You are viewing x_losfic

 
 
29 April 2014 @ 12:00 pm
DEATHLESS  
Title: DEATHLESS
Author: x_los
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Theta/Koschei
Summary: "The blood-soaked myth of him was there when the Golden Horde came, a relic of the Kievan Rus."

"Something with magic, sorcery or alchemy. Bonus if it's set in a historical setting!" (a tidied old b_e kink meme fill) (original here: http://best-enemies.livejournal.com/13938.html?thread=255858#t255858)
Beta: aralias

***

The blood-soaked myth of him was there when the Golden Horde came, a relic of the Kievan Rus. Buried in the blackest depths of the forest was a fortress unlike anything the people of the land had ever seen: a castle built of golden metal, tipped with iron-dark spires that twisted up and up, thrusting higher than the treetops. Those spires were giddy with embellishments, the metal curling and spiraling like something grown. The structure seemed almost obscenely alive. No one but the sorcerer comprehended the purpose of the place, or of its design--but everyone felt its power. Everyone but the sorcerer feared to even look at the castle too directly, or for too long. It was as if they feared that the sight alone of such strangeness could corrupt their eyes. The sorcerer found the peasants’ helpless, sourceless fear amusing. He found most things about these people amusing, in a pathetic sort of way.

It was a score of years before one of his own found him. The strange visitor stepped out of a box at the edge of the forest and then began to walk in, hoping not to disturb the sorcerer's guarding enchantments. He swung a heavy, spiral-twisting wooden walking stick as he went along. As he crossed the great, barren, snow-covered plane that the sorcerer had created by razing a thousand pines, so that he might observe anyone coming to his door, the visitor looked up at the small window at the top of the spire. There, distant but visible, was the sorcerer. He gazed down at the visitor with a cold, unreadable look that almost dared him to turn back now, to get in his enchanted box and go home. The visitor stared at him for a long time, and then trudged on through the thick-packed snow, which their kind almost did not feel the coldness of.

When he got to the great wooden doors, the visitor lifted his hand to knock. He was preempted: the doors drew open before him. The hall was full of servants who stared at the visitor. Their faces were bemused, even a little frightened—their master never received visitors. These were the master’s serfs, bound to his estate. They were in no poorer condition than their contemporaries, but compared to them this visitor was far too clean and well-kempt. Neither was he dressed for this, the dead of winter. He was strange to them, and thus could not be trusted. The man tried to smile at them. When their faces remained pinched and drawn, he drew a hand through his golden hair and ruffled it awkwardly.

The sorcerer swept in. He announced to the assembled, curious servants that dinner should be prepared for this man. One opened her mouth to ask who the man was. The sorcerer cut her off, anticipating her question, and told them that this was a Lord from a kingdom far away.

“Has this prince a name, Master?” his steward asked, cautious of his master’s temper. “Or are we simply to address him as your Lord?”

The sorcerer's mouth tightened. “Nothing of the kind. Call him Ivan, if you must call him something. Return to your labors, all of you.” The servants scattered like blown down, bustling away into all the corners of the house—any task was preferable to remaining in the presence of their master in one of his tempers.

The visitor remarked on the name he had been given with a small smile. “ ‘God is good,’ hm?” The expression was fleeting. He was a handsome man, with high cheekbones and gimlet-glinting, intelligent eyes. But the whole cast of his face was guarded, and wary as that of a trapped animal. He looked as though he had been frightened of something for a very, very long time.

“To some of us more than others,” the sorcerer granted. “Such an ordinary, pious name.”

“Rather out of character, don’t you agree?” The visitor raised an eyebrow.

“On the contrary,” the sorcerer shot back. “I think it suits you. I hope you aren’t expecting divine influence to smile on you today.” His voice grew sharper and colder than the bitter winter air. “I know what it is you’re looking for. I’m afraid she isn’t here.”

“No,” the visitor allowed, “no, I didn’t think she would be, for all that I followed the whispers of villagers.” The visitor gestured with his walking stick in the direction of the nearest clump of souls, a mir of rough houses huddled against the cruelty of December, passing stories and scraps of food to survive. “Yes, they seem to think you’ve kidnapped some charming little princess.”

“Oh I see,” the sorcerer scoffed. “I suppose I must have taken a child-bride.” He made an eloquent expression of disgust. “She never did take after me in appearance.”

“True, true.” The visitor shrugged. “I assume you’ve hidden her well away from here?”

