Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, nothing like that. Not mine. Characters based on Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Warning: Angst, blood, cuts, depression. Can be taken as a bit slashy, but it was not really my intent. Charlie is early twenties.
Summary: Some questions are meant to be asked. It's how some people are possibly saved.
A/N: All feedback is encouraged and highly appreciated. It's a bit of a long one-shot, which I do hope youenjoy reading. So I'll go ahead and shut my mouth and let you go on to reading it. :D
If Charlie could have taken it back, he would have. No hesitation. In a heartbeat.
The mixture of regret, embarrassment, surprise, confusion, and most abundant the feeling of anger at himself was the worst he had ever known. What had possessed him to do it? No matter how hard he tried to eliminate the image of Willy Wonka's face in response, it proved to be impossible. The chocolatier's gentle, pleasant features were clouded over with shame and pain within a second after. He had hurried out of the Shipping Offices before Charlie could say anything. In fact, Wonka had run out of the room.
Charlie put his head down and sighed. It was two simple questions that he had posed to his mentor. At least, they were simple in his mind. Evidently there was a much bigger impact on Wonka than Charlie thought.
The patter of small footsteps started to sound in the space, and Charlie looked to find Doris from the Administrations Offices coming toward him. She set a stack of paperwork in front of him and waited for him to speak his mind, for it was obvious that he was troubled.
"Doris," he began and she listened intently, "Do you know why Mr. Wonka wears so many layers of clothing and why he never shows off the tiniest bit of skin?"
Charlie did not catch the little bit of hesitation before she shook her head. "I don't. You'll have to ask him."
Charlie sighed and rested his head on the desk once again and Doris left silently. That definitely wasn't the answer he was wanting.
Five days passed before Wonka approached Charlie with several new ideas for candies. It was as if nothing had ever happened; the magician was back in high spirits and filled with great enthusiasm. There was no hint of sadness or any upset emotions toward his apprentice whatsoever. Charlie thought it best to not even bring up what had occurred since this was the case. No need to make Wonka walk out again. He smiled and nodded as the inventor spoke excitedly of his ideas.
They traveled along to the Inventing Room and started placing the concocted recipes on paper. It was when Wonka went to a bubbling pot to retrieve something out of it that Charlie did something else he soon regretted.
"You'll get your sleeves dirty. Here, let me pull them up for you," Charlie suggested.
"No, Charlie. It's quite alright. Don't."
But Wonka spoke too late. Charlie tugged the man's left sleeve up just enough to see a flicker of the pale arm beneath. However, it was not the hidden flesh that Charlie was seeing for the first time that caught his concern. It was the marks that adorned the fragile skin that did.
Wonka yanked his arm away and stared frantically at the youth. Indeed, he was extremely shaken and full of anxiety suddenly. His violet orbs flickered ominously as a rage settled over him. Charlie cowered slightly in response.
"Willy," Charlie whispered. "I…..What is it?"
"It's none of your business!" the chocolatier shouted.
Without another word, Wonka turned quickly on his heels and in a flash, he was gone.
Charlie let out his held breath. He knew what it was; he was not stupid.
Realizing that more may soon cover the seemingly flawless body of Willy Wonka, Charlie raced after his benefactor to stop it.
There was a moment of brief hesitation before sharp blade met soft flesh. A dull moan came from the administrator of the action. The sight of red liquid of the body's own making sent a tingling rush through the magician's being.
Willy sat on the cold floor of the lavatory near the bathtub. His wildly patterned shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbows to allow an already used canvas to be worked on again. Cuts from the past had healed; leaving vicious scars in their place to forever tell the silent story. Many more would be added; it was an ongoing process that he had never outgrown.
No tears were shed this time as he pulled the small blade against his arm to make various sized incisions. A few gasps escaped him, and he closed his eyes for a short period as the familiar feeling of satisfaction and peace came to him. Droplets of blood sounded exceedingly faintly as they trickled down from his arm and dripped into the tub.
It was not fair that Charlie saw. Slash. Who did that brat think he was asking questions like that? Slice. Touching his mentor like that? Cut.
Willy leaned his head back against the wall and sighed. He stopped and set the knife aside. Both of his pale, slender arms were bleeding. He draped them over the edge of the tub to let the blood dribble off. Soon, he turned on the water and washed his wounds and the weapon he had utilized.
