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Author: Regret
Rating: 15
Story: Radial: Unravel AU (Still In Need Of A Name)
Challenge: Blue Raspberry #2 - Cooling Off; Quince #8 - What's Gotten Into You?
Topping: Chopped Nuts
Word Count: 2,086
Summary: Alex tries to find out his new property's name, without too much success - until a hated third party becomes involved.
Notes: That Alex has sibings came as a surprise, as he has none in the real world. Also, considering Alex's own phobias, that was an unpleasant thing to do...



Less than half an hour had passed after Alex’s arrival, and the idea that he had just bought something—no, someone—in that short time was still hard to process, even with the physical evidence a few steps behind him. They walked in silence back along the path, the elf lagging as far as the short rope that ran from Alex’s hand to his collar would allow, glaring down at the ground rather than at his surroundings or his new owner.

The inn where Alex had left his horse wasn’t far but the silence was starting to become oppressive. “Do you have a name? Or do I have to give you one?”

“No.”

“No what?” He couldn’t keep the irritation from his voice, wanting to turn and look at him without wanting to concede defeat by the simple action.

“No.”

Insolent, scrawny— He gave the rope a short jerk and listened with satisfaction to the scuff of bare feet over dirt as the elf stumbled. “If you don’t tell me your name I’ll call you Rainbow gods-damned Moonbeam.”

Silence.

Alex scowled and yanked on the rope again. The sudden dip in pressure along with a stumble and grunt told him that this time the elf nearly hit the floor and, from a sudden increase after he regained his footing, that he wasn’t too happy about it. “So, Rainbow—”

“Take me back.”

Spinning on his heel to face the elf, he tugged again and watched as the man almost lost his footing a third time before twitching back, pulling the rope taut between them. “Why would I do that, when I’ve only just bought you?” He pulled again.

This time the elf resisted, raising his head to display a long neck marred only by the collar and some old, faded bruising. Alex wondered if he’d thought he’d feel sorry for him, instead of deciding he could see why someone would feel the urge to do it. But no, not from the way he looked at him. He didn’t expect pity. “Because I hate you and I’ll kill you in your sleep.”

He stared. He looked the elf up and down, at his similar height but far inferior frame. And he started to laugh. Really, just who did he think he was talking to? “I’ll have to keep you,” he said with a broad smirk, “because I’d pay good money to see you try.”

He must have thought his words would have more effect: his eyes widened, then flashed with anger as he jerked back on the rope again, almost ripping it from Alex’s hand, then threw himself at his new owner.

He wasn’t hard to deal with. Alex was, after all, wearing armour, whereas the rags the elf was in barely qualified as clothing. If he hadn’t announced his intentions so clearly he might almost have taken Alex by surprise; as it was, his momentum left him woefully unprepared for the foot that slammed into the side of his body or the fist that dropped him to the path. To his credit he barely even let out a grunt as Alex straddled him, dropping his weight heavily onto the elf’s stomach. He just glared up at him and tried to rip open Alex’s cheek with his ragged fingernails.

Alex caught the elf’s wrist and pinned it to the ground beside his head together with its partner, leaning down until they were nose to nose. “I’ve bought an idiot, haven’t I?” His smirk returned as his slave squirmed beneath him, testing his weight and strength, before tensing and trying to smash his forehead into Alex’s face.

Despite himself, he was impressed. Perhaps his life expectancy needed a little reassessment—until the elf treated Alex to a smirk of his own, then spat in his face.

Yes, it needed reassessing. Downwards. Frowning, Alex drew both his wrists above his head and trapped them both with one hand, freeing up one of his own to drag his sleeve over the spit then, very carefully, slap him hard enough across the cheek to knock his head into the ground. Gripping his chin to keep him in place, even as he strained against him, Alex let a trail of his own saliva drip onto the elf’s cheek. Beneath him the body tensed again and when he let go of his face he didn’t make an attempt to move, simply lay there and let Alex scrub his thumb through the slimy fluid.

He stared down at the elf and the clean patch he’d just left on his face. It’d been impossible to tell how dark his skin actually was under the layers of filth and even now he wasn’t entirely sure. He had an uncommonly pretty mouth and a knotted and tangled thatch of unruly blond hair that grazed his shoulders. Unfocused, his eyes were sullen and distant; when he slowly turned to stare at Alex they were filled with hate. “Come on, then. Get it over with.”

Alex released his wrists and pushed himself to his feet, picking up the abandoned rope and giving it a gentle tug to encourage his slave to follow suit.

For the first time since he’d set eyes on him, the elf was looking at Alex with an expression of something other than utter loathing. “Aren’t you going to...?” His voice trailed off, but his eyes tracked from Alex’s face to crotch and back again, confusion plain on his face.

Alex grimaced, glancing down to confirm what his body was already informing him of. He really should reconsider his wardrobe because, damnit, this did not look good. He shot the elf a glare—it was his fault, after all, writhing around under him like that—and gave the rope another harsh yank that this time he seemed prepared for and withstood without losing his footing. “No. I want to get back before evening.”

He hadn’t intended for the two sentences to sound related. The disgust that skittered over the elf’s face before being schooled into boredom told him that his intentions didn’t matter because that was exactly how it’d been taken.

