corpseknight: (love<3)
[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] Better?

[Larkspur] says: [Thalassian] Not in a cage anymore.

[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] And enemies to slaughter.

[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] I'm sure you'll feel better soon enough.

[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] ...Is it just the cage?

[Larkspur] says: [Thalassian] Might as well be.

[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] Let's finish this.


You sniff Sun Priest Iset.

Larkspur shifts, uncomfortably. "So."

Krenyn follows, without any particular expression. "What was that, earlier?"

Larkspur ducks his head--then raises it again, straightening his shoulders. "Just meant the cages were the only part of it I could do anything about."

[Larkspur] says: [Thalassian] So the rest didn't bear dwelling on.

Krenyn snorts and gestures sharply, indicating that Larkspur should walk with him to the pillar, out of sight of the felinoids.

Larkspur trails after, obediently.

Krenyn is certain that camel riding bandit behind will die for witnessing this. Nevertheless, he reaches out and places hands to either side of Lark's face.

[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] And nothing I could do for you?

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *faint, humorous intimation that they're alien enough here no one would really know what they're doing anyway--among the cat-people, that is*

[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *takes the humor in fair account, though there is the undercurrent that this is about old habits, old customs he can't bring himself to drop*

Larkspur eardroops, reaching to cover Krenyn's hands with his own. "It's hot here," he says, simply. Then, in a smaller voice: "And everyone who could do anything about that is gone." A traitor and presumed dead. Or off on other business. Or--

Larkspur huffs, again. "...probably fine, though." Right.

Krenyn briefly darkens, both in expression and presence. "Enough. I will not let you stay here long enough to suffer." His fingers tighten slightly, as if wanting to clench possessively tighter. Instead his hands cool. Then chill, though in the desert heat the slowly forming ice as that chill reaches his armor begins to evaporate nearly as quickly as it forms.

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *accepts this as a fair point* *responds with somewhat tangential imagined-images of Ben's cats cuddling shamelessly; maybe they're expected to pile on top of each other*

Krenyn lets out a short bark of laughter, dropping his hands. Though he has yet to lose the chill. "There are some uses for this discipline, after all." he mentions. Not without humor.

[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] ...During the evening, the desert will grow steadily colder. It will not take long.

Larkspur noses blindly against the palm of Krenyn's hand before his partner has a chance to pull away--then hunches back into himself, raising his shoulders and flattening his ears back. "Right."

[Larkspur] says: [Thalassian] S...suppose it wouldn't be so bad to be warm in the end, though. All things considered.

Larkspur says this with a blank expression.

Krenyn turns to Larkspur again, his expression somber. "That I can promise you will have."

Larkspur lifts his head, ears rising. "Even now?"

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *the frail layer of good humor collapses inward and vanishes* <i'm(sosorry)(sorry)(i(failed))>

Krenyn slowly draws closer. The smell of ice on the air begins to fade, though his hand is still cool when it touches Larkspur again; it is warming though. "If you wish."

Larkspur reaches up to take that hand, clutching at it like a drowning man. "What would you do? If I did--if I asked for that?" His voice is very small.

[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *instantly THERE, a presence to lean on, to try and ease the pain by sharing it as much as the sharp spike of emotion* <You did not fail.>

Krenyn lets his hand be taken, crushed if that is what Larkspur wishes. "You will only receive that," he says carefully, "...when it is time. No sooner."

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *is a morass of pain and hate--self-hate--like static turned to fragments of razors, a hail of tiny, blood-thirsty mites tearing each other apart* *they all cling, anyhow, desperate to stop hurting* <i(failed)(failed)(failed(i(failed(you)))>
To [Krenyn]: (IC) <failed><failed>(failedfailedfailed)(ican't)(can't)(ican't)(...i'm so sorry)(i hurt)(i'm sorry)


Larkspur can't seem to bring himself to face his partner, so he'll settle for trying to drag Krenyn closer by the one-handed grip he's got on him. "When?" he asks--begs.

[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *must be receiving pain from the brain swarm, in the thick of it as he is. And yet he remains a solid anchor, something for each piece, little by little, to find and cling to. Something familiar, comfortable. Perhaps even safe. But it is when he>>*
[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *when he glimpses 'i hurt' that he does more than remain a solid pillar. He becomes a virtual magnet, sheer force of will pulling at the pieces, trying to force them into a semblance of order so they will stop tearing at each other*


Krenyn steps closer, a strain appearing on his features, briefly, before flitting away again. With his free hand, he touches Larkspur's shoulder, strengthening the sense of contact. "Not yet, beloved." he murmers quietly. No, there won't be a time given. Even Krenyn doesn't know /when/. He simply knows he WILL know when the moment has arrived.

Larkspur seems almost to be straining for an answer, every rotted muscle tense, every dead nerve primed. And when he's given the answer--when it's clearly not what he *wants*--he collapses back against Krenyn like a puppet with its strings cut, folding himself against the taller man if he could vanish entirely by doing so. Doesn't make a sound as he does. Just presses up against the other death knight.

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *like iron to a lodestone the static fold up against Krenyn's mental presence, still aching and bleeding* (i can't) (i'm) (so) (sorry) <i love you(morethananything)&(ifailedyou)>

Krenyn answers this aloud, gathering up Larkspur as best as armor allows and hissing at him, more the intensity than anger. "You survived. Despite what he wanted you to do. You /came back/. How is that a failure?"

Larkspur is silent for a long time in the face of this question, simply *being* there as he leans against Krenyn in his misery. At last: "I never should have gone to him in the first place." Everything that happened, everyone who died--none of it would've if he hadn't been so -stupid- and weak-minded. Stupid, stupid Larkspur.

Krenyn gives Larkspur a slight shake- physical and somewhat mental, though the latter is softer.  "You did not know. /I/ did not know. Nor did your brother. The... priest was powerful," Krenyn allows.

[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *still a strong presence, still seeking to hold Larkspur together by willpower alone, if only so his partner is capable of focus and some logic* <This... is not something you can blame yourself for being weak about. Must not. Cannot... fault>
[Krenyn] whispers: <...yourself for the weakness of others> *flash of Oriseus, of Weismann*


Larkspur flicks his ears again, and seems to--settle, surrendering for now into simply holding on and being held. "I should have fought," he repeats, voice quiet and sad. "Anyone else would have done that much." But having said his peace on the matter he lets go.

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *the static are dubious, but held so they cannot outright object; and there is truth in Krenyn's words* *but there's also images and emotions and hurt not being exposed here, not talked about* ... (help) (me)

[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *soothes the pieces, the static, though the images and emotions shifting briefly to the surface before flitting away are too many to process. But the plea for help...*


Krenyn closes his eyes, whispering at Larkspur, though there is effort to make the command as much mental, as physically verbal. "Sleep, Larkspur."

[Krenyn] whispers: (IC) *does indeed seek to enforce the request, shaping it more as an order, attempting to use his solidified position in Larkspur's mind to force obedience into the static. Though there is love, a care... a desire to help his partner.*

Larkspur goes slack in Krenyn's grip; the habit of obedience is so strong with him that even if there had been no force at all behind the command he'd have given it his best attempt despite his distress. As it is, he shuts down entirely--though he doesn't lose his grip on the taller death knight.

To [Krenyn]: (IC) *perhaps that was just what was needed; everything goes immediately quiet under the force of the mental command* *the pain and conflict aren't forgotten, but laid aside, for now, and Krenyn's mental presence clutched close*

Krenyn is prepared for Larkspur's weight, supporting it and then lifting the death knight easily, despite armor. "Chillblaze," he mutters, the sound hardly anything but the power that summons the steed still behind it. It is not long before the shadows appear and stir to part for the undead charger's presence. Larkspur is lifted to the saddle, with Krenyn settling behind his unconscious partner soon after.
corpseknight: (love<3)

A runeblade was the seat of a death knight's soul, more than the rotting meat that bore his name when he was raised and bound to the Scourge. It made only sense to Larkspur to bequeath Terminus Est to Krenyn on the event of his second death; whether or not there'd been plans and oaths and orders otherwise, he knew which of them would die first--because while the idea of the Lord-Commander Bloodflame all alone was hideous and heart-tearingly awful, it was possible, while a Larkspur-without-Krenyn was monstrous and impossible and beyond thinking of.

He just wished dying wasn't so hard.

 

Krenyn found him collapsed in their garden, curled on himself like a crushed insect as his body ate itself from within. Decaying muscle and tendon wouldn't even allow him the decency of crawling off alone to die like the sick animal he was. He couldn't even lift his head at the sound of footsteps approaching, couldn't raise an arm to hide the shame that burned through him. It wasn't supposed to end like this. He should have died years ago in battle, not through years of slow decline from one shameful, worthless death to another--

"Larkspur."

There was no pity in the lord-commander's voice; but nor was there remonstrance or anger. (Though they had long ago lost an audience to play to they'd kept up the act of master and servant, commander and knight, for their own amusement and perhaps because it was how each had learned the other man's needs. Now all that pretense was brushed aside.) Krenyn's tone was one of sorrow, deep and knowing. He'd expected this would happen and it undid Larkspur completely as he felt himself being gathered up onto his partner's lap and held close to the stolen heat of the larger man's body.

"I'm s, sorry Kren," he sobbed, scarcely able to shape the sounds. "'m so, s-sorry, sorry, so--sorry, f'r being worthless a, and lea-eaving y, you--" Words stuck in his throat and he coughed, choking on blood and froth and what had once been his lungs. It couldn't end like this and for a moment he fought being held, desperate and weeping, but a moment was all he had strength for before collapsing again.

Warm fingers stroked through his hair heedless of the fact clumps of it came out at a touch, tracing down to stroke the line of his jaw without shying from the spots where flesh had peeled from the bone beneath. "Hush, beloved," Krenyn soothed, pressing his hand to his partner's lips and letting the warmth of living Blood flow down Lark's throat, relieving the pain but making it no easier to talk. "You should not apologize to me."