He got up, unrolled his sleeves, straightened his clothes, and departed as if nothing had happened.
"Can I talk to you about something?"
"Of course. Have a seat, darling."
Charlie took his usual spot at the dinner table and looked down at his twiddling fingers. He had no idea of what else to do. His mother had always known solutions to every problem he had had in the past, he hoped that this situation would prove the same outcome.
"What would you do if someone you knew was doing something that isn't good? For them; it isn't good for them. What would you do?" He spoke slowly and softly as if fearing someone would overhear even though there was no one else in the room.
"What do you mean it isn't good? Are they hurting themselves? Charlie, are you hurting yourself?" Her voice started to quiver in the wake of her growing nervousness and concern.
"No! No, mom. It's not me. It's Willy."
"Willy! Willy's hurting himself!"
Charlie grimaced from his slip up.
"What is he doing?"
"I think he…..I think he cuts himself."
"Cuts himself! Goodness, why?"
"I don't know. Mom, what should I do? He got so upset when I caught the smallest glimpse of his arm; and when I asked him why he wears so many layers of clothing. He ran out of the room both times."
"Oh, Charlie, I wish I knew what to tell you. All I can say is that perhaps you should sit down and talk with him; let him know you want to help. Does that help you at all?"
"I thought I might have to do that – talk to him, that is. But I won't know what to say."
"It'll come to you. You're his friend; he'll listen."
Charlie had never been to his benefactor's personal quarters before. The journey was a long one in which he got lost frequently on the way due to the unfamiliarity of the path. When he at last reached the large marble doors marked with two gold "W"s nailed into them, he found he was completely unprepared. Was this the right decision? He second guessed himself like mad before he at last sounded his presence with the silver knocker.
"Willy? Are you in there?" he called. "Please answer. Are you alright? Willy?"
Wonka eyed his naïve heir with suspicion as he crept quietly closer. Charlie knocked several more times and called the chocolatier's name.
The young man jumped in surprise and turned around. "Willy! I-I thought you were in your-your room."
"What are you doing here?" The inventor's laid-back, yet strikingly stern tone unsettled Charlie. Wonka's expression was devoid of any emotion.
"I was…." Charlie cleared his throat. "I was looking for you."
"Can we go inside and sit down? I'd like to talk to you."
"About what? If this is about what you saw on my arm, I assure you it's nothing. It's just some small scratches I've gotten over the years from the many machines in the factory. It's nothing." The man's violet eyes pierced Charlie's hazel ones so intensely that Charlie thought he would be vaporized on the spot.
"Can we just go in and talk? I'm…..I'm worried about you, Willy."
"I'm fine, Charlie. Thank you."
Wonka removed his large ring of keys and unlocked one of the doors. Without another word, he slid inside and shut it as Charlie attempted to follow in after him.
Charlie sighed, looked to the entrance despairingly, and went away.
Within the chambers, Willy Wonka threw his top hat across the room along with his cane and fell to his knees. His eyes welled with tears that spilt down his cheeks. There was a painful emptiness that filled him, and he held himself as he began to shake. Reverting to the resolution he had always known, he got back on his feet and walked to the bathroom; shedding his coat along the way.
The door was closed and locked behind him. He retrieved his instrument of salvation and took off his vest and shirt. Standing near the sink, his dejected eyes gazing back at him from the mirror to watch, he began to slash at his skin.
Control had to be regained.
Willy watched the droplets of water fall into the sink from where he sat on the floor on the opposite side of the room. The faucet had not been turned off all the way when he hastily tried to wash away his blood. His eyes were halfway open and red; wanting to find sleep because he had not known it the night before, yet wanting to stay awake for the glimmer of hope that he thought may come to keep a piece of his sanity. He was as still as stone, cold, and without anything to grasp to help end his despondency.
He did not expect Charlie to come back that morning. In that sort of way, Charlie and his father were alike.
Wilbur Wonka had a blind eye whenever it concerned his son's well-being. He never saw what Willy did to himself; and perhaps he simply did not want to. Willy was never good enough in his father's eyes. Wilbur pushed him to study for hours on end in order to excel extraordinarily well in school, forced him to dress a certain way, refused to let him visit with the few number of friends he had, made sure he knew that he would go on to make a living in the profession Wilbur chose for him, and then his teeth – He had to be perfect or it just wasn't enough.
