He hadn't mean to piss off the commandant, though honestly, who was Raven kidding; watching the bastard's face turn purple with rage gave him the utmost satisfaction, even when his back hit the cobblestone wall and Alexei's hand were on him, gripping him tight, tearing his guild shirt off to get at the steady glow. At least, for a while when Raven's conscious enough to derive pleasure from it, smirk with the fact that he still has that ability when Alexei unbuttons his pants, he still has a will of his own, it's enough for Raven to acknowledge that he hasn't lost everything, and if he has, he can filch it away.
He's dark shadows dark blood soaked hair dark thoughts a jumble in his dark, rank room that smells like iron and wetness, and it's unsurprising, really, to find that the smell has invaded even the lighter parts of his companion. Alexei's long gone, castaway into the murky unknown, off collecting hearts and soldiers for toys while he's left to clean up the mess he's made, nurse what undoubtedly must be a broken rib and several black bruises on his thighs. The commandant never did known how to be gentle, though he doesn't care.
Yeager is white light skin and shining silver hair on the side of the bed, looking just the same for wear; Raven feels the impassioned inadequacy even before his heart threatens to go out, blue gem light shaking in the cavities of his chest where a heartbeat should be pumping, threatening to swallow him whole because he can feel the blood racing in his ears, pounding against his skull, threatening to burst because there is a driving need when he glances at the man with a heart like his own.
And then, suddenly, he's dead. Again. And again. And again. Back in the rank rooms of his rebirth, covered head to toe in bandages and Alexei's composure is gone with the wind, hands working furiously at the formula shining in his face. Yeager's scrambling awake on his cold metal table, eyes wide and horrified when Raven finally thrashes over on his side and vomits blood on the chilled stone floor below, not moving again even when the commandant slaps him across the face, and he can taste blood, even though he shouldn't.
Because dying once could never be enough, he has to go through it again.
He knows the inadequacy like the ugly whirring of the blastia in his wound, he feels the twists in his spine and the lips upon his nape and the heavy weight upon his chest when he finally wakes, Yeager pressing down, knee precariously close to his groin, and uttering an excuse that he's only doing what he's been told, he doesn't actually giveadamn, but Raven doesn't care, because oddly enough, Yeager makes him feel alive again—and not the type of alive that comes with being a tool.
They're so pathetic, just sock puppets with nowhere to go, Raven loses himself in the mewling in his ear, the rhythm of hips rocking him against the mattress, unsure how to stop from losing himself when their blastia meet, even though he wants it too, and suddenly, they're both a combination of sparks, of a deep purple light illuminating the room, and he's forced to close his eyes against this dark world he's been reborn into. It's always the same. They're the same, remade from a corpse into something new again, able to feel the intoxication in their bones and in the loud whirring as their blastia threaten to kill them both, except when they're not.
Reborn again into a life neither wants but can't let go of. They make the most it with the promise of each other.
The inadequacy always threatens them both, but in the moments where they lose themselves in the bitterness, hot and flushed with a desire for existence, skin salty sweaty and slick and muscles sore and aching, they aren't anyone's dogs beneath the sheets. They're in control, living for themselves, not one with the other but a complete half of a whole nonetheless. It's twisted, it's not okay, but they won't be denied.