Jesus Christ Superstar 2004 fic
He was there first. He'd been the first one to her door when life had been new and exciting. Admittedly, it had been as a customer to an expert in the oldest profession in the book; but Judas felt justified in saying he had the rights to her first. Mary was a woman who knew her way around a man's body. She knew exactly where to caress to get the desired response. She had known right away that this wasn't going to be a one-time deal. She knew that her days as a common whore were coming to an end and she was delighted that they should end with Judas. The dark haired man had followed her like a puppy, if only with his eyes. To her surprise those eyes held something more than just simple lust; lust she was used to. The adoration in his eyes was something new to her. The gentleness with which he took her hand in his was another new experience. He courted her, like no one else ever had. To be honest it was new experience for her.
Judas took care of her needs, seeing that she didn't have to take part in her… profession while they were together. Lazy days were spent just sitting together in the field right outside of town. For once in her life she felt safe; Mary's back rested against her lover's chest and she turned her head nuzzle against his jawbone, inhaling the smell of his cologne. Judas smiled, wrapping his arms tightly around her midsection and resting his head against hers.
"I love you." he murmured in her ear.
Mary grinned in return.
Judas began kissing her throat, his hand travelling possessively over her belly and lower still. Mary laughed, jokingly pushing his hands away. She looked at him over her shoulder, her smile melting away at the intense look in his eyes.
He interrupted her with a kiss, holding her tight to him.
"I don't know what I'd do if I lost you." he said when he finally drew away. The tone of his voice genuine and it scared her.
"I'm not going anywhere." she breathed.
"Promise? Promise this will last forever."
"I love you. Forever." she promised.
That night he took her back to his apartment, a plain little flat in the better part of town. The furniture was worn, but comfortable. They sat together on the couch for an hour or so, just enjoying being in one another's company. Mary curled up against his chest as he stroked her hair. She could almost feel the happiness radiating off of him and she was happy to say that the feeling was mutual. Mary turned her head and nuzzled at his jaw. He smelled of leather and cologne and just a bit of sweat. The day's growth of scruff scraped her cheek pleasantly. It was one of the many things she loved about him. Judas put on such a gruff and harsh exterior, but underneath he was a highly intelligent man who loved reading above all other things. Mary moved to straddle his lap, her head higher than his. She leaned down and kissed him, running her hands through his thinning black hair.
Judas' hands came up to support her back. His senses were on fire with her very presence. He couldn't believe that he could be so lucky as to have such an Angel grace his presence. When her soft lips came down over his, he lost himself completely. He was a man who liked being in control and only when he was with her could he let down his guard.
Her hair was coming loose from the messy bun she kept it in; the curls fell down around her shoulders and brushed against his face. Judas closed his eyes and took in her scent. Honeysuckle and soap. She was so warm underneath his hands. She seemed so small and fragile and he wanted nothing more than to protect her for the rest of their lives. Mary's hand brushed over his stomach and he shivered elatedly. She pried his frayed red t-shirt from the waistband of his jeans and let her fingers trace the fine dusting of fuzz leading downwards from his navel. Her lips soon joined her fingers in their delightful torture. Mary pressed a gentle kiss just below his belly button, nearly sending him over the edge for good.
"Be-be-bedroom first-oh good god-!" he attempted to protest as she moved her hips over his jean clad crotch. "Woman, do that again and we'll nev aaahhhh-" he closed his eyes and groaned; she was biting his chest through his t-shirt.
With that he stood up, lifting her with him and heading for his bedroom. Judas lowered her down onto the bed thinking that no other man in the world was as lucky as he was. He went to work relieving her of the thin dress she wore and in no time at all she was laying in front of him in nothing but a pair of sheer white panties, her tan skin goose-pimpling in the light breeze coming from the window. He was finally starting to calm down when she reached down and shimmied out of her panties, the sight of her completely nude with her arms outstretched to him brought his arousal back with full force. He could barely breathe and he felt hands shaking at his sides.
Judas knelt between her legs and pressed a kiss to the inside of her thigh before moving upwards. She smelled so good, intoxicatingly musky and sweet at the same time. Mary arched her back as Judas' lips touched her most intimate place. Mary's toes curled as she felt his tongue swirling against her hidden bundle of nerves. She bit her arm against the cries building up inside her throat. A few more choice movements on Judas' part and she had given up trying to muffle her cries. The sounds he could elicit from her thrilled Judas to no end. The soft little moans and chirps of pleasure were music to his ears. He added his fingers to the equation and in moments he had pushed her over the edge. Her voice breathlessly screamed out his name as her fingers clawed at the sheets.
When he finally drew away with a self-satisfied smirk on his angular features, Mary could do nothing but lie there recovering. He moved up to her face and kissed her on the forehead. She could smell herself on him and was transfixed as she watched him lick his lips clean. Gathering her scattered senses, Mary sat up and faced her boyfriend. With shaking hands, she tugged his t-shirt over his head. She leaned forward and kissed the mouth shaped bruise she had left on his chest before making its twin on his collarbone. Judas yelped delightedly before pinning her to the bed and biting her gently on the throat in retaliation.
"Let me return the favour?" Mary said, out of breath.
He shook his head and cradled her face in his palms.
"I am the luckiest man alive. No other man is as blessed as I am to have such a treasure."
She grinned at his overly romantic words before wrestling him into a sitting position.
"Close your eyes." Mary demanded mischievously.
He closed his eyes but raised an eyebrow. Mary's slender fingers unhooked his belt and drew it through the loops. He heard it clang to the floor a moment later. Then she was unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans. She touched him through his boxers and he convulsed forward, his forehead coming to rest on her shoulder. Mary pulled him free of his boxers and her warm hands massaged him into full attention.
"Keep your eyes closed." she said, he could hear the smile in her voice.
Judas felt her moving around and a moment later he was engulfed in pure, sweet, bliss as she lowered herself over him. Everything with her felt so right. They fit perfectly together and moved in perfect synchronization. Mary took him in to the hilt and she made a high noise of appreciation as he hit just the right spot inside her. She put her arms around her lover's shoulders as they moved together.
"I love you." she whispered in his ear, as if it were a secret.
She then found herself on her back, her arms being held stretched above her head.
"I love you too." he replied.
Time was unimportant. Whether it was minutes or hours later, they both reached the peak within seconds of each other. Mary cried out Judas' name in complete ecstasy, nearly passing out. Judas came moments later, her name on his lips. Mary felt warmth spread inside her and for once did not regret forgetting protection. Strangely enough, she could envision a future with Judas. She wouldn't mind having Judas' baby… Her imagination began to run away with her. She saw herself as a mother raising his children and for once the concept of a having a child didn't scare her.
Judas was now lying beside her, her hand in his. She turned on her side and buried her face in his chest, clinging to him for dear life.
"Don't let this end. Never ever." she whispered.
"I won't let it." Judas replied.
He rested his chin on top of her head, smiling to himself. He really was the luckiest man in the world….
It wasn't til a few weeks later that Mary made a startling discovery: she was in fact pregnant.
"You should get rid of it. Even Johns like Judas don't want that sort of responsibility." Peter told her. "He doesn't even have to know."
"Judas isn't a John, Peter. I'm not doing that shit anymore!" Mary said angrily.
"Mark my words, you tell him you're pregnant, he'll be out of here faster than you can say 'Messiah'." Peter insisted. "You'll see."
"Mary'll see what?" Judas' voice spoke up.
He had just walked up from his flat. He came up behind Mary and wrapped his arms around her.
"How are you, m'love?" he asked Mary, kissing her neck and resting his chin on her shoulder.
Mary smiled happily.
"Peter seems to think that you'd run out on me if I were to tell you something… important." Mary said, shooting Peter an angry look. Peter merely looked back, an irritatingly expectant look on his face.
Judas stood behind Mary and slipped an arm around her.
"What's so important? And why do you think I would be able to handle it, Peter?" he asked.
"It's about us. You may want to sit down." Mary said, taking him by the hand and leading him to sit.
Judas' dark eyes narrowed in concern.
