Blatant Twinslash. Based off of, oh my, an RP indulged in between myself and the wonderful Banzai (), with much in the way of editing and tense-change, it is probably one of the fics I am most embarrassed by writing, and at the same time most proud of. Involves too much theorization, too much bastardization of the wonderful French, and some Orgasm Cake ™.

Cause and Effect

The theory behind the term doppelganger suggests the obsolescence of both the original and the copy upon first mutual sight. Therefore, they are not doppelgangers; they are not the foolish folklore of civilizations long destroyed. Perhaps they are the sort of poisonous nightmare that might have seeped into a child's thoughts centuries into the past, modeled after such a chill. But they are not doppelgangers because there is no original and therefore there is no copy. Neither came first. It is no chicken or egg situation. Their existence began when there was a they and instead of negating one another they enhance, complement, complete. Close proximity is equal to victory. A pronoun unto themselves, a we born of two Is, two pale halves of one advanced, pale whole.

Why, then? It shouldn't have happened that way.

Number Two is aggravated, oh yes, indeed, and more than just minimally so. In all their existence they have never once lost their hold on the objective, never once failed to reach their goal. It isn't punishment awaiting them that makes him tick with icily concealed annoyance. It is the very principle of the matter.

Yes. Annoyance at the very heart of the matter. Never have they failed to complete a mission before and now, there is no feeling of inadequacy, nothing to make them believe they have been outclassed. No. The inevitability of the problem is that they have been tricked, tricked into an error. A simple miscalculation. Number One turns to the other. "This should not have happened." It is a simple as that, and that is very simple. Which, given the time for analysis, becomes the reason behind why it is so aggravating.

"No. It should not have." Two's arms fold smoothly over his chest, everything pale silk and pale silken folds, white shadows on gray; everything tinged with a green that hints, whispers, ghosts of the truth. Whatever that is, a world made up of specters, like themselves. His pale lips twitch. "We were not told he would come."

"We were not." There is never any need to speak in anything more than short, simple sentences. One mimics Two's gestures, the smooth motions, the delicate irritation in their pale faces. He looks around them. "Perhaps it was not known." It is unclear if it is a question or a thought leaking out of him. It does not matter. Both will pass between them like diffusion, thought osmosis, with equal facility.

Two's brow knits together. It may only be the simulation of an expression but it still emotes what it needs to emote, like some sort of upside-down smile typed in on a keyboard. He is displeased, to say the very least. He is as displeased as his components allow him to be, components which transmit a sense of self that is necessary towards the preservation of self.

"Perhaps we should leave." Another monotone, monochrome question with no question mark demarcating the sentence's end. There is no need to stay now. There is no cause.

"Yes. Perhaps we should." Unfathomable and dark gaze flickers to the one so like Two's own, unfathomable and dark. Tensed jaws equally tensed. They are leaving now, yes, but there is still a score to settle. The only question that remains is when.

One's eyes flick to the other; the only darkness in their entire existence expressed in those black depths. His arms are folded over his chest, over the white silk and clenched muscle. There is the small rustling sound of cloth as One moves. This is aggravating. Now they must wait to find him again. "Get in the car." It is a command, but only because that is simpler than a full request. And in the end, it is all the same meaning: get in the car, whether or not a please is involved.

Two moves into the car as if the car is moving to encompass him, half getting into it and half melting into it, not a full change but a half change. It is all about believing you aren't. They aren't. They are. It is simple, but only if you spend less time on it than others find themselves compelled to. Two slams the door shut behind him. "We will find him."

It is a simple matter of knowing what is, and what isn't. The car isn't. The door isn't. To some degree, the world isn't. It is all about knowing that. And when One has it firmly in his mind as mechanical gospel, the car door is just as thin as air, as easy to move through as air. Yet you can also pretend things are, and then you can sit. So, through this principle of believing in what is useful for the duration of its use, the seat is. "Or he will find us." It is preferable the first way, though. They would rather keep the ball in their court. Again, One's dark eyes flick to Two's. He is in conjunction with: they are. It is about knowing that as well.

