Sooooo. I may or may not have spent the last ten minutes in a catatonic state dwelling on how much Hannibal and Will’s physical and mental synchronicity subliminally accentuates their potential in regards to sex. These two men are so completely entwined emotionally that more or less everything they do in each other’s presence is synchronised to some degree. They move in complete tandem, they communicate almost telepathically, they even fucking eat and drink at the same time.
This obviously serves to elucidate just how deeply these two men connect but SERIOUSLY HOW AM I MEANT TO IGNORE THE FACT THAT WHEN THEY EVENTUALLY FUCK, THEY WILL INSTINCTIVELY KNOW HOW TO REDUCE THE OTHER TO PURE NEED WITHOUT UTTERING A WORD? THERE WOULD BE NO RESTRAINT, NO HESITANCE, JUST MINDLESS, PASSIONATE, VAGUELY VIOLENT SEX, EACH KNOWING EXACTLY HOW TO MAKE THE OTHER COME, BLESSED WITH THE CAPACITY TO ACHIEVE IT IN SECONDS BUT DOING EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO DRAW IT OUT. IMAGINE ONE OF THEM GIVING THE OTHER ONE OF THE SOUL SEARCHING STARES WE’VE ALL COME TO ASSOCIATE WITH HANNIGRAM, BEFORE BEARING THEM DOWN ON THE NEAREST SURFACE AND FUCKING THEM UNTIL THEY CAN’T WALK. I S2G HANNIBAL AND WILL COULD MAKE EACH OTHER COME WITH A LOOK. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT? I WAS HAVING SUCH A GOOD DAY GODDAMMIT.
so time travelers exist, but act as safeguards of each other. to prevent serious history and future alterations, time traveling is made by unanimous decisions of 8 people–8 separate time travelers, that is. they don’t know each other, and for obvious reasons will likely never see each other in real life, mainly to prevent a single time traveler from being able to ruin or coerce the others into doing what they want. anyway, time traveling is insisted by a sort of feeling, you can sense a pull in either direction (forward or backward in time), and it’s very similar to the idea of telepathy. time travelers can get a sense of motives, too–especially as the jump gets larger and requires more power. jumps of a couple minutes or hours are usually accepted with ease, but larger jumps are usually more heavily debated. rarely are jumps unanimous when it starts to grow to years. additionally, small jumps usually merge the travelers. it’s easy to place them back in their body from moments ago, the time is easier to mend to make it happen. however, large jumps usually cause a fracture, resulting in duplicates, a scenario that is undesirable unless by necessity. the jumpers keep their powers, while their duplicate loses theirs, so that the number of travelers stays the same. were they to meet, the one without the powers would, unfortunately, die. if they jump so far that they leave their own lifespan, it’s a 50/50 shot on who keeps their powers. at least, if you somehow ran into the person who you took powers from or who kept their powers at the expense of yours, neither of you would die. so what happens when a traveler dies? their powers get thrown onto someone else. you aren’t born with them, as the power manifests itself in adults. nothing really changes once you become a traveler, either–you can still live out a fairly normal life. i’m sure it’s possible to go your entire life without using the power once. when you receive the power, you receive the knowledge needed to understand and use it as well. you just become aware of the dangers and the need for secrecy, and all else that would apply. it’s more like an awakening, like this power lies dormant in everyone and only few people have the keys to unlock it. when those people die, they simply pass their key onto someone else.
one day, however, a pull towards the past is felt hard and strong. one traveler is using everything they can to go to the past–so far it was hard to tell where they were going. let me repeat, this pull was strong. regardless of the other travelers denying this request, the one kept pulling for it relentlessly, trying to force it, cheat the system, and their malicious intent was evident. almost as if in an effort to protect itself, time suddenly stops. it’s a stalemate. the eight travelers are able to move and interact with the world still, but it is frozen in time. it doesn’t take long for them to realize what must happen–they must find and neutralize who was trying to force the jump. they just don’t know who, or where, they are. travelers, in their anger, fear, and distrust, once finally happening upon each other, try to kill on sight in their desperation to fix things. as the wrong travelers die, new ones wake up somewhere else in the world, and finding the culprit doesn’t get any easier. it doesn’t seem like this will ever be resolved.
I can’t be bothered to write it all down on paper so I am sitting here, sharing it with you instead, while listening to the Russian Orthodox Requiem haha!
Feel free to like & share it to serve as your own reminder. It’s useful as hell.
