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Sorry if this isn't that great; I was having a really bad day.

Title: Another Word for Madness
Universe: Wind & Foxes
Characters, pairings: Kivran/Reian
Rating: PG
Warnings: mentions of suicide
Word count: 666 (the devil's story!)
Summary: Kivran doesn't wish to live without his man, is predictably dramatic.
Notes: Written for [community profile] origfic_bingo, for the prompt "insanity". Oh, and I forgot to mention, at the time of this story, Reian is around 15 and Kivran is probably about 17.



They called it the gods touching your eyes. With no warning or chance of reversal, the world changed. You would never be at ease again. Suddenly, you could see colors you never saw before. Music sounded sweeter. The Sun shone brighter, the night's darkest hour became darker, and every emotion, from joy to sorrow, grew more keen. When the gods touched your eyes, it sharpened the blade of your feelings, and from then on, every time it struck, it made a wound. That was why love was another word for madness.

Only one in love knew what the gods felt every moment. Their spirits were brighter, much greater than the spirits of humans, yet love made humans a little more like the gods. Humans weren't meant to be godlike. It was too much for them. It affected their minds. That was why, among the people of the world, sorcerers and shamans and prophets were the most likely to go mad.

Sorcerers, shamans, prophets, and people in love.

Kivran knew he had gone mad. Every time he looked at Reian, he knew it. His eyes no longer saw the same world. He was not sane. He kissed Reian's skin, he bit his throat, and skin had never tasted that way before, both so bitter and so sweet. His country boy was like a god--he had come from nowhere. He had a name that came from legend, and the sound of his voice was as liquid in his mouth as a river. When Reian came to him, the sky opened up and the stars fell out of it.

When Reian wanted to leave him, Kivran knew he had never felt a pain so deep and never would again. What could he say about that pain? There was nothing on earth to compare it to. There was only one thing to do.

"Take my life, then," Kivran told his lover, smiling, offering the knife for the task.

Reian eyed the knife as if it were a viper. "No, Kivran, I won't."

"It's my right to ask it of you. The gods touched my eyes." It was an old custom, and one rarely practiced, but Kivran knew what he wanted.

"It's my right to refuse you," said Reian.

As rare as it was for this right to be invoked, it was far more rare for the suppliant to be refused. "Do this for me. Please. It's kind."

"I don't think love is worth dying for."

"Because you've never been in love," Kivran told him.

Reian didn't disagree with him on that count, and it stung. "That doesn't matter. Kivran, I would never kill someone, least of all you."

"It's tradition."

"I don't care about tradition."

Reian didn't know what it felt like to have a fire behind your eyes, to have swallowed the Moon whole. It wasn't his place to say. "I'll do it myself." He held the knife. It was sharp and bright. He had the strength, and he knew how to strike. He could end it easily, drive the bright blade in deep, summon the dark blood.

Reian said nothing and held his gaze.

Suicide would shame his tribe. Maybe he wasn't mad enough to do what was needed. No, he was Kivran of Saraak. Ordinarily, there was nothing he would hesitate to do. His father had a great many sons and would forgive him. He would have plunged the knife in with masculine vigor, but Reian was watching him closely. His gray eyes: that's where the stars had hidden after they'd fallen from the sky. Reian would hate to see his body crumple, would hate to watch the blood drain from his body, Reian, the boy who would never kill anyone.

Kivran was just mad enough with love to swear, I'll keep the pain. He doesn't want to see me die. He sheathed his knife, because he was a damned romantic fool.

"I knew you wouldn't," said Reian, later.

But he didn't know why.
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