(By "I like George Winston." Zarla)
(Warning: I'm not responsible for any mental damage caused by reading this fic.)
"I've been meaning to ask you something."
"Oh?" A quiet sound to acknowledge the question. After a few moments, a more coherent response followed. "What is it?"
A long silence followed his hesitant words, which did not surprise him. He was used to these pauses now. They were almost predictable...if anything about Johnny could be considered predictable.
The blue-haired man turned to look at him from his perch on the car's roof. He stared at him quietly, as if waiting for Edgar to answer his own question. He found himself feeling uneasy, as if he had somehow disappointed Johnny by not being able to read his mind.
The two of them met eyes for a short period of time before Johnny spoke again, his voice quiet and ragged. "Why?"
Edgar waited, pondering the implications of the word as best he could before finally responding. "Why what?"
"Why..." Johnny slowly withdrew from his tight ball, sliding down to join Edgar on the hood of the car. Edgar watched his progress quietly, waiting for the rest of his sentence.
"Why...are you the way you are?"
Edgar was quiet as he thought about the question. Normally, he would have responded with an explanation of his past, his childhood, but this was Johnny he was speaking too. He knew that the maniac was somehow asking a different question.
"In the social aspect, you mean?" He kept his voice soft and non-threatening, not wanting to alarm Johnny and perhaps end his line of inquiry. Rarely had Johnny asked him any personal questions, preferring to focus on more philosophical topics.
"I suppose so, yes." Johnny responded after some time. Edgar sighed and let his legs hang off the edge of the car's hood. The car itself was only parked a foot or so away from the edge of the precipice that Johnny seemed to favor. He said he liked being up here, having the view. Edgar had to agree...it was beautiful. A little frightening due to the proximity of the cliff, but still beautiful.
A nice comparison with Nny, I would venture. Scriabin's voice lazily entered his head, as if not interested in what was happening. Not typical for his mental voice, but a welcome change. He ignored him.
"Well...I guess you could say I...I'm something of an optimist." Edgar tried to think of how to phrase himself correctly. Johnny stared at him intensely and Edgar already felt as if he were making some kind of mistake. "I tend...to give people the benefit of the doubt."
"I see." Johnny sounded somewhat displeased...Edgar could not exactly think of why, but he hoped it was nothing serious. This would be an awfully easy place to dispose of someone...just one push and...
Silence reigned between them again as Johnny turned his gaze down to his boots. Edgar did not speak, only waiting for Johnny to open the line of communication again. He knew from experience now that Johnny's speech patterns tended to vary greatly in his presence, but unless Edgar was asked a direct question, he should always assume that Johnny was going to speak again...
"I...don't understand how you can do that." Johnny said finally after what seemed like ten minutes, his voice never changing in volume.
"Not..." Edgar rethought his words. "Give people the benefit of the doubt, you mean?"
"Yes, to some extent..." Johnny leaned back against the windshield of his car and stared upwards at the sky, his expression unreadable. Edgar rubbed the back of his head as he tried to think.
"I...It's difficult, yes. But...I was taught that there's a capacity for good in everyone...so I should give them a chance to...express it."
Such a perfect little Bible boy.
"So...even though I know just how horrible people can be...I have to at least give them a chance, you know...?" Edgar felt as if he were failing some kind of test. It was rather disconcerting.
Johnny continued to stare upwards, his hands crossed over his chest. "I see."
Edgar watched him for a while, his thin chest rising and falling with his breath.
"Is that why you tried to talk to me?" Johnny did not look at him while he spoke, his eyes fixed on the moon and stars above him.
Edgar found that somewhere in him, he knew this question was coming. He was quiet for some time, eventually drifting backwards and joining Johnny in looking upwards. It was as clear as it got, considering the city smog and heat, and a few stars were visible. More than usual.
Edgar closed his eyes for a moment.
I don't know.
"Yes...yes it was."
Johnny sighed slightly and shifted, placing his thin hands behind his head. "You thought you could help me?"
"No..." Edgar watched him out of the corner of his eye. "I thought you deserved a chance."
"A chance at what?"
"A chance at..." Edgar struggled for words. "A chance at...well, letting me go, I guess. I know you dislike morality, so I don't want to bring that up..."