It is all from the book “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene.
Read on, my friends. For this is going to teach you many valuable lessons!
LAW 1 - NEVER OUTSHINE THE MASTER
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite—inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
Note:Yes. This is so important. Especially when it comes to dealing with MEN. Never outshine the “MASTER”.. oh boy, but how we do ;)
Shh… I’m supposed to be studying for midterms but I got a sad idea about full ghost!Danny and had to write it.
AU: DP/FNAF AU
Characters: Valerie Gray, Danny Fenton, brief mention of Wes and Sam
Ship: Gray Ghost
If there was one thing Valerie knew about Danny, it was that he was incredibly clingy.
In fact, there were few times that she could recall when he wasn’t glued to someone’s side or grabbing someone’s arm or leaning on someone’s shoulder.
At first, she’d brushed it off. It was probably some sort of ghost thing, no need for her to dig into it. After all he’d been through, he deserved to be allowed to express affection.
Sam had suggested that maybe his clinginess was due to him wanting to make sure that what was going on around him was real. It was an affirmation that he wasn’t trapped in some sort of perpetual nightmare.
But he never did it with other ghosts.
Sure, he’d lean on them sometimes and hang out with them but he never seemed to be clinging to them or standing as close as he did with humans.
So it couldn’t have been what Sam suggested.
Wes had suggested that he fed off of human emotion. This was debunked quickly as Danny had been in the room when he’d suggested this. He’d immediately denied it before saying with a slight grin that electricity was delicious to feed off of, though. Wes’s phone was dead two minutes later, despite the fact that he’d had 87% just prior.
One night, he’d fallen asleep next to Valerie (she didn’t even know ghosts could sleep), resting his head on her shoulder. It was actually kind of cute. In his slumber he almost looked like any other teenager. However, his skin was too pale and the glow of his form gave him away as something else.
As she flipped through the cameras on the tablet, making a mental note that Foxy’s curtains were open, she realized something else about him.
His skin was ice cold and there was no beat of a heart. It was unnerving actually. She felt like a corpse was leaning on her shoulder.
Valerie shook the thought out of her head and flipped the cameras again. She enjoyed the quiet. The only sound was the slight buzz of the tablet when she changed the cameras and her slow, steady breathing. For a second, she observed how her breath fogged in the air, the temperature of the room having dropped significantly by Danny’s mere presence alone.
Wait. A heartbeat. And warmth.
It clicked in her mind what Danny was doing. Or to be more specific, what he was looking for.
The pulse was designed to ward ghosts away from the human world by causing them to experience an intense paranoia, prompting them to go back into their world. The project itself had been in progress for nearly 25 years, the GIW had never let the secret experiment outside of the few researchers that were constantly at work on it. After a few years, it’d become sort of a GIW myth.
Except that it wasn’t. And the device was finished. The device would send out pulses all across the Earth to send ghosts fleeing into their own world. At least, that was the original plan. Unfortunately, the lab and its small-level ecto-entities only took them so far. The GIW needed to test it on an area where it would be controlled but also in a place where the results could be clearly seen; Amity Park was the perfect place. An ectoplasmic hot-spot and a small town. The citizens would need to be evacuated for a short period of time, the GIW needed there to be no interference with their experiment, so they could properly calculate the effects of the pulse on higher-level ghosts; just like the kinds that frequented Amity. The higher-up people in the U.S. government agreed that the small town of Amity Park was the perfect place to test the device, because of its frequent haunts-provided the GIW have the townsfolk safely out of the area as the tests were conducted. The civilians would only know what they needed to; that the GIW were going to try and rid their town of ghosts but in order to do so the people needed to be evacuated.
This was why, in a nutshell, the citizens of Amity Park were split into various lines. Children in the middle and elementary schools would be evacuated first with their teachers, then citizens over age 50, followed by adults between the ages of 30-49 (and their children that weren’t elementary-aged yet), and ending with teenagers and young adults ages 14-29 (the children of these young adults evacuated at this time too). The lines were organized further by birthdate.
Unfortunately for April-Born Danny, he was split from his best friends, as his friends had been born months prior; Tucker in the August of the previous year and Sam in February. He was directly after Dash Baxter, of all people. Apparently there was only a couple days between their respective birth-dates, who knew?
