Hello there fellow reader!
So…This here is the first story I am ever posting on FF (well, anywhere, to be precise). I am like the shy, lazy lurker/ reader who has finally gathered up enough courage to post something.*blushes and turns away*
And it's an Ai no Kusabi fic! ^_^'
And I would be very grateful if you read this in its entirety, despite the wordiness and well... literary mistakes and stuff and review it… So on with this…
Warning: Angst, Angst, ANGST
Disclaimer: I do not own Ai no Kusabi or any of its characters.
Quotes in italics- flashback
Italics- Iason's thoughts/emphasis
Chapter 1 Introspection
"Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum."
I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am.
The day had been exceptionally bright. And the night was pleasanter still. The breeze that usually greeted him in the balcony today seemed to be full of meaning. As if it was whispering its thoughts to him. His body revelled at the small amount of freedom that he felt looking at the endless sky, speaking his heart to the caressing breeze, looking at the lights and the darkness of Midas.
Riki had been standing there, looking at the area that he used to call home for a long time. He had come out for a smoke, and stayed for the feeling of serenity he felt there. The days were relatively uneventful, he had nothing to do. He felt as if his body was rotting with each passing day of inaction. He found himself revisiting his past, perhaps a bit too much, aggravating his already present desperation and the steadily rising feeling of suffocation. His mind could not think about anything but his previous life. As the leader of Bison, as Guy's partner. Pleasant memories they were. Even guardian, which he now knew to be a vile institution, had provided him with some good memories. He wasn't actually one of the group, ever, but he had loved watching them play. He had loved listening to the innocent laughter. How things had changed. He could hardly believe it himself.
"You've got only two hands to hold onto the most important things in your life."
Aire. What wisdom! How he had heeded to it, until he had decided to leave Guy behind! He felt sorry. He regretted that he had at one point forgotten it, yet glad that he had remembered at the important parts. He had agreed to this for Guy. He had wanted Guy to live for the two of them, so he had let go of his pride. And he had realized that he did not belong there. He never had. He sniggered. And what did he have on his hands now? Assurance that Guy would never go through what he had gone through. And?...The status of Iason Mink's pet. The bit of spirit he had left in him seethed in fury. So, did he really belong here? He growled in annoyance. Of course not. He had been dealt such an unfair hand, but he had been ready to give up his life if it ensured Guy's freedom. For Guy, if not for himself.
His thoughts settled on Guy. He had expected Guy to react that way when he revealed the truth. That punch that Guy had thrown had not hurt him. Not at all. It was the fact that he had given up his pairing partner, his gang, his freedom for something so lowly, that he knew this was repulsive even to the lowest of beings, even to the slum mongrels, was what was killing him. The fact that he was doing this willingly slaughtered his self-respect. But he was not naïve still to reject his position or the truth. He had become addicted to the pleasure that Iason forced on him. It did not really seem like a great deal to resist his body, but the fact that he had actually let go of his dignity and come here stuck to his mind like a thorn.
"I… belong… to… you."
Although quite repulsed, he'd had no choice at that point. He had been so alive, so drowned in that pleasure, a pleasure he had denied himself for a whole year, that he could not summon the will to deny. And the year away from Eos had to some extent proved his dependence on that pleasure. He was fighting a fate he knew could not be fought. And he was starting to get tired of losing. He felt his anger slowly drain away. What was the point of all this anyway? He had already been stripped of all that he had considered important. He did not like what he was, but he did not have a choice.
Though, he wondered, perhaps there was a choice. The easiest choice, the smoothest way out. He looked down and wondered. How would it feel to fly? He snickered to himself. He had never thought of this, not even during that dreadful training four years ago. He had been too proud, too hopeful that he would tire the Blondie out or somehow escape, to even think of such a thing. But now… his pride was in tatters, his dignity all but gone, his freedom snatched away for sure, and forever. What was he hopeful for now? What reason existed for life, now that his friends hated him and he hated his life, he hated himself? All the ambition he had, of getting out of the slums, now lay in ashes along with his dying pride and the little humanity that still slept in him, injured.
The wind had changed direction, now striking his back with some force. He looked up and smiled. It felt as if nature was taking pity on him and encouraging him to end it all. He would be glad to, he realized. Yet he knew that he should remain strong, till the end and go down bravely. The dignity denied him in life would be reclaimed in death. It was almost poetic. Then, he sighed, quite disturbed by the thought and lit another cigarette, looking over at Ceres, thinking of Guy. Guy would know how to soothe him. He would know exactly what to say to bring his mood back to normal. Only he knew.
