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Chapter 96: Way Back When
The whole time Merrick is with Syrinx — bandaging him up, cleaning him off, buying a new set of cloths for him and throwing away the ones covered in blood — Merrick is almost completely silent. All he can manage is an occasional glare as they go.
Finally, after a half hour’s worth of driving, they stop at a Starbucks. “Are you ok, Merrick?” She asks him, “Does it hurt at all? Your stab wound?” He doesn’t answer, just leers at her with those blue eyes, “… Right…”
Moments later, she and Merrick are standing at the barista’s counter, “Alright, I’m going to have aaaa… vente Cinnamon Dolce Latte and a blueberry muffin, and Merrick you…” She glances at him, but he remains silent. After an awkward pause, she tilts her head back to the barista, “Aaaaand he will have a grande Strawberry Smoothie and a slice of double fudge loaf.”
“You got it.” The barista says as she charges for the purchase, and rings her up. They receive their pastries upfront before they pick a table, and sit to wait for the coffee.
“So… Starbucks is ok, but Mana Mocha is still the best… I-I-I know you don’t even drink coffee, so you wouldn’t know…” She says. Merrick simply averts his eyes “… Merrick, would you please talk to me? This whole time, you haven’t made so much as a sigh since we left.”
“… Why did you come?” He finally asks her. “How did you even know I was there?”
“Belinda called me.” She tells him, “She told me she helped you find someone, and you looked like you were going to do something horrible.”
“Tcchh,” Merrick grits his teeth, “That fucking Latolcus. I asked her to do me ONE favor, and she goes and tells on me.”
“Don’t get mad at her, Merrick.” Syrinx scolds him, “She did the right thing. You could’ve killed him.”
“Correction: I WAS going to kill him. Dead. Gone. Did to him what he almost did to Adam.”
“M-Merrick!” She hushed, “You’re talking about taking somebody’s life! How can you be so… I don’t know, casual about it?? Did you even think on it that much??”
“Heh heh…” Merrick chuckled darkly, “Syrinx, you really have no idea of the kind of things I would do.”
“Yes, I’m beginning to see that now.” Syrinx scoffed while nodding.
“… And here we go again.”
“You’re judging me.”
“Wha — I am not.”
“Yes, you are. You’re seeing a side of me that completely scares you, and you’re starting to write me off, just like you did back on the cruise.”
“Well, yeah! You’re scaring me, Merrick.” Syrinx nods, “You’re talking about killing someone like it’s some kind of errand for you.”
“That’s one way of putting it.”
“Order up for Syrinx!” The barista calls. Syrinx gets up, and retrieves her coffee drink and the fruit smoothie, and placed them on the table.
“Merrick, I’m serious. You looked… Evil, when you held him like that, honestly.”
“You realize that this wouldn’t actually be the first time I killed a someone, right?”
Syrinx widens her eyes at him as her mouth opens slightly, “Merrick… Are you kidding me? Are you telling me you really…”
“It was when I was in the Agency.” Merrick’s sarcastic tone vanishes, “This man named Keith. He was something the humans would call a ‘Red-Neck’. He was the head of the security guards, and he was by far the worst of all of them. He was a brainless homophobe…”
“And you killed him for that?”
“Syrinx…” Merrick frowned as he leaned in, “Have you not been paying attention to what I said in the past?” He presses his finger on the table, “He was just one of the few people who tortured me. He mocked me to my face, and he laughed at me while I was beaten and burned.”
“And that’s not even the worst part.” Merrick goes on, his eyes rimming with angry moisture, “I don’t care what they do to me, they could’ve tortured me all they wanted to, they could waste all of their time for all I care. But they got Adam involved. I refused to cooperate, so they punished HIM when they found that punishing ME was getting them nowhere. They put LIGHTNING in his body, Syrinx. And that fucking, stupid redneck laughed as he forced me watch Adam’s body jerk and move out of his own control.” Merrick takes a moment to control his breathing, finding it more difficult and intense. He puts his shaking hand to his smoothie, and took a drink from it, ignoring the straw, “You can bet your ass that I killed him.”
“… Ok, I can understand that.” Syrinx said, “This man sounded… Ok, he sounds beyond evil. I just… I still can’t get my head around it though in general, Merrick.” She still gives him a look of disbelief, “I just… I’m a little more disturbed how you’re able to talk about it, or actually do it, and just look and sound casual about it.”
“There is nothing casual about it. I’ve killed people, I did what I had to do.”
