Challenge: Papaya #12 - You Don't Know What You're Missing
Word Count: 1,267
Summary: Simon waits for Ioann at an old station, but someone else turns up instead...
Notes: I was writing this on my laptop, and then when I went to save the first 200 words it completely went nuts. I think a USB port fried or something... So this comes out a bit weird, as I hate writing at this PC...
*ahem* Er, I named the bit-part villain during November to tease one of my friends, who has a character of the same name (and it's tradition, anyway!) and then said villain took on both a whole life of his own and a personality and became a fixture of the NaNo... I think I hold my friend responsible for this. (Although he'd disclaim all responsibility, I'm sure.)
God knows why Ioann asked me to meet him here. It’s late, much later than I’d like, and the cold is soaking into my leathers, seeping into my bones. It’s almost a tangible thing, the fog around me that steals every cloud of my breath for itself.
The station is deserted - naturally. Who’d want to be here when there’s one with betters facilities and better links ten minutes away? Now the place is abandoned, the only life in the clicking over of the clock. I’ve only been here maybe twice, and I can still remember the last time. The time Myletis almost made my brain drip from my ears.
In the daylight, it’s forlorn, a lonely and forgotten place. But in the half-light of the evening the shadows are long, reaching towards me...
I’m just getting fanciful now. Behind me I hear the sound of something stirring, probably a fox or a rat but more likely Ioann, and I turn to tell him exactly what I think of him-
And find a gun between my eyes.
“I think you have something of ours,” Alex smirks from behind the muzzle.
“Fuck off;” it comes out more conversationally than I expected. I don’t sound like my blood has just turned to ice.
“In your dreams, elf-boy.” He presses the gun more painfully to my head. He’s wrong: they’re my nightmares - nightmares that start at the point he kicked me in the ribs and end with me splattering my own blood across his chest.
I raise my left hand and it shifts, no pain any more, straight into its other form - the form Alex there is responsible for, at least partially. “Put down your gun.” That’s delivered with more confidence than I feel too, and he raises an eyebrow, still with that dead smile of his.
“You think you can threaten me with that?” But his gaze flicks from me, to it, and back to me and for a second I think that rehearsed and heavily-practiced smile has faltered. Of course: that was the hand his master hadn’t loaded. The hand that could only fire the contents of my arm in a sickly splash. But it had been a good shot... “Drop your... arm.”
I bet he’s never had to say that before; I can’t help grinning, which doesn’t seem to make matters any better. It’s sheer dumb fear really - I can remember everything, even, oh God, that woman... My grin vanishes and his comes back, full force.
And for that, I raise the other too.
“Just because we did that to you, it doesn’t make it any less disgusting.” The grin has gone again, replaced with a scowl that I remember just as well. “It just makes you an even bigger freak than you were before.”
“Just shut up and put down your gun, Alex.” Both my pseudohands, my weapons, are almost touching his face.
“Or what? You’ll soak me again?” The sneer he delivers at my left hand is good, but not as nonchalant as he’d like to think, and completely misguided: I shift my hand sideways slightly and it only takes a thought - and now there’s a small, neat hole in the wooden pillar behind him.
To his credit, he doesn’t even pale. “I don’t know why you think I’d sit submissively and wait for you to come and drag me back, Alex.” There it is again, the confidence in my words that I really don’t feel - especially considering it’s what I almost did. “Drop your weapon, because I can shoot you in the head right now and,” I add with all the venom I really do feel, “I’ll love doing it.”
The gun is slowly withdrawn from my face, but he doesn’t drop it; he raises it in the air, slowly and carefully (but it’s so difficult not to imagine shooting him right now...) then turns and shows me that he’s tucking it into the back of his trousers.
“That isn’t what I asked-”
But I don’t get a chance to finish my sentence because, oh fuck, Alex spins on his heel, grabs both of what passes for my wrists right now and shoves me back against the brick waiting room wall with a bang. And it hurts. Even if I’m a bit bigger than him, he’s stronger than me and he’s got his whole weight against my body... This is the closest that he’s ever been to me, and oh God I feel sick. He leans forward so I can feel his breath against my ears and presses his thigh between my legs and it’s all I can do not to retch as he whispers, “you’re on the wrong side.”
“I’m not,” I choke out (although it’s so difficult because he’s right there and I can still remember...). “Because I’m on the side that- that-” I can’t say everything I want to, there’s just too much so I’ve got to trim it down and that’s easy: “I’m on the side that you’re not!”
“Well, that’s not fair, is it?” I can smell his breath and my heart is pounding and I can’t breathe… “Considering we made you.”
“I didn’t ask you to!” This is, embarrassingly, less confident; it comes out as a wail.
“But that’s not stopping you from using your... talents, is it?”
Above all, I want to cry. I want to be anywhere but here, I want to go home, I want him to stop touching me, I want to be as far away from this insane bastard as I can get! But I can’t, I can’t do anything beyond bite down my sickness and cringe away from him. I barely register my hands shifting back to their usual form, but I can feel his grip become like iron around my wrists.
He’s so close I can feel his breath on my skin. It’s like fire. “Why don’t you find out what you’re missing, Síannan?”
“Alex, can you please drop my subordinate now?”
The sound of Ioann’s voice almost made my heart stop, even as a sudden wave of resentment at being called his subordinate tugs at me. Alex turns on his heel - but not before bring his knee up to catch me in the groin - and snaps “that’s Mr. Jaska to you, Ioann.”
“But not to Simon, I notice,” Ioann says dryly and through the sudden world of pain I’m swimming in I wonder just how long he’s been listening to us... There’s a click, and from the corner of my now very blurred vision I see Alex freeze. “Now, you know what I can do to this gun, and even you can’t avoid it. So I’d suggest you leave.” Three whole sentences from him. I’d be impressed, if it didn’t just damn well hurt so much. The floor hits my knees before I even realise I’ve fallen to them.
Alex, I’m not too surprised to see, runs off. All I can think is, how undignified. Not that I can talk... A hand comes from nowhere (or, at least, it comes from Ioann, which is almost the same thing) to pat me on the shoulder. “Sorry I’m late.”
“I’m not…” Ah, God, does he sharpen those knees or something? Tears are spilling over my cheeks, almost as embarrassing as Alex’s hasty exit - but not quite.
“Not your fucking subordinate!”
He pats me on the shoulder again and if my hands weren’t, you know, pressing against the bit that really hurts I’d be slapping him away right now. “Whatever you say, Simon.”