A/N: Legacy, sweetheart? Here ya go, that review response I promised:

I appreciate your criticism on my self-injury/cutting scenes. No, really – I do. However, before you accuse me of not knowing what I'm writing about, one thing you should know: I used to cut myself, a long time ago, and even in recent times, and hell, to this day, when I face emotional insecurities, I tend to automatically look for sharp things, even if I don't use them. I must ask, actually, if you have ever cut yourself. I had, for years, along with having had several friends and two boyfriends who did, as well.

In common fiction, cutting has come across as something emo-goth teenage girls ritualize and make a big deal out of with a long drawn-out process around it. To be honest, some cutters do that. But not all. For some of us, our fashion sense doesn't reflect our emotional states, and the process leading to self-injury really just is, 'grab a knife and start slicing when you feel bad'. It can be something that lasts just a minute, or for hours. Believe me, for me, it's lasted both.

Again, thank you for your criticism, and I actually do encourage you to keep it up, in the future, however flame-like they may be. But I just though you should know that yes, I DO know what I'm talking about.

To the rest of you: Yes, yes, I know, I was supposed to post the smut fics. I'm sorry, but they don't want to be written! *sighs* Not my fault…my naked-Alex Pettyfer muse decided to get dressed…

Oh, and – the song's by Kevin Rudolf, and listening to it soon after typing out that review response is what got me going.

Alex sighed in relief as Jack finally walked out of the door, all dressed up for her date. God, he just wanted to be a-fucking-lone.

It was just one of those days.

Lacking any real goal or anything similar, he looked around the house. He had the TV, the laptop, and stereo all to himself, with no one around to complain about the sound or late night activity, and plenty to do in terms of homework and maintaining his social life online.


He sighed, and didn't even bother with trying to do something. There was no point, and he knew it. All he did was opt to listen to his iPod.

He headed upstairs, and headed straight for the bed, despite it being early on a Friday evening, and despite the fact he knew he wouldn't be sleeping for a long time yet.

Alex really hated the sigh of relief he gave without thinking when he slipped under the covers. He didn't want to think about what it meant.

With the pillow on one side of him, another under his head, and the wall behind him, Alex felt safely secured in his cocoon of bed-coverings, snuggling downwards, until his head wasn't even on the pillow.

Well, more cocooning couldn't hurt. And with that, he tugged the pillow over his head, effectively encasing him in warm cotton all over.

It was a nice feeling.

Alex wondered, vaguely, if, as a depressed teenager, he was supposed to do anything in particular to play the part of said depressed teenager. Play stupid music, make sure he looked all emo-esque, make-up and all that usual bollocks…

He really didn't feel like it, and honestly didn't get, the entire 'depressing music and attire and all that' thing. Honestly, why would actually depressive people care about how they look?

Alex wondered if he should be worried. He already thought of himself as depressive, and yet didn't quite feel it as one…he just…was.

Sometimes, remembering to be human just took too much effort.

For a while, he just sank into his music while laying there, all wrapped up, and staying wrapped up, despite the sweating that soon came about.

He was on some house-pop song when he finally decided to turn over. It seems to be almost effortless, and yet that simple move exhausted him, too.

This contradictory-states mood of his was really starting to get annoying.

On one damn hand, he wanted to get up and just start running, and not stop until he collapsed out on the street. On the other, he wanted to just stay here and sleep peacefully.

Taking a deep breath, he turned over yet again, staring at the door through the ambient darkness.

Well, at least he got the brooding part right.

Sighing, he got up again. He hated how he shifted from restless to exhausted and back again on such pinpoint turns.

He paced pointlessly around the room, a bit, before setting his iPod up with his speakers – and set it to some of the music Jack put up there, something by Kevin Rudolf – and paced some more, the music floating in and out of his brain fairly lazily, as he ended up sitting at his desk again.

"…now you're scarred…"

Alex gingerly looked down at a small pocket knife he'd gotten while camping with Ian, years ago, years before his life went to hell, flipping out the blade, and wondering, vaguely, how best to slice his wrist if he wanted to kill himself. He even rolled his sleeve up to check.

Never hurt to have a back-up plan, after all, however unlikely you think you'll need it.

"You don't get something for nothing without giving up your soul."

Cocking his head, slightly, he remembered when he heard about cutters – people who actually cut themselves for…well, that part he didn't remember. But apparently, it helped.

He would admit to himself that it honestly didn't make any sense at all.

Then again…

He smirked as he thought of all those stories and all that, about people closing all their curtains and whatnot, using special kitchen knives and burning incense and whatever else crap they spewed, with ins like randomly hurting themselves by accident…

But for him, it was simple: hear about it, try it. Clinical, detached, and hoping to god and hell and all in between that you've finally found something that can help through it all.

He pressed down on his wrist, making sure the knife was horizontal to the veins, and slid it across the skin there, digging down as he did.

At first, he just hissed at the pain, shutting his eyes as the pain hit, incredibly small and minor, yet shot up his arm.

But a moment later, he felt…much more relaxed.

He, of course, knew what was behind it – endorphins that release automatically in the onslaught of pain.

But…that didn't change the fact it felt great after a few moments. It brought the clarity of mind that pain has always brought from him – and he's had plenty, ever since he started working for MI6 – and an oddly peaceful haze with it.

He pressed down, again, right on the same cut. A few quick breaths, and that same sense of clarity and calm that had him in a daze, but a bizarrely nice one at that.

This time, he just started a new cut, and another one after, before finally looking at his cuts clearly.

His arm certainly wasn't coated in blood or anything like that. But there were three separate streams of blood going his wrist and arm, two of them joining into one just a bit above his elbow, and some droplets of blood landing on the wooden desk below.

He turned his head a few different directions to study the way the light reflected off the blood. From one angle, the blood was almost black, and yet from another, it was a bright, vibrant red.

As much as the girliness of the word made him cringe, it was oddly…pretty.

Shaking his head, he pressed down on the knife again.

Once you are
Just another cut away
Now you're scarred
And these scars won't fade.
I still know
You don't get
Something for nothing
Without giving up your soul.

-Scarred, by Kevin Rudolf

A/N: The scars really don't fade. I still have 14 self-induced scars on my left arm, and I pretty much quit the habit almost two years ago. Though I also know I had at least twice as many back then, so maybe they do fade…

what do you think? Do they fade? Does it matter if they do?