Johnny looked at him sidelong. "I'm interested. Explain."
"Well..." Edgar always felt awkward discussing his personal religion with Johnny. After all, the maniac did not have the most sympathetic view towards it, considering what he had been through. Edgar always felt as if he were somehow imposing his beliefs on Johnny by speaking about it, although he was very careful with how he phrased things. "I guess...I thought there could be...good in you. I could see your intelligence, you know, you're...when we first met, you asked me such questions that...I couldn't think that there was nothing there, you know?"
He's going to kill you. I don't think he'll like that answer.
"Hmm." Johnny resumed looking at the stars with only a slight noise as an answer. He didn't look at Edgar again until the silence was once again broken.
"Did you give me a chance?" Edgar knew the answer to this question, but hoped it would bring Johnny back into the conversation.
Johnny was silent for some time. "Of course I didn't. Otherwise I..."
He stopped talking entirely, his eyes widening slightly as apparently a thought had struck him.
"You...?" Edgar prompted.
"I wouldn't have tried to kill you." Johnny finished in a quiet voice. "I...wouldn't have met you at all."
Edgar stared down at the city below them, the myriad small lights flickering and changing through the thick pollution that blanketed their city. It was the same in every large city that one went to, and the muggy summer air did not help. Edgar thought about what Johnny had said, but found that all he was doing was running the words over and over in his head without truly comprehending them. Mesmerizing tone and pitch but no meaning.
Pay attention, Edgar. This is very important. I wouldn't have tried to kill you. I wouldn't have tried to kill you... Stop saying that and think about what it means. What does it mean, Edgar? What does it mean... You're hopeless.
I wouldn't have tried to kill you. I wouldn't have tried to kill you...
Stop saying that and think about what it means. What does it mean, Edgar?
What does it mean...
"What do you think...would have happened..." Johnny finally spoke again. Edgar wasn't sure how much time had passed since he had last heard his voice.
Outside of your head.
"What do you think would have happened if I never met you?" Johnny turned to look at Edgar. Edgar met his gaze as best as he could. "Where would you be now, instead of here?"
"Me..." Edgar found himself rubbing the back of his head again, focusing on the shifting of short hairs against his palm. "I would...well..."
Edgar smiled at the maniac, deciding he may as well chance a joke. "I wouldn't have these..."
He didn't even gesture towards the scars beneath his eyes, but they both knew what he was talking about.
Johnny's face did not change at his attempt at levity and Edgar tried to get back on topic. "But otherwise...I suppose my life would...remain much the same as it had been before. I mean...nothing interesting had ever happened to me before..." Edgar hesitated awkwardly for a moment. "Before you showed up, I mean...and I don't think there's any reason to think that something may have happened later...I'm just not...not really an interesting person, you know? Or..." Edgar scratched at his goatee as he rethought his words yet again. Johnny's expression gave him no clues as to how he was doing in answering the question, which made him feel only more uneasy. "Or interesting things don't normally happen to me. Before you showed up...I can't think of any major events in my life."
Johnny abruptly interrupted him. "Would you say that your life was leading up to my appearance in it?"
Edgar blinked at him in surprise at the sudden question, but found that he could not think of an answer immediately.
What kind of question is that? Ah, thank goodness for mental conversation, eh Edgar? I'm sure that would not have gone over well out loud. What should I say... It doesn't really matter in the end, you know.
Ah, thank goodness for mental conversation, eh Edgar? I'm sure that would not have gone over well out loud.
What should I say...
It doesn't really matter in the end, you know.
Scriabin still sounded bored with the entire conversation, which Edgar found somewhat puzzling but a relief. Edgar adjusted his glasses nervously, looking down at his bare feet against the hood of the car.
"Leading up to...well...I guess you may say that, if you think about it the right way..."
"No, I mean..." Johnny sat up, his expression changing and becoming far more intense and focused. Apparently he had latched onto a concept that he found intriguing. "If you think about all the things that happened to you in your life, or, what didn't happen to you, whatever you like, what did it all produce?" Johnny gestured at Edgar widely. "Think about it! If we are the products of our environment, which I would like to think has some element of truth, then surely your environment of...nothing would have prepared you for me. For something, as it were."
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be comfortable with being called a nothing. That's not what he said.
That's not what he said.
Johnny continued, now moving his attention to the city beneath them. "All of those mud-ridden people down there, slinging and fighting and stealing without thought, they reproduce what they experience. I reproduce what I've experienced in its most primal form; hostility. But you experienced nothing but...nothing. And God." Johnny's voice changed tone at the name of Edgar's chosen deity. Edgar couldn't exactly tell how, but he didn't think it was exactly flattering. "And if your God is love...or that's what you believed what he would be, then the only thing that you would bring to your life would be just that, right? Just love. Now, if your entire life were just a preparation, some elaborate joke by the heavens above," Johnny spread his arms wide, staring upwards at the sky, "To show me what I've done wrong, or to show me what other paths there were to take, wouldn't you technically have lived just for me?" and with that, Johnny turned his attention back to Edgar, apparently eager to see his reaction.
Edgar was dumbfounded for a few moments, trying to think of a response that wouldn't anger Johnny who seemed to be entering one of his more manic states.
Johnny cut him off before he could say much of anything. "How many other people are in your life right now, Edgar?"
Edgar doesn't get lonely, does he? Edgar doesn't need people, does he?
"You said back then that you had nothing but your faith. Do you think it's possible that your purpose was...just for me? If no one else ever reached you, ever talked to you, ever connected with you, except for me, wouldn't that logically point to the fact that you were created solely for me?"
Edgar found that his mouth was open and he quickly remedied the situation. He scratched at the marks beneath his eyes as he struggled to think of a suitable response.
"Don't you think that's a little selfish?" The words slipped out before he could stop them, and he turned towards Johnny to watch his reaction, hoping that he hadn't made a mistake.
"Selfish?" Johnny had a strange look in his eyes. "If someone gave you a present, that wouldn't be selfish, would it?"
"But I'm not a present, Johnny." Against his more logical instincts, Edgar spoke again without thinking. "I'm not a gift to you."
"Are you sure?" Johnny cocked his head at him, speaking slowly. "Are you sure that your God didn't design this, didn't design all this, just so I could have someone to talk to that I wouldn't kill in some homicidal rage? Are you sure that you're not some...big pacifier sent by God to keep me quiet?"
"I'm not-..." Edgar caught himself and took a deep breath, trying to keep his emotions under control. "Listen, I'm not...a gift from anyone, all right? Besides, you still kill people, so I obviously haven't pacified that urge, and I'm still alive so you don't lo-"
Edgar caught his words so quickly they caused a short coughing spasm, which Johnny watched without movement.
Smooth, Edgar. Real smooth.
After the fit stopped, Edgar looked back at Johnny and found him not the least bit concerned over the coughing fit whatsoever. That somehow didn't surprise him in the least. Edgar cleared his throat and tried to find a way to phrase his thoughts that wouldn't sound...self-incriminating.
"I mean...if you think about Devi..." Johnny's eyes softened at her name and Edgar almost regretted bringing her up. "If you think about...what she would have done for you, right? You told me that you really loved her and she made you happy, and you ended up...attacking her. Now if God ever had a plan to make you happy, she would have been it. If he had a plan to make you stop killing, then you would have stopped doing that already."
Johnny just stared at him quietly, apparently thinking. Edgar tried to fill the silence as best he could before Johnny could come up with any more disturbing theories.
"If God...had intended me just for...to meet you, then I certainly fulfilled that obligation but...as it is I don't think I've changed you, for better or for worse. Whatever it was that God had planned for us meeting hasn't...come to pass yet. While yes, maybe our meeting was ordained by Him, God knows it's not my place to question, what that meeting produced or, or what affect that it had on both me and you just...isn't really clear yet."
Your thoughts are all running together, Edgar. Get a grip and calm down.
"And you told me back...not too long ago that...you wanted to keep me alive...and you mentioned something about perfection. If God had created me specifically for you then...then I would be perfect, right? I'd be just like Devi..."
Dead. Shut up.
