ZERO :: the Fool (annwyd) wrote in archerastar,
ZERO :: the Fool
annwyd
archerastar

[Toward the Terra] Slow Motion Car Crash

Title: Slow Motion Car Crash
Fandom: Toward the Terra
Characters/Pairing: Tony and Jomy (Tony/Jomy if you squint)
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 559
Notes: Written for a song title prompt.
Summary: Tony struggles to come to terms with himself, what he's done, and what he must do in the future.

Tony kept taking the headphones off. They felt too heavy on him, and he knew that if he were willing to listen, they'd whisper strange things into his ears.

He wasn't suited to wear them. He was still a child who had lost both parents. He was still a monster who had killed another Mu. He was still Tony, and Jomy should still have been Grandpa.

Tony remembered:

The water came down around him scalding hot and scathing hard; he'd turned the settings up to their highest. He still didn't feel clean. If he closed his eyes, he could still feel blood all over him. The blood of another Mu.

Why? How? Why?! He wasn't sure what he was asking. Why had he done it? To destroy the humans, of course, to leave them leaderless and vulnerable. But he hadn't been able to in the end. How had he done it, when he'd devoted his life to serving Jomy, who had devoted his life to serving the Mu? How had the other Mu, the dead one, been able to tolerate living with humans? Why had Tony not hesitated? Why had the dead Mu cared enough to protect a human with his life?

Tony didn't realize how loud his thoughts had been until he felt Jomy's touch on his mind. But then again, maybe they hadn't been loud at all. Maybe Jomy had just been waiting to hear them. Grandpa--!

He could feel Jomy's weariness, but he could also feel a sad pride within it. You did it for me, Tony, and for those of us who had fallen. Thank you.

Tony hugged his own naked body and tried not to feel so vulnerable. It didn't work. How can you say that? I didn't kill the human. I killed one of us.

Even Jomy's mental silence was strong enough to fill Tony's mind. In that moment, Tony realized that Jomy had known there was a Mu protecting Keith Anyan. He'd known, and he hadn't said a thing. Why...?

Jomy spoke into his mind again. You gave us time to save many other Mu. And you did it for the right reasons.

Tony sank against the wall of the shower. It didn't matter that he was in here, did it? His thoughts were always naked to Jomy. He wondered, even knowing that Jomy could read the curiosity straight from his mind, how Jomy had been able to hold that information to himself. Another question he didn't have an answer for. Why did answers matter now? They never had before. Serving Jomy had been all that mattered.

Sadness flowed from Jomy to him. Tony. Hold onto those feelings. They will give you the strength to do difficult things.

Tony shook his head, the water flying out around him. I'll never have the strength you have, Grandpa. Never.

Jomy's denial in his mind was wordless but firm. Tony didn't understand, but he told himself that he didn't need to understand. He clutched hands that had so recently been stained with blood into fists. He would hold onto those feelings, because Jomy had told to.

That conversation was what Tony remembered, only a few days later, when everything had changed. He thought that maybe it was time to start understanding.

Tony took a deep breath and put on the headphones again.
Tags: prompted, shortfic, toward the terra
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