Author: The Magic Rat
Word Count: 3389
Website – Ex Libris: www.winter-wood.net/ex-libris/…
Live Journal: delaese.livejournal.com/profil…
Disclaimer: Metalocalypse, the members of Dethklok, and lyrics to Dethklok songs belong to Brendon Small, Cartoon Network and Turner Music. Copyright for all stories and original characters such as Badger the Roadie is with the author, and may not be published, copied, distributed or archived without the author's prior written consent.
Summary: Dethklok built a mountain retreat that may be too metal for even them.
Author’s notes: Written for Nathan/Charles Month at Brutal Business. Sincere warm and heartfelt thanks to pirateking42 and zsomeone for encouraging me to come back to the fandom. I really missed it.
I meant totally metal and brutal thanks. Yeah.
It was Nathan’s idea, of course. He had watched a show about the Eagle’s Nest, Adolf Hitler’s infamous cliff-top lair, and decided that Dethklok needed one, only higher and more metal. The mountain selected for the Dragon’s Roost was located in the Himalayas, and was one of the highest in the range. They had considered Everest, but it had been scaled so many times that the band selected another peak; one nearly as high but untouched by mountain climbers. They then proceeded to blow millions of dollars building a truly amazing mountaintop retreat.
The first time Charles saw it, he had a creepy feeling. There was something incredibly eerie about the house. There was the way it was more or less carved into the mountain like the warren of some unknown animal, tunnelling in and out of the living rock as if cut by a gigantic worm. In order to reach his room, Charles had to follow dark halls, lit only with torches that sent freakish mindless shadows dancing crazily across the rough walls. Then there was the profound silence, with only the sound of his own footsteps of stone. There were no bugs or birds at this altitude; just wind, and it moaned softly down the halls and around the windows, prowling like the ghosts of winter wolves, still seeking hot blood and meat even though they had long since passed.
He had not even found his room yet when he ran into Toki, who made no bones that he was scared to be there, and his fear was only increasing as night was slowly lowering itself down on the mountain. He was shaking visibly, staring up at stars that were now so clear and sharp it was as if they were standing upon Olympus itself, and the gods could return at any moment to find the mortal invaders. Toki was standing on a sweeping veranda, like something from a surreal version of Ancient Greece, cringing as he gazed up. Charles walked over to him, not liking how obviously frightened the younger man was.
“Toki? Are you all right?”
Toki’s blue eyes were huge. “Sky is gone. Is likes we is goings to floats away into space.”
“It’s all right, Toki. We’re not that high up. It won’t happen.”
“Yes. Yes I am very sure.”
“Why is you sure?”
“Well because even if you did start to float away, you would be stopped by the outer stratosphere and just sort of… stay there. You wouldn’t be moving fast enough to leave it.”
Toki stared at Charles with a mixture of horror and terror, then bolted inside. Charles sighed loudly, letting his head fall back in exasperation.
“Great. I scared the hell out of Toki. Way to go.”
A deep gravelly voice spoke from behind him. “That was
Charles turned to face Nathan, who was grinning at him. “I wasn’t trying to scare him.”
“I know. But it was still pretty funny.”
Nathan moved forward, coming to stand beside Charles, gazing up at the sky. Charles also gazed upwards, watching the stars. He could see how Toki would worry about floating away; it was as if he reached a hand up, he would feel the barrier between the atmosphere and space.
“This house was a stupid idea,” said Nathan.
“What makes you say that?” asked Charles.
“It cost a fortune to build, and now we’re all scared to stay here.”
Charles laughed. “It will just take some getting used to.”
“Not sure that will happen,” said Nathan. “C’mere.”
He motioned for Charles to follow him, then turned and walked into the depths of the stone house. They went deep into the tunnels, carrying torches, followed by eerie mad and dancing forms until they reached one of the great halls. Nathan pointed at something on the wall; an enormous fossilized animal, still partially encased in stone, forming a focal point between two enormous fireplaces.
“What’s so scary about that?” asked Charles. “It’s just a fake fossil you commissioned and had brought up.”
“No,” growled Nathan. “The fake is over there.” He indicated the wall to the far right of the hall. Then he indicated the one before him. “That one was found by the stone-carvers.”
