A/N: Okay, so I am in love with Cesare and Lucrezia, so I had to write something for them!
This is set after 02x09. I am so excited about the finale!
Warning: Incest. (Though I think that should be obvious!)
Daily, he drowns in her. In her secret smiles and in her laugh, in the spun gold of her braided hair. She is his salvation, all that remains of his purity kept safe in a beaded bodice, woven beneath her skin like silk.
Her very heart beats within his chest and after Juan's end, it is all but screaming to be returned to its keeper.
Ever obedient, for her, for only her, finds himself flying through the streets of Rome with his brother's blood still slick over his knuckles, still soaked into the edge of his sleeve.
He carried Juan's heart too, once, long ago. Before his father had taken the papal throne, he had a fierce love for family. But never would he place another's happiness above his sweet sister's, never would he feel a bond like theirs again. And with time, his mother, father, and Juan most of all, would crush her innocence. He would tolerate Vanozza and Rodrigo, but no longer could he burden the weight of caring for the wretched thing his brother had become. Threatening Giovanni's life had been the final act of cruelty, but dear Juan was to blame for so many of Lucrezia's unseen wounds. She'd been bleeding internally for months, since he'd stolen from her, Narcissus; Cesare couldn't bear to see such anguish crease her brow once more. If she had broken under the stress piled atop her by both his holiness and Juan, he would have chased her into madness, and Hell too if she would fall so far.
Only when he reaches the closed door of her bedchamber do his feet allow him rest. He stands hunched to catch his breath, one hand steadied against the sanded wood. Juan's blood has grown tacky in the rush of wind. It sticks his fingers together, terrified to be forgotten so quickly. But Cesare does not forget. He will never forget that these hands have silenced the young borgia bull forever, that he has committed fratricide and condemned his soul this night. Nor will he ever find it in himself to regret the deed. Lucrezia, Rome, Italy, the whole of the world will be richer for his death.
At her bedside, he watches her in the weak light the moon provides for a short while, drinking in the calm that is her presence. She sleeps soundly, turned onto one side, shift rucked up her thighs, the bedclothes twisted in her legs; a sleeping angel.
"Lucrezia," Cesare whispers when he is overwhelmed by the urge to touch her. Crouched, he smoothes the hair from her forehead to press his lips there. At that tiny disturbance alone, his sister wakes all at once, and had Cesare been any other man, his throat might be cut through and pouring scarlet down the front of his shirt. But Cesare is not any man, he is the rightful leader of the papal armies, whether his father sees it or not, and thus, he laughs.
"Sis," he muses into Lucrezia's ear, trapping her against his chest, his hand wrapped tight around hers where it holds a dagger, hidden before now underneath her pillow. "Were you expecting company?" How long has she slept with this weapon? Why did she find it necessary to lie above sharpened steel? Gone was the sister he had chased through their courtyard to bump noses with. Marriage and cruelties have hardened her into the woman he sees this day, without her blushing naivety, with vigor and determination aplenty, no longer willing to stand meekly by, a pawn in her father's game.
Lucrezia drops the knife at the sound of his voice and, when freed, turns quickly in her brother's hold. Her arms wind instantly around his neck, tied tight like a ribbon."Chezza!"
"Yes, my love." Face buried in his collar, he is glad she cannot see his crescent smile, dangerous, revealing too many teeth. The rush of cutting down his brother coupled with the way Lucrezia's eyelashes brush the skin of his throat leave Cesare feeling something more than human; a god, dare he think it.
They stay quiet, melded together for a few minutes while Lucrezia's pulse slows from its former tremble. With Cesare at her side, fear slips through her fingers like sand.
No matter how pleasant being held may be, his sister's mounting curiosity splits them apart. "What is the meaning of your visit?" she asks with soft, open eyes, drawing away from the warmth of his chest to search his face. But it is not his face that holds her answers. When he says nothing, she lifts one of his hands to place a beseeching kiss at the center of his palm, only to be met with the strong scent of copper and the color of rust.
The first thing Lucrezia does, because she is a Borgia and was bred, cursed, to spill blood, is kiss Cesare's palm as planned. She licks after the taste on her lips, and then gives her brother her attention once more, probing him with her stare. He feels naked under the weight of it, her silent, "who?" an unexpected pain in his chest.
They keep no secrets, if asked, he would give her the world.
