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vixys

"breathe for me"

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Aug. 26th, 2011 | 05:19 pm

Title: breathe for me
Fandom: The Eagle.
Characters: Marcus&Esca.
Word Count: 1535.
Rating: 15
Summary: “It’s power, power and domination and possession.” Marcus/Esca, sorta.
Warnings: some violence; non-graphic dub/non-con (asphyxiation, bondage).
Notes: Written for this prompt on the_eagle_kink. Film canon. ♥


breathe for me


“When I get the chance,” Marcus husks, brimming with a thick wrath of anger and pain, “I will kill you.” The words are sour as stale wine, slicked across his tongue.

Esca’s eyes are flat and empty.



Marcus hangs, that night.

He is refused his sparse pallet. Instead, he’s lead to the cliffedge of the camp, looking out over the whispering sea, to something like a scaffold, stark against the skyline, wood bound to wood. They tear at his shirt, strip him bare-chested, and his hands are bound, hauled above his head (rope so tight the skin bleeds), tied there. The painted soldiers don’t speak. They loop a rope around his neck, pull it snug, wind it through his fingers, round his wrists. He can’t relax, can barely move; he’s stretched out, balancing on the balls of his feet (his own weight hurts his joints). If he lets his head fall forward, defying the eternity of wakefulness, he can’t breathe.

They leave him. The sun sets, and a cold moon rises over the ruffled waters.

It’s a punishment, he thinks, for daring to maybe half-smile at a girl who was smiling at him. A punishment for his own foolishness, for trusting a slave, a Briton. For his good heart, as the stories might say. The stories hardly ever get it right.

His legs tremble, and he looks up, up at the stars, past his own hands, slickening with his blood (slippery crimson dots on his shoulders, his chest). The sky is pinpricked with brightness; the dots dance before his eyes, blurring into patterns, shapes. The eyes of the gods, perhaps. He hunts for Mithras, but finds only mockery.

Time passes.

To begin with, it’s easy. He rides on a wave of hatred and anger and frustration, cresting on its peak, on that quaver of ecstasy, and that keeps him upright. His wrists bleed, slowly, and it drips against his cheeks, but his muscles stay strong, hard. He will not flag; he will not slump for that Briton, that whoreson, that slave. Anger keeps him fresh, forcing fire through his aching bones. He wants to sleep, but he wouldn’t, even if he could. Wind curls around his ankles, and the camp dies down, dogs yipping around the embers as the cold settles in. Marcus has no furs, no pelts, not even the warmth of the slavetent. He shivers, begins to flag.

Arms stretched tight. Hitching breath.

The rope around his neck isn’t as tight as the one twisted round his hands, but it rubs, reddens his skin even in the dark. His head feels heavy, his skull leaden. He takes turns with his body: slumps his head to rest his neck (doesn’t breathe for a moment); stretches up to gasp a breath (feels his blood throb, aches). There’s no middle ground, not really; it’s all or nothing, and he has to fight to stay alive. It’d be so easy to go to sleep, but he knows he wouldn’t wake up. The world blurs around him, and as he struggles to squeeze through the thickness of his throat, he thinks he can hear voices beneath the murmur of the sea, muttering in the language that rolls off Esca’s tongue in harmonies of betrayal. Breath hiccups in his throat, and there’s blood on his cheeks, yes, dripping down from his bleeding wrists, but there are tears, too, tears he’d never admit to.

Marcus hangs, in his bonds, skin goosefleshed in the cold. His eyes are lazy-lidded.

A hand is pressed to his chest, hot as the blacksmith’s forge. What passes for Marcus’ breath hitches, and his head jerks back. Blood throbs in his ears. Esca’s gaze is inscrutable, and the dullness of his clothes merges with the darkness of the night – but that might be Marcus’ mind, imagining things that cannot be. He stands, silent, palm flat to Marcus’ blood-spotted skin, and his touch burns. Marcus isn’t going to think about that touch, about the fire it sparks in his belly.

Neither speaks. Marcus’ arms tremble.

Esca’s lips are pressed together, but Marcus can still feel the rush of his breath against his skin. They’re close enough for that – and the interplay of warmth and cold, Esca’s breath with the wind’s chill, it sends shocks through his skin, through his flesh. Marcus feels his breath quicken, frantic, and the rope around his neck is stifling, agonising. He stretches up, needs to breathe. Tendons spark out in his neck.

Esca just watches.