His teeth. Willy cringed.
It was with regards to them how this all began.
The small boy wiped his damp eyes as best as he could; the monstrous headgear was in most of the way to do so. The pain was excruciating. His teeth and mouth were exhausted from the work his father had performed on him and from the metal now encased around his head and in his oral cavity. He attempted to unscrew the thing, to free himself, but failed.
And then he saw it. A shiny knife, freshly sharpened, lying near one of his father's dental trays on the sink. He picked it up and started to saw at the headgear. He pushed against the metal, hit it, but there was no progress.
Suddenly, the knife slipped from his hand and grazed his forearm on its way to the ground. The abrupt sting and red liquid now rising from the wound made his heart skip. He knelt down and picked up the object. It was not long before he sat on the cool, tiled floor and commenced making small incisions on his arm. It was a thrilling rush that he was introduced to. The bathroom was filled with silence except for his shuddering breaths and the soft patter of the dripping faucet that had not been turned off all the way.
The sound proved too soothing for Willy, and he gave in to sleep.
It was an hour later when Willy awoke. He found himself lying on the hard floor staring directly at his blade in front of him. The urge to reach out and take it was powerful. His flesh tingled with anticipation.
But he pushed the knife farther away. His body screamed in protest. It wanted to be marked.
Quiet footsteps sounded across from him and the uninvited visitor went to him. He did not even look at who it was. Instead, he curled up as if waiting for a blow. A tiny hand rested itself on his shoulder and patted gently.
"Dear Willy," Doris said in her hushed voice, "For how much longer will you continue this?"
"Did you tell him?" he whispered. "You pinky-swore."
"I kept my promise. But he knows now."
A trembling sigh escaped him. "I know."
"Let me clean those nicks properly and then you should lie in your bed and get some more sleep."
Doris left the rooms to fetch peroxide and a jar of cotton balls. When she returned to the marble doors, just before she was about to enter, Charlie called out and ran to her.
"Doris, what happened? Is he hurt?" he questioned rapidly.
"He'll be fine."
"No! No he won't. He inflicts himself with cuts. I know now why he wears so many layers. It's to cover all the faults. Let me come in with you."
"You need to wait out here, Charlie."
"I have to go in!"
"He doesn't want you to."
Charlie paused as he realized. "You lied to me. You knew, didn't you?"
Her silence was his affirmed answer.
"You know and you don't do anything to stop him!"
"Charlie, I have tried many times. You understand how difficult it is to try and talk him out of something. You know how stubborn he can be. Now please, wait out here."
With that, she went inside and shut the door; leaving Charlie out in the corridor alone. The young man was altogether won over with helpless grief for his beloved friend, and he could not help but cry.
After pleading with Doris for over thirty minutes, she at last gave in and allowed Charlie to go to his mentor. At any other time he would have found himself fascinated by the extravagant quarters, but he had his mind on something else.
Without a sound, he let himself into Wonka's bedroom. The stillness of the environment sent shivers up his spine. Being sure to take cautious steps, he went to the bedside and gazed down at the dreaming chocolatier. Green silk sheets covered the older man for the most part, and their luxuriousness was countered by the plain, plaid, long sleeved shirt that Wonka wore. It was not buttoned at all, causing Charlie to bite his lip in hesitation before moving the sheets back and parting the fabric more to view the forbidden skin of Willy Wonka.
"Oh my goodness," Charlie whispered to himself.
The body that he had always thought to be ideal and without flaws was in actuality marred with unsightly scars, not to mention the fresh damages from the night before. They showed vividly on the man's pale complexion, and Charlie wondered what had ever made Wonka do it in the first place. He was all at once angry at the magician, and himself, for letting it happen and continue.
And then an idea hit him.
His heart raced as he started searching through the room. He opened drawers, looked under rugs, anywhere he could get to. Wonka stirred occasionally, but never woke. The whole area was scoured for potential objects Wonka could use to mutilate himself. Charlie gathered five knives, two stained pairs of scissors, and three scraps of metal that were tinted with a dark shade of red; all of which were spread out in the room and hidden from open view.
"I can't let you," he whispered over Wonka's tranquil form. "You may hate me, but I can't let you anymore."
