Author's Note: Totally was not happy with the ending of Lexx, which I consider to be one of the most awesome series of all time.
Disclaimer: Ishtar Pea'sant is mine, but the Lexx universe is not. I simply borrowed it.
Lexx - Ice and Flame
By: Lady NeverAfterNon
Screaming. Desperation. Loneliness so strong it just about choked her. She was grappling at strings, trying to stay alive, to stay sane. He... he was... Kai was...no...he was dead. NO.
A silent scream chocked her throat and Xev jerked awake, tousled blond hair falling over her pale sweaty face. She put a trembling hand to her forehead and attempted to get control of herself, taking deep calming breaths. A dream, only a dream. A horrible dream. She rapped the knuckles of her fist against her temple and willed the terrible images away. Kai's final kiss, then walking away from him with the knowledge that he probably would not make it back to her. Singing...and then the explosion, that final explosion that meant that he was gone from her forever.
Xev gritted her teeth and clenched her fist, and then discovered that her face was wet with tears. Dammit.
The rustling of sheets at her side caught her attention and drew her from her troubled thoughts. The man at her side was struggling up out of the depths of sleep, and he blinked up at her blearily. The sight of him with his pale skin and mussed hair made her breath catch. Hair that was normally piled up in an elaborate coiffeur on top of his head was now tumbling over his smooth shoulders in curling black waves.
He was looking up at her with a slightly puzzled expression, and that was his undoing. He opened his mouth to speak, no doubt to ask her what was the matter, but Xev was already moving.
She collapsed against him and held him fiercely in her arms, winding her hands into the silk of his hair and crushing it in her fingers. Xev closed her eyes and breathed in the scent of him. The moments passed into minutes, and Xev felt Kai's hands settle carefully on her bare back. She had to smile. That was her Kai.
Careful, unsure about this love business, he was so gentle with her at times that it made her teeth hurt. Unwilling to make a mistake he thought about and second guessed every move he made before he actually made it. Sometimes he decided to not even move at all. Before, when he'd been dead, it had been impossible to get him to touch her, to love her. Now that he was alive and actually hers, Xev was unwilling to do anything to drive him away and so she took it as slow as she could stand.
"What troubles you?" he whispered.
The slow cadence of his voice still sent chills down her spine and awakened feelings completely inappropriate to her mood. She grinned inwardly, filing them away but still keeping them on the back burner should he be up to it later. The happy feeling faded slightly when she remembered the question he had asked.
"I had a bad dream, it was nothing serious," she murmured, brushing it off.
Kai's hands had settled to a graceful sweeping motion from her shoulders down her spine and to her bare butt before trailing lazily back up again. Xev moaned. The man was going to make her cross eyed and he would never get anything useful out of her if he kept that up.
Apparently he had had the same thought. His hands stilled. "What troubles you?" he asked again.
Xev wriggled on top of him, partly hoping to get those wicked fingers moving again and partly hoping to distract him from the topic at hand. She had no desire to remember that day, to go back to that terrible moment when she realized he was gone forever. The feelings of desperation and anguish had nearly killed her.
When his hands refused their graceful dance along her spine, Xev knew she would have to cave and give in. "I dreamed that I lost you," she said quietly.
He was silent, but his arms snaked around her, a hug that echoed the ferocity of her own.
Blood, smoke. He could barely see and now that he could finally feel again he realized that he ached all over.
Here he was again: flat on his back and dying but not dead. How ironic. Would fate give him his release this time? He wasn t so sure he wanted it now. He'd wanted it before, sure, but now? He laughed out loud. What a joke. What a cruel, ironic joke.
Then the world exploded in a rush of pain and fire and light.
They lay there, each lost in their own thoughts. Xev could only guess what he was thinking. She still wasn't entirely sure how exactly she'd gotten to keep him. The knowledge of his death had weighed heavily on her in the days since his passing. As she had mourned him she had berated herself for not cherishing every single moment that she had had with him. With the empty feelings and everything else practically smothering her, her pain had nearly had her broken. Thinking about Kai dying, she honestly thought about dying herself. Stanley, poor sweet Stanley, had tried to help but there was nothing to be done. She was killing herself with the loss of her love.
