Hm. Just a not-so-innocent one-shot. ;)
Contains sexual themes, kiddies, so be warned. No heavier than my usual forays into that territory—otherwise this site will really kick my ass.
Mostly inspired on a late-night joke with a friend— "What would happen if Saya ever let Haji take charge in their relationship? That guy's got like centuries' worth of frustrations bottled up; what would happen if she allowed him to let them loose?"
And thus, this piece was born. Power-struggle's the name of the game—just some attempts to pry into Haji's brain— see how he'd react to such a situation. A few spoilers here and there, so heads up.
Reviews and critiques are always welcome.
I do not own Blood Plus and never will.
There, I said it. :P
The chains are cold and lustrous, promising icy enchantment and cruel imprisonment.
He does not know what to think when he first sees them: is this some sort of game?
It has been her idea to delve into this territory. It usually is her idea, in whatever they do together. That has always remained a veritable factor to their relationship. She leads, and he follows. Even during the instances where he seems to hold the reins, where he seems the one in control—it is always her orders he obeys, her particular whims he abides to.
The imbalance has never troubled him; complying with her each exigency is what he exists for—what his sole purpose cycles around. He has extinguished his own needs long ago, channeled and sublimated them into her's. If it is contradictory to the status of Victorian Gentlemen, (which is, by and large, what he was raised to be at the Zoo), a defiance to that tacit law that decrees the man be the initiator and aggressor, the anomaly has never troubled him.
He has always been content to follow her lead, to serve her as she sees fit. It has been this way so long that it is now as much a part of his nature as a preference.
His satisfaction is birthed solely from seeing her satisfied, from bringing her delight.
Her pain is his pain. Her pleasure is his pleasure. That is simply how it is.
Except now she has decided to turn the tables on him.
"I want this to be for you," she tells him, and her face is implacably earnest. "Just this once, I want you to do what you want to. I want you to do as you wish."
He is not sure how to react. The suggestion seems both unreal and faintly sacrilegious to him, so long have they played the role of mistress and servant, both in their waking lives and in the clandestine cover of darkness.
Is this some sort of remuneration? he wonders. Is she trying to pay me back in some way?
Her head shakes at his spoken suggestion; her eyes are aglow, glimmering crimson. "It's more than just about payback. It's about giving as much as what you receive. I want this to be just for you. For once… I want you to do whatever you want. Anything and everything. No holds barred."
He is bemused, unnerved. As keenly-attuned as he is to her nuances of mood and motivation, this proposal eludes him completely.
What am I supposed to do?
She smiles, but her eyes are intense. "That's entirely upto you."
He falters, but tries to convince himself that it is all right, nothing has really changed. This is still her offer; this is simply what she wants. And, as ever, he will see to it that her needs are met, even if she seems to be under the impression that he acts on his personal resolution.
But then she hands him the chains, the metal cold and heavy in his palms, a tactile rope of mercury—and it is a visceral echo of the sensation that sluices along his spine.
The shackles are lined in velvet; a downy surface that is but fragile film on the unyielding iron beneath, an oxymoron objet d'art. He is both startled and a little disturbed; he wants to ask Saya where she got these chains from, but the expression on her face communicates that reticence may be the better part of valor.
"This is for you," she says, very softly. "To do to me as you want to. I'm at your mercy, and I want you to know that."
Haji hesitates. If this is a question of trust, he can allay her fears then and there; he knows she trusts him.
What compulsion, save trust, would have permitted her, during the months when she had no memory of her past, to let him watch her back, to let him witness her deepest failings and agonies?
What emotion, if not the purest, most undiluted trust, would liberate her into making that promise with him, all those years ago—to take her life, to kill her with his own hands?
If this is some way to prove her point, Haji finds it warped, perverse. It is unnecessary, and he tells her as much.
"Maybe so," she replies. "But I don't want everything to be about my wishes. I don't want to be selfish with you. I want this to be just for you."
Haji runs fingertips over the smooth, furry velvet-lining. Hesitant, ambivalent.
And faintly curious.
