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The Prince And The Danseur

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      Viktor used to be the crown prince of Moscava, the heir of the powerful and centuries old Nikiforova Dynasty, and now he was forced to kneel beside the throne that his father used to sit upon, the throne that was supposed to be his. All because of Him, his so-called husband, the new king of Moscava. Kievan was a cruel man who had invaded his kingdom a few months prior and forced Viktor into a bond. The horrendous man had claimed that since Viktor was an Omega he couldn’t possibly rule efficiently, despite the fact that several Nikiforova Omegas had ruled in the past, and since Kievan himself was a strong Alpha that he should take over the ruling, on behalf of his husband. It was a half-hearted sham at best, and the majority of the kingdom knew it, but Kievan ruled by right of conquest, having devastated the Moscavan army in his initial attack.

      Now all Viktor could do was obey “his” Alpha, because even though the mating wouldn’t fully take root until Viktor was with child, due to he and Kievan being such a poor match, Kievan had threatened him into obedience. He held Viktor’s sweet little brother, young Prince Yura, hostage somewhere within the castle. He had refused to let Viktor see the boy, but Viktor new he was somewhere near their own rooms because he could here the young boys sobs in the middle of the night. Or maybe Viktor was merely going crazy. Either way, He had always threatened that should Viktor not obey him, or produce him an heir in a timely manner, than he would merely have to put Viktor aside and take his brother to wife instead. His brother, who was only eight-years-old, who was almost like Viktor’s own babe.

      So Viktor complied with the madman, he had no choice. His kingdom lay in ruins around him, his father was dead, and his only ally was not nearly powerful enough to oppose the monster who raped him every night. So he knelt beside his own thrown as the monster sat upon it. He was repeatedly humiliated and abused in front of members of his own former court, but he never lost his dignity. No matter what his “husband” did to him he held his head up high, and he waited for the day he could smuggle his brother out of the country. After all, he had nothing left.

      Or so he had thought. On one unusually sunny day nearly two moths after he lost his crown, he knelt next to the throne as the Mummer King held court. He had assumed it to be another long and agonizing day, full of the abuses he had been growing almost accustomed to, but it was anything but. Halfway through the day, a commotion began in the throne room. The large and heavy doors of the throne room had been thrown open by men in heavy armor, men who were clearly Kievan’s men, who were clearly in a state of panic. Noble men and women alike fled to the wings of the room to make way for the frantic soldiers, but they all continued to watch like vultures watched dying prey.

      Kievan was clearly perturbed by this undignified display, and angrily demanded, “What is the meaning of this?”

      “Your Majesty,” one of the men gasped out, “We are under attack.”

      The room fell into a panic. The factions of Kievan’s court were clearly frightened whereas the factions of Viktor’s were clearly enraged. Another invasion? And so soon after the first? It was a bit upsetting. Kievan sprung from the throne and began barking orders at his men, calling for the castle to preparing for a siege. In the chaos Viktor saw his chance. As the nobles began to flee, running about like headless chickens, there was just enough distraction for him to slip out of the throne room unnoticed. Or at least, he thought it would be unnoticeable. Fortunately for him the only person who witnessed his flight was one of his most trusted advisors, and his faithful spymaster, Lady Mila of House Baba. She quickly grabbed his arm and leaned in to whisper into his ear, “Behind the bookcase, grab the copy of ‘The Prince and the Danseur’.”

      And just like that she was gone. He knew she had known the first place he would have gone, who he would search for, so he had to think quick. ‘The Prince and the Danseur had been his mother’s favorite story, and she read it often to him when he was a child, but the book had been left dormant on the bookshelf in his father’s personal chambers ever since she died. His father’s chambers had become his “husband’s” after his invasion, and where also the chambers Viktor was forced to sleep as well. So that was where he ran, taking the stairs two at a time and artfully dodging soldiers as he went. He couldn’t help but notice that some of the soldiers wore an unfamiliar symbol upon their armor, so it was easy to deduce that the castle had been breached and he didn’t have much time.

