littlepriest: (✩ three)
Detective Rustin Cohle ([personal profile] littlepriest) wrote in [community profile] herbgarden2016-12-08 11:12 pm
Entry tags:

Open Post: Detective Rustin Cohle

"Wᴇʟʟ, ɪғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴏɴ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ʜᴀs ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴜᴘ ғᴀɪʀʏ ᴛᴀʟᴇs, ᴛʜᴇɴ ɪᴛ’s ɴᴏᴛ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ғᴏʀ ᴀɴʏʙᴏᴅʏ."

Leave a prompt (text message, image, scene starter, anything) in a comment below
Feel free to elaborate or plot via PM

AU is ✓
Multiple threads is ✓
Tags and prose are ✓
Strangers are ✓
Permissions for your consideration
wontgraham: (pic#10809662)

for his shithead alter ego, let's get some filthy gross past-au in here

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-27 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
The ninth ward isn't the only shitty, still-impoverished place left in Louisiana. Will's been to most of them, knows them well even after being transferred officially to New Orleans police.

Sometimes, they still end up driving outside their areas for calls. It can piss off the other local cops, but Detectives Graham and Broussard aren't known for respecting pecking orders. So when they get the tip-off that a noise complaint and reported lone gunshot down in Iberville might actually have been a drug chain getting a nasty interruption, they saddle up and drive over.

Two hours later, it turns out their location is lots of chickenwire fences marking off weedy lawns and thin, barking dogs. Will pulls them against the side of the road, half the tires into the soft dirt of what passes for a shoulder in this residential area. They both get out of the car, ignoring the neighbor two mobile houses down who's peering out her blinds with a scowl to see what the cops are up to on her street now. Will reads tired hatred and burnt-out fear, cigarette ash drifting across the road from her.

Turns out the tip-off about the house was right. Three guys leave, in the lamp-breaking hustle that follows them trying to ask about noise levels. Two guys end up caught in the aftermath, and both of them put their guns down for the cops leveling guns right back at them. Broussard takes the thicker one, out in the kitchen from where the guy tried to half-heartedly sprint away.

Which leaves Will with the taller, lankier one, the one who tracks his every movement with sharp eyes. He's quiet as hell but his face is a loudspeaker, and Will looks away first, sweat pooling at his lower back.

He's already dropped his weapon onto the floor, as suggested. "Turn around, hands behind your back." Will's still got his gun out, pointed at the guy's shoulder - he watches this stranger's eyes, sees the way he clocks that the gun isn't actually pointed at his heart, watches him read so much before he starts turning into a loose, relaxed circle around to face the wall.

The handcuffs ratchet loud in the sudden quiet. Metal gleams as it encircles one bare wrist and one that Will can just barely see dark ink spilling down towards, but a leather jacket covers the rest.

Dust clouds off it, when Will pats his pockets down.

It doesn't take more than five seconds to find the large bag of crystal this guy was carrying. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law." Will's cautious about putting the gun back in his holster, doesn't snap the button back into place, leaves it easily accessible. Whoever owns this house could easily still be inside. "Not that you seem like a nervous talker."
wontgraham: (pic#10809704)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-27 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
There's a certain demeanor most cops adopt around people they're arresting. It's human nature, Will knows that. He understands it. But that doesn't mean he's quite as good at the dehumanizing that seems to propel about half his colleagues through hushed brutality complaints.

Not that sassing criminals is really what he ought to be doing, for various reasons.

Will's got his glasses on - shatter proof, expensive as hell, but less of a pain in the ass than taking them on and off whenever he's writing tickets or talking to the public - but he doesn't duck behind them quick enough to avoid the serious stare being leveled at him.

He blinks, genuine surprise leaking eagerly at the edges of his on-duty-mask. Will's only easily unbalanced when he's actually unsure of himself, though, and he's been doing this job for almost five years. "No." Will keeps his gun's holster open, but leaves it there. He takes a step back and jerks his head towards the doorway, one hand just barely tipping to indicate that this man can go ahead and lead the way out. "I guess there'll only be one person talking during the ride back."

Right on cue is the heavier one, echoing from the kitchen barely fifteen steps away. "Y'all didn't even try to catch the others. They call you in here to do this? Those sons of bitches."

Will doesn't really feel bad when, as he and Broussard fold their respective suspects into the back of the police car, the heavier one knocks his head on the door frame. By contrast, Will's suspect - neither of them had any ID on them, even in their wallets, which were devoid of anything except cash money and, in the heavier one's case, a nameless Costco card - is nearly graceful as he slides in, quiet and emotionless as a stone.

He also watches them, in spurts, in the rear view mirror. Will catches him as he and Broussard trade places for the ride back, Will in the passenger's seat.

By the time Broussard is pulling back onto the resident street, though, he's just staring out the window, eyes bloodshot but dry.

