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The clock ticks, each strike ringing heavily in David's ears as he attempts to take a bite out of his cereal; but it's of no use. The ticking of the clock, along with the background noise of the agents going about their business, distract him from his main focus, and David can't help but become anxious of the very people around him as a result. David knows he isn't exactly wanted at Division 3, and after that last stunt that he had pulled that he knows within his heart of hearts that he had been directly responsible for, he definitely gets the reason why. They have every right to be suspicious of him, and he shouldn't pay any mind to it; but it still hurts to feel everyone's eyes on him, staring at him like he's some sort of enigma that ought to be solved all while each thought that he tends to pick up on has everything to do with him and how untrustworthy he apparently is. It's enough to make him want to scream, his own hands shaking uncontrollably, and he effectively drops his spoon into the bowl, splattering some of the milk onto the counter in the process. The sound of it, the clatter, reverberates loudly in his head, and it make his cheeks flush with embarrassment as he wipes the mess up with a napkin before decking out of the room with an empty stomach.

Syd is currently having tea with Melanie, and both Kerry and Cary are busy trying to figure out how to get things back to normal for themselves, so David decides to take a nap to pass the time until either one of them is available. Swiftly making his way to his and Syd's room as to not be spotted by either Clark or Ptonomy, lest they try to interrogate him some more, David unlocks the door and quickly shuts it before face-planting onto the bed. He sighs loudly into his pillow, staring blankly at the wall as the beginnings of unwarranted tears trail down the sides of his face. David doesn't bother himself with them however, more content with tucking himself under the covers then to deal with whatever could be causing them in the first place.


As soon as his eyes close, lingering thoughts fading into the black nothingness of sleep, David immediately opens them only to find himself elsewhere; he's back in the club where Ptonomy and Clark had found him, once again strapped to that godforsaken chair to be presented as a gift - except at the same time, he isn't. The room feels much smaller in comparison to the auditorium-sized chamber that he had been found in, the walls having shifted from their original position to effectively trap him within a cutout circle as he stares up at the ceiling only for it to be replaced by an all-seeing eye as it looks down at him with what he can only perceive to be curiosity by the way that it stares intently at him. The enormous eye looming from above then blinks, and suddenly the room is engulfed in red light, and David can hear the faint sound of a trumpet playing in the distance to no doubt announce the arrival of the Shadow King as he - no, she - no, they - draw near.

"Well hey there, hot stuff," a familiar voice greets him from where he assumes is being projected from the far side of the room, "It's been a while, hasn't it?"

David turns his head, expecting to find a figure draw itself away from the doorway just out of the corner of his eye, only to come face to face with Lenny as they then, almost comically, bump noses thanks to the abrupt proximity between them, and she, in true fashion, proceeds to breathe heavily against his cheek, bearing a rather maniacal smile with wide mischievous eyes as she lets loose a giggle of pure delight.

"Oh, what's the matter, kid? I thought you'd be happy to see me," Lenny utters with an exasperated pout, complete with puppy dog eyes and an over-exaggerated bottom lip, crossing her arms to showcase just how offended she is, only for her infectious smile to return to mock him even further.

"Just skip the bullshit, and get to the point already, Lenny. What are y- What are we doing here?" David asks, irritation all too evident in the tone of his voice. All he wanted was to sleep peacefully for once; to snore, and drool on his pillow like a normal person, and dream about something that had nothing to do with Lenny or the Shadow King fueling his nightmares with their mere existence. Like puppies, for example, he could - wait, scratch that; Farouk already ruined those for him. Okay, kittens then; he could dream about kittens - and maybe even some sheep perhaps; or, if he were so lucky, maybe he could even have a whole dream dedicated to him and Syd growing old together. But no, apparently he wasn't allowed to have any of that; and so, all that David wanted was for the thing that was responsible for ruining both his life, and the lives of the very people around him, to just cut to the chase so that he could have an excuse to wake himself up, and go to the cafeteria to eat his worries away by way of the endless amount of waffles that they continuously served on loop.

"Wow, pushy much? You know what your problem is, babe? You need to lighten up," Lenny scoffs, clearly annoyed but still somehow manages to maintain that infuriating smile of hers until it abruptly drops, retracting into a tight little line within the frame of her lips. "But since you asked so nicely, we've been watching you, David. And we've noticed that you've been down in the dumps lately - and we, or more accurately, the big guy, wants to know why."

"What? I'm not - I mean, that isn't-" David tries to retort, but he soon finds out that he isn't able to explain himself, shaking his head with confusion worrying his brow as he meets Lenny's relentless gaze with blatant uncertainty.

Lenny, however, takes pity on him, shushing David as she moves to straddle him atop the chair, her hands trailing slowly from his chest up to his face to rest on his flushed cheeks as he squirms against her touch. David attempts to buck her off his lap, wanting nothing more than to rip his hands and feet from the invisible ropes that tie him down, but she only laughs and rests her whole body against him, grinding her hips down to assert dominance over the unwelcome manifestation of his shame.

David whimpers, trying to shut everything out as he clenches his eyes shut, but Lenny grabs ahold of his face, sandwiching his head between her deceptively soft hands as she proceeds to then lick a stripe up his cheek, chuckling at his show of disgust.

"Aw, don't be like that, kid. I know, as much as you do, that you miss this. And that's good, because I sure as heck missed you too - you pretty little thing, you," Lenny purrs; except more than halfway through her speaking, she suddenly becomes mute, leaving her to mouth the rest of the words as the unmistakable voice of Oliver pipes in from behind, finishing the sentence on her behalf with his usual composed drawl.

