They left him with the scars.
That is the first thing John realizes when he looks in the mirror that night. His chest is covered in knotted scars. His chest got fucking torn out. It’s not pretty. There are two new scars on his arm, one long, right down the middle, the other directly across his wrist. All reminders of what he did. Of who his soul is promised to.
John’s hands are shaking.
It’s not like he ever wore short sleeves, John thinks. It’s not like he wasn’t already scarred. He knows how it feels to have your own blood well up and run down your arm in warm, red streaks. He turns away from the mirror, no longer willing to go down that line of thinking, moving towards his bed as if in a daze.
John collapses on his shitty bed, shoulders trembling. A choked sob spills from his mouth as he cards a shaky hand through his hair, his other hand clutching at his chest, as if he was trying to remind himself that he was still alive. Laying there, curled up on the bed, he cries himself empty, tears spilling from his eyes until John no longer has any more to spare, with a pounding headache, his mouth dry as he just lays there and shudders. His head spins.
John still feels like he can’t breath, like tumors and blood still fill his lungs, suffocating him in dry air. Only this time, the blood he coughs up isn’t real. It’s just a hallucination of his grief-sick mind. Fuck, he deserved this. This was his penance. This bone-gnawing sickness of his own mind, trapped alone with only his thoughts.
His mind turns to the people he loves, Chas, Cheryl. Chas is fucking pissed at him. He has a right to be. John’s not dead, his note fucking lied. Or so Chas thinks. John fucking died. Almost didn’t make it. Almost killed himself. He was holding himself together with the façade of his usual tan trenchcoat and his mocking smirk covering up his still bloodstained clothes, the fresh scars on his wrists, his still-trembling hands. How he flinched at his friend’s sharp, angry words. How his skin crawled, still feeling cold even under all his layers.
Matt. Matt’s fucking dead.
John remembers how he watched as his hacking cough became red. John ran. John fucking ran, like a coward, afraid to face the fate that should be his. How he cried as Kit held him close, the rain mingling with his tears, grieving all the losses that had so huddled on his back.
Another friend dead. Another friend alienated.
What the hell has he become?