Hands full, he left without another word or glance.
Willy bolted upright, sweating, panting, and let out a scream. With great speed, he leapt out of bed.
Something was not right. He sensed it.
He went to his dresser and opened the third drawer down. Clothes were pushed aside and thrown over his shoulder to reveal an empty space. It was gone.
Leaving the drawer wide open, he went to his next destination. There was nothing under the study room rug.
Anxiety flooded him, his breathing accelerated more, and he raced to the bathroom. It was no where to be found.
A groan of frustration came from him before desperation settled in. He frantically turned his quarters upside down, but all of his devices were gone. Tears overwhelmed his eyes and he began to tremble. He bit his fingers fretfully as he thought hard of where else he could have placed one. He gasped as he remembered and fled to retrieve a chair. He dragged it to the stunning, enormous, oak cabinet he used to hang his coats in and stepped onto it. His hand groped blindly on top of the wood piece. When he felt the blade, his breath caught in his throat. Carefully, slowly, he grabbed on to the handle and picked it up. He got off the chair and stared at the knife lovingly and full of relief.
The lavatory was where he was headed; the door was shut gently behind him.
He knew they would not all leave him.
The lad prepared himself before he opened his door. Standing in front of him was Willy Wonka. The man appeared as he always did, but there was a subtle change in his expression; signaling that he was annoyed and agitated.
"Hi, Willy," Charlie greeted warmly.
"Hello, Charlie." Even his voice was irked by something.
Wonka strolled into Charlie's study and glanced around nonchalantly. Charlie knew exactly what he had come for, but he would not let on.
"So how's the new flavor of licorice coming?" Charlie posed.
"Oh…..It's getting along alright. Still not quite right." He strolled about the room, casually investigating.
"That's good. Maybe we should go work on it now, you know? Get it ready for the next day to ship out?"
"I'm not in that big of a hurry at the moment."
"You wouldn't happen to know what's become of some of my personal belongings, would you?" His tone was incredibly chipper in contrast to the morbid things he was searching for.
"What kind of belongings?"
Wonka finally stopped and faced him directly. His face provided no signs of joking or lightheartedness. He was utterly serious and full of a building fury, yet his tone remained its slightly higher pitched, childish self. "I'm sure you know what I mean. After all, you've felt no problems in invading my personal space in the past." He waited for Charlie to respond, but the young man did nothing. "You know. Secret's out, isn't it?You took them. When did you take them? Where are they?"
"Willy, I did it for you. I had to."
"Where are they?" A fire was burning in his violet orbs. The forced cuteness in his voice was gone. He now sounded like an in-control, determined male adult.
"I can't tell you. You aren't getting them back."
"Where are they, Charlie?"
"They're gone, Willy. You don't have to anymore."
Wonka turned and flipped over books, rummaged through the desk, and went on an investigating rampage as he hysterically looked for his property. "Where are they, Charlie!" He commenced a path of destruction as he plowed on.
"Willy, please. Don't. Stop!"
"Where are they!"
"You're not getting them back!"
The inventor abruptly halted and eerily, very slowly, spun on his heels to look at Charlie. The way in which Wonka did so caused Charlie's heart to beat faster in slight fear. Wonka's eyes gazed out from barely open eyelids at his protégé. From where Charlie stood, they appeared to be all black, filled with such intensity that Charlie thought Wonka would all at once lash out and have him meet his maker this time. He pondered whether he should have left his benefactor's personal life alone instead of getting involved.
"Willy," Charlie breathed. "You don't need them. Let me help you."
Wonka's fists clenched at his sides. "Where…..are……they?" he growled.
A split-second flicker toward the couch was all it took. Wonka darted for the piece of furniture with Charlie close behind. The younger male cursed aloud for letting himself give it away. He threw out his arms and caught the chocolatier a mere foot away from the sofa. He pressed himself to Wonka's back, cocooning the man, and held tightly.
"No Willy! Stop! No!" Charlie voiced firmly.
The candy maker struggled viciously, but was not strong enough against his heir's grip. The black top hat toppled from his head, his cane rolled away from them discarded, and nevertheless he fought as Charlie spoke softly into his ear to calm down.
