Reality

Erin had gotten him juice, a kind of apple thing with an edge of a wonderful berry taste that he had become addicted to in just a few weeks. He drained them eagerly, one after another; when she'd gotten a different kind, a kind of banana thing, he'd started crying, arms locked around himself, childlike wails filling the inside of his little home with it's little lock and little cot.

The apple juice with the edge of berry had been back the next morning; right along with the pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse… she'd promised, as he was beginning to tear at one syrup-drenched ear to pieces with his plastic fork-spoon thingie that she'd take him to Disney World after he got better.

He actually believed her.

"Get away from him, get away from him… what are you doing to him!"

He lived in a splintered reality, a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of memories and thoughts that could no longer fit together the way a mind was supposed to... so, what else was new? His life had always been a splintered reality, something people saw in nightmares and gruesome movies but never saw in real life.

He'd always been okay, been able to shift through the pieces, managed, for so many years, to keep his head together but when the final break came, it had come hard. It had come down on him as dust and rocks and an agony in his gut as metal ripped through his insides.

He hated that sounded, hated how it echoed back in his mind—at least what was left of it—as he lay curled up, trying to get his eyes to close and his heart, in his chest, to steady it's rapid beats that made him think of somebody dropping beans on a tin tray. Erin had simply patted his head when he told her about the beans, kissed him on the forehead and whispered for him to hold on just a little bit longer.

"Let him go, you son of a bitch… get away from him! No, get off him!"

She didn't see things like he did. But, then, nobody did, right?

Not all those people in all the little rooms, all dressed up for a night with their pills in their clean white clothes and their cheap blue bathrobes, yelling that they weren't crazy… he'd yelled the same things, pounding hands against his door until blood spattered white-painted metal and they had to stick needles in his arms.

Was he crazy too?

Maybe… no… yes… maybe he was crazy… maybe he wasn't… maybe it just didn't matter?

"Erin! Erin! What did you do! Erin, you shouldn't have done that!"

He had his moments of lucidity, when the fog cleared and the constant shifting stilled for just a few moments… the pain laced through the broken remains of his consciousness, pierced his scattered remains and illustrated moments of stark clarity… why was it only the bad moments that had the stark clarity? That really wasn't fair.

But the rest of his time… the rest of his time was spent moving through little parts of conversation, fleeing from the darker things that prowled his mind like wild beasts, ready to devour him if he wasn't careful enough. This was his existence now, this was his life… that really wasn't fair.

And, every so often, there were moments when, for just a second, he saw something beautiful… he remember, sitting in the top of his bed, barefoot and with his jacket tight around him, watching Erin clean up his plate of food, picked through clean… the light had fallen just right on her hair and, as she'd straightened, it had flashed a perfect flame red.

"We have to… we have to drag the body away… no, Jonathon, stop crying… it's okay… we just have to get the body away, okay?"

He remembered the sound the rock had made when it had hit Steve in the head… how the skull had caved I n from the force from her small form… he remembered the way the body had fallen against him… how the blood had smelled… Erin had told him once that she would kill for him… she had promised…

He lived in a splintered reality, a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of memories and thoughts that could no longer fit together the way a mind was supposed to… so, what else was new? He sat in his box and he waited for the next time the light would flash like liquid fire off Erin's beautiful hair and he waited to get better.

And he waited patiently for Disney World… because Erin always kept her promises.


AN: The roots of this fic go back to a discussion over at the SOC board. Anyway, over there is a gal by the name of betty10211 and I and a few others were considering how many ways that it felt like Jon wasn't responsible for the death of Edmund Gray and Steve, and, not to mention, Braden. And I brought up how, as soon as I set my eyes on Erin, I got the feeling that she would kill fior Jonathon... this fic was just meant to be an angsty piece of Jon fic but it has become a bit of how Erin might have had a part in Steve's murder... anyway, if you liked this, drop a review, huh? I like to know that my stuff in enjoyed.