(Because this song seemed to hit me at the right time:
"I miss those days and I miss those ways, When I got lost in fantasies, In a cartoon land of mysteries, In a place you won't grow old, in a place you won't feel cold" Writing Glen! Leo is always painful but this time at least, I found it a little cathartic too. Inspired by "Innocent Eyes," By Delta Goodrem)
He never did tell Elliot about the nightmares. And now, with him gone, it's too late. Strange how time had seemed so free and easy back then and now; everything seemed static, caught in an endlessly frozen present. He finds himself turning to sleep more and more these days – anything to escape reality.
The Baskerville's annoy him with their incessant chatter and fawning over him. Vincent in particular, with those sickeningly wide eyes; the all too lingering touches. It's enough to make him want to call Jabberwock down on them all sometimes. Mostly, he just wants to be alone. Company is still something he's not used to and now to find himself surrounded like this at all times is more irritation than his temper could stand for.
So, the dreams he turns to instead. Half of the time, they are the same jumbled fragments of a jigsaw with the pieces missing. More and more now he recognises the memories from a past not his own; helped on by whispers from his predecessors. Oswald's is always calm and matter of fact, but he dislikes the other one; his voice is silky smooth and insinuating. He doesn't trust it.
This time though – this time – it is all too familiar and his body aches from the remembrance. He knows these damp stone walls, the dim lighting. The dungeon is not a place he ever wished to revisit; not this haunted spot of his transition from boy to head of the Baskerville family. But there is still something here, his one last link to another Leo, another person he had tried so hard to be.
Here is Elliot.
It's hard, unbearably so, to tear away his eyes from that prone figure, still stained with blood. He steps closer anyway, drawn inexorably. Keeps coming back to this time, this moment – even though in reality, Vincent had pulled him away; fearful of them being found there by Pandora. He'd wanted to stay and just lie there by his Master's side. Even in death, couldn't he still be the servant? But he wasn't even granted that mourning period – he wasn't Leo the servant anymore, but someone else.
Maybe that was why this moment kept repeating over and over in his dreams. His nightmares. He wasn't really sure which they were anymore.
He brushed away angrily at the tears, rage only fired even more by the lack of obstruction his fingers found. The hair, the glasses – both gone. Hiding was not a luxury he could rely on anymore. So, he couldn't conceal the bitter tears now as he saw Elliot's eyes; that familiar icy blue fixed on him.
Here in the dreams, he had always got here on time. He could still see the boy's chest rising with faint breaths as if denying the life drifting out of him through the running blood. Was Elliot in pain? He couldn't tell from the pale expression, though there was an odd note of defeat in his eyes he'd never seen before. His lips quivered slightly into a smile as he saw Leo move closer.
"I'm an idiot," He said in the same brusque tones as always. "In the end, haven't I done exactly what I berated that Vessalius brat for? I would laugh if I thought it wouldn't hurt so much."
"How can you find this funny?" Leo said harshly, almost spitting the words. Why was he always angry at Elliot in these dreams? It was ridiculous – he should be happy, be sad, do anything but condemn him. But still, he couldn't stop the feeling; the bitter reproach still clinging in his mind that Elliot had died and left him here. Hadn't he been using the Nightray as a shield of sorts all this time? A hiding place from the memories, the thoughts, from that Leo he didn't want to be? And then it had been cruelly ripped away and he'd had no choice, nowhere else to run to.
"You should be the one angry at me, Elliot," He murmured. "I've done things, so many things that would make you mad."
Elliot shrugged – or at least as much of one as he was able to do in that position. "You always did, you know. Make me angry. I never did understand you – it was like you kept part of yourself locked away. Like you were afraid I would... turn against your or something. But I didn't question you about it. You're my equal, Leo... I figured it was just something you wanted to forget so I left it at that."
Leo just shook his head. "No. You don't understand. I... You'd be so disappointed in me, for what I've done now. I've hurt people, gone against everything you stand for. Is this my punishment then? Seeing you over and over again but never really seeing you."
Elliot blinked. "I was wrong. You're more of an idiot than I am. I could never be disappointed in you, Leo, no matter what you do."
Leo laughed at that. "Now I know you're just a figment of my imagination. The real Elliot would never say that."
The frown he gave Leo sure looked real enough though. "Wouldn't I?"
Leo shook his head and let his body sink to the cold ground. The chill from the stone felt real too, but he was under no illusions. His mind had always been a place where things often seemed more vivid than reality. He traced a finger over Elliot's face, his skin coming away slick with blood and shivered.
"I'm tainted now, Elliot. If you were really here, you wouldn't want anything to do with anymore. And this... you being like this and saying these things. This is just my mind trying to comfort me. By pretending that you would forgive me for... for causing all this."
The look Elliot gave him then was angry, surprisingly so for someone who looked so lifeless.
"And why in all of the Abyss, do you think that I wouldn't forgive you? So you made some mistakes? So what? Didn't you always lecture me when I would do something thoughtless."
"This is hardly something I'm doing blindly," Leo said softly. "For once, I have my eyes wide open... I know exactly what I'm doing. And I can't seem to stop, can't find the will to stop anymore. It just... doesn't seem to matter anymore. None of it does. What do I care if this world is plunged into the Abyss and everyone with it? At least then... least then I'll be back by your side again."
He can't stand Elliot's eyes on him, so accusing and turns aside. The words he can't block out so easily though.
"I never took you for a quitter, Leo. You can't just give in because I'm not here anymore."
"You didn't know me at all, not really. I was glad of that. But, you don't need to worry. I'll see this through to the end. But for now... can I just stay by your side a bit longer?"
It was a selfish request; one he knew wouldn't be granted. He would have to go back soon, back to that harsh reality with people he didn't really know. Let me just stay here. That's all I want.
He felt Elliot's rough hands tangling slightly in his hair and just for a second, things seemed a little better. Here at least, even if it was a fantasy, things stayed the same.