Well, I'm not dead. My email has expired so I lost all my contacts as well. I'm really sorry about that and the fact that this hasn't been to my beta PsychoSwordLady, but let's hope you can follow the story to the bitter end. I'm sorry I haven't had the time to answer any reviews but I'm working on that. However, I don't want to keep you waiting any longer than you've had to. So start reading because THE GRAND FINALE is here!
Happy holidays everyone!
EPISODE 09: Parliamo al Singolare Part 05 Got a Moment?
There were smoke, shouts and surprised looks.
Chill looked into the room, but his mind wasn't there in the chaos. It wasn't there in the blackened room full of cinder, twisted and melted iron, burning cotton. He couldn't smell the smoke of dying fire, hear the shouts of those who extinguished it, feel them bumping into him. He just stood there, unable to comprehend what was happening. His chest felt warm, his mind wouldn't concentrate, his eyes smarted with the tears he held back, Link had brought the horror back to his mind to haunt him. It was almost contrary to his original plan in which he would've charmed Link by luring him with hints and acting reticent.
But the elf's blue eyes, they had been too honest, too caring for him. He wasn't used to that. He hadn't thought he would receive so much sympathy from someone he had known for such a short while only. It wasn't supposed to be that way. He was supposed to be in control of all things; love, pain, hatred. But love refused to be tamed. It made him angry.
The same old bubbly feeling, adrenaline rushing into his veins like a herd of enraged bulls.
And with anger the images flowed into his mind. He could hear his own voice, the child's voice he had still beared back then, stalking Johnson on his way home at night. How not even one compassionate thought towards the teacher had passed through his mind. The fury had devoured all of his human feelings, leaving nothing but itself alive inside of him. Back then he had justified his anger by revenge; revenge for the virginity Johnson had so cruelly stolen from him in the school bathroom. It had been his purgatory, Johnson's demise would've been his salvation. It was almost funny how it had been all that had mattered, even to the point of destroying his own humanity.
Then his moment had come. A gang of young men had been on their way home through the same alley Johnson had been walking home, talking to each other carelessly. He had trotted behind Johnson and kicked his behind as hard as he had been able to, knowing the reaction it would cause. Johnson had turned around in a flash, just as he had expected, kicked him back in a fit of uncontrollable fury. He had taken the hit, suffered the pain and turned on his act. The foot had hit his nose; he had deftly stuck out his face to receive the blow to get the maximum damage. Pleased by the bleeding nose he had gained, he had begun to cry in a heartbreaking way.
The gang of young men had noticed the scene, one of them consulting his friends before they had begun walking towards Johnson and him. Chill had lied on the ground, looking as wounded as he could, yowling in fear and pain. The men had glanced at him; he had acted flinching and panicking as if he had been scared that they would hurt him as well. One of them had come to comfort him while the others had started to beat up Johnson. Maybe they had taken a few beers because it had seemed so easy to start manhandling him. Chill had gasped as the one trying to comfort him touched him, keeping up his terrific act.
Ah, it had all been so easy.
Johnson had screamed. Sounds of punches landing on his ageing body had filled the empty street. Blood had splattered on Chill; he had flinched like so many times before. It had been hard to keep up the act because the violence had been so entertaining. Never after that had he enjoyed violence in the same manner. He had been getting his revenge with almost no effort at all; soon he was about to make it final.
The young men had manhandled Johnson badly. When they had stopped hitting and kicking him he had looked like a wet rag in a puddle of blood. An old, rugged punching bag. Boo-hoo. Chill had sat up, afraid that they had managed to kill him and his revenge had been ruined. He had looked at the motionless body incessantly, waiting for a sign of life. He hadn't even breathed.
Johnson had coughed, it had sounded wet with all the blood he had been spitting out.
Chill had sighed in relief. The men had tried to ask him to come with them, but he had refused. He had calmed down his act to reassure them that he had been capable of walking home alone. He had even lied that he lived only a block away, sadly to the exact opposite direction than where the men had been headed.
They had left, ignorant of his plans. He had got up, wiping his nose on his sleeve and pulling the cannula from his pocket. It had flashed in the dim light from the lamp-posts. Johnson had lied on the ground, looking small like a human, a teacher stepped down from his throne. His dignity was now gone, his superiority had been broken, not one shard of the old powerful teacher was left in the sad little human being whining with a husky, blood-filled voice. He was like a rabbit in front of the gun's pipe. The dark eyes were glazed with fear, his lips trembled, the rest of the body was frozen with terror.
"How the mighty have fallen." Chill had ascertained with a pitying look on his face as he turned the poor, bloody man around, searching for the right spot in the back of his neck. When he had found it among the hair and sticky, already coagulating blood he had stricken. Johnson's whines had ceased immediately. The eyes, when Chill had gazed into them for one final time, had been glassy as if he had never been nothing more than a doll.
Dionne's worried hug brought him back to reality. No. It wasn't the hug, it was the perfume. Very similar to the one his mother had used before he had run away. He had already forgotten the emotions of that time, the way he had allowed himself to become unemotional and calculative. He was sure he was better off that way but love had pushed through his barrier, bringing him back.
He glared at Dionne, her perfect make-up and sad green eyes, annoyed by her sudden closeness. He didn't like people touching him. It originated from Johnson forcing himself on him that he couldn't stand sudden touches. Most people found closeness friendly and affectionate, but he flinched every time, remembering those horrible cold hands grasping his tiny waist.
"Any…idea where this came from?" He asked, wiping his sleeves as if she could have contaminated him with something lethal. The school bathroom stayed on his mind, it had been so cold and hard, covered with tiny spots of blood from the hits he had taken a moment before. Chill took a deep breath. "I might be overestimating you, but try. Amuse me."
Dionne ignored him, wiping the corner or her painted eye with a fake nail full of small jewels. She took a trembling step into the blackened room, looking at it with sad eyes. The jewellery on her wrists jingled as she moved, her big hippie-earrings swung back and forth like pendulums. Her voice quivered a little as she spoke: "She could've been here… when it went off."
Chill dug the pack of cigarettes from his pocket nonchalantly, offering her a cigarette, which she took with gratitude. He said nothing before he had lit both of the cigarettes and ruminated his for a brief while: "Explosions, poisoning, cutting throats… someone really doesn't want you to have a baby. Just pointing out in case you can't get the drift."
Dionne wiped her eye with the fake nail again. It didn't help keeping the tears inside, but by blinking repeatedly she managed to swallow them. Casually she dug her lipstick and a small mirror from her Gucci-bag and painted her lips while checking if her make-up was still perfect. "Who could? And why us? It only started when Aisha got pregnant…"
"Oh, it did?" Chill asked with a slightly amused tone, raising one curious eyebrow. He was concentrating on the moment, the bathroom was starting to disappear from his mind. "Say, Dionne, are you familiar with Panacod?"
"Oh yes. I used to get it for Aisha for her pains."
"Did you see her actually taking it?" Chill bit his lower lip, avoiding eye contact with her.
Chill continued to be nonchalant. Smoke escaped from his mouth in irregular strings as he spoke: "The forensics lab found out Nehanda had taken almost an overdose of Panacod just before she was killed."
"You mean, someone had tried to make it look like suicide?" Dionne asked with wide eyes.
"Follow me." Chill said smugly as he threw his cigarette on the hospital floor and stepped on it. "I know who did this."
He walked away with an indifferent expression on his face, leaving Dionne ponder his words. He couldn't understand why the old memories had come back to haunt him. He had always been able to smother them, forget them and hide them, but not now. He could still hear Johnson screaming at him for breaking the school code of conduct. He dug out another cigarette with trembling hands, hoping that no one saw him lose control. Dionne didn't stay still for long, the words the midget had spoken needed clarification and she was going to ask directly for it from him. She didn't ask for him to wait for her, only walked faster and with the shortening intervals of the heels pinking against the floor Chill knew she was coming.
As Dionne opened the double doors leading to the hall where were the lifts Marth got into bed. Vyse was already sound asleep. He put the blanket on the brunette, sighing with a gentle gaze in his eyes. They had known each other for only a short while, yet they had gone through so much. He caressed the brown hair. Vyse smiled through his sleep, letting out a long, enjoyed breath.
"I love you so much I could die for you." Marth whispered into his ear.
Vyse's smile grew wider. In his dream of fame as a singer he saw Marth with him on the stage, enjoying the popularity with him. Future seemed bright. He had already written a song, he just needed to find someone to record it. The noble pulled the blanket over him and turned around. The moon was full and bright, not a single cloud tried to veil it into darkness.
