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auferetur cordis pulsatio

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

by Domashita Romero (地下ロメロ)

Tyoma woke like he always did, in the way where it seemed like he could hear the sunlight now streaming through the windows. Never capable of sleeping in, not once even since he was a boy. He kept his eyes closed for a while longer, listening to the morning as he took it in with slow breaths. Early rising was never the problem of the one sleeping next to him, though. Emil was like a cat, sleeping at every opportunity, and up nights causing trouble, primarily in the form of keeping Tyoma awake too long, even though he knew he’d be awake with the light regardless.

Tyoma opened his eyes to look at the man sleeping next to him, with his black hair spread out stark against the pillowcase and the lines of his face that could seem cruel at times soft and relaxed. He didn’t mind being kept up, really. He didn’t mind at all, actually.

Emil had gotten warm in the night, clearly, his shirt removed at some point and thrown to the foot of the bed. He’d wormed the blankets down to his waist as well, and now his bare skin was drinking up the sunlight as it poured in brighter and brighter. Tyoma brought a hand close to touch him, but didn’t yet. He spread out his fingers. His hands were large, large enough to be an inconvenience at times. He shifted his hand until its shadow stretched across the breadth of Emil’s stomach.

Maybe he wouldn’t let him out of bed all day. Keep him here with his hands, and his mouth. Emil would complain about being kept from all the other vastly important things he wanted to do that day, but he would drink up the attention. He would so graciously allow it.

Tyoma couldn’t help but laugh a little, thinking about it, and the low sound of it was enough to rouse Emil. His brows knitted together at first, an expression of displeasure at waking up, but it was short lived. He stretched out, some of his bones clicking and popping as he did, and groaned with the feeling of it. He turned further into the warmth of the sunbeam spreading across their bed, and opened his eyes.

“What are you so pleased about?” he said, voice scratchy with sleep.

“I need a reason?” Tyoma said, and no longer held back from laying his hand on Emil’s skin. It was always so smooth, and warm, and soft, no matter what, and Emil sighed as Tyoma ran his hand up his body to curl around the back of his neck. He stroked beneath his ear with his thumb, the way he knew Emil liked.

Emil’s eyes were closed again. “Have to make sure you aren’t laughing at me in my sleep.”

“No better time to laugh at you, don’t you think?” Tyoma said, and began to loom in closer, creating more shadows over Emil. “Perfect crime.”

Emil laughed. “You’re a terrible criminal.” He opened his eyes again and raised a hand to brush over Tyoma’s cheek. Emil wasn’t a small man; he was average in almost every respect, truly. But he had a delicate way to his touch, to every careful angle of him, that made Tyoma feel massive, like an ancient tree, or a mountain. He sighed as Emil’s fingertips moved over the stubble at his jaw. It wasn’t a bad thing. 

“I was thinking I ought to keep you here all day,” Tyoma said, and Emil made a curious sound as he kept touching down Tyoma’s throat. “Right here in bed.” 

“Sounds boring,” Emil said breathlessly as Tyoma’s thumb nudged his jaw up, giving him room to stroke his throat with the fullness of his fingers. “In bed, all day? I have things to do, love.”

Tyoma felt it in the base of his spine when Emil called him that. He knew it, he knew it like he knew his own lungs would keep taking breath until his life ended, but it made him breathe harder to hear it. He took the hand of Emil’s that was stroking his throat, wrapped his own large fingers around it, and pressed it down to the soft mattress they slept on together. 

“It won’t be boring,” he said, as he leaned in to press a kiss to Emil’s bare shoulder. He moved up in slow kisses and nuzzlings, hearing Emil’s faint gasps when he dipped in closer to let the roughness of his whiskers scrape his skin. “I’ll kiss you until you can’t breathe. I’ll put my hands on you, everywhere, until it’s too much.” His mouth was against Emil’s ear, and his breath hitched as Tyoma spoke low and secret just for him. “I’ll make you come until you ask nicely for me to stop.” He bit Emil’s earlobe at that, making him gasp even as he laughed. “At some point I’ll bring you breakfast as well.”

Emil let out a shaking breath and brought the hand that Tyoma did not have pinned, the one he could not feel the rushing of blood in a pulse beneath the skin, up to twist into his hair. He brought him down for a long kiss. He tasted sour from sleep, but Tyoma had to, as well. Hardly a thing that bothered him, anymore. Emil kissed like unexpected sparks along a wire, so soft and tender until he suddenly decided he needed to feel his teeth in the meat of Tyoma’s lip. It made Tyoma feel like a beast, like a hungry bear, but one docile and tamed, waiting for the next gift from its master.

