She stood straight, before throwing the knife at Albert’s cold body. “This ends here,” she growled, blood covering her from head to toe. Some of it was hers, from the mark on her back where he had tore into her; but most of it his. His body jerked slightly as the knife plunged into him, his nervous system still slightly awake.
He wiped his hands on his jeans, before rubbing his fingers across his forehead, regaining control of his temper. Letting out a sigh, he bent and lifted Albert's body over his shoulder, "I'm beginning to notice a pattern, here," he muttered, glancing at Melissa and motioning in the direction of the park.
His eyes glazed over and she absently followed him, her breathing still heavy. "Mmm," she hummed, her eyes fixed on Albert's body.
"I'm sorry it had to turn out this way," he murmured
"It's done now, so shut it," she growled.
He nodded, keeping his eyes fixed on what was ahead of him.
When they reached the park, she stood, drawing the blade from Albert's body once more, holding it firmly in her hand, defensively. Her eyes were cold, her normally warm green eyes frozen. She steadied her breathing and stared blankly into the forest's darkness.
He dropped the body to the floor, silent as they waited for the alpha. Kito arrived a minute later, looking from Albert's torn figure on the ground at their feet, to their faces, both of them bloodied.
"What is the meaning of this?" he asked in a dangerous tone.
"He attacked me," Lazarus shrugged
"It was justice," she snarled icily, but inside her heart was twisting and her mind was churning.
Kito was silent, unimpressed by their answers, but Lazarus continued to explain. "The silver knife was his. He was intent on using it in much the way I used it on him," he said, his voice calmly contrasting Melissa's, "or worse, knowing him. Either way, you're back down to one beta wolf - I suggest you deal with it." He turned and motioned for Melissa to follow as he moved away.
Kito grunted, crouching beside Albert's body, pulling his eyelids down over the dulled green eyes. Melissa stood frozen, looking over Albert's body. Kito mumbled a few words in his native tongue as Lazarus paused turning to look at her.
She swallowed hard, before throwing the knife to the floor, making it land expertly beside Albert's head, a lock of his golden hair slightly severed by the blade. "I can't do this," she looked at his body still, her eyes still frozen, tears placing tracks down her cheeks as she fell to her knees, "Save me." She rested her head on Albert's cold chest, "Save me, please."
Lazarus moved back, crouching beside her, brushing a lock of hair away from her face. "He was going to break your neck," he whispered, "this was the only way it could have ended. I'm sorry."
Her hands gripped at Albert's clothes, "Save me, please,” she repeated, ignoring Lazarus’ touch.
He looked exasperatedly at Kito, who had sat back, waiting for them to finish so he could deal with the body. "Melissa, my love," he started hesitantly, "he can't save you."
"Stay away from me!" She shouted, "Stay away! He can... he will!"
"He's dead, Melissa," Kito said bluntly, "properly this time. It's harsh, I know, but the end comes for us all, eventually."
She picked up the knife again, robotically rising to her feet, "and the cold words finally come, from someone colder still. Like you cared! You just can't wait to dispose of the evidence of your race," she pointed the knife at him accusingly; "you only care because now you won't have him to pick up after you, dog!"
"He never picked up after me, Melissa, I picked up after him," he said, rising too. Lazarus put his hand around her, gently trying to pry the knife from her grip.
"Put the knife down, my love," he whispered.
"Get off me!" She snarled, the tip gently slicing his skin, "don't make me dig it deeper." She warned before turning back to Kito, the knife still at Lazarus’ skin, "You're a weak mongrel, just go back to whatever the hell it is you fools do!"
"Of course not," he rolled his eyes, but decided it might be best not to tell her just how thoroughly he understood the meaning of the word.
"Four hundred years..." She muttered, taking a quick glance to Albert's body before back to Kito, "Oh go fuck your bitch, mutt.”
He opened his mouth to retaliate, but Lazarus motioned him to be silent and leave as he had suggested a moment before. Growling a "fine," he turned and retreated into the trees, watching from the shadows.
"Melissa, please put the knife down," Lazarus said firmly.