Wonka soon resigned, became still, and started sobbing. His knees buckled and Charlie eased him and himself to the floor leisurely. He cradled his teacher, rocking him gently back and forth, as Wonka wailed with tears pouring from his eyes. The lad's heart shattered. This was horrible. He was deeply affected and torn apart from seeing his dear friend in so much emotional pain. He knew his words were inadequate, but he continued to whisper them in Wonka's ear anyway along with kissing the man's forehead.
"I've got you, Willy. I'm not going to leave. It'll be okay. We'll get through this. You don't have to do it anymore. You're going to get better."
Wonka's thin frame shook from each uneven breath he drew in.
Charlie simply held him closer.
The weakness Charlie felt was almost unbearable.
Circumstances had never been like this in order to make him experience the feeling. He stared blankly ahead, one hand smoothing Willy's chestnut locks out of the inventor's face while the other rubbed one of the chocolatier's own quaking hands. Charlie sat on the sofa silently with Willy resting next to him snuggly, his head lying against the lad's chest. The magician's whole body shivered violently at times from its craving to be carved. It was in withdrawal. He whimpered and cried, revealing complete vulnerability, and Charlie would attempt to reassure him.
"Close your eyes and try to sleep, Willy. I'm going to stay with you."
"Please, Charlie. Please let me."
"I can't let you do it. I care about you too much."
Willy shut his eyes tightly and a few tears escaped.
It would be a long night ahead for both of them.
Charlie finally let his eyes close. Sleep had been out of the question because he had to watch Willy. There were several times that the chocolatier would try to get away to find his possessions, but he never had enough strength to fight off Charlie. He at last fell asleep, and now Charlie tried to do the same.
It was not even two hours later when he felt Wonka shift and sit up. So much for sleep. It was already nine o'clock in the morning.
"You're awake," Charlie muttered.
Wonka nodded. "Yeah." He started to chew at his fingernails eagerly.
"Willy? You alright?"
Again he nodded. "I just….I just need something. Something to eat."
"Why don't we go get some breakfast? I could use the coffee."
"Can't you go get it by yourself? I'll stay here."
"Let's get it together. Come on."
"You don't trust me, do you?"
"Do you?" He interrupted his heir sharply.
"No, I don't. Not right now."
"I just don't trust you to not hurt yourself. I'm sorry."
"Don't apologize, I understand," Wonka said as he stood. He fetched his hat and cane on the other side of the room.
"Willy, you're my friend. I love you. I can't let you do it and I can't take the risk of you being by yourself."
"Can I at least go to my own room for a bit, Mr. Overly Possessive?"
Charlie couldn't get another word in, for Wonka was already out the door.
Sullen eyes stared back at Willy in the mirror. They conveyed a defeat he wanted, yet the desire to resist a little longer.
How could this be him? He did not want to believe it.
The knife lay on the sink before him. It was within reach; all he had to do was pick it up and start. He looked down, then slowly met the mirror's gaze again.
It took everything he had to give for him to turn away and exit the lavatory; free of fresh battle wounds this time.
Four weeks passed by.
Wonka was in control without his sword.
Times had brightened in the factory. A return to inventing and producing was a large part of what the candy maker needed. It was definitely his reward. Charlie was by his side for all of it. They were a team and always would be.
A phone call, however, toppled everything over once more.
Charlie saw the apprehension and grief in his benefactor's lilac orbs. "Who was it, Willy?"
"What did he want?"
"He's coming here. He says he finally wants to see the factory."
"Is that a bad thing?"
"Charlie…..I……I don't think I can get through it without….."
"Yes you can. That was a long time ago; whatever happened between you two. It's in the past. He's not the same and neither are you. You've both changed for the better."
"Will you stay with me when he's here?"
"If it makes you feel better, of course."
His father's visit made Wonka incredibly testy. Charlie tried to mediate the small bouts the father and son had, but he knew some hurts ran too deep. They needed to have their confrontations.
"He still doesn't understand," Wonka uttered heatedly as he got beneath the sheets of his bed next to Charlie.
"He may never understand. It does seem like he's trying to though. Have you tried understanding why he's a dentist?"
"Ha! No…..That's different."
"Perhaps you should just accept the fact that he doesn't get it."
"Maybe. It's been a long day. We should get some rest."
