Sometimes, he needed it. Sometimes, he craved it. Sometimes… he yearned for it. NSFW.


It is late night of the tenth day of the tenth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Enker's, Bitra Hold

OOC Date



OOC Warning: Mature themes within -- read at your own risk. Likely NSFW, not appropriate for minor audiences.

Sometimes, he needed it.

He needed it as a drowning man needs air, a starving man needs food, a broken man needs healing. There was an emptiness that needed filling — or, perhaps more apt, he needed the emptiness, that airy space of blessed nothingness.

Sometimes, he craved it.

He craved it as an addict craves his next fix, a man craves the touch of a woman, a dog craves a bone or a soft touch. It was a drug, a drug for him and him alone — or for others, but for him especially, for him particularly.

Sometimes it made him forget.


The sound of raucous music slid past him as a familiar lover, close to his skin, feathering over his nerves and driving a stillness into his mind. The press of bodies against his own, rising and surging, ebbing and flowing, pushing and sweating… they had not the power of the driving beat, the crisp soaring fiddle blazing every note as a rune into his veins, into his skin, branding him, claiming him. The music unlocked the shackles of his lifemate's consternation; he left Dhioth at the door.

He pushed through the writhing pulse of the crowd with the ease that only a big man or slight child can: the masses melted around him. He was acknowledged where he passed, by knowing look or lustful touch, or slipshod-promising caress. Hands followed him as much as gazes, until he shivered with it, nothing more than a flybit horse, his skin afire with the passing claims. His soul lifted with a minor chord screeching ascendant — they had found a fiddle-player since his last trip, a good one. The devil himself played in Bitra tonight.

It was always a crucible to pass through the crush of humanity, the mind-numbing volume of the drums pounding their way into the marrow of his very bones. It was worse, passing the musicians. They sawed at fiddles — his eye caught the form of the sandy blonde, lean and hard, his body bowed as tight as the catgut he sawed over the strings of his fiddle, sweat dancing, heat shimmering. K'ane saw him but unseeing, knowing all too well the feeling of losing one's soul to the music.

It was hard to pass the empty chair. One gitar more would hardly be known in this frenzy… except for the man who played it. He would be known. He would be welcomed.

He was always welcome, at Enker's, but not often for his music.

He left his mind on the floor, his soul with the music, and followed the pounding demand of his heartsblood onwards, ever onwards. The bloodlust drove him unceasing: further, forwards, forever. The hypnotic press of the undulating crowd fell away all in a piece, and he finally found himself where he had designed to be.

In his eagerness, he couldn't feel his fingers, fumbling: it was easy to drop his bag from his shoulder, easier enough to yank his shirt over his head. He didn't care about the collective intake of breath — it was always that way with holders, unfamiliar with the melted mess of skin and scar, Thread's kiss upon him. They knew well the welts and burns and fair silver lines that crisscrossed his forearms, legacy of a hard life, but his back was a more effective warning than any other mortal scar could provide.

He could never leave K'ane behind, never again, not after the enemy's mark branded him as surely as Thread's own as Dhioth's bloodfire commingled with his own. He would never again be Rikane. He could never again fully claim kinship with these people, these people who used to be his.

He didn't care. The ones he came here for didn't care, either.

His fingers felt numb, clumsy with the adrenaline, made clumsier with the wanting — the needing — the craving. It took little time to finish wrapping his fingers, to roll his shoulders in just the way to ease the tightness that never left just beneath his ruint skin.

Ruthless eyes laid upon him, and he knew peace.


There was freedom in this. His heart sung counter-melody to the warfire pace of his blood's pounding, fitting accompaniment to the crunch of ribs under his fist. Sly, sharp, smart: K'ane was all of these and none, weaving closer to his opponent like a moth to the flame. Too close, too blood-drunk, too lost to the surge and the thrill of bloodlust's demand. White-fire pain, too sharp, described a straight line slantwise over his scarred cheekbone. Too sharp, too much, the injury blossomed as a bass note, reverberating through him to his very fundament. Without, Dhioth rocked, feeling the bleed-over. He felt the sickly warmth of his blood pouring freely down his face. Brass knuckles. He should have seen that coming.

