Summary: David's disappearing and takes a minute to freak out about it.
David comes awake on the couch with a choked shout. He doesn't remember falling asleep and he can't remember anything before the castle and Senna and everything going to hell.
Behind him in the kitchen, he can hear the water running in the sink and the clack of his mother's high heels on the tile. She heard him, he's sure of it and he scrambles for a story, tries to think of something that normal people have nightmares about.
The war. The castle. His stomach rolls up into his throat. He eases off the couch and wanders into the kitchen.
His mother stands by the stove now, adjusting the heat under a pot of water.
She's humming, quietly. He doesn't recognize the tune.
"Mom?" He walks into the room, circles the counter to stand just behind her. "Mom?"
She jumps and turns around, hand pressed over her heart. "Oh, David. You scared me. I didn't realize you were here." She reaches out to rub his arm, up and down and a brief squeeze. Her hand is like ice. "How are you, honey?"
"Fine." He mumbles, looks away, tries to remember what's going on. Looks for the calendar on the fridge, the clock on the wall. "I just fell asleep. On the couch."
"Oh?" She looks up from the water. "I didn't see you there."
She can't see him. His stomach tightens on the first knots of panic.
"That's not like you." She frowns. "Feeling okay?"
The war. The castle. His stomach rolls again and he takes a cautionary step toward the sink.
He's never good with words and now they fail him entirely.
His mother takes a step toward him and her high heels remind him that she's just come from work. Her hair falls in gentle, dry waves over her shoulders. He wants to stay here then. Wishes suddenly, fiercely for a break, for someone else to take the weight, just for a minute.
She's here and she can't even see him. She could never see him.
His chest hitches and he turns away abruptly, hands on his face, trying to breathe. He makes it all the way to the staircase before everything crumbles to pieces. He sinks onto the second stair and folds over, trying to drag air into his lungs, choking on snot and tears.
A hand eases over his back and his mother sits on the step next to him. She smells like lilacs and bar soap. He'd forgotten it.
"David? Baby, what's wrong?"
He can't answer with no air in his lungs.
"Talk to me, David. Please."
He shakes his head against his knees.
She gives up and folds herself over him, arms wrapped around him, forehead against his shoulder. "It's okay. Just relax. Everything's going to be okay."
It's not true.
No one can see at all.
thanks for reading!