Fandom: Kiss of the Spider Woman (book)
Genre: Angst? Hurt/Comfort? GAYGAYGAY?
Rating: PG-13 for homoerotic themes, no actual slash (sorry, I know what people are really in this fandom for ;oP), and strong language.
Word Count: 1,828
For Laurel (misatheredpanda),
I hope this is the kind of thing you wanted, it’s probably a little weird but so are you and so am I and so is this fandom, if it exists. I also freely confess I haven’t read the book since Junior year and so hopefully I’m not too far off canon, I’m trying to remember the Valentin-dying-in-jail scene but there’s a chance I’m a little (a lot?) off. Especially on what exactly happens on the island/what the island looks like--All the same, I did it for your love!
Summary: In his last hours, Valentin is reunited with someone he once loved.
Fanfiction Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4877771/1/T
All his limbs felt liquid; he was too exhausted to even crawl onto shore. He lay half submerged by the waves, gasping for air. He’d been swimming for days. He didn’t wonder where he was or how it had appeared; he took it for granted that after that much time in the water he was bound to find some land.
Somewhere in the distant part of his mind something told him that it wasn’t real. He was not free of the prison, that he was lying on a dirty cot, burnt half to death, hours away from starvation, completely abandoned.
He scoffed at the idea and thought he was going mad to even consider it. How could he feel the water if it wasn’t real? Why could he smell the waves and taste the salt? Somehow he had made it out. He didn’t remember how, he didn’t remember anything. He didn’t even remember who he was. He didn’t remember why he had been in jail. He didn’t recognize the people who spoke to him though he knew he had loved them. Thought he had loved them. He couldn’t remember what love was.
Finally he rose from the beach and looked at the island. It was beautiful, sunny, ripe with life. Valentin felt the sun’s rays on his back as if they were filling him with strength—just as they sustained the island. He looked up and saw her—a beautiful woman, spinning a web. She looked trapped and sad and somehow familiar. Valentin was sure he had known her, was sure he had loved her, and somehow understood that her sadness made him sad, too. But why was she sad? Why would anyone be sad on this island? Valentin approached her, wanting to ask. He saw a large tear roll down her cheek as she recognized him—did she know he had forgotten who she was, or was it something else? Was it something he had done to her?
“Marta?” he asked.
She shook her head “no” and Valentin was glad. He didn’t know why—he had no recollection of who Marta was, just her name. It was the only female name he remembered so he assumed he loved her…but he knew somewhere in the back of his mind as soon as she had told him she wasn’t Marta that he was relieved. That he had loved this person more, even if he couldn’t even recall her name.
“Who are you?”
She was quiet for a long time, her eyes were distant, tortured. “I don’t know,” she finally replied. “I’m the Spider Woman; I don’t think I want to be.”
“But don’t I know you?”
She smiled and somehow managed to look sadder. “You tricked me. You caught me in your web instead of letting me catch you. I didn’t mind.”
Valentin’s mind was too heavy to know what she was talking about but some of the things she said seemed familiar. Spider Woman. She catches men in her web. It was some kind of sick riddle—he felt sure he was about to solve it and then his mind would lose the thread and end up somewhere unrelated. But God, he was sure he knew that face.
“Should I start a new film?” Molina asked gently from his cot.
“No, no, tell me about you. Tell me something about you,” Valentin had replied. There had been a long silence from the other side of the cell; he wondered if Molina had fallen asleep already.
“There’s nothing to say about me…what do you want to know?”
“I don’t care. Something. Anything. Tell me about your childhood. Didn’t you have a favorite toy or something that you remember?”
“A toy!?” Molina laughed. “Well…yes…but I’m sure that’s not really interesting to you.”
Valentin was intrigued by his avoidance of the matter. He sat up on his cot facing Molina, even though he knew his friend couldn’t see him and he couldn’t see Molina. “What was it?”
There was a rushed, muffled response from his cellmate.
“I didn’t hear that.”
Valentin laughed hysterically. He laughed for such a long time the guards actually came to see what the commotion was.
“Lights are out, faggot. Shut the fuck up,” one growled.
“You shut the fuck up,” Valentin responded, still laughing.
“That is exactly why I didn’t want to tell you!” Molina exclaimed haughtily once Valentin had calmed down and the guards had left. Valentin could perfectly envision the bright red patches on Molina’s face and it made him start chuckling again.
“No, no, I’m sorry. That was rude. Please tell me about the doll,” he said without apology, laughter still in his voice.
“Actually, I’m feeling really tired tonight. I think I’ll go to sleep.”
“Molina, tell me!” he growled.
“Alright, alright. But you have to promise not to tease me.”
“I refuse, now continue.”
