Chapter Twenty-One

WARNING: Thoughts of character suicide and lots of violence.


At first he barely noticed it, but as the days wore on it grew worse. Worse than the sickness of shadow-travel, worse than the now-defunct hypercandle burns, worse than the bone-deep ache of his malnourished body. He felt it in his heart, like a hole that could not be filled, or a thread that searched in vain for its other end, pulling his soul out through his skin with every moment that it could not find it.

He was. . . incomplete. The mark ached and itched whenever Shadow wasn't touching it. It had gotten to the point where an hour apart felt like an eternity. And though Shadow was kind to him, pleased that his pet had passed his latest test, Shadow was a lord with other obligations, and he couldn't always be there.

Vio couldn't take it anymore.

He stared blankly at his reflection in Shadow's mirror. His eyes, always a shade darker than the others', were dull and lifeless. Without the aid of the Wizzrobe's potion his mouth hurt, his hair hung like limp dirty-blond straw and his skin looked ashen and dry. Shadow hated it, but Ubel assured him that he needed to see its true state to know if Vio was getting any better. He wasn't. Food held no interest for him; even when offered heart-fruit he only picked at it. He'd stopped taking Ubel's potions too, instead dumping them out when the medic wasn't looking, or only pretending to drink.

He just wanted the loneliness to end.

He tried to punch the mirror, but his hands only bounced harmlessly off. He tried to smash it with a book, but that didn't work either. He hung his head, feeling defeated.

Of course, Shadow wouldn't let it be that easy. He'd always kept sharp objects and potential poisons away from Vio, so those were out. The windows were barred, so that wasn't an option either. He considered fashioning a rope from his tunic, but he didn't have the strength to tear it. He could drown or suffocate himself, perhaps. . .

But Shadow would know if he were about to die, and would stop him. He couldn't let Shadow stop him.

Maybe. . .

If Shadow himself were the weapon. . .

Vio knew that starvation could soften bones, and he hadn't consumed enough blue potion to strengthen his, yet. One solid blow in the right spot might do it, put him beyond even Ubel's capabilities. It was a selfish plan, and he knew it. He'd have to hurt Shadow very deeply to make him that angry, and in dying, he would be risking Shadow's life.

But Shadow had the other three to tie him to this existence, and Belial to pick up any broken pieces. He'd be fine.

If he didn't do this, then he would live the rest of his life with this terrible, aching emptiness. The pain he could tolerate, he knew he deserved it. The separation from his friends hurt too, but they were better off without him anyway, so he didn't fight that. But the red thread of his heart, reinforced by the spell, it needed Shadow, but it would never have him.

And Vio was weak, and selfish, and somewhere deep down, in a little part of his mind that he had long suppressed, he wanted to hurt Shadow.

Vio lifted his head again, staring at his reflection. The brokenness that had been a part of him for so long had begun to piece itself together again, jagged and jaded and just plain wrong. Beneath the washed-out blue there lay a tiny spark, just a little bit of that cold calculation that set him apart from the others.

Shadow was possessive and easily angered. It wouldn't be hard to egg him on: a mention of Majora and how adept he was, a jab at Shadow's dick-size and lack of skill, perhaps a quip about how he'd never loved Shadow in the first place. . .

His heart twisted at the lie (was it a lie, or was that the spell? He didn't know anymore.), but he knew it would get the job done.

He heard the door open and Shadow call for him. "Vio?"

This was it.

Could he do it?

Could he hurt Shadow?

Could he make Shadow angry enough to end his miserable existence?

Could he?

Yes.

Vio exhaled softly, feeling surprisingly calm. It was time. Time to end this.

"There you are," Shadow strolled into the bathroom, walking up behind Vio and wrapping his arms around Vio's too-thin waist. He rested his chin on Vio's shoulder, peering at their reflection. They were the same height, though no longer of the same build. Vio's muscles had long since wasted away, leaving him weak, pale, and thin. Shadow inhaled deeply and then huffed, blowing some of Vio's straw hair about.

"You smell nice. Like raspberries and alcohol. I like it. I can't wait until Ubel fixes this, though," Shadow muttered, tugging lightly on a blond lock. "It's ugly."