He is, of course, familiar with role-playing. His years spent at the Zoo, with Joel's library of notoriously freethinking volumes at his disposal, have lent him an eye-opener into these subjects—long before they ever became mainstream in the modern world.
The authors Joel had kept there, both reviled and celebrated; Marquis de Sade. Comte de Mirabeau. Leopold von Sacher Masoch. Haji remembers, with a distinct grimace, the titles and selections of their works. Histoire de Juliette ou les Prospérités du vice. Legacy of Cain. La Philosophie dans le Boudoir. The Messalinas of Vienna.
Forbidden to the common man, fair game for well-connected laissez allé such as Joel Gold Schmidt and his cohorts. Illustrated, luridly explicit, banned from public viewing and imported discretely to be nestled within the Zoo's bookshelves, rare as jet and twice as costly.
Haji found the books abhorrent at the time, a blend of both risqué and repulsive. His own tendencies were toward the more Byronic bent; he would admit, if only within the seclusion of his own mind, that he was an incorrigible romantic.
Where other men possessed peculiar appetites and obscene fetishes, stemming from an adolescence of insecurity, Haji had never been that way. Pleasure and love had always been, for him, inflexibly-entwined—he often reasoned that his early relationship with Saya cultivated this tendency.
Hadn't he grown to love her, as a friend, as a confidante, before he had ever begun to desire her in his adulthood?
What do you want me to do? Tie you down? Hurt you?
Even as he says those words, he feels a crackling malaise, as though he utters blasphemies.
Saya falters a moment, biting her lip. But her expression is stubborn, determined. "If that's… what you want to do."
He does not. In the broadest, most profound sense of the word, he does not.
Saya, are you sure about this…?
"If I wasn't, I wouldn't have suggested it." She pauses, then smiles slightly, although he can see a flicker of uncertainty behind her eyes. "Come on, Haji. This is the hardest I've ever had to try to get a guy into bed."
You haven't ever had anyone else in your bed, Saya.
"All the same. Your hesitation's getting to be a real ego blow. I think you should just be a gentleman and accept now, so as not to hurt my feelings."
He takes a resigned breath, weighing the situation out, then nods.
If that is what you wish.
Her small fingers on his lips, cutting those words off. He blinks in surprise, and sees that she is shaking her head.
"Tonight," she murmurs, and her eyes glow. "You do not get to say that at all."
Candlelight evokes quicksilver currents on the chains.
In the dancing flame, the iron gleams bright, morphing tenfold harsher and colder against Saya's warm skin. The bedsheets beneath her are black, a furtive mass of shadow and whimsy. They cast her bare skin to radiant gold, rendering the shackles into bracelets of the glossiest, most opulent silver.
Saya's wrists are restrained to either side of the bedposts; her eyes are bright, feverish in anxiety. Haji watches her fingers twitch against the chains, a sea anemone's quiver. Her breathing is quick, just a shade uneven.
He wants to ask if she is having second thoughts, wants to ask if they should let this game be.
But then she licks her lips, a pale swipe of pink across lush coral, deepening it to scarlet succulence, and he feels his own throat go dry.
"Okay, Haji," she breathes, with the faintest of blushes. "Any time now."
He realizes then, belatedly, how hard he is staring at her. Unblinking, unmoving. His gaze seems to evoke a sea of goosebumps across her skin, seems to spur her breathing that much faster. The longer he looks, the more intense her blushes bloom.
He has always enjoyed looking at Saya. Indeed, there is an almost sublime thrill to it. She reminds him of fire made flesh; she always seems to shimmer, vibrantly in motion, even when she is perfectly still. And like fire too, she is impossible to tamp down; that evanescence has always been a source of endless exquisite frustration for him—in the past and in the present, both in bed and outside it.
He can never truly seem to possess her, ingress her as he yearns to—that fiery caprice to her nature leaves him scorched and helpless at every turn. The incapacity born of trying to grasp something that cannot be held back, something that blazes so intense it cannot be touched for more than one exhilarating moment.
Now, for the first time, he has the liberty to study her to his fill. The candleflame casts her skin to muted gold, heightening the sinuous delicacy of her bone structure. Against the dark sheets and glossy chains, she puts him in mind of Andromeda—sacrificial, pristine, chained to the rocks and at the mercy of the sea-beast.
