They don't talk about it.

Chucky makes a point not to, actually. Andy will bring it up sometimes - a fleeting, split-second, one-time mention during a conversation. And during that time, Chucky would fall eerily silent; no sharp words. No snarky insults. No attempt to hit every weak spot he knows the man has now. He doesn't want to talk about it. It's one sore spot he doesn't want to pick at, even though he knows he could tear Andy down with it in the blink of an eye. He knows he'd have the kid wrapped around his finger; he knows he'd be a trainwreck; he knows what he can say to make him finally falter, and make that big, strong, psycho of the child he once knew finally shatter. But he doesn't talk about it. Andy doesn't talk about it. They don't talk about it, because neither of them are willing to face what it means just yet. Neither of them want to peek behind that curtain.

Of course, it doesn't stop him from doing it. And it doesn't stop Chucky from watching. Sometimes he feels sick, unable to rip his gaze away from the man as he sits in front of him. He's a good distance away, of course; Chucky doesn't think Andy does it just to get at him, but he's not sure why he does it otherwise either. Even so, it makes him feel sick. Just a little bit. It's a feeling he hadn't missed; the nausea curling in his gut, sending every other sense spiraling. The only thing he could feel, the only thing that mattered, was the bile rising up to his throat.

He wishes he knew why it disturbs him, but even so, he knows the truth is right there in front of him - he just doesn't want to see it, not yet. So he continues to watch, and he continues to glower, and he continues to shut his mouth and turn the other way when Andy does it. Because he doesn't know how to deal with it. He doesn't know how to address it without sounding cruel, without ripping the boy down any further than he already is. He knows any wrong move and any wrong word can make it worse. Sometimes he thinks, that's when things started to change - when Andy started showing him what he does when he really cracks. That's when Chucky started tiptoeing around the man, and that's when he and Andy's conversations started reaching a deeper level neither of them could understand. It isn't about ripping Andy down anymore, but it wasn't like the doll is trying to build him back either. Every word is deliberate. Every action is calculated. Every glance is cautious. He doesn't know why it bothers him. He just knows that it does, and that for some reason, he doesn't want to make it - and Andy - even worse than it is.

Neither of them have an explanation. Chucky often finds himself wishing there was one - that this kind of thing could be explained away. Maybe they both know the truth, but Chucky doesn't want to say it, and he doesn't even think Andy really wants to admit it. They don't talk about it.

Chucky watches.

He watches Andy. He watches his face. He watches his eyes. He's as unwavering, unreadable as he's always been; his gaze is cold and blank. But his mouth is set in a seemingly permanent grimace, and Chucky's sure that he winces from time to time. He watches the blade slash down, and he watches it score every single time. He watches the blood that stains it and flicks into the air. Sometimes it sprays over his face, like red pepper flakes. They both pretend not to notice.

He's so precise. Chucky wonders how much he's done it before. He wonders how long it's gone on. He wonders how he's only just now seeing it. And he wonders why. Time and time again, he wonders why. And, time and time again, he shies away from the answer, because, for some reason, it's worse than what Andy's doing. If he didn't know why he was doing it, Chucky might even taunt him for it; he might sneer and roll his eye every time Andy started. And he has no trouble sneering and rolling his eye at the man any other time. But during these moments, he finds it best to fall silent and wait until it's over. He doesn't have a damn thing to say about it. And they don't talk about it. They never fucking talk about it. Chucky's not sure what he expects. Sometimes it seems like Andy wants to. But Chucky can't say a word on the subject.

He blinks as another spray of those little red dots paints Andy's face, and despite the twisting in his gut, he can almost pretend that they're freckles. But his gaze is drawn to the knife again as Andy lowers the blade back to his own arm, a grim scowl set across his lips and his eyes hollow and cold, burning with fire, and Chucky had never seen any flame so dull. Tears well up this time with the blood; he catches a faint whimper before Andy's teeth clamp down over his lower lip. Upon closer inspection, the doll realizes he had cut too deep, but he doesn't have time to see the blood rushing out before Andy drops the knife and clasps his hand over the wound. And then he's gone; Chucky doesn't even remember him getting up out of his chair and leaving. He just knows that one second, he'd been sitting there. And the next, he had just fucking vanished.

He manages to lower his gaze to the knife, and he can only blink down at it. Down at the blood on the edges of the blade, slowly trickling and dripping down onto the floor. And he feels sick.

And he wants to talk about it.

But he doesn't know what the fuck to say.

So when Andy returns, with his arms wrapped up and his sleeves down, Chucky doesn't speak. When he picks up the knife with shaking, still-bloodstained fingers, Chucky doesn't speak. There's not a word to be said from either of them; Andy catches his gaze for a mere second before he turns and leaves the room again. Chucky wants to scream after him, he wants to call him a dumbass and an asshole and tell him to come back and drop the fucking knife. And his stomach twists at the thought of whatever he plans to do in the other room. But he hears the water running after a moment, and he's glad for it, because the sound muffles a sob of relief.

He can't move, so he sits there. His head is trembling, possibly with anger, but he isn't sure how. He knows he's fucking furious. The twisting in his gut and the tightness in his chest and the tears at the corner of his eye, they have to be because of some kind of rage, and Chucky doesn't know what else it could be. He's barely managed to compose himself by the time Andy returns, this time with his hands clean and an exhausted expression on his face. He doesn't look at Chucky this time. He sinks down into his chair again, puts his head back and lights a joint with his hands still trembling, and Chucky acts like he doesn't notice his eyes are red.

He's so tired of pretending. He wonders if Andy's tired of it, too; he knows he's tired of something. He can see it etched across his face; for a second, the walls are down and the mask is gone and there's still nothing there. The realization scares him for a second; suddenly, he doesn't know what's an act anymore. The smiles Andy puts on, or the blank face he wears. Because at that moment, with the joint hanging halfway out of his mouth and his eyes fixed on the wall, he manages to look tired and dead at the same time. Chucky can see the bags under his eyes, the slight creases at the corners and the way his eyebrows hang low over his eyes, which remain half-lidded. But they're as blank as can be, dull, lifeless and glassy. And Chucky recognizes the look; he's seen it on each of his victims. Because it's the look of a dead man. It's the look of someone whose soul is gone, leaving nothing but a hollow shell behind.

And all too quickly, Chucky can't breathe. He feels robbed, he feels like he's mourning, grieving. Mouth clamped shut, he wants to wail over a loss he doesn't completely understand. All he knows is that the man in front of him isn't the same kid he used to be and Chucky would do anything to be standing in front of that six year old again. Or at least something close to it. The man in front of him scares him. And he doesn't scare him the way he used to; it's not intimidation, not anymore. Chucky isn't scared of what Andy could do to him. But god damn, all too quickly, he's terrified of what he could do to himself. He's terrified of how dead inside he seems to be. He's terrified of the fact that it might not ever change. And he's terrified because this was what he had wanted, and instead of celebrating, he can only sit there, grief-stricken.

Andy doesn't question it when the doll screams. He waits him out, lets the storm pass. Then he scoots over and offers Chucky the joint, and the doll fucking takes it. He takes a hit without any complaints, without a word, without any tricks. And they stay like that for the rest of the day, side by side, sharing a joint between them. And then when Andy ends up leaving to get him some food from the kitchen, he brings a poptart for Chucky, and turns on the TV for them to watch.

And they don't talk about it.