      Finally he made it to the king’s chambers, and he quickly bolted the doors behind him. It wouldn’t save him, but it would buy him some time. He quickly ran to the bookshelf, across the room from the bed that was featured in his nightmares, and there he saw it. ‘The Prince and the Danseur’, it’s binding cracked and the looping words fading, and he threw it from the shelf. He loved the book, and it had belonged to his late mother, but there was no time for sentiment, he had to be quick if he wanted to find Yura and escape, if he wanted to survive. There, behind where the book had been, was a handle etched into the wood. Quickly Viktor pulled the handle, and the bookshelf slid away to reveal a door. He immediately went to try the handle, but it merely rattled. It was locked.

      Suddenly Viktor heard muffled sobs, and they were most certainly coming from behind the door. ‘Oh Gods,’ he thought, ‘Yura.’

      “Yura!” Viktor cried, hoping to hear his baby brother’s voice from the other side of the door, “Yura I’m here. I’m going to get you out of there.”

      The crying became loud wailing, and Yura’s little voice cried out “Vitya, help me!”

      Viktor was frantic to free the boy, but the door was locked, and if his “husband” had a drop of intelligence he would keep the key on his person. He quickly scanned the room for something, anything he could use to free Yura, but he couldn’t think. He was panicking, he was running out of time, he was doomed anyway. He had to pull himself together. And suddenly it came to him. His father’s war hammer had been proudly displayed over the mantle for as long as Viktor had been alive, but when Kievan became King of the castle he had removed it, thrown it across the room and laughed at Viktor’s despair. Little did his beloved “husband” know that a servant had not come to collect it along with all his father’s treasures, but as soon as he could Viktor had hidden it under their bed, just in case a time came where he had to forsake his brother and murder a king. And now he could use it to break down the door that kept him from his blood. He scrambled to grab the hammer, and he struggled to lift it. His father was a much stronger man than he was, and nearly two months being forbidden to train in any way had weakened him, but in his desperation he managed.

      “Yura, I need you to move as far away from the door as you can, and when you can’t get any farther you have to cover your face and head with your arms, do you understand?” Viktor commanded in what he hoped was a reassuring tone. Yura whimpered, hiccuping and gasping, but his crying had stopped, “Did you do it Yura?”

      Viktor heard a noise that he recognized as his brothers affirmative. He raised the hammer up the height of his chest, and then used the full momentum of his body to slam the hammer into the door. It dented in with a loud boom, but didn’t give. He hear Yura crying anew, terrified by the noise. He tried again, and the results were the same, not enough. He swung again, sweat dripping down his face and neck, and finally the door gave in. He dropped the as he pulled away the pieces of door and finally, finally his brother was visible to him. The tiny boy was stilled curled in on himself, shaking with fear. He was absolutely filthy, covered in his own mess and blood, his blonde head dulled with grease and dirt, but Viktor didn’t care. He reached out to the boy, fully intending to snatch him up and run, but he was sure that the surprise would do him more harm than good at this point. So instead he gently called out, “Yura.”

      The boy’s head shot up, and his large watery green eyes stared up at Viktor with surprise and hope. Viktor hadn’t realized until than that the boy had been badly beaten, and recently too judging by the still dark bruises that covered his little face. But he couldn’t focus on the boys face for long, because it was soon buried in Viktor’s neck as the boy threw himself in to Viktor’s arms. Viktor couldn’t help himself, and he gave into the temptation to stop his mad dash to freedom to just hold the shaking boy to his chest. He gently shushed and hummed to the boy, hoping that just that was enough to comfort the child because he had nothing else to give. Finally he had to keep going, if he wanted to keep his brother in his arms for a little longer than he’d have to start moving. Gathering the boy completely into his arms he rose from the floor, rushing towards his dresser. He didn’t have much in the way of outdoor clothes, not since his “husband” forbid him from leaving the castle, so he grabbed his heaviest shirt and wrapped it around the boy in his arms. The second heaviest followed until the boy in his arms was a bundle of cloth. Than he went to his “husband’s” wardrobe and pulled out his heaviest cloak. It was too big, and reeked of the odious Alpha, but it would suffice. Yura whimpered when he put it on, and buried his further into the scent gland on Viktor’s neck. He then went into the chest at the foot of the monstrous bed and began frantically searching for the gold he knew Mila would have hidden away, until he finally found it hidden under his wedding cloak. He had nearly hesitated to touch the damn thing, too many bad memories, but he knew he had to. With the pouch of gold secured to his belt he pulled up the hood of his cloak, readjusted Yura in his arms, and slipped out of the room.

