Authors Note: Saved for the end.
Disclaimer: All characters from Kill Bill are owned by Tarantino. Everyone else is owned by me.
Kill Kiddo: Chapter 19
Budd's Camper, 2004
There was no air.
It was funny, how easy it used to be to breathe, and now how even sucking in just the tinniest breath made Lucky ache. She wanted nothing more than to curl up into a little ball, but just the thought of moving sent tremors of pain down her sides.
Larry stared at his watch, the minutes passing like hours. Days. Years. With every gasp from Lucky, time seemed to slow down even more. Against his better judgment, Larry stole another glance at her.
She was whiter than paper, whiter than the powdery coke she had been snorting just hours earlier. Her cheeks were coated in sweat and tears spilled out of her swollen eyes. Lucky could see Larry looking at her and she opened her lips, trying to call out his name, but all that came out was spit and a whimper.
"This is fucked up," Larry mumbled.
"Not much longer now," Elle said.
"…Larry…" Lucky gasped. She sounded like a fish out of water.
"Son of a bitch," Larry spat. "Can't you fucking slit her throat? This is torture."
"They'll know she's been cut, you moron. Just wait three goddamn minutes."
Lucky looked up at Larry, sputtering. She had a very limited comprehension of what was happening—where they were, why Larry wasn't taking her to the hospital, who this blurry, bloody faced woman was. Part of Lucky hoped Larry didn't think this blonde was prettier than her, but mostly, Lucky wanted Larry to reach down and take her hand. She waited for him to tilt his head towards her again, and then she mouthed his name, flexing her fingers at him as much as she could without making the fire inside her burn worse.
Just take my hand, Larry, she pleaded silently.
Elle twisted her head around as she heard Larry walk down the hall towards the bathroom.
"I can't take this shit. Just tell me when it's over."
Elle scoffed in disgust.
"You're a pathetic pussy-foot, you know that?" Elle asked.
Larry Gomez shook his head, and tried to distract himself. He looked into the bathroom, at the torn up walls, the puddles of water and blood. Something smelled putrid, but he wasn't about to try searching for the source. Right now, he was very aware of Lucky's escalating breaths pouring in through the demolished wall of the bathroom, and he turned away, focusing on the bloodstained carpet instead. He took a few steps back, and stopped as he came to a foreign object—long, black, and hallow with a white thread trim.
The sheath of a sword.
"Hey," Elle called. "Your coke bloated stripper took her last breath. You can come back."
Larry cringed. They'd gone over this part when he brought the gas in, but damn. This was going to be nasty. Averting his gaze, he trudged back through the hall. He held his breath as he stepped over Buds' rotting body in the kitchen, but as he slid open a few drawers, he found himself faced with another dilemma entirely.
What to use…a knife? A spoon?
"What's the hold up?" Elle demanded.
Larry swore under his breath and pulled out the whole drawer before doubling back. He took a brief glance at Elle, who sat on her red suitcase with her sword tight between her fingers. He glanced at a steak knife in his drawer, not daring to wonder if he could beat the eyeless bitch to the draw. He shook his head and kneeled down in front of the recently deceased Lucky. Her eyes were still open, but hazed over with the pain and confusion that gripped her in her last living moments. Larry pressed a hand to her head, the knife in his other.
Her skin was still warm.
"Shit," he gagged.
"Just do it," Elle demanded.
"I'm trying to figure out how!" Larry yelled. "What if her fucking eyes pop when I try to get them out?"
"Then you're just going to have to scoop the rest out," Elle mocked.
"This is so messed up."
"The sooner you do it, the sooner we can get the hell out of here. Just bite the bullet and,"—
Elle stopped talking as she heard a sickening squish sound, followed by subsequent squirts of blood and Larry's heavy gagging. The messy act took only a few minutes, but when he was done, Larry stood up and ran to the bathroom to vomit.
"Did you finish?" Elle called.
Larry ignored her, breathing through his mouth so that putrid smell wouldn't make it worse. He used the handle of the knife to flush the toilet, and as he stood up and walked out of the doorframe, he felt something sticky cling to the bottom of his shoe.
Larry leaned down to inspect his sole, and gagged at the source of the horrible smell.
"What is it?" Elle called.
Larry choked back a cough, and suddenly, that cough turned into a sick, grim laugh.
"Hey bitch," he called. "I found one of your eyes."
Elle grit her teeth as he came back into the room.
"Should I flush it too?" he asked.
"No. we'll get rid of it when we get out of here," Elle said, yanking off her eye patch and handing it to him.
Larry did not waste time—he wanted to get out of this camper. He yanked the eye patch over Lucky's head, and dragged her body into the bathroom. He tossed one of her eyes in after her, the other, he wrapped up in a hand towel along with the blonde bitches' rotten, smashed one. Without much thought, he picked up the sword sheath and stuffed the towel into it, passing it to Elle as he walked back into the room. Seemed as good of a container as any.
"Hold this," he said, leaning down to grab the gasoline. A quick drizzle throughout the camper, taking special care to douse both Budd and Lucky's body.
"Done," he said finally, wiping the sweat from his brow.
Elle smiled, and with a swift move, she had one arm wrapped around Larry's neck—the sword hanging limply, but close enough to his throat to put him on edge.
"By all means, Mr. Gomez, escort us out."
Larry stared at Elle, the strong smell of sweat and putrid flesh still on her. He choked back another gag at the close up sight of her eyeless, hallow face, and he hesitated.
"Wait," Larry said, glancing around the camper. He knew the chances of them getting pulled over by the cops were slim, but the dried blood caked onto this blondes' socket could be spotted from blocks away. Larry's eyes came to a stop as he glanced at Budd's sofa.
Budd's hat. That fucking hat.
Gritting his teeth, Larry reached out and grabbed the hat, plopping it down on Elle's head before gingerly helping her out to his ranchero. She held onto the keys and held the suitcase of cash tight on her lap as he ran back inside to set the camper alight. A few moments later, he was back in the car, she passed him the keys, and they were off.
"I'm guessing you don't want to go to any hospital," Larry said, eyeing the red suitcase.
"You guess right," Elle said sarcastically, despite the sheer contentment she felt. She had escaped death. She had her Hanzo sword gripped tightly in her hands. She had even found a way to fake her own finale, and for now, she had a pair of eyes she reckoned could be bribed into doing more dirty work. And although she felt light headed from the trauma and blood loss, nothing could steal this victory from her.
"Just take me somewhere secluded," Elle demanded weakly. "I don't care where."
"Well don't worry, baby. Won't anybody be where we're going."
Larry looked back in his mirror in time to see the smoke snake out into the air and the flames lap at the interior of the windows. This far off road, this far out in the dry dessert, the camper could smolder for days and could sit for weeks before anyone would find it.
The flames grew higher, and from underneath the camper, the black mamba hissed and slithered out from the growing inferno. She waited only a moment before twisting out into the dessert, ready to find vermin to hunt.
When Elle woke up, her head was swimming. The stinging in her eye was subsiding, but was replaced with a horrible empty, moist, chemical feeling. Her eyelid was already starting to sink in, and the feeling was incredibly uncomfortable and nostalgic. She lifted her hands to try to readjust it, but her fingers met a sturdy wall of bandages acting blockade, wrapped around both her sockets.
Elle pulled herself off of the spongy surface—a flattened futon placed on top of the stripping platform, and she eased herself over the edge. She misjudged the height she was sitting at, and ended up falling face forward, her socket throbbing and burning with pressure.
"Fuck," she hissed. She could hear sounds reverberating in her head, and as the inside of her skull stopped spinning, they started to come into focus.
Two people. A woman, opening a door and laughing. A man walking towards her, mumbling.
"Someone forget to light the open sign, or we giving up the ghost?" the woman asked in a bitchy, flashy voice.
"Didn't you get the email, Rocket?" the man asked. "Closed today."
"What? Closed? Why are you here then?" Rocket asked.
"Larry needed my help with a few things," the man said solemnly. "We've kinda got a situation on our hands."
"Pfff, what bullshit. Well. Can you at least fix me up with a drink before I head back home? So my drive out here wasn't completely useless?" she pleaded.
Elle heard the man sigh and his footsteps pound as he headed somewhere behind her, and then the tinker of glasses and ice.
"You're my hero, Jay," Rocket gushed with feigned sincerity. "Hey…who's the blonde number on the floor?"
Elle heard the glass slip and shatter.
