Disclaimer: I do not own KH, KHII, or any of the characters. Some of the original chars and plot ideas are mine, but that's the extent of it, lol. I just play god with their tragic fates and smexy bodies, haha!
A/N: Warning...I'm not sure what all this story is going to contain, I'm sorta making it up as I go along. Shounen-ai/Yaoi, of course, and most likely NC as well. The first chapter is safe, though, and I'll put appropriate warnings up as I write the chapters. Enjoy!
Note: Any good, first person writer want to beta? I'm not used to writing in first person, so I think it seems a little awkward in some places...
4/07/07: Rewrote the first chapter, I think it's a lot better than the original. I plan to rewrite the other three chapters, too, then I'll start adding in the new ones. Hope you guys like it!
6/07/07: Fixed up the 'Xaldin' issue. Gomen again!
I: Sublime Servile
How pretty they were, wrapped in flowing scarlet and azure, shimmering with hems of gold and silver. The ladies were kissed by iridescent pearls and blood rubies, the males with their diamonds and earthly emeralds. Velvet seemed the current trend, but occasionally the smooth sheen of silk or satin slithered amongst the thick fashion. Velvet was what I had donned, following the example of my peers, dyed a beautiful vermillion and lined with intricate designs of golden fancy. Unlike most of the others, however, I didn't look like I had just raided a dragon's hoard -- jewelry was not really my thing. Save that for the females.
I have enough problems reinforcing my masculinity, thank you.
Okay, so I have a small build. And a somewhat delicate frame. Does that automatically make someone feminine? No, I think not. What gets me is how girls are attracted to boys that look like females.
What's with that? You don't see us squealing over girls that are all big and muscular and…eh. I don't get it.
Why am I even thinking about this? Because I'm bored as hell, I hate these political gatherings.
A sigh emitted from my lips to show my displeasure. How dare this happen? I'm the son of the High Count of Raelius; someone should be making sure I'm entertained. Hey -- you. Yes, you over there -- get over here and entertain me. Now. Dance or something.
As if I could ever be that pompish...sometimes I don't think I'm cut out for this aristocracy stuff, you know? It's all fake smiles, thick cosmetics, insincere prattle...plus you never know which ambitious bastard is going to take a blow at you next, right? At least, that's what my dad thinks, but I'm not really paranoid. Who'd want to harm little ol' me? People just tell me how adorable I look and how I'm such a good boy…
C'mon, people, I'm not a kid. I already have sixteen years…
I scanned my cerulean eyes over those lingering nearest, looking for anything interesting. Adult. Adult. Adult. Whoa, ancient. Shouldn't you be pushing daisies by now, gramps? Geez, not a single person my age. Normally Kairi was here to keep me company, but tonight I didn't even have her to distract me from this boredom. It's excruciating, really. I think my head might explode.
Have to play it cool, though. This was a party in my father's honor -- who was I to stir up trouble for my own amusement? I wonder if people don't get tired of hearing about my father's successful campaigns in the north, though…I guess they're just grateful he's ridding us of those vile Sorthish. Treacherous wolves, the lot of them, turning their backs on our beloved god to follow the dark goddess. They should be exterminated for their evil, right?
Of course. It was the divine purpose of Solastria, our country. And my father was the foremost avenger of Khaan, ripping through Sorthish frontiers under the banner of Raelius and the solar deity. I just hope he doesn't wipe them all out.
Leave some for me, too, y'know? One day I'll be the guest of honor at parties just like this, and people will come from all over Kjurn to praise my heroic deeds. I will vanquish the Sorthish phantasms and reclaim the northern territory for the glory of Solastria!
I sighed again, plopping down in a plush armchair and watching the dark rainbows of nobles drift to and fro. It became painfully clear that no one was going to rescue me from the dark depths of boredom, so I would just have to keep myself occupied with my own thoughts.
Hey, lady, if you tilt your nose up any further you might break your neck. I wonder if that guy over there knows everyone can tell his diamonds are totally fake? And what is with that woman's hat? That bird does not look like it passes manor hygiene standards.
…Not very entertaining.
I emptied my drink and instantly a slave moved to refill the goblet, handling the ornate jug with practiced ease. She wore a decorative black masque that glittered in the light, like all slaves were required to do during social events, but I recognized her incredibly long, red hair instantly. It was pulled up into a ponytail to show off the ebony collar fitted around her neck, displaying a series of golden studs. I found myself counting them.
Seven. It's always been seven, ever since as long as I could remember, but I always counted anyway. Habit, I guess, though I didn't really care how many studs she had. It was just something people did, and society sometimes forces these quirks on us without our consent or even knowing...
Seven studs. I could see the three empty grooves where the others had once been.
