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I'm a Cactus
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do you want to go to war, balakay?
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To say that Adam hadn't seen her instant reversion back into the cold, commanding Julie Mikan coming would have been a bold-faced lie. The girl was obviously suffering and in a tremendous world of hurt right now, though not from a physical standpoint. At her sudden attempt to regain control of the situation, Adam only smiled at her, knowing full well that the cold and icy tone of her voice probably wouldn't last.

It's too fucking hot out to be an ice-bitch for too long, anyhow.

At her words, Adam continued to look at her, more of a bemused look on his face than anything. This, of course, was deceptive. To say that his mood had improved would not have been accurate. He was still frustrated and angry at his situation. That had not changed. It was his outlook, however, that differed now. Instead of acting as though it was him against the world, and he'd been wronged? Now it was time for Adam Dodd to take a step back through time, and start acting like he actually wanted to live the life that he'd fought so hard for in the first Survival of the Fittest. As she ranted a bit, Adam simply listened and said nothing, letting her icy resolve break down under its own stress, as she referenced the very event that was causing her such trauma. As she finally stopped speaking and lowered her head in what he could only interpret as shame, Adam just continued to look bemused by the situation, obviously finding the irony that just moments earlier, they'd been in positions that were entirely opposite to what they were now.

"Why am I helping you? S'a good question, I guess. We'll call it 'Adam's Good Deed of the Day'. I was feeling generous, and you just happened to be the first person around for me to foist my generousity on."

Sighing slightly, Adam's smirk turned to a full fledged grin, though his eyes moved to the ground and he shook his head.

"One thing that all of you people from Southridge High kind of missed about me is that once you get past all of the scary 'former winner' bullshit, I'm actually a half-decent guy. Why would I help you? That's easy. I helped you because I was in a position to help you out, and you needed it. Just so that you're all caught up on current events? You've been dead to the world for the twenty-five minutes that we've been running from the bridge. You fell down a few times, seemed lost, and I don't think you'd have been in any shape to make it on your own after what happened."

Adam paused, and then looked at the pistol in his right hand. He looked up at Julie, and shrugged.

"Sure, you can have it back, provided you aren't thinking about shooting me with it. Though...something tells me that for the time being I should probably hold on to the loaded projectile weapon."

Adam took a step forward towards the girl, obviously trying not to appear as though he were threatening her. He did realize, however, that most any movement would be construed as a threatening one. Thanks to this, Adam tried to keep a placid expression on his face, and stuffed the pistol into the pocket of his pants prior to making the move. He gently reached his left hand up and let it rest on the shoulder of the girl in front of him. He knew she wouldn't like it, but frankly, he didn't care. Maybe she'd misinterpret things, who knew? The fact was that she was visibly shaken by what had happened, and she needed a comforting presence. Adam hadn't done that in quite some time for anyone, but something told him that trusting himself enough to be there for someone else was something he'd need to do in order to start feeling like himself again.

"Oh...and you're the one who's wrong. Not about the fact that you probably wouldn't have helped me. I know you wouldn't have helped me if the same thing had happened to me. You don't exactly strike me as the touchy-feely-caring type. No offense, or anything. But no, you're wrong about one thing. Right now? We ARE allies. We're in this mess together, and that's something that you can't escape from, or deny, no matter how much you'd want to."

Adam gestured towards the barracks.

"Look, Julie. I know you came in here thinking that things were going to be a certain way, and that you'd be able to handle anything that got tossed at you in the process? Probably resolved yourself to how you were going to do things? Unfortunately for us, that's not how things work here in Danya-ville. What is it that they say? Best-laid plans, and all that?"

He shook his head a bit, knowing full well that what he was saying probably sounded like meaningless fluff. But he did have somewhat of a point that he was trying to make.

"You're right. You did, you killed that kid. Nothing that you do or say can ever change that. But you know what? It was a mistake. You didn't shoot him because you saw him and decided to pull the trigger to eliminate the competition. You shot him because you, yourself saw someone in need, and you didn't hesitate to come to their aid. Sometimes, Julie? Sometimes the best intentions will go astray. As sad as it is to say, you can't save everyone. But you didn't mean to kill him, you did because someone else was in danger, and you acted. It's obvious to me that you're not a bad person, nor are you someone that's so morally bankrupt that they'd actually be able to handle playing the game as Cocksucker intends it to be played."

Adam looked at Julie right in the eyes now, seeing the confusion and the conflicted vortex of emotions that bubbled just below the surface.

"But when the time came, Julie? You tried to help someone. And it was ME, of all people. You tried to help a guy who'd just spent five minutes swearing at you and trying to make you feel like shit so that you'd stop pointing a gun at his head. Actions can sometimes yell a whole hell of a lot louder than I can, and your actions said a whole lot to me. It says that no matter what you may outwardly say? I can trust you. Which, believe me - is really fucking difficult for me to do. Aside from one person, everyone I've ever trusted is dead. It makes it hard for me to believe in other people. You acted without thinking, and that showed your true colours. You helped me, Julie."

Adam then turned to face her and gently grabbed her by the other shoulder, so that the two were mere inches apart.

"Now let me help you. I've got some experience with this kind of thing. Let me try and repay the kindness that others showed me when I was in a very similar situation to the one that you find yourself in now. I'll leave the choice to you. Come with me to the barracks. I want to take a look at your knee, you took a pretty nasty fall coming over here. And let me try and help you deal with all the shitty feelings that I can see you feeling inside. I can help. If you choose to trust me. Otherwise? I'll give you back your gun, and let you be on your way."

Adam shrugged as he took a small step back from her, having said all that he had to say for the time being.

"It's your call."
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