Tangible Schizophrenia


Cat’s Breath

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Dwight/Miho, implied Dwight/Gail
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, etc.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Folktale has it that if a cat is allowed near a cradle holding a newborn, it’ll lean over the baby and steal its breath (i. e. kill it).
Summary: Space-sharing.


Dwight leaves a window open if he’s sleeping in a night instead of out on the streets. Not much. He’s got it on a chain that can’t be seen from the outside and that’ll rattle like hell if someone ever tries to open it. It isn’t like he’s got much, and of course his new hellhole is in Old Town where somebody would have to be crazy to rob him. Crazy, new, or just plain dumb. And he’s far enough behind the borders that usually all three of those categories run into one of the hookers first, and there isn’t a crazy ignorant fool born that wasn’t stupid for a woman before they were for a man. If they get as far as his window, Dwight figures they must be too damned good for a closed window to stop them, so it doesn’t make a difference.

Case in point—he’s never actually heard Miho coming in.

She shuts the window. Or rather, on the mornings that he yawns, scratches himself and rolls over only to freeze and fervently thank God he doesn’t roll fast, the window is always tightly shut and latched. It’s not a reprimand; the only scolding he ever gets is one eye slitted open to watch him carefully crawl over her and get off the bed. If he needed any more, he wouldn’t have a head on his neck. It’s more like Miho just likes things neat and tidy. Her blade and earrings are always brightly polished, her kimonos spotless—before she starts whaling on some poor fuck, anyway—and even her nails are clean. After Dwight’s done answering the daily call of nature and is onto shaving or brushing his teeth, she comes tip-tapping in to redo her hair. When she puts out a hand to borrow his comb, her nails are beautiful little pink and white curves. Makes his whole apartment look even dingier.

She comes up to his armpit, maybe. Miho likes to wear high-soled sandal-type things, or those rollerblades he’d sheepishly slipped her on Christmas Eve, and so she could be anything up to three inches shorter. Jesus, he could break her. Except of course he can’t, and when he’s got his razor rasping around his jugular and she’s standing next to him making delicate butterfly twists in her hair, he damn well remembers it. Some men like that sort of doll-girl, verging-on-pedophile shit. Twisted fucks. He’s never looked at Miho like that, and Dwight hopes deep down that she appreciates that whenever Gail is on a tear and Miho’s sword is keeping him from talking some sense into that woman.

Gail. Ouch. Think of Gail, might as well say to hell with the chores or the thinking and go for a nice, exhausting stroll on the roofs. Though it’s getting a little better. Comparatively speaking. In other words, most of the time Dwight can think of her the way any other guy would staring at six feet of pure womanly perfection. Occasionally a lock of her hair wriggles out of its hairspray crown and dangles against her cheek, or she looks over her shoulder at him so her eyes burn soft, and then it’s hell on earth. But he’s working at it. He’s got those times down to maybe once a week.

He needs a new girlfriend, probably. Shellie and he are still friends, but they’re off for the moment and he’s hoping really hard he doesn’t have to play Sir Galahad against her newest boyfriend because there’s shit going down next week and he doesn’t really have the time. And so he needs the girlfriend, but he’s got no time to go looking outside of Old Town and he can’t exactly date anyone in it. Either he looks at them and feels the debt owed like an iron band round his balls, or Gail sees him looking and starts cracking her manicured claws, or…

…well, Miho doesn’t do anything. But then, she doesn’t have to in order to express disapproval. And ever since two pairs of tiny sandals showed up tucked beneath a table by his window, Dwight suspects that he’s gotten a part-time roommate. So he guesses she should have a say.

* * *

He usually doesn’t wake up when she curls quietly next to him. On the other hand, usually she keeps a couple inches between them. But tonight the clock is blinking a lurid seventeen after three at him and he has this little warm thing stuffed into his side. Dwight can feel her nails wrapped around the collar of his t-shirt. Her thumbnail’s right on one of the bullet-scars Ava left him.

It’s entirely possible that he’s scared shitless. Or that he’s suddenly, frantically reviewing every single goddamned thing he knows or has ever heard about Miho.

It’s even possible that he’s enjoying it, pathetic horny shit that he is. Miho looks like a fucking twelve-year-old, and how many times has he told himself that? How many times has she told him that, her stabs and slashes at some other jackass’ nuts a silent warning? And for fuck’s sake, he doesn’t like her that way. He doesn’t think of her that way.

She does have breasts. Through the silk of her summer robes and the thin cotton of his shirt, he can feel them. Round and full, and maybe they’re smaller than he’s used to but they fucking well aren’t twelve-year-old breasts. Not that he’d know what a—fuck it, he’s talking himself into a headache.

