Waylon was greeted by the soaring high rises of the mile high city once more and the lush vibrant green sidewalk trees that lined either side of the roads. Bountiful flowerpots bursting with life and color sat outside the entryways to the shops to welcome the patrons who entered. A familiar sight in his everyday life that he found he took for granted before his incident with Murkoff and the monsters he was forced to face at Mount Massive Asylum. But those dark memories were burned away by the glistening glass buildings, catching the sun's rays as it rises up over the horizon.
The early morning commute to work was the same old hustle and bustle of morning rush hour traffic. Backed up as far as the eye could see from one intersection to the next. He was more then used to it as he walked the few blocks to the coffee shop, surrounded by the familiar sounds of city life. A life he could now consider a safer existence compared to the one he had at Mount Massive. His walk contained a slight limp since the injuries he sustained there. His leg had almost all but healed after that fateful jump to freedom. It had been a long ass road to recovery and he continued it by walking most everywhere he could to stretch his legs and get back into his daily routine. Life was just starting to become normal again.
Entering the corner Starbucks which there seemed to be one just about on every corner as if some law was made for it. He was struck with the strong earthy aroma of ground coffee beans. He stood in the line for several minutes, fiddling with his phone before giving the barista his order. It only took a few minutes for his large coffee to be finished and he was sipping away at the warm bitter brew, sending a surge of heat through his body and a little more pep in his step. Leaving the coffee shop, his eyes scanned around his surroundings, another habit he developed from Mount Massive. Looking around every corner and behind every door. He had become paranoid in many of his actions since.
As his blue hues scanned his surroundings, they fell on an odd sight not far off. Just across the busy street. His eyes narrowed over the lid of his coffee cup at the form of a large huddled mass with downcast weary bloodshot blue eyes. The form was wearing mostly rags, all ripped and torn as if they've been put through a weed wacker and most of them were stained darkly. The head was bowed with his chin resting against his sternum.
If Waylon didn't know any better, he'd say the man looked like he was sleeping. The slow rise and fall of hulking shoulders barely contained within the tight white fabric of the shirt. The familiar black vest was almost non-existent, barely hanging off in ripped tatters. Many of the pieces that had once been stitched together had fallen away from frayed or loose seams. The normally slicked back head of black hair was hanging pitifully in every which way. Still, the scarring across the side of his face stood out plain as day. Many people walking on that side of the street either gave the mass no notice at all or they completely avoided him altogether, walking across the jam packed street instead.
The sight sent shivers down Waylon's spine and he very nearly dropped his coffee. At first he thought it was a hallucination but the fact others responded to Eddie's presence told him it was far from it. He stood there for several minutes just staring down the man, expecting him to suddenly leap to his feet and come chasing after him, he tensed when the mass did move. It was just enough to raise his head. Blue eyes locking with Waylon’s but instead of the previous wide eyed hopeful gaze he would receive from the mad man, Eddie showed now interest in the man he was looking back at. Those eyes were dull and lifeless as if everything that had made the tailor who he was was non-existent now. He almost seemed sad and lost but Waylon didn’t give much thought to that as the cold chill racing down his spine made him turn and limp away, heading in the direction of his work. He’d occasionally look back over his shoulder, expecting to find the looming form following him but was surprised when he was alone. He didn’t even feel the unwelcome sensation of eyes watching him like he had been plagued with at Mount Massive.
He made his way to a smaller building shoved between two larger ones where he worked all day long doing computer work for the local company. It wasn’t nearly as big as Murkoff’s facility and the most he’d ever have to worry about is a few customers calling to complain that the servers are down. Which he was perfectly fine with. He attempted to lose himself in his work but his mind continued to wander to the sight he had witnessed on that street corner. One part of his thoughts lingering on that fact of just how incredibly close the maniac was to Waylon’s apartment.
He desperately tried to cut the mad man out of his thoughts along with all the rest of Mount Massive and that dark and dreaded experience but it wasn’t long before he found himself searching up anything he could in the last couple months that could be linked to the lunatic. Any grizzly murders or anything lately in the newspapers. All he found were a couple articles on mountain lion attacks on hikers and bikers on the wilderness trails and a missing kid who was found two days later alive and healthy, having wandered off into the woods. But no murders or mentions of violence from Denver to Mount Massive. After that he started looking through the archived footage he had left from when he killed Eddie or at least he thought he had, scrutinizing the video for every last detail to see if there was some way he could have survived. If there was anyway he could have survived.
