|A Curious Spell
Author: notanotherfanficauthor PM
Vincent muses on a time when he realised, just maybe, that there was something more important to him than the dubious call of Heaven's Night, and finds his unwavering dedication to sin faltering. An inconsequential piece of Vincent and Claudia fluff.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Words: 1,740 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 9 - Published: 09-06-06 - id: 3142786
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AN: This is a short piece of Vincent/Claudia fluff which was written at the request of Caryn, to whom this is very much dedicated. It's based on her favourite Vincent and Claudia fanart. I have to mention too, because the more astute and musically educated among you will notice, that there are more references to the song "The Sad Witch", and to Hefner in general, than is healthy. I had an insane amount of guilty, self indulgent fun writing this, actually, to the point where I'm half tempted to make it an ongoing story.
So, Caryn, I hope you like it.
Sometimes, when one is sorrowful, the most painful thing to do is to dwell on happier times. As Mephistopheles said, in Marlowe's epic dramatisation of the cautionary tale of Dr Faustis, "Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God, and tasted the eternal joys of heaven, am not tormented with ten thousand hells in being deprived of everlasting bliss?"
Of course, I'd like to think I'm a little more stoic than that. But you must forgive me, gentle listener, as I teeter on the edge of drunkeness. Sobriety breed sincerity, but wine, ah! Wine breeds verbosity, and a maudlin, self flagellating tendency to prise open old wounds.
Once upon a time, there was a girl. And under my skin was the place where she resided. I feared her, and I adored her, and for the longest time, she was oblivious to either. You might say, to put it in the most deceptively innocuous terms possible, that I am something of an overgrown schoolboy. I still pull the hair of the girl I secretly like the best. She both attracted and infuriated me, and my heart was swollen with a curious mixture of awe and pity. And not in the least a little lust. She would scream at me, I would laugh at her, and sometimes, it would be all I could do not to take her in my arms there and then because I knew, I knew better than anyone, that the smoke from her righteous fire obscured a vision of something so vulnerable it was heartrending.
We all lived in the lakeside church. It was a wonderful compromise for me between a sense of the monastic, and of the seccular. I was in ecstasy at having something so sacred to call home, especially when I staggered home from Lady Maria's glorious shows, drunk on white wine and red lust, to my spartan room, and my spartan bed, aglow with devout and unrepentant hypocrisy. I would condemn the pleasures of the flesh from the pews, even when I planned to surreptitiously stow away a whore in my room for the night that evening. Because, my dearest listener, Heaven may not have been close, but Heaven's Night was just up the road. I was a terrible priest, you know. I was quite shocking. But do not be mislead by your own sense of the righteous into believing that there was no light at all in the damp and squallid temple that they call my heart. Something burned, most certainly. And her name was Claudia Wolf.
She hated me, I was quite sure. And I, in kind, showed her nothing but contempt and derision. After all, she was quite mad, and hardly what you might call a "people person". But Mother of God, I longed for her, I longed to burn my tongue on her indignant fervour, and freeze my lips with her evangelical ice. And I cared for her deeply. I'm admitting this, you understand, and in the most verbose terms possible to boot, because I've had a little more to drink than a man of good morals and decorum may consider to be in the proper amount. We were younger then, and gloriously pretentious in our respective, antagonistic fashions.
I found her, one day, in the great hall of the church, kneeling before that frankly unflattering, too-large picture of Alessa...sorry, Saint Alessa. For some reason, either some ridiculous act of dogma, or a maudlin act on her part, the equally hideous pictures of St Nicholas and St Jennifer were obscured with large scarlet altar cloths. It was something of a shock when she rose and greeted me, not with her usual sanctimonous tilt of her chin, but with tear streaked cheeks. She mumbled something which I am sure would have been cutting, were she not trembling like the mere girl she was. With Claudia, it was always easy to forget that she might be human. Some days, I'd swear she was an ice sculpture come to life. I could say something horrendously cliched here, about how on that day I saw her melting, but I'd be lying through my teeth as usual.
