Chapter 1: The Incredulity
a warm, Columbus day during Tyler's childhood
a memory not fond to look back on
"Tyler, could you please explain to me why you did it?"
Tyler's mother spoke in a stern tone, her arms crossed as she looked down at her son who was in the corner, obviously in trouble for something he had done.
His siblings were a few feet away in the living room, laughing away to Tyler's favorite video game as they played it. He wished he could join them.
The boy's attention was pulled from his brothers and sister and he looked up at his mother, immediately stiffening under her gaze.
She used the middle name. Oh no, not the middle name.
"I didn't do it, mom..."
His mother's eyes furrowed and she sighed. She crossed her arms.
Usually, Tyler was a very good boy, she admitted it. But, there were times where "Tyler" suddenly snapped and would do something to get himself in trouble.
His siblings would swear they saw red in his eyes when it happened. Of course, she didn't think they literally meant it.
"Who else could've done it?"
It was quiet for a minute and Tyler broke eye contact, looking down and twiddling with his fingers. His mother raised her eyebrow at his action.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you..."
Tyler's mother had patience, but it was obvious she was irritated with this entire situation. At least she finally got an answer out of Tyler, though. He would always blame someone else and when she asked who in particular, he would shake his head and refuse to answer.
"Your brothers and your sister all saw you. Who are you trying to say did it?"
Tyler's cheeks warmed up with embarrassment once he felt his siblings' eyes on him, but his mother lectured them not to listen in as soon as she caught them staring.
Tyler swallowed nervously and looked up at the woman he called his mom.
"It was Blurryface."
The corner became quiet once again before his mother opened her mouth to reply, confusion laced in her tone.
Tyler's heart was frantically beating. He knew she wouldn't believe him, but Tyler wasn't a liar.
"Blurryface... Please believe me. He's been apart of me since I was really little. I can't control it when it happens."
Tyler's mother was surprised by his words, but kept it well hidden.
Tears welled in her child's eyes as he clutched his fists, trying not to cry. He didn't want to cry in front of his siblings. He hoped to God she would just understand. That's all he really wanted. It was as if he was being tortured and pleading for help over and over and getting nothing but silence in return since not a single person would take time to realize the harsh reality of Blurryface. But then again, any other normal person would probably think Blurryface didn't really exist.
"Tyler, sweetie," she placed a hand on the boy's shoulder, "Blurryface - or whoever - isn't real, that's impossible. I don't know where you got the idea of such a thing."
Dreading that answer, he immediately started to cry, his voice growing louder since he became frantic and desperate for her to understand.
"Yes he is, mom! I'm not lying! He has these bright, red eyes and he makes me feel awful all the time! He tells me I'm stupid and calls me a bunch of other things! Sometimes, he controls me and makes me do things I don't want to do!"
Tyler's father stepped in, cutting off his wife's protest. Attention was being drawn to Tyler once again. He was very embarrassed, especially since he was crying and sounded insane, even though it was all true. His father placed a hand on Tyler's back and attempted to lead him out of the room. His intentions were to get him away from the attention and comfort him upstairs, but Tyler pulled away from his father and bolted up the stairs to his room by himself.
Tyler shut the door behind him and pressed his back against it, releasing his emotions and breaking out in sobs.
"You just embarrassed yourself in front of your entire family," a voice similar to Tyler's commented accompanied with a snicker. Though, this voice was one only Tyler could hear.
"It's your fault why I did!" Tyler defended himself, wiping his tears away harshly before climbing into his bed and pulling the covers over himself and turning away from the door. Blurryface found amusement whenever Tyler cried. He tried his best to stop himself to avoid any more negative comments from his cold-hearted counterpart.
"Not every time. You embarrass yourself in front of them way too often. They must be pretty disappointed."
Tyler shook his head and pulled the covers over his head, closing his eyes tightly, wishing Blurryface would just leave him alone for once.
'I'm a good boy, I don't disappoint them.'
"It really sucks you couldn't be more like your brothers, now that I think about it."
"Please just leave me alone, I want to go to sleep. I wish you would just go away."
Before Blurryface could make another comment, Tyler reached over and pressed play on his CD player. Music always seemed to drown out Blurryface when he tormented Tyler.
He closed his eyes as his head rested against the pillow. As the disk turned, Tyler drifted to sleep to the vocals and rhythms of the first songs. Blurryface was not heard for the rest of that night. Everything seemed calm... at least for a little while.
Chapter 2: The Second Thoughts
Yet another flashback into Tyler's past, though this is set in later years when he is a teenager.
At this point in time, he is teaching himself the piano and composing one of his first few songs.
Blurryface attempts to tear him down once again, threatening that one day he'll be in control.
If you are wondering, the song he is composing is Drown from No Phuns Intended. https://youtu.be/M4pfuox1N8A
a day spent in the basement yet again
Tyler is almost an adult now
"Here I come, come to you,
in the very clothes
that I killed, killed you in,
and now I know I'm alone," ♪
With quivering hands, he pressed his fingers against each key, glancing towards the notebook paper full of lyrics before progressing into similar chords, creating another verse. Tyler spent hours upon hours teaching himself how to play the piano. He wanted to be graceful with his composing. He wanted to close his eyes and be able to play without effort. But each time he tried, his eyes would flutter open to the horrific sound of the wrong keys. At this point, he had messed up so many times trying to teach himself, that he was staring down at the keyboard in defeat. He heaved a deep sigh and dug his face in his hands.
"Don't you think that it would've been easier just to stick to basketball? A whole scholarship put to waste just for something you don't even know how to do," Tyler's counterpart ridiculed.
Tyler lifted his head, the negative comment causing a pang to reside in his chest. He was sick and tired of Blurryface's constant negativity. He got a real kick out of tearing Tyler apart with the things he said. It's gotten to the point where it's useless to even reply. Blurryface knew what buttons to push and he was good at pressing the right ones.
rain falls from you,
drown me?" ♪
Tyler muffled Blurryface's next comment by playing the next verse, although he tripped over a few keys. Music was one of the very few things he used to get him shut his mouth. He paused to move his fingers to the right keys then eyed the notebook once again.
"I wanna be a lot of things, so much pent up inside of me,
I wanna be stronger, I've sat her undecidedly,
Planning strategy, half of me knows it's all just a fallacy failing miserably,
drastically and then I crash dramatically,
His voice quavered and he almost slipped on a lyric or two, but once again, that didn't stop him,
Into a wall,
I've hit a hundred times before,
and yet I still ignore the dark red blood stains on the floor,
And I'm back in front of you Lord,
with blood on the floor, is the blood mine or yours?
Don't wanna do this anymore!
Back and forth between being me and who you call me to be,
you see a man free who thinks he has to buy a key to door,
but he can't 'cause he's poor and he can't fall down anymore because he's already on the floor,
and his heart is broken and all and this is his scar,
but it's warm from crying 'cause he will try nine times to realize nine crimes,
but he has more than nine lives,
so he picks himself up and keeps climbing for the prize,
He slowly pulled his fingers away from the piano and caught his breath. He rubbed his eyes, trying to pull himself back together since his emotions got the best of him during the song. Tyler was about to continue the rest of the song until a voice caught his attention,
"Wait, you wrote that?" his brother asked, awe evident in his eyes.
Tyler turned his head towards the doorway. He looked like a dear in headlights as soon he saw his brother leaning against the frame.
Zack's lips curled into a smile, "Wow, dude. That's really good."
In all honesty, he wasn't sure how to reply. Music was something he was insecure about. The only audience he really had was Blurryface. He wanted speak up and ask if Zack really meant that, but he couldn't find the words.
"Well, anyway, uh- Mom wanted me to tell you that dinner was ready," Zack said before stepping back. Before he shut the door, he added, "You've got to show me more of you stuff sometime."
Tyler stared down at his lap as thoughts and ideas began to sprout. There was at least one person who liked his music. Even though it was his brother, it was a start.
"Don't get your hopes up. You're not going to get anywhere with what you're writing. There's thousands of other people who want to do this too. You don't have a chance."
"Why is it that every time something good happens, you have to ruin it?" Tyler asked in defense, picking up his notebook and turning to a fresh page.
Blurryface snickered at his reply, as if it was completely ridiculous that he asked a question like that, "Because I want you to realize how pathetic you are for getting involved in something you don't have a chance at. This is ridiculous."
Tyler was about to write down a brainstorm, but Blurryface was ruining his mood. He shouldn't have replied in the first place. He should've just ignored him.
"What are you trying to get at? Why do you always torment me?" Tyler asked, giving in.
"That's pretty stupid to ask. Isn't it obvious? This is my body too. You're always in control. There's a reason those pills you were prescribed don't work. Stop pretending I don't exist. I'm your second face. Besides, I find it fun to torment you. It's amusing to me."
It was quiet for a moment. Tyler let Blurryface's comment sink and settle in.
"The last time you were in control, you committed something horrible. People don't understand that you're a different entity, so they put the blame on me. I can't trust you with my body."
"I think you mean 'our' body. Listen, I'm not like you. We're different. I get in trouble a lot and I like it that way. I don't sugar-coat everything like your therapist does. I tell you the truth. Now that I think about it, that's the one thing we have in common, Tyler. We're both honest."
Tyler sat as Blurryface's comment repeated over and over. He really hated how Blurryface could ruin his mood, but the things he said pushed him to believe all of it. What was the point in lying? His therapist didn't prescribe those pills because he thought Tyler would 'get better', he prescribed those pills because he thought Tyler was completely delusional. Those pills did nothing but make Tyler drowsy. The 'voices' he heard were supposed to disappear. But, they never did. Blurryface was real. Not a single person would believe him when he tried to explain that, which was very unfortunate. Blurryface was right.
"Please stop talking." He stood from his stool and turned off the keyboard before swiftly walking up the basement stairs and leaving the room. He wanted to avoid confrontation as much as possible, so he tried to get to the front door as quickly as he could. Luckily, no one spoke up or took the time to notice, so he left the house without a problem. Once he stepped on the concrete of the driveway, he stopped in his tracks and stared up at the sky. The sun was beginning to set. Darkness would color the sky in no time.
"I'm surprised you didn't shut me up with more music," Blurryface spoke up. Tyler knew that if Blurryface had his own body and was standing in front of Tyler right now, he would be smirking like the smartass he was with those glowing red eyes.
Tyler slipped his hands in the pockets of his hoodie and didn't reply. He didn't want to give into his snarky remarks. He just wanted to take a walk like any other normal person without an annoying and demented voice in the back of his head. He headed to the curb of the sidewalk and took a seat, watching as the colors of sky slowly changed. He knew if he took a walk, Blurryface would just ruin that too like he did with everything else.
"You know, Tyler," he rolled his eyes as soon as Blurryface spoke up, "The next time I have my chance to be in control, I'm going to take it. I'm going to make sure it's for a long, long time, so you know exactly how it feels to want out so bad."
"I won't ever let that happen," the teenager replied, his brown eyes gazing down at the asphalt rather than the sky.
"We'll see about that."
Chapter 3: The Fall
Towards the end of their concert, things fall to pieces.
Tyler strummed the ukulele with grace, paint-smeared fingers sliding against the metal strings of the instrument. His eyes were closed and his lips were pressed against the microphone. He felt the kick-drum emit in the core of his chest and each lyric he sang was mirrored back at him.
He opened those gentle, brown eyes of his, gaze fixed on the gathering of their hometown clique. Hundreds of them - more like thousands - were shouting the lyrics with their arms thrown in the air. It was Tyler's objective for the music he poured his heart and soul into to free his fans from restraint; for them to be escape from all their emotional turmoil for just a few hours. It was an exhausting job to do every other night, week after week, month after month, but Tyler and Josh were never focused on that factor. Their fans' comfort and health mattered the most.
After the last strum of his ukulele, the scene transitioned.
Tyler scooted the piano bench close then took a seat. He slipped off the white shades he wore for the previous song along with the floral kimono, leaving him in a sheer, black, sleeveless button up.
Without a second thought, he pressed his fingers against the chords and leaned into the microphone.
The mood fell from upbeat feel to something more... emotional. Cheering was still present, but it was quieter.
"It's been a long night, hasn't it?" Tyler asked, earning an uproar of cheers in reply.
Just a few years ago, he'd trip over notes and stammer a speech to a gathering of people you'd barely consider a crowd.
But, no, not tonight.
Though he didn't admit it nor believe he was a great pianist since Blurryface tore and clawed at his self-esteem, he was flawless with the piano like he always wished.
Blurryface was still there, but he was always muffled from the music and encouragement. If it wasn't for his fans and for Josh, would he have dropped to his knees and surrendered to the man identical to him with bright, red eyes?
"Last time we were in our hometown putting on a show, our crowd was so much smaller... I almost can't believe that this is real. Being here, in Josh and I's hometown, it's a wake up call for how far we've gotten," he continued,
"Firstly, without you guys, I don't know where I'd be. Definitely not truly happy for that matter. As sad as that sounds, please hear me out. This music is a way to cope, whether it's a method for you or for me. Blurryface used to tell me all the time I wouldn't even make it... But, look where we are now," he paused to take a shaky breath, feeling a heaviness settle in his chest,
"Josh, look at all of them. Look at what we built."
He looked back at the crowd to see many of them listening closely. Others were crying, he was sure of it.
"Secondly and lastly," he turned his head to look at Josh, "I couldn't do this without you either. None of this could have happened. I can't thank you enough. You're devoted and kind. I'm more than glad to call you my best friend."
Josh's smiled warmly at his comment. The fans, stretching from the pit to the lawn, cheered.
Their eyes met and Josh mouthed the words 'thank you'
Tyler nodded and smiled in reply then stood, grabbing the mic and walking to the center stage.
"Thank you for giving us this moment. Thank you for letting us play our music. You're what matter the most. But this night isn't over yet. There's other songs left for you, so let's continue this night, shall we?"
The sun rested as the sky became engulfed with a midnight blue.
Decorating the upper atmosphere were many stars that stretched far and wide.
From faint clouds poured a drizzle of rain. The fans seemed to embrace the weather.
"I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire, exhale desire
I know it's dire my time today,"
"Josh?" A certain fragile voice spoke up, catching the attention of the individual by that name.
Josh turned his head to look at his bestfriend and their eyes met.
"This is kind of... Out of the blue. But, I've been putting together an album idea."
Interest sparked in Josh's coffee brown eyes. "Really? That's awesome. What were you thinking of?"
"Well," he trailed off, giving his words some thought before continuing, "We all have negative thoughts and doubts, right? That little voice in the back of our head."
Josh nodded, catching on to what he was saying.
"I want to make songs surrounding that. I want to give our fans the ability to relate and connect to us on a certain level. I want to personify all of their thoughts and doubts- All of your thoughts and doubts- All of my thoughts and doubts into a person we can just sit across from and talk to."
After taking in the idea, the corners of Josh's mouth lifted into a smile, "Actually, Tyler, that's a pretty good idea."
"Well-" Tyler replied, "There's more to it..."
Josh raised an eyebrow in curiousity.
Tyler wanted to speak up about Blurryface. He wanted to talk about how his own thoughts and doubts were something more real than any other person's. But... He couldn't open his mouth. He couldn't bring himself to say it. Josh wouldn't believe him. Nobody would.
"Sometimes quiet is violent
I find it hard to hide it
My pride is no longer inside
It's on my sleeve
My skin will scream reminding me of
Who I killed inside my dream
I hate this car that I'm driving
There's no hiding for me
I'm forced to deal with what I feel
There is no distraction to mask what is real
I could pull the steering wheel,"
Tyler's mother ran her fingers across the vinyl case,
BLURRYFACE etched at the very bottom.
She looked up at her son. He had his hands in his pockets as he looked elsewhere, avoiding her gaze.
Tension lingered in the atmosphere.
"Tyler..." She said quietly, unable to form the proper words. She had questions running through her mind. She assumed the 'Blurryface' Tyler blamed most things on in the past was an imaginary friend. He had to be. Why was he showing her this? Why was he still talking about 'Blurryface'?
