stilljustandrew: (Baby)
stilljustandrew ([personal profile] stilljustandrew) wrote2016-09-22 01:37 pm

[reverse darkest timeline] in the cells alone

He doesn't take the tisane.

What he does, after Brix leaves, is wipe his face and blow his nose again; mechanically swallow the rest of his mint tea, long since cooled; lie down on the mattress, curled on his side, and try to sleep.

The light doesn’t dim down. He doesn’t ask it to; he hasn’t asked it to since he was first brought here, and has declined when Baby offered to darken the cell.

On Baby’s security recording playback, one can see him lie nearly motionless for the better part of an hour, and then heave a sigh and sit up, wiping his eyes. He sits there for several minutes, fitfully rubbing his hands together, and then -- slowly, almost fearfully -- turns his head to look at the little stack of books still sitting untouched on the chair.

He looks away again quickly, and swallows. After a few moments he says, very low: Baby, I need a privacy screen.

The translucent front wall goes opaque at once. He bites his lip and adds, even softer: And a zip tie, please.

And, when no such article appears: I promise I won't hurt myself with it. You can make it go away if I do.

The tie is too small to see easily in the recording, but one can see him lean forward to pick it up from the end of the mattress, and very carefully slide it through first one and then the other cuff-ring, and finally, awkwardly, through itself. He has to take the end in his teeth to pull it tight, fastening the cuffs together.

He tugs at the binding, twisting his wrists sharply to test it. It holds; he breathes out slowly, shoulders sagging, eyes drifting shut, and then shifts to lie down again.

This time he’s only still for about a minute and a half before he moves, rolling over and off the mattress, pushing himself up onto his knees. He settles in the corner formed by the intersection of the mattress and the cell wall, leaning one shoulder against the wall, facing away from the opaqued front of the cell.

And kneels there, slowly rocking back and forth, bound hands clasped like a child praying, or like a penitent confessing.

The image is only heightened when he starts whispering to the air, small and choked and desperately fervent: please come get me, please don't leave me here alone, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please come, please come, please.