Title: "love bleeding"
Author: monimala
Fandom: GH
Rating/Classification: AC for adult language, character death.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, no infringement intended.
Summary: If he calls them anything at all, he calls them targets. Jason re-opens an old wound.

Don't fall away
And leave love bleeding in my hands.

He hates hospitals. He hates morgues even more. They're cold and they smell like antiseptic and industrial strength cleaner and shiny copper wire. But he makes himself go through the doors. He puts one foot in front of the other and passes the metal gurney with the shallow draining pan. That's for the blood, he thinks, clinically. And the piss and the shit and whatever else is left over when they sew the bodies back up.

The bodies. He doesn't usually call them that. If he calls them anything at all, he calls them targets. Hits. Like papers sliding up, shot full of holes, at the shooting gallery. Bodies belong to people and people are important. They have worth and value. That's something he's been told...not something he really understands unless he attaches the thought to Michael, to Morgan, to Carly, and Sonny.

And to the body cooling in the drawer that he pulls out.

He unzips the bag halfway. Corpses are not a big deal to him. Neither are bullet holes. He's had dozens of dealings with both. But he still steps back, feeling a flutter in his stomach that much be horror or grief or...something. There are at least three red-encrusted holes. No slugs. The coroner would've removed them during the standard autopsy. Shoulder. Arm. Chest. The Y cut where they sliced him open and then stitched him back together is raw, pink, against the blue-white pallor of the rest of him. Other than that, there are no marks. None at all.

Zander Smith is nearly perfect in death.

And it doesn't seem right.

He can't even add the telltale, familiar, bruises that used to be his personal road map to Hell. There's no blood to flush the skin. No breath to gasp and no eyes to stare up into his and plead for more.

It doesn't seem right.

They opened up his rib cage and weighed his organs. Jason wonders exactly how much Zander's heart clocked in at. He remembers its beat beneath his palm. Its worth. It's value.

No one needs to explain it to him.

But they do need to tell him...

how the fuck he's supposed to keep saying good-bye

to someone who never said it back

and never will.



August 29, 2005.

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