So is your heart, Vio thought. He met Shadow's reflection's eyes, and couldn't help but remember the last time they stood together like this in front of a mirror, the last time he'd betrayed Shadow's trust. He'd done it for Hyrule, back then, done it because he couldn't see another way. Or, well, he could, but becoming evil wasn't really much of an option, was it? No, and neither was living with this soul-pain.

Shadow rubbed small circles on Vio's back, inching higher and higher. He had to act now. As much as he ached for Shadow to touch the mark, Vio knew that if Shadow did it would all be over. He would lose what courage he'd manage to build.

Vio pulled away from Shadow's grasp and turned to look at him, his mouth set in a grim line. Shadow stared back, his expression one of confusion. "Vio?"

"Shadow, I don't love you. I never loved you." The mark burned. It hated these words.

"Vio, what are you saying? Of course you do, you told me so." Shadow reached for him, pleading instead of angry.

Vio stepped away, keeping their gazes locked. A cold, cruel smirk spread across his lips, an imitation of an expression he'd seen on Shadow's face far too many times. He spat his words like acid. "I don't. I hate you. I hate you, and I hate everything you've done to me. You fuck me with all the finesse of thrice-damned ReDead. You're nothing compared to Majora. Now, there's a real lover."

Shadow's expression changed from one of hurt to anger. His eyes narrowed and he clenched his fists. "What?!" Shadow growled, taking a threatening step forward. Good.

Vio stood tall, every nuance of his stance a challenge. Shadow was mad, but not enough to kill him, not yet. He needed to throw some oil on that fire.

"You heard me," Vio sneered, determined to push every button he knew, "Majora and I made love while you were passed out like a drunken fool. He touched me everywhere, his fingers, his tongue, and his delicious cock. He's much bigger than you, you know. Felt great, having something larger than your pathetic excuse for a dick inside of me again."

Somehow, Vio knew that telling Shadow Majora had been inside of him, rather than the reverse, would make him angrier. He was right. Shadow looked ready to blow a gasket, teeth gnashing and eyes flashing dangerously, warning Vio to stop. Just a little more. . .

"Do you know why I held out on you on Death Mountain? Because I knew a worthless shadow like you could never satisfy me, and-" That did it.

Shadow let out a scream of rage, hurling himself at Vio. Vio took the brunt of the crash, his head cracking on the marble hard enough to make him see stars. "SLUT! You DISGUSTING! FILTHY! WHORE!" Shadow yelled, each word emphasized with a punch to Vio's face. Tears streamed from Shadow's eyes as he unleashed his frustrations on Vio's unresisting body. He grabbed Vio's left arm and yanked, popping it out of place again. Twisting Vio's arm hard enough to break it with a sickening crack, Shadow threw Vio against the mirror.

It shattered and Vio slid down, the sharp pieces slicing deep and embedding themselves into his skin. Shadow kicked him in the stomach and Vio doubled over, coughing. Another blow knocked him to the floor and Shadow stomped hard on his left hand, shattering many of the small bones. Vio didn't have the breath to scream, even if he wanted to. Shadow stomped and kicked him again and again; each strike felt like the megaton hammer pounding against his skull and ribcage. Bones cracked at every impact.

"Small, am I?" Shadow muttered. He seized a fistful of Vio's hair and dragged him over the broken glass, leaving smears of blood on the marble, and then on Shadow's bedroom carpet. Vio gasped for air, but it hurt to breathe. He coughed up blood, feeling fairly certain Shadow had punctured a lung. Through all of it, Vio refused to scream. He knew his silence would anger Shadow further, and the angrier he was the better.

Shadow shoved him face-first against a wall and tore at his clothes, his nails grown to talons that left long gashes in Vio's skin. He discarded the now-worthless scraps of fabric, his eyes drinking in the sight of Vio's bare and bloody skin.

Not bloody enough. "Whores don't deserve clothing," he snarled, smacking Vio's bare ass.

