Chapter 1: Pshh, who died and made you may dad?
Erik is a security guard.
He prefers taking the night shifts not because of the quietness or the cold breeze, but because he'd rather deal the hardships of staying up at night than deal with those crazy kids with major mental issues. According to one of the guards that takes the morning shifts, Logan hadn't experienced a full month without seeing someone losing their shit and going crazy, by either committing self harm or causing very disturbing scenes on unexpected occasions that even Logan wouldn't want to describe.
If Erik was being honest, working as a security guard in a building filled with kids that has mental problems wasn't his first choice, but considering his background, it's not like he had any other options laid down on the table. Erik isn't the type of person to get involved or even watch those teenagers struggle with the whole 'the world is out to get me' foolishness. It's a pity how children these days aren't strong enough to deal with this thing called 'Reality' and would rather waste money on something so naive, something Erik chose to judge quietly from behind.
Erik has the right to judge. Like any other person, he struggles through a phase called 'depression' back then because of the events that he'd rather not remember, he got through it without as much help from the others. Though the constant pinching of his wrist and the preference of being isolated tells him that he's not as completely free as he thought.
Erik's nightly routine being a night guard consist of jotting down empty time events in a blue notebook and a thorough walk around the building if ever there was a patient doing suspicious things. It has always been like that.
Until one night, while doing his nightly scouting, he saw a faint light coming from the entertainment area.
Erik doesn't easily get scared, but considering that it's night and he's in a building filled with possible psychotic kids that may or may not have the thirst to kill or be killed, and all he have is a wooden bat for defence. He can't help but feel a tinge of uneasiness seep through your bones.
Gripping his bat, Erik slowly walked towards the entertainment room with light footsteps. The lights were changing on different tones of color, like a channel on the television changing scenes. He was already a couple of spaces away when he heard voices.
"Down here, this could be an adventure, down here, we are who we are." said a poorly executed childish voice.
"You mean down here on this mouldy well? I'd rather not." said another poorly executed and a bit exaggerated female voice.
If Erik was hearing correctly, those voices all belongs to a male person, changing his pitch every now and then as if trying to impersonate a person. Looking through the entryway, Erik saw a teenage boy sitting in front of a muted television, while the movie 'The Goonies' was being played on the screen, mumbling words under his breath. He was settled by the sofa, chin resting on his knees that was bent to reach up his chest and both arms were wrapped around his legs, the small tag on his wrist was an indication that he was a patient, a new one basing from the fresh wrapped up wound on his left wrist and an IV stuck on his hand.
"What are doing up this late?" Erik asked, walking inside and towards the kid.
The expectant jump from the boy told Erik that he's still not out of his meds, and according to the rules, patients that are still taking doses of medicines or painkillers aren't allowed to leave their rooms unless their therapist says so.
This kid was apparently breaking the rules, and basing from the silver hair, it wouldn't be a surprise if he's at the rebellious side of his current teenage life.
"Dude!" He exclaimed, back pressed firmly on the sofa and palms laid down on the sides, "What are you, some sort of ninja? Stop sneaking around like that, you're going to give me a heart attack."
The older man pursed his lips, definitely still on meds, "You're not yet allowed to leave your room." He stated.
"Tell that to the nurse who's snoring his ass off in there," the kid snorted, "And it's boring, I'll probably end up killing myself again if I stay one more hour in that hell hole," He complained, hands flailing and shoulders hunching at every movement, "Besides, I'm almost finished." He added indicating a hand towards the television.
Erik wanted to ask why it was muted, or why was he mumbling, but he took the remote instead and attempted to turn the TV off. If it weren't for the fact that the kids' hands moved surprisingly fast and immediately took hold of it, the screen should've been turned off by now.
"Uh uh dude," he said clicking his tongue and shaking his head, "I'm still not finished, come back maybe in an hour or two."
Narrowing his eyes, Erik crossed his arms over his chest and raised his chin, "I'm not allowing you to watch and I'm ordering you to go back to your room before I call a nurse."
"Pshh, who died and made you my dad?" He asked, fidgeting lightly on the IV embedded on his hand, slightly pulling the line and dragging the IV stand closer.
Erik's lips thinned, this is why he preferred the nightly silence than the morning chaos in this institution, "Listen, I don't have the same patience as your nurses, so if I were you, I'd start walking back."
Erik knew he doesn't really portray as a people friendly type of person, especially with the whole 'Shark Smile' he has and the resting bitch face that looks more like he's plotting world domination. He's known to have this murderous appeal going on since he hit puberty and it's a first to see a person to get unfazed by it, something that felt completely foreign and he's definitely not used to the new treatment.
"Sure, as soon as I finished the movie," the kid said, the stubbornness made Erik's eye twitch involuntarily.
"Aww come on dude, the movie's less than an hour now," he pleaded before suddenly raising his hand as if to ask a question, "I vote for additional thirty minutes of TV time."
Erik refrained himself from pinching the bridge of his nose, "You do know that there's only the two of us in here and initiating democracy wouldn't solve your television time crisis?"
"Worth a shot," he said shrugging before raising his other hand causing the IV stand to be dragged in, "Plus, I have two arms and one IV stand, so that's three out of two."
"That doesn't count as your arm." Erik stated.
"Sure it is," the kid replied, probably not noticing how stupid he looks like, "It's attached to my arm."
This time, Erik pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled before doing a silent prayer for the almighty to give him more strength. With a huff, Erik walked towards the television and pulled at the plug, causing instant darkness around them. He started fumbling for his flashlight.
"Booo," he heard the kid exclaimed, it's funny how he could imagine him doing a thumbs down.
Successfully pulling out his flashlight, Erik turned it on and pointed the other end towards the kid, who was really doing a thumbs down with both of his hands.
"The television's off, now go back to your room," Erik ordered placing his free hand on the base of his hips.
"Unfairness, this is a new level of cruelty and inequality for those with mental issues," he said standing up and pulling at the IV line to drag the stand closer, Erik tried not to wince at the kids' inability to be careful with it, "What happened to human rights?"
Erik isn't the type of person to sugar coat his words, "You lost yours when you decided to grab a razor."
But this kid seems to be the type who could take an insult even if it was directly at him, "Low blow, dude," he said with a scrunched eyebrow but no heat behind the words, "But good one," he added pointing a finger at him with both immediately raised eyebrows, "Though I used a knife, not a razor."
Erik started to wonder why was the kid here in the first place, the way he spoke and move proves as if he's fine and not in some sort of misery. If it weren't for the fact that they just discussed his failed suicide attempt, Erik wouldn't know that he's a lot more messed up. It's like cancer, you would only notice it until it gets worse.
"I'm not going to ask twice," Erik said, changing the topic and going back to his first intention, "Go back to your room."
An exaggerated groan escaped the kids' lips while he roll his eyes and slouched his back, "But I'm not tired," he reasoned.
"Not my problem."
"Do you even know what I've been doing for the past two days?"
"I don't want to hear it."
"I sleep! Day to night, I lay in bed without doing anything. I couldn't even jerk off with those nurses always breathing down my neck--"
"And now I'm hearing it."
"My dick's been limp for days now. This is why i should've just died, I'd rather have that than lose the freedom to masturbate."
"Kid I don't think telling me about your hormonal crisis is going to help you continue watching 'The Goonies'."
Then the kid shrugged as if finally accepting defeat, "Well, I tried," He said to himself before grabbing the IV stand and dragging it beside him, "Nice meeting you Mister Night Guard." He said patting Erik's shoulder, causing the older man to glare down on it. No one touches him, no one. Staring back at the kid, the kid smiled and removed his hand before taking a step to leave the area, as if Erik wasn't giving him a grim expression moments ago.
The older man watched him vanished through the doorway as he turned, noting how the kid unconsciously fiddles with the IV line. "THE NAME'S PETER BY THE WAY! NOT KID, YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR IMAGINATION!" The kid--Peter-- yelled while walking down the hall.
Erik wanted to point out that 'Mister Night Guard' doesn't also sound as imaginative but chose not to, just to avoid further activities.
With a sigh, Erik left the room and closed the door behind him. Hoping that it'll be the first and last encounter he'll have with that kid.
He should've hoped more.
It didn't took three nights for Erik to spot the familiar silver haired weirdo, this time having his hand stuck inside the vending machine, as if trying to reach for a stuck twinkie inside that didn't fell. His position must've been uncomfortable, especially with his left arm stuck and stretched in an odd position. The IV stand lying down on the floor causing Peter to outstretch his right hand because of the needle tugging uncomfortably on his skin.
