A/N: This took a big longer to get up than I planned only because I accidently forgot to save part of it and I lost it somehow. Back up your work/Save often! But without further ado, I give you Chapter 2!
Where we left off: Baz, near death from Hanahaki disease, has opted to go for a surgical cure which would remove his love for Simon and save his life. Simon realizes after the surgery is completed, that Baz was in love with him .
The next week passed in a blur. I went to classes and then to the library. I spent my spare time pouring over any resource on Hanahaki that I could get my hands on. I cross-referenced names of those afflicted with accounts of their recovery in medical journals. I was a man possessed
Agatha broke up with me again, but I didn’t even care this time. I should have done it myself, I had practically forgotten we were still technically dating.
The bed on the other side of the room stayed empty. The violin room Baz loved and practiced almost daily stayed silent. The football team practiced without him.
I tried to get details from Dev or Niall, but they told me to pound sand. I wonder if they knew it was me. I wonder if he had told them before he got sick. It got out somehow, I could hear whispers every time I walked into a room. I would hear Baz’s name in conversation and whatever student said it would glance at me.
I read every word of Baz’s journal. The love he felt for me was jarring and left me feeling off kilter. I felt unworthy of that much affection.
But I came to a very important realization. I felt unworthy, but I wanted to try. I wanted to try to love him. I never had that much affection in the care homes, and Crowley knows I was a shit boyfriend to Agatha. But I thought I could learn to love him.
Penelope and I researched but there was nothing much to find. There were so few cases, and it seemed like in the cases that did exist the person with the disease took great pains never to see the other person again.
That wouldn’t be the case with Baz and I, we had all of next term together. He’d see me every day.
Could those feelings come back?
Every time I thought about it, I felt like crying. It was like I had lost a loved one. I had painted Baz out as such a villain, when he was just a boy. A vampire yes (that was clear now), but also just a boy. A boy who missed his mother, who cared about his sister, who had a hard time dealing with his sexuality, whose roommate tormented him. The same roommate he was hopelessly in love with.
I was a wreck. But, the day before Baz was scheduled to return, Penelope laid into me.
We were laying side by side in my bed. We did that a lot lately. Penelope was trying to be as supportive as she could while I was dealing with guilt and coming to terms with things I didn’t even understand.
“You have to remember, he chose this.” She said, and I was wondering where she was going with this.
“Not much of a choice when it’s that or suffocate.” I snarled.
“I know that Simon, but if he’s happy, it might not be fair of you to take that away from him. What happens if you change your mind, or fall out of love with him? He’s already undergone a major traumatic event because of his feelings for you.” She said, and I realized she was right of course.
“Well what do you suggest? I ignore it? Forget about this?” I asked, concerned. I could hear the agitation creeping into my words.
“Of course not, Simon, just maybe take it easy. Size him up, and nicks and slicks, don’t do anything without his permission. Talk to him, talk with him. Maybe something new can grow.” The unspoken words were there. That if I had talked to him in the first place, we might not be in this mess.
I felt like I was waking up from a deep sleep. My eyelids were heavy, and I fought to pull them open. When I finally did, my father’s face was the first thing I saw.
He was smiling at me.
“Basilton.” He said, sounding relieved. “Don’t try to sit up, you are at Dr. Wellbelove’s clinic. He says the surgery was a success.” I could hear the joy in his voice.
I knew what had happened. Hanahaki does not take your memory, the surgery doesn’t take your memory just the emotions affiliated with it.
My father walked out of the room, presumably to call the doctor. I lay back on the small bed I was on, letting the memories of the last week rush over me. I think I should have been embarrassed. Or sad. Or even relieved. But I felt nothing.
Dr. Wellbelove came in. He ran a few test, showing my heart rate (slow), and my blood pressure (too low to be alive). “It’s hard for me to really give a honest report on your vitals.” Dr. Wellbelove started. “You are not only the youngest person every to have a successful Hanahaki story, but your condition also makes it difficult to say what your baseline was.” Then he smiled. “How do you feel?”
Wasn’t that the million dollar question. My body felt… I guess fine? I told him as much. I took a deep breath and he listened to my lungs. He said they seemed clear. He was declaring the surgery a success.
My vampirism is probably why I recovered so quickly. I could have been out of commission for a few weeks, but within a few hours I was walking and talking.
They cleared me to go back to Pitch Manor the next day.
