There simply was no other way. The blade pressed down and his skin parted before it like the red sea before Moses; but it was a red sea now that he wanted to draw from himself. He could never bring himself to cut deep enough, though, and all he got this time was a stinging red line.
He bit his lip, slicing again, again. Five gashes. Eight. Some of them were crying tiny trickles of blood, but most of them just throbbed back at him. He needed, as always, more; wanted to soak his robes in it, stain the floor. Wondered whether, if he bled enough, it would drip through the cracks in the floorboards onto the people in the common room below.
It wasn't happening. He could hear the blade whipping at his skin as he tried more and more desperately to hit a point from which he could painlessly, endlessly, bleed. It almost, but not quite, drowned out the sound of the door opening.
He didn't look up as Blaise came over and sat beside him in silence. But when Blaise reached for the blade he jerked backwards and his gaze met the other boy's; nothing more than understanding in those deep green eyes. Draco felt cheated. Before he could stop himself he hissed, "Why aren't you angry?"
Blaise smiled, a little. "I've done the same thing myself."
"That doesn't mean you understand," he snapped, and the cuts on his arm pulsed in time to his anger.
"Oh, but I do." And it was so gentle, the way he slowly moved to take the blade away from Draco, that Draco couldn't resist. Blaise held the blade up so the light flashed off it. "My Draco. Do you want me to do it for you?"
Whatever Draco had expected, it wasn't that. He stared at Blaise and Blaise looked straight back, calm and serious. "Draco. All you're doing at the moment is giving yourself an array of painful and conspicuous scratches. You look to me as though you want to bleed, my Draco, and there's no way you'll manage it like that."
Stunned, shocked beyond words, Draco could only nod mutely. Blaise brought the blade down close to Draco's skin and, quite suddenly, leaned in and kissed him. Draco felt his voice unlocked by the kiss and he cried out then, pulling away. "Blaise, don't! I don't want...I don't want you to."
"Why?" Draco could have hit him for being so calm.
"I have to do it."
This time Draco did hit him, a sharp crack with his right hand, but he'd forgotten both how quick and how strong Blaise was; forgotten until he found himself facing away from Blaise with his arm twisted up behind his back.
"I'm sorry," he ground out through clenched teeth, and Blaise let him go immediately.
"I know," he said quietly, "Or I'd have let you go on hitting me."
Draco turned round. Blaise was looking at him sadly, that same expression of quiet understanding on his face. It infuriated Draco, but he kept his hands to himself.
"Why won't you let me?" Blaise asked. Draco had to think about the answer, and even when it came to him, it didn't sound rational to his own ears.
"Because...because I'm punishing myself for what I've done. And because I want to hurt myself. But I don't want you to hurt me. I don't want to look at you and remember you hurting me." He shrugged. "Something like that."
"I don't want to look at you and remember you hurting yourself."
Only now would Blaise let himself cry; Draco could have predicted it almost to the second. It wasn't that Blaise's tears weren't genuine, only that he used them in an unconsciously artful way; after his most devastating of statements, pleas, questions. Sure enough, he was crying, silently. And while Draco knew what Blaise was doing, knew exactly, because it was always the same, it did its work perfectly. It tore Draco's heart to see Blaise cry; tore it to shreds, and then, then he could bleed. Tears. Just tears. But it turned out to be what he'd needed all along.
Well, that was remarkably unpleasant after all...~s~ Tell me what you think...?
(PS Apologies to the person about whose cathartic writing I bitched - for here indeed am I, shoving my own in the faces of my LJ friends. I am sorry.)
PS - LJ spellcheck does not recognise "pulling" or "faces". ~ggls~