pontmercyfriend: (Empty chairs)
Marius ([personal profile] pontmercyfriend) wrote2016-07-04 12:14 am

And you think, was I happy once? [Future dated for 7-10-16]

Marius wakes one morning to a bed full of cats and indented sheets, still warm from the body until recently pressed there. His gut shifts, and his breath catches. His heart tenses inside his chest, as though it, too, forgets how to breathe. He scrambles for his phone, and he makes a call.

An automated voice informs him that this number has been disconnected.

He falls to his knees, and he shakes and he cries and he aches.

He feels shards of his heart as they scatter in the midst of his tears.

His phone makes a dull thud against the carpet of his bedroom floor.

---

A week passes. Marius tries to keep moving. He tries to pretend that he can carry on with life as usual. He buries himself in books with every spare moment he gets; he avoids Shakespeare and poetry to the best of his ability. He avoids The Costume Shoppe; he steers clear of the library, and he tells everyone who asks him that really, he is managing just fine. (If he thinks on the lie too long, he’ll imagine Rat, shaking his head knowingly.)

He spends his breaks at work hiding in the bathroom, weeping and trying to remember how to breathe. He washes his face with cold water, and he returns to his customers, plastering a smile as false as the cracks in Tintern’s wooden floor. He keeps up the pace of even the busy days, turning deliberately when Marie or Violet try to catch his eye.

He picks up smoking from Monsieur Bernard; he lets the smoke nearly choke him with its pungency.

He drinks a glass of wine when he gets home. He feeds the cats and mice. He ignores his phone, and his friends. He curls up with a book in bed and begins to cry again.

Tonight, though. Tonight, he needs a change of pace. He needs the night air and the chance to breathe smoke and drink something stronger than wine. So he finds himself at The Purple Pig Pub, the same bar in which he once met Hook. It seems a fitting place, for what he has in mind, dark and less reputable than he usually prefers. He smokes a cigarette as he walks; he hunches in on himself, as though he could fade away with the smoke.

He makes his way to the bar, and he orders a whiskey. He follows it with a Guinness. He follows the Guinness with a shot. He follows that with a cocktail he forgets the name of, letting the buzzing numbness settle comfortably over him.

He moves to stand, ready to head home, when he almost trips over the man sitting next to him. Marius apologizes, and his words come out slurred. The man, tall and muscular, with a range of tattoos covering him, glares. He mistakes Marius’ apology as mockery, especially when, in Marius’ hurry to get to his feet, he spills the man’s drink on him.

Suddenly, Marius is sprawled on the floor, cheek aching from the force of the man’s fist. The world spins, and his heart hurts too much. He tries to bring himself to his feet; the man presses him back to the floor with the heel of his boot. Marius wonders if this is how he is going to die.

Marius is dizzy, and the room keeps spinning. He feels like an insect, pinned to the floor and waiting for the final, crushing blow. His chest heaves rapidly; he thinks he can distinguish tears pricking at the corners of his eyes, and all he wants is to have Rat here beside him, promising him it will be alright. But there is no Rat; there is only him. Left alone again.

The tattooed man lets Marius up the next moment, gray eyes glinting dangerously beneath the bar lights. Something at his hip also shimmers, though Marius is too dizzy to see it. He moves to let him pass. Marius all but chokes down bile, sweat clinging to every part of him.

“Consider this me returning the favor,” the man says, grinning an awful smile more like a curved hook than anything else.

He just makes it to the door when he hears the crack of the gunshot. He doesn’t realize the bullet has hit him until he finds himself falling face forward onto the pavement outside, one leg crumpled completely beneath him and the other sliding uselessly behind him.

In a flash, he sees the barricades. The torchlights and the barrels of gunpowder; the young students dying upon them, one by one.

And then he opens his eyes, an increasing pain in his leg drowning out the alcohol-induced numbness. Blood seeps down his clothing, red like the rivers of the barricades. Vaguely, he thinks he realizes that this is the same leg affected by his wounds at the barricades. Marius shakes and he cries. His whimpers crescendo into cracked screams, and again the world spins round as he clutches desperately at the pavement.