Dr. Wellbelove wanted me to give a report, edited for my condition, but so that the effects of surgery on a teenager could be studied. To help future idiot teenagers in love. I agreed, but only because I couldn’t be bothered not too.
I couldn’t be bothered to worry about anything.
I tried to think of Simon. I knew that I had loved him. I tried to picture his face and his smile to try and remember what I felt, but it slipped right through my fingers.
I had always felt like being a vampire kept me removed from the rest of the world, like I was a dead thing walking among the living. Slick as oil, moving in and out of shadows. I remember thinking before the surgery that maybe I wasn’t really dead, how could something dead have something living literally grow inside of them.
But now? Now it felt like I was under water. Daphne and my father hugged me, relief evident on their faces, but I couldn’t care. It was like I was watching someone else get hugged on television.
I knew I was supposed to be relieved, to smile at the children and laugh with them, so I did all these things…. But not because I wanted to. I did it because I was expected too, and Crowley I didn’t want anyone to fuss over me anymore.
I felt nothing.
Colors were off, and everything was darker. Like someone had turned on the dimmer switch in my brain.
I would have hoped it wasn't going to last... but I couldn't be bothered to hope.
I stayed in my room almost the entire day that Baz was expected to return. I wanted to be here when he got back. I still had no idea how I was going to handle it, I knew logically Penny was right, but I couldn’t help but hope that something had gone wrong. That he would walk in and still be in love with me.
The door opened.
Baz walked in.
He was so beautiful. How had I never realized it? His legs went on for days, those footballer thighs. He was wearing dark jeans and a green sweater. He was stunning.
He looked at me and I hoped against all hope that he would still love me.
I knew. I knew in one word that his feelings were gone. The word felt empty, it was devoid of any hate or passion that he usually had for me. His eyes were blank, nothing to read, nothing there. Like a photograph of the Baz I knew, but not the real thing. Still beautiful, but without everything that made him Baz.
“Hi…” I said, feeling my eyes well up with tears.
He just went to empty his rucksack and put his things away. I watched him and felt the words stuck in my throat.
“Baz…” I started and he glanced up at me.
“It’s alright Simon, let’s not talk about it.” He said, before turning back to his things.
I always wanted him to call me Simon, but hearing it without any emotion felt like a knife to my gut.
“Baz..” I said again,.
“Simon. It’s done. We can be friends if you want, if you don’t, that’s fine too. Whatever you want.” Baz replied and I felt frustrated I could not get a word out. I watched as he looked around the room and seemed to notice that his things were out of place. But he did not get angry, he didn’t get worked up. He didn’t make a snide comment about me going through his stuff.
I decided to try one last thing, anything to get a rise out of him, to see the Baz that I missed like an arm.
I handed him his journal back.
“I read it.” I said, expecting an explosion. He just stared at it and shrugged.
“It’s garbage now.” He said, and dropped it in the rubbish bin. I gasped and reached for it before I could stop myself.
Baz just shrugged as I took it back out. He continued putting away his things and then turned and left from the room.
I held the journal to my chest and let tears fall.
I tried to keep as normal as a schedule as I was used too, but I’ll be honest I couldn’t be too fussed. I tried studying for my classes, I tried playing football, I tried playing my violin. I sat with Dev and Niall at lunch. I smiled at their jokes and tried to care about the stories they told when I was gone.
They avoided mentioning Simon. Good men.
I knew it went around the school, although I didn’t know how. And I just could not bring myself to care.
It all felt performative, but it affected my performance none the less.
Weeks went by and I wasn’t playing football as well as I used too (couldn’t be bothered to train or be concerned about the outcome of the games), my grades were slipping. I started skipping class.
Poor Miss. Possibelf even tried to bait me into a conversation about policy changes under the Mage’s administration, but all I could think about is wanting to take a nap.
Simon followed me everywhere. To the woods to feed, to class, to football. He was relentless. I’d say it was almost nice that it didn’t get under my skin. Who cares if he had me cast out for eating a deer in the woods? So what?
He would try and talk to me constantly when we were alone in the room. He’d ask me benign questions about my day, my family, how I was feeling. I answered them honestly because what did it matter?
Weeks went by and there was one thing I was certain of. This wasn’t Baz. This was a cardboard cut out of Baz.
What finally made my mind up was overhearing Dev and Niall. For weeks they were with Baz and I would try and study them to see if they were also concerned about the changes in him or if I was just out of my mind. Then my stalking paid off and I finally overheard the evidence I needed.
