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Absent Heart (But My Body is Here)

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Well, you've done it now, Will. Done it again. He's been a right damn fool again. And again, and again.

Will knocks his head backwards against the dungeon wall, and once more for good measure. Not that it's helping. It just hurts. That's the lesson, isn't it? It always just hurts.

It started with listening to the Rabbit, of course. That's how he got himself into this mess again. As if it wasn't enough, jumping into Wonderland once, back in the day with Anastasia. No, he had to do it a second time. Never mind what the Rabbit said, or Alice. He didn't have to go with them. Could have turned around, gone back to Storybrooke. Cursed town, yeah, and the mayor's the bloody Evil Queen, but sure as hell beats Wonderland, any day of the week.

Will scowls down at his own knees, sitting in Jafar's dungeon, waiting for the world to end. Because of course.

So, Wonderland again. That was stupid enough. Then he went and got tangled up with her again. Anastasia-that-was. The Red Queen.

He's looking at her now, across the dungeon cell they share. Not much of a queen now, is she?

"Enjoy what time you have left," Jafar had said, the snide bastard, and had tossed Ana right into Will's cell, throwing her onto the stone floor. "I will return shortly."

Ana had picked herself up even as the iron bars had come down behind her. Will's eyes had caught on the scratches on her neck. Jafar had threatened to cut her throat if Will didn't tell him where he'd hidden his heart. And Will had told him. Of course he had.

Right. Done it again. Once a fool, always a fool. World's going to hell, fine, but he still couldn't watch Anastasia die.

Ana, standing up straight, had met Will's eyes. "You should have let him kill me."

Yeah, he should've, shouldn't he? Jafar's going to find Will's heart; he's going to use the genies, and then - well, what can't you do, when you can break even the laws of magic?

Jafar's about to win, and Will is looking at Ana. Can't escape her. Never could.

Ana's dozing now, slumped into a corner. Long day, right? What with the searching and the fleeing and the torture. Even the old guy in the other cell's dropped off now, snoring softly. It's just Will who can't sleep.

No other prisoners in the dungeon, that Will's seen. Figures. Jafar doesn't seem the type. Not going to keep a bloke around if he doesn't have a use for him.

Or a woman. Not going to keep her either, once he's done with Will.

Will squeezes his eyes shut, upper lip drawn up in a grimace. She's here, though, for now. He opens his eyes again. He looks at her and can't forget, and doesn't want to remember.

There she is, back in his life. Been turning up at every corner, again and again and again, in his face, and yeah, not like he'd forgotten - he'd thrown darts at a drawing of her face, even in Storybrooke. But it's been different, seeing her in the flesh. Hearing her voice.

Every time her accent slipped, lost the veneer of the Red Queen, made her sound like the Ana he'd known - every time, his absent heart skipped a beat. Bad for your health, that. Just like tangling with the Red Queen.

And then, and then.


She said.

She changed sides, and she said -

His mind stutters. Nah, won't think about that. Can't believe it, mustn't believe it. Except he already does, doesn't he? That stupid, foolish part of Will that had him drawing her face in the first place, before he picked up those darts. The one that thought Ana'd come back, even after she'd married the old king. If not that day, then the next. Or the next. Until Cora came and told him, and he understood she wouldn't.

That part, yeah. Back in action, it is, right on cue. It rings Anastasia at the back of his mind, all day long. Not going to grow weary, either. Never did before.

Bugger it all, what's it take to kill it? More than Will's done, sure enough. More than she's done, even. Now there's something for you.

"You should have let him kill me," she'd said.

No talking, after that. Didn't have to talk to agree to keep as far from each other as they could, in this cell. Sheer self-preservation. For Will, anyway - what Ana's been thinking, he'll never understand.

Now she's asleep, and at least she can't see him looking. Her hair's all mussed, her face is blotchy, and she doesn't look much like the Red Queen. Not like the Anastasia he knew, either - nothing innocent about her now.

God, they were both so young. They were both such idiots. Looking back, he can't even recognise the people they were. He was a soppy fool, right? And she - she wasn't selfish and cruel.

