Title: Cicatrice
Series: Off
Character/pairing: Batter/Zacharie
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Scars tell a thousand stories.
Author's note: kink bingo: scars/scarification. / fic_promptly: Author's choice, author's choice, I've never seen scars like yours before.

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Batter's shirt was peeled off, the chair stained with his blood as he leaned back and tried to catch his breath. Just inside of the empty building, still filled with the scent of sugar and ashes.

"You're lucky I found you," Zacharie said. "One of your circular companions helped me carry you back. For a purified zone, they sure are filled with strong specters."

Batter didn't respond. Zacharie held out a drink of some kind, in a bottle with no label.

"Here, free of charge for being such a good customer," Zacharie said.

Batter took the drink and began to gulp it down. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Still hurt? I don't believe that healed you enough...I suppose a hands-on approach is necessary," Zacharie said with a chuckle. He poured bottle of healing salve and came closer. "No charge for this, either. You could say I was already paid."

Nearly every inch of his strong body was covered in marks, to the point where it became like a mixed design of many shapes. Zacharie gazed at them, fingers tracing skin as he worked the salve in.

He brushed his hand over the hollow of Batter's neck. A series of long faded red gash went over his collar bone. "Where did you get this one?" he said.

"Valerie," the Batter replied.

Ah, the scratch of a claw. With three fingers, he traced the mark with his fingers.

At his midriff, there was a strange scar indeed, like a circular burn mark. Zacharie circled around it, spiraling inwards until he was at the middle. Before Zacharie could ask the question, Batter replied.

"Don't remember," Batter said.

"Magic, perhaps?"

"Maybe," Batter replied.

Zacharie knelt, and ran his finger over Batter's stomach. A long, jagged edge. Not made by teeth, that was for sure.

"The cut of a sword," Batter said.

Down his muscled thighs, over to his knees. His pants were in tattered, but the scars there were old and faded.

"A scraped knee," Batter said before Zacharie even asked. He was surprisingly patient with this game Zacharie had started.

Was that so? All he could imagine was some mysterious childhood Batter had locked away. Zacharie could just see it: a young child, not unlike Hugo, carrying a bat too large for him, a ball in his dirty hands.

He liked to imagine that Batter was happy at least at one point, before the drive for purity consumed him. Perhaps it was a lie, but Zacharie was always a bit fond of lies. They made for the best fiction, the best distilled script. The truth was just a harsh reality, a cold dark place of a journey that could only end in blood.

The bottle was empty, now. Zacharie considered. He could dig out more, prolong the game, but Batter was not a patient man. Instead, Zacharie dug his nails into Batter's inner thigh, hard enough to draw blood.

Batter flinched, but didn't speak. Zacharie drew back. Was it hard enough to leave a remainder? The bat was out of reach, for now, at least.

"So many other people left their mark on you, I wouldn't want to be the only one missing out," Zacharie said.

"I wouldn't attack you," Batter said evenly. "Not even for this."

"Oh, but of course. Item sellers are quite rare in these parts. You'd be in trouble if you tried to take me out and needed supplies," Zacharie said.

"No," Batter said.

Zacharie looked up, his questioning gaze hidden behind his mask. Batter didn't elaborate. Like everything else about him, the meaning was locked tight inside.

Zacharie pushed himself up. "Well, that ends this cutscene. Take care of yourself, Batter. The journey is almost to a close."

Batter nodded, and started out the door and down the path, towards whatever had brought him back to what was left of this zone. Batter's very own handiwork, a colorless land devoid of anything, except the so-called purity.

Purity that couldn't keep back he waves of specters which were only stronger and hungrier.

Maybe I left my mark on you after all. But we both know that isn't enough. The ending has already been written.

Hasn't it, Batter?