      They had managed to avoid any of the active fighting, skirting around skirmishes and utilizing Viktor’s knowledge of the castles secret passageways and the like, and were so close to freedom that Viktor allowed himself to truly believe that this might actually work, that they might be free, when there was a shout from down the corridor, “Hey you, don’t move!”

      Without thinking Viktor broke into a sprint, running away from where the booming voice had come from, and hearing the thunderous pitfalls of the man in armor chasing them. Yura whined softly from his place buried in Viktor’s jugular, and Viktor kept running. Until he ran smack dab into the metal chest of another guard. He fell on his ass and immediately scrambled back towards the secret passageway he had been running to, but the guard was clearly hostile. Viktor recognized him from Kievan’s personal guard.

      “Yura, I need you to run. Take the passageway and find Georgi or Mila, they’ll help you.” Viktor whispered to his little brother. The boy whimpered and shook his head, but Viktor forced him to stand on his two bare little feet and pushed him behind him, towards the passageway. The guard advanced quicker now, the other guard had almost caught up with them now. Viktor shot Yura a look, filled with desperation and intent, and then rushed the first guard. The element of surprise was the only reason he was able to gain the upper hand on the larger man, and he tried to wrestle the man’s sword out of is hands. It didn’t work of course, as the second guard had come up behind him and bashed his head. Viktor collapsed, dazed but still conscious enough to understand the guards above him.

      “Fuck, the King will not be pleased that we almost let his Omega get away.”

      “At least we captured him, the brat is free to.”

      “Shit, he went that way?”

      “I lost sight of him.”

      “Gods damn it”

      Suddenly Viktor’s head was being forcibly yanked up by his hair. He cried out in pain, trying to send out distressed Omega scent to get them to stop, but it only seemed to please them more, just like their king.

      “Little dove, where’d you send the baby bird off to? You know bad things happen to baby birds who fly from the nest too early.” Kievan’s guard purred, turned on by Viktor’s distress. Viktor just glared at him, spitting in his face.

      The guard lashed out in anger, striking Viktor across the face harshly. The first guard laughed, and Kievan’s guard turned his ire towards him. “Help me get him up you rat bastard, we’re taking him to the King.”

      “I’m afraid that’s not an option old friend,” called another, more cheerful voice from down the corridor. Kievan’s guard growled loudly at the new voice, but Viktor couldn’t bring himself to look up from the stone floor. His whole world was spinning and it was all he could do to keep the voices straight, if he added faces to the equation he might just give in to the encroaching darkness.

      “I am not your friend. A man of my status does not befriend exotic whores.” Kievan’s guard growled low, angry now in truth. The other voice laughed.

      “Oh Rooz, you truly never change. Shall we dance?” Suddenly the corridor was filled with the sounds of battle as the two guards descended upon the man who owned the cheeky voice. Viktor knew this was his only chance to escape, but his head was killing him. All he could do was slowly crawl away from the sounds of steel meting steel and towards where he hoped Yura was. Only to find another man blocking his path. A pair of rather large feet appeared in his line of sight, and he forced himself to follow them upwards to the rest of the man they were attached to. He was a large, burly man with skin the color of cream and caramels and long hair pulled away from his face in a tight ponytail. His face was stern and slightly lined, but his eyes were the eyes of a smiling man.

      The man slowly lowered himself until he was crouched in front of Viktor, which also eased the strain in Viktor’s head and neck. The man reached a hesitant hand towards Viktor’s head, and although he telegraphed his movements Viktor couldn’t help but flinch away from him.

      “Don’t,” he whimpered, and to his surprise the large man, clearly an Alpha, pulled back.