"But the point of the fact is that I'm still here, with you, staring at this city and having theological conversations but I'm not perfect to you yet, and I'm not sure if I ever will be."
Wouldn't it be funny if God messed you up on purpose just so you could stay alive? I'm not listening to you. Wouldn't it be funny if I were God and you just didn't know it, and that's why you keep getting so screwed over all the time?
I'm not listening to you.
Wouldn't it be funny if I were God and you just didn't know it, and that's why you keep getting so screwed over all the time?
"And, um..." Edgar spoke to drown out the voice in his mind. "If I was created...if I lived just so I could reach that moment...then why am I alive now, right? I mean...I accomplished what I was supposed to do then. I should be dead now, but I'm not..."
"Tell me..." Johnny broke into Edgar's rambling speech, his voice quiet and sharp. "Tell me, how important is touch?"
"What?" Edgar tried to stifle his initial response, but could not. He decided to keep going as if he hadn't spoken. "I mean...as in the sensation of touch?"
"Yes." Johnny looked upwards again. "Everyone knows what it's like to be blind, or to be deaf. People understand the limitations of losing those abilities...but what if..." He turned towards Edgar, staring at him with a frightening intensity. "What would happen if someone lost their sense of touch? Have you ever thought of that...just how much of your life is devoted to how something feels against your skin? What things feel like against any part of your body?"
Edgar shivered and didn't know why.
"I mean...how many burns would be on your fingers from touching things too hot? How much damage done by frostbite to digits left thoughtlessly exposed? How would you blink, talk, what would you wear? What would it be like? How would your interactions with others change?"
Edgar stared at him, the idea that Johnny was slowly approaching becoming more clear, but just out of reach.
It's not out of reach, you're just hiding from it.
"I mean...without touch, think of...what would...love be like? " Johnny spoke the word with some distrust, as if he feared that some retribution would descend on him for its use. "Without feeling anything, kisses are useless. Without the sensation of touch, holding hands is a mere obligation, not the...pleasantry that it's supposed to be." Johnny's tone made it obvious that he did not believe that hand-holding was pleasant in any way or form, but had to say as such to continue his line of thought. "Without touch, what would the most carnal of activities be like? Clumsy, awkward...perhaps meaning less germ-riddled children to wander the streets. But what does that mean for love, Edgar, do you think?"
"Are...are you asking me if touch is necessary for love?" Edgar found his voice distressingly shaky and tried to correct this. "If the sensation of another person is required to love that person?"
"Yes, that is what I'm asking." Johnny stared at him solemnly. Edgar looked down for a few moments, staring again at his feet against the hood.
"Well...no, of course not. I mean...not as I was led to understand it. Not as I was...you know, taught to...know." Beautifully framed sentence there, Edgar. You're not nervous at all, oh no. "Love was something that I was taught is...or something that just...or that you just kind of...have. I mean, it takes a lot of work and time, but it has nothing to do with touch or any other kind of sense...I mean, if it did, how would cyber-relationships work out?" Edgar laughed awkwardly at his own attempt at a joke, finding Johnny's gaze more and more disconcerting.
"I don't think it really has anything to do with any physical sense at all...I think it has to do with the people's personalities...I mean, you know the old saying about beautiful on the outside, ugly on the inside..."
Johnny twitched visibly at this metaphor. Edgar found that slightly odd.
"And I guess it's true. If you don't really...care about someone, inside or outside, then I don't think that...love is really possible. And besides..." Edgar thought about it, then shook his head. "You probably don't want to hear it."
"God?" Johnny inquired and Edgar was forced to nod, as incredibly childish as he felt explaining himself.
"Yeah...I mean, you never see God, or hear God, or touch or smell or taste God or anything but...you know he's there. You know that he's out there watching and caring about you and for you...and loving you." Edgar felt horrible explaining this to Johnny, feeling as if he were preaching to an entirely uninterested and unwilling audience. Edgar hated preaching. "That's why the New Testament says that...God is love. That's...what I think that means. That love has nothing to do with our physical bodies at all...that it's mental and spiritual."
Edgar mumbled his final words, feeling heat rising to his cheeks at the unintentional sheer cheesiness of his own words. He believed them entirely and truly, but to say them out loud and to Johnny just felt...so stupid.
