Kronii had been searching for you for… months, now. Perhaps a week had passed, in 'real time'—she spent only enough time moving in sync with reality to not appear as if she was ignoring her duties.
She still felt no closer to finding you. It was ridiculous. Impossible, that somebody would be able to hide her lover away from her sight.
She'd called in all the favors she could—from Sana, Fauna, even Baelz—and none of them had been able to assist her.
There were only two possibilities.
One: You were somehow outside of the domains of the Council. Outside of time, outside of space. Even outside the formless chaos that preceded reality.
Two: One of the members of the Council was, for some reason, deliberately occluding her search. According to the gods who created them, no member of the Council could act directly against another—they were to always be in balance, not even capable of fighting amongst themselves.
Of course, there was third option… but Kronii didn't want to let her mind dwell on the possibility that you somehow ceased to exist entirely—Fauna had insisted that she also search for your body, if you were dead, but that kind of thing had yet to return results either.
So you had to be alive, she reasoned to herself. You had to.
She's had quite a few false leads, of course—dozens of souls that were quite nearly yours, but not quite—and one awkward occurence where she dropped in on a version of you that had arrived from another timeline.
This one, though—it felt solid. She had never known all of your soul, of course—it would be a terrible violation, to do that to somebody she had yet to marry—but this one felt like you, more than any of the others.
So when she dropped back into sync with the world around her, it was… quite alarming, to find herself at Fauna's home.
Fauna probably just found you first, Kronii reasons. It would make sense. Still, a bit of worry creeps down her spine as she knocks on the door, trying her best to retain a polite facade.
It takes a few moments for her to recieve a response. Most people would knock again, or tap their foot, but Kronii just casually speeds up her perception of time until the door opens, knowing it'll take Fauna forever to get to the door, at her usual pace.
"Kronii?" The kirin blinks sleep from ehr eyes as the door cracks open. "What's going on?"
"Please." She exhales through gritted teeth. Despite her domain, Kronii had never been exceptionally patient. "I felt Anon here. Where is he?"
Her tone is almost a growl—Fauna should know how long she's spent looking for her vanished love. Why would she delay?
"Oh." Fauna stifles a yawn. "Right. Come in."
Clad only in a thin, gauzy nightgown, the keepr of nature looks like a ghost as she leads Kronii through moonlit halls.
So intent on her goal, the warden doesn't even notice as the hallways become more and more winding, less and less familiar the further in she goes.
She does, however, balk when Fauna brings her to… an elevator? Since when did her house have an elevator in it?
"He's down there," Fauna whispers into her ear. "Come on."
So close. What did it matter if this was strange? She'd be with him again soon.
Kronii steps into the elevator, and Fauna presses a button. The box begins to descend—and something strikes Kronii. Wasn't Fauna terrified of elevators?
She blinks, taking another look at the kirin. It looked like there was a mist floating around her… was that always there?
And since when did she get… this tired?
She rubs at her eyes, eyelids feeling as heavy as lead. What was going on?
Unwillingly, she feels herself falling slowly to the floor of the elevator. How long had they been descending for? It was so hard to keep her open…
"Night night, sweetie," Fauna whispers, as the Warden's head finally falls. "Sweet dreams." She giggles to herself as the elevator door slides open.

Kronii wakes with a start, gasping for clean air. The room she wakes in is pitch black, and she's alone—neither Fauna nor (You) are anywhere to be found.
Trying to stand, she quickly realizes she's been handcuffed to a chair, unable to move. She grits her teeth, and focuses—a quick burst of power frees her from the old chair she was locked to, sending her stumbling onto the rough floor.
Ugh. She felt like shit. There was no telling how long she'd been out—or if anything had happened while she was.
Her clothes were still in place—that was somehting she'd learned to check, after too many nights drinking with Baelz—and she didn't feel hurt. Maybe a little bruised, like she'd been dragged over a short distance while unconscious.
Whatever. That wasn't important. She stood, rubbing sore spots on her wrists, clicking her tongue. If Fauna thought some darkness would stop her…
She strode forward confidently—while she couldn't tell what was around her exactly, it felt like she was in a long room at the end of a corridor—extending her senses outside of her body to feel what was ahead.
Making her way down the corridor just by feel wasn't as hard as it looked. It was just frustrating—now, on top of not knowing where you were, Fauna had made keeping Kronii in the dark absurdly literal.
Eventually, she felt her way to a door—a solid slab of what felt like metal. Her fingers played across the cool surface—trying to shift the barrier out of sync with real time, like she'd done with the chair.
