Damian was in a pissy mood. (Okay, well some of this is conjecture, but just bear with me here.) He was in a pissy mood because, not only had he been kidnapped, he had also been stuck in some room that was nearly unbearably bright. His eyes hurt from the white walls and the long florescent lights that not only lined the ceiling but were also placed under the glass tiles of the floor. There wasn’t a single shadow in this large room; a rather impressive feat, really. Even so, it was not one Damian was enjoying. He itched to test out his shadow powers in helping him escape this room, but his kidnapper had apparently planned for that. Damian gave his signature scowl and crossed his arms.
There was a bench pushed against the wall, lined on the bottom with LEDs, and a bed opposite it, outfitted in the same way. A door led to a very small, also very bright bathroom. There were no windows, and the air vent on the ceiling was welded shut.
Damian took a seat on the bench, figuring sooner or later someone would arrive to torture him or whatnot to get at the trade secrets Baxel had bestowed upon him. Little did his kidnapper know that besides showing off, Baxel had told him next to nothing. And, not only that, but Damian couldn’t spill the secrets, because that would go against the shadow promise he’d made, and he would die. So this whole kidnapping business was really rather tedious and pointless.
It took about ten minutes before the closed door to the room opened. Damian jumped up, positioning himself in such a way where if it came to a fight, he could use the bench to do some fancy maneuver that I honestly can’t remember the name of. An annoyingly handsome man walked in, his white suit carefully tailored and his golden hair irritatingly styled to perfection. Something about him instantly grated at Damian, though he couldn’t put his finger on it at first. And then, he spoke.
“Damian, so good to see you alive,” the man said, smiling a contained smile that seemed a bit forced.
Damian didn’t immediately reply. He was too busy trying to figure out why that voice sounded familiar. It was different from Baxel’s - smoother, more beguiling - but it still seemed like something he’d heard before… quite a long time ago… Speaking of Baxel, this man resembled him incredibly closely as far as looks went. Warily, Damian asked,“Who are you?”
“My name is Sirio,” Sirio said, casually moving further into the room, his hands in his pockets. “I’m an angel. I was sent to rescue you from that demon.”
Still in his defensive position, Damian didn’t respond. He couldn’t shake the feeling that Sirio’s voice was tied to something inherently evil, dark.
“Come now, Damian. You can relax. I’m not going to hurt you,” Sirio said, spreading his hands, palms up.
Slowly, Damian straightened from his position. And then it hit him. I’m not going to hurt you. Those words - he’d heard them before. I’m not going to hurt you. And, just then, Damian knew exactly where.
It was as if a haze had been lifted off of Damian’s brain. There was a reason Baxel had put him on edge when they first met. It wasn’t that he was an inherently threatening demon who was incredibly handsome and intimidating; no, it was because he looked vaguely familiar, but the memory his face was attached to was buried so deeply in Damian’s mind that he hadn’t made the association. It wasn’t surprising that he hadn’t. After all, the red skin and longer black hair differentiated Baxel’s appearance from Sirio’s quite a lot. Once Sirio began to speak, however, it all came flooding back.
Damian remembered then, that night when his parents had left the house, walking into the forest in the dark. He remembered how he and Taryn had been playing spy earlier, and were still in the mood. She convinced him that they should follow their parents outside, deep into the woods where they watched their parents meet with a man whom Damian could only get a glimpse of in the dark. It wasn’t his face that Damian remembered best; it was his voice saying, “I’m not going to hurt you” right before a brilliant flash of light shattered the darkness and Damian’s mom and dad fell, lifeless, to the cold forest floor. He remembered it all, and there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that the man standing in front of him now was the same as the one in the forest so many years ago.
During the time it took Damian to make all of these connections in his mind, Sirio had been talking.
“Blah, blah blah, rescued you, blah, blah, blah, that idiot Baxel, blah, blah, blah, righteous nonsense,” Sirio was saying. Damian finally snapped back to the present in time to hear him say, “In short, I was hoping that, to make up for what that demon put you through - and, yes, you do have a right to be angry,” Sirio said, seeing the look on Damian’s face. Damian quickly forced his features back to neutral, at least until he could come up with a plan to get out of here. Anger did not lead to clear-headed thought, or so his training had informed him.
Sirio continued, “I was hoping that you would accept the position of my apprentice. I’m sure Baxel had you dabbling in all sorts of dark magic, but you don’t want to get involved with that. I have the permission of the GITS to take you under my wing, per se,” he said, smiling smugly at his own pun, “and train you in Light magic. These are secrets I have not shared with any human in years, but I am willing to share them with you. What do you say?”
