Hey Everyone!

I have returned to fanfic from my uber-long hiatus to bring you guys this very flimsy one-shot challenge!

I was challenged by a friend to write a random one shot, and since I was re-watching Philadelphia on TV again today I decieded to do a bit of a vignette on a line that's always really intrigued me. Not the greatest exploration of the primordial human psyche, but then again the parameters of my challenge were:

"15 Minutes and 500 words..."

Totally cheated on the word count. It's actually 508 but too bad. This is actually quite sucky but have been out of writing fanfic for far too long, so I guess I should start somewhere. (Working on co-authored original work really messes up fanfic part of brain)

As always, reviews feed my motivation! Don't let me starve. Enjoy, if you can get past super-dodgyness.

.
aka Maddy


Innocuous

"We're going to have to start looking for veins in your legs sweetie..."

Andy glanced fleetingly at the broken man across from him; struggling to clasp the gentle fingers of the hospital staff, his voice scratchy like that of the lesions that marred his frail form.

Fear.

It was the sterile smell that hung ominously in the air, a heavy mix of disinfectant and the metallic hint of blood. The blinding white that bathed the waiting room between the 'wash your hands' and 'The Best Vitamin for making friends...B1!" posters adorning the otherwise grimy wall. The flimsy open-backed gowns that left the wearer so vulnerable, so cold; letting the gentlest breeze sweep over the delicate and demoralised bodies that wore them with shame.

It was the personification of his fear.

He could feel its long, slimy tentacles thread their way through his mind, gripping his heart tightly as it slithered its ugly way over into the very depths of his soulful existence.
It prodded unwillingly at Andy's most perfect of memories; his first visit to the theatre to see what would become his favourite opera, live in all its masterful musical genius. The soft pressing of his palms to the front step of the house he shared with his family as they watched on his amusement. The firm shake of Mr. Wheeler's hand, pride shining in his eyes as he welcomed the enthusiastic promise of Andy to his new desk with the walls of his prestigious law firm.

The shadows of doubt, the discontent of his damning illness, that followed in the wake of his fear tainted the image of Miguel etched into his most private of thoughts. Andy steadily felt his mind being whisked away to that fateful night.

His brief encounter of meaningless, unreleased tension that would near-shatter all he had built with his Latin lover. The passionate fight that ensued, the trying tears as they had both agreed to try again. Now, just a faded flicker of a time before he could feel himself becoming lost in the agony of not-knowing.

How long will he live? When would he die? Would this new drug work? Would he give it to Miguel? Will anyone find out?

It was hard to believe in 'there's nothing to fear but fear itself' when his fear was merely an acronym. No real name, just a cloud of fear and prejudice that blurred his vision of any dream he could ever have of a future with Miguel.

Andy briefly shuddered at the echo of coughing that suddenly seemed so loud around him, the clank of gurneys, the painful drip of I.V bags seeping their toxic venom into the deceivingly well-looking young men that littered themselves between the sickly looking ones.

This disease; it was not innocuous but insidious.

Andy felt a sudden sense of betrayal as he solemnly reached for his head phones, drowning out the piteous pleas of his fellow man, his mind returning to the elaborate illusion of solace only Andrea Chenier could bring.