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Grim Wolf
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Under ordinary circumstances (and there was a thought, ordinary circumstances--what was ordinary about these circumstances, being trapped on this island, these goddamn collars, the goddamn killing?), Julian's fist would have startled Raidon into action; it would have forced him to his feet, forced him to Julian's throat, even knowing the other boy was stronger than him and Raidon was unarmed. But he was too hurt and tired and angry and aching to feel that much fear anymore; when the fist came forwards, Raidon just stared, eyes narrowed, teeth gritted.

And then, without hitting him, Julian lifted his hand and tousled Raidon's hair. "I'm real disappointed in you, son," he said.

Nothing snapped in Raidon, no barrier broke. He didn't lose control. But there swelled in him a mix of ice and fury, a sledgehammer transformed into a surgeon's scalpel. He stared at Julian, his eyes cooling, and reached for the wound in his shoulder.

“You say one word to me before you thought this all over very carefully, and I will beat the shit out of-"

"Shut your fucking mouth," Raidon growled. He braced his back against the tree he was leaning on and forced himself to his feet. He had one hand over his wound to steady it, not that it helped much--his voice trailed off into a low, extended grunt of pain. He spent two seconds panting, gathering his breath, his strength, his thoughts. "Don't project your guilt onto me, you miserable little cowardly fuck," he spat. Julian made a move towards him; without thinking Raidon's fingers darted to his bag. Julian was inches away when Raidon withdrew the knife.

"Come on," he said softly. "Please."

Julian didn't move, though there was more anger than fear in his eyes. They stared at each other for several long seconds.

"Scott McGregor didn't deserve it," Raidon said softly. "Alie Walworth didn't deserve it. Their deaths were the results of my fear, my stupidity, and my lack of control. I will have to live with that, if I live through this. But the others..."

Here was Julian, who'd killed a man himself. Here was Julian.

"I told you about Victoria Logan," he said, waving his fingers. "I hurt someone she cared about; she had every right to attack me. And then she found me. And then she shot at me. Am I getting through to you, Julian?!" He took a step forwards, so that the very tip of the knife reached up to Julian's throat. "I told you when you found us--everyone on this island is desperate, myself included, and I intend to survive. Defending yourself? Fine. Drawing your weapon? Fine. Those are signs of sanity. But we do not have the time or the luxury to be merciful or to pull our punches when someone comes after us." His eyes flashed. "I am not going to be diplomatic, I am not going to expose myself to danger anymore than I have to. Anyone who comes after me doesn't get to walk away."

He glared at Julian for another moment, then flipped the knife so that he was holding the blade and the handle was to Julian. "You think I'm such a coward?" Raidon asked softly. "You think Soryu's pacifism makes her invincible? I shot Jacob Charles while he was charging her, Julian. And if Roland was such a negligible threat, why did you come after me? Why didn't you just let me go to my death?"

He jabbed Julian's chest with the handle (it wasn't very effective, of course; his grip on the blade was precarious, and he was being very careful not to injure himself further). "Take it, if I'm such a demon," Raidon said softly. "Come at me. But rest assured, as soon as you do, I'll be doing everything in my power to kill you."
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