i think psychologists take suicide threats too seriously
i think psychologists take suicide threats too seriously
oh, the world seems so dark and the future unknown (but i’ll hold on to hope)
read it here on ao3
His hair and hands are wet.
He doesn’t know if it’s from his own blood, hers, or the black, oozing ichor of the monster made up of exposed, decaying insides turned out.
No, it’s not hers. He would know if it were hers. Would feel it in the way the thing nesting inside his bone marrow would screech in triumph. It would tear him apart one blood cell at a time if it meant her demise. He would know.
No, it’s not her blood.
Must be his, then.
There’s lightning, sulfur in his nose. The thunder comes later, makes his ears and nose bleed against the unbearable heat of it. That’s not a very human reaction to fireworks-- but the thing is he’s spent so long sharing a body he’s not so sure what’s human and what’s monster anymore.
Between blinding, sparkling bursts of red and blue, some not-quite-human part of him thinks, did he ever know?
He looks down at his feet, where a girl looks back at him. She is bruised and beaten. The heavy weight of exhaustion rattles her smaller frame with each heaving breath. There are tears in her eyes, but they do not speak of defeat. A furious determination meets his gaze, almost as blinding as the fireworks.
Yes, he knew once. She can remind him.
What was her name?
Between the screaming and explosions, she reaches for him, and he does not stop her. A small hand cups his cheek, and all at once, they are ripped away from the decay and pain. Plunged straight into the waters of a bubbling, sun-salted beach, a sea-lined memory-- he remembers.
Jane, some distant part of his mind still tucked into the recess of his hollow body recalls. Yes, that’s it.
Jane shows him the difference, no matter how small it becomes. She leads him out of the twisting, ugly dark, to a beach that doesn’t burn or bite or sting. Following after her light, he manages to claw up and out and into a deep, quiet blue.
More fireworks. An acrid burning takes root in his retinas. The darkness morphs into red.
But at least he’s not alone, anymore.
He can pinpoint the exact moment it extracts itself. It comes in the form of his mother, cupping his face and pressing a soft kiss to his forehead. It feels a little like being put under for a thirty second surgery. His mother is the painkiller, the balm, and Jane is the knife.
Jane touches his face, the red becomes withered, weak. He can feel it try to squirm deeper, embedding itself into his arteries, his capillary walls. But it’s futile-- there is no match for her scorching, empathetic blade.
There’s a bloom of agony inside of him at the first incision. It numbs as he’s drawn into his mother’s embrace. He swallows it down and bears the pain, each cut a little deeper than the last. Time loses meaning. It doesn’t matter anymore. Here in his mother’s arms, nothing does.
He hears it more than he feels when it finally gives. Jane finds it, leached and desperately clinging to his pulmonary artery, and she does not hold back. There is a wet ripping sound, followed by white hot fire and a horrid, gurgling whine-- and then it’s gone.
He breathes in, eyes flying open without permission to vast explosions of neon color. For the first time in weeks upon weeks upon weeks, he is his own again.
He sees Jane, and he sees the growling, screeching entity of malice and torment that owned his mind and body for so long towering above their heads. In that one singular moment of clarity, he knows what he has to do.
He remembers rising to his feet. He remembers pushing back, fighting back.
He does not remember falling, but he remembers the pain.
He’s always known pain, a bitter thought that’s not all that hard to swallow. His whole life has been nothing but one pain after another. The pain of losing a mother, pain by the hand of a father, the pain of a new sister’s rage and grief. Why should his death be any different?
Distantly, he thinks-- that’s not fair.
It’s not fair, he thinks, when the crying fades away. When the hands on his shoulders stop scalding his skin and everything starts to numb. When he feels the thing that’s been inside of him for weeks slither out of his skull and die-- leaving him alone and raw and aching and empty.
When he takes a breath for the first time in ages entirely on his own, only for it to be his last-- a sob rips out of his throat, and Billy thinks that’s just not fucking fair.
At least he knows what his last words will be.
The world gets quiet, gets dark. Heavy.
The pain goes away, and he doesn’t spend the time wondering whether that’s fair or not.
His hair and hands are wet.
It’s not his blood. It’s not hers. Nor is it the black, oozing ichor of the monster made up of exposed, decaying insides turned out.
His eyes belong to him again, so he opens them on his own. He is in a dark place. No light, no sound, nothing but the lukewarm, ankle-deep pool that stretches on and out passed infinity.
Is he dead?
No, he decides as he breathes in deep. There’s oxygen rushing in, and there’s carbon dioxide rushing out. There’s the tightening and flattening of the diaphragm. Even the pathetic beating of his very own wicked, blackened heart-- all of it still feels necessary.
No. He’s not dead.
He’s not alive, either.
Something in between, he reasons as he sits up in the dark place, clothes soaked through with the lukewarm water all around him. He’s not cold, but he feels like he should be.
He’s made up of nothing, he thinks. A reflection of what used to be. Kind of like a photo in the negative.
The word oblivion comes to mind. Obsolete, too.
“Fuck,” he groans, letting his head tip back to look up at a vast and vacant night time sky. He wonders if he’ll ever see stars up there.
Hoisting himself to his feet proves to be more difficult than he thought it would. He’s sore. All of his muscles burn as he rises up, and he very nearly buckles back down with it, but manages to stumble to his feet.
His body aches from overuse. From being overused.
Grimacing, he takes a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. He shakes his head a little, as if to rid himself of that particular thought.
He doesn’t want to think about that right now.
Despite the burning in his legs and lungs, he starts walking. There is no light here, yet all the same he feels like he can see well enough to pick a direction and just go.
There's a small, hopeful voice inside of his head that reasons that this place can’t just be nothing. There has to be something, some way for him to figure out where he is, or why he’s here.
He just has to keep walking and he’ll find it.
“It’s fine,” he mutters to himself, ignoring the ache in his head and ignoring the dread in his stomach. Faintly, he hears a sound, a voice-- whisper something back at him, and he grinds to a temporary halt.
He looks around, and as expected, he sees no one.
What could that have been?
An echo, maybe?
Biting his lip, he tests the theory, forcing rough words out of an already roughed up throat, “hello?”
A beat of silence. Then--
Hello? The darkness calls back.
The voice that answers is hoarse and strained, but it’s his. For some reason, the sound makes him smile.
“See?” He says, wrapping his arms around himself, as if that will offer him any sort of protection from the dark. The feeling of his own palms running up and down his arms is soothing, though. And makes him feel less lonely, so. “It’s fine, you’re going to be fine.”
See? The void tells him. It’s fine, you’re going to be fine.
With a breath and a self assuring nod, he keeps walking.
He doesn’t have a reference for time here. He could be walking for minutes, hours, days. And slowly, it begins to seem more and more like attempting to keep a timeframe for himself doesn’t matter.
