Title: The Sins of Ill-Tempered Love
Warnings: Angst, expletives
Notes: Those who can identify the roots from which this tale has sprung are cordially invited to shut the fuck up and keep it to themselves. Those roots are not a matter for public conversation and no one will be pleased if they become one — least of all the first to speak. The tale is separated enough from those roots to be suitable for telling.
"Honest love is an eternal shackle," he thought, taking another sip of tea. He’d forgotten how good unadulterated, strong Orange Pekoe could be, despite its reputation as a peasant tea.
He found himself bound by the heart to every person he loved, whether things had worked out or not. Some, he’d really rather die than face again, but he knew if they asked, he’d jump. He had no choice. Love was a vicious and brutal affliction.
Some, and here he chuckled morbidly, had never known he loved them. Others had never believed him. There were those few, though… those he still spoke with, those he still saw. And some even of them did not know the power they held. He’d really hoped to keep it that way. His life was doled out at the whims of others as it was; the last thing he needed were more masters.
But one young man kept returning. Not in person; no, that would have been too simple. The dashing bastard had taken to his dreams. He supposed that others would say he’d just been thinking about the charmingly wicked creature a bit too much. He disagreed. When they’d been younger, they’d been nearly identical by virtue of that same mechanism. He’d been able to tell what the boy had been up to, more or less, and what he’d be wearing at any given time. It was a fantastic tool for irritation and diversion and he’d used it as such. …Perhaps he’d done it too frequently.
That endeavour had ended poorly, the first time. The second time, it involved a great deal of liquor and the occasional complicated card game. That had never come to a proper end. He was still in love with the irritating prat.
And now that self-same irritating prat was back, with a vengeance. He couldn’t close his eyes anymore without seeing that smirk. The mind-mangling beast was writing the stories he saw when he slept. Dark haired, bright eyed, and so easy to push over the edge. It wasn’t so easy anymore. The soddy old cock had picked up some new tricks in the last ten years. He’d find a way — he’d make a way — to push him past his limits again. To run him off for another ten or twelve years.
There wasn’t time, now. Now, he was severing the rich arteries of the past that ran beside his blood. Now, he was committing himself to a slow, painful, angry death. He loved this one woman more than life, itself, and he would slowly cut through his safety net until she believed him. Now was not the time for the pain of memory. The pain of the only unfinished business that had come before her.
Somehow, this had to end. He prayed quietly for a quick and painless death that he knew would never come. Somehow, this had to end. He didn’t know if he would survive looking into those eyes, again.
There was only one person he’d really wronged. Sure, he’d done shitty things to lots of people, but only one did he do truly unforgivable things to. He wasn’t sure he’d live if they met again. He’d make his apologies and the bright-eyed unseeliegh would smirk as though it had never bothered him a whit. But, the bitter hate in those eyes would burn out his soul. Even if he never looked up, he’d have doomed himself.
"Do not fuck with the faery-kin," he thought grimly, "Even, and perhaps especially, if they are your own blood."
He leaned back and closed his eyes, mournfully, sipping his peasant tea.