"I just finished this album. I want you to listen to it. All I'm going to say is... Pay attention to the last track, Goner. Maybe you'll rethink what you said to me when I was a little kid."
"I ponder of something terrifying
Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind
I find over the course of our human existence
One thing consists of consistence
And it's that we're all battling fear
Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here
Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking
I liked it better when my car had sound,"
Faint murmurs could be heard from the master bedroom. Tyler excused himself from the room not too long ago.
Jenna looked up from her phone a few times. She thought little of the noises until she heard a shout.
Throwing her legs off the couch, she stood in her tracks and awaited another sound before making a move.
"Shut up, Blurryface! Leave me alone! Just go away!!!"
She grew concerned and looked over at Josh who had a worried expression written on his face as well.
Wanting to make sure that he was alright, she hurried to the door. The blonde grasped the handle and pressed her ear against the door. She was puzzled and didn't know what to tell Josh when he shot her a 'what do you hear?' kind of look.
After a few quiet moments, she slowly opened the door to see Tyler pacing around the room. He was covering his ears and tugging at his hair. Once he noticed her presence, he froze under her gaze. He was visibly shaking.
"Tyler, are you okay?" Jenna asked quietly. She gently shut the door behind herself.
He shook his head quickly, "Please... Don't worry about me."
"You say that everytime you get hurt. Please don't be afraid to tell me things. Just let me help you," She replied, her icy blue eyes full of nothing but worry.
Tyler stayed quiet, keeping his eyes on the floor. Despite her words, he still seemed shaken up.
She took cautious steps towards him. "Tyler... Please."
Tyler dug his face in his hands, trying to avoid a mental breakdown. He hated falling apart in front of Jenna. He didn't want to ever burden her.
Jenna gradually lifted her arms. She held them out for a comforting hug. She seemed to stay like that for a long while until she suddenly felt a pair of arms wrap around her and hold her tightly.
She was in midst of surprise at the action, but welcomed every second of it. As Tyler shook and soaked the cloth of her shirt with tears, she ran her hand across his back. That night, he fell asleep in her arms and she made sure Josh was there to comfort him too.
"There are things we can do
But from the things that work there are only two
And from the two that we choose to do
Peace will win and fear will lose
There's faith and there's sleep
We need to pick one please because
Faith is to be awake
And to be awake is for us to th ink
And for us to think is to be alive
And I will try with every rhyme
To come across like I am dying
To let you know you need to try to think,"
The wind picked up, as did the rain, but Car Radio went on through the night.
Though wet by the pouring of rain, the fans turned in circles, wondering where Tyler disappeared to. He was no longer on center stage. This was usually apart of the performance, so Josh still hit the correct drum notes, knowing what to expect next. He was one of the few who knew were Tyler was, but he was still worried sick. Especially since it was raining.
Tyler rested his foot firmly on the first bar, grabbing the other to hoist himself up. He stared up at the rafter as it towered before him. He did this every show, but never in the rain.
He shivered as he felt water droplets fall onto his bare arms as he climbed further and further up the rafter.
"Tsk, tsk, Tyler. This high in the air? In the rain? Quite the risk taker, aren't you?" Blurryface sneered.
"I don't think this is the time to talk," he muttered, grasping the next bar, cold droplets against his palms, causing his heart to pound since his grip was loosening.
He couldn't pull away to wipe his hands on his shirt. Not only was it drenched, but he couldn't pull away or else he'd fall. He became afraid to climb any further up.
But, what option did he have? Continue to climb upwards or climb back to the bottom? Those thoughts began to scare him and he told himself repeatedly to avoid looking down at all costs. He knew himself well. If his gaze fell to the ground from the height he was at, he was likely to have a panic attack.
Despite the thoughts racing through his mind, the instrumental was still looping repeatedly until it was Tyler's turn to sing. He had a crowd awaiting him. He couldn't turn back.
Swallowing his pride and taking a deep breath, he looked down at the crowd. They were far, far away. He shouldn't have looked down.
Suddenly, he felt his chest tighten.
His breaths were fast and quick.
He was scared out of his mind, but what about the fans? He still had a show to put on. Everyone was waiting for him. Tyler was usually never scared like this. God, he couldn't deal with this. It was all too much.
But, Tyler decided it'd be better not to have the fans wait. He already made it this far. It'd be a bummer if he climbed back down.
Tyler reached for the next bar up, wrapping his fingers around the metal and supporting the weight of his body.
He rested his foot on the next bar, but... he slipped, the sole of his shoe squeaking against the metal.
He couldn't keep his grip due the layer of rain droplets as much as he tried to grab again and again, but there was no stopping to what was coming next.
In just a few seconds, the lead singer was falling... Mid-air.
In Tyler's eyes, it seemed as if this was happening at a slow pace; it was as if his soul was trying to savor the moment before he was God knows where. The brink of death?
He didn't know what to think...
He didn't know what to expect...
He just knew deep down that he wanted to be anywhere else than in this moment.
His vision grew hazy as soon as he felt a very sharp pain radiate throughout his spine and entire body.
All he could see were dark figures clouding over him. He could barely register the hands grabbing at him or the faint screams in the background. They weren't 'happy' screams, he noted. They weren't anything like cheers.
Josh stormed off of the stage and the song came to a halt. He hopped over the barricade, shouting Tyler's name over and over. Security guards tried their best to keep Josh not only away from the crowd, but the situation. They pulled him back each time he threw himself to where Tyler was, desperately reaching out.
Tyler's senses were fading rapidly.
The lights faded.
The shouting faded.
The shaking and grabbing faded.
The droplets he felt against his skin faded.
"And now I just sit in silence,
And now I just sit!
And now I just sit in silence,
And now I just sit in silence,
And now I just sit in silence,
And now I just sit!"
Chapter 4: The Trauma
Josh and Jenna recieve the news on Tyler.
This chapter is a little short, but I wanted to put my next idea into a whole other chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
the morning after the incident
Josh couldn't lay his head down to rest until he knew that Tyler was alright. The doctor said he'd get back to Josh on Tyler's critical condition, but there was no word from him the rest of the night, therefore he was wide-awake and on a constant edge - stricken with anxiety. They weren't allowed to see Tyler until the doctor spoke with them.
Only just a few hours ago, Jenna fell asleep. She sobbed and sobbed into the hoodie she borrowed from Tyler for God knows how long. She was in a state of devastation- maybe beyond that. Josh was just as devastated as Jenna. Instead of crying himself to sleep, he paced around the hospital and wandered in halls. He took the elevator countless times. He couldn't stay in his seat or his worries and thoughts would take his last bit of sanity. He was losing it here and it hadn't even been a full day since Tyler was admitted.
There was a queue of security outside of the hospital. They prevented any fans from disturbing Josh and Jenna or finding their way to Tyler's room. Although, it was best to be left alone for now, the drummer couldn't help but sympathize with them. It was difficult to imagine the count of people who were utterly heartbroken.
A haze of silence lingered in the doctor's office. Josh could only hear the loud thumping against his chest. Jenna sat beside him, despair clear in her light, crystal blue eyes as she gazed down at the tile. Grief and exhaustion didn't compliment her features at all. Josh hugged himself tighter, almost nauseous by the thought of hearing the results. They sat there for a long, long while - each minute mentally torturing - until the door slowly creaked open. Josh shortly glanced over his shoulder to see a doctor with a clipboard in hand. Jenna didn't bother turning her head, yet alone tearing her eyes from the floor.
"I have to apologize that it took awhile to finally get results, but you don't have to wait any longer," the doctor spoke up before taking a seat and skimming over the writing on the clipboard. The doctor knew by the look of it, they wouldn't reply, so he continued,
"I have the results as of now. Tell me whenever you're ready and I'll-"
"Tell me them," she shakily said, cutting off his sentance and looking back at him. She had a desperate yet stern look in both of her eyes. Josh's shoulders tensed more than before, nothing close to prepared to the horrid news the two of them would recieve. There was no hoping for something better.
"Alright, if you're sure you're ready," the doctor replied, surprised by her sudden words. He pushed his glasses upwards as they settled on the bridge of his nose and he skimmed the paper one last time.
"I'll start with the little things so that you're not overwhelmed and have sense of good news. I want you to know that he's alive and breathing," he said, looking at them closely. Both of them were cleary on the edge of their seat.
"Tyler fell from a very tall structure. Obviously, that can be incredibly damaging to his body. He suffered a fractured hip and a displaced elbow. The crowd didn't break much of his fall, although I'm sure they tried. If someone wasn't there, he wouldn't have made it."
Jenna was visibly shaking. Her hands were covering her mouth and warm tears fell from her cheeks. She didn't tear he gaze away from the doctor, though. She needed to know what else her husband was burdened with. She had to go through with it as painful as it was.
He paused for a moment to let the words settle before he continued. "There's more than just those little things... About three ribs were broken. It's not that many, but it did puncture his left lung-" In the middle of his sentance, Jenna choked, holding back a sob. This was already too much for her, but this wasn't the end. Josh was rocking back and forth in his seat. He looked incredibly distressed and it was getting harder to breath. He was on the verge of an anxiety attack.
The doctor heaved a little sigh before continuing. It hurt to deal with this sort of thing everyday. "He was pulled into immediate surgery during the night, so I couldn't speak to you until everything was figured out... The last news I have is to say that during his fall, he suffered a TBI - a traumatic brain injury. Due to that, he's been induced in a coma... We don't have an idea on when he'll wake up and if he will."
After those few words, Josh quickly stood from his seat and excused himself, rushing out the door. His vision grew cloudy and his chest tightened. He pressed his hand against the wall and took quick breaths, his heart rapidly beating. Pain was surging through his chest as he gasped for air. He could barely register the nurse that was concerned and calling out for him.
Jenna's emotional wall crumbled and she broke out into gut-wrenching sobs. The doctor was in a loss for words since his little sorrys didn't do any good as she weeped and whimpered. She was in too much of a shock to even check on Josh as he suffered a harsh panic attack. She couldn't even form the words to ask when she could visit Tyler. She wanted to storm to his room to catch a glimpse of him and kiss the top of his head atleast one more time incase he was gone for good.
"It's kinda scary when you climb the rafters, Tyler," Josh said in a nervous tone, rubbing the back his neck as he gazed up at the structures of the arena.
"I know. But, you shouldn't worry. I'll be okay," Tyler replied, not too bothered by the thought of climbing without a safety harness. He was sitting criss-cross on the top of his piano as he looked about.
"Yeah but... What do we do if you actually fall?"
"I've never fallen before, have I?" He inquired, turning his head to look at Josh.
Josh shook his head, "There's always a chance. Why not wear a safety harness for once?"
"I'll be okay without one. I like to say that I'm pretty good at climbing. Besides, wearing a safety harness seems pretty uncool. Atleast I'd leave this world doing something that actually is cool," Tyler replied, delicate dimples forming as he laughed at his own half-joke. He's always had sort of a dry humour.
Josh smiled back, but nervousness was beneath the surface of his expression. Tyler wasn't taking his concern seriously. He didn't know how to be clear without creating an awkward atmosphere. He kept his mouth shut about the safety harness the rest of the night. This would be something he would later regret.
Josh slowly stirred awake. He sat up as he adjusted his vision. The room was dark and the only light he could find was the moonlight slipping from between the curtains draping the windows.
"Where am I?" He asked himself, attempting to throw his legs off of the bed, but there was a railing that prevented him from doing so. Was he in a hospital bed?
Instead, he climbed out of bed with a bit of struggle and glanced around, although it was useless. He cautiously walked to a wall, careful not to trip or bump into anything since his eyesight was limited. He rested his hand on the plaster and felt around for a door handle. It seemed like awhile until his fingers grazed against door hinges. He took a step to the side and grabbed the door knob, turning it slowly and taking a step back as he did so. A luminous light caused Josh to squint as soon as it hit his irises. He walked out of the doorway and looked down each side of the hall. It was empty, but there were doors to rooms he guessed were for other patients.
As Josh walked down the countless halls and regained his senses, he eventually realized that he must've passed out from the panic attack he had earlier today. They must've temporarily put him in another room until he regained conciousness.
Consumed in thoughts, he bumped into another person, causing him to stumble back.
"Whoa, I'm sorry!" Josh apologized quickly as he stumbled back, looking back at the person he bumped into. Immediately, he recognized her as the staff at the waiting room desk. Even after he apologized, she didn't continue to walk. She stopped in her tracks and looked back at Josh with concern written on her face.
"No, it's alright... How are you feeling?" She asked. At first, Josh was confused why a girl he didn't know was asking, but it made sense. She witnessed him having emotional break drown in the waiting room yesterday night.
"I- I don't know, actually," he replied, running his fingers through his fading pink hair and taking a shaky breath.
"Is there anything that I can do to help?" The nurse asked another question, keeping her tone comforting.
"I just want to see Tyler..."
"Do you mean... The one rushed into the ER yesterday night? The one all the commotion was about?"
Josh nodded and realization hit her. This was one of her hometown's major bands. Her heart fluttered with excitement, then she realized the situation was horrid and it wasn't in a positive spotlight at all. She was pulled from her thoughts when he spoke again.
"I need to see Tyler. It's really important."
"He was rushed into the ICU for immediate surgery, I'm not sure he will be available for visits for a few days," the nurse replied, the tone in her voice falling since she knew it must've been disappointing to hear.
"It's important. I'm losing my mind," he replied. Desperation was clear in his eyes as continued, "You don't understand."
It was silent for a moment before she responded, "I-I'm truly sorry, but you can't see him as of right now. There is nothing I can do..."
"Please... Just one word."
In all honesty, she wanted to give him the chance, but it wasn't acceptable and she refused to let that get in the way. She denied him once again.
His tone shook as he continued to beg. Tears were rolling down his cheek and his eyebrows furrowed. He was gripping the locks of his hair as he kept choking out shaky 'pleases', but was rejected each and everytime. She wanted to give in, she really did, but she didn't have the authority until he was allowed to be seen.
"I'm sorry," she replied, resisting with every fiber of her being, "But I can't."
Defeated, Josh brushed passed her and down the hall, taking quivering breaths and holding himself back from a mental breakdown.
Last night and the hours of today were already shattering and traumatic.
He couldn't comprehend what the rest of the week would feel like.
"Secondly and lastly," he turned his head to look at Josh, "I couldn't do this without you either. None of this could have happened. I can't thank you enough. You're devoted and kind. I'm more than glad to call you my bestfriend."
Josh's smiled warmly at his comment. The fans, stretching from the pit to the lawn, cheered.
Their eyes met and Josh mouthed the words 'thank you'
Tyler nodded and smiled in reply then stood, grabbing the mic and walking to the center stage.
"Thank you for giving us this moment. Thank you for letting us play our music. You're what matter the most. But this night isn't over yet. There's other songs left for you, so let's continue this night, shall we?"
Thanks for the comments! They really motivate me. <3 There are many chapters ahead, so be prepared for more.
Chapter 5: The Despondency
Tyler's family, Josh, and Jenna visit Tyler in the hospital. Minor flash backs.
I hate how I wrote this chapter, but whatever. A new one will be up soon.
a slow and disheartening week later
"I got a call from the hospital..."
The guest bedroom door clicked shut and Jenna slid her cell phone into the pocket of her hoodie. Her hair was thrown into a messy bun and as a sigh left her lips, her weary, blue eyes met Josh's. Each night, she tossed and turned, getting five hours of sleep each night at most. She survived off of coffee and the little faith that Tyler's mother gave her. She was grateful for being allowed to stay at her mother and father in law's home while everything settled, but every detail reminded her of Tyler. As Jenna took little steps and careful breaths, Josh was under constant anxiety that ceased to let him take a second to breathe. The first few days of this week, he didn't have a single second of sleep. Constant, loud thumping against his chest, shaky breaths, and doubtful thoughts for hours on end was almost unbearable. But, the thought of seeing Tyler again gave Josh the strength to go through with each day.
