A.N.: I've been reading a lot lately, but I'm not sure where this idea came from. For Kane, the much-underappreciated, over-concussed keeper of Disaster.
On a scale of one to screwed on the Disaster Scale, Kane was on about a "Beyond Fucked." Fonged, vivisectioned, cauterised, burned, de-limbed, lashed.
The Lords had thought getting him out of Budapest, while temporarily giving them a reprieve, would also give Disaster room to cool off.
The first boad he'd stepped on had sunk. The propellors of the first plane he'd gotten near had spun off before he'd even boarded, killing one of the airstrip workers. Car tyres exploded; exhausts blew up.
Lucien had finally flashed him away, in the hopes that Disaster might find peace somewhere.
Japan had been a huge, catastrophic—nigh apocalyptic mistake.
But by the gods, Kane had never come close to this sort of euphoria before. Pompeii certainly. The Titanic. The two mortal wars had had Disaster purring. September the eleventh? Spontaneous orgasm.
But even that had been nothing to the ecstasy he now found himself drenched in. A natural earthquake, a tsunami spreading to other islands, and the threat of a nuclear leak?
At that moment, buried under rubble, Kane was grinning, eyes dazed and unseeing, the only thing factoring gin his mind the excruciating pleasure Disaster took in everything tumbling around—and on—them.
He would be bedridden with guilt-induced sickness later, but for now…he just lay there, half-buried, wholly satisfied for the first time in weeks, Disaster's need to wreak havoc sated for the moment.
How long he lay there, lapping up the emotional ambrosia, he didn't know, but it was too soon when an altogether recognisable and decipherable accent caught his attention and grated on his nerves.
Five more minutes, he felt like whining, as the warriors' voices filled the now-still air.
He could remain in this city for months and Disaster would be satisfied with the damage it had unleashed on the economic capital of the East. People would be rebuilding for months, years maybe.
Just go, leave me here, let me—
"Kane! Oh, Gods! He's buried—hang on, man!"
Huh, Kane thought dimly. Sabin. But he hates flashing with Lucien…Don't let him find me, don't let him find me, just let me enjoy—
"Kane!" Rubble shifted, weights lifted off him, light penetrated his ecstasy-drenched mind. Disaster sighed in rapture, and Kane stared dazedly upward as several familiar faces crowded over him.
"Oh, Gods—!" Lucien. Grunting. Moving rubble.
"Kane, are you alri—?" Strider. Anxious.
"He's smiling!" Maddox. Disbelieving.
A pair of strong hands seized him and more shifted the rubble from his body; he let the strong hands haul him up, grinning, teetering when his ecstasy-weakened knees wouldn't hold his weight.
"He's enjoying this destruction!" Lucien. Tense.
"Disaster is. Kane will be overcome with grief as soon as Disaster gets agitated again." Sabin.
"Look at him!" Maddox. Bewildered now.
"We'd better go, before we attract attention. That building should have crushed him to paste."
"Yes, because nobody will notice half of Japan being destroyed by a huge earthquake."
"Shut up, Lies." Sabin. Impatient. As ever.
"Get him back to Buda, Lucien. Disaster should be satisfied by this for a while yet." Strider.
"How can you be certain, Strider?"
"We've seen this before. Athens, Pompeii; the Great Fire of London; Krakatoa Volcano; Challenger shuttle; 9/11; Hurricane Katrina—we've seen this before."
"Disaster caused all of those?" Lucien again, surprised.
"Well, he certainly helped. Better find some ambrosia; Kane will be hurting when he's himself again."
Hurting, Strider? He'd rarely felt better.
"I'm sorry!" Kane cried, the halls still trembling from Maddox's roar. "I was just so hungry."
"The oven exploded!" And a good deal of the kitchen, too.
"Maddox, it's alright," Ashlyn said gently, gingerly testing her feet to pick a safe path through the smouldering rubble; at least Torin had been able to work the fire-extinguisher.
"It is not fucking alright!" Maddox bellowed, the face of Violence flashing across his own irate features. "He could have killed you—and the babies."
"Danger is the risk of living amongst soldiers, Maddox," Ashlyn said calmly, and Kane's entire body shuddered with overwhelming guilt as he watched her rub her swollen belly.
Babies. His stomach ached, knowing and regretting that if he didn't get Disaster under control soon, he'd have to leave the fortress when Ashlyn's time came. He was a deadly liability. And he couldn't trust himself around immortal adults these days, let alone babies.
"And anyway, you told me you lost it a lot just before you met me," Ashlyn continued, puffing as she sank into the one unharmed chair Kane had managed to procure for her. She shot him a grateful smile. "Kane can't help what Disaster does any more than Torin can help being unable to touch others. And besides, I wanted the kitchen redone anyway."
Kane knew Ashlyn was only saying these things to appease Maddox, who looked like he was one unwise word from Kane away from tearing him a new one with his fangs. Kane couldn't blame him, of course; if he had a little woman like Ashlyn, eh would move heaven and earth for her.
Kane winced, reaching out and pinching a smouldering ember that had drifted to Ashlyn's shoulder before it could burn her. She smiled, even as one of the frying-pans drifted up and walloped him around the head with an echoing bang.
Sighing heavily, he stumbled a step and shook his head, multihued hair flicking in front of his eyes as he beat the dizziness away.
Surveying the destruction that had once been there kitchen, Torin chucked the fire-extinguisher aside, and smirked. "I guess we're having takeout tonight. My vote's on Thai."
Kane let out a heavy sigh, feeling the weight of the world pressing on his shoulders. Disaster was cackling delightedly at the mess it had caused, disregarding the possibilities of casualties. His friends.
"Sorry," he mumbled, taking in the extent of the damage. They would need the room entirely refitted. "I'll…fix it."
"You'll just end up destroying something else," Torin shrugged easily.
"I don't understand," Maddox scowled, but Ashlyn had taken his hand and his voice was gentler. "Disaster was so…dormant for the last fortnight." Didn't Kane know it! He'd watched a film every evening with the rest in the entertainment-room, without anything going haywire.
Japan had given him a high that had lasted all of the week after, and half the next after that. But Disaster had started itching again on Thursday, and furniture had begun splintering, ceilings crumbling, pipes rupturing, windows cracking. He had barely finished repairing the damage to the wooden staircase that had collapsed beneath him on Friday, almost flattening Legion.
A lover of games, even in human form, Legion had taken Disaster's tantrums to heart and decided to lessen the blame placed on Kane's shoulders by wreaking some havoc for herself, the pet! But, the best intentions and all that, Aeron had blamed him, thinking Kane had encouraged her. As if anyone could make Legion do anything she didn't want to!
"I've never seen Disaster so agitated," someone murmured, the voice making Kane want to walk out of one of the blown-out kitchen windows and dash his brains out on the jagged rocks far below. Cameo. Even after all this time, he couldn't get over the sorrow in her voice.
"What the hell—?" Strider blurted, skidding to a halt behind Cameo in the doorway, surveying the damage.
"Huh," William said thoughtfully, eyes glittering but expression bored. "Brings back memories of what Cronos did to my last digs! I hope this was Disaster."
"My fault," Kane sighed heavily. "I'll go."
"But what about your dinner?" Ashlyn called, as he shouldered past the other Lords.
"Not hungry," Kane murmured dejectedly. I'm starving! Ignoring—trying to ignore—his rumbling stomach, Kane shuffled dejectedly up to his room.
What was left of it, anyway.
Usually, he suffered the short-circuiting of a stereo fuse about once a week. Phones lasted a day, and light-bulbs were stored in a dresser to replace ones that shattered spontaneously. To risk lighting a candle was laughable… He remembered London.
Even though he'd been locked up here, hundreds of miles away, Torin had really helped Kane do a number on London in the 1600s.
Kane was used to things going quite literally to hell around him. He sometimes slept with an old London Bobby hat, to avoid concussing himself while he slept. But in recent weeks…no matter what he did, Disaster was just…insufferable. He paused in the doorway to his bedroom; the door hung crooked off its hinges, the lock still usable. There wasn't much inside the others would care to pilfer for their own enjoyment, not even sticky-fingered Anya; most of his possessions were in some way broken. Tucked in a corner of his warzone of a bed-chamber was the only piece of furniture still unbroken—because it had been mended and replaced numerous times; his bed, mounded with pillows, weighed down with feather duvets; one had ruptured the night before while he slept, and feathers drifted across the floor, over the detritus of his bedroom. Clothes, CDs, books, piled up; amongst them were scattered numerous weapons. He shoved the magazine of a Smith and Wesson off his pillow and plopped down onto the bed.
With a huge bang, one of the legs collapsed; Kane's ankles flew up to his ears as he was flung backwards onto the mattress; a plume of feathers rose, flying for his nose; he spat out a mouthful and bellowed, "God dammit!"
Rage of the kind Maddox suffered from coursed through him; the last straw had him diving off the bed, then turning back to it, letting out all his pent-up anger and frustration on the bed, kicking the shit out of it.
"We really gotta get you a girl," someone clucked, and Kane whirled, unaware that he'd had an audience for his tantrum.
"What're you doing here?" Kane panted, ignoring Paris's comment.
"Heard you bellowing bloody murder You broke the bed again, huh," Paris said knowingly.
"And not doing anything I should enjoy doing in bed, either," Kane grumbled, scrubbing his hands hard over his face, then through his hair, removing a feather.
"As I said," Paris quipped, "we gotta get you a girl."
"At this point, I think she'd be struck dead by lightning just for stepping near me," Kane said, glancing up too late, the tumbling chandelier catching him hard on his left shoulder, tearing his last good t-shirt and drawing blood. Paris winced in sympathy. Kane rolled his shoulder back into the socket, ignoring the pain.
"You know, I'd go out onto the grounds if I didn't think I'd set off all Torin's traps at once," Kane growled impatiently. Usually, Disaster was content with a shattered light-bulb, a crumbling ceiling. Now? He had to try and annihilate entire countries before he'd be satisfied—for ten days. He'd seen the Hungarian newspapers—Danika was trying to improve her Hungarian and insisted immersing herself in the language was key—and knew the death toll for the earthquake was estimated at over twenty-thousand.
Two thousand people had died for every day Disaster lay preening in the recesses of his mind. Two thousand. The only thing Kane was proud of, with regards to Japan, was the fact that a Hunter outpost located in Sondai had been pulverised—and all the Hunters within it. But otherwise…well, he'd had to stomach the guilt of worse death tolls.
Torin spread disease; he caused devastation. Disaster revelled in the destruction of lives. Lives, buildings, nature. Anything.
A.N.: Please review!