|A pain that can't be healed
Author: Rivan Warrioress PM
Zach knew he wouldn't have survived in prison, but its beggining to look like he wouldn't survive in the Institution either. Contains dark themes.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Zach A. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,397 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 3 - Updated: 01-10-09 - Published: 01-02-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4765300
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Zach leaned back in his bed, his eyes closed against the brilliant white of the walls of his room. Some of his fellow patients, or inmates, had decorated their walls with photos, or childish drawings, or paintings. Zach's walls, however, were bare, carrying no decorations or mementoes from his former life. One of the nurses had suggested putting up his certificates, but Zach had simply shaken his head and said nothing.
He often said nothing, preferring to dwell on the misery that his life had become ever since he had first agreed to be Gormagon's apprentice.
His life had taken on a routine in the six months that had past since his incarceration. Every morning, at Seven o'clock, Zach woke up, and was given a meagre breakfast of a small bowl of mushy porridge, and a cup either milk or orange juice. At Nine thirty, his doctor came and checked how his hands were healing, which was often painful for Zach, though he said nothing about it. In his opinion, he deserved the pain, after what he did to the others. At ten thirty, his psychiatrist visited him, and tried to get Zach to talk about things. Zach sometimes obliged, but more often than not, he just listened, occasionally nodding, or shaking his head, so not as to seem rude, but otherwise giving no response. He did like the psychiatrist, he was friendly and polite, and seemed to understand when Zach just didn't feel like talking, but he reminded Zach too much of Sweets, which in turn reminded him of Dr. Brennan, and Angela and Hodgins, and Booth, and everyone else he cared about. This made the sessions with the psychiatrist just as, if not more painful than Zach's appointment with his doctor.
Zach was left alone until lunch, at exactly twelve thirty. Lunch typically was another bowl of porridge, maybe with some fruit on top, and some puréed vegetables. One of the most memorable days since his incarceration was the day that Zach managed to feed himself, albeit slowly, and ever since that day, Zach had refused help, determined to at least have his independence in that way. At one forty five, visiting hours arrived, Zach's least favourite time of the day. Once a week, Hodgins and Angela visited, and sometimes Dr. Brennan and Booth, or sometimes Sweets came on another day. His mother sometimes came as well, although those occasions were rare, though she did send up a letter at least once a fortnight, which one of the nurses read to him, as he was not allowed to handle the letter opener himself, and the nurses had a habit of forgetting that Zach could actually read, although, from what Zach had seen, it was simply because many of their charges didn't know how to read, and it was just habit for them to read things out for their patients.
Zach spent the visiting hours brooding. Sometimes, one of the nurses would bring a laptop into his room, and he would type out a letter to his mother, glossing over how he felt, and instead asking how each of his siblings were, or how his nieces or nephews were going in school. On other times during visiting hours, he would lie on his side and watch the people walking past as they visited their family and friends. Sometimes, he would sleep, and sometimes he would pretend to sleep, but instead he would lie awake, and cry in self loathing, mentally berating himself over what he did, and how weak he was to willingly follow Gorgamon down the path of darkness.
Visiting hours were over at four thirty, which was when Zach's therapist came and had a session with Zach, which involved more pain for Zach. As time had passed, he had increased the mobility in each of his broken hands, but they remained swaddled in bandages, to protect the weakened skin from further damage, he was told.
Six o'clock was dinner time, and Zack was given solid food for the only time off the day. Small, diced vegetables were served, with pre cut up meat, and a variety of pasta, like penne, or shells, or something else small, or rice. Dessert followed a small bowl of ice cream, which was sometime accompanied with a variety of fruit.
After dinner, it was quiet time. Zach sat awake, sometimes turning his TV on, but rarely finding anything interesting to watch. Lights out was Nine o'clock, but Zach always lay awake, his thoughts running at a million mile an hour through his head, until eleven or twelve o'clock, when his body would succumb to exhaustion, and he would go to sleep, a sleep however, that was haunted by dreams and memories of what he had done.
There were, of course, times when the routine was disturbed. Christmas time had seen Zach catch Pneumonia, which meant being put back in hospital for three weeks while his immune system, weakened by Zach's life style, and lack of exposure to fresh air, and to the temperature, as well as his exhausted state of being, struggled to overcome the disease. The worst part about it was that the entire team, all together, had come and visited him on Christmas Eve, for the first time since the day that Zach had confessed. Angela had almost cried, and Zach had barely said anything, being in far too much pain both physically, from the burning in his chest, and emotionally, and the aching in his heart. After they left, Zach had cried harder than he ever had before, even when his beloved pet dog had died when he was ten.
Eventually, Zach had recovered, and been taken back to the institution, although if Angela was to be believed, he still looked quite ill.
Zach reckoned it had been just over six months since his incarceration when he had the visitor. It had been an ordinary day. Hodgins and Angela weren't due for another day or two, so Zach had been surprised when his room door had opened, admitting a tall, dark haired man with brown eyes, and a eerily familiar face.
"Hello Zach." He had said a friendly smile upon his face. Zach swallowed.
"What do you want?' he had asked, his voice cracking, either from fear, lack of use, or both. The man laughed.
"Just to see an old friend, Zach. How are you?"
"Fine" Zach lied, but the man just smiled, seeing right through the lie.
"I'm sure you are," He said, reaching his hand into his coat pocket and retrieving a un opened envelope. Zach eyed the man suspiciously. He had only met him a few times, and had never been told his name; just that he was a friend of Gormagon.