“No,” Marcus rasps, mostly to himself. Breath escapes him, and the world is cold, so cold, but so focused on that point of heat, so enraptured in the feel of Esca’s hot palm. Esca isn’t stupid, far from it, and the blankness in his eyes doesn’t belie the fact that he knows exactly what he’s doing, knows exactly how he’s making Marcus feel.

Marcus closes his eyes. He’s been humiliated enough.

The rope around his neck cinches tighter, and Marcus can’t help it: he bucks forward, straining against the tightness, against his bonds, against the sheer emptiness in Esca’s eyes. If he were a poet, he might fancy the sea to be more forgiving. Esca’s fingers are wound in the rope, dragging it tighter across his reddened throat – and his fingers are bent, fingertips digging into Marcus’ chest, nails biting. He’s closer, now, one knee tucked between Marcus’, forcing his legs apart – and he might be smaller, more slender, might be nothing more than a slave Marcus plucked from his death in the arena, but right now he’s everything. His nails scratch lines into Marcus’ skin. He forces his legs apart, insinuating himself between (the snake, the traitor), and that just makes everything worse, because Marcus can’t stand as straight, now, and that pulls everything tight (the rope around his wrists drips blood faster; Esca’s hand in the noose around his neck is only a pleasantry, now).

Marcus can barely think. He’s choking, and there’s some part of him that can’t get enough – and that just makes him sick. “Esca,” he rasps, and doesn’t know what he’s asking for.

Esca doesn’t answer, not with words: his hands do that, slipping beneath the few clothes Marcus has been left with, anything but shy. Marcus tries to pull away—he won’t take this, won’t just let this happen—but he can’t, because he’s hanging by his wrists under the laughing stars and he can’t breathe and Esca has everything, controls everything, is everything. Esca doesn’t stop, even as Marcus chokes in revulsion, and the rhythm of his invasion leaves Marcus unable to think of anything else – and still, Esca says nothing. His eyes are cold.

It doesn’t take long. Pressure on his throat and cold on his skin and heat in his heart: it’s all too much. His hips stutter, his vision swims.

Esca’s lips thin. He steps back, wipes his hand across his thigh, and stands ice-still in the darkness, rippled sea at his back. His eyes are shaded in night – and, for a moment, he just watches Marcus, watches him catch his breath, try to. Bloody, filthy, breathless, his head hangs forward, and he’s thick in shame and want and hate, all tied up together – and the rope is tight around his throat, yes, tight and cutting off his air, but he doesn’t care, not now.

He doesn’t look up. “Why?” he husks, bites.

For a long moment, Esca just watches him, half a pace away – and then he’s stepping forward, footsteps so-silent on the iced ground, yanking Marcus head forward (hands tangled in his hair), and he’s kissing him, forcing his lips apart in a clash of teeth and tongue. And it’s not a kiss, not really, because there’s nothing tender about this, nothing that means anything. It’s power, power and domination and possession, and Esca bites Marcus’ lip so hard it stains their lips blood-crimson – and then he pulls back and spits, “Because you are Roman.”

Esca’s breath pants against Marcus’ lips, the stink of copper-blood thick in the air, and then he turns on his heel, leaves. His breath mists in the air.

Marcus is cold, dizzy, bleeding – but if he cared to notice, he’d realise the rope around his neck is looser, now, and there’s a warmth to his limbs that the wind once stole. Esca doesn’t look back as he pads back to the camp, back to the painted figure, watching with solemnity and satisfaction in his eyes, but his shoulders are hunched, like he’s guilty, like he’s sorry. Like he had to.

Marcus doesn’t notice. Marcus just wants to sleep.

When dawn breaks over the whitefrothed sea, they come for him, cut him down, watch him dress. He can barely stand as he is dragged back into the camp, and Esca looks at him like he barely knows his name.



“I thought I’d lost you,” Marcus says, flat in the seaswept quiet.

Esca’s eyes hidden in the darkness. “Quickly,” he whispers, and it’s i had to and forget what i did and forgive me. He helps Marcus to his feet, and Marcus doesn’t think about a burning palm, pressed flat to his bare chest under the mockery of the empty stars.


finis

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Comments {31}

riventhorn

from: riventhorn
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
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Such beautiful language and SO BURNING HOT, too! I love how the kink is completely wrapped up in the tension of dominance and submission that characterizes their relationship.

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
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Icon snap... Yes, I am horrendousy immature. Thank you! ♥♥

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Tiferet

from: ladytiferet
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
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THE OP IS BROKEN INTO LITTLE PIECES BY THE MAGNIFICENT AWESOMENESS THAT IS THIS FIC!

