Author: Chasmodai Blue PM
Slash Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? The street lights have all burned out. //Christmas present for firestar267Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Sci-Fi - Words: 3,182 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 2 - Published: 12-23-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2755922
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(Slash) Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? The street lights have all burned out.
Florian leans against the unlit lamp post. Snow drops down on all sides of him, fluttering through the dim, foggy evening, illuminated by the candles in the store windows. He wraps his arms around his body, shivering. Goosebumps break out on his skin and he rubs at the exposed flesh, trying to warm himself up.
He's ankle-deep in white fluffy before anyone so much as looks in his direction.
Florian jumps, his head snaps up. He recognizes a boy he used to go to school with —back when they still had schools— and waves shyly at him with just the tips of his fingers. Esme didn't strike him as the sort of person to pick up whores, male or otherwise, but the red-headed boy has nonetheless stopped in front of him.
"You look cold," Esme says.
Blushing, Florian nods. He shifts a little, trying to show off more of his pale, freezing skin. He remembers Esme helping him with his English homework from an entire lifetime ago, so he slides his fingertips over his protruding hipbones, tracing circles over his exposed belly.
"You should come home with me," Esme says. He grabs hold of Florian's wrist and tugs him down the street. "We had some classes together, I think. Florian, right?"
Stumbling as if intoxicated, Florian follows.
He tells himself he isn't really a whore. That he —like everyone else struggling to survive in that murky twilight of a world— is just trying to put food into his mouth. That it's okay to trade his body for a warm bed, strong arms, because that's what anyone else would do. He's just lucky: he is blessed with the right bone structure, bright eyes, full lips, slender hands that once played the piano and now prove useful in this line of work.
His hand slips into Esme's, and a surge of elation floods his body. He always thought Esme was so beautiful anyway.
Quietly, Esme leads him up the decaying staircase of an ancient apartment building. Florian can hear the television through the thin walls. Circus music works its way through the dimly lit corridors. The candles flicker as they walk by. The omnipresent mist clings to them as they make their way over the mildewing floorboards to Esme's apartment.
"Here," Esme pushes into the apartment. Florian's nose prickles with the smells of cloves and smoke. "Stand by the fire, you look like you're going to freeze." Esme touches his arm, just briefly, with the tips of his fingers.
Obediently, Florian stands beside the fire. His exposed skin glows with orange light.
"Thank you," he mumbles, when Esme returns from the kitchen with water. It's clean —from a bottle and not the rusted-out taps— and he drinks it gratefully. "It's cold out there."
Esme reaches out and smooths down Florian's hair. "I know," he said. "Your lips are turning blue." He leans forward, pressing their mouths gently together.
It's warmer than the fire, Florian decides. He doesn't get kissed very often, and the sensation is tingly. It makes him feel alive, alight, so he kisses back with messy enthusiasm, shaking with desire to see Esme pull back and smile at him.
"Come to bed with me tonight?" Florian asks, when their mouths separate. This time, Esme does smile.
"Of course," he murmurs. He cups Florian's cheek and kisses him again, twines their fingers together. Florian's heart slams against his ribs, and he's sure that he is shaking. He sits quietly on Esme's bed, and the mattress squeaks. His fingers slide down his skin, trace his hipbones that stick out at awkward angles. "Are you nervous?" asks Esme, brushing his thumb over Florian's pursed lips.
Florian nods. "Yes," he breathes. He wonders if he is beautiful enough, willing enough.
Esme laughs at him and presses their mouths together again. "Don't be," he says. "You're lovely."
Something about the word makes Florian think of lilac flowers and days before bombs and radiation and then he's shaking all over again. "You're lovely too," he says quietly, even though he has no right to tell Esme that. He's never been so jumpy at the hands that touch him.
Stupid schoolboy crush, there is no place for you in this world.
