title: The Tartarus effect
warnings: Insanity, suicidal thoughts
fandom: Dead Space
Summary: They need each other at their best if they are to survive, so having each other’s backs were as good as it got. Or was it? Maybe sometimes when you need a friend you’ll find one where you least expected it.
AN: Okay so this is NOT a friendship fic, this is a romance story. I left out all stuff about where is Ellie or all that crap, it would just confuse stuff, also she has no place in this story really. Also I never say when or why they are where they are, it’s on purpose.. who the fuck wanna read a game transcript – not me. I wanna read a sappy lovestory ^^
Chapter 1: Mutual benefit
Please could you stay awhile to share my grief
For its such a lovely day
To have to always feel this way
And the time that I will suffer less
Is when I never have to wake
Wandering stars, for whom it is reserved
The blackness of darkness forever
Isaac doubled over in pain as his mind flared bright red and orange, flickering in and out, and the voice – it was like it spoke inside out, like the tone would radiate out of him in bright rays. He could vaguely hear someone yell and then heard a loud thud.
”Jesus Christ!” Carver mumbled while he tried to find the mechanism that would retract Isaac’s helmet. ”Isaac?” He asked just watching Isaac spasm on the floor like he had an episode. ”Isaac!” He barked, relieved to hear the other man gasp and stop shaking. ”You look like shit, Clarke.” He said with a soft smile just happy that the blue eyes focused on him instead of rolling back in their sockets.
”Shit.” Isaac whispered, just lying there for a little while to catch his breath.
”Come on.” Carver said extending a hand to Isaac on the floor, holding on to him as he stood and regained his footing. ”I wasn’t kidding, man. You look like death.”
Isaac felt something sticky and warm on his lip, bringing his fingers to it, he stared cross-eyed at the blood on his gloves. ”I’m fine.” He mumbled.
”No you’re not.” Carver argued,”I need you in the game, crazy-boy, maybe… uhm maybe we should take a little break? When did you last eat?” Carver looked so worried that Isaac couldn’t help but to smile and laugh a little, even if it sounded more like a cough.
”I don’t remember.” Isaac admitted sheepishly.
”That settles it then.” Carver said, ”Let’s go find the kitchen.”
”Eh, I don’t think there’s any food there anymore, wouldn’t people have taken it with them when they barricaded themselves?” Isaac shrugged.
”Good point.” Carver nodded. ”Guess we just have to find somewhere where someone made a last stand then.” He smiled and nodded towards the service elevator, ”Can you walk?”
”Yeah.” Isaac said refusing to admit his knees were a bit wobbly.
Carver would look inside every room to see if there was any sign of someone having hoarded food, he was frustrated with the time it took, because Isaac really didn’t look good. He was deathly pale and he looked mostly like a damn raccoon with the dark circles around his eyes. Carver knew they were in a hurry, but not so much so that they should die from lack of basic necessities. After all, Isaac was not a soldier, he was just a survivor, and a damn good one at that. ”Score!” Carver cheered, finding a seemingly empty room with a mattress on the floor and some cans of food. ”They even welded the ducts shut.” He urged Isaac inside the room and closed the door behind him.
Isaac turned around taking note of the room. ”Wonder what happened to them.”
”Who cares?” Carver shook his head. ”ladies first-” He gestured at the mattress.
Isaac just mumbled something containing the word fuckwit but sat down on the mattress, not admitting how good it felt not to stand on his feet. He tried to recall the last time he had been sitting down, it must have been in the shuttle when they crashed down here. Seemed like a thousand days ago.
”So, there’s meatballs, and something chicken.” Carver grinned, ”You chose.”
Isaac couldn’t help a smile and pointed at the left can.
”Meatballs it is.” Carver said and handed Isaac the can, ”I hope.” Isaac opened the can and winced, it looked absolutely disgusting. ”Just pretend it’s something else.” Carver said and added, ”Look you have to eat, Clarke.”
Nodding Isaac brought the can to his lips and tried to think of anything else, Ellie’s lasagna, the sky, red balloons, anything to keep him from thinking of him eating 200 years old canned food. He finished it and dry heaved. ”God.” He mumbled. ”That was fucking disgusting, I swear if I get food poisoning I am blaming you, Carver.”
”Alright.” Carver said strained, trying not to vomit himself. ”I promise you that if you keep that down, I will make you chicken curry when we’re back home. And I should mention that I make a mean chicken curry.” He smiled stiffly.
”I pride myself of my ability to reheat stuff.” Isaac grinned.