“I thought they were just supposed to cut out his love for Simon, not his ability to love.” Dev whispered when the two were walking along the grounds.
“Hey.” I yelled catching their attention.
Dev looked back at me and paled. I know he felt bad that I had heard him, but it was the excuse I needed to talk to them. We squared up on the lawn, the three of us forming a weird circle. We got more than a few glances and I saw a few first year’s hurry away as if they didn’t want to be in the fallout of whatever was about to happen here.
“What do you want, Snow.” Dev said doing his best to imitate Baz’s sneer and failing miserably.
“I want Baz back. The old Baz.” I started. “and I know you do too.”
Niall looked at Dev and then back towards me.
“Why? Miss having him wrapped around your finger?” Niall said and I admit the words hurt more than they should have.
“Come off it, Niall. When did I ever have Baz wrapped around any finger?” I growled back, but Niall wasn’t backing down.
“Well, why then? Think it be easier to run him threw with your sword if he loves you? Easier target if he won’t fight back?”
I took a step back away from them and held my hands up.
“You don’t have to believe me, but I didn’t know. I’m thick. Hopeless. An unbelievable moron. I didn’t know until it was too late.” I said sadly. “And now that I know, I feel like I lost something important.” I explained.
Dev looked shocked. “You’re straight Snow.” He said as if I needed a reminder of how effed up this situation was.
“I have no idea what I am. I never got a chance to explore how I felt about him. It wasn’t like I got a handbook in care on sexuality. I thought my obsession with him was hatred, but I know now that I was terribly wrong. I love him. The old him.”
Niall looked at Dev and the two of them seemed to have a silent discussion.
“What do you propose?” Niall asked and I let out a sigh of relief.
“You’ll help?” I asked and Dev glared at me.
“This isn’t Baz. I’ve known him my whole live. You know he visits his mother’s tomb in the Catacombs almost every day since we were 11? He hasn’t been once since he’s been back. He isn’t replying to Fiona or Mordelia.” Dev said with sadness I had never heard from him. “Even on his worst days, he’d never not talk to Mordelia. Everyone is worried sick.”
“Meet me tonight in the library. I’ll bring Penny. We have to find away to bring him back.”
They nodded at me before walking off. I felt a bit more optimistic. Penelope, Dev, Niall and I could fix this, I’m sure of it.
I’m not sure we can fix this.
I know Simon thinks magic is amazing and it is, and it can fix a lot of problems, but it might not be able to fix this one.
There are no true love spells, at least one’s that would actually create love when there is nothing there. Simon wanted to try true loves kiss, but I’m fairly certain that won’t bring back lost feelings, it’s mainly a healing spell.
There are spells that two people can use when they are in love that can heal or protect the other one. Even locate a loved one. There are little childhood spells that create sparks, and spells to help people sleep after heartbreak (I wrote that one down in case Simon needed it).
But nothing that can create love.
After a solid week of research Dev put his face down in a book and sighed in frustration.
“Fiona has been bothering me for days. Baz isn’t responding to her at all anymore.” He said, voice sad. “This would have been a tragic outcome even if it was the only way to save his life, but it’s extra effing frustrating that Simon actually loved him. I just want to go back in time and shake him.” Then he looked up at Simon. “Shake you too, you right tosser.”
Simon looked like he was about to burst into tears.
But I had an idea.
Maybe we were going about this the wrong way. Maybe the solution wasn’t for Baz to fall in love with Simon. Maybe the solution was something different.
“I have an idea” I said, voice raised right above a whisper. “But it’s going to need a lot of magic, more than just us.” All three boys leaned in as I whispered a plan. Dev laughed, sounding somewhat relieved. Naill looked determined.
I turned to Simon and stared him straight in the eye.
“You will need to make sure Baz is okay with this plan. I won’t do it without his consent.”
Once we found the spell, then we had to plan. Or plot, if you will. We figured it would be another week before we could cast it. By now it had been almost two months since Baz came back to school, and even people who didn’t know him had noticed the changes in him.
We split up into tasks.
Dev and Niall were trying to get additional support.
Penny was diving into every bit of research she could to make sure we got it right.
My job was to get Baz to agree.
I decided Mummers was the best place to have the conversation. He had been spending a lot of time there lately, sleeping or lying in bed. He had started skipping class, and I’d often find him sitting by the window smoking a cigarette, the flame way to close for my liking.