I'm pleased with you, my son. Stop that right now.
Stop that right now.
"So you think that love has nothing to do with us, necessarily." Johnny continued staring at Edgar in the same distracting way. Edgar nodded, feeling more and more embarrassed as time went on. "In the physical sense, right?"
"Yeah..." His voice was barely heard.
"So, hypothetically, even if I never touched someone, saw someone, or even spoke with someone, there is the possibility that I could have loved them? That they loved me?"
"Technically..." Edgar wanted to get off this topic. He felt more and more uncomfortable as time was passing and the air was thick and hard to breathe.
Yes, sure that's what's bothering you. Of course it is.
"I hate being touched."
"I know." Edgar responded without thinking again, which was only more embarrassing, and he turned his head away from Johnny and stared at a tree nearby.
Johnny paused after his statement before continuing. "I hate being touched...I hate touching other people. And I hate...I hate so much. If hate was just...channeled into me somehow, if all I had ever felt was hate, could I still, potentially, love someone?"
"You did love someone." Edgar turned his head back enough so that he could just barely see Johnny from his peripheral vision. "You loved Devi. That proves that it's possible."
"It wasn't just Devi...there were many others that I loved. All so beautiful and so very perfect..." Johnny trailed off, losing himself in his thoughts for a few moments before returning to the conversation. "But in the end, touch still disgusts me...it...but you don't think that that matters?"
"No. If you could love before, you can certainly love now. If you dislike being touched that should make no difference as to who or what you choose to love." Edgar felt his voice entering a set speed and tone that was typically designated for stressful conversations. A quiet, level tone that did not betray his tumultuous feelings.
Survival mechanisms are funny things, aren't they?
"You're not perfect, are you?"
"Are you asking me?" Edgar turned his attention entirely back to Johnny, confused. "Because if you're asking me, I can't answer honestly...I'm going to try and keep myself alive."
That and you don't like to lie.
"But I mean..." Johnny sighed and stood on the hood of his car, staring out over the city. Edgar watched him rise with some confusion. "Thinking about the whole thing...I think a lot about how we met. What we talked about. It's hard to find people to talk to, you know...people who will listen...people that don't just..." His voice twisted in anger, but soon relaxed. "But I think about it a lot..."
Johnny turned slightly and looked down at Edgar, holding out his hand. "I think about you a lot."
Is he offering me his hand? He can't do that, he just said he hates being touched, is this some kind of test? Am I supposed to refuse to show that I don't want to touch him and understood what he was talking about or am I supposed to take it because it's a sign that he's willing to sacrifice some part of himself for me or to help me God, just shut up and take his hand, you idiot.
God, just shut up and take his hand, you idiot.
Edgar swallowed hard and hesitantly reached upwards, taking hold of Johnny's hand. It was cold somehow, even in such heat, and felt, as usual, unnaturally thin and bony. Johnny pulled him up beside him and Edgar wavered for a second beside him, the two now standing side by side on the hood of his car. The city glittered beneath them as best it could through the smog.
Edgar was immediately going to let go of Johnny's hand once he had been pulled upright, but he found that in spite of his fingers releasing their hold, Johnny held on tenaciously to his hand.
"Thank you." Edgar managed to remember Johnny's previous statement and tried to keep the conversation on track. Johnny was no longer looking at him, staring out over the city once again.
"Do I fill your life?" Johnny paused, judging Edgar's reaction from the involuntary twitch of his hand. "You said that your life was empty, with nothing and no one. That you had nothing before you met me and expected nothing until you met me. But now here I am. Do I dominate your life? Do I make you something? Something important, or worthwhile, or interesting? Do I influence you at all? Have I changed you? I'm curious, because..." Johnny trailed off, his eyes getting a blank look that seemed to hint that he would not be finishing his sentence.
Edgar waited some time just to make sure Johnny wasn't going to speak again. "Well...I guess in technical terms you have...changed the way I live and...my life. I mean...no one ever noticed me before or spoke with me really, and now...well, it's different, that's for sure. I don't know if you've necessarily filled my life, strictly speaking, but I would have to say that my life is a great deal more...interesting since you showed up."
Johnny didn't look at him, only staring outwards with Edgar's hand still trapped in his own. "Your God believes in sacrifices, doesn't he?"
He's going to kill you. I don't think that's what he meant.
I don't think that's what he meant.
"Do you mean...in the name of love?" Edgar couldn't hide his slight panic reaction to Johnny's statement, but tried to keep his voice steady. "Well, sure...I mean, any book you read or anything you see on television...well, maybe not anything, but there certainly are a great deal of things that always seem to hint at the fact that love is really the overcoming of certain...obstacles. Like...love is a compromise. That's a common phrase." Edgar tried to sound more confident, but his voice was still shaking and occasionally breaking on embarrassing words. "From what I've seen and read, love has to deal with two people who...accept each other's faults and work around them. That's even..." Edgar felt awkward again, but knew that Johnny would only encourage him to explain anyway. "Even though people do commit...well, do bad things throughout life, the point of God is that he forgives you. That he'll still love you, no matter what you do, as long as you're sorry."
Johnny mumbled something unintelligible and Edgar didn't ask for clarification, only clearing his throat before continuing.
"But yeah...I think a lot of love has deal with sacrifice. In almost any culture you find, that seems to be true..."
"I see." Johnny looked down. "Tell me...what is it like?"
"What is what like?"
Edgar Edgar pudding pie, always dodging and missing the POINT. Shut up. How can this be lost on you, Edgar? How can you not be listening? Is your capacity for speech just unconnected to the logic centers in your brain? Or are you just in such incredible amounts of denial that you can't handle the idea? Don't you understand, Edgar? Haven't you made any connection yet? Haven't you realized that Johnny isn't talking about love because the topic interests him?
How can this be lost on you, Edgar? How can you not be listening? Is your capacity for speech just unconnected to the logic centers in your brain? Or are you just in such incredible amounts of denial that you can't handle the idea? Don't you understand, Edgar? Haven't you made any connection yet? Haven't you realized that Johnny isn't talking about love because the topic interests him?
Edgar was so focused on ignoring Scriabin that he did not hear Johnny's complete question. This realization was immediately followed with a strong pang of guilt. He hated accidentally ignoring Johnny, and knew that Johnny hated to be ignored.
But he couldn't admit that his attention had been wandering.
"I...I think...so." Edgar hesitantly spoke, watching Johnny's face to see if this wasn't the reaction he had been expecting.
Johnny turned to face him, still staring.
"You think so?" He questioned. Edgar racked his brain to try and think of what Johnny might have said.
"I mean...it's not...without its benefits." Edgar awkwardly tried to cover his tracks. At these words, Johnny's eyes softened again. Edgar wasn't sure if he had said the right or wrong thing.
"Benefits? There are benefits for you in this entire ordeal? What benefits could there possibly be?"
Edgar was able to get the general idea of his initial question from Johnny's statement and tried his best to sound more confident. "Great conversation, for one...I've never been able to talk with anyone else before, and now I can talk with you. You're very intelligent, you know...it's just..."
"That I'm insane and all." Johnny smiled in a crooked way. Edgar could not resist smiling in return, feeling that he was safe.
"Yes, that's right." It seemed safe to be able to say such a thing.
"God..." Johnny turned away from him and stared out over the city once again. "I think...no, I mean...I'm not sure..."
Edgar hadn't heard him hedge around a topic in some time. Peculiar.
"Tell me, have you ever fallen in love? Like I have?"
Ohmygodohmygod oh my...Devi. He fell in love with Devi. Oh. Look at that. Just look at that, Edgar. That's pathetic.
Look at that. Just look at that, Edgar. That's pathetic.
"I-I..." Edgar stammered for a moment as he waited for his heart to slow down. "I-I don't...don't think so, necessarily. Not as, as you would understand it. I mean, I do love God and all, but I don't think that's the same thing necessarily. Necessarily, I mean."
You sound so stupid when you're nervous, Edgar.
"Oh." A very short response as Johnny's expression remained unreadable. It was a few minutes before he turned back towards him. "Edgar?"
"Yes?" He felt his heart racing again and his breath coming in fast. The sense of danger was overwhelming, along with the sense that he had somehow contradicted himself.
Will you marry me? SHUT UP.
"Are you scared of me?"
"Because..." He may as well be honest. "I...I think you're going to kill me."
Johnny cocked his head at him, staring. "Why would I do that?"
"Because I..." wasn't listening before and said something wrong.
No, you IDIOT.
"You...?" Johnny prompted for what seemed like the first time that Edgar could remember.
"Because I...think I made a mistake."
"A mistake." If only there was some clue in Johnny's face as to how he felt!
"Yes...I'm sorry. I didn't know it would...upset you." You're an IDIOT.
"Would I kill you for a mistake?"
"I don't know. Maybe." Edgar spoke quickly and immediately regretted it. Johnny seemed to think about this for a few moments before speaking again.
"There's only one reason I would want to kill you, Edgar."
Do I have to hit you with a SPADE to get this across?
"I know, but..."
"You're afraid that I would kill you now..." Johnny sounded thoughtful.
"Well, yes, I mean...I wasn't thinking before and I'm sorry about that..."
"I think I know why." Johnny continued as if Edgar hadn't even spoken. His eyes met with Edgar's again through the thick lenses of his glasses, and something in his gaze sent a shudder through Edgar's entire body.
"It's obvious...isn't it? I always thought you were the type to...pick up on these things quickly." Johnny raised his other hand, gesturing near his face. "Or is it that you don't really want to know?"
"I don't like word games." Edgar disliked the pressure from both Johnny and Scriabin and felt himself retreating. "If you know why I'm scared, then tell me. I already told you."
No you didn't.
Johnny sighed before letting his hand fall to his side. "I think this is it. I think this is the end of all things."
You ARE going to die.
"Because I think I've found...reached what I was...reaching for." Johnny spoke with a certain amount of frustration at his lack of articulation. Edgar blinked at him.
HE LOVES YOU, YOU MORON.
Edgar involuntarily let out a small noise that had no clear classification and in an effort to step back, slipped on the surface of the hood. Johnny's hold on his hand prevented him from falling entirely and Edgar ended up fumbling across the hood, feeling and looking like an idiot.
Johnny waited until Edgar had stopped thrashing and pulled him back up again.
He did not ask if he was okay.
"You...you love me?" Edgar tried to keep his voice from entering the slightly higher pitch it took and failed miserably. Johnny blinked at these words in surprise.
"Isn't that...what you meant?" Edgar now, if it were even possible, felt even more foolish then before.
Johnny just continued staring at him.
"I'm sorry about my reaction, I know that must have seemed terribly rude." Edgar tried to focus on something less emotionally distressing. "It wasn't planned or anything, I didn't intend to, it just..."
God, you love that man, Edgar. You do. It stabs you like the proverbial knife that Johnny keeps in his boot. No. And now you have to die. No. I can feel your entire insides churning. Why is this so wrong, Edgar? Why? Why not just give it up and just admit it? Why don't you just admit it? Everything that he says, that he thinks, that he follows, just enthralls you, just like those bosomy maidens on the dime-store novel. No. Is denial all you have left, or is that the only thing you can say?
And now you have to die.
I can feel your entire insides churning. Why is this so wrong, Edgar? Why? Why not just give it up and just admit it? Why don't you just admit it? Everything that he says, that he thinks, that he follows, just enthralls you, just like those bosomy maidens on the dime-store novel.
Is denial all you have left, or is that the only thing you can say?
"It wasn't what I expected, I'll admit that much." Johnny didn't sound hurt at all. Or even surprised.
Strange considering that he had bared as much as of his soul as he could to you and all you could respond with was a noise and lot of flopping on a car hood.
"I mean...I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or anything, it was just...something of a shock. Something I didn't really expect at all, because I didn't think...well, I never really thought...it just never occurred to me, you know? Through everything I just never really thought about it much, but I guess it does make sense and all..."
Edgar rambles incoherently.
"But it is true." Johnny's voice was level and steady, a definite change from Edgar's current panicky tone. "I do...well, at least I think I do. As close as I can. But, my question is really..."