"Shit," Jay mumbled.
Fast feet, fast hands against her, Elle hardly had a moment to try to fight them off.
"Fuck, I'm sorry, didn't see you get up—you okay? Feeling any better?" Jay asked.
Elle stood up and tried to still herself by holding onto the strip platform.
"Who…who the hell are you?" Elle asked, feeling edgeless and vulnerable. "Where am I?"
"…You're still at Club My-Oh-My, don't you remember last night? After you and Larry showed up?" Jay asked.
All Elle could manage was to shake her head, and even that hurt.
God, she felt fucking pathetic.
"I helped you…clean out your eye?" Jay ventured.
"You did fucking what?" Elle asked, her sore voice cracking.
"Well, guess that morphine Larry was hording did its job and then some," Jay said. "Lemme fix you some food."
"Larry's got morphine?" Rocket cut in immediately.
Elle fought her way into a stool.
"I'm not hungry," she said, even though she was starving. "I just want to talk to Larry."
"He stepped outside for a moment," Jay said, plopping a plate of nachos and a tall glass of water down in front of Elle. "Hopefully this time you eat, you'll be able to keep it down."
Elle waited a few moments before she blindly reached forward and began shoving the horrible strip club food into her mouth. She paused as Rocket came and sat down next to her, but after a moment, decided she didn't give a shit what some tacky stripper thought of her.
"You must be hungry, eating the crap we got here," Rocket laughed. "So…what happened to your eyes?"
"…Laser eye surgery," Elle mumbled with her mouth full.
The door slammed open, and Elle turned around, even though there was nothing for her to see.
"Well, look who finally woke up," Larry said. "…Rocket, the fuck are you doing here? I said we're closed."
"My piece of shit computer got fried, remember? Hey, Jay says you got morphine. What's a girl gotta do to get a drop or two?" Rocket asked.
"Fucking Jay. Actually, there is something you can do. Ya know how Lucky and I stepped out for a breather last night?" Larry asked. "Well, she bought herself the winning lottery ticket at Circle Kay and left for the Bahamas immediately. Comprende?"
"Heh. Whatever you say, boss," Rocket laughed.
"Larry." Elle finally spoke up, almost yelling. It was horse, painful, and while she couldn't see it, Rocket and Jay both glanced at her, eyebrows raised.
"…Whatcha need, Blondie?" Larry asked, inching closer to his office.
"We need to talk. Now," she hissed.
A sigh. A door creaking open. More footsteps.
"Bring her in, Jay."
Jay came back around and fished Elle out of her seat, who still winced with shock, but accepted his help this time. As he walked her to the office, Larry sat down and reaching into his desk, pulling out the left over baggie of coke from the previous night. Normally, after getting such a massive payout, he'd call his dealer in a heart beat and put in a new order, get quality shit, but he hadn't had the time.
Elle let go of Jay as she felt herself skim the edge of the door, and he pulled the chair out for her before turning back around and walking out.
"Holler if you need anything," he said.
Elle felt behind herself and slammed the door shut. Then she turned in the direction of what she assumed was Larry, trying to keep her calm. Trying to not feel completely helpless.
"Well, you're a sight for sore eyes," Larry chuckled.
"Fuck you," Elle spat, feeling for the chair before cautiously sitting down. "Where's my sword?"
"You know bitch, I've been pretty nice to you. Coulda shucked and chucked your body last night when you passed out. I think we're a bit past you waving your fucking ninja shit in my face," Larry said smugly.
Elle shook. She wanted to kill him. Oh god, it would be so easy. But the sad truth was that she needed this sleaze ball fuck.
"I just…want…my sword," Elle said solemnly.
"Fine, but keep that shit gloved," Larry said, passing her the sheathed sword. "Anyway, I burned the eyes last night like ya said, not a speck of evidence on us, not a word on the news 'bout any bodies being discovered yet, I'd say you got exactly what you wanted, lady."
As he stopped talking, Elle could hear remarkably well the sound of rustling plastic, followed by the light tapping of metal on glass. She shook her head and cleared her throat.
"I'd say," Elle said, tracing the handle of her Hanzo sword with her thumb. "Almost."
"…Almost?" Larry asked.
"I need a ride somewhere."
Elle paused, waiting for a response. Instead, she heard a sharp intake of breath. A snort, followed by a muffled exhale.
