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Don't Want to Rumble, Just Talk

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Volt was at the bar with Sion, who happened to glance over Volt's shoulder and tensed- ready for a fight. Volt turned to see Echidna.

"I don't want to rumble. Just talk."

He shrugged and lead her out back, but remained guarded. Civil, but somehow not friendly at the same time.

"What?"

She leaned in as if to kiss him, but he sidestepped. "No games. What?"

"Oh, Volt. You're being like that? You would've let me if you weren't seeing anyone... serious." She continued when he didn't answer. "Who is it, then? Blondie? Or is the boy at the bar your main squeeze, for variety's sake? Or the woman with the pink dye-job? ...In my opinion, she just might be able to keep up with you."

Volt was amused at her speculating, but didn't let it show. "What business is that of yours?"

"I have to spell it out?" And she was met with a glance. "We go so well together. We should be."

He just blinked at her.

"Aena..." Volt said, confused. "This makes no sense. You tried to kill me. You hate--"

"But I loved you first."

The sentence fell between them and both just stared at each other in shock. Volt, for her to admit something like that and Echidna, for letting it slip out.

"Love. The word neither of us could say." Volt didn't elaborate, but with her he didn't need to. She understood well enough the implication: he loved her, too. Back then. Past tense. "Why come to me now? What makes you think we could work, this time around? Not that it matters," he continued, "because I'm going to have to decline. We're done. There's nothing to revisit."

Echidna took a long moment to take in his answer. And when she replied, it was cold with a hint of steel.

"What makes you think she'll understand you like I do?" The woman hissed. "What makes you think sweet little Blondie can keep up with you?" She added, revealing that her earlier inquires were just rhetorical.

Volt had straightened up and uncrossed his arms, but kept himself composed. She watched him for any sign of an answer and she found it in his silence: Volt wasn't going to explain himself, for it was that close to his heart, it was revealing a vulnerability--

It dawned on her, then. "You actually care for her." She stepped closer to where he was and stood her ground, neck craning to meet his eye. "You can see yourself falling in love with her, can you? Or have you done so already?"

"What of it?" It was not of his trademark growl, but low, almost a whisper: one that made the air around them a few degrees cooler, it seemed. But still, it was confirmation enough. What little sympathy that managed to surface was drowned out with anger and jealousy. She glared. She wanted to hurt him in the only way she knew how:

"I didn't think you were capable of such delusion."

"This discussion is over." A telltale tremor of his fury, but she knew he wouldn't hit her. Not unless she threw the first punch. She always hated that about him.

"Why do you think we never said it? Love? Ha! It's only past tense and regrets for people like us. I'm going to spoil the end of this chapter, Josef. People like us don't get happy endings. You're wasting your time with this girl, playing house and other kid's games."

"Leave," a full-on growl when she didn't budge, but he didn't move to throw her out, either. But if it came to that...

"Yea, fuck off."

The voice of Sion, always the protective one. Echidna whipped her head around. How long had he been standing there, ready to jump in? She raised an eyebrow and smirked at the brunette.

"Oh? Still nursing this crush on him, I see. Cute."

The very briefest of flickers along his face. "Don't make this uglier than it has to be, Knuckles," he spat out.

"No need for the name-calling! I can see myself out." Finally, she stepped down with a huff. To Volt: "I'll leave you alone so you can play house, then. When it fails-- when the inevitability of yourself fucks everything up-- you know where to find me."

With a sneer Volt's former lover and enemy excused herself.