Thank you nehalenia for your suggestion.
eta: now illustrated by the marvelous saniika at the end of this post. :D
Neun Momente, Eine Nacht
A sequel to “Leichtigkeit des Seins” (one-shot, Haschwalth/Uryuu) but this piece can stand on its own.
Rated M or NC17 Warnings for yaoi, dub-con. Erotic asphyxiation, D/s. Yhwach/Haschwalth/Ishida (in that combination). Set in manga timeline, the night before Chapter 546 “The Last Nine Days.” Not exactly PWP, warnings for poetry. Written listening to David Bowie’s Scary Monsters, Super Creeps: http://youtu.be/d79f-SG2gH8
Thanks as always to my wonderful beta-reader and friend, Nehalenia.
A/N: Forgive the German words. Kubo-sensei is indulgent and pretentious with them, so I am only following his lead. “Neun Momente, Eine Nacht” means “Nine Moments, One Night.” “Kinder” means “children.” “Auswaehlen” is Kubo’s own word for what has been interpreted as “the holy selection”. “Leichtigkeit des Seins” means “Lightness of Being.” “Nachtleder” means “night songs” like lullabyes. A “diener” is a valet or servant. “Das Ende” means “The End.” ~debbiechan
It was a very late hour in the Shadow World. Clock-faces on the Ice Palace steeples told half past one. Guards standing night shift summoned reiatsu to keep their minds from drifting to sleep.
It was the night before the end of the world.
It was a night divided into moments, each a phrase forgotten and recalled from ancient song.
In the realm of the Living once, restless kinder were sung to sleep by their mothers, but those mothers were gone now.
The Quincy do not forget their songs. Some things last but not forever--not kings, not mothers, not even nachtleder of mothers on troubled nights.
The king who never ascends becomes another anonymous star among thousands. The king who never ascends hides behind the moon.
The night before the end of the world, the moon told half past one-thousand years.
The prince loosened the fingertips of the king’s gloves, one by one, before slipping the glove wholly off the royal hand.
“Haschwalth taught you well,” Yhwach observed.
“I am a good student,” the prince said, tugging at the second glove.
Yhwach liked Uryuu. The prince’s every remark, while respectful, bordered on insolence. The young man did not disguise his intelligence, his wariness, or other strengths. How truly strong he was, however, remained to be seen.
“What were you told about my holy sanctum?” the king asked the prince.
Yhwach was sitting on the edge of his bed, his black cape off and spread across the wide length of the white sheets. Ishida Uryuu, still wearing his full Stern Ritter regalia and cape, knelt on one knee at the foot of the bed, the kings’ gloves folded in his hands.
“Haschwalth-san gave no particulars,” the prince said. “I was told I would be called for a ceremony of ascension if I were appointed the Successor.”
“You were prepared for the Lightness of Being?”
“You understand the intimacy involved in this bestowing of power?”
The prince lowered his gaze. It was a gesture from another world, an amusing one, as if eyelids were fans to be swept across the face to indicate modesty.
“I understand,” said Ishida Uryuu in perfect obedience.
“Good, good,” said the king. “You should already be feeling a lift of spirits from the drink. I’ll give you more now.”
Yhwach bit his own finger. He painted the prince’s upper lip red with a thin line of blood. The prince, following protocol, stuck out his tongue, licked clean the line, and the king inserted his finger to the knuckle into the prince’s mouth.
The prince sucked once, enough to drain the wound.
The prince obeyed, nursing the king’s fingertip with his tongue.
The gentle exhortations aroused Yhwach.
Haschwalth sat on his bed in his room, his jacket off and his belt buckle undone, but he had paused while undressing himself and drifted into deep thought about tomorrow’s invasion of Soul Society. He blinked, remembering himself now.
He was too weary to finish the task of taking off his clothes.
He was weary from centuries of waiting for Das Ende.
A far-off cry rang through the hallways of the Ice Palace. Another swift execution. A guard had silenced some insubordinate remark. Bazz-B, perhaps, was killing indiscriminately, to assuage his restlessness. Or Bambietta… or….
The mess and the roar of war would soon come to an inevitable conclusion. Haschwalth remembered the lull of nachtleder from the realm of the Living, the peculiar songs recruits brought with them and would sing, sometimes in unison, laughing, during training. The Living--they too welcomed the bliss of Death, did they not?
Hush baby, don’t you cry.
Bad moments all pass by.
Eternal Night will catch your breath,
Hold your hand and welcome Death.
Haschwalth fought his feelings of sentimentality towards the prince; there was no one else so young and inexperienced in all the Shadow Realm, no one so human.
“No one else with eyes so blue,” Haschwalth whispered aloud. Then he smiled to himself because the phrase reminded him of a line from a song.
Haschwalth’s own induction into Leichtigkeit des Seins had been violent and glorious. His Majesty had always taken him from behind but in order to confer succession, the king had faced him, kissed his mouth and pulled his long hair until his scalp ached. The power had heaved from one source to another, exhausted the king and filled his disciple with white ecstasy, sweat rolling off his Majesty’s huge back onto Haschwalth’s thighs spread apart and trembling like new wings.
