This is what fell out of my head this morning, all in one piece. morenasangre says it's Ready for Prime Time. I'm still uncertain.
As morenasangre said, this is not comic form, this is not movie form. This is more of a voiceover, as she put it. This isn't me watching. This is him talking. Sitting in the darkness, speaking in measured tones. Very calmly.
"She was mine first," he began - and this is what followed, from his voice to my fingers.
She was mine first.
She loved everyone. Of course she loved everyone. She helped create us.
And none of us could ever forget that.
But I was the one she gravitated toward first. Shyly. She'd been with the Father-god before, but I was her first Dasaroi; I'd say she seduced me, but there was none of that in her, no guile. She was hesitant - tucking her hair behind her ear, looking up at me with love and trust, her hand caressing my cheek.
Please, she said. Let me show you.
She was beautiful. I can't begin to tell you. Of course, every incarnation since has been beautiful, but not like this. Every incarnation since has been... sullied.
When I took her, she was pure.
When I left her, she was not.
No, not that time. That time was a miracle. Tiala, my angel.
I watched her all the time. Especially after that. Watched her dance. Watched the line of her throat as she tipped her head back and laughed.
But she did not see it that way. Tiala danced with many partners; from the day of her creation, she was relentlessly curious, found joy in discovery. Mine alone... but then there was Nisar, then Kai. And I watched her with them. I'd see her kissing Kai, and the anger that rose up - well, it surprised me at first. But the surprise faded as the resentment grew.
I was always watching.
And I began to punish her in small ways. I didn't tell her why... but I began to hurt her. She was stunned at first, uncomprehending... she managed to convey that that didn't feel good, that she didn't want it. And I apologized, and promised not to do it again.
And I would do it again. I'm sorry, I'd say. I didn't know I'd crossed the line. I'll be more careful.
And I would do it again.
And then she and Airenn discovered each other.
The bond that flared into being eclipsed all else for them; a new word was invented just to encompass it. Kiri'totharan. Airenn, her kiri. He hurt her, when they played; not all of the time, but he did. And from him, she liked it.
From me, she was growing to fear it.
The fear in her eyes fueled me to go farther. She did not even understand that it was fear she felt. It started out as simple confusion. This had always been joy to her, this sharing. She did not understand.
I taught her fear.
It became an addiction. Pushing her a little farther each time. Watching the growing distress, watching her try to reason out what was happening to her. I made it hurt.
And I taught her shame.
I told her, in word and deed, what I thought of her. Of her... indiscriminate desires. Of her weakness in the face of what I gave her.
I still remember the first time I made her cry.
I still remember the first time she said it - Please don't. Please.
She still did not understand. She still came to me. I was of the Talthar Kithrayna, the Firstborn. I was her first lover. She did not understand; she thought that if she was patient, I would see, and I would be gentle. She did not see any other option. Saying No was beyond her capabilities for so long.
I made her bleed, and she tried not to scream.
Her eyes were haunted after that.
I remember the first time she flinched at my touch.
I taught her dread.
It was she who led us, and I made her weak, and this made me strong; I pushed for change. I declared it time for a new leader, and for that leader to be me. If I could rule her, I could rule them all.
The others objected. The Firstborn. Airenn most vehemently - Tiala never told him, never told anyone; her shame was dark and secret. Still, he was her soulbonded - he knew that something was wrong, and knew that it was at least partly due to me.
They stood against me.
And I punished her for that as well.
It finally happened - she approached me, trembling, and told me No. I cannot do this, she said. This hurts me. I don't want it. I will not come to you anymore.
It cost her something to say that. I taught her that as well, I suppose.
It was not her decision to make, of course.
Pure chance - I saw her and Airenn enter the woods beyond the grove. Laughing. The young lovers. And I followed. I watched -
I was always watching.
I watched him pleasure her, and the rage consumed me. She was mine first. I would not permit her to throw me over for this whelp, this insipid lovelorn fool. She was mine first.
I entered the clearing, and when she opened her eyes and saw me, the fear that I taught her flared to life. Her voice shook. Please. Please let us be.
And from him, having seen her reaction - I think you had better leave now.
I cordially disagreed.
She is my kiri, he said. She does not want you here. Please leave.
Ah, but that was the worst thing he could have said. His kiri.
When he hit the ground, she did not understand.
You are not his, I told her. You are mine.
And I showed her. She readied her mind against me, reached out to turn me from my course - but I sensed it, turned it back on her, as I beat her lover, her kiri. My power kept her pinned to the ground as Airenn suffered, too dazed by my first blow to his head to fight back. She screamed upon seeing his blood, begged me to stop - but by that time, her begging had become an aphrodisiac to me.
I drew my knife. And then she understood.
It was sweet. Little Tiala on her knees, begging for her kiri's life.
What will you give me?
I regarded her coolly. It would not be enough, I told her. You are not enough, now that you have been his.
And I ended him.
I taught her helplessness.
I felt her break as her mind tried to follow his - too much in shock even to try to save him. Too inextricably linked. We later learned what that does - feeling someone die in your mind. I did not know then - but it explains why she was barely able to fight when I took her, would not stop taking her.
I left her in the woods, bruised and bleeding, silent and uncomprehending.
I taught her hopelessness.
Nisar eventually found her, brought her to the loving arms of the Talthar Kithrayna. She was unable to speak for some time - which gave me time to marshal my forces. And by the time she came back to herself enough to tell them what had transpired, I had an army.
Before long, she did as well.
What I did to Airenn was later termed murder. What Tiala and I did to each other next was later termed war. She was pale and resolute on the battlefield... but strong. She faced me.
And her power, now recovered, overwhelmed me; healing turned inside out. She gave me pain in return for the pain I had given her, and she gave me death.
I taught her hatred.
These things are forgotten now. In every life since. The memories are locked away from all save Tiala and Airenn and myself.
They remember that I was "evil". That I was the villain of the piece. And centuries later... they gave me what they termed a final death. Never to be born again. My line severed, cauterized, at the hands of Nisar.
So they thought. So they still think. And I have no wish to disabuse them of that notion.
They killed me, but I did not die.
I am still watching.
You were mine first, Tiala.
And you will be mine last, no matter the cost.