You look at the contents of your liquor cabinet again.
“msotly jack dnaiels” you text. “some jim beam”
You hope that’s good enough to get him to come over. You think to add that you still have halloween candy, but thankfully you realize that that’s a stupid thing to mention to him.
“I”llbe there in 30 or so. Must buy my own liquor.”
You’d rather rip out your fingernails with a pair of pliers than drink that stuff. At least at first. After you’ve had a few they do begin to taste the same.
You then leave, quickly hurrying there before he manages to do something stupid, and you slip in quietly without knocking, gripping your brown paper bag from the liquor store.
“vrey much” you reply.
At the question about the drinks, you have to think. You can’t remember what all is in your cabinet. Scofflaw bought most of it for you, and some of the rest of it came from a customer who paid you in booze, so whenever you open your liquor cabinet it’s always a bit of a surprise.
You stumble into your kitchen and look at what you’ve got.
bourbon, vdoka, smoe wine
rum, gin, uh
teqiula? idk wyh that’s there”
You don’t even like tequila. Egh.
“What kind of bourbon?”you ask, wanting to be sure that it’s any good before you bother to get out of bed. You wait for a response as you slip out of bed, starting to get dressed, knowing you’re going to end up there now.
You open up one draw, and select some fine cigarellos to bring. Why the hell not?
How does he always know? You’re completely oblivious to your typos, so you sit there for a while boggling at the idea that he somehow always knows when you’ve been drinking.
“what no im nto”
You send that, then feel bad about lying. You send another text.
“ok yse i am.
but i want to see yuo
You sigh, and send another text back.
“How badly do you want me to come? I’m in bed already.”
You have a feeling that by the end of the night you’ll be there, though, so you put your marker in your book and lean back in bed, waiting for his response, but then you quickly send him another message.
“What sort of drinks do you have?”
It’s getting kind of late at night. You’ve been drinking since this afternoon, and by now you are completely fucking sloshed.
So of course, it strikes you as a perfect idea to text Droog. There’s a part of you that reminds you that Droog will not appreciate you bothering him while you’re this drunk, but you are drunk, and everything seems like a good idea to you.
You get out your phone and you try your damnedest to not fuck up typing.
hey i wnat to see yuo
i hvae drinks”
Yes, that looks good. You hit send.
You are in bed. There’s a nice Sinatra album on, and a book in your hands as you prepare yourself for sleep, ready to wind down but not quite ready to actually nod off yet. Then your phone dings and buzzes, indicating a text.
You look and you frown, quickly typing a reply, and sending it.
You then shake your head and return to your book, knowing very well that this cannot possibly be the end of this.
“I—I sincerely doubt you’ve killed a-as many as I h-have,” you say.
You desperately want to cling to him for comfort right now, but you’re still in public and you’re in your own universe now. You can’t do that. Instead you just hug yourself. “I, I guess it m-must be bad that, that I d-don’t really trust myself. I d-don’t even like myself.”
You arrive at your apartment building. You open the door for him.
You slide inside, removing your coat and hanging it up, and then off come your shoes as well. You settle on his couch. “So it’s the number that makes you an abomination, not the act itself. That’s good to know.” you say with a broad grin. “Or is it just the method? Because if it’s just the method, then I’m sure some of mine would count for more than one.”
You hold one arm up, dangling it over the air, indicating that he could come in so you can hold him. You assume he’s going to want that now, the sort of thing that he is.
“Wh—why wouldn’t it?” You wring your hands, staring down at your feet as you walk. “Th—those people, they… they had lives, they had f-families. Th-they had people who l-loved them, p-people who w-w-wanted them to c-come home safely. A-a-and then I c-came along a-and I…”
You know how many lives you’ve ended, but you don’t know how many lives you’ve ruined. How much sadness you’ve caused, how much worse the world is because you kept pulling the trigger. You don’t think you could bear to know that.
You really should have just shot yourself and been done with it.
“I’m a m-m-murderer,” you say. “I, I’m. I’m a t-terrible person.”