When did that start? It's not the first time he's wondering. Never found an answer before. Maybe she always was, after all. Except she's changed sides, and she stayed in Wonderland, and she said -

Who is she now, anyway? That's the real question. She says she's changed. She says, her eyes like that -

Doesn't matter, anyway. It doesn't matter, not with Jafar on the hunt for Will's heart, the last ingredient for his spell.

"I want you back," she said. He didn't believe her. He couldn't. "I'll never be comfortable again," she said. "Not without you in my life." He didn't want to hear it.

It can't be real, anyway. Because she didn't come, that day at the wagon. Or any day. Because she didn't love him. She can't have. Whatever she says, she doesn't now.

But the words are still ringing in his ears, in the hollow of his chest. She says she wants him back, and he feels something expanding in his chest where his heart isn't, and he want to ring it round with iron bands like that bloke in the fairy tale, just to hold it in place.

That's the mistake: listening to her. Because if it's possible, even just possible, that she means it -

No. She broke his heart. If he believes her and he's wrong, she'll break the rest of him, too, this time. He can't live in that world again, a world where he'd let her -

Funny, that. He's already living there. For all of the five minutes the world's got left.

Anastasia's twitching. Her chest's heaving with rapid breaths. She's moving in her sleep, gasping, then falling quiet again. Nightmares. Can't be surprised, after the Jabberwocky.

"Hold fast," Will told Ana. "She can't hurt you." He's never been more wrong.

It was awful, watching the Jabberwocky tear at Ana's mind, ripping her apart from the inside. Would've been awful, with anyone. Even she didn't deserve that. Even she doesn't. Even the Red Queen.

He couldn't watch her die. He can't watch her like this, shivering in her dreams. He should -

He shouldn't. Will pulls his leather jacket tighter around himself, closing himself off. But Anastasia's not looking at him, is she? She's not awake to see him do it, so what's the point? His hands clench into fists, the jacket's zipper digging into his palms.

He can't. Not again. But the Jabberwocky - but Ana -

Will's feet are under him before he's finished the thought. He tries to fight the impulse, then gives in to his own momentum. Up, and across the cell, dropping to his knees, a hand on Ana's shoulder -

She startles badly. Her head jerks up; her arm flails out; her palm lands on his biceps. Suddenly she's wide awake, her face a handspan from his. He flinches back.

They're staring at each other, both wide-eyed and shocked. Anastasia's eyes are red-rimmed. Will feels frozen, stoned again. Except he hasn't been turned to stone, this time. Stone doesn't bruise. And her fingers are digging into his arm.

Her hand on him. Through layers of jacket and shirt, but still searing. Her eyes, meeting his. His heart's not in his chest, but its drumbeat's still hammering in his ears. Somewhere far from here, in a different realm, walled away out of sight, it's beating harder now.

Her mouth falls open. He can't look away. Her lips. Her face. Her.

Her eyes are wetter than they were a moment ago, aren't they?

"Nightmare," he grinds out, trying desperately not to feel. Not having a heart should give him that, right? Somehow it's never been enough. "Was just a nightmare, Ana."

Her mouth closes. Transfixed, he watches her throat work as she swallows, her eyelashes lower as she drops her gaze.

"Right," she says, and she sounds awful. Desperate. Broken. What's the Jabberwocky done, in that head of hers?

He should pull away, go back to his corner. He should. Instead, his arms wrap around Ana's shoulders. "Right," he echoes, like an idiot. Not like he's got any comfort to give, even if he wanted to.

He doesn't want to. Of course he doesn't.

His arms around her, like a memory turned flesh. Ana's face burrows into his neck, her hair brushing his chin. She's trembling. She's right there. She's all up against him, suddenly.

And he's flushing, heat shooting right up his chest, his face.

Up, and down. Bugger.

"Ana," he whispers, helplessly. Clenches his eyes shut, willing it away. Great surprise - it's not obeying.

So what if he's reacting? Not his fault. She's right there. He can feel her breasts pressed against him. - Fine, all right, Alice in his arms like this, or Lizard, or Cyrus, anyone - he sure as hell wouldn't be getting hard.

