Chapter 106 Darkest Before the Dawn
Now he was close enough, it was time to pay a visit. The wait was nearly over, and victory was close at hand because by sheer serendipity, the human pirates had orchestrated one of the most satisfying strikes against Faust's defences possible and he couldn't have done it better himself. SunMoonStars had rubbed his hands together in glee to see the air attack, laughing with unrestrained delight from the safety of the fog as the two bent-winged aircraft strafed the island, wheeling
about to attack from a different direction three more times before making their escape, the lighthouse already gone and the little ship moored in the water listing to the side. He'd half expected Faust and his companions would be dead but the attack had seemingly only been to cripple, not to kill, for all three of them still lived, but their means of escape was now gone and they were at his mercy. The tiny submarine would never carry them all and previous far-seeing had revealed no other craft capable of marine activity, only the ludicrously incongruous motor vehicle hidden away deep inside the island, and since there were no roads out here, he’d dismissed that in moments. Now it was time for Faust to pay his debt, his reckoning was at hand and the very thought of it filled SunMoonStars with dark pleasure.
It had taken so long to run Faust to ground but now his extinction was a certainty for he was alone, trapped with none to come to his defence, and though the being's attempts at creating division between the three humans had been less than satisfactory, it mattered not. They could not save him now, nobody could, for Faust was isolated not only physically, but morally. Even if he'd had a thousand of his life's travelling companions with him, none would stand for his life, for he had effectively cheated, harmed, destroyed or hurt every single one of them. When his time of reckoning came, Faust would find himself alone, and that is how he would die, be lost, for that is when his eternal otherworldly journey would begin and without that slender thread to hold him to this world, he would never see it again. Ahhhh, how good it would feel to know Faust had been captured at last, and in return for calling in that debt for the One who had sent him coursing after the man, SunMoonStars could name his price.
He'd set his mind to seeing how well his influence had disrupted the three, and at first, he'd thought that adequate. He'd not expected the Strong One's rage to have been so effectively neutralized, but witnessing the way Faust had diverted his anger with another weaker human emotion had irritated him. The Weak One was easier to take hold of, but his capability for real damage was limited, and SunMoonStars had quickly decided further attempts were not worth his effort, though it did amuse him to see how they had dealt with what was happening, and he'd sighed once more when Faust's untimely death had been prevented at the last moment. Still, it was amusing, and now that he was near enough to transport himself to the island to see the state of things in person, a little more division in the ranks couldn't hurt.
All he had to do now to guide the Clouds back to their prey was to influence their leader, have the pirates set their course for the island that would become Faust's earthly resting place and do his job for him, for he would require every molecule of energy he possessed to capture and hold Faust's soul and drag it screaming back to where it belonged. His ghostly distractions would have little power in the real world while he was in this state of readiness, for maintaining their reality took precious power he was no longer willing to squander, and given the earthly pirates would no doubt do a thorough job of destroying Faust's bolthole and his companions, their fearsome yet insubstantial equivalents under his influence were no longer really necessary.
It was all coming to pass as he'd planned, and while he waited, SunMoonStars occupied himself with creating one last thing, focussing his energies on the task, pondering the most effective wording. Laughing hollowly, he called up the things he needed, taking up the writing instrument, his hand forming a perfect imitation of Faust's scrawling handwriting, boldly scribing the message that would in a moment be delivered to the Pirate chief. Yes, let the other two humans kill each other, it would save him the expenditure of effort, and folding the brief message between taloned fingers, SunMoonStars sent it into the ether, to re-appear on the desk in a far away place, knowing that with the added glamour he'd placed on the missive, it's message would be irresistable, becoming a prophecy that would be delivered, for what proud man would tolerate such a note? Relaxing once more, SunMoonStars waited, imagining how the Pirates would gnash their teeth and set in motion their final attack, for what man could resist being taunted by his enemy? The words floated in his mind, and he savoured each one, knowing even though he'd not penned them himself, Faust was doomed by them.
Nice try losers, you couldn't get me if you sent every single man. Not
that it'll matter after tomorrow, I'll be long gone. Ta-ta!
Captain Murdoc Niccals.
PS: I may just have sold more functional weapons to your opposition so
you might want to look at improving your defences before they get around to
paying you a visit. Just a tip.
