KURO WEEK - DAY 5: Nightmares
Eeeh… so this is kinda long. But I loved writing it. Also: it’s from Shiro’s POV. So… have this:
Monsters don’t have nightmares…
It took everything in him not to scream. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. Wouldn’t let them know how afraid he really was.
He had survived this once… He would do it again. Because now he knew how the cruel machinery of the arena worked, relentless and precise like clockwork. He knew what the Druids would do to him. He knew the rules.
Stick to the rules and survive.
And rule number one was to never show your fear.
Shiro could do this, he would survive and find his way back home. Home… wherever that was. A small, fragile smile crept onto his face. Of course he knew where home was. It was somewhere among the stars… Sitting in a giant robot lion and hunting every single Galra cruiser down in order to find him. He would survive this… for now there was Keith, burning with the force of a thousand suns, fiery red and blazing with anger. He had seen glimpses of what the Red Paladin was capable of… This man would tear the universe apart and burn the whole Empire to ashes, if that’s what it took to get Shiro back.
For now he would stick to the rules and buy his friends as much time as possible to come and find him. Him and-
Movement from the shadows
caught his attention, followed by a soft sob. If it hadn’t been so
eerily quiet in their cell, he might’ve missed it. Shiro froze at the
sound, eyes trained on the the figure that laid curled up on one of the cots.
The first time he’d seen him, Shiro had actually lost it. He still had no idea where he came from – it didn’t really matter anyway. Because he was there nonetheless. He existed. He breathed. There was a soul in his yellow eyes, when he gave Shiro that look. That look of utter betrayal, like he’d hoped for something more, something that was definitely not a beaten and bruised Shiro.
He couldn’t really remember when or how the guards had maneuvered him into the same cell he occupied. At some point he’d simply checked out, mind going blank and numb, because it was all too much.
The Druids had taken his arm, stripped him off any right he thought he had, put him through fights against aliens twice his size… but THIS. This had been the last straw.
It was the day he met his
clone, that Shiro actually cried for the first time in ages. He cried
for himself. It was the same day he realized, that this would never
end. They’d always find a way to break him, to bend and twist him,
until his mind turned into something ugly. The evidence, the actual
personification of their madness driven efforts, sat right in front
of him and stared at him with piercing yellow eyes.
He had no idea how long they’d stayed like this. Huddled against opposite walls of the same cell and staring off into nothingness, until one of them had started talking. It had been awkward, looking at his own face and listening to his own voice, somewhat sounding off. More guttural. Some words even sounded a little…purred? It was almost off-putting to see his own face staring back at him and moving with expressions that weren’t his. It felt like watching yourself in a mirror, but your reflection suddenly stops moving along with you. Familiar features turned into something otherworldly, because someone else controlled them and poured their very soul into every twitch and pull of muscle.
They’d created a whole new being. The clone might’ve looked like Shiro, but under their shared features, there was a different person. Individual. Original. And so, so human. He even had a name.
How fitting, Shiro had thought at first. But he’d come to realize quite fast, that Kuro wasn’t the dark, evil minded counterpart he’d expected to hide behind that name.
In fact, the more they talked, the more Shiro got the impression, that their Galra-hybrid was more human than most people Shiro had met back on earth.
He had suffered. He had seen horrible things, survived even worse. He’d been ripped open and put back together, just to be torn apart again. Some days he would find the strengh to laugh at all of this… And some days he would break under the pressure and fear. Like any human being would do.
Days had passed. It was easy - too easy - to believe that Kuro was anything but a monster. Especially so, after he’d been carried back into their cell, right after one particular hard fight. Kuro had won, of course… But was the damage his body and mind had taken really worth it?
Seeing him like this morphed repulsion and mistrust first into pity, then into something else. Something Shiro didn’t really want to think about. It felt way too close to compassion.
He couldn’t let that happen.
Stick to the rules and survive.
And sticking to the rules meant no sympathy for Galra-clones.
In the end the universe wouldn’t have any of it.
Another sob brought him back to reality. It tore through the silence that hung between them. As far as he could tell, Kuro was still asleep on his small cot, but he thrashed wildly against invisible enemies and restraints. Maybe he relived his latest fight? His latest torture? Tears glistened in the dim purple lights.
In this moment he looked almost completely human… Vulnerable and scared and just so much younger.
Shiros throat went dry. Kuro wasn’t a monster… never had been… And that tore at his heart.
Despite what the Druids wanted him to be, Kuro was anything but a monster.
Without thinking, Shiro stood up from where he sat, back against the wall, and silently made his way towards the clone. Said clone was a mess; twitching and and clawing at the nightmares that plagued him.
Another whimper. Small and heartbreaking. He couldn’t take it.
Shiro couldn’t stop himself from reaching out, trying to soothe Kuro with a warm hand on his shoulder. But it wasn’t enough to make the nightmares stop…
Fuck the rules.
Soon he found himself huddled up on the small cot next to the other man, arms wrapped around shaking shoulders and metal fingers stroking carefully over a tense back. There were scars on his back. So. So many… Shiro didn’t even want to know what had caused these scars. Or the nightmares.
This man was definitely no monster.
didn’t have nightmares…
I know I promised there will be a happy ending to my Kuro week… But for now… suffer with me? @kuroweek