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mirabella

Fallen


"Well? Do you like it?" Envy croons, propping his chin on Pride's shoulder.

Pride, irritable as ever, shoves him away. "This is the present you had for me? What the hell am I supposed to do with it?"

Envy snorts in that annoying way he has when he wants to make sure the other person knows they aren't in on the joke. "Anything you want, brother. I'll come back for you in an hour. Do try to do something interesting with it."

The door closes behind him, casting the subcellar into gloom and leaving Pride alone with a dying man in a military uniform.

"Huh," Pride says, ambling over to him. "And what the hell am I supposed to do with you? You don't look like you're in any shape to be much fun."

The soldier shifts, a soft groan escaping him, and Pride freezes.

"I know that voice," he mutters, kneeling beside the soldier. "Have we met, soldier boy? I think I would've remembered."

God, he's gorgeous, even cut up. Especially cut up. Pride's sorry that the blood on him is dried; it would have looked beautiful flowing down that pale skin.

Well, he can fix that. Pride draws a knife out of his belt and bends over, bracing himself on hands and knees above the soldier, and—

—looks up, into dark eyes that watch him with something in them that isn't fear. If he didn't know better, he'd think it was grief.

"You aren't him," the soldier says in a voice that even rasping and ruined still sends shivers up Pride's spine. That smile does too, small and bitter as it is. "If nothing else, he wouldn't have been caught dead in a skirt."

Pride scowls. "Who?"

The soldier shakes his head, lifting one blood-soaked glove to stroke a tendril of Pride's hair. "It doesn't matter."

But it does, suddenly. It matters a lot. It matters because Pride's fingers have somehow gotten tangled in the soldier's hair, he doesn't know where his knife is, and there's a dull ache somewhere that feels like he's wanted this man's body against his for longer than he knows. "Who, goddammit? Tell me!"

"Always too curious for your own good," the soldier whispers. "Do something for me? Kiss me, just once."

"Why do I wanna do that?" Pride retorts, asking himself as much as the soldier.

"I don't know. You'd never have wanted to. Kiss me anyway."

Pride wants to tell him he's wrong, and doesn't know why. Instead he finds himself bending lower, tasting blood and heat and the inevitability of death; the soldier's mouth is warm, fever-warm, his tongue is light and skilled, and his hands are slow and gentle.

Aw, yeah, Pride thinks when he pulls back. You're gonna make a beautiful Lust.

"Roy," he whispers, not knowing where it came from, and watches pain flare hot and sweet in the soldier's eyes. Pride wants that pain, wants to revel in it, wants to cause it and then take it away, and he's already thinking what a shame it will be when those dark eyes turn violet.

"There's a watch in my pocket," Roy says. "Take it out for me? I won't need it where I'm going."

Pride reaches into his pocket and pulls out a battered watch, examining it curiously. The chain is made out of something strange, not metal, something that glints golden in the light. Curious, he touches it, and—

"It's his hair. The watch has fragments of his bones in it," Roy says, closing a hand around Pride's and trapping the watch in it, because suddenly Pride is too weak to pull his hand away. Pride lifts his eyes to Roy's, stunned and betrayed.

"You—no, wait—"

"I'm sorry," Roy says.

"—no, wait, you bastard, I'm not him but I could be him, I could—"

"I loved you," Roy says to someone who isn't Pride.

"No, wait—"

Roy lifts his hand, brings his fingers together, and