“So what do you think of this tale, Ushiromiya Battleeer!” Beato cackles.
Beside her, Battler is gazing at the gameboard. At the figure standing in front of the shed. It’s raining, the sky shrouded in clouds, and his clothes are mostly subdued colors that blend in to the background. Only the whites and reds stand out — Shannon’s apron, her blood, and the hair and eyes and tie of the man who cradles her corpse.
Battler shrugs, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I dunno. I feel a little bad for the guy.”
Beatrice arches an eyebrow at him. “Because he’s you?”
“He’s not me.” There’s no anger or offense in his voice; Battler is just stating a fact. “He’s an Ushiromiya Battler who kills. People died because of me, but it’s not the same.”
The man on the gameboard — Bernkastel’s piece, created out of spite and boredem and then abandoned — certainly looks the part of a killer. His suit is dark where Battler’s is light, except of course for that damned golden eagle. His red tie is pulled loose carelessly, and his black dress shirt is unbuttoned far enough that his collar bones are exposed (Beato made this fairly crucial improvement on his design herself). Oh, and he’s holding a corpse. That’s pretty murderer-y.
His face could be Battler’s twin, except, of course for the burning-coal cats’ eyes. It’s not particularly subtle, even for Bern.
“All right, then. He’s the culprit who murders your entire family, and laughs afterward.” The cat-eyed monster is still laughing, actually, and the sound holds both a childlike joy and the edge of tears. “Look at him! Don’t you want to ‘grab him by the collar?’”
“Yes, but…” Battler sighs and slouches. “That’s the piece Bern created him to be.”
Beato waves her pipe, bringing them down from the smoking room to the gameboard.
The dark-suited Battler turns to face them, blood-red cat’s eyes staring unblinkingly at them as they approach.
“Lady Beatrice.” His voice creaks, like a door hanging from one hinge.
“Black Battler,” she says, and despite herself there’s something subdued in her tone. “Your have served your purpose well.”
“I was born a monster to deny you, you know?” he says, half-laughing. He’s still holding Shannon’s body. “This girl knew what I was and followed me anyway. Isn’t that funny?”
“Ah, but now you’ve become my monster,” Beato says, fondly. “This time you killed them for me. That’s why she followed you, after all.”
“I’d do it again,” Black Battler says earnestly. “I’d kill them all again, and again. If you want.” He laughs again, thin and wavering. “That’s what I was made to do. I kill, and kill, until everyone who wanted to see ‘culprit Battler’ gets bored of it.”
“We should do something for him,” Battler says, suddenly.
Beato looks at him, a wicked grin spreading across her face. “What a [good] idea!”
“I didn’t mean like that-” Battler begins, wary at her use of gratiutious English. But Beato’s already snapping her fingers. Their surroundings dissolve in a cloud of golden butterflies. When the last of the glittering, flapping wings have vanished, they’re in the bedroom.
Black Battler’s still facing them, but his arms are empty now. Having a threesome with Battler and Shannon — now, there’s an idea, but not today, and not while she’s a corpse, yuck. His clothes are clean and dry, too, but they’re still rumpled. He’s staring at his hands in mild surprise, as if he’s wondering where the corpse went.
“Look at me,” Beato croons. She lifts his chin with her pipe, and gazes into those mad cat’s eyes. “Now. What shall we do with you, monster?”
Black Battler sneers at her. “Here, outside of the gameboard, I am nothing. What could you possibly give me?”
“The fourth treasure of the golden land,” Beato offers him. “Even if you’re not really a witch.”
Black Battler laughs, a high, thin sound. “Very well. Put me to sleep with your own hand, Golden Witch, if you can.”
“Oh, I won’t bother to dirty my hands,” she says, and snaps her fingers. “Battler!”
He jerks suddenly to attention beside her. “Yes?”
“Lay a hand on this flimsy excuse for a monster. Show him his place.”
“Huh? Oh. Right.” Battler steps forward and smirks. “Kneel, monster.”
Black Battler smirks back, not giving any ground. “Why should I? You’re a ‘me’ who never kills. I’m a ‘you’ who always kills. How can you possibly have power over me?” He steps forward, leering, invading Battler’s space. They’re perfectly matched, height and build, but somehow Black Battler manages to make himself look a little bigger.
“Uh…” Battler looks at Beato.
She rolls her eyes. Battler is, technically, a switch, but that doesn’t mean he’s particularly good at topping. “Battler. Slap him.”
The sharp retort from the blow comes so swiftly that it might have been the punctuation on her sentence. For all his deficiencies, Battler is good at following orders at times like these.
And Black Battler is enough like his counterpart that he takes the slap beautifully. There’s still that mad, defiant light in his eyes, but his posture changes, ever so slightly, the tension shifted. He’s not pushing forward for a fight; he’s waiting for the next blow.
Her Battler, meanwhile, is smirking. His hand’s still raised from the follow-through. “Looks like that worked just fine.”
