freezingrayne: (Claus)
[personal profile] freezingrayne
Title: Use Your Eyes
Fandom: Last Exile
Characters: Dio and Lucciola
Rating: Worksafe
Warnings: contains mentions of incest and abuse
Teaser: The first evening of Dio’s fourteenth birthweek, he returns from his time with Delphine the worse for wear.



This is an amazing anime, and Dio is one of the best and most heart-wrenching characters I have happened upon in a long time.

--

The first evening of Dio’s fourteenth birthweek, he returns from his time with Delphine the worse for wear. Blue and purple blossom across his jaw and red mars the line of his neck. One of his eyes is swollen almost all the way shut, and for the first time since they were children, he will not allow Lucciola to attend on him in the bath.

“I’m fine,” he says, as he waves Lucciola away, though he moves with a pronounced limp.

“I can wash your back for you,” Lucciola tries. Dio likes that. He always rests his head on the edge of bath, telling him where to scratch, arching in pleasure when he gets it just right.

“I want to be alone. Besides…” He sticks his head back round the door. “You don’t want to see my back right now.”


Lucciola finds Cicada in the practice yards, going through his forms, lithe muscle and fluid grace. Lucciola hopes one day to be able to move like that.

Cicada ignores him when he approaches, jabbing his knife upwards and out, a maneuver designed to slice open the stomach.

“Cicada.”

His brother finishes the form before he will even acknowledge Lucciola’s presence. “Yes?” he asks shortly, when he’s finished, breathing just a little swifter than usual.

“Cicada, I want you to tell me what the Maestro does to Dio when they are alone.”

Cicada quirks an eyebrow. “What?”

“I said, I want you to—.”

“I heard what you said. I just could not believe you think that it’s any of your concern. It isn’t.”

“But it is,” Lucciola insists, as Cicada sets the dagger back on the rack of blades only he is permitted to touch, “As it is my task to keep him safe. I cannot tend to his wounds if I don’t know what is being done.”

Cicada’s lips twist in amusement. “You are meant to treat the symptoms, not the disease, Lucciola. If it is too much for you, I can request you be given another—.”

“No!” Lucciola clenches his fists, feeling fool. “I mean, t-that will not be necessary.”

Cicada takes his chin in his hand, stroking a finger along Lucciola’s cheek. “So emotional, brother. One would almost think you want the prince for your very own.”

Lucciola can feel his face burning, with shame and with rage. “That’s not—.”

“I wonder what Maestro Delphine would think of you coveting her precious brother.”

Lucciola feels his breath catch in his throat, hot and choking. If Cicada told the Maestro that, he would be killed. Erased. With no hope of resurrection. “I don’t covet him.”

Cicada strokes his cheek, almost fondly. Lucciola thinks of a time, years ago, when he and Cicada would run for hours on the windy hills beneath the Grand Stream, before they had gone into the service of House Eraclea, before he had learned to fear his brother’s touch.

“Don’t worry. The prince is fast approaching the age where he will begin to make use of your other talents.” Cicada’s grin is as sharp as the blade he has just put away. “It is one of the things a servant is for, after all.”

Lucciola slaps his hand away. “I know that.”

Cicada laughs at him. “I’m sure it is only a matter of time until the Maestro’s ministrations aren’t enough to satisfy him.”

“So that is what she’s doing to him,” Lucciola says. Relations between siblings are not taboo in the Guild, at least not the way he knows they are in human society. Conception is not something that can happen accidently—there is no chance of undesirable genetic defects.

But Delphine is hurting him.

“Mm.” Cicada nods his affirmation. “It is her right, as Maestro, to do anything she sees fit.”

“I know that.” Lucciola is so angry he can barely keep his face schooled into a neutral expression.

Cicada can tell. Cicada can always tell. “Why, brother. Do you wish to offer yourself to her in exchange?”

Lucciola frowns. “I—.”

Cicada laughs harder. “Don’t worry. I’m joking. The Maestro prefers them delicate. She wouldn’t want—”

Lucciola catches his hand before he can touch him again. “You’ve changed, Cicada. You’ve changed so much.”

Something flits over his brother’s face, a momentary tightening around his eyes, a crease in his forehead. He pulls his hand away.

“I had to.”


Dio is back to his usual self the next morning, cheerful and excited, running to Lucciola as soon as he sees him, throwing his arms around him in a tight hug.

“Good morning, Lucciola! What should we do today?”

Life proceeds as usual—they play chess, they go out flying. Dio saves part of his dinner for Lucciola, watches him eat it just as avidly as he always has. It’s because of Dio that Lucciola is not scrawny and underfed like the rest of the palace servants. Dio lets Lucciola wash his back again after a few days, though he doesn’t ask him to scratch it. The marks from viciously sharp fingernails are fading but still visible.

Every few nights Dio returns from attending his sister with new bruises, and his nightmares are becoming steadily worse. Scarcely a night goes by without Lucciola being awoken by Dio’s cries, without him getting up to hold him as he shivers and gasps, nails digging into his arms.

“Lord Dio, shall I get you some tea to help you sleep?”

Dio shakes his head, burying his face in Lucciola’s chest. “No. Stay here.”

Sometimes it takes him hours to calm down. Lucciola stays there, stroking his back and his hair. After awhile it seems silly for him to sleep in his own bed, when he always ends up in Dio’s anyway. And Dio always sleeps better when he’s there, nightmares not nearly as bad.

There is one night, after they’ve had a particularly exhausting day—they’d been sword-training, something Lucciola doesn’t like but Dio insists on—when Lucciola is half-asleep, arms wrapped around Dio as usual, when Dio jerks awake with a tiny cry.

He sits up, wiping sweat off his forehead. “L-Lucciola!” He shakes him by the shoulder.

“Lord Dio?”

Dio relaxes visibly. “I dreamt you died,” he says, as Lucciola sits up.

“I’m here, Lord Dio.”

“Good.” Dio takes one of his hands in both of his, raising it to his face, nuzzling against it like the ginger cat Delphine had given him as a gift. It had only last two weeks, before she became irritated with how much attention he paid it, and snapped its neck.

Before he can help himself, Lucciola pulls Dio into his lap and into a fierce hug, burying his face in his hair.

“Lucciola…” Dio’s voice is slightly muffled against his chest. “You’re squishing me.”

Lucciola loosens his grip enough for Dio to raise his head. “I will always protect you,” he says. He’d said it before, sworn it when he’d entered the service of the house of Eraclea, but to Dio it’s different. To Dio it means something.

Dio fixes him with an odd look. “You’re strange, Lucciola.” Still, he rests his head back against Lucciola’s chest, sighting contentedly, closing his eyes.

Date: 2011-05-21 06:43 pm (UTC)
cypher: (gareki shuns your clever keywords)
From: [personal profile] cypher
fffff so broken ;3;

Date: 2011-05-21 07:04 pm (UTC)
cypher: (:D)
From: [personal profile] cypher
I have! I liked a lot of it, right up until the ending went weird. XD

But I spent most of the series wanting to hug Dio -- he's really wonderful. ^^

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December 2011

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