Perhaps the only reason Catherine liked Ultron was because she had never seem him kill. She'd never seen a dead body her entire life, she'd never been to an open casket funeral, she'd never witnessed death. She of course had heard about his murderous acts, she knew he was dangerous, but she herself had not experienced it, and by now it was a faraway concept. No one in her life had ever been murdered, her Grandfathers recent passing was the first personal loss she had ever had besides that of her childhood dog.
This all changed in an instant.
There was blood everywhere. She never knew how thick it ran, how dark its color was. She never realized how warm it would feel on her own hands as it ran fresh from a body.
Just minutes ago things were fine. She didn't think anyone would recognize her, she didn't expect there to be two officers investigating the area. They'd been tracking her and her path had led them to the small town, thinking she would be there next. She was.
Catherine had walked into the gas station, twenty dollars in hand and ready to pay for the pump, only to find the two officers talking to the clerk. There was a moment of silence as they all turned to look at the new comer, and an even icier chill when they recognized her. Gun were pulled and one came around to her and grabbed her arm, hand cuffs ready. Ultron was already bursting into the store and lifting up his arm, he powered his fusions and blasted the man directly in the chest. The man had a confused look at first, as if he didn't know what had just happen, and then within the same second he was falling on Catherine. They fell and he was dead before they even hit the ground. Ultron shot the other officer in the leg and he fell with a painful shout. He left the clerk to hide behind the desk trembling.
The officer was on top of Catherine, she shook him off of her but the blood was everywhere. She was so horrified she couldn't even scream. His brown eyes stared at nothing as his life spilled from him. Catherine stood up shaking, she couldn't take her eyes off of him.
"Catherine." She heard Ultron call to her. She turned around to face him. The barrel of the blaster was now pointed at her and he took the shot.
Catherine woke up with a start. Her breath was heavy and she instantly gripped her chest where she had been shot, only there was no blood. The dead man in the dream was all but gone, and the sticky warmth of his life was no longer soaked in her clothes. She was back in the car, it was nighttime, and she wasn't hurt.
"Catherine?" Ultron said again. Catherine jumped before taking a few deep breaths. "Are you alright?" He asked, looking at her with concern.
"I'm fine." She breathed. Ultron didn't seem convinced but didn't pressure her any further.
"We're nearing the border." He updated her. "We are going to ditch the car and cross through the forest."
They left the car on the side of the road and once again were back to hiking through the woods. Ultron was quiet as they walked through the cold winter's night. Catherine was grateful for this, her dream had racked her nerves so much she still felt it hard to look at him. She was forgetting what he was, who he is. His murders were the reason that she was on the run, and yet it was something far away from her mind. Catherine had never once in her life really truly felt in danger. She was tall, around five foot seven give or take a little, and had never been easily intimidated by anyone. Men had never given her grief, she'd never been mugged, and she'd never gotten in a fight or any kind of dangerous situation at all. She'd been smart about things, smarter than most when it came to avoiding trouble.
Ultron was the first scary thing her life. On the flip side, she was perhaps the first pleasant thing in his.
Maybe the danger was why she kept him around in the first place, to add a little edge to her daily routine. Catherine had been bored, she had been peacefully tranquil, but miserable at the same time. Ultron's arrival had changed that. She still didn't know what compelled her to ever start liking him, but one day it seemed that she just enjoyed his company and that was that. She figured she might never know Ultron's perspective on it, but she thought it was something similar but opposite. She came up with the conclusion that he had stayed because she added balance and routine to his life. They were both looking for the opposite in each other, and that's what made their friendship.
Of course she never wanted any of this to happen. She never wanted to have to flee her home, she never wanted to fear for her life or the life of others.
It was hours later by the time the sun started to rise. Catherine didn't know if they had crossed the border yet or not, she just followed Ultron as he led her through the thicket of the woods. When she began to lag behind a little Ultron noticed and stopped to let her catch up.
"I think it's okay for you to take a break for a little while." He gestured for her to come closer to him. He picked her up bridal style and began walking again. Catherine was tired, her feet sore and face numb with the cold air around her. She thought about her dream, she imagined the blood running out of the man and onto her, she imagined Ultron pointing his laser at her, but then the dream began to vanish. In its place was the Ultron she knew, not the one she had heard about.
She realized she no longer felt scared. She'd only felt scared of him when they first met, it had been months since then. The dream had brought back old fears, but she didn't feel worried about them now.
"Where are we now?" She found herself asking.
"The State of New York." He took a pause. "I never did ask why you moved to Eastford." He asked randomly.
"No reason really." She said, but Ultron could hear the lie between her teeth.
"There's always a reason for everything." He nudged her to tell him.
"Fine." She caved in easily. "I was proposed to. It was the best relationship I ever had, but I wasn't in love. I was getting overwhelmed by the life in the city anyways and so when I ended things by saying no, I just . . . . Moved away."
Ultron didn't reply immediately, but then without looking at her said, "Have you ever been in love?"
Now Catherine paused as if she didn't want to answer. "No." Ultron glanced at her, but she wasn't looking at him either.
"Well there's something we have in common." He joked.
"Can you even love?" She asked but then chocked on her own words. "Oh my god I'm sorry, that sounded so insensitive." Ultron only gave one short but loud laugh.
"I don't suppose I know actually. Haven't felt it yet." He didn't know if he was lying or not. He didn't feel like he'd felt it at least. He'd felt what it was to care, but he didn't think he'd ever had the emotion of love. "Then again, who knows what anyone feels."
"What do you mean?" Catherine asked.
"If you've never loved anyone how to do you know you can?"
"Well that's different." Catherine scoffed.
"How so?" Ultron's voice was teasing, as if he already knew what she was going to say.
"You were made." She replied. "No one knows what you're capable of."
"So were you. You were made by chemical reaction, I was made with algorithms. I don't see a difference." He said dismissively. Catherine supposed she didn't see much of a difference either, but it still made her head hurt.
She fell asleep as he walked and when she woke up they were still walking. She was glad her sleep was dreamless this time. Looking up at the sky she saw the sun was nearing its halfway point. Not that this mean much, the days were short in winter, the sun would go down soon. She felt hungry, but she had been feeling a lot of that lately.
Upon seeing her wake, Ultron set her down to walk on her own. Catherine stretched before looking around.
"How much further do you think?" She asked.
"Three days walk, but by car it's just a few hours."
"I think we should walk, be more careful. Now that we are over the border I'm going to be considered an international threat when they find out. Best to keep that hidden for a little while at least." She decided.
As they walked, Catherine thought back to when she was proposed to. Johnathan was his name, and she'd grown up with him. Their parents were friends, they dated throughout high school, and their lives had been planned out. It was perfect all but for the fact that Catherine was not in love. That was ten years ago though, and now Johnathan was only someone she saw at holiday parties. They kept up pleasant chatter about nothing meaningful, and underneath hid the feelings of how awkward these situations were. With every visit her family would ask when she was going to get married, have kids, and settle down. After a few years, Catherine just stopped going to visit her family for the holidays. Catherine settled down on her own, alone.
She didn't feel so alone right now, and the longer they walked, the more her dream vanished from her mind.
A very short chapter. Bit a filler really. I'm facing a bit of writers block actually. Hopefully I'll get over it soon.