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Fic: Wednesday to Work

Wednesday to work
by Nix Winter

All rights reserved
copyright 2013

“So... people pay you for this?”

Just so you know... if you didn’t know already... that’s not a good thing to say to your spouse, not even on a peaceful Wednesday morning.

Corey has always been super serious about his work. It’s the only thing that rivals my value to him, so maybe I was a little jealous. Corey’s worth being jealous about.  Corey’s worth everything.

I’ve been a serious shit since the kidnapping too.

Someone once said that holding anger is like holding a hot coal.. it burns you more than the one you want to throw it at. I don’t know who said it. I used to care so much more citations and stuff.  

I miss those days... when I really gave a shit and I just thought I could ... I don’t know... own the world somehow. I thought law ruled the world and I was its favorite avatar.

Then shit happened.

I saw a friend die. That bothers me more than I know how to deal with. Okay... the bad guys caught me and they did really unpleasant things to me that I don’t want to name. They were going to do bad things to the love of my life, who would do anything to save me.

I’m just not that special.

Every time the darkness overtakes me, it’s not being drugged, not being raped, not being told I was going to be sold... all of that stuff... I KNOW ... I know they were assholes and I can take it. I can recover from it. I can stop them. I can RUIN them. I know I’ll find a way out.

When I slipped out that window and ran naked through the streets... I just wanted to live. I don’t even have nightmares without about that. Those were just challenges to overcome.

I just ... I just...  Fucking shit... I try to think it through and my mind dissolves into a kaleidoscope of bullshit, trying to distract me in any direction other than what my actual problem is.

Death is permanent.

In my nightmares, it’s that moment when he died just... at the moment when I was calling out for help.

I got him killed.

It’s something I just can’t fix. I can’t bring him back. I can’t say that I’d do something differently in the future, because I want to live. I’ll always do the best I can to live. Feeling guilty because I want to live. By feeling guilty... at least I’m ... I don’t know... doing something.

It’s that guilt that drives a lot of stupid shit in my recent life.

I hate that I’m not more powerful. I hate that the world is bigger than me.

And that’s the wall.

Everything becomes dangerous and I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not and what’s a lie and what’s the truth, who loves me and who doesn’t, and everything leads back to that moment when a man died because I was trying to save myself.  There have been moments when I thought.. if I killed myself it would make things even somehow.  I think about where his Corey was and why someone didn’t come to save him at the last moment.

Why wasn’t there some way... .to make sure his memories and personality were saved somewhere other than on the wetfile of his brain. If we’d had better technology, he could have been saved. So why don’t we have better technology? I’d blame the Catholics, but really that’s a double edged sword.  

This shit is why all that crap about sacrifice and stuff makes sense to people. There are things that are just so horrific that someone has  to die to pay for it.

For a while I thought if I worked really hard at ending all of human trafficking and saving other lives.. that that would pay for the one life that I didn’t save.

I’m so not kidding.. human trafficking needs to stop. That shit is about as bad as humans can get.

There have been some days where I thought all humans are just bad... worthless, worse than worthless.. evil monsters that do nothing except harm and kill.

But then there’s Corey, and my family, and really, there’s a lot of people, most people probably, that have their flaws, but if you give them a decent environment, they’re not so bad, and well, Corey.. I’d fucking do anything I could for Corey. My opinion of him is so high, I’m not sure that it’s completely sane.

So there I was, on this nice peaceful Wednesday asking him a shitty and rude question because, I guess, the world would make more sense if he didn’t like me than if he just kept on loving me and being patient with me.

I mean... really... how the hell is praying for someone going to actually help with anyone? Why would someone give up actual resources to have someone else pray for them? That’s like medieval nonsense scammer crap shit.

Maybe he’ll really reject me and I get let go... just stop fighting and let myself fall under water, sink away. Why the hell did I want to be alive so fucking badly anyway? Did I only think about myself? Maybe I see evil in the world, because ... I’m evil so it colors the world?

Anger flashed over Corey’s face for a moment, green eyes narrowing, nose wrinkling.  Then he reached out and grabbed August’s shirt, jerking him forward into a straight lips-to-lips kiss.  “Fine, come see what I do. Sanji-san gave me permission weeks ago to bring you.”

“What? You asked already? How did you know?”

Corey rolled his eyes. “I’ve been your lover for how many decades? Not to mention I am a very skilled psychiatrist and dream walker.”

“Dreams aren’t real, you know.”

Corey just smiled. “It’s all in your head.”

And so it came to be that I sat with him, and I touched the silver horns of his dream walking VR crazy crap, which I’m so giving him shit about... at least I planned on giving him shit about. I mean.. . does everything have to be some kind of phallic device?

