Author: A. X. Zanier

Rating: R (You'll understand why when you've read it)

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or basic story ideas to The Invisible Man. Any additional characters or ideas are mine to do with as I please.

Timeline: Alternate ending to Fall from Grace with Fallen being pure fantasy.

Comments: Sheer torture for y'all and nothing else.

Sweet Madness

~~~

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

~~~

He sits in the room, hugging his arms closely about himself. He stares out into space, not seeing anything.

Not wanting to.

Only the world inside his mind matters.

That is what has become real.

There he can still touch her.

There she is still alive.

~~~

"He's not coming out of it, is he?" The Official asked.

Claire just shook her head. "It's been two weeks. He's nearly catatonic."

"You aren't giving up on him, are you?" Bobby asked with concern.

"No, Robert. Not yet anyway." Eberts looked at the smaller man.

They could all sympathize with the man in the room before them. They all felt the loss. They all hurt.

"Do you think this will work?" It was the Official again.

Claire shrugged. "Nothing else has. I don't think it will really hurt him to try."

Bobby snorted. "He's already mad."

Claire turned to him. "No. Just lost."

~~~

He sits in the room that he doesn't see, doesn't want to see. Lost to the dreams that have become more real than the world about him.

He blinks.

Head hurts.

Pain isn't part of this.

This is supposed to be about joy, happiness.

Not pain, anguish, rage, and anger.

Dangerous anger.

He ignores the pain, refocusing on what he wants to see.

Forcing himself to not see the boring white room before him.

The padded walls.

The emptiness that is his current existence.

Instead, he sees her. Smiling at him as he tells her some silly, pointless joke, he overheard. Taking his hand into her far smaller one. Moving closer to him.

The pain returns.

Worse than before. Causing him to moan aloud and to voice his agony to the outside world.

He knows this pain.

Hates this pain.

Fears this pain.

When it passes, he returns to his fantasy.

His reality.

The one he has chosen.

But it has changed now.

He still sees her standing there smiling.

But it's different now.

He's angry.

At her.

~~~

"How much longer?" Bobby had turned away from the sight of his friend on the other side of the window.

"It's begun already," Claire answered.

~~~

It hurts.

That's all he knows for a long moment.

The pain.

Then anger.

Through that anger, he sees her, and then the pain returns. But this time it's a different pain.

This time it's despair.

He closes his eyes, forcing her image back. Making her reappear before him.

And there she stands.

Smiling. Her hand to her bloody lip.

He feels anger.

Red rage at her.

No! He wants to shout, but can't. Won't.

Run! He wants to scream at her, but can't. Won't.

He sees himself stand. Towering over her.

His hand curving about her throat.

Lifting her into the air.

"You're not afraid, are you?"

He knows he's saying this.

He's doing this.

To her.

But he can't seem to care.

He enjoys it, in fact. He walks across the room, still holding her in the air and slams her into the wall.

The brick wall.

He howls into the room, trying to banish the images.

~~~

Claire closed her eyes on the pain in that voice. Tried not to feel guilty for doing this, for taking away what little he still had.

"Is it working?" the Official ask, though it is obvious he did not want to.

"Look at him, boss," Hobbes responds, the despair in his voice nearly equal to the cries of the man in the other room. "It's working."

~~~

He tries to banish the image and fails.

He doesn't want to see this.

Doesn't want to remember.

The other memory, false though it might be, was so much better. So much more real.

The memory where she answers him.

Where he hears her voice one more time.

Memory, real memory, intrudes.

The blood running down his hands.

Running down the wall.

Her body lying broken on the floor.

He hadn't been able to stop.

Had slammed her into the wall so many times that there was nothing left of the back of her skull.

The anger had left him then and he forgot. As if it had never happened.

Like he'd actually had some control.

But he hadn't.

He killed her.

He begins to cry.

~~~

"It's over. He remembers," Claire observed, as she picked up the syringe filled with counteragent.

"It wasn't his fault," Bobby said. "We have to make him understand that. It wasn't his fault."

"We will, Hobbes," the Official sighed. "I only hope he believes us."

"For all intents and purposes, Alyx was dead long before she walked into that apartment," Claire reminded them. "That drug it just took a bit longer to kill her than it would have Darien, that's all."

"But why? Why go to him? Why not stop him?" Bobby had wanted to know this since the tragedy had occurred.

"She couldn't stop him. Her abilities had shut down. As had every other one of her systems," Eberts answered. "She had what, maybe a day left?"

Claire nodded. "She just wanted to see him again."

~~~

He sits in the room, hugging his arms closely about himself. He stares out into space, not seeing anything.

Not wanting to.

What was going on inside had consumed his attention.

That was what had become real.

And he didn't want remember it.