[ Sky – Master Post ]
Title: We Live…
Characters: Severen, Arkady, Sin
Warnings: Hospitals, expletives, ex-girlfriends
Notes: So, we know Arkady’s not right in the head. That’s been clear for a while. So, here’s Arkady having a shit night of it, doing something stupid, and then having it go from bad to worse to kind of funny. This is funnier if you have a context for the title. (Quote from the hospital sing-along is a slightly damaged version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, because I’m kind of a dick, sometimes.)
Sin woke up to the sound of Sebastian shouting into the telephone. He sounded scared and angry, but Sin couldn’t make out the words through the closed door. The phone slammed down, and Sebastian came back into the room, wearing a bedsheet.
"You okay?" It seemed like an obvious question.
"I have to go. Go back to bed. I’m fine. I’ll be back … I don’t know. A day or two, if they let me stay." Sebastian wasn’t really paying attention as he rifled the closet for something relatively non-descript to wear.
"Go back to the part where you’re going out. What happened?" Sin sat up, ready to get dressed, if it was important.
"Arkady’s in the hospital. And the girl just left him." Sebastian snorted and pulled on a pair of pants. "No, in that order. Bitch."
"Wait, stop. She broke up with him while he was in the hospital? That’s just rude." Sin hadn’t put all the pieces together, yet.
"Yeah, she did." Sebastian grabbed a sweater from the laundry basket and put it on. "Said she couldn’t handle how unstable he’d become, and it was all too much for her."
There was a split second pause, before Sebastian shouted loudly enough to wake the dogs across the street. "Too much for her? It’s too much for him! It’s too much for me and for you! She’s just going to walk out when he needs her the most? Fuck that, she should get out, and she should do it now, before I find her and kill her!"
Red-faced from shouting, Sebastian leaned back against the dresser, panting, as he pulled on his boots. "I have to go clean this up. He’s like my little brother. He’d never let me… But, you’d never do some asshole shit like that."
"I do regret not making it to Boston, but the department wouldn’t let me ditch that class unless I was in the hospital." Sin laid back down. "Is he going to live?"
"Yes. Yes, he is. That was him I was shouting at, on the phone. I’m sure he’ll be apologising to anyone else in the room, for the noise. That’s all your fault, you know." Sebastian grinned and tied his boot. "I’d never have gotten to shouting, if you hadn’t convinced me that it was occasionally necessary to making a point in an appropriately refreshing manner."
"Which it is. Both my fault and refreshing." Sin yawned. "Feeling better?"
"Well, I won’t walk in howling for her head on a pike," Sebastian muttered, grabbing his keys. "I’ll walk down and cab back. Get some sleep."
He tapped lightly on the door. "Arkady?"
"None other," came the voice from the dark room. "No roommate. Come on in. Just leave the light off."
"What the fuck are you tempting fate?" Severen slipped through the door, opening it as little as possible.
"No, I just really hate fluorescent lights. You know that. And I hate hospitals. You know that, too," Arkady grumbled.
"Then stop putting yourself in the hospital, dumbass." Severen pulled up the squishiest-looking chair in the room. "How’d you manage to get your own room?"
"I’m famous." Arkady actually grinned, and Severen raised an eyebrow, sceptically. "No, really. I came in bleeding and screaming and all that good stuff, and one of the nurses is just like ‘Oh my god! It’s Ebony Arkady!’ So, they stuck me in my own room, for my safety."
Severen snorted and covered his mouth just in time to completely fail to stop the oncoming wave of laughter. "You just tried to off yourself, and they put you in a room by yourself?"
"I might also have threatened to kill someone, if they didn’t leave me alone," Arkady admitted, with a shrug. "Besides, Brandy was still here."
Severen’s knuckles cracked as his fists tightened. "She was threatening to marry you. You open a wrist, and you’re suddenly too much for her? Was she paying attention, at all?"
"I guess not." Arkady shook his head. "Besides, it wasn’t a wrist. I’d probably have called you sooner if it had been. I was kind of in surgery…"
"Holy shit, Evan." Severen just stared. "What the fuck did you do?"
"I stopped with the wrists years ago. I’m really bad at dying, and there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be able to stay with the band if I damaged my wrist, and didn’t die from it. Always plan ahead, right? Hope for the best, expect the worst…" Arkady sighed and tipped his head back, to stare at the ceiling. "Well, you know the — of course you don’t. I don’t wear shorts. So, I’ve had varicose veins since I was like sixteen. It’s why I sleep with my feet on the nightstand, most places."
Arkady was stalling, and Severen let him. He had actually seen Arkady’s legs. They’d been in some naked pictures, together, at one point, strictly for the purpose of blackmailing someone else. But, it was always hard to describe something that felt stupid to look back on, so he let Arkady keep rambling. "So, there’s this bulging vein down the inside of the shin… And I kind of forgot there was a massive nerve next to it… They tell me I’m probably going to lose most of the sensation in my lower shin and parts of my foot. I’m really bad at dying, Sev."
Severen reached out and took Arkady’s hand. "I just want you to know that if you die, I’ll be right there to piss on your grave."
