Hungry, you're a dog, angry and bad-natured.
Having eaten your fill, you become a carcass;
you lie down like a wall, senseless.
At one time a dog, at another time a carcass,
how will you run with the lions, or follow the saints?
-Rumi, Mathnawi I, 2873-2875
We are all praying: crying, praying. The problem with Schuldig is, he can't deny he's doing it too. Nursing the flame, cupping over it with numbed fingers, protecting it from the bite of the wind, what the Hell is he doing on the rooftop in the cold, anyway?
Crawford said, It's going to snow, Schuldig, don't go outside.
The big clouds are fat, gray, pregnant, and they say, It's going to snow and it's a less personal statement than Crawford's, despite Crawford's usual impersonality.
The woman passing by on the street below thinks to herself, It's going to snow and she moves a little faster to get home again, wearing the pumps she'd shoved on to get away from her husband and the argument they'd had. Her feet are starting to hurt, and her ankles are starting to get cold, and she thinks she might apologize.
Schuldig pulls his jacket tighter around him. He chose green and gold because it called attention to him; isn't no one else in the whole damn world, probably, who wears clothes like he does, and he likes to stand out in a crowd. He doesn't do that blending thing, he doesn't want to, especially. For one, he never was a teenager. Shame is lost on him. Green and gold it was; green and gold it is.
His knuckles are chapped, his pale fingers stained with tobacco and smelling of smoke. When he sits in that little corner of the roof, with his knees tucked up against his chest, he feels like he's three-dimensional, like he's real as the cement, rough against his back and ass. When he sits in that little corner of the roof and smokes half a pack away he warms himself with his cigarette lighter and the nicotene, or cools himself with it, in the summer. He's kind of always liked the rooftop, because it gives him power. He likes to be taller than people, too; it's always helped that he's tall because then he can look down on people, like he can when he's on the roof.
Sometimes, though, he takes that height and he hides in it.
To his left is a little pile of cigarette butts, like a burnt out campfire. His free hand rests, palm down, to his right; the rough stubble of the cement rooftop grounds him, as well. He likes rough things: they feel real.
(Schuldig is smooth, has smooth skin and smooth lips and the silkiest hair, and when he washes it and it gets wet it's heavy and thick and still soft, slick with water. He washes it in the sink; it pisses Crawford and Nagi off that he uses up so much time in the bathroom and he laughs about that to himself, sometimes.
It's a friendly, sort of familiar bathroom, though, with cool, smooth tiles that are quite the antithesis of the rough rooftop or even the shaggy carpet in his room. And sometimes he sits on the tiles by the toilet and feels the dizziness come and the headache crash in on him, like two bricks pressing in on his skull at either side. He throws up, he wipes the blood from underneath his nose, off his lower lip, with the back of his hand. He shakes, from the inside, not from the cold of the tile, which brings the blood back into circulation. The porcelain is smooth, reminiscent of his skin, just as pale, and he holds onto it like he's drowning. He's not drowning. He holds onto it like he is.
One must make distinctions.
They are very important: it is like drowning, but it is not drowning. You cannot drown in air. You cannot drown in thoughts.
Crawford comes, then, takes the back of Schuldig's head in his hands and finds the two pressure points at the top of his neck, at the very base of his skull. He runs him a glass of water at the sink. He helps him up like a little kid who's fallen and scraped his knee on the sidewalk, and is this close, this close, to crying. He hands Schuldig a paper towel from the kitchen and as he wipes the rest of the blood away from his upper lip, the feel of it is rough, so all Schuldig can do is be grateful for it.)
Schuldig feels bored. He's using up cigarettes fast as he can draw poison into his lungs, fast as he can shiver at the cold. His cheeks are pink, the tip of his nose, too, he's sure. He watched a movie once and in that movie two guys had sex on a rooftop. He'd like to have sex on a rooftop. Only, they had a bed on their rooftop, but there's no bed here, just this private space of gray. Above him the clouds move in a lazy sprawl, speaking of darker things, of precipitation, of snow.
The snow is going to be intensely white. Schuldig will enjoy seeing the dogs lift their legs to piss on it. Schuldig will enjoy the dirt, will revel in it when it comes, mucking the snow into something unpleasant and gray.
