A/N: WAH! A Saw fanfic without Adam and Lawrence? God, I hope school starts soon and gets my crazy mind back in order… Anyway, this is a fanfic from Saw V, about the only two survivors from the main trap in that one: Brit, and Mallick, who I had to write something about. He's too much like Adam to just leave unwritten like that… Anyway, hope you'll like it!
Redemption's Son, And His Possible Companion
Brit remembers the day she got the news about Adam and Lawrence.
Adam Faulkner and Lawrence Gordon. She remembers them very clearly. Even though they weren't even the first victims.
She remembers her secretary coming into her office, nervous and fidgeting for no reason at all except that she was Brit's secretary, and handing over her coffee, her calendar and the newspaper. And she remembers the thick letters, screaming from the front page about Lawrence Gordon, found delirious, wounded and pale as death itself from the blood loss, but alive, and she remembers reading about Adam Faulkner, found just a few minutes later, in better shape, but just as delirious, just as pale, but more out of horror than anything else.
That was what worried her. She barely remembers Adam, he was just a name under a picture, but she remembers Lawrence.
Because she'd heard about the Jigsaw killer. And she was afraid of him, more than she'd ever admit. But still a lot less than she should be, simply because he'd only caught nobodies. A few unhappy kids and husbands in bad marriages who didn't handle that the way they should. Why would that affect her?
But Lawrence had money. Lawrence was on her level. Or almost.
Jigsaw didn't care about class. And class was the one thing that'd kept her safe, and that was how it'd been for all her life.
And Brit had gotten her punishment. She was a monster, she'd been one for years, because she'd been convinced that that was the only way to survive in the life she lived. And she'd paid her price now, she'd paid it to the level where she'd seen all the Adam Faulkners that had just been blurry shapes to her, everyone she'd killed with someone else's hands, standing there. Hard, hating eyes, staring down at her.
And she'd deserved it. That's why she doesn't get why everything's still so cold inside.
Brit puts one hand on the table in front of her bed. She planned to put the other hand on it, too, but what's left of her arm just waves around pathetically, and she's once again reminded that there's just one hand to put on tables now.
What's left of her lower arm has been amputated. Hers had been past redemption, Mallick's hadn't. He'd been luckier than her when they put their hands in the boxes, and the doctors had given her some sort of explanation to that. Something about her hitting an artery that he didn't, but Brit doesn't really care.
She just knows that Mallick will keep his hand. They've sown it up and thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, there's no reason not to believe that he'll recover. At least on the outside.
And she knows that it was worse with her than it was with Mallick. That they thought they'd lose her and that Mallick, either having lost less blood or just being a hell of a lot more stubborn, had refused to get into the ambulance before he'd made sure they'd put her in it before him.
"Fuck you!" He'd spat at one of the paramedics that tried to take him away, she'd heard it even through the voices of the ghosts that drowned everything else. "What the fuck do you mean 'past rescuing,' she's still breathing, isn't she? Put her on the goddamned gurney, you're not leaving this fucking place without her!"
Brit's happy for Mallick. She's very happy that he'll keep his hand, and she's happy he made it out. And she's really happy that she can feel that happiness, that it's worked its way past the guilt that's so cold that it's numbed her inside out. She just wishes she'd known why it hasn't erased it.
Brit touches the stump of her left arm briefly. It still hurts, but at least it isn't infected. She won't get gangrene. And she survived.
They survived together.
And like he can hear her thoughts, Mallick walks through the door. His grin is shy, but she still sees that he has something to tell her. Brit smiles widely when he closes the door behind him.
"Always on time, aren't you," she says wearily and leans back into her pillows.
Mallick laughs briefly and steps up to her bedside. He never sits down when he visits her, the nervous fidgetiness she thought only occurred when he was panicking seems like it's always there. Maybe because he's always been afraid of his ghosts coming back to him some day. Just like her.
"You know," Mallick says and raises his hand aimlessly, "my dad always says that if you bring flowers to a girl, there's a bigger chance she'll fuck you, but… I think that's bullshit, so I bought you a candy bar, instead."