Unfortunately, it was to no avail. She was too woozy to focus properly. She slammed a fist against the door, making it shudder, but accomplishing little.
"Oh, you're awake?" Fauna's quiet voice floated through the air, and the lights suddenly switched on.
Harsh, fluorescent light blinded her for a moment as bulbs hummed to life, filling the room with white.
The door she had been attempting to open, it turned out, had a small window—Fauna had been behind it, presumably about to open it. Damn it. She normally didn't have such rotten timing.
"How was your nap?" Fauna asked, a surprisingly sadistic smile on her normally soft face. "I hope you enjoyed it, after I went through such trouble to prepare it."
Kronii had no idea how Fauna had managed to circumvent the 'rules', and she didn't care.
"Just let me go!" She punched the door again, and it creaked ominously. "And where's Anon?"
"Oh, do you want to see him?" she asked, as if the idea just came to her. "Right, of course you would." The condescension in her tone was extremely aggravating, not that Kronii could do anything but grit her teeth about it.
Fauna stepped back, her eyes glowing a strange orange color as she retreated into the darkness in the hall beyond. Kronii continued pounding at the door, but it refused to yield to even her most furious punches.
Just as her knuckles were starting to hurt, Fauna returned—and behind her, Kronii could see a shadowed bulk.
"Anon!" she gasped, recognizing your presence. She pressed herself up against the door, face against the glass. For the span of three breaths, all her anger was forgotten, and she was just happy to see you again.
That quickly faded when you stepped into the light, and she saw how you'd changed.
The vacant expression on your face was just the first thing she noticed. The second was that you were probably a good foot taller—towering over Fauna, and probably Kronii too—and significantly more muscular. Like you'd spent the entire four month period you'd been missing in the gym.
"What did you do?" she gasped, her eyes meeting Fauna's for a moment. Her gaze flicked back to you for a moment, and she noticed an odd green scar on your neck—right where most humans had an artery, she thought. It was glowing, pulsing with a pale light. Something was seriously wrong.
"Oh, I just… improved him a bit." Fauna exhaled, pulling you against her. You let out a long-held breath, and wrapped the keeper of nature in a tight embrace, seemingly instinctively. "He's very thankful."
The sight of her lover kissing another woman filled Kronii with rage, enough to burn whatever remained of the sleeping drug out of her system. A second later the door separating her and Fauna was gone—back to wherever its constituent atoms were a few billion years ago.
Unfortunately, she couldn't do much to tear you away from Fauna—rules prevented her from harming the kirin, and she didn't want to hurt you. But she could at least fix you—bring you back to before all this.
She reached out with her power, and… nothing. You just kept french kissing Fauna, eyes dull as they slid right over Kronii's face.
"Get off of him!" She tried to pull you away, but Fauna's grip was too tight as she hung off of you, luxuriating in the sight of Kronii's impotent rage.

Finally, the keeper broke from your lips—clearly, you had been 'improved' to not require as much oxygen—and threw a glance over her shoulder at the warden of time…
"Kronii, come on. Don't you get it?" Her glowing eyes locked with Kronii's, her gaze boring a hole through the other woman. "He doesn't love you anymore," she whispered, stroking your face.
"What?" There was no way that was true! How would Fauna even do that? The kirin let go of you, and you dutifully released her as well, standing at her back.
"True, I had to spend a lot of time getting all this right. But I figured it out. A bit of tweaking, with his brain chemistry," she shrugged. "A little… transplant." She glanced down at her wrist, and Kronii's gaze followed—there was a small scar there.
"You replaced part of his body with yours?" Kronii asked, her voice hollow. Why? That didn't make any sense.
"I did." She smiled. "That, and some other things… well, he's immortal now, among other things." She gave Kronii another smug look. "For one, bearing my blood… he's under the same pact as we are."
Oh, gods. So you were stuck this way? How did she… why would she…
"I know, you don't understand." Fauna stepped forward, laying a 'comforting' hand on Kronii's shoulder. "It's very simple." She leaned in, her lips nearly brushing against Kronii's ear. "You didn't appreciate him. You didn't love him."
"That's ridiculous!" Kronii snarled, jerking away from Fauna. "Of course I do!" The kirin looked at her sadly, as if she had failed to understand something.
"Do you know how long I've watched over humanity?" the keeper asked. "How long I've wanted something like what you two had?"
"I don't care," Kronii snapped. She'd figure out a way to get you back to normal. Even if she couldn't reverse time… maybe she could just take Fauna's… bits out of you, and then fix it?