"What're y'thinkin' about?" The voice is low, throaty, but sibilant. Someone has let Farfarello out; or Schuldig forgot to lock the door; or Farfarello has simply found a way to defy nature, as they all four of them find ways to defy nature. Schuldig cracks an eye open. The man is white, but in an inconsistent way, scars pursing his skin here and there, paler than white. He's bloodless, except his lips are swollen, pink, from biting at them. His hair is white; the black fabric that hides his marred eye paints him like a ghost against the gray behind him, white. He is poised like a cat, crouched, on his hands and feet, watching Schuldig like Schuldig never watches anything: intent, analytical, but disinterested. Farfarello is not a creature that wastes time on other creatures of the world. His is the only mind other than Crawford's that Schuldig cannot decode. It works like a schizophrenic's, but to pass Farfarello off as a schizophrenic would be like trying to say how a shark is just a fish, really. There are people inside Farfarello's head, and they speak in Iambic pentameter; some of them, not at all.
When Schuldig first met him he thought he really was harboring got inside the confines of his brain case. It was possible. There was this one presence that knew things and said nothing at all and Schuldig got sucked into it like it was a void. It terrified the shit out of him. It had no voice, was sort of like a cloud on a windy day. Sometimes it wasn't inside Farfarello's head at all and on those days Farfarello would break free, would do things to himself. Crawford and Schuldig would clean him up afterwards but Schuldig was always fascinated by the color of his blood, so much red against so much white.
"It's fucking cold, is what I'm thinking about," Schuldig says, and the smoke from his cigarette comes out his nose and trails upwards, into the air, like it's ascending to somewhere higher. Farfarello must know somehow what Schuldig's thinking - a rather distressing though in itself -- because he laughs and looks with that one golden eye like maybe he hates that fucking smoke, or loves it a whole fucking lot. "Did I let you out or did you get out on your own?"
"Crawford opened th'door."
"Wanted you to fetch me?"
"But not in so many words." Schuldig waves his hand, the one holding the cigarette, vaguely, making patterns in the heavy air. "It's going to snow, you know, it said so on the TV and Crawford said so, too. I'm going to freeze my fucking ass off here."
"So come down."
"I saw this movie once. These two guys fucked each other silly on a bed on a roof once and it wasn't really that pornographic, either. They just did it. Just had sex, on a roof, drunk off their asses."
"Are you drunk?"
"Didn' think so."
"S'too early in the day to be drunk. Are you listening to me?"
"Sex on th'roof, aye, I'm listenin' t'ye."
"So they have sex on the roof, right, just on this bed in the middle of the fucking roof." Schuldig takes a long drag, and watches Farfarello watch other things now, the smoke, the people below, cat-like eye intent and predatory. He looks like a tomcat been in too many fights, Schuldig things, holding the smoke in his mouths, pushing it pensively out. Like some great big tom ready to get all driven by his balls into some dumb-as-fuck fight that'll probably get him killed some day, but he won't notice.
"There's nae bed on this roof," Farfarello states calmly.
"No. No, there isn't."
"Y'tell th'strangest stories, y'queer fuck."
"'Cause I'm a strange queer fuck."
"Aye, that ye are, and th'cigarettes y'choose t'smoke smell like shit." Schuldig laughs a little, and stubs the latest one out, the ashes crushing pleasantly beneath his fingertips. They are lifted up, moments later, by the wind.
"D'ye want t'fuck, is tha' it?" Farfarello is direct as he ever needs to be. Words are simple, blunt objects to him, like the ends of his long, blunt fingers, nails chewed down to the quick. He shoves them out gracelessly at people, offerings, houses for his impulses, but damned if he doesn't get to his point quicker than anyone, and damned if it isn't something Schuldig enjoys. "Ye 'aven't been out f'r a week at least," he continues, thoughtfully, "which means tha' Crawford 'as y'pent up, an' y'want a fuck. So ye're talkin' at me abou' rooftops and pansies fuckin' on rooftops an' ye're expectin' my cock to jump in my pants, is tha' it?"
"Well," Schuldig says, and now he's smiling this lazy smile, "a girl can hope, can't she?"
"Aye, tha' she ken, but y'know better'n tha'."
"All right," Schuldig agrees, "so fuck me."
"If ye want it on th'roof."
"Yeah, why the fuck not."
"Then ye're a queerer fuck'n I thought, an' it's goin' t'snow."
