Work Header

The Breath of Time

Chapter Text

You woke up, but didn't open your eyes just yet. You were too tired from last night, they kept you up until it was almost sunrise outside. You tried to catch some more sleep but it seemed almost impossible in your state. Upon further realization, seeing that if you didn't look awake they'll probably come in and wake you up, you opened them and were greeted by the cold floor of your cell. You were locked up. You sat and the chains in your ankle rustled and clinked. You tried to remember. How did you end up in here?

Your name is John Egbert and you are a demon. It all started on your thirteenth birthday. By some mystical reason, it was the age which some few marked by the Universe started turning into demons, more known as the Awakening. At first it wasn't noticeable: your fangs started growing, your fingernails started turning sharper, things like that. Unsurprisingly, it was extremely painful. But the worse were the wings and the tail. God, did that hurt. It felt like you were being ripped from the inside, which was basically what happened. Also unsurprisingly, demons were feared and hated by most humans. When your father found out, he got you locked up for the abomination you were turning into. One day you were playing the piano without a care in the world (except your studies) and the next one you were being tortured.

At the present time you didn't want to remember what they did to you. Nor in any other time. As you already stated, you were too tired, but you realized also too hungry. In both senses: food and blood. You hadn't had any blood since you got here, and it's taken a toll on you. But after two years of staying here you didn't notice anymore. You were weaker, you couldn't heal properly after every night and your senses were weakened. Add the lack of food for the last two days and the current result isn't particularly satisfying. In fact it's quite the opposite of that. But suddenly, as if the Universe heard your thoughts you caught a smell. You turned and you saw that the smell belonged to some two-days-old, hard bread. You were, as previously started, starving, so you couldn't refuse. After all, beggars can't be choosers.

You remember that other demon, the one in the cell next to yours. Obviously you never really saw him but you talked nearly every day. Sometimes you gave each other part of the food they gave you and you could see some green scales on his arms and hands. Although the scales weren't like fish scales, more like reptile scales, smooth and shiny. They had yet to grow on you so he's probably older than you. You didn't remember his name, though. It was something starting with J. John... no, that's you. James... definitely not. Jake! There it is. His name is Jake... something related to England. Jake English! That's his name. Although you don't know for sure if it still is, he was sold a few weeks ago. He may be dead for all you know.

Now back to the present time. You were in your cell, chained to the wall, and you had recently discovered a plate with some old bread. Wait. Where's the bread? Oh, you ate it while the author was- nevermind. You finish eating the crumbs when a door opened. Obviously, it wasn't your cell's so it probably was the corridor door. They were coming.

Chapter Text

The door opened and a guard came in. They only were here so that you don't escape, they don't care if you or any of the other demons die, it's just one mouth less to feed. He said: "Alright you bunch of disgraces, someone's coming tomorrow and they mean business, so y'all better behave or else you won't live to see another day". Did you mention they're incredibly nice? Oh, it's because they aren't.

You didn't know what to think about the "someone coming" situation, and you didn't know what would be better, if you were bought or not. When someone bought a demon they could do wherever they wanted: they could kill them, have them as slaves, or, strangely enough, care for them as you would a human person. You were worried about Jake. He sounded about nineteen and he had a weird British accent. You miss having someone to talk to. There were also other demons, but you rarely spoke to them. There was a girl about your age, she had bright green eyes and long black hair and the aura surrounding her was black with hints of white here and there. They said she was a demon of Space, but they never explained further and it left you confused. Did all demons have unique auras or they could have the same as others? The guards said she came from somewhere far away but you don't remember from where.

There was also a young boy, not looking older than sixteen, with black messy hair and short, nubby horns. Were you going to grow horns, you didn't know and hoped you didn't, it would be excruciatingly painful. His aura was a deep red and he was angry and yelling most of the time. He had a weird name which you didn't bother to remember, your head was hurting a little.

And the last one you're going to describe for now was a girl named Vriska. She was a friend of the angry demon and she was pretty in your eyes. She was kinda mean, but you didn't care. Her aura was bright orange and she had big horns. She always seemed to have luck on her side. She got the mysteriously fresher pieces of bread and they didn't "rough her up" as often as the other demons even if she was almost always causing trouble. She even got in a fight with one of the toughest guards in here, Jack "Spades" Noir. Boy is he strong. When he comes around here he is in a bad mood all the time and he was in the army apparently because his left eye and arm are gone. To be honest, you're scared of him.