“That was the wrong word. It’s just… My God, Merrick, we’re talking about ending someone’s life! I can’t imagine knowing canlı bahis you, and seeing you do something like that.”
“Syrinx.” Merrick glares at her as leans inward again, “They DISSECTED me. They interrogated me about our world… About US…” He hushed, “And it wasn’t enough to mutilate me when I said ‘No’, they had to turn my mate into a defective toy.” He spoke more quickly and aggressively as his voice shook, “So stop telling me just how dark and unbelievable I am for doing what I could just to get me and him out of there. I may be a murderer as far as you’re concerned, but don’t you sit there and tell me-”
“Alright, alright, I get it, Merrick, I get it.” Syrinx tells him, “Calm down, people are starting to give us looks.”
“Heh. Like I care.” He responds as he sips the smoothie again.
“What’s happened to you, Merrick?” She asked, “It’s like I’m talking to a different person. Your voice doesn’t even sound the same.”
“Yes, well. That’s what happens when you get pissed off to the point where you hold someone’s life literally in the palm of your hand.”
“If you knew where he was, and what he did, why didn’t you call the police? They could’ve arrested him, and he could be put in-“
“No. Not a chance.” He shot down, “I wasn’t going to give the humans a chance to take away what little justice I can get.” He drinks the fruity concoction again. This is a really good drink, whatever it is. “Not after seeing what he did first-hand…” He lets out a shaky sigh, “Honestly, I wish you didn’t show up, I still want to kill him.”
“Mer-rick! Honestly! I don’t like even hearing it.” She grimaces, “This isn’t you! You’re my friend, not some blood-thirsty psychopath.”
“I am both, Syrinx. You can accept that or not. I’m not looking for your approval.” He shook his head as he drinks again.
“That aside, you’re a citizen, Merrick. If anyone found out about this and reported you, you could’ve been charged for murder. The security cameras could’ve seen you, they could have you on record — heck, even that guy can report you for attacking him altogether.”
“Did I happen to mention that I still don’t care?”
“Oh my God.” She closes her eyes and rubs her forehead, “You’re a very disturbing fish, you know that?”
“And you are a very neurotic narwhal.”
“I’m just trying to look out for you. I’ve been around humans a lot longer than YOU have. And your anger issues are just making it worse.”
“I’m a Triton, Syrinx. I fight to protect what I love, and he needed to be put down.”
“You weren’t protecting anyone! You just up and thrashed the guy like a rabid shark.”
“He broke Adam, Syrinx. He was the reason Adam was put into a coma, he is why Adam doesn’t remember me!” Merrick’s voice shook again, before he wiped his eyes of the tears developing, “So you tell me, right now, if the same thing happened to you. Say 4 guys just cornered Kevin. They held him in a way so he couldn’t even fight back, and they broke him in every meaning of the word, nearly killing him. Wouldn’t YOU want to hunt down the one who erased all of Kevin’s memories of every single moment you had with him?!”
“I wouldn’t.” A pause goes by as they stare at each other. Merrick just gives her disgusted look, “I wouldn’t want to kill anyone.”
“… Fine. Then what would you have done?” Merrick asks, “If Kevin spent 2 moons in a hospital because he was beaten almost to death, and he looked at you, and didn’t have a clue of who you are.”
“Merrick… If something like that were to happen to Kevin… I would die.” Her chest feels a heavy press of emotion in the bottom of her throat, “I would die, Merrick, to see that happen… And then, I would deal with it. I would be there for him, whether or not he knew me.”
“Right. You say that now, but you wouldn’t understand. You-“
“You’re right, I wouldn’t. I don’t understand.” Syrinx tells him, “I wouldn’t want to go out and pick a fight with anyone, ever. I don’t have that in me, Merrick. I’m no Triton. I’m not a hunter, I’m a scout. I don’t look for trouble, I look for safety. It would break me to pieces if Kevin were to be in Adam’s shoes, but I would stay by his side constantly until he was on his feet — I’d even quit my job and push my body away from the ocean to the absolute limit if that’s what it took.” She gives a firm look to him, “Can you look me in the eyes, and tell me that you’ve always been there for Adam like that?”
Merrick glares back, his mouth opening a little, but his eyes shift a bit as he thinks, his mouth slowly closing. “See what I mean?” Syrinx continues, “Merrick, looking for trouble covered in blood is wasting your precious time when your partner needs you. Adam has been hurting for a long time, and I’ll bet all you can think about is how insane this was making you.”
“Fine, I’m selfish, and I can’t help that.” Merrick turns his glare aside, “And I can understand what you mean by what you are. Adam is the exact same way as bahis siteleri you. He’s a defender rather than a fighter.”
