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Nights of Long Idling

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He sits in his car alone on the darkened suburban street, his leather-clad hands tightening their hold on the steering wheel with a creak.

It isn't nervousness over what he's decided to do that causes him to linger in his vehicle instead of barging into Krei's home and finishing what he should have done years ago. The hesitation stems from the fall out that will accompany is actions, the people his choices will affect the most. He isn't alone anymore, his decisions don't just weigh on himself as they had in the immediate aftermath of Abigail's death.

With a long sigh, Robert slumps in his seat, one of his hands dropping from the steering wheel to cover his face as he takes two unsteady breaths to compose himself again. Making Krei pay for what he did to Abigail is worth it, he has to reassure himself. He'd light the world on fire just to bring his daughter back. But a part of him knows that he couldn't stand to watch everyone else burn.

His hands are steady while he scrolls through his contacts for Tadashi's number and then he listens patiently as the line rings. He isn't sure what he's going to say in the message he leaves but he can't stand to have things left unsaid if anything goes wrong. But instead of getting Tadashi's voicemail there's a click and Tadashi's tired voice comes echoing down the line.

"Hello?" His muffled voice in Robert's ear sounds like condemnation, "Rober—"

He hangs up.

His hands are shaking, he shouldn't have called Tadashi.

He tosses the phone impulsively onto the passenger seat only to have it bounce and skid down the opposite side of the car between the door and the seat.

He leans over the center console to reach into the glove compartment, snatching up the gun stored there to tuck between the back of his pants and his belt. Robert does one last run through to make sure he hasn't forgotten anything on his person or scattering throughout his car that could be suspect.

He gets one foot out the car door before freezing, his phone vibrating loudly from where it's trapped between the plastic of the door and the seat. The light from the screen partially lights up the right side of his car, without having to look he knows it's Tadashi's name displayed on the screen. He ignores it with a shake of his head, there is no returning from where he's going and Tadashi can't follow him. He won't drag the younger man down with him.

He slams the car door shut at jogs across the street to Krei's house, Robert's gloved hands shoved into the pockets of his windbreaker as he walks up the driveway and then paved walkway to the other man's front door.

He tries to open the door before anything else, expecting resistance when pushing on the door handle but the door swings open on silent hinges for him.

The entrance is near the same as it had been all those years ago, needlessly lavish but expected from the kind of man Krei has always been. There's a new woven tapestry on Robert's right where the other man had once hung a faded black-and-white picture of a family he hadn't known.

Robert can hear the low murmur of music playing from further in the house. A woman lamenting over a lover with a piano backing her, he thinks. It's familiar but he can't place it.

He can see a shadow at the end of the hallway move across the wall, shrinking, as it's possessor moves further into the kitchen and farther away from him. He pulls the gun from the back of his pants, clicking off the safety in preparation.

It's Krei sanding alone in his kitchen with a phone to his ear and a nearly empty wineglass held in his free hand. He's facing away as he speaks with the person on the other end so he doesn't see Robert emerge from the entrance corridor with his gun raised.

Krei doesn't catch sight Robert even as he hangs up his phone with a long sigh and tosses it onto the counter next to the open wine bottle. He tips his head back and finishes the glass in one go, reaching for the bottle sat on the aforementioned counter to refill his drink. It is only then, with his newly filled glass halfway to his mouth, that his eye's snag on the out of place shadow in his periphery.

"Robert—" Even with a gun in his face there's no fear, just surprise.

The first bullet punches Krei square in the chest, sending him stumbling back against the island counter. His glass of wine slipping from between his fingers and crashing against the floor, launching pieces of glass in all directions.


He doesn't get the chance to finish the slurred question as the second bullet collides with him then, an inch lower and the width of a hand to the right of the first. This one drops him like a brick, sending him sprawling onto his tiled marble kitchen floor with the spilled wine and glittering shattered glass shards.

Robert waits a moment, gun still trained on Krei in preparation. But nothing more happens, Krei wheezes with each breath as his blood pools beneath him and mixes with the spilled red wine. Robert shoots him one last time just to be sure.

It's a long walk back to his car.