Title: "Song of the Little Death"
Author: monimala
Fandom: General Hospital
Rating/Classification: Manny POV, a few dirty words, adult themes, gen, filler fic for GH's train wreck, 11/8/05.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, I'm coasting on high school Spanish, and the title is shamelessly stolen from Garcia Lorca.
Summary: It's okay. Uncle Manny will tell you a story.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. She scrambles through the wreckage, the tapping of her claws telling him where to look, where to listen.

"Escucha, Javi," he says, for a moment forgetting that his brother is dead. "Do you hear her?"

Once, when Javier was just a boy, he found a kitten in the alley behind their tia's casa. Barely three weeks old, eyes still closed to the world around it. Manny held it on his palm, felt its heart beating wildly through his flesh, stroked its tender spine with his thumb. It didn't even mewl when he broke its neck, but Javi sobbed and sobbed. "Shhh, 'manito," he'd soothed. "It's okay. It's okay." He'd held the fragile body against his brother's cheek, rubbing the fur against baby-soft skin. "This is death. This is how it looks. This is how it smells."

*Escucha, Javi.*

"Carly," he calls, singing it like Mami's lullabies. "Carly, where are you?"

He does not expect her to answer. He calls mostly for himself. To hear his voice echo across the stones and dust and carry over the sparks. Even when he was a child, before Papi knocked up the gringa and gave him Javier to play with, he'd loved to sing. He'd sing in church, holding Mami's hand and wondering if the fires of infierno that the padre spoke of were truly hot or solamente warm.

Maybe some day, he will find out. But until then, he thinks this tunnel is close enough. And it is not his hell, but hers. Her nightmare.

"It's okay, Carly," he tells her. "I will wake you up from the dream. Come to Manny and everything'll be just fine..."

Her heart beats fast. Wild. He thinks she will fight him when he snaps her neck. She will not like a ring of bruises like pearls around her pretty throat. Women, he thinks, never appreciate the gifts men give them. Except Mami, when he puts roses on her grave. He knows she likes that. She did not like Javier so much, but she told him...she told him he had to love the baby. Babies were helpless. They did not carry the sins of their slut mothers. You sure, Mami? "Do I carry your sins?" he'd asked her. "No...no, mijo. You wear them."

He'd gotten his first tattoo when he was eleven. Tonio Juarez had broke open a pen and carved his mother's name on his shoulder with a sewing needle. Just like those fucks in the English prison movies. Big tough boy with the "Mom" tattoo. Que fuerte. "It's okay, Javi," he assures his brother - again forgetting. "I kinda liked prison. That was my college. Full scholarship and everything."

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

He steps over something that might be an arm. He wants to stop and taste the blood but he bets it's cold. Not like the edges of the wound Sweetness gave him. Still warm and pink, tasting coppery when he sticks his finger in it. She's next. She's always. He owes her a debt and he always repays.

"Don't worry, Sam," he tells her, closing his eyes, sliding his hand beneath his shirt for just one precious second of remembrance. "I promise our baby won't have any sin. Babies are helpless. They're innocent." Mami would like Sweetness, he thinks. Another gift. Louder, he reminds Carly, "your babies are innocent, too, aren't they, Carly? I think I'll visit them soon. Uncle Manny can tell them a story."

"This is death," he'll them, rubbing Jason Morgan's cold hand against their cheeks. "This is how it looks," he'll tell them, showing them Sonny Corinthos' sightless eyes. "This is how it smells," he'll tell them, lifting strands of their mother's bright golden hair to their noses.

Escucha.

Listen.

Listen for the kitten.

Eyes still closed to the world around it.

--end--

November 9, 2005.



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