Disclaimer: Standard don't own anything but my imagination, etc, etc goes here
A X-Men Fanfiction
Written by RogueMoon
SLOTH: Laxity in keeping the Faith and the practice of virtue, due to the effort involved. More a sin of omission than of commission.
The cold had long since seeped into his bones. To the point that he was numb to it. Numb to everything. He couldn't even remember what it felt like to be warm.
How long had he been laying there, barely protected from the harsh wind that cut into him? The remains of the building were the only semblance of shelter he had been able to find. Did it matter anymore? For all he knew it had only been a few hours since he had been left behind. Perhaps years. Left to find his own way home.
No, that wasn't right. He had didn't have a home anymore. That's what she said. No home. Not with her, not with the X-Men.
She claimed he could live or die at his choosing.
No supplies. Not even a shirt. Just the pants of his Shi'ar uniform and a tattered Queen of Hearts. No man could live through that. It wasn't a choice. It was a death sentence.
He couldn't feel the cold anymore. That was bad. Something in his mind told him that was bad. But why should he care anymore?
Why should he care that she left him to die? Why could he still feel the pain from that when everything else was so damn numb?
The wind stopped howling. It took him a long minute to understand that he could no longer hear the wind. His eyes cracked open. When had he shut them? Did it matter? Probably not.
It was hard to see. Vague shapes that could be human. Could be alien. Could be hallucinations. Dark against the burning white of the snow. It hurt to look.
He wasn't completely numb. He wished he was.
He felt his body shake with a bitter chuckle. He couldn't hear his own voice. It should have worried him.
The shapes came closer. More distinct now. He knew them. Recognized them and with recognition came a nagging sense that he should be worried. He should get up and fight. Run maybe.
Run where? He had no home. No one wanted him.
No, that wasn't right. She didn't want him. The X-Men didn't want him. He had no home with them.
But the man before him wasn't her. Wasn't the X-Men. He was the Devil and he had come to collect his due. Hand outstretched. Waiting.
If he didn't take the hand he would still be taken. Probably when he next passed out. If he took the hand... then what? Did it matter anymore? They already thought the worst of him. Left him to die for the murder of hundreds. A murder he didn't commit.
All those platitudes about second chances and trusting and never leaving a teammate behind and here he was, laying in the snow. So numb to everything but the pain of a broken heart.
And suddenly he realized he didn't want to die like this. Not on their terms. Didn't want to give them the satisfaction. Didn't want to give her the satisfaction.
Dying didn't bother him. It was dying like this. Unwanted. Tossed out like garbage.
And there stood the Devil. Wanting him. Always wanting him. Always there for him. Waiting to take him out of hell.
He tried to lift his hand. His body was so damn numb. He couldn't feel anything. He wanted so badly to lift his hand and let the Devil take him. Only the hand staying outstreached told him he had yet to do so. His body working against him. The silence tore at his mind.
He couldn't take the hand physically. But his mind still worked. Yes. He could take that hand.
All his carefully constructed shields, so meticulously placed to keep the spooks out, to keep them from finding out his secrets, came crashing down. They didn't matter anymore, did they? The X-Men had still found out. Had still condemned him. What was the point of keeping them anymore when all they would do is keep him here in the cold.
The Devil moved, dropped into a squat. Eye level now. Those blood red eyes replaced that hand in his vision.
Panic at the loss of the hand. He wanted to take it. He really did. He just couldn't get his body to move. He willed himself to tell the other. To shout as loudly as his mind would allow. He wanted to take that hand.
The Devil smiled. It was cruel and kind at the same time. The hand returned. Brushing against his cheek, cupping his chin.
The Devil was in his mind. Looking for the shields. Looking for the trick.
The Devil was so much like him. Always looking for the trick.
But he didn't have any. Not this time. He just didn't want to give them the satisfaction.
Warmth flooded him and he felt himself gasp. It filled not his body, but his mind. The warmth of amusement. Of a pleasant surprise. Of victory.
The Devil had finally won his soul.
And he didn't care.