pontmercyfriend: (Empty chairs)
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.

Cut for length and mentions of blood, guns, violence, and violent imagery )

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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