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Let's Pretend the War is Over [Harry/Draco] written by [personal profile] pir8fancier & read by [personal profile] raitala
Author's Dedication: To Draco Malfoy, who, despite being batshit insane, noticed that I needed to say good-bye to my father.

Jensen Inside [Jared/Jensen, R, ALL THE PRETTY WORDS] by [profile] glassyskies
Summary: Having it Out with Melancholy


♥ i guess it's kind of funny/odd/o.O that i'd read and love these fics considering that one of my fandom nonos are fics where the characters psychoanalyze each other or talk to each other with mainstream psychology 101 terms. a lot of it has to do with the fact that i don't think dementia can be cured by following a set of predetermined steps, because a process depends on more than following instructions. i also don't like to feel like the diagnosis determines the characters more than the personality of the character determines the character. with a lot of fics that deal with mental illness it often feels like the titillation of dealing with the illness takes precedent over the search for understanding the people who suffer from it-- and idek. i just don't like that. this was not the case with these fics, though, and that's why i love them. they make me wanna read Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs. Dalloway' and her posthumously published letters, which i think is a good sign. o.O

♥ i decided to try the "Let's Pretend The War is Over" audiofic because i'd listened to raitala before and she has a simple voice that is inconspicuous enough not to get in the way of whatever story she's telling. i'd rather listen to an understated reading than overacting, which takes me out of the story faster than you can say William Shatner (i love you, Will!).

♥ it was cool to hear this fic first and then read "Jensen Inside" because --wow-- Draco and Jensen could not be different-er ;D. sure they both suffer from dementia, but one mental state is not like another, and people ain't either. yet there was a certain gorgeous frailty to both of them that spoke to me. it felt like sharing that fic-world was like being dropped inside a snow globe, except that the crystal was so delicate that one brush of the fingertips against the surface of the glass would be enough to crack it.

♥ in "Let's Pretend" Draco has these rules he has to follow in order to stay right on the edge of his (in)sanity and not fall over into the abyss. the issue here is that since he can't really trust himself (his moments of lucidity allow him to realize that he's not all there, there) many of his hallucinations are --in fact-- not hallucinations at all. in Draco's case, he has lost his family, friends, his social standing. the world has forsaken him, become the enemy, and so gradually the loss becomes a palpable thing for him. the world a monster called "The Outside" ready to contaminate him with its nothingness.

♥ in Jensen's case, the dementia comes because of-- nothing at all, apparently. it's like Joker's line in "The Dark Knight" Madness, as you know, is a lot like gravity, all it takes is a little push. Jensen's madness is like this latent seed that pulses inside and is at any moment ready to grow out like creeping ivy. there are rules here also, i guess, but they are much less concrete, much more complex and intricate. Draco is much more adversarial than Jensen is, and so he creates these insanity gods which he simultaneously obeys and plots against. with Jensen it's an insidious silent painful thing that can't be pointed to, obliterated, personified in any way. like the Tao of insanity or something.

“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly cockroach, fluttering creeping hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly insect. I was conscious only of my happiness melancholia as a butterfly cockroach, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly cockroach, or whether I am now a butterfly cockroach, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly cockroach there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.”
― Zhuangzi (Kafkad by me xP)

♥ in both fics there was a learning curve that their partners had to go through in order to -- dare I say-- help? with Jared it was anger and denial at first. incomprehension and guilt. with Harry it was his natural impetuousness, his blundering desire to fix and save. they learned a lot, though, from the love, from the pain and the heartache. there's a Francesca Lia Block passage that talks about how pain can make you see more or it can blind you, depends on what you do with it. both of these fics show that even when it tries to blind you, there's always second sight.

yeah, okay, so i like hope. suck it. ;D



Quotes from "Let's Pretend the War is Over"


The post-war years had not been kind. To put it mildly. Having been brought up with the tom-toms of tradition, history, and his place in this history beating in his ears on a constant basis, the silencing, no, the disintegration of those drums left an unbearable void that he was helpless to fill. The Manor destroyed in the war. His friends killed. His parents dead. There was really nothing left.

***


The hallucination placed the flowers on the table and then made its way over to the couch where Draco was sitting. Draco could smell the heavy, almost overpowering scent of the roses. He inhaled deeply and fought down a childhood memory of his mother standing over a vase, the flash of her diamond rings catching in the reflection of the candlelight as she arranged the roses together in a harmonious arc. The hallucination sat down next to Draco and put its arms around him.

***


He knew exactly when the abstract sense of this world holding nothing for him became a concrete sense of nothing. When outside had finally became the Outside.

***


He was now convinced that his old world had just floated away. Without those people he loved anchoring it, there was nothing out there. By logical extension, if you went into the nothing, you became nothing.

***


And what if the Outside decided to come inside?

How would you escape?

You couldn’t, you couldn’t, you couldn’t, you couldn’t, you couldn’t, you couldn’tyou couldn’tyou couldn’tyou couldntyoucouldntyou couldnt.

***


“Thank you for saving me. That was unbelievably brave. Although it’s probably raining stunned birds all over Diagon Alley. But it’s not real, Draco. Please trust me. It’s just sunlight.”

“Not sunlight. Real,” Draco whispered in protest.



Quotes from "Jensen Inside"


“He’s fine,” Jared says firmly, “it’s just work. And us. He wants a commitment or something, I don’t know. I’m not doing enough. I gotta figure out a way to give him more.”

Sandy doesn’t reply right away. After a minute, she says, “Just look out for him. You know, people are always saying what a great actor he is. Flawless. I’m not saying you’re not good, but he has this intense thing...”

“And?”

“And? Jared, there’s a point where it stops being really good acting,” the very true concern he saw in her face earlier returns in her voice when she tells him, “there’s a point where it’s just real.”

***


He breathes, blowing against the surface of his coffee so it ripples. “Yes,” he says. He sounds far away from himself, removed. He can feel the sun on his shoulders, but not the heat in his hands – nothing makes any sense. Nothing. “I need to ask you a question,” Jensen repeats. He’s full of questions, and someone must have the answers. Someone must have the one perfect answer to illuminate his life for him. Like it used to be.

***


“Fuck me,” he says when Jared tries to ask him questions. It can never be hard enough for Jensen anymore. And it makes Jared feel vaguely sick, like he’s raping the person he loves. It hurts him, just in a different way. Jensen never seems to feel any pain. What disturbs Jared the most is how Jensen comes. Silently. Beyond silently. There scarcely even seems to be a change in his breathing. Not that he’s ever been a screamer but sometimes, sometimes Jared gets the feeling that he’s not anywhere near Jen, not really. It’s all somehow an illusion.

***


“Oh for fuck’s sake... no, Jared, stop yelling at me. I’m not scaring him. He’s rolled over. Gotta get at his arms. Yeah, unless he’s got a sucking chest wound, it’s his arms. Well, I don’t know what he did, do I? I can’t just ask him! Yeah, okay, got him back over. Ah... come on, Jensen, don’t make this more embarrassing than it has to be... no, Jared, I’m not being cruel. Are you going to get a flight or just bitch at me all day? Sure, okay... I’ll check him over.”

***


He struggles. He tangles in the thick, scratchy bedding and throws it off, he breathes, his eyes rolling around as he tries to see his way out of here. Out of this. Out of him. He wants to jump bodies and be a different person. A different Jensen, other than the Jensen he is inside.

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