Ana goes awfully still in his arms, all of a sudden. She's noticed. Oh hell, she's noticed. Her head comes up. Reddened eyes meet his. Burn into his.

Then, abruptly, she flinches away. "Sorry," she bursts out. "Sorry, I know you don't -"

His arms refuse to let go at first. He forces them to release. "What?

Ana turns her face away. "Just bodies," she mumbles. "Sorry, I'll go away." And she inches away from him.

What's it with her, that he wants something the moment she says he doesn't? Except that's not true, and he knows it. He always wants. He just knows better, usually.

"Just bodies," Will returns, bitterly. "That all it was before, too?" He snorts. "Doesn't matter now. It's all over anyway, what with Jafar."

"Right." Ana grimaces, but her eyes are on him again, and his skin's flushed, and when did this dungeon get so damn warm? "I know it's my fault."

Damn right it is, he wants to say. "Yeah? All of it?" comes out of his mouth instead. Stupid contrary impulse. "What about Jafar, then? Or the Jabberwocky? They got no part in it?"

She tenses at her torturer's name. "You're a good man, Will," she says bleakly. "But you don't need to defend me. I helped Jafar! I thought ... Never mind what I thought."

Never mind, yeah, that sounds about right. And yet. Will straightens his shoulders, braces himself. "No going back."

She slumps, shoulders drawn in close, and her mouth turns down. "I know."

"But you wanted to. You said you did. You were going to change the laws of magic so you could change the past. So what part would you have changed?" He shouldn't be asking. He was never going to ask. But it's all blurting itself out now, and he's helpless to stop. "Would you've left the old guy at the altar? Never said yes when he proposed? Never gone after the crown jewels?"

Will's chest is too tight. Whatever she'll answer, he doesn't want to hear it. Can't bear it. But he has to, all the same.

"Never gone to Wonderland," she says, and he gasps. It's a hit to the gut. It's his own thoughts, from her mouth. It can't be true. Can it? No, it can't. But what if it is?

"You mean that?" he asks, hoarsely.

"Getting involved with magic, that's where it went wrong." Her face is open, raw. Hard to look at. "You and me. We already had all the magic we needed, right?"

He wants to turn away. She can't mean it. But she does, doesn't she? Oh god, she does. His hand's on her shoulder before he knows it.

"That we did." The words force themselves from his throat. It hurts.

His touch, his words, startle the bleakness from her eyes, just for a moment. Her lips part. "Will," she says, desperately, leaning forward. "I'm so sorry."

"Yeah," he says, drawn closer. He can't say it's okay, because it isn't. And yet. Like a bloody idiot, all he manages is, "Yeah."

Their lips touch. Like a light switch, that goes. One that only Ana knows. He's moaning into her mouth the next moment, fingers digging into her shoulders, her hair. Her arms are around his back, clinging, and oh god, his prick's hard as a rock, straining against his trousers, against Ana's hip.

Their mouths are wet against each other, trying to devour - lips closing over lips, and then his tongue's in her mouth, running over her teeth, brushing against her palate. Her tongue presses against his, and oh god -

Will rocks into her, without meaning to, and there's a whimper torn from her throat. "Will," she manages, again, pulling back for a second to catch her breath. Her chest is heaving. Her eyes are glassy, and not because she's hurting. Not this time.

"Ana," he says, just as inanely, and they're back at it, mouth covering mouth. He bites at her lips, greedy, desperate, foolish. Cups a hand over her breast, feels her pushing into it. She clutches at him, her hips surging, right against his prick.

It lasts forever.

Well, it doesn't. They come apart eventually, for air - panting, foreheads together, breathing each other's breath. But it's all different now, isn't it? They're still in a dungeon. Jafar's still winning. But all Will can think, all he can feel, is Anastasia.

"We shouldn't -" she breathes, hoarsely.

"Nope," he agrees. Their lips are already touching again on the last sound.

She unwraps an arm from around him, and her fingers brush along the side of his face. Gently. Like she's not sure she's allowed to touch. Made that pretty clear with all the kissing, didn't he? He leans his cheek into her hand, and she sucks in a startled breath, draws away from his mouth to stare at him for a second.