      “You most likely have a concussion young man.” The older man began, his voice surprisingly gentle for such a big body. He didn’t attempt to touch Viktor again, but he was clearly assessing him for any other injuries. “You need to see a healer as soon as possible.”

      “Who are you?” Viktor questioned, straining to find any sort of marking or banner on the man’s golden armor, but the only discernible symbol was a rising sun carved above his heart.

      “My name is Celestino, I’m a healer.” He began, a gentle smile spreading across his face, “But I can only assume that you’re more interested in who I’m healing for?”

      Viktor attempted to nod his head, but that caused blinding amounts of pain to spike through it. Celestino scowled, “Don’t do that.”

      Before he could get an answer from the man, they were interrupted by someone clearing their throat further down the hall. Viktor had totally forgotten about the three men fighting, but now that he was a little more aware he realized that the sound of steel meeting steel had long faded. He turned slowly to look and saw another man, one who he assumed was Celestino’s companion based on the pleased look he was sending his way. This man was also unlike any other man that Viktor had ever seen. He was a smaller man with golden skin and coal dark hair, and his smile was open friendly. Had his duel blades not been dripping blood Viktor might have instinctively trusted him. An Omega, his brain whispered.

      “Ciao Ciao, who’s your new friend?” the golden man asked, his voice betraying nothing but good natured curiosity. But Viktor was no fool, he knew that this man had just killed two of Kievan’s best men, he was dangerous.

      “What is your name son?” Celestino pondered, looking at the unnamed man with the sort of fondness that Viktor remembered seeing on the face of his own father.

      “My, my name is Sasha. I work in the, in the laundry.” Viktor stumbled over his words, though in fairness it could be blamed on the head injury.

      “Hmm,” the golden man began, “are you a bastard than?”

      Viktor’s head shot up, causing the room to spin, and Celestino to give the other man a dirty look. “What?”

      “I only ask because you look just like the prince of this castle, so it would make sense if you were related.”

      Viktor knew he was made, his shoulders slumped in defeat. There was no way he would be able to outrun or outfight these two men, not after months of malnutrition and a head injury. It was beginning to look like he would never be free.



      Yura had not wanted to leave his older brother behind, not when he had just got him back, but Viktor had given him no choice. So he ran, frightened and cold, through secret passageways and corridors, hoping to find either a door to the outside or a familiar face, but he found neither. So he kept running, until he couldn’t run anymore. He was too exhausted to continue, he couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten and his head felt like it was full of wool. Turning the corner he was looking for any place he could hide when he ran right into an armored leg. He looked up with abject fear, only to find his worst nightmare had come true. There standing before him in full plate, was Kievan himself, and he looked down at Yura with a rage that he had never seen before. Yura was too scared to run, too scared to move as Kievan reached down to yank him up by his shirt.

      “You,” he spat in to Yuri’s face, “this is all your fault, you and that whore brother of yours.”

      Yura was shaking as Kievan raised his fist, letting out loud keening noises, crying for his brother, when a loud voice boomed from down the corridor, “Put him down, Rul. Your fight is with me.”

      Yuri was tossed to the ground, curling up into a little ball to protect himself, while Kievan laughed cruelly, “Ah Katsuki, you might have chased me down, but you can’t defeat me in single combat. You’re nothing but a scared little boy, wanting to regain his sister’s honor.”

      “Unluckily for you,” the other man inflected, “I’ve been practicing.”

      Steel met steel as the men clashed, and Yuri finally managed to get a look at the strange man. He was dressed in a type of armor that Yuri had never seen before, it almost looked more leather than metal, and across his chest was the symbol of a rising sun. He was not a tall man, with exotic features and black hair just long enough to pull back into a little ponytail. But at this point Yuri didn’t care if this man was a stranger, as long as he would save him from Kievan.

      The two men met in the middle of the corridor, blades clashing fiercely and ferocious taunts tossed, but Yuri was too scared, he couldn’t watch. He curled tighter into his little ball, covering his head with thin arms, and waited.

