A/N: Set any time before Allen and his friends enter the Ark.

Satisfying Pandora

Rhode likes the taste of sugar on her tongue, but sometimes evil is sweeter.

Killing, for example – feeling the hatred bubble up inside her and spill out in the form of cackling, eyes and fangs milky white and outlined in the dark while the poor thing she is torturing cowers and begs for mercy. It's pitiful, really, so much that sometimes she wants to give in, only because she's such a nice little girl – but mercy isn't something granted by the Noah, so she delivers the final blow without any hiss of conscience.

It's crueler to let the weak go on living. Death, at least, can end their suffering.

Blood isn't half-bad either. She likes how hot it feels against her cheeks, sharp and salty to counter the saccharine flavor of her saliva. When she sucks on the sharp end of her killer candle after it's pierced through Lotte's hands, she is reminded distinctly of how humanity is so messy – full of sweat and flesh and dripping wounds, and other icky things that can only be removed by nuances like bandages or medicine. The idea of those inconveniences makes her shudder, and she gulps down their metallic crimson proof with disdain.

She'll never have to know that sort of ache.

It isn't because the Noah are immortal – they can bleed too (she once nicked Ticky on the arm with her razor cookie cutter, watching with fascination as his blood turned the dough a sickly pink) – but that won't happen until the world ends, because they're too clever and too careful and they've been planning this war since forever. (Also because they're stronger than any exorcist, but it isn't nice to brag, or so the Millenium Earl always says.)

She's certainly not only concerned with taste. Sweetness has a certain aesthete on its own, a style that manifests in all her special dream worlds: pink-black-purple, checkers, hearts, and stars. She likes to throw in some dolls for decoration, the more realistic, the better (and pretty, of course) – their clothes have to consist of ruffles and skirts (but Rhode gets to wear the shortest one). Presents are always welcome too. Especially the ones with big bows.

But the biggest treat of all would have to be Allen Walker, full of hatred and sorrow and love and isn't he cute, she could think about him all day. The poor kid was so shocked when he found out Rhode was human. The memory still makes her giggle; he was so stiff against her chest and their hearts were pounding like one big snare drum, bambambam. She'd stabbed his eye, but that couldn't be helped, it was too much to bear, burning at her that way. She'd done it out of love. If he'd stop seeing devils all the time maybe he wouldn't have to be so obsessed with salvation.

He had shed tears at the end of the battle – mostly for the Akuma who had gone to hell, but some, she knew, were for herself: for this horrible thing that had hurt them all, for this human who thought nothing of killing other humans. For this monster that was worse than the Akuma around him.

The idea makes her smile.

He didn't shoot her, after all; they might still have a chance.

She wants to devour him and take all the honesty from his soul; drain him of his purity and perfection and goody-two-shoes-godliness and make him one of them, because they all quite like him (well, not Jasdebi, because those two don't like anything; but Ticky and the Count think he's good fun). She wants to consume him whole, from his feet to his funny white head, until even his precious Innocence can't save him. She wants to nibble on his lips and know if he's sweet (like she hopes he is); but then again he might be sour from all that hurting, or salty from all that toiling. He might even be bitter, because the world is coming to an end and no matter how much they fight, they can't win (this is god's plan, after all).

Rhode Camelot decides that the next time they meet, she'll figure it out – by stealing a kiss from him. After all, lollipops are good (especially the giant, rainbow-colored swirly sort), and evil is better, but there's really nothing quite as tasty as love.


A/N: Thanks for reading! Rhode's voice is tricky - it's hard to find the right balance of insane, immature, and strangely sweet, and I'm not sure I pulled it off all right. Reviews would be much appreciated. :D