Drowsing in the late afternoon sunlight, wrapped in the blankets of his host's bed, Kurt luxuriated in the feelings of being warm,
rested and significantly happy. How the hell Niccals had read him so well had him mystified, but he was too blissed-out to worry about it, a grin still plastered across his face as he remembered the day's startling but oh so satisfying events of earlier. While he'd been lying here, just relaxing, a thought had swum up from the depths, one that surprised him, and yet gave him
cause to wonder too.
He'd been puzzling away at the reasons he'd found himself being so submissive when such a thing wasn't something he really did, well, hadn't done for a very long time, anyway. The only reason he'd been able to do that was because his fantasy demanded it, it was the way his dream had always been, to be seduced, taken over, driven to the brink of desperation and then granted ecstasy, but only by that one fantasy man, no other. So why had he let Niccals do that to him? That he couldn't answer, for he didn't rightly know himself, but he DID know that he'd been given something incredible and while Niccals didn't seem to think it was a big deal, to Kurt, it was, because he'd nearly passed out from the excitement of it all. Fantasies usually never came true, and though he enjoyed his, Kurt also knew there would never be another Clayton Moore, no other man would do for his dream, and yet, the musician had turned that idea on its ear right smartly once he'd strolled into the lounge wearing that getup. Kurt shivered pleasantly just seeing him in his mind's eye, and he sighed softly in remembered delight.
The other thing that kept insinuating itself into his thoughts though, wasn't so wonderful, because it brought back visions of one of the worst times of his life, but he pushed that aspect down and back so he could consider the implications. He'd allowed Niccals full reign, given all control to him in an instant, and he hadn't done that since Miles and he were a thing all
those years ago. He'd never done it since, either, not until now, because giving himself into the hands of another was something he'd long thought impossible. How could he when all he'd imagined was that the other person would take advantage of him somehow, much as Miles had done while he was half out of his mind on some potent tranquilliser, knowing dimly he was being taken against his will, yet unable to do a goddamn thing about it, and not just the once, either. Yeah, he'd relived that particular experience a thousand times, and it still hurt him psychologically, though he'd learned to bury the thoughts and emotions as best he could, but every now and then, they'd surface again and even though time had dulled some of the feelings, he still felt uneasy and unhappy thinking about it.
And yet, Niccals hadn't made a big deal of it, and it had been good, devastatingly good to not know what was going to happen next, only knowing that it felt fucking awesome. That letting go had been slow at first, but once he'd decided and committed himself to having that fantasy as best he could, it all seemed to happen almost according to his mind's plan, and he'd been far too busy jizzing his brains out, lost in euphoria to think of more cerebral things. Dang, but it had been fun, he smiled, and part of his satisfaction was purely because he felt as if he'd passed some crucial milestone, and hadn't been hurt in the process. Of all the things he'd expected from Niccals, this wasn't one of them, and maybe it had been that surprise factor and the speed at which he'd gotten so turned on he nearly couldn't function, that had his head in a spin. Kurt had leaped in with both feet and let it all play out, because even though he and the bassist fought like cats and dogs, they still fucked like champions, and the thought had been sliding around the periphery of Kurt's mind that this unlikely man had somehow given him the courage to let go. Trusted him not to be an asshole, trusted him to let Kurt be what he needed for his mind to mesh with reality, trusted him to get him there when his brain was almost overloading every circuit and nerve ending and he literally couldn't think straight. Niccals had done all that, as if on a whim, and while he'd been so exhausted by the day's events, Kurt's mind had been warily circling, whispering to him that maybe he should be worrying about whether what they'd just done might have changed their bizarre friendship as a result? Would Niccals think he'd be like that again? Kurt wasn't sure if he could repeat the experiment to be truthful, his ingrained desire to dominate and pursue was far stronger than the need to perhaps lie back and let another call the shots, but that wasn't entirely it either. He'd found something so close to his dream that he wasn't willing to try to reach that pinnacle again, for fear of it not working, and then his fantasy would lose its shine, and he'd treasured it for so long, he couldn't bear to part with it, the risk was too great, so a repeat performance wasn't something he was looking for.
