Break plops down gleefully on a nearby crate and crosses his legs, resting his chin in his hand. He taps his cane idly against the edge of the crate, grinning.

"Break!" says Gilbert. A fetching blush darkens his cheeks. "What are you doing? Get me down from here!"

"I was just thinking," says Break, considering. "This is a good look for you."

"I'm going to kill you!" Gilbert snarls, thrashing against the tentacles wrapped all around him. The rouge chain merely tightens its grip.

It's magnificently disgusting, that chain, huge and grey and mottled all over with crusty patches of yellow-green mucus. It has Gilbert's arms trapped behind his head, with one tentacle each cinched tightly around his legs, his waist, his neck. Gilbert's body is stretched out taut, writhing and straining, the tentacle around his waist slithering up under his shirt to expose the lean muscle beneath. It's almost like the chain is deliberately putting the boy on display.

It's a rather nice display, too.

"Yes," Break notes, "it's a very good look."

"Get me down from here, now!"

The chain gurgles awfully and proceeds to drool a disturbingly green glistening substance onto Gilbert's cheek. Gilbert shudders, making a funny little "gack" sound in the back of his throat.

"Can't you use Raven?" Break asks. "You should be able to call it."

"I've been trying!"

Break clucks his tongue disapprovingly. "Rushing right in, even when you know you can't properly control your chain yet. This should serve as a lesson for you, then."


The chain's tongue lolls out, licking at the same slime it had drooled onto Gilbert's face moments prior. Gilbert lets out a high-pitched whine.

"Yes, but I didn't tell you to try and take it down by yourself, you know," says Break.

"I didn't! You saw what happened! It just-"

"Excuses, Mr. Gilbert, excuses." Break shakes his head sadly.

"Break, you asshole!" Gilbert screams. "You knew! You knew this was going to happen, didn't you? This is your fault! I swear I'll-"

And here Gilbert breaks off, his voice careening upward into a shriek. One of the tentacles around his leg is slithering up his thigh and getting dangerously close to his groin.

Break can't hold it in anymore. The laughter bubbles up and over, spilling out of him in a torrent, doubling him over helplessly.

Gilbert lets out an incoherent howl of rage. "I'M REALLY GOING TO KILL YOU, BREAK!"

"All right," Break gasps, reigning himself in and pushing himself up off the crate. "All right. I suppose you'll be needing someone to champion your virtue, then?"

"Don't say it like that! It's disgusting!"

"Well, if you'd rather I let it steal your virtue first..."


"Well then," Break grins, "stop complaining." And Break steps forward, lifting his cane and unsheathing the sword within it.

It's weeks before they stop finding the little encrusted bits of slime in their hair.