Ashleigh Anpilova


Silver is in danger. Can Steel save his lover?

An established relationship story.

Written: July 2007. Word count: 1,600.


Author's Note:  // either side of words indicate when the characters are talking to one another telepathically.






The scream cut into his mind, breaking through all of his barriers. Only one kind of contact could possibly do that to the man whose mind was always safely locked down, unless he wanted it to be otherwise.


It was the contact of joining. A joining that only two elements could achieve. The kind that humans could not even begin to understand let alone experience.


However, under normal circumstances, Steel's mind could still stop that kind of contact. Which meant that the circumstances could not be normal.


His lover was in danger, beyond danger. His lover was . . .


Across the physical divide, Steel reached out, locking onto, trying to lock onto, the mind he was never completely apart from. //Silver?// He sent the name, even though he knew it was a futile gesture. If Silver was able to get through his shields, then Silver was not going to answer him.


And he didn't.


Closing his eyes, Steel reached out with his mind. This time not to speak. This time to touch Silver's mind, or to attempt to. To do so from such a distance tested even Steel's great abilities.


He let his temperature plummet. The colder he was the easier it was for him to do this; to do anything.


Nothing but blackness. Emptiness. Nothingness was there.


He pushed down further into the ice, forcing himself right down to the level from which, if he went further, he would not be able to bring himself back up.


Teetering on the brink of the ice that reached out to him, that tried to lure him down just that little bit further, the cold that threatened to seduce him, should he let it, he made one final push for Silver's mind.


Again blackness. Emptiness. Nothingness hit him.


Then . . .


Even Steel with all his abilities, powers, strengths, iron will couldn't prevent himself from gasping aloud as the over-whelming layers of pain, the kind of which he had never before experienced, the kind of which didn't have a name, hit him.


Deliberately, quickly, knowing that if he was to help his lover, he had to do it, Steel yanked his mind away from Silver's and forced his body temperature up away from the line even he dare not pass over. It took him more strength, caused more pain, than he had anticipated, but after a few minutes he regained full control.


If his touch of his lover's mind was anything to go by, what Silver was feeling didn't have a name. He had been mentally attacked. Attacked by someone with far greater mental powers than Silver had; the kind that had to rival Steel's own.


Tentatively Steel reached out again, probing the link Silver and he had, touching the very edges of it. Normally it would be enough, even across this distance, but this time . . . This time all he could sense, feel, touch was chaos and darkness. His lover was suffering, and for the first time ever Steel wasn't certain he had the powers to relieve it.



"Steel. Silver has -"


//I know.// He strode past Sapphire, shutting off his mind from the waves of sympathy and emotion that came from her. He couldn't handle her feelings, her emotions, not at the moment. It was taking him all of his time to keep his own under control.


For a fleeting second he almost hated Silver; hated him for making him care, making him love, making him 'human'.


But as memories of Silver's mouth on his own, Silver's long fingers and hands caressing his body, Silver's unwavering, unconditional love hit him, Steel knew he wouldn't, couldn't, go back to what he'd been before the quick-silver element had seduced him.


In the beginning, Silver had overwhelmed him with his attention and love. Now it was Silver himself who was overwhelmed; not with love and attention, but with pain and despair. And someone was going to pay for what he or she had done; of that Steel was certain. Certain, because he was the one who would make them pay.


He reached the room where his lover lay, his body curled up, his head tossed back showing his pale face and the agony he was suffering. As Steel moved towards him, slowly pulling up his mental shields even further and lowering his body temperature, he realised, for the first time, that Sapphire had followed him.


She stood still, silent, a pale blue shadow. But even without touching her, without linking to her, he could sense her determination; her need to be there. He didn't understand it, but part of him welcomed it.


He didn't need to touch Silver in order to increase the link between them anymore. In order to feel the overwhelming pain and intense agony, the blackness, emptiness, the void his lover was feeling.


It was so intense, so overwhelming, that for a second Steel hesitated.


What if he couldn't reach Silver? What if he couldn't heal him? Couldn't bring him from the darkness and the void, back into the light and the abundance? What then? What would happen to him? To both of them?


As long as Silver existed, in some form or other, he would have a link with Steel. Steel would know, would feel what Silver knew. He would know the emptiness and the blackness.


But what if he tried to bring Silver back and failed? Failed to bring himself back?


What if he couldn't reach Silver without sacrificing himself?


Would he, could he, do that?


Would They let him? Could They stop him? He was important to Them; vital; necessary. How far would They let him go before They intervened?


But what happened to him wasn't important. What was important was Silver and relieving his suffering. That was all that mattered.


He turned and looked at Sapphire. Still she stood in silence, just watching him.


Steel turned away from her, pushed his temperature down and reached out with his mind towards Silver's. Closer it was easier to touch it, but the intensity, the jumble, the agony was more intense.


He took a step nearer. Carefully he reached out and touched Silver, letting the tips of his fingers brush over his forehead. He daren't do more than let them simply flutter over the pale skin, for fear of burning Silver. He had pushed his temperature down to the level whereby the freezing would burn. 


Again and again he risked a physical touch. Eventually he pulled away and merely reached with his mind, searching through the link they had, trying to find it, to re-establish it, trying to give Silver some of his strength.


Again and again he let his temperature drop by a miniscule amount. Each part of a degree made it easier for him to probe Silver's mind, but harder for him to retreat.

It was hopeless.


There was nothing.


Silver's mind was a void. It was blackness.


There was nothing of the man, of the element, he had been.


Nothing of the person Steel loved.


Nothing of their -


And then he felt it.


It wasn't much.


In fact he wasn't even certain if he did feel it.


Risking one last drop, he pressed his fingertips to Silver's temples and held them there, forcing himself to ignore what was happening to the skin beneath them.


And he felt it.


This time he really felt it.


This time it wasn't just wishful thinking.


There was something. A spark; buried so deeply; so darkly that no one other than Steel, with his powers and his bond with Silver could have found.


And as he did, he found something else as well. Something else for which he had been searching.


All telepaths have a signature, and as soon as Steel had begun to really probe Silver's mind, he had known that only a telepath, and a powerful one at that, could have caused the damage, the chaos. Only someone whose level of abilities matched or surpassed Sapphire's could have rendered the destruction. And now that he knew who. He knew who would pay.


Little by little, inch by inch, he began to carefully, and with as little pain as possible, rebuild and reorganise Silver's mind. He began to turn the darkness back into light, and began to refill the void.


At first, his lover fought him, because as Steel tried to reconstruct the havoc that had been caused, he had to cause Silver even more pain. Steel had to force himself not to pull away from what he was doing, knowing that although he was hurting his lover, he had to continue to do so in order to save him, to heal him, to bring him back, to stop the torture.


But as time went on, how long Steel knew not, Silver's struggles began to lessen, and instead he welcomed the relief Steel was offering him.




This time the name wasn't screamed.


//Yes.// Steel reassured his lover.


//What happened?//


//Sleep now.// Steel ordered gently, as let his body temperature began to rise to his normal level. He watched with his mind and his eyes as Silver obeyed him, and slipped into a healing sleep.


Steel glanced up and met Sapphire's eyes. The steady blue gaze contained surprise and asked questions.


Steel ignored both. //Look after him.// With one final touch of Silver's head, he turned and walked away, pushing his temperature up to the level Sapphire believed to be normal, before he reached her.


//Where are you going?//


//To find the person who did this.//


He kept walking.


//Who was it?//


He paused.


//Steel. Who was it?//




He strode away from her.



Darkness Of The Soul is the sequel to this story.


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