[Kailas's message ringtone sounds once. Inside is a link to his location.]
[It sounds for a second time.]
*Ikenna blinks as his phone gives that distinct sound. The smile on his lips at the thought of his lover promptly dies as he reads the message contents.*
On my way
*He's already rushing out the door, his expression grim.*
[Several moments later, Kailas's ringtone sounds again--this time, it's a call.]
*Ikenna immediately answers the moment the phone begins to ring in his hand.* Kailas? *he questions, his voice tight.*
[At first, the only sound from Kailas's end is garbled and fuzzy. Then, there's a faint bit of clarity, if only for a moment, as Kailas clearly speaks. His voice is calm and gentle, although it's much deeper, much more serious.] Hold as tight as you can. Don't let go.
*Ikenna's grip on his phone tightens, his frown deepening as an overwhelming fear threatens to steal away his breath. Static, garbled--Kailas's voice, serious, intent. He's not speaking to Ikenna, but their son, this much is obvious.* I'm coming. I promise. *He's not certain that Kailas can hear him, but he says this much, before falling back into a tense silence, struggling to make out any clues on what exactly is occuring.*
[The next sounds are not as clear. There's more of that garbled static, as if the phone's microphone was brushing up on fabric in a particularly aggressive manner. Then, there's a faint crack, and a muffled cry.] Hold on to me. [Kailas suddenly repeats, his voice louder, more strained. The garbling grows more intense, almost frantic.]
*Ikenna outright starts as that muffled cry sounds through the static, his heart pounding and his frown deepening. It's becoming quite clear that the phone has been tucked away, into a pocket, that Kailas and Malba are on the move--and that they certainly aren't alone.
The demon curses under his breath, his pace quickening. He has to get to his family. Now.* Hold on. Hold on. *he murmurs, repeats Kailas's instructions.*
[For some time, the sound of the static is fairly rhythmic--back and forth, back and forth, consistent white noise. It abruptly changes and along with it comes Kailas's voice, now much more louder, much more emotionally charged. He's shouting in Huistonian, loudly and aggressively. Thump, thump, thump goes a chorus of sounds, punctuated by what is most certainly Malba's soft sobs.] Don't let go! I have you, Malba, I promise!
*Ikenna can barely breathe around that utter terror that floods his entire being as the sounds coming from the other end--so far away, out of his reach--grow that much more dire. The sounds of his child softly crying, Kailas's voice charged, powerful as he shouts in his native tongue... If there was any doubt before, there certainly isn't now. His family is in danger, and Kailas is fighting to keep them safe.
They just have to hold on. Until he's there, he'll be there soon--it can't be too late. It can't. Ikenna can't....*
[The sounds of struggling only seem to increase with time. Underneath all of the thumps and thuds are voices, so many strange voices. It's likely hard for Ikenna to discern, but they are most certainly not speaking Tevrran. Kailas's replies, much louder and much more enraged, are in that quick, biting Huistonian, each syllable punctuated as if he'd spat them out. Finally, the sounds die down, replaced once again with that rhythmic, swishing static.
The next time it stops, it's replaced by another chorus of voices. These are more surprised, much more gentle, with several speaking Kailas and Malba's name at once.] I-I need help. Please... take him and hide. Please. [comes Kailas's begging voice.]
*It's difficult to clearly pick out the voices sounding through the static, the pounding, terrible sounds that Ikenna can feel vibrating deeply within him, but from what he can understand, it's hardly good. His comprehension of Huistonian leaves something to be desired, to say the least, and that's when it's spoken calmly, slowly, in Kailas's gentle voice. This, however, is not calm, not gentle. This is biting and harsh. This is fueled by adrenaline, fear and anger. What he doesn't understand from the words, he understands from Kailas's voice instead. He's frantic--he's outnumbered.
And then, there are new voices, not those angry ones from before, but ones that Kailas gives a message to in Tevrran that turns his stomach and leaves his heart seemingly skipping a beat or two or ten: Take him and hide? That--where? Somewhere safe? Without Kailas?
Ikenna presses down on the accelerator, hard. No. He can't let Kailas fight this alone. He can't--he can't let Kailas be alone with those people, he can't--he can't let them take Kailas from him.*
[The voices continue to mix and integrate, forming a quiet hum over one another. It becomes more hurried, a bit more frantic, and once again, the sound of shuffling begins. When it stops, the only sound is Malba's quiet sob, and the reassuring whispers of those around him. Alone with the phone in the pocket of his overalls, Malba issues a quiet cry, sobbing.] D-daddy....
H-hah... *Ikenna's breath catches as his son's soft, whimpered voice sounds--the first true thing he can make out from the hum of new voices and sounds. He drags in a deep inhale--calm, he has to keep calm.* Malba. Daddy's coming, baby. Daddy... Daddy's coming. *he whispers.*
[Malba blinks as that familiar voice sounds. It's faint, but he can tell it's coming from the phone. He removes it from his pocket, pulling the device close to his face, just as Kaichii always holds it when Daddy calls.] D-daddy? [he calls, seeking out that comforting voice.]
*Ikenna blinks in surprise, again finding his breath catching in his throat. Malba's voice is much closer now--had he heard him?* Malba? Baby? That's right, it's Daddy. Can you hear me? *he questions, forcing a calm, gentle sound into his voice--it's difficult, considering the frantic waves of emotion he feels.*
[Hearing his father's voice, Malba feels as if he's finally been given permission to let his tears fall freely. He sobs almost frantically into the phone, voice hiccuping as he confesses:] D-daddy... I'm.. I'm scared....
H-hah... baby, that's okay. Daddy's a little bit scared too. *he gently remarks, his one-handed grip on the wheel tight, his hold on the phone even more so. He clings to it, struggling to keep hold of that forced calm. Malba's sobs, his frantic voice--he can't bear it, he really can't.* I'm going to come and find you and Kaichii. I'm going to make sure you and Kaichii are just fine. I promise. Are you... does anything hurt, Malba? Can you tell Daddy?
[Just like always, his daddy's voice soothes him, making him feel as if he is safe, cared for. It takes a moment, but Malba manages to answer that question.] They pulled my hair, Daddy. [he says, blinking back tears. It'd hurt--they'd pulled hard enough to jerk his head back. Even more scary than that, though:] But--but... Kaichii, he's bleeding.
*Ikenna slowly exhales, this new information only adding fuel to that frantic fire burning away within him--it's not only fear, but anger at the thought of these people bringing harm to his family.* That must have hurt, baby. That is scary. *he gently murmurs.* Can you... could you tell where the blood was coming from? Where was Kaichii bleeding? Could you see? *he cautiously inquires; he doesn't want to add to his child's panic, but he's also desperate to know Kailas's condition.*
His hands. [Malba answers softly. Kaichii's hands had looked really hurt.] He's got cuts on his hands... a lot of them. [he continues, voice shaking.]
His hands... *This is hardly a surprising answer, judging from just the violent sounds alone that he's heard, and yet it's... it's so very painful, all the same.* We'll make sure to take care of Kaichii's hands then, won't we, Malba? Daddy will kiss them better, and then you can give Kaichii kisses too. Would you like that? *he softly suggests, his voice giving the faintest crack.*
[Malba nods his head slightly, before continuing the gesture more firmly.] W-why'd Kaichii go? Where is he? [Malba's voice is breaking again, and those tears are evident in his tone.] They kept grabbing him too. Why... why do they wanna hurt him, Daddy?
Ah... Kaichii wants to keep you safe. Daddy and Kaichii both want to keep you safe. So he's doing that right now, Malba. That's all. *he gently states, his focus intent as he steers the car towards his destination. He brakes. This... this is it.* They're bad men, baby. Kaichii hasn't done anything wrong. But it's... it's going to be okay now. Daddy's here to help Kaichii.
Y-you're here? [Malba says excitedly, suddenly rising to his feet. He looks toward the closed door before him.] I-I wanna come out....
No. No, listen to me, Malba. This is very important. You have to stay where you are. *comes Ikenna's quick reply. Still, quick as it is, he forces a calm, gentle sound.* Kaichii wants you safe, remember? Let Daddy make sure both you and Kaichii stay safe.
