Perfecting Loneliness

Greed/Envy. NC-17. 700 words. Pastfic. Artwork by Ponderosa.
If he spoke, Greed would listen.

[ stage one: pride ]

He tugged at the tight cravat and hissed as Greed idly batted his hand away.

“That one. The one with the mouth as pretty as yours.”

Throwing himself to his feet, he fetched the whore before another caught Greed’s eye. Led her upstairs to pretentious rooms, mouthed pleasantries and avoided the stale taste of her painted lips.

She gasped as Greed fucked her, moaned an orgasm she didn’t have to fake. Envy sat, watched, and waited for him to kiss her.

He didn’t.

Greed left her spent on ruined sheets. Naked, he knelt, said, “Kill her for me.”

Envy smiled.

[ stage two: envy ]

Lounging, toying with some woman’s trinket, he asked, “Where?”

Greed watched him in the mirror while dressing. Darkened thin-wire spectacles hid cat’s eyes. “Hoffman’s.”

Candlelight glinted on the gold Envy twirled between his fingers. After a moment, Greed tried, “You hate parties.”

“You don’t.”

The muted sound of piano-playing drifted into the room. Greed sighed, smoothed imaginary wrinkles from his waistcoat. Cradling Envy’s face, he caressed soft lips, traced the line of a wide mouth that sulked too easily.

“You’ll complain the entire evening.”

“Is that my invitation?”

Greed took the Countess’s necklace, and set it carefully aside. “Get dressed.”

[ stage three: wrath ]

Nighttime in the kitchens, he watched bright flames dance in the gusting wind, crackle hungrily for shredded bits of paper.

“You jealous little fuck,” Greed hissed.

He looked first at dust-ruined clothes, then furious narrow eyes. Beyond the open doorway, black clouds roiled. “You should have listened,” Envy told him over the snap of burning wood.

Greed bared vicious dagger teeth, stalked across the stones as monster’s claws flashed into being. Bloodstained crystal shattered beside Envy’s head, sprinkled to the hearth in a glittering rainfall.

He smiled, tossed another dead girl’s love letter to the fire, and whispered, “Welcome home.”

[ stage four: lust ]

Black claws laced with slender fingers, curled tight to prick pale skin like thorns. Envy lay spread out beside him, pretty face half-hidden in slashed pillows and ink-dark hair. Bruised lips parted, spilled a shuddering moan into leaden air.

“Say it.” Greed watched his claws slice careful lines of glistening red across Envy’s smooth back. His mouth brushed overheated skin, tongue tasting the sweet tang of sweat and blood. “You wanted to be owned.”

Envy’s breath caught. His eyes narrowed, slipped closed as clawtips pierced flesh again. Fingers flexing in Greed’s loosened grip, he turned for a kiss, groaned nothing.

[ stage five: gluttony ]

The boy whimpered, slim body shuddering, twisting in his grasp. He draped supple limbs around his hips, chased the flush stealing over young skin with his lips.

Envy slipped inside the master bedroom and started riffling through papers. With little more than a glance at them, he muttered, “You could help.”

Eyes snapped open, shocked and full of shame. Small hands tried to cover nakedness, rushed to hide tattletale marks.

Greed caught the boy’s wrists, pushed his arms into the air. A possessive hand stroking his soft cheek, turning those wide blue eyes to Envy, Greed said, “So could you.”

[ stage six: sloth ]

Dirt stained fine cushions, filled air with the stink of rotting flesh. The skull’s jaw gaped as it tilted to the side like a curious kitten in Envy’s soiled hands. Yellowed teeth began to clack in time to Greed’s slowed heartbeat.

Greed sagged against the heavy wooden door, vibrant eyes dull from pain widening in unfamiliar fear. “You,” he rasped, and the effort sent him crashing to his knees. Naked, unshielded, vulnerable as the humans he liked so much. “You helped her.”

“No.” Envy pressed the skull’s cheekbone to his, smiled a winsome little smile. “I just didn’t stop her.”

[ stage seven: greed ]

Stale air, reeking of old death. Tombstone bricks in careful rows, dark hallways twisting back, slipshod dead ends. Decades of pain sealed behind non-existent doors.

Envy sat, his back to cold, fresh-laid brick. Unset mortar tacky on his skin. His heart slowed, beat in time to the array’s deadly pulse. Closing his eyes, listening: Greed’s laboured breathing, clothes brushing stone, clinking chains.

Greed heard them all; coming, going, planning. Taking over, taking back everything he’d ever wanted. He clung to what cruelty had left him, desperate black claws clutching at things he couldn’t touch.

If he spoke, Greed would listen.


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