Disclaimer: Hanna and Conrad from Hanna is not a Boy's Name belong to Tessa Stone. Lake Pontchartrain lyrics and plot belong to Ludo or their record company. Who the fuck really knows?
TL;DR- Bitch ain't mine.
There were bloody teeth marks on his left fist again. Hanna had a nasty habit of shoving his fist into his mouth to try and keep himself quiet when he touched himself at night. Sometimes he broke the skin. It wouldn't do for those small whimpers and moans spawned deep in the back of his throat to be overhead. He had to be quiet, quieter than quiet, if he didn't want to be caught by a patrolling nurse or wake up his sleeping 'roommates'. That went doubly so for the boy on the top bunk above Hanna since, oh you know, he was the one that Hanna was fantasizing about.
Conrad. He didn't know the other boy's last name because the nurses and doctors never said it. They never said anyone's last name. Hanna had tried to get a peek at their clipboards once or twice to learn it but his efforts had only managed to land him with a few days in Solitary Confinement. It was very likely that he was going to spend another few days there quite soon because in the morning there was no way he was going to explain the marks on his hand to the Physiatrist and why he had 'mutilated' himself. Again. Hanna sighed and wiped up his mess with a tissue he had smuggled from the bathroom. There used to be boxes beside every bunk but last week one of the other patients had stuffed a whole box in his mouth in an attempt to suffocate himself. The next day there were no more tissues in any of the rooms and Hanna hadn't seen the other boy since.
The bed groaned in protest as Conrad turned over and grumbled above him. Hanna froze, not even daring to breathe and an uneasy feeling settled in his stomach once it was apparent that he was still the only one awake at such a god awful hour.
Hanna sighed softly.
Conrad didn't really like Hanna that much despite their pariah status among the rest of the patients at Camp Hope. The facility was an experimental hospital in the middle of Louisiana wilderness, log cabin facilities and all. They were attempting to see how being 'at one with nature' would help the 'healing of the mind'. It sounded like a bunch of bullshit to Hanna, who wasn't crazy, thank you very much, no matter what everyone else tried to tell him. He knew what was out there and he knew what had happened to him, and no he didn't want to talk about 'It' right now. Or you know. Ever.
Hanna was pretty sure the reason he and Conrad were outcasts among their peers was because they were the only ones there that were perfectly sane. Including the staff, Hanna thought bitterly.
Conrad was pretty sure it was because they were the MOST mentally unstable and that everyone else stayed away from them out of reasonable fear for their own safety. According to Conrad the fact that Hanna came near him voluntarily was proof of how crazy the shorter boy was. Hanna didn't understand why his bunkmate was so convinced of his own insanity. He didn't understand why Conrad was always pulling away from him when he was so lonely because Hanna was lonely too and maybe they could be less lonely together?
Hanna turned over to lay on his side and hugged his arms to himself loosely, wishing that someone would love him or at least be able to stand his presence for more than five minutes. Or one.
Thirty seconds? That was enough for a hug right?
Hanna wasn't that picky. Really.
That kid is so weird, Conrad thought harshly. So weird with his huge blue doe eyes and too big shirt that slipped off his left shoulder and made the usually covered skin the most interesting thing the world. Like right now for instance. Conrad chewed his cereal violently, really more of a grinding of teeth than anything that resembled eating, as he watched Hanna under his eyelashes from the next table over.
He was looking even more small and frail than usual this morning. Hanna had been absent since the nurses had taken him to the Psychiatrists office after morning inspection. The nurses had escorted him to the 'Silent Table' half way through breakfast and dumped a lumpy bowl of oatmeal in front of him. Hanna spooned it half heartedly, and kept one arm wrapped around his midsection, feet drawn up close to his chair and huddling. He had eaten exactly one bite and a half. Conrad had counted.
They had taken Hanna's glasses away again so no doubt after breakfast Hanna was going to be carted off to Solitary Confinement for whatever infringement the strange boy had done this time. One, maybe two, Hanna free days were coming up.
The thought didn't make Conrad happy. He scowled at his cereal and huffed, appetite good and well lost now.
He would be lonely without Hanna.
Hanna's hair used to shine bright red once upon a time. After 'It' happened all the brightness had just bled out until his hair was almost black and just the slightest tint of red left in its place.