“Hi Baz.” I said as I walked in. He was lying in bed, eyes open, staring at nothing.
“Hi.” He replied, without even turning to look at me.
I sat on my bed and faced him. I took a deep breath to steady myself. Penny would not do the spell if he wasn’t on board. She said that was nonnegotiable. She said that if was happier this way, than my feelings be damned. I got a damn good lecture on consent.
“Are you happy?” I asked. And he coughed, started by my sudden question.
“Are you happy, Baz. Since the surgery. With the way things have been since you’ve been back. Are you happy?”
He sat up and swung his legs off the bed so that we were facing each other. The old Baz (my Baz as I started referring to him in my head), would have sneered at me and told me to buzz off. He would have rolled his eyes and stormed into the bathroom telling me to mind my own business.
This Baz just looked at me. After a few seconds, he answered.
“I don’t think so.” He said, looking thoughtful. “I’m not unhappy. But I don’t think I’m happy.”
I was equal parts elated and terribly sad to hear that. I didn’t want him unhappy, but I did want him to agree to this.
“Penny has been researching a spell that would change things.” I said. “So that it would be like before.”
He just stared at me, face blank.
“So I would die of hanahaki?” He said, voice confused but not angry.
“NO! No!” I said, horrified. Then I realized I never told him what I had told the others. Penny was right. I'm a terrible communicator. I vowed not to be anymore. I was going to say it straight up.
“Baz… I’m in love with you.” I said, without any hesitation.
But Baz, who had written pages in his journal about his love for me, who had talked about his heart breaking every time I growled at him, who had grown snowdrop flowers in his lungs for me…. Just stared at me.
“Oh.” He finally said and then put his hand on the back of his neck awkwardly. “I’m flattered Simon, but…”
“No.” I interrupted. “I know you don’t love me anymore.” I whispered. He looked relieved so I plowed forward with my awkward question; “but if we knew a way, if we had a way to allow me to tell you that before you underwent the surgery, so things could go back to the way they were before.. would you be willing to try it?” There. He knew. Now all I had to do was convince him.
“So we could be, what, happy boyfriends?” He asked, and I’d almost think the old Baz had sneaked in with the slight teasing lithe to his voice.
“If you wanted to, I’d sure want to try.” I smiled.
He considered me for a long moment before shrugging. “Why not?”
“Is that a yes?” I said, more relieved than I could manage.
“Sure. I don’t care much either way. Besides, no offense Simon, I know you are a the chosen one and all that, but even I don’t think you can change the past.”
“For you, Baz, I’m going to turn back time.” I said with a wink, and he let out a soft chuckle before going back to ignoring me.
We were going to do it.
I know Simon and his scooby gang were off practicing whatever this unprecedented feat of magic was going to entail. I mostly ignored it. I know somehow Dev and Niall had agreed to help, and it seemed like a few other students were involved too.
Which is why even my disinterest was slightly muted about a week later when Simon came to get me for whatever this mess was.
“We needed a lot of power” He said as we were walking toward the small auditorium where next to where I used to practice violin.
“Oh yeah?” I prompted as he pulled me along.
“What we are looking to do takes more power than I have. But you know, Penny says that we can cast together, with large groups, especially in song.” He was babbling.
“Our ancestors used to cast as choirs.” I said, Penelope was right about that at least.
“Right! Penny said the same thing. So for a spell this big, we brought in some help.” He replied as he opened to door to the auditorium
In there was Penelope Bunce, Dev, Niall, Agatha, and a handful of other students I knew. I think the entire football team, Coach Mac, Nurse Printz, Miss. Possibelf. But they also had gone outside the school, my father, Daphne, and Fiona were all there, along with Dr. Wellbelove.
I think the old me would have done something dramatic like made a speech as the center of attention. But instead I just waved awkwardly and looked to Simon.
He led me to a chair that was set up in the center of the room.
This was really effing weird. I half wanted to run from it, but I also was a bit curious as to what exactly they had planned.
Simon looked at me. Everyone was looking for me.
“Don’t laugh. I can’t much sing. Pretty tone deaf” He said, and then smiled softly. “But for you, I’m going to try.”
And then he was singing
If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I'd take back those words that have hurt you
And you'd stay
I wanted to laugh but this was just so mortifying. Simon was bright red. I’m sure if I had fed recently, I would have been red too. I was trying to look anywhere but him, but whenever I looked elsewhere all I could see was other people who I was supposed to care about. It was terribly awkward. I decided just to settle on a spot on the wall, clenching into fists and biting my lip.