Meanwhile Aisha held the most beautiful of babies in her hands. The child slept peacefully, resting its head on her bosom. She was looking at the baby with a tender look, caressing the round head with her fingers. The skin was so soft, so pure, so different from what she had ever touched before. It seemed as if she was afraid of breaking the tiny bundle if she caressed its head too forcefully. She shone some strange kind of light, the kind of light that can be seen only in the mothers of newborn babies. She had produced the perfect being, maybe it was perfect only in her eyes, but she didn't care. She would pour all her love on this fantastic being, she would protect it from all the bad things in the world, she would watch it grow and rejoice for the rest of her life.
"You have got to be kidding!" Exclaimed Dionne as she followed Chill through the corridor, trying to slap him. Aisha neither heard nor felt anything. In her world there was nothing but her and the child, the embodiment of divinity.
Chill grinned. "I sure am not. She killed her." He took a cigarette and lit it with his left hand, making a concentrated face as if lighting a cigarette took a lot of skill. Actually he was just playing time, holding Dionne's attention.
Aisha still didn't look up.
Dionne tried to slap Chill, but he dodged. She grabbed whatever she could to hurt him. Medical equipment worth of thousands of dollars crashed into tiny pieces. Chill suffered not one strike. Rage was making her miss.
"Dionne! Stop trying to kill him!" Aisha finally said, her dark eyes piercing the blonde.
Dionne dropped whatever she was holding at the sound of her voice. "Darling", she uttered softly as she began towards her.
"I killed her."
"Wh--?" Dionne stared at her. Chill ruminated on his cigarette while looking out of the window. The moon sure was beautiful. "Killed who?"
"The woman. And myself."
Dionne's eyes widened: "WHAT!? You motherf--"
Aisha looked at her: "It's funny… I didn't want this baby until now. You wanted it. But look at how beautiful she is… so perfect. Even if her father was so hideous."
"Her father is also Chika's father. I had to keep her and him separated…"
Chill kept looking at the sky. Strangely no stars could be seen. "Mr. Eberhardt...?" Dionne shook with disgust, her eyes switching between the baby and its mother.
"Exactly." Aisha said.
"So it was you who killed Nehanda", Chill ascertained.
"Yes." Aisha admitted after a brief silence. "I tried to make her overdose at first, just to scare, but… but I forgot she was a med student. She thought I was going to kill her and tried to kill me so I had to defend myself. I hadn't meant for it to go that far, it just did. I just didn't want Chika to stay in contact with her father after what I did… in jail he wouldn't have been able to ruin our life, Dionne!"
Chill leaned his head. He could solve codes and mathematic problems with ease, but the human minds was too complicated a puzzle for him. Dionne couldn't say anything either. She just stared at her girlfriend in amazement and horror, unable to say anything. She couldn't digest the fact that her lover had killed someone. She still loved Aisha, it was her actions she didn't approve of and she wasn't sure if she could ever sleep peacefully next to her again, knowing that she was a murderer.
Aisha looked at him calmly, still caressing her child. Fate was indeed cruel, she thought. The child she had given birth to only to keep her girlfriend happy had stolen her heart despite its father. Chill was the first to say something:
"Do you understand you just confessed and will go to jail?"
Aisha blinked. "Oh, the irony."
Dionne left, without uttering a word. She just couldn't. She needed time to ruminate all that had happened, somewhere far away. Maybe her mother would like it if she came over for a fortnight to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. She hit the wall angrily with her fist, her jewellery jingling as Link grabbed Roy's ankle with a strong grip, strengthened by fear of losing him and anger towards his selfishness. He, for the first time in his life, had the strength to throw Roy on the balcony by using only one hand.
It sounded awul.
The general hit the cement roof with a thud, letting out a scared gasp. He recovered quickly from the initial shock, preparing to protect himself. In a flash he turned around, his red messy hair in contrast with the blue eyes shining with fear and surprise. He trembled. He had no idea what had happened, he was just acting on instinct.
A part of Link wanted to run to him and hug him but the angry part smothered his loving side for the moment. He felt bigger, stronger; in control. He was the one to be listened, he had suffered for far too long. He had taken hit after hit, swallowing all the pain and torture, listening and trying to reason, but nothing had helped. Now it was time to end it all. Instead of his usual soothing, gentle, loving words anger flooded his mouth, letting out only: "What the hell do you think you're doing!?"
"Who are you to question my actions!?" Roy answered, grimacing from pain. He answered Link's anger with anger, as usual. He was frightened, unable to tell whether he was dead or alive and the best way to protect himself was to offend. He wiped his nose only to discover that hitting the roof had caused blood to rush out of his nose. "You broke my nose!!"