OOC: Find Marius half in, half out of the Purple Pig Pub, drunk and bleeding profusely from his leg. He won't die but the injury is pretty severe and he will be on crutches for a while. Trigger warnings for guns, gun wounds, violence, blood, and thoughts of death. Any questions, please let me know. ST/LT always welcome.
priordivergence: (Attack)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-04 07:40 am (UTC)(link)
I'm too attuned to the sound of gunfire not to react and when I hear it, adrenaline slams in to me. I immediately leave off the basket of mozzarella sticks I've been nibbling and I hop up onto my chair, using it as a spring point to leap onto the back of the man with the gun. From that leverage point, it's easy to swing my leg around his neck, closing my knee around his throat and knocking him off balance in the same motion. It sends him dropping to the floor and then I roll off, hurrying to the door to the man who's been shot.

To Marius.

My stomach turns and I drop to my knees again.

"Marius. Marius can you hear me?"
priordivergence: (Kidnap)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-05 05:31 am (UTC)(link)
"It's me," I say. My fingers shake as I try to dial for an ambulance on my phone. I can hear the operator on the other end asking What's your emergency? and I drop it on the pavement. They can find my location but I don't have time for words.

"You've been shot." It's unnecessary to tell him but it feel like it's important to put it into words, to approach this as logically as I can. There's a gym towel in my bag and I wad it up to apply pressure to his wound. Immediately, my fingers go slick and it's such a mess that I can't discern if there's an exit wound to match the bullet hole. "I can't believe..." That's a lie. I can.
priordivergence: (Default)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-06 06:30 am (UTC)(link)
"Again," I echo, because I understand the sentiment, the sick humor of it all. I have matching bullet scars on my shoulders, like little ghosts of my tattoos. His laughter is hysterical and it makes it hard to hold the towel down.

"You're going into shock." It must be shock. Why else would he laugh so hard if it wasn't? "Marius, I need you to stay awake, okay?"
priordivergence: (Be Brave)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-06 08:46 pm (UTC)(link)
"And when I was a fugitive in Chicago, I should have too," I say. There's a note of impatience in my voice that I didn't intend but I can see that Marius is giddy from shock and that he stinks of cigarettes and alcohol. Of despair.

"It's a leg wound. Not that bad. It'd be even less bad if you hadn't been drinking." My fingers are slick with blood that's been thinned with drink and I know that if he were sober then he would bleed less. It's nerves that make me cruel, even though I know it's unfair.

There are sirens in the distance, thank God, and I do my best to hold the towel steady.
priordivergence: (Peter)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-09 05:22 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh Marius." My expression softens then, because it's not so long ago that our positions had been reversed and he'd been the one helping me through hysterics. I'd just had the sense to avoid a bar known for its mean devotees, but that's meaningless to criticize now.

"I'm sorry." I hate saying it; it feels so inadequate, no matter how much I truly do feel that way.
priordivergence: (Fully awake)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-10 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
I don't care about the blood. It's not as if I haven't ruined outfits before because of it. All I care about is holding Marius the way he'd held me. I spare half my thoughts to keeping his leg stable but my attention, every part of it, is on him. Trying to be comforting, I make shushing noises and wish I was better, kinder.

I almost cry with relief when I see the walls around me strobing red and blue. An ambulance is here. Police are here.

"You're going to the hospital, Marius," I say. "They'll fix up your leg."
priordivergence: (Default)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-12 05:33 am (UTC)(link)
"For as long as I'm allowed," I promise. The hospital won't let me in, past a certain point, because he and I aren't family but I know I can ride in the ambulance with him.

As the paramedics rush over, one of them tries to attend to me but I brush him away with a fierce glare. Aside from the mess, I'm fine and Marius isn't. I've cleaned someone else's blood from my hands plenty of times and I don't care.

"Take care of him!"
priordivergence: (Trusting)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-13 05:57 am (UTC)(link)
One of the paramedics moves aside so that Marius can see me seated on the opposite gurney. Despite my protests, someone's draped a scratchy blanket over me, presumably to make me look traumatized, but otherwise nothing has changed. I stay in Marius' sight but glare any paramedics away from me.

