A/N: Emotional duress requires a creative outlet. Thankfully my OTP is as dark and broken as I am. This takes place after Mary has fired her last shot and someone has fallen down.



For some reason, a pointless lesson from an eternity ago was circling in her head.

"When they are young, sociopaths have a tendency to torture and kill animals."

She'd never had any desire to kill animals.

But she was insane. That, at least, with the metal pressed warmly against her palms, the tears on her lips, and the shot ringing in her ears, was now undeniable.

She supposed she should be thinking something like "What have I done?", and dropping the gun to the ground in horror as she ran to his corpse and covered her shirt with the blood she had created.

Clichés had always been a source of irritation.

So what was she thinking, then? Mary Crawford always had something in her mind, something to distract her from a reality there was no possibility of her facing. The only time her mind became void of thought, of reason, of carefully calculated schemes and façades, was when...

She sat down. Not quickly, she convinced herself, not like she was in shock. Nothing like that. A slow descent to the floor; one hand reaching to brace herself on the wall, the other still holding the necromantic weight in her hands. She sat down and methodically placed the gun beside her on the floor, making sure it stayed exactly where it was placed. The saltwater was wiped from her eyes, only to replenish itself threefold.

What happened now? Did she forget he had ever existed, and go about business as usual, find Allie and use her to get back on top? What had she thought would happen when his heart stopped beating?

Perhaps she had thought she would tuck the gun away and calmly get dressed, then make her way to the farmhouse. She may have even given Chet a flippant glance as she headed out the door; looked over her shoulder and shaken her head at the mess he had made.

She lay down, curling into the shape of a deformed unborn child. Her hair spread out onto the brown carpet and her arms cradled her rib cage, still feeling the bruises of days before.

Perhaps she had thought it would be easy to get in the car and leave the gun in the glove compartment along with her fears and inhibitions. She may have pretended to ignore his scent and the empty seat beside her as she drove south.

Tears slipped out of her eyes and mingled with the puddle of water dripping from her skin. She tried to move and couldn't.

Perhaps she had thought the project was worth her sanity. She had always believed the project had been her sanity. But perhaps, perhaps it was something else entirely.

"When they are young, sociopaths..."

When she was young, she hadn't wanted to kill animals. She had wanted to spend the night beside him.

She would do it one last time.

And in the morning, nothing would be the same.