man oh man, this fic is brutal, VERY violent and extremely non-consensual. Please do not read it if you do not think you can handle this. I promise not to think less of you for it.
time, and then
Falling, up and through, bridging the infinitesimal gaps between the points engraved in the face of time. Shards of glass slicing into bone and marrow, sculpting the faces of gods and corpses from his blood and tissue, leaving only muscles and sinew—motion without form, movement without direction.
Squall fell a long way.
He did not hit bottom—it hit him. The ground shifted itself to meet him, folding upwards like a cresting wave in the nowhere of the oceans, where location is a myth and time is measured in grains of sand.
Twin met his eyes; the Gemini of his flesh, a mad reflection glancing crazily off the mirror of his sanity. The fall of hair, the curve of lips, the cords of muscle, the grace of line; but not the blue, the gray, the sea’s storm from which he took his name. No squall raged in the doppelganger’s eyes; there was only the yellow of hardened amber, and nestled in the centers, the black of two hourglasses. Hours and time contained within the orbs that glared back at him with his shape; from his face.
“Lion’s heart.” The twin hissed through teeth white and vicious, honed on meat and the kill. It had one hand in Squall’s hair and another scraping his throat, curling its fingers around the neckline of his shirt and tearing it down his chest.
Pain brought clarity. Another Squall, the lion’s cub, a mate in blood and body, sat upon his chest. These identical bones were wrapped in skin and shadow—black leather straps were its only clothing, bands around its chest and thighs and waist, and a thin crossing of material over the groin that mirrored Squall’s own arrangement of belts in that area. Nothing more covered this other Squall; not even this provided much coverage, seeming more in the way of ornamentation than raiment.
“Stare, Angel?” It laughed, the sound torn from Squall’s own vocal chords; stolen and usurped.
“Wh—who are you?”
The twin snarled and gave a feline growl. It displayed fingernails sharpened to thin points, like cat’s claws. It sliced them across Squall’s throat, so quickly that he did not have time to feel the pain before the slow tickle of blood trailed over his skin.
“You, Kitten.” It laughed in a cruel parody of Squall’s voice, seemingly amused with itself. “Kitten,” it repeated, giggling manically at its own cleverness.
“Mistress said you’d come. Mistress said I could bring you.”
“Your Mistress…” Squall whispered carefully, afraid to move sharply, or quickly; to startle the insanity that boiled behind his own eyes in his own face above him.
“Mistress,” it said solemnly, then scraped Squall again, catching at the skin on his chest. “Sorceress Queen.”
“Ultimecia,” Squall hissed, and his other-dimensional twin slid its body down his length, arching and writhing in approval.
“You know,” it stated in ecstatic agreement, seeming delighted to orgasmic heights by Squall’s insight. “You’re like I was—before Mistress Chose me,” it sighed happily. “Clever, clever,” it said, bucking its hips against Squall’s and pushing its barely restrained erection against his thighs. “Sane, sane,” it said, giggling as if at a joke.
Squall swallowed hard through a throat too tight with fear to move. He threw his mind across the pond, watching the skipping stone bounce away before sinking out of sight. How he had gotten here—where he had been—Rinoa screaming as he slipped away—the sight of the almost-forgotten yellow eyes leering at him from what he thought was his past— all random ripples on the face of the water. If this twin had brought him here—had bridged a chasm of space, time— The walls between dimensions were made of the bones of old gods. If this lunatic reflection, this alternative to sanity, had brought him here, it had to be for want of something.
“Ultimecia—she chose you, didn’t she? To be her Knight. Not Seifer, but you—” Squall dared to ask a question of this parody of humanity.
A high squeal was his first response; the twin began licking its fingers one by one and drawing invisible designs over the skin of Squall’s face, his neck and collarbone, his breastbone and nipples, the saliva mixing with his blood.
“Not, not. No, no. Me, yes,” it sighed, rolling its eyes, then narrowing them dangerously. Just as quickly as its glee had come, it left and the twin hooked all ten claws into Squall’s shoulders, piercing skin through the shredded remains of his shirt bunched around his biceps. “Mistress chose me,” it whispered, leaning close to Squall’s ear and licking at the soft flesh of his lobe with a rough tongue. “Not the Other. Not the—not him,” and its tone turned angry and vindictive. It tore its claws out of Squall’s skin, and he shouted at the pain.
