Fandom: Damned/Xenosaga. (Five Months After storyline.)
Warnings: "Love is love, but incest is best."--Um. Yeah. Not really that, but. Yes. Warning. =D;;
Word Count: ...2735.
Notes: Follow up of this. Motivations aren't quite what they seem.
Things had sped up since then. Everything seemed to have accentuated. There was still the daily toil, still the night time exploration, still the monstrous horrors that awaited him every time he turned his back. There were ordinary, mundane at this point, and were getting tiresome. The only thing truly progressing, it seemed, was the amounts of time Albedo would attack him.
Nigredo came out on top more often than naught but no one would have believed it. He would limp the next day, cut under his eye and a bruise on his arm, and if he had chose to point out the blemishless ever-smirking albino as the one he had bested, laughter would have been their response. Nigredo had long since given up on finding the point in their skirmishes. His brother would become upset for reasons unknown and sometimes guessed at, and Nigredo accepted this fact as calmly as he could--that he would be the source of relief for Albedo’s rage and pain.
He had fought this, at first; tried avoidance and discussion, but it had turned out far easier to placate his sibling with fists and knees than anything else. There were two things Albedo had seemed to seek from him--a fight or a reaction, and Nigredo refused to touch on the other.
Of course, that had changed recently, and Albedo had added another addition to what he demanded of his brother. The middle Variant seemed to be more shocked by this than the younger boy, and if a repeat attempt happened, Nigredo was sure to be left alone for a day, which was more than he could say normally.
This day, Albedo had left him be; neither looked at him or assaulted him along the link, and as the dinner shift waned, Nigredo sat patiently on the edge of his bed. Pattern dictated Albedo would seek him out tonight, and there was no use hiding from this. Like was previously stated--Nigredo had learned.
There was a lapse in time, a familiar voice over the intercom, then the empty click of the doors unlocking. Was there a time that sound had offered hope? Somehow their brief freedoms when they hacked their rooms at the prior Institute seemed sweeter.
Time was lost again, and now, even the most patient of the Variants shifted, fidgeted. Was this a new game? Albedo knew where he was, had even jumped him the last time he had crept from his room. So the quiet hall outside and quieter link seemed all too unnerving. The boy briefly entertained calling out to his other brother then, spend the night with Rubedo, but Rubedo was too much like Junior now--the alternate persona adopted here--and was probably on a mission for his club. There was something sad, Nigredo thought, in one brother being a familiar threat and another like a friendly stranger, when at one time they were as close as could be. (Were they? Had they been? It was hard to remember that now.)
This thought echoing, Nigredo left his room, mind open to any shuffling on the link. The halls were quiet, and the Variant had a moment of inadequacy in realizing that he hadn’t planned for this night. He should have devised something to occupy himself, even if Nigredo had seen, after five months, the futility of it. The boy soundlessly sighed, then went to step into the main hall. From here, he could--
The black-haired boy was yanked backwards into the smaller hall, a tearing along the link gave the beginnings of a headache to form. A voice, behind him; sarcasm barely hiding the frustration. “Of course, that wouldn’t work. Oh well.” Then something slipped over Nigredo’s head, around Nigredo’s neck, and suddenly he couldn’t breathe. Well, the Variant thought, black trimming his consciousness. He had turned out to be right after all.
Nigredo came to to voices.
“What the--What the hell is this?” came the irritated voice, then a slamming sound.
A softer voice, fading. “Now, now, Haseo. It seems we can’t go this way tonight…”
In Nigredo’s dull and dim surroundings, the boy could find the familiarity of the janitor’s closet. The door--presumably where the slamming had originated from--was blocked and jammed by an impressive amount of items collected from the shelves and floor of the closet itself. And crouched in front of it all, eyes shining ultraviolet in the shadows, was Nigredo’s older brother. A body of something small and mangled lay close by--Whatever guarded the closet had lost tonight. Nigredo shifted to move and found his arms restrained behind his back, wrists tied with what was probably an extension cord. A sour look briefly crossed Nigredo’s face before he settled back into his carefully neutral expression. Albedo had turned to face him with a wide smile.
Usually Nigredo would stay silent, but he was tied up in a closet. “I’m assuming you have a reason for this,” the boy stated flatly. “Why don’t we bypass the game and you just tell me?”
The albino, after the slightest twitch of annoyance, seemed content to play Nigredo’s role and remain silent. Nigredo stared at him. His wrists ached.
“You strangled me.”
Albedo tsked. “Smothered you.” He motioned to a pillowcase nearby. Nigredo stared incredulously. Albedo merely frowned with an exaggerated air. “There’s a difference.”
