Author Notes: I actually started this story two to three years ago and recently finished it on a whim. I added details, took details out... basically revamped a lot of it. It was kind of troublesome trying to mesh my writing style from two/three years ago to my current one. However, it is satisfying to finally finish it. Hope you enjoy.
characters/pairings: Krad/Satoshi, implied Satoshi/Daisuke
warnings: some langauge, some blood... and, well, basically Krad and his sadistic self...
A Name for Love
by scelerus animus
- o -
Satoshi awakes to walls covered in blood.
Darkness crawls over his vision, claws unsheathed and leaving small punctures where blood sprouts and bleeds across his eyeballs, as if etching a path on a map. Satoshi can't see anything, except for this blackness burnt red around the edges, but he knows blood by its smell. Acrid and cloying and metallic.
The beginnings of a headache pulse between his eyes. His glasses are missing, but he supposes they'd be useless anyway. Out of habit he pinches the bridge of his nose, but his sleeve is drenched from lying in the pools of blood across the floor, and thin rivulets methodically dribble down his slender wrists and long fingers onto his face.
It's sickeningly warm on his face and leaking out of the corners of his face like tears, and the smell is overpowering, but Satoshi simply sits up, bones popping and muscles stretching, and dazedly faces the waves of nausea that crash threw him.
Fear has no place in this room.
(With the blood of a century-year-old feud flowing fiercely in his veins, he does not have the blessed luxury of fearing it—darkness. Even as it seeps eagerly into his vision like a snake slithering in the night, silent and unknown until he feels the toxic bite of fangs in his flesh, until its deadly sweet venom sets his icy blood on fire and blinds him.)
It is almost a pity, really. Perhaps.
Pity he has never been afraid of the dark.
(pity that while Hikari Satoshi can readily give the memorized dictionary definition, he will truly never know the meaning of "childhood")
While Satoshi sluggishly blinks oblivion and the sandman's untimely spell from his liquid blue eyes, darkness pulses around, loud and thriving, like a wild animal panting in his ears. It's all salivating grins and sharp gleaming teeth, and Satoshi wears its scars like any normal fourteen-year-old boy shouldn't.
Certainly any other normal fourteen-year-old boy would have started to panic by now, heart hammering against his ribcage like the rapid gallop of a hundred hooves, breath short and coarse in a dry throat as he tries to scream for help.
However, while his pulse has quickened by a fraction, and his breath is shallower than usual, Hikari Satoshi is otherwise unaffected.
Normality has no place in the Hikari Clan.
Sculpted by the conditions of his family, his blood (and the golden-eyed curse that haunts his mind like an all-too-real demon), Hiwatari Satoshi has never feared the dark.
In that room of depthless blackness, Satoshi warily stands and tries to ascertain where exactly he is.
This is not an uncommon occurrence.
He feels like he is standing on the apex of Mount Fuji and beneath him swells an endless abyss, an ocean of unknowns, where demons lurk with razor teeth and poisoned claws. Dizziness instantly hits him again, and Satoshi sways. Blots of whirling light twinkle before liquid blue eyes. But he's used to it. Lines blurred between mindlessness and fearlessness.
Dimly, he wonders when he'll stop falling.
Sight blotchy and eyes unseeing, Satoshi stumbles across the hard floor. The blood is wet, slippery, kind of sticky even. He reaches out for leverage, and the walls are equally warm, wet, and sticky. Equally useless.
With each intake of breath, the heavy smell of copper explodes in his mind.
Satoshi stumbles again, bile in his throat, a pungent tang on his tongue, and the sickeningly overwhelming scent of blood swarms his senses again. Another sound escapes into that dank, suffocatingair, and Satoshi realizes that strangled cry emerged from his own burning throat.
Vaguely he wonders why the blood troubles him so much today.
Stepping into another slick pool, Satoshi skids and crashes to the blood-doused floor with a low sickly splat and thud. Coppery blood fills his mouth and besieges his senses, slick and foul, like death and sickness, the taste of something devilish in which he would forever drown if submerged too long a time.
Blood. A taste of one's own mortality. A taste of death.
(Pity) Hikari Satoshi does not fear death either. Just like he doesn't fear the dark. Never had the luxury.
(his death is pre-written, just like the rest of life, by hands he's never known or seen; death is another page out of his book, a book he's never read but that exists, and he will make a mockery of his death just like life made a mockery out of him)
(Satoshi can imagine staring at death eyes tinged with gold and saying "come on then, come and get me")
But that time is not now, and the blood is not his own, and Satoshi struggles to think of a plan, because dammit he hates the smell of death.
