Author: Lily (ann_marie_martino@ emerson.edu)
Archive: fanfiction.net under Lily1130 (no spaces), anywhere else, just ask...
Pairing: 1x2 (what else? do I write anything else anymore?)
Categories: angst, yaoi inferred Rating: R
Warnings: intense emotional experience described in detail
Disclaimer: I do not own the g-boys, don't sue, all I have is debt.
Feedback: Hungry Bob loves to eat up positive comments! Throw snacks at him and he throws fic ideas at me. send to: ann_marie_martino@ emerson.edu
My voice is crawling down my throat, taking up residence in my stomach, huddling there, hidden and scared. I remember the words that I was saying to you, they were coming out in halting gasps, I could feel my voice retreating somewhere safer. I know you wanted to help, but now all I can do is grind my teeth in frustration, unable to draw the words out. No matter how hard I try, how much I push them, how many times I can hear them in my mind they never rend the silent air around me. Your eyes are wide, a bit frightened, and you reach out a tentative hand to touch my shivering shoulder.
What are these memories that I cannot draw to the forefront of my mind? That I do not want to remember? I feel so helpless, lying curled on the bed, unable to speak, unable to tell you what's wrong. There is some sort of block on my mind, one that I keep banging up against, and I'm so frustrated that tears are streaking down my cheeks and soaking into my hair. I know there's something here, I can feel it, I can even taste it - sour on my tongue - but I cannot vocalize it. It's as if my ability to speak has simply vanished. I open my mouth and my lips will not even form the words.
Those blue eyes are filled with worry, you're chattering - you must be nervous - and you're trying to help me. I can't come out of this on my own and I can't even tell you how you could help me. You get a pad of paper but my fingers won't hold the pencil, it falls quietly onto the bed, and I am still lying here in my silent prison. I cannot even form sounds any more, I can only cry silently, beating my fists against the pillow in frustration. Your beautiful voice washes over me and I listen, listen so hard - I am clinging to the sound of your voice. I am afraid that if I do not hold on tightly I will simply wash away.
I don't suppose it's possible to die from lack of a voice, but I feel as though I am disappearing. I feel as though my toes have already vanished, my legs will be next, until there's nothing left but a useless voicebox lying on the bed by your side. You can see the fear in my eyes, your lovely long-fingered hands keep brushing over my shoulder, attempting to comfort, to calm me. My hair is tangled and twisted below me and it is wet with tears that I never should have cried. Tears I *wouldn't* have cried except that seems to be all I can do. You're asking me what you should do, you're asking me questions, and all I can do is lie here and stare sadly at you. I cannot even shake my head anymore.
Communication has deserted me.
You have begun singing, something I taught you to do, once long ago. You had a pretty, husky voice - I thought you should try singing - I lean closer to you as you sing. You pause in the song and tell me a joke - I guess when the joker is silenced then the quiet ones *have* to speak up? I try to laugh and I manage a smile, and the frustration recedes somewhat. Heartened, you tell more jokes, bad ones, and say such silly reprehensible things that a tiny giggle escapes. It is the barest sound, but it is a sound at least. I am so happy to hear this that I snuggle closer, begging you with my body to make me laugh some more.
But even as you make me laugh, small strangled sounds exploding from deep within me, I am growing more and more frightened. Something is very wrong, something terrible has happened. I am slipping and sliding down a slope of memories and dreams, I am falling helplessly out of your arms in the present. The past has again laid claim to me. I must be quiet, I cannot make a sound. If I make the slightest noise I will be found. I cease trying to form words and speak and allow the silence free reign. I am very warm, and yet cold, and I wave my hands experimentally, and I wonder at my small fingers, the way they look too big somehow, and my eyes are half-closed.
It is at that point that I realize babies cannot speak. I am so scared. The room descends into a tomb-like silence and I wonder if I will die, here, in the past. Some hidden part of me knows that I am reliving some past event, but that Duo has been shoved rudely and completely into the back of my brain. I open my mouth and discover that I no longer possess the words to speak even if I could. Even if I wanted to. I don't want to talk, not now, being perfectly silent is of the essence. Vaguely, as if across a great distance, I can still hear your unique voice calling to me, asking me what's going on. I blink, I cannot answer, I am not even capable of answering. The distance spreads wider between us.
I fall asleep in this void of silence, still trapped in the past, in a memory I cannot remember yet cannot escape.
When I wake up it is cold. I look around me, my head lying half in my arms, and the first thing that I notice is that you are gone and our bed is empty. My heart contracts in fear and I wonder if perhaps I am still drifting throughout a time long past. I reach around me and I feel the pillow, and the blankets, even one of your tank tops that was tossed on the bed at some point in the indeterminate past.
The cold creeps around me and I lift a hand, fascinated by the oddity of the situation. My hand - I swear I can almost see through it. I put a hand to my throat, I can feel the vocal cords there, I imagine, and yet when I open my mouth no words come forth. It is so, so cold, and yet I am burning hot, perhaps exploding into flame from the heat, as I try once again to force the words out of my closed throat. I feel as though I am drowning under the pressure, the weight of this intense desire to speak. Three weeks ago I could have told you, honestly, that I was never at a loss for words.
