screwloose: (Melancholy)
[personal profile] screwloose
Stein sat on the floor in his favourite laboratory, the cold of the concrete soaking into his body and leaching the warmth from it even through his clothes and lab coat. He hadn't turned on the lights when he entered the room, so it was nearly pitch-black except for a small square of light that lay across the examination table in the middle.

At some point when talking to Birkin, he had knocked over a rolling tray table, and several beakers had shattered, sprinkling glass like caltrops across the floor.

His phone sat on the floor next to him, forgotten. At thirty he had stopped counting, but Birkin still wasn't here.

He sat against the wall, humming to himself and flinching away from dark movements and shapes that only he could see, his eyes darting around restlessly in their sockets.

Date: 2009-11-15 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin wasn't really sure why he bothered counting himself. All he knew was that by the time he sprinted up the steps to Stein's house and threw open the door, he was at 128 seconds. His sense of direction had never been that good, Stein had no idea where he was, and it wasn't like he had seen most of the house the last time he was here anyway. Just the bedroom, the bathroom, the living room - which is where he currently stood - and... The lab. That had to have been it; that glass he heard shatter must have been a group of beakers or something. And best of all, he actually remembered how to get there.

He took off running down the hall, quite nearly tripping a few times before reaching his destination. 156. "Stein?" Birkin couldn't see a thing. He was used to darkness, but this was ridiculous. Vaguely remembering seeing a light switch when he was looking around the lab after being attacked and tied down, he groped for the switch, sighing softly in relief as he found it. 179. The room was bathed in light. And there was Stein, surrounded by broken glass.

Birkin took the opportunity to catch his breath a bit; running that whole way had made his lungs burn and now that he was coming down off his adrenaline high, the scientist was really starting to feel it. "Sorry I'm a little late." 201. He smiled, not daring to show his worry. "Traffic was just hell."

Date: 2009-11-15 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
"Yeah. You might have been able to see me a bit better if you turned on the light." Birkin laughed to himself softly. Shitty joke. His lip quivered for a second. This was nothing, he reminded himself for the umpteenth time. Just one of those episodes he talked about having. He'd be fine soon and everything would go back to normal in a few days, a week max. "I'm just happy you got back safe."

Birkin raised an eyebrow at the labcoat. "I'd put that back on if I were you." He took a few cautious steps closer - much as he hated to admit it, this sudden onslaught of psychosis scared him a bit. "We're going back to my world to help you get better, alright?" He closed the rest of the distance between them and put a hand on Stein's shoulder. "I know you think you have to stay here right now, but what you really have to do is heal your mind and get yourself back to normal."

His own condescending tone was starting to annoy him. Sure the other scientist might have lost it a bit, but that didn't mean he couldn't comprehend things to the point where Birkin needed to talk to him like he was a small child. "You really had me worried..."

Date: 2009-11-15 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
"The fuck do you think you're doing!?" Birkin grabbed Stein's wrist. It was mostly just a show and he knew it; there was no way Birkin honestly thought he was literally holding Stein back. "This is completely ridiculous!" Breathe. "You can't just cut open your head like this!" Calm down. "You'll kill yourself, Stein!" Just relax. "Franken, please stop... Just..."

Taking a deep, shaky breath, Birkin frowned a bit. "Give me the scalpel." He held his other hand out. "I mean it. You're not operating on yourself. Not while I'm here."

Date: 2009-11-15 05:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin immediately dropped the scalpel into his labcoat pocket. "Why do you think I'm upset? You just tried to..." He shut his mouth. No use getting angry, really. There was no chance Stein would understand in this state. Birkin sighed, and wiped some of the blood off Stein's forehead with his thumb.

"And he isn't going to cut out your brain. You are - no, not are, were." He really didn't want to have to stay awake and keep an eye on Stein all night. But then what else could he do? Call a hotline? Birkin scoffed to himself. "Your brain is fine. It's just the madness wave. That's why I'm taking you home with me."

He leaned in and kissed Stein on the cheek. "You're going to be fine. I promise." Though at this point, Birkin honestly wasn't a hundred percent sure who he was really telling that to.

