"Clang clang went the bell in the dead of night," he murmured, green eyes glinting predatorily in the yellow light of the streetlamps. "When he called up the souls to the harsh daylight." Cartman's breath was hot on his neck. Kyle leaned back until words were pressed to his clammy skin. A bodily twitch ignited for an instant the flash of something manic in his irises.
"Through the cold of their bones was the rotting marrow," Cartman's rougher voice echoed eerily in the stillness. Pushing the ushanka off Kyle's head, he buried his nose in the thick copper curls. Kyle's scent filled his nostrils and he inhaled deeply. The blade of the double-headed axe was dark with blood. "Groaning under weight of the time they borrowed."
"Boom goes the dynamite," Kyle said lowly, "Boom. Boom."
Cartman echoed, closing his eyes, "Boom goes the dynamite. Boom."
Crickets serenaded the shared silence, filling the air with their rich reverberation like cascading raindrops of sound clinging to the night's silhouette. Kyle drew his fingers along the dripping blade of the axe resting against his throat and arched back into Cartman when it broke the skin.
Damien opened his eyes and scowled almost immediately. Eric Cartman was not the person he had expected to see after a particularly powerful summoning. He would have never thought any mere mortal would possess the wherewithal to cast his call.
Narrowing his gaze, Damien's nostrils flared as he inhaled the heady force of Cartman's lust. His black eyes burned. Oh. A human's desire could transcend all mortal bounds and leech like grasping fingers into the underworld, but only if it was strong enough to defy reason.
His mouth curled hungrily as Damien shared the feeling by proxy, soaking it up like poison into blood. Damien cocked his head and said, "What is it that you want? Badly enough to summon me and risk paying the ultimate price." Not that he didn't already know what Cartman wanted. It was at the forefront of his mind, shoving across Damien as sure as hands. But he needed to hear the mortal say it; that was part of the deal. Stated desires held more power than unspoken ones. They'd mark the air, and give Damien the threads with which to weave. So he waited.
"Kyle," Cartman panted, gripping his bleeding palm in obvious pain. He'd cut it as part of the summoning ritual. The sting was deep, and seemed to throb the closer Damien came.
Tilting his head quizzically, Damien caught a drop of blood from Cartman's hand and swept his tongue over it. It was heady with human musk. "But do you want him enough?"
"I want him to be mine," he hoarsely argued.
"Enough to give up your freedoms? To own another body and soul does not come cheaply, Cartman."
Setting his jaw, Cartman took a step into the demon's space. "Kyle belongs to me."
"And you both will serve me," he said in a clipped tone, stepping into a businesslike persona. "I assume you knew that something like this would happen. My prices are high."
Cartman hesitated, "Serve you?"
"As my Stygian Pair," he said with a toothy grin. "My messenger boys, though I'll tell you now you won't be tossing newspapers into suburban yards." Jabbing a sharp finger into the soft flesh of Cartman's belly, he sneered, "You'll be my dogs of war to pull the carcasses off the battlefield."
The boy had gone completely pale. A faint tremble wracked his limbs.
Before he let Cartman's fear overtake his determination Damien reminded him smoothly, "But you'll have Kyle. He'll be only for you. So what is reaping a few pathetic mortal souls when your wages include your greatest desire at your beck and call?" Feeding the erotic images of an imprisoned Kyle subtly into Cartman's head, Damien was already warming to the idea of the potential of his own Stygian soldiers.
Cartman was hard and aching. The intoxicating thoughts of Kyle naked beneath his fingers, moaning for him and belonging to him washed over his consciousness. The fortitude to have him seemed to inflate and Cartman had to shake his head and blink away the spotty vision from all his blood rushing south.
Eyes burning low like rubies reflected in the honeyed candlelight, Damien looked like a statue, the quiet kiss of his voice delivered with the serpentine snake tongue. Cartman couldn't keep from staring, his stomach clenching with fear when Damien held out a hand.
