Author's Note: Kay, so this here is a bigger and better repost of my old baby. Updates should come a week apart or sooner. If it's later than that, I'll say beforehand. This puppy is almost finished, so that should help speed things along, too.
Enjoy! And please R&R at the end! I accept all opinions, good or bad. I don't accept bashing, but constructive critcism is totally fine. Let me know how I can improve. Thanks!
(For pictures, trailers, etc to this beast of a fic, visit my livejournal which you can reach through my author's profile. You may have to friend me, but if you do, I never turn anyone down. You'll be friended back.)
THE DUTY WHICH BREAKS US
I still remember the world from the eyes of a child
Slowly those feelings were clouded by what I know now
I want to go back to believing in everything
And knowing nothing at all
I still remember the sun always warm on my back
Somehow it seems colder now
-Field of Innocence-
September 31st, 2009
Dark and drawn are the shadows on his face, profile sharply chiseled. His eyes, once liquid brown and full of life, are lost to vacant black. They no longer shine, and there is no warmth within. Though his outer shell reflects quite the opposite. He feels ill, and his flesh is flush with fever. It has everything to do with the traumatic events just previously endured, and nothing to do with the same malady being suffered beyond this building's walls. But he is hollow, all the same.
If only his fleeting daydreams were truth–he would gladly endure the sickness alone if it meant the world saved and the thing in his grasp denied from existence.
He stares out into the world below, face full of unspoken pain, standing at the window of his office and feeling the solitude like a crushing fog. The muted light streaming through the blinds cast shadows across his face almost like bars.
The skies are gray and the sun is gone. A raindrop would vanish before it could even fall, yet the streets are damp and restless. Those desperate enough to venture out of their homes conduct themselves with hurried gaits, their coats pulled tightly across their chests. Some wear the breathing masks. It's almost like a doomsday feature bent on entertaining the masses, not the harsh cut of reality.
Even though the nation is suffering, he is certain the everyday passersby know nothing of the despair that wreaks grief and agony on those around them. He doubts they can even fathom the fierce sorrow and naked dread that plagues him now. His suit-jacket and tie long since discarded, he turns his eyes down on the crumpled paper that hides in his white-knuckled grasp.
They have no idea the pain this outbreak has caused.
The numbness at last reaches his fingers, and they slacken in response. The paper flutters to the floor, a whisper in the silence.
I am no prophet of doom.
He stares in horrified fascination, he cannot look away. Determined, as if he can will the black-inked letters to rewrite themselves less gruesome. A lump forms in his throat and a deep weight sinks in his middle. He reads the formal order again and again until his distorted vision finally disallows him to go any further.
Ice on his spine, rivers in his eyes.
Words stand out, harsh in contrast–like blood in water.
"…quarantine… target… threat… Temperance Brennan… eliminate…"
And he is in pain. Physical pain. He's not even forty and he's having a heart attack. If only that were the case.
He releases the document as if burned, and it floats to his desk with a harmless flap. Rising, he backs away–as far from the offending slip of paper as he can physically manage. His breathing, which is becoming harder and harder to maintain, is sharp and thin.
Short, and terrifyingly to the point.
The room is spinning. His balance wavers.
This can't be happening.
Bile in his throat. This is a nightmare, a dream of torment–it isn't rational, reality isn't so ruthless. Nothing in the last few months has been reality. Wake up, he tells himself.
Relief never comes.
Through the moist fog that has gathered in his vision, he clutches the paper again–praying the words have changed, or that his morbid mind has only played a cruel trick on his heart. The same words burn into the back of his eyes, branded there into his memory.
The floor feels suddenly groundless under his feet and, for a fleeting moment, he wonders if it will open up beneath him. Instead, his back meets with the wall. Picture frames rattle, glass hums. There is a rushing in his ears, and the silence that follows deafens him. His heart pounds in his chest, which heaves and cries out for air that has abandoned him. Lungs constrict as if his entire body is frozen in denial.
This is what despair truly feels like.
"Please," he whisper–to anyone who will listen.
He sinks slowly to the floor, fingers curling around the parchment tightly as he screws his eyes shut and weeps openly.
The orders that mock him from the formal document ring ceaselessly in his ears, haunting and unrelenting.
"…upon termination, the deceased: Temperance Brennan, shall be taken into government custody, and placed into quarantine immediately…"
I fear I am broken and won't mend, I know
I lay here not sleeping; now the long night has begun
Oh angels in heaven, don't you care for me at all?