Title: The Good Samaritan

Paring: Blackwood/Coward

Rating: R...I think...M? asdjfhsf what?I don't even-

Words: a lot? 2481 to be precise...

Warnings: Blood, Brooding and a bit of naughtiness...

Disclaimer: Do not own etc. etc.

Summary: The one wherein Blackwood is in over his head and Nicholas has to play nurse.

Author's Note: I have no idea what I'm doing. Period. And thanks to the lovely Linndechir on LJ who betaed and was patient 3

The Good Samaritan

Saturday evening found Lord Nicholas Coward standing in a pandemonium of epic proportions.

The room showed every sign of being used by Lord Blackwood for a ritual: a single wax candle was placed in every one of the five corners of the pentagram on the floor, a bloodied sacrificial knife lay carelessly thrown aside in a corner of the room and the symbols outside and inside the pentagram were drawn with a careful hand. Actually, Nicholas couldn't even see if the symbols were drawn with a careful hand or not, he couldn't even see most of the pentagram because of the substantial amount of blood that covered the entire room. The walls were splattered with it, the floor was flecked with pools of the red substance and the white marble busts on their pedestals that stood lined along the walls had rivulets of blood running down their pale faces.

Nicholas took one deep breath and entered the room, narrowly avoiding stepping in any of the pools of blood. How many bodies had it taken to make this mess? Was his Master really so careless that he performed the most sacred of rituals in his own home? Surely not...

The answer to all his questions came to him as he observed the trail of smeared blood that led from the centre of the pentagram and into the adjoining room. This was not the blood of many bodies. This chaos was the making of only one individual, the same individual who had thrown the stained dagger into one of the corners and then dragged himself from the scene.

"My God..." He burst across the room and into the next, no longer caring if he stepped into the blood, leaving a new trail of red footprints behind him.

Lord Henry Blackwood ,who, to Nicholas at least, had always seemed like something ethereal and out of this world, looked almost human when sprawled on the chaise longue, clad only in a partly unbuttoned, bloodstained shirt and black trousers. Gone were the black coat, the waistcoat and the shoes, even his hair had come undone and thick strands hung limply around Blackwood's face.

For the first time Nicholas could see something else in his Master, something else than the mighty Lord Blackwood, the Devil's right hand on earth. He could see the paler than usual face and the glazed-over eyes. He could hear the harsh breathing and the hisses of pain. He could see, for the first time...Henry. Pale, shivering and completely oblivious of the scrutiny he was under.

He'd heard the story of Blackwood's birth, it only served to make the members of the Order all the more terrified of the man. "Not even his own mother could bear to give birth to this...monster," they said, and the old men shivered at the mere thought of Lord Henry Blackwood, the man who walked alongside Death as if they were old friends. Just look at him, the whisper told him. Look at his eyes, so deep and full of darkness. Look at his pale skin and the high cheekbones. How could anyone ever believe him to be a mere human? Does he not look otherworldly? A changeling. Not right now, he didn't. Not this Blackwood, the one with deep cuts and gashes across his hands and chest. Not this Blackwood, whose eyes were fluttering and unseeing instead of glaring in menace.

The gashes. Nicholas needed to do something about them, lest the man would actually meet his Master in person a little earlier than expected. He discarded his coat, and after a moment's thought, he went into the bedroom to look for a sheet to rip as a make-shift bandage. He immediately saw the linen cabinet and beside it, a wash basin and a water pitcher. Splendid. It was only when he walked out of the bedroom with a clean sheet under his arm and the filled wash basin in his hands that he noticed the tremor in his hands. They shook so badly the water rippled and threatened to spill over the edge. Nicholas could see his face shift and bulge in the water, see how his eyes were wide and scared. He immediately put the basin down on a small table and begun to rip the sheet into long strips with a little more force than was necessary. He produced a handkerchief from his pocket, soaked it and knelled beside the barely conscious Blackwood.

As soon as the wet fabric made contact with the clammy skin on his forehead, Henry's half-lidded eyes closed completely and a sigh of relief escaped him. Nicholas, who was no doctor, found it very peculiar how a cold wet handkerchief could possibly soothe someone who was as pale and cold as death. He would make a note to ask Blackwood about it later seeing as Henry's knowledge in medicine was almost as vast as his knowledge in other sciences.

Nicholas gently wiped the blood stains off the other man's face and proceeded to roll up the sleeves of the formerly white shirt in order to clean the gashes on the palms and arms. They weren't deep, but there were many of them. No doubt caused by quick slashing movements with the dagger, which also explained the blood splatter on walls and statues. Not enough pressure to let the blade sink into the flesh, just blood shed. He quickly wrapped the improvised bandages around surprisingly thin wrists and stood up. He turned around to the wash basin to rinse the blood-soaked handkerchief, and at seeing the water in the white porcelain bowl turn red with the blood of his Master he muttered, "Pointless bloody blood shed."

"Not pointless. Never pointless," Henry whispered behind him, his voice sounded fleeting and the words slurred, " Just a little...miscalculation, nothing that won't heal." He gasped and made an effort to rise from his slumped position of the chaise longue. Nicholas was immediately by his side, pushing him gently back down again.

"My Lord's love is a cruel one, it seems," Henry drew a sharp breath as he spoke and eased into Nicholas' firm hold of his shoulders. No longer resisting.

Yes it is, the quiet voice in Nicholas head whispered. A Master's love is always a cruel one.

"You mustn't move, my Lord." he said out loud. Nicholas loosened his grip of the man's shoulders, sliding his hands down Henry's arms before picking up the soaked piece of fabric again.

