all the importance in the world
ALT TITLE: they love each other. they love each other, they love each other, they love each other.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: chrysi and despair don’t care about being terrible people as long as they can be terrible together <3 that’s all that matters. they love each other so much. so, so much.
Casanova // Allie X
— — —
“Sometimes I hate myself,” Chrysi whispers into his shoulder, folding herself even closer to him.
Despair doesn’t look down at her. Instead, he tries to memorize the shape of her next to him, how she fits so well against him, how she’s all he’s ever cared about even after all this time. He’s scared he’ll chase her off.
“Why?” he asks into the darkness looming overhead, even though he knows damn well why.
The tracing of her hand along his ribs makes him shiver. She still remembers his weakness, even if she doesn’t remember their past entirely—even if she doesn’t remember the countless times they’d laid out on a bed like this together in the blackness, fatigued and desperate only for each other’s company.
“I think you can guess why.” And she doesn’t sound angry like Despair thinks she normally would. All she sounds is sad and reluctant.
Sourness coats his tongue. He struggles to swallow properly.
Slowly, he says, “I’m sorry I’m not a better person.”
This time, it’s true. It’s not like the words he spat at her when she discovered his plans for the second great collapse—rife with heartbreak and deflected with coldness.
She doesn’t reply. Her fingers curl into the folds of his clothing, anchoring herself to him.
Then, very quietly, she murmurs, “I’m sorry I’m not a better person either.”
It sends a jolt through him, to hear her say those words. His fingertips go numb, his skin feels odd, and he can only thread his hand through her long curls.
“What do you mean?”
She breathes out a long breath—slow, warm—and she pushes herself up. Her legs curl up behind her, her hair falling around her like white clouds of fog. Even in the dark, her eyes shimmer.
Her nose wrinkles and she averts her eyes. Her hand remains curled in his lost-and-found sweater.
“I still don’t feel bad for William,” she admits, and the way her voice barely cracks the blackness around them sounds like she’s admitted to murdering people.
He doesn’t know how to respond. Words evade him.
Despair can only look at Chrysi, thinking only of how wonderful it is to be with her again, to be able to spend nights like this, to not have to worry about the secrets he was keeping from her. They’re on the same terms again, and it’s a relief.
Chrysi continues with an unhappy line to her mouth, twisting them like a tangled bow. “I don’t feel bad about never warning the HLPD about what you were planning to do. I don’t regret keeping my relationship with you secret from Willow, from Filly, from Faye, from Daniel.” She leans down, her hair falling over the curve of her shoulder in a snow waterfall. Her eyelashes brush the curve of her cheek. “I know I should,” she whispers, “but I can’t feel bad about it.”
Despair still doesn’t know what to say. He reaches up and cups her cheek in his palm.
Her eyes flutter shut. Her hand touches his.
“I don’t feel bad that you possessed Will. I’m glad I was able to meet you again. I’m glad I am with you again.”
She shifts her face downward, nuzzling into his palm.
“I don’t feel bad that I never told Daniel about your plans. if I had, you would’ve gotten hurt. I didn’t want that to happen.”
She pushes so far into his hand that he can feel the delicate caress of her long, long eyelashes on his skin. His heartbeat trips.
“I don’t feel bad that I never told anybody who you were to me after the Second Great Collapse. I couldn’t bear the thought of somebody hurting you through me. I couldn’t bear the thought of incorrect interpretations being leveled at our relationship.”
Her lips are next, kissing from the delicate vein in his wrist, up to the heartline in his palm, up to the tips of his fingers.
Her mouth is still on his hand when she says, “I don’t feel bad that you failed. Because if you hadn’t, there would’ve been nothing for me to return to.” Her eyes open, and they pierce him right through the heart with electric gold and deep, scarlet red. “There would’ve been no Caeruleus left behind for me to love.”
Despair shivers. Her lips are closed. His fingers press lightly against their softness.
He sits up. Slipping his arm around her waist, he pulls her to the line of his body.
“Chryseis,” he whispers, and he’s so happy to say her name and to hold her in his arms. He didn’t know how he survived the two millennia without her, when he now could barely stand being without her for a scant year and a half.
She hums. Her arms slip around him in kind, and she rests her chin on his chest, tilting her face to look up at him.
A smile warms his mouth. He wants her mouth on his. Instead, he traces the line of her lips with his fingers.
“I don’t mind any of that,” he says softly. “So long as I can be with you, everything is as I want it.”
She blinks up at him. Her eyes are dreamy—beautiful.
“Even if I’m a terrible person for not caring how much I’ve hurt others?” she whispers—so uncertainly, too.
Angling his head downward, Despair presses a delicate kiss to her forehead. “I’m a terrible person too.”
“I know. That’s what scares me.”
His smile widens. Chrysi tilts her head in a silent question.
“I’d love you even if you’d tortured someone,” he says into the kiss. He plants another to the edge of her brow. “I’d love you even if you’d killed someone in cold blood.” He spread another kiss to the curve of her eyelid. “I’d love you even if you killed ten.” The arch of her cheek. “I’d love you if you tried to kill half the city.” The corner of her lip. “I’d love you if you tried to kill me.”
At this, she finally makes a noise of dissent. Despair lifts his face, his nose bumping into hers, and meets her worried eyes. He reaches up to ease the tense line of her brow with a gentle fingertip.
“I love you, Chryseis,” he breathes, his lips almost brushing hers from their closeness. “I’ve loved you ever since I’ve met you, and I’ll continue to love you no matter what.”
Chrysi plays with the hair at the nape of his neck. She leans her forehead to his in a slow, smooth movement.
Quietly, she murmurs, “I love you too.” She tightens her arms around his neck. Her mouth almost slots against his in a kiss, even as she repeats, “I love you.” Her lips lightly caress the line of his mouth. “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Like a spell. Like a blessing. Like a curse.
Despair pulls her into a kiss proper. He doesn’t have the willpower to hold back. He isn’t able to handle one second more without feeling her mouth on his. He wants Chrysi, Chrysi, Chrysi—to hell with the rest of the world.
He is sorry he’s not a better person.
But he doesn’t care when Chrysi still holds him in her arms, when she lays with him in the dark, when they kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss, until the world doesn’t matter anymore.
All Despair needs is Chrysi, and he will do everything in his power to keep it that way.