"He's available for visiting... Zack's getting ready to take us. He's going to meet up with his parents and they'll talk with the doctor, then meet us and visit him after us," Jenna replied, turning her gaze to Josh as he scrambled out of bed. He rushed to grab his wallet and slip on his shoes. Jenna headed down the stairs and to the front door, sighing to herself as she reached out for the door knob-
"Jenna, where are you going?" asked Tyler, nestled in a sweater. He had a cup of hot cocoa in his hands and those deep pools of chocolate staring back at Jenna made her melt.
She smiled back at him and opened the door. "It's snowing this winter. I wanted to take a step outside."
With his free hand, Tyler intertwined their fingers and stepped outside. Jenna's lips curled into a smile and their eyes locked for second before Tyler looked around the scenery, but Jenna didn't move her gaze. She observed those little features of his. Like the way his eyes fluttered when a snowflake fell on his cheek.
"I wish it'd snow more often," Tyler said, the visible winter air leaving his lips as he spoke.
"I wish it would too," Jenna replied but her sentance trailed. There was no longer a breeze of cold air against her skin. Her eyes weren't on the love of her life any more, but rather the area where he would be standing. It was just a favorite memory- Christmas awhile back.
"Wish what?" Zack asked, raising an eyebrow at his sister-in-law.
Jenna shook her head indicating that it was nothing and a grief washed over her. Her words caught in her throat and she quickly walked to the passenger side. Jenna sunk into the cushion of her seat, taking a shaky breath as Zack started the engine and Josh rushed to hop into the car. The memory seemed so real for a few seconds.
The drummer rested his head against the glass of the car window, his eyes following the random patterns of the asphalt. Jenna was twidling with her thumbs, rocking slightly back and forth to keep anything but Tyler off of her mind. There was a soft murmer of the radio until Zack turned it off. Music was something that reminded him heavily of his brother. His grip was tight on the wheel. He drove a few miles over and ran a few stop signs, but no one seemed to bother him for it. They all had a reason to be on the edge of their seats.
"Joseph. Tyler Joseph."
After his name left Josh's lips, her expression turned suspicious. She stared at him for a long moment before turning her gaze to the computer to pull up the information on the patient. It seemed quiet for a moment- the atmosphere awkward as she tapped away on the keyboard before she spoke.
"This patient isn't accepting any fan visits," the nurse replied, turning her head to look at them. She tapped her fingers against the mouse, staring at the two- telling them to leave with her eyes. It was quiet for a moment before Jenna's expression was pulled from the ground and her icy gaze locked with the office nurse's. She was pissed. Josh kept quiet as uncomfortable as it was to witness Jenna in a mood he's rarely seen her in. She dug her hand in her purse for her wallet and pulled out her I.D., setting it down on the counter in a swift motion and sliding it towards her. The nurse held the I.D. in her hand, reading over the print. 'Joseph' was scribed after her name.
"I'm sorry that there's so many people coming in and asking for my husband even though they can't see him, but they're concerned and have every right to be," Jenna said, snatching her identification out of the nurse's hand and stuffing it back into her wallet, "Don't bother giving me the room number, I know where he is."
Her mouth was slightly agape at the sudden comment, but she didn't speak another word. Josh exchanged looks with her a few times, an awkwardness drenching the mood until he stuttered an apology and flashed her his identification. The nurse simply stared at him before shooing him off which Josh was glad to do.
He felt his legs grow heavier with every step down the hall and around the corner. His heart was weighing him down and it was difficult to breathe. It was always difficult to breath since the day it happened. And as soon as his eyes fell upon his blonde friend as she clutched her chest and peered out the hospital window, he started to shake. He bawled his fists, palms sweaty as he trembled with fear and anxiety. She glanced at him, meeting his gaze. In both of eachother's eyes, there was a look of fear. She placed her hand on the knob and the cold shock from door handle was like a jolt, making her long for the warmth of Tyler's hand intertwined with her own. Before they knew it, they stepped inside and all attention was on the bed nearby.
From head to toe, all hue had faded from Tyler's once glowing skin, leaving him seemingly lifeless. Those brown eyes of his were shielded, eyelashes to cheeks. A ventilator was on his bedside and a tube ran from between his lips, keeping him alive and breathing. His entire torso was bandaged along with his shattered elbow. Countless cords ran up across his body and an IV was placed beneath the tattoo enscribed on his right arm. Tyler's soul looked like it left a long time ago, but the beeping reassurance from the heart monitor said other wise.
Warm, salty tears fell onto his pale cheek as Jenna leaned over the bed railing. Her fingers glided over his jawline and she weeped, wishing and wishing he'd just wake up. But, no matter how hard she begged- no matter how hard Josh squeezed his hand- Tyler was unresponsive. Josh watched her quietly, letting his own river of tears run down his chin as he intertwined his finger's with Tyler's limp ones. His lip quivered as he stared at their hands, the sound of Jenna's crackling sobs unsettling even if it was muffled in Tyler's shoulder. He ran his thumb across the skin of Tyler's hand, barely registering the crying and steps of his family walking inside of the room.
"Josh, we did it," he yelled, voice muffled by the thousands of cheers. The little dimples engraved in his cheeks were profound as he smiled brightly, his skin glistening with sweat as he panted. Red confetti fluttered all around and many pieces stuck to his shirt and skin. His fingers were intertwined with Josh's and he held his hand tightly, even after they bowed.
As Josh's mind wandered into countless, saddenning memories, Tyler's mother was whimpering. She kept whispering his name in disbelief, shaking her head at the sight and Tyler's father pulled her into a tight hug. She, as well as Jenna, began to bawl. She choked on tears and repeated her son's name as she fell to her knees. Her husband tried to keep her up, giving reassurance that it would all be okay, but he was trembling and barely holding himself together. Zack's back was pressed against the wall. His eyes were glued to the floor as a wave of trauma washed over him.
The heaviness of the situation was washing over countless people. Not a single person could catch a break- Especially the people close to Tyler. Josh could not only step foot into town without being bombarded with strangers and paparazzi (he wouldn't even be able to handle it with the anxiety he was eye level with), but he couldn't even check social media without the countless posts flooding in. There were was a huge amount of text posts, photos of Tyler falling from the rafters, apologies from strangers and close friends, devastation from the clique... It was endless and Josh couldn't handle it. He couldn't handle any of it.
No one knew if or even when Tyler was to awaken.
No one was okay.
Chapter 6: The Takeover
"Tyler's long gone, Joshua."
I always feel like I'm rushing, but everyone assures me that it's perfect the way it is. I hope ya'll like it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Tyler was healing slowly but surely as months were passing by and he wasn't showing signs of waking up any time soon.
The first few weeks of his coma, Tyler was scheduled to have surgery on his ribs. Stitches across his abdomen turned into a scar as the weeks of healing approached.
Three more scars were etched on his body, this time from his elbow and hip bone. Shattered bones came with a price and his arm was casted with a sling.
His repaired ribs allowed his lung to heal easily and the ventilator was removed by Tyler's bedside. He no longer needed a breathing tube. It was relieving news, but it still worried Josh.
Pages of calendars were flipped. Holidays were celebrated. News flooded in here and there. The schedule of daily life took its toll and Josh wished it would post-pone just for a second- at least until Tyler woke up. So many grains of sand falling to the bottom of an hourglass wasted.
Josh begged God for Tyler to wake up. He was healing astonishingly well and enough time passed for all casting, bandaging, and breathing support to be removed. Why was it that he was still unconscious? Why was Josh forced to be terrified that Tyler would never wake up? Where were his answers?
Every single day, Josh took a trip to the hospital. Whether it was 5 hours or 15 minutes, Tyler was all that mattered.
He didn't care how many people told him that he didn't need to go every single day.
He didn't care how many people told him he looked miserable and tired and that he needed some rest.
Seeing his close friend became a commitment- even if he was bombarded by the paparazzi one too many times.
The nurse didn't even ask anymore. She simply glanced at him when he turned the corner to Tyler's room.
It was early in the morning, the air cold and crisp from the November weather. Josh was walking from the hospital parking lot with his hands in the pockets of his hoodie as he approached the entrance. Jenna wasn't with him- again. She only came two or three times a week and that bothered Josh, but he never voiced it.
"We have a few questions if you don't mind, Josh!"
"I do mind..."
"Is Tyler okay? You and Jenna shouldn't be so private about it, everyone is worried, man."
"I'm sorry, but it's really none of your business."
snap, snap, snap
"You could at least look at the camera."
"Stop," Josh demanded shakily, quickly walking down the side-walk. It was becoming difficult to breath as more and more paparazzi caved in on him. Flashes of light and clicks of cameras coming from every which way overwhelmed him.
"Is it true that Tyler intentionally let himself fall? You think it was a suicide?"
"-No, it wasn't a suicide attempt Why would you-"
"What about the tour? And the fans? Are you guys done with?"
"I need to go."
The band's security by the hospital doors flooded into the swarm of paparazzi and pried them away from Josh as he tried to escape. His finger tips brushed against the handle and cameras were shoved away from Josh, causing more of an uproar. He was able to grasp the handle all the way at one point and bolted for it. Once he got into the hospital and security kept the door shut, he turned his heel and stared into the glass of the double doors. His tired reflection mirrored back at him along with all the obnoxious paparazzi pressed against the door from the other side. He sighed in relief and turned around, but it was cut short when he noticed everyone's eyes on him. An uneasy and familiar feeling fluttered in his stomach.
Josh's head was bowed as he napped on the waiting chair close to his friend's bedside. The only thing that could be heard was soft snoring and the continuous beeps emitting from the heart monitor. His hand was gently resting on top of Tyler's own as his mind unconsciously wandered.
The drummer's eyes fluttered open, focusing on the male hovering over him.
"What, Tyler? I was dreaming..."
He tugged his wrist, causing Josh to sit up. Josh was very sleepy, but abided to Tyler's neediness like always.
"I can't sleep," Tyler replied with tired tone, "You should sit outside with me."
"On the porch of the hotel...?"
"I didn't want to sit outside alone," Tyler replied as he gazed up at the sky. Goosebumps formed on his skin and he shivered from the nighttime breeze.
"It's okay," Josh replied as he slid the door shut. Wrapped in a soft blanket, he took a seat by Tyler. Their eyes locked for a moment before Josh looked up at the countless stars hovering above.
A little chuckle left Tyler's lips and Josh quickly looked over with a curious look and grin, "What?"
"Your hair," he said, pointing towards the cotton candy colored mess on his head. It was pointing every which way and Tyler couldn't help but continue to laugh.
"Well, I just woke up," Josh said, flustered but still smiling.
The brunette shook his head with a grin and looked back up at the sky.
They talked hour after hour, observing things they saw in the city and chuckling in the night at conspiracies and deep conversation- even after receiving complaints from other people renting rooms. They tried "shushing" each other, but it ended in covering their mouths and digging their face in their hands to prevent loud laughter. They'd come up with little songs that didn't have any specific meaning. Tyler would sing a little tune with a random poem of lyrics while Josh patted his lap to a beat. That would end in a laughing fit as well. Everything seemed funny at three in the morning.
"-It has to be real," Josh replied, but Tyler shook his head.
"No, Josh," Tyler laughed, "That wasn't real. That was probably a helicopter or something."
"You don't know that," Josh said, staring back at Tyler. "It could've been an alien."
Josh couldn't finish his sentence without smiling, but oddly, Tyler stared back at him. There wasn't a smile like every other time and conversation they had tonight. His expression looked... distorted.
"No, it wasn't. I know that for a fact," Tyler said as he stood.
"Huh?" Josh seemed confused. Why was he suddenly serious? Maybe it was his usual dry-humor? But, that's odd, he was fine earlier.
Tyler took a few steps toward him. He was inching uncomfortably close and Josh stood from his chair. He laughed nervously, "Are you okay, Tyler?"
With an unfamiliar gaze in Tyler's once warm, brown eyes, Josh was shoved against the balcony railing. He lost his balance and gasped, clutching the railing bar while staring back at him with a shocked look.
"What's wrong with you right now -"
"I know for a fact because I'm not real either, Josh. None of this is real."
Tyler grasped the collar of Josh's T-Shirt and the blanket he was once wrapped in fell to the floor. He was leaning further over the railing and Josh let out a yell. He panicked as he felt himself being pushed over. He tried to pry Tyler's hands away from him- but no avail. His grip was locked and tight as if it was a dream. Before realization hit him, Josh was already falling. The scenery began to scrap and pieces fluttered into the air. Josh's eyes were wide as he reached out only to see that Tyler was gone and everything around him was pitch black.
Josh jolted awake, gasping for air. He quickly looked around himself, his heart pounding as he tried to catch his breath.
It took him a moment to calm down once he recognized that what he experienced was just a dream. He observed his surroundings, thanking God that he wasn't falling from a balcony, but instead sitting by Tyler's side.
He took a shaky breath and looked down, holding his friend's hand tightly and closing his eyes. Josh counted under his breath as he regained himself. It was hard to focus with his heart pounding so hard. He was tired of this torment.
"Josh..." spoke a broken and quiet voice.
Slowly lifting his head, Josh opened his eyes and they fell upon his friend. His mouth was slightly agape as Tyler's face strained. The gentle squeeze of his hand made everything seem real. Please let this be real.
"T-... Tyler?" Josh's voice shook as his eyes widened, "Tyler???"
"Josh..." a soft utter left Tyler's lips. His eyes were shut tightly and looked as if he was in pain.
Josh's breath hitched once he felt the grasp on his hand grow tighter. Tyler's hand was shaky- he hadn't moved his hand in so long.
A strong pair of hands wrapped around the male who stirred awake. Josh's grip was suffocating-ly tight and he couldn't hold it in any longer. He sobbed and trembled, holding Tyler close. Streams of tears fell from his chin and landed onto Tyler's hospital robe.
"Oh- Oh my God," Josh shook his head, finding it hard to speak in-between tears, "You're awake... You're alive..."
Tyler was seemingly quiet as Josh wept throughout the half-hour.
It'd been so long since he let the emotional wall he built crumble right then and there.
He choked on tears as Tyler rested his weak hands on Joshua's back. It was difficult to breathe as he wept.
He found it hard to register the fact Tyler was conscious and that he could feel his touch.
Did he just wake up? If not, how long was he conscious? Tyler didn't forget anything, did he?
He abruptly pulled away from Tyler to look at him face to face. Tyler's eyes were barely open and looking down towards the bedsheet. His mouth was slightly agape as he breathed, chest rising and falling. Josh caressed his both of his cheeks, cupping them. His finger tips grazed against the stubble on his jaw and the baby soft skin of his cheek. This was real. What he was feeling was real.
One of many tears fell from his puffy red eyes and a smile crept across his face. Josh hadn't smiled in, what felt like, eternity.
He needed Tyler to be able thrive. They needed each other to be able to thrive.
Tyler was finally awake and Josh couldn't be more thankful for anything else- not even the first own drum-set he was given when he was a teenager.
"Tyler... Could you look at me? I've missed you," Josh asked quietly, his voice a little hoarse from the previous sobbing.
Josh gently pulled his hand away from Tyler's cheek and laid it back on the railing of the bed. Tyler slowly turned his head to face Josh, but his gaze was still glued to the bed.
"Are you okay...?" Josh asked in concern. The once fluttery and joyful feeling that swelled in his chest when he wrapped his arms around Tyler quickly faded as his stomach began to fall. Everything felt so right, why were his insides churning and his mind beginning to race? He contemplated pressing the button to call in the nurse and eyed it, but was cut short when Tyler began to speak.
"I-..." Tyler grasped Josh's hand tightly. He wanted to say something so badly and Josh was tipping over in suspense.
"What is it, Tyler? Tell me," Josh asked as his heart thumped hard and fast. Constantly being over the edge was agonizing.
Suddenly, Tyler's quivering lips cracked into a smile. He began to giggle and he bowed his head as he rested his hand on his chest.
His little chuckles became fits of hysteric laughter and he threw his head back. It echoed throughout the room and Josh stared back at him with wide and confused eyes. What the fuck?
In midst of Josh's shock and confusion, Tyler spoke in between laughter, "I can't believe I pulled that act off!"
