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[Title] It Consumes You
[Fandom] Until Dawn (MAJOR SPOILERS)
[Rating] PG-13 for death and language
[Notes/Summary] Chris considers emotions and friendship.



There is a lot to deal with, after.

Like, you know, there is the general post-traumatic survivor's guilt whatever-the-fuck, that's apparently standard for when you nearly died violently a bunch of times. Mostly it's nightmares. Okay, always it's nightmares. And panic attacks when it gets cold, yeah, those kinda suck. And loud noises. When a car engine roar hits your ear just right to sound like a snarl. And just a sort of... being positive something bad's gonna happen. Like you're at home and the doors are locked and the lights are on and it's the suburbs and your brain is screaming at you that you're about to die right this second because reasons. Apparently all this is normal.

Then there's the whole flesh-eating monster aspect, and the origins of said flesh-eating monsters, which is all so fucked up that if Chris thinks about it too much he starts freaking out a little. (Okay, actually what he means is he starts getting way too aware of how he's made of meat, and how easy it would be to rip him apart, or feeling like he’s rotting, or thinking he can taste raw flesh at the back of his throat and you know what, that's not helpful.) Plus people are either like, you poor crazy kids or you attention-seeking liars... or they're like ohmygod, you Know The Truth, tell us all your wisdom. Both of which get old real quick and neither of which are best handled by gibbering panic or wanting to rip your own skin off, which is what tends to happen if these conversations go on for any length of time. Like he kept it together long enough to tell the police what happened and now his memory's just like nope, we are so done with this.

And that really should be enough, you know?

But when he's not borderline crazy or wanting to throw up or having a panic attack, then of course he starts thinking about Josh. Because how can he fucking not. Because once you stop thinking about the flesh-eating monsters you start to think about all the events that led up to them and then you can’t avoid the fact that Josh was meant to be his best friend and not only included him in his bugfuck crazy serial killer revenge prank but got him to play the pivotal role.

And actually Chris is fucking furious about that when he digs away all the flesh-eating-monster-related emotions.

Like Josh not only wanted him to think he was going to die, but wanted him to think he was a murderer? As though last year had Chris shoved Hannah and Beth off the cliff last year and laughed about it rather than being passed out drunk for the entire time? Oh, and let's not forget how Josh knew about Chris having the hots for Ashley and made that the focus and so now whenever Chris thinks about her he remembers her sobbing and screaming and they can't even look at each other because everything is too fucked up? Like, absolutely when someone's your best friend clearly what they deserve is to be given a bunch of shitty choices, made to think they’ve killed you, and laughed at when they fall to bits about it. Yep. Josh could have given the sadistic choice part of the evening to Emily or Jess or Mike but for some reason he had thought Chris was the one who deserved it.

And you know what the worst part is?

Chris can dig down and find the fury and even draw it out and wallow in it, really work himself up into a righteous rage and find himself yelling at the wall, all of that, and it actually almost helps, it makes him feel like a normal person getting mad about normal things. But then suddenly it’ll dry up when he remembers. Josh was just as clueless as the rest of them when it came down to it and now he’s dead. Or worse. (Don't think about flesh-eating. Do not think about it.) If you want retribution, pretty sure Josh has paid the ultimate price. And yet Chris still can’t forgive him. It would be a hell of a lot easier to process if Josh had stayed the bad guy.




[Title] The Future Lies Before You
[Fandom] Life is Strange (MAJOR SPOILERS)
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Max/Chloe ficlet.



For days they drive, chasing songs from channel to channel. When they stop at convenience stores, Max keeps her chin up and her eyes forward and the newspaper headlines out of her vision. Pretends everything except what’s straight ahead of her is burnt out. Pretends she can't go anywhere except the place where she needs to go.

She doesn’t talk. Chloe talks and Max answers, sometimes, and sometimes she feels a scream rising up in her throat instead. Chloe doesn’t get mad at her or even tease her for being grouchy. She just looks straight ahead and they keep driving.

One evening they are parked in the middle of nowhere and Chloe says, Come here, and puts her arms round Max, rests her chin on Max's head, as if Max is the one who's hurting, who needs comforting. They sit like that for a while as the sun sets. Chloe smells of weed and make-up and slept-in T-shirt. Max thinks about her smell and her warmth and her quick, mocking voice all suddenly not being any more and it feels like a punch in the stomach and she is saying, over and over, I don't care. I don't care. I'd do it again. I don't care. Only her voice starts to shake until she is sobbing, crying into Chloe's T-shirt, and the sobs turn into I'm sorry, I'm so sorry but she is watching herself cry and almost not feeling sad at all.

Chloe strokes her hair and then pulls her to sit up so they're facing each other, says, Hey. Stop. Grips Max by the shoulders. They'll rebuild. None of this was your fault, okay? You didn't ask for it.

Max knows she should say the truth, that she weighed up her choices and took the selfish option, that she is directly responsible for a death toll that she's working really hard on remaining unaware of, that she could have killed Chloe's mother, for god's sake, not to mention every person she's shared a class or dorm with for the past month...

But you know what, it's really nice sometimes to forget that. And she is selfish, after all, so why would she choose to dwell on it? In time, it'll hurt less. In time it will become just something that happened. In time maybe it'll even seem like a dream, the way so many of the strangest parts of that last week already do. You're supposed to carry guilt with you like a weight but... that doesn't mean you stop being alive. And so you choose snacks and sing along and take photos out of the window like you don't care that much. And perhaps you don't. Perhaps the crying is just for show.

She smiles and nods and rubs the tears away and leans against Chloe and they watch the sun set, and then a bit later she takes Chloe's hand, strokes the long fingers, and a bit later still she turns her head and they kiss in the darkness. It's still so new and barely-there and yet it's Chloe, who has been her life as long as she can remember, and in this shadow and silence and warmth Max can almost kid herself that they've left all the destruction behind.

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