A/N: And so begins the third story in my series. The first is 'Eadoin' and the second is 'Fallen.' Both can be found under my bio but are not strictly necessary to the understanding of this plot. However, if you want to then feel free to read them first!
Author: Edana [email protected]
Rating: PG-13 (for violence, possibly strong, non-explicit sexual situations in later chapters)
Summary: Kai is haunted by the obsessive love of a fallen angel that won't let him go in any lifetime. Betrayed, his only hope is to stop the gate of the abyss being opened before he succumbs to his dark dreams.
Disclaimer: All owned by me ^^
Warnings: Shounen ai, yaoi, male/male relationships etc
Chapter One – Mortal Blood
Two years ago the world almost ended. Did you know that?
The words, the very thought and all the strange destructiveness that it stood for, sat heavy on Kai's tongue, weighing it down until he almost choked on the unspoken truth. Everything else faded away but the knowledge that gripped and twisted inside, separating him from the ignorance that settled over them like a suffocating shroud. He was different because he knew how close the world had come to ending – he had heard the shouts and screams of horror as clearly as anyone else had as the earth ripped apart beneath them, exposing its very depths. He had seen it all, just like them: only they, unlike him, had forgotten.
Two years ago the world had almost ended. The memory still haunted him.
The buzzing of voices, shuffling movements – the lecture was over and all around him students gathered their notes together and stood to leave, unaware of his detachment from reality, not seeing his glazed green eyes and unmoving body. They left together, talking and laughing, and only one person hesitated, his heart leaping into his throat as he saw that Kai was making no move to leave. He didn't know what to do; too many feelings were rushing around inside of him and all of them were electric, hot, completely engulfing and somewhat painful. This was what he had wanted for so long: some kind of excuse. It was also what he feared the most.
Olin swallowed hard and gripped the strap of his bag over his shoulder until his fingers were numb, tried to make his legs cooperate despite the internal screaming that he couldn't seem to quieten. Someone brushed past him but his eyes were glued to the solitary figure and he couldn't hear the mumbled apology over the rush of his own blood in his ears. And then suddenly the adrenaline exploded and he was moving, regretting it already but unable to stop, not now.
"Hey, are you . . . are you all right?" The soft voice broke through his reverie and, blinking dazedly, Kai looked up slowly, realised that someone was standing before him with a concerned and somewhat hesitant look on his face. He recognised the messy, dark hair, the strange black-purple highlights, the large black-rimmed eyes that seemed to be forever questioning, and that familiar youthful, boyish face. For a moment his heart skipped a beat as he sat in the shadow of the stranger, looking up at him as though begging for some kind of unnamed and unexplainable salvation, and there was understanding between them. But as soon as they came the thoughts passed and Kai swallowed hard as reality came slamming back. He couldn't even put a name to the face.
"Yeah," he said, smiling sadly, reassuringly. "I'm fine. Thanks."
In his mind he could still hear the screaming.
"I know," the other breathed, and then realisation dawned and he bit his bottom lip hard in embarrassment, eyes lowered, turning away. "I mean . . . I . . . I'm Olin."
There was a strange something between them that wasn't acceptance but wasn't exactly unease either, and it wrapped around an unnameable feeling inside of Kai and tugged so hard it was almost painful. All he could do was smile again and hope that it meant something, but the change was so sudden that Kai had no time to react. "Thanks," he said, but as the word left his lips Olin's cheeks suddenly turned flame red and he lowered his eyes, muttered something under his breath and then turned, jogging away quickly and leaving Kai in a state of complete confusion as he was unexplainably abandoned. "Okay then," he breathed, his heart racing as the boy's figure disappeared through the door, like stepping into a different world. He was definitely missing something here.
Outside the hall Olin cursed quietly but couldn't make himself go back.
Only a moment later the lecture hall was completely empty except for Kai, and a strange stillness descended. Slowly he turned and looked out of the large window, the glass dampened by rain and his mind lost in a swirl of thought and colour. Outside the sky was darkening, pale blues fading into bruised purples, a vague hint of rose pink burning furiously behind the tall buildings that smothered the view. He hadn't realised that it was so late, and then he found himself staring through the window until everything else was forgotten and he was drawn into a strange near-comatose state of existence where the colours burnt inside and the heavy pain seemed to make a little more sense.
Sitting alone in the empty hall, Kai was a silent figure in the stillness; tall and slim, legs crossed at the ankle, silhouetted before the window and the dying light, and all he could bring himself to do was to reach out and brush his fingers against the glass and feel its coldness against his skin. Dressed in an old pair of navy jeans and a thin black sweater that was a little too large for him, hanging loosely from his frame, Kai appeared like some kind of otherworldly creature as the pale light trickled over his dark form and pale features.
But there was nothing different about Kai Ashen. At least, he hoped there wasn't. At nineteen years old he attended a part-time college course and worked at whatever place would take him, talked to whoever seemed friendly enough, went to the places he felt like going to. He was likeable and accepting, hardworking, and maybe a little too quiet, not that he minded all that much.