Will stays staring forward at the road, calling in their find to New Orleans PD on his own cellphone.
Edited 2017-02-27 19:15 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#10809704)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-27 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Quiet with authority he can't win against in the moment. Calculated cruelty and aggression towards cohorts that he thinks he'd win against in the moment (and he doesn't appear to have calculated wrong, going off 'Toad's' howling).

'Crash', the man currently slumping himself to lean towards his window again in the backseat, is smart. You can be dangerous without being smart - that's the majority of the arrests they make, to be honest - but Will sees the way this one weighs the risks. Will's got his own interpretations of that ripple in the aftermath.

Will cranks around in his seat, slow and eyebrows just starting to raise, face otherwise relaxed. Sweat makes his hair swirl unprofessionally against the back of his head, where it brushed upwards against the headrest of his seat.

Toad has already been watching for him, glaring with bloodshot eyes. When his upper lip curls, Will sees too-red gums and a missing lower tooth. By comparison, Crash's oral health appears to be stellar, even if both of them reek of drug-sweat and sleeping in cars. "I don't know." Will says, eyes tracking from one to the other.

"It's not as if any of that yelling is going to get anyone any favors once we're back in New Orleans." Will's sitting back upright in his seat, facing forward. Across the gear shift, Broussard's face is twisting with the self-satisfied shadow of a smile. Both of them have their own aggressive tics, but neither of them err on the side of bullish when patience will do just fine. They've made a surprisingly smooth team for the past eight months.

"What he's saying is, please feel free to rough each other up as much as you'd like on the way back. Just don't get blood on our jackets."

Will rolls his eyes at the window to conceal his resigned smile, but Broussard catches it in the reflection anyway.


They separate them, obviously, as soon as they get them in. No one's that stupid.

The meth, technically only found on Crash, was in the trunk in an evidence bag on the way in, and Will sends it off to get officially tested at the lab. The both of their suspects get maybe ten minutes to stew, while Will and Broussard type up the basics of the arrest, and then it's time to drag them separately through the booking process. There's no reason to let them start Morse-code-blinking or handing off little notes about how to collaborate their stories.

Broussard and Will naturally fall towards the ones they'd cuffed, no discussion about it.

"Good luck, man." Broussard passes him, tapping their shoulders together as he goes.

"Don't need any." Which is the expected response, by now, ingrained into a genuine habit. Broussard winks before opening his door and stepping in to go strip-search Toad, an experience that quite frankly Will doesn't envy him for.

Will opens the door to Crash's temporary holding cell. Making sure he doesn't have extra contraband on him is next on the list, before fingerprints and photos and saliva swabbing, and Will is already peeling out a pair of blue nitrile gloves.

Will's already patted Crash down, he didn't feel like he had any weapons, but there's not much wiggle room for procedures.

There's no reason to be callous, but Will knows from experience now that being overly kind tends to get the smarter ones riled and collaborating, and the meanest ones suddenly keener for weak spots. He keeps his tone neutral, looks Crash up and down just to assess the basics. "I realize you may or may not already be aware of what happens next." Will's pulling the gloves on already, gun still in the holster at his side. "But before we can start taking your fingerprints or anything else, we need to make sure you're not carrying any other contraband on your person."

Will is very, very good at looking at someone while avoiding direct eye contact. He's found it's useful during this part. "I'm going to need you to remove your clothes and pile them on the bench behind you."
wontgraham: (pic#10113610)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-28 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
It's a polite brand of caution. It's a self-protecting brand of unease.

Other people spill into him and the paints don't unmix so easily. Will has spent unwatched hours following paths in his mind that are at once foreign and familiar to him, that he knows he didn't carve but that he can find the scars of on his own hands.

So yeah. He's going to be careful about eye contact right before a strip search on a recently-armed gang member.

But the rest of Crash's face is just as distracting. When he stands up, Will leans back into his own stance - shoulders lowering, chin tilting up, weight shifting onto the balls of his feet.

He isn't approached like a lumbering threat, though. There's no yelling-at-Toad growl to the voice. This is a man changing gears, and Will finds eye contact in a flash, because for a split second he thinks he's hearing someone mirror--

But he's more likely just hearing someone act. And as he looks at distracting, bloodshot eyes that are remarkably focused and clear, none of the drug-haze that had clouded across everyone in the backseat on the ride over, Will sees either a very good actor, a very delusional man, or...

Surprise hits like lightning to a still-green tree, splintering through and across. Will blinks at Crash, watches the complete change of attitude, and thinks of Broussard in the next room hustling Toad through what Crash is currently delaying.

The corners of Will's mouth twitch up, air huffing out in amused surprise, forehead pinching down. "Does your file include your pathological need to have the last, witty word?" Will doesn't take his gloves off, but he doesn't issue the order to strip a second time. Instead, he reaches for his back pocket and takes out his cellphone.