"…This somewhere far?" Larry asked finally.
"It's not in fucking Texas," Elle said.
"Look here, babe—I don't exactly have the time to be running all these errands. For free, that is."
Elle thumbed the sheath of her sword. It would be so, so fucking easy….
"Well, Larry, would stopping at an ATM change your mind?"
The words practically cut her lips as she forced them between the cracks of her gritting teeth. Unbeknownst to her, Larry was smiling like a motherfucker, thinking of how much more money he could milk out of this eyeless bitch. He played it cool though, acting calm. Disinterested.
"And when would you be needing this ride, exactly?" Larry asked.
"Yesterday," Elle said.
The car beat steadily against the road, and Larry sighed as he drove up the path to the hacienda. His ranchero was not used to this much abuse. It was a nice fucking car, red and black with a vanity plate that read 'MY0HMY'. Larry could only guess how bad his tires were suffering from the drive through Mexico.
"Kay. I'm looking at a bunch of fancy condos, palm trees and shit. This the place?" Larry asked.
"Yeah. Any cop cars?" Elle asked.
"Not that I can see."
Elle gripped her sword tight. They might not have been too late after all.
Larry didn't trust the valet with his newly refilled red suitcase of dough, so he wheeled it out with them as he guided the way to Bill's condo, room 101. Elle slid him the key, but it was unnecessary. The door was already open. Elle pushed her way past Gomez and into the room.
"Bill?" She called out.
"BILL? BB?" Elle yelled.
Not a sound.
"Go upstairs," Elle demanded to Larry.
She heard him swear beneath his breath as he walked to the stairs, and she took her sword, using it as a walking stick, and began to walk the perimeter of the first floor. She got to the open door of the patio before Larry came back down.
"No one's upstairs," Larry said.
"There's a beach outside, sometimes they like walking there at night. we'll check there,"—
"Oh," Larry mumbled suddenly, glancing past Elle. "Shit."
"What?" Elle demanded.
"…I think I found Bill."
Elle's sword fell from her hands. She stumbled out into the garden, blindly, and Larry sighed before take her by the shoulder and guiding her to Bill's fallen body. Elle fell to her knees, touched the back of his head, the side of his face.
He was cold as ice.
Elle felt her tear ducts sting, and she whimpered as the salty tears bore into her sockets. Larry stared at the dead body in her hands, wondering only briefly how a corpse could look that clean—not a drop of blood on it. Must have been strangled or poisoned. Must be fresh, too, otherwise they would have smelled it on the way in.
"Get me the fuck out of here," Elle demanded, her voice trembling.
Larry grabbed her arm, and pulled her towards the door. He paused for only a minute to pick up her sword, and then stopped as a little shine by the table caught his eye.
"Hey. There's another sword over here," he said.
Larry picked it up and passed it to Elle, who knew instantly that this was Bill's Hanzo sword.
Bill's sword. She had completely forgotten.
Playing dead or not, Elle was not about to leave this behind. Her last reminder and the single keepsake of the only man she ever loved.
Elle and Larry stood silently at the balcony in the lounge. The humid air smelled of forest and salt water, and not too far away, waves pounded against some unseen shoreline. Larry finished rolling his cigarette and he passed it to Elle, lighting it up for her. He waited for her to take a drag before he cut in.
"So, I ain't got a fucking clue what's going on…but what does this mean?" he asked.
Elle ignored him. She clutched her swords in both hands, seething. The tears that had finally worked their way through her bandages, but her sunglasses obstructed them from view.
"I probably missed the bitch by a day," Elle said to herself.
"What bitch?" Larry asked.
"The shithead who did this," she whispered. "The same one who pulled out my eye."
"So…what now? You gonna track her down and kill her?" Larry asked.
Elle was quiet.
"You're not gonna be able to do it by yourself, that's for damn sure," Larry said. "I gotta say, I'm getting pretty tired of all this shit, but so long as you keep paying me, I'll keep it up."
Nothing. Silent as the grave. Had Larry been paying closer attention, he would have seen Elle's fingers tighten around the hilt of her swords.
"…You…okay there?" he asked impatiently. "You hearing me?"
"Is the lounge empty?" Elle suddenly inquired.
Larry tilted his head, her question catching him off guard.