They are to the extent that they know each other. That the other exists is the grounding point for one; that one exists is reality for the other. It isn't about trust. Two knows; rather, it is about reality. They are real. They are as much a part of each other as they are a part of their individual selves. They are. The world around them, this fictional world, is or is not, depending on what they need it to be. They are driving. The action is not conventionally, humanly real, yet it still takes them from one place to another; this being, of course, because the place from which they left and the place towards which they are going are not, and the road they drive upon is not, and the car is not, so in a meshwork of nonexistence they exist, subsist, move on. "He was fast. Very fast."

"Faster than the others," One agrees. But of course he had been. He is still alive, after all, and none before him was. "He will require our attention." To kill. It will require a different level of focus to kill him, and then – once they focus properly – he will not exist. Like the rest of the world, in its green falsity. One is not quite sure where they are going, but it does not matter. They travel another road in a sea of roads, another that will take them to another place, like this one, or perhaps different. But it does not matter. There are other, more important matters to consider now. A false road signifies nothing to them. The Merovingian will draw them back. One need only drive.

"Much faster than the others." They are like echoes, only in reverse. They echo one another, but they are not sound waves bouncing off solidity, they are the solidity off which the sound waves bounce. It is very Zen, and it is very much not. "We will deal with him." The implicit statement: he is faster than the others, but he is not as fast as we. We. Together. There is no I, except for the I that is expressed through the sense of We. Their unity is an I of its own. They are the purest form of unanimity. They are more than anything else can be in a virtual reality. They know because the other knows. Two knows because One knows him, and vice versa.

Perhaps if it were only to be one of them against him, they would not be good enough. A singular One, he, would not be good enough. But there is no he. There is no real I, because there are two of them. They were a we that is both singular and plural but one single being at the same time. "We should report back." They will have to inform the Merovingian that what he believes is otherwise.

Two gives a tight-lipped nod in response, because he was, of course, about to say the same thing. Their thoughts are a network of similar implications. Their vote is always unanimous because there is nothing between them but unity; there can be no disagreements, no schism, no fractioning. There will never be. That is their edge: they move as one, believe in their unit of two distinct halves that make up one distinct whole, believe in their power when they are that whole and their fallibility when they are separated. "We should."

"He should be informed that the threat is still present." They have seen agents working together before. They were good. Invincible. But the two of them are good on a different level, unified in a way that Agents are not. Their thoughts are the same, their minds connected in ways that no computer program can or will ever simulate or copy. Thus, it is almost redundant to talk to one another. One knows what Two is thinking anyway. By relativity, Two knows what One is thinking.

Most times they spend in silence, planning; not even the Merovingian knows all their moves, knows the extent of the network for filesharing setup between their minds. They don't have to articulate what they will do next because they will have already felt it pass between them, that knowledge. Anything else is messy. In terms of their advancement, anything else is obsolete.

At last One pulls the car up to the front of the building, and then into the garage. They park. It might have been strange to think of it like that, as the driving of a car being a joint action, but to the extent that the two of them share each others thoughts they share each other's actions as well. So, while One, part of the whole, is sitting in the passenger's seat, One was driving the car as well. Sitting in the other seat. In essence, the two of them, the whole, are driving the car; the two of them are parking it. Getting out. It is their strength. They are equal reflections.

Getting out at the same time, not so much indulging in the supposedly corporeal as they are indulging the supposedly corporeal with their supposed indulgence. They understand without having to explain it, understand without having to say a word, understand because they don't have to talk about it, just know. Not feel it. Just know. They flick two equal stray locks of hair over their shoulders, pale fingers against paler hair, and start towards their objective. There is always a direction. There is always a goal. Some are smaller than others, but they work in arcs. The completion of a task ends one arc, the assignment of another begins the next.