He spat blood and smiled a crimson smile, backing off a studied pace, then two. The crowd's yelling resurged, and they pressed closer, sensing a change, sensing the dynamic shift. This was a different crowd, a darker crowd, than the crucible he endured to enter. This crowd wanted blood, and didn't care whose. He had to strike one who pressed too close, a pop to the nose that downed the rat-faced man, soon lost to the rabid crowd. They didn't care whose blood it was, only that blood was shed.

And so he played for them, this darkest melody of his heart's fire, stretching his chin in a luxurious circle as if the man opposite him had given him a love-bite rather than a cackhanded blow that just barely missed shattering the high, straight line of his right cheekbone. The crowd loved it. He played for them, too-thick lashes lowering at a smile tossed askance, just over his shoulder. The noise was for him, their adoration for his sweat and blood and the infinity of his fearlessness, but the fight was his own.

The warrior moved forwards, and there was no question of destiny. He didn't need it, with hellfire in his eyes and the sweet pain singing in his blood. There was no destiny here other than the destiny one wrought by sheer force of will and flesh and stubborn determination to beat the shit out of whatever came at him.


He knew what drove him to this. He could lie to himself elsewhere, but not here. Not when he luxuriated in the freedom of no longer holding himself in check, when he craved the touch of something against his skin not sweet and soft and lovely. When he needed the pain. When he needed the bloodlust.

Each blow, dealt and delivered, fell as sweet forgetfulness. The sting of his knuckles itched at the dull ache, the wanting. Those lancing jolts of pain received were better, searing out the memories, promising blessed blackness at the end of the line. It was better this way. It was better this way.

He repeated it to himself, his mantra, the last lonely broken shard of his mind still left abused and alone, far away from the senseless violence. It was better this way.

It was better this way.


Later, analytically, he could list the faultlines. He could list the breakings and the bruisings and worse, the swelling danger of something sprained, never again to be as strong as it was before. He could list them. He could turn them over in his hands as rough leather, pointing at all the flaws. He traded for them, as if he could barter away that which he would freely give, for the redemption of a moment's scant peace. He would trade all of the utility of his body, if only for a heartbeat's blessed silence.

It was always the worst after a flight win, this wanting — this craving for things best left to the darkness, the taste of things he wanted but would never allow himself to have. He sipped at the cup when all he yearned for was to quench that thirst in one long draught of violent pleasure. For the scant minutes of Dhioth unchained, he could teeter close to losing himself. He could almost shake the bindings of life, the bondage of civil behavior. He could almost be himself. Almost.


He felt it in the surge, dangerous feelings, dangerous memories. Smooth flesh under his skin, yes, but skin unbroken but for the careless slide of his teeth, too-harsh at the point of shoulder, over a collarbone, lapping at injuries lust-wrought. Blood and fire and the primordial shifting of two bodies commingled — a painfully powerful force, driving him almost beyond himself. Almost. The violent release of a pleasure plucked as dragonwings above, a single note held too-long, crying cruelty, prolonged so long as to warp the strings. So close to unstrung, so close. There comes a time in every flight, and he's reached it. His soul sings, sweet blackness beckoning. He feigns weakness, the full force of his body's mastery too much even here, even now, caught against this slender vision of womanly strength. Too much, even with a flight to slip the leash of his normal restraint, too present, the bruises blossoming under his hand lovely and repugnant. He knows himself and the sickness rises in his gullet.

Perhaps tears commingle with the sweat, and K'ane cannot remember if he is here or if he is there, if his flesh is being split asunder or his soul.

Pounding shards of perfect memory strike him, each as stone-chip shrapnel, injuring him far more than petty physical blows. Teya's lovely curls, wild and free as her soul was bound to the strictures of her formidable mind. The sting of sweat against his abraded knuckles. Lendai's lips wrapped around… the voice of her wanton carelessness. The sound of his competitor's breathing, a harsh discord. The sweetness of an innocent's kiss and Kyara's amber eyes. A girl screaming bloody murder, screaming to kill him, kill him. Jedi's heedless drive to her finish, the determination of the set of her mouth. His head rocking back, striking harsh the stone wall, sudden darkness to his vision. Nika, sweet and soft and wondering, the unfolding joy in this the oldest of acts, taking her time at becoming a woman. The raucous sound of cheering deafens him, the metallic taste of blood flooding his mouth. He pays it no mind, caught in a web of his own devising, praying for the reprieve of unconsciousness.

