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what I feel, I can't say

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What made Elliot switch between personalities, Tyrell didn't know, but he understood it happened more often than he could recognize. Was it his Elliot he was talking to or was it the other one? He began to think of the Elliot he first met at Allsafe as the one he could understand best. The one who didn't make him want to tear his hair out, the one with whom - even if one-sidedly - he had a connection, an understanding. Perhaps it was the power of first meetings. His shy, headstrong Elliot, just a tech. The other one fooled him, antagonized him, almost seemed to find pleasure in riling Tyrell up. But it had taken Tyrell too long to realize that there was an Elliot and another Elliot, and that the two didn't always work together, sometimes even went against one another. The notion itself was difficult to comprehend at first, differentiating between the two personas just as hard. But sometimes, rarely, it was very clear to Tyrell which Elliot had taken control and there was only one he preferred. 

Either way it was a rollercoaster, something even climbing up the corporate ladder of one the biggest conglomerates in the world hadn't prepared him for. After meeting Elliot, Tyrell's world had truly become a wreck and the more he had fought to gain back some control and structure, the faster it all fell apart. It always led back to Elliot and Tyrell's fascination with him, as if Elliot had knowingly lured him in for his own purpose and pleasure while Tyrell was unknowingly becoming less and less in charge of himself. If so, Tyrell had taken the bait and wasn't letting go. Even if it had not been Elliot's plan to strip him of everything, if his wife and son were just collateral damage, it didn't matter anymore. All Tyrell had now was Elliot and his purpose.

That's why when the time came, he accepted his demise to a gunshot wound and walked away from Elliot. The final moments of his life, Tyrell trudged through the snow, his toes and fingers frozen numb, but his heart lifting high above the sleeping trees, into the moonlit sky and higher still... In that world Tyrell walked into the woods alone for he was so so tired and he had no other part left to play. There he met his end.

 

I

When Tyrell woke up, he was warmer than he had ever been before, and also more hurting. Either he was truly dead and currently burning in eternal hellfire, or he was somehow still alive. He couldn't be sure until three days later when the world he thought had been left behind came back to him. At first it filled him with overwhelming relief so great that he weeped like a child and he had no thought or care for what that meant for him, only the joy of being alive.

The man who regularly came to clean Tyrell's wound and give him water never spoke a word. After waking up, Tyrell was rapidly feeling better each day and he suspected someone had performed surgery on him to remove the bullet. As much as he was able to see, the sutures looked neat and tidy, and there was random medical equipment lying around the room. Most of the time he was too drugged to make much out of his surroundings but day by day his thoughts became clearer and less prone to simply slip away from him. The day his stitches were removed, Tyrell was completely lucid again. "Where's Elliot?" was his first question to the man. No reply. All his other questions went unanswered as well and by the time the man was finished and left the room, Tyrell was annoyed no end.

He began searching for a way out. The windowless room was rather small and empty, the single piece of actual furniture being the bed. No sounds from the outside reached the room and Tyrell had only his gut feeling to guess he was not in the country anymore. Stuck in the dark, he began to despair again.

 

II

When Darlene reached Elliot, he was shaking but unhurt and she drove him back to the city. He didn't speak a word but that was Elliot for you. Maybe he was just trying to keep it together as she was, and the only way to do it was to keep pushing forward, to put your head down and always think of the next step, what do we do now, how do we get out of the situation at hand, and then what, just keep running, just another day more Oh God will it ever end---

 

III

Here's another world that surfaced from that winter night:

The first sign was the dead DA soldier coming back to life and driving away with the van. It lead Tyrell stumbling into the woods with Elliot, like entering the twilight zone between here and something else. They were both tired, cold and afraid, leading Elliot to be more terse than usual, Tyrell transparent.

"It's so quiet out here," Tyrell said after walking awhile. "Have you ever considered leaving?"

"What do you mean?" Elliot sounded annoyed which he probably was.

"Just walking off, disappearing, leaving the life you're living behind you... all the bullshit, distress, the pain. Everything. Y'know, maybe start over where no one knows you, reinvent yourself, forget about all the mistakes you made in this life. Find some peace. Some rest. I think about that. Don't you?"

"No."

Some creature was howling from the dark and it sounded wounded, lost.

 

The second sign was ending up back where they had started, the gas station. It was like stumbling into the fucking Groundhog Day and the moon hung in the sky unmovingly even as hours must have had passed.

"Whatever we're walking towards, it ends with death..."

How could Elliot not see that? Tyrell stopped walking.

"Go without me."

"You're giving up?"

"Yeah. I think so." Tyrell could see it then, as clear as day. It was over for him, maybe for both of them. And Elliot didn't care about him, he never had.

Elliot got angry with Tyrell and he was also trying encourage him to keep going. Tyrell couldn't even follow which Elliot he was talking to anymore. Maybe there had always been just one. They yelled at eachother and Elliot stalked off but then he came back again, unusually gentle. To tell Tyrell that maybe he did understand - always being an outsider, the one looking in through the window, never truly accepted inside - that maybe there was a mutual understanding, a connection. And to tell Tyrell he was wrong about one thing - he had known they were going to die right from the beginning.

 

The third and final sign was the deer. The animal lay in the middle of the road dead, its strong graceful body already cold and rigid to touch. The van was crashed nearby. Why did it have to die?

There's no sign of the DA soldier so they creep closer to the van to look inside, to see if the crash has killed him or if he's waiting for them to get close enough. The soldier takes a shot at them both before putting the last bullet into his own brain. Tyrell gets hit and he had known it was coming for him for so long now, it almost feels like he had willed it into becoming reality. What nonsense...

He starts to walk away but Elliot is not willing to let him go.

"I can't let you die."

Elliot had said to him he understands yet he still can't see, even now? This was Tyrell's purpose and he was finally fulfilling it. Giving Elliot a chance to escape the Dark Army, to save his sister, the world.

"I'm just going for a walk," Tyrell reassures him.

He heads for the moon, fixed to a single point in the night sky. His feet get heavier with each step, the warmth pooling between his skin and shirt. He thinks about the deer and if it had died straight away on the impact or if it had bled out slowly, all alone. He hears steps behind him as Elliot reaches up to him.

"Tyrell, wait," he grabs Tyrell's arm, he's slightly out of breath.

"Don't just leave, hang on a bit longer," and it sounds almost pleading. This time it's his Elliot, Tyrell knows it so he consents because he still has a weakness for him. 

"I thought you didn't care," he jokes because the whole situation seems absurd and a bit unreal to him.

"I shouldn't," Elliot replies and it gets even more unreal as Elliot keeps holding onto his arm and they are standing so close Tyrell can feel his shaky breath on him. Soon it becomes too difficult for Tyrell to stand and he keeps leaning more into Elliot until he can't hold them upright anymore and they collapse by the side of the road. Tyrell sighs and curls himself over his wound while Elliot reaches both of his arms around Tyrell and just holds him close as if to conserve body heat. 

Time has stopped and the world seems very hazy. Perhaps it is a dream and the only way to wake up is by falling asleep. Yet Tyrell isn't sure he wants to wake up from this dream, even as he is bleeding out. Surrounded by your beloved's arms, what better place is there to die? But his eyelids are so heavy and he's already drifting off. 

It's how Darlene eventually finds them, Tyrell passed out and Elliot shaking but they're both alive and she manages to get them into the car and back into the city.