Warning: This fic contains vore, slash, emotional distress, physical injury, mentions of rape, lots and lots of crying, and is generally for a mature audience. Read at your own discretion.
He woke up screaming, and quickly stifled it with his hands. He panted heavily, staring up at the black vaulted ceiling of his room until his heart stopped beating so fast. He wiped the sweat away with the back of his hand, peering around the dark room nervously. Everything looked like a shadow creeping up on him.
The door opened suddenly, and he almost screamed again. He caught half of a white face peeking in and realized it was only Dimentio. The jester floated towards him and sat on his bed. He looked concerned.
He sat up, putting his face in his hands. Dimentio cocked his head and drew a little closer. There was something a little unsettling in his gaze, but he didn't notice until the jester captured his wrists and tugged him onto his lap.
Words refused to come out of his mouth, lodging in his throat as he started to become a little afraid. Dimentio's smile didn't change, only displaying the cold, porcelain mockery it always did. He leaned in closer until their chests were pressed together and he whispered something incomprehensible in his ear. One arm snaked around his shoulders while the other circled his waist.
He shivered, Dimentio's iron hold on him leaving him unable to escape. The jester captured his lips next, stealing away his breath. A hand latched into his hair, painfully wrenching it.
He struggled. He didn't want this! His friend was being far too rough, and he wasn't comfortable with this at all! Finally, he managed to pull away, scrambling off the bed and into a corner of the room, breathing raggedly.
Dimentio's yellow eye, glowing in the dark, followed him. He heard a snap, and then six golden walls compressed around him, boxing him in. He pounded on them, desperate to get out, but they wouldn't budge. They seemed to close in on him, suffocating… Dimentio slowly came closer, step by step. His smile cracked, turning into an insane, fanged grin.
He cowered. Dimentio put his thumb to his middle finger, poised to snap. He closed his eyes, waiting for the pain to come, but it didn't. When he opened them, he was in a black void, all the white outlines of his room gone. Air whistled past him. He was falling. He looked down, and screamed.
The fanged grin waited for him down below. It opened, presenting a dark red hole, a pit which would lead him down and down into despair. The tongue extended out to him, catching him and manipulating him. He tried to resist, but everything was too slippery, and he slid backwards, then down.
It was imminent, unavoidable. He couldn't move. He heard a growl from below him, and tried, but he couldn't move. The push and pull of the powerful muscles around him was inescapable. Down, down, for an eternity, until he bumped against something that opened for him. Slowly, he was forced to curl up in a prison that was much too hot and much too moist. The walls constricted around him, pressing into him from all sides. He couldn't breathe. His skin began to tingle…
He woke up screaming, and quickly closed his throat over the sound. He panted heavily, staring up at the ugly green ceiling as his heart went a thousand miles per hour. Beside him, Dimentio muttered something sleepily and peered over the wall of pillows.
It was clear to the jester that Luigi had had a nightmare. He had them every night. He started to climb over the barrier in order to comfort him, as he used to do under the gaze of the dark castle.
Luigi felt Dimentio start to move him onto his lap and flinched. The nightmare was too fresh in his mind. To his relief, Dimentio backed off and returned to his side of the bed, watching warily. He closed his eyes, trying to will calmness upon himself. The jester had gone back to sleep by the time he felt in control again.
Nightmares weren't unusual for him. He had them about all sorts of things, but ones about Dimentio were the most terrifying. They used to be about the execution box, but now, of course, he had gone through something even worse. He couldn't even think about eating, regular eating, without feeling fear shiver down his spine. It was going to be a hard thing to get over, if he even could.
He couldn't go back to sleep, so instead he watched the numbers on the digital clock (with a green display, naturally) slowly tick by as morning drew closer. He took the time to think, as he usually did when he had nothing to focus on.
