Disclaimer: I don't own Albino Alligator or any of the characters or other things associated with it. I don't intend to make any money from this.
Author's Note: If you are planning to review, please read my profile first. Also, this story is set about two weeks after the bar incident and is a sequel to Entwined , though I think it makes sense on its own as well.
Dova had always been the responsible one, but he was more confused about what should be done than he could ever remember being before. Milo was sticking close to him, following his lead to an extent that he was beginning to find disturbing. He wouldn't do the slightest thing without glancing anxiously at Dova first, as if to ask permission. Or maybe to ask if it was safe. Left to himself he would back up against a tree or a wall and stay there, not moving until Dova came back or Law bullied him into moving far enough to find another tree or wall. He barely spoke, and when they were around people he kept flicking his eyes from side to side in a way that made Dova afraid he was going to bolt. Milo hated being dead.
Law seemed to have gone the opposite direction, which was perfectly fitting now that he thought about it. Law was having a ball. He never missed an opportunity to mess with the living. Not that there was much he could do, which was a very lucky thing for his victims. Now that he didn't have to worry about the police, Dova thought he might really hurt someone if he could. Someone other than Milo.
Could he still beat Milo up? Dova stopped in his tracks for a second at this thought, and Milo instantly froze behind him. Law paused and looked at him expectantly. "Nothing", he muttered, and started walking again, but he was troubled.
Milo had tolerated the results of his frequent arguments with Law fairly well, in most cases at least. That time Law had used his pocketknife on him, Milo had been out-of-sorts for over a week: surly and uncooperative one moment, apathetic and barely responsive the next. Then one day he had just been himself again, and Dova had secretly thanked a god he didn't really believe in anymore. Other than that, Milo had always preferred to pretend nothing had happened, and Dova had been more than willing to play along.
Trust Milo to go insane at a time like this, he thought in anger, and then instantly felt like a cad.
He tried to guess what could be upsetting the other so much. It was different, that was for sure. He felt almost weightless, yet after the first few disorienting minutes, he had found that he could walk quite easily on the ground. He'd been morbidly sure the first good gust of wind would blow them all away, but he'd barely felt it when it came.
They couldn't eat or drink. Law had thrown a mini tantrum when they found out about that, stomping around and cursing and quite ineffectually kicking trees. In the old days, Milo would have found that amusing.
They seemed to be completely alone. Live people couldn't see or hear them, and they'd seen no other ghosts. Dogs sometimes stared at them or growled, but that was pretty much it. It was just the three of them.
Dova didn't think that was the problem, though. Their mother had died more than two decades ago, Dova's father a few years after that. Milo's dad had run off before he was born. No great loss.
Although Law occasionally mentioned his mother, and always with positive, if entirely casual, connotations, in the more than a decade the three had been together Dova had never seen him visit her or write to her or call her. He wasn't entirely sure she existed. The way Law was, she might have been pure shadows, just a convenient sort of figure of speech. Or perhaps she was long dead. He had never spoken of any other family.
In many ways, the three of them had always been on their own. Being a ghost was strange, but it wasn't anything to get so worked up about.
"You stay here, Milo", he said. "We'll be back in a minute." He tried to make his tone as reassuring as possible, but from the look Milo gave him he might just as well have said, "You go find a gator-infested swamp and dive right in, because we'll never be back."
Then Milo dropped his gaze and hunched his shoulder in that way he had when he was pretending everything was fine. "Alright."
Dova gestured to Law, and the two of them walked on until they were a couple hundred yards away and Dova judged they were out of earshot. He stopped and turned to Law. Before Dova could begin, Law rolled his eyes and said, "I ain't gonna hit him."
"You better mean that. He's…well, something's wrong with him."
"Yeah. Runt didn't die well."
"What ya mean? Of course he did!" Dova exclaimed defensively. "Anyway, this is a damn stupid time to be complainin' because he couldn't kill people."
"Tha's not what I meant, boss. Touchy, ain't ya?"
At Dova's impatient look, he shrugged and continued.
"I got shot in tha back. Didn't even know it was happenin' til it already had. And I guess you was too preoccupied with us. Wanted ta look after us, didn't ya? Fuckin' boy scout to the end."
"Get to the point."
"Now, Milo, he died alone. Ya pulled a gun on him, threatened to shoot him. And ya know how squeamish he is about whackin' people. He went out knowin' we was gonna kill them hostages. Then I guess the first thing he got ta see as a ghost was me n' that hick n' the Canadian get killed. Ain't been right since."
"He should be over that by now. It's been almost two weeks!"
"Maybe dyin's made ya stupid. How ya feelin' right now, boss?"
"Worried about my brother."
Dova thought about it. "I don't know. Kinda tired, sorry you guys died, relieved to be with you both again."
Law snorted in disgust at that last and muttered, "Sissy." Then he said in a more normal tone, "Right now I'm feelin' alert, on edge. I wanna fight someone. It's like something big is always just about ta happen. 'Cuz tha's how we died, get it? What kinda crap ya think he's feelin'?"