(hating something does not mean you fear it, while fearing something does not mean you hate it)
"Do you remember when you were three, Satoshi-sama?"
(but Satoshi hates and fears equivocally)
Spluttering, Satoshi jerks up on his hands. Blood slides, hot and sticky and endless, down his pallid shivering skin and drips off his skeletal form in cloying squelches. He frantically searches the darkness for that voice—more specifically the owner of that voice—even if he knows he will not find him.
As Satoshi rises, blood splashes onto the floor, a thick, viscous sound that echoes off wet walls. Liquid blue eyes (when flecked with sharp, glass-edged gold it's more come on, come and get me, Dark, darkness) narrow, suddenly taking on a haunting, disturbingly icier shade.
"Krad," Satoshi hisses into the darkness, "what have you done this time?"
"I, beloved Satoshi-sama?" innocently inquires that voice (a cunning duplicity hidden beneath silky tones). "I have done nothing."
Satoshi snorts in disbelief.
"Where are we, Krad?" Satoshi demands hoarsely, the sting of metal still heavy on his mind and horrid on his tongue. His muscles tense as he flexes his bony fingers, steps forward, slips, and stumbles.
"Oh no, Satoshi-sama, you cannot start asking questions when you haven't answered mine," purrs the psychotic angel from somewhere hidden in the never-ending blackness.
What? sputters Satoshi silently to himself as he tries futilely to gather his thoughts through the glutinous haze of heady blood viciously invading his mind. Then, he remembers.
"Do you remember when you were three, Satoshi-sama?"
Yes, yes he does. Very well.
But why does Krad bring that up now?
"That doesn't have anything to do with the present, Krad," Satoshi replies, keen eyes cautiously, if not blindly, searching the darkness for an answer or clue, as he knew he would receive none from the devious angel himself—at least, not until Krad wished to give any.
"Oh yes, my dear Satoshi-sama, I believe it does," Krad taunts ambiguously.
A flap of wings echoes in the chamber—in the tower. Flinching—pinching the bridge of his nose again—Satoshi remembers it is a tower. He was chasing Dark Mousy in a tower because that bastard had stolen a necklace. A pearl necklace. His necklace.
"Bastard!" Satoshi yells, snapping to attention. "Where is that despicable thief??
"Oh, you surprise me, Satoshi-sama," Krad comments aridly. His voice flutters through the chamber as airy as a feather. "I would have thought you would be much more concerned about something other than that necklace…" Krad laughs. "Then again…"
Satoshi scowls, stumbling against the walls, as he rubs his temples. What else isn't he remembering?
"Pity you cannot see it…" Krad continues from somewhere around him. "Blood has such a vivacious color…"
"What the hell are you talking abo—" Satoshi stops short.
Blood. Color. Red.
"Niwa..." whispers Satoshi. A horrifying sensation sweeps through him, as if he has just tripped a wire, as if he has just touched dry ice, and turns the blood in his veins ice-cold.
Choking on the dank, sour air, Satoshi falters again. Trips. Falls. Pain. Numbness. The disconcerting, demoralizing sound of that blood splattering, splashing, like a necklace of pearls scattered across the floor.
(and how they shined like tears as Satoshi held them in his palms)
Falling and falling and falling, Satoshi will never get back up. Broken arms and broken legs and broken wings. In this darkness, Satoshi is blind. Surrounded by the sharp metallic smell of blood, Satoshi is—
—no no no no, the walls scream, voices of the people he could never save, you weak pathetic thing, Hikari Satoshi is always in control, he cannot survive without his control, Hikari Satoshi is never helpless, no no no—
—dizzy, confused, and unsurprisingly angry.
"Ah, but my precious Satoshi-sama, your dear Niwa, the foolish Wing Master, is dead!" Krad mockingly laughs a wickedly elated laugh that vibrates through the blackness, the abyss. A place where there is no escape, only more blood.
Like bitter metal. A thick, despicable smell and taste, an acid on his tongue and a drug to his mind, spitefully floods his senses, remorselessly plagues his mind.
Without warning, close to his ear, a harsh warm presence juxtaposed against a melodious cold voice: "Then, you did not fear, Satoshi-sama, but do you fear now?"
In the darkness, Satoshi sees crimson.
"Do you remember when you were three, Satoshi-sama?"
Yes. Oh god yes, he does.
- o -
Around him, the Hikari Estate is silent. Quiet.
