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Tactile Memory

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Heine hated the feeling of stickiness on his skin. It didn't matter what the cause was - it could be sweet as honey - the tacky sensation reminded him of blood. There in the recess of his mind, all those terrible things he wanted to forget, came roaring back to him whenever he touched something sticky.

Blood, naturally, did get that gummy feel to it as it coagulated and he had been bathed in the stuff since he was a boy. Anything even remotely gluey made him remember that childhood, a cold metal collar tight against his flesh, the fights, the biting, the tearing, the sounds of gunfire. His whole body, small and frail as it had looked, would be coated in red, some the enemy's, some his own.

Heine didn't think anyone else knew,but every time Badou invited him out to get coffee, he fastidiously avoided the pastries and their sugary coats. Heine wondered if Badou had ever noticed that. Heine shrugged. The redhead would probably just think Heine didn't like pastries because he was usually 'grumpy' about everything. Only he would know the darkness the sensation stirred up.