Date: 2009-11-15 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin nodded slowly. At least he had some idea of what happened now. He knelt down and grabbed Stein's discarded labcoat, shaking it slightly to get any shards of glass off it before handing it back to its owner. "The sooner we get you out of here the better." Between how pale and cold he was and his near-constant desire to hurt himself one way or another, not to mention the unsettling laugher, Birkin's paranoia was skyrocketing. Or maybe this time he shouldn't even consider it paranoia; his fears were actually founded in something.

"I'll make this better," he said as he started walking out of the lab. "So don't even worry about it. This is just a minor, temporary issue." As much as Birkin believed he could probably do something about it, he could stop his voice from wavering slightly as he spoke. "I'm sure you'll feel better as soon as you get out of your world, anyway."

Date: 2009-11-15 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
"Don't thank me. It's no problem. Any excuse to kidnap you for a few days is thanks enough," Birkin said with an optimistic smile as he lead them back the front door. It was a bit shocking to see Stein being so... Affectionate, though. No, not affectionate. Scared out of his mind. Either way, it was still strange. Birkin placed his free hand over Stein's, hoping it would calm him down a bit at least. He was supposed to be the clingy one, not the strong one, damn it.

If this is what sanity felt like, Birkin really wasn't sure he liked it.

Date: 2009-11-15 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin visibly winced as Stein grabbed his arm again. That bruise was going to be an absolute joy to explain away if anyone saw it. Resisting the urge to just roll his eyes and explain that there was no guard dog or any kind of dog for that matter, oh and for the record dogs can't talk, he patted the hand on his arm softly. "Don't worry about the guard dog. I explained the whole story to him. He said it was fine for you to go, assuming I brought you back in one piece."

He shifted his weight forward a bit to hopefully get Stein to follow him again. "Alright?" Birkin sort of wished he was a bit stronger so he could either drag or carry Stein away from his house enough to get that hop back to his lab. Would have made this part quite a bit easier.

Date: 2009-11-15 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Ah, that guard dog. "Don't worry about him. He won't even notice you've left. And you know I wouldn't interfere with your experiments. I'd even help you with most of them." Birkin couldn't help but smile darkly. "Besides, if he really cared about you, he wouldn't have locked you up all alone. I'd never do something like that to you." Sure that might have been grossly inappropriate to mention, but Birkin was never one to waste an opportunity like that.

Once they'd gotten their worldhop back to Birkin's world, he had to admit he was extremely relieved. "So, feeling any less crazy yet?" He wasn't sure how soon the insanity would wear off, but he was hopeful it'd be sooner than later.

Date: 2009-11-16 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin fell to the ground, expression not unlike a kicked puppy's. He rose back to his feet, realizing that Stein probably hallucinated something - probably the only reasonable explanation for the look of terror on his face. Taking a few slow steps forward to avoid freaking the other scientist out more than he already evidently did, he knelt down in front of Stein. "It's just me. Just Birkin. No matter what I look like, I'm never going to hurt you. Okay?" Damn, was Stein shaking? This was going to be harder than he thought. Birkin sighed. "Please. I just want to help. But I can't do that if you're scared of me."

Date: 2009-11-16 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin closed his own eyes, leaning forward a bit to rest his chin on the top of Stein's head. Time to face the music... "I don't know how I can help you," he murmured, choking back a sob. "...I'm sorry, Franken." So this was it. Stuck taking care of a disease he couldn't cure for someone who couldn't even look at him without panicking. What could he do other than drug Stein up until he was barely conscious and nothing more than a dead body that just looked like him? Birkin furrowed his brow. No chance in hell he was going to let that happen.

"If just being away from your world doesn't help, it's going to take some time for me to think of a solution. But I need you to promise me one thing in the meantime." Birkin lifted his head up, hoping Stein would do the same. "Please stop trying to hurt yourself. It won't do you any good."

Date: 2009-11-16 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
"Yeah..." Birkin returned the hug and forced himself to smile. "Yeah, I'll take care of you." Not like he knew how to do that very well either, he thought bitterly. "Speaking of, I should really probably clean that blood off your face."

