27 December 2012 @ 06:11 am
An Explanation, of Sorts  

You weren’t always like this, all impulses and sex and violence. Time was, you were just like everyone else; all urges in check, none any more than anyone else, rather average for the century. Of course, back then /certain/ ones hadn’t even been considered yet, but that’s hardly the point; nothing to suggest they would’ve been any more out of control than any of the others. But it didn’t stay that way.


It’s really no surprise; statistically speaking, most of the psychotics in the world don’t start out that way. Just like anyone else, they’re a product of their environment, and what does that say about them? …Probably nothing, since it’s out of their control, really. Some just handle it better. And you were never much good at handling. Not unless it involved removing someone’s trousers to do it, at any rate... That probably speaks volumes too.


It wasn’t your fault. That’s the main thing, the irrefutable fact they keep shoving down your throat at every turn once you end up in the Home: “It wasn’t your fault”. And you even believe them….mostly. In the light of day, anyway, when logic is there to tell you that there was no possible way a twelve year old could’ve done /anything/ to prevent the mesk-induced attack of an already certifiable man. Wrong place, wrong time, could’ve been anyone, and trying to intervene would’ve been suicide. But…it’s a bit harder to remember the words in the dark of night, particularly when everyone else has long-since fallen asleep, everyone except for you, ‘cos you know the minute you close your eyes you’ll be right back there. Covered in blood that’s not yours, thank goddess, but the alternative’s really no better, scared out of your wits ‘cos you’re afraid the bloke’ll come back, clinging to a rapidly cooling body that offers no comfort at all (‘cos the dead can’t speak, can’t move, can’t reassure that everything will be alright, and she’ll never do that again, now will she?), crying out for someone to help, /anyone/…But they don’t. No-one comes, not until it’s much too late, the memory already etched in your brain, burnt into the fabric of your soul, and it’s really only a matter of time until the real damage rears its ugly head.


So you stay awake as long as you can, trying to prolong the inevitable, a lost little boy among other lost little boys. But you can’t hold it off forever, you need to sleep sometime, so after a while you find yourself losing the reins and drifting off. And it’s just as terrible as you expected.


You wake not long after, another boy taking pity on your plight and rousing you to consciousness, ignoring the jeers and name-calling sent his way, and yours, for being “weak”. You blink at him for a minute or so before you think to mutter a thanks, and are a bit surprised to find a look in his face similar to yours; the haunted eyes, the beginnings of a guarded look that will eventually become the sarcastic, devil-may-care attitude that develops later, once you’ve mastered the knack of deception. You learn his story later, in hushed tones under the safety of darkness and bedclothes and the comfort of body heat, and it’s much the same as yours, though not exactly. Dad instead of mum, domestics instead of random encounter…but same conclusion. Same end result.


And so starts the progression. Years pass, and forces beyond your control are set into motion, pushing towards the inevitable conclusion. It starts small, simple “misconduct” issues; fighting, talking back…the simple fact of knowing you’re not alone enough to spur you to change. No more weak little boy terrified of the shadows in the dark, you take control and demand respect. Or at least submission, and that’s close enough in most cases.


So then you’re king of the castle, you and the other (whose name you’ve probably forgotten by now, or told yourself you have, at any rate, and in most cases it amounts to the same), lording it over the others, paying them back for every unkind word, every false act, every trick played at your expense. And it’s good, for a while; you learn how to switch on and off, sweet and innocent one moment, cold and uncaring the next, and you don’t even stop to think about why exactly it comes so easy. Your only concern is avoiding punishment, doing your best to impress the potential families that pass through, same as anyone else there. ‘Cos that’s the ultimate goal; belonging.


Your turn comes, and they’re a nice family, really; a sweet couple, a bit older than standard, can’t be arsed with starting from scratch. They take you home, clean you up, and do their level best to make you a part of things, but…some things just can’t be forced. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s just…not /right/, and they pick up on your unwillingness to fully submit, and it isn’t long before you’re back at the Home, ‘cos you’re “too hostile”, “problematic”.


You’re in and out too many times to count, and after a while they finally just give up, recognising a hopeless case when they see one. Not that you’re complaining; your friend’s still there (and somehow you’re not really all that surprised), and the bond between you’s deepened over the years, turned into something much more than just simple whispering between the sheets, and you’re not ready to let it go just yet. Too many rocks unturned, territory unexplored, adventures not embarked on. And so time passes, as it does, until…


Your first kill. An accident, or so they try to convince you…or is it themselves they’re trying to convince? Either way, the puddle on the floor and the sticky liquid starting to congeal on your fingers and on the knife in your hand brings everything into sharp relief, the call of the blood all but singing in your ears. The past few seconds, the argument over /nothing/, rises in your head and you cry out an apology, knife dropping from fingers suddenly gone numb, legs buckling, and you find yourself on the floor next to him, all but sitting in his blood, cradling him against you and trying vainly to close the wound, blood dripping out between your trembling fingers. Cos you didn’t /mean/ to, you didn’t, it just…happened, and you’d take it back if you could, /gods/ would you ever, and you tell him that, over and over until his eyes, /Nick’s/ eyes (and of course you haven’t bloody forgotten his name, how could you?), usually a bright green, go cloudy, and once again you’re holding nothing but a corpse. And this time it /is/ your fault. No drug-addled stranger to take the blame, no unforeseen disaster or twist of fate to shuffle all the responsibility off on. ‘Cos you couldn’t stop it, could you. Got the impulse, the /urge/, and you acted; no thought, just action. Action and consequence, and you /know/ you were wrong, he didn’t deserve what he got, not for /that/, but it happened all the same.


So you leave. ‘Cos really, what other choice have you got? Unless you want to get locked away for the rest of your life, and you already know /that’s/ not a particular direction you’d like to take. So you run. A broken teenager with a broken brain, the pieces not quite fitting together the way they should, and there’s the legacy left behind, the virus left dormant until the right moment. And suddenly it flares to life, thousands of potential choices buzzing in your head all warring for the right to be chosen, the noise almost deafening. How can you possibly be expected to ignore them all when they all but set your veins on fire?


And then you remember two words, two words that will forever change you: Time Agency. Oh, you’ve /heard/ of them, of course you have, who hasn’t, really? Guns for hire, but /noble/ ones, or so the stories go, and what stories they are. You figger it’s worth a shot; you’ve gotten a bit of a taste for the reckless life over the past few years, and the Time Agency is known for nothing if not reckless behaviour, and you might even get “straightened out” into the bargain. Not that you’re looking to, mind, not consciously at least, and even after all the training you end up going through no-one would ever mistake you for well-adjusted, but it’s better than the alternative.


And then of course, there’s Jack.


You don’t /mean/ to fall in love with the bastard, it’s just somehow…unavoidable. Namely ‘cos he understands, or at least, if not understands is willing to humour you enough to pass for understanding. Goddess only knows why, considering how straight-laced he started out, but he seemed determined to straighten you out and you were just as determined to corrupt him as much as possible, and in the end you seemed to agree on some sort of middle ground. Of course, the fact that he seems to be able to get the white noise to quiet down for bits at a time tends to help, not that you’d ever tell /him/ that. Bit too close to sap for your liking. No, you’ll just let yourself get cowed into behaving. There’s a very good reason why he was the only one who could ever get you to do what you were told; anyone else pulled what he did in the name of “obedience training” and they were sure to get paid back in full, one way or another. And not the sort that ends in a sticky mess, either. Well…not /that/ kind of sticky mess, at any rate. But Jack, for whatever reason, rates “special treatment”, always has. And you might resent the hold he’s got over you if you weren’t so damn concerned about making sure he keeps you around.