dying badly...

He was cold. Cold and tired.

At least he wasn't hungry… there was something to be said for that wasn't there? Or there would be, if he didn't feel so empty. Food couldn't cure that though, because the emptiness wasn't physical. It resided in his soul.

Maybe it was his lack of soul, the half that was missing now. Painfully ripped away by the ignorance of ones that would forever remain in the dark. Thieves that would never understand what unforgivable sin they'd committed so thoughtlessly. What they'd stolen from him.

Flash fire and lead explosion.

His brother was gone, and they'd smiled for their victory.

They weren't smiling now, but their fear wasn't justice. Didn't ease the hollow ache that had taken up permanent residence somewhere in the vicinity of where his heart once had been. Throbbing like a phantom limb that had been blown away.

Darkly a smirk touched frozen features as the macabre simile appealed to some twisted humor that his brother might have appreciated.

It wasn't a pretty smile, judging by the terror that continued to grow in eyes that beheld too silent Death standing before them like a desecrated angel: clothed in imperfect righteousness and condemned blood.

A part of him wished he could find solace in knowing that they were judged fit to die; they were evil men. A more honest part of him knew that this wasn't about God, it was human vengeance.

Impure and never simple.

Four muffled retorts in rapid succession, followed by the dull thud of bodies hitting the pavement of a dirty alleyway. Four neat little holes between eight disbelieving eyes. Quick and painless, for all that he didn't feel like mercy.

He turned on his heel and left them where they had unceremoniously fallen. No prayer this time. No pennies for the dead. No souls for the Divine.

This one was for his brother.