It's been a long, long time since she looked at herself.
The mirror is old, spotty and worn in the corners, set in ornate gilt, decorated with the crosses and signs of some antique religion. There's a hole in the plaster where it's been torn out of the old wall; it's propped askew in a corner, level with Lust where she's bent on her knees, Sloth holding her arms behind her in slim, soft hands that smell like salt flats and rain.
She's staring at her reflection, eyes locked. Dimly aware of her beauty, but not entranced by it as so many are; what she can't look away from is the smoky black of her hair where it spills in thick curls, where strands of it fall into her face. The way her skin looks as if it's carved out of marble, cold and faintly gray, silky polished sheen and utterly monochrome. Dark and dusty purple lips. Eyebrows dead black against pale skin, and her eyes--
"This is what you are, Lust," Sloth murmurs in her ear, sweet and merciless.
Clear dusky purple, gem-flawless, dark pupils slit tall like a cat's. She watches them widen a little as she narrows her eyes, irises flexing in ways no human's possibly could. Predator's eyes.
"Look well and never forget it. This is what you are." Sloth reaches round, slides two damp fingers along her collarbone, slick over her skin, to circle the ouroborus high on her chest, red stamp on white skin. The dragon head, the triangles in the center. Homunculus. Artificial being. No past, no memories
She thinks for a moment, when she closes her eyes, that when she opens them her hair will be the brown of fresh-tilled earth. Skin the rich tan of the desert folk, eyes round and perfectly human. Bare sternum free of the mark of alchemy.
"And those memories," Sloth murmurs, "are false. Here. Let me prove it."
Instead, when Lust opens her eyes, she meets the cat's stare. Still not human. Never human. But then why did she remember--?
She's never had clothes, as such, just senseless extensions of her body, seamed into ribs and hips. Just the way her mistress Dante made her. As if she'd known, even then, that she might dress herself in a pale cotton robe if she could, pale cotton and a long purple wrap, if she wasn't forever bound this way. Dress herself just as she remembers being. When she opens her eyes, Sloth is peeling back the slick black stuff, laying open the low bodice to bare her breasts. Soft and full and cold as marble in the mirror. Nipples white. Lifeless.
Lust shakes her head and growls. Yanks her arms free, lashes out with claws extended, slices the mirror to ribbons. Glass rains down; the gilt frame clatters in pieces to the marble floor; her shattered reflection glares up at her, slit eyes narrow in rage. Turns and lunges, two-foot nails slicing towards Sloth--but there's nothing to do. Nothing she could possibly do to harm her.
Sloth goes liquid with a bland, bland sigh. Living water flowing out of the path of Lust's claws, then surging back, wrapping around her arms, squeezing tight and yanking up until she's stretched to tiptoes, hands bound helpless in Sloth's body, breasts swinging as she struggles fruitlessly.
"I know," Lust whispers fiercely, "what I remember."
Sloth reforms, partially, tall and slim and pale, just as inhuman as Lust, with the ouroborus on one shoulder and her other arm liquid, a shimmering arch in the air to where she's holding Lust's hands.
"Then know," she whispers back, "what you are."
She reaches down, arm stretched impossibly liquid long, and picks up a long strip of glass, sliced sharp and clean by Lust's claws, and turns it over in her hand, skin so deceptively human as it reforms. The dull gray back of it, the shining mirrored front. Ceiling and floor and her own reflection spinning slowly before her.
Sloth holds it up; she's staring herself in the eye again, so close, can't turn away.
"You're Lust," Sloth whispers. "Nothing more. Not until we find Her what She needs to make us human."
Her reflection's gone. Cold glass skimming down the side of her face, down her throat, collarbone, the ouroborus.
"Shh." It's soft, motherly. "Stop worrying. You're Lust. Nothing more."
Her hand melts. Her hand is soft sucking water sliding down Lust's breasts. Toying with her nipples until she squirms and starts to pant in rhythm with it. Cool wet glass pressed flat against the side of one breast. Sloth's own purple cat eyes lazily half-open, pretty face friendly and bland. Lust's fingers grapple for purchase in the brine of Sloth's body.
"Put away your claws," Sloth says. "Easy now." Turns the glass sideways, and Lust goes rigid with a little whine as the sharp edge rests lightly against the soft skin of her breasts. "Don't make me have to kill you to remind you what you are."
Because if she saw round human eyes in the mirror she'd be mortal. Not--what she is. Not an unstoppable, ever-regenerating force of alchemy.
She flinches and shuts her eyes shut tight against the pain blooming in a long, thin line along her breast. Knows that if she opened them she'd see thin red blood sliding down her skin. Knows she'll heal in five minutes, knows this is nothing, nothing.
The pain, though, focuses things. Just her and the thin glass edge laying her skin open. No need for memory. Not when it gets worse, network of lines running out from ouroborus to nipples, until all she can do is strain until her shoulders cramp and grit her teeth against a scream.
Until one last cut and the scream breaks loose, and she screws her eyes shut until there's sparks of color and light and her head pounds, and Sloth's damp kiss silences her.
"Better?" Sloth murmurs.
Lust opens her eyes, hazy, looks down at the drops of blood on her pale, pale skin, and, slowly, nods.
Sloth lets her hands down, drags them behind her with irresistible force, and forces her down to the floor, kneeling, then lying full length, breasts pressed awkward into the cool marble. Shards of mirror before her as Sloth abandons human form entirely except for her face, one shoulder, one arm; water surrounding her, peeling back the rest of her clothes, forcing her hips up. Pouring into her without permission or preparation, and a hundred shards of her reflection gasp at her, cat eyes wide, gasping for breath as thin tendrils slide slick into her cunt and ass, deeper, thickening, as she gives way.
"Look at you," Sloth murmurs. "You're Lust."
She's Lust; she shudders, moans, gasps, all soft flesh and dangling black clothes in the mirrors, hair every which way, blood already drying in the healing cuts. No pain from them, not anymore, just overwhelming pleasure, because Sloth's filled her to bursting, and Sloth knows just, just how.
She's Lust; she abandons herself to this. And for a moment, as she watches shards of herself start to come uncontrollably on the floor, it seems almost right.