DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but my own name.
SPOILERS: spoilers for much of Season Two, love and angst and introspection.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To spheeris1[at]yahoo.com
It's on the tip of your tongue, a statement of self, hanging precarious. Once it was choking you, once it was buried in your intestines, but up the throat it came and now... now...
Now, it's on the tip of your tongue. Everything deadly and oh so desirous.
God, you admire her so much.
The flash of her teeth, seductive shark swimming in your sea. The daring way she peels back the layers of hundreds of men and women, fingernails like knives under their skin. The look in her eyes, cold yet still careless as if nothing worries her, as if nothing holds her down, as if she owns the whole fucking world.
God, you hate her so much.
The conceit that she wears like a coat, soft at her shoulders but never slipping off. The petulant turn of her lips, childish and impatient urges always needing to be smacked away. The words she dares to say, false innocence so easily displayed as if she hasn't killed, as if she hasn't ruined lives, as if she hasn't absolutely ruined you.
God, how she has ruined you.
And you've tried, you really and truly have; you've tried to keep it all at bay and pretend you didn't come home with blood on your palms and terror in your heart, pretend that you didn't mean to hurt anyone and that you could always walk away. And you've tried, tried to tell Niko the truth, but whatever tumbled out of your mouth was more like honesty wrapped up in selfishness.
Not completely heartless, no, not yet.
You tried. You tried with dinners at home and with dressing up, you tried with more caring and less frustration, you tried to remind yourself of all you'd be leaving behind if you didn't stop, you tried to love Niko more than you needed to find Villanelle.
You tried, you really and truly did. You tried to keep him as a light at the end of this tunnel.
But the darkness continues to creep on in, further and further, and whatever you thought could save you, you just can't keep your eyes on it, and you must be mad because you don't fight hard enough, you don't hold on tight enough.
You catch wind of her and let everything else go.
"...You think she loves you? Then make her hate you. Hate is something she understands, it's manageable. Look what happens to the people that she loves, she'll love you to death..."
They're right there, those words you don't know how to say out loud. They hover at the roof of your mouth, sweet echoes that only you can hear, so desperate to leave your body.
Desperate. That's how you feel holding your breath, fluttering touch to this door; that's how you feel, need and knowing, anger and all the failings of another so close yet so far desperate, she's got you feeling so fucking desperate.
For this. For her. For one more second where you have her right where you want her. In your grasp. In your sights. Everywhere.
God, you want her everywhere.
And she's drawn blood, indirectly, with a kiss sharp like teeth. And you like the color, like it better than any lipstick; you are forever liking how you look through her gaze... unbound, torn apart, barely sane...
You touch the cut. It hurts when you press a bit harder. And some old piece of you cracks and cascades down, down, down, lost in the wake of a new feeling. And his words roll about your head once more you think she loves you, then make her hate you and you want to laugh, you want to laugh so hard that you fucking weep, because this is love and hate and that's what he cannot ever understand.
"...look what happens to the people that she loves..."
A drop of red swells and dips towards your chin. You slide your tongue over your lips.
"...she'll love you to death..."
You don't dare blink now. You don't dare look away. You keep on looking death in the eye, that black mass settling so easily over your stare, and the blade's edge digs into your thumb as you grip it to you.
Oh yes, you'll love her to death, too.
You startle yourself sometimes.
Electric jolts running along your bones. The flash of something haunting, something horrifying. A peculiar glint caught in the light of day. Your wickedness is starting to show, isn't it?
In your voice. In your movements.
In what tempts you away from hearth and home, from crock pots and wine nights.
You startle yourself a lot these days.
Face flush with anger and body positively aching. White knuckled against the world, against whoever you used to be. Blinking back the memories of flesh split open, of hips pressed into your thighs, of a warm handle and her gaze of her, startled just like you
(I can. I can. I can.)
And she was so smug, so sure you were going to give in, to give her this conquest, to give her satisfaction when she has brought you nothing but devastation. 'You can't.'
(But I can. I can hurt you, I can best you, I can wreck you. I can trash your apartment. I can break your pretty things. I can fool you. I can cut you up and let you die. I can satisfy this revenge. I can make you pay. I can. I can. I can.)
You startle yourself.
With your rage.
With your obsessiveness.
With your shadows.
