1964-06-03 - Act IV.5: Loki Bound
Summary: Kai and Bucky suffer in the grasp of the dark elves.
Related: Loki Bound
Theme Song: None
kai malekith rogue bucky 

In a place where time belongs not to any given accordance of a clock they know…

The party of the Wild Hunt burns without end. Dark elves in their shadowy raiments and moon-white masks occupy every hidden confine of a place much larger than meets the eye. Not like Bucky the hound gets to enjoy much of that. He's pulled by his collar and leash every so often out onto a terrace facing the sucking swamps and staggered, misty forest to relieve himself, a process that is probably harrowing. The sucking soil /hungers/ for him. His paws slip into the thick peat, and his body weight pushes him down into the muddy quagmire, leaving his sensitive nose assaulted by rot, copper, sweet meat, and something else. Meals are served as scraps of raw, bloody meat given in strips. They're cut by a very sharp knife. The assassin in the beast must surely identify the taste of them as somewhere close to pork, if not seasoned more richly. His torment, of course, is being a four-legged beast and there may be delirious fragments of memory being taken into a round, tall room with a stepped pinnacle of seats around it. Maybe an amphitheatre or just a regular theatre. The taste of triumph and fear sing in the bones, as he's released on the wet ground to test himself against others. Other hounds, slavering and inhuman, lost to the madness in their shining black eyes and slavering jaws. Maybe he remembers what happens in snippets. Perhaps he does not, perched upon the body of a woman with her t-shirt torn and leg gored, facing off against a faerie hound.

Alfheimjar hound, white coat with a pointed red nose and slavering, frothing jaws. She whimpers and bucks beneath his body at sight of the creature, and it closes to snap at his throat with his jaws…

He is back to himself, again, in a darker chamber with oriel windows open to the sky, the scents of sweat and the soft, rhythmic cries assaulting his ears less monstrous.

In a time where 'here' means nowhere in the normal span of things, and distance is entirely what you imagine it to be…

The throbbing agony of a broken leg is reduced to a dull fever pang. It's for his own good he remains, for the most part, confined to a padded table or the occasional overly decorative narrow chaise by way of a sodding broken femur and the drugged elixirs brewed up and delivered in the water. Oh, maybe the first or second time the ljosalf refuses them. But with pretty, lithe svartalfjar courtiers of both sexes curling around him and beckoning "their savage" to be soothed… he might consider it. It only takes the slightest tease of their cultured fingers and curved, alabaster-mask smiles along the lines of his legs to probably reignite an awareness of discomfort. Betimes he is treated like mere furniture, something accessorizing the room. Once a soldier casually reclines against him and sharpens his curved blades, and another, a dark elf entwined with what honestly might be a part deer, part former-elf perform acts too profane and beautifully ruinous to recount.

Pity if he's awake. They might even offer apology.

At times there's the spatter of wine to quench his lips if he cries out in the delirious stupor of sensations. A rush of silk and velvet, the numb prickle of his limbs. Every way is a sense to express sex, anger, passion, and violence that are part and parcel of the Wild Hunt.

But he's not moved from that altar, that precipice, that sanctuary open to the faintest breeze and the feathery cycle of cries and growls come together. From his vantage, limited as it is, he can't see them, only feel the occasional vibration and crash running up through the wall he's attached to. Sort of.

That makes it so much worse than the Russians. They never succeeded in making him truly inhuman. Remorseless, amnesiac, deadly….but still fundamentally a man. He tries, in the quiet m

The drugs, at least, keep the pain at bay. They chase it off at arm's reach without undoing it entirely, and reduce the need to worry about… much. At least when it comes to having a shattered femur thanks to one fucking monstrous elk.

The two figures together are not, as it would happen, copulating on the precipice of things. A chain winds down to snare the dark-dressed figure, likely a svartalf, defending themselves against the courtier attacking them. Movements are graceful and terrible, unleashing a flurry of strikes upon the first who spins and turns, lashing out with a kick. The strike flies high and surely might take the free elf in the face with a heel, if not for him — for sake of clarity, call the courtier male — snapping his hand up to block the blow. A nasty jangle of links sounds and the columns shudder again, a second kick and a third strike linking them.

Kai might have more to worry about with the courtier leaping back, springing into a crouch atop him. In his midst is bad enough. Under the haunches of an elf, well…

There's a wildness in the air, a thrill of promise. Violence is so often not distracted from an outcome. Bucky can probably smell it.

He calls back, "Here," Human words are laborious, but not impossible. That scene of violence has him getting to his feet, sniffing the air. The vividnness of scent in this nightmare is itself terribly dreamlike. The wolf's peering at the fight….and then edging, carefully, to the end of the chain. Trying to see what he can.