"You again." Erik simply said pointing his flashlight at the kid.
Peter turned his head and grimaced, "It's not what it looks like."
"Then what does it looks like?"
"The vending machine ate my arm." Peter replied without hesitation, his face completely serious.
Erik stared, inhaling a long breath before exhaling just the same but a lot more exasperated. This kid is a hopeless case, "Keep still," he ordered him, walking towards the IV stand and pushing it closer towards the kid before crouching down beside him.
"You're not going to saw it off, right?" Peter hopefully asked, his left eye crinkling.
"You're lucky I didn't bring my chainsaw."
"You have one?" This time, Peter's hopefulness was in a different meaning. He's confined in this institute for a reason.
"No," Erik flatly replied and Peter's face instantly deflated.
Doing his best to ease the kid's arm off, Erik mentally cursed because it seemed to be stuck real bad. Gripping on Peter's arm, Erik pulled at it a bit rougher than the first few tries, causing for the kid to hiss through closed teeth.
"Dude, do you mind injecting anaesthesia first before ripping my arm off?" Peter said making Erik wonder if he's serious about it, "I'd rather have the chainsaw, at least it'll be a lot faster."
"Who's the stupid one that got his arm stuck in the first place?" Erik grunted trying to slowly pull it out but making no improvement at all.
"I told you," Peter said rolling his eyes, "It ate my arm."
"And I'm not five," he countered, stilling his action after realizing something, "Aren't you allowed to eat sugary food yet?"
Peter opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out, he left it wide open with a raised forefinger, as if trying his best to make a point. A point that Erik never heard because Peter was slowly lowering his hand and closing his mouth, unable to make up a good reason.
Erik raised an unamused eyebrow.
"Dude, what are you? My nurse?" The kid spat instead. Irritated by the kid's disrespectfulness, Erik intentionally pulled his arm roughly, Peter grunted painfully.
"You did that on purpose!" The kid whined.
Due from the dim light that the vending machine was producing, Erik couldn't completely make out how Peter's arm was stuck. Grabbing for his flashlight, he pointed the other end at the machine's opening only to see red raw skin with a few minor scratches on it.
Apparently, Peter has been trying to remove his arm for hours now that the metal started ripping his skin, and Erik has been pulling at it roughly, unable to consider if the kid was currently wounded. He found himself staring at Peter's arm quite longer than intended.
"Dude, handsome guy in jeopardy here," Peter exclaimed snapping Erik from his trance, "You can fall in love with my arm later."
"How exactly did you manage to put your arm in there?" Erik questioned instead, unamused by the outcome of the kid's immaturity and sounding very tired after dealing with him for only a couple of minutes.
"THE MACHINE! ATE IT!" Peter reasoned trying to continue his bluff.
Choosing to finally ignore the kid, Erik placed his flashlight between his lips and let the light illuminate Peter's stuck arm, pushing on the skin and slowly pulling it out, avoiding the wounded areas. It was a slow progress but at least it was effective.
In the middle of Erik's effort, Peter was playing with the hem of his shirt while humming an off tune from a well known band that Erik preferred not to know. By the time Erik successfully got Peter's arm out of the vending machine, his jaw was sore and the butt of his flashlight was already coated with his own saliva, although his discomfort was immediately forgotten the instant he saw Peter's bandaged wrist stained with fresh red blood.
The stitches must've ripped apart.
"Shoot," Peter exclaimed, not in a worried tone but more of an irritated one, "Nurse Grey'll be pissed," he told himself while examining the wound like a failed art project before turning to look at Erik, "Do you have a stapler that I could borrow?"
Erik stared at him, did the kid actually just asked for a stapler, to stitch up his wound?
"I know," Peter replied as if understanding Erik's bewildered expression, "Ms. Grey, sounds fishy, but I don't think she owns any sex chamber. I peg her as more of a vanilla kind of gal."
Erik's eyebrows raised up to his hairline "Are you serious?"
Peter stared at him, aghast, "Course I am," he defended, "Do you really think nurse Grey has a sex chamber?" A pause, "Now that would be hot."
"No that's not--," Erik cut himself off, he took a deep breath and tried his best not to yell just because of a mentally disabled teenager. He took the night shift to avoid children like him, not get involved with their overly dramatic mental state, "Never mind."
Peter looked at him and cocked his head to the right with a scrunched eyebrow, as if wondering before disregarding the thought with a simple shrug. Erik began to wonder if dramatic was even part of Peter's vocabulary, the mentally disabled part was technically obvious.
Erik shook his head.
"Now that you got your arm off," he said standing up and patting his hands on his jeans, "I expect you to return back to your room."
Peter groaned like a spoiled child, "Not this again," he complained, "At least hand me a stapler first."
"I'm a night guard, Peter," Erik informed him, hauling the kid up on his feet by the arm pits, noticing that his feet were currently bare, "Not an office worker."
"Well that sucks," the kid grumbled while Erik wiped his flashlight clean, "Doc Wheelies won't be happy that my stitches reopened."
Erik tried not to ask the story behind that nickname but decided to pressed on the important matter at hand, "He really won't be happy, because I will report you and your unallowed nightly activities within the building."
Peter's whole face scrunched up in disgust, "Ew, dude, privacy please," he said raising both hands as if to create distance, "And FYI, my dick's been limp for who knows how long and that ain't healthy. Desperate times calls for desperate measures, man."
Erik almost ran a frustrated hand over his face, almost, "I didn't said anything remotely close to your genitals, Peter."
"But you said nightly activities," Peter defended, before pausing a moment to realize something, "Unless you jerk off in the day. Don't worry Mr. Night Guard, I don't judge, that's normal."
Annoyed and obviously tired from Peter's active persona that he would gladly get away from, Erik grabbed a hold on the kid's injured wrist and tightened his grip, only letting go when Peter cried in a yelp before wincing in pain.
"That is so not cool," Peter said holding his wrist protectively, "I should sue you for hurting the disabled."
Erik eyed him from head to toe, "Correct me if I'm wrong but I could perfectly see both of your arms and legs functioning properly," he pointed out.
"Depression isn't a disability, Peter, it's a disorder."
"Woah, woah, woah," the kid exclaimed pointing a finger at the older man in front of him, "What makes you think I'm depressed?"
The funny part was, it looks like Peter seemed to believe his own words. Erik wanted to scoff, apparently the kid's still in the middle of being denial that even after his failed attempt to kill himself wasn't enough to prove the point that he's obviously depressed, "You just tried knocking on death's door."
"It's a bummer that they didn't opened it," the kid grumbled, "Besides, there's a fine line between depression and suicide," he added as if trying to make a point, a stupid point if Erik is to judge.
"Yes," the older man said crossing both arms on his chest, "A non existent one."
Peter groaned in exaggeration, his back arching and eyes rolling, "You just ruined the mood man," he said scratching his jaw, "Pro tip; never initiate personal topics, it's boring."
"I'm not the one that used Mental Disability as a reason to sue," Erik reminded him.
"Touché," Peter replied with a quirk of his head before finally clasping his hands as if finally finishing or changing the topic, "Well, as much as I wanted to chitchat, I still have a stapler to hunt and a wound to close."
"Please tell me you aren't serious," Erik said rubbing his temples as if the very fact of Peter's gullibulness in doing self harm brings him headaches.
"Oh I'm super serious," the kid replied, still babbling while pulling his IV stand and started walking backwards down the hallway, "I'd rather have that than spend three hours getting interrogated by doctor wheels, that's boring," he continued, making Erik wonder if he have eyes at the back of his head, "See you next time Mister Night Guard." Peter added waving his injured hand before turning around.
Erik didn't know what came over him, maybe he just didn't like the nickname that the kid gave him, or the fact that Mister Night Guard sounds like a porn video, "It's Erik," he yelled causing for Peter to stop on his tracks and turn around to look at Erik, for the first time, a blank expression on his face, "My name's Erik, not Mister Night Guard," Peter just blinked at him making the older man shuffle on his feet, "So stop calling me that." He finished before whipping around to leave.
Erik will ask himself later what the hell just happened, for the mean time, he have a report to do.
Chapter 2: You and your rules are starting to bum me out.
It was a week later when Erik saw Peter again, (not that he was counting), but this time, it wasn't like any of those early encounters he had.
It was 6 in the afternoon and Erik was just about to start his shift when he spotted Logan by the guards' office, he was packing his things, the usual, giving each other a nod of acknowledgement before they part ways, only exchanging very short conversations regarding about the occasions that happens on their shifts. But what makes this situation different was that, Logan was sporting a nasty bruise on the left side of his face, a bit of scratches here and there, paired with a busted lower lip and a gashed forehead which was already nicely covered.
Logan is a tough guy, one look and you wouldn't even consider to pick a fight with him, much less strike up a conversation. He'd already heard and sometimes saw Logan handle the patients whenever one of them snaps, this was the first time Erik saw him got beaten up quite badly, it was a pity he wasn't there to watch.
"How's the other guy?" Erik casually asked placing down his bag on a nearby plastic chair.
Pulling out a cigar, Logan slipped it between his lips and lit it up with his lighter before turning to look at the older man in front of him, "New," he replied, "And annoyingly smart."
"Grey hair?" Erik asked, wondering why his first guess was Peter.
"Brown," the shorter man answered slinging his bag over his shoulder, "But ya might wanna ask Peter about this though, that little fucker started it." He added before passing Erik by the door, leaving the older man alone, wondering how he knew Peter's name. The kid must've done something that made Logan remember him, and knowing the guy, it must be some event.
It was probably already past midnight by the time Erik spotted Peter hiding by the cafeteria kitchen, hunched under a counter, probably in search of something to eat.
"How many times do I have to tell you," Erik started "That you're not allowed to leave your rooms at this time of hour?" He reminded him, exasperated. Running his right against the wall, he felt the familiar switch and flicked it up, opening the lights to fill up the dark room
Surprised, Peter jolted up causing his head to hit the counter top painfully, there was an audible cry of pain before he pushed himself out while rubbing his head, "Dude, stop that!" Peter complain with his ass on the floor, "Brain haemorrhage is an ugly death."
The last time Erik saw Peter, he only have one bandage covering his left wrist, but now, both arms were covered with white gauze, from his wrist up until it reached under his sleeves, Erik wondered how many injuries Peter has under his shirt. The absence of the IV stand told him that the kid's finally out of his meds, and he probably thought that he's free to finally roam around the halls.
Ya might wanna ask Peter about this though, that little fucker started it.
"I heard there was quite a racket this morning," Erik started, trying to steer the topic on the event that he missed to witness.
"I know right?" Peter agreed. Knowing the kid, something tells Erik that he was not probably thinking the same thing, "Who knows that playing AC/DC could really piss off most of the nurses."
"Why did I even bother," Erik mumbled to himself before looking at Peter, "All right, up now, off to your room." He ordered motioning his hands for the kid to stand up, "And I don't want to hear another word." He added when Peter opened his mouth to protest.
Telling Peter not to talk might be too much for the kid, considering their first encounter was nothing but him babbling nonstop.
Rather than doing anything remotely close to standing up, Peter stayed down on the floor, pressing both lips together as if waiting for something to happen.
"Don't make me carry you,"
It was a threat, it was an obvious threat, but Peter only raised both arms as if waiting for Erik to carry him. The older man sighed as he rubbed a calloused hand over his face, he didn't know if it was out of irritation or frustration. He like to think it was a bit of both.
"Hey you offered," Peter reminded him.
"I didn't," Erik flatly replied.
"You should work on your wording," the kid pointed out, "It sounded like you were offering."
"For a kid who daily uses sarcasm," he said, "You sure can't seem to identify one."
Peter snorted, still not letting his arms down, he looked liked an odd puppet. A mummy puppet, "And for a guy who knows the meaning of sarcasm, you can't seem to execute a decent one."
"There's nothing wrong with the way I talk."
"Puh-leaze," the kid said rolling his eyes while lowering down one of his arms to point at Erik, "How many times do I have to tell you, go back to your room," he added mimicking Erik's voice in an overly exaggerated manner, up to the point it doesn't sound like him anymore.
Erik's jaw clicked, hard. No one mimics him, no one, especially not from a mentally challenged teenager who can't seem to think that not everythinng is a game, "Do you think this is joke?" He asked seriously.
Peter shrugged, it looked awkward with his arms still raised, "Is it making you laugh?"
Erik glared, hating the fact the no matter how attempts of scaring the kid with the negativity he's emitting, Peter can't seem to get the memo, "No." He said through gritted teeth.
"Then I'm not joking," Peter replied pretending to be serious but it only seemed like he was mocking Erik, "Now hoist me up my good man, my arms are getting tired."
Erik wanted to snap right then and there, if it weren't for the fact that the kid's currently injured, he might have already blown a nasty punch on his face. Young or not, the kid is annoying, "Do I look like your nurse?", he asked instead raising a brow.
"Honestly?" Peter said cocking his head to the right as if pondering, "You look like a security guard."
If possible, Erik's glare hardened, "You're a big boy now, stand up on your own," he reminded him before turning around to leave, "And if I see you again walking around the halls without a nurse, I won't hesitate to report you." He added almost near the exit area.
"I can't," the kid suddenly piped up making the older man still from continuing his movements before turning around to face the kid with knitted brows.
"Can't? Can't what?" There was a low mumbling sound coming off from Peter, "Mind raising your voice?"
Peter rolled his eyes, as if admitting something that he'd rather not say aloud, "I said I can't stand up."
Erik's eyebrow stayed knitted, he looked down to stare at Peter's bare feet that showed his perfectly functioning ankles and calves, "Last I checked people walk with their feet."
"Well news flash old man, I push myself to stand up with my hands," he said waving both arms for emphasis, which was obviously injured, and basing from the blotches of red dots here and there, it's evident that it's not as mild at first glance.
Erik found himself cocking his head to the right, eyes narrowing curiously, "Just exactly what happened this morning?"
"Technically it was this afternoon."
"It's not, it's really not."
"Peter," Erik warned, "Stop changing the subject," he said, "And put your arms down," he added, getting annoyed.
"Why do you care so much?" Peter confronted, slowly lowering his arms, "Can Vulcans suddenly be emotional or something?"
Erik didn't know who this Vulcan is but he's pretty sure that the kid was comparing him from some pop cultural reference, if not, maybe an imaginary friend that he haven't yet let go because of his inability to be mature, "No," he replied instead, "But I'd like to know why a security guard had a good beating."
Peter's whole face lit up, "Oh you mean Wolverine?"
"Wolverine?" There was a moment where Erik compared a small vicious animal from Logan. He was a bit surprised that it was accurate.
"Yeah, Raven told me about the nicknames," he said quite happily, as if the subject had taken his interest.
"Yeah, Raven," Peter repeated, "Dr. Wheelies's adopted sister," he explained, "She calls herself Mystique, kinda cool ya know? She can mimic people accurately. Though she's a bit of a cuckoo up here," he said pointing at his head, "Keeps on babbling about human rights and stuff, kinda boring if you ask me."
Erik once heard a therapist having a sibling within the institute, he just didn't seem to think that it was an important subject that was needed to know. And he still don't see the importance of knowing it even now.
"What does it has to do with your arm?"
Erik glared, he clicked his jaw and prayed for extra more minutes to have his temper in check. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, "I see you've had your fair share of..." Erik tried to think of the right word, "Investigation." Honestly, it's not the best word he could come up with.
"I'm quick on picking up on things," he explained while crossing his feet to form an indian sit before rocking himself back and fort, "Kinda like my special talent."
Erik really tried his best to look interested, but no one can really blame him if he's not the kind of person to beat around the bush, "You were saying about your arm?"
"Oh yeah," Peter said jolting up as if just realizing his sudden change of topic, "There was this new kid, Scott, kinda stiff if you ask me," he started, "So here I was, trying to strike a conversation with him, making him losen up and what-not, until he just suddenly snapped and started yelling and kicking and damn he's crazy. Can you believe the guy? Suddenly going nuts just because I tried to converse with him?"
"I don't," Erik does. Erik really does.
"Then Mr. Logan, aka the Wolverine, came and tried to stop him, but this kid wasn't just crazy, he apparently was bit cool after what he did, like James Bond cool. There was this wham-bam BOOM going on, it's like he strategized everything inside his head," Peter told him, eyes going wild but the use of his arms were decreased to a minimum, "Then paramedics came and injected him with some shit that made him fall asleep." He added the last part with a shrug.
Erik wanted to assume that the story was over, especially since hearing it made his head throb. It already answered why Logan was looking a bit under the weather, though not completely detailed and he would rather keep it that way. From the method of Peter's story telling, Erik assumed it's better to keep shut. But something was missing, and it's one of the main reasons why Erik decided to ask him about the afternoon escaped, "And your arm?"