He grabbed Vio's hips hard enough to bruise, claws sinking deep as he leaned close to hiss in his ear. "Do you remember the spells the Wizzrobes used to heal you? The potions may be out of your system, but I can fucking promise you those spells are still there. Those spells are tied to MY WILL! A snap of my fucking fingers and I can make you feel Every. Fucking. Blow!"

Snap! Four ribs shattered, kicked in by Hinox feet.

Vio screamed.

Snap! His right kneecap exploded and right arm snapped at an unnatural angle, both struck with a club.

Snap! Wounds burst open across his torso, struck with a dozen spears at once.

Vio's scream rose to a shriek.

Shadow snapped his fingers to summon a black dagger, reaching between Vio and the wall to grab Vio's limp member harshly. "I should cut this off," Shadow hissed in Vio's ear, "I don't need it to take my pleasure from you!"

Vio did the mental calculations. If Shadow did, he'd bleed out and die in probably five minutes tops, long before Shadow calmed enough to realize what was happening. "Do it, then!" Vio taunted him, gasping for breath through blood-stained lips. "Unless you're nothing but a coward!"

He thought Shadow would. He really thought Shadow would. Shadow's hand clenched around the dagger until his knuckles turned white. His breath came in enraged pants, the scent of Vio's blood filling his nostrils and overpowering the sweetness he'd smelled before. Shadow screamed in frustration, plunging the dagger into Vio's thigh instead, deep enough to strike the bone.

Vio's choked scream cut off when Shadow threw him to the floor again. He landed on his side, somehow avoiding the dagger, although he didn't mean to. Shadow forced Vio to his knees and shoved his face to the floor. "Small, am I?" Shadow hissed, "then let's see how you like THIS!" He buried himself to the hilt in one thrust, causing Vio to choke again in his attempt to scream. He'd been kind lately, and Vio wasn't used to the brutality.

"Not so small now, am I?!" Shadow laughed manically, riding Vio hard. His claws sliced the skin and muscles of Vio's back and buttocks, trying to do as much damage as he could. The knife still protruded from his thighs, but as far as Vio could tell it hadn't nicked any major arteries, even with the jostling from Shadow's rough treatment. If he could grab it and twist it just a little. . .

Shadow saw him move and snapped his fingers, shadow tendrils shooting from the floor to bind his wrists and neck, tight enough to choke him. Shadow pulled out and snapped his fingers once more, the tendrils dragging Vio back against the wall and letting him drop to his knees, his arms held high and behind him. Vio sagged forward, unable to support himself. The dagger had shifted; the cut was wider and blood ran from it freely now, but not in the spurting manner that would indicate his imminent demise.

Shadow smacked him across the face with his dick and Vio swore that if Shadow tried to make him suck it he WOULD bite, but Shadow didn't. "You don't deserve my cum," Shadow said, snapping his fingers again.

The whip cracked across his chest and Vio jerked, but he didn't have the strength to do anything else as it left nine long, bloody gashes. Shadow hit his chest and stomach over and over, and Vio wished he would slip and hit the knife, and knock it askance enough to slice the femoral artery it was so, so close to-

Shadow stopped abruptly, a dark chuckle escaping his lips as he looked back towards the door. He dropped the bloody whip and it disintegrated back into the shadows. He waved a hand over Vio's bound, battered, and bloody form, calling forth a shadow-shield to conceal him from sight. Once assured Vio couldn't be seen, he walked calmly into the bathroom, and Vio heard the water running as Shadow cleaned himself up. He walked back out a moment later, shutting the door behind him. He didn't even spare Vio a glance as he strolled across the room and out the door, leaving Vio alone.

Vio gargled a laugh which broke off into a painful, bloody cough. Yes, one of his ribs had definitely punctured a lung, and he was bleeding in too many places to count, probably internally as well. And yet, somehow he felt the physical pain was easier to bear than the loneliness, and he bid good riddance to every drop of redness that escaped his veins and arteries. Soon, he thought, his blood pressure would drop to dangerous levels. His heart would be unable to beat without the proper volume to pump, and he would pass out. His circulation would collapse and his organs would start to shut down one by one. By then, it would be too late. Even Ubel wouldn't be able to save him.

