Reven heard the screams as if in the distance - as if from another person, another mouth. But he knew they were his, nonetheless.

He smelled it all around him; the smoke, the cloying tang of blood; the sweat from other bodies, bent on murder and maiming.

He heard it, too - the slicing of blades; the crunch of broken bones; the occasional shriek of pain and anger.

And the crying of small children.

He sat up in bed, suddenly, his body slick with sweat, his eyes unseeing. The visions were in his mind - like they had been so many times before.

And he felt the body that stood beside him in these visions, in these memories…

That body was more real to him than his own.

Long, strong limbs; skin that was scarred and jagged under his fingertips, but so very familiar. Dark red hair, tangled round broad shoulders, filling his hands when he reached out in the night. Eyes that were always awake when he needed them to be; that glinted at him. Harsh with him; unforgiving; demanding. But always there.

But not now.

He could feel the tears on his face though he wasn't aware of crying. His fists clutched at his sheets. His own limbs ached, as if he'd run a long way, very quickly. A dull ache at the base of his spine nagged at him.

And the misery and emptiness inside of him was like a spear through him - like the cut of a katana -

Like the loss of everything inside of him.

At first, Lain had been terrified.

It had started off with whimpering, which had concerned the boy, but within minutes after the brunette had been started awake, Reven had taken to all-out screams of terror, and he still seemed to be asleep!

"R-Reven?" he asked softly, in one of the pauses between outcries.

Lain himself was shaking with terror; he'd never seen a person's face contorted so horribly, or a gaze filled with such sheer agony.

As soon as he saw the tears, however, all stops were pulled and he frowned in determination. Whatever his host was dreaming, it was now Kalain's business; he was here to help after all, wasn't he?! And this was a great time to start.

"Reven!" he cried out above the screams, reaching out and taking hold of the man's tattooed shoulder with his right hand and cupping the dark haired man's cheek with his left.

To Lain's shock, he was quickly and fearsomely thrown aside with a sweep of the man's powerful arm, and the brunette cried out in pain as his shoulder cracked against the edge of the night stand and he hit the floor.

And the man still wasn't awake!

Frowning with deeper determination and ignoring the throb running down his left side from his shoulder, he got back on the bed and quickly crawled back to his host, trying a different approach.

"Shh," he whispered softly, sliding his good arm around Reven's neck as he remained on his knees before the dark haired man, hugging the head of black locks to his chest, kissing the top of it tenderly. "Shh, it's a dream," he murmured into the hair.

The Reven's hands went then from gripping his own head to gripping Lain's shoulders, and the boy winced but held back a cry as the fingers dug into them, the pain especially vivid on the left side. It felt as though something was dislocated, and the pressure was making it ache worse.

A chill ran through him as Reven silenced.

Reven's mind was elsewhere. Reven's mind was throbbing with sensations that were from another place and time. He could feel the hands on him - the breath at his neck, the words that were in a voice that had no place where he was right now.

He must push them away - but something held his blow back from its full strength; from its most fatal violence. Something that allowed the hands back on him, soothing him, caressing him.

He grasped out at the body in the dark, almost shocked to make connection with flesh.

"Are you there?" he gasped. "Didn't you leave? Where are we?" The shoulders in his grip felt different; felt more fragile than he expected. His eyes didn't seem to be clearing; his head ached almost unbearably, though his heart rate was slowing. "Inoue! You must just hang on a little while longer - they'll be here to save you! You mustn't give up now - you mustn't leave me! We'll blaze brightly together, right? We do it together... we'll be together. I don't want to be on my own again. I don't have anything but you. There's nothing more important than you..."

There was a lessening of pressure in his head now, and his eyes were accustoming themselves to the light. There was a shadow in front of him on his bed - he held it to him, very fiercely, as if he were afraid to let it go.

"Inoue!" He almost smiled, because there was a man with him again, a real man, in his arms, moving into the light as the visions receded in the opposite direction, back into the dark abyss of night. It was him - he had never left!

Had he?

Hadn't he?

The boy's face swum into view; the boy's shocked, scared, pained face.

"Inoue..." Reven whispered, but the tone was of pain now. There was no sign of that man any more.

He stared into the face of Kalain.

He was more than sure he'd have bruises at least, come morning.