He copied and cut a section of the footage to go over more closely, a freeze frame of the initial impalement point and compared it to the human anatomy charts he could find online. Going over several documents until he finally came to the conclusion that it was a purely miraculous incident. There was the possibility that in the position he was impaled at that the pipe had missed his most vital organs and his spine. With how his back was bent it could have dispersed his organs out more in his body in that split second, enough to avoid critical damage. Then add on top of that that many of the side effects for Murkoff’s subjects had increased strength, stamina and appeared to be much more resilient than the average human being, especially to injuries sustained. That maybe it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say his body's ability to heal major injuries might have been improved as well. If he hadn’t been there and survived Mount Massive, he would have considered it to be completely ridiculous and improbable but after seeing many of the crazed subjects, it was certainly a more believable scenario.
On his way home from work, Waylon took that same route back if only to see if Eddie was still there. It took him a moment to find the male, having realized he had moved to just around the corner of a building, more out of sight and tucked away in the alley to block out the cooler breeze that worked it’s way between the massive buildings and narrow city streets. The street lamps cast a dimly lit orange glow in the failing evening light as he made the chillier trek home. Eddie had not only changed spots but was now curled up asleep on his side or at least Waylon assumed he was asleep. His back pressed against the cold brick exterior of an old closed hardware store. Unlike a few of the homeless folks he had spotted around the city, Eddie didn’t have a pile of old blankets or layers of clothing to cover himself with to ward off the colder nights or to protect him from the cruel bite of the early autumn wind.
For the next few days, Waylon would go the same route to work, watching Eddie and finding him looking more and more miserable than the day prior. Always sitting on the sidewalk, back against the rough brick exterior or curled up in the alley on the ground. A few times he had seen people drop pocket change at his feet in some pitiful attempt at self-justification but Eddie didn’t seem at all interested in it. It was as if he was just an empty shell of the man that he used to be. Those blue eyes gazing off into the distance, his features always downcast.
It was the end of the week and the fourth day since Eddie’s sudden appearance that Waylon took his laptop with him and choose a spot at a table near the large windows of the Starbucks and watched the once fearless man over the lid of his coffee cup. It was his first day off in a couple months and he had taken the entire weekend off. And he decided he’d spend it stalking the man who stalked him through hell. Honestly, he had more better things to do with his day but he couldn’t help the fact that Eddie was on his mind day and night and he was determined to find out why it was that he was here in Denver. Though he wasn’t quite sure what he was expecting the man to do all day long.
He had even set up the camera on his laptop to record him through the windows while he worked on some side projects. Keeping a small pop-up feed of Eddie on the corner of his screen. One of the waitresses kept a steady flow of coffee refills going and by evening, Waylon was out of things to do and completely bored. Having watched Eddie simply move from one patch of shade to another to avoid the scorching late summer sun. He pinched the bridge of his nose and rolled his eyes, silently cursing himself for his stupidity and deciding he had enough for one day. Both of the coffee and of staring at his screen. He shut everything off and packed up his laptop, deciding to walk a bit and stretch his legs. His bad leg was cramping up already from sitting for so long. He dug into his bag for a painkiller and took it down with the last swig of his cold coffee before leaving the shop.
He checked his watch and decided a walk around the block and then heading home should be good enough. He made his way towards one of the main restaurant streets and down past a cluster of sports bars and one biker bar then looped back around past a parkour course, one of many around the city before coming back up towards the way home. It was already getting dark and many of the streets were beginning to empty out. The dim lighting of the street lamps added to the eeriness of the coming night.
It was a little ways past the last parkour course that he realized he was being followed. A glance back behind himself showed two individuals with darker clothing and hoods shrouding their faces in the evening shadows, preventing Waylon from seeing who they were. He cursed underneath his breath and kept moving, following the route back up towards the coffee place but cutting it at a corner that merged into a narrow alley between buildings. His heart started beating much faster and a cold bead of sweat ran down his neck as he picked up the pace a bit more. Waylon knew with his limp he wouldn’t be able to outrun them so he hoped that he could possibly lose them instead. With a quick glance back over his shoulder, he spotted only one of them now, keeping a little ways back then they had been but before he could breath a sigh of relief the other lunged from around the next corner and slammed Waylon up against the wall.
