Shinigami-cat: And yet another story from me… I OWN NOTHING!

Summary:

After a terrible incident an insomniac is left terrified and paranoid, fearing the world around him. Is the asylum the only cure for his madness or can someone else break through his shell?

Warnings:

Horror, supernatural stuff and the other stuff you've come to expect from me.

Black Snow

Broken

It was a typical warm summers day; the birds were singing, insects over took the air there was just that hot muggy breeze blowing through. As far as Gilbert was concerned this was a perfect day to ride his bike around the outskirts of the sleepy town of Cutter Valley. The only thing he didn't like was stopping every half hour or so to reapply his sunscreen.

He couldn't help it that he was albino. "So unawesome…" He muttered to himself. "I feel so fucking greasy…" Out of the blue his phone started to ring. With a small frown he answered it, not bothering to see who called. "Hello? The awesome Gilbert speaking."

There was an awkward pause before a soft voice began to speak. "Come over. I need you here now. Doctor Braginski hasn't left yet."

Gilbert frowned a little. He knew who exactly was on the other end of the phone. It was his closest friend in the whole wide world, Matthew Williams. I really liked the younger boy… Gilbert just hated his uncle and that doctor. "What do you want me to do? He and your uncle hate me."

"But I need you here!" Said Matthew a little more frantically. "They know about the thing! Please, I need you!"

Gilbert sighed. He knew he couldn't leave Matthew hanging like that. "Don't worry. I'll make that doctor leave. I'll tell that bastard what he wants to hear. It'll be okay."

"… Please hurry." Whimpered Matthew. He sounded like he was on the verge of tears. "Hurry up before he sends me away! I don't want to leave here! I can't! That thing!"

"Deep breaths Birdie." Said Gilbert soothingly. "I'll be there soon. I'm not too far from your house. Everything will be okay. Just sit tight." He hung up and put his phone away. "Damn it…" He started to peddle as fast as he could to Matthew's house.

Gilbert had first met Matthew when he was eleven. He had decided to go exploring around the creepy old house near the edge of town. He didn't realize at the time that new people were moving in. He wanted to check out the bird aviary to see if he could take any statues. He found Matthew walking around in the aviary and when he asked what Matthew was doing there, he simply smiled as said he lived in the mansion now. From then on the two became close friends.

Even when they were little Gilbert could tell that Matthew was special, he just had that distant air about him. Like his head was always somewhere else instead of down to earth like it should be. Sometimes the albino would see his friend talking to himself and when he confronted him about it the younger would shrug it off saying it was nothing.

Things went on like that for a while, but when Matthew was fifteen something terrible happened. He was attacked. For some reason or another Matthew had vanished from his home and went walking in the forest that surrounded the town and when he was found he was hiding in a cave, all bloodied and cut up.

For his hysterical babbling he got sent to an asylum for a month. After that he was allowed to return home, but still had to visit the doctor every month, or the doctor would come to him.

Gilbert had no idea what had happened to Matthew that night, but he knew that going to that asylum did not make Matthew better, if anything he had gotten worse. He was more paranoid than ever and would throw fits over the smallest things, claiming if he did certain things whatever had attacked him the last time would come back to finish the job.

His fits would always get worse when that doctor came by, he just intimidated Matthew into coughing fits so terrible that if he didn't pass out from lack of oxygen his oesophagus would rip and he would start coughing up blood. The only things that could calm him down during those times were Matthew's stuffed polar bear toy and Gilbert himself.

The albino had seen Matthew at his best and worst times. He had been there when Matthew started to throw himself around his room during a fit and had watched him pour his medicine down the sink, babbling that if he kept taking it the fog would get him and take him away for good. He could never get Matthew to fully explain what the fog was and every time he tried Matthew would accuse him of working with the doctor.

Gilbert quickly peddled through the gates of Matthew's house and scowled at the black jeep, belonging to the doctor. He propped his bike up against the aged wood of the house and yanked on the bell-pull. He was surprised that the house still had something as old as a bell-pull, but he liked the antique nature of the place.

After a few seconds Doctor Braginski answered the door. He was a tall, broad shouldered man with a white beard. His son was in the same class as Gilbert. The doctor had a smile on his face, but cold as ice eyes. "Hello Gilbert." He said with a happy voice that didn't match his eyes. "Why might you be here?"

"I'm here to see Matthew." Said Gilbert politely. He didn't want to cause a fight. He knew it would get him nowhere. "Can I go inside?"

