Dragonslayers, Sorcerers, violation. How do you survive in a world of pain? Hinted Dalet/Miguel.
There was pain. And violation. And shame.
He wouldn't remember any of it in the morning. It was their way-- the only way to survive it, forget and endure.
Dalet, bleeding, broken, and exhausted, came to understand what it meant to have his soul raped a long time ago. He curled into a foetal position where they deemed fit to throw him, desperately concentrating on feeling the cold polished floor under his bruised cheek. It felt as though he would float away on a cloud of splinters from all the drugs that got pumped into him. He ignored the pain that blazed on every split-open nerve and discoloured pigment of skin, tasting the coppery tang of blood from the cut his teeth left on the inside of his cheek.
Contrary to what he felt (when he believed he could open his eyes without vomiting), he hadn't been ripped inside out. His skin was still intact and not shredded to pieces, and the nerves that he thought had grown roots over his unprotected muscles hadn't split wide open to welcome the pain. No, just some interesting shades of purple and blue from bruising. Damn his fair complexion. Here he thought they succeeded in killing him this time, but no, they would never do anything to damage their precious little soldiers now, would they?
"Fucking sadists," he managed to groan.
"They're gone now," said a voice from deep in the room, accompanied by the sound of rustling, like a blanket being pushed aside. Footsteps approached quietly, and through his blurred vision, Dalet could see the dark outline of his stoic roommate. It was very hard to focus his eyes, let alone try to make out the details of anything.
"Thank you, Captain Obvious," he wanted his voice to sound as it always did when he felt very vulnerable, derisive and cold, but it came out half-choked instead. Want to point out that I've been reaped as well? He wanted to say, but he felt too weak and it hurt to try.
Reaped-- there was no other word to describe what the bloody Sorcerers did to them. No one could fully understand the meaning it had unless they themselves had gone through the "magic" developed by the Sorcerers.
"Shit, Dalet... they kept you for nearly five hours this time," the other boy said quietly, ignoring Dalet's jibe, as he moved to kneel beside him without touching him. Dalet could feel the weight of his roommate's eyes sweeping over his body, checking for any serious injury.
There were none, of course. The Sorcerers were too careful for that. They would cause enough pain to make one regret their birth, but not enough to exceed their physical limits.
Dalet smiled bitterly, letting it soak through his words. "I'm fast becoming their favourite... aren't I? Think... I can get a promotion out of it?"
Ah, fuck. It took a heavy toll to keep his voice steady, but his damnable pride kept him from even sounding weak and pathetic. He could tolerate most things without ever blinking an eye, but he couldn't stand pity. That was worse than suffering humiliation in front of his peers, because pity could be personal and private.
Miguel frowned at his words. "Those bastards are going to end up killing you one day."
"That sounds... like a better time than... right now."
Miguel sounded angry, so Dalet wisely kept his silence to let that potentially dangerous moment pass.
"Sorry," he finally mumbled, reaching blindly for his friend's hand even though it was sheer agony to do so. He gave it a light squeeze, which was returned, and he was proud of himself for not wincing at the fresh wave of pain that brought.
"Don't apologise," Miguel said gruffly with a lopsided grin in his tone, releasing his hand. "That scares me more than the Sorcerers themselves."
Dalet chuckled faintly, unable to say anything without his voice breaking in mid-sentence.
"Think you can move now?" Miguel would know about the pain, was perhaps the first to ever be taken to a reaper session, short of Master Dilandau, but there was still something dark and repressed in Miguel. Dalet had always noticed it, ever since they were roomed together when they were both seven, it steadily got worse with every reaper session since then, but right now he was too tired to try to figure out the enigma that was Miguel Lavariel.
He heaved himself up on his elbows, pausing to let the jarring feeling fade before sitting upright with no small amount of satisfaction. His stomach threatened to up heave itself, so he held still for a minute. He felt as though he could crack open from the throbbing ache his whole body presently was.
Get to bed. Sleep it off. Forget.
Dalet was severely close to passing out, but somehow managed to crawl towards his bed that was only four feet away, though the distance might as well have been four kilometres. He collapsed face first in his bed, curled up into a protective little ball, past the point of caring about how he looked in front of his friend, and felt the edges of unconsciousness closing in on his shattered mind.
The agony was beginning to numb his other senses, which was a good thing, because then he could sleep and not feel anything anymore. Sometimes it felt like dying, but that sort of closure would not come in the form of Sorcerers.
Miguel was a comforting presence behind him. Dalet dimly felt the dip as the weight of the other boy settled on the edge of his bed, watching over him as he slept.
It was better than anything in the world.