Characters Featured: Bastian, Argo, Erikos (mentioned)
Ships: Argo/Erikos, Former Bastian/Argo
Short Description: Bastian's nightmares have been getting worse lately. He's closed himself off from everyone, which has always been a red flag for him. He's not sure if anyone cares anymore. But then someone comes along to prove him wrong.
Water. Blackness. Cold. It was all he could see as he choked on the dark ink that threatened to engulf him. He had sunken too far to see the light of the surface, but sometimes he swore he could almost see his father's face looking down on him with those sickly green eyes. He had learned to give up fighting when this happened. That the longer he struggled, the slower he choked. But sometimes he liked the harsh burning, the watery claws that raked themselves down his throat before finding their way into his lungs.
Today wasn't one of those days. He didn't want to hurt. He was tired of hurting. So he gave up. And when he finally went limp and felt his body go numb in the cold grip of the water, he awoke gasping and clawing at his throat. He choked and spluttered, coughing as he felt the phantom claws of ice and water being dragged through his lungs as he tore them back out with each cough. He sat there for a long moment, his breathing ragged as he heaved through stinging lungs.
His grip on his own throat was still tight, but the fresh bruises found themselves disguised alongside fading scratches and similar splotches nearly invisible since his last episode. Slowly, he removed one shaky hand, and then the next from his now aching throat. He let them rest in his lap, leaning forward as his head hung and his chest heaved. Faint spiderwebs of black were already disappearing, their inky vines fading from his veins as quickly as they had surfaced. The only thing left of them now were the lingering spiderwebs around his eyes, the whites turned black as a backdrop for his eerie gold irises.
Slowly, he laid back down, letting the overly fluffy sheets comfort him as he did so. He glanced down, taking deep breaths as he played with a stray string hanging from the dull red and cream colored blankets. He had a mild headache, a normal occurrence for him, especially recently. He cast a glance beside him, a slight frown crossing his face when he saw the indent of what could have been another person in the sheets. Whoever he had slept with apparently hadn't wanted to stick around.
But that was fine. Really, it was. He didn't care. It was how he woke up most mornings, anyways. Alone. It was almost funny, really. Karma coming back to bite him in the ass for all the people he'd left lonely and broken. It was just his turn to be bitter. But he wasn't bitter, was he? No, he didn't think so. He was just...wasn't surprised. Yeah, that was it. He wasn't surprised. And he wasn't going to lay in this bed and hate himself all day. Out of pure spite he slid out of bed, stretching for a moment before getting to his feet.
He wandered to his dresser, pulling out a pair of fuzzy black sweatpants to slip into. He figured that would be good enough for the day. He then wandered to the far end of the room, weaving his way through the small collection of guitars leaning against the wall that partially obstructed his path. Eventually he made it to the table where a large glass tank resided, seemingly empty of life. Though when he approached the tank the nose of a ball python peeked out from underneath one of the hides in the tank.
"Hey, Monty," he murmured, smiling softly as he slid the top of the tank off. He reached down, tapping the snake's nose with a finger while he chuckled. Monty flinched a bit, but didn't seem too phased. Carefully, he removed the hide from on top of the snake before picking him up gently. Monty slithered up his arm, prompting a soft laugh from the demon as he hefted the heavy snake up and out of the tank. He slid the door back into place before shifting himself so that Monty could curl up and around his arm.
Smiling, the demon sat down on the edge of the bed, his free hand moving to gently pet the snake's head. Monty looked up at him curiously, training his one good eye on the demon's face. He sat there for a long moment, simply petting the snake as he calmed. But eventually, his thoughts began to betray him again. It had been so long since he had even seen any of his friends. Granted, a few days wasn't really a long time to most people. But for someone like him, it was practically torture.
What if everyone had finally gotten tired of him? He wouldn't be surprised. It wouldn't be the first time he had been replaced and forgotten. It was what he deserved, really. He had replaced so many people himself already. But no, he liked the friends he had now. Even if they hated him half the time, he liked them. Just to spite his overactive mind he reached over to the nightstand, unplugging his cellphone before dialing the first person in his contacts.
He picked up, of course. Argo always did. "Bastian?" a tired voice asked, words low and spoken as if the speaker was worried he might be heard.
"Hey, Argo," Bastian replied with a small, soft chuckle. It was weak, but it was good enough for him to pretend that he was fine.