She's looking back at you, isn't she? Surprised but unafraid. Impressed. Enamored. Startled but wrapped up in your thrall.
It's the two of you turning and turning in this web you are both weaving, spider and fly all the same.
"What is it?"
And you've been asking yourself this question since the start. When she was just a fantasy, a distant figment of your mind's ramblings. When she was near but not at all close, a thread to follow eagerly. When she took someone you love, took him away and left you bereft, left you with a heart beating nothing but blackness. When she held you down and tried to toy with you, when she held a sharp point to the hollow of your throat. When she pushed the lines, pushed and pushed, until you couldn't see whoever you used to be. When she showed you yourself and who you found inside your bones had already taken over.
You've been asking yourself this questions since forever.
"Do you like watching her or do you like being watched?"
Her kills written up on the page. The blood she spills snapped in photographs. Bodies limp, eyes glassy and empty, an ingenue cutting her way through the world, and you've got files on her, theories about her, glimpses of her a light touch to your shoulders, a grin at the edge of your gaze, her decadent life in your burning hot hands. Her face diving in and out of focus. Her name a curse against your tongue. Always on her trail, always at her back, always nipping feverishly at her heels.
And you think of a black-and-white dress, sleek and all curves. And you think of her breathing you in, damp hair and her scent on your neck. And you think of bottles smashing on the floor, adrenaline racing through your veins. And you think of having her right where you want her...
...captured, conquered, yours and yours only...
"What is it?"
You've been asking yourself this question, again and again.
And god knows you are scared shitless by the answer.
But not nearly scared enough.
"Do you want to do it yourself?"
A trail of blood slowly moving down your thigh. A splatter of blood on the floor, staining the wall, gushing up from a young woman's throat. Dark as night puncture wounds, death caught in strobe lights as a best friend drifts to the ground. Soaking into the material of that really nice dress. A river running from your hands to her abdomen, all guts and swiftly disappearing glory.
"Well, I don't think... I don't think I have the stomach for it."
How you have studied all of this so diligently. How often have you been mesmerized by the coldness and those calculated moves, held spellbound by those sinful tendrils reaching out to you. Shifting ever closer to the abyss, eager for understanding, needing to know, needing to make sense of who you've been running after. Need upon weary fucking need.
And you can't look at Villanelle anymore.
And you can't look at yourself anymore either.
"Would you like to watch?"
Up close and personal, the only way the two of you can seem to interact, walls trembling from where they've been set up as you both touch and go, come back and do it all over again. And she's offering up more and more glimpses, more and more chances, and you hold your breath and your bones ache from every 'yes' you are denying, from every step nearer that you won't take, from where your fingers itch to do some damage that knife in your hand, your palm almost pushing a stranger's back, need upon desperate fucking need...
Villanelle smirks at you before she goes inside and you can't look at her. You can't look at yourself. You can't breathe. You can't think. You can't stop who you are becoming. You can't stop any of this, you can't you can't you can't.
And you want to know how she does it, you need to know how she does it (was it physical torture? was it threats to her children? could you do this? could you tear someone apart like that?)
And maybe you are a monster, maybe you are the real horror here (walking close, morbid and sick but still eager to see, a rush of doomed urges that simply won't cease)
And you can't see the forest for the trees, not anymore.
"Would you like to watch?"
Because you want to do more than watch, don't you? Because you want to do so much more than that, don't you?
Niko calls you kind. The kindest. Softer than your humor and macabre interests would tell. And when you are with him... well, once upon a time anyway, when you were with him, you could pretend to be better than you actually are. Kinder. Gentler. Nicer. Something dirty suddenly washed and cleaned, that's what you are when you're with him. Not nearly as honest, but certainly more palatable. Certainly easier to handle, to compartmentalize and put away.
But it's who you are when you're with her that topples all those blocks, rattles all those delicate little plans and well-rehearsed plays, and lays you bare. It's who you are when you look into her eyes that reveals the cracks and the carelessness, that jerks your muscles to life with a fever that is both exhilarating and terrifying. It's who you are, your hand on her cheek and something real dances along her face real and scared and angry and dangerous it's who you are when you down pill after pill after pill, not caring if it is a trick or not, not caring what you have to do to keep her around, keep her in your orbit. It's who you are, her body pressed against you and blade tip sliding down your chest something undefinable threading you to her, strands binding the two of you, so tight you can barely breathe.
