Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men. Marvel does.
A/N: Writer's Block buster for the "post anything you write" challenge.
He knows he should not be here.
There is a chill that travels through the night air - slim, sharp - like a needle sewing the final stitching on the mouth of a Voodoo Doll. Forever silent, forever secret. Like a sharp blast in an otherwise comforting warmth, it darts in languid movements to touch anything in its path. Like a hunting shark with no intention of eating. Like a starving man who cannot.
Rain is coming. He can feel it more than sense it, phantom drops in threatening cold that he welcomes with outstretched hands and waiting arms. There is thunder in the distance, barely visible flashes of lightning. The fury of the sky, the comfort of the clouds, the reassurance and the punishment and the pure sense of need that is all too similar to the want of suicide but without the desperate drive for that final act. Not that he would ever turn down the notion, if it presented itself.
He should not be here. He knows. They know. The ones inside, behind his back, safe from the needle of chill and the incoming rain. They know. He knows. But no one says anything, because should not be does not equal wants to be does not negate should be, even by rule. They watch him through thick warm glass and he lets them and does not acknowledge them though he knows, like they know he knows, that they are observing.
The burst of artificial yellow light in the natural darkness is sudden and expected and startling, cutting across his shadows and his shadow and his back and his arms. It is more painful than the needle, but he relishes in that pain, closes his eyes and lets it envelope him even as the familiar creak of turning metal reaches his ears like a sweet sweet funeral song.
The voice is warmth personified, wrapping around him as a single rain drop falls from the sky to the world, splashing against his cheek in triumph. Soft, a whispered name he has not heard in too long, that pulls up memories from the abyss of his mind that has long since tried to cave in - blood memories, bed memories, tortured memories, cuddled memories. A few more drops begin to fall, another flash of lightning. Closer, closer. The needle of cool air suddenly shoots forward like a bullet, piercing him, piercing them, and as it is not metal he can do nothing to stop its new aggression. He doesn't know if he would if he could.
A punishing roll of thunder, and the sky opens up and embraces its mourning without shame, its tears soaking the ground and the dead and its so apt and fitting that a violent shiver of appreciation makes his spine arch, a groan to escape his throat. A groan that aches to be something more, preludes to something more.
And he turns, tears of the sky mixing with the tears of his eyes mixing with the tears that had fallen so long ago yet never truly disappeared. Mixing with the sorrow of his own soul and the pain of the needle-bullet mixing with the pain of the memories that the sight before his eyes tries to quell and release at the same time. Vibrant blue eyes that he sees even when he does not, staring straight into his mind without entering, as real as they are wanted. A soft smile, bitter and understanding and tinged with hope and fear and resignation. A silver chair, made of plastic with accents of metal the creator did not know of. Glittering in the rain, softly chiming, softly crying, reaching out for him though it does not move. A soft pale hand that should be covered with sand reaching out and brushing against his own.
"C-Char-les," he finally manages to choke out, and it hurts like he is the Voodoo Doll who has broken his stitching if only to say that one word, and feels wonderful because the blood the leaks from the skin-tears is hot and warm like the freedom sitting before him.
"My friend." Such horror, such disbelief, such pain. "What have you done to yourself?"
He does not answer, but his knees buckle in an attempt to. He falls forward, caught on lifeless support, and simply stays, simply breathes. In, out. Blood. In, out. Blood. He should not be here. But he is here. Wants to be here. Should be here. On the thick marble of what had so shortly been his home, wrapped in tentative arms of who had been his salvation, protector, and personal lost victim who only had his remorse.
Over the roar of thunder, he hears it as he has in his dreams, though it is more solid and heartwrenching and begging and kind.
Will you stay?
And he laughs, bitter and relieved and angry and raging with fear, and the blood keeps coming, and the arms tighten beyond tentativeness and into pure need and the needle-bullet and the rain keep coming, embracing him. Embracing them. He does not answer, but the arms tighten.
He does not need to.
Yay oneshots. Let me know what you thought? :)