tayastorm: (harmony)
[personal profile] tayastorm
Note I'm attempting to fic from daily prompts, the results of which may or may not get posted. (Yesterday's, for example, was an exercise in demonstrating what I hate about trying to force writing.)
The prompt for this piece is actually "archaic", which hasn't shown up yet. I don't know if I'll write more today, or try to work tomorrow's prompt in to this, or just finish this fic later and use the next prompt for something different. We'll see when we see.

The door to the cell screeched open, sending light pouring in. Baereth hissed as he felt it hit his skin, trying to turn his body away from it. Despite his best efforts his body had become accustomed to the darkness and the deliberately bright light was agony. He bit down hard on the gag, desperate to deny them every reaction he could. At least the blindfold was saving him from permanent blindness.

There was a pause and the murmur of voices, followed by more screeching and a thud as the door was closed, returning the cell to darkness. Thinking that whoever it was had wanted only to inspect him and issue that bit of careless torture, Baereth sank back against his chains.

The faint smell of ink and breathing that wasn't his own alerted him to the fact that he wasn't alone after all. A deep sigh caught the scent of armour and oiled leather, the earthy grit of a worker who could never bathe quite long enough to rid himself of odour. The ink was an alien note laced with vanilla and roses, someone he'd dealt with not something he had done. A soldier then, high enough to deal with paper pushers but not one himself. Unless it was someone new to the mix, there was really only one person it could be.

"I've been speaking with the king," the guard captain said.

Kiss his arse too? Baereth thought viciously. Or do you draw the line at licking his boots?

"You're proving to be... problematic," the bastard went on. "Normally we'd just lock you up, but there's no telling who'd try to break you out. As far as we can tell you aren't spying for a neighbouring kingdom - which would be easier to be sure of if you'd tell us any damned thing - so we can't kill you. Well, Melorn would probably be okay with it, but the king's fussier about that sort of thing. Lucky for you huh?"

First name terms with the queen, but the king gets a title? Get caught going up her skirt, or are you trying to pretend you're not looking at his pants?

Baereth shifted to show he was listening, because it was all he really could do, and maybe Bastard would get on with it.

There was a series of small clanks, and Baereth flinched as he felt light hitting him again. It was dimmer this time though and after a moment he relaxed a bit. If it was a new torture method it would at least be something different. People never really understood that hyper-exposure to light was painful but not really creative. And they wondered why he never answered the fucking questions.

"Exile always seems like such a good idea, but it requires a lot more paperwork than you'd think," the bastard went on. "And since it'd be me stuck with it, I decided it was a bad idea. And with you we'd never really be sure anyway. Do you want to know what we decided for you?"

There are options left? He tried not to react, but it was hard. You won't kill me, lock me up, or send me away. What are you going to do? Employ me?

Metal capped boots that Baereth knew all too well clomped across the room towards him. Only the fact that he was already trying not to move stopped him from flinching away. He didn't have much dignity left, he wanted to protect it.

"I'm going to take the blindfold and gag off now," Bastard said. "Okay?"

That was worth reacting to. Baereth thrashed, pressing his face against his shoulder and pulling as far away as the chains would let him. He kicked out, though all it did was remind his body that it hurt.

"No?"

The captain didn't come closer, and Baereth settled, turning slightly back to the bastard. He moved his jaw as much as he could, and tapped his chin against the other shoulder. As far as signing went it was pretty pathetic, but how much of an idiot could the guy be?

"The gag?"

Congratulations, you win a prize! he thought, nodding sharply. I'll wait till you've stopped thrashing before I castrate you.

Calloused hands worked at the straps on the gag, much more gentle than they'd been putting it on. Baereth took the chance to work the ache out of his jaw and spit, grinning when Bastard cursed.

That'll do for starters.

"Darkness," he said. "Unless this plan of yours works with me blind."

"Decidedly not," the captain said, crossing back to the door. A scrape and a clank, and they were in total darkness again. The returning steps were short and shuffling.

Though the man was being strangely careful, he still managed to kick Baereth in the leg.

"Fuck," Baereth snapped, yanking away roughly. It hadn't actually hurt that much but Bastard couldn't know that.

"Sorry," the captain said, crouching beside him. "That was more difficult than I expected."

An apology? Fuck, the sky'll fall next.



Pt 2 / Pt 3 / Pt 4 / Pt 5 / Pt 6 / Pt 7 / Pt 8 / Pt 9

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