Gloved fingers fluttered by her ribcage.
Hushed darkness. The air like the lonely pang of a piano. Empty tension swallowed the room in electricity and silence. They both could have drowned breathing.
She was cradled in his arms, their bodies pressed against the wall, his face buried in her neck.
The sweetness was overwhelming. Francoeur's brain was just echoes of radio static, his body the numb chord of a guitar. There was nothing besides this. Her pulse danced beneath his lips, her hands caressing his shoulders. Lucille's hips arched forward, her lithe body sliding ever so slowly against his. She shifted gracefully to wrap her legs around his torso.
The only light came from a few candles and the fireplace, flickering shadows licking at their features.
Instinct was a raw ember in Francoeur's throat. Lucille's blood, so warm, flushed her face and neck. His mouth desperately wanted to bite down and taste beneath her skin. His teeth were already so close. Each breath he took stirred fly-away hairs at her clavicle. Lucille's hand caught his chin and pulled him upwards to meet her face-to-face. A careless thumb brushed his left mandible, sending shivers down his spine. Emerald eyes caught ruby and her lips met his.
She was possessive, each movement staking a claim. But everything Francoeur had to give, he would give willingly. With each hungry assault on his mouth he let it be known he was hers, hers, and only hers.
Her tongue swept the roof of his mouth.
Her whole body pleaded for more.
Lucille slid down further: dragging her palm down his torso.
"We are both entirely overdressed for this occasion," Her voice was low and husky. "wouldn't you agree?"
Her legs touched floor and she pinned Francoeur against the mantelpiece. The tightness in his abdomen traveled downward, with each tiny movement Lucille made Francoeur's body ache all the more. His suit jacket slithered to the ground. Deft fingers removed his vest. Human skin grazed bare chitin and his insides melted. All the things he felt, but had no name for were singing inside his chest, begging for release.
There was nothing left, no questions, no answers, just want.
Lucille shimmied out of her show dress, leaving only a tight corset and garter stockings. Her hands caressed his carapace again, but traveled lower.
Francoeur's throat was dry. He wanted that sweet-metallic-taste flowing over his tongue, rich hot plasma sticky on his lips. A new kind of hunger charged his body one-thousand fold. He could feel something writhing and uncoiling inside him, seeking a way out.
Suddenly, he grabbed the Angel of the Rare Bird and flung her against the floor, a pair of segmented hands threaded through her hair. The tips of his fingers lightly grazed her scalp. Francoeur panted hard, all his self control thrown to the night. Another hand was pressed beneath her back and another keeping her from moving. Teeth bit into the delicate skin of her neck, tongue savoring the flavor. His stomach flipped and roiled in pleasure. Something emerged from the lower portion of his body, sensitive to the air.
Lucille gasped and struggled to get upright, shoving his face away. He was reluctant to let her go, he pushed down harder.

"No…no," she tried to wriggle free. " NO! FRANCOEUR STOP!"

He was caught off guard. Isn't this what she wanted? What they both wanted? Francoeur pulled back. Lucille's hand moved to her jugular, she scuttled away to the other side of the room. Her wide eyes reflected candlelight and stared at what was between his legs.
Francoeur looked down, horrified. Broken out of his reverie, he wasn't sure what was going on.
An appendage protruded from his lower torso that was completely foreign to him. This wasn't how it was supposed to be.
He eyes traveled to the blood welling from Lucille's neck, red staining her white corset. His heart sank to the pit of his stomach. He had hurt her. Self-loathing encompassed the core of his being, he wanted to escape this. He wanted to run away from those bright, haunted eyes. Naked, the giant flea pulled himself up, and strode across the room. Francoeur opened the window and the wind blew out all the candles; the fire roared in the hearth welcoming the oncoming draft.
The cold Parisian night called to its long lost friend: It had been too long since Francoeur traversed darkened rooftops and spires.

"Oh God, Francoeur don't, please- just give me a few minutes- alright?"

Francoeur continued to stare at the black landscape.

"Don't you dare leave!" she got up, hand still pressed to her neck. "I swear, Francoeur, if you leave…" The Monster of Paris tore his eyes from the window to find Lucille shivering.
Her face was pale, a sickly greenish white and her arms were coated with a thin sheen of sweat. She stumbled.
He ran across the room in three strides and his arms carefully cradled her avoiding his unsheathed sex.
Lucille glanced back up at him and touched his face.

