Faust (3)

Jan. 28th, 2016 08:44 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 1.27.2016

I need to keep this fresh in my mind before I write it, yeah? ULQUIHIME!

~

She was late. 

Ulquiorra could not recall the last time it had taken him more than ten minutes to retrieve an herb from the garden. He fought the urge to tap a finger against his desk. Its surface, he noticed, was no longer dusty. The woman had seen to that. Somehow this only made his irritation grow.

“If she cannot identify rosemary by now, she’s hardly worth your time.” Kokuto picked scum from his fingernails with the tip of a dagger. “Even that witch Unohana’s pious assistants are capable of that much.” He smirked to himself. “The tall one–what is her name again? I’m having so much fun with her. Such monstrous height, and she can’t even have the decency to flower into a beautiful woman.“

“I am surprised Unohana hasn’t tried to stop you.”

I’m surprised you still think Unohana cares about anyone but herself.” Kokuto threw Ulquiorra a grin. “You’re both cut from the same cloth.”

The study door creaked open and the woman rushed in, footfalls echoing off the high ceilings, her boots still covered in snow. Kokuto, of course, had vanished. Ulquiorra had a quip prepared, but the distressed expression on her face turned it into a question. “What happened?”

She stopped to catch her breath, the ends of her long brown hair sweeping across the surface of his desk. Without a word, she thrust her arms out towards him. Ulquiorra observed a mess of blood and feathers cupped in her gloved hands, staining the white fabric red. “Please,” she gasped. “I am not yet knowledgeable enough to save it.”

Ulquiorra’s eyes lifted from the bird to the woman. “You have delayed our lesson for an insignificant kestrel?”

Her own eyes met his, and he was struck again by the life in them. How transparent, her soul: its light illuminated her entire being. “This bird was attacked. Look how it still breathes! Is it not the very purpose of a doctor to mend a creature, as long as it still breathes?”

“If the bird allowed itself to be attacked, it does not deserve to live. Go put it back in the mouth of whatever flea bitten mongrel you found it in.”

The woman recoiled from him slowly, brows drawn, tears unshed. Her disgust struck Ulquiorra with all the force of a fist in the stomach. “Never mind. I will tend to the bird myself.” She cradled her bloodied hands to her chest and marched towards the door, where she hesitated before turning back to him. “It is true that your knowledge is unparalleled in this land, Mr. Cifer, but I do not have it in my heart to call such a cynical man a doctor.”

As soon as her footsteps had faded, Kokuto reappeared. “There, you are rid of her at last. Shall I tell Giriko to prepare the carriage for her return home?”

Ulquiorra sat back in his desk chair, unable to erase the image of her blood-stained gloves from his mind.

Some hours later, Ulquiorra emerged from the shadows of another study, one the woman had claimed as her own. In daylight t had a view of the snow-covered garden in back of the house, and beyond that, the rising slope of the mountain, its gnarled and tangled trees. The room itself was sparsely furnished: a work bench, a sofa, a fireplace, a sink. 

Here Ulquiorra found the woman, dozing at the bench. In the glow of the firelight he could see the leftover tracks of tears on her cheeks. Before her, a rusted cage she had procured from God knew where contained the injured bird. Ulquiorra reached past the woman to open the cage door and inspect her work. Having no knowledge of avian anatomy, she had done her best to stitch the wounds, but it was clear the bird still suffered. It gazed at Ulquiorra with eyes glossy and beak open.

Ulquiorra removed his glove. He drew a penknife from his coat pocket and pricked his thumb, then held it over the mouth of the bird until a drop of blood landed on its tongue. The bird blinked rapidly. Its wings fluttered once, twice, then it hopped to its feet and regarded Ulquiorra with a tilt of the head. He closed the cage door and licked his thumb to heal the self-inflicted wound.

Beside him, the woman sighed in her sleep. Ulquiorra watched the firelight cast dancing shadows upon her face. “Cut from the same cloth, am I?” he whispered, then left the room the way he’d come.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 1/8/2015

 The Faust AU.

~

Springtime on the heather. Beautiful, such lovely weather. Butterflies through the iron bars, black and blue. She thought of hell.

Flowers, little daisies, geraniums, morning glories, forget-me-nots. Colorful petals plucked by colorful girls, sighing over lovers real or imagined. Running past the iron bars with laughter on their lips, and she laughed with them.

Melting snow from mountain passes, making the rivers swell, the waters murmur, feeding the grass and the forgotten dead beneath it. Quicker currents to stand in, to wash away stains from white sheets, to carry her sins downstream. God cast sins into rivers to forget them; she’d merely done the same.

