pure FORESHADOWING (nifra_idril) wrote,

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Early birthday presents r us!

I'm horribly bad at birthdays (my own, and other people's) and when told by the lovely musesfool what I could write to wish her a happy, I decided to just do it, and then post it. So, darlin', here is your birthday present from me, a week early! I wish you a wonderful year, and adore you madly!

It's, well, it's Shreve/Quentin from The Sound and the Fury and Absalom! Absalom! and yes, yes I have finally written Faulkner fic. It's funny, isn't it? Yeah, I think it is, too. I hope you enjoy it darling! *snugs*

“My God, my God,” Quentin said again and again passing his long hand across his brow, seated in the close dark of their room, behind the shuttered windows and Shreve breathed deep of the damp, cold air, the hard air that would later enter the soft, warm passages of Quentin’s lungs, his veins, the hard air that would stop the pumping of Quentin’s damaged heart, and forever quiet his loud hands, and Shreve said, “What, what was it? What did she say –“ and Quentin’s eyes, black as a man who’d seen horrors, a man who’d walked through the night of his own heart, and he, Shreve, knew that he had seen the passing waters of his own honor slipping past him lost in an impassable current the more he heard the graceful lies of Quentin’s beautiful hands his eloquent fingers and hadn’t regretted the loss of it, and his hands would become still and silent, silent as a tomb, the tomb that Shreve would always remember from that cold morning when he would see Quentin last, lying quiet and pale in his bed, and Shreve asked again, “There must be more. There has to be, what of Bon and –“ and Quentin watched him, haunted and brilliant in the closed light and Quentin told him, “No,” which Shreve would never believe, not even when their dirt dusted room had become empty, when the scraps of Quentin’s life had been packed away and shipped back to the hot, bright land that had borne him, and Quentin said, “No, it isn’t my story to tell,” and Shreve asked him, “If not yours then whose?” and Quentin said nothing, only his hands, his hands that twitched and whispered touched Shreve’s cheeks, warm and alive as the sun that tried to force its way between the thin slats in the grey shutters bringing only enough light to show the red of Quentin’s forbidden lips, red as apples, red and impossible, and Shreve’s heart beat faster, pumping his blood through his veins, rumbling, “Perhaps…” and Shreve ignored it as Shreve had always ignored it, as Shreve ignored it until Quentin’s warm hands, Quentin’s elegant hands, landed upon his neck, strayed beneath the starched fabric of his stiff collar and Quentin told him, “I can’t tell you this story, it isn’t mine,” and Shreve said again, “There must be more,” his whisper curling like smoke through the darkened room, his whisper insisting, and Quentin’s red lips, and Shreve should never have known those lips to be soft, he should never have touched those soft lips, he should never have –

Quentin’s answering prayer in the dark, “My God, my God,” he said, and Shreve could only see the faint line of his lips, the red line of his lips, falling and rising, those lips that Shreve had seen behind his closed lids for years as he lay still as the corpse that would soon be Quentin’s, too soon, still from his will only, from the gnawing notion that it was wrong to notice the black sweep of Quentin’s lashes, the holes in his haunted eyes, the line of concentration between his thin brows as he leaned toward the silvered mirror in the morning, shaving the growth of the day before away slowly, and oh, how Shreve would miss that frown, those simple moments of morning as Quentin’s long fingers slipped buttons into holes and covered his white skin, his unmarked skin, the skin that Shreve’s hands – normally so quiet, so tame – had raged to feel, and would never have touched had Quentin never ---

But Quentin did, that morning as the horrors receding in the imposed twilight of their small room, his fingers shaking as he touched the nape of Shreve’s neck, and Shreve said, “Is this – like Bon? And –“ and Quentin said only, “This is our story,” and pressed his red lips to Shreve’s, his mouth soft and sweet like apples, and Shreve feasted on him, undid the clean buttons of his laundered shirt and it crumpled to the floor, a ghost in the slight breeze and beneath the conversation of Quentin’s hands, Shreve felt his body confess and confess and confess and his voice broke as his eyes blinked and blinked behind the safety of his glasses, the shield he wore against Quentin’s brilliance, Quentin’s radiance, and Quentin shone against him in their narrow bed, and Shreve said, “Is this –?” and Quentin only smiled his red smile, the smile Shreve would never see again when Quentin’s hands hand stilled, when the last sweet smell of wisteria had been blown from this, their sanctuary, in the months after Quentin’s body thinned, and died, and Shreve sat beside him, not shedding a single salt tear, because Quentin said, “This was ours,” and Shreve knew it to be true, that even if Quentin’s soft heart had grown stiff with death, that this, this moment (Quentin’s red mouth, his wet tongue, his promises, shining in the dark, always the dark, as though God couldn’t see them twined together, vines beneath the scant cover of a single clean sheet, and Shreve’s skin felt the flush of Quentin’s, felt his blushing blood pull Shreve closer, and closer still, and yes, Shreve knew in that moment, knew that this story, their story would out live this sick room, this dying room, this dying man who Shreve would love even as he slept beside the plump body of his snoring wife, even as Shreve’s hair whitened like the snow that blanketed the ground they put Quentin into, the snow that froze Shreve’s heart as Quentin’s stuttered and stopped, a candle guttering in the slightest wind) this moment would never flicker out, this moment would endure, this moment would burn as Quentin would burn behind the thin shield of Shreve’s glasses, his lowering eyelids, the water that welled, salt and hot, on the day that he buried Quentin, who Shreve hadn’t meant to love, but love it had been since the first sight of him, long body tall and dark in the wind on a Sunday afternoon, standing silhouetted against the sun, a mystery and Shreve had thought, “Is this the man I am supposed to share a room with?” and had been horrified, because his palms had dampened with that long forgotten urge, the urge he had forced himself to forget as he’d grown older, and his body had lurched toward Quentin as soon as Quentin touched him –

Quentin, whose bags were still unpacked, thrown about the shadows of the room, thumbs stained with ink as he read and re-read the story of Sutpen’s Hundred, of Sutpen’s children who had loved and hated and destroyed as Sutpen himself had destroyed, the story of the old woman preserved like a doll by her bitterness, sitting her clapboard house, held upright by her hatred, white palms folded in her untouched lap, and Quentin, undone by the horror of it, Quentin unraveling had reached for him, and Shreve’s eyes had closed, his lowering lids no shield now, not accustomed to shielding him from Quentin, not accustomed to keeping Quentin out, and Quentin’s hot skin against Shreve’s, and his horrified refrain, murmured against Shreve’s skin, “My God, Shreve, my God,” he said, his hands telegraphing meaning until they were kissing, as they never should have done, as Shreve had always wanted to, not a kiss exchanged as peace, no benediction this, instead a passion shared between two men, a passion that could never leave the confines of this prison, this room, a passion that Shreve would carry with him until he died, his own eyes staring unseeing at the darkened ceiling above him as he croaked out to his grandson who held his yellowed hand, the hand that had once been touched by Quentin, and the dying Shreve said, as Quentin had done that morning, that fateful morning that would exist as a smoldering shame and a burning need until Shreve’s eyelids lowered for the last time behind his cracked glasses, and Shreve said, “My God,” and his heart stopped for good, just as it had begun to beat for the first time when Quentin had held him, when Quentin had sobbed into his red, Northern neck, “My God, Shreve, my God.”

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