He'd been here for a little over a month now. Thirty-four days, to be exact. Still, no one had noticed he was missing. Mario was still away, and no one ever went to their house unless they wanted something from Mario. It hurt, as it had been hurting for years. Sometimes he wondered why he even bothered to live like that, but, as always, he could never think of a solution.
He remembered what Dimentio had asked about why he wanted to go back. As time passed, he began to hope again. Dimentio never hurt him further, either physically or with words. It looked like he was planning to keep his promise. Maybe he really would see home again.
It wasn't as bad here as he had thought it would be. Dimentio got him anything he requested. The room was now outfitted with a TV, a CD player, and a clock. Recently, he had regained enough motor function to hold a book, and even play a few handheld games. They rarely spoke to each other past necessary questions and statements. Both were afraid to upset the delicate balance that had settled between them.
Dimentio slept on the other side of the bed, a barrier made of spare pillows and blankets keeping them separated. There were no incidents, other than the occasional arm being draped over to the other side. Dimentio did not kiss him again, though Luigi could sometimes see the desire in his eyes, and knew that he wanted to. They were rarely gray and yellow anymore. Where there had been a previously sinister and cold jester, there was now a hurting and confused child. Sometimes Luigi felt bad for him, and had to remind himself of all the terrible things he had done and was capable of doing. It scared him how much desire he could see. He wondered what kept Dimentio from doing what he so clearly wished to.
The best times were when Dimentio came and read to him. He was a wonderful storyteller, his musical voice and theatrical talent bringing the story to vivid life. Just for a little while, the both of them could forget and immerse themselves in another world. The jester would read until his voice became hoarse. Even after Luigi gained the ability to hold a book, he continued to read aloud for him because it was something they both enjoyed.
The days passed languidly. Dimentio mostly left him to his own devices, which was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it gave him far too much time to think. On the other, Dimentio didn't seem to be able to bear being in the same room with him, even when he just sat there or was doing something that didn't involve Luigi at all. Luigi had never seen him look so uncertain, but it was in his body language, his expression, the way his voice trembled sometimes. Dimentio didn't know what was happening any more than he did.
Still, Luigi held on to hope, because he had also never seen Dimentio be so sincere. Sometimes he daydreamed about what it could have been like, if the jester had come out with all of this before his betrayal. He'd come to realize that it wasn't so much the physical pain and the scary things haunting him all these years. It was the betrayal that had hit him the hardest. It was the worst thing because it hurt the most, in his heart. And now…Dimentio was seeking his forgiveness, and he was incapable of giving it. It felt like he was being torn in two.
He couldn't admit to himself that there was a certain appeal to the idea. It was nice, having someone pay so much attention to him. Before…that… Dimentio had always listened to him when everyone else wrote off his thoughts. He had comforted him, helped him to grow stronger and allayed his doubts about himself. The other minions hadn't spent a lot of time with each other, but Dimentio had visited him every day, sometimes more than once a day, so often that they were both teased for hanging out with each other. Dimentio had only smiled through the childish games, but Luigi thought that it had really bothered him.
He himself had been bothered by it, anyway. What was wrong with having a friend? With his insight into Dimentio's heart, he felt certain that Dimentio had indeed been his friend. Perhaps Dimentio had called him friend, too. Perhaps he had been the jester's first and only friend.
There he was, feeling bad for him again. He wondered why the jester made an effort to push people away if he craved companionship. He considered the way Dimentio tiptoed around emotions as if they were land mines and thought it was probably because he viewed things like that as extremely dangerous. They both were and weren't. Any self-respecting book about friendship or love would tell you that they were always worth the pain.
Luigi wouldn't know. Sure, he had a crush on Princess Daisy, but he'd always been too afraid to take it further than shy flirting. Every little caress or kiss had him blushing madly and speaking gibberish. During the times when he had nothing better to do than think, he had come to realize that he had possibly had a crush on Dimentio as well, only it seemed like more than a little crush. It seemed to be more deeply-rooted, and it was why the betrayal had hurt so much. Even years later, it remained an ache in his heart that bothered him whenever he thought about friendship.
