If I Could Turn Back Time
A/N I'm a sucker for Hanahaki fics, so I decided to try writing one myself. This is a two part. Second will be uploaded in a few days.
I’m disturbed. Ask anyone.
When I first coughed up a flower petal, I felt nothing but relief. I would either die, or have the surgery, but either way it would be over probably within a month or so, maybe even sooner. I wouldn’t have to go through the next year watching Simon sleep, watching his hatred build toward me, knowing he was going to kill me in some epic final battle.
I wouldn’t have to be the villain in his story anymore.
I'd swear to merlin and morgana and every bloody mage in the book that I was relieved by this. It was probably my disastrous experience with the numpties, but I was just so damn exhausted of the saga of Basilton Pitch and Simon Snow.
I was done. Tapped out. And this was finally giving me a reason to hit the game over button, to fold. I had my out.
I knew what it was of course. Hanahaki disease. My love for Simon, the repression of my feelings, and my magic had caused flowers to grow in my lungs. I was young to be coughing up petals. Usually those under 20 found themselves with natural immunities. Our love was fickle, often growing and evolving and changing. If every 15 year old suffered from Hanahaki every time their feelings were unrequited, we’d have too many cases of dead teenagers.
But my love was different than a usual teenager. It was truer, stronger, had lasted longer. In some ways I was also relieved that was the case, that I hadn’t spent so many years wallowing in something that wasn’t real. It was real, I was truly in love. And now that love would kill me.
I just hoped it would be quick.
I hid it for a few days as it progressed. I constantly kept a spell around me so that other's wouldn't hear my coughs (none of your business had many uses depending on your infliction. It was one of my favorite spells.) It lasted for a week or so, but then it was becoming too much for me to cast. The cough which occasionally produced a petal or two was suddenly producing a handful of white petals every time. My magic felt like it was constantly drained and I was exhausted through and through. I could barely bring myself to hunt, only able to catch enough to keep me somewhat sane.
It was only a matter of time before I couldn't hide it anymore. Dev and Niall were already suspicious. They were both trying to get me to go check in with the nurse. I suspected Dev might even be in contact with Fiona, but I was definitely ignoring that for now. I probably should have gone to the nurse on my own, but what am I if not stubbornly proud.
It was about a week after the first petal appeared that it all went tits up. I went back to the room after class to lie down when I felt the petals making their way up my throat. I was terrified that Simon would come in and find me covered in petals on my bed, but I didn't have the strength to leave the room. I crawled to the en suite, locking the door behind me in hopes I could clean up before Simon got in.
These were the worst coughs yet, and it was a wonder I managed to stay conscious. When I managed to force my eyes open I saw that I was not just surrounded by petals but whole flower heads were littering the floor. Lovely little things they were, white bells with long droopy petals. It made sense, given who I was in love with.
As I collapsed in a field of white flowers and petals, all I could think was that I was done. If this is the end of me, so be it. I closed my eyes thinking maybe I could just go to sleep here and maybe I would never wake up again when knocking and yelling jarred me back to consciousness.
Of course, Simon bloody Snow.
Something was wrong with Baz. I know Penelope was sick of hearing it from me, but something was seriously wrong with him.
He’d been a bit off since he got back from wherever the heck he was the first month of term, but he had been looking better in recent weeks. He was starting to look like the old Baz, he had taken his spot back at top of the class, he was playing football again, I was fairly certain he was going out every night to drain small mammals. I probably shouldn't be as relieved about that part as I was.
But it was one step forward and three steps back. He looked ill. I’d hear him coughing in the middle of the night. I suspected he was coughing a lot during the day but probably casting some spell so those around him didn’t notice.
He was paler than usual, moving without his usual grace. He wasn’t going to football practice anymore. He wasn’t laughing with Dev and Niall.
He seemed to be forcing himself to go to class and then immediately going back to the room. I didn't see him in the library or any of his usual study haunts. I barely even saw him in the dining hall, and he was looking thinner again.