"Juan," he says without delay or dramatics, his face a careful mask with careful eyes that watch her for some reaction. She gives nothing at first, simply looks and looks and looks at him, her lips parted in obvious surprise. It's terrifying, waiting for her response. She shares his hatred of their errant brother, of course, but wishing him dead is one thing and discovering just who had put him to that fate is another entirely. It would be well within her rights to run screaming from the room and straight into their mother's bedchamber to relay what she'd just heard.
His slack grip on her waist cinches tighter, possessive and scared, both. But Lucrezia does not bubble into hysterics or bolt from his lap. She doesn't condemn him for the murder of her brother. She doesn't even let a shade of fear cross her features.
Swallowing a knot, Lucrezia blinks owlishly at Cesare for another moment, and then her whole face lights up with a smile, his smile, the one she flashes when they are alone and there is no one near to question the sharp edge to it. "You didn't!" she whispers conspiratorially, kissing his palm again, his knuckles too, tasting the last of her late brother's life, and he can't help but feel giddy at the way her tongue peeks out to dab greedily at the space between his finger. It's sick, they both are, wrought with the same disease.
It is this disease, this darkness that flows through their veins, that laces them together, that has Cesare staring at his sister's mouth when she straightens to read the affirmation in his eyes. There is redness smeared at the meeting of her lips. It taunts him, and were Cesare any man tonight, he would feel shame for coveting the drop of his brother and a kiss, but tonight Cesare Borgia is not a man. Tonight, he is a god. And because he is a god, after nodding absently that what he's said holds true, he closes the waning space between their faces without a whinge of self-abhorrence.
He does not kiss Lucrezia, but it is a near thing. They brush noses, forehead to forehead, close enough that Cesare can count the flecks of silver in his sister's eyes and feel the sweet puffs of her breath against his chin. They've been here a hundred times, right at the brink of something unforgivable. His purity is in shreds, but Lucrezia's, she can yet be saved. It is the only reason he has not breached the fingerbreadth between them thus far, never would he gamble her eternal soul.
She had kissed him once, a chaste gift when overwhelmed by gratitude, nothing more than an ecstatic peck on the mouth, but even that had teased to life the forbidden ache in his groin.
"Cesare." His name, a heady sigh on her lips vibrates right through him, settles into the very marrow of his bones and sets fire to his failing restraint. Her fingers twist into the thick curls at the nape of his neck and he says nothing, stares resolutely into the crystalline color of her eyes, watches the blacks of her pupils eat at the edges until there is but a sliver of blue remaining.
What happens next is a cosmic event. A black hole, like an aperture, opens up right in the middle of Lucrezia Borgia's bedroom and swallows both she and her brother where they sit. What had been always split by a fraying thread of air is melded together so completely, neither Cesare nor Lucrezia will ever ever again be able to pick out splinters of the other from where it's been burrowed beneath their skins.
He doesn't know who first falls prey to this weaving of their souls, but the next moment Lucrezia's lips are connected to his like he has stolen her lungs. She breathes through his kiss, fervored from the very start. A greedy clash of mouths, they share the lingering taste of their brother Juan, feed on the victory of his death. Her fingers, loose before, coil into his hair as she re-seats herself in her brother's lap.
This had been an inevitability. Deep down, Cesare knew they would disappear into one another completely one day, but that foresight does nothing to dull the feel of Lucrezia's petal-pink tongue when it slips over his bottom lip in invitation. She is his sun. He has revolved around her since the day his mother had first placed her in his arms, and like the sun, she burns. Her breasts, full and heaving against the thin material of her chemise, brand the front of his chest. The inside of her mouth is scalding when it slides open for his exploration.
I would gladly die for this, he thinks absently, all hope of abstaining from the flesh of his sister gone. Even his brother's death seems a distant dream in the face of this mortal sin, mere rehearsal for the final damning of his soul.
It is easy to lay Lucrezia out over the bedclothes, even easier to cover her body with his own. He fits into her every hollow, a perfect pairing, and when her lips settle over the jut of his adam's apple, Cesare does nothing to conceal a low groan.
"Let me see you, sis," he breathes into her ear, his voice want-roughened and strung tight as she discovers the smooth curve of his lower back, leaving light scratches in crosses over his spine. Legs hooked over his hips, he finds the hem of her gown and draws it up her thighs in silent question.
Lucrezia is quick to answer, arching away from the bed, up into the warmth of her brother's chest. He has her bare a moment later.