I can't take his hand without getting in the way but I reach out all the same so that he can see me try.

"We're going to the hospital," I remind him. "You'll feel better."
priordivergence: (Insurgent)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-15 06:48 am (UTC)(link)
As the ambulance screams its way to Darrow, I hold out my hand to Marius where I can without intruding on the paramedics' work. Again and again, I wish I was better. If I was better, kinder, more like my mother, I'd somehow be able to fix this. I'd have just the right word and gentle expression to combat the hurt that Marius feels.

Instead, I sit by Marius and try to be comforting in my quiet, uncertain way. I try not to glance at his leg wound and I try not to think about the blood that will be hard to wash from the quicks of my nails tomorrow.
priordivergence: (Default)

[personal profile] priordivergence 2016-07-17 08:03 am (UTC)(link)
I laugh then, a strange and hysterical bubble popping up through me. How am I doing? Marius has just been shot in the leg and he's asking about me? It's almost so absurd that I think I must be going into shock as well.

"I don't mind," I promise him, squeezing his hand back. "We can talk all about my night when you're feeling better."
paper_courage: (O_O)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-07-04 06:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Peter had never seen a bar fight before.

It wasn't something he ever thought about -- being drunk and angry at the world -- really it was something he only thought happened in movies. At raves, this sort of thing wasn't likely to happen. Everyone was too happy to be removed from the world. In a bar, the world was too close to forget, and alcohol didn't rub that away the way something from Lucas' bag might've.

Peter was just going to leave. He could duck out and call the police and hope that someone stronger and braver than himself could stop this from happening. His friend from French class had already made her way out in the scuffle. Peter didn't blame her.

The shot. Peter had never heard a gunshot before, not in real life, but he immediately knew that was what it was. His heart couldn't take it. When he saw an eerily familiar tuft of auburn hair fall out of sight, Peter was up and he was moving fast. It didn't matter who the person was. This wasn't some ordinary bar fight. Someone was truly hurt.

Peter dropped to the floor and wrestled his phone out of his pocket. People were just standing there. In a flash, he was angry, and he spat, "call someone!" to the nearest person and tossed his phone at them.

Up close, he knew that hair, as well as his own. It was his own, nearly.

"MARUIS!" Peter cried, strangled and suddenly clutched in the chest. "Marius, talk to me." He tried to lower himself to see if he was breathing, he glared at the crowd that was growing.
paper_courage: (O_O)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-07-08 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
Peter couldn't really tell where Marius was shot. His leg was bleeding, but maybe the fall had abraded him elsewhere? Maybe he'd been shot twice? It didn't matter, and Peter didn't quite have his wits about him enough to look for another wound. Without a second thought, he tucked his legs under Marius. Peter held him and tried to move him as little as possible.

"Someone's calling the police," Peter said, and he hoped it was true. The person he'd tossed his phone to was on it. He had to believe the person was doing good. Any more lost faith in humanity and Peter wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.

"I'm fine, Marius, just try and relax. Stay with me." He couldn't help it: he kept an eye on the person with the phone. They were giving a location. "What happened?"
paper_courage: (you slew all my giants)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-07-14 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
Peter had done this before. Much the way he was now, he'd scooted himself onto the floor and watched someone struggle to retain consciousness. Maybe it was muscle memory that moved Peter's fingers to stroke gently through the front of Marius' hair, soothing him. He didn't have time to inspect his motivation.

"What does he look like?" Peter asked, a shade darker. He was surprised that this had become important to him. Maybe someone had seen something. He repeated the question, more to the people around Marius than to the man himself. All Marius had to do was hold on. Peter would do everything else. Things would be fine.

Why? The answer was displeasing.

Because Marius was in much better shape than Jason had been when he'd gone down like this.

A woman nodded to Peter and handed his phone back. Peter tucked it away carefully, never stuttering in his gentle strokes of fingers at Marius' forehead. "They're sending an ambulance. It's okay. I'm here."
paper_courage: (are you there)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-07-15 05:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Marius' description doesn't quite narrow anything down in that crowd of be-muscled rubberneckers, but Peter's sudden righteous need for justice was gently submerged by Marius' quiet plea.

