The characters of "Pirates of Dark Water" do not belong to me. I don't remember all the stuff the characters can do, coz as I said in the first part, I haven't seen the show for several years.

February 2003

When Tears Wont Fall

Part 5
by Zuzanny

***

Ioz frowned as he watched Ren walk the path in the gardens in a daze. Ever since his episodes of withdrawal started Ren had not said anything (that did not involve heavy breathing and explicit details) to anyone. What's more now he was clinging to that ragged shirt like it was his life line. Ioz worried that he was retreating more and more each day. A few times now he had found Ren standing and staring at a wall for hours, or until someone who worked here would prod him enough to get him to move along.

Ioz understood better than most what Ren would be thinking. He could guess what had happened to Ren while Bloth had his filthy paws on him. Only Ioz was puzzled by Ren's possessive behaviour regarding that shirt. It was the one that Ren had been dressed in what he had been rescued, and Ioz could tell from the size who it had belonged to. Why did Ren clutch it so? Ioz found himself thoroughly disturbed.

Ren was now looking down at one of the flowering plants fingering it's leaves gently. He had the shirt draped over one arm letting it dangle to the ground. He seemed lost in his exploration of the plant. Ioz supposed that being at sea for so long would have something to do with it. Ren sometimes refused to come in from the garden and Ioz had to physically drag him back to his room. A few times Ioz had even discovered that Ren had snuck out of his room at night to be outside. When Ioz was aware of this he would follow and be there in case Ren needed him. But Ren always ignored him. Like he now ignored everyone. Even when there was eye contact Ren didn't see. Sometimes Ioz really wanted to slap him, but he didn't know exactly how much violence in the form of beatings that Ren had endured.

Ioz continued to watch Ren ghost around the garden. He reflected that people were already whispering about Ren's ghost haunting the place. Sometimes Ioz believed them. It was a ghost of flesh and blood, but a ghost none the less.

Now Ioz was standing beside Ren in the garden while Ren ignored him and picked flowers from around the place. "Who are the flowers for?" Ioz asked, not expecting an answer. He was surprised when Ren turned to look at him, his eyes still empty of true awareness.

"He said he likes these flowers." Ren's voice was a whisper.

Ioz could have jumped over the moon. Ren was speaking to him! Ren was finally starting to get better! He didn't want to frighten Ren away so he didn't do any kind of celebratory dance. He just stayed calm. "Who likes these flowers?" He was curious to know if Ren would answer him.

"Tholemule." Ren replied quietly, then was drifting to another bush. Ioz blinked, curious and confused at the same time.

"Who's this Tholemule?"

Ren gave him a strange look over his shoulder, his brows wrinkled in the effort of collecting his thoughts. He took in a deep breath, and Ioz saw tears glittering in the corners of Ren's blue eyes before he looked away. "I shouldn't be talking to you." Ren backed away in a sudden panic. "He'll be angry." He pulled the shirt up to his chest, hugging it like a frightened child with a doll.

Ioz tried to look non threatening as he stepped slowly closer to the young prince. Ren backed away further. "Who will be angry? Tholemule?" He asked as gently as he could.

Ren bit his lip, and nodded once, a slight inclination of the head. He would not meet Ioz's eyes. Ioz swore to himself. He wasn't sure how he could get Ren to realise he was safe now. Probable if he could get Ren AWARE again it would help.

"Is Tholemule here, now?" Ioz thought he should start somewhere. Ren looked around the garden, seeming to only now realise he was actually IN a garden. His brows drew together again with thought. Slowly he shook his head.

"No..." Ioz could hear the hesitation in Ren's voice, the quivering. Ren was backing away more and more. Ioz wondered about this. He reached out a hand and Ren shrank back with a sound of pure terror and tumbled backwards to the ground. He didn't look up at Ioz as he slowly lay back down and spread his legs. Ioz was shocked at where Ren's thoughts were once again leading. He dropped to his knees by Ren's head to make sure the wrong message did not come across.