She looks beautiful. Glowing with arousal, and if he doesn't think about where they come from, the rings under her eyes and the state of her hair might almost be from a long night spent in bed, with no sleep whatsoever.

Except there are those knife marks on her throat. He touches his fingers to the damaged skin. She startles, but doesn't pull away. Not hurting, then. Just scratches, no more than a few droplets of dried blood. But he knows. If he hadn't told Jafar, Jafar would have cut her throat. And maybe the world would have been a bit safer for a few days, but Ana would be dead.


"Will," she whispers, cupping her hand around his chin. She's trembling a bit. Memories? He trails his fingers down to her cleavage, runs his other hand over her shoulder, over her upper arm. Feeling her. He'd thought he never would, again. But here they are.

Here they are, in a dungeon, with Jafar moments from success, and all he can think is she's here, in his arms, and she meant it after all. She meant it.

And he can hold her, and kiss her, and be with her one last time.

It's stupid, a right proper idiot thing for him to do, with her of all people, after everything. What if he's wrong? He's been wrong before. But heart or no heart, the ache in his chest is sure she means it.

Never gone to Wonderland. If only they hadn't.

It's all long gone, the people they were, the lives they led, the love they shared. Whatever's there now, it's not that. It can't be, not after everything. Not by a long shot.

But whatever it is, it's there, after all.

"I've always been a right fool," he mutters to himself even as he pulls her closer, rocks against her just a little. As his hand slips inside her neckline, cupping her breast. Every part of him aches for her. Strains towards her.

Her eyes go wide. "Don't be like that, Will." She shifts and straddles him, lopsided, mainly on one of his thighs, and he moans when her thigh settles right against his prick. Not enough by half, but he's rock-hard, and if he doesn't get a grip he'll be rutting against her in a moment.

"Like what?" he demands, brushing a thumb over her nipple, his other hand settling on her hip. That's her breast against his palm, her body against his prick. That awareness almost scatters all his thoughts. He clings to what's left of his self-control. "Like me?" He meant to hold still, catch his breath, but he's moving against her, a tiny rhythmic rocking. It's like running fingertips over an itch when it aches for a good hard scratching, nails digging in deep. But he has to do something. "You don't want me to be like me, go find yourself some better company." He's panting, going breathless. "Not that -" A shuddering breath. "Not that you've got that much to choose from down here, Your - Your Majesty."

"Will!" It's half gasp, half laughter, and it's so familiar it hurts. She's rocking back against him, going faster. His prick against her thigh; his thigh against her cunny; again, again, again -

His balls are drawing up, and oh god -

"Stop," he gasps out, finally, pushing her away, off his lap, struggling to keep himself from going over the edge.

Her eyes are glassy, but she looks like she's been jerked out of a dream. "What?"

Will winces, ducks his head. "Don't want to come in my pants."

"Right," she says, snorting a startled laugh, and her eyes drift to his crotch. She's licking her lips. "Right."

The brush of Ana's hand against his fly is a surge of need spiking right through him, and the face she makes when he touches hers - it looks like he feels.

Fingers scrabble against clothes. Trousers pulled open: his, hers. Pressure relieves, just for a second. Then Ana's hand closes around his prick, right as his fingers dip between her folds.

Her hand, sliding over him: firm, slow; too little, too much. Wetness around his fingers, a sense memory of past pleasure as he feels her surge against the pressure. They gasp together.

"Yeah?" he asks, nonsensically, his thumb finding her clit. And then, "Yeah," as Ana takes him more firmly in hand, runs her fist along his length while she's rocking against his hand, brushes her thumb over that spot just under the head, just the way he likes -

He gasps. She does it again. And again. There's a sound torn from his throat that's mostly whimper.

Ana giggles. "You still like that?" she manages, still with her thumb on that spot.

Will manages to catch his breath, somehow. He makes a face. "What, you thought my prick's changed?"

She giggles again. His eyes are fixed on her face. He has two fingers between her folds, just nudging against her opening, and his thumb on her clit. She looks bright and beautiful, and flushed right down her neck to the top of her breasts. She looks like Anastasia.

