellisander is and will be. There are parts of his character that he doesn't show to Rosarion.

Naturally, there are also things that Rosarion keeps hidden. At least he attempts to, futilely probably. Ellisander never speaks of his supposed secrets though, not out of any respect or kindness, Rosarion suspects, yet rather because Ellisander understands the need to not reveal one's self completely.

Ellisander is good at finding out what people need, and then giving it to them, again and again, until he's got them hooked, without them even realizing that they've been reduced from players to playing pieces. Rosarion has no illusions that he himself too, means little more to Ellisander than that.

A tool.

And, perhaps, a living memento. A shard of a broken dream.

Perhaps.

Unanswered questions, Rosarion can live with. Doubts, on the other hand, he cannot. Not without losing his usefulness to Ellisander. Uncertainties can limit his Sight, hinder him in interpreting his visions. He can't afford them; he needs certainty.

Which, of course, is why Ellisander answers him. Ellisander always supplies people with what they need after all, so that he may hold them in the palm of his hand and make the best possible use of them. Even if Rosarion already belongs to him in all ways that are of any significance, Ellisander will still do anything to optimize his ability to be useful.

"There are no other persons here than you and me," Ellisander says, and it's the truth. There are two bodies in the bed, two men who are holding each other in a light embrace, two living persons whose lips meet in another kiss.

And yet.

Ellisander keeps his eyes closed, closes them the moment Rosarion's face nears his, and his hands reach to stroke long hair that isn't there, before they come to rest on Rosarion's shoulders, as naturally as he's meant them to end up there all along.

Thus, Rosarion receives his answer. He's surprised at how little he feels; he's neither hurt nor insulted nor ... anything else. There's only this knowledge in his mind, where there was none before.

Ellisander is a good liar, Rosarion thinks.

And then Ellisander proves what else he's good at, and the certainty that Rosarion possessed slips away, as he gives himself up, going down in flames.

OWARI