But right now, Lain wasn't concerned about himself in the least. The gaze settling upon him was finally one of consciousness, though there was still a hint of berserk madness in the dark eyes.

The brunette smiled a little, the best he could muster while so terrified. They were both trembling for very different and near the same reasons.

I can guess who this Inoue person is... the one causing all this pain. Possibly the family member or partner he lost. Poor creature, it sounds like Reven was right there as Inoue was taken from him...

Kalain said nothing about this Inoue, still smiling as he hugged Reven with his good arm once more, pressing quick, warm kisses all over his head and face. "It was a dream," he murmured shakily, trying to warm the ice-cold body with his own, parting his legs and straddling them on either of the man's chilled thighs and pressing their bodies together. "Are you alright?"

He pulled back from his kisses to look into the man's face once more, touching his forehead against Reven's, staring into the eyes gently. "I'm here," he whispered. "I'm not going anywhere."

"No..." said Reven, breathlessly. This boy wasn't what he dreamed about - what he wanted. What he craved! The boy was trying to comfort him, his battered senses told him that. But his body screamed at him still - his pain carved through him - his agony was as ripe as the day he dreamed about.

Nothing had changed! He'd be like this forever!

He felt a consuming rage, a wave of fury at the injustice of life. He pushed back at Kalain, tumbling him back on to the bed, his legs flailing around him. Reven rolled to his knees, crouching over the sprawling boy.

There was pain on the boy's face - Reven thought he'd probably hurt him, albeit unintentionally. But there was no holding him back - not with this fire inside him! He crawled over the boy until they were face to face.

"No," he hissed, "You're not going anywhere! I told you, didn't I? That you must stay? I told you there, as your guts spewed out over the floor - I told you when the sirens came, and the cops dragged me off you - I told you there in the hospital, when you were so near to me that I could watch you sleep!"

He saw the confusion and the fright on Lain's face - he knew it was Lain underneath him, Lain wriggling, trying to hold him at bay. But his mind was deranged - he couldn't assimilate the information. It had been too long! The dreams were too vivid!

He would have the man that he wanted! He'd take him, now!, he'd take him here on the bed they should be sharing, and he'd make him cry out with the ecstasy and the joining together, however brutal it might be! He'd make the man warm him through, and he'd make him stay with him!

His hands tightened on Lain's arms, and his breath came closely down on to the shaking boy's face.

Lain's eyes widened as he was spoken to, the words striking terror in his heart-- not only because of what they obviously meant to Reven, but also because he knew that look in any human's face.

Predation, madness, hunger.

The same expression Sphynx made on occasion, the same expression his brother used to make. The brunette whimpered, as he knew what came next when one made that face at him.

Still, it prepared him no less as the kisses began, harsh and needing-- crushing against Lain's mouth and face, and the hot tongue running along his neck. Lain began to sob quietly, in soft little tremors, as he felt the man positioning himself to do as he'd please.

At any other time, he would have gladly done this to make Reven feel better... but right now, not only was he still terrified from what had just happened, but his past was clawing at his fears, bringing silent screams up to his throat. "N-no, don't!" he stuttered. "I don't want you t--AAH!"

His back arched and he cried out in both physical and mental agony as Reven's length forced all the way into him.

The dark haired man didn't wait for Lain to adjust either, and began to thrust quickly as the brunette sobbed aloud, tears running down his face as his own memories overtook his reality. "Aniki!" he pleaded desperately through sobs, his voice rising from a whisper to a shriek as Reven's face and that of Lain's brother became one and the same. "Aniki, stop! Aniki!!"

But this was wrong, wasn't it? Why didn't it feel right? Why the fuck didn't it feel right? Reven felt the mouth under his twist in shock and rejection. He felt the muscles of the slender body, tensing up - he heard the wail of pain, of fear. Of misery. His own body pressed on, demanding that he be satisfied, demanding that he find whatever he was seeking, in whatever vessel he had to hand...

But he recognised that reaction - he'd seen it in another man once. Another man who'd been broken and abused, and had lived in fear of a return of that pain - of an agony and a torture that no man should ever have deserved.


He felt the brush of something wet on his lip - a tear running down from the boy's eyes. Lain's voice was a thread of distress in his ears. He was calling to someone - calling to Reven himself, but not with his name.