Charles stepped closer, staring at the beast. He had no idea how old it was, but the fossil was incredibly well preserved. There was even still a bit of skin left, stone now like the rest, showing distinct shield-shaped scales. It had a long head, filled with thin, sharp teeth that jutted in all directions, and a magnificent crest of feathers, now little more than impressions in stone. It had four legs and great wings, as well as a long tail covered in spikes that jutted and poked like the teeth. He reached up to carefully touch it.
“You’re sure this is real? Not the fake?”
Nathan pointed to the other fossil on the wall. “Go look.”
Charles did, and grinned as soon as he got a close look at the other “fossil”. There was no mistaking it as anything other than the result of five grown man-children. For one thing, real fossils very rarely were found clutching a Gibson Flying V.
“The guitar is a bit of a giveaway,” Charles admitted.
“We all put in something,” said Nathan. “Skwisgaar put in the guitar, Murderface put in the mangled human bones, Pickles added the vodka bottle, Toki put the model plane in its teeth, and I put in that.”
Nathan indicated a carved stone box, artfully set into the grasping claws of the monster.
“What’s that?” Charles asked.
“Box,” said Nathan.
“Yes I see it’s a box, I was just wondering…”
Nathan quietly cut him off. “We included you too.”
Charles looked where Nathan was indicating, and saw… a dessert dish? Was this a pie reference? No. No the dish was too decorative, trimmed with gold and delicate lace-like holes around the edge. No it was a tea-saucer, not a dessert dish. But he rarely drank tea. He preferred coffee, or brandy. What would a tea saucer represent?
Nathan grinned as Charles adjusted his glasses and stepped closer, trying to interpret the meaning of the little dish. Tea saucer. Saucer. Wait. There was something in it. A tiny pile of little question marks, cut of black metal. A saucer full of question marks? No! Wait!
“A saucerful of secrets, am I right?” asked Charles.
Nathan laughed, quietly, briefly. “Yeah. I knew you’d get it. But… you are, you know.”
“Takes one to know one,” said Charles, reaching out to touch the box Nathan had refused to explain. Nathan shrugged.
“Sometimes it’s better to keep a secret than tell it. Sometimes if you tell a secret, it just gets used against you.”
Well there was no arguing that. Charles was in the business of keeping Dethklok’s secrets, even though most of them were there for the world to see if one knew where to look. They were in the scars on Toki’s back, the bottles on Pickles’ floor, in Murderface’s offensive demeanor, in Skwisgaar’s relentless bedding of older women, and in Nathan’s difficulty in expressing himself. The only one hiding his secrets with any real success was Charles himself.
Skwisgaar came into the hall just then. He was wearing nothing other than a pissed-off expression, and the golden hair was rumpled. He looked like he had been asleep and rudely awakened, possibly by a hysterical Norwegian guitar player. Skwisgaar grabbed up a bottle of raspberry mead from the bar near the fake fossil, then gave Charles a cold nasty stare before leaving.
“T’ankings a lot, lawyers-man.”
Definitely by a hysterical Norwegian guitar player. Well Charles couldn’t say he minded the view. A night with Skwisgaar would certainly not be the worst way he had ever spent an evening, but he’d want a muzzle and maybe some restraints. Skwisgaar was known to bite and claw. Yeah a few silk ropes, a muzzle, maybe some thigh-high leather boots…
And he was putting way too much thought into this. Then Nathan nudged him.
“Hey. Charles. There’s steam coming out of your shorts.”
“There is not,” Charles huffed, trying to regain his composure and slightly embarrassed to be caught staring.
“It’s okay. I like to watch him walk too. Hey if you like him, you should… y’know… see if he wants to play.”
“No, I think Toki has already claimed him,” said Charles. “At least for tonight. Besides, it’s really not a good idea to have casual sex with the people you work for.”
Nathan snorted. “Charles we work for you and you know it. We pay you so you won’t fire us.”
“I’d be bored without you.”
Nathan stared at him. “Really?”
“Yes. Yes I would. I’d have no one to drink my brandy, or get airplane glue on my desk, or wake me up at 2:45 in the morning because Toki is running around with a clown who does cocaine, or lace the pie I had for lunch with LSD just prior to my meeting with the label heads…”
“That was pretty funny.”
“Yes I’m sure from your side it was. I would like you to understand, however, there will be future ramifications.”
“Uh-huh. Noted,” said Nathan, in a very good impression of Charles’ tone, if not his voice. Charles smiled, and looked back to the fake fossil.
