Tag Archive | abednego

Epilogue: Abednego

“I’m not going home.”  Abednego lifted his chin up and stared at Luke, daring him to tell him differently.  “I am never going back there.  And if I see Shad or Meesh now, I’m gonna do something I’m not ready to do right.”

“Some students don’t go home,” Luke answered mildly.  “You don’t have to.  But.”

Abednego tensed.  “But, sir?”

“Come with me.” Continue reading

Chapter 71: Abednego

Thursday, May 31, 2001

Abed was wandering.

There were parts of the school he hadn’t seen.  There was a whole floor of the school, and all he’d seen of it was the front of the Store.

His room had been exactly as he’d left it on Hell Night.  Rafe, apologetic and twitchy, had helped Abed move what few things he had and cared about back to the room.  

The first thing he’d done was to buy new clothes.  Kilts.  He’d seen the bull-guy in kilts, and he had to admit, they suited his new legs better.  Shirts that didn’t have anything to do with home, weren’t hand-me-downs, didn’t smell like Rafe or like his brothers or like anything except himself. Continue reading

Chapter 67: Abednego

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Every time Abednego thought things had settled in to something like normalcy, they shifted again.  He thought he’d stopped getting comfortable with things, just to find that he was dumped on his tail all over again.

Rafe couldn’t settle on what he wanted.  He would pet Abednego for a few minutes, then shift away guiltily, give him an order and then tell him it wasn’t an order.   

Saturdays and Sundays were the worst, and this time Rafe had gone through the cycle five times in less than an hour.  When Abednego found himself wishing for his corner and rules that, if horrible, at least made sense, he sat up straight, shaking off another cycle of petting. Continue reading

Chapter 63: Abednego

Sunday, April 15, 2001

Abednego shifted back and forth on the couch.  His heart had stopped aching; his… everything had stopped hurting, thanks to the blue pills and a few days of doing absolutely nothing, although he was going to have to learn to walk all over again.

They were all staring at him.  It was the first day he’d been up and around, and every single one of the people in the suite were staring at him.

No, he realized, Zeke was staring at Joff.  Which kind of made sense.  Joff was acting weirder than normal.

Abednego scooted back on the couch, although it didn’t really work.  His knees — his everything — went all in the wrong directions now.  “Say something?”  He meant it as a plea.  It made everyone jump. Continue reading

Chapter 59: Abednego

Saturday, April 7, 2001

He woke next to Rafe.

He did, sometimes.  More often these days than before.  He’d looked at Rafe and said, more honestly than he’d really wanted to be, “I hate sleeping on the floor.  It’s cold, and it’s hard, and the dog bed is even worse.  Do you think I could sleep in the bed?”

It was a trade-off, because he got to be warm, and he got to have something soft under him where he could stretch out – Addergoole must either invest in quality mattresses, or have someone somewhere in a basement muttering “Meentik Unutu mattress” over and over again, and he wouldn’t put either of those by Regine. – but he got cuddled.

Rafe, it turned out, was a cuddler. Continue reading

Chapter 55: Abednego

Thursday, March 22, 2001

The weirdest thing, Abednego thought, was that he would run into an order he didn’t remember having anymore.  He’d look up to say something and remember oh, yeah.  That was only lifted for Joff.  I can’t speak to Eris still.  Or he’d think about going to the bathroom and stop, not because there was an order, but because his entire body clenched at the idea of doing that without permission.

And weirder was the way Rafe handled it.  If he said something in private, Rafe acted surprised.  If he said something in public, Rafe acted horrified and embarrassed and – scared, he acted scared.

Abednego had no idea what was going on, but he could make the asshole who Owned him scared.   He thought that was pretty cool, on some level. Continue reading

Bonus Story: Rafe

Did you know that you could commission side stories of Addergoole?  This one is commissioned by Wyste, and takes place right after Chapter 47.


Shadrach was vomiting in Rafe’s bedroom.