Queen of Hearts Card has left.

Kai cries out when the dark elf comes to land upon him. "Stop," he groans, "stop, stop, stop." The pleading had tapered off over the past few days, but he's reaching a breaking point. "Bucky!" There's a twinge of desperation in his voice. He knows better than to struggle in the restraints. Oh no, he remains perfectly posed and poised, barely daring to move his head. It's his eyes that seek. "Are you all right?"

The fighters move with limitations and none at all. The figure bound by the chain spirals around in the range the links afford, stabbed around or through its body. The man has no such problem jumping from place to place or striking back, using the wall or a pillar or indeed the leash Bucky is secured with to lash out with a kick. If they were just not so lovely to watch, it might be horrific. Bruising force applies regardless of the artistry.

The male laughs softly under his mask at the pleading. "Cheering for me, darling? How sweet, the savage bestows his favours! Oh, the master will be delighted for that." His second sentence is barely heard as a hard kick launches him off his perch and he rolls away from Bucky.

The jerk of his chain makes him gag and choke for a moment. But….he's mostly rivetted by the conflict before him. No snapping, no growling. "I'm here," he repeats, voice reduced to a growl. "I'm okay." For some values of the word.

Kai cries out when he's sprung off of. He's got a decent healing factor, stronger than humans, surely, but it's still a broken femur. No, he's not walking this off just now. The drugs are all that keep him from screaming. He pants like an animal to catch his breath. He whimpers softly. Then his voice comes thready and light. "I'm glad. I just need to know you're okay, mate."

"You know, you're free to go," sings the elf twirling on the chains. A definite edge of pain to the voice cuts softly over the jangle of metal, and swinging forward pulls Bucky right along. Say whatever one will about the thin-bodied species, they are terribly strong. Not like the jotnar or the trolls, but still savage all the same. Blood glitters on metal. The white mask looms over the horizon as the elf inverts, back bending, escaping a ruthless spinning kick low. "Any time, little savage, you could walk out from here."

The spinning courtier springs up with a laugh, adopting a defensive stance. He swivels, the scent of dark, dreamy woods brushing over Kai and Bucky together. "Your freedom awaits through those doors. It's true, you delicious meal. But choosing to stay here…"

More titters from behind. They've gained an audience.

"…You must love our hospitality better than anything in the middens of Alfheim," the chain-dancer croons.

The scent makes his nostrils flare. "Free, eh? Then unchain me," Bucky's voice is low, deadpan. "Kai, I'm big enough you can ride me. I'll take you away from here." Though …..'to where' is the obvious question.

"You aren't the savage, puppy," chimes one of the observers from the sides, laughter falling like glass.

Kai looks away from the taunting. Shame rolls over him in a subtle, constant wave, defeat written in how he droops. They call him savage? Anger burns deep beneath the drugged haze. How dare they? He's not as quick to defend Alfheim and its middens so much, he's not even spent a whole century there. No, when he does get up the gumption to mumble a reply, it's, "'m not leaving without my friend."

Bucky bares his teeth, but it's only an idle warning. Not with the possibility of some kind of release. "You want to see savage, I show you savage." The accent, for the moment, is almost Russian. But then he's looking to Kai again. "Kai, if you can go, go. Don't stay for me. I'll make my own way out."

Let those miserable complaints fall upon deaf, pointed ears. The warrior-courtier reaches down to cup Kai's teeth and biting him is pointless: gloved. "See? A cherished guest. I promise we'll treat you better than we could expect there." His face is blank in a smile and his eyes gems in the mask's eyesockets. "The option is all yours. We're thrilled by the tantalizing prospect of your… company."

Another spin and the hunter strides off, leaving the other to swing from the chains near to Bucky. The audience watches. "So big. Charming then amused." A whisper of laughter follows.

"Sacrifice by the noble savage…"

"Give him to Alraune to ride all night," whispers one.

"And the next day," says another.

Kai grimaces and says nothing to the hunter. He doesn't bite, no. He's every bit a polite guest, really. No biting, no striking out. With a broken leg, what would he do if he did get free? "We're in this together," he calls back. "Besides, I can't walk." There's a nervous laughter in his voice. "They broke my leg real bad." So he has to stay, see Bucky? No reason for a pupper to feel bad.

And the native Brooklyner in him has some very pointed suggestions as to what they can ride and how. He doesn't offer them, though. Someone's likely to take it literally, and thus into an even worse place than they're in currently. "You could at least make me human again," Bucky says, flatly. In the air of someone making concessions to a hard bargainer. "You like watching me fight….I'm better in that form."

