This is their life now; blood, sweat, death and cries for mercy. It’s the only thing left to them, the only path that they saw before them, because Galbatorix must pay for what he’s done to them. Their dragons are dead, dead and gone. They’re alone but for each other, and together they only have one whole soul between them, and it’s a dark, twisted thing.
The bastard laughed. He laughed. It shouldn’t have surprised either of them, but it does. Galbatorix had become steadily more insane over the years, quicker to perceive sedition where it wasn’t. He made examples left and right. This was just the latest in a long line.
“You know,” the bastard says, smiling a secret smile, “that I was going to make the two you my sons?”
The sentence doesn’t even make sense to either of them, but that isn’t a surprise. Nothing the king does makes sense anymore. Least of all what he’s doing now.
He has their dragons trussed up like wild hogs. It hadn’t been easy for him to acquire the four of them; the dragons alone had nearly killed him with their combined strength. Shruikan is the only reason he’s still alive. They had all fought tooth and claw against him, but it hadn’t mattered in the end. They were all caught, and there was nothing they could do about it, any of them. There is magic binding the four of them in a way that none of them can get away. He’s more powerful than all of them combined.
“I was going to make you my sons,” he repeats. “But then you plotted against me. How could you do that?”
They don’t say anything, can’t, not with the magic gagging them. But if they could, he wouldn’t like the answer they would give him. Which was because you’re insane. He didn’t believe that, didn’t believe that there was anything wrong with him. The loss of his dragon had broken him. And now he was going to break them into pieces.
“You’ll pay for this,” he informs them, twisting his staff between his fingers. “Watch.”
He raises the staff and then –
Half their souls are ripped away.
Each other is all they have in the world anymore. Blood ties them together, but it’s deeper than that. They know each other’s loss, know the feeling of having your soul rended in two. Neither of them know how Brom stood it, how he handled the loss without going insane. They sure didn’t.
They fuck, because it reminds them they’re alive. Blood, sweat and death cling to them like a second skin, nothing they can wash off. The fucking lets them forget for a little while. It’s hard and rough, all biting kisses, calluses dragging rough along scars and leaving bruises. They don’t bother with preparation, because what would be the point? This is supposed to hurt. Life hurts. Their lives weren’t supposed to be this way, and they both dream of what it would have been like, both of them shining icons ushering in a new era of peace.
They’re still going to do that, but not the way anyone planned. The humans cower in fear of them, Varden or no, the Dwarves have locked themselves deep in their mountains, and the Elves…the Elves has warded themselves in their forest, hiding away like they had after the last war. Nothing can stand in their way anymore. Not even the bastard who took half their souls from them.
They’re working their way through his armies, no thought left in their heads of innocents or people who don’t deserve to die, people who Galbatorix had lied to. If they’re allied with him, they deserve death. They’ve cut a good swath through his armies so far, and they’ll make it to the bastard eventually. They’re taking their time doing it, because they’ve made him afraid – really afraid, because they have nothing left to lose, and everything to gain with his death.
The best that can be said of them is that they won’t live forever, that their empire of blood will die with them and the world can go back to the way it was. The dragons are gone, gone forever this time. Galbatorix had killed the last breeding pair, the egg destroyed in his rage to prevent one of them from reacquiring a dragon like he did. They wouldn’t have wanted to even if they could have – it would have been anathema. It would have dishonored the memories of Thorn and Saphira. And memories are all they have left.
But now there is a race of Alagaesia wiped off the face of the world, and this time the dragons won’t be coming back, ever. But the humans and the elves and the dwarves are going to be free, soon. Eventually. The elves and the dwarves will be free soon, at least. The humans will have to deal with them for a while yet. And yet – they can’t be any worse than the bastard on the throne now. At least they aren’t insane. Not very.
But they don’t really care about the rest of the world anymore. They just want to make the bastard who ripped them apart pay. No more rules, no more morals, no more voice inside their minds telling them what’s right and wrong. Nothing like that matters anymore. Nothing but vengeance. They dream sometimes, of voices telling them that they need to stop, that this isn’t what they’re meant for. They ignore it. If they had time, they would hunt down whoever was trying to stop them and kill them, but what they’re doing now is too important.
This is what they’re meant for, their real destiny. Perfect killing machines, twin lights of darkness. Tied together by blood and circumstance. They’ve been left on their own by the world, been ripped away from everything they loved. The bastard who did this to them would pay, and the whole of the world between the bastard and them too. Because life doesn’t matter anymore. It can’t, because their souls are riven and broken.
All that’s left for them is their shared blood.
It isn’t enough. It’ll never be enough.