The twin absently lapped at the blood as it contemplated. “Not Seifer chosen, but me. I was always better,” it whispered softly on a whistling breath.
Squall closed his eyes and unwilling tears slid out. This was how close he had been to losing his mind to a monster—as close as his doppelganger was to him now. Had Ultimecia chosen him, would this have been the definite outcome? Had this dimension formed as an offshoot where Squall had been called rather than Seifer? Had he become Edea’s Knight, would this have been the fate of the world—? The ground beneath him, the jagged boulders looming around him a muddy, swampish brown-gray—all dead? Because of him?
The twin was watching him closely, and Squall had the uncomfortable feeling that it knew what he was thinking.
It laughed then, its mad little laugh that shivered coldly in the back of Squall’s mind, and it jumped to its feet in one motion.
“Now, I’ll show you. You’ll see what I am, and what you could have been.” Its face creased with sudden anger and dark resentment. “Should have been.”
A great dagger with a wide blade, wicked jagged edges and a gleaming tip appeared in its hands suddenly and Squall wondered where in its skimpy clothing it could have been hiding it. The twin shot forward and sliced at the air, and Squall felt a lock of hair fall from his head to the ground. Trembling, he sat up slowly.
Then, he stood and the twin leapt onto his back, scrabbling over his body with eager hands and searching fingers. It took hold of his jacket and tore at it rabidly, mangling the leather into shreds until it was nothing more than a black net revealing the scratches on his flesh underneath where the twin’s claws had caught his skin. It pulled it off of him and draped it over its shoulders, turning and pivoting for a moment as it looked down at itself admiringly. It shrugged and discarded the shredded garment then, forgetting it as soon as it was no longer looking at it.
“There,” it pointed in a direction. “The Mistress, the Castle. The Boneyard.” It walked away and Squall, not knowing why but feeling compelled to do so, followed.
Squall recognized Ultimecia’s palace. It sat in the distance, a blight on even this black- and red-skyed land. The walls of it bled and lightning crackled around it. There were tremors in the ground that grew stronger as they grew nearer—as if the beleaguered earth itself rejected the castle’s presence on its face.
“Mistress rules Time from there,” the twin said darkly, its tone and expression solemn. Now and then, Squall thought he glimpsed flashes of regret in the swirls of madness that tossed this wrong creature about. Squall thought that if he had been driven mad by the fist of Ultimecia around his brain, there might still be a part of him, deep, deep inside, that screamed forever.
“Hate you, hate you,” it screamed viciously, then, tightening its hands into fists. Squall watched the blood run where it pierced itself with its own claws. He noticed, suddenly, that its body—totally exposed around its leather wrappings—was covered in scars, punctures and slashes, as if made by the sharp nails of a creature dying to tear itself out of its own skin.
“Should be you. Should be you!” it screamed at him, so loudly that his words echoed into the dark abyss above them. The twin trembled, almost advanced, then shuddered and smiled calmly. “But I’m so happy to serve. Mistress, Mistress,” it crooned lovingly, turning its yellow eyes on the far-off castle.
Tears ran unchecked down Squall’s tears. Hyne, he was so frightened. More so than when he had fought Edea, and Griever, and Ultimecia herself. Confronted with the mad reality of his alternate self, Squall balked, searched for the courage to face the insanity he saw within his own self, and came up lacking.
What was this thing going to do to him? This split, this double with its taste for his blood…with its erection still pushing at the black leather, its lust hot on the tongue that had lapped at Squall’s wounds…its hatred for him, its resentment and contradicting wonder. The hunger in its eyes for him repulsed Squall—and made him shiver with fear. Something deep and primal within him, buried in the stem of his brain, screamed at him to run—but to where? Where would he find shelter in this dead apocalyptic world?
“To the Boneyard,” it said, suddenly starting off again, but this time keeping its amber eyes on Squall. It watched him obsessively, staring at him like an animal watching its quarry, waiting to pounce on the prey it has already named a meal.
It grabbed Squall’s arm—bare of everything but white shreds of tattered cotton bunched at the shoulders—and shoved him forward. Squall sprawled face-down in the dirt and the twin quickly clambered onto his back. It dug its knees into the base of his back, hard enough to bruise kidneys, and he cried out at the pain. It made no response but to push harder, and Squall stifled the shout in his throat.
