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The Social Network: the kink meme!

It's Complicated: But sexy!


zuckonitkinkeme zuckonitkinkeme wrote in tsn_kinkmeme
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[PART ONE] CLOSED;; welcome!
THE SOCIAL NETWORK KINK MEME



ASK THE MODS * FAQ * DISCUSSION * RESEARCH * FILL LIST * PART ONE * PART ONE (OVERFLOW)



what is a kink meme? it pretty much gives itself away; you request a pairing and a prompt/kink anonymously, and someone else (or several someone elses for that matter) will be able to fill that request- also anonymously. it's a great way to get fic, a nice way to find fic to write and if you're embarrassed to post porn, like me!

(note that while this is called a kink meme, the rules are pretty lax. nonexplicit fic is also allowed, though pure gen is generally discouraged.

however. i'll be pretty lax about that as well, so long as an emphasis is placed on either a) kinky stuff or b) some form of character relationship, even non sexual/romantic. please, bear in mind this is a kink meme first and foremost, okay? ;)




GENERAL RULES;


♥ post requests and responses in the comments to this post.
♥ be respectful.
♥ both a pairing/character AND a prompt/kink must be posted.
♥ one pairing/prompt per comment please.
♥ you are encouraged to try and write a prompt for every request you make.
♥ we are slash, femslash, het, three-and-moresomes etc. friendly. (we are even incest friendly what with some of our characters being twins and all...)
♥ no pairing bashing, OK? no need to wank over ships.
♥ long and short fics welcome. multiple responses encouraged!
♥ please try to refrain from saying 'seconded!' as much as possible.
♥ on RPF: Please disclaim that it is RPF, a work of fiction and in no way related to the actual actors/persons/etc. (i wouldn't even try and discourage RPF from this meme ;))
WARN FOR COMMON TRIGGERS, PLEASE




FORMAT OF PROMPTS;


♥ alphabetize pairings/threesomes/moresomes. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark/Sean etc.)
♥ put [RPF] before RPF prompts. (e.g. [RPF] Andrew/Jesse)
♥ for crossover prompts: "[Crossover], The Social Network Character(s)/Other Character(s), [Fandom]" (e.g. [Crossover], Eduardo/Columbus, [Zombieland])
♥ no "!" in pairings, only in descriptions. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark, FacebookCreator!Eduardo, CFO!Mark)
♥ anyone, everyone, no one? Use "Other." (e.g. Sean/Other)
♥ put [GEN] before GEN prompts.




FILLS;


♥ please don't embed. link to images/videos.
♥ no locked material. this includes communities, even if membership is open.
♥ fills can be posted anonymously or not.
♥ fills can be anything: fic, art, vid, fanmix, podfic, etc.
♥ all prompts are open to fills at all times, even if they have been filled in the past or are being currently filled by someone else. multiple fills are positively encouraged; if something appeals to you then do not be put off creating a new fill by the existence of a prior one.






[ARCHIVING]

[DELICIOUS]

[UNFILLED REQUESTS]

[FILLED REQUESTS]]

[FLAT VIEW]



have fun!

THERE WILL BE UNMARKED SPOILERS. enter at your own risk! :D
Tags:

Eduardo/Mark

The night that Eduardo returns to Palo Alto, his girlfriend does worse than set a little fire: Christy nearly kills Eduardo. This is exactly the slap in the face Mark needs to get his act together and start acting like something resembling a human being.

Mostly I want Eduardo emotionally and physically scarred and Mark trying to help piece him back together.

OPTIONAL: If you're so inclined, I would love seeing Mark defend Eduardo against Sean's underhanded cruelties--and, of course, going after Christy with everything he has.

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 1a/?]

Summary: Christy is a lunatic. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing standing between Mark and Eduardo.
Rating: PG-13
Author’s notes: Middle of the night. No native speaker. Looked over by the wonderful leviathans_moon. All mistakes left are my own.
Disclaimer: The moment unicorns are real, I make money with this. Title taken from the poem “Alive together” by Lisel Mueller.

---

And knowledge and tears and chance

---

“But I had to get your attention.”

That’s the last thing he hears from Wardo for a long time -- at least the last full sentence. He hears a lot after that, a surprised yelp, muffled noises, rushed breathing which sounds surprisingly like someone’s in pain, a thump -- nothing.

“Mark … ” somebody whispers, maybe it’s Wardo. He can’t tell.

And then the call gets disconnected. Dumbfounded, he stands next to the swimming pool and tries to make sense of everything. It’s not easy, because sound is no code, and he’s somebody who already has trouble deciphering meaning when he sees faces.

One working theory is that Wardo simply didn’t want to talk to him anymore, too angry and too childish to face him right now. But he had Mark’s attention, so it doesn’t make sense to hang up right then (and it has nothing to do with the fact that Wardo’s never hung up on him before and as much as Mark can’t change who he is, Wardo could never change his behavior towards Mark).

