Title: Can’t Shake It Off
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Lord of War
Rating: M / FRM
Summary: When drug-induced hallucinations and unwanted needs begin to mix, there is no way out of the loop; one becomes another and the distinctions fade.
Written for: Del Rion’s Table of Inspiration #1. Prompt by daikirai; pic.
Characters: Vitaly Orlov, Yuri Orlov.
Pairing: One-sided Vitaly/Yuri
Warnings: Imagined incest between two men, language, drug use and addiction, suicidal thoughts, references to death and violence.
Disclaimer: The movie belongs to Lions Gate Films and Andrew Niccol; I have gained no profit by writing this story. The characters belong to the movie, and the possible real people behind those characters to themselves.
Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)
About Can’t Shake It Off: My first story in this fandom – but hopefully not the last. I am a great fan of the movie itself (for once I even liked Nick Cage’s performance as well); Jared and Nick worked perfectly as brothers, and their dysfunctional yet loving relationship gives a lot for a writer to explore.
Psylocke (daikirai): I know this isn’t what you wanted, most likely, but this is what you get, so… *shrug* Try and like it a bit. :)
All in all, this is not a happy fic – at least that isn’t what I’m aiming for. I hope you “enjoy” it, though. (I also did more editing with this one than I ever have with a story, so… hopefully it was for the better ^^)
Chapters and their status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked (until further updates are marked).
Can’t Shake it Off
Written for Del Rion’s Table of Inspiration #1.
Inspiration by: daikirai.
You aren’t certain when it started. Most things can be easily pinpointed in your life: when Yuri first started selling guns, when he asked you to join his new “business”. Or older things – normal things; your first kiss, the first date with a girl who ended up hating you and talking you down at every chance… your first hard-on, and the first time you had sex. You can even recall the exact moment when you first smelled cocaine and knew you would always want more.
But this… whatever it is… this you can’t pinpoint on any particular moment. You aren’t even certain if it’s really there, or if it’s merely another shadow of a cocaine trip. You’ve learned that while high, your head and body can do the most amazing things, though when compared, the moments of clarity are far scarier. So, if this isn’t the cocaine feeling for you, maybe it’s all right you are worried.
You’ve always been close to Yuri. You know more about his comings and goings than anyone else, and even while you still wish you didn’t, it makes you feel important; wanted and respected. Yuri trusts you. Or did: he never took it well that you ran off to Bolivia with a kilo of his cocaine.
To remember that particular incident always makes your breath hitch a little, and your fingers curl.
You used to spend many nights restlessly shifting on your bed in St. Francis. Your body hurt from the need to get high, and your head – when not numb with something else – wouldn’t leave you alone. Yuri was the one who fucked up your life; he always keeps asking “why”, as if he can’t comprehend, and you never explained. Your brother was better off not knowing how fucked up you had become. And you didn’t want him to push you away either; he might have gotten the impression that you blamed him for everything and wanted nothing further to do with him ever again. But Yuri is your brother and you love him.
The lonely nights in rehab, though… They still haunt you, just like the things that first created them. You no longer know which is worse; dreams or memories. If you could erase the image of dying boys from your mind, you would, even if that would take something else with it too: you own nothing so precious that you couldn’t let go of it to forget that nightmare in Lebanon.
Suffering from withdrawal and what the professionals called “trauma” – even if you never told them anything about the gun business, of course – didn’t make it any easier. You kept remembering the shots, flying plaster and rock, and the smell of blood and firearms… You kept seeing the young bodies piled up, and the new ones arranged into a line for another volley of shots.
Once you got clean the first time, you made sure to keep a steady buzz on whenever things got tough – or before that, just in case. It made it all somehow more bearable for you, to be in such a dreamy state where nothing hurt like it really would. You had never been shot, but you could almost feel the mirror pain every time you recalled what you saw in Lebanon. And in the end, the pain really didn’t matter: the memory alone, mixed with guilt, was strong enough to make you want to crawl into a corner and never come out again. That’s when you always gave in and reached out for a bottle of oblivion.