He could see his family, along with Sam and Tucker, waiting for him on the sidelines, next to the Assault Vehicle. They’d all already gone through the fun and games and were waiting for Danny to be put in the clear so that they could all leave to the center where they were to be housed until the evacuation was complete and they could resume their lives.
Danny was expecting to be thrust into another line-these guys are seriously obsessed with order, honestly-to wait for this lame experiment to be over (and it was bound to fail, obviously. The GIW don’t have the skill to catch the Box Ghost, let alone create something to prevent ghosts from spending their free time in the human world).
He wasn’t expecting that being deemed ‘fit for travel’ included a scan of ectoplasmic levels in his body. (It made sense after he thought about it; you’d have to get the citizens with a higher potential for ectoplasmic radiation farther away from the pulse to avoid them getting seriously ill, but at the time it all seemed so surreal.) Dash was pronounced clean and Danny found himself backing away. The GIW scientist scoffed at the boy’s fear, not knowing the source.
“Relax, kid. It’s just like an x-ray, or a metal detector. Not even that, really. It just looks at any ectoplasmic residue that may or may not have been left behind on you what with all these ghosts infecting your city. Just hold still for a second, it doesn’t hurt.” Danny shook his head and dodged the small device which, indeed, looked like a metal detector that they’d use before boarding an aircraft.
“N-No! Get it away from me!” He could tell that there was immediate confusion and utter disbelief at the boy’s reaction. Dash smirked.
“Afraid of a little x-ray, Fen-turd?” He quipped as he was led away into the mass of transport-ready civilians. The GIW agent narrowed his eyes before looking at two other agents that were awaiting orders nearby.
“Hold him.” The agent ordered and Danny found himself grasped in the hold of two burly men. His blue eyes widened. He was in a rock and a hard place. If he phased through their hold, they’d know; but if he let them scan his ectoplasmic levels-which always was a reflection of his ghost-half’s power level-they’d know as well.
Sam and Tucker were being held back, as well as his sister.
“He doesn’t want to be scanned! He’s healthy! Just let him through!” The red-head protested to no avail. The GIW weren’t budging. He was alone. Danny closed his eyes as the scanner passed over him; the machine had barely passed his collarbone when it began making noise. “Mother of… This kid’s off the charts! Wait-” Danny couldn’t breathe and his eyes snapped open, though he couldn’t see much because his panic blurred his vision. “He has a signature! An ectoplasmic core!” The agent stumbled on his feet, dropping the scanner, and the two agents that had been holding the halfa ran away in utter disbelief. Danny shakily backed away, his eyes watering and his heart racing in his chest. Another voice entered the fray from where a separate agent scanned the boy’s supposed signature, only to find out that his colleagues were right and that the kid’s signature was all-too-familiar.
“It’s Phantom! The Ghost Kid!” At that exclamation, the stunned silence snapped and GIW agents whipped out ecto-pistols and other various weaponry which they brandished at the horrified teen. His parents were fighting their way through the men to get to him and Danny was wrought with indecision. This indecision only lasted for a moment, however, when the agent closest to him decided to shoot the boy with a burst of energy.
Instincts honed by nightly ghost fights and bullying from Dash, Danny’s eyes glowed a bright green and he used his hand to fling the ecto-blast away. Before he registered what was going on, his ‘defensive mode’ was switched on and Danny found himself in his ghost form and there was a shield in front of him that absorbed the small blasts fired into it.
For a moment, he noticed the looks of shock and horror on the faces of his parents. The looks on his friends’ faces, their parents’ faces, Jazz, Dash, Kwan, Paulina…. Danny gasped at realizing that he was in his ghost form and dropped the shield long enough for a large blast to nail his shoulder. Sam and Tucker were yelling at him to do something. Jazz too. The GIW spat out threats of dissection and painful experiments but Danny found himself deaf to them all. The ectoplasm from his core thrummed in his ears and his shoulder was oozing the glowing green substance, flecks of red blatantly displaying his half-ghost status.
They knew. They all knew.
Danny shook his head and jumped into the air, zipping away back into the town that they were all evacuated from. Knowing the GIW, they wouldn’t delay their planned experiment just because of this revelation-they’d just have to update their databases so that they were searching for Fenton and Phantom. The tears stung his eyes and froze on his face. He made it to his bedroom before he collapsed into his human form, his entire body numb.
He had a few hours, at most, before he’d have to go on the run. To continue running until the day he died. It was a hard pill to swallow. But he managed to pull himself together after twenty minutes of wallowing in self pity. He forced his emotions down, something that Danny had gotten enough practice doing for the past year, and flung his closet door open.
