A/N: This is going very quickly become a dark fic after this chapter; given my current mood and fixation with Cradle of Filth songs it seemed a suitable thing to write. This was mostly inspired by the song Nymphetamine, which I for some reason cannot hear enough as of late.

By the way, because I've made it rather vague, the Little One is meant to be Aeris, and the Doll is meant to be Tifa.


She mustn't anger him.

She sits in the corner, mindful of the gaze he raises, burning evergreen, to observe the room. To be caught in the hold of those eyes is to invite punishment so exquisite; her fingers, working diligently on darning a dress tattered and torn by earlier subjugation, tremble at the memory of his disciplinary hand upon her responsive flesh. A hiss escapes her as the small, dainty needle she holds punctures the very tip of her index finger; she watches rapt as a small bead of crimson wells forth, a sacrilege against the antique pallor of her skin. Oblivious to all in that moment, she takes a breath and holds it before inserting the needle further, and closes her eyes in utter bliss as the rapture dances spider-like up and down her eager nerves.

"Sunsetter," a voice husky with distinct promise says, and the word hangs in the stillness of the chamber. Opening her eyes at the name bestowed upon her once when things were very different, she finds that he is standing and watching her with an inner fire that momentarily stills her heart. Quickly she sets her hands in her lap, attempting to hide from him the gift she has given herself, but he approaches with swift, sure strides and is crouching before her in a heartbeat.

"What have you done, Little One?" He croons, lifting her limp, unresisting hand in his own. She contemplates pulling away but knows that the inevitable will surely come, with or without her insignificant attempts at rebellion. And so she waits with bated breath as he slowly turns her hand over and uncurls her fingers. When he sees the proof of her transgression he sighs.

"You are forbidden from this," he says in a tone of resigned weariness, like that of a parent with an errant child.

"I am sorry," she whispers tremulously.

"I do not think you are," he remarks idly, still cradling her hand, but raising his eyes to hers. She quivers as she reads what lurks ever present behind his gaze; a shadow of a threat more often than not made real. "Why must you persist on being so recalcitrant? I have already taken your wings, Little One. What else must I do obtain obedience?"

Hurt me, she told him silently, remembering the way his hands had caressed the feathers in the moments before ripping them from her body. Love me.

He was silent for a moment, regarding her impassively. Unable to match his stare she begins to notice other things about him in order to distract herself from waiting, from wanting –the broad shoulders over which she can see the blackened garden, the long fall of metallic hair, glinting in the dim light, which brushes the floor. When he begins to speak again her eyes fly back to his face to discover what verdict will fall so eloquently from his lips.

"You are in need of saving," he says finally. "Shall I call the Doll forth?"

She says something voicelessly, body beginning to shake in the manner she knew he found so becoming. "I cannot hear you, Little One. Shall I call the Doll forth?"

"Y-Yes," she breathes.

"Yes, what?" he asks, lifting her hand, toying gently, lovingly, with her wounded finger.

"Yes, Midian," she says, knowing how much this adopted title appeals to him. There was a time, long, long ago, that all gathered within this bastion had been known by other names; after acquiring them all Midian had taken from them that identity and replaced it with that of his own creation, so that harmony so blissful could be attained within the Dark Garden.

Her attention is drawn back to her lord as he slowly and carefully slides her finger into his mouth. All of her being is focused on that one moment as she feels the faint swirl of his tongue around the pinprick, as he sucks ever so slightly to draw out even more blood to taste. She withdraws it after a moment, unable to bear the sensation, and he lets her, a small tinge of blood staining his lips as they curve into a vague smile.

"Go and prepare, Sunsetter," he says, getting to his feet in an effortless unfolding of limbs, and she, bound once more to his gaze, also rises. His words have struck a chord of apprehension within her, for he means to instruct her once more in the ways of acquiescence, of proper behaviour. And never was he kind when bestowing this knowledge; only after, when he had broken them and made them pliable again, would he be tender and caring. Bowing her head in timid deference, she walks past him but is halted as she feels the brush of his fingers across her back, stimulating even through the coarse fabric of her plain shift. Sudden tears flood her eyes, but she blinks them back as best she can; he has touched her where once the wings rose graceful, ethereal, from her flesh. What more, she wondered wildly, could he take from her?

"Nymphetamine," he says -a term for her affect on him, or perhaps a misguided prayer?- leaning close as to make the soundless word resound in her ear. Teeth close on the tender lobe, biting, and when she whimpers in pain he releases her and gives her a gentle shove. She stumbles a few paces before regaining her balance; one hand lifts to find a fluid moisture coating her stinging ear, and she wipes at it ineffectually.

As she pads carefully barefoot through the wizened and twisted brambles that cover the path, she comes face to face with the Doll. The Doll's dark eyes are haunted, shadowed; Midian has never been able to truly destroy the woman she once was; the night previous he had subjected her to hours of torture, decadence and sodomy and the intricate letting of blood. For a moment the Sunsetter and the Doll confront each other, reading the suffering reflected in each other's eyes; the Doll brushes past her then, the long tail of her dark, dark hair swaying as she does so. The Sunsetter contemplates turning to see what Midian will do once the Doll reaches his side, but remembers his orders and turns to quickly make her way out of the Dark Garden and into the bastion.

It did not do to make Midian angry.


A/N: I'm sure that to most everyone else this is a disjointed piece of imagery and nonsensical dialogue, but it makes sense to me. (XD) Many of the names I used here are taken from different Cradle of Filth songs; the setting I picture this taking place I have derived from the Nymphetamine video, which has imagery so very vivid that I'm almost entranced when watching it.