"I'll need a key of sorts. Something close to him, dear enough that it could be considered part of him." When Cartman pulled the familiar ushanka from his jacket pocket Damien smirked. He could detect Kyle's scent and feel the connection the item had to Kyle. It was a potent choice. Tilting his head, he ran his thumb over the worn green fabric of the hat. "You'll need to spill more blood. Can you handle it?"
"Yes," he confirmed without hesitation, and Damien snorted.
"Eager," he observed, passing the hat back. "You must mark it with your blood, and in turn bind him to you."
Cartman slipped the blade of the Swiss army knife he carried up to his hand and took a deep breath before slicing the thick cap on his finger. Under Damien's vaguely interested watch he carefully squeezed and smeared across the front flap of the hat until a gory word was emblazoned on the cloth. His blood shone wet, soaking slowly into the fabric. Damien chuckled lowly as he read the letters to himself and curled black nails around the hat.
Cartman was waiting outside, and Damien could feel the roiling heave of bitter worry spilling from every pore on the Stygian's body. Rolling his eyes, Damien stared down into the redhead's leaking eye. It smelled sweet like blood, with an underlying note of sulfur. The redhead's other eye was hooded, pupil contracted to a pinpoint in a sea of vivid green. A common effect of such a powerful and deep binding spell, Kyle suffered a shocking bout of withdrawal when away from Cartman. Damien could feel the hazy independence returning to Kyle's mind.
Suddenly a slender hand tugged the eye patch back down. Damien frowned at Kyle, mouth twisting into a further scowl when the redhead's expression swam into a disturbingly feverish desperation.
He was whispering urgently, "You can, you can", and winding his fingers through the demon's thick hair.
Damien could smell the boy's self-disgust and smirked. "What do you want, Kyle?" Drawing a sharp nail down a soft cheek, he watched trembling lips moistened by the dart of a pink tongue.
"I want to go home," he cried, voice shattering, "Let me go home." Curling pathetically against Damien's chest, Kyle placed tiny kitten kisses across the demon's collarbone. The breath that ghosted over his face smelled faintly of wood smoke. He leaned into Damien's touch when the demon laced long fingers around Kyle's slender neck. A lick of fear drew up his spine but he fought to ignore it. Jading himself, Kyle forced himself to trust, and allow Damien's hold to guide him flush against his wiry body. It burned next to his skin like a furnace, the heat nearly overwhelming. But Kyle rode it like a wave and allowed himself to be swept along, his hope building when Damien shallowly bit the nape of his neck. He bent his head submissively forward, hissing when those sharp teeth broke skin.
The boy tasted toxic, his blood a bitter break of red across Damien's forked tongue. It was just what he'd been wary of and Damien quickly moved his hands to grip Kyle's wrists in a dangerously tight hold. The one blazing green eye dropped, delicate brows furrowed in consternation.
"Why do you keep fighting?" Damien asked, his tone sinisterly calm. "You'll kill yourself."
"I'm already dead," he suddenly screamed, twisting in Damien's unforgiving grip. "You assholes killed me!"
Damien laughed in his face, nails sinking deep enough into the tendons of Kyle's wrists that blood streaked the otherwise pristine skin. "So you're desperate enough to throw yourself at me as a trade?" He scratched deep grooves down the back of Kyle's hand. "I could take you at any time. You somehow think you are safe from me if I wanted to fuck you." Lip curling with distaste, Damien threw the redhead to the ground. He called Cartman in with a bare flicker of thought.
"It seems you still need to tame your bitch," Damien called out tauntingly when the other Stygian came rushing in, expression clouding when he found Kyle on the floor. "He's ready to spread his legs for any cock." The redhead was grinding his teeth, clutching his mangled hand. He threw his gaze angrily at the floor when Cartman turned to look at him.
"He's supposed to want me," Cartman spat, "Only. Me." Teeth shining mysteriously sharp were bared in the face of Damien's impassivity.