"I am someone who loves you!" Link said accusingly, harshly. He couldn't care less about the nosebleed. With every step towards Roy the general's eyes widened. Whether it was from fear of getting hurt or surprise from seeing the elf so angry, Link couldn't say. Only when he was about to embrace him, the redhead shrieked:
"Don't touch me!"
They both knew that with yelling they'd get nowhere. It was just so much easier to be angry.
After a brief silence Link took a hold of Roy's hand as an apology, the redhead pulled it away. The general trembled, hugged himself for warmth while biting his lower lip, every once in a while glancing at the elf. His face was pale, his skin on goose bumps, his hair a mess. It was impossible to read his mind from his face, it seemed like the general himself didn't know what to do or think. Link tried to calm down, at least Roy was alive. Frightened to the verge of death, but still on the side of the living. He would get nowhere by accosting the redhead, he would only become more anxious, more frightened and more furious. For a while they sat there quietly on the roof, the cold rain soaking their clothes, its frozen breath freezing to their bones.
Finally Roy looked at Link and said with a broken voice: "What I do with my life belongs to me only."
"You're just being selfish." Link ascertained, not looking at him. Anger gnawed his soul like a wild animal, wanting to burst out. With effort he managed to maintain his countenance. Roy was just so unbelievably selfish, stubborn and proud. He couldn't understand why he was in love with him.
"Wh-what?" Roy snorted, holding his nose with his both hands. In a normal situation Link would've made fun of the way his voice sounded, but right now he didn't find it funny at all.
"Think about the pain you'll inflict by throwing yourself over that railing." The elf hissed through his teeth, clenching his fists. Breathing felt hard, so angry he was. He couldn't believe he needed to explain this to Roy.
"It'd pass soon." Was the blatant reply.
"Would it?" Link grabbed his chin and wouldn't let go, forcing an eye contact. Roy grimaced, maybe his grip was too strong. "Would it, Roy?"
Roy closed his eyes, his whole being shaking in the cold and with the tears bottled up inside. The pain he had hid, the soul withering, the heart broken were revealed as his mask of calmness, superb self control slowly fell apart like porcelain, its bits and pieces the final drops of his pride. The blood from his nose trickled down freely, falling on his shirt in big, dark red drops.
Link's hug was warm, although his gaze blamed him a little. Roy cast his eyes on the ground, tears streaming down his cheeks. He was so numb of the pain that crying felt like nothing at all. His loud sobs disappeared into Link's shirt. Desperately he clung onto hiss pullover, as if he would've died had he let go. His will to live had won his pride. Or maybe the one to triumph had been love.
Link asked no questions. There would be a time for them later, now what mattered was that Roy was alive. His anger dissolved like clouds after a heavy rain. The general's sobs washed away his fury. They proved that Roy regretted all he had done from the very first flirt with Peach to his final attempt of escaping the world. To Link it was a relief.
Days passed. Then weeks and months. The moment on the roof was starting to be forgotten. There were just so many other things to think about, too much work and worry. And maybe they were attempting to obliterate all that had happened after Cosworth Street. Roy opened the door leading to their cramped office with his hands full of paperwork, the dust hanging in the air as a soft cloud:
"Got a moment?"
"Always for you", Link answered, focused in reading the papers in his hand. "As long as it's not work." he continued.
"Well", Roy could feel how the red rose on his face. "It really isn't."
Link lifted his eyes from the papers immediately, pausing for a second. The homicide could wait. The dead weren't going to go anywhere. Roy felt highly uncomfortable under his gaze, the elf's cerulean eyes scrutinizing him. His face felt hot, his hands looked for the hem of his shirt to fiddle. Oh, how embarrassing it was! He still wasn't used to any of this.
Link walked to him slowly, pulling him into a warm and gentle hug. The traffic hummed outside just like before, the smell of coffee floated in the air, the clock ticked on the wall quietly. Link felt calm, calmer than ever before. He had fought for his love and had triumphed. Now nothing could take his happiness away from him.
"Finally." He whispered, taking a deep, relieved breath. Roy pressed against him, wordlessly expressing his happiness.
It's finally over. There'll be some bittersweet posting on my homepage... Anyway, all I need to do is to hope that you liked it and that you'll review. You too, ghost readers!
Thank you so much for your support throughout this story everyone! It's been a long journey and without you this story would've remained unfinished! Happy holidays to you all!