"Thanks, Anathasia," I said once my glass was filled with the sweet, crimson wine, and offered her a smile. She's been my father's head slave ever since I was little, so we're on familiar terms. She often took care of me while he was away, though she had only been a teenager herself at the time. The woman turned her glittering emerald eyes to meet my gaze and responded with a playful grin.
"Of course, young master."
You don't have to call me that, you know, Anathasia. You're my father's slave -- not mine. Why can't you just call me 'Sora'? Not enough people do that anymore...
The red-haired slave straightened and moved on to attend to the needs of the other guests, granting me a wink before she turned completely away. She was a woman in her mid-twentieth year, blessed with a voluptuous body and a personality as vibrant as her hair. Despite the fact that she's a slave and, of course, inferior, I sometimes feel she's almost like...family…
Don't tell anyone I said that.
Maybe it's because I've known her since I was little and had always looked up to her, but I don't really feel superior to her. And she probably knows more about me than my own father.
Speak of the devil.
I shifted my focus to the man in question, finding him sitting on a divan across the room, conversing with those nearest. He wasn't my real father, but…he took me in when my parents died, so the least I could do was treat him as if he were. It created a better political image, anyway.
It wasn't as though I remembered my real father.
I guess I'm pretty lucky, though -- my adoptive father was the High Count of Raelius, the second-largest province of Solastria. He was famous, wealthy, successful...but other than that, I didn't really know him that well. He's not really the family type, so we never do anything together, and...even when he's home I rarely see him. I'll admit, this depressed me a little at first, but now I'm fine with it. I no longer felt the need to connect with him.
He lifted a gloved hand to brush a few tresses of pale blonde from his handsome face, then shifted his crystalline gaze to the door, almost expectantly. As if on some tacit cue, the doors swung open and a valet appeared, introducing Commander Xaldin. He was a familiar face around the manor, as all Solastria's commanders were, but I didn't really know the man personally. Like all commanders, he was also a count -- over the province of Mnomet -- but he preferred his military title. I guess it just sounded more manly and such. Xaldin was legendary among the people, though; they had dubbed him the 'Whirlwind Lancer'.
The commander entered the room in his traditional black cloak, stopping before my father's divan and bowing respectfully.
"Comte de Raelius," Xaldin greeted, rising. It was then that I noticed a smaller figure behind him, one that was cloaked as well and completely concealed. "I've returned from my expedition with a gift of allegiance."
I couldn't help but frown -- another slave? We already had enough to put the local brothel to shame, it was becoming quite bothersome. Hadn't Xaldin been present at the last ball? The Count of Estirin had brought my father a pretty Eight-studded slave, but my father refused her. The Count of Estirin, needless to say, had not been happy at all, but...I was glad for it. I really didn't need more women fussing over me.
And an Eight was pretty honorable, too -- I knew enough about slaves to appreciate that. Anathasia was the most valuable slave in the manor, and she was only a Seven.
The chatter of the guests gradually dissipated as everyone turned their attentions to Xaldin and the count. Everyone was wondering…what had the commander brought for him? What kind of slave could lie beneath that heavy cloak? Why did the commander think his gift was better than the Comte de Estirin's Eight, that the lord Xehanort would accept it?
Truthfully, I'm not usually interested in such things. I already knew what this slave would look like – curvaceous and seductive, with breasts the size of my head and clad in little more than a tablecloth. Those were the kind my fathered preferred, after all. I guess it was better than the little girls some of the other aristocrats kept as collared slaves, but…if you've seen one, you've seen them all, really.
From where I was sitting I could only see the profiles of my father, the commander, and the slave, and I was surprised that no sign of large breasts was evident beneath the slave's heavy cloak. The material was loose around her frame, it was true, but if she wasn't big-busted it meant the commander had brought something different for my father this time.
Admittedly, I was curious.
Commander Xaldin shifted, and then continued, watching the count's reaction carefully. I could tell he was nervous. Must be really different, then; he's not sure how my father will react.
"The last remaining blood of the northern aristocracy, carefully preserved for whatever usage your lordship may see fit," the commander continued. I saw my father quirk a brow in curiosity, and I shifted a little closer in my seat. A slave from the north? How exotic! I had only heard rumors of the races living there.
They were called 'Phantasms'. Subhumans.
Apparently I wasn't the only one excited -- talk immediately erupted from the guests. All the northerners were supposed to be dead, but now they'd all get to see one before their very eyes! A real Sorthish aristocrat, here in Solastria!
Wait…they had an aristocracy in Sorthiel? How had uneducated barbarians managed that?
Realizing he had the lord's interest, Commander Xaldin stepped aside with an almost imperceptible smirk and gestured to the cloaked figure. My father rose from the crimson divan he had been seated on and stepped forward, but, instead of simply pushing the hood back like everyone had expected, he began to carefully untie the cloak. Appetizers and wine goblets lay forgotten as all those present watched intently, silent once more, waiting to see what filthy Phantasm dared hope to become the slave of their beloved count.