"In a second, I want to ask you a question." Said Doctor Braginski in an almost sickly sweet voice. "Has Matthew been having any fits lately?"

"Fits?" Asked Gilbert, fake confusion laced his voice. "What do you mean sir?"

The doctor's smile faltered a little, but his eyes stayed at their ice cold intensity. "Fits, Gilbert. Has Matthew been well?"

Gilbert frowned a little. In all honestly Matthew's fits had started to get violent again. This mostly happened when Matthew's uncle was out of the house and the poor boy was left alone for long periods of time. Gilbert would always call him while he was at school and send him texts to make sure he was alright, but they weren't always enough.

Many times Gilbert had come over to find Matthew's room completely trashed and on foggy days Matthew's room was in complete lock down. He would lock all doors and windows and close all gaps in the doors with sticky tape. On days like that Gilbert would sit outside Matthew's door and talk to him over the phone.

"No sir." Said Gilbert. "Matthew's been fine. No trouble at all… Well apart from locking himself in his room during a fog but that's just him. Fog phobia and all that."

The doctor raised an eyebrow at Gilbert, not sure if he believed him or not. "Are you sure?"

"Is the Pope Catholic?" Asked Gilbert. With a frown the doctor reluctantly let Gilbert in. The albino smiled triumphantly as he walked to Matthew's room. Briefly stopping to acknowledge Matthew's ever present uncle. Samuel. In many ways the doctor and Samuel were very similar; both were broad shouldered and built looking guys, both had innocent looking smiles that hid venom and both hated Gilbert's presence around Matthew.

As soon as Gilbert was out of the room he heard the two of them talking. That was one of the things he hated about the pair; neither of them thought that Gilbert had enough brain cells to rub two together. It pissed him off. To get back at them he would usually stay behind and eavesdrop on them when he could. They usually talked about Matthew's condition anyway, but today they seemed to start by talking about him.

"I don't like that boy in my house." Muttered Samuel darkly in his gruff voice. "He's bad for Matthew."

"I agree." Said the doctor. "But we can't isolate Matthew completely, it would just make his condition worse."

"How is his condition going anyway?" Asked Samuel.

The doctor sighed. "He's lying about it. Those cuts and bruises don't make themselves. I know he's been having fits again but he won't admit it." There was a short pause. "… Do you think Gilbert has been inflicting them?"

"I don't think so. But I wouldn't put it past him." Growled Samuel darkly. "That little freak has a bad reputation. Seventeen and he already has a record. Bastard spent a few months in juvenile detention… If he is hurting Matthew, he won't admit it. But Matthew goes into hysterics when he's kept away… I don't know what to do."

"Matthew's paranoia might turn into real self-harm one of these days." Said the doctor in a warning tone. "You must check him regularly for more scratches and bruises… If this keeps up he might have to go back to the asylum."

Gilbert had heard enough. He continued to make his way to Matthew's room. 'How dare they think I'm hurting Matthew. I would never do anything like that. If anything he's given me more injuries than anything. He bites really hard.'

To stop Matthew from injuring himself, Gilbert often had to restrain him at his own risk. Many times Matthew had bitten the albino, clawed and kicked him. Gilbert refused to let Matthew go during those times and would just hold him until he had either calmed down or passed out.

At the end of a long and winding corridor was Matthew's room. He could tell because it was one of the few doors that was painted over in a new coat of blue paint. Completely different from the cream and red Victorian inspired interior of the rest of the place.

He knocked twice and slowly opened the door. He was pleasantly surprised to see the room wasn't torn apart like it usually was. He probably cleaned it up for the doctor's visit. Like the rest of the house it was red and cream coloured with a few hints of the treated wood, the ceiling was high and fitted with a tiny chandelier to give it the illusion of being an open space, there was a small dresser next to the bed, a wardrobe pressed up against one wall, a set of draws against the other wall and a small chest at the foot of the for poster bed.

Perched on the edge of the bed looking out the window was Matthew. Physically he would have been quite healthy if it won't for the fact he hardly ate anything. He was as skinny as a stick and as light as a feather. When Gilbert had asked him why he doesn't eat but Matthew just responded with he didn't feel like it or he just forgot to eat.

