He couldn’t believe they weren’t listening to him! Were they brainwashed to take orders from Maria? Does she know someone who works here? Or maybe she’s threatening someone’s family- seems to be her specialty.
But a woman called her his sister. Said that he’s suffering from delusions and had to be commited. He screamed at them! Hollared that they were insane! Maria had him as prisoner, and she’s using them all just to break him. But they only whispered to each other that he was worse off than the last one. Last one. They meant Lucian. He accused the male himself about being put in a place like this, to which he’d only gotten fear as a reply. But here it was, his proof. But that doesn’t exactly give him a leg up on the situation. And he didn’t exactly have lengthy conversations about it when they were alone togther- which in Yakusoku’s opinion was not often enough. He would have known then. The true extent of the girl’s insanity. He wouldn’t have taken his unknown ‘true freedom’ with her for granted. He would have behaved, he would have listened, he would have waited for a better plan then run-for-your-life! Maria was scary, but this... this is Hell.
Every week was a new horror, a new violation to his personal space. He was fed, but not enough. He slept but not for very long. There were times when he thought that he was alone, only to find out that someone had been in the padded room with him the entire time, when a hand latched onto his upperarm like a vice, and following up the grab with a needle into his shoulder that sedated him to sleep. He would wake up to water in the face while male and female attendants scrubbed him until he was pink and weeping.
He’d spoken to Maria once over the phone, after having bitten someone. He’d begged and promised that he’d behave if they just let him speak to her. Maria said she refused to pick him up until after six months, that right now it seemed ugly but it could get so much worse if he didn’t calm down. Easier said than done when you’re being treated like a baby that can’t do anything for himself. Eat. Bathe. Use the bathroom. It wouldn’t be nearly as terrifiying- he knew- if they would remove the blindfold and straight jacket.
“It’s for your own good.” Said a woman with a heavy French accent.
“To be blindfolded and put in a straight-jacket? That’s for my own good?!”
“It is to keep you from seeing your delusions. Your sister said that you’ve been speaking to yourself more frequently, it’s not a normal thing.” She sounded at the doorway of his padded room. “From the look of your wrist you’ve been harming yourself as well. The jacket will keep those busy hands still. Good day to you, Mister Atkinson.”
“No!” He screamed hoarsely. “Don’t leave me! She’s lying!”
“Perhaps you will be freed from your restraints next week, non?” And she closed the door.
Yakusoku didn’t even know how long ago that conversation took place, as he lay on that soft floor day in and day out. Endlessly murmuring to himself or perhaps an unknown person in the room, assigned to monitor his crazy; waiting patiently for another fit of lashing out to come on so he or she could stick him again with a sedative to calm him down.
And when he calmed down, when he stopped fighting and begging to be heard, it had gotten easier. First, the blindfold came off, then the constricting jacket. He was able to momentarily calm himself to relax the shaking he’s adopted, and just sigh.
“What day is it?” He asked an orderly when eating the food brought to him that afternoon. He was sure he wasn’t even allowed to wonder why he was eating in his room instead of the cafeteria.
“June?” It sounded so foreign. The month. The day. Thanks to a clock in the common room he knows the time. He checks it every time he’s in there. It’s usually around meal times. 12:22 pm.
They, he and the male orderly sitting on a chair across the room from him, sit in silence while Yakusoku eats.
“Can I ask you something?”
He finishes his chewing before going on. “I know what Maria’s been saying, but will you please listen to me for a moment? Please?”
The man scratched his chin, he’s unsure, but he nods.
“I’m not her brother. We’re not related at all- she abducted me- and I’m not even sure as to how.” Yakusoku sensed the received scoff coming but ignored it. “I’m telling the truth. You can check the internet for news reports... If I know my family- my real family- they’ve still got flyers up and newscasts going.” He lowers his head. “They wouldn’t give up on me.”