"Hmm, maybe you don't please him," he suggested patronizingly, smiling easily when the favored double-headed axe materialized in Cartman's hand. "Wrong move."
"You're going to hurt me again," he sighed, rubbing his infected eye. The rough fabric of the patch chafed the sensitive skin and Kyle wondered if he'd ever see out of it again. But Cartman's rough fingers snatched his hand away, holding it in a grip that was just shy of painful. Kyle gazed up at him, pretty cinnamon lashes hooded over the poison green of his eye
Slipping the eye patch up Kyle's forehead, Eric stared down into the gnarled mess of infected skin. It was as if the seal didn't take, though the venomous hex threaded through his veins had held just as strongly as Cartman's. His finger slipped over the crude words painted on the patch with nail polish snatched from the purse of a girl they'd killed. She'd been painted up like a black-light clown, kandy bracelets and neon socks stacking up her arms and legs. Wired tubing tangled with her hair, mimicking robotic dreadlocks winding down her slim back. She'd caught Kyle's eye at the rave they'd gone too, both standing in the back with their roller blades lit up in the black-lights, gleaming orange and green. Neon paint was splattered everywhere, teenagers pounding on paint drums with sticks, fists, heads. Hair wet with color and sweat whipped the air as the crowd writhed and grinded into each other. E floated among them, disappearing onto tongues to intensify the high. While the bouncer kept waving in teenagers without ID, Kyle and Cartman had separated like sharks into the sea of people, Kyle making a bee-line for the girl with glowing green nails sharpened to points. Bruises lined her side, new ones blossoming as she crashed into other ravers, tearing at them just as they tore at her. Her eyes were swimming in the black of her pupils, the large locket ring on her finger swung open where she'd hidden her drugs.
His arms curled around her waist from behind and drew her against his chest. Kyle caught sight of Cartman watching them, his cursed eye glowing eerily in the lights of the club. Coyly Kyle tipped the girl's chin up, her body deliriously falling into his arms. The music throbbed around them, a living pulse of violent music that shuddered and heaved. Across the floor, Cartman's sharp teeth glinted. People fell away on either side as he stalked across the floor. Kyle laughed, teeth sliding along the raver's ear to chafe the sensitive skin. The music held still as a frenzied buzz of words cut the air and Kyle grinned as the girl shouted them along with the beat, oblivious.
Cartman took her by the throat and stared into her eyes. Kyle withdrew, sliding around to his side to press his hot body along Cartman's hip. Damien would like this one. Tilting his head in confirmation, Cartman let the girl go. Her eyes struggled to find them and focus, to discern the terrifying pair of toothy grins shining down at her. But Kyle entered her space again, fingers entangled in her mess of hair to pull her along behind him. And as they moved Cartman's left eye widened, the skull pulsing with light. Every head seemed to turn away from them, every set of eyes slid over their figures seamlessly.
Digging through her purse outside the club, Kyle watched as Cartman separated the soul from the body, sucking her out right through her mouth while his demonic eye stayed locked onto her fading gaze. Kyle's fingers brushed a tiny cold bottle and he pulled it out to inspect what turned out to be a bottle of neon green nail polish. A muted point of sound erupted from her with a last push of air. Kyle opened the bottle and uncapped the brush. Carefully he drew out letters across the patch on his cursed eye, b-a-s-s-m-a-k-e-s-t-h-
Now, in the present moment, stung from Kyle's claim, Cartman stared down at the redhead silently. Strange pinkish liquid was seeping from his cursed eye. Leaning down, he corrected, "I'm not hurting you, Kahl." The redhead flinched when his fingers pushed at the swollen skin of his lashes, his pretty voice hitched in a pain-filled gasp when Cartman forced the infection crusting his eyelashes apart. Thicker pus, darker pink, now looked like blood in the swampy glow of the alleyway, dirtied by the corpses of moths caught in the giant streetlamp bulbs. The girl's soul still burned inside of him, incubating until he released it to Damien. They'd left the body at a disjointed angle on the pavement after Kyle had finished scrawling out his twisted take on a eulogy across the patch.
