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Yield

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Rachel’s heart is pounding. Blood is roaring in her ears while she grips the steering wheel with so much force that her arms had long begun to tremble. Despite this, she can’t seem to tear her eyes away from the scene ahead. Sure, people had been talking about the League of Villains for close to two years now, but she never thought they would ever be in front of her like this. The leader- a lanky, blue haired man with what looked to be…actual severed hands covering most of his extremities- turns to head back to their truck farther up the road.

Were they just leaving? No higher plan or mass slaughter of civilians? In any case, she should be calling the police! They needed to alert a hero to come help!
Just as Rachel is reaching for her phone, the wailing begins.

It was an awful sound to hear. The cries of a broken man cut through the air clear as day. It strikes through her own fear, making her reach for the handle of her driver side door. Her eyes lock on the truck far ahead, and only when it begins to leave does she shove the door open. Rachel lurches out of the car, not hesitating for a second now that she could hear the screaming so clearly. Empathy drove her forward, running to the man who lay alone and bleeding onto the freeway.

He doesn’t notice her right away, probably making too much noise to hear her running steps. Rachel nearly recoils in horror when she sees his forearms are completely gone. She drops beside the stranger, hands quickly undoing the leather straps keeping his legs tied down the way he was. Why? What was she THINKING?

The sudden snarl and half lunge from the injured man makes her flinch back, nearly busting her ass on the road. With the straps still tight around his chest, the stranger couldn’t get after her like he tried, but that doesn’t seem to really matter to him. His golden eyes are wild; tear filled, and boring right into her. Like he could physically keep her at bay if he glared hard enough. “Don’t TOUCH me!”

Rachel is breathing heavily with surprise, and the sounds of sirens begin up on the edges of both of their hearing. She moves forward again with webbed hands raised to undo the buckles.

The man throws his head back against the metal of the slab this time, snarling out again. “Keep your disgusting hands off of me!”

She doesn’t listen, and nimble fingers work fast to free his hips and torso. Her soft pink frills are pressed back as flat as they can against the sides of her head in a subconscious attempt to seem smaller, and non-threatening. “please, I just want to help…”

It was the first words she spoke to him, and god does she sound pathetic, even to herself. So quiet and shaking with the uncertainty. She tells herself that without arms, he can’t hurt her. When she finally reaches for the last strap across the stranger’s throat, he jerks back with a harsh frustrated snarl.

‘What a handsome face’, she thinks.

Rachel goes for the restraint anyways, freeing him from the last binds while he glares to the side at nothing in particular.

The dark-haired man is limp with defeat for only a beat before he sits up slow, baring immaculate white teeth at the woman who was still closer than he ever wanted anyone to be in his life. He reaches to viscously scratch his throat where her pink skin had dared to brush, but there’s no feeling of blunt nails scraping away the germs. Right. He had no hands…

The girl begins speaking frantically, and he’s slow to register she’s begging him to stand. To get up and follow her to her car. “I can’t touch you, more or less LIFT you! Come!”

Chisaki Kai stares at her for a few seconds, wondering what cruel trick fate was pulling on him now, and when the rug would be pulled out from under his feet…but her pleading eyes held no malice. This was his only chance.

The stranger moves as the sirens grow louder, getting one leg under him, and then the other; until he’s properly on his feet. Rachel is shocked by how the man towered over her in height. Most people did, but laying on the floor had fooled her into thinking he wasn’t an intimidating man. She rises quickly to help bring him back to her car, but he gives her the dirtiest look when she moves to help. Fine then. He can walk on his own, surely.

Four times he stumbles on the short walk to the car, twice going down on one, or both knees. Each time, Rachel quietly waits for the man to rise again. She opens the back door silently as the sirens grow loud enough to only be moments from showing up. This was his only chance of freedom. Kai half collapses onto the leather seats, feeling lightheaded from blood loss.

Rachel slams the door shut behind him and slides into the driver’s seat. Before the police can come over the horizon in her rearview mirror, she kicks it into gear. It takes a few moments to wind through the burning wreckage, but soon she has nothing but road ahead. As soon as the girl can, Rachel exits the freeway and seamlessly blends in with the rest of the casual traffic on her way home.

 

Rachel’s home is a lovely place. High walls separate the two story building from the surrounding neighbors, and the entire front portion of her lawn has been transformed into an oasis of flowers of all kinds. She pulls into the sheltered driveway beside the home, pushing a button to close the electronic gate to the property.