"Mary, are you alright? Is something wrong?"
"No point beating about the bush, right?" she laughed nervously.
He took her hands in his and squeezed them reassuringly.
"Mary, I love you. Whatever it is, we'll work it out."
"I'm pregnant." The tan skinned woman said quickly
The leather-jacketed man looked stunned. He frowned, raised an eyebrow, and went through several other changes of expression before settling on befuddlement.
"You're pregnant? And… I'm… the father?"
"But it's ok. If you don't want-"
A slow smile began at the corners of his mouth before crinkling his whole face into a look of glee.
"Don't want it?! Of course I do! Mary this is wonderful!"
Judas seized her by the hands and danced her around the courtyard. Mary was delighted to see that he was happy about the new development in their relationship.
"You're having my baby. God, this is wonderful!" he grabbed her and kissed her passionately, holding her close and positively vibrating with pride. " A little you! A little girl with your eyes!"
"Or maybe a little you. With your big ears."" Mary smiled. "I take it you're not mad?" she asked.
"Mad?" Judas' voice cracked.
He suddenly fell to his knees and twisted the silver ring off of his right hand. It was worn and scratched, but shone dully in the bright afternoon sunlight.
"I know it's not perfect. I know the circumstances aren't paramount. But will you be my wife?"
Mary bit her lip and nodded happily, Judas slid the ring over her forefinger, as it was too big for any other finger.
"I'll get you another one. A better one!" Judas babbled excitedly.
"A better what?" a familiar voice spoke up.
Judas' best friend and confidante, Jesus, had appeared next to Peter.
"A better ring." Mary said.
Jesus smiled approvingly.
"That's fantastic, Judas!" Jesus embraced his best friend, honestly happy for his apostle's good news.
Mary giggled, grabbed Judas from her friend's grasp, and leaned down to kiss him. When she straightened up, Judas knelt down and pressed his lips against her still flat belly; full of masculine pride that he was going to be a father. For once in his life, everything seemed to be going perfectly.
It was a few months later. Judas had really come into his own in that time, securing for himself a good well paying job. Mary hadn't returned to her own apartment in weeks; she hadn't had a need to. The door to the apartment opened and Judas swanned in, looking highly proud of himself and cheerful.
"Well, what's that self satisfied smirk for?" she inquired as he sat down on the couch next to her.
He didn't speak; only leaned over and kissed her hello before pressing a matching kiss to her swollen belly.
"How are we doing today?" Judas asked, absently stroking her hair and laying a possessive hand over her abdomen.
"Well I feel fat and unattractive but this one's lively as always. Now tell me why you look like the cat who ate the canary." she smiled, leaning against him.
"I've got a permanent position with my company, now. They're giving me a pay rise and have agreed to let me be a salaried employee rather than a by the hour bloke. We're financially secure for the next few years." he grinned.
Mary let out a cry of excitement.
"Yes, I thought so." he said, self satisfied.
They remained together on the couch, just enjoying the feeling of knowing that everything was falling into place. They inadvertently fell asleep there, Judas cradling her back against his front and resting his chin on her shoulder. Mary's hair tickled his cheek as he drowsily kissed her throat. She moaned softly in her sleep and wiggled against him. Judas fell asleep inhaling her intoxicating scent and looking forward to the rest of his life.
Judas was rudely awakened hours later by a loud pounding noise. Someone was smashing their fist against the door to his and Mary's flat. He carefully manoeuvred his way out from behind Mary and shuffled sleepily toward the door.
"Who is it?" he called, rubbing his eyes.
"We're friends of Mary's. Let us in, we need to talk to her." a smooth voice said in return.
Judas looked at the clock on the end table. It was three A.M., what the hell could anyone want at three A.M.?
"She's asleep, give me your name and I'll tell her you came by."
"No! We need to talk to her now!" another angrier voice demanded. "Bring the whore out!"
Now becoming suspicious, Judas closed his hand around the baseball bat he kept next to the door. He turned to look at Mary's form on the couch, he could see the whites of her open eyes in the darkened room.
"Get into the back bedroom and call the police." he whispered to her. More loudly he spoke to the unknown intruders on his doorstep. "Mary's not working for anyone any more, so you need to leave. Now."
There was a beat of silence and then someone kicked in the door. Two large men and a smaller, more dignified looking man barged in. Judas was ready and swung the bat at the first of the hired muscle. The wooden bat smacked into the abdomen of the oncoming attacker making a pleasant 'thwocking' noise. Judas was caught off guard and suddenly was hit in the face by a large fist. Everything was happening so fast he barely had time to process. He could hear Mary screaming in the back bedroom, he struggled against restraining hands and was rewarded with a violent shove into the corner of the coffee table. His head collided with the edge of the table and stars exploded in his vision. A foot began kicking him in the abdomen and he heard a loud pop as one of his ribs broke. Judas had to fight not to black out. He heard Mary scream again, this time a blood curdling shriek of pain. One of the thugs swore angrily and profusely.
"Mary!" Judas cried.
"Son of a bitch! The slut is pregnant! What the fuck man?! She's no good to us now!" the smooth voiced man shouted.
"You idiot! You hit her in the stomach! Oh shit! She's bleeding! Run you mother-fuckers!"
The three men raced out of the apartment, leaving Judas on the floor bleeding from a head-wound and gasping for breath. He hauled himself to his feet and stumbled into the bedroom. Mary sat on the floor with her back against the wall. Her hands and skirt were stained with red-black blood; she looked up at him, tears streaming down her cheeks. Judas grabbed the phone on the bedside table, dialling 911 as fast as he could. The numbers doubled and blurred in front of him but he shook the pain away. As coherently as he could, he told the operator the situation, an ambulance was dispatched and Judas woozily put down the receiver on the table. He could hear the operator's voice still squawking.
"Judas… Judas… Judas the baby…" Mary whispered, her hands shaking.
Judas gathered her into his arms, heedless of his broken ribs. She wept into his shoulder, the pain becoming too much for her and eventually causing her to faint. He could hear the paramedics pounding up the steps and bursting into the apartment. His vision darkening, Mary was pulled gently from his arms and loaded onto a gurney.
"Sir? Sir can you hear me?" the voice sounded like he was underwater but he nodded as best he could. "Bill? We got a possible gang related attack at Galilee Apartments. Got a Caucasian male, mid thirties, head wound, possible concussion, largely unresponsive. We'll be taking him in with an African American woman suffering from a possible miscarriage. Roger, over?"
Miscarriage…. Judas heard those words and they echoed in his mind over and over again. Mary. Where was Mary? He should be with her. He tried to move but found he was strapped to a separate gurney.
"Lemme go. I got… I've got to be with her."
Everything was fuzzy and felt disjointed.
"Sir, we're going to give you something for the pain, you can see you wife at the hospital."
"N-Not my wife. F-fiancee." he forced out. "Oh god… the baby. S-she's only five months along."
Suddenly he was floating away.
"What a shame, huh Bill?" he barely heard the conversation going on over his head. "Fuckers just stole this guy's life away..."
When next he came to, he was lying in a sterile white hospital room. Judas' surrounding slowly came into focus.
"Mary…" he groaned.
Feeling an IV in his arm, Judas reached over and tugged the needle out. Still dizzy, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and dropped down. His bare feet hit cold linoleum, startling him a little bit more into consciousness. Judas wandered out of his room, leaning against the wall for support. He didn't know how he had done it, but eventually he found Mary's room. She was in the ICU and she was awake.
"Mary." Judas whispered.
She looked up, her eyes were red and tired looking from crying. Mary followed his gaze to where it rested; on her noticeably flat belly.
"Judas, I'm so sorry. I lost her. I lost the baby." she said dejectedly.
Judas moved quickly to her side, ignoring the wave of pain and dizziness doing so caused.
"No. No baby, it's all right. It's not your fault. It's mine. I'm so sorry I couldn't protect you." his cheeks were wet with tears, the disappointment he had in himself was overwhelming.
"They… They said the blow shattered her skull. There was nothing anyone could do."
