Self control is for the weak.
Glass walked down the dark street, his best friend, Eliza, beside him. They were returning to his apartment after grabbing a quick bite to eat at the nearest Burger King and were just chatting.
"So, anything happen with you lately?" She asked as she took another sip of her drink. She was wearing some slightly heavier clothing than normal due to Fall coming around, but he still wore his usual t-shirt and jeans. She didn't know how he could stand the cold. They were a bit of an odd pair. She looked pretty typical, fairly short, dark complexion with brown eyes and hair to boot. Then there was Glass, who was easily 7ft but scrawny and pale as a ghost. His bright blue eyes and naturally grey hair didn't help him much. He was also fairly skittish, but it wasn't too bad.
"Nothing much. A couple new games hit Steam recently, so I'm gonna check them out at some point. How about you?" They reached an intersection and had to stop for the light. It was pretty late out and there weren't any cars, so normally Eliza would just cross. But Glass was paranoid about that, so she opted to just wait with him. His paranoia had saved her once before, so she had no issues with complying with him.
"A new episode of RWBY came out, so I'm gonna watch that later."
"Isn't that the show you've been wanting to show me for a while now?"
She laughed lightly. "Yeah, but then something comes up and we have to cancel."
"I don't remember much from what you've shown me. I remember there were evil monsters and girls with super powers, and that's about it."
She laughed again. "That about sums it up. There was also-" They froze when they heard a click behind them. They turned around and their blood ran cold. There was a man dressed in all black, including a black ballistic mask, pointing a handgun at them. He was shaking slightly and Glass could see the wild look in his eye. This man was unstable.
"What are you?" He said quickly, his eyes darting between the two rapidly. He sounded panicked.
"Woah, relax ok?" Eliza put her hands up and tried to calm him down. She did a good job hiding it, but he could tell she was terrified. He was as well, but unlike him, she wasn't frozen with fear.
"They can't tell me, not even you." He said, not making any sense as he must've been on something.
"We haven't done anything. We were just heading home, ok? We'll leave you alone, just let us go." She started slowly walking towards the gunman, and his eyes were filled with uncertainty. He looked like he was reconsidering what he was doing, and that became more apparent as he began to slowly lower his gun, his breathing slowing as well. Right when she was about to take the firearm, he flinched like someone had just shouted in his ear and raised his gun again, pointing it right at Eliza.
"He won't stop!" He screamed in pain. Then he pulled the trigger. The bullet went right through Eliza's head, killing her instantly. She hit the concrete with a dull thud and blood began to pool around her. Glass could barely utter a "No" before the gun was turned on him and everything went black.
Glass jolted out of his makeshift bed, fingers digging into his dirty hair.
"Dreams floating on the wind, heed them none of yours." He said to himself, his speech almost nonsensical.
After he'd died, he reawoke in this tree infested prison called a forest. He'd looked up into the night sky after trying desperately to figure out where he was and saw the shattered moon high above. That was the day his mind and sanity broke. For a week afterwards he roamed the forest, rambling incoherently while sustaining himself on whatever he could find, mostly raw meat. Eventually a Huntsman found him and brought him back to civilization, a small town that he worked to protect. It took a week for things to go wrong.
After a week, Grimm attacked the town, though for some strange reason they left him alone. But that didn't stop his "Guardian" from appearing. His Semblance, if you could call it that, was a hideous monster that would disappear into his mind when not needed, then would possess his body whenever he was sufficiently threatened. It would eat the heads, and souls, of those it killed to use as sustenance. While it was inside his head it would whisper to him about other people, if there were any around. It would gaze into their souls, telling him to kill whoever it deemed "dangerous". He didn't know how it chose who was dangerous and who wasn't, but he still never obeyed it.
He got off his bed, walking through the shack he'd made in the middle of the woods after the Guardian killed everyone in the town during the Grimm attack a year ago. He passed by a cracked mirror and took a moment to look at himself. He'd grown thinner and he was dirty. His jeans were tattered and filthy while his shirt had long since been discarded, leaving him shirtless. Not like the elements bothered him. But there was something else, a mark of pain covering his entire body.
The Guardian refused to let him die, either by the hands of another, or his own. The evidence of his desperation manifested as the many, many scars that riddled his body, all results of his attempts to rid himself of this torment. The cuts on his arms, his torso, even his legs were useless in ending himself. There was even a scar in the center of his chest where he'd attempted to stab himself in the heart, but that didn't work either. His last attempt had been last night when he'd tried to hang himself, and all that got him was rope burn on his throat. Every time he tried to end it all, he'd simply wake up where he'd been with a new scar to greet him.