Reven stopped - he felt a wave of cold horror swamp him. He was suddenly aware of his fingers, gripping so tightly on Lain's arms that he could see the bruises springing up, even in the dim night light. He was aware of the boy’s thin legs, gripping at his thighs, the boy's hips trying to wrench away from him. He could feel the rough resistance against him as he thrust - the shudder of unprepared and unwilling flesh around him.

And Lain's tears.

Fuck! What kind of an animal was he? Reven let out a wail of horror at himself, and threw himself back, away from Kalain's trapped body. He pulled himself out of the boy, and scrabbled back to the end of the bed, his hands clawing at his own arms, his legs shaking with tension and shock at his behaviour. Had he hit the boy? Had he done anything else? Was he about to do anything else?

Might he have killed him? Reven's mind turned in on itself at the hideous thought.

To Lain's shock, several moments after his slip and addressing Reven as his eldest brother, the dark haired man removed himself from the boy and pulled back, staring at him as though he'd sunk a knife in his chest.

The brunette was conflicted. He wanted to sit up and comfort Reven for his horrors, but could not-- Kalain was still paralyzed by his own demons, and he remained on his back, legs spread and hands at his sides where they'd been held.

His chest tightened with quiet little sobs as he wept silently, staring at the ceiling.

The fright that had seared through his entire body was still running rampant, from both past and current events, and his body hurt where he'd hit the furniture, where he had been held fiercely, and especially where he'd been forcefully taken.

Finally managing to roll onto his side, Lain clutched his limp arm with his right hand and closed his eyes, curling into a tight ball on the bed. "Aniki..." he rasped, inaudible to Reven as he shivered. He hadn't called out that name in so long; it brought back such conflicting memories of joy and agony.

He wanted to go home. With Aniki, and their father, where he belonged. He wanted to be with them, and happy again. But he knew that was a time he'd never get back, and Kalain choked back his sobs until he merely lay trembling on the bed, the last of his tears streaking down his face and soaking into the sheets.

Reven was curled in his own ball of self-loathing; wracked with his own disgust. The look in Lain's eyes had been shocking to see, especially in contrast to the soft encouragement and compassion that he'd seen there before.

And who was this Aniki that he called for? Someone who might care for him? Reven had heard the word before - it was for a brother. He'd heard it as a boy, from a friend he'd once had, long before he became the man he was...

"Lain..." he gasped, brokenly. The boy wouldn't look at him; he hugged his body like every part of it pained him. "Lain, I am so - Christ, I am so sorry! I never meant - I - it wasn't you, you see... I wasn't right in my mind - I couldn't see anything but -" His words dried up. Why should the boy listen to him? He'd attacked him, he'd harmed him, he'd treated his gentle company with violence.

The boy's tears were over, though his body still shivered on the bed. Reven got up, moving very slowly, keeping his distance - terrified that he might scare Kalain again. He plucked up the sheet that had been thrown to the floor, and he gently smoothed it over Lain.

"You won't forgive me, I know," he said, hoarsely. "And you can have no idea of what torments me - you should never have been allowed to see that - to feel the agony that lives inside me. I have no excuse. Only an explanation, maybe. If you'll listen to me, I'll tell you where I was - where my mind was, when I should have been seeing you, not those hideous times. It's the only thing I can offer you, in some kind of apology - some kind of reparation. And then you can leave me to it, and find somewhere - and someone - kinder to you."

The shaky words directed at him drew him back to reality, and he sighed softly, though it also came out as a shudder.

"I... forgive you now," he said quietly, "there's no need to worry about that. You don't have to explain anything until you're ready. You're not the first to... Well, it's happened before. I understand, I do. It's ok."

He smiled weakly and sat up, flinching only a few times.

"I need this put back in place though," he said quietly, glancing down at the shoulder he was sure was dislocated.

That, too, had happened more than Lain's fair share of times. From Aniki, from Sphynx, from johns-- joints came out of their sockets or bones broke, and they had to be set back in place quickly, because there was nobody to pay hospital bills for Lain.

He smiled at the dark haired man again, warmer this time, braver, and whispered, "Don't look so frightened, Reven. I'm not leaving unless you make me. Nothing I've said to you has chang