It is always amusing to watch the two of them enter a room. They are always so in tune with one another, so very self-confident. What an interesting thought – one sense of self-confidence in two twins. Now, does the confidence apply to each one of them, or do they only have it when they were together? The only way to ever really know that would be to see them apart and that, of course, will never happen.

The Merovingian takes a sip of his wine and leans back in his chair, smiling with familiar arrogance. "Well?" He is confident in their abilities. They have not failed. They never do.

"We had them." Two speaks first, never, of course, using 'I' because not since their creation, his first awareness of their own existence, has he used that word in relation to himself. "We had the Keymaker, and then we did not." A slight inclination of his head to the side which signals it is his brother's turn to speak. Anyone watching will simply seen it as a motion of relaxation.

"They were prepared. We could not complete the mission. The Keymaker remains in their custody." One drops his gaze, which signifies the end of their report. It is straightforward and to the point. They never say more than is necessary.

The Merovingian frowns. His fingers tighten on the glass. "Zen you failed?" There is more scorn in his voice than usual. More scorn than the French accent concealed on the average occasion. He looks at the two of them darkly, eyebrows raised in resentful surprise.

"We could not succeed today." Two speaks what the they had not needed to articulate in the SUV earlier; that yes, they have failed, but because they had not been told the One would come out of nowhere to defeat them. The agents had gotten in the way, as well. It had been messy. The Merovingian had not explained the situation fully.

"What? You sink there will be a tomorrow?" His voice is very resentful now, French but nasal. The glass comes down quickly, fortunately not splattering the tablecloth with red wine. "How can you be sure zey will come back? Zey got waht zey needed, didn't zey? Sanks to you two." A sneer. He is both angry and upset now, because he was truly sure not more than a moment ago that the two of them would have handled the situation properly. It makes no sense that they have not. And if they cannot retrieve the Keymaker, then there is no hope for any of them, now is there?

One lifts his head again, realizing it is his turn to speak in their defense. "There will be other chances to retrieve the individual." For a moment, his voice sounds resentful, as resentful as it can sound. There is never much emotion in their voices or faces, but when there is, it stands out primarily, like a dark stain on pure white fabric.

Two's jaw tenses. There is no question that if the Merovingian insults them they will ... retaliate. But it will be more trouble than it is worth to do so. Their sense of ego is not delicate, not frail; rather, it is incredibly strong, made stronger by the mirror image of the other. The point is not to fail them and then tell them that they had failed, that tensed jaw says. Resentment echoed. Yes, and anger.

The Merovingian sees the anger in their faces and settles back once more in his seat, reclining with an ease born of bourgeois sloth. Obviously they are upset about this. His own jaw clenches a little and he puts his fingers together in a sort of maniacally scheming pose, purely for show of course. The smirk on his face returns. "Well. Zis is a first." It is a provocation made only more so by the accent's cool derision.

"...yes." Two doesn't look towards the other, keeps his eyes firmly on the Merovingian, but there is a certain quality to the air now, like snow, like the air before it snows, that suggests he does not need to look to the other to translate the same displeased thoughts between them.

One is unhappy with their current situation. Very unhappy. They have failed to bring back the Keymaker – whose capture was their main objective – and now they are receiving the subtle punishment for it. Though it is not a punishment as much as it is condescension on the Merovingian's part, like they have fallen out of his good grace, into a lower category. They are displeased.

And, more importantly, the Merovingian can see that. It is that obvious. He drums his fingers on the table and frowns at the two of them. "Well? What is it that you plan to do about it?"

"We will find him. There is no question that we will not." They aren't frowning. They aren't smiling, either, but they never smile. Still, there is a dangerousness about their expressions that suggests one step further might be one step too far.

 "Who ees zis 'him?' Ze Keymaker?" Sometimes it is far too confusing to talk to the two of them. They are so in tune with one another that they forget other people aren't. He crosses his legs under the table and waits for their response, lips curled back into an impatient sneer.

