Summary: And, in his sleep, he died a little.
A/N: For pirmelo
His head was fuzzy from the alcohol, woozy from the weed. His arms were stung with pinpricks of pain from being trampled over by spiked heels and clunky tennis shoes. There were fading, sickly hickeys painted across his chest, over his exposed ribs and hipbones.
There was a voice in his ear, tinny, familiar. Far away. Big, rough hands were cutting into his wrists, jarring his shoulders from their sockets. Black ink blots of dizziness exploded and fell like snow in front of his eyes as his head bobbed uselessly forward, almost cracking into his ribcage before falling back again.
The world was a blaze of upside down colors, dancing and spinning making bile rise up in his throat. He hacked a cough, and the big hands were holding his head up, tilting his back forward just a little bit. He shook, coughletts, and was back in his haze without blinking.
The hands lifted him up, juggling his back and forth, unable to hold his weight without his help. He groaned at the ball of sick gathering in his stomach, closing his eyes to block out the spinning world. Warm cotton and silkscreen on his back, the silkscreen scraping deadened skin cells away as he was turned, hefted off the ground into the cradle of awkward arms. The world suddenly went black.
- - -
Matt washed the flakes of rusty blood from Jeremiah’s ears and lips, skirting gingerly around bruises and cuts. He looked like hell, his skin fevered and pale. Greasy black hair curled over sweat-ridden skin, peeking behind red-tipped ears. His head rested against Matt’s thigh, lolling to one side listlessly.
Jeremiah’s body was boneless, a heap of skin and bruises, laying on the floor where he had been dropped./ this was a broken thing., a shucked off husk of a man. There was no hint of the Jeremiah from years ago, the Jeremiah he’d been so in love with. There was just… this. A mess. A heap. A nothing in grey skin.
“You said you were gonna stop, Jere.” Fingers skittered across the tight drawn flesh atop Jeremiah’s overexposed cheekbone. A sigh. “You fucking promised me, you asshole.”
“Still love me?” The first action in over an hour. Bloodshot eyes turned into snake slits.
“Yeah, Jere.” Matt stared at a spot on the stained carpet. He tried to blame Tony, tried to force Jeremiah’s sickness on the band’s breakup. The last hope for a happy life Jeremiah had had.
“Last time, Matty. Promise.” Same lie. Same emptiness.
“Please, Jere.” Lack of hope. Giving in.
Jeremiah pulled himself up, crawling like a child into Matt’s lap. Matt tuned his head away, eyes closed. Tried to remind himself that Jeremiah had a low alcohol tolerance, was trusting and had been slipped roofies more than once before. Tried to tell himself that he was the one that had changed.
“Love you.” Jeremiah’s stale breath on his neck.
“Yeah…” The knowledge that they weren’t who they had been years ago. “Goodnight, Jere.”
Matt lifted the featherweight of this frail, self destructive shell and carried it into the bedroom. He touched the fevered skin of Jeremiah’s forehead, holding on to hope by a fine thread. And he knew, now, just like he had known for a long time, that it was over. That there was nothing left.
And, still, he pulled off his shoes, crawled into the bed. He gathered up the flesh and bone that used to belong to someone beautiful, someone so perfect, that he had been in love with years and years. And he slept. Slept and dreamed of the days when things had been okay, and Jeremiah was still Jeremiah. And, in his sleep, he died a little.