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24 October 2011 @ 06:03 am
FIC: The Kebab Killer, Chapter five, Part two – Market Place chatter  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Kebab Killer
Part: 7/10 (wip)
Rating: R
Configuration M/M
Warnings: violence, angst, borderline fairytale romance
Word Count: 2.800 / 26.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Sam/Yaden
Summary: Sir Colin has no intention of staying out of the life of Sam and Yaden…
Feedback: Yes, please!

“Now, who was that Dracon?”

For a long moment, Yaden didn't answer and instead concentrated on the long piece of meat he was intent on cutting to chops for tonight's menu. Using a butcher's cleaver, he hacked at the bones that still kept the pieces together, pausing between each chop.

“Yaden? What did he say? Are you in trouble?”

“No, I'm not, I mean, yes. Oh god, Sam, I don't know. I am sorry. I... I just need a moment.”

They had returned from the marked in silence, Yaden grim and worried, and Sam calm and increasingly worried, too. Only when Yaden had started working in the kitchen, with Sam sitting on the first steps of the stairs, the silence had become oppressive.

“He said he knows me,” Yaden explained finally.

“But – that's a good thing, isn't it?”

“He said he was my husband.”

Instantly, Sam was glad he was already sitting down. Of all the possible complications, this was one thing he had never even thought of. Never dared to think of.

“You are married?!” he asked, incredulous and half way hoping Yaden would deny everything.

But instead of giving a heart-felt denial, Yaden just looked up from his butchering job, smiling softly.

“Of all people, of course you would be the only one to overlook the real problem.” He actually sounded somewhat proud. “God, I love you so.“

It took Sam quite a moment to realize what 'the real problem' was.

“You are a noble?”

“Sam, please.” With emphasis, he hacked at the chops once more. “Do I look like a noble to you?”

“No, not really.” This all sounded just a little too weird in his ears. “You don't believe him, do you?”

“Of course not.”

“That... didn't sound as convinced as I hoped it would be.”

Instead of an answer, Yaden pointed at one of the market-bags with his cleaver.

“He gave me a bag of my 'secret spice rub'. Said I had to be running out of it by now.”

This all made so little sense that Sam felt his head spinning. Almost as if trying to prove Yaden wrong, he stood up and walked over to the counter where the bag was lying.
But sure enough, there was a smaller bag of spices inside, smelling just like the contents of the box Yaden always kept on the top shelf of his spice-rack. Even more disconcertingly, the bag was marked 'secret spice rub' in the same, neat handwriting that labelled all of Yaden's other spice boxes.
Sam put the spices back into the bag, a little too abruptly to make it look nonchalantly. It rather looked as if he was trying to hide unwanted evidence.

“I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this,” Sam stated, half hoping, half trying to convince himself.

Yaden didn't even react, only continued to grimly butcher the meat in front of him.

Right into this awkward silence, Sam's mobile phone started ringing. As only his headquarters had the number, he didn't even look at the display before picking up.


“Am I speaking to Officer Balmoral?” A man's voice, calm, but with an undeniable edge of urgency and sorely tested patience.

“Who's there?” Sam asked, though he already had a creeping notion about the answer. “How'd you get this number?!”

“I am Sir Colin of House Dracon, we saw each other on the market this morning.” The voice of the other end of the line matched the man Sam had seen smiling so quizzically at him. “And about your number, I called your employer, and he gave it to me.”

Despite everything he had learned about conduct in face of nobility, Sam felt seething anger rise in him. They hadn't done anything wrong, couldn't they just leave them alone?

“What do you want?”

“We need to talk. Urgently. About... your boyfriend.”

“What's so special about him, can't you just leave us alone?!”

“He's more special than you can possibly know, and you're both in danger if this - “

“Now listen to me, 'Sir Colin',” Sam interrupted the noble rudely, his voice caustic with warning. “Maybe you want to talk, but we don't want to. We don't want anything of you in our lifes, and we're pretty damn fine without you. SO GET LOST!”

And then he disconnected the line, only barely managing not to hurl the phone against the far wall. With a deep sigh, Sam leaned against the cupboard he had been standing next to, his hands shaking with anger and fear.

Yaden just stood there, the bloody cleaver in his hands, frozen in the middle of a motion, staring at Sam.

“That was him, wasn't it?” Yaden finally said, his voice kicking Sam out of the mental loop he had crashed into.

