Disclaimer: Legacy of Kain belongs to Edios and Crystal dynamics, they are not me. I am making £0.00 out of this fic, it is written purely because I have a burning need to create.
Part: One of One
Authoress note: Pain can be pleasant when done properly.
The bathing chamber in Janos' Aerie was as opulent as the rest of his home. Cool floors covered with thick carpets that could somehow withstand the tough feet of the vampire. Shelving lined a wall and overflowed with thick towels and bottles of oil. Some oils were for hair, some for skin and some for feathers. The waterproofing qualities of the oils used on the wings were invaluable and thus a large shelf was occupied with these bottles. Water logged wings were heavy and would not lift a vampire. A grounded vampire was never a happy one. There was a small pool and from the observers point of view it looked to be about chest height with room to do a few breast strokes across. Everything in the aerie was reasonable in size, it had to be. The ancient vampires could do more than stretch their arms out. They could stretch wings out as well. Wings large enough to lift six feet tall men packed with muscle and hollow bones. Janos smiled as he lowered himself into the steaming water. Heated by old magic and kept soft by oil poured into the water. Janos was hedonistic when it came to baths and fledglings. Fledglings or rather fledgling, just one but one was more than enough. Janos would be a poor liar if he denied his reactions to his fledgling and so he never did. Vorador had held his attention long before they had become blood related. Since the sharing of blood Vorador has come to occupy a large portion of his life and thoughts. Janos could remember past baths that had encouraged his hedonistic tendencies to both baths and fledglings. Despite the fledgling in question being human at the time. He remembered as a reward for creating a weapon of such beauty and efficiency he had shown the mortal to the high hilltops that were in fact long dormant volcanoes. Here hidden in strange places were pools heated by the eternally hot molten rock hundreds of meters beneath the surface. The levels of sulphur could be dangerous in some of the pools but Janos always knew which to avoid and which were safe for taking such simple pleasure.
The afternoon had been one of simple pleasure teased by pleasure of a different nature. Even then there had been a hunger between them. Janos had refused to indulge it. Vorador had had a wife and a child, and Janos had his duty and his war to contend with. Indulging in such hunger could only cause problems. However they were problems he had come close to inviting when Vorador's hand had brushed his thigh and the mortal's heartbeat had quickened before a hasty half silent apology was made. Janos had smiled and placed his hand over the mortal's own and had spoken soft words trying to ignore the ever increasing heartbeats of the mortal next to him and the warm spiced scent of want coming from the man. They had left the pool shortly after. Both returning to separate lives but the scent and sound of the self-restrained mortal had stayed with Janos for many nights after. In the following nights his own hand would become warmer in his imagining, developing fingers and calluses, and moving with a rough uncertainty but a hunger that matched his own. More than once Janos found his completion in the arms of an imagined mortal. It was hard after such nights to go down to the village and see Vorador working in his forge. It was hard to keep a cool head. It hurt him to do so, to watch strong mortal muscles lift and bend heavy metal to their will and know he would not be able to have the mortal the way he wanted. It was pain but it was also pleasure. There were so few pleasures in the world anymore that Janos found he could not deny himself the pleasure of seeing and speaking with Vorador even if it caused him pain to do so. It was a pain that he loved. Life went on as it always does and the war grew in ferocity. Many suffered during the days that followed. But none so much as Janos' mortal friend. Vorador's wife and child became what the leaders of the war effort called collateral damage. The vampires didn't care, they were only humans, short lived and over populous. They could be replaced. But as Janos sat with Vorador on the death watch of his family he learned that the leaders were wrong. The mortals who died could no more be replaced than the ancients who fought the war. Time gained a different meaning in the months that followed. Janos' time became broken up between meetings with council and visits to his mortal companion.