Gilbert sighed sadly and sat next to his friend. Matthew had long, wavy blond hair that used to be bright and light like it was made of fine strands of silk, but these days it looked more like dead grass. His eyes were an odd shade of violet that used to shine as brightly as the sun, but now they were dull, opaque and as dead and large as a fish one would see in a butchers. The poor kid also had dark black lines under his eyes like someone had wiped charcoal under them.

"How are you feeling today?" Asked Gilbert.

"Sick." Muttered Matthew, his gaze not leaving the window. "I hate it when he comes. He fills my Uncle's head with these thoughts that just aren't true. I hate him so much."

Gilbert smiled sympathetically and gently rubbed Matthew's back. "Don't worry. I told him what he wanted to hear. He'll leave soon, I promise."

"He'll leave, but it won't." Said Matthew coldly. "No matter what it is out there… I see it sometimes. It's trying to make me go back there… into the woods. But I won't go. I'm never going in there again. Never, ever, ever!"

"Deep breaths Birdie." Cooed Gilbert softly. He gently pulled Matthew onto his lap with ease, drawing his face away from the window. "You're starting to hyperventilate again. You don't want to go into hysterics just when the doctor is leaving."

Matthew took a few long deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. After a few moments he leaned into Gilbert's chest and closed his eyes. "You smell like sunscreen."

Gilbert chuckled a little and patted Matthew's head. "That's because I've been riding around town on my bike again."

"You shouldn't do that." Muttered Matthew quietly. "It is out there… It could take you."

"I should be fine as long as it's not during a fog." Said Gilbert in an attempt to humour the fragile teen in his arms.

Matthew thought about this for a moment before nodding. "Yeah, you're probably right…"

Gilbert smiled a little, but after a while he noticed something, Matthew smelt bad. Really bad. "When was the last time you washed yourself?"

He could feel the teen freeze in his arms. "I… um… a month ago…"

"You told me you had a bath last week, two days ago." Said Gilbert. "You reek."

Matthew rolled his eyes. "Like you've never gone for weeks without washing."

"Yeah, but that's like two weeks not a month." Said Gilbert. He lifted the blond up and easily carried him out of his room and across the hall to the bathroom. "You are having a bath right now."

"Cold bath." Said Matthew quickly. "No steam."

Gilbert nodded. "Okay, but you can have a warm bath too you know. It doesn't have to have steam."

"Don't care." Muttered Matthew darkly, almost growling it out. "No steam. Can't risk it. Won't risk it."

"It's okay." Said Gilbert quickly. He knew the warning signs for one of Matthew's fits. "You start the bath and I'll get you some clean clothes." He put Matthew down and walked back to his bedroom.

He knew from experience that Matthew would only wear a shirt or hoodie, never both at the same time. It was a quirk of his. He picked out a clean pair of black jeans and a red hoodie from him. When he walked back into the bathroom he wasn't surprised to see Matthew sitting in the bathtub with his knees pressed against his chest.

Gilbert sighed sadly and rolled up his sleeves. He knew that Matthew had trouble taking care of himself. Even the simplest acts like washing himself were strenuous tasks. He put Matthew's clothes on the washing basket and got down on his knees next to the bathtub. He dipped his hands into the water and poured it over Matthew's head. "I'll wash your hair, but you have to do everything else yourself… Why do you still have your glasses on?"

Matthew shrugged and took them off. "I guess I just forgot…"

"Okay…" Muttered Gilbert. He didn't like all the forgetfulness that seemed to occur with his anxiety. The rest of the time in the bathroom was spent in silence for two reasons; one, they didn't have much to talk about and two, if Samuel walked in on this he would try to have Gilbert arrested for sexual assault. It wouldn't have been the first time he had done that.

When that was done and Matthew was dressed again they retreated back to Matthew's room. The pair made themselves comfortable on the bed and ended up lying next to each other in a comfortable silence.

It was at times like these that Gilbert wondered why he bothered to help Matthew so much. He knew he already had the answer, but still had a tough time admitting it to himself. He loved Matthew. He wanted to tell Matthew how he felt, but it never seemed like the right time and he had no idea how Matthew would take it in his fragile mental state.

"Do you know if he's gone yet?" Asked Matthew quietly.

"Maybe." Said Gilbert. "I don't know… Want to do something fun?"

"Depends what it is." Said Matthew nervously.

Gilbert chuckled a little. "I just thought we could go into town for a bit. Most of the kids have gone to Rivertown anyway. So we'll pretty much have the whole town to ourselves. We could go and get ice cream. My treat."

