Title: Closer Still

Author: Syn

E-Mail: veruca_werewolf@hotmail.com

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.

Rating: R

Pairing: Dylan/Thin Man

Summary: Just who has the fetish? Sequel to Wet/Red.

A/N: I'm not quite sure why all my Dylan/Thin Man stories (all two of them!) are so dark and...well, weird.  They just are.  I hope you like it though, even if my obsession is freaky.  I think I've got one more of these vignette-y pieces in me.  Heh.

A/N2: Italics are Dylan's dream, parenthesis are the real world.

Feedback: It's my own personal fetish.  Feed me!

****

"You could be the devil in my bed.  You could be the angel in my head.  You could be the voices that I hear.  I'm singing along because it sounds just like you're near." -Flickerstick, "Beautiful"

****

(It was late when she got in.  Two days late.  And, having spent most of it awake, she was exhausted.  He could see that when she stumbled inside and collapsed, his face hidden in the shadows at her window.  Now it was a simple test of wills.  Now or never.)

She's not sure where she is.  How she got here, why, when...all questions that seem to flow away with the ebb of time.  It stands still, leaps forward.  Fog roils across her vision.  She hurts in places that will never heal. 

Wind tosses rain at her.  Her hair lashes in the air, beckoning, teasing.  She hugs her arms close, a cold creeping over her skin, eyes hooded.  A hand caresses the back of her neck. 

Her body stiffens, waiting, wanting, begging. 

Nothing.  Shadows bleed and dissipate but he is not there.

Just who is the tease here?

(She turned over, creases in her cheek.  She was fully clothed with old socks on that smelled like she'd been in a sewer for a few hours--which she had been.  There was a bruise on her lower back.  She had that fitful look on her face, like a child dreaming about boogeymen and hooks for hands.  The screen at the window slit easily beneath the pointed end of his blade.)

She keeps walking, like so many times before.  The clouds swell like a seven-month belly.  A shadow beckons from the corner of her eyes.  She follows, the scent of smoke and cold calling to her, screaming to her. 

Fear grips her.  She shouldn't...

(He shouldn't.  Shouldn't have tried it, shouldn't have gotten this close but he couldn't stop himself.  A compulsion filled him, a need to connect that he wouldn't acknowledge and couldn't ignore.  Like a snake, he slithered inside; inside the darkest of unknown places in the world.  No one to scream.  No one to hear.)

She's followed him faithfully and here she is.  X marks the spot.  Cold, cold, getting warmer, hot, hotter, hottest.  A garden welcomes her home and she sees tears on Mary's weather-beaten face.  The steps are marked with the footprints of saints.  Devils?  The doors creak open and the sound of silence collides with her world.

She should have lit candles for him. 

Her footsteps echo, the tiny flames of candles too numerous to count jumping and dancing as she disturbs the dusty air.  White sheets drape over unknown heaps of furniture like ghosts in the darkness.  Wind teases her hair.  Something cold is nestled between her breasts.  

Darkness appears at her elbow.  

(His head tilted, appraising, memorizing, contemplating.  His cold eyes calculated and cherished, pillaged and tore.  The time would come.  She looked worn, tired, broken now.  He crouched on his knees, like a child at Christmas, waiting to be passed the fire engine he knows is buried beneath the sweaters.  Her hair is a shade off, but the anxiousness is the same.)

"I followed you." She says, groping for speech.  His profile is sharp and tangible in the shadows.  Not darkness, not a devil, not a saint.  He just is.  He nods, a tendril of coal black hair falling on his brow.  His eyes slide in her direction, the startling blue lighting on her face, consuming her.  "Why are we here?  What is this place?"

He bows his head, eyes closing.  She dares reach out, touch his cheek, his skin like marble beneath her palm.  He is startled by the movement and with a sensuous, well-oiled hiss, a sword blade is at her throat. 

Her chin tilts, eyes betraying her fear.  He's wild, untamed, dangerous and hers.  Air squeezes in through his gritted teeth, chest rising and falling, a rasp like rusty gate hinges betraying his own fear.  He knows she could move, could break him like china, crack the sword in half and bring him to his knees.  She sees it in his eyes.

The blade wavers.

(She moaned suddenly, head thrown backward.  He stopped, watching, eyes drinking up the curve of her hips.  Her hair was splayed on the pillow, bloody strands the center of his universe at all times.  His fingers itched to pull hard, just to hear the sharp intake of breath again.  His stomach clenched in excitement.  The half-healed wound in his chest contracted painfully.)