Iason entered his penthouse exhausted, having spent the entire day looking through cases, analyzing data, discussing new moves in the market with Katze and in meetings with the other elite. It had been dreary and mind numbing, but it was his duty. To be done as efficiently and as meticulously as possible. He sighed as the door opened with a whiz, looking forward to his time with his pet, knowing that perhaps much more complex problems awaited him here. But that was what was interesting with Riki. That was the most endearing thing about him.
With Riki, he was Iason, not Lord Iason Mink the head of Tanagura's Syndicate, a Blondie who answered only to Jupiter. Riki only ever treated him as just another human being, without any reservation, the same way he treated his friends, or enemies or strangers. The sense of justice, honor and dignity the mongrel possessed was uncannily exceptional. That he was a Blondie was nothing to be really proud about, to Riki. For, he had not actually attained that status through his effort, but had been born into it. Though he did his damnedest to live up to it.
"Welcome home, Master." said Cal, the usual greeting from his new furniture of a year and eight months.
He nodded his response saying "Wine, Cal." and looked around to see where Riki was. As always, he wasn't to be seen. The mongrel would be in the balcony, as was usual.
He walked into the balcony and found his pet, leaning on the railing and smoking a cigarette.
"Such a filthy habit." Sounded a voice from behind him, a voice he would recognize even in his sleep, a voice that would remind him of ice even in a dream of an inferno. He retrieved the cigarette from his mouth and gave it a glance and smiled. It was almost burnt out anyway. Without further thought, he threw it away over the ledge, unextinguished and saw the tiny sparks fly before the cold wind put out the fire. How very… poetic. He'd had enough of the ephemeral for a day he decided and snickered.
"Come inside, pet. It is starting to get cold."
His smile flagged in slight irritation. But he didn't feel the usual rage or the impulse to fight. Though, he admitted to himself, he wanted to spend a while more here. He didn't want to return to the suffocating confines of their rooms already. Just a few more minutes…
"Riki… Do not make me say it again." That voice would normally have made him shiver with slight fear, with its promise of vengeance. But it surprised even him when he didn't feel an ounce of fear. He stood still.
"Or is it that you want to be retrained, pet. Should you force my han-"
"Go ahead." He said, calmly and spread his hands on his sides, looking up, eyes closed, his back still turned to Iason. His smile widened, he had surprised himself with the boldness of the move.
"Riki…" answered the voice, colder still, aiming to freeze his blood. But he felt absolutely nothing. He turned around and smiled at the blondie.
Together with the glistening short hair, the toned muscles of his body shown off by that outfit he wore, and his sharp features, Riki looked almost otherworldly. But it was wrong. That smile… It was not right. So ethereal, so mesmerizing, kind… forgiving... Iason could only stare at his pet and gulp as he waited. It was impossible. Riki wouldn't contemplate that! He would never kill himself! He waited, anxiety tearing at his heart, trying to maintain a calm enough expression.
"Oh don't worry. I wouldn't." smiled Riki, his eyes still closed, as if he'd read Iason's mind. "Well?... Go ahead. Retrain me!" the peacefulness in those words clutched at Iason's heart and strangled it.
Riki allowed a moment's silence before he continued, opening his eyes, only to look at the floor, hiding them under their lids.
"I will scream just the way you like. And then, I will beg you to forgive me and promise you it will never happen again. Then you can take me all night long, until I beg for mercy. Just the way you like it."
Iason gasped. Riki was still smiling. He was no longer sure of what was happening. But those words tore at his heart. Did he not bring any pleasure to Riki? What warranted such cruel words? He could not help but ask. "Is it that bad being my pet?"
"You know my answer to that."
"Why, Riki?" He knew he was hardly being coherent, but he could not understand.
Why was he so suddenly like this? Did he even realize what he was saying? Does this mean I have finally tamed Riki? Does this mean anything at all?
"Do you even understand what you are asking?" his smile widened again as he put down his hands.
"Is that an insult?" asked the Blondie, his eyes narrowed.
"No. It was a question, an honest question." He closed his eyes again leaning on the railing, his head bowed in thought.
He had nothing left to lose, nothing to gain. And the realization took away his instinctual fear. For once, he really felt bold. And he felt like talking. These moments in his life when he had actually felt like talking were few and far between. The last time he remembered giving a talk was when he had given his opinions on that brat, Kirie, wanting to become a pet, at the Mistral Park auction.