Josh's traumatized, mocha brown eyes stared back into 'Tyler's' glowing, bright red ones. They were unmistakable and Josh quickly stood and stumbled back, utterly terrified.
"What? You're scared?" He teased, flashing his teeth as he smirked. The man kept his gaze locked with the other's and he didn't move it for a second. The extreme discomfort and terror from Josh only made him more amused, "Good."
Josh was at a loss for words. He didn't know what to believe. He doubted it all. The drummer was growing more and more nauseous as he continued to crack under the emotional pressure. It wasn't over.
"Maybe if you were less oblivious like everyone else, all of this could be prevented," 'Tyler' said smuggly, slowly sitting up. Since he hadn't moved in so long, it was painful to stretch his limbs. Either way, that didn't stop him from running his mouth.
"What are you talking about...?" Josh asked quietly, keeping his distance. His eyes were full of nothing but confusion and Blurryface almost laughed again at how pathetic he found Josh's behavior.
"First of all, if you can't tell, since I already think you're a complete dumbass for never noticing my existance in the first place with the hundreds of hints and clues you and everyone else have been given, I'm not Tyler. I'm his "second face"," Blurryface said, creating quotation marks with his fingers for emphisis.
"No, no, no, you're not real..."
Josh moved further away from Blurryface, inching closer to the door.
"But I am. Are you dumb AND blind? I'm sitting right here," he replied, raising an eyebrow.
He shook his head in denial and slipped his hand in his pocket. He grabbed his phone and the first thing he did was dial Jenna's number before pressing the device against his ear.
Blurryface rolled his eyes.
"Jenna. Something is really wrong..."
"Or maybe you're really wrong and can't get your head out of your ass and stop doubting my existence. Do you want to poke around my eye for contact lenses? Good-luck. It'd be easier if you just believe me," Blurryface replied in irritation, although he wasn't being spoken to.
"Get over here... As soon as possible."
This wasn't what Josh meant when he said he wanted Tyler back.
Thanks for all the comments. I read all of them. They always inspire to me to write more. <3
Chapter 7: The Takeover II
The pastel-haired boy's expression softened from frustration to realization. He became speechless.
"Why?! Is Tyler okay?!" Jenna asked frantically, practically jumping off of the couch. She snatched the remote to the T.V. and turned the volume down, listening closely to what Josh had to say next. He was hugging himself and gripping his phone tightly, his voice shaky as the following words tumbled out,
"Tyler is awake... but he's not himself."
Josh swallowed thickly and continued speaking, adverting his gaze from Blurryface who had his eyes glued on Josh. Nothing had made him more uncomfortable than those glowing eyes judging his every detail and movement. It made it difficult to speak, but Jenna was desperate for an answer.
"Could you explain??" Jenna asked, walking quickly to the front door to slip on her shoes so that she could head over as soon as possible.
"Jenna, Blurryface isn't just some character..."
The silence from the other side of the line urged him to continue speaking,
"Do you ever sit down to think about the things that Tyler writes?"
"What does this have to do with what's happening?" the blonde snapped, causing tension to rise over the line. Josh didn't blame her, though, he could understand.
"Blurryface, Jenna," Josh's voice shook, "It's Blurryface."
"What are you talking about-"
"He's real! I'm staring straight at him!" Josh shouted, becoming frantic.
Jenna dropped her keys on the counter. She put Josh on speaker phone and slipped her jacket and shoes off, sighing.
"I don't know why you called me, Josh. I thought this was something serious. You really need to go home and get some sleep like everyone's been telling you. You're hallucinating."
Josh swallowed thickly and gripped his phone tighter than before. Blurryface's eyes were locked with his. He stuttered, "N-No, Jenna. I'm not hallucinating. Believe me. Blurryface! Say something so she knows it's you... Please."
The red eyed man chuckled lightly, not uttering a single word so that it widened his amusement. Josh was incredibly frustrated and opened his mouth to speak, but Jenna cut him of.
"Listen, Josh. I'm going to let you go now. Please get some rest."
"Wait-" a long beep emitted. Josh glanced at his phone to see that she hung up. Sighing in defeat, he dug his face in his hands. What was he going to do? How was he going to explain? Blurryface just sighed, his signature eye-roll following soon after, "Come on Josh, you could've thought it out better. You really think she'd believe that stupid shit? No one does. No one has. Besides you, I guess."
Josh looked up and Blurryface finally shifted his gaze to the bed as he crossed his arms, "And the only reason you do is because you've seen it with your own eyes. For fucks sake, Tyler's been screaming and crying since he was a kid about me and not a god damn person has understood. No one. "Blurryface" is the most popular album you two have ever fucking created," he chuckled in between words, "And yet no one managed to put the simple puzzle together. Even his own best friend."
"He was diagnosed with schizophrenia as kid when depression should've been the only thing written on the therapist's notepad because I'm not just some 'pigment of Tyler's imagination.' He was on the brink of suicide several times and sometimes I wanted it too," Tyler's counterpart made a cutting motion with his wrist, "He wore rubber bands on a daily basis. He made countless songs with the words 'death' and 'kill'... 'I could pull the steering wheel'. I felt his pain. He felt mine. We misunderstood each other since we were so opposite... Maybe I should talk in a present tense."
Josh's expression fell from frustrated to shocked. His mocha colored eyes were wide with realization. He was speechless and there was a whirlwind of emotions running through his core. "I'm... I'm sorry."
Within the midst of silence, Blurryface gazed at all of the cords tangling across his body. He reached, without hesitation, and tore the cords from his arms off of him along with the ones on the rest of his body. He tore the ones off from underneath his robe and Josh was pulled from his thoughts. He became panicked, "What are you doing?!"
"You wanted Jenna to realize that I'm not fake, right?" the patient asked, hissing in pain as he mustered the strength to sit up. With struggle, he shifted positions and draped his leg over the railing so that he could climb off.
"No! Lay back down! You can't be released yet, are you crazy!?"
Both feet landed on the tile and he shakily supported himself using the bed railing. He flashed Josh a little smirk despite the pain of not using his limbs for such a long time, "Yeah, I guess I am. I can deny medical attention if I want. I'm awake and I'm sick and tired of being here."
Josh shook his head, "No, you need to get back in bed. You need to be released professionally... And Tyler's a celebrity, you can't just walk out! Tyler wouldn't want this!"
Blurryface groaned in frustration and his eyes darted around for a wheelchair, "Blah, blah, blah, enough with 'Tyler.' He's not here Josh, I am. I can choose whatever the fuck I want. I could care less about leaving professionally. Now MOVE so I can leave this stupid hospital already. I'll crawl to the door if I fucking have to. With or without a fight."
He swallowed thickly, becoming stressed from the current situation. He grabbed Blurryface's shoulders to prevent him from moving any further. The other male growled and tried to shake his shoulder away from Josh, "Let me go!"
"No! Lay down!'
"I swear to GOD I will spit on you or scream for the nurse," Blurryface tried to shove him away, but he was too weak from the previous a coma, "It's the least you could do!"
Josh quickly pulled his hands away and his eyebrows knitted with confusion, "The least I could do...? What are you talking about?"
"There's nothing you can do to stop me, dumb ass. I'm going to leave, I don't care how long it takes. So, move or else. You know I'm making it out of here either way."
Josh's eyes widened and he quickly covered 'Tyler's mouth', "Okay, okay! I'll take you!!"
Blurryface bit Josh's hand which caused him to gasp and quickly hold his palm. Tyler's counter part was definitely going to be a handful.
He smirked once again, "Good."
"Jenna's going to be so upset..."
"Hey! Stop! Where are you going?!" a nurse yelled, running out the double doors. She didn't move any further from the entrance. She shielded her eyes from the sun as the figures ran further down the parking lot.
Josh was almost out of breath as he darted towards his car with the patient draped over his shoulder. He looked over his other shoulder to see a few hospital staff staring at him and waving for him to come back. He muttered a cuss word under his breath and set his friend down in the passenger seat before slamming the door and running to his own side. He hopped into the front seat and the engine roared as he started the car. He reached up to fix the rear-view mirror, noticing the exhaustion in his own eyes before backing out of the driveway and speeding down the street.
Blurryface quietly gazed out the window, a warm feeling fluttering thoughout his chest from the adrenaline of the speeding car. The pain in his limbs and the heavy headache seemed to subside for just a moment. He took every detail in: the city lights, the greenery, the people. This was Columbus, Ohio. This wasn't just Jenna's home. This wasn't just Josh's home. This wasn't just Tyler's home. This was Blurryface's home too. He was finally free from restraint and now it was Tyler's turn to suffer.
Josh gripped the wheel tight as he drove. His palms were sweaty and his heart was pouding. Thoughts and questions were flooding throughout his mind.
Even though Josh was anxiously on the edge, he couldn't help but notice the oddly quiet male by his side. Those red eyes of his eyes were glued to the window. He didn't speak once throughout the ride. He was just... looking around. Josh wondered why he was so mesmerized by the scenery.
"Hey, um, I'm going to stop by my place to get you some clothes. Jenna's going to be upset no matter what so I might as well show up with you wearing something other than that," Josh said, breaking the midst of silence.
Blurryface nodded, not moving his eyes, "Yeah, whatever..."
Josh slid the hangers across the bar, one after another as he searched for a shirt that Blurryface could borrow. That said individual was resting on Josh's bed, staring up at the ceiling. His hospital robe was neatly set aside for changing, so his hospital robe was neatly set aside and his bare body was wrapped in sheets.
"Fuck... This sucks," Blurryface said with a sigh, looking over at the open closet.
"What are you talking about?" Josh asked as he pulled a shirt or two down from the hanger. He turned to look at Blurryface with a grey t-shirt as well as a black one draped over his arm.
"Well, I'm finally free... But I can barely move my fucking body."
Josh didn't really know how to respond. He brushed his comment aside before looking down at the shirts, "Black or grey?"
Blurryface looked at the choices for a moment before his eyes fell on the black shirt. "That one."
Josh nodded in agreement and set the shirt down before walking to the closet to find some pants.
Blurryface slowly sat up, his arms shaky as he mustered the strength. He reached for the shirt and pulled it over his head. The soreness from his shoulders caused him to hiss in pain, but he managed to pull the shirt down all the way.
After Josh found a matching pair of pants, he rushed over, "I could've helped you, you didn't have to do that!"
"I want to do it by myself," he replied, snatching the pants from Josh's hands. A small frown formed on Josh's face from Blurryface's attitude. This definitely something he was going to have to get used to.
He shifted to the edge of the bed so that his legs were dangling off. He carefully stood and he shot Josh a glare. The drummer quickly took the que of privacy invasion and turned his gaze.
"Let me know if you need help," Josh said, but Blurryface rolled his eyes. He slipped his first leg in followed by the second. The stiffness and soreness radiated throughout his body and he honestly just wanted to lay back down. But, Blurryface didn't give up. He gasped in pain a few times, especially when he had to bend his leg and button his jeans.
He brushed his shirt off and fixed it before shifting his gaze on the full body mirror near him. He stared at himself, turning his body to observe all angles. He was mesmerized, just like how he was towards the scenery outside the car window. Despite his pale face and frailer frame, atleast it was something. He felt free.
"Is it okay to turn around...?" Josh asked, noticing the silence after he finished putting on his clothes. After a longer silence, Josh turned around and hesitantly looked towards Blurryface.
Once he snapped out of his daydream, he looked over at his counterpart's friend, "Can we leave now?"
Josh slowly nodded. His expression was full of confusion. Josh noticed that he was staring at himself just like he was towards the scenery outside. As if it was something amazingly new. His face lit up like a child's during Christmas. Once again, Josh began to wonder.
"I'm still shaken up by this... So, sorry if I ask a lot of questions," Josh said, glancing at the man in the passanger side before looking towards the street as he drove them to Tyler's house, "But, um... If you're here... Where's Tyler?"
"He's where I'd be. The back of my head," Blurryface replied, "I can't feel his emotions or hear him, though... He's still in a coma."
"Wait, what? Feel his emotions or hear him?" Josh asked in confusion.
"Our souls are connected. I can feel what he feels and he can feel what I can. It's a terrible mix. When I'm not in control, I'm the voice in his head. Then when I'm in control, we rotate," he added, trying to clear up the confusion.
"Wait so... Why is he still in a coma if you're awake if you both work together?"
Blurryface shrugged, "We're two different people in the same body."
"So... You were awake the whole time?"
"No... The fall impacted me too. I was out cold. Tyler and I experienced nightmares and dreams together until I woke up."
Josh was listening closely, turning the steering wheel to make a left turn. "What kind of dreams?"
"I don't remember exactly... But, we could hear you."
He gasped quietly, "Really?"
Blurryface nodded, "Yeah... We could here the murmurs of the outside world. But it's distorted and morphed into our dream world... It's weird, I can't describe it. I remember Tyler and I were standing in this strange, dim place. Your sobs and the little things you said were echoing throughout the rooom. Tyler was pushing everything aside and looking for where your voice was coming from."
Josh swallowed nervously and gripped the wheel, "That's crazy..."
"Yeah... Then I woke up."
He tapped his fingers on the wheel in desperation to ask another question, but he held back. Josh thought it would be best to ask another time. Besides, they were already pulling into the drive-way. It was time to handle the wrath of Jenna.
Chapter 8: Sometimes You've Got To Bleed to Know
Jenna has a little surprise waiting behind her door.
Sorry for being so late!!! I was very busy these past few months and my schedules do nothing but fill up. There's been a ton of Josh action, so I decided to create a chapter surrounding Jenna as well. I hope you enjoy this, lovelies.
Jenna's finger-tips brushed against the slick, plastic of the photo album page. Her eyes shifted from the first Polaroid to the second, page after page. She brushed a strand of blonde hair behind her ear as she basked in the warmth of her husband's hoodie. She clung to that piece of fabric for the life of her despite the fact that his scent was beginning to linger. She nibbled on her lip as she held back a wall of tears. Jenna did this often. She wallowed in despair and latched on tightly to the hope she had left.
She flipped yet another page and reminisced at the photographs before her. A small yet sad smile formed on her lips as she reached over to take a sip of her tea.
Jenna jolted from the loud ring of the doorbell, hot peach tea splashing onto her hand. She quickly set the cup down, hissing in pain as the slight burn started to sting.
"Just a moment!" the woman shouted, irritation laced in her voice. She hurried to the kitchen and to the sink where she ran her hand under cold faucet water. Her gaze fell onto the glistening ring on her finger which pulled her onto a train of memories. It wasn't until the doorbell rang again that she shook away those thoughts before setting her ring on the counter and drying her hands. "I'll be there in a minute! Who is it, anyway?!"
A faint voice from behind the door answered Jenna's question, "It's Josh!"
Jenna made her way out of the kitchen and towards the front door. "I'll unlock the door, I need to clean up!"
She unlocked the few locks on the edge of the door before turning her heel and hurrying to the living room. She leaned over to clean up the spillage on glass table and the door slowly opened.
Josh had his arm wrapped around Blurryface for support since it was difficult to stand on his own. You wouldn't believe how many tantrums Blurryface threw about being touched and held. He'd shove Josh away and attempt to stand on his own, but it'd barely last a minute before his legs would tremble and he'd almost collapse before Josh ran to his rescue. He finally caved in and accepted the help, but his expression showed clear distaste.
Josh's heart was throbbing and it was borderline unbearable. He hated tension and Josh felt as if the situation wouldn't end in his favor. But, how else would Jenna understand or believe him? There was no turning back now and he'd have to face Jenna's wrath. She was indeed a kind and careless woman, but when she was emotionally distraught- especially when her husband was involved- it was difficult for her to keep her composure. Josh knew this and his stomach sunk deeper by the minute, especially when Jenna shouted, "I'll be there in a minute!" Blurry simply cracked a grin.
Josh's eyes fell, his scared gaze stuck to the wood of the floor as he heard Jenna's footsteps grow louder as she approached the area beside the door.
