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21 February 2011 @ 09:15 pm
[FIC] Absolution  
Title – Absolution
Author – my_kakistocracy 
Rating – R to be safe
Pairings – Nash/Cobb (but Nash-centric)
Word count – 1300
Warnings – Abuse, general iffiness
Disclaimers – Not mine.

A/N: Basically inspired by koushi 's The Red Look. 


ABSOLUTION

On the way to Dom’s place, I pass St. Patrick’s.

I’m not a religious man. To be honest, the whole idea always struck me as kind of bullshit. I remember being a kid in Sunday school, when they told us the story of Noah and the Ark. My reaction was basically a bewildered combination of 1) that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and 2) holy crap, apparently there are grown-ups who really believe this shit. My feelings on the subject never really changed, even when my grandmother bought me a rosary for my sixteenth birthday and told me she’d pray for my soul.

I’m no theologian, but the idea of the rosary, of penance in general--I don’t think it’s even in the Bible. Jesus never told anyone. “I say to ye, if thee keepeth back issues of Hustler under thy mattress, say fifty Our Fathers and ye shall be absolved.” Yet one billion Catholics still bust out the rosary beads after every infraction. You know why? At the end of the day, people don’t want something for nothing. It makes them feel uncomfortable, like they’re just waiting for the catch, for the other shoe to drop. Don’t believe me? Stand around one of these days and offer strangers on the street a couple bucks or a cup of Starbucks'  finest. You’re not going to get a ton of gratitude. You’re going to get suspicious stares, raised eyebrows. Anyone who takes that coffee’s probably headed straight to the forensics lab to test it for cyanide. So you fucked up royally, and Jesus forgives you. Just like that. You don’t have to do shit, just say' I’m sorry I had those kind of thoughts about Sister Mary Claire' and that’s it, your soul’s pure as uncut cocaine. But is it really? You’d never know, and you’d live with this little nagging feeling that if you got hit by a truck on your way home from Wal-Mart you’d be headed straight for Hell. Locking yourself away with your rosary chanting Glory Bes for five hours assures you that whatever you’ve done, you’ve paid for it. Humans don’t want intangible freebees. Humans want a solid exchange.

At the end of the day, everyone wants to be punished for their sins.

A rosary’s all well and good for people whose list of iniquities maxes out with losing your temper at work or jacking off in the men’s room at the parish hall. Not for me. Not even God would want me. We all know how He feels about traitors--like I said, I’m no theologian, but I don’t recall things ending well for Judas. People like me need more than an hour sitting in a pew chanting Hail Marys. We need more than just a slap on the wrist. We don’t need someone to gently wash away our sins--we need someone who will drive them out, beat them out, fuck them out. We need people who will grind us down and make us bleed.

People like me need people like Dom Cobb.

Last week, Dom held me down and scraped the letters into the flesh of my back. Sometimes my shirt catches on the thickening scabs, and I am reminded of who--no scratch that, of what I am. I’m not Nash. I’m not an architect. I’m not even a real person. B-I-T-C-H. It’s not a part of my identity. It is my identity, the only part--Dom has so patiently scrubbed away all remaining vestiges of my selfhood. It is, in its own fucked up little way, immensely freeing. I am free from responsibility, free from the prying eyes of a world that expects all of its denizens to eventually Be Someone. Not me. They’ve turned their gaze away. No one expects greatness from Dom Cobb’s little bitch. He will spend the rest of his life on his knees.

Dom is helping me repay my debt. My debt to him, for being such a disgusting coward--my debt to the world, for existing when so many worthier people were never even given the chance to be born. He makes me realize what a revolting little cocksucker I really am--and gives me the opportunity to shoulder the pain that I deserve. What have I given him in return? Only my filthy, worthless soul. It‘s hardly a fair trade. Like walking into Cartier with a bucket of dog shit and expecting diamonds in return. But Dom--Dom is so good to me. I should have been left to rot in some godforsaken alley somewhere, waiting to be dragged away and gutted by Cobol--God knows I deserve it. But Dom isn’t God. Unlike the Good Lord, Dom gave his Judas a second chance.