A thousand women remembered, treasured, and a hundred men besides, their identities more removed, less likely to burn as a lit brand, but fresh tinder for the fire. Enough to goad, to return those memories to creamy thighs and soft pleasures, the salt of sweat on skin, the taste and texture of subtle differences and the heat of a mouth against his, wicked-tongued and wanton.

A thousand women, and a hundred men besides.

And her, dark-eyed and alluring, beckoning. Laughing.

At him.

The force of the uppercut rocked him onto his heels, forcing him to the here-and-now, forcing him to focus. But he doesn't, not really. That's not why he came here. He didn't come here to lose himself to music, to the press of bodies, to the violence of bloodsport. He came here to forget.

He came here to forget her.

He came here to drive the tender wantings from his soul, to snap the strings that others would place up on him, to forge free the bonds that he himself would willingly place.

He came here to drive the affection from his heart, to scour himself clean of unnecessary emotions, and to forget.

To forget the all-encompassing, life-driven desire of the heart.

Somewhere in his memory, calloused fingers feather over skin as pale as moonlight, honey-soft and as sweet, lips paying reverent homage in loving desire. The fluid center of her under his fingers, under his mouth, her cries in the moonlight, the heavy contentment of a lover's lust sated. Of a love's desires satisfied. Fingers reaching for him lazily in the aftermath of another's pleasure, urging him to take his own. Being with her, being in her, it feels like home, it feels as though his wandering feet have finally given him wings to fly to a place where he is invulnerable, immortal, safe from pain and free from the worries of the world.

He should have known better.

The flight ascendant, the rising of his own soul rather than dragonborn fancies, crashes even in the keening-lock of his mind. Desperate to avoid that pain, the merciless mockery of her laughter, he grasps again at the strings of her lean frame, of remembered pleasure. He doesn't shy from the memories, not now. He embraces them, forcing his mind to the indolent evenings and bodies shared freely with one another, shying away — as he always does — of the memories of love shattered and the darker inadequacies that the past presents.

He brings to startling remembrance the taste of her kiss, the feel of her sweet curves under his hands, the rightness of their joining. He stands still for the barrage, chin tilted upwards. He stands still for the tumult of his soul to be riven by the battery upon his body, for unwanted memories to be sundered by the blossoming anguish of flesh and form.

He offers himself up to repent of his worthless love, to scourge himself of such weakness, to remind himself of the lie and to forget the truth.


He traded memories for bruises, treasuring each bright tattoo of misery, each angry jab of agony upon his body as lover's tokens. There comes a time in every fight, and he's reached it. His soul sings, sweet blackness beckoning. He doesn't feign weakness, because he so often wears that skin in his everyman's day, the skin he wears, the mask he assumes. He does not have to be weak, here, and his soul's sickness is a strength: he taunts and he recklessly presses. But it isn't reckless, really, is it? It isn't reckless when every blow hammers away that which he would rather leave across the river Lethe.

Memories have been the darkest threat upon his life — upon his sanity, rather, perhaps the more important of the two. What is this fragility of life, the frailty of the contemptible trappings of flesh and blood and bone, if not easily broken? Every fight is playing the roulette wheel of life, fulfilling a destiny ordained at birth: for what are we set upon the earth to do but be broken? K'ane knows this. In his heart of hearts, he knows it, for he knows Death's caress. He sets his gaze with longing to the whispered promise of oblivion.

Sometimes, he yearns for it.

He yearns for it as a lover pining, as a soulless man yet redemptionless, as the darkness for light. He has a date with destiny, and only with regret is it delayed, for there is much to be done — but he yearns for that emptiness, that airy space of blessed nothingness.

Radioactive - Pentatonix ft Lindsey Sterling
I Miss The Misery - Halestorm
Not Strong Enough - Apocalyptica
Always - Saliva
Behind Blue Eyes - Limp Bizkit's version

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