Emil drew away first, a little laugh on his breath. His fingertips skimmed the edge of Tyoma’s ear, making him shudder. “You’ve made a very convincing case,” he said, and his thumb stroked over Tyoma’s lower lip. Tyoma’s eyes went heavy as he kissed it. “But,” Emil said, and Tyoma heaved a sigh.

“But?” he said, looking up at Emil’s face. For a moment, that sharp little laugh that lived in his eyes was quieted, replaced by a softer look. A plea, Tyoma recognized. He sighed again and put a hand on Emil’s chest and moved down to his stomach. “That time again already, is it?”

“It’s been nearly a month,” Emil said, and rested his hand atop Tyoma’s. He was always so warm. “If I put it off any longer neither of us will be happy.”

“You’ll be unhappy, and then you’ll be a terrible pain to me, and then I’ll be unhappy,” Tyoma said, and Emil smiled.

“Precisely,” he said, thumb stroking the back of Tyoma’s wrist. “Now come on and do your job, doctor, so you can get back to your grand plans of holding me hostage.”

Tyoma grunted and got up from bed. “‘Hostage’ implies some sort of ransom. Demands,” he said as he found the faded black smock he wore for these occasions. “Don’t have any of those.”

“Keeping me captive, then?” Emil said as he stretched and started to get out of bed. Tyoma let out a faint huff and returned to the bedside in two long strides, to slip his arms beneath Emil at knees and shoulders and scoop him up. Emil snorted and gave him a gentle swat on the neck before curling his arms around it. “You’re in a mood today.”

“I’m in moods every day, you’ll find,” Tyoma said. But yes, he was in this mood today, for no reason he could determine other than the sound of the sunlight. Not everything needed a reason. He didn’t need to carry Emil far, just to the other side of the large round room they shared, the top of their tower, filled with books and curiosities and light, and their bed, and the operating table.

Tyoma placed Emil upon it with care, and Emil was just shaking his head as he settled into the regular position. “You are fussing,” Emil said, as Tyoma prepared his tools.

“You’re pretending you don’t like it,” Tyoma said, and angled a mirror at the side of the table so more light was reflected directly on Emil’s torso.

“I’m not,” Emil said. “I’m observing.”

“Observe quietly,” Tyoma said, and picked up his scalpel. “For a moment,” he added. It was better for Emil to be still for this part.

He began the cut just at the base of Emil’s throat and went down in one long, straight line, down to nearly his groin. His next cuts came from that one like the branches and roots of a tree. He set the blade down and pulled Emil’s skin back in flaps to expose his ribcage and guts.

Tyoma watched the pink shine of Emil’s lungs expand and contract beneath his ribs as he let out a long sigh. “Such steady hands,” he said. “Always remarkable.”

Tyoma snorted as he gazed into the glisten and roil of Emil’s insides. He’d see no portents there, but he was always trying to learn more about how it all worked. “You say that like it’s surprising,” he said.

“Those big bear paws of yours? It is surprising,” Emil said.

“You’ve never complained,” Tyoma said, and Emil made a faint sound, as much of a concession of the point as he’d allow. “Right, where should I start?”

Emil lifted his head up to look down at his own exposed viscera. “The liver, for certain.”

Tyoma nodded and slipped a hand inside of Emil, finding the broad, smooth surface of the organ. Everything was so hot, and so wet around his hand. As he carefully slid his fingers over Emil’s liver, palpating it gently, he thought as he often did about dinners as a child. His mother cooked liver often, cooked offal more regularly than any other meat, really. One piece of the body could look so different in different ways, different times; wrapped in butcher paper, sizzling in a pan, cold in a cadaver, warm and tense under his fingers.

“Ah,” he said. “There we are.” He found the little lump with the tips of his fingers. Emil made a faint grunt of assent. He worked it to the surface gently with small, massaging presses, and then the mass was in his grasp. 

He pulled his hand out to hold it up to the light. A pearl, just a few centimeters in diameter. It changed in color from white to pink to red and black as he shifted it. “Mm, perfect timing,” he said, and placed it into the jar waiting with the rest of his tools.

“I told you so,” Emil said, and sighed again. “I think another few there, and also the kidneys as well.”

Tyoma nodded and went back to work, pulling a few more of the pearls from Emil’s liver. Too long between procedures and they’d come out small, black, and angry, like fetid birdshot had filled Emil from the inside. He wasn’t well for some time after that. Too early and they’d pop like bubbles under Tyoma’s searching fingers, and Emil would feel even worse. They were getting better at it each time, though. The jar filled up more and more, little clacks as Tyoma dropped each pearl in.

