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Fic: The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot

Title: The boy who locked his own shot
Author: defect_no9
Rating: R
Warnings: Nudity and language
Summary: The night of Julia's death.

 

Author notes: "The boy who blocked his own shot" is a song by Brand new, lyrics are in the comments. John, Paul and The beatles aren't mine. Enjoy!


   The rain was pounding on my shoulders as I ran down the street toward his house.  My feet slapped the slick pavement  in time with my rapid heartbeat.  I cut through a neighboring back garden, dodging and reeling away from the stray shadows coming from the trees.  Every crack and crevice in the earth showed her face.  The face of a house that was never a home. The ache of a mother that was never really a mum.  I wiped furiously at my eyes and wavered a bit in my frantic sprint toward where he was.  I heard a screech from a car and fell backwards.  An angry driver jumped out of his car to reprimand me, but I was already scrambling to my feet.

   Brakes slamming.  A loud thud.  The hysterical screams of my aunt.

   A wracking sob managed to break free from my burning lungs.  And then they wouldn’t stop.  Screaming and sobbing and running  ever closer to his house, I couldn’t even breathe correctly anymore.  Mouth agape and snot flowing down into it, the world was salty and wet with more tears than I could ever manufacture.  Every blink of my eye saw the horrified and twisted expression on Mimi’s face.  I hadn’t gone to see my mother’s broken and battered body lying on a silver platter.  I didn’t need to see the toe tag to know she was gone.  I wondered as I flew through the night if that was the proper choice.  I wondered if not knowing the reality of it all would haunt me for the rest of my life.

   I rounded the last corner to Forthlin Road, and I could see his house on the left. There was one light on in the living room and I knew that his dad was still awake.  By then, my legs were carrying me automatically to his backyard. The wet grass squelched down under my feet as I came to a halt. Exhausted, and drowning in a combination of salt and rain, I stopped for a moment to catch my breath.  Bracing my hands against my knees, I tried to recapture some of the oxygen my body so badly needed. The rain continued to pound on my back.  A sensation that my mother would never feel again.  I was standing outside, soaked through to the skin and sucking in the molecules that she would never taste again.  I choked on some of the mucus sliding down my throat. Spitting it out, I took a gulp of air and finally dared a look upwards to his window.

   There he was, hand delicately placed under his chin as he stared out at the rain falling just out of his reach.  He was always like that, never wanting to get his hands dirty.  I remembered asking him about his own mother when I came to his house for the first time.  I scrubbed my face with the back of my sopping sleeve as I gazed up at his peaceful expression.  Back then, I had asked why he was obsessively cleaning everything all of the time.  He had gone quiet, and replied with a shrug.  Now I know why.  The answer was simple, but always shoved aside for the sake of boyish fun, for rock and roll, for anything that kept her face from haunting his dreams.  It was because there was no one else to do it. 

   There would never be a large enough patch for the gaping hole called “mother”. 

   Standing in his backyard, staring into eyes that lost their innocence long before they should have, I found my other half.

   I collapsed under my own weight.  The weight of the situation, the weight of my feelings, the weight of something foreign exploding in my chest.  My sobs wracked and choked my breath so much that my exhale was more of a scream.  My cries curled up through the downpour, disturbing his vacant stare.  He looked down on me as I lifted my eyes to meet his.  He jumped up suddenly and gripped the window ledge.  His mouth was a wide black oval as he showed his obvious shock and concern.  It was about time he noticed me.  I crumpled into a fetal position against his sodden lawn.  He dashed away from his window and I counted the seconds that ticked by as I waited for him to come bursting through the door.

   5

   She says good bye to my aunt.

   4

   Nigel walks her to the bus station.

   3

   She cracks jokes to him the whole way there.

   2

   He lets her cross the median.

   1

   BANG!


   The backdoor slammed against the wall to his house as he ran over to my prone form.  I could hear his frantic breathing as he landed on his knees next to me and  twisted my face to meet his.  His nose was inches from mine as he stayed perfectly still for what seemed like hours.  His lips were tight, and I could feel the heavy breathing  puffing out of his nose.  The rain had begun to soak him as it poured in rivers through his hair and landed in mine. I tried to open my eyes but the tears just wouldn’t stop coming.  My fluttering lids squished the warm liquid out of the corners.  They retreated into my hair, a huge mess of grease and water.  He massaged the scalp under his fingers as he pulled me up into a sitting position.  Using his chest to brace my position, he pulled my head past his so that it was resting on his shoulder.  I could feel the rumble in his chest and the scared heartbeat of a teenaged boy as he whispered in my ear.

   “John.”

   One word. My name. It’s the only thing I’d ever gotten for free.  It was the only thing that my mother could have ever given me to show how much she loved me.  She would never love anything ever again.  I sobbed into his shoulder and clutched at his hair, not as gently as he rubbed mine.  In a voice so waterlogged with tears, I could only squeeze out three little words.

   “My mum’s dead.”

