Title: "Flesh and Bone"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "Days of Our Lives"
Rating/Classification: SAC, Brady/Belle-ish (danger, Will Robinson, danger!), angst, language.
Disclaimer: The Cordays can take credit for these characters and the blocking that makes them a leeetle too close for comfort, lol. Not me!
Summary: While Belle is off in Paris with their father and Marlena, Brady takes some time to think about what she means to him.
Notes: Drcy corrupted me! Blame her! But dang, Kyle Lowder and Kirsten Storms have to share some of the blame, too. So cute. So blond. So touchy-feely. They truly bring these characters to life.

He has nightmares about his sister leaving him.

About her dying out on the train tracks because, this time, he couldn't save her. About her dying of pancreatic cancer like his mother. And then there are fires. Car accidents. Heart attacks. Murders. Explosions.

All sorts of hideously graphic, painful deaths that Doc would probably call a product of his warped mind.

His darling stepmother can go fuck herself.

She probably *does*...while thinking of Roman Brady.

He shudders, arc-ing around on his crutches and facing the expansive view of Salem from the penthouse balcony. It's a far more soothing sight than the image of the ice bitch with her lapdog of an ex'.

*There's* one nightmare he doesn't need.

The most prevalent one about Belle is bad enough.

She doesn't die. She's not covered in blood or lying, broken, like some beautiful doll who has seen too many days of rough play.

She leaves him.

She walks out because she doesn't care about him anymore.

Because she can't.

And because she wants somebody else instead.

It's a product of his warped mind.

*Ha*.

He tilts his head back, staring up towards the sky. The sun on his face is warm, is real. Bright. Like her affection. Like her arms circling around him in a tight hug...her lips brushing his cheek as she calls him a "loser" or a "geek".

He remembers whirling Belle around on this very balcony several months ago, joking about throwing her over the railing. How could anyone think him serious? How could her mother think he would hurt her when all he'd really wanted to do was cradle her close and protect her forever?

Even now, he wants to protect her from the drop. From the reality of crashing down and feeling helpless and lost and dead.

He would protect her from the world if he could.

Just like she would protect him.

He remembers her drying his tears about barely remembering his Mommy with her chubby fists and the edges of her crinkly little-girl dresses. He remembers huddling together under the covers with a filched flashlight and making up stories about space aliens and princesses and brave knights. He remembers her cheering louder than anyone else in the stands during his middle school and high school football games.

And, now, in his current condition, she kicks his partially paralyzed ass when he needs it kicked. She changes Wagner to some annoying boy band that makes him take the needed steps to the stereo so he can rescue his poor ears. She cheers up him when he's feeling maudlin. She even tries to matchmake him with obnoxious no-talent divas. And, most of all, she never believes what Doc says about him.

She's all he has.

She's the only one who has *always* believed in him.

She's like the spun gold from Rumpelstiltskin's spinning wheel. Shining magic. A beautiful and slender, barely tangible, thread that has more value than anything he's ever known.

Sometimes he thinks she's a changeling, a faerie child switched with Doc and Dad's real baby, because is she is too good, too sweet, too pure, to be made of flesh and bone and the fucked up Black-Evans DNA.

Or would that be the Alamain-Evans DNA?

He doesn't even know his real last name. His family history. The layers of his father's multitude of issues. All he knows for sure is that the only women who mean anything to him are named "Isabella." His mother. His sister. All he knows for sure is that he has all ready lost one of them...and he can't lose the other.

He *can't*.

He wakes up screaming at the mere thought of it...haunted, on a nightly basis, by the traces of his own cries echoing through the empty apartment. He has to remind himself that she's just in Paris...that she's not gone. That no one has taken her away from him.

And then he thinks...*yet*. No one has taken her away from him *yet*.

The day will come. He *knows* the day will come--if and when Shawn Brady gets the proverbial clue.

He knows something so uniquely lovely, so *Belle*, can't be his, and his alone, forever.

But she is his center.

But she is his absolute.

But she is his life.

He tilts his head back, staring up towards the sky. The sun on his face is warm, is real. Bright. Like her affection. Like her arms circling around him in a tight hug...her lips brushing his cheek as she calls him a "loser" or a "geek".

He always hugs her back. He always kisses her back. He takes those moments of closeness and tucks them away to be cherished, to be memorized. To be replayed when he is dying without her...when he is cursed and truly alone and wandering blind in his own Greek tragedy.

Doc would probably call it a product of his warped mind.

He calls it "love."

--end--

February 21, 2001.



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