Remembering that you are the cause of so many innocent deaths made you feel sick inside. That used to drive you into doing drugs. In St. Francis, when the nights were long and filled with anguish, you sometimes thought of death and how much easier it would be. Unfortunately the Rehabilitation Centre staff had removed any temptations from your room, so by the time the morning came, the yearning had usually passed as well.
Funny thing, especially after you got out of rehab, was that every time you saw a gun in the news, you instantly thought of Yuri; even before you could think of Lebanon or the small bodies hitting the stone wall, bleeding and broken, life seeping out of them through ragged bullet holes… And every time you think of Yuri these days – like now – it tingles in the pit of your stomach and makes your chest tighten.
Yuri has been something special to you for so many years. He was always the big brother you looked up to, of course, but later when he took you into his business – you and no one else – it changed something. Made you feel important even after it screwed you up in the worst way possible.
All the nightmares, drugs, self-hatred and denial have made a dent in you. It has made you less of a person – less of a man. Maybe it made you more like a dog that you tried to warn yourself about, but then again, a dog would have more sense to deal with all this than you have.
A dog wouldn’t think like this about its own brother as you have thought of Yuri lately. You tried to blame it on the drugs and alcohol at first, but the truth remains that you don’t know what started it. Maybe nothing did; maybe everything did. Everything Yuri put you through. Maybe it created this twisted perversion in your head.
He’s sitting with you in his limo again, ready to take you back to St. Francis. It feels oddly like going home by now. At least he waited past the New Year before dragging you back there, though you were able to tell your parents weren’t too happy about it. They are no longer able to look you in the eye when you’re sober, remembering how you acted before, and sometimes you’re tempted to tell them that it is all because of Yuri that you’re so fucked up. Then again, you don’t know if it’s Yuri, or something about you that was just waiting to be unleashed.
Just like this… You’re feeling the need for a high just as vividly as if you could feel the burn in your veins. The yearning has intensified after you started to acknowledge it. Sometimes your curiosity gets the better of you, and in the secrecy of your head you indulge in it for a moment: what would it be like? You know Yuri is your brother, same flesh and blood, and what your mind suggests is impure and dirty. At the same time, what you’ve done recently is hardly anything to look up to, so what does it really matter? It’s not like anyone would expect anything better from you.
The car stops, and there is that familiar silence. You are thinking again: what if you reached over and kissed him? He expects you to act like a totally fucked up person anyway, so you could just shrug it off and blame it on the drugs. But then you would know how it feels – if it’s as good as your brain thinks it would be. Maybe it would be worse, and you could stop thinking about it.
Or maybe you would just want to try again and make it better.
“I’m going back to Ukraine,” Yuri says and shifts, pulling a small container from his pocket and taps it until a small white pile of cocaine is on the seat between you. There is silence – you resolutely stare ahead of yourself, or you might end up doing something you want but would regret anyway.
“I miss Odessa,” you reply. You really mean it too. Life was so much simpler back then. No drugs, no obsession with your brother, and Yuri was still like everyone else.
You eye the coke once, though, and that’s all it takes, because you know it will be the last fix you’ll get for a while. You bow your head, and can feel Yuri’s hand on top of it, fingers grazing your hair, and for a moment you wonder what he might do if instead of snorting the coke you settled your face in his lap. He seems ashamed by this already – resigned to the way he is giving in to you one final time before checking you into rehab – but you guess there would be a lot more “shame” in the alternative… shame and so much more.
The powder burns your nose, but not as much as it used to. Now it is a familiar sensation. You pull up after you are done, killing the illusion of something else. Still… “I miss you,” you say.
“I miss you,” he replies, but in a way he doesn’t mean it like you do. And honestly, you are not sure if you miss him, or just part of him that you’ve never had – or never will. Still, you dare yourself to kiss his cheek and hug him – touch him – even if all you want to do is cross the line, just once, to see what it’s like. You tell him what you think about his business; he says you are high, and you hope then that you would have the nerve to take advantage of that.
The moment you leave the car, you know you’re back to where it’s all in your head again.
You don’t know when it began, these thoughts, but you know one thing: they are not going to disappear any time soon.