[Just as his father request that he stays, one of the older waitresses hiding with him rests a hand on his shoulder. She beckons him to sit, and he does.] Okay... okay, Daddy. I'll stay.
That's my good baby boy. I love you Malba. Very much. *Ikenna gently responds. All the while he's shoving open the car door, practically racing from it in search of Kailas. There's already clear signs of the struggle that's taken place, he--ah.* You're with nice people, aren't you? Stay safe with them. I'll be there soon.
D-do you gotta go, Daddy? [Malba asks, voice hesitant.] But you'll be here, right?
Daddy has to go now, that's right. But only so he can help Kaichii faster. I'll be here. I promise. *he firmly replies, his voice nothing but certain. It's a promise he's making to his son--to protect him, to protect Kailas. He won't break it.*
[Malba goes another small nod. The lady sitting next to him draws him into an embrace--he's uncertain, but he leans into it.] I love you, Daddy. Please... come soon.
I will, baby. I will. *Ikenna takes in a shuddering breath, gives a hard swallow.* Daddy's going to hang up now. *It's heartbreaking to say to his frightened child, yet necessary. He's outside the market now, steps over one of the damaged men Kailas has left in his wake. Blood. There's blood staining the ground, and the knowledge that some of it must be Kailas's--...* I'll be there soon. *He clicks his phone off, shoves it into his pocket, and runs on, following the trail laid out for him.*
[With a decisive blow to the side of his head, Kailas takes down yet another pursuer. He has no time to gloat; he pivots away immediately, keeping his body in motion, his blood pumping. Adrenaline is the only thing keeping the tranquilizer from taking full effect. His vision is a mess of blurred colors, but he can still easily detect the presence of the three Huistonian men left in the room. Kailas carefully positions himself so that his back is to the storage closet his child is stowed within, and once again throws his body into an all-out assault. He’s not backing down, not until every bone in his body is broken.]
*Ikenna has followed the obvious signs of struggle left for him, and while it seems like forever, within moments he's found his way to his lover's location--he can hear the terrifying sounds of Kailas's fight now, and as he rushes in, energy surging, his body positively radiates that fire energy, his frame buzzing with its intensity. As he rounds a corner, Kailas suddenly is within full view. Ikenna takes in a sharp breath, eyes widening.
He's bleeding, all right, his hands are utterly painful to even look upon, his eyes clouded and his breaths panting, yet still, he’s frantically doing everything in his power to keep three men at bay, he--….
How dare they? Ikenna pulls from that fear, that utter rage he feels when seeing what these bastards have done to the young man. They won’t touch him again. He’ll make sure of that, right here, right now. He focuses his full attention on Kailas’s assailants, allowing that overwhelming energy to erupt from his body.*
[Kailas’s body is slowing down, whether or not he wills it to. Its responses are growing more delayed; he can tell he’s running out of time. One of the men step forward, and Kailas urges himself to dodge his attack. He’s late, and takes a hard blow to his core. The half-demon finds himself on his knees, wracked with pain. He’s vulnerable, he has to find a way to keep going, to….
Energy. Incredibly intense energy, enough to raise goosebumps along his arms. Any other energy this oppressive would have terrified him, no doubt, but this energy is familiar. It’s warm, kind—although it may not be that way to the men standing before him.
Kailas motivates his body to roll away, hastily moving back from the firestorm he knows is about to rage. Let the flames devour these men; he’ll watch them, entranced.]
*Ikenna forces himself to keep his intent focus on the men before his lover as he steps fully forward. It’s difficult; Kailas takes a solid hit, dropping to his knees in clear pain. Ikenna is late. He’s late, too late to prevent Kailas’s severely damaged hands, his pain or the way his eyes look so unfocused and pained. He’s late, but he’s not too late.
Kailas rolls back, and this is all the signal Ikenna needs to know that he’s aware of his presence, that it’s safe to continue. And so he does. In this moment, he truly appreciates how easily that energy rages within his body. At one time, those flames would have been frightening, the way embers spark around him, the way the very air feels alive with his energy's intensity. Having control over such a vast, oppressive thing… well. Being such a frightening thing had its benefits, after all.
The heat brushes against his skin, his hair lightly sways against it as he summons that much more. It surrounds the men, flaring up in an intense burst of light. The flames swell, spreading over their bodies before they have the chance to even move. Ikenna calmly stares on, allowing the fire to grow, eyes glowing eerily bright.*
[Kailas watches in awe as the flames surge. They spread quickly, ‘til all at once they’re towering over him, swallowing up the assailants completely within seconds. The half-demon is utterly entranced by the sight. He stares, as if hypnotized by the warm, glowing light, completely heedless of the men’s screams.
Slowly, the light begins to deteriorate into blurry pools of oranges, reds and yellows. He’s growing lightheaded; everything is heavy. Kailas sways slightly, before his head drops abruptly to the floor, his body still.]
*Ikenna watches with that blank expression as the men burn away before him, and really, perhaps it should frighten him, even a little, how calm he feels in the face of it. He doesn’t. All he feels is a cold relief. These men can no longer bring harm to his family. These men can’t take Kailas away from him.
His lover’s head drops to the floor, his body slack, spent. He’s fully collapsed and still. This is certainly more than enough to bring expression to Ikenna’s pale face. He drags in a shuddering breath, containing his energy, extinguishing the flames.
The demon rushes forward, crouching down to ever so carefully draw his lover into his arms, a warm—even warmer than usual—hand pressing carefully against his lover’s face.* Kailas? Kailas, I’m here now. I’m here. I have you. *he whispers, his voice giving a noticeable crack.*
[With a slow, careful blink of his eyes, Kailas gradually regains consciousness.] Ikenna? [he murmurs, his own voice soft, just a whisper. The man’s worried voice had roused him, of course. That, and his energy.] You’re warm… [Kailas mumbles. He sinks against his touch, issuing a quiet groan.
Suddenly, Kailas jerks his head up. He winces immediately, eyes fully closing.] A-ah… Malba--Malba’s… in the storage area. Can you get him? Please….
Kailas... *Ikenna breathes out his lover’s name as he stirs against him, his lips set in a faint, troubled smile. There’s relief—so much relief—to have Kailas resting in his hold, but he… he’s weak, in pain. It’s—how had he let this happen? The weight of the situation, how close he’s come to losing Kailas, how Malba’s life has been at risk as well, he…
The fear and guilt is so fucking overwhelming.*
Shh. I will. I’ve spoken to him. He… he knows I’m here. *Ikenna manages, his voice quiet, tight.* First, I… what did they do, Kaichii. Your hands… that isn’t all, is it. *he whispers, his focus drawing to the terrible state of his hands, before moving back to his pained face. He’s only witnessed one hit connect, but that certainly doesn’t mean it was the only. He needs to know the extent of his lover’s injuries.*
I—I’m fine. [Kailas insists, his voice breathless. It’s not true, of course. He’d taken more than a few blows to the abdomen, and beyond that, at least two darts from the tranquilizer had struck him. Still, he knows none of these injuries are life-threatening. None of them are worth letting Malba hide alone in all of his fear.
Kailas focuses his clouded eyes on Ikenna’s as best as he can, and offers him his most desperate look.] Please… I’m so worried….
*Ikenna doesn’t bother to argue with that first response—they both know it’s far from the truth, after all. Instead, he meets that desperate, clouded gaze with a soft, troubled frown. He takes a long moment to carefully gage his lover’s energy, his condition, weighing it against his worry—of course Kailas is worried for Malba. He’s fought, desperately to keep the boy from harm, and now he… he can’t turn down his plea. He needs to go to their son. He understands.*
I know. I know you are. *He tilts in, presses a lingering kiss to Kailas’s cheek, resting here for a moment. He breathes, in, out, in, out, struggling to reel in his emotions.* I… both of you, I was so very… *He clears his throat, shakes his head. There will be time for this later.*
[In spite of all of his concerns for Malba, Kailas can’t resist reaching out to gently caress his lover as he leans in toward him. Even with how fuzzy his senses currently are, Kailas can tell that Ikenna is distressed. And why wouldn’t he be? Having his son put at risk like that, he… understandably, he is emotional in this situation.]
My hands will heal. [Kailas whispers.] They always do. And… this drug, it will wear off. [he reassures, inadvertently admitting to another ailment.] But… Malba—Malba must be scared, I don’t… I don’t want him to be scared, Ikenna. Please….
He is. He told me as much. *Ikenna quietly murmurs, his voice soft, strained. He tilts in, draws that much closer to Kailas as he reaches out one of those battered hands, attempts to comfort Ikenna through his own pain and—ah, of course, drugged state. This explains the dull state of his eyes, the way his voice trails, slurs.*
I’m sorry… Kailas… hah… I’m so sorry. *he whispers.* I’ll take care of you and Malba both. I promise. *This promise rings a bit hollow, though, doesn’t it? He’s let his guard down, overestimated his family’s safety. He’s let his family down.*
I know you will. [Kailas breathes, his lips drawing into a small smile. In spite of how pained he is, he’s so grateful in this moment, so thankful that Ikenna is with him, that he made it.] You… you came. I knew you would, but I… I’m so glad. [he says, breathing a soft, relieved laugh.
It's a bit painful, but Kailas manages to brush the tip of his finger carefully along Ikenna's face.] I'll manage, Ikenna. Go to him.
Hah… I was a little late, don’t you think? *he can’t help but softly joke—of course, it also happens to be entirely true. He ever so gently shifts his lover, easing that bloodied, broken hand into his. He rests a warm kiss against it, energy seeping from his lips, hopefully easing even a bit of the pain he knows Kailas is feeling. There will be time for full healing later, but at least he can provide this brief amount of attention.*
It’s hardly comfortable, but rest here? *he gently requests, his focus drawing up, to the closed door that Kailas has so very diligently guarded. Yes. It’s hardly ideal, but for now, it will have to do.*
[Ikenna’s warm lips press against his hand, providing an immediate feeling of relief. The half-demon’s eyes close once more as he simply focuses on just how pleasant that sensation is. Even as it dies down, it leaves a lingering warmth within him. It’s enough to keep him holding on, even as Ikenna prepares to leave his side.
Kailas gives a small nod of his head, and allows himself to settle, resting (albeit a bit awkwardly) on the floor.] Mm. It’s fine. You won’t be gone long, I know.
That’s right. *Ikenna quietly agrees, warm hand drawing up to Kailas’s face, brushing against his cheek, pressing back mussed blond hair. He frowns, troubled by the awkwardness of Kailas’s position, how cold and hard the floor feels against his own knees, let alone how it must feel for his injured lover. There isn’t much he can do to remedy this, but… at the very least, he can strip off his outermost layer, fold the garment and pillow it carefully under Kailas’s head.
It’s not much better, but at least his head is supported. With this accomplished, he tilts in, resting his lips to Kailas’s forehead, whispers a gentle:* I love you.
[It never fails to amaze him how doting of a lover Ikenna Nuiwa is. And just as he did the first time Ikenna showed him any kindness, Kailas still feels a sense of awe alongside his overwhelming gratefulness. Ikenna’s gesture brings a small smile to his lips. As small of one as it may seem, it’s incredibly comforting.
And then he speaks those three words, the words that are enough to light a fire inside Kailas, one strong enough to sustain him until he returns.] I love you, too. With everything I have. [he says softly.] G-go, Ikenna--
[There’s a fair bit of ruckus coming from inside of the storage closet. The sounds of scuffling can be heard, some hushed, yet hastily spoken words. The doors of the storage closet shift, parting open only a bit, before they suddenly open wide, revealing a boy with determined red eyes and pink cheeks. Malba bursts out, running to his parents. He latches onto his father as soon as he can reach him, burying his face against his chest.] I-I'm sorry, Daddy, 'm sorry....
