in aeternum part 2: eternus poena.
Ville/Bam. R. Warnings: language, angst. Beta'd by poisonxangel. I've decided to write more. Anyway, Silhouette is next! Promise! I'm also perfectly aware that this is far from accurate on any extraneous details, but whatever, that's why it's fanfiction. part 1: in aeternum
“There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery.” -Dante Alighieri
His eyes were gelled with tears, the tell-tale liquid staining his cheeks all the way down to his neck, where his long strands of perpetually wind-blown hair no longer rested. Instead, they were laid out at his feet, scattered across the bathroom’s tiles like refuse. His entire mane was gone, hastily cut away in a moment of sheer panic and abhorrence.
Scissors dropped from his shaking fingers. The metal shears made a sharp, final sound as they landed amongst the discarded clumps of hair: pieces of Ville’s once-life. All of that was gone, picked up by swells of guilt, regret, and faux purpose, and then swept back into the sea of his past, a past that was filled with lost hope. He was convinced that there was no way to get that precious, naïve feeling back again. Hope was a fragile thing, maybe even a childish thing; it was a laughable emotion better left to people who didn’t know the world at its lowest points.
His fingers found his face wet and warm, rubbing ferociously until the moisture disappeared, leaving nothing but angry red marks, remnant bruises, and stony malachite eyes. All of his pain resided there, beneath his callous, world-worn stare. He hated looking in the mirror, it only reminded him of how hard he had become. A soft, sensitive interior slowly soldered into the mightiest steel. He sang about love, about finding love, and feeling it, when he didn’t even know how to anymore. His raspy breath sharpened as he unbuttoned his pants, peeling them off of his thighs and his calves before he tossed them on the floor, disturbing the tangled mounds of hair, pieces of it lilting through the air, landing around his feet as he walked across the tiles.
The water stung his skin when he stepped into the bathtub, but he sat anyway, slipping into the scalding steam and liquid. He clutched his teeth together momentarily, gripping the sides of the basin in shock at how much the water burned. Getting used to it was arduous, but he took the punishment, because to him, it was his just dessert for being a scoundrel. He was a hair away from being a rapist, and he wanted to be scolded for it, at the very least, if not lambasted and beaten.
He couldn’t get Bam’s plea out of his head. “Please, you’re hurting me.” He closed his eyes against it. “You’re hurting me, you’re hurting me, you’re hurting me.” Over and over again it rang through his thoughts, compounding his need for consuming self hatred. The one person he had always promised himself he would protect, he would be patient with, the only love in his life that had lasted for more than a few years, he had hurt. The worst thing was that Bam was acting like it never happened. Text messages and voice mails came just like they always did, begging him to answer his phone, promising to come see him when the band played in Philadelphia. He didn’t want to see Bam. He didn’t want to be reminded of their last meeting, and he didn’t want to be reminded of what he couldn’t have, not completely.
He had to fight back more pathetic tears when he heard his phone ring again from the living room, Bam’s amiable voice echoing through the quiet house into the bathroom’s narrow corridor.
“Hey, Vil’, I noticed it’s been like…three weeks since you picked up your phone. I can’t get Mige on the phone either. I’m worried about you. Please, please pick up, or call me back. I’m not getting off the machine until it cuts me off,” his voice stopped for a moment, “I mean it. Pick up, Ville. I’m not…mad at you, if that’s what you think.”
Unable to stand listening, Ville grappled his way out of the tub, moving against the will of his sore limbs and his numb brain, dripping water through the hallway into the center of the house, where Bam was still spouting nonsense. He hesitated; the smallest look of reluctance tinging his otherwise desolate expression.
“Hello?” he croaked, cradling the slippery receiver in hand.
“Ville! Jesus, thank fuck. I was running out of stupid shit to talk about.”
“Yeah, well, I only picked up to tell you to stop calling me.”
“…Why? What did I do?” Bam implored, his voice reaching an altogether embarrassing pitch.
“You’re annoying me,” Ville said through gritted teeth. The resulting words sounded angry, biting, but he was simply teetering between tears, and he didn’t want Bam to hear him cry.
“Oh? So that’s it?” By the shaky sound of each syllable, it seemed his cover up had only served to make Bam cry. Again. “That’s all you have to say to me?”
“That’s it. Now fuck off, Bam.”He slammed the receiver down so hard that it shook the table, and with an equally shaky hand, he yanked the cord out of the back of it, effectively cutting off the power to his land line.
His cell phone was already off, so all that was left for him to do was to let the tears fall, spiteful reminders of how badly he had fucked up. They fell, and he cried. He cried for himself. He cried for his lost youth, and for all the hope that was gone. But, most desperately of all, he cried for Bam.