“I just… I know you had your reasons, and you have that… Drive to fight. I just don’t have that killer instinct that makes me fight back. It just… It scared me when I saw you like that… I mean, you were injured too, doesn’t it hurt?”
“This is nothing.” Merrick answers as he puts a hand over his stomach where he was stabbed, “HE was nothing… My Father taught me that mercy is for the weak.”
“Wow, that’s harsh.”
“Not as you’d think. Not the way it sounds. It’s a different perception of the principle.” He drinks more of the smoothie, “When he says that, it means mercy is for those who can’t go on their own, who depend on leaders like him, myself, my Sister, my Mother. Adam needs my mercy, now more then ever. That man though… He deserved no mercy at all… He deserved to suffer. He wasn’t even weak, he was spineless demon, and he needs to end.”
“I… I’m sorry that I can’t completely agree, Merrick.” Syrinx says as she shakes her head, “I just can’t picture myself even wanting to do that.”
“It’s not like it’s something I like doing. It’s something that I feel I HAVE to do. One of my loved ones was attacked and tormented, and as it stands, it’s up to the leaders of the pod to deliver justice. And that’s exactly what I did.”
“Ok, I understand…”
“Besides, the way he looked, he’s probably going to bleed out anyway. Chances are, he’ll probably die where I left him. If he’s lucky, someone will find him and take him to the hospital, if they can put him back together. I guess I should count myself fortunate that he lives 2 and a half hours away from Kele-Kolika, and it’s not like he knows my name or where I live, and my hood was up, so it’s not like any cameras got a clear look at me… I still just wish I could’ve ended him right then and there.”
“Merrick, please just stop talking like that.” She pleads, “I can’t stand even hearing it. One of my closest friends actually going out to murder someone…”
“I wasn’t going to murder him. Murder is defined as one human killing another human. I don’t exactly fit that description, now do I? This was more like a hunter seeking out his prey.”
“It doesn’t matter.” She shook her head, “It’s still the same. As far as human society is concerned, you’re a citizen that can be held liable for arrest.”
“Haahhh…” Merrick puts his arms on the table as he leans in. Now they’re just going around in circles. “Do you want to know the most disturbing part?” He asked, “I saw him looking over Adam, all bloodied and bruised, not even able to stand. And then I did the exact same thing to him… And I felt that sadistic satisfaction when I was in his head… And I felt that precise sensation throughout the whole time I fought him.”
“I… Think I understand…” She nodded.
“No…” Merrick shook his head, his eyes rimming with tears for a different reason as he looks away from her, “You really don’t…”
A while later, Merrick stares out the window of the ferry he’s taking back around the island back to his home. He sits alone, still holding Adam’s jacket, folded neatly in his lap, and his harpoon safely disassembled in its carrier.
“… What happened to me…” He mumbled as he sees the dusk sky. He remembers his attacks, thinking through them piece by piece… He can still remember the way his own voice sounded… So dark and savage… “Nnh… I’m doing it again…” He says as he closed his eyes, “I’m turning into a monster because I couldn’t control myself…”
‘Ok, if you can remember what he looks like,’ Belinda said, ‘You and I could-‘
‘No. I’m doing this alone.’
He sighs irritably as he remembers those words, “I should have let Belinda come with me in person…” Now that he’s had the time to calm down… He can see why Syrinx seems so bewildered by him. Heck, he’s even disturbed by how he was talking to her at Starbucks. His voice was dry and uncaring… That voice wasn’t even his…
“And Adam… My God, Adam…” He shakes his head a little, “If you were to see me like that.” He flinches as he pictures him striking and ripping Damian all over. When he held him by the throat, Damian’s image twitches a few times as Adam’s face, when Merrick had gone mad at the Agency, and he nearly choked him to death.
“My God, what did I do…” He puts his hand on his forehead, “I was really going to kill him… No pause about it, I was really going to end his life in that alley… And I wanted him to practically beg me for it…” He feels a purge of disbelief as he reflects on this, “Just what did I allow to happen? How… How can I face Adam now… He can’t even know where I was…”
Merrick looks to the window, looking at his reflection. Talking to himself right now, and remembering how he was talking to Syrinx back at Starbucks… His voice really did sound like it didn’t belong to him. That side of him is still there… bahis şirketleri He still wants to kill him… It’s still lurking in the shadows of his heart, feeding his need for vengeance.