      After what seemed like a million years, the sounds of fighting finally stopped. Yuri heard a man talking, but the words weren’t able to break through his panic-ridden brain. He just shook harder, until a hand fell upon his shoulder. His head shot up, his entire body flooded with the urge to run and hide, and his eyes met the foreign man. His eyes were warm and filled with concerned for Yuri, and he cooed softly to the boy, “You’re going to be okay, little one.”

      Yuri didn’t believe him, it seemed like all adults were capable of doing was lying to him, but he needed to know, “Is he dead?”

      The other man nodded, solemn. “Yes, do you need to see the body?”

      Yura was taken aback by the question, but found that when he thought about it that the answer was a yes. He needed to know that the monster who terrorized him for months was truly gone, never able to hurt him again. He nodded slowly, and the man returned it. He offered a hand to help Yuri to his feet, but when Yuri regained his footing he couldn’t help but let out a quiet whine. The man looked at Yuri with slight alarm, trying to gauge what was wrong. He knelt down to inspect the little boy for any pressing injuries, and finally Yuri gave in and showed that man that his feet had been cut to ribbons by the uneven cobblestones of the secret passageways. The man gave him a kind look in return, “Would you mind if I carried you little one?”

      Another question that had Yuri surprised. He wasn’t a fool, he knew that he smelled terribly, that he was covered in dirt and grime from his time imprisoned, but this strange man was offering to hold him? A comfort that only his brother had provided for almost the last year? Yuri decided to take a gamble, and slowly shook his head. The stranger smiled, kind, and slowly and carefully lifted Yuri up to rest against his chest. He was kind enough to make sure that none of his armor was digging into Yuri uncomfortably, and didn’t mind when Yuri buried his face in his neck. Now Yuri knew that he could trust this man completely, because not only had he been nothing but gentle and kind, but he also smelled exactly like Vitya, and that meant that he was safe. If the stranger found this sudden trust odd he didn’t say anything, only adjusted the shirts around Yuri to make sure that his little legs were covered, protected from the cold. Then he slowly walked back to where he had fought Kievan.

      Yuri didn’t want to remove his face from the strangers neck, didn’t want to lose that soothing scent, but he had to see for himself that Kievan was dead. And looking down e had his proof. The man who had terrorized him for months lay on the floor, eyes wide open and empty and a slice right through his throat. It wasn’t the first dead body that Yuri had seen, but it was the only one he was happy to see. He nodded his little head once, to let the stranger know that he was satisfied, and then buried his face back into the scent gland. He heard the stranger chuckle, his rich voice washing over Yuri as he was swayed back and forth, the motion provided by the strangers walk. “Okay then, my name is Yuuri. What should I call you, little one?”

      Yura giggled, “My name is Yuri too!”

      Big Yuuri paused for a moment, before he asked, “Well Yuri, I’m a prince.”

      Yuri couldn’t help himself, “I’m a prince too!”

      Suddenly Yuri had a moment of clarity. He didn’t know this man. Yes he had killed Kievan, and smelled like his brother, but he was a stranger to him. “Are you, are you gonna hurt me?”

      Big Yuuri cooed gently, immediately soothing all of Yura’s worries, but he continued, “No Yuri, I’m gonna help you find your brother hmm? Does that sound okay?”

      Yura nodded as well as he could without separating his face from Yuuri’s neck, happy enough for now.



      Katsuki Yuuri quickly made his way through the unfamiliar hallways of the Nikiforov Palace, the tiny pup pressed to his chest and his hand not far from his sword, just in case there were any of Kievan Rus’s men still able to attack him. He didn’t know why but as soon as he had seen the little prince he knew that he had to do anything to protect him, to keep him safe and happy. And if he wasn’t mistaken the little boy seemed to trust him to an unusual degree as well. But no matter how much he liked the little pup he knew he would have to hand him over to his older brother. The little boy was heir apparent after all.

      The sound of footsteps put Yuuri on guard, and he felt little Yuri stiffen in his grasp, clinging to Yuuri’s neck almost painfully. Rounding the corner, however, were two familiar figures indeed. The tall frame of Seung-Gil Lee, his second in command’s alpha mate, and Christophe Giacometti, his informant and good friend. Little Yuri narrowed his eyes at Chris, before burying his face once again in the crook of Yuuri’s neck. Chris raised his eyebrows, joking lightly, “Well Yuuri, I think he likes you.”