"It looks worse," Eric said darkly, other hand wrapping roughly in the collar of the redhead's stained orange sweatshirt in order to hold him still. Kyle raised his hands to claw at him, fingerless gloves the same green as his old green hat. Stark crimson letters slashed across the front of the ushanka and Eric stared at them, momentarily forgetting the worsening infection of Kyle's eye and the dull pain of the boy's sharp teeth digging through the fabric of his magenta sweatshirt to try and damage skin. Dismissing the boy's angry squirming, Cartman moved his hand to brush the lettering. Kyle flinched in his grip, snarling and swinging the heavy weight of his rollerblade at Cartman's shins. Cursing, he slapped the redhead across the mouth, sending him sprawling as pain exploded beneath the thin skin covering the front of his leg.
Replacing the eye-patch over his eye, the agony renewed by Cartman's rough touch, Kyle curled his legs up to his chest and held them, burying his face in his knees. His cheek stung where Cartman had hit him, echoing older wounds lurking beneath the bandage on his wrists and the Band-Aid on his leg.
"You're getting worse," Cartman concluded, not meeting Kyle's eyes.
"That's the only thing keeping him alive," Damien murmured, reaching out to draw a black nail along the vivid scarlet letters staining the front flap of Kyle's hat. "Like a sarcophagus; so beautiful on the outside-" his finger trailed down to plush red lips swollen from worried teeth "-nothing but rot within." The delirious green eye swiveled unseeing, tears of toxic magenta trickling from his covered eye. When Cartman had drawn his weapon the redhead went into a seizure, frothing at the mouth until Damien had reached in with firm fingers to hold his tongue down lest he swallow it. Cartman immediately dropped the axe, and Damien saw real fear in his eyes, the demonic eye glowing around the stark black skull that was branded as his pupil.
"But you said-"
"What did I say?" he interrupted coldly. "You think he's any less yours? He's all yours. That doesn't change the fact that he's rejecting the binds and the seal like a poison." Damien couldn't stop the mean laughter, quieting when Kyle flinched at the sound, recoiling. "There is nothing to do. We both underestimated him, and now the damage is too extensive. He won't recover."
Stepping past the demon, Cartman grabbed Kyle and ripped the eyepatch free, staring down into the infected mess. He growled, shoving Kyle to the floor and kissing him hard enough that the tang of blood stung between them. "Come back," he hissed, shoving his hand into the redhead's pants and gripping him, "Kahl, you're mine! You can't leave! I won't let you leave-"
Standing like a sentinel beside them as Cartman ravaged the other boy with twisted, desperate despair, Damien had a single thought. He's too pure. Kyle's soul had been marked, and now the demonic forces were battling with the mortal spirit still fighting to maintain its humanity. In all his centuries of life Damien had never seen anything like it.
Kyle cried out when Cartman drove into him, mouth running with blood, the side of his face drenched in sticky, ugly pink.
Damien's eyes wandered to the abandoned axe lying on the ground. Cartman's weapon, manifested upon his descent. There was only one way to save Kyle's soul and release him from his demonic coil before he became a decaying ever-corpse, trapped in deathlike limbo. But would Cartman do it? Would he let him go?
The edge of the axe blades shimmered sinisterly.
Dragging Kyle into the pit (kicking and fighting the entire way) was a colorful experience that Damien wouldn't soon forget. The boy's spirit was frightening in its radiance. A feline curiosity wondered if Cartman's desire would be strong enough to hold such a strong person.
Fingering the bleached brow of a human skull perched atop his shoulder like a macabre pet; he stood behind Cartman and waited like a predator in the night for the two of them to become his Stygian pair.
Kyle was laid out before them like an offering, his slender body a rich canvas of peachy skin. The boy's face was beautiful when lit with fright, his green eyes dilated like cornered prey. Damien's lips moved in time with Cartman's, their voices a strange chorus that amplified their thrall until Kyle rocked and moaned as if drugged.
