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19 June 2013 @ 06:01 am
FIC: Serin's Secret Garden, Part 12/18  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: Serin’s Secret Garden
Part: 12/18
Rating: PG/NC17
Configuration: m/m, M/m
Characters: Kendrik/Yaden, Kendrik/Luca, Kendrik/Yuri Dracon
Warnings: slavery, prostitution, rape mentioned, violence, sex, sex on stage, various abuse, severe brainwashing, murderous flora, drugs, potentially underage sex.
Word Count: 2.300/50.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index and the Phoenicipedia
Summary: Mentally exhausted with the events of the day, Kendrik calls home…
Feedback: Yes, please! Constructive criticism welcome!





--Can’t sleep?-- Yaden’s mental voice was calm and steady as a rock, as always.

--No. It's been a bit much for a single day.--

--Want to share?--

For a moment, Kendrik was tempted to just pour out all the emotions that he felt, to just get rid of all the thoughts and half-formed ideas that were running circles in his head. But he caught himself in the last moment. Sharing would be good, yes, but not this way. It would probably confuse Yaden just as much as it confused himself, and wouldn't do much good to either of them.

--Yes, but slowly,-- Kendrik replied. --I am confused, and need someone to talk to.--

--You know I am always here for you.--

Kendrik sent him the image of a smile, and the memory of a gentle cuddle that they had shared once, skin against skin.

--I - I told you I was learning how to sing, yes?--

Instead of a worded answer, Yaden just sent him a sense of confirmation, and the image of himself getting comfortable in his hammock behind the house, having all the time in the world to listen to him.

--I am performing for guests, now.-- Instantly feeling Yaden's excitement, Kendrik couldn't suppress a wide smile of his own. --I knew you would like the thought. And before you ask, yes, one evening I will sing for you at home.--

--I would love that. And Colin and Jennifer, too.--

--I am NOT performing naked. Get your mind out of the gutter!-- Inwardly laughing at his husband's naughty imagination, Kendrik once again sent a grateful prayer to whatever deity was listening. Having a relationship like he had with Yaden was a blessing beyond words, and that Colin and Jennifer and Teagan joined them quite harmoniously was simply improbable. He still couldn't quite believe how lucky he was. --I've tried spying on the guests, here. It didn't work out.--

--Is the background too poisoned? Do you want to quit? We can have you out there in an instant!--

--No, darling, I am not going to quit. Not now.-- Feeling Yaden's ever-present eagerness to bust Kendrik out of his situation at a moment's notice was flattering, Kendrik had to admit. --It's just not going as fast as I had hoped it would. But I think I know how to proceed, so I'll be fine.--

--Really?-- Yaden's question was soft, and full of genuine concern.

--I think I will be. It's... difficult, but in a different way than I thought.-- Taking the mental equivalent of a deep breath, Kendrik braced himself. --I start having ideas that feel sane to me, but I would have never had before. I am not sure if I am maturing or going insane.--

--As long as you wonder about that, you're not going insane,-- Yaden replied gently. --Problems start once you stop wondering.--

--Well, we will see if you're still that convinced after you heard my plans.--

--Now you've made me curious.--

Kendrik sent him the image of a soft chuckle. Already, this conversation was making him feel a lot better, and a lot less insecure about himself.

--I have two things I need to talk about, but before I start - god, this place is EVIL.-- Filling the last word with all the repulsion he had swallowed over the last two days, Kendrik felt Yaden blink in surprise at the intensity. --It is pure EVIL, and I have to say so at least this once. This whole damn warren should be burned to the ground, if you ask me. And please tell me you see it the same way, yes? I know you do, but please just tell me so.--

--Darling, you are absolutely right. The Secret Garden IS evil. And you're a very brave soul going in there. Doubly so as you've grown up so sheltered.--

This made Kendrik laugh out loud. Of course, from Yaden's point of view, he had indeed grown up quite sheltered from the darker sides of humanity. It sure hadn't felt that way, though. Quite the contrary.
But he had survived the poverty of his childhood and the constant fear of his youth. He had even learned to live with the guilt for what he had done during the war. He wouldn't let this silly brothel bring him down. Not as long as he had his spouses waiting for him outside, offering all support and healing a man could wish for.

--Thank you, love. I just needed to hear that once.--

--So what about your mad plans, now?--

--I am not sure if they are mad, just... reasonably suspicious.-- Smiling at himself, Kendrik started to explain. --You remember Baron Yuri?--

--Is he still after you?-- There was such a sweetly threatening note in Yaden's mental voice that Kendrik couldn't help himself but send him the image of a passionate kiss.

