34 – Dirty Little Secret

‘Fine, you won’t talk to me at the Agency, I’ll talk to you-’ Emma looked around the strange surroundings – the living room of an apartment. ‘Where exactly are we?’

Ryan turned – looking back at her from the doorway to one of the rooms, the guilt obvious on his face. ‘We’ll go back to the Agency,’ he said, trying to shift the guilt from his face.

She shook her head. ‘No. I’ve waited a month for you to speak to me on your own terms, now we’ll be speaking on mine.’ She walked toward him. ‘For one, where is this? It’s not really your style, so un-’ She looked into bedroom beyond him and saw the unmoving body in the bed. ‘What the bloody-?’ She tried to push past him, but he restrained her for a moment.

‘Emma-’

‘Just move.’

He lowered his hands and stepped aside so that she could pass.

She stared at the body in the bed – there was no question that it was dead. ‘That’s your recruit,’ she said as she scanned the face. ‘The one that-’ She raised a hand to her mouth. ‘Arcane mother of Chaos Ryan, if you’re into dead flesh, you’ve got trashmaids in your river, you didn’t have to-’

‘It’s not what you think,’ he said quietly, floundering for an answer.

‘You reported her dead. You reported her body stolen by Solstice. You- And all this time you’ve been-?’ She walked closer. ‘Dead girls in pyjamas is your kink? I guess the suits really do hide all.’

‘Are you going to let me explain?’ he said, shifting in front of her.

A glint caught her eye and she shoved him aside and pushed open the pyjama top. She stared at the wound for a moment, then tore the pyjama top open to get a get a better look. The mirror shone back at her. She reached for it, but he slapped her hand away.

‘Don’t touch it,’ he growled.

She straightened herself to look at him. ‘Mirror,’ she said at last. ‘You’re harbouring a piece of mirror?’ He said nothing. ‘I’d almost prefer that it had been the corpse-shagging, at least that’s easy to put on a report. “Sexual deviant, please punish”. But this… This is why you’ve been ignoring me? This is your dirty little secret? This is what you’ve… By the gods, Ryan, what were you thinking?’

‘It seemed to be the only thing to do.’

‘Mirrors must be destroyed.’

‘I know.’

‘Then destroy it!’ she said, pointing an angry finger at the wound. ‘Destroy it and maybe you can salvage something of your life-’

‘No.’

‘Mirrors must be destroyed,’ she repeated. ‘There’s a damn rulebook, have you ever read it? Don’t you ever feel it, scratching at the back of your mind when you disobey the rules? We are meant to be the order in this world, when you corrupt it, well then you’re no better than a fae. Or a demon.’

‘She died as the result of an accident. This is to try and remedy this.’

‘Are you a newborn?’ she asked through gritted teeth. ‘People do not come back from the Lady’s realm.’

‘She didn’t go to Death.’

‘That doesn’t change anything.’

‘It changes everything.’

‘No Ryan, it doesn’t change anything. Your feelings don’t change anything.’

‘If it had been a gunshot, and she’d used mirror to heal herself-’

‘Then it could have been left off the official record. According to all documentation…documentation you filed – she’s dead. Dead, Ryan, that’s why it doesn’t change anything.’

He shook his head, trying to retain his composure – he’d known that explanations were inevitable, but hadn’t known it would happen like this. He’d wanted it on his terms, not on Emma’s. Not on Taylor’s. Not on the Enforcers’. ‘What do you want me to say?’

‘There’s nothing you can say. Reach in there, pull the mirror out and destroy it.’

‘They wouldn’t go easy on me, even if I did that.’

‘No,’ she said. ‘I guess they wouldn’t.’ She stood still for a moment. ‘You aren’t trying to run, I’ll credit you that. I guess a part of you is still an agent.’ She stared at him. ‘Destroy the mirror.’

‘I can’t.’

She shook her head, and lifted her hand, her gun appearing in it as she did so.

‘Don’t!’

She lowered her gun, just a little.

‘You’d thank me.’ He swung around and punched her. She caught it on the chin and did nothing but glare. ‘You would thank me, because you’d still be around, you wouldn’t be recycled and floating around in the collective unconscious.’

‘I’m not going to let you hurt her.’

‘There’s no her to hurt. That is a fucking corpse!’

‘If she didn’t go to Death, she’s not dead.’

‘No pulse. No breath. And even for a hacker, that skin tone isn’t healthy. She’s dead, deceased! This girl wouldn’t move if you put fifty-thousand volts through her!’ She paused for a moment. ‘If there’s no mirror, there’s no crime.’