"Of course you don't," Fauna sighed. "That's your problem. You don't care, not really. You act like you do, but you don't reall feel love. Not like I do." She touched a hand to her heart. "And when I saw how badly you were treating him… of course I would do something about it."
"Bullshit!" Kronii hadn't treated you badly! "I love him! I never did anything to hurt him!"
"But you did," Fauna whispered, reaching out to you. She clasped your hand in hers—holding it up to the warden. Scars were evident on your fingers—minor cuts, grease burns from cooking for Kronii. "He spent nearly two years cooking for you, and how often did you thank him?"
"That's… that's ridiculous!" she sputtered. That wasn't abuse!
"How many times did you say thank you to him at all?" Fauna's voice turned vindictive. "I watched, you know. That housewarming gift I got you?"
"Oh, gods." The fucking potted cactus. You had insisted on trying to raise it properly, since it was a gift from Kronii's friend. Kronii knew Fauna could see through plants, but she'd never even connected the gift with that.
"Mhm. He made you dinner every night. Even the nights you didn't come home." What? You'd always just said those were leftovers, when Kronii asked! "And he waited up for you. You can control time, and you couldn't even come home every night to your boyfriend?"
"I can't do that all the time!" Kronii shot back. "There are rules! I can't just play around with my powers!"
"Excuses," Fauna whispered back, venom on her tongue. She looked up at you, still just standing there, and interlocked her fingers with yours. "I'm there for him, you know. Every night… every day." She smiles a sad smile. "I cook for him, most days, even though he always asks to do it instead. We do the chores together, and every night I fall asleep in his arms." She sounds almost… nostalgic.
"You could've found somebody else!" Kronii exclaims. "Why him?" The kirin shrugs, turning her gaze to you—and you met it, coming alive again to lay a hand on her shoulder.
"I fell in love," she says, like it explains her stealing Kronii's boyfriend, and then hiding him for months while she… 'improved' him to forget her.
"You don't know what love means," the warden hisses.
"I know more than you," the keeper sighs. "Here, let's test it." She rubs a thumb against your palm. "Anon, love? Wake up." She snaps, and you blink, swaying a bit on your feet.
"Huh? Where are we?" you ask, your voice uncertain.
"Underground," she tells you, seeing no reason to lie to her lover. "Sorry for waking you." You shake your head—it didn't matter.
"Anon!" Kronii runs up to you, grabbing at your other hand. "Thank the gods you're awake! Let's get out of here!"
"…who're you?" you ask, brows knitted in confusion. Something breaks in Kronii. a precious, fragile thing that could never be replaced.
"Dear, can you do me a favor?" Fauna asks, as Kronii gasps for breath, clutching at her chest. "This is Kronii. She's a coworker of mine."
"Oh. Nice to meet you," you tell the warden, smiling down at her.

The greeting only seems to hurt her more—she lets out a small, choking noise, her breath hitching like she's about to cry.
"She's a little confused. She seems to be under the impression you were in a relationship with her," Fauna tells you, her voice soothing, grounding you.
"Why?" you ask, confused. "I've never seen her before in my life."
"She's… well, you know we're concepts, right dear?" You nod. "She's the warden of time. It seems like while she was working, she got her memories mixed up with another timeline, where the two of you were… romantically involved."
"Oh." That… was weird, but okay. "I'm sorry to hear that," you tell the woman, crouched on the floor. Her chest heaves, and she sobs, hiding tears behind gloved hands.
"She's a little confused—and I think it would be best for her if things were stated in clear terms, so that he could make a clean break." You wince, but Fauna catches it. "It may sound harsh, but it's necessary."
"…okay. I trust you," you tell the green-haired woman. She softens, her head resting on your arm. "Ahem." You direct your eyes to the woman—Crow something?—on the floor. "I'm sorry, miss. I'm in love with Fauna, and I have no intention of leaving her."
"Ah." Fauna flushes—she always was weak to your forthright declarations. She takes a second to compose herself, as the woman on the floor looks up at you. "There," she says, swallowing. "That should settle things, right?"
"Anon…" The woman lets out a breath, a hint of hope still in her eyes. "Please. I know you're strong. You can break through this."
"Ma'am, I don't know what you're talking about." You drop to one kness, getting on her level. "If you need help, I'm sure we have a bed upstairs you can use. Whatever we can offer, I'm sure you won't mind, right honey?" You grin a little to yourself—your own little in joke, calling her 'honey'—she used to call you 'bumblebee', the way you were always working, so you started calling her 'honey'. Or 'flower girl', or… well, it was stupid.