Underneath the floorboards was a simple dark blue backpack. A rather large one but not large enough to be cumbersome. Being almost as paranoid as the rest of his family, Danny had packed the bag full of what he knew he would need if he had to run off. A change of clothes (that he’d never wear in normal circumstances), scissors, a razor, a small bottle of bleach, soap, a small first aid kit, and a one-person tent rolled up and stuck on top of the backpack.
He pulled his wallet off of his bedside table and peeked inside. Twenty-five dollars and seventeen cents. He took everything except the cash out of his wallet-student ID, contact information, everything-and reached deeper under the floorboard in his closet for a few select cards.
If ever he was grateful to have a friend obsessed with technology and hacking, Danny was thanking his lucky a stars now. A fake birth certificate and social security number for a made-up boy that had only ever existed in paper form. Neil Tonne. One of Danny’s brighter moments had been to rip letters from Daniel Fenton to come up with a convincing, if not boring, identity. Shoving the papers into a pocket of the leather wallet, he packed the wallet away into his bag.
He switched forms so he could fly away but he hesitated. Taking one last look around the room, he found a framed picture of his family and friends. Him smiling obliviously along with them in front of Fenton Works. Letting a few tears slip from his toxic green eyes, he gingerly removed the photo from its frame and folded it, zipping it up into his bag as well (his HAZMAT didn’t have pockets, after all). Steeling himself, Danny made himself invisible and flew into the sky, leaving everything behind in a neatly written journal that laid on his bed innocently.
Assuming they didn’t already hate him and reject ever having a son, Danny left the journal to explain everything to his mother and father. The accident, why he kept his secret hidden from them, and recollections from every single battle that he’d ever fought in, including his evil future self. As it happened (well, directly after, in any case), he had written it down in the worn little book. Maybe even if they didn’t read it, Jazz would find it and get some comfort from it.
Pushing all thoughts of the life he was leaving behind him away, Danny sped into the horizon. He didn’t know where he was going, but it was away from Amity Park. Away from Michigan, from the Midwest, hell, maybe even away from the U.S. altogether.
As far away from the GIW as he could get, he would go. And continue going. And going.
If he ran away and didn’t contact his friends or family, the GIW wouldn’t bother them on his whereabouts. They wouldn’t know and the GIW wouldn’t know.
They’ll be safe from the GIW. They don’t care about humans if they don’t have information. Danny chuckled bitterly to himself as he flew over Colorado. Still playing the hero, even when nobody else is left behind to care. The teen let his tears fall freely through the air as he continued to fly at breakneck speed without direction.
Thick woods surrounded him, the sky above was a deep, star-speckled cobalt with the brilliant moon lighting the sky. Danny landed. He could guess that he was somewhere around Ohio, from the signs that he’d passed along the way. Before he found somewhere public, he needed to become a nobody; which is why he had landed near a small lake in the middle of the thick woods. He tossed his backpack off of his sore, chafed shoulders and rifled until he found the bleach, scissors, and razor. It was dark and he needed light for what he was going to do. He conjured a small ball of ectoplasmic energy to hover over him. It wasn’t too bright, so it wouldn’t attract unwanted attention. Sighing heavily and steeling his nerves, Danny studied his reflection in the water. This was the last time he’d see his face. The last night that he’d be Daniel Fenton.
He started on his face first; carefully, he used the razor (while intently staring at his reflection so he wouldn’t mess up) to trim his brows so that they weren’t as thick. Grabbing the scissors, Danny had to confidence-check himself again before he started to cut away the thick locks of black hair until his long and messy hair was short and choppy; his bangs now barely reaching his brows from where they once flopped over his eyes if given the chance. Using his razor, Danny had carefully thinned out a good deal of hair on the sides and back of his head. While he was certainly no beauty major, the teen didn’t think that he looked half bad by the time he deemed himself finished.