“How sick do these people get?” Wondered the man. “Now suddenly he’s kidnapped? Yeah, and I’m Peter Pan on ice.”
Hearing his thoughts, Yakusoku glared at the man. “Dammit!” He ground out, flipping his food. “Why won’t you believe me?!”
“Because I’ve heard it all before! I see goats, I see pigs. An alligator lives in my nose.” He rolled his eyes. “I’ve been kidnapped.”
Getting up, he marched over to the man and dropped his hands onto his beefy shoulders. “I’m. Not. Lying! Look at me, dammit! Look at me!” He shakes him. “Look at my face- my eyes! Find me, dammit! I’m missing!”
He heard the door open behind him, the stomping feet marching on in. Injection time. He’d thought about putting up a fight, but when it’s 3 large men against one bag of bones it’s pretty obvious who’s going to win.
He felt the needle and his weight rapidly dropped. They must have upped the dosage. Great. He felt drool coming from the corner of his mouth as he lay on the floor unable to move. His eyes closed. His hitched breathing slowed. He was becoming white again, as white as the building, as white as his padded room. A nothing special. Then he’d be gone...
“Damn kid,” Thought the orderly who’d monitored his eating. “I almost felt sorry for him. Sad when they lose their minds this young.”
They closed the door and let him be. Though he couldn’t physically scream, mentally, mentally he had ten minutes of functional brain use before the sedative shut him out for good. And with it, he screamed. He let the whole fearful and rocking, pointing at nothing in the sky, paycheck getting puppets in on his pain. And for ten minutes he mentally smiled knowing that they felt a touch of his pain.
July 4th. At the Land home.
The grill was cleaned with a large wad of foil balled up over the handle end of the grills paid-for metal brush. A new bag of coal had been bought the day before, and a fresh tank of gas for a larger grill beside the little killer currently being cleaned.
To Reeve Land, this was the true day summer started, the day when fireworks would fill the night sky, and little snappers would explode in the day. When the air from noon to the next day would really smell of grilled delights of red meat or sea floor. When his neighbor Bart would beautifully mow his lawn and wanna kick back and have a beer with him while he gets the prep work for the little gathering he and his family have with family and friends.
Young kids sneezing from hay fever, while still very willing to be outside playing with their friends. Yellow Jackets sneaking underground to build their nest, and surprise gardeners with their very unwanted presence.
Quinn never developed a gardening hand, but the neighbors' roses always blew a very interesting scent their way, so they suffered for none in that aspect.
But really, the joy that really got Reeve Land excited, and believing this day is truly summer, is the three days off to spend time with his family.
“Ready to go, sport?” He called over to Ai, who’d just opened the back door of their house.
“Now, I sized these myself- hey, Mr. Evans-” He greets the man standing beside his dad. “so I don’t wanna see any Frankenburgers, old-timer.”
Bart chuckled into his beer, receiving a swatting from Reeve with a spatula.
“I also diced the onions and sliced some vegetables. Mom says you better season them right, or she and the baby are going to kick you.”
“Okay, okay..” He laughs. He’s excited for the new baby- a baby!
Neither of them ever believed it was possible but, here they are in month four and Quinn is every bit the perfect soon-to-be. She takes her vitamins and shows up for doctor visits. Small, huge, miracles. They really do happen when you least expect it. And this lovely miracle... it kept their minds occupied from noticing how much time has gone by.
But they weren’t the only ones slowly going on, and moving their lives in a new direction.
At the London home.
The electric garage door is rolling up and Gev dipped his head as he hurried beneath it so he can stand beside the pride and glory that he’d asked them all over for.
“Ba buh ba daah!” He lowered his grip onto the handles of a sweet silver Kawasaki Ninja sport bike. “Marvel my lovely children, marvel. My old man finally got me a bike.”
“Superb.” Clark clapped his hands together hard and slow. “But aren’t you the irresponsible crack-head, just about a drunkard, who can’t drive, period?”