Nothing ever changes.
He walks, and sees an endless stretching expanse of water in the dark. He walks, and hears nothing but the splash of his own feet through water in the ringing silence. He walks, and feels the constant ache in his joints, the hollowness of his bones, the way his insides feel as though they’ve been scooped out to make room for something that isn’t there anymore.
No wonder he was such a good puppet, he thinks, hours and hours and maybe days later, the taste of loathing burning like bile at the back of his throat with each and every stride he takes. All he knows how to do is keep walking and ignore the pain.
He never gets hungry, he’s noticed. Never gets thirsty, either-- he tried drinking from the water once, and spat it right back out before he gagged on the taste of thick, heavy salt. All of those particular human parts of him, it seems, have been ripped out, discarded. Left behind.
Maybe he really is dead, he thinks, and finds himself letting out a laugh.
A cruel, bitter peal of laughter bounces back at him from the dark, and he swallows, finding that that particular thought isn’t as scary as it was before.
He doesn’t want to think about that either.
At some point, he starts talking out loud to himself, just to hear some kind of sound above the constant slosh of his own footsteps and breathing.
At first it begins as a conversation, one that he quickly abandons because of how stupid it is to have to listen to his own worn, tired voice say things like “hello, how are you?” and “I’m good, thanks,” and “nice night we're having” when he’s the only person around for miles.
Soon it devolves into singing. Any song he can think of-- from Metallica to Tears for Fears, even that one shitty song by The Buggles that his mom loved so much-- he throws into the void to hear it bounce back at him.
Sometimes, when he’s bored, he’ll pitch his voice up high into a shitty falsetto or as low in his chest as he can, just to add some kind of variety to the mix. None of it sounds good, but he’s pretty sure it would’ve made Max laugh.
He stumbles in his steps, whatever Aerosmith song he was humming to himself lodges itself in his throat.
He blinks hard, once, twice.
He begins to dread the minutes he can’t come up with another song to sing.
Eventually, as the stretches between songs grow longer and longer, he starts speaking every thought he has out loud. Strings of “I’m tired,” and “I should feel cold,” and “I wish I had a cigarette,” swirl around him in the dark until the words lose all their coherence and it’s all just loose, pointless sound.
In one moment, he thinks that he should be worried about having trouble stringing the words together. In the next, he decides that it doesn’t matter. No one is around to hear the nonsense coming out of his mouth.
No one is here. There’s nothing here. No matter how far he walks into the dark, there is always just more fucking nothing.
Until there isn’t.
It’s just a quiet flicker, so quiet he almost misses it. In the period when he’s run out of words to mumble to himself, there is a noise, distant and small.
In the dark, he’s not sure if he blinks at the sound. His pace doesn’t slow. He keeps walking, like the good puppet he is. One foot after the other. One step at a time.
He thinks nothing of it. He keeps walking.
The silence is broken by nothing else but the sound of his own unsteady steps and ragged breathing.
He just has to keep walking.
Billy? The void whispers.
Frowning, his pace slows.
Maybe-- maybe he misheard. He’s surprised he hasn’t heard more noises. Voices of people that aren’t there. Don’t people usually lose their minds in dark spaces all by themselves?
Maybe he’s losing it. Maybe he’s finally delusional.
Billy. The void repeats, stronger, louder. Closer?
Was it always this hard to breathe? Was he always limping this bad?
You have to wake up. The darkness insists, urgent. You have to let her in.
He halts in his tracks.
The air around him fills with the high-pitched whine of static. It crackles and jumps across his skin, making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
For the first time in a very long, long time, he feels himself shiver.
Wake up now. The void hisses. Wake up. Wake up!
“Billy!” A voice, loud and light and familiar, cuts through oblivion like a hot knife.
He jerks at the sound, skin jumping with a rush of adrenaline and suddenly he can feel his heart pumping in his chest, visceral and fast and loud. Was his heartbeat always that loud?
“Billy,” the voice repeats, so clear and so, so loud in his head. “Billy, are you there?”
Looking about wildly for the source of the voice, he turns in a slow, erratic circle, desperate to see anything other than the yawning dark all around him. Directionless and dizzy, he calls out in a voice that doesn’t even sound like his own anymore.
“Yes,” he calls out, mouth dry. “Yeah, I’m here. Who’s-- who’s there?”
“It’s me,” the voice says. Then, softer, as if it’s just beside him, “it’s just me.”
A silence settles. When he turns to look, there stands the image of a girl. He blinks, and she stays.
Something like hysteria bubbles up inside of his throat. He thinks he lets out a laugh, though it might sound more like a sob, he can’t be sure.
“Jane?” He rasps, afraid if he speaks any louder the visage before him will shatter like glass, and Jane smiles.
“Hi Billy,” she whispers back.
“What-- I, are you--,” Billy starts, but there are so many questions, so many thoughts that want to spring forth. The only one he can manage to choke out is a weak, “how?”
“I’ve been looking for you,” she says, like that makes any sense, “looking for your signal.”
“My signal?” Billy asks, feeling a little bit dazed and a lot overwhelmed.
Jane’s lips quirk, almost knowingly, just for a second. She taps two fingers to her temple. “Looking for you up here,” she explains. “The radio helps.”
That explains the static in his ears. It does not, however, explain everything else.
“R-right.” Billy can’t take his eyes off her. He’s irrationally, but also perfectly rationally, fucking terrified that if he looks away, if he even blinks, Jane will vanish. “Mind telling me where we are?”
A small wrinkle forms in between Jane’s eyebrows, like she has to think harder to find the thoughts. Her hair is longer now, falling just past her shoulders. She’s wearing a flannel that seems a little too big for her, Billy watches as she pulls absentmindedly at the sleeves to cover her hands, like she’s cold.
“Papa used to call it the void,” she answers, brows furrowed in concentration. “Dark place in our heads. Helps me find missing things.”
“Like me?” Billy asks, somehow still finding it in him to try and crack a weak joke. Jane’s expression softens, her smile sad.
“Like you,” she says, and Billy finds himself swallowing thickly, and suddenly it’s very hard to see anything out of cloudy eyes. If he squints hard enough, the darkness turns into a distant shoreline of saline. Bubbling like foam.
“But I found you,” Jane is saying, but it’s hard to hear her over the sound of crashing waves. Her voice breaks softly at his feet. She holds out her hand, “it’s time to come home, Billy.”
He should reach out. He should take her hand. He should want this nightmare to end. He should want to go home.
“If we’re in my head,” he starts, and slowly meets her eyes. He does not blink. “Then where are you, really?”
Jane, for her part, hesitates, expression twisting into something almost nervous, almost unsure.
“Jane,” Billy repeats. “Where are you?”
They stare at each other, suspended.
“Hospital,” she replies, “right next to your bed.”