Danny shook his head with a shaky sigh; he was really doing this. He’d played the scenarios over and over in his head but it was never real before. It had all been a joke at the time. Nothing that he’d ever have to do. He pulled his shirt and jeans off, leaving him bare but for his plain white boxers. He swallowed down the lump in his throat (they’re just clothes, come on!) and folded the shirt and jeans neatly on the dirt floor before lifting his hand and promptly incinerating them. He grabbed the bleach and shook his head again. He tugged his boxers off and stuck them next to the readied clothes by the backpack. He allowed the small, hovering ball of light to fade. Generously applying the bleach to every last hair on his head, Danny stepped into the freezing October water. If it weren’t for his ice core, he would have had hypothermia. He edged himself further into the cold water until he was at chest level and leaning against a large rock in the lake. His head spun with everything that had happened in just a few hours. He couldn’t feel-no, not yet. He couldn’t break yet; he could worry about his feelings later-now, he had to just… He just had to run.
When he finally pulled himself out of the water, Danny recreated his ball of light and studied his reflection in the stilled lake water. He was shocked to find out just how much a change in hair color and style could do to change someone’s face. His hair was maybe a shade away from Dash’s natural color. Since he had been rather thorough, and had left the bleach in his hair longer than he would have normally preferred, Danny liked to think that the blonde hair with his blue eyes looked almost natural, even with his black eyebrows. After he put his boxers back on, the clothes from his pack were next. A pair of faded, dark blue jeans that were torn in places purposefully to look “stylish” were the first to be yanked over his bare legs. Next came the tight black shirt over his head and with it was a forest green jacket, unzipped to his naval.
Now changed and disguised, the teen carefully cleaned everything up and pushed it all down into his backpack. Every last hair that he could find-everything was incinerated and the char marks were scuffed away to reveal spotless dirt. It was like he was never there. Danny transformed back into his ghost half and took to the air again, his backpack not quite as heavy as the weight of the world that he now carried on his shoulders.
It was when he made it to a place in New York, in the middle of the city with the same name, that he landed again-still invisible. It was somewhere around 5 in the morning. He’d been flying all night but the adrenaline had helped so that Danny hardly felt the true extent of his exhaustion.
He noticed that his face-both of them-were plastered across screens and billboards. He almost panicked before remembering that the face on the television wasn’t really his face anymore, thanks to his own precautions. A hand ran through his trimmed hair to reassure himself.
He sighed quietly and drifted into an empty alley, turning back into his human form. Swallowing down his terror and calming his furiously pounding heart, the boy tentatively started making his way through the streets. Nobody bothered to give the small blonde kid a second glance, often even shoving him out of their way. Danny, through his relief, couldn’t find it in him to be annoyed by the rudeness of the people around him. New confidence in his steps, Danny strode his way around the city, taking in the scene that befell him.
For a moment or two, he was even able to fool himself that he and his family were on a normal vacation. Jazz was at the New York Public Library reading everything she could get her hands on and his parents were studying the local haunts, particularly ones that Bill Murray had visited in the 80’s while filming the movie Ghostbusters, which his dad had long ago deemed a historical documentary of sorts. Danny decided that he liked his delusion and continued his trek through the city, studying the magnificent buildings that laid across the city as far as the eye could see and further. Amity Park was nowhere near as urban as he’d been under the impression that it was. Being in New York City made him feel so… insignificant. And it was wonderful.
The day went by too quickly. Soon, the city was engulfed in darkness. People went home to their loving families and luxury apartments. Others came out and rifled through garbage bins with their shopping carts full of cans and bottles. Sirens, screaming, and gunshots could all be heard in the ghettos where Danny currently was tentatively creeping through-invisible to be safe.
Everything was starting to catch up with him, as it had a tendency of doing. He was tired, hungry, thirsty, and completely alone in a huge city. No family, no friends. For all intents and purposes, Danny Fenton no longer existed. He was Neil Tonne, a nobody who knew nothing about the paranormal. A teen on the run from a life that no longer existed. Steps faltering, the boy swallowed hard and ducked into a dark space in between two buildings and behind a dumpster before collapsing onto his knees. He closed his eyes and let the tears fall. Noiselessly, he cried. The boy let everything out, his shoulders shaking from the effort of trying to stay quiet.
As pathetic as it sounded to his ears, he just wanted his mom to comfort him. He wanted his dad to laugh with over a bowl of ice cream. He wanted Jazz to psychoanalyze everything he said. He wanted to do that horror movie and hot wing marathon with Tucker that they’d put off to hunt ghosts. He wanted to tell Sam that he loved her. He wanted home more than anything in the world. Danny didn’t realize when he’d made the transition from quietly crying to bawling aloud.
He laid down on the ground, the smell of rotting food around him; the sounds of street-fighting, guns, and screaming matches ringing in his ears. A schizophrenic elderly woman hobbled past the alley, hollering about people draining all the metal from inside of the Earth. The teenager clamped his hands over his ears and sobbed harder.
