113 A Bloody Bath*
Rassa had returned immediately to the apartment. He couldn't help but feel so dirty, so disgusted by himself and his actions. He needed a bath, a bath would help.
At least he hoped it would.
The apartment was still empty, no doubt Ebony and Aegin were out eating their dinner. Thanks to his speed, it only took a short time for Rassa to cart the required water up and into the large tub, heating it took longer though, and he found himself climbing into the cold water in a desperate attempt to rid himself of what he was feeling.
He took the bar of soap that Ebony had brought. She'd insisted despite Rassa and Aegin informing her it wasn't needed. Now he was glad she'd done so as he used it to start scrubbing at his skin.
He scrubbed and scrubbed at every part of his body, but the feeling of uncleanliness, of disgust, it never faded. He rubbed his skin raw and it was still there. He growled in annoyance, throwing the soap at the wall where is splattered and Rassa watched as it turned to blood. Instead of a wall it was the boy Aaron as he was skewered with the sword Rassa had parried. Then it was his father then his mother, then his friends.
Rassa yelled, covering his eyes and rubbing them.
Your fault, it was your fault. The blood is on your hands, it always was and it always will be.
His eyes opened, and he found his hands covered in blood, the bath tub filled with the stuff. His breathing accelerated as he panicking, wiping at his hands, trying to get it off.
He didn't mean it. It wasn't on purpose. He was just protecting them.
But you enjoyed it.
You did and you know. You enjoyed it just as much as you enjoyed slaughtering those in the cave, at Fountain Ridge, in Cordon. You enjoy it every time yet you continue to deny it.
I don't, I don't enjoy it. It's not me.
His movements became desperate as he rubbed at the blood on his hands, his claws extending in his panic and shredding at his skin.
It laughed at him, that dark and chilling voice. He scrubbed harder.
"It's not me. I didn't do it. It's not my fault".
His words repeated desperately as he willed them into existence. He felt someone grab at his arm and he registered another set of hands there, but he threw them off, his claws recklessly slashing at flesh that was far easier to cut through.
"Get it off, get it off, get it off!"
"Rassa!" shouted a voice that cut through Rassa's desperation in seconds. He froze, and the hands once again fell onto his own arms, desperately trying to stop Rassa's actions. Rassa registered the smell of blood, blood that wasn't his own. the reality sunk in. The blood hadn't been there before. He'd imagined it. But now...
Rassa looked up at Aegin's violet eyes as they looked at Rassa desperately.
"Calm down, Rassa, you need to stop hurting yourself," Aegin said clearly.
Rassa looked for a long time at Aegin. Why was he insisting that? Didn't Rassa deserve it? After what he'd done? He was a plague on this world. If he was allowed to roam free then...his eyes glanced down at Aegin's arms where long gashes had cut into the back of his hands and forearms. no doubt caused by Rassa's claws.
"I hurt you..." Rassa said, "Just like I hurt everyone. You should leave, Aegin. You and Ebony both. You'll just end up dead if you stay beside me".
Aegin released a breath, as if he'd been waiting for Rassa to say something, anything. He didn't even seem affected by Rassa's words.
"I'm being serious".
"I know you are," Aegin replied as he slowly let go of Rassa's arms, flinching as the pain of the cuts seemed to hit him, "But if I took every serious thing you said the same way as everyone else, do you think I'd still be here?"
"You'll get yourself killed," Rassa insisted.
"That's my choice to make," Aegin said, "Just as its yours to decide what you want to do with your life".
He looked at his arms, as if deciding whether to take care of the wounds now or talk to Rassa first. Rassa sighed, making the decision for him as he grabbed one of Aegin's arms and brought it to his mouth, licking the wounds to close them over.
"Okay...that's gross," Aegin said awkwardly.
"I caused the problem, least I can do is fix it," Rassa replied.
"By licking me?" asked Aegin.
Rassa leaned back slightly, and Aegin watched as the wounds Rassa had made on his arms began to knit themselves back together.
"My saliva heals things," Rassa said.
"No kidding," Aegin said as he felt the pain drain away, a strange itch forming on his arms as his wounds knitted back together until there was nothing left.
Rassa dropped the first arm, holding his hand out for Aegin's other arm. Aegin frowned, then handed it over reluctantly, "It's still weird".
"It could be weirder," Rassa replied.
"What? Do I taste..."
Rassa's look confirmed Aegin's thoughts and Aegin shivered, "Ew".
"Tastes better than what I had earlier," Rassa admitted.
Aegin sighed as Rassa dropped his other arm, trying to ignore the itching feeling as his skin healed over. Rassa pulled his legs close to his chest as he sat in the bathtub, resting his chin on his knees.
"You gonna tell me, or are we going to go back to silence and brooding?" asked Aegin, "Cause I really thought we had a connection then, you know, with the licking and all..."
Rassa's lips curled into a smile as he looked over at Aegin.
"You gonna sit there while I'm having a bath then?" asked Rassa.
Aegin sighed, "Way to ruin the mood, I'll wait outside".
Rassa listened as Aegin walked to the door, then paused, "Whatever it is, Rassa. Please don't hurt yourself over it. You've been through enough pain, and you promised to be free of it, so don't go back on your word".
Rassa remained silent as Aegin left the room, then leaned his head back, looking at the roof above his head before he turned his head slightly to look out of the window at where the moon was rising, the stars shimmering around it.
A few minutes of peace. That was what the moon and stars brought him. A few minutes where he didn't have to worry about being discovered, or losing control and hurting those he cared about. The moon and the stars, if anything, they seemed to be the world he desired to be in more than anything else. But up there, high in the night sky, they weren't alone in their plight. They had others that shared their traits. But him?
Rassa sighed and climbed out of the bath, drying and dressing himself before heading towards the door.