STILL PRE-PROOFREAD...lots of errors that will eventually be fixed... just sharing the progress...
“Sempre Dolcissimo Cantabile”
(Always Sweetly Singing)
Author: D. Sanders
---- continued... Go read these posts first
PART ONE ** PART TWO
PART THREE ** PART FOUR
PART FIVE ** PART SIX
PART SEVEN ** PART EIGHT
The fic that took over my LIFE.... O_o Damn plot bunnies!!!
“I have one cigarette left and my others are in there with them.”
Beau rolled his eyes. “Cope.”
Mandy settled herself on the couch in the dark and curled up in a blanket to keep warm while Val took the remaining blankets and made his way into the cave where Cris was being kept. He lit a candle and the tiny flame gave just enough light to see without falling and Val rested it on a natural shelf on the cave wall and began piling blankets on top of Cris to keep him warm. Val kicked something hard, stubbing his toe in the process. He looked down and realized what he’d kicked and carefully moved the small silver titanium box aside under the bed.
Val carefully stretched out beside Cris on the bed, adding his warmth, the cave was painfully cold and Cris was shivering. “Hang in there, Love.” Val spoke softly and to his amazement Cris’ eyes fluttered open.
The instant shame and recoiling broke Val’s heart. “Don’t look at me.”
“Cris, love. Please.” Val gingerly traced a cheekbone with his finger. “I love you.”
“I’m dirty, please don’t.”
“You’re not dirty, you’re hurt. Cris he didn’t rape you honestly Mandy said he didn’t.”
Cris turned sad, broken and tired eyes toward Val where tears were welling. He just cried, exhausted and Val leaned over to wipe tears away. “It’s too cold in here for tears love. They’ll freeze to your beautiful face.”
“Val… What happened?” Cris sobbed, his voice shaking from tears and his shivering.
“He beat you up badly, that’s all. You have some broken ribs, your arm is broken and your back is cut. The blood you saw was from your back love. I know you feel shredded and weak as a kitten, but you will be all right, we’re all protecting you. He won’t hurt you again.”
“Where are we?” Cris asked his shivers coming in quakes making his abused muscles spasm in pain where he hissed and sobbed out in agony.
“In the cave behind the “Homestead”. We’re hiding, I won’t lie to you, and I’ll tell you why in a minute. Let me get you more pain medication first.” Val said getting the box of med supplies by the bed out and finding a bottle of morphine he stuck a syringe in and pulled out a dose and gingerly administered it into Cris’ IV tubing. “Better?”
“A little. What a rush. Please don’t use too much. Morphine gives me strange dreams and nightmares.”
“It does to most of us sadly. But it does kill the pain, and you need it right now.” Val kissed Cris’ nose before putting the bottle away and setting the used syringe out of harms way up on the shelf by the candle.
Cris was shivering from cold even under several layers of blankets so Val stood in the cramped space and began taking his clothes off to lie on top of Cris. “Val don’t you’ll freeze, I’m okay.”
“No you’re not. And don’t worry I’m coming in there with you, my body heat will help.” Val said and when he was down to only his underwear he crawled in carefully beside Cris under the covers, he was frozen to the bone with cold. He sighed when Val’s warm chest made contact with his from where he was laying propped up on his side. His lay on his good right arm so his broken left and shredded back were free from stress, Val carefully slipped an arm under Cris’ neck to hold him close against his warmer body.
“You’re so cold. Is this better?” Val asked nose to nose with his beloved and Cris sank into the offered warmth still shaking.
“Yes. You have such a caring heart Val, why on earth do you waste it on me?”
“Silly question. I love you.”
“I can’t understand why.”
“Because you’re everything I ever wanted. You’re brilliant, you’re funny, you’re kind, you’re giving, and you’re beautiful of spirit and heart. I’d be a fool not to want to hang onto a good man when I finally find him.”
Cris smiled a little and buried his face in the crook of Val’s neck, drinking in warmth and affection. “Val, you make my heart ache. In the best of ways.”
