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Cain talking about Albert and being locked in a cave for a year. More looking at how Albert both meant well and was being stupid, and how Cain got it and still was furious. Vague mentions of violence, but nothing that should be upsetting.

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The cave could've been pretty, if you had a sort of mind for that. It was dry, and fairly warm, and he spent some time trying to decide if it was some kind of lava tube (no sharp obsidian and he couldn't reach the rock he thought was pumice.) He asked Albert about it, and got a sort of whuffing noise and that pained look like Albert couldn't decide if it was too dark and quiet down there.

Albert started adding candles to the care packages after that. He'd been leaving magical little lamps before, but the wards would break them and Cain found them just about useless to try to use. Cain could say that it was terrible that Albert decided to bring care packages. It was always some clothes. Food he didn't have to cook. Water. He meant well. He didn't want to be cruel.

Albert was all searing anger and hatred in his mind. The cocky idiot who thought his mad brother would be improved by locking him away. For safety. The cocky idiot was using his cursed book and it was clearly leaving him drained and his companions jumpy (or was that just him, and -) He didn't listen (or want to hear) that Cain'd sooner just - have him stop showing up. He didn't have to do anything if Albert wasn't there. But Albert was so bloody scared that Cain was going to do something -

Cain knew he couldn't starve. Enjoyed telling Albert all about that after the idiot left him up at the winter cabin just before a blizzard hit. There was enough food. Cain still tried walking down the mountain. He didn't die. Albert apologized to him that time before knocking him out. He tended to apologize. Cain liked to say that gave him an opening to throw knives at him. Albert didn't seem to get the hint.

The cabin was the first time Albert tried to deal with it. With him. He stabbed Albert, fought with his family (and his brain skittered away from how - well that went,) and then he - fled. Got a little hotel. Drank too much coffee and slept in the bathtub. And then Albert dragged him up to the cabin and told him to wait. When he came back, he rattled off a ton of stuff. Cain wasn't the first Cain. He was the destroyer of everything. Everything that Albert had - and he stabbed Albert because he was jealous. He was jealous. But that wasn't why it happened. Albert told him that his brother was dead, and the only thing that existed was - him.

Ignoring that. The cave could've been pretty. Way back, down a little side passage, the thing was open to the sky, and you could throw breadcrumbs out for the birds. It wasn't too damp. Once Cain was awake (he threw the furniture at Albert until he got the hint,) there was room to walk around. It took a while for Cain to notice that the space inside the little runes and lines was getting bigger.

Albert apparently showed up while he was still sleeping the spell off. He said Cain made a lot of noise and apologized. He must've learned from the cabin that trying to tie him up just left Cain wearing less clothes and rope rotting. Or handcuffs falling apart. Or maybe Albert morals said locking a madman in a cave was okay, but restraining him was too cautionary tales in fairy tales.

It was - better in a way. Albert couldn't use the book (it'd weaken the ward, and the ward had to fall before it could be recast.) Something about resonance. Made no sense to Cain, but he wasn't a mage. As best he understood it, the fact he could not be touched was constantly fighting the warding. And eventually, he'd win. Add more warding, and he could - be outside and in pushing on warding, and that'd possibly cause an explosion.

Cain pointed out he wouldn't die, and Albert made that face again. So Cain threw his knife at him.

The book was weird. Albert said it was in his father's library, but Cain both knew the cover and had never seen it before. The writing inside was small, and there were some little ink sketches. Like star maps or topographical circles. When Albert read the book, the world would shatter. The color bled out of the grass and sky and the world grabbed at Albert. It made Cain hear his heartbeat and it actually was something that could touch him. He was pretty sure it would kill Albert if Albert was still alive.

After time passed, and the ward got bigger, Albert's visits got farther apart. Things were going on with the war, and he was saying he didn't want to lead the war here where Cain'd be a sitting duck. Cain sneered that he didn't know Albert cared. The argument was unsatisfying. Albert was too tired and too thin, and Cain suspected they probably looked pretty terrible. Albert'd say he had the worst of it, being an empath. Cain'd ask him about the ethics of solitary confinement. It - went downhill from there.

It was maybe a year. Maybe a year and a half when a big storm blew up and the lightning and thunder could be heard all the way down there. And Cain lit some candles to wait it out. He wasn't expecting someone to show up. Albert wasn't due to show up (and Cain was pretty sure he convinced him this time to not show up.) And instead it was some very tall guy in a cloak who - sounded more scared of leaving the cave for the storm, and more angry about the wards than he had any right to be.
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