Damian’s first instinct was to say no on principle; after all, this was the man he’d been channeling his hate at all his life. Even so, Damian was no fool. He’d been trained for situations like these. He’d been trained to ignore his emotions, to keep them under control, and to logically think through things. Granted, his training didn’t always stick with him, but this time he forced it to. He was going to get revenge on this douchebag, and he was going to do it right.
“Can I have a few minutes to think about it?” Damian asked.
Sirio smiled again, never showing teeth, just a stretch of the lips. It was unnerving. “Of course. I’ll leave you to your thoughts for a while.” He headed for the door, then paused. “Oh, and if you need anything, just press the button on the wall and one of my assistants will be down to help you immediately. I apologize for putting you in this room, but in order to ensure that Baxel doesn’t kidnap you again, precautions must be taken. You understand.”
Damian managed a curt nod and kept his composure until Sirio stepped from the room and the door closed behind him. Then, he let out the tension he’d been holding in his limbs, instead, directing every bit of anger he had into his balled fists. Still, Damian realized that if Baxel could see everything through the shadows, it logically followed that an angel with Light powers could see everything through light. He couldn’t express his emotions, not here. Not with lights surrounding every inch of the room.
Instead, Damian sat down on the bench and put his head in his hands. Surely that wouldn’t look the least but suspicious, especially after the day he’d just had. After taking a few deep breaths, Damian deemed himself calm enough to think. He ran through everything he knew, trying to make sense of what was happening.
He knew that he hated Baxel. (Which was ridiculous, of course. I’m awesome. But whatever, I’ll shut up now.) He also knew that his sister was still in a shadow coma or whatever and Baxel was the only one with the skill or knowledge to save her. And then there was Sirio. Sirio who looked a lot like Baxel, had killed Damian’s parents, and who now wanted to train him in Light magic for no reason other than the apparent goodness of his heart. To Damian, that sounded suspicious.
Either way, Damian had the sneaking suspicion that he wouldn’t just be allowed to walk out of here if he wanted to. Sure, Sirio said that the impeccably lit room was to keep Baxel out, but Damian couldn’t help but think that maybe it was also serving to keep him in. After all, Sirio clearly knew that Baxel had been training him in shadow control, and he couldn’t very well just let Damian have access to those powers now. Letting Damian return to the life he knew with that extra knowledge was bound to be just as risky in Sirio’s eyes. No, Damian knew he was stuck here, whether he accepted Sirio’s offer or not.
But then there was the matter of Damian’s promise to Baxel. By joining Sirio, he’d be betraying Baxel, at which point he would drop over dead or be taken by shadows and kill his loved ones or whatever it was that was supposed to happen exactly. (It was gruesome and horrific, I promise.) So, even if he had wanted to say yes to Sirio, he couldn’t. Not that it mattered, really. Damian didn’t want to join him, not even a little. The vitriolic hatred he harbored for Sirio combined with the fact that he needed Baxel in order to be able to save his sister meant that there was only one possibility here: escape and return to Baxel, whose hold on him wasn’t nearly as weak as a simple room.
All that was left to consider was how exactly to go about this. Damian took stock of what he had to work with - both in terms of skills and materials. He had a pocket knife in his jacket, but that was it in terms of weapons. The room he was in was barren, save for the bench on which he sat and a shit ton of lights; neither of which was much help. Damian was good at hand to hand combat, and he knew it, but the chances of him even getting close enough to Sirio without being overpowered by some Light trick were incredibly slim. With a sigh, Damian realized what he had to do.
Damian didn’t have to wait long for another knock on the door. “Come in,” he said, just to feel like he had some semblance of control.
When Sirio stepped inside, Damian made his move. He took a deep breath, shook the tension out of his hands, steadied himself, and-
Offered his hand to Sirio. “I’ll join you.”
Smiling genuinely this time, Sirio accepted the handshake. Damian forced himself not to cringe. “You have no idea how glad I am to hear that. I look forward to getting to know you, Damian. I can tell we’re going to make a good pair.”
That very nearly made Damian nauseous. He prayed to whatever god there might be that, since he was staying loyal to Baxel by double-crossing Sirio, his intentions would be taken into account when it came to the promise he’d made. He really didn’t want to be eaten by shadows and worn as a costume.
Sirio rubbed his palms together. “Well, there’s no time to waste. Shall we get started?”