|She was a robot? She was a ROBOT? (mithrigil) wrote in het_challenge,|
@ 2008-03-05 01:47:00
|Entry tags:||a: mithrigil, f: final fantasy 4, r: reversathon, recipient: lassarina|
[fic] Final Fantasy IV, Kain/Barbariccia, "White Noise"
Title: White Noise
Fandom: Final Fantasy IV
Rating: PG, perhaps light R?
Warnings: Spoilers through Ordeals, but if you know who/what Barbariccia is, you’re probably cool. Powerplay. Xenokink.
Request: the things about her that are different and the way her power affects their relation(s)/(ship) – despite himself, he cares about her for herself, and the way that affects his headspace –
final fantasy iv
The fiends have their own language. Scarmiglione, the stubborn bastard, spoke it in front of Kain more than the others, even addressed Golbez in it. It’s a very clear language, very open, not as many sounds as the one Kain speaks but more ways of using them. It’s an unpretentious language, one Kain knows he’s being insulted in.
He’s less sorry than he should be about the loss of Scarmiglione.
Honestly, he’s more worried about how than that the fiend fell.
And he admits to being worried, at least to himself—no point in telling the others. There’s no way to articulate it. Cecil’s the villain of this story, then turns around and throws off his helm and paints his armor white. Kain knows how this goes, knows roles, knows stories, knows patterns, and knows that the Generals won’t understand and that Golbez just doesn’t want to hear it
and there’s a pounding in the back of his neck every time he decides that yes, he’ll tell, he’ll stop, he’ll take Rosa out of her chains and they’ll just go
but enough. The higher he gets in this tower, the less point there is in talking about anything at all, the less people listen, the less he hears.
The top of the tower is her place. Barbariccia’s place. She’s a thing of wind, the same as he is, but more of it, and that’s what fills the silence here. Four flights from the top, and it distracts him, makes him catch his spurs on the corners. Two from the top, and if he gets anywhere near the outer walls it actually shoves every other thought out of his head. This is usually as high as he goes, just enough to not think. Just enough to not infringe.
Today it isn’t high enough.
One floor from the top and he can feel it, can feel the sheer presence of her bearing him down, scraping the points of his pauldrons against the mortar in the walls. He can’t hear that sound but knows it’s there from the stutter in his shoulder, along his neck. He keeps going. He needs to not think, not feel, needs those parts of himself to stop throttling each other and there’s the last stair, the hatch in the ceiling.
“Had to climb higher than Cecil, did you?” –It’s not her, it’s those minions of hers, and the one of the three that’s speaking is the squat, lewd one. Kain can remember their names but not up this high. He also can’t answer. The fat woman is smiling, all three of them are smiling, and they’re congregated on the stairs like they’re posing for a portrait.
The one of them that looks like a little girl giggles but her mouth doesn’t move. He’s hearing all this in his head. No wonder. “You actually came here to see Her, didn’t you?”
“Pithy mortal,” the one among them with a spear says—again, not over the wind but under it, inside him. “I don’t know what She sees in you.” She’s standing beside that last stair, leaning her insectile elbow toward where the fat one is perched and now all three are looking through Kain, either glowering or smiling.
He thinks his reasons for being here are none of their business.
He thinks that all three of them laughing at once is the ugliest sound he’s ever heard.
The little one and the fat one say two different versions of “we’ll stay out of your way,” and the one with the spear says “or we’ll kill you”. And then Kain’s convinced that he’s really in over his head, even after there’s nothing over his head but the open night sky.
The hatch slams down to the rooftop and that Kain actually hears. One of the bolts on the hinges comes loose and flies headlong into the battlements, but that sound, the clink that should be there is pulverized in the wind.
Her feet don’t touch the ground. Her bare back is to him, as long as his legs, but even through the haze of wind he can see the bones of it. There’s no chapped skin on the backs of her elbows, no creases where her waist is supposed to curve—there she’s as straight as the tower, almost not like a woman at all until her hips begin. There’s no sweat on her, not even in the starlight, not a hair for it to catch on that’s not from her head, and all that is tangling around her—her shield, her sanctum. There are glimpses of her legs, brassy and lithe, in the chaos of her hair and her beads and her wind,
and that’s the ache, the rattling of coins and spurs and chains
She calls him by name, inside his head. Neither language.