This is who you are. Who you cannot speak of. Who hunts you every day and every night. This is who you are, reckless and wicked and torching all your bridges.
"Will you give me everything I want?"
And you want to ask the same of her, to beg her, to take from her, to pull and push her, to turn yourself inside-out and let her piece you back together again. You want to give her everything and see her crumble, see her defenses shatter, keep her close, closer than your own skin. You want everything the darkness, the death, the madness, the heat, the terror, everything everything everything you want so much that you think you'll go crazy.
And it's here, in a single moment, before the coldness creeps back in and you scramble to get your guard up again, here is all that you've longed for and loathed as well, all of this yearning boiling down to her gaze darting from your eyes to your lips, to your neck, her hips locked against your own, your fingers hot as the touch sinks past sheer black and to her flesh.
And it's here. It's right here. Right between her and you. Everything is right here.
In 1869, a German scientist wanted to locate the soul within living things and he started with a frog. Most everyone knows the end result the boiling frog, turn up the heat and it'll jump right out but start heating up slowly and they will easily cook themselves to death. But the frog only stayed in the steadily warming waters because the scientist had removed the frog's brain.
An entity without reason. A beast removed from thought and comprehension. A once fine creature, with every sense of self-preservation, suddenly rendered stupid and then dead.
However, the frog didn't jump in. It was not a willing participant in its own demise. Some silly man, desperate for meaning beyond flesh and bone, placed the frog there. You can feel bad for the frog then, snatched up unwittingly and forced to play a very dangerous game.
You can't feel bad for yourself, though.
"Does it excite you?"
Yes. It does. The fear in your belly. The shifting of power, giving in, being held down and dominated. The depths of your own darkness. The pleasure in boundaries being wiped away. And you love him in those hours, love him until you cannot breathe, because he is finally on your level. Angry and cold in his touches and you love him in that moment.
Love him more than you ever thought possible. Love him as if he were your own face grinning back at you. Love him like the abyss you want to drown in.
But, well, Niko has a brain, doesn't he? You put him there in the rain, in sadness and loss you put him in the boiling water and you knew he'd escape. You knew he'd save himself, you knew he would save himself from you.
"He's too nice, he's too normal..."
You've hated normalcy since you were a child. You've hated being what everyone expects of you. You've hated having to smile when you'd rather glare, hated having to play nice when all you want is to scream. You never wanted normal, but you sought it out anyway. Sought it out and dressed it up, trimmed the fat the lingering edges of your mind, cut back back back until they almost seemed non-existent and you suppose you would have kept on that way forever.
Then there was Villanelle.
"...Like us, you mean..."
Villanelle, your midnight hobby. Villanelle, killer of bonds and brotherhood. Villanelle, your white whale. Villanelle, a record on repeat in your head.
You want her close. You want to fight her. You want to bring her to heel. You want her to take your hand and finally just... what? Destroy every inch of you? Fuck you into oblivion? Show you what it's like to take someone's life, what it's like to peel away this veneer of goodness? She looks at you, searching and studying, and you want to take a glass and smash it into her face. She asks you if you are ready and you hate how much you are, ready to see how simple it could be, how completely and utterly easy it could be to be exactly like her.
"Does it excite you?"
Yes. It does. The shock to your system. The tugging deep down in your gut to draw nearer, to see the blood fill up the cracks in the pavement. Her stare, hard and knowing, burning onto your skin and you want her to break you wide open whatever that means, everything that that means and disappear into her for good. Giving in. Owning and being owned, power merging with exquisite bliss...
...and you feel the heat, hotter with every second, and so your insides catch fire, and so you burn yourself alive.
Who knows what you would have said, if time had been on your side, if the light of day had moved just a few yards further, if the doors were locked and if the pages had slipped to the ground who knows what you would have said to her in that moment?
That you feel things, too. That you feel too much. That you feel miserable and giddy, that you feel like the very dirt beneath your feet is quickly falling away and suddenly she is only you've got left to hold onto.
"I feel things when I'm with you."
Yes, you feel things, too. Bubbling over with wrath and wickedness, with fear icy against you skin and sticky hot desire stored between your legs. You feel lost and you feel found, you feel terrorized by your own thoughts, filled up with landmines and still you step recklessly.
