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Oh my god you guys The Riz killed Cara what do!?
[ *  *  * ]
Hayley agreed with the educated guess as to the "Bitchmobile"'s identity, with a pained laugh that made her physical condition all too clear. When even giving a small chuckle hurts your face, you know you're in trouble. But at least she was able to laugh, that was something. Ema wouldn't have blamed her if she came out of such a beatdown in a decidedly surly mood. Maybe she actually was, and was just trying to make the long trip ahead more tolerable for Ema herself. It did seem like the kind of thing Hayley would do, after all.

Either way, whether she was in a legitimate bad mood or an optimistic good mood, Hayley wasn't in much shape to hurry back to the makeshift campsite. And so Ema settled in for yet another long haul, this time due to a sluggish speed rather than a huge distance to travel. At least at the slow pace it wouldn't be nearly as demanding as her two-day hike from corner to corner of the island. If anything, maybe the walk would be nice. An opportunity to think without having to focus so heavily on watching where she was going. Silver linings and all that.

Ema refrained from trying to start up any further conversation as the pair staggered on, fearing that making Hayley talk or laugh any more might just worsen the terrible state her face was already in. So the walk was quiet, save for the snap of twigs and rustle of leaves underfoot. Occasionally she made out the sounds of wildlife in the distance, too, by now quite easily able to tell them apart from the noises of human movement. Nothing to fear for now, except for Hayley's condition worsening.

Would that be such a bad thing?

That thought, or the echo - for want of a better term - of it, hung in Ema's mind for quite some time. She couldn't say how long, but it seemed as though an infinite number of footsteps punctuated the gap between it and any sort of mental response. As it happened, it was a reinforcement, not a rebuke.

She has to die if I'm going to get home.

At that point, Ema had been looking at Hayley, checking up on her. As the thought crossed her mind, she suddenly found herself unable to look the other girl in the eye. She turned away, hoping to look as though she was just turning her gaze to the sky, bored with the long journey.

In this state, she's just going to be a burden.

It's thanks to her that I'm still alive.

But she'll end up getting me killed like this.

I love her.

She'd do the same.

Even though it was her own mind saying so, that last one hit Ema hard. Would she? Would Hayley leave Ema behind, or worse, were their roles reversed, and Ema was the one barely fit to stand unaided? She'd killed at before, must have been seven times by now, what was to say she wouldn't put Ema down if she ceased to be a useful ally, especially with the excuse of "putting her out of her misery"?

She protected me before now, back when I didn't even have the sword.

That was then. This is now. She'd only killed once, back then.

She can't have changed that dramatically in just seven days.

...she says after carving up a boy's corpse like a fucking turkey.

Ema shook her head, seemingly at nothing at all, trying to make sense of the morbid thoughts she found herself entertaining. Why wasn't she dismissing them, why was she actually giving credence to such nonsense? Hayley was her ally, her best friend, her lover. She wasn't about to kill her just because she was slowing her down. So Hayley had killed some people. Arguably they'd all been in aid of Ema, Kyle too, before he'd died. She'd even given Ema a gun, she could've easily kept it for herself if she was as callous as Ema had just seconds ago implied.

At the end of the day, at least one of us is going to have to die, though. Maybe she'd appreciate me making it quick.

She'll recover, she just needs rest. Rizzolo was in a worse state than she is, and he was alone, he still went on to win, didn't he?"

And with that, the debate was over. The guilt lingered on, what with "I love her" not having been enough to silence her own doubts, with cold, logical precedent having to suffice, but she tried to tell herself it was a fair argument, that sentimentality wasn't a sufficient answer to a logical problem. The precedent of V3's winner wasn't the end of the argument, it was the means to absolutely shut out the niggling doubts. It had been over when she pointed out how much Hayley meant to her, she'd decided that she wasn't going to kill her, as easy as it would have been, would still be shut up, at that point. The rest was just little doubts. Right?

That "right?" is only gonna get more and more desperate, Ema.

Guilt, and the inability to assuage it, aside, it was all immaterial. At some point in the internal dialogue, she had indeed decided she had no intention of killing her girlfriend in cold blood. That would have to be enough for now. Yet another weight on her heavy conscience that she'd have to ignore, and hope against hope that nothing would be strong enough to bring it all down on her head later on. Yup, just carry on pretending everything's fine and ignore all the times people have said that bottling things up is a terrible idea.

By the time Ema's thoughts had made it that far, she realised that, entirely without meaning to, she'd been staring at Hayley for... she didn't even know how long. Several seconds, at least. Long enough for it to be weird. Thinking fast, she found something to play it off on; she's a mess, but I've already seen that, err... nose? Yeah, nose, bleeding, wonky, claim it was that. Bueno.

"Um... so should I try to, you know, put your nose back in place? It's only going to get worse if we let it heal like it is now."

[Ema Ryan --> Elsewhere]
Edited by Chib, Jul 19 2011, 04:10 PM.
Every time you fall asleep you die. Someone else wakes up in your body, thinking they're you.
You are alone and trapped in your own mind, the world around you is your lie.
Soon you will be nothing, you will never again hear sounds, never again see colours, never again be anyone.

Riley Moon appreciates that Action Needs an Audience, but it's hard not to watch. Hair Status: Bubblegum Pink
Parallel with: The Heavy Weapons Guy

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Confiscate the Crown · The Woods: Inland