"...Yes." But there is another him too. There are two "him's" they are looking for now. The Keymaker is the objective. The other him is the one they have to go through to get the Keymaker. They will get back on course soon. An objective and an obstacle. They will be more prepared next time. Simple miscalculations will not happen again.
"We will do as you wish," Two adds. That is all the Merovingian wishes to hear. It is all he will hear. He will be satisfied. They needn't explain their personal objectives to him because he will not understand even if they do, and besides, they do not wish to. They wait, now, patiently, to be excused, to sit and to rest before it is time to strike again. This next time, without fail.

It is what the Merovingian wants to hear, and they know it. He knows they know it, and that is good despite its tautology. Just because they know how to please him didn't mean they aren't serious in their attempts to. "Good," he says simply, then looks at them. The One and the Two of them. He takes another sip of wine, sits up straighter with its richness. He spreads his legs under the table, taps his foot a little. Persephone is not here now. No, she is in her room, no doubt sulking. Ah, well. They will have dinner without her, then, because he is not in the mood for going in there and getting her to come out. "Zen it is time for dinner. Are you going to eat?" It is always hard to tell with them, what they are going to do. They always know, but the knowledge exists only between themselves. Merovingian he always has to ask them for information. They never give it out unless he does.

One turns to Two, a little inclination of his head that is unnoticeable to the rest of the world. It is his turn to speak. Merovingian has addressed them.
 He answers, then; they take turns, speak only when spoken to and it might be politeness except perhaps it is not, at that. He smiles very thinly. "All right." Dinner it is, then.

"Yes.  Dinner."  The echo is visual as well as audio. The same thin smile is on his lips as well.  It is not a friendly smile. A pretty smile, maybe, but not friendly, because they are not friendly. They, even as a whole, do not have the friendliness of even the simplest computer program.

It might have bothered the Merovingian, that tone, but he is used to it by now, and so he ignores the deadness. He would have been more worried had it actually been a warm or genuine smile. "Alors, good. Sit. Stay. Eat." Three commands, but each are given with a wave of his hand and a small sloshing sound of the wine in his glass. No, they are given casually, these commands. Maybe the Merovingian taught the twins the usefulness of speaking simply, or perhaps vice versa. He is a smart enough program to learn how to learn.

Though it is foolish to eat the food the Merovingian puts down before you, it is also rude not to. As a result they always eat enough to sustain themselves but less perhaps than those unwitting would eat. There is never a time where they trust the Merovingian; they trust only in themselves. And perhaps it is not trust at all, as much a belief, the knowledge, that the other is there. Is always there. It has never crossed their minds that the other, Two, maybe One, depending on how you look at it, might someday be gone. If one is gone, the other is not there either. One half of They is I, and I does not exist. A singular pronoun they understand, have heard used before, but cannot apply to themselves. I is something else that they do not know. 

Knowledge, trust. It is all the same thing. It only applies to the two of them. It is their pronoun. 

The Merovingian smiles, faintly, with all the air of a very smug Frenchman. It is something special in their food. He has of course designed it himself, but that is a long time ago, once when Persephone had sulked for too long and he had grown too bored. Only now, he is interested to see if it works on them. This emotion – the lack of cause or objective – will be new to them. He thinks he will enjoy watching them as it happens. A small, imperceptible smirk on his lips is the only sign that the meal had been anything out of the ordinary.

Two was wary only because vigilance is necessary as a constant, a constant part of the equation in which 2t equaled One and Two, together. Vigilance is the constant, K. The equation equates victory. It is very simple. The equation does, however, require sustenance in order to reach full potential and so they eat. Two eats and One eats and both do so with deliberation that does not suggest there is anything out of the ordinary because it cannot be sensed. Cannot be felt. Cannot be detected.

And yet, it happens quickly.  It is designed to work fast because Merovingian gets bored of waiting for these things to happen. He sips his wine and simply looks at them, the changes that come differently over their similar faces.

