Author's Comments: This is semi-AU - everything before this event transpires as normal.
Warning/s: This is slash BDSM - bondage/discipline and sadomasochistic behavior between two males. If this disturbs or offends you, then read no further. Any flames regarding this matter will be dealt with by Tasuki's tessen. Secondly, this fic hovers somewhere between ratings R and NC-17, since BDSM makes it R but the adult material that should typically make it NC-17 is not very graphic. Let's settle for R instead...
The sharp crack of the flailing whip echoed in the silence of the dungeon. Quivering with speed, the it lashed forward once more, its path whistling through the dank atmosphere and ruffling the blond hair of its wielder, until it reached its target. Tamahome cried out as the whip struck, once again searing away flesh and blood.
But no one could hear him. The guards had left. No one but the man before him, bereft of any expression except for the sneer on his pale features, and a hand of steel as swift and sharp as his hair was fair. His eyes were but cold orbs of ominous blue, lit only by the glow of the Chinese character on his forehead. His hand on the whip brought a lethal weapon to life.
Of all the people Tamahome knew, only one could wield it with such flawless precision, and that was Nakago, a rival and one the most formidable foes of the Suzaku side.
And when he spoke, even the soft whistle of the wind outside seemed to withdraw into silence. "Obedience is one more virtue you must learn before you die, fool." His voice was deathly low, and the hand that held the whip was lifted with the menace of a threat. "For the last time, do you swear to bend only to the Seiryuu no Miko's wishes?"
Tamahome's only reply was a choked gasp, the air satiated with the sickening stench of blood mingled with sweat assailing his lungs. He couldn't move - the bands binding him to the ceiling like a macabre puppet tore mercilessly at his wrists - and let alone think.... Yet, though in the midst of anguish, he found himself uttering a dry chuckle. If he was about to die, then he was going to die obnoxious, which he was surprisingly adept at.
Despite the agonizing sting of his wounds, he stuck out his tongue, cringing slightly as he tasted the coppery tang of blood on his lips. "You wish."
His defiance was only rewarded with another blow of the whip, and Nakago's dry, mirthless chuckle.
"Your insolence is beginning to tire me," he commented disapprovingly, letting the whip drop to his side as Tamahome struggled to keep his consciousness. "I don't know why you, of all people, would prefer to stand through this when we can just do it the easy way."
A myriad of colors swam past Tamahome's eyes, hazy and dilated from the prolonged torment. But his pride held up, though only barely. He managed a snort. "If keeping me prison in this - this hellhole of yours - is what you consider easy, then I'd much rather kiss you than listen to you," he said disdainfully.
He expected the whip to lash out again, but he was mistaken. When he opened his eyes, Nakago had moved from his spot and was approaching Tamahome. An inscrutable expression had replaced his steely one, and with deliberate footsteps he continued to severe the remaining distance between them.
What the -
The whip was back in Nakago's hand; except that this time, it was the handle, and not its sharp tail, that was pointed at him, pressing against his chin until he was forced to stare into those cold, depthless eyes. A slow smile was spreading in his face, blank and unreadable, yet the temperature in the room seemed to rise until Tamahome had to struggle to breathe, rasping through parted lips.
The blond man let out a low, rumbling laugh before saying simply, "You did ask."
Tamahome's eyes popped open and his mouth snapped shut at the suggestive tone of his voice and he wrenched himself violently backward, increasing the burning pressure of the cuffs binding his hands. "You little - " he snarled, then launched into a litany of less-than-polite phrases that could, if looks could kill, reduced Nakago into a puddle of glop on the ground.
Nakago couldn't hold back his amusement at Tamahome's reaction. "Your extensive vocabulary of such colorful language impresses me, Tamahome," he remarked, his tone growing intriguingly silkier at the mention of the Suzaku warrior's name. He moved the whip slightly, so that it traced a languid path along the bruised edge of his face. "You might want to put that mouth of yours..." A smirk lifted in one corner of his mouth. "...to better uses."
"Fuck you, Nakago," Tamahome spat out, jerking his head away to avoid the touch of the whip.
A slender blond eyebrow lifted at this. "Truly? My, you beg for far too much."
At that an outraged yell escaped Tamahome's lips before Nakago, with lightning speed, got behind him and wound the whip so that it wrapped twice about is head, trapping his mouth with the coarse skin of leather. A whisper, and Tamahome could feel the shogun's warm breath close to his ear.