“So... a saucerful of secrets. I had no idea you knew I liked Pink Floyd.”
“Oh. Yeah. We know. I mean… when we pass your rooms at night we can hear. I mean not that we like… hang outside your rooms at night. Because that would be weird. Right?”
Nathan looked to Charles, his expression worried. Charles just smiled.
“Well it would depend on why you were out there.”
“Well it totally wouldn’t be because sometimes I wish I didn’t feel like such a loser around you and wished you liked me.”
Charles should have won an award for managing to keep a straight face. “Of course.”
“Because I don’t… uh… … … yeah. Whatever.”
Did this man have the first idea how adorable he was?
“No of course not. But… if I did like you... how would you feel about that?”
“I dunno. I’m… kinda… uh… well… you could do better.”
Charles decided to help Nathan sort this one out. For one thing, it would give him valuable insight into the way Nathan’s brain worked. Funny how a man who had billions of fans and billions of dollars could still have such a low opinion of himself.
“Don’t you think that would be up to me to decide if I could do better?”
“No. Because you could. And then when we broke up you would leave and in three months the whole band would be living in a dumpster.”
“Nathan… even if you and I broke up, I would not stop managing the band.”
“Really? Cuz… break-ups are usually really ugly.”
Charles moved closer, looking up into Nathan’s green eyes. “Well they certainly can be,” said Charles softly. “But they don’t have to be. And who says there will be a break-up?”
“Well there won’t be because we’re not getting together. I mean unless you like… wanted to. But… you’d have to forgive me in advance for anything I do because you already, like…? What’s that lawyer-term? Had like… prior knowledge that I’m an idiot.”
Charles laughed. “So what do you want to do for our first date?”
“I dunno. Wanna see the rest of the house?”
“I’d love to.”
Charles took Nathan’s arm, looking up at him, grinning as Nathan became visibly flustered. The man was so damned cute. They left the cold stone hall, and walked into the cold stone passages. Charles could see why Toki would be spooked; this place was incredibly unsettling. The halls wove in and out of the mountain, sometimes emerging through the side of the mountain. They would step onto breezeways of black marble, looking out over nothing more than an expanse of darkening sky. Despite himself, Charles found himself holding onto Nathan’s arm more tightly. All around was silence and stars.
“It is really eerie,” said Charles quietly.
“Then you’re not gonna like my bedroom.”
Nathan led Charles back into the mountain, and they followed the winding passages. At one point they came upon cave-paintings, but these did not look like conventional prehistoric art. Charles paused to study the figure of a man, painted with wode and wearing a Great-Kilt. Gathered around him were small animals that seemed to be dancing. Charles sighed loudly.
“Let me guess. Several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a Pict.”
“Aw you’re too good at this.”
“It’s mandatory to listen to Pink Floyd when going to university.”
They reached a door at the end of the hallway; a door carved of stone and black wood, looking like a gateway to another world. Nathan pushed the door open, and Charles flinched, feeling his courage leave him.
The room was roughly a hundred feet wide, and one side of it was nothing but window, gazing into moonlit space. The light within the room was an eerie greenish-blue that seemed to ripple and waver. Overhead were the undersides of rippling waves, and cruising slowly around the room, swimming languidly from wall to wall, were great creatures of the forgotten deep; plesiosaurs, mososaurs, and ceresiosaurus, along with many others Charles could not name. The entire room had been set up to look like the bottom of some prehistoric lake, complete with the eerie creaking, clacking, and groaning noises of aquatic horrors. Charles braced himself against Nathan, eyes enormous from behind his glasses. When Nathan tried to nudge him inside, Charles adamantly refused to go. Nathan gave another little nudge, and gathered by the way Charles didn’t budge an inch that he really did not want to go into the room.
“It’s the balcony, isn’t it?” asked Nathan.
A pliosaur nearly sixty feet long cruised by. Charles couldn’t get around Nathan’s huge body, so he did the next best thing; he climbed him like a cat climbing a tree. Nathan grabbed onto him before Charles could get over him and stepped out of the room. Charles’ heart was pounding so hard Nathan could feel it, and he was breathing so hard he was beginning to cough. Nathan held him tightly, trying to get him to calm down.
“Charlie calm down! What’s the matter with you?”
Charles Offdensen, with the fierce determination of a cat that knows it is on its way to the bath, scrabbled over Nathan’s shoulder, down his back, and was gone. By the time Nathan caught up with him, Charles was in his office, breathing heavily into a paper bag.