Mmmm, the bastard had looked tasty though, he sighed, recalling how he'd begun spinning out of control just seeing him in that outfit, let alone once he got him close and he'd drunk in the scent of the leather decking Niccals' body.... shit, it was like some kind of magic potion, he sighed happily again, thinking back to the way it had felt under his fingers. Hell and damnation, even if they didn't do this ever again, he wanted to get the guy in that getup one more time if he could manage it just to get him hot again and this time, he'd have no compunctions about being the one in control, because he'd also realised he derived a great deal of pleasure from watching the way Niccals caved in to his touch too. He'd been a little embarrassed at how desperate he may have looked to the other man while they were playing out their little liaison, and he definitely wasn't proud of how fast he'd gone off, but he HAD got seconds out of it not long after and then a stunningly good and deeply satisfying third, so he was a little proud of that too. Three in one session wasn't unheard of, but it had been a while, and just thinking about it made him stroke himself softly, wondering if the batteries were recharged enough for him to tackle fourths if he could coax Niccals back. Unlikely though, because after he'd belted him across the ass, the bassist had told him to stir himself, he wanted to call a house meeting later on, but he'd still left Kurt buzzing with delight to sleep off his exertions, something else that Kurt appreciated. He'd been too tired to complain about that little ending at the time, but soon came to realise, it was probably something the guy had done for a reason, and that reason was to bring them both back to the real world, to break those ties, put away the events that had just transpired. Not to forget them, just to relegate them to a more appropriate time, that is, the past. That stinging slap on his rump had catapulted Kurt out of his fantasies and dispelled any awkwardness they may have felt, and for that he was grateful, so now they were back where they'd started, and with one last huff of
satisfaction, Kurt threw the bedding off and stretched luxuriously, resting for another few minutes before he finally sat up and made his way to the shower, wondering how soon he could get Niccals back in his clutches. Yeah, today had been a VERY good day...
Eventually, Kurt thought to look in the study, ambling in to find Murdoc seated at his desk, busily writing something down in the little notebook that lived in his back pocket most of the time.
“Who else?” Kurt sighed, but he was in far too good a mood to be truly slighted.
“Right. In that case, yes,” Murdoc drawled, sitting back and folding his arms across his stomach, observing his mechanic through relaxed eyes. “What’s on the a la carte today?”“Well, I could whip up some chilli…”
“Aaaaoooow, that’ll do,” Murdoc growled happily, having found he quite liked that particular dish from his fix-it man’s culinary repertoire. “Make lots, eh?”
“You got it,” Kurt replied easily, having already planned to do just that, as chilli always tasted better somehow the following day, if there was ever any leftovers, that is.
“Mr N, for someone who’d never eaten the stuff before I got here, you sure have a high pain threshold,” Kurt mused, a little in awe of how hot Niccals liked his food.
“Sounds kind of lethal,” Kurt said, raising one eyebrow. “Think I’ll give it a miss.”
“Something on your mind?” he enquired, face serious. “Anything we should know?”
“Is it about that?” Kurt said quietly, voice low, tilting his hand to point with his thumb to the wide glass windows, and Murdoc’s eyes flickered to the horizon. It was still overcast, but it wasn’t just rain out there that made the vista a gloomy one – the clouds were much closer and he had a strong feeling as if things were afoot, the atmosphere heavy and foreboding.“Don’t worry about it, Stretch, leave it to me,” Murdoc replied a little brusquely, his façade of calm slipping momentarily and he berated himself for the second time in the last ten seconds, angry that he seemed to be finding it harder to control himself.
“Look, if it’s going to mean we’re all in danger, I think we have a right to know,” Kurt snapped back, pouting a little, his eyes harder, the cigarette now jutting from his mouth at a belligerent angle.
“Well EXCUSE ME If it’s MY life in danger, asshole! I think I have a right to know!”
“Since when are YOU?” Kurt fired back, standing up and putting his shoulders back and something in his attitude made Murdoc see red, this insubordination intolerable.
“Feel what?” Kurt responded automatically, not caring, because he only wanted to paste this little shit for getting in his face all the goddamn time.
Kurt could feel the rising desire to let loose, just grab Niccals and belt him one, but his own tiny voice of reason was trying to get his attention, and huffing out an angry breath, he wondered if he could handle it better this time. Just then, the musician standing in front of him said something he didn’t catch, repeating it, his voice becoming louder, and Kurt realised he wasn’t speaking, he was singing. It was more growl than sing though, but when he looked directly at the guy, something made him ask ‘what the hell is he doing?’ even as Niccals made a tight ‘come on’ hand gesture, his voice becoming firmer, louder, and responding out of reflex, Kurt swallowed his mounting ire and picked up the tune.
