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i'm gonna find me a river (one that's cold as ice)

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-z-

 

Some nights, Hank dreams he's falling.  He sees a man screaming a name he can’t quite hear – the man's big and blond and his eyes are so, so blue – and Hank is falling.

On those nights, he wakes up out of breath and with tears on his face.

 

-x-

 

The way Hank sways forward when he meets Captain America has nothing to do with the alcohol and everything to do with the way the good Captain smirks, cock-sure and lookin’ ready for a fight.  He sees a flash of the man from his dreams and quickly shakes it from his head.

 

-x-

 

Some days, Hank feels like his skin is too tight – like he should be bigger than he is, like there’s something swimming just under the surface of him.  And, if he ignores the way his back spasms and flares with pain, he feels a power that can only just brush his fingers against.

On those days, the words flow easier and the songs come quicker – his mind working quickly as he tells his stories about God and love won and love lost.

 

-x-

 

Hank is deep into a pill bottle when he hears about Captain America’s fall and there’s a sudden chill that spreads across his skin; that makes his stomach plummet and his heart stutter.

He puts his head in his hands and remembers his own fall – his vision swims and he hears someone screaming, “No!”  The taste of betrayal sits acrid in the back of his throat and he can’t tell if he was the Judas or not.

“Hank?”

Hank jerks at the name, looks up and sees his latest doctor standing in front of him – he grasps for a name, but it eludes him.

“Hank?” the doctor asks again.

“I’m fine,” Hank says, waving him off.  He looks down at his hands, shaking and sweating, and says to them, “I’m fine.”

 

-

 

Hank’s head lolls to the side as he stares out of the window.  He thinks he sees a horse with six legs running beside him.

He huffs a laugh, whispers, “Hey, son.”

And then he lets himself go.

 

-z-

 

End.