Johnny didn't have to ask it, it hung in the air between them already, present since almost the beginning of their conversation.
Answer him, Edgar. Give him what he wants. Tell him no, and live a little longer, or tell him yes and die now. It's your choice. What do you have to live for anyway? Johnny. You live until you reach his perfection, and you die. It's your choice as to how long that may take, and you may never have this much control over it again. What are you going to say? Don't ask me, you're supposed to tell me. I am never supposed to do ANYthing you tell me, Edgar. What should I say? Say no. Of course you have to say no. Those few extra minutes, days, years, they could make all the difference, couldn't they, Edgar? Maybe he won't be crazy then. Maybe someone will hit him with a bus. Say no and go for it. Reach for the unknown future, or some other metaphorical tripe.
Don't ask me, you're supposed to tell me.
I am never supposed to do ANYthing you tell me, Edgar.
What should I say?
Say no. Of course you have to say no. Those few extra minutes, days, years, they could make all the difference, couldn't they, Edgar? Maybe he won't be crazy then. Maybe someone will hit him with a bus. Say no and go for it. Reach for the unknown future, or some other metaphorical tripe.
"Since I met you...I felt there was a chance that I could...reach you. Talk to you, make you change your mind. I felt there was a chance that I could live if I gave the effort to speak with you. And I did. I gave you my doubt and you repaid it...I'm still here. I'm still alive but...I think you were right before." Edgar wanted to be honest. He was trying to be honest, but it was so difficult considering the circumstances. "About my life and what it meant to me. I lived my life before for one cause, for one person, if you could call Him that. And now you're here and I..." He was trying to be honest. Trying to be honest without the dizziness he now felt overtaking him. Everything in his body was resisting him, everything in his body told him to back away, to do the smart thing and run, lie, and stay alive for a few more sections of time. His entire body was shaking and the height was only making him dizzy. "I think about you and what you believe in constantly. You're this huge...inextricable presence in my life now...my actions and thoughts are almost dictated by your own and I...I can't think of how my life used to be. I don't know if I could ever return to that life. I think you have...filled my life, as you put it before, with all of your episodes and speeches and everything that seems to make you you...it's all...God, this sounds so..."
Edgar felt his spiraling words trying to escape what he knew what Johnny wanted to hear. He knew he was trying to stay alive. But he had to be honest.
"A part of you...is in me right now." Edgar was sure that Johnny wouldn't take that as literally as he intended. "It's always there, always...there. I can't escape it because it...won't leave."
What are you doing?
"Even if I never saw you again, there would be no way I could ever forget you because you've...done things to me." Edgar's fingers drifted up to glance across the scars on his cheek once again. "Permanent things."
"All a great deal of circles. What does that all mean, Edgar?" Johnny's voice was low and dangerous. This was the point of no return.
"Well, if you found what you were searching for, then I..."
Don't do this.
Don't do this.
"I never knew that I was...also searching for something to. Something that would give my existence meaning, as it were..."
"What does that all mean, Edgar?" Johnny's tone indicated this would be the last time that he would ask this question.
Edgar sighed and closed his eyes, his entire body trembling. It was hard to breathe. Something was crushing his chest.
"You found me...and I'm not looking anymore. I don't...need anything else anymore. I'm...complete, I guess you could say. I...probably need you as much as...or maybe even more then...you need me. I..."
You can't even say it. Don't even try.
"You know what I mean?"
I tried. I really tried but in the end, Edgar, you're just too stupid. You're just too stupid.
Johnny stared at him for a long time before he smiled slowly. It made Edgar nervous.
He closed his eyes.
Edgar felt as if his heart was going to explode.
He tried to respond, but only the same inarticulate, frightened sound came from his mouth.
There was a pause.
Johnny, without any hesitation, pushed him off the car and over the cliff.
(Author's Note: One of these days, I swear ta god, I'm gonna write a fic where one of em doesn't end of up dead or otherwise screwed. Actually wait...that's impossible. I love how this fic was originally gonna be about somethin entirely different and, much like Psyche, went off on a huge rambling tangent that finally ended appropriately tragic. Haha, I love these two. They're the dysfunctional award winners of the year. And George Winston's music is pretty, go get it.)