"Institutional Green"

Author's Note: I don't own anything. The lyrics of "Beneath the Skin" belong to both Mike Shields and Kurt Swinghammer.

1. Beneath the Skin

The mornings in the care center are white.

White light, reflected off of pure white snow bleeds through the window. The window frame, white, partially covered by white curtains always is the first thing she sees when waking up. It frames the bleak white sky.

And just as well, because Brigitte always wakes up to white-hot pain, from her head to her toes, coursing through her veins and she holds the sheets, white-knuckle tight. It's the sign of the losing battle her white blood cells are fighting. It reminds her that beneath the skin, there is something lurking, crawling, biding it's time, slowly eating away at her, consuming her. Until there is nothing left.

There aren't any white streaks in her hair, but soon, she expects. Soon.

Every morning, Brigitte wakes up, and checks the window. Pulls it open a bit, sniffs the air. Wonders if he is out there, in the white, coming closer. Nothing. Maybe tomorrow, maybe a month, a year, a century later, but sooner or later and sooner than later, he will be there, she knows.