“Let’s be sure. Battler!” Beato orders, and once again, he’s swift to obey. He follows it up with a third slap, all of his own initiative — good boy, she murmurs — but to her disappointment stops there.
Does she need to do everything here? “Make him kneel, Battler.”
“On your knees, monster,” Battler orders, but Black Battler doesn’t move.
Battler looks at her, for guidance. He really is the worst dom.
“I said make him kneel, Battler,” she orders. “No, wait.” And with a wave of a hand, she makes a velvet-upholstered fainting couch manifest. She flops onto its cushions, skirts floofing with the movement. After some slightly undignified squirming and tugging at those same skirts, and eventually de-manifesting her hoop skirt so the fabric lays right, she’s stretched out on her side, leaning against the raised part of the couch. “There we go. Carry on. Make him kneel, Battler. The way I’ve made you kneel. You know how.”
Battler’s eyes widen, a bit, and he looks from Black Battler’s face to Beato, and back. She sighs in frustration again. Is he being squeamish because the monster is very nearly his double? That’s half the point of this. Well, there’s one way to make sure to tell the two apart. “Monster! You’re not allowed to close your eyes,” she orders. “Battler, stop dallying.”
Battler finally obeys, grabbing Black Battler by the tie and tugging him forward, crushing the monster’s mouth with his own. The monster keeps those burning red eyes open wide, but Battler closes his. Beato hums in appreciation at the sight.
A moment later, Battler shoves Black Battler away with the hand that’s not on the tie. The monster stumbles backwards, startled, and Battler yanks on the tie again, making him stumble. The monster falls to his knees, breathing heavily, red eyes still dutifully wide. He’s looking a little disheveled, and his loose tie is a little thin and battered from the mistreatment. Battler, still standing, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. Was that a little trickle of blood she saw on his hand? Hot. She wonders if the biting was Black Battler’s idea.
It would be hotter if the Battler on his knees looked more disheveled, she decides. “Battler, grab his hair.”
He does, and the monster winces, eyes squeezing shut.
“Eyes open, monster,” she barks, and he complies, lids trembling with the effort. Satisfied, she summons a bowl of chocolate, and starts fishing through them. “Hmm… what should I have Battler do with you now, I wonder.”
Black Battler apparently decides now is a good time to rebel a bit, because he starts cursing them both.
“Battler,” she sighs, over the stream of profanity. “Do shut him up.”
Battler tugs on Black Battler’s hair, pulling him so that he has to rise up on his knees a bit. “Don’t speak to Lady Beatrice that way, or I’ll gag you.”
“Fuck you,” Black Battler spits back.
Beatrice picks through the chocolates until she finds one she wants, and pops it in her mouth. It starts melting immediately, rich and velvety. “Bwawwer,” she says around the chocolate. “Battler, shut him up with your dick.”
Amazingly, she gets no backtalk or eye-rolling; Battler unzips his pants dutifully. She vanishes his underwear for him — that does get an eye-roll — and his cock springs free.
“Someone’s excited,” she murmurs, and Battler flushes. She’ll give him more crap for it later; right now that would disrupt the flow of the scene. “Battler. I told you to shut him up. What are you waiting for?”
Beato eats another chocolate as Battler starts to fuck his double’s mouth dispassionately. He’s fucking with precision and a surprising amount of control, even strokes as he holds Black Battler in place by his hair. It’s a very nice contrast to the choking and spluttering sounds of Black Battler as the monster tries to keep up. His eyes are starting to tear, and there’s a damp spot forming near the tent at his crotch. Beato considers the tableau before her, then uses a touch of magic to keep Battler’s suit and hair tidy, sweat off his face, his pants from sagging any further than absolutely necessary. She pulls the ends of Black Battler’s shirt out of his pants.
Battler’s even rhythm turns jerky, and moments later he pulls out, coming all over the monster. She doesn’t even have to order him to zip up his pants; he just does, and now she’s got one Battler standing in his immaculate white suit, breathing slowly and evenly, while the other is glassy-eyed and trembling and a freshly-fucked wreck.
She rises to her feet and glides over to them both. She comes to a graceful stop, and looks at them both, one, and then the other. “Good job, Battler.” She slaps him on the back, simply because it’s not sexy and will annoy him, and then looks down at Black Battler, who is still on his knees. “Battler, tell our monster that he’s done a good job.”
Battler goes down on one knee and strokes the monster’s damp face with a hand. “Good monster,” he says softly. “Very good.”
Black Battler whimpers, leaning into Battler’s hand. He also reaches down to palm his crotch.
“Stop him, Battler,” Beato orders, and Battler slaps his double. “Monster,” she croons. “We’re going to take care of you, I promise, but that’s for us to do, not you. Understand?”
He nods, silently. She steps back, surveys her kingdom, and then orders Battler to bring their monster to bed.