The Road Back Home
Pairing: Azriel /Aleeme
Warning: Angst, memories of rape/pelki
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Storm Constantine. I am just playing with the hara.
Summary: Can one ever go back home after a fall?
Author’s notes: The time is about 3 years after the rescue of Azriel and Aleeme from Fulminir.
The Road Back Home
“No, stop, leave him be, take me…. please…take me…leave him alone…I am Swift’s son, please leave him be, he is innocent…” Azriel cried out, he begged his captor for the release of his chesna. The chains straining against his wrists, biting into his already torn flesh, blood trickling anew down his forearms, to drip upon the filthy floor. A floor soaked with his own blood, urine, feces and vomit. For how long they were kept like this he did not know. Azriel had lost all track of time; for no windows were in this cell he was forced to live in, chained like an animal. The only light that ever shone was that which was brought with the open door, rarely for food or water, though frequent for pelki.
“Shut him up!” yelled Ponclast to his son, Diablo.
Diablo punched Azriel hard in his abdomen, to which he promptly vomited down the front of his already dirtied rag of a shirt.
“Hold his head up, I want him to watch,” sneered Ponclast with hate in his maddened eyes. “If he closes his eyes, cut his sweet chesnari.”
Diablo took out his knife, ready to blindly do his father’s bidding, even as his other hand yanked Azriel’s head up fiercely, so he would be forced to gaze upon the vile act before him. For the briefest of moments, Aleeme looked deeply into his consort’s eyes. ‘I am so sorry,’ spoke Azriel into his chesnari’s mind. Aleeme closed his eyes screaming out at the pain of his soume-lam being roughly penetrated by Ponclast’s ouana-lim. Tears fell unhindered down Azriel’s dirty face, streaking it clean with tears.
Azriel spoke once more into Aleeme’s mind, ‘ Leeme, please, just let him in, create a pearl, then you will have rest.’
A loud sob wracked forth from Aleeme as he let Ponclast invade his cauldron of creation, hot aren mixing with cooling yaloe to form a pearl. Ponclast grunted loudly with his release and pulled out slowly, savoring the moment. “Well done, Aleeme, I do believe you are learning. Take him back to his cell!” yelled Ponclast to Diablo, who immediately did as he was told, pulling Aleeme up by his hair. Aleeme cried out, he was weak and in much the same state that Azriel was in. Quickly, Aleeme found Azriel’s eyes once more, though the gaze was haunted now and Aleeme was gone, replaced by a blankness that made Azriel whimper. Desperately trying to contact his chesnari through mind touch, he was met with only blackness; Aleeme was gone. Azriel growled at the treatment to his consort, straining more at his bonds, to which Diablo laughed and in an instant they disappeared to wherever Aleeme was being held.
Azriel awoke with a start, sitting up in bed, his eyes wild as he tried to focus in the darkened room. His breathing was labored; his pulse racing and sweat soaked his hair and body. Next came the shaking, it was always the same after these nightmare’s reliving the time in Fulminir.
Aleeme felt the bed jerk, and then heard the heavy breaths, as he perceived the shaking. They shared the same bed since they were sent back to Forever “healed” in body. Though their minds weren’t anything near to what they were before their capture. Cobweb, Snake, Seel and Swift worked with them on a regular basis to heal their pain. Ulaume and Flick often traveled to Galhea to visit their son and aid in the healing anyway that they could. It was just beginning to show signs of working. Though the process was slow and often met with resistance. Ultimately, it was up to Azriel and Aleeme to help themselves.
Azriel hugged his knees to his chest and rocked back and forth, whimpering. “I am sorry, so sorry that I could not save you, I … I should have protected you. I failed.” Here his voice hitched even as he spoke from remembrance of the dream.
Aleeme turned to face his consort. Guardedly and ever slowly, he reached out his long slender hand and gently, with much hesitation, placed it on Azriel’s knee for contact. Azriel gasped and looked in wonder at the hand upon his knee, offering him comfort? He did not deserve comfort, he had failed to protect his consort, and he was a sad excuse for a Parsic. He told himself this over and over until he believed every word.
Putting his hand slowly over Aleeme’s, Azriel began to cry silent tears. Bringing his consort’s hand up to his lips, he pressed a kiss to the back of it. “F…forgive me,” whispered Azriel.
Aleeme fought the urge to pull his hand away, so strong was his desire to do so that he began to sweat, his breath coming quickly as he found the air to be too heavy to breathe. Pulling away he lay on his back, staring at the wall. Azriel immediately turned to his side, his hand grasped Aleeme’s shoulder and gently squeezed. “Speak to me ‘Lee, do not turn me away, I can no longer … bear it.”
“I hated you while we were captive. I hated that you were chained and did not save me.” Tears streamed down Aleeme’s face as he spoke, finally uttering the words that Azriel knew were true. Suddenly jumping out of the bed, Aleeme paced the room, his long dark hair fluttering in the breeze he created as he did so. “I hated you for…” here his voice broke and he sank to his knees, “watching my disgrace and doing nothing, for being shackled, for … telling me to become with pearl!” Aleeme pulled at his hair sinking to the floor.
Azriel was at his side in an instant, afraid to touch and yet dying to. “ ‘Lee… Leeme, if it were me and not you, I would have done so, …I tried…I b… begged him to use me and not you…he…just laughed and said this was worse… I was to be punished for the sins of my father.” Azriel tried to touch his consort’s hair to which Aleeme pounced and began pounding his fists against Azriel’s chest and face until he no longer had the strength to do so. Azriel welcomed the assault and did not fight back, deserving each and every blow, even as blood flew from his cut lips and nose.
“I was left to die,” screamed Aleeme, “I delivered that pearl…the pain…. it tore me in two! You left me to die! You didn’t save me…I couldn’t move…I begged for death…it never came…. It… never…came…” Aleeme then saw the blood on his hands and Azriel’s face, crying out in horror at what he just did, he clutched at his consort, laying his head against a too thin chest. “Azzie, forgive me for hating you.”
Arms reached out to cradle his chesnari, he held and rocked him, “Shhh…. it’s okay now…we are safe…we are safe.” Azriel kissed the top of raven hair. In the distance of his mind he registered the sound of the jingle of keys and of hurried footsteps, voices concerned with the scene of two scarred har in a tangle of arms and blood in the center of the floor.
Seel tried to rush to their side, but Cobweb held him back, “Let them be for now, they need to find comfort within each other.” Seel was reluctant but knew it to be true in his heart. Swift came behind Seel, his arms encircling him as they leant their strength to their children, for Aleeme was as dear to them as Azriel. Snake and Cobweb did much the same and soon the room was filled with the magic of those surrounding the two on the floor. A green glow of healing power gently encircled Azriel and Aleeme, lifting their hair in its wake and enveloping them with the love of their family. The healing had begun, and so did the journey back home.