"I have a present for you, Zach, just don't let the nurses or shrinks see it." He handed the envelope to Zach, who took it wearily in his least injured hand. Fumbling slightly, Zach cautiously opened the envelope, peering into it once he had opened it. He frowned, and looked up at the man, who was walking towards the door.
"What is this for?"
"Use your imagination, kid, and just let me say, everyone knows your never going to get out of here, and everyone knows that you are never going to be able to get back to your beloved team of geeks. Goodbye, Zach." The man walked out, closing the door behind him and walking away from Zach's room. Zach bit his lip, glancing down at the innocent envelope in his lap, and knowing what was inside.
The broken Shards of Gormagon's knife.
Zach lay awake that night, his thoughts on the metal pieces hidden beneath his pillow. The more he though about it, the less he wanted to. He knew what he wanted to do with them, to drag them across his pale skin until his physical hurt covered over the emotional pain he was constantly in, but Zach knew he could never bring himself to do it. He glanced around the darkness that surrounded him, both physically, and metaphorically. He could see the shiny red light that told him that the surveillance cameras located in every room were in operation. Inconspicuously, Zach reached under his pillow and removed one of the shards and looked at it.
Making a spur of the moment decision, he sat up, swinging his skinny legs over the side of the bed, and sliding off the bed until he stood. He quietly tip toed across his room, until he reached the tiny bathroom he had. He let himself in, and closed the door, turning the dim lights on. In his hand, he held the metal shard Glad that he was able to dress himself, and go to the toilet by himself, thanks to the healing of his hands, Zach pulled down his pyjama pants, and lightly pressed the blade against the skin of his thigh, not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to create pressure. Zach pulled the blade away, and watched as the tin red line faded. He did it again, this time pressing harder, breaking skin, but not drawing blood. This time, the red line didn't fade, and started stinging. Zach smiled, his goal accomplished, he let the stinging pain wash over him, but then it began to fade. Zach frowned and applied pressure to his leg once again, pressing upon it harder still until a thin streak of blood seeped from the wound. Zach pulled the blade away, in shock of what he had just done. Looking around, he grabbed a couple of tissues, applying them to the wound. The bleeding, however, quickly stopped, and Zach inspected the wound he had made. It was small, and shallow, and it hurt, a lot. He let a small, satisfied smile creep across his face as he three out the tissues, glad that he didn't need to think up a reason for their being bloodied tissues in his rubbish for another week, as his rubbish was collected once a week, and his had been collected that morning. He went back to his bed, careful that he didn't start his leg bleeding again.
As Zach made himself comfortable once more, and fell towards sleep, he decided that he would continue the activity, he felt better than he ever had since being incarcerated.
XO XO XO XO XO
For the next few days, getting up in the middle of night became Zach's favourite part of the day, and he spent every minute of the day that he wasn't in his bathroom with the metal shard looking forward to the much welcome stinging pain that made everything else, his hands, his heart, hurt so much less. He practically sleepwalked through the days, unconsciously replying to questions with as few words as possible; his mind shut off from the rest of the world, secluded and cut off from everything that was happening around it.
When Hodgins and Angela arrived for their weekly visit, Zach tried to drag himself from his inner troubles, and tried to look pleased for them as they chatted to him as if everything was normal, but Zach new it was a weak attempt, like everything else he did, it was weak. As soon as they left, Zach curled up into a ball and sobbed, crying at how weak and pathetic he was, and how his life was.
One night, a few nights later, Zach took out the shard of knife, not bothering to keep it hidden from the camera. He knew that the camera were not supervised, but were merely recording just in case something went wrong. Zach ran the sharp blade across the skin on his arm, sighing in relief at the pain. He knew, in his heart, ad in his head, what he was planning to do that night was wrong, but he saw no other option. He had typed up letters to each member of the squint team, Booth included, and to his family. At his request, they had all been sent earlier that day by one of the nurses.
Closing his eyes, Zach fumbled with the tape securing his bandages, and unravelled the white linen until his wrists were exposed. Taking a deep breath, and holding the shard of knife blade so the sharp edge was pointing down, Zach quickly dragged the blade across the exposed skin. Blood spurted from the cut, and Zach almost gasped put in pain. He repeated the movement, and more blood flowed from the cuts. Suddenly dizzy, Zach leant back against the pillows, but not before changing the blade into his other hand and making another two cuts in his other wrist. He groaned weakly as blood, his blood, flowed from his body, staining the bedding red, as his body got paler than what it had been before. Zach blinked, and knew he was going to pass out, and never wake up again. He felt moisture run down his cheeks, and realised with a pang that he was crying. He sobbed, feeling his body slow down. Why hadn't he passed out yet, he wanted it to be over. He was in so much pain, and the worst part was that the emotional pain still hurt far more than the physical pain of having his life blood drain away. For a moment, Zach considered trying to slit his throat, but his arms were too heavy to lift. He sobbed again and shifted on the narrow bed as much as he could, trying to get comfortable. In the process of moving, his arm, drenched in blood, slipped of the edge of the bed, dangling down towards the floor. Zach turned his head to the side and felt his eyes slide shut, as welcoming darkness took him in its arms.
In the hand that hung from the band, Zach's fingers slackened, and the shard of knife slipped from his grasp, hitting the floor lying there in the growing pool of blood.
A.N. Please don't kill me. I'm sorry if Zach seems very OOC, but a certain plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote this. Please review, and tell me what you think.
Also, my apologies to readers that don't like suicide and/or self harm stories, but if I put a warning in the summary, it would sort of give away what happens.
Sorry if it offended anyone.