It is almost serene, if not for the suffocating darkness that occupies the room into which the small pale boy with eerily blank liquid blue eyes noiselessly enters.
The darkness is cloying and soft, like a mother's hand gently wrapped around her child's throat, slowly, almost unnoticeably chocking the poor babe to death. It's the kind of darkness the sucks things, absorbs them, emotions and thoughts and instincts, until the lines blur and you don't know where the darkness begins and you end.
But Hikari Satoshi is three and does not understand this. He can feel it, but he has been taught not to feel much of anything, so the result is the same.
Any emotion, including fear, including remorse, including love, including hate, can be destructive for one who carries the Hikari's most hated and most beloved secret between those bony shoulder blades. Thus every emotion must be eradicated.
Except Duty. But Duty is a sense, a nature, ingrained, necessary, like how doctors implant hearts or lungs for a person to live.
Hikari Satoshi soundlessly walks up to the main attraction at the far end of the room. Dim candles light that end of the room, and the polish gleams off the wooden coffin nearly as bright as the deep red roses surround it.
The woman he calls mother (even if he does not understand the meaning behind that word) lies in the coffin, pale and translucent and oh-so beautifully dead amongst her white satin sheets.
She lived beautifully and died beautifully—or at least beautiful. A perfect piece of art sculpted by the Hikari Clan.
(Satoshi remembers her affinity for glass; always throwing it everywhere)
Satoshi stares at her lips, painted so richly red, and thinks of blood, not roses. He stares at the ring of glossy pearls around her thin neck and thinks of tears, not riches.
His lack of tears does not disconcert his family. Nor are they proud of him. It's merely an expectation. They do, however, look over their shoulders, when the boy quietly talks to himself. They wonder for a moment if he is talking to his dead mother's corpse.
Satoshi isn't, in fact.
But they can't hear the soothing whispers in his head either.
Carefully, he counts the pearls beginning at the nape of his mother's bent neck, then tumbling across her jutting collarbone, and flowing down her torso, so lustrous and white against the black velvet she wears.
In his mind he thinks he whispers he wants the pearls that look like the perfect embodiment of tears.
When the Clan buries her, they do not notice the missing set of pearls around her neck.
- o -
"No!" Satoshi screams. Desperately he wrenches himself out of Krad's seductive grasp (mentally, physically—sometimes it's hard for Satoshi to tell one from the other). "You're lying! Damn you, you're lying, leave me alone!"
Still slick and warm, blood slides impartially over flailing limbs, soaking, saturating to the bone, a shimmering crimson stain that Satoshi knows he will never be able to wash away.
Copper sears in his throat, chokes him, a sickly sweet poison. Near hysterics, Satoshi sputters and spits but is unable to get the wretched taste of—Niwa—metallic blood out of his mouth.
Armless and legless and (wing)sightless.
He cannot see anything except for darkness and blood—and blood, it shines, swirls like maple leaves falling during autumn, and gleams, oh-so red, like Niwa's hair beneath sunlight, like Niwa's eyes alit with happiness.
—Niwa's blood, Niwa's life on his hands, on his face, in his mouth, everywhere, everywhereeverywhere—
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
"Ah-ah, dear Satoshi-sama, do you not remember?" Krad inquires, unperturbed. His voice is silk-lined and deadly, like the smooth hiss of a blade thrown to kill. "The little Wing Master's life tastes enticing, especially for a Niwa, does it not?"
"Shut up! You're lying, Krad!" Satoshi blindly thrashes in the blood, feeling his way, as bodiless as a snake, while his minds frantically tries to formulate any possible explanation, give him any damned clue to prove—to prove that Krad is lying.
While wildly slipping and sliding, with despair and misery already digging their capricious claws in his unstable mind, Satoshi feels as if he is standing in the bleeding heart of supernova, a dying sun.
It bleeds, bleeds, bleeds and Satoshi scrambles but he can't find a way to stop the bleeding, please, he pleads, please stop bleeding Niwa—
In a brief, standstill moment in which his mind seems to sink deeper into the darkness as he thrashes ever so blindly through the blood and the blackness, Satoshi morbidly wonders if he will feel Niwa's body, mangled and sticky and still hauntingly warm…
—please please please, no no no, not Niwa, not Niwa—
"Niwa!" shouts Satoshi frantically. "Niwa! Dammit, Niwa! Answer me, Niwa! Where are you?"
His only reply is Krad's cold, crystalline laugh.
(like glass shattering)
"What will you do now, Satoshi-sama," Krad scoffs, pitiless amusement lacing his deceptively silken voice, "now that your precious Niwa is dead?"
And an unspeakable horror rushes over Satoshi, as if he has finally landed from the fall into an icy river with rapids that tear his skin raw and devour the warmth within, leaving nothing behind but a cold hollow body.
Abruptly, Satoshi stills; his limbs refuse to move except for the uncontrollable trembling that racks his body. In that continuous darkness, time slows, stops; blood continues to trickle down his saturated form, over clammy ashen skin, warm and slick, proof of life.
The absence of life. Niwa's life.
(and Satoshi is so cold inside)
"No, no, no, I'll fucking kill you, Krad! Niwa can't be dead," Satoshi screeches, mind helplessly caught in a standstill, a trance-like stupor.
This is not how it is supposed to be. Never, never, never, but Satoshi doesn't deal in hopes and dreams and inconsistencies.
There are facts, Satoshi reasons desperately, and the fact is Niwa—Niwa—
Because Niwa can't die.
(Satoshi is something so much lower than human and Niwa has always seemed so much higher—higher than everything, everyone)
Because Niwa is light, is happiness and joy and hope; Niwa is the fucking embodiment of all things Good. The fucking proverbial sun that rises and shines and burns.
So he just can't fucking die.
Because Niwa is that—that sinful luxury in this brutal, longstanding family war in which hope-giving innocents such as Niwa shouldn't be allowed, because if he dies then all will collapse beneath Satoshi's feet, and all of Satoshi's resistance and rebellion against his clan, his blood, the fucking curse who strings artful words cleverly wrapped in silk around his head—it will mean nothing, absolutely nothing in the end.
So Niwa can't fucking die.
"My poor, poor Satoshi-sama, you can neither run," exults Krad in mock-soothing tones, though Satoshi knows a haughty, sadistic leer twists the angel's face, "nor can you hide. What will you do now?"
Emerging from the darkness, fingers tangle in Satoshi's hair, light and nimble and tenderly possessive—Krad, of course, but Satoshi can't move, can't find a reason to move.
"No," Satoshi mumbles, falling, falling, falling. "Nn–no…"
Wavering in his mantra, Satoshi's voice chokes in his constricted throat. The only thing he can see is Krad smirking, standing with his hip cocked carelessly, draped in flawless white and gold, and Satoshi imagines clawing into him, his eyes, that smirk, ripping each flawless part and staining him in blood, but Satoshi can't think, can't honestly move that much.
He has no strength, has no reason.
He topples against Krad's form, seeing white and gold, light seeping around the corners of his vision, but it doesn't matter because there is no reason for it to matter to Satoshi. His fingers clench around the rich white cloth and his forehead presses against the thick, unnaturally white material of Krad's coat, but Satoshi can only stare, unseeing, mouthing unintelligible words.
Agile fingers thread through his hair and slide through the strands easily, like ribbons of silk. Smirking, Krad leans forward and his breath follows the path his fingers trace across Satoshi's pale neck, feather-light touches like kisses across his taut muscles, across the spinal bones jutting beneath pasty skin.
"I allowed you small luxuries," Krad murmurs against his ear. He kisses Satoshi's hair. He kisses Satoshi's cheekbone. "But you've taken too many liberties, Satoshi-sama."
Satoshi feels a heavy coolness settles against neck and hears the slight click of a clasp, but he doesn't care what it is. Krad caresses his cheek, the barest touch of a lover, and Satoshi eyes burns as he stares at the whiteness of Krad's clothes.
"You are so helpless, Satoshi-sama," Krad drawls lightly, disdainfully. "Look what this Wing Master has done to you, my everything; he has dragged you down to the same disgraceful level of mere mortals."
Delicately, with two gentle fingers underneath his chin, Krad raises Satoshi's head until liquid blue meets—
Gold, not red.
Krad is only red when covered in blood.
"N-nnno…" Satoshi trembles, jerks. The thing around his neck rattles. "N–no!" Satoshi persists, voice hoarse, liquid blue eyes burning with moisture not blood.
"Yes," Krad hisses. "You cannot lie to me, Satoshi-sama, you cannot pretend. These are the consequences, my precious host, of your disobedience. Do you recognize the emotion that has trapped you so cunningly in its virulent grip?"
Niwa is dead.
"Fear," Satoshi gasps painfully, breaking Krad's gaze. "Is that what you want to hear, Krad? That I'm afraid, I'm terrified?"
Unnoticed by Satoshi, a mellow light begins to fill the remainder of circular tower chamber.