March 26, 2010, and he couldn’t avoid Bam anymore. The entire set had him antsy, terrified of what was going to happen when the lights went up, the crowd left, and he had to go backstage, where Bam would be undoubtedly waiting for him, despite everything that had transpired between them, and despite Ville’s efforts to keep away.
He grabbed his water bottle, chugging it down as fast as he could. He was determined to keep a straight, unfettered face on the way to the dressing room, just as he had the whole night on stage. The entire time he had blocked out the catcalls and the insane chanting of the audience. He only focused on the movement of his lips, the words of the songs, and the rhythm of the music. There was no way that he could let his preoccupations ruin another show. Whatever he might have said or done on stage, he didn’t remember, though, even when he finally swung open the door to his private dressing room, finding Bam reclining in his chair, silently playing with his cell phone.
He quickly realized Ville was there, though, and he looked straight up from the device, staring him right in the eyes with piercing blue.
“Bam, look, I don’t think…”
“Shut up. I don’t care about what you think. I’m sick of you avoiding me like this shit is all my fault. You’re going to talk to me.” Bam was adamant as he stood, taking three measured steps toward Ville’s personal space.
“What should I say to you? Huh, Bam? Oh, sorry for raping you, how was your day? I don’t know what you want from me! What can’t you just…hate me?” Ville finished, his breathing heavy and unstable. He was thankful the loud background music from the main concert hall was covering up his tirade. “It would be so much easier if you would just hate me.”
Bam reached up and ran his fingers over his creased forehead, the gesture woefully resigned. “Is that really what you want? For me to hate you? Is that why you did it?”
Ville wanted to shake his head, to deny it, but the question, so painfully asked, made him realize that it was true. That was why he did it. To make Bam hate him. To make everything easier. “Don't you ever think we would be better off if we would let each other move on, Bam? You could be happy with Missy, and I could...find some way to be happy.” He sounded so unsure of himself, because he was. He didn't know if there was any way he could really be happy without Bam, without at least some part of him.
“Don't lie to yourself. We tried that, remember? That's why I got married. That's why you asked Jonna to marry you. The fucking fact is, we fucking belong together, Ville. Us, remember? I already told you. I'll always love you. It doesn't matter what you do to me. It doesn't matter who you love. It doesn't matter what you do with your goddamn hair. None of it matters.” Bam dared to take another step forward, breaching the small distance between them. He grabbed the musician's scrawny, limp wrist, dragging his thumb over the heart carved there. “This is all that matters.”
Ville ripped his arm from Bam's grasp. For a moment, he had almost been convinced, connived by those baby blue eyes and that sweet, seemingly sincere voice, but after so many instances of being swindled by ostensible promises of fidelity and love, he wasn't willing to bend. “Yeah, it matters when we're alone, right? It matters when you're not in bed with Melissa. You see this, Bam,” he jarringly jerked Bam's wrist into his grasp, nearly shoving his own replicated tattoo in his face. “This is ink, it's skin and ink, and it means nothing. I want every part of you. I don't just want...Saturday night fuck-a-thons every other month. I want to come home to you, and I want to tell people you're mine. I don't want to play these stupid games anymore.” He let go, pushing past Bam and finding his chair. He sat down in it, facing away from Bam and his rejected expression.
“I can't just leave Missy. I made a promise to her.”
“You mean you won't leave her.”
“It's not like tha--”
“Then what is it like?!” Ville demanded an answer, turning around so he could look up at Bam.
“You don't understand. It's not so easy, Ville,” Bam said.
Ville stood, fishing in his pockets for a cigarette. It was a reflex after so many years, and he wanted to curse, to stomp, to scream like a child when he felt nothing there. Instead, he had to settle for gazing across the room at the only person to make him cry more than once. “Love isn't easy, Brandon. Love is hard. When you accept that, when you grow up, maybe we can have this conversation again. But right now, right this second, this is the highest point we're ever going to reach. This is what we keep coming around to. If we can't get past this, then this is where we'll stay.” He shook his head, the smallest, almost undetectable shrug moving his shoulders as he made his way towards the door, stopping just beside Bam's completely still form.
He reached over, his long fingers enveloping the skater's cheek, relishing the small touch that meant more to him than any of his most recent memories. Leaning into the body heat that had tempted him so many times, he placed a lone kiss on Bam's cheek, “Rakastan sinua, kulta, mutta se ei riitä,”† he whispered, his hand slipping solemnly back to his side as he made his way out of the room, the need to cry, the need to be alone, and the sheer agony of being so near yet so fucking far away, smothering him.
He was sure even the silent, lonely night air wouldn't give him relief from the endless pain of loving Bam Margera.
† translation: "I love you, baby, but that's not enough."