So maybe he couldn't help it, then, this sympathy. Dimentio was a monster, but also human. Luigi was the one person who could say they knew him at all.
A subtle movement from the other side of the bed drew him out of his thoughts. Luigi sat himself up with some effort and looked over. Dimentio was curled into a little ball, face pressed into the wall of pillows and hands clenched into fists. A quiet whimper escaped him, and he twitched a little. "N-No… Don't… Please…" he murmured. He was having a nightmare? The idea didn't seem to fit, but Luigi knew everyone had something they were afraid of.
He remembered his days at Castle Bleck, when he woke up screaming every night for some terrible, unknowable reason. Dimentio would come and comfort him, even cuddling with him on some nights. It wasn't so unusual for them to end up sleeping in the same bed, one using the other as a teddy bear. He couldn't specifically recall any nights where he had gone to Dimentio's room. Maybe the jester had come to him for more than one reason.
He kind of wished he'd let Dimentio hold him earlier. It would be nice to close his eyes and pretend those days were back. But now, he just leaned over and gave the jester a poke, producing a sharp gasp as he was startled to awareness. Luigi had time to notice Dimentio was shaking before the jester clambered over their barrier and pressed his face into the crook of Luigi's shoulder, lying partway on top of his chest. He was crying, eyes shut tightly and face wrenched into an expression of desperation.
Luigi blinked, shocked. It took a moment for him to process it, and when he did he gently laid an arm over Dimentio's back, slight pressure making it a hug. Dimentio snuggled closer to him, body racked by silent sobs. After a while, his breathing stopped hitching so much and he calmed.
When it became apparent that the jester wasn't going to move, he said softly, "Hey… Are you ok?"
"…No. I've never been ok," Dimentio responded tersely. He finally sat up and looked Luigi over, putting his hands on the plumber's shoulders as if to reassure himself he was still there. Then, he laid down again, back to Luigi but still touching his side.
Luigi could move away if he wanted to, but didn't, curious. "What did you have a nightmare about?"
Dimentio chuckled, but the sound was dull. "Do you really want to know the sort of things that scare a person like me?"
Luigi stayed silent, keeping his eyes on the jester's tense shoulders.
"Alright…" Dimentio sighed. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt…"
He waited in the world of nothingness. The complete emptiness of the place disturbed even him. He shuddered, feeling unnerved. He heard footsteps approaching and struggled to put on the smile he always wore. Mr. L unknowingly walked towards his position, looking very beat up and disheartened. His face was bruised, and he wanted nothing more than to tend to it.
He grimaced, feeling an unwanted pain in his heart. This was necessary, he had to remember that! Mr. L would be ok. He hoped he would be. But nothing would ever be the same again. He could only do this telling himself that it was for the best, that he was deep in dangerous territory and had to get himself out. He hadn't known then that once changed the heart could never go back.
"I don't know what it is about those guys…" L muttered to himself. "But I just can't seem to beat them!"
It was now or never. "Aha ha ha. Did they wound your fragile pride, Mr. L? Demolish your robot again?"
He became visible. Mr. L cocked an eyebrow at him, refusing to take the bait by simply shrugging it off as his usual teasing. "Oh, it's you, Dimentio. I'm stumped. You'd really think a giant robot would be enough to take care of those heroes." He sighed, turning away. "Man… I'm a disgrace… There's no way I could show my face to the count after THIS. I failed again…"
He bit the words that came to his tongue. His heart pounded in his chest, but he persevered. "P-Perhaps that is for the best then…" He raised his hands and waved them, producing an explosion right at L's feet.
His friend yelped and leapt away. He couldn't take pleasure in the fear he saw in his eyes. "Whoa, now! Hey! What are you doing?!" L snapped, trying to hide the fact that he was afraid.
He didn't know if his expression wavered. "You said it yourself… You can't go back to the count now. So… So get lost!"