“Yes. They're already looking for you.” Sam had known it would only be a matter of time, but this had been really fast. “I – I'll think of something. But maybe we should start packing.”

There. It sounded so ridiculously easy.
Pack your things, run away, start a new life, live happily ever after.

But probably, that's right what Yaden had been doing before he arrived to open the Kebab Shack. Dreaming of a simple life, a husband, and a total lack of adventures. Well, obviously that had worked out perfectly this time.

But where could they run to? There was no safe place for them if the nobility was involved. At least not in the empire...
Instantly Sam's mind kicked into overdrive, inverting everything he had learned about apprehending fugitive criminals.
With a little bit of luck, they might be able to catch a group teleport to Guild Central, where the grip of the nobles was as weak as it could get in the Phoenix Empire. Among the billions of people living there, it could be well possible to get lost, if only for a short while. Until then, they might already have boarded a freighter to the Coron Nations, paying cash, leaving no paper trail for any agents to follow...

>>Officer Balmoral?<<

The telepathic call reached Sam's mind as clearly as if the person were speaking next to him. There was also none of the muddled, half-thought words, flitting images and barely muted emotions he usually got in his mind when talking to one of the telepathic operators working for the DCs. Just clear, crisp words that could as well have been typed into his mind.

Sam felt his hope of a clean getaway dissolve like ice in the desert.

>>Yes?<< he thought as he had learned to do, trying to gather some hope that this call would, miraculously, bring the direly needed solution to all this mess.

>>This is P2 Prime speaking. I have a call from Sir Colin for you. And, with all due respect, I suggest you take it.<<

Sam almost laughed out loud with despair. What was happening to his life? P2 Prime was the head of the psions' guild here on P2, one of the most powerful and respected psychics in the whole damn empire. If P2 Prime was acting the operator girl for Sir Colin, that didn't bode well for them.

>>Do I have a choice?<<

>>I will not force this call on you, if that is your question.<< Sam wasn't sure, but it seemed to him as if P2 Prime was smiling at his end of the line. >>But Sir Colin is an honourable man, and if he told me I needed his help, I'd at least listen.<<

There was nothing but urgent sincerity in the prime's mental voice, and the deep and encompassing desire to help. Of course, that could be an elaborate lie, but then again, why should P2 Prime be lying? After all Sam knew about prime-level psions, he could just as well command him to do his bidding or kill him with a mere thought. Sure, most the things he knew about psions he had taken out of movies and the two threat-assessment classes he had had on the subject. But whatever the precise options, Sam was well aware that there was no point in arguing.

>> Put him through, then. <<

There was not so much an answer of P2 Prime but the mental image of a silent nod. Then Sam felt a subtle shift as the telepath's mind seemed to recede and another presence in the back of his head gained prominence.

>> Officer Balmoral? Please, don't kick me out, this is important.<<

Sir Colin's mental voice sounded surprisingly close to his physical one, but unlike P2 Prime, his thoughts came with a wave of emotions and images that seeped out of every word he sent through the telepathic connection.

There was genuine worry for Yaden in his thoughts, a deeply felt love and affection. There was concentration, and responsibility, and melancholia that made no sense at all to Sam. Most unexpected, there was a gentle, welcoming emotion towards Sam, as if Sir Colin thought Sam was an old friend he was meeting for the first time today.

Telepathic communication had many advantages, but sometimes, it just made things more complicated, Sam realized silently.

“Darling, is everything all right?” Yaden asked from across the kitchen, setting down his cleaver, a concerned look on his face.

Another advantage of telepathic connections was that they only needed a negligible fraction of the time they would have needed if spoken out physically. From Yaden's point of view, Sam's eyes had glassed over for a second, his face twitching as if thinking in deep concentration and not paying attention to the world outside. No more than a few seconds could have passed outside of Sam's head since P2 Prime had contacted him.

“It's okay, don't worry,” Sam said without even thinking. There really was no point in upsetting his lover any more. “It's my office, they'll have some kind of emergency and I'll have to join the briefing.”

Gently tapping his temple, Sam gestured that he was in a telepathic connection.

“I'll be upstairs until they let me go, yes?” Sam said softly, already turning towards the stairs. “Call me if that crazy noble shows up again.”

“Sure thing...”

Yaden's reply didn't sound sure at all, but then again, Sam had other things to worry about right now. Like, that annoyingly well connected noble right inside his head.