Tilting Satoshi's chin higher, Krad leans closer, and Satoshi can feel his breath flow across his cheeks, his mouth. The blood is dry, his mouth is dry, everything is so dry, so hot, so close, too close.
"Because of Niwa." Krad murmurs mockingly. Satoshi flinches again, eyes flickering to Krad's. Gold eyes flash, feral and scorching, at him, and Satoshi can't move once more.
(armless and legless and (sight)wingless; Satoshi always feels so helpless, and futility breeds fear which breeds hate—or did the hate breed fear—and fear of what?)
(Niwa always burned warmth, but Krad burned—Krad burned—)
"Yes," Satoshi sobs.
"No," Krad refutes easily.
"What?" Satoshi snaps.
He looks so fragile, so broken. Krad smiles.
Nodding, Krad gracefully stands as if appeased for the moment.
"Stand up and look around you, Satoshi-sama," Krad instructs evenly.
Unsure of what Krad's twisted mind has planned next, Satoshi listens, if not cautiously.
He sees no blood.
Shock ripples through him as he realizes that light fills the room and that blood slathers neither the rough stone walls nor the polished marble floors.
Behind him, there is loud crash as a familiar voice filters into Satoshi's bewildered mind.
"Owe, that hurt!—Dark, I told you we shouldn't have come through this window!—oh… umm…"
Satoshi hastily spins around, swaying, faltering slightly, but not caring as he gazes at the messy head of crimson hair peeking over the window sill.
Crimson hair matching crimson eyes that look slightly abashed at being found so quickly by the commander; a cute red blush spreads across his adorable nose.
"Niwa…" Satoshi sighs, indifferent to the confused, curious look that appeared on Niwa's face.
It all was merely another warped illusion of Krad's.
"Silly, silly Satoshi-sama…" Krad remarks with a hint of amusement.
Dark raucously climbs in after Niwa, but Satoshi pays him no mind, even as the Thief glares hotly at him. "Hey, I stole that necklace last night! How the hell did you get it back? And why the hell are you wearing it? What kind of queer wears a pearl necklace? Daisuke, I told you to stay away from fairy-boy, he's a bad influence!"
"Be nice, Dark," Daisuke rushes, blushing even more. "We shouldn't judge Satoshi-kun…"
And they ramble on.
Satoshi is content for the moment to watch—at least, until his motor functions return to normal and he can no longer feel the slick heat of blood on his skin.
Movements peculiarly languid and lacking the normal bloodlust, Krad sinuously walks toward him and possessively wraps a lithe arm around his host from behind.
Fortunately, since Satoshi knows that at the moment Daisuke and Dark can neither see nor hear Krad, relief overrides any anger possibly incurred by the action.
Krad breathes deeply, rubbing his face against Satoshi's hair like some kind of feral beast marking its territory. Chuckling softly, he leans his chin on Satoshi's shoulder and burrows into the hollow of his neck. Kisses the tender flesh beside the string of pearls.
Memories fill Krad's mind like water fills an ocean. Or a river. The sun evaporates it, but eventually it returns through rainfall, thunderstorms, hurricanes. Everything is about breaking and rebuilding. A cycle.
The Hikari Clan know this, but the Hikari are human and while most of Krad's memories are extraneous, Krad knows that humans, more selfish and blind than not, are prone to repeat their mistakes. Again and again and again.
(this time, at least, the Hikari gave him such a beautiful boy, such a beautiful white slate)
Krad knows all Hiwatari Satoshi wants to do is dash toward Niwa, seize him, and never, ever let go in that overtly cliché, revoltingly human way.
His Satoshi-sama does not retain his knowledge, and the Hikari were always so in-adept at teachers since they preferred to absorb themselves in their own work, but it's all right for now.
Satoshi-sama is always such a quick learner.
"You fear for him," Krad whispers in beguiling dulcet tones, presence always too close and voice always too far away.
Without looking at him, Satoshi replies, "Perhaps."
Krad merely smirks and, with his free arm, he fingers the string of pearls that cascade down the front of Satoshi's black shirt. They shine and glisten as if wet. As if made of tears themselves.
Krad's lips trace the curve of Satoshi's ear.
"Do not worry, Satoshi-sama, I will allow you your luxuries." He presses a kiss to Satoshi's hair, to his cheekbone, and Satoshi continues to stare at the scene. "Remember, however, you are a child of the Hikari clan; you are my Tamer, my beloved everything, and because Niwa Daisuke is your weakness, one day, I will kill him."
- Owari -
End Notes: Thoughts?