five.

author's notes. ugh, do you know how much I hate this chapter? I do. a lot. actually, I'm just happy that I ACTUALLY FINISHED A MULTICHAPTERED FANFICTION. Amazing. In all, I like the very end. The rest is kind of... egh.

So, I hope you enjoy it, in a sort of disgustingly sad way.

It's over after this.

--

The natural spring in Mush's step is not there today, his eyes are distant as he clears tables, and as his balding boss barks orders at him, he sighs and obeys instead of making a good-natured sarcastic remark. If one were to merely unbutton the first buttons of his shirt, they would find hidden bruises on his chest, and further down on his hips.

He jumps at any out of place noise. His eyes trail to the door every time a rush of cold hits his body. At one point, he thinks he sees a familiar bowler cap and drops a plate of food. He is docked the hour's pay.

His hand trembles at the sound of a popping cork, and he only forgets what has happened when his fingers slide across his clarinet, soft clear notes drifting through the air as the crowd gets up to dance.

Blink's face swims through his mind, the warmth of his body pressed against his in the night, and legs entangled as tongues battled for dominance of the other.

No, it was nothing like kissing girls.

The walk home is (terrifying) quiet. He pulls his fedora over his forehead to conceal his face, and pops his collar, syncopating his steps to find comfort in the quick paced rhythm.

--

Jack's hand is gripped into the back of David's Jewish curls when the door slams open. Morris's gun is pointed at the back of those curls, and never at Jack, but David is too far asleep to notice.

Esther Jacobs is sobbing and holding her youngest son, while Sarah, beautiful Sarah, runs and slams her frail body into Morris Delancey, who falls back against the wall momentarily, and then brushes Sarah to the ground with a single sweep of his elbow.

David sits up in bed and his eyes widen at the sight of the barrel. Jack stands strongly behind him.

"What d'ya want, Morris?"

"Blink. That's all I want, Jack-y, and you know it."

--

Mush, I need you to leave town.

There is a rat scurrying across the floor.

Mush, will you leave town?

It slips into a hole in the wall.

Good, there might actually be food in the next apartment.

Blink stands and paces. The gun is heavy in his left pocket and he's shivering. He hasn't taken pills in days, he hasn't had a drink in days, he hasn't left the apartment in days.

Mush comes and Mush goes, and Blink clings to him, because he is the only thing that connects him to reality anymore.

Blink knows it though, that he needs Mush to leave him. He needs Mush to go away, to Saint Louis or down to New Orleans like he's always wanted, he needs him to leave so that Blink can finish this.

So that I can die.

Three knocks.

That's Mush.

He opens the door, shivering, and throwing the fedora off of his head. He smiles at the sight of Blink, propped on the edge of the bed, and runs over and tackles him good-naturedly.

It's hard to remember that you want him to go when his coffee scented breath is on your face.

Blink presses his lips up to Mush's softly and rolls him off to the side. Mush leans up onto his forearms and frowns.

"I'm scared to go out anymore, Blink." He admits after a moment, "Like, when I'm here, everything is okay, but when I'm out, everyone turns into Morris, and I feel like I'm hiding from him. They burned down David's building, did you know that? Just like that, because he knew you-"

"I-" Blink pauses, "I know. That's what I wanted to talk to you about. I think - I think you need to leave."

"Leave New York?"

Blink lowers his eyes, he cannot send his only friend away, "Yeah, but only for a little while. I just need you to leave and forget about me, so I can finish this thing. If you come back and I'm here, that's great, Mush, but if you-"

"Stop it, Blink, I'm not leaving you. This is me and you and I lo-"

But he never finishes his sentence.

The doorknob is violently shaking, and Mush pushes Blink onto the fire escape before it slams opened.

Blink listens intently through the window, finding it hard to breathe despite the open air surrounding him.

"He ain't here, Morris, so why don't you take yourself somewhere else for awhile?" Mush is saying, not entirely convincingly.

"Mush, you're like brothers," Morris is saying, "I know you know where he is, all ya gotsta do is tell me so I-"

"So you can kill him?" Mush yells back, and then yelps.

Blink shuts his eyes tightly.

This isn't happening. This isn't happen- THIS ISN'T-

"Yeah, Mush. So I can kill 'im. I mean, come on, do you really want a roommate who brings his drugs and guns up in here, and ya know, guys like me."

"It ain't that kind of thing that keeps him around here, ya know."

"Oh really, Mushee?" Morris's voice lowers, "'Cause I thought he was just using you to pay the rent so he could buy his whores. Yeah, whores, Mush."

A crash.

Mush only throws things when he's angry.

"That. Don't matter anymore. Go away."

"Or the drugs, Mush?" sing-song, like a nightmare, or the insane asylum, "or the booze or the card games-"

Blink is shaking.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

The church bells begin to ring and he can barely hear it when Mush yells over them.

There's a gunshot.

Everything is his fault. The drugs, the girls, the money, the drinks. The Four Step Plan, the sex, the food, the gun. Everything. Mush is lying dead on the floor, and Blink is running in full range of the barrel of a gun, and it is all his fault.

He's screaming, and the bells are ringing.

One ring.

Two rings.

Three rings.

He stops directly on top of Morris, and gasps before falling, grasping is blood-soaked torso.

And the last thing he hears is the silence.

--

Any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me.
- Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody.

--

fin.

I will, in fact, love you forever if you review this fiction. It's over, I'm glad. But I still want reviews.