The first came after a celebration of sorts. A room filled with merriment, too much food and too much drink being passed around the table. Proxima was having none of it; her body was a temple, as she’d been taught, and that meant refraining from alcohol. She wrinkled her nose at the others neck-deep in their libations, acting like unhinged fools Twice, Corvus lost his balance and fell against her shoulder, cackling at some joke she hadn’t heard. She shoved him to the ground on his third offence and pressed the tines of his fork against his cheek.
And yet he continued to laugh, looking up at her with that dumb grin on his face. It was the unbridled warmth in the lines of his face that made her pause.
She stabbed the fork into the floor beside his head instead. She told herself Thanos wouldn’t have approved of her killing his general and stormed off in a huff.
“Just let me take a look.”
Proxima slapped his hand off her shoulder, pressing aching fingers to the corner of her lip. She should have been better than this, letting the scrawny little shit get a hit on her like that. Now she was going to have another scar; that was the least of her concerns. What pissed her off was that she’d let her guard down in combat, so caught up in how impressive his moves were, that he was managing to keep up with her, that if she’d raised her arm a mere inch higher, there wouldn’t be blood running down her face.
Anyone would have shrugged away and left her to her own devices. But not Corvus, apparently. He grabbed her chin between his clawed fingers and forced her to face him. His lips were drawn thin - much thinner than normal - as he focused on wiping the blood off of her mouth and chin.
“You’re too prideful,” he remarked under his breath.
She could smell a warming, earthy spice on his words Her brows furrowed at the drifting thought.
“And you’re too mothering.” Proxima shrugged away from the cloth, licked the fresh, oozing blood from her wound, and spat it onto his face.
Proxima pressed the staff of the glaive against Corvus’ neck. His claws dug into the flesh of her wrists as he tried to wrestle the weapon off of his windpipe. But she was stronger. And much heavier.
She watched with a morbid sense of satisfaction as his eyes began to bulge from their sockets and his face took on an unhealthy pallor. The wheeze that escaped his throat was music to her ears. His grimace exposed the ragged nature of his sharp teeth, uneven and broken. Spittle flew from between them as he struggled to get just one breath in, perhaps to summon just an ounce more of his strength to get her off of him.
This was Thanos’ greatest? His general? It was only this fact that made her question their father’s sanity.
“Enough!” The Devil-father himself bellowed from the doorway, interrupting their perfect moment. Proxima leaned in, grinning widely in her moment of victory.
“Just remember that I let you live,” she whispered before placing a kiss between his thin eyebrows. A “bacio della morte” for her people, a sign that she now held his life in her hands to do with as she desired.
The unfamiliar stirring in her belly that followed, she told herself, meant nothing.