Disclaimers: Not mine.
Spoilers: Brian Azzarello's run on Hellblazer, specifically Ashes and Dust.
Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17, disturbing content.
Author's Note: Another result of the quote game with Livia.
I wanna write on your face with my pretty knife,
I wanna toy with your precious life.
Want you to know, I want you to know what love is.
- Dead Boys, What Love Is
It's not that he can't understand what could make a man hold a grudge.
done Stanley wrong, and he's long past the point where he can make
excuses for himself. For anything.
That's not the way it works for a man like him. When he's feeling especially
cynical, John doesn't think that's the way it works for anyone, but he's willing
to entertain the idea that someone, somewhere had fucked up along the way
and it *wasn't* their fault.
Any fucking thing's possible, after all. It's a big, wide universe full
disgustingly improbable things.
When he's feeling especially morning-after-ish, John tends to think
*deal* of those things are in this fucking house.
And they are, just not in a tangible way. Not really. It's just a part
of the life --
you find yourself in a place where people have lived horribly and died worse,
you're fucking well going to *feel* it, aren't you? You're going to smell it,
and you're going to breathe it in.
You're going to taste it -- no matter what else you shove in your mouth.
Stanley is asleep next to him, face smoothed out as he sleeps the sleep
the thoroughly well-fucked -- if he does say so himself. It looks a lot like the
sleep of the innocent, surprisingly enough. Considering.
Right next door is what looks like the perfectly normal bedroom of a
perfectly normal teenaged boy -- all American sports posters and uneven
stacks of CDs. It's empty. There's no dust, and no blood stains. Just...
Right next door to *that* is another room. Older posters. Fewer CDs.
The rest of the rooms are empty, but he'd be a bloody fucking imbecile
worse -- if he didn't put one and one together.
Everything's going to be moved down a room, just as soon as he leaves
Stanley to his own devices. He isn't here for S.W. Manor, murderous
He's here for Stanley. Maybe, just maybe, whatever nasty little trick
comes up with keep the next little victim from getting a size-twelve
arsehole and a beautifully maintained hole in the ground. Maybe it won't.
He hopes it does. He wouldn't be *human* if he didn't. But.
There are rules for every game, even though he'd started playing this
one while he was still young enough and dumb enough to think that he
wouldn't live *just* long enough for every little thing he'd done to come
back and bite him in the sac.
He smirks to himself and exhales, long and slow. A whisper, a gesture,
and there's a pretty little blonde girl bleeding at him through the smoke.
An illusion, and then something just a bit more than that. Something that
snarls and screams and tries its fucking *damnedest* -- heh -- to push
He's strong enough to push it right back, but he's really going to have
to stop fucking around. There are rules to this, and while he's hardly
been purified -- if such a thing weren't laughable beyond *belief* -- he
*has* been saving it up. Not 'just in case' -- this is a sure thing. When
the inspiration or the imagination or even some random, minor
So will he.
Stanley shifts beside him, moaning soft and low. The moonlight gleams
prettily on all the old scars on his back. A few of the new slashes gleam
in a different way, and remind John of the utterly fucking reprehensible
state of the sheets. Of the smell -- the real, human one that's all
Blood and sex.
He isn't really sure if he's relieved or not that the accidents of his
perception bury most of that under scents that are nowhere near as
definable. The colder, black-on-black scent of... everything in this house.
Evil seems like too easy a word for it, frankly. Or maybe he's just
found a newer, poncier way to apologize for himself.
Maybe he's not really here on a *job*, at all -- even one so pathetic
revenge. There's a ghost of a younger man's kiss on the ghost of his
younger self's face. There's a dry and cracking skim of spunk on his
belly. This stinking, terrible bed is as big and warm and soft and
welcoming as anything he's ever conned his way into, one way or
John closes his eyes and lights another fag by feel. Inhales.
When he opens his eyes again, Stanley has shifted onto his ruined back,
and all he can really see is the beautiful, perfectly formed man most
people in this country still think is the truth. There isn't the slightest
satisfaction in knowing better.
He moves, yanking back the sheet and straddling Stanley's waist.
Watches him blink back to something like wakefulness and pulls the
fag out from between his lips, holding it in two fingers.
"John..." There's a sleepy, lovely smile in his voice. On his face.
"I'm going to fuck you over, love," he says, just as sincerely as he
Stanley reaches for the straps still hanging from the headboard and