Then her hand starts moving again. His hips rock forward desperately into her grip, and in sheer self-defence, he thrusts his fingers deep into her. Her head falls back, and she gasps, open-mouthed. The look of startled pleasure on her face is just like he remembers, except somehow more raw.

Desperate. He knows the feeling.

She's wet, so wet, and tight, clenching around him. Will pulls his fingers out, pushes back in. Slow the first time, then faster, distracting her from the rhythm she was building with her hand around his prick. She's still stroking, but roughly, without much coordination.

Not that he's got much of that, now.

Her eyes grow wild. Her hips bear down against his fingers. Her cunny convulses around him, and she whimpers with her release. Finally she slumps, breathing hard, leaning against him, her hand gone still.

"Ana," he says desperately, almost begging. He wants to. He can't. Too much between them now. "Ana -" She pulls her hand away. "Hey!"

"You want?" she asks, breathless, kneeling up.

He blinks. His eyes are drawn down, to his hand between her thighs. Does he want? Oh god, does he want.

"Gonna be a mess," he feels obliged to say. More than this whole thing already is. Well, more than spilling himself on the ground, anyway.

"Don't care." Breathless. She draws her lower lip between her teeth.

"Okay." He swallows. Pulls his fingers out of her, slowly. "Okay.

She pushes her trousers off the rest of the way as he watches, then suddenly stops, staring with lips apart as he licks his fingers clean. He grins at her. Startled, she smiles back.

Then she's straddling him. Sinking down on him, her heat and wetness closing around him. His balls are so tight, it hurts. So good. His prick feels like it's going to burst. He clenches his eyes shut, struggling for control. Hot, wet, tight, and her weight on him. She lifts up. She's grinding down. His hips want to surge right back, but he can't even find the leverage. He clings to her.

Should be doing something for her, but he doesn't have the coordination. Will nuzzles into her cleavage, trails kisses up to her shoulder, sucks open-mouthed on her neck. All he can manage.

She's riding him hard, fast and desperate, her fingers digging into his shoulders, bracing herself. He's going to have bruises. He doesn't care.

"Please," she gasps, nonsensically. She's the one moving. She's the one in control. "Please, please, please -"

She's begging for him, and all he can do is hold on for dear life. It's stupid; it's idiotic; what is she even thinking? But his prick's throbbing at the words.

When he pulls away from her neck and looks up, there's a tear rolling down her cheek.

"Ana -"

She's moaning, sobbing, begging as she's bearing down, again and again, and oh god, he can feel her cunny clench, convulsing. She's falling apart around him, and it's too much, too much -

"Ana," he gasps, losing his last shred of control, and it all spills over, pulls him under, a wave of pleasure drowning him as he spills himself right into her.

Everything whites out.

When he can think again, they're slumped into each other, leaning against each other, holding each other upright. Her breath his ragged and wet against his neck. They stay like that for a long moment, catching their breath. Finally, Ana pulls away, wincing as his spent prick slips out of her, as wetness drips down.

He looks between them. His prick's wet, of course, and what's dripping out of her is half her own wetness, half his come. He digs into his pockets, finds a hanky, makes a face at it as he holds it up. "Don't think that's going to do it. We're a mess."

"Don't care," she says, and her eyes are only on his face.

"Mm." He smirks. "Got an idea." He wipes himself off, tucks himself back in. She watches, smiling dreamily, only half listening. Going to change that, Ana. "Going to clean you up." And he crouches down between her legs.

A startled gasp, then a giggle. "You don't have to, Will."

He grins up at her. "Want to, though."

Her eyes widen. He can see her realise, can tell the moment when she understands.

He doesn't have a heart. And too much has come between them. I love you is a sentence he can't bring himself to say again, just yet. But this, he can do. This, he can tell her.

I want.

I want you.

I want you back.

His heart's not in his chest, but it's still beating for her.

Can't be long now. Jafar'll be back any time now, he's sure. But this is a better ending than he thought they'd have. He's sure Anastasia thinks so, too.