>>What do you want of him?<< Sam asked, trying to convey his care and worry and willingness to fight for Yaden along with his question.

>>The same as you. I want him to be happy. <<

This time, Sir Colin's reply was accompanied by images of Yaden smiling across a table, of Yaden sleepily blinking out of a hammock, of him laughing with a small, fox-eared child in his arms. Images of Yaden so blissfully happy that it clenched Sam's heart joy and sadness at the same time.

Sitting down on their bed, Sam wondered how these images would fit with those he had in his mind of a happy, naughty, barefooted fast-food-restaurant owner. But it definitely was Yaden the noble was thinking of, no mistaking there.

When Sir Colin continued, he didn't use words to talk to Sam. Instead, he just sent a deeply felt agreement. He loved Yaden just as Sam loved him, and there was nothing he wouldn't do to see him happy and protected. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Sam remembered that the most skilled telepaths were also empaths, able to convey emotions and feelings to those they were connecting to. And right now, Sir Colin was using the empathic connection P2 Prime offered them to show Sam all the love that he felt for Yaden, all the unconditional and unwordable feelings that usually could never be shown.
And without thinking, Sam answered in like, allowing the noble to see all his love, all his worry, and all the joy that he connected with Yaden. It all just burst out of him, a torrent so intense that Sam could hardly believe that it was really boring old him holding all these emotions.

Somewhere in the physical world, Sam could hear himself gasp softly with the pure intensity of feelings that rushed through him in the split second the whole exchange needed.

After what felt like less than a heartbeat and yet more than an hour, Sam's and Colin's emotions finally untangled again, leaving them both smiling, exhausted, and oddly familiar with each other.

>>Yes, he does that to people.<< Colin said finally, his words still fraught with emotion, but much calmer now. >> I wasn't too sure how hard you had fallen for him, until now.<<

Sam could only agree. He had fallen hard, and didn't regret a single second of it. Burning to finally learn how all this fit together, he sent Colin the mental image of a question mark and a gentle nudge.

Colin smiled at the way the question was presented, and seemed to brace himself for his answer.

>>Maybe I should start with properly introducing myself. I am Sir Colin of House Dracon, but you probably know me better as Colin, the ‘Demon Baker of Leichnam’, and husband of Sir Yaden.<<

Even worse than the words was the mental image that accompanied Colin's claim. It was an image of Sir Yaden, the Phoenix Knight. Of the real man, not of the actor that portrayed him in the movies.

And if you looked past his iconographic outfit, the green woolen vest and the bracers, then he looked just like the man standing downstairs in the kitchen, chopping some meat.

Sam felt as if he should faint on the spot. How in all the empire could he have not noticed? How could he have been that blind?

Sir Yaden was one of the best known citizens of the empire. Right after the Emperor, there was probably no other human who's images had been printed more often. There were Sir Yaden t-shirts, Sir Yaden posters, Sir Yaden pens. With slightly amused dread, Sam realized that somewhere in his old flat, he even had a Sir Yaden mug.
He had bought the mug after he had seen 'Sir Yaden and The Demon Witches of Leichnam' in cinema for the fourth time. Each time, he had almost started crying when Sir Yaden finally proposed to his one true love, to the man he had saved from the pyre the villagers were trying to burn him on for helping the witches. Each time, he had hoped that one day, he would be lucky enough to find a love like those two. Like Sir Yaden and Colin, the Demon Baker of Leichnam.

And suddenly, right those people had fallen from the silver screen right into his life, and it was so very much not what he had hoped for. It was a mess, an ugly, painful mess. And the real Yaden didn't even remotely look like the actor who portrayed him in the movies. Hell, the real Yaden was at least two heads shorter than the actor. And... cute!

>>Undercover missions, << Colin thought, politely trying to bring the still open connection back to Sam's attention. >>Those actors are picked very carefully.<<

>>But I've got his real face on a mug, for god's sake! I should have seen it!<<

>>Even if you had noticed the similarities, you'd probably just have laughed at it and told everyone your boyfriend was looking like a Phoenix Knight. It's just nothing normal people like us would ever come to think of.<<
Normal people like us, Sam scoffed inwardly, yeah, sure. But then, more ingrained than any actual fact could have been, the images from the movie resurfaced in Sam's mind, reminding him that in the end, he and Colin had a lot in common after all.

