Crooked-In-My-Mind

i. do you remember the night
we sat on my back porch and talked about constellations
and i counted your freckles like stars
and you told me you want to go far far away
and i told you you can’t, not without me
and i think you smiled and everything
seemed lovely, but that night was the night
i realized everything was breaking.

ii. it rained the day you left.
pools of sadness welled up on the streets
and i tried not to cry, but that was the day i realized
you were the only one who ever really got me.
or i thought you got me. maybe you were
just the best one at pretending but
everything that came out of your mouth
made me shake in a good way.

iii. or maybe it was in a bad way. maybe loving you
wasn’t everything it was supposed to be.
it was such an intense feeling, kind of like
galaxies exploding in my chest or maybe
a supernova: so beautiful but so tragic.

iv. i’m trying to forget every good thing
you ever said to me. i want it all to be red.
i want it all to be ugly. i’m trying to forget
how to love you, how to remember the bad times
instead of the good, how you carved my heart
out of my chest and left me in the wilderness,
how you left me empty.

v. but when i think of you, i just think of
how your eyelashes look in sunlight,
how your cheeks glisten in the morning air,
how you’ve gotten me through
some of the hardest times in my life.
when i think of you, i think of sitting in your bedroom
drinking wine out of the bottle
and laughing and laughing and laughing,
laying in bed with you, our legs intertwined
and talking about our dreams
in the pitch black darkness.

vi. and i still feel it, even when

i know i shouldn’t. it still eats at me

like i am a parasite and my crooked mind

is higher up on the food chain. i wish
i could turn my brain off sometimes,
the way you do. i wish everything i did
wasn’t trying to impress you.

vii. your sweatshirt’s still in my bedroom
from months ago and i won’t get rid of it
just in case you ever want to come back and get it.
will you ever come back? do you ever
think of me? are things always going
to be the same as the day you left me?
even when it’s sunny, i feel the rain clouds coming.

viii. i guess what i’m trying to say is
i’ll leave the light on on my back porch.

—  do you remember
The lowest of highs

TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic Description of Violence and Overdose, Non/Con Drug Use, Addiction 

Read also on ao3


“He went in the barn!” Leonard yelled as Sara followed him and glared at the closed entrance. Savage was a sneaky son of a bitch but the two of them had the best chances of taking him out, with no back up whatsoever. The skies were completely dark and they couldn’t see well, but they were better suited in a situation like this than someone like Ray. “Call Hunter!”

“We’re in the middle of nowhere Snart; we have no service.” She pointed out and Leonard sighed. He didn’t bother to even pull his phone out; he knew that it would do any good and he knew that Sara was right, as most times.

“Great. As if everything wasn’t to hell anyway… He is definitely in there. You cover the front and I’ll go around the back.” Sara looked at him for a moment. She didn’t want to leave him out there; not without back-up and with no way to contact the rest of the team. The best thing they could do is stick together. “Hunter knows we are here. Sooner or later they are gonna show. We can’t let this asshole get away.”

“We can’t but… are you sure we should split up?” She asked as Leonard started walking towards the back where he saw the cornfield. Honestly they didn’t even know why someone like Savage would even have one and Snart would bet his ass that there were more bodies there. It wasn’t like this would be the first time he screwed the protocol and risked his life to catch an Unsub, but know Sara was there with him and her own life would be at stake because of his decision.

And then he saw Savage; running through the field and tried to get away.

“Sara!” Leonard hissed as he noticed that Savage was barely within view. “Sara he is on the cornfield!”

“What? Snart? Snart?” She questioned; realizing that he was gone and then she heard a small noise from within the barn.

She opened the door slowly and walked inside; her gun raised as she thought that maybe Savage was in there after all… A small growl echoed and Sara pointed her flashlight on the source of the sound, only to find three rottweilers growling angrily at her… and Leonard was nowhere to be seen.

He ran through the field as he finally spotted Savage who was probably trying to get to a getaway vehicle. He took out his gun; aiming it the man and just as he was ready to take the shot, he heard a gunshot in the distance.

Sara, Sara, Sara

His brain screamed only her name as he started running back with all of his speed.

“Sara! Sar-!” Leonard fell on the ground as Savage hit him with on the head with his gun. He felt the blood that was beginning to ooze out of the wound on his temple run down his face. The dirt was staining his clothes and he heard more gunshots on the distance.

He had to get up; he had to get to her… make sure that she was okay. Leonard tried to sit up but Savage pressed his foot on his chest to keep him down and laughed.

He pointed his gun at Leonard.

“Nice to meet you, SSA Snart.”

The sound of a bullet piercing through the air, echoed in the quiet night.

“Sara, Sara, don’t shoot it’s us; Ray and Mick!” Ray called out as he lifted both of his hands, even though he was holding a gun. Sara looked disheveled; hair tousled and clothes dirty and a bit torn. Her face was stained with dirt and tears and her hands that were holding the gun were shaking.

“Blondie, hey! See it’s us!” He slowly placed his gun down and only then did he notice three Rottweilers that were shot on different sides of the barn. “Are you okay?

“I didn’t… I… They attacked me… I didn’t wanna shoot them…” Mick took a step closer; grabbing the gun from Sara’s hands and handing it to Ray.

“I get it… But Sara, where’s Snart?”

Her eyebrows furrowed as she looked around.

“Snart? Uhm… We split up.” She placed both of her hands on either side of her head; as if she was trying to press the memories out of her head. “He said he was going in the back…”

Tears started welling up in her eyes at the thought of Leonard being out there alone with Savage… but she blinked them away as she heard the paramedics approaching the barn. Surely he was around… maybe he was still chasing Savage…

Time passed in a blur and Sara found herself being checked up on by a paramedic; a small flashlight blinding her for a moment. She blinked a couple of times and noticed Rip approaching the police captain with a worried look on his usually neutral face.

“Any sign of him?” He asked him and the man glared at the cornfield; nodding negatively.

“All of the units are out on the road and I just gave an ABP out on Savage. He won’t make it far.”

Sara felt cold sweeping in her whole body the moment she heard the captain speak. Leonard was gone?

“You can’t find Snart?” She mumbled as she started walking towards Rip; doing her best to move steadily and not look groggy. Rip immediately sensed that Sara hadn’t fully recovered yet; helping her stand up properly by putting a hand on each of her shoulders.

“From what you told us Snart followed Savage out on the cornfield… and it looks like someone was dragged on the ground. There is blood on the ground and we assume it’s Snart’s and the trail of it gets lost after a couple of meters.”

Sara didn’t answer but Rip bet that she was blaming herself for Snart’s abduction. The two of them had a strong relationship and they worked exceptionally well together, so it was not surprising that she felt guilty over the current situation. Rip though, knew better than to try and pressure Sara in a matter of the heart… especially when it was about Leonard. He always suspected that something was going on between them, besides being friends but since nothing changed within the team’s efficiency, he didn’t ask them about it.

“Sara, you have to know that it’s not your fault that Savage took Snart.” He told her as the captain was approached by one of his officers and they started talking about the tire marks that might have been from Savage’s SUV. “If anything, it’s mine. I don’t even know why he took Snart anyway when the one he wants is me.”

“Rip, you can’t blame yourself for this. All you did was protect an innocent woman and then this psychopath destroyed your life… He killed this woman and then he killed your family… You can’t torture yourself over this. You did what was right and you didn’t let the pain consume you.”

“You sound think about that too Sara.” He looked at her for a long moment. “You can’t beat yourself up about Savage taking Snart. Now go inside and get cleaned up. I’ll call SSA Allen and tell her to be on the next flight here.”

Sara nodded and started walking inside, as Amaya wrapped her in a tight hug and she let out a content sigh at the familiar feeling of her friend.

When he finally begins to get his senses back, he feels groggy and his entire body hurts. He briefly wonders if he is in the hospital but the thick blood that stains his sweater, the dirt and the metal that keeps his hands in place tell him otherwise. Leonard slowly peeled his eyes open, only to come face to face with Savage.

He immediately began to scan his surroundings; noticing that he was sitting in a chair both of his hands and legs cuffed and a rope wrapped around his torso and arms, making it impossible for him to get up. The room was small and the walls and floor were wooden. Across him there was a desk with a large backpack set on it and numerous computer screens and Savage sat on another chair in front of him with a smile plastered on his stupid face and the gun that had shot him still in his hand.

“I admit that I had opted to take Rip Hunter with me here, but this… this is indeed a much better opportunity.” He said and Leonard snorted.

“I doubt that. I’ll be dead in a few hours and all you’ll have is the entire F.B.I after you for killing an agent.” Leonard stated with a smirk, even though Savage didn’t seem to faze from his words.

“I shot you on the Pectoralis minor muscle and I removed the bullet the moment we got here. Which means that you will be alive for an indefinite amount of time and if you try anything SSA Snart, I have ways to keep you paralyzed and breathing for as long as I please.”

“So what do you wanna do? Play cards or something?” Leonard asked him; trying to keep his voice as mocking as possible. His shoulder was beginning to ache much more, but with his training he could conceal it as long as he was able to.

Savage stood up and grabbed the bag; opening it and grabbing a small glass vial and a needle. He set them on the chair and reached for a medical tourniquet, before walking towards Leonard and putting it on his left arm; tightening it until a vein popped up on his arm.

“What the hell are you doing?” Leonard demanded as Savage filled the syringe with the clear liquid and pressed the needle on top of his visible vein.

“I’m going to show you that memories are the biggest weapon. They can turn us into monsters… And now you’re gonna see how that feels.” He plunged the needle on his vein and emptied the entire syringe as Leonard let out a gasp.

“Daddy, Daddy!” Lisa cried out as she tried to wake up Lewis who was passed out on the couch. The house was filled with smoke as the cigarette started burning a small fire by the sofa. “Wake up!”

“Lisa! Lisa, get away!” Leonard yelled as he started running towards his baby sister; pulling her in his arms and lifting her up. He was thin and pretty short for his age, but Lisa was only skin and bones, so he held her up easily.

“Lenny! Lenny, get daddy!” She sobbed against his shoulder and he glared at the man who was passed out drunk on the couch. He wanted to leave him there to burn like he deserved and then he looked at the crying toddler… and he slapped Lewis in the face, causing him to jump up with a curse.

“Get up, we have to go!”

“Anything interesting?” Savage asked him as Leonard stared at him with sweat all over his face and neck and tears in his eyes.

“Nothing that makes me want to kill four innocent people, including the family of an agent, if that’s what’s you’re wondering. If this is your way of making me sympathize with you becoming a psychopath, it’s not working.”

“I see it in your eyes Snart… You might act cold but deep inside there is pain… and that pain will make you understand me… And then Hunter will see that even the toughest agent can snap.”

“Good luck with that.” Leonard answered as his head fell back and he closed his eyes, as the ecstasy of the drug was still running through his veins and made him overwhelmed with pain and a bittersweet euphoria…

“Anything Gideon?” Rip asked as he stood next to the slender woman who was going through Savage’s computers, trying to find any information as to where he could have taken Snart.

“Not at the moment, sir. He seems to have encrypted all of his files and what he used to do it is very good. Very very good.” She responded; not taking her eyes off of the screens to look at her superior. “How is Sara?”

“A little shaken up, but she is helping the rest of the team go through Savage’s journals. The dogs scratched her a bit but nothing too serious.” Rip stated as he glanced at the dining room of Savage’s house, where the team sat around the dining table with a different journal in front of each of them. Jefferson was handing Sara a coffee and she smiled a bit as he sat next to her and grabbed a journal of his own.