--Yes, he is still after me. But he is rather sweet, can you believe that?--

--No.--

--That's what I am struggling with, too. But he is... you know, he is not evil. He is cruel by habit, not because he wants to be. I think he actually might enjoy being one of the good guys if anyone showed him how to.--

--That admittedly sounds a bit concerning. And I take you want to be the one showing him the light?--

--I don't know. I just want to shove him in the right direction.-- Forcing himself to word the thought that had been bothering the whole evening, he added: --I will need to spend more time with him, anyway. He's one of the best connected Dracon here in the Garden, and a perfect starting point. It might mean that I will have to sleep with him, eventually.--

But instead of any sort of reaction, Yaden just sent him the feeling of listening attentively. Apparently, this was much less of a problem to Yaden that it was to him, Kendrik realized.

--Would that be a problem for you?-- Kendrik asked again, this time with more emphasis.

--It would be a problem for me if you didn't want to.-- Yaden's answer felt a little mumbled, a clear sign that he wasn't too sure what Kendrik expected of him. --I trust you to know what you are doing, and if this is something you think is necessary, I will always support you. But if that old cunt hurts you, I will rip him to shreds.--

Again, Kendrik had to smile at his husband's protectiveness. It was nice to know that there was someone out there he was so precious to.

--Thank you, love,-- he replied. --But I don't think that will be necessary. I just... it is something I want to try, something I feel I need to do.--

--No need to explain,-- Yaden replied gently. --I've been on missions often enough, having to decide what to do next. Just follow your heart, you'll do the right thing.--

Kendrik knew Yaden was just trying to say something nice, but still he couldn't keep the mental image of a weary sigh escape him.

--What was that about?-- Yaden asked, mildly surprised. --Honey?--

--I'm not sure I can trust my heart right now.-- Kendrik replied, flashes of midnight blue and silver trying to overwhelm his ordered thoughts. --There is a boy here...--

Yaden replied with heart-felt laughter. --What, you got a crush on one of the pretty flowers in the Garden? Don't tell me you're surprised.--

--I am, actually...-- Kendrik replied, feeling a little hurt. What kind of floozy his husband thought him to be?

--Seriously? Kendrik, this place is meant to offer the best for all tastes - yours' as well. So if you found someone nice, have fun, by all means. It's ugly enough, in there.--

--He's sixteen. At best.-- Kendrik replied flatly.

--Okay...-- Yaden was clearly sensing that Kendrik was having a serious problem with that fact, but he couldn't quite grasp why exactly, so he sent Kendrik a slightly diffuse equivalent of a questioningly crunched-up face.

--That is too young. Way too young.-- Kendrik replied, but of course that didn't really help.

--But if he's too young for you, then what's the problem, dear?--

Finally fed up with the Empire's disgusting laissez-faire attitude, Kendrik just hurled his whole, muddled ball of emotions at his husband, a tangled mess of desire, shame, fascination, horniness and hardly bearable temptation, all neatly tied together with a generous amount of embarrassment at the sheer hubris of believing he could have found yet another perfect match for himself.

--THAT's the problem.-- Kendrik replied, instantly feeling bad as he realized the slightly overwhelmed static buzz his husband was conveying while struggling to make sense of those emotions he had probably never felt himself. --Oh I am sorry, darling. I just snapped.--

Instead of a worded reply, the first thing Yaden sent as soon as he was able to was the mental image of a long, warm hug. No question, no reprimands or snarky comments. Just a hug.
Kendrik felt tears sting in his eyes, once again overwhelmed with love for this man. With Yaden at his side, he would be able to do anything. Even live in the heart of this rotten Empire.

--No need to be sorry. I didn't realize this was such a big problem for you.--

--Thank you, love.-- Leaning into Yaden's imaginary embrace, he took his time before asking: --Any suggestions?--

--Not sure... Why do your people have such a stigma attached to loving someone... of that age?--

For a moment, Kendrik was tempted to hurl back something rash. How could that even be a question? Wasn't this something that should be obvious to any civilized human being? But he caught himself just in time. Yaden wasn't exactly what one would have called civilized in the Scilla Republic. He was strong-willed, ethically and morally uncompromising, but only out of his personal convictions, not formed by social conventions. And Yaden had asked honestly and politely, so he deserved a proper answer at least.

Only, that explanation didn't come as instantly to Kendrik's mind as he had hoped. Why exactly DID they set the age of consent at 21?

