A/N: So this is pretty divergent from every other Klaine fic I have ever written. HOWEVER. The original fiction that I write tends to be in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genres, and the only fanfic I write is Klaine, so I suppose this was inevitable from the start.
Not to mention all those times I've noted Kurt's resemblance to a hot elf in my other fics. What can I say? I couldn't resist.
This is severely AU, pure fantasy, definitely dark at times, but also romantic and hopefully satisfying.
Rated M for adult themes and smut in later chapters. I generally will not give specific warnings about specific chapters, but please know that it will be there.
TRIGGER WARNING: While there are no graphic or eroticized rape scenes, rape is discussed and implied in some places. It is done in a way that I am hoping is sensitive and appropriate to the story. And no, this isn't one of those fantasy Klaine fics where Blaine is sexually abusing Kurt. Blaine is always a kind soul in my stories, because that is how I see him.
I don't own Kurt or Blaine. I don't think anyone really owns Kurt or Blaine. But they are the intellectual property of Ryan Murphy and Fox.
The Sidhe: Chapter 1
Blaine had never particularly cared for the flesh markets.
He supposed he should have grown numb to it by now, but it still seemed very wrong. As a young boy in N'auri, his Grandmother had taught him that the Sidhe were a noble, powerful people who were to be respected and slightly feared. They were beautiful and magical, and catching a glimpse of one meant good luck until the next new moon.
Blaine had always been captivated by the Sidhe. The first time he actually saw one was at the age of twelve, a gorgeous, slender creature slipping out of the river near Blaine's cottage and into the forest, completely naked, and laughing like music.
It was also the very moment at which Blaine realized that he liked boys.
The second time he saw a Sidhe, he was confused. He was at the market with his mother, and he saw what was unmistakably one of the beautiful elves. It was a female this time, and her beauty had been blunted by a loose burlap dress, lank hair and dull eyes. She followed a haughty looking woman mutely, wearing an iron collar.
"Mother, what...that's a Sidhe, isn't it?"
"Yes," his mother said in a tight, clipped voice. Blaine could tell the sight was upsetting her.
"What...why is she like that? What's wrong with her?"
His mother paused, and turned around to face him.
"She's a slave, Blaine," she answered softly.
Blaine stared at her in silent shock. He didn't even know where to begin.
Over the next few weeks, Blaine managed to extract more details from his mother, who seemed reluctant to vocally acknowledge this ugliness to her son.
He learned that, though the Sidhe were naturally very powerful, they had been captured and traded as slaves for many, many years in Villalu. Their powers were suppressed with iron collars or by injections of verbena tincture. Blaine had never seen a Sidhe slave before because the region where he lived was very poor, and only the very rich could afford a Sidhe. Sidhe were rare to find and difficult to catch.
There was a lot his mother didn't tell him, though.
She never told him about the flesh markets. She never told him what exactly it was that so many of these cultured, aristocratic men with cold, hard eyes liked to use their Sidhe slaves for.
It wasn't until he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Academy in Villalu Proper that he began to hear whispers of it. And what he didn't hear spoken he deduced when his own sexual awakenings began to reveal previously hidden social truths.
Sexual relations between men were just as officially taboo in Villalu Proper as they had been in N'auri, though here the official stance was accompanied by a nod and a wink. Blaine had no trouble finding willing partners at the Academy, and he never had any true fear of getting caught. Those boys that were caught were generally scolded with laughing eyes, told to get it out of their systems now while they still could and to be more discreet in the future.
It was a different matter altogether with the Sidhe, though.
Amongst the very wealthy generally, and royalty in particular, it was common and accepted for men to purchase Sidhe for sexual use. The gender of the Sidhe was socially irrelevant. The elves were not human, and therefore nothing done with them was of much importance. Half the wealthy married men in Villalu Proper seemed to own a Sidhe, and a man using his Sidhe for pleasure was considered no more scandalous than using his horse for transportation.
At first, it had sickened Blaine.
It still sickened him, he supposed, but he had been more or less forced to accept it as a social reality.
Many of Blaine's classmates had been given the use of their fathers' Sidhe on their sixteenth birthdays, at the traditional passage into manhood. Some of the wealthier boys had even been gifted with a Sidhe of their own. And the entire purpose of Blaine's work at the Academy was to gain the station of courtier at one of the royal courts, where the presence of Sidhe slaves was downright ubiquitous.
Blaine had perhaps become slightly numb to it. Sometimes it hit him afresh, though, when he saw one of the proud elves with defeated eyes, limping along, luminous flesh marred with bruises.
Sometimes he still cried silent tears about it in his bunk at night, embarrassed by his own childish incredulity that the world could be so cruel.
Of course the world was cruel. Blaine had known that for a very long time. He knew it when his grandmother was murdered in her bed during one of the many raids on his village that he had managed to live through.
He knew it when his mother spent the day after one such raid limping and sobbing and lying in a curled ball while Blaine brought her clean rags to lie on in exchange for the blood-soaked ones he would then wash in the river.
He knew it when, nine months later, his mother gave birth to a baby boy that could not possibly have been his father's, and when, a month after that, his father had run off with a barmaid.
His mother had made him compete for the Academy scholarship less because she saw the promise in him, and more because she simply could not afford to feed both Blaine and his brother any longer.
By the time he left home, his mother's eyes reminded him uncannily of that first Sidhe slave he had seen in the market all those years ago.
But still, all that pain had not hardened him against this.
