Title: Midnight Sorrow
Date Posted: November 2004
Summary: A very short glimpse into the tortured heart of Vaysh. AU-ish.~
Disclaimer: Wraeththu and all characters, etc, associated with it belong to the wonderful Storm Constantine. I’m making no money off of this, and I don’t own anything, not even the pair of moldy, stinky socks Cal planted under Thiede’s bed.
Credits: Well, a huge thank you to Storm Constantine for creating the Wraeththu books and for being generous enough to allow her fans to play in her world.
Living in ice was easy. So simple, to be so frozen in the bright light of day. Too easy, really, to be haughty and aloof, pushing everything and everyone away. It was at night, when the darkness closed in and the secrets hidden by day were revealed, and not even the ethereal light of the moon could soften their jagged edge.
Vaysh clawed at his long, dyed red hair, raking trembling fingers through his tangled locks. The candles in his room had long burned out, leaving everything in darkness, including his tears. He’d been haunted by the dream demon that was forever snapping at his heels, whispering promises in the shadows of day of the torturous night to come. His past was a never-ending torment, an all-consuming black hole in his chest. Him and Ashmael, chesnari. Him dying in Ashmael’s arms. The Vaysh Ashmael had once held in his warm arms on cold nights, held him so close and Vaysh would lay his cheek on his chesnari’s chest, his heart beat luring him to sleep.
But all of that had been stolen, locked away in a precious chest in the very back of his mind. Living with Thiede, it had been easy to forget, to let himself freeze. Then had come Pell, who had chipped and chipped and chipped and eventually burned his way into Vaysh’s heart. Made him live in a never-ending hell of unfrozen memories.
Sometimes, in secret, quiet hours, he could hear the dull echoes of Ashmael’s heart. How he had burned when he first saw him, in Immanion, looking for the Tigron-to-be! Vaysh had nearly died all over again; his heart had stopped, breath caught in his throat and head pounding. Even now, every time he saw him, was in the same room as him, he wanted to either throw himself at the Gelaming general and cry, scream, and beat Ashmael until his soul ran out through his tears and he was no more, or kiss him so hard that his fire would consume them both, burn them to bitter ashes.
Vaysh gave a forced, dry laugh then covered his mouth with one hand, which curled into a claw, burgundy fingernails raking the soft, pale skin of his face. Ashes, ashes… he’d been burned inside until ashes were all that remained. Inside was damaged, no good; he’d never be able to sow or grow children. Never plant his seed inside another, never have a hard, round pearl inside him, pressing against his stomach.
He and Ashmael never spoke to each other, and avoided each other’s gaze when forced to be in the same quarters, yet Immanion’s angel had managed to thrust and twist another painful, double-edged dagger into his already mutilated, bleeding heart. The Incomparable Seel wasn’t the only one who found a warm, privileged bed in Galhea. Vaysh had seen the har, Swift’s hostling, here in Immanion once. He had been up, unable to sleep, leaning over his terrace, watching the moon, when he glimpsed them strolling down the street. Ashmael, with a moon-witch on his arm. That har had had one hand upon his belly, and the Gelaming had stopped, pulling the Varr close to him, kneading the flesh through the loose shirt, stopping and pressing, palm flat, then smiling at the har before sharing breath.
That har carried Ashmael’s pearl. Ashmael would have a baby, a little, mewling harling. Something Vaysh would never have, but wanted so, so much. During the day, it was so easy to forget, to be aloof and cold, focused on the tasks at hand, what must be done today, what Thiede needed, what Pell needed. Easy to shove thoughts of his past to the back of his mind. But during the day, there were constant reminders of the child he would never have.
The Tigrina was another source of pain for him. He wasn’t jealous of Caeru’s position at all, didn’t care much for him, didn’t care what Pell did to him. It was the harling that held his attention. Caeru’s harling. He’d see them, often, floating about the palace, though Caeru did his best to avoid the Tigron. The harling would laugh and play, and come running to Caeru, smiling when he did something he was proud of, wrapping his little arms around the hostling’s legs, snuggling against him when Caeru’s sadness brimmed over in his eyes. And the Tigrina would hold the royal harling close, burying his face in the soft hair, sighing deeply, and the sadness would ebb away again.
Add to that, Chrysm and several other high-ranking hara or their chesnaris seemed to be hosting. Harlings, harlings, talk of harlings, everywhere. And he would never have any, would never have anyone to hold him or be held by him. Alone, alone, he was always alone. Why couldn’t he go back to his tower of ice, when he’d been Thiede’s right hand, alone with his work, no other hara to bother him? He’d been content then, not happy, but alive and content. He hadn’t been truly happy in a long time; so long, he’d forgotten what it felt like.
But he could ease the pain, in Pell’s arms. They helped each other, bodies entwining in sorrow, to push the sadness, the haunting memories and feelings back into their hearts to be locked away and buried. Yet, Pell had a child, even though said harling wanted nothing to do with him, because of the way he treated Caeru. Tigron and Tigrina tried to hide their fractured relationship and quarrels from him, but Abrimel was a bright boy and, though he didn’t know the specifics of it, knew that something was wrong.
Vaysh rolled over, wishing to drown out his dreams. His hands now clutched his pillow, a few strands of red hair caught in between. Why must he forever live in pain?
The candles suddenly lit, seemingly of their own accord, and he felt another har’s presence in the room. His bed dipped, covers pulled off his body, and slim, elegant arms slipped around him. Fragrant, long black hair drifted over one of his shoulders, and a warm, soft mouth pressed against his chilled flesh.
With a hoarse little cry, he rolled over in Pell’s arms. In the instant before their mouths met, he saw tears sparkling in the Tigron’s depthless orbs, and a shallow, fresh cut on his cheek, either from Caeru, Abrimel, or nightmares of Cal. In the dim, intensely shadowed candle light, two bodies entwined, souls seeking release from sorrow’s ripping claws, their tears streaming together to form one small, hopeless prayer, an entreaty in the secret of the night.