Silence fell between the two as Iason thought hard. What did he really mean? He had been thrilled to come home to his pet to listen to his colorful words, look at that glint of defiance and hear something other than usual flattery. But, after such a day, he wasn't really interested in dealing with a silly tantrum, which he still assumed it must be.
Deciding in his mind, Riki wiped the smile off his face, opened his eyes, and stared at the ground before he began. It wasn't as if he had anything more to lose. Riki's voice lowered and hardened a sign of his seriousness.
"What do you expect from me?"
"Acceptance, obedience… Submission." Love, desire, everything, my pet.
"As a pet, right?"
Iason just nodded. He cursed his position. He wanted to blurt out that he did not want Riki as a mere pet. He wanted to tell him he loved him. But that could not be. Perhaps in a different world, a different place and time… But here, now, he could not admit to it. To Iason Mink, head of Tanagura's syndicate, the best of the Blondies of Amoi, Riki could only ever be a pet.
"Hmm?" a slight hint of anger crept into his mind.
"He considers me…No. He considered me a human. A valuable human being. We were equals… He loved my pride. He… He let me go, be free." He loved me, Riki thought.
His loss, pet. He was foolish to let you go, but I am grateful for it, for I found you.
"I know… You and I are not equals. I mean, I would really consider it an insult to be equated to you. And I am sure you would too… But… you can consider all this from my point of view, can you not? I am a mongrel, one with so much pride that I would rather starve to death than accept a free meal. You brought me here, trapped me, wounded my pride, took me, hurt me, and made my body addicted to you. All of this, on a mere whimsy."
"Granted you are all-powerful and shit. Still, you did nothing for me." Because, I am nothing to you, but a pet he thought. I am really nothing.
Riki remained silent for a moment, waiting for a reply.
He was used to fireworks with Riki. He was used to wild tantrums, meaningless opposition, heated defiance and verbal abuse. But now, Riki's words remained calculated, cold, detached and he radiated a knowing far beyond his years or experience. He was reasoning with Iason, something that had never happened before, maybe because he had never given the mongrel the chance and maybe wholly due to Riki's hot bloodedness. But all the same, Iason did not know how to respond, for he was momentarily, if only slightly, intimidated.
Iason said bleakly. "I did let you go…"
Riki snickered. "Yeah. For a year and a half…You dangled an illusion of freedom for a moment and then snatched it away, again just because it suited your fancy."
"I saved you from being discarded with the scrap, from being sold to the brothels." Iason defended.
"It hardly would have mattered. I had quite resigned myself to it at that point. Now I know, after all, you had planned this all along. And well, it wasn't as if you had nothing to gain by that move. Hey, you fuck me every bloody day and I don't even protest anymore."
"Because you need me." And I you, Riki.
"Right." He sniggered and then turned serious, shook his head fervently.
"No." he said, a partial lie. "No, because my body craves pleasure. As much as I would hate it, I could get it from one of those little toys you use on me. Or I could have Cal help me out… Yeah, I know what you are thinking. It wouldn't be the same. Right? I agree, it wouldn't. But I can live with it. And… Well, you shouldn't be really disappointed with that. I am a pet. Isn't that what pets do? You should be proud of me."
No. I don't want this.
"And you do have them, my acceptance and submission. I am yours to play with, a toy. You have my pride, my body, my freedom, even my thoughts and all my liberties served to you on a platter. What more do you want?"
No. I still do not have you. I want everything. Your love, your heart, your desire.
"I mean, you have taken more than I've ever given anybody, even Guy."
Why? Why does he come up every time? I want you to be mine, only mine. I want you to forget him.
"I want you to forget him." The words slipped from Iason even before he could restrain the thought, the words freezing cold and razor sharp. His eyes widened at his own blunder.
Riki laughed mockingly.
"Forget Guy? Why? He loved me. I still do love him. If it was not for his safety, I would not be here." Again, a partial lie. "I would not have fallen for your tricks. Not a second time."
Iason looked down at the ground in contemplation. 'I still do love him' those words pierced at his heart. He wanted to know. He had not seen anything even remotely interesting in that mongrel Guy. By Guy's own admission, 'No diamond in the rough here, just gravel no Blondie would ever take to.' He had not argued the point. He was curious. He was angry. He was jealous.
"What is so special in him?"
What is so special in him that I, a Blondie, would be inferior in comparison?