Miscalculation. Error? One's eyes widen and he turns, visibly this time, to look at Two. This is not right. Something is wrong. The constants in the equation have, quite literally, been fed wrong to them and they are unsure of the consequences. Unknown variables in equations produce unknown results, unstable results. One swallows and pushes his plate away.  The variables are becoming clear as the results on the other side of the equal sign become clear as well.

Two's fork is down at the same time One's is. Two's plate is pushed away a fraction of a second later – suddenly, they have been put on unequal terms, their perfect balance unbalanced. Unstable: that's it. There is a change in the equation that no constant can keep from altering the product on the whole. White hands with whiter knuckles, silver rings and silver nails the only contrast to the bloodless color, clench on the edge of the table as dark eyes meet twin dark eyes. Surprise, yes. The surprise of not understanding, of being caught off-guard. Pale lips parting in question, but saying nothing at all.

It is fear in One's eyes now, an unfamiliar expression, because the balance is too irrevocably off and he doesn't know where it has gone, if it is coming back. One makes the same motions as the other, but they are off now, askew, slowed.  It is as if One is mimicking the other, but doing a bad job of. Like two drunk mimes on some street somewhere, they move in slow, staggered motion. One swallows, eyebrows knit together in a worried frown that shows more emotion than ever before. He is pale, as always, but pale differently now. A fear which blushes on his cheeks and is born mind is the absence of  both color and of knowledge. The equation is off. There is no victory, no mutually understood wavelength.

One looks at the Merovingian.

It is to some extent an unexpected development. The Merovingian has not expected them to become so befuddled and confused. However, he is not surprised, now that it has happened.  No, indeed, it makes divine sense. The lack of reason and objective, born of a single cause and effect. It makes sense that the two would be skewed without it. The Merovingian is amused now, and his face shows it. He sips the wine arrogantly, smirking. He likes the two of them like this, lost. Confused. And the next development, hubris swelling his chest, some godlike knowledge, will be even more interesting.

Two's lips curl in understanding that borders on rage, but for the first time, he is off. They are off. Not threatening, not effective, not a whole that works with the same moves towards the same objective. Two can't threaten that way, can't threaten without One because they cannot be on opposite sides of the equation like this. Divided. Separated. It throws them off, throws their strength into insecurity. His eyes divert their gaze from The Merovingian because they cannot remain upon a face which now holds all the power. It can't be. This is an impossibility, another error, another glitch in the Matrix. His eyes move to One, disbelieving as the changes course through him, the projected version of him. He shifts in his seat, thigh muscles tensing, hips lifting slightly; his hands clenched on the lip of the table and his mouth clenched shut, as if he is holding something back behind his tight lips.

The impossibility of this division makes One feel woozy, woozy in a way he has never felt before because he has never been drunk in his life. He turns in turn to look at Two, Two who is now an "I", a being with his own conscious and separate thoughts.  One is an "I" as well, but now he feels small, weakened, lost.  "i."  His pale hands go to his knees. He bends over a little, as if he is trying not to – not to what? It is unknown. He is unstable. His thighs tense, his gut clenches, and he makes a soft sound, something that barely passes his lips. It is an action his twin, the other, now Two, had done differently. One looks over at The Merovingian again, his heart racing in a way it should not have been, his head spinning with something akin to the high of getting drunk. Or maybe it is a kick in the stomach, something hard and painful that makes him feel so winded.  He catches the Merovingian's eyes. In his own lie fear, anger, something fierce blazing in the dark depths. But he does nothing because he is weakened by this sudden, unexpected loss. Error. Glitch. Miscalculation?

The Merovingian sips the wine and cocks his head to one side. "Alors," he says quietly, then nods towards the door, past the twins. "Ze bathroom is zat way." A long, wide smirk follows.