Neither of them knew what to say. Judas sank down into a chair next to her bed and took her hand in his, stroking the back of her hand with his thumb. Mary reached over and gently touched the bandaged gash on his forehead. She remembered how he had looked the night previous. His eyes wide with fear and blood pouring into his eyes as he desperately tried to stay conscious long enough to make sure Mary was safe. She remembered the pain lancing through her body as she miscarried her first child. The doctors had said she would have been a healthy baby had this terrible beating not befallen her mother.
Mary felt empty. Completely drained and without a single positive emotion left within her. She turned to see that Judas had lost consciousness again, his bandaged head leaning carefully against the wall. For a moment she hated him. She hated that he had shown her what they could have had. Hated that he had been the one to put that tiny perfect life inside her. She even hated that he was so understanding and didn't blame her at all for anything. Judas hadn't left her any room to hate herself. She couldn't blame herself for losing the baby and therefore could do nothing to punish the person responsible for the child's death. Again, she found herself crying despite her complete exhaustion.
A group of harassed looking doctors and orderlies suddenly skidded to a stop by her doorway. They spotted Judas in the chair and hurried in.
"Sir, can you wake up please? We need to get you to your own room. Sir?"
One of the white-coated doctors checked his pulse and shone a light into his eyes.
"He's unresponsive. His chart said he had a broken rib, we could have missed something and it perforated the lung. We should get him into surgery as soon as possible."
Judas' hand fell limply from Mary's. She watched silently as they carried him away on a gurney, then she turned her face into her pillow and wept.
When enough time had passed that they were both well enough to return home, they put off talking about what had happened. Both tired and still sore from their ordeal, they crawled into bed together, not bothering to undress. They clung to each other like frightened children. The cool sheets soothed their bruises like balm. Hours and hours passed as they just lay there. Eventually Mary's troubled thoughts led her to an unpleasant and unwanted solution, though no question had been posed.
Mary leaned up and kissed Judas. There were tears on her lips.
"Why does that taste like a 'goodbye' kiss?" he whispered, his voice breaking the deafening silence.
"I think… because it is." she said, her voice shaking.
"I don't really know."
"Alright, Mary. If that's what you want."
This time he kissed her. A gentle brush of his mouth on hers, he brushed away her tears with a thumb and extricated himself from the covers. Judas tucked the blanket in around her and put on his leather jacket. He leaned down one last time and left a lingering kiss on her forehead.
"I'll never stop loving you." the broken man murmured.
He smiled sadly at her and with that, he turned and walked out.
It wasn't long before Jesus noticed a decided lack of his two closest friends. He'd been incredibly busy attending to the needs of the general populous. People so poor they couldn't afford to feed themselves. Jesus found himself at Judas' apartment, not really sure what he was going to say or how he'd say it. All he knew was that he missed his two best friends and was concerned about them. Mary answered the door wearing one of Judas' t-shirts and his bathrobe.
"Mary? Where's Judas? Are you alright."
Mary bit her lip and shook her head, pulling the robe tighter around her. She stepped aside to allow Jesus inside the conspicuously empty flat. Jesus noticed a distinct hitch in her movements. Once the door had closed, Mary threw herself into her friend's arms, needing to be comforted. Surprised and disturbed by Mary's uncharacteristic show of distress, Jesus closed his arms around her and held her tightly to him.
Judas didn't tell anyone where he was going, just left one day without a word. He looked out the window of the train and watched as Jerusalem disappeared in the distance. Too much had happened. He just needed to get away for a few days. Like all of the best plans, they went awry. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and the months dissolved into years. Most of the time he found himself sitting in a bar in Rome, ignoring the tentative attempts at conversation made by the bar maids or other patrons. Once or twice a week he'd solicit a mocha-skinned prostitute and fuck her in the nearest alley. If he closed his eyes tight enough he could pretend it was Mary. They never complained when he cried out her name rather then theirs. He spilled useless buckets of salt as he thought about her and everything that had been taken from him. Time heals all wounds, or at least that's what everyone told him. The hurt was admittedly less. Now it was like a painful nagging burn inside him. Like arthritis; manageable, but never curable.
After one of his weekly encounters he was leaning against the wall of the alley, zipping up his jeans and waiting for his hands to stop their shaking. He looked down at the ground, a pair of sky blue eyes stared up at him from the filth. He stooped and lifted a pamphlet from the trash on the ground. The all too familiar face of his best friend smiled up at him from a paper that proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God. This did not bode well. Rome did not take well to self proclaimed Messiahs. Right then he knew what he had to do. He had to go home. The thought nauseated him, he didn't know if he was ready to face the old familiar streets of his hometown. He didn't know if he'd ever be ready.
Mary felt the familiar twinge of pain in her abdomen that came only a few times a year when she was stressed. She lay a hand against her abdomen. It was comparable to the pain of mild cramps, but it was enough to make her stop and take a moment to collect herself. Two years… Two years since she had lost the baby. And Judas… She pushed the nagging voice down.
"He didn't have to leave completely…" she said to no one in particular.
Ah, but that's the beauty of it, isn't it? You told him to go. You ended things and now he's gone. What, did you think you could go through all of that and expect everything to be hunky dory afterwards? You told him to go…
She was walking past the train station, the noon express had just pulled in and the passengers were getting off. A train full of strangers and-
"Judas...!" she breathed.
He was well beyond hearing distance, not that she had intended for him to hear her. Judas had military issue duffel back hefted on one shoulder. She was shocked to see what two years had done to him. His hair was thinner and his face more gaunt. Dark circles decorated the undersides of his eyes and the muscles of his face seemed frozen in a permanent frown. It hurt her to see him so unhappy looking and yet she could not bring herself to go to him, not after everything that had happened. She would follow him and see if he were still the same person she had loved. He walked down the streets of Jerusalem until he came to the small pub that Jesus and his twelve closest friends had spent the most time at.
It was merely a coincidence that the same crowd was still frequenting the place. The largest table was always held for Jesus and his apostles and today they happened to have stopped in for lunch. Jesus was engaging them all in a friendly debate, the front door of the pub was pushed open and a dark figure walked in. Jesus' eye widened in absolute surprise and joy when he recognized the man in the leather jacket, who was making his way toward the bar.
"Judas!" Jesus cried excitedly.
Judas looked up just in time to see the curly haired Messiah bound toward him, with all the exuberance of an overeager puppy, knocking over a chair in the process. Jesus wrapped his long lost friend in a tight hug, forcing Judas to drop his duffel bag. After a moment of stiffness, Judas relaxed and reluctantly returned the embrace. He had missed his friend. More than he had realized or cared to admit.
Jesus could sense his best friend's internal conflict. He wished there was something he could do for the taller man... He hugged Judas tighter, trying to convey all his emotions through touch. Judas was the first to pull away. He merely glanced at the rest of the Apostles before going to the bar to sit by himself. He nodded to the barkeep, who popped the top off a bottle and plonked it on the bar. Judas gave a grim smile in thanks and proceeded to drown himself in the warm brown liquid therein. He drank far too much. Not that it took a lot to get him drunk in the first place…
The blonde Messiah laid a tentative hand on Judas' shoulder.
"I'll be fine. Go join Peter and the others." Judas said mechanically, not looking at his oldest friend and taking a swig from the bottle.
Nodding, but with a frown, Jesus returned to the table. The chatter started back up almost immediately and it was loud enough that no one noticed the door open to let Mary slip inside the pub. She stood for a while, gazing at Judas. It wasn't like him to drown his sorrows in a bottle. Had too much time passed? Or not enough? Mary found she had more questions than she did answers, as per usual. She raised one hand and was inches from touching him lightly on the shoulder when she thought better of it. Mary glanced at Jesus, half hoping he had some unspoken answer for her.
"Judas." she said finally, closing her eyes and steeling herself for what would be a veritable onslaught of hatred.
The entire pub had suddenly gone silent. Everyone seemed to be waiting for the other shoe- or in Judas' case, boot to drop. Mary took Judas' broad hand in both of hers and silently led him outside. This was no one's business but their own. In a strange facsimile to Judas' weekly visits to prostitutes, they stood in an abandoned alley between the pub and the building next door.