“So what’s the problem?” asked Nathan. “Scared of stars? Dinosaurs? Caves?”
Charles shook his head, coughing as he fought to get himself under control. “Water,” he finally managed to say. “A truly profound phobia of being under water.”
“But… it’s not really under water. It’s just lights.”
“So you’re… scared of light-water too?”
“No, just water.”
“But… the water in my room isn’t real water…”
“Nathanial Explosion I don’t question your relentless and irrational cramming of laser pointers up your nose, do not question my relentless and irrational fear of being underwater.”
“So… we’ll just have sex in your room.”
“I’m sorry?” said Charles questioningly as he was picked up, paper bag and all, slung over a broad shoulder and carried out of the room. Knubbler, who had just arrived and was standing in the hallway outside the office, watched the pair go by.
“I’m assuming the meeting about how production is going has been cancelled,” said Knubbler.
“I think I’m being kidnapped,” said Charles.
“Huh. In that case I’ll reschedule,” said Knubbler.
Charles was carried into an enormous room decorated like something that would house a Lord of the Dark Elves. The walls were polished ebony-wood, carved with images of dragons and demons, of lords of the fae realm following packs of enormous hounds into foreboding woods to hunt stags that breathed fire, their black hooves studded with gems to look like burning coals. The lamp above his head was iron, wrought to look like dragon claws, and the gigantic fireplace was built of black marble. It extended into the room several feet, and was shaped like the gaping jaws of a raging dragon, ready to breathe fire at any moment.
Charles was dumped onto an immense four-poster bed and onto quilts of red and black velvet. Moments later Nathan was lying beside him, grinning as Charles tried to take everything in.
“Nathan this place is beautiful. But why don’t I have any windows?”
“You do. You press a button on the wall and the panels slide back. But I wanted you to see them.”
Charles would have liked to have had a much closer look at the panels, but he was currently sunk into a decadently soft bed with a very large man beside him. He turned his head to look at Nathan.
“I’m not sure walking me through the house and then throwing me onto a bed counts as a date.”
“The groupies seem fine with it.”
“I am not a groupie.”
“That’s why I built you a room, instead of just renting one for an hour.”
“Can’t argue with that,” grumbled Charles. He fought a smile as he was drawn close to a very large chest. “I think I’m mad at you,” he warned.
“Not allowed,” Nathan growled, nibbling him gently.
“Fine. But… be nice, okay? We’ll never have another first time.”
“Charles… I would never hurt you on purpose. Not for anything. And we got all night. In about an hour a Gear is gonna show up with dinner and wine, and while we’re eating he’s gonna fill the hot tub. We’re gonna spend all night just uh… making friends and seeing how much you’re willing to put up with before you smother me with a pillow. …. Yeah.”
Charles adjusted his position, moving over top of Nathan, kissing him.
“I might be willing to put up with quite a bit. Now about that fossil in the fire hall. You’re sure it’s not a fake?”
“Well yeah, pretty sure. Unless someone put it there on their own. We didn’t.”
“It’s just odd. It really looked like a dragon.”
“Yeah!” said Nathan. “Cool, huh? But… there are no dragons. And if there were, they’re all gone now. Which is sad.”
“It is,” said Charles quietly. “But at least you now have the fossil of one. Possibly the only fossil in the world.”
“Yeah,” said Nathan. “That’s pretty awesome.”
Charles moved closer, gently kissing Nathan, gasping quietly as he was drawn close. They settled into the velvet, caressing and kissing, slowly exploring each other, unwilling to rush the evening. Nathan took hold of Charles’ tie, slowly sliding the knot down, undoing the tie and tossing the fluttering piece of crimson silk to the floor before turning his attention to the white shirt.
Neither noticed as something other than flames moved in the fireplace. The tiny baby animal squeaked, bobbing its head, then clumsily galloped out of the fireplace. It had a long head, filled with thin, sharp teeth that jutted in all directions, and a few comic spikes on the tiny head that would one day be a magnificent crest of feathers. It had four legs, and was dragging clumsy little rumpled wings, as well as a long tail covered in spikes that jutted and poked like the teeth. The little shield-shaped scales glittered a metallic golden-red, and it bumbled over to the red tie, grasping it by the diamond tie-clip before turning and running back to the nest, where its sleeping mother lay.