"Oh the window broke and Scott kicked me swimming on the broken shards," Peter replied dully as if that tiny bit of information was better off not telling because it's boring, "Nothing really cool mentioning."
Moments like these, Erik should've been used to the idea that Peter wasn't like your typical teenager. Though the point where the kid was confined in an institute with kids who have mental problems was already a full give away. It was still a bit weird seeing that Peter seemed like a very normal teenager, if it weren't for the fact that he thought swimming in broken glass wasn't 'cool' enough mentioning, then Erik might actually consider he's still on the fence between being sane and crazy.
And honestly, Erik feels like he was also on the fence. He didn't know from what between, but his gut told him it's his judgment towards Peter.
With a short intake of air, Erik walked towards Peter and grabbed him by the armpits to haul him on his feet. There was an unexpected hiss coming off from the kid that made the older man froze, momentarily thinking if he severed one of his concealed injuries.
"Dude, mind giving me a heads up?" Peter protested still looking like a puppet with his shoulders hiked up due to Eriks hands under his armpits, "And ya might wanna wash your hands," he informed him, "I haven't showered since I got out of my meds. The nurses are kinda pissed."
That statement got Erik retreating his hands inside his pockets a bit too impatiently. He cleared his throat, "Now that you can function properly, I'm expecting you to be back in your room."
Peter groaned, "You and your rules are starting to bum me out."
"That's the point."
"Dude, we've met like, three times now," the kid shrugged, "Don't you, I dunno, wanna hang out and chill? I saw coins under the vending machine, we can have three twinkies together."
"No." Erik flatly replied.
"Aw c'mon, don't you feel the connection? Together we could be the night bro's,"
Erik mentally, and physically, cringed. Teenagers and their weird made up words are starting to get on his nerves, "The only connection you'll have is my bat hitting your head before I drag you back to your room," he said raising his wooden bat.
"Dude, that's child abuse," Peter replied. "And possible murder."
"Not if nobody knows," Erik threatened doing his real best to scare the kid. Sadly, though not surprise any longer, it did absolutely nothing. Peter just stared right back as if mocking him if that's the best he got. Slipping his bat on his belt, Erik exhaled through his nose, "Go to your room, either that or I'll report you."
"Pshh, weren't you suppose to report me last time?" Peter reminded him, "The hell happened to that?"
Erik remembered a week ago, writing the events where Peter had gotten his arm stuck in a vending machine on a piece of paper, before momentarily crumpling it up and throwing it on the nearest trash bin. He tried not to think about it for the following days.
"This time, I'm serious," Erik assured him before turning around to leave, not exactly knowing if Peter would follow or return back to his room.
When Erik came back for his second time on scouting the building, he didn't saw Peter anywhere He finally realized what kind of fence he was on.
When Erik came to work the following afternoon, he was about to turn the door knob from the guard's office when it flew open before he could lay a hand on it. He was suddenly faced with a brunette haired teenager with impossibly blue eyes, basing from the busted lip and random cuts on his face, he assumed that the kid was probably the infamous newcomer, Scott.
"Excuse me," the kid uttered quietly, lowering his head as if hiding his whole face before taking a step to leave.
Erik watched him disappear a corner.
"Seventeen?" He asked Logan once he entered the room, expecting to see the younger man packing up his things.
"Sixteen," he grumbled then paused for a moment before looking up to look at Erik, "I have morals." He reasoned.
The older man's eyebrow gave a short quirk before jerking his head, "I haven't said anything yet."
"I can feel yer judgement."
"You have a creative imagination then."
Erik was definitely not judging Logan that he finally got a nasty beating only from an inexperienced sixteen year old boy who looked twice as small when it comes to body mass.
Maybe he was judging.
It wasn't any of Erik's business why the kid was here. Logan's already a grown adult and from months of experience working here, he's supposed to know what to do and what not to do. Besides, Erik's already dealing a problem with a different teenager, the only difference was, one physically hurts people while the other physically hurts himself.
His first guess was the part where Peter told him about his unsuccessful attempt on striking a conversation with Scott. Erik isn't a kind of person to assume, but from the three meetings they had, it's like the kid was egging everything or everyone around him to hurt him. Erik likes to think Peter was doing it unconsciously.
By night time, Erik wasn't expecting to see Peter, 1.) Because the kid doesn't show up night per night, although the jury's still out on that, and 2.) He just finished his first rounding and he haven't seen a single strand of grey hair on any floor yet. From the looks of the deserted rooms and after seeing a very disturbing broken window fixed with a ton of duct tapes, Erik had put tonight's event as a Peter shenanigan free.
He celebrated way too early.
Once he opened the door to the guard's office, he saw a skinny grey haired teenager sitting feet up on the computer chair while reading Erik and Logan's written records about the events within the building. Peter's head snapped up and stared wide eyed at Erik.
Peter raised up his hand as if to prevent Erik from speaking up, "Before you say anything," he started, "I should tell you that I'm in a room, hence you can't make me leave."
Erik felt an instant headache coming his way. Rubbing a hand over his face, he gritted his teeth to refrain himself from shouting, "The guard's office and your room is two different things, Peter."
"Sure it is," Peter argued, "A rectangular room filled with boring stuff. I don't see how my room is different."
"You do know that your argument is irrelevant."
The kid shrugged, "Worth a shot," he said putting down the records before looking through the monitors that illuminated the lonely dark hallways, "I don't get it, what's the point of scouting the building when you could just look through the monitor?"
"I don't know, ask my boss," Erik sniped slightly bending forward to have a look at the door's suddenly broken knob, "You just caused me a lowered pay grade this month, kid."
"Hey, that's already broken when I came here," he defended while pointing a finger at the door. He was obviously lying.
Erik took a deep breath and exhaled shakily, trying to put his temper in check. Not only was the kid being a huge hindrance, he just also decreased this month's income. If his nerve hadn't popped yet then may the god almighty protect this kid before he strangles him. Without hesitating, Erik stomped his way towards Peter and yank his arm quite roughly to pull him out of the room.
"Ow! Dude, quit it!" Peter exclaimed while he tried to pick up his balance while he got dragged out of the room.
Erik ignored him and pushed Peter out the door before pointing a threatening finger at the kid, "Look and listen to me," he said through gritted teeth, "I'm already way past my limit and my patience couldn't exceed any longer. I'm not like any of your therapist and nurses, so if you don't want a wooden bath sticking on your head, then I suggest you leave and go back to your room, understand?" He said pressing a finger on the kids shoulder.
"Yes," Peter replied instantly before swallowing hard, and for a moment Erik thought he got the kid to be scared of him for once, "But just so we're clear, can you repeat that again? Your decreasing window's peak got me distracted."
Erik leaned back and slammed the door shut in front of the kid's face. It would've been a fine ending for their conversation if it weren't for the fact because of the door's broken knob, it bounced back and hit him squarely on the face with a loud bang.
The older man found himself crouched down on the floor while holding his bleeding, and quite possibly broken nose. Groaning hard while the words Son of a bitch! are on the end of his tongue.
Erik heard the kid whistled, "That's nasty," he pointed out before bending forward and taking a hold of one of Erik's wrist, tugging at it lightly as if asking for him to stand up, "C'mon, I think there's ice at the cafeterias kitchen."
Five minutes later, Erik tried to question himself how the world did he end up sitting one one of the cafeterias tables while holding an ice pack over his face with a Peter beside him, eating a twinkie that he got from the vending machine. Turns out, there really are coins under it.
"How's your nose?" Peter suddenly asked after a moment of silence, Erik glared back as a response, "Best case scenario, you could be the next Owen Wilson."
That did not made him feel anywhere near better.
Pissed and bleeding, Erik tried to put most of his attention on his hand that was holding the ice pack, ignoring the stubborn kid beside him and promised himself to write a report. This time, it'll end up on his boss's table and not under a trash bin.
Just what exactly came over him that night?
Things would've been far more better if Erik didn't chose to let the kid call him by his first name, or to even let him knew it in the first place. Peter's probably thinking that they could be friends or whatever kids call it these days, 'bros' was it? Leaning back on the chair, Erik was already dead set on ignoring the kid, this stupid events needs to stop now.
"I can't sleep," Peter suddenly blurted out while playing on the hem of his shirt after a moment of silence with the older man showing no indication of replying.
And Erik, well for once he gets it. He completely gets it.
