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Fic: Mosaic - 8/? - Insomnia

Mosaic - 8/? - Insomnia

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: Yay! New chapter. Okay, I debated posting this, and then I debated whether or not to add it to my “Mosaic” series, and then I finally decided, eh, screw it. So, yeah. Here it is. This could take place either as it’s own little not-related-to-any-other-chapters ficlet or within a Mosaic-world, or whatever. Personally, when I wrote it, I kinda pictured it as a pseudo-cannon piece following “Forging Bonds”, but whatev. Anywhoo. Hope you like it.

Sometimes Mozzie suffers from insomnia.

No, that’s not true. He doesn’t suffer from it, not really, because people sleep too much anyways, and who is he to argue if his body sometimes agrees? But occasionally he can’t sleep. That’s fine with him, actually, because it gives him time to do other things. Like if he’s at Tuesday he can trim his Bonsai trees, or if he’s at Thursday he can study the constellations, or if he’s at Twelve he can work on his plan for world domination.

Or his Parcheesi skills. Whatever.

But the first time he stays over at Neal’s with a bout of insomnia, he’s known Neal for three months, and has decided that three months is certainly a long enough amount of time to know somebody before it should be okay to snoop through their home.

Thoroughly. While they’re sleeping.

Mozzie had searched through the medicine cabinet, kitchen drawers, the linen closet, and couch cushions, and had yet to turn up anything incriminating. (Well, incriminating by his definition. The Feds might disagree about the excess of lock picks and the aged sketch that looked suspiciously like a Da Vinci.)

It was frustrating.

Everyone had something to hide, everyone had something that they didn’t want people to know. And Mozzie loved finding out those secrets, loved knowing them. They were his insurance. He felt safer having that Ace up his sleeve, even if he never had to use it.

Mozzie liked Neal. He’d only known him for three months, but already he was fond of the boy. Neal was brilliant, and quick, and talented, and beautiful, in a way that Mozzie could appreciate, a way that went deeper than a pretty face and a charming smile.

But the problem was that Neal made Mozzie do more than just appreciate him for his skill - he made Mozzie care about him, want to look out for him.

That was dangerous.

The number one rule of life - never put anyone else’s welfare before your own. That was the most basic instinct of any creature - to survive, at any cost. Mozzie knew this. He didn’t think it fair of anyone to scorn this way of thinking, because it was a primordial impulse. If a bus is careening in your direction and it’s you or the guy next to you, the guy next to you is going under the bus, because if you don’t throw him, then you’re the dumbass humanitarian getting thrown.

That’s why Neal was dangerous. Because Mozzie had only known him three months and already he’s having a hard time imagining himself sacrificing Neal to save his own skin. Already he’s second-guessing whether he could do it.

And sometimes, when Neal’s laughing or painting or quoting Walt Disney back at him, sometimes Mozzie wonders if he wouldn’t jump in front of the bus for him.

That’s why Mozzie needs to find something, anything, to make him like the kid a little less. Like proof that he’s really Satan, or a KGB assassin, or a Fed or something.

Mozzie searched the back of the freezer and the toilet tank, just to be thorough.

No luck.

Finally, Mozzie decided that whatever secrets Neal was hiding, they must be in his bedroom. He’d check under the bed first, and go from there.

Quietly, he pushed the door open, and kept his fingers crossed that Neal was a heavy sleeper.

It was dark in Neal’s room, but the half-open door cast enough light that Mozzie could tiptoe over to the bed without tripping over his own feet. He barely glanced at the curled-up figure on the bed before dropping to his knees and using his penlight to search beneath it.

A few blank canvasses, a toolbox full of half-empty tubes of paint, and a dusty tome of Whitman that had gotten wedged between the headboard and the wall.


Disappointed, Mozzie rose to continue his search, and was brushing his hands off when his elbow hit the curtain and let in enough light for him to see more than a dark, vaguely Neal-shaped lump.

Mozzie froze.

Neal was curled up tight, long legs brought up so that his knees touched his chest, and his arms wrapped around himself. His eyes were squeezed shut, but wet around the edges, and his fists were clenched in a white-knuckled grip. The tendons stuck out vividly in his neck, and his mouth was open wide, and he shook all over.

He looked like he was screaming, but he was deathly silent.

Mozzie shivered and rushed out of the room, and it wasn’t until he closed the door behind him that he realized his heart was pounding.

He swallowed hard and closed his eyes and wished just this once that he wasn’t eidetic. Wished that he could forget this.

If Neal had made some noise, had truly screamed, then Mozzie could pass it off as just a nightmare. Everyone had nightmares.

But he hadn’t. Neal hadn’t made a sound.

That wasn’t natural. There was nothing at all right about that.

That was learned behavior. Miming your pain because voicing it got you hurt worse. Something you were taught to do, through consequence and repetition, until it overrode the basic animal need to give sound to your hurt.

Mozzie felt sick.

He debated going back in to try to wake Neal, wondered if it would help or hurt, or if he’d even be able to, with him so far into his mind.

He decided against it. He’d let Neal keep his secrets.

He sat down next to the door anyhow. Just in case.

He wouldn’t be sleeping tonight anyways.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness I love you! Everything you write is just so in-character, so real! It's like it belongs on the actual show!...It DOES belong on the actual show! You are very talented my friend, never stop writing please.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
Re: Admiration
*blushes* *hugs* I'm totally sending you imaginary cookies. You made my day. :)
Feb. 2nd, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
That is so eerie. I love your writing.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
Oh this was excellent. Very powerful and vivid.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
Oh. Poor Neal.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
I missed this series. Hope you won't abandon it
Apr. 21st, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
I heart Mozzie so damn hard, and this is such a great character study of him. Bless his paranoid little heart. Nice combination of skittishness and compassion at Neal's situation, too.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )