viceindustrious: (Coward)
[personal profile] viceindustrious
From the lovely [livejournal.com profile] timewillrewind's Comment War.

Title: The Rules of Intestacy
Pairing: Blackwood/Coward
Rating: PG
Summary: There were no provisions made for the possibility of defeat.
Word count: 459


They draw him back into the light and the false comfort of warmth. Dry earth beneath his feet. Soft, brown stone. The walls are smooth as cobblestones, the lanterns burning with a butter yellow flame. Interrogation in a chamber mellow with the scent of old tobacco smoke - reminiscent of better times, simpler comforts like the feel of well oiled leather, the dull gleam of varnished mahogany, brass, brandy. A touch of his hand. 

They offer him brandy, sometimes. They offer him touch more often and though he graciously declines both they are more insistent that he receives the latter. 

The walls of his own cell are slick as glaciers, sodden and heavy with shadows. It is for me, Blackwood told him one evening in June, staring across the glitter of the Themes in the diminishing light, out over the city. Like you, pet. The night was welcome then, the dark, the black. He'd had a notion once some poetry could be made of that.

In the first days of his arrest, before he learned of Blackwood's death, there had been a certain thrill to it all. His flesh had not been quite so pale back then. His hands, folded neatly on the table, did not look so ghoulish against the blonde of the birch wood. Now his knuckles are red and yellow, a mess of scabs and sticky flesh, the skin scraped back like tissue paper. His nails are ragged and broken. 

But there, there, it's difficult to think of them as his at all. Not from vanity, not for their ugliness though perhaps in some other world it might have been so. But they belong to Blackwood, just as the rest of him and though Blackwood may be gone he refuses to reclaim ownership of himself. He will not. He can not. Would his Lord disapprove of the disrepair his property's body has fallen into? When Coward pledged himself it was always until his own dying breath, never Blackwood's. Blackwood would never have begun a sentence, if I die. Imagining the king's death is high treason. 

There is no more release for him from Blackwood's collar, than release from this; the bars, the questions, the beatings. He was given no instruction for this eventuality and to either preserve or to take his own life, would be presuming far, far too much. Though he shall hang by and by if he does not give them what they want. 

And each time they lead him back down, away from the light, into the dark - his thoughts run the same way, as though in rehearsal for when they draw that final hood of blinding black cloth over his head. Does it please you, my Lord, did I do well?


Title: Henry, the Great and Terrible
Pairing: Blackwood/Coward
Rating: PG
Summary: Coward needs something that Henry can't give him.
Word count: 755


On Monday there is a small patch of purple on Coward's wrist like a smear of lip colour, the ghost of one, chaste kiss. Coward catches his eye and smiles before he adjusts his shirtsleeves and hides the mark from sight. He is less capable of hiding the grimace of pain that flickers across his face when he stands to address the commons. One mark at the hem of his cuff, but when Henry closes his eyes he can see the dalmatian pattern painted in indigo, ochre, soft and swelling red across the rest of Coward's hide. 

On Sunday Coward limps to the dinner table. It's slight, almost imperceptible. He takes his seat at the opposite end of the table from Henry and amidst the clatter of silverware and the inane chatter of the rest of the Order - it can surely only have been in Henry's imagination that he heard the half stifled gasp of pain as he took his seat. 

Coward flaunts it. His bruises, medals of honour in crushed capillaries, all that dark, dead blood pooled under the surface of his skin. He will never come closer to a blush than those contusions. He does not possess the shame. 

Henry would like to see him blush. Though perhaps at times there is a dash of colour across his cheeks. When he is drunk. When he dips his head and looks up through his lashes and licks the wine from his lips, his fingers toying with a knife or a fork or the coat sleeve of the man seated beside him. 

Or on a night like tonight, when Henry can feel his gaze - those brilliant, febrile eyes, sparkling like the fever blown and still, still only the barest flush beneath his pale skin. He's watching and Henry rolls his shoulders back, makes use of his full height as he sneers down at the Order member, Lord Callister, quivering before him. 

"Do I have a choice about this?" Callister asks. 

"You always have a choice," Henry says and fits the edge of his hand against Callister's throat. He can hear Coward gasp behind him and tightens his grip. "You have the same choices as everyone else." 

He can see his reflection in Callister's eyes. The suggestion of a reflection, a silhouette that looms - the impression of a man, strong and definite. He can see the fear in Callister's eyes and it fills his head with a roaring cloud that blots out all but the flutter of the pulse beating madly beneath his fingers. 

"Henry," Coward sighs, worshipful. 

The worship is still there, smouldering in Coward, after Callister swears his loyalty and flees. 

