Gray Matter:
Coagulation

Written By:
Shadow 'Kite' Kitsune

Prologue

A nurse arrived to the room of Ian McDermott, a coma patient that had been unconscious for nearly three years now. The nurse had come to tidy up his room, and check up on his vitals and empty his catheter. There hadn't been any change in his consciousness since he had first entered his coma, and it didn't appear as if that would change any time soon. He remained completely unresponsive, no reaction to light or the voices of his family who had often come to visit him. It seemed as if he were dead, save for the fact that his heart continued to beat, and his blood continued to flow.

While the nurse checked his pulse, his heart beat, and his catheter, a sudden movement caught her attention. She was bending over, tending to his catheter when she saw the sudden twitch of his eyelids. She froze where she was at, and stood up straight. She moved in close to Ian, and swallowed. Ian's brow furrowed, and his hand suddenly twitched. He then lifted one hand, and put it up to his head, massaging it gently. He groaned softly, and that's when he finally opened his eyes. He quickly covered them with his hand, protecting them from the sudden exposure to light. Once his eyes adapted, he found the nurse standing over him, mouth trembling with disbelief. He swallowed, and choked out his words.

"Wa-er..." he said, his throat parched. "I... need... wa-ter..."

The nurse's eyes grew three sizes larger as she covered her mouth with her hand. Backing out of the room, she threw the door open, and hurried out into the hall.

"Somebody get Dr. Bromwell! His patient! He's awake!" she exclaimed.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Dr. Adam Bromwell as he leaned over Ian, shining a light in his eye to measure the responsiveness of his retinas. "I have never seen such a remarkable recovery from a longer term coma such as this in all my life."

Ian's mother, Sharon, and his step-father, Brian, stood holding one another, overjoyed that Ian had recovered from his coma completely. It was a most unexpected event, one of which they had been anticipating for a long time now. Now that it had finally come, they truly didn't know how to react. Ian appeared to have all his memories intact, with barely any lapse of memory except for those involving the cause of his coma. He had no recollection of anything that had occurred prior to his coma, or after for that matter. He was missing over three years of his life, and there was hardly no hope of any recollection of those memories. Regardless, his parents were overjoyed that their son had finally recovered, and were looking forward to finally having their life return to normal.

After briefing Ian's parents over everything they needed to know, he left them alone to be with their son for a while and fill him on everything that had happened during the three years he was in his coma. In the meantime, Dr. Bromwell slipped outside, and was immediately approached by a short woman dressed in a mauve business suit. Her firm breasts, short, curly dark hair, and straight posture identified her only as Cynthia Monroe, the head of the Institution for Young Telepaths. She had an aura of authority around her which granted her the imposing figure that she quite effortlessly brought out. Dr. Bromwell had known her for a number of years, and had gotten to know her rather well at that. She strode up to him, and offered a finely manicured hand to him. With a tight lipped smile, and greeted him.

"Dr. Bromwell, it's a pleasure to see you," she said. "I heard that Ian has recovered."

Dr. Bromwell smiled, and nodded.

"Yes, that is indeed correct. He woke up from his coma this morning while a nurse was tending to him. It was most unexpected, I must say."

"I can see why," Cynthia said. Her expression turned serious all of a sudden. "What have you of his memories? Is there anything that you feel could be a threat?"

Dr. Bromwell shook his head, and shrugged.

"I did an extensive scan of his mind. I found no memory of anything relating to the institute or any of the students. It's as if all but his earliest memories of before he arrived at the institute have been erased."

"Do you think this is Alex's work? Or just the work of amnesia?" Cynthia inquired.

"I'd have to say Alex. Usually amnesia affects random memories, not just certain ones. But regardless, I sincerely doubt that there's any need for you to worry about the well being of any of your students, current or former."

Cynthia smiled, and nodded.

"Excellent," she said. "That was all that I wanted to know." Her and Dr. Bromwell shook hands, and bid each other farewell. Then Cynthia left, leaving Dr. Bromwell standing in the hall by himself. He smiled, and tucked his hands into his doctor's coat.

'She's some woman,' he thought.

"No..."

Blood stained his brow.

