Kristmas Wish Fulfilled for: leela_catFrom: chiraloveTitle:
The World, The Flesh, The DevilCharacters/Pairings:
sensory deprivation, bondageOther Warnings:
canon character deathWord Count:
The years spent in darkness have spiraled out, each one in a row like the ridges in a snail's shell, expanding as they go, and Severus has waited for this man. This is how he leaves.Author's Notes:
With apologies to John Donne (Holy Sonnet VI) for the title and the inspiration; with thanks to the mods for being awesome and modly; and with thanks to G, R, E, E and S, who all helped substantially with the writing and the betaing of this story in one way or another.
It is the insistent tug and the first feeling that jerks Severus to wakefulness. He has slept through the long hours of night in a crammed and crooked space that seemed in the darkness to be like an orphan's alley, claimed against all comers and safe in spite of the dangers.
There is no meaning to space in this world that knows no body, but the knowledge of space and the memory of it goes through Severus like fine wine, like the wine he drank at Malfoy's table and tasted, afterwards, from Malfoy's lips. It runs through him and he is drunk, disoriented, disjointed.
It has been years since he tasted Malfoy's mouth. In the dark corners of his mind, Severus keeps his memories. The dark angels, the Dementors of this world, have no hold over him; he has driven them away. Like a beggar, he cannot be a chooser, and the memories he has, he keeps.
He remembers Lily and her son, and Malfoy and his boy – he remembers both the nights of the flesh and the days of the spirit, the pleasures that pricked him to the core and the agony that moved him through each hour.
There is nothing like Occlumency in this world, and Severus sees it all, sees the days of his life flipping past him, the lies unveiled and the truth left like bare bones before him. His hands have been wet with blood, and he feels it. He cannot hide from it.
A tug pulls him from it, out of his corner and into a world where spaces have meaning and where beings have bodies. Severus flexes his fingers and finds that he too has a body – he is solid and real.
"Snape - Severus
Malfoy is on his bed, stretched out on the fine linens. Shadows from the window fall over him, the shadows of fat falling snowflakes – Severus looks out onto the white world, the landscape that is muffled and clean, and turns back to the room with brocaded walls and the bed with tapestry hangings. They are shut into this world, in the Manor, as surely as Severus was trapped in his portrait.
"I've been thinking of you." Lucius says; he touches himself, taking his cock in his hand and stroking it while he closes his eyes. He keeps the motions slow and steady, and he does not look at Severus.
"You called me Lucius, once."
Malfoy had called him here; Severus can still feel the magic of his call pricking through his new skin, his body and his bones. Stepping closer, Severus touches him.
He followed the Dark Lord and sold his soul for this – it is like poppies steeped in wine, dark and doubly addictive, distilled through some strange alchemy in his veins.
Fingers to flesh, hands ghosting over his skin, touching him
, skin as soft as angel feathers - Severus holds Lucius down, palms pressed against his palms, holding him in place. He has not touched a man in all the years he spent in darkness. He has not touched Lucius for years.
He has had velvet across his face, stifling him and penning him into his cramped space. It was the finest fabric in the world, as white as snow and as fine as samite, but still a shroud. His dreams have kept him from true sleep, and his lips have been stretched out with the shape of screams until his skin cracked, flaking off in pieces.
He has had nothing but time and memories. He remembers everything he has done; he remembers every time he has lain with this man and every time he has killed with him – pleasure and pain, the deeds of his life, and he has no Occlumency to shield him from it. Severus has had no flesh to touch, no embrace to console him, no comfort in the darkness.
He could inflict the same on Lucius and refuse to touch him now – but it has been long, so long, and Severus finds that he is starving for touch, aching for it. He presses himself against Lucius, body to body, and covers his skin with kisses. From nose to navel, he kisses, and teases, and tastes. In this world of flesh and blood, where there is space to stretch, where skin does not taste of paint and linseed, he takes Lucius.
He has a half-life, a trapped life, but Severus has never lived without this man. He does not wish to live without him, now. The years spent in darkness have spiraled out, each one in a row like the ridges in a snail's shell, expanding as they go, and Severus has waited for this man.
With his hand on Lucius's cock and his hand holding Lucius's balls – hard enough to hurt – he says, "You could have called me sooner."
There are explanations. Lucius always has explanations, and Severus listens to him. He is made flesh, he can feel now, and it should not matter that Lucius made him wait. He cannot count the years; it should not matter that Lucius made him wait.
Lucius has reason after reason – his wife, his son, his wand – he had to find the spell, the one spell that would work to bring Severus out of the portrait. The work that made a portrait body come to flesh, through linseed oil and the stiff canvas that made his backbone in that world, all of it was done as soon as it could have been done. All of it was necessary, the delay, the veil that bound Severus into darkness and sleep.
Reasons, reasons – Severus has no need to listen to them all. He twists
through time and space and reaches for the magic that is still there, that is still flowing through his veins. Though he had been oil and canvas, though he had been dust and bone, though he lacks a wand, this magic still is his.
He leans close to Lucius and whispers a spell over his skin.
"This is what I felt when I was trapped in that portrait," Severus says, climbing over Lucius and pressing his body full against him. "No feeling – nothing. A close tight world, with enough space to stretch my elbows and no more."
He touches Lucius then, knowing that he can't feel it with each nerve deadened by the spell. Severus is the one who can feel, the one who can trap Lucius now.
"You were not supposed to … I did not think that you…"
"You didn't think that portraits felt."
Lucius reaches for him, holding Severus against his body – no matter how hard he presses, how hard he pushes, he will not feel. Severus kisses him, biting down on his lower lip. He digs his nails into the skin of Lucius's back, tracing patterns as he fucks him, leaving imprints on his skin.
Lucius who led him astray, Lucius who had his portrait painted on a whim, Lucius who kept him locked away in a spare room and covered with thick velvet – Severus fucks him hard, claiming him, marking him with tooth and nail. The harder he bites, the more Lucius writhes up to meet him, begging for more.
Lucius can't feel it, but Severus can feel every touch. Severus slams into him, biting his shoulder – and this is how the world ends, this is how it shatters. Terra cotta meets its fate as potsherds; canvas goes to turpentine or fire. Flesh decays in the grave, the worms doing their work until the bones are reduced to nothing and are no more than the earth from which they came.
This is how Severus ends, in Lucius's arms, in his body. No more than a potsherd, no more than a grave.
"You waited too long," he says, one finger digging into the hollow of Lucius's throat. He bears the marks of Lucius's nails on his back, and he will give Lucius a mark in return, as he has borne a mark for Lucius all his life. Let Lucius with his silver-tongue explain it to his wife. Let Lucius keep his explanations, his life.
"I won't go back," Severus says, stepping away from the bed, leaving Lucius there. He does not look back to see him spread flat on the brocaded bed – he does not look to see if Lucius reaches for him.
He left the world of painted flesh for this, for Lucius who had led him astray, but he will not stay for it. Severus gathers his will, all of the magic that he can summon, and he draws a veil tight over his mind, Occluding and blocking everything. He will not be trapped with his memories. He will not be forced to stay.
The last thing he feels is the cold, settling over his mind and his body – and just as children fall backwards into snowdrifts to make imprints of angels, Severus sinks into it, falling away. This is how he leaves the world, the flesh, the devil.