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13 April 2008 @ 10:34 pm
Challange # 3 - Wraeththu  
Title: Ice Princess
Subject: Wraeththu
Characters: Vaysh, Ashmael
Fandom: Wraeththu
Challenge #/Song: #3 - "Perfect" - Smashing Pumpkins
Rating: PG

It was inevitable that they should have an encounter. It had been easy to stay away until now, but Vaysh had known a confrontation of some sort was bound to take place that night. It was Pellaz’s coronation, or, rather, the ceremony after it. Every important har in Immanion was there, and both he and Ashmael, trusted advisor and renowned general, certainly qualified for an invitation.

So when a shift in the crowd left them facing each other there was no feeling of surprise or anger, just a sort of wary acceptance that they needed to talk.

“Why did you dye your hair? It used to be blond.” Of course Ashmael broke the silence, Vaysh reflected silently. He was always a har of action.

He shrugged, the movement barely disturbing the red locks in question, as though they were carved from ice as the rest of his pale form seemed to be. “I wanted to.” No emotion, because that ice extended inside now, too, all the way to what was left of his heart. He did not elaborate, did not add that he just had not been able to look in the mirror and see someone who looked the same as he had been before everything.

Ashmael just shook his head, looking away for a second, practically trembling with emotion. “You died. You fucking died! I don’t know how long I sat there holding your body and crying but you can be damn sure if you were alive I would have figured it out! I burned you! I can still smell the blood, I was out of my mind for a year afterwards. So how the fuck are you back? How the fuck are we having this damn conversation?”

None of the emotions Vaysh was feeling showed on his perfect, cold face. The ice walls were still strong. “Thiede brought me back.”

“No he didn’t.” Ashmael snapped angrily. “He built something that looks like Vaysh and taught it how to talk. He didn’t bring the real you back, though.”

Vaysh looked puzzled, nothing more. Inside he was screaming, sobbing slumped against all that ice, broken by the condemnation in that voice he loved more than anything else. “Yes he did.”

“You used to smile. I’ve watched you, since you got back with Pellaz. When you walked in a room it used to be like the fucking sun just exploded into it. Now you’re just, just…this. You might as well still be dead; you fucking act like a corpse.”

For the tiniest second Vaysh’s stony eyes flickered away, looking aside to get control. In a way, Ashmael was right; Thiede had gotten it wrong, but not in a way his old love could ever imagine in his nightmares. He didn’t want him to know, did not want to see that horror and pity in his eyes. Didn’t want to explain why he’d taught himself not to feel.

“I have a difficult task that can’t be taken lightly.” He said finally, as an excuse.

“Liar. Pell is here now, he’s fine. Besides, when was that ever an excuse before?” Ashmael shot back, looking disgusted. “Like I said, this isn’t you. Thiede made some creation that looks and sounds like the Vaysh I knew but isn’t him at all.”

“It’s more complicated than that. I can’t explain it to you.” Vaysh replied icily, regretting the words before he even spoke them but not bothering to stop himself.

They stood glaring at each other for a long, tense silence then something indescribable – pain? Regret? Hope? – flickered through Ashmael’s eyes. “Share breath with me.”

Before Vaysh could stop him their lips met and he froze in panic. It was the last chance, and he could change everything if he just returned it, let his arms wrap around the other har’s body, give in to all the feelings that were so strong he thought they were going to strangle him.

But at the same time all he could see was Thiede, raw, elemental fire, pure power descending on him, burning his lips, his throat, his lungs and then, far worse, lower down. It was supposed to elevate his level, make him more powerful than anyone but his creator but instead it had just burned everything away, inside and out. He supposed rape really was the only word for it, but perhaps conflagration would have been more appropriate. The fear and memory of that pain left him rigid with terror, standing stiffly, trembling imperceptibly until Ashmael withdrew, anguish on his face.

“Your soul used to taste like light,” His voice was almost an accusation. “Now its just ice.”

Somehow Vaysh managed to maintain that perfect cool as Ashmael stalked away, was able to calmly leave the room himself. But the ice started to melt the farther away he got until he was barely able to keep himself composed as he passed other hara. By the time he reached his suit of rooms it was all he could do not to run. The ice did not shatter until he shut the door, then he collapsed, sobbing so hard he could not breath and hating everything especially himself. The dyed red hair hung about him like tangled blood, shaking with each sob, tears streaming down the snowy skin of his face.

He curled up where he lay on the floor, wrapping himself around the pain in his abdomen that was always there, had never stopped since Thiede’s botched attempt to create perfection. Thiede, who had so easily replaced him, who now sat downstairs, respected and admired, basking in his own triumph. He couldn’t muster the strength to hate him at the moment, was too wracked with grief and anguish and loss. He had thought the fire that had hollowed him out and left him barren had reached his heart, too. At that moment, he could only wish with all his might that it had.
 
 
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