He can feel one of her nipples, and her breath on his neck. Though he can’t hear Miho breathing. He can’t really hear her heartbeat either, but its thumping is pattering against the hand that he’s got squashed between them.

Dwight wants to laugh. It’s too damned cute and terrifying and something he doesn’t want to think about all at once. So he doesn’t think about it. And surprisingly enough, it’s pretty easy to fall asleep not thinking about it.

Though waking up and then wondering how the fuck he’s going to untangle himself before he pisses in the bed is not a great way to start the morning. Finally he decides he’d rather get killed for having some common courtesy than for being a pissing coward and he gently tugs. Miho’s eyes open. Dwight freezes.

Miho rolls her eyes, unwinds her fingers from his shirt and coils into the warm spot he’s just left. The hair falls away from her neck, and behind her ear, just at the hairline, he can see an odd-shaped scar.

He curls his fingers tight and presses them against his thigh.

Later, when he’s rinsing the foam from his mouth and she’s carefully patting her face with his ratty towel, he idly thinks that he’s a fucking idiot with no sense of self-preservation. It’s usually what he thinks before he does it anyway. “Want some sausages before we head for the docks? Or bacon?”

She has her back to him so that all he can see is her hair and her thumb on the towel, slowly pushing the threadbare folds around her eyes. Her nail, he remembers. Neat little curve. Sharpened properly, those can make hellish gouge-wounds. Leave scars—more knowledge courtesy of Ava. Though the angle’s wrong for Miho to have done it on herself.

As usual, she doesn’t say a word but he gets it. Bacon it is.

* * *

He wakes up again. It’s five after two and Miho is sprawled across his chest, the most relaxed and careless he’s ever seen her. She has bony knees beneath all that silk; one’s jabbing his ribs and the other is on his thigh and just a little too close. Dwight determinedly thinks about the stinking mess they’d left in the dockside warehouse, about how near to revolting Miho could be sometimes when she was having fun.

Her hair is soft where she’s pressing it to the underside of his chin, and part of her kimono has slipped down so her shoulder is bare. In the night, her skin isn’t pearly or gleaming marble or any of that romantic nonsense. Actually, it’s hard for Dwight to see it. All his eyes pick up is a shadowy line sloping downwards, and even that wavers so he’d have to pin it down to know where it was for sure.

Hopefully he’s not going to rip the sheets with his grabbing and clenching at them. He looks around for her sword and spots the hilt leaning against the side-table, well within her reach. There’s a gun beneath his pillow that he could get at, but he’s not that egotistical.

She really isn’t wearing much under those robes. And Dwight really isn’t that different from the johns who cruise Old Town for a flash of breast and a piece of ass.

Son of a bitch, he mouths at the ceiling.

Miho makes a sound. Scares the shit out of Dwight until he realizes it’s a tiny whistling noise, not a battlecry. Not that Miho uses battlecries, and…he probably shouldn’t have watched that stupid samurai film last night.

She’s just snored.

Dwight can’t breathe. If he does, he’ll laugh and then he’s fucked. He can’t say anything, either, or he’ll be fucked. There’s a cramp starting up in his bicep and he can’t do anything or he’ll be fucked.

Fuck that. He very, very gently wriggles his arm from under her. When she doesn’t wake, he almost forgets and sings Hallelujah. Then he realizes he’s got another problem—where does he put his arm now?

Gail, babe, I’m really sorry for dying on you like this, Dwight silently tells the unhelpful ceiling. Maybe when his blood goes splattering up there, it won’t stick on the words and she’ll be able to read his last words. But at least you know you’re right about me. I’m an idiot about women. I’m a disgusting piece of shit just like the rest of them.

And then he carefully, so carefully, drapes his arm around Miho’s waist. He prays that’ll qualify as a demilitarized zone, because she’s so damned small that it’s hard to avoid the soft plump breasts she has nestling against him or the hip pointing out of the rumpled blankets. His fingers start to droop, but then he realizes that if he does that, he’ll touch her belly. He stops immediately and holds them stiff. Any second now another cramp’ll be starting and he’s pretty sure he’s used up his one free pass of the night.

Slender fingers tuck into his. He jerks, and only because they’re so tightly pressed together does he realize Miho’s holding a chuckle inside of her. It feels smug.

She can’t see him, so Dwight rolls his eyes.

He’s still terrified. He’s just getting used to it.