Esme tugs Florian's snow-soaked clothing off, piece by piece. There isn't much of it to begin with —even though its winter— and within a minute he is sitting on the bed naked. His skin flushes, and he hears Esme laugh at him. This doesn't help the creeping blush.
"Look at you," teases Esme, when he's stripped his own clothing off and they face each other. "Bright red." For a moment, they could be equals.
Shaking himself of such a delusion, Florian's hands reach out to slide down Esme's skinny body, over his pert nipples and his sharp ribs and his concave belly. He bites his lip as he grasps hold of Esme's cock and rubs it gently. He sees the first tendrils of arousal creep into Esme's posture, his green eyes.
"Your hands," Esme groans. He leans forward and kisses Florian briefly. It is, nonetheless, dizzying. "I love your hands."
Florian looks down, hair drooping into his eyes, and does not slow the gentle rhythm.
"I could push you back," Esme mumbles, biting his lip. "I could hold you down and call you 'whore' and 'bitch' until you cried."
Eyes cast down, Florian nods.
"But that's not what you want." Esme smooths down Florian's wet hair with his free hand. The snow crystals in it have melted in the muggy heat of the apartment, leaving the strands plastered against Florian's smooth face. "You want to be called 'beautiful' and 'angel.' You want someone to call you by your name. Tell you that you're gorgeous. That they want you."
By now, Florian is shaking so hard he's afraid his bones will come apart and that he will burst into tears right there on that bed with the broken springs.
"Yes," he whispers.
It's what he's always wanted.
"Of course," Esme says. He pushes Florian back onto the pillows. The other boy spreads out like a droplet of mercury. "Lie still, okay?"
Florian squeezes his eyes shut and nods.
Carefully, Esme crawls forward to straddle his hips. He kisses Florian desperately, hands cupping their mouths, making a warm, dark tunnel between them. His lips ghost over Florian's lips, jaw, neck, bones. His teeth latch onto one pert nipple and bite down, teasing it with his tongue.
Mewling, Florian presses his hips against Esme's. The arousal makes his entire body sing. It's never like this, and the sensation of wanting feels foreign in him.
Esme presses one slender digit into Florian's mouth. He teases Florian's tongue, lips, runs the tip of his teeth, and Florian moans aloud. Another finger slips between the parted lips. "Suck," Esme orders.
Distractedly, Florian complies.
"You have the most exquisite skin," says Esme. He kisses Florian's bright red cheek. "The most beautiful, luminous skin."
Florian finds it infinitely more difficult to sit still. Esme retrieves his fingers and trails them down Florian's chest, leaving a thin line of glistening spit behind them, and even though Florian has done this a million times before, he is still quivering with apprehension.
"Are you okay?"
Florian nods. "Fine," he assures Esme quickly.
Esme's smooth hands slide up Florian's thighs, tracing gently over the scars that rip across them. Florian shivers at the heat of the contact and squeezes his eyes shut, seals his mouth. Long fingers press into him, twisting and crooking carefully. He gasps, spine arching. His bones click, and his hand slides down his pale chest to touch his stiffening erection.
Pushing in another finger, Esme bends his head to press his lips against Florian's belly. He mumbles something against it, biting gently at the skin. There isn't much there, Florian is so skinny and sick and starving. He cries out.
Esme's fingers flick.
Florian's lip bleeds as he tries to stay quiet. He doesn't want it to stop, to be reminded of who and what he is, on whose bed he has stretched out. His fingers knot into the sheets, clinging for dear life.
The fingers pull back.
"You're so beautiful," murmurs Esme. "A nuclear lily." He kisses Florian's neck, covering the smaller boy like a thick blanket. They are all sweat and blood and the cloying scent of rot.
The lillies-of-the-valley that still manage to grow wild on the banks of the poisonous water are things of unimaginable elegance. Their petals, perfect and triangular, unfurl at dusk to welcome the fresh light of the moon. They relish the toxic fluid of the earth, thrive even in the fumes of the end of the world. They are eternal, untouchable.