Riki smiled, reminiscing. His whole being pulsed with joy for a moment, which did not go unnoticed by the Blondie whose eyes widened at the response and then narrowed.
If memories alone could do that…
"Well let's see. He was like…my soul mate. We completed each other, what I did not have, he had, and what he wanted for, I gave him. He valued me; he treated me as an equal. He did not shackle me or humiliate me. Even when I left Bison to work for Katze, he did not stop me, but he worried for me. He let me go, when I told him of my wishes. He understood me."
'He is human.' Riki thought.
"The sex we had wasn't as mind-blowing as it is with you, but I was content. It wasn't all about the pleasure. It was about fulfillment… satisfaction. I felt really happy and ecstatic... fulfilled. He made me happy… There is nothing in the list that you could do is there? I would not even dream of equating you with him. I was not his slave and he did not treat me like one. If it could be paralleled, I would have been the master though." he said playfully and added. "Oh, and he let me top him." He snickered, and then asked half-seriously "Would you let me?"
"No, right? I mean it isn't like I really want to top, but…" The trust, just the gesture…
"I can almost see your thoughts and they are saying 'But I am a Blondie. You are just a pet! And the law!'… Don't make me laugh…I am a mongrel from the dirtiest of slums and that didn't really stop you. You make and break whatever rules you want here. And it isn't really a matter that I would go bragging about or anything." He laughed earnestly, imagining it. "No matter what, you won't do this." Because I am nothing to you, he thought. Nothing, but a piece of meat that you use for your own satisfaction.
Again, Iason could say nothing. Not only because he didn't think it was right, due both to his nature and his pride, but also because he had never actually thought about it.
"A blondie's indomitable pride, right? You would never give it up. But I know how hard it is, why it is so hard. I know it so well that it hurts. I had to give my pride up. And this time quite willingly… What I asked for isn't even close to the submission you expect from me. And yet…" he shrugged, his posture betraying his thoughts. 'I am a human being with feelings of my own. I can never be a pet. That is why this is wrong.'
A slight fear crept down the spine of the great Blondie who stood listening to his pet. Whatever was coming did not seem very pleasant.
"Tell me, what have you given me in exchange for all that you have taken?"
Iason stood there dumbfounded, his thoughts too incoherent to manage anything.
Riki smiled again, his head straight, chin up, but looking at the floor. "'Is it that bad to be my pet?'" he mimicked. "Don't ask me that. Ever again." He sighed. "Enough." he whispered as if to himself.
He lowered his head and shook it slightly, a smile tracing his lips. He then walked slowly, sensually towards the Blondie, eyes still looking at the floor, and stood just inches from him spreading his feet slightly apart, running his tongue over his lips and tracing a slow line from his neck to his chest with his fingers, quickening his breath. Then he thrust his hips out slightly, suggestively, with a slight gasp, an action that was unrefined, vulgar, yet impossibly graceful.
"Welcome home, Master. Would you like a show?" he asked his voice coy, assuming an almost undetectable fake hoarseness, and for the first time in the evening, looked into the Blondie eyes.
Just looking at his pet's seductive gesture caused a warm tingle to shoot up his spine, instantly heating up the Blondie's blood. Only to have it completely freeze at that one look in the black-haired mongrel's eyes. The fire in those spirited eyes seemed diminished, almost extinguished. They seemed to say 'Enough of this nonsense. I am tired. Just take what you want and leave me in peace.'
Iason's eyes widened at this in shock.
Looking at the usually enthusiastic Blondie stand stock still, Riki sighed, looking down once again and shook his head.
"Not in the mood eh?" he smiled as he walked past a stunned Iason. "I will be in the room if you change your mind… Master." And the mongrel walked away with the last word.
When he exited the balcony, Riki saw Cal standing there, hidden by the window, with Iason's wine. The boy's eyes were on the ground, but sensing Riki they turned up and looked in the mongrel's eyes. Riki was for a moment shocked. Tears seemed to brim and polish the boy's green eyes. He smiled reassuringly at the furniture and patted his shoulder as if to say "It is alright." and then nodded for him to proceed as he casually stepped into the room, wondering why his master had had a hurt look on his face as he left. Iason was a perverted Blondie bastard who did not care about him as anything other than a property, a pet. He deserved every word that Riki had thrown at him. He deserved to be hurt. Though why he had assumed that the Blondie would be hurt was another mystery in itself. He lay down on his bed, thinking, going over every word, every gesture of his master. He would never understand Iason Mink, he decided.
