Its 3 in the morning when the thought strikes him. He's in the bathroom, the water to the sink running icy cold. His hand are pressed against the bathroom counter, his knuckles white.
He should go to Marie. She's in her - no, their. Their bed. She's in their bed. Fast asleep. He should go to her. Cuddle up to her, be held by her, rest his chin on the top of her head. She always took care of his madness. Kissed him better. Told him that he was a good man.
Why would she say that? How could she see that in him?
He wasn't good. He was evil. Little less than a monster in the night. Taking a deep breath, his hand slowly reaches up to his screw, giving it a few turns. He needed to focus. After one experimental turn turned to three, he stopped. It wasnt working. God, he could kill for a smoke. Yet he had stopped three months ago - for his future daughter's sake. Marie wanted to name her Victoria. If it was a boy, and the ultrasound he performed was wrong, they would name it Victor.
Its 3 in the morning when the thought finally takes hold. He can feel it. The cold madness making it's way up his spine. Its seemingly grasping onto his shoulder, whispering in his ear.
His actions are not his own after that. He isn't really sure where he got the scalpel; they were in the lab, and he couldn't feel his feet move. All he knows is that it's in his hand, and pressed against the old line of stitches in his arm. He hasn't moved it yet, hasn't caused blood. Yet the madness almost seems to be caressing his hair, encouraging him on. Its whispering two words over and over in his ear:
Stein's toothy grin is terrifying in the mirror. His mind is telling him to stop. To throw the scalpel in the trash and go to bed. Yet his body doesn't obey. He giggles. Mad. Insane. Like the psychopath he is.
He feels the cut in his mind, not his body. His body is numb. His brain is screaming. It hurts, and he's been through worse. Yet he can't control it. The loss of control was bad enough. Now he can see the blood blooming from the not-so shallow cut, and for once in his life, his own blood makes him sick.
He hears Marie's bare feet pad towards him, and he makes another cut, giggles escaping his lips.
A knock on the door, "Franken?"
Another. More blood. Louder laughter.
She's yanking on the doorknob. Its locked, of course. Yet in seconds, the door is splintering open, her hand transformed into her signature golden hammer.
She see's what he's doing. Yet her face is not one of horror, like it should be. She still didn't see him for who he was. Broken. A monster. Why didn't she realize he was dangerous?
"Franken, give me the knife." She's reaching for it, and he pulls it away from her.
"No!" Its as if he's a little boy caught with something dangerous in his hands. In a way, he is. "Mine!"
She reaches for him this time, and the madness seems scared. His feet step back, more and more, until he's up against the wall. Her eye is filled with kindness, blinking back tears. She almost touches his side, yet not on Stein's own accord, he grabs her wrist, and throws her up against the wall. His hands find their way to her neck, and he squeezes.
Breaths becoming strangled, she reaches desperately to touch him. Her arms are too short to touch him.
He laughs as he see's her pale. Her eyes are bulging, eye glowing golden in an attempt to heal. Her hands grab his wrists, so very close to her throat, and instead of struggling, she goes limp.
The healing gets to him the moment she's unconscious.
Marie wakes to Stein petting her hair. She's on her side, her pregnant belly supported by a lovingly fluffed pillow. He's made tea for her, its steaming hot and waiting for her on their bedside counter.
She tries to speak, yet her throat is sore. Her husband looks at her, and for once, she can tell he's been crying.
He's whispering apologies like a mantra. Yet she knows it wasn't his fault. Marie sits up, gesturing to his arm. She can see bandages.
"I'm fine." His hands are supporting her back, his face buried in her hair, and he's still saying sorry, "How do you feel?"
He already knows. She already knows how she feels. She's fine, barely hurt, and she knows it wasn't him. She knows him enough to understand what he's really asking.
"I forgive you, Frank. You didn't do anything wrong. It wasn't you."
He nods, not sure if he believes it or not. His voice cracks as he speaks, "The baby?"
Marie smiles, hands finding her way to her belly. Stein can see the baby's soul. It looks fine, yet he knows that Marie knows better than him when it comes to the little boy or girl.
"The baby's fine."
He holds her as she sleeps.
He's got it under control. For now, at least. She's put up with so much for him. The least he can do to even try to repay her is offer her this small comfort.