"I'm here," Peter promised, traversing his fingers over Marius' temple with no regard to the sweat, the growing pallor.

The bar was awash with noise, people on their phones, people's disquieted conjecture and their morbid curiosity. It hurt Peter's ears. He couldn't imagine what it must have felt like to Marius.

"Can you back up?" Peter meant to ask nicely, and while there was a thin veneer of politeness, his impatience simmered hotly under the tone. It staggered a wide-eyed young fellow back and Peter spoke again, gentler. "Get me a rag from the bar, please." The kid nodded and was gone. He looked like Peter felt.

Doubled over on himself, close to Marius' ear so (hopefully) only he could hear, Peter sang softly. The words weren't important, just the melody, just something for Marius to hold onto since Peter knew whatever he had to say couldn't possibly be good enough. It was a song on their work playlist -- something called "Carry On" by a band with one word for a name and a lead singer with an impressively high voice. It was all he could think. Anything to keep Marius hanging on.
paper_courage: (O_O)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-07-16 11:21 pm (UTC)(link)
It wasn't until Marius was crying that it occurred to Peter that Marius was out of place here. Something wasn't right. Did Marius often get drunk enough to stumble?

"I'm here," Peter repeats. The kid came back with the rag. Peter straightened carefully, thanked him softly, and wiped gently but swiftly at Marius' brow.

He had to back out from under Marius' head to do it, but he crawled over to the leg, spilling blood in steady streams. How much had he already lost? Peter had to do something. He pressed the rag into the wound; his face twitched apologetically.

"What were you doing here, Marius?" He had meant to save the question for the ride to the hospital, but he didn't want his friend to lose consciousness.
paper_courage: (:/)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-07-23 12:07 am (UTC)(link)
Peter's neck snapped his gaze up to Marius' face. What a terrible thing to have in common. They shared a face and they shared the same heartache. This place wasn't fair. It was worse in here than out there.

"I'm sorry." He said it simply because he meant it. He'd found that truth didn't need to be dressed up. It announced itself, commanded attention. Like Jason.

The ambulance pulled up noisily and the crowd dispersed. Peter watched Marius for a second, letting that say all of the things he had no voice for. Soon, Marius was being maneuvered onto a stretcher, Peter found himself being pushed aside. He fought back. The medic looked between them several times.

"He's my brother," Peter said, a little dryer than he meant. Finding mirth was becoming increasingly difficult. Was sharing a face not enough to get Peter into the ambulance with him? Fine. Peter would strap himself to the bottom of it and ride there.

Thankfully, it didn't come to that. They looked like brothers, after all. Twins.
paper_courage: (freckles)

[personal profile] paper_courage 2016-08-04 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
"I've heard it gets easier," Peter said somewhat guiltily because so far, it hadn't. Some days he could squint and try to forget, but he was anticipating the Substance Party because forgetting was so hard. Luke told him not to forget, but sometimes it seemed like that was the only way to crawl away from the misery. Luke promised it would get easier. He swore. Peter wanted to believe him.

The medics took over applying pressure to the wound and Peter stepped back. His hands were stained and he didn't notice. All he did was watch them put Marius into the ambulance and crawl in behind him. He was probably in the way. He didn't care.

"Are the police coming?" Peter craned his neck to ask this of the medic. The fellow blinked at him, and he nearly spat, "someone shot him." Justice was the kind of thing Peter felt the need to get bitchy about. Marius was a gentle, kind soul who hurt exactly no one. Peter would rush the dude himself if he had to.
makeafairfight: (we couldn't've known it'd go this far.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-07-07 11:00 am (UTC)(link)
There's a little restaurant a few blocks away from here that might as well be in another world. Cameron has a couple of drinks with some local friends there, and the night ends on an easy, cheerful note before he starts on the walk toward a subway stop.

When it happens, it happens very quickly. There's a crack that Cameron thinks might be a firework going off, and then there's a body slumping to the ground and blood, and it's suddenly all too clear that it wasn't a firework at all. He rushes over, pulling out his phone to call 911. He's been an athlete most of his life, but he can't remember his heart ever racing quite like this, even before he recognizes the body on the ground.

"Marius," he gasps, crouching down beside him. "Jesus Christ, Marius —" He forgets to dial, phone slipping from his fingers, and swears under his breath, fumbling to pick it back up. "Marius, stay with me. I'm gonna call for help, okay?"
makeafairfight: (and the land is a marker line.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-07-24 11:27 pm (UTC)(link)
"I was just—" Cameron finds he's half-forgotten what he's doing here to begin with, how he managed to make his way to this place. He could have been somewhere else. He could have left fifteen minutes sooner or an hour later.

"We need something, a towel or something, clean," he says, tripping over his words. He's familiar with basic first aid but not something like this. "To apply pressure." He finally gets the number dialed, phone cradled between shoulder and cheek as he looks around for something they can use to wrap around Marius' leg, silently cursing the summer weather. If he were wearing a jacket, they'd be fine.
makeafairfight: (fixing all the problems that you made.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-07-28 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Cameron nods, a momentary pang of guilt striking him at the way Marius shakes and still tries. He shouldn't have to do anything at a time like this. Though perhaps, he tells himself, it's better, a way to keep Marius alert or at least awake. Nothing in his life has prepared him for this, and he hardly knows where to start, but he's pretty sure a leg wound is actually really dangerous.

"Good," he says, "good. They're on the way, alright? I'm gonna go see if any of those are clean. Stay awake, you hear me? One second." And with that, he's up, hurrying away to see if the bartender has any such rags that haven't just been used to wipe down a filthy bar. With one in his hand, it doesn't seem like it could be enough, but it'll have to be. They just have to manage for the brief while it takes the ambulance to arrive. He grits his teeth, kneeling back beside Marius, trying to find the source of the blood. This is going to hurt, he knows it, but better that, he tells himself, than doing nothing; that would only hurt his friend more. "I'm gonna push down, try to keep it from bleeding so much."
makeafairfight: (your grace is wasted in your face.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-08-01 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Injuries are part of sports. Cameron's used to that, people getting bruised and bloodied at lacrosse and polo, even crew. This is something entirely outside of his world. Jaw clenched, he nods, pressing down on the wound. There's too much blood, and all he can do is hope to stem the flow of it. "It's gonna be okay," he says. It's not a lie. He won't let it be. He's here, he's helping, and Marius will be fine. That's the only possible outcome. It's the only one he can let himself see.

"Just stay awake, alright? Focus on me. The ambulance is on the way."
makeafairfight: (all I am is a body adrift.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-08-07 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
"It's okay," Cameron says, shaking his head. He focuses his gaze on Marius, partly to help hold his attention, partly because he doesn't want to look at what he's doing. The whole thing is leaving him feeling a little sick, but there's nothing to do but soldier through it. "Shout as much as you need to. I'd be screaming, man."

At least, he thinks he would be. He's been injured before and often borne it quietly, as much out of shock as anything else. He hasn't got anything to compare to this, though, nothing that comes close. "I think I hear sirens."
makeafairfight: (the night comes to bring them home.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-08-09 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
"I know, I know," Cameron murmurs. The rag is hardly enough, warm and wet under his hands, and he can't look at it or think about it. He focuses his gaze on Marius instead, trying to keep his attention. "We'll get you to the hospital and they'll give you something for the pain, okay? For now, try and take a deep breath, as much as you can."

The sirens grow louder, but he still feels like they aren't get closer somehow, his chest tight with paranoia. It's not until he sees the lights flashing down the block that he begins to relax, even a little.
makeafairfight: (you'll never be what is in your heart.)

[personal profile] makeafairfight 2016-08-24 09:58 am (UTC)(link)
Cameron nods, the approach of the siren's wail and the flashing lights a better answer than his words could be. He says it anyway. "They're here. They're — it's gonna be alright."

If this had happened somewhere quiet, isolated, perhaps that wouldn't be the case, but in this place, someone would have called even if he hadn't been here to do so. That makes all the difference. But he can barely think as the paramedics swarm over, explaining what he can, hustled out of the way as they prepare to move Marius into the ambulance.