Disclaimer: Not mine. Really. Set: Sort of current canon. Cable is... being Cable, and Domino is... being Domino. I suppose. Rating: PG13. Notes: This is... from the first lines challenge, each of the parts starts with a line Timesprite has used for her own fic. Not all of the tenses match up, and some of them vary wildly.

Bleed Into Red by Ana Lyssie Cotton

The bar was only moderately crowded, the smoke level hanging about mid-way to the floor.

Music pounded in an undertone of polyphonic beats that pulsed into her skin and bones.

She didn't want to be there.

But when he calls, she drops everything and steps into the breach.

It's almost hysterical.

Life is complicated, their relationship is not.



Cold tones, stifled looks, and she wondered again why she did this to herself.


A half-ironic shrug, and she turned away to light the cigarette she was craving the moment she stepped in.

"Thought you quit."

"Fuck you."

"Too public."


There's a mirror on the wall.

She wonders as she stares at it, if a long enough look will shatter it into a million pieces.

Cold cutting glass at her feet, and she laughs in her head.


His voice distracts her and she looks down, looks into his face and traces the lines and scars with her eyes.


"Nothing." To turn away is more effort than she's prepared for, so she doesn't.

He blinks. "They broke you but good."

Brutality. She's beginning to expect that from this. "You could say that." Her fingers itch. He made her leave the cigarettes outside.


Cold, damp floor under my cheek.

It takes me too long to remember what I'm lying on, and when I do, my stomach cramps. It's amusing, probably, that a one-time Messiah is reduced to puking his guts out in a backwater motel in Soho.

She would mock me. Probably has. Probably will again.

I think we drank--no, I drank too much last night. Watching her watching the crowds and seeing the pieces of her falling all over the floor.

Too little, too late, Nathan. Could have been there for her, could have stopped this. I always have been a master of time.


Reality check.

Fists slamming into flesh and bone snapping under pressure and acid burning skin and blood and the taste of metal in the air.

She knew he was there.


He was always watching and waiting.

"Do you have to do that?"


"Then why?"

"My mother said I was a mistake."

"So did mine."

Glass etched into bone.

"I should have--"

"Nothing." She whirled and looked up at him. "You did exactly what you had to do. And the world is safe. And I'm not angry, Nate. They're facts."

"And I'm here." He looked frustrated.

"Well, so am I."


"I dreamt of you last night, not of the dark like I usually do." She wants the words to be cold and unemotional, but color splashed across her mind robs her of the ability.

"You dream. Will wonders never cease."

"Don't mock me, you bastard."

"My parents," he informs her as his fingers slide into her hair, "were married."

"Doesn't mean a damned thing."

"Mmm." A movement, and he's snuggled closer against her, lips and nose tickling the side of her face.

"Groping asshole." She grouses.

"But you like me anyway." He pauses. "What did you dream about?"


She was like a hurricane, blowing in off the street wound up and angry about things she wouldn't talk about.

"You manipulated me."

He shrugged, "No more than you manipulate me."

Her fist slammed into the wall, and plaster broke and crumbled. The walls were old.

"It's the same, Dom."

"It's never the same with you."

Her hair caught the light as she turned and dark eyes stared at him. "What am I to you?"

"What you've always been."

A ragged breath escaped her and she turned back to the wall. "And what have I always been?"

"Rock. Hard place. Take your pick."



"Is this always what we come back to?"

"Would you rather we didn't?"

"I don't want to talk."

"So don't talk."

"I don't want to fuck, either."

"Well, there's a new thing."

"I don't know why I'm here."

"Why am I here?"

"I don't know that, either."


"I'm tired, Nate. Go sleep on the couch."

"Hey, this is my bed, you go sleep on the couch."

"Don't be an ass."

"Then quit being a bitch."

"You'd hate it."


"I've tried, Nate. I'm not the Suzy fucking Homemaker type."

"Did I say that?"

"You were thinking it."



The boss sure has been acting strange lately. Me and the boys, we think it's that couple that took over En Suite 15. The way they look at each other, just... makes your teeth tingle. We think they're married, but none of us are stupid enough to ask (although, the boss--well, let's just say he asked, once).

And now he's changed. You hear stories like that. The news, world reports and newspaper reporters that are a dime a dozen. And Steven King novels that read like shit smells. New-fangled words.

But the boss... He's not supposed to change. Ever.


The sun is just peeking over the horizon when I wake up. The bed is empty, and I know instinctively, that he's gone. All of this play-acting, this farce to make me tell him things. And he's gone.

I miss the sex already, and I think it's really pathetic.

A swift check (wearing the old shirt I stole from him) proves that his bags are gone, clothes missing.

He didn't even have the fucking decency to leave a note.

I have got to stop coming like a fucking Labrador retriever. I am better than this. He used to be, too.


Sometimes, all you have just isn't enough.

He has always known this about her. And now he knows it about himself. The need to be better, the drive to prove himself to this world that is suddenly his garden of Eden. It sprang from nowhere. Maybe it was the motel staff, maybe it was the way the jagged shards of her mind kept slicing across his shields.

But he leaves. He leaves, this time. Not her.

And he feels vindicated.

He never was very good for he; wishes he could make her see that. But he needs her too much..