The sun came through the iron bars, the sun slipped out of them again at night. Someone had told her once that she was like the sun, and yet, there she remained. Day in and day out, the spring and the merry-making and the Easter preparations underway, and no one was thinking of her, and no one cared, and nobody loved her and no one ever had.

She’d loved a man who’d tasted like the gates of hell. She’d loved him, yes; a love so pure. She’d loved him and told him she was afraid and he’d left her anyway, and she’d cast her sins into the river, and now she would be punished for playing God.

The spring would swell the banks and bring the waters to her six feet under and the water would taste like green eyes and a tuft of auburn hair and tiny fingers that gripped hers with an innocent coo, and she would cry, and she would wail, and her lamentations would ring through the mountains for all of eternity.

And he would never come, and he would never rescue her, and he would never love her again.

Moonlight

Apr. 28th, 2015 05:53 pm
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 12/8/2014

Faust AU on the brain, and I don’t think I’ve actually written an interaction between F!Ulqui and Hime yet. This may or may not make it into the story.

~

It was bitterly cold. Darkness reigned, the pale moon above doing little more than separating shadows from each other. The air was thinner at this altitude; Orihime felt lightheaded, but she refused to complain. She walked with her arms out in front of her, cloak dragging, fallen leaves and snow and twigs crunching beneath the boots she’d been provided.

“Stay close to me,” the doctor had told her, “don’t wander off.”

But she’d lost sight of him in the night, wondering how he could walk so certainly through woods that looked the same to her. As far as she could tell, there was no path, no destination. He hadn’t even told her where they were going…

A light caught the corner of her eye. Orihime stopped, breathing heavily, seeking the source of the illumination. There was a flame suspended in the air several feet away. “Hello?” she called out to it. “Doctor, is that you?”

The flame bounced back and forth in response. Orihime couldn’t see a body attached to the torch, but it was so dark, the glare could have merely been obscuring the person holding it. She walked towards it, tree branches grasping at her clothes and tickling her chin. It was getting closer, closer now, then growing distant as if it were walking away from her. “Wait!” she cried, picking up a side of her skirt and breaking into a jog.

Her foot came down on open air. A strangled scream tore from her throat. At the same moment, a hand seized her upper arm and pulled her roughly backwards, away from the cliff that she had very nearly fallen off of. Orihime looked behind her. The afterimage of the flame burned in her eyes, but she saw moonlight in the doctor’s green. “I believe I told you not to wander off, woman.”

“Y-You’re hurting me,” she whispered. She could feel his grip on her arm straight to the bone.

He let her go and turned his back on her. “These woods are dangerous. Keep your eyes on me. Do not look about you.”

Orihime nodded wordlessly, rubbing her aching skin as she followed after him again. But she couldn’t help the chill that ran down her spine. Something in that forest had just tried to kill her. Something inhuman, supernatural; something the doctor knew about… and wasn’t afraid of. 

Prologue

Apr. 28th, 2015 05:03 pm
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 10/31/2014

Faust AU, because it’s spooky.

~

Marseille wasn’t what it used to be. Everywhere you went, warning signs. Everywhere you looked, carts wheeling off the dead. The smell of them was inescapable. Must have been the reason for that “pocketful of posies” line in the tune he was whistling.

Not that he was complaining. This kind of chaos was right up his alley. The plague, that pet project of his, had put up a good fight a few centuries ago. Marseille would probably be its last hurrah. Why not drop in to enjoy the scenery?

Stopping in an all but deserted part of the city, he craned his neck towards a building from which there came one steady voice among pained groans. “There he is,” he muttered, sauntering up the front steps of the residence and knocking with a politeness that was almost mocking. When no one bade him enter, he grabbed the handle and threw the door open. “Hello!” he called into the house. “Anyone alive in here?”

How depressing. The owner of the building must have been sick for a while; they hadn’t even bothered to clean up for him. The only thing not covered in a thin layer of dust was a long black coat, draped across a nearby chair. He grinned, locating the stairs and taking them two at a time.

Here the voices grew louder until, upon entering a cramped bedroom, he found the source at last. An old woman lay dying on her cot, breathing ragged, eyes unfocused. Perched on a stool beside the bed, a young man, black hair, impeccable posture, timing the pulse at her wrist. He hadn’t even flinched at the presence of the intruder.

The woman, however, laid eyes on the cheerful white-haired youth and became dreadfully pale. Her lips flapped uselessly before her voice caught up with her mouth. “Doctor,” she whispered, “send him away. He ain’t welcome here.”