No.  No…  Rafe shook his head sharply.  Up until that — that demon-voice thing had started showing up, he’d been doing better.  His Kept was, despite looking like Shad, despite sounding like Shad, a younger, quieter, more controlled version of Shad.

More controlled, because he was wearing Rafe’s collar.  More controlled, because Rafe was going to make sure this Shadrach understood exactly what Keeping was like.

If he understood, he might never flip out and start cutting his own Kept.  He might never lock his own Kept in the closet.  He might never give his own Kept conflicting orders. Continue reading

Chapter 51: Abednego

Wednesday, March 7, 2001

He felt like someone had cut his strings.

Worse.  He felt like someone had shown him that he had a bunch of strings and a video of him being pulled around, and then dropped all the handles on the ground.

Worse still, Joff was mad at Rafe – no, furious –  and had been alternately yelling at him and ignoring him for days, which made Eris on edge which meant half the furniture in the common room was broken and meant that Rafe was spending most of his time wandering around looking like a kicked puppy. Continue reading

Chapter 47: Abednego

Sunday, February 18, 2001

Rafe was being… strange.

Abednego wondered if he had been someone different, not his brothers’ sibling, if maybe Rafe might have been like this from the beginning.

The first day after the demon attacking Rafe had been awful.  Rafe wouldn’t look at Abednego, he wouldn’t touch him, wouldn’t let him talk.  It took him until after Abedngeo’s first class to even realize there was a silence order – and there had to be, although Abednego couldn’t remember getting one – and at that point he’d only changed it to “you can talk when the teachers talk to you.”

But today, he was… well, strange.  He had sat down next to Abednego and brushed his hair, fed him with his own hand, showered him and tucked him into bed next to him, both of them naked. Continue reading

Chapter 43: Abednego

Monday, February 5, 2001

Abednego woke from a nightmare to find himself awash the the particular sick feeling of bond-guilt.  How the hell had he managed to do something wrong while he was sleeping?

Oh. Rafe’s hand was on his shoulder and his face was… unpleasant.  “You were making noise in your sleep.”

It had to have been pretty bad to wake Rafe up from across the room. “I-”  The words didn’t come out.

“You were talking about Meshach.”  Rafe’s voice was quiet.  It wasn’t a good sound  It felt dangerous.  Abednego moved back, but Rafe’s hand on his shoulder was holding him more firmly than he thought.  “You were talking about being sorry. What were you sorry for?”

Abednego opened his mouth.  Nothing came out.  What –  He swallowed and tried not to freak out. He couldn’t talk.  He could barely move.  He was dying oh, god this was how he was going to-

“Answer me!”

Abednego squeaked, and even that made no noise.  He bowed down in front of Rafe, prostrated himself and whimpered without sound.  He didn’t know how to answer without words.  He didn’t know even what he was supposed to answer.

Sorry.  What had he been sorry for?

“What are you?  No.  Get off.  I’m not – fuck.  Fuck, do you know how much time I spent in that position?”

He didn’t, but he had an idea.  He didn’t move.  He keened soundlessly.  The feeling of failed orders was getting to be familiar, like the pain the time he’d broken his leg, running from his brothers up in the hills near their house.  It had hurt him until Dr. Caitrin had run her hand over it, murmuring soft words to herself.  

He’d take the leg pain back, even the broken leg back.  At least Meshach and Shadrach had never stabbed right into his brain.

Get off wasn’t even’ something he could obey; he wasn’t on anything.  He scooted back a couple inches and stayed in that position, forehead on the carpet.  At least when he was like that, Rafe didn’t tend to ignore him.

There was a hand on his collar.  He could handle that.  He could — the hand was pulling backwards, that wasn’t as good. He moved with the pull, not letting himself quite get choked on the metal against his throat.

“You don’t get to remind me of him.  That’s not the point.  You don’t get to tell me how I’m supposed to be, that I’m a bad Kept.  I know that, all right?  I was a bad Kept. I was a bad friend.  That’s why we’re doing this. That’s why—”

“Kneel.”

The voice came out of nowhere.  It was a female voice, not one Abednego recognized.  The demon again? 

