There were few things that were good that came with Ghost’s job. If it was a job. Being a witch was a messy talent, blessing, occupation, or whatever the hell you’d call it—Ghost liked to call a curse. But of those few blessings most of them were double-edged swords. One of those was her high empathy, though Ghost knew that actually seemed to be some sort of genetic attribute, or a side effect of some similar trauma shared between the two Alvara twins. Either way, witch talent or body chemistry it made understanding her friends much easier. But the pain that she felt for them? It wasn’t really a great after effect. Though with Red that ability wasn’t really the only factor in her being able to read him. It was the fact that no too long ago she was so much like him that you may have sworn that he was her brother instead of Corvo. So she nurtured him, trying to make sure she could give him as much a she knew she wanted when she was in his shoes.
His words tumbled through her ears and into her skull pile driving into her brain and sending small staccato pains to her heart. Watching him shift in her lap Ghost could hear the worn, and well-known, desperation that came with the feeling that Red described. She knew what it was like to have things to sew up but your thread was becoming undone and not only that but you had plenty of other things to sew up. So at the end of the day you didn’t even know what, or rather where you should start.
“Mmmm…” She exhaled, her body shaking gently as she did so. Her eyes followed his, falling onto hi nail as well. The small flecks of color standing boldly, a cacophony of color, against the dark black. “I know it’s not an easy feeling.” She exhaled from parted, glossy lips. How did you respond to an answer? Things of the existential spectrum made everything like playing Operation with an even larger pair of tweezers. It felt pretty damn impossible. “Where do you think it is? Your mind or your heart?’
"Mind," Red answered, then, after a beat, "Heart." He scowled, changing his mind again. "I don’t know." His fingers flexed above him with a little twitch, nails and skin both starting to itch underneath as he dwelt on the thought. Such a strange thing to ask… and so hard for him to understand. He never put thought to his emotions, they just came and went with his moods. He just let them surge through him and carry them away. Analyzing them, trying to figure out their origins, that… that felt too close to therapy, and just thinking of the word made him involuntarily shiver. His fingers twitched again, but instead of clawing at himself, he reached out and groped blindly for Ghost’s hand, tugging it towards him and entwining their fingers once he found it. His fingers continued to shift and twist around hers restlessly as he focused on their matching nails instead of what he was compelled to do with his.
"… I haveta kill someone," he informed her. His tone was nonchalant, matter-of-fact, carrying absolutely none of the weight that the crime otherwise should hold. Something like murder was so common in the Zones that it lacked the usual impact anyway, and, coming out of the mouth of someone who killed for sport and entertainment almost as much as he did the war, it sounded more like an errand he had to run than anything else. He wasn’t telling her to confess to anything, he was just trying to state what was wrong without revealing too much. "An’… ‘til then, I jus’ can’t… settle, y’know?"
He lowered their hands until they were resting against his forehead and closed his eyes, a shaky exhale leaving his lips. “It… makes me sick… that… fuckin’ people like that, pieces of shit like that can… jus’, go on livin’ t’hurt everybody like… this.” He ended with a little frustrated gesture directed at himself before clasping his hands around Ghost’s again. The details of what happened refused to spill out of him but he hoped she understood what he meant by his words anyway. Certain things were inexcusable and… be it for a desire of justice or a need for revenge, something had to be done about it.
There were few people in the desert that gave Ghost true solace. People who she didn’t feel the need to wear her finest armor and speak only slick words to. These were the choice people who were worth her honest and quiet words, and Red was most definitely one of them. She felt light, maybe it was the little bit of whisky she put in the tea but her chest wasn’t feeling it’s typical heavy anchor that she had been dragging around the past week. She hummed with laughter, her voice cracking from it’s overuse and she gently stroked red’s hair with her slim, delicate, fingers that were now sporting a new nail color—Red now had a matching shade as well. Ghost was just ecstatic to have his company, but Red always made time and Ghost always was sure to show him that she appreciated it. Her little Prince and his raunchy ways always tickled her, and there was also a deeper connection. A connection she knew from the moment that he had anchored his angry face over hers. Their first encounter had not been smooth, but nobody knew that and from afar you would have never guessed that upon first meeting that Red had came to her just to kill her.
