In Everything; Balance

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Gideon Abernathy Gideon had always been alone, for as long as he could remember. Not poetically; he wasn’t a star-crossed lonewolf, meant to face the perils of the world on his own. He was simply, utterly alone. Even when he wasn’t.

At a young age, he held his younger sister’s hand as they watched their father gut their caretaker alive. Through that connection, he could feel the same emptiness inside her that he felt, simply by the mere fact that she didn’t even react to the sight; no tightening of her fingers, no gasp, no tears. She felt nothing for the only semblance of a mother John Abernathy could afford them.

It was why Gideon hadn’t felt any hint of guilt when she died in the barn fire he and his friend started. She wasn’t supposed to be in there, honestly, but he couldn’t help but feel he’d gotten the short end of that stick. Fret not; his friend had suffered the consequences, and a six-year old learned at too young of an age how much force it took to slice through human skin. Damn if he couldn’t remember that kid’s name, either.

Mira had driven him insane. If he thought hard enough, he could recall a freckled face with bouncy, red curls, but the details evaded him. Perhaps it was the ensuing madness that had attempted to eradicate her entirely from his mind, but he’d given her much of his life, long after he’d killed her. It was because of her that he’d run from the cult; the promise he’d made to her, tangled under the cover of stars in a blackened sky, still occasionally plagued him.

We’ll get you out of there. We’ll run away and start a new life. Okay?
Yeah…
Gideon? Please… Promise me…
I promise...


Yet there he was. He’d made a new vow that contradicted the last, and having run to the Flock for protection, they were stuck. And, as much as he hated to admit it, he felt whole.

Lately, there was a cliche fogginess in his head. He was torn by his nature and the need to protect his wife and unborn child. Quinn was unhappy here, and it became more and more apparent the longer they stayed. He’d promised they’d get out, but even then, it felt like a lie. Just as it had the first time.

He’d never leave, not entirely. And it was time he admitted that to himself.

Sitting back on his haunches and wiping his brow, he admired his handiwork. The soil was patted down firmly, encasing the roots of the large tomato plants. They’d outgrown their pots, and the place he’d saved them in the garden offered them a new place to spread out and grow. The children would be excited; they’d grown them from seeds in Quinn’s class.

Someone cleared their throat behind them, and he almost jumped out of his skin. It wasn’t often that he could be snuck up on, but he had to remind himself that the members of the Flock were always watching and had long mastered the art of stealth. Turning his head to glance over his shoulder, he met the gaze of one of the girls Quinn had befriended. Mary, he remembered, mentally patting himself on the back.

Taking this as acknowledgment, she immediately averted her gaze and began wringing her fingers together nervously. “S-sorry to bother you, Shepherd, but… You told me to tell you anything that seemed out of the ordinary… There was a man here looking for you. I told him you were in the garden, and was going to show him, but… Allen stepped in and said he’d bring him to you… and since he’s not here…”

“What did he look like?”

“Oh, h-he… uh, he was tall, I believe he was Asian…”

He immediately cut her off, thanking her and sending her on her way. There was only one place they would have taken him; the same run down old shed they’d housed him in upon his unwilling arrival to the commune. But what the hell was Eiji doing here?

Posting up outside the small building, he listened intently for any noise, his fingers grasped tightly around the hilt of a switchblade. There were muffled voices coming from inside, but he could hardly make out what they were saying. Carefully, he pressed his ear against the door, silently hoping no one would suddenly swing it open into the side of his head.

“...Cal said don’t rough him up.”

“Yeah, well, Cal don’t call the shots around here.”

Then came the tell-tale sound of a fist meeting flesh, and Gideon could only assume that Eiji, inevitably tied to a chair, had taken a hit to the gut. Subconsciously, his fingers tightened on the blade.

“Why the hell are you here lookin’ after Gideon Abernathy, huh?”
April 29, 2018 23:16
Saito Eiji Flecks of fresh blood spattered across the floor as the larger of the pair planted his knuckles across Eiji's cheekbone. He spat a bit of essence onto the ground before bringing his gaze back to level with the one he'd come to understand was named Allen. Allen was a sturdy man, with a pair of small black eyes that betrayed his penchant for low cunning. Knowledge hadn't bought Allen quite as much as his intimidating stature did. His compatriot, however, was young and slight of frame. His position behind the larger man, and the way he doubled back when disagreed with, showed him to be green to this sort of thing... Eiji took note, and strained forward against his restraints, rocking the chair forward.

"I've already told you, prick."

Allen's steel-toe connected cleanly to Eiji's shin, forcing him to draw back and sit more still. He bit back the pain, and grit his teeth until they threatened to crack. "Listen gook, I don't buy it. What's your angle?" He reached into his pocket and extracted a razor, before bringing it near to his captive's jaw. With a gentle push, the blade would unsheathe itself and summon a tiny droplet of blood from its point.