He jerked his head to the side, a slight snarl on his face. "Marks of pain, none the same." He muttered before exiting outside. It was light out but it didn't matter much, he simply wanted to wander until the Hunger took him, and the Guardian went out to hunt. Before he could, he heard rustling in the bushes. Considering the Guardian hadn't come out, it probably didn't think it was a big enough threat.
He quickly grabbed his weapon that had also been sent with him to this world, as it had been sitting just outside his door. Agony. It was aptly named because of its nature. It was a large and simple ax, though the handle was wrapped entirely in barbed wire. The wire was capable of cutting through Aura and would absorb his blood, which would then power the ax head so it too could cut through Aura. It only received his blood, nobody else's would work. He picked it up, momentarily wincing at the pain, before turning towards the potential threat.
"Your heart is pounding in the brain." He said, anger in his voice. Then a familiar woman walked out of the foliage, and his gaze softened.
"Hey big guy, it's just me. And put that thing down, you know I don't like it when you use it." His friend Eli-Amber said as she approached him with a smile on her face. She looked so much like his dead friend he got them mixed up sometimes, but those mistakes were never verbal.
"Suffering helps the flesh." He said as he set down the vicious weapon where it had been.
"It also hurts, which is why I don't like it."
He'd met her when she found his shack during her travels a month after he'd built it. It had been nighttime so she was ready for a fight when he began aggressively trying to make her leave him alone. Then he saw her face illuminated by her Maiden fire, and he broke down. He'd thought she was Eliza come back to life, as they looked exactly the same. It had taken her an hour to convince him she wasn't who he thought she was, but that didn't change his happy attitude around her. After that, she decided to visit him every so often, just to check up on him. It wasn't every day you found an isolationist surviving in the Emerald Forest. From what she could gather from him, he hated people visiting him, and the only reason he was ok with her visiting, aside from the fact that she reminded him of his friend, was because "it likes her soul." She was never able to get a coherent explanation about that, but that was ok with her.
There was also the strange matter of Grimm never attacking him. Grimm had attacked her while she was visiting before, but they'd always leave him alone. That was the reason she didn't tell Ozpin about him, and would only come when she knew Qrow wasn't around. Ozpin would surely come down himself to talk to him, and she had a feeling that wouldn't end well.
They sat down at a table and chairs he'd built at some point and talked. It was still a little hard for her to understand him sometimes, but she got the jist of most of his speech. She told him about her travels while he talked about whatever might have happened while she'd been gone. After an hour, she finished up a story of her fighting a group of Grimm worshippers that had been threatening a town when she said something that Glass must've found funny, as he leaned back in his chair and laughed pretty hard. It was as she was waiting for him to calm down that she noticed the mark on his neck. The signature mark of a rope wrapped around his neck.
"Glass?" She asked as she indicated to the mark, slight trepidation in her voice due to its potential cause. He stopped laughing and his face morphed into temporary confusion, then realization, then a blank look.
"Nothing would have been lost." He said, his voice even.
"Glass, did you do what I think you did?" She was growing more worried now.
"Ropes are weak and unravel, while the pain remains." He said in the same tone. That did it for her. Her hands went to her mouth as she realized where his other scars likely came from. She had always thought they had been from animals or bandits, but now she was seeing them in a new, far more sinister, light.
"How long have you been doing this to yourself?" Tears began to well up in her eyes.
"Days of blood long since past, with many more yet to come, but it will never leave."
"And what the hell is this "it"?! You talk about it but you never say what it is! How could it be so bad that it drives you to do this?!" She was on the verge of crying by this point. The fact that he could regularly do this to himself and she never noticed until now.
"Curses must end, one way or others combined." He said with a concerned look on his face as he stood up. She'd never dealt with something like this before, a friend seeking to end themselves. It felt ridiculous to her that she was acting this way, but here she was, not knowing what to do. So she did the only thing she could think.
She got up and left, apologizing the entire way until he couldn't hear her through the trees. He stood there, surprised, but that surprise quickly turned to anger. Not at Amber, but at the Guardian.
"Ruined." He muttered as he started making his way back to the door. "Ruined ruined ruined ruined!" He started yelling as he picked up the ax.
"The blood of the damned corrupts the soul of the pure!" He set it on the table, holding the blade straight up and breathing heavily. "Crack it open and let the blood run free!" He roared before rearing his head back and bringing it down on the ax blade, soaking the table in blood.
And that's a wrap. I'm going with something a bit different this time around. This won't be so heavily dosed with combat, but it's still gonna be rated M for other reasons. There will be fighting, but it won't be super prevalent like in my other stories. I also don't know if I portrayed Amber right because there's not much on her from before she got taken out, so I'm mostly filling in gaps here.
I'll also be putting this into rotation with the other 3 stories I'm working on, so don't worry about me neglecting the others over this.