/This story will contain graphic violence, homosexual male relationships, drug abuse, foul language, psychism, death, and a long, complicated storyline. Please give it a try anyway.

This is just the beginning of the story; later chapters will be rated NC17 and will therefore be hosted at my site, a link to which is available on my profile.

This is dedicated to Aftertaste of a Razorblade, whose reviews always make me smile./

Lucifer Wept

He didn't feel much of anything these days, but he wasn't sure if he had felt anything in the days before now, either. The nurses had told him it was amnesia, coupled with two years spent in a coma after a car accident. He hadn't much cared; this was his life now, anyway. They weren't sure if he'd ever remember his life before the accident, but that too hadn't mattered.

They told him his name was Chaniel Unwin, that he was eighteen years old, and that he was now a ward of the state. He would continue to live in the care facility he had been placed in until he had procured a job that would allow him to rent an apartment or until he was twenty-one, whichever came first. He had accepted the information stoically and gone back to his room, staring out the window into the blameless blue sky.

It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. He followed their exercise program, sat through their endless social rehabilitation seminars, and sometimes took the younger autistic children for walks. He let each gray day follow the other and waited for some kind of emotion to break through.

And when they did, he realized he could have done very well without them.

There was a tug on his blanket. Chaniel felt sleep slowly slip away as Palmer's warm body covered his, pressing much too close for comfort. The boy, maybe four years younger than Chaniel, was shaking badly again.

"What is it?" Chaniel asked, his voice still rough with sleep. Palmer's pale brown hair, so long that it tickled his lips even as the boy tucked his head under Chaniel's chin, was soft against his skin and, in a strange way, comforting. It was comforting to comfort.

"They keep me quiet. I can't talk to my friends anymore," Palmer answered, still shaking. It confused Chaniel that the boy could be shivering when his skin was almost feverishly warm. "I hate them. I hate this place. I want my friends to come and save me. Where are they?"

"I don't know, but I'm sure they're on their way," Chaniel said, feeling that familiar helpless fear descend on him again. That was the first emotion he'd relearned, the first time Palmer had snuck into his bed and cried into his shoulder. The second had been compassion, when he had turned to hold the boy and tell him that everything would be all right, until he had finally and mercifully slept.

"You could come, too," Palmer whispered, his lips brushing Chaniel's neck in a familiar gesture. "They're keeping you quiet, too. You feel it, don't you? You can't talk to anyone like this- I hate them!"

His voice had risen slightly in his anger and pain, and Chaniel wrapped his arms around the boy, holding him close. "There's no one I want to talk to, Palmer."

"What about me?" the boy asked desperately. Chaniel tried to remain patient, but Palmer's attachment to him was rapidly becoming more and more frightening.

"I am talking to you, Palmer," he said soothingly, moving slightly so that Palmer's groin wasn't pressed so hard against his leg. The boy's crush on him grew at a steady rate, never mind how often he told Palmer that nothing was ever going to happen.

"Not like this," Palmer moaned, starting to cry again. It embarrassed and even pained Chaniel that the kid's erection didn't wither even through his misery.

"Like how?" Chaniel asked, keeping his voice soft and soothing. He wondered if he should tell the nurses about Palmer, but found he couldn't do that. He couldn't betray Palmer like that.

For an answer, Palmer touched the middle of his forehead and then the middle of Chaniel's. He whispered huskily, "Like this."

"Sleep, Palmer," Chaniel said. He hugged the boy tightly and smoothed his hair back from his forehead, kissing his hairline as chastely as possible. "Sleep a while."

He held him even as Palmer cried a little more, sniffled, and then succumbed to dreams. Chaniel took much longer to fall.

Palmer always managed to disappear in the early morning hours, sometime before Chaniel woke up. The first time Palmer had pulled that little trick, Chaniel had suspected he had imagined the entire visit. It was only through successive visits, and the few hurried hugs and conversations in the halls of the huge mansion that was their care facility, that Chaniel was assured of Palmer's reality, and of the reality of their situation. Still, it had been nice that Palmer knew just when to run back to his own bed; Chaniel did not relish the prospect of getting in trouble for molesting a fourteen year-old boy, even though he hadn't actually done anything to him. He knew that that argument wouldn't matter; he still let Palmer come to him, after all.

This morning, though, the boy's trick was not so appreciated.

"Chaniel, dear, how are you feeling?" Nurse Leian asked him, smiling and waving from her post at the nurse's station. Chaniel smiled at her and the expression felt strained, but he didn't answer in any other way. There was a tension in the air, and he wanted to find Palmer.

Something was going to happen.

He looked around, trying to hide his mounting desperation. There was no one else that he could ask for help; he hadn't tried to make friends and he knew only perhaps two of the nurses. However, they didn't matter. Palmer was the only person he was worried about. He couldn't remember ever having worried about anyone else.

He finally found the boy sitting outside, near the garden wall. Well, wall, anyway. There wasn't much of a garden.

"Palmer!" he yelled, fear spiking within him. The boy was staring up at the sky, tears falling unheeded from his big blue eyes, his face as bright as the sun. He looked like God was sending him a revelation. "Palmer! What-"

The boy jumped up at his call and ran to him, slamming into his midsection and hugging him tightly, babbling about his friends that were coming and how they were going to get out. He reached up and caught Chaniel's chin, pulled his face down, and kissed him desperately.

"They're coming! They found me and they're coming and we'll be out of here!" Palmer gasped through his tears, kissing Chaniel again despite the older boy's lack of reciprocation. Chaniel tried to break away from him, at least long enough to get a hold on the boy's arms and stop the kissing, but Palmer was too excited and wriggly to be held back. He rewrapped his arms around Chaniel's neck and kissed him again.

"Stop it, Palmer!" Chaniel ordered, still struggling with the smaller boy.

"They're here! They're here!" Palmer chanted, burying his face in Chaniel's chest and hugging him even tighter. "They're finally here."

His voice was just a whisper for that last line, and Chaniel suddenly hugged him tight- the tension had reached breaking point, and there were people screaming.

"What's happening?" Chaniel whispered, but he could feel it. Something like a scream, like a flash of light, went past him and hit Palmer and the boy sent something flaring back, only Palmer's sending was incredibly weak compared to the flash that had hit him. Chaniel heard sirens, screaming, and the sounds of wanton property destruction as another sending flashed to Palmer. Someone was coming.

"Chaniel," Palmer said quietly, looking up at him with wide, sweet eyes. "They're here."

He could see the teens running towards them, silent but frantic. A tall boy, maybe Chaniel's own age, was ahead of the pack and he ran straight into them, hugging Palmer and sending constant flashes of emotion. Chaniel let Palmer go and backed away, feeling a headache coming on. The sendings seemed to be making afterimages of light in his thoughts. The other teen, a short boy with spiky blonde hair and wide green eyes grabbed his arm and started yanking him along, pulling him back towards the mansion and, past that, the gate.

"No-" Chaniel started to say, but the teen sent something into his mind- a warning, a promise, a threat?- that felt like salt in a wound in his strained brain. Palmer and the tall boy who Chaniel suddenly realized had to be his older brother or some close relation were already running ahead, and Palmer turned back with a frightened and pleading expression to scream at him to get moving, to hurry, to come on!

Another sending of a clock ticking, of sand in an hourglass running out flashed in his aching mind and Chaniel stumbled after them, letting the boy drag him along, just to stop the pain.

/Review if you like, flame if you have to, blink in confusion if you just don't get it./