It Hurts (Because I know)

A table with books of literature for sale.


Karim knew when he reunited with Kemosiri that something was amiss with the demon. He couldn’t tell what it was, but the hybrid had a vague idea. It was like there was another light in Kemosiri’s soul, and Karim hoped with his entire being that it wasn’t what he thought it was.


When Anne approached them, his worst fear was realized. Kemosiri and Anne’s souls were tethered together. If Anne perished, Kemosiri would follow. 


Karim could only assume what happened for the two to be linked together. Anne died, staying in this world as a spirit, and Kemosiri molded their souls so Anne wouldn’t become an evil creature.


He never liked the mortal – or rather, spirit, but this strengthened his dislike of the woman even further. Kemosiri shouldn’t have to perish if she dies. She’s worthless. Kemosiri is worth so much more than that rabble.


The hybrid keeps those thoughts locked in his heart. He knows Kemosiri could never hate him, but also knows he would look at him with displeasure if he knew the thoughts running through his mind. Karim never wants Kemosiri to look at him with anything other than love.


Hence the reason his thoughts stay tucked away and never to the forefront. Karim knows the dangers of keeping them under lock and key – darkness could spread in his heart. With his magical and spiritual capabilities, it would be disastrous if shadow won over light.


Kemosiri would call him a fool for not telling him the truth and risking losing himself to the dark. Karim knows that as well. Despite that, the hybrid cares about Kemosiri and only him – let it be damned to what happens to Karim himself.


Karim finds the massive polyamory that Kemosiri and Anne are involved in a bit odd. He’s never seen one person love so many, and can’t imagine doing so. But seeing how much Kemosiri loves Judas, and Anne Neko, makes him realize it can’t be all bad.


His walls start to break the longer he’s surrounded by the love and support those around him give one another. He finds himself falling for others as well, and eventually ends up in a relationship with many. It’s strange how it turns out, but Karim can’t find it within himself to complain.


He’s never known affection on this scale and while it’s baffling, Karim wouldn’t change what’s happened for anything in the worlds.


He notices Anne become closer to Briar, and Kemosiri Tyle, and while Karim loathes that Kemosiri is falling for yet another person, he can’t bring himself to hate that the demon is finding adoration with others. As much as he wishes he could have Kemosiri to himself and himself only, it would be hypocritical of him to do so.


After all, Karim has multiple partners as well, and wouldn’t give them up. Why should he expect Kemosiri to do the same?


The possessive nature he has over Kemosiri is a bit ridiculous – even the hybrid admits that to himself. But they have a special bond to the point Kemosiri will let Karim, and only Karim, come to him whenever he gets in a plight.


He won’t even let Anne come near him, the woman who his soul is tethered to. And that makes a sick satisfaction form in Karim’s stomach.


He means more. Anne can never compare to the connection he and Kemosiri have, no matter if their hearts and spirits are joined.


As the years go on, Kemosiri starts to let others see him at his lowest. He lets Judas and Tyle help him during the aftermath, and, as more time passes, eventually lets them come into the room with Karim. To say the cat-tiefling and kitsune were shocked when they saw Kemosiri in such a state is beyond an understatement. However, they acted beautifully during the episode.


Karim found himself impressed when Judas curled against Kemosiri, letting the demon clutch to him to the point of pain, and Tyle rested against Kemosiri’s back, playing with his hair. 


It was a wonderful sight to behold, but Karim found himself squashing down jealousy that they no longer could share this moment together. He couldn’t, absolutely couldn’t, hate that this was happening. Kemosiri needed more support during these trying times, and he’s glad that he let Judas and Tyle in after so long.


And when Flip asked Kemosiri on a date a few months later, Karim couldn’t help but laugh at how dense his demon was. Kemosiri just looked at Flip for a few moments, blinking like an idiot, before sputtering out a “s-sure”. It was adorable.


All the while, Karim kept the secret that Kemosiri and Anne were bound together, both in spirit and life. As much as he despises the spirit, he loves Kemosiri, and knows it may be the one instance Kemosiri would hate him if Karim said anything. 


It’s another burden the hybrid keeps locked in his soul, and even if he feels the inklings of darkness start to cling to his heart, Karim bats it away at every instance. He won’t let it control him. His powers are strong enough to keep any shadow at bay.


Another year goes by, and Anne finds herself kidnapped. Karim hadn’t seen Kemosiri furious – thought the demon was incapable of pure rage – but when his eyes glowed emerald and he ran off before anyone could follow him, Karim realized that maybe, just maybe, Anne meant more than him.


The thought infuriated Karim, but he, Neko, Tyle, Judas, and Briar did their best to keep up with Kemosiri as he ran through the streets of Skaia. Only Karim knew the dangers of what was happening. If Anne was killed, Kemosiri would die with her.


And Karim would be damned if he let Kemosiri die because of that bitch.


They lost Kemosiri’s trail after a while, but Karim used his spiritual powers to follow Kemosiri’s soul energy, and found they were in hell. He noticed Briar’s nervousness about going back, but determination to find Anne won over any fear the tabaxi felt. 


Briar led them through the trials and traps until they found Kemosiri and Anne. The demon was embracing his beloved, and Anne was shaking with the force of her emotions. None of them knew what happened – none, that is, except Karim.


He saw the spirit knife on the ground and knew that Anne’s essense was almost shattered to pieces. If Kemosiri hadn’t found her, the two of them would be dead.


Karim would have hated to be the one to explain to his partners and everyone in their polyamory why Kemosiri died if Anne did. Because of that, when the two broke apart and they went to their respective partners, Karim gave Anne a bit of his power. 