"Daniel," Henry says. 

Coward sways toward him, but Blackwood seizes him by the arms before he can sink to his knees. 

"Daniel," he repeats. 

He frowns at Coward's hands. Tugs the collar away from Coward's neck and when he sees the love mark there, still raw and pink, the pain is too sharp and sudden to bear. The teeth that met in Coward's flesh bit deep and ugly, what an awful wound on something so precious, he can not stand it and though he wishes to shake Coward, to pull him close, to ask him, why, why seek these things? He pulls his hand back and strikes Coward across the face instead. 

Coward's eyes roll back in his head, he gives a little whimper. "Oh, oh, Henry. Please." 

And leans forward, tugging at Blackwood's lapels, offering his cheek again. 

Blackwood staggers back. "Daniel, I-" 

Coward stares after him. 

"What? What, Henry?" he says. "Why won't you . . . I've seen you. I saw you then. Lord Blackwood. I know you-" 

He stops, shakes his head. His hands are reaching after Henry, tentative, as though they do not quite expect to find him there. Coward makes a gesture, tracing the shapes of him in the air with his fingers. 

"Use me, my Lord, I am yours." 

Henry takes Coward's hands and kisses his fingertips but Coward draws them back with a hiss, his eyes wide and furious. 

"If you will not do it," he begins. 

Henry winces and draws his hand back as if to strike again and Coward draws in a breath and looks up at him, waiting, hopeful. Henry's hand stills in the air, makes one, abortive, twitching movement and then falls back down to his side. 

"Daniel, I can't hurt you. You are-" 

"Charlatan," Coward spits. "If you will not, then I shall find those who will." 


Title: Callahan's Law
Pairing: Blackwood/OFC, Coward/OFC, (Blackwood/Coward)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Blackwood shares an intimate moment with Coward.
Word count: 521


There's velvet under Coward's palms as he clutches the arms of the chair and laying plush on his tongue, the faintly bitter tang of red wine. His skin is prickling, hot. Warmth laying heavy in the pit of his stomach. His nose itches, assaulted by an over-abundance of jasmine. 

The girl - the whore - is pretty, young and pale. So blonde she looks hairless. Kneeling before Blackwood, she's all soft, generous curves. Her arse resting plump on her heels, her slender waist, her pink, padded soles. 

He can't see Blackwood's cock, just the bob of the girl's head, his hand in her hair, the half-lidded look of pleasure on his face. 

Coward curls his toes and his socks slip, squeaking on his insoles, cotton damp with sweat. In the wallpaper, flowers interlock with flowers; dusky rose, forest green. The pattern matches his waistcoat. Fashionable. Silk. Too ornate. Stifling decadence - this overstuffed chair and the high, stiff collar of the shirt sticking to his back. He shifts, pinned in by his clothes, his title. His sex. 

His cravat is choking him. Blackwood's shirt is unfastened to the navel. Coward bites his lip. Blackwood is watching him watching. The girl makes an uncouth, wet, gagging noise. Blackwood smiles at him, he looks no less regal for the flush of colour spread across his cheeks. Coward takes a sip of wine. He does not look away. Perhaps he forgets to breathe. 

Blackwood leans over and whispers something in the girl's ear. 

There's a dreadful weight pressing Coward down into the chair. Blackwood's eyes are pitiless. He wants to hide his face but he cannot move. He rolls the stem of his glass between his fingers instead. 

Blackwood's hand tightens in the girl's hair, tendons pulling taut. Coward grits his teeth. He sees Blackwood's chest rise suddenly, the gleam of bare skin, dark hair. His tongue feels thick in his mouth. Blackwood's lips part and Coward shuts his eyes tight, shaking. 

He finishes his wine with his eyes still shut. When he opens them again, it's at the sound of almost silent footsteps. The girl walking across the carpet, small steps on the balls of her feet, hips swaying like a cat. 

She leans over him, eyes sparkling, lips dark. His eyes dart to Blackwood, sprawled back in his own chair. The girl takes his chin between her sharp thumb and forefinger, pulls, presses her mouth to his. Blackwood's scent is all over her, rich and musky and Coward hears the little, desperate mewl that escapes, broken from him as his teeth part. She clambers up into his lap, rocking against him as her tongue pushes deep inside and then, a flood of something salty, warm and slick, fills his mouth. 

The girl leans back, a pearl of something white and glistening at the corner of her lips. He shudders, swallows and the wine glass falls from his hand as his hips jerk up against her - sudden rush or orgasm staining the inside of his trousers, damning as blood, or the scarlet brand of the wine on the carpet, while Blackwood chuckles.
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