Hanna doesn't like to talk about 'It'. 'It' gives him nightmares so real that the jump from dreaming to wakefulness is so slight he doesn't even realize he's awake until he's tripped and hopelessly entangled in his bed sheets. When that happens he just lays his flushed cheeks on the cool hardwood floor and focuses on breathing until the world stops spinning and his heart doesn't feel like its trying to beat itself out of his chest anymore. Because of 'It' he count exits and makes mental notes of the easiest escape routes for every room he enters. He never wants to be caught unprepared again. 'It' makes him afraid of the dark, afraid of what he can't see, and he stares at shadows with an eerie intensity.
Hanna never feels safe in Solitary Confinement. He was left in pitch darkness and even if he couldn't see them he knew there was a camera in every corner of the small room recording his every move. If the dark didn't already make him sweat, the constant tangible feeling of being watched made his skin crawl.
He wanted to vomit.
All he could do was huddle on the small cot they provided for him and firmly tell himself that there was nothing else in the room with him. There wasn't anything there.
That would undermine the whole point of Solitary Confinement, right?
Hanna stifled a sob because somehow he didn't think that kind of thing would matter to the kind of things he was afraid of.
They brought him back to the cabin in the middle of the night three days later. Conrad went to use the loo and when he came back Hanna was lying still as death on the bottom bunk. He looked…awful. Conrad stood there gawking at the deep harsh circles nestled under his eyes. He had never felt so useless. Hanna looked like he had lost even more weight and Conrad wondered if he pulled up the other boy's shirt up if he would be able to count each rib.
The worst part of it all was that Conrad still kind of wanted to kiss him, despite everything.
He was so mixed up with his own self disgust and reluctant desire that it took him a moment to realize that Hanna's eyes were halfway open now and they were locked in a stare. He took a step back in fright, physically recoiling with a flinch as panic danced though him.
Shit. He had caught him staring at him while he slept? How creepy was that? What was wrong with him? Why hadn't this horrible place FIXED him yet?
His mouth opened on its own accord and his brain scrambled for something to say. Anything to say.
"Are you okay?" He blurted out and immediately felt like smacking himself. Did Hanna LOOK okay?
Conrad spared a moment to hate himself deeply.
Luckily though Hanna didn't seem to find offense with his vapid questioning line and did this adorable lazy half smile thing that made Conrad's stomach do flip flops.
"M'fine. Yeah. Right as rain." he rasped weakly.
Bullshit. And I'm the queen of bloody England, Conrad thought crossly. He didn't see why Hanna would bother lying about something like that when it was so obvious how bloody not okay the other boy was. He sighed deeply.
It was too early (late?) for this.
"Well. If you need anything…you um. Know where I am." Conrad offered awkwardly and attempted to flee to his bunk as swiftly as possible. He got about halfway up the ladder before Hanna stopped him.
"…can I have a hug?"
Conrad froze in place, eyes wide. Surely he misheard that? He swallowed, his throat suddenly dry.
"…never mind. Heh. Forget I said anything, man."
"No! I mean yes! I mean no. I mean…" he trailed off uncertain of what to say.
Conrad climbed back down the ladder and sat on the bed next to Hanna. Hanna was looking up at him from his pillow with vulnerable too blue eyes that seemed even larger than normal without his glasses. Conrad leaned over and gave the shorter boy an awkwardly stiff hug, and just as he was about to pull away thinking that he had made a horrible awful mistake two vine thin arms wound around his waist holding him back.
Actions spoke louder than words after all.
They had eyes, beady little black eyes as creepy as fuck and people were still eating them. Conrad couldn't help but think that the blank gazes of the crawfish were accusing him of something and it was bloody fucking terrifying. Everyone in the cafeteria were eating the damn things too except Hanna and him. They alone had opted for the chicken alternative. It was dry and pretty much tasteless but at least it wasn't staring at him.
The circles under Hanna's eyes hadn't receded by much but he seemed to be in better spirits so Conrad wasn't that worried. He wondered if maybe Hanna's good mood lately had anything to do with him maybe? He nudged the other boy's knee under the table and got a huge silly grin aimed at him along with an answering nudge.
So that was probably a yes, Conrad thought smugly, and tentatively smiled back.
"I dunno how everyone can stand eating those poor crawfish." Hanna mused. "I mean how would you like it if someone just up and ate you while you could see them do it?"