That has not changed.
There are plenty of words swirling around in my head, speaking enitre conversations, telling lovely stories, but not one of them passes my lips. You come into the room, a towel in one hand, a finger trying to get the water out of your ear, your hair damp and dripping down the back of your neck, causing you to shiver. Sweat from this intense exertion spreads out over my entire body from the center of my chest. The bed is damp beneath me. Your eyes fall on me, and you smile, a genuine expression of happiness, prussian blue eyes filling with light. You drop the towel to the floor and come over to the bed, putting a fingertip on the center of my forehead and still smiling.
But not for long.
It is then you make the excruciating mistake of asking me how I feel. I open my mouth, then close it, and shake my head. A tear forms in the corner of my eye and with one finger you flick it away, but not before your smile slips and disappears. It is painfully clear that sleep has not restored my voice. I wonder, not for the first time, if it's possible that something inside me is broken, if it will always be so. You shrug, forcing a calm that you do not feel, and your mask falls sturdily into place. It is that mask that you wore throughout the war, the one that only I have ever managed to break through. The tears pool on the pillow as it occurs to me that the reason I broke through was my endless, ceaseless chatter. The words upon words that flowed with little to no effort, the jokes that tripped cheerfully off my tongue, the quips that fell from my lips like jewels.
And I ask myself - if I never speak again, what will become of us?
This is the third time the silence has descended upon me, but never before has it lasted this long. Will you be able to remain with me, your ever-present, ever-silent lover? Will you be forced to pick up the communication slack, and become the talkative one? I do not even know if you are capable of rising to that challenge for longer than a couple days at the most. Your lips turn wryly and a bit sadly as you dig your fingers into the dampness my tears have made. I hate crying, and yet it is the only emotion I can show, the only noise that I can make - and what a noise. A near-silent sound, the soft tiny hiss as it hits the mattress, and I close my eyes. I cannot bear to see your face any longer, the slight pitying expression that has replaced your blank mask. The only thing worse than that mask is this, the unbearable knowledge that you feel sorry for me, that you view me as weak for being unable to speak.
I tap my stomach, just to be certain, and sure enough my voice is still hiding deep within me in a place where I cannot reach it, where perhaps no one can reach it. A sigh, and exhalation of breath that washes over my lips, a bare sound rending the silence, and if I open my eyes I think you may be smiling. As I open my mouth again, I am trying to talk, to force forth the words that I can literally taste, they've been so long in my mouth. And in the last second I retreat in fear, of what I am not certain. I feel as though the words would pile one on top of the other and make no comprehensible sense, and you might laugh. It is a strange thing, that - why would you laugh? I know that you love me and I know that it would be out-of-character for you to laugh *at* me for any reason, yet the fear chokes the words in my throat, strangles me with itself.
I feel watched, exposed, suddenly. I huddle closer together and unfortunately I know all too well what is going to happen. The wall is firmly in place and I am dismayed because I know that it was my own mind that erected it. A beautiful wall, strung with ivy, built of brick - lovely because it hides something horrendous behind it. Pretty packaging for a deep, dirty secret, a memory that almost wants to be found and yet does not. That is what fills me - this memory is trying to come out, trying to burst free. I feel as though it will be remembered no matter the cost and consequence. It may rip me apart, pieces of my soul floating in the air like lost tumbleweeds. Pieces of my body falling against the bed and the floor, dandelion streaks. And yet, despite the fury, the urgency, the block is still so firmly in place that I cannot even see around it.
But I can see *through* it, in places where tiny cracks have formed, where the mortar has fallen.
The air is so thick I do not think I can breathe. I cannot see you anymore, even though my eyes are open as wide as they can be. Actually, my eyes are rolled high, I can feel it in the ache behind my lids, and the light of day is vaguely visible, yet not really, as I am focusing on that wall, that half-broken wall, that wall which is crumbling before me, and I have never been so afraid. I do not want to see what monsters are crouched behind that pretty structure.
It is at that moment that I hear you gasp, and you turn both my arms flat out so that you can examine them. I look down, forcing the focus on you and your fingers. One on each wrist, holding me like that, with my palms upward. Your finger traces down over an indentation over my arm, just below my elbow, an indentation like a line - one, and then another one exactly like it about two inches away from the first. I'd never paid much attention to those marks on my arms, not until you began to speak so softly. Your voice is threaded with anger, but it is tempered anger, as your finger follows a similar mark on the other arm.
"Duo," you whisper, "it looks like someone tied you up, once, probably when you were very small..."
I swallow hard because I know it is true, somehow I just know. Something wriggles in my intestines - a fierce knowledge - those unnatural marks, like the marks of a strip of cloth or leather.
