Title: Just Breathe
Prompt: 10. Breathe Again
Fandom: Red vs Blue
Pairing: Very small implications of onesided Grif/Simmons
Rating: PG, only a few bad words and some touchy subject matter
Word Count: 848 (I'm getting better at writing short things!)
Summary: It's after the "frankenstein" surgery, and Grif is smoking his first cigarette and thinking about his life.
Disclaimer: Title is a small bit of lyric from the song "Breathe" by Telepopmusik, and obviously RVB belongs to Rooster Teeth.
A/N: Started writing this in school when I was supposed to be writing an essay for US History. xD; Screw writing about the US' duty to fight for freedom, we all need some more RVB!
This is almost another experimental thing, since I made it a point not to use any names at all.
Soft, bloody lips part and let a billow of smoke drift into the already hazy air, white rushing against clear like a current in the ocean he barely remembers.
A hitch of breath, then an explosion of coughing. It's a nostalgic coughing, one he's dealt with before. A lifetime ago.
These lungs are new, virgins to the sweet dark perfection of nicotine. The air feels so much cleaner, fresher, fuller than any air he could ever remember... but the need -- no, want; he can stop any time he wants -- for the silky satisfaction of a cigarette beats all. Health or hurtful habit? Truthfully, he doesn't know which he wants anymore.
He feels the subtle rush of a cigarette high sink into his veins, and he sighs. Satisfied.
But is he really?
New lungs, new stomach, new ribs, new liver... new heart. New life?
...No. No one would recognize this odd sort of resurrection as a new life. Not the lunatic C.O. who played Dr. Frankenstein to his monster, not the male "nurse" in lightish red, and certainly not the human-turned-cyborg whose organs had just saved his life, the kiss-ass who was the first to find him and drag him back to base, the first to yell at his already screaming eardrums that he better not fucking die, or he was going to kill him. The dutch irish who continued to fret and fuss and send a last sharp spark of emotion through his heart before it stopped completely.
...What did it matter, anyway? He was alone in this canyon, surrounded by idiots and douchebags and assholes who cared less about him than he did about them. That's how it had always been, hadn't it? Everyone around him hating him?
Before she had run off to the circus, his mother had told him it was because they were jealous, but he had always known better. He was smarter than anyone managed to give him credit for, than anyone continued to give him credit for. He wasn't stupid. He could plainly see the poorly disguised pity that radiated from his sergeant, and even from his comrades at times. Poor, stupid, lazy man, they were thinking. It's probably for the best that he was drafted, he wouldn't have been able to do anything else with his life.
He hadn't told anyone, but he had been accepted into Harvard right before he had been forced into the army. He had the fleeting beginnings of a plan, to go and become a lawyer or something equally as wealth-creating, and live a life of relative ease on some beachfront property. But it was all taken away from him when he got the expensive manila envelope without a return address, and the letter inside.
He pulls another harsh drag of the cigarette, forgetting again the newness of his situation. He coughs again, heaves, and remembers.
There had been a time when people hadn't hated him, hadn't there? Well, they'd pretended to like him, at least, pulled him into their crazy, irresponsible high school lives.
It started with a cigarette.
"Hey, want one?" Tan skin, shiny black hair, an out of place leather jacket and an outstretched hand holding a small stick of rolled paper and poisoned tabacco.
Response: a shrug, an open hand, and a smirk. "Why not?"
Burning lungs and so much coughing, but that didn't stop him from taking another the next time he was asked.
He realizes his hands are shaking as he brings the cig up for another puff. He does it carefully this time, shallowly, finally aware that he could end this now. If he really wanted to.
He almost throws the smouldering roll over the edge of the base, but he can't bring himself to, these cigarettes were so hard to come by, and it would be a waste. Instead he looks down, at the small orange embers and the grimy slick of blood and guts washed only haphazardly off of his skin. He wonders briefly who had been in charge of clean up, and then decides he doesn't care.
He doesn't care about anything. He doesn't care about his teammates, or his enemies, or himself.
He lifts the cigarette to his lips, white unfiltered paper stark against the gashes of red. He breathes deep this time, hold it in, forces himself to take it, and lets it out in a strong blast from his nose. A dragon. He's a goddamned dragon.
And with the dragon comes rage, deep, bloodcurdling rage that sends him flinging the still-burning cigarette and the rest of the pack as far as he can, farther than he remembered he could throw, before he calms down, realizes that he's just wasted all the effort it took to get them.
Effort gets you nowhere, he reminds himself as he shoves his hands deep into his pockets and winces at the stitches straining in his chest. This new life, the one that no one cares about, the one that will probably be killed and ignored and pushed away, it's his now. And he's going to take it.
A/N: GODDAMMIT I NEED TO STOP WRITING ONLY ANGST AND FLUFF AND ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE. ;A;