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Private like a ghost in a hell of my own making

Discussion in 'Residences' started by Gabriel Reyes, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
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    DECEMBER 29TH, YEAR 7
    LATE EVENING || BLACKHAVEN RESIDENCES
    @Lift

    He left before Lift could say anything because he didn’t trust himself when it came to how he’d react. These past few weeks, he’d hovered between hope and despair, understanding and denial, unable to reconcile his conflicting emotions. While he’d reached the conclusion thathe was the one solely responsible for the decisions he’d made that had led him to where he was now, he still clung to the things that had pushed his hand.

    To the soldier enhancement program that had stopped his aging. To Angela refusing to examine him. To Jack laughing off his worries. To Overwatch getting infiltrated by Talon. To Gerald being assassinated. To Ana feigning her death. To agreeing to Moira’s experiments. To Talon being a pawn of some higher power he could barely fathom, even now.

    But none of those things excused all the lives he’d taken, all the thrills he’d felt at spilling blood and draining life. No, that was him. That was all him. He’d liked pretending that it was because he was what he was now, his cells seeking and feeding off of life with or without his say so. But that was just an excuse. He’d proven his worst fears — Lift’s worst fears — true by going after her killer not a half hour ago.

    What was worse, he felt more guilty about hurting Lift than he did at having so much blood on his hands, both innocent and not. It was sick, it was twisted, but it was what it was. He was what he was.

    Eventually, he broke into the same bakery he’d helped Lift break into all those months ago, grabbing a box and shoving several sandwiches, savory and sweet pastries, and jelly-filled donuts into it. For a moment, he wondered whether he ought to just stick to the sandwiches and pastries, not wanting to make Lift think he was bribing her with her favorite snack. Then he decided he was just being fucking ridiculous and snapped the box shut, wraithing out of the bakery without anyone being the wiser that he’d ever been there in the first place.

    When he returned to the apartment, it was to find Lift nowhere in sight but hear the shower running. So he set the box on the table next to the bed, and then... well, he couldn’t very well sit still, so he just took to pacing in the kitchen, hands clasped behind his back.

     
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  2. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    Lift took her clean clothes into the bathroom, leaving Taun curled up on the bed - he'd already fallen asleep after all their travelling, poor pup - and taking Wyndle with her. The spren wound himself along the top of the shower curtain rail while Lift pulled off all her bloodied clothes.

    "What happened, mistress?" he asked, crystalline eyes looking down at her as she looked at the ragged hole the dagger had made in her hoodie and her shirt.

    "Nothing big," she replied with a shrug, dropping the clothes and then looking down at her chest, moving in front of the mirror for a better look. "Someone just tried to kill me is all."

    "Nothing big?" the spren spluttered, letting half of himself hang down from the railing so he could stare at her better. "How is that nothing big? And from what I felt, and all that blood, it was a bit more than tried!"

    Lift grimaced, before squinting in the mirror at her chest. It was hard to see through all the blood, but she couldn't see even a tiny wound. The big hole the dagger had put in her chest was gone, only the blood suggesting she might have ever been hurt in the first place. She was used to seeing her awesomeness fix people like that - storms, once it had done just this for Johnny - but seeing it on her own body was another matter entirely. "S'fine. Woulda been dead but being awesome saved me. Have I ever thanked you for bonding me?" Satisfied with the lack of any injury on her chest, she turned around to look at the spren as he dangled there.

    "Never, actually," he said after a moment's thought. "In fact, you have never particularly shown the slightest bit of gratitude towards me for the powers I provide. I suppose almost dying is enough for that to change?" He sounded a bit amused, which just made Lift scowl at him and change her mind on what she was gonna say.

    "Never said I was gonna say thanks," she pointed out, moving to the shower and turning it on before stepping into the hot water.

    She stayed in the shower for some time, desperate to wash all the blood off. It had got in her hair too, so she spent a while rinsing the long black strands. She just wanted to be clean, with no more sign that she had literally just been storming seconds away from dying. She tried not to think about what woulda happened if she hadn't eaten them pies.

    The sound of Reaper returned went unnoticed, and she only realised summat was different when she heard Taun trumpeting in greeting, and froze in the middle of raising her hands to squeeze out water from her hair after turning off the shower. She was surprised that Reaper had come back, truly expecting that he had just done a runner to avoid having to give her any explanations. Maybe he really was gonna talk to her if he'd actually come back.

    Drying herself off and pulling on her clean clothes, Lift quickly dragged a brush through her hair and then tied it up in a loose bun to stop it from dripping everywhere. Then she left the bathroom, Wyndle at her heels, her eyes briefly stopping on Reaper as he paced the single other room the apartment held. The scene reminded her way too much of all the other countless times she'd come out of the shower, and that made her kinda uncomfortable. She sat on the bed, without a word, and then grabbed the box he had put on the table.

    First thing she noticed was that he had brought her some donuts, which made her feel a mix of fuzzy that he had brought her her favourite food, and annoyed because it was like he was tryna pretend nothing was different. She decided to just ignore both emotions completely, and grab a sandwich instead, shoving it into her mouth. After a moment's hesitation where she was considering saying thanks, she stayed silent instead and waited for him to start talking while she ate. After all, it was him who was gonna need to try and build the bridge he had burned down.


     
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  3. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    489
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    Taun danced around his heels, antennae quivering in much the same way a dog’s tail would wag at the sight of someone familiar. Reaper ignored the axehound, nerves too frazzled over his impending talk with Lift to spare any thoughts for petting the creature. The knot in his stomach was tight, reminding him of the way he used to feel before leading the strike team into omnic-occupied territory, back when the war had been in full swing and Overwatch had been nothing but a pipe dream. Or of infiltrating an enemy base with his numerous Blackwatch agents, hoping against hope that this time, there’d be no fatalities he’d have to put down as workplace accidents in official documents.

    He’d kept secrets for the better part of his life. Blackwatch had been such a well-kept secret that only his superiors and those within the covert ops division itself had known of its existence. When it’d all come out in the open, he’d been treated differently by almost everyone. Colleagues he’d been on friendly terms with had steered clear of him; the press had hounded him, demanding explanations; even his own family had gotten into contact with him, begging for answers. Jack had covered for him as much as he could, but he’d only managed to get so far before the press had turned on him, too.

    Reaper didn’t like thinking back to those days. But in a way, he supposed Blackwatch’s reveal had served as something of the catalyst for what happened next. Gerard’s death years beforehand had been but the calm before the storm. A storm he hadn’t had enough time to shield against before it tore through everything they’d built.

    Lost in his own thoughts as he was, he didn’t immediately realize that Lift had left the washroom and settled on the bed until Taun skittered away to leap onto the bed and curl up next to Lift. Reaper stilled, his eyes eventually trailing over to her. His throat went tight at the expression on her face. Her eyes were hard, her mouth a tight line even as she chewed away at a sandwich.

    But she was alive. That was all that mattered. All that shouldmatter.

    The time had finally come for them to talk, but she wasn't talking. All she did was stare at him, and it made him realize that this was... this wasn’t going to be a conversation. This was all on him. He’d broken whatever the hell it was they shared between them, and now it was on him to fix it. She was to be his judge, jury, and executioner all rolled up into one. Cold dread washed over him.

    Reaper forced himself to approach her, to pull out the chair still tucked against the table and sit on it, facing her. He drew in a breath to steady his nerves, without it really doing much for him. Opening his mouth, he thought of asking her where she wanted him to start, or what it was that had bothered her more: that he killed sinners and saints alike and enjoyed it, or that he’d lied to her about it? Knowing Lift, it was both. And, knowing Lift, she wouldn’t appreciate him stalling. Hell, he wouldn’t have appreciated it in her place, either.

    “If I’d told you I was a killer, you’d have gone straight to Cascade Bay’s authorities about me all those months ago.” It was as good a place to start as any, he supposed. Funny, what with how he’d spent weeks rehearsing what he might have said if given the chance. Now that he actually had the chance, everything he’d thought of saying had fled his mind. All he could be was honest, though a part of him knew that his honesty would come with a price.

    “If you’d gone to them, I probably would’ve killed you,” he admitted, crossing his arms. He eyed her, silently trying to gauge her reaction to such news before he said anything else.

     
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  4. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    Lift waited in silence, occupying herself with eating both because she was starving after all that healing and because she wanted summat to do with herself while she waited for Reaper to start talking. She couldn't have just sat there doing nothing, not with the weight of everything that needed to be sorted out between 'em.

    Could it all even be sorted out? Was there any way past this? She wasn't sure. She'd forgiven Darkness, hadn't she? And Darkness - Nale - had not only killed lots and lots of people, but had tried to kill her too, several storming times.

    Difference was, Nale had never enjoyed what he did. He'd never had any feeling about it at all; way he'd seen it, he'd just been dispensing justice. Reaper... Reaper wasn't like that at all, apparently. She'd thought he was, that he and Nale were kinda similar, but turned out not to be the case at all. She'd forgiven Darkness, but she didn't know if she could forgive Reaper.

    She watched him as he pulled a chair over and sat down, her expression uncharacteristically hard. There wasn't none of her normal humour or lightness, not now - only a stern expectation. She'd basically storming died coming to find him, so he storming owed her a big fat explanation. If he decided not to give one, or he was anything less than honest, she'd know she never really meant nothing to him at all.

    His first words didn't really bring much of a reaction to her. It was what he said after that made her eyes widen. He'd have killed her if she'd gone to the authorities? She tried to remember that that had been a Reaper who hadn't known her, who hadn't saved her life, and taken her to safety, and trained her. Who hadn't sat with her and laughed when he sounded like he never laughed with no one else. Just 'cause he admitted he'd've killed her once didn't mean it was summat he'd consider now. Right?

    "Blessed Mother. At least he's being candid..." she heard Wyndle mutter sourly from where he had wound around the bedposts near her. She ignored him, thinking it best she gave Reaper no indication that the spren was there and listening. She just stared at Reaper, not really sure how to take the admission that he would once have killed her if she'd known what he was and tried to turn him in.

    "Well," she said, still looking directly at him. "Guess you just saw how well that would've gone down if you'd tried." There was a cutting sarcasm to her voice. If the man had tried to kill her, turned out she would've been pretty storming hard to get rid of. One thing was for sure, if he'd tried, she would definitely have gone to the authorities. But without that provocation? She didn't know.

    Lift took a breath, chewing her lip. "If ya didn't know I'd just heal, would ya try and kill me if I went to turn you in now?"


     
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  5. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    489
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    Shock filled Lift’s eyes, which came as no real surprise. It wasn’t every day someone told you to your face that they might have killed you, once. Back then, the only thing that had stayed his hand was that Lift was a child. Despite how much of a thrill he got from spilling blood, there was something monstrous in killing a child who’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Children had always been something of a weak spot for him, if he had to be honest with himself. He’d stumbled on far too many orphans in his life, both during and after the Omnic Crisis. Anything that could be done for them, he’d pushed for. Taking Jesse under his wing all those years ago had made tongues wag, but anyone who’d known him as more than Commander Reyes — such as the few he kept in his inner circle, like the original strike team — hadn’t been surprised. Hell, they’d half-expected it.

    History repeated itself, after all.

    Lift’s sarcasm made him smile behind his mask. It was probably a good thing she couldn’t see his face. He didn’t think she’d take kindly to him smiling, even if the expression was grim. But as she went on, the smile evaporated.

    “Now?” he repeated, genuinely puzzled. “Of course not.” He was well aware of how quickly he said those words, and he worried whether she might think he wasn’t being genuine. “Look, I—” He huffed, hands gripping his upper arms. Wondering how to put this into words without sounding like a fucking sap. “I actually give a shit about you. I wouldn’t kill you, no matter how much you've pissed me off.” He didn’t know if that would be enough to convince her, or whether she’d just think he was talking out of his ass.

    Reaper dropped his hands, bracing them just above his knees and leaning forwards. “Just because I’m not choosy about who lives or dies doesn’t mean I go on senseless murder sprees. I’m not some half-assed serial killer.” It was fucking weird talking about this. Hell, talking about killing on a whole. He didn’t even talk about these sort of things with Amelie, at least not so candidly. “If I kill, it’s usually for a good reason. Like getting paid, or keeping someone quiet, or scaring people into behaving. And I kill people to eat, so there’s that too.”

    Shit, maybe he should have saved that particular tidbit for later. Or not ever.

     
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  6. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    He actually sounded surprised by her question. She didn't really know why - seemed a pretty logical thing to ask, really, given everything she'd learned about him being a murderer who liked it, a liar and that he would've killed her if he'd had to shut her up. Why wouldn't she ask if murdering her was still an option for him? Wasn't like he could guarantee that she wouldn't run to the City Watch and toss him right into hot water. Could she be blamed for wondering if he'd try and stop her if she did?

    She hated thinking it though. Made her wonder just how well she knew him. Or if she knew him at all. How much of the months they'd spent together had been lies?

    Then he started making justifications for why he killed people, and she couldn't really help but start laughing - a bitter noise that she didn't normally make. These were his excuses? "None of those are good reasons to storming murder people," she snapped when she'd stopped laughing. None of 'em was things she'd ever thought he'd kill people over. She'd thought that under his gruff, rude exterior, he was a decent guy who only ever killed people when they went for him first. She couldn't really fault self-defence, but these excuses? Storming right she could fault them! "Not a single one--"

    Then she stopped, his closing words finally registering and sliding into place in her mind like the lock on a door. She gaped at him, uncertain about whether he was pulling her leg. He musta been. That or she had heard wrong. "Did you just say eat people?"


     
    #6 Lift Reyes, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  7. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    489
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    Well, fuck. He almost wished she’d kept on laughing hysterically, or telling him off about his excuses. But no, she just had to hone in on his offhand comment about killing to eat, which meant he actually had to explain it now. How the hell could he explain that? Shit, where the hell would he even start?

    Reaper huffed, the sound harsher than it would have normally been because of his mask’s voice modulator. He had the sudden urge to run his hands over his face, but he balled them into fists instead, flexing and unflexing his fingers. Fuck, he’d never felt so uncomfortable talking about this. With Moira, it had always been... clinical, detached. Just a patient-slash-guinea pig talking to their mad scientist of a physician. But this? This felt horribly personal.

    “You know how I told you I can’t eat food anymore?” He shrugged, waving a hand at nothing in particular, but the gesture was half-hearted. “That’s ‘cause my body feeds off of — I guess you could say the lifeforce — of people now, or something like that. Probably ‘cause my body keeps breaking itself apart and putting itself back together all the fucking time. So I drain people, they become lifeless husks, and I’m good to go for however the hell long it takes for me to need to drain more people. Anywhere between a few days to a week.”

    He figured that was enough of a bombshell to drop into her lap for the time being and fell silent, giving her a few moments to digest everything. Because she was no doubt going to realize that, even though they’d spent weeks in each other’s company, they hadn’t spent every waking hour together. Sometimes, Reaper had sneaked off to drain people. Some of them had been targets he’d been tasked to dispose of. Others had been homeless wrecks that no one would miss.

    “And before you ask me any bullshit like whether I tried not to drain people, or kill people, or whatever the hell else you’re thinking about,” he said then, voice rough with sudden anger, “I’m going to stop you right there and remind you that I can’t die, and that includes starving myself. Believe me, I tried.”

    His huff was more like a growl than an exhale, but he laid back in the chair with his fingers flexing and unflexing atop his knees, leather gloves creaking. “My body just reaches out for the nearest energy source whether I fucking want it to or not,” he finished, voice quieter than before. More subdued, more... solemn.

     
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  8. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    Lift stayed silent, giving him the chance to explain about what the storms he had meant. She'd hoped she'd misheard, that maybe he'd laugh at her for her misunderstanding, but apparently not. He really had said he killed people to eat 'em, and just the idea made her feel nauseous. But as with pretty much storming everything about him, it wasn't exactly what it sounded like neither.

    She didn't say anything until he'd finished, though there was a definite expression of aversion on her face, her nose wrinkling. She couldn't help it. It woulda been pretty storming difficult to listen to someone say they ate people's lifeforces without any kind of grossed out expression. She changed what she'd been thinking of asking when he spoke with an angry voice, pointing out that trying not to eat people was starving himself and that starving himself counted as dying, which obviously his body didn't allow.

    When he admitted that his body just reached out towards the nearest source of life when he got too hungry, like a little street kid reaching out for pancakes after days of not eating a thing, Lift blinked, shifting uncomfortably where she sat on the bed. "That's messed up," she muttered, shaking her head. But how much of it was his fault, really? She knew about how he'd become what he'd become. He'd died, and been made this way. Could he be faulted for surviving the only way he could?

    Storms, why'd there have to be moral uncertainty about this stuff? It'd be so much easier if she could just hate him and be storming done with it.

    "Even if ya can't help but... but feed," she said, stumbling a bit on the word. "Can't you just... feed a bit and let 'em go? Might mean ya need to go for twice as many people than if ya took it all, but at least they wouldn't die."


     
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  9. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    489
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    It was hard for Reaper not to think back to those early days, after all of Moira’s tests were said and done. Before the explosion -- before he’d died -- he hadn’t needed to feed on the lifeforce of others. It had only happened after he’d been brought back -- after his transformation was complete -- and he hadn’t even really understood what he’d done at the time, the first time it had ever happened. All he remembered was the pain lessening and his strength returning... and the guard who’d come in to bring him a meal dropping dead at his feet, face puckered like a prune’s and mouth frozen in a silent scream. Not the best way to find out that ordinary food no longer cut it, really.

    But Lift was staring at him like she was seeing him for the first time. There was an expression of such revulsion on her face that he dropped his gaze and folded his arms across his chest, almost defensively. She hadn’t batted an eye when she’d seen his ruined flesh for the first time. She hadn’t even flinched at how cold and clammy and dead his skin felt, back when they’d sparred together. Back then, he’d been moved by her lack of judgment. She’d been the only one apart from Amelie who hadn’t been bothered by the state of him.

    Now, though? Now her disgust was like a shroud, wrapping around him so tightly that it felt as if he was being smothered. It only served to hit home what he’d always known and just hadn’t wanted to think about: that he was as much of a monster as his half-dead appearance suggested. Poetic justice, some would call it. Hell, they wouldn’t be that far off the mark with a comparison like that. His sins were made manifest on his own flesh, and it was his own fucking fault he was the way he was. He knew that now.