Each word Eric spoke echoed his vocalization in his skin, as if carved out by an invisible blade. He hissed through clenched teeth, fighting the pain while Damien casually pressed a chalice to his belly from behind, catching the blood trickling down from the crimson line of symbols writing themselves into his flesh. On the marble slab before him Kyle was screaming, fighting uselessly against Damien's invisible manacles until he managed to dislocate his shoulder and scream himself into hoarse silence.
"So I release the blood of my flesh to you, Demon. Cover him, take him, his heart will beat with my blood and his thoughts may only be of me." He faltered, hand trembling as he fought to chant the rest of the spell. The same letters carving in tiny script along his body were mirrored on Kyle. Blood flecked the redhead's lips with the force of his ragged cries. Yet the cacophony was somehow drowned out by the reverberating spell. "His desire of me will consume him, rend his spirit, cull his defiance. He will bow to me-" Eric stammered and Damien's claws curled through the blood striping his chest as the skull Cartman had only glimpsed before hung suspended.
"I can taste how much you mean those words," Damien said, eyes running over the ancient script. "This spell rewrites itself according to the caster, and the power is level to that of the desire." Leaning close, he husked, "You want him, Cartman. You want Kyle Broflovski enough that you are willing to sell your soul for his affection." As if an instrument played by the seductive tone of Damien's word's Kyle's body arched up and every sinewy splay of muscle stood out stark and beautiful.
Meeting Damien's eyes sidelong before he returned them to Kyle, Cartman swallowed down a dry throat. He was hyperaware of the sting across his chest and the weight of the words hovering over him with a dark power, drawing twining threads between he and Kyle letter by letter. Taking a deep breath, he resumed the spell, "He will bow to me, please me, yearn for my touch and my possession. Demon, make him mine. Make him mine."
Damien's teeth flashed eerily bright as the last word echoed around the room, vast and piercing. The redhead's sweet voice rang out clear as a bell alongside Cartman's. Damien had to admit the appeal in their harmony. Cartman was sagging over Kyle's feet, dripping blood onto the boy's thin legs. The letters tattooing both their bodies were fading into memory. On the slab the redhead was panting, straining but with renewed energy that defied his dislocated shoulder and the sweat pouring over his brow. His eyes were fixed on Cartman, every fiber of his being honed in on the other boy.
"Seal it," Damien husked, the chalice fading away in his hand to be replaced by the worn ushanka, the word ‘LEIBCHEN' shining eerily red.
Crawling up Kyle's body, heart pounding deafeningly as the redhead keened and tried to rub every inch he could against him. Kyle's face was a myriad of conflicting emotions; anger, confusion, lust, fear. All beautiful. Kyle was never anything but a beautiful fire that set Eric's entire body ablaze with desire. Reaching his head, copper curls dyed crimson from sweat, Cartman fitted the ushanka over the boy's clammy brow. Damien continued to mutter behind him, the air thick with black magic hanging like smoke. Kyle's pupils narrowed to tiny pinpoints. Cartman felt a heavy hand on his back, forcing him down against Kyle. The redhead moaned, franticly grinding against Cartman, his heart a palpable fluttering below his breast.
The words etched into their skin glowed as Cartman lowered his head and gave Kyle the First Kiss. Heat and electricity exploded between them and Cartman rubbed his erect cock along Kyle thigh, helpless to resist the strain of physical yearning whipping up between them like a storm.
Lust pervaded the air. Like animals in heat, Kyle and Cartman attacked each other in a craze of sexual aggression. Damien released Kyle from his manacles to claw and bite back at Cartman, both fighting and craving his touch.
Cartman forced Kyle down onto his knees, one hand on the back of his neck, the other digging at his ass. Kyle snarled and pushed back, his eyes completely glazed by animalistic hunger. Damien moved in, wielding the skull he'd kept close by.