"Ah." Fauna's expression falls, looking back at you. "Sorry, I'm not sure it would be good for her to be around you right now. Like I said, a clean break."
"Right, of course." You were a bit of a scatterbrain sometimes. You stand, laying a hand on your darling's shoulder. "I'm sorry, again."
"I…" She tries to say something, but a ragged sob rips its way out of her throat, cutting her off. "I can't believe it."
"Go to sleep, honeybee," your lover whispers in your ear, and your awareness fades.

Fauna disentangles herself from Kronii's old lover, letting the dead-eyed man return to a relaxed posture.
"There you have it," she tells Kronii. "Straight from the horse's mouth." She chuckles at the nature-related idiom.
"You broke him," Kronii whimpers, her voice shattered, like shards of glass. "Gods, he's really gone."
"He's happy this way. Happier than he was," the kirin whispers to the warden.
"I… you bitch," she spits. "I'll never forgive you for this."
"I think you'll get over it," the keeper sighs. "Like you always say… 'time heals all wounds'."
Kronii throws herself at Fauna with a scream, trying to strike her—but the blow never lands, frozen an inch from her face.
"Though… I could give you something, I suppose," she whispers, the corners of her lips twitching upwards. "A consolation prize."
"Shut up!" Kronii howls, continuing to strike the air—a strangely-shaped sword goes flying through the space where Fauna's head was just a second ago, the keeper ducking under the blow just to be polite.
"Anon, dear?" You step forward, unheeding of Kronii's blows—none of them land on you, either. "Do me a big favor." Hypnotic conditioning slides into place.
"What is it?" you ask, still barely conscious.
"Rape her," she commands, gazing at Kronii like she's a piece of trash.
The warden freezes—you wouldn't. You couldn't, if you were bound by the rules.
"Okay." You pause, removing your pants as Kronii stands frozen like a deer in the headlights.
"What—get off!" She gnashes her teeth as you seize her arms, pushing her down on the cold concrete floor. You sholdn't be able to touch her—how did she…'A little bit of tweaking', Fauna had said. Bullshit.
Your half-hard cock pushes against Kronii's entrance—even cvered by her panties, she can feel it.
"What did you do?" she asks through gritted teeth, the fight already dying out of her. She can't even strike back, after all.
"Like I said… just a few improvements." The kirin giggles, her gaze fixed on Kronii's horrified expression. "It turns out I'm a bit of a size queen. Who knew," she chuckles, as you pull her panties down.

Your dick was easily twice as big as it had been before. Kronii had no idea how Fauna handled that thing without being torn apart, but—
"GUACK!" The air is driven out of her lungs as your cock thrusts into her. She's completely unprepared for it, and your dick rips her insides open, a tearing feeling sending agony ripping through her body.
"See? Even if he was yours still, you couldn't handle him," Fauna says, a sandaled foot landing right next to Kronii's ear. "If you don't love him enough to accept him inside you, how can you say he belongs with you?"
Kronii can barely hear her, the pain overwhelming her senses. It's agony—but she remains conscious. She has no choice—she's far beyond human, and her body can take a lot more punishment than this. Even if she wished for the void, it wouldn't come.
"I don't want this to stretch on. I have other things to do tonight," the kirin tells Kronii. "Ha. Stretch." Drool drips from Kronii's lips, her jaw hanging open as she grunts with pain—her former lover thrusting on top of her mechanically, uncaring of how she felt. "I'm sure the point is made."
Kronii couldn't respond—not with words—but she manages a weak glare, and she spits, her salive landing on one of Fauna's manicured toenails.
"Hmph." The keeper of nature clicks her tongue. "Right. Darling?" Her fingers play through your hair, and you look up, your hips still continuing their steady rhythm as you ruin Kronii irreparably. "Cum," she orders, and you obey.
Of course, Fauna hadn't left that part of you unaltered either. Your balls pulse, and Kronii's pupils contract in shock as she feels what's coming.
Her insides are blasted with your seed—semen backflowing out of her canal after just one pulse, not to mention what's yet to come.
By the end, Kronii lies insensate in a small puddle of blood and cum, and you rise, your cock dripping with that same mixture.
Despite herself, she feels her body wracked by an orgasm, even as Fauna returns her gesture by spitting on her face. The feeling of your presence, your weight on her body… she'd been conditioned to enjoy it, and even with the pain…
"Disgusting," she sighs. "Honestly, I should've realized you were such a huge masochist—maybe I could've done this sooner."
She doesn't know how long she lies there.
The last thing she notices is feeling your presence fade. For good this time.

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Pub: Sep 07 2021 08:30 UTC
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