"Ren," He had to say it again before Ren would look at him. "No one will hurt you here. You're safe."

Ren stared up at him owlishly.

***

Ren was hesitant to talk at first, but once he got going Ioz almost couldn't get him to shut up. It was horrible what Ren had gone through. If Ioz hadn't already killed Bloth he'd definately want to stick a sword through his hide now. What was the worst was how Ren had been left so confused about the whole thing. Ioz wondered about how Ren would take the news that Bloth was dead now. That Bloth's crew were dead now. That the Leviathan was a charred wreck at the bottom of the ocean.

Ren was switching from calm to angry to full wailing sobs as he spoke of his captivity. When Ioz heard how Bloth threatened him and Tula harm if Ren did not cooperate his blood began to boil.

Ren turned wide, still so innocent eyes up to his. "Sometimes, Ioz..." It was said with much guilt and fear. "Sometimes... it felt... good." He ducked his head to avoid the look of disgust he knew would be on Ioz's face. He was completely surprised when Ioz leaned forward with understanding in his eyes. Not even pitty, but understanding. How could that be?

"There is a spot," Ioz explained, reaching forward and placing a finger low on Ren's abdomen. Ren looked down at the hand with more than a little trepidation. "about there. Inside you." Ioz took his hand away. "That likes to be, well... touched. It can make a body react in ways a body normally wouldn't." Both men were blushing some what. "It's nothing to be ashamed about."

Ren looked down at the place Ioz had touched with wonder. When he looked back up at Ioz he smiled weakly through more tears. "Thank you." He whispered. "I was so worried that I..." He closed his eyes letting the tears slide down.

"Don't worry about that." Ioz tried to reassure him. Now for a difficult thing. Hmmm... how to proceed? Ioz cleared his throat. "There are also some sea creatures that can be... um, used... to... to make a body react like that."

Ren bit his lip and went pale. Bingo. "Snakes?" He asked quietly.

"Yes. Or a kind of worm. Or a combination of the two. I'm not exactly sure what they are. except they are covered in a slime that poisons a body into acting in ways that, um... yeah."

Ren nodded, thinking. "It felt so... strange." He whispered.

"To have something alive in our bellies is something a man is not meant to experience."

Ren suddenly paled, looking like he was going to be ill.

"What is it?" Ioz asked.

"He said he'd come for me if I ever tried to escape. That he'd come for you and Tula!" Ren was back to panicking. Ioz tried to calm him.

"I know. You said so before, remember?" Ren stared at him. Ioz decided it was now or never. "He can't harm you anymore. None of them can." Ren shook his head not understanding. "I killed him." Ioz was just about ready to shake Ren. "He's dead. I killed him."

"But, but..." Ren still could not believe it. "When? How? How could it possibly?"

"Do you remember landing in the island?" Ren gave Ioz a blank look that confirmed that no, he did not remember. So Ioz told Ren about the trap the people had set for the pirates, the battle, and then of his fight with Bloth.

"I was wondering why your arm was bandaged so." Ren said quietly, leaning forward to ghost his fingertips over Ioz's injured shoulder. Ioz let him, not making any moves. Ren dropped his hands back in his lap. "Am I a bad person?" Ren wondered out loud after a few moments of silence.

"I don't think so. Why?" Ioz tried to be careful with his words.

"Because I wanted to do it." Ren hissed, his eyes blazing with anger. "I wanted to kill him for what he did to me, for what THEY did to me. Of course he kept me tied to the bed so there was nothing I could have done, but still..." Tears sparkled in his eyes and he looked away.

Ioz thought for a moment. "I see nothing wrong with that. I felt exactly the same about the bastard. I feel no pitty for him. I only wish he could come back to life just so you could kill him again."

Ren laughed shortly, tiredly, with out any humour. "Be careful what you wish for. You know how fickle fate is."

to be continued...