      Yuuri was not a fool, he knew what Christophe was getting at. Chris had been a friend of Yuri’s brother for longer than the boy had been alive, he was familiar enough with Chris that he should have known him to be safe. But instead Yuri continued to cling to Yuuri, a man that he had never met before. Yuuri rationalized that it was likely due to the fact that Yuuri had saved the boy from Kievan Rus, but even that he knew to be a stretch. He resolved to not think too hard about it at the moment, and instead turned to Seung-Gil, asking patiently, “Any word from Phichit?”

      Phichit and Celestino had been tasked with finding Prince Viktor, the rightful ruler of Moscava and little Yuri’s older brother. Seung-Gil nodded, reporting, “He sent word with a guard that they found the prince and were heading to the prince’s chambers.” Yuri looked up at that information, looking to Yuuri with pleading eyes. Yuuri looked back at the boy and nodded, speaking gently, “Then it’s very important that we find the prince’s chambers.”

      Yuri looked hesitant for a moment, and then looked to Chris with a very forward look. Chris chuckled, “You better follow me than.”

      The four of them made their way to the prince’s chambers with ease, although Seung-Gil did have to step ahead of them a handful of times to dispatch a few determined enemies, until finally they found the prince’s chambers. Standing outside of the chambers were Celestino and Phichit, locked in what looked to be an argument. As they grew closer Yuuri could see why. The hall reeked of distressed omega, and Yuuri was fairly certain that it wasn’t Phichit. The three men, all alphas, stiffened visibly, and little Yuri let out a pitiful whine. Yuuri tried to comfort the boy with his own scent, but it only did so much. As soon as Phichit saw them he was running down the hall to throw himself into the arms of his mate. The scent of distressed omega had obviously upset him.

      “Seung, Ciao Ciao won’t let me go in there!” he whined, burying his face in his mates neck. Seung-Gil sighed, wrapping his arms around the smaller Thai man and nuzzling his hair. The scent of distressed omega was strong enough to shake even the sternest alphas.

      Yuuri sighed, he needed to take control of the situation and now, so he turned to Ciao Ciao fist, “Ciao Ciao, little Yura needs his feet bandaged up, can you see to him while I speak to his brother?”

      Yuri whined at the words, clinging to Yuuri tighter as he tried to hand the boy over to healer. Yuuri cooed at the little boy, he knew how scared he must be, but he had to have his feet tended to. “Yura,” he soothed, “as soon as Ciao Ciao fixes your hurts he’ll bring you right to me and to your brother.”

      “Vitya?” Yuri asked, looking up at Yuuri with wide eyes.

      “Yes,” Yuuri assured the boy, rubbing his back in small circles, “Vitya. But first, you must be healed.”

      Yura looked like he was steeling himself, and nodded with as much surety as he was able to muster. Yuuri handed the boy to Ciao Ciao, and the healer did his best to soothe the scared little boy trembling in his arms. Yuuri nodded at the older man, reaffirming, “As soon as you’re sure he’s healthy bring him in. For now I must talk to the brother.”

      Yuuri’s companions looked solemn, but ultimately knew that Yuuri was the most qualified to deal with an omega in this state of distress.

      Yuuri opened the door to the chambers, slipping threw the doors before the scent of distress could completely engulf the hallway, and turned to face whatever lied ahead.


      Viktor hadn’t paid any attention to the two men after the jig was up, he just let them guide him back to his rooms. He was a little surprised that they didn’t drag him like Kievan’s guards would have, but he was really surprised that the rooms they dragged him to were the ones that he had occupied before being forcibly married, the Prince’s chambers. He figures that the newest invader already had an omega, or at least wanted to inspect Viktor before “deigning” to take the used up omega to wife. He knew the other men were speaking, perhaps even to him, but no words could penetrate threw his anguish. He knew that he was putting out some horribly distressed scent, and he did vaguely notice the bigger man (Celestino?) wince away from him. He didn’t care. He hardly realized that he had been sitting in his rooms alone until the doors opened again and a man walked in. He was a new man, one that Viktor hadn’t meet before.

