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"I've been thinking of you." he said.

And she swallowed.

Because now there were things she wanted to say.

No, scratch that. There were things she wanted but didn't know how to say them. Mizore's desires had always been simple; paint cities, have good conversations, live warm and sheltered and fed. And now, this Hellmurder Island situation--which she thought would, if anything, simplify her desires. paint them stark in black and white against the walls of her mind--was complicating things.

She was in love with a killer. This was likely unwise.

She thought that most of the things he did related to the island--including killing, obviously, but also his belief in the inevitability of his own moral screwups--were stupid. She hadn't known him at all before the island. She would probably yell at him again, if he were to start on that kind of crap--which at this juncture might get her shot, because she really had no idea how much savage trauma he might have gone through.

So anything she said, she was probably juggling death by saying it. And my spraypaint isn't even empty.

This required some thought.

Or maybe it didn't.

She was on Hellmurder island. She'd seen the echos of death all around her, the conversation with Janet, Zach's friend's breakdown, Kari's inability to let go of her gun. Raidon had been shadowed by it, from the moment he pointed a gun at her, every kill on the announcements confirming something that didn't need speaking. She was going to die, and she was going to die soon. She was a pacifist, the sort who'd been trained to carelessly risk her life for abstract causes. Death was…new, perhaps. But not unexpected.

Mizore had lived a beautiful life, a life full of risks.

But you've never fallen in love. And your spraypaint's almost done.

And it was Radio Asuka who grinned.

"Regardless of whether there are ice packs, we should get you dressed." She said. "It'll get cold like this."

Words, gentle, practical, strange. Raidon was staring at his hand--she started to follow his gaze--and then he was looking directly at her, and she could have gasped of it. A kalidescope, cutting ruthlessness, sorrow, thoughtfulness and passion, fear and grim determination, and something that made Mizore feel taut inside, overfull of words and wit and tongues.

And it was so easy now. She could say it. Whatever fear she thought she had was gone.

I wonder if I was even afraid in the first place.

Raidon dressed slowly, shivering as he did so, pained. She kept her fingers fluttering over him on the excuse of helping him with clothes, touching tiny bits of skin. He was vivid, still, and cold as ice.

And his clothes were on, he was sheathed in faint power now, and Mizore, to her small surprise, still felt as comfortable with him as she had before. And he sat on the bath mat, and she knelt on the floor, the cold white tile floor of this poor domestic bathroom, and she said "I want to stay with you."

That was about as blunt as she could possibly be.

And now she was not looking at him anymore, looking at her fingers, spread bloodlessly on the tiles. "I'm a pacifist. We discussed this before. You've killed people--and I've no illusions that you did it all in straight self-defense. You want to live. You'd kill me to live, I think. I think I'm comfortable with this."

Staring, grindingly, at her fingers still. Explaining herself. Her needs. "I'm going to die. There's no way I'll survive this island. I traded my weapon for spray paint, and I'm glad of it. And now I've painted quite a lot of murals. My paint is almost gone, and I don't think I'll find more. But--" pause, breathe, breathe. "--I like you a lot. In the romantic-type way. I've never had that before. I want to stay with you. I haven't the slightest expectation that you'll protect me. But to be quite blunt, I'd rather take a bullet for you than die any other way." She looked up at him, forced a grin. "And I'm an activist-provacatour. I've trained for this bullet-taking shit."

He wasn't looking at her. He was looking at the gun, unreadable.

She picked up his hand, and kissed it.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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