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a Fugue

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a Fugue

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Title: (a Fugue)
Fandom/pairing: Inception, Ariadne/Mal
Summary: Ariadne doesn't know what it's like to be one half of a whole.
Notes: This is actually a very small snippet. It wants to be something huge and more... well, fugue-ish, but I cannot make it be what it wants. Someone else maybe could, I don't know. Anyways, it's for this kinkmeme prompt, which someone else already filled in the, oh, month and a half I was dithering at my less-than-1k little beastie here. Prompt was Ariadne/Mal, during their first meeting in Cobb's dream. Mal corners Ariadne in the hotel room and threatens her with the broken wineglass. Violent sex, bloodplay.

She knows full well that it's her own damn fault. She knows that she should have known better than to come down here. With a man like Cobb, and an elevator like that, she knows that she should have waited, should have gone down when there was some hope of him following her here. But she also knows that he's not going to tell her what's going on, and that she has to find out for herself.

Which- well. That's not working out so great.

Ariadne knows, at some level, that this isn't real. She knows that she could grab Mal's wrist, jam the broken glass hard enough into her throat to slit it, and wake up. Or she could throw herself out the window, if she could get across the room. Or she could take the gun from where it's strapped to Mal's thigh, visible through that scandalous/elegant slit in her dress. Or she could scream, and maybe Cobb would come down here, and he'd be hurt and angry but he'd get her out of here, get her back up to that beach at the top level.

Why she doesn't, though, is sort of hard to say. It's not that she wants to be pressed up against a wall with glass cutting up under her chin and a terrifying tragic Frenchwoman undoing her jeans. But she doesn't not want it, and she's so curious, and Mal keeps jamming the glass in every time she tries to ask a question, so instead she's going to wait and see. She's got an exit strategy or two, and that's enough to keep her from lashing out, from fighting back. Her heart is pounding, yes, insofar as she has a heart within the abstraction of someone else's deepest fears and regrets, and her breath's coming in shallow gasps, yes, insofar as her own mental construct of herself can breathe. That-- that is why this is okay. Because Ariadne knows that she's lying perfectly still on a cheap plastic lawn chair, breathing evenly and deeply, completely safe and content. She's safe, she's safe and she's maybe about to get torn to shreds and it might hurt like hell, but that's only in the mind, Ariadne knows, and she knows that a little pain is worth a little information, so maybe that ratio holds when she gets into bigger magnitudes of both.

It doesn't... precisely hurt, yet, is the thing. The jagged crystal hasn't broken the skin (yet), and Mal's hand, halfway shoved into her jeans, is shaking, frozen. It takes Ariadne a long, frozen moment to realize that all of Mal is shaking, that she's crying properly rather than melodramatically, that she's given up on vague monologues and, indeed, language altogether.

“Hey,” Ariadne tries. She can't think of a good reason not to, honestly. “Hey, shh, don't cry.” She's not so brave as to try moving her hands, but she tilts her chin back, presses her neck into the glass lightly. Lets Mal see her surrender. A hard tremor runs through Mal's body, her delicate shoulders, her sharp elbows, her twisted wrist where it's pressed into Ariadne's belly. Ariadne jerks, almost loses her balance; the pads Mal's fingers are pressed down between her legs, now, and each time she twitches, tenses, her fingers dig in deeper. It hurts, and it's good, and Ariadne wants to ask something but Mal finally talks.

“Do you know what it is like,” her vowels are tight and foreign and Ariadne loves French, she does, but even more she loves what it does to English-- and no, for the record, she does not know what it's like, she doesn't know what anything at all as like; Ariadne shakes her head, just barely, but it's enough for the glass to scratch her under the chin, and she squeaks. Mal continues, ignores her. "Do you know what it is like to be a lover, one half of a whole-"

Ariadne knows where this is going, on some level, but this is also definitely not a thing that she has experienced. She shakes her head again, intentionally leaning into the glass this time. She can feel a small, hot trickle of blood drip down where a point's piercing her, and it itches and she wants badly to wipe it away. "No," says Mal, "You don't, do you. I could not tell you what it is like, the metaphors-" she stops, sobs, once, all tight and contained, "It is not enough, to use words, I could not tell you. I could not even show you. You must know, you canot know until you know." Ariadne cuts her off, there, leans forward into the sharp edge and catches Mal's lips, and kisses her even as the glass pushes hard into her artery. It's not enough, she knows; it's not enough to kill her, or even help her what it is like to be a lover, and now she's going to bleed to death in the arms of a ghost. And maybe that's something of what it's like, because Mal's crying freely now, and kissing her face, her forehead, the bridge of her nose, the side of her mouth, her jaw. Mal's lips come away wet with Ariadne's blood, and Ariadne kisses it off her, and hopes she bleeds fast so she doesn't have to watch this beautiful thing so unhappy.

"Help me," she murmurs, when Mal's lips reach the side of her neck, and Mal drops the glass. It doesn't break when it hits the plush carpet, but the sound it makes is beautiful, nearly silent. "No," Mal whispers into the cut. "This is for you, you wanted to know." Mal's tears sting, and Ariadne's feeling fuzzy, and she just wants to die, now, she really does. Except, Mal's shoving her bloodied hand down along Ariadne's hips, shoving her jeans down around her hips, and the hand she's already got between Ariadne's legs digs in, pushes hard just above Ariadne's clit, and it's so good and so painful and Ariadne can't help herself, she just can't.

As her vision fades harsh white-- dying, coming, waking up, Ariadne doesn't know what it is but it's terrifying and beautiful-- she summons exactly enough breath to tell Mal, "I'm sorry."
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