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Jon cocked his head to the side, squinting as Brendan pointed out what he'd done to Amanda. He tried to use the death of someone else to justify himself.

"That's funny. There's someone who's still the same person since before they were used, beaten, and shot? Point me to them, they deserve a fucking medal!"

Jon moved one hand away from his rifle, pointing to the bloodstained roll of bandages covering his eye socket and most of his forehead.

"Amanda shot me first, Brendan! She got involved when she had no business in what was happening! She got in the way when I wanted to kill you, and she got in the way earlier when I wanted to die! Each time she got involved, she only made it worse. For both me and her! What happened to her was as much as a consequence of her own actions as it was mine! As much as Mike's, Alex's, and Will's!"

His hand moved back to steady the grip.

"As much as you, Jerry, or Nancy..."

"Stop trying to use the damn moral high ground! Stop trying to pretend you're better than me! You value Amanda's life so bad, yet what about Bernadette, or Jerry?! What about them, huh? If I was anything like you, I would've shot you too, turned around, and started hunting Al. I'm not like you! I told you the reason I let you go. I came to take a life, and I took it! She wanted to die for you so bad, so she did it in your place!"

The barrel lowered as he stared at the ground. His dead expression cracked. His lip quivered, if just for a moment.

"I Wasn't... I Wasn't going to do it again. Won't do it again."

The edges of his eye turned pink as he stared on.

"I'm not like you.

I...I-I'm not."

He looked back.

"I don't get you Brendan. I don't. I don't know if you know what you're really doing, or if you're lying to yourself as bad as you are everyone else."

"To be honest, I don't know which one of those it is that scares me more, either."
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The Ones You Trust · Docks