    If Reaper had to be honest with himself, it hadn’t ever really occurred to him to just partially drain people. Not when he was starving, and not even when he was just replenishing his strength one random person at a time. He didn’t know if he could describe the euphoria he experienced at draining life, or how fucking hard it was to cut off his feeding once he’d begun, so he didn’t try to. The few times he’d only drained a sliver of life had been to threaten, to drive home just how much power he had over assholes who mouthed off too much. And not long afterwards, he’d wound up draining people anyway to get rid of the itchy, unsatisfied feeling that partially draining someone had left him with.

    He knew what it sounded like, even without voicing it. So he just lifted his shoulders in a small shrug, arms still crossed over his chest as they were. “Maybe,” he finally admitted, voice quiet. “But it wouldn’t change the fact that I kill. Or that I like killing.”

     
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  10. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    She did try not to have a look of disgust on her face, but she really couldn't help it. While she'd always been completely fine with everything else about him - like his weird freaky wrecked flesh and his smoky stuff - because that had just been dealing with him, this was summat that involved other people. And, admittedly she didn't really know what he meant by draining lifeforce so her mind had fixed the closest image to what she could think of to the phrase - which was basically just him sitting there eating someone's arm.

    The whole thing about him not being able to help it 'cause it was just what happened with what he'd been turned into confused her. She didn't know if she should be angry at him for killing people to feed. What was the difference between that and an axehound killing a rat? It was puzzling and she didn't really know what to think about it.

    Thankfully - or.... not really - he gave her something else to focus on when he reminded her of what Johnny's demon buddy had told her. That he liked killing. She flinched a little at how bluntly he said it, because it was just so wrong coming from him. She'd thought it was just summat he did when he had to, that he was like Darkness and he didn't feel anything particularly one way or the other about it. Finding out that he was more like the kinds of people Nale would've killed in the name of justice than he was like Nale himself, well... It hurt.

    "Why?" she asked, her voice a bit harsher than she'd intended. Harsher than her voice ever sounded, really. She didn't often get angry about anything. She tried not to storming care enough to get angry. "Tell me why you like killing people."

    She needed to know, because she didn't understand. She had killed a man, once, months ago. She'd stuck her Shardblade right into someone's chest, the blade catching the spine. The man had died, and even though he'd been close to killing her himself, Lift had hated herself for it. The thought that she had become a killer herself had made her feel sick for days. Weeks. She could not understand how anyone could like it.

    Least of all someone she cared about as much as she did Reaper.


     
    #10 Lift Reyes, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  11. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    489
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    It was obvious to him that, while Lift didn’t really understand how he drained people -- not that he’d expected her to; hell, half the time he didn’t understand it himself -- she hated learning about such things about him. Whatever illusion of him she’d shaped in her mind -- in no small part fueled by his secrets and lies -- had shattered weeks ago. No matter how she tried to put the pieces back together, demanding to know the truth, they wouldn’t fit. They wouldn’t fit because they weren’t the same.

    Because he wasn’t the man she’d thought he was.

    Reaper’s arms were still crossed over his chest, but ribbons of smoke started to seep free from his mask. He struggled to suppress it, but his efforts just made the smoke thicker, darker. Because he didn’t know how to answer her. He didn’t know what reason to give her for enjoying killing, beyond the obvious. And just thinking about the obvious answer, which normally made so much sense to him... it felt like such a weak and pathetic excuse, now that Lift was sitting across from him. An excuse she’d scoff at, and she’d be right to do so.

    But this was a moment of truth, wasn’t it? None of this was about how desperate he was for her to heal him, not anymore. If that was all he cared about, he’d have locked her up somewhere and forced her to try healing him until it worked ages ago. No, this was about... this was about Lift. About fixing things between them, maybe.

    Now that almost made him scoff. It was already over between them, he knew that. This was just the icing on the cake. What the hell was the point in keeping up this charade? What the hell was he even doing here? Smoke billowed around him charcoal black, rising into the air. He should just get the hell up and leave, just--

    Just fucking tell her already, that voice snapped at him, and stop feeling fucking sorry for yourself. It was his voice. His old voice. It made him suck in a deep breath, claw-tipped fingers gripping his arms so hard, it was a wonder they hadn’t punctured the leather yet. And, of course, the smoke around him was as dark as a stormcloud now, thick like... hell if he knew what to call it.

    “Because it makes me feel better about myself,” he finally admitted, voice a low growl. “Because I didn’t ask to be brought back. I didn’t ask to become this half-dead, half-alive thing. I gave Overwatch thirty fucking years of my life,” he went on, voice rising, “and the UN just threw me to the fucking dogs. They made me into a fucking scapegoat when it's their fault I'm this fucking thing in the fucking first place!”

    He suddenly realized he was leaning forwards, hands gripping the edge of the bed and practically in Lift’s personal space, the darkness a haze around him. Shamed, he settled back down and dropped his gaze, refolding his arms across his chest. He didn’t want to see the look on Lift’s face after losing his composure like that; he wasn’t sure whether he’d find revulsion there, or pity, or worse... nothing at all.