Perhaps the most striking thing about Kai was the way he looked: his sweet smile and intense green eyes, the dark swirl of jade beneath long blonde lashes. He was a figure of gold light, bathed in the pale colourlessness, light skin and fair hair that fell across his eyes and curled slightly at the base of his neck, a warm blonde that touched on the lightest shade of honey. Now the shadows were slipping over his figure and . . .
He jerked suddenly, violently; jade eyes wide in shock as his body was pulled back almost physically from the window and he half fell in confusion, fingers gripping the desk until his knuckles turned white but still the adrenaline was rushing through him and harsh breaths escaped his lips in ragged pants. Kai drew himself back onto the chair, towards the window and the colour behind the glass and tried to slow the desperate pounding of his heart against his ribs. "What the hell?" he murmured, because for a moment it had felt like the floor had given way beneath him, that his stomach had leapt into his throat, that he had been falling, falling with nothing to stop him, nothing but air around him . . .
Heart racing. Maybe he was coming down with something. His forehead did feel a little warm and it would be him of all people who managed to catch the flu in summer. "God, I'm going mad," he muttered under his breath, shaking his head in confused resignation. He wanted to leave, to get home as soon as possible so that he could bury himself in his bed and emerge again when this strange, dizzy feeling died away, when the confusion was less painful. So he quickly packed up his books and slung his bag over his shoulder, leaving as fast as he could without running.
The self-deceptive lies were slowly becoming unravelled.
Kai let himself remember, because there was something different about him that he sometimes, very rarely, admitted. He was the only person he knew who had any recollection of that night when everything he had ever believed in had come apart at the seams. Sitting in his bedroom and then the earthquake had hit, great rolling waves of movement that tore into buildings and crushed them into rubble, cars folding like tinfoil, and hearing the deafening sound of soil and earth and rock rumbling and cracking apart beneath him. And worse was the noise of human screaming, his family's terrified wails, the very sound of panic and terror ringing in his ears and the sheer darkness that had exploded across the sky before he had . . . before . . .
He was the only person who had seen into Hell itself, deep down into Hell, and laid eyes on the burning creature trapped within it.
And he had never felt so powerless, so terrified and so completely exhilarated, as though everything in his life was starting to make sense; some part of the puzzle had been found, despite being unaware it was ever missing. But Kai never understood why it made some kind of sense to him, as though he had been expecting it. As though he had known all along.
Everything in his life had been normal up until that night. He'd had a happy childhood growing up with his parents and his little sister Elisabet, never wanting for anything, never questioning the strange looks that his sister or cousin sometimes gave him, as though they could see right through him and knew some kind of twisted truth. He shivered at the thought, but nothing, not their stares or even his grandmother's senile ramblings, could have prepared him.
Pushing the memories down, deep down into the small recess of his mind that they belonged in, and Kai quickly realised that it was raining. The dark sky rumbled as though it was suffering, groaning in pain, and then it cracked apart and small drops of water began to chill the air and splatter against everything. He sighed and buried his hands deep in his pockets as the rain grew more intense, smashing into him almost violently and peppering his pale blonde hair and black sweater with clear-crystal beads of water. They clung to his eyelashes and he blinked them away and for a moment he realised just how much he hated the rain. It reminded him of something nameless but dreadfully painful, bittersweet feelings rising and crashing inside of him like waves.
He didn't have an umbrella so he lowered his head and ran. Only a moment later he was completely soaked to the bone, damp material stuck to his skin, trying to catch his breath and calm his racing heart. The darkness was soaking into the air like paint and then, abruptly, something unbelievably desperate was burning in the pit of his stomach. The feeling came so suddenly that Kai was barely able to breathe as it hit, smashing into chest and stomach and tightening every muscle and bone and sinew inside of him; a strange tingling deep down inside had exploded and now his head was rushing and his mouth was dry and Kai looked up quickly as the overwhelming, primitive need to escape was raging inside of him. His bag slipped to the ground from his shoulder, instantly soaked as it splashed into a puddle by his feet and the engulfing panic was creeping inside and twisting and . . . warning. It was deep down, primal and hot and it was warning.
Someone was following him.
Inside the sheer panic was fighting the rising anger, but neither of them seemed to be winning; instead they exploded and it was a hot rush of emotion that burnt in his veins and both nauseated and fuelled him. Kai turned, green eyes narrowed, hands forming fists as he peered into the darkness but all he saw were flickering shadows. "Who's there?" he cried, rainwater blurring his vision. "Who's there?"
Nothing, not a sound but for the pounding of rain against concrete, and Kai realised that his breaths were too shallow and some strange feeling was clawing at his throat as if it was alive, slowly suffocating him. He felt like he was being watched and the knowledge was eerie and more than a little unsettling, twisting him inside as the rain poured all the harder and drowned out everything. "Hello?" he cried above the noise, and then, uncertainly, remembering the strange boy and how they had parted, "Olin? Is that you?"
