Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. I'm not sure how good this one turned out. The series doesn't give very many hints of Amon and Kate having something together but I ran with the idea anyways. R/R.
The alarm rings at eight a.m. just like always. It's so comforting in its predictability. Just like every other day, I wake up and head for the shower. What day is today? Monday. Yeah, a typical Monday morning. Just taking a shower and then heading off to start a normal week at work. Nothing new, nothing different.
As I enter the shower and turn on the water, I almost believe all the lies I tell myself. It's funny how someone can tell themselves so many lies just so they can continue living in their normal existences. I've tried since that night to forget it all. So much easier to block out the trauma. If only every day could be just like every other before it. If only Kate was still alive and still as she was when we first met.
She haunts me sometimes. In the middle of the night, when I am caught in a strange state between waking and sleeping, I still feel the lingering sensation of her touch, of her kiss. Sometimes during the day I will imagine that she is still alive and we are still together. It will happen so suddenly. One minute I will be engaged in whatever menial task I am forced to do and then all of sudden I will yearn for her to be there with me. It's strange to feel these things given what happened to our relationship at the end. I can no longer see her as she was when we first met each other and we began whatever it was we had together. No, I only see her as what she was at the end of her life on this Earth.
As I busy myself with the routine of taking a shower, I am once again slapped in the face by the reality that today is not like any other day and she is no longer alive. The hot torrent of the shower turns into cold rain. I feel her blood soak my hands and no matter how many times I wash I just can't get it off. But I was just doing my job. I hunt witches and she had turned into a witch. I had to do my job.
'Are you really proud of that, Amon?' she asks me accusingly. It's what she would've said if she was here right now, if she was still alive. Sometimes when I think about what happened that night I feel justified in my actions. I admit that sometimes I have a certain sick love for my job. Sometimes, some witches deserve what we give them. The ones that kill innocent people, the ones that are so uncontrollable they are dangerous to everyone around them, they deserve to be put out of their misery. But does that make it any less wrong that we kill people for a living? Was Kate one of the ones that deserved it?
"No," I tell Kate, "I'm not proud of it but I had to do my job."
'Amon, I thought you loved me,' says Kate.
"I did," I reply as I continue washing my hair. Honestly, I did love Kate. Or at least that's what I tell myself when I remember our time together before she lost control and gave in to madness. Then there are times when all I can remember is how things were at the end. All I can remember are the fights, the lies, the coldness. When I remember all those times I wonder if I really loved her at all or if what we had was simply a passionate affair.
'Then why couldn't you be there for me?' asks Kate, 'You were the only thing I had to keep me human. Why did you betray me?'
"You betrayed me, Kate," I tell her, "and I'm not having this conversation anymore." Her presence in my mind fades out now. I turn off the shower and step out of it. I go about drying my hair. Work is good sometimes, especially times like these. Having something to do takes your mind off things. There's always a lull though and that's when whatever you're running from finally catches up with you.
As I try to busy myself with the rest of my morning routine, I can't help but think back to the end of our affair. I can't help but think that maybe I did betray her. If I loved her so much why didn't I try to help her? Why did I execute her when I could've saved her? Because I had to do my job. I'm a good soldier, one of the best hunters Solomon has. I follow orders, work hard, do what I'm told without questions. Should I be so damn proud of that now? What if the orders a soldier gets are wrong? Which is the more sinful action, following orders or disregarding them? I'll never know.
'Amon, I'm sorry for earlier,' says Kate.
"No you're not," I tell her as I head into the kitchen and begin making coffee.
'Why can't you believe what I tell you?' she asks me.
"Because I don't trust you," I reply honestly. It's such a painful thing to watch someone you love so much change into a person you don't even want to be around anymore. It's hard to see them as the person they once were without seeing them as what they are now.
'Amon, what happened to us?' asks Kate morosely.
"You died," I reply. I push her out of my mind. All the memories of how bad things were at the end tell me that I did the right thing. She wasn't even Kate anymore, not the Kate I knew. In the end she was just one of those witches that deserved to be put down. She would've killed someone eventually and then they would've come after her. I saved everyone a lot of time and heartache. Yeah, I'm such a Good Samaritan.
At this moment the toast pops up and I attempt to eat breakfast in peace. I drink my coffee and read the paper just like always. I used to do that sometimes when Kate wanted to talk about something and I didn't. I'd just read a magazine or the newspaper and tune her out.
'You're doing it now too,' says Kate. I put down the paper and stare across the table. For a few moments I can see her sitting there staring at me with those eyes of hers. She had such beautiful eyes, the deepest green I've ever seen. Then the image shifts and I see the look of pain and shock on her face that she had the night I killed her. I blink and the world returns to the harsh reality it has become. I feel the emptiness inside me and wonder how big the hole really is and what it will take to fill it. Do I even want it filled in the first place?
"I have to go to work," I tell the empty room. I have a job to do. The world doesn't stop just because she's gone. I have work to do and right now I'd rather do it than sit here and relive days that are long gone.
I arrive promptly at work by 9:30 a.m. just as always. It's funny how you only notice your routine when it gets changed or disturbed. The rest of the time you're too busy worrying about other things to notice that others could set their watches by your daily schedule. I park the car in the usual spot and head inside. I stand at the entrance to the main office and brace myself. The others have no clue about my involvement in Kate's death. They all know someone hunted her but we covered it up well and I couldn't tell any of them anyway. I recompose my face to hide my emptiness and sorrow. I hide the sick feeling I feel in the pit of my stomach and block out the small voices in my head that label me a murderer. I have a job to do and I can't stop until it's done. I keep telling myself that as I enter the room.
The first thing I notice is how deathly quiet a room can actually be when everyone who was talking suddenly shuts up. The silence that now pervades the room is so thick I can actually hear the music on Michael's headphones. My eyes sweep the room as I realize I have become the star attraction of today's show. I ignore the eyes as I proceed to my desk. I don't use my desk much. The things on it are mostly for show rather than function. However, there are times when there's some paperwork to take care of and I need a space to do so. My eyes flick to the picture on my desk. Kate and I, taken last Christmas. She still looks gorgeous in that dress. I stare fondly at the picture but then turn away.
"Amon?" I turn and gaze at Karasuma. The look on her face is one of blatant concern. My mind flashes back to that night in the rain when I killed Kate. I remember the same sadness in her eyes as she crumpled to the ground after I shot her. I remember her dying words. Thank you. I push the feelings back into their cages.
"Yes?" I ask as my hand reaches for the picture and I put it face-down on my desk.
"You don't have to be here today," says Karasuma, "We'd all understand if you . . . took more time off. You haven't said anything since it happened."
"Is there something I should say?" I ask. The picture still vexes me. It's almost as if it's taunting me with her image. I try not to stare at it but my eyes keep fixating themselves on it. I sigh as I get up and pick up the picture. It's only going to get in the way. Better I take care of it now than later.
"You could say something," says Karasuma, "I know you have to be in pain. We all loved Kate." Yes, we all did, didn't we? But did she love any of us, did she really love me? I push those thoughts away as I move towards the door. I still have one job left to do concerning this whole ordeal.
"Michael?" I ask, "Did you get the info on that new witch?"
"Amon, I think you should probably. . .." begins Michael.
"Get on it," I tell him.
"Amon, for God's sake would you quit acting like everything's okay," says Karasuma in an exasperated tone, "You and Kate loved each other and now she's dead."
"She was already dead," I tell Karasuma coldly, "and you don't know as much as you think." My mind struggles to keep control of the emotion that threatens to spill out from my fragile body. I turn away from her and head out the door. I feel the cold numbness settle back over my body.
"Where are you going?" asks Karasuma as she pursues me. Why won't this just go away? Why do I keep hearing those nagging voices, the same ones that told me that night to turn the gun on myself after killing Kate?
"To take care of some business," I tell Karasuma.
"You can't erase her," she tells me, "I know this must hurt but you can't pretend like it didn't happen." Like what didn't happen? Like I didn't murder someone I loved in cold blood? There's nothing more I'd like than to pretend that I never had to put a bullet in Kate's heart but what's done is done.
"I don't see any alternative," I reply as I exit the building and walk around back. There's a barrel back here somewhere. They use it to burn trash sometimes. I walk over to it and take the picture out of its frame.
"What're you doing?" asks Karasuma.
"Watch," I tell her as I reach into my coat pocket and pull out a lighter. I used to smoke a lot. Kate always told me to quit. She would refuse to kiss me if I had been smoking. I eventually quit but I still carry the lighter with me for reasons I can't fathom. I open the lighter but before I can flick it I feel someone grab it from my hands.
"No," says Karasuma defiantly, "I won't let you do this, Amon."
"Karasuma," I tell her as I stare at her coldly and hold out my hand, "give me the lighter. Let me do what I have to do."
"And then what?" she asks, "Burn more pictures? Move into a new apartment? Get a new job? You can't keep pretending that she never existed and that you never cared about her." I don't need this irritation. I have work to do.
"Miho," I tell her as I rest my hand inside my jacket where I keep my gun, "I'm not going to ask again. Will you please give me the damn lighter?" We stare at each other for what feels like an eternity. I will do it if I have to. If I can kill Kate then I can kill anybody.
"Okay," she says finally as she extends her hand, "you win." I inwardly breathe a sigh of relief and take the lighter from her. I stare forlornly at the picture. It's just a picture. It doesn't mean anything. She was just some girl, she didn't mean anything. For a split-second, I try to believe that and then I get fed up with all the lies I keep telling myself.
"I'm sorry about that just now," I tell Karasuma suddenly, "How about we make a deal?"
"What's the deal?" asks Karasuma.
"You keep this," I tell her as I hand her the picture, "and the frame too but you have to promise me something."
"What?" asks Karasuma.
"Promise me that no matter how much I ask, beg, or threaten you that you will never let me see it ever again," I tell her, "Promise?"
"I promise," says Karasuma as she takes the picture. As I let go of it, I feel something inside me leave with that picture. I want to tell someone, tell them all the horrible things that have occurred. For a second I almost open my mouth to tell Karasuma but then my cell phone rings.
"Amon, I got the info you wanted," says Michael as I answer the phone.
"Good," I tell him, "I'll be inside soon and then we'll discuss it." I close my cell phone and turn to Karasuma, "We have to get back to work."
"I know," she replies as she wipes away a small tear and stares at the picture. I turn and walk back inside, back to work. It's all I have now. I tried to have a life with someone who meant everything to me. I failed and now all I'm left with is a never-ending hollowness inside me. Work will not fill the void but I doubt anything can. However, there is no alternative and I have to make the attempt. If I have to close myself off from the world in order to keep what's left of me inside alive then I will. If I have to bury myself in my job to keep from feeling this pain then so be it. Yes, it's back to work for me, back to work for a long time.