“Kidneys,” he said, with a grumble. “Wish I could roll you over for that, would be easier to get to them.”

“Roll me over later,” Emil said, carefully lifting an arm to brush his hair out of his face. “Right now, roll up your sleeves and just get in there.”

Tyoma did tug up one of the smock’s sleeves as he slipped his hand deeper into Emil’s guts, seeking out the kidney by feel alone. He watched Emil’s face as he did so. His eyes were closed, and he looked almost asleep again, not a trace of pain or discomfort on his face. Tyoma would kill anyone who ever hurt him, he thought as he had a hand wrist deep in Emil’s innards. And he’d never forgive himself if he did.

“Hell, must be the other one,” he said, after a long time searching Emil’s right kidney. Emil let out a theatrical sigh. “You were hardly specific,” he said, and sunk his hand into the other side of him. The pearls there were easy and immediate to find.

Emil’s eyelids fluttered open and he stared at the ceiling, then out at the soft morning clouds through the window. “Just one more,” he said.

“Where?” Tyoma said.

Emil met his eyes and his lip curved up a little. “Your favorite, of course.”

“Ah,” Tyoma said, and took a breath. He positioned himself higher up along Emil’s side. It was a better position for leverage. He wrapped his fingers around one of Emil’s ribs, and braced his sternum with the other. He was long past being precious about this. He could be careful without being tedious. He cracked one rib, then the next, and along down the line. Emil kept his breath shallow against the sounds of snapping bone and Tyoma’s grunts of exertion.

“You brute,” he said, softly, dreamily. “I can’t believe I let you get away with manhandling me like this.”

Tyoma didn’t respond to the tease, this time. Emil had been sarcastic, or at least Tyoma thought he was, but maybe it was true. Maybe this was his favorite part. He reached within Emil’s chest to wrap his hand around his heart. He just let himself feel it pulse in his hand — it seemed to fit perfectly in his grasp — for a few moments before beginning the work.

The pearl came easily and quickly into the palm of Tyoma’s hand with a few pulls of his thumb. He felt oddly disappointed. He dropped the pearl into the jar with the others and slid his hand back inside of Emil to take hold of his heart.

“Oh, that was the last one, I’m sure,” Emil said. “Another job well done, love.”

Emil lifted a hand to start to press his ribs back into place himself, but Tyoma took hold of it and gently pressed it back down. He made a questioning sound, but left it where it was placed. Tyoma sighed as he just let himself feel Emil’s heart pound within his grip. He was so hot, Tyoma could think of it only as holding a pulsing ember. The living flame within him, living despite all sense.

Tyoma was very careful, then, as he drew Emil’s heart forward, out from where it rested, enough that Tyoma could see it more than just feel it. His hand was fully red with blood, matching the organ it held. Tyoma watched, for just a few moments, and then bent down to press a kiss to Emil’s heart.

He heard Emil’s gasp and saw it in the expansion of his lungs so close to his face. Emil’s hand came to stroke through his hair, so unbearably gentle. “Oh, Tyoma…” he said. Tyoma gave his heart another kiss. “I’ll never, ever have another like you.”

“No, you won’t,” Tyoma murmured, and then gently nestled Emil’s heart back into place. He repositioned Emil’s broken ribs to match up with their place on his sternum, and then folded the flaps of his skin back to where they should be, settled on the neat seams of his incisions. “Go on, then,” he said, and turned away to clean his hands and remove his smock.

When he turned back Emil was whole again, chest and stomach unmarred like it had all been a dream, except for the smears of blood on his skin. Tyoma wiped that away with a damp cloth, and Emil hissed.

“That is cold,” he said, and Tyoma snorted.

“Time to warm up, then,” Tyoma said, and lifted him up in his arms again, crossing back to the other side of the room to put Emil back into bed, into a beam of sun that had only gotten broader.

“Don’t I get breakfast first, after all that?” Emil said, draping his arms around Tyoma’s shoulders as he settled over him. The shadow of Tyoma’s large form took the sunlight away from Emil, but he was still smiling.

“You do not,” Tyoma said, and leaned down to kiss him again, hungrier with it now than he had been on first waking. There was an itch behind his own breastbone now, a need in his blood. He pressed Emil into the bed and kissed him until the other man was whimpering softly. Tyoma relented and gave him a little breathing room. Emil sucked at his lower lip.

“Your lips taste like blood,” he murmured, as he let his hands wander Tyoma’s chest, his long slender fingers teasing through the hair on his chest.

