I went for her.
At the hotel room, I had told her not to go. That she shouldn't be alone. I told her that I'd come. Arguing or not, even if we walked a distance from each other, it was better than--
She told me to Stay.
I shouldn't have. I should have followed. Then maybe...
it doesn't matter.
we would still have been in the same position. maybe worse.
They were waiting.
They wanted her. me.
They were wwaiting.
Scream was of coruse, bbut I didn't think.. I didn't...
I didnt expectthis. I jus
I... must have gotten there at around 3am. A little indoor swimming place. Even though I tried to sneak up, I... I was soon called out. I heard my name in an all-too-familiar sing-song voice. I saw a grin and a way-too-eager wave as a figure walked along the top of a low, stone wall along the front of the property - a little bit of a skip to each step. Long, black blazer over a disorganized suit. Pale skin. Shoulder length, pale blonde hair under a black fedora.
He was there.
Waiting for me.
"MISHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! My dear, sweet sister~! It's been too long! GIVE US A HUG! Come now, don't be SHY." He tossed a blade in the air, catching it in the opposite hand. "I've been waiting quite a while now to give YOU the chance to come back from the dead too. Only, knowing your track record, I'd imagine you'd fail at that part-way through as well. But we won't know unless we try, riiiiiiiight~?"
That fucking laugh.
Laugh that won't shut up that WON'T GET OUT OF MYHEAD WONTSTOP WONTFUCKINGSHU
I had both of my knives out when I stepped out. one was mine. theotherhis.
Rule still in effect: No guns.
His grin widened as I stepped up, bristling. He jumped down from the wall and smiled at me as I practically demanded to know how the hell he got out. How the hell he SURVIVED... but he just winked at me while going on about 'trade secrets'. He started to circle around me like a vulture sizing up its next meal while rambling about how it's been absolute torture to stay under the radar - not being able to "reassure all [his] fangirls, like Sagey, of [his] continued existence in ALL [HIS] SUPREME GLORY!" He went on about how he was finally going to be able to return to his place in the spotlight again and get back to work as per the norm - perhaps starting with Valerie's family.
"It's been such a LONG time since I 'Lit up the Night', now, hasn't it, dear? Why, I can barely remember it... well, except the part where I carved your daddy up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Hahaha! Now THAT was FUN. If he hadn't been an old fart, I probably would have cooked him up. Maybe make a good meal with mashed potatoes and gravy... AND STUFFING! Yes! YES! Made from that damned horse you loved so much! What was his name? Uh... Haggataway? Naggataway? HAHAHA. Maggotaway is more appropriate now isn't it? But your daddy was so OLD. And CANADIAN. And Father knows you Canadians taste like shit. AND Maple Syrup. You REALLY need to cut back on that crap. Ruins the meal for those of us who enjoy the delicacy. So very rude of you."
"TWINKLE. Shut. The Fuck. Up already. You've been 'alive' ten minutes and already I have a headache. Where the HELL is Valerie? What the fuck did you do with her?!"
He tilted his head to the side. "Who~? Sorry, name doesn't ring a bell. Maybe you have the wrong address."
I stepped forward, glaring. Tone low. "Where is she, Twinkle. Stop fucking around."
He leaned forward, smiling. Hands clasped behind his own back. "Hm, and why should I do that? I'm only just getting warmed up, Michelle~ Can't you tell... how much I've MISSED you?"
I'd already jumped back before I even saw the flash of steel. Instincts telling me to move, so I moved. He rushed me. I swung with one blade while spinning the other around to come from the opposite direction. He dodged both before grabbing my jacket, cracking his skull against mine. I stumbled back - vision swelling for a moment through the pain - but he just crossed his arms and pouted.
"You know, most people get BETTER with time. Not worse. I'm disappointed in you, sister. Is that really all you can do?"
"SHUT UP! Where. THE FUCK. Is Hakurei Ryuu, you son of a bitch?!"
He laughed again. "Hahaha~! Oh, I wouldn't bother worrying about Haku-Chan, Mishy. Screamer is playing with HER while I get YOU." Another toss of the blade. "Trust me, sister. Don't worry about them. You REALLY can't afford to focus on anything but Me, Me, Me, Me and ME!"
Moving fast. Hitting hard. Blades snapping against each other. Punches and shoves and kicks that send us BOTH to the ground, then back to our feet, then back down again. It was chaos. Movement moving into movement. Attack into attack. And all through it... he never stopped grinning. Not once. My head was just... pounding, but I ignored it. Even my arm wasn't stopping me. Pain was... irrelevant at that point. The world was irrelevant. It was just us. Myself and Morningstar. There was nothing else. Nothing.