Judas leaned back against the wall; everything was spinning. He didn't want to do this. He didn't want to have this conversation now, or ever. Mary was biting her lips and visibly searching for what to say.
"Why did you leave?" she asked quietly.
"You told me to." he replied succinctly.
"I was wrong. I didn't want you to leave. Certainly not for two years." Her voice became harsh. "Two years? Without a single word, Judas? Really?"
Judas shook his head irritatedly, like a lion trying to evade an annoying fly. She could see his hands clenching and unclenching at his sides. She stood directly in front of him, silently demanding an answer.
"Why? Why didn't you tell anyone where you were going? Why didn't you tell me? I thought… I thought something had happened to you."
"I didn't want anyone to find me. I wanted to disappear. I still do…"
"Then why did you come back?"
He pulled forth the wrinkled pamphlet, smoothing it out with one callused hand. Judas was glad to have something to divert Mary's attention from their dubious reunion.
"Mary, do you know what they'll do to him if word of this gets to the government in Rome? They'll have him stoned. They'll kill him for this!"
Mary's eyes widened.
"You think they'd kill him? Just for helping people?"
Judas began pacing back and forth in the narrow alleyway. He explained the situation in Rome; relating to her the discontent and news he had gotten from Jerusalem. He was honestly worried about what might happen were Jesus to continue along this path.
"It's not the helping people that will get him killed, Mary. It's already dangerous out there. I love Jesus as much as any of them, but I seem to be the only one who's ever been able to see him as more than the Son of God. He's a man, he's just a man, Mary! He bleeds when he's cut, just as you or Paul or I do. He can die as easily as Peter or Paul or me!"
She interrupted him by shoving him against the wall and kissing him. This was nothing like the gentle and loving kisses they had shared two years ago. This kiss was bruising; all the hurt and anger they'd both had festering inside themselves was now released in one brutal show of emotion. Judas fairly snarled as he backed her hard into the wall, wrapping his right hand around her throat and using the other to lift her up to straddle his hips. Mary's hands scrabbled frantically at the waistband of his pants. Her hand slipped past his boxers and closed around him, making him gasp.
"I could fuck you here and now in a back alley, but I won't." he growled.
"I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time." she said cruelly.
"Nor for you." he pressed her harder against the wall, she squeezed him. "How far is you flat from here?" Judas grunted.
"Two blocks over."
Judas let her down from the wall and seized her by the wrist. They hurried out of the alley, keeping to the shadows. Mary led the way to her crummy little flat on the wrong side of the tracks. It was small and it was messy, but it was clean and would suit their purposes. Judas slammed the door behind them; he had already dropped his jacket on the floor and was now toeing off his boots as Mary fumbled with the front of his jeans.
"I've always felt that those hands of yours." he said, clicking his tongue mock disapprovingly. "could be used for something so much more useful than wanking."
"You son of a bitch." she snarled.
Mary's hands scrabbled at his t-shirt, pulling it off over his head, not caring that she was leaving claw marks all over his torso. She suddenly felt herself being lifted bodily and tossed onto her back on her bed. There was a ripping noise and her panties suddenly appeared on the floor, or rather what were left of them. He pushed inside her, hard. With no preparation at all, Mary gasped in pleasure pain. She scratched at his back and bit down on his shoulder as he scraped a sensitive spot inside her. This joining wasn't about proving their love for one another. It wasn't even for fun or pleasure. All the anger and pain Judas had been trying to make disappear for over two years was now being expelled through the violence of his thrusts. The coarse material of his jeans irritated her thighs, but she was too far gone to say anything about it or care. Mary wrapped her legs tightly around his hips, locking her to him.
"Judas!" she groaned, burying her hands in his hair.
She could feel the sensations rising; she was almost there. Mary urged him on until she came with a scream. Judas let out a low moan and collapsed against her, panting for breath. Mary gasped for air, sobbing unexpectedly as she clung to him. The dark haired man rolled onto his back, panting hard. Mary's head rested on his chest and their legs twined together amidst the messy bedclothes. She was crying silently now. He shifted her for a moment, carefully resituating himself and zipping up his jeans.
"Hey, don't cry." he said in a voice that was kinder than the growl he had used in the alley. He stroked her sweat damp hair soothingly and kissed her cheek.
"This isn't going to last." Mary wept. "It won't last, and God help me I want it to!"
"Hey." Judas took her chin in between his thumb and forefinger, forcing her to meet his eyes. "It'll last as long as you want it to."
"You don't understand, Judas… While you were gone… Things have happened that you don't know about."
Judas frowned at her and then sat up suddenly, jarring her from her position on top of him. Mary sat cross-legged in front of him, her hands in her lap and one strap of her dress falling off her shoulder. She could feel him withdrawing back into himself.
"Two years is a long time, Judas. There's been…"
"Save it." he growled, the angry mask he had been wearing slid back into place almost without Mary's perception.
Judas swung his legs over the side of the bed.
"Judas wait-" she reached out to him, trying to grab a hold of his belt to stop him.
In what seemed an uncanny re-enactment of two years ago, Judas silently gathered his clothes and walked out without so much as a backward glance. This time he left Mary sitting tangled in the covers, the sticky evidence of their encounter coating the insides of her thighs. Mary slid the errant strap back onto her shoulder and buried her face in the pillow.
Judas' gait as he stalked down the street was that of a man on a mission. One who had just about lost all faith in the world. He wanted to punch holes in walls. The adrenaline pumped through him fuelled his manic pace as he tried to decide what would be his next course of action.
Jesus Christ; Son of God, Messiah to the People, Saviour, and healer extraordinaire. And now he had Mary too. Letting out a roar of fury, Judas turned and punched his fist into the side of a stucco-ed building. The hard exterior crumbled a little, but the majority of the force was absorbed by Judas' fist. He could feel little rivulets of blood trickling between his smashed knuckles. Oddly enough he didn't feel any pain. He leaned forward and resting his head against the rough side of the building. He felt like the weight of the world was slowly pushing him into the ground. No matter what he tried he never seemed to be able to break free of the pressure that was dragging him down.
He shivered as a cool breeze passed over him. Sweat from his confusing encounter with Mary was drying on his skin. Judas could smell her on his skin and the scent drove him crazy. It brought him back to the nights they had spent together; before everything had turned to shit, when he'd fall asleep with her back to his front. It had always surprised him how well they fit together, like puzzle pieces. A painful twinge in his hand jerked him back to reality. With his luck he'd probably broken something. There was a clinic a few streets over and that was where he headed.
"Just sign your name on the clipboard." the bored looking nurse at the desk said. "It's a twenty dollar co-pay plus however much whatever it is you need is."
Judas gave her a curt nod and scribbled his name down on the paper. There weren't too many people in the waiting room. Surprising for a Friday night in Jerusalem. He sat down in a chair in the corner, resting his injured hand over his heart. Judas gazed around at the few other occupants of the drably decorated room. A young looking girl sat by herself; her shoulders shaking and her legs clamped tightly together. He didn't like to think why she was in here, she didn't look any more than fifteen. Wanting to block out the pathetic sight of the city's unwanted, he shut his eyes and let himself drift away.
He awoke about a half hour later, hearing his name being called.
"Ye-eah?" he mumbled, straightening up in the uncomfortable chair.
"The Doctor will see you now." a harassed looking orderly said.
Judas got up, grabbing his coat and shuffling into the back part of the office. The nurse led him into yet another bland looking room.
"Mr Iscariot?" a white-coated man with thick black-rimmed glasses said, joining them in the room. "Got into a fight with a wall, I see?"
Judas grunted his affirmative.
"Ok. We'll just clean that up and see if anything's broken." The doctor gave him a fake friendly smile before hurrying out of the room.
In point of fact, it was a nurse who did all the work.
"My name's Shirley." the cute little blonde nurse said as she entered carrying a small box with a contingency of medical paraphernalia.