Erik knew he promised himself not to start another conversation with him, but he found himself taking a breath and shrugging the his hesitation off his shoulder, "Nightmares?"
Peter frantically shook his head, too frantic, "What am I? Five? No bro," he defended, "Have you seen the cracks on the ceiling of my room? It looks like a demon staring down on me," he reasoned, "Not a dope good morning greeting if you ask me."
It was a lie.
For some unexplainable reasons, Erik seemed to know whether the kid was lying or not. A gut feeling if one would say.
Erik took a moment to contemplate, it was probably because of his broken nose that made him conclude on a very stupid decision that he was sure he would regret as soon as he gets home.
"Next time, try not to break in to restricted areas."
The way Peter's face light up, Erik assumed he only heard the word 'next time'.
Chapter 3: That's 'Crasy' not 'Crazy'
*emerges out of the grave* AND I'M ALIIIIIIIIIVE!!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Peter's version of next time was the next night, although he didn't showed up inside the guard's office, he was openly loitering in front of the office door, crouched down on the floor while rubbing his index finger on an ant line. He looked oddly like one of those mentally disabled patients in horror films because of his pale skin and silver hair, not to mention those white gauze wrapping most of his .
Erik gave himself a moment to stop and stare at the kid, silently judging his life choices and cursing his short moment of taking pity towards Peter. If worse comes to worst, the kid might probably show up every night, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but do you have ADHD?" He asked remembering how the kid always finds something to fiddle on.
"Totally not wrong," he immediately replied rubbing his finger side ways on the tiled floor, killing number of black ants, "This is gonna stink later." He mumbled.
Hearing Peter's affirmation about Erik's theory of his possible ADHD had made a lot of sense. Turns out, not only was Erik not lucky with life, but he also managed to meet, and quite possibly befriend, a teenager with multiple disorders. If that doesn't proved Erik's unfortunate ass then he's happy to assume that more things will happen in the future.
"Then why do you keep on doing it?" Erik asked instead.
Peter looked up and wiped his fingers on the end of his dark pants, "Same way with how you kept on fidgeting something small inside your right pocket." Erik froze before immediately pulling his right hand out of the pocket of his pants. Peter slowly stood up and tipped his head slightly to the right, "Was that supposed to be a secret?"
Secret? No, Erik never considered it a secret, but he doesn't also announced it out in the open. No one seemed to noticed how he clenched his fist behind his back, nails digging deep on the skin of his palms, or pinching his wrist under the table until it hurts. Erik found the scratches usually a hassle whenever he writes, after going through a couple of trail and errors, Erik had managed to find a replacement. Fidgeting two circular magnets inside his pocket had somehow helped him break his mannerism.
Erik now only pinches his wrist on special occasions.
"And you're wondering why Scott snapped at you." The older man simply replied, subtly dropping the subject while causing a wrinkle on the kid's forehead.
"'S not my problem he have a few bangs on the head."
Erik raised a questioning eyebrow at him, "And you really think that you don't?"
Peter stepped back, pressing a hand on his chest while faking an exaggerating pained expression ,"My heart, such mockery!" He exclaimed, when Erik gave him an unimpressed look, he straightened himself up ang shrugged, "FYI, I have ADHD, not crazy. There's difference."
"Isn't crazy just an acronym for Critically Reckless ADHD Schizophrenic Youths?" Erik replied, unconsciously pocketing his right hand to fumble the two small magnets between his fingers, again.
"That's 'crasy' not 'crazy," Peter pointed out, "Although nice try, I'd give you an A minus for that."
Honestly, Erik only thought of the word schizophrenic because it has a 'Z' sound to it. He cocked his head to the right as if challenging him, "Then think of a word that starts with the letter 'Z' that fits the description accurately."
Moments later, Erik found themselves huddled in the cafeteria room, sitting on one of the tables while brainstorming of an appropriate word that starts with 'Z' for 'Crazy'. Peter was tapping annoyingly on the table with his feet propped up on the chair, his knees touching his chest while his mouth formed into a pout and his nose wrinkled, as if thinking very hardly. Erik stared at him, silently fighting the urge if he should ask the kid about autistic tendencies.
"I think my brain forgot all words that starts with the letter 'Z', except for zombie." Peter suddenly piped up, turning to look at the older man across from him.
"Critically Reckless ADHD Zombiefied Youths?" Erik said, testing the words roll off his tongue. Considering Peter's pale skin, skinny arms and dry lips, he can't help but think that it actually fits quite well. "I can't believe we just wasted thirty minutes fixing the insult I've thrown at you." He added after realizing what he'd been doing.
"I call it an achievement," Peter said with a shrug before deciding to rock the chair he was sitting on. It squeaked dangerously making Erik internally grimaced, fear that it might break any moment, "I managed to save your dying comeback and broke our longest conversation time."
Erik's eyes narrowed questioningly with his eyebrows furrowed, "Longer than your stupid vending machine attempt?"
Peter nodded as if unfazed from the insult, "That was thirty-two minutes, this was thirty-seven." He said with a shrug as if counting the minutes they've spent together inside his head wasn't at all weird. Erik wanted to be surprised but after spending time with Peter for the fifth time, it felt like he can't get anymore surprised even if the kid turns out to be a ghost in the end.
"You ought to take your therapy sessions seriously," Erik advised him, "Constantly counting numbers inside your head isn't a healthy mental habit."
Peter blew a raspberry at him while waving a dismissive hand, "OCD ain't my thing, I just tend to count numbers on certain occasions."
"Does certain occasions means everyday?"
"Don't push it, man, I'm not that broken." Peter stated.
Other than admitting that he's a tad bit suicidal, this was the first time Erik heard Peter say anything close to the fact that he's aware of his mental state. Erik doesn't even know of what to react from that, the idea that Peter himself seemed to put his condition as a joke or something less serious, doesn't sit well on his gut, "Define broken." He found himself saying instead.
Peter scrunched his face and looked at him with his chin held high, "Not to offend you or something, but you're doing a worse job than my therapist," he said before jumping up from his chair and standing high with his fist on his waist like a superhero, "Alright! Pip-pip and tali-oh my good man! My beloved awaits!" He announced before zooming out of the room, reminding Erik that he promised the kid a twinkie if he ever thought of a good word for C.R.A.Z.Y.
With a sigh, he felt for his pocket and fished out a couple of coins.
Peter visited the next night, his fresh bloodless bandages made him oddly looked like a mummy. A modern one at least. Erik was openly twirling the magnets around his fingers, sitting on a nearby bench while he watched the kid climb on top of the tallest pull-up bar, sitting down on it with his back facing the older man while sucking a lollipop. Erik wonder if it's a good idea to bring the kid out in the garden, he doesn't really know Peter was already given the rights to roam around the institute. Although what does he know? He's only a night guard and the dark hallway's starting to get on his nerves.
"Damn, I missed climbing this shit." He stated while releasing a contented exhale, "My mom suddenly made me stop playing with this, still don't know why." He informed him before falling on his back and hang on his legs.
There was a moment where Erik found himself immediately bolting up to catch him, his heart rate suddenly sky rocketing with his arms outstretched. A fleeting thought that he shouldn't have let the kid out yet, that it was an obvious bad idea since one look at Peter, his appearance yell 'suicidal' with bold letters.
Erik had the sudden urge to smash Peter's head with his wooden bat. "I think I do." He said giving the kid a glare of disapproval from his recent stunt.
Peter innocently tipped his head to the right before breaking off into a shit-eating grin, "Aww, were you just worried that I might fall?" He asked teasingly.
Erik was supposed to say 'when hell freezes over' first, but if being honest, he was, for a short moment, he was worried for the kid's well-being. That even for just a second, the idea of Peter getting injured was probably something that he wouldn't want to happen. And even if he realized that just now, it's not like he'll admit it, because Peter's just someone he barely knew. He's no one important to get anxious about, "I'll get fired if a patient got injured under my supervision. And I'd like to keep my job thank you very much." He said instead.
Peter shrugged before doing a back flip and landing perfectly on his still functioning feet, "I'll take that as a maybe." He said before pointing something on the ground, "You dropped your magnets."
Erik grabbed his flash light and pointed the light on the ground, squinting his eyes as he search for his fidget toy. "There's a good reason why your parents forbid you to play on a pull-up bar, I suggest you take it seriously and not to climb that again." He ordered spotting two circular magnets before reaching a hand to grab it.
"Parent." Peter corrected, "My dad's out of the picture." He added off handedly with a dismissive wave of a hand.
Kids with only one parent wasn't a surprising situation now days, especially since different case of marriages have been undergoing divorces lately, not to mention pregnancy out of marriage was now turning into a common one. Erik, for the life of him, had no idea why his first thought was that Peter's father was long dead, "I'm sorry for your lose then."
Peter gave him a look, "Dude, he ain't dead yet," he said, "You planning to kill him or something?"
"No," he said flatly, preventing to get embarrassed by his wrong assumption, "But I might blame him because of your annoying existence in my quiet life."
The kid snorted amusingly, "Yeah, well, good luck with that." He said, "My old man doesn't know shit about me," he informed him while heading towards a monkey bar and started climbing on it, hissing every now and then because of his wound that weren't fully healed, "Gone before I was born, completely sucked balls for mom."
Erik sat back down on his bench and leaned his elbows on top of his knees ,"Is this the part where you tell me your sad story?" He said half expecting for the kid to dodge the subject.
The kid let out a raspberry before hooking his foot on one of the handle bars and pulling himself up to sat on top of the mokey bar, "That ain't my sad story, man," he said while playing the stick of the lollipop with his mouth.
Erik raised an unexpected eyebrow, "And you're not denying to have one?"
Peter shrugged, "Everyone has a sad story, dude, life isn't perfect ya know," he said, "I'd suck my own balls if you could give me at least one person with his life filled with sunshine and rainbows."
Erik leaned back and quirked his eyebrow as if to say that the kid had a point, then froze after realizing that Peter had somehow made a decent conversation with him for the first time. Sure it had been weeks since they first met, but considering that their encounter wasn't constant, Erik was expecting to at least have this kind of conversation with him maybe after the twelfth time. Looking into it, it was as if Peter had intentionally waited for Erik to loosen up a bit around him.
Erik must've stayed quiet for far longer than usual that made Peter present a new topic. Somehow, the older man felt like he let a good opportunity slip away from him.
The moment Erik was about to push open the door towards the guards' office, it swung on its own before a familiar brunette kid came running out, shouldering the older man away as he went, wiping his mouth as if he ate something disgusting.
Erik decided not to wonder about the kid's constant visit or as to why he was in such a hurry to leave, the minute he entered the office did he realized why. Standing by the corner with his right palm laying flat on the table as he lean for support, Logan's face was sporting a nasty bruise while a free hand was clutching a bleeding nose.
Erik let out a tired exhale before heading towards a drawer to pull out a first-aid kit. He placed it on the table where Logan was situated before taking a sit on an empty chair, "Should I ask?"
Snapping up, Logan roughly grabbed the kit and opened it while fumingly rummaging the contents inside, "That fucker headbutted me," he growled, "That part ain't obvious yet?"
"Oh that part's very evident," the older man answered, leaning back on the chair while nodding, "I'm more curious as to why."
That statement alone made the younger man froze, "That's nanof yer business," he hastily replied, "Kid's just crazy."
Erik was silent, running a lot of scenarios inside his head while using the variables; getting headbutted at the face and a sixteen year old guy wiping his mouth as he frantically leave. There's already an obvious answer to it.
"I can feel yer judgment Lehnsherr." Logan growled while wiping a tissue across his bleeding nose.
"You have great senses then," Erik flatly replied, not at all denying Logan's assumption.
If Erik had the heart to care enough, he would advice Logan to create his distance with Scott. Not only because was it a big problem to them but it might also take a big emotional toll on the kid. Considering that his mental state was already in shambles, there's a chance that if Logan pursues whatever this thing they had going on between them, Scott's going to break.
But the thing was, Erik doesn't care.
Logan's not a friend, he's just a colleague that Erik rarely had a decent conversation with, just short exchanges here and there regarding about their job. Nothing more but just a person who he works with the same job.
So he sat, and waited for the younger man to leave, wondering why he suddenly thought of Peter.
It was a lot earlier than usual when the kid had showed up, rummaging a drawer in the entertainment room that Erik assumed to be filled with CD's and movies. Erik was supposed to yell at Peter and scold the kid that he already let him off the hook with his nightly activities, watching a film is not one of them. The bondage around Peter's left leg had somehow made him forgot.
"What did you do this time?" He asked exasperated while leaning on the doorframe, "Jump from the second floor window?"
Peter raised his head and looked at the older man, somehow trying to make a hilarious serious face, "If I want to kill myself, I'd choose the sixth floor," he said, "I'd rather be dead than have my legs broken." He added before burying his head down, continuing his treasure hunt.
"That's a really contradicting fact when your left leg's obviously broken." Erik stated, pulling Peter by his collar and closing the drawer with a click
Peter pouted and glared at Erik before scrunching his nose at him and turning around to take a sit on the sofa, limping, "First of all," he started, flopping down with an ungraceful manner, "Other than the obvious fact that I'm limping, you don't know that it's broken. Maybe I have a deep gash or something." He said, "And second; I fell down from cafeteria table, so ta-dah, hairline fracture's a real bitch." He added that line hurriedly, as if trying to finish it right that instant.
Erik mentally and physically rolled his eyes before taking a sit across Peter, pulling out three oreo packs from his pocket and throwing two at the kid, "Must be a pain for the nurses then," he said, imagining Peter standing on the table with nurses or security guards grabbing at him, "What the hell were you doing anyway?"
Peter tore the package open with his teeth before blowing the plastic away, he shrugged, "Nurse Grey's used to it," he answered, "Besides, Pink Floyd's my jam, man, ain't no one's stopping me once they turned up the beat."
Erik physically cringed by the kid's use of words while mentally reminding himself to never to play any songs of Pink Floyd whenever he's near, "Then I'll pray for the well-being of your nurse."
"Okay that's just mean, man," Peter said, "I thought you and I are bro's now? You know, like the Brotherhood and stuff."
"First of all, never call us that," Erik stated opening his own oreo, "Second, what is it with you and the word brothers?"
The kid shrugged while putting one whole cookie inside his mouth, it took a couple of second before Peter successfully swallowed it down his throat, "I'll tell Jean that she have your protection," he said before clicking his tongue and hissing through his teeth, "She's gonna need it." He added exaggeratedly
"Why do I have a feeling that I'm supposed to asked?"
Peter, shrugged again, by this point Erik wondered if the kid's just teasing him or his ADHD impulse was just kicking up a notch, "Remember mister crazy smart guy? Scott I-have-a-stick-up-my-ass Summers?" Erik tried not to question the history behind the insult, "I'm starting to notice that Jean has a thing for him."
And Erik almost choked, almost. "What? Are you sure?"
"Yeah, yeah, pretty sure," Peter said nodding, "I mean she's only four years older, it could work." He added.
"Having a relationship is prohibited between a patient and a nurse or of any staff member--"
Peter groaned out and rolled his eyes, "Way to kill the mood man," he said before snapping his head up as if realizing something, "Although, it could be a fine-ass Romeo and Juliet story." He said, "Mental Insitution version." He said while raising both his hands as if to imagine a huge title presented mid-air.
Erik was silent for a minute, "You do know they both died by the end, right?"
Peter opened his mouth to protest, but closed it when he haven't thought of any, "Titanic?" He suggested.
"This building had enough of people dying, try not to add a pair."
"Cool," the kid said while opening his second pack before looking at Erik as if an idea struck, "What if I'm just a ghost ya'know? All this time you befriended Peter the friendly ghost, and that you're the only person who could see me?"
Erik stared at him, unimpressed, "Casper is highly better than you," he said, "Also, your recent issue with Scott had already popped your bubble." He added before taking a bite on his own cookie, "And besides, you just evidently healed from your latest attempt of joining the dead."
Peter shrugged, again, before leaning down on the sofa with a defeated sigh, "Fair point," he said. The next sentence that Peter added had somehow made Erik feel cold all over, "Although I won't fail the second time."
*goes back in her grave again*
Chapter 4: And You Said I'm The Crazy One
Here's an update ya'll, I ain't dead yet.
"Although I won't fail the second time."
Erik was in the middle of pulling out one oreo cookie from the plastic wrapping when the message sunk in, and in a short amount of time, his brain moved in a surprising speed, thinking of any acceptable and logical reason what-so-ever as to why Peter needs to kill himself again.
It's not like he knew his reason why he'd done it before. Lately, Erik thought that Peter's doing well so far (other than the fact that he has a knack of doing self harm), and that maybe his mind suddenly had common sense after having a second chance in life? Obviously, he doesn't. The idea of Peter trying to take his life again didn't come across as a possibility because it wasn't evident, and apparently Erik's too dense to realize it up to the point that it had to be spelled right in front of his face just so he could finally get the memo.