"Yeah…it's the middle of the fucking night,"—
Elle's cigarette dropped from her mouth, and before it hit the ground, she had drawn one of her swords and sunken it into Larry. She couldn't exactly tell where she hit him, but from his yell and the squish the sword made, she was sure she got in a good one. She pulled back her blade, and waited for Larry to fall.
"You…you fucking bitch," he mumbled, dropping to his knees.
"Shut up," Elle hissed as she brought her sword down again. This time she sliced instead of stabbed, and a warm torrent of blood hit her face. She wiped it away as Larry sputtered.
"…Why…" he whispered.
"Fucking die!" Elle said acidly, bringing the sword down on him again.
She was met with silence. Her heart beat heavy against her chest, and her empty socket throbbed with the echo of her pulse.
"You goddamn bitch!" Elle yelled, bringing her sword down once more. "You fucking, murdering, piece of shit!"
Elle hacked away at Larry's lifeless husk until her sword fell from her shaking hands. She balled her fists together and pounded weakly against the concrete balcony, moaning in agony.
"I should have killed you in the hospital when I had the chance," Elle whimpered.
It would have been so easy back then. A moment, the perfect opportunity, snatched out of her fingers. Taunting her. Haunting her. That last image of Beatrix Kiddo still hung in her mind, the last thing she ever saw before the world disappeared.
The last thing she would ever see.
And there was nothing she could fucking do about it now. As an assassin, as a killer, as an artist of murder, Elle had been rendered worthless. And now the only person she ever cared for, the only human being who ever showed her an inch of compassion was dead.
Elle lifted Larry's mutilated body up and with little trouble, heaved him over the balcony. She re-sheaved her sword and felt around for Larry's suitcase. With the two swords over her shoulder and the suitcase handle in her hand, she slowly felt her way out of the lounge, down the stairs.
Elle had no idea the state of her appearance—she could be drenched in blood for all she knew, but she didn't bother to wash off. She didn't care at this point, and the people at the front desk didn't seem to notice, not that she noticed them. She made her way into the lobby, and an off duty valet, seeing her wandering with unsure footing, left his seat and walked over to her.
"Senorita, are you alright?" he asked.
"How would you like to get a significant tip?" Elle asked.
She didn't wait for his response, just wheeled the suitcase up to him.
"Open this. Not all the way, just look in."
The valet leaned forward and unzipped the bag, and gasped in shock at the multiple stacks of cash lining the interior.
"I need a designated driver," Elle said simply.
"I…of course!" the valet said at once, grabbing her gently by the arm and leading her outside. He was only a moment, fetching the car, and quickly helped her into her seat.
"Where am I taking you?" he asked, voice trembling with excitement as he started the engine.
"Just…drive as far away from here as you can. And fast," Elle said.
Elle reached down to feel the two Hanzo swords in her lap. Funny, how the most priceless Japanese steel, the only things she had ever wanted in the world, she'd trade in an instant for what she had ripped from her. But there was no sense wishing things were different, in showing contempt for a decent consolation. She traced the hilts, lowering the sheath an inch to feel the cold flat of the blade. It was almost electric, and as she pushed the sword back into the sheath, only one thought echoed through her mind.
She'd never let these blades leave her side.
And while Elle Driver was blind to the road in front of her, both figuratively and literally, she would not let it stop her. She had come much too far for that. She would keep going. Keep running.
She'd figure out where to along the way.
So hi everyone! Been a while! :D
This has been sitting in my laptop in pieces for months, finally got it in me to stitch it all together. Jeesh, I can't believe it's been over a year since I updated…if any of the original audience is still out there, sorry y'all! Life gets in the way sometimes. Although to be honest, in the past few years I realized how writing Kill Kiddo was my way of dealing with my stress, and that now that I'm less stressed, I've been writing a lot less. But as I've said before—I plan on finishing all of my fanfics, someday. Kill Kiddo is very special to me, as it maps my progress as a writer over the years. So weird to go to the first chapter and then read the current ones…I've come a long way! ^_^
Anyway, a little update about myself: still in Hawaii, still going to Uni, planning on double majoring in English and either Animation or Graphic Design. If you'd like to check out my artwork or contact me, there's a link to my Deviantart in my profile! Thanks for reading!