“I have,” the sorcerer’s eyes narrowed. “She’s quite safe, and well provided-for—a princess, even. As you’ve heard.”

“I’m very glad to hear it.” The visitor stepped closer to the sorcerer. In the cold anteroom, the pale clouds of their breath commingled into one white, vital mass. “But I didn’t come only for her, you know.”

A little maid ran up to them carrying a tray bearing a loaf of black rye bread and a tiny glass bowl of salt. The sorcerer nodded at her and accepted it. “They insist on offering this to guests here,” the sorcerer said by way of explanation, dabbing the bread in the salt. “I’ve told them it isn’t necessary in my house, but they will keep their little customs.”

“The staff of life and the luxury of it.” The visitor smiled at him in a way that started as a trickle and burst open rapidly like the spring thaw, all power and life and light. “As a matter of fact, the body needs salt to sustain itself. What seems like a dispensable luxury actually proves impossible to live without.” The visitor chuckled quietly. “And who should want to live a life stripped of its pleasures, after all?”

The sorcerer returned the maid her tray. She promptly turned to carry it out but halted, arrested by the visitor’s voice.

“Your master and I have decided not to have dinner after all, girl.” The visitor watched the sorcerer as he spoke. “You may cancel your preparations, I think.” She nodded and left them alone in the hall.

Without using his hand, the visitor took the morsel of bread from the sorcerer’s fingers. He paused to slide his tongue across the sorcerer's knuckles, taking a step back and meeting his host’s eyes very deliberately.

His host swallowed visibly, and without a word turned and walked down a corridor. The visitor followed him, placing a hand on the sorcerer's thick fur coat as he followed him down the hall, and playing with the fur’s luxurious pile.

The sorcerer led the visitor into his bedchamber and locked the door with a heavy iron key. The visitor turned back to look at his host and found himself slammed down to the rugs that covered the floor in front of the lit hearth, with the sorcerer clawing at his inadequate covering, his silly little suit, as if it were made of crêpe paper. The visitor tried to sit up, but his host used his body weight to pin him to the floor. The master of the house clawed his hands around the visitor’s face, as if he were desperate to ascertain that it was really him and not some illusion wrought by his imagination. The sorcerer shoved their mouths together, as if they could seal out the cold, could create some hermetic bond that excluded everything in the world but them.

“Oh, Koschei,” the visitor gasped when his assailant allowed him to breathe, “I missed you, oh how I’ve needed you!”

“Shut up,” the sorcerer hissed. He shed his own clothing, fearless of the cold. “As if I haven’t ached? As though my body hasn’t wanted you? As though my mind hasn’t screamed for yours? You dare to tell me you’ve missed me? As though you weren’t the one who told me to go and never to return? As though you aren’t just here to collect her and leave once more?”

“I didn’t know,” the guest babbled. Koschei touched him like he wished his hands could burn some mark of his possession everywhere they landed, rid his guest of his clothing as though the fabric had offended him, and pressed the visitor into the bearskin rug with the length of his body. “My dear, dear man,” the visitor protested, “I had no idea how much—how difficult—”

“You should have known,” Koschei pronounced viciously, grabbing the other man’s cock in his hand and squeezing so hard that his lover whimpered. “How could you possibly have failed to understand? Idiot.”

Intent on hurting him, Koschei took a knee in each hand and wedged apart those pale thighs. He shoved himself in, needing not to pause for preparation, willing to hurt himself in hurting the other—only to discover he’d been anticipated.

“Theta,” Koschei asked, voice calm, almost off-hand, “did you prepare yourself ready before you arrived?”

Theta brought a hand to Koschei’s face. “I know you,” he said, as if that were explanation enough.

“So then.” Koschei held still, as if deciding whether to be fondly amused or furious. “You slicked up some toy, and worked yourself open—enough that I wouldn’t leave you bleeding, at any rate. You don’t think you owe me even a little pain. You were that confident I’d have you.”

“I knew you’d be angry, certainly.” Theta’s voice was level, controlled. “How could you fail to be? But I couldn’t be sure you’d even—” he took a breath, and stroked Koschei’s arm before continuing. “I wanted you to, my dear. Enough that I prepared for the possibility. I took nothing for granted, no. It was an act of hope.”

