This one's entirely for slytherincrush, who made me realize my wicked wicked ways in abandoning this fabulous fandom. I'm sorry it is also not that long, but I'll work on something more substantial.

It's kind of an odd fic. Basically my take on the inner workings of Richard's mind, particularly when he tried to trick poor Justin into blowing his own brains out. Also, the sentence fragments are purely artistic, not me being incapable of using the English language.

Reviews make my life brighter.


It's just a game.

A game like making Justin need him, making Justin have no one else. A game like drinking the same drugs, the same illicit pleasures, as philosophers of bygone centuries. A game like pressing a fake pistol to his one true friend's temple.

It's a game to plot the perfect murder. To figure out where and when, and how to set the false trails. A game because it'll be some random stranger, a symbol rather than a human being. Deranging the world.

It's a game which Richard plays perfectly, from cultivating a relationship with Raymond to setting up the detail about his boots. His very distinctive "stolen" boots.

It's even still a game as they choose the victim. Stash her in the trunk. Leave her tied up on the bed in Richard's basement. It's a game until Richard looks down into terrified blue eyes and realizes he can't, simply can't, squeeze away the last drops of her life-force, leaving her a limp, empty husk. He hands over the gloves. Justin can do it.

Justin's strong, so much stronger than Richard. Justin's faith in his convictions could move mountains. But his terrified blue eyes mirror those of his victim, and Richard realizes it's still a game. The stakes are just higher.

Life or Death?

Richard continues to play perfectly. He awes himself with his own stunning feints and parries. His superb manipulation. He knows exactly how to play those cops. Not like Justin. Justin's cool and clearheaded when it comes to action, when it comes to forensics, but he's still entirely socially awkward. Still a geek. Richard has to remember that. Cops make Justin nervous.

Richard plays the game well, but it seems that Cassie Mayweather plays it better. That bitch is like a bloodhound, only she won't take the bait they're throwing her. And Justin's slipping up. He's losing loyalty to the cause. He's a liability.

The game's still Life or Death, but Richard's got to figure out who's destined for life pretty damn quick, or fate will decide for him. Olivia Lake's dead. The cops are basically untouchable. Who are the only players left in this absurd little drama? Richard and Justin. And Richard's damn sure he's not going to be the one dying.