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06 July 2007 @ 05:38 pm
Aftermath - Mockingbird  
The light stung her bloodshot eyes, sharp as knives and twice as bright as they had the right to be. Brighter, even. The sharp smell of cinnamon and sandalwood permeated the air, thick on the steam that lingered in the air long after she’d attempted to scrub the skin off of herself in the shower. Hands braced on either side of the lined and aged porcelain of the bathroom sink, scalded red skin a stark contrast to the ivory, Barbara Morse stares unseeingly at her reflection, as if expecting someone else to look out of the mirror.

She’d have started coffee before, to ensure he didn’t resurface, to stave off the moment she had to close her eyes. . . if she had any coffee in the apartment.

She’d found the one thing Orange Juice didn’t cure.

Her hands don’t shake as she opens the bathroom door again, padding past the alarm clock. Her savior, perhaps, but it had died violently shortly after. At first the blaring sound of the morning radio had been the most welcome sound in the world. And then the news had begun, tawdry stories from Europe, picked up by the US radio news now—she had no problems with telepaths, in her organization her mind had been delved more than once. . . to assure her loyalties, to debrief her, as an instant psychological profile, as a buffer from knowing more than she should. She knew it had been. Her mind had never been completely her domain, it like all of her was ruled by SHIELD.

Nevertheless a phrase hit too close to home. The clock hadn’t seen the boot knife coming, hadn’t flinched away as it was slammed through its smirking, glowing red face. It continued to whine piteously around the blade after her shower as she stood before it looking through her drawers, as if the uncharacteristic display of rage had never happened.

Blue jeans, beaten, worn and simply familiar. The black sweater was out of season, but the sleeves were overlong, a bit too baggy for her frame, and slid down without a trace of the weapons beneath. The polished leather of the forearm bracers, burnished metal of her staves snapped into the quick-release disappeared under soft wool. Butterfly sword. Gun. Communicator—spins the dial of the iPod to crank the volume up high, ignoring the music except as negative stimulation. The boot knife is last, eased out of the clock and eyed against her sleeve for damage, before it’s slid into place as well.

Focus and discipline. Long before Stick had begun working with her, refining it for what in her current state seemed like the distant possibility of The Chaste, she’d had the concept drilled into her mind. As a field agent, she’d been in several difficult situations. They trained for them as well, and it had held true. She’d held, never let herself break, and she wasn’t going to now. Even if she was brittle around the edges.

Dispassionate, ruthless execution of her orders, of the task at hand, wasn’t going to do it now, though. She was going to fucking kill the son of a bitch bastard, again. What remained of him, lingering in her psyche and waiting for her to let her guard down.

And after she’d slaughtered him, she’d go back to spit on his grave.

Snatching her sunglasses and keys from the top of her stereo, Mockingbird activates the alarms on her door, and slips out into the day. She was no one’s victim. And even if she added more weight to her damaged soul by slicing his to ribbons. . .

There were some things worth risking an eternity in hell for. And she’d spend that eternity killing him again, if she had to.

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Emily: Mockingbirdemilyseal on July 9th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
Sleepless - Aftermath pt 2
She was meditating, if you could call it that. There was no relaxation to it, nothing but thrumming energy, muscles knotted, as she did her best to quell the riot in her head, perched as close to the edge of the roof as she could get without sitting on thin air. She knew her body at least she could control, but it was a failsafe of sorts. She wasn’t ready yet to fall asleep.

If she began to nod off, she’d feel herself begin to fall. And of all her instincts, it was the one that screamed “Survive” that had never failed her.

She trusted that one to see her through the next encounter with Slade, in her mind. She might win the fight, but in this state she’d lose her soul in the process, for good. She’d damn herself the second she shed the damnation he was dragging her along for. She’d accepted it was their dreams, now, their soul. What she couldn’t force, though, was going into the fight not hating him with every fiber of her being for what he’d done to her.

We could have enjoyed ourselves. One of us still will.

It was the one phrase she couldn’t let slip away as she systematically forced her mind to clear. The one hitch that continually brought her tenuous mental balancing act tumbling back down. The one thing she still had to let go.

She could tune out the ache, the bruise that had spread across her shoulders, the swollen goosegg just past her hairline, the crescent-moon gashes in her palms that had filled with blood as she drove her fingernails into her palms hours earlier when she’d almost drifted off. She could shut out the tinny sound of traffic below, the feel of her hair stinging her cheeks in the wind. Everything but that.

She’d been training since the moment she’d learned how to walk, picking up every skill she could to train her body. She’d been mentally prepped long before they’d put her out to kill for them. She’d learned to be dispassionate. To detach. She’d learned to put aside any damage to her body, any violation, to finish a job cleanly. And one act brought that rigid control crashing down.

It was ridiculous, and even she knew it. But she could still feel the stain that was Slade, waiting for a chance to violate her soul again. And it made her willing to do anything to hurt him. And she knew the danger of that kind of thinking. It could drive her to using her connections, carefully forged, strategically placed, to douse both of them in hellfire just because she knew he’d feel it even worse.

Or more simply, to lean forward the half inch it would take to put her into the sky, knowing that in the end they’d both be off to hell.

And that kind of defeat wasn’t acceptable.

So she’d torture herself with lack of sleep until she was ready.