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All's Fair; Private
Topic Started: Jan 2 2011, 07:24 PM (4,124 Views)
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[ *  *  * ]
Two shots, from behind her.

Mizore gasped, choked air, and fell.

Banister. She was on a banister. And two shots startled her, made her jerk back one of her legs, and suddenly she was in free-fall, instinct kicking in almost early enough.

She caught herself on her leg, dropped and rolled, smashed her kneecap clumsily against the floor, and screamed. And then the scream turned into coughing, so much coughing, because Victoria was bleeding, and it wasn't in a good place, no it wasn't in a good place, and Victoria was gasping, and Mizore was trying to remember things she knew about medicine breathe in cider vinegar to mitigate the effects of tear gas, make sure everyone has taken out their contacts, don't panic but what did she know about someone who'd apparently been shot?

She crawled over, screaming in pain at her knee (because why the fuck should she not be screaming, it hurt) and got to Victoria, bleeding Victoria, looking up at her with glassy eyes. The blood was coming somewhere from her chest, spurting, much more actively than Mizore thought it should be and she grabbed something what did she have? pulled off her shirt and pressed it down on Victoria's chest and said "it's gonna be alright. It's gonna be alright."

She'd been here before. Protests and raids. The most important thing to do was not to panic.

She was panicking. She was trying to calm Victoria down, but she could hardly see her over her own tears because Raidon, it was Raidon and what had she been thinking, that he would magically stop killing people as soon as she showed up? He's a killer, he's a killer but fundamental attribution error was stupid, God, Mizore was stupid, Mizore was stupid.

"It's gonna be alright." She said. "It's gonna be alright."

But it wasn't going to be alright.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Yvaine
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Me? Why, what a wild and crazy accusation! No no, it was that OTHER girl.
[ *  * ]
Everything went to hell so quickly, it took Vic a second to realize that she'd been shot. Twice.

One second, she was backing away from Mizore, inching her way to the door and away from Raidon and his gun and this stupid decision. If she made it out, once she made it out, she'd go back for Alice. Dead or alive, if Alice was still there, Vic would never leave her again. Running off the first time had been a terrible mistake, and one she wanted to remedy as soon as possible. She'd find Alice and never leave her side, not until some opportunistic piece of shit took the decision out of her hands.

Then there were two sharp cracks from the top of the stairs. Before she even had a chance to question what was making the noise, her legs stopped working. Then she was falling, then hitting the ground, then pain. It started to sink in that Raidon recovered a little quicker then she'd have liked around the same time she started to gasp for air. He'd probably only glanced her. Sure, that was it. If he was as accurate as Vic was, no question, it was barely an injury. The wind was knocked out of her, was all. Just give her a second, and she'd be back on her feet.

------------------------

Vic grinned up at Alice as she screamed and shuddered. "I take it you approve?" The smaller woman asked as she climbed out of her spot between her girlfriends legs. All that deep talk before about forgiveness and love, it was the least she could to lighten the tension some. Maybe even have a chance to show Alice her appreciation for loving her like she did. Whatever the reason, it was her pleasure almost as much as it was Alices'.

Vic climbed up the bed, deciding the forgo the slinky crawl for once, especially considering Alice was hardly in any shape to see it. Alice was lying there, her eyes closed, her chest heaving, a alluring flush across her cheeks. She looked good enough that Vic wanted to go again, but there was no harm in giving Alice time to recover. She settled in next to Alice, an arm thrown around her shoulder.

After the talk of her past, Vic assumed they were done with discussion for one evening, but there was something else she had to say. For once, it wasn't something fueled by shame or guilt, which in and of itself was a nice change of pace. She smiled up at Alice, looking as calm as she ever did before, even while her heart was racing.

"I love you, Alice. More then I've ever loved anyone. I mean, I tell you that all the time, but I want you to know I mean it. You're, hell, Alice, you're the best thing that ever happened to me. You made me a better person. You really are the best thing that's ever happened to me. I love you. So much. You don't have to worry about me running off or abandoning you. I'll love you until the end of the world."

-----------------

She had meant it, too. Alice was the most important person in her world, she hadn't meant for it to be like this! This wasn't how it was supposed to be! They were supposed to graduate together, go to college together, all that stuff you see in old romantic movies. It wasn't supposed to end with her dying after taking a shot at the guy who tried to kill Alice. This wasn't, it just wasn't fair. She was supposed to get her second chance, one to go back to Alice, to set things right.

This was all wrong.

-----------------

It was like something out of Back to the Future. She didn't know who picked Earth Angel to serenade the students at Bayview prom, but she certainly wasn't complaining. All that was needed now was a little Johnny B. Goode. And there was Alice in in her little black dress. Combine that with the black lipstick and hint of eyeshadow, Alice cleaned up nicer then one would expect. She almost looked like a new woman. Judging by the look on her face, she probably wished she was a new woman too. Considering where the hem of the dress stopped, it was already a minor miracle that Vic got her to leave the apartment at all. Not that Vic minded the view.

Her arm was draped around Alice's shoulder, and she was showing her off to anyone who glanced in their direction. Of course, she could show off after the song. She wasn't going to miss an opportunity to give Alice a whirl. She threw her other arm around Alice's neck, gently guiding Alice in her first time really dancing. "You look beautiful, Alice." That earned her a smile and blush, and it was all Vic could do to keep the kiss she gave Alice publicly acceptable.

This was, well, perfect. Perfect. A word that she normally relegated to marathon sex sessions or that euphoria after some X. But in comparison to this, that all seemed...fake. Holding Alice close, swaying in time to the song playing around them. It was like they were the only people in the world. She would trade everything for more moments like this. Like she said, perfect. She guessed that was what love was like. Not just great sex and lots of lustful stares. Moments like this, where time seemed to slow down and everything was great. Moments she never wanted to end.

"I love you, Alice." Her voice was a whisper, but she knew Alice heard her.

--------------

She wished she had never talked Alice into going along on the senior camping trip. It'll be fun!, she said, a last chance to see the people from school, she enthused. Alice didn't want to go, that was clear, but went along because it made Vic happy. She thought back to prom, to that perfect moment in each others arms. She wanted to be home, with Alice. This wasn't how this was supposed to be. They were supposed to grow old together, or at least grow older together. She wanted a second chance. More then anything else, she wanted a second chance. A chance to show Alice that she was the only woman in the world. A chance to to stay with Alice, even if it meant dying.

Vic's vision swam, blurred, then cleared. There was someone hovering over her, telling her she'd be okay. Everything else seemed dulled, distant, unimportant, everything except the woman hovering over her. Alice? No, couldn't be. There was no such thing as serendipity and Alice was already dead. Because Vic had abandoned her. Because Vic was a gutless coward.

But it was Alice. She'd come back, from the dead or wherever she went when Vic fled. Back to give her a second chance. Vic managed to take her hand, her grip weak and trembling. She offered a smile, beatific and as close to at peace as possible. Because Alice had come back. Maybe Vic had it in her to leave Alice, but Alice wouldn't do the same. "I...I'm h-happy to see you again, Alice." Vic coughed and even managed to ignore the pain, because Alice was back. "I'm sorry I left you before. I-i'm sorry I ran away. I can't tell you how happy I am that you gave me another chance." With considerable effort, Vic managed to lift her hand, running it lovingly over the cheek of the woman above her. "Thank you for coming back."