Alex sighed deeply. They were almost at the inn now, thank the gods, and there was something he wanted to be sure of before they set out for the castle.

* * *

His horse gave him an uninterested look as he approached the hitching post and trough, the elf several steps behind but no longer actively pulling on the rope, something which Alex was silently thankful for as the idea of dragging him was distinctly unappealing.

And silent had been the only way to describe it. Not a word had passed either man’s lips since their altercation and finally Alex was glad of it. Anything rather than deal with the elf’s assumption.

Half leading, half dragging his new acquisition towards the horse, making no effort to disguise his smirk at the evident misgiving the elf had about the animal, Alex paused beside the trough to carefully gauge just how alert the elf was now his furious attack had failed. Watchful, if the way those hazel eyes never left him was anything to go by, but not anticipating anything that he didn’t initiate.

Stupid boy. Alex dropped the rope and grabbed one wrist, sinking his other hand into the elf’s dirty hair. Before he could protest, eyes wide with fright, Alex twisted and dunked his head into the trough.

He thrashed against him uselessly, his free hand trapped by Alex’s body and his own arm pulled hard across his body by the knight’s grip on his wrist, but he could only come back up for air when Alex allowed him to. “Wh— What are you—!”

Alex smiled at him. Judging from the vivid flush that filled the elf’s cheeks, the expression wasn’t pleasant. “You’re caked in shit. You can bath when we get back, but I’ll be damned if I’m walking around with you when your skin is four shades lighter without the mud.”

“I— I—” Words seemed to have deserted him with the shock. He tried to struggle again; Alex’s grip on both his body and his hair tightened. “I— You—”

“Shut up. And if you try to hit me again when I let you go, I’ll break both your legs and drag you back at a gallop, do you understand me?”

He nodded miserably and stood stock still as Alex released his hold. He was even suppressing his shivers, he noted with amusement. Rebellious, violent and surprisingly obedient. Maybe this had been a good choice after all. Alex picked up the slack rope and unhitched his horse again. After everything, he’d be damned if he’d let him ride. He could walk, and maybe then he’d think twice about spitting at him.

* * *

The short-ish ride he’d taken at an easy canter took an hour and a half at a walk with the resentful elf in tow and Alex had never been so glad to see the massive gates, not even when he was covered in gore, smelling like a charnel house and with a severed arm in a bag. At least the owner of the arm had been occasionally amusing. This elf had become boring again.

He slid from the horse at the gate, golden-red in the sunset glow, and handed her over to a stable boy, watching the grumpy beast go with a faint flash of affection. At least the mare couldn’t talk, rather than just chose not to like the elf standing to one side and trying very hard not to look overawed at the sight of the main ward.

Leading the other man through the archways and across the wide courtyard towards his room, he started to daydream about the luxury of a nice, warm bed for the night—and froze as a voice called out, loud enough to echo, “Alex, what are you doing?”

“I’m going to my room. Why do you ask?” He didn’t turn, and ignored the elf’s startled expression. “Really, Sura, it’s not like you to ask such a bloody stupid question.”

“You know well what I mean.” As if sensing that the knight wasn’t going to look at him, the other man placed himself between Alex and the door he’d been aiming for. “Why in every god under the sun’s name do you have that on a rope?”

Alex looked up for the first time, at the man only an inch or two taller and almost a decade older. “Because, brother dear,” he spat he word, “I decided to invest.”

“You? Invest in staff?” The laugh filled the courtyard as Alex’s oldest brother threw back his head, apparently unable to suppress his mirth. “Well, I suppose I can see why you’d want to buy something so clearly disposable. But really, youngest brother,” he gave him a benevolent smile that made Alex’s blood boil, “shouldn’t you have picked something with a little more meat on its bones?”

“He’s fine,” Alex snapped. “Get out of my way.”

“I always knew you were fascinated by these creatures.” Sura moved towards the dark elf, who neatly stepped behind Alex to evade him; Alex couldn’t help his amusement at the darkening of his brother’s expression at this tiny insult. “But this time I think you’ve truly lost your mind. Why on this green earth would you buy something like this?”

“It’s none of your business.”

The taller man edged around Alex until the elf could no longer escape. Alex watched him glare up as he caught his chin and dragged his head this way and that, examining him. “Does it even have a name?”

“Moonshine—”

“Milos,” the elf interrupted, raising his chin from Sura’s grip. “My name is Milos.”

Well that was one way of finding out, Alex had to concede. “I won’t keep you from your business, Sura.” He jerked on the rope again and, for once without any kind of implied complaint, the elf—Milos—followed him towards a door. “Give my love to our parents.”

His brother muttered something that sounded distinctly uncomplimentary but stepped aside to allow Alex and his new servant to pass. Alex was glad. His parents had never taken one brother laying out another well and another minute or two in Sura’s presence would have brought about that exact result. All he wanted to do now was go to his room and figure out exactly what he was supposed to do now.

Why did no one ever make a handbook for people who’d just bought their first slave?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ichthusfish
Apr. 20th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
LOL! Alex out of his depth is so ammusing. I think the sibling relationship was about as well as it could be. Well played :)
nothingtoregret
Apr. 22nd, 2013 12:03 pm (UTC)
I have no idea where his siblings came from, but a whole family of people as dysfunctional as Alex was too much fun to resist... :p
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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