He aches to delve into all the evils of the world, all of its pleasures and golden apples. He longs to bring about himself every divine punishment, every inferno that will swallow him breathing, gore his arrow through every portrait of his soul. He craves the feeling of tearing off his mask and pretending that candy-painted Lucifer is standing before him, mask held in the cavalier grip of his own long, curved fingers.

He's never had urges as these before.

Always, he's wanted to break the beaks off of birds, rip the roofs from over rooms, set the moon on fire and watch the hell spread to the tides; never before has he wanted to kiss someone. He's never wanted to feel the smoldering inferno of the hell that he sets to the world around him.

"Hey, snap out of it."

A slight nudge from an elbow almost pushes him off the fence, and he turns his head slowly to look at his companion. "What?"

"I asked you what happened to Pig Pig and Mr. Kitty."

He watches for a moment, eyes fixed on this boy, this devil, this hell that embodies his every haunting nightmare, those nightmares swimming with a brooding perfection of annual appearance. Finally turning his gaze back to the graying grass beneath them, he shrugs. "If I knew, would I be sitting around all the way out here?"

Devil Lad looks up at the sky, circled by forest and skeletal construction that litters the lumber yard. "You got me."

"I got you," Finch concedes, nodding faintly.

"So now that you've got me, what are we going to do?"

A spark starts, epinephrine spreading like wildfire and urging the corners of his lips up into a smirk behind his mask. He refrains from answering the question, for lack of an answer that doesn't insinuate the truth, and besides: he enjoys the way Devil Lad looks over at him in these times of silence. It helps Finch to pretend that he really does care.

"Snap out of it."

"You said that already."

"Yeah, and I thought you would've listened the first time."

"The moon's prettier when it's red, isn't it?" Because it reminds me of you, Prince Charming, God's favorite, God's Lucifer. Take me with you when you return to hell. Take me with the taste of apple and autumn and burning flesh, chocolate too sweet to be sin.

"I guess so."

Finch swallows, almost nervously, and he hides behind his mask, the way he always does. His voice will never waver, limbs will never tremble, phalanges will always be sharp and precise in their every careless flick, but if it weren't for his mask, he would be wearing his heart as a badge. Golden eyes close inside the hollows of the skull's sockets, and when they open, Devil Lad isn't looking at him anymore.

He wants to push him, now. Wants to shove him down to the crisp grasses below, stand over him as though in victory before dropping down to his side, stealing his mask away and with it, a simple kiss. Never before has such a naïve craving controlled his thoughts; it would suffice to only see this Lucifer's eyes.

"If I'm quiet for long enough, will you look at me, again?"

Devil Lad freezes as the question hangs, dying, in the air between them. He slowly looks over at Finch, and he doesn't look up to meet those small, beady eyes of his mask. He knows that whatever Devil Lad is thinking about him, whatever disgust or concern, is masked by Tradition, but he feels like if he just catches the slightest hint of denial, he'll break. Maybe this is why he's avoided the fond all his life.

"How do you expect me to look at you, when you won't even look at me?"

Finch flinches, stiffly craning his neck to see the red paint of his facade, a shine cast over the false visage by an angelwhite moon. He feels like Devil Lad can read his every intention, even through the intricate carving of the face of his skull.

And after a long while, he speaks. "You know, people do dumb things. All the time, where I come from." Devil Lad looks over at him, and Finch imagines that he's smiling and lifting his mask because walls of brick couldn't stand between them when, hissed from soft lips against his lips, the words tear him down: "Sometimes, they forgive them."