      Viktor drew in a shaky breath, trying to gather what little strength he had left. If he gave up now he would be lost forever. “So, I suppose you’re my new master.”

      He was furious how frightened he sounded, but he couldn’t help it, he was terrified . The man before him shook his head, softly placing his helm onto the table in front of Viktor. Then he began to remove his armor, and Viktor was shaking again. Here it comes, he thought to himself, he will rape me and force a bond and I shall never be free of him. But the man’s head shot up as Viktor’s scent grew sour with fear, but the look that he gave him was not the one of barely concealed arousal that Kievan usually had when Viktor was frightened, but one of almost genuine concern. The man slowly unbuckled the sword belt from around is waist and handed it, sheathed sword and all, to Viktor.

      “What,” Viktor was confused, but he was no fool. He quickly grabbed the sword belt and grasped the hilt, ready to draw the steel if necessary. It made him feel… safer. The man continued to take off the rest of his armor, standing before Viktor in his simple tunic and tights, unprotected. Suddenly Viktor realized what the man had done. He had given Viktor, a frightened omega, all the power, and stripped himself of any means of protection. “What are you doing here?”

      “My name is Prince Yuuri of the Katsuki Royal Clan, please forgive me for intruding in your lands your grace.” The raven haired man bowed low, leaving his exposed neck wide open. Viktor was shaking, but now with confusion rather than fear. This alpha was a foreigner, from a royal family that he had never meet, and yet respected Viktor’s authority as the rightful ruler of his lands. The man straightened back up and continued, “I am not here for you or your lands, I am only here for Kievan Rus.”

      Viktor shuddered once again with fright, “You are a friend of Kievan Rus?”

      A horrible look of loathing crossed the young man’s face, a look so vile that it made Viktor shrink back on instinct, trying to make himself less of a target for the man’s rage. But the look was only present for a brief moment, and then the man’s face was back to the controlled expression he had worn upon entering the rooms, “I am no friend of Kievan Rus, I am his sworn enemy.”

      Suddenly, Viktor felt as though he could breathe once more. This man was the sworn rival to his torturer? Viktor knew that that did not automatically make him trustworthy, but it was certainly the step in the right direction.

      “Where is he?” Viktor asked, sounding breathless, “Where is that wicked man?”

      “In hell,” The alpha assuaged, looking glad of it himself, “I have sent him there myself.”

      “You killed him?”

      “Yes,” Yuuri looked at Viktor with weary eyes, but he continued, “Kievan Rus was scum. You are not the first mate he has tried to usurp a throne from.”

      Viktor gasped, eyes wide once more. His torturer was dead? And at the hands of this man who insinuated that he knew intimately of Viktor’s own plights? “Please,” he whispered, “Tell me.”

      Yuuri sighed, running his fingers threw his raven black hair and taking the seat across from Viktor. His interwoven fingers rested gently on his lap and his eyes flickered from them to Viktor. “When I was a young boy, around 9 winters, Kievan Rus invaded my country while my parents were away. He forcibly married my older sister, the heir apparent, and attempted to take total control over our kingdom. I was in quite the same situation as your own younger brother, a prisoner in my own home and a hostage for my sister’s good behavior. After a while, his interested turned from her to me, and for a long period of time he had his way with both my sister and myself. But my parents were able to raise a large enough army to fight back against him, deposing him from the throne. He escaped, but before he left I promised him that one day I would find him and I would kill him. I am a man of my word.”

      Viktor stared at the younger man, eyes wide. He, he understood what it was like to Kievan’s victim, his slave, and Viktor felt a kinship to him he had felt towards no other. “My parents are dead,” Viktor began, voice shaking in an effort to hold back his sobbing, “If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t, no one would be coming to save me.”