"Okay. Well. Since we both realize how ridiculous all of that sounds." Will watches Crash, this time with the sharp edge of someone who's good at what he can do and right now doesn't see any reason to hide it. To call what just came out of Crash's mouth far-fetched doesn't do it justice, but Will is more willing than most to go ahead and test out the limits of what people are capable of carrying within themselves.

He's already googling for Houston PD's number. Will looks back up only once he's also bringing the ringing phone up to his ear, gaze flat. His eyebrows raise slightly, a parent challenging a child in an ill-advised game of chicken.

"I'm going to need that name and badge number now."
wontgraham: (pic#11015114)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-02-28 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
It's the way Crash's shoulders slacken and then bend inward instead of posturing up. It's the way his gaze releases its pressure and his pupils track away and don't widen in alarm. That's not the nervous next-step-planning of a guy who knows he's about to be caught in an elaborate lie.

Will finds, as he's waiting for that name and badge number, that he's starting to really believe this is going to be genuine.

"...Really?" Is the only squinting commentary Will gets to have on that ridiculous name, though, before a receptionist picks up.

"Houston Police Department. This call is monitored for your service. What can we do for you?" Will's already sat through a brief directory, and he's not really looking to beat around the bush with this.

"This is Detective Will Graham, with the New Orleans Police Department." Will usually stares into space when on the phone, but right now he's concentrated on one Crash - sorry, Rustin Cohle - and the way his posture changes. It stretches that leather biker jacket in unfamiliar patterns, creaks the material all wrong, and Will imagines that that's not a pose Cohle's struck for quite some time.

And possibly never while wearing that fucking gang jacket.

"Is Amelia Hill in? I need to speak with her."

"Sorry, sir, she's busy, but I can take a message--"

Phones have always been a weak point for Will's rudeness. He interrupts without a twitch, the other man's voice fading compliantly out of the way. And, as it turns out, Will goes all-in on this story he's being told. That posture tic is damn convincing. "I've got one of her undercover agents in my holding cell right now. Rustin Cohle, one-five-five-seven-four."

There's a long pause. "I'm transferring you right now, sir."

"I appreciate it."

Without covering the speaker - there's only elevator music filtering through for a moment anyway, no one to keep from overhearing - Will keeps his gaze pinned tight on Cohle's face. "Congratulations on not actually getting arrested." Through the haze of surprise - this isn't unlike stumbling across a fairy tale, arresting an undercover officer from out of state - there is the barest thread of self-aware amusement, of a rough sandpaper humor that maybe Will is only reading off of the room's other occupant.

"And on just giving me a good week's worth of papers to file about this, I'm sure." Not that there's any point, when it's surely going to end up redacted anyway.
wontgraham: (pic#11015102)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-03-01 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
"Probably should." Looks like they're on the same page about the amount of time that's about to get wasted, typing up something that's only going to appear in most digital files as a lot of fucking blacked-out boxes.

Will's never dealt with anyone going undercover to this extent. Outside of Cohle's own state? It's practically unheard of, usually would suggest a lot of shuffling panic as a cover gathered enough waves to carry the officer's lies too far - the fact that Hill hasn't called their office already, looking for her detective, is bizarre enough. It sends up red flags, enough to distract Will out of the protocol he's probably going to be meant to follow for this.

And Cohle himself. He's clearly high, been high for a while, eyes red-rimmed and attention crackling and then fizzling out. How long has he been awake? Will remembers a few particularly shitty nights of his own, knows that brand of wide-eyed focus, but he's never done drugs. This is another level, and it's distracting being in the room with it.

"Amelia Hill speaking." That snaps Will out of it. The voice is deeper than he was expecting. "You actually got him locked up right now?"

"He told me what was going on as soon as he wasn't around his cohort we brought him in with. He's fine, not even processed yet." Will hears concern in her voice and, reasonably, assumes it's for Cohle.

Her voice when she continues is chilly enough that he's not really sure anymore, though. "This is gonna be a pain in the ass for everybody, but for the most part it's just gonna be forgetting you saw anything. I'll fax your senior officer over Cohle's files so you can confirm ID on him." Her voice is clipped, someone used to people underneath her fucking up but no more patient for it. "I'm gonna need their name, and yours, Officer...?"

"Detective Will Graham." Will's starting to reanimate, no longer needing to watch his back or his gun, now that it's all but confirmed that this is indeed Rustin Cohle, (very deeply) undercover narcotics officer. He glances back up at Cohle, holds up his free forefinger in a just a sec gesture, and then edges out of the room while relaying all the incredibly exciting information of his boss's name and fax machine number.