Shirley seated herself on the stool beside the table, taking Judas' injured hand in her own gloved ones. Through the latex, her fingers were cool and gentle against the throbbing that had been building in Judas' self inflicted injury. He didn't flinch when she began to wash away the blood with peroxide. The hand was turning a lovely blue-black colour with interesting shades of purple.
"It doesn't feel broken." Shirley said, gently palpitating the bones in his hand. "But the doc will want an x-ray to make sure. Also to make sure he gets some more money out of you." She giggled.
Judas forced a smile.
"I'm gonna go ahead and take you down to radiology." Shirley said, batting her eyelashes flirtatiously.
He followed her listlessly. The days events seemed to have caught up with him. The next hour or so was spent taking x-rays and confirming that he had in fact fractured several of the bones in his knuckles. Shirley put his wounded hand in a soft cast and ordered him not to do anything too stressful. It would have been humorous to see the diminutive woman trying to seem commanding had Judas not just wanted to go home and disappear.
Judas paid the final bill and made his way out into the dark. It occurred to him that he had no home here anymore. No doubt his flat had been rented out. He couldn't stay with Mary and there was no way he was asking Jesus or one of the apostles if he could crash with them. There was nothing for it, he'd have to find a motel.
Tired and suddenly hungry, Judas prowled the streets for a while before coming upon the Shepard's Inn. The light was still on and ten minutes later he was unlocking the door to a tiny, sparsely furnished, but clean motel room. He'd grabbed a Snickers bar from the vending machine and he devoured it while taking off his boots and jacket and slipping between the sheets fully clothed. Judas tossed the wrapper on the bedside table before turning off the light and drifting off to sleep.
Judas awoke the next morning with his belt buckle digging uncomfortably into his stomach and weak sunlight shining through the dirt streaked windows. He lay on his side for a few minutes, watching a tiny spider crawl up the wall. Every day it was a fight to get himself out of bed when all he wanted to do was hide underneath the covers and vanish. Grumbling to no one in particular, he forced himself to get up and shuffle to the bathroom.
He left the room with no evidence that he had been there but the rumpled bedclothes.
Walking by himself down the nearly empty streets of Jerusalem, Judas was very unhappy to find Jesus walking toward him on a path that would deliberately cause them to run into one another.
"Judas." Jesus said simply.
"You've talked to Mary." It was a statement, not a question.
"Yes. And were I not against violence, I would beat the shit out of you right now." Jesus said plainly.
"Be my guest." Judas replied, holding his arms open to make himself more readily available to any oncoming blows. "God knows I deserve it."
Jesus sighed, closing a hand on Judas' shoulder. The taller man flinched away automatically but Jesus did not release him. Instead he steered him into an alleyway. Judas leaned back against a wall as Jesus stared at him seriously.
"Are you going to have me rubbed out here?" Judas laughed, his voice suddenly becoming hysterical.
The look Jesus gave him was too much to bear. Judas let out a huge sigh and slid down the wall. His chin hit his chest and he refused to look at his old friend.
"What happened to you, Judas?" Jesus asked in a pitying tone.
Judas shrugged, trying to fend off the questions.
"Mary told me about the baby." the longhaired man said.
There was silence from the man on the ground.
"She told me that you were both beaten-"
"Shut up!" Judas surged to his feet and Jesus suddenly found himself with his best friend's forearm crushing his windpipe. "Just shut the fuck up!" he removed his arm from Jesus' throat and the blonde man slid a few inches down the wall.
Jesus coughed and gingerly touched his throat.
"Things can't ever go back to the way they were. She's seen to that. I don't need to hear you regaling me of the hell we went through. Not when it's all I think about. Not when it's all I can do not to beg her to come back to me. So just shut the fuck up and stay that way."
Nodding his comprehension, Jesus watched Judas stalk out of the alleyway. He didn't feel this was the best of times to say how…. close he and Mary had become in the two years since Judas' disappearance, so he let him go.
&$&Heaven on Their Minds
Over the course of a week, Jesus had wheedled Judas into once more joining the fold. After all, Jesus had known the taller man for well over a decade. Judas remained withdrawn and reserved, not voicing his reservations about Jesus' big plans and message of love and peace. When he finally did tell Jesus exactly what he was worried about, he was met with and utter refusal of belief. Jesus' twelve apostles jeered at Judas' concerns and fears. After their run in a few days ago, Jesus was reluctant to start any sort of in depth discussion with his friend, and so left Judas to stew in his own anger.
Judas had not seen Mary since their encounter a week earlier, so he was slightly taken aback when he found her alone with Jesus in the temple. He watched her coddling Jesus and felt the anger and hatred rise in him once again. She and Jesus were together. His lover and his best friend..! He fought to keep control, but maintaining control was becoming more and more difficult these days.
He wanted to rip Mary from the arms of his best friend and force things to go back to the way they had been. Barring that, he wanted her to feel the pain he was a party to at that moment. He knew exactly how to hurt her. What words he could say to make her ashamed of herself.
"It's not that I object to her profession" He took Mary by the hand as if to lead her away, but instead shoved her down the steps. ". But she doesn't fit in well with what you teach and say. It doesn't help us if you're inconsistent! They only need a small excuse to put us all away."
Jesus responding angrily, retorting that Judas was by no means an innocent himself.
"Leave her! She's with me now! If your slate is clean, then you can throw stones. If your slate is not, then leave her alone." the blonde haired man growled.
Everyone missed the pang of regret and loss that danced over Judas' face as Jesus asserted his ownership of Mary. Of course all eyes were watching him as Mary walked past him and he licked his lips salaciously. Peter suddenly appeared and grabbed his so-called friend by the shoulders, forcing him back against the concrete pillar. Judas only grinned as his dark skinned companion shook him threateningly. The crowd jeered and egged him on, crying for blood to be spilt.
To Judas' surprise, Jesus stepped in. The Messiah yelled at Peter, making plain his annoyance at his followers. Sensing his chance, Judas slipped free of the crowd. He straightened his jacket and started off toward the road. He glanced to the side to see Mary sitting on the steps, barefoot and trembling as she held her head in her hands. He had to fight himself not to run to her side; to apologize and beg for her to take him back.
Jesus was suddenly at his shoulder, the smaller man's narrow fingers clenched tightly into the leather jacket Judas wore. The Messiah's face was contorted in anger.
"Not one. Not one of you." the crowd broke away as Jesus stormed off.
Judas could hear Mary singing softly to Jesus, in the same voice she used to use for him. He stood awkwardly amongst the people who had moments before screamed for his blood. Peter reached out and squeezed Judas' shoulder, the pressure a mockery of the anger and rage he had previously had towards his friend. Judas shook off the friendly hand and leaned back against the wall; his rage was mounting as he heard Mary repeating the same sort of words she had spoken when they were alone in his bed. He stormed over and seized the bottle of ointment and held it aloft.
"Woman your fine ointments, brand new and expensive could have been saved for the poor. Why has it been wasted? We could have raised maybe three hundred silver pieces or more. People who are hungry, people who are starving. They matter more than your feet and hair."
Mary leapt to her feet, taking the bottle from him and touching his face. Judas wanted to close his eyes. To make this moment last forever. The shock of her hand on his face and the look in her eyes disarmed him. Her eyes pleaded with him to understand. He looked down, afraid for her to see the tears that were building up. She smiled and squeezed his shoulder before turning back to Jesus. Judas swallowed hard against the lump in his throat before walking away. Paul brushed past him and he could swear the bald man knew what he was thinking. It was as if everyone could see right through him, see that every moment he saw Jesus and Mary together caused him oceans of pain.
When Jesus began his self pitying rant on how the poor could care for themselves, ending with him falling to his knees with Mary there to catch him; Judas' hatred grew. Paul stopped him from getting any closer to the happy couple. Moments later Mary and Jesus brushed past him. Mary's eyes brushed over his face and their eyes met for a moment. The pity in her eyes was overwhelming. Feeling completely broken and weak, Judas loped off in the other direction.