“Wonder why,” Tyoma said, and swallowed up Emil’s little laugh with another kiss. After a while he removed Emil’s hands from him and pressed them gently to the bed, up above Emil’s head. “You leave those there,” he said.

Emil lifted up his chin, both anticipating and asking for what Tyoma was to do next. “Just spending the whole day, lying on different surfaces, taking your orders.”

Tyoma smiled a little as he kissed Emil’s throat, feeling his steady pulse through his skin. “That is what I said I wanted, yeah.”

Emil had the pleased smile of a sleeping cat as Tyoma’s hand moved over the smooth, perfect skin of his chest. “I suppose you deserve to get what you want.”

“I suppose I do,” Tyoma echoed, low and deep, as he mouthed at one of Emil’s nipples. He arched his back and brought the back of his hand to his mouth briefly to muffle a cry. Tyoma reached up to take that hand and press it back to the bed. He wanted those sounds. His tongue teased over the nub of skin until Emil’s hips were bucking up, wanting more. 

After he spent an equally leisurely amount of time attending to his other nipple, Emil was gasping and hissing, t-sounds stuttering on his tongue that never fully became Tyoma’s name. “All day?” he eventually managed, sounding a little incredulous. “You’ll do this all day?” A little desperate, like he worried he might burn up.

Tyoma pressed a kiss to the center of his chest, and looked up at him. “Among other things,” he said, and when he started to remove the rest of Emil’s clothing, the other man let out a groan of relief that turned blasphemous by the end.

Tyoma liked the way his hand looked on Emil’s cock. Emil so often looked like he could be made of marble, so pale and perfect on the outside, but here he was red and hot and wet. Gripping him was not unlike having his hands within him, but here when he squeezed, when his broad fingers moved along Emil’s length, Emil arched and groaned. He felt this. He needed Tyoma to do this as much as everything else.

Tyoma needed, too. He took his hand back from stroking Emil, to the man’s vocal distress, to undress the rest of the way himself. Emil started to reach for him, but Tyoma just shook his head and clucked his tongue. Emil laughed at him and placed his hands back over his head. Tyoma spent a moment kneeling on the bed between Emil’s legs, hands lightly pressing into his thighs. 

Emil looked at him. He looked at him, in the way that always made Tyoma if he could see through his skin, into all his guts and beating parts, too. It didn’t matter if he really could, because he’d know what was in Tyoma with his eyes fully closed. He squirmed a little on the bed, stretching out further, extending endless invitations. “You’re making me impatient,” he said.

“I think that’s your problem, not mine,” he said, and leaned down to kiss him again. He put a hand into the smooth strands of his hair and kissed him until he was arching from the bed. He brushed a thumb over Emil’s cheek, across his lower lip, just as Emil had done to him earlier. He smiled as Emil closed his lips around it, meeting Tyoma’s eyes as he sucked it in deeper. “Maybe later,” Tyoma said softly, and straightened up again. 

Emil muttered a “finally” when Tyoma took the bottle of oil from beside the bed, and Tyoma kept most of his laugh muted. He spread Emil’s thighs out further and grabbed him by the hip, pulling him forward until Emil could wrap legs around him, if he so chose. He skimmed oiled fingertips over Emil’s balls, enjoying the way it made him hiss and buck. And he was careful and slow with them as he teased into his ass, barely pressing a tip of his finger within.

“You needn’t — fuck,” Emil said, and bit his lip as Tyoma’s finger dipped deeper. “I am very ready and you don’t need to make a production of it.”

Tyoma did laugh fully then, and worked his finger deep inside of Emil, savoring the noise it brought out of him. “I think I do, though.”

“Bastard,” Emil groaned as Tyoma slowly fucked him with his fingers. He couldn’t hurt Emil this way, just like he couldn’t hurt him any other way, so he went slow because he liked to. Emil turned his face to press against his bicep, biting into the skin there as Tyoma’s fingers found the needy places inside him in a different way. 

“Please, love, please,” Emil gasped eventually though, and Tyoma would never be able to say no to that. He never wanted to say no to that. Emil looked something that wasn’t beautiful but more than that, spread out before him on the bed they shared, gasping in breath as his cock twitched and leaked onto his stomach. He was beautiful in a way Tyoma would have been afraid of once, in a way he would have never felt worthy or able to touch. Like a flame, like a churning river. Like a beating, living heart.

Tyoma’s cock was as big as the rest of him and he kept himself slow and steady as he slid inside of Emil. Emil growled and gasped and called him names and asked for more, but the pace was more for Tyoma’s benefit than his. If he rushed, he’d be overwhelmed. He didn’t want to rush, not when every moment inside him felt like a miracle.

