A/N: While hanging out over at the Departed Fic section of LiveJournal, I found a lot of stories following the "Five Things That Never Happened" prompt. Since I love those kinds of stories, and I love Adam, I figured the prompt would work pretty well over here in the Saw fandom, too. This story will be five chapters long (obviously), most of which I have finished already, so updates should come pretty regularly. Hope you enjoy!
WARNING: SPOILERS (er, well, kind of...these things didn't actually happen, but I guess you can assume that the opposite did, which is kind of a spoiler in a roundabout way)
I'm going insane.
It was the first thought that crossed Adam's mind as he drifted into consciousness. He wasn't used to waking up slowly. As a chronic worrier, he'd never been one to revel in those sleepy moments before awareness interrupted drowsiness and life began. That was before, though. Before his life became nothing more than chains and dead bodies, rusty pipes and dirty tiles.
Life inside the bathroom was numbing in so many ways. He had no knowledge of what day it was, and no energy to lift his head and make note of the time.
Why does time matter? It's always so goddamn dark.
He wasn't entirely sure the right side of his body existed anymore. It only hurt when he moved.
That's a great fucking incentive to move, isn't it?
Zep's corpse could have gotten up and walked away by now, and he wouldn't have cared.
Wouldn't be the first time, why the hell would I be surprised?
So as Adam awoke, he let himself remain in a dreamy, half-conscious state, refusing to open his eyes and grace his vision with the same sight he'd been looking at for an unfathomably long amount of time.
He'd screamed for so long, and no one came. Cried, and no one came. Begged, and no one came.
Screaming for hours, until he was physically unable to produce any sound.
Crying until he vomited, tasting bile and tears, ignoring the bloody acid on his tongue and the way his eyes struggled to open.
Begging until he collapsed, wondering why no one cared.
Years? Am I dead already? Is this hell?
Life outside the bathroom was full of unexpected occurrences and unanswered questions. Those questions used to scare the shit out of Adam. Currently, he'd give anything to be afraid again. To feel the fear of the unknown coursing through his body as he reached for a cigarette and wondered whether he'd be able to eat today, get another job this week, make the rent next month. What was there to worry about, now? Jigsaw coming back?
What's he gonna do? Kill me? Adam wondered vaguely why he should be afraid of death when he'd already experienced much worse.
Should I be worried about my family? My friends? Adam couldn't bring himself to care about people he never cared about in the first place. Or was it them who didn't care about me? He couldn't remember anymore.
Shouldn't I at least be scared of never getting out of this shit hole? Adam had accepted that inevitable truth a long time ago. He wasn't usually the one to think things through logically, but he figured that dire situations sometimes brought out qualities in people they never knew they possessed. Lawrence couldn't possibly have...
Adam inhaled sharply, gasping weakly as the doctor crossed his mind. He'd decided hours ago (days ago?) to stop thinking about Lawrence. He wouldn't think about Lawrence leaving, a grotesque trail of blood following him out of the bathroom as his severed foot remained a constant reminder of his sacrifice. He wouldn't think about Lawrence, dragging himself through endless corridors as his life seeped away in pools on the concrete. He wouldn't think about Lawrence's cold, dead body, curled up not five hopeless feet from the exit. It hurt too much.
He also wouldn't think about Lawrence crawling out into the fresh air, collapsing at the feet of a passerby who would call the police and stay with Lawrence until the ambulance arrived. He wouldn't think about Lawrence, stumbling over his words and gritting out, around chattering teeth, one beautiful sentence: "Go back for Adam." He wouldn't think about Lawrence, opening the door and turning on the light, holding Adam's hand as the police cut his chains and carried him away from this living hell. That hurt even more.
I'm going insane.
Just as Adam was mustering the strength to wonder if insane people actually realized they were insane, something else demanded his attention. It wasn't a loud noise, or even a particularly noticeable noise, in the grand scheme of things. Spending hours (days? fucking years?!) in complete silence may have numbed Adam's mind and body, but his sense of hearing suddenly became his entire world.
I'm going insane. There's no noise. There's no one out there. There's no one, no one, no one...
Adam could have cried. Instead, he took a deep breath, choking on oxygen as he strained to scream again. Nothing but a faint whimper escaped his vocal chords, although it hurt just the same. He could do nothing but lie there and wait, and hope, and pray, not for the first time in his life, but certainly in a very long time. He only dared to open his eyes when he heard the scrape of the door opening.
The soft curse was followed by a blinding flare of white light, forcing his eyes shut again as his faced twisted in agony. A sob bubbled up in his chest, pushing its way past his lips in the form of a single word, the only thing he could think as the pain engulfed his body.
Shuffling feet and indistinguishable voices surrounded him, threatening to drown him in sensation after an eternity of loneliness.
"Holy shit...h-he's still alive! Call a fucking ambulance, get a medical team out here now!"
The unmistakable presence of another body lowered itself next to Adam. A shaky hand rested itself on his forehead, and the feeling of skin against skin was the most euphoric thing he'd ever experienced. The last person to touch him had been...
It didn't hurt to think about him now. On the contrary, Adam would have broken into an ear-to-ear grin, had he not been in so much physical pain. His mind was reeling.
Lawrence got out. Lawrence got out. Lawrence...got...out.
"Hey, kid! Can you hear me?"
A million emotions whirled through his mind, a mixture of intense pain and extreme happiness battling for dominance and leaving him a helpless, shaking mess. He wanted to cry. He wanted to laugh. He wanted to scream. He found that he could do nothing but lie there and shiver, reveling in the fact that he could just feel.
"We're gonna get you out of here. Don't worry, we're gonna help you."
Adam wanted to assure whoever was talking that he wasn't worried, that he hadn't been worrying in days (YEARS!), and there was absolutely no reason to worry because he was alive, he could feel and think and care and Lawrence was alive, alive, alive...
"There's another body in the corridor."
"Far from it. Looks like he cut off his own goddamn foot to get out of here. There's a fucking trail of blood from here to the ladder. Poor guy didn't have a chance."
"Yeah. There's blood up to the third rung, and a fucking lake underneath it. The guy must've tried to climb out."
No. No, no, no, no, no...
"Looks like he crawled halfway back here before finally giving up."
"Back here? Why?"
Adam pried his eyes open, expecting to see the blurry, gray mass of ceiling above him. Instead, he focused on a man's face, etched with a strange mixture of bewilderment and disgust.
"Hey! Hey, kid, look at me!"
Moisture welled up in Adam's eyes, the thought of Lawrence sending a wave of agony through his entire being. This wasn't supposed to happen. It wasn't supposed to be this way. If Lawrence survived, he was supposed to survive.
If Lawrence was dead, he wanted to be dead, as well.
He felt a tear drop from the corner of his eye, down across his cheek, falling into his ear.
"It's okay, kid. You're gonna be just fine."
The paramedics came. The police cut his chains and someone held his hand as he was lifted onto a stretcher, carried away from this living hell. Moments bled into one other, perceptions swirling together in a jumbled mass of feeling as he was lifted past Lawrence's cold body and into the ambulance. Sirens blared, voices yelled, machines whirred, and needles pierced the tender skin of his forearm. It all hurt. Everything hurt. He could feel, just feel, and it was worse than death.
I'm going insane.