"Or pupper wants to gnaw on a bone…" sings the twirling elf, then the hunter barks a word that causes the thin chain to snag tight and slip free of a wound jammed in his thigh, another in his upper bicep. The sweet lament of pain puts a shudder through him.

The titter passes through the assembly. Some slink off to find their own sport, a different kind, and one of them approaches close. That figure leans against the wall, just out of reach of Bucky's teeth. Smart, that. "No, I don't think so. Better to ride you, wolf. Like his master is doing with a fucking Asgardian, twisting up the sheets and spilling wine."

Kai goes a few shades pale. "No." Did he say that aloud? He didn't mean to, and he swallows, poised for whatever punishment or mockery they invent for him. His breath comes more ragged to think of a particular Asgardian in bed with one of these twisted, beautiful, horrible creatures. "Bucky?" he whimpers, "Bucky, are you all right?" That's his touchstone. His one thing he holds onto in this place.

"Bestiality's your thing, huh?" Bucky asks, deadpan. That comment makes him cock his head, very RCA Victor. Do they mean Loki? Surely Loki loves Kai enough to seek him, and not be fucking around on the road here, right? But he doesn't ask that aloud. No giving them names they might not already know. Then he grins a lupine grin. "C'mon over here, buddy. I'll give you a ride you won't ever forget." Then, to Kai again, "I'm all right. Still chained up like a junkyard dog, but here." He knows it's just for reassurance, so the repetition doesn't seem to bother him.

"Yes, summer child. The whole court witnessed him shafting a svartalf girl he brought along for his pleasure. Then the Master, well…" The hunter's sweet smile is a frosted white line same as the mask, a neutral line that holds its enigmas fearlessly. "Ask any. We're not lying to you. You are one of ours, now."

A humming sound must be musing. The cool face tilts. "Have we not cared for your wounds? Let you sleep in comfort unassaulted? Tended your cares? You are one of us. You will always be one of us."

A knell of fear ought to follow those words, like the memory of the braying horn, calling, calling, calling….

Another of the svartalfjar hunters watching from the sidelines, sipping wine, shakes their head under a cowl. "Charming tongue. Ever thought how it might look as an asp, hissing in your face? Bite it before it bites you?" Fingers crook and turn, twisting, touching to palm.

The frisson of magic rises, slowly.

Kai shivers. He's never going to see the outside of this hall again, is he? Or they'll do something worse to him. Regardless, there's no going home. It fully hits him just then. Loki and some svartalf girl, and their Master. Maybe Loki came to save him, but… Normally, he wouldn't believe any of it. He'd be stalwart and brave. But they've been wearing him down, stripping him of worth and hope.

It starts as disbelief on those fair features. His heart breaking, that is. Then sorrow around his eyes, darting as he searches his memory for anything that might have caused Loki to stray. So lost, and hurt, and there it is! The moment when his features crumble and the misery of it steals the strength from him, causing him to slump, head in his hands. "No, no, no, no."

He shrugs at that, claws grating on the floor, the arm rasping . "Hey, you guys made me this. Don't blame me if I get tired of it." Buck withdraws enough to sit down on his haunches, tail tucked around his legs. Then he says, ears pinned, "Kai, they're bullshitting you. He loves you. He puts up with me because he wants to make you happy and he damn near started a world war because you missed me. C'mon. Don't buy it. Don't believe them."

Pain is beauty. Pain is the glorious triumphant assault of life and death. It's the only way to differentiate the tumult of long and ancient days. Three centuries isn't much for those who can live five, ten times that long. Not that many do, but…

His weeping is enough to cause the rest of the Hunt to turn to the scent. They can taste it and feel it among their own, the marks painted in a henna brand on Kai's back tugging on their awareness. Pulling them. An inspiration to their shivering, tensile connections cannot be ignored, never.

Outside, the wolves start baying.

The chain on Bucky's lead pulls tighter, and the hunter gestures to another of their like. Smooth-skinned, a wisp of red hair behind the mask, that's the only differentiation. One is female. One is male. Together theirs is a collective dance to take their prize, damn near drag him if they must. "Come put that tongue to better use," croons the female.

The male, he laughs as the sparkling succession of incantations follows ancient patterns and rhythms. And then a word, that means nothing, except for those it does….

Kai shakes his head. No, no, and no. "He loves me," he says, echoing Bucky's words, but so bleakly. Tears fall crystalline from his eyes, and he sniffles, then rubs them dry with the back of his arm. "Pleases, just leave us alone. Surely you've got other sport. Don't you tire of us?"