He narrowed his eyes and straightened his back. ‘And if there’s no crime, I’ll be recycled over nothing.’

‘Reach in there and destroy the mirror, and allow me to bug you for a year, and there’ll be no need to speak of this again.’ She gave him a sad smile. ‘I can see what you wanted to do. I can understand attachment to recruits, but you know what the mirrors can do.’

He punched her again and turned to look at the heart, all of his thoughts on hold – there was nothing he could do, he wasn’t in control.

‘Even if she had woken up,’ Emma continued, ‘and even that wasn’t a certainty, you don’t know what would have woken up. There’s not one recorded case of a person being successfully reanimated.’

‘Not records are Agency.’

She narrowed her eyes. ‘And what’s that supposed to mean?’

‘It means we aren’t our creators, and we aren’t the Ladies. We can’t know everything. We don’t know what will-’

Emma stared at the broken mirror. ‘What would have happened. You’re working your way through the stories, aren’t you? Your first was Pygmalion, this one’s Frankenstein.’

‘Don’t bring Carol into this.’

She stared at him for a moment. ‘Fine then, I’ll make the choice for you.’ She lifted her gun and fired.

The heart shattered, spraying small shards everywhere. She reached forward. lifted one of the larger ones and sliced him across the face. The gun disappeared from her hand and she dropped the shard on the beside table. ‘There. Problem solved. See how easy that was?’

He lifted a hand to his bleeding cheek and felt the deep cut.

She pointed to the shard. ‘No mirror. No crime. I’ll give you an hour. I’m trusting you to make the right choice. Let her go, and you’ll still have your Agency to look after.’

‘What’s that mean?’

‘Grow a pair, and show me that you can do this and I’ll piss off. I can always pick up the pieces once you monumentally bollocks this city this up.’

‘So you’ll be back in an hour?’

‘No, I’m sick of running after you. You come to me in an hour, and destroy that shard in front of me.’

He made a noncommittal noise, and wiped the blood from his cheek with the back of his hand.

‘Mirrors are wishes,’ she reminded him. ‘And the world would destroy itself in a day if everyone got their wishes.’

‘I’ll see you in hour,’ he said.

‘Fifty-nine minutes,’ she said before shifting away.

He pressed a handkerchief against the cut in his cheek and turned to look at the body. ‘That-’

The corpse spasmed.

‘Stef?’

The corpse spasmed again.

‘Arcane mother of Chaos…’

Stef opened her mouth and began to scream.

  32 comments for “34 – Dirty Little Secret

  1. Anonymous
    November 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Dammit! you keep us stretched like a guitar string ready to burst! >_< Now I have to wait days to know what's going to happen next! >_< Nonetheless, I'm smiling now, and it's a really good feeling 0 Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      November 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

      Why is my name: Vampire? O_o
      I don’t mind.. it’s just not the first thing that would come up if I were to describe myself…

      […]

      On second thought…… >_>

      • Stormy
        November 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

        …because you don’t have an account, or aren’t signed in. 😛

        If you sign up, you can get an avatar. *bribebribebribe*

    • Stormy
      November 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

      Don’t burst! If you burst, you can’t read more!

      You won’t have to wait long, I’ve got to go out this morning (as I’m writing this, it’s 9am), but after that I think I’m going to put up some more…it really was only the suicide scene that I was stuck on, the next few chapters need a lot less work.

  2. daymon
    November 29, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Oh I would guess that hurt a lot, getting your heart shot out is painful. I would guess having a mirror explode in your chest would be a new kind of pain.

    I think you need a word here: ‘Not “all” records are Agency.’

    I say nothing more. Nice to see you updated Stormy, relaxe and kill some orcs.

    • Stormy
      November 29, 2009 at 7:14 pm

      …and technically can’t feel pain at the moment. 😛

      *fixes typo*

      *kills some orcs*

  3. Bufi
    November 29, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    …I think I felt better before reading this. -_-

    And if you let more than 48 hours pass between this and the next update, you’ll officially be the greatest meanieface in the world. And meaniefaces don’t get cookies.

    As usual, Emma’s THE bitch. And I can’t believe he let her shoot the mirror. Some wuss Ryan is…

    Aaand the question we really really want answered (and it’s kinda pointless to write here, but I’ll write it anyway) is: what will the consequences of the mirror getting shattered be for Stef?

    • Stormy
      November 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm

      It was like 10-11pm and I was loopy and muttering about nonsensical stuff and giggling for no reason, but I finally got it done and it was totally worth it.

      It will be less than 48 hours, my dear Overlord Bufi. (*wants the cookies*).

      *kicks Emma* (Hmm…if I kick Emma, is it a hatecrime? -_-). He’s not a wuss…he’s just kind of…in a bad position, I mean, what other choice did he have? He’s not Taylor, he doesn’t exactly carry fae weapons around in his jacket.

      What will the consequences of the mirror getting shattered be for Stef?
      Ring around the rosey,
      A pocketful of posies.
      ashes, ashes.
      We all fall down!

      • Bufi
        November 29, 2009 at 7:15 pm

        …it’s a good chapter, that I must say. But it would have been better if you had posted more, instead of leaving us hanging. I’ve been having nightmares for over a week now (not MH-related, but everything-related), this isn’t going to help! O_O

        *wants the cookies*
        *in overlordy voice, with overlordy frown* No, no cookies until you update. >_>

        Hmm…if I kick Emma, is it a hatecrime?
        No, it’s a favour done to humanity! ^_^ Though I’m not sure you’ll live to receive an award for that… >_< he doesn’t exactly carry fae weapons around in his jacket.
        Well, he’s a wuss for not carrying fae weapons in his jacket. He should learn from Taylor.

        Ring around the rosey,
        A pocketful of posies.
        ashes, ashes.
        We all fall down!

        O_O … Ryan, quick, grab the damn superglue before Stormy kills Stef AGAIN! O_O

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

          …cause I love me some cliffhangers! 😀

          Well, he’s a wuss for not carrying fae weapons in his jacket. He should learn from Taylor.
          Learning form Taylor isn’t always the best idea. >_>

          O_O … Ryan, quick, grab the damn superglue before Stormy kills Stef AGAIN! O_O
          Superglue can’t help her now! MWHAHAHAHAHA!

      • silentdeth
        November 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

        *kicks Emma* (Hmm…if I kick Emma, is it a hatecrime? -_-). He’s not a wuss…he’s just kind of…in a bad position, I mean, what other choice did he have? He’s not Taylor, he doesn’t exactly carry fae weapons around in his jacket.

        Require: BFG9000?

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:17 pm

          ^_^

  4. AL13N
    November 29, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    ‘I can always pick up the pieces once you monumentally bollocks this city this up.’

    There’s a this too many, i believe.

    before i read this, i kept thinking on that song :”… la la la dirty-little-secret, dirty-little-secret, dirty-little-secret …”, by i-don’t-know-who … I can’t get it out of my mind… even if i only know these 3 words… 🙂

    I was completely in denial mode when i read this, and had to reread 3 times, each time completely convinced there was something else there.

    At least you haven’t gone off and killed her … again. 😉

    The real irony would be if it was required to break the mirror to get Stef out of there, (or even that it had to be shot just like stef did). I mean, the nail on the coffin of Emma, being created by Emma herself.

    But I suspect the mirror’s really already integrated with her, on a basic level, and that it makes no difference if it’s shattered or not.

    Or one could take the romantic view and decide that because ryan was holding her heart that she came alive.

    • Stormy
      November 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm

      *fixes typo*

      As to the song *googles* it’s by the All-American Rejects (shamefully, I know this song because of the Smallville soundtrack…somebody put me out my misery if I let Mirrorfall get that bad).

      I was completely in denial mode when i read this, and had to reread 3 times, each time completely convinced there was something else there.
      You know me, I’m rarely that clever. Sometimes, but rarely.

      At least you haven’t gone off and killed her … again. 😉
      Technically, she’s not alive, so I couldn’t have killed her again. 😛

      But I suspect the mirror’s really already integrated with her, on a basic level, and that it makes no difference if it’s shattered or not.
      Your heart is integrated, and you would be affected if some angry bitch shot it!

      • AL13N
        November 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm

        Never saw Smallville, so i can’t help you there

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm

          …then it wasn’t. I’ve made Matthew promise to kill me if Mirrorfall ever gets bloated on itself like Smallville did.

