Pairings/Characters: Adrian Veidt
Summary: Adrian gets rid of his past
Author's note: Originally written for the kinkmeme
It is said that the phrase „to burn one's bridges“ as well as the similar „to burn one's boats“ originated from a tactic used by the invading armies of Rome. Adrian sincerely doubted that this was the truth, seeing how it would have been quite counterproductive to cut off one's own supply lines. At least, that was, if you were an invading army. For the individual, though, the idea encompassed by these idioms was, at times, quite beneficial. If one was truly committed to re-inventing the self, there was no way around engaging in a bit of arson. Else, the ties that bind would always keep one bound.
It was a shame about the library, though.
Adrian sighed wistfully as he ran the tip of his finger along the spines of the books. Closing his eyes, he slowly walked down to the very end of the huge bookcase, putting one foot directly in front of the other, just like he had sometimes done back when he had still been a boy, and the library had been his sanctuary. His finger rose up to the pinnacles of knowledge, then dipped down into the deep, dark valleys of imagination, over and over again, like an explorer crossing the Andes in search of the fabled city of gold.
Opening his eyes again, Adrian looked around. There were dozens upon dozens of books here, and he knew them all. Some, he knew by heart, having returned to them again and again like to old friends. There was a heavy tome on the history of ancient Egypt that had been his favorite read one summer, and he had committed every sentence to memory until he could read the text off the insides of his closed eyelids. He still could, to this day. Other books, though, had barely gotten a fighting chance, having been thrust back into the shelves after half an hour, their contents too boring, trivial or vile for his tastes.
He had still found all of the documents, though, carefully hidden away in old dictionaries on the very top shelves, and the contents of these unassuming pieces of paper had drawn a picture more vile than anything else he had found within these walls.
Lip curling with disgust, Adrian unscrewed the lid of the canister and tipped it slowly, walking in a wide circle, spilling its contents over the hardwood floor, the expensive rugs and, for good measure, over the seat of his father's favorite reading chair.
His task finished, he returned to the hallway, where he exchanged the empty canister for a full one. Looking up the stairs that led to the first floor, Adrian wondered for a moment if he should maybe spill some kerosene there, too. But according to his calculations, that would not be necessary. The ceilings and walls would collapse anyway, taking everything down with them.
Following a sudden impulse, he put the canister down and climbed the stairs, heading towards the master bedroom.
It was still there. Standing on an end table next to his mother's side of the bed was a small, simple yet elegant gilded picture frame. Adrian picked it up, his thumb running over the thin glass pane that protected the photo within. A family, father, mother and their son, standing close together and smiling for the camera. They were dressed in their Sunday finest, and the father's hand was resting on the boy's shoulder in a gesture that was both proud and intimate.
Adrian's heart clenched painfully, but at the same time, he could taste bile at the back of his throat. A picture-perfect family, built on nothing but appearances and pretty lies. Still, his fingers itched to open the little clasps on the back of the frame, remove the picture, take it with him. To carry with him one tiny little reminder of who he had been and where he had come from.
But that just wouldn't do, now, would it. He was going to burn his bridges, all of them, so that the only way for him was forward. Forward into the future, into a life of his own making, free of the sins of the past.
Adrian put the picture down and turned his back on it, descending the stairs slowly, deliberately. Soon, the second canister had been emptied, too, and he was standing on the threshold of his childhood home. One last look, then he lit a match, holding it to the others until all of the matches in the little booklet were ablaze. With a flick of his wrist, he flung it into the puddle a few feet away. Fire blazed up from the ground, so hot he could feel it on the back of his neck as he walked away down the path towards the street.
His last bridge had been set ablaze, and now the only way for him was onward, into a future that burned brighter than ever..