      “I disagree,” Yuuri began, leaning across the table to offer his hand to Viktor. Viktor took the offered hand gladly, dropping the sword in the process. Right now he needed the reassurance, “You have a number of friends who helped me to find Kievan Rus, and save you in the process. I can see that you are much loved.”

      Viktor couldn’t help it, he shattered into pieces, crumbling in on himself and letting loose loud sobs. Yuuri was quick to come to his aid, pulling Viktor into his arms, allowing Viktor’s face to find it’s way to the scent glands in his neck. And by the gods was Yuuri’s scent comforting. It smelled like home, and for the first time in almost a year Viktor finally felt safe.

      They stayed like that, Yuuri holding Viktor on the hard floor, until well after Viktor’s tears subsided. They were interrupted, however, by a knock on the door. Yuuri calmly helped Viktor back into his seat, where Viktor was surprised to see that his own hands wouldn’t obey, clinging to the front of Yuuri’s shirt despite the fact that his mind knew that he had to let the other man go. Yuuri gently took both of Viktor’s hands in his own, squeezed them gently, and then let him go. He walked toward the door to the room, opened it slightly, spoke with the person on the other side, and then accepted something from him. When he turned around Viktor was able to see that the bundle given to Yuuri was in fact his little Yura. Viktor was suddenly struck by fear once again. Was this the moment when Yuuri would turn on him? Now that he had little Yura was the rug about to be pulled out from under him?

      “Vitya?” Little Yura cried, cuddled close to Yuuri’s chest. His little arms reached for Viktor, and he looked up at Yuuri making a little whining noise. Viktor remained seated, stiff with terror, eyes trained on the little boy.

      Yuuri was also looking at the little boy, smiling sweetly at him. He took the final few steps towards Viktor and gently handed the boy to him. Viktor was barely able to restrain himself from snatching the boy away from him. He cuddled Yura close to his chest, burying his face into the boys dirty hair. He couldn’t restrain the sobs that tore from his chest, and for a while all he could do was hold his little brother and cry. When he finally managed to pull himself together he managed to pull away from the little boy a tiny bit to see him better. The little boy looked up at him with wide watery eyes, but as far as Viktor could tell the child was unharmed. Viktor’s eyes then swept the room, searching for the Alpha. He found Yuuri seated in the chair across the table from him.

      Having little Yura cuddled up against him filled him with joy, but also such dread. “What happens now?”

      Yuuri settled in to the chair further, gently clasping his hands together. Viktor suddenly wished to reach for the sword that had slipped from his grasp, but was too afraid to move. Yuuri looked at him with such sincerity, and said, “That’s up to you your grace. My army and allies would like to offer you our services in rebuilding your kingdom and court, while also rooting out any of Rus’ supporters. However, if you wish for us to leave your lands we shall abide, I only ask that you allow us a fortnight to prepare for our journey.”

      Viktor was shaking, “You would allow me to just retake my throne, without asking a boon of me? You don’t wish for my hand, or the hand of my brother, or even a distinguished place in my court?”

      Yuuri looked at him with such intensity, “I would not wish to force a mating on anyone, most especially a child. As for a place on you council or in your court, I have both of those things already in the court of my parents. I am still a prince after all, despite the wandering.”

      “And if I asked you to leave, you would go?” Viktor clarified, suddenly filled with an emotion that he hadn’t felt in a long while, hope.

      “Of course,” Yuuri confirmed, and Viktor couldn’t sense any deception in him, “I should not wish to intrude on your hospitality.”

      “I, I’d like,” Viktor didn’t know what he wanted. Yuuri had a very comforting presence, and the help of his army would really help in reestablishing his court. But Viktor was so overwhelmingly terrified that if he left himself vulnerable for too long that Yuuri, or one of the members of his party, would take advantage of him. He was now very aware of the danger that being a powerful, unmated, omega placed him in. Any Alpha, be him bold enough, could force a bond upon him. And that Alpha would be his lawful husband. But Yuuri didn’t seem like that, and his scent was so comforting, so safe, “I would like it if you were to stay here for the time being. You’re help in reestablishing my kingdom would be insurmountable.”

      Yuuri smiled gently, “Whatever you wish, your majesty.”