It takes David off guard, so much so, that Lenny takes advantage of it by mashing their lips together. David tries to pull back, to get away, but Lenny is insistent; holding his head steady as she goes in for the kill, and thrusts her slick tongue into David's open mouth.

She tastes overwhelmingly of iron, with just a hint of sulfur if one were to focus on that particular aspect, and it has David gagging, finding the taste extremely unpleasant as Lenny prolongs the kiss. It is by this time that he feels something begin to trail down the corner of his mouth, coarse and sticky as it runs along the seam of their conjoined lips, and he reluctantly moves his lips to counteract it which only spurs Lenny on even further.

But finally, after what had seemed like an eternity of his mouth getting thoroughly fucked by Lenny's tongue, Lenny breaks away, and David takes this moment to catch his breath, involuntarily licking his lips in the process and choking on his own tongue from the foul taste. It is only then, after looking up from where his eyes had been fixed on nothing in particular, that David immediately notices the black tar-like substance that currently surrounds the barrier of Lenny's mouth, thick inky lines trailing down both her chin and her neck, and he presumes that this is probably what he had been tasting for the past few minutes or so; but for whatever reason, it somehow doesn't phase him in the slightest now.

Not only that, but when Oliver steps even closer to him, beard tickling the back of his neck, David pays it no mind; in fact, he welcomes it, leaning back against the sensation much to his own surprise. Lenny instantly detects the change in his demeanor and smirks as she brings her face close to his own once more, teeth gleaming against the tar that fills the crevices between each and every tooth.

"You're alone without us," Lenny quietly states, her voice rid of its usual sardonic wit, as she then cocks her head to the side to gauge his reaction, running her fingers down his bared chest. Every touch from Lenny seems to ooze with the pitch black substance, her hands tracing shapes and words he'll never be able to decipher onto his pale skin, but it doesn't matter much to David now that Oliver is making his move, humming a tune that he can't quite discern at the moment as the other man then latches onto his neck, gently nipping and sucking with abandon.

David lets out an admittedly loud and embarrassing moan at the attention despite himself, and Lenny snickers at just how broken he sounds as she continues to speak, "I knew it, you do miss us," she proclaims, biting and nibbling at his lips as David deliriously begins to reciprocate. "You miss-" Lenny trails off, and he can feel one of her hands travel lower until it slips into his pants and grabs ahold of his crotch, causing him to yelp as she whispers against his lips once more, "-me."

The word itself is said by both Lenny and Oliver in unison, their voices bleeding into one another seamlessly, and David can't help but shudder when confronted by the raw power of it; and it is at that precise moment that he throws all caution to the wind and ultimately surrenders to whatever the hell he is currently being subjected to. Which means, Syd never even crosses his mind, and it's probably for the best; lest he feel guilty when deft hands begin to work him to a shameful release, acidic tar covering his body inch by inch and gradually dissolving his skin to bone without the tiniest inkling of pain. All that David is able to feel is an all encompassing amount of pleasure; the pain nowhere to be felt within his grasp.

And David gets lost in it, unsurprisingly; his head cluttered in a haze of euphoria until, all of a sudden, he's ripped away from the scene itself, and he finds himself standing within an endless white expanse instead, watching as his duplicate continues to enjoy being ravished by decay behind a wall of glass. It makes him sick to see himself like this, to see the David on the other side rot before his very eyes as they all but disregard their own decomposing state, face unhinged, as they continue to moan desperately against the bonds while Lenny and Oliver writhe against his bound body with vigor. However, David's disgust at himself is soon forgotten once he becomes all too aware of the other presence in the room, sauntering towards him from behind; their heels clicking against the nonexistent floor. They smell of freshly ground coffee, and with each and every step, he can can detect bursts of cinnamon, ginger, and citrus follow suit, until strong arms wrap themselves around his waist in an arguably possessive manner, and he is subjected to the heavenly aroma at full blast. The scent is unlike the stench that had emanated from the Shadow King's constituents, and it disturbs David how comforting he finds the embrace as he leans back into those arms, overwhelmed by both the warmth that they radiate and the sense of belonging that come along with it.

It's the one thing that has been bothering him ever since he got back; the emptiness that he feels right in his gut, the void that is just too hard to ignore. Even though he has Syd and his friends to give him the much needed company that he was never allowed to have growing up, not even they could fill the hole that the Shadow King had left behind, and he realizes that now that he's encircled within the parasite's arms and he automatically feels whole once again; his phantom limb temporarily restored.

Peering down with just a moment's hesitation, David notices the appearance of Farouk's arms; they aren't the unnaturally thin and gangly appendages that had once belonged to the Devil with the Yellow Eyes. No, they're completely normal, embellished with sleeves that are undoubtedly connected to an immaculate suit if he were to just take a look around, and David knows, in that instance, that the thing behind him has merely taken the form of the man that he had met on the astral plane not too long ago.

David tries to say something then, to break the silence between them, but Farouk simply shushes him and inhales, lowering his head until David can feel the man's breath against his ear.

"No need to look so sad anymore, my dear," Farouk assures him, whispering softly as he tightens his hold around him, "I am here."


It is then that David wakes up in a cold sweat, panting heavily as he slowly adjusts to his surroundings and realizes that it's already night when he finds Syd sleeping on the other side of their set barrier, blissfully unaware of what exactly had transpired between him and the Shadow King in his dream; and he would rather keep it that way. It's not like he would be able to explain it even if he tried, so telling her would be pointless because he doesn't even know what had exactly happened himself. All David knows is that the void inside him has opened itself back up; and on normal circumstances that would have been a cause for concern, but in this case, he is more than relieved as he smiles down at Syd, reaching over to let his hand run softly against a spot near her hair on the pillow.