He just wanted to go home.
*5 years later*
Danny couldn’t help but to wonder how much he looked like the people in those advertisements he often used to see on the television. Thin, emaciated bodies with wide eyes begging the more fortunate around to be merciful. Rough, leather-like skin chapped from days of dehydration. Some big-shot celebrity pretending to give a shit for the good publicity.
He knew he probably didn’t look much better, at least. Probably just a good deal paler like the people around him, in London. His hair was back to black but it didn’t seem to matter. He was unrecognizable from the… months? Years? However long he’d been running.
Dangerously thin, especially considering his six foot height that he’d gained over time, along with a broad chest and shoulders. Blue eyes that were lifeless and rimmed in darkness from lack of sleep. Greasy, tangled mass of hair that reached his shoulders. All he had in the way of clothing was a faded pair of dark jeans and an even more worn brown leather jacket that was zipped up if he needed to go anywhere that required a shirt. He was leaning against a brick building located within the fabulous city of London in the UK. It was cold in London now; what month was it, again?
How he’d managed to get this far was beyond him. He could only assume it had something to do with the ghost half inside of him that was becoming more and more difficult to access as he grew weaker.
It was really lucky, in all honestly, that he ended up in England. Even if his Mandarin, Spanish, and French were adequate, English was the one language he knew that he could understand for certain. Not to mention the cold rain felt like the blessed touch of a God against his feverish skin.
The sickness was probably why he couldn’t exactly recall when he had gotten to England, or how really. He wasn’t even sure how long he had been sick, for that matter. The body aches that came in bursts were natural and they often paled in comparison to the constant twisting of his stomach as it begged for sustenance. Danny could even ignore those, having gotten used to it some time ago.
Danny’s dull eyes turned to the right and he took to people-watching. He was quiet about it, but he liked to imagine what their lives were like. This lady was probably a lawyer, with the way her suit was so strict-looking… That young man was either a student-teacher or a newly-hired teacher; either way, he definitely had the ‘must mold young minds’ look about him… That guy was a family man, with a wife and some kids waiting for him wherever he was going.
Most that walked by ignored the fact that he was there. A blight on the good, properly-homed people of society. Those that dared look his way often did so with glares or looks of disgust. How awfully inconvenient for their walk home to have to smell the filth on a homeless teenager.
Such a rude boy he was to be so blatant about his existence.
Danny could feel it in the way that they avoided meeting his eyes. The way that they twitched their noses and quickened their pace. He didn’t mind, really. He knew what a waste of space he was; what a failure he was. The few things that he was supposed to do in Amity Park and he couldn’t do them. Keep his identity a secret and prevent malevolent ghosts from destroying the town he called home.
What would his parents be doing about now? Cleaning up after dinner, likely. Did they even remember that they had a son? Jazz… would she be at a university by now? He couldn’t tell. Perhaps he didn’t want to be able to tell, he didn’t want to know how much of his own life had been wasted as he took horrid jobs for menial pay unless they wanted to ask questions.
His “Neil Tonne” persona had gone up in flames not even a month after he’d adopted it and began working while using the identity. He’d been caught for who he was because people started to ask questions. He’d answered them, which was the worst thing he could have done. If it hadn’t been for an elderly lady in Amityville, Massachusetts with a heart of gold, he would likely be in the hands of the GIW.
He hated questions so, as long as no questions were asked, he’d take the grunt position that he was given. Often it was cleaning out animal stalls, moving brick and mortar around, and once he was even tasked with breaking concrete slabs with a sledgehammer. That had been his favorite. Good, old-fashioned misplaced aggression taken out on the cold, gray surface of unfeeling concrete.
But he could never stay too long because people asked too many questions. How old are you? Where do you live? Don’t you have a family?
So he would have to leave. Get far away from the questions.
There was often little water for days at a time, and absolutely no food for even longer. If he could find someplace other than underneath a bridge to sleep, he was the luckiest man in the world. When he’d made enough money once, from a particularly difficult construction job, he was even able to get a hot shower with a warm meal and a bottled water. It had been the best day of his wretched, miserable life. Sometimes he wondered if he’d ever get that lucky again. It was unlikely, but he enjoyed relishing in the idea.