She wanted to look away from the terrified expression on the woman's face, but she couldn't. If she was going to die, it would be knowing Alice was still with her. Vic's hand tightened on Alice's for a few fleeting seconds. "I love you, Alice. I'm sorry, I'm sorry I'm leaving you behind again. I love you, so much. I wish, I wish we were still at home, back at your place." She felt a tear well in her eye, and she was surprised that it was the first. "I'm sorry Alice. I wish we had more time."

G086 - Victoria Logan - Deceased
V4
B092 - Brennan, Etain---The Docks
G086 - Logan, Victoria---The Beach: East
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Brackie
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personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Jacob Charles continues from Stay Frosty))

Even though it really wasn't a big town, squat compared to the city he'd never left in his entire life, Jacob Charles still found himself completely lost. Houses. Lots of houses. And not one of them even tried to tell him where his stuff was. You know, it probably wasn't the original intention to make them look so similar, hell most of them had different floors, different paint jobs, one or two even had a garage, but what the hell was making this search so hard?

He'd taken a look inside every available house.

House number 1.

Nothing there.

House number 2.

Locked.

House number 3.

Occupied.

Like hell he was going around finding people on his own, it was hard enough trusting Colin and Tim, and the only reason he did was because they saved him from doing something he now regret.

Okay, house number 4.

Nothing.

House number 5.

That was up next-

Two loud gunshots ripped through the air, freezing Jacob in his tracks.

FUCK!

He hit the deck immediately. Not the smartest idea, really, cause now he couldn't run. Jacob knew he was just freaking target practice, like that squirrel his mum showed him in the backyard when he was 8. Little thing was just scratching its nuts (not the way most of the kids when he was 8 thought), and never stood a chance under Teagan Charles's Garand.

Well, after the follow-up shots never came, he safetly deduced that he wasn't gonna share the fate of that nut-scratching squirrel.

No more shooting, but the shots did seem to come from House number 5.

...damn, I'm gonna go in there, and then I'm gonna immediately not wanna go in there. I know it.

Jacob lifted himself from the house's yard, and bolted towards the door.

Okay, okay, okay, people with guns, people who are probably gonna kill me, people who ain't gonna know who they're dealing with.

He reached the door. And...

Aww, hell...

It was Victoria. He'd only just seen her leave at the fountain, and...fuck, she was dead. The girl was standing over her, some other girl he didn't know. Of course, he wasn't about to write up an encyclopaedia on everyone he met at Bayview, how the hell was he expected to remember everyone he'd met on top of his friends and Pai-other friends and his gym mates and his other friends and everyone else he knew from class?

But he wasn't thinking about how much he didn't know the girl there. What he was watching was a dead girl, lying in a pool of her own blood, reaching out, begging, enclasping a ring in her boyfriends hands as she tried to get out her last words, while her killer stood over her, sneering, yelling, trying to get them away from her as they tried their best to help the girl lying on the ground, all the while the people at the door watched in awe as a girl they barely knew died in front of them by the hands of someone they should have thought they knew and Jacob was left there, speechless as he watched the scene.

...killer.

Murderer.


MizorekillerkillerkillerkillerkillerkillerkillerkillerkillerSoryu was standing there, looking all the more incriminating every moment.

Jacob's hands clenched.

He grit his teeth.

He charged at the girl, ready to get rid of the gun she must be hiding.

All the while, he had no idea Naoko Raidon even existed.
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I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Soryu!" Raidon yelled, barely able to hear his own words over the ringing in his ears. She had pitched over the banister and Raidon was after her in an instant, pounding to the edge.

By the time he'd gotten there she was already moving along the ground, dragging one damaged leg behind her and screaming as she moved. Raidon felt the blood in his veins turn to ice, a glacier forming in the pit of his stomach and making its implacable advance to every one of his limbs. He watched as she made her way to Victoria Logan, crying, tearing off her shirt to try and staunch the blood. Raidon watched, the cold still rising in him and weakening him further.

It was Logan who stopped Soryu from moving. Started to speak, though Raidon couldn't hear what she was saying. Lifted a hand to Soryu's cheek and caressed her cheek. Raidon watched this, held himself completely still on the hand fell back to the ground. Victoria's lips didn't move anymore; her chest ceased to rise and fall, as well.

He'd killed her.

As though there were another choice. She came after you.

Because I hurt the girl she loved.

You tried to settle it without killing them. Accept responsibility.


Accept responsibility. Right.

He swallowed and moved to the stairs, starting to descend them as soon as he reached them. It didn't matter if she hated him right now; she had fallen because of him, and Raidon would be damned if he let her try and run away on an injured leg or something. She could run after he treated her, if she chose. For now, he was going to-

The door slammed open.

Raidon lifted his head. There was a boy standing there--Jacob, Raidon thought. Strong-looking, muscular. Staring at Victoria Logan and the bloodstained Mizore Soryu.

Who he immediately charged at.

Without a thought, Raidon lifted his gun.

Raidon couldn't see a weapon in Jacob's hand. Maybe he could have been talked down. Maybe he could be prevented some other way. But here, on this island, Raidon had realized that there was no time for second-guessing, no time for diplomacy, no time for stupid wastes of time. Victoria Logan had sought Raidon out and fired without hesitation; Raidon had extended her the same courtesy. Jacob, likewise, was racing towards Mizore Soryu.

And the fact was that Raidon was not going to tolerate that.

He pulled the trigger before Jacob had crossed halfway across the room. The trigger clicked emptily, devoid of any accompanying gunshot, and Raidon's eyes flashed wide.

Oh sweet fuck I never reloaded.

So he was now holding an empty gun while Jacob charged towards Soryu and sonofabitch he was not going to let that happen because he had dropped his useless gun on the stairs and he was already running forwards without thinking about the consequences, without thinking about his sense of self-worth or the fact that he'd killed or about how stupid he had been to forget to reload He vaulted over Mizore, slipped when he hit the ground and fell to one knee. Ignoring Jacob (hard to do; his steps thundered in his ears), he searched the ground for...

There. Victoria Logan's gun. Did it have any bullets left in it? What did he do if it didn't? What could he-?

Raidon lifted the gun from where it had fallen, aimed it towards Jacob (so close now that Raidon really could see the whites of his eyes) and fired. There was no empty click, this time around.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players


V4 Players
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Brackie
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personification of adhd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
MurderermurderermurdererMURDERER-

He never entertained the possibility of her not being alone, not having back up. What, was he supposed to think that there was another murderer hanging about the room? Why? She looked as guilty as guilty could be, standing over Paige's body, in a pool of blood while he was there. He was right there!

He could stop her, just try and get the gun away from her. That would be the first step. He'd go and get Colin and Tom, and they'd...he wasn't sure what they'd do.

Colin's killed before, right? He must know wha-

What Jacob didn't know about the scene was where a third party was. As he almost reached the girl with his arms, he appeared.