"I'm going to have to remove the shirt, my Lord." The words sounded unfamiliar to his ears, but his mind was not entirely adverse to them. He had long ago decided not to dwell on the odd attraction he felt towards the other man. Nicholas knew it was the power that Blackwood possessed that had first drawn him closer, then there was the thrill of darkness and now he was so close to the centre of the maelstrom that he had no choice but to continue, closer and closer still. Henry didn't seem to have any qualms about being undressed by another man, in fact, he didn't seem to have any qualms about anything at the moment. His head had lolled back onto the armrest, his chest heaved and he was sweating profusely again.

"My Lord?" Not really expecting any form of reaction Nicholas was surprised at hearing the low murmur that rolled of Blackwood's lips as he sat down at the man's side on the chaise longue. The words were unintelligible and seemed to tumble of the thin lips, like a prayer. Nicholas tore his eyes away from his Master's face and began to undo the rest of the buttons, carefully removing the cloth and trying not to wince as he felt the fabric stick to the dried blood on the torso. Nicholas was presented with a crisscross of red lines and blood trails upon a wiry but strong frame. Just like the rest of Blackwood, his torso seemed less imposing without clothes on. Nicholas leaned forward and began tracing the slashes with the wet fabric, earning a hiss of breath and a rapidly increased flow of incoherent words from Henry.

To have one of the most powerful men in England, no, the world, lying displayed and vulnerable in front of him was oddly arousing to Nicholas. So when he let the cloth glide over the skin again he eagerly anticipated the sharp intake of breath and the stream of words. What he didn't expect was the pleasured moan that escaped the other man's throat. Nicholas stopped dead and stared wide-eyed at the man, who was still breathing heavily.

The implication that Blackwood actually enjoyed the touch, however delirious he happened to be at the moment, encouraged Nicholas to slide the handkerchief down his Master's stomach a third time. He was once again rewarded with a muffled moan and terse breathing, causing him to take few deep breaths himself before continuing. He didn't know how, but the cloth ended up on the floor and he didn't stop to pick it up again.

The keen sounds coming from Henry were enough to stir something inside of him, enough to wake that greedy streak that first had drawn him towards Lord Blackwood. He had wanted the power and now he had the very incarnation of power at his disposal. Sliding his right hand along a collarbone as he steadied himself with the left, he was almost face to face with Henry. At this proximity Nicholas could finally make out the murmured words: they were prayers. Not the usual commanding summons that were used in the rituals and certainly not the dreary hymns of the Order. This was a beckoning for someone or something to come nearer, to touch and to caress, to love, and Nicholas felt the irresistible urge to comply.

Casting caution aside, he let his hand wander downwards to the waistline of Henry's trousers, unfastening them. Nicholas swallowed thickly as he splayed his palm over the man's crotch and rubbed. First carefully, but at hearing the pleasured gasps and seeing the sweat glistening on Henry's forehead and chest, he moved more boldly. The room was filled with Henry's whispers, his wanton moans and Nicholas thought they made a beautiful melody together with his thundering heart.

Suddenly Henry's eyes flew open, green irises shining brightly in the light of the chandelier above them. Nicholas stopped his ministrations and stuttered meekly, "My Lord, I-"

"Don't stop," Henry commanded softly, sounding surprisingly steady for someone who had been barely conscious just a moment ago even though he still breathed heavily, "Regret nothing and the reward will surpass even your wildest dreams." With that he reached out a bandaged arm and yanked Nicholas' collar, crashing their lips together. Nicholas could taste blood that welled from their now split lips but the taste was nothing compared to the raw feeling of power that Blackwood emitted even is this state; lying sprawled underneath another man, face pale with blood loss. Henry discarded Nicholas' ascot and began to tear at the buttons of the waistcoat, all the while devouring the other's lips and neck. Nicholas splayed his right hand on the pale chest and dragged his blunt nails along the ribcage, Henry hissed, arched against him and breathed open-mouthed against his neck

As Nicholas reached down to rub the man's crotch, Henry began murmuring again, filling Nicholas' ears with breathy whispers. He deftly opened the last buttons of Nicholas shirt and sneaked his hands inside, but quickly moved on to the buttons on Nicholas' trousers. But hands didn't seem to be enough for Blackwood, because he soon grabbed Nicholas wrists with both his hands, leaving him no choice but to fall heavily onto his Master's chest; one knee between his legs. Face to face and chest to chest, they moved against each other like waves and Henry still had his wrists in a vice-like grip. It was unbearable, this almost but not enough friction and the feeling of naked flesh rubbing together.

"Please, " he finally pleaded, and with a glitter of green in his eyes Henry let go of his wrists only to hook one of his arms around his neck and the other around his waist. Nicholas didn't see the point of this until his Master also wrapped one of his legs around Nicholas' and arched his body. They moan together as they moved; slow and tortuous at first, then fast and unforgiving and at last they gasped into each other's necks and lay still, panting.

It didn't take long before Henry had turned back into Lord Blackwood, Master of the Dark Arts. But even though he was fully dressed and as menacing as always, Nicholas could just close his eyes and see the other Blackwood, Henry, writhing and moaning beneath him.

Nicholas wondered if this was what Jesus had been trying to explain when he had told the people the parable of the Good Samaritan. Had Nicholas not saved and nursed a man who was shunned by all others? Was this not the very incarnation of "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"? He caught the dark green gaze of his Master, so full of darkness and secrets, and he thought, No, probably not.

There were no heavenly guerdons waiting for them on the Other Side, no forgiveness in the Afterlife and no place in Paradise. But none of that mattered to Blackwood, he walked through life in the shadow, always balancing on the thin line between this world and the Other. Never faltering, never regretting a single thing. Regret nothing and the reward will surpass even your wildest dreams. And Nicholas would follow him anywhere. He would dance in the shadows alongside his Master and he would rejoice, in this world and the next, no matter what waited for them there.