Val kissed the top of Cris’ head and lay back a little so Cris could use him as a support and living pillow and mattress. “Likewise. I can’t ever get enough of you Cris. I really can’t, you’re a joy to me. I want to spend the rest of my life showing you how much you mean to me.”
“You mean that don’t you?”
“Have I ever said anything to you I didn’t?”
“No.” Cris let a few tears slip that fell warm and wet on Val’s chest.
“What did I say about tears?” Val smiled as his fingertips wiped them away from Cris’ cheeks.
“I love you Val, I can’t help them. No one has ever made me feel like you make me feel. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
“It’s both. Love is a double edged sword.”
“You managed to shove that sword right through my chest and twist.”
“Like you haven’t done that to me? Think again Crispin Tinks.”
Cris chuckled and instantly regretted it the pain tore through him and his back pulled. He choked back a cry and Val was suddenly sitting up, Cris was face down in the mattress and Val was checking his bandages.
“Damn it these are wet, I think we might have pulled your stitches moving you, the wound is open. Why didn’t you tell me you were bleeding again?”
“I didn’t realize. I just now felt it really, all I could feel a few minutes ago was cold.”
Val nodded and tried stopping the blood flow. “It’s leaking through your stitches, damn it. Hold on there’s more padding in the kit.” Val set about changing Cris’ dressing, for the first time he saw the horrible word carved into Cris’ lower back. He bit back a sob; it would do Cris no good to know the truth. Val dabbed at the leaking wounds, angry and red still and looking infected.
“Let me, get Mandy in here Baby. I don’t want to hurt you. I’ll be right back.”
“Mmmmm, I liked that.” Cris sighed in pleasure, totally out of context and he made Val pause in query.
“What?” Val asked as he got up to go get Mandy from the other room.
“You just called me Baby.”
Val smiled he himself hadn’t even realized he’d used that tired old term of endearment, it just sort of slipped out unconsciously and he leaned over to kiss Cris’ upturned cheek. “Well if you like it, shall I carry on calling you that?”
“Considering just one word turned me into an instant warm puddle Gorgonian Goo feeling no pain? Absolutely.”
Val chuckled; at least Cris’ inner humor was still in tact even if the rest of him wasn’t. He called Mandy in to take a look at Cris’ back. As she walked in and noticed Val’s lack of attire she raised an eyebrow and winked.
“You’d better be half naked because you were keeping him warm.” She playfully chastised as she sat at the foot of the bed to look at Cris’ back where he lay flat on his stomach.
“He was a good boy Mandy, no worries.” Cris said and Mandy sighed in relief, Cris had an amazing capacity to adapt, accept, and move on. His spirit was almost indestructible.
“I’d expect nothing less from Val. He treats you as you always should have been treated sweet-cheeks.”
“I hope you are referring to my face and not my ass when you say sweet-cheeks, considering your angle at the moment.”
Mandy laughed so hard she had to stop and wipe her eyes. “Damn it Cris, don’t make me laugh when I’m trying to work.”
Val held a hand to his face and tried to stifle his own laughter and failed. “I’d just like to interject for the record I think both are rather sweet.”
“You would.” Mandy rolled her eyes.
Cris just smiled, one eye trying to peer past Mandy’s shoulder to see Val standing behind her.
“Damn it I wish I had more light, Val can you hold that Candle down here please. I want to take out some of these stitches, you’re right it is infected and I want to drain this a little.” Mandy stated and Val complied. Mandy gave Cris a local anesthetic and began working on his back, removing her stitches and cleaning out infection with Val as her makeshift assistant.
After she drained some of the infection, she shot some antibiotics into the wound itself. “Cris I need you to stay on your stomach a while, I can’t close this wound yet until I want to let it drain a little longer. Val please keep the dressings clean and change them ever twenty minutes or so.”
Val nodded as Mandy stood and stretched. “I need a nap desperately. You and I can take shifts watching him.” Mandy yawned and Val moved out of her way.