“So are you saying I’m a terrible person?” you ask, flicking the still burning butt of your cigarette away. You can hear the annoyance in your voice. “Just be happy that you lived. You’re number one, right? The only person you can fully trust in life. Only one you can rely on.” You roll your eyes ever so slightly. “You know, I don’t even know how many people I’ve killed.”
You pause a moment to start thinking it over, but you lose count quickly.
There’s just too many insignificant lives you’ve crushed out, business and all, and kill one, kill ten, kill a hundred, really.
Of course he’d be impressed. You wonder if he’s even capable of understanding why you hate yourself so much.
“It’s n-not something I’m proud of,” you say. Of course, you are sort of proud of your skill with a rifle. When you’re shooting inanimate targets, okay, you can get a little showoffy. But you’ve never been proud of what you used that talent for.
“I ah. I s-s-started drinking in basic.” A result of peer pressure, like so many other decisions you made back then. “I d-didn’t… I didn’t s-start drinking a-as much as I do now until, umm. Until after.”
“So it’s to drown out the pain now, huh?” you ask, tilting your head a bit to the side, examining him closely as you question him. “Why does this make you feel so terrible?”
Killing a few guys isn’t really a big deal. Nobody felt bad when they killed you.
In fact, they probably rejoiced.
You kept on walking, knowing the way back to where you were going now that you were in your own dimension, utterly unfaltering in the conversation you were having.
Never once do you realize that your affect is completely broken.
You do, in fact, squirm. You chew on your thumbnail and pull at your hair and avoid looking at him. He had to ask that, he HAD to ask that. You should never have told him you were in the war, you should have made up some lie about where your scars came from.
After a while of fidgeting and wondering whether to give him a ballpark figure or the exact number—and you do, in fact, know the exact number, your conscience would not allow you to forget how many lives you’ve taken—you finally lean in and give him a number.
It’s a large number. Triple digits. You were, after all, the best sniper Prospit had.
That was impressive. And you whistle a bit, indicating that you think so, and then you look over him.
That wasn’t as satisfying as you hoped. Turns out that it isn’t nearly half as fun to watch someone squirm about when you actually like them. Who knew.
“How talented you are.” you say, a bit surprised. “Who’d expect from you? Now, what I want to know is if you were an alcoholic before or after this happened.”
You nod. Right, you have to wait until you get to your place. You shouldn’t be so impatient, even if you are really anxious to know.
Your heart nearly stops when he mentions your own secrets. Oh god. You don’t want to talk about that, not about your time in the war, anything but that. You prefer to keep those things hidden from most people, but from him especially.
But if you expect answers from him, you can’t really refuse to answer his questions. It wouldn’t be fair.
“Wh-wh-what, ahh. What w-would you like to know?”
“So how many people did you kill?” you ask, utterly blunt.
You know it’s a cruel question, and it’s not that you don’t want to know- you do. But you figure it will be enough to stop him in his tracks and get him off this line of investigation. And if it’s not, you’ll press further.
You’re not even sure anymore what your goal with this is. You’re a sadist, perhaps. Just… perhaps.
And you’re smiling to yourself again, just a little.
Maybe he’ll squirm.
Yeah, you know all about doing whatever you have to. You’ve done some unsavory things in the past, too. He has no idea. But even the things you’ve done pale in comparison to his rap sheet. All the things that haunt you at night are little more than a day’s work for him.
But he was in the afterlife. What could he have done? It’s not like he could’ve killed anybody. Is it even possible to kill people who are already dead? You know it’s not possible to kill Death, seeing as how he’s an intrinsic property of the universe and all.
“I just,” you say quietly. “I just w-want to know what you did.”
“This isn’t the place to discuss it yet.” you say, voice serious as you pull out a cigarette, lighting it. It’s this sort of discussion with him that leads you to chain smoke. It’s the sort that makes you want to smack him around until he just stops fucking asking questions. Then again, you’d somewhat offered, hadn’t you?
“Besides, you hide things from me about yourself. I know you do.” you say as you walk on, headed towards the city hall as he’d instructed you before, so that you may return to your own dimension. “Maybe you should share some of that with me, too.”