A/N: This is a very strange idea I had at about 2:20 a.m. on a work night, so don't really know if it's any good. It is f/f, and contains some sadomasochism central to the Cutters' lifestyle, so if either of these things bother you, don't read.

The ground below us was 34 degrees Fahrenheit, the frost barely melting, our skin cold and unfeeling, not a single hair rising on our arms or shudder on our breath. She retraces my cuts with the knife she taught me with, and my blood lets in a shiver. I do the same for her, tracing the intricate handiwork that opens her body for ugly pain and dances around the skintenna that is as much a part of her mind and soul as any fading memories of our ugly or pretty youth.

I'm a logical being, I've long accepted that my body is a weapon, that the Pretty world I dreamed of entering all my Ugly life was menial, animalistic, almost disgusting through my Special eyes, yet somehow the dead stare of another Special still sends a faint pang to my heart. Her lips lock with mine, lips part for teeth, and we taste each other's blood in a fast-healing, ravenous mess. Our desire is calculating and predatory, we crave to own each other's perfection as much as we simply want the comfort of something that feels human in our barely human forms. Shay-la's nails cut my back and I pry them loose, pushing her to the ground, only to be re-topped within seconds, my clothes removed and folded like fresh laundry within seconds. My memory retraces the first time I saw Shay pretty, when the baby fat and dimples were gone and there was nothing but goddess-like elegance in its place. The thought of those bogus backward-clock eyes meshed with Zane's beast-like breathing, David's crooked smile, and I felt the onset of rage. It was imperfection, all of it. Another surge of anger and I had Shay beneath me again, and she smiled at me with razor sharp teeth and asked in a cynical tone if I felt bubbly yet.

I knew where her body was sensitive, where she would retaliate the hardest if I bit or scratched, and how best to find her weakness. Our bodies were tuned together so we'd think like a deadly team, and I wondered if Dr. Cable had ever considered the possibility that her loveless specials could fuck with nothing but adrenaline and that endless quest for moments of clarity and feeling as fuel to their fire.

I felt teeth in my thigh and realized that Shay had pinned me down again, this time clawing into my flesh, pinning me to the ground and biting everywhere she could: teeth threatening what was still human of my special body. I told myself not to scream when the pain seared through my body, bringing back a flood of random memories: eating birthday cake as a littlie, joining Peris in the Ugly dorms, the first time I rode the rollercoaster with ugly Shay, kissing David, kissing Zane, kissing Shay on a drunken pretty dare and her voice that night when I found myself transformed again, cold and uncompassionate, "face it Tally-wa, you're special."

My special body erupted in fireworks and the space in front of my eyes was black, everything was black, beyond bubbly, just pure and quiet and dead. Maybe that was what I wanted sometimes, to be dead or at least to sleep without my mind constantly alert: ready to spring me to life at the smallest provocation. I was never tired, it wasn't exhaustion I was suffering from, but weariness, loneliness, the realization that tearing at our self-repairing tissues was our only means of feeling pleasure. Shay didn't come that night, but she didn't need to. She had won our brawl, and wore the knowledge of it on her face throughout the next day. If Shay hadn't come into my life, I never would have been like this. If Shay hadn't run away to the Smoke, I never would have questioned what it meant to be Pretty. If Shay hadn't been Special first, perhaps I could have avoided that fate.

All of her spite for me over David, an ugly boy. She told me he didn't matter anymore, but some part of me knew better. Just like I knew that I had been perfected beyond Zane and David, my respective pretty and ugly love for them lived on in my dreams and in fragments of memories, and I knew hers did too. My lover was different from dream to dream: sometimes David, sometimes Zane, occasionally Peris or Shay, but always kind-eyed, shaky, and flawed. I would feel weightless, warm, and loved throughout the dream, wake up nauseous from the thought, and remind myself bitterly, "Face it, Tally-wa. You're special."