"Rob-"

A weight bore down on his chest.

"-bie..."

His body ached, and his legs grew numb.

"No... this can't..."

Tears streaked his face, his throat getting sore.

"...you can't..."

The young man with jet black hair and insane evergreen eyes stood before Robbie, who's arms and legs were chained to a stone slab. His shirt had been torn off, blood streaking his face, his neck, his chest. He was in agony, but was too exhausted to make a sound.

"...don't... die... please."

The young man with the jet black hair lifted a bloodstained double edged sword up over his head, and began cackling incoherently. Suddenly, with a single thrust, he drove the blade down through Robbie's chest, spearing diagonally through to his lower back. A fountain of blood poured from his wounds, spraying into the air like a spring of sanguine. And all Alex could do was watch in petrified horror. His chest tightened, and his heart ached as he screamed the loudest that he could.

"ROBBIIIIIIIIIIIE!"

He bolted upright in bed, startling the sleeping mass of his lover beside him awake. Sweat drenched Alex's brow, running down the back of his neck and down his back. Robbie had quickly flipped on a lamp to tend to his frightened boyfriend, instinctively wrapping his arms around him to assure him of his presence.

This hadn't been the first time Alex had woken up in the middle of the night because of some terrifying nightmare. It happened two or three times a week now, and every time, Robbie would always ask, "What's wrong? What happened? Did you have another dream?" And every time, in reply, Alex would simply shrug it off, saying, "It was nothing, just a stupid nightmare." But this time, it was different. Robbie could feel Alex shaking in his arms, the cold touch of tears dripping down onto his bare chest. Alex was crying, which was something he rarely did without good meaning.

After managing to settle him down, Robbie set back in bed, allowing Alex to rest his head on him while he stroked his lover's shaggy jet black hair. Once he was able to, Robbie began his questioning phase.

"What happened? Did you have another bad dream?" he asked, running his fingers through Alex's bangs.

Alex was still shivering, holding on tightly to Robbie as he swallowed.

"I saw... I saw you..." he said.

Robbie cocked his head to the side, and cupped his hand around Alex's chin to make eye contact with him.

"You saw me? " he asked.

Alex nodded, his eyes glassy with tears. Robbie sighed, and gently brushed a thumb over Alex's gently facial features. He smiled, and shook his head.

"I'm right here, baby. Nothing's going to happen to me. We're together, and there's nothing that's going to change that," he said.

Alex closed his eyes, and allowed Robbie to dry his eyes.

"You died..." he said.

"It was a dream, babe. It wasn't real. Nothing's going to happen to me," Robbie assured.

"I... I think... I killed you," Alex said.

Robbie paused, his blood running cold.

"Don't be ridiculous," he said.

"I know what I saw Robbie," Alex said. "I saw me... stabbing you... and I don't know why."

Alex broke down into tears again. Robbie embraced him, holding him tightly in his arms. He kissed him gently on the arms, and rubbed Alex's back.

"Alex, listen to me. It was just a dream. Nothing is going to happen to me. Whatever you saw was just a dream. Nothing can ever tear us apart. Nothing," Robbie insisted. "You hear me?"

Alex peered up into Robbie's evergreen eyes, and smiled weakly, drying his eyes.

"Alright," he said. "I love you, Robbie. I don't... I don't know what I'd ever do if anything happened to you."

Robbie grinned, and gave Alex a kiss.

"I know, babe. Likewise," he said. "Now, let's go back to sleep. I'll keep you close so you'll have me near you if you have another dream."

"Okay," Alex said, smiling.

Robbie switched the lamp off, and he and Alex laid back down. Robbie wrapped his arms around him, and in minutes, Alex was fast asleep again. Lying silently in the dark, Robbie nuzzled his nose into Alex's thick, silky hair, and sniffed it's fragrant perfume.

'His dreams... they're getting more and more intense,' Robbie thought, kissing Alex gently on the back of the head. 'I don't know why, but I think... they might be... visions.'

As Robbie lie, watching Alex sleep peacefully, he swallowed, and gently caressed his lover's cheek.

'I love you,' Robbie thought, smiling in the darkness, 'baby.'