The air was dry, hot, smelled like sage and lavender and brimstone. It felt realer than real.  I was leaning up against the ruins of something that might once have been a castle. I was trying to tell myself it was all a dream and there hadn’t been any mushrooms anywhere! The world itself was telling me how real it was though. It’s a curious experience when the senses come into a direct conflict of interest with the will, both of them bringing suit and countersuit, accusing each other of torts and damages, so that everything becomes muddled, except for the moments of extreme clarity.

“A katana? Why do you have a katana?” August pressed tighter against the wall, suddenly sweaty palms, rubbing against rough and very real stone. “We’re just dreaming, right? This is all just a dream?”

“I have a katana because I am about to do battle, Auggie.”  Corey shifted his grip on the flame etched katana. “The internal world is as real as the external world. How we see things internally is how we express them.”

“Bullshit! That’s such bullshit,” August growled back.

Flame, bright as Corey’s hair, roared and tumbled through the open passage that had been a doorway, cutting off August’s very loud complaint. The flames died down to a few acrid tendrils of smoke. August glared, one eye twitching with indignation. “This is not how one practices psychiatry!”

Green eyes twinkling, Corey gave August a wink. Indignant August was so much better than frightened, wounded August. “Seems to work out good for me.”

August peeked around the stone door frame to find a golden eye bigger than his upper body set in a green scaly head larger than his car was tall. He froze. It blinked then the pupil contracted and August jerked back behind the wall. “Holy Mary, Mother of God,” he hissed making the phrase sound a great deal more blasphemous than might be prudent in a dangerous situation.

“Are you praying?”

“Fuck no,” August growled.

“Then shut the fuck up,” Corey snapped, “And let me do my job.”

I’d like to say I watched the epic battle between my husband and a ... dragon... but I didn’t. I just stood there with my back to the wall and whatever it was that Corey was doing it ended before I gathered my thoughts. Hell if I know how long it took or didn’t take. He was fighting a magic creature in the realm of the mind. I think there are grounds to forgive me for not really having a grasp on the time it took.

The important part was when I finally looked around the wall, there he stood, my beautiful Irish mind ninja, with blood dripping slowly down his katana and adrenalyn ripping through those veins of his, even if it was all in our heads.

He lifted that katana and pointed right at me and then, virtual or not, his voice was perfectly him.

“Do you know fucking know what your problem is, Auggie?”

“No. Why don’t you tell me?”   I meant that seriously. I mean... there was no one smarter than Corey when it came to understanding the mind.  “Please, Corey. Please tell me.”

A thick droplet of dragon blood clung to the very pointy tip of his bland before dropping.  “You don't respect other people. You’re smart and you think everyone else is just a little bit beneath you! like you should be the leader or the king.  You are smarter than a lot of people, but one of the core truths of life is that all life is valuable and the beginnings and ends of like must be respected and honored. You are alive.”

“But how do I go back to being.. being what I was before?”

“You don’t, Auggie. You don’t go back to what you were, but you remember that you’re not the only one working on making the world a decent place to live.”

“Then why didn’t someone come to save him? Why did he just... die like that?”

“Auggie, that’s his process not yours. It’s not for you to take his life choices or his losses onto yourself. You disrespect him and you disrespect all the other people when you think that your efforts alone are going to save them somehow. It is enough that you live your life and do the good that you can. You have nothing to pay for. It is good that you are alive.” Corey lowered his katana so that the tip touched the nasty muddy, bloody, gravelly ground. “You are ready to really live, Auggie. Live in a way that honors others.”

“Is this how you practice psychiatry?”

“Works for me,” Corey said as he closed the distance between them. Holding his katana with only one hand he reached up and caressed August’s cheek, lovingly, as if August were the most precious person in the world. “I love you more than I could possibly measure. I admire you. I know your strength. I will always have faith in you because you earn my faith even with the things you do that are fucked up. You are a good man and I am incredibly lucky to have you in my life.”

Kissing Corey is another one of those things that I just can’t say how long it lasted or exactly what happened. My eyes were closed, but it’s been a very long time since I felt this alive. I hope there is always the memory of Corey’s kisses on my lips.

“Now that’s psychiatry,” August whispered.

“I believe you said something about a convertible? Let’s go home.”

August grinned, the weight gone from his heart. “I think I’ve been a bad, bad boy.”

“I think it’s very likely that you have,” Corey agreed, with another kiss. “We should work on having a very good night.”

“Yes. Yes, we will.”

Note: The earlier stories with these two.. their romance and how August got so wounded are in:


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