She huffed as the Alpha retreated and turned to Lazarus, "Why would I do a foolish thing like that!?"
"Do you want anyone else killed tonight?" he asked, drawing in a hissing breath as the cut she had given him finally began to heal.
"Only one," she replied, drawing the blade to her neck.
He gritted his teeth, lunging at her. He ignored her clawing at him as he wrestled the knife out of her hand, throwing it out into the darkness. Kneeling over her, he held her down, looking into her eyes.
"Get off me. Now," she spat.
"No," he murmured.
She brought a knee up firmly to his chest before snarling, "Get off me," she repeated.
He let out an "oof", but otherwise was undeterred. "I love you, Melissa. Please don't hurt yourself because of him."
"And please don't make me aim lower," She threatened.
"Melissa," he said warningly, tracing her lips with his thumb, before sitting back, trapping her legs down so she couldn't strike him with her knee again.
She swallowed sharply, swallowing back the feeling to bite his finger, "let go of me."
"No, you're a danger to yourself and at this rate, others. I'm not having anyone else hurt tonight!"
"Well you're hurting me!"
"And you're hurting me!" he half shouted, "I think I, of all people, would know better when I say that trying to kill yourself won't help."
"You failed, I won't. There'll be nothing but darkness and I won't have to face the consequences."
"Melissa, don't fucking do this!" he yelled, unable to help the tears pricking the backs of his eyes.
"Get off me,” he shook his head, "Get off me, get off me, get off me." She chanted, beating his chest as she leant up. "SAVE ME!" She paused, lying back down, her head turning to the side, "get off me."
"Just come home with me," he murmured, "he's hurt us enough, and if you kill yourself, he'll have won."
"I don't want to; I've fought all my life. I've reached the end of the war and... I've lost everything," she sobbed, "I want my life back, four hundred years ago. I've lost the will to do anything. Leave me."
"You can't just give up!" he growled, fighting the sudden urge to punch something, "you can't, none of us can!"
"I can, watch me."
"No!" his voice rose, nearly shouting again, "y'hear me? No!"
"I hear you!"
"Good, now actually fucking listen for once!"
"For once?" She sighed, "You’re right. I never listen to you, why start now hmm?"
"Because I'm your husband. Does my heart count for nothing? Would you have me fight tooth and claw for you, only to let you throw it all away over the one who's abandoned you so many times when he should have been there for you!?"
"I'm covered in his blood... I massacred him. I remember when he was warm... his heart... his eyes..." her own eyes widened and she looked to him, "his eyes were so...dead."
"If you hadn't killed him, he would have torn me to shreds next moon instead. Would you rather it had been that way around, hmm?" he knew he was being harsh, but his head was too clouded and the words were coming out regardless.
"Get off me. Get off me," She whispered, "NOW!" She screamed.
"Fine!" he snapped, standing up, "fine! I'll just go and get myself a bottle of vodka and prepare myself for another four hundred years of grieving, shall I?"
She didn't move, "You know, I'd rather it be him, than you...but so many people have died in my arms, so many people's eyes... dying. In his, it all comes back. But, you know what? Go. Because, apparently, I don't listen to you, I don't care and I don't care about you."
He began to walk away, too angry to think straight before he collapsed, growling and twitching as Bane forced his way through. He shook off the human clothing and padded back over. He touched his nose to Albert's forehead, his eyes closed, "I'm sorry, brother," he whispered, before turning back to Melissa. "And I'm sorry, Melissa."
"No, no, no..." He sat in front of her, his head tilted slightly. "It wasn't meant to be like this."
"How was it meant to be?"
"I dreamt, the sun... gently over the horizon, I stand there and look over the Parisian suburb and smile. I never wanted to be dead twice over, I never wanted to be coated in blood. I never thought I could be so cold."
"There's still time for you to live your dreams, Melissa. It was always going to get worse before it got better."
"Worse. You call this worse? This is Hell! Everyone's dead! He may have abandoned me and abused me but... I dunno, I've been cursed with a fool’s heart." She murmured, looking at Albert's body before huffing and walking away. "I guess, I do want to be embraced by death. For once, I want the easy way out."