He had been in Prince Dronyen's employ for close to a year now, and already he had been selected to accompany him to the flesh markets to select a new "toy."
Dronyen seemed to use up his "toys" pretty fast.
Blaine hated him.
But only a little bit more than he hated himself.
Dronyen yawned broadly to himself as the next Sidhe was ushered on to the platform before them, this one a female.
"This is honestly the worst batch I have ever seen," Dronyen drawled. "If I don't find something new today, I may have to just go ahead and use Brissa tonight, and that would just be too depressing."
Brissa was Dronyen's wife.
Blaine was trying not to look at the stage. He was trying not to see the flashes of anger buried in the defeated eyes, as one magnificent being after another was offered up for abuse and degradation.
But then a flash of blue caught Blaine's eye and, reflexively, he turned.
And the world stopped.
Because before him on the platform was the most breathtaking creature he had ever laid eyes on in his entire life.
The Sidhe was supple and lithe, as all Sidhe tended to be, with pale skin that glowed like moonlight over lean, taut muscles. Like all the others, he was being auctioned off naked so that the buyers could see the full extent of what it was they were bidding on.
And he was extraordinary, head to toe.
His hair was gleaming chestnut, and fell to just below his ears. His lips were pink and delicate, and his eyes...
It wasn't just that they were the most incredible color imaginable – A soft, vivid blue slightly tinted with sea green.
And it wasn't just that they were large and almond shaped, with a fan of amber lashes.
It was the fact that they were full to the brim with life.
Never before had Blaine seen a Sidhe slave with such lively and expressive eyes. They were not dull or defeated in the slightest. Wary, yes, and utterly devoid of trust, but also blazing.
Blazing like that Sidhe he had seen slipping up the river bank when he was twelve years old. The only free Sidhe Blaine had ever had the chance to behold.
The elf stood on that platform as if he owned it, as if he were judging all of them, and not the other way around.
He tucked a lock of hair behind a delicately pointed elfin ear, his chin jutting out to reveal a chiseled jaw which contrasted beautifully against his tender features.
And though he knew it was insane, Blaine was pretty sure he was in love.
He also knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Dronyen was going to purchase this elf.
Even so, he was not prepared for how painfully his heart constricted when Dronyen shot out of his seat, eyes alight with blind, unmasked hunger, to begin the bidding.
The bids went high. Blaine wasn't surprised – if he had never seen anyone so beautiful, he was sure none of these men had either.
When the bidding was down to three, as was traditional, the men were allowed to touch before finalizing their bids. Blaine felt a surge of rage at how their meaty hands pawed at the Sidhe's perfect skin, inspecting the inside of his mouth, the pads of his feet, the cheeks of his ass.
And the look in the elf's eyes when they did it was gut-wrenching.
Because it was the first time Blaine saw the fear. It was raw and unmasked, and it tore into him and made him want to charge the platform and throw himself between this perfect being and these repulsive swine who actually felt entitled to touch him.
Blaine felt himself start to die inside when Dronyen placed the winning bid.
Blaine rode behind Prince Dronyen on the journey home, torn between deep sorrow and boiling fury. The elf rode with Dronyen, flush against the front of his body. The Sidhe had been outfitted simply in breeches, a jerkin, and leather slippers, and Blaine was grateful that he had at least been granted the temporary dignity of clothes.
It was one of the worst nights of Blaine's life, right up there with his Grandmother's murder and his mother's rape. He could hear how much Dronyen was enjoying his newly acquired property, and Blaine was fairly certain he heard more than one loud whimper of pain coming from the prince's bedchamber as well, and Blaine simply buried his face in his hands and cried.
He told himself he wasn't going to do it. He swore he wouldn't. But even as his brain denied it, his body moved silently through the castle, creeping past guards and sliding around corners until he was at the hallway that led to the Sidhe's cell.
It wasn't guarded. Why would it be? The elf's veins were surging with Verbena, effectively nullifying any threat he may have posed in his natural state.
Let alone in this state.
Because he was curled up in a corner against the stone walls, moonlight seeping in through the bars at the window onto his pale, glowing skin, now purpled with bruises.
The elf's face was pressed into his knees, and he was sobbing. Sobbing. Blaine had never heard a sound of such pure, musical, tortured pain. It somehow managed to be horrifically beautiful, and it was utterly soul-shattering.
It was only because of his reaction to this sound that Blaine realized maybe, despite who he had become and what he had allowed himself to grow accustomed to, maybe he hadn't lost his soul quite yet.
And Dronyen? Dronyen had no soul. That Blaine was certain of. Dronyen was able to hear these sobs and go about his life. He was able to use this ethereal being like a piece of meat and throw him, naked and battered, into a cold stone cell when he was through. He was able to take pleasure in trying to break something beautiful.
But Blaine wouldn't let this creature – this Sidhe – this beautiful man be broken. He wasn't sure what exactly he was going to do, but it had to happen soon. If there was any way Blaine could rescue him tonight - before Dronyen could get his hands on him again - he would, but he knew he couldn't. It wouldn't do either of them any good if Blaine was executed for trying to free the elf, since he was pretty sure no one else cared enough to try.
But soon. Because if there was even the smallest chance that Dronyen could manage to dull the light in those ocean eyes, Blaine would never forgive himself.
That night in his bunk, Blaine tossed and turned and whispered to himself feverishly, hoping that he could somehow will the beautiful enslaved Sidhe three floors below to hear him.
"I love you," he whispered.
And, "I'll save you."
And, "I'm sorry."
"I'm so, so sorry."