"It's alright, really. I just need to get cleaned up." She pushed herself up out of his arms and wobbled to the bathroom. "Don't leave, promise me." Her face contorted into the sternest glare she could manage.

Francoeur nodded and cooed in assent and her face relaxed. She closed the door behind her, leaving him just a lonely apprehensive shape in the dark.


Lucille looked in the mirror.
Blood drenched her corset and her face was paler than the moon outside. A small gas light illuminated the bathroom. The bleeding wasn't slowing down – it was a small wound, a trivial bite mark, really. It was strange that it wasn't clotting. She took a pad of gauze from her medicine cupboard and pressed it tight against her skin.
Her thoughts danced back to Francoeur and to his sexual appendage. She couldn't quite bring herself to call it anything else. It was strange, large, complicated and rather dangerous looking. One could say Lucille was sexually adventurous, but even that took some getting used to. Whatever unwound itself from his stomach was not even remotely human. The tip was double pronged and gently curved upward like a pair of claws, the sides decorated with two small barbs. A set of what looked like claspers hooked outward from underneath and quivered in the open air.
She mentally hit herself. Why should she be that surprised?
She had pushed him too far and too fast, and both were unprepared for the outcome.
With Raoul it had been easy, almost too easy.
All she had to do was sashay the right way and he'd be in her bed, testicles served up on a golden platter. Of course there were battles of will, it would have been boring otherwise. They bit like two fighting jackals trying to assert dominance, clawed like lions over meat, and yelled at the top of their lungs for the world to hear. It was a test of who was right and who was sorry, of who was king and who was a pawn, and in the end Lucille won, as she always won.
But this wasn't a game.
It wasn't about winning or losing or even a lifetime spat over a toy car. It was about Francoeur's heart. All of his honesty, his tenderness, innocence and outright trust melted away her cynicism. Her jaded view of love was chipped away by every smile, every dance, and every song written just for her. Every day, she seemed to get more and more lost in the way he looked at her, the way he sang high and clear.
She didn't want to lose him.
Lucille finished wrapping a bandage around her neck and turned on the bath faucet. She plugged up the drain and watched as hot water rose in the tub.
Tears stung in her eyes and Lucille cursed herself for her stupidity.


Francoeur couldn't help but look down at himself for the twelfth time.
His sex had long since retracted. This wasn't supposed to happen; it was nothing like what Raoul had shown him in his special pamphlets.
Francoeur had hoped desperately he was like those men pleasing those women: that at least maybe he was similar, similar enough to please Lucille in turn. He couldn't have known before now, he had tried to coax it out before, but to no avail. The only reason why he knew it was there in the first place was because it writhed inside him every so often, usually when Lucille kissed him or touched him a certain way.
The biting was also unexpected – but it seemed crucial at that moment. He hadn't drunk blood since he was a tiny parasite. He could barely remember feeding – he tried not to remember his past life as it only served to remind him how inhuman he really was.
The fact was: he had hurt Lucille in his attentions, needs, and wants. He let instinct drive his body forward like a common animal and that had consequences. Francoeur should have known better than to bite her. Now she was sitting in the bathroom trying to repair the damage he had done.
The entire endeavor was a mistake.
Lucille should be with Raoul, she should always be with Raoul. He hated the idea of her being with someone else, but Raoul was the least hated option. True, she was with him enough already, the whole city knew them to be a couple. They would hold hands and embrace in public, or fight in the streets. Lucille's voice could carry all the way to the Seine and Raoul's verbal abuse never missed its mark. Francoeur was simply the other man, if you could call him a man. The more he thought about it, the more he wondered why Lucille was with him in the first place. Was it pity? Was it curiosity? She seemed happy enough with Raoul, even when she was slapping him for being an idiot or stealing his new truck for a night ride…with him in it.
Perhaps it was time he should move himself out of the equation.
He liked Raoul. The man could give Lucille all the things she deserved. All the thing s a gaint flea couldn't give her.
Francoeur didn't know how to tell her all of this. He wanted to apologize; he wanted to make things better. If all he could ever have was spending time with Lucille and singing with her every night, then he would take it. He would take anything that allowed her continued existence in his life…

Suddenly there was a splashing noise, and Lucille called out from the bathroom.


