WARNING: This fic contains physical abuse and implications of rape. While not as graphic as other versions of it, it's still very graphic. It is not a pretty fic. If that kind of thing disturbs you, then please don't read. This was written as an experiment to the darker side of the regular X kills Y fics.
The blood seeps through the rags, staining them the colour of his usual uniform, the only semblance of normalcy in this dungeon with this single man. The Crimson Demon, one who comes only once in a hundred years. A warrior that's broken now, bruised and bleeding and holds nothing of his former glory but the scraps of fabric hanging across his form. Even the coins usually found around his neck are gone, leaving just the imprint of the strap around his neck from when they'd ripped it from him.
His captor nudges him with one shoe, ignoring the blood that flakes off onto it. They've captured this once glorious warrior, beaten him, let him starve, left him underground with only the pain of his wounds as the only indicator that he was still alive.
He'd been sleeping, and snaps awake at the contact. Snarling curses and bearing his teeth like a wild dog, he pulls against his restraints, ignoring the burning in his shoulders and broken bones. Despite his situation and his helplessness, the spirit behind those eyes still burns with fury and strength as though he had never lost the battle.
His complete and total defeat.
His captor smiles, a grin made wild by sharp canines that glint in the sparse light. He hits the other man hard enough to draw blood from a cut on his lip reopening, hears his whimper with surprise and sudden pain. That noises makes him laugh as he tugs at Yukimura's sword-shortened hair and pull his head back hard until the man's neck is bared and his mouth is gasping for breath.
"Like a dog," he hissed under his breath. Yukimura struggles against him at those words, but stills when his ribs are pressed on. He needs the concentration to breath, to keep from passing out from the pain. "Like a dog tied up and left to die."
No one is coming for Yukimura. They've made sure of that. Sarutobi Sasuke was dead, long before his master. The last of the Sanada retainers were executed just days after his capture, and no one knows that Yukimura may be alive. The body they left behind had his clothes, his spears, his necklace... even if it's impossible to identify with the head removed.
His captor grins as Yukimura's eyes try to shut as though to keep from crying. As though closing his eyes keeps the pain from flashing across his face. But this is the culmination of his victory against the other man. All their battles have come to this.
His complete and total victory.
Masamune lets him go when Yukimura coughs wetly, giving the man some rest to regain his breath. Kicking him while he's down (literally) he straightens and leans back to wait for the coughing to subside. Seeing that once strong warrior reduced to this...
He should have let him die on the battlefield.
Cursing Yukimura's name again once the small room has gone silent, Masamune hits him in the face once more, harder this time. He should have died on the battlefield! He should have died long ago. Masamune can't defeat him now, not when he's broken like this. Not when he's hurt with no chance of recovery. What's the use of having a rival when you watch him wither and kill himself in such a way, because you were too weak to finish him off properly?
Yukimura's prepared for the abuse now and takes it with little emotion, glaring at the other man from underneath his bangs, plastered to his face with sweat and dried blood. The look in his eyes is contemptuous, of rivalry grown to hatred. The pain in his eyes is clear, pushed down defiantly, hidden by his stubbornness and experience. There is no fear.
No fear. No concern for his fate.
Yukimura has been dead a long time. Long before he was thrown into this room, long before his arm was broken by Tokugawa's men and he'd fallen on the battlefield, long before the Date army engaged the Sanada army at Osaka a few moments too late. He had died the moment Takeda Shingen had breathed his last so long ago, leaving him a man without a lord, without a cause.
"I brought you food," Masamune breaks the heavy silence. He already knows that Yukimura will refuse it. He's slowly starving himself to death, another defiance against the men that hold him against his will. Keep him alive against his will.
Yukimura turns away, and Masamune's patience snaps.
Before, they had taken Yukimura in to try to heal him. They thought his wounds would heal and he could continue to fight his true rival. But the break in his arm too severe and had never, would never heal correctly. Yukimura had stopped eating when he'd realised that he was now useless as a warrior.
