Pt. 1: I'm Not Without Regret; A Prosper Confession

Summary: Anton has made a mistake and is haunted by it

Slash; if you don't like, don't read

Disclaimer: Characters of Masque of the Red Death belong to Wendy Pini, lyrics by Hammerfall

*text* = memory, dream

text = lyrics

Sitting in my room, staring at the wall, I can't believe it's happening
Once so wonderful, now, life's a twisted kind of reality, a fantasy
Don't know where to begin

Saw your love for me vanish in a single moment of stupidity
Nightmare this may be, but it is not a dream, ohhh, I want to scream
A broken heart still bleeds

Never ever talk, never ever smile, knowing that my life won't be the same
Never ever touch, never ever feel, I will never hear you call my name... again

He was alone, or no that was wrong to say when the whole mansion was filled with people, but sitting in the armchair staring into the fire he felt as if there was only him on the whole island.

With the lab assistant's help he'd uncovered the formula, the answer for eternal life and with that eternal youth, and he'd shared it with him. It hadn't been because Steffan had been there to help him with the discovery, but because he wanted him by his side. Forever. And it had appeared that's what Steffan had wanted too, but he guessed that he was wrong.

Like with his mother, Anton could have told Steffan to leave, that his time there was over, but he'd let him stay. Anton had made room for him in his life as well as in his home. He'd done everything to keep him satisfied.

But something went wrong, it must have because now Steffan was gone.

Anton got up from the armchair and made over to the fireplace, where he crouched down in front of the dancing flames. He was sitting close enough to the fire, that if he leant forward just a little he'd get burnt, but he didn't feel the warmth from them. As if when Steffan had left he'd taken the warmth that had been lent to the mansion, to his life, at his arrival and it had escaped with him only to leave the cold ghosts of their time together behind to taunt Anton.

He rose and turned his back at the flames. He realised that what he felt now, he had brought it on himself. He could have handled it better…

*He didn't know that the other man had entered the tent till the soft voice said his name.

"Anton… Come outside," he said.

Leaning back against the beam behind him holding the woman in his arms, he lazily glanced at Steffan.

"Where?" he asked, his breath labored.

"Anywhere. Away. I'm… Lonesome."

"Join us," Anton offered.

"No. I'm lonesome for you! Come outside!"

"Later… Perhaps."

Anton hadn't seen it coming, yet he had, but didn't show the slightest bit of surprise when Steffan dropped all pretence and gave a display of his overactive feelings.

"What are you doing?" Steffan said raising his voice, drawing attention to them. "Since we were kids we've watched others degrade themselves. They made me laugh. Why aren't you laughing? You're above all this – we both are! 'Gods' Anton! Remember."

An amused smile curved Anton's lips as he watched the other man.

"Ah, but gods dwell on any level they wish!" he pointed out. "As for me-" A young man moved up next to him sliding in within the embrace of his arm, and Anton leant in to kiss him before turning back to Steffan. "-I've arrived at a level of comfort that in some ways I am, indeed, my father's son."*

It's so very easy, some time afterward, to see just where you went wrong, what you should and should not have done. You know every word you should have said, every thing you shouldn't have done. But it's too late now, Anton thought. He'd done what he shouldn't have done, and he never said what he should have said, and now the only person he'd ever let close was gone.

He found that now when Steffan wasn't around anymore he was starting to miss those little things that he wouldn't have noticed before. Things as simple as the soft melody of his voice, his smile when thinking something to amuse him (or the smile's sarcastic cousin in those moments). He missed finding his beautiful lover engrossed in his thoughts, a thoughtful look on his face that made him appear lovelier than ever.

In my dreams I see, see you come to me, a memory of times of old
Waking up, I realize Hell's as cool as ice, and the touch of sin did get me in
Nothing burns like the cold

Never ever talk, never ever smile, knowing that my life won't be the same
Never ever touch, never ever feel, I will never hear you call my name... again

At night Anton would have the same returning dream, as deceptive in luring him as it was true to the memory, that only made the ache in his heart worse.

*He was standing in a hallway illuminated by the moon alone, which silver light shone in through the big windows bathing the man and the space around him. From somewhere, it sounded like further down the corridor, he could hear a chuckling laugh. He headed in the direction and caught a glimpse of silver turning a corner.


In response a head peeked around the corner looking back at Anton, eyes sparkling and an excited smile curving the lips. Yes, these games that Steffan was so in love with were childish, but Anton couldn't help but humor him. To see him so happy… Besides, like Steffan he hadn't had many chances to play when he was a child, so why not?