It was at the last second, almost literally. He could almost see the individual streaks in her hair. And then...out of nowhere, he saw someone else appear.

He didn't know it was way too late for him. He never even finished his last train of thought before he saw the gun.

Every little trail of fear from a house just not like this one reached back inside of him and took ahold. This fear only extended to his face, when he realised too late he'd made the last stupid blunder he'd ever make.

HOLY FUCK ON A ST-

The round ripped through his chest, puncturing his heart, and out his back. Jacob jolted back, forcing his cap off his head, and without even the chance for final words, final thoughts, or even a brief look of shock, he collapsed backwards to the ground, the breath well and truly knocked from his system.

Jacob Charles was well and truly with his girlfriend now.

A few seconds later, his cap floated back down to the ground, landing right on his face.

MALE STUDENT NO. 118 - JACOB CHARLES: DECEASED
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I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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[ *  *  * ]
Mizore was cold.

Her lips were numb, light blue. They were stiff--slurred speech, no speech.

After they'd got a good way, the white bear said "are you afraid?", but she was not afraid.

She was afraid.

Who knew that blood stopped pumping when the heart stopped? She'd expected some affect of liveliness on the two bodies that were beside her. Instead there was nothing, pools of blood, motionless and calm. They say interred bodies look alive. But live people moved.

It was too, too cold here. Her fingers trembled. If she could think of something to say, she could try and speak, but speaking, she knew, was hard. She had no shirt on. Slowly she wrapped her hands around her chest, blocking out the cold, too cold, too cold.

If she cried, would the tears freeze on her cheeks?

She was heaving, spasming.

She hadn't eaten anything since the bread in the cave.

She was trying to vomit on the bodies.

It wasn't working.

Help.

Help me, please help me.

Raidon had killed them. Raidon, surrounded in vivid light. He was so bright, Raidon, Raidon.

You killed them.

I hate you I love you I hate you I love you I hate you I hate you I hate you

Raidon, Raidon, Raidon was putting his hands on her shoulder, and she was heaving, thrashing, trying to get away, her mind was thrashing, trying to get away, Raidon, Raidon tangled up in her brainspace, get away, get away! but she was thrashing, silent, because her lips were numb and she couldn't speak.

Get away!

But he wouldn't get away. She couldn't get away.

Help me.

Because they were dead, they were dead, they were dead.

Get away from me!

She thought I was Alice.

She tried to vomit again.

Raidon's hand was on her shoulders.

Don't die on me.

Something. Principles. Morals. All the things she'd thought were so important. Never leave her. They were her. She had them, only them, they tied her to the ground.

They hurt, it hurts, it hurts.

She pulled away from Raidon. Tried to speak through numb lips.

"Yyyyou're--you didn't need to shoot them." She was looking at him now, turning her head, glaring. "She-she-she-she was talking to me. You don't need to be so scared."

No. Not eloquent enough. She needed to get less sobbing, less cold. Stop hurting. Stop feeling the air squeezed out of her lungs, like toothpaste in a tube.

And I'm gasping and my lungs hurt.

So she sunk down. Quietly. And she breathed.

Radio Asuka

had never been quiet.

Speak.

"Raidon." She said (still quiet, still breathing staccato, scared and heavy). "You shouldn't have done that."

He opened his mouth. She covered it with her hand.

"No. You don't get to do that yet." She stood up, took her hand away. "You-you-Jesus, Raidon--" and the words came out, angled, pitched oddly and there. "You're better than this! You're better than this! You know what you're doing! You know what it is to take a life away! That's them--now they're just a husk! They're not people anymore!"

She was backing away from him, screaming. "You know what you're doing! You know what you're doing! People here, think they're just playing a game with their guns and their stupid, trying not to think about it because they think they can avoid it but you can't! You know what this is! You know what this is! And yet you kill! Jesus, Raidon, I was talking to her! She thought--" a sob broke from her throat, let me continue "she thought I was Alice! I was Alice to her! And what do you? Trick yourself into thinking she and he are more cold-blooded than you? You know what you're doing, you know what you're doing, and yet you keep doing it because you're scared!" She grabbed him by the shoulders, pushed him back. "What are you scared of?"

And she was crying again, tears rushing down her cheeks, done with all her vaunted mental discipline. "Are you scared of death? Because you're going to die, just like them! Do you really trick yourself into thinking this kind of bullshit ups your chance of survival? It doesn't! We're all going to die--do you want to die doing this?"

And she was crying and crying and crying and crying, and she slumped down again, because standing was hard, standing was hard right now, and damnit, she didn't have a shirt on right now, and she was cold.

And crying.

And cold.

Death is just another country.

She pushed a gun toward him, ugly, skewed, sloppy. "What are you waiting for?"
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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Grim Wolf
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Jacob fell backwards, the hat knocked off his head. Raidon watched as it floated gently down to earth, to alight softly upon his face and obscure his features. His chest heaved for a few seconds, and then Raidon could detect no further movement.

Fast. Surprisingly fast.

You can't afford to be careless.

No. After the vengeance attempt, Raidon supposed he really couldn't.

He moved to Jacob and pulled the hat off his face before placing his gun up against his head. The shot that followed was deafening, the force of it always blinding; a thin spray of blood shot up and coated one cheek.

He didn't stop to look at the mess he'd left behind; only turned, wordless, and placed the barrel against Victoria's head.

BANG.

Cold and clean. The human body could endure a great deal of punishment before it ceased to function; he had no desire to be killed by angry victims on the verge of death.

Cold and clean thoughts did nothing to make it easier. Cold and clean thoughts did nothing to stop his trembling, stinging hand from dropping the gun it held.

Retching greeted his ringing ears, and he turned; Mizore was heaving over the bodies, her eyes wide and panicked. Without thinking he placed his hands on her shoulders; with a little hiss she twisted, trashing her way out of his grip. An icy shock of mingled guilt and shame crawled across his skin and tore at his insides.

She hates me.

She pulled back farther, her lips trembling. "You didn't need to be so scared."

Scared? I wasn't-

She took a moment to collect herself, and without thinking Raidon did the same. No need to get defensive; he had, at this moment, nothing to defend. He had killed them. He knew how Mizore felt about killing--she had never made any attempt to hide it. Now he had to deal with a simple, and very basic, reality.

Before, there argument had been theoretical. Now, it was all too real.

"Raidon," she said. "You shouldn't have done that." Incensed, Raidon opened his mouth to reply; she immediately thew a hand over it and he stiffened, tasting blood on her palm. "No, she said, softly, implacably. "You don't get to do that yet."

He couldn't stop her from speaking. No matter how hard what she said might be, she was the one saying it, and Raidon couldn't help but listen.

And listen he did. To every accusation, every harsh word she delivered. And the more she spoke, the colder he grew, until his insides ached with it. She was speaking about killing, and death; she was challenging him as an immoral hypocrite; she was accusing him of being scared.

"We're all going to die!" she screamed. "Do you want to die doing this?!"

He watched her as she scrambled on the ground, searching. She found the gun he'd dropped and pushed it towards him. "What are you waiting for!" she demanded.