The darkness spins.
A hollow, small voice asks, “my bed?”
“The doctor said you might not wake up,” Jane is saying, but Billy can barely hear her. “But you can, Billy. I found you. You can wake up now.”
In the back of his head, something twists, turns-- wakes.
“I’m,” he starts, then stops, feeling dizzy. He starts again, “why-- why am I in a hospital bed?”
“Billy, please,” Jane says, holding out her hand to him. Her nose is starting to bleed. They’re running out of time. “It’s okay. You’re okay now. Please, come back home.”
Maybe it’s the way her voice wavers that makes him so angry. Maybe it’s because he’s lost his mind. Maybe it’s because that thing in the back of his head begins to writhe.
“It’s not okay,” he says, voice rising like the balloon of panic he can feel in his head, swelling big and fast enough to burst. “It’s-- it can’t be okay. Why am I in a hospital bed? I’m supposed to be dead.”
Jane’s breath hitches, and the silence that follows beats against Billy’s skull and everything’s still so, so loud.
“I’m supposed to be dead,” he says again. He takes a step towards her, and does not miss the way she takes one step back. “I am dead. I died for you, to protect you. Why am I not dead?”
There’s something squirming in his head, slithering down his spine. He wants to cry, wants to scream.
“I’m sorry,” Jane whispers, and there are tears clinging to her eyelashes. There’s blood pouring down her upper lip. “I’m trying to fix it. I’m sorry.”
“Fix it?” A hysterical laugh rips out of his throat, and suddenly his legs are too weak to keep him upright. He falls to his knees, and Jane goes too, her eyes wide. She’s scared. He’s scaring her. “How can you fix it? I’m supposed to be dead. How can you fix a dead thing?”
The thing inside him jerks. It’s going to rip out of his back, he can feel it. It’s going to break through his skin, bloody and gruesome and fly free with angel wings made out of his own blood, flesh and bone. It’s going to kill him for good, break him in half and shatter him like glass and it’s going to get out, get out, get out get out get out out out.
“It’s not fair,” Jane is weeping now, brown eyes wide as saucers as her face crumples. She’s on her knees across from him in this dark place, this void, one hand reaching out but frightened of him all the same. Her tears blend into the water like nothing. Like they never even existed. “It’s not fair. I’m so sorry.”
The darkness morphs, and Billy sees red.
In a surge of viperlike motion, he slaps water towards her, and he thinks he should regret it from the way she scrambles back from the spray with a startled yelp.
Instead, it only fuels it, feeds it. His anger, his fear, his everything he didn’t know he could feel anymore.
“Get out of my head!” He roars, voice tearing out of his throat, wrecked and booming. He moves towards her fast, and it sends her scrambling backwards as he screams at her, “just-- fucking leave! Get away from me!”
Jane shakes her head, desperate and frightened. Her voice is so small. “Billy, I--,”
Billy doesn’t give her a chance to finish.
“I said get the fuck away from me!” He lunges towards her, veins humming, blood screaming. His very insides shriek with the urge to lash out-- to get her out, get her away, no matter what it takes. He doesn’t think, he just does.
Jane sees it coming. It’s on instinct when her hand shoots up towards him in warning. It’s something else when Billy ignores the warning and keeps coming.
Jane screams, and Billy feels his skin grow tight, corded. His mind contorts, body too. His vision is clouded with red mist, and he tastes copper. The last shriveled piece of the thing he calls a soul morphs into something acidic, something monstrous, and it yanks him back into the unknown like a ripcord.
He lands hard on his left shoulder. The socket grinds with the impact, and he can feel how the tendons pull taut, how muscle strains to cling to bone until there’s a swift, ugly sounding pop. His head cracks against the invisible floor, and everything gets quiet.
Billy lies still. Breathes in on his own. Breathes out on his own.
He pushes himself up to his knees. An involuntary sound pushes out of his throat at the dull, burrowing ache crawling up his shoulder, needling through blood and tissue to settle into bone. Pressure pulses eagerly just behind his eyes, and he’s suddenly tremendously grateful there is no light in this place.
He breathes in on his own. He breathes out on his own.
When he manages to open his eyes-- and he’s not sure he actually does open his eyes, the dark is suddenly so suffocating it’s hard to tell-- Jane is gone and he’s alone again.
He’s alone again.
A deep, chilling panic takes root inside of him at the thought. His breath becomes ragged with it, his vision blurring. The darkness is lined with seafoam.
“Wait,” he rasps, but it’s already too late.
It always is.
Crawling forward on his hands and knees proves difficult. His left arm is held close to his chest, useless.
“Fuck, wait. Please.”
With his good hand he sweeps the watery floor, searching for a lifeline he knows isn’t there anymore because Jane is gone.
The fear gives way to fury. Pounding his fist against the floor, Billy sends a shower of water scattering over where she used to be. Something raw and mangled tears it’s way out of his throat.
Jane is gone. She won’t come back. He’s stuck here now. He’s stuck here and he’s alone.
Alone and so, so fucking empty.
“Oh, fuck.” Another jagged sounding gasp leaves him, followed by a wretched, broken sob. Then another, and another, and another until Billy is crumpling forward and curling up into a tight ball as he cries.
Jane is gone. Why had he chased her away like that? Why had he done that? Fuck, why had he done that?
He had been moving with all intents and purposes to do-- something. Anything to scare Jane away. Whatever that something was-- grab her, scare her, hurt her, hurt her, hurt hurt hurt her-- he knows it wasn’t from him.
It must be from something else. Something deep, something dark. Evil.
Or maybe it really is just him. Maybe there’s nothing left. Maybe there is no difference between the dark and the monster he was-- the monster he is.
He doesn’t know. He can’t even tell the difference anymore. And that fucking terrifies him.
“I’m sorry,” he cries out, shuddering in the lukewarm water he’s partially submerged in. It soaks into his hair, into his hands. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. Come back, please come back. Fuck, I’m so sorry.”
There is no answer because Jane is gone and Billy is alone. Billy is empty.
He wails, but there’s no one around to hear.
Time goes on, and he believes that he is hallowed.
Time goes on, and he believes that he is wicked.
Time goes on.
Time goes on.
Time goes on.
He hears voices, sometimes.
Not his own, not anymore. Billy screamed and cried to himself until his vocal chords bubbled and broke. He hasn’t spoken a word into the void since, except maybe to cry or swallow down the shards of a reality he doesn’t know how to accept.
He doesn’t walk anymore. Can’t bring himself to move. Instead, he lays on his back, ears submerged in water and salt stinging his eyes and nose. Sometimes, if he’s feeling brave, he’ll sit up, and rock back and forth with his head buried in his knees for a while. But never, never does he find the strength to pull himself up and walk.
He’s a dead thing, after all-- and dead things aren’t meant to walk.