   I hid my face back in his shoulder as I felt his trembling.  His own sobs soon followed and we rocked and cradled each other against the steady pounding of the storm above.  Clawing at his hair, I babbled on and on about everything and nothing.  Something, anything, to keep him there with me.  I just needed someone to hold on to me.  Maybe I just needed someone to hold on to me my whole life.  Our cries began to die down, but he still held me.  He was rubbing small circles in between my shoulder blades that were making me sleepy.  The combination of exhaustion and depression was seeping in dangerously fast and settling hard again my bones.  I was losing circulation to my legs, and I wondered if that’s what death felt like; pins and needles all over.  I didn’t like the idea, and grabbed his shirt collar and buried my forehead against it.  He lifted a heavy hand and petted my hair out of my eyes.

   “Come on then, let’s get inside.”

   He peeled me off of his chest and stood up.  Reaching down to me, the streetlight lent him a light blue glow as the rain splashed off his sopping wet shoulders.  I grasped his hand and followed him into the house.  He closed the door behind him and shivered at the change in temperature.  It was warm and dry in his hallway, and I marveled at how cozy his house seemed.   He turned to me again, still wearing that concerned face.  There would be no teasing on how cute he looked all wet, or how long and dark his eyelashes were from the rain.  There would be no laughter, because I didn’t know if I’d ever laugh again.
His hand clasped mine as he led me upstairs to his room, our feet leaving large puddles where they had been.  More pieces of myself lost in this world, more than I can count.

   His room was warm, and I could see the rain was still falling outside of his window.  It gave a soft, moist breeze to the otherwise small room, and acted as a catalyst to his scent. Green wind from the north, wooden with the scent of his floors and soapy from his own tidiness.  I stood in the center of his room as if it were the first time I’ve been in it.  He didn’t turn on his lamp, and let the street light outside illuminate his movements instead.   His silvery silhouette scratched the back of his head as he mumbled something about his eyes hurting.

   In that moment of silver and black, as rain pelted the earth from above, and my demons choked me from within, something even more ludicrous happened.

   I fell in love.

   His movements suddenly seemed as if they were in slow motion.  My head became fuzzy and I didn’t feel right.  He was peeling his soaked shirt off if his body, the street light bathing him in its pale glow.  He dropped his pants down to his feet, his undergarments following along with it down his rain slicked legs.  He was all black and silver as he stood facing the window.  The rain drops dappled the light and gave him a few dark spots across his skin.  His hair fell over one eye as he looked at me from where he stood.  Beautiful, flawed; it seemed as if he was custom made for me.

   His eyes captured mine as he noticed my catatonic state.  I hadn’t meant to ignore him, just the words had left me.  I was so sick and  tired of always running.  I couldn’t believe what a coward I had become.  I began berating myself for being such a terrible person.  I couldn’t do anything right.  I couldn’t even look at my mother laid out on a cold metal slab.  I couldn’t help her; couldn’t even help myself.

   I hadn’t noticed that I was crying again.  Somehow without me knowing it, he had come over to where I stood.  Startled by his sudden closeness, I involuntarily took a step back and looked into his eyes. He was still naked and soaking wet, but he offered me a small, sad smile. Kissing my forehead, he peeled my t-shirt over my head.  He pet my hair backwards and pulled me toward him by the back of my head.  He kissed my temple and cheek as he unbuckled my belt and pushed the sodden fabric to the floor.  The tinkling of my belt buckle resounded in his room.  He hooked his finger under my chin and stared into my glassy eyes.
 
   We stayed like that for a bit, just listening to the rain pattering against his window.  Slowly, he dropped his hand and his gaze as he enveloped me in his embrace.  I didn’t need his sympathy.  I just needed to be understood.  I just needed to be folded into the most crushing hug he could manage.  To squish all of the tears and unanswered questions right out of  me. They fell into the pile of clothes that now lay at my ankles.  In the artificial glow of the outside street light, we blended into the same being.  Two sides of a coin, the mirror, the perfect fit.  His skin was warm and the smell of him was intoxicating as I let it wash over me.  I’d let him do anything right now, as long as I could just stop thinking for once. The heat of his body, and the fact that we were both dripping wet and nude did nothing to help me reel in my thoughts.  I filed them away, deep in a secluded part of my heart.

   Finally, he let me go.  He was only inches from me, yet I missed the warmth of him already.  I crossed my arms over my chest trying to retain some heat, as he went to get some towels.  I ran my eyes over his bed.  It had a grey duvet, and was so carefully made that it looked fake.  I walked closer to it, and ran my hand over the corner of it. It was so soft and clean, that all I could think of was curling up in it.  I was just thinking of doing such a thing, when he returned with the towels.  They too were grey, or at least looked that way in the dim light.   He toweled himself off and I watched, fixated on his movements.  There was something lazy, and faintly sexual in his motions.  A dreamy grin managed to break out on my face as I thought of owning a cat like him.  Funny, how just thinking about him could make the tears finally stop. I was feeling all mushy, when he threw the towel in my face.

   “Stop staring at me like that! You’ll get stuck that way you know.”