Her fingers lift, sliding along the cold metal, the danger of being cut never entering her mind.  The danger here is all in his eyes.  She could fall right now and no one could stop her.  Her fingers slide over his as they grip the pommel of the sword.  Their eyes meet and he winces away, swinging without warning.

She ducks, her leg lashing out and connecting with his hand.  Spinning to end the kick, she is grabbed around the waist, her back against his chest.  His breath is hot on her ear.

A soft sigh escapes his throat as he buries his face in her hair, sending shivers from her neck to her toes.  If only he would...

(She drew a shuddering breath and he allowed one hand to touch the rumpled blanket, daring himself to get closer.  Where was she?  In a warm place he wasn't allowed?  Her hand suddenly moved in the blankets, lifting upwards to tangle in the long strands thrown against her pillow.  His eyes narrowed and he felt hunger on his tongue.)

His hand spreads out over her stomach, pressing her into him, like the cold ice of his body was slowly melting into the heat of her back.    

His other hand comes out of nowhere, heavy on her face.  His large, waisted thumb is callused but soft as it slides over the swell of her bottom lip.  Dark red lipstick smudges, streaking like blood, dripping in a tantalizing, staining trickle from her mouth.  Her breath catches, tongue barely touching his thumb, the ridged whorls rough against the wet muscle. 

He tastes like ashes and smoke.

(What did he come here for?  To watch this?  To see her lying there, supine, unaware of his prying eyes?  He felt no shame, only the creeping need to grab and pull to hear the sounds of pain he knew so well.  This...this, he didn't know this.  She was different somehow.  She crawled inside him and he couldn't get her out.  His fingers itched to touch her.  Instead, he sat back, lit a cigarette...and watched.)

It happens quicker than thought.  His large spidery hand leaves her mouth and slides along her jaw.  He buries his fingers in the hair at her temple.  Shock goes through her body, anticipation a broken word on her tongue.  Her hand goes to the one at her stomach, gripping, begging, urging. 

Her legs tense as his fingernails scrape her scalp, palm on her ear, other ear under the gentle attack of his breath, each sharp intake like an addictive razorblade on her mind.  She turns her head slowly, their noses bumping, mouths inches, centimeters apart. 

This is too close and not close enough.

(His nerves are jangled.  The smooth intake of smoke and the taste of nicotine over his tongue is fulfilling, but only second to his other hunger.  He doesn't have much time left.  Should he take it and risk everything?)

It's not like the first time, when everything was a blur of spotlights, broken ribs and confusion.  This time it was soft, hungry, needful, and dangerous.  His mouth is a flame, burning her up inside with the slowness.  Would he hurt her?  She wants to scream, not ache for pain. 

She turns in his arms, his fingers twisting in her hair, pulling from the root but not hard enough.  It's never hard enough.  Her chin lifts and she kisses him again, insistent, begging without words for him to end it like the last time.  That's all she wants, just to feel the rip and taste the pain. 

His fingers slowly twine and tangle.

(He couldn't wait anymore.  He ground the cigarette out on the battered bureau next to her bed and breathed in, then slowly reached forward, the shadow of his hands slowly melting across her face.  The feel of her hair was almost more than he could take.  He twisted, thumbs brushing her cheeks.  Her eyes moved rabidly beneath the creased eyelids.  She was deep in the embrace of a dream...)

Her head goes back, mouth open, waiting.  His lips attach to her throat, suckling, teeth scraping.  Her fingers curl against the lapels of his dark suit.  Reality is a thousand miles away. 

There is first one tug and then another, the hot slither of pain and ecstasy in her chest, rising, falling, swirling to other parts of her body.  She wants to scream.  His mouth scrapes to her ear and his breath once again spills out over her skin. 

Her hand travels up his face and she touches his brow, this time no fear of a sword at her throat.  The first pull goes through her, hard, rough and achingly right.  And she begs for more.

(He hesitated, testing his control.  Air expelled from her lips in a hiss and he watched, inches from her mouth.  If she had opened her eyes...but she didn't.  Just continued on where he couldn't reach her.  His fingers twisted harder and he prepared for it, half-hoping she would wake.)