A flash and there is a tiny baby on top of a table of some sort, arms spread wide apart, held in place by two straps. The baby has wild eyes and its tiny mouth is closed, and its legs are restrained similarly - just below the knees.
I jerk up and motion down at my knees, still no words to breathe life into the situation, to make a joke that will dissipate the tension.
Your hands gently turn me over, and your fingers skitter over the tender flesh just below the backs of my knees, and something wet hits my leg. Are you crying?
Why would you cry?
Instinctively I know that those marks are tied intrinsically to the memory that continually begins to surface before burying itself deep within my psyche yet again. If the block dissolves I do not want to be alone when it does. I lurch up off the bed, twisting around, throwing myself into your arms, frightened that you will leave. Your arms curve easily around my panicked form and I begin to cry, halting, gasping cries that are eerily silent.
Broken windows, glass crunching under my bare feet, digging sharply into my heels. Words scattered across the carpet, I sneezed and look what happened - they have fallen, made such a mess. Blood leaves speckles on the sidewalk behind me. The wall is coming down and I can see the eyes peering over the top - examining me closely, too closely.
I'm slipping again, and I know what is going to happen, and I'm frightened. In a place like this nothing makes sense. If those little shards of color and gasps of light prickle against your fingers maybe you could understand.
So if none of this makes sense I apologize, but I write this with the blood of my broken finger, shaking under a moonlight daytime.
Wind blows through my hair, my eyes closed as tightly as they can be, and I can feel myself harden. It's a reflex, that, and I feel the swelling with horror burgeoning in my breast, and I am reaching frantically for something that makes sense, for anything that I can hold on to.
The baby cries and those cries fly like broken butterflies through an uneven hedge. I wish my mind wasn't so sparkling with rich images and words I cannot say. I said goodbye to you long ago, and now I am lying here, unable to look down at myself. If I look down I will wonder who I am, what this is, why my fingers are so big, why my eyes don't see what they used to see.
The baby cries.
The violet eyes open and the baby cries.
The baby *cries.*
It can cry, and if it can cry, than so can I. I *will* make noise, I will make so much noise that everything around us will shatter and the neighbors will complain. The police will come to the door and ask questions and I will make jokes, and everything will be okay. My eyes ache and I open them, trying to ease the burning, and I can see you leaning over me on the bed. Your hands are laid flat on my stomach, tenderly your thumb rubs a circle around my belly button, and you're asking me questions. I want this wall to shake and shatter, I want it to break and clatter, crumble and splatter the sidewalk with its pieces, bloody jagged pieces - reflections of my inner mind!
My hands grasp your shirt tightly, I have something I can grip, something to keep me from washing away on the tide. That baby has gone silent yet again, almost as if it knows what will happen if it makes any sort of sound.
The baby is still tied to the table, and the picture moves in and out of focus, suddenly coming into sharp clarity, so defined the edges of everything in the room hurt my eyes.
The baby is naked, kicking its feet, it is still restrained below the knees, and the room is cold. There is a shadowy figure standing above the baby, in its hands is a pair of forceps and a piece of broken glass. The person smiles, and that smile glints maliciously off of the glass, and the person leans lower, breaking the baby's skin just below its navel.
Your fingers, rubbing over a long faded scar, just below my navel...
The baby doesn't make a sound and the room is unnaturally quiet. This baby learned early that noises were punished. The forceps separates a tiny flap of flesh - this baby has not been circumcised.
With my back bowing off the bed, a scream arches from my throat and fear and pain overcome me completely. You wrap your arms tightly around me and hold me in one place, hold my guts within and keep me in one piece. With a final jarring crash the wall explodes into a shower of sand. The ivy tumbles to the ground, and the monster leaps forward and claims me.
The memory plunges deep into my consciousness like one of Catherine's knives.
Tears have broken free of the dam I had forcibly created, and I am crying these loud, hitching sobs that show no sign of stopping. Your hands are moving comfortingly up and down my back, and at last the words are gushing forth in a torrent, bitter angry words, the story of a little baby and how someone did *something* that raised a block in lieu of a past.
Heero caresses me gently, sponging me down with a cool washcloth, cleaning away the sweat. He places tiny feathered kisses on my eyebrows every few seconds and just keeps whispering the same thing over and over.
"You have a past, Duo, you remember your childhood - some of it anyway," he soothes me.
I cannot *stop* talking, there are so many words that I wanted to say, so many things I couldn't express, and it is coming out of me so violently that I have to write some of them down for later, I cannot even comprehend the significance as yet.
I know I will have a lot to work through, I know that every time I think of this pain will blossom in a beautiful sharp relief within me.
But I also know that words will not fail me again. Never again will I allow it.
Strange images are still flowing throughout my mind, but I fall asleep warm and safe in my lover's arms, the memory appeased at last.
This is the end, unless I am begged by untold multitudes of people. I apologize for the excessively bizarre beginning, but sometimes normal descriptions are not enough to evoke the images necessary. (and that probably didn't make any sense)