“Do not be afraid, Madame. He is not here for you,” said the doctor.

“What a rude old woman! Shame she’s lasted this long, I’m bored. Got anymore patients after her, or will the great Doctor Ulquiorra Cifer finally admit that even his arts can’t help these wretches?”

“You ain’t welcome here,” the old woman moaned. “I may be poor, but I’m a good Christian. I go to be with my God soon!”

Ulquiorra turned away from her, lifting his hand as if in greeting. His fingernails were black. “If I could stop the spread of it in my own body, surely I can do something for them,” he declared. “Am I wrong, Kokuto?”

Kokuto laughed out loud, coming closer to inspect the damage done to the doctor’s hands. The old woman nearly had a fit. “Not wrong, my friend. Just naive. Naive and so very, very young.” He made a disgusted face at the gasping, fish-eyed patient and took a few steps back. “Well, I hate to stay where I’m not wanted. When you’re done trying to best me, meet me in Paris. I found a guy who’ll build you that house you want.”

Ulquiorra said nothing in response. Kokuto shrugged and retreated down the stairs, the sound of his whistle fading with distance. The woman turned pitying eyes on Ulquiorra, who occupied himself with her pulse again, as if they hadn’t been interrupted. “Oh Doctor…”

“Save your breath, Madame. You will have all of eternity for piety.” 
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 9/4/2014

 Prompt #2: The Faust AU. Title is the opening sentence of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Adult themes if you squint.

~

Ghosts were almost synonymous with the cold.

When people felt a sudden chill enter the room, they attributed the draft to the presence of a ghost. Laughing, but in a nervous way. Their eyes seeking apparitions in swirling dust motes, ominous messages woven into silk cobwebs. They shivered. Massaged their fingers.

But when he touched her, she burned.

Were he a phantom, she would not have felt so much heat. Were he anything less than a man of flesh, she would not have thirsted, lips parted, gasping for the winter air.

She had assumed. That chilly demeanor. Those icy eyes. Biting words. Frozen heart. Surely someone who looked as if they had been carved from a glacier could retain no human warmth.

Then he touched her, and she burned.

His hands moved as urgently as a wildfire, and her body was the brush. He was a fever that made her ache, too sensitive to touch. He was the pyre on which she laid her heart in willing sacrifice.

The cold, at least, had the decency to put one to sleep before it killed.

But he was the flame that raged and consumed, and she cried out to God to deliver her because the smoke was so thick that she could no longer find a way out of a life that threatened to collapse on top of her. Could God even see her, so cloaked in sin? Soot flooded her lungs. She needed to breathe. She was frightened.

She was unashamed.

Her love for him was that of a body on fire: agonized by its embrace, enamored by its promise of salvation through death.

His love for her was like hellfire: easy to fall prey to, demanding her very soul, leaving nothing left of her but ashes.

Faust (2)

Apr. 28th, 2015 03:06 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 7/22/2014

Testing, 1, 2…

~

Living more than a hundred years had a way of spinning cobwebs on memories, caking them in the dust of the people who had died before him, the ash of all the bridges he’d burned. But other memories stayed with him, as fresh as spring flowers. They came back to him in dreams as his soul, still weakly grasping the hand of heaven, tried to purge him of the sins he’d committed in the past.

“Your friend’s awful stiff, ain’t he?”

“He’s just shy! Give him some of that ale and he’ll loosen up fast enough. Right, Ulquiorra? Tell the ladies you’re shy.”

“What kinda name is that? Latin, innit? I know some Latin too. Never remember it ‘til I’m in bed though.”

“And there you have it, Doctor. A wink of approval from the filthiest whore this side of Europe. Not half bad at incantations either.”

And everyone had danced and sang and made merry, save for Doctor Ulquiorra Cifer, who had a rule against making merry in such a miserable world. He’d always suspected there were devils in those woods, and now he knew for certain. The ghouls, the crones, the wizards, the pagans, and the depraved, all spinning crazed circles around the creature he’d accidentally trapped in his home with a pentagram. Where he himself fit into that picture, he wasn’t sure.

The memory still echoed around the back of Ulquiorra’s mind as he descended into his study a little past dawn. Its windows were frosted over; fresh snow had fallen on the mountains overnight, further blocking the path to the village at the foothills below. There was no hope of sending that woman back, then.

Where was the woman, anyhow? She was usually there by sunrise, a book on her lap, ready to pester him with her incessant questions…

“Missing something?” Ulquiorra’s gaze fell upon Kokuto, who had procured a cravat, a naval jacket, and a hat since the day before. It would have made for a handsome picture, had it not been for the side of his face that was disfigured, twisted and leering and smelling of rotting flesh.

