When you're broken, one can always pick the pieces up and fix you, but the person who broke you will never let you go.
How long has it been since Munakata has last visited him? Saruhiko just sits in this lavish room, he's reminded of the month he spent all alone. All alone, with no one to talk to him, no one to acknowledge him, no one to tell him a single word. It had been torturous, a method that didn't need violence- it was torture of the brain. Of the mind.
By god, did it hurt more than any whip ever could.
Saruhiko simply stands himself up, off the too plush bed and glances into the mirror. His posture has worsened and he just looks tired, which contrasted his pale face. In fact, he had slowly stopped eating, and now his uniform was starting to hang off his body. The blue, that vibrant blue that he had once loved was now a sickly colour, one that washed him out in every way.
When he heard that knock to his door, he shivered immediately. A rush of cold ran over him, and slowly he started making his way over. When he opened it, his spectacles flashed as he saw that familiar, familiar face.
"You sure took your time, what's on your mind?" Munakata simply asked as he pushed his way in, making sure that Saruhiko shut the door as quickly and as quietly as possible. Saruhiko simply sighed a reply, face looking scared as he turned to face the King, face fading into impassiveness. Slowly, the King wrapped an arm around his knight's waist, delivering a bruising kiss to the side of Saruhiko's neck.
"It's fine, you don't need to speak- I'll find your voice sooner or later…"
An hour later, Munakata casually left, as if nothing had happened. Then there was Saruhiko, laying on his back as he finally cracked, tears running from his face. He knew he was bleeding, he could feel the warmth leave his own god damn body. His body was covered in smears of red, bites and shame and he had such a hard time sitting himself up. He had to work, work after this forced sex and he felt his throat close up.
Before he could redress himself, he simply cried to himself because he was allowed to pity himself.
Any strength he once held had been broken, shattered and crushed by that man, that man who took everything from him and gave it all back. His old room had been replaced with his old barren one, the one where he had gone mad to this one with overly lavish decorations. It made him sick, sick to look at it. Everything made him sick at this point; he was broken beyond repair now. Pieces of his old psyche were shattered around the room, and it was a shame that he couldn't even bend down to pick them up.
After finally and permanently stopping the bleeding, he was dressed and casually trying to teach himself how to walk properly again. As he limped through the barren halls of the castle, his own voice filled his mind. 'Why are you still alive? It's depressing that you still trying, why not just give up? If you killed yourself, you don't need to be buried with someone's blessing. Just jump out of the upper window…' Every word stung and hurt, cutting into his soul each time he even thought of something like that.
His thinking was distracted by Goto, who seemed to appear out of nowhere. "Your presence is requested by the King and Queen, Fushimi." As quickly as he showed up, the black haired man disappeared into the maze of a castle. With a defeated sigh, he started his way towards the main room, the throne room…
Once he entered, he saw that arrogant bastard sitting right in his chair, hand on Seri's as he gave the other a cool smirk. Saruhiko ground his own teeth together, ready to keep his tongue in check. The last thing he needed was a "punishment" from the so called King, that so called King that always had to remind him that he was just now a piece of property. He used to be so proud of this nation, so proud to call himself a Scepter of the King.
"The Queen and I need an errand run within the Kingdom of Homra, of the Phoenix." He replied smoothly, voice causing goosebumps to break out on his skin. "A business would like to trade with us, and we need someone of noble stature to go- as the Queen has discovered that she is pregnant." Pregnant? Electric blue glanced to Seri, who's ice cold face seemed to break into a small smile. "You will accept, yes?" He shivered when he heard that familiar, strict tone of the King, and he knew that he'd had no choice but to just… accept the offer.
"Yes, sir." He simply replied, moving to try and make his position as official as possible. Before he turned to leave though, he felt those familiar violet eyes on him, and he just left as quickly as he could, to run back to his room to simply pack a few belongings.
It was twenty minutes later when Munakata showed back up to his door, casually letting himself in as Saruhiko limped about, trying to get a few things in order. "Go away." He demanded, clicking his tongue in annoyance as he tried to ignore the King in front of him. "Don't speak to me in such a manner, I just had you on your back- don't make me angry." The tone dropped, he was serious and Saruhiko felt a pang of fear hit him. Was it fear…? His heart was racing and he felt dizzy all of a sudden.
"I just came to tell you that I'm going to miss you while you're gone." Munakata paused for a moment, glancing at Saruhiko before continuing to speak. "Who will please me with you away?"
