The Stains Beneath Our Skin {mxm}

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A week or so later, Casper awoke engulfed in Cain’s heat. Pretty gross, really. Reminded him why he and Jack always rolled apart when they drifted off. All this sweat, like a second skin everywhere their limbs tangled together – between his legs, all up his front, under his cheek. Really gross. Way too hot too, and it probably wasn’t already unbearable only because Cain was just cold-blooded. Cain’s breath drifting down over his hair kind of smelt, and Casper’s mouth felt like a slime-coated desert, and yeah, there was the slime, all drooled over Cain’s chest.

Super gross.

Grumbling, Casper freed one of his arms to wipe the spit from under his jaw and found a less sweaty place to put his head. Was it actually dark in here today? Black blotted out the window at the far end of the room – the spectacular one that wrapped around either side and cut away part of the roof like a conservatory tacked onto the bedroom – and only a faintly pinkish light seeped through, like closing your eyes tight against the sunlight, but even when you shielded them, a little still crept in. Maybe that was why he felt so well-rested. What kind of psychopath slept without curtains?

Didn’t account for the nightmares though, or like, the no nightmares. For those, he woke up screaming alone in the dark, throat raw, and scrambled, panicked, for the light to chase out the demons of his memory.

But he hadn’t woken up. Felt like he hadn’t moved an inch the whole time he slept, and neither had Cain. Absolutely dead out.

Casper peeled back his eyelids properly and met the black pits of the ghoul on Cain’s other side. It had never stayed with him this long before, but this whole fucking mess was just one long mental break. Call this settling into it, and it had gotten so easy to settle in.

Little by little. The gibbering ghoul leading the blind man over the cliff.

First, Casper stayed away – explored the grounds and just enjoyed the outdoors. Cain had a few massive taxonomy books in his library and high on the excitement of it all, Casper had been wondering around ticking off all the weird Latin names of the plants and bugs in his head. Or his best guess at least because he sure as hell didn’t know what this beetle’s dick looked like, but even best guesses were fun. It had been years since he’d walked around somewhere so green, and each breath of air felt like it purged some of the shit from his lungs.

Probably, he never should have started smoking again, but what did that fucking matter? He deserved at least that little bit of enjoyment in the closing days of his life.

The second day, he’d found Cain eating breakfast in that nook in the servant’s kitchen and sat down to join him. Seemed like Cain disdained the rest of the house, and Casper liked that. Meant when he gradually started taking more meals with Cain, mostly silent, he didn’t have to cower in the grandeur. Sometimes, while they sat there, Cain said something – an offhand comment that came out like he’d been running it around his head for hours – and sometimes it made Casper laugh. Cain’s smile when it did made him dopesick, and not in the familiar way.

Some nights, freshly finished lurking in the dark bits of the house, Casper would wander into Cain’s study. He’d ask Cain to come to bed with him, and Cain always smiled like the sun and promised he wouldn’t be there when Casper woke up. Even when Casper came down in the middle of the night, having gone to sleep in his own bed and woken with a nightmare that had him creeping through the dark corridors to Cain’s arms, Cain took him gladly and he was never, ever there when Casper woke up.

Last night, Casper had told him he didn’t need to leave, and he’d never seen someone so stupid happy with such a small thing. Then, he had been looking pretty wrecked. Fucking nut just made a cuck of himself. Casper hardly even needed to try. Let’s make the most of it, like Casper had any fucking choice about it. So sure, he’d make the most of it. Even if he never escaped at least he’d have a good fucking laugh at Cain’s face when he realised it was all fake.

Then he’d probably keep on at it anyway, and by then, Casper was sure he’d have dug enough into this enigmatic shell to get really cruel, and maybe that’d be the heaven-hell duality he deserved. Maybe he was the devil’s own punishment, cursed to love the boy who tore him apart.

And here’s to all you lost boys. Hope you’re laughing now.

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