Postcards from the Subconscious
that's what dreams are
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Written for Feather

***

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author--in this case, Rose. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
You don't like to be touched.

The thing about naturally feeling nothing is how sensitive you become to feeling everything. That hug Hank gives you isn't just a hug, it's the sensation of slightly scratchy fur rubbing your skin (not quite like beard stubble on your shoulder as you wake up the morning after, but closer to that than to an actual cat's fur) and the well-worn softness of his t-shirt, and you smile and hold just as tight. When Scott brushes against you as you both tinker on a jet, it's not just a bump, it's the feel of sweat-drenched denim and callused skin and so brief you almost miss it.

But you're you, and you don't miss it at all.

It doesn't hurt. It doesn't feel any differently than it always did. You just notice it because it does feel.

You hate it, a little. A lot. Because when you feel nothing, you're free. You're not bound by matter or physics (not the kind most people know about, anyway) or gravity.

You've been free. Utterly and completely. You knows what it's like to be free of everything, physical and mental--eyes wide open looking at Venus in the sky as the last sight you'll see with barely-there eyes as you try to force a last breath into lungs that are long gone.

That's freedom.

Freedom is terrifying.

And oh God, you'd pay any price to feel it again, except you know if you did you wouldn't come back. Molecules can only be pushed apart so far before the bonds between them snap for good. No return, no exchange, you're gone and the door's slammed shut.

And you can't do that. That's suicide, that's death, that's the last round, and you're not that selfish. (Which isn't to say you're not selfish at all, because God knows you are, but not that much. Not yet.)

Piotr's arms are around you, as you curl into his side, and you think you hate to be touched, and still you smiles when he kisses your forehead, your nose, your neck. He kisses his way down your stomach and you laugh and watch him, and when he looks up you're grinning, and then your mouth is too busy with his to manage that anymore.

You're done and curled together and you think you hate to be touched, and you think there are exceptions to every rule, and you close your eyes as you listen to him breathe.

And if you think about Venus and stars and being light again, you never mention it, and when you wake up you feel the weight of the blanket on you and grimace as you kick it off.


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