Soubi's confused. He needs the pain to make it better. (Warning: although non-explicit, this story discusses BDSM relationships that are not safe or sane, and are borderline non-consensual, as well...
Punish me. Hurt me. Give me something I can understand.
Give me something to stop me from feeling this way.
Ritsuka should have given in by now. He should have become the Master, and in so doing bound himself to his fate, just as Seimei would have wanted.
Seimei never had any problems being the Master. It made things simpler. Soubi's devotion was measured by what he could endure for his Sacrifice, by what his Sacrifice, his Master, his Beloved, made him endure. Endurance came easily, and the devotion followed, blind and overwhelming.
Thank you for this pain, Seimei. Thank you for showing me what I am.
Seimei showed him again and again, following a pattern laid by Ritsu-sensei. Pain and desire and devotion, all delivered without question and laid at the feet of the one who requested them, until the empty rituals became his existence, and there was no more Soubi, just the Fighter. Just the slave. Just a butterfly, pinned and dried, beautiful in its perfect stillness.
He shouldn't want to be Soubi anymore. He shouldn't want to spare Ritsuka, to take him someplace where he'd never have to engage in another spell battle, where the vicious little games that made up their existence would have no more meaning.
This is not real. It is not right. My purpose is carved into my flesh in the shape of our name. I am not Agatsuma Soubi. I am Beloved, and I am nothing without the other half of my soul. Agatsuma Soubi does not exist.
He shouldn't want to let the mask slide off and show Ritsuka what lay underneath. He shouldn't even be thinking of it as a mask. He had to remind himself that Seimei, his Beloved-Master-other-self, wanted this of him. Wanted Ritsuka to follow the patterns that had been laid for him.
Patterns. Arrangements. LIES.
He had to follow where he was led, and do what he was told. Yes, he wanted to protect Ritsuka. He wanted to tell him the truth. He wanted to see real love in those eyes, to let that affection grow until their kisses were honest ones, untainted by the rituals of ownership and the sharing of power. He wanted time, that Ritsuka could grow to understand what those kisses meant before giving them away. But all of these desires could be turned to the fulfillment of his purpose.
There is nothing I can feel that cannot be made to serve. There is nothing that I am that cannot bend to the will of my Sacrifice.
He would take Ritsuka down the path that had been prepared for them both. He would guide him, show him how a Fighter had to be treated. He would smile and seduce if he had to. And when he finally bled by Ritsuka's will, all those uncontrolled emotions would resolve themselves into the simple, pure devotion of a well-trained Fighter. In the meantime, they would give him all the more incentive to follow Seimei's orders and make sure Ritsuka was protected at all times.
There was no conflict within him. There could be no conflict. This confusion would pass once Ritsuka began behaving like a proper Sacrifice and Master.
Soubi widened his smile fractionally and strengthened the emptiness behind it with promises of the clarity that would follow the pain to come.