Dead things aren’t meant to breathe, either, but.
And so, because he is a dead thing-- he decides to act like it. No more talking, no more walking, no more breathing, if he tries hard enough. He feels a little silly, sitting there holding his breath until he’s lightheaded and his lungs feel as though they could burst through his ribs like ribbons through a paper shredder. He holds it until he can’t, and then he’s left sucking in heaving breaths and coughing until his poor throat is shredded beyond repair.
For a while, he thinks about just lying face down in the ankle-deep pool of water that stretches into infinity before him. Thinks about laying there and waiting for the burn of his lungs and limbs to become too much, for the pressure to threaten to crack open his skull until he finally, finally--
He thinks about it, and the thing is, the thing is--
It doesn’t scare him at all anymore.
God, he thinks. Max would hate him for that.
God, he thinks. What did Max’s voice sound like again? Her laugh?
God fucking damn it.
It’s during this moment, when he’s on his back, when he’s thinking about it-- really contemplating just rolling over onto his front, taking a deep breath and letting it all go-- when he hears her again.
“Hello?” Jane calls, and her voice is muffled from the water in Billy’s ears. She sounds so far away.
“Billy?” She’s calling for him. “Billy, are you there?”
He stares up at a vast and vacant night time sky. He knows he will never see stars up there.
“Please,” Jane says, and her voice is so, so sad.
She’s calling for him. But he’s a dead thing.
“Please, Billy, I’m sorry.”
And dead things can’t talk.
He closes his eyes.
Hey. The void whispers to him, some inexplicable amount of time later. Can you hear me?
Billy grimaces, feeling sour. He’s not in the mood for it’s whispered encouragement and empty hope. Not today.
Hey, are you listening?
No, he thinks. He keeps his eyes shut tight and ignores it. Fuck off.
Well, that’s new.
When Billy opens his eyes, his vision swims, flickers, flies-- and as if under a spotlight, only a couple of yards away there stands a boy, his back turned to Billy.
This is a boy Billy recognizes, somewhere in the memories clouded with rage and pain and heat-- when he first began to realize his body was not his anymore. He remembers the way this boy tried to step in front of Jane, as if out of some fierce, not-quite understood need to protect a loved one, face set with a look of determination and fear.
“Come on!” Black hair curls at the nape of his neck, swishing gently as he looks this way and that before Mike cups his hands to his mouth and shouts into the dark. “I know you’re there, dickhead! I’m talking to you!”
Good to see the kid hasn’t lost any of that rousing charm.
Billy sits up slowly, body aching with the effort, and watches Mike’s expression pinch as he peers into the void all around him.
“El can’t keep coming back to find you, it hurts her to push herself too much,” he says, and Billy feels a twinge of guilt. How many times has Jane tried to find him? How many times has he ignored her? “She's sending me instead. So just-- just come out and we can both go back together, okay?”
Billy quietly wraps his good arm around his knees-- his left still cradled close to his side, useless-- and rests his chin against the soaked denim. He’d been laying down in the water for a while. Had he been alive, he thinks he might’ve started shivering.
“So come on!” Mike repeats, louder and more determined into the silence, and maybe a bit nervous. “I can’t stay here forever, and neither can you. I know you want to come back, right? Just come out and you can get out of here with me.”
Billy tilts his head, takes the kid in. He’s older now, that much Billy can tell right off the bat. There’s that classic awkwardness to his stance that most teen boys have, like he hasn’t quite gotten used to his height yet. Distantly, Billy wonders if Mike is old enough to drive. Would that mean Max is old enough to step behind the wheel?
A sinking feeling enters his gut as he realizes he can’t picture what Max looks like anymore.
“Hey! Are you listening? I said I can get you out of here!”
God, Mike’s voice is loud. It echoes and ricochets around Billy’s skull like a shrill bullet. He’s already got radio static pounding away and a heartbeat as loud as a jackhammer inside his head, he doesn’t need anything else in there too. Can’t the kid just lower his voice a little?
“Helloooo? Earth to Billy Hargrove! Are you there?” Mike’s voice is so loud Billy thinks his ear drums might burst any moment. Inside his head, static roars.
Instinctually, he clamps his hands down over his ears to block out the pain. He squeezes his eyes shut tight.
“I’m trying to help, you jerk!” Mike yells above the static, sounding frustrated and furious. “Don’t you want to go home?”
Soon enough, the pain stops. When Billy uncovers his ears, he’s alone again.
But not for long.
Now, granted, Billy’s sense of time is just a little bit fucked these days. But it feels like between one slow blink and the next, there’s another voice calling for him again.
This one is different from Mike’s-- softer, but deeper too. The owner of this voice is also someone he recognizes, though maybe not as well without the hat.
“Uh, hello?” Dustin looks smaller when he doesn’t have his friends beside him, as if the kid’s confidence dwindles a little when he’s alone, which-- ha, is something Billy has come to understand very, very well. “Anybody out there?”
Billy doesn’t bother sitting up this time. Just lays there and watches Dustin turn in a slow circle under his warm, yellow spotlight. He wonders if that light is what makes it so hard to see.
“Right,” Dustin says into the prolonged silence, almost as if to himself. “Mike said you were hiding. I knew that, right. Uhm,” the boy clears his throat, then calls out, “you don’t have to come out, if you don’t want to. But I-- I thought I’d read you a story? If that’s okay.”
Billy lifts his head up at that, interest piqued.
“I just figured it’s probably pretty boring, all alone out here in the dark, so,” Dustin shrugs his shoulders. His smile is a bit awkward, but it’s a smile nonetheless, “why not give you some entertainment, right? I hope you don’t mind.”
Billy blinks in surprise. Why would Dustin be asking if he minded? He used to love it when his mom would read him stories as a kid. He even did it with Max, when she was young and tiny and thought having an older brother was the coolest thing in the world.
He wishes he never gave her a reason to stop thinking that.
“I’m gonna go ahead and take the silence as a yes,” Dustin interrupts his thoughts, and then plops himself down in the water, sitting with his legs criss-crossed. From his shoulders, he shrugs off something heavy. It takes Billy’s scrambled egg of a brain a little while to compute that Dustin is wearing a green backpack, and not a turtle shell.
“Feel free to break that silence at any time, by the way,” Dustin adds quickly as he unzips the backpack, and the sudden volume makes Billy wince, but not as badly as he might’ve thought it would before.
When he pays attention again, Dustin has a thick looking book in his hands and he’s saying, “cool, right? El figured out a way to let me bring it. It’s uh,” and here a sheepish grin creeps onto the kid’s face, “it’s a bunch of Sherlock Holmes stories, I hope you don’t mind. I’ll only read the good ones though, I promise.”
If he’d been alive, Billy might’ve laughed. Instead, he smiles. Just a little, just softly enough for it to count.
