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Title: Scales
Fandom: Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Darc & Kharg
Rating: AA
Summary: It was the first time that Darc had touched him without malice.
Notes: Contains implications about Darc's past, light twincest.

Kharg sighed, wondering why he'd even agreed to accompany Dark through the Deimos territories. Even if they were brothers, even if he was half Deimos himself, certainly, well...

Certainly there had to be better food somewhere.

The Coleopts were actually being quite kind to him, though he wasn't quite sure what to make of the women's advances on him.

Finally left alone with Darc to eat, Kharg found himself staring down and sighing.

"What?" Darc demanded, looking up from his meal.

"Nothing," Kharg replied, picking at his own. "Well... the women..."

"Are you insulting them?" Darc asked, narrowing his eyes.

"They're too friendly!" Kharg answered, not wanting to end up in yet another battle with his twin.

"They recognize me as their leader," Darc stated. "If I chose a mate from them, she would be their queen. So perhaps by extension, even though you're so ugly, there would be honor in being your mate."

"Mate..." Kharg rolled the word over his tongue and through his brain.

"Going to insult them now?"

"You sound like you want to," Kharg noted.

Before Darc could respond, a young coleopt girl entered, bowing to the pair.

"I'm terribly sorry," she said, keeping her head down. "But we have only one room for you. You're twins though, so certainly you can share a bed..."

Kharg didn't dare even look at Darc, but strangely his brother was quiet.

"That's... okay," Darc said after a moment, motioning that the girl could leave. And then he was silent until she was well out the door.

"Okay?" Kharg asked suddenly, pushing his food away.

"This way there will be no coleopt women surprising either of us. And also less likely for anyone to try to kill us while we slept."


"They could have even met us with spears at the front of the town," Darc explained.

"Right... Deimos..." Kharg muttered. "But... don't things need to change?"

"Eat or they'll be insulted," Darc said firmly, looking back to his nearly-finished meal.

Nodding, Kharg tried to be a little more enthusiastic about his meal, wondering if perhaps his Deimos half should be enjoying the twiggish, muddy-looking sweet stew and trying to tell himself that likely he had shared a bed with Darc in the past.

But too far in the past to remember.

A few hours later, after watching a beautiful dance by the same women who were slowly beginning not to chase him around, Kharg found himself in a dim and cozy room, frightened by the way Darc's eyes were watching him as he started to take off enough clothing to be comfortable to sleep.

"Wait," Darc said softly, almost inaudibly as Kharg pulled off his shirt.

"What?" Kharg asked, turning to face him.

"Turn around again," Darc demanded, walking over and reaching to touch Kharg's back as Kharg complied.

Shivering at Darc's touch, Kharg couldn't do anything but focus on warm fingers trailing down over stubs of missing wings to rest at his lower back.

"What?" Kharg asked again, realizing just how close Darc was to him, likely the closest Darc had ever been without exchanging blows.

"You have scales here," Darc replied, running his more human hand over the same spot a couple of times, once letting his nails trail softly. "Did you know?"

Biting back what threatened to be a soft moan at the almost soothing contact, Kharg suddenly tensed.

"What? Where?" At least he'd managed a new question.

"Here." Darc grabbed Kharg's hand and guided it back to a spot just above his waistband, right where Darc's fingers had been.

"I never really... I guess I'd just assumed it was dry skin... I can't see back there..." Kharg was silenced by Darc's laughter.


"How was I supposed to know?" And Darc was still hanging onto this hand, but only for a moment longer. "I don't look like..."

"Don't you?" Darc questioned, obviously amused. "Take off more. I want to see where those scales go."

Frozen and blushing a bright red, Kharg tried for words to express that he really had intended to keep his undershorts on for the evening. And then a different part of his brain kicked in, telling him this was only Darc, and he could at least hold his own against Darc, even if he was naked.

Sliding his pants down fairly quickly, Kharg tossed them onto the same chair holding his shirt. But his fingers froze at the last tie of his undershorts and he turned away.

"I... I want to see your body, too," he said, jumbling the words a bit at the end.

Yanking down his undershorts, he didn't actually expect a reply from Darc. But he also hadn't expected Darc to be so close either, behind him and tracing scales downward just above the top of his buttocks.


"Fine, I'll let you imagine where they seem to go," Darc said flatly, stepping back with a rustle that didn't make sense until Kharg had pulled his undershorts back on and turned around.

Swallowing hard, Kharg couldn't do anything but stare at his brother, mentally tracing the scales on his left side as they narrowed to end mid-thigh. And then he shifted his gaze, contemplating the same thing that Darc seemed to be thinking...

"Too human," Darc said, reaching to pull his kilt back on.


"I look... too human."

Kharg couldn't quite place the tone in Darc's voice until he remembered that not so entirely long ago Darc had been considered someone's property, forced to earn his keep. But never had it crossed Kharg's mind that Darc might have been subjected to...

As much as he wanted to pull Darc into his arms and attempt some sort of comfort, Kharg suddenly wasn't sure how to even try to touch his brother. Not that he was repulsed. He couldn't be... Just that... he didn't even know how Darc would handle it.

Darc must have read it on his face, the sudden comprehension of his last remark, the one he probably hadn't even intended to make.

"Don't pity me."

"I don't," Kharg said, making his way to sit on the edge of the bed. "I can't. Because you survived and became a great leader anyway."

Darc opened his mouth to speak but closed it a second later when he didn't seem to have the words.

"Sleep," he said finally, kicking off his sandals and unceremoniously depositing himself under the blankets on the furthest edge possible of the bed.

"Good night, then," Kharg replied, crawling under the blankets as well, almost a little relieved to feel only the chill of open space at his back as he tried to settle at his edge of the bed.

"Sleep," Darc reiterated, blowing out the sole candle that had been lighting the room with one quick exhale of breath in its general direction.

And in the dark, Kharg couldn't help but sigh and smile. After all, it was the first time Darc had touched him without malice.


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