I glanced over at Dev and Niall, Baz’s usual seat empty once again.
Maybe I was making this up, but they looked worried to me. They kept glancing at the door to the dining hall and at Baz’s empty seat as if it would magically produce their missing friend.
I don't know what compelled me to act. Maybe it was the thought of missing so many meals. Even my worst enemy should not go through that. Maybe it was the look of concern on Dev’s face when the door opened, and it still wasn’t Baz. But something made me grab some food from dining to sneak in back into the room for him.
When I got back to our room, it seemed empty. But I knew something was wrong. Baz’s bed was unmade. His bed was NEVER unmade. He made it every single time he left the room. It was maddening. I glanced over toward the en suite.
The door was shut.
Usually Baz would cast a silencing spell when he went into the bathroom, but he clearly didn’t this time.
It sounded like he was throwing up. I could hear painful, racking coughs. It sounded awful, like he was trying to hack up a lung.
I placed the plate of food down and moved toward the door. He sounded terrible.
“Baz!” I shouted with a loud knock. “You need me to get someone? The nurse?”
I stopped to listen. There was no response for a few seconds. Then there was another scary sounding round of coughs.
“Baz! Let me in!” I yelled, reaching for the door knob. It was locked of course, but when he coughed again, that didn’t matter. I thought I heard a thunk that could have been his body. Was he even conscious?
“Open up!” I yelled, not meaning for it to be magic, but my magic clearly didn’t care and the door unlocked and opened on it’s own.
Baz was slumped along the wall next to the toilet, knees pulled up to his chest. He raised his head as I approached. He looked miserable. He had tear tracks running down his face and he was pale and sweaty from exertion.
“Crowley Baz. Let me help you to the infirmary.” I said as I approached him. I moved slowly, hands up to placate him, like he was a skittish deer.
“Go away, Snow.” He said, before putting his head back in his knees and taking a labored breath.
“Yeah, or not.” I said, finally taking in the rest of the bathroom. There were flower petals everywhere. They were white, about an inch or so long. Some of them appeared to be whole heads, white drooping petals with a small bell in the middle
There must have been hundreds of white petals.
“Where you cursed?” I asked, not able to think of any reason else that Baz would be sitting in the bathroom looking as miserable as he did, surrounded by flowers.
Baz let out a sharp laugh that quickly turned into another coughing fit. It was then I realized that the flower petals were coming from him. Like on the inside of him. He was coughing up flower petals.
I couldn’t stop to think about that because the petals kept coming up out of his throat and suddenly it seemed like he couldn’t get any air in. I ran to his side and put my arm on his shoulders.
“Breathe, Baz. Breathe.” I encouraged as the petals seemed to lesson slightly. I felt his shoulders shudder as he took in a pained breath.
“I’m taking you to the infirmary” I said as I looked around the en suite. I didn’t know if this was a curse or something worse, but Baz seemed to be having a lot of trouble breathing and the bathroom looked like it was covered in snow.
I grabbed a handful of petals and shoved them in my pocket, intent to show the nurse, before helping Baz to his feet.
I thought it was going to be a fight, but to my endless relief, he nodded and let me help him.
It took us a good twenty minutes to make our way to the infirmary, but we got there. I fully intended to stay but Nurse Printz was not having it.
“Patient confidentiality, Mr. Snow.” He said with a growl and practically shoved me out the door.
“Well don’t let him lie to you.” I said back with a bite. I reached into my pocket and took out a few of the petals I grabbed. “He was coughing these up. And not just these few, our en suite looks like it’s covered in snow.”
Nurse Printz looked at the flowers before looking at me.
“Leave.” He said. I looked back at the bed Baz was in who refused to meet my eye and sighed. I knew a lost cause when I saw one.
Now I had to find someone who would figure out what was going on with my roommate.
I checked the dining hall first where tea was being served, and helped myself to a scone. I didn’t actually expect to see Penelope in here, but it seemed as good of a place as any. Plus scones help me think better. It’s always easier to think on a full stomach.