The door cracks back open, Will's phone back in his pocket and the sergeant too busy on the phone with Hill to be giving out many further orders.

He's got a little plastic cup from the cooler in one hand, filled high enough that he's got to be careful not to spill it when he holds it out. "I'm pretty sure that it's fine for you to come out of the cell now, but I'm equally sure that Landon will have an aneurysm if he sees you sitting in the break room before I've had a chance to tell him what happened." He says, by way of avoiding commenting on the fact that he's just gone and brought Cohle water.

Will's mouth has been dry in mirrored sympathy for the whole ten minutes he was gone - Cohle looks dry, from his lips to his hands, and the image had been burnt into Will's head as clearly as the dusty leather jacket.
Edited 2017-03-01 23:13 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#11015114)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-03-02 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
"Not with you wearing an Iron Crusaders jacket still, we definitely can't." Cohle might otherwise not throw off anyone who doesn't know better - everyone in the department isn't dumb, but it's not like everyone memorized the faces of the people that got hurried past them into cells at the front of the building already - but he's not exactly dressed the part of an average citizen.

Not like he couldn't just take it off, of course, and stop having a gang logo stitched aggressively into the back of his clothes, but.

Speaking of motorcycle gang affiliations, though.

The room's had enough time to fully collect what it contains, and Will can smell Cohle on the air - the bite of anxiety, the twist of fear, the way gun powder seems scraped along the walls by now. And he's just a guy with an average sense of smell, standing barely within arm's reach of him. Tension coils off this guy in nearly-visible waves, Will's sense of him rattling down to his bones.

The echo of Hill's annoyance rings in Will's ears when Cohle quietly thanks him. Will's shoulders round in, shrugging, hands smoothing out his pants and then spreading into his pockets. "Consider it an apology for cuffing you earlier." Although in his defense, you'd pulled a gun on him first, Cohle.

Will sinks into his heels, then paces, slowly listening for any footsteps beyond the windowless door. When he turns back, guilty suspicions prickling at the nape of his neck, Will can't help but comment on the obvious. "You're high." He crosses his arms against his chest, uncomfortable but still forging ahead. "Do you-- need anything for that? I mean." He forces himself to stand still, eyes tracking up to the ceiling. "We have EMTs that work with us a lot. It's been a while I went to a conference on street drugs, but I was pretty sure hospitals carry antagonists for meth." Assuming that's what's got this guy all jumpy. It's definitely what they found on him, at least.

And if 'antagonist for meth' is really just code for 'you look like you could use a Valium while we wait on when to ship you back to Texas and your angry senior officer handler', well.
wontgraham: (pic#10121227)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-03-03 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
Will's always been exceedingly self-conscious. Does it always mean he self-corrects to make himself appear smaller and meeker? No, not always, not since he first was living on his own in a career that gave him some sense of purpose. But it does mean he's aware of what his reactions give to others - he usually feels a pull to bow to them, instinctively seems apologetic when he can't, and that's what gives him his bite when refusing social norms.

It's why he's got a reputation of being quiet but largely unfriendly, among his fellow officers.

So when Cohle chuckles dryly and correctly catches onto Will's discomfort, Will doesn't keep curling into himself. He takes note, takes stock, reads no real threat from Cohle. Will's face pinches, forehead wrinkling and mouth parting to show teeth as he scoffs in turn. "Guess I misrepresented myself. I'd say the same still applies to you, though, since I'm getting a good look at it right now."

Because if you're gonna call Will's bluff on playing it cool, he's going to point out the obvious too. Cohle reeks of adrenaline, fight or flight bouncing off the walls - he might be keeping it together, but his blown pupils and his hairline matted down to his forehead broadcasts the anxiety he doesn't otherwise voice. It would be more polite to ignore it, but they just sped past 'polite'.

But there's no real venom behind it, and Will looks at Cohle's parting remark with confusion instead of more irritation. His voice is level and reasonable when he speaks again, hands still in his pockets, still stationed nearer the door than Cohle. "What real problem? Getting in trouble with your handler?"
Edited 2017-03-03 02:47 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#11015102)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-05-10 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Will's eyes close, eyebrows pulling up. His hands are on his hips, now that he's confident the man in this room isn't going to try to jump him the second he sees a weak spot in his arresting officer.

"There's that one-liner affliction again." Will says, slow not because he's savoring it, but because it's difficult to decide on exactly how annoyed he feels. "You must be hilarious at gang meetups."

But how annoyed does he need to be? He's backing up, step by easy step, sidling towards the door. "I think it's against policy to let you smoke in your holding cell. But I'll make sure they don't 'lose' your cigarettes before we've got you back out of here." And he slips out the door, with just the barest nod to indicate he isn't storming off, just off to do another errand.

And if he brings a sandwich from the break room fridge back with him, when he comes to give Rustin Cohle the estimate on his handler finishing talking to Will's captain, well. Cohle doesn't comment on it.