“The Boneyard,” it hissed. “Fallen heroes. Dead fools. Old bones and rotted flesh—decayed matter for the crows.” It paused and shifted on Squall’s back. “When there were still crows left alive.”
Squall, who struggled to keep his head up and out of the mud, looked around. There were misshapen lumps of dirt, crude burial mounds all around him. Here and there he could see bones protruding from the earth where animals had dug up the shallow graves and pulled the bodies from their rest.
“They’re all here—the ones that tried to fight me— They all lost.” It grabbed Squall by the hair and jerked his head back, turning it in the direction it wanted him to look. “There, the one that was our friend—the marked one.” It traced the side of Squall’s face as it searched its illness-ridden brain for a name.
“Zell,” Squall said quietly and the twin jumped up and down on his back in delight.
“Yes, yes, him. And the others, all the others that Mistress showed me from the lighthouse—from the lighthouse on the beach…” Squall tried to follow the garbled speech of this raving lunatic, and thought of the lighthouse near the orphanage where he had lived until he was five. The others from the orphanage…
“Mm,” it sighed happily, rubbing its ass against Squall’s through his still-intact black leather pants. “Yes, the girl, and the tall one with all those dirty thoughts,” it said disapprovingly before giggling. “And—and—Quistis,” it said, sounding surprised at its own ability to remember. It chanted “Quistis” to itself for a short time while Squall looked around him at the bones and dirt, seeing it again in a different way.
“And him. The Other one. Mistress almost chose him. She almost—” it trailed off, then shouted, “Seifer! Seifer Almasy, the one with the dream to be a Sorcerer’s Knight!” It sounded almost coherent as it rocked back and forth on Squall’s back, releasing his hair from its clawed grip.
“And her, too. The little princess, little sorceress, little dead little girl. The other Angel, Kitten.”
Squall closed his eyes on a tear. Rinoa. He decided not to look around the Boneyard anymore, and focused instead on the patch of dirt inches from his face.
“Fucked her, I did. Before she died. While she was dying,” it amended with a high giggle.
Squall growled, then, shocked out of his fear-induced paralysis. He rolled quickly, surprising the twin and knocking it off of him. He did not have his gunblade, but he knew how to make his body a weapon, too.
“Oh, Kitten has claws, too!” it cried, hooking its fingers and swiping at the air.
It leapt for Squall, face twisted with a frightening rage, but he was ready. He sidestepped, shoving it to the ground as he moved. It latched onto his right leg though, and ripped through his pants and into his flesh.
He screamed as the mad ravener sliced deep, and he felt a muscle snap as the twin cut into it. Squall only just kept from falling to the right, leaning all his weight on his left side and reaching down to tear the twin away. It rolled and leapt to its feet, crouching battle-ready—but its eyes kept straying to the wealth of blood that gushed from the wide gash in Squall’s heel and it licked its blood-stained lips hungrily.
Squall focused suddenly on the knife that was tucked into the black leather band wrapped around the twin’s waist. The twin did not seem to notice it there, even though the blade had sliced into its skin and drawn blood that even now ran down its belly and over the hard knob of its pelvic bone.
He had to get the knife, somehow—he envisioned himself leaping for it, drawing it, and instantly sheathing it in the flesh and bone of the twin’s chest cavity, piercing whatever heart it had left.
The pain in his leg was growing unbearable; he had to move quickly. Not really thinking or planning beyond getting the knife, Squall limped forward and slammed his weight into his thinner-looking doppelganger. His hand slid down between their chests and grasped the hilt—grinning, he pulled, yanking it out, but the twin’s blood on it made it slippery and he lost his grip on it as he drew it. The knife slipped out of his hand and flew in a graceless arc away into the Boneyard.
Squall, afraid to turn away from his opponent to look for it, cried out in dismay and gripped his blood-soaked hand into a fist. His vision blurred and wavered—blood loss, fear, sweat and tears in his eyes—he could not see…
With a mad cry, the twin crashed forward, slamming into him. Squall saw it coming; his twin had lost skill with its mind, it seemed—it telegraphed every move it was about to make five minutes before it made it. Squall was just too weak to counter.
The world swung away for a long moment as Squall fell to the ground with the weight of a madman on his chest. He was knocked to the ground, his head hitting the hardness of a protruding bone.
“Hate you…want you…hate you but want you,” the twin moaned, bucking and writhing against him again while resting its fingers around his throat. It seemed to make a decision, somewhere in its twisted brain, and it sat up suddenly, resting bare buttocks on Squall’s crotch.