Later on, Judas wandered through the crowds who shouted their loyalty and allegiance to Jesus. At a loss as to what to do, Judas watched as his friend kissed babies and touched the heads of his followers. Mary was there to meet him, her eyes wide and adoring. Again Judas felt a pang in his stomach. His anger toward Jesus grew into a festering wound of hatred. The fool was throwing away everything because he was too melon headed to admit that things were getting out of hand. He was throwing away the love of his followers, the love of his friends, most of all the love of Mary. That was something Judas could not stand for. It was bad enough he had had to give up on ever being happy, but Jesus had the chance for something wonderful. It angered Judas that Jesus could be so flippant with Mary's love. He knew how it could break Mary if anything happened to Jesus. Judas had been through it before. He had to make Jesus see the error of his ways…
Judas sat on the walkway above the crowd, looking down at the courtyard full of idiots; Jesus was one of them. As jauntily as if nothing were wrong, Jesus scaled the ladder and came to stand beside Judas, looking out over his followers. Like a petulant child, Judas moved a few paces away.
"Hey J.C.! J.C.! Won't you die for me, Sanna ho, sanna hey Superstar!" the crowd sang gaily.
The look of horror on both Mary and Jesus' face was almost comical as the Messiah finally came to realize exactly what this group of people expected of him. He looked at Judas, who was staring back; his head cocked to the side with a look that quite clearly said 'Told you so'.Blood Money
Mary looked up to see Judas on one knee, gazing at her as she watched over Jesus. He stood and circled them like a wolf, finally coming to stand on Mary's left side; Jesus stood across from him. The darker man knelt beside Mary, his lips touching her cheek in an overly familiar manner; then moved to her ear.
"Was he as good as me? Did he make you scream like I did? Or don't you kiss and tell anymore?" he whispered so that only she could hear.
Her face screwed up in fury and she swung her hand out to slap him, luckily he caught her hand and gave her a cruel smile. She stood up, her furious eyes going back and forth between her two lovers, and then off she stormed with Jesus in hot pursuit. Anger welled up in him and he did the first thing that came to mind; he ran.
Running down the columned corridors of the temple Judas desperately searched for Caiaphas and his cronies. Finally finding them, the words tumbled from his lips. He found himself agreeing to tell them where his best friend would be. When he would be most defenceless. He found himself pleading with them to tell him that this betrayal would not damn him for all eternity.
"Just don't say I'm damned!" he pleaded, hyperactively racing around to each of the Pharisees before falling to his knees.
Annas grabbed him by the hair and forced his head back.
"Cut the cofessions! Forget the excuses! We want information, get up off the floor."
The bald priest shoved Judas forward to the floor. Even though he was a small man, he packed a lot of power.
"We have the papers we need to arrest him, you know his movements, we know the law."
"Your help in this matter won't go unrewarded. We'll pay you in silver, cash on the nail."
Caiaphas and Annas continued to wheedle and persuade him while Judas tried to crawl away. Annas dangled a pouch of silver coins above his head. As his fingers closed around it, he knew he had damned himself. He heard his own voice, as if it were coming from somewhere else, betraying Jesus' whereabouts to the Pharisees. Annas smile contentedly. The group turned and left. Judas walked home alone, through the crowded streets of Jerusalem.
Mary sat at Jesus's side, washing his feet clean of the day's dirt and grime. Things were getting far too tense now. She could feel the sorrow coming off of Jesus in waves. The man knew his fate. Mary leaned against his leg, trying to show him she cared. When he was unresponsive she looked up at him, his face was resolute and calm. What a mad world they all lived in…
&$&The Last Supper
Alone again and drinking. And before dinner. He missed Mary. Judas took a liberal swig from the bottle. The alcohol burned a trail down his throat and dulled the pain. He saw Peter and the apostles were beginning to gather for supper. Judas somehow felt this would be the last supper, the last of an era. Against his better judgement, he hoisted himself to his feet and joined the steady flow of people into the courtyard. He situated himself at the far side of the table, as far from Jesus as he could get.
Jesus broke the bread and passed it amongst them, proclaiming it was his body and the wine was his blood.
"The end." The blond man said calmly. "This is my blood you drink, this is my body you eat. If you would remember me, when you eat and drink!" Jesus suddenly seemed to have an epiphany. "I must be mad thinking I'd be remember, I must be out of my head!"
He began moving about the room like a
"Look at your blank faces. My name will mean nothing, ten minutes after I'm dead. One of you denies me. One of you betrays me..."
Judas felt every muscle in his body tense. How did he know?! He tried to remain calm and unaffected but knew that his eyes were betraying him.
":Peter will deny me in Just a few hours. Three times will deny me, and that's not all I see. One of you here dining, one of my twelve chosen, will leave to betray me!" Jesus was getting hysterical, and rightly so.
"Cut out the dramatics! You know very well who!" Judas cried, leaping up from his seat.
"Why don't you go do it!?" Jesus taunted.
"You want me to do it?!" Judas replied incredulously.
"Hurry! They are waiting!" the curly haired man said, running around the table as Judas came about the other side.
"If you knew why I do it!?"
"I don't CARE why you do it!!"
"To think I admired you! Well, now I despise you!" Judas shouted, clearing the table with one fell movement of his arm and sending bottles and candles flying to the floor.
"You liar! You---Judas!" Jesus screamed.
"You want me to do it? What if I just stayed here and ruined your ambition. Christ, you deserve it!!!"
"Hurry you fool! Hurry and go, save me your speeches. I don't want to know!!!" Jesus' arms curled in as if to protect himself. "GO!"
Voices piped up together around the room, trying to calm the two angry friends. Jesus stared furiously at Judas, who's shoulders were heaving and his hands trembling. Angry tears shone in Judas' eyes. This fight was killing both of them. The friendship they shared was being torn apart.
"You sad, pathetic man!" Judas climbed onto the table and walked toward him. "See where you've brought us to, our ideals die around us and it's all because of you. And now the saddest cut of all: Someone has to turn you in. Like a common criminal, like a wounded animal." he shoved Jesus to the ground, eliciting angry cries from Peter and the rest. Prepared for a knock down drag out, Judas tugged off his motorcycle jacket and tossed it to the ground.
Paul tried to help Jesus to his feet, but the irate Messiah shoved his friends and followers away, storming out of their reach. He smoothed back his hair before jumping onto the table and getting right in Judas' face.
"Get out! They're waiting for you!!!" Jesus shouted accusingly.
"Every time I look at you I don't understand, why you let the things you did get so out of hand. You'd have managed better if you had it planned..." Judas fell to his knees in front of his friend, the tears pouring forth heedless of how many people were in the room.
Calming slightly, Jesus lay a gently hand on the top of Judas' head. Judas jumped back like a beaten dog, backing away and eventually melting into the shadows. Jesus looked around to see that his devoted followers were all asleep. He had never felt so hopeless in his entire thirty years of life. Judas' jacket lay forgotten on the ground. He had been there when Judas had bought that jacket. It had been his first major purchase as an adult. Jesus spoke aloud to the sky, directing his questions to his far removed father.
"There he is, they're all asleep. The fools!" Judas said, appearing with the guards.
Judas walked toward his friend, standing before him for a beat. Jesus shook his head in vain, hoping to stop Judas from fulfilling his role as scapegoat. With a movement reminiscent of an adder striking at it's prey, the black haired man pressed a quick kiss to Jesus' cheek; he pulled away and let his chin drop to his chest in shame. Jesus' eyes closed against the tears and he swallowed hard.
"Judas… must you betray me… with a kiss?"
Not knowing what to do or say, Judas stood swaying dizzily. Jesus took his friend's face in his hands and held Judas to his chest. Judas' arms twined around his friend's waist and he clung to the Messiah tightly, as if hoping to put off the inevitable.
"It's ok. I forgive you." Jesus whispered to Judas before the guards descended on them.
One of the guards pried Judas' arms from Jesus' waist and thrust the taller man backwards. His head collided with a concrete post and he slid to the ground limply, one hand came away to wipe away the trickle of blood from the blow.
