Tangible Schizophrenia


Tarot Prologue: Tower

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17. Non-con and general nastiness.
Pairing: Alec/James
Feedback: Anything you'd like to share, at your preferred length.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: References all of Brosnan's Bond movies.
Summary: In which Alec lives, James can't let go, and nothing turns out well. AU from end of 'Goldeneye.'


"For England, James?"

And something flashed through those eyes, too fast to decipher. Suddenly Alec was being yanked up-leg nearly torn from its socket-and thrown against metal. Crashing pain blanked out his mind.


Things never truly cleared up for him.

Vague shapes, pricks in his arm that he knew were important, that nearly brought him back out of the haze, but always, always, he at last slid back into the muddy depths. Long-settled ache in his bones, wrongness permeating his blood.

Or was it rightness, absent from so much of his life that now he couldn't recognize its face? Couldn't identify the brushing feather hands, the probing fingers. Moist warmth, occasionally, on his forehead. More often it was wrenching pain, shattering his nerves and whiting out his brain when the hurt should have focused reality. Anchored him.

Nothing to hold onto, in this grasping limbo.

Nothing but a scent, a shadow, a vanishing hint of comfort. Alcohol, he thought sometimes. Something cool and cutting like knives through snow. Cordite, he believed at other times. Stinging and acrid.

And once, just once, for a moment that glimmered past the clouds and the terrible sucking muck that gripped him, sweet delicate fruit. Strawberries.


He might have moaned words. Perhaps a name. Whatever he had done, it was the end.

Furious pounding, managing to penetrate even his resignation. Fighting back feebly, he found his hands trapped, turned away and lashed round and up till the skin split and bled rubies over the blankets.

Bedsheets. Room. One mist torn away.

Scoring, rasping. Bites all over, too many to count, so many to ooze more crimson. Wet heat, licking and searing the wounds. Crying out, Alec arched away. Arched toward. He didn't know up from down, left from right, pain from pleasure.

Alec. A second mist, dissolving to reveal his name.

Hard-pressing fingers, grooving themselves between his ribs, in his flanks and thighs. They were unforgiving, clawing screams and moans alike from him. He tried to breathe, but the air stuck in his throat and he choked. A tongue plunged into his mouth, curling and hooking till it ripped the breath free.

Man. Erection rubbing along Alec's thigh. Third mist gone.

And then-and then it stabbed in and up, bursting the bubble, burning off the haze with ferocious rapidity. Tormenting and scarring and returning once again. Gasping, Alec snapped open his eyes.

Stone-blue stare. Dark hair.


His skull caved in, exploding blackness behind his eyelids.


Alec woke fully-dressed and equipped: two guns, a knife and a packet of money. And he remembered. Swore futilely, then tried to move. Wincing, he sat back and cursed till he had no words left.

And he remembered. Berries. Blood saturating the air, and sky irises almost swallowed up by bullethole pupils. Punishment and welcome and revenge and guilt, all inextricably jumbled together.


Eventually, he got off the bed. Eventually, he healed and re-established himself in the world. Slipped back underground and retook enough to constitute a decent base. Then Alec hunted.

His prey was smooth and clever, doubling trails back and meandering, but he persevered. He splashed through fetid Asian markets and rewalked the old, familiar bone dust of Eastern Europe. Followed the marks till he got to North Korea, and there he lost the scent. Breathing with outward calm he no longer knew inside, Alec went over everything again, and again, and again until maddened with frustration, he lost himself in rage and woke up with a gun nestling in his mouth.

Then, after he'd pulled out the body-warm steel and wiped off the spittle: then he trembled. Shook himself to pieces, turning his honed concentration in upon himself and searching for the path. To no great surprise, but unfathomable despair, he discovered that there was none. No dead family called to him now, no lands asked for his loyalty. He had nothing within himself. Nothing except a shade of red, ripe fruit and widened blue eyes.


Things never truly cleared up for him. Alec had no idea how much time had passed before a slight trace called him up out of the pits. But it didn't matter in the least. This time, the trail grew broader and broader as he strode along it, broad enough for an army of blind men to follow.

Reaching the end, he hesitated only long enough to cock his gun, and then pushed open the door.

"Alec," James said, glancing up to lay bleary gaze on him. His erstwhile comrade was disheveled, lacking suit-jacket and huddling under the rumpled shirt. Sitting at the table, James stubbed out his cigarette in a mound of old butts, set his glass down in a herd of dreg-stained tumblers, and folded his hands in his lap.

"James," was all Alec managed before his hands jerked up the gun and his finger clenched on the trigger.


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