"Maybe the goddamn woman you married." Saruhiko hastily replies, although he receives a hard slap to the face. "Do you think I enjoy being married to her? I don't want the Ice Queen, I want my obedient Scepter." He purred, making sure to roughly grab the others bruised waist, pulling him in as close as possible. "Why do you think I treat you to such luxuries- to such inescapable pleasure?" He whispered, making sure to bite the others sensitive earlobe.
He was immediately shoved off. "You call forcing me to have sex with you a luxury? Do you not see the blood stains you leave me in?" He asked, voice monotone as he pointed to the quilt he now had to replace. The originally pale blue cloth stained with dark red blood that was slowly drying and crusting onto the fabric. "You leave right after, and I'm the one struggling to move. You are doing this for yourself, you don't care for me." He accused, making sure that Munakata hurt just like his own cheek did.
He received another hard slap, this one making it so he stumbled to the side. "I have done nothing but good for you- I've allowed you to live. You're lucky I haven't caste you back to the Phoenix territory," He replied smoothly, voice still sliding onto Saruhiko's skin, making him feel even dirtier than he already is. "I can throw you back to poverty and disease, where I plucked you from. You owe your entire life to me now, so I suggest you start taking it with a smile."
Their fight didn't last long because Saruhiko was easily pinned back onto those bloodied sheets and silenced once again.
The next day, the Scepter left, left to his journey back to his home country. No one wished him a farewell, it was only Munakata who did so- after sneaking back into his room to give him a bruising kiss that caused his lip to split. He was originally going to ride by horseback, but the pain that he was in would make that trip unbearable, so he settled for using a horse drawn carriage. He didn't like flashing around the fact that he had money- he'd probably sell the carriage when he'd get to the Phoenix land anyway- and just take his own sweet time back. It was only about a day or two by horse, regardless of carriage or not- but walking it was actually shorter.
If you knew the back roads.
With a sigh, the bluet just fell asleep, finally granting himself some sort of measure of peace. There was no Munakata, no Reisi to abruptly wake him and demand whatever he wanted, he was gone now. Anxiety just seemed to flutter away as he took in a deep sigh, thanking Seri silently for allowing him to take a bath before he left. His skin had never felt so clean….
He was rudely awoken what seemed like just ten minutes later, but apparently was about sixteen hours later. Apparently they had made it, although their business was still another few hours away. The guards were checking his entire carriage- to make sure that they had brought nothing that could harm the country. After searching through a small leather bag of clothes, they were granted access into the land.
How long had it been since Saruhiko had visited home? It seemed like too long, although he just remembered poverty, disease and heartbreak when his parents and siblings died when he was young. He was the last one, on the verge of death when it was the late Blue King who had come to save whatever children he could- accompanied by his son Reisi. Saruhiko had been six years, while Reisi was eleven, and they became one sided friends. Then the power was passed to Munakata and he gained a severe ego boost and Saruhiko was practically thrown into the Scepters.
He fell back asleep as soon as the horse started it's rhymatic trot. Minutes flew by and by the time Saruhiko awoke, they had arrived at the small tavern he was supposed to be staying at. The business that wanted trade to be done was actually businesses and Saruhiko groaned at the very idea. Two tailoring shops, a barber shop, three market shops… Well, clearly he didn't care so much. He thanked the driver and told him to sell the horse or at least go back home. Once he was off, he turned around just to have people stare at him blankly.
It was obvious they knew who he was- he was a Scepter for the Blue King, someone unwelcome. He sighed to himself, pushing past the sea of people so he could enter into the place he was supposedly sleeping in. Although he had already gained back the lost hours of the night within the ride to his home country, he'd probably just stay awake and wonder what else he could do.
With a sigh, he entered into the nicely furnished inn and noticed a blonde behind the counter. It was strange, to see such vibrant hair- usually the country of the Phoenix was known for hair colours like orange, red and black- never such a yellow. He blinked, still confused, as he made his way over to said bar- to which he was practically spat on.
"Get outta here, Munakata- the King won't see ya." Wait, did this guy think he was Munakata? A shiver ran down his spine as he could have sworn he felt a hand on his waist and on the back of his neck. Slowly, he replied in a bland voice. "I'm not the Blue King, I work for him as a Scepter." The blonde practically dropped the glass he was cleaning, clearly shocked by such news.
"…Er… Tha's awkward- sorry 'bout tha', you look like 'im. Once a month he comes t'visit, tryna talk t'the King- but we never let'im. So, yer the one that's gonna stay here…?" Now he was talking to himself, and suddenly his heart was racing again. If Rei- no, if Munakata visited every month then what he was being used for? That fear was building back up, and suddenly the world felt dizzier than before.