"Yes, and your evermore foolish husband will follow you straight into death, and I would really rather he didn't."
"Of course, he dies, you die."
He sighed, "I'm sorry, that sounded selfish of me. I want the same as you - a happier, easier life, where no one has to be hurt or killed, or be looking for an easy way out. And Lazarus is my top priority, since he's my host. And if I have to stop you from looking for an easy way out, then I will."
"And how'd you plan on doing that one?"
"I hadn't figured that one out yet," he muttered, "Talking is supposed to be good for you, though. Lazarus and I are all ears, if that's what you need."
"All I need is a way out."
"Please, Melissa," he whined, Lazarus' voice mixing with Bane's. He nudged her leg gently and looked up at her with pleading eyes.
"I do, I don't see anything here anymore," she sighed. "I need hope... a dream," she shrugged, "something to hold onto."
"You have me... us."
"I know, I know. But you're the only people holding me here."
"Your music? The pack? Hey, we can travel, rediscover what it is to live!" he was clutching at straws, and his ears flattened back against his head as he realised it.
"The Pack? What is the Pack, I know one person. My music... it means nothing, it's a simple instrument. Re-discover life? Life. What is life? Lazarus... help me." She cried, breathing heavily as she began to well up again. She dropped to her knees and looked at Bane mournfully.
Bane put his head on one of her shoulders and gently lifted his paw onto the other, though it was Lazarus who spoke; "I love you, Melissa," he mumbled, "I'll do whatever I can for you... I just need to figure out what that is."
She encircled her arms just behind his front paws. "I love you too, Lazarus."
"How can I bring back your hope and dreams, your love for life?" he murmured, closing his eyes as he held her awkwardly in the wrong form.
"I don't know. I don't know how I lost it so easily."
"You killed someone you loved," he sighed, "even if he did make our lives as arduous as he possibly could."
"It would be so much worse...if it had been you, my love."
"I'm such an idiot. I shouldn't have snapped or used ridiculous arguments like that. I'm sorry for how I behaved."
"Don't be, sweet. Please, don't be."
He moved his head, touching his muzzled to her cheek, doing his best to kiss her, before sighing again. "When we're at home, hmm?"
She smiled weakly, tightening her hug. "God, let the world know. How much I love you."
"I would, but I'd get arrested for indecent exposure.” She tilted her head slightly, looking at him questioningly. "I'd change back and kiss you properly but I don't have any clothes," he muttered, "they got a bit ripped."
"Fool," She smiled a little wider but it dropped as quickly as it appeared. "I... I just want you back," she whimpered, "I want you back so bad," she turned into a kid as she sobbed. He licked her cheek gently and walked back over to his clothes considering them for a moment. The shirt was ruined, but the jeans were passable for a quick walk home. He laid down on his side and changed back quickly, ignoring the pain as he pulled the trousers on. She held her head, her eyes screwed shut as she cried. A moment later, his arms were around her, holding her closely.
She clasped her hands around him, fiercely biting back the tears as her breaths became staggered. "Help me."
"C'mon... let's go home, hmm?" he suggested gently, "I'll make you a hot chocolate or something."
"I... hmm, yeah. I just... Well I guess...." She sighed, "I don't know!" He stood slowly, offering his hand to help her up and she took it, standing with a soft smile. Putting his arm around her waist, he held his jeans up with his free hand, leading her away from the park. She wrapped her arm around the waistband of his jeans, helping him keep them up as she walked. "I love you, I love you," she chanted, not letting up for a moment. "I love you too," he replied, opening the door to the apartment block for her.
She continued to mutter her chant, as if reminding herself as she waited for the lift. After a couple of moments, he lifted her chin, tilting her head slightly to look up at him. Ignoring the lift doors opening beside them, he put his lips firmly on hers. She hesitated a moment before looking into his eyes, her own scared and tearful. He pulled away and did his best to wipe away the tears that strayed. "Come on," he whispered, holding the lift's doors open for her.
"I love you," She muttered before shuffling into the lift.
He nodded, "I love you too," he repeated, following her in.