He brought Emil’s hands up from the bed to wrap back around his shoulders as he settled in deep. “You don’t know,” he murmured into Emil’s ear as he began to fuck him in slow rolls of his hips, barely drawing back at all. He could never be deep inside him enough. “You don’t know what you’re like.”

“I don’t,” Emil said, breathlessly. His legs were around Tyoma’s waist now, as he’d chosen. His hand was soft in Tyoma’s hair again, like it had been when he held his heart. “You don’t know what you are, either.”

What he was, not what he was like. Tyoma didn’t know, he was right. He supposed he was a surgeon, a beast, a lover, a prisoner. But what was the thing that was all of those at once? He couldn’t know, but the answer had to be somewhere, somewhere within Emil. His control started to slip quickly as he felt Emil’s fingers gentle on the back of his neck, as he could smell his sweat. He wanted to fuck him for hours, but he wouldn’t last long now. At least he’d promised a day of it, and this was just the start.

He put his hand back on Emil’s cock and stroked him in earnest, breathing in the sounds that Emil made. He growled like an animal when he felt Emil tighten around him, the one warning before Emil came, shouting the entirety of his name as he spent across his stomach. Tyoma swiped his hand across his skin, that perfect, unbroken skin, gathering up Emil’s come in his palm to bring it to his mouth. He tasted him, swallowed it down so there was something of Emil inside him too, and that was all he could take. He filled Emil up and stayed deep within, even when there was nothing left of him to give. He pressed his mouth to Emil’s throat and felt the beating of his heart, inside and out.

After some time of rest, some soft touches and softer words, Tyoma rose from bed again to make good on another of his promises. He brought Emil breakfast, and paused with his cup of coffee in hand before bringing it to him.

“How many?” he asked.

“Mm, just one for now,” Emil said, and smirked at Tyoma. “It seems I have a long day after all.”

Tyoma nodded and took one of the pearls from the jar at the side of the operating table and dropped it into Emil’s cup of coffee, where it sizzled and swirled and was entirely dissolved by the time he brought it to Emil. 

Emil took a sip, and sighed. He looked up at Tyoma with that soft secret need in his eyes, with that smirk on his lips. “What would I do without you?”

“I don’t know,” Tyoma said, and wished he would never have to find out.

 

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10 thoughts on “auferetur cordis pulsatio

  1. Oh, I have SO many questions! This is delightfully mysterious. The move from lazy morning in bed to remarkably calm surgery was a hell of a whiplash. Emotionally like starting down the stairs and then they turn into a water slide halfway and it’s a fun ride but 100% of my brain was stuck on “What is HAPPENING?!” I’m definitely getting the vibe that this is a weird immortality thing. I love the casual “drop this pearl from your organs into your morning coffee” at the end, for that last little bit of “Whaaaat?” to cap it off.

    • Thank you for your comment!! As for the answers to those questions…. who knows, man, who knows… like me? do I know? probably not!!!!!!!!! that’s none of my business

  2. For reasons which may be both obvious and less so, I am Here For This. Characters who can self-repair in some way are fascinating to me, Emil being no exception, and the idea of harvesting his bits for resources (with a bit of splanchnomancy thrown in for good measure) is ghoulishly intimate. Tyoma’s just helping a guy out! And helping get those pearls out! I appreciated how just what those things do, and why/how Emil is a human oyster, and how he and Tyoma ended up in their mutual situation anyway, are all details that are left unspecified. The story works without knowing them and is arguably stronger for that mystery. The fact that theirs is a world where coffee is available (meaning it’s a potentially modern-ish setting where people are hanging out in towers and vivisecting each other) is just great, really.

    Also, precise examples of just what all will run in October are extremely useful for some far-future projects of mine I previously wasn’t entirely sure on, so thank you for creating yet another benchmark in addition to everything else!

    • I want to thank you for this kind comment, and also, for teaching me the word ‘splanchnomancy.’ Glad to be a guiding force in how freaky SSBB can get!!

    • Nothing like a little tender caring vivisection to warm your heart!!! the heart you can now kiss. Thank you for reading and commenting!!

  3. YOU KNOW I LOVE ROMANTIC VIVISECTION BABYYY

    This is very romantic and tender and intimate and delightfully weird and mysterious and I love it. And hot! Give the heart a lil smooch, that’s the ticket

    yaaaay I love it

  4. You GOTTA kiss that heart when you have it in front of you, clearly! This is a little unsettling and very sweet which is just a lovely combination.

    • you gotta just, you gotta just give it a lil smooch. just a lil one. thank you for reading and commenting!!!

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