Title: Half Empty
Author: Eleanor K.
Pairing: Ian Nottingham/Kenneth Irons
Spoilers: Not so's you'd notice. Maybe some vague ones for the last
half of the first season. .
Disclaimer: I'm actually not sure who Witchblade belongs to, but
it certainly isn't mine.
WARNINGS: It's Ian having sex with Irons-- this probably
warrants a warning in and of itself. Whether Ian contains genetic
material from Irons or not (I am not entirely clear about this),
Irons was certainly the only father he ever knew, so there's definitely
an element of incest there. Apart from that; morbid thoughts, general
twistedness, and punishment with a riding crop.
Perhaps, if not for the rain, it would never have happened.
I needed time to think, and my master had not specified a time for
me to be home, so I walked. I cannot say that the walk cleared my
head, but the weather made its impression upon me nonetheless. As
I input the security code at the gate, I glanced up at the camera
and wondered whether he was watching at that moment, if he would
want to see me before I changed. But for the fact that I was merely
sopping wet and not filthy as well, one might have thought I had
plunged fully clothed into the river. Rain had dripped down my pants
into my boots so that I squished when I walked.
Squished. Is that her word? I know I did not learn it from my master
or the doctor. Since Sara came into my life, it seems I am not so
separate from the world as I once was. I cannot say whether this
is a good thing or not. I cannot even say what my master would think
of it, and that alone is cause enough for concern. I can separate
my thoughts from his now. There was a time when I could not, and
the change is... disquieting.
So I grow toward the world and away from him? Perhaps. I had much
to think about on that walk home.
He opened the door himself before I could insert my card-key. I
bowed my head, and he stepped aside to let me pass and shut the
door behind me.
"I would have thought I taught you well enough to come in out of
the rain, Ian."
"It was not a long walk."
"And that was not an answer," he said sharply.
"You did not ask a question." See how you rebel even in this, my
heart said. How long do you think he will tolerate it? Let him make
be submit, I answered. Let him make me. Please.
My master chuckled. "No. I did not." I bowed a fraction of an inch
in acknowledgment and turned to go, but his voice stopped me. "A
moment, Ian. I won't have you using your foolishness as an excuse
to ruin my rugs."
I risked a glance up, uncertain of his meaning.
He smiled a thin smile. "Strip." His face hardened. "Now."
I bent to untie my boots. You see, my heart gloated. You see, he
rules you as he ever did. And I smiled down at my boots, thinking
to myself, Yes. Yes, let him make me. Let him prove it.
Let him answer all my unanswerable questions.
Straightening, I kicked off my boots and shrugged out of my coat,
letting it fall. The pants were difficult, wet and clinging, but
they came off and everything else followed. I stood naked on the
front hall rug, still dripping and trying not to shiver. Goosebumps
began to rise on my skin and still he did not speak.
Finally, after whole minutes of standing there, head down so I saw
only his shoes, with my hands clasped firmly behind my back no matter
how much they wanted to move to cover my privates, he moved toward
His hand lifted my chin until I was forced to look at him. He stepped
"You grow restless, Ian."
I did not know if restless was the right word for it, and again
my heart called me a traitor for questioning his diagnosis. A year
ago, a month ago, I would not have been capable of it. Still, I
"Yes, I see it in your eyes," he murmured. "You can hide nothing
from me, you know that."
"I do not wish to hide from you."
I had surprised him. There was the faintest hint of a smile that
spread to his eyes as it faded from his lips.
"Perhaps not." His voice was considering. "Perhaps you merely need
a reminder." He walked around me, fingers brushing from my jaw to
the back of my neck where his hand closed. "Is that it, Ian?" I
felt the press of his body behind me and was glad for the warmth.
He laughed low in my ear as I leaned back into him. "I require an
answer, Ian. Do you want me to remind you to whom you belong?"
I did shiver then, but not from cold. "Yes," I whispered.
I would like to ask the doctor if it is possible to engineer emotion.
I was created to serve my master, and it gives me a measure of security
to know that I will die before I betray him, but that is not emotion;
that is my whole life and purpose. What I do not know is this: Is
my love for him only a part of this purpose, or is it my own? There
are so few things I can call my own. I would like to know that I
had a choice in this, and that I chose him.
His hand ran quickly, firmly down my spine. "Then you shall have
it, Ian. Have I ever denied you anything you truly needed? Follow."
I kept my eyes on his heels as he strode quickly through the main
hall, through the library, and up the stairs. A panel of pale wood
slid aside at his touch, and we entered his bedroom.
It has changed little since I was a child. There are no mirrors
in that room, and since I was ten I have shaved him with a straight
razor every morning while he sat in his red leather chair by the
Across the room is the bed. He told me once that he brought it with
him from a castle in Germany, looted from the Nazi looters. The
four posts are carved into spirals that always recall for me the
double helix of DNA.
When I was only twelve I started dreaming about him laying me out
on that bed and-- well, I had to read books to find out what came
after 'and,' but I did find out. All my education in that area was
on my own initiative, but my master has an extensive library.
With my reading, what came after 'and' became ever more creative,
but when I woke from pubescent wet dreams, one element remained
constant; his name held in my mouth at the point of crying out,
his body, pale and strong, held in my mind's eye.
Again, I wish I could ask; was this what they intended? Surely they
must have realized I could desire no one but him. Except...
Except that now there is Sarah. Was that their plan, then?
My master turned from his survey of the view from his window and
looked at me. Though I could not see his eyes, I could feel them
on me, willing me to look up. I have had more than enough practice
to know when he wants this of me, but this time I pretended I did
not. Another small rebellion.
He was in front of me in three quick strides, forcing my chin up
once again. His eyes were on fire, and with the twisting quality
of flames they changed too fast for me to read them.
"Hands on the bed, Ian. Brace yourself."
Assume the position, I mocked him in my head, but my heart quailed.
He had not punished me like this since I was a child, and I feared
my body's reaction to his touch, even if that touch was meant only
to give me pain.
I bent from the waist and let my hands sink into the grey-green
silk of the bed clothes. The wait wasn't long. I sensed the movement
of air as he approached and then his hand was running over my skin,
down my back to my buttocks. The touches there were exploring, as
if he was mapping the details of my skin. His hand stroked and brushed
lower, down the cleft and to my upper thighs. I felt myself growing
hard and wondered if he would notice. Or care.
His hand left my skin, and I thought the loss could not be half
as bad as the pain that would follow.
I was wrong. I should have know, perhaps. A child's spanking for
a grown man? No, I should have known he had more in his mind than
A strip of fire cut across my upper thighs, and I stiffened and
almost turned. I could hear the smile in his voice when he spoke.
"I did not think my hand would be enough to get your attention,
so I have augmented it. Twenty, I think. Count them."
"One," I gasped out, still so shocked that it affected not just
my voice but my thoughts. Nothing coherent would form in my mind
save the desire to know what he was using on me. My goosebumps fled
before the tingling warmth that spread from that first blow.
Whatever it was, he swung it again, hitting my left buttock this
The third blow fell across the back of my thighs again, and
I thought I had identified his weapon; a riding crop, perhaps. The
unyielding sting of a rod followed by the sharp flick of pain at
the end of each stroke.
My cock grew hard again. By five, I was sweating, pushing back against
the blows. There was no word from him, though he must have noticed.
By ten my voice was strained. The heat building from the blows was
making me tremble as the cold had not done. He stopped for a moment
to smooth a hand over my heated skin, and it felt so cool I almost
flinched from it. The wait made it worse when he resumed.
At fifteen the first tear fell from my eye to stain the silk beneath
my hands. I cried because it was what he desired, and the pain was
a thousand times worse for knowing that he wanted it to hurt me.
At twenty I fell forward onto the bed without permission, split
between the desire to give into the sobs that waited in my chest
and the need rub against the bed and relieve my aching cock. I did
neither-- both were unthinkable-- but held myself still there until
I felt his weight settle on the bed beside me and his cool hand
soothing the welts he had made.
His fingers traced each one lightly, gently, and I began to relax.
When he rose, I did not move. Some part of me was waiting for orders,
but mainly it was only that my very bones seemed limp and shaky.
Even my erection was fading, and I dared to think that I would not
embarrass myself when I stood.
I felt his presence behind me once more and tensed, but no blow
fell. Instead, there were his hands again, coating my hot flesh
with some cooling cream. It was almost as much of a shock as the
first stroke of the crop had been, and he must have heard my quick
intake of breath.
"Calm yourself, Ian." His voice was amused. "You took your punishment
as well as ever, though I think you enjoyed more than you used to."
His hands continued to rub in the cream, and his fingers strayed
between my buttocks, delving into the cleft and out again.
I was hard again and uncomfortable enough that I shifted slightly,
not more than an inch or two, but he saw it of course.
He slapped my ass lightly. "Stay still now. We're not quite through
yet." His fingers moved once again down between my buttocks, lower
and lower still until one cream-coated finger was pressing against
my opening. The other hand reached between my legs, stroking my
I closed my eyes, bit down hard on my lip in an effort to remain
still. From this position my feet were flexed hard to keep flat
on the floor, and I concentrated on the stretch of my hamstrings
and calves as he pushed into me up to the first joint of his finger.
I could feel the slight bulge of it and the release as it went in.
My mind was gibbering at me, half trying to convince me it was real,
the other half trying to convince me it was another dream. I forced
myself to relax, told myself it didn't matter whether it was a dream
or not; I had been instructed to stay still, and that was what I
would do. For the first time in weeks, that instruction was all
I needed to set me at peace.
My body adjusted slowly, and I was able to relax again. He withdrew
the finger and added more cream, unwarmed, and the temperature was
a shock. Then his hand was back with two fingers. I could not stop
the noise I made as he found my prostate.
He did not bother to stretch me any more, and the next thing I felt
was the head of his cock at my entrance. I melted into the bed,
heat pooling in my stomach, and my cock pulsed as he slid into me.
I do not know when he undressed or how I could not have been conscious
of it, but his body was bare against my back as he leaned over me.
"Perhaps I should have done this sooner," he said softly into my
ear. Then he pulled back and took my hips in his hands.
His first thrust was hard, pushing inside me in a burst of pleasure
that I could barely distinguish from the pain of his skin sticking
against mine where he had marked me. It didn't matter. His hands
held me tightly and pulled me back to meet every stroke. He filled
me until I was aware of nothing else but the feel of him sliding
along my body, inside and out.
I was hard and rubbing against the bed every time he thrust into
me, but it wasn't enough. Every thrust drove me further from my
mind, further from my control, and eventually my control broke.
My movement wasn't much, just enough to try to get a hand to my
desperate cock, but he stopped me immediately, grabbing my wrist
and twisting my arm behind my back. The next thrust was vicious,
and then he stopped for a moment, holding my hip tight in his other
"Mine, Ian. Remember that. All that you are is mine."
I think I made some noise, though whether I intended it as agreement
or not I could not say. He stroked the line of my back and scraped
his nails over the welts he had left near the base of my spine.
Then he began to move again.
It was everything I had always wanted, and it was torture. Long
and slow, and it seemed to last forever. Fractional movements of
my cock against the bed, bright spears of pleasure as he hit my
prostate, but never enough to send me over the edge.
His pace quickened eventually, when it felt as if he had been inside
me forever, as if I had never known anything else. His breath came
in pants and fierce whispers that I could not hear for the blood
pounding in my ears. He released my wrist and used both hands to
hold my hips as he slammed into me one more time and then jerked,
once, twice, coming inside me. I heard the triumph in his cry and
He lay over me for a time afterwards, unmoving but for his hand
on my side slowly stroking. At last he moved, pulling out. I must
have made some sign of the pain it gave me, for he laid a hand on
my back and spoke.
"All right now? You can move," he added. His voice was softer than
I heard it for a good while.
I wiped my eyes, sat up, and looked at him. I could not think
how to answer, but his face said an answer was required.
I shook my head, blinking to clear the lingering wetness from my
eyelashes. "I don't know. I'm sorry. I don't know." My voice was
barely a whisper.
He smiled and stroked my cheek with one finger. "Ah, my Ian. I
don't think any apologies are necessary."
His Ian. I was his Ian only when I was very, very good, and it still
had the same effect on me that it had when I was a child. When he
said that I wished that I had the choice of serving him or not,
of giving my life for him or not, so that I could choose to do it.
"But you're not all right. I can see that." He was looking at my
cock, flat against my belly and drooling at the sight of him, naked
in front of me, at the possibility of his touch. "We shall have
to do something about that."
I closed my eyes as he reached for me; I couldn't bear to see it
if he did not... But he did. His hand closed loosely around me,
and I choked out some noise, barely human. The only warning I had
was his warm breath before he swallowed me.
My arms ceased to support me. I gripped the bed clothes with spasming
fingers and arched toward him, pushing into his mouth without thought,
without anything but desire. He took me in easily, parting my thighs
still further and working his throat muscles around me until I came,
blind from the intensity and nearly screaming. It couldn't have
taken more than ten seconds.
I came back to myself some time later; I do not know how long. I
was stretched out against his side, his arm around my shoulders,
my hand on his stomach. I lifted my face from his chest to look
"Ah, back again." His smile was not so hard edged as it usually
was. "You do my ego good, Ian. You always have. All right now?"
"Yes." I let my head drop to his shoulder. I could ask, I thought.
I could ask if this would ever happen again, if he would ever let
No, I had wanted him to make me his again, and he had. He had settled
my questions, at least for the moment. Possessions do not ask questions
and, whatever doubts creep into my heart, I know what I am.
It was his decision now, and I was content with that... though not
so content as I would once have been.
I closed my eyes and sighed against him, my body conforming to his
as easily as it had when I was a child, creeping into his arms to
ward off my nightmares. His hand came up to stroke my hair as it
had done then, and I went limp as the tension leached out of me.
He is not a monster, no matter what he thinks of himself.
Sleep was stealing over my body when I heard his voice, just a murmur
as he spoke into my hair.
"My sweet Ian. I almost wish it wasn't too late to stop this." He
kissed my hair and held me close.
I lay still, storing the sound of his voice in my heart and wiping
his last words from my mind as best I could. I would carry out his
plans, whatever they were, whatever they brought me. That was fact;
all else was fruitless speculation.