Was dying really that important to Peter? What good could he possibly get from it? But on a more important note, why does Erik fucking care so much? For all he knew, Peter's presence in his finally quiet life became inconveniently noisy again. He shouldn't really give a shit whatever choices the kid would make, because in the first place, who was he to judge? He's just a night guard that unluckily came across a mentally challenged kid in the middle of the night and somehow started hanging out with him.
He's not Peter's father nor his brother, he's just an acquaintance, and the sooner the kid gets discharged, they'll be nothing more but strangers. They'll cross path in the streets one day but they won't acknowledge each other. They're in a kind of relationship that once they parted ways in the future and come across again by accident through commuting or shopping, they won't say hi nor ask how the other was doing, but instead, they'll turn to their friend and say 'I knew that guy before'.
He's not a friend, but he's someone you chose to be with when you're in a place you don't want to be in.
Where was Erik going with this? He knew he had a point.
Erik found himself swallowing, hard, "For a guy who hates ruining a good mood, you sure know how to execute a decent one."
Peter shrugged, "I only learned from the best." He replied, like he wasn't just announcing his crazy future plans earlier, like it wasn't a big deal, like everything should be taken lightly.
And Erik hates it. He didn't notice he was gripping his left hand into a very tight fist, up to the point he could feel his semi blunt nails dig into his palms.
"You gonna eat that?" Peter asked instead, looking at the oreo cookie Erik was supposed to be chewing by now.
Uncharacteristically choosing to be juvenile, the older man put the whole damn cookie inside his mouth, and as if he wasn't yet contented, he took the other two oreo and tried to inserted it inside before chewing it with obvious effort.
"And you said I'm the crazy one," Peter stated making a disgusted face as he watched Erik tried to swallow the outcome of his immature behaviour. Because they're nowhere near any vending machine nor inside the cafeteria, Erik had a hard time pushing those dry cookies down his throat, "That's what happens when you don't use your brain, kids."
Erik only glared at him, considering that Peter had done way more stupid things, he's the last person to say that.
After a minute of chewing and many attempts of swallowing, Erik managed to push everything down his throat without a need of water.
"Congratulation, I'm thirty," Peter told him.
"Thirty?" Erik asked a bit miffed, "Are you even planning on reaching that age?"
The kid was silent for a moment, even a second of silence felt like it stretched for long, and Erik realized, he was dreading for his answer.
Peter shrugged, "Dunno, man," he replied sounding like it was the whole truth, "Ya know, 'When' is a kind of question you don't really ask a person who tried killing themselves, what's the point if you don't get to surprise them."
Erik scoffed, "So what, you only plan to end your life just to surprise the shit out of your parent?" He asked, unable to notice his own hands gripping itself harder until it started shaking, "You're taking 'giving people goose bumps' on a whole new level of stupid."
Peter's face scrunches up, "Dude, why do you care? Did you start having feelings for me a few days ago?" He asked, "You should have told me earlier, could really use an ego boost right now."
Erik stared at him for a moment, "This is the part where I let you off the hook for trying to evade the topic," he informed him, "But no, not this time. You, suicidal psychopath, will explain to me why killing yourself is such a smart move."
The kid stared at him, face uncharacteristically blank, an expression that Erik rarely sees from him, very rare. This was the second time Peter used that look, he couldn't remember the reason for the first time, but Erik felt like it has something to do with him.
"Why should I tell you?" He finally said, voice unexpectedly flat.
Maybe Erik realized that he must be invading someone else's privacy, and considering the fact that he's someone that Peter only irritates on a constant basis, he doesn't really have the right to demand for answers. Somehow, the thought had annoyed the older man. And for once, he didn't found himself grittening his teeth out of his dislike on the guy, but because he's just another person that Peter would forget someday.
The kid may annoy him until his vein pops out, but he doesn't hate me, maybe not anymore.
Which was the opposite of what he's been trying to do ever since they met by accident in the Entertainment Room, attachment. This wasn't Erik's intention to happen, it's a hassle, a pain and fucking inconvenient. He should severe the growing feelings as early as possible to avoid unnecessary emotions that he would rather not deal with for the next decade or more.
"You're right," Erik replied instead, finding himself deflating down from his anger, but definitely not yet calm, "Why would you tell me," he added standing up and patting his jeans clean, "I think it's time for you to hit the bed." He told him instead.
Erik didn't wait for any complains from the kid, he just started marching off, wondering if it was too late to shut the feelings down.
Erik was staring at Scott who was standing rigidly in front of the guard's office, clenching and unclenching his fist as if contemplating if he should knock on the door or not. With an exasperated exhale, the older man stood beside him and didn't wait for the kid to process what was happening before he pushed the door open, revealing Logan who was busy packing his things because his shift just ended.
"Howlett, you have a visitor," Erik called before turning to face the kid who was looking up at him with wide blue, very blue, eyes, "You could have just entered, the knob's broken." He informed him.
Scott was quiet, he took a quick glance to look at Logan before slowly back tracking and breaking into a run after managing to create a reasonable distance. Erik only watched as the kid run off, having no plans of calling out to him to come back before entering the room to discard his bag on the counter.
"The fuck was that about, Lehnsherr?" The younger man growled.
Erik only shrugged, "I saw him contemplating if he should knock on the door or not," he answered, "So I decided to choose for him instead."
"That ain't yer business," Logan snarled, "If the kid ain't gonna knock, he ain't gonna knock," he said zipping his bag shut, "Ya can't just chose that yerself."
It's not that Erik wasn't blind, he knew, even if Logan was still that much of an ignorant not to notice it, he knew what kind of tension the two were dancing on. Maybe they're not aware of that yet, maybe the older man was avoiding it or maybe Scott doesn't know what sexual tension is considering that the kid's still sixteen.
"All right," he answered, "I should advise you that you have to wait at least two years to pursue anything with him."
Logan slammed his bag on the table but it didn't made the older man to flinch, not even by a bit, "Mind fucking sewing yer mouth shut, eh Bub?" It wasn't request, "I ain't planning on doing anything with the kid if that's what yer assuming."
Erik turned to face him, he cocked an eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest, "I'm not assuming," he said, "I'm stating facts," he added before tilting his head up as if to show dominance, "And if I were you, I'd try and fix this sooner or later."
Slinging his bag over his shoulder, Logan only glared at the older man, "And this ain't yer business, so back off." He snarled before stomping out of the room. Erik didn't watch him leave, he just stood there and wondered if he should also end this stupid 'friendship' with Peter.
Scott's a minor, Logan should be old enough to know when to stop this nonsense before it escalates into a disaster, not just for him but also for the kid.
Shaking his head, Erik started his shift.
This time, Erik didn't just manage to find Peter in the Entertainment Room choosing what movie to watch for the night. No. He found Peter and Scott rolling on the floor, fighting over a DVD casing as their bodies travel from place to place, rolling on the floor until they started bumping into different furnitures.
"FUCK OFF MAN!" Peter yelled, "FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS! WE'RE WATCHING THIS MOVIE!"
"A film which is highly inappropriate for our condition!" Scott countered as he tug harshly on the casing, unintentionally pulling at the older kid's injury, Peter winced but hid it well behind a groan of frustration.
"FUCK YOU AND YOUR SMART TALK!" He screamed instead having no better idea what to reply. Peter kicked his foot and rolled on top of Scott to have better leverage as he tug harder on the DVD. "LET GO!"
The brunette swung his legs and managed to dislodge Peter's balance as they tumbled across the floor, managing to miss the television by an inch, "No!" He argued as one of them had hit the sofa with their heads.
Erik took this as a cue to flick open the lights and had miraculously managed to make both teenagers froze in the middle of their childish feud. Scott was on top straddling Peter by the waist and his right hand was pushing on his face while the left held the DVD above their heads. Peter's mouth was open as if he was about to bit Scott's hand while his leg was angled in a position that obviously indicates he's about to knee him on the back, his right hand was gripping the other side of the DVD while the other was yanking at Scott's hair.
The sudden light had made them raise their heads up to look at the intruder. Silence fell upon them in an instant.
"Wazzup shark face," Peter greeted with an air of ease as if the situation wasn't at all inappropriate.
"Don't call me that." Was honest to god Erik's instant reply.
"No," he exhaled tiredly "Where are you even getting this names?"