Before he had met Sir Yaden, Colin had been a commoner, a baker in some remote village on Leichnam. They had met during Yaden's first mission, an undercover mission. And they had fallen in love despite everything, and they had married and lived happily ever after. Sam even remembered having had a day off as most guard duties in town had been taken over by the Emperor's Ruby Guards when the two had married a few years ago.

The whole thing felt so very unreal.

>>But it is real.<< Colin's voice, calm and reasonable now. >>That man in the kitchen downstairs is one of the most powerful psychics of humanity, and he has no idea of his power nor any control over it at all.<<

Slowly, as if his mind needed the time to step back sufficiently to see the bigger picture, Sam realized why Colin had been so concerned. And in what a mortal danger they had all been.

>>His powers over air and earth are unmatched, and I am not sure even the Gods know what he'll do should he feel truly threatened. Or if one of his loved ones were...<<

>>What can I do?<<

>>I have no idea.<< Colin sounded sincere but far from desperate. Actually, he sounded as if looking forward to the challenge. >>But we're going to figure it out, you and me. I have faith in you. <<

idolme922idolme922 on October 24th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
Ooooo! I was skipping all the way to work as I didn't have time to read this at home.

I love how this is progressing. Fascinating plot twist. Colin sounds like a good guy, reasonable and in love with Yaden, so I hope its true that he has Yaden's best interests at heart.

Can't wait for the next chapter! Great update!! :D
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 25th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
Well, thank you, you are most welcome!

And Colin is a real sweetheart. He's got a mighty violent streak when anyone of his family is threatened, but then again, that's where he and Yaden are very alike... ^^
jouet89jouet89 on October 24th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
"“That was him, wasn't it?” Yaden finally said" HAHAHA, simply perfect!

"P2 Prime was acting the operator girl for Sir Colin" My favourite line of the chapter! Hope there will be more scene with these three :)

osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 25th, 2011 04:17 am (UTC)
Yes, we'll get more of them, and even P2 Prime will reappear occasionally in other stories, acting the operator girl. ^^

Thanks for commenting!
triptyxtriptyx on October 24th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
Yaden is practically a GOD? :D :D :D Excellent! Poor Sam!!! :D
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 25th, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
Ah, well, all the proper gods and Yaden agree that he's merely half-god material. ^^

But that's for another story, at another campfire, many, many moons from now.

triptyxtriptyx on October 25th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
YAY more stories with Yaden and Sam! I look forward to that campfire VERY much! :)

I am just a little bit confused if Sir Colin was a commoner, how can he be a Dracon Lord now? And Yaden? Was he a Dracon or was he made a Phoenix Knight because of him being a half-God?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 26th, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
Just to prevent a misunderstanding here - Yaden will show up regularly in our stories, Sam only occasionally.

Being married or adopted by a noble is one of the very few ways of becoming a noble. Yaden was born a Dracon (actually he is one of the sons of the Duchess of Pandora), and by marrying Colin made him a noble, too.
But yes, there have been commoners and even slaves made Phoenix Knights by the Emperor if he considered them up to the job.
triptyxtriptyx on October 28th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
No misunderstanding, I am happy that more stories of yours are in our future! :D

Ahh OK, so Yaden made Colin a Dracon by marrying him! Look forward to more! :)
BerthaBlueberthablue on October 25th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
Holy shit! I was getting all ready to hate this guy, but now I think it's good that Sam has someone else who knows what the hell is going on!

I love the way you did the telepathic communication - the verbal and visual imagery worked excellently together!

Also... Sir Yaden the Phoenix Knight!!!??? A far cry from a kebab shop owner :D Looking forward to more!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on October 25th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I was a little worried about the telepathic communication, especially as we'll see much more of it, here and in other stories.

And yes, A Phoenix Knight is pretty much as far away from 'ordinary' as it gets. We'll have to see if Sam can cope with that, much as he likes to be the guy next door.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
hab318princess on November 6th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
oh wow... kinda thinking lucky Yaden: two people who love him
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 8th, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
Actually it's a lot more than two... ^^
littlenilittleni on November 27th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
*looks sheepish*

This never turned up in my email so I am only just reading it now, and can I say, for the record,just so there is no misunderstanding whatsoever;


I wonder if gods are better in bed than mortals?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on November 27th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
Never mind, LJ's been less than reliable lately when it came to email notifications. I'm all the happier that you're reading it now.

And no, Yaden is only a demi-god, as all the 'real' gods are very sure to point out. (He's still better in bed, though. ^^)