Koschei considered him, his expression steely. “In part I quite like it. My own Theta, preparing himself for our reunion. Ready for my personal use. Thinking about me in him again, squirming on some device until he’s half-hard and gasping. Just praying that in an hour it will be me. That I’ll fuck him hard enough to merit such caution—cock twitching at the prospect that I’ll make him sorry.” He trailed a hand down from Theta’s chin to his responsive cock, then back up to toy with a tight, dark nipple.

“But you shouldn’t have done it. Because that is mine.” Theta’s body, the right to have him, the privilege of bringing him pleasure or punishing pain--Koschei meant it in every way he could think of. He shoved Theta down by the shoulders and pounded into him as hard as he could, with all the strength in his trembling, tight-wound, angular body. “Not the province of some little toy, not even of your own fingers. Nothing touches you but me, nothing in you ever but me.” He grabbed Theta’s chin hard. “Do you understand that?”

“Koschei, god, yes—”

“Open for me,” he commanded, but with a desperate intensity that turned commanding into begging. Theta’s mind unfurled, like the press of a blooming flower as it folds back the protective green shield that enclosed it as a bud. Koschei swallowed and touched it with his own mind, almost reverently. He knew of nothing more beautiful.

“I’m sorry,” Theta whispered. His mind turned blue with the truth of it, and bruise-purple where he felt regret, and was laced over with gold where there was love. And there was. There were such vast stores of love in Theta, and Koschei knew they were for him because as he walked through Theta’s mind they gathered themselves to him: great gilded cords flocking around him, rushing over him, coiling around him like contented cats who were eager to welcome him back. He stopped striding purposefully into the center of Theta’s mind when they wrapped around him. He forgot his quest to expose every thought Theta had had in his absence, to know them as his own. He forgot all suspicion. He closed his eyes and let the cords touch him, let them pry his own mind open. He wanted to cry when they soothed his struggling, wary mind, and bound them together. Theta’s thoughts gentled the vicious, twining thorn-vines of his own adoration and wove into them, making Koschei whole as he’d not been in decades.

His body fucked into Theta’s with a hunger that wouldn’t be slaked. Theta came screaming and then came whimpering, and still Koschei’s erection was hard and red and unabated, still he wasn’t satisfied.

“Tell me,” Koschei begged into Theta’s neck.

“I love you.” Theta’s eyes were dazed with lust and pain. “I love you, I love you, I’m sorry. So sorry. For everything I’ve done to you, for everything else.”

Koschei came at last with a dying man's gasp. He pulled out, struggling to his knees, and stood shakily. He gathered Theta in his arms and together they stumbled to the bed. Koschei slid into Theta again, not heeding the small gasp of pain Theta gave. He was determined to sleep properly for the first time in years—in Theta, safe, home.

“Are you—” Koschei began, then chuckled a little at himself. “Well. Of course you’ll be staying. I apologize for questioning you.” He tenderly pushed a hand through Theta’s hair, appreciating how ravaged his lover looked and already planning a gentler reunion for the morning.

“Mm,” Theta murmured, almost asleep. “And where is she then, my dear? I never could work it out.”

“No,” Koschei chuckled, “you couldn’t possibly have. She’s in my TARDIS, which is disguised as an iron chest and buried under a green oak tree, on the island of Buyan. That is within the ocean, naturally.”

“Oh, naturally.” Theta yawned. “How very clever you are. Those peasants did tell me you’d hidden your soul.”

Koschei snickered. “They said I had a soul?”

Theta smiled, but there was something thin about it. Koschei pretended not to notice. It would take time for everything to return to how it should be. He knew it would take time--he was in love, not stupid. He ran a possessive hand down Theta’s chest, and over the width of it. Koschei felt both of Theta’s hearts beating. Theta breathed, and Koschei’s hand moved up and down with the motion. Perfect. That was just perfect.

After a long moment, Theta spoke. “What I still can’t work out is what you were doing here. Hm?”

Koschei took time to frame a response. When he found one it was short, and gave as little information as he could part with while still being truthful. “I was hiding her from you.”

It wouldn’t do for Theta to discover plans he couldn’t agree with. Those plans could be easily disposed of, now that his husband had returned to him. Theta was far more important than his nascent schemes. Perhaps later they could discuss their next actions. Theta would no doubt be more sympathetic to Koschei’s way of thinking, now that he had realized and had had ample time to regret his initial mistake.

“Hiding on earth?” Theta scoffed. “Nonsense! You wanted to be discovered.”

“And if I did?” Koschei asked quietly. “It took you long enough to manage it. Twenty years, Theta.”