--We believe it is one of the worst crimes to be forced into a sexual relationship, ever more so if the forced party is a child that cannot yet understand what is done to him.-- Kendrik started explaining, if a little hesitant. --And we consider the protection of our children more important than the freedom of some individuals.--

--A lofty goal. But why is it so much more than just a law to you?--

--?!-- Kendrik couldn't even come up with words to express his surprise at this remark.

--Dear, since I met you, you've broken pretty much every of your laws, and quite a hand full of ours, and you never so much as shrugged about them. At that time, it was just the right thing to do. So why now?-- Yaden's question was accompanied by a few choice memories of the two of them sneaking their way through the Scylla Republic by every means necessary, lying, stealing, killing, if they had to.

Kendrik had to admit his husband had a point there.

--There may be a need for violence and deceit, yes. But there never is a reason to force oneself on a child.--

--But you are not planning to 'force yourself' on that boy, are you?--

--Of course not!--

For a moment, Yaden sent nothing but a slightly expectant expression. But when Kendrik didn't react, he added:

--Listen, dear. To me, this looks pretty much like you being convinced that you will harm that boy in some way, not because you intend to, but because you grew up being told it would. Am I right?--

Kendrik sent a tentative agreement, not really liking the direction in which this was leading.

--So do you really think that being cherished, adored and for once having sex with someone who will treat him like a proper human being and not just a fuckhole will scar him for life?--

--I don't know!-- Kendrik snapped back. --I don't know, for heaven's sake.--

Suddenly, a warm, golden wave of tender love washed over Kendrik, and he could almost feel the sad smile on Yaden's face.

--Love, do you really think you could do anything to that boy that hasn't been done to him a hundred times over?--

Kendrik didn't reply for a very long time. In his mind, he was fighting down the images of Luca being forced down by an endless line of customers, of him being beaten and raped on stage, of Luca's bleeding face, beaming with pride at his 'performance'.

--No.--

--See?-- Again, Yaden sent him the impression of a long embrace. --There is nothing wrong with protecting children. But there is different kinds of protection.--

Leaning into his husband's imaginary embrace, Kendrik groaned audibly.

--I hate this place.--

--Good. I would have been very worried if you didn't.--

--I have to think about all this.-- Kendrik explained, realizing how tired he was becoming. --About Luca, and about Yuri. And how to get more information. Do you know any songs about rebellions and clandestine meetings? Something that might provoke an emotional reaction in the conspirators we are looking for?--

Yaden laughed softly. --No idea, love. But I will ask the Tower, I am sure they can come up with something suitable.--

--That's a great idea.-- Once more, Kendrik leaned into his husband's virtual embrace. --Thank you. For everything.--

--Sure.-- Gently, Yaden sent him a wordless command to fall asleep now.

Kendrik didn't even notice when Yaden left their connection. For all he remembered, he fell asleep, dreaming of lying in his husband's arms.



 
 
 
Charischarisstoma on June 19th, 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
This was a very pleasantly pure, as opposed to evil, interlude. Am sure that you mean to alienate with the moral attitudes of the Garden and the general Empire. It's working and I'm not one to talk with some of the stories I've done. I want to pick some of the characters up and rescue them. *sighs* That doesn't make very good story line though.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 19th, 2013 06:56 am (UTC)
Oh, I think it can make a good storyline when a) they the reader agrees that they are worth saving and b) it's about HOW to rescue them instead of IF.
Well, there won't be much saving in this story, anyway, except maybe for the last chapter. ^^

Thanks for commenting!
idolme922idolme922 on June 19th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
*heavy sigh* I sure see Kendrick's delimma and Yaden is just the best husband! Very sweet 'conversation' and it furthered the story nicely.

As always, looking forward to more. A.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 21st, 2013 04:02 am (UTC)
Yep, we could all use a Yaden in our lives, in one way or another... Thanks for commenting, dear!
BerthaBlueberthablue on June 25th, 2013 10:25 am (UTC)
Aww, poor Kendrik! So many feels!

I love the way he just threw a feeling-ball at Yaden :) I doubt anyone else would have tolerated it as well. The little culture bits in here were great - Kendrik bring all strangely moral and unsure about sex thing compared to all the fucking Dracons around him!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 25th, 2013 11:17 am (UTC)
Kendrik and Yaden aren't a close-to-perfect match for nothing. ^^

And, knowing how exactly Kendrik is once he will have shed all his 'sheltered upbringing', this all is great fun to write and watch. You'll get to see one next step of Kendrik's developement in 'Job Requirements' which will start posting soon after this. :D