* * *

Some townie bastard’s been kidnapping girls and hauling them back to his swingin’ upscale place for gang-banging mayhem, so they’ve all been pulling extra shifts. Especially Dwight, since he’s one of the few that used to frequent those neighborhoods, shooting for the paper. Now he’s shooting for someone else, and no matter how much he works at it, somehow he always ends up ruining his clothes. The coat’s probably salvageable, but his shirt and pants he just tosses in the trashcan. After he gets done with his shower, he flambés the clothes, lets himself have one smoke off a cigarette Gail slipped him, and then heaves the ashes out the window.

He doesn’t bother getting dressed for bed. Or latching the window. Dwight just flops into bed and lets sleep have at him.

Of course, now his sleeping patterns are fucked so he wakes up in the dead of night instead of early morning. And there’s an annoyed Japanese woman on his bed. Miho flicks her eyes toward his properly-shut window, then smacks him on the head.

“Sorry,” Dwight mumbles.

She hits him again.

He’s still groggy and combined with the pissed-off, that equals stupid. His hand is out and around her wrist before he can stop himself. For a long moment, Dwight just stares, horrified, at his fingers.

Funny. He doesn’t hear any whistling noises, like a sword would make when swung through the air. Very slowly, he lets go of Miho’s wrist and looks up at her. She looks back, impassive statue.

Not quite statue—she moves. Her sword is carefully leaned against the side-table and then she kneels next to Dwight. Beneath her robe—which is still disheveled and smelling of blood—her knees peek out.

Miho puts her palms flat on his chest and then bends over, like a cat lapping up water from a dish. Only in this case, the cat has her mouth against Dwight’s. It’s hot and wet and it knows what it’s doing and suddenly he isn’t tired. He’s still, still wondering when his head gets sliced off but at the moment, that part of his body isn’t the only part doing some wondering. Because Miho does not kiss like a girl. She doesn’t kiss like those girls from high-school that twirled their skirts and then got all shy and shaky when Dwight got a hand up beneath those ruffles. Doesn’t kiss like Gail. She’s not ravenous—Miho’s tasting.

That pisses Dwight off for some reason. Desperate, angry, wound up from the fight earlier—bad combination if he’s trying to be smart. He’s not. He’s trying to roll Miho over and get his tongue inside her cool little mouth and light it up. Only…there’s too many tongues in there.

They have rolled over, and so Dwight can prop himself up on his elbows and open his mouth. Only Miho narrows her eyes and opens hers first so he can see the mangled tongue, split too deeply down the middle for speech to be really possible. He stares. His dick is still jerking up against her robes, the bastard, and his stomach is feeling a little sick.

Dwight’s hand slides up beneath Miho’s head. He cradles her, but his fingers slide round her head till they run up against two scars, one each behind her ears. Maybe he’s gone morbid, but he can’t help trying to fit his nails into their ragged crescents. He’s unaccountably relieved when he realizes they don’t fit.

Miho closes her mouth and stares at him.

“I wasn’t about to go spreading the news. Even if I didn’t think you’d kill me for it,” Dwight says. He abruptly thinks about whether he might be crushing her and starts to get onto his knees. “Are you going to kill me?”

Stupid question, apparently. He’s halfway up, his balance at its most critical when she hooks her leg around and rams into the back of his knee. While he’s cursing at the blinding pain and collapsing, Miho gets her hands into his hair and yanks him the rest of the way down and kisses him like she’s going to rip off his mouth. She’s done testing. Tasting. Whatever she’d meant to do.

And she’s proved her point, but that doesn’t stop Dwight from hesitating once he’s clawed open her clothes. Her nails cup his head, dig hard into the scars from his plastic surgery like they’re trying to slide off his fake face and make him look at the old one, the more truthful one. They rake over the back of his neck, skate down his sides and press hard at his hips, testing aching joints to the edge of pain and pleasure. He gets that message. Mangled, hell. Yeah, he’s really one to talk.

Miho slides up against him and licks hard at the round bullet-scars dotting his chest, halves of her tongue dragging around the edges and then coming together, like twin needles stabbing away his breath. Like fangs. Like something that makes him close his eyes and drop his head and groan while he strokes her breasts, her belly. It’s a strange feeling, her tongue. A little like that one really whisky-soaked time with two at once, only her licks are too close together for two mouths. The one part swirls over the skin that the other’s just sensitized and then they overlap and then it’s a small squirming knot of heat against his skin, tying his muscles together and pulling on his nerves like puppet-strings.