He turned off the lamp and snuggled against his pillow. Charlie did the same and they were soon asleep.
When Willy awoke the next morning, the familiar impulse was back. It was stronger than ever. His father was in the same building; had been belittling him about the smallest of things as he used to - it felt enough like the past. His routine beckoned to be followed.
He squirmed and closed his eyes, desperately attempting to think of something else.
His breathing quickened and his eyes widened. He looked to Charlie for the help the lad always provided. But the young man was asleep with his back to the chocolatier.
"Charlie?" Willy spoke quietly. "Charlie."
He attempted to fall back asleep, but that didn't work. His fists clenched and relaxed continuously. The need was too powerful.
He got out of bed and headed to the bathroom, grabbing the blade from his dresser drawer on the way.
It did not take a stroke of genius to conclude where Wonka had gone to.
Charlie scrambled out of bed and dashed to the lavatory. The door was shut, and he immediately found it to be locked.
"Willy! Open this!" he yelled as he banged on the solid surface with his fist madly. "Willy! Let me in! Unlock the door!" He did not even notice that he had begun to cry. "Don't do it! Let me in!"
He heard no footsteps move to the door, only silence, making him believe that something about his teacher really was magical when the lock turned and the door became slightly ajar. Charlie pushed it open roughly and froze. The sight that met him would forever be engraved in his memory.
Willy lay on the floor in the middle of the room, outstretched, and unconscious. He was stripped down to nothing but his short, silk pair of boxers; his clothing was piled together near the doorway. The white tiled floor was smeared with red streaks around him. And the knife that produced the new, angry lacerations all over his legs, arms, and torso was still being clutched in the chocolatier's slender hand.
Charlie inched his way toward Willy and sat beside him. Tears blurred his vision greatly. Taking extreme care, wanting to handle the male's body tremendously gently, he lifted Willy up to embrace him lovingly. He held the inventor's head to his chest and buried his face in the brown, smooth hair. His hand clasped onto the knife and took it away from Willy's. It was thrown across the room harshly.
"Oh god, Willy," Charlie choked. "I don't understand. Please talk to me."
The chocolatier was unresponsive.
"Talk to me. Willy, please."
The voice was so soft, almost inaudible; Charlie thought he might have dreamt it. "Charlie?"
The lad pulled back slightly to gaze at his mentor's face. "Yes, Willy. I'm here."
Willy's eyes were filled with enormous regret, sorrow, and pain. Charlie would never forget that image either. "I need help," Willy whispered. "Help me stop, Charlie."
He began to weep, and Charlie hugged him protectively.
Wilbur Wonka showed no reaction to the information Charlie had given him.
"Did you hear what I said?" Charlie asked irritated.
"I heard. What would you like me to do? I don't know how to make him quit."
"He's your son! You should at least try! He's hurting himself and all you can say is that? Have you tried talking to him?"
"I wouldn't know where to begin. I believe we should take him to see professional help. That's what he needs."
Charlie shook his head. "He won't do it. He won't talk."
"He's my son. I'm taking him to see a fully educated psychologist. They'll know what to do. It will be for the best."
"How do you know what's best for him! You're never around! You've never accepted him-"
"And you think you know better than I about how to care for my son in this situation?"
Charlie stared at Wilbur and spoke quietly, "I love him. He's my best friend. He's what I hope to be. If this causes him more grief, you'll answer to me."
His knuckles had turned white from gripping Charlie's hand unbelievably strongly. Charlie had not told him completely why they had come to this place, only that it would be beneficial for him. His father sat on one side of him, reading one of the latest medical journals, and Charlie sat on the other.
"I think you might break my hand and yours if you hold any tighter."
Willy turned his attention to his heir and faintly replied, "What?"
"My hand. I think it's going to burst," Charlie laughed.
The gloved hand instantly let go of the naked one. "I'm sorry," the chocolatier giggled shyly.
"Don't be nervous. It'll be alright," the young man said warmly. "Would you like me to go in with you?"
"I don't think you're allowed, Charlie," Wilbur voiced.
Willy glanced fearfully at Charlie. "If it will make him feel more comfortable, I'm going in."
Charlie's tone left no room for argument, and Wilbur said nothing more.
Willy's gaze dashed about the stuffy, white-washed walls of the waiting room. Charlie put his aching hand on the man's knee to provide a comforting touch. Willy gave the faintest smile in return.