The first one drew a knife and held it to the male’s throat. His eyes widened, fear striking through him and his heart hammered in his chest as the other grasped at his bag. Neither of them spoke and at this close of distance he could see there faces were covered in darkly colored bandannas leaving only their for Waylon to see. The one with the knife had a dark green while the one searching him had brown. “Please don’t kill me.” Waylon stammered out quickly as he raised his hands to show he was unarmed and unable to fight back. The green eyed male pressed the sharp edge of the blade into his neck in warning, narrowing his eyes as the other slipped the back off of Waylon’s shoulder and started patting him down for his phone and wallet. “Take anything you want! Just please...ah!” The blade slide across the side of his neck, drawing blood. It was a silent warning for him to shut up. Waylon fought the urge to grasp at the burning pain in his neck and he closed his eyes, silently praying for help.
He listened to the movements of the one before suddenly there was silence and he didn’t feel the cold metal of the blade. He dared to peek out with one eye in time to see a hulking form come barreling down the narrow pass and grab one of the assailants by their throat and slammed them down into the ground. The green eyed male with the knife was stunned as Eddie rose back up, the brown eyed assailant choked and gasped as all the air had been knocked out of him. “Leave him alone.” Eddie growled, the low timbre of that voice sent chills through his body but Waylon never thought he would ever be so happy as to see the blue eyed lunatic in his life. Though the green eyed man obviously didn’t grasp the fact he was up against a monster with a piddly little blade and lunged for Eddie.
Eddie’s body seemed to move on reflex as his arm shot out in defense. The other moved to slam a fist into the male’s stomach, forcing him to drop the blade as he grasped at his abdomen, a groan of pain leaking out from beneath the bandanna. Eddie approached the male in large slow strides and grabbed him up by the front of his hoodie, dragging him to his feet. The green eyed male was terrified of the disheveled groom, unable to defend himself. But before Eddie could deliver another blow with tightly curled fists, their came a flash of silver and a cry of pain from Eddie’s lips as it was plunged deeply into his back and then retracted only to be stuck again into his side, buried between the ribs on his side.
The assailant moved to pull the knife free to get in another blow but Eddie was too fast, throwing the green eyed male to the ground and rounding on the brown eyed attacker, His fist planted firmly into his face, sending him sprawling across the ground. Eddie Reached down and ripped the blade out of his side before delivering another blow to his ribs with his foot. Sending the man across the ground once more. As the green eyed male got back to his feet, he went for Eddie again but this time Waylon had gathered enough of his wits and jumped onto the man’s back, wrapping his arms around his neck to pull him back and partially choke him. The man wheeled onto Waylon and pushed back, smashing him up against the wall of the alley. Waylon gave a strangled cry of pain and that was enough to distract Eddie long enough for the brown eyed male to get to his feet and scramble away.
As soon as his friend had fled, the other man did too. Darting off in another direction, letting Waylon drop to his knees beside his back and wallet. His phone was still in his pocket but when he drew it out to call for help, he found it broken from the scuffle. He cursed under his breath before looking up. Hearing the rustling of a form sliding down against the wall of the adjacent building only to find a blood soaked Eddie gripping at his knife wounds. He looked even more out of it then before. His blue eyes meeting Waylon’s as he murmured breathlessly. “Are you alright darling?” At first Waylon assumed Eddie knew who he was but the look in his eyes showed no recognition at all. Just the urgency to help a stranger in need. He wondered idly if that blind action was much the same as how he chose his lovers . He remembered at Mount Massive how many others he had done the same to. All those bodies and body parts littering the floor and the corpses hanging up in the rafters. It was an unbiased response and Waylon considered that maybe this was just the same.
“You should go, before they come back.” He warned, breaking through Waylon’s thoughts before giving a painful hiss as more blood poured from his injuries. Waylon could also see the smearing of blood from where Eddie’s back had touched the brickwork as well as the puddles left on the asphalt during the fight. And Waylon knew it was too much for him to leave Eddie like this. He may have survived a pipe impaling him but he might not be so lucky with where that blade struck.
He gathered his things and looked back down at Eddie as he stood up. He made to leave, maybe call the police from a pay phone or back at his apartment to get Eddie some help but with another look at the male, the way his head started to droop against his chest and his eyes kept fluttering shut, he cursed himself and his weak heart. Slinging his bag over his shoulders, he reached out for Eddie’s arm on the opposite side from his wounded ribs and pulled it around his shoulders. “Come on Eddie. You have to help me out here. I’m going to get you home, alright?” Waylon got merely a grunt in response before the male dragged himself up to his feet with Waylon’s assistance and made the long slow limp to Waylon’s apartment.