It’s the other working theory that makes Mark sprint into the house, though. It’s not as much as a formulated theory, but more a feeling of utter terror in a region of his stomach he didn’t know could express such feelings. He pushes Dustin from a chair, ignores his protest and begins to type. He has no idea where in New York Wardo lives (although Wardo probably told him, but the part of Mark’s brain that stores this important piece of information won’t cooperate right now), but he knows Wardo’s number by heart and that’s enough for his skills in combination with the internet. Dustin is still complaining about his behavior, but Mark couldn’t care less, because his stomach hurts and Wardo may have hung up on him.

He gets the location of Wardo’s cell and calls 911 the next second. The lady on the other end doesn’t understand what he wants from her the first three tries, and he finds out that yelling doesn’t help at all. She even threatens to hang up on him and his “utter nonsense about a crime in New York City when they’re in Palo Alto”. The world is stupid, he thinks, and wishes for Wardo, because he’s always been the people’s person, always knew what to say and how to make people listen. Mark -- he’s not good with this at all. The only people he even remotely gets are Chris and Dustin -- and Wardo, of course. Finally, he gets the lady to listen and maybe it’s because he sounds desperate, but eventually she takes him seriously. He gives her the address and then she forces him to disconnect, but promises to let him know if there’s anything to report.

“What’s wrong?” Dustin asks, looking completely sober now. “Why did you send the police to Wardo’s place?”

Mark jumps a little when he hears his voice. He’s completely forgotten that there are other people in the room, that maybe other people care about Wardo as well -- which is idiotic, because of course other people care about Wardo, at least Dustin and Chris do. He’s not so sure about Sean. “I need to be on the next flight to New York,” he informs Dustin and leaves it at that. Wardo can explain the rest later.

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 1b/?]

Wardo can’t explain anything, Mark finds out once he’s touched ground in JFK and is allowed to use his cellphone again.

He stops dead in his tracks in the middle of luggage claim (not that he has any luggage to begin with, only the clothes he’s wearing, his wallet and his cell), because he doesn’t understand what his voicemail is telling him.

It sounds remarkably like stab wounds and emergency room and prognosis unclear.

For a moment he forgets what he’s supposed to do. If breathing is a natural occurrence or something he can live without, if (a+b)*(a-b) really makes a² - b², if it’s bad that he can’t name the exact number of Facebook users at this particular moment in time.

Somebody brushes past him and that takes him back to the real world. It feels like a cold shower at six in the morning. Like the ones Wardo made him take, because he’d coded for two days straight and had a final in two hours. But there’s nobody waiting outside the door with a bagel in his hands and a strong cup of coffee, least of all Wardo. Usually, Mark has a plan, and if he hasn’t, then somebody else -- usually Wardo -- has one. He doesn’t know what to do now. He feels hollow and weirdly directionless. The path until here was clear, but New York is a big city and Mark has no idea how much distance he still has to cross between Wardo and him (it’s 2563 miles from Palo Alto to New York City, he knows, but it seems insignificantly small compared to where he is now). Finally, he does the only thing he can and listens to the voicemail again. It still states the same, which is somewhat disappointing, but it also reveals the name of a hospital.

He winks a cab and ignores all the other voicemails.

---

One day, Facebook is going to be big, it will have millions of users, and he will have made a fortune with it. He will be able to buy everything he wants, including this hospital, or at least its emergency room. There will be a golden plate next to the reception with his name on it, but people won’t need to see a name tag to know who he is. Unfortunately, he’s not there yet.

“Who are you again, kiddo?” the receptionist asks.

“Mark Zuckerberg,” he repeats once again and wonders for a fleeting second if the guy only got the job because he couldn’t do anything else. “And I’m here for Eduardo Savarin. Dark hair, about this height,” he explains and raises his hand somewhere above his head. He has no idea how tall Wardo really is, only that it always felt like they were on eye level. “He was brought here with stab wounds.”

“And you’re relationship to him is … ?”

There are a lot of easier questions in the universe, and a whole lot more Mark would prefer to answer. Wardo is his best friend, the last person to yell at Mark, the one who made sure he went to all his finals, the person who believed in his idea and gave him money to start it all, the person he was angry with this very day. “I’m his friend,” he finally settles on.

“As in boyfriend?” Another bored question, which completely throws him off his game, because that’s the part of the universe full of questions he tries to steer clear of. It’s complicated and has a lot more 1’s and 0’s than he’s comfortable with. On the other hand, if he’s only a friend, they’ll probably not tell him anything about Wardo. He doesn’t think he can survive that (he doesn’t think about the other possibility -- that there’s nothing to survive, because Wardo’s already gone and the last thing Mark did was being angry with him).

“Yes,” he says, because what’s a white lie compared to the feeling of not knowing? “We met in Harvard, and he is my business partner and -- “

“Do I look like I want to make a Lifetime movie out of your story?” says the receptionist and cuts off his rambling. “Go to the waiting room on the fourth floor. Your friend is in the OR.”

Edited at 2011-02-08 10:50 pm (UTC)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 1c/?]

“Thanks,” he remembers to say (because Wardo is always polite and has better things to do right now but to apologize if Mark is rude) and turns to go.

“Don’t expect any miracles, kiddo. He looked pretty bad, that friend of yours,” the receptionist adds. It even sounds somewhat compassionate, which makes it even weirder. As if it helps Mark any to know he’s probably never to see Wardo again. He’s tempted to say “thanks” again, but only because he has no idea how to react otherwise. He doesn’t need to do anything, though, because someone else claims the receptionist’s attention.

Mark makes it to the elevator and punches the button for the fourth floor. The door closes, he’s all alone and suddenly he longs for his pc. If this were code he’d knew what to expect. Code-writing gives him the results he wants, and if it doesn’t, he sees it and can go back and fix it. There’s an action and a reaction, an endless circle he knows and understands. This, he doesn’t understand. Not why it happened, why somebody did that, why it happened to Wardo.

Nothing makes sense, and he wants code to rewrite it.

[tbc]

Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 1c/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-02-08 11:04 pm (UTC)(Expand)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 2a/?]

[Thank you for all your kind comments. They're greatly appreciated. That said, I'm not entirely happy with how this chapter turned out, but alas, the story has to go forward. Please continue to comment and let me know if you want to see something specific in the story. Thanks to uena for having a look over it.]

Warning: There's an allusion to parental abuse in this chapter.

---

Time, Mark slowly realizes, is an utter bastard.

He had needed approximately half a minute to realize something’s wrong after his call to Wardo had been disconnected, twenty seconds to get into the house and push Dustin away from the pc, a minute and ten seconds to locate Wardo’s cellphone (which has nothing to do with his skills, but all with the permanent problem that the connection speed isn’t as fast as Mark’s brain), seven ridiculous minutes to convince the lady that Wardo indeed needed help, another seven minutes to get a plane ticket and call a taxi, half an hour for the drive to San Francisco International Airport -- he had to wait one hour and four minutes till his flight took off, wasted five hours and thirty minutes with actual flight time, three minutes in luggage claim when he didn’t know what to do, and fifty minutes for the taxi drive to the hospital.

Which -- all in all -- make about nine hours and thirteen minutes since he’s last heard Wardo’s voice. You’d think Wardo’s waited long enough to talk to Mark again. Or at least get out of surgery. Neither of these two things have happened so far, and the seats in the waiting room may actually be comfy, but still -- he has nothing to take his mind off these ominous green doors at the other end of the room, and he’s not good at waiting. Never has been, because he simply doesn’t wait. There’s always something to do. Talk, write, sleep, but never wait. Waiting is for people who have nothing to do, who have no aim, but not for him (He’d rather not think about all the time Wardo spent waiting for him to finish coding, finish eating, finish thinking, because Wardo is not one of these people without any goals in their life).

“Anyone here for Eduardo Savarin?” somebody finally asks coming through these green doors, and Mark jumps to his feet.

“I’m here for him.”

The doctor walks to him with sleepy eyes, and Mark really hopes the guy was more awake during surgery. “And you are?” the doctor asks.

“His boyfriend, Mark.” The lie is easier the second time, feels somewhat light on his tongue, even though he actively tells it this time.

“Huh, his boyfriend?” The man repeats and raises an eyebrow. Mark doesn’t understand why anyone would question that right now. Okay, so he maybe doesn’t look the type, but surely it’s not such a stretch of imagination to see him together with -- “See, I was told he got stabbed by his girlfriend.”

And that’s information that catches him off guard, and he thinks his brain just shuts down for a minute or so, because Christy? She hasn’t played any role in his thoughts about the why and how and who? Christy is just … Christy. She’s there on the edge of his vision and intellectually he knows that she is (or better was, with the recent developments) Wardo’s girlfriend, but she’s never been important. Not in a way that threatens to change his whole universe now.

“Christy … Christy did that?” he finally gets out, still not fully understanding what this means exactly.

“If that’s her name.”

“But I’m his friend,” he says, because he doesn’t know what else to say, because he needs to know if Wardo has waited yet again for him. “We met in Harvard, and he is my business partner and … “ And then he does something he never does. “Please.”

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 2b/?]

The doctor looks at him for an agonizing long moment (and again time, the meddling bastard, Mark thinks), but finally he nods. Mark’s not sure if the guy found something in his face or in his eyes or if there even was something to find other than barely concealed desperation, but he doesn’t care. “He’s alive,” the doctor says and is smart enough to pause after this, because Mark may need a second or so to feel his legs again. “He was in pretty bad shape when they brought him in, lost a lot of blood, but she missed his spinal cord and we could repair the damage. We’ll have to watch his kidney function, but I’m tentatively optimistic that he will make a full recovery given time.” The guy still looks at him as if he expects something from him, maybe unicorns and rainbows in a basket. Mark has no idea.

“I want to see him,” he says and remembers too late that maybe a thank you would have been in order before he demands anything (Wardo would have remembered, he thinks).

“Not yet, only family in the ICU -- speaking of which, have they been informed?”

Mark probably looks like a deer caught in the headlight, because that’s another thought that hasn’t crossed his mind. “Not yet,” he says slowly.

“Then call them. And go and change, sleep. Your friend won’t get out of ICU before tomorrow.” The doctor turns and leaves Mark alone in the waiting room in which the really important things only happen behind the green doors. It’s endlessly frustrating and he slumps down on one of the comfy chairs again. He can’t leave, because there’s nowhere to go. He knows exactly two people in New York City and one of them is a violent lunatic and the other one he’s not allowed to see. And he can’t change, because he has nothing to change into. He presumes he could just buy stuff, but it seems too much like an effort and the irrational part of his brain doesn’t want to leave Wardo here all alone, no matter if he can see him or not.

Which brings him to the only thing he can do -- calling Wardo’s parents, although he’s not really sure Wardo would even appreciate his parents at his bedside. His mom, probably, but his dad is a whole other story. A story Mark never got to read all the chapters to, probably only some excerpts here and there -- most prominently one about a bruise on Wardo’s chin after Thanksgiving’s break last year (Which they never talked about. But only because Mark doesn’t recite everything he sees doesn’t mean he sees nothing at all).

He sighs and gets his cellphone out of his pockets. He needs to call Dustin and Chris and get them to find out the number of Wardo’s parents.

[tbc]


Edited at 2011-02-09 07:29 pm (UTC)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 3a/?]

[Thanks again for the review, they're what keeps me going. And another thanks to uena, who isn't a native speaker as well, but still -- a second pair of eyes doesn't hurt, does it?]

It’s four o’clock in the afternoon and Mark is a lot of things -- hungry, tired, thirsty, but mostly he’s just pissed. You’d think if your son just got stabbed in the back by his crazy ex-girlfriend you’d be on the next plane to JFK or just take your fucking private jet, but no, not when you’re called Mister and Misses Saverin. It took Mark two hours (after Dustin and Chris had finished simultaneously yelling at him for not calling earlier) to find out their number (Wardo’s random remark about how they moved from Brazil to Miami to evade hostage threats gets a whole new level of meaning) and another just to get Misses Saverin’s PA to listen and not just hang up on him. It’s ridiculous, but he only throws the cell on one of the chairs in the waiting room after he has the promise from the PA to book Wardo’s mom a seat on the next convenient (no, not the next one) flight to New York City. No word on Wardo’s dad, but it’s more a relief than anything else to Mark.

The waiting room is empty except for him, which he is thankful for, because he really doesn’t need any more probably stupid people in his life right now. On the other hand, it serves perfectly to illustrate how lonely he’s at the moment, and how useless -- which is a shitty feeling, but he’s neither a surgeon, nor a nurse or even remotely someone who would know what to do with Wardo.

But he’s a genius, or as close as you can get to it, and he’s fed up with waiting around and feeling useless, so he goes and searches for the ICU. It’s pretty easy to find, with all the neon signs pointing to the right direction, as if somebody wanted him to end up here. It’s not a pretty place, though. The lights are brighter than the ones in the waiting room, it smells differently (and not in a good way, he’s reminded of the way his grandma’s hospital room smelled two days before her death), and there are people -- albeit only two, who vanish to do whatever they do the moment he enters the main room of the ICU. If they make it that easy, he thinks, than it’s a sign that he has to visit Wardo. Not that he believes in signs in general, but Dustin would say something idiotic as “The force is on your side, my son” and for once Mark wouldn’t mind. He looks into three cubicles (one old man, one middle-aged woman, and a guy his age who looks as if he’s missing half his leg) before he finds Wardo. He sits down on a chair next to the bed and the nurses will only spot him when they’re standing right next to the cubicle. It’s only then that he allows himself to register what he actually sees.

The receptionist wasn’t kidding when he said Wardo had looked pretty bad. If possible, he looks worse now (at least worse than Mark had imagined). There are a lot of wires and tubes, so much that Mark is afraid to touch (not that he really likes touching, but Wardo seems fond of it, and if now isn’t the time to leave Mark’s own issues behind he doesn’t know), a nasal cannula is feeding oxygen to Wardo and he’s still -- which is not a weird idea per se, because Wardo can do still with the best of them. He always knows when to sit quietly on the couch reading a book and leave Mark to his coding. It’s just that he usually has a lot more color to his face than right now.


Edited at 2011-02-10 03:24 pm (UTC)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 3b/?]

“I called your mom,” he whispers (and that’s what you do in ICU, you act paradoxically, because you whisper as not to disturb anyone, but on the other hand they tell you to talk to the patients -- even if they can’t hear you), “well, I talked to her PA. I’m not sure, but she said your mom would get the … eh … next flight.” He stops for a while to see if he got any reaction and tries not to be too disappointed when there’s none. “Anyway, I don’t think you really need her, but she’s your mom after all. And probably everyone is better than your father, right?” He shrugs. “Also, you’ve probably noticed that I’m here -- surprise -- but you hung up on me, at least that’s what I thought then, now I think it presumably was Christy, but I needed to check if you’re still talking to me. Which you aren’t right now, but I don’t blame you for this, just so you know. Back to Christy, but she shouldn’t concern you right now, because she got arrested for what she did to … “ He waves with his hand in the general direction of Wardo, stops in midair and rests it on his thigh again. Wardo can’t see him after all. He sighs and scrubs his hand over his tired eyes. “This is probably the stupidest thing we’ve both been present for, and I saw you feeding a chicken for a week. Where is it, anyway? Did you eat it?”

“’Ark?” It’s barely a whisper, it’s barely there, but Mark knows he’s not hearing things when Wardo blinks at him, confusion written all over his face.

“Thank God,” he breathes and leans a bit closer so Wardo can see him. He doesn’t say ‘I was worried about you’, because that’s a given and he was never one for stating the obvious.

“What are you doing here?” Wardo asks quietly and his eyes start to slip close again (and Mark doesn’t panic, because that’s a normal reaction after the anesthesia and the pain meds and doesn’t mean that Wardo won’t wake up again).

“I’m … “ Mark trails of, since it should be obvious, shouldn’t it? He’s here because he’s Wardo’s friend, because Wardo had hung up on him, because Wardo got stabbed and where else should Mark be now if not here? “I thought it to be a good idea.”

Wardo slowly blinks at him, and Mark starts to think he’s not going to say anything else. “Thought I had gotten left behind.”

Wardo’s asleep the next second, but Mark still feels sucker-punched.

[tbc]

Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 3b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-02-10 04:38 pm (UTC)(Expand)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 4a/?]

[As always, thanks for your comments. This chapter is shorter than usual, because I spent the afternoon writing Paper-thin, a story in which Eduardo suffers from what's commonly called winter depression and Mark takes care of him. However, I still wanted to put something online for this story, because I wont' be able to do so for a few days probably. I'm going home and I have a Big Bang posting date coming up -- both of which will be quite time consumating.]

He only realizes that he’s fallen asleep when somebody shakes his shoulder and scowls at him. “Who are you and what do you do in the ICU without permission?” the nurse asks him angrily. It takes him a while to get rid of the memories of his dream (a laughing Wardo and a few drinks shared between them -- congratulations to his subconsciousness for being extra unsubtle), and he sleepily blinks at the nurse.

“What?” he asks with a yawn and looks over to Wardo, who blissfully sleeps on.

“I’m asking what you’re doing here?” the nurse repeats, still looking furious.

“Well, I could be proving how horrible the security in this hospital is and advise my boyfriend here to sue you, but I’m actually just making sure he’s still here, with your lax security and so.”

There’s a soft chuckle that stops the nurse from throwing Mark out the room, because now she’s more concerned with the fact that Wardo’s awake. She’s bustling around him, checking what feels like a hundred readings, and Mark can’t help but hold his breath (he’s not afraid, because Wardo’s awake and he chuckled) until she nods with a light smile and leaves to get the doctor.

“How are you feeling?” Mark asks, and earns another light chuckle (must be the pain meds).

“Left your brain in Palo Alto, hmm?” Wardo says, but there’s no real heat in his hoarse voice. He makes a slight wave with his hand to all the machines surrounding him. “Take a wild guess.”

“Sorry,” Mark says and sits down in the vacated chair next to Wardo’s bed. He fidgets a bit with his clothes and hopes that Wardo can’t smell them over the antiseptic. It takes him a moment to notice that silence is filling the room and worried he looks over to Wardo -- and Wardo looks at him like Mark has spaghetti sauce on his cheek (which he hasn’t, because the last thing he ate was … he can’t really remember, but he better not tell this Wardo). “What? You okay? I mean, are you in pain -- shit, no, let me rephrase that -- should I get the nurse?”

“No,” Wardo breathes, “just … you never before said … “

“Yes?”

But he doesn’t get an answer, because a doctor and some nurses come in and he’s ushered out of the room -- which is not a good thing, because it gives him time to think. He thinks about Wardo’s words before he fell asleep and the feelings they dragged back into broad daylight, about how he has no idea if Wardo even wants him here (but he has to stay, right? Because Wardo’s dad won’t come and Mark doesn’t trust a woman who’ll take the next convenient flight) and maybe he should ask him (but he’s afraid of the answer). He thinks about what he says and doesn’t say and how that affects Wardo (and only him, Mark doesn’t care much if other people can’t handle the truth he’s telling) and if he had listened to Wardo telling him that Christy frightens him, maybe none of this would have happened. It’s a lot to think about and his brain is running on crappy coffee and next to nothing to eat, and he really wishes he could find the switch off for his mind.

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 4b/?]


“Mark, right?” The doctor suddenly stands in front of him and startled, Mark takes a step back. Only now does he recognize him as the surgeon from the waiting room who told him he couldn’t get into the ICU.

“Yes,” he says and tries to hide his fear. He doesn’t want to wait behind green doors again. “How is he?”

“Tired, but everything looks good so far. And he says he won’t sue us for lax security if we let his boyfriend back in.”

“Oh,” is all Mark can say and he breathes in relief as the doctor steps out of his way. Wardo looks half asleep again when Mark sits down on his recently vacated chair.

“You told them you’re my boyfriend?” Wardo murmurs.

Mark thinks Wardo really needs to stop saying these things when he’s asleep the next second and Mark has no chance at an explanation.

[tbc]

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 5a/?]

[All your comments = ♥♥♥. That being said, my Inception big bang drives me crazy, because my beta went MIA. AGAIN. (This is like the third time my supposed to be betas are just vanishing from the face of earth. What's up with this? Am I cursed?) And my posting date is on Wednesday *headdesk* Anybody up for a super-quick beta of 25.ooo words? If yes, please drop me a message. I'm getting desperate.]

Somewhere, Mark read that newborns need up to fifteen hours of sleep. He’s not sure, but it feels like Wardo is trying to break that record (which isn’t fair, because Mark’s brain is going crazy with all these thoughts running around and he fears the only way this will stop is when he talks to Wardo). The nurse tells him it’s normal and that he stinks (she’s still not happy with him being allowed in the ICU). Mark grimaces, because his clothes really start to feel itchy on his skin.

“But I don’t want him to wake -- “

“He won’t wake up again in the next few hours,” she says and sighs. Her voice is softer when she continues. “Listen, you don’t help him when you’re asleep on your feet and your dirty clothes are probably a perfect breeding ground for any kind of bacteria his body isn’t up to fighting right now.”

She’s right (and he hates her a bit for it), and he probably should call Dustin and Chris again to let them know that Wardo was awake for a while (it occurs to him that he hasn’t thought about facebook for more than twenty-four hours, but it’s only a passing astonishment). He wants to ignore her obvious dismissal, but he finds that he can’t. He is tired, after all, and he can’t remember the last time he had a shower, and he doesn’t want Wardo to wake up for real and send him out of his room because he reeks.

It still takes him unusually long to leave the ICU (and when he walks out he remembers that part of the universe he doesn’t like dwelling on -- it suddenly seems more vibrant).

---

Five hours and twenty three minutes later Mark is back. He has checked into a hotel nearby, has showered, eaten, bought some new clothes, he has drunk something else but Red Bull and coffee (Wardo would be proud of him) and has slept for an hour. Somehow, he has also found the time to argue with Chris and Dustin that they don’t need to fly all the way to New York City (god, he had been so tempted to leave this whole mess to them, but it had felt like chickening out and that’s something Wardo doesn’t deserve). Now he’s back and walks straight into Misses Saverin. He only recognizes her because she’s standing right outside Wardo’s cubicle, her hair pulled back into a tight knot (it has the same color as Wardo’s) and her whole posture rigid. Mark only knows her from the few photos Wardo keeps in his dorm, he’s never met her in person before and suddenly he wishes for Chris and Dustin.

“You must be Mark,” she suddenly says without taking her eyes from the curtain parting her from her son, and he jumps a bit.

“Yes, I am,” he confirms and really hopes that nobody told her that he’s Wardo’s supposed boyfriend. He doesn’t think it would go over so well. She still doesn’t look at him and it creeps him out a bit.

“He talks about you a lot, you know.” She straightens imaginary wrinkles out of her business dress. “And about that company of yours. Is it still developing as well as you hoped?”

“Even better,” he replies and tries not to gape at her. This feels incredibly surreal -- like five days of straight coding and drinking a whole swimming pool of Red Bull. She makes no move to go a step further towards Wardo’s bed and suddenly Mark’s stomach takes a plummet, because surely she wants to see Wardo, right? And if she’s not moving then because there’s nobody to see anymore and -- he gulps and his heart beats a mile a minute. Before he knows it he has sidestepped the curtain and his legs nearly give way when Wardo blinks at him (Mark’s going to poison this nurse’s coffee for telling him Wardo won’t be awake until he’s back).

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 5b/?]

“Thank God,” Mark says and probably sounds like a broken record by now. “Your mom is waiting behind the -- “ he whispers and points at the curtain. This feels ridiculous.

“Oh,” Wardo says and actually tries to sit upright (later, Mark will yell at him for being stupid, but not right now). It doesn’t work out quite so well, because some monitors start to blare and then Wardo grimaces and Mark doesn’t know what to touch without hurting him further. Finally, he settles for Wardo’s shoulders and helps him sink back onto the bed.

“Don’t do that,” Mark chides him, once he feels like his voice won’t break.
“Sorry,” Wardo mumbles and then the nurse comes (Mark glares at her for lying to him), checks all the monitors again, glares some more at Mark, and leaves. And then Wardo’s mom comes around the curtain, smiling tightly and taking the seat that’s usually Mark’s.

“Hello, Eduardo,” she says and touches Wardo’s arm for a second. It’s only then that Mark realizes he still has his hand on Wardo’s shoulder, and he withdraws it (He probably imagines the short glance Wardo shoots at him).

“Hello, mãe,” Wardo says and smiles at her.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine, and you didn’t have to come, really. I already -- “

“Unfortunately, your father couldn’t come. He has important business in Brazil to attend to,” she talks on as if Wardo hadn’t said anything, like she’s reading from a script she wants to finish as fast as possible. Behind his back, Mark balls his hands into fists. “I’ve talked to the hospital administration and as soon as you can leave … here,” she glances around her as if not talking about the ICU makes it anything less real, “you’ll have your private room.”

“Thank you, mãe,” Wardo says quietly.

“I don’t want to tire you out, so I better leave now. If you need anything, the nurses have the number of my hotel room.” She hesitates for a moment, but then she bends down and gives Wardo a light kiss on the cheek and nods at Mark before she leaves. Mark stares after her and can’t decide if he wants to yell at her to come back or to demand she stays away.

“You,” Wardo coughs slightly, “you don’t need to stay either.” He doesn’t meet Mark’s eyes and plays with a loose thread of the blanket.

“I’m not your mother.”

“What?”

“You don’t have to lie to me.”

“I’m not lying.” Wardo scowls, because he hates to be called a liar (and usually he doesn’t lie).

“But you’re not fine!” Mark replies and tries really hard not to raise his voice, but it all pours out of him like one giant levee just broke (and he can’t stop and it all comes out oh so wrong). “Christy stabbed you, for god’s sake! She stabbed you and then she left you to bleed to death in some shitty apartment in Manhattan. And I had to fly here on a moment’s notice and you lost so much blood that the receptionist told me I shouldn’t expect any miracles, which basically meant I should have started to arrange your funeral. And then I had to get a hotel room and buy new clothes because I didn’t bring any and you just wouldn’t wake up again -- so don’t tell me you’re fine.”

Wardo’s face is white as a sheet and his knuckles grabbing the blanket. His lips are set in a firm line and his browns furrowed. “Excuse me for causing such an inconvenience to your life and your work on facebook, and sorry for waking up the exact moment you weren’t by my side.” He grits his teeth. “And since you apparently know my feelings so well, you probably know that I want to be alone right now.”

“What? No --”

“Leave.”

“Wardo -- ”

“Leave.” Wardo repeats, this time with more force. Mark stares at him for a long moment, but Wardo doesn’t budge.

“Okay … okay,” Mark finally says. And leaves.

[tbc]

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 6a/?]

[I can't tell you all how much your comments mean to me. Thank you so much!]

Leaving sucks even more than waiting. And talking sucks more than being quiet, because talking only ever gets him into trouble, even if he has the best intentions. Mark runs a hand over his tired face, sighs and ignores the quizzical look the nurse shoots him when he leaves the ICU.

He doesn’t know what to do (again) and it gets to him only wrong coding does normally. He has no idea why he said the things he said, or better, he has no idea why he said them the way he did. Well, he has his suspicions (fear and worry and I wouldn’t know what to do without him), but he isn’t ready yet to actually admit this. Emotions have always been a minefield to him. But that’s something Wardo had always taken in stride. He had smiled at Mark’s brusque manners and patted him on the shoulders when he tried to explain what he had really meant (he never wanted to hurt Wardo). And now Wardo’s in there and Mark is standing outside here and he feels lost.

“Shit,” he murmurs and decides to give Wardo some time, because he won’t leave Wardo alone (not with a woman who’s as distant as he didn’t dare to imagine; he refuses to believe he’s that kind of friend), but he will come back and maybe till then he’s find the right words. He decides to buy a notepad in the hospital shop (he’s always been better with written things he can change and form until they look right not only to him) and settles in the cafeteria for a while.

---

He’s written half a page and crossed out everything (I care, I’m scared, I would never leave you behind) but “I’m sorry”. It still seems too little, but it’s the only thing he feels to be appropriate.

“Mr Zuckerberg to the ICU, please. Mr Zuckerberg to the ICU, please.”

He simply stops. Stops writing, stops whipping his left foot, stops breathing. This can’t be. The voice coming out of the loudspeakers can’t mean him, because that doesn’t bode well for Wardo’s health. Mark feels sick and for a moment or two, and he debates to just leave. If Wardo died because they missed a ruptured blood vessel he doesn’t want to know, doesn’t want to see. He can walk out of this hospital, hide behind a laptop, forever wired in and he will never have to face the truth of a world without (his best friend, sometimes his only friend, his maybe-it’s-something-more-but-I-don’t-want-to-think-about-it) Wardo.

Before he knows it he’s crossed the threshold of the ICU, ignored the nurse gesturing at him and has drawn the curtain aside.

“Shit, sorry, god, I’m so sorry, you look like dead,” Wardo says in a rush, his eyes wide (and he’s probably right, because Mark feels dead right now). “I told her to say it’s not an emergency, but I think she maybe hates you a bit.”

Mark doesn’t say anything. He simply collapses into the chair next to Wardo’s bed.

“Mark? Come on, I’m really sorry. I’d have called your cell, but I don’t know where mine is and the nurse wouldn’t give me a telephone, but I convinced her to ask for you … shit, Mark? Please, say something.”


Edited at 2011-02-15 11:05 pm (UTC)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 6b/?]

“It came out all wrong,” he finally whispers. His skin feels like it’s bathed in cold sweat.

“What?” Wardo leans a bit to his side and tries to reach for the sleeve of Mark’s hoodie. Wardo likes touch, a still functioning part of Mark’s brain tells him, and he moves a bit so Wardo can grab the fabric and hold onto it.

“Before … I didn’t want to sound so accusatory. I don’t blame you for any of this,” Mark says. He thinks back to the notepad he left lying around on the table in the cafeteria, to all the crossed out sentences. “I am … “ he swallows dry, “I’m scared.”