At least, until I heard a yell. A shout of my name for help.
I knew the voice.
I saw Nightscream and Valerie at a doorway into the building. He/she holding her back. Keeping her from interfering in the fight. She was struggling, but she seemed too tired to break free.
I drew my gun.
Morningstar hit me from the side, slamming me back against a wall as the gun fell from my hand. I grabbed him by the head and twisted my leg around his, throwing off his balance to allow me to crack his skull against that same wall as I slipped around him - focused on Nightscream. I don't know what in my head thought I could...
I had to save Valerie, didn't I?
Yes. Yes, I did. Save Valerie. Had to find a way. Would have found a way...
couldn't... i justcou
Before I could get there, Morningstar tackled me. He was bleeding down the side of his face, but not willing to give up. Not willing to let my focus shift. The injury didn't even seem to BOTHER him even though it should have. He was still grinning even as he cracked his fist across my jaw, trying to rattle my senses so he could pin me easier. I took the hit. I felt his hands on my wrists... and I remember yelling something. Kneeing him in the gut - using the gained wince to steal back my good arm. I aimed the punch for the same spot that was bleeding from the wall.
He fell to the side.
I was on him an instant later - straddling him as my knife sunk into his chest, twisting the blade hard... and he still just... grinned up at me. Eyes dancing with devilish delight without a shred of pain in his expression. He stopped fighting back, but yet... there was something else I saw in those eyes at that point.
And the face I stared into... began to change.
The... image of Morningstar jus tmelted away... grinning up at me as it did... until I was staring into the eyes of someone I'd never seen before. He had the same build, but his hair was shaggy brown and he stared up at me with green eyes brimming with fear, confusion, and agony. Tears began to run down his face as it twisted in the pain I had given him. The blood in his throat refused him words, but I could see them clear as day in his eyes.
Where am I?
What happened to me?
Who are you?
Oh, God, I'm going to die.
I watched the light fade. Intense green turning dull.
A moment prior, he had worn a dead man's face.
Then he was one himself.
i... i couldn't think
panic started to grip my mind. i stumbled back to my feet. backing up. backingupwith eyes eyes eyesgluedonthe boy demandingto know knowwhohewas knowwhat what wasgoingon
I already knew.
Nightscream knew I already knew. Laughing at me even as he/she kept Valerie close. One arm around her middle and the gauntlet around her shoulders - blades daring me to take a risk. didnt wanttoriskit. Scream... almost looked like it was keepingherup keeping her fromcollapsing she looked sopale looking readytobe sick...
My sibling smiled as he/she tilted his/her head at me. "He was a face in a crowd, Mitch. A Runner. Someone who Father had placed strings on and fitted with a costume to suit His Will. His role was to die. Nothing more." Scream's voice... sounded sick. He/she had rattle in his/her chest that accompanied every word... but the confidence still made my stomach turn. "You played your part perfectly, sister. You should be ever so proud."
"Stop it! STOP SPEAKING TO HER!"
Val... did something to Nightscream then.
she told me later... she... i don't even know. I didnotknow she could do that.
she told me later... she... i don't even know. I didnotknow she could do that.
Scream suddenly staggered in his/her footing. Smile turned to gritted teeth as whatever change took place. Valerie thrashed to get free - blood flowing as the gauntlet slashed across her shoulder in the struggle - before she was suddenly thrown to the ground. Hard. I felt like I only blinked before a handgun was drawn, but... Scream didn't get the chance to aim before he/she started hacking painfully. Coughing up blood that splattered to the ground and ran down his/her chin. Stealing his/her breath with the fit as Scream caught hold of the wall. Using it to keep standing as his/her body turned against him/her. Buckling slightly with the pain, but not dropping.
I grabbed Val and yanked her to her feet.
When I glanced over my shoulder... I saw Nightscream taking aim.
I shoved Valerie to the side.
Two shots fired.
The other pierced right through my arm. The bad one. Luck.
we didn't stop
been running ever sicne
We're settled into a hotel for the night.
we haven't spoken much.
not much tosay
I prefer the dark of the room anyway.
Gives me a chance to think... to be alone with my mind... and the hallucination of someone I now know I can't escape. That I can never escape. Even all these months later... Morningstar will never leave me.