Florian has never been a untouchable before.
Esme pushes into him, gasping. Hands scramble to hold onto Florian's legs, nails to dig into the smooth expanse of white flesh. Esme bends to kiss Florian again and they bend like reeds so that their lips might meet. He wriggles back and forward again. Their hips —chests, palms, mouths— seal together as if they are trying to occupy the same space at the same time.
Crying out, Florian's hands thread through Esme's red hair. He feels laughter course through the other boy, and he wonders how Esme is able to laugh —speak, because he calls Florian 'Angel' as he thrusts into his skinny body— when his own breath is moving too fast to even consider it.
Esme's hand creeps between them to rub Florian's cock. Fingers pinch the head and Florian moans into Esme's warm, open mouth.
Whore, he tells himself. You moan like a whore.
He doesn't so much mind being this one's whore. Esme's body is so warm, it drowns out all the cold; the squeaking of the bed springs stops the incessant shouting of the people downstairs. Florian has stopped shivering, and his skin isn't the same sickly blue. They have no love left, not for each other and not for the world, so instead they make fire.
Orgasm ripples through Florian's bony body and he stifles a shriek. His spine arches and he presses so impossibly close to Esme. It feels as if the other teenager is trying to climb into his skin. Become part of him.
They separate, just a respectful distance, and curl beneath the fraying quilt. Their eyes meet for the briefest of seconds. Maybe, if they were different people, they could cross the gulf so wide between them.
Florian doesn't stand on street corners any more. Esme doesn't see him on his way to the market, and the blank, black space is occupied by another bony teenager. A girl this time, with fierce eyes and hair chopped short. He walks past her, down the long stretch of pavement, through the evanescent clouds of orange mist. He holds his jacket around him as he gets closer to his apartment.
He doesn't really want to go home alone, but he can't imagine bringing up anyone else but skinny, dishy Florian with his wide eyes and exquisite bones.
Quietly, Esme shuffles into the butcher's shop below his flat.
"Do you have your rent payment?" asks the butcher, tilting his head to one side. The cleaver gleams in the dim candle light, and a trickle of bright blood drips down its edge. "It's not due for another week, but you're usually prompt—"
"Prompt isn't the same as early," Esme mumbles, picking up a wax pear from the bowl on the table and turns it back and forth in his hands. "But yeah, I got it. Corn's okay, right?"
The butcher nods, scowling. "You need to take up rat trapping," he says.
Esme nods absently, but he can't imagine doing that. The man downstairs used to trap rats, and Esme would hear them squeaking at night as he lopped off their furry heads. So instead, he says, "There aren't any rats left," and sets the wax pear down. He leans against the wall.
"Take this over to Mrs. Babineaux, will you?" The butcher holds out a package of meat wrapped in clean, white paper. "She's been asking after it since the shipment came in."
Esme takes the package and turns to the door.
He doesn't mind wandering around outside. The snow makes everything glitter, breaking the monotony of the gloom. It's such a strange place to live, equally elegant and ugly. It is nothing more than a decaying village nestled in the dead countryside of a former France.
Mrs. Babineaux smiles at him when he gives her the meat. She wants him to come inside, to drink packaged cocoa with her. Politely, he shakes his head: her house smells of formaldehyde. It's not that much better than the rot of bodies and bones that permeates everything else.
The walk back is lonely. Esme's footsteps echo off the empty brick buildings that line the even emptier streets. At least the buildings have squatters. More snow has fallen during the night, keeping most people inside: it's deep now, almost halfway up his shins. Esme shakes the powder from his pants and continues walking.
He can hear a set of footsteps nearby. He walks a little quicker and the others pick up too. Once, he'd have been afraid, but now he doesn't have the energy to support fear.
Esme spins, and Florian barrels into him. Without thinking, he wraps his arms around the other boy, ecstatic at the closeness. "Florian," he says, burying his face in the boy's matted, soaking hair. The months of desperate touching and needy closeness comes flooding back to him. "Hi."