“She’s a very strong woman. I believe she will get through this.” Gideon said with a yawn. They had waked her up at 2 A.M and when she had arrived at Spokane at 8 A.M she was exhausted. And because she didn’t drink coffee, Rip was kind enough to tell Jefferson to buy her a Chai Tea instead. But still, she felt like falling asleep on the keyboar-. “Bloody hell-”

Her eyes widen as suddenly in all the computer screens, a live camera broadcast appeared with Savage and Leonard. He was bound to a chair and the right sleeve of his sweater was pulled up, and Gideon could see that Savage injected something with a needle in Leonard’s arm.

“Guys!” She cried out as Savage turned towards the camera and smiled. As soon as everyone saw what was projected, some gasped and some stayed quiet in utter horror.

“Trace it!” Rip demanded and Gideon nodded; even though it really looked like Savage had everything planned.

“Uhm, I… I can’t… It’s like he is streaming it only on his home computer…”

Sara covered her mouth with her hand as Savage approached Leonard with a needle and a syringe in hand and Leonard stood still as if he was too worn out to move. He let out a gasp as the needle pierced his vein and then he started shaking uncontrollably.

“He’s killing him!” Amaya whimpered with a broken voice, while Leonard continued to seizure and the chair fell backwards; making him land on his back. He was trying to get up and he was probably trying to curse Savage, but then foam started coming out of his mouth and he was coughing uncontrollably… and then he stopped.

He didn’t shake or yell or tried to fight it.

He was limp on the floor.

“No. No. No. He can’t be dead.” Mick looked at Rip. “He can’t be dead, right?” Rip was squeezing Gideon’s hand who was now crying. He sighed.

“And now I am the one who decides whether Snart lives or dies. His life is in my hands. I am the one who gets to decide if a member of your teams gets to live, Hunter. I am in control.” Savage growled as he kneeled next to Leonard and started giving him CPR.

It felt like hours, years, eons… but it was only a couple of minutes until Leonard gasped and Savage pulled the chair up and Leonard started coughing again.

Sara let out a strangled cry and Jefferson held her hand; a silent “I’m here”. He was alive. He was dead and now he was alive and breathing and these striking blue/green eyes of him were filled with tears and were bloated… and he was there because of her.

Leonard died because of her.

“Sar-.” He tried to say before he started slipping away again and it looked like he was hallucinating. “No, no. Let her go, please.”

Savage gave one last smile to the camera before he turned it off and the screens returned to normal again.

“Palmer, what did he inject him with?” Rip questioned as he rubbed his temples and paced back and forth on the room.

“From what I read in one of his journals, Savage was addicted to Dilaudid, which is hydromorphone, and he mixed it with an unspecified LSD drug. It gave him hallucinations and he used it in the beginning to relive his memories with Kendra before he became addicted to it. I think he is using the same thing on Snart and it’s causing him hallucinations or repressed memories to resurface. Also, it looks like Snart was shot in the shoulder, probably when Savage took him, but judging by the blood stain I noticed on his sweater, it’s probably in the ideal spot. Savage really knew what he was doing…”

“He’s a psychopath! Would you like me to get you his autograph when I bust his head open or you wanna tell him how good he is at shooting Snart and literally killing him?” Mick hissed and stormed out of the room. He was quite the hothead and Rip knew that he needed a while to cool off. Usually Leonard was the one who kept him ground but now that he wasn’t there, things were trickier.

Amaya gave Rip an apologetic smile before calling out Mick’s name and running after him.

“So do we have any idea why it this nutter doing all of this to Snart when you are the one he loathes?” Gideon questioned and Sara wiped her eyes as she stood up.

“Savage is a classic psychopath. He doesn’t have human emotions and he simply mimics them. He is incapable of feeling love and what he felt for Kendra was obsession. He thought that she wanted to be with him he was furious. But that wasn’t the stresser that caused him to go off the rails. When I arrested him and Kendra filed a restraining order against him, he blamed it all on me and he thought I was forcing her to… So when he saw her with Carter… He killed them and then killed my family, because he thought it was my fault that he did all of these things. He is a psychopath who wants control and I was the man who took that from him. He wants to show me that now he has control over me. That he gets to decide again who lives and who dies.”

“But why the drugs?” Gideon asked. Everything else made sense except injecting Leonard with drugs.

“Maybe he is trying to trigger memories.” Sara answered. “Ray said that that drug mix Savage is addicted to causes hallucinations and memories to come back. So what if is he is trying to torture Leonard with his own mind?” Ray looked distant for a moment and the other looked at him; waiting for an answer to their question.

“Come on genius, anything?”

“I got it! I got it! He is trying to make Leonard like him! He is doing to him the same thing he did to himself when Kendra got the restraining order. The drugs are a way for him to get psychotic and in his mind he thinks that even the toughest agent can snap. Maybe he wanted to do the same to Rip, but he ended up getting Snart when he followed him on the cornfield.”

“Good job, Ray. But now how do we find Snart?” Jefferson said and Rip sighed.

“Keep looking on the books. Kendra’s old house is a few blocks away and I’ve already send men who confirmed it’s empty. The house she and Carter shared is four states away and there is no way Savage could get there in such a short period of time. And please… hurry up. We are running out of time.”


Leonard vaguely realized that it was nightfall because Savage had turned on a bare light bulb that hung from the ceiling above him. He had been on a haze for the past hours; memories taunting him and making him remember things he thought that he had forgotten a long time ago.

He waited for Savage to come back inside and set the tripod with the camera in front of him.

The image of the tombstone he saw behind some wooden crates when the chair had fallen back flashed in his mind and he sighed. This was his last chance to alert the team.

“Are you finally gonna confess your sin SSA Snart?” He said and pointed a gun to his head and Leonard barely managed to smirk. “Confess or I’ll shoot!”

“No.” Leonard answered and Savage put his finger on the trigger.

“Do it!”

“NO!” He cried out and Savage growled.

“If you won’t admit I will leave you here to die slowly and decompose, as I go and kill all of your team. And you’ll be here, thinking about how you couldn’t do anything to stop me.”

“I let my father die.” Leonard admitted then and his voice was ice cold as he said it. He didn’t regret it. Not even one bit. He could have shot the member of his father’s crew who pointed the gun at his Lewis’s head. He had a clear shot. But he didn’t. “I let that abusive son of a bitch die and I don’t regret it even for a second. I didn’t even pay for his grave. He was buried in a pathetic little whole in our hometown’s cemetery. And I never visit him.”

Savage hummed in appreciation and put the gun back on its holster before turning to face the camera.

“And now you see that pain really makes people monsters. You turned me into one, SSA Hunter.” Savage stated and Leonard snorted. “And of course thank you for being such a great help, SSA Snart but I’m afraid you are in no use for me anymore.”


“What does this mean?” Mick hissed as the stream was cut and Leonard and Savage disappeared from the screen. Sara was leaning against the wall and her eyes were closed, but surprisingly she was the one that answered.

“It means that he taught Rip his lesson and now he’ll kill Leonard to prove once again that he is in control.”

“Wait.” Rip announced and they all looked at him. “Snart said something about his dad being buried in a cemetery in his hometown.”

“So?” Jefferson asked.

“Snart’s dad was cremated.” Mick said with a smirk.

“Exactly! Which means that he was giving us a clue as to where he is!” The British man exclaimed before turning to Gideon. “Gideon, where was Kendra Saunders buried?”

“Uhm… Give me just a moment please.” She answered as Rip crossed his arm in front of his chest and Gideon continued to look through Kendra’s information in her own laptop. “Looks like even though she was killed in Denver and Carter Hall was buried in Fairmount Cemetery there, her father arranged for her to be buried here in… Holy Cross Cemetery.”

“How far is this from here?” Questioned Jefferson as he pulled out his phone from his pocket.

“About 10 miles from here.”

“Hello this is SSA Jackson; we need back up on Holy Cross Cemetery.” Said the man on his phone as he ran after Sara; barely getting in and closing the door before she jumped on the driver’s seat of the black SUV and floored it.


“Dig faster!” Savage snarled as Leonard barely held the shovel steady with his shoulder bleeding heavily and his senses barely there. After all the doses Savage injected him with his body was weak, with the drug wearing off from his system slowly.

He was pleased that he was correct after all and that they were in fact in a cemetery… and his educated guess was that they were in the one where Kendra was buried. If not…

“I could dig faster if you hadn’t shot and drugged me; or you know killed me.” Leonard shot back and continued digging as Savage paced back and forth on the darkness and didn’t respond to the man’s sarcastic answer. “Is this the cemetery Kendra is buried in? Not exactly what I would imagine as your happy ending with her. Well she probably is happier dead with Carter than alive with you.”

Savage’s face twisted in anger and Leonard could see that much under the moonlight, as he turned to shoot him but even hurt and dazed, Leonard was faster and hit him hard on the head with the shovel and he fell on the ground, dropping his gun from his hand.

Leonard managed to grab it as Savage tried to sit up again and he was about to pull out another gun from the left holster on his belt when-

Bam

Savage stilled and his eyes widened as he finally let out his last breath and Leonard was now sure that no other innocent person was going to be hurt by him ever again.

“SNART!” He heard what seemed like Mick’s voice in the distance and for a moment he thought that he was hallucinating but then figures with flashlights in their hands started approaching him and he realized that they had found him.

Rip was the first to reach him; looking at Savage first before pulling Leonard in for a hug, something that he rarely did with anyone. But that was his teammate who almost died because of that psychopath’s obsession with him and now that monster was dead…

“Knew that you would figure it out, Hunter.” Leonard told him with a smirk and the man smiled before going to stand next to Amaya and Jefferson.

Sara was the one who appeared next, eyes puffy and red and then she was wrapping her arms around him and crying against his shoulder as he held her tightly against him and ignored the blinding pain on his shoulder and the rest of his body.

“I thought you died. I thought, I thought you-…” She whimpered and Leonard had never heard her voice so broken and hurt. He lowered her back on the ground before putting one hand on either side of her face.

“I’m okay. I’ll need some stitches but I’ll survive.” He stated and pressed his lips to hers, soft and comforting and as if they were alone like every night… He didn’t care the team was there, or if the police was beginning to approach; all he cared that she was safe and that they were together.

“Pay up boys!” Amaya said as Sara and Leonard broke their kiss and intertwined their fingers. Mick, Jax and Ray groaned and Rip cleared his throat. They all knew that Amaya was usually a very serious person, but Mick especially had been teasing her about the fact that she was going to lose for months. So her reaction was justified. “I know it’s not the time and I’m very glad everyone is okay but I knew they were dating and hiding it from us! So you all owe me a hundred dollars each and call Stein to tell him that the moment he comes back from vacation he’s giving me money too!”

“You made a bet on whether we were together or not?” Sara asked with an arched eyebrow.

“We know you were either sleeping together or would in the future so we figured we could make a good-hearted bet out of it.” Mick answered as his phone started ringing. “It’s Gideon.”

“You have to get stitches and the paramedics should be here any minute.” She said and Leonard sighed.

“Can I have a moment alone..?” He questioned and Sara nodded immediately; giving his hand one last squeeze before following Rip and the rest of the team towards the entrance of the cemetery.

Finally alone, Leonard kneeled next to Savage’s dead body and put his hand on the pocket of the deceased man’s coat; grabbing the remaining five glass vials of the drug that he has injected him with and putting them on his own pocket.

He stood up and started following the light of the ambulance and that of the police cars; the weight of the vials feeling much heavier than it actually was on his pocket…

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Dads performing “New Pantera (Acoustic)” at Exit Skate Shop in Philly for Koji’s “Crooked in My Mind” record release show on 05/03/13

Koji has announced that his debut album Crooked in My Mind will be released on the 30th April via Run for Cover Records.

The album will feature performances from members of La Dispute, Balance and Composure, Title Fight, Gypsy and Lauryn Hill’s band.

You can watch a short video of the recording process here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17GXDU37zbM

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Koji performing “Giants Sleeping” at Exit Skate Shop in Philly for his “Crooked in My Mind” record release show. He is pretty much flawless live.