"I am beginning to weary of this silly cat-and-mouse game," Nakago said, the voice low and hypnotic. "If I can't watch you make yourself useful for our Miko, then I'll make you useful for something else."
Tamahome felt a pang of fear slice through the growing disbelief at the dead seriousness as Nakago spoke. He tried to wriggle free, but the whip wound ever tighter, numbing whatever feel was left in his lips. A sense of foreboding overcame his senses; everything - the unyielding bind of the whip, the exhaustion in his battered body - everything had faded, melted by the heated promise in Nakago's words.
As though in a trance, he found his lips parting again - to cry for help, to take mouthful of air... and to beg for something he didn't know. The close proximity between the two men's bodies was torturous that Tamahome involuntarily trembled when Nakago moved to look directly into his eyes.
There he saw - a threat, and a promise, skillfully molded into one - in those clear blue eyes, mesmerizing and terrifying him at the same time.
"Stop - that," Tamahome forced himself to say through gritted teeth, although his gestures clearly betrayed him. "What the hell do you think you're doing, Nakago?"
All he got for his efforts was another chuckle; Nakago's eyes never left his, leaving Tamahome bared and transparent as a piece of crystalline glass. The blond man regarded him carelessly. "Are all the Suzaku seishi this stubborn?" he asked, lazily trailing the handle of the whip across Tamahome's eyebrows, drawn in a forcibly angry expression. He leaned even closer, until all that hindered the touch of their skin was the thick leather whip still wrapped around Tamahome's head. "We'll just have to do something about that, shall we?"
Then he began to touch him.
Slowly, carefully, as though one wrong move could shatter him, the shogun's long, slender fingers brush lightly over Tamahome's forehead, down to his eyelashes tinged with sweat, teasing his eyelids closed with one smooth gesture.
Finding in him no resistance, Tamahome acquiesced, and, although he felt the terrible quench of guilt in his gut, a warm pleasure washed over him, easily overthrowing his wavering defense.
His hand dropped from Tamahome's face - the other never letting go of the whip still wrapped tight - down to the slick wetness of his neck, skillfully seeking and caressing the spot where his pulse was jumping wildly, and in response he felt his body tense at every contact - every feathery touch of his skin against Nakago's own. It wasn't pleasure, it wasn't pain - it was Nakago, above all else.
Nakago was seducing him... and succeeding, as Tamahome felt himself arching to the unspoken passion he was offering, vulnerable and defenseless. His touch was languorous and feather-light, as though weaving a dream, but the arousal he provoked was very, very real.
Get a grip on yourself! the part of his mind that had yet to succumb frantically urged him. Don't think about him - think about Miaka - think about the others back at Konan -
But it was all in vain, as Nakago purged on relentlessly, Tamahome's discomfort only seeming to encourage him further. And when Tamahome caught a glance at Nakago's hands, they seemed no longer just hands, not a mere physical part of his body, but a weapon... a weapon he was presently using with flawless skill to his utmost advantage.
All of a sudden Nakago pulled away, and, to Tamahome's surprise and shame, he found himself disappointed and ultimately thankful that the whip was still secured around his mouth, preventing him from screaming for more.
An almost inaudible chuckle. "Felt good, did it not?"
Tamahome could only stare back motionless, his tongue useless.
Nakago tipped his head back, as though to study him better, running one hand across the surface of the whip and each time deliberately slipping so that his fingers brushed past the exposed part of his cheek, flushed with unbidden rapture. "Well, if you can't answer by telling me, you must do so by other means."
Other means... Terror seized him at the thought of what those "other means" could possibly be, and he looked away. It was a most terrible feeling - of physical torture, of twisted pleasure that he couldn't bring himself to accept, and of helpless confusion, losing himself in the seductive labyrinth Nakago had created.
With one tug of the handle of the whip, the Seiryuu seishi yanked so that Tamahome was forced to face him again. "Answer me," Nakago said, and his voice held a warning.
Still no reply.
"And if you can't tell me," he murmured, breaching the distance between them to flick his tongue against Tamahome's ear for the briefest of moments. "Show me."