“Sounds good to me. You look exhausted, go rest I’m fine for a while yet. I got a boost when he woke up.”
“I’m sure you did. How you feeling Cris?”
“A mess, and whatever you shot into my ass I can no longer feel anything from the waist down to my knees.”
“That will wear off soon. Don’t worry.” Mandy chuckled as she headed out to crash on the couch for a while.
Val once more crawled into bed with Cris helping to get him comfortable and warm. “I can never sleep on my stomach, I’m a side sleeper.” Cris moaned and Val smiled and just played with Cris’ bangs.
“I know. I’m a back man myself.”
“I know, I watch you sleep remember.”
“You watch me sleep?”
“Of course, you’re hard not to look at Val. You’re gorgeous.”
“Really? I never thought so.”
“Then you’re blind. You’re hot. And I am serious, one of these days I’m gonna play connect the dots on you.”
“So long as you don’t use permanent marker I might let you if you’re a good boy and get better.”
“Oh now there’s incentive.” Cris smiled into his pillow.
“You have a freckle fetish.” Val teased and Cris turned his face to look at Val.
“No, I have a Val fetish.”
“Oh good.” Val purred planting a kiss on Cris’ shoulder.
“I bought you something today. I was going to wait until Winterfest to give it to you. But I…I just cannot wait. I didn’t think I could actually. I lasted a day at least.” Val said digging for his coat, he’d taken his gift from his bunk when they vacated the side rooms; this was one thing he did not want Enjoe’s hands on.
“What are you babbling about?”
Val sat back with a small box and smiled down at Cris. “Cris, you know how much I love you. At least I hope you do.”
“I do Val. What is that?”
“It’s for you, well it’s for us actually.”
“What’s in it?”
“I’ll show you in a minute speedy, there’s a build up here I’m trying to get to.”
“Oh, sorry carry on.”
Val laughed Cris was just a joy on his senses. “What I’m trying to say is, Baby I love you and you would make me the happiest man in the galaxy if you would wear this.”
Val opened the box to reveal two identical simple band rings in a silver and gold braided pattern.
“Val! Are those?”
“Yes. Binding rings. Will you band with me?”
“Val…” Cris gasped desperately wanting to sit up and throw himself at Val. “Oh God Val, you… YES!”
Val took Cris’ good right hand and slid one of the bands on his ring finger and it adjusted itself to his size. Val spoke the traditional words of banding as he did so.
“I place this on your right hand as a symbol of my love and promise. I choose you as my future.”
Cris was going to cry again, he just knew it, but he managed to reach into the box from his awkward position and take the second ring out of the box to place on Val’s right hand.
“I may not know the right words to say here. But I think the point is Love, and I do love you. I can think of no better future. You’re my light in the darkness Val, I love you and I am honored to be chosen as I choose you.” Cris slid the ring home on Val’s finger where it sized itself and both rings caught the candlelight and sparkled.
“The words aren’t important, the feelings are.” Val leaned over and gently helped to turn Cris’ face up so they could share a kiss. It may not have been the most romantic setting, but the time was right. Cris did cry, so did Val as they lay there in the light of a single candle and held onto their newly banded hands and just looked at each other’s eyes.
“You mean everything to me, the thought of losing you killed me earlier.” Val let go of his pain kissing Cris’ right hand and ring as we cried.
That hand moved to his hair and long graceful fingers combed though it in comfort. “I know. I saw it in your face. There was nothing you could have done to stop it Val, I know that, I thought it was all over too, I thought he was going to shoot you and that to me was more terrifying than what he was doing to me. I’m just content to forget now and move on with you.”
“Same here, but we shouldn’t forget yet. We’re hiding in here for a reason.”
“I can figure it out, he’s still out there being Psycho.”
“In a nutshell yes.” Val sighed and then proceeded to tell Cris what they’d learned about Enjoe, Cris taking it all stoically.
“It makes a lot of sense really. I feel sorry for him.”
