by Phantom Black Sheep
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Enough said.
Warnings: Death fic. (Sorry, I tried to write a fluff one but my mentality at the time wouldn't allow it.) This is also a very big, very mean, very concentrated dose of bitter irony. (I'll love anyone who actually spots it.)
Rating: PG-13. (Disney has character deaths, okay?)
Summary: An Angel's silence, a morbid cruelty cloaked by beauty.
Notes: I know the first bit is kind of cheese-bally. This is going on the impression I received as to how Buck's mind works. (That Eudora vision? Pure sickly sweet cheese. But cute, nonetheless.)
"A fool's paradise is a wise man's hell." Thomas Fuller.
The first waking thought to enter Buck's mind as he stepped into the room was how silent everything was. Pure, unadulterated silence. A beautiful silence, neither harsh, nor stark, it seemed smooth and fresh. A silence created by angels.
Even the wind whispered by with no more then a passing murmur, stroking his skin and ruffling his hair with its gentle force. He closed his eyes, savouring the fresh feeling. It smelled of salty beaches. If he concentrated hard enough, he could even taste the bite in the air, which only came in tow with ocean kissed shores.
His bare feet carried him further into the room with small shuffling steps. He unconsciously knew this room, this room with the luxurious white marble floors and walls lined with bay windows stretching so high and wide, it was a wonder the roof remained on top of them, shouldn't be here. Subconsciously, he knew that this wasn't right, something was wrong. Despite the heavenly atmosphere, the gentleness of this place, there was still a darkness, a darkness which he could neither feel, nor see, but caught passing glimpses of in the corners of his eyes. Like the fleeting rustle of a coat, shrouding ones deepest desire disappearing around the corner of reality.
His mind knew this, continually warned him of it, yet his body and heart refused to listen. They refused to be blinded to this simple paradise, refused to ignore the billowing cream curtains, dancing a dance of the wind before the majestic windows, refused to ignore the calm filling him, the warm glow of happiness filling a hole which had been empty so long, he hadn't even known it existed.
He refused to allow common sense to destroy his dream. Let the darkness take him, let it prey upon him until he was no longer aware of it; let it strike him, as long as he was here when it happened. As long as his fingers could touch the textures of this room, as long as he could spend his last minutes within the angel's silence.
A soft sigh broke the celestial spell, a whisper of sound, only audible for the barest of milliseconds, yet within the room where not even the wind dared to speak, it was as loud as a lion's bellowing roar. Buck's eyes snapped open. He glanced around what he had originally thought to be just a single circular abode whose walls were lined with endless windows. It wasn't. Behind one of the curtains to his right, what he had originally thought to be another view point to a world outside he no longer cared about was in fact an open doorway.
He could see the soft iridescent glow of flickering candles pulsing out through the fibers of the light cloth draped over it, could see the shadows playing in the newly discovered cavern. Enticing him by their mystery.
His feet now moving of their own accord, he chased away the space between him and that one doorway, the skin on his soles practically writhing with the electric sensations of the cool marble beneath them. He lifted his forearm before his face and with one smooth sweep, pulled the floating curtain to the side, revealing the amber light mingled with the deep velvet of dancing shadows.
Buck blinked slowly, adjusting his eyes to the mixture of light and dark which contrasted so brilliantly, yet somehow looked as though they were made to go together, on their own, they would only look unfinished, incomplete.
Unlike the room he had just been in, this one wasn't empty. It was adorned with silken drapes, covering the walls he presumed were dominated by yet more beautiful windows. The heavy drapes blocked out the crystalline light, allowing the rich mixture of candles and shadows to rule. A bed sat in the middle of the room, swirls of smooth cream bedding nestled on top of a mattress which looked so soft, so relaxing, it could almost have been created from the very clouds which lined pale blue skies on summer days.
But it wasn't the actual bed that captured Buck's interest so intently. Far from it. What held him riveted to the spot wasn't the soft covers, nor was it the majestic curves of the iron headboard. What incited his tunnel vision, what quickened his heart until it raced within his chest. What turned his blood hot with passion was what lay within the bed, curled up. Face lax in a contentment born only of deep sleep.
"Ezra..." Buck whispered, sounding the name, moulding his tongue around the open vowels of both the 'E' and the 'A'. Reassuring himself that what he saw was indeed real. The man he spent every other moment dreaming about was indeed curled before him. The velvet-soft bronzed skin standing out perfectly against the off-white of the bedding.
He watched the slumbering man with hungry eyes, tracing the smooth plains and dips of his face. Down the elegant neck, over the subtle indents of his collarbones -Collarbones he wanted desperately to mark as his own. - He followed the ripples of muscle layering ribs, down to where the cream fabric flowed over skin, cutting his inspection off.