When she opens the door to the backseat, the man she had taken from the accident has his body pressed as far back against the opposite side as possible. Like a cornered animal. Maybe he was. She didn’t know the kind of person she unwittingly was bringing into her home for medical attention.

Chisaki holds his ground until the woman steps away to open the door to her home. Only when she puts a sufficient amount of space between them does he scoot over to heave his battered body out of the car. It takes him two tries to get out, and when he does, the black spots in his vision dance larger than before.

The short walk to the house’s side door is agonizingly slow, but nothing can be done about it. When Chisaki reaches the tiny step necessary to pass the threshold, he staggers and feels himself falling forward. It’s only because the woman intervenes that he doesn’t plop face first on the kitchen floor. “Hold on, you’re okay…,” Rachel reassures. Chisaki can’t even bring himself to register her arms are wrapped around him. Hell, he can barely see. “It’s okay, almost there, lets just get you to the guest bedroom. You can do that, right?”

He wants to spit at her, ‘Of course I can! Who do you think I am?’, but he saves his strength for taking a few more critical steps.

They are nearly out of the kitchen when he suddenly becomes much, MUCH heavier to Rachel. She braces herself in front of him when he pitches forward to keep them up. “hey, we’re near-H-HEY!” her voice sharpens to try to snap him out of it when the stranger doesn’t right himself this time, bearing down on her with his full weight. Strain as she might, she can’t stop him from collapsing on the living room floor on top of her.

It takes her a moment to find a way to breathe around the fluffy jacket collar, and even longer to wiggle herself out from under his passed out form, but it gives her time to get herself together somewhat. Going this far for a stranger, hah. Her friends would scold her for making such a rash move like this. Some might even never speak to her again. Rachel rushes back to close all doors and finds the medkit tucked under her bathroom sink.

No matter what the outcome, in her heart she knew he needed someone right now. And he REALLY needed her medical attention.

It is a hard task to turn the man over onto his back, but at lease while he’s unconscious it’s easier to work with him. She quickly ties long strips of rubber that come with the kit on his upper arms, making sure they are tight to stop the blood as much as possible. She disinfects the wounds quickly while her breathing gradually picks up. The smell of blood as beginning to make her stomach churn. Her eyes flick up to his face, noticing he’s pale, and sweating bullets. What if he died in her home? How was she going to move him then? How would she EXPLAIN it if she needed to call someone to help?

Nervously, she presses two fingers to his neck to check for a pulse. As rapid and slow as it was, it’s a good sign. Now came for the part she didn’t enjoy.

Rachel fishes out a small, somewhat familiar scalpel from the med kit and grips it tight. She could do this. Easy. Without this help, he would die. The woman has to take several deep breaths with the blade pressed against her smooth palm. It felt like her airways were tightening up the longer she waited.

Rachel clears her head of thoughts, holding her breath when she brings the knife across her fragile skin in one quick, savage cut before she can chicken out. She cries out, and blood bubbles to the surface quick, collecting in her palm before spilling onto the wooden flooring below. There’s already a large mess to clean anyways, so what does a little more matter? After a couple seconds, the scarlet blood stops; being replaced with a clear oozing slime. That’s what she had been waiting for.

The axolotl girl scrapes her thumb across the cut-as painful as it is- collecting as much as the ooze as possible. Rachel takes what she can get and slathers it over the bloodied stump that was the man’s left forearm. It begins to steam heavily where It touches. Quickly, she collects more from the cut in her flesh before it can close up, using it like a salve.

The horrid wound sizzles softly as the man’s skin heals over in seconds. The area is still fragile, and somewhat raw , but at least It’s no longer a life-threatening injury. Before Rachel can collect enough of her own slime to help his other arm, the slit in her pink skin sizzles shut, leaving her palm completely smooth again.

She anxiously chews her bottom lip , bringing the blade up. One more time should be enough. Just one more.

 

Rachel spends the next two hours setting as much as she can back to normal. His stumps are wrapped, and clothes stripped for a much-needed wash. Spending close to 20 minutes struggling with his limp form to get him laying face up on the couch had sucked, but it is well worth it to be able to proudly drape a blanket over his resting body in the end.

She cleans up the floor while she waits for his clothes to wash, using bleach to scrub away the blood trail left all the way out to the car. Speaking of the car, it wasn’t as easy to clean the backseats, but thank god the leather repelled most of it.

When the scrubbing is done, she folds clothes and lets herself finally take a moment; leaning against the still warm metal of the dryer. Slowly she slides down into a sitting position. The poor girl brings her knees up to her chest before hugging them to her body. What has she gotten herself into.