“Oh, I am all those things- you forgot sexaholic, though- but that has nothing to do with driving- not in this case.” He chuckled, slapping the back of his hand into Nono’s gut. “So. Who the fuck wants the first ride?”
“I’d like to keep breathing, thanks.” Clark crossed his arms and sat himself down on the nearest taped-up box sitting, forgotten, in the garage.
“They gave you a license for a professional reason, I trust the system.” Replied Ludwig casually. “But, I’ll pass.”
“Nono?” He cast his contact covered with a target and demonically blackened cap eyes to his Hispanic friend. “C’mon thin-mint, don’t leave me hanging.”
“I’m so there! You guys are nuts.” He climbed onto the back of the bike behind his friend. “I’ve always wanted to be on one of these babies.”
“You’re my only friend, stickly.” He hands Nono a helmet. “I’m disowning the two of you.” He called over the roar of the bike's engine. “Woo!” Gev cried out when the silver cycle sped off.
“Don’t be long! You know we have to go to the Lands’ in a half hour!” Ludwig called after them.
“It’s so sad,” Clark said looking in the direction his friends have just gone.
“What is?” He takes a seat as well, also on a stack of old boxes.
His attention went out of the opened garage door when a child’s shriek cried out, followed up by laughter and fun-induced frantic breathing. It seems a random stray dog wandered in to get some free love and attention from Victoria and her two friends who are playing in the sprinklers.
“Nono is only riding with Gev because he likes the skinny insults he’s getting. They’re a compliment since he used to be fat.”
“Or maybe he just really wanted to go.” Ludwig shrugged, not really sure why it mattered.
“To be honest, I’m really starting to wonder about him.”
“Oh.” He watches the little girls shooing the dog away before they make their way into the garage, leaving soggy footprints to line their path to the large freezer.
"Well, what?” He asked when Clark called his attention back to him.
“Don’t you wanna know why?”
His dark blues glanced at the ceiling before he abruptly shook his head.
“Honestly,” Clark either missed the gesture or didn’t care either way, since whatever it was he’d planned on saying he wanted off his chest. “I was starting to believe that Gev was harboring feelings for Yakuza.”
That got his attention. But before he could comment, Victoria came over to him with a wrapped ice cream sandwich. “Here Ludwig, it's got chocolate chips.”
“Thanks.” He takes the offering.
“Hey!” Clark said in mock protest. “Don’t I get a treat?”
“Okay. But you can only have a freeze-freeze.” She readjusts her large dark blue towel.
“Yes, your highness.”
Victoria laughed, exposing her bright green tongue as she did so.
“Victoria, come and get your hair brushed, and your clothes on,” Vasylyna London called from beyond the open door into the home.
“I’m coming! Bye, boyfriend.” She waved her popsicle at him, before darting off.
“Now what are you on about?” Ludwig returned to their somewhat conversation.
“Gev. I think the guy might have been a little too into Yakuza. They’d be caught just hanging out in his bedroom alone, sitting closer than two guys should. I would sometimes see Gev’s goth lipstick smeared on Yakuza’s neck. Dude probably just put up with that shit not realizing he was gently being molested.” He then muttered. “Fucking hate sneaky ass, freaky-deeky fags.”
Ludwig sat quietly, feeling his blood boil and freeze over all at the same time. He hates Clark’s words, he also hates the fact that he’d said something similar about Gev- minus the molesting part- to Yakusoku himself. As if somewhere along the line the meaning of friendship and lover was blurred and Gev just behaved as he pleased, and Yakusoku didn’t mind because he Gev’s friend and he loved him enough to just take it in stride. Yakusoku may have bared witness to the very same thing that he had that afternoon their friend went to borrow money, and he’s taking the side-effects as they come. He's been wondering if someday he’d be doing the same?
It was obvious that Gev is still hurting, Hell, they all are- well, minus Clark. The jock seems almost relieved at his friend’s absence.