"Allen, don't-"

Eiji eyed the men carefully as Allen rounded on the smaller man and back-handed him, snapping his head to one side and making him stumble back into the wall. "Don't get in the way, boy, or I'll put your ass in the chair next. Hear me?" He growled, making Kyle wither against the wall and nod complacently. It was obvious that he didn't have the stomach for this sort of thing.

"Hey." Eiji spoke, blood lazily oozing from the corner of his mouth. Leaning back in his chair, he honed his attention on Allen, watching for every subtle movement, every twitching muscle... "We weren't done talking."

It didn't take much to taunt Allen. He rounded on Eiji and fully extended his razor's edge, each heavy footfall sounding further and further away from him, as if his consciousness was distancing itself. The blade came up to trace Eiji's cheek, opening the gash his knuckles tore earlier. Their eyes held each other's, a savage defiance swiftly obscuring the captive man's sunken eyes. Allen laughed, swiping the edge to extend the cut another inch. He tapped the now bloodied instrument against Eiji's chin, before bringing his brow just inches from Eiji's own.

Without hesitation, or fear for what sort of damage this man would carve into his visage, Eiji lunged forward. Teeth met pliant, warm flesh and sank in, savagely cleaving through skin and sinew, until his incisors met together upon Allen's carotid artery and severed it. He tore away, replacing Allen's bass with a hollow shrieking. The razor rattled onto the ground at his feet, covered in the crimson ichor that now sprung between his assailants desperately clutching fingers. Eiji spat out the mouthful of viscera he had claimed, and started to struggle against his restraints, staring down the dying man as he stumbled back out of the shed's entrance and crashed onto the floor. "Fvck, Allen!" The panicked protege followed after him, shakily trying to put more pressure on the wound when he noticed...

"Gideon!?"
April 30, 2018 20:54
Gideon Abernathy As if by some preternatural force, Gideon managed to get himself out of the way just as the door swung open and out. He was set back unceremoniously on his backside as the form of Allen fell to the ground, throat gruesomely agape. While most might recoil from the sight, the man merely quirked an eyebrow, his concern for the captive taking on a different form entirely. Subconsciously, he flicked the switchblade closed and tucked it away.

“Gideon!?”

Immediately, his hand shot out, grabbing Kyle by the face in a vice grip and bringing it centimeters from his own. “Take him,” he hissed, jerking his head at the convulsing man just past him, “and bury him. Inconspicuously, mind you.” His dark gaze bore into Kyle’s terrified hues, even as the man shook like a leaf. Releasing his grip, Gideon patted him softly on his cheek, a smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth. “You chose...unwisely, and I won’t forget that.” With that, he rose from his hiding place, kicked Allen out of the doorframe, and quietly shut it to the outside world.

The cult now shut out, his demeanor changed drastically. Being the newfound leader of the Flock, he had to always be on his guard, hiding any and every emotion, or lack thereof. Now, he relaxed, his shoulders loosening, even as he cast his longest friend a weary gaze.

Eiji was stretching out his leg, his foot at an odd angle, as he tried desperately to reach the razor and drag it over to him. Again, Gideon quirked a brow; he could easily untie the man himself, but something had him toeing the blade just within Eiji’s reach, where it was hastily accepted with a grunt of exertion.

Not so long ago, Gideon had been in Eiji’s exact position, if not a bit more roughed up. He, too, had fought against his restraints and his captors, but one major difference that couldn’t be ignored was the gore that ran down Eiji’s face. The undeniable crazed glint in his eye told of his previous actions. Something had changed in Eiji; a darkness had shifted.

Even as he continued to watch him struggle, Gideon said nothing. Gauging the situation was undeniably hard. While they had been acquainted for many years now, they remained strangers, through and through. Even then, the psychopath could see the cosmic shift that had taken place in Eiji, and the only phrase that kept repeating itself in his head remained this was bound to happen eventually.

“What are you doing here?” He broke through the silence, his heart beating painfully in his chest as he prepared himself for the worst.
May 10, 2018 09:22
Saito Eiji "Here. Where's here, Gideon?"

The question was presented succinctly, fresh blood leaving its familiar tint down his nape as it dripped down his jawline. All of the distance in the world was breached in his eyes in an instant. The animal behind his sight shifted from reactionary to aggressive. His foot slipped free from his shoe, so he could use the limited dexterity of his toes to move the slick razor to his hand. It wouldn't be long before he freed himself and stood. Taking the opportunity to wipe the blood from his mouth as well he can manage, Eiji never looses his attention from Gideon.