He stared at her for a second. Two. Three. Waited for the punchline, the follow-up. Waited.

Nothing. Wide, furious eyes.

He picked the gun up and examined it for a moment. "Don't be an idiot," he said, and without further admonition he turned his back on her and moved to the stairs. "Back against the wall," he called over one shoulder. "And I mean it, Soryu, your leg is in no state to be supporting you. I want you sitting and leaning against something."

It was only the faint tremor at the end of his words that betrayed what he was feeling.

Ignore her. You are in the right.

As if. I've been in the wrong since I got to this damn place.


He grabbed his bag from the bedroom (right where he'd left it the first time), left his gun on the endtable, and headed back downstairs. He wasn't sure what had gone through her mind, but when he'd come back downstairs he found her leaning against a wall with her leg extended. He frowned at it; there was a considerable amount of blood and a great deal of bruising. "This will probably be useless," he muttered, mostly to himself. "I'm shit when it comes to first aid."

But then, he had plenty of first aid kits to help.

He set everything out, including a tin of those godawful crackers they'd been provided with a bottle of water near her right hand. As he started pulling bandages and other gear from his kits, he started to talk--gave voice to the thoughts as they came to him.

"Scott McGregor and Alison Walworth died because of my stupidity," Raidon said. "Because I couldn't keep my fear in check. Neither could Scott, of course..." He trailed off, closing his eyes; he'd left the hat upstairs on the bed. "Alison...Alison I killed because it was better than the alternative." To die, slowly strangled by her own body; to die at the hands of those who would follow him. The shards of her in his pants upstairs--he'd have to go retrieve those.

"Madison Stone I killed because she attacked me," he said simply. "Nearly strangled me." He drew his fingers away from her leg and frowned at the bandage. The bruises on his neck shone duly in the weak light that made its way into the room.

"You don't care about them, though," he said softly. "You care about these two. The two you saw."

He made no accusation of hypocrisy. He understood that much, at least.

"Scared?" he asked, looking up into her eyes. "Is that what you think I was? Scared?" He shook his head. "She fired without hesitation, Soryu. She saw us and shot. You could talk to her, good for you, but I could care less whether you reached a diplomatic solution, Soryu. She'd come back. She'd come after me. For the same reason Jacob died." He tightened the bandaged around her leg.

"There isn't time, Soryu," he said. "There isn't time to talk about who deserves it or why we did what we did. Victoria fired at me without hesitation; I returned the favor." He sat back up. "As for Jacob, he attacked you." He paused for a moment, uncertain--he didn't know what he could or should say, how much was allowed. "He was stronger than both of us, and he attacked you." He waved about them. "I don't have time for diplomacy, and neither do you. If I can gain an edge without killing, great, but all I have of value here is violence or the threat of violence, and I..."

No no no. He was getting distracted, unfocused; he had to say what was needed, what would convince Soryu.

"We're not all going to die," he said simply. "Someone is going to survive. Maybe more than one person. Maybe a whole fucking army of us. I don't know." He got to his feet. "Maybe you're stronger than I am, refusing to kill. I know I was weaker than you, when I was tempted to." He smiled without a trace of humor. "I'm not anymore. Tempted. But I can."

The complete lack of dispassion in him when he realized this--when he realized that he could kill, without regret--chilled the part of him that realized how inhuman it was.

"Every murderer I kill, every resource I get, every weapon I acquires gives me an edge," Raidon said. "Every enemy I eliminate leaves one fewer complication. Of course killing boosts my chance to survive; probability alone dictates that it will." His eyes bored into hers with all the will he could muster. "I'm sorry about Victoria Logan," he said. "I'm sorry we were enemies. But I won't apologize for Jacob Charles." He shrugged and glanced up the stairs. "Victoria came after me because I hurt Alice," Raidon said. "The innocent Victoria you talked to was willing to kill me in cold blood for the sake of the woman she loved."

He looked over one shoulder, to poor Victoria Logan. "I intend to live," he whispered. And then he glanced towards Jacob, only his forehead (shattered in blood, grey matter, and bone splinter) visible. "And I couldn't...couldn't stand to watch you die."
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There were so many things that were so tempting right now.

She leaned up against the wall, obedient. Her knee hurt, enough that she wanted to start sobbing again, not from terror, but from pain.

Nuh-uh. No.

It was pain, it was terror, it was weakness and sheer confusion. It was being eighteen (eighteen! Feel your age!) and not knowing what to do.

Violence is never the way.

Principles, all principles. Principles she had based herself on, forged into her very core, the one part of her that wouldn’t change when the rest of her went quicksilver, experimenting with self, identity and taboo.

Violence is never the way.

And yet there were two bodies at her feet. And Raidon, with grim hope in his voice, was telling her why he’d killed them.

She had, arrogantly, viewed herself as the most hopeful person on the island. The others had despaired, fleeing death. She had accepted death, used her paintings as her hope. And yet—

“We’re not all going to die. Someone is going to survive. Maybe more than one person. Maybe a whole fucking army of us.”

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

How could she call herself hopeful?

Do not go gentle into that good night.

She had accepted death. He hadn’t.

Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

There had been fear of death, her own fear, when Mirabelle Nesa had pushed her down the hill, when she’d been so grateful, with her new can of red spray paint. Raidon was also afraid—he could deny it all he wanted, but the boy she had seen in the bathroom was miserable, paranoid and scared.

And yet, she wanted him to be right. She wanted the epiphany, that she had accepted death, that he had fought for life, that Victoria, Jacob made sense because life is beautiful.

It would be so much easier if he was right. If fighting was the answer—they had been given tools to fight. She could fight. She could fight for her life and his. She could fight.

“Every murderer I kill, every resources I get, every weapon I acquire gives me an edge.” He said. “Every enemy I eliminate leaves one fewer complication.”

She could fight, and she could kill, because he was beautiful and life was beautiful.

But what would Danya say?

Mizore was a prideful sonofabitch. Danya would love it. And she had been so damn proud to spit in Danya’s face.

But life is beautiful.

But life was beautiful. And fighting was tempting. She could fight for her, fight for him. God, it would be simpler.

“I intend to live. And I couldn’t…couldn’t stand to watch you die.”

And something ugly in her heart leapt at knowing he would kill for her. We all want to be loved.

And she wasn’t sure if he’d finished talking, so she stayed silent. Her crude risk-reward assessment didn’t favor killing. She didn’t like the idea of playing Danya’s game. But playing would let her stay with him, and God, she wanted to stay with him now, sink against him with her watery knee, and let herself fight…

But if I do that, then what am I?

And he had stopped talking, she was sure of it now, and she was speaking, slowly, without thinking of her words.

“If you think we might survive—“ she started. “Playing Danya’s game doesn’t help your chances. Not until the end, anyway. Doing what you’re doing, now—you just get people mad at you, like Victoria, because you hurt Alice, or people attacking you, like Maddie Stone. It’s not—it’s not particularly good risk-reward.”

Her smile was sarcastic. Arguing for pacifism because it made sense on the risk-reward assessment is not what she expected to be doing.

