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Nov 17, 2019 5:28 PM
democracy at work
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"...that's really not necessary."

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"It's nothing, really."

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"Really."

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"An ill spirit passed over me. It's gone."

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"You haven't managed facial expressions, yet. I'm not sure if you're aware."

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"I'm not entirely sure what expression you would think appropriate."

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"...cry."

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He's weeping in a moment, hitching sobs and shaking shoulders and tears spilling onto his cheeks. His whole body is wracked with it, back hunching, muscles tensing, hands gripping at nothing.

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And so he pulls him into his arms, stills him with his hands, one hand sliding into his hair to grip it in a way that somehow feels at once comforting and threatening.

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Valentine commanding the performance from him had already affected him.

Now, with Valentine's arms around him, Valentine's hand in his hair -- it takes all of Deina's control to still for him, relax into his grip, and only that.

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Valentine reaches his free hand into the pocket of his jacket.

"I suppose I know what I'll be taking first," he murmurs, and then there's a cloth over Deina's nose and mouth, a familiar, suffocating scent.

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Deina struggles, of course; less out of any loss of control, more because the scene would be imperfect without it.

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Valentine does not for a moment let him go.

He strokes his back rhythmically, as the effect starts to take hold – he murmurs something in his ear, too quiet to make out the words.

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And then he's Valentine's.

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He's leaned back on the couch.

A hand strokes over his cheek.

 

         Can you hear me?

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"...yes. I can."

His voice is soft and dreamy, without his usual accent.

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                 I am going to drown you in a moment.

                                The hand on his cheek is perfectly steady, movements perfectly smooth, one-two-three-four-one-two-three-four.

      There will be a wave through your mind, and you will drown, and once I have drowned you I will wake you.

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"...I'm afraid."

He doesn't sound afraid. His voice is perfectly level, carefully enunciated.

"Please, Valentine, no."

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               You will not be hurt.

    It will wash you clean, and that is all.

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"Oh," he breathes, "thank you," and presses his cheek into Valentine's gentle hand.

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The movement continues, gentle and steady and sure.

             There is water around you.

    It is rising up around your hips.

                              You are relaxed – you are paralyzed.

 

             When it comes to your chest, you will begin to remember.

                    Every time you have been touched –

His other hand brushes something else.

   will float up and gather. 

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He moans, quiet but ardent, at the brief touch.

"Please," he whispers, and then again on the next exhale, "please." And on the next: "please."

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           At your waist, now.

His hand keeps moving on Deina's cheek, rhythmic, firm.

 

Over your hands – your arms, your ribs –

 

 

               And now your chest.

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