They sat in silence for a while till Carver sighed, ”You got any medical stuff?”
”I think so.” Isaac said searching through pockets, ”Yeah, here.” He held out a container to Carver, ”This is it. You injured?”
”I think so.” Carver said, ”Would you, uhm.. would you look?”
”Sure,” Isaac said, keeping still as Carver shrugged off the top part of his suit revealing a deep gash on his back. ”Damn, I don’t remember any of them getting you this good, why didn’t you say something?”
”I just didn’t.” Carver said, sitting down with his back to Isaac.
”You can’t just ignore an injury like this, it could get infected and -” Isaac pulled off his gloves and gently probed the edges of the injury, ”I think I need to sew this shut.”
”Okay.” Carver nodded, ”Do it.”
”Really though, you shouldn’t hide an injury like this, I don’t care how tough you think you are.” Isaac said frowning lightly as he pulled a needle and thread from his pockets, secretly glad he had picked this up earlier. ”You ready?”
”Okay.” Isaac said and took a deep breath before sticking the needle through the skin. He could hear Carver suck in his breath, ”So tell me, when did this happen?”
”When you were spazzing on the floor.” Carver growled, the pain making him edgy and irrationally angry.
”Oh.” Isaac nodded. ”Sorry.”
”’S’not your fault.” Carver managed to get out through the grinding of his teeth. ”Ow fuck, Clarke!” Carver slammed his hand down into the floor.
”Sorry man, but I’m an engineer, not a doctor.” Isaac yelped.
”I thought you geeks were supposed to be good with sensitive stuff, tiny components and shit.” Carver argued.
Isaac actually chuckled, ”Almost done.” as he finished up the last stitches. ”There, you just need some of this gel on.” Isaac said softly.
”I can hear them moving through the vents.” Carver said completely off topic.
”Me too.” Isaac admitted, ”They can’t get in here. We’re safe.” He paused, ”For now.”
”Yeah.” Carver said, closing his eyes for a second reveling in how good it felt to have that medical goo rubbed on his sore back. The craziest thoughts flickered inside, how long ago it was that someone actually had touched him, besides a hand on his shoulder outside his suit, or a hand to get up somewhere. And then how long ago it was that he had had a hug, he could almost feel Dylan’s small arms wrap around his neck, it was so vivid that the scent of him filled Carver’s nostrils, like was he right there. Cherry shampoo and Dylan. ”S-stop-” He choked out, both relieved and sad as Isaac snatched his hands away.
”Did it sting?” Isaac asked oblivious, ”It’s not supposed to, but I could have gotten some compound wrong when I created it,” he smiled a crooked boyish smile, ”I’m not a pharmacist either.” But Carver didn’t answer him, so Isaac leaned over on one arm to look around Carver’s shoulders, ”Are you okay?” He asked softly.
”I just need a moment.” Carver said with a woolen voice. Had he even ever had time to grieve? Not really, and now was not the time either. That would have to wait. ”I think deep space is messing with me.” He mumbled.
”Yeah.” Isaac said softly, ”I was done anyway, just put your suit back on.”
Carver rubbed his face with his grimy hands, taking a deep breath, ”I’m good, I’m good.” He said, shoving his arms down back into his suit, feeling less vulnerable when he was fully clothed and armed again. ”Right.”
”Anything you need to tell me about?” Isaac asked easing himself back unto the mattress.
”Not really, no.” Carver said propping himself up on a crate, leaving his gun in his lap. ”You just take a nap Clarke, I’ll keep watch.” He smiled and experimentally flexed and stretched his back, the pain was just a dull annoyance now, so maybe, just maybe, Clarke knew what he was doing after all.
”Okay.” Isaac mumbled, letting his eyes fall shut, now that his stomach wasn’t eating itself and he wasn’t pumped on adrenaline he could feel how fatigued he really was. He felt like he could sleep for a week, but also knew in the back of his mind, that he probably wouldn’t be allowed more than an hour max.
Flashes of yellow, strong arms around his chest and waist, intense pleasure ripping though his body. ”Isaac!” it yelled behind him. He knew that voice, and when it gripped tighter and fucked him harder, the pleasure erupted into ecstasy. ”Carver.” He mumbled, ”What are you doing -” He would have said more but a lewd moan came in its stead. ”Isaac!” he was screaming now, but Isaac ignored it, he was so damn close, he wanted to taste the fire which was burning right outside his reach. ”Isaac goddammit!” Carver yelled. The pain flared in his mind, and he heard what sounded mostly like Nicole whispering, ‘make us whole’.
