Prompt: 076 Who?
Summary: He's captivating, and you're trapped.
A/N: So. Apparently my ability to write nice, sane normal fic has vanished. Title nicked off Maximo Park, thought it was appropriate ;D For the challenge #11 at BSH.
Maybe it started the first time you visited the zoo. The first time you spotted him dancing next to the green building, the one you later came to know as the Zoo Keepers' hut, an electro beat pounding in your temples as you stared. It didn't feel shameful, even then, standing out in the open with one hand clenched in our pocket and the other reaching up to run shakily through your hair, just watching him without a word. He didn't notice you. Maybe if he had, if suddenly he caught your gaze or made a step towards you, said something (anything), you wouldn't be here now. He would have broken the spell and you would have been free to continue your life.
He didn't look at you. He never sees you, you begin to wonder if you are physically invisible to him or if he just cannot bare to look at someone less beautiful than himself. You find yourself unsurprised as he looks in the mirror again, and again, and again - perhaps if you had those features you would to.
But you don't. He has, and you don't, so you watch him like he is your new world. You never look in the mirror anymore. You've become invisible. You forget your life (it doesn't feel like you're missing anything), there was no world before you saw him and now your life is his, is him, watching and devoting and enthralled.
You tell yourself it's not an obsession, it's not love - it is just life and how everything is meant to be, but you are speaking to a deaf wind. A deaf and blind world that ignores you and shines on him, holds you flat to the ground under a trample of feet while raised hands hold him up to the sky. You can watch.
Maybe you had always been like that, and he was just the first one you really noticed. Really noticed.
It didn't start quite so severely, you think, but it's hard to tell when memories have become nothing but vague shapes in the distance that you wipe away with a blind hand. Maybe you started visiting the zoo a little more often, once a week, once a day, once an hour - he never saw you. Invisible to his eye, while everyone else (was there anyone else, anymore?) faded. A blurred background to which he sparkled against, utterly dazzling and you thought he was untouchable.
Maybe you were wrong about that. You can remember the first time you noticed the other one - there were many times before but you dismissed him, a generic face unworthy of the briefest glance. You were wrong about that, too, maybe, but too much thought and you begin to become someone again. Stop it. You watch him silently and see his lips move, words tumble out but they sound like nothing but perfection to you. They are directed at the other one, with the dark stain of a moustache, and he laughs. You never learn their names. You don't have one.
There's something between them. You can't miss it if you watch them so closely, but you have the briefest idea (best to keep them short) that anyone would be able to see it in a glimpse, there is nothing between them and that abstract thought (steady) of love apart from people's own inflicted blindness. Your eyes are open and staring and you see everything he does.
You are there the first time he's touched. You could have your nose pressed to the window and he would never see you, but you have the strangest little feeling that the other one might. You don't question it; you hang back, stay in the shadows, transparent in the darkness while they are the most solid bodies in your life. You watch. They talk, mouths still making the sounds but for once you can't hear them. For an unknown reason (don't think about it) you are glad you can't, their faces begin to become harder, you may not hear the words but the tone is obvious, snarling and heated while they begin to fight, a petty argument escalating for no reason. Tension. These things always snap.
The crack is audible - as any china cup hitting a wall would be. It rings in your ears and it must be hell for them, as suddenly they are standing still and staring. Everyone holds their breath, including you, the air thick and loud and for a moment all anyone can do is listen. It's beyond silence.
Another crack and everything is moving once again, this time it being a chair hastily knocked over as the two men rush together and their lips say everything their mouths couldn't (you've never stared so hard in all your life). For the first time two separate thoughts emerge and one wants to run - you choose feeling over reason and stay, watching as their hands are free, clumsy and searching and pulling at clothes that struggle to stay on before being thrown carelessly, anywhere, as long as it's away from them. You can feel the desperation from both as their lips so enthusiastically attack, there never being enough skin within reach to satisfy either, and you want to reach out to help.
Finally you turn away and begin to leave, but not before a last glimpse over your shoulder as they stumble to the floor. For the first time you feel almost like a voyeur, but you've got yourself conditioned by now and you come back to peer (lurking, hiding) through the window again, one more time and then another, compulsive as breathing and digging your nails into your palms (just to check you're still alive, invisible but still here). You see them as they move silently together under the sheets, the gasping fumbles as they dash into barely-soundproofed cupboards and the low moans that darts through midnight air as you crouch beneath the windowsill.
Those were the times you truly forgot everything, became nothing, were just a whisper of obsession as you watched him, tracing every movement with a breath that fogged in the misty air and became more translucent than you. For a moment you watched that instead, floating away until it dissolved to a memory and you turned back to him, to them, and steadily kept the mist away from the window. There's never anything sexual about it and if you had the chance, you'd begin to wonder why you still came.
You still wander around the zoo daily. No one notices, no one mentions a repeated appearance when it becomes the norm - only noticed when it's not there anymore and you might wonder if people would know it's you who has gone, if you ever do. Maybe you'll keep coming here again and again until you're a ghost with white fingertips and a halo of smoke that doesn't fade like your breath. Maybe you won't.
He's on his own when you find him (you know this place better than anyone, it's obvious in how you move), standing in an empty cage and poking at the floor with a rust-tinted garden fork. His expression is neutral, getting on with his job in wholly unusual silence and you find yourself drawing closer to him, feet carrying you noiselessly and your fingers stretching out to touch the bars. You pause, maybe to draw back, maybe to step closer, a slow considered movement either way.
He turns, and looks right at you. There's no emotion in his eyes, and he doesn't know who you are. Another face, lesser than his, but he has seen you. Broken the spell.
You almost stagger backwards. And then you turn, and run, and never go back for a final glimpse.
My LTD ^_^