How does one say goodbye? Raelle was still struggling with the concept of death, the shock of her mother’s demise was a sharp wound directly to the heart.
Shock and loss seemed to be a common theme for Raelle’s life. The smarmy little voice in her head prattling on as it picked away at her determination to live. Determination developed after her night with a certain Necro that Raelle was loath to think of.
“Hot Garbage,” the other witch had said, in reference to Raelle’s plans. Front line disaster had been Raelle’s goal for a year now, although, having the plan shoved in her face and called stupid wasn’t something she was prepared for. Especially by a girl as beautiful as Scylla.
Raelle was far from new to the game Scylla seemed to be playing with her. Bordering on flirting, every quip from the Necromancer’s mouth seemed tinged with secrets. A world that the girl would open up before Raelle’s eyes when the time was right.
Raelle supposed she knew what that world was composed of now. Baseless promises of devotion and love that fell flat before Raelle even had a chance. The front lines were beginning to sound more appealing every day. It didn’t help that Abigail and Tally seemed otherwise preoccupied.
Abigail was mourning the loss of her childhood friend, or nightmare, depending on the day you asked, while Tally wrestled with her own guilt concerning the hostages from their last mission. Raelle had helped Tally set up a small memorial for Libba Swythe, the vigil had been morose but needed.
Her own words seemed to haunt her, “If you get the chance to scream it out, take it.”
All the bottled up rage was bubbling to the brim, a toxic elixir of bitterness and regret seemed to seep from her pores as she ripped through training dummies with a fury unseen by her fellow cadets.
“All that matters is, I love you, Raelle.” Scylla’s words came unwarranted to Raelle’s mind. Like a parasite, it leeches the life from her as she tenses her jaw and lashes out.
“…Waste all that youth, and beauty, and fury…” The sharp snap of Raelle’s scourge punctuated each word. She can almost feel Scylla on her, the words eating away at her sanity.
“Private Collar!” Anacostia’s voice shattered Raelle’s focus. The girl snapping out of her near trance, irritation flickering across her expression. She still wasn’t sure about Anacostia’s intentions.
“Yes Ma’am,” Raelle exclaimed haughtily.
“I’m granting someone a favor, someone, you may or may not want to see.” Raelle’s jaw clenches imperceptibly as her heart takes up a staccato in her chest. “Why does she want to see me?” Raelle inquired begrudging hope leaked into her voice.
“Don’t get your hopes up Collar, remember who you’re dealing with.” Anacostia reprimanded the girl lightly. Raelle nodded sullenly. “When?” She asked. Tonight, we’ll come for you tonight and we’re putting you out like last time.”
Raelle refused to arrive in Scylla’s cell half dressed so she simply pretended to sleep while Abigail and Tally slept on. When Anacostia and her fellows entered their tiny dorm, Raelle submitted willingly to the sleeping seed. She very much looked forward to finally having the chance to "scream it out."
They woke her before dropping her in the cell this time. Raelle was able to get her bearings in a long poorly lit hallway outside a cell door. The walkways were dark and unmarked, no way to tell one door from another. Anacostia opened the door and stood aside for Raelle to enter.
Scylla sat chained to a chair much as she had been the last time. Her eyes were bright and expectant when they met Raelle’s. Doubt crept up on Raelle as she looked into the brilliant blue of her girlfriend’s eyes. How could it all be a lie when Scylla looked like her like that.
Something in Raelle’s expression must have caught Scylla’s attention because where once her eyes were filled with a light wonder, tears had sprung up. Her shoulders slumped with the slight jingle of her chains as she opened her mouth as to say Raelle’s name but faltered. Raelle took her chance.
“Was any of it real?”
The words hung in the air, Raelle’s inner conflict thinly veiled behind a derisive tone. “Will it matter either way?” Scylla replied simply, almost resigned.
“You don’t get to do that,” Raelle retorted. “You don’t get to act like I’m the bad guy, Scyl, you killed people. Innocent people.” Raelle enunciated the last sentence, her confusion and anger beginning to boil to the surface. “How could you do it? Was everything just a lie? A way to gather intel? Tally told me everything, your orders, the wedding. God, did you help them kill Abigail’s cousin?”
“Did I mean anything to you?” Raelle had begun to shout, her voice rebounding upon the pair from the stone walls.
“At least sit-down,” Scylla sighed, gesturing with her chin towards the chair sitting before her. Raelle remained standing, uninterested in meeting Scylla's eyes. “Was any of it real?” Raelle repeated obstinately.
“Yes,” Scylla said at a near whisper. “It was real, most of it ... nearly all of it. I love you, Raelle. Please believe me,” the last part came out in a low whimper. “I love you, and I chose you, over all of it. Please believe me.”
Raelle watched as tears flowed down Scylla’s face, she was unsure of the girl’s true sentiment. After all, she was spree, a spy sent to capture Raelle for whatever obsequious reason. “How can I? You used me,” Raelle scoffed.
“You lied to me, everything was a lie. Our first meeting, probably our first kiss.” The rest of Raelle’s meaning hung in the air over them. Memories of gliding fingers and clasped hands. The sound of a button snapping open, Scylla’s whimpers, and claims of knowing a way out seemed to echo in the back of both of their minds.
“It wasn’t a lie," Scylla insisted, "you promised me you wouldn’t believe everything they said about me. I told you they would say horrible things about me,” Scylla’s tears continued to brim and overflow across her face. “You promised you would believe me.”
Blue eyes shimmered with despair, Scylla's lower lip formed a definite pout that shook slightly under the weight of her sadness.
Raelle hated herself for what she did next, unable to watch her girl cry so much, she took the seat and leaned forward as she wiped the tears from Scylla’s cheeks. “You said you loved me,” the girl wept, “Please say you still love me.”
Scylla's words were just as insistent, “I love you so much Raelle, please believe me. I never would do anything to hurt you, I told you that. Please,” she begged. Her manacled hand latching onto Raelle’s wrist, eyes imploring. “I love you,” Scylla managed to whisper the words like a promise.
Raelle jerked upwards and snatched her hand away, her own eyes beginning to brim with barely concealed sorrow. She still loved Scylla, she knew that much. It wasn’t as though she could turn her feelings on and off at will, despite her attempts. So what could she do?
Scylla was Spree, the Spree was evil in their warpath against all civilians. Civilians like her father. She couldn’t abide by it. Yet, Scylla wasn’t anything like the Spree agents Raelle had learned about. She was kind and compassionate in her own way, behind quick-witted quips and a mischievous attitude Raelle had seen the beautiful and kind woman she wanted to spend the rest of her life getting to know.
“This is your only chance, tell me everything,” Raelle demanded. Scylla’s eyes took on a hint of their former shine, eager to prove herself. “Whatever you want, I promise;” she replied, her sniffles settling as she wiped her nose clean on an arm. Raelle nodded, Scylla began.
Raelle already knew some of the tragedy that was Scylla’s life. Her parents had been draft dodgers and she had watched as they were killed by the United States Army. A fury like no other had festered within Scylla after the bloody end of her Mother and Father. While her life wasn’t perfect, her parents had loved her. They were all she had.
Their deaths spawned a long and drawn out death wish in Scylla until The Spree had found her. Suddenly given a purpose Scylla took to this new mission with ease and veracity unmatched by any other new recruit.
They kept her on small errands, starting small and building from there. Once she was too deep in, there was nowhere left for her to go. The Spree was her home, her creator, and her mentor. Her mission and purpose were all bundled into one call, the end of the Witch Military Complex and freedom for her fellow witches.
Raelle watched Scylla’s expression change during the recounting of her tale. Her hope waning and waxing intermittently. Pity colored Raelle’s features, sometimes marred with disgust. Scylla took it all in stride, unwilling to give up on the hope that Raelle could still love her.
When Scylla finally arrived at the part where she chose dancing with Raelle one last time instead of completing her mission Raelle couldn’t help the small knot forming in her throat. Blue eyes met blue, both equally uncertain as to where things were about to go.
“You chose me?” Raelle seemed to murmur more to herself than Scylla. The girl in question nodded eagerly, “Yes, I chose you. Against my own life, against orders, against the goal I’ve been working towards for years. I chose you, Raelle.”
“Why’d you pick me?” Raelle asked she knew her heart wasn’t in it though. Everything in her yearned to reach for the woman before her. Her girlfriend, her love, her moon, and stars. The girl who had brought back the light after her Mama had been ripped from the world. She desperately wanted to believe Scylla, needed to believe her even.
“I love you, and I would never do anything to hurt you Raelle. Please believe me.” Long dried eyes brimmed anew, Scylla’s shuffling resumed as she subconsciously reached for the blonde once more. “I love you, and I’d do it all over again if it meant I got to spend a single moment with you. Please believe me.”
Raelle broke, finally. Her arms wrapped comfortingly around Scylla’s shaking form. The brunette smelled and her hair was in near knots, but she still was Scylla. The girl she had taken her first flight with, the girl that gave a warm laugh as she moved to “inspect” Raelle’s quivering abdomen. Still Scylla, the girl she had fallen in love with so deeply and irrevocably.
She still loved her, that much was clear, she had sacrificed a lot for Raelle. Something made obvious by the chains binding her. Raelle didn’t quite trust her, their questionable beginning gnawed at the corners of her mind, but Raelle knew now that not all of it was a lie.
She felt Scylla pressing wet cracked lips to the crook of her neck. Warm as always, almost welcome. Almost. Raelle moved away, her expression tired. “No,” Raelle said. Scylla’s brow furrowed in confusion, “W-wha-“
“I believe you, but that doesn’t mean we snap back to being what we used to be. You still lied to me. You still killed people Scyl. I may believe you, but I’m not sure I trust you.”
Scylla’s eyes flashed with hurt before settling into a grim resignation. “I love you,” she said obstinately.
“I know,” Raelle sighed, “So make it right.”
Raelle leaned forward to press a kiss to Scylla’s cheek, repeating the words “Make it right,” into the girl’s ears before she stood fully to leave.
Anacostia opened the door with a blank expression on her face. Raelle refused to meet her eyes as she listened to Scylla’s sobs behind her. It wasn’t over yet, no, it was just getting started.