At first he'd screamed. Curses, epithets, promises of revenge, hurled at them like missiles. But they had no force behind them; what could he do to them? What could he do to anyone, pinned to the wall like an insect?
Then, slowly, his screams became not so much screams of hate as screams of pain, of helpless rage, as he twisted against the bonds that held him, skewered him. But he only succeeded in making it worse, and screamed louder, the sound echoing and amplifying itself in the eerie silence of the room.
It disturbed them all, made them sick on a deep, visceral level. Gluttony and Wrath were more obvious about it, both trembling and whimpering; one clung to Sloth's skirts, the other to Lust's. But none of them were really at ease. Lust herself felt nauseous and unsteady, and even the normally impassive Sloth looked ill, bathed in the pinkish light from the seal. And Pride... well, if Pride felt sick, he didn't show it. He stood by their master's side, rigid and unmoving, every inch the soldier he was. Lust was almost impressed by his stoicism: Pride had been closer to the seal than any of them.
After all, he had been the one to put Envy up there. It was his swords that pinned Envy to the wall, puncturing his palms, his shoulders, his chest. Arms spread wide and body hanging limp, he looked like a martyr from the old religious texts in Dante's library. Blood oozed from his wounds and trickled down his pale limbs, eventually dripping down and puddling on the stone floor, around the red stones he'd vomited up as soon as he'd been forced into contact with the seal.
Though he resembled a martyr, Lust knew that that was not the intent of the tableau. Envy was an example, a warning. A promise of what awaited all the other heretics who dared to take God's work into their own hands.
Envy's screams were horrible, but eventually he ran out of strength, losing both will and capacity to cry and lapsing into silence. Slowly, the others filed out, the lights going out with them, so that only the constant pink light from the seal remained to illuminate the vast, dark room.
But Lust stayed. She stayed, exactly where she was standing, and gazed up at Envy with a peculiar expression on her face. Curiosity, it might have been, tinged with sorrow and regret. And sympathy.
It took her by surprise when Envy started to cry. She wouldn't have believed him capable of such a thing. But there was no mistaking it: those were tears streaking his bloody face, dripping down to the ground, and his frail-looking body was shaking with muffled sobs that echoed in the empty ballroom.
"Envy..." Lust murmured, wishing to comfort him almost in spite of herself.
Immediately the crying stopped, and Envy's head snapped up. The look he fixed on her was both penetrating and miserable. "What are you still doing here?" he snarled, or tried to. It came out as more of a choked hiss.
"I..." she had no answer. She just knew that she couldn't leave. She simply could /not/. "...It's not right," she murmured. "She shouldn't have done this to you."
Envy laughed, a harsh, rattling sound; perhaps the sword in his chest had pierced his lung? "She can do whatever she wants," he wheezed. "She's /Master/, after all. And she doesn't like when we take matters into our own hands."
"But..." Lust searched for something to say, something that would comfort the pitiful creature on the wall, her brother. He wasn't perfect, was cruel and childish and unkind, but he was /family/. And she could not blame him for what he had done. "...But she'll forgive you eventually," she said, trying to sound convincing. "She'll forgive you, or forget why she's angry, and she'll let you down..."
Envy laughed again, then dissolved into a fit of coughing, the force of which wracked his frail body. When it had passed he looked down at her, breathing heavily and trembling. "Forgive me?" he croaked, blood-smeared lips twitching in a ghost of his familiar cruel smirk. "After almost three-hundred years, she still couldn't forgive him for leaving her..." he coughed again, and blood spattered on the floor, then looked up at Lust, eyes hollow, "...how long do you think it'll take for her to forgive me for killing him?"
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