   Blushing, I quickly toweled off the rest of the rain from my body and slid on a pair of pajama bottoms that he offered me.  Normally, the flannel would be much too hot for this time of year; but in that moment, it felt like heaven.  We remained shirtless as he lifted up the corners of his comforter to get in.  Suddenly, I felt very awkward as I stood at the edge of his bed. I had laid upon it many times before, but never in it.  Certainly never in it with him.  I chewed the inside corner of my lip, not knowing what to do.

   He moved behind me and tackled me down to the bed.  Giggling like the young boys that we were, I tried to stop thinking about the gnarled and broken body laying in the morgue across town.  She couldn’t feel what I felt anymore.  I wondered if she ever really did.  The feeling that was shoving sadness back down into its rusted cage.  I let him scramble the blankets around on the bed until they were folded just so.  Happy to be in bed and finally beginning to let myself succumb to sleep, I rolled to my right side.  My back was facing him as I felt his fingers ghost ever so slightly against my spine.  They formed little pictures and swirls; nails here, circles there.  Fingertips were sometimes replaced by a gentle kiss on my shoulder, or a puff of air on my neck.  My last painful grip on reality faded away into black as I read the letters that he wrote into my back:

 
I Am Here.
 

 


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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
The boy who blocked his own shot-Brand New- lyrics
If it makes you less sad
I will die by your hand
I hope you find out what you want
I already know what I am
And if it makes you less sad
We'll start talking again
And you can tell me how vile
I already know that I am

I'll grow old
And start acting my age
I'll be a brand new day
In a life that you hate
A crown of gold
A heart that's harder than stone
And it hurts a whole lot
But it's missed when it's gone

Call me a safe bet
I'm betting I'm not
I'm glad you that can forgive
Only hoping as time goes
You can forget

If it makes you less sad
I'll move out of the state
You can keep to yourself
I'll keep out of your way
And if it makes you less sad
I'll take your pictures all down
Every picture you paint
I will paint myself out
It's as cold as a tomb
And it's dark in your room
When I sneak to your bed
To pour salt in your wounds
So call it quits
Or get a grip
Say you wanted a solution
You just wanted to be missed

Call me a safe bet
I'm betting I'm not
I'm glad that you can forgive
I'm only hoping as time goes
You can forget
So you can forget
You can forget

You are calm and reposed
Let your beauty unfold
Pale white like the skin
Stretched over your bones
Spring keeps you ever close
You are second hand smoke
You are so fragile and thin
Standing trial for your sins
Holding onto yourself the best you can
You are the smell before the rain
You are the blood in my veins

Call me a safe bet
I'm betting I'm not
I'm glad that you can forgive
Only hoping as time goes by
You can forget
maccabears
Aug. 30th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
that was beautiful.
I'm in love with the last line, almost made me tear up :P
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! This story is about understanding. I loved writing it because in my heart (deranged mind) they fell in love slowly. I think it started with this bond, and I'm glad that you liked the way I wrote it! Thank you for reading!
grl_in_red
Aug. 30th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Ahhh.... beautiful. So realistic it hurt and yet was even more beautiful because of it. Please write more! <3
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Aww thank you so much! The song always reminded me of John and Paul (even though it has nothing to do with the story) so I listened to it on repeat until I was done writing this. I just love the idea of how they bonded over equal loss, and how the actual way it was done was never discussed. God I love speculating. Thank you again for your kind words!
(Deleted comment)
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I really appreciate it! :)
beagle_agent
Aug. 30th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
This was so sweet. I loved the last line...so beautiful.

One thing you might not know: duvets weren't used in Britain until the 1970s, they had eiderdowns quilts until then.

Astrid
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad that you liked it! I had no idea that duvets were not used until the 1970's! Now I know! Thanks again for reading, it means alot to me. :D
(Deleted comment)
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! This was a labor of love, and I'm glad that you like it! Thanks again!
beatmy_heartout
Aug. 30th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Ugh omg this is just absolutely exquisite. Beautifully written.
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I love your icon! XD
lennonsmuse
Aug. 30th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
That was so beautiful, yet so painful to read, too. I must've read about Julia's death a thousand times before this (and that's probably putting it lightly), but I could actually feel John's loss personally as I read this bit from you...which means...

You're damn good!

Incredible writing here, luv. Do grace us with more of it again soon.
defect_no9
Aug. 30th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you thank you! I love your writing, so this is a HUGE commpliment for me! I wrote this on a whim, and beta'd it about 5 times lol! I'm very happy that you enjoyed this. I have another in the works but it has to be a bit longer before I dare post it. Thanks again for your kind words! XD
semolina_p79
Sep. 1st, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)
GAH. I had to literally prop my chin up with my hand so my mouth wouldn't be hanging open while I read this. It's so spectacularily good.

You described John's tragic heartache so well. I could really feel it. I could picture Paul's interaction with him and the comfort it brought him as well.

Absolutely gorgeous read, this was.
defect_no9
Sep. 1st, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you very, very much! That was the nicest review that I've ever gotten! Awww! I'm so happy that you liked it! I'm glad that you liked how I depicted Paul, because I really worked hard on making him that way. XD I'm soooo happyyyyy!
semolina_p79
Sep. 3rd, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm happy I currently hold the title of nicest review you've ever gotten! Hooray! :D
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )