Fic: The Demon's Slumber (Or 'Intervention')
Word count: 1,486
Rating: FR15, themes of domestic violence, alcoholism
A.N: Written in that awful moment of depression when I found out about Robin.
The Demons Slumber (Or ‘Intervention’)
Summery: An intervention is never easy. And we don’t always love what’s good for us.
It’s late, well past midnight and into tomorrow. The glass of whiskey that I’ve been holding for the last couple of hours is warm in my hand.
It really does break my heart, although I’m not sure that he’ll ever believe me.
He looks so peaceful sleeping, too, with his face hidden by shoulder-length blond hair, one arm thrown off the side of the bed and the other hand tucked under the pillow. White moonlight competes with the light of the yellow street lamps outside, to snake in through the tiny gap in the centre of the curtains, and a gin bottle which lies on its side and is half-hidden by the sheet that is half-falling off his body is testament to the depth of his sleep.
It’s a drunken slumber, like so often before.
I love him, but I hate what he’s doing to himself. He drinks heavily, and when he gets into the gin then things begin to move in the same old destructive spiral.
If he keeps going on like this then he’s going to kill himself, or me I shouldn’t wonder. When he hits the gin, then after the bottle is half gone he gets violent. I’ve got the marks, all bruises and scars, to prove it.
I don’t want to watch him self-destruct. Actually no, strike that, I can’t. If he kills himself like this, then it’ll be the end of me, and if he kills me then I doubt he’ll be able to live with himself when he’s back in his right mind. I certainly won’t be able to live with it.
If he’s ever back in his right mind a dark little voice in my head that has been talking to me more and more often whispers and I do my best to shove it away, even as I find myself agreeing with it.
I could handle the occasional bruises when he drunk himself into a temper before, and he was always so apologetic about it afterwards, kissing it better, but since that night of hell where we fucked with Eyghon, where we fucked up with Eyghon, everything’s been falling apart.
It’s not like he was the only one that suffered for our stupidity, either, is it? We all carry the scars from that one.
We were young and foolish. Stupid enough to believe that we were powerful enough as to be in control and invincible, much like the child who leaps off the roof believing that he can fly. Gods, but we were brought crashing back down to the earth in a hurry.
These nights after he drinks himself senseless and turns on me he keeps on drinking to help himself deal with the guilt from it, and it’s not often long before I’m holding his hair back from his face with a hand on his shoulder as he goes to his knees over the toilet bowl. Prayer to a fucking porcelain god, much like the way that he used to sink to his knees before me.
Either that or he ends up lying on his side on the couch, staring into the bottom of a bucket as I sit with his head on my lap, running my fingers through his hair with a shaking hand.
Watching it time and again makes me feel sick in my soul in a way that I never have before.
I could live with the bruises. I just can’t live with knowing where this is going.
As much as I hate this, I love him that much more.
In the mornings, it’s always overwhelming guilt; begging and promises. That he can change, that he will change, that he’ll never hurt me again, and he’ll protect me from the world and anything that threatens.
The promises last as long as the beer does, and then the gin comes out again.
I hate this and what’s happening, and I hate myself and what I’ve done.
I turn the whiskey in my hand, forgetting for a few moments, and wince as a sudden sharp pain shoots through it and up my arm. Again, I dully wonder about the possibility of something being broken in there.
Possibility; huh, who am I kidding? Actually, I’d say it was more of a guaranty, with the way that he’d spun and slammed his heel down.
To dull the fire I raise the glass and swig it down, wondering if he’ll remember any of what prompted this.
Last night while he was out for the count, following the nightly ritual of thrashing and spewing and I couldn’t move my hand, I crept down to the street and the nearest phone box and made a call that I hate myself for even more. But for the first time in a long time I also found some small measure of peace within myself.
Soon, a few hours after sunrise then this whole sorry mess will be out of my hands.
Careful not to move my bad hand I pour myself another measure of whiskey and stare at his form under the sheet, at his broad shoulders and that hint of back which are illuminated by the yellow light. He’s breathing deeply, fast asleep.
He hasn’t touched more than a quarter bottle of gin tonight. It’s mostly beer that’s cradling him at the moment.
Of course he swore this morning that he would change again, but I recognize this pattern all too well.
I wonder if he’ll ever be able to forgive what will seem like a betrayal, or if he’ll be able to remember anything outside a drunken, drugged haze of months and a feeling of hurt. I wonder if he’ll ever truly know how close to the edge he’s probably come in this.
He’ll hate me, he’ll curse my name and he’ll rage, I know that much. But the Gods know that I tried. Tried to steer him back towards sobriety and normality and sanity, even as he fell further and further over the ledge of sanity.
I’d have been glad to bear the brunt of his rages if it had brought him back to me, but it hasn’t. There’s not a thing I can do that will change anything, apart from perhaps die, and I don’t want to look that possibility in the eye, even as I’ve seen a hint of it in him.
Tossing back my last glass of whiskey, cold comfort that it is, I carefully lower the glass and stand, crossing over to the bed.
I should pack, but I can’t help leaning down to him to press a gentle kiss to his forehead.
I’m only doing this because I love him. If I didn’t then I’d have walked out long ago. I just hope that once he’s regained some of whom he used to be, that we’ll be able to be friends again.
Even that would be better than nothing. Especially that would be.
He stirs as my lips brush the hair that’s covering his forehead, and as I draw back a pair of sleepy green eyes open to look into mine.
“Got to be late,” his voice is roughened from sleep, “come to bed, Ethan”
I should pack. I really, really should. But I’ve already got the most important things sorted out. My memories, a couple of photos pressed into the only books that I really want to take, and his safety sorted.
I can take care of anything else later. Once he’s gone.
With a grunt that told me he was still half-asleep he shifted over and held the sheet up while I stripped off and lay down beside him, feeling myself relax as he slipped one arm under me and the other over my body like I was his possession, holding me back to his chest, and slipping a single leg between mine.
I can feel his breath on the back of my neck, soft and warm. The kiss that he presses to the base of my skull is tender, too, reminding me again of how innocent he looked half an hour ago.
“Love you. Sorry,” he mutters as his grasp tightens a little and I tell myself that my eyes aren’t stinging, “so, so, sorry.”
“I know, Ripper.”
“You’ll help me?”
“Yes,” it’s hard to keep my voice from chocking up.
I already am, even if you don’t know it. I’m helping you the only way that I know will make a difference.
“I really do love you, you know.”
“I know. I love you too.”
I’m not doing it because I don’t care.
In the morning when the Council and his father come to retrieve him, then he’ll probably wish that he’d never met me.
But at least I’ll have this, his words and a last few peaceful hours in his arms to hold onto.
I’ll know that even with all the lies that we told the world, this was true.