Valentin heard his cellmate give a loud, dramatic sob but knew he was going to comply. He couldn’t say no to him, and he certainly couldn’t say no to talking about himself.
“I stole her from one of my cousins,” Molina confessed. “My mother was working a particularly long shift at the cinema one night and I was still too young to enjoy myself properly after more than three or four movies in a day, so my mother took me to my aunt’s house for the day. I had four female cousins and they all adored me because I was always willing to play dolls with them and dress up.”
Valentin barked a laugh.
“I don’t have to keep going you know!”
“Yes, you do.”
“Well, anyway, this particular day, they had just gotten a new doll and she was,” he paused trying to find a perfect way to describe it. “She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I wanted to be just like her. So I played with her all day and at the end of the day, my aunt asked my cousins if I could keep her because I liked her so much and they reluctantly agreed. I took her everywhere with me, for years and years! She saw more films than most people ever will. But one of my uncles got tired of seeing me with it. He said my mother was sinning by letting me have it and one day he took her and threw her away. My other aunt, the one who lived with us, and mother were furious with him but it was too late. We couldn’t find her. I don’t think I’d ever cried so much in my life. I hated him so much after that, I would never agree to stay with him while my mother was working and I think he preferred that.”
Valentin felt awful for the other man but he didn’t know how to comfort him, so instead he let him speak of the doll he had loved so much. “What did she look like?”
“Oh, she had these long blonde braids and this fabulous gold dress—in retrospect she was a little gaudy and I guess that’s why she appealed to me so much. But…I could…well, you could see her…if you wanted. But you have to promise not to laugh at me. Really promise.”
“I thought you said you’d lost her?”
“It’s umm…it’s not actually…her, it’s just something that’s supposed to look like her. Oh God, forget I brought it up.”
“No, no, I promise I won’t laugh. Show me!”
Molina paused and then Valentin could hear him get up and start digging through his things. After a few short moments the rummaging stopped and then he felt Molina sit down next to him.
“Do you have a match?”
“Yeah, one second.”
Valentin lit it and Molina brought a photograph into the light.
“Damn, she’s pretty hot,” Valentin said with too much excitement. He hadn’t seen a woman in months and the blonde really was very pretty despite all the makeup and something else that made her seem different. She looked familiar. He brought the photograph and the light closer to his eyes for inspection thankful that the match had been a particularly long one but aware that it would need to be blown out pretty soon.
“Holy shit!” He gasped. “It’s you!”
Molina laughed. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you’re a big faggot.”
Valentin kept staring at her until the flame came down too low and he felt it begin to burn his skin. Molina made a surprisingly attractive female and Valentin felt how sad it was that he really would have made such a good woman.
“Shit, ow,” he grumbled blowing it out.
“You’re not laughing,” Molina observed with some surprise.
“I promised I wouldn’t.”
“I don’t think I believed you.”
“Can’t say I blame you. What was her name?”
“The doll or the—you know.”
“Usually it was ‘Whatever You Want It to Be’,” Molina said putting on a cheap, feminine voice.
“Now I am going to laugh.”
“You’re a jerk.”
“And you’re a rather attractive female. You’ll have to let me get a look at that photograph in the light sometime.”
“I’m really supposed to be like that, you know. I know you don’t understand, but I really am.”
Valentin took Molina’s hands in a too-friendly fashion. “One day you’ll be exactly like that, Molina. Maybe not here and now, but you’ll get to be her.”
Molina snatched his hands back and went hurriedly to his bed. He had just realized, rather inconveniently, that he really was in love with his cellmate.
“Right, that’s more than enough about me tonight, I’m going to sleep now,” he said snippily and he did, leaving Valentin to wonder what he had done wrong.
“Women,” he thought with exasperation before falling off to sleep himself.
“Did I love you?” Valentin asked the mysterious woman, though he was sure he did.
She shook her head, blonde braids reflecting sunlight. “I don’t know. Sometimes I thought you did, but other times I knew you couldn’t.”
“I did!” Valentin insisted. “I loved you, I’m sure I did. But you were different then.”
“Why should I have been different? How was I different?” she asked desperately, taking his hands pleadingly though he was unsure what it was she was asking for.
“I don’t know. I don’t remember. But weren’t you different?”
“No,” she lied. “This is how I’ve always been.”
“And did you love me, too?”
“More than anything.”
“Will you kiss me?”
“I think I have to,” she said reluctantly. Her eyes apologized as she brought her lips to his.
Valentin’s madness began to subside. The sunlight began to dim, the relaxing sounds of waves turned into someone screaming, and the pain where he had been burnt began to return. Before it could really hurt he closed his eyes, bringing the image of the Spider Woman back into his memory. He smiled absently, and then he felt no more pain.