Peter shrugged, "Try being locked up in a room with only two minutes of freedom," he said, "Let's see how that turns out on you."
"We have fours hours of free time including one hour of our daily group sessions and solo therapy sessions with Xavier," Scott corrected, still maintaining their hold on each other, "Meal time's not even included."
"Oh shut up tight ass," Peter groaned, "No one likes a Boy Scout."
Scott tilted his head to the right, "Boy Scout? Really?" He asked, slightly sounding incredulous.
"Give me a second, your stinky breath is making me rusty."
It took a moment for Erik to remember what he was supposed to be doing. With an exasperated sigh, he rubbed his forehead before walking towards them to start tugging at the collar of their shirts and pulling them up on their feet, which he noticed were both bare, and immediately took the DVD casing before either of them could remember why they were rolling on the floor earlier. Taking a good look, he realized that the title was Girl Interrupted, Scott did say the film was inappropriate to them for a reason.
"I remembered clearly that the television's off limits especially at this hour." Erik reminded mostly on Peter and mostly informing Scott about the rules.
The brunette scrunched his eyebrows, looking slightly confused, his stoic expression made him look a little innocent, "Aren't you suppose to tell us about our irresponsible actions for being out this late at night instead?" He said, managing to sound surprised even by a bit, "I don't see how using the television's a bigger issue."
"Eww, boo, dude," Peter exclaimed, "You're not really making this easier for us."
"Been there, done that," Erik answered, ignoring Peter's comment, "I'll just be wasting my time with this kleptomaniac if I try again."
"And besides," Erik went on, "Electricity isn't cheap."
Scott gave him a look, any kind of expression wasn't crossing over his face, just a blank slate as if contemplating but far from judging. Without any sudden indication, Scott turned to look at Peter and said, "He's way older for you."
Before Erik could understand what the kid meant, Peter's face was already scrunching up in disgust then he started to gag noisily, "Ew dude! What the fuck?!" He exclaimed, hands flailing everywhere, "Why would you even—?! DUDE!" He shivered and faked vomiting on the floor after shoving at Scott's right shoulder.
Scott tipped his head to right, eyebrows furrowed as if unable to understand anything, "You mean you're really just friends with him?"
Erik felt the need to correct the kid that Peter and him weren't friends, far from it even, but somehow, he suddenly didn't want to.
"No, we're father and son, can't you see the similarities?" Peter deadpanned, "Of course we're friends! I AIN'T GAY, MAN! Unlike you!"
"Just because I don't limit myself with one gender doesn't mean I'm gay," Scott informed him sounding as if he already made his point a couple of times already for Peter to forget.
"Then Bi," the older kid replied with a roll of his eyes before turning to look at Erik, "See what I have to deal with everyday?"
"In my case, it's every night," Erik replied flatly earning him a glare from the silver haired kid. He hesitated at first, but decided to ask the question instead, "I though he has a thing for nurse Grey?"
Peter let out a raspberry before waving his hand dismissively, "One sided is a bitch," He explained "They settled as friends, it's his loss though, they're very compatible to each other."
"What I do with my life is none of your business," Scott snapped.
"You sure make decent choices for ending up in here." Peter said.
"I'm a depressed sociopath with other mental issues," Scott answered, "I have to be here."
"Dude, hot girl in a nurse costume, rings any bell?"
"She's older than me,"
Erik knew he shouldn't have interjected in their conversation, but his mouth somehow started moving on its own accord before he could even stop himself, "So is the other person," he reminded Scott, "Way older I might add."
Scott's head snapped up and stared at him, for a fleeting, moment his eyes went wide before instantly managing to pull himself together, as if he's controlling his own emotions from showing up on his face, "You know about that?" He asked instead.
Peter blanched out, "Wait, back up. No shit," he exclaimed, "There's another person? What are you, a fucking flirt? Dude, you gotta teach me."
"I'm aware of a few things," Erik answered, "I just prefer not to meddle in it. You on the other hand, you may sound smart and knowledgeable, but are you even aware of what you're doing?" He asked, arms crossing over his chest is to portray dominance.
Scott was silent for a moment, mouth thin and facial expression blank, "I'm aware," He answered. "I'm completely aware, even its consequences."
Erik nodded, and decided not to say anything anymore. He'd already done enough for his part to inform both parties about their actions. It's there choice if they'll find a way to fix it or not. It's not his obligation to help them, it never were and never will be.
"I'm fucking lost," Peter chimed in, "Raven broke the glass of the vending machine just this morning, wanna eat a twinkie?" He suggested, "And I dunno, probably fill me in about the issue?"
"No," both Scott and Erik answered.
Peter raised his hand as if surrendering, "Just asking," he paused, "The twinkie's still up for discussion, right?"
Scott tilted his head to the right, "What's a twinkie?"
In an instant, Peter grasped his heart and let out a pained gasp as if he had gotten emotionally hurt in such a devastated way. Erik mentally cringed and just stared at him with judging eyes, "Such insult!" Peter exclaimed, "How dare you not know about the magnificence of a twinkie? How. Dare. You?!"
Before Scott could roll his eyes and open his mouth, Peter had immediately grabbed his wrist and started dragging him out of the room and into the hallway, "Come my dear annoying fuck face, I shall educate you what means to have a life," he told him before poking his head onto the doorway to look at Erik, "Well come on, Magnets, what are you standing there for?" He said before completely leaving, bringing Scott with him.
Erik stared at the doorway for a minute, contemplating about life and his stupid choices before letting out a frustrated sigh and heading out the room to follow them. He's getting too old for any of this nonsense and was definitely not getting paid enough to deal with these kind of kids.
After listening for an hour straight of Scott and Peter's disagreement about twinkies not tasting that good. Erik somehow found himself watching the two boys play on a sand box like a bunch of kindergarten students, trying to build a castle with nothing but water and their bare hands. They look oddly weird being that they're almost six feet tall and yet somehow seem to act like a bunch of children.
"You're doing that wrong," Scott informed him.
"I will seriously punch you in the face," Peter informed him after watching his castle fall down the tenth time in a row. Scott on the other hand, was already making a flag for his castle with a stick from a nearby bush and a leaf as the finishing touch.
"Remind me to stomp on that once you're finished." Peter said, looking at the castle with undeniable irritation and jealousy.
"That will not end gladly for you." Scott informed him, almost as if threatening.
Peter scoffed, "What, among the list of your complicated life, you also have bipolar issues?"
Scott shook his head, "I don't like it when people aren't fair, or if I lose to people that aren't fair."
"You are one sick psycho."
Erik was sitting on his usual bench, watching them from afar and refraining himself from telling Peter that he's also sick on the head considering of his constant self harm. He was twirling the two magnets between his fingers just to fiddle something on.
"Although I won't fail the second time."
Erik groaned and ran a hand through his hair.
Lately, Peter's words kept on replaying inside his head like a mantra or a broken record player. Dread fell on the pit of his stomach as if the idea of Peter killing himself wasn't what he wanted, as if he the idea of him inside a coffin was something he would rather not think of.
Erik knew that they would no longer be in touch once Peter decides to take his life, and it somehow made him even more irritated. Shouldn't he be relieved that someone that wasn't even his obligation in the first place would just magically be gone? Guilt won't eat him up since he'd done nothing wrong to the guy, it was his choice alone. Erik was just merely a night got that managed to unluckily cross paths with him.
Still he didn't like it. He didn't like a idea of it.
Erik noticed that Scott finally stood up and started patting his hands on his jeans. Automatically, Erik stood up and went towards them.
"I'll be heading back now," the brunette informed them once Erik reached them.
"You planning on joining us tomorrow night?" Peter asked, tilting his head up to look at Scott.
The younger man cocked his head to the right, "You're sounding as if you like my company"
In an instant, Peter made a face and shivered, "Forget I offered."
Scott left without saying goodnight, something that he was already expecting. Erik watched the kid's back until he reached the back door and disappeared inside the building.
"This isn't a club, Peter," Erik informed him once he was sure they were alone, "You can't just let anyone join us. You spending time with me is already enough trouble."
Peter only shrugged, "I like to live on the edge," he said, "You should probably too." He added before rebuilding his castle the twelfth time, Erik noticed that Peter wasn't making any moves of ruining Scott's work.
"I had enough of trouble to last a life time." Which was true.
Maybe he wasn't thinking, but when Erik opened his mouth to speak again, he wasn't expecting himself to hear those words in his own voice. "Can there be a chance that you won't kill yourself?"