Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 24 ( Chapter 24 )
Darc was tired enough that he felt like he could fall asleep standing up when they entered the house. He didn't bother to wait for an invitation before dropping into one of the comfortable chairs in the living room.
Kharg frowned. "Darc, you alright?" He stepped closer and laid his hand on his twin's shoulder.
Darc growled, but it was half-hearted. He was to tired for an argument right now.
Kharg seemed to realize that as well. He squeezed Darc's shoulder before taking his hand away and sitting down himself.
Introductions were made all around then Alisha, Stalker, and Adrienne went into the kitchen.
Miko plopped gracefully down on the floor while Farin sat down in one of the chairs.
Miko studied Kharg. "So you and Darc are brothers? He never said he had one. Who's oldest?"
"I am, we're twins." Kharg was puzzled when Darc didn't make a scathing remark and looked over at him. He laughed.
Miko looked puzzled. "What's so funny?"
Farin followed Kharg's gaze then laughed too. "I believe one of us is done for the night."
Miko glanced at Darc then understood. He'd fallen asleep. "He must have been exhausted."
Alisha entered the room. "Why don't you all come into the dining room? I made a light snack and everyone must be hungry."
Miko pointed at Darc. "Should we wake him?" She didn't wait for an answer, but stood and reached out to do so.
Kharg got to his feet fast and caught her wrist. "Don't touch him. He reacts badly when someone tries to shake him awake, especially when he's really tired."
Alisha glanced at Darc. "Can you wake him, Kharg? I know he's probably exhausted, but mother says it's very important that he eats."
Kharg nodded. "I'll try, we'll be there in a few minutes."
Alisha smiled. "I'll tell mother." She led the rest of the guest from the room.
Once they were gone Kharg knelt beside Darc. "Darc, come on, nap time's over! Wake up!" It took several tries.
Finally Darc's eyes opened partially. "What?" he mumbled.
"Adrienne says it's important you eat. She fixed something. Get up and let's go." Kharg stood up and waited.
Darc growled in irritation, but he heaved himself to his feet.
Kharg studied his brother then suddenly he hugged him, feeling Darc tense..
The strength of the hug made Darc grunt then he snorted in annoyance. "What's with you Humans and this touchy-feely nonsense?"
Kharg couldn't help laughing then let Darc go "Get used to it, that's how Humans are." Grinning, he headed for the kitchen.
Darc rolled his eyes and followed his brother.
Adrienne waved them into chairs next to each other. "I need you to make sure you eat and drink as much as you can, Darc. Just don't do it to fast. I don't want you get sick "
There was plenty of food and all of them ate more than they thought they could have.
After everyone was finished Adrienne turned her attention to Miko and Farin. "If the two of you wish to return to your tribes we'll provide you with an escort."
Miko stared at her plate. "I was taken when slavers attacked my clan. The few that survived were sold on the auction block. Both my parents died and I had no siblings."
Farin gave her a sympathetic look. "Ah, sweet lovely Miko, I am sorry. We are kindred spirits, you and I. My clan is gone too."
Stalker growled dangerously. “We have all lost family and clan. We will storm the stronghold and beat them someday and that cursed tyrant will pay in blood for his crimes.”
"Love, we aren't close to numerous enough to storm the tyrant's stronghold. Most clans have hidden themselves and perhaps that's for the best."
Darc snorted scornfully.
Adrienne turned to him with a puzzled look. "Is something wrong?"
Darc stood. "Not a thing."
Adrienne refused to accept that. "By the way you reacted there is and I'd like to know what."
Kharg gave Darc a warning look, silently telling him to watch what he said.
Darc noticed the look then completely ignored it. "You're right, storming a fortress with the numbers I've seen here would be suicidal, but hiding is just plain stupid and will get you all killed."
Kharg tried to help. "Darc, you don't know anything about this."
Darc sneered. "Wrong, Miko told me everything about this ruler of yours. Hiding instead of fighting only let's his armies get stronger which is the last thing you want."
"So what do you propose we do?" Adrienne demanded.
Darc rolled his eyes and turned away, heading for the door. "Absolutely nothing, which should be easy, since it is what you're doing quite well now."
Stalker caught up to Darc in two long strides and caught his arm. "You can't say something like that to my mate then walk away. You'd still be shackled in the slave kennels if it wasn't for us."
Darc scowled and pulled away. "I'm well aware of that."
Stalker folded his arms. "Then tell us what you meant by that remark."
"Fine." Darc turned to face the table. "You're letting them force you into hiding like stupid, frightened deer. You are the prey and this bastard's soldiers are steadily wiping you out. You have to learn to think like prey and use your heads."
Stalker and Adrienne exchanged thoughtful looks.
Stalker looked back to Darc. "You're being damned blunt, but you make sense. What do you propose?"
Darc shrugged. "Fight back, use your abilities against them. Lure the soldiers into ambushes, kill the slavers anytime you see them and make sure the reason you killed them is clear. Don't harm any Human that does nothing to you or they'll think Deimos are nothing, but murderers. If you can get other tribes to do the same so much the better."
Adrienne nodded slowly and thoughtfully. "Perhaps we could get others to do what you've suggested."
Darc snorted. "That's up to you, it's not my problem, so leave me out of it."
"Darc!" Kharg chided.