It was an old song, one of the classics as far as Kurt was concerned, and one that had good memories for him. He remembered a time, driving with Miles when this particular song had come on the radio and they’d belted out the words
together, Miles’ gruff out of tune voice not bothering Kurt in the slightest, because he was enjoying it, and so they’d broken out in this spontaneous song, until it was done and then they’d had a long conversation about their musical tastes, the road unfurling before them as Kurt drove. It had been an easier time with good memories, so hearing it again instantly put Kurt in a positive frame of mind, which was probably just as well, since he now realised what Niccals was up to and the hint of a smile began to appear on his face when he rapidly thought ahead, seeing the lyrics unfold in his mind, hoping that Niccals would understand.
Parking by the lake and there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school they were wishing they were me that night
And now our bodies are oh so close and tight…It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we're glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C'mon! Hold on tight! C'mon! Hold on tight!
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light…”
“Ain't no doubt about it we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed
Ain't no doubt about it, baby got to go and shout it
Ain't no doubt about it , we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed
Baby doncha hear my heart, you got it drowning out the radio
I've been waiting so long for you to come along and have some fun
And I gotta let you know no you're never gonna regret it
So open up your eyes I got a big surprise
It'll feel all right, well I wanna make your motor run…”
Kurt was openly grinning now, heat filling his chest, the anger slipping away, and the sight of Niccals belting out his lines only made him feel more of those good feelings, so he kept on, they both did, even after the last dregs of antagonism had vanished. By the time the song was halfway done, Niccals and he were both smiling and Kurt knew everything was alright when the musician began moving his body in time with the music, so he did the same, imitating him. Both of them turned when a third figure appeared in the doorway, 2D’s frown of confusion rapidly registering on their faces, and with a brief look at each other, Kurt and Murdoc moved as one, each grabbing 2D by an arm and dragging him into the room, prepared to drag him back from wherever he was right now.
Stu struggled a little to get free, the annoyance he was feeling only rising higher. He hated the way his head felt right now, but suddenly he saw the expression of worry on his companion’s faces, their looks of entreaty and when Murdoc shook him hard and broke voice, hissing at him to sing, by Satan, the Boogieman was up to his tricks again, the lightbulb went on in 2D’s head and taking a shaky breath, he took up the song, his soulful voice strangely out of place. A few lines later, though, he began to feel better, the smiles growing on Kurt’s and Murdoc’s faces telling him it would be OK, and a burst of something akin to happiness blossomed in his head, his voice becoming stronger, more energetic, and that’s when the let him go, all three of them singing the words to a song that had meant something to all of them at some time or another, a remnant of better days when none of this insanity had started and he and Murdoc were friends before all the fame.“Stop right there! I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me, will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?
Do you love me!? Will you love me forever!?
Do you need me!? Will you never leave me!?
Will you make me happy for the rest of my life!?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife!?
I gotta know right now, before we go any further
Do you love me!? Will you love me forever!?”
They were all grinning like maniacs now, their smiles broad and welcome, the crinkles at the corners of Kurt’s eyes telling all who cared to look that he was having the time of his life, the threat was gone, and for this few minutes, they were united in one voice, one mind, and each one of them felt that pivotal moment play out, knowing that for now, they were safe.
Louder they sang, intertwining their voices as the lyrics changed from part to part, and when the final words had been sung, as one, they burst out into laughter, slapping each other on the arms and back, even Murdoc huffing away with that low, resonant chuckle of his that Kurt found so wonderful and once they’d all got their breath back, the bassist spoke, for it was time to talk after all.
“Me either,” Kurt sighed, and 2D nodded silently in agreement.
“Stretch, get the food on, let’s talk in the galley,” Murdoc said quietly. “You too, D, it’s time we got our shit together.” Seeing the two others nod, he felt a little better, that the time had come to get ready for what had been preying on his mind for so long, and no doubt, theirs too, so ambling out the door, Kurt and 2D behind him, Murdoc felt his spirits lift for the first time in a long time. Who knows, maybe this wouldn’t turn out like the disaster he feared after all…