Chapter Title: Follow me down
Overall rating: NC17
Chapter Rating: R
Disclaimer: No money, no malice.
Warnings: Abandon all hope ye who enter; this way lies pain.
"Mockingbird? Xander wha-"
Between them a single sentence grew; when blasphemy blooms, the mockingbird will laugh. He watched as the words became a living thing in the face of the fury deep within blue eyes. Training told him to move, to present himself for the punishment his Master's eyes promised, but a cool hand fell on his shoulder and the command to stay was undeniable.
So he stayed and looked, eyes flickering between the two demons. While his face was blank, his mind was agitated; he wanted to fight, to run, to give up the hope he didn't know he had left.
"You know it's a funny thing." His Holder's voice was a study in calm, but the grey eyes looked wary now, uncertain.
"What is, sir?" The response was just as casual.
"All the torture in the world couldn't tell me what an insane vampire and a human slave could." Still calm, so calm.
"Surely you must take anything he says with a grain of salt, the boy is broken." The last word sounded like an epithet.
A curious sound came from his Master then, "Hmm, and how would you know that? This is the first time you've seen him."
The wariness changed to a disguised panic, "Well, it's quite obvious, you merely have to look at him."
Another curious sound, neither approval nor denial. "I suppose it's possible you could be right."
He watched the relief flow into grey eyes and flinched when they turned back to him. However, before his Hidden Holder had time to say anything, his Master was speaking again, in a voice like ice.
"But you forgot what I said, Murlog. I said a vampire and a boy. If it was just the boy, I suppose there might be a faint possibility, but for Dru to be wrong, well..." Words like razor wire were littered at his Hidden Holder's feet, grinning over the anticipation of blood, "Are you calling my dark plum a liar?"
He could see the realisation dawn in grey eyes, watched as the panic made them flounder. "Of course not sir, I wouldn't dream of it. I merely meant -"
Whatever the other demon had been about to say was swallowed up by the leather of the flogger hitting him in the face. He watched his Master's anger the same way he watched his hope; with a calm face and a mind in turmoil.
"Stand up." The command was full of hatred, and he moved before he was aware of it, stumbling to numb feet.
Blue eyes looked to him and the loathing changed in an instant, becoming something softer, "Not you luv, go lie on your stomach on the couch for a little while yeah? Don't want to hurt your back anymore than it already is."
He wondered if the order was to help his back, or to keep him from seeing his Hidden Holder. However, even as he wondered, he moved, lying face down on the couch. There was a soft touch in his hair, and the feel of something infinitely soft settling on his back. He blinked calm eyes at his Master when a glass was handed to him full of lightly bubbling liquid.
Raising himself to his elbows, he took the drink, holding it awkwardly in one hand, waiting for instructions. "Sip on that luv, and keep that blanket around you. Last thing we need is you dropping hmm?"
His "Yes Master" was almost a whisper, and he tried to ignore the contented feeling that settled over him when Blue Eyes smiled slightly.
An instant later there was a rush of noise surrounding him; familiar sound of leather on flesh accompanied by broken words pleading for... something. He dismissed them in favour of sipping on the soda. All too soon the glass was empty and he was left to listen to the sounds flowing over him again. Some of them were so familiar they made his teeth ache but one phrase stuck like a burr.
"I was just supposed to break him. I don't know anything, I swear, please." He wanted to frown, because something about that was wrong.
"You know he couldn't wait to get rid of you." His Hidden Holder wouldn't know that if what he said was true, but he did. Had whispered words so sharp they made his ears bleed time and again until he just wanted to sleep, and never dream, never wake up.
"No, that's not right." He hadn't realised he'd spoken out loud until there were blue eyes looking into his own, searching.
"What's not right, Xan?" The question was quiet, unobtrusive, but he knew better than to try and see it for anything other than a command.
He thought carefully, trying to find a way to describe something that was more feeling than thought. When he found the answer he wondered if he had any words of his own, or if he could only repeat the ramblings of an insane woman.
"Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will tear me asunder."
His Master was still staring at him, trying to find connections in his eyes that he hadn't been able to make understood with words. Then Blue Eyes moved and there was a resounding crack-crunch that he knew meant broken bones. He wanted to say that they needed the demon alive, wanted to say that there was still something missing, but even if he remembered, Xander couldn't figure out how to make his tongue work without an order.