He remembered working for shit pay alongside illegal immigrants from Mexico. They had accepted the job for some of the same reasons that he did, and they could relate in more ways than one but at least many of them had wonderful families. His immigrant friends were nice to him and didn’t ask many questions, not that he could answer a whole lot anyway because his Spanish had been meager at the time. They had been the one to teach him how to speak Spanish more fluently; and he also learned quite a few cuss words. They also sang songs and always were kind enough to share some of their lunches that their families had packed for them. A few even offered that Danny stay with them.
But he was wanted by the GIW. The ghost hunters were willing to pay in exchange for him or information on his whereabouts, and Danny knew what the promise of money could do to someone and their steadfast morals. He always had to refuse, despite his heart yearning and tugging at the promise of being part of a family again, even if it wasn’t his own.
Danny let his head fall back, letting the icy rain pelt his scarred face. Opening his mouth, he allowed the cool water to moisten his tongue. It wouldn’t be enough, he knew, to help him much. At least it would stop the more intense burning of his throat. He tossed his jacket aside, though he knew it was unwise to do so. He needed the coolness on his body; not to mention it might help with the filth caked onto his person, might help with the smell that was bothering the other people passing by.
Speaking of which, there actually weren’t many that were out and about; the few people that were outside in this weather were just tourists now, mostly. There was a decent hotel not far away and they were all hobbling back from their exciting activities in “The Old Smoke”. The rain had completely soaked the denim which now clung to his weak legs. Danny blinked slowly, swallowing the water in his mouth before closing it.
The teen knew, in the back of his mind, that this was it. His body was giving out and he knew it. Any urine he’d been able to pass off, with what little water he’d had, was tainted with blood. He was now in constant pain, unable to sleep for more than maybe four hours even though he always felt completely exhausted. He was so tired; he knew that if he relented and closed his eyes that they wouldn’t open again.
But why was he hesitating? What was he waiting for? Closing his eyes meant… release. He wouldn’t have to run anymore. Worry about when his next meal would be. Wonder if his family missed him.
His legs drew close to his chest and his head drooped to rest atop his bony knees. Water rimmed his eyes and the pressure of unshed tears threatened to burst through his careful wall of apathy. But he was dying now. If someone was dying, they were allowed to cry, were they not? He didn’t have to put up anymore farces.
He carefully reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a worn photograph. The ache in his chest flared and Danny gasped slightly. It wasn’t the normal pain that he was able to ignore; this was something so much deeper, something that hurt worse than any kind of sickness or any kind of starvation that he’d ever experienced. He coughed out a choked sob, letting his eyes close and the tears fall freely.
I miss you Mom, Dad. I’m sorry if you’re disappointed in me for what I am… For who I’ve become. I wanted you to be proud of me like you were proud of Jazz. Jazz, I bet you’re doing good about now with how smart you are. Probably graduated now, right? … I’m sorry that I’m not there for you, Jazz, I am. I’m sorry I’ll never be able to see my nieces or nephews. I’m sorry I’ve been such a rotten brother. Brother… Tucker, the closest thing I’ve ever had to a brother. I miss you, man. I wish you could be here and tell me to ‘shake it off’ or something funny like that. Heh, you’d probably tell me to man-up and that my kidneys are just fine; I’m being a wimp. Except you’d be joking because you’d do this while you and Sam dragged me to the hospital to be looked at. Sam… I wonder if you’ve found a boyfriend. Most likely. Hopefully he treats you right; gives you everything you need and anything you want… I still love you, Sam. I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…
With his apologies murmured internally, Danny was able to quiet his broken sobs. His head fell back against the brick, his limbs went lax, and he went still.
A blonde boy was grinning ear-to-ear despite the pounding rain. His poncho took care of most of it anyway, keeping him warm and dry. His parents were a few paces ahead, discussing what they wanted to do for tomorrow, their last day before flying back to Michigan. The blonde nineteen year old went along his merry way until he heard a loud splash coming from an alleyway just to his left. Curious, he peered into the alley and, just against the red brick building laid a kid his age. He’d fallen to the side into a puddle. His ribs poked out dangerously from a much too pale chest. His messy mop of black hair clung to his pale, gaunt face with the muddy rain water. The teenager ventured closer with a look of puzzlement. He… He looked familiar. Almost like… But it couldn’t be… He saw a crinkled, torn piece of paper in his hand. It was a… photograph? His eyes widened and he nearly choked on air as he realized the identity of the boy laying in the cold mud.