Tangible Schizophrenia


Link III: Copper

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG.
Pairing: James/Alec (15ish)
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, whatever.
Notes: Poem found at here.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Blame Fleming and his posse.
Summary: Alec makes a few decisions, and James is a charming jerk.


I made a fire; being tired
Of the white fists of old
Letters and their death rattle
When I came too close to the wastebasket
What did they know that I didn't?

--From "Burning the Letters," Sylvia Plath


Alec was happy. Here, in the same land that had bucked off his parents into Stalin's waiting jaws. Here, among the same people that had blithely let their government pick and discard entire populations as it pleased. Here, amid the shades and half-obscured expressions of nonchalance.

He was sitting on his bed, gingerly holding the many-times read letter, and he wanted to rip it up. Take his contraband lighter to the corner and let it eat into fluffy soft ashes. The words still howled, but he'd lived so long with that-and he preferred the false life he'd built for himself. It was easy, yet he could turn it upside-down in a moment if he needed adventure. It wasn't soft, it wasn't simple, but it was fulfilling. And after all, did it really matter? Everything was in the frosty, yellowed past.

He stared at the words for another moment, then angrily jerked the lighter from his pocket and slashed glowing orange across the paper, right where his parents had scrawled their names. The paper caught much faster than he had expected, and he hurriedly tossed it into his wastebasket, which flamed up like a funeral pyre.

"Damn, damn…where's the pitcher…" Alec had forgotten about the crumpled wads already in there. He cast about for some way to extinguish the fire, only to turn into a full pail of water.

His eyes and nose were stinging, and his soaked clothes felt like they were crawling off his body. Somewhere behind him, the last flame hissed to its death.

James was lounging in the door, insolently grinning as usual as he swung the bucket from two fingers. "Alec, Alec, Alec. I come here to set up a surprise for you, and what do I find? Arson. Fine son of the Empire you are."

An expression that had always grated at Alec, but coming from James, the bite was slightly dampened. He forced a smile and pointedly wrung out his sleeves at the other boy, who threw up an arm and cursed. "I'll thank you to take your knight-in-shining-armor act to more appreciative audiences, Bond. Or has Cecilia dropped you already?"

"Cecilia, like all the other girls in this prison, lacks certain necessary qualities for serious pursuit," James answered dryly as he set down the pail and began to help strip the wet clothing from Alec. His hands were very warm, and it seemed odd that their heat alone shouldn't cause the water to sizzle off the fabric. And his eyes were particularly bright today, though that most likely was the light-

--his lips were surprisingly gentle, and sweet as honeyed milk.

When they parted, Alec found he was holding onto James' shoulders because his ankles were wobbling. James had the strangest look on his face, almost distant, and Alec would have commented if he wasn't certain that his own face betrayed equal unsteadiness. "I can't promise you anything," he whispered, wishing someone would give him a hand. Or an explanation. Or a reason.

Blue eyes snapped back to lazy attention. "That's all right. I wasn't planning to ask." Quieter grin now, which briefly banished the cold of Alec losing his grip without a safety line. "Not when everyone else wants everything."

"Yes." Alec laid his head against James' shoulder and stared at the faint black smudges on his fingers. Ink from the letter. He thought he could feel it seeping into his blood and turning it as dark and hard as frozen soil.


More ::: Home