It is 2018 and the touring is over. Jamie and Damon left their regards a couple hours ago after wrapping up some business. Among payment and other small tidbits, the duo also left a few house warming gifts for the new home owners. And some, “quite unwarranted” per Murdoc, advice on searching for home insurance. The band was exhausted after traveling across the world for what felt like years. The pay, the exposure, the fans were nice–but to tour for such an extensive amount of time wore down on the nerves.
Adding to that the purchase of a brand new home only skyrocketed tension levels. The only way they were able to settle on this specific home was due to its proximity to the airport among other hot spots. Moving was another hurdle to coordinate (mainly championed by Russell while whining was given to Murdoc in his endless room of various of possessions). The entire process ate up the 2 days of rest they had scheduled between their final concert and now. With reorganizing and motley other responsibilities, it could be understandable as to why everyone dragged their feet around now. Words were even hard to muster in high stress, low energy times like this.
But, right now, everyone was decompressing in their own way. For Russell, it was letting out boisterous snores during his current snooze session.
Russell had fallen asleep sitting down in a living room chair.
Russell hadn’t gotten the chance to even change out of his travel clothes; his socks were loosely on his feet, half pulled off. His pants were half off, too, underneath Noodles’ old brightly colored kaleidoscopic cover. Noodle figured Russell would’ve been okay with retrieving his own covers from one of the unpacked boxes, probably would’ve preferred it too, but she knew Russell was as worn out her. As a final touch, Noodle decided it was needed to cover Russells’ eyes with her black cat sleeping mask.
After Noodle put Humanz on the record player to spin, she began to make way to her own room. She could only hope that the past couple days tuckered out Murdoc and 2D enough to postpone any arguments floating in the air.
The smell of pine sol grew stronger as Noodle ventured back toward her room, being both from the heavy amount of cleaning materials used and 2Ds’ “house warming gift” from Damon.
The sound of 2Ds’ exhale coordinated with Russells steady snoring. A sizeable cloud of smoke gradually exited 2Ds’ room. As Noodle was about to pass by, she heard a bit of rustling going on. Being more curious than tired, Noodle decided to peak into 2Ds’ doorway.
Murdoc had been stretched out next to 2D on his bed, clutching 2Ds’ side with his right arm. Noodle watched as Murdocs fingers pressed into 2Ds’ ribs. 2D had hardly responded, taking up his bong with one hand as the other prepared his lighter to burn the remainder of the greenery in the bowl. Noodle could hear Murdoc audibly scowl at this, pressing his fingers deeper into the singers’ side. Noodle, debating on whether or not she should intervene, smiled at what 2D had done in response.
2D pulled his thumb away from igniting his lighter, turning to Murdoc. Gesturing with the bong and lighter in hand, it appeared that 2D was willing to share. Could that be what Murdoc had been upset about?
Murdoc shook his head, grumbling as he retreated his hand from 2Ds’ side. 2D took another try, offering just the bong as 2D lit his lighter, signifying that he’d be willing to light the bowl for Murdoc if he needed additional assistance. Murdoc scoffed at such an offer, though after a few seconds of clear contemplation on his face, took the bong in hand.
Murdoc seemed clumsy with the glass bong, inhaling gradually as 2D lit the bowl of green. 2D, either not paying attention to the time or gravely overestimating Murdocs’ lung capacity, lit the bowl until nothing but ashes remained. Noodle had only been around Murdoc during his drinking benders, and while most ended in black outs among other typical Murdoc behavior, she hadn’t seen Murdoc rip a bong in quite sometime.
Pulling away after several seconds of struggled intake, Murdoc miraculously managed to clear the bong as glass was no longer foggy. 2D, reaching for the bong, was met with Murdocs hand. Murdocs’ lips pressed against 2Ds’. This sight had caused Noodles’ eyes to jitter a bit, a small blush coming across her cheeks. She wanted to smile a bit, hoping this was a sign that their past issues were becoming closer to being resolved than not. Murdoc placed the bong on the floor abruptly. The sound of its glass tittered on the floor a bit but then settled onto the wooden floor.
2D, caught by surprise, seemed to melt into the kiss. 2D brought his hands around Murdocs’ waist, hungrily clawing at his bare back. Murdoc had his eyes closed, leaning forward another inch as 2D backed his head into a pillow below. It was hard for Noodle to see at this point, and her blush had consumed her face into a crimson scar of embarrassment. Noodle kept her eyes on different parts of 2Ds’ room, looking at a variety of posters before doing a quick check to see if they had risen from the bed yet.
After another minute or two of silence, another exhale had escaped 2Ds’ mouth. This one came from a much more relaxed and stoned 2D. Murdoc had his hands on either side of 2D while 2D laid on the bed, going on about how his lungs aren’t what they used to be and that 2D was trying to embarrass him in front of poor Noddle. While the following few minutes were filled with awkward, half-asleep chatter, that night 2D and Murdoc slept in each others arms. And, despite the full weeks the band members had faced through the year, everyone seemed to have found their own ways to decompress from such a harrowing touring experience.
There wasn’t much light in the darkness. It was hard to see. All you saw was red.
So much red.
The moonlight came through from that window on the ceiling, but it was painted the color of the window; the color of the blood spilled on it. The blood of victims, the blood of the innocent, but also the blood of sinners.
You tilted your head up to gaze at the window, but even that little movement was painful. Everything was painful nowadays; your body was heavy, numb, yet the numbness didn’t eliminate the pain.
It was so beautiful; the color red. It was the color of the roses he gave you that one time on your birthday. It was the color on his cheeks during the rare moments he was flustered. It was the color of the logo on his broad chest, the same logo you used to trace delicately with your fingers. It was the color of his helmet, one that struck fear into the hearts of the criminals of Gotham, but never to you.
Yet red was also the color you saw when you’re submerged in a pit of fury and madness. Red was the color of blood, the color of pain and death and everything in between. Red was the color of her tight dress countless nights ago. Red was the color of her lipstick stains on his shirt. Red was the color of the sheets you found them in. Red was the color of her lips as she claimed what was hers.
“Jason! Jason stop!” you laughed, trying to wriggle out of your best friend’s grip. The man was practically killing you.
“Nope. You changed the TV channel so you pay the price.” he said, smirking as he continued to run his fingers around your most sensitive areas, causing you to erupt in laughter. He knew you were ticklish and he used it against you every single time.
“Jason please–” you gasped, tears coming out of your eyes. It was honestly getting hard to breath and if Jason didn’t stop soon you were literally going to pass out.
Jason finally had some mercy on you and released you from your punishment. You rolled off the couch and fell to the floor, squealing in shock. Jason chuckled and didn’t bother to help you.
You sat up and blew a stray strand of hair covering your face in annoyance. “Well aren’t you a gentleman.” you huffed out, pouting your lips.
“Thanks, I try.” He winked, and though you were annoyed at him you couldn’t stop the annoying butterflies in your stomach.
When was the last time you had so much fun? It felt like eons ago. You could barely recall a time before her. She had to enter your life and destroy everything you built. Years of work and with one swipe of her nimble hand, it all came toppling down onto you.
And you held it up. You carried the weight of the beautiful world you created on your shoulders. You carried what used to fill you with joy and happiness like a burden, a punishment, like how Atlas was forced to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.
The first time you saw her, she had her arms wrapped around one of Jason’s cozily. She was drop-dead gorgeous, a pageant queen, a supermodel. Every pair of eyes in the room followed her; men ogling at her beauty and women admiring her sheer perfection. She captured the attention of everyone, including yours.
The following morning, you knocked on the door of Jason’s apartment and waited patiently. He had promised to spend the day with you alone, and you were beyond excited. The memories of the previous night were long forgotten in your mind.
That was, until the door opened.