A hitched sigh, full of lust, need, and love drifted through the air, just as Ezra's sleep sweetened one had done so previously. Buck didn't spare a moment's thought as to how the southerner had emerged here. He didn't care; all that mattered was that he was here before him.
He moved swiftly over to the bed and crouched down, one knee tucked beneath his stomach. The soft mattress moulded against his leg, cushioning it in a loving embrace, proving it was just as soft as it appeared.
Following the dip of the padded surface, Ezra's head rolled to the side. His chin, so delicate, yet also holding the rough cut of determination lolled to rest against his right shoulder. The green eyes, covered by the soft vulnerable skin of eyelids didn't even flutter.
He was so handsome, so perfect, his very own Adonis. And if that were so, he would be the male version of Venus, who was he to go against ancient myth?
With a hand shaking with anticipation of doing what he had waited so long to do, he reached out and stroked Ezra's cheek. Tracing the faint curve of a perfectly formed cheekbone, running quivering fingertips over a mouth so faultless, the lips looked as though they had been painted on with the loving strokes of an artist.
He envied that artist.
Ezra, still within the endless depths of sleep let out a soft hiss of air. He unconsciously followed the hand as it retreated back to Buck's side, seeking the warm touch.
Buck smiled softly at the movement, his eyes softening with a sudden light when realisation dawned on him. He finally had his chance, after waiting for so long, having to hold back for fear of chasing this man away, it finally felt right. He knew what he had to do, and for once, instead of his gut tightening with nerves at the thought that even showing a whisper of the intensity of his emotions would send this man away forever, he felt the warmth of his blood increase. He felt the newly realised hole within him flood with newfound power opened up with these newly awakened opportunities.
He leant down and caught those slumbering lips in a soft kiss. No stronger then the fluttering wings of a butterfly. The body heat emanating from the living vision tickled his skin.
He wanted to feel more of that warmth, wanted to engulf it. To drink from it as though it were the very breast milk of Mother Nature. He wanted to awaken Ezra and feed on the other's passion, to have his own sensual touches returned with needing hands. He wanted to increase this heaven into an orgasmic euphoria.
He wanted to do all of these things and more.
But he didn't.
Instead, he planted one more lingering kiss on the mans cheek and with a grace unbefitting of his large form, he crawled onto the bed beside Ezra and curled up, tucking his legs in behind the other man's slightly bent knees.
The impression he made on the mattress caused Ezra's sleeping body to roll into him, causing his naked skin to press into Buck's chest, warming the space above his heart.
He would let Ezra sleep for a while longer. It was nice here, like this with the man he knew he loved curled up beside him. Something told him they'd be in these two rooms a while, he had plenty of time to experience everything both he and Ezra desired many times over.
As he closed his eyes against the warm amber light, Buck felt the encroaching darkness that had constantly been warning his unconscious mind fade away. Slowly, like the unnoticeable retreat of the ocean following the moon, he felt it back away. Lessening with each silent step until it was no longer present.
All that remained was the angels' silence and Ezra's warmth.
It was nice here. He'd just lie a while.
Meditated by the sensations around him, Buck's body slowly relaxed, and as quietly as the wind fondling his skin, he drifted off to sleep.
Darkness. Darkness mixed with silence. Silence, which hadn't previously been there.
Ezra sat in the hard plastic chair, eyes unblinking, mouth unmoving, heart shattered but sadly, that continued to beat.
He watched the form laying before him, cloaked in the uncomfortable starched sheets, their ugly white softened by the blue fleece of the throw draped carelessly over the bed.
He studied the still face of the figure that was dwarfed by the machines surrounding the two of them with a grim somberness. The shadows, which the inefficient bulbs overhead failed to chase away turned the already pale features a ghostly white. The dark hair contrasted to a startling degree with the ashen skin.
Silence. He hated silence. He wished it would disappear, would fade away.
He wished for the beeping which had previously driven him insane to return. With the return of that harsh noise, the chest of the one in the bed would continue to breathe, the return of the beeping would signal the return of the recently lost life.
But it had faded. From a steady monotone drone, it had slowed to sporadic chirps until gradually, silence.
The chest had stilled, the hiss of air running through the oxygen tube had ceased, and the beeping...
The beeping had turned to silence.
He'd watched it all; he'd watched the deceptively peaceful occurrence with deadened eyes. Not even twitching a finger, he didn't even try to stop it. He couldn't have.
What could he do?
