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Cicada Days
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i can feel something inside me say
[ *  *  *  * ]
Maxim's was an ugly, ominous sort of body language. Scruff of his beard poked out over his palms. Towered over him too. Overall disgusting to watch, but Ben kept his eyes charitable for reasons of survival. Kept his face squarely set, clinically dissected into dour politeness. No weapons. Probably. Ben didn't know Maxim for all of their unfortunately shared history. Didn't know if Maxim kept his words sharpened and whetted by grindstone. Didn't know if Maxim kept the innocuous bluff in his arsenal.

No reason to trust him either. Ben was tempted to take another step back, but stuck with keeping the engine purring on one heel. Leaned slightly back and away. Maybe looked a bit too defensive on his part.

"And as for your plan: I don't see it." Fuck's sake. Ben didn't need to hear it, but he was hearing it anyways. He knew it, Maxim knew it, whole damn world watching knew it. Maybe Jerry somehow managed to know it, just to drive it home. Ben's plans were shit and he'd been the asshole who'd tried to trumpet it with all valves tuned flat. He'd been about to marching band his ass across the island with that shit, no less. Ben felt the rising tension, the ironclad grip of a defensive warble. Let it go with a frustrated sigh. Ben had to let himself hear this. From Maxim.

Feeling coming on that he needed to drown himself out in another whiskey sigh, but his breath was stuck on refractory.

"Trying too hard to sell it, dude. But you've got a point and even I know that." Ben tried for the last second retaliation, but it was just half there, a last minute sputter from the lungs. "People are gonna run into people even if you're off hiding. Do their thing and all..." The pause was brief, heavy as the guns neither of them had on hand. "But I'm guessing the bottom line is you don't give a fuck, yeah?" Ben had been ready to run himself aground. Rattle the brass. All so he could be a soldier for a war no other soul would fight.

What kind of soldier put themselves on the back foot against a guy whose hands were already up in the air?
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Good Omens · The Library