And you saw her again.
You stood there, shocked written on your face. Jason came up behind the lovely woman and gave you a look of confusion.
“[F/N]? What are you doing here?” he asked. You swallowed as your eyes switched from the woman to Jason, then back and so on.
“Jay… who is this?” you inquired in a slightly unsteady voice.
He had introduced you to her that day, his new girlfriend and apparently the love of his life. You had never seen him so happy, not even around you, his best friend, his best friend since forever.
He had forgotten all about the plans the two of you made. Jason’s love and devotion was towards his love, and only his love.
Not you, the person who had been by his side his whole life.
How stupid of you, to stay by his side this whole time. You had known him since before he was taken in as some ‘pity case’ by Bruce Wayne. You watched him transcend into Robin, then die tragically by the hands of the Joker. You had grieved over his death, you almost got yourself killed hunting down the Joker, and you wept tears of joy when you found out that he was alive.
That your Jason was alive.
Yet your Jason wasn’t here anymore.
“Jason, you promised.” you whined, rubbing your temples in frustration. You lost count of how many times he had ditched you.
“I know, but I can’t. I’m–”
“Busy.” you sighed. “Fine, I get it.” You ended the call, knowing that Jason was spending time with her again. He always did that now. He canceled all his plans for her.
You didn’t understand what was so special about her, what made her so appealing to Jason. She was exactly the same as you, except more beautiful.
You crashed onto your couch and rested your head on the seat, trying to prevent the tears from dropping. Your heart broke at the fact that Jason was abandoning you for some woman.
The man you fell in love with had abandoned you.
You felt their footsteps before you heard them. You felt the vibration in the concrete, the movement of the dust on the ground.
You hardly hear anything nowadays, apart from that unbearable droplets of water. You couldn’t even hear your own breathing, or your own heartbeat, for they were far too weak.
The door opened, and in came the other colors of the spectrum. It had been a while since you saw anything other than shades of black and red. It was almost refreshing, almost welcoming, even though you knew what was to follow.
One of the men who slammed the door open dragged you by the hair. You didn’t resist. You didn’t scream. You just accepted your fate.
You used to scream a lot, in the first few weeks they held you. You screamed and cried and thrashed around like no tomorrow, but now you’ve lost your voice, and your will.
What was the point?
It was a humid night in Gotham City, too humid for your liking. Jason had once again left you to your own devices as his girlfriend required assistance to go home. The three of you were celebrating at a bar; it was your first time in a long time spending a night with your friend. She had gotten so drunk she could barely walk, so Jason, like the gentleman he was, took her home.
Of course, you couldn’t object.
You wiped the sweat off your forehead as you hurried down the path. Usually, Jason would be by your side ensuring you got home safely. You weren’t some secret vigilante so you were pretty much vulnerable this late at night.
But then again, where was Jason nowadays?
Suddenly, you felt a hand cover your mouth and pull you into an alleyway. Your screams were muffled and your attempts of escape was futile, as you weren’t a trained warrior or some fighter. You always thought Jason had your back, so you never had to worry.
Oh how wrong you were.
The man carried your limp body onto a steel table they wheeled into the room, along with another table full of strange, deadly equipment and tools. The two doctors with face masks on came into view, their eyes wild and crazy with excitement.
They always seemed so excited before they performed the most unspeakable acts.
Your body was strapped down as they prepared for the procedure–for what, you didn’t know. All you knew was that it was better to die than to go through something like this.
When they began to send shock-waves through your system, you whimpered and flinched and struggled. You gasped and screamed weakly. Your mind was on fire.
Tears fell down your face and you wanted to scream at Jason to help you. You stared at the red-tinted window above you and wished that it would break, revealing the calming silver light of the moon, and you would see Jason and his brothers come in and save you.
However, no matter how many times you had wished for such a scenario, nothing happened.
No one came.
Jason Todd had abandoned you.
And the last thing you saw every time you greeted darkness was red.