     
    #11 Gabriel Reyes, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  12. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

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    702
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    Female
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    Thief / Knight Radiant
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    Lift's eyes stayed on him, practically burning into the two holes of his mask as she waited for his answer. She didn't look away despite the thick black smoke that rose and rippled around him, almost blurring his outline. The sight of him like this was probably enough to send many people running, but Lift just leaned forward where she sat, refusing to look away until he'd given her the answer she wanted. She didn't care about his smoke, or what he looked like. She never had.

    He didn't answer for a long while, just sitting there in the middle of all his smoke as though sulking, but eventually, he spoke, his voice a growl. She listened to him, a frown touching her face when he admitted that he killed because it made him feel better about himself. Then he started reeling off excuses. She didn't understand half of what he said. She didn't know what Overwatch was, or what the UN was, and she didn't know what a scapegoat was neither.

    Thinking back a few months back, she remembered when he'd started letting her in more than he normally did. When she'd seen him in all that pain and had stuck by his side. He'd told her about how he'd died and that had been how he'd become what he was now. Remembering that, she could put a couple of pieces into place. Whatever or whoever Overwatch was, they must have had something to do with the explosion that had killed him and left him to become this.

    Her heart went out to him. It did. How could it not, after what he'd been through? She'd known he was someone who needed someone to care about him for a long time; it had been why she'd stuck with him even though she didn't have to and had been more comfortable on her own. She'd stuck with him so he knew that there were people who'd be there for him, who cared for him in a world that had passed him by.

    But it was still no excuse. Although he leaned so far forward he was practically in her storming face, she still didn't look away. Although finding out how he... drained... people had creeped her out more than she'd like to admit, it didn't feel like it changed things in the long run. Not the way that him enjoying murder did. "That sucks," she said, and she meant it. She wasn't mocking him. "But just 'cause you went through some crem don't mean you can kill anyone you storming want. It don't give you the right to punish the rest of the world for what happened to you."


     
    #12 Lift Reyes, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  13. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

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    Lift took it all in stride, barely even flinching. She was tough as nails, he’d give her that. Hell, it was probably one of the reasons he’d let her stick around so long. But right then and then, he didn’t want her frankness. He didn’t want her to stare at him like that, eyes filled with accusation. He didn’t want to hear her tell him how wrong he was when he already knew he was in the wrong.

    “It didn’t start like that,” he snapped, feeling the uncontrollable urge to start pacing. But he sat there instead, arms crossed tightly over his chest as shadows writhed around him.

    No, it hadn’t started like that at all. Killing had just been a part of the job, not something he’d ever really singled out as anything but a necessary evil. What he’d enjoyed was the thrill of the fight, of fighting tooth and claw for those who couldn’t fend for themselves. And then, when all had been said and done at the end of the day, what had filled his lungs was the sheer relief of making it out alive. It had once tasted like something sweet on his tongue, like sunlight soaking through his skin and making a home for itself in his bones. Whatever enjoyment, whatever thrill, he found in killing nowadays was but a ghost of that emotion. Something he struggled to recapture, but was always impossibly out of reach.

    “It didn’t start like that,” he repeated, voice steadier despite not feeling any calmer. “Back home, I had a goal. A purpose. I swore I’d track down those responsible for ruining everything I built--” He cut himself off, scowling behind his mask. “Everything Morrison and I built,” he amended after a brief pause, ruined lips pressing tightly together. “I joined those bastards, started climbing up the ranks. But I never got to finish my work because...”

    Because he’d died. Because he’d been angry, and hurt, and betrayed, and a host of other things. Because he’d unraveled more than he’d bargained for. Because he couldn’t die anymore. Because he’d reached a point he’d just stopped giving any fucks. Because he’d surrendered to his baser instincts. Because he hadn’t just worn the mask, he’d become it.

    “It doesn’t matter,” he growled, hands balling into fists. Pandora dragged me here, trapped me. None of that matters anymore.” He sometimes wondered if it ever really mattered. But no, he knew it did. It got harder and harder to remind himself as time wore on, but it did. “I kill to feed, I kill because I like it, and that’s all there is to it.”

     
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  14. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
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    Female
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    Human - Surgebinder
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    Chaotic Good
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    She silently watched him once she'd finished speaking, listening as he explained that it hadn't been like that, once. Maybe once he'd been a good man. She could believe it. She could believe that there was a good man underneath that mask who had lost his way, and despite herself she just wanted to take his hand and help him find it again. But did he want her help? She'd always stuck with him to help him, but why had he stuck with her? Had the only reason he'd stayed with her been to keep her close so she would one day heal him?

    Underneath the lies, did he actually care for her at all?