“Not really,” Nigredo muttered, turned his head to the side. Every other part of Albedo’s games Nigredo could try to handle, but this was too much. He was tied up. He tried not to think of all of the possibilities it left for the other. As if reading Nigredo’s mind, Albedo smiled again.
"Unlikely," the answer shot forth, even as Nigredo knew that he was feedings the flames. To that extent, Nigredo dropped into silence; closing his eyes. He would endure this. The night would end. And then he'd be alone for awhile. There was that spot in the sun room that had a nice--
There was a hand at his side. Nigredo hadn't heard him move. The boy's eyes snapped open, fixing on the child at his side. Albedo was kneeling next to him, an arm around his torso, and his mouth near Nigredo ear. Nigredo couldn't see his eyes from this position. The shadows fell across them. For some reason, this was unsettling. The boy tried to shift and the arm tightened against him. "No, no, Nigredo," the voice was low when it came. "You're tied for a reason."
The lips at Nigredo's neck were not a surprise at this point; the motion well-practiced by now, and lacked the hesitance of the first time. Unlike the other aspects of Albedo, this action was soft, uninterrupted by harsher forms of his special brand of affection. The other boy continued his ministrations, patiently and focused like he was never during the day, and perhaps in this, Albedo was a monster as well, like he'd been saying all along....
Despite his efforts, Nigredo relaxed, his body leaning into the light touches that had became familiar over the past month. He felt the boy smile against his neck, then Albedo's hands moved. Nigredo started as something sharp and cold brushed his stomach and then it pushed opposite, tearing through the cloth there. A few moments, and the material fell to either side, the gardening shears placed to the side. And where had those...?
Before Nigredo could regain his bland neutrality, Albedo had shifted back to his neck, finding the spots that had become well-known. His hands were not still for once, and after hesitating briefly, slid across Nigredo's stomach. The fingers skittered across, tracing outlines in an ever-changing pattern across Nigredo's flesh. Even as used to these attentions as Nigredo was becoming, this was too much. The boy squirmed away, strained against the cord around his wrists. "Albedo--"
His brother's name was swallowed as Albedo's mouth enveloped his. Like everything else, this, too, had progressed within the month. There was almost a delicacy to it, rushed as it was. Nigredo didn't stop to consider whether he enjoyed it or not. Whether he should. It was still too much. He bit down hard on Albedo's lip, hoping to make the boy draw away. It worked halfway. Albedo head moved down, eyes iridescent once more, grinning as a trail of blood dripped down. Something like fear touched Nigredo before dissipating. This was another thing Nigredo had learned. If Albedo wanted him dead, he would have been. He wasn't naive enough to say he was alive for familial affection--more than likely, Nigredo was a fun toy, and Albedo didn't want it disappearing any time soon. Or maybe....
It was possible Nigredo had become a stable point for Albedo without realizing. This was, perhaps, more unsettling than being tied in a broom closet. Unsettling. Yes. Not something that caused a dart of warmth to slide up Nigredo's spine and settle comfortably in his chest. No, that wasn't because of that. It--
Again, his thoughts were cut off as something warm and moist touched the bare skin of his chest. Nigredo glanced down in a kind of horror, shock finding him as he watched Albedo's small tongue trail lines and designs on his skin. Something about that felt... nice, and because of that Nigredo wanted to fight it any way possible. He struggled again, hoping to feel the knots loosening. "Albedo, what are you--"
It seemed the middle Variant wanted no completed sentences from his little brother. Albedo bit down on the loose skin he found, provoking a yelp instead of a finished sentence. It was sharp and small, but nothing hard enough to tear flesh like Albedo had done in a previous fight. It was almost.... Nigredo shook his head, struggling with more effort. "Albedo! Stop it!" We're brothers, the Variant wanted to say, but even that seemed too limiting for what they were. They were URTVs. Variants. They weren't really even brothers. They were just copies, enhanced and changed. They were just what they were. And they were supposed to....
Had they ever done exactly what they were supposed to? Rubedo wasn't supposed to run away, and Albedo wasn't supposed to turn on them. Nigredo... Nigredo wasn't supposed to reject his mission, gun down his maker, and never say a word, but all those things had happened. And in the midst of it, Nigredo knew. They would keep doing things they weren't supposed to do. Like here. They would keep surviving. They were weapons. Soldiers. And they would live through this. Even if parts of them were dying.
It wasn't as if Nigredo didn't see the causes for Albedo's change. It was obvious the first time in the courtyard--Nigredo had been waiting for it. Waiting for something to shift within the emotional Variant as Albedo realized that Rubedo would never give him what he needed. Attention. Time. Affection. Rubedo had a life, in a way, and maybe Albedo never would have realized if he hadn't came here--That he would never be loved as much as he needed.
And so, Nigredo knew Albedo would come to him, though the way he did was both a surprise and something awaited, somehow. And then it had continued, like a new torture, like something horrible each time. Like something that Nigredo didn't look forward to. Because he didn't. And if he did, then... He didn't understand why. He didn't understand his reactions, or Albedo's need to come to him continuously. And even through that, Nigredo knew that something inside of him, something small and sick maybe, enjoyed this, because sometimes he could pretend he was cherished.
But this was completely different from that. This wasn't soft kisses or light touches on skin, or even rough desperation in the way Albedo would force his mouth on Nigredo's. This was a new area, a new arena, and Nigredo didn't know what would come of it. This was... No. Not exciting. The gardening shears and Albedo's teeth were far too close for any kind of comfort.
Albedo's head rested on Nigredo's chest, the boy's soft breath on his bare skin making Nigredo twitch. Albedo's fingers slowly moved to either side of Nigredo, and splayed outward, lightly grasping as much as he could. He murmured something. Without thinking, Nigredo asked, "What?"
The voice was soft and audible. "You asked me to stop."
Nigredo was wide-eyed at this. That was what it took in this game? Was that the reason for Albedo's interruptions? So Nigredo wouldn't deny him? He couldn't know. The middle Variant was shaking now, and Nigredo couldn't know if the moisture that he felt was from tears or from Albedo's tongue had left. Nigredo shifted uncomfortably, testing the still-knotted cords. "Albedo..." And Nigredo didn't know what to say. He wished that morning would appear suddenly and the only proof of this the raw skin on his wrists.
Something soft on his stomach made him jump, and again, he watched, wriggling and half-scared for a reason unknown, as Albedo slowly moved across his form with the same light kisses that he sometimes bestowed. Nigredo tried to twist away, mouth opening in a gasp. What was--
The attentions continued upwards, and Nigredo refused to stay still for this--whether by choice or by consequence. Eventually Albedo's lips found Nigredo's neck, and again smiled against his skin. "Things that are rough make you react." His voice sounded proud, like a child getting a good grade, instead of something more appropriate to the situation. Appropriate? Was there something? "But you like..." His mouth moved over Nigredo's neck, feather-light. He shivered. "Things that are soft."
Nigredo tried to clear his head. They were not discussing... "We're not having this conversation." There seemed to be more lucidity than actions, unlike the previous nights. Nigredo tried a protest, voice calm and cool, despite the shivers still sliding through his body. "Stop doing this."
Albedo's form froze, and Nigredo felt his eyelashes blinking rapidly against his neck. There was a cloud forming on the link, a coming storm, and Nigredo tensed. A fight while tied would not end well. Albedo slid away from Nigredo, a hand trailing from his back with the cord in it. Nigredo hadn't noticed. The other boy slunk into his corner, knees pulled up to his chin. Nigredo swallowed suddenly, feeling like he had done something wrong. His eyes moved to the door, still blocked as it would likely be until morning. Something nervous came over him. "What...?"
Albedo head tilted up to show hurt and angry eyes. The part of Nigredo that was rubbing his wrists found it amusing that Albedo had the victim role now. "I was testing something," Albedo shot out. Quieter, "I was trying something." There was a pause, full between them. "I was wrong."
The statement was final and absolute, and something crumbled in Nigredo. He wasn't sure what it was, perhaps the part of him that wanted to deny what Albedo was saying, but he wouldn't know what he was denying. Test? Try? Cautiously, he ventured, "What were you trying?"
There was a moment where Nigredo thought he wouldn't get a response, but it came, defensive and hurt. "Whether or not you...."
And Nigredo thought he understood in that moment. Testing Nigredo's reactions, to see if he would react to Albedo and what he was doing. If he was... enjoying it. And Nigredo had rejected him without knowing. Would he still have? Nigredo's brow furrowed, unsure. Why was he considering this? He sighed, shaking his head. The ties? Both to keep Nigredo there and to give Albedo the upper hand. Possibly a comfort thing. Nigredo brushed a hand against his eyes, pulling his shirt closed with the other. He was too tired for this. He needed sleep.
Something shifted in the air, a changing of night to day, and Nigredo sighed in relief as he found himself in his bed. He would still have to deal with the repercussions of that, but it was over, and he could possibly escape Albedo's attention for awhile. Only a little bit, because Nigredo had learned....
Some part of his memory shifted together as he stood from his bed, eyes staring downwards at his wrists. Something yet unrealized. Albedo had finished talking as the night had ended, the words fading as the sun started shining. Half standing, Nigredo remained frozen, mind working over the syllables fruitlessly. He didn't understand. He didn't understand at all.
"Whether or not you could love me."