Isaac woke with a gasp, stumbling to his feet as Carver was half carrying him on his hip. ”Oh Fuck!” he yelped, fumbling for his gun. ”What the hell?”
”Tell me about it.” Carver growled, ”Anyone ever tell you that you sleep like the dead?”
Isaac didn’t answer, he aimed at the necromorphs which had broken through the ceiling vent, which they forgotten to take into account. Maybe that answered his question as to what happened to those who had been here. They simply never finished the barricades.
When the last necromorph lay dead on the floor, Isaac leaned against the wall and blinked rapidly, his dream still buzzing through his body, he didn’t look up at Carver but made himself busy with studying a map in his files. Deep space indeed, he had never in his life been attracted to a man, and he wouldn’t even say he was attracted to Carver, but he could still feel the delirious sweet burn of the other man’s cock inside him, as a mocking of a testimony to something that never happened. He shrugged it off, it was just space messing with his reasoning, and the less energy he gave it, the better.
”You okay there Clarke?” Carver asked shaking Isaac’s shoulder lightly.
”Yeah yeah… just deep space, it fucks with you.” He smiled hastily. ”Let’s go.”
”Alright.” Carver nodded and took point for now.
Isaac was getting really fed up with snow, not to mention the snowstorms where visibility would drop to a hand in front of your face, at least the necromorphs couldn’t see anything either, so there was always that. He was worried about Carver though, he seemed to miss his targets more than usual, which was a little off since he was an excellent marksman. He would huff and puff in the helmet, and not even when Isaac stumbled and fell into a shallow hole, did he come with a snarky remark, it was Isaac himself who had had tried to save the situation, so after he finished cursing and flexing his ankle, he said ‘well guess we know why I’m not a ranger either.” And crawled up the hole, only to be met with Carver leaning up against a stack of crates, his stance was odd so Isaac moved as fast as he could there, ”Hey Carver?” He asked softly. He got no reply but panting over the short range com system. ”Eh.. John?” The name was weird and alien in his mouth, it wasn’t like he didn’t know that Carver had a first name, but to actually use it just seemed so personal somehow.
”Isaac.” Carver whispered. ”I can’t see straight.”
”What do you mean, you can’t see straight?” Isaac asked, stepping in front of Carver only to catch the other man when his knees buckled. ”Carver! Goddammit man!” But Carver was out cold, and Isaac was left in the snow with 220 pounds of extra weight, and the storm looked like it was gonna pick up. ”Fuck!” Isaac growled, but none the less hoisted Carver up on his hip and scanned the little he could see for any sign of a shelter.
They were in luck and Isaac could see the outline of a shelter, and with a little prayer that they wouldn’t encounter something large on the way he dragged Carver there.
As he closed the door, he managed to get Carver to the bed, and dropped him off. Raising his helmet, he pushed the manual button on Carvers too. He looked pale and glistening with sweat. ”What the..” Isaac pulled off his gloves in the cold shelter and per instinct touched Carver’s forehead, ”You’re burning up, oh fuck.” He said to the room more than to Carver. What the hell was he supposed to do with this? Could it be that cut he had sewn? What if it had gotten badly infected? What to do.. He was about to crack an unfunny joke about not being a nurse either. But he didn’t he looked around for a generator, and to his immense relief he found it right away. He popped the side and took a quick look at the engine inside, it looked old, but in pristine condition. At least they had that going for them. Isaac smiled as he cranked the starter on the generator hearing it wheeze, pop and bang before coming to life. ”Thank fuck for that.” He mumbled and looked around to see if there was anything left here, he was hoping for coffee, he had not had coffee in what seemed a lifetime. But a beer could do. He found a diary and some of that disgusting bagged soup substitute stuff, but he figured it was better than nothing.
It took him longer than he had thought to pull Carver out of his suit, gently flipping him to the side so he could examine his back, Isaac let out a disgusted and surprised sound that sounded mostly like an insane crackle. The wound was festering and inflamed. He was so gonna kick Carver’s ass for not telling him he was in pain, if he ever woke up. Isaac looked around again, finding a pot and very slowly opened the door to fill it with snow.
He put down the pot in front of the heater, waiting for it to melt as he barricaded the door best he could, looking for other unforeseen ways for the necromorphs to get in here. Odds where that they would go dormant in the snow if they couldn’t sense movement in their immediate radius, so maybe they’d be safe for as storm raged. Finally Isaac stepped out of his own suit and leaned backwards, hearing his spine creak and pop. He needed to find a different suit because this was both heavy and not really efficient.