Without warning, Nakago abruptly jerked away the handle of the whip, brutally pulling its long tail away from Tamahome's face and releasing a yelp of pain from Tamahome. His throat was burning, dry of thirst, and when he inhaled a rasping breath, he choked, coughing out a mixture of spittle and blood. Deep red welts marked his wrists like angry bracelets where his bonds still held fast.
He ached to be set free, yet at the same time craved for the touch that would bring his release.
Nakago remained oblivious to his distress, continuing to run his hands down the crevices of Tamahome's muscled torso, deftly yet delicately tracing from his chest to his abdomen, sometimes probing, sometimes light and teasing that he couldn't tell when a casual stroke would combust into a pleasurable flame.
"You're not speaking, Tamahome," Nakago warned him, his voice becoming increasingly ominous as he spoke directly to his mouth, the silky strands of his fair hair glancing enticingly over Tamahome's face. One fingertip brushed past his bloodied lip, and came away stained in crimson.
"No," Tamahome gasped, at the edge of his fraying self-control. The symbol "demon" flickered as he attempted to muster whatever strength he had left to resist, then faded, drained as he was. He tried to summon an image of Miaka to his head... anything... anything that would make the temptation go away... but he found himself unable to even visualize her, remember the sweet scent of her hair, or the youthful sound of her voice.
A low, guttural, honeyed sort of laugh. "I intend to rectify that mistake..."
Suddenly, Nakago's hand left his face... and thrust brusquely into Tamahome's breeches.
"Yes!" Oh, dear God... Tamahome could hardly bear hold his head up as he heard the single word escape his lips, frayed with undeniable desire... guilty lust.
Nakago chuckled with immense approval and pushed on ruthlessly, persistent yet meticulous as he worked with his hands, coaxing Tamahome fully to hardness, until, to his satisfaction, a violent spasm wracked his body. It ripped through whatever strength remained in him, and forcing a cry from his cracked lips.
And when his shivering subsided, Tamahome's head went limp, dropping like a lone snowflake upon his chest.
The shogun stepped back, as though to admire his handiwork. "Is that better?"
"Yes, yes..." Tamahome's voice was barely recognizable.
"Say it," Nakago hissed.
"Yes, I - "
"You are not a wimp, Tamahome," Nakago interrupted. The whip was back, cracking to life, and was edging dangerously close to the Suzaku seishi's already sore back. "Look at me. You cannot deny that you derived pleasure by my hand, even in the midst of torture. Say it."
It was shame, shame so great that he almost preferred whatever death could offer next to the unbearable humiliation. Yet, despite everything else, he raised his head, strands of his blue-green hair falling in disheveled clumps over his temples.
"Yes... I liked it." Dear Suzaku...
For a moment, Nakago seemed ready to cease.
Then he abruptly raised his free hand and struck Tamahome hard on the cheek, whipping his head to one side and leaving a bright red streak on his cheek.
"Your impudence astounds me," he said, his voice murderously low. "It seems to have slipped your mind that I master this situation; you are but a prisoner."
Another weapon he unsheathed, and this time it was a sword, its sleek metal sides shining like mirrors in the dimly lit dungeon. Still breathing hard from the harshness of the blow, Tamahome eyed the blade warily, nearly paralyzed from terror yet helpless to do anything.
Nakago raised the sword, an wicked glint in his narrowed eyes.
This is it, thought Tamahome grimly, his breath lodging in his throat. I'm going to die... Scenes from his short life literally flashed past his eyes - scenes of his childhood, his obsession for money, meeting the Suzaku no Miko, learning of his destiny to protect her... and this. Overwhelming shame at his guilty indulgence, unable to obey anything his mind told him.
I'm sorry, Miaka...
With one careless gesture of Nakago's hand, the remaining candlelight flickered then died, plunging the room into blackness. Tamahome's sense prickled, heightened at the sudden darkness. The dungeon was motionless, silent as a tomb, the deafening disquiet the only thing ringing in his ears...
Suddenly there was a gust of wind - the sound of something hurled and whistling swiftly through the air - then a solid thunk.
The lights flared back to life, and the first thing Tamahome saw was the quivering hilt of the sword, its steel tip partially embedded into the crevices of the stone wall right behind him, missing his face by a hair's breadth. One turn to the left - just a single inch - would cleave his cheek in half. And before him, eyeing the blade with disappointment, was Nakago, looking no worse than if he had actually killed only an insect.