"All right then, yer Fushimi-kun right- mm… Right, well then-" The spectacle wearing bartender's voice seemed to cut out of the bluet's hearing, because he simply fell onto the ground, eyes shut as he simply passed out.
"Hey, Kusanagi, I think he's waking up-"
"Quit yelling Yata, you really will wake him up."
"Shut up Kamamoto, he's gonna have to wake up sooner or later-"
A groan escaped his lips, and slowly but surely his own eyes opened. His tired, broken spirited blue eyes glanced around the room, everything is blurred and bright. He hears something next to him, and when he turns his head he's shocked.
The ginger is just sitting next to him, a grin on his face as he yells back to the blonde bartender- was his name Kusanagi or Kamamoto- and two more people come by. With a groan, Saruhiko sits up, wondering why he had passed out like that. The ginger just sort of blinks before pushing him back down, and Saruhiko immediately shakes against that touch. Misaki's face is replaced with Munakata's and immediately he pushes the other back, scrambling to crawl back.
"Oi- Saruhiko! The fuck are you doing?" Misaki asks, voice low but confused as he stares at the man he had met only a few months ago. The confident, almost arrogant persona that the bluet had was suddenly shattered, and the ginger can't help but to be curious as to why Saruhiko responds the way he does.
"… I'm not gonna hurt you." That seems to hit some sort of nerve because that's when Saruhiko slowly untangles himself from the corner of the cot, slowly making his way closer to Misaki. "I… what time is it?" He asks, and it's the blonde bartender who replies. "Late in the afternoon, although we didn't get t'introduce ourselves. I'm Kusanagi Izumo, I run this lil shack, and I'm a doctor by trade. The fat guy's Kamamoto, he's the local baker." Saruhiko doesn't really appear to be listening, he's just staring around the room.
Why did it feel so… homely?
The mission is forgotten because Saruhiko has mentally quit the Scepters. Well, he had sent a letter of resignation two weeks ago and his old clothes had been burned. He joins Homra, the guards to the King- although they really pretend they're part of the community. Because the Red King, Suoh Mikoto, visits often, they're in charge of protecting him. It's a family, a community in a community and Saruhiko feels warmer than he has in months.
It's been three months since he's left and never returned anyway.
He and Misaki are always causing some sort of trouble, but they're always caught by Kusanagi. It's funny though, to see the usually hard reaction soften as apparently the "mother" of the group can't do anything but just be happy for his children. Saruhiko is now a part of a family… apart of something he never thought he'd be.
He's learned how to accept the familiar touch of family, too. Some of the members were more touchy-feely than others, mostly Chitose, and at first, Saruhiko had delivered a well done punch to the others ribs. After a while though, he learned to accept the touch, it wasn't rough anymore. All he felt was the gentleness of family, and he loved every moment of it.
Today was Misaki's birthday, it was already July and Saruhiko was out trying to gather something he was planning to give his ginger friend. He had been so patient with him, helping as best as he could to try and bring Saruhiko onto the right path and the bluet was grateful. Because of the ginger, he had even learned to smile again…
He had requested that one of the tailors make Misaki a new sweater, one that was blood red to show his appreciation to the other. Something to keep him warm through the winter months… Saruhiko sighed as he finally was able to hold the warm piece of cloth that was finally finished. It was Bandou who had made it, and allowed that Saruhiko help make it too. He was proud, so proud of it. And so, he made his way to HOMRA, ready to celebrate.
Although, he wasn't really expecting the sudden amount of force that just collided with the side of his head, causing the sweater to drop along with his body.
Where was he now? A groan escaped his lips, which let him know that he was still alive thankfully. Slowly, he pushed himself up, and a rush of pain ran through his entire head, pulsing wildly. His glasses were gone, so it was very hard for him to see. Everything was blurred, dark and very lifeless.
Immediately he glanced around and was face to face with that familiar brick, that familiar feeling of isolation immediately crawled back. That familiar feeling of fear was grasping onto his heart and when the door opened he didn't even glance. He knew who it was, although he was just a bit surprised when someone sat next to him in the disgusting cot, and put their arms around him.
"How dare you leave." Munakata's voice breaks the silence and suddenly he's squeezing too hard and Saruhiko's breathe is escaping and he can't get it back. "I told you that I have your life here, you are mine and no one elses. Why did you send such a letter, a letter of resignation- they're not your family: I am. I am the one who has provided you with life, and they are nothing but liars. Liars, Saruhiko. I'm the only one capable of loving you."