Then, three days after the battle, there he was suddenly lying upon her bed in front of her splayed out buck naked and with the most confused expression on his face. He'd said one word, and one word only. It had been her name and it had broken her.
She looked up at him. He was watching her now. Cautiously, she thought. She leaned forward, gauging his reaction. He was so new to living, to the constant deluge of feelings and emotions and thoughts that came every new day that sometimes he could not handle more than the bare minimum of contact. But he was learning, acclimating. Now he merely watched her, quite obviously holding still for her and not making the move to politely shift away, unable to process the new feelings.
Xev leaned forward and kissed his ear, barely brushing her mouth against the shell of it. At his intake of breath, her sharp hearing detected the welcome sound of his heartbeat quickening. His heartbeat. She could honestly say that his heartbeat was now the most beautiful sound she had ever heard. She trailed her lips along the tattoo on his cheek, down his jaw to his chin. She nipped it gently.
"Xev," he said again.
She looked up at him, stopped, sighed. She settled against him, closing her eyes.
"I thought that for a moment, I would never see you again", she said simply.
"Ah." He was quiet, lost in thought, his brow furrowed.
A brush of something against his cheek. Feathers? No, fabric, so light the touch was like air. He opened his eyes.
His looked down at her and found her watching him anxiously, searching his face. He smiled and cupped her cheek. Xev closed her eyes and slide her hand against his own, holding him to her. After a moment she turned her head and kissed his palm, savoring the feel and taste of his skin against her lips.
Kai drew her face up to him and kissed her. It was short, and sweet. Not exactly what Xev hungered for but still, it was like finding water in a desert.
"I'm here, and I exist," he said, "and I do not think I will be leaving anytime soon. Though I admit that nothing is certain."
Xev smiled, closed her eyes, and rested her forehead against his.
They lay there together, enjoying the silence, each trusting the other to speak when the weight of it became too much to bear.
A figure, darkness, leaned over him, a pallid hand reaching out to touch his was familiar...
Who are you?
The figure put back its hood. A woman leaned over him, her black hair was pulled back in thousands of tiny sparkling braids and her yellow eyes bore down on him. Ice. She had ice in her hair. Why did she have ice in her hair? How odd.
My name is Ishtar Pea'sant. Do you want to live?
And quite suddenly, he did. He nodded, as much as he was now able.
I cannot undo what Prince has set in motion, but I can change it up a bit.
How? his voice was a whisper.
I am Prince's opposite. These things have rules, and he must have a... a counterbalance. It is a pity I have not been aware of you until now. If you want to be saved, you must ask. I can do nothing unless you ask.
He was capable of one thought, one word. Yes.
For a long moment they were quiet, and then he was speaking and the story seemed to pour from him. She listened quietly, it was her turn to do the listening and to provide comfort and a steady hand.
The story, the unbelievable story -but believe it she must for here he was with her now- filled the room like an almost tangible thing.
And then he was done. Xev chewed her lower lip, processing this new turn of events. She wasn't entirely sure what the future held in store for them. What game Ishtar Pea'sant was playing. It was clear this unknown entity had set itself against the force that was Prince, but whether it was friendly to them, that was another thing entirely. Xev had a sinking icky feeling that they were just chess pieces in a giant galactic game between two hugely powerful entities with too much time on their hands.
At least Ishtar was against Prince. What was the phrase? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Xev murmured it to herself. At least they had a chance. And she had Kai. She could hold him in her arms, and have him hold her back, and when she went to bed at night she had the knowledge that he would be there when she woke up in the morning and not frozen alone in the cryo chamber. Or worse, dead dead.
Xev rested her hand against his skin, trailed her fingers along his chest to his smooth belly.
"I love you," she told him.
He was quiet a moment, contemplating this.
"I- I think that I love you too, Xev. If someone such as me can be allowed to love," he said.
The smile that broke over her face made her cheeks hurt. She was so happy she was practically shaking, but the hands that cupped his face were gentle. When he anticipated her intentions and leaned forward and kissed her first, her heart almost burst with happiness. He kissed her hard, and then he rolled her over and settled on top of her.
Now this was more like it.