“I’ll have you, then,” it purred, and Squall recognized his own look of seduction on its face—his own prettiness utilized for coy smiles and come-hither glances.
“No,” Squall said, every cell and fiber of his being crying out that he not let this happen, even as the twin shredded open the front of his pants and deftly tore the fabric of both legs cleanly down from hip to heel. The material was pushed aside and ripped roughly out from under him, and his brief underpants were dispensed with even faster and with seeming contempt.
“No,” he said again, with more force, and summoned the energy that was being sapped away by the slowly oozing wound in his heel. Squall rose up as much as he could and tried to turn, but the twin ripped its claws across his arms, over his chest and lightly on his belly. The cuts it gave with its claws were shallow, but they bled quickly and freely. Squall’s skin was drowning in his own blood—and the twin eyed the little pools that collected in the valleys of Squall’s stomach and collarbone and groin muscles hungrily.
“Will have you. Will—will devour you—will eat you whole!”
It drove its claws into Squall’s arms, deep and penetrating the muscles of his biceps, to hold him down and then pushed its face into the blood. There came the famished slurping and sucking noises of a ravenous beast. Tongue and teeth worked at his nipples and followed the line of his breastbone. They dipped into his navel and swirled down the defined lines of his groin muscles, working at the knob of his pelvic bone and even gnawing on it with flatter back teeth. The twin’s throat worked as it made a gruesome meal of Squall’s blood.
“You’re the one that went right,” it said, darting suddenly up to bite hard into Squall’s lower lip. Squall cried out and swallowed a mouthful of his own blood, unable to stop it when the twin shoved its tongue into his mouth. “Other half, better half. Good boy, bad boy, yes and no. What would happen if I devoured you, Squall? If I chewed you up, swallowed you piece by piece? Made you quiver and come and bleed and then ate you for my dinner? Would I be good, then, too? Would I be sane? Would our two halves make one whole?” It hissed into Squall’s mouth, lapping at his tongue and lips between sentences.
It slipped a hand between the slickness of their two bodies—coated both in sweat and blood—and reached for Squall’s cock. Squall stiffened, angered, amazed, ashamed, confused, to find himself hardening. Repulsed as he was by this dark negative of his, this funhouse mirror image, he was also drawn to it. Maybe it was because the twin was his alternate self, the Squall that could have been, or perhaps it was because it was his opposite, his shadow. Squall found himself arching up into the claw-tipped hands that caressed and scraped the sensitive skin of his half-arousal in equal parts.
Squall moaned and the twin laughed, the sound becoming a groan of its own. It sat up and pulled the crisscross of leather straps over its erection away, then briefly pressed it against Squall’s. Then, running its claws over Squall’s legs just hard enough to draw blood—Squall jerking with each inch of pain—it slid down his body and settled between Squall’s legs. It leaned forward quickly then, and clamped its mouth over Squall’s full erection—Squall jerking with each inch of tongue—sucking and biting and drawing blood at the same time with sharpened fanged teeth.
Squall writhed and screamed, clawing at the earth, gripping an old bone, and tearing at the twin’s hair—cried out in pain and pleasure, shame and fear and anger. He couldn’t fight, he was helpless, and he had submitted.
And he came, and the twin swallowed quickly, greedily, licking what spilled. It threw its head back and gave a fierce cry of triumph before seizing Squall with strong hands and grabbing him, twisting him, rolling and pulling him and pushing him onto his stomach. Squall, knowing what the twin wanted, seeing it in its eyes, tried to crawl away and screamed even before the demented creature drove into him from behind.
He screamed again, and again, and there was no pleasure here, now. The twin pounded into him mercilessly, ripping him open with its thrusts. Blood eased the way, but the twin threw its whole body forward with each count, hooking its hands around Squall’s waist and half-lifting him to meet each stab.
Squall screamed without knowing he was doing it, tears soaking his face, because there was more pain than what the twin was physically causing him. There was magic at work, here, and he tasted a memory—a scent of shadow that he had buried away—a monster that watched and took part in his pain and gloated over each scream. Ultimecia was there, half inside the twin, half inside Squall himself. She ripped at him with psychic claws even as the twin dragged its sharpened nails over Squall’s flesh repeatedly. She—as Mistress of Time and a mutant creation of a warp in space—connected to the Fate of all her counterparts across the dimensions—took revenge for the evil sorceress that Squall had defeated. She was ripping him apart from the inside while the demon/twin did the work on his body.