Masamune snaps, as he does every night this plays out. He turns only to kick the door to the cell shut, toppling over the candle in the motion and engulfing them both in darkness.
Finally Yukimura speaks, knowing full well what's coming. "Date-dono--" Whatever he has to say next is muffled by Masamune shoving the cooked meat into his mouth hard enough to hurt his teeth (food Masamune has cooked himself, though Yukimura will never know this). He chokes, tries to spit it out, but Masamune's hand is heavy on his face, muffling his nose and mouth and Yukimura has no choice but to swallow desperately as he tries to intake air. When Masamune moves his hand, Yukimura spits out the half-chewed remains of whatever he hadn't swallowed, earning himself a hard fist grinding against his bad arm.
He screams, in fury and in pain, and lashes out with one of his legs. Even as starved as he is, there's still plenty of fight in him, and Masamune hisses and bites his own lip as the kick connects with his side.
But Yukimura has lost most of his strength in the days and weeks since he was first thrown into this room, and it takes very little for Masamune to press him down into the filthy floor. His hands are bound by chains that have rubbed his wrists raw, and Yukimura can't struggle against them as he's forced painfully onto his stomach as his hips are forcefully lifted.
He knows what's coming.
If you cannot break their bodies, break their spirits.
It's a tactic that any commander knows well.
A tactic that Masamune, just weeks prior, would never have done against another person. There was no honour, no point, no thrill in the battle that came from experiencing someone's full strength against your own.
It hurts. It always hurts at the beginning, because Masamune cares not for comfort. It's the humiliation and the pain, the feeling of being used and cast aside, not for glorious war and victory in the fields, but for lewd and vulgar purposes.
Masamune's fingers, dirty with blood and sweat and mashed food, press into Yukimura's mouth as he curses into the other man's ear in tandem with his movements, biting his teeth into the sensitive skin to taste his blood. "Die," he mutters. "Just die, just die." Just die, please. Please. Masamune is the only one allowed to end his rival, the only one allowed to take his life in any way.
Yukimura's fading in and out of consciousness now, white-hot pain from all of his wounds clouding his senses and making him feel sick on top of the heat from his belly. The fingers in his mouth keep him awake, just barely, as he bites down on them hard enough to taste the blood of another.
Far too slowly, yet far too quickly, it's over, Masamune shaking with fury, shame, and release. Letting the other man go, Masamune draws his bleeding hand toward his chest, ignoring the way Yukimura slumps as his support is taken away. It had been a battle of will and spirit, and Masamune had lost.
He doesn't look at Yukimura's form on the ground, the man's legs shaking as Yukimura tries to twist himself up to some form of decency. His clothes are too torn to offer much cover now, but when the guards come in to bring him water (they do successfully force him to drink), they may fix the rags for him. If they suspect or know what Masamune does, they stay silent. It's their job.
Masamune punches the stone floor next to Yukimura's legs as he pulls his clothes back on. The tray of food, disarrayed and messy as the dishes have become upended upon it in their struggle, is left behind.
Left behind with Yukimura, as the door closes once more behind Masamune's retreating back.
Retreating, retreating. All that he can do is retreat because Yukimura is the stronger warrior. Despite all that Masamune does to him, Yukimura has yet to completely break.
Masamune's complete and total defeat.
It's only when the air stills again that Yukimura allows himself to make a noise, gasping out in pain as he turns himself onto his back, forces himself into a sitting position. The stone grates at his back and his sore rear as he sits, the metal rings cutting into the flesh of his wrists and he ignores it all, keeping some semblance of dignity.
It is just Yukimura, the broken man that he has become, in a hidden cell far underneath the Date complex.
He throws up the little food he had been forced to swallow, pain finally throbbing behind his eyes enough to make his stomach turn. It is, again, a small victory against his captors. It's pure stubbornness that keeps him like this now, that keeps him waiting to join his lord, his friends, his retainers in the next life. He is ashamed, regretful that their battles will never be truly finished, that they will never really know who wins and who loses.
But there is nothing either of them can do now.
Nothing but wait.