It’s an implicit command. He obeys it. Her power concedes to that, tangles in his hair. He pulls back his visor and takes off his helm, kneels to set it down inside her shell—she’s the eye of her own storm, and in here it’s calm, in here it’s almost still. It’s damned frightening but it’s expected and every thought the storm and the night had broken crashes back into Kain, all at once.
“You’re cruel,” he tells her. “You make me think it’s possible to forget.”
“You are bold,” she says, and her voice touches the ground and curls up to him. His language. A lock of her hair—longer than Kain is tall, he thinks—wraps around the neck of his armor, overlaps with his. Hers is more golden, nearly green, the way his turns in water. “You assume I abide by your standards.”
“No,” he says. He curls his fingers around the catch of one bracer, thumbs at the clasps, the hinges. He stares at her legs, at the slack point of her toes—only three, and her shoes have no soles—hovering two hands-breadth’s off the stone. “Why would you?”
She rolls her shoulders back. The beads rattle, gently, like tears. “Come here,” she says, and brushes her fingers against themselves. Again, only three to a hand, and one thumb that’s as long as the rest, with damning nails that curl in on themselves like claws. “Come around, and address me where I can see you.”
He leaves his helm on the stone and rises, half-circles her, against the spiral of the wind that rages outside them. There is shrapnel in the storm, some gold, some rock. “Are you
the distinct idea that there’s something profane, something in serving the wrong master, mistress, concept, sound
“—are you afraid, now?” He looks up along her, her small breasts and the beads and scales that cover them, the grand pendant that weighs down between them, to her chin and how—defiant, maybe, but he flatters himself to think so—at how her face is as jagged as her bones, how her eyelashes are gold, like his. “Now that one of your kind is dead.”
“I am not as weak as he,” she says. Her mouth moves more than it has to. His language.
That’s not an answer, Kain thinks.
“Come here,” she repeats, harsher this time, and extends both her cruel hands. There’s mockery in it. “Are you not afraid?”
He’s terrified, actually, but that’s what he’s here to be.
Before he obeys, he undoes his bracers, his cuirass. He’s not sure why, at first—he’s proven before that he trusts her, but never here, never when she’s undone her armor as well. He stares up at the stars—there are so many, even in the circle of this prison—as he lets his armor down to the stone on its spikes. The wind whistles through it, but it doesn’t budge, doesn’t give. His hair is wet and clinging to his neck.
Like this, this close, and with her magic, he stands only as high as her ribs, and she has no navel. When she tilts down and back, to pull him up to her mouth, her hands—all fingers, almost no palms—fully cup his cheeks. “Fear me,” she says, against his tongue.
“I do,” he breathes.
Her kiss is noise, paralyzing white noise that leaves Kain shaking, and a sinewy chill runs through him from her hands and her breath. He grabs onto her wrists because—because—and something within her is racing, if her kind can die then perhaps they bleed like mortals, and that thrills him so much that he needs to ground it, needs to brace his spurs on the floor. But the rest of him lifts, and his elbows lock, and her breath tastes like sleep-needles and the loss of feeling.
But there’s no loss of breath, no sense that this must stop, he’s not light-headed in the least, if anything, if anything the opposite. He’s as bold as she says but not for her reasons, and he slides his palms up her arms as high as he can reach. Her skin is smooth and hairless, almost reptilian, and Kain knows what his father wanted to be, touching this Fiend, knows why he strives to fly and he shoves himself into this kiss, to tell her so.
They have a common tongue, he thinks, irrationally.
He was right to have off with his armor, he knows, when he feels her claw through his tunic. She lifts him by the shreds of it until his toes don’t scrape the stone, runs her nails down his chest and his back and it multiplies the noise, the throbbing where his thoughts should be. The world flashes gold and then red and then white, utterly white, and even the
He wakes to thunder.
The sky’s still black, but he’s the only one under it, as far as he can hear, as far as he can see. His blood is on the air—he knows the smell—but the cuts that run down him, down his cheeks, past his collar all the way to his thighs, are sealed. His legs are still armored but the cloth beneath them is tattered and mired about his groin.
The rain starts slowly, but Kain knows where the first drop fell. He lies there, on his back, and waits for a thousand more. The raindrops oblige him, pound into his forehead and his eyes
and godhead is a poison, the same one that killed his King
but Kain smiles, lets the water splash on his teeth.