Two bites his lower lip, teeth like pearls and lips with sudden color that drains almost immediately from them as blood rushes elsewhere. Blood, hidden deep below the skin, the muscle, the flesh itself. Blood, pumping the organisms by which they transported themselves. His breaths hitch in his throat, curses merged with the disarray in his mind; he shifts again, eyes shut, hair falling over his face and forehead and hiding, for a moment, the tense lines of his tightly shut eyes. To the bathroom. Perhaps it would be best to go there. Perhaps – though what if it were a trap? He can't reach One's thoughts to uncover what One thinks about it. They can't come to a decision between themselves on the spur of the moment. Instead, he reaches for One's hand, a grappling, needy motion, and finds it. Two holds onto the similar fingers, palm against knuckles. It asks in the flesh what it has never needed to ask before: what do we do? But it asks also this: what do I do?

One holds that hand, swallows, trying desperately to fight whatever it is that is suddenly defeating him. Him Singular, halved, because he can't feel Two's thoughts and read them, and that motion, the grabbing of the hand, is all they had.  One doesn't know what they should do. He has never made decisions for them both, separately, before. They should make these decisions together or, if seperated, make them as a third party view backing up whatever the other thinks.  But he never makes decisions alone for them both. Now, he was making decisions for himself. One growls and stands, swooning slightly to one side, and holding tight to Two's hand in his own. He has no connection otherwise, without it. Then, with a last glare at the Merovingian, he turns, heading quickly down the hallway, to the bathroom. Or wherever it is they could end up in this unstable state. 

Two stumbles, feels something shoot through his belly. He holds onto One's sleeve to keep from falling. Two has never fallen before, he is quite sure he will never fall again, but here it is, a change in the state and the functioning of this body affecting his mind so severely that his equilibrium, his very balance, is off. It isn't particularly that it is painful; in fact, there is nothing painful about it. Rather, it is frightening. This is why he doesn't like it.

One catches Two, holds him for a second, then continues to move. Their—no, his now, it is just his breathing—is heavier, shallower, coming in faster gulps, like he has run too far or too long and is winded. He has never felt so very severed from himself, from the other. The room feels cold now, too cold, and perhaps the only way to recover their link is to be close together again. Be pressed against one another. Warm. But he doesn't hear that second voice in his head, that reassurance that that is the best course of action. All he can do is hold the door open for them and while they stumble into the bathroom, looking around for something. What is he supposed to do now? They. They. One has to keep reminding himself of them. But the pronoun still sounds wrong in his half empty head.

Two falls against One, arms against his shoulders, perhaps draped over them but in a way that grappled for balance rather than reveled in contact. Two finds that balance a moment later in the form of a cool bathroom wall, black marble that is pleasantly solid, though cold, too cold, against the palms of his hands and no doubt One's back. Two's eyes shut, his head dipping to rest against One's shoulder. He is trying to breathe, trying to maintain at least an internal equilibrium of breaths and heartbeats – the latter which come too fast, too quickly in succession, one after other – even if he cannot maintain an external one. Bodies pressed together like this, Two holding One against the wall but mostly because the wall holds One against Two, and it is necessary, in order not to feel lost.

The physical contact is the only thing keeping the two of them together, a semblance of stability. But they are very much unstable now, and One feels alone in himself, his thoughts lost in his head, which seems oddly halved without Two's voice, and the echoes of his own thoughts. It is thought without confirmation that another is thinking. The world feels oddly, horribly real like that, when One is just himself, alone. A pronoun lost in a sentence, a paragraph, a book of the world. Small and that insignificant. One clings to Two, pressing his body against him. It still isn't close enough, because there is still something missing, something lost. One needs it back. "Closer," One says through gritted teeth. It is simple, but when he doesn't hear the confirmation in his head, he understands the need to explain in a way he has never needed to before. Verbally. "Move closer.  Get closer to me."  Commands, but he doesn't know how to speak in anything other than that.