“How on earth can you pity him after what’s he’s done?”
“Because he wasn’t born that way. I could have been like him. Augments are all discarded children nobody wants. They’re sold off to Military units before they can even crawl and have chips stuck into their heads. It’s not Enjoe’s fault he’s the way he is, someone hacked his brain. My mother could have sold me too, but she didn’t. I can thank her for that.”
“You have a large heart Cris. I’m so very blessed to have you.”
Cris just smiled ruefully. Life was full of Joy and Tragedy one came hand in hand with the other. He’d learned over these past six weeks that the only way to stop the sadness of Tragedy was to embrace the Joy when it found you. He was holding onto his Joy with both hands and never letting go. He held Val’s hand and closed his eyes saying a silent prayer of thanks for this Joy in his life named Val.
“You need some sleep Baby.” Val whispered pulling the cover up closer around Cris’ shoulders. “Rest a while, I want to check on Mandy too will you be alright for a moment?”
“Of course.” Cris yawned he was tired and Val was hardly out of the cave before he was asleep nestled into Val’s leftover warmth in the bed.
Mandy was sleeping on the sofa as Val leaned over to check on her and he was about to stumble his way into the kitchen when a voice in the darkness chilled him to the bone.
“She’s sleeping soundly. A little chloroform works wonders.”
“ENJOE! How did you get in here?” Val couldn’t see, the room was so dark but the voice was near.
“You can seal every window and door, you forgot about the chimney’s.”
Val felt a cold metal barrel placed against his chest. “He’s mine and you’re in my way, but I’ll be so kind enough to let you say goodbye first.” Enjoe shoved and Val stumbled backwards toward the cave.
“You can’t move him, he’s hurt! You hurt him!” Val was desperate to stall to think of a way out of this.
“Tinks is tough, he’ll live. Move it.” Back in the Cave Cris was sleeping and Val wept, Cris’ nightmare just never seemed to end.
“Tell him goodbye.” Enjoe shoved Val to his knees beside the bed and the motion woke Cris up, the candle illuminating Val’s pain stricken face and the blaster barrel pressed to his temple made Cris scream out in terror.
“SON OF A BITCH!!!” Eran swore from the Main room as he broke out his own blaster trying to break into the back room.
“SHUT UP!” Enjoe growled blasting Cris’ leg making him howl in pain, the blast went right through the bed and into the small canister, cold liquid spilled out all over the cave floor soaking Val’s knees.
“CRIS! You son of a bitch!” Val took the moment the gun was away from his head and tackled Enjoe trying to wrestle away the gun, their fight upturning the bed and sending Cris to the floor, he cried out in agony. His leg and back with open wounds landed in the puddle on the floor, the burning sensation where the liquid seeped into his wounds making him scream involuntarily. The candle was knocked from the shelf and went out when it landed in the water on the floor and then to Cris’ horror the blaster went off and the fighting stopped.
“Val! Val!” Cris cried out into the darkness unable to move from the pain.
“Val! Val! God you’re pathetic. He’s dead.”
“I am not you bastard.” Val growled, his voice sounded muffled and he spit. He had been shot and the wound on his side had caught him good, he had fallen into the water and whatever was in the water made his wound burn, he knew Cris must be in sheer agony. The water was rank and foul smelling, and Val spit out what had gotten into his mouth and he realized he must be worse than he thought, he could taste the salt of his own blood.
“Val oh god Val Don’t! Please don’t kill him Enjoe PLEASE!” Cris was begging trying to claw his way in the darkness through the water towards Val’s voice. Another shot in his other leg left him face first on the floor gasping for air as the water filled his nose and mouth as he screamed in pain.
“CRIS!” Val couldn’t see him, his senses were getting duller, his side was bleeding and another shot was fired and this time into his own leg and then the other, they had both been rendered completely immobile. They both lay there burning and bleeding and sobbing. A desperate hand flung out, it was Cris’ right hand and Val grabbed hold and kissed it.
“I love you Cris.”