“Okay,” Dustin breathes out, nodding, and settles the book in his lap to flip open the first few pages, and begins to read.
They begin with the short story Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter-- a strange tale about a famous Cambridge rugby player who goes missing the day before one of the most important matches of the season.
Dustin reads it well, though his voice falters at some spots, he always clears his throat and apologizes before starting up again. He even goes for a ridiculous British accent whenever there’s dialogue, though Billy suspects the kid is trying his best to be serious.
Somewhere along the line, Billy gently tucks his good arm underneath his head to act as a pillow, so he can comfortably watch Dustin and listen. At first, he thinks he’ll fall asleep, or the static mixed with Dustin’s voice will get too much for his head and he’ll inevitably end up writhing in pain until he blacks out.
But, somehow, whether it be Dustin’s silly voices or just being able to listen to something other than his own thoughts after so long-- Billy finds himself becoming slowly enamored.
By the time it’s finished, and Dustin moves on to the tale of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Six Napoleons, Billy is listening with rapt attention. He remains that way until Dustin finishes the whole story, and closes the book with a gentle sounding thunk.
“Well, that’s all I’ve got for now,” Dustin says, and Billy frowns, and, if he were still alive, he might’ve even pouted, just a little. Before he knows it, Dustin has packed his things book away and is standing again, peering around the dark from underneath his spotlight.
“I hope you liked it, if you’re listening,” Dustin calls out with a smile, before the spotlight above him dims, dims, and dies. Billy thinks he hears the kid say, almost too soft for Billy to notice before he’s gone. “I really, really hope you’re listening.”
When the static fades, in the silence that follows, Billy’s mind flows with the stories he’s been told, running over the tales of Sherlock and Watson over and over. He finds himself smiling, free and uninhibited by pain or fear.
That in itself startles him, but what’s really surprising is the strange little fountain of warmth in his chest. What surprises him even more about this warmth in his chest is that he recognizes it. Some small part of him-- the part that’s human, the part that’s healing-- knows this feeling’s name.
For the first time in a long, long time, Billy starts to feel hope.
In the hours or maybe days that follow-- like he said before, time means nothing anymore and will probably never mean anything again-- Billy finds himself waiting eagerly for the next shadow, the next sound to appear. He actually gets a little impatient with waiting, and ends up forcing himself to his feet to pace.
On rickety, disused bones he walks ten steps forward, and ten steps back. Ten steps forward, ten steps back. The repetitive motion helps to soothe him, as does hugging himself tight while he walks.
He doesn’t remember a time when he felt this nervous before.
Well. He’s not-- nervous, per se, but there is something to the way his stomach feels like it’s cramping up, and maybe there is something to the way his brain feels as light as a balloon in his head. But if there’s one thing that Billy Hargrove has always been, it’s that he's stubborn as all hell, so. No, he’s not nervous.
He’s just excited, is all. Excited to hear a voice, familiar or new, calling for him in the dark.
Maybe, he thinks. Maybe he’ll find the strength to answer when they call this time.
Maybe, he thinks, and bites hard on the inside of his cheek.
Maybe he’ll find the strength to go home, this time.
He’s already on his feet instead of lying on the floor. That’s a start, right?
It seems he doesn’t have to wait too long. Before he knows it, there’s that classic cut and jump of static in his head, shivers dancing across his skin. There must be a radio beside his hospital bed, he thinks, and then winces, wishing he didn’t think that at all.
He’s not too keen about the idea of waking up in a white, suffocating room, or waking up in white, suffocating clothes, or waking up hooked up to tubes and wires that feel like snakes under his skin and needles that bite like snakes under his skin, or worst of all-- just waking up in pain.
He really, really doesn’t want to be in pain anymore.
He expects the voice to be young, maybe another kid from Max’s little squad to try and reach out to him-- maybe even Max herself, though Billy wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t want to. After everything they’ve been through, he’ll never blame her for anything again.
He expects the voice of a child.
Instead, Steve Harrington’s voice rings through the void. “Hey, Hargrove!”
Billy stops dead in his tracks. At his back, he can feel a presence-- glowing and warm. Something inside Billy’s chest gives a tight tug.
“Is it-- is this working?” Billy slowly turns to look, and finds himself looking at none other than Steve Harrington, peering around the dark, looking like someone cut him out of a People’s winter fashion magazine. Steve laughs, a stressed little thing. “Please tell me I didn’t fuck this up already.”
He looks different from the last time Billy saw him-- granted, the last time Billy really saw him was when he was in the middle of punching Harrington’s lights out that lovely night in October. Yet, at the same time, Steve looks just like Billy would’ve expected him to a few years down the line from high school. A light shadow of stubble, brown bally shoes, deep blue cardigan-- he’s even got glasses now, for fuck’s sake.
Had Billy still been eighteen and angry at the world and alive, he would’ve ripped the look to shreds, both with his spitfire tongue and rough-road hands.
But he’s not eighteen-- or angry at the world, or alive, maybe-- and this version of Billy, this tired, numb, not-quite-dead-but-close version of Billy has to admit that Steve looks-- he looks good. Like he’s safe and well taken care of. Like he’s warm.
“Anybody out there?” Harrington calls out, and Billy involuntarily steps back at the volume, arms squeezed tight around himself, his only anchor point against the siege of no no no get out get away that roars to life in his head.
Steve puts his hands on his hips as he looks around, and the image visibly reminds Billy of a stay-at-home mom. “Billy, you hearing me?”
He is hearing Steve. A little too loud and and a little too clearly, actually, which-- is kind of the problem.
“Yeah, the kids said you were hiding,” Steve murmurs after a long enough silence, as if to himself. Somewhere beyond the primal panic, Billy recognizes that Steve’s voice has changed, too. It’s gotten deeper, softer with time.
“I don’t-- I don’t know if you can hear me,” Steve continues, crossing his arms over his chest. He looks warm in that cardigan. From some far away place in his head, Billy recognizes that he’s shivering. “But El said you sounded scared, when she saw you. Really scared. I haven’t seen her that freaked out since-- shit, has it really been two, three years since that summer?”
Billy's stomach drops.
“The Byers usually come back down to Hawkins for the holidays,” Steve goes on, like he didn’t just knock Billy’s whole world out of place. “El likes to check up on you when they do. Joyce didn’t think it was a good idea, at first, and I agreed with her. Especially with Max finally feeling better after everything.”
He’s. He’s been trapped here.
Inside his own head.
For three fucking years?
“Then there was that whole spook with the seizure,” and here Steve scrubs tiredly at his face and eyes. He runs his hands through his hair, sounding exhausted. “Jesus, you scared the shit out of us with that one, Billy. I’ve never seen Joyce yell like that. Sure got the nurse’s attention, though.”
Billy can’t breathe. He can’t even think.
