Author: hikaru / _regarde
Archive: Please ask permission.
Feedback: If you so desire.
Warnings: Character death and some disturbing imagery
Pairings: Severus Snape/Regulus Black
Disclaimer: They're all J. K. Rowling's, and I've got the feeling that she'd have my head for this.
Summary: An experimental look at the last days of Regulus Black.
Notes: For 20_claims, prompt 003, "ends."
It is forbidden, and it is deadly.
"Don't do it."
"I've got to."
Frantic hands pull at neckties and buttons and belts in the darkness. It is their last night together.
"It's a goddamned death sentence, you know."
"I can't lose you."
The hands stop, and there is silence, save for the heavy breathing of both young men.
"I can't lose you."
"It's not the end of the world, Severus."
"The fuck you say, Reg."
Feet thud against the floor, and there is rapid pacing, a maddening stomp against aged floors. He does not care who hears him, he does not care if his noise wakes the entire house.
"Oi, calm down." A second set of feet hit the floor.
"God." He laughs, a rough sound, an unfamiliar sound. It is a mirthless laugh, cold and unforgiving. "You just don't understand, do you? You're going to just fucking up and leave me because you've decided to finally be noble for once?"
"It's the only chance we've got."
"What is this 'we' you're theorising, Regulus? There won't be a 'we', because he'll kill you the instant he realises what you've done, you idiot."
"And what makes you believe he'll find out?"
"He knows everything." There is that laugh again, followed by a heavy sigh. "You're out of your mind, Regulus."
"And you're in your fucking socks. Now come back to bed."
The pacing stops, and the hands are back. Severus cannot resist the pull of his lover. The hands are back, roaming his body, marking his skin. Grasping, tearing, pulling, shoving. Remembering.
This is their last night together.
"God, right there. Fucking do it."
"Come for me, Regulus."
"Oh-- I can't-- can't stop-- oh god."
Everything is white hot, heat, stars shooting off behind heavy eyelids, sticky-sweet yes yes no oh god yes, don't leave me, don't die on me.
"I need you."
"I love you." Warm fingers draw tiny circles on a pale chest.
"Then don't go."
"You know I have to."
"How can you be so fucking casual about this?" There is a rustle of sheets, the sound of clothing being pulled back on. "How can you be so fucking flippant?" Feet pad across the floor again, heavy steps. "You're killing me, Regulus. You're going to die, and it's going to fucking kill me."
He cradles his head in his hands, fingers shoving through tangles of slick black hair, kneading at temples for relief of a headache that will never again leave. His young lover sits on the bed, unmoving, lost.
He will never forgive the younger, foolish man. Never. And he will never love again.
This love is not typical. It is shadows and smoke and hiding from one's superiors. It is dangerous and deadly and it is doomed.
This is both the beginning and the end of their story.
Regulus leaves the next night, impulsive and impetuous as ever, some fancy idea of nobility and honour compelling him not only to betray the Dark Lord but to make a show out of it as well.
In that fleeting, crystal-clear moment before he plummets from the world of the living to the Great Beyond, he finally understands. He understands what he is dying for, he understands Severus' frantic hands, he understands his lover's broken desperation, and he understands that he has gone and ruined it all.
Severus is destroyed. He spent so long building himself up to trust, to feel, to love, and with one self-righteous move by Regulus, it is all gone, and he must start over again.
Only, he doesn't want to start over. So he doesn't.
When Regulus is murdered, it is to make an example out of him. What remains of his corpse is brought back for all of the Death Eaters to see, to study. To know that they do not betray the Dark Lord.
The Death Eaters are to stand, stoic and calm, as Dark Lord parades this fallen star, this broken infidel, around for all to see. Voldemort dances the corpse about the room with dainty flicks of his wand, pausing with a cruel grin in front of Severus.
Severus sinks to his knees when the corpse leers at him, glassy eyes seeing everything and nothing at the same time. He rips the bone-white mask from his face with trembling fingers and he retches, right there on his hands and knees, right there at the Dark Lord's feet.
Later, he is punished for that show of weakness, and he is punished for his lover's impudence. Mostly, he is punished for daring to be human.
And he knows that it is all over. He knows that he cannot survive in this way of life any longer.
He knows that he needs out, so he runs. He runs and runs and never stops again, until it is too late, until it is his time to die.