This is…..this part is nightmare fuel. Bucky's dragged closer, digging in his claws. Not that one really can, in this situation. But his jaws part….and past the fangs is precisely what they said. A live asp, hissing softly, casting about. The blue eyes go wide and white-rimmed, his ears flatten….and his head jerks. The first few motions are just sheer panic, but then he's trying to seize it with those flat front teeth between the fangs. It might be part of his own flesh, but he'll bite it off if he can. Blood's a small price to pay for not being poisoned to death.

The pointed tongue is scaled, rather than smooth sided, tastebuds forming into one of the more deadly snakes on the African continent. More so, perhaps, here where venom goes with practically every species. Pity Kai isn't in a better frame of mind or he might be able to name the precise type, which is probably a 'face-striking fanged tongue-snake.'

Said snake is not short, and certainly long enough to get in Bucky's mouth. Worse still… His great white fangs are replaced by thin, pointy snake fangs. Two of them. Two long, needle-fine fangs that the snake probably mambos to get away from. It hisses back, that serpent, its mouth going wide

And a little tiny Bucky-human tongue sticks out.

"Never," purrs the dark elf, wiping away Kai's hair from his brow. "You give us every reason to enjoy your company. We may in a century or two. It'll pass like nothing…"

Indeed, what does time mean for the ephemeral creatures gathered here?

"Leave him alone!" The protest is faint, but it's got all the fire the poor elf can bring to bear. "Do whatever you want to me, but only if you leave him be!" Bucky is the truest friend he has. He's been here the whole time, suffering because of Kai. He gazes up at the dark elf, and his light is a pure and warm thing. Deep down, he's got a good heart. Not even all that deep down, really. "Please, just leave Bucky alone. I'll be good."

Okay. He can't catch it with his own teeth. RAther, he drops flat, head to the floor….all the better to try and pin that snake under his claws. Yeah, he's going to piss it off and it's surely going to bite him…but if he loses the fight, it's all up with him, anyhow? Surely? Not making a sound, as if that'd matter to something that doesn't really hear.

"Oh dear monster, little savage," croons the svartalf with a low, harsh laugh. Leather-clad fingers stroke over his brow. It must feel inherently strange and horrible. "You're already one of us. Why would we hurt you? Not unless you ask." That touch runs all the way down over cracked ribs and a broken leg. Those slick bands come free with some effort. Kai can fight if he wants, but the goal is scooping him up with relative care and being carried off.

Because magic and love for his own body apparently motivates Bucky to protect himself from the fanged monster trying to bite his snout, snapping and biting into his paw and through fur. Claws might cut in, but there's a consequence to that, too. It hurts because his tongue is still bloody attached to him.

Kai gives struggling the old college try, though really, where is he going to go if he breaks free? It's a token thing, accompanied by, "Oh, no, please, where are you taking me?" He looks around for Bucky. "Bucky! Oh my… what did they do?!" Despite how broken he is, despite how plaintive and pathetic, he does take a moment to gaze up at the dark elf whose arms he's in and to give him a look that says: seriously, what's wrong with you people?

It hurts like seven kinds of hell. But isn't that among the gifts, if anyone can term it such, of Russia? The ability to bear pain and keep on taking it. Because he's in the midst of trying to claw the snake to death. His eyes are human enough to tear up, which looks even stranger, silvery lines losing themselves in his fur. A pleading glance up at KAi, but he's too busy trying to mutilate this rebellious part of himself to try speech.

"Why, all the better to eat you with, my dear!" chimes one of the hunters that Kai passes, as though to encourage Bucky to chase himself around. He thought he could defeat any warrior? Perhaps he can, but can he defeat /himself//?

A question that won't be witnessed by the light elf, unfortunately! Time for him to be tossed in a bed and given at least something to eat. Even ephemeral hunters need to eat!

Or eat themselves…

Kai strains to see Bucky as he's taken away. "Bucky!" he calls. "Bucky, don't let them break you! Bucky!" If he doesn't know Bucky's okay, what is he going to hang on to?

At first, he refuses the food, too distressed to eat. Then his appetite awakens. He's starving, and when he's had that first taste, he eats ravenously. They still haven't broken the will to survive, even if he wishes an awful lot that they would.

Why is he fighting? Kai…Kai can survive this. Bucky's a mortal, even if an augmented one. He doesn't chase himself, at least now. Rather, he lets go. Let the snake strike - Kai's not there to see it.

Bucky is fighting a tongue-snake. That's about that. Even if he bites through it, he's bitten through his own tongue, and that scaly heap keeps lashing and thrashing around, pouring out blood. And then, well, the elves need something else to entertain them.

Especially when it grows back. Should he fall to its venom, the answer is to let him lie in a catatonic stupor like a honey badger, and revive him with a shock. Games, as the svartalfjar play, are rarely nice.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License