No Place for Passion

© 1999 by Heather Fleming

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This was not a place for passion.

He turned over in the too-large, too-empty bed and once more looked at the picture of the two of them, posing for the camera. Not even a very good picture, but it was all he had left.

Passion was for mortals and fools. Those with energy to spare.

The frame cracked in his grip before he even knew he had picked it up. He swore and put it down gently.

Here, passion was a failing, a weakness to be exploited by others.

He carefully placed the photo in a new frame, then crushed the old one to dust in his bare hands. He had to regain control of himself. If anyone saw him like this, he would be dead before morning.

This was a place of scheming, a place of evil. He knew its intrigues well: he had not earned his current position with his looks (unlike certain others). He had ferreted out the weaknesses of those in his way ruthlessly, and he knew very well that in his current state he was not likely to last another month in this place.

He wondered what that man was up to right now. Probably catering to that woman's whims. The very thought made him want to vomit. He by all rights should be dead. Bad enough that his near-demise had cost him the one bright spot in this dark life. That he had to not only live, but become a spoiled favourite... She had to be crazy to believe that they would actually work together as a team.

They would pay. He had to keep himself together long enough to make them all pay. Her, for destroying the nearest he had ever come to happiness. Him, for being that fatal flaw, the catalyst for that one stupid moment of defiance that had ended in death, and for daring to go on living afterwards. And those girls for being the fools they were, fools that should never have been allowed to survive and meddle as long as they had.

He wondered for a moment if he was mad.

He would destroy those girls first, one by one, first the blue-haired clever one, then that silly look-at-me-I'm-a-superheroine girl, then the belligerent brunette, then the fiery black-haired one. Then perhaps he would find a way to cure the brainwashing, so that man would be in the full possession of his passions at the last, when he destroyed that miserable excuse for a Princess. Or perhaps he would destroy her along with that man, so that they both would know at the end that they were beaten with no hope of rescue. They would die in as deep a despair as he felt now. And then he would go to face the wrath of that woman, and try to take her down with him.

Hatred, jealousy, grief, despair, lust for revenge, yes, all these weaknesses were in him now. Love, too, the deadliest of all, and he had barely recognized it while it had lasted. The one passion that had abandoned him was ambition - the power games that he had played for so long meant nothing to him now. He was a damned man, and his very hours were numbered.

For some reason, the thought comforted him.

Because a man with nothing left but passion, a man with nothing to lose, was a deadly creature indeed. Yes, he was doomed, but he would not go down alone.

Unnoticed, another picture frame shattered in his white-knuckled grip.

Author's Note: Yes, this was extremely short. I think at one point I intended it to be the introduction to a longer fic, but I recently found it lurking in an old notebook and I decided that it stood on its own rather well, so here it is. No names are mentioned, but I don't think any need be mentioned. Of course, the characters, however nameless, remain the copyright of Takeuchi Naoko, etc.

This story is property of Heather Fleming. Please don't steal it!

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