I don’t even know why he does it--I am such a burden to him. He sacrifices so much for me. People talk, they look at Dom and whisper. They say--that’s the drunk that lives in 6B, I heard he beats his boyfriend, what a piece of scum. They don’t know that I’m the piece of scum, not Dom. He doesn’t want to have to hurt me. If I were a decent person, I could put an end to it--I could stop fucking up so he wouldn’t have to punish me anymore. But I can’t. I’m weak and pathetic, and so I remain like a parasite, draining the life out of Dominick Cobb. He’d never have started drinking, if it weren’t for me. For me he’s sacrificed everything--his job, his health, his reputation. I’d better be damn grateful.

I make my way across the plaza. There are happy couples everywhere I look. Sitting on park benches, waiting for buses, holding hands as they gaze longingly into the windows of bakeries and boutiques. They murmur soft, saccharine things. Hyperboles whispered in waiting ears--I love you more than life itself, I’d move moutanins for you, I’ll be here for you forever. Later, they’ll go home and fuc--no. They go home and make love. Candle light and tender touches, soft moans escaping from gently parted lips. There are some brief, flickering instants when I think I could want that. It doesn’t last, though. People don‘t make love to people like me. People like me are fucked--choking, spitting, tearing, wrenching, rending, biting, hurting. Dom’s fingernails slicing at my skin as if he could peel it all away and rid me of my filth. Driving into me over and over as he recounts my many sins. Sins for which I will soon, if only for a fleeting moment, be forgiven--the demons race away on every scream, on the wind of every haggard, gasping breath. They ooze from my wounds, mingled with my tainted blood. When I feel Dom’s hands close around my neck, a strange sense of gratitude floods over me just before my vision begins to dim.

I cross the street. Dom’s building looms before me. The doorman averts his eyes. He doesn’t want to look at me. I’m some sad little whore who keeps coming back for more--he wonders what’s wrong with me.

I can’t help but let out a rather morbid snicker. What’s not wrong with me?

The plate by the door reads DOMINICK COBB. The sight of the name, etched on cheap brass, is enough to contort my gut with dread. Sometimes, I fear the pain--but it’s not that fear that has a vise grip on my stomach right now. It’s the fear that one day Dom will realize I am not worth the effort. That he will shake me off and move on, realizing that no matter how well he teaches me, no matter how often he corrects me, disciplines me--I will never stop fucking up. And without Dom, without the punishment that comes before absolution--how will I know if I’m absolved? I’ll be adrift, forever, drowning in my own iniquities, doomed to damnation by my failures.

I ring the doorbell. There are footsteps in the hall.

Bless me father, for I have sinned. It has been one week since my last confession.

The door opens, slowly. I step over the threshold and into the burning brightness of the cleansing light.


 
 
Koushi: nash cobbkoushi on February 22nd, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
I... I'm speechless. This is so beautiful. *____________________*

I love love love love love it.

I love your grand metaphor with penance and sin, especially comparison with Judas. I love Nash's voice here. I love how you comment about external POVs about their relationship.

This is like the most beautiful thing ever (save, perhaps, the funeral meme response). *feels all warm and fuzzy inside but also kind of bittersweet*
Kirsten: Office!Nashkirstenlouise on February 22nd, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
KATIE, I FEEL REALLY BETRAYED RN.
I don't know that I can forgive you for keeping this talent hidden. I mean, that's just really shitty of you. HDU, KATIE. HDU NOT REVEAL HOW FUCKING AMAZING YOU ARE...until now. :O!