Even so, His Majesty had never called Haschwalth a prince, called him anything other than by his surname. There had never been a public announcement of Haschwalth’s succession--and with the sudden appearance of Ishida Uryuu, the king had silently deigned Haschwalth’s ceremony a failure.
He wants something from Ishida Uryuu. It will not be a one-way bequest of power.
There was a polite tapping at the bedroom door.
“Enter,” said Haschwalth.
The door opened a crack, and Haschwalth heard his diener speak in her lilting voice. “His Majesty sent a message. He requests your presence in his sanctum.”
“I knew it,” Haschwalth said, not minding that she was privy to his thoughts. “The prince is not strong enough.”
The prince was a man who hid his thoughts, his feelings, and his intentions, but lying here, black hair feathered against His Majesty’s white sheets, there was not much he could hide. He was looking at the ceiling as if afraid he would fall there, and his arms were spread wide, sinews straining, fingers grasping folds, because he refused to touch Haschwalth who was thrusting into him.
With each motion, blonde hair swept across the prince’s chest. Haschwalth wanted to lean in for a kiss but battled the urge.
Haschwalth pitied the young successor, but only a little. There must have been an embarrassing scene. The prince had not been strong enough to bear the legacy of His Majesty’s power alone. Perhaps there was something in the young man’s nature that required a mutual exchange of power with the king, and to be of service for this negotiation, Haschwalth was honored.
Surely it was that. A strange barter of power between the two royals. His Majesty had not spoken of it, but Haschwalth knew that there was a reason Ishida Uryuu had survived the Auswaehlen.
He finally relinquished to his longing to kiss the prince. One could say he was driven in that direction; behind him, His Majesty thrust into Haschwalth’s body with a measured passion. The rhythm was slow, the power fierce; Haschwalth’s body burned as he channeled the king’s pleasure, and he felt droplets of sweat rise on his own bare back and, no sooner had they formed, they evaporated in a relief of coolness.
The prince tasted like His Majesty’s blood but also like something too clean for the realm of the Living. Haschwalth opened his mouth wide and pressed against the prince’s open mouth with a wet infatuation--what a pure, virgin mouth. The young man’s tongue didn’t know how to respond, so Haschwalth sucked on it and felt it squirm in resistance and delight.
A hum of protest in the prince’s throat reverberated in Haschwalth’s own skull. Haschwalth felt his arousal swell and wanted to slam harder into the prince, but his Majesty was controlling the pace and holding the prince’s knees bent against Haschwalth’s own hips. There was an undulation of genitalia against Haschwalth’s abdomen, and there, Haschwalth could press down, smashing the tender parts.
Ishida Uryuu groaned.
His Majesty made a soft warning noise, less like a growl than an exhalation of pleasure, but Haschwalth remembered his place.
He tore his mouth away from the prince’s and fought the urge to bite his neck.
This was about His Majesty and the prince, and he, Haschwalth, was there like a sheath over the king’s strength so that the prince would not be destroyed….
Or was it so that the king could acquire the young Quincy’s special power and then whatever happened to the prince didn’t matter?
Haschwalth bit his own lip because he longed to kiss that mouth again. It looked so vulnerable; even though the shape of it was a grimace now and Haschwalth saw white teeth, that mouth begged to be free from distress.
Soon the end would come.
Soon all the world would be free from worry and pleasure and pain.
First it had hurt and then it hadn’t. In order to kill any feelings of shame, the whole time he had told himself it was only the cause and effect of biology, merely the positioning of bodies, sex in yet another cultural context. Always about power, though. Always about power.
It was starting to feel good now.
The momentum had slowed; whatever horrible reiatsu-wrecking event had occurred when it was only him and the king was impossible now. The motion was steady, soothing, pleasurable. He tried not to feel like the bottom of a rocking chair, but his calves were held onto the king like arm rails.
Don’t think, don’t think.
Even now, it was impossible not to think. It was impossible not to feel. His familiar strategy of trying to escape feelings with thoughts brought him into this deadlock.
Images began to appear in a hallucinatory procession: one would appear as a little black box, fill with a picture, fade to a box again, until there was a grid pattern of boxes above an incongruous wonderful sexual enjoyment.
Images that usually evoked sadness did not kill the pleasure. Not the black box that showed his grandfather’s face after Mayuri’s torture. Not the black box that showed his mother’s face humming a song as she bent over a task. “You don’t have to fold laundry anymore.” Ryuuken’s voice. Then his mother’s bright one complaining that the maid never does anything right. Boxes, black boxes, a meaningless pattern of his life before his eyes above the ascending pleasure.
The pleasure rang in his ears like an alarm, and its white noise began to shove away even the black boxes.
With thumb and forefinger, Haschwalth pinched the prince’s chin, moved closer as if to kiss him but breathed words against the flushed face instead. “Angel,” Haschwalth whispered, knowing full well that His Majesty would disapprove of the holy word being used dubiously as a human endearment. “Angel, the skies wait to be swept with your wings.”