Will wants to feel smug that he was right. Instead, his stomach just feels cold the entire drive to the airport.

It's not a long flight. It's just quicker than a car, and easier to bill the state police department for it, citing work expenses.

He drags himself out into a different scent of humidity - New Orleans to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Will hasn't been to Texas in about six years, hasn't lived there for even longer.

The hospital smells like high-grade germicide and fake lemons. It still has the age-decay scent of a regular hospital, but there's a bitter ring in the air. There's too much forced cheerful lighting for there to be a lot of shadows, but the few that gather under front desks and in elevator corners seem to vibrate with screams.

He's left outside room 511. He's told there's no roommate in there yet, that he'll be alone to talk to his 'friend'. Will thanks Nurse McDonald, waves him off and stands outside the doorless doorway.

And then he steps in. "I told myself I wouldn't say this." The view of the bed is clear from the doorway, even just two steps inside. It's weird seeing anyone with IVs hooked up to their hand. The skin around Cohle's eyes is so dark that Will isn't sure it's black eyes or lack-of-sleep bruising.

"But I definitely told you so."
Edited 2017-05-11 22:37 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#10114454)

me: i prob make will suffer enough | dark me: pussy

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-04-11 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
It's his teeth that get his attention first.

The grit between them. The way his tongue seems to stick, first to the roof of his mouth and then to the insides of those teeth. The dirty-penny taste to everything. When Will presses a dry tongue to the inside of his left cheek, he feels the raw texture of torn skin flapping. Pressing against his teeth drags out the dirty-penny taste more, where blood collected between them.

Swallowing feels like dragging sandpaper against rough wood, everything catching and nothing wanting to move right. Will isn't sure he could talk if he tried. Just breathing through his mouth is enough to make his tongue and throat light up with instinctive pain, dried out and tired. But he can't breathe through his nose - filled with pulpy, clotted blood, septum deviated too far to the right.

It feels like suffocating, like drowning, on the rare occasions when he wakes up after having closed his mouth in his scattered drags of sleep.

Will's right foot presses up against the closet door. It's sturdier than it looks, but that's all it is. It's not particularly high tech in Marcus Wray's ranch-style house out in a rural strip of Virginia, but it doesn't need to be. He's got enough distance from neighbors to make up for what his sound proofing attempts lack.

It's also been made adequately clear to Will that yelling for help isn't helpful right now. He's playing a dangerous waiting game, ticking off the habits of his captor as they flicker by, but without even sunlight to tell time. Every visit outside of the closet, the windows were covered in black paper, artificial light the only source.

Will's not sure if he's been here days or a full week. He's been hungry since...the second beating. Will can't tell time any other way, but it's been seven trips out of the closet so far. None of Wray's previous victims were killed after shorter than a month, so he has time on his side.

He just isn't really looking forward to sitting through it. His mind rattles at the edges, heart straining against his ribs when the quiet dark around him doesn't budge.

His hands aren't tied with rope. There's nothing cutting into his wrists. But the straight jacket tugged tight across his shoulders, looping his hands to the opposite hip, pulling everything in towards the center of his body, feels worse than bag ties or barb wire ever could have.

Caught. Put where he belongs - in a mental institution. They saw through it. He's diseased. Terror crawls across Will with thousands of tiny legs, pricking his attention into too many directions to focus. His breathing's getting out of control again. Will isn't even sure how many times he's lost himself to this fear while he's been here - of being institutionalized, locked up.

Wray might be a brute, but he knows how to dig the best horror out of his victims. He'd recognized Will from the story about Garrett Jacob Hobbs. It had gone downhill from there.

Will's a phenomenal actor when he needs to be, but even he hadn't been able to fake his way out of his first panic attack.

This time, he yells. Sure enough, his voice is too broken to do more than rasp painfully. Dried blood flakes off his upper lip. The only fortune is that Wray can't hear him anymore.
wontgraham: (pic#10103903)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-04-13 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
The frayed ends of Will's breathing start to slow down. As reality beats the edges of his awareness, he hears the muted groan-snap of a plastic porch door opening.

The right edge of his hairline itches with dried sweat. Will digs his forehead against his hunched shoulder, even that movement almost too much for sore and unused muscles. He feels spent from wondering what the latest door opening could mean, but there's a spark in him that hasn't died yet.

Stay alive. At any cost. Learn, wait, win. If he can solve the mystery of Wray's habits, get enough of a profile and timeline established, he can use it to his advantage. He will.

He has to.


It's 5:35 pm. Wray doesn't like cooking, but he's not terrible at working mechanically through tasks. There's still leftover soup on his stove, and after he shuts his front door, he's heading back through his house to go put it away.

