Fandom: Originale; D&D
Riassunto: Some times, Kairen's dreams are not his own. Some other times, they are one-hundred percent a fabrication of everything he doens't want to be.
Note: Scritta per la M1 della 2° settimana del COWT9 per "Fantasy"
Warning: TALPY AND NUKI IF YOU READ THIS IS2G I'LL MAKE KAIREN DROP DEAD AT THE NEXT SESSION I DON'T CARE. I'LL TAKE HOGGART WITH HIM.
Kairen doesn’t really remember how he got there. It doesn’t seem important, nor something he should question too much. He can hear the buzzing of people around him and when he looks around he sees he’s at the market, a familiar sight for him.
Kairen has been wandering around the market a lot, searching for any magic item he could find, always coming up empty. He has never stopped trying, there are no other leads to gaining the kind of power he needs, to be sure he will be ready when he faces his enemies.
Kairen has never been particularly studious or intelligent, he doesn’t know the basic of magic, and even when he tries to find book about that, most are lost and others are too difficult for him to understand.
He has found a magical talking sword that gave him powers beyond his imagination, beyond anything he could have ever imagined as a child. Why wouldn’t he find something else again? So he continues his search, passing from booth to booth and looking around trying to see that sparkle, that magic glint.
Around him he sees both Rosi and Amelia and he’s surprised by the sight. He doesn’t really know why they would be there with him. He shouldn’t trust them as much as he’s doing, opening up to them in ways he hadn’t even with his previous clan. They know things about it, things that no one should ever know. Don’t let them see, his mother voice says, angry and scared and disappointed all at the same time.
Sure, he hadn’t revealed anything of his own volition. It had been fault of the circumstances, of his curiosity and need. An accident that he had revealed to them his power of shifting and only because he didn’t had the time to change back into Kairen back when he was investigating the kids’ hideout. But that doesn’t erase the fact that he hasn’t left, that he hasn’t just slink back into another district, another life, another home.
He’s still there with them. Hasn’t pushed them away as he should.
(Give me time, he thinks, with a voice that comes from something deeper than Kairen).
In theory there shouldn't be any way for him to focus on a single person in the sea of people that’s visiting the market this morning, but he blinks, looks up, and he sees the face of Iri in the crowd.
It’s a shock. It’s even more of a shock when he realizes that he’s seeing Iri in all their unmasked glory. No personality, no disguise. They have white hair, grey skin and they walk around confidently, uncaring of the fact that everyone can see.
Kairen lounges forward before he can help himself, coming to a stop in front of Iri and calling their name.
They turn and finally look at Kairen. There’s so much he wants to say, so much he wants to ask. The part of him that’s buried deep inside of him, the part of him that’s Aka, is shaking.
“Mom?” Iri asks, and Kairen realizes the face he’s wearing. He loathes to do this in front of the others, but this is Iri. And he’s unable to stop.
Kairen morphs immediately, moving through the change between Kairen and Akairi quickly and elegantly. It comes with practice.
She settles into her skin, feeling the usual anger, impatience, frustration that comes with Akairi’s form. Where Kairen is mellow and uncaring, Akairi is fire that will burn the world down.
“No,” She tells Iri, feeling the soft tone of her voice. “It’s me.”
“Aka?” Iri wonders, and Akairi has to stop herself from shaking her head. How can Iri have forgotten so much?
Calling Akairi Aka is right and wrong at the same time. In every personality there’s a little bit of Aka inside them, but Akairi is not Aka, not in the ways that matter.
It’s something difficult to explain to others, but she didn’t think she would have to explain it to one of their own.
“Yes,” she replies, because there is no need to explain the middle of the street. “Yes, Iri, it’s me.”
She doesn’t know who moves first, but they are embracing, holding each other as tight as they can. Relief washes over Akairi, knowledge that Iri is safe. Iri is here. Akairi can save them.
“What are you doing going around like this?” she can’t help but ask, looking around them to make sure no one was watching the too much. Their survival depends on being hidden, blending in with the environment, the crowd. Don’t draw too much attention to yourself. Don’t ever show your true colors.
Ask for money as repayment for anything they want you to do, pretend you care about gold and they will never question your motives again thinking you’re in just for a quick buck.
These are rules Akairi lives by every day.
Iri frowns, looking at Akairi. It seems to her that Iri’s face completely changes, almost as if they are changing it, but it remains the same. It’s just that it’s harder, crueler.
“Because this is me, Aka. I’m Iri. No one else,” they reply, looking at Akairi with disdain, “they showed me that. While our parents just wanted us to hide.”