"I'd like that." Said Matthew. "But my uncle…"

"He already hates me and he won't scold you." Said Gilbert. "If we sneak out and he catches us, just tell him I convinced you to go. Simple as that. Besides you need to get out of this house every now and then."

"I don't like blaming you for things you didn't do." Said Matthew quietly. "My uncle keeps getting you in trouble for things you don't do. I hate it."

Gilbert nodded and sat up. He walked over to the window and opened it. Matthew's room was on the first floor so it was easy for them to get away when they wanted to. Gilbert jumped out the window and smiled. "The awesome me will be back in a bit. Just sit tight and I'll get my bike."

He ran around to the front of the house and grabbed his bike. He was a little pissed to see that the doctor's car was still there, but there was nothing he could do about it. Gilbert walked back over to Matthew's window and helped him get out. When they were both out they got on the bike and Gilbert peddled into town.

"Stay away from the wood." Mumbled Matthew into Gilbert's back as he clung to him for dear life. "I hate it. I hate it so much."

"I know you do." Said Gilbert. "But this is the quickest way into town, so it can't be helped. We'll be passed it soon anyway." True to his word they passed the woods in less than a few minutes and were in town.

The town was pretty old, older than dirt. The whole place seemed to be an infusion of Gothic and Victorian styles, with just a hint of the modern. It was weird, but somehow it worked. "Why is everything so old and broken?" Asked Matthew quietly. "It just… It just isn't right…"

"The older people want to preserve the towns heritage." Said Gilbert with a shrug. "Pretty much every building here is heritage listed so they can't be knocked down or changed." They pulled up in front of an ice cream shop. They both got off the bike and went inside.

For a small town they had a surprisingly wide selection of ice cream. Gilbert bought Matthew a single scoop of maple flavoured ice cream and he got himself chocolate. With their ice creams in hand the pair sat on the curb of the road silently ate. In all honesty, Gilbert hated the silence but he had no idea how to break it with Matthew. One word or phrase out of place and he could start screaming.

"So… Get any sleep lately?" Asked Gilbert cautiously.

Matthew shook his head. "I've been awake for forty eight hours straight. I'll probably crash by tonight… I hate sleeping. When I close my eyes I live it over and over again."

Gilbert didn't have to ask twice about what he meant. "Oh… Well you still should get some sleep."

"I know." Said Matthew miserably. "Take me home Gilbert. Take me home now."

"But you only just got out of the house." Whined Gilbert. "The awesome me wanted to have more fun with you."

"I just have this feeling someone's watching us." Said Matthew quickly. "Just take me home now. It'll be night soon and it might come back."

Gilbert sighed a little, but did what he was told and took Matthew back home. By the time they got back the sun was starting to set a little and it was getting dark. Matthew was getting nervous again, breathing quicker than normal. Gilbert sighed a little at this and pushed open Matthew's window. He then helped the blond get back inside.

"Are you going to be okay now Birdie?" Asked Gilbert in concern.

Matthew smiled sheepishly. "Yeah… I had fun today. Thank you for still being my friend even though I'm broken."

"You're not broken." Said Gilbert. "You never were and you still aren't now."

"At least you think so…" Said Matthew quietly. "My uncle treats me like I'm retarded."

"He still does that?" Asked Gilbert in disbelief. "That's stupid! You're not retarded you're just…"

"Broken." Said Matthew sadly. "Thanks for making me feel normal every now and then… It's nice to feel like I belong somewhere."

Gilbert smiled sadly. "Well tomorrow is a new day and the awesome me will not let you stay frowning for long. I'll be over after school. I'll show you what we're learning and stuff so it'll be easier when you come back. Sound like a plan?"

Matthew blushed a little and nodded. "Yeah, I like that. Good night Gil, see you tomorrow." With that Matthew closed his window and proceeded to lock it and cover it with the thick, cream coloured curtains.

The albino took a moment to just look at those curtains sadly. He was always worried when he left Matthew alone when he was really sleep deprived like he was now. He would either fall asleep as soon as his face touched the pillow or would end up doing something crazy. One time he ended up carving numbers into the table. By morning it was so riddled with cuts that it fell apart as soon as any pressure was applied to it, like it was made of foam.

"See you tomorrow Birdie…" He muttered as he got back on his bike and peddled away.

TBC

Shinigami-cat: Was this any good? I'm not too sure, but I hope you all liked it. Please review!