Penelope said this next part was critical. I had to focus not on Baz in front of me (or the fact that Malcom Grimm, Fiona Pitch and half the forsaken Watford class was watching me) but on the moment that I messed up. On the moment that I told him to get the surgery
I don't know why I did the things I did
I don't know why I said the things I said
Pride's like a knife, it can cut deep inside
Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes
It was easy enough actually, I relieved that moment so many times since Baz had come back I could practically see the moment that I sentenced him to this mess. The moment he thought I could never love him.
I didn't really mean to hurt you
I didn't wanna see you go
I know I made you cry, but baby
And then everyone had their magical instrument out. I saw Penny’s ring flash, Fiona’s wand high, Malcom’s cane. There power made the room shimmer with magic, it was so thick I thought you we might float away.
And everyone was singing at the exact same moment, but I had to lead, that was imperative. I also had to be touching Baz for this part. I took Baz’s hand in my own. He didn’t exactly squeeze it, but he didn’t pull away either.
If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I'd take back those words that have hurt you
And you'd stay
If I could reach the stars
I'd give 'em all to you
Then you'd love me, love me
Like you used to do
And then there was a pull my naval, like the crucible. I shut my eyes and when I opened them, Baz and I were back in the infirmary on the last day he was mine. I saw myself walk away from the room and felt an incredible desire to smack that Simon on the head. But I couldn’t, this was also critical. It had to be Baz’s choice. For everything to work, he had to make the decision himself.
So I would let him choose for us. I grabbed current Baz’s hand and pulled him into the room where my Baz was still sick in the infirmary. He had tears rolling down his face, he was devastated.
He gasped when he noticed us and tried to wipe his tears away.
“What…” He coughed, a few petals came up.
“Don’t do it Baz.” Was all I could get out, right away. “He loves you. I love you. He just doesn’t know it.” I knew our time here was short and I had to convince him.
“When are you from?” My Baz said, and I felt pride immediately in how smart he was, that he knew we were in the wrong time.
“About 3 months after your surgery.” I said. Then I turned to current Baz who was looking awkwardly at us. “It doesn’t go right, you loose more than just me. You lose your love for everything that makes you Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch.” I begged.
“But if I don’t.. I’m going to die.”
“No. No you’re not. I don’t realize it’s me until too late. I thought it was Agatha.” I said. “I’m thick. A bloody moron. Oblivious as anything. I don’t know. Tell me. Tell me straight.” I cried and I could feel that we were running out of time.
My Baz seemed to understand. He looks over at current Baz. “Is that true?” He asked.
To my relief, current Baz nods.
“I think so.” He says. “Dev and Niall are freaked out. So is Fiona. And I know it usually takes a lot to freak Fiona out.” He finishes, looking thoughtful.
“Are you happy?” My Baz asks current one and I brace myself for the answer.
“I don’t think so. I don’t feel much at all.”
I heard my Baz gasp, but before we could say anything more, we were yanked back into our own timeline. In that ridiculous little auditorium.
Baz looked at me and I grabbed his hands.
“What now?” He asked.
“We wait. Penny said if it worked, if you made the other decision, it will take a few moments for the timeline to reset.”
Everyone else was still there, everyone was staring at Baz who was staring only at me.
A few moments past and I thought I was going to throw up. Nothing was changing. It didn’t work.
Then Baz faltered, and feel to his knees. I sank down with him and put my hands on his shoulders. He took a gasping breath and then steadied himself, before looking up at me.
“Simon?” He asked softly.
“Baz?” I whispered.
And then he was kissing me, like I had never kissed anyone before. Maybe it was the magic which was still filling the room, but I could feel how much he loved me in that kiss. Fiona, I think, set of a couple fireworks. Everyone was screaming, cheering and crying in relief.
We broke apart, and suddenly he was laughing. It was such a good sound, such a relief to hear.
“Cher! Really?” He laughed more and I couldn’t care less. I kissed him again.
We broke apart long enough for him to keep going. “I want a repeat performance, now that I can appreciate it. Preferably in fishnets and a leather jacket.” He said, still laughing, and it was infectious. I laughed too.
“For you, anything.” I said.
Fin! Please tell me what you think! I know I took some liberties with time travel, but I had to get them back together <3