“He’s gotten better, though. He’s back to the guy I used to know.”
“Or maybe you never knew him at all.” Ludwig thought.
“Don’t get me wrong, I miss Yakuza but... they needed this break from each other.”
That did it. “Listen to yourself? Miss him. You don’t miss him, I miss him, his family misses him, Gev’s not using anymore because that was his friend’s last wish. Nono weighs a hundred pounds- seriously! And you’re talking about a break. That break you’re talking about is not some damned vacation out of state! Our friend has been missing since last year, and all you can think about is if Gev is or isn’t a fag! Get a life Clark! You’re just a jock piece of shit and no one in this world gay or otherwise wants anything to do with you! So calm down.”
Brows raised to his brown hairline, Clark snorted. “Geez, someone’s on their period.”
“Look, I really do miss the guy and want him to come back. But are we really gonna continue believing that he’s alive?” His tone softened. “Nothing good ever comes out of abduction as it is, but its been nearly a year and nothing. I think even the police have given up.”
“Well, I haven’t. And neither have the Lands!” He expelled an annoyed breath when hearing the buzz of the approaching motorcycle. “Let’s just drop it and not ‘for now’ more like for good.”
“Alright, alright.” He raised a defensive hand.
“That was fucking awesome.” Nono beamed. “This guy is a genius on this thing. We bobbed and weaved, and it was amazing the speed we can get. You really should’ve gone.”
“Cars are cages you steer. I need something that moves with me.” Gev preened from the compliment.
“Maybe some other time.” Ludwig waved off the invite. “We have to get to the Lands’. Our parents are probably already over there.”
“Will do cap’n. Get on Slenderella, I’ll ride you over.”
“Alright!” Climbing back on the silver beast, he pumped his fist and cheered.
Clark made a gesture at Ludwig that looked something close to sucking cock. But the bitter male ignored it. He couldn’t believe the male, he really couldn’t! Yakusoku is missing and he’s practically telling him to stay gone just so he isn’t friends with a gay guy. Scary thing was what Clark had said along with that... about nothing good coming along with abduction.
When he’d gone to see his aunt Rissa last month, he’d expected her to help them find Yakusoku, not hold onto his photo and gasp as she had.
“What? What do you see?”
“Nothing, baby. Nothing.” Her voice is filled with sorrow.
“What does that mean?”
“Your friend... I’m afraid he’s gone. I’m so sorry.” She lowered the photo to the coffee table.
Sadness filled her dark blue eyes, that mirrored his own- meaning they gave the illusion of being black- when looking at her despaired nephew.
“But is there a chance you could be wrong?” He pleaded with the woman who isn’t exactly a Medium, but her psychic premonition prowess is far better than the measly visions he has.
But she lowered her gaze to her lap and shook her head. “I’m sorry.”
“But try again! Really hold the picture- look at him!”
“I’ve done all I could.” She lifts his hand into her own. “I wish I could lie to you, but I can’t.”
But she has to be wrong. His gift isn’t great, but it's never wrong. If Yakusoku were dead... he would know- he’s sure of it. And there was that phone call to think about. Who could have called him if not his aunt? He hoped that the flyers he put up around the area do some good. They have to.
“Clark may have given up hope, but not the rest of us. You’re alive, and we will find you.”
“You’ve got a call, Promise.” Said the orderly that was always sent to check up on him. The same man who refused to believe that he’s been abducted.
Perking up to a seated position from the lax laying position that he had taken on the floor. He asked happily. “Maria?”
“No, an onion. Of course your sister! Get your ass up.”
He eagerly hurried off the floor and out the door. Maria’s kind to him. Maria talks to him like he’s a person. Maria will eventually save him from this Hell. And he can wait.
“You do remember that she’s the one who put you in here? Right?” Mamoru groaned at Yakusoku’s enthusiasm.
“You’re not real.” He said to his alter before grabbing the phone. And smiling, he thought. “Maria.”