She trembles fiercer now; her blushes almost make the air smolder. Haji can see the fragile tic of her pulse, a rhythmic rise-and-fall against her throat's satin column. Excitement and impatience. And…
Haji pauses a moment, considering. Perhaps she really is convinced that his greatest urge is to brutalize her? To expel the throttled Chiropteran beast he has held fettered until now—or simply the human one. Perhaps she really does believe that his basest, most lurid instinct stems from violence and carnality, and not from love?
If so, how very mistaken she is.
He can never let her know, those terrible yawning nights during their battle with Diva. Where she slumbered the fitful slumber of a kamikaze warrior, and he watched her, recalling the chilling promise they had made. Wondering how he could bring himself to kill someone he loved so much—how he was supposed to go about it.
Visualizing a million horrific scenarios, how to gauge the precise angle of a blow to the throat, snap her spine. The exact pressure required to crush her windpipe, smother her to death. The specific area to sink his teeth into her neck, drink all of her blood.
Each brainchild more atrocious that the last, chipping away at his soul, leaving him hollower and more frozen with every passing hour.
Imagining all those scenarios, ascertaining all those clinical ways to end her life—even as he yeaned for her smile to return, even as he churned with longing for her—had been even worse than rape.
The delicate chime of metal yanks him from his thoughts. Looking up, he sees that Saya is stirring against her manacles. Half to sit straighter, half to rouse his attention.
Her breathing is quick; her cheeks glow pink and she has caught her lower-lip between her teeth.
"Haji," she says, almost chiding. "Will you get on with it? You're not even doing anything!"
Indeed, he is not. He has not even moved to undress as yet.
But the longer he studies Saya, the more he begins to ponder advantages to that set-up. She is clearly agitated, almost simmering, and he has not even touched her as yet. Lying there, supine and vulnerable, unclothed, control ceded—while he stands before her, mobile and fully-dressed, the soft canvas of her flesh at his mercy to emboss.
Haji begins to ponder possibilities to this little game, new ways to seek retaliation, while still keeping within the rules.
She said that she was at his mercy this night. She swore he could do to her as he wished.
But she never mentioned how.
"Haji?" Saya's voice. Tremulous, deliciously uncertain. "Haji… what are you smiling like that for?"
He does not answer. He merely moves toward the bed.
He starts with her instep.
Cool pads of fingertip, nail grazing light as a breeze. The faintest brush across the sole of her foot, gliding upward, trailing the inside of her leg. He watches her toe curl, watches her quiver and gasp. Her eyes are wide, glittery.
Scaly Chiropteran fingers across her mouth, brushing across them softly, but firmly. The message is clear.
She swallows, and he can see, can sense, how she battles with herself. Fighting to relinquish power as she has promised, warring against protests, against breaking loose from the shackles. He feels the stymied conflict humming through her, evoking gingerly movements against the chains, limbs furtive across the black sheets.
A pinioned butterfly palpitating with desperation, straining toward escape.
But there shall be none for her this night.
You said I could do as I wanted. Keep your word, Saya.
Brushing the strands of hair off her brow, as light and indiscriminate as at a restaurant or supermarket. Securing them behind her ears, ensuring that she does not even have their gauzy veil to hide behind. He wants to watch, to memorize, every second of this—and her own attention is equally imperative.
Fingertips tracing the line of her cheek, resting atop the pink pillow of her lips. Her eyelashes quiver; gaze fixed on his, equal parts confusion and agitation. He smiles faintly, but breaks the eye-contact, more interested in her mouth at the moment. Such a pretty mouth. Lips lush and full as strawberries, rife with the same piquant zest.
He leans over, replacing cool digits with cooler lips, plying her with a chain of languid shimmering kisses. She gasps, but responds immediately, tongue flickering out to taste his—warm, quick swipes, smooth as liquid satin. He wants to linger, but won't, not this night. Breaks the kiss instead, venturing further down, across her chin, along the bend of throat to the bridge of collarbone. Tongue painting a cool wet line, neither too demanding, nor too playful.
He can see Saya's fingers twitch against the shackles; she shivers and closes her eyes.
At once, he presses his fingertips to her eyelids, lashes dancing like black velvet on his thumbs.
Saya… Look at me.
She hesitates, resisting by nature, but obeys.
Two white sparks flicker on the manacles; their edges seem to absorb all the different shades around them, from the fawn of Saya's skin to the black of the sheets, to the red of her eyes. Her arms are slim lines, held parallel by the glossy steel; Haji trails his fingers lightly along their insides, pebbling sensitive skin to seething gooseflesh.
She gasps, straining against the chains again; he sees her fight against the instinct to close her eyes. She is wary, no doubt about it, but still determined to see this through.
So brave, his Saya. Even in the maw of imminent death, she has never been one to back down.
Still, he enjoys wondering how long this fortification shall hold out.
Fine ribs pressing out against a sheen of gold flesh, his tongue tracing cool whorls across their subtle rise and fall. Sampling the familiar shape of each breast, flicking in crisscross swipes across both taut points. The occasional scrape of fang as acerbic as champagne fizzles—the transience only doubling the potency of impact.
Saya whimpers, squirming under him. Her eyes are squeezed shut. "Haji…"
His fingertips against her lips again, stilling the helpless outrush of words.
Her eyes open slowly, fixing to regard his. It is not a look he has seen before, nor one he is familiar with. It speaks of uncertainty, of excitement and pleading. It is a look that says she has no idea what he is going to do next.
He has never imagined, after decades of abiding to her each and every command, that he would enjoy such a thing.
"I said… you could do what you wanted," Saya breathes, and she sounds frantic. "I didn't say—"
I thought this was at my initiative, not yours.
Then in that case, things are proceeding perfectly.
When he smiles at her, soft and knowing, the blush creeps down from her face to her throat, heart skipping an almost audible beat. Understanding blooms through her, filigreed with the realization of just what the bargain is, just what she has gotten herself into.
And realizing, not a moment too soon, that there is no way out.
Her breathing quickens, but he has no impetus to speed things up. All these centuries spent alive, forever in wait, have taught him the virtues of patience, of self-control. Two tendencies that Saya had always been sorely lacking in—until she unleashed Diva upon the world.
She was forced, after that night, to compensate for it during every waking moment of her life—to sacrifice more parts of herself than she even had in her power to give—a literal ravaging of mind and soul, an annihilation at the hands of Fate.
He wants her to forget about that now. Wants her to forget about… all of it.
His mouth lingers here, there, but never stays anywhere. Fingers stroking light as shivers, kisses furtive as butterflies. Saya flinches, gasps, squirms—but keeps her eyes open, as ordered. The candlelight turns the room into a gold tabernacle; the chains are undulant silver serpents by their glow, alive with their own icy luster.
But nothing shines brighter than Saya herself, excitement heating her to sultry incandescence.
He presses his lips to her pulsing belly, across the insides of her thighs. Tongue drifting in idle spirals, no route planned, no destination in mind. Each contact ethereal, almost aloof—but with a clear electric impact to her nerves, a demolition to her defenses. She mewls under him, quivers in futility, legs shifting restlessly on the sheets—but he neither alters nor accelerates the pace.
He plays her like a multifarious instrument, seeing how many times, how many ways, he can coil her full of tension, wind her up like an expensive intricate toy—but never once ease the pressure off. Sensing the right quality of her gasping, her pulse, to know when to slow down, to stop, to ascertin exactly how each barrier can be whittled down, piece by frantic piece, until she comes shattering like lucid dust in his palms.
It continues in this vein until Saya is breathing stridently, harsh and erratic. Limbs sliding, squirming against the chains, eyelashes fluttering over hazy eyes. The longer he prolongs the torment, the deeper her struggles grow. Heart pumping loud and fast; an insistent rhythm against his lips. Her body seems to exude waves of heat; her voice is tight and pleading:
He draws back to regard her. Lips quirking faintly. Saya, if you want to cede power, you have to stop resisting.
Eyes hazy. Radiant red. "Wh-what?"
She sounds so dazed, so frantic, all restraint chipped to near-oblivion. Haji has never imagined, that the thing to send Saya unraveling so fast, so far, would be neither death nor violence, but this.
Transient kisses have the power to make her shake, beg, peer at him through sightless eyes—brutality is not what conquers her, it is tenderness.
Even now, she never ceases to amaze him.
He is half-tempted to toy with her further, but her responses are beginning to impinge on him, despite his best efforts to keep a clear head. Impassivity is effortless to his nature, but even he is not made of stone.
Especially not where Saya is concerned.
Lips pervading her full of kisses instead, heavy satiny kisses, both worshipful and languorous, part promise, part prelude to the night's inevitabilities. She responds in kind, enthused and eager, arms straining against the chains. He can almost taste the urgency coiling through her; it crackles so sharp that the very air seems to thrum. Everything begins to meld together, a spill of heated syrup. One moment they are kissing, the next he is disrobing, cool skin pressing to sweltering flesh, white hands gliding in invasive caresses, breath quickening between each tango of lips and tongue to a heady inferno's maelstrom.
Saya's entire body rattles the first instant he enters her—a helpless seething paroxysm almost sister to climax. Only, instead of subsiding, it redoubles. She breathes in ragged gasps; her whole body is feverish, eyes open wide, locked on his. He wants to keep the pace between them measured, wants to drink all of this in—but here is where Saya always decimates his efforts, each frenzied sinuous movement riddling his self-control to naught.
And tonight, the blaze churns hotter—Saya's reactions are sharper, more intense, each gasp and whimper piercing even deeper at his own sturdy fortifications. Crystal sweat beads her skin, warm and salty on his tongue; mindless bubbling shudders sizzle through her, tumbling from her lips upon lilting mewls, tremulous mantras to decree the rate of his own pulse and movement.
He watches her fly apart as though in slow motion, each instant separate and isolated, a shower of pearls cast into the air. Breath sawing in rapid ragged gusts, infused with high keening sobs. Entire body racked by helpless spasms, once, twice, again, each one wrenching tears from her eyes, lustrous as as a spray of diamonds.
It is spellbinding, incredible, the most riveting thing he has ever seen. She has never yielded so entirely, so utterly, as she does for him tonight.
But it is only when he peaks barely a moment after, the culmination erupting harsh and overwhelming, almost unbearable, that he knows the truth to the matter.
In that single act of capitulation, it is not she who has been vanquished, but he.
Saya's heart pounds loud and strong againt his brow; he collapses against her in a boneless gasping daze. Limbs loosening, going slack, borrowed warmth fast-dissipating. The candles around them have dissolved to dim embers, ephemeral flashes of red and gold. By their dull glow, the room is veiled in shadow, the enigma of a riddle, of a momentous pact sealed by nightfall.
The tears that sting Haji's eyes are cool across Saya's fevered skin. His queen breathes slower now; her eyes are closed, lashes glistening-wet. An ethereal little smile curves her lips, as though she has chanced upon a discovery, an epiphany, that she never expected to find.
Haji feels his own mouth curl in response, though he knows she cannot see it; his face is pressed to the hollow of her neck and shoulder, eyes drooping shut. His arms snake out unhurriedly, fingers nimble, undoing the shackles that bind her. He hears the chains clink loose, an airy twinkling of freedom; Saya drops her fast-cramping arms from their station, wrapping them tight around him, enfolding him in a delicious contented swathe of warmth.
The chains hang limp on either corner of the bedposts, their shimmer forgotten, made insignificant by stillness.
Haji listens to the slowing thub of Saya's heartbeat, the lethargic rise-and-fall of her breath. Saya may have been the one who wore the shackles this night—but it is he who finds himself at her mercy, perhaps now more than ever before.
He knows beyond doubt that she understands this, and that the knowledge is what satiates her most.
And that itself is enough to bring the smile to his lips, because, in some way he cannot quite explain, they are truly even that way.
Oh, incidentally, never allow yourself to be tied up—or placed in any vulnerable situation—unless it's by someone you know extremely well, and have spelled out all the rules to. Ceding control is a matter of both trust and consent. Don't play Russian roulette with it.
Review, pretty please. :)