A/N: For fanfic50, prompt nineteen, try.


You didn't start out corrupt. But, of course, no one does.

Originally, you wanted to do good in the world. You raised your toy gavel and banished your toy soldiers to the gallows for crimes they were found guilty for via a plethora of evidence. Five eyewitnesses; no probable alibi; blood tattooed into the crevices of their hands, unable to be washed out with a simple scrub as it was from their clothes.

Then it changed. The toy soldiers continued to be executed, but the crimes became dubious. The evidence staged.

(Of course, it is all a stage when the accused are painted figures of wood and the gallows are the high-back of a chair with a bit of old string laced around a beam. Of course, that is what your mother said when you told her the details of how it was you who stuck the pastor's kitchen knife into the dead woman at the whore house, or convinced the blind men to testify of what they saw with their own eyes, or slipped that string of pearls into the peddler's pocket. Of course, she laughed and praised as you boasted of your clever schemes, and she told you that her smiling mouth shook and her eyes welled only because she was so delighted, that's all.)

Originally, you desired to deliver justice.

They'll say something traumatic happened. That your father left you, or that your dog was trampled by a runaway horse, or that your closest school friend refused to come to your defense when the tramp children from the back alleyway cornered you. They'll say your vision of the world was altered, your sense of justice perverted by your misfortune. They'll say it left you hardened and changed, but no less passionate and purposeful.

They'll never believe that there was no traumatic event. That your father was not perfect but was nonetheless was always there to raise you with love, or that your dog died peacefully in his sleep, or that your closest school friend took on all the tramp children in your name while you merely watched from against the wall.

They'll never believe the truth: that you were altered by nothing but yourself. They'll want to blame it on something outside of yourself because they'll never want to believe that anyone has the potential to be perverted by their own being as you were. They'll never want to believe it could have been them.

"That's your interpretation of my life history?" you say as you repose upon my mattress, stretched out supine and nonchalant, your head propped upon a pillow, your eyes skeptically observing me beneath one raised eyebrow.

I shrug my shoulders and fold my legs beneath me, twisting the fabric of the bed sheets between my fingers. "Or something like that. A few of the details're fuzzy. I'm not always one hundred percent accurate when it comes to this past-reading business, but I'm pretty damn good at people-reading. Your dog might've been a cat."

"My father was allergic to both," you reply with a smirk. "And my father never left my family, this is true – but it was certainly not for love. My mother was wealthier than he. He needed to stay for social standing."

"Mmm," I say. "Tragic."

"And you?" you ask me, canting your head against the pillow towards me. "What of your life history?"

"Oh, I'm not interesting, love," I say, fisting the bed sheets between my fingers. "Just another lower class wench yearning for something more."

"Indeed. And how do you plan to obtain this 'more' by sleeping with a man you believe holds a 'perverted' sense of justice?"

My lips curve as I twine a sheet around my left pointer finger in a noose. "I never said I thought I could obtain it, love."

You raise yourself onto your elbows, studying my face. "What are you getting from this, then?"

"What're you getting?" I return without pause.

"That's obvious," you say flatly, indicating my bare body with a negligent flap of one hand. "But what of you?"

Above, I hear his footsteps stomping relentlessly against the floor of his shop, agitated, brooding, and jealous. At least, I dare to believe it is with jealousy. I will myself to believe it, I make myself believe it, I cannot believe it but goddammit I try to believe – because I will try anything just to make a difference in his life . . . even if it's not the difference I wish.

In the silence, I smile at you and quietly murder the bed sheets between my fingers.


A/N: Just one of those ideas that would not leave me alone until I wrote it down. Even though, to be completely honest, Nellie/Turpin in any form gives me the willies. =s

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