Kyle shuddered when he woke. He did not open his eyes. He really didn't want to. He didn't want to see the dark stone walls, the iron bars, the whip curled on the wall.... Any of it. But then he remembered Gabriel, weak and trembling... and let his eyes open slowly.
Gabriel sat in the corner. The sheet was clutched around him, his only covering. His knees were pulled to his chest and his red eyes staired dull and unseeing in front of him.
The calico groaned slightly as he slowly sat up. He had been lying on his side, to spare both his back and front the pain of the hard stone. Now his shoulder hurt.
Slowly, carefully, Kyle chanced moving his shoulders a little bit, but the action no longer sent driving waves of pain down his back. Though the flesh was still tender and sore, he was mercifully healing quickly.
This was what made cat demon's a hot item on a slave market. They healed fast. It made it all the easier to beat them within an inch of thier lives and know you wouldn't have to give them medical treatment right away.
However, the thought that cat demons were immortal was insanely incorrect. It was true that cat demons had longer life-spans, but they were certainly not imortal. They aged normally (like a human, that is) until the age of sixteen. Then they slowed way down, aging only about one year for about every five of a human's. Then, when they got to the age of 35 (roughly only looking 20) the process slowed down again. They aged only one year for about every ten of a human's.
Kyle was acctually 25, so he only looked around seventeen or eighteen in human years. And though he didn't know Gabriel's exact age, Kyle was willing to bet he wasn't much older or younger then him.
So, while it was true cat demons could live a very, very long time, they were certainly not immortal. In fact, they had rather weak immune systems and were very syseptable to things like plague.
However, they weren't called "demons" for nothing. Their bodies did heal physical wounds quite well. So that, within only a space of about a day, Kyle's back was already begining to heal well, and within only a few hours, nearly all of Gabriel's cuts and bruises were gone.
Still, even if Gabriel was fine physically, Kyle watched him closely. The albino didn't even seem to notice Kyle had woken. He was sitting silent in his corner, just stairing at the bars of the cell.
Slowly, Kyle approached the albino and sat beside him. "Gabriel?"
Red eyes slowly shifted to him. Gabriel studied him for a moment, as though only seeing him for the first time, then dropped his eyes down to the ground.
Kyle frowned in sypathy and concern. "Are you okay?"
Gabriel slowly nodded. "It happens a lot. All the time. I'm used to it." He murmured. The albino cat held the sheet tighter around him.
There was silent for a few long moments. Then Gabriel spoke in a voice that seemed slightly forced, as though he hadn't spoken for years. "Do you.... Did you... have any family, Kyle?" His eyes were fixed on the ground, as though the stones might come to life.
The calico blinked, thinking. "I don't think so." He said quietly. "I don't remember."
"I do." Gabriel still stared at the cell floor, his brow slightly furrowed, remembering. "Not my parent's, really... but I remember my little sister." A bitter, sad sigh escaped his lips. "She was so little. I remember thinking how fragile she was.... So small...." With his finger, he traced an invisable patteren on the floor, the same movements one would use when stokeing the fingertips of a new born babe.
Kyle felt a pang of sympathy. He couldn't imagine talking of a loved one in a past tense like that.... "What happened?" He asked, hesitantly, unsure if he should.
Gabriel frowned, still staring at the ground where his finger slowly traced the stone, and shook his head. "I don't know. We were separated. Years ago. She could be alive... or dead." His voice was tight, wondering.
The calico cat looked down at the ground. "Do you miss her?" He asked, slowly reaching out one hand to take Gabriel's, still tracing the invisible, delicate fingertips.
The albino blinked. Turning Kyle's hand palm-up, his finger now traced the scars he found there. After a pause, he nodded. "Yes. I keep thinking, if I could just find her... then everything would just fall into place.... I'd... I'd find some way to be with her.... For us to be free, forever."
Kyle felt like ice was setteling in his stomach. He did not move his hand, just let Gabriel trace the scars that had been left when one of his many masters had forced him to take handfulls of hot coals and hold them until they cooled.... It was a cruel gambling game that many masters submitted their most rebellious slaves to. The calico let out a bitter sigh. "If only it were so simple...."
Gabriel paused, looking up at Kyle now, his eyes shimmering with tears. "But it could be..." he whispered, "... It could be...." His voice trailed off.
The black-haired cat demon nodded slowly. "I think you'll find her, Gabriel. Some day."
The albino cat smiled sadly, gratefully, his eyes shifting from the ground to looking past the bars of the cell again. "Even if it is in heaven." He said, almost a whisper. "Or Hell." He added dryly.
Kyle looked down at the ground sadly. It was so hard to focus on life... when death was sitting up on the next floor.