The (Shape) Of The Mind

Allen had his first wet dream at twelve. In it a girl with golden eyes and an odd ashen cast to her skin held hands with him and pressed up closer than a girl ever had in his life and kissed his cheek and ear over and over. He couldn’t understands the words she whispered to him, but they made his skin prickly and hot before she slid a leg over his hips and he awoke, panting and embarrassed. He crept from his bed to the washroom and if he woke his master, at least Cross had the decency to never comment upon it.

There were others over the years, but none nearly as vivid. By the time he actually met a girl with golden eyes and ashen skin, he’d forgotten about it entirely.

“You liar,” said the Other, with something approaching affection in his voice. “You never forgot, because I’ve never forgotten. Road would be flattered, you know.”

A hand ghosted down his cheek and he jerked away from it on instinct; even though those fingers were warm, they left a cold chill in their wake.

“She’s such a good girl. She always has been. Did you know that? I’m sure you realized.”

That hand settled at Allen’s throat. When he didn’t open his eyes immediately, those long fingers tightened by slow steady degrees, until he was forced to look upon the face hovering over his. The long shape of his nose and sharp slant of his eyes was nearly familiar, as was the width of his smile. “Good morning.”

“There is nothing good about this. Nor is it morning.” Allen covered the hand on his throat with one of his own and tugged it away. There was a moment of resistance, and then the Other caught Allen’s hand instead, firmly lacing their fingers together. His palm was warm, but there was a cold from it that seemed to sink past skin and straight into Allen’s bones. “Would you kindly get off me?”

“If you wanted that so much, you could easily make me,” said the Other. “If this is still your own mind, it shouldn’t be any problem at all.” He smiled again, almost politely, and with his other hand he grasped Allen’s chin, tipping it up.

“Unlike you, I try to be a gentleman,” said Allen. “So I thought I’d ask nicely first–I beg your pardon!” The last came out as a yelp as the Other caught the end of his tie and pulled it loose, spreading cool fingertips across the exposed skin.

“You have it, then,” the Other said. “But you’re still a liar. You can’t make me move, can you?”


“The time is very soon, now.” The Other forced Allen’s caught hand down, and the chair itself seemed to surge to life, wrapping around his wrist until it was pinned. “It would be a lot easier if you accepted that, you know. It’s such a waste of energy and time for both of us. Don’t you think?”

“I do not,” Allen said sharply. “In fact, I’d be much obliged if you would just give up already. I’m not handing my body over to you for whatever reason!” When the Other leaned back, possibly to make a show of undoing his buttons, Allen rocked back with his hips and kicked out, aiming at the Other’s chin. His foot connected with a rather satisfying crunch, and for a moment he was able to raise his trapped arm, feeling the material of his bindings start to tear.

And then, abruptly, he found himself pinned again, chains replacing his bindings, his legs now secured. The Other rocked forward again, still with that same wide smile, and licked the blood from the corner of his mouth. “Tsk,” he said. “That’s not what I meant at all by making me. If this is your mind entirely, and you won’t hand any of that over to me, why don’t you take that control? Use your power, if you have it.”

“In my own mind–I shouldn’t have to–! All I need to do is wake up–”

The Other leaned forward over him, curing his long body into a neat arch. “Do go ahead, then,” he said. “Do it, or acknowledge that you’ve already lost.”

Allen pressed his head back against the pillows a moment, then spat in the Other’s face.

For a moment the Other looked almost stupidly surprised. Then he laughed and sat back, rubbing the back of his hand against his cheek. “Allen,” he said, with something uncomfortably like affection in his voice, “I do think you were the best choice I could have made.” He reached down and began to undo the buttons of Allen’s shirt with, casually deliberate, taking care not to pull any single one free. When it was done, he pulled both halves of the shirt open and tucked them aside. “I’m glad.”

“Would you just listen to me–!”

“Make me, Allen,” said the Other, and bowed his head. His teeth were sharp and his mouth was hot on Allen’s shoulder, at the place where the flesh had once flowed into an arm. Allen jerked and let out a startled noise. He sucked his stomach in as fingers ghosted down the curve of his abdomen to toy with the lacing of his trousers. It felt ticklishly sensitive, that butterfly-light contact where no one had touched him gently in all his life.

“That’s right,” the Other mused, his lips brushing against Allen’s skin as he spoke. “The stomach is such a vulnerable area. Too much force and so many things can just burst.” A palm settled across his belly, pressing down gently when he tried to buck it off. “Any good Akuma knows that. They were human once, after all–but you know that, don’t you? Allen with the cursed eye, Allen who can see the souls of the Akuma.” Lips touched his eye then, like a benediction–like the memory of long ago–then moved down, past his neck, down his chest, to his belly. “The other clowns took out their frustrations on you. The ringmaster looked the other way. After all, what was the life of another orphan?” Each sentence was punctuated by a kiss. “Poor Allen. Or, perhaps, should I say–”


The Other laughed. Clever hands settled on the fastenings of Allen’s trousers and quickly undid them before dipping inside, cool against the hot skin of his lower belly and thighs. “All right, Allen. All right. Even if you won’t call me by name, I’ll acknowledge yours.”