Two chokes back a sound of agreement, "yes," grasping at One's tight, white dreadlocks, pressing himself closer as One told him to. They had been commands, oh yes, but some reassurance can be taken from them because they commanded Two to do exactly what he wants to do, had wanted to do in the first place, which is to grasp One close with his cold fingers until they managed somehow to merge with one another. To form the half-I, half-We creature they had been before, without question, without instability, without any fear of the external. Two presses his face into the side of One's neck, presses it there and hides it there until he finds he can glean all the warmth there is offered and return all he has, himself. This is all so that equality can exist again between them. The point is to restore the equilibrium, to combat the fire clenching in his gut and melting his chest.

One puts his other hand behind Two's head and holds him, fingers digging into his scalp and holding his head against his chest as it rises and falls too-rapidly. He is shaking a little, and he feels suddenly hot, warmer than he should. One isn't sure what this is, because he has never felt anything like it before. His eyelids flutter momentarily, his jaws tense.  His other arm slips around Two's shoulders, holding him close, because there is no "we" unless the two of them are together. "What should I do?" It is the first honest question, the first actual question One has ever asked Two. It is scary, because it is so new. One swallows. "What do we do?"  It is an edited version of the previous question, but the question mark is still present, and so then is the fear.

"We'll kill him." Two's voice is shaky, without the usual strength of determination and presence of mind. But that is a plan for the far future. For now, "Closer," he says. "Get closer." And in turn, he does the same. The line of One's neck is comforting, smooth, feeling like porcelain and silk. His hair is agreeably rough in contrast, and the comfort taken in being clutched close this way, with desperation and – of all things – emotion is surprising. But they are on different footing now than they ever have been before, on new and unusual footing. They have to continue normal operations, have to adapt to their surroundings and the changes therein. They have to adapt also to the changes in themselves – a  pluralization.

"Yes.  We will."  One takes comfort in the way they hold each other. There is comfort in the agreement, even if he isn't sure Two can feel it the same way he does. If the agreement has to be vocalized to make the two of them stable again, then that is what will happen. They will adapt themselves until they are one, because one being is stronger than two separate wholes. They need one whole right now. The closeness of their bodies helps, warms them, erases some of the emptiness in his skull.

And then the second wave of whatever drug – program – it was that the Merovingian had put into their food hits, and One's breath hitches in his throat. His hips rock forward, into Two's; he holds him closer, their clothes rustling against each other's bodies with the soft sound of silk on silk. One's pale, powdered white hair makes a sharper noise as he moves.  He can't remember if they have always looked this way, if they have always existed like this. But now, all Two can care about is the present, which is their present. And this gut wrenching feeling that is making him grit his teeth, throw back his head and groan. He doesn't understand it. It has not existed for him before this. What is it now? Unnamed. As of yet, undefined.

They had eaten their food at the same time, back when they had been true mirror images of one another, so that the second wave hits Two the same second it hits One and their breaths catch together in a strange, new unity. It is like morphing, adapting, evolving, only it is impossible to do such a thing so quickly, and it leaves Two breathless. Weak-kneed. That isn't evolution: breathlessness, weakness. And there is a clenching in his stomach now, deep, deep in his stomach, so that his muscles cry out and he knows suddenly, with astounding clarity, what it is he needs. And wants, as well. This is physical in a way they have never been before, in a way they have thought truly is not necessary. Despite it all, physicality is not something they believe in unless there is a reason to believe in it. With sudden clarity, this hunger is. This desire is. They are. Another level, though whether it is above or below their previous one they have no way of knowing. However, Two is able to lift his head. He does. Quickly, with tense muscles and eyes open fully at last.

Their lips meet.

One leans into it, desperate for it. It isn't what he expected it to be, and isn't sure if it is right. But it is what he needs.  He needs it now. When their lips meet it is clarity again, white in a world of black marble that is green tinted, tainted with green. This is white. Clean. Not pure, but clean. His eyes open and he looks into the others, reading those emotions in ways that they had never expressed them before, never felt them. Never needed to, that is true, but this is so fundamentally different. This is needing. One deepens the kiss, doing it perhaps a little messily, because he is inexperienced, unsure.  He has never felt this before. It is comforting to know that Two feels it as well, that it is in him also, in his hips, his stomach, his mouth.