Mr. L looked hurt. After all, he had offered encouragement up to now, and suddenly he was saying he was worthless? "Haha, not a funny joke, Dimentio! …If I wanted to laugh, your face is inspiration enough!" he snarled.
He flinched. Had he seen? No. His eyes, yes, but never under the mask. "Such temper! Your nostrils, they flare out like the hood of a hissing cobra!" he said lightly, finding it easier to settle into old habits. "I can't have you around the count. If I am rid of you, I won't be found out." A warning for later, if he remembered. "A-And the others will never find you… Yes… This is my moment to grasp…" As if he hadn't spent weeks agonizing over this.
Mr. L, whose true name was Luigi, looked at him in disbelief. "W-What are you talking about?!"
Yes, he'd watched him being tortured, his will slowly bent to the count's own. It had taken far longer than he had thought it would. Luigi was strong, and that was why the prophecy hinged on him, the man in green. This would undo the hypnosis. It must be done. But he didn't want to do it. He didn't want to lose him. He couldn't simply teleport him down to the land of the dead. For the Light Prognosticus to succeed, he needed to go back to where he belonged, at his brother's side. He had to take his life and hope that Queen Jaydes would give it back to him. He doubted she would allow the world to be destroyed for the sake of some rules, but his heart trembled at the prospect nonetheless.
"It's…" He licked his lips and continued. "It's time for you to take your final bow, Mr. L…" He flicked his wrist, creating a box around the hapless assassin.
Mr. L pounded on the sides, quivering with terror. He knew what this was, and what was going to happen to him. "Y-You've lost your mind, Dimentio! Wh-Why are you doing this?!" he sobbed.
The sight of his only friend trapped in one of his patented execution boxes… It was almost too much. His expression finally failed as he poised his fingers to snap. "Ah ha ha ha…" he laughed softly, without feeling. "Shhhh. Don't worry. It…It won't be so bad… I promise…"
"Noooo!" L howled, pressing his face and hands against the wall to look pleadingly at him. "Please don't do this!"
He managed a tiny smile. "I-I'll send those heroes your way soon, just so you'll have someone to play with…" As if L cared about that! He knew the man in red was his brother, and the block that made him hate him would be gone.
He looked into L's beautiful blue eyes, eyes that were watery and wide with fear. His own eyes stung. "I'm sorry…"
"How could you…"
He bowed his head. He bit his lip, and then…his fingers clicked, and the box was filled with explosions. The screams, the terrible screams… His ears rang with them as tears flowed down his mask to drip onto the floor.
And then… He was gone. The magic walls faded away, and there was nothing left but a small patch of burnt ground and ashes. His legs suddenly gave out, and he fell to his knees. Ash… That couldn't be all that was left. But it was. It was all that ever was.
"Ciao… Mr. L…" And suddenly, an unknown pain racked his body, and he was crying, the one creature still in existence in this blank world. He knew then that'd he made the wrong choice. Now, there was no alternative to continuing his plan as intended. Or else… Or else there was no chance at all of getting him back.
But he knew… He knew he'd just ruined it forever, the only thing that had given him real happiness… The only person that had made his heart feel was gone for good.
Dimentio fell silent. His body had unconsciously curled tighter and tighter as he spoke. He listened to Luigi breathing behind him, Luigi whose life he'd stolen, and had almost stolen a second time. Luigi who said he hated him, and with good reason.
"So… You have nightmares about killing me?"
He nodded, more tears welling up.
Luigi said nothing more for a long time. Then, "…Why did you do it again? Why did you purposefully terrify me and swallow me alive to die a slow death…"
"Because… Because I wanted to believe that Mr. L was separate from you. I wanted to believe that you knew nothing of me, and only saw what everyone else does. And… And because…it's what I've always done." Dimentio closed his eyes. "The world has always hated me. You have no idea what it's like to be so unwanted. It hurts so terribly… It feels good to lash out, to hurt people. If they don't care about me, why should I care about taking a life?"