Her robes are still in the way, and he barely remembers not to tear them as he peels them back. The sweat is already making the silk stick to their skin and the way it comes off in his hands, sodden and twisted, makes him think of the strips of skin hanging from that—no. No. Dwight shakes his head and looks down, sees the whole white thighs beneath his rough tanned hands. Breathes and rubs the heels of his hands into her muscles, runs his fingers closer and closer till they’re combing through hair. Rougher, coarser here than the gauzy stuff that sticks between their mouths when they go down for teeth and lips and sharing scars. Not what Dwight imagined, and fuck, is he surprised to realize he had been imagining. But he likes it better this way. Miho. Woman. Hair on her cunt like any other woman, making him have to work a little at finding that little lump of flesh that swells and seems to burn against his fingertips.

He couldn’t touch her if otherwise, and he badly, desperately wants to touch her. So badly he almost forgets he already is touching her, slicking his fingers inside of her body and feeling the rhythm of her clenching, pressing up against her clit with his thumb-knuckle so she’d finally make a little hiss in his mouth. But it’s not enough, even though she’s also touching him. Tracing over and over the hidden scars of his face surgery, stroking along his hairline till he has to wonder how far this went back and if—but then her hands go to his arms and she pulls him down to nip at the nose that’s there now. And he pulls up and his cock bumps her thigh, almost goes crooked before he slides into her cunt. Her tight, hot, delicious little cunt and maybe he’s obsessing but that’s what he fucking does. Anyway, she knows that.

His hand is still down there, index finger now the one that’s working her clit, pinching and rubbing and nudging it. Her hands stay on his arms but her mouth wanders. To his neck when he’s driving in, to his ear to bite hard when his finger accidentally slips in next to his dick. To his nipple, once, when he lost his balance on the damp sheets and almost slid out. It’s going to be aching for days, and he loves her for it, he fucks her like he loves her, and she lets him because she’s one of the few, few people in the world that understand Dwight can’t love without leaving bruises. Not that kind, not the ordinary drunken-bully kind, but the ones that stay on bone after the blue-black skin swelling’s gone down. The ones that make him seek out her mouth like it’s the gate to heaven and suck on her cleft tongue, probing hard at the scar-tissue because it’s so different when it heals inside a wet sweet place, instead of paying more attention to her perfect breasts and hips. The ones that make him fit for this place.

And she fucks him. Locks her knees over his scars and presses them between their bodies so he doesn’t forget. Her teeth mark him the way he used to mark Gail, so hard and deep that even make-up did fuck all and so her marks would fucking know this was no whore, this was a goddess and she was already taken so fuck their sweaty hands. She twists herself around him like a labyrinth, wringing his body till the sweat blinds his eyes and stupefies his mind, till he sightlessly ruts them up against the headboard. And then her little hand slides down and squeezes his balls so the lights flash white-out-black.

He comes from that. He thinks she comes from the nail he slashes over her clit, at the very end when his will is failing and his body with it. But she comes as well. Good. He hates being alone. It’s frightening—himself, that is.

* * *

Miho gives him seven minutes of laying his head on her belly and panting. Then she shoves at his shoulders, hard.

Dwight snickers before he can help himself, and then he pokes his tongue into her bellybutton before she can help him. His tongue leaves a glistening trail as he slides between her legs. Snake-trail. Where the hell had he gotten cat, anyway?

* * *

“They did that to keep you quiet?” Dwight wonders. He has no idea who ‘they’ are, or what Miho might have to keep quiet.

She takes a mouthful of his thigh, right next to his balls, and bites hard. When he hisses, she darts a quick look up and his hand goes back to his side.

“No.” And then he knows, and he lifts his hand again. But since it’s to tip up her chin and look her in the eye, she allows it. “They were aiming to cut off your tongue and missed.”

Miho rolls her shoulders back and the undulation travels down her body, rubbing her against Dwight’s leg. His head thumps back against the wall as she takes a curious lick at his slowly rising prick.

“Did you already kill them?”

She rolls her eyes at him. Her hair is loose down her back, spilling over her shoulders, draping Dwight’s thighs and knees in a silken tent.

He rolls his own eyes, then runs a hesitant hand through her hair. Hesitant because this is a caress, and not what they were doing before. “Damn,” he says, a little disappointed and a little relieved and a little angry.

There’s no laugh curling from her lips. Dwight has the idea that if she tried, it’d come out sounding gurgling and horrifically pitiful, and Miho wouldn’t tolerate that. So she doesn’t. Instead she darts forward and swallows Dwight, and her laugh ripples through him so he can voice it. Hard, choked, clutching. He holds onto her shoulders and she grabs his wrist, grinds the bones in it to powder while she takes him into her.

He closes his eyes and breathes for her.