Disclaimer: Marvel owns Domino, not me. No money is being made from this, I'm only borrowing her for the duration of... this fic.

Notes: Slightly odd. This was inspired by artwork drawn by Timesprite. Which can be viewed-- http://home.dal.net/nique/ll2.jpg --there.

This one's for Nique/Timesprite, since it was her drawing that inspired me. Love ya.

It's a Beautiful Life

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

It was the waiting that got to her.

Seconds stretching into eons, pulling at her skin, causing little bits to flake off as she tried to keep her breathing even. In. Out. Smooth. Smooth.

The gun under her hand felt cool to the touch but quickly picked up the heat of her body, magnifying it. The muzzle was pointed the wrong way for this.

Breathing echoed hers. Not her own, but there, in the dark.

Her muscles had long ago tensed under the sheets, causing them to move slightly against her skin. They were cotton blends, slightly rough from having been washed in bleach. The weave biting at times as she waited, nerves hypertense.

Inconsequentially, she wondered if her newly painted nails would chip. They'd been shaped and varnished a nice blood red. It went well with her black hair and pale skin.


Like light and dark, movement and silence. Shadow and pale.

They said that most of life is waiting for something to happen. She'd scoffed at that, and things had happened all her life.

Life, death, fights. Wars, money, booze... drugs.

No regrets, right? Right.

Just don't fuck up your life, because you can hurt someone if you do. Except there wasn't anyone for her. Never had been.

Not even Nate, in the end.

Sound again. Someone else breathing, standing. Waiting.

It hadn't ever occurred to her that middle America would be subject to robberies. She was so used to having airtight security, or someone to watch her back.

After the gunshots, the sirens would come.

Movement, swift and sure, hit the floor, roll. Come up and fire.

So simple.

He wasn't ready for it, had obviously thought she was actually asleep. But the cat came in, distracted him for one crucial moment.

Two shots entered his chest. A third shattered the top of his skull.

As he fell, she winced. Carpet burn on bare legs is a bitch. She was all tangled up in the sheets, too.

Get up. Get dressed. The sirens would be sounding soon, someone would have heard.

There was a reason she'd missed having a silencer around. But smalltown police got a little suspicious of silencers.

Guns were bad. Guns killed people.

Sirens echoed in the distance, and she finished pulling on pants and a shirt. The body lay where it had fallen, blood congealing into the dark green carpeting.

There would be no removing it.

She sighed.

It was the waiting that always got to her.