He may hate her, but her life is linked to the person he cares for above all else. That, and only that, was the reason Karim even considered giving Anne some of his spiritual energy.


Seeing Anne’s shocked face, Karim gave her a bitter smirk. She knows he hates her, but a look of understanding flashes across it after she processes why Karim gave her a tiny bit of his energy. She gives him a smile, and, forcing one back, Karim focuses on Kemosiri, seeing just how rattled he was by the experience.


Would he look this way if Karim was in Anne’s place?


The hybrid doesn’t know.


The darkness in his heart becomes even stronger when they return from hell. Kemosiri looks at Karim with concern in his lovely emeralds, but Karim brushes it away. I’m fine, he tells him.


He knows Kemosiri doesn’t buy it.


What surprises Karim is when Anne approaches him one evening when the others were on dates with their respective partners. She stares him down, crimson hues staring into Karim’s own heterochromia, and she says nothing for a while, making Karim fidget.


“What do you want?” Karim asks after silence passes between them to the point it makes him uncomfortable.


“You hate me, I know that. Kemosiri knows that too – he’s not an idiot,” Anne remarks, hands on her hips. Her eyes are colored with annoyance, but Karim can see the tiniest hints of concern in them. “You’re letting darkness win. You can’t do that.”


“Excuse me?” 


“Don’t play dumb. Your eyes are starting to darken and you’re getting marks on your skin, all telltale signs that you’re letting all this beat you down. Talk to Kemosiri. He may be an idiot, but he’s an idiot who loves you and would hate to realize that you’re letting hate for me and love for him turn you into something you’re not.” 


Karim says nothing, surprised Anne picked up on all this. She’s sharp, more clever than Karim gave her credit for.


When her eyes are overtaken with crimson, he knows that she’s using their spiritual connection to call on Kemosiri, and Karim is once again shocked that Anne’s picked up on her spiritual capabilities so quickly.


“He’ll be here in a few minutes. He gave Tyle a flimsy excuse and asked Flip to take care of him.”


“...Alright,” is all Karim can say, and true to form, the door opens seven minutes later. Kemosiri stands there, arms crossed, as he gazes at Karim. 


“Why would you hide your hatred of Anne from me?” Kemosiri questions, his tone demanding answers. “I knew it from the moment we reunited. I don’t agree with it, but I love you. I can handle that you hate the firecracker – I admit she can be a pain in the ass.”


“I didn’t bring you here so you’d shit on me, Kemosiri,” Anne remarks, her tone bemused.


The two share laughter, and Karim bites his lip, jealousy flaring his nerves as it always does when they interact. But Kemosiri picks up on it, and he walks towards the hybrid, placing a hand on his chest.


“I love Anne, and our lives and souls are linked. You can’t change that, none of us can, even though I know our group would try if they knew,” Karim whispers in a soft, gentle tone. “But, as I said, I also love you, and our connection is one I cannot deny. I know you can’t either.”


Karim feels his eyes swell with tears, and Kemosiri shakes his head, pulling Karim close and holding on.


“You’re a fool for holding onto your hate, but let it go. I accept it.”


Placing a hand on Karim’s chest, Kemosiri uses his magic from an entirely different plane than Karim’s to draw out the darkness in his heart, then shatters it in his fist.


Karim feels lighter, lighter than he has in a long time, and he presses his face against Kemosiri’s chest, letting tears fall between them.


“I know you’ve been holding onto the fact that our spirits are tied together too,” Anne says from her spot a few feet away. “But I think it’s time we tell everyone. You can’t hold that burden forever.”


As much as Karim dislikes Anne, he feels his hate of her start to lessen – at least a little. He’ll never love her, but he can learn to like her… one day. He won’t push himself to, but it’s something he can work on.


“Are you alright now, sweet one?” Kemosiri questions, placing a kiss against Karim’s hair.


“I… I am. Thank you, Kemosiri.” Looking over his shoulder at Anne, who beams and smiles at him, Karim can’t help but to say, “Thank you as well, Anne.”


“He’s thanking me? That’s a shock,” Anne jests, her tone full of humor. “But it’s fine. I know how much Kemosiri loves your dumb ass and I couldn’t let you lose yourself to the darkness.”


Kemosiri nods his affirmation, holding Karim closer to his chest. “If that happened, I would never forgive myself.”


Karim truly feels like a fool. He should have known Kemosiri would blame himself if he had lost his heart to evil – and finds himself even more grateful to Anne for picking up on it.


“I’m sorry, my heart. Truly,” Karim murmurs, listening to the steady thump of Kemosiri’s heart under his ear. He hears another thumping beside it, and knows it’s Anne’s heartbeat as well. Strangely, Karim doesn’t hate it.


Perhaps his hatred is lessening, even now.


“It’s alright, baby. Just don’t bottle things up anymore. Tell me everything, no matter what it is,” Kemosiri murmurs, stroking one of Karim’s wings, making him preen. “I will never judge you, and you should have known it.”


Karim nods, clinging to Kemosiri, and feels the burdens he’s carried for so long finally ease.


He loves Kemosiri.


And maybe, just maybe, he’s starting to come around to like Anne as well.

A trade w/ edritchgoth (TH) featuring their, my, and our friend kingxlink's OCs. This was super fun to write and the words came really easily, something I love whenever I sit down to tell a story. Thanks so much for trading w/ me and I'm glad Nyx and Link loved the final result. <3

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  • Date Published:
  • Author: ResonantCrimson
  • Age Rating: PG
  • Category: Original Fiction