“And if you expect the army to rescue us—if you expect whatever the hell Liz Polanski is doing to fly to the rest of the island—if you’ve got any proper hope that more than one person might survive this damn island,” her voice shook, “playing Danya’s game—accelerating it with every kill you make—is not—is not the best way to do that.”

I intend to live. And I couldn’t…I couldn’t stand to watch you die.

There was pain in her knee, and a small, squeezed smile on her face.

“I’m a graffiti artist, a freegan vegan pacifist communalist anarchist. I made myself that, once upon a time, when I decided to become someone.” Was she even making sense now? She felt like she was, but she knew most people hadn’t gone through the bizarre process of self-creation. There was no guarantee Raidon would get a damn thing she was saying. “Survival of the Fittest—it’s meant to change us. Make us scared. Turn us into folk who think killing is a fine idea.” She turned. Tried to sit up. Winced when pain from her knee made her nerves stop. “I guess—damnit, I understand why you kill. I’m not that dumb, not anymore. You’re fighting, because if there’s a chance for life, you’re fighting for it. You said maybe I think you’re weak—maybe you think I’m weak for giving up, for refusing to kill because—well, I’ve never even told you why I don’t kill. Only that I won’t do it.”

“Here’s –here’s something that might surprise you. I don’t even entirely know my reasons for not killing. There’s probably a mix of them. Maybe I’m a punky artist chick who wants to be different. Maybe I’ve run the same damn risk-reward assessment that I ran up there, and concluded the same things—although that would mean I’d be okay with killing once I got to the final four, which I don’t think I will be. There’s probably a good bit of deep-seated moral conviction in it—I’ve seen dead bodies before, though not quite in this context, and I don’t—I don’t have, and I don’t want the right to do that to somebody. I’m not even sure I believe in God, but that seems like a deal that should be decided by a higher power than me. Death is scary. It’s not what I want to dole out. And people are so astronomically stupid about violence—they jump to it as a solution before it needs to be, all the time, every time, the prison system, revenge, riots, we might as well not be the most creative and awesome species the universe has ever seen if we’re such messes of blunt, base instinct. ‘S probably why I became a pacifist in the first place—I wanted to show people there was another way.”

“But here? I don’t know if there’s another way. Danya’s pretty much cooked us so we’re all going to die, and being a pacifist’s not the solution—not if I want to live. So I guess I just stick to it because I’m a prideful son of a bitch. He wants to turn us into—into monsters, maybe he’ll call us, or people so drunk on hope that we pick up guns and shoot our friends because maybe we can put our life back together once we’re done. And I don’t want to turn into that. I want to stay how I’ve always been. I want him to watch me on television and spit, because I won’t become a pet monster of his. I’m afraid if I—if I start clinging to the hope he wants us to have, I’m not me anymore. I’m not the freegan vegan pacifist communalist anarchist. I’m the girl who used to be Mizore Soryu, changed like everyone else changed. So I guess—I guess you’re right. I’m dooming myself because I’m a prideful sonofabitch, and I want to tell whoever started this game to fuck it, even if it means I die.”

Raidon had stayed silent, staring. She reached her hand out, wiped a bead of sweat off his forehead, but her eyes went past him, to Jacob, to Victoria. She thought I was Alice.

She wanted to say she understood what he was doing. She did understand what he was doing. All I have of value here is violence and the thread of violence. I don’t have time for diplomacy, and neither do you. Every murderer I kill, every resources I get, every weapon I acquire gives me an edge. Every enemy I eliminate leaves one fewer complication.

Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

But all she could see was Victoria’s smile, and Jacob’s hollow fury.

Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

Raidon was staring at her.

“I can’t stop you from killing on your own.” She said, finally, helplessly. “And I wouldn’t, even if I could. This is your fight.” Her eyes were closing, no longer forced dryly open by the pain in her knee. “But I will not let you kill on my behalf, and I will not—I’ll do everything in my power to prevent anyone around me from murdering anyone else. It’s what I do. I suspect this means I’m leaving you now, and that’s okay.”

She could not force a smile, but her voice remained calm. She unbent her legs, stood up, and nearly screamed as her knee gave out from under her.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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He listened.

That was all. He did not try to speak, he did not try to protest; this, whatever it was, needed to be said. His eyes didn't stay on her, of course; they flickered frequently back to the two people he'd just killed.

Jacob and Victoria Logan.

Victoria deserved to come after him. Perhaps he even deserved to die, for what he'd done to her and Alice--for the terror he'd put them through, the unnecessary violence. What mattered it that he'd lost a finger? What mattered it that he'd tried to resolve things without violence? Alice had every reason to stop him from taking the only thing that could protect the two of them.

Raidon looked at the gun in his hand

"...people so drunk on hope that we pick up guns and shoot our friends because maybe we can put our life back together once we’re done..." The words drifted into his consciousness without him paying them much mind, and he kept staring at the gun he'd picked up from besides Victoria's broken, bloody body. No life to put together, one this is done, he thought vaguely. I haven't once thought about what I'm going to do when I get out of here.

Odd, that. What did he have to live for, really?

She wiped a bead of sweat off his forehead. He didn't react to her touch, not physically; he was still thinking about what she'd said.

Maybe we can put our life back together once we're done.

“I can’t stop you from killing on your own.” There was a dread, weak, and determined finality in her tone. “And I wouldn’t, even if I could. This is your fight.” Her eyes were closing, no longer forced dryly open by the pain in her knee. “But I will not let you kill on my behalf, and I will not—I’ll do everything in my power to prevent anyone around me from murdering anyone else. It’s what I do. I suspect this means I’m leaving you now, and that’s okay.”

Raidon's throat felt suddenly dry, but he nodded and stood up. "It's probably for the best," he conceded, as she started to get up. "I don't..."

I don't want to have to choose between you and me, if it comes to that.

And then she was falling, and without thinking Raidon dropped the gun and caught her around the waist. It wasn't an easy catch--Raidon had little arm muscle to speak of--and his arms trembled as he tried to keep her aloft. His exposed left pinkie dragged over her bare skin in the process, and he hissed through his teeth. Without thinking he moved closer, so he could support her with his whole body rather than just his weak arms.

"Yeah, you're leaving," he said, his sarcasm eclipsed by exertion. He started to pull her in the direction of the stairs--he'd carry her up if he had to. She resisted, and he turned back to her. "You can leave me if you like," he grunted, the words coming out sharper than he'd intended. "But you're not leaving me like this. You're going to walk out of here standing..."

He trailed off.

In the process of trying to lead her towards the stairs, he'd pulled her closer. His hands were wrapped around her lower back, entirely bare since she'd taken off her shirt; her breasts, shielded only by a ragged blue bra, were pressed against his chest. And her lips were close, so close it seemed to him that they were all he could see...

His throat felt very dry.

"I should..." he started, still staring at her lips. "Should find you a place to..."

What was he thinking? What right did he have to be looking at this girl, to feel this momentary absence of guilt? Simon was dead, and he'd killed Scott McGregor and Alison Walworth, Madison Stone had deserved it and maybe so had Jacob but had Victoria? Hadn't she just been acting as he would have, to stop him? Hadn't she just-

"Soryu," he said, his tone suddenly much softer. "I don't want to think anymore."