I found Penelope in the library which, let’s face it, is where I knew she would be.
“Flowers?” Penelope said, even though she heard me clearly the first time. “You’re sure?”
“White flower petals” I said for probably the fifth time.
“And he was coughing them up?”
“Yes, he could barely breathe. It was so bad he actually let me help him walk to the infirmary.” I shuddered at the memory. My arm around his waist, holding his arm over my shoulder, bracing myself to catch him if he passed out. It was disturbing to see him so helpless, so weak. It gave me the chills to think about it.
Penny took a long sigh and leaned back in her seat.
“Wow” She said. I waited for her to continue but she just shook her head and repeated. “Wow.”
“What is it Penny? Do you know?” I asked
“Basilton Pitch is in love.” She said quietly. “So in love that it’s going to kill him.”
My heart dropped right to my stomach.
“What?” I asked, now making her the one who was stuck repeating herself.
She looked at me and sighed. “Hanahaki disease. It happens when a mage suffers from unrequited love. But it has to be true, pure love, not infatuation or lust, not even strong affection.” She stood up and bee lined to an area in the back corner of the library.
I looked above the shelf when she stopped walking.
“Magical ailments” The sign said.
“Fine tooth comb, Hanahaki” She said, her ring glowing purple. I ducked on instinct, which I had gotten in the habit of doing whenever Penny cast that spell in the library, but to my surprise only one book came off the shelf and went right into her hand.
I glanced at the title
“Rare Diseases and Unorthodox Treatment” the cover stated with bold letters. Penny walked toward a couch and started talking again.
“Hanahaki is extremely rare. The type of love that would cause it is the type that is only forged after a long-term relationship, where the parties know each other intimately usually for a long time, thus not making it unrequited. It’s almost unheard of in teenagers.” She whispered as we settled into the chair.
“But Baz isn’t seeing anyone?” I said, confused. “And also if it’s so rare, how do you know about it?”
She looked at me.
“It’s fascinating, isn’t it? And kind of tragically beautiful. It’s rare but well known among mages. There something fascinating about it that makes it a popular story line in fairy tales.” I must have looked confused because she kept going. “Think about it. Baz is so in love that his body is quite literally growing flowers in his lungs. It’s horrific, but kind of beautiful in it’s own way.”
I felt a rare moment of rage toward my best friend.
“He was choking to death. I don’t think that has any beauty to it.” I growled and Penny held her hands up in defeat. She then turned to the book in front of her and began to flip through it.
“Hanahaki Disease” she said, reading out loud “when a mage suffers from unrequited love, their magic can cause flowers to grow in their lungs. These flowers often have some sort of symbolism and take a form that has some meaning to the afflicted. The flowers will continue to grow until they ultimately suffocate the afflicted. There are only two known cures. The first is that the love must be requited, and second is through a procedure that removes the flowers from the lungs. This procedure is highly invasive and has a high mortality rate. Should the afflicted survive, their love for the individual will be removed with it."
She took a deep breath and continued. My stomach felt like I swallowed an ice cube.
"This disease is extremely rare. The love must be pure and powerful enough for the seeds to root, and unrequited long enough for the seeds to grow. The afflicted mage must also be powerful enough for the seeds to manifest to flowers. Because true love often takes time to form and grow, it rarely is unrequited. Love is often confused for lust or infatuation or even just strong affection. Nothing but unrequited pure love will cause Hanahaki.”
I leaned back in my chair, and tried to slow my breathing down. I thought I was going to be sick.
“What did the flowers look like?” Penelope asked. “It says they usually have some symbolism”
I reached into my pocked and pulled out one of the remaining flowers from earlier. It was quite lovely, although a little sad looking. It had a small white bell shape in the middle with four long drooping petals around it. It was entirely white.
Penelope picked it up appraisingly. “I’ve never seen this kind of flower before.” I shrugged in return.
