Xantus closed his eyes and swallowed hard, the pain never greater. Iñaki stared up at him, her green eyes watching his reaction with great interest. "What is it?" she asked. "Your life," he replied, and the answer's shortness startled her. "My what?" "Your life, it hurts me, since its like reliving my own." "Is there nothing I can do to help the pain?" Iñaki asked. Xantus looked at her silently, shaking his head. "Why won't you yield to me? Why will you not fulfill my wish? Is it because I'm evil now?" she asked. Xantus looked back at her and smiled. "No, Iñaki. You are not evil at all. Perhaps your conscience has taken on the form of Sid?" Iñaki stared back, her jaw slack with shock. "How did you know . . .?" Xantus smiled, "Because when you kissed me, I saw everything that has happened to you. It is one of my dark powers, the ability to see the past through physical contact. I can recall things that you cannot, and I can see things you wished you never did." "So there is nothing that I can keep secret from you?" she asked, frightened by that thought. Xantus turned away, feeling strangely uncomfortable. "No, I know everything." He stood quiet in thought, surveying the far horizon. She remained still, her thoughts racing. He turned to face her, his black eyes filling her with a sense of security. "Perhaps you would like to know more about my past? Will that make you feel more comfortable?" he said, his voice full of uncertainty. "Yes, but how can you do that?" she asked. Xantus sighed, saying, "By succumbing to your wishes. . ." And with that, he swept her off her feet, carrying her towards a nearby cave, within which, everything was revealed to her.

Just: Y'know, Kris, your characters a slut. And they say that characters reflect their players...
Kris: Except I'm not like that at all.
Just: That's messed up. That would be like me trying to play a straight christian boy.
Kris: I would *LOVE* to see that! That would be funny!

Iñaki gasped as the rush of memories faded from her mind. She now sat, wrapped in Xantus's arms. "Oh gods..." "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..." "No, it's not that... It's just..." Her hand gently caressed his cheek, remorse filling her eyes. "I made you relive something that I don't doubt you want to forget." She turned away, suddenly shy. "I'm so selfish. I never think of anyone but myself anymore..." "That's not true, Iñaki," Xantus responded, moving into her line of sight. "We wouldn't even be here if you had been thinking of yourself." He smiled at her questioning look, embracing her. She sighed in the comfort of his arms, closing her eyes. When she opened them... "OH GODS!" Too late. The blast hit the cave, shaking its very foundations. Xantus moved to cover Iñaki as the cave fell, picking her up to try and outrun the coming cave-in. He set her down a few yards away, looking back as the cave crumbled and fell in. He turned back to her. "Iñaki? Are you all right?" "Ugh... My leg..." Xantus looked down to see something white sticking out of her flesh at a sickening angle. "By the look on your face," she said, wincing, "it's not good." "No, not good at all." She smiled slightly, masking the tears of pain that threatened to fall. "Are you a healer? Or am I the only one who can do that?" "I don't know if healing magick will help this." He scanned the area, looking around for where the attack might've possibly come from. "Well, can you at least set it or something? It's at a very uncomfortable position. And I don't know how well I can walk with a bone poking through my leg."

"AGHH!!" Rashi grabbed his leg and writhed in pain. "NO, INAKI!!" a single blood red tear ran down his cheek. “No...My blast damaged her." He stood up, forcing the pain to subside. "You will pay for both of your wrongs, Xantus." He turned and walked away from his post, toward a large flowing shadow. It was a plain, a rich darkness that flowed like the golden wheat filled plains of earth. He stood there, watching the darkness flow over itself. ‘Well, It looks like she's destroyed the bond between she and Sidniel, doesn’t it, m'love?' Orion’s voice rang in Rashi’s mental ears. He smiled. "Orion. My dearest spirit." he smiled wider remembering when he first heard Orion’s voice. ******* Flashback ******* Rashi had just arrived in the shadow realm. He was alone, and cold, and a little scared..... Rashi sat, his arms around his knees, crying. “Where am I? Where is Iñaki...I’m so alone..." 'Don’t cry, dearest one.' A spirit appeared before Rashi. He was about 6ft tall, had bright red hair and a kind face. His build was muscular, but skinny. He seemed to shine in the world of darkness. "Who…who are u?" Rashi dried his tears quickly. The spirit bowed. ‘I am Orion. I'm your guardian spirit.' "Guardian spirit?" 'Yes. I have always been watching over you, but could never reveal myself till you came here.' The spirit looked around and back at Rashi, smiling. 'Now that you have arrived, we can finally become one, as the fates had meant it to be.' "Become one?" 'Yes. I am supposed to join your body and share it with your mortal soul. You will stay Rashi, but have more courage, strength and knowledge then before.' the spirit smiled as Rashi’s eyes widened. 'And...You’ll never be alone again.' ******* Present ******* "Never alone again..." Rashi whispered the words, smiling as the memory faded and he was once again watching the black fields of nothingness flow. 'She has killed him, you know.' "Yes. I know. Breaking the ceremonial bonds of the bracelets results in your loves death. I wish I could have told her that.” Rashi bowed his head and sighed. 'Worry not, my dearest one. It is ok. It will be ok.' Rashi could see Orion’s endearing smile in his minds eye. “I know...I know.." he walked into the uncolored field and stood there waiting. He reached down and grabbed something and pulled it up before him. It was a silver ferret. An animal of purity and joy. Rashi looked deep into its eyes, and it faded away in his hand, leaving its life-force and its fur. "DEMON CARD, I SUMMON THEE!" the demon appeared before Rashi. "Take this to that cave. Have that bastard Xantus use it to cover Iñaki’s wound. It will heal it completely. Now… GO SWIFTLY!" the demon sped off with the fur as Rashi pocketed the new life-force. He turned and walked toward the Shadow Mountains....

Xantus laid Iñaki down on the floor of the cave, and closed his eyes. He meditated in a lotus position, his eyelids fluttering rapidly. He removed his gloves to reveal his black hands, which caused Iñaki to gasp quietly. He began to chant incoherently, and he opened his eyes. Standing up, he approached Iñaki’s prone body, his pitch black hands held out in front of him. She gasped as she felt his cold flesh touching hers, but the pain in her leg subsided immediately. "I hope that helps a little," Xantus said with a grin, as he put his gloves back on. Iñaki nodded slightly as she tested her weight on her leg. She smiled a hollow smile, her eyes never leaving Xantus' hands. "What . . . are you?" she asked. Xantus quietly looked away. "I am a daemon," he said, "And this shadow realm, as you call it, was my home. I worked with my father to battle the evil that thrives here, to keep it safe for the hard working daemon's that populate this realm. We've stuck to the frontier places, so we haven't run into any yet, but they're out there. I left shortly after my father and my lover both died whilst I fought a Dryder, leaving the swashbuckling to my younger brother, Cid. I was invited to join a secret society, which plants agents out in the many realms, to act as guardians. I was put on Rashi's realm, to protect both you and him. So, I guess you could call me your guardian Daemon. . ." He said with a grin.

Gifts of Darkness