Personaggi: Newt, Alby, Minho, Thomas
Genere: Introspective, Drama.
Avvisi: -
Rating: PG
Prompt: Written for the Vesper Army @ Cow T (Mission 2: Something new)
Note: My first attemp at writing something on this series.

Riassunto: Newt's thoughts while the walls close, leaving Minho and Alby in the Maze.

At sunset, when the light gets dim and long shadows start creeping out along the Glade, that's the moment when they stop all activities and recollect, take shelter, get rest. Those among them who are newly arrived – one day, one month or two hardly make a difference. You're new until you fully embrace the place, and that's it – try to make peace with another long day in this place and, most of all, try to bargain with the new one that will begin tomorrow, no matter if they want it or not.

Around this hour, every day and above all other sounds, there's the loud screeching of the doors closing, both trapping them inside the Glade and keeping them safe from the Grievers in the Maze. It's an awful sound, acoustic embodiment of their situation, ready to remind it to them even in the almost impossible case that they had forgotten it during the day. It is hard to get used to it. Many of them never do.
It's hard to accept the sound of huge wall closing in on you over and over.

Newt has been there long enough to find his own way to deal with the doors closing. It's part of the day and as any other part of the day its only function is to signal him what to do in that exact moment. They're kinda useful if you think it that way. Day after day he buried the sound they make deep inside himself, codified it with the many other sounds that he recognizes, registers but not necessarily acknowledges throughout the day. Like Chuck's constant chatting. The low murmuring of the boys at work. Or the occasional scream from the Slaughterhouse. The doors moving to trap them in is just one of the many sounds, nothing more.

But tonight is different. Tonight that sound means that he has been left alone, and suddenly it's unbearable.

When Alby said he was going to go with Minho in the Maze to check on the dead Griever, Newt was not okay with it. He didn't say anything, but he wasn't okay at all. The idea of having them both out in the Maze at the same time was extremely upsetting. Not that having just Minho in there every day was okay either, but letting both go was like saying to the Creators Here, take all that I have, trusting that they would let him have it back. A foolish thing to believe, and indeed he didn't.

But when you are a good leader, you don't get a special treatment. You don't get to keep close the ones you love just because you're scared. Actually, when you're a good leader you don't get to be scared at all because the others trust you to be their strenght when they eventually break down. So they both went in without so much as a goodbye, and now Newt will never see them alive again.

They were out in the Maze all morning and were supposed to be back by lunchtime. It was when they weren't that Newt knew something had happened. Minho is not a greenie, he wasn't made Keeper on the spur of a moment. He knows his way around the Maze better than anyone else. And he's wise and he's careful, he always runs as long as he knows he's got the right amount of time to come home safely. So, if he didn't come back, it's because something happened.

Newt doesn't know exactly when he became so apprehensive. Living in the Glade doesn't make you impervious to the death of others, but you learn how to live with it because it happens more often than it normally would if you didn't live there – or at least that's what they like to think, because believing in a world out there where your friends and family members die every other day is not acceptable. Yet, he's finding out now, the idea that Minho and Alby are dead is not tollerable. He feels it, deep down in his stomach, the need to scream, to weep, to cry out loud. To run, even, in the Maze before the doors close. It would be pointless, but it would serve to die with them.

It's almost dark, the night is creeping in, eating away inch after inch of the Maze. In about two minutes he won't be able to see farther than a few feet from his nose. And they're not coming back.
He stares at the huge stone wall slowly covering the last few feet, waiting to hear the horrible eerie sound they make slamming closed.

He's been in the Maze for so long and he remembers so little of his life before, that it's almost like he had always lived in here. In a place like this, where every day is the same and new things are always bad, you don't get to be happy. You can just hope to get used to your life, to your fate and to the notion that you're probably going to die in this place without knowing why you were sent here or where you come from.
And when you live your life like that, the worst thing that can happen to you is to be given hope long enough for you to believe – truly believe – in it and then lose it again.

That is why his heart starts beating faster but he tries to keep it still, when the two figures come out of the incoming darkness. Newt takes a slow step forward, the walls making his field of vision smaller and smaller by the second, and he tries to make out their faces. But there's no doubt that it's them, no humans are ever in the Maze at night, except those who went in there during the day.
Before he can really let himself be happy for this miracle that has been granted to them, the Gladers are already screaming and cheering, calling Alby and Minho's names over and over.

They are walking slowly, tho. Alby seems hurt and Minho is dragging both their weights. That – that crumb of hope that is there and which he dares to cling to – is what pushes him to really move, to call with the others, to plead with them to hurry. He reaches the threshold of the Maze, feels it shake under his feet as the walls move towards him. Please, Minho, please, walk faster. He would like to run in to help them, but it would be pointless. There's not enough time to do that for someone with good legs, what can he do with his stupid limp? All he can do is to reach out, a hand outstrached, ready to grab Minho's when he gets close enough, if he gets close enough.

But Minho can't, and they both know it. As Newt was blindly clinging to a chance that was never really there, he lost track of time, so they have to pull him back in the Glade before the wall crushes him. He feels hands grabbing him, and at the same time Thomas' swift shadow passing right past him. Everybody screams at once, and the walls finally close.

All the other Gladers are gathered behind him. There's a collective breath being held right now, sucking in all the air. The Glade itself is not breathing. Newt feels the weight of what happened on his shoulders. It's like helplessly sliding down a steep hill, knowing you're about to break your neck. The doors have closed. They're gonna die. He'll be alone.

He doesn't know if the others are waiting for orders or for him to lose it.

They were there. A few feet from the entrance. Newt had lost all hopes, but here they were, Minho dragging Alby's body. For a long, happy moment, Newt's heart had filled again. He really hoped against all odds, believed against his own notion of the place and timing, that the two guys he loves most in the world were going to be back in time, among them. With him.

Then, Minho had looked up, their eyes had locked and Newt had known they were not gonna make it. Minho's eyes never lie. A day of two years before Newt had read a welcome in them, now he was reading a goodbye and whatever was still intact in his heart just broke. In a place like this, you don't get good news. You don't get to be happy. You can only hope to get used to sorrow.

And for the first time, he's not sure he can.

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