It was over strong liquor that it happened the first time. Janos had entered Vorador's home as was his habit around dusk and with a short look at the forge that had not been lit since Vorador's wife had died he had moved further into the home. There was no one inside the first few rooms but Janos soon found Vorador in the kitchen. The battered tin bath had been pulled down and water heated although by now it had gone cold. Janos sighed when he saw the bottles littering the floor and wondered briefly where his companion kept finding the liquor to drown his sorrows considering he had stopped working months ago and only ate because Janos brought him food. Briefly Janos thanked his God that Vorador had not drowned himself in the bath having passed out. He moved to lift the inebriated mortal out of the now freezing water. Vorador, once conscious, tried to help but only caused more difficulty. Janos eventually managed to get his friend dry and sat at the small table. Then started to sort through what food he had been able to bring.
"Why on earth were you in the bath?" Janos managed after watching Vorador put down a few spoonfuls of broth.
"Remembering," Vorador had answered. His words becoming less slurred the more he ate. "Remembering when you took me up the mountains." Janos felt his face heat up. He too had fond memories of that time.
"Yes I remember," he nodded. "that was quiet a time ago."
"I would like to go again," Vorador didn't look up from his food, his skin was flushed. Janos swallowed.
"Then we will, but you will need to eat better and gain strength before you could make that climb," Janos muttered. He was briefly considering dipping into his still woozy companions mind to try and discover the meaning of bringing up that trip after so long without a word. But guilt stopped him. He couldn't invade another's mind without permission it would be like rape. But his curiosity and confusion was growing within him. Against his better judgement he let lose a small fragment of magic and simply brushed over his companions thoughts. He was shocked by what he found there. "Vorador," he choked "you have lost someone dear to you, you are feeling alone it is not uncommon. But I cannot give you what you want." Vorador was silent for a while after that. Digesting the words. His features changing between anger, loss and hope.
"Why?" he asked after a time. Janos sighed loudly. He had no real answer to that question. He wanted to, Vorador wanted to, it would not destroy a family and his part in the war was changing due to a prophecy. There was no real reason to say no anymore save from his own uncertainty.
"You know not what you want," Janos said quietly "you are confused."
"Would a man confused do this?" Vorador declared his skin flushed with emotion. He stretched, closing the space between them before Janos could react, and pressed chapped lips to Janos' own, slack with surprise. Vorador kissed him hard. Janos pulled away, shocked. Vorador continued to reach for him for a few moments before falling back. The mortal was red, his features a mixture of embarrassment, want and alcohol.
"Why," now it was Janos' turn to utter the word.
"I'm not sure," Vorador answered "the moment I saw you ... and then ...Ever since I haven't been able to stop thinking of you." Vorador met Janos' gaze and Janos knew that this was no illusion, no alcohol induced want. He could practically hear the mortal's thoughts screaming at him, along with his heart beat and he could smell the want, strong over the smell of alcohol. He leaned forwards and both were lost to each other.
Those memories came back to him now while he lay in his own bath. Baths seemed forever connected to Vorador now. It was probably why he enjoyed both of them so much. Even after he had turned Vorador, -an accident of love and lust- he still wanted to take him in the water. But Vorador seemed to be developing an allergy, for want of a better word. Water burned his skin, causing at first red marks, then welts and finally 1st degree burns before evaporating the skin completely. It was a loss but one that Vorador seemed almost oblivious to. He still pounced on his maker while the elder bathed. Often giving himself burns that only seemed to increase his body's tension and longing. Janos smiled to himself feeling the memory and knowledge harden him. He could hear Vorador moving around down in the lower levels of the aerie and smiled widely. Standing and walking from the pool he reached for a towel then discarded it. Instead he walked dripping through the hallways to where he could hear his fledgling.
"I thought I could hear you upstairs," Vorador smiled when Janos entered, still dripping, into his room.
"I waited for you," Janos smiled a little watching the open shirt slide from his fledgling's shoulders as he approached.
"You're not very patient then are you?" Vorador pressed himself to his damp maker and hissed as the moisture burned his skin. The sensation although one of pain inspired thoughts of wants and lust in him. Thus pain became pleasure and he pressed himself firmer against his Sire. Writhing as the sodden wings brushed his arms and burns followed. It was pain but it was a pain he loved. Janos purred feeling his reaction and tried to ignore the smell of burnt flesh and the guilt it brought out in him. Vorador truly loved this as did he and he would not take away what they both loved. Not while it could still be so freely given.