"…You should have stayed dead."
"Perhaps. It is so unfair, though…to die without ever having been happy."
"Unfair?! W-What about all the people you've hurt or killed!"
"Ah ha ha… I lost the ability to care about others long ago, Luigi… People are either useful or not. It does not matter what they want or care about, only what I desire."
Luigi slowly shook his head. "No… That's not right… Every person is an individual. There's no one like them and once they're gone, they're gone forever…"
"…Why does a stranger matter to you?"
"…What about me? I know you want more from me, so why don't you take it?!"
"Why don't you torture me! Rape me, like I'm sure you've imagined!"
He stiffened. "…I don't know…"
"Well, go on, then! Do what you want!"
His hands clenched.
"What's stopping you?!"
"I DON'T KNOW!" He was suddenly on top of Luigi, sitting on his stomach, straddling him. He had leaned down, grasping his shoulders tightly, right in his face. The plumber paled, beautiful blue eyes going wide with fear.
Dimentio's expression slackened, the rage that flared up within him gone in an instant. He climbed off of the bed and put his face in his hands, stress showing in every inch of his posture. The person you loved should never be afraid of you.
He looked back at Luigi. "Do you know?" Luigi shook his head. The old Dimentio would have done as prodded and taken what he wanted, to teach him a lesson. He felt disgusted with himself. "Then how can you expect me to know?"
Luigi's gaze lowered. "…Why?"
He turned away, feeling tremors creeping up and down his spine. "You don't know what it's like there…"
"I've been to the Underwhere, Dimentio."
He laughed. "You might as well compare that level to the Overthere. No… You never saw the Underwhere's darkest pits. You never experienced…" His voice dropped to a whisper. "Pain… Pain like you've never imagined. Eternal torture… That is what awaits the world's worst villains…"
"…You should never have breathed again. You should die."
He swallowed. "N-No… Please… Not again…"
"It's what you deserve."
He turned to Luigi, displaying all his fear for him to see. "But why…" He bowed his head. "Is it so wrong to hate when the entire world hates you…"
Luigi's expression softened. "…Don't you think it's foolish then? To go back to the same things that landed you there?"
Dimentio slouched into his chair with a bitter laugh. "Do you really think Queen Jaydes would bestow any sort of mercy on me after I escaped?" A violent shiver passed through him. "It's impossible, but I know it'll be worse…" His voice broke. "I'm so afraid…"
Luigi noticed a few drops of blood drip to the floor, and realized that Dimentio was clenching his hands so hard that his nails were cutting into his palms.
"There's no escape from death in the end…" Dimentio commented darkly.
Luigi looked from the blood to the twin trails of tears streaming down the jester's two-colored face. He pitied him then. "…It wouldn't hurt to try…"
Dimentio didn't look at him, only continued staring at the floor. "Then… Will you help me?"
"No. I want to go home, and then I want nothing more to do with you, ever."
Luigi ignored the way his heart ached.
"I'm sorry… I wish this had gone differently… All these years in suffering… It only made me hate more. I do deserve it…if only because I hurt you again. But I was so angry… I'd forgotten, and I'd only wanted revenge… Please forgive me, please! I need you to…"
"I don't know what these feelings are… They're so strange to me… So reasonless… They hurt so much… But…I feel certain they have to do with love…"
"…You're incapable of love."
"No…I'm not… Won't you show me how?"
"Please, Luigi… I don't know what to do! …Don't you think we could at least be friends again? Don't you think you could try?"
Luigi watched as Dimentio's whole body surrendered to defeat. He stood and turned to leave, trembling. "So there's nothing I can do…"
Luigi shook his head.
Dimentio staggered over to the door and opened it, sending one last pleading glance over his shoulder. Luigi's eyes glimmered with unshed tears, but he only looked away.
Dimentio felt a hot knife stab into his chest and left without another word.