Spoilers: "Catevari" (lil itty, bitty one), "Impetus" (a bigger one),
and "Brother's Keeper" (BIG, BIG ones.)
Archiving: Want it? Take it.
Category: Horrid, little Angst Vingette.

Notes: Honestly? This came out of my recent reading of stuff posted
to the list and a rereading of Mnemosyne's fantastic story "Night
Visitor". Claire and Darien are an interesting pair. At times,
enemies, at times friends, and frequently everything in between, they
intrique me. And while I'm not 100% behind a romantic pairing
between them, there's still that little spark that makes me
go "Maybe..." This is an emotional little thing. And if it helps
all you fanatically anti-Clare/Darien people, consider it an AU.

***

Break
by A.j.

***

It breaks me to not say anything.

So much of me is already gone. Victims of my fear, bits and pieces
traded away for sanity. Or safety. Or even the passing logic that I
might be doing something right. But this? This is different. This
is a piece of me that I swore would never be touched. Not by this.

Show's how incredibly bright I am.

She never told me that I'd remember. Maybe she didn't know. I'd
like to think she would have told me. I'd like that. That's why I'm
a whole 60% sure on this. But there's that 40%. It's that damn 40%
that makes me stare at her just a little harder.

Like me, she's owned. She's not free. Gloria may be with her
family, but that isn't entirely true. Our lives, Claire's and mine,
are made up of half-truths and shadows. An extreme case of smoke and
mirrors with neither really knowing who's got the fog machine and
who's painted themselves down with mercury.

Gloria is no more free than I. She's insurance. But she's got
something I don't. Something I envy her for so badly I ache. Gloria
has ignorance. She doesn't *know* that she's written down in
someone's little file. She has no clue that her existence hinges on
how well my friend can play these games. She's blissfully unaware.
And there are days I hate her for that.

Like today.

I'd like to think Claire would have told me if she thought I'd
remember. Actually, I'm fairly certain she'd never have injected
Kev's RNA in my brain if she'd had even the slightest idea. Because
in those chains of sugar and enzyme lay secrets. Ones that she
definitely wouldn't want me knowing. I know her last name now.
Well, the one Kevin knew. It suits her. Elegant. Simple.

I know other things too. Things that I wish I didn't. I know that
she hates oranges. And that her favorite book is an oft-read volume
of Kipling that she always kept in her top drawer during college.
And I know all the sounds she makes when she cums, screaming,
underneath a heaving body.

It's my final gift, you see. A final bit of damnation deeded me from
my brother. Kevin the genius. Kevin the humanitarian. Kevin, the
man who put his own brother under the knife and created for him a
hell of which there are no boundaries. Because with this bequeathal,
he's sold me deeper. He's broken the last lock on my soul and opened
the door. He's handed this final bit of me to my Grendel and waved
quietly in parting.

In this remembering, he's given me his love for her. But in the same
instant, he's closed the doors of her heart to me. Because when she
looks at me, she doesn't see me. She doesn't see Darien. Or a lab
rat. Or even the cloudy gist of a man with whom she plays power
games. Instead, all she sees is Kevin.

So my tongue is stilled while my brain and heart curse the skies, and
the sea, and the dead. And in that dread time between the setting of
the sun and its rise, my mind echoes with the words spoken by another
who was lost and betrayed. One who tried to warn me. One who's
advice I honestly thought I'd heeded.

I've grown with her. I want to touch her. And, God help me, I want
Kevin's memories to become my own. The irony is, I won't. Not
because I won't, but because I can't. And in the end, it's just
another game I've lost.

-fin-