She cranes for a kiss then, but Cesare denies her, straightening up to kneel between her knees and drink in the sight of his sister laid out beneath him in sheets of silk. It is every dream he's ever woken from and better. The light sets her porcelain skin a radiant silver. Her hair is a wild, mocking halo around her face and her curves, slight only years before, are begging for his hands.
The irony of their position is not lost on him. He kneels before her as a holy man would kneel at an alter. She is his faith, his light, everything that God would never to be.
She does not squirm under the weight of his reverence, but meets his gaze directly with flushed cheeks and lips swollen from his kisses.
As quickly as he is able, Cesare divests himself then of every last piece of clothing, sheds each article like a viper would its skin. And only when he is dressed in the crisp light of the moon alone, does he fold down to blanket his sister once more. Lucrezia takes in his hard lines as he had her curves and when they slide together without barriers, a broken moan leaves both their lips.
Marking up the side of her throat with wet kisses, Cesare's hand drifts down to the apex of his sweet sister's legs, to a place he has held silent claim all these years. He finds her shamelessly ready for him, wetness coating the insides of her thighs, which part like the seas for his probing fingers.
"'Crezia," he sighs against her temple, damp with sweat, and pushes inside, pumping her into a slow burning madness. She clutches at the backside of his ribs and whimpers into his shoulder, teeth dragging restlessly along the thick curve of muscle. "Please," she's whining, and he knows it isn't to be brought into ecstasy, not yet. She wants to unravel him, wants to unravel them both, until they are nothing at all. And though this would be their end, the end of the old Lucrezia and her fiercely protective Cesare, he can deny her nothing.
Fingers gone, hands now gentle guides for her hips, he lines up their bodies until they are slotted in parallel and, though it is difficult to lift his eyelids, finds her eyes. Lucrezia peers up at her brother through golden lashes and curves one palm around his stubbled cheek.
Cesare joins them still lost in her gaze, their faces wrinkling in twin pleasure. Her body accepts him slowly, gives way inch by inch until he is fully-seated within her, touching from foreheads to thighs. She engulfs him in every sense, all-consuming. He thinks he might even be able to feel his soul sinking in through her pores, taken, freely given. But before he can be sure, Lucrezia is shifting under his weight, her nails biting into his arms. She wants him to move. Cesare thinks he might shatter, held together only by her huffs of breath, but still he obeys.
He draws almost all the way out only to press forward again, the greedy drag of her insides tearing a half-sob from his throat.
They move together like they dance, in perfect sync, the slow swell of hips meeting and falling away at an almost dream-like pace in the beginning. Lucrezia begs for lazy kisses, little more than the holding together of their mouths, opened into ovals and spilling sighs and moans out into the silence of the room.
"Lucrezia," Cesare says like a prayer, kneading her breast with one hand, the other pressed up flat against her lower back. She speaks his name as though it might save her too, riding out broken on ragged breaths.
Soon they grow frenzied once more. The push of Cesare's hips turns harsh, sharp, bouncing Lucrezia into the mattress, leaving them panting and bathed in sweat. She clings to him, arms and legs, and whispers feather-light, "I love you"s into his lips, and in no time at all they are both coming undone.
She falls into the blinding whiteness of release moments before Cesare, insides clenching wildly around him. He only just withdraws from her in time to paint the sheets and his sister's belly with his seed, something close to a roar rumbling up from the deep of his chest as he too is hit with the impossible pleasure of orgasm.
Trembling all over when he rejoins the moment, he falls beside Lucrezia in the sheets to keep from crushing her and pulls her instantly to him. She obliges easily, boneless in the aftermath of their sin, folding into the curve of his body turned on its side.
"Did you kill Juan for what he did to Giovanni, for what he did to me?" she mumbles sleepily some time later, idly tracing the muscle of his bicep, head tucked under his chin. Cesare makes a noise like a, "yes," and draws the sheets up to blanket them both, combing the damp hair back from her temple.
Lucrezia nuzzles the scratch of hair beneath her brother's chin before pressing a kiss there, and speaks to the column of his throat. "I will never love another as I love you, brother."
Cesare urges his sister to turn over and spoons up behind her, crowding in close. With his face in her hair and his hand draped over her middle where his seed has dried, he decides that, though hellfire awaits him after death, he has lived a hundred lives here tonight in Lucrezia's bed.
They slip into dreams then, two separate beings tied together by so much more than blood, and wake only when the booming, stricken voice of their father sounds outside in the courtyard.