The cloak fell to the floor and instant chatter swept over the room -- a male! A collared male! I always thought females were collared and males were laborers, but not this one. And he was definitely male, his chest was completely exposed, all he wore were pants of tight black leather, which contrasted beautifully with his pale, unmarred flesh. But what attracted my attention most...was his hair.
It was the most ethereal silver; even from the slight distance it seemed to be composed of perfect strands of silk. Brushing his shoulders and bare back, it looked like splintered moonlight -- strangely fitting for a Phantasm.
Did all of them have hair like that?
Even as a male, he certainly was appealing. Phantasms...I always pictured them as hideous. Mutated, somehow, or even anamorphic. After all, they were barbarians who had turned their backs on humans and adopted the traits of animals. But this boy...
I noticed that a blindfold of black cloth was wrapped around the young male's eyes, and wondered why. My father didn't seem too concerned by this, however, and paid it no attention as he began his inspections. The slave stood straight, his posture strangely dignified, and didn't flinch or move when my father touched his hair. I knew he was checking to see how clean it was. Next, my father touched the collar to see how tightly it clasped his neck, and I could tell there was no spare room between the ebony leather and the slave's soft skin. That probably meant the slavers had experienced some trouble trying to control him. Why did the count seem amused by that?
"Rather bold of you, to bring me a male." My father said to the commander, but kept his attention on the gift, running gloved fingers down the slave's chest and stomach. The Phantasm was slender but well toned, his abdomen flat, and I could see that my father was pleased. Yet, for some reason, I felt uneasy with this…was it because I didn't like the idea of a Phantasm living in the manor? Or perhaps because he was so young? Or because he was really...well...
"Years?" My father inquired.
"Seventeen, Lord Xehanort." Commander Xaldin answered easily.
The slave only had seventeen years? Most had at least twenty, but this Phantasm...he had only one more year than I did...
"Hold up your hair and turn." My father's voice left no room for disobedience, and the slave only hesitated for a split second before doing as he was told. I realized the purpose of the command was so my father could count the missing studs from the collar. When the Phantasm lifted his hands to obey, I noticed curiously that he had thick bands of black leather wrapping around each wrist, both sporting metal rings in the front.
Once more a wave of murmurs washed over the spectators -- all ten silver studs were present! I didn't know exactly what that meant, but I did know Tens were the most valuable slaves, the rarest.
And they didn't stay Tens for long.
My father gave a nod of acceptance, and enthusiastic applause responded from the guests. That was customary -- they were congratulating the commander on pleasing his lord. But I couldn't take my eyes off the slave long enough to even do that.
He didn't look like a barbarian...
Once the applause died down, attentions shifted back to my father and, having seen this a hundred times already, I knew he was about to name the slave. It was tradition; even if the slave had belonged to a former owner, the new one would give it a different name to represent a separate life.
"Very well," my father started once the room was silent again. "Your new name shall be—"
"My name," the slave cut in darkly, tilting his head up slightly in defiance, "is Riku."
Noise erupted once again, some spectators horrified or enraged at a Phantasm talking disrespectfully towards one of them, and they were all waiting to see how my father would react. I was surprised myself; I had never seen such audacity from a slave -- not towards someone as powerful as my father.
My father seemed to be struggling between retribution and indulgence, but he apparently decided compliance would be better in front of the guests than conflict.
"Riku, then," he responded with an amused chuckle, then made a beckoning motion with his hand. I saw Anathasia step forward and talk with him briefly, but try as I might I couldn't hear what they were saying. After a moment, though, Anathasia nodded and touched the Phantasm on the arm lightly, telling him something and leading him away from the hall. My father watched them depart...and suddenly I felt uneasy again.
But also excited, I couldn't wait to learn more about the mysterious northerner.
"Please, continue," my father instructed the guests, and the masked slaves moved forward to refill everyone's goblets.
A/N: Yep…this is it, the first chapter. It's actually longer than I expected it to be, but that's good I think. Yes, I know I described Xehanort as having blonde hair and blue eyes, I did it purposely so please don't comment about it being inaccurate. I wanted to make him more normal to accentuate Riku as an oddity, and it's not such a far cry to imagine him as having pale blonde locks, he's still just as pretty right? I think Sora may be a little OC, but hopefully that'll change once he gets some dialogue in.
Please review! I don't care about flames, but constructive criticism will get you a lot further. I have a tendency not to finish things, so I'm counting on reviews to motivate me to carry on! Also, I'm sorry if it's a little confusing, it'll start to make sense as I go along. And it's 4am, so if anything sounds strange in the story please leave a comment and I'll fix it up later.