Each word cuts into his scarred heart, where the wounds were now new. It hurts, hurts to be told something like this, and he gasps and chokes on a cry. Although, he immediately fights back when Munakata tries to pin him down on that dirty cot. He will not be used as a substitute. "Get off me." He shouts, his voice has finally found itself and Munakata delivers one of those painful smacks to the side of his face, stunning the bluet temporarily.
He continues to fight back, even though he knows that he'll just lose and submit.
Saruhiko has been stranded in this room for… how long had it been? He glanced to the long little markings on the side of the wall, casually counting them to make sure that his sanity wasn't gone. He used his bruised fingers to make sure he was feeling each little groove. He had counted sixty two days… Sixty two days all alone.
His pride shattered and he immediately crawled his way to the door since he could barely even stand. He did his best to hit it, trying to cause some amount of noise. "Let me out! Goddammit, let me out of here!" He screamed, tears blinding what little vision he had left as he just tried to get someone's attention.
He was let out the next day, and he was finally void. It was done, he was broken beyond repair and Munakata knew this. He remembered the entire morning perfectly, where Munakata had come in to redress him in his Scepter uniform, but making sure that he was bathed before. He said nothing when Munakata left a bruising hickey on the side of his shoulder, his marking and "proof" that he was nothing but owned.
Nothing else anymore.
The days blurred, and he felt hopeless. Especially on one particular morning. Munakata had just left him, and he was staring at that one window he had in his room. It wasn't a far drop, probably a good… twenty… thirty meters? He was weak now, frail since he hardly even ate. It could kill himself instantly, it's not like he'd be missed by anyone. He was just a vessel for Munakata anyway…
Slowly, he started to redress himself, uncaring about the blood stains his clothes would receive. Although, when he heard a loud knock on his door, he didn't even respond. Instead, he just continued to dress, stiffly making sure that his pants were at least around his waist. He had just started putting a shirt on when the door was broken down, eliciting a sharp gasp from the other. Since when had Munak-
His entire mind went blank, because the ginger was standing right there, holding what appeared to be a piece of metal melted into… whatever that was. Immediately, he tried to say something but found that no words came out. It wouldn't matter anymore. Misaki could just pity him, pity that all he was good for was giving his body to people, he really was a dirty courtesan for the King.
"S… Saru." There was that nickname again. "What… happened to you…?" His voice is cracked and it's obvious the other can see the bloodstained sheets. Casually, Saruhiko just picked up what appeared to be a jewellery box, and threw it out the window, shattering the stain glass immediately.
He gave Misaki a broken hearted smile, if you could have even called it that. "Nothing." He lied coolly as he glanced at the shattered window. All he needed to do was step up onto the ledge and fall out, considering the window was huge. Of course the ginger didn't seem to realize what he was going to do, and instead shouted his reply.
"Fuckin' liar! Where did you go on my birthda- … Saru…?!" It was when the bluet pulled himself on the ledge did he stop shouting. Saruhiko said nothing as he closed his eyes and let his body fall forwards, into that so called fresh air that Misaki screamed and ran towards him.
He missed, and Saruhiko plummeted to the ground.
Someone had seen what had happened, and immediately called upon the Scepters. Munakata and a few of his guards were the first one to the scene, where Misaki was cradling Saruhiko close to him, cradling his unconscious friend. He's angry, so goddamn angry and he's sure that it's this bastard who's been causing him harm.
"Get off him, Phoenix scum. He's my Scepter, not yours." Munakata replies, voice dripping and Misaki casually laughs it off. "He was born in the land of the Phoenix anyway, so he's not yours. I'm sorry, but I don't try to own the people who I live with." He retorts, and it's clear that Saruhiko has told Misaki some information- and that enrages him further.
"I will not hesitate to kill you on the spot." Munakata replies, but suddenly there's a hand on his shoulder. He turns, and immediately shoves it off, because Suoh Mikoto is and he's the last person he needs to see. "Suoh." He spits, causing some of his other Scepters to sort of blink in surprise.
"Munakata." He drawls, voice low and smooth as he glanced down at Misaki and the bluet that had stayed with them for a few months. He knew that there would have been no way he would have gone back so… spontaneously, so sighed to the rest of the crowd. Casually, he bent down and murmured something to the ginger, causing him to gently pass Saruhiko over to the King.
Mikoto simply stood himself up, holding the bluet as gently as he could, although it was difficult considering he could feel the others broken legs against his arm. "I will be personally taking him, on the grounds of abuse." He replied slowly, making sure to turn around and to shoot Munakata a very arrogant, very smug look. "Of course though, he'll need to relax, so I will take him back with me."
Munakata found himself speechless as he watched his long-time rival, the Red King, take away his only love.
