Notes: The characters are not mine,
and the story is! Some people from Livejournal may recall the first part of this
blurb, but the two other segments are new and have not been shown
anywhere before. Also, this has ended up quite different from my original intentions. This has been completed for Bonus Challenge #40:
It's Just a Nightmare, at 30 Nights. Again, Gin/Sherry.
She clutched the upper part of his body, feeling the life slipping away from him. His breath was growing more shallow, and his heart was slowing. She hated how she felt about it, so helpless, so powerless to do anything. She hated that she felt that way at all. She should not. She wanted to be glad that she would be rid of him, to know that he would finally be gone after what he had done. But a part of her heart was clenching at the thought of losing him. And yet . . . had she not already lost him, ages ago, because of his actions? Had not that split a rift between them that could never be mended?
She gritted her teeth, not once looking down at him. She would not have him see her conflicted expression. And she would not have herself see his glazed-over eyes once more. One look had been enough. She had not felt what she had wanted to, what she had thought she would, when she looked into them and saw the life vanishing. And she hated that. She hated him. She hated him for so many things.
"I hate you," she hissed, still gripping his dying form. "I hate you for what you did. I hate how you deceived me, and betrayed me. I hate the way you lied to me for so long." She tried to control herself, and the crystalline drops that were threatening to fall, but she felt them tear free anyway, rolling down her cheeks. I hate that you're dying in my arms. . . .
A weak shudder. "You betrayed me, too." His voice was barely there, not deep and dark, the way she remembered. She hated that, too. He lay completely powerless, vulnerable. If she wanted to kill him now, she could. But she knew she would not. He would soon be dead anyway.
She cursed him, spitting the words out with venom. He did not seem to fully take stock. Or else he did not care. Had he ever cared, about anything?
It was only another moment before he was gone. She felt him go entirely slack, and she knew. Even before she bent down to check his breath and pulse, she knew. And she cursed him again.
She gripped his empty shell close to her, trembling more than she even realized she was, and buried her face in his long blonde hair. He was lost to her now, even though in life he had not been any closer, of late. She could not help remembering how it once had been, so long ago, before the corruption had sunk into his soul and twisted it. She could never forget all the times they had spent together . . . how he had even watched out for her. . . . She still remembered how her heart had leaped during their conversations, and on the rare occasions when he had held her close to him. She had felt his beating heart, throwing her arms around his neck as she had kissed him. She had believed that he had loved her then. Had it all been a lie? She did not know. She never would, now.
"I hate you," she sobbed, the tears continuing to fall from her eyes and dampening the soft locks. I hate that you've left me. I hate that I still love you, even after everything you've done.
And suddenly her world seemed very empty. Her sister was dead, he was dead, and Kudo, whom she admitted she had began to have feelings for, already had Ran. They were engaged now. He would be happy with her, and she doubted that he would even notice much, if she herself was gone. She trembled, her thoughts racing in her mind. Would she . . .? Could she, even . . .?
Why not. What did she have, now? She had been aiming toward the confrontation that had taken place, had thought about it so often, and of what she would do to him when she had the chance. But her heart had been shattered, again, when she had seen his body collapse to the snow, mortally wounded. She had held him in her arms, it fully dawning on her that this was not what she had wanted, in spite of everything. In killing him, she had killed a large portion of her heart, as well. And along with everything else, she could not bear it.
Shakily she laid his lifeless body into the snow. She made sure to be gentle, though she was not entirely sure why, since he would not feel it. Then she reached for her discarded gun. There were still bullets left in it. She studied the weapon, her hands still shaking. She wondered if she would be able to hold them steady long enough to do this.
Tears slipped from her eyes, spilling over her cheeks and splashing onto her hands and into the snow. Who knew it would come to this, Gin? she said silently as she pulled the trigger once, then twice. She fell back from the shock, blood emerging from the wounds she had just inflicted in herself. Did you know? She fell into the snow beside him, gazing up at the falling flakes with eyes that were quickly clouding over with death. She smiled weakly, somehow having the feeling that he had. Or maybe it was just a silly notion. How would he have known?
Weakly she pushed herself over further as oblivion descended.
She started awake, her eyes flying open in the darkness. Strange shapes met her eyes, shapes that she soon realized were just the shadows of objects in the room---the nightstand, the chest of drawers, the doorknob, the curtains. . . . There was not any blood, or any dead bodies. There was a gun, she knew, in one of the drawers, but it was not a concern. Gasping, she slumped back against the warm body next to her, fully adjusting to reality once again.
She was still alive, as was he. It was his strong arms encircling her waist, his soft breath that she could hear and feel, his long hair that was falling over her shoulder and along her nightgown. And she smiled wryly in the darkness.
"It was just a bad dream," she murmured in relief, relaxing into the softness of the pillow. "Just a bad dream . . . of a future that might have been."
Gin grunted, as if hearing her. Somewhat possessive even in his sleep, he held her tighter. For once not minding, she settled into his embrace as she closed her eyes and began again to doze.