Part 4, in which Alfeegi is brave and Ruwalk understands.
Warnings: Past nasty stuff. Kinda dark
Yaoi. Rated for the nasty stuff, not the yaoi.
Spoilers: None yet, unless we've suddenly and unknowingly become psychic. ;)
A/N: Sequel to Kokuhaku.
"Aren't you done yet?" Ruwalk wrapped his arms around Alfeegi. "It's nearly eleven o'clock."
"I know, but there's only one more report to file and the folder's missing."
"Which folder?" Ruwalk asked, knowing that any attempt to get Alfeegi to put off work until the next day was utterly doomed. It was easier to just help him finish.
"The one with all the reports from Hermosa."
"Isn't it with all the other 'H's?"
It ended up taking them over an hour to find the misplaced folder and clean the resulting mess up, so it was nearly midnight by the time everything was done and in its right place and the door locked. With them on the outside this time. "You should tell the lord," Alfeegi said as they walked through the deserted hallways hand-in-hand.
"Tell him what?"
"Why can't you?"
"I can," Alfeegi asserted, "but I think you should."
"Because you're his oldest friend."
Ruwalk successfully evaded Alfeegi's logic, albeit with varying degrees of clumsiness, for as long as it took to reach his door. Alfeegi let the subject drop then. One of them would tell Lykouleon, or someone else would, or he'd find out by himself. He would probably be a little disappointed that they didn't tell him for so long, then promptly tell everyone and his mother. With them still finding their balance and adjusting to the change from friends to more, the last thing they needed was people constantly looking over their shoulders. Especially his well-meaning but fatuous mother.
"Goodnight," Ruwalk reluctantly disengaged his hand and turned to go to his own bedroom.
"No good-night kiss?" Alfeegi prompted. Ruwalk, smiling inwardly, kissed him once teasingly. Alfeegi mock-pouted and Ruwalk couldn't help but kiss him again, longer this time. Alfeegi kissed him back eagerly, arms coming about to hold him closer. Ruwalk smiled outwardly now, or would have if his mouth hadn't been busy nibbling on Alfeegi's lower lip as his own arms enfolded the other man. Alfeegi's eyes closed but his ears didn't, which was the sole reason they weren't interrupted by Tetheus as he came down the hall.
On hearing the footsteps, Alfeegi opened the door with one hand and pulled Ruwalk into the room with the other. Ruwalk blinked confusedly at him in the moonlight for a second before also hearing the security officer's steps. Understanding, he lightly pushed the door shut with his foot and resumed his gentle assault on Alfeegi, trailing butterfly kisses across his cheek and sucking at his earlobe. Alfeegi fumbled with the buttons on Ruwalk's shirt, shaking too badly to actually do anything about them except grab at them when Ruwalk nipped exceptionally hard on his ear. Ruwalk blew softly into his ear and Alfeegi's knees gave out; he half-fell back onto the bed. Ruwalk lay on top of him, nuzzling the corner of his jaw. He let go of Alfeegi to undo the first button of Alfeegi's shirt. . .and Alfeegi froze, grabbing at Ruwalk's hand and pulling it away from his chest.
"Alfeegi? What's wrong?"
"Please don't." Alfeegi said softly, hiding his flash of terror.
"Why not?" Ruwalk asked puzzledly. "I'll make you feel reeeally good."
Alfeegi avoided his eyes, fixing his own on a chip in the paint on the ceiling.
"I won't hurt you, I promise," Ruwalk cajoled. "Don't you trust me?"
"Yes," Alfeegi mumbled.
"Then at least tell me what's wrong!"
Alfeegi abruptly stood up and took three steps away from the bed. He took a deep breath then quickly yanked his shirt over his head. He heard Ruwalk's gasp at the sight of his back and regretted his hasty action. The mattress squeaked as he got up and Alfeegi waited for the door to squeak open also.
Ruwalk padded over to stand just behind his boyfriend. Alfeegi's back was one giant fresh scar, whip marks crossing over claw marks and bisected by those that had to be made by blades. The wounds that had made them had to have been deep and painful, and the bottom layers -Oh gods, there are layers- looked as if they had been left to heal by themselves. One knife scar jumped out at Ruwalk; it was at the junction of two claw marks and less than an inch away from being fatal.
Ruwalk blinked back tears as everything finally clicked. Nadil's demons had done this to him, that was why he had tried to kill himself when he got home, why he never turned in a report, even a verbal one, about his trip to the elves, why he had gotten so upset with anyone who tried to get close to him the first couple of weeks he had been home.
Alfeegi hugged himself and tried to find the courage to be the first one to move. The demon had promised him that no-one would ever love him when the demon was through with him, and the demon was right. He was a fool for believing anyone could love him, and doubly so for believing that anyone could look at him with anything more than disgust and what was worst, pity. Tears burned in his eyes but he stubbornly refused to lest them fall, trying to hold on to one last shred of dignity. He silently willed Ruwalk to leave, wanting nothing more than to hide under his blankets and cry. . . or to get a knife and try to end it again. He heard Ruwalk moving behind him and longed for the mouthed words that would end this and the empty excuses that would mean he was leaving and Alfeegi could leave too.
The last thing he expected was for Ruwalk to embrace him tightly, almost painfully, and whisper into his ear, "I love you."
"I'm sorry," Ruwalk continued, feeling more scars under his hands on Alfeegi's chest and stomach and mentally calling himself a thousand kinds of fool, "I didn't even think, I thought you were just playing or something, I don't know." He couldn't find anything to say, didn't know how to apologize or make it better, so he just held Alfeegi closer and prayed Alfeegi would understand.
"I wanted to tell you." Alfeegi leaned back into the warm embrace, comforted by the almost tangible love he could feel. "But when I tried I started crying, and then you kissed me. And then you said you loved me and I wanted you to so bad for so long because. . ."he trailed off, afraid to say it.
Ruwalk understood what though not the why, but that didn't matter. "I love you," he repeated, "and I always will, no matter what."