This is my very first fanfic, so please go easy on me. This was written for a free write school assignment, and I think I fixed all the grammar and spelling mistakes before I handed it in. I'm not sure, though. Constructive criticism is welcome, but flames are not. Please enjoy!

"Talking"

'Thinking'

Disclaimer: I do not own The Picture of Dorian Gray. All characters and quotes, excluding the last one, belong to Oscar Wilde, or his estate. I am only taking them out for a spin.

"To see my soul," muttered Dorian.

"Yes, to see your soul. But only God can do that."

' Oh, then how I wish I could play God, and see into Dorian's soul. I wonder, would it appear as his eyes do? They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I glean nothing from Dorian's. Some flashes of emotion, but nothing concrete on which to mount my findings and recognize the whole picture.'

Dorian laughed, a cold, sardonic sound. "You shall see it yourself, to-night! Come: it is your own handiwork. Why shouldn't you look at it? You can tell the world about it afterwards, if you choose. Nobody would believe you. If they did believe you, they would like me all the better for it. I know the age better than you do, though you will prate about it so tediously. Come, I tell you. You have chattered enough about corruption. Now you shall look on it face to face."

'My own handiwork? But why, then, would I tell others? If there is corruption to be found in Dorian's soul, a visible tarnish of which I have received the chance to see, that stain is one I would guard with my life, a blemish only I may perceive. I would hope no one would believe me, for that is I sight only I shall be allowed to see.'

Dorian went on in his mad rant, believing his words would scare his fellow. For who wouldn't be terrified when face with the chance to witness the corruption of their dear friend's soul? Not Basil. While others would be frightened to find these claims true, what scared Basil was the possibility that-

"If you tell me that they are absolutely untrue from beginning to end, I shall believe you. Deny them, Dorian, deny them! Can't you see what I'm going through? My God! don't tell me that you are bad, and corrupt, and shameful."

'Please, Dorian, don't tell me so, for I shall believe you, yet I ant so badly for what you said to be true! Don't tease me so, Dorian, I beg of you!'

Dorian's answer was thus:

"Come upstairs, Basil. I keep a diary of my life from day to day, and it never leaves the room in which it is written. I shall show it to you if you come with me."

That was all the encouragement Basil needed. He would go with Dorian and read his diary, if what he had to gain was access to Dorian's innermost thoughts.

Basil followed Dorian up the stairs and into a dark, dusty room, filled with old relics, a curtained picture on the wall. Basil couldn't open the curtain; the chance that Dorian had been lying, that he was not about to steal a glimpse into Dorian's soul, was too strong.

Then Dorian lifted the curtain, and- 'Oh! Oh my! Is that? It can't be. But… the portrait was Dorian. That gruesome, cruel face had retained some of its subject's beauty. But when… who? Dorian had said something before about this being my work, but that is… possible. That brushstroke, that curve, those are mine, and the frame, I remember designing that. Oh! Oh. This painting really is one of mine. Then how?'

"What does this mean?" 'How did this happen? Is this… is this really Dorian's soul?'

Dorian's answer came back, bitter in tone. " Years ago, when I was a boy, you met me, flattered me, and taught me to be vain of my good looks. One day you introduced me to a friend of yours, who explained to me the wonder of youth, and you finished a portrait of me that revealed to me the wonder of beauty. In a mad moment that, even now, I don't know whether I regret or not, I made a wish, perhaps you would call it a prayer…"

"I remember it! Oh, how well I remember it! No! The thing is impossible." By now, it seemed, Basil had been denigrated to begging, for he did remember that day, quite well. He remembered echoing Dorian's prayer in his thoughts, deeply hoping that his wish would come true.

"Ah, what is impossible?'

"You told me had destroyed it." 'Oh, and how that broke my heart.'

"I was wrong. It has destroyed me."

"I don't believe it is my picture." 'Am I allowed to claim it as my own?'

"Can't you see your ideal in it?"

"My ideal, as you call it…"

"As you called it."

"There was nothing evil in it, nothing shameful. You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again. This is the face of satyr."

"It is the face of my soul."

"Christ! what a thing I must have worshipped!" 'A copy of that which I still do.' "It has the eyes of a devil." 'But he has all of the devil's allure.'

"Each of us has heaven and hell in him, Basil."

"My God! If it is true and this is what you have done with your life, why, you must be worse even than those that talk against you fancy you to be."

'And I may be the worst of all. I should be disgusted, horrified, and I am, but I… he seems even more perfect now than ever before. So tempting, so fascinating, so alluring… I now understand why people are so often led to sin. But is it really a sin to want something so beautiful, so perfect, so desirable? It must be, it should be, but that doesn't dissuade me at all. Oh, damn it all to hell! Damn you, Dorian!'

"Good God, Dorian, what a lesson! What an awful lesson!"

Basil heard Dorian's sobs, and they sent a jolt of perverse excitement surging through him.

"Pray, Dorian, Pray." 'Pray, Basil, Pray.' "What is it that one was taught to say in one's boyhood? 'Lead us not into temptation. Forgive us our sins. Wash away our iniquities.' Let us say that together. The prayer of your pride has been answered. The prayer of your repentance will be answered also. I worshipped you too much. We are both punished."

'I still worship you. Maybe this is my punishment.'

"It is too late, Basil."

"It is never too late, Dorian. Let us kneel down and try if we cannot remember a prayer. Isn't there a verse somewhere, 'Though your sins be as scarlet, yet I will make them as white as snow'?"

'My sin is scarlet lips, but with skin whiter than snow. Is he then a sin or an angel?'

"Those words mean nothing to me now."

"Hush! Don't say that. You have done enough evil in your life. My God! Don't you see that accursed thing leering at us?"

'I can feel it. It sends shivers up my spine. But, I like the feeling. Looking at Dorian, knowing all that he has done, it sets off sparks in my veins, causing the most delectable pain. Is it a sin to find a sinner desirable? To find him beautiful, perfect, angelic, even?'

Basil heard Dorian move about, and, needing another glimpse of his muse, turned, and saw -

"Huh! Oh m…"

-beautiful.