When I was in high school, i used to think that i loved fan fiction because i was making up for some kind of romantic deficit by living vicariously through the characters, but now I’m 23 and have been in a healthy, loving relationship for years, and I still stay up too late reading fanfiction, so probably I’m just trash.
Sometimes Neil dreams of the past. Sometimes the dreams are so vivid he can smell his mother’s corpse as it burns, so vivid he can hear wit absolute clarity the clang of his father’s ax, so vivid he can see the metal glint off Lola’s knife as she carves his arms to ribbons.
Sometimes he can feel Riko’s knife as it slips beneath his skin, as he hits him until blood fills his mouth, as he makes him run plays until Neil is past the point of pain. It’s like he’s paralyzed, unable to move, unable to fight back.
He doesn’t realize he’s dreaming until his eyes are snapping open, his gaze landing on a hardened face with messy blonde hair, steady hands on his shoulders.
He’s pretty sure someone is screaming, and it takes a moment for him to understand that it’s him, but then Riko’s knife is back, his matches are back, his fists are back, and Neil is powerless beneath him, just as he was the first time, and he can’t stop. He can’t stop his own voice, just as he couldn’t stop Riko’s torture. It lasted so long, god, it lasted so long. Days and days and days and weeks, time running on and slowing down and stretching out.
Then strong arms are wrapping around him, and he’s being pulled against someone’s chest; he knows from the feel of them it isn’t violent, that it’s meant for comfort.