Brit chuckles when he hands her the half-melted Twix he's kept in his pocket, and takes it with bigger excitement than she intended to. At least it's better than hospital food.
"You know it takes more than this to get me laid," she says and looks up at Mallick, who laughs weakly and crosses his arms. "What's with the sweet talk?"
"I, uh…" Mallick begins and raises his hand like that again, he never keeps them still. "I just wanted to tell you that I got discharged today."
Brit smiles again, fully and sincerely. Once again, the happiness for someone else makes her remember what it's like to feel, and once again, she wonders why she still doesn't feel good.
"That's so great, Mallick," she says and means it. "I hope you'll still visit me."
"Sure," Mallick says with a sound that's either a chuckle or a scoff. "I mean, who else am I going to talk to?"
"Good," Brit says with that smile lingering. "It's been really good to have you here… You can really be entertaining when you're not annoying."
This time, it's definitely a scoff that Mallick makes. But he still can't keep the corners of his mouth down.
"Well, you can be really entertaining when you're not boring," he shoots back, and Brit laughs.
They're quiet for a second. Mallick crosses his arms again, and Brit understands that it's something else he wants to tell her. He wouldn't be this nervous if he just wanted to say goodbye to her.
"Listen, I've been thinking…" Mallick indeed begins, and puts his gaze on a spot near the corner of the ceiling. "I… I think…"
His hands creep even further up over his elbows. Like he's really trying to protect himself from something.
"I think we should turn ourselves in."
At first, Brit thinks he's joking. Simply because Mallick could say that, most people would, but not him. Mallick could say these words, but it's not him. He doesn't do that.
Mallick seems to get that she's thinking that, because his hands creep further up, and he shrugs, sort of apologetically.
"We have to face justice, Brit," he says, more determined than she thought him capable of. "We'll never get over this otherwise."
It sounds graver than she intended. But either way, she means it, and she proves it by fixing Mallick's solemn eyes with her own.
"We're not doing that," Brit says firmly. "If you want to hand yourself in, fine, but don't mention me. And don't expect me to want to do it with you."
When she sees a small wrinkle grow between his eyebrows, Brit rolls her eyes and waves the stump of her arm, almost as an evidence. Because it should count as one, isn't it a proof that she's been through enough, that she has a reason to just regress to a time when she didn't have to take the consequences of her actions?
"I don't have a fucking arm, Mallick!" Brit blurts out and beckons to it with her hand. Her only hand. "I've been through hell! We've been through hell! And it's all because of… Of that! How the hell can you say that we haven't faced justice?"
Mallick's eyes go from aggravated slits to wide, staring, like they did in the trap, but not nearly as helpless, just angry. Just wanting her to grow up, get real, to realize that she's never had to take the consequences of her actions and if she doesn't do it now, she never will.
"That wasn't fucking justice!" Mallick yells and throws his arm out, Brit feels so small under his rage. "That was a fucking psycho who thought it would be some kind of therapy for us to kill three people and put our arms through circular saws, it wasn't justice!"
She's never seen him angry for a reason before. She's seen him scared and pretending to be angry, but now, he is angry, and he's angry with her. And in the meantime, Brit sees the pain in his eyes, the one she only sees when they talk about what they did.
Because the guilt over that is the only feeling that even fits into his tiny world map that's so strong that he can't deny it.
Mallick is so guilty about that. You see it with just one look at him. It's like a constant mist around him, the silent presence of an unholy spirit. And Brit would still give the world to be him.
Being the one who didn't know. The one who didn't make the decision.
"Oh, and it will be if we spend a lifetime behind bars?" Brit snaps, pretending to be mad at him when she only is at herself. "That'll bring those eight people back? Huh? That'll make the woman in the bathtub take out the hook you put through her neck to save your own ass and just stand up and walk out? We can't justify what we've done, Mallick! We'll never pay it back! The dead won't fucking stop being dead!"
And so, the emotions rises to the surface, old and stale and still so fresh since she's ignored them for so long. Hot and burning as the tears that rise up.