“It is hardly all right!” Allen twisted his hips, yelping aloud as his trousers were dragged down, as his legs were pushed wide open and up, draped over the arms of his chair. “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing!”

“Of all the things I would have never expected to hear from a disciple of Cross Marian, that would have to be at the top of the list.” Another chuckle bubbles from that voice, familiar-but-not, and Allen opens his eyes (when had he closed them again?) and sees the Other looking up at him from between his spread legs, smirking as proudly as any of his master’s expensive courtesans. The smile on his face is fond, and that is the worst part.

“If it makes you feel better, you could always remake my image,” the Other offers, and something malicious touches his smile now, glinting in his eyes. “One of your Exorcist friends? That Crow who follows your heels like a dog? Or even Road? If this is your mind, Allen, then that should be no trouble for you at all.”

“I want none of them, and I certainly don’t want you.” His breath caught as the Other ran light fingers down his cock, traitorously already half-hard. “I think I rather liked you better when you were just spouting nonsense about destruction.”

The Other blinked, then let his head thunk against Allen’s leg, laughing; his breath was hot and damp and uncomfortably nice. “Did you! I thought you would’ve preferred me more eloquent. You Englishmen do enjoy your rambling on. Ah, but no matter,” he said, and squeezed to cut off Allen’s retort. “There are more important things at hand.”

Like what, Allen wanted to retort, but the words strangled themselves in his throat and he shut his eyes hard as the Other took his cock into a hot wet mouth. His hips were already rather confined, but he jerked them up regardless, thunking his head back against the chair. He felt more than heard the answering chuckle, and he raised a foot–free now, when had that happened?–and brought it down hard across the Other’s back. Maybe he didn’t have Lenalee’s strength, but he’d also trained, he certainly could–he whined briefly as his cock was freed to suddenly-cold air. The Other shifted up and against him, forcing his legs wider open around the sharp edges of the Other’s hips. There was a hot unmistakable pressure between his thighs now, and instinctively he squirmed against it, trying to kick out again, weaker this time than before.

“Allen, is that what you want? Maybe next time.” Lips touched his gently. He opened his eyes and saw that same kind smile. “But right now, we don’t have time.”

You don’t,” he corrected, the words slurred in his mouth. “I have … all the time …”

“No, Allen,” said the Other. Something moved in his eyes, dark and haunted. “We don’t.”

He moved forward in a short sharp motion. Allen’s cry was lost in the pressure of lips against his and the odd, unexpected taste of salt. Some small detached part of him was appalled at how easily this had worked–he’d heard enough whores talking shop, unconcerned by the boy in their midst; it couldn’t be–

It is, because that’s what I want. Because that is what I will, and so that is how it is.

No. He rolled his shoulders and found his arm suddenly free; this he threw around the Other’s shoulders and clung as his hips moved. It hurt and it felt good; it was hot but there was still a chill, something deeper than skin and muscle and bone, straight into the core of him. No, this isn’t yours–

“It is,” the Other whispered, aloud now, his breath hot against Allen’s mouth. “It is. Say my name, Allen. Acknowledge me.”

He shook his head.

Say my name, Allen–!” The Other caught his hips and held them still, grinding up hard against him, into him. “Say it!”

Again he shook his head. His hand curled hard until he could dig his nails into the Other’s back. My name is Allen Walker. I was adopted by Mana Walker, who was nothing more than a traveling clown. He died when I was still a child. There’s nothing more. There’s nothing more than that.

“You little fool–”

My name is Allen Walker, and you have nothing.

A hand wrapped around his cock and stroked rough and fast, nearly enough to hurt. Allen thunked his head back and teeth sank into his exposed throat; he could feel the shape of more words, formed voicelessly and lost into his skin. He clawed at the Other’s back, tightening his legs around those sharp-boned hips, and for a single blessed moment, let his mind go completely blank.

Allen woke.

He was curled on his side with his legs tucked close to his chest, gasping hard for breath. When he sat up, there was unpleasant stickiness between his thighs. He scrubbed his face with both hands hard, then gingerly swung his legs over the side of the bed and made his way to the washroom. You fell asleep again. Stupid! You’re lucky he tried something like that first, something like that has an end …

He flicked on the overhead light. In the mirror, his own bloodshot eyes peered back. And over his shoulder …

“Sod off, you ruddy bastard,” he told the Other’s pleading expression, and flipped the light off.

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