because im bingeing annie lennox and i cried over this anon prompt
warnings for graphic discussions/flashbacks of non-con and self-harm/suicide. srry :(
prompt: do you think andrew would ever cry?
It was stupid-funny how oxygen particles, such irrefutably tiny particles, could tear through his lungs like this. Like shards of shattered window panes, creating slits in his throat and choking him with the metallic stench of his own blood, every inhale tore into him, every exhale numbing the excruciating pain.
Why was there glass in his skin?
Oh, yes. He remembered now. He’d put his fist through the bathroom window, one Neil had climbed out of months ago.
The crunch had sounded much the same as Drake’s skull. Fist to glass, stick to head, crunch, crunch, crunch. His laugh grated against his bloodied throat, just like it had when he clutched onto Luther’s headboard. Maybe it hadn’t been the drugs in the end: Maybe they just removed the urge to smother the laughter.
Who even coined the term rape? Who illegalised it? People take and take and take, regardless of whether it’s honour or loyalty or kindness: Rape is just the same. It’s an act of taking.
That’s what people do.
They take. And take. And take. What had they taken from Andrew? Comfort in his own skin. The ability to reminisce on a childhood. A functioning family. They took his ability to express complex emotion: His ability to even conjure emotion at all. They took away sleep, free of nightmares. They took away touches, free of tainted memories.
Instead of all these basic things they gave him thin white scars across whiter skin. Self-hatred that burned out years ago and left an empty void. They gave him bloodied sheets, and the burn between his legs that had shame ricochet within his skull whenever he sat.
Wherever Andrew walked was shards of broken glass. Some were permanently embedded into his skin: Others had callouses grown around them, permanently numbed. Where-ever he walked, he left a bloody trail, tragic and undeniably horrific.
Everyone of us was made to suffer. Everyone of us was made to suffer. Everyone of us was made to suffer.
Seems like Andrew had taken on other people’s shares.
“Andrew.” That wasn’t Neil. “Are you alright.”
Aaron. His blood brother. His blood brother, who’d bloodied his other brother. Drake was his brother. It’s just brotherly affection. You’re just looking for attention, Andrew. It’s just a misunderstanding. Brotherly affection. Brotherly affection. Please, oh for the love of God, please don’t, please stop, please-
The only brotherly affection he’d ever got was someone with hands wrapped around his neck as they fucked him, or someone whacking heads with Exy sticks till they imploded.
“Fine.” He croaked. He felt invalid. It had been Aaron’s trial today, afterall. Who’d stood as witness? Neil, obviously. Kevin. Nicky. Who else”
He did. Right. Yes. Staring at Cass the whole time, he did. Told a jury about the bloodied sheets, the money stolen from Richard’s desk to buy razors when kitchen knives were too serrated. Knowing Cass still refused to acknowledge or even see what her son was doing, he looked at her. How had Drake learned to be like that? How had Drake been anything but the perfect, caring older brother, when he was lucky enough to have Cass as a mother?
Why do the people who get everything they could ever ask for, take what isn’t theirs?
Andrew had walked on a path of broken glass his entire life: It was Drake who knocked him over and pressed his entire body into the splintered shards. Dragged him by his feet, by his hair. Carved into his chest and took out any remnants of a soul, of a heart, of the chance to heal.
The door to the bathroom creaked open slowly, and expanses of tanned skin knelt before him. How could Andrew forget his intangible - his - nothing - something - everything -
He didn’t know what to call Neil.
The man refused to touch him until Andrew had nodded slowly to his whispered yes or no? He went, not for the bloodied fist, but for Andrew’s jaw. A thumb swiped under his eye, and came away wet.
It was so inconceivable that Andrew’s thoughts ground to a halt. The last time he’d cried was at the age seven. Sammy. Samuel. Andrew remembered the noise of a Jack Daniels cap being spun shut, until the bottle lid was tightly screwed. That was always Andrew’s cue, to come take the bottle away. He’d be grabbed by the hair, often hard enough to have chunks of hair come out, and thrown to the nearest surface.
Say please. Say please, Andrew. C’mon Andrew. Say please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please!
He and Neil sat knee to knee as his body convulsed with silent sobs that clawed out of his throat. He shoved them down the best he could. He wanted to punch himself in the gut, cut his wrists open, fling himself off a balcony, careen his car into a wall, choke himself on a rope -
“Andrew.” Neil whispered. “It’s over. You’re safe.”
He stopped holding his breath, sucking in one last gasp of oxygen, with all its tiny, shard like particles. Neil’s hand was on his cheek, still. It hadn’t moved. As Andrew’s head fell forward until it rested on Neil’s shoulder, heavier than he’d ever known, Neil’s palm gently slid to hold the back of Andrew’s neck. Sweat clung to him like a second skin, and Neil should have had a knife in his gut for trying to comfort Andrew via touch, but his scent was so grounding, the topography of his scarred skin so familiar that it couldn’t be anything but comforting.
Because Neil knew. Neil saw. Neil understood, in a way that is simultaneously terrifying and relief-inspiring.
He supposed Neil had walked on broken glass too.
Carefully, within Neil’s gentle grasp, he began to remove the shards.
is this ooc? dunno. maybe. is it heart-wrenching? everything about andrew is. so. sorry?
also i might continue this with neil and lola. i’ve wanted to do a character study on lola for a while now. i am slowly re-ascending to my throne as angst queen.