Part 11

If the days are numbered,

then let me fly now,

a longing for cooling music over water,

days never spent

if I wait, caged,

too long,

for you. -Skyler White


Jesse began to choke, his breaths coming in hitches.

"Jesse, what did you do?" White's arm went around his back, pulling him closer against the bed.

"I took Oxy, so it wouldn't hurt so much."

Oxy? Oxycodone? Walter thought. They had that all over the critical ward, for cancer and other terminal patients. It had a delayed effect. Or did they addict him to the "hillbilly heroin" when he was in their compound, to keep him passive?

"How much oxycodone did you take, Jesse? Answer me, was it a whole bottle? Was it the stuff in this ward?" Walter shook him slightly. "And,… so, what wouldn't hurt so much?"

Jesse tried to answer him, but the questions floated in a mind already so crowded with memories, with heavy, conflicted thoughts, he didn't feel he could even raise his head to speak. He had to get up, though, he had to do it.

I just have to stand up, that's all, and show them, and this will end. Do it, do it now. Do it before you can't.

He tried to move back, to get up from his knees, but felt a slow, increased pressure on him. The pressure became a vice. White's reassuring arms were now crushing him, pinning his arms behind him, in what looked like an embrace.

He whispered into his ear, "Jesse, don't. Whatever you are thinking, don't do it."

He froze at those words. That was what he said to Gus Fring, and Heisenberg killed him.

Coherent thought fading, he managed to blurt out, but only in gasps loud enough so White could understand, "I have to do the opposite of whatever Heisenberg says!"

"Just don't move, Jesse, don't do anything. Just listen to me a little longer. One… more… minute." White didn't know if he had the strength to hold him that long.

Pinkman was shedding tears beneath his fading, but fierce will. "I thought you wanted it to end? Don't you want peace?"

"Yes, but not along with you. I've always been a coward. Not this time. I need you, Jesse."

NO! Heisenberg always said that.

Jesse tried again to stand up. That would be all he would have to do, stand up, freed, and lunge toward White's windpipe with the sharp-toothed, inner saw blades of the unlocked handcuffs. The doubled, heavy steel cuffs would act like a toothed, "brass knuckles" punch in his fists, and there would be enough alarming blood from White's weakened, thinned neck. The security guard would shout, the policeman right outside the door would plunge in, they would both start firing. He and White would be caught in the crossfire. The men wouldn't even think twice once a shot was fired, especially if one shooter was a two bit security guard not instructed in such situations. Their instincts and the policeman's training would assume Jesse had a deadly, glinting weapon in his hands. Yes, they would panic and empty their revolvers, the bullets finding a path in both bodies, and Heisenberg would be dead.

Death by police, it was called.

"No, Jesse, stop, don't do this. Don't think this will atone for anything. Just put the cuffs back on and… and walk out the door. That's all you have to do. Walk out the door."

"I don't have anywhere to go! Don't you understand what you did to me?"

"Go to Skyler, Jesse. That's what I need you to do. You can help each other. She needs to know things, details no one else can or will tell her. Do this for her sake, not mine. Atone that way, and for me."

Jesse's struggles lessened. "But you'll tell her… tell everyone yourself?"

"I'll make bargains. I'll make sure they leave you and Skyler alone. I promise you that. They don't need either of you now. But for those bargains, no one in the public will ever see me again. There won't be a trial. Skyler will be told nothing." He paused, his death grip now turning into an embrace. "Skyler needs to know everything, you both need peace, neither of us can give up today. I never wanted you to give up." He took a deep breath, "Forgive me for needing you more than ever. Like you said, I'll pay for everything I did."

That smart voice began laughing in Jesse's mind, scolding. You can't actually believe Heisenberg? That is your weakness, believing. That is what caused - everything. Do you want even more blood on your hands, Jesse? Or will you pay? Yes. He made his decision.

White clawed over Jesse's back, slammed the ends of the cuffs together himself, tightly. They cut deeply into his wrists, drawing blood, crushing tendon. He cried out at the sudden, paralyzing agony. White violently pushed him back, snarling. His fall crashed through the room's swinging door, landed him at the startled policeman's feet.

Heisenberg bellowed, "Get that ugly, shit-crazy, meth head out of here. Traitor! Shoot him, shoot him if he ever tries to get near me again."