“The girl,” Ulquiorra said.

“Orihime Inoue, yes?” Kokuto marched in front of a standing looking glass and struck a pose. “If I had to guess, I’d say she’s gone to be with the Lord by now.” He stole a peek at Ulquiorra, relishing the slight widening of his eyes. “Poor thing doesn’t stand much of a chance against the elements in such thin underclothes.”

His words had their desired effect. Ulquiorra shoved him out of the way of the looking glass and put his hand on its surface. The reflected image rippled, slowly at first, then faster until it had changed into a vision of blinding snow. In that vast expanse of white, he saw the flaming tendrils of the woman’s hair being whipped about by the wind. She was practically buried. Ulquiorra turned to Kokuto, pale with unspeakable rage. “Why is she outside?”

Kokuto shrugged helplessly. “Why don’t you ask her maid?”

Ulquiorra bit down on his thumb hard enough to draw blood. “I intend to.” He tilted the looking glass until it was parallel to the floor, pressed his bleeding thumb onto it, drew a line under the woman’s prone form, and symbols at her head and feet. Kokuto took several cautious steps backwards.

“How about I fetch the maid for you?” he said, not waiting around for an answer. Ulquiorra was already reaching into the looking glass, his anger growing exponentially when the bitter cold struck his exposed hands. He was almost shoulder deep in the mirror before he had a secure enough hold on the woman, and he lifted her out of the snow, out of the shrieking wind, and into the warmth of his study.

Her muscles were stiff, breaths coming in weak little gasps. Her skin was pale, making the blood he’d smeared on her neck that much brighter, and the sight of it repulsed him. But he had no time to waste. Lowering his mouth to hers, he breathed into her, and felt warmth spreading rapidly through her body beneath his hands. She began to shiver, whimpering in her sleep. Ulquiorra’s tongue swept over his lips. He’d been alive far too long to not recognize the taste of a sleeping draught.

Someone had tried to kill the girl. In his own home. And when Kokuto brought the rat to him, they would discover just how much of a demon their master truly was.

Faust (1)

Apr. 28th, 2015 02:07 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 7/8/2014

 Testing, 1, 2, 3…

~

There existed no such thing as a moment’s peace, however. Within minutes of retreating to his office, Ulquiorra sensed the room grow stuffier, as if he had stepped onto the precipice of an enormous pot of steaming water. He did not turn to greet the man who emerged from the shadows. “My,” said his companion, “no pentagrams to shut me out today? You must be in a good mood.”

“Who knows better than you?”

“Indeed.” Kokuto walked over to the heavy oak desk in the center of the room and admired the trinkets there. “It has not escaped my notice that your soul is rather perturbed.” His one eye landed on a single flower, strewn across the open pages of medical text. It was a rare bloom, the most romantic mauve, its petals soft, still full of life despite having been severed at the stem. He lifted it from the book, turning it over in his hand, and his lip curled in disgust. “Where did this come from?”

Ulquiorra remained studiously focused on the world beyond the glass. Kokuto was beside him in an instant, the flower pinched between his thumb and index finger, and he followed the doctor’s gaze into the garden. There flitted the graceful form of a woman, young in face but voluptuous in body. She bent over the roses and caressed them with the utmost care, a sweet smile bringing a pretty, healthy glow to her cheeks. “Oh,” Kokuto murmured, “you’ve allowed the wench into your garden now?”

Ulquiorra’s brow lowered ever so slightly. “I could not keep her from it.”

“Seems to me that you are incapable of keeping her from many things.” Kokuto twirled his captive flower around and around until a petal detached itself and made a twisting descent to the floor. “I’m almost disappointed, that someone with your power could allow himself to be governed by a teenaged girl.”

Below, the girl retrieved a watering can and lovingly tipped it over the roses. Ulquiorra’s fingers curled.

“Did you feel that, Doctor Cifer? I doubt it, so allow me to enlighten you. Your soul,” Kokuto jerked the flower carelessly to the side, “pitched a little just now. The most life I’ve felt from it in at least two hundred years. And do you know what that tells me?”

“I don’t care.”

Kokuto grinned. “As long as you are aware.” He tilted the flower towards Ulquiorra in offering. Ulquiorra regarded it dispassionately. “It may be hypocritical coming from me, sir, but you should be careful what you wish for.” The flower burst into flame in his hand. “Some things aren’t worth the sacrifice.”

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