Still nothing. The street was empty, dark and saturated and now the lights of the lampposts were starting to flicker on and illuminate the shadows. Completely drenched, wet hair in his eyes, heart racing, Kai turned and started to run but only a step later he stopped, wide-eyed, adrenaline fizzling in his veins.
There was a person standing before him in the silence.
The panic inside of Kai was undeniable, and like a frightened animal he froze in his tracks, unmoving, unspeaking, hands clenching, and all he could do was absorb the sight before him with unblinking eyes. The figure was a man, perhaps slightly older than him, though something about him seemed much older, almost ancient. It was an absurd thought but Kai couldn't push it away as he swallowed down the beige slacks and black shirt, amber and yellow topaz beads against pale skin, the gold-peach hair that fell across eyes much sharper than he had ever seen before; all-knowing, all-seeing, and there was something unsettling about them. Mouth set in a straight line, and Kai's mortal mind suddenly realised that the man was glowing dimly in the pale light, that his body was like solidified light, that the rain barely seemed to touch him as though reverential of the glow.
In reality only a second had passed, but Kai was achingly aware that suddenly everything normal in his life had faded away and there was no chance of trying to hold onto it. He was soaked and cold, his breaths a pale mist in the air before him and now something heavy had slammed into his body and paralysed him. Their eyes met, the stillness stretched, and then the man said, "Did you know that?"
The voice was soft and achingly familiar, and Kai wondered why deep down he hadn't expected this modern, human language to spill from those lips. Blood roaring in his ears, all he could say was, "What?"
"Two years ago the world almost ended. Did you know that?"
Oh God, oh God, this couldn't be happening, it just couldn't. Inhaling sharply, Kai took a slow step back and the lights flickered on and he wondered why he felt so violated; how had this strange man cracked open his head and scooped the thoughts from his mind, and why did some part of him think finally? Finally someone knows. Rain smashing into him, heart in his mouth, Kai looked up and said, "Yeah. I knew that."
Intense garnet eyes looked up at him through the darkness, burning into him, through him. His heart pounded so deafeningly that the loud badum badum seemed to swallow him down until nothing was left but the primal sound and the sizzling rush inside. And the mouth opened to speak . . .
The image greyed and died like a half remembered dream, garnet fading to blackness as it crept around his mind and scratched away at his memories. But all that remained was a strange, heavy unease that sat in his stomach like a lead weight and made him swallow hard in confusion. The flash of recollection, the strange vision that had appeared out of nowhere, had disappeared before he could truly grasp what it was. Now there was darkness and a burning anxiety inside of him.
The man smiled a bittersweet smile that made Kai's heart ache, and they were still standing there together in the rain and the cold and the dimness and not much was making any sense but Kai couldn't find himself moving away. And then the stranger with the gold-peach hair looked at him with eyes that were almost pleading, so full of pain, and he said, "Do you remember me?"
That was when everything changed.
Boom! Something smashed into the ground beside Kai, some kind of huge, powerful, invisible force and he cried out in shock as the adrenaline exploded inside, raising his arms protectively as the concrete shattered under the pressure. One moment there was stillness and the next earth, soil and concrete shards were flying down around him, smashing into his body and scraping his skin, hot blood gushing and his stomach was twisted in knots as he was knocked back by the sheer force. He couldn't hear anything but the roaring of destruction and the nausea was rising – this was too familiar: much too familiar.
The explosion stopped, eerie silence descended and Kai didn't realise that his eyes had been squeezed desperately shut until he opened them again. Grey spots danced across his vision and the taste of blood was metallic in his mouth but the shard of concrete that was currently embedded in his thigh got most of his attention. For a moment there was numbness and then a web of agonising pain shot through his body, unbelievable throbbing that radiated from the wound and shot down his legs, across his stomach, up his chest and throat and every muscle was trembling as he felt the hot flood of blood soaking his jeans, fighting back the call of unconsciousness.
"Oh God," he murmured, unaware that he was saying anything, all thoughts and words and feelings smudged into one huge blur inside of him. "Oh God, oh God." It was his frantic mantra and Kai wrapped his fingers around the shard as if needing to feel it there, to know the truth, to feel that it had sliced into his flesh as though his skin was nothing but paper. But when long, pale fingers covered his, Kai looked up quickly in shock. Silver-blue eyes burnt into green and the man with the peach-gold hair gently pried Kai's fingers away, staining his own with mortal blood.
"Kai," he whispered, longing and pain burning in his voice.
The hot tingling pain in the pit of his stomach was back and there was no time to contemplate what the stranger's touches meant, not now, despite the racing of his heart. Looking over the other's shoulder, Kai saw a dark figure approaching them, walking through the shadows with deadly intent, shrouded by the darkness, and the desperate anxiety smashed into his chest. This was all beyond belief, but he vaguely saw a flash of dark hair and burning red eyes and the last trace of normal life was gone.
A voice said, "I found you, angel."
And that was when the next blow came.