"I missed," he said simply. He reached over to grasp the hilt of the sword. "Now, do not move, lest you want that charming face of yours in two pieces."
Tamahome didn't need telling twice; he was in no condition to move himself.
Nakago expertly drew the sword out, noticing the crusts of dirt caking the tip where it buried itself into the wall. He looked at it with mild disapproval, before facing Tamahome again.
"Wh-what are you doing?" Tamahome managed to stutter as Nakago approached him, holding out the sword so that its tip faced away from the Suzaku warrior's body.
"Cleaning it," replied Nakago calmly. "Were you expecting me to slaughter you with this, and end your pitiful existence just like that? I think not. Now, hold still."
And with that he pressed the sword against Tamahome's abdomen, staining its sides with his blood, then drew it lower to polish it off his garments, inching unbearably close to where he was swollen with bridled hunger. Tamahome, forgetting to breathe, could feel the sword's path as it went, with mocking slowness, over his waist, down, and back again... and he was responding in the only way his body could.
Nakago glanced up at him, a query in his eyes but amusement in his lips. "Did I not tell you to stay still?"
No answer but for a baleful stare.
A mildly knowing smile. Nakago turned the sword so that he could clean its other side, passing it across the skin above Tamahome's waistband and leaving a scarlet gash at its wake. Tamahome could barely suppress a hiss of pain as the cold metal bit his flesh, awakening a prickling yet numbing sensation in his mind.
"Did that hurt?" asked Nakago languidly.
"You're an idiot, Nakago," Tamahome said with as much dignity as he could. "Of course it hurts."
When both sides of the sword were finally gleaming, Nakago drew it from Tamahome's side to inspect it. "Much better," he mused, passing a pale hand across its flat edge. "But just to make sure..."
Fully aware of Tamahome's intense scrutiny, Nakago brought the sword up to his lips, and with a sensual, lilting movement, ran his tongue over its unsharpened side.
The blue-green-haired seishi fought back a choked gasp - both in repulsion and burning need as he saw that velvety tongue linger languorously over the sword. Fresh beads of perspiration trickled down his temples as new curiosity blossomed... on how it could possibly feel to be in the sword's place at that very moment.
Nakago lifted the sword again, holding it that Tamahome could see his reflection on its polished sides - bloodied and unkempt, flushed and breathless from the shame of guilt-ridden pleasure. "So," the blond man said, sheathing the sword in one smooth motion. "Have you decided to obey or should I continue where we left off?"
Tamahome's throat constricted at his use of "we", but said, with typical stubbornness. "No."
"No? We'll just have to see about that, hmm?"
From then Nakago resumed, as though nothing had ever passed before, this time harsher, bolder, each touch holding a warning to comply - or else. But from the outer guise of anguish Tamahome could feel an unknown spark flare from within - this time more promising, more blissful...
"Have you changed your mind?" Nakago said in a tantalizingly low whisper.
"Yes," Tamahome found himself blurting out before he mastered the impulse. "No!"
The Seiryuu warrior simply laughed, a terrible, silky laugh. "I see," he said, a sliver of a smirk there that chilled Tamahome despite the suffocating temperature of the dungeon.
"Just a little more should do the trick..."
And then, with a sharp roughness that almost drove Tamahome to his knees, Nakago captured his lips in a bruising kiss.
His mouth was coarse, chapped and bleeding in several places, but the mere touch of Nakago's lips against his, its alluring, exquisite taste of cool mint, and the firm hold of his hands against his face was enough to effectively and effortlessly silence Tamahome's protests. Nakago was draining him... exhausting every ounce of self-control he possessed and replacing it instead with fire... a flame that Nakago alone could increase or extinguish by will.
Slowly, unhurriedly, Nakago tapered off the kiss and stepped back. His own lips were now stained with blood, but to Tamahome, it was the most perfect, most torturous, most beautiful image ever.
And Nakago simply wiped it away.
"Now," the blonde said, flicking his hair over his shoulder as though nothing had happened. "I'll ask you again - do you swear to give yourself to the Seiryuu no Miko's service?"
With a satisfied smile, Nakago lifted a hand, and the bands around Tamahome's hands were severed, letting him drop to the floor, crushed in body and spirit.
It was finally over.
But there are some things that don't perish with release.
Return to Archive