He pressed his lips to hers.
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Colin Falcone continued from Stay Frosty.))

There had been gunfire.

Shitshitshit.

It was a few houses away, at least. But it was in the direction that Jacob had run. The slamming doors of his newfound friend's search had ceased right about when the gunfire had began too. That could mean one of two things. Either Jacob had been shot, or he was lying low, waiting for the fight to cease. It had to be right behind this house. He knew it, the gunfire was just too close.

Now, this left Colin with two options. Either he could go back to regret, fear, and despair, and leave Jacob to his fate. Or he could run in, and try and save his friend; assuming he needed saving.

Okay, the choice was clear. There was no way Colin was letting Jacob die. Not after everything they had gone through to save him. Not after what had happened to Tony in that tunnel. Not after everything he had said, and all the progress he had made.

He raised a hand from his position, pressed against the corner of the house. The motion he made resembled wild flailing, but he hoped it would get the message to Tim across. That message was "we need to get the hell over there and see what is happening." It was just like when he defended Tim on the first day. That detached feeling. That burning fire. That need to do something to help. However this time, there was a difference. Before, it was panic, and complete detachment. Now, now it was urgency, and Colin still felt in some modicum of control.

No, he wouldn't make the same mistake he had made before.

A deep breath.

Just before his foot tucked to round the corner, there was another bang. A loud one. His entire head seemed to split as the echo of the gunshot rang through the town. A soft thud, probably a body hitting the ground. Colin's head peaked around the corner of the building he was using to hide, just long enough to see Jacob's face before his hat covered it completely. Colin heard a pair of voices. One sobbing, a female voice. One cold. Calculating.

He suddenly felt himself break into a cold sweat. Now he was no longer the hero, rushing to save his friend. He was now just a voice to yell for justice, or maybe even a cleanup bri-

BANG

Instinctively, he immediately ducked behind the building again, his eyes filled with worry as he looked about for Tim. There wasn't a damned thing they could do for Jacob.

But what about the girl?

Why did he even care, for that matter? Since when had he become a white knight, charging headlong into violence to save the weak and the downtrodden? He was a pacifist, a folk singer, a guitarist. There wasn't likely a single thing he could do for her. And he was not going to ask Tim to fire that weapon of his.

A deep breath.

His voice was a whisper.

"Jesus Tim... What do we do now? J-Jacob's dead... There's two people in there."

The female voice had suddenly stopped crying. When did that happen? It now seemed to be ranting. Words his sensitive ears couldn't quite make out. Something about killing, something about art, something about pride. Following, there was a moment of silence. And then a thump. No accompanying gunshot, but there was a thud of a body hitting the ground. Colin's eyes went wide. He needed to make a decision now, whether he would try and save this girl too, or not.

He'd saved Tim from those girls. He'd saved Jacob from himself. He'd... he'd saved Tony the misery that was waiting him in the days to come.

Another deep breath.
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Naoko Raidon kissed Mizore Soryu.

Mizore was wearing nothing but a bra on top, his arms warm around her, her skin raised to his touch, shivering. She could feel everything, skin vivid, and warmth.
The shivers had nothing to do with cold.

Sun.

Let's get out of this country.

He could take her cold. They could stay wrapped together, live, I wish I could spend hours with you. I wish I could talk with you about every abstraction. I wish I could touch your skin.

I wish.

The air was full of wishes, floating gossamer like oil-slick rainbows. Bubbles bouncing about the room. Victoria, Jacob, Raidon and her, helpless, suspended in an arc of wishes. Possible futures, potential futures, some dead, some alive, but who knew? She could reach out and touch them.

Beautiful.

Reach out and touch them.

She broke from Raidon first. Shot them in the head to make sure they were dead. She didn't want to kiss him. It felt dirty, somehow. You saw him shoot them. You can't be in denial. The word she wanted to use now was 'sell-out', a favorite word of Life on Enceladus, but it was worse than that. Prideful sonofabitch. Killer-kisser. She needed to get away from Raidon. Away from the greedy part of yourself that wants to tell him that this is okay. Away from forgetting.

He shot them in the head to make sure they were dead. Some pacifist you are.

She looked away from Raidon, at the floor, at the blood. Shook her head. "We should go up stairs." He had--he had offered to bring her upstairs. "If you could help me," she said, distant and stiff, "I should put my knee up. Drain the swelling."

The mighty continents divide for the second time in history.

But she was hardly anything mighty. She was a shivering girl, in a ragged blue bra, her bloody shirt on dead Victoria Logan's breast. Once upon a time, you were so sure of yourself. Now she was nothing. A panicked breath. A teenage girl.

You're the daylight ghost that creeps, you're the empty city streets.

Raidon helped her up the stairs, whispering something that sounded like symbols and chains. There were bangs and knocks outside the house. She was worried. Let us get into the bedroom safety. Praying (to whom?), walking mechanically, trying not to rest too much weight on her bad knee feels like you don't have a body.

She felt like smoke and feathers. Ready to blow away.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Completely my bad. I missed the private tag. Grim has given me permission to vacate without interacting with either other character.))

There was nothing he could do. That second gunshot had gone wild, nowhere near himself. Looking around, Tim was nowhere to be found; who had he just gestured to? Was he losing his mind? He couldn't be. Not now. Granted, there was so much stress pounding down on him right now. And he wouldn't be the only one. No one could blame him... Could they?

He listened. He listened to the breeze whistle between the buildings. He listened to the water of the distant fountain from where he had just fled. He listened to the sound of his own labored breathing, his pounding heart. But mostly, he listened to the silence with bated, agonizing breath. Gritting his teeth, he closed his eyes, and waited. Swearing he heard something else from that house, but to afraid to look. There was a cold blooded killer in there. There was at least one dead. Possibly two. Maybe even three. He had no idea. He would be useless in this type of a fight. His tunnel vision slowly returned, and the adrenaline wore off of him. His body broke into a cold sweat as that particular realization hit him. There was a killer a few feet away, and Tim was missing. The only ally... the only friend he had was missing in the vicinity of a killer. It felt like a bad B-Rated horror flick. The cheeky stuff some of his peers at the cafe loved to death for their irony.

He had never, never gotten that.

And for a few... hours? minutes? seconds? He sat in the beating summer sun of the tropical island on which they had been fated to lose their lives. His thoughts wandered to the patrons he graced so often with his talents. The halls of the school he took for granted for all but the past six days.

Wow. Six days. He had been on this island for a week already?

The fear and paranoia in this moment of clarity gave way to the painful hunger that had been trying to get his attention for the past three days. His body was nearing it's natural end from dehydration and hunger, yet his fear of death had made way to a new contender to take his life. What a pathetic way to go that would be, wouldn't it? But by giving a spectacle, wouldn't he be playing right into this organization's hands? Giving them exactly what they wanted out of him? One for the highlight reels, one to show the brutal, savage nature of humanity.

He'd already given them one like that. He really didn't want to give it to them twice. But starving to death seemed like such a waste. His preservation instincts argued with his rationale, and it was a winning battle. The gurgling stomach, the cramping muscles, the pain in his gut, all pushed him towards survival. Every instinct, reaction, feeling, pushed him towards survival.

