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Who is this sassy lost child
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It was an odd thing, realizing in the span of a few seconds how deeply and coldly you could hate someone.

There were five, maybe a good ten seconds of silence after Asha returned Michael's ultimatum with her own. To Jae's racing thoughts, they lasted an eternity.

He wasn't angry anymore. He'd passed far beyond that the second Michael went so far as to threaten Asha for the sake of taking a cheap shot at Jae.

Murder was an emotion.

There was static in the edges of his vision, from his overtired brain or his too-shallow breathing, or the firm, simple certainty that he could put a bolt right between Michael's eyes right now and he wouldn't regret it. He flinched instinctively at Dorothy's scream, but really, he was barely aware of it.

Isabel? Fine, he'd kill her too. He'd kill anyone else who set foot in here, because anyone who thought they could waltz in and tell him what to do, threaten him, threaten the people he cared about, try to rip away the last little bit of control he had over anything after Alvaro and Hazel and Samuel deserved it.

Michael deserved it.

That icy calm that had enveloped him in his first waking moments in the asylum was back. Jae was an outside observer to his own body, aware of his shaking hands and his inadequate breathing, the cough threatening to distract him, the hammering of his heart and the roaring of blood in his ears.

"Listen to her."

His own voice sounded far away, utterly different from his yelling moments before, flat and alien.

The static threatened to overtake him, but he kept his eyes on Michael's face, some part of him wanting to memorize every line and angle and color of this moment. He wanted to see Michael scared. He wanted to remember it.

"Listen to her, or I'll kill you."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."

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Devil's Choir · Crematorium Chapel