By Forever Frost

Note this is an original fiction, all of the characters and places come straight from my twisted little brain.

I'm so sorry that it's taken me FOREVER to get this chapter up. I'm sorry!! Really, I am. I'll try to update Death's Herald sometime, too. Sorry if this chapter seems kind of short but I really wanted to add SOMETHING, I mean it's been forever since my last update (I feel kinda bad ;;)

Warning: Yaoi, slash (m/m romance and sex, for those that don't know) there is also rape and abuse and violence, master/slave themes, etc. The R rating is serious.

Sunlight, glittering rays of pale gold, poured down in a thin wash all around Baran, casting a shimmering glow on the soft tendrils of floating crystal mist. The ground beneath his feet was invisible, everything below his knees was lost to the thick white waves of fog and mist.

Baran Lock sighed deeply. The air was sweet and thick…heavy. He didn't know where he was…

"Where?" he murmured. "Where am I? What happened? The forest? The soldiers?" he felt his heart tighten in his chest and looked around fearfully. "Kalonice?"

Then he heard the singing. Soft, delicate and high. It was quiet, yet poignant, sharp against the absolute silence of the mist-world, yet astonishing—pure and sweet.

For a moment, the sound rolled over him, fell against him, chained him to the ground. He couldn't move, didn't dare to breath, just listened to the faint, delicate singing voice.

After a minute, he breathed deeply and turned in the direction of the sound.

In a world without landmarks or horizons, it was difficult to tell how long he walked for, or how far he travelled, drawn towards that heavenly sound. But the song wrapped around his limbs, shimmering and glowing and alive, pulling him gently every step of the way, although he was more than willing, and so his limbs knew no weariness. He continued on, he would have walked forever through nothingness, content to hear that sweet song for all of eternity, and perhaps somewhere he did…

But then, the mists faded, ripped away, parted and fell apart, like shimmering clouded veils that disintegrated into a shower of golden stars and then vanished.

Before the bandit rose an incredible brass cage. It's great bars, slender gold-plaited metal, rose in beautifully twisting columns, twelve, thirteen feet, into the air. The cage rose to a grand curving dome, and inside stood a solitary golden perch.

The outlaw's eyes grew wide as he stared into the cage, and found Kalonice sitting elegantly on the perch, his long waves of aqua-green hair falling splendidly over his slender shoulders, his head tilted ever-so-slightly back as his lips parted in the endless song.

"Why…?" Baran murmured, wrapping his hands around the tall brass bars of the cage. "Kalonice…"

The boy's singing then stopped, and his head fell forwards. In that second, the large azure eyes flashed open and locked onto the bandit's. Baran felt a wave of shock run through him, and his blood curdled in panic, although he did not know why.

Then he saw.

A sharp explosion, a burst of hot tropical greens, oranges, gold and silver, burst from the boy's back. Feathers, long and bright, beautiful, unravelled, soaring up and curling around him, two grand, magnificent wings that fell softly, elegantly, stretching to the brass bars, until the feathers brushed against his hands.

The touch was soft, incredible, cool and hot, alien, exotic. But Baran couldn't move, or think, he was unable to tear his eyes away from the beautiful bird in its cage. Such a sorrowful expression on its face.

The pale lips parted once more. "Master Baran…?" the voice called quietly.

"Master Baran? Master Baran?" the voice became tinged with urgency, fear, and the wings and cage were torn away, and Baran found himself lying on the ground, Kalonice leaning over him, the light green hair falling all around them like a tropical waterfall.




"Damn, what sort of a dream was that supposed to be?" Baran grumbled, shifting slightly as Kalonice, with a relieved sigh, retreated. "I mean I usually dream about naked…um…never mind," he groaned. "What in hades happened? Shit! The knights! What happened with the—?"

He struggled to sit up, and looked around, the two were entirely alone in the forest, their clothes littered with dried leaves, dirt, and moss.

He looked up and did a double take. He blinked. He just couldn't believe it.

Kalonice was laughing.

Well, sort of, very quiet, and he hid it by burying his face against his knees, but by the way his shoulder's were quivering he was either laughing or crying and since they weren't being slaughtered by Slade's knights…

"A—Are you laughing at me?" he asked, finally, in disbelief.

"S—Sorry, Master," the boy said, looking up, and the bandit felt a rush of warmth in his heart to see that the slave was actually smiling, even his eyes were curved in that slight way that belies happiness. "It's just that, while the knights were searching the area for us you…you fainted!"

More of that quiet sort of laughter.

Baran stared at him dumbly.

He had fainted? He never fainted. He was the master bandit. The fearless thief. The scandalous rouge. He'd fought the feared general of Domincast, the swordsmaster of Tiel—the minotaurs of King Dominic for Goddess' sake!—he had never fainted. Even when he was a stupid kid. So why in hades had he…?

"The knights gave up and left," Kalonice continued, picking a crumpled dead leaf out of his long strands of hair. "They didn't actually look very hard. But I was terrified. You were out cold." He leaned back against on of the old Danderbain trees, and looked at Baran thoughtfully.

The rouge hung his head in defeat. At least the boy wasn't crying anymore. And they weren't dead, or being shipped off to the torture chambers, so all things considered, he supposed maybe he could live down one minor humiliation…he gritted his teeth in frustration. My poor reputation…

And what was with that dream…?

"Well, I guess we better resume are journey towards the town, then," he sighed, pushing himself to his feet.

He looked back to Kalonice, the beauty was staring into space, he looked tired, pale. But still beautiful. "Are you al—"

"Are you really going to get rid of me once we get to Nolt?" Kalonice asked, looking up at him so suddenly the bandit faltered a bit, caught off guard by the tears standing in the slave's eyes.

"Um…well…it's just…I—I don't really know what else to…" he shrugged helplessly. "Do you really want to follow me around in a cold, dirty forest all year round?"

"Yes!" Kalonice shouted, jumping up so quickly it startled Baran yet again. The aqua-haired boy touched his arms gently, imploringly, looking up at him with a face filled with pain and fear. "Please—"


"I'm sorry," he whispered in a quiet voice, his head falling forwards and the long hair spilling over his face, "I have no right to—"

Baran glimpsed the silver crystal streak down the pale skin. On impulse, he reached forwards, and grasped the boy's small shoulders tightly.

"No…" he murmured, gently touching Kalonice's face and tilting his chin upwards, so that their eyes met once more. "Listen to me, Kalonice. I am not a master. You are not a slave."

But it wasn't working, the beauty's eyes were filled with shining crystal tears, and the delicate body shuddered. Baran did the only thing he could do—he pulled the boy tightly against his chest, and buried his face in the sweet-smelling aqua-green hair.

"Don't cry. Let's not worry about this now, alright? I'm here to protect you right now, aren't I? We'll wait until we get to Nolt and then we'll decide what to do from there…" he said quietly, running his hands soothingly down the silky mane of hair that trailed down Kalonice's back.

The boy's slender hands dug tightly into the front of his shirt, but the shaking stopped, and he seemed calmed. Which would have been fine, except that Baran had absolutely no idea what he would do with him once they got to Nolt.

He bit his lip, frowning. What the hell was he supposed to do in this situation?


Author's Note: I apologize for the shortness, but I wanted to get SOMETHING posted. Expect more soon (I'll try, anyways).