He didn't put on shoes to go out on his porch. He's still barefoot, and his matted beard and uneven hair belie a man who knows how to walk quietly in his own house.

Careful, Rust. Better hide or move out of that room before he sees you.
wontgraham: (pic#10103902)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-04-15 11:58 am (UTC)(link)
Metallic sounds mean Wray is cooking. Metallic sounds also mean Wray is getting tools. Will's head is tilted back, eyes as attuned as they'll get to the dim light and still barely able to see the closet ceiling. He knows it's cracked plaster, a pale cream. He glanced at it the fifth time the door was opened while he flinched from the light.

Wray doesn't usually come visit him right after eating. But Wray always comes to visit him right after gathering tools.

In the dark, Will's shoulders shiver. His breath is harsh.

He wonders if he should try to kill Wray before he loses any more strength.


The pot fills with soapy, already-filmed water in the sink. Wray moves through his kitchen with wrote memory guiding his feet, stiffly creaking his fridge door open to stack leftovers in it, drying hands off on the towel hanging against his stove.

He makes it back to the kitchen door before animal instinct growls in the back of his mind. Wray freezes on the doorstep, small eyes narrowing. Both feet firmly planted, he leans back in, enough to look across towards the back door, his boots sitting by it, the wide window still left closed, the pantry doors.

A shadow. No movement to catch his reptile brain's attention, but the instinctive knowledge that his pantry didn't have that thickness of form so close to the slatted doors before. A stripe of foreign brown.

Wray takes off into the brief hallway off his kitchen, feet loud on wooden floors.
Edited 2017-04-15 12:00 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#10103903)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-04-29 02:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Loud footsteps are almost new. Wray's been angry, really angry, a grand total of once since Will started waking up in his closet. He'd stomped across a square area that sounded like it was two rooms away - where the door creak came from earlier, maybe the front door, maybe a side door - for a full minute before barreling towards Will's door.

Will passed out at the first hit. He considers it a mixed encounter - too short to be properly terrifying. Suspense is a large part of Wray's power. But Will doesn't like the taste in his mouth when he wakes up from a concussion, or the way his skull feels too small and his brain too heavy and cumbersome for his neck. In that way, it's better when Wray is calm.

So Will's already fighting instinct to lean deeper into his closet as the footsteps come for him. Does this need to be it? Will isn't sure he's even capable of suffocating someone with his bare hands by now. He'd need a weapon. And how will he get one? Can he manipulate Wray's overconfidence for it?

The light sears away those thoughts. The steam of them dazzles Will's eyes as he's dragged by his straight jacket sleeves out from the bare closet.

Wray never talks much. Doesn't ramble, that is. He'll talk with a purpose, when he's ready, so Will isn't surprised at the lack of empty threats at first.

But then there's something cold under his chin, a sharp pressure that's already too-close-too-much against his throat. Will's become too acquainted with the feeling of his own blood dribbling sticky down his skin to have any doubts about the knife below his jaw.

He wheezes and can't form a question. Will gnaws on his tongue to try to get enough saliva in his mouth to talk, feels the knife tilt in a little deeper when his throat expands.

"Patient Zero." Wray's voice, deep and collected. Will's breathing ratchets up at the name. His hands grip the inner fabric of straight jacket sleeves, knuckles whitening. "We need to go for a walk."

And they're dragging around in a tight circle, Will straightening as much as he can to avoid the knife, overly aware of how they're nearly the same height. He's never been grabbed this way before. If he knocks his head back, can he break Wray's nose? How could he work open the front door without his hands? Will doesn't even know if it's a doorknob or a flat handle, like a shitty screen door.

A sound, nearby to Will's adrenaline-fueled hearing. A door creaking.

Will was already dreading what was coming. This realization sets his heart thudding under his ribcage. His voice rips from his throat. "Who's that?"

"Another patient. We need to greet him."

Will's feet drag across wooden floorboards, ankles slow to remember what walking feels like. "Smile, Patient Zero."
Edited 2017-04-29 15:03 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#10809703)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-04-29 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Will can't help but focus on this other sound, even as it disappears. Wray has never brought someone else in to share in his games. It wasn't suggested by his profile, when Will was still investigating and not kidnapped. Wray has his own ideas, his own whims he's a dedicated slave to, and he works alone.

Which means whoever's here doesn't work with Wray in torturing and killing victims. Innocent bystander? Or concerned law enforcement?

Will's spine twitches straighter when he hears Rust's voice. The silence shatters and then regroups. Wray is a solid monolith behind Will. He knew someone was coming. He knew Rust was coming, which means this isn't another game.

"You're very rude, not knocking. I had to wake up Patient Zero to come out for you."

This also isn't a hostage situation. Will's heart beats a stringy, pulpy mess against his upper ribs. Nothing Rust says is going to impact this sequence of events.

