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where all your darkest fears are gonna come for you

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Sometimes Brainy Smurf didn't feel like himself anymore. His mind would blank out while he was writing, and he'd forget what he'd been doing. His flawless memory left him as he forgot important dates, quotes of his he'd memorized, how many books he'd written in each series. He'd stare at his hands and not recognize them as his own, or have entire conversations with different versions of himself in his head until someone snapped him back to reality. He had headaches all the time. And then there were the night terrors.

Every night, it was a gamble on whether he had a nice, normal dream, or woke up sweaty, shaking, and scared. And Brainy Smurf had always had rotten luck with gambling. So, whether it centered around his family all dying in front of him, begging him for help he couldn't give, and asking him why he did this to them; whether it centered around the taste of blood in his mouth and too-sharp teeth and claws and fur and the smurf he loved pleading for him to stop, stop hurting him, until his voice cut off into a gurgle; whether it centered around the all-too-familiar feeling of being boiled alive, melted down and pressed into a form that wasn't his, screaming for help but he couldn't move and his voice wouldn't raise above a whisper- whatever he dreamed, it was usually a nightmare. He stole his old stuffed toy back from Baby, hid it away during the day so Papa wouldn't find it and scold him for acting like a child, and hoped it would help.

If anyone asked, Brainy would tell them he was fine. But he was running on three hours of sleep a night, and he was sure he was going mad.