[OOC: Whooooo sorry this is so long. It is also spoilerific, if that matters to anyone haha.
Overall TW for gun violence and blood (in the main post), and pain, panic, PTSD, emotional surrender and coping with assumed impending death.]Get back here!
screams Alex, his voice reverberating, crackling, distorting through the woods.
Alex shouts, challenging, it always sounded a little silly when Jay first heard it, this awkward nerd posturing in the woods to forces stronger than him, sure, it sounded silly before he'd seen, felt, what Alex was capable of.The next time I see you I'll kill you!
Jay runs, frantic, his breathing labored, darting haphazardly between trees, he has to keep moving because it'll find him if he stands still for an instant, it will or Alex will, either way, he'll be dead.
He takes a sharp turn through branches that seem to be reaching out to seize him, and suddenly there it is, the gaping, glowing mouth of the tunnel where nothing good ever happened, he skids to a halt and he doesn't want to turn back but going forward is not an option, not here; he turns, out of the tunnel, into
lower level of Benedict Hall, where everything is dirty and cracked with water damage, and at the end of the hall stands Alex, staring him down, gun in hand, gun raised and turned on him but Jay doesn't run, doesn't cower; this is the first time, he realizes, the first time he's seen Alex since before this began, the first time he remembers
, because every meeting in between has been scraped out of his memory. This is it, the endgame, all he ever really wanted was to find Alex
and help him, like he wanted, like he asked.
"Alex," he says softly, taking a shaky step forward. "Alex?"
The gun goes off and everything splits, the hiss of static filling his head, blurring his vision (or are those tears), it hurts so much, so fucking much, he can't - he has to - he staggers away, no clear aim, just away
, into that little room, the little room with basement windows, blood all over his hand, oh god, he's going to die here, he's going to die
without knowing he forgave Tim, without Tim knowing it
it's there, in the corner, watching, waiting, reaching out to take him, no no no no
He wakes up, abruptly, soaked in sweat, his chest seizing up. Can't breathe, he can't breathe
. It's okay, it's all right, calm down, just a dream, just the same fucking dream you've been having every night, with only minor variations
why does he still hurt so much?
He struggles to get out of bed, twisted up in his sheets, falls face-first onto the floor. He curls inward, oh god it hurts so much, it hurts just like it did
but it shouldn't, he's awake now, he's - his hand is warm and wet, he looks at it expecting blood, but there's nothing. Just sweat there too.
Rise above it, asshole. Stand up. Take a shower. Make some coffee. What time is it even?
The blinking light of his clock tells him it's just after three in the morning. He struggles to get up and he can't
oh god what is wrong with him, what is wrong?!
"Tim?" he gasps, frantic and scared, but Tim isn't here anymore, he moved out, remember?
He's bleeding, maybe internally, something's wrong, something has to be wrong, because he can't breathe right, can't move, can't - he's dying, he knows he is because he remembers dying, remembers every second of it, it was lonely and frightening and now it's happening again and he doesn't understand why
He gropes desperately for his phone and fires off a text