"I'm surprised you're not still at the hospital-" Jenna spoke, but her sentence crumbled as her now troubled, light blue irises studied the scene before her. Her arms fell to her sides and a strong tidal wave of shock soaked her body. Piles of questions kept stacking and stacking and it left her speechless. The first thing she wanted to ask was why the fuck her husband was out of bed and inside of their house? Why she didn't get a call that he was being released today. Why Josh never informed her that he was coming home with Tyler. Why he woke up so suddenly and that the doctor didn't notify her that he was finally conscious. Those questions all seemed to die out as soon as her eyes met 'Tyler's.' She almost fell backwards when she saw the color of her husband's eyes. They were stone cold and the deepest blood red. She'd never seen anything like it. Jenna was so stunned that she had lost control of her breathing and it fell off its usual pattern. She shakily clutched her chest as she hyperventilated, not able to turn her gaze away from the widened smirk coming from the man who was indeed, not her husband.
"Jenna," her name fell from Josh's mouth gently, "I-It'll be okay, I'll explain everything, just breathe-"
"-I'm surprised you weren't there with him," Blurryface spat, cutting Josh's words of quick.
"E-Excuse me?" Jenna replied, visibly shaken and only growing more upset. She was panting from how tight her chest was closing in- hyperventilation was a sick, sick feeling and she internally begged for it to go away already so she could make better sense of the situation.
"What the fuck are you even doing, Jenna? Sitting around on your ass at home while Josh is by his bed side each and every fucking day?" Blurryface said, followed by a chuckle as he shook his head.
Josh quickly looked at Blurryface, feeling the tension deepen and deepen, "Y-You have no room to say that. She needs to take care of herself too. Tyler wanted that-"
"I'm not fucking talking to you, am I?!" Blurryface snapped, his tone of voice sharp and deep as his gaze burned through Josh's core. He was startled, not being used to that kind of behavior, especially from someone with the appearance of his very close friend. Jenna wasn't having it, even though her heart was pounding so quickly from the hyperventilation that she thought she was going to pass out.
"Don't talk to him like that," Jenna warned, her voice lowering as her eyes narrowed.
"Or what?" Blurryface, once again, shoved Josh off of him, causing him to stumble back. Josh was taken aback by the sudden action and definitely wasn't prepared for what was to come next.
Without hesitation, she grabbed Blurryface by the collar of his borrowed shirt and shoved him harshly against the wall, a picture frame shaking from the impact. They were eye level with each other.
"Or you'll regret it. Where the fuck is my husband? Get out of his body!" Jenna shouted. She didn't understand. Where did her husband go? Why was Blurryface here instead of him? She desperately wished it was just a joke and that Tyler was simply playing a huge game. It definitely would be a sick and twisted game, but it's better than this all being a reality. But she knew it was real. If it was really Tyler, she'd never have the urge to shove him against a wall or assault him, no matter what he did.
His smile never faded, even though he winced and hissed in pain when his back collided with the wall, "It isn't just his body, you idiot. It's always been ours. You didn't fucking realize that when you agreed to marry him, did you? He made it painfully obvious that I existed. What, you think I'm some fucking fairy-tale for Twenty One Pilot's revenue? That's very funny. It's your own damn fault for never listening. Did you just nod to the beat he and Josh came up with? Did you think to yourself, "wow, this is disturbing but well-written poetry he transforms into raps," and that was it? No, no, no. All those lyrics are a fucking reality, sweetie. I'm real and I'm here. It's my turn to take a drive."
Each and every word coming from his mouth hit Jenna like a dagger. She felt tears well up and blur her vision, a few of them cascading down her cheeks as she held back the urge to cry. She was trembling so badly, Blurry could feel it.
"Aw, poor baby. Are you crying? Too fucking bad your husband isn't hear to wipe your tears away. Suck it up already, he's not coming back for a long, long time," Blurryface snickered once again, Jenna's sorrow doing nothing but amusing him. His joyful expression was nothing like Tyler's. She couldn't stand seeing Tyler's face being possessed by some sick fuck. It caused her to irate and the next thing you know, Blurryface was thrown jarringly to the floor as if he was a rag doll. Blurryface bellowed in pain and wheezed, Jenna towering over him as she scowled at him bitterly.
"Couldn't hold yourself back, huh?" He asked, shifting around slightly. Jenna was straddling him, one hand clutching his collar and the other forming a fist.
"No, I couldn't. I don't want you here. You don't have any fucking right to be here. What a shame for you to be the one here when we were ALL waiting for Tyler to finally open his eyes. Why does it have to be you?! He doesn't deserve any of this!" the woman above him growled.
Blurryface turned his head, dimples prominent as he grinned, making Jenna more eager to wipe that smug look off of his face, "You don't even fucking know me. You never took the time, not any of you. You don't know my side of the story. You don't know shit-"
Before Blurryface could finish, Jenna punched him face-first, his head thrown back as blood gushed from his nose, "Shut up! You don't deserve anyone hearing your story or whatever the fuck! All you do is destroy Tyler! You step on his emotions! You step on his self-worth! You make him terrified out of his mind! Sometimes, he scraps an entire song idea because he's so fucking self-conscious and now... Now I understand why. It's your fucking fault. All yours!"
It was quiet for a moment. The only thing audible was Jenna's angry panting and Blurry's streak of slight hisses and groans from his fragile frame being pressed against the floor along with a possibly broken nose that's producing an incredible amount of pain.
"You're so fucking oblivious, just like the thousands of others," Blurryface said in a low voice, licking the blood away that trickled to his upper lip, "You don't fucking understand me. You don't get why I do what I do. Assumption after assumption. You make me so fucking sick. Maybe with me being here, you'll finally get it through your thick skull why I do what I fucking do. Why I knock down your cunt of a-"
Jenna socked him in the face again, this time, repeatedly. It was hit after hit. The blows were harsh and she didn't allow Blurryface to block any of them. She couldn't stop herself, it was as if she was attempting to avenge Tyler for all of the turmoil Blurryface has dragged him through. He was the reason Tyler wanted to end it all of those times. He was the one who stepped on his dignity and confidence. It was his fault. Those words kept playing over and over again in Jenna's head, causing her punches to become harsh and merciless as she screamed, "Give him back!! Give Tyler back to me!!"
Josh rushed over, grabbing Jenna by her arms and dragging her off of Blurryface. She screeched and struggled in Josh's grip, flailing her body as she attempted to lunge towards Blurryface who's facial features were broken and bloody, just as red as those eyes of his that Jenna couldn't stand. "Get off of me, Josh! Let me go!"
"Jenna, please! That's enough, let it go! Please!" Josh begged, holding her back with all of his might. Jenna slowly but surely unclenched her fists, knuckles bloody as she stopped struggling against him and finally came to a realization of how she'd lost her sanity. Her pleads turned into harsh sobs as she hung her head, closing her eyes tightly before turning and digging her face in Josh's shoulder. Her mascara stained tears soaked his shirt and he held her tightly, whispering that things would be okay, but Jenna could barely hear him through her loud and scratchy weeps. "I want him back, Josh... I just want him back..."
The sun beams caressed Jenna's skin through the café windows, her hand intertwined with her husband's own as she gazed at him. A coy smile crept on her face and she turned her head away, blonde strands of hair falling across her face, "What are you doing Tyler?"
"Taking pictures of you," he replied, using his other hand to browse through each picture he took. He had a big grin on his face as he flipped through each one of them.
"Why?" She asked with a little laugh and Tyler simply looked at her with a raised eyebrow, "Are you really asking that? Come on Jenna, you see yourself everyday."
Jenna rolled her eyes playfully at his smooth comment, "What's so pretty about me, anyway?"
Tyler reached over and cupped her cheek, running his finger across the indent of her cheek dimple, forgetting about all of the other people in the dining room, including the waitress who was approaching their table. Neither of them heard her speak about the menu, they were too captivated with each other. "I don't want to ever hear you ask that again. Those eyes of yours, they're inevitable to look away from. The blue tone is as cold as ice, yet the gaze is so gentle and sweet-"
The waitress cleared her throat and the two of them snapped their attention over to her. "What would you like to order?"
Jenna giggled and looked down, running her thumb over Tyler's hand. She wasn't embarrassed, but she realized that she was so in love with Tyler Joseph that all of her attention was drawn to him as he spoke. He knew how to put words together so well, but that wasn't her favorite thing about him, although it's listed. She had plenty of other favorite things about him that she could go on about.
"Oh- Uh, sorry. I didn't see you there-" Tyler said with a little laugh towards the waitress. She tapped her pen against the notepad for orders, clearly irritated, but they were to enlightened by each other that they didn't mind it.
Jenna gazed at him as he stumbled over his order, resting her chin against her palm.
"Tyler," Jenna spoke, catching Tyler's attention before he could finish what he was telling the waitress.
"I love you. I don't ever want to lose you. I don't want anyone to take you away from me," Jenna finished her sentence, gently squeezing his hand.
He smiled, not noticing the waitress roll her eyes and walk away, waiting eagerly for the two love birds to finish their session, "I love you too. You won't ever lose me. You won't ever have anyone take me away from you. That's a promise."
Chapter 9: The Plan
"How can we get rid of Blurryface? He's in control," Jenna asked in a hopeless tone as she eyed Tyler's desk that was scattered with scribbled notes.
Josh was quiet in thought before he approached the desk, his eyes trailing carefully over each writing. "Tyler and I started planning the next album months before the end of the Blurryface era. Well, it was planning on ending... until the accident."
Jenna perked up as a rush of faith from Josh's words swarmed in her chest.
"Long story short, Tyler told me he wanted to focus the album on some one named Clancy."
"Clancy?" Jenna's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"He only spoke to me about the idea briefly," Josh replied as he slid a piece of paper out from under a pile of other writings, "but I have a feeling that what I've found will help us discover who Clancy is and... if they can help us defeat Blurryface."
I've been gone for over a year, but twenty one pilots was on hiatus and I lost track of my ideas, but twenty one pilots is coming back officially and by tomorrow they're releasing a single, so I'm ready to complete this story! The Clancy notes gave me a bunch of ideas and it will make this story a hell of a lot more interesting. Next chapter will be up probably by tomorrow afternoon or sooner. If not, then by the end of this week. Enjoy. <3
It's been a couple hours since Jenna last laid hands on the stranger who's been tormenting her husband through out his entire life. As of now, she was quietly sitting on the edge of the bed that she shared with Tyler, although it's been vacant for the last several months. She lightly touched the faint bruises that were developing on her knuckles from when she had fought Blurryface. Josh was there too. Rather than sitting, he was pacing around the room, not only emotionally shaken from the stress of the fight, but his mind was clouded with anxious thoughts.
"Josh," Jenna stuttered, her voice evident of the tears she held back. She never bothered wiping the blotted mascara from her previous crying, "I feel guilty."
Pulled from his thoughts, Josh turned his attention towards his best friend's wife. "Guilty?"
"Y-Yes. Tyler might not be Tyler right now, b-but that's still his body and I- it's my fault that he was bleeding and covered in bruises. How awful of a wife am I?! How could I lay my hands on him?!" Jenna dug her face in her hands as the dam of tears that she failed to hold back broke, "How could I have no idea h-how to get rid of Blurryface?! I'm o-one of the closest people to him!"
Josh's expression became sympathetic as he approached the bedside and sat beside her, wrapping his arms around her in a comforting hug. "Please don't say things like that. Don't blame yourself. I know that it's Tyler's body, but remember, that's not Tyler. He'll heal. It's okay, alright? ...I mean, he deserved to be punched after all."
Jenna pulled her hands away from her face and gazed up at Josh, "T-Thanks, but, that doesn't change the fact that I'm his wife and yet I've failed to believe that Blurryface was real and how to defeat him," her voice quavered.
Josh pursed his lips in thought at her comment before pulling his arms away and standing from the bed. "If anybody should be saying that, it's me. I'm the one producing music with him, after all... but guess what? It isn't too late. I'm sure that we can find hints on how to defeat Blurryface. Jenna, we still have time to make a plan."
"Time? What? We're on a limit? What happens if we run out of time?"
"Well, I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing we are on a time limit. You see, from what Blurryface explained to me on the way over here, he's finally in the 'driver's seat.' He's ready to experience life and take Tyler's place. I'm sure he's going to flee at some point and try to, well, I guess experience true living for once. The first thing he tried to do when he woke up was leave. You see, if he wasn't in so much pain, I'm sure he would've left right now," Josh replied.
Jenna's cries had stopped at this point. She was intrigued by Josh's idea. "You're right..."
Josh laughed a bit out of hopefulness, "Actually, you kicking his ass will give us even more time."
Jenna couldn't help but crack a smile in reply.
After heavy blows to the head from the 'tear in Tyler's heart', Blurryface passed out. It wasn't until now that he stirred awake. The pounding in his head was unbearable and he could've sworn his nose was broken from how much it hurt.
"Fuck," Blurryface hissed as his hazy vision started to focus on the ceiling fan above him that wafted cold air. The bright light only sent another wave of pain to his headache and he winced before carefully sitting up. It took him a couple minutes to process his surroundings. Nobody was around- not that he knew of. Tyler's wife and best friend happened to be watching Blurryface from the top railing of the stairs. Blurryface wasn't fully conscious to notice them as he groggily raised to his feet and headed towards the kitchen.
"Where are the Oxys?" Blurryface grumbled as he dug through the medicine cabinet, only finding medication that was meant for lower grade pain. He twisted off the top of one or two bottles, consuming at least ten or twelve pills to help tide over the pain that radiated throughout his body. He sighed heavily as the pills traveled down his throat after a couple sips of water before he limped towards the kitchen sink and turned on the faucet. He leaned over the counter and splashed cool water on his face. After a couple refreshments of water lightly soothing his bruised face, a scowl formed on his lips as a stream of liquid a hue darker than his irises spiral down the drain. It was the dried blood from the previous ravages Jenna committed against him.
"That bitch..." Blurryface muttered, the memories flashing through his mind, "I need to pack my shit and get the fuck out of here. I could take out a bunch of cash from Tyler's account. Yeah... That'll be enough to support me on the road," he quietly said to himself before peering around for car keys. He couldn't recall where the keys to Tyler's Jeep went. "Fuck, where did he put them?"
Blurryface approached the living room, a place where he thought Tyler might have left them last. Perhaps on the coffee table? Well, no. Jenna would've cleaned and put them somewhere more reasonable, wouldn't she?
"Damnit," he sighed in irritation, the murmurs of the television a couple feet away from him only increasing the pounding of his migraine. "Just shut up!" the counterpart shouted at the news anchor rambling on television, grabbing the remote from the table and raising it towards the screen. He was one click away from muting the TV before he realized something...
"LEAD SINGER OF TWENTY ONE PILOTS RECENTLY ESCAPED LOCAL COLUMBUS HOSPITAL, EYE WITNESS SOURCES CONFIRM"
Those words were written in large, obnoxious font that traveled across the screen while the anchor spoke about the situation. The television flashed to the next scene, revealing a woman in scrubs speaking into a mic and sharing what she happened to see. Yes, it was the same nurse that attempted to flag Josh down on their escape from the hospital.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, how am I going to leave now??? The police will be knocking on these doors any second looking for me! I need to get out of here quickly," he said frantically, turning off the TV. He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed shakily. Blurryface was not only too drenched in pain to run off and go through with his plan of escape, but he couldn't even find the keys or Tyler's wallet. He needed to act quickly.
"Well, now we know that he's awake. Are you sure we have time? I know he's in pain, but won't he still try and escape?" Jenna asked with a sigh, gently closing the master bedroom door.
Josh shook his head, "As much as he wants to, I have the keys to my car and... Tyler's keys are here too, right?"
Jenna nodded quickly.
"Then, he can't. The police will stall him..." Josh trailed off, then his expression became panicked, "Wait, then they'll see the blood on his face and all of the marks. I don't think the police will take that very well," he said, swallowing thickly.
Tyler's wife covered her mouth in realization, "You're right... Plus, you practically kidnapped him."
"We are on a time limit then. It's much shorter than I thought," the drummer replied, "What should we do? All of the clues we need are here in this household. If we flee, how will we figure out how to defeat Blurryface? We can't leave him here alone either."