Ah, Kailas-- *Ikenna begins, that troubled frown still in place as he stares down at his lover, taking in that frail smile. He hates it so very fucking much, the thought of leaving Kailas alone, even for a bit, injured, defenseless--…
The demon starts at the sudden noises, his head jerking up, his body tensing: until he finds the source of commotion, of course. Before Ikenna can even fully react, that small, determined little boy races forward, latching onto him with such force that he vaguely rocks back. So much for going to find Malba; Malba has clearly decided to find him, instead.*
A-ah… Malba. Malba… thank goodness. *He cradles his son close, desperately struggling to keep the fresh flood of emotion he feels from entering his voice as he tips protectively over the boy, tightly closes his eyes.* Malba… hah. Why are you sorry? Daddy was coming to find you, but… It was just too long to wait, wasn’t it? *he gently murmurs.*
[Malba practically hangs off of his father, his arms wrapped so tightly around his neck, his face pressed firmly against his chest. He's so ashamed--he wanted to wait, he wanted to listen, but....
His father somehow knows exactly what he's thinking. The young boy peels himself away just enough to regard his dad, his eyes still holding some of that guilt.] Y-you're sure? I just... I wanted to see you. I wanted to see Kaichii. [As he speaks the man's name, Malba's eyes roam to his other father-figure. They widen as he sees him clearly for the first time.] Kaichii... Daddy, Kaichii's hurt. [he whispers, almost stunned at the state of him.]
[Any sense of surprise Kailas has at Malba suddenly bursting from the storage room is quickly replaced with relief. Tucked in Ikenna's arms, he knows that the boy is safe now, properly cared for. Kailas breathes a deep sigh, and prepares to rest back, allow himself to finally relax.
Only... Malba's worried voice has him stirring again. Kailas opens his eyes, and regards Malba with a small smile.] It's... all right, pumpkin. I'm just a little tired. [he says honestly.]
Kaichii is going to be okay now, baby. He’s a little tired and not feeling very good right now, but I bet he feels better now that you’re here. *Ikenna gently adds on to Kailas’s gentle reassurances, turning their son within his arms at an angle so that he can be closer to his injured father figure. As much as he wants to cling tight to his son, to assure himself that he’s all right—he also wants to make sure Malba is reassured that not only is Ikenna here, but that Kailas is still here, still safe, that they will care for him, just as he’s said.*
Do you remember what I said before, Malba? How we’ll take care of him? I promised, didn’t I? *he softly questions, brushing gently, affectionately through the boy’s hair.*
[His father makes good on his promise. Malba watches, hand held tightly in his daddy’s own, as the man gently kisses some of Kaichii’s pain away. It’s an immediate change, and though Malba still notes—nervously—that Kailas still is riddled with injuries, the man is at least able to move on his own.
The three of them rise together, huddled closely. Before Malba can even begin to question the strange smell in the room, the burns along the flooring, Ikenna pulls him into his arms and presses his head against his shoulder, sealing him off from the sights and smells. He isn’t allowed to look up until they’re in the parking lot. There, he’s greeted by the sight of flashing lights, yellow tape and bright colored vests.
Malba stays tucked against his father like that for what feels like an eternity. It’s a comforting place to be. He doesn’t have to face the barrage of people that come to speak with his parents, and later, when they’re at the hospital, he doesn’t have to look as Kailas has his blood drawn with a particularly sharp needle. He just clings to Ikenna, holds tight, lingering in his arms.
The next time Malba stands on his own, he’s at the foot of their doorstep, and both his Daddy and his Kaichii are with him. They hold either of his hands, leading him back into the safety of their home.]
[Some time later, the three are tucked again in the safety of their apartment on base. Malba sits in his father's lap, overlooking Kailas, who rests atop his parents' bed. His father had already healed him some, but there are still many cuts along his face and his hands.
Malba is still more concerned for his father figure than himself. He watches him carefully, eyes filled with worry. Malba turns back to his father, asking:] Kisses will make him feel better? [He recalls his father's words from before, after all.]
