Bella and Edward were having sex when Bella looked intensely at Edward's beautiful, perfect face, and saw him open his mouth to make a sound that was purest ecstasy made audible (kind of like a cross between the squawk a parrot makes when sat on and the singing of a horny cat) and saw, inside that perfect mouth, crawling out of that perfect throat, a maggot.

The maggot was followed by a lot of other maggots.

"ARGH," cried Bella, which sounded quite like her screams of passion, so Edward can perhaps be excused not opening his eyes immediately. In fact he only noticed something was wrong when she ceased to bounce up and down like a cowgirl riding over rough terrain and began instead to climb off him and also to flail, accidentally catching him in the handsome, chiseled chin with her sharp elbow and generally generating a lot of confusion, pain, and fuss on all sides. Then and only then did he open his eyes, though, so perhaps he can't be excused, after all.

"What's up?" he said, casually wiping off the slimy larvae that had gotten caught in the cleft of said chiseled and handsome chin.

"ARGH," said Bella. She fell off the bed.

Edward leaned over the edge to catch her before her lovely tush could hit the ground, but unfortunately he was still talking as he did so, thereby leaving his mouth open, and more maggots were emerging from the dark depths, and Bella said "ARGH" again and twisted out of his grip and tumbled the rest of the way to the floor, where, after landing completely unharmed because the bed was really not a very high bed, she managed to break her arm by trying to roll over.

Edward wept salty tears of blood. "Bella, my darling, my dearest, delight of my eyes, perfume of my nostrils, you have to be more careful. You know I can't bear to see you in pain." He reached down to help her up, with the vague intention of kissing it better. She scooted across the floor, towards the doorway, clutching her arm like a weapon.

"Don't touch me!" she wailed, and then said "argh" again for good measure.

"But- but-" he said, plaintively, "Bella, my only, how can I help you if I can't touch you?"

She sniffled, took a deep, calming breath, and shrieked, "THERE ARE MAGGOTS COMING OUT YOUR NOSE. DO. NOT. TOUCH. ME."

Comprehension dawned like the Japanese sun on his beautiful ivory countenance, rising from the shadowed underside of his jaw to gently snap shut his mouth, wrinkle the bridge of his aquiline nose, widen his eyes, pull up his eyebrows, and eventually evaporate at his flawless, bronzed hairline.

"Is that what you're making all this fuss about, then?" he said, wonderingly. A maggot slipped out under his big, white teeth, and he caught it, and held it up. "I- I'm sorry. I suppose I just assumed you knew."

"Knew what?" Bella demanded, bracing her shoulders against the wall at her back; she had run out of floor to scoot across.

"Well," Edward said, "I'm *dead*."

Bella blinked.

She looked at him. He looked at her. She looked at his purple-helmeted warrior of love, which was beginning to deflate, but only just.

"One," Edward said, correctly interpreting her expression, "have you never heard of a post-mortem erection? And two, right, look, that's the whole point, isn't it? I mean, hard enough maintaining the exterior, you know? I figured, as long as the rotting tissue is all on the inside, no harm no foul, right?"
He paused. Bella seized the opportunity to vomit repeatedly into the wastebasket.

It took him three days to locate the duct tape, actually, but they were immortal, so it was, comparatively speaking, not that long. On the other hand, he had a purple-helmeted warrior of love weighing him down the whole time, so perhaps it was, non-comparatively but in fact accurately speaking, quite a long time indeed.

When he came back, Bella had passed out from the pain of her broken arm, but she awoke when he experimentally tried to pull her legs apart.

She gave him a stern look. "Duct tape," she said, extending her good hand.

He gave her the duct tape.

She pulled off a long strip, and beckoned him closer. He leaned in until his face was an inch from hers. Tenderly, lovingly, she covered his mouth with it, pressing the edges down on the surrounding hard, granite-like skin. When she was satisfied that it was sealed up, she took another strip, and covered his nose with it. It made him look, she thought fondly, rather dashing. Like a burglar, or a Muslim woman.

"Mmf," said Edward, and through the layer of duct tape she could hear maggots squirming to escape. But she certainly couldn't see them, and he made stranger noises sometimes mid-coitus anyway. So that was all right.


a/n: another collab (only, uh, not) between myself and Gogol, who wrote this from start to finish. Hope you enjoyed. :]