Wray is trying out having an audience for his kill this time.

It's now or it's literally never. Will plants shaky feet on the floor, strengthens through ankles and knees that haven't been allowed to walk in days, and rocks his head backwards.

Pain explodes at the back of his head. There's a crunch like popcorn snapping, presumably Wray's nose. The knife is following Will's throat, fast but interrupted as its owner howls with pain. Will doesn't have the energy to yell out suggestions for Rust, he hopes it's just obvious - get Wray away from his throat, right now, by any means necessary.
wontgraham: (pic#10114454)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-04-30 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
Will's ears ring high and sharp, a knife screaming right against his brain. His eyes close in instinctive recoil, his balance upset as Wray drags at him. The blade follows his throat, ricochets almost harmlessly against it when Wray's momentum loses itself and starts falling down and away.

Will is sagging forward towards his knees before he can fully register that he's no longer got a knife under his jaw. Hands catch him, and Will is so used to having hands catch him. It's all he can do to keep his head from lolling around his neck as he falls and is stopped, jerkily lowered to the ground by strong hands.

Strong hands holding a gun. Strong hands holding a gun, gunshot residue taste falling against Will's tongue like ash, and Will realizes it's Rust. Rust, who's angrily breathing into his ear, then the space near his nose, then over his head while Rust looks past him.

"Wray," Will rasps. His throat hurts worse than it did in the dark of the closet. He also cares a lot less about that pain right now. He jerks in Rust's hands, fingers clenching and fighting. "Don't-- Don't let him get up--" Not now, not when they're so fucking close to this.

"I'm fine, don't let him--" Will wheezes into silence, tongue unsure how to even keep trying to form words. But he doesn't want to end up dying, stabbed in the back by his captor because Rust is trying so hard to get the straightjacket off him--

The straight jacket off him--

Will thrashes, then, finally allowed to try to move. His shoulders groan in protest, his back screams, but he wants this jacket off. His breathing's climbing steadily, drying out his mouth even faster, rattling his ribs where they hang precariously off his sternum.
wontgraham: (pic#10121226)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-05-01 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
His front is dragged at, the edge of his left arm grabbed aggressively and tugged around. Will's gotten used to being manhandled. He's not used to seeing Rust while it's happening. Not in person.

Will's eyes slide closed as Rust passes him. Images brush against the back of Will's mind, memories from when he'd been drifting in the back of the closet. Rust's hand grabbing Will's chin, jerking it back up when he'd nearly passed out after his first concussion. Rust in his dreams, watching him with no expression and lighting a cigarette, the smoke of it obscuring the black, tar-slick deer behind him in the grass.

He hears handcuffs clinking and latching behind him. He knows what it means. He doesn't move.

Will's eyes don't open again until he hears Rust speaking. His vision is - wrong. It's odd, staticky at the edges, like he's going to lose signal soon. Will thinks of a satellite dish that needs adjusting. His throat hurts. His back hurts. His free hand finishes grappling blindly at the other buckles, lets his right hand free too. Both arms hang, limp and numb and nerves on fire, at his sides.

Backup's coming. He gets to leave. "Is there--" There's no point trying for full sentences. Will coughs, throat too dry for it to sound anything but ragged and sharp. "Water?" There's a plea in there, a thread of desperation that Will's been trying hard to keep at bay. He's losing that battle, feels his mind rattling around in his skull, a wasted husk of what it had been when he showed up to this house seven beatings ago. How long has he been here?
wontgraham: (pic#10809656)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-05-03 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
Will's wanted water for so long that it's a sentence he almost can't bear to hear repeated back to him. It's so obvious that it hurts, and he doesn't even have the energy left for rolling his eyes or raising his eyebrows in judgmental reminder. All that's left is a flaking thirst, a tired reminder that rasps against his ribs with the insistence survive.

So is it really so bad to be told he has to do it? Has to get up and walk, to get that water? He's supported himself so far, hasn't he?

The cracked, chipped pieces of Will's attention are scooped up in a shaking hand and poured out into a more concentrated pile. He blinks up at Rust, heavy head unsteady on his neck.

Speaking doesn't happen, just a rough drag of 'I'm--' and then coughing. Will plants one shaky hand on the floor, sees the buckles loosely dangling from the straight jacket sleeve, and has to close his eyes against nauseous fear. His breathing rattles too loud in his ears.
wontgraham: (pic#10103903)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-05-24 01:57 am (UTC)(link)
Will's always tried to get towards silence. Solitude. To be somewhere safer than the grabbing impressions of being in public.

In the dark room he's been left in, it's never quiet.

Screaming faces drag past. Guards who look at him and know he's dripping with poison from the inside out.

Will is grabbed by the shoulder. He gets up, turns, and walking onto the threshold is enough to bring him into the dining hall.