“The doc said that it could be NES, which is something that can happen in coma patients, I guess. They said we shouldn’t worry about it. But El-- she was so sure she found you. And I--,” Steve cuts himself off with a hitched breath. He swallows, and to Billy’s surprise, starts swiping roughly at his cheeks.
“Sorry, sorry,” Steve apologizes, voice raspy and thick. He clears his throat, and gives a watery smile into the dark that’s strangely distant but also achingly familiar. Something lodges itself in Billy’s throat. He’s suddenly terribly afraid if he tries to speak he might choke.
“We couldn’t let her keep pushing herself so hard, not with her powers just coming back. Now she’s channeling other people so we can give it a try,” Steve pushes forward, even though his voice is a little nasal, his nose and cheeks still flush. “Mike said he couldn’t see anything, but now that I’m here I don’t think there’s anything to see, really, so. He was right about that much.”
Maybe it’s the way Steve’s voice hums in tandem with the warmth in his chest. Maybe it’s his smile, the charming little thing that Billy used to know by heart. Maybe it’s the fact that Steve looks so warm, so open. So loved.
Whatever the reason may be, Billy finds himself taking one step closer.
Unaware, Steve keeps going. “Dustin said he thought he saw you, for just a second, but. I dunno, the kid gets pretty overexcited, sometimes. He might’ve seen something, but he also might not have seen anything. You like his Sherlock accent by the way?” He lets out a laugh, and the warmth in Billy’s chest sings. “He’s been working at it for weeks.”
Billy takes another step closer. And another. And another.
“And, y’know, so far we’ve had two swings at this whole reaching through the void thing. I’m just hoping I’m not the one that strikes out,” and there’s that classic Harrington smile, the one that’s sweet and charming and it’s enough to make that funny little warmth called hope roar into a bonfire.
He’s close enough to see the gentle rise and fall of Steve’s chest, now. The way his fingers dance in an anxious pattern against his forearm.
“So, here I am, I guess.” Steve shrugs, after a moment, and that smile of his is still that classic charm that Billy knows so well, if not a little sad. “If you wanna talk, or reach out, or anything at all. I’m here. I’ll hear you, pinkie swear.”
Steve holds out his pinkie finger, and Billy’s close enough that he could link their pinkies together, if he wanted.
And he knows he said he would reach out this time. He knows he said he would. And it should be easy because it’s not a kid that he’s reaching out to, it’s Steve, someone who knows him, who might’ve really known him, once, if Billy hadn’t been such a prick about everything-- but at the same time, the thing is, the thing is--
Billy is so, so scared of what might happen if he let’s Steve see him, really see him.
Will Steve run away from the monster that Billy was? Will he look upon in horror at the monster that Billy’s become?
Does Billy even have it in him to take that risk?
No, that monstrous, red thing inside him hisses and seethes. You’ll hurt him. You’ll hurt them all. It’s not worth it.
Yes, says that small voice inside of his head, the one that sings in harmony with the hope in his chest. The part of him that’s human, the part of him that’s healing. Please. You’ve been alone for long enough. I promise it’ll be worth it.
“Billy?” Steve asks softly, so softly, as if he can feel Billy’s presence at his side, even if he can’t see him. “You with me?”
Yes, Billy wants to say. Yes, I’m here. I’m with you.
Steve bites his lip, and Billy can see the pink skin go taunt underneath his teeth. He thinks about rubbing over Steve’s bottom lip with the pad of his thumb, how warm it would feel, to try his best to soothe away the tension.
“I can’t stay forever, y’know,” Steve murmurs, and Billy’s soul aches. “If you’re there, you gotta tell me.”
I hear you, every part of him begs. He still can’t raise his hand, still can’t reach out. I see you. See me. Hear me.
The static is creeping in. Billy can feel it pressing up against his senses, popping and hissing like a poisonous snake.
They’re running out of time.
“It’s okay if you’re scared,” Steve coaxes gently. Billy wants to laugh, wants to scream. “I’m scared too. We can be scared together, okay? You and me.”
Billy can’t move. The static floods his ears and eyes. He can’t speak. He can’t move. He can’t move.
“Please,” Steve whispers, closing his eyes. Billy can barely hear him over the thunderous sound. His expression pinches in grief, as if an old wound has been opened anew. “Please, Billy. Please, please, please.”
The panic comes next. Vicious and sparking down his paralyzed spine, a crack shot straight to his head that whites out every thought he’s ever had.
He’s going to die here. He’s been three, torturously long years in the dark, and now he is going to die here.
“No!” he cries, his voice barely more than a cracked, incomprehensible sob. In a blind panic, Billy reaches for the shadow of his last hope, his final lifeline, and prays his fingers won’t find open air.
He expects it to be over. He expects the shadow to pass straight through his hands and then he’ll be alone again. Alone and raw and aching and empty and dead. For good this time.
He expects it to be over. He expects to die. He expects to end.
“Hey, you,” a voice says.
For a moment, he is back at the beach, staring up at his mother as the waves roar and crash all around them. She smiles, her eyes as blue as the sea, and grips his hand hard enough to break bone. For a moment, he is floating. For a moment, he is alive again.
Reality rushes back like a wave. His mother’s grip becomes sure and strong. It becomes real.
Billy’s eyes fly open. It’s not his mother standing in front of him, it’s a boy. A boy who’s got a little bit of stubble and is wearing brown bally shoes and a deep blue cardigan and fucking glasses and he’s real he’s real and alive and gripping his hand so tight Billy is sure he’s leaving bruises and--
“There you are,” Steve breathes.
They stare at each other. Billy can feel Steve’s hand clutching his own. He was right-- Steve is warm.
“Don’t--,” Billy chokes, he can’t get the words out. He forces them out across the rough sandpaper of his vocal cords, “don’t go. Please.”
“I won’t,” Steve promises, swears, and Billy can tell by the ferocity of it that he’s not lying. “I won’t.”
Steve reaches for Billy at the same time his legs give out, and Steve goes down with him. They become a tangled mass of desperate limbs, Billy grabbing hold of any space he can, and Steve letting him. He ends up with his face tucked into Steve’s chest with his arms wrapped tight around Steve’s middle.
Steve's long arms go around him in a much looser hold, carefully running a flat palm up and down Billy’s back. The heat of his palm alone is enough to make Billy cry.
Steve doesn’t shame him for it. Just holds him gently, whispering gentle encouragements into Billy’s ear. He rocks them back and forth, the motion as soothing as a lullaby.
Then, gently, tenderly, Steve cups his cheek. Tipping Billy’s face up to look him in the eyes, Steve asks, “ready to come home with me?”
“Yes,” Billy gasps through his tears, nodding vigorously. “Please, yes.”
“Okay,” Steve whispers, pressing their foreheads together with a gentle bump. “Okay. I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”
And wholly, undoubtedly, undeniably-- Billy believes him.