“All they did, they did it to protect us!” Akairi immediately replies, feeling shock course through her veins. How could Iri say that? How could they have changed so much? “They took you away from us! You can’t trust them, Iri, you know the first rule...”
“Of course,” Iri immediately continues, with a cruel smile. “First rule: Never let anyone see. I remember the second rule as well: only trust family.” Iri smirks and looks at him. “Look how far that got you.”
Akairi blinks, surprised and hurt. She doesn’t understand what’s happening, doesn’t understand why Iri is talking this way. Is she too late? Is Iri already lost to her?
“I’m alive and-” she tries, but Iri interrupts her again.
“And sad, yes we all can see that. Scared as well, am I right?” Iri pushes, like it’s nothing. Like their words are weapons they are an expert in wielding.
Akairi freezes, unable to react in any way. It seems to her like the entire crowd turns towards them, cruel and judging. They assess her, study all her weakness. They see her.
“Why are you doing this?” Akairi can’t help but ask, taking a step back. She stumbles and she feels the presence of someone at her back.
When she turns she finds herself face to face with Amelia and she can see Rosi watching her as well. She forgot about them, but the knowledge that they have heard everything, seen everything hits her like a firebolt to the chest.
“Do they even know you?” Iri wonders from behind Aka. “Of course not, because you don’t even know yourself. Who are you, Aka? Certainly not our mother’s personality that you wear like a flimsy armor. Are you Akairi, the strong, independent and fiery big sister they wanted you to be? The shining red star of the family?”
Iri steps forward then, passing a hand through Akairi’s hair. Iri’s touch is gentle, at odds with their words.
“We both know you aren’t, don’t we?” Iri flicks Akair’s hair with a disinterested movement. “I think you’re more like that little kid, cowering in a corner for days in the dark, waiting for their parents to come back.”
“No. I…” she shook her head, violently. How could Iri know? How could everyone know? “I moved. I did it. I got out. I did it all myself!” She screams back, afraid and so hurt by the memories, by the darkness.
By being alone.
“Yes.” Iri says, “Little Aka. So scared, so afraid of being alone. So weak.” Before she even thinks about it, Akairi summons the blade, feels the skull in her hand and then she stabs Iri in the stomach.
The blade goes through, clean between their organs and Akairi watches, helplessly as Iri bleeds over her blade. Their blood pours onto the hilt, smearing Akair’s hands. Her entire soul.
“Still so scared, little Aka.”
Kairen jolts out of bed, his breathing agitated. He doesn’t remember for a second who he is. Is he Akairi? Is he Kairen? Is he Aka? Was he ever Aka in the first place?
He looks around at his old, empty room, with nothing but a bed, a wardrobe and a table. Nothing to tie him down, nothing to lose. He can be out of here in a second, gone to another district, gone to pursue his revenge.
Gone forever. No one would ever remember him. Them. Aka would be a name no one would have to forget, hidden in secret and fear. Hidden in the rules his family gave them, hidden in the harsh reality that there was no place safe for someone like him.
Kairen’s hands are shaking uncontrollably but they are clean. He summons the blade and the metal shines, devoid of blood. Iri’s gasp, the wet sound of the blade cutting their gut, the feeling of blood corrupting his flesh, coating everything with its thick substance.
Nothing is left.
A dream, then.
Of course. A dream. Maybe something that, once again, came from the strange voice of his dreams. Maybe a warning to not stray too much from his path. He has been careless lately, using magic around, letting people know a little bit of Kairen. Maybe there’s something inside him that’s trying to make him remember that he’s not here to live a happy life. That shit sailed a long time ago.
What he has now is its quest, his new powers, his need to be better. Be stronger.
After all he’s not that kid anymore, that frightful kid that couldn’t protect anyone, powerless against the rest of the world. Powerless to stop them from taking Iri and destroying his family, the only safe and happy place he has ever known in his life. Powerless to stop his parents from disappearing, to keep hold of them long enough to not be separated from them.
He’s stronger, has given up everything to make sure of it.
Kairen has given up his soul for this purpose. Has given up his morals, his face. He has given up anything that made him Aka and he won’t have anyone stop him from achieving what he has to do.
He looks down at the sword, its skulls and unearthly blue glow staring back into his eyes. He has an entire government to take down, and his sword has a home to get back to.
For a moment they let Kairen slip away. Aka’s face, reflected in the blade is emotionless. This dream didn’t mean anything.
They know what they have to do. And nothing will stop Aka from achieving it.