The clouds look for the first time agreeable, but Schuldig moves forward, lazy and slow, on his hands and knees. He's got ice cold hands and ice cold skin now: he's been sitting up on the rooftop too long to feel real. Sort of made out of snow, maybe, and Farfarello likes the color of his hair, like a harlot's, like an untamed hellcat's, all orange and red.
"All you have to do is pull down my fucking pants and fuck me," Schuldig explains patiently, "it isn't that damn complicated and if you do it fucking quick we can get the hell out of here before it fucking snows at all."
"Ye've got such a mouth on ye, fairy."
"Fuck me already."
So Farfarello pushes Schuldig down with a none-too-gentle hand - gentleness is not something he thinks about, gentleness is not something Schuldig wants and he would not get it from Farfarello even if it were. Schuldig knows how to move so as not to crack his head against the cement beneath, lifting himself up and letting Farfarello almost-rip his pants off. And then Farfarello does the same with his own pants, touches the insides of Schuldig's thighs. Schuldig spreads them, lifts up his long legs which are suddenly fucking freezing and wrapping them around Farfarello's waist. With a grunt Farfarello thrusts inside him and it's wonderful, animal and wonderful, like it doesn't have anything but the body behind it.
People always think the scariest shit when they're fucking Schuldig. Probably when they're fucking anyone at all, really, but Schuldig's only privy to the shit that's related to him. Farfarello is no exception; probably the best evidence to prove the rule, because he does scary shit like no one else.
One of the voices in Farfarello's head, the one that thinks in meter, is running through these poetry lines like anyone else would be thinking, fuck yeah, fuck yeah, fuck yeah. Schuldig listens in odd fascination, because he can't help it, because he's being loud on top of the roof and it's kind of funny, when he thinks about it.
Be then his love accurst, since love or hate, to me alike, it deals eternal woe. Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will chose freely what it now so justly rues. Me miserable! which way shall I fly infinite wrath, and infinite despair? Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell; and in the lowest deep a lower deep still threat'ning to devour me opens wide, to which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
"Shit," Schuldig says. Farfarello starts out fast and gets faster; there's never anything slow, only everything rough, and Schuldig likes rough because it reminds him of things that are solid, and tangible, and real. The skin on the inside of Schuldig's thighs is so, so soft, softer than any other part of him at all, really. The calluses on Farfarello's chewed at fingertips are rough against that soft skin and Schuldig says, "shit, shit, fuck."
Farfarello fucks him for revenge and Schuldig is all right with that because he doesn't have too much invested in this anyway. And the cement is hard and rough beneath his shoulder blades, the point of most contact, body against the rooftop. Schuldig keeps his eyes open - Schuldig always keeps his eyes open - and above him are the clouds.
And Crawford told him, It's going to snow, Schuldig, don't go outside, and he wonders if he'll get caught in the snow, like this. Not too fucking romantic, really. Kind of fucking stupid when you think about it because snow is just really, really cold water and sex in the rain is fucking stupid, also. Sex in the freezing cold rain that's actually snow is fucking stupider.
People think the craziest shit when they're getting fucked.
O my God, how displeasing my sins are to you.
Schuldig arches his back and cries out something awful, "fuck, harder, fuck!"
Forgive me, cleanse me.
And digs his nails in the back of Farfarello's neck, clutching at him, like why the hell did he want to fuck on the roof anyway, and why didn't he think of the idea sooner? Why didn't he just bring Farfarello up with him in the first place, because all he needed was a good fuck to clear his mind, to get his thoughts in order. All he needs is a good fuck and a good orgasm and then he'll be good to go, he'll have another smoke, he'll get downstairs, he'll be functional again.
Help me to sing the perfect Kyrie eleison.
"Shit shit shit--"
Come into my soul, and find it pleasing. Repose in my heart.
Not that he knows for a single second what the Hell Farfarello's going on about in there, but he clutches at his hair and there's this terrible snapping sound from his own shoulder as he loses himself and it smashes against the cement. Like a fucking animal, he is, like an animal fucking and Schuldig cries out in pain. Farfarello can't tell the difference, though, between pain and pleasure in someone else. Even when he's paying attention: which he's not.
Let Thy entirety, sweet Jesus, of Thee in the Eucharist, engage me all the day, so when rest comes, I may find my sleep in your sweet heart.