In a hospital bed, clutching a familiar, warm hand in his own, Billy’s heart beats. He gasps-- he wakes.
Specifically fuck this fandom and it's inability to understand that I'm allowed to say " hey please don't interact with me ". I'm gonna say this shit ONCE. (Tw for PTSD & Trauma & suicide baiting + suicidal thoughts & attempted suicide under the cut)
Now you may be asking " but Qbert you have dni in your bio! " Yeah I do and unfortunately no one wants to respect that. So basically why I have " gr//ia shippers don't interact " in my fucking bio is because I have genuine fucking trauma from gr//ia shippers. The amount of fucking times I have had to convince myself to not follow through with their extremely illegal advice is absurd. Being told constantly to off yourself is traumatizing. What's even worse is that I've already said this. I've already said leave me alone. I've said it so many fucking times at this point you are the problem if you come into my blog and start shit. Now there have been people who have told me " you are faking " and " show us proof " the answer to that will always be NO. Because no one deserves this. No one should ever have to read that shit. And I fucking refuse to be the reason someone gets upset or triggered because this is a legitimate fucking issue that has triggered my PTSD multiple times. It will only further their bullshit if I ever share it. So it dies in my inbox and doesn't fucking leave it. (Before you fucking ask yes I've tried to off myself before. And yes I would of regretted it. And I'm glad I was stopped. Because this bullshit is BEYOND what anyone deserves.)
open : hunter’s moon starter . ↳ – [ adelaide . ]
long blond bangs hang like a gilt chandelier under the delicate curve of her shoulders ; she looked like victorian phantom that’d fled its painting : her voice s rich velvet , gentle and calm , humming a rhythmic tune twisted branches and dead leaves . off they go , a multitude of shadows trailing not far behind --- legs moving like rusty levers , pulled by a steel wire .
she feels no sympathy------why should she? they’d not hesitate to put a bullet through that pretty skull of hers ; pluck her eyes , beat her into submission , burn her flesh , drown her again and again ‘till she confessed to all the things they wanted to hear - even while standing atop that same cliff , looking down the same bottomless well of despair , their eyes now wide in agony and anticipation , she will not breach her heart for mercy . they wouldn’t . they haven’t .
❛ looks like a long way down ... ❜ she off-handedly muses , emptied of sentimentalism . such an unpleasant task , but ... some inconveniences couldn’t be helped . ❛ i should make a generous donation to the police department tomorrow ... i’m afraid they’ll have their hands full . ❜ with that her puppeteer fingers walk forth ; like a child playing with dolls , adelaide forces their quivering legs forth , and one by one they fall collectively like a murder of diseased crows .
❛ will you walk me home , now ? ❜ she lows her cheek into the bump of her shoulder , nonchalantly addressing the meddler , the fly on the wall . ❛ i feel so unsafe tonight ... ❜
I think it’s too early to tell whether or not it was suicide…
How long had he been dead?
get on your hands and knees and pray for me
I want to end it all so bad rn. I.. I'm not enough. I just want to delete myself from everyone memories and just vanish. I don't ask a lot i just want to end it without hurting other people
You can unfollow if you dont want to read this or just block the #ale speaks hastag
He's not a junkie, per say. I can't properly call him an addict. But if you look at some of the stunts he pulls, there's the implication that he copes with the despair-and-boredom-filled-wasteland of his brain with dangerous situations.
Like--okay. I'm obviously not as bad as Dazai. But my brain, when understimulated (this is 80% of the time because of how absurdly high my stimulation need is), it's absolutely miserable. It copes with the boredom by throwing random intrusive thoughts of varying yikes-ness at me. And it can be really...hopeless. The thought that this is something that might never change.
Dazai has the same vibes.
If you look at Fifteen, he starts talking about feeling truly alive in the middle of a life-or-death battle. That's why he joins the mafia, there's finally something for his steel trap brain to do all day. It's fun and exciting for him to play 4D chess with opponents and even to insert himself into the middle of uncertain battles, just to feel something.
Because, look, Dazai isn't the strongest fighter. He's no slouch, but comparing him to Chuuya? Or even that big dude from Azure Messenger? He's not exactly the peak of physical prowess--Kunikida's stronger than him, for example. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep a man like that in the background, only doing strategy?
But he does go on missions, and he does participate in battles. And Dazai's the most animated--honestly animated, rather than his comedy persona that he puts on--when he's doing dangerous shit. The alley convo with Fyodor in Cannibalism, where he gets shot. Getting caught by the Port Mafia and goading Chuuya and Akutagawa, way back at the start. And probably my best example: Dazai in Dead Apple.
The man gets stabbed and his last words are "This feels great." Maybe he's just sticking it to Shibusawa, but those are the words of a guy who's getting exactly what he wants--a brush with death, as closely as he can manage it, without dying. Hell, maybe that's why he keeps attempting to fail at suicide.
So here's my thesis: Dazai goes and puts himself in these ludicrously dangerous situations to feel alive. And maybe to do good things too, but the adrenaline rush certainly doesn't hurt.
@the-chaotic-lesbian heres marcy
anne and sasha | og fic
Windibank: This is inexcusable of me... There is only one way to make amends!
Windibank: [runs off and visibly grabs a gun]
Me: Holy shit are you going to shoot me?
Windibank: [Points gun at own head]
Me: No! What the fuck! Don't do that either!
I will get skinnier or I'll kill myself in the process
My dad ate my two pieces of stuffed crust pizza I’m fucking k*lling myself 🤣😐
Princess serenity killed herself?????
Characters: Etho, Bdubs
Tags: Hurt/comfort (both ways), aftermath/between scenes, happy ending, platonic intended (don’t really care if you read it otherwise but please don’t tag as ship)
Description: If a former Boogyman and a former Red Life forgive each other in the woods, does it still make a sound?
Just a whole lot of Etho and Bdubs talking it out after the deal with Scar because I still absolutely cannot stop thinking about them. plenty of banter, bit of yelling, definitely no crying nope none at all - all good stuff :)
Read it on Ao3
"Now that was stupid."
Etho flipped around to face Bdubs, walking backwards for a few steps as the pair continued their trudge back to base. "Stupid? I must have misheard, I think you meant 'thanks for the gift, Etho', 'thank you so much for saving my life, Etho', 'oh Etho thank you so very much for selling your soul for me, you're too kind' -"
"I - hey! You sold MY soul for me!" Bdubs sputtered. He almost wished he was back on red so he could wipe that smartass grin off Etho's face. (And yes he could tell through the mask, he could always sense it through the mask.) "You just showed up here with a contract for me to sign and a freakin' wizard in tow!"
"Hey, I signed that contract too." Etho laid a hand over his heart in mock offense. "I sold both our souls to save your life."