Rubbing his hands so they weren’t too cold, Isaac pulled a chair over to Carver’s bedside. He ripped a part of his own shirt off and dropped it in the water. He’d have to cut this open and clean it. Hoping he wouldn’t have to go find some blueprint as to how he’d make penicillin, cause just the thought of looking for something at this base made him wanna lay down and just die. Not to mention he’d have to find somewhere he could make it too, assuming he could find all the stuff he’d need. No, he’d try to clean out the wound first and hope that would help.
The only thing resembling a knife he had was a nail clipper he had found on the desk in here, so he had to cut the stitches with that, but he set about to the task like he did anything else, with 110 percent determination.
Once he finished he sat back and looked at what seemed like a goddamn bloodbath, he took the casserole and put it away, trying not to gag.
On the bed Carver started to shiver, and Isaac pulled the blanket up over him, sitting back in the chair watching Carver sleep, his fever was still high, too high. This was some class A bullshit. ”Listen to this.” Isaac said, starting to read from the diary hoping that maybe Carver would hear his voice.
He must have dozed off in the chair because he woke with Carver shivering, whimpering. At least he wasn’t out cold anymore. Isaac looked around to see if he could maybe find a heater more, but he couldn’t. He could go search for another shelter and take the one from there, but the storm was absolutely crazy outside. So he took a quick decision and pulled the heater a little closer, as far as the cord would go, and got down in the bed next to Carver, he made extra sure that the blanket was between them, and when Carver made a tiny noise like a whispered sob, Isaac hesitantly wrapped an arm around him. ”Shhh, John.” He whispered, pulling Carver up against him. ”You’re gonna be fine. I’m right here.” And to his surprise Carver stopped making pitiful noises. The joke wasn’t lost on Isaac, that he was laying here with his arm wrapped around Carver, who just two weeks ago had been ready to drop him on the spot.
It felt strangely good to be this close to someone, even if it was Carver. Isaac’s eyes slid shut and he was just lying there in the narrow cot, feeling Carver breathe, listening to the storm, it was freakishly calming.
The orange glow was flickering, but it didn’t screech inside his head, the whispers were too low for him to hear what they said. Again he could feel his body tingling with lust. ”Say it.” A soft breath said as it caressed his face, feeling the words more than he heard them. He didn’t have to think about the answer, because the words just tumbled from his lips, ”Yes.” – He looked straight up into Carver’s face, and he didn’t even wonder why he had no scars, all he cared about was the pleasure that he brought, snapping his pelvis hard making Isaac suck in his breath and keen at every thrust. ”That’s right Isaac, you want this, you want to make us whole… accept it and make us whooooo-
Isaac woke with a gasp, and an unwelcome, raging hard on. ”Fuck.” He sighed, resting his forehead against Carver’s neck. He was shivering cold. ”What the..” Isaac sat up with a start, only to realize that the generator had gone out. He could see that Carver was breathing from his breath in the cold air.
He got the generator running again, and when he turned around he noticed for the first time that Carver was looking at him. ”I’m cold.” Carver said with a raw voice.
”Hang on.” Isaac said turning the heater a little to point directly at Carver, and then he got back into the bed behind Carver. Either he didn’t mind, or he didn’t have the energy to fight, because he just slipped into the awkward embrace. It was odd to hold a man like this, there was no soft curves and mounds of flesh. Carver was all hard muscle and there were no soft curves, but he was just as soft which was an observation that Isaac could have done without.
”So cold.” Carver mumbled, shivering.
Isaac pulled the blanket and got under it, hoping that his body heat would help. ”Go back to sleep.” He whispered, ”I’ll be right here.”
Half asleep Carver turned in the bed, wordlessly just tucking himself up under Isaac.
Isaac was laying still just staring at the heater’s tubes, thinking like mad where he could put his arm, too high on Carver’s side and he’d put pressure on the wound, and lower was just.. He ended up opting for the hip. Funny how it looked angular and sharp, but when you weren’t looking it felt every bit as any woman’s. This set Isaac’s mind to ease, to fool himself into pretending it wasn’t a large man who was breathing is little ticklish huffs on his chest, making his shirt damp. And it wasn’t a man’s leg tucked in between his. The back of Isaac’s mind screamed ‘you’re cuddling with a man, why aren’t you more upset.’ But Isaac ignored it and let himself enjoy the feeling of someone close, someone in his arms.