He shook his head.

No need for that train of thought.

There was nothing he could do here.

After bowing his head, whispering a few brief words for Jacob, his fallen friend, he quickly moved back the way he came. He had to find Tim, before the same; or worse, befell his friend.

He was sure he would never see the streets of St. Paul again. A city which had nothing truly significant to his name, a city he had plans to leave behind some day when he finally made it big. Oh how he wished for that sweet, sweet pollution riddled air, her crowded streets and city lights once again.

"Until we meet again Jake."

((Colin Falcone continued in his curtain's call...))
Edited by T-Fox, Feb 4 2011, 01:50 AM.
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Oblivion.

Sweet, rose-colored, heartening oblivion. Complete absence of thought. He pulled her closer without thinking. She was salty and spectacular; she tasted like fear and desperation and everything poignant in life, and for the infinite space they kissed he wasn't thinking about survival, about morality, about Simon or God or duty or what had brought him here. He wasn't thinking about his brother, about his father, about the meaning of death and murder. He was thinking only of the lips of Mizore Soryu.

No wonder people are so afraid of lust. So much fucking better than alcohol.

She broke off and immediately looked away. Raidon felt something hot and heavy and guilty and anguished race up from the bit of his stomach and clench around his throat; he was choking on his own need. "We should go upstairs," she said, distant and stiff and why are you distant, Soryu, I'm not sure I can take- "If you could help me. I should put my knee up. Drain the swelling."

Raidon cleared his throat, trying not to speak or yell or cry or...or whatever it was his body so wanted to do right now. He forced a nod and draped her arm around his shoulders, serving as a crutch while they made their way to the stairs.

In order to do it, he had to step over Victoria's feet. He tried not to look at her.

"Hang on," he mumbled, stepping away to grab the gun from where he'd let it fall--from where Soryu had offered it to him, telling him to kill her. A flash of anger broke the anxiety that racked him, and his grip tightened on the handle. Who the fuck did she think she was, telling him what to do, judging him?

He got to his feet, the gun still in his hands. He'd never made any pretensions about what he was, about the immorality of what he was doing, and he wasn't going to be lectured at by a...

A...

A beautiful woman willing to die for what she believes in and who has every right to hate a murderer like me.

All the energy, all the violence, all the anxiety went away. There was no certainty, no gladness, not even sadness; only emptiness. He was resolved to whatever was coming, and he was going to take care of this girl as best as he could in the time she allowed him to stay around.

He turned, gave her a soft smile, and put the gun in his pocket. "You may not like it," he said, to the mute judgment in her eyes. "But if someone comes after us, you don't get to die." He shrugged. "You can do that by yourself."

He walked up to her before she had time to say anything and backed up into her, so that her arms went around his shoulder and her legs went around his waist--he didn't think he was strong enough to carry her up the stairs using only his arms. He took her up and into the master bedroom he remembered--the one where she'd first pulled off his shirt.

Seemed an awfully long time ago, now that he was here again.

"Here," he said, setting her down with her back on the headboard. He grabbed some of the pillows from behind her and positioned them under her leg.

And it him all at once.

He was tired. He hadn't slept properly since he'd gotten to this damn island, and he hadn't slept at all last night; he'd been too wracked with doubt and guilt. He'd killed two more people within a matter of minutes; he'd ended lives.

Christ. He was tired.

You can't sleep yet. You have to be ready.

Right. Right.

"H-hold on," he slurred. "I'll...I'll be back." He pushed himself away from the bed and set about the house, gathering everything together. He went to the bathroom and turned off the shower he'd left running, hanging his clothes to dry (he fished the broken inhaler from the pocket of his pants and slipped it into the pants he was wearing, trying not to dwell on how he'd gotten it). He grabbed Scott's bloodstained hat from where he'd left it by the sink and grabbed his bag from by the door before heading down the stairs, stopping only long enough to grab his gun from where he'd dropped it in his hurry. Ignoring the bodies of the people he'd killed, he quietly reloaded.

He was running out of bullets. He'd have to hope Victoria had brought some with her.

One quick look at Victoria Logan. He stepped over her and to her bag, fishing through its contents. His mouth dropped a little when he saw what she'd brought with here. Were those...were those grenades?

Hmm. According to the manual, stuffed deeper in the bag (underneath some clothes which she'd never wear again, God, what had he don't think about it.), they were flashbangs.

Interesting. He could use those. But he was not so lucky on the bullet front; there was no sign of any bullets in Vic's bag.

He moved over to Jacob next. No such luck with him--just some food, along with the hat. Raidon stared at the hat, his fingers alighting upon the one he was wearing (the hand he used to reach for it was the one with the cross tied around his wrist; it fluttered against his skin).

He already had the one hat. He didn't need two.

With a shrug, he stood up. He'd transferred as much food and water as they'd had left to his bag, and the flashbangs were safely stowed near the top for easy access. He'd read how to use them when he had time; for now, it was all he could do to stay on his feet.

Nonetheless, he took a moment when he got back to the stairs to take care of his exposed finger. It didn't look to be getting infected, thank God, but it still hurt from his catching Soryu earlier, and he couldn't let himself be incapacitated. He'd need to be in the best shape possible if he was going to make it through this.

After he finished sanitizing the wound and dressing it as best he knew how, he got to his feet and turned back to Victoria and Jacob. "I'm sorry," he whispered to Victoria's body. Sorry I drove you to this, sorry I hurt the girl you loved, sorry I threatened you. Doesn't matter if I wasn't going to hurt you, not really, you...you... "You deserved better." His eyes hardened when he faced Jacob's. "You didn't." He turned and went up the stairs. Mentally he added, I'll remember you.

He hesitated at the door to the bedroom. He had all his stuff back together; he was ready to go. But what if she was still...could he blame her for hating her? He had violated everything she stood for, knowing full well the consequences of his actions. She was right; he wasn't acting out of panic or out of some sense of moral righteousness. He was acting knowing exactly how immoral his actions were. He was acting monstrously, and he could not demand she love a monster.

But he could make sure she was okay.

He swallowed, letting the emptiness take him again. He stepped back into the room. "Hey."
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Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

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Mizore was thinking about oceans, the sound of the sea in her ears. She'd seen the ocean with her family, when she was small, a vacation, tense and lonely when the first of her brothers was born. She had walked out into the dawn beaches in the mornings, in the calm, tasted the air, blue-grey and salty sweet.

Since then, she had been able to hear the ocean, in conch shells, cups and glasses, soda cans. Anything hollow, anything unsure.

And she could hear the ocean now, Raidon holding her. Why am I so calm? Mute judgement in her eyes. Killer. But hard to hate. Should I hate you? But his arms were behind her, bringing her up the stairs. Back to the tan-and-gold guest room, in the warm yellow light.

His words, he could think about his words, his words that had wrapped around her like symbols and chains. "You may not like it," he had said, "but if someone comes after us, you don't get to die. You can do that by yourself."

She wanted to kiss him again, perhaps. Gently.

She didn't have to judge right now. I'm hurt, she cried, looking for excuses. I don't need to judge, I don't need to condemn him.