"Well, Corvo never was much of the romantic type." She teased, lightly tapping Red’s nose with her finger before turning to look at her beloved cat who had curled up in the nook where Red’s shoulder met her thigh in a perpendicular fashion. They’d been talking about Red’s newest interest in her twin, her counterpart. It had led to talking about Corvo’s clumsy romantic history with the girls and the City—and how Ghost was no help with her jealousy and driving those poor girls away. Though Ghost most certainly wasn’t going to drive Red away, in fact his harassment of her brother humored her. Corvo focused too much on the serious side of things, he needed someone to jab at him to loosen up.
There conversation was falling as they exhausted themselves from their laughter. Not even all the Candy and tea they shared could keep them up in the air. Eventually your body would always anchor you down. Humming a soft tune in her throat, Ghost listened to Curse pacing downstairs. He was waiting for someone or something, but luckily Ghost didn’t need to be too concerned. Red wouldn’t pry, he knew where the lines in the Zones were and if Curse did do anything Red certainly wouldn’t frown upon it. One less thing for her to fret about in her mind. Yawning and playing with the fabric of the thin translucent robe she wore, rubbing the lace pattern on the hem with her thumb Ghost looked down at Red with a small smile.
"So….I do have to ask….are you okay lately, baby?” Her tone was cautious, warranting that she did not require an answer if he did not want to give it. Ghost respected those boundaries well.
Red’s eyes had closed by the time Ghost asked her question. He was at peace with the silence that had drifted around them once their conversation had tapered away. Usually the quiet would’ve bothered him, it would’ve found some ways to nestle under his skin and crawl through his bone marrow until it reached his skull. It would’ve tortured him with the thoughts he was trying to avoid, but not now. Being with Ghost never failed to soothe him. Just her presence alone was always enough to lull him into this state of comfort like nothing else, and it’s been this way since the beginning. She knew how to tame a beast… probably because she was one herself. The solace came from being so alike, that was always his guess.
"Hm…?" He cracked one eye open at the sound of his voice, glancing above him to look at her, before he blinked them into focus. The question threw him off for a moment, because it didn’t sound like one that came out of the blue to keep them talking. She sounded concerned, like she knew things were wrong. He allowed himself a small frown and shrugged… he didn’t think it was that obvious that something was off with him, but he could never tell. Maybe she was just that good at what she did… she was a witch, after all.
"Not…" he sighed. "Not really. I mean, yeah. I dunno." He heaved out another breath and raised a hand, scratching his cheek as an afterthought. He stopped after a moment of that, though, to look at the color that was coated on his nails. A glittering sheen sparkled over the black, and he wiggled his fingers a little to watch the little sparkling specks flicker in and out of view.
"… Somethin’ I gotta fix," he mumbled, half an explanation and half a thought he blurted out before it could even fully form. "Nothin’ ain’t gonna be right with me ‘til I do, y’know?"
"…I jus— Oh…" Holy nodded slightly, putting a stop to his words, swallowing them down. He went quiet and still, letting Red’s hands moved where they pleased, letting Red take him in while he did the same, his pale eyes drawn to the other boy’s lips. He wanted to kiss him, he wanted to be kissed, he wanted…
Whatever Red wanted, that was what he wanted.
Holy dipped his head and returned the kiss with a cautious excitement. He wanted to go slow and take his time, remember how Red tasted and felt, but he also couldn’t help how eager he was to experience this all over again. Holy didn’t mind making himself small for Red, he delighted in the idea of Red holding him there, keeping him on the ground, reminding him that they both were here, that there was nothing left to try and escape from.