Those tears. Those fucking goddamned tears.And Brit remembers how torn apart she should be, how tainted with remorse. How many nights she should sit by the kitchen table with a scotch and hope that the thing that was forever there would go away, and soon realize that it never would.
She should do that. She would do that. But she never did.
Brit is lacking of empathy. Fully and completely. Because that's what she's told herself that she has to do, that's what everyone's told her that she has to, and before they even felt her accusing looks on them, they shrugged and said that hey, that's business, and she believed them.
But she didn't have to do that. She's signed a death sentence on her own emotions, even though she could've done something else, she could've worked with something else, she could've built that fucking condo that she still can't even see the blueprints of without feeling nauseous someplace else, fuck, she could've just thrown those people out on the street, anything had been better than…
And suddenly, Mallick's arms are around her. Not in one of those embraces that take away the unholy spirit and mend broken hearts, but more like an awkward hug that he gives because he feels like he has to give it. At first, Brit wonders why he does it, before she sees the dark stain growing on his shoulder under her cheek, and she realizes that she's crying.
Once again, not in the most dramatic way. No sobbing and clinging to his shirt, but a few burning tears running down her face and making her lashes stick together. But they're there. They're a start.
Mallick stokes her hair briefly before he lets go. Brit sniffles, flutters away with her gaze before she puts it on him and smiles nervously.
"Sorry," she croaks out and wipes her nose with her hand.
Mallick smiles. It a sincerer one than she's ever seen on his face before.
Pause. Brit sniffles again.
"I'll look you up when I'm discharged," she says, and actually looks Mallick in the eye."I'll find you, and… We'll go to the station together."
Mallick raises his eyebrows with a face she can't really read, it's a strange mixture of dejected and hopeful. He doesn't get as surprised as she would've liked, and Brit wishes he'd give her a more definite answer. She won't throw her future away if she doesn't know he's with her.
Suddenly, he really is that important. That's also a start.
"Okay?" Brit coaxes, and Mallick nods, still with that face.
Another pause. Mallick eyes wander over to the wall, and he puts his hands in his pocket.
"Dad's going to tear my jugular out," he says with a brief shake of the head, and Brit laughs.
"It was your idea."
Mallick shakes his head again, like he doesn't get how he could be that stupid, and Brit's smile fades away.
"Will you really come and see me again?"
Mallick's eyes jump back to her.
Mallick gets that expression that people get when they don't know how to say goodbye, with fidgeting hands and an insecure smile. But eventually, he walks up to her, Brit smiles shyly at him in a way she thought she never would, and Mallick bends down and gives her another hug. But it's not as awkward anymore.
What they share is too big for that.
Before Mallick straightens up, he plants a chest kiss on her cheek, and Brit feels herself blushing in a very high school-like way. Mallick smiles at her again, blushing a little, too, fortunately, before he raises his hand meekly and starts walking towards the door. That's when Brit realizes that there's something else he has to know, and she quickly turns serious.
Mallick turns around, with his hand still on the doorknob, with a look of lazy surprise on his face. Brit takes a deep breath.
She has to say this. She really does.
"You're not a monster."
Mallick's eyebrows crease for a brief second, before he gets what she's talking about, and then he smiles insecurely, his hand goes from the handle to a steady trek up his elbows again. Brit sees the bandage glimpse between his middle and ring finger.
So nervous. And he definitely doesn't believe her.
"You're not a monster," Brit repeats, with her gaze steady on his face even though his is jumping to every place in the room where she isn't. "Monsters don't regret what they do. They'd never turn themselves in."
"Come on…" Mallick mumbles and blushes again.
But he does smile a little.
"And you regret what you did, don't you?" Brit goes on, and she wants to say that monsters would never put their arms through that saw, either, but she doesn't.
The memory of the saw tearing through flesh, the few seconds it takes to get that it's her blood that splatters on the glass even though it's a mere ten inches from her face, is something that should just be brought up when he's prepared. It makes him as sick to his stomach as it does to her, she knows that.