Jenna looked down in thought, "Well, what I do know is that he keeps all of his writings in a specific place. When we moved here, he turned our guest bedroom into a place where he could create music. His piano is there as well as a desk where he often writes. If he wasn't spending time with me at home during breaks, he was in there for hours upon hours."
"Could you open that door? I'm sure the papers on his desk might give us clues." Josh asked, a hopeful gleam evident in his eyes.
"Yes... but first, what are we going to do with Blurryface?" Jenna asked.
It was silent for a moment before Tyler's best friend replied, "The best thing to do that will save us time is... I hate to say it, but we have to actually kidnap Blurryface."
"What?!" Jenna gasped, her eyes widening in surprise, "That's insane!"
"We have to! If we don't, imagine will happen when the police arrive! They'll wrongfully charge both of us and then we'll lose the opportunity to save Tyler. You see, nobody else understands but you and I. The cops may think that what they're doing is correct, and yes, it is right according to law, but it is not right in order for us to save Tyler."
Jenna nervously rubbed her arm as Josh's words sunk in and she then slowly nodded, "You're right... Then what's your plan?"
"You need to pack some clothes and gather what money you have. Cash only or else they'll trace us, then sneak to the room downstairs where Tyler produces ideas for music and gather every paper from that desk and any other clue you might find. I'll gather rope from the garage and sneak up on Blurryface to try and tie him up, then we'll go back to the garage and either put him in the trunk or backseat of the car depending on how violent he is, then flea some place. Maybe a hotel miles from this city."
Jenna was stunned at the plan, then she shook her head, "T- That just sounds insane, Josh, that sounds absolutely insane."
Josh grabbed her shoulders and firmly locked gazes with Jenna, "We have to do this. It will be much worse if we don't. Could you imagine the tabloids? I'm sure they're already awful enough."
Jenna broke her gaze before sighing, then she nodded, "Okay. Okay, fine, but we're switching roles. If there's one thing that I know about Blurryface, it's that in the song 'Tear in My Heart', I was the one to 'defeat' Blurryface. I was able to put a good fight up today, after all. If anybody can handle him, it's me," Jenna replied, placing a hand on Josh's shoulder, "Besides, have you ever even fought some one?" she asked, an amused smile forming on her delicate features.
An embarrassed blush formed on Josh's cheeks and he pulled away from Jenna, "N-No, but-"
"Exactly. I'll tie him up. Pack some of my clothes and you can borrow some of Tyler's, then grab the clues from downstairs. The code is 291209," she said, patting his shoulder lightly before leaving the bedroom and quietly shutting the door behind her.
"This is going to be one hell of a ride..." Josh spoke aloud to himself.
Chapter 10: The Third Face
Josh and Jenna decide to flee the house in order to solve the clues Tyler left behind.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"2 - 9 - 1 - 2 - 0 9"
Quietly, the handle of the door turned and the hinges subtly creaked as Josh took a step inside of the room. The soles of his shoes sunk into the carpet as he closed his eyes and inhaled the faint scent of his best friend. The familiar pang of grief tugged at his heart strings.
A light flickered on and brightened the contents of the room. Inside was a sleek keyboard with writings of music notes laying upon it. Tyler's bass was resting on a stand in the corner of the room. The walls were decorated with photographs that captured their band's career as well as shelves full of some of the awards they had earned together. As Josh's coffee colored irises scanned the other contents of the room, he discovered the very desk Jenna mentioned. Papers were scattered across the surface and as Josh approached to investigate, he noticed the familiar jottings of Tyler's hand writing. Josh grabbed the first paper to catch his eye, one that happened to stand out to him. It appeared to be a draft since a few words that were scribbled out were re-written.
"They're asleep. The night took forever to arrive, and now we're almost ready. We've studied the watchers, and now know there is no chance we can step through unnoticed. So, instead of trying to hide ourselves, we'll make sure that all of us are noticed. It's been one year since the last convocation, and tomorrow's Annual Assemblage of Glorified will be the biggest spectacle this concrete coffin of a city has seen all year. If we time it right, we'll divert the attention of the watchers and finally take the step through. We've had no contact, but we're hoping the other side will be able to find a way in. We're not sure of the breach location, but we're willing to risk being smeared in order to find it. We know that we must go lower, and wait for the torches. They've never seen anything quite like this, and by morning, everything will be quite different. I'm terrified and excited, all at the same time. They don't control us." -Clancy
Josh was silent as he re-read the sentences over and over again. He couldn't process what 'Clancy' was attempting to say. How come Tyler never brought this up? Or... did he?
Two Years Prior
"I know I've only told you a little bit of my idea, but these last few weeks on the road, I've been thinking about our next album," Tyler spoke up from the small kitchen of the tour bus. It was so late that the next morning had already arrived and the clocks of their phones read 1 AM. The band was heading to their next major tour city to check in to a hotel before their upcoming performance.
Josh tiredly peered from the tour bus couch he was resting on to his best friend who took a seat across from him on the opposite couch.
"Sorry, I know you're trying to rest, but," Tyler sighed in content, "I haven't felt tired at all, no matter how far I push myself during our concerts. I've just had so much adrenaline because I feel hopeful. I feel... happy. You, Jenna, our team, our fans- I never thought I'd feel this way again until you showed up into my life."
Tyler's words caused Josh to smile and raise from the couch so that they were sitting across from each other.
"I'm glad that you feel that way, Tyler. I never want you to feel pained," the drummer replied in a sleepy tone. Yes, he was tired, but his best friend was a priority. He felt the need to protect him. He felt the need to listen and give guidance. He felt the need to provide hope.
The dimples of Tyler's cheeks became prominent as he smiled, "This era is going to end soon and I think that Blurryface will finally stop tormenting me. He's silent when I'm happy. It's his weakness. Have you ever felt so blissful that you forget your doubts?"
Josh nodded at Tyler's words, though there was only so much he could understand since he thought that Blurryface only represented insecurities. He didn't know the true depth of what Tyler expressed.
"I want our next album to focus on the opposite of Blurryface. Positivity. Hope. Joy," Tyler glanced outside of the tour bus, "Colors are something we've used to describe our eras. I associate red with Blurryface and his overall negativity. I was thinking that yellow represented positivity and-"
"Is this another character?" Josh asked, his eyes lighting up at Tyler's creative ideas.
Tyler was quiet for a moment. He was used to others not understanding the reality he faced. "I guess you could call it that," his eyes then shifted to the window outside although the outside visuals were engulfed by the night sky, "People tend to associate green with happiness, but for me, I see joy in yellow. Remember the field of sunflowers we saw on the way this morning? That... That is happiness."
"Ah, here are some ropes," Jenna said to herself as she stepped on a stool to reach a cardboard box.
Setting the box on the cold garage floor, the blonde crouched to retrieve the contents using a box cutter she had found in the tool box when walking in.
Just as she lifted the ropes to observe them, the door creaked and Jenna quietly gasped, crouching further so that she was hidden behind the car.
"The keys have to be in here," Blurryface spoke aloud to himself as he stepped inside the garage while his eyes wandered for what he was searching for. The pounding in Jenna's chest was overwhelming as she gripped the rope with sweaty palms. Eyes as blue as the morning sky studied Blurryface from Jenna's perspective of peering through the car windows. Biting her lip, she knew that this would be her chance to attack him. Inhaling quietly as her eyes fluttered closed, she reassured herself, "If I want to save Tyler... I have to do this."
Rising to her feet, Jenna waited a few quiet moments while Blurryface's back was turned away from her before she sprinted towards him towards him. She attempted to wrap the rope around his arms and torso, but her grip loosened as the red-eyed imposter flailed. He raised his elbow behind himself to hit Jenna and escape. On impact, the blonde stumbled and lost her stance as she was lowered to the floor. He then turned to face her, his glowing gaze burning into her soul.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing, huh?!" Blurryface shouted in a threatening manner, stepping towards Jenna as she scooted herself back in panic. The blonde attempted to scramble to her feet, but Tyler's counterpart shoved Jenna, her back hitting the concrete floor.
"Stupid bitch! You break my nose and now you try to tie me up?! I knew you wouldn't let me leave! He's GONE, what's the point?!" the man above her shouted as he trapped her underneath him. Jenna flailed, hot tears streaming down her cheeks as she furrowed her eyebrows, "He's not gone!!! He should've woken up, not you! There must be something that caused this! M-Maybe... The circumstances were negative, so you took his place... That's why-"
"I'm sick of your voice, just shut the fuck up!" Blurryface growled, wrapping his hand around her throat in a venomous grip as she scratched at his wrist. She choked and gasped, attempting all that she could to escape his grip, but his anger fueled him and the palm around her throat was painfully squeezing her thorax and cutting off oxygen. Jenna's other hand desperately searched for something to grab on to, any sort of weapon near by. It wasn't until her finger tips found the familiar threads of rope.
"If it wasn't for you, if it wasn't for Josh, if it wasn't for them, I could've overtaken him already. I could've consumed him in depression. Then, this body would've been mine. He would've been silenced. He would've been my thoughts rather than me being his. So, fuck you! Fuck you for taking that away-"
Before Blurryface could finish his sentence, Jenna's swift hand movements resulted in a rope wrapped around his throat, trapping his airways. They were now in opposite places: Blurryface had been shoved to ground and gasping to breathe while Jenna hovered over him and choked him.
"You know what?! Fuck you, actually! I made a promise to him and I'd rather die than ever break it," Jenna shouted back, her voice slightly hoarse from the previous abuse on her throat. "I know that Tyler is still there and I'm not stopping until you've returned him to me! I'm not stopping until you're defeated! I don't care what it takes! Fuck the tabloids! Fuck the police!" she continued, her tone raising in a flurry of frustration and fury.
Only small gasps and the sounds of struggle left Blurry's lips as he lost his breath. Jenna's expression twisted into anguish and she began to weep as she tightened the rope's grip on his neck. Despite the vibrant pools of red that Tyler's vessel now had, she couldn't help but think of Tyler himself as she watched his face churn with struggle. She wanted to tear her hands away- to release the rope around his throat because she knew that this was hurting Tyler too. Tears had streamed down her chin and onto Blurryface's cheek as she cried deeply, the raw emotions coming from the deepest trenches of her heart. Through a perception clouded with tears, Tyler's body trashed for what seemed like a long while until he finally fell still.
Once no longer moving, Jenna cupped her trembling hands on to the vessel's cheeks. The vessel's eyelashes were shielded and masked the red irises. In that moment, she no longer saw Blurryface, but rather the man that she devoted her heart to. She then rested her forehead against his and whispered softly and repeatedly as she continued to weep, "I'm sorry, Tyler... I didn't want to hurt you too."
The ride was silent other than the faint sound of the air conditioner and engine of the car as Josh sped down the barren road leading to a smaller, lesser known city in Ohio. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the wheel tightly, swallowing as the familiar feeling of anxiety uncomfortably sat in his chest. Jenna lost count of how many times she caught him glancing at the mirror for the police.
"Josh, I know it's difficult not to worry," the blonde said with a soft sigh as she wiped away the smeared mascara and remaining make up from her cheeks, "but, I think we'll be fine. We've cleaned up our tracks as best as we could, so I'm sure they won't find us anytime soon."
"I know," he replied in a crestfallen tone, "It's just so difficult to relax. What if he wakes up? So many questions are running through my mind, no matter how hard I try to remind myself that it's okay for right now."
Jenna turned her head to the backseat where an unconscious Blurryface laid bound by rope. His wrists were tied behind his back as well. It was unlikely he'd unravel himself from the ropes if he did happen to stir awake.
"I think we'll be fine," she replied as she turned her head back to the road ahead, though, in all honesty, she was quite nervous too.
It'd been about an hour on the road before Josh pulled into the parking lot of a small, poor quality motel. The horizon was darkening in hue as the evening began. Once Josh shifted the car in park, he reached to retrieve his wallet. He grabbed a decent amount of cash and handed it to Jenna.
"I don't think it will be safe if I'm the one to check in. Make sure our room is downstairs and keep your profile low," the drummer said as he earned a nod from his best friend's wife. The car was silent after her door slammed shut and she stepped into the motel's office. Josh was now left with his agonizingly anxious thoughts as he listened to his own heart beat.
Tyler stood trapped in the jumbled void of his imagination. This was the only place he could go.
He didn't have access to his senses because he wasn't conscious. He hasn't been for months.
Faint sounds from the other side created vivid scenarios in which he explored.
Due to the silence and lack of interaction from the other side, he was engulfed in darkness.
It wasn't until he could hear the faint murmurs of familiar voices from the other side.
Josh sighed, "We've got him inside. You don't think anybody saw us, did you?"
"Don't worry so much. The only people I haven't seen anyone else around here other than the motel clerk, and she's on the other side of this motel. Besides, we were quick about carrying him inside."
"Jenna?" Tyler spoke with a soft gasp. Shapes and colors formed around him, creating a scene in which Jenna and Josh were speaking to each other. He imagined himself standing a far and watching as they spoke. What he didn't quite understand was what they were talking about.
"You don't understand because you haven't woken up yet. You can't see. You can't feel. You can't speak. You can barely hear. All you can do is imagine based on the words that you pick up. You can pretend that you're there, but you aren't," spoke a familiar deep voice.
"Nico..." Tyler quavered as he turned his body to face the source of where the voice was coming from, "Y-You're back. Please don't tell me since you've been in control of my body, you've-"
"Shut up," Blurryface replied, taking a step towards the figure. Tyler didn't take a step back, but the obvious fear in his irises lured Blurryface closer, "I haven't gotten to do much thanks to your stupid fucking wife and best friend. I could've left the city-"
"So, you believe that's realistic?" asked a voice that seemed familiar, yet oddly, unfamiliar at the same time. Both Tyler and Blurry looked around in utter confusion.
Pieces of the imaginary scenery that surrounded them began to form into monarch butterflies. There were hundreds of them morphing and the gleam in Tyler's eyes lightened. Blurryface gritted his teeth, knowing exactly what this situation must've meant, and the vividly yellow insects soon flapped their wings and flew away, leaving behind a figure.
"When's the last time you spent time to think something through? Your idea is idiotic. Even if you were to escape with Tyler's body half way across the world, the police would search for you, hundreds of thousands of obsessed fans would search for you, and you haven't been in Tyler's body long enough to understand how anything works. How could you possibly survive on your own, especially in hiding?"
Blurryface felt his possession over Tyler's insecurities, anxiety, and hopelessness weaken. This figure was powerful. It gave Tyler hope. Blurryface wasn't capable of destroying this figure, however. He couldn't destroy what Tyler created, he could only destroy Tyler himself.
"-Fuck you. What do you know? You can say all the shit you want, Clancy, but you aren't strong enough to defeat me and give Tyler his body back. Besides, Josh and Jenna need clues to figuring out who you are, and Tyler barely said shit about you or the new era before the accident."
Clancy stepped towards both of them. Tyler's eyes gleamed with admiration as he approached, while Blurryface took an immediate step back.
"Tyler left plenty of clues behind. They may be complicated to solve, but those who are willing will take the time to decipher the clues, no matter how difficult and time consuming it may be. What you need to realize that Tyler isn't so hopeless anymore. He's developing enough strength and courage to defeat you. You should be afraid," Clancy then tilted his head amusingly at Blurryface, a small smile forming on his lips, "Tyler's positive feelings will dethrone you. I will dethrone you."
"As for you, Tyler, you've been awake the entire time that Blurryface has," Clancy spoke, moving his gaze from a trembling Blurryface to an awestruck Tyler, "It's just that the negativity of the situation fueled Blurryface's power and his ability to overcome you which gave him the opportunity to take your place in the driver's seat."
"I... thought I was still in a coma. Blurryface explained to Josh in the car that-"
Clancy placed his hand on Tyler's shoulder, "Never listen to him. He is an entity driven by negativity. He lied so that he could stay in your place."
"What? So all this time I could've been there?!" Tyler clenched his fists, but Clancy shot him a disappointed look in return.
