||[Oct. 4th, 2011|11:20 pm]
Azazel & Riptide's Kingdom
|||||The kitchen island||]|
|||||"Peace" - Apocalyptica||]|
Title: Untitled (For now)
Warnings: Mention of violence some might find disturbing.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the Marvel universe, or the characters used. I profit in no way from the use.
Summary: Azazel is not the only one with scars. Riptide has plenty of his own, external and internal.
A/N This is a sequel to the prompt about Azazel's scars, in which I try to give some back story to Janos' as well. It was inspired by the idea of Riptide drawing, of all things.
“What are you doing?” Angel asked, leaning over his shoulder.
Startled, Riptide, drew back, the pen in his hand going slack. Bored, he'd started sketching on the phone pad absentmindedly, and had failed to even notice her coming in the room.
“Hey, that's pretty good.” She picked it up, studying it. “Did you take classes or something?” He shook his head truthfully, and she frowned. “Seriously, is there anything you're not good at? You cook, you draw. Do you play an instrument?” The tone was clearly sarcastic, and he looked away, embarrassed. “Oh, you do, damn it. What do you play?”
“Cello.” He answered, and she huffed, tipping his sketch to the side.
“Did you do this from memory?” He nodded. “Huh.”
It was only a bare outline, the lines sloppy and jagged. It was Azazel, partly, the upper left half of his face, the beginnings of his knuckles, and the shape of a sword. Riptide had seen him in the stance not an hour ago, training, as he always did.
“How do you think he got that scar?” She asked thoughtfully, giving it back to him at last. Riptide shrugged, but the pride he felt was unmistakable. He knew how Azazel had gotten the scar, had been confided in during the early morning hours when it was just the two of them in Azazel's bed. It had yet to stop making him feel like an idiot of the happiest kind, that he had finally gotten Azazel, after all this time.
“Hey,” Angel interrupted his thoughts. “What's with the smile?”
“Nothing.” She raised an eyebrow, clearly disbelieving, but let it go.
“So, how come I never see you playing? You know, the cello?” She mimed the motions of a bow, and maybe it should have been funny, but for Riptide, it was like the room went cold.
“Because I do not play anymore.” He rubbed his knuckles unconsciously, the inconspicuous scars feeling like valleys under his fingers.
“Oh? Out of practice?” Her questions meant nothing, he reminded himself. She was only making conversation.
“Something like that.” He replied.
In his left hand, he could almost feel the bow, the neck in his right hand, as he played, beautifully, like he did everything. Music and art had come easily to him where every other subject had left him feeling hopelessly stupid.
Taking it from him had been one of their favorite motivators.
It had been so many years, truly, almost ten, but he can still feel it, the brick smashing down on his knuckles while Joseph had held him down. The months it had taken him to relearn the movements had been torture, and in the end, they had been worthless, because he had only had a week of beautiful playing before he disappointed them again.
He excused himself from the table, and went for a walk around the grounds, trying to get his head away from places it did not need to be. Azazel asking, after so casually disclosing his own stories, had opened up something inside Janos, releasing memories he thought were better off forgotten.
He could still hear Joseph, even now.
“Give me your hand Janos.”
“Janos?” He jumped, startled for the second time. It was Azazel though, striding towards him with a thoughtful look on his face. “What are you doing?”
“Walking,” He said, his heart slowing back down. It only sped back up though, when Azazel put a hand on the small of his back, already so sure of his welcome with Janos. Just because he could now, Janos put his arms around Azazel's neck and kissed him, reveling in the way Azazel kissed back.
“Hello,” Azazel said, when Janos drew back a hair's distance.
“Hello,” Janos replied, happy, so happy he thought his heart might burst out of his chest.
He pulled away, but Azazel let him loop their arms, so they could walk together. All thoughts of before, the darkness he preferred to shut away, dissipated into the cloudy sky, as he lived in the moment, this one where Azazel loved him and trusted him and kissed him. He loved this moment.
“Angel told me something, in the kitchen.” Azazel said, after they'd walked for a good half-hour, around at least a quarter of the grounds of the great old house Lehnsherr had found for them.
“She said you played the cello.” Janos nodded, somehow less uncomfortable with the hard subject outside, with Azazel. He liked Angel, but she was still a stranger. “Why do you not play anymore?”
“Because I do not.” Azazel stopped them, his hand taking Janos' and holding it up, running his tail over the knuckles.
“Something to do with these?” Janos snatched his hand away, and immediately regretted it. Azazel had asked before, and he had not had this reaction. He'd been able to stay calm. But Azazel asked now like he wanted to know the whole story, wanted what he had given so Janos so freely.
“Is complicated.” He offered, expecting Azazel to be angry. Azazel cupped his face though, and kissed him again, softer, gentler.
“I only asked. You do not have to tell me.”
“No, I,” He paused, and closed his eyes, resting his forehead against Azazel's. “I gave up. After the fourth time.” He did not need to elaborate on what that meant exactly. Azazel understood. “I just never tried again.”
“You could.” Azazel told him, threading their fingers together. “Instruments, they are easy to come by with me, yes?” Janos could have laughed.
Azazel was true to his word. The old house they were living in had a large room, half-glass, that had been some kind of sun room in its glory days. That was where Azazel left it for him, sitting in its stand, sheet music on another stand.
He played, like he had so many years before, until it came back to his fingers, the strings coming alive for him again, whispering to him where to press, where to slide the bow, to make the sweetest sounds.
Azazel was thanked, thoroughly.
“It is as Shaw and Lehnsherr say, I think.” Azazel mused, one night, as he pressed a kiss to the pad of one of Janos' fingers. “These humans, they will ruin the world for us. You cannot let them.”
“What do you mean?” Janos asked, confused.
“They cannot take away your joys, Janos. Or they win.” Janos frowned, before it became clear what Azazel had assumed. It pained Janos deeply to correct him, but a lie would still be a lie. And to have a lie between them would be a mistake, he knew.
“Humans did not do this to me, Azazel.”
Janos burrowed into his side, taking comfort in the way Azazel's arm wrapped around him so readily now, protecting him from a world he could not help but hate, almost as deeply as Azazel did.