They are not alone any longer. There is a difference between the way they are now and the way they had been before, but that is in this moment inconsequential. Two holds only the back of One's head and pulls him in, pulls him closer, kisses his mouth. Between them at least exists equality. One movement matched by another equal movement. Their hips press together, their lips, the rocking of their bodies and the way their tongues touch are all equally matched. After all: they are twins.

The equality of it all is perfectly balanced. It is so when they touch like that, move like that, shift like that. It isn't the way it had been before, but it is equally pleasing. Different, yes, because One can feel Two inside his head, or know what he is thinking, but they are expressing it now with admitted physicality. It is the same agreement, same thought, same drive as before, all done together, but it does not need to be thought. They can express all these things perfectly well this way. The unstable variables are balancing, canceling out, multiplying and dividing into a perfection that is blissfully familiar to them. It all equals the same thing in the end. Equality; balance; stability. One begins to undo Two's jacket, to push it off his shoulders, because the stability is glory itself. It is a victory. It is still a conquest. One draws back for a second, for air, and leans forward again without hesitation. If he cannot have the other mentally, than the corporeal is all he can cling to.

Two touches, draws his hands down One's chest. One touches, presses his fingers into Two's shoulders. They kiss again. They part their lips and the kiss is not a battle but an evenness of hunger. They join that way, they join, they join. They are inseparable. Their arms are inseparable, their lips, their thighs. They do not need penetration, they do not need convention; their coition is a junction of breath on breath. One presses his hips into Two's hips pressing into One's hips pressing into his own. There is no imbalance, only a harmony of touch and undefined, physical emotion. Anger is gone, fear is gone, they are as they once were only the causality for their recombination has made a fractional difference. They are stronger this way. They are stronger.

One does not presume to take the role of dominance over Two; Two does not presume to take the role of dominance over One. Their roles are clear in their equality and all that can be is touch, push, touch, push, hips against hips, touch, push, push, lips against lips, touch, touch, push. Sound: sweet syllables of grunted, hissed sound. Sweat, too, which are sweet syllables of their own. Data. Tangible data. They are tangible data, the touching, the pushing, the pressing of their bodies together and their communal heat as real as they are. That is what they must believe in. That, that, that, and some great sweet syllable they built up towards, together. Together. As one.

Not One, not Two: one.


The Merovingian sleeps. He does not need to sleep but indulgences are his forte, after all. He has released newer and newer versions over the years until at last he has fallen prey to his own creations.

The Merovingian sleeps on a bed of satin sheets and silk canopies, of four high ivory posters. He does not sleep alone. Three women curl around him, their limbs outlined beneath the sheets, their breasts, their hips. They are full-figured, but such has ever been the Merovingian's tastes. He smiles in his sleep, a self-satisfied smile.

Do we kill the women too? One's eyes ask the simple question, a blend of shadow and scorn, though he does not turn even to look at Two by his side. As before, the thought moves over time and space and through air and air particles, none of which exists, to reach Two's own mind. The thought is real. One is real. Two is real. They are real. That is reality. It is simply remembering that nothing else exists that allows them to think freely in one another's minds.

We kill the women too, yes. A blend of scorn and shadow, Two moves forward as One moves forward. No longer separate, rather more than ever two parts of a single whole, they move with precision, Two matching One step for step. They hold their shoulders without difference in posture. Their purpose propels them. Their lips are tight, amused lines in their pale faces.

Together, they lean over the Merovingian's bed and break the Merovingian's neck, two hands on either sides of his face. There is only one pure moment of realization and recognition in the Merovingian's eyes before they use what is not real to erase what is.

Error. Glitch. Miscalculation.

Game over.

If Merovingian was the cause; this is the effect. And they are indeed very effective. Oh, yes, they are.