    It was about time to storming well find out. She bit her bottom lip uncertainly for a moment when he so bluntly told her that he killed to feed and because he liked it and that was all there was to it, but after a second, that uncertainty hardened again.

    "Maybe that was all there was to it once," she said quietly. "But not any more, not for the past few months." Not since they had started to get closer, not since he had saved her life from the men who had taken her. Not since he'd come for her without even needing her spren to persuade him.

    Unable to sit still any longer, needing to just move, she suddenly hopped off the bed, getting to her feet and moving around in no particular direction or pattern. "Now you gotta figure out where I fit in with all your killing.

    "I dunno really what there is here," she said, turning on the spot to face him. She pointed at herself in the chest, right where she'd nearly died from the dagger going in an hour or so earlier, and then at him, then at herself again. "But I know that I missed you. Like a storming idiot, I missed you, even though you've been lying to me, and that's why I came back."

    She looked away, her arms wrapping around themselves as though she were hugging herself. "Maybe I'm just nothing but a dumb, stupid kid who's always cared for you more'n you do for me. I dunno." She let out a sharp sigh and shook her head, still-wet black hair swinging from side to side, droplets of water dripping down to the floor like tears. "What's more important? Your power trips... or me? You can't have both in your life." She shifted her gaze to him, wishing she could see his face. She didn't even know how she'd managed to get in this situation, caring so much about a bloke whose face she didn't even know. Maybe she really was just stupid.


     
    #14 Lift Reyes, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  15. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
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    Mercenary
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    50s
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    Chaotic Neutral
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    Reaper’s eyes narrowed when Lift rose to her feet, talking about where she fit in with his killing. He forced himself to stay seated, even as she prowled around him like a restless cat. It unsettled him when she vanished from his periphery every so often, but he kept as still as he dared while his gaze followed her, wondering just what the hell she was getting at. Admitting that she’d missed him, that she’d actually come back for him.

    Fuck, he couldn’t know that, not when he’d thought that Lift hadn’t wanted to have anything to do with him anymore. He unfolded his arms, hands gripping the edge of his seat. Even thinking there was a chance to fix this made hope sputter in his chest, feeble and weak. He could fit her into his life, couldn’t he? If she could see past his bloodlust, if she could still stomach the sight of him and was willing to accept that it was a part of the package, it could work... right?

    “No,” he snapped as soon as she assumed that she cared more for him than he did for her. He even rose to his feet, smoke still unfurling around him as it was. “No, I care. I wouldn’t be here, having this goddamn conversation with you, if I didn’t care.” Not that it had been much of a conversation to begin with, not when he’d pretty much been on trial, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was convincing Lift of otherwise. Though after everything they’d been through together, he could hardly believe that she still doubted his intentions.

    But then the rest of her words sunk in, making his hands ball into fists by his sides. “Are you kidding me? Are you making me choose between you and killing? Really?” He almost scoffed with laughter, but held his tongue. Instead... instead, he closed the distance between them, squatting before her. Mostly so that he could get a better look at her, what with all the smoke still writhing around him that he could barely contain and had stopped trying to.

    “I hid the truth from you and that cost me. It cost us. It cost us whatever the hell it is we share. And I don't--” He paused, gathering himself. A few heartbeats passed before he spoke again, voice low. “I don't want to lose it again. I don't want to lose you again. So if not killing anymore is what it takes?” His bone-white mask turned towards her, his eyes meeting hers. “I'll do it. I'll stop.”

     
    #15 Gabriel Reyes, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
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  16. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
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    Female
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    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
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    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    Lift almost laughed when he surged to his feet, sounding offended at the suggestion that he didn't care about her as much as she did for him. It was just funny to her that that would offend him, when it was a totally reasonable thing for her to wonder. If he'd really cared about her, after all, why would he have lied to her for so long?

    She gritted her teeth and jutted her jaw stubbornly at his incredulity at her ultimatum. 'Cause it was an ultimatum. It was a one or the other deal. If he picked the wrong option, she'd turn around and walk out and never come back ever again. It might have sounded ridiculous to Reaper, but it was really more than he deserved. What he deserved was for her to leave and never come back even without an ultimatum.

    But Damnation take her, she was too storming soft for that.

    Lift just stood there in the one spot when he approached her, squatting to put himself at a level with her. His masked face was close enough that she could see the red glint of his eyes in the holes where there was normally just darkness hiding it. She held that gaze, resolute and stubborn, though hurt still shone in her own eyes. With breath she didn't even realise she held, she waited for his answer.

    When he admitted that he didn't want to lose her again, that he would stop killing in order to stop that happening, she felt her bottom lip tremble with a sudden surge of almost overwhelming emotion that pushed her close to the edge of crying like a stupid dumb baby. She shoved all them feelings down, blinking away the prickling at the corner of her eyes, as she stared at him in silence for a while, her gaze searching every little bit of the red glint of his eyes that she could see, the closest thing to searching his expression that she could get.