He wondered, idly, if Shadow would return his body to Hyrule to be buried, or if he would toss him out into the fields for the monsters to tear apart. He hoped that if it came to that, Shadow would at least let the lesser monsters get to him, rather than a Poe or a Wizzrobe, who might try to turn him into a monster. Vio shuddered at the thought.

He felt very thirsty and cold, but neither sensation was particularly new to him. His breaths came quick and shallow, his body's response to the pain and lack of oxygen from the blood loss. Laughter bubbled up, and he let it escape with a spatter of blood. Didn't his body know he wanted to die? That everything would be better once it stopped fighting and just let go? Nothing else could end the pain in his heart, nothing.

Vio turned his attention back to the dagger. He tried to move his right leg to nudge the hilt embedded in his left, but he couldn't quite manage it.

The door opened again and Vio just found the strength to lift his head, peering through eyes nearly swollen shut as Shadow swooped in with Belial in his arms. Both were laughing, looking positively ridiculous with the smaller Shadow carrying Belial like a bride.

Shadow deposited Belial on the bed and crawled atop him, murmuring something Vio couldn't hear over the sound of his own heartbeat. Gentle hands undressed Belial, lips trailing after clever fingers. Belial arched his back and moaned, fingers tangling in Shadow's hair.

Vio sighed, unseen in his shadow prison. Yes, Belial would take care of Shadow, and he would be here when Vio died, so if Shadow needed help he wouldn't be alone. The thought was comforting.

For a moment it felt as though the world pitched forward, and were he standing Vio knew he would have fallen. Dizzy. . .

The blood loss was getting to him. He felt the sensation of slightly clawed (or perhaps taloned?) fingers lifting his chin, though he could see Shadow and Belial both occupied on the bed. Vio blinked his eyes and a smile flitted across his lips as the semi-transparent form slowly came into view. Whoever this stranger was, Vio knew he meant peace and rest, and freedom from the ache in his heart and soul.

The being, for he could not be a mere man, stood at probably twice Vio's height. Even kneeling as he was now, he was impressively tall. His face looked gaunt and gray as death, his Sheikah-red eyes so very sad. Everything else about him was as black as funeral attire, from his messy hair to the crow feathers around his shoulders, to his long, flowing robe.

The newcomer's pale lips moved- 'What happened to you?'- but made no sound. Vio only smiled back, his eyes drifting shut and head falling forward.

Finally.


UPDATE: THERE IS A SEQUEL! GO READ IT!

And there you have it, folks. We have come to the end of Traitor. It's been a crazy ride, and I thank everyone who's followed me through it, especially Kuro-chan, my lovely beta and loaner of awesome OCs who can't stop sticking their heads in my stories.

Hey, there's more fan-art up! Kuro-chan drew Majora, and Mello-chan drew a scene from "The Truth About Green."

The guy at the end isn't mine. His name is Iblis, God of Death and Patron God of the Sheikah. He belongs to Kuro-chan. You can find out more about him on her dA page, or by reading her fic Static Red (under the name RococoSpade).

Thank you to the Chapter Twenty reviewers:

Italy: I've only seen a couple seasons, actually. I'm absolutely lost 90% of the time. It's one of those shows I like to watch with friends so be can be baffled and laughing together. Does he? Poor Belial, nobody who reviews likes him. Is it because he's an OC, because he's banging Shadow, or his blue and orange morality?
*whistles * So many loose threads I have left, no?

LeaStar: Whelp, there you go. Side-effects.

DarkVioletShadows: Belial politely rejects your offer of cookies. He doesn't trust you.

Keilise: Glad to know you liked it! That foursome was popular... *cackles * Oooh~ Crackfic idea!

Aeterni7as: *sleepy yawn * You got a pm, and I want to post this before I sleep so I can watch the shitstorm in the reviews tomorrow. Believe it or not, I wrote this over the course of about six or seven hours. Definitely the fastest I've cranked out a chapter. Vio started talking and I had to hurry to keep up.

DarkLinkLovesLink: You're welcome!

BrightGreenLights: You got a pm too. *tired *

TheMysticalQ: Weeeeellllllllllllll...
Huh. Never heard of that movie. I have no idea where Kuro-chan found the name.