“Who do you think it is, Penny? Do you think it’s Agatha?” I asked. My stomach gave another nasty jolt and the idea of Baz and Agatha together.
I suddenly knew and feared what Penny meant when she said it was beautiful. I could imagine Baz presenting Agatha with a bunch of these white flowers, stating how pure his love was for her. How could that not win someone over? Most people are lucky if they get to know love like that.
I’m not sure I love Agatha like that. In fact, I’m fairly certain I don’t.
Penny looked at me sadly. I couldn’t figure out what that meant.
I took the book off the table.
“Suffocate the afflicted.” I read again.
“So it either has to be requited, he has to get this awful sounding surgery, or….” I stopped as if my brain refused to put the rest together.
“He’ll die.” Penny finished.
Nurse Printz called Dr. Wellbelove, who came that evening. I cringed at the idea of Agatha finding out, but I figured since Snow knew about the flowers, even if he didn’t understand what they meant, it was only a matter of time before the school found out.
Dr. Wellbelove offered to contact my parents and was trying to sell me on the surgery. Although the disease was rare, Dr. Wellbelove assured me had high success rate. “I’ll admit it’s never been anyone as young as you…” He started before shaking his head. “But I’ve performed the surgery a few times, and although the recovery is long, there is in fact a recovery.”
Nurse Printz admitted he’d never seen a case during his tenure at Watford but seemed as well versed as he could be.
“We don’t have a separate mental health counselor since the Mage’s last budget cut.” He said, and I appreciated the slight jab at the Mage. “But I’m happy to talk to you in anyway that might help you, Basilton, I can only imagine how traumatizing this has been for you.”
I was left alone that evening, with nothing but a basin of flowers to keep me company. My dad and Daphne would likely be in first thing in the morning and I wanted to make a decision before they got here.
Another coughing fit wracked my body. It went on for so long, I thought I was going to pass out. I wondered briefly if I suffocated here, right now, if it would save me the agony of making this decision. My head felt like it was floating.
It passed, leaving me exhausted and shaking, with difficulty getting a full breath. I felt tears leaking out of my eyes and I allowed myself that indulgence.
No one could see my crying here.
The thought of dying was terrifying. Even the knowledge that my mother was hopefully waiting for me didn’t make it any less terrifying. I was 18 years old. Even with all my fantasies of Snow offing me, I never actually wanted to die. I just knew I could never kill him. But who am I kidding?
I don’t want to die.
I choke out a sob, and more petals float to the ground. Soon I can’t control myself and I’m choking on petals as I cross the line into hysterics.
Nurse Printz must get some alert because he comes running into the room in a dressing gown. Without missing a beat, he casts “you need to calm down” and “just keep breathing.”
I feel better almost instantly, as he sat in the chair next to my bed.
“I know pop songs make fickle spells, but I have found that when they are popular, they are incredibly powerful.” He says, handing me a glass of water.
I take a long sip before meeting his eyes.
“I don’t want to die.” I choke out, feeling my emotions rising again.
He looks sadly at me. I keep thinking that his eyes are the wrong shade of blue.
“Oh Basil, it’s okay.” He starts, and I brace myself for nameless platitudes, but then he continues.
“This love, it's a part of you, it’s created something so beautiful. It’s okay to want to live. You will love someone else, and that beauty can be directed towards something that won’t hurt you.”
I never thought of any part of myself as beautiful. Sure I was attractive, but as Snow liked to remind me, I was also a monster. But, for the first time I found myself wondering if a monster, someone who was dead, could love the way I do. Maybe I had some good in me after all.
“You think I should get the surgery?” I asked.
He sighed. “My job and my oath require me to do no harm. I wish your love was requited, and I understand if you don’t want to tell us who it is. If it’s truly not requited, I don’t want you to keep harming yourself. You have so much beauty inside of you to offer, if not to this person, then to someone else.”
I sighed and leaned back. Eventually he left with instructions to summon me if I needed anything.
I didn’t want to die.
