Disclaimer: It's like you want to bring back painful memories of just how much Bartleby, Loki, and anyone else of the Askewniverse is not mine. Oh, and I so totally did not write "The Scientist" -- leave that up to Coldplay and that gorgeous lead singer. This would be so much cooler if I were getting paid. Except I'm not.

Rating: PG.

Warnings: It's a songfic. What else is there to say? It'll probably be sappy, I don't know.

Pairing: Bartleby/Loki.

Feedback: -holds up "Will Do Ben Affleck For Feedback" sign-

Okay. This is about a month after Dogma. Loki and Bartleby are back on Earth, serving time as humans. Loki is back in the apartment they shared, Bartleby has been staying in motels, for obvious reasons. They haven't seen each other. At all. Before I get started. I'm writing this as, and you're supposed to be, like, imagining this as, a movie montage sort of deal. Where there's talking, but.. you don't really.. hear it. That's why it's in bold, to achieve that cinematic effect. There's just... the song playing, and the characters/characters' mouths moving. Dig?

The Scientist

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry

It's the door to the apartment This is it. Bartleby lifts an arm to knock, drops it. Lifts it again, reaches for the doorknob, drops it. His head is going off at him -- what you did the magnitude your best friend fucking killed him he hates you you know he hates you and he'll never stop because you're a fucking monster. Jerks head to the side, face contorted with anguish. Spits out a curse. Shakes head vigorously, deep breath, opens the door.
Loki hears the door open from his -- their -- bedroom, freezes on his -- their -- bed. Unlooses a soggy, salty comic book from his hands, jerks his sleeve across his nose. Propelled from the room. Bartleby. Shock, surprise, slows to a stop in front of him -- his friend? Man, who the fuck knew these days?

You don't know how lovely you are

Bartleby's voice catches in his throat, stops before emitting even a syllable. Loki's face, all innocent, all boyish. Eyes bagged with hurt, the same hurt that crowded out that pure blue and needed someplace else to go. Red. Everything all red -- eyes, nose. Beautiful? More than ever.

I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Bartleby is talking now. Loki isn't sure what about. Bartleby is babbling, incoherent and fast. Gesturing wildly, voice breaking every so often. He can't remember what he was planning to say -- Loki I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry you don't know I'm sorry I'm sorry I fucked up I fucked up homesick missed Her missed home lost control faith everything I'm sorry I fucked up.

Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start

Bartleby drops to his knees on the floor limply, hands clunking carelessly on the hardwood floor. Bartleby's eyes are shut but the pain the anguish the fury of the storm leaks out anyway, the same way it all pours out of his mouth in a new tirade -- Forgive me I'm sorry forgive me I'm sorry take me back I'm sorry I didn't mean to just don't leave me okay because you're all I have and I'm all you have it makes sense okay just forgive I said I'm sorry and I am I'm sorry I'm really really sorry just let me back okay it'll be just like it used to be except I won't fuck it up please okay please please please --

Running in circles
Coming in tales
Heads are a science apart

Loki shifts around the pleading the begging because despite the spectacle before him Loki is angry, can't help it really, he has reason to and this anger is strong this anger comes up behind Loki and pulls him backward he steps, recoils from himself -- volcanoes go off in his chest, erupts out of his mouth violently unloads in sobs How fucking could you my wings you were my best friend how could you how fucking could you you were my best friend I trusted you and you said it would be okay but you lied fucking lied you and your stupid fucking schemes why didn't you lay off when I told you to I told you it would fuck up but you didn't listen you never listen my best friend how could you how fucking could you talking like Lucifer my best friend my best friend -- .

Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start

blockquote>And so the two remain there for a time, Loki standing wracked with a furious sobbing digging the heels of his hands into his eyes as if this would somehow put a stopper on the pain the hurt the betrayal while Bartleby collapses over his knees face in the crooks of his arms elbows on his thighs weeping silently body shuddering shoulders jerked up and down by invisible puppet strings. They cry because they hurt and they hurt because they need and they need because they love. Are there even any pieces left to pick up?

I was just guessing
At numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart

Bartleby's weeping stops long enough to allow him to try to explain, explain how it was never his intention to lose himself the way he did or to hurt Loki or to lose Loki or to fuck everything up he just got caught up, you see, he wanted to get home and he knew Loki did, too, because he cared about Loki, it wasn't all him, it was Loki, too, and I lost the faith not you I did I'm sorry Loki I'm really sorry okay?.

Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Bartleby is trying hard to be convincing; he finds that it is hardest to be convincing when you're actually telling the truth and you're desperate for the other person to realize it. He wipes his face roughly with the sleeves of his coat and then looks up at Loki, because of the cramp in his neck and the desire to beseech that is strong enough to overcome his mountainous pride. Loki sniffles, draws his sleeve across his face again, stares down at Bartleby, eyes half lidded and finds that Bartleby hasn't been telling the full truth, he's only been telling about a sixteenth of all that pain and hurt and guilt. Bartleby's face has fallen into complete vulnerablity, scrawled, tattooed with his days, all guilt and homesickness for Loki's smell eyes smile trust, and his nights, the ones overcome by rage and depression with no room for sleep and the ones where he cries himself into nightmares. By taking his shields down he has offered Loki a knife with which to cut out his insides.

Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh, and I rush to the start

And Loki sees this plainly, takes the knife and throws it to the ground because despite all that anger that rage that fucking betrayal he misses loves needs his best friend back, knows they exist in and for one another, knows that Bartleby really is sorry and knows that he is sorry, too. For what? Everything. Just everything. Loki closes the remaining space between them and puts his hands on Bartleby's shoulders, to pull him up, but Bartleby lifts himself up still on his knees, arms still dangling, now at Loki's legs and lets his face fall into Loki's abdomen, tears still falling.

Running in circles
Chasing tails
And coming back as we are

Loki forgives him, clearly, it's his best friend and possibly something more though admitting it would be anticlimactic, Loki knows he loves and Bartleby knows he loves back. Proclamations of love are wasted time, the proclamation of does not matter here but rather the act of, and so their concentration falls into other things --

Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

-- And though these other things are sometimes interrupted by nightmares or fits of grief these are easily soothed by one holding the other into their sleep, and their concentration falls back into reverting to an old way of life.

I'm going back to the start