Darc growled at him. "Don't lecture me, you want to play the gallant hero go right ahead. I learned the stupidity of that a long time ago. Stupid heroics get you killed. " He looked at Adrienne and her family. "You helped me escape from that place and I'm grateful, but not enough to risk my ass to cover yours." He left the room.
Kharg was horribly embarrassed. "I am so sorry about that. He had no right to say those things. We'll leave first thing in the morning." He was sure they would both be told to leave now after that little scene.
"You don't have to leave, it's alright." Adrienne looked after Darc. "So much anger, so much pain. He didn't have an easy life, did he?"
Kharg sighed, his shoulders slumping. "No, it was really bad. That's all I can say." He stood up. "Excuse me." He went to find Darc. He found him outside.
Darc didn't notice his brother's arrival. The sky had cleared, showing the stars and the moon. On those frequent times Geedo had overindulged in Phoenix blood and passed out Darc had snuck out of the hovel. He would go to the church ruins to spend some time at his father's grave. If the night was clear like tonight he'd fly out over the ocean with just the stars and moon to witness. Darc sighed heavily. Well, you won't ever be doing that again, he thought bitterly. His hand slipped to his birthmark.
Kharg heard the sigh and frowned. "Darc?"
Darc looked over his shoulder and studied his twin calmly. "What?"
Kharg hesitated then pulled out the ring. "This belongs to you. Adrienne found it on the ground."
Darc took the ring and slipped it on. "Is that all you wanted?"
Kharg frowned. "You're welcome and no, I want to know what processed you to talk to them like that. If they hadn't come along I might have died and you would have been enslaved. You should go apologize to them."
Darc looked back to the sky. " Leave me alone and I'll at least I'll consider it."
Kharg shrugged helplessly. "Fine, I guess." He turned and went back inside, he found only Alisha left in the kitchen.
Alisha glanced over at him. "Everyone went to bed. Is Darc alright?"
"I suppose, but he's being stubborn as usual. He said he'd consider an apology, which is a big step for him. I guess I'll go to bed too. Where's Darc sleeping?"
Alisha looked at Kharg. "He's sharing the guest room with you. I hope you don't mind."
Kharg chuckled. "I don't mind, but I bet Darc won't like it." He frowned. "I suppose I should wait until he's ready to sleep, so I can show him where it is."
Alisha laughed. "I think I can manage to point him in the right direction. Go ahead and get some sleep, good night."
I suppose you're right, good night, Alisha." Kharg left the room and went to bed.
Alisha waited about ten minutes then went into the living room just as Darc walked in. "Nice evening?"
Darc eyed her warily. "It isn't bad."
Alisha sat down casually. "You sounded a bit bitter in there, well, maybe angry too."
Darc gave her a sharp look, but didn't say anything.
"You find it hard to trust anyone, don't you? Even your twin." Alisha watched for a reaction.
Darc scowled. "What do you care?"
Alisha stood suddenly and walked over to stand directly in front of him. Her eyes moved over him. "It's obvious someone hurt you. The scars prove it beyond a doubt."
Darc instinctively took a step back. "They're from fighting."
Alisha deliberately reached out and touched the two scars on Darc's chest that formed an x. "These aren't." She traced each one with her finger.
Darc growled and stepped back further to get out of her reach. "How the hell do you know?"
Alisha raised an eyebrow. "Mainly because they form a perfect x."
Darc snorted. "All that means is that someone has good aim."
Alisha laughed. "Stubborn."
Darc smirked at her. "You aren't subtle enough to get information from me. You're to obvious."
Alisha mock pouted at that then laughed. "You know I think I like you, Darc. If you're ready to get some sleep I'll show you where you'll be staying."
That reminded Darc that he hadn't slept since he'd been chained in that tiny cell and he was exhausted. “Yeah, if you would."
"Follow me. You'll have to share the room with Kharg, hopefully that's alright. Don't worry, there are two beds." Alisha led the way to the guest room and waved Darc inside then left.
Being careful not to wake Kharg, Darc took off his boots before collapsing on the second bed. He was asleep in minutes.
Kharg woke early the next morning and peered over at the next bed. Darc was lying with his back to his brother sound asleep. So he did sleep here. He hadn't thought he would. Kharg studied his brother thoughtfully then got up and dressed. Careful not to wake him, he left the room, closing the door softly behind him. When Kharg entered the kitchen Miko and Alisha were the only ones there.
Alisha smiled. "Morning, Kharg. You want some breakfast?"
Kharg nodded and sat down. "I'd love some, I'm starved. So where is every one else?"
Alisha set a filled plate in front of him. "They already ate and left. Farin went with them. I think mother and father are calling a gathering to discuss what Darc said."
Miko glanced past Kharg. "Where's Darc?"
Kharg shrugged as he began eating his food. "Still asleep, I didn't think I should wake him."
Alisha sat down. "Probably not, he needs to sleep. He'll wake up when he's ready."
Miko sighed and sat down next to Kharg. “So tell me about yourself, Darc and anything else you think I might I’d be interested in. I’m all ears.” Smiling, she twitched her ears for illustration.
Kharg laughed and the three of them spent the rest of the morning talking about nothing in particular.
Not the best of ending’s I know, but it was long enough, so R/R please!