Title: Perfect Vision
Author: Tread Softly
Rated: T (language)
Notes: Billy, Dean. Billy/Dean if you squint. Billy returns from his prison stay two years later and runs into Dean.
Disclaimer: I do not own/have anything to with Chumscrubber or it's creators/stars.
Dean can still remember how Billy had fallen onto him, the weight and warmth of the shaking body against his chest. He could still remember the wail of agony that had escaped Billy's lips. It played over and over in his head like a cracked record.
Sometimes, Dean still felt guilty. But any traces of guilt had always been quickly replaced with the reservation that Billy hadn't deserved his help. He hadn't earned it.
When he returns it's about two years later. He's gotten off on probation for good behavior. Or so they say. When Dean sees him for the first time in so many days and months, it doesn't seem like the boy is able to express much behavior at all.
Billy is thinner. He looks as though he's lost weight he couldn't afford to lose. His eyes are underlined in deep violet circles and they look haunted, elsewhere. Dean finds brief amusement in the fact that Billy is wearing the same black sleeveless tank he had been sporting that very weekend it all happened.
The amusement fades quickly though, as he notices the number of scars littering the taller boy's arms and neck. They are mostly thin white cords, healed over with time, but some are red and appear fresh. It dawns on him like a heavy wave. Prison couldn't have been an overly kind environment for a kid like Billy. A kid with vaguely delicate features, a lean build, and a knack for bullying those weaker than him. Dean quickly pushed the images of Billy being put in his place from his mind, shuddering in the process.
Billy is walking across the promenade at the mall like it was any day. Like it was a known routine. Like it was two years ago. At first, Dean had thought it was a dream. Or a nightmare. He wasn't sure which.
As the dark haired boy comes closer and closer Dean finally notices the ragged scar surrounding Billy's right eye. A battle wound that would never heal. A battle wound well-deserved, and Dean knew it. He shouldn't pity Billy.
At the thought, an inner battle begins to occur, tearing at Dean's insides like a dull blade. His heart is racing. Should he stay silent at the rusted table in front of the cafe or should he confront him? He can't decide which scenario is worse, bottling the rage inside or finding the words to use if he was to confront Billy.
Just as he's sure he has confirmed plan A of action, Dean finds his hand shooting out from his side on its own accord and latching suddenly onto Billy's arm as he passes the table.
The movement startles both boys, but Billy more so. Dean watches as, if stung by static, Billy jerks his arm away frantically and steps back, his breathing already labored. His eyes are wild and Dean sees a shadow of white over the boy's right iris.
They stare at each other silently for what feels like decades. The only sounds filling the darkening area of the promenade are Billy's ragged breathing and Dean's inability to form words; a handicap which is weighing down on both boys like an impending storm.
"You're back," Dean finally grits out, mentally kicking himself for choosing to voice such an obvious observation.
The sound Billy makes in the back of his throat is a somewhere between a bitter laugh and an incredulous gasp. He's still watching Dean with those wild eyes when he finally looks down and sees that Dean's hand is still wrapped around his forearm.
Dean follows the other boy's gaze and is quick to retract his touch, mumbling something resembling an apology, although he's not really sure why he's feeling apologetic at all. Dean should be pummeling Billy's face into the cement. But in reality, he can't even look the boy in the eye for more than a few moments without cringing inwardly.
Dean rises from his chair, biting his lip as the feet of the chair screech along the pavement. He watches in shock as Billy backs away from him in fear like a freshly kicked dog.
This was off. Just like the smirk that used to live on Billy's handsome face; wiped clean and replaced with confusion and fragility.
"They really broke you, huh?" Dean mutters and isn't sure where the malice and contempt in his voice came from.
Billy doesn't say anything, and Dean is starting to think that his attempt at conversation is going to prove uneventful. He watches as the dark haired boy shifts his weight anxiously from foot to foot, reaches in his jean pocket and pulls out a worn carton of cigarettes.
"What the fuck do you want Dean?" he finally asks before putting a cigarette in his mouth. His voice is like gravel and its thin, like he's been screaming for hours. It takes him five attempts with the lighter before he's able to take a long drag. Dean notices his hand trembling as his fingers fight to keep the cigarette steady.
And he doesn't know what to say. Something has happened within the last few moments and all the hostility he had built up over the past two years toward the boy has all but dissipated.
"When did you get out?" Dean asks cautiously.
"Two days ago," Billy answers softly, his voice barely a whisper above the warm summer breeze. He exhales shakily and Dean watches the uneven wisp of smoke filter into the air and disappear into the sunset.
"How long are you staying?" Dean finds himself inquiring, and is just as confused by his own curiosity as Billy is.
The other boy drops the barely used cigarette to the pavement and rubs the butt out with the toe of his ebony boot. "I don't know," he says slowly and shakes his head erratically in what looks to be loosely disguised irritation.
Dean takes a step forward so he is standing slightly off to Billy's side and he can feel the other boy stiffening at his close proximity. He takes a step forward, and then another, until he is walking at a leisurely pace. For a moment, he is surprised to find the other boy walking beside him. And then he realizes that Billy probably doesn't have anywhere else to go.
"Just don't...fucking say anything," Billy demands, but the demand sounds more like a plea.
Billy avoids his gaze, and reaches into his pocket for another smoke. He keeps the cigarette in his mouth as they walk silently along the promenade. The area is almost empty now, most having turned in for the evening. The sun is just peaking over the southern hills and the tiny lights of million dollar houses are beginning to dot the horizon.
Dean put his hands in his pockets just as a deafening sound looms overhead. He turns his gaze to the sky to see a silver jet and it's contrail painting the sunset.
"F-18 Hornet" Billy says almost mechanically, his lips brushing around the base of his cigarette as he speaks. There's a peculiar light in his voice.
Dean looks at him, impressed.
Billy is still tracing the contrail as if it's a hypnotist with a swinging watch. "Perfect vision. It's a gift," he adds and Dean can see the makings of a small smile quirking the broken boy's lips. He decides to ignore the now certain inaccuracy of such a boast.
Dean doesn't know why, but he is smiling too.
And that's it. I don't expect many reviews, but it would be nice if you had seen the film and had something to say. :D Thanks for reading!