“I love you Val. Whatever happens, I’ll always love you.” Val cried clutching Cris’ hand in his own.
“This is what happens when you take what is mine and get in my way.” Enjoe fired again and Val felt the pain blossom in his belly and the blood rush up to come out of his mouth, he choked and sputtered and began to thrash involuntary in the water before falling back to gasp for air as he lay dying unable to move.
He had never let go of Cris hand.
“VAL!” Cris wailed using his only good limb holding onto Val’s hand to pull himself closer despite the pain in his limbs across the floor and water to Val’s side. He was only just there, hanging on, his eyes wide open in the darkness. He felt Cris at his side and he felt a hand to his face. There was no sound, he couldn’t hear Cris’ sobs, couldn’t see him, be felt that warm hand on his lips and a cool ring on a finger.
He kissed that hand with a smile on his lips and then the world was gone.
“Val!” Cris sobbed as he felt Val kiss his hand and then stop moving. “No Val, please no. Don’t you die, please God no!”
“Tinks you’re absolutely pathetic. None of this would have had to have happened had you not tried to be something you’re not!”
“And just what is that? Huh Enjoe? Tell me, because I somehow think you and I disagree on what I am and am not!” Cris was devastated and angry and as he lay there holding Val and bleeding to death himself, he still had the fire to fight back.
“You were always mine. I knew it the first time I met you on Mirastor.”
Cris froze, they hadn’t met on Mirastor, they couldn’t have. “What?”
“Always pretty you were. The first time I saw you I thought that. My associate Sendel showed me vids of what he used to use you for. I killed him for it, then I killed your mother for giving you to him, and then I lost you, you vanished and I had to leave.”
“Oh my god!”
“It was several years later and it took some doing to set up the trip back to Mirastor, but I’d tracked you down, I knew you were working the Diamond Casino, I knew Eran would pick you up. Don't you remember? I was the one who told you to hit him up, that his pockets were loaded.”
“That was you?”
“Of course. I planned it all, because you are mine and belong to me, everything you owe to me.”
The banging on the door was getting annoying. Eran swearing was even worse. “Enjoe…” Cris was lost all along Enjoe had orchestrated his entire life’s course. It was Enjoe who had done this to him.
“You tried to leave me, I don’t like that.” Enjoe hissed and Cris gave up, there was no fight left in him.
“You can go ahead and Kill me Enjoe, you made my life hell, the least you can do is release me from it.”
“You are mine.” Enjoe fired just as the door flew open and Eran rushed in Grabbing Enjoe around the neck and hauling him back into the main room. Beau holding a flashlight raced toward the cave and sobbed in horror. Farin was behind him and Beau forcibly shoved him away from the cave.
“Get Mandy to Rael NOW! Get out of here!” Beau ordered not daring to let anyone near the cave.
Farin found Mandy still passed out cold and laid her on the main room floor as he threw open the pressure bolt and broke the tack welds on the main door. He picker her up again and loaded her on the shuttle and took off for Rael. He prayed Cris and Val were all right.
Eran and Enjoe were wrestling on the floor, the blaster was by Beau’s feet and in his tears he picked up the blaster and fired. Enjoe fell against Eran, and Eran ripped the blaster out of Beau’s hands and finished the job.
“I want no blood on your hands. Mine are dirty enough for us both.” Eran hissed as Enjoe lay dead on the floor.
They left him there and returned to the Cave where Val and Cris lay together on the floor in each other’s arms, dead. The flashlight catching the brilliance of the rings on their fingers that lay motionless.
“Fast thinking to get Farin and Mandy out of here.”
“Get Enjoe out too. Burn him, we can’t take chances with him just in case, this place is contaminated.”
Eran nodded as Beau sank to his knees beside Val and Cris and prayed for their souls.
Eran joined Beau in his vigil, adding his own prayers for a miracle and adding his own tears for fallen loved ones.
I hope I can wrap this up tonight or tomorrow.
Please don't be mad guys! I'm sorry for all the angst here.