"Yeah, well -"
Bdubs bit back his next words. There were some things even he wasn't quite angry enough to let Etho hear.
Being a yellow life had given him back some of his restraint, he’d found. He no longer felt the burning need deep inside him to make constant plans for destruction. He no longer felt the pull to get people to join him, the frantic energy that used to race through his veins when he imagined death, how easy it would be for any of these peaceful and unsuspecting prey to share in his new power from as little as a fire, a blade...an unexpected drop.... He was more cautious, now. The new life had tamed his fire. And apparently, that new sense of judgement extended to conversation, too.
He supposed he should be grateful for that.
"Well?" Etho raised an eyebrow.
He wasn't, really. Screw it.
"Well - well maybe I didn't need saving!"
Bdubs locked his eyes on the ground, pretending to navigate a tricky patch of tree roots. He scowled. His swollen eye watered. Without the adrenaline of red-hood, it hurt to be angry.
Etho stopped walking. "Seemed like it to me. You sure weren't going to going to save yourself."
His head snapped up. Turns out he might have a little fire left after all.
"Of all the nerve - can you hear yourself right now! I said I didn't need saving!" Bdubs grabbed Etho by the shoulder, surprising himself with how forcefully he yanked him around to face him. He couldn’t believe that after all this time and all this drama, all his begging, this blockhead of a best friend of his still couldn’t seem to understand -
"I was fine as a red name, and you could have been too! We could have burned this whole place down from our castle and had the whole world to ourselves afterwards if you would have just listened to me..." He angrily swiped at his eye. He wished the damn thing would stop watering so much. Felt like the other one was starting up, too.
"...Bdubs." Etho reached out a hand, brushing briefly over the healing wounds on his face and coming to rest on his shoulder. Bdubs froze at the touch, before slowly allowing his shoulders to slump. The sudden pity infused in the voice as it said his name made all the rage leak away, leaving behind only simple, sad exhaustion.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."
"You did." Etho sighed.
"Is that okay?"
A long moment of silence passed, just the two former fighters looking at each other in the cool, sharp air beneath the swaying spruce trees.
Finally, Bdubs laughed, low and sad.
"I lied. To myself, that is. I knew it would never have lasted."
"I almost did it."
Bdubs turned and started walking again, doing his best to ignore the bittersweet pit those words opened in his chest. "Then this'll be the second time today I call you stupid. Come on, let's just head back. It's getting dark, and after all this there's no way I'm going red again from a creeper."
He was grateful, really. He was grateful. And angry. And regretful, and angry again, and wondering exactly how close Etho had been to joining him rather than getting him that contract. He wondered how long Etho had negotiated with Scar. He wondered long he had stood on the edge of the wall, looking down, before he had decided to choose that path.
Bdubs didn't know what to feel. All he could do was stare at his ally’s unreadable back as they walked one in front of the other, and curse him for being so...Etho.
"Woah - hey!" Bdubs was so lost in thought, he almost bumped into Etho when he stumbled against a tree. "Are you alright?"
"Fine, fine." Etho gripped the tree and pushed himself back upright, dusting off his vest. "Just took a wrong step. Tired."
"Yeah, I can see that." Bdubs took a closer look at his friend’s face. He remembered all too clearly the way the Boogyman curse felt: how his heartrate wouldn't come down, how his muscles all tensed up even when there was no action, how the adrenaline never faded until after he'd killed Grian.... And Etho had held onto the curse for so long - almost the entire week. Although he was standing upright now, Bdubs didn't miss the unfocused film of dizziness in his eyes. He must be exhausted.
He'd waited so long to kill. All because he'd set himself another goal first.
"Are you sure you're okay? You look like hell." Bdubs shook himself out of his thoughts and dressed his worry in an insult.
"Hey, speak for yourself." Etho started walking again, barely catching another stumble but continuing on, picking up the pace. "You're the one who got your face rearranged by the netherrack."
"Eh, I'll be fine - " Bdubs subtly switched tracks, sensing an opportunity.
"Yeah, actually, now that you mention it... I'm not feeling too good. Could you slow down a bit? Maybe even come back here so I can lean on your arm?" He let out a pathetic cough, wincing and bringing a hand to his battered face to cover up a grin.
Etho barely hesitated. "Of course."
They carried on towards the Team BEST fortress, now traversing moonlit grass and snow. The longer they walked, the more weight Etho let slump onto Bdubs' shoulder, until it was more than obvious who was really supporting who - but Bdubs said nothing. The time for mocking and friendly rivalry was over. Tonight, they were just two people, tired to the bone in a world where rest was quickly becoming a thing of the past. Words could wait for the sunrise. For now, all they had to do was breathe, and be thankful that the both of them were still doing so.
At last, the white walls came into view. Bdubs shifted Etho's arm across his back so he could reach for a shovel to dig a makeshift entrance from the wall. The prospect of pressing the snowballs back into blocks and replacing them sounded simply exhausting, so he just kept one to press against his eye and maneuvered himself and his cargo inside. He kicked a fence post out of the way - no need for that old line anymore - and stumbled into their storage room, letting Etho fall with a springy thump onto the bed in the corner.
"You could have warned me," he muffled through the pillow.
"You could have caught yourself." Bdubs perched on the edge of a storage chest and turned the snowball over to a new side. "Be happy I didn't dump you on the floor, you poor delicate flower."
"I wasn't going to catch myself." Etho rolled over onto his back, hazily opening one eye to regard Bdubs. His face was deeply worn, but his gaze was clear.
"Thank you for looking after me when I couldn't."
The snowball broke. Bdubs caught the two fractured pieces in his hand. He sighed, looking down at them. Slowly, firmly, he pressed the two parts back together into one whole.
"No. Thank you."
I think I'm lost again, God has taken my oxygen
yall do realize this post was about my friend who just committed suicide a few days ago right
yall do realize im fucking asexual right
Almost on day three. This sucks. This is so hard. Right now I genuinely don’t think anything will ever happen be better. I’m so afraid of losing my job. I’m so afraid of going to jail. I’m so afraid of never being able to work in my field again. I’m so afraid of never moving out. I legit just want to d*e right now. I don’t feel like anything can change. I know, logically, my brain will feel a little better in a few days. I know alcohol doesn’t just make me make bad choices that ruin my life and the lives of those around me, it fucks with my brain chemistry. I know I have a horrible period and that makes me sadder than normal. I am safe. I keep telling myself I’m going through a hard time and that things will eventually work out one way or another. My heart just doesn’t believe it at this moment. At this moment I don’t feel like I can ever be happy again, but I’m going to push through today. Going to try to get a new journal. Going to try to read and paint and draw. Going to try to reach out to my friends and loved ones. Going to try to to find out what’s up with my car. Going to fucking eat something and drink some water.