Iason stood there on the balcony looking at Midas, not actually seeing anything. The only thing before his eyes was his pet's eyes as he had looked into them. All the words that Riki had said seemed to move into the background as his mind obsessively centered on the flash of those eyes. Had he really broken Riki? What had he done to push the mongrel to such a measure?
A soft voice intruded.
Not once had Riki called him Iason, today. Even if uttered in fury, the sound of his name from the mongrel's lips always sent a thrill down his spine. Not once…
"Master Iason." The voice repeated.
Cal, his furniture, he recognized from the depths of his mind. For some reason Cal needed his attention. He gathered his mind and turned looking at Cal. The boy's eyes seemed to shine, he noticed… with unshed tears. He was sad? Cal, the new furniture, wasn't as hard as Daryl. He was meek and soft, young, but still furniture-like in his make up, trained to be stoic and unfeeling. A furniture showing such emotion? Iason was taken aback. What was he sad about?
"Did Master Iason not notice?...No matter what happened he would never change himself..."
Wistful words from some one he had thought was worth nothing. Daryl. He had worn the same expression, the same eyes when he had talked about Riki.
"I can't stand the thought of Master Riki turning into anything but what he used to be."
"Your Wine." said the boy, as he lifted the tray towards the Blondie. Cal was still the trembling afraid boy he had been since his entrance into Iason's household, but the choked voice that he spoke in now was something different. The furniture had heard everything. Not that it ever bothered him, it was quite usual. And he knew from experience that Cal would not tell anyone. But the tone in his voice and his eyes had brought his attention to something that had been long forgotten. Just like Daryl had, Cal had also reminded him, in a way reprimanded him for his ignorance and carelessness.
What Riki had said was true. He had taken him everyday after his return to Eos, and Riki had borne it with atypical surrender. And he knew; Riki was doing that because he had given his word, he had given his vow and his body still craved more.
He had accepted this. To save Guy. Not because he had fallen in love.
Not because he loves me.
And that had made him even more desperate. He wanted everything Riki had, and if he could not get his love, he would acquire his hate, his passion, his heat. It had made him so angry that more than once he had ended up drawing blood, just from the force of his advances. He had regretted it each time, but those regrets vaporized when he felt the same thing over and over again until his resolve broke again, leading to another similar incident.
He took the glass held out for him and raised it to his lips, taking a tentative sip. It tasted vile, and he felt like he would throw up. But it wasn't too warm or too cold, he could tell from the feel. It was just unpalatable in his present mood. He waved his furniture away, and walked to the ledge, looking at the glowing neon lights below him.
The day's exertions and the extra torment he had accrued from his pet were beginning to take a toll on him. He sighed, swirling the glass out of habit, only slightly harder than usual. And due to the unreduced measure of wine in it, a small amount tipped over the glass and spilled, shining, making its way, happily, into the abyss below that was Tanagura. His eyes followed the droplets as far as they could, and he thought, was it really so easy? He envied the droplets.
Scoffing at such a thought, Iason mused out loud "Unbelievable…"
He walked back into the penthouse and sat down on his chair, his eyes listless, his thoughts scattered.
End of Chapter
Aire figures in the novel as a sort of sisterly figure to Riki when he was in Guardian.
I cant believe I actually posted this...*blush*
I cant believe you read all of it!
*bows down low* Thank you for sticking till the end. I know how hard it is to read wordy fics…
I do not even know how the format would look… (LOL first timer ) so it is a bit too hard to read, please let me know, and I will change the spacing and stuff…
So… What did you think?
I am sorry if the characters seem too much OOC, though I will let some of the blame rest on the plot… I will try and improve on it…
This is not the end, cos despite all my embarrassment, I am still a fan and I would hate for anything (even really badly written heap of trash like my writing) to go unfinished. I planned on making this a multi-chapter thing, but if its too bad…
And I have read the novels (till vol 6 at least) and seen the anime, so I am being greedy and using it all ^^
And though perhaps utterly inappropriate here, I wanna thank lozzypoo for writing the fic- To forgive and forget. (I don't know her, she doesn't know me… But I have read the story, which is brilliant IMO) It kinda inspired me to write something and gave me some sort of push to post it here… Wish she updates it soon ^^
Alright! Enough ranting.
Any reviews are welcome! And please don't bother with kindness and stuff. I love frank reviews… Flame me, if you think I deserve it. Your frankness will only make me a better writer.