Squall heard his voice failing him as he sobbed hoarsely into the dirt, drawing mud into his mouth as he gasped for air. Still the twin drove into him, and he buried his own face in the mud. He stared into it, the gray dirt, its color the color of chaos—of all colors run together, order lost, rainbow shattered and melted down for the gold.
“For me,” the twin gasped, breath lost in the heated action of rape, lust and insanity driving it equally mad, now. It leaned forward over Squall’s back, chest and leather rubbing scratched and bleeding flesh, and it sank its teeth into the flesh stretched over his jutting right shoulder blade.
Squall arched up, pulling his face out of the mud and opening his mouth in a silent scream. The twin was tearing and gnawing, gnashing at his skin with its teeth and then it had pulled back with a choked sound of glee. It chewed on the bite of Squall’s flesh it had pulled free, bouncing happily in and out of his torn and bleeding channel, now.
Then, it screamed and giggled insanely as it orgasmed, jerking spasmodically inside of Squall until it pulled out and moaned, long and low. It bent over Squall for a moment, panting and dripping blood from its mouth onto his back.
Squall was unresisting and limp as the twin turned him over, rolling him onto his side. Squall let his arms flop out and willed himself to pass out, just faint, just lose consciousness—just die.
The twin rubbed a hand in the wound on Squall’s shoulder blade and held up its blood-soaked fingers before drawing its claws across its left cheek. It blood fell, mingling with Squall’s. The twin had only pressed with three of its nails; the scratch marks looked like they could have been made by a cat.
“Want to kill you, want to keep you. Which shall I do?” the twin asked after a moment. It leaned back, stretching its legs out before it and crossing them at the ankles. It regarded its hands, weighing them like a scale.
Kill me, Squall begged silently, mouthing the words because he could not make himself speak.
The twin was utterly engrossed in its study of its hands, and Squall looked away from the mad gleam in the mirror image of his own eyes.
He closed his eyes and urged his mind to drift. Maybe it was the similarity in circumstances—lost in time, in Ultimecia’s grip once more—but Squall found himself imagining the field by the orphanage where Rinoa had promised to wait for him.
He saw the blue sky, cloudless and stretching on forever—and the flowers growing so close together it was like a carpet of petals. The breeze blew gently, stirring Rinoa’s hair. She turned slowly around, her eyes distant as she searched for something. Squall looked around, hoping to help her, but saw nothing but more flowers. He looked to her for a clue for what she could be looking for, but she did nothing. He was just about to drift away and follow the breeze in the flowers when he saw her lips move.
Squall. Squall. She was mouthing his name, no sound, he could not hear her, but it was his name on her lips.
I’m here, Rinoa. I’m here, he called silently, sadly, remembering that this was only a dream.
Then she turned to him, and her eyes widened.
Squall, she said again, her lips tightening, her eyes narrowing. She reached out her hand.
Lying in the mud amidst the other corpses and waiting for his mad twin to decide his fate, Squall reached out his hand towards the black and red sky boiling above him.
A white feather dropped slowly into the blood on his palm, the pure softness spoiled instantly. The twin’s insane gibbering stopped abruptly as it turned to regard the feather curiously.
“What’s that?” it asked.
Squall was yanked sideways and then he fell up into the sky. Black coal glistening like oil and water sloshed inside his head and the tears of a stone drowned him until he could not breathe. A bleeding doll danced in a fire and he shied from it, curling in on himself despite the pain.
“Squall? Oh—oh, Squall.”
The voice of a tear. He opened his eyes and felt the flowers pressing his sides and legs, the soft fabric of Rinoa’s dress over her knees cradling his head. He looked into her eyes, brown and beautiful, and whimpered, a weak and pitiful thing to do, but all he could manage.
“Squall, what happened? Hyne—what did they do to you?”
Others drew closer, familiar faces that, for some reason, he had thought were buried with old bones in a muddy yard in Hell.
“Squall, please, where did you go? Who did this to you?” she cried, and he closed his eyes, turned his cheek into her lap in the only gesture of comfort he could give.
Fragments of time swirled, darkness dropped, blood-soaked pain chased him on. He gave a hitching sigh and let himself fade from consciousness—running from memory and thought as fast as he could.
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