Title: Heaven, Purgatory, Hell

Fandom: Gone with the Wind

Rating: PG

Pairings: Rhett/ Scarlett, Rhett + Ashley, Rhett + Melanie (platonic)

Summary: Three Kisses Series. Rhett ponders his relationships with Scarlett, Melanie and Ashley. Het, mild slash.

A/N: Slash means a relationship between two men. i.e. they are gay. Don't like. Don't read. Don't flame.

1. He kneels at Melanie's feet, and he sobs, sobs as though the world has fallen down around him, as indeed it has at this moment. He tells of her what he said, of what she did, and she embraces him, hugs him to her as though he was a child, and she was his mother, careless of propriety, she strokes his head, hushes him. Her eyes, her most beautiful feature, are full of sorrow, and Rhett is reminded of a Madonna he saw in Rome. She is the picture of maternity, of motherhood, the mother that Rhett can hardly remember having. His tears stain her dress, but she neither notices nor cares, as she pats him. She lets him put his head in her lap, and smoothes his hair for him, as his sobs die away, and confession he had made died into thin air. He hates Ashley Wilkes for not knowing the worth of, or valuing what he holds in his grasp, that Rhett could only dream of having. He wonders if in a different world, where Ashley Wilkes did not exist, he might have married this beautiful woman. Her kiss is chaste and sweet, dropped on his cheek, as though she sees that he needs it. She blushes at her forwardness, but he knows that that gesture will secure her entrance to heaven.

2. Sometimes when Scarlett smiles in just that way, with her green eyes lowered and demure, long lashes covering her coy looks, when she catches her bottom lip between her teeth, it makes Rhett catch his breath in his chest, and long with a queer, aching intensity for her. Not the shell of her, that she allows him to keep- the body, but every part of her that he can't have. She was right, he thinks. He could never catch her, never hold her, and keep her. He would never corner her, so she thought only of him, longed only for his touch and his kisses. When she dreamed her childish dreams of love, and stared out the window, it was never his face she saw, never his body. Every kiss is incomplete, every kiss tastes of mighthavebeens. Even as he ravages her mouth, presses her pliable form closer to his own, revels in his possession of this beautiful earthy being, he is aware that her mind is somewhere else. Somewhere his hands can never reach and never destroy, because Scarlett might be foolish, but she was despite what he had said, no coward. He could not rip those thoughts from her mind, erase all traces of that man's touch from her body. The kiss is passionate and meaningless, and tastes of sugar and chocolate, from her damned desserts, and he wishes with all the intensity of his very being, that Ashley Wilkes did not exist. This is purgatory, the upward climb, the balancing between the chasm and the bliss.

3. He does not dislike Ashley Wilkes. He hates him, with a purity of hatred that he has never known, hates this mirror image of himself. Hates not being able to tell which one is the twisted and broken version. He prides himself on his ability to make money, even prides himself on his dishonesty, on what he will do, risks he will take for things he wants. Pretends to himself that Ashley's cowadice, makes him the weaker, the less of the two, even as he knows that cowadice is mirrored within himself, and everything he does. At least he sometimes thinks, Ashley has stuck to his principles, would have gone down in battle, with never a word of resistance. He knows Ashley is not stupid, that Ashley has seen his own downfall in the twilight of the Gods, and perhaps he can pity him for that, just as a little. Their kiss is bitter, a taste of death, despair, and salt. The sweetness of damnation, Rhett thinks, as he takes and tastes, and owns his rival, who is himself. The kiss that never happened, that never could have happened, and which if nothing else will, would send him to hell.

Do review please, Constructive Criticism is very welcome!