His Majesty was making a soft sound deep in His throat with each thrust. The growl was familiar, but the reiatsu that grew and ebbed in sync with that gentle noise had a strange dizzying quality. His Majesty’s power eroticized had always been dangerous and steep, a power meant to revitalize a subject by almost killing him, but this time the king’s reiatsu filled Haschwalth with something other than pleasure and joy; Haschwalth felt crazy.
His mind felt weak. He was not being strengthened this time. He was the mere channel. He was the second. Haschwalth could not move his hips on his own because His Majesty was pushing them for him against the prince’s body. Haschwalth’s tender feelings toward the prince had no restraint.
Haschwalth released his hold on the prince’s face, and the young man’s mouth opened wide. His lips had been parted for a while, but the mouth was yawning with pleasure now. At every few thrusts, the prince would turn his face; his head would roll, as if it ached to do so, to the right; then there would be a push and another measured push, and his face would snap to the left, to the right again. Such a beautiful face, eyes shut tight. Individual lashes visible over cheeks covered with a moist sheen. Full lips worthy of a young woman.
“You like it, Uryuu,” Haschwalth breathed the words. “It feels so good to you.”
His Majesty’s words came like a roar: “Remember what’s important!”
The next thrust nearly jolted Haschwalth off balance, and the palm he had been using to steady himself slid forwards. His fingers clutched the sheets.
“Uryuu….” The king continued, breathing hard. “Uryuu is about …” The king was in control but thrusting with more abandon and ferocity. “He’s about to….”
“Your Majesty, forgive me,” murmured Haschwalth, not at all sure what he was apologizing for.
“Uryuu is about to climax,” said the king. “Don’t…. let him.”
Haschwalth raised his palms off the bed and as a consequence the foundation of the trio lost hold; the king and Haschwalth lurched forward, smashing the prince’s body and spreading his legs wider apart.
Haschwalth put his palms on the prince’s neck, spread his fingers and felt the engorged veins there.
“Do it,” growled the king.
Haschwalth pressed hard. There was a gasping sound, and it only became more frantic as Haschwalth’s thumbs flattened against the prince’s throat.
Why am I being killed?
White lights before his eyes and an orgasm unlike any he’d ever known flared in wave after wave--he felt himself bucking against the impossible weight of two bodies lying on top of him, but his own power felt like it was enough to blow the bodies away in the next breath.
But the next breath never came.
He couldn’t breathe.
He tried to reach for any one of the spirit threads escaping from his body in a cyclone of whiteness. He felt he possessed enormous might and infinite helplessness both at once; the feeling drowned him; his hands opened and closed and could not catch his soul; his body thrashed and could not break through the bewilderment.
I am the king, I am the king, I am the king.
He could hear his own gasps for air and then a horrible gargle like dying.
Stop, please stop.
Then it stopped.
Somehow the pressure on his throat wasn’t there anymore, and one of Haschwalth’s hands held his wrist. His crotch felt smashed against Haschwalth’s abdomen and then came the realization he’d released while pressed there--such relief now, such sticky warmth and relief.
Are my eyes open? My eyes are open. Why are there so many stars?
The king was drowsy. He had climaxed with the same intensity as the prince and was exhausted now. The prince was unconscious at the foot of the bed. Haschwalth pulled himself out of the prince’s body, still engorged.
Yhwach watched Haschwalth quickly finish himself with one hand, spattering on the prince’s nakedness so as not to mess the sheets, and then taking one of the tossed-away garments from the floor--was it Haschwalth’s own shirt? It was!--and starting to wipe the sticky emissions off the prince’s pale chest.
“Haschwalth, no.” Yhwach felt an ember of affection and touched the yellow head. “I can call a diener to do that.”
Haschwalth wadded the cloth into a bundle, set it aside and began to arrange the prince’s limbs into a decent position. “This is my honor and my duty,” he said to the king.
Haschwalth closed together the prince’s wide apart legs and lowered them onto the mattress. He drew together the arms that had been spread in an attempt to keep from falling into the open sky.
“Your Majesty?” It was not often that Haschwalth asked permission to speak. He usually spoke without asking permission; centuries of familiarity gave him such a right so it struck the tired king as very strange that his long-time Stern Ritter should be speaking so reverently right now.
“Tomorrow is the end of the world. May I stay here tonight?”
The king had already settled himself at the head of the bed, not bothering with a cover. He was sweating profusely, drained of his own identity for a moment, naked and feeling older than the moon and stars, as if he had been hiding behind them until they fell from the ceiling tonight.
“You may stay, Haschwalth.” Yhwach gestured with his chin to a pile of blankets. “Cover Uryuu. He’s only human.”
“Your Majesty.” Haschwalth bowed.
Look at him, how he seems thoughtful even in sleep. What sort of king would be make?
Haschwalth whispered to Ishida Uryuu that there was a time for everything, that now was the time for rest. Haschwalth covered the prince with a blanket, and then lifted the limp arms over the blue cloth. He crossed the hands at the chest so that they looked like an emblem of wings.
“Tomorrow we will see your true strength.”
Haschwalth kissed the prince on the forehead the way a mother would kiss a child good-night, and it was only because Haschwalth could imagine a world cracking to bits like an eggshell in a serpent’s fangs that his own mouth was capable of such a tender kiss.
“Tomorrow, my prince. Tomorrow.”