He doesn’t know.
He doesn’t know what it feels like to have iron literally welded into your flesh. To feel the blood pumping past it, throbbing, throbbing, throbbing. He doesn’t know that I can feel the electricity pulsing through me, humming, until I feel as if I’m a hornet’s nest of buzzing, stinging pain.
He doesn’t know the constant hunger. My stomach is still here, a yawning gulf of hollowness. My intestines have gone. I can never eat again. The hunger burns and burns, gnawing at my belly. It should have shrunk, burying the hunger with it, but the surgery kept it active. What the hell cyberkind needed my stomach for is beyond me, but I feel that hunger.
He doesn’t know how much my head aches. The buzzing and the throbbing and the pain, augmented through a thousand cybernetic channels that half my brain wasn’t primed to accept. My body is mostly healed around the surgical implants. Most of my pain isn’t from the augmentation anymore, but from the headaches. It aches so much that if I could just rip open my head and take out my aching brain, I’d have done it long ago.
He doesn’t know how bored I am. I drift from dreams of incomprehensible binary numbers into unpleasantly aware moments of consciousness, where all I see is blackness and blank grey walls. The boredom and the pain vie in my head for which is worst. Usually the pain wins. But not always.
He doesn’t know how his touch hurts me. How when he kisses my half-numbed mouth a thousand little nerves jangle in metal twisted synapses, causing lighting bolts through my brain and aches all down my body.
He doesn’t know how much I love him. It doesn’t matter how I say it or what he feels for me. I love him enough to bite my lip until it bleeds rather than beg him to kill me. I love him enough to pretend there is no pain, rather than watch his face crumple in that sympathetic agony. I love him enough endure this half-life in the hopes, the glimmer of hope, that I can find my humanity again. For him.
He doesn’t know how I hate him sometimes, too. How the love and the hate tangle together in a twisted web of confusion. How the pain grates and grinds at me, drawing me down and down, further away from humanity. I’ve started to hate my humanity. Humanity is pain. Humanity is listening to my lover as he opens himself to another, groaning and submitting to things he would never have done with me. Humanity is burning jealousy, because I can no longer feel him inside me, no longer give him what he needs. Ever, as far as I know. I don’t even possess the equipment anymore.
He doesn’t know I can hear them. My hearing is almost entirely
cybernetic, and I can hear the roaches crawling in the sewers flanking this place, the people talking above on the concourse, and of course every sound picked up by a wireless. They all stream into my head. I hear them. The two of them. As Ianto bows his head and bends himself and opens himself for the one he calls Jack. The one who scares him so. He doesn’t know I can hear him as he cries out, Oh, God. Yes. More.
He doesn’t know I also hear him crying. Sometimes, after he has sacrificed himself on the alter for Jack’s distraction. More often after he has come to my dark, cold room, and then left again. He doesn’t know how much I wish I could get down off this cursed bed and gather him into my arms and tell him how sorry I am and that I’ll make it all all right. When we were together, I took care of him, more often than not. Now he’s all alone, and he doesn’t know how to do it.
He doesn’t know if he loves it or hates it. Being with him. All he knows is Jack wants it, and he can’t risk him having the time to ask questions. All he knows is that he’s lonely, and Jack touches him in ways I can’t.
He doesn’t know what I’d do for him, if I could. If killing myself would end his pain, I’d do it. I could. But it wouldn’t. All alone all of his life, until he found me. And now he holds me to him, and I hold myself for him, because he is everything to me.
And he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know about this signal that keeps pulsing deep in the corner of my brain, superceding even my binary dreams, over and over and over again until it could drive me insane.
CYBER AWARENESS AWAITING ACTIVATION
I wish I knew what it meant.