valarltd: (writing)
[personal profile] valarltd
Unfortunately, this scene will likely go away. The circumstances that lead to it are resolving differently. But it as so sexy and so heartbreaking I had to share.


From "Nick and Corban"

It wasn't until the third night that David bothered to look in on James and Tanis. They always did fine on their own. What he saw made him run for the elevator, heedless of his pajamas, robe or bare feet.

His passcode worked on the penthouse door, but James' bedroom was locked. David was feeling how out of shape skipping his workouts lately had left him. He braced himself and slammed a shoulder into the door. It shuddered and a second blow snapped the bolt.

“Steven!” Tanis' half wail, half-sob came from inside James' closet. He sat cross-legged in front of the door, wearing only sleep pants, apparently meditating. Three hard thuds shivered the door in its frame.

“So this is what it takes to get you into my room willingly,” James said, glaring up.

Without a word, David shoved James aside and yanked the door open. Tanis lay bound on the closet floor, sobbing. He helped her to her knees, easing her to the edge of the closet, not quite into the lit room, and held her close, letting her cry on his shoulder. He stroked her hair, soothing her panic to bearable levels.

“I spent months putting her back together. You don't take her apart,” he said, astonished at his own boldness.

When he looked up, James backhanded him. “How dare you defy me? I'll do as I please. How long have you been undermining my authority?”

“Your servant does not undermine you, Master, but merely protects the resources that are yours,” David said, not looking above his knees.

James hit him again. This time, David let go of Tanis and adopted a more submissive position, with his knees apart and hands behind his back. He saw James shove Tanis back into the closet, but not shut the door. She yelped, but got herself under control quickly.

“Liar,” James snarled. “You're working against me, you all are.”

“As you say, Master.” There was no arguing with James in this mood.

David stayed in the submissive position and waited. He saw James' bare feet go to the dresser and come back. Cold metal lay against his temple, a gun. He caught a glimpse of gold and was almost flattered. James had gotten out the antique gold-plated Colt Bisley, an extremely rare piece.

“Tell me the truth or I scatter the best mind of the century all over the bitch. On whose orders are you countermanding me? Chester's? Padma?”

“Your servant, Master and only yours.”

The hammer cocked and David held his breath. Not in the head, at least not the first shot. He breathed easier when James kept talking.

“Steal my boy. Take my position. Give me bad advice so I fail everyone. You have been behind it from the beginning.”

Seeing James' paranoia had hit a new level, David only acknowledged it. “As you say, Master.”

James fisted his hand in David's hair and jerked his head up hard. “Another answer like that and I shoot the whore.” He ran the gun barrel down the side of David's face. “Did you hear her? She was sobbing for Steven.”

“I heard, Master.”

“Tell me that isn't a victory.”

“As you say, Master.” The words were out before David could stop them.

James scowled at him and fired at Tanis without aiming. She screamed. David did not even glance at her. He had heard the bullet hit. If she was screaming, she would probably live.

“Care to try again? Next time I'll gut shoot her. I will hold you here, on your knees, until you talk to me, damn your eyes.”

“Your servant has nothing to say, Master.”

James hit him again, brutally hard, knocking him out of position, sending him sprawling on the floor. David went, without resistance and without trying to catch himself. He pulled himself back into position and waited.

The gun came back, this time between his eyes. David breathed deeply, waiting for the bullet. It didn't come. James shook his head, a look of deep bitterness on it. “I love you. Talk to me.”

“Should Master not do this before Mistress Benta?” He calculated the question would either break James or goad him into pulling the trigger. James hit him, this time with the hand holding the revolver. “What words would you have, Master?”

“Anything. Just talk to me like you used to.”

David closed his eyes, feeling tears start to leak from them. The words came from somewhere that wasn't directly linked to his brain. “There is nothing to say, my darling. All my words are gone.”

The gun pressed hard against his temple. “Don't make me do this, lover.”

David breathed again, slowly, calmly. “I am yours, my love. Do what you please.” He bowed his head and waited. The darkness would have him soon enough, it seemed, and James would be the one to send him on.
He heard the hammer cock and felt the tension in James' hand. The gun pulled aside at the last second as James fired it. Tanis screamed, but David did not turn to see where she had been hit this time.

“Find. Words.” The cordite smell hung strong as James returned the revolver to David's head. He did not flinch away from the heat.

David spat the first ones that came to mind. “Other than. 'Oh hell, now I have to patch her up again.'?”

“I'll take care of her. Now talk.” The hot metal traced a line down his temple and cheek.

“I am heartily sick of your fragile women. There, words you did not draw from me with a question.”

James nodded. “Give me more.”

“Greedy. There are no more words, Master, only a rushing silence that fills the emptiness inside your servant all day, every day.”
“Break it,” James demanded. The gun moved away again, fired and Tanis screamed again. Three shots. James had three more. When the gun came back to his temple, it was all David could do to keep from rubbing against it like a cat.
“Shoot her or shoot me or shoot yourself for all I care, Master. You want what I don't have in me to give you.” David managed to restrain himself from licking the barrel. He wanted to take the hot metal into his mouth and wait for the end, tasting the smoke and bitterness of it.

Instead, James came to him, dropping to his own knees with a horrified look on his face. “I've failed you all.”

David reached out and cradled James' face in his hands. His beloved was hurting, and he might or might not be able to help. “My love, my life, have I ever failed to give you anything that was in my power to give?”
James wrapped his free arm around David's neck and clung to him, raw pain on his face. “More. Tell me more. Tell me why you don't come to me any more, why you work all the time.” He still held the revolver, forgotten and off to the side, three shots left.

David paused a moment, as if gathering his thoughts. James would see it so. He tried keeping the yearning off his face and knew he was failing miserably at that task. The gun, oh the gun, cold and hard, was exactly what he wanted. He needed the smell of cordite, the pain and then the blackness. He moved enough to press his lips to James' cheek. James drew in his breath sharply. While he was distracted, David moved the gun, guiding it to his left shoulder.

“Right here, darling. Where it hits first in the dreams.” He moved it to his lower right side, just over his liver. “Then here.” He moved it to his thigh. “And here. Then if your servant does not bleed out, feel free to deliver whatever coup de grace you believe is best, Master.”

James stared for a long moment, and David knew his master was seeing the desperation he could feel on his face.

James pulled him in for a long hard kiss and David opened to him. Yes, a last kiss and then the pain. It would be perfect. He sucked at James' tongue, opening as widely as he could when James forced the issue.
James held him tightly for a long moment and then pushed him gently away. He raised the gun again. “Right,” he said.

David watched in horror as James aimed the gun at his own chest. He lashed out, trying to knock it away even as James pulled the trigger. His action turned the heart shot into a shoulder wound. As James fell back, David got to his feet and hit the intercom.

“Dr. Head, to the penthouse at once. Four bullet wounds.” He looked down at James, who lay on the floor, the slow seep of his blood spreading as if to blend with Tanis'. “Do you need to go to Italy, darling, or will you behave now?”

James' smile was triumphant as he slipped into unconsciousness.
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