Hi, this is my first ever fanfic, felt as if I had to write something as some sort of therapy after what happened! Please review to let me know what you think and whether I should carry on with it. There will be Ste in later chapters this is just to kind of set the scene with where Brendan's head is.
Brendan woke up with the sound of the gunshot reverberating around his head. He felt the familiar panic in his chest and the beads of sweat running from his forehead. His eyes adjusted to the faint artificial light coming through his door, and he felt his racing heart return to normal as he took in his surroundings and remembered where he was. No armed police, no SWAT vans, no megaphone barking instructions for him to drop to his knees. All he could hear now was the sound of grown men screaming in their cells, unsure whether he had been amongst their ranks a few minutes ago.
He sat up on his bed, mattress thin as a sheet and the metal bed frame providing the least amount of comfort possible. It was still dark in his cell, it was the middle of the night but he had no idea how long he had slept for. Living without the constraints of time, without ever knowing what time it was, was meant to be liberating, but not on the inside. On the inside he was constantly counting down, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Even though he knew there would be nothing left for him when he reached the end. 30 years. 1,560 weeks. 10,950 days. 10,950 nights spent without him.
It was only in these moments, dead of night, all alone, that he allowed himself to think about what his life had become, left to rot in here all alone. He supposed the only advantage to being such a high profile prisoner was that he was given a cell all to himself – he was deemed too much of a danger to other inmates to have to share.
Word has spread around that he had murdered his own father, his grandmother, notorious gangster Danny Houston (which had made him surprisingly popular amongst some inmates), a rogue police officer (full marks for popularity for this one), and another man whose body was yet to be discovered, presumed butchered into small parts and fed to pigs somewhere. Brendan never spoke of his crimes; in fact he didn't speak much at all to the other prisoners, which lead to Chinese whispers exaggerating the terrible things he had done. His reputation somewhat preceded him.
The bravest, or most stupid, of the prisoners looked upon Brendan Brady as a challenge. If they could break him, the one that everyone was talking about, that everyone seemed afraid of, then they would become feared and respected. But as soon as they got close enough to look into his eyes, they all saw the same murderous intent, and his status as resident psycho was yet to be challenged.
And that was how Brendan Brady liked it.
He had lost everything when he came here. He was done with people; he was done with caring. He had opened himself up to love and now it was torn away from him, he was left with complete devastation, a feeling more painful and excruciating than any gunshot wound could ever inflict. He was a man on the edge of insanity, and his conscious mind decided to exploit this to keep people away. He didn't want anyone thinking they could get close to him in here, he wanted them all backing away from him out of fear, confusion or unease.
So he growled at people when they looked at him. He smiled menacingly at the guards when they ordered him around, baring his top teeth like a rabid animal. He literally barked in the face of one younger inmate who held his hand out to introduce himself on his first day. If he was psycho enough, people would just leave him alone.
But it was in these moments now, when he had awoken from the same nightmare again, sitting alone in the dark of his cell, that he let himself just be who he was. When he let his thoughts wander off to happier times. To thoughts of what could have been. To Steven.
He felt a familiar silent tear run down his cheek as he lay back down on his side, holding his pillow tight to his chest and bringing his knees up, curling himself up into a ball. He thought about what he would be doing now. He thought about his beautiful soft face as he had slept beside him peacefully. Brendan could watch him sleep for hours, at his most beautiful, counting each and every one of his devastatingly long eyelashes. Marvelling at the way they rested on his bronzed cheek, his eyes flickering slightly with the dreams he dreamt behind his eyelids. He admired the boys perfectly symmetrical eyebrows and his perfectly sized nose. And those lips, full and pouty, soft to kiss and completely filthy when Brendan wanted them to be. How could he have done anything to hurt this boy?
He touched his thumb gently against his bottom lip, sure he could still feel Steven there, could still taste his tongue against his own, the memory so vivid and alive that it made Brendan feel alive again for a second. His breath hitched in his throat and he realised his tears were in full flow now, the familiar knot in the gut of his stomach as he dragged himself back to reality where there was no Steven, and no hope of Steven ever being there again. He was in danger of screaming his name, begging for him, stopping himself just in time by biting down hard on his fist. His teeth settled into the marks left there the previous night, and the one before that. This was becoming a pattern, every night waking, thinking of Steven, inflicting physical pain on himself to stop the emotional pain he felt course throughout his entire body.
He lay there in his own desolation, a broken man. The silent tears subsided after a while and he could feel himself drifting back off to sleep, hoping this time he could dream of happier times with Steven, rather than the usual nightmare of life without him by his side.
He woke up the next morning, familiar sounds of metal against metal as the cell doors opened, the prison bell buzzing in the distance, guards yelling at prisoners to get up. He sat on his bed, looked around his cell in the daylight. He had counted every brick on the wall now. He had studied every crack, inspected every inscription etched into the walls. He ticked off another day in his head – he was 30 days in now.
He heard the guard approaching his cell and stood up. He looked at himself briefly in the mirror, saw the real him, Brendan Seamus Brady. Father of two young boys; brother of one bubbly bottle blonde; One True Love to the most perfect man on the planet. He saw the pain he felt reflected back in his own eyes – the pain that he couldn't let anybody else see. He swallowed, threw his head from side to side, took a sharp breath and regained control of his expression. He looked at himself now with hooded eyes and a snarling mouth. This is the only Brendan Brady anybody in here would see.
The guard stopped outside his cell and threw a white envelope on the floor. Brendan lurched forward towards the guard when he dared to look at him, and he scuttled away quickly. Brendan looked down at the envelope, intrigued. He had not gotten one of these before, but he remembered it had been 30 days now and he was entitled to visitors. His heart leapt at the thought.
He gingerly picked the envelope up, peeled it open and unfolded the letter inside. He skimmed it quickly, his eyes being drawn to the only four words on the page that mattered:
and then further down the page,