“Spacetime is vast, my love,” Theta said, and it sounded almost like an apology. “And I had no notion that you’d come here. No, I thought this was surely the last place you’d go.”

“You didn’t believe I’d want you to find me.” Koschei deduced, smiling sadly. “You should have known better than that.”

*

Half a world away, not terribly long after Koschei fell asleep, Theta unearthed and opened an iron chest, wherein he found an egg. With all the care of a father, he cracked it open without jostling the needle inside. One long, single, silky blonde hair, the exact shade of his own, protruded from the needle’s eye. Carefully, gently, Theta wound the hair around his finger and tugged. Impossibly, a whole lock of hair spilled out of the tiny eye. Then a rich, silky mass of curls. Then a finger pushed through, and then a girl’s fair hand. Eventually the silver circle of the eye expanded like a lining around the body of a young woman, who jerked awake when Theta pulled her free. She blinked her wide blue eyes open, confused, and looked up with a gasp.

“Father!” She threw her arms around Theta’s neck and let him kiss her blonde hair, let him rub her thin, trembling back as she sobbed. “He didn’t think you’d come!” she gulped through her thick tears. “He said you’d never come. But I could tell he still believed you would. Oh father, I knew you loved us! Are you—oh, of course you’re here to stay! It’s not so bad here, really, not once you become accustomed to it—”

Theta swallowed. “I do love you, my child. My darling girl. But come, we must leave, now! There are things you don’t know. It isn’t safe here. We’ve tarried too long already. Before he wakes up, before he figures out what I’ve done, we have to—” Theta dragged his daughter, confused and protesting, onto his TARDIS.

*

In the morning Koschei woke and was alarmed not to find Theta in his arms. He calmed when he rolled over and found Theta standing at the window in an open dressing gown—one of his own—surveying the snow-brushed pines. His new dominion. Their new life here, together. Koschei looked at him and was satisfied. He drifted back to sleep and woke several hours later, only to find Theta still standing in the same position.

“Come back to bed,” Koschei yawned, blinking his eyes muzzily. “You can show me how much you missed me properly.”

Theta turned towards him, and Koschei knew something was wrong. He passed a hand over where Theta had lain. “Why is the bed so cold?” he asked. “As cold as if you left just an hour after we—but you couldn’t have. You’ve been here. I’ve seen you here.” Koschei looked up, and found that Theta looked flat. Looked wrong.

“I’m sorry, Koschei,” the magic double said, and slid away into nothing. A psychic projection, Koschei realized, made from his own mind—undoubtedly planted by Theta last night, when they were linked. He scrambled for clothes, and for the vortex manipulator that connected back to his TARDIS. He was too late by hours. Theta had gone, taking their daughter back to Gallifrey with him. Koschei, exiled for his crimes, didn’t dare enter his native star system, much less cross the threshold of his former home.

Resting an unnaturally still hand on the lintel of his TARDIS, Koschei stared out at the sea. So Theta thought he was unworthy of him. Not fit to see their child. Theta found him easy to deceive and impossible to love. (Either his mind itself had lied, or Theta did love him, but nothing like enough. Did it matter which?) Theta thought him a monster.

Koschei eyes glinted with a hate purer than anything he’d ever felt in his life, and in the back of his mind, bright, hard plans creaked again into motion, moving surer and faster and far, far less tentatively now that there was absolutely nothing left to lose. Well. He would give Theta a monster.



 
 
 
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Les divagations de Neljaflo_nelja on April 29th, 2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
Oh yaaaaay for crossover with Russian mythology! I love this, and how we don't know what "she" is for the longest time.

“No,” Koschei chuckled, “you couldn’t possibly have. She’s in my TARDIS, which is disguised as an iron chest and buried under a green oak tree, on the island of Buyan. That is within the ocean, naturally.”

“Oh, naturally.” Theta yawned. “How very clever you are. Those peasants did tell me you’d hidden your soul.”

Koschei snickered. “They said I had a soul?”


I loved this part!
x_losficx_losfic on April 30th, 2014 10:47 am (UTC)
I love Russian mythology. "The moral is that friends are forever, you can always have more children!"<--wtf Russia. You so crazy. I had this beautiful book of goddesses from everywhere as a child and the Zorya were bangin'.

Thanks for your comment!
x_losficx_losfic on April 30th, 2014 10:50 am (UTC)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )