five_steps_back: (Phase: Angie)
Nikki ([personal profile] five_steps_back) wrote in [community profile] rainbowfic2012-02-01 09:21 pm

Alice Blue 1, Olive Green 15, Tyrian Purple 24 with lots of Styles and Supplies

Name: Nikki
Colors: Alice Blue 1 (we're all mad here), Olive Green 15 (El Diablo), Tyrian Purple 24 (melted wings)
Styles and Supplies: Mixed Media, Pastels (my gen+romance card:[community profile] origfic_bingo O2: hallucinations/visions), Miniature Collection, Reimaging ("White Balloons" is a short Angie POV of The Edge of Glory; "Hate Me" is a short Angie POV of Sarah Doesn't Know), Chalk, Stain ("I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there." - Herb Caen), Brush (heyday), Acrylic (controversy), Feathers ("I'm not going to apologize."), Modeling Clay ("Like"), Frame
Rating: R
Word Count:1,952
Story: Phase; the title of this ficmix is 'Get Off On The Pain.'
Summary: Angie's life in 20 songs.
Notes and Warnings: Angie's playlist can be downloaded here. Warnings for child abuse, ableism, drug use, and depression and manic phases. (Interesting fact:  This version of Angie has a much happier childhood and life than the original version of Angie.)



My whole life I been picking fights
There ain't no way to win
There's a hundred scars and shoulda-run-aways
Now tattooed on my skin

-- "Get Off On The Pain", Gary Allan

Angie was used to pain. With her father's beatings when she was growing up, and how she purposefully pissed her father off sometimes, by the time she started getting angry - really, really angry - she was able to win a lot of the fights she started. That didn't mean she never got hit. And sometimes, she lost; other times, she had to run away.

She fucking hated losing to one person. Hated it. But she fucking hated running away more because it was the worst kind of losing, and she was enough of a loser as it was.

I got one more shot at livin'
I'm lucky that I can
Cause I got a little roughed up
Yeah I really got fucked up

--"Bullet In My Hand", Redlight King

Angie gave up when she was sixteen. She never regretted running away, but she regretted the fuck out of leaving her little sister behind. Their parents didn't hit Sarah, just ignored her completely. The only reason Angie never went back was that the guilt was outweighed by fear of getting stuck in her old life if she did.

Sarah must've left as soon as she was able, too, though she was doing better than Angie when they ran into each other a few years later. Angie made sure to wander after Sarah as best as she could after that.

'Cause I'm a "lowlife" and I'm lovin it
I got the whole damn world in the palm of my hand
I'm a "lowlife"
So fuckin' deal with it
No, you can't change something that you don't understand

--"Lowlife", Theory of a Deadman

Angie found that it was a lot easier to be a semi-homeless thieving, pick-pocketing fuck up if everyone thought she wasn't a girl, so she started going by he, him, telling people that his name was an old family joke that his bastard parents put on him. It was easy. A surprisingly good kind of easy. It freaked him out a bit, enough to make him think 'What would Sarah do?' before he went to the library to try and 'research.'

He eventually found out that genderqueer was a thing, and a lot of things fell into place.

Screaming and crying
We'll have none of that
You had your chance
Now just sit back and relax
Don't you want to sink to the bottom with me?

--"The Bottom", Sick Puppies

The first time he did coke was at someone named Bobby's house in Somewhere, Nevada. It was the most amazing thing he had ever felt.

His fall into a down mood when he crashed the next day was all the harder because of it. Bobby and Bobby's friends must have noticed him start to freak out because they gave him a few more lines before kicking him out. It didn't do a damn thing to help.

It was enough to keep Angie away from coke. For a little bit.

I'm sinking to the bottom of my
Everything that freaks me out
The lighthouse beam has just run out
I'm cold as cold as cold can be, be

--"Into the Ocean", Blue October

He had a lot more up moods than down moods. A lot of the time, Angie could say that his up moods made up for the down moods, but sometimes he got so up or down that he scared himself, and he knew he needed to find Sarah. Sometimes he did, before he crashed into the bottom of the ocean.

He clawed himself out eventually. Sarah always helped, as much as she could, when he could find her; then he'd be 'up' again, and he'd move on as suddenly as he showed up, leaving a lot of shames behind him.

So paranoid I've been hiding from the sun
I'm tired of being afraid of everything and everyone
I'm so tired

--"No One Cares", Atreyu

The down moods always lasted longer when he didn't find Sarah, and depending on where they were, on where Angie was - he always tried to stay close to Sarah, but life is what happens when you're making plans - it took him a long fucking tiring time to crawl up from them. He was exhausted after, even with all the sleep he got during, even when he jumped right into an up mood. Coke helped with that, to get him up and going again, which was fine.

By that point, he was fucking tired of being tired.

There's demons in my head
And it's more than I can take
I think I'm on a roll
But I think it's kinda weak
Saying all I know is
I gotta get away from me

--"Gotta Get Away", The Offspring

Sometimes his up moods weren't picnics, either. Sometimes he'd think so fast that he couldn't think, until his head pounded and his wanted to slam it against a wall just to try and make it stop. Sometimes he'd be awake for what seemed like days, hearing whispers that he just couldn't make out that did nothing but piss him the fuck off.

That was when he did the stuff that even he knew was stupid, the stuff that scared him. That was usually when he found Sarah, but somewhere along the way, Sarah got tired of it too.

Well I'm not crazy
I'm just a little unwell
I know right now you can't tell
But stay a while and maybe then you'll see
A different side of me

-- "Unwell", Matchbox 20

Sarah wasn't the first one to call him crazy. Hell, she wasn't the one hundredth or two hundredth or God knew what number, but Angie was damn fucking sure that it was first time he ever actually gave a fuck about anyone saying he was. Yeah, he wasn't perfect, but he wasn't fucking nuts. He had bad spells, and he fucking knew it, but he got better.

Sarah should know better than anyone that he always got better. Apparently, he couldn't even fucking get his own little sister to trust him, and he fucking hated that it actually mattered.

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you
Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

--"Hate Me", Blue October

It wasn't a thought out plan, just a short one that made sense. Sarah really was better off without him. Would she have a better life if he hadn't followed her around and made her take care of him? Probably. It was an easy decision to make Sarah hate him, and easy to accomplish. He hated doing it, he hated himself the entire time he smiled and seduced the girl that Sarah was so obviously in puppy-dog love with.

Later, when Sarah punched him, kicked him, he felt validated. She was already better at standing up for herself.

I’m gonna stay down here for the whole season
When the season’s done, I still ain’t leaving
Lately I’ve given up making sense out of life and love
So I’m gonna stay
Like the band I’m gonna drift away

--"Ain't Ever Going Back Again", Kenny Chesney

Angie had a map that he kept with him, a fucking old one that was more tape than paper, and it was covered in marks. Black x's in the places he remembered going to, red x's in the places he remembered and was smart enough to know not to go back to. The biggest red 'x' was near the northern Nebraska state line. Angie ended up marking New York City nearly the same way.

That had been a few months ago, and he still hadn't left for anywhere else. Things seemed to stop when Sarah hated him.


I'm holding onto white balloons
Up against a sky of doom
Tell me you see them
'Cause what's inside of me is invisible to most
Even in clear view

--"White Balloons", Sick Puppies

He was high on coke when he stumbled into a bar in Brooklyn, the bar where Rayne happened to work. High as fuck, but he would have done the same thing if he had been cold sober. (Angie couldn't remember the last time he had been cold sober.) He saw (remembered) Rayne, saw the guy grab her ass, and he was across the room, and grabbing the tray out of her hand, and slamming it into the guy's face.

Angie could have broken his arm after that. He'd have deserved it. But Rayne had called him back down.

I got a disease
Deep inside me
Makes me feel uneasy baby
I can't live without you
Tell me
What am I supposed to do about it

--"Disease", Matchbox 20

Angie knew he loved Rayne. He knew it with everything he had, just like he knew he loved Sarah. He loved Rayne so much, it scared him. Sarah was his little sister. Of course he loved her. But he loved Rayne in a way much deeper, much darker in some places. Angie would even admit, very grudgingly, that it was almost obsessive. Now that he knew what life was like with her, the idea of life without her... It was like trying to think through broken glass.

He had to keep her, somehow.

My words, they pour
Like children to the playground
Children to the playground
You make me smile

--"You Make Me Smile", Blue October

Rayne helped him get the job at Sal's bar. "Angie, if you're going to be a bouncer where I work, you can't just focus on me, okay? You have to make sure none of the servers are harassed."

"Fine. I promise that I will beat up everyone that harasses a server as much as I would if they harassed you."

Rayne's scolding tone was ruined by the fact that she was smiling in amusement. "That's not what I meant."

"So I shouldn't rough up and throw out people who harass the servers?"

"Angie." She was smiling still.

He only grinned.

