For: j_crew_guy, I hope you like it.
Length: 1,200 words
Disclaimer: Dogma doesn't belong to me, and nor does the Bible. Please take this story in the spirit in which it's intended: as an affectionate riff on a work of satire.
Notes: This was written for the Afflection Remix 2005; it's a remix of First Time by Charles.
I am terrified, and the terrors of death crush me.
I am gripped with fear and trembling; I am overcome with horror.
I wish I had wings, like a dove. I would fly away and find rest.
I would fly far away and make my home in the desert. (Psalm 55)
Feathers. Feathers hang suspended all around Loki like frozen motes, as Bartleby saws through his left wing. At first Loki doesn't understand what's happening, but as the blade slices through his skin the air trembles, everything's limned with a blinding light, and Loki blinks, blinks, trying to focus... and when he does--as the last sinew of wing parts from his back--everything's different.
One moment he's eternal. God's creature. He's a rock in time's path, solid and unmovable as its currents eddy around him. All moments are one: he's there when light first flashes into the sky, blessed into being by God's grace; he's there, watching from above, when the seas first boil with life; he's there, awed by the miracle, when She takes clay and breathes life into it; he's there in Eden, waiting to do the job She's given him: judging the first humans, driving them from the garden. And through it all, there's no sense of time passing. In that same, eternal moment: he's walking out of Sodom, Bartleby by his side; he's covered in the blood of thousands; he's so tired and Bartleby is so persuasive; he's biting his own apple, held out to him in Bartleby's gentle fingers (the same fingers ripping him apart now, no gentleness in their touch); he's cast out; he's enduring all the graceless years on earth; his memories stretch forever; he's endless.
And then he's not.
The suspended feathers unfreeze, falling all around him, and Loki screams as time moves him, finally snatching him up in its grasp and pushing him forward, relentlessly, towards the endpoint of his own existence.
It hurts as his body changes; hurts like nothing ever has as his skin stretches, unfolds, becomes fertile. But that isn't what makes his throat hoarse with screaming.
God's grace is gone... the constant thrum of it is gone from his blood, leaving him alone in his own skin, just another mortal of Adam's line. Leaving him empty, but for the unwelcome realisation that free will is no longer a sin, but perfection is never achievable while he wears this form. And how do they manage it? How do all these mortals stand this emptiness, this screaming want for God?
Feathers. Feathers drift and settle gently against the ground. Gentle, in a way that reminds Loki of yesterday's Bartleby, and he feels a fierce swelling of some immense, unnameable thing filling him up. It wells up higher and higher until it spills out of his mouth.
"I want you," he calls (screams) to Bartleby. "I want you to be the first." It feels like a Prophecy on his tongue. First in his heart. First in his body. First to love him, even though he knows it's God he should invite in first. But with this new sense of time (tick-ticking away, his end drawing nearer every moment, the new-found fear of it clutching at him, cold and deep in his belly) God's touch is just a distant memory. He's lost hope of it, but he needs something, anything, to ease this ache. Needs it now, now, now.
Bartleby lowers himself from the sky, and breath catches in Loki's throat at how beautiful he is, even slicked with gore and smiling an unfamiliar hard-edged smile. Loki doesn't care. He just wants Bartleby to touch him.
Loki rips off his clothes and offers himself up, new erection burgeoning from soft curls that scratch against his skin.
Bartleby's hand on him is rough and sudden and unlovely; nothing like the familiar, peaceful touch of all their millennia together.
"That's nice," Bartleby says, his hand stroking and twisting.
Bartleby's grip is rough and hot and frighteningly close to too much and feels so unbelievably good. Loki pants with it, eyes sliding shut, knowing that he's flushed and sweating and that he used to think this was funny--the silly way humans reacted to sex--but there's nothing funny about this.
Still jerking Loki's cock with hard, careless strokes, Bartleby curls the fingers of his other hand possessively around Loki's neck and pulls him closer. It unleashes a cascade of new emotions inside Loki's chest: gratitude and shame and a desperate lurch of yes and more. Then, on the next swell of feeling, comes a sudden understanding of Eve and her desire to know what comes next. Because Loki wants, suddenly and fiercely as he stares into Bartleby's alien eyes, to follow this path all the way to its end: to ecstasy, to reciprocity, to conception, to a baby. To no longer being just one thing swirled around at fate's whim, but to split into parts; pieces of him spinning off into time, one after another in chains of blood and genes and life. And, God! Bartleby should fall as a woman! Such a brilliant idea... a woman with a womb... and why didn't Loki think of that possibility himself? And no wonder God so often chose to wear the female form. Because just the idea... to give life instead of taking it away. How seductive. How miraculous. And Loki had been there when She had made people, turning inanimate nothingness into heat and want and fear and sin and love. And now, by some miracle, Loki has the chance to make life too! He looks at Bartleby: the familiar turn of his mouth, the delight shining from his eyes, the way he's completely focused on everything he's making Loki feel with each rough jerk of his hand on Loki's cock...
Orgasm is like falling all over again. The pain of it. The freedom of it. Loki wants to kill something; make something. He wants to press Bartleby close. Strip him bare. Lick at the gore covering his hands. Split him... no her... open, plant himself inside for ever and ever. Stain Bartleby with their shared sin. He opens his mouth but all that spills out is a grunt. Animalistic and probably, from the outside, absurd, conveying nothing of this riotous mass of ecstatic colour swirling inside his body. Bartleby murmurs something in his ear, the warmth of his breath sending another wave of sparks through Loki's body, and it's almost too much to bear. His eyes prickle, and the awful emptiness inside him is gone, and he feels whole and full and real, and God! God! God! this is the best choice he's ever made.
Then, before he's ready, before he can find words, Bartleby's gone; back up into the sky while the last tremors of pleasure are still fading from Loki's flesh.
His blood pounds in his ears and far overhead, beyond his reach, there's the familiar hush, hush of wings.
And everywhere he looks, like unmelting snow on the black of the tarmac, are the bloody, wind-blown thistles of his own abandoned feathers.