A LotRO role-player character blog. Yes, I know. Shut up.
Lucky Star: Fight
September 18, 2013Posted by on
Right now he didn’t rotted care if his friend was bruised or bleeding any. At the moment he could barely feel his own pain. It seemed to tease his knuckles and his arm and the side of his face that had been slammed against the floor. They had no right to keep him from doing what he was supposed to do, no sodding right.
The anger was still there, but his senses were too dulled to show it outwardly. He felt like he was floating. A sudden irrational thought came, accompanied by just as irrational an urge to laugh. I am floating, he thought. But he really wasn’t, and he couldn’t even laugh at the weirdness of it. The medicine made him feel numb all over. Sometimes sleep came, but even that didn’t stop the thoughts and the memories and the deep, deep drive to do something. Where you go, I go.
“You will endanger yourself, which will cause yet greater danger to him,” he had been told. Somewhere inside he knew that was probably true, but he didn’t care. He had promised, and he couldn’t leave him out there all alone like this. He had to find him. The anger flashed again, but then fingers touched his brow and he suddenly relaxed.
He felt not peace, but something quieter and more still inside than he had felt in a very long time. He had last felt it when he drowned. He wasn’t afraid, but he reached inside to hold on anyway. His mind grasped at memories that were recent and fresh, and that had been both full of dread for an uncertain future and sweet with the assurance that they would get through everything together.
It was a few nights past. Cole had just left and Ben had looked back to his lover to ask, “Are you still mad at him?”
Atanamir kept his chin hooked on Ben’s shoulder to hide his face. “Not as much as I tried to make him believe.”
The shorter boy smiled. “Why do you want him to believe you are, izre?”
“He’ll be less affected if the worst should happen.”
Ben pulled back to look up at Atan’s face. “Hnn? What do you mean?”
Atanamir drew his arms from Ben’s shoulders and brought his hands to cup his lover’s cheeks. His eyes were soft and vulnerable. “He needs to protect you, and all the others from this. I’m going to be too hard to protect. It will come for me, Ben. When it does, he can’t be distracted.”
As his brows knitted, Ben suggested, “But izrê, don’t you think he’d be more distracted if he thinks you’re like. Mad at him still?” He searched his lover’s face.
“If we were working closely and equally when something comes, he’d blame himself. If I distance myself, no one will deny it’s my own fault. Blame will get in the way. Let everyone agree on that.”
Ben stubbornly shook his head. “No, Atan. That’s like… giving up and pretending nobody cares. Like he said, it’s not your fault, it’s that thing. THAT’s what everybody should blame.”
Atanamir glanced away, his lips tight. “And if they really don’t care?”
The other boy looked up at him in dismay. “But they do. They do, Atan. Me most of all, but they do.”
His lover looked back to him. “I know you do, banâk ‘nNi. Kâtha ‘nNi.” His eyes took in Ben’s face as he said, “You know you’re everything to me, don’t you?”
Ben searched Atan’s eyes, something urgent in his own expression. “I know,” he said barely above a whisper. “You can’t give up, though. I’ll be wherever you are. If you get hurt, I get hurt, too. And you can’t stop me, izrê. You can’t protect me unless you protect yourself. Because like. If you die, I die, too.”
Atanamir’s fingers brushed back some of Ben’s hair from his brow, his expression still soft. “I’m not giving up. I will fight. And it will be for you as much as it will be for me.”
As he took a shaky breath at that, Ben nodded. “Okay. Then I’ll have time. If something happens, I mean. I know more this time. I can find you.”
The other boy nodded back to him, leaning in to kiss his brow. “I’ll protect you, izrê,” he whispered.
Ben couldn’t help smiling. “Hey, we’re each other’s heroes, remember?”
Atanamir smiled too, faintly, at the familiar thing they had said often but rarely tested. “I think you’re remembering incorrectly. You saved me. I haven’t had the opportunity to save you yet.”
Dark grey eyes, wide and luminous, looked up at Atan, guileless and earnest. “You save me every day, banâk ‘nNi.”
His lover’s lips twitched with both a smile and a slight grimace from emotion. “No, I don’t. Aren’t you…?” His gaze lowered. “Don’t you get tired of it? There’s always something wrong.”
Ben reached up to touch Atan’s face. “Izrê,” he said with a smile. “There’s always more that’s right.”
A single tear escaped and trailed down Atanamir’s cheek. His gaze met Ben’s again, though, his brows drawn together with an odd, unspoken desperation. “You won’t resent me?”
“I won’t,” Ben murmured. “It’s not just because I made a promise, either. It’s because I love you that much, Atan.”
“Someday, Ben, I won’t be like this. I promise.”
Ben took him into his embrace again and murmured into long dark hair, “I know, izrê. And I’ll be right here.”
Had much time had passed? He was thirsty but at the same time had no desire to drink. He heard voices sometimes, and recognized them. He heard Cole’s voice, and Hrafen’s, and sometimes others. Ian was here now, and Nati too. Was he at home? But he looked between heavy eyelids and he saw that he wasn’t.
He murmured thick words that meant he wanted to go home, but he had no idea if anyone could understand them. He didn’t know if they could hear him. With an effort of thought he realized that he wasn’t even sure if he had actually spoken. From somewhere that seemed far away came the desire to look at his left hand.
Why don’t they get it, he silently asked himself. I’m with him anyway, even if they just give up and tie me to the bed with ropes. I hope he remembers. They were both fighting, just in different places. They were both suffering, but it was deep inside. He slowed his breath until it also made time slow, and for a while he slept again, and dreamed.
Includes an adapted RP log snippet. Many hugs and thanks to Glyngaris!