“I’m sorry I told you to leave, sorry that I scared you,” Wardo says quietly and if that’s not irony, then Mark doesn’t know. He suppresses a snort. Of course Wardo would never really want him to leave (it’s only Mark who says stuff like that), the same way he never really expects an apology from Mark, but is always ready to apologize himself. “It’s just … it’s difficult, you know? With my mom. She’s not … she’s a nice person, really, and she does care in her own way … she’s just selective about what she wants to see and know, what she can bear to see and know. And I can’t switch it on and off when she’s around.” He looks at his hand on Mark’s sleeve and stops, as if he’s already told too much and Mark is going to bunk off any second now (he isn’t, but he still wants to yell at Wardo’s mom for ignoring what’s going on between him and his father). “And you are … you’re right … I’m not fine. And I don’t want you to leave, even if that sounds selfish.” He lets his hand sink down onto the blanket, and Mark instantly misses the touch.

“It’s not selfish. And even if it were, I wouldn’t care.”

Wardo gives a slight chuckle and looks at him again. “Not so much for social conventions, are you?”

“You know me,” Mark answers with a shrug and tries a smile. He’s rewarded by a small smile from Wardo (it makes him feel better).

“Yes,” Wardo whispers and there’s this soft look in his tired eyes, “I know you.”
And Mark has no idea why he does it, but he settles one hand on Wardo’s on the blanket. His heart beats a mile a minute and he feels sweaty, but Wardo doesn’t draw his hand away, just stares at him silently.

“Mark?” Wardo asks, a slight hitch in his voice.

“I’m not leaving, Wardo,” he answers (never, he thinks, not if you don’t send me away).

“Thanks,” Wardo says and his eyes slip close again.

[tbc]

Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 6b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-02-16 04:56 pm (UTC)(Expand)

Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 7a/?]

[Sorry for the delay. I posted my Inception Big Bang yesterday (again, a big thank you to fuocotanzer - you did an awesome job.), and spent today waiting for trains to take me back home. All of it took more time than I'd have liked.]

Mark wonders if Wardo will remember any of this later, once he’s not half-high on pain meds. If he’ll ask about this boyfriend-thing (Mark had wanted to write the explanation down on the notepad, but nothing had come to mind he was ready to talk about) or if he still thinks Mark is going to leave him behind. He doesn’t understand why that’s the only part of their talk Wardo still remembers and if he simply chose to ignore the rest (I want you -- I need you out here), the other part Mark had so much trouble getting out he burrowed it under layers of different topics. Something went wrong in that corridor in the middle of booze and drugs and code, a breakdown in communication which they’re still not done with.

Nothing of it matters now, though, not when Wardo’s face scrunches up and he moves his head from one side to the other (he realizes that he’s never seen Wardo sleep in a bed before -- he’s only seen Wardo sleeping when he’d crashed still in his clothes on their dorm couch after a night of video games or studying). “Wardo,” he says quietly and rubs his thumb over the skin of Wardo’s hand (he never let go). “Wardo,” he says again, louder, and this time Wardo reacts -- only it’s not in the way Mark had intended. Instead of settling once again into a peaceful slumber, Wardo wakes up with a gasp and draws his hand away from Mark. He freezes for a moment, until he seems to recognize Mark and visibly deflates.
“Sorry,” he mumbles.

“You okay?”

“Yeah … “ Wardo looks at Mark and swallows. “No, not really … nightmare.”

“Christy?” Mark asks and bites his tongue when Wardo flinches at the mention of her name.

“Yeah … do you know … I mean, if she’s … where is she?”

“Under arrest,” Mark says (he knows because he made Chris check, but for all he cares she can rot in hell for eternity). “She’ll go to trial for aggravated battery and attempted murder.” Too much information, he thinks, when Eduardo pales even more. “Sorry, I probably should have paraphrased that.”

“No … it’s … holy shit.” Wardo takes deep breath. “Hey, is that my lunch?” he asks (and it’s the least smoothest change of topic Mark has ever seen him make, but he doesn’t point it out because Wardo deserves a respite).

“It is. Well, actually it’s dinner, you slept through lunch.”

“Oh … did you eat it?”

“Er … “ Mark doesn’t want to lie, but he can’t really remember. The last hours (days, his brain nicely supplies) have been a blur. “Don’t think so.”

“Then you should eat it, get something in your stomach. You’ve been drinking probably only coffee and Red Bull since you’re here. You need to eat more.”

“And you’re bordering on underweight,” Mark replies and wants to take it back the next moment (so much for too much information).

“Excuse me?”

“I read your medical file. You weigh 143,4 lb., with your height that means a BMI of 19 -- that’s borderline underweight. So you should be the one to eat more.”

“Jesus … ”

“This means I’ll be the one to make sure you eat something for once. Here,” he moves the tablet with dinner so it’s within Wardo’s reach.

“I’m not really hungry.”

“We can share, deal?”

Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 7b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-02-18 06:50 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 11b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-02-24 03:54 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 13c/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-02 08:37 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 14b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-03 01:49 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 15b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-07 01:22 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 15b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-07 02:47 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 15b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-07 04:54 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 17a/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-10 11:09 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 17b/?] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-14 12:08 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Fill: And knowledge and tears and chance [Part 19b/20] - (Anonymous), 2011-03-17 10:01 pm (UTC)(Expand)