Title: Without You
Author: Carol Anne Caiafa
Fandom/Claim: Saw/John Kramer AKA Jigsaw. Written for the 10_per_genre challenge community.
Table: #9, Hurt/Comfort
Prompt: # 3, Nightmare
Word Count: 555
Warnings: Implied sex and implied violence, coarse language, angst, heavily AU
Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em, no profit, suing is futile!
A/N: This fic is set in an alternate universe where Zep survives and is working with John and Amanda. Certain parts of this story may therefore not conform to Saw canon. The story may contain spoilers for Saw 1-4. Originally written for my love and my inspiration, cassiejo.
Zep couldn’t concentrate on his chores. It seemed like he’d been beset by a fit of clumsiness that morning. Burning the toast at breakfast time, almost slipping when he mopped the floor and kicking over the bucket of sudsy water, and nearly pouring the whole packet of washing powder into the machine when he went to do the laundry – what the hell was happening to him? It was like he was trapped in some crazy nightmare that he couldn’t wake up from.
He stumbled away from the washing machine, almost colliding with the door before he roughly pushed it open. Something fell to the floor as he brushed past it, making a tinkling metallic sound as hundreds of tiny nails or screws spilled everywhere. Zep cursed and kicked the container, thankful that Amanda wasn’t around to see all this or she’d be yelling at him, which was the absolute last thing he needed right then.
Feeling frustrated and annoyed, Zep had to force himself to sit and calm down for a few moments. He found that he was breathing harshly and his hands were shaking, and before he knew it he was overwhelmed by a surge of emotion that made his eyes prickle with sudden tears.
Why, when he at last had found someone to love, did he have to lose that loved one all too soon? Zep’s chest ached, tight with misery.
“Fucking rotten cancer!” he snarled under his breath, tensing up and balling his hands into fists.
“Zep? What is it?”
John’s voice was calm and steady, as always, but Zep still looked startled as he turned towards his lover. “Oh, it’s –“ Nothing, he tried to say, but John’s unwavering blue gaze drew the truth from his lips in a torrent of words.
“Why, John, why? It’s not fucking fair! You’ve got so much to give to the world, so much to do, teaching those ungrateful bastards to appreciate their lives and you gave me my life back, gave me rules to live by, and how the hell am I going to live without you? I don’t want you to leave me, John, I don’t want you to fucking die…”
“It’s going to happen, though. I am going to die,” John told him, his tone softening slightly at the sight of Zep’s stricken face. “And as for how you’ll live without me, I know that you’ve got that survival instinct. You’ll remember what I’ve taught you. You’re strong now.”
John bent to caress Zep’s cheek, then kissed his forehead. “Just think for a moment, Zep – if it wasn’t for the cancer, I never would have begun my work. And we never would have met, never would have loved each other. In a twisted way, this is a blessing.”
Shakily, Zep got to his feet and took John in his arms. He tenderly pressed his lips to the other man’s, and felt John’s mouth open for a deep, warm kiss.
Breaking the kiss with a sharp intake of breath, John pulled back a little to start unbuttoning Zep’s shirt. “Forget the chores for a while,” John whispered, his voice a seductive purr. “I think we could both use a short break from all our hard work.”
Closing his eyes, Zep finally stopped shaking and felt the nightmarish feeling slowly slip away at last.