Girl I know there's times you must have thought
There ain't a line you've drawn I haven't crossed
But you set your mind to see this love on through
I guess that's just the cowboy in you

--"The Cowboy In Me", Tim McGraw

On his bad days after he was clean, he pushed Rayne. Not physically, never physically, but he was still sure that one day soon she would realize how broken and horrible he was and leave him. So he pushed her buttons, to see what made her mad, to see if she was serious when she said he was stuck with her for good.

Rayne saw through him, every time, and she only gave him the look she always gave him when she thought he was being particularly difficult about things, the one that always made him shut up and apologize.

Maybe it's hopeless.
Maybe I should just give up
What if I can't trust myself?
What if I just need some help?

--"Maybe", Sick Puppies

Rayne asked, of course. She asked why Angie acted the way he did sometimes, and Angie surprised himself by telling her. He knew he loved her, but telling her everything was something else. He mentioned what Sarah had mentioned once, that he might be bipolar, and Rayne took to the idea like a dog to a bone. She didn't leave Angie alone until he saw someone and got an official diagnosis, got some medication to help.

Sarah probably would have loved knowing that she was right, if Angie thought she'd care to know at all.

I'm a little bit late but I'm wisin' up
Now I'm takin' her by the hand
And startin' today
All I'm gonna be is her man

--"Her Man", Gary Allan

A few months after that, Rayne actually wanted to marry him. It was done by someone who owed Sal a favor at the closest courthouse, with Sal there to give Rayne away. They had a party at Sal's bar afterward, where Sal let Angie drink for free for the first and only time.

He didn't enjoy it for long. They only stayed long enough for a few drinks before Rayne was practically dragging him into a cab, and he only had a few seconds to truly complain about it before Rayne was distracting him with other things.

I need you
Like the sun needs the rain
Can't think of any better way to say
I need you
Say you need me too

--"I Need You", Saving Abel

Angie knew how goddamn lucky he was to have Rayne. Rayne was gorgeous, smart, could have done a hell of a lot better for herself than Angie. Angie knew that Rayne was the best he would ever get. If he screwed up with her, there was no recovering from it.

He made sure to tell her that as much as he could, that she was the best thing that ever happened to him, that he needed her like air. Rayne always smiled and kissed him and said she loved him in response, and he believed her.

I’m cleanin up my act, little by little
I’m getting there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

--"Better Than I Used To Be", Tim McGraw

He still had some bad episodes, but according to his shrink, Angie was "much more stable." It was sort of boring, compared to the ups he used to have, but Rayne made up for it. Rayne made up for nearly anything he had given up to get to this point. She even made up for the fucking side effects the meds had on him.

But he still had some bad episodes. He still got angry. He did his best to never get angry at Rayne. It never worked, but Rayne was good at calming him down and making him better.

No, life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

--"Life Ain't Always Beautiful", Gary Allan

There was a point when even Rayne couldn't make him better. Cancer, something they couldn’t afford to fight but tried to anyway. Angie knew as soon as the doctor told him that it wasn't something he was going to get over, but he tried for Rayne's sake. He saw how much the idea of losing someone scared her, and he never wanted to be the reason for that.

But life never happens in the way people want it to. Rayne was the one who denied it when the doctor told them that Angie had reached stage 4. Angie knew better.

You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believe it
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

--"Ishwilf", Disturbed

He had regrets, of course. He never wanted to leave Rayne, not this soon, not ever. Rayne had only mentioned children a few times before they got the cancer diagnosis, but she had still mentioned it. The idea had stuck in Angie's mind, even if it was only a pipe dream. Even if he had lived, who would have adopted to them?

He had never tried to get in contact with Sarah, either. Rayne had tried to make him, but he had resisted. Sarah hadn't wanted to see him before.

Why would she want to watch him die?
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)

[personal profile] subluxate 2012-02-02 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
It was like trying to think through broken glass.

I still love that line.

You handled bipolar disorder and genderqueer issues really well, and I like how Angie accepted one easily because it fit but not the other because he wasn't sick. Good job!
walkwithheroes: [Secret Dairy] (Only Just Begun)

[personal profile] walkwithheroes 2012-02-02 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
This is so beautiful and heartbreaking. I just want to take your characters and hug them tight and keep them safe.
bookblather: A picture of Yomiko Readman looking at books with the text "bookgasm." (Default)

[personal profile] bookblather 2012-02-03 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
I agree that thinking through broken glass is an awesome line, and OMG THIS MIX. Heartbreaking and awesome and I just want to cuddle Angie to my bosom and make everything better for him. Nobody should ever have to hurt that much. :(

Fabulous job, bb. <3