In a word, this is incredible. Your Nash has such a strong voice, which is interesting, juxtaposed next to how much of a spineless bastard he is with regards to Dom. First person is one of those things that can be done so well when done right and this? This is a textbook example of doing it right. The first person perspective adds so much to this piece. I love how I'm just totally in Nash's head. It's a rather terrifying, yet darkly humorous, place to be and I'm not sure I ever want to leave.

I'm going to quote a ridiculous amount now, but know that I restrained myself. This is so fucking quotable, I don't even---

Yet one billion Catholics still bust out the rosary beads after every infraction. You know why? At the end of the day, people don’t want something for nothing. It makes them feel uncomfortable, like they’re just waiting for the catch, for the other shoe to drop. Don’t believe me? Stand around one of these days and offer strangers on the street a couple bucks or a cup of Starbucks' finest. You’re not going to get a ton of gratitude.

OH GOD NASH, I AM SO IN LOVE WITH YOU. YOU AND KATIE BOTH. ♥ I love this observation. I love that Nash is the one making it---he's not really the character you'd expect to be talking about this sort of thing. More someone you'd expect to actually be putting cyanide in your coffee. You just bring a really wonderful humanity, bitter though it is, to him with this.

A rosary’s all well and good for people whose list of iniquities maxes out with losing your temper at work or jacking off in the men’s room at the parish hall. Not for me. Not even God would want me.

This line kind of makes me want to laugh and sob at the same time. Not even God would want me. I feel so horrible for Nash. Have I mentioned my love for the Judas metaphor? Because I fucking love it. Admittedly, I've always felt really sympathetic toward Judas. Cobb is no Jesus, but I love the comparison. This is all my favorite things rolled into one.

It‘s hardly a fair trade. Like walking into Cartier with a bucket of dog shit and expecting diamonds in return.

Again, laughing and sobbing at the same time. How can you do this to me?

And without Dom, without the punishment that comes before absolution--how will I know if I’m absolved? I’ll be adrift, forever, drowning in my own iniquities, doomed to damnation by my failures.

...and now I'm just sobbing. I'm a sobbing mess, Katie, and it's all your fault. Just the way you've captured the mindset of an abuse victim here, with all its psychological complexities, is amazing to me. You've done it in less than 2000 words and you've hit the nail right on the head.

Katie, I love you. Please marry me. ;_;
Koushi: cobb fuckfacekoushi on February 22nd, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: KATIE, I FEEL REALLY BETRAYED RN.
We're already in a pooly realtionshpi or however you spelled it. :P
Kirstenkirstenlouise on February 22nd, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
Re: KATIE, I FEEL REALLY BETRAYED RN.
But I want to get married, damn it. *flails*
The Disinformation Agent: Matty&Stanmy_kakistocracy on February 22nd, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: KATIE, I FEEL REALLY BETRAYED RN.
<33333333333

I LOVE YOU TOO, KIRSTEN.

IDK even what got into me last night, I just sat down to play some Tetris had suddenly my brain was like "Nash has feeeeeelings write them down!"

I can never sit down with the intention of writing something, it just has to ~hit me. To be perfectly honest, you are such an amazing writer that I struggled with even posting this here because I AM SOMEWHAT INTIMIDATED BY YOUR AWESOME.

I am so happy that you liked it, I FEEL VALIDATED. And it's a good feeling, indeed.

Yes, we can all get married. Pooly marriage. :P
Kirstenkirstenlouise on February 22nd, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
Re: KATIE, I FEEL REALLY BETRAYED RN.
I can never sit down with the intention of writing something, it just has to ~hit me.

Sort of like a mack truck? ;)

Seriously, though, how can you even be intimidated by what I write when this amazing thing is your brainchild? I am legit embarrassed for my Nash. He needs to step it up a notch or fifteen just to have a hope of competing with yours. PLZ BE MAKING NASH HAVE FEELINGS ALWAYS, KATIE, OR I MAY DIE OF SADNESS.

You >>>>>> me.

POOLY MARRIAGE FOREVAH. ♥♥♥