It had been six months since Saruhiko was back in the land of Phoenix, and maybe being paralyzed wasn't sure a bad thing. He was confined to sitting down, as his legs were still in the process of healing. But his day was choked full with things that made falling asleep even at seven at night completely possible. With each day being a bit different but still busy, it was at least nice to feel that you were wanted.
He was usually woken up at about seven in the morning by either Misaki or Kusanagi, for lessons. Izumo had taken a liking to the others intelligence and had started giving him lessons from the textbooks he had written and received. Currently, Saruhiko was learning about the skin, and how to stitch up wounds. Of course Izumo didn't want him trying anything, but it was still really, really nice to learn something like this.
At about ten, eleven, it was Rikio who picked him up and showed him how to cook. He was horrible at it, but of course the bigger man would always laugh and help him fix it. Or what he'd do is feed the ridiculously bad food Saruhiko would make to the local animals and the bluet felt good about that. Usually Rikio would feed him something sweet before carrying him back to Homra, where some more interesting activities would pass.
Sometimes, Shouhei would bring him outside. It'd be easily for the other, he'd simply pick Saruhiko up and lay him down in the grass- especially on days that were sunny. The bluet would usually just end up falling asleep, cat napping outside, and Shouhei would simply watch over him. Sometimes Bandou would come by, especially after his work was done and try to lecture the other on his horrible abilities to watch a sleeping Saruhiko, and the two would just laugh. Bandou was also currently trying to teach Saruhiko to knit, but it was hard for the bluet since his fingers and arms would cramp up easily- but as long as he started it, Bandou would finish it.
Chitose taught him how to laugh again. It was accidental of course, but the brunet one day made some sort of joke that made Saruhiko sputter and spit out his water. They practically laughed for hours afterwards, and so Chitose at least tried to make the other laugh once a day. It usually worked, and it really distracted Saruhiko's destructive mind. Then, Dewa would appear and smack Chitose for making so much noise, and then the afternoon would quiet down. The ravenette and bluet would just sit down in the small, cozy living room Homra provided and would just… read. It was nice, to get all that confusion and loud noises out of his head for a few hours. Although, sometimes Dewa fell asleep to which Saruhiko would call Chitose over and make sure to jump scare him awake, causing more laughter to ring throughout the tavern.
Occasionally, when he's feeling up to it, Kosuke will go out into the streets and casually collect any stray cats he can find. He knows Saruhiko likes cats, so he makes sure to always bring him one- especially on days when he's had a nightmare. It's always nice to see Saruhiko's face light up, and he always seemed to feel really good too. The orange haired farmer would laugh every time the cats would try and run from the bluet, although they always seemed to cheer him up. Usually as the cats would infest the area Saruhiko would have, Eric would shoo them out and scold Kosuke for bringing in so many cats, and shoo the farmer out right after. The blonde and the bluet would sit down together then and write whatever emotion they were feeling that day. Usually, Saruhiko would write about the night terrors he received, occasionally he'd write about his feelings towards Munakata- his confused and hurtful feelings. Eric and him never read their letters, and usually they'd burn them right after- to rid their heads of those emotions that were plaguing their every day thoughts.
Misaki and Izumo made dinner, and sometimes they let Saruhiko help. And by help, it was usually just dishing out the food with the limited amount of mobility that he could manage. His arms had been affected by the fall, so they hurt and became sore easily if too much motion was used. Izumo had told him to rebuild the strength in them, as his legs were continuously healing. Saruhiko would sigh and pick at his vegetables, to which Izumo had to practically shove them down his throat.
At night, it was Misaki who resumed the care of Saruhiko. Whatever they did, no matter what they did, Saruhiko would always have a gentle smile on his face. Sometimes they'd make a fire outside and roast food over it (much to Izumo's screams to not too), or sometimes Misaki would read out loud to the other and sometimes, they'd just lay in the bed they shared. It had been noted that Saruhiko had night terrors or at least a night mare when he was alone, and his destructive mind would cause a wave of depression to hit. Misaki had already witnessed the other trying to kill himself; he did not want a rerun.
Tonight, Saruhiko had been especially tired, so he picked the sleepy bluet up, easily carrying him upstairs to their shared bed. Slowly, he laid the other down and he caught a mumble from the tired Saruhiko. "Thank you…" Misaki felt himself choke up right there, and he couldn't help but to tuck the other in to give him a kiss on the forehead. Saruhiko's smile didn't leave his face, not even when he closed his eyes and let that sleep overtake him.
It was nice, knowing that maybe for once in your life, you were loved.
Edited because I forgot about Kosuke and Eric- shame on me!
R&R for continued stories of this Medieval AU I have apparently created?