I barely slept that night. It felt like I just laid in bed starring at Baz's empty one. As soon as the hour was somewhat respectable, I got dressed and made my way to the infirmary.
I had to find out who it was that Baz was in love with. The thought of him with Agatha made my skin crawl. I was hoping it wasn’t her, but I wanted him to tell me so that I could at least get used to the idea.
I crept to the infirmary and noticed who had to be Baz’s father leaving the room. I ducked behind some old statute of Elizabeth Blackwell (did you know she was a mage? Shouldn’t surprise me anymore to learn a lot of these historical figures had magic). I glanced at Malcom Grimm. He looked like he had been crying which made me uneasy.
Dr. Wellbelove was taking some vitals from Baz. I could see numbers floating in the air that had to mean something to him.
“Your blood oxygen level is disturbingly low.” I heard him say. “Obviously you don’t have much of that to waste” (Wait? Was that because he’s a vampire? Did Dr. Wellbelove know?). “Let’s move you now, and we will do the surgery as soon as you get to my office. I don’t think we should waste any more time.”
I sighed in relief. Baz was doing the surgery. He wouldn’t die.
When Dr. Wellbelove left, I moved to Baz's bedside. I don’t know what compelled me, but I felt the need to wish him luck. To let him know I was relieved he wasn’t going to die. That he could move past his feelings for Agatha, and I wouldn’t have that guilt on my shoulders that our happiness literally choked him to death.
“Baz” I whispered as I walked over to him, not wanting to startle him. He looked absolutely miserable. White petals filled a basin by his bed, and his breathing sounded labored.
“What are you doing here, Snow?” He said, with a gasp and I frowned.
“I wanted to wish you luck. With the surgery.” I said and he looked at me, eyes looking somewhat vulnerable. “I’m glad your doing it.”
“You are?” He asked. I’ve never seen him look as sad as he did right now. Did he really think I wanted him to die?
“Yes, you’ll be able to move on, find someone to return your feelings.” I said, “No one deserves to die because of unrequited love at 18.” I was sure of that. Baz might be a vampire, but he was also just a teenage boy.
“I’m sorry it couldn’t work out. I want you to know that.” I repeated, rambling. I assumed he had talked to Agatha, and amazingly she must have turned him down. No idea why, but he wasn’t getting any better, so it must have been unrequited.
To my absolute horror, tears started to run down his face. “Leave Simon, please.” He said, and I’d swear he was begging. I felt cold. My stomach rolled at the unbelievable sadness on his face.
“Leave.” He said again, and I don’t know if he used magic on me, but I found myself out of the room without knowing how I had even gotten there.
I knew he’d never love me.
I knew that. If I knew that, why did it hurt so much?
I don’t know how he figured it out, but I’m guessing it was the flowers. Pretty on the nose, if you ask me. Penelope probably told him.
He was probably coming here to try and relieve himself of his guilt. Since I was getting the surgery, he didn’t have to feel bad about the fact that his inability to love me was quite literally going to kill me.
I knew that, but it didn’t stop the tears from spilling again.
I couldn’t even control them as my father came back and he and Nurse Printz helped me to the car.
I wandered aimlessly for a while. I suppose technically, I was supposed to be in class, but I had no intention of going.
News of Baz was all anyone could talk about. Apparently he was the youngest mage known to be inflicted with Hanahaki disease. Students were asking questions about the history and treatment in classes and I almost went off when I overheard a fourth year girl telling another how romantic it was to be loved like that.
I had to get away from the other students.
I don’t know what brought me to the wavering woods, but when the dryad came to scold me, I held up a few of Baz’s flowers. I had grabbed a couple from our bathroom for reasons I couldn't verbalize.
“Do you know what kind of flowers these are?” I asked, hoping that I could get an answer. The Dryad looked at me appraisingly.
“The pretty boy is sick isn’t he?” She asked, glancing up towards the Chapel.
I nodded, hoping some honesty would give me a straight answer.
She took the flowers from me and peered at them.