*Ikenna smiles at this question, giving another of those careful strokes through his son's hair.* That's right. Kisses will make him feel better. Daddy will give him kisses, but... would you like to as well? I know you wanted to help. Would you like to sit here with Kaichii and give him a kiss? *he gently suggests, keeping his voice that calm, hopefully reassuring tone.*
[Malba gives another one of those small nods. He looks back toward Kailas, and hesitantly moves off of his father's lap. Instead, he sits by his caretaker and bends down, far enough to rest a gentle kiss to Kailas's head. As he does, he makes a silent wish that his kiss will be healing, just like his Daddy's, and make Kaichii feel even a little better.] ... does it help, Kaichii?
[The sensation of Malba's warm lips at his forehead is enough to bring tears to his eyes. Kailas blinks them back, and breathes a shallow sigh, his lips drawing into a smile. Looking at this sweet child, Kailas can only think to himself that he in no way deserves his kindness, his love and compassion. Still, he's grateful for it--grateful beyond words.] It helps, Malba. [he says softly.] Your kisses always help, just like Daddy's.
*Ikenna watches their child with that soft smile still in place—it’s difficult to hide how much this affects him, the way the boy presses in so gently, so hopefully. He’s—he’s such a precious child, so loving and gentle. Even after experiencing something so terrible, so traumatic and frightening, his primary concern is his Kaichii, and that’s… well. It’s more than enough to leave Ikenna swallowing harshly against that fresh wave of emotion threatening to fill his eyes with tears. And yet, as if that weren’t enough alone, Kailas’s expression as he speaks those gentle words, so warm and grateful—this beautiful man who had fought so very hard to keep their child safe… It’s difficult. So difficult to blink away the dampness lingering in his eyes.
The demon tips forward, resting a careful touch against Kailas’s shoulder, warm energy gathering in his hand. It’s not as efficient as a healing kiss, perhaps, but for the moment, it works well enough, energy trickling from his fingertips, entering his lover’s battered frame. It's... hopefully soothing, in any case.*
See, Malba? I knew it would help Kaichii. Why don’t you try another one? *he gently encourages.*
[Although Malba doesn't see any of Kailas's injuries disappear, he does notice that he's smiling now. Is that thanks to his gentle kiss? Malba hopes so. He mirrors Kailas's expression, a small smile taking hold of his lips for the first time in a long while.
With his father's encouragement, Malba leans back to deliver another one. This time, when he removes himself, he notices that at least one cut on Kailas's lip has shrunken. He blinks, staring at the cut, then back at his father.] D-daddy... he's getting better.
[Kailas, for his part, is feeling pleasantly smothered with attention. With Malba laying gentle kisses at his forehead, and his love sending that warm energy through his body, he's practically buzzing with warm, comforting feelings.] Ah... I am. Thanks to you both. [he says softly. Kailas glances up toward Ikenna, and rests his hand gently atop the demon's.]
*He casts his gaze down to his lover, taking in that loving smile, those clouded, gentle eyes. Kailas’s hand against his own—it brings forth a genuine sense of calm, despite that ever oppressive frustration for letting this happen, the fear and concern—he smiles, steady, calm, lovingly.*
Did you hear that, baby? We are helping Kaichii. I think you’re helping him the most. *Ikenna gently encourages, drawing his focus back to his son, to his surprised expression. He carefully takes the boy’s tiny, warm hand with his even warmer own, soft smile widening as he meets that questioning gaze.* Do you… do you feel Daddy’s energy? Yours is the same, isn’t it? Together… if we try, I think we can help Kaichii even more together. Would you like that?
[Malba is so shocked by his own newfound capabilities, he almost doesn't know how to respond. It's not until his father takes his hand that he finds some focus. Here, he's able to tap into Ikenna's energy--it's familiar to him. It's almost as if the energy inside of him is an exact matching pair to his father's. It's not as strong, he knows, but it's still there, deep down inside of him. He focuses on it, thinking of how he's heard his Daddy talk about concentrating his energy, and gives a small nod of confirmation.] He still has a lotta cuts left, so....
*Ikenna carefully watches the thoughtful expression playing on his young son’s face. He can almost feel the boy tapping into his energy, can so very clearly see how deeply the boy contemplates his father’s words. He waits, patiently, until Malba gives his answer. He smiles, carefully squeezing that tiny hand, gently, affectionately.* He does. So... why don’t we help Kaichii with those, first?
