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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
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He'd gone and said it. Show him the playback and it probably would have hurt worse than the bullet-studded first grader smeared collage of fingerpaint reds he called a forearm. Nothing much convincing there, as far as Ben was concerned as a third party to his own voice. Webber had told him once upon a time that latitudes did not make for an argument.

He was almost surprised when she turned back to face them. Almost. The emotions like surprise or anything at all weren't so forthcoming, and not in the masculine stoic archetype sort of way.

There were things left to say, for sure. He still didn't know if he believed the plan. He'd tried to reason with a boy with a gun and he'd responded in kind. He had phantom pains, Phantom of the Opera wails still dully peeling his nerves to dinner mash. That shit was all the proof Ben needed to doubt if Penelope's plan would fare any better than his own. But even that aside, he could have said something positive, encouraging. But he didn't trust himself with that either. Because, in the end it was what was left of his decaying person that would have to say it. No, it wasn't about him anymore. Not his doubts, not his hopes. Ben Fields had nothing left to say.

He just solemnly nodded when she promised she'd make her family proud. That he could relate to. Could lose hours of sleep over in the near future. He evenly met her eye when she found his, much as he didn't want to see any bit of himself reflected in the veneer of soft cut emerald.


Ben was the last to stand. Figured he'd be the odd one out. He almost felt his heels give out from under him, but he wouldn't allow it. They still had work to do. In measured silence he extended his hand to hers, not quite all the way. A fist almost solid, save for the faltering tremble of unkempt and unaddressed pain. He had no doubt it looked fucking retarded to the average viewer at home, or the rest of them for that matter.

"Will, you in? Shit, I know you never liked Cochise much. Maybe none of us ever really did," Ben mused, recalling years of rumors and proof about resentment, about the desire for something more than the tumbleweeds and drug busts. Desires pretty clearly echoed in Will... in Rea. When Ben had ever bothered to pay attention, addled as he had been back then on testosterone and self-importance. "... But we can still make a difference, I guess. Make all of it mean something still."

Ben wasn't sure how to say it- went without saying at this point- but it was maybe something worth speaking up for all the same. He'd never said the name. Rea Adams. She could still be avenged, with or without... And yes, of course, at that moment Ben was forced to remember that Rea's killer had also once been a friend. Maybe it mattered, maybe it didn't.

"You taught me something once, Will. I still remember it. Qui audet adipiscitur."

And Ben still wasn't sure if, in any sense, he'd said that right.
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Haunted Reality · Solitary Confinement