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.

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