Judas watched helplessly as the guards carted Jesus to Caiaphas' house. The crowd was more than happy to jeer and torment the Messiah as he was frog-marched away. Caiaphas gleefully parlayed the list of crimes to his prisoner. Knowing that to deny anything would be fruitless, Jesus merely replied that it was the Pharisees who had made the claims.
"There you have it gentleman. What more evidence do you need? Judas, thank you for the victim. Stay awhile and you'll see him bleed." Annas said with a smirk.
Again they marched Jesus away, he paused next to Judas. The agony of guilt was killing him, Jesus lay what was supposed to be a comforting hand on Judas' chest before the guards dragged the King of the Jews away.
Mary looked down at Peter.
"Peter, don't you know what you have said? You've gone and cut him dead…"
His eyes full of remorse and heartache, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed his cheek against her belly.
"I had to do it, don't you see? Or else they'd go for me…"
"It's what he told us you would do, I wonder how he knew…" she murmured.
Peter drew away, one of the other apostles taking his arm and helping him to lope away. Mary started to walk in the direction of her flat when her sandaled toes hit something soft. She looked down to see Judas' jacket lying forgotten on the floor. Mary knelt and picked it up, burying her face in the soft, well-worn leather. It smelled of its owner. She hugged it tightly to her chest, wishing she could hug Judas instead. Mary carried it home with her and was just putting her key in the lock when a dark shadow was cast over her. She turned in alarm to see-
Mary didn't hesitate. In an instant she had dropped his jacket and grabbed him by the shoulders, pulling him in tight.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." he mumbled, leaning heavily on her. "This is all my fault."
She kissed him all over, trying to prove to herself that he was real and not just a figment of her frenzied imagination.
"No. No, love. We're all just pawns in His despicable game." she said the last part angrily.
Indeed, she felt that Jesus and Judas were on equal terms when it came to being used as a tool by Almighty God. It both angered and frightened her that man was so susceptible to the whim of his Creator.
"There's no point to any of it, Mary." Judas wept.
Mary twined her arm in his and turned back to the door, picking up his jacket as she did. She unlocked the door and led him inside, locking and barring it behind them. Whether it was to keep anyone from coming in or to keep Judas from running away and doing something terrible to himself, she did not know.
"I'm so tired, Mary." Judas sighed.
"I know, baby. I know."
Unable to put words to her emotions, Mary gently urged him to sit down, kneeling in front of him and helping him to pull off his boots. She put them beside the bed, and then closed her fingers around the hem of his tattered t-shirt. Judas gave her a look of confusion that she waved away with a smile. She had no immediate intentions of having sex with him, not that she minded that; but it was clear he needed a good night sleep and she knew he'd never allow himself to do that on his own. She was surprised how easy it was to slip back into the role of Judas' lover. Mary's fingers unhooked his belt buckle and unbuttoned his pants. She folded his jeans neatly, placing them next to his boots and turned back to Judas. Mary crawled onto the bed behind him and began to rub his shoulders. She pressed a kiss to the sensitive spot just behind his right ear; he closed his eyes and leaned back against her.
"Sleep, Judas. You're safe here." she said softly.
He nodded almost imperceptibly. Mary eased him down onto the pillow and lay down beside him, wrapping her arms around him.
"I'm sorry I left." he murmured.
"It's alright. I told you to. Besides, that's all in the past now." Mary said as she ran her fingers through his thinning black hair.
"Go to sleep, my love."
"Will you be here when I wake up?" there was something so heartbreaking about a grown man, Judas of all men, asking that question in the tone of a little boy afraid of the dark.
Mary smiled and nodded in the half darkness of the room. Judas swallowed the lump in his throat and closed his eyes. The bed moved a little as she wriggled down under the covers next to him; he was delighted to feel her small hand curling up to rest possessively on his jaw and throat. Hesitantly, Judas reached out and drew her in closer. They fit together easily; for a while things were the way they were supposed to be.
"Good night." Mary said.
"Nmphf." Judas said definitively.
His breathing slowed and evened out. Mary lay awake, just listening to him breathe. For once she felt completely at ease. After she was sure he was asleep, she gently extricated herself from him and sat up, tucking the blanket in around him in an almost motherly manner. His face was so breathtakingly unguarded in sleep. The perpetual frown he seemed to wear like armour was gone, though the lines remained. The one in the middle of his forehead was pronounced enough one could drive a bowling ball down. No one could accuse him of being a heartthrob; but that was one of the many things she loved about him. As she sat in the half dark of the room, she remembered why she had fallen in love with him in the first place. It wasn't any one thing, but hundreds of tiny things that endeared him to her. The fact that he was horribly overprotective; fiercely threatening any man who did the slightest wrong to Mary or any of their female friends. The way he'd only drink strongly brewed tea and never coffee. The random squeezes he would give her hand when they were walking together. The fact that he had asked her to marry him on their third date; granted, it had been after she had given him a taste of her famous sour cream coffee cake…
A sudden low moan shook her from her reverie. Judas' forehead was once more crinkled into a frown. He was muttering agitatedly in his sleep and Mary quickly moved to soothe him. She stroked his hair, pressing a kiss to his brow and whispering comforting nonsense to him.
"It's ok, love. No one's going to hurt you." she promised the sleeping apostle.
Without warning, his arms closed around her, drawing her to him inexorably.
"I love you, Mary." Judas' sleep-thickened voice declared softly.
There in the warmth of his embrace she could almost forget that Jesus was sentenced to death. She wanted to forget. She wanted to take Judas, and their newly rekindled feelings for one another, away from Jerusalem where they could grow old together. Mary threw one leg over his waist and snuggled back beside him. They could at least have tonight to pretend that things were normal. There in the silence, Mary drifted off to sleep.
Yellow light streamed in through the window, situated high up on the wall, and onto Mary's face. The brightness of it awakened her and she automatically reached out beside her to lay hands on Judas. The space beside her was empty, much to her displeasure. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and was greeted with the sight of Judas' bare back. Judas' shoulders were slumped once more and his hands hung limply between his jean clad knees. The weight of the world had again situated itself firmly on his shoulders.
Frowning to herself, Mary knelt behind him. She kissed the juncture of his throat and shoulder, snaking a hand around his ribs and stroking him gently.
"Hi." he said in a strange voice.
"What's wrong?" she asked, instinctively tightening her arm around him.
"I... uh… I've got to go…" Judas said tightly.
"Judas." There was a tone of warning in her voice.
"I'm fine, Mary. I've just got to go." he said with a false smile.
"Judas, don't lie to me. I know you too well."
Judas got up suddenly, pulling free of her arms. He began to pace. On one trip across the room he snagged his black t-shirt from its spot on the floor.
"I've got to go. I've got to get out of here. I've got to end things."
For some reason, Mary knew he wasn't talking about the peculiar relationship he and Mary were carrying on. She jumped up from the bed and seized the tall man by the shoulders. Taller than her by a good six inches, Judas loomed over her, head bowed and teeth gritted as if he were in pain.
"Mary… I did this to Him… I want to die…"
Red hot fury flared up inside her and she suddenly swung her palm back and slapped him hard across the face. The force of the blow caused him to rock back on his boot heels; he didn't cry out or get angry, merely gave her a baleful look.
"No." Mary said, her voice shaking. "No Judas don't you dare. Don't you fucking dare."
"I can't do this, Mary. I've been used as a pawn in His game and nothing I can do can redeem me." He turned to the door.
"Don't!" she grabbed him and dragged him close. "Don't. Don't do this. I'm already losing Jesus to Him. I can't lose you too. Please don't."
She could feel his breath on her breast as she clutched him close, as if as long as she could hold him she could protect him. Protect him from both the outside world and from himself. Judas struggled to free himself and eventually won out. Now she was clinging to him, trying to use her weight to keep him from leaving. Unashamedly crying now, Mary pleaded with him.
"No. No no no. Please don't. Please don't do this. Judas, no-"
Judas kissed her fiercely, one hand buried in her hair and the other on her waist.
"Goodbye." he breathed before disappearing through the door.
Mary collapsed on the floor, alone again.Judas' Death
Eyes wide and feverish, sweat beading on his brow, Judas climbed the steps.