Speaking of auras, you wonder what's yours. There are at least twelve and they can be wielded in various ways, twelve too. Shouty's aura manifests by protecting those he feels close to, but he doesn't show it. The girl's aura manifests by changing small objects around her. When she isn't particularly weak, she can enlarge the size of her food. And Vriska's manifests by being extremely lucky. You had some clues about yours. When you were angry, sad, scared or felt any strong emition the wind always picked up. You could be as cold in summer and as hot in winter as you liked. Your aura, you were told, was light blue in color.

Okay that was a lot of thinking and now your head's spinning. You lied down on the floor and closed your eyes for a while. They were still around.

Chapter Text

At night you couldn't sleep. You were thinking about the morning after, when the person would come. The chances of someone buying you were very few, but it still sent a weird feeling in your stomach, though it may be from the kicks they gave you earlier. Your arms and back were still bleeding from the roughing up they did to you. Might as well add a cracked rib. Or maybe two. You were thirsty and hungry. Your breathing came out ragged. And someone was coming in a few hours.

When the sun finally arose you were still awake, but barely. The blood loss had made you dizzy. You didn't have the strength to stand and even if you could you would fall right over. A sudden coldness made your body tremble. It wasn't from you, you couldn't control the temperature of this breeze. You felt sick. Your head was spinning. To top it all, freaking Spades entered the room shouting something about some Mr. Driver or whatever that just arrived. Great.


Dave's POV

Ugh. Dirk is so annoying. Why does he want him to come here he doesn't even want a demon. He keeps insisting that "members of respectable families must have at least one". This place is hideous by the way. Also who's this douchebag?

"Ah, mister Strider, how nice of you to come!" The man said. He looked like he ran the place. His arm and eye were missing - was it one of the demons who did that? He began to walk down a hall, then turned. "If you could follow me, we've got a few demons who might be to your liking". Some meters down the hall there was a steel door with way too many locks. A few moments later they were snapping, sliding and clinking open as the man did short work of them. He leaned his weight on the door and it slid open, shouting to the demons inside that he's arrived.

At that moment Dave's eyes were met with an even longer hall, but instead of walls there were cells. Cells with iron bars strong as concrete. He followed the man inside as he began to talk about some of the demons there, but he tuned out in like half a minute. His mind wandered on the demons there, how they looked like, and his thoughts didn't seem to be really pleasant. Most of them were malnourished, some were bleeding, others were sleeping - or passed out? - but the few who were awake looked scared. Scared of what might happen if they were bought. He snapped back to reality just as the man asked him if he's seen anything he liked. His eyes roamed around the demons near him. There was a demon with big horns who looked way too relaxed, as if he was high, but the sign besides his cell said it was a demon of Rage, so that's a no. There was another one which was a demon of Light with sharp horns and red eyes. On the sign next to her cell said she was fierce, so not her either.

The next demon was quite interesting. She was a demon of life, brown wings, didn't have any horns and she was a little older than him. Dave approached her cell and she sunk into the shadows, avoiding being seen properly. As he turned to address the man, he saw a glimpse of bright blue wings. They belonged to a half-concious Breath demon in the cell opposite a Space demon. He looked sick as hell. His back was littered with bleeding cuts and his chest was starting to bruise. He had bruises in other parts of his body too. He had a dazed look in his too pale face as he was staring into nothing. You felt a tug in your chest. You didn't want to leave him there.

"This one" you said. The man looked as if he's just been handed a dead ferret. "But sir, we've got-" "I said this one" you firmly stated. The man sighed. "Very well. I'll see he gets taken care of properly. Please follow me, you'll have to sign some papers." He turned and left.


John's POV

Did that man just say "fist bump"? Honestly as you are at the brink of fainting it was the best your ears could pick up. But the other thing that was picked up was you. Someone (please don't let it be Spades) entered your cell and now you were being lifted up on your feet. Oh ow that's your hair being pulled. You can't believe they've done this. "Follow me ... bought ... taking you ... " was all you could hear before you passed out from a hit on your head.