"Don't even think of getting angry. I know that it's unfair, but you lashing out only makes Blurryface stronger. Either way, he was too powerful to overcome then, but now, with all of the time you spent left alone in your imagination to create scenarios of Jenna and Josh from their voices on the outside, you have developed a lot of hope. You need to focus the positive energy and help it to flourish so that you can take your body back before Blurryface tries to again. Right now, his guard is down."
Tyler was quiet for a moment before he nodded. "You're right. I'd do anything to be there with Josh and Jenna again... To tell them that everything is okay."
"That's the spirit, Tyler. Thinking like that will help you to overcome Blurryface. You are not alone," Clancy spoke in a supportive tone. Blurryface was covering his ears, wincing at the positivity spewing from their mouths. It was physically revolting to him.
Tyler looked towards the entity that fueled his hope, "I won't give up, even if it means trying again and again. I will do all that it takes to recover my body to see those who love me. I won't give up on them. I promise you that."
I love feedback, please don't be afraid to leave a comment on what you think or what predictions you have on what will happen.
Also, I'm so sorry it didn't come out as soon as I stated! It's because I've had to re-write the entire chapter. You see, this idea I have requires a lot of research on who Clancy is and such, so I apologize.
Chapter 11: I'm Morphed With Someone Else
Sorry it's so short, this is just the build-up to what is to come next! It should give you some ideas and insight on what might happen next, I've already given a taste of some exciting things to come! The story is not done, I'm writing the next chapter right now, so stay tuned!
"The first time I heard his voice echo in my mind was also during the first time I had my first anxiety attack. It was an indescribable feeling, and each time it came back, so did he. I guess you can say these feelings are what created him. He is those feelings," spoke Tyler in a weary tone.
Tyler sobbed uncontrollably, an often occurrence at the vulnerable age of seventeen. The white of his eyes were a glistening pink tone as tears would pool and then travel down his cheeks. Mental exhaustion would eventually engulf him at this point, which it did. Suddenly, his croaking voice quieted and his dark colored irises morphed into a vibrant red.
The entity lifted his head from his knees, gazing at the mirror across from him. It was then that he realized that Tyler had raised his white flag for the moment. Other than Tyler, Blurryface was alone since no one knew of his existence. If he was normal, he wouldn't be sharing a body, though he felt as if he was his own person- as if he was alive- or at least he dearly wished.
"God," the entity clasped his hands, his eyelids falling shut as he prayed to the Lord. Tyler's family was close to religion and the faith of a higher power, so naturally, he wanted answers from God above too. "I don't understand why I have to be this way. I want my own vessel, I want to live my own life. I don't want to be apart of Tyler, I want to be myself! Why am I stuck like this? I hate it! Aren't you the one who made me like this?"
"I am so angry. I hate Tyler. I hate everybody in this stupid fucking family. They get to experience life with their own bodies and their own minds, while I'm just stuck in the back of someone's head. You know how miserable that is? For me? I am alone, stuck with Tyler. Nobody knows I exist... It's not fair. I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't exist if I can't bother actually living," Blurryface muttered, his fist clenching in anger as his eyebrows furrowed.
Stained glass shattered to the bathroom tiles as Blurryface's fist met the mirror. For the first time, tears of his very own traveled down his cheeks. "How could you allow this, God?! What kind of God are you to do such a thing?!"
"'... and you mean Blurryface? Tell me about when he took over," the therapist asked, pressing the ball of her pen against her notepad as she listened closely to his words, scribbling sentences.
"When he took over? Well, I'd black out and then suddenly, I wouldn't be in control of my own body anymore. It was as if I was in the back of my own head, paralyzed while watching myself do things that I wouldn't do, if that makes sense. I would watch Blurryface control my body... He did awful things," Tyler replied, his eyes full of fear as he spoke his memories aloud.
The therapist looked up, observing his expression. Tyler was clearly trembling.
"Can you explain why you refer to Blurryface as Blurryface? What does the name you gave him mean?"
"It's because he isn't just my anxiety. He's my depression, my guilt, my doubt... he takes many different forms. He's just negativity in general. I hate him, I wish he didn't exist," Tyler replied, covering his face with his hands as he felt his face churn with sadness as he choked back tears.
"Tyler, we will get you help," the therapist stood, walking towards him and sitting beside him to offer comfort, "I want you to know that whoever this Blurryface is, he isn't real. What you have is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. It's common among trauma victims-"
"-He is real! How could you say he isn't? I have absolutely no control of my body when he takes over!" Tyler shouted, his hands moving away from his face so that he could gaze at the professional in anger, "All I can do is speak to him, like he does to me! It's- It's like there's two souls in my body!"
"I understand what you are saying, but you must understand that what I am saying is that what you are describing is called 'dissociation.' Blurryface is an alter, a different identity with his own-"
Tyler rose to his feet, clenching his fists. His family was wrong about therapy, everyone who asked him to seek help was wrong about therapy. They wouldn't understand. Blurryface was right. They wouldn't understand.
"No, you do not understand what I'm saying!" Tyler shouted, his face red as tears continued to fall, then he quickly strode to the large door plastered in posters of motivational quotes that once made him roll his eyes, "Screw this!"
The therapist rose to her feet in awe, "Tyler, we should talk this out-"
Suddenly, the door slammed and out went a fuming Tyler full of tears and anger. He marched out of the facility, never to return again, or so he thought.
"We'll just get ourselves anxious if we turn the news on, Jenna," Josh said, his voice full of worry as Jenna continued to fiddle with the remote in her hands. They have been studying and deciphering the letters and pages of lyrics that Tyler had left behind, but Josh and Jenna were still missing the most important thing: saving Tyler from Blurryface. Why didn't the Clancy letters explain their antidote? Yes, they knew Tyler's musical narrative was full of hidden meanings, and they discovered most answers, but none of those answers were able to trace back to what they needed most.
"We need to know, especially since we might need to change location soon. I'm sure they're actively searching for you and him. Probably even me at this point since we didn't clean up the house before we left..." Jenna blurted, obviously on edge herself. It seemed that Josh and Jenna had a different way of handling anxiety. Jenna would rather solve the issue than run away, not that it's a bad thing.
"I know, I know, but we needed to get out of there. We don't have kidnapping experience, Jenna, we wouldn't have remembered to clean up," Josh replied, attempting to justify the situation for Jenna's, and quite frankly, his own comfort, but Jenna just heaved a heavy sigh and dug her face in her hands. In the midst of silence, Josh uttered gentle words.
"You know you had to do it to him... I know you feel bad, but don't." Josh sat on the edge of the bed, near Jenna. He noticed her gaze upon Tyler's sleeping form. Fresh bruises colored his skin and it made Jenna's stomach turn knowing that it was caused by her, of all people on this very Earth.
"Josh..." Jenna's teary gaze rose from her lap, only to see Josh's eyes widen at the sight of blue and red lights reflecting against her face. She was the one close to the motel window after all.
"Oh, no," Josh whispered, his heart sinking to the deepest depths. The weight of anxiety crushed him as he peaked out the window where a sleek, old-fashioned sheriff's car pulled onto the asphalt of the parking lot. Quickly ducking and closing the curtains, Josh felt as if he was going to collapse. It was difficult to even tell Jenna what he had seen, but she knew. Josh was sweating.
"What are we going to do?! Tyler is tied up, we can't release him or else Blurryface will attempt to escape when he stirrs awake. Jenna, I'm freaking out! That's my car! They know I escaped with Tyler in that car!"
"Josh, calm down, you need to carry Tyler out of these doors out the back exit, to the car. I will drive us out of this place. That's what you need to worry about. We just need to save him! I don't care about anything else until then!"
"Jenna, we don't even know how! Don't you get it?! We don't have a clue!" Josh snapped, his voice cracking as he choked back tears. The tear in Tyler's heart fell silent in surprise. She hadn't seen Josh snap, not once.
"If you can stop me from sulking, I'm stopping you from sulking too." Jenna kneeled to Josh who was sat near the window and leaning against the wall and grabbed his shoulders, looking him dead in the eyes, "Don't you dare forget what you told me before you got here. Now, if you want to get out of here before we get caught, I suggest you start carrying him right now or else we get charged with kidnapping and assault. You know Blurryface will come up with some fake, manipulative story to the police so that he can try and live his life in Tyler's body if they manage to capture us and get him to 'safety.' I mean, look how suspicious we seem!"
His gaze trailed to the carpet as Jenna's words struck a chord in his heart. She was right. As scared as he was, she was right and he would rather save Tyler than anything too, but why couldn't he shake his doubt?
"Okay," Josh sighed deeply before rising to his feet. He walked towards Tyler's vessel, scooping the slender man into his arms as he watched Jenna desperately gather all of Tyler's writings. She then quietly propped the door open and Josh carried his close friend's body down the hall. It felt rebellious, running from the police. It certainly wasn't in the book of things Josh Dun would do, but here he was, risking everything for this man. It wasn't just because Tyler was his band mate and best friend. There was something special about Tyler that he could never pin-point. All he knew was that Tyler had an aura so warm and comforting, Josh could bask in it all day. Nobody can replace Tyler Joseph. Nobody will. Josh and Jenna were sure of it.
"Quickly, start the car," Josh directed to Jenna as he laid Tyler's body in the backseat. As Josh closed the car door, the engine whined as Jenna turned the key into the ignition. He then climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled his seat belt. It was clear he was on edge, but Jenna would be lying if she claimed she wasn't either. She shifted the gears into reverse. As she turned her head to see there was nothing in her way before backing out, Josh shouted,
"Jenna, we need to leave quick! He's coming, he's coming. I knew he saw us in the hall way!"
Tires screeched as Jenna left the scene and sped out of the area. They already knew they were being searched for, there was no point in playing it cool with the feds. The last thing that Josh saw when they left the motel was the sheriff waving them down and yelling indistinctly. Jenna didn't see him. She refused to look. Her grip tightened on the wheel as she sped down a road that she didn't recognize. This may have been the outskirts of Columbus, but Josh was right when he said this town was barren. There weren't any turning roads yet. Jenna needed one desperately to save Tyler and lose the sheriff. He must be getting in his vehicle any second to chase them down.
"Where are we even heading?" Josh asked, gripping the handle up top like his life depended on it. Jenna was going well over 100 miles per hour, but he couldn't complain. He felt as if he was slipping from sanity. His mind felt heavy. He honestly felt hopeless, and that he didn't know what to do anymore. They couldn't find any hints to save Tyler, they left an entire, suspicious case of clues behind, and now the police are going to take Tyler's vessel away before they can even re-unite him with his own consciousness. No, it couldn't happen like this. It just couldn't.
"I- I don't know, I'm trying to find somewhere!" Jenna replied, then, panic ensued. The wail of police sirens grew. Jenna pressed harder on the gas, but it seemed no matter how far or how fast she traveled down the barren streets surrounded by woods, the sound grew louder and louder.
"Jenna, I'm scared," Josh closed his eyes tightly, gripping onto the handle, his knuckles white, "I think it's over, Jenna. I think- I think he won."
"Josh, what are you saying?!" Jenna asked in desperation as tears hazed her vision, turning her gaze towards him, "Take that back, you know he hasn't won yet!" Without Josh's hope, she'd be left alone to fight for Tyler. Josh was slipping before her eyes, and he never replied.
"Take it back! Don't you ever think of giving up!" Jenna shouted, her tone laced with desperation. Her soul was broken and Josh could feel it through her words.
"Jenna..." Josh spoke shakily, "Look out!!!"
"What the fuck is that in the road?!" Jenna exclaimed.
A sudden gasp left Tyler's body's lips as he was jolted awake by the abrupt braking of the car. He felt his body slam against the interior harshly. Bound by rope, he had the inability to protect himself, and the vehicle suddenly slipped out of Jenna's control. She tried to grip onto the steering wheel tight in order to gain control, but they were going too far high of a speed for her to safely brake. Suddenly, the they spun off road and into the lush woods, crashing into a large, towering tree. Dark, thick smoke lifted into the air. The car... it was engulfed in flames.
Chapter 12: So, where are you? It's been a little while.
kinda short, but some somethin' special is coming up :) so that's why!
This was my home. The lush woods, the towering trees. There was no one to bother me here. It was silent other than the soft hum of the birds and stream of the river.
It was relatively calm here, or so I thought. I whipped my head towards the direction of black smoke lifting in the air from where a car I had seen until I ran off created a loud crash that drew the birds away.
On instinct, I ran the opposite direction... but each time the pads of my paws hit the ground in desperation to scramble away, I felt a hinge of regret for flooding the scene. They must have crashed at the sight of me, after all.
A wave of nostalgia hit me. My heart was pounding. I was scared to investigate what I thought must have been a fire, but what if...
"I miss Tyler," Maddy said, her eyes scanning the colorful, chalk drawings of what looked like a small, furry animal with large horns upon the wood panels of the treehouse. Tyler had drawn them. He said they were of his imaginary friend.
"Me too, I miss riding our trikes together," Zack replied with a sigh, then turned his head towards the small door which had been knocked upon, "Maybe that's him."
Maddy nodded and Zack rose to his feet. He approached the door and opened it, stepping back to reveal their older brother.
"Tyler! We've been wanting to play with you," Maddy had said in excitement, but her grin quickly fell when she noticed his piercing, red gaze.
Zack became quiet once he realized what Maddy's expression meant. No, this wasn't Tyler. This must've been that red-eyed impostor.
"What do you want?" Zack asked, crossing his arms and looking down. Maddy kept her gaze down as well.
"...I wanted to play," Blurryface replied amid tension. "That's it."
"We don't want to play with you. We want to play with Tyler. Now get out. You're not welcome until our brother is back," Zack replied with a slight tone of aggression, pointing outside.
A frown became apparent on Blurryface's expression and he stepped towards them. Maddy immediately stepped back and Zack held out an arm to guard her. Luckily, Jay was too young to climb the treehouse. It was better for him not to be here.
"Why is it always him?!" Blurryface asked, his eyebrows knitted in anger, "Why can't I play with you guys too?! I'm sick of being alone."
The pounding out of fear in Zack's chest was loud, but it was the sudden crying that had erupted from his small sister that really caught his attention.
"Just go away! You're making Maddy scared," Zack snapped back, "We don't care about what you have to say, just give Tyler back!"
Blurryface's face flushed red in anger. He clenched his fists at the sight before him. Rejection, rejection, rejection. He was tired of it.
Zack kept his guard and defensive side up. He was scared, especially since Tyler was taller than him by a couple of inches already. Did he have a chance?
"You know what?" Blurryface said, "I'll leave."
The younger boy's expression became confused at the older boy's reply. He did not expect Blurryface to cooperate.
"I'll give you Tyler back too," he said, stepping back towards the doorway. Maddy visually became less tense as he distanced himself from them.
"Really...?" Zack asked, raising an eyebrow. He was confused.
"Of course! I don't matter anyway so why not?" Blurryface flashed a smile and stepped out of the doorway and onto the highest step of the wooden ladder. He reached towards the knob of the door and pulled it closed.
It was silent for a moment and Maddy looked up towards her older brother in confusion.
"Idiots," Blurryface muttered under his breath, his gaze falling upon the lock on the door. Reaching over, he clasped the lock shut and began to climb down the ladder.
"That was weird, did he really leave?" Maddy asked, looking up to her second oldest brother.
Zack looked towards his sister, "I think so."
The small girl ran towards the window of the treehouse. Getting on her tippy toes, she peeked out of the glass to investigate.
Blurryface was several feet away, but enough to be seen. He was digging through the bed of their father's pick-up truck.
Zack stood behind Maddy, confusion written upon his face as he observed their 'older brother.'
"What's he doing?" the younger sister asked as she tilted her head curiously.
"I- I don't know," Zack replied.
Emerging from behind the truck with a gas can in one hand and a box of matches in the other, the red-eyed boy approached the towering treehouse that stood before him.