He slowly, carefully rose to his feet, grabbing Stein by the hand. "If it's alright with you, I want to hear more about what happened. It's fine if you don't want to tell me though. I'd completely understand." Whatever the hell happened, it obviously wasn't good, but Birkin was hoping there was something he could learn from the details that would help him figure out how to get Stein back to relative-normalcy.

Date: 2009-11-17 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin gave himself a mental note to avoid asking about any more details until Stein calmed down a bit more. Talking about it obviously wasn't the best way to get him back to normal if the giggling and disjointed story was any indication. Birkin had no earthly idea what this BREW thing was, but it sounded like a big deal.

"It wasn't your fault, you know," he said swiping the keycard to unlock his personal lab. "Blaming yourself won't do anyone any good." Birkin gestured at the operating table and opened a few cabinets before finding a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a bandage. "Sorry, but this is going to sting a bit." The very last thing Birkin needed right now was to have Stein freak out because it hurt a bit or something. "It'll be over soon though, I promise."

Date: 2009-11-17 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
He smiled. If not for the 'crazy' part of all this, it would almost be enjoyable. "You're my favorite, too." Anyone else went this crazy on me, I sure as hell wouldn't let them within ten feet of me.

"Just hold still." Birkin dabbed the cut with the alcohol while mumbling out random apologies, trying to be as gentle as humanly possible. Once he managed to clean most of the blood off, Birkin taped the bandage over the cut. "There we go. That wasn't so bad."

Deep down, Birkin knew he wasn't anywhere close to the root of this problem yet. He could dress wounds all day long, but it wouldn't do a damn thing for Stein's mental state no matter how much he wanted it to.

Date: 2009-11-17 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
"D-don't talk like that..." What the hell was Birkin even supposed to say back to any of that? "No one thinks you're weak for this. No one." He almost missed when Stein was raving about how there was a man with a knife after him. It bothered him less than hearing... This. With a sigh, Birkin hopped up on the operating table next to him, resting his head on Stein's shoulder. "There is no reason anyone would want to throw you away. Everyone from your world is probably panicking because they have no idea where you are."

Birkin rested a hand on the other scientist's thigh. "You're the strongest student to ever come out of that school. They wouldn't dare get rid of you. That's like me trying to get rid of Wesker; it just wouldn't make sense." He smiled slightly. This BREW thing didn't sound like good news, but Birkin wasn't about to bring that up anything that might set Stein off again anytime soon.

Date: 2009-11-18 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
"No they shouldn't have," Birkin said matter-of-factly, leaning over slightly and kissing the corner of Stein's lips. "I'd be heartbroken and alone in that case. And I don't think I'd like that very much. I... Would almost rather you go to Medusa than die. At least I have the possibility of getting you back with one of them." Although the thought of sharing with her of all people made Birkin slightly sick to his stomach.

Birkin couldn't help but smirk when Stein added on that sentence about him. It sounded like he meant it, which admittedly was a bit... Sweet. Birkin's cheeks turned pink, but whether it was from the touch or the compliment he wasn't really sure.

He was, however, pretty sure that it would be sickly easy to make an argument that he was just taking advantage of Stein when he was like this, so other than the blush and moving slightly closer, Birkin ignored the touch. "You'll be able to fight again soon. Save your world and all that. There'll be a big party in your honor. A parade maybe." He really is too damn heroic. Birkin smiled warmly. "But let's just focus on getting you to recover right now, okay?"

Date: 2009-11-18 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] touchofgenius.livejournal.com
Birkin's mood brightened considerably at the more normal laugh. Progress - just what he liked to see.

He snickered under his breath at the idea of Medusa making herself a god. "That sounds like someone we both know... Maybe you should get her some sunglasses and see if all potential gods like them." No wonder Stein was so conflicted about making nice with Medusa. If she was anything like Wesker, she was going to be charismatic and go a little nuts with the promises... Who wouldn't want that?

"Then let's get you to bed." Birkin slid off the operating table. At least he'd finally manage to fall back asleep now. "...And let's get me to bed too. It's been a long night."

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