"You’re such a dick." Arkady squeezed Severen’s hand, affectionately. "You really are the brother I never had."
"I’d ask if you were absolutely sure, but you’re not that much younger than I am," Severen joked. "Look, it shames me to ask it, but… do you want her back? I mean, I’m sure Sin could make it happen, in that creepy-shit way he’s got."
"Nah." Arkady closed his eyes. "I mean, I do — I’d give my left nut — but, I shouldn’t. I know better. I loved her, but right now, I’d be a lot happier if she just caught on fire."
"I’m sure it could be arranged," Severen muttered, darkly.
Arkady squinted up at him. "No, Sev. You can’t set her on fire. We’d have to find a new singer, or Lir would be back on the mic, and none of us want that."
They sat in that odd silence that old friends have, with a whole conversation going unspoken, until Arkady finally broke it, with a slightly off-key line. "Yeah, I saw her flag on the marble arch…"
"But, listen, love — love is not some sort of victory march," Severen sang back, much more like on-key.
"No, it’s cold and it’s broken, hallelujah," they finished together, like a bad karaoke duet.
Severen chuckled and Arkady snorted. "We’re really fucked up, you know that?" Arkady asked.
"Yeah. Yeah we are. And sadly, I’m the lucky one," Severen responded. "You know I was really pushing for you, right? I thought she’d be it. I thought, you know, you’d end up … like Lir."
"Like you," Arkady answered. "Fuckin’ kids, man. But, I guess Lir’s into that whole dad thing."
"Yeah, Lir really is kind of … house and a white picket fence, isn’t he?" Severen shook his head. "Suburbia and somebody else’s two and a half sprog."
"At least he hasn’t moved in. When he moves in, I think we’re gonna be looking for a new guitarist," Arkady complained.
Severen blinked. "When he moves in, we’re all going to be retired, anyway."
Arkady coughed, laughed, and leaned forward to grab his leg. "Ow, shit, don’t make me laugh. Jesus, Mary, and fuck your mother, that really hurts."
"I guess that’s a good sign. You didn’t do too much damage if you can still feel it, right?"
Arkady looked up, baffled and amused. "Only you, Severen. I mean, you’re right, but … I say ‘ow’ and you say ‘oh, good’. Something seriously wrong with us."
"Does it matter? We’re rich and famous." Severen shrugged. "The fans are all morons, but they pay our bills. We get to see the world. We don’t really have to worry about having the money to retire, when we decide to do it."
"Yeah, but you’ve got Sin. Lir’s got Elena. Barry’s got the clap, again, from some fangirl." Arkady shook his head. "I think Betty’s bagged our new accountant. Bets are on, that only lasts a month. He’s … ah, you’ve met the guy."
"Wait, wait, Betty and Paul? No. What? No." Severen gaped in stupefied horror, before he pulled himself back together. "You know, I’ve got this theory, Arkady. You can punch me, if I deserve it, but I think I’m right."
"Oh, shit, here you go, getting philosophical again."
"Hey, I can be philosophical. I’m not the one in the hospital, this time."
"How are you still in a relationship?"
"I’m not entirely sure." Severen half-smiled. "But, that’s kind of what I’m getting at. You need a different kind of girl. Seriously. Like a farm girl or an army girl or something. Hear me out. You need a girl who’s not afraid of blood, who’s not afraid of you. You need a girl who likes you, but isn’t impressed by you. You need a girl who doesn’t want you to be something other than you are — and if you want to be something else, she’ll help you. You need someone who loves you, Evan, not someone who loves the image of Arkady."
"That’s a creepy shit point coming from someone who only uses my real name to make serious points," Arkady observed.
"You’re no better about it. But we do that for a reason. None of us want to slip in front of someone who might do something shitty with that information." Severen shrugged. "But, that wasn’t the point."
"No, the point is that you’re probably right. I need to do something crazy like Lir did — just pick up some nice girl in some place where people don’t usually pick up chicks. I still can’t believe he met her in the grocery store. I just — Fuck it. It’s Lir. He’s just uncanny with the chicks." Arkady squirmed, uncomfortably. "The other point is that I really need to take a piss."
"So, go. I’ll be here." Severen shrugged.
Arkady stared blankly at Severen for a moment. "Come on, man, don’t make me have to call a nurse."
"Oh, fuck. I’m sorry." Severen stood up and looked around the room. "What am I supposed to be doing?"
"I dunno. Can you pick me up without dropping me on the floor?"
Severen crossed himself — and old reflex, from his childhood. "Good god, I hope I don’t break anything," he muttered, lifting Arkady from the bed.
Arkady tensed and gripped Severen’s shoulder, cursing profusely under his breath. "Clear," he breathed, finally.
There were more colourful expletives in incomprehensible patterns, when Severen put him down, in the bathroom. "You know," Arkady said, finally, as Severen leaned against the wall, outside, "maybe I should have called a nurse. Not that I think I’d have gotten better help, but you know, maybe I’d meet a girl who’s not afraid of blood."
"You know they’d have sent a male nurse to carry your ass, right?"
"Goddammit!" Arkady wailed, counting himself lucky to have relied on Severen, instead.