He'd just sat in exactly the same position as he was in now, eyes focused on exactly the same spot and watched as the man he secretly loved faded away to nothing.
Just faded. In an unfamiliar room, touched by unfamiliar hands. The man didn't even know he, nor any of the others had been there.
He'd just faded.
"It's for the best," the owners of the alien hands touching his friend -his everything- with such cold efficiency had said. He was already gone, the chances of him returning to them would have been one in a million, and even then he wouldn't have fully returned, not the way they had known him. Brain damage, they'd said it'd be a release, not a betrayal.
It certainly felt like the latter to him.
Ezra didn't look away from his defeated study of the lifeless man when he heard the squeak of rubber shoes over the tiled floor of the hospital. He didn't acknowledge the hand on his shoulder, nor the concerned questing eyes pushing away the shattered shards of his already defeated mask and viewing the raw pain left open to the world.
"Ezra?" a hoarse voice questioned after a few moments of the southerner not acknowledging them.
Ezra continued to stare ahead.
"Ez...I brought you some water." A cup found its way into Ezra's limp hand. He gripped it reflexively but didn't avert his gaze.
The figure remained where they stood for a moment longer before with a tightening of the hand on his shoulder, they began to walk away.
'No' Ezra thought. The first sign he had shown of noticing the outside world since the last beep had sounded. He didn't want to be alone, but he didn't want to leave. If he didn't want to be alone, then Buck certainly didn't want to be alone either, even if he was...
"He looks like he's sleeping." His voice sounded unfamiliar even to his own ears. Too quiet, as though the silence had stolen away any sound he could make.
He heard the figure stop in the doorway and turn around.
"Yeah." It agreed in a broken whisper.
"Just like it."
Ezra gave a bitter smile and leaned forwards. His clothes rustled and crackled with the movement, stiffened from the sterilized air within the hospital. Almost unknowing of his own movements, he reached over to the other side of the bed and tucked a lifeless arm beneath the covers, as he had been doing for the past week up until Buck had...until they'd turned the machine off. A move made so as the man's arms didn't get too cold, the nightgowns really were most inadequate for preserving heat.
A chocked gasp from the doorway awakened him to his unconscious movements and he sat back with such a speed it looked as though he'd been shocked. He glanced over his shoulder, only now letting his eyes fall on Nathan.
Nathan nodded, his brown eyes lowered to inspect the tiles beneath his pumps.
Ezra followed the movement.
"They'll need to move...him. Make some bed space," Nathan mumbled quietly whilst looking back up from the floor. Ezra nodded mutely, accepting the statement, ignoring the cold front. Nathan dealt with pain using order, he pushed away his emotions for as long as possible and instead kept the objective front. A doctor's own mask.
"Where are the others?"
"In the waiting room. Damn fools refused to go home, nurses set up sleeping bags for them." The attempt at amused irritation fell flat; instead the voice was worn and exhausted. Ezra blinked.
"You need to sleep too." Reminded of the fact the southerner hadn't slept in over forty-eight hours, nor had he seen a bed in the entire week, Nathan stepped forward again. He found strength in another reason to keep his mind working, to stop him from thinking. Keep everything unreal for just that little bit longer.
Ezra shook his head.
"No," he refused.
"I can't leave him." Buck couldn't be alone. No, it was bad enough being...silent. He couldn't help him there; he could help with him being alone.
Misreading Ezra's adamant whisper, Nathan closed the remaining distance and returned the hand to its original spot on the southerner's shoulder.
"It wasn't your fault, Ez. He did what any of us would have done," he paused, the grip tightening but Ezra had the feeling it was more Nathan trying to console himself. "He was just doing what any friend would do."
Ezra flinched. He ducked his head down. Friend. That was all he'd ever be, he knew that before, but now it was final. There was no possibility of anything else. He'd never be anything more than someone who was Buck's friend.
"Please, Ez. You have to sleep."
Ezra slowly raised his head and looked into Nathan's red-rimmed eyes.
"Maybe later," he croaked.
Not feeling the energy to continue, even if it did mean allowing him to postpone thinking for a bit longer, Nathan let his hand drop from Ezra's shoulder and slowly walked back out of the room. He didn't look over his shoulder. Didn't dare give either Ezra or Buck's body one last glance, he just walked out into the busy hallway and silently closed the door.
The cold silence and darkness from earlier returned.
Ezra sighed and closed his eyes, letting his tired head roll on his shoulders, trying in vain to remove kinks from his shoulders.
He would sit here for a while. Just for a little bit, maybe he'd sleep later. But right now he'd stay with Buck, he wouldn't let him be alone.
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