A/N: This idea came to me rather spontaneously and developed within a day into a long series of short chapters, much darker than my previous writing (simple warning - disturbing themes throughout). It's an experiment of sorts and I think the style is noticeably different from my other works. This has no relation to the Antiphony universe. It may help to watch The Secret of Dagger Rock episode before starting on this.

As always, comments are much appreciated. Enjoy.



It was always the same. Silence filled the air around them, reaching to the jagged cliffs and rock walls too steep to scale. Her arms were loose around his back, sweat slowly drying. The gravel beneath her no longer felt coarse. She hardly noticed it all, now that all was silent and she again wondered if he had anything to say.

He was the first to break the inertia, beginning to rise to his feet. But he stopped, merely propping himself up on his elbows and looking down at her. She returned his gaze expressionlessly. A small smile of seeming amusement curved his lips as his eyes took in the unruly sprawl of her hair across the rocky ground, the dry cut on her lower lip and her left earring which had come loose. He stroked her cheek with one finger, his smile now only tilting one side of his mouth.

"We don't have to keep doing this here, you know."

She did not respond, waiting for more words. She spent her silence trying to understand him.

"It isn't really right for a queen to lay among dirt and rocks," he continued, now tracing the scratches on the skin of her arms. They always healed fast enough, but it was difficult to conceal them in the clothing she usually wore. "Silk is more preferable, isn't it? Dark silk."

She stared at him for another moment before speaking. "No."

"Then you prefer the pain."

"I won't go back with you."

He shrugged, disengaging himself from her arms, and again she was fooled. He did not leave, but lay down beside her with a light sigh and an unbroken gaze.

"You're not afraid, are you?"

As always, his question was vague and carried too many faces. "No, because this isn't new."

"You've been to my citadel before. It's not new either."

She shook her head. "We can't meet anywhere but here."

He laughed, short and derisive. "We can, but you won't. Because this is the only place where you feel you have control."

She frowned but said nothing, and the negligible distance between them grew in her mind.

"You like to think you have me trapped here, don't you. Like that first time." He looked at her levelly, no longer smiling. Without humor, the blackness of his eyes appeared darker. "You know it wasn't pleasant by any means."

The jagged crystal tower behind him was darkening from glass to rose from the dying sun. He paused softly. "But then I can't help but feel this is your reparation, to subject yourself to pain and dust and pleasure for me. It does make me feel special."

Despite her weariness, she still had to defy him in some fashion. "I don't owe you anything."

"No, but you still give." She saw a slight gleam of teeth as his smile returned. "You've trapped yourself, not me."

She was pliant in his arms though she wanted to resist. This time he drew her over him, brushing the crumbled earth and jagged rocks from her chafed skin with smooth hands. She heard the slight crunch of the ground under his back as he took her weight upon himself, gently grasping her hips and pushing. He brought her face down to his lips, murmuring against her ear as the first harsh breath left her lungs.