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The Thing That Pulls You Forward

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Viola Eade is a murderer. Viola Eade is a murderer. Viola Eade is –

It’s useless Vi.

(There it is again, that voice at the back of her head that sounds a little too like her father).

Guilt is useless. Guilt is dead weight on a ship where you know everyone and everyone is watching you, it's death on a planet that seems to raise hell at every other living thing that dares to exist. Guilt is guilt but it still doesn’t help ease the the heavy-weight nausea out, no matter how many times she tells herself she’d kill Aaron again (and she would, she would, this she knows with the same surety that tells her to trust Todd).

In the end it’s Corinne, of all people, that she ends up going to.

It’s Corinne, of all people, that she thinks would understand the most. And Viola doesn't get scared easily (she doesn't let herself seem scared easily) but the hostility Corinne aims towards Viola is enough to make her weary.

She still goes though, and Viola finds Corinne outside during lunch one blanket-grey day, leaning against the back wall of the healer’s house. Corinne flicks open her eyes at Viola as she approaches, then closes them again, as if Viola isn’t worth the energy to look at.

(Viola can’t blame her.)

Viola takes up a similar position next to Corinne, leaning against the wall, and when she doesn’t leave, she sees Corinne, in the corner of her eye, glancing at her again.

A beat passes. Then two.

Corinne breaks the silence with a sigh, loud and long. Viola figures it's the most acknowledgement she'll get.

“I killed someone." Viola blurts out, and from the way Corinne shifts for a moment, Vi can tell this isn't what Corinne had been expecting.

The words hang in the air for a moment, brash and free, and Viola ain't- (she catches herself, and another, deeper pang hits her low in the gut) - isn't used to feeling like this, even on a new world and with no parents (and isn't it saying something that that particular hurt is the least painful of them all), because it's not about regret. It's not about who deserved what, because Aaron did, and even if he did what's done is done is done but.


Something at the very pit of her can't let it go.

Viola senses the frown Corinne must be giving, and even the slight exasperation, so she keeps talking before any cutting remark comes her way.

“He deserved it.” Viola says. More honesty.

“But I-“ And she stops, because she doesn’t know where that sentence was going.

“But what?” Corinne spits out, almost as if she hates herself for speaking. It’s the best Viola knows she’s going to get, and it’s all she knows Corinne can offer.

But what, Vi?

Viola doesn’t know the answer.

“So what, you feel guilty?” Corinne’s voice speaks again, jolts her, and Viola can tell neither of them were expecting Corinne to take this further.

“He was trying to kill us.” Vi replies, and it’s close but she’s still not quite there.

“So you killed him.”


A pause, and then,


Another silence lapses between them. Both their absences will be noticed, and Viola knows it’s going to be followed with more shifting eyes between Coyle and Thrace, more glances at the back of her head and unwanted visits from The Mayor.

This should be the end of the conversation, but-

But what, Vi?

“It was for us.”

There’s no response, and that’s okay because Viola’s trying to pull it out of her now, whatever it is about Aaron’s death that won’t let her go.

“Todd killed this spackle, this innocent spackle that we found, and it wasn’t that the spackle did anything wrong but he died anyway, because of Todd.”

Corinne shifts next to her, and Viola knows she’s rolling her eyes at her mention of Todd, but she lets Viola keep talking and Viola thinks is the closest the two of them will ever come to civility.

“And I forgave him for that a while ago, but I never understood why he did that. Not fully.” She takes a breath.

Holds it.

And then releases it.

“And now I do.”

There’s a beat, and then Corinne snorts and Viola turns to look at her. There’s a ghost of a wry smile on Corinne’s face, just for a moment. The words feel like a stone dropping into the bottom of a very vast well, like hearing the sound of running water far below ground. It's the knowledge Viola's been carrying finally unearthed and the guilt still weighs her down, but it's a lot easier to swim without those kind of stones in your pockets.

Viola snorts as well, without meaning to, and Corinne's eyes flicker to meet Viola's. Their eyes meet for just a moment and there's no trace of warmth, nothing like kindness or forgiveness. There's nothing but the truth.

And then a shutter closes behind Corinne's eyes as her mouth turns into a familiar downwards slant.

"You're going to be late to lunch, you know." Corinne says, with not quite enough acidity, as she pushes herself off the wall and past Viola, back into the building. Viola doesn't point out how Corinne is late as well, nor the usual lack of venom in her tone.

Viola lets out a small smile (the first since she woke up in Haven) for just a moment as she watches Corinne disappear through the back door, turning over things like guilt and regret and friendship.

And then she follows Corinne back inside as well.