Conrad refrained from reminding Hanna that dead and cooked things don't exactly have vision much less a consciousness, because he agreed with the sentiment if not the reason. It was easier not to argue, Conrad decided. This nice atmosphere between them probably wouldn't last and he wanted to enjoy it while it lasted.
It was raining by the end of dinner even though there hadn't been a cloud in sight all day.
Someone had snuck out of their cabin that night and vandalized the cafeteria. The walls were covered in a nonsensical message. The worst thing was that it looked like it was written in blood. The entire room stank of copper. Hanna grasped Conrad's hand tightly keeping their hands low out of sight, because even though they could be seen and punished the comfort he gained from it was worth the risk. Hanna glanced over his shoulder, getting one more look at the message as Conrad tugged him in the direction of the doors.
"Come down to Lake Pontchartrain.
Rest your soul and feed your brain.
That's where you will get to see
Everything the water can be."
The camp was officially on lockdown. No one besides a few staff members were to leave the cabins under any circumstances.
It had rained all day and by night fall.
The Psychiatrist had come into their cabin and took them outside to the porch one by one to 'question' them. Hanna had come back pale and shaking and it only furthered Conrad's dislike of this place. For the first time in as long as he could remember he didn't care if they could be crazy mass murderers waiting to happen. Conrad just wanted Hanna to be happy, and this place sucked the life right out of him. He clenched his fist, feeling pathetically useless.
A huge bang on the window startled Conrad so bad he almost fell out of the bed.
The light switch was flicked on swiftly by the Nurse and all heads turned toward the window closest to the door where a figure stood. There was a man there, hands and face pressed against the glass with unkempt and knotted hair covered in filth. His eyes were a sickening shade of yellow and when he opened his mouth to scream at them Conrad could see that every single tooth was rotted black as the night he came from.
He screamed nonsense at what had to be the top of his lungs like some kind of demented banshee from hell.
"COME DOWN TO LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN! REST YOUR SOUL AND FEED YOUR BRAIN! FREE FOR YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS! CRAWFISH TILL THE BITTER END!" the man threw his head back and cackled. All of the hair on Conrad's body stood up with the sound of it. It was mad. Crazed. Unlike anything he had ever heard.
The man ducked out of sight and everyone in the room jumped (come even screamed) when smashed himself against one of the side windows grinning crookedly. "COME DOWN TO LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN! WADE TO WHERE THE SHALLOWS BREAK AND THAT'S WHERE YOU WILL GET TO SEE EVERYTHING THE WATER CAN BE!"
He made that god awful laughing sound again and then he just…vanished. Into thin air.
Chaos immediately followed. The other boys in the dorm started screaming their heads off and yeah maybe a few of them were crying hysterically. Nurse Ratchens fruitlessly tried to restore order as Conrad slipped down to Hanna's bunk.
Hanna was staring white faced and expressionless at the window the man was last seen at. Conrad wrapped his fingers around Hanna's wrist to get his attention. It startled Hanna who hadn't realized Conrad was next to him and he jerked his arm out of Conrad's grasp with a fist raised as if to strike him. They both froze in place with Conrad's arms instinctively half way raised to protect his face.
Hanna slowly lowered his arms and laughed awkwardly. Conrad joined him.
The nurse cleared her throat loudly and addressed the room as a whole.
"Everyone, get in the your beds and be quiet! Now! We're leaving first thing in the morning and we should all get some sleep. Okay? Lets just all get some sleep."
Conrad didn't sleep at all. He didn't think Hanna did either.
Everyone managed to fit in the vans, though it was a tight squeeze. There was a staff member stationed on every row of seats in order to maintain control. Hanna was stuck in the very back row of the very last bus and was squishing Conrad into the window. Being pressed up that intimately to him was pretty distracting, but that was what Hanna needed right now.
He didn't want to think.
The roads were pretty badly flooded from the rain which was still going strong. The vans had to take as many back roads as they could. The vans lost sight of each other pretty soon on the curvy winding roads they drove on.
They had been driving for about a hour and a half when they saw the back end of a camp van stopped in the middle of the road. They had to swerve violently to avoid crashing into it. Hanna griped whatever parts of Conrad he could find as he stared out the window to the sight of every single camp van that started with them lined up in a row, lights on, doors open and empty. Completely empty. This couldn't be happening, Hanna told himself weakly.
There wasn't a soul in sight.
Conrad covered the hand that was tangled in his shirt with his own and ordered in a choked whisper to Hanna, "Look…".