All those emotions and physical sensations tangled up, tearing Marcus apart, and we can just imagine what had to be going on in Esca's head and heart too! It's painful but beautiful, amazing, mesmerizing! Marcus's anger and hurt and confusion are just tangible!

And the ending? It's pure genius, what Marcus didn't see but what he'll hopefully realize soon ♥ , all what Esca is trying to convey but really can't, not yet!

I can't stop thinking about how can they come back from that place and overcome the emotional mess that is now bound to hang between them 0o

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
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You were the OP? Fabulous! So glad you like it - it's the kind of prompt I love, where there's sex&whatnot but also the prospect for emotion and gah. It's wonderful. ♥ And ohhhh emotional mess is so delectable and painful. Thank you. ♥♥

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Tiferet

from: ladytiferet
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
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Well, it never ceases to amaze me how the brilliant authors like you take a simple, one-image idea and bring to life an incredible story full of emotional content and such a strong feel of the obvious before and after for the characters, if you know what I mean :)

Edited at 2011-08-26 05:02 pm (UTC)

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
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... I may die. Thank you. :D ♥

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meggington

from: poziomeczka
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
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i won't bother dwelling on how utterly stunning your language and imagery is, because you, lady, you write pure poetry through prose.
but the whole profoundness of feeling in this, how thick with shame and desire and hatred and doubt it all is, it is what makes it so exquisite.

please be mine ♥

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, so much. ♥♥

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coeurdesoleil

from: coeurdesoleil
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
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I am completely in love with your prose ♥ This was beautiful and painful all at once, thick with emotion, with the intermingling of pain and pleasure, hate and tenderness, anger, resentment and desire. AWESOME.

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
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intermingling of pain and pleasure, hate and tenderness, anger, resentment and desire Perfect; exactly what I see in this. Thank you. ♥

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how absurd, to swallow a bird

from: spfizz
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
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The tension in this is palpable. Your prose is so ridiculously pure. Beautiful work.

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, so much. ♥♥

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(Deleted comment)

sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
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I'm a big fan of the single emphatically-momentous kiss... Call it a kink. Thank you, ♥

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bassino

from: bassino
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
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OMG. Wow....Ufffff, that was incredibly intense!
I always suspected that something more had happened to Marcus in that scene, and let me tell you, your version is a thousand times better!!!

Thanks for being part of this fandom. <3

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 26th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for being part of this fandom Thank you for having me. It's lovely. :D ♥

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bea_ichigo

from: bea_ichigo
date: Aug. 28th, 2011 08:43 am (UTC)
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Everything that had to be said about your writing and the amazing work you did on the emotions has already been said, so I'll just sit here clapping my hands and fangirling a little bit more on this gorgeous fanfiction. thank you for sharing your talent.

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 28th, 2011 10:24 am (UTC)
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Thank you. ♥

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from: ephinee
date: Aug. 28th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC)
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It's simply amazing what you do with a prompt. You have such a way with words, such a gift for story telling that you have me hooked every time, from the first word to the very last. Your's are the types of fics I come back to read again and again. Thanks for sharing!

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 28th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
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Your's are the types of fics I come back to read again and again. *blush* You're killing me. Thank you. ♥♥

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sangue

from: sangueuk
date: Aug. 29th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
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goodness me, this was utterly superb, erotic, painful and full of surprises! I loved the way you wove this into the movie verse - it was entirely believable. There was an incredible sense of place too - just wonderful! There were so many amazing lines!

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 30th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
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Thank you! ♥

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itsthequietone

from: itsthequietone
date: Aug. 31st, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Lovely! I was really struck by the way you described Esca, the emptiness and all. You made even their unspoken emotions so vivid!

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 31st, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! ♥

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Tindómiel

from: luthien13
date: Aug. 31st, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that fic was stunning. You certainly played with my emotions: I wasn't sure if we were dealing with a psycho!Esca or not until the end. XD

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Aug. 31st, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
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that fic was stunning *blush* Thank you! ♥

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(Deleted comment)

sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Sep. 13th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! ♥

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lallyloo

from: lallyloo
date: Oct. 15th, 2011 06:40 am (UTC)
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Wow wow wow, so much tension in this! Amazing job. :)

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sea-sky

from: vixys
date: Oct. 15th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC)
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Thank you. ♥

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(Deleted comment)

Becky

from: halesmoon
date: Mar. 4th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
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Guh. This was amazing. Breathtaking (no pun intended). I'm a bit in love with dom-Esca, and just ajsdlkadjklads. Guh. I repeat. Guh.

I am not coherent. Sorry. ♥___♥

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