You can say that she led you astray, but oh you know the truth whether to Moscow or Berlin, to Rome and to your soul fucking ruined, you ran to catch up with her, you planted yourself in her belly, you kept her near when anyone else would have hid far, far away.
And you can't hear your heart, but you can hear her voice in your ear. You can hear the tripping, stuttering gasp of her want and you want to feel it for your own. You want to cause it, you want to claim it, and with every roll of your hips, you are disappearing, you are letting go and sanctified by her exhalations swirling around your head.
You are made holy by an adoration so utterly blasphemous.
"I feel things when I'm with you."
You feel things when you are with her, too.
Wonderful, horrible things. Perfect and scary things. Gorgeous things. The worst goddamn things.
She flutters her touch over your hand. She stares at you imploringly. She greets you with the dawn, indulgent and strangely warm, and you fall just a little bit more, sink just a bit more, become more and more hers and hers alone.
Alive. Electric. Shattered. Strung up by pain and delight.
For a blinding, beautiful second, you come down from what has been the slow, steady decline, the loss and the losing, arms like lead and heart stopping in your chest, those you've walked away from and those you just had to save... because you had to save her, didn't you? It was as effortless as saving yourself.
But for one blinding, beautiful second, you come down from everything betrayal, death, blood on your hands and clothes, all your worlds crashing and the sun is out and you hear her voice in an echo and the water glints with Roman splendor and she says she'll take you away, take you to an endless winter where they two of you can eat and drink and just be...
"We'd be normal."
And there's that word again, as if that could ever be her. Or you. Or any of this. As if normal hasn't been forever wrecked. As if normal is just a piece of clothing, sliding easily onto your slumped shoulders. As if there was ever a normal at all for women like you, like her, like you both.
But for one blinding, stupid, awful, and fucking beautiful second... you would have done it.
You would have followed her. You would have found Alaska, let her feed you, taken her care and clung to it. You would have dreamed in reds and awakened in a sweat and you would have let her settle you again, tell you it was you or them, let her show you that this is okay, that you're okay, that all of this was for something something bigger, something vital, something you could wrap your head around and then, maybe, you'd look at her and see all your choices revealed to be right.
It was right to choose her. It was right to fall into her. It was right to want her in your life. It was right to need her. It was right to chase her, to forsake everyone and everything else in your pursuit of her. It was right to hurt others, right to want to hurt them, it was right to go deeper and deeper into the darkness you had found.
Maybe you'd look at her and see how right it was to love her.
"You love me."
"I love you."
Maybe you'd look at her and see how right it was to ache for her, to despair over her, to want to protect her, to do anything to get her by your side.
"You don't understand what that is."
Maybe you'd look at her and see yourself within her gaze, all the madness, all the desire, all the messed up and mixed up longings, all the fantasies finally stripped bare, and she'd be revealed to you, she'd be as much yours as you are hers.
For one blinding, beautiful second... oh god, for one goddamn second...
...but you can't, you can't see anything now, nothing but a gun in her hand and a man's insides sticking to your fingers and the places you were heading and how she pushed you there, how you sought it all out but not like this, not like the way she did this, and you hate her and she has ruined you, hasn't she?
"You are! You're mine!"
She has ruined you so utterly, ruined you beyond recognition, and you can feel the heat of tears building behind your eyes. Hot and broken sadness, rattling its way through your anger and your fear, and she's ruined everything, hasn't she? She has ruined absolutely everything now.
"...I thought you were special..."
And there it comes, the warmth washing over your face softly, and you hate her as much as you hate yourself and you think of all the ways you could have put an end to this back in Paris with a knife in your grasp, with every sign she sent your way, after every lie you told to draw her near, those breathless moments as she was pressed up against you, as you stared into her face and she told you that she felt things when it came to you, when you said that she fills up most of your days, the offer of salvation that you confidently threw away you think of all the ways you could have saved the both of you.
And it's on the tip of your tongue. A statement of self. Precarious.
"...I'm sorry to disappoint."
Just like a kiss never reached. Just like reality falling short of fantasy. Just like her. Just like you.
Just like a bullet cutting a path through the skin.
Oh so deadly. Oh so desirous.
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