It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair. "'S w, worthless, never, never good--never l, loyal t-to you, like you, deserved."

"I don't regret a moment of our time together," and a string of kisses interrupted the flow of self-recrimination, "but that we did not have more of that time. Hush, Lark, and rest; I'm very proud of you.

"I always will be proud of you."

 

They lay together for long hours in the rays of the westering sun, one blind and ignorant of the dying light, the other too concerned with his dying lover to care. Krenyn stroked Larkspur's hair and spoke to him in low tones, telling him the story of a quel'dorei mage who lived and died and lived again for the sake of his family and received more love than he had thought to deserve in the bargain.

He held the smaller death knight as Lark shuddered and screeched and wept with terror in the presence of things that existed only in his decaying mind, hallucinations he was too weak to fight or flee.

At last, as the sun slid below the horizon, the lord-commander sat with his partner's head cradled in his lap, fingertips resting against the death rune imprinted into skin and broken bone. They had run out of easy words to say; that did not mean they were without language of touch and contact and posture, though a companionable silence that hung thick with grief lay between them.

Until a whisper broke it:

"Kren."

"Lark?"

"Think I, I sh--should sleep, n, now."

"Sleep, then, beloved. I will watch over you until you wake."

"D, don't know. Know. If I'll, w--wake up."

"Even if you do not, I will be with you, in this world or the next."

A stifled noise escaped Larkspur's throat: the beginning of another sob, even as he turned his head to press his face against one of Krenyn's hands. "Love you," he breathed, and, "thank you."

"Rest," Krenyn said again, the sorrow raw in his voice.

And this time when he drew on the death pact between them, unravelling Larkspur's essence through the death rune, there was no pain.

corpseknight: (love<3)

Larkspur is seated near the edge of the boardwalk, soaked to the skin, pieces of his armor strewn about him. He's folded around his runeblade like a drowning man clinging to a piece of wreckage, cheek pressed against its haft, face turned toward the sea.

Krenyn approaches, footsteps on the board. His scent should be familiar enough. The footsteps stop nearby. He hadn't had to search. He just needed to arrive. And he did so before morning.


[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] Get up.


Larkspur would ordinarily respond to Krenyn's presence long before his partner got this close. It takes the other death knight actually speaking before Lark so much as twitches an ear, this time. "...sir," he replies numbly, automatically, to the order.


Larkspur drags himself to his feet, still clutching at his runeblade with bound hands.


Krenyn steps closer, giving Larkspur a cursory once-over. Concern for ailments, chains? None at all. "A pitiful state. And that I have to come here to fetch you home," he notes dryly. "What have you to say?" 


Krenyn is heard pacing forward even as he speaks, seeking face to face with Larkspur.


Larkspur can't muster the energy to object, to defend himself, to do so much as lay his ears back in distress or distaste. Or even avert his face to hide the fact he's...maimed. "Nothing." His voice is flat, devoid of emotion. "I failed."


[Larkspur] says: [Thalassian] The only...mercy...is that I did not fail as a Blade. Just as myself.


Krenyn reaches out, two gauntlet-clad digits extended to brush against the empty sockets, without remorse for any lingering pain it might cause. "Hm."


Larkspur doesn't move, other than a reflexive sort of ... failed blink. His hands tighten on Terminus Est. "I'm sorry," he breathes.


Krenyn scrapes slightly. Some form of... something best left undescribed is left on his fingers as they pull free, is rubbed with thumb and sniffed at. "Mm," he states again. "Is this the best they could muster in retaliation for your actions?"


[Krenyn] says: [Thalassian] I suppose you should be thankful. Your punishment from me for your failure to follow my orders will not be as light.


Krenyn reaches down to pick up a piece of the discarded armor. "It's time to leave, Plagueheart."


Larkspur cl-- he doesn't have EYES to close anymore. Is he trembling? Possibly. "They would have killed me. Or done worse. The priest Auroran took my eyes at my...suggestion." No mockery for how easily he got off. No acknowledgement of the threat of punishment.


Larkspur is just restating the facts. "...yes, sir." He'll...have to set his runeblade down to pick up the rest of his armor with his hands bound like this.


Krenyn won't allow it to be set down. As Larkspur kneels to retrieve the armor, Terminus Est is grasped and held upright. As if claimed by the commander.


Larkspur has in no way just been sitting here for hours clinging pathetically to his runeblade for comfort, so this certainly isn't a disturbing and unwanted separation. ...He gathers his armor, unable to shake the numbness.


Larkspur tries, though, to show the proper respect the dreadplate deserves. A surprised moth flutters out from under his breastplate as he picks it up, vanishing under his cloak to hide.


Krenyn is silent while waiting for each piece of armor to be gathered. Another disgrace is pardoned; in that Krenyn allows Larkspur to know when he has found the last piece. "Now."


Larkspur gets to his feet, balancing his armor carefully, and obediently follows Krenyn through the death gate.

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Larkspur Plagueheart

March 2017

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