"I don't have a good feeling about this, Zacky," Maddie stuttered, clutching onto the older boy's arm as tears welled up in her eyes. Zack grabbed her hand and ran towards the door, lunging to the knob that refused to turn. Immediately, Zack's eyes widened in fear and he pounded upon the wood door, "Hey! Let us out! What are you doing?!"
Blurryface released the latch upon the gas can, chucking splashes of gasoline upon the floor beneath the treehouse and the structure itself until not a drop left poured back out. Dumping the last few drops, Blurryface threw the empty can nearby.
"Do you know how tired I am?" the boy shouted towards the window, "I am exhausted! I am tired of being treated like I don't exist! I matter as much as Tyler does! I want to be known and none of you care!" he spat, eyebrows furrowing as anger fueled his desire to reach for a match.
"W-What are you talking about! Just let us out!" Zack cried out as he ran towards the window to face the aggressive boy.
"See?! Nobody understands!" Blurryface roared, "Nobody will ever understand! Oh, but I will make you. I will make you understand today!"
"No! Please don't do this!" Zack shouted in desperation as Maddie began to cry, "Mom!! Dad!! Tyler!! Tyler, are you still in there?! Please! No!"
Blurryface opened the box of matches, grabbing a single one and admiring the red phosphorus before he struck the match against the side of the box, resulting in a small flame.
"Tyler! Tyler, no! Come back, big brother, please!!!" cried the boy in a fluster, tears streaming down his cheek as he desperately pounded his fists against the glass of the treehouse window.
Blurryface released his grip upon the small match which had fallen onto the ground, the fire immediately crawling its way across the premises. Maddie began to shake in fear of her life, digging her face in her brother's shirt to avoid the sight. Zack couldn't believe what he had seen before him: a demonic boy possessing his older brother, the growing fire reflecting in the gleam of his eerily crimson irises. He knew from the first day that wasn't Tyler. Nobody could truly replace Tyler, and Maddie and Zack always felt a cold shiver crawl up their spine when Tyler would succumb to Blurryface's possession. Thick clouds of smoke slowly began to form as the fire crept its way towards the legs of the treehouse.
The troubled boy watched in admiration as the flames grew, but a fuzzy sensation began to grow in his stomach.
"Huh?" Blurryface felt his vision grow hazy as he held his forehead, his balance becoming wobbly. Suddenly, the fuzzy feeling overcame him, and it wasn't long before he collapsed onto the ground, the fire just inches from his now unconscious body.
"No," Tyler whispered shakily as he stared at the pitch-black that surrounded him, "I won't let you hurt them."
This is not what you're supposed to see.
Please, remember me I am supposed to be King of a kingdom or swinging on a swing.
Something happened to my imagination.
This situation's becoming dire...
My treehouse is on fire and for some reason, I smell gas on my hands.
This is not what I had planned.
This is not what I had planned.
Josh's vision slowly focused as his eyes fluttered open. A sigh left his lips as he shut his eyes closed for a second, a sharp pain radiating throughout his body. A groan left his lips and he carefully rose to sit on his knees. It took a few moments before he realized where he was. An empty... pool? Suddenly, Josh whipped his head around to investigate, only to see Tyler's unconscious body upon the ground nearby. Jenna laid not too far away from him. Sickness pooled in Josh's stomach and he crawled towards their bodies.
"Jenna! Tyler!" Josh shouted, coughing from the previous black smoke that he was engulfed in, "Please be alive, please be okay... Oh, my God..."
Suddenly, the sound of small footsteps caught Josh's breath. He lifted his head to see nothing in the distance of the pool, but when he turned his head to peak behind him, he spotted a strange, furry creature observing him.
"Ah! What the-?! What are you?!" Josh quickly moved backward in concern. The creature seemed just as surprised and as scared, running toward's Tyler's body in an attempt to feel more secure. He nuzzled his small body against Tyler's frame, peeking his eyes out every now and then to catch a glimpse of Josh.
"H-Hey... Did you get us in here?" Josh asked, his eyebrows knitting in confusion, "How did you even do that? What are we even in here for?"
The animal remained silent, simply cowering itself as much as it could behind Tyler's back.
"Right, you can't talk..." Josh said as he rubbed his neck, hissing in pain, "Wait a minute."
A large, opaquely black eyeball peeked out again, its focus upon Josh.
"What's that?" Josh pointed to what appeared to be crumpled papers that he held in his paw. Ned's ears lowered as his gaze fell to Tyler's emotionless expression. It left his heart empty, and Ned hesitated for a little while before placing one of the pages upon the ground and scooting it towards Josh. He then quickly returned to his position beside Tyler, and Josh crawled closer, his expression revealing pain from the car wreck, but Josh exerted his body in curiosity. He smoothed out the page and his mouth slightly fell when he realized what he had seen.
A drawing consisting of colorful crayon scribbles of a child and what seemed to resemble Ned was revealed. The two were drawn holding hands with smiles on their faces, and the text below was obviously written by a child: Tyler & Ned Bayou
"Wait... Are you telling me Tyler drew this?" Josh asked, lowering the paper to stare directly at Ned in awe. The creature slowly nodded.
Josh looked to Tyler's unconscious form, then back at Ned, then back at Tyler. "How can this be?"
As expected, the concerned friend was greeted with silence. A heavy sigh left his lips, "Right... If only you could speak."
Before Josh could further reply to the strange creature, he erupted into a coughing fit. His throat burned and tears welled in his eyes. The last thing he remembered was choking on smoke inside the car before losing his consciousness. He heaved and slumped against the empty pool floor, wishing that this was all just some nightmare he could wake up from. He curled up against the floor as pain radiated throughout his body and he squeezed his eyes tightly shut, praying to the God above that this would just end. Oh, please, God, let it end.
Suddenly, the sound of Jenna's voice caught Josh's attention. He perked up, noticing the girl slowly rise in a sitting position as she held her pounding head. Ned had awoken her and stood beside her with what remained of one the papers that Jenna had kept inside of her purse which was beside her when he rescued the two from the car. Many pages were either destroyed or charred, but some pages were left with lots of Tyler's writings still visible. A specific page was found in Ned's hand, and he seemed to push that it was urgent she read it as he placed it near the front of her and scurried back to Tyler's unresponsive form.
Jenna focused her attention on Ned, then slowly to Josh, then slowly to Tyler. An expression of puzzlement formed on her face, "Josh, what is going on here?" the woman asked in concern, scooting back at the sight of the snowy white mammal. She then whipped her head towards Ned, "What the... You can't be real..."
"Just read the paper," Josh blurted, his voice urgent. He was curious to see what Ned had given her. It seemed that what Josh received was a puzzle piece, and Josh wanted to know what it was. Jenna remained silent and shocked, repeatedly looking in between the two in uncertainty. It was difficult to fully process the situation considering she just woke up from a daze and since Ned was an animal that she has never seen in her entire life with such demeanors. Jenna slowly unfolded the paper, squinting to read the writing that wasn't kissed by the flames.
"I'm... a goner," Jenna read aloud. A frown immediately formed at the lyrics, finding the reminder of her husband whom she hadn't been in contact within months heartbreaking, "Somebody catch my breath..."
Josh felt his heart sink as Jenna's voice grew shaky repeating the verse. She then looked towards Ned with a gaze full of tears, "Why are you making me read this? I just want to find out if we can get Tyler back. Are you telling me this is all that we have left of him?"
Ned immediately shook his head and pointed to the paper again, suggesting that she continue reading. Josh seemed to catch on to what Ned was trying to imply and caught Jenna's attention by adding, "Jenna, just trust him. He proved to me he knows Tyler. Please. I think we're close to solving this."
"But, Josh, I-" Jenna's voice cracked as she looked towards her husband's best friend.
"-Do it." Josh urged, his voice stern.
After a couple of quiet moments, the blonde wiped away the tear stains upon her cheeks and lifted the paper again to read. She scanned over most of the lines that she could decipher, but after reading over the page, she slowly lowered it to reveal to Josh an expression of confusion, "These are just lyrics to Goner."
"What do you mean?" Josh asked, his tone full of surprise, "Goner? Maybe that's a hint," he implied, glancing towards Ned for approval, who quickly nodded. "Let me help you if it doesn't hurt too much to move," Josh said before forcing his body to muster through the discomfort of pain from the car accident to seat himself beside Jenna. She scooted closer as well in order to make it easier for him, and then they both investigated the paper. Their eyes continued to scan over the writings, but Jenna felt the frustration in not understanding what Ned was trying to prove.
I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I wanna be known by you
I wanna be known by you
I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I wanna be known by you
I wanna be known by you
Though I'm weak
I'll slip away
Into the sound
The ghost of you
Is close to me
I'm inside out
I've got two faces
Blurry's the one I'm not
I've got two faces
Blurry's the one I'm not
I need your help to
Take him out
I need your help to
Take him out
Though I'm weak
And beaten down
I'll slip away
Into the sound
The ghost of you
Is close to me
I'm inside out
Though I'm weak
And beaten down
I'll slip away
Into the sound
The ghost of you
Is close to me
I'm inside out
Don't let me be gone
Don't let me be gone
Don't let me be gone
Don't let me be!
After trying to decipher the page for what felt like forever, an idea formed in Josh's head. What is this page's connection to the other page? He placed what Ned had given him besides what he gave to Jenna and looked between both pages. Something was similar between the two, but Josh couldn't quite put his finger on it. For another time, he looked towards Tyler's childhood drawing in hopes that he'd gain creative inspiration from the colorful scribbles to be able to solve the situation. As Josh pondered and pondered, while soft singing left Jenna's lips as she attempted to jog her memory of the song.
"I wanna be known... by you," Jenna spoke out loud, repeating the lyrics, "I wanna be known... by you."
Suddenly, a flicker went off in Josh's mind. He quickly looked to Jenna, "Wait, did you say 'by you'?"
Jenna nodded, then her eyebrows furrowed in curiosity, "Yeah, why?"
Josh pointed to Tyler's old handwriting which revealed Ned's last name: Bayou. "Do you think he has something to do with this?!"
Jenna's gaze lightened up for the first time in what seemed like forever, "Well, maybe. Tyler talks about being double-sided, and that Blurryface is underneath."
"You're right," Josh replied, his entire aura shifting from depressed to inspired, "Perhaps, Blurryface is the 'ghost' he is referring to. He keeps talking about wanting to be known 'by you.' Is that a reference to Ned?"
"Maybe," Jenna replied before adding, "He also said he needed help to take Blurryface out in reference to 'you.'"
"Is that our answer...?" Josh asked out loud, slowly turning his head to Ned. Jenna also turned her attention to the jackalope and they both fixated their gaze on him, which caused him to cower behind Tyler's body again. Jenna felt feelings of desperation rise within her, "Please, Ned, please tell us you can help Tyler. You're what can take Blurryface out, right?"
Ned slowly shook his head, but before Josh and Jenna could reply in dismay, he held out his paw to signal them to be patient before they erupted in complaints. It was at that moment that the jackalope nuzzled his head against Tyler's, and the two stayed silent for a long while as they watched the animal remain still before looking at each other in absolute confusion after several minutes passed. Tyler still remained unconscious.
It was dark here, or at least it was for an unimaginable amount of time before the scenery around me morphed into swirls of bursts of color and light. The sight was described to be what the feeling of creativity would if it were in a physical form. I knew what this was. It had been so long since I last visited this place. Blurryface was here too. I watched his attitude crumble once the pitch-black faded. He can't stand the overload of color. He never could because the feelings on the outside reflected the scenery on the inside, so it was dark when he was in control, but light/colorful when my state of mind was inspired and positive. Something from the outside world was causing this ripple effect. I, on the other hand, loved the sights before me. This must have been what it looked like and what it felt like to Blurryface when my pen coated several pages full of verses I poured my heart into. He couldn't stand my flow, my vitality, the positivity of my being, and it was in those songs that Blurryface told me would never be on the radio. At one point, I realized... why should I listen? My upbringing is his weakness, after all.
Suddenly, my old imaginary friend, Ned, appeared in the distance. It had been several years since I last saw him. A gasp left my lips and I couldn't help but reach out to him. "Ned," I spoke in surprise, holding out my hand and kneeling so that our heights were closer, "is that you?"
The jackalope approached me. He had always been naturally wary, but this time, he seemed more willing to be in my presence. There must have been a good reason for him to be so confident. Before I knew it, he was just inches away from me.
"You were asleep. Time to wake up," Ned spoke before stretching his small arm in my direction, "We must leave, quickly, before Blurryface tries to berate you to keep his control over your vessel."
Before I could speak, Ned grabbed my wrist and I rose to my feet. We ran in a direction I wasn't familiar with. It felt aimless- I felt that I was going nowhere, but Ned seemed to know how to navigate the map of my mind better than even I did. I hoped that he was guiding me to consciousness, but before I knew it, I was grabbed the back of the collar of my shirt and yanked back. My hand slipped from Ned's paw and I fell to the ground below. The scenery's mood fell to a cloudy gray, and I was lifted into the air by my throat. Deep red eyes peered into mine. I felt myself start slipping as his grip tightened on my throat. The black from his hand was smeared upon my neck and continued to spread and darken the longer I was in his grasp.
"Let him go!" shouted Ned as he stopped in his tracks.
"Why should I?! So I can let him walk free? So I can continue to suffer as some 'thought' in the back of someone's head? Fuck that! I'm a person too!" Blurryface spat, his eyebrows furrowed in anger. His expression was full of fury, and Ned could feel his negative energy, but this did not stop him from trying to save Tyler.
"I understand that you feel that way," Ned replied firmly, then pointed for Blurryface to set Tyler down, "but ultimately, this has always been Tyler's life. Don't you think that you'd always be in control if it weren't? I believe you have a reason to be here, one that has not been revealed yet, but there is one and we will find it. You can hurt him all you want, but at the end of the day, it's both of you as a duo or nothing. Tyler said it himself. It's Tyler and Blurryface, not just one or the other."
Blurryface's form appeared shaky, and after a long moment, he released his grip and Tyler collapsed to the ground, gasping for air and rubbing his neck which slowly began to return to his natural skin tone. Tears welled in Blurryface's eyes, but he still was furious. He clenched his fists tightly, "You're telling me that we need each other?! I can't stand him!"
"-He can't stand you either, but it's the truth and you've always known it. Now, accept it. Both of you accept it. You must both exist to balance out, or else, you wouldn't be you, and Tyler wouldn't be Tyler. It's yin and yang," Ned replied, watching as Blurryface's expression contorted into disbelief and more anger, "I know you want to be upset and try to destroy Tyler, and in a sense, that is your job, but if you drive him to his death, you will drive yourself to your own death. Let me give him back to those who miss and love him. It's the right thing to do," Ned replied, moving his gaze to Tyler who rose to his feet, rubbing the mark that Blurryface had left upon his mental form's throat.
Suddenly, Blurryface's exterior crumbled to pieces. He fell to his knees, streams of hot tears evident upon his cheeks that he so desperately tried to hide. He couldn't hold back any longer. Blurryface had finally been beaten down, for the first time in a way that Tyler's mouth was left slightly open in shock. Blurryface lowered his head and dug his face in his hands, choking back sobs, "I can't let it happen. I want him to stay low. I need control!"
"It is over, Blurryface. Your torment is over, at least for now," Ned stated, watching as surroundings returned to its bright and colorful state, "You are necessary for Tyler to survive, but I will make sure you will not cause his ultimate demise. We are taking the high road," Ned held onto Tyler's hand once again to continue to lead him away from the negative entity, "We will see you again, but hopefully by then you will have realized that the only way to obtain the 'life' you so desperately want is not by ripping it away from someone else because, ultimately, you'd be ripping it away from yourself. You are selfish, and all you care about is your own well-being, obviously, but aren't you Tyler? Doesn't that mean you should technically be caring for Tyler? Re-evaluate yourself, Nicholas Bourbaki, and we will meet again."
Blurryface was left in silence by Ned's comment. He was stunned as each word that Ned told him sank in, like a penny falling to the bottom of the pool floor. He watched the two walk away with vision hazed from his previous crying, and within minutes, Tyler and Ned faded from his line of sight.