Author: keelhaul lizzie
Summary: All the dead dears; all the long-gone darlings.
Warnings: disturbing imagery, theoretical character background, slash.
Date: March 16, 2007
notes: In which Axel (Lea) and Marluxia (Mularia) are from Halloween Town. This can be considered a backstory fic, I suppose, and... doesn't really have any spoilers for CoM or KHII, but those who are especially wary of them might want to skip this. I don't know, man. Lines of poetry taken from Sylvia Plath.
bit my pretty red heart in two.
It has been three weeks and four days since Lea has eaten—he can tell by the even-spaced spider-crack scratches on the floor beside his bed. Bugs and little creatures tear at the soft insides of his stomach, but he can't eat, can't force the chewed up bits of dead things and spit down his gullet. It's turned him into a pathetic imitation of a ragdoll, a child's plaything made of hair and teeth and tissue, but he feels fine, mostly.
Lea meets Mularia in his garden, purely by happenstance, and is offered an apple.
"Here," Mularia says, and twists a big juicy one off a branch. Mularia looks like a plant, ivy and red sage hair and hothouse breath; his hard little amanita teeth and flytrap fingers.
"No, that's—" Lea begins, but Mularia smiles slow, sugary; it sticks in Lea's throat.
"I insist," he says. He presses the fat apple into Lea's hand, and it feels as warm and heavy as a human heart.
His venus flytrap fingers, his daddy longleg fingers pressed five perfect bruises into it, like an obscene and misshapen star. It splits in Lea's hand and its flesh is like the inside of someone's head, like grey matter gone to waste; a pink and glutted worm sits coiled in the middle, sated on the ruins of the apple's core.
Lea eats the worm and not the apple; his guts writhe and squirm like the press of centipede's legs, but he feels a little fuller.
Mularia smiles again, languorously. He tells him his name and this time Lea is the one smiling, yellow rows of teeth like stitches in his stiff cloth face.
"Like malaria, huh?" he says.
"Yes. Like malaria."
Lea notes the mangled fruit in his hand, parasite-gnawed; livid spots of disease.
"Why don't you come over to my house?" Mularia says evenly, leaning on the wrought-iron fence about the wilderness that is his garden. It sits askew as if it comprises the bars to a prison cell that the tangles of leaves and branches within are breaking free of—like some sort of singular, monstrous entity. "I'll have you for dinner."
Lea finds it hard to say no when Mularia is smiling toxins at him, smiling little microbes, bacteria.
He follows Mularia through the back door of his crooked old house with its lead-paned windows and oak and rats and dust. Mularia sits him down in a high-backed chair with a red paisley seat; his broad body looming over Lea's skinny bones as he pushes the chair toward the table.
He slides a plate in front of him, fashioned, perhaps, from the tiny foots bones of some small thing—human, maybe. Upon it sits a slice of cake, frosting thick and pink and frothy like a princess's skirt, like the apex of a princess's thighs. Lea stabs at it with his fork (a thorny husk from Mularia's garden, he assumes) and it's stale on the outside. He watches Mularia eat his own, the icing and the cake-sponge like apple flesh all—the maggots in the middle, sated on the ruins of the cake's inner.
"Not hungry?" Mularia says, and watches with easy impassiveness as Lea pricks his finger on his thorny fork; his blood will make flaky brown stains on his table, shapes like stars and human hearts.
"That's a shame. However, I did say I would be having you for dinner."
Lea does not laugh at his joke, and nor does Mularia himself.
They end up in his bedroom. Up a twisting staircase and through a hall and going around in circles and then a tower, a turret of planks and patchwork, stitched together at the seams.
Lea ought to feel at home, but he doesn't.
The walls are lined with pictures and gold-limned age-spotted looking glasses; vain, Lea thinks, as he watches his own eyes like two spots of acid in the nearest mirror.
Then Mularia is pushing him back onto the bed, with its iron headboard like a shut-wired jaw, and Lea pulls at his hair as if he is trying to uproot; he pushes up Mularia's shirt and Mularia peels away his striped stockings. Then Lea is riding Mularia's cock and the bed is shaking as though it is laughing and Mularia is smiling, his lips like pink and glutted worms; sated on the ruins of Lea's flesh, his skinny bones. Mularia presses a fly trap hand to Lea's chest and like a red and spiny mouth it closes over the left side like it is feasting.
"I could just eat your heart out," Mularia whispers over the creaking of the bed, and Lea groans in pain, a thin and raw sound. "Quite literally, I mean."
He pulls at Lea's flesh like he intends to tear, and Lea groans again, louder. He comes quite suddenly, hot and sick, and when Mularia pulls his hand away his daddy longleg fingers have pressed five bruises into his flesh, his apple flesh—like an obscene and misshapen star.
Afterwards Lea vomits all the contents of his stomach into Mularia's garden, his little monster nursery; the worm and all the other dead things. Once he returns home he scratches out the tally on his floor, the spider-cracks, and starts it over again.
Axel wakes up in Castle Oblivion, the white rosettes and glyphs on the walls seeming as mirrors, and when he looks at his chest he thinks he can see five perfect bruises right where his heart used to be.
Livid spots of disease, like an obscene and misshapen star.