    "That includes... feeding on people, you know," she said, stumbling a little on the words. Just the phrase made a shiver run down her back. "You gotta try and do it without killing 'em." If he tried and it honestly didn't work, well... Well, that was too early a bridge to cross. Only reason he didn't know if he could do it without killing was that he'd never bothered to try. Well now he was gonna have to.


     
    #16 Lift Reyes, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  17. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

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    Male
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    Mercenary
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    Reaper had lost his way, he knew that. It hadn’t been about killing at all, at least not at first. He’d wanted to keep people safe, wanted to stop Talon from ever hurting anyone again. Only, somewhere along the way... somewhere along the way, he’d started to enjoy killing. Not because he’d enjoyed spilling blood, but because... because it’d felt so goddamn satisfying to kill bastards who deserved it, who’d have otherwise wormed their way out of punishment. It’d felt good -- no, right -- to give them their just deserts, to stop them from ever hurting people again.

    Of course, everything had fallen apart not long after Gerard’s death. After Ana’s death, for all that she’d actually been alive all this time. He’d done too little too late, and then died in that explosion. The sight of Jack limping away without even looking at him, without even trying to help him, had been seared into his brain. He’d died, and whatever the hell Moira had done to him had brought him back as a half-dead, half-alive thing.

    It had all left him defeated, broken. He’d wanted to die, had even tried killing himself more times than he could remember. Because without Overwatch, without Jack and Ana and Gerard and Jesse, without everyone who’d kept him going, there’d been no point anymore. But Moira had made him, for all intents and purposes, immortal. Death had no longer been in the cards for him.

    Months had passed before he got back on track, before he’d managed to will himself to pick up where he’d left off, working his way up Talon’s ranks to bring them down once and for all. His original goal had changed, but only slightly. He’d decided to settle for bringing Talon down by any means necessary, and if that had meant throwing away everything he’d once believed in, well... so much the better. Making them believe he hated Overwatch for abandoning him to his fate had been easy, because it’d been partly true. He’d come to enjoy killing because it’d been one of the only things that made him feel alive anymore, and he’d been angry. So angry, so hurt.

    But now that he was in Pandora, and Talon was nothing but a name with no power here, all he’d managed to hurt was himself and the people who still gave a damn about him. People like Lift, like Amelie, like Jesse. Hell, even people like Angela and Genji. He didn’t know what the hell Jack thought about him anymore, but he knew it wasn’t anything good when Jack was determined to kill him. He’d sacrificed everything, become the kind of man his past self would’ve wanted nothing more than to put down.

    It was too late to change.

    But he wanted to try. If only because Lift was standing right here, willing to give him a chance, even though he’d hurt her. Even though he’d done such terrible, horrible things. She was willing to look past it all, so long as he stopped killing. Staring into her eyes, in how they grew moist but she bravely refused to cry, swallowing them all as she held his gaze... he thought that, maybe, he could.

    “I’ll try,” he said, throat tight with emotion. “I’ve never partially drained people before, but I’ll try. I’ll do whatever it takes.” He didn’t want to fail Lift again, didn’t want to fall back into the downward spiral that had taken control of his life over the past several years. Over the last few weeks, he’d lost his appetite for killing anyway. He could do this, he could be something more than a vengeful wraith... couldn’t he?

     
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  18. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    702
    Gender:
    Female
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    Thief / Knight Radiant
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    Human - Surgebinder
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    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    Lift tried not to think about whether or not she was just being naive and stupid to give him this chance, to think that he might be able to change at this point. Maybe after this long he'd just be incapable of changing at all and she should just be going to the authorities, turning him in. What if she was just... enabling him by not turning him in?

    But she just couldn't do that. She didn't want to. And... her oaths. Storms only knew they confused her and she didn't really know how she was meanta live by 'em at the best of times, but wasn't she s'posed to listen to people, and be there for 'em? Not turn her backs on them.

    Rubbing her upper arm with her other hand, she nodded slowly when he admitted he'd never even tried to drain someone without going all the way and killing them. He'd try, he said. She wished she could properly believe the words, but she wasn't sure she could. Would she be a bad person if she followed him around in secret some nights, just to... just to see if he was sticking to his word? Wasn't like he'd given her much reason to believe him, was it?

    "Good," she said. "If ya try hard enough you can do it easy." If I mean so much to you as you say. She looked off to the side, chewing the inside of her cheek, her brow wrinkling slightly with a tiny frown before she turned her gaze back on him again, clenching her jaw so she could force out the words she wanted - needed - to say. He needed to know where he stood. Where they stood. "But I mean it, Reaper. You gotta stop. If you keep on killing then I ain't giving you another chance. I'll walk out that door and I won't come back."