They'll say, no one can see us

That we're estranged and all alone

His own cries through the void of darkness woke him from what he believed was the end. But it wasn't…

The hands of many strangers touch his body but he can barely feel anything aside the deep throbbing from somewhere inside.

He wills himself to surface enough to tell what's going on but nothing works the way he wants.

He feels with his senses the darkness calling out to him, reaching for his soul..

He is in the void of nothingness but the darkness wants him so badly it's hard to resist. But he has to because he is NOT his father. He never wanted the man back in his life but the little boy kept begging for the connection he'd denied for so many years.

The boy still screams at him for grabbing the knife and turning it around. He still can feel through his body the way it slid into the man's body, the slightest resistance of the first layers of clothing and then the tearing of the skin layer by layer as the knife sunk in deeper and deeper.

They believe nothing can reach us

And pull us out of the boundless gloom

It happened so fast. Way faster than everything in his life so far. He barely got his bearing as the sudden voice of Dani broke him back to reality and he saw what had happened. The reality seeped off into the nothingness after his brain caught up…

Whatever was wrong with his brain before broke completely. He hadn't really regained control of his own mind for the past whatever-the-time-it-was. Not entirely. Almost as if he was dissociating every second so that his memory had nothing to show, to keep him constantly protected from the immense trauma.

He knew deep down it was just a self defense his father had manipulated him into, just like man always had been. Every time he walked in the Claremont he used the long hallways to mentally brace for the manipulation, trying to call up every class of psychology he ever had and pulled up all those FBI hours of training.

It still wasn't enough when it came to his father. And he hated that more than all the recklessness Gil kept pestering him about.

Maybe he was indeed suicidal as they kept calling him. He never truly considered the reasons of why he never took his own safety as something to pay attention. Mystery for him to solve in the future, but he did see that none of that will happen anyway…

They'll say the sun is dying

And the fragile can't be saved

All those years trying not to become the man who he was so afraid of. None of that mattered now that he'd once and for all become the man himself.

Even his last words did sink in to haunt his nightmares into the more horrid place and echo though every surface of his mind.

'' I was right. We are the same. ''

Words he last said to Malcolm as he was taken away in handcuffs.

Words that kept echoing back at him for every single moment of his life.

Because he was right.

And in the end proven right by his own hand.

It may have been the self defense but just as well something darker. His hand didn't shake when he sent his father to get information, while quietly sort of hoping he'd killed the man to deem him forever the monster he was for the years he was in Claremont. But instead he'd assured the man was alive.

And his hand never even twitched…

And the cold, it will devour us

And we won't rise up and slay giants

The look in Dani's eyes, the disbelief..

He felt his heart breaking over that like glass he'd crushed in his hand when the frustration and anger of his own emotions overcame his physical body. The cut stung delightfully and freeing the whole day after. He may have poked it more in the lonesome darkness of his loft just to keep the monsters at bay for a bit longer…

It worked but not as well as the deep cut he kept hidden from everyone and for once succeeded. FBI was surprisingly blind to certain things. Or maybe he just hid it too well, or the fact his family wasn't around to poke into things he kept to himself.

He never told even to his therapist of how he devoured that cut on his arm for way too long. It was one of the said coping mechanisms that were frowned upon as it categorized as self-harm. The woman would just make him feel guilty and ashamed of himself in the same way Dani's disbelief did.

But even if anyone saw the scar he'd tell them it happened during an arrest of a very dangerous guy he managed to profile in the shortest time ever. Those files should still be partially confidential from the curious and unfortunately for Malcolm way too suspicious detective.

It takes a leap of faith

To awake from these delusions

But still he couldn't deny his hallucinations sometimes helped more than he dared to admit to himself. Maybe it was some sort of dissociation involved with that aspect. Or maybe he was just grasping for straws to have an excuse for his father sitting in the corner and telling him where to look and how to rethink his profile. It had some benefits, maybe more than was healthy or sane.

Yet he did lean on that more often than not.

He fell down an elevator shaft and had it not been for his delusions and hallucination of his father he'd be lost forever in that alternate reality his heart so wished for had it not been for his father.

While the concussion still bothered him from time to time he couldn't tell it was something to dwell on too much. He did dwell on the fact he viewed Dani as his love interest, mostly because he hadn't really thought of that before. Eve was kind of a fluke but on her side more than his. He may have used her a little too.

You are the

coder and avatar

A star

So when he suddenly returned to his senses and was met with the dark room in the middle of a night, monitor beside the bed beeping lazily, he knew the reality was back to him.

The strangers hands had left and he could once again feel the silky sheets.

He may be neurodivergent in general but it did make him feel almost at home. His own sheets certainly held even higher thread count but this still was way better.

At least it wasn't Claremont. He'd hate those walls. His father's spirit haunting him and ever present voice in the corner would comment on everything. Maybe it was his loneliness. Maybe he was just as crazy as people said he was.

He tried to deny the obvious for years but now it felt like admittance was the only way towards something akin to progress.

Maybe it was about time to make amends with his own denial and get along with his demons. It was worth a shot. After all he did not see any other strategy working in here.

Suppressing would lead to a whole lot more trouble and more shit to hit the fan.

But knowing himself he'd still try to be in denial and make things worse for himself. Just like his careless way of throwing himself into drama and danger.

It was that self-destructive part of himself he hated but also loved. He embraced it maybe in a way more unhealthy way than was socially acceptable. Like another coping mechanism that he secretly encouraged by being drawn to all these things.

Maybe his subconsciousness did like it here so he knew he'll make his stay even longer and dramatic. He did once considered himself intense. And maybe that was what JT never accepted the way Dani did, or Edrisa. Gil was probably used to that and kinda tried to control but his own blood still frowned upon. Ainsley was a bit more like him but still her obsession with work got in the way and he did witness her dark side once. It was possibly the most unnecessary visual of dissociating. And it hit way too home now that he'd experienced it for a second or two.

Maybe they were the same after all…

They'll say, no one will find us

That we're estranged and all alone

They believe nothing can reach us

And pull us out of the boundless gloom