"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
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(Naoko Raidon continued from Surely God Is In This Place)

It was instinct that led him back here.

Dawn was creeping in, and sleeplessness had taken its toll. Raidon wandered as though he was mindless, no expression on his face and, mercifully, no thoughts in his brain. He was, for the moment, free from all that had been weighing on him, if only by virtue of shock and tiredness.

He hadn't been far from town to start out with. The sun wasn't much higher when he finally found his way into the suburbs he'd already spent so much time in. Here and there he'd wandered, still without thought, simply putting one foot in front of the other as best as he could. The first door he swung open led onto a scene of blood, a body sprawled at the end.

It was a moment before he saw the face. A moment before he realized it was Scott McGregor.

He stumbled backwards, bile surging up from his throat. He left the door open behind him as he threw up against the wall. It spattered, splashed against his jeans, against his shirt, and then Raidon was staggering away, winding here and there in clumsy zigzags, until he remembered that he was a vomit-and-blood-spattered mess with no sleep and that Simon Grey was dead.

It was at that point that things--memory, sight, sound, smell, taste--got very dim.

When he came to, he was kneeling (though his knees were still sore from the Parish) in front of a painting of death, one of which was entirely new to him. It made sense that he'd seen the others, of course; he'd interrupted Mizore when she'd been finishing them. But this one--the back of a skinny boy, covered in words--was new to him.

He wished he had the presence of mind to read any of it.

He made his way upstairs, dropped his bag, dropped his stuff, and pulled his clothes off without thinking about them. He was vaguely aware of a dim throbbing in his left hand; without really paying attention to his injury he hurriedly shredded through his dressing. The wound was a little cleaner now, although there were still some thin splinters of bone along it. He tossed his clothes into the shower and then stepped in himself, twisting the knob and letting lukewarm water run over his bruised, exhausted body.

Tears were pooling in his eyes, he still felt like throwing up, and the first weak sob escaped him as he sunk into a ball at the base of the shower and buried his face in his knees.
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