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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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((Aaron Hughes continued from Finalizing Plans))

Aaron picked up the extra gun as he stepped out of the house, and tucked it into his right-hand pocket. Aston had gotten ahead a little bit. That was fine. Aaron wasn't hurried. He took a bit of a detour, a side route, sticking close to the house and looping around it once. She might still be waiting, planning one last act of resistance. She might be trying to shoot him. She probably still had a gun. Best to play it safe.

Aaron took it easy until he heard the scream. That was his cue. Something had happened to her, and she had surely drawn the attention of anyone nearby. That meant it was time to put an end to this, before it got complicated. He rounded the corner and started towards her. She was sprawled on the ground, the gun fallen from her grasp, and Aaron smiled. She was crying, was panicking. She was weak. This was over.

His smile faltered only slightly as she managed to pull another gun from somewhere, as she opened fire. She was hurt, was weakened, was shaking all over. She didn't hit him, didn't even come close. Aaron just dropped to one knee, lowering his profile, and lurched to the side. He wished he knew how to roll, but it didn't really matter. Her gun clicked dry, and he straightened, and he resumed his movement. He was steady, implacable. There was no need to be too hurried. She was done, and they both knew it. She seemed terrified. It was enough to make him laugh a little.

"Funny how the tables turn, isn't it?" he asked her. "You were right the first time. We're nothing alike. I'm better."

He was close to her now, maybe seven feet away, with his pistol trained straight on her. He was smiling broadly. Nothing could go wrong.

That was when she hurled the gun. He hadn't counted on that accuracy, that last second surge of strength. It smashed into his face, the pointed plastic and metal opening a gash in his cheek, the not-negligible weight creating a nasty cracking noise from his nose. There was blood everywhere, pouring down his face. He took his left hand off the gun long enough to briefly clutch his face. He forced himself to focus, though, forced himself to center his reaction to the pain on anger rather than fear and indignation. As he pulled his hand away, as blood dripped from his nose to the street, he looked straight at her. He wasn't going to lose now. She hadn't managed any last second miracle, hadn't pulled a knife out of nowhere to run him through. Somehow, though, she didn't look quite so beaten anymore. It gave Aaron pause for half a second. This was new, different. It almost made him worry about his chances.

He shook off the concern. He was furious, but it was tinged with a little hint of respect now. This still had to end, though, and quickly.

"Nice shot," he said, then took a deep breath and shot Aston.
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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The Mighty Sparrow · The Residential Area