[Malba's expression is somewhat hesitant for a moment. He doesn't think that he can really help. After all, what had he done when Kailas had been fighting off all of those bad men? Still, Malba's determined to try. He gives another small nod, his expression growing a bit serious.] Okay. What do I do, Daddy?
Good boy. You’re such a good, brave boy, Malba. *Ikenna gently states, tipping in to brush an encouraging kiss against the top of his son’s head. That hesitancy certainly isn’t lost on him, and he… if he can combat it, even a little, he’s certainly going to try.* All you have to do is focus, baby. Kiss Kaichii again, and think about how your energy feels. It feels like Daddy’s, doesn’t it? We’re going to give it to Kaichii.
[Suddenly, a thought strikes Malba. What if he hurts Kailas with his energy? He's never been able to heal anyone before... what if he can't do it, and hurts him instead? Malba's eyes fill with a vague sense of fear, and he looks uncertainly toward Kailas.] ... it's not the same. I-I'm not the same as you, Daddy, I... I'm not....
*Ikenna blinks, smile softening, empathetic. Of course Malba would have concern. It’s a familiar one, really, if he thinks back upon learning to control his own raging abilities as a child—much more violent ones, to be sure—but familiar, all the same. He tilts in, resting another gentle kiss to his child’s head.* It’s all right, Malba. It’s okay. Why don’t you feel Daddy heal Kaichii. Hold my hand, and give Kaichii a kiss. You’ll be helping. You don’t have to be me. All you need to do is be you, Malba.
[This, Malba knows he can do. Even if it's not exactly healing Kaichii... the man always tells him how much he loves his kisses. Malba holds fast to his father's hand, and leans in to press another gentle kiss to Kailas's head. He can do this.]
[Kailas breathes another soft, content sigh as Malba rests another kiss against his head. He won't focus on Malba's uncertainty. Instead, he'll encourage his kind gestures, murmuring softly:] It really... does make me feel better, Malba. It makes me relaxed.
*Ikenna keeps hold of Malba’s hand as he rests kisses against Kailas’s head, his smile soft, a bit bittersweet. The boy is so uncertain of himself, and yet so kind, loving—it’s so very clear with the way he rests those kisses, careful and so very intent.
Of course, now comes his part. The demon breathes in, slowly, focusing inward, on his own energy—it’s easy to reach for, to draw out of himself. After using so much throughout this ordeal, one might expect it to be increasingly difficult, but if anything, the fire burns that much brighter within himself, energy strong and vibrant and right within his grasp. He’s grateful for this fact. It at least brings solace, protection, comfort for his family, doesn’t it?*
Here. Now, I’m going to help Kaichii relax, too. *he gently remarks, free hand drawing to Kailas’s. He takes hold of it and draws it to his lips.*
[Although Malba's self-doubt makes it difficult for him to immediately believe Kailas's words, the man's calm, relaxed expression is convincing enough. No, he might not be able to do the things that his father can... but maybe Malba can have some small purpose? He can help in his own way.
The boy is brought out of his thoughts by a sudden stirring sensation within him. His own energy seems to pulse in response to his father's. He can feel it moving through the demon--he can almost see that warm fire inside of him. Malba watches with awe as he feels them surge and flicker within Ikenna. By the time that energy reaches his lips, it's tamed, although still powerful. With just the touch of his father's lips to Kailas's hand, the many cuts and bruises along his skin seem to close and heal.]
I'm not sure I can get much more relaxed. [Kailas admits, his smiling lips and grateful expression settling on Malba. Nonetheless, he does immediately feel a sense of calm as Ikenna takes his hand into his own. It's still battered, and several of his fingers are clearly broken, although they've since set his digits into place. He's fully prepared to be healed at this point, and he can't help but feel a sense of anticipation as Ikenna's lips linger closer. The feeling of the man's energy is blissful--even if he does feel somewhat guilty for making it waste it on him in the first place. Kailas breathes deeply, his eyes drawing to a close.] Ikenna... thank you.