A/N: Written for the glee_angst_meme, the prompt: Artie, self-harm. Possibly triggery.


UNDERNEATH

It's surprisingly easy, really.

He thinks this shouldn't be going so well; someone should see the grimace of pain he can't help, or the fact his hands are under the table. But of course, no-one's looking his way – oh, that damn cripple, always such an eyesore. Let's look away from him if can.

The blade of his scissors makes pink grazes in its path, not breaking the skin – it's blunt. He dislikes that, but he doesn't have much of a choice – he's in the middle of English and there are only so many self-mutilation tools available to him. The girl to the right of him leans away slightly, looking like she'd rather be anywhere but here. She's not looking at him – not seeing what he's doing – but he knows that his very presence makes her uncomfortable; he makes everyone feel uncomfortable, like some kind of death omen.

He presses the blade against his skin harder. Sting. The skin breaks and blood starts flowing.

The pain gets to him and he bites his lip, takes in two deep breaths. He's not going to cry out. That would be pathetic, and probably get him caught. Honestly, he isn't even sure if anyone would notice if he yell, but he's not going to take the risk – if he's two feet underneath everyone's eyes, that makes him easy not to be seen, but his voice is something different.

It's like playing a game with them, or a magician's trick. If he can slide right past their eye, the sleight of hand succeeds and he creates blood from nothing. Magical Cripple, to the rescue?

The blood is getting on the cuff of his white shirt, and it's so obvious what he's been doing, but he knows no-one will figure it out. They can't afford to. He's in this freaking chair and that is his assigned amount of fucked-up; he has to act like he's going forth bravely, because it would be selfish to take more than his share. This is wrong, and it is the wrong that has been assigned to misunderstood emo teens; it's not meant for him.

Fuck them.

Fuck them fuck them fuck them; fuck this whole stupid archetype he has to fit into, fuck being all sweet and okay. Fuck how they feel safe to let their eye slide right past him, because looking at a person made or gears and spokes makes them uncomfortable, like it doesn't do the same to him. Fuck these pathetic scratches and scars all over his arms; the reasons he's not okay, which are so obvious yet no-one can see them. He remembers what he overheard about it (not told, no, that would require people talking to him); finish it off, down the street, not across the road. Down the street like the voom of that shiny red car; into the side of something smaller, crushing fragile bones and snapping that body in two, breaking him off like a Kit-Kat, away from everyone who would never bother to look for him again. Greedy bitch, fucking people, he should do it. Make it all real, make them see; down the street again. They deserve it.

(Holy shit what is wrong with him?)

He abruptly pulls the scissors out from underneath the table, blood still on the blade. Nobody notices, not that he expected them too. He puts them away and watches as the last drops of his blood get on the rest of his stationery – he may have to explain that later. After all, everyone's more likely to notice a few dirty pencils than the gashes all over his wrists.

The class ends and he leaves with everyone else, letting their vapid, intelligible chatter consume his brain like a plague of locusts. No-one says anything to him, not even when one of their bags swings right into his face. The ends of his sleeves are bright red, but nobody sees it. Maybe that's the whole point.