Butch sits at the edge of the chair, watching Jayden clean his shotgun. It's odd for him to think that the kid he bullied has grown to become... this. "So, have you uh... have you ever killed anyone with that thing?" Butch asks, nervously tapping his foot. He's not sure if he's scared of Jayden, or just in awe.
"Killed anyone?" Jayden laughs. "Buddy, when you step out into the Wasteland you'll see why that's a stupid question." Jayden smirks. How could he have been so afraid of this guy for so long? Now that he's the bigger, stronger, more experienced one, the tables are turned.
Sheepishly, Butch turns away, staring hard at the corner of the bed. "Do you really want to know?"
Butch looks up at Jayden and hesitantly nods. Jayden bites his tongue and looks around. They're alone in the room. It's just as well, these words are not for Amata to hear.
"I... I made a friend in the Wasteland a long time ago. There's a town, Megaton it's called, and he was the mayor of that town. Lucas was his name, and he was my first friend, other than Amata of course. He was the first person that I really opened up to about, well, everything.
"You may not give a shit, but he meant a lot to me," Jayden admits, fumbling with his weapon.
Butch is confused, there's no doubt about that, but he's oddly intrigued. "What does this friend of yours have anything to do with murder?" Butch questions, with a bit of the old steel in his tone.
Jayden's face darkens. He can feel the emotion welling up. He can feel the guilt. Butch is the last person that he wants to talk about this to, but he's here, and he's asking. Maybe it's finally time to confess.
"My friend has everything to do with murder. His life was the first that I ever took," Jayden murmurs sadly. Butch furrows his brow, still confused.
"But... I thought you said he was your friend. Why would you-"
"I don't fucking know Butch!" Jayden yells, startling Butch. Tears are starting to stream down his cheeks, but Jayden doesn't care. Back in the day, Butch would have loved to torture Jayden over his waterworks, but now things are different. Instinct tells him that this new Jayden won't take any shit, especially not with that shotgun in his hands.
Gritting his teeth, Jayden continues on. "I was so angry... something came over me. We were arguing over something... something huge. I had just came back from an extended trip out in the Wasteland. You have no idea how it is out there. Being out there for just a few weeks can change you. It makes you heartless. The constant fear, the terrifying beasts, spend enough time out there and you get hardened. That's what happened to me.
"When I got back to Megaton I found a traveller in Moriarty's Saloon. His name was Mr. Burke, and he had an offer for me. Help him destroy Megaton, and he'd personally lead me to my father, and give us a cushy life in some tower.
"I was tired, hungry, hurt, and all I wanted was to be closer to my father. And so I agreed. The people of Megaton were nothing to me. The only people that I cared about were Lucas, Nova, and Gob. I thought that they would just leave with me, and start a new life. I was wrong.
"That's how the argument started. I told Lucas my plan and he went ballistic. He went on a tirade about how he couldn't believe that I would even suggest something like that. I was... so angry. In my eyes I couldn't understand why he was so upset. All that I could see was that tower, and a happy life with my father and my friends."
Butch snorts, his old self slowly creeping back out. "Sounds like a fairy tale. You blow up a town and you get to live happily ever after. So let me guess, you end up killing the son of a bitch huh?" Butch drawls with a sly grin. Jayden's story is so fantastic and unbelievable that he can't help but ridicule it.
Jayden's not amused. He's starting to see red, his fingers are itching to grab the shotgun and end this conversation. Finally he sighs. It's been a long day and he doesn't have the energy for a fight. With a sigh Jayden looks Butch straight in the eye. Instantly the bully knows that Jayden was serious.
"You know what Butch? I did kill him," Jayden whispers. "I killed him and I can never forgive myself for it. Nova and Gob... they won't even look at me anymore. I've been living a life as the hero of the Wasteland, but I'm just as bad as the Raiders. I killed him Butch. There's no excuse for that."
Jayden slumps over, totally defeated, burying his face in his hands. There's just too much pain and emotion to let out at once. He needs to control himself before he becomes a depressed lump.
"Well, uh..." Butch stutters. He's uncomfortable, he's never had to comfort someone before.
With angry eyes, Jayden glares at Butch. There's nothing that he can say to make anything better. Opening up to his enemy was a mistake, and Jayden can see that now. He was stupid to think that it would have done anything good. "Fuck off Butch... just leave me alone."
Sadness might not be something that Butch can deal with, but anger is. Before he can think over his actions Butch grabs the shotgun and flings it across the room, where it clatter to the floor. "Listen hard. You fucked up. I get that. You fucked up real bad, but that doesn't mean that you can't be the hero that you want to be. So you can either sit here and cry like the little girl that you are, or you can man up and do something about the fucking Overseer. It might not be much to the Wastelanders, but helping us out will help you get back on your feet, hero. It's your choice, man up, or wimp out."
With one final stare at Jayden, Butch gets up and walks out of the bedroom. For a long time, Jayden just sits there, thinking things over. As much as he hates to admit it, Butch may be right. There's no use thinking about Lucas, so might as well live in the present.
A knocking makes Jayden look up to the doorway. Amata's standing there, looking worried. "You okay?"
In response Jayden just laughs. "I thought I was supposed to help you guys out, but Butch just helped me more than I could ever help you."
Amata smiles, playing with her long brown hair. "I know. He told me to come see you. Said that you were feeling down, and that I could fix it."
Maybe Butch knows me better than I thought, Jayden thinks. "Whenever I'm around you things just seem better," Jayden says honestly. He chuckles, and shakes his head. "It may seem cheesy, but it's the truth."
Soon Amata's sitting next to him on the bed. There's a noticeable blush on her face, but she makes no effort to hide it. "You know, if your dad hadn't left, maybe we could have been something," she whispers into his ear.
Jayden frowns, and turns to face her. "Can't we still be something? We could-"
Amata cuts him off with a kiss, pushing him onto his back. The bed's too small for both of them, but that doesn't make them falter. To Jayden it feels totally natural, even though this is the first time he's been with a woman this way. Her skin feels perfect, smooth and flawless. Her lips feel soft and inviting. It seems like everything else in the world slows down to a crawl. Nothing matter but the her loving touch. Too quickly night comes, and soon both are too tired to do anything but sleep.
"Amata. Your father-"
"Shhh," Amata murmurs playfully, holding a delicate finger to his lips. "We'll talk in the morning, for now, just rest."
Jayden nods, already almost half asleep. As he drifts off he can't help but feel Amata close against him; her heartbeat against his own chest. He smiles and closes his eyes. His dreams are filled with thoughts of her, and only her.