Rating: K+
Pairing: Irreconcilable Jak/Keira
Warnings: Anti-pairing writing, unbeta'd.
Word Count: 645
For: Anti-Pairing Challenge on jakfanfics



Look At Me

Sometimes, when I listen to her talk, it's like water. Her voice is calming and soothing and a promise that there are some things that are still clean, some things that he, or I, or they haven't completely screwed up. Just like before, when I would lay out on the beach and listen to the ocean roll in and down and let it carry me to sleep. Sometimes that's her voice, to me.

Other times, though—all the time these days—there's a cold sting to her voice that I don't think she wants me to hear. A chill that I recognize from the days when she was just a voice behind curtain, a faceless employer that couldn't care less who I was or how willing I was to help, a sting that hurts more than a bullet wound or scalpel scraping on bone or needles driven deep into my chest and screaming through my body.

Sometimes, when I listen to her talk, it's like ice.

"And you're a good judge of character! HA! Look at you!"

Yeah, look at me. Look at my scars and the way I shiver when someone tries to touch me, how I shake and want to scream whenever that damned alarm goes off because it sounds so much—too much—like the warning that would sound back in the prison just before the shower was turned on and soaked me through until I burned and thrashed and screamed and wasn't me anymore.

Or look at me now, gun in my hand and blowing away anything and everything in my way, throwing people to the ground because I need a transport faster than my feet, I need to get away before someone notices what I've done, before I realize there was no reason to do it. Before Daxter has time to explain that the blood on my hands is going to turn sticky soon and I'd better find somewhere to wash. Before I have time to stop and think and realize that there was no reason for him to die, not like this, and hate myself for killing him.

Or look at me now, all fangs and claws and eyes darker than seems natural—darker than is natural—howling and hurting and killing like a creature from an old fireside story. Look at me, with skin so pale I might be dead—I should be dead—and hands that destroy whatever they touch, breath that tastes like dark and blood that smells thick and heavy and so very, very wrong.

Look at me.

Sometimes her voice is like ice, and I can't really blame her. Sometimes I want to grab her and shake her, hard, scream at her that the man she so idolized is the one that did this to me, that it's memories of him that have me sitting bolt upright in the middle of the night keening and sweating and trying so hard just to breathe.

But I know, deep down, that no matter what I do she won't listen. She'll play nice, sit pretty and demure and pretend that everything's okay, but I've felt the way her body tenses when I touch her and heard of how she showers for too long after I've held her, how she can smell the dark in me on her skin after I've been near her for more than a minute, how it makes her choke when I breathe.

And I know that there's nothing either of us can do. We can't stop pretending because we both need this more than anything, we both need to at least try to make things how they used to be, become who we once were. But we should never have started because of what I am, what they made me, what I've done.

We never should have started because, well, look at me.