He's seated on a stool that's attached to the table itself. The table stretches as far as Will can see in either direction. The food laid out for everyone to eat lays rotting on the table. A maggot crawls across Will's plate. His stomach heaves and he turns to lean over the floor. Black tar drips from his mouth, coats his lips and chin no matter how he tries to keep it off himself.


The straight jacket is so familiar by now. Will knows the way it locks up his ribs with every strap. His breath echoes off empty walls, his pulse beats against concrete.

On the other side of a barred door, a doctor patiently writes down his notes.

Will wakes up again, in a hospital again. He doesn't hesitate for a moment before he reaches for what's holding him at the wrist.

The IV cord is ripped out of its port in the back of his left hand before he realizes what he's looking at.

"Sir? S-- You're awake. Please don't touch that--"

Will flinches from the nurse, so hard he knocks his elbow on the low railing on the other side of the hospital bed. The nurse freezes, hands up at his shoulders, watching Will like he might be dangerous.

Will doesn't blame him.

"Where am I?"

"Tulane Medical Center."

"That's not a psychiatric hospital."

"No." Says the nurse, who's calming down but still hasn't moved. "It isn't."

Will stares at the pale mint sheet over his bed. His hand aches where the port was. His face aches - everywhere. Something in his jaw twinges when he speaks.

"I'm gonna put the IV back in, okay Mr. Graham?"

"No." Will jerks back again. He's got to look like hell, he can feel the bruises coating his face, but the nurse doesn't come closer.

"I'll...get the doctor to come look at you first, then. Maybe you don't need the fluids anymore, if we can get you eating real food."
wontgraham: (pic#10809386)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-09-07 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Rust admits it, in a voice like dry leaves crackling against the branches barely holding them put. Will would breathe a sigh of relief that the lie's finished if he wasn't so busy trying to keep his lungs inflating against the cold iron his ribs just turned into.

Rust keeps going though, doesn't leave Will hanging to wonder what Rust picked back up or found anew. Will didn't expect to learn he'd earned any kind of explanation, especially given how Rust broke his hold on him immediately.

But Rust doesn't duck out of the car. He leans back into it, and even if that parts just so they're not hissing across a crowded parking lot about Rust buying drugs to replace his past sleeping pill prescription, Rust could've easily left this conversation entirely. Will knows that only too well, and from the experience of getting kicked out of Rust's hospital room and apartment on more than one occasion.

Will gradually sinks back into his own seat, eyes lowering down from being a wide stare. His shoulders soften. He licks his lips, subconsciously, following that sensation of thirst that's always triggered with being around Rust and his brittle, fire-starter thoughts. "...I didn't know it was that bad. The-- not sleeping." Is all Will says when he gets enough breath back to say anything.

After a few more moments of tapping his finger against the rough fabric of his khakis, he glances back up at Rust. "Put that back in your pocket before a cop who thinks PTSD is a crime cruises by, Rust." Will scrubs one palm hard against his eyes. "Those must've cost a fucking arm and a leg."
Edited (OTL I'm sorry ahh) 2017-09-07 16:28 (UTC)
wontgraham: (pic#10116123)

[personal profile] wontgraham 2017-09-08 02:24 am (UTC)(link)
Will just nods. He's still not entirely sure those are just sleeping pills, illicitly acquired, or something else to help Rust sleep, but it doesn't matter. The meaning behind them is the same - it's all the same, to Rust. He just wants to sleep. It's a dead-weight plea that echoes in Will's head after Rust has severed their eye contact.

It doesn't sound like this is the first time Rust has met up with this contact, but like he just said - his script ran out two weeks ago. A voice in Will's head worries how many pills Rust takes each night, exactly, that he might be meeting up with someone a second time for a bottle.

Will's startled back out of his head, when Rust apologizes. Will looks absolutely as surprised as he feels. "No, I'd...rather be dragged in." Will's almost as surprised at realizing that's true as he was at Rust interrupting the tunneling of his thoughts.

"I mean I'm going to-- to feel the consequences of anything happening to you, anyway. We still see each other, we interact." Will's starting to gesture, hands spreading out in the empty space around his steering wheel. He glances over at Rust whenever his thoughts need a refresher of their focus point. "I guess I can't-- do anything to help, just like those sleeping pills aren't really going to help either, but I--" Will deflates back over onto his side of the car more firmly. It's less a retreat and more of an invitation for Rust to reclaim his own half of the car.

Will's sigh feels like it rattles his whole car. He tucks his chin down near his chest and speaks quieter than before. "If you want to leave for a cab, you can. I'd rather I got to drive you back home, though." As if it matters, what he wants. As if Rust often remembers to leave that part of the calculation in - but maybe the reminder will do it for him, this time.
Edited 2017-09-08 02:25 (UTC)