  5. Bufi
    November 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    At least you haven’t gone off and killed her … again.
    She’s not dead yet, but she still has time, don’t get your hopes up :p

    But I suspect the mirror’s really already integrated with her, on a basic level, and that it makes no difference if it’s shattered or not.
    But… shouldn’t the entire mirror, shattered or not, be inside Stef’s chest? Because at least the shard Emma used to cut Ryan’s face wasn’t where it was supposed to be…

    And the romantic view – I like! We’re creating some expectations here (and this is the moment where Stormy comes in screaming :p)

    • Stormy
      November 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm

      Is just so, so, so wrong in my head. I mean, I can totally understand where the expectation comes from, they are the two main characters, and the normal thing to do is to pair them up. The problem, I think, comes from the fact that she’s functionally a child – it’s beyond the “she’s too immature for him” aspect and into well…she’s Stef, she eats cookies, gets cranky and takes a nap, makes pillow-forts and hides in wardrobes looking for magical kingdoms.

      It’d be creepy, negated a lot by the fact that you know Ryan’s a good guy, but c’mon, admit that you’re a lot more comfortable with them being *hugs* rather than *madsexx0rs*. Not to mention that she has the body of a twelve-year-old boy, so that might make some people cast aspersions on what Ryan wants in a partner.

      pleasedon’thateme…

      …really please don’t hate me…

      If it had been what he’d wanted, she would have given it to him. There is precisely one moment where Stef/Ryan wub was possible (at least in canon, I know I’m not going to stop the crazy shippers), and that was just after she wakes up in the infirmary after being stabinated. At this point, she’s committed to this strange new life, and knows that Ryan’s going to be a big part of that.

      He asks her to come with him, and she accepts without asking where they’re going, or what they’re doing. If it had been for “yay we lived happy sex” she would have accepted that. She wouldn’t have, yanno, actively wanted it because she’s still our messed-up little asexual hacker, but she would have accepted it – feeling that he’s given her everything and that he should get something in return.

      (Ryan for his part, never had any thoughts along these lines).

      The moment, however, thankfully passed.

      So yeah, for the record, Stef/Ryan is ICKY!

      • Bufi
        November 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm

        *madsexx0rs* would be kinda wrong, yes. None of them are really cut out for that kind of thing. I don’t know what other people wanted to see in their relationship, but what I used to imagine before Stef/Ryan became impossible was more like *hug* *kinda fluffy* *kiss would be a bit too much* (because I didn’t dare then, just like I don’t dare now to hope that Stef will grow up) and not affecting the weirdness of Stef or the dark-and-brooding-ness of Ryan. So yeah. Love has LOTSA faces and meanings and ways to manifest itself.

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm

          The thing is, Ryan really is cut (…I just typo’d and wrote “Curt”, now my brain is going off in really weird directions) out for a for that kind of relationship. The other relationships (yus, plural, Carol wasn’t his one-and-only girlfriend, just the one that messed him up) he’s had have been proper, adult relationships, not just *fluff* *fluff* *<3*. (And given what lookers a couple of his ex's were, Stef would be a downgrade in that department. >_> [Man, I can’t stop maligning Stef this week…like when we figured out that Goslyn from Darkwing Duck is more competent than our resident hacker girl] ).

          And Stef growing up…that will take a while, if it ever happens.

        • Bufi
          November 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm

          I just typo’d and wrote “Curt”
          Was that a freudian slip? Hehehe :p

          But no, no Sturt.

          Actually, scratch that. Would be interesting. :p

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

          …just me and my inability to spell. >_>

          Sturt…could be fun, but would probably also be painful in some respects. I mean, he calls her newbie now, how would he treat her if they were in a relationship, when it comes to that stuff, she’s a hell of a lot more newbish. >_>

        • AL13N
          November 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

          I’d rather not have yaoi in here…

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

          How is it yaoi?

        • AL13N
          November 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

          I had thought she’d pair Ryan with Sturt…

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

          …you mean other than, yanno, the Parkers constantly getting it on or when Grigori and Ta- um…GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS! NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

        • Bufi
          November 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

          … O_O Taylor was GAY??? O_O

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:24 pm

          Nothing to see, nothing to see.

          No spoilers, but what I can say is this: agents are by nature male (there are the secretaries and the occasional female doctor), so it’s natural for an agent, cause yanno, if you want to sleep with one of your own, 99.99% of the time, it’s going to be a guy.

        • Bufi
          November 29, 2009 at 7:24 pm

          Weird. I really have nothing against gay people, really, but I still find this weird. >_>

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

          wouldn’t it be lolicon sines she has the body of prepubescent teen?

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

          Hmm…

          Hey Mags, we need one of your dresses for a scientific experiment!

        • Stormy
          November 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

          i think just seeing what mags will do when you ask will be vary interesting. i just hope you can type with on hand lol 🙂

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