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It's either Duryodhana or his brothers.

Never both at the same time.

Duryodhana's the one he truly wanted, but Karna wouldn't beg for him. He would have to hold out his stamina through a hundred men. Duryodhana would have to hold out through the anticipation. They would both have to wait.

But it's not as if this game wasn't completely for Duryodhana's benefit in the first place.

Multitudes of them, all over him. Between turns debauching him, the brothers drink water from their vessels. Pour it all over their bodies and into their mouths.

The air is sweltering.

He can tell his king is pleased with this ruinous view of him: Karna lying on the ground, voice shattered, fluids dripping all over his mouth, his face, his chest, between his legs.

It's not long before they evaporate into steam from the very warmth of his body. He glows and produces a heat haze; with the energy of a star, he almost feels like he could go on forever.

He won't lose.

Karna doesn't mind this game but still thinks it's strange. He would never be comfortable seeing his own little brother doing such things.

But Duryodhana wears a fascinated smile watching Karna surrounded by his own blood. He remains unbothered as a summer breeze, though Karna is certain he holds no particular interest in seeing them this way either.

Duryodhana's brothers... even the ones he doesn't often speak with, even the ones he doesn't always get along with, all seem to have a natural affection for him. They all seem to know him in ways they couldn't possibly know.

And they all look... like they're in love. But only at times like these, he's noted.

"We Kauravas are all one flesh." Duryodhana had once explained to him. "Quite literally."

He had asked if Karna remembered what he had told him about the story of their birth. Karna had nodded.

The Kauravas were born as one single mass and cut up into individuals.

"That's why I'm their leader.

They are all a part of me."

And Karna had said, "I see."

But he didn't really.

He supposed he would never understand such a connection.

One by one, the brothers exhaust themselves. Karna himself is ragged. Despite all the bodies surrounding them, it feels to Karna as if he were alone with Duryodhana.

His king hasn't touched even himself, but he's sweating from more than just the temperature. Duryodhana has held up his end by agonizingly doing nothing.

Until the very last one drops to the ground, blacked out, only then does he come close.

He kneels and examines Karna's panting face.

His eyes are unfocused and his muscles twitch. No one has ever seen him in such a state.

"Can you take one more?" Duryodhana smirks. "Or are you tired already?"

Karna hangs in his arms, silent.

Then he answers by grasping at his thighs and pushing their mouths together, as if in a desperate thirst, as if no one had ever touched him, as if he hadn't just been ravished by a hundred men a moment before.

For his part, he doubts Duryodhana will last long at this rate. At least, not the first time.

The one clean, untouched place on Karna's body is his backside. There must be some unspoken agreement that it should belong to the eldest.

His king prepares him, then enters him.

Karna sees stars in broad daylight. Finally, he gets his prize.

Duryodhana whispers sweet nothings into his ear.

"Please don't call me by that name right now."


Karna's face flushes. He knows Duryodhana loves to call him his mother's son as an endearment, but he can't take it right now.

Duryodhana laughs at his sudden shame.

"As you wish... Suryaputra."

"Now you're merely playing with me."

Karna frowns in annoyance. How dare he even mention Karna's father at a time like this.



He didn't want to be reminded of his family whatsoever.



Neither did he want to consider what his people would think if they saw their king in the position he was in.

Duryodhana stalls for a moment, expression intense, and then moves himself like a demon.


His eyes shut and he gasps.
Duryodhana laughs at his friend again, breathlessly, the sound sweet in his ears.

"Karna. Karna. Karna."

And their game finishes at last.