He stares into the face of his reflection. The more he looks, the more malevolent his image is starting to appear to him. A mouth that can only resemble a frown by default, those leering eyes framed with a dark complexion. The light in those sapphires no longer there, his intensity is like the ravenous fog that rolls from a haunted cave. Is this really the person who talked to Syrinx a while back at Starbucks? The person who found immense satisfaction over the sadistic retaliation?
‘He deserved to die.’ Merrick can hear himself echo with that silent hatred, ‘You shouldn’t have let him go, why didn’t you just finish him… If not Adam, he’d just go and kill some other faggot unfortunate enough to even look at him. You showed him mercy, you showed weakness. You needed to crush him completely, and you gave him a second chance he will never earn… He laughed at Adam as he put him through hell, and you just walked away.’
Merrick takes a shaking breath as his reflection narrows his eyes at him, his own shade is disgusted at him for letting Damian go… Is this what he would look like for the rest of his life if he did kill Damian?
“I’m doing it again.” Merrick mournfully mutters as he looks away from the window, “I AM a monster…”
Hours later, Merrick sighs as he walks onto the bus, the last one of the night, to drive all the way to the bus stop most closest to the house. Soon after, he finds himself walking the dirt trail next to the forest, before he turned the corner, and saw the lit windows illuminating the yard. Standing at the entrance of the driftwood wall, Merrick takes a deep breath, exhales and walks forth to the front door.
“I’m back.” He reported as he comes in. Yuri is just putting on her jacket as Adam is getting up to turn off the PS4.
“Oh hey, Merrick. I was just leaving for the hospital, they just paged me.”
“Ok.” He says as she walks right on out the door.
“Hi, Merrick,” Adam smiled as he comes to him, “It’s been a while.”
“It’s only been a day.”
“Oh ehaahah… I guess it felt like a while, after the workday I’VE had. I passed out as soon as I go home.”
“Oh, really.” Merrick chuckled, as they get close. Adam comes to him, and puts his arms around Merrick for a friendly hug.
Merrick hugs back, but finds Adam’s arms slowly pull him in very firmly. Adam closes his eyes as his friendly smile fades and he rests his chin on Merrick’s shoulder, sort of tucking his head closely. As he hugs him, one hand holds firmly onto Merrick’s other shoulder, and the other holding onto Merrick’s side.
“Engh… Adam, you’re… You’re hugging me a little tight…”
“Oh, I-I am?” Adam let up on him, looking rather sheepish, “Sorry, heh, I…” He lets go of Merrick, “Heh heh, I guess I really missed you.”
“You are so adorable when you’re flustered.” Merrick said with a cute smile, only making Adam blush more. “Anyway, I just dropped by to give you this.” Merrick offered the folded black leather jacket.
“Oh… It’s a… Jacket.” Adam said awkwardly as he takes it, letting it unfold. It seems used. He takes a look at it, and see’s there’s brownish-gold bear paw prints from the cuffs of the arms pointing up to the shoulders, as well as a gold trim around bottom brim and between the zipper and the neck area, and another large paw print on the back, “Huh… Actually I like it.” He said with a smile, noting that there’s a small rainbow flag stitched on with the tag on the inside of it, “Where’d you get it?”
“I…” Merrick started. That jacket was Merrick’s anniversary gift to Adam last year at Gay Pride. He’s always been a hairy guy, so he had commissioned a jacket that has a bear-like theme, and added in the LGBT tag on it as well. Beating, bashing and slashing Damian WITHOUT getting the jacket damaged or bloodied in the process, while he was still wearing it, was NOT easy, but Tritons are ever known for their perfectionism and precision in combat. He somehow was able to damage Damian’s arms and torso severely without harming the jacket.
“Hahah, hey, it fits.” Adam smiles as he’s already tried it on. Merrick flushes with emotion as he sees Adam’s hands appear from the sleeves, with the paw prints pointing to the shoulders, zipping up where the gold leather sides meet as a single line, him turning around as he feels it on.
“Yeah, I… I was at a thrift store, and…” Merrick lied, inwardly hurt by this one, “I thought it’d look good on you…”
“Hah, yeah, I love it.” Adam says as they look in the lit-up bathroom, examining himself in the mirror. Merrick can only look with a melancholy smile… The day he gave Adam that jacket for their anniversary, Adam just fell in love with it. He wore it all the time after that… And to think that Damian would just steal it right after everything he did to him…
“I love it, thanks Merrick.” Adam says as he smiles at him. Merrick smiles back, before he moves his head up, and kissed Adam on the lips.
“It’s getting dark…” Merrick tells him, “I better head out…”
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