Francoeur barged in, eyes wide with worry.
Lucille was lying in the bathtub, bubbles chastely hiding what was underneath. Of all things she smiled at him, even though a bandage tinged with red was wrapped about her neck. Her face seemed to have gained back some of its color, but she still looked so pale. She waived him forward, to get closer, but the giant flea was still apprehensive. He stood for a minute in silence, debating, but in the end he moved right next to her, his eyes locked on her face. She raised her eyebrows and gestured an invitation into the tub.
The flea tried to back away, but Lucille caught one of his hands.
"Please?" her voice wavered and her face fell. "Look, I know I hurt you. I was an idiot – I'm sorry."
Francoeur shook his head and let his fingers lightly touch the gauze covered wound beneath her jaw line.
"It's fine. You didn't do anything wrong… please?" Francoeur disagreed – he did quite a lot of wrong, but Lucille wanted him now. He was hers and only hers. He could never outright refuse her.
She tugged him downward and he slid behind Lucille into the tub. The wet skin of her naked body pressed against his. Her arms crossed themselves over her breasts, and Francoeur's arms wrapped around her torso. His head leaned into her shoulder and she scooted backward farther.
It was strange how well they fit together and how right it seemed. Lucille nestled perfectly in the slope of his abdomen, the length of his long legs bent to fit in the tub and her thighs brushed the inside of his.

"Stay with me… like this, forever." It was a strange request; it was hardly like Lucille to be soft or romantic. Francoeur felt her soft breathing slow. Her body felt warm- and her neck finally stopped bleeding. It seemed she was dozing off. Half lidded eyes stared down at the water.
He crooned softly, fingers brushing the tangles out of her hair. He sang of how beautiful she was- leaning against him, how he was so sorry and how he wished he could give her everything, everything she deserved. His mouth quirked up into a small smile as she slid down further into Morpheus' open arms.

"Stay with me." She repeated quietly. Francoeur could barely hear her over the echoes of his voice, but his soul crushed beneath those words. He wanted to be chained to her for an eternity. He wanted to stay so very badly.
Lucille began to snore against his shoulder and Francoeur smiled wider. He would dry her off and carry her off to bed soon, but not now. The water was still warm, and he wanted to savor the feeling of her naked body against his.

Outside the bathroom door wooden floors, chairs, and windowsills waited silently in the dark collecting dust. Each one a mute reminder of life outside this moment
Each one a reminder that it couldn't last.


The next morning Lucille cooked crepes. The smell of warm sugar and strawberry jam wove through the flat. She bustled about the stove while Francoeur tried to read the morning paper. He was getting better at reading, but his mind still stumbled over a few words now and then. Lucille placed a warm plate in front of him, just before he blacked out.

He woke up hours later, not remembering he fell asleep. His coffee was cold, crepes gone and a blanket around his shoulders. Lucille left a note saying she went to go shopping. She probably thought he was tired from all of the excitement last night. But that was just it, he hadn't been tired- he had gotten the required amount of sleep.
This wasn't the first time.
Over the past year or so since his 'creation' he'd been passing out more and more with increasing frequency. It was usually just a few minutes or so, but this was the longest yet. Francoeur stared out the window into the cold winter morning and shivered.
It worried him.


Allow me to introduce: Shapes in the Dark EDITED.


Sexity Sex-Sex Sex.

Or maybe not.

Mad respect to those reviewers out there, each and every one of you makes my day/ working in After Effects bearable.

Inspired by the first track off of "Ma Fleur" by Cinematic Orchestra.

So many lonely instruments in the darkness. Sex in a bed is so cliché.

And since I've received two private messages over the matter- yeah I ship Francoeur and Lucille, and no, I will not write you Raoul and Lucille fiction.

You kiddies out there will have to go write one yourself.

TMI time- Fleas only drink blood before they reproduce.

Their sex drive is centered on blood. Isn't that lovely? Their mouths also produce an anti-coagulant.

Oh, and look up how absolutely terrifying a flea's dick is.

So understandably, I don't think that's romantic.

Again, a very special thanks to Midground and greenisthecolorofmyenvy.