Charlie followed his benefactor into the office when the inventor's name was called. He sat silently beside his friend to make him more at ease like he wanted. The questions started out simple and with no real depth to them, as if to break the ice, but then the more effective questions came; revealing to Willy why Charlie had brought him there in the first place.
"Do you cut yourself?" the psychiatrist asked.
Willy hesitated before answering, "Yes."
"Where do you cut yourself?"
"Anywhere I can reach."
"How often do you do it?"
"It used to be every day. A little bit in the morning and a little at night. I stopped for a brief time, but I….I couldn't help starting again." He crossed his right leg over his left and shifted to attempt to alleviate his nervousness. Staying immobile made him slightly anxious.
"When did this all begin?"
"When I was eleven."
Charlie wiped his eyes. It was hard for him to hear his mentor's awful, hidden secrets.
"How did it begin?"
"What about your father?"
"What do you want to know?" He arched an eyebrow as if he now saw it as a game.
"What about your father made you start?"
"He always wanted me to be perfect and I never was. There was always one thing or another wrong with me. And he doesn't approve of my profession. He's never encouraged it."
"Is that why you cut yourself, Willy?"
There was no answer.
"Willy? Why do you cut yourself?"
He swallowed and in a quivering voice, he started to speak. "Because I have control over it. It feels perfect to me. I can make the cuts look like how I want them to look. I can do it when I want. It's mine to do. I give approval. There are days when it hurts, but there are other times where I don't even feel anything. It's my freedom. For the majority, it always feels good. I don't even see what's wrong with it now, really."
Charlie stared at Wonka and didn't know what to think. The magician's expression was one of no regret, no pain, nothing. In fact, Wonka appeared as if he was not serious about the situation at all. He had a devilish smirk and a cynical, apathetic glint in his violet orbs. He looked as he did when he came for his weapons in Charlie's rooms: frightening and threatening, as if he wasn't a real person at all.
"I do it because I can. I do it for me. Why can't it be my dirty little secret again?" His tone was dry and sarcastic.
"Because I won't let it be," Charlie interjected.
"Charlie, I need you to not interrupt the session. Perhaps you shouldn't have come in," the doctor said.
"Why won't you let it be? I was fine before you started telling me what I can't do." Wonka's stare was on his apprentice. Charlie refused to cower; even when he saw the magician's eyes go from purple to black.
"If you hurt yourself, I'm going to step in. I do it for you."
"What? Oh! I thought for a moment there you had turned into my dad."
The psychiatrist held up his pen. "Gentlemen-"
"You said he wanted you perfect, but I know you aren't! You have flaws just like everyone else; and yours are a bit more obvious. Look at your body! I don't want you to be perfect, Willy, but I want you to take care of yourself! I don't want you to do this anymore! Please! You're hurting me too! Can't you see it? I'm pleading with you, please. Stop doing this to yourself!" The clear tears meandered down his cheeks and the sight of them made Wonka soften. His own eyes started to produce the droplets. "I know your childhood wasn't the best. Most of your life hasn't been the best. But look what you have now: an amazing factory; incredible success; loyal, hardworking, friendly workers; and me. If you do continue, then……then it means that I have failed you as an heir and as a friend."
They merely gazed at each other for a time without another word. Charlie's cheeks were flushed, his eyes red and puffy, and his breath came in odd increments. Wonka opened his mouth, but found he had no voice. It was as if it had been snatched away forever. He put his hand against his throat and Charlie whispered, "You don't have to."
There was a brief pause before Charlie leaned forward and pressed his lips to Wonka's for a quick kiss. He then threw his arms around the chocolatier, rested his head in the crook of Wonka's shoulder, and broke down. Willy embraced him and closed his eyes.
The session was brought to a close. And in silent surrender, Willy Wonka vowed to bury the demons he had dragged on with him for so long.
His scars would always be there. They would tell a story. But in that instant, it seemed that he realized it was time to have the book come to a close. There would be a new one to write, though not on him through heartache.
He caught his glimmer of hope for the future.
And if Charlie could have taken it all back at that very moment, he wouldn't have. No hesitation. Some questions are meant to be asked.
A/N: Please take a short moment to comment. Thank you very much. :)