He pointed to a large sign next to an even larger body of water that the van was facing and had barely managed to avoid driving into.
"Lake…Pontchartrain…?" he read in disbelief.
He couldn't breathe, and his hand's gripped Conrad tighter.
This could not be happening.
The driver craned their head to peer at something in the distance and then scrambled for their seat belt. "I see someone! There's someone out there in the lake! They're going to get themselves killed!" he was yelling.
"I see someone too! Oh my god!" the kid next to them exclaimed.
"We've got to help them." That was the nurse in the front row.
"Hurry! I just saw them go under we've got to hurry!"
The whole van flustered into a flurry of movement and everyone scrambled to get out of the safety of the car and into the dangers of the rolling and violent lake.
Hanna didn't see anyone no matter how hard the squinted. He turned to Conrad in confusion, but the other boy looked just as confused as Hanna did.
They were the only ones left in the van.
"COME BACK!" Hanna called out desperately.
"Why the hell would they leave the car!" Conrad asked uselessly scandalized and furious.
They could do nothing but watch and hold onto each other as the van's passengers ran into the water completely ignoring the huge rising wave coming their way. It was like they couldn't even see it.
Hanna squinted again as he saw a large mass of something moving on the lake shore. "Are those…crawfish?" What the fuck?, he thought hysterically.
Crawfish now covered every inch of the lake shore, and there were more coming and gathering by the second.
Conrad griped Hanna's arm tightly and asked him a strangled voice, "Do you….hear that?"
Hanna did. He gulped.
It was coming from the crawfish. The crawfish were…chanting.
"Come down to Lake Pontchartrain, come down to Lake Pontchartrain, come down to Lake Pontchartrain-"
They got louder and louder the closer the wave got to everyone. Hanna couldn't look away no matter how badly he wanted to. His body wouldn't obey.
"-Come down to Lake Pontchartrain, COME DOWN TO LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN, COME DOWN TO LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN!"
Just as it seemed as if the volume would surely bust their eardrums in its sheer intensity the wave crashed and consumed its inhabitants whole. When the tide pulled back from the shore there wasn't a single crawfish in sight.
It stopped raining.
"Holy…shit…" Conrad panted.
Hanna really had to agree.
"Nobody will believe us you know." Hanna remarked as they gathered up the abandoned pocketbooks and searched them for cash. He sounded weary and bitter. It didn't suit him, Conrad thought.
He snorted. "Of course not. Who ever heard of killer crawfish and a lake eating people?"
Hanna laughed weakly. "Yeah I guess that's pretty far out there."
There was an awkward lapse of silence. Conrad chewed his lip racking his brain for something to fill the void with.
"I should probably call my mum. You know. When we get to town." he blurted out because it was circling in his mind like a broken record.
Hanna looked as if Conrad had physically struck him for a moment before he closed his eyes and took a shallow breath. When he opened them he was grinning and it was wrong. So wrong. How could Hanna smile like that when his eyes reflected so much pain?
It wasn't right.
"…Oh. Yeah. Guess I didn't think about that. I'm a ward of the state you know. I don't have anywhere to go." Hanna admitted sheepishly. "But I guess you would have somewhere to be. Heh. For some reason I just imagined…never mind. Its stupid. Forget I said anything." Hanna turned away from him then and pretended like the horizon had caught his interests instead of it just being an excuse not to make eye contact.
Something strange bubbled up in Conrad's chest. His heart hurt.
"Come with me."
"Bwuh?" Hanna asked confused, and whipped his head back around to stare at Conrad incredulously.
"To my Mum's. Come with me. We'll tell her that the hospital staff went mad and…and made everyone commit suicide by drowning in the lake."
Hanna's eyes were huge behind his glasses and so painfully hopeful it almost hurt to look him in the eye. Almost.
"Okay." he whispered thickly with emotion and Conrad really wanted to kiss him.
So he did.
A/N: Written for Innatzu of Deviant art because she wanted some young!Hanna/young!Conrad.
"Oh kiss me my studly Conmuffin!" Hanna gasped breathlessly and perched a pale dainty hand upon his lightly glistening forehead in want.
"Yes. Yes I think I shall my fun size Ginger Snap." Conrad replied and grasped his love by the shoulders, pressing him tightly against his sexy pubescent hairless man chest. Then he kissed him. With lots of tongue and saliva. It was like. Soooo hot. And stuff.
And then they done sex.