"Love you." It slipped out again, whether Red wanted to hear it or not. It slipped out and Holy didn’t know how to take it back because he didn’t know how to hide things from Red. The words were gentle, a breath against the other boy’s lips and Holy’s hands came up to cup his face while he whispered it again.
Red couldn’t help but smile against his lips as they kissed. His fingers curled a little tighter around his collar as he matched his excitement, his breath leaving him in a little satisfied hum as their lips moved against each other’s. His chest swelled, heart trying hard to soar from his chest. He was… happy. Holy was here and… he was his.
The thought made him kiss him a little bit harder, his hands finally leaving his clothes and pushing into dark hair. Holy was his… Holy was his, Holy was his, Holy was his. Nothing else could hurt him again as long as he was here, his body against his, his taste in his mouth. The past, it didn’t even exist, it couldn’t harm either of them. They were okay, and that’s all that mattered.
"… love you," Red echoed suddenly after him, whispering them like a man starved as he repeated it back to him. His breath rushed out of him then, hitching, his words forming in a fervor. "Say it again," he murmured, and it wasn’t like he needed the reassurance. He knew. He just wanted to hear it, over and over, all his devotion loaded up in these little phrases, like prayers, constant like the way he looked at him. He was… selfish, and he wanted to know how much he meant to him, how much Holy was willing to give. He wanted to really understand it, in words he knew. "Tell me you need me," he breathed, “‘I’m yours,’ tell me that. Tell me," he continued, his voice edging on desperation. "….you’re free, that I freed you. And no one else…" he trailed off to kiss him again, forgetting what he meant to say as he let himself get lost in the familiar feeling of his lips.
"Mmhm…" Holy hummed, nodding to show that he understood. "Yeah," he breathed out, ducking his head a little bit, looking down at both their hands between them. He wasn’t sure if he liked Red touching his scars, or acknowledging them, even though he wasn’t ashamed of them. He was simply afraid that Red would be made angry by them, even if they were partly his fault… But then again, Holy had already quietly forgiven Red for making him go through interrogation (how could he not)? Especially because in the end, he’d allowed Seraph to break him down in that horrible room.
Holy pushed those thoughts away and squeezed his eyes shut as he forced himself to focus on what was happening now, not what had happened to him in the past. “Okay,” he whispered. “Yeah,” he repeated. “I’ll be right here, too. I’ll be here and I’ll… Be so good to you, too… Like I promised.”
Holy blinked back another wave of tears and gave a shaky little smile. “I still can’t believe you’re here,” he continued, voice fragile with awe and raw emotion. Even though he didn’t always deserve it, he had Red here to take care of him, watch over him and keep him— Holy was forever going to be thankful for that. “Because… Like I said… I’ve always been praying and… and trying to do what’s right and maybe it’s paying off…” Maybe he should have stopped talking by now, but Holy couldn’t help it. His heart was full and he was finally daring to think that maybe he might be, in just this instance, actually happy.
Red slowly started to smile back at him, although his was more shy, cautious, like someone would swoop in and take this away from him the second he expressed his joy. He reached out and touched Holy’s face again, brushing along the contours of his smile, across his lips, before he cupped his cheeks against his palms. He looked into his eyes, taking him in, that look that was reserved only for him.
"… Shh, Holy," he murmured, his smile growing brighter and his chest getting warmer by the second, almost to the point of overwhelming him. "Shh…"
He leaned forward, closing the distance that had existed between them for far too long, and touched their lips together in a gentle kiss. A little breath of relief rushed out of him, all of the earlier tension melting out of his body at the contact, the physical proof that he was really here, and his hands drifted down to fist around his collar and hold him there as he kissed him a little more insistently.
See, you’re not always right… You’re just right most of the time.
Almost always, then… <3
Well…. Your assumption that Pegasus was a person was wrong….
… //giggles// Fine. I’ll give ya that…
Oh… Right, yeah, that isn’t really a problem out there.
That’s inaccurate. You’re sometimes right. Not always.
An’ when ain’t I right? Name one time.