“These appear in late winter, often marking warmer days to come. They symbolize hope and renewal.” She looked at me sadly. “But their common name is a Snowdrop flower.”
It was like I was hit by a lorry. The en suite was covered in white petals, like snow, snowdrop petals.
Penny’s words reading from the book about how the flowers take on symbolism.
There is no way. It couldn’t be possible.
Could Baz be in love with me?
I ran from the woods without any plan and went first to the infirmary. Baz was gone, which I had known, but it was hard to see with my own eyes. They moved him for the surgery, the surgery which was likely done by now.
I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I think I was smoking.
“Mr. Snow?” The nurse said, coming out of his office. I’m sure my smoking attracted his attention.
“Baz?” Was all I could croak out.
“I’m told the surgery was a complete success. He should be back next week. I can’t give you too much information, because of confidentiality, but I was told the student body could be notified as too that much. It’s a huge relief for all of us.”
I managed to smile, but I’m sure it came out as a grimace.
I don’t know how I got there, but I found myself back in Mummers staring at the ceiling.
Then, like a man possessed, I began to search through Baz’s things. Something, anything that might prove me wrong.
He left in a hurry, maybe something was left behind. I checked his beside table, his wardrobe. I tore the room apart.
I should have known he’d be too clever to hide something under his mattress like a normal teenager.
“Simon! What are you doing?” Penny asked, a plate of food in her hands. “You missed dinner, I brought you some food.” She took in the mess. “What are you doing?” She repeated.
“Baz got the surgery.” I started, and she nodded.
“And that’s bad?” She asked, looking confused.
“The flowers. The dryad. Ebb’s dryad.” I couldn’t get the words out.
“Simon, take a deep breath.” Penny said, setting the plate down and coming toward me. She put her arm around me and helped me sit on my bed.
“Breathe with me.”
I took a long deep breath and counted to ten. I leaned into Penny, trying to match my breathing with hers.
“The dryad said the flowers were snowdrop flowers.” I could feel her still next to me.
“Snow…” She whispered. “No way”
“It can’t be right?” I said, desperate for confirmation. “I was looking around to see if he kept a diary or anything that would let me know.”
“I don’t know, Simon. It actually does make sense if you think about it.” I didn’t want to think about it, that was the problem. Penelope stood up and held her ring up.
“SHOW YOURSELF” She said, loudly, and then turned to me. “Should let us know if anything has a concealment spell on it.”
Brilliant mage, she is.
I saw a book on Baz’s shelf, mingled in with his textbooks glow. I grabbed at it.
It was titled “Musical Theory and It’s Magical Practice.” I flipped through it, but it looked like a normal text book.
“It’s got a spell on it, I’m certain about that.” Penelope said, flipping through it.
“True Colors” She said again and the words faded from the page. Baz’s handwriting, neat, organized appeared. I snatched it from her.
I started at the end, hoping it might have some revealing information.
Then I saw my name. Clear as day. Black and white. No ambiguity in his words.
“ when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of—
The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me.
That Simon Snow is alive.
And I’m hopelessly in love with him”
“what have I done?” The words choked themselves out of me. “What have I done?”
“You didn’t…” Penelope started, as gob smacked as I had ever seen him. “You didn’t know. How could you.”
“I told him to get the surgery. I told him he should. That I was sorry it didn’t work out.” I whispered, more to myself than her.
“You did know?” Penny asked, now confused.
“No. No. No. I thought it was Agatha... But I think… I think he thought I was rejecting him.” I felt a sob coming up my chest.
“Oh… Simon.” Penelope said then my tears started. They were uncontrollable. I didn’t understand why, or what it meant, but Penelope was smart enough not to ask. She laid in bed with me all night as I cried over the loss of something I never had.
A/N: Part two will be up shortly (It's completed but needs an edit). I've read a lot of Hanahaki fics, but none I think where Baz goes through with the surgery, so hold your breath for what happens next! As always, let me know what you think!
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