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Emprexx Plush
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Paige/EP/Plush, they/them pronouns pls thanks :3
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It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.

Maybe it came when her mother first told them about Marcello. Maybe it came when she first realized that Paulo wanted nothing more than to be just like him.

Didn't matter. It'd been with her ever since, no matter how she tried to cure it.

First it was softball, channeling her rage into physical, palpable actions, burning through the caustic energy it filled her with daily by laying herself out on the field, running, tagging, throwing faster, harder, farther, until her muscles screamed for release. Each time, as she stood in the shower and let the hot water scald the dirt and exhaustion from her skin, the same thought ran through her mind: It's not enough. She couldn't sweat the anger out of her, or pack it into a ball and fling it away. It stayed inside at her, pushing at the boundaries of her self control while she curled up in bed, too sore to even bother with a comforter.

She went through more phases, seeking more intangible forms of expression, and each one seemed to pull her further downward. The bluntness, the venom, the hatred...they swelled up inside her like tumors, warping her actions until she barely resembled the happy, simple girl bouncing on the couch and rhyming with her brother.

Now, as Ian twisted the knife, her knife, Meera's knife, into her stomach, she could only focus on two things: the pain, and his face. That face, contorted by the emotions she knew so intimately, leering into hers, made her wonder: Is that what I look like?

Her mind was going fuzzy from the sheer agony as she bled out. She didn't even have the strength. She could only lie, and think, what if? What if she'd found a way to control herself better? What if she and Paulo had stayed close? What if she'd found the other girls before their killers? What if she'd never left Kathryn and Iselle? What if she'd never attacked Ian? What if she'd just...let him go? Let go of the hatred, all of it. Towards him, towards her team-mates, towards Paulo, towards Marcello, towards herself...would she still be alive? Would Paulo? Would they be happier together? Would she be a better person?

Fuck. That.

Maybe she would be. Or maybe everyone she hated fucking deserved it. It didn't really matter. The anger was a part of her, for better or worse. It was bound up in the core of who she was. She couldn't just shove it down or wish it away, not then and especially not now.

Fuck Ian for killing her.

Fuck Paulo, the team, and her father for abandoning her.

Fuck the assholes who brought her here.

Most of all, fuck regrets. Fuck anything trying to make her doubt who she was, even now. As she clasped her hands weakly around the hilt of the knife and bled into the grass already slick with rain, she craned her neck to stare up into Ian's eyes with all the bile and disgust she could manage, until she could no longer hold her head up or her lids open.

She was Alda Goddamn Abbate. She lived a short, angry, destructive life. But it was her life, her choice, and nothing could take that from her.

Not even death.


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Glass · Central Park (Endgame)