And Farfarello fucks him and fucks him. There's no kissing; Schuldig doesn't think he's ever kissed Farfarello before, certainly not on the lips. Probably on the cock, once as a joke maybe, or was that someone else. But he doesn't mind that his mind wanders, because people do think the craziest shit when they're fucking or being fucked or whatever it is, and he likes to be part of the people sometimes. If only for a good laugh, right? Farfarello's just fucking him, now, hard and harder, fast and faster. Schuldig feels this tightening in his stomach; he's going to climax.
"God!" Schuldig says.
Farfarello pulls out of him so quick and so fast Schuldig can barely see a thing or feel it, either, and Farfarello's lone, gold eye is wide and angry, accusing him. Like I'm stuck with my fucking hand in a cookie jar.
"Y'called out t'Him."
"Shit, what?" Dazed, Schuldig tries to wriggle free of Farfarello's grasp but it holds tight, Farfarello's fingers hold him by his collar and it's like pissing in the dark trying to get loose.
"Whore, y'called out t'Him!" Farfarello slams Schuldig down to the pavement and Schuldig sees stars for a little while, trying only to put breath back into his startled lungs.
"The fuck are you talking about?" Schuldig's voice is shrill, sudden. Farfarello's eyes tell him: he hates the sound of it.
"Never," Farfarello warns, leaning down to bite Schuldig's lip. He does it hard, savagely; there's the ripping of flesh, and then, blood, pouring down Schuldig's chin within seconds. Quicker than Schuldig knows he's hurt. Farfarello rocks back on his heels and zips up his pants, inhuman like that, leaving Schuldig with one hand pressed over his bleeding mouth, one hand holding onto his erection.
Schuldig sits that way for a long time, hand between his legs, in the cold. The cement is rough beneath him; his blood tastes like blood and blood only in his mouth. He's kind of smiling. Kind of. He's starting to remember shit, shit from his childhood, like prayers, or something. Farfarello was thinking in terms of the Holy God Damn Fucking Communion and if that isn't fucking insane Schuldig doesn't know what the fuck is.
"I will have no other treasure besides Thee, good Jesus," he mumbles, softly, to himself. There are soft, cold things on his skin, now. He's moving his fingers over his own erection because damned if he's going to neglect himself when he needs this release, needs it. "My heart shall no longer seek its Best-Beloved; it has found Him." He whimpers, touching himself just like he wants to be touched, just where. The blood's gone all over his hand and wrist and it's staining his sleeve. It moved down the side of his long neck; it's seeping into his collar. "My love shall no more languish far from Thee, now that I know Thy dwelling-place." And wouldn't Farfarello just love to fucking see this, you know? Schuldig, clutching at his mouth with one hand, clutching at his cock with the other and shaking as the snow starts to come down, jerking off on the rooftop. He makes these sounds, these utterly pornographic sounds, because he has to pretend to himself that his lip isn't burning in pain, that he feels fucking good. It's ridiculous. He sounds ridiculous. Oh yes oh yes oh yes that's it. "Oh, draw me now entirely to Thee, divine Lover, my mind with all its thoughts, my heart with all its desires and affections, my will with all its actions, my body with all its senses, that I may live no longer in myself but in Thee!"
And then he throws his head back and he comes, because there's silence in that, the silence of snow. He can just take a little rest this way, and in that rest gather himself up again. He's zipping up his jeans without even telling himself to, now, zipping up his jeans on automatic pilot and smoothing the bottom of the green jacket out, displaced. He plays with one big, gold button. Nobody's thinking inside of him, nobody. He's too fucking out of his mind to feel the other people in it.
He gets up and he recovers his pack of cigarettes; there's only one cigarette left inside. He lights it up and his hand is covered in blood so he throws it away, crushes it into the ground with the heel of his shoe. The blood on his lips feels and tastes disgusting, so he wipes it away with the back of his sleeve. He winces.
Outside, somewhere, this fucking bitch is having makeup sex with her husband because she went off and apologized to him, said she was sorry for being so suspicious, she'll never not trust him again and she loves him. I love you too, he said, and now they're making up by having sex in their four poster bed, even though he was fucking their neighbor with the round ass and the great breasts.
Schuldig hopes that that fucking bitch finds her husband and his lover in bed together one day and shoots them both to bloody, unrecognizably bits. He hopes she jumps out the window afterwards. He'll have to ask Crawford if he's seen anything like that.
With a bloody smirk Schuldig gets the hell down off the roof and goes to take a bath.
Outside, somnolent and weary, the snow begins to fall.