Summary: Alone in an abandoned apartment building. Truly alone.

Pairing: dark, dark Erikyle.

Spoilers: This takes place after season 2.

Rated M for language.


[burn]


Laid out on the bed, still clothed, she told him what she wanted him to do.

"I can't do this anymore." he told her.

She showed no surprise. The sick feeling in his stomach grew outward, and it seeped into his bones.

"Yes you can."

"Erica-"

"I know everything, Kyle."

The look in her eyes, when her eyelids lifted and she met his gaze, made his blood run cold.

"Jesus." he muttered, turning and taking three steps toward the door.

She sat up. Hobbes heard the gun in her hand before she spoke.

"No."

Her voice had the same hard quality that it did when she gave serious orders, but she couldn't be serious about this. Not this. He turned to face her, to see her eyes and know whether she really meant it this time. She'd pointed a gun at him many times before but, he'd never seen the intention reach her eyes.

"No." she said again, her voice this time revealing the desperation and urgency that her actions had already made clear. "You don't get to leave me."

Anger was the only thing keeping those tears at bay. Worse yet, rage. Hobbes was not leaving this room until she'd gotten her way.

"You stay here." she said, seething. "With me. And you help me clean up the mess we made."

"I won't let you do this." he said.

"To you?"

"You're bent on destroying yourself and I won't be a part of it."

"You're a part of it already, Kyle. You're the biggest part of it."

"Then why don't you kill me, Erica? Just put us both out of our misery?"

"I can't." Erica warbled through clenched teeth.

"Why not?" Kyle demanded, his voice raised because he was angry now.

"Because." said Erica. "When this is all over I want to go to hell. And I want to burn there forever for what I've done."

Fuck or kill, fuck or kill, that's all either of them did anymore. Her heart was beating so fast, blood pumping so hard, and he stared at her, understanding her completely and not wanting to at all.

All I've ever wanted was to help you. I joined for you, I stayed for you, I took a bullet for you and I would die for you. But I would not do this. I will never do this, not for these reasons.

"Shoot me." was all Kyle said out loud. Because all he ever really wanted was to pay for his sins.

"Fuck me." Erica spat out, her finger so tight on the trigger it could have gone off by accident. He prayed her finger would slip.

"I can't."

"You can't?" Erica seethed, wondering how her knowing had suddenly ruined this arrangement. He'd known the whole time.

"I can't." said Hobbes, not the least bit embarrassed by it. He suffered no loss of pride, not being able to get it up for Erica when she was like this. "I can't." he said, foolishly thinking that would be the end of it.

"Then use your fingers." she said, causing his soul to die. He shook his head no. He refused, but still he stepped closer to her. Erica wondered if he wanted to take the gun. Or if he really wanted her to shoot him.

"You've done this before." said Erica "You fucked me when you shouldn't have. Now make me dirty again or I'll put a fucking bullet in your brain and I'll live with that instead."

"Do it." said Kyle. No hesitation. At least with a bullet in his brain he wouldn't have to live with what she wanted him to do.

"Fuck me."

"Shoot me."

Erica was so fucking sick of it. She wanted to punish them both. Without warning, she put the gun under her own chin. She hesitated, just long enough for him to show his true feelings. He rushed forward, so desperate to stop her. The force of his lunge made her fall back onto the bed. The gun, still held tight in her hands, pressed into the bed beside her chin. He wrestled her for it, but she held tight to the gun, barely registering the pain caused by his tight grip on her wrist. It took a lot of force to weaken her grip on the gun. He thought he was going to break a bone in her wrist, but he didn't care, as long as he got the gun away from her.

Something inside her broke as they struggled. He had her pinned, like he'd had her pinned before, but he wouldn't fuck her. He wouldn't help her forget, he wouldn't help her go to hell, and he wouldn't let her kill herself. Something inside broke when she realized he was taking away the only power she had left. She'd truly lost everything.

Suddenly the physical pain was too much. Erica - her eyes filled with hot tears, her heart a black hole in space - she cried out and let her hand go limp.

Hobbes wrenched the firearm from her fingers. He threw the gun, knowing that it could go off and kill either of them by accident if he did so. He threw the gun and it clattered across the floor and didn't do anything useful but disappear. They were both still there, with the inescapable pain.

"Why?" he growled at her. "Why won't you kill me? Why won't you disown me like you did Ryan? I've done worse to you, Erica. So much worse."

Somewhere in between all the words, Erica started crying and it felt like she would never, ever stop.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Hobbes yelled in her face. "Why won't you tell me to go away!"

He just kept asking her why. She stopped listening to the words, but she could hear in the way his voice shook that he cared. He cared. It would have been so much easier to know that he didn't.

Jack cared; he was brainwashed.

Lisa cared; she was imprisoned.

Joshua cared; he was in hiding.

Chad cared. Ryan cared. Joe cared.

And Tyler...

She'd lost them all. Everyone else was gone.

Everyone.

He'd begun to shake her, pressing her against the matress and rocking her violently by the shoulders, up and down. Just fucking say something, you stupid whore! - that was what Erica felt in his embrace. That was the closest thing she had to love anymore.

"You're all I have left." she cried out, struggling, between her crying and Hobbes physical abuse, to find the air for her lungs. It felt good, in a way, having the words shaken out of her. She sobbed afterward, and he let go of her abruptly. She turned onto her side, curling her body up, away from him. She only wanted to get away mentally, but there really was no escape other than the gun he'd taken away from her. Even so, when Hobbes made to get up from the bed, Erica reached for him, turning quickly and clutching the sleeve of his t-shirt awkwardly until he stopped and looked at her. "Please don't leave me." she said. She uttered the words without shame, without any emotion other than desperation. Her fist was so tight around the fabric that her knuckles turned white. The dynamic was changed now that the truth was out. He stared at her, and she repeated the plea.

"Don't leave me."

And he didn't. He couldn't, not when she said it like that. She felt as empty as he did, as empty as he'd felt for years. She had one last string of hope and he held it in his hands and as wrong as it was for him to be the only one left, he had to honor that. As sick as it made him to be the only one caring for her when she deserved and needed so much more, he had to stay and hold her until she stopped crying. So he laid down, and she cried and relaxed in his arms, not because he was a man and she was a woman but because he was a human being that didn't want the fucking aliens to win.

"You're not gonna die by killing yourself." He spoke quietly, telling her the truth as he saw it, no matter what she was feeling or what else had to be done. "You're gonna go out fighting." he said. "We're all gonna go out fighting."

Even if you have to fight with me. He thought, staring at the wall over Erica's head, which he had cradled on his left shoulder.

She breathed in and out, her voice near gone and muffled by the front of his shirt. "Just don't leave." she rasped, fisting her hand around his shirt again.

"Yeah." said Kyle, pulling his arm tight around her shoulders.

'til death do us part.