Mallick sighs, almost annoyed, and shrugs briefly.
"Sure. But… Come on, who wouldn't?"
Brit chuckles, so bitterly, and he has to look at her.
Mallick's eyes widen again, and he seems to be on the brink of yelling at her again, and then he chuckles, too. But not nearly as bitterly as her, just like he really doesn't get why she'd say that.
"Yeah, you do," he says plainly, and this time, Brit actually laughs, not because it's a ridiculous thought, but because he sounds like he's known her forever.
"And how do you know that?"
Mallick shrugs again, and his smile grows wider.
"You don't really strike me as a girl who cries for no reason."
He makes a pause to let his words sink in. And when they do, Brit opens her mouth to disagree, since if she is a monster, at least she has an excuse for not regretting it, but Mallick cuts her off.
"Okay, maybe you don't regret it now," he says, like he wants to give her at least one right, "but it'll come to you. Wait for it."
Brit wants to talk back, just because she can't stand the thought of a rich-kid junkie knowing more about psychology than she does. But at first, she's dumbstruck for a few seconds, and when she's finally thought of a good argument, Mallick's drunken in his victory, raised his hand again and left, and Brit's left with an empty room and a place right in front of the door that she gets kind of sad of seeing empty.
It'll come to you.
Why would it come to her now? Why would it ever come to her if it's been months since she basically sent a hit-man onto eight innocent people and still hasn't felt a thing about it? Why would it strike her now and not then?
And how's Mallick ever going to be able to understand that, since he's just pretending to be like her, pretends to be a monster even though he's just a little kid who hasn't learned to take responsibility, or that it's okay to do mistakes as long as you dare to regret them.
Mallick's learned that you can't make mistakes. That's how it has to be in his world.
He's been taught that people who are worth any kind of attention don't make mistakes, and if you would make one, you ignore it to the level where you don't feel any sort of remorse about it, and eventually, it'll stop existing.
Mallick's been indoctrinated. Brit's made her own choices.
But as much as Brit hates herself for it, since she really wants nothing more than to think of herself as a horrible person, there's still one memory that she can't block out. Just one.
Like something in her head agrees with Mallick, and tries to make her do the same.
Brit remembers one of the days Mallick's been in her hospital room, about a week after a hug that actually was one that mended broken hearts, because it was a hug of reunion, with both feet on her bed, and the hand that held the remote pressed loosely against his mouth while his elbow leaned against the armrest of his chair. His eyes had been fixed on an episode of The Simpsons with too much interest than what should be put in such a stupid TV-show.
But Brit remembers the episode, too. She remembers Mr. Burns going to the doctor, and the doctor saying that he had every single disease you could have, and when Mr. Burns asked why he wasn't dead yet, the doctor had picked up a miniature door and placed it on his examining table, opened it up and placed a handful of toys that looked like fur balls with legs and arms next to it.
"If this door is your body," the doctor had said, "and these little things are all diseases - this one's cancer, this one's asthma and this little thing is the flu - this is what happens when you try to get them all into your body at the same time."
And then, he'd pressed all the little toys against the door. And indeed, they were so many that they got stuck. Not one of them had gotten through the door.
Brit chuckles briefly and touches the Twix bar on the table in front of her.
Okay. Maybe The Simpsons isn't too bad.
And maybe it's true that if too many things try to get into your body at the same time, weather it's diseases, pain, or a giant remorse for something that can never be justified, but that you will at least own up to now that you have someone to help you, it can't. It gets stuck.
But maybe it still drops through, bit by bit. Maybe Mr. Burns will get sick sooner or later, no matter how many toys that try to get through the door. And maybe it will come to Brit. As much as it pains her to even think it.
Brit sighs with fake annoyance when she has to admit it to herself.
Fine. Mallick can be right. This one time.
Yeah, I really had to put that little reference to Adam and Lawrence. Those bastards really have to get into all my fanfics! Anyway, I know this was pretty pointless, since they don't even have sex, but the damn plot bunny was clinging to my leg… And you have to admit, it turned out pretty good! So review and tell me those exact words! XD