"My god…. I am sick…. I've been used!" Judas wept.
The coarse rope scraped his fingers as he put the noose in place. It rubbed the skin of his neck raw, not that it mattered at this point.
"God, I'll never know why you chose me for you crime!" his hands clenched on the railing. "Your foul, bloody crime!"
A crowd had gathered. They screamed at him not to do it; an uncharacteristic thing for Jesus' followers to do. Judas took a step up onto the railing and looked down at the drop.
"You have murdered me!" He cried to the heavens.
"Judas!" the voice was faint. It was her. He could see her mouthing to him. Begging him not to do it. It was too late though.
"You have murdered me." he cried, eyes meeting Mary's, he was surprised to see that tears were streaming down her cheeks.
He closed his eyes, calling forth a memory of them from not so long ago.
"I don't know what I'd do if I lost you." he said, the tone of his voice genuine.
"I'm not going anywhere." she breathed.
"Promise? Promise this will last forever."
Opening his eyes again, he found Mary's face in the crowd once more and took the last step. At last. With a sudden jerk that ended his pain, Judas breathed his last.
As she saw him step off the platform Mary screamed and buried her face in Paul's chest, sobbing brokenly. The gathered citizens, who hadn't thought that Judas actually had the nerve to end his own life, milled about for a few moments before slowly dissipating into the columned alleyways of the main thoroughfare. They left Mary alone in the courtyard. Judas' body was a dark shape swaying gently back and forth between two columns. Hesitantly, she walked towards it, drawing the small knife she always carried on her person; she'd used it on more than one occasion defending herself from overly amorous Johns who didn't know the meaning of a vehement 'No'. Today the knife would be used for an even more grim purpose, if such a thing were possible.
The dark haired man's face was bloodless, his lips blue from oxygen deprivation. Dark eyes stared blankly into the distance. His fixed expression was vaguely pained. Mary reached up, her hands trembling and touched the cooling skin of Judas' face before beginning to saw away at the rope. The last thread finally cut; Judas' full weight came to rest on Mary. As carefully as she could, she lowered him to the ground, his body folding into her arms. Mary swallowed against the painful lump in her throat as she gently began to peel away the rope that cut into his skin. It came away easily and the pale skin underneath the hemp rope was raw, red. and bruised. Judas' head fell back limply against her arm; his neck was broken. With that simple and horrible knowledge, Mary felt her heart break. The finality of it all… The loss of Judas and the impending loss of Jesus were far too much to bear.
"Why couldn't you have just listened to me?" she asked his silent body.
She tenderly cradled his head to her chest, stroking his cheek like she had done not so long ago. Blank eyes still stared at her, there was no spark left. It was more than she could bear and so she closed his eyes with her free hand. With his eyes closed she could pretend he was just sleeping. She had loved watching him sleep. It seemed like only when he was asleep did he completely let down his guard. After everything they'd been through, she couldn't believe that this was the way things ended for them. She kissed his motionless lips, tasting blood on them. A day's growth of stubble on his unshaven chin scratched her cheek as Mary held him, warmth from her body slowly leeching away in the open courtyard.
"I love you." she said to Judas' unresponsive body, her voice cracked in mid sentence. "I should have told you that more often than I did."
Mary took off the jacket she had been wearing: his jacket. She folded it neatly and put it beneath his head like a pillow. Not that it was needed now…
"I'll be back." she murmured, kissing his stubbly cheek once more.
Another death loomed on the horizon. Somehow she knew that Judas' body would be safe where he lay. She would make one last plea to the authorities to have Jesus saved. If she couldn't save Judas from the darkness that had consumed his mind and body, she could at least try and save Jesus. Her heart clenched in her chest when she came upon Jesus, already beaten and broken and surrounded by a cage. Pilate could be seen, half tormenting and half comforting the Son of God.
And then she was watching Jesus carry an incredibly heavy wooden cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Blood streamed down his face as the thorny crown he had been given scratched deep cuts into his flesh. He stopped a few times as jeering citizens asked him deliberately cruel questions. At one point he stopped and seemed to have a conversation with someone only he could see. Mary saw him reach out as if to caress the face of someone he knew and loved. Jesus was made to carry the cross all the way to his place of execution. The screams he let out as his hands and feet were nailed to the wooden crossbeams cut into Mary's head and into her heart as well. She felt his pain and wished she could take it from him. Somehow she thought she heard two voices crying out simultaneously. The crucifix was heaved upwards and Jesus stared down as his followers through bleary eyes.
"W-water… I'm thir-thirsty…" he begged.
It all happened so quickly; Mary heard him sob for water, then for his mother, and then to the sky. He asked God why he had been forgotten; no answer came.
"F-Father… Into your hands. I commend… My Spirit!!!" Jesus cried out with his final burst of energy.
Mary watched the second love of her life die, his chin dropping to his chest. Silence filled the air like the sound of locusts; equally as unwanted. The soldiers disappeared into the shadows leaving Mary and her compatriots to take care of Jesus' dead body. Time moved strangely, ebbing and flowing like the tide. Jesus was lowered down and gently laid upon the ground.
Jesus: Gone. Judas: Gone. Her unborn baby: Gone. The grief for all three overtook her. All three taken far too early, all by a God that she was supposed to see as loving and understanding. She collapsed in her grief, Simon there to catch her and hold her. She eventually came to join the crowd of Apostles gathered close around the body of the Messiah. The smell of blood was pungent in the air around him but Mary lingered beside him nonetheless. Even Peter left after a few hours, the grief proving too much for the tall black man to bear.
Mary found herself alone again, uselessly smoothing her lover's hair and trying to wipe away the blood. She felt that if she closed her eyes tight enough Judas would be there to help her through the loss of Jesus. Mary turned her face upward, almost expecting to see Judas' warm brown eyes and comforting arms there to help her. She imagined he would sit above them on the stairs. He would help her have the body taken care of… At the thought of the care of a dead body, Mary's mind was jerked back to Judas' corpse, lying not too far away; unwanted and uncared for. Jesus' body would be cared for, of that she was certain. Judas; being a suicide and undesirable anyway, would most probably be left to rot in a mass pauper's grave. After all they had been through together, she didn't feel that was a just and fitting end to his earthly remains. Heaving herself to her feet, Mary set about making the arrangements for Judas' final resting place.
It seemed a terrible irony that after all they had done to each other, Judas was to be the one to take care of her, even after he had taken his own life. His last will and testament had stated that everything left over after he died was to go to Mary. He'd wanted her taken care of, even when he had been so angry with her he'd wanted to hurt her. Mary lived a modest life, working as a counsellor for beaten women. She lived in a small but comfortable home far from Jerusalem. She had tried to put it all behind her, to start anew.
"Mummy! Mummy!" the excited cry of a child came. Small feet pounded on wooden floors and a small child came hurtling into the kitchen.
"Hello, darling." Mary said with a smile.
"I found a fwog." the little girl said proudly, holding out a good sized bullfrog to her mother.
"That's lovely. Now why don't you put him back in the creek so he can live out his days peacefully."
"Okay mummy!" five year old Madeline 'Maddy' replied, turning to go back outside.
It was another great irony that just when Mary had been ready to join her two fallen lovers she had discovered herself pregnant with Maddy. She was Judas' child. Maddy had her mother's curls, her father's hair colour, her father's eyes. Eyes you could get lost in…
"We're safe and we're happy." she said to the wind.
To Mary's logic, Judas had been put through absolute hell and more by God. No way would God condemn him to eternal torment after everything he'd done at God's behest. When she talked to Judas, she talked to the sky.
"I still love you." she said quietly.
"Mummy! Come play with me!" the child that she had made with Judas called.
Slipping off her shoes, Mary went outside and joined her exuberant daughter in the ankle deep water of the creek. A brief shadow passed over them and Mary thought she saw a figure disappear behind a tree. When no one emerged, she smiled.
"I'll see you soon, Judas."
A/N: Oh the angstiness and humanity. Please review if you have time. I know it was incredibly long and sad but I hope you enjoyed it.