He pulls again and she feels the pain, a burning brand on her heart.  Her head snaps back to his mouth with the recoil of each tug.  Urgent hisses of pain escape her as her mind flies apart.  His eyes close and his hands come away, trailing bits of red in his fist. 

(He pulled hard and she gave another moan.  He closed his eyes, savoring each sweet sound, saving it for rainy days.  Her eyelids flickered as if she was pulling herself willy-nilly through the fog of her dreams, but she didn't wake.  He lifted the sacred strands to his face and breathed in, a scent he knew too well curling around his brain.  He had to leave and couldn't bring himself to do so.)

He pulls again and again, the pain/pleasure rising in her like a wave.  She wants more.  She wants to hurt for him.  She wants him to crawl inside and pull her apart.  Their bodies shift, her arms going around his neck, her mouth on his ear so he can know the things she wants him to hear.  He's so close.  She can almost feel him. 

He pushes her backward.

(He searched her face, inches too close, miles too far away.  His thumb smoothed over her lip, daring her to wake.  Her eyelids fluttered and he knew with a sudden jolt that it wasn't a dream.  She would wake soon and he would be there, guilty and wanting.  He stole one last look at her and slipped from her bedroom, making no noise but the soft sigh as he pressed his fist to his face.)

Down, down they fall.  She smells smoke again and a hand, a sharp hand pulling.  She screams as her back hits the dusty floor, his slight weight crushing.  She's drowning and she doesn't want to be saved.  He lifts his head from her neck, the soft scrape of his skin like thorns on her cheek.

He opens his mouth to say something, his eyes searching her face and a sharp jolt seizes her brain.

She is suddenly ripped away from him and she wants to cry at the unfairness of it all.

****

Dylan Sanders woke with a headache and an uncomfortable feeling in her stomach.  She felt weak, which was no surprise considering the hellish two days she'd just endured.  But there was something wrong beneath the superficial wounds and bruises and the smelly sewer-stained socks she hadn't had the energy to kick off. 

Her head hurt.  She remembered the dream with a rush of warmth and a throat-closing lump.  She dreamed of him again.  The same dream she never finished.  He goes to speak and she wakes up.  Dylan cursed and sat up, vowing to take a shower before collapsing again. 

As she did, the back of her head gave a sharp twinge and she instinctively fumbled through her tangled hair.  She knew by now the feel of angry roots and reddened scalp, raised bumps protesting the theft of each precious strand.  Her eyes narrowed and she immediately slipped into detective mode.

Smoke in the air.  Her eyes flicked around the room and she zeroed in on her bureau, a butt doubled over and pinched, ashes on the old wood.  His brand.

Her chest squeezed and she drew her knees up.  She glanced around, paranoia taking hold.  Her eyes went to the window, the sash thrown up and torn screen proof enough for her knowing eyes. 

"That bastard!" She growled, not sure if she was angry with him for having the balls to break into her apartment or herself for not waking up.  And the dream...

She took a deep breath and fell back onto the pillow, her face buried in her palms.  She'd prepared a whole speech for the inevitable "next time we meet" scenario that had played in her head a million times and he'd gone and ruined everything by sneaking in and taking what he wanted.  And all she had left was a sore, bald spot on her scalp and a confusing dream that was slowly slipping into a jumble of images and disturbingly erotic feelings.

Life was unfair.  And this thing with him, with Anthony, it was going to end.  No more rainy day walks with his shadow tailing her, no more dreams, no more questions about how he survived the fall and definitely no more breaking and entering. 

She was going to find him and that was final.  Dylan nodded her head, as if to confirm it and sat up.  Her limbs sank into exhaustion as soon as she moved.  She moaned and laid her head back down on the pillow, vowing that she'd only rest for a few minutes and then get that much-need shower.

She would deal with Anthony after she felt closer to human.  Right now just thinking about him was too much.

She was asleep in seconds, but this time she remained mercifully dreamless. 

****

From the street, hidden in the shadows of a tree, he stares intently at the light shining through the curtains of her opened window, his keen blue eyes narrowed, his face impassive.  He left evidence.  He knew it and yet...he didn't care.  He wanted her to know he was there.  He had a feeling this...thing between them was going to change soon.  He was letting her get close, closer than anyone had ever been, but he'd been the one to force the next step.  He didn't regret it.

He took one final drag off the cigarette in his fingers, flicked it away, and then tore his eyes off her window.  He sauntered off into the darkness, the hard-won strands of her hair still clenched in his fist.

[end]