She was just crying, as she was perfectly entitled to do.
I was melting.
I don't know what posessed me, I honestly don't, but despite all my better judgement, I put my arms around her. I half expected a slap, she'd given me plenty of those, or perhaps a harsh rebuke at least. Certainly, she was going to bring up the damnation of my soul which was, to be perfectly frank, becoming her idea of routine breakfast conversation...
("...looks like rain today, Claudia."
"Hm...yes...and you're still damned to Hell for all eternity. Is there any toast left...?")
...but she did none of these things which were so characteristic of her. She simply buried her face in my chest, and started to sob her heart out. I was a little taken aback, and stood there for a moment, her pale face obscured by my shirt, her slender shoulders heaving with fraught emotion. And before I could help myself I was stroking her flaxen hair, and murmuring little "Shhh" noises, and holding on to her for dear life. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't fantasised about moments like this often, and that usually the scenario ended with me taking shameless advantage and luring her into bed. Or fucking her up against a wall, depending on what mood I was in. But when reality came to it, that was the last thing on my mind. I was overwhelmed with tenderness and not a small amount of chivalry, and I supposed I would worry about reproaching myself for this, what I percieved as a weakness, later.
Her long white fingers clutched desperately at my shoulders, as she continued to weep. It was as though a dam, which has been sealed up for years, had suddenly broken and let out a flood. I was thrown by the sheer force and volume of her raw emotion. As she began to quieten, I lifted her head up and kissed her on the forehead. It was the first time I had ever kissed a woman, without it being a prelude to some sexual act. It felt alien, a little uncomfortable, and it tugged at my heart insistently, like a clamouring child begging to be heard and taken care of. Looking back on it, I suppose it was a little disgusting, but even as I condemn it, I don't believe that for a second. It was the first time in my life where something felt as though it really mattered, and I suddenly found myself making unspoken vows in my head that I was going to mend my ways, save my soul, take care of her forever and ever, make everything alright, and never ever worry about blowjobs again.
Of course, things never worked out that way, but at that moment, I truly believed it. And the road to Hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. How was I ever to know that Claudia would be my guide along that path?
She wrapped her arms about my neck, and held onto me for dear life. I was closer to her than I had ever been in my life. She was warm and alive, her heart was beating, and her skin neither burned or froze. Her unprecedented humanity filled me with awe, her whole body cried "Hold me", and she was more immeasurably attractive in her attainability than she had ever been in all her unattainability. I'm not sure at which point we sank to the floor, or at which point my lips found hers, but all at once there were kisses, tender and desperate, and she was trembling in my arms as I clung to her a little too tightly, trying to preserve the moment in case it never came again.
If you are laughing at me now, gentle listener, I can at least say that, for then at least, I never succumbed to the ill fated cliche of telling her that I loved her. But it must have been obvious. And I did not care to analyse whether her actions were unspoken reciprocation, or the act of an affection-starved child crying out for love.
She looked up at me, so solemnly, and cupped my face in her hands. She looked almost reverent as she whispered my name. And then she broke down into sobs again. I held her as she wept, until finally her cries tailed off into hoarse little gasps for breath, and she went limp with exhaustion. As far as a release of tension goes, a good cry often beats an orgasm hands down. She was almost half asleep then, when I pulled the heavy red fabric from one of the paintings, and spead it out over the cold stone where the Halo of the Sun glared up at me with none of the warm that its name implies. I laid her down gently, and she moaned a little in her semi consciousness.
And what do you suppose I did next?
Well, ever the gentleman, I laid down too, at an almost respectful distance, our fingertips touching, and closed my heavy eyes. Lady Maria would simply have to find another guest to entertain that evening. For that night, the greet below the red, red lights held no sway with me, now Claudia was my intended.
And as darkness came down like a blanket over us, I could swear blind that I saw St Jennifer wink at me.