Anton hurried down the corridor and the head was withdrawn again. He followed and rounded the corner just in time to see the tips of the long hair disappear as Steffan left the corridor to enter another passage. Anton smiled, he knew that it was a dead end.

"Where can you be?" he murmured softly as he entered the passage where Steffan had gone. And there was the light laughter again, telling Anton that his lover was hidden there somewhere. Around him it was empty all the way to the wall five meters ahead, but he did knew about the niche which appeared to have been found by Steffan as well.

Stepping forward, casually approaching the inevitable wall, when he stopped beside a tapestry on his left. He reached out and grabbed it, and after a moment of waiting he abruptly pulled it aside, to reveal the beautiful being standing hidden behind it.

Taken by surprised, Steffan gave a little gasp staring at him with eager but startled widened eyes, but seconds later a smile formed on his lips. A shadow of the smile was mirrored on the Anton's face as he moved into the niche having the tapestry falling back in place behind him. He halted for a split second, stunned by the sight before him; the beautiful being surrounded by darkness and haloed by silver-white hair luminous in the dark.

He closed the distance and snaked his arms tightly around Steffan, who willingly let Anton lean in to claim his reward for the find…*

Anton tried to smile at the thought of the dream, but the smile turned into an agonized grimace. Why did the dream, the thoughts, bother him so much? Why did they mean so much to him?

He turned around on his heels and flung the still half full glass into the fire place where it shattered spilling the contents into the fire, making the flames grow when fueled by the alcohol. Anton stared at the fire, his teeth gritted and breathing hard.

It wasn't right that he would have to suffer this way.

As we sin, so do we suffer
I've fallen from grace
Want to turn back time and make it undone!

Unthinking, steps hurried, Anton crossed the room and dashed through corridors and hallways without any thought of direction, trying to outrun dreams and memories and everything that had been building in his mind lately. But no matter how fast or how far he moved, there it was breathing down his neck.

A woman walking down the corridor toward him, smiled and made to say something, but Anton didn't stop to listen, he didn't see her. He saw Steffan.

He was running ahead of him, every now and then looking over his shoulder at Anton. But he wasn't smiling like he used to, on his face revulsion was written. Anton followed him, felt that he had to catch up with the other, that he had to explain his actions, so that Steffan would understand that Anton hadn't meant to hurt him.

"Steffan, wait! I can explain!" Anton called out to his lover.

But the elusive figure didn't stop nor did he slow down.


The fleeing man running ahead disappeared through a pair of glass doors, a moment later Anton passed through too and he was staring straight at the golden statue placed in the middle of the pond.

Never ever talk, never ever smile, knowing that my life won't be the same
Never ever touch, never ever feel, I will never hear you call my name
Never ever talk, never ever smile, all I see: a future full of fear
Never ever touch, never ever feel, I can never whisper in your ear...

He walked up to the pond, while staring at the golden figure, and rounded it so that he was face to face with it. A wide excited smile formed on his lips as he looked upon the angelic face.

"You're here," he said, a light chuckle to his voice. "I knew you'd let me explain."

Anton looked to the golden face, and his eyes grew when he saw the thoughtful smile on the statues face turned into a frown and the golden man turned to look at the man standing before him. A golden eyebrow rose slightly and the playfulness that had been in the eyes was replaced with resent.

"Why would I listen to any explanation of yours?" the golden lips spoke with Steffan's voice. "You made a fool out of me! They were laughing at me, and you did nothing but standing there with a smile on your face approvingly."

Anton sank to his knees, stroke down by the accusation that was unleashed on him.

"Steffan, I-"

"I thought I could trust you, like you expected trust from me, but you just couldn't remain faithful you just had to sleep with anything that wouldn't say no!"

The smile long gone, Anton sat on the ground his head bent down tears rising in his eyes to fall down his cheeks.

"Starting to feel regret now, are you?" the statue taunted him. "Well, guess what…" Anton turned his tear-streaked face to look up at the golden face. "… It's too late!"

Anton fell over and lay on the ground shaking while tears spilled on the ground. He glanced back up at the statue and saw that the facial expression was back to playful thoughtfulness, and his heart broke from the sight of the breathtaking beauty of a the lover that he had forever lost.

With a final effort before the oblivion of sleep embraced him, he whispered:


…I'm sorry

"...I'm sorry."