Florian pulls back, blushing. "Hi," he squeaks. "I saw you walking and I...and I wanted to see you again if that's okay. But if you—"
Without waiting for Florian to finish, Esme kisses him.
It's electric in a way nothing has been since the bombs dropped. Esme's fingers press into Florian's skin until he hears the other boy squeak in surprise. "M'ange," he teases, and he feels Florian blush. "Where have you been?"
Florian looks down, eyes glued to the ground. "Around," he says.
Esme trails his hands down Florian's body. If the other boy was thin before, now he is nothing more than a skeleton. "Around, huh?" He angles his head to kiss a blushed, bare cheek. "You hungry?"
"I'm always hungry," Florian says with a small laugh. "But yeah. I'm hungry." His skin is painted a bright red with embarrassment.
Esme gently takes his hand and begins down the street to his apartment building. They don't speak, even as they climb the rickety metal fire escape. The two of them climb in through the window and into the cold dark of the dwelling.
"Here. It's just oatmeal, but it's pretty good."
Florian takes the bowl and begins to devour the food. He is shivering, and Esme jostles him into a chair beside the fire, but that doesn't seem to help the shaking.
"Are you sick?" Esme kneels beside him, pushes the hair out of Florian's angular face. "Feverish?" Warm skin, but from fever or blush or the glow of the fire, Esme isn't sure.
Florian shakes his head. "No," he says. "I'm fine." He leans down to kiss Esme again, but it lasts only a half of a second. "I'm sorry for eating first, but I'm really, really hungry."
"Don't be," Esme says. "You don't have to...do anything."
He wonders why he's turning down a chance to sleep with Florian. It's fair —more than fair, even, because oatmeal is expensive— and he's wanted nothing more than to hold the other boy since the last time they met. Still, it feels too strange, and he's not sure that Florian still does that anymore. He doesn't want to turn something that reminds him of clean snow into a creature of taint.
"But I do," Florian tells him. "I have to. Unless you're not letting me stay here for more than a couple of minutes."
Esme purses his lips, shakes his head. "Don't worry about it," he says. He leans forward to press his lips against Florian's forehead. "I just want to touch you. Sleep beside you."
Florian blushes and nods. He sets the bowl aside. "Okay." He lets himself be led to Esme's creaking bed.
Under the covers, they're almost touching. "I was so worried," Esme mumbles. His fingertips brush along the thin skin of Florian's wrists. "I kept thinking you'd be dead. That the snow would fall on you and you'd fall back into the earth."
Florian shakes his head. "No," he whispers. Esme can see the beginnings of tears forming in his eyes. "No, I was just...I found someone to work for. She has a greenhouse. It's beautiful."
"Where do you sleep?"
Florian bites his lip. "Around," he says. "I have enough for food or rent, but not both."
Esme thinks of the refugees from what was once Germany swimming the Rhine in search of some better life. How hungry they looked, how starved. Florian reminds him of them, and he wants to plead for the boy to stay. He is so sick of being alone.
"You can stay here, if you want," Esme says. "I'll split rent with you and food and—"
Florian leans his forward and nestles his head into the crook of Esme's neck. "Later," he says. "Now...I just want to be near you. I just want you to touch me."
Humming lilting lullabies from lifetimes ago, Esme runs his fingers over the kinks of Florian's skeleton until the boy's breathing evens out. The feeling of flushed skin against flushed skin, of beating heart against beating heart, makes Esme dizzy. So few things, save toxic lilies, can survive in the purgatory of worlds.
Esme falls asleep, and dreams of a single flower, growing wild beside the river.
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir: would you come to bed with me tonight?
Secret Santa present for Firestar267, as inspired by the post-apocalyptic French film Delicatessen. I didn't really know what you want, so I gave you some smut and angst and a European whore.
Happy (non-denominational) Holidays to everyone!