Beta'd By: My dear friend and Bobbette, Erin *holds tightly*

Disclaimer: The usual. I don't own anything. Not even my sanity. Well, maybe Sabine, but that's not much, considering.

Note: Inspired by the prompt (given through an LJ community): "Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity." (Gravity, Sara Bareilles)

Note 2: It's meant to be read as a one-shot so, even if it feels like there's more to it, there will be no fanfic-continuation (I hope), so don't ask for it, please? Though it can be considered an alternate version to "Let Me Go", as it was inspired by the same prompt, but this one has a slight different approach to it, with the repeat of only one line, I think.


-|- ... -|-


There he is, Marcus Van Sciver, the leader of what used to be the House of Chthon, sitting by himself in a dim lit bar.

Krista can hear the dots connecting in Blade's brain.

The deaths, the rumors about the rise of another house, the murmurs about project Aurora... it all leads back to Marcus.

And there he is, the man she had left behind to die, or so Blade thought.

"He's alive." She ignores the fact that it sounds like an accusation.

There's no way he could know, she assures herself. "Not for long."

He stops her before she can touch the door handle, "Where do you think you're going?"

She has to think of her answer before she says it. There are too many reasons, too many motives, not just the one.

"We have questions, he has answers."

Blade stares into her eyes through his shades, trying to find the truth where there is none, and he lets her go. Any other day he would've called the shots, but when it comes to Marcus, it's her ground.

She walks inside the bar without looking back. She knows Blade won't follow her.

She hopes he won't.

"Marcus."

"Krista," he doesn't look at her when he says it, but he might as well have. His voice makes her freeze, makes her realize how alive she really is and how dead she became when she left him.

"I see you got out safely." She lies, her own way of telling him she's not alone. She can't have the conversation she wants with Blade so near. Blade might let her walk her own ground from time to time, but he's always there watching her, never quite trusting her.

Marcus trusted her, once upon a time.

Marcus smiles softly, receiving her message all too well, "I had help."

She knows it's his way of saying thank you.

She sits in front of him, arms crossed, trying to keep her face void of any real emotion.

"I hear the House of Chthon is rising again."

'Are you okay,' is what she meant to ask.

"So it is, though I hear there are some obstacles in the way, for the moment."

'I will be, if...' was his answer.

"Obstacles? And those are?"

'If what,' she asks silently.

He meets her eyes finally and their unspoken conversation just became clearer, "One final member."

'You.'

She swallows hard. She doesn't know if it's because he turned her or because of what they shared, but every unspoken word is heard and traced. She can feel it. She knows everything he means to say and he knows the same.

"You," she forces herself to ask, for Blade.

He laughs at that and leans back, his hand resting on the middle of the table, palm up. She knows what it means.

'No, Marcus. I can't do that again.'

"The House of Chthon never lost me, Krista. It never will. I, however, have lost something else."

She looks at his hand and something inside her aches.

The time she shared with Marcus... it pulls at her, reminding her of a time when everything was less complicated and satisfying for the most part.

But she can't walk down that road again.

"Well, whatever it is, I hope you never find it."

"Oh, I never do. It can always find me. It will find me."

She wants to slap the overconfidence from his eyes, but can't, because deep inside the ache betrays her.


FINIS