A/N: I think it is obvious that this is not going to be a happy story, and you all know how it ends. It's Zaknafein/Drizzt-slash, just to warn those who think this pairing is disturbing. I like this pairing very much, and there aren't nearly enough stories about Zak and Drizzt. ;)
Thanks to my beta-reader Chi, who makes my life much easier.
Drizzt slowly opened his eyes, his vision still blurred. His head hurt, and his bottom lip was split. It took him a few seconds to become fully conscious, and he realised only then that he wasn't lying on the floor of the training hall anymore, but on a real bed. It had been months since he had slept in a bed, and even his bed as page prince had been less comfortable than this one.
Confused, Drizzt looked around to see Zaknafein sitting on the bed - it was so big that the Weapon Master didn't even touch his student. The young drow began to realise where he was: Zaknafein's personal rooms, a place he usually wasn't allowed to go. Zaknafein had forbidden it on the first day, and even Drizzt wasn't insolent or stupid enough to break this rule.
He propped himself up on his arms to look around, but that made his headache only worse.
"You'd better lay still," he heard Zaknafein's deep voice, thick with amusement.
"Thanks for your advice, I would never have thought of that myself," Drizzt retorted, but his tone was less bold than usual. Lying on his back, he could only see Zaknafein's legs and his right hand, resting on his knee. The hand that was responsible for his headache.
Drizzt tried to remember why Zaknafein had knocked him out this time - the Weapon Master punished even the slightest misconduct with a slap, but this one had been particularly violent. He was still too dizzy to recall the exact wording, but it had been some insolent remark about his mother. Sometimes Drizzt wondered if Zaknafein actually liked Malice - he insisted so much that Drizzt should be careful what he said about her.
Zaknafein was suddenly sliding closer to him, and Drizzt flinched when the Weapon Master's hand neared his face. Stubborn or not, he couldn't take another blow right now. But Zaknafein just dabbed the blood off Drizzt's lips, using a soft cloth that had already a few blood spots on it.
Drizzt narrowed his eyes, not quite understanding what was happening. Zaknafein usually just waited for him to wake up, hauled him on his feet and continued their lesson - and if Drizzt was too dizzy, Zaknafein would simply leave him while he was unconscious. But now he had brought Drizzt to his room and even took care of him.
Despite his last words, Zaknafein suddenly helped Drizzt to sit up. He took a small cup from his nightstand and brought it closer to Drizzt's lips, but the young drow turned his head away.
"What is that? It smells horrible," he complained, realising too late that his protest could easily earn him another slap.
But Zaknafein just scowled and turned Drizzt's head back, forcing him to drink half of the foul-smelling potion before he released him and put the cup back. Drizzt coughed and cast Zaknafein angry glares, but he couldn't deny that his headache was beginning to fade after only a few minutes.
"Better?" Zaknafein asked after a while, grinning at him.
"My lip still hurts," Drizzt said, pouting, but he was looking around in the room, not at his tutor. It was quite big and luxurious - there would be enough space for both of them, and that made Drizzt even more indignant over the fact that he had to sleep on the floor of the training hall. But he was too comfortable in the bed to complain about that now; he didn't want Zaknafein to throw him out.
He suddenly felt a strong hand on his chest, opening the laces of his shirt. Drizzt's gaze immediately returned to Zaknafein, who was sitting beside him, much closer than before. Zaknafein was looking at him with an expression Drizzt had already seen once or twice, when the Weapon Master had thought he wasn't looking at him, but it had never been so intense. It made him shiver, but he wasn't sure if it was out of fear or excitement.
"Maybe I have a solution for that problem, too," Zaknafein whispered, his voice rougher than usual. Before Drizzt could answer, he felt Zaknafein's lips on his, kissing him tenderly. It made the little wound just burn more, but it was nonetheless far from uncomfortable. Drizzt couldn't remember that Zaknafein - or anyone else - had ever touched him so tenderly. He moaned when Zaknafein's hand moved under his shirt and started to caress his smooth skin with a gentleness Drizzt had thought Zaknafein incapable of. The Weapon Master had always been nicer than anyone else he knew, but he had never shown any real affection for him.
Drizzt started to smile when Zaknafein's lips slid over his cheek and throat, gently kissing and nibbling on the skin. He definitely liked what was happening, although it confused him.
"You're beautiful, do you know that?" Zaknafein murmured softly, lying down beside him.
Drizzt just stared at him, wide-eyed. No one had ever said that to him, no one had ever said anything about his looks, except Vierna when she had scolded him because his clothes were dirty. It made his heart beat faster to hear that he was beautiful - and even more to hear it from Zaknafein, who was, to Drizzt's mind, as beautiful as a drow could be. Certainly more beautiful than his sisters in their robes with those horrible spider stitchings.
He wanted to reply, but he was silenced by another kiss. Zaknafein didn't seem to be very interested in whatever he had to say. For once, Drizzt couldn't say that this bothered him.
Soon enough, he felt dazed again, but in a pleasant way. Zaknafein's hands worked wonders on his body, knowing exactly how to touch him to make him unable of clear thought. Drizzt tried to return these caresses, but he felt horribly clumsy. He gave it up rather quickly, just digging his fingers in the sheets and hoping that Zaknafein wouldn't stop.
Zaknafein contemplated the young drow closely, and a faint smile crept on his lips. Drizzt was indeed beautiful, in his sleep even more than when he was awake. The three months of training had already started to shape his slender body into a warrior's, and his skin was perfectly smooth. His face was not only pretty, but also completely innocent, calm, untroubled. Drizzt was snuggling against Zaknafein in his reverie, trusting as if he had nothing to worry about.
It hurt him that this unspoilt child would soon enough become a drow warrior like all the others Zaknafein had trained. At the Academy, if not earlier, he would learn what Menzoberranzan was really like: that he could trust no one, and that the most prudent thing to do when he was allowed in his Weapon Master's bed was to kill him, not to sleep.
Yes, Zaknafein could try to convince himself that Drizzt was different. He was different, otherwise Zaknafein would have never allowed him to stay in his bed when he had been finished with him. But even Drizzt couldn't resist the influence of drow society forever - and Zaknafein wouldn't be able to protect him forever.
The thought made him angry. He didn't want to imagine Drizzt as a heartless drow warrior, as a liar and traitor who killed others for his pleasure or his thirst for power. For a moment, he thought about waking Drizzt up immediately and telling him about everything he had seen in four centuries in Menzoberranzan. If he destroyed Drizzt's naivete right now, he wouldn't have to look into those innocent eyes any longer. Those eyes that made him want to kiss and caress him, to coax this happy smile out of him.
He pushed Drizzt away from him, barely retaining the urge to slap him. To his surprise, the young drow didn't wake up, but just stirred a little bit. He mumbled something in his sleep and reached out with one hand, searching for the closeness and warmth of Zaknafein's body.
Zaknafein growled angrily, but then he halted. It touched him that Drizzt slept so deeply that he didn't wake up after this rough push. Every normal drow would probably have awakened immediately and grabbed a dagger to defend himself, but Drizzt just begged to return into his arms.
Zaknafein shoved Drizzt almost to the edge of the bed before he lay down again, out of the younger drow's reach. He couldn't bring himself to do this, not now. He turned his back to Drizzt, not wanting to see his face anymore. It took him some time to calm down enough to continue his reverie.
The first thing Drizzt thought when he woke up in the morning was that something was missing. He realised what it was when he opened his eyes and saw Zaknafein, still sleeping, on the other side of the bed, turning his back to him.
Drizzt pouted. He was cold and a bit sore, and he felt alone. Supposing that Zaknafein had just turned around in his reverie, Drizzt crawled closer to him. He just wanted to nuzzle against Zaknafein's back. The Weapon Master sensed him, spun around and grabbed his throat. He released him after a few seconds, but this violent reaction had been enough to shock Drizzt.
"It's only you," Zaknafein grumbled, snorting angrily. "Why in the Abyss did you wake me up?"
Drizzt was too taken aback to answer. After the last night, he hadn't expected to hear harsh, unfriendly words from his tutor ever again. Naked and facing Zaknafein's anger, he felt suddenly very vulnerable.
"Get up and prepare for your training," the Weapon Master growled when he didn't get any answer. He seemed very annoyed, and Drizzt could feel that Zaknafein was in a particularly bad mood - one of these moods that made him beat up Drizzt for no apparent reason. But the young drow was too hurt by this rejection to be reasonable and obey.
"But I want to stay with you a little longer. You said I could stay," he argued weakly. "And I'm sore and too tired to train."
Zaknafein didn't leave Drizzt enough time to answer to this, he simply got up and grabbed a handful of his thick hair, virtually dragging him from the bed and out of the room. He released Drizzt in the training hall and returned to his room, slamming the door.
Drizzt sobbed quietly and crawled to the corner of the room where he kept his things. He quickly put on fresh clothes, not wanting to still be naked when Zaknafein came back.
He tried to understand why the Weapon Master had thrown him out. Had he done anything wrong? Was Zaknafein angry because Drizzt had not been able to return his caresses with equal skill? But Zaknafein should know that nobody else had ever touched Drizzt like that ... and he had still been nice to him at the end of the evening. It was only in the morning that Zaknafein had become violent, without any understandable reason.
Drizzt tried to hold back his tears, but he couldn't. It wasn't the first time that Zaknafein had beaten and insulted him, he did it fairly often, actually, but after the last night, it was far more painful. After Zaknafein had been so tender to him, whispering words that were so sweet and affectionate that Drizzt had blushed at every one of them, he couldn't stand to be mistreated again.
The young drow winced when the door of Zaknafein's room opened again. The Weapon Master had dressed again and was drawing his swords as soon as he entered the training hall. Drizzt quickly grabbed his scimitars and got on his feet, just in time to block the first attack.
"I'm sorry, Zak," he whimpered, retreating under Zaknafein's relentless blows. "I didn't want to make you angry. I don't know what I have done, but I am sorry."
Zaknafein just sneered and pressed him even harder, and Drizzt could, as tired as he was, hardly keep up with him.
"Shut up and concentrate, you fool!" the Weapon Master growled when the young drow opened his mouth again and at the same time almost failed to fend off the next attack.
Drizzt's eyes hardened when he heard these words, and he bit on his bottom lip, determined not to show Zaknafein any more how hurt he was. If he hadn't had to concentrate on the Weapon Master's whirling blades, he might have seen the sad, pained expression in Zaknafein's eyes.