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Open Your Eyes and Look North
Topic Started: May 13 2017, 09:53 PM (574 Views)
Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
((Melanie Beckett continued from You thought it was Kimiko but it was me, Jerry!))

She wasn't paying enough attention anymore.

She was tired. Not that that was much of an excuse. It hadn't changed since... days before. Felt like an excuse. When'd she ever been tired before? She'd always been able to push herself when she needed to. Draw up some hidden reserves of energy. Always. Now she was just tired.

She wasn't paying enough attention so when Serena asked a question and Aiden started talking and kept talking, she didn't even try to get a word in. Maybe she hadn't even properly heard the question.

No, she'd heard it. But there was little use in protesting when, at this point, she was doing it just to be contrary.

She was involved, after all. She was here. She hadn't left. She was still helping them. She didn't want them to die. They were supposed to die. Better not to make it to the end so that they could be tempted. Who was she to make that choice for them? How delirious were her thoughts now? How many loops could she string out of her unraveled brain?

That felt like a template for a decent abstract painting. Unravel a brain, as if it were pink lasagna, and... she didn't know. Stupid thoughts, now, irrelevant thoughts. When was the last time she'd ever painted anything surreal?

She was still here. She'd always be here, with them.

"Be careful, okay?" she managed as Aiden left, though she didn't think he heard her. She'd be there when he came back, anyway.

She'd been dragging him around and now he was taking the initiative. They'd started doing this, and he'd lit up like a candle. It was good for him. She only wished she felt the same way.

No conclusion to that train of thought. She just left it hanging.
The Present

The Past
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Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
Mel had propped her own car door open, waiting. She turned at the sound, she looked, and her breath caught in her throat, the same question as before on the tip of her tongue. This time, she didn't want to hear the answer.

No, what she wanted to hear was that it was some lookalike, some copycat asshole that Aiden had shoved off the top of the tower and screw him because he deserved it, but she wasn't allowed to have that many delusions.

She was already hurrying to him, a few steps behind Serena, with more questions to substitute for the one she couldn't ask. Had he jumped? She refused to believe it.

Why had they allowed him to go alone? Had he been pushed?

Hadn't he heard them tell him to be careful?

"We can lift him," Mel said, the words just spilling out as she tried to meet Serena's eyes. She couldn't, wouldn't, didn't dare look too hard at him in case he was already too far gone. "We can lift him into the back, and we have the first aid kits, and... we can..."

Time to remember how she'd forced Cameron up and forced her to walk without a splint. Time to remember how she'd done some jerryrigging with some screwed up chair leg and then she'd left and Cameron had gone and died anyway.

She hesitated, waiting on a word.
The Present

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Iceblock
Survivor
[ *  * ]
Nothing funny, Matt said.

Something had loosened within her chest, all the tension and all the doubt. Mel was standing there over Aiden's dead body, only halfway to tears, because she had to try too hard to keep from chuckling.

Aiden had jumped right off a building. Right off the tower - after he'd seen what happened to Barry and Jerry - and he'd still done it. For them.

It was crazy.

Then Matt had waltzed out when she'd turned to go for the jeep, and he said some words and they were the wrong words in exactly the right way. The words, the timing, that he was here and if not for Serena, Aiden might have died for something that was nothing at all. Nothing funny, Matt said. It was pretty funny. All of it.

And she was feeling a little crazy too.

"Okay," Mel said, and began to reach for her pockets, taking the measure of the gun with her eyes even while she felt adrenaline start pumping through her again - the gun there, her here, the jeep somewhere to the side. "Hey... don't you think you're the one with more to lose?"

In a single motion, she stripped off her jacket and ran for the car.
The Present

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Survivor
[ *  * ]
Mel was breathing hard, crouched low with her jacket bunched in her right hand, barely behind the halfway open passenger door with her other hand in an awkward position on the handle. Disgusted - with how dumb these things always turned out - she let go and ducked behind it properly.

She'd meant to use it for cover. Guess it worked better all the way open.

He'd fired. He'd missed, somehow. Now he was staring at her and she wondered if this was supposed to be some sort of standoff where she just happened to be missing a gun.

He was there in front, almost too far away. She was here on the right. They were both in the wrong place, and she knew it.

Just a few feet away, across a seat and a gear stick, the keys were in the ignition where Serena had left them.
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Survivor
[ *  * ]
Her anger flared, and she shouted right back.

"You scared?" She was the one hiding behind the door but y'know, she had a good reason for that. Part of her was pulling back, saying yeah, taunt the guy with the gun, see where that gets you. But she was pissed. Didn't know why exactly. Lot of whys out there. Because she was tired and grumpy. Because he figured he could order her around. Because he'd taken Aiden's gun. Or maybe because he was real fucking ungrateful - more or less - after Serena had decided to up and save him.

"Think I'll gun the engine if you come close? Or you just gonna stand there until she comes back to kill you?"

For the briefest instant, Astrid came again to mind. Her temper, that familiar sour expression, the dangerous look in her eye before either of them had known real danger, a death glare before they'd known death - and Mel knew at least one thing hadn't changed. Poking the bear, here.

Mel dove for the driver's seat anyway, keeping her head low, because she'd been plenty stupid enough already.

But there was no response. Not even another shot as the engine turned over, as she leaned over the steering wheel and thought for a moment she might as well do it, ram right into him, just crumple this car and turn the two of them into bloody smears on the tower - for Aiden, for the others Matt might hurt, to keep Serena from stewing in the revenge she'd no doubt promised herself - and then she turned the wheel to the side and peeled out.

((Melanie Beckett continued in Knife to the Canvas))
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