Vaan sort of likes the Imperial boy. He sort of likes the lost, needy, look that passes across the Imperial boy's face as the drug haze sets in. He sort of likes the helplessly wanting way the Imperial boy keeps looking at him, seeing him, and probably a million other things as the room spins and the fog and nausea rise up from his gullet and lungs. Vaan sort of likes the pathetic way the Imperial boy keeps letting out sputtering, hiccupping little coughs.

Vaan smiles at the Imperial boy and slinks closer, winding his way around Dalan's other customers. He lights the Imperial boy up again, lets him have a hit from his own bowl, he even gives the pretty Imperial boy his sweet crystallized green. He watches the Imperial boy try to resist, watches the sensation smash into the Imperial boy's veins like a rampaging Sleipnir.

"First time?" Vaan asks the Imperial boy, knowingly.

The Imperial boy whimpers low in his throat, gulping against his dry mouth and nodding frantically.

Vaan presses their mouths together, tonguing away the sticky reaction to the drug.

The Imperial boy holds on to him tightly, gauntleted hands frigid and painful against Vaan's forearms.

Vaan pulls away and lights his pipe again, hits it hard while the Imperial boy just coughs. The plant Vaan smokes is much stronger than what Dalan had given the Imperial boy for his first time.

"How old are you?" Vaan asks in a croaking voice.

The Imperial boy's eyes widen and he makes another wounded sound. "N-nineteen…"

Vaan feels the corner of his mouth curl, he leans forward for another kiss, pushing more sickly sweet smoke down the Imperial boy's throat on the exhale.

The Imperial boy gets hold of him and won't let go, holding on to him like an anchor to the world.

"Nineteen and this is your first time?" Vaan inquires, his hands slipping into the chinks of the armor where he knows the cinches hides, remembers from all the times he'd gotten Reks in and out of his armor. "They don't let you Imperials have any fun…"

The Imperial boy's eyes dart frantically, eyeing each of the other patrons in unaccustomed paranoia, though he goes unobserved.

"Y-yeah…" he agrees weakly, closing his eyes against a fantastic swirl of light, his mouth meeting Vaan's again just as his chest plate comes open beneath the churl's fingers.

Vaan tastes the blood as it rises up the Imperial boy's throat. It's fleeing the poison dipped dagger stuck, vicious and fragile, into the Imperial boy's gut.

"Maybe that's for good reason," Vaan whispers, twisting the blade for good measure, listening to the wet squish of soft innards.

The Imperial boy's body is just beginning to go cold inside of its metal cage when Vaan appears from behind Old Dalan's curtain.

Dalan glances up at him with a contemptuous grin of delight, his dark eyes dancing with merciless glee.

"Have you stained my rugs, Ratsbane?" Old Dalan wants to know.

Vaan returns the smile, though his is a hollow imitation, without any true delight, only vengeful satisfaction. This inflection is unsurprising.

"No," he says. "I learned how to clean up after myself the first time."

Standard Disclaimers