"These people are twisted, Gideon. They tried to kill us. Did you forget?" He rounded on him, his pupils blooming to accept any information he could glean from their surroundings. Eiji couldn't forget who he was talking to, despite who the man had been to him... Ota had kept a very thorough dossier on Gideon Abernathy. The anguish of his loss was still fresh in his mind, even now. His thoughts turned back to everything that had happened to him in the months that followed that, the sequence of events that provoked him to seek out a familiar face, the only familiar face left for him.

It wasn't until he had finally resolved to seek out Gideon that he had discovered Ota's file on him... It complicated their relationship, the truths that this dossier unveiled. Dozens of cold cases, each one loosely tied together by nigh phantasmal circumstantial threads that only implicated the man standing before him when observed as a whole. Something inside of Eiji always knew that Gideon wasn't clean, but he never drew the same conclusion that Ota evidently had. As long as Ota kept tabs on him, he could do something if he ever decided to turn on Eiji.

"When I saw these coordinates in Ota's files, part of me wanted to believe that you'd been kidnapped. Or fvcking brainwashed." Eiji's posture shifted with the tone of his voice, going lower, vibrating with murderous intensity. "I wanted to believe that you weren't a monster, Gideon. But here you are... Their fvcking shepherd."

Just past his maddened gaze welled sadness that wilted then, as for a brief moment, his vision flitted to the glinting razor in his fingers. When he met eyes with his only living friend once more, they were filled with a grim resolution.

"I should put you out of your misery."
May 12, 2018 11:18
Gideon Abernathy When I saw these coordinates in Ota’s files…

Before then, he’d shown no emotion. Against his character, he’d taken his berating, each slight a mark in his cracking psyche. But that statement… Ota had only been a voice to Gideon, Eiji’s handler. Even then, the term made him squirm, but he hadn’t realized how much of a threat he’d actually presented. It didn’t take much to put together that the man no longer walked the earth, but even if he was still alive, he was untouchable. He meant too much to Eiji.

Still, he’d mentioned files, which meant that this Ota had uncovered much that Gideon was unaware of. The research falling into the wrong hands would surely spell his demise.

Did he care?

I wanted to believe that you weren’t a monster…

For the first time, he outwardly blanched, and the rest was lost to him. I wanted to tell you… A selfish statement, truth be told, and one that would surely fall on deaf ears. He couldn’t fix his past transgressions, nor would he. Gideon couldn’t - and wouldn’t - apologize for who he was. He could apologize for letting Eiji believe he was something he wasn’t, but it would make no difference. The damage had been done, and as he easily met the gaze of his longest companion, he watched as the anger turned to sadness, and just as quickly, reverted to animosity.

I should put you out of your misery.

With his own resolve, he reached into his pocket, his fingers clasping the switchblade. For a moment, he simply held it, feeling his knuckles whiten with the strain of familiarity. His black hues never left Eiji’s face, even as he pulled it out and dropped it to the ground with a dull thud. Patting himself down, as if to show his exact stance on the matter, he finally raised his arms in something akin to a shrug before planting his hands on his hips and offering a sincere smile to the man. There was no thought to his wife or unborn child, much less the cult he was leaving behind. Instead, he could only offer up his life to the sole being he would willingly give it to, if only to ease his struggle.

“You are a great man, Eiji, and I’ve always admired you.”
May 12, 2018 19:31
Saito Eiji Every instinct he had fell short in that moment, as Gideon appeared to resign himself to his fate. Contented to be put to pasture by him, bled in some sh!t shack like chattle... Just like so many of his victims, butchered and forgotten. His fingers tightened on the razor, feeling its delicate weight shift into his palm. It could all be over for them right here, with the point of a knife sinking into Gideon's lifeline. He could make his pilgrimage back home, and move forward.

But into what? Everyone he knew had abandoned him, and whether to the afterlife or merely to greener pastures, he was to blame for it all... What came beyond the horizon had always been murky to him, but it was so obscured now that his sub-conscious begged for a constant. The man that stood before him had been that for quite some time already; something far enough away from him to be threatened by his missteps, but close enough to offer him the simple comfort of having someone. Some fragile part of him felt indebted to Gideon for that.

Fingers climbed up his jaw to the oozing wound his torturer had opened for him, a few inches long, just above his cheekbone. Drawing his hand away, he would inspect the bright crimson that now tainted his digits. The rage that had swam in him succumbed to a profound admixture of dread and regret... He took a step in, and jerked his hand upward. The point of his razor would find his cheekbone and gouge out a reflection of his own wound, before clattering unceremoniously to the unkempt floor with a dire finality.

"The next time we meet like this..." He brushed past him, heading towards the door. The night air would greet him like a dog eager to see its master. Eiji would look behind himself for the last time before departing, to be swallowed by the moonlit frontier.

"...I'll have to kill you."
May 12, 2018 20:30