Not yet. Not yet.

He put her down, back to the headboard. I'm being carried. He pulled the pillow that would have been behind her above her knee.

He looked tired. "H-hold on," he said, stuttered, slurred, so tired. "I'll…I'll be back."

And he left.

She wanted to wash out her mouth. Something cold. Without him was easier. Less conflict. Simple life, simple death. She painted, and she died. Nothing complicated occurred. None of these questions about who she was, or if falling in love with him made everything she stood for moot. None of this killing. You won't have to see it, but it'll still be there. But she wouldn't have to condemn it. Fight him. Make him give up his hope for life, because of her selfish self-identity.

He's better than that.

But what right do you have to judge him when you let every other killer on the island escape your scathing judgement scot-free?

But he's better than that.

What right do you have to tell him to give up hope?

Once upon a time, she had always been right. Now, she wasn't so sure.

She could hear Raidon puttering downstairs. The scrape of bags against wood. Looting the corpses. The thought came with all the requisite disgust.

But the disgust didn't last nearly long enough.

No. No. She wanted to hold him.

Head against the headboard. Knee propped on the bed. Help me. But there was no one to tell her what was wrong and right and I wouldn't believe them anyway.

No one to tell her. I want to touch him again. Just one more time. She had to leave, she knew she had to leave I can't be this, an accessory to murder but he was monstrous in her thoughts always there, why are you always here?

She could meditate, but he wouldn't blow away.

Creaking on the stairs now. He was coming up. She closed her eyes, pushed angst away, and felt, not emptiness, but just a desire to speak to him, hold him. You are my equal.

Words thumping in her head.

Load up your guns, bring your friends, it's time to lose, and to pretend-

He was in the doorway. "Hey."

The light curled around him. "Hey," she said, kind of lamely.

"Are you--I just wanted to check if you were okay."

Now I am. "I'm fine."

He was stumbling on his feet. So tired, too tired. I just want you to know who I am.

"I guess--I guess I'll--" He was not looking at her, but his eyes burned.

Sometimes the moments that should be so crucial, so important, are an impulse instead. "Raidon?" She said.

"Yeah?"

"I want you to kiss me."

Because you want it. I know you want it. I pulled away last time. And here I am, sitting on this bed like a Queen, and I will say what I please.

He didn't smile, but his eyes lifted. He came over to the bed, like slow night on the windowsills, leaned an arm against the headboard, and put his mouth to hers.

And she kissed him. And he kissed her. And it was the most comfortable thing in the world.

She didn't break away first, this time. It was he who broke away, his arm giving away on the headboard, and he toppled onto her lap, eyes fluttering, bruised. "Tired," he said apologetically, but he made no move to leave.

She pulled him up onto the bed. No undressing him, no sex, just letting him half-climb half-fall beside her. "Hush." She said. "Come to sleep."

Her smile was a little amused. He smiled softly back up at her.

Light off. Tucking his knees into the covers. All things she could do without her knee.

The clock ticked softly from the next room.

Right now, there was no conflict at all.
--------


Alice Boucher was a liar.
Liz Polanski played with fire.

And who the hell is Radio Asuka?
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"Hey," she said.

Her knee was wrapped in bandages, her stomach was covered in another person's blood, and she still looked imperial, regal, even. He felt his throat tighten at the sight of her, and at the immediate certainty that filled him and eroded a hope he hadn't even been aware of--she can't care about me.

His killings had been a matter of intellectual exercise to her, when she'd said she wanted to stay with him. He could hear it in the way she spoke--with complete disinterest, without effort.

There's another room down the hall, he thought, to try and stifle the ache. I'll be fine.

"Are you-" he started, before breaking off. "I just wanted to check if you were okay."

She swallowed. "I'm fine."

I won't argue with that. His eyes flickered away from her, and he started to back out of the room. "I guess-" he started weakly, glancing over his shoulder. "I guess I'll-"

"Raidon?"

He stopped. "Yeah?"

"I want you to kiss me."

Oh thank God.

He didn't remember crossing the room or leaning against the headboard; one moment he was standing in the doorway and the next he was over her bed, and the weariness that had overtaken him changed, slowly but surely. It didn't exhilarate him, as had their first kiss--he was far too tired for that. Rather, it illuminated him; it made him feel like he had stepped into a familiar place, a comfortable place, a safe place. Her lips were a blanket he could pool around his exhausted body, and he relished them.

Relished them until his legs gave out and he topped forwards, to land with his head comfortably against her bare stomach. She reeked of blood and sweat and dirt and beauty and life.

"Tired," he said apologetically, after he had taken a second to drown in the scent of her.

"Hush," she said, pulling him up closer to him and kissing him on the forehead. "Go to sleep."

He was out before she pulled the covers around the both of them.



He slept long, and hard. When he awoke, so much time had passed that the sun was starting to crack at the dark horizon. Christ, he thought vaguely. We were out for awhile.

Not that he was complaining. Not as he was.

Sometime during the course of the night they had rearranged themselves--now Raidon was lying higher up on the bed and Mizore was hurled into him, her head on his chest and one of his arms wrapped protectively around her. Raidon had never slept beside a woman before, and he now had to conceded that it was the single-most comfortable experience he could have conceived of. It felt warm and safe and right; she belonged under his arm, as he belonged as a pillow beneath him.

A moment of peace he didn't deserve. But at that moment, Raidon didn't care.

Like all moments of peace, it was all-too-brief.

"Once again, good morning, kids!" Danya's voice boomed from one of numerous speakers. "I feel like we're really getting to know each other now, in a way..."

He stiffened, and against his body he felt Soryu do the same. They listened in absolute silence as Danya named killers and kills. Without thinking Raidon noted the death of Clio Gabriella--that was one serious piece of competition he was not going to have to deal with in the future. Still, this Gweneth girl was the better-armed for her death, and it must have taken a pretty serious kind of creature to take out someone with as murderous a reputation as Clio--he'd have to stay wary.

"...and the Residential Area."

Beep

Beep

Beep
.

"Fuck!" yelled Raidon, without listening to the rest of the announcements. He scrambled off the bed, digging around the bag he'd brought with him until he found a spare shirt. He thought of the spare clothes he'd left hanging in the bathroom--there wasn't time to retrieve them, not now. "Soryu," he said, tossing it to her. As she pulled it on, he hastily checked everything--food, water, first aid kits, weapons. Two guns, one fully loaded, one with just one bullet. A case of flashbangs.

Soryu.

"On my back," he grunted.

"Raidon-" she started.

"No buts, you're in no condition to walk." He hunched over before the bed as she climbed on and then stood up with some difficult, readjusting his bag and grabbing hers as he went.

Beep

Beep

Beep
.

This is going to royally suck.

And down the stairs and out the door, not even bothering to watch his back--he didn't have time to worry about ambushes or enemies, he had to keep moving. He had two things left on this island to care about, and both of them were entirely dependent on him getting the hell out of here.

(Naoko Raidon and Mizore Soryu continued in Broken Like the Sun).
Edited by Grim Wolf, Oct 10 2011, 11:48 PM.
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