He pressed the skull to the back of Cartman's head, knowing that he was practically invisible to them now in their frenzy. Under glittering red eyes, the skull sunk into the back of Cartman's head, Damien's voice a velvet coil of dark chants guiding its journey. For a brief second Cartman stiffened, eyes rolling into the back as the skull, like some phantom, emerged through the front of his head. And within one of the sockets was Cartman's eye, brown and human. Left behind in Cartman's skull, lit up like a bare bulb, was a shocking pink orb. And in the center was a toxic seal, a tiny skull grinning evilly out from beneath his dark lashes.
Damien watched the skull repeat the ritual on a delirious Kyle, leaving behind the twin to Cartman's demon eye. The skull floated back to Damien, its mismatched gaze a pretty variation of brilliant green in the right, and amber on the left.
Kyle stood on the edge of the roof, staring disinterestedly down at the traffic far below. Rising like a blush to his cheeks, the shifting streetlights painted faint reds and distant yellows across his skin. He felt Cartman's eyes on him as if they were the faint brush of fingertips. The blood they'd spilled still smelled thick and fresh. It drip-dropped in meandering patterns on the stone. Kyle turning his attention to the spattering of red. His eyes throbbed. The double-headed axe in Cartman's hand gave the fragrant flavor of human blood a distinct tang.
There was a clock tower, its crown made of glass so that the orange shadow of the moon peeked through. It caught his eye when the clouds shifted and Kyle couldn't help staring at it. A great cat eye, the pupil a pair of ticking hands.
Walking along the skinny railing as nimbly as bird, Kyle traced his gloved fingers along the clock face. The hands were pointing straight up and down. Exactly like a great orange cat eye.
Carman wrapped his free arm around Kyle's waist and pulled him down off the edge. The redhead was made of ivory, though his green eye burned. He was a husk, Cartman could see that, his lingering remains running on fumes.
"I'd fill you up," he said suddenly, garnering Kyle's attention. Pressing against the side of Kyle's head Cartman breathed across his cheek, "But you're not glass anymore." Fingers digging into Kyle's ribs, he continued hoarsely, "You're sand." Slipping through his fingers. He gripped harder and harder until a low hiss whistled from between Kyle's lips. Dragging the slender body against him, Cartman licked open Kyle's mouth, delving deep to taste. Beneath him Kyle mewled obediently, teeth slicing into Cartman's tongue. The kiss turned heated, violent. Kyle bit him, arched fingers drawing lines underneath his sweatshirt. It was as much a struggle as an embrace, a turbulent push-pull that had defined this poison arrangement from the start. Kyle's natural anger towards Cartman lashed to the back of the driven lust, spooled out like barbwire from the dark spiral Damien had thrown them into.
All his passion, all his desire, all the shadows that outlined this possessive love was poured into that kiss. Cartman tore at the smaller boy, fingers digging up under Kyle's hat to rip at his curly red hair. He shoved a leg between Kyle's thighs.
Then he flinched back, cheek sticky with the magenta run-off from Kyle's eye. With cornered helplessness he stared at the spreading stain. Shuttering his gaze against it, Cartman took deep breaths. When he looked again he took a moment to just see Kyle, to memorize everything in that moment. Now the last they'd have.
Kyle's eyes were closed dreamily when Cartman withdrew, his lips tingling with the sensation of their kiss.
His chest heaved when he saw the river of magenta liquid streaming from underneath Kyle's eye patch, now an unstoppable flow. He could smell the bloody sulfuric odor and blanched. Clutching Kyle to his chest, back to front, he felt the weight of the axe heavily in his other hand. There was no time.
"... no time."
Cartman blinked. Kyle was staring at the clock tower.
"No time, no time, is the chime they're strumming." Kyle's gaze was fixed dizzily on the axe as he touched his tingling lips, visible eye fever-bright. "The Reaper's gone to the task he's running." Something like relief flitted across his face. "Clang clang went the bell..."
If you enjoyed this story, remember to check out the original artwork that inspired it!