Then he wasn’t paying attention to anything else, because Rafe was kneeling.  His boss was trembling and kneeling, forehead to the ground.

Abednego looked at Rafe and then tried to look anywhere else.  He couldn’t be seeing this.  He still couldn’t tell Rafe what he was sorry for; couldn’t tell Rafe anything.

“You’re not supposed to talk back to me.  You know better.  You know you’re not supposed to growl, little puppy.  You’re not supposed to snarl at me.  You’re not supposed to talk about other people’s Kept unless I ask you a question. Remember?”

Rafe whined.  “She was in pain! I saw her bleeding!”

“She can take it, can’t she?  She can take all of it.  And you—”

Another voice.  This was Rafe, but not the Rafe in front of him.

“Please, mistress, I think he’s really hurting her.  I think he made me really hurt her, and —”

Rafe-on-the-floor whined.  The sound of a slap reverberated across the room.

Stop it! Abednego tried to shout,  but nothing came out.  Leave him alone!

“Help me?” Rafe whimpered.  The real one. The one in the air, the invisible one, just said I’m sorry, mistress, I’m sorry, but she-”

“She is not your concern.  And I will punish you if you forget that again.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, mistress-”

“Help me?”

Cautiously, not sure if it was a good idea or a bad idea, Abednego reached out and stroked Rafe’s hair.  

“You should know by now, if Meshach tells you do do something, you do it without question and without complaint.  If he told you to kill her, I’d expect you to wash the blood off your hands and come kneel before me, ready to serve me, do you understand?  You do what he tells you.  What both of them tell you to do.”

“Yes, mistress, but… It’s just…”

The voice in the air was still fighting.  Abednego wondered if Rafe had been that new, that fresh, or if he had been pushing that hard against the orders because he cared about something. He winced anyway, worried about what was coming.

There was no slap this time.  The voice was very quiet and very dangerous.  “Go get the blade.”

“Mistress?”

“Enough!”  Abednego didn’t know how he’d spoken.  He pushed his forehead down on the ground the minute he’d spoken.

“There has to be a limit,” said another voice.  Eris?  It sounded something like Eris, but choked.  “Seriously, at some point you have to pull yourself out of it and say ‘no, really, what am I doing?”

Abednego struggled again against the silence pushing down on him.  “He’s not,” he didn’t say, but mouthed.  “He’s…”  It was too much.  Sobs raked his body.  

“You know,” Eris’ voice continued, in a conversational tone, “at some point I wondered how much a body could take.  Conflicting orders, impossible orders, praise and punishment and everything.  I suppose I learned.  I suppose you learned, too.”

“I didn’t do it!”  Both Rafes spoke at once.  “I didn’t mean to do it.  I didn’t want to.  I tried not to, I tried to – oh,  fuck, Eris, I’m sorry.  Meshach, Shadrach, stop, stop!”

He was shouting.  Abednego couldn’t make himself any smaller, not without Workings, but he tried.  Tlacatl, body, was one of his best Words, maybe if he thought hard enough – he couldn’t do the shape word at all by maybe, urm, Transmute?  Control?  Maybe he could turn himself invisible or just tiny. Tlacatl, Tlacatl, he thought, but he didn’t even know what verb he could try.

“I would be quiet if I could, you know.”  This voice was male.  Begging.  Not a voice Abednego recognized.  “Silent.  Invisible.”

Was the thing reading his mind?

What was the thing trying to do?

“You’re never going to be quiet enough unless you stop existing.  You know that, don’t you?  You’re obnoxious, you’re irritating, and you smell funny.”

Rafe twitched and shuddered.  Stop it!  Abednego tried, but he couldn’t make himself talk again.

“Stop it!” Rafe shouted. “It’s not like I don’t remember.  It’s not like I don’t know  what they were like!”

The voice was suddenly quiet, female, and strange. “Who’s talking about them?”

The air pressure changed, as if a storm had just rolled in.  Abednego found himself being held by Rafe, hands petting his hair. “It’s over,” Rafe kept repeating. “It’s over.”