Ian (piyaneeiyan) wrote in anelectricmoon,

Electric Moon -- (Prologue) Doom of a Dream

"So why don't you just say it?" Reed snaps, and her eyes somehow manage to be a mix of golden fear-anger-defiance-contempt all at once as she leans across the restaurant table to face Jordan. She is seventeen and beautiful, lips curled back in a predator's snarl, and the chaos that is her hair spills over her shoulders as she cocks her head to one side. "If it matters so much to you, that is? Say it."

"I didn't say anything," Jordan Avery responds, and Reed laughs in his face.

"No. You didn't." The girl's teeth are straight and white as she smiles at him, expression agreeable beneath defiant eyes of gold. "Of course not - but you were going to say it anyway, so why don't you say it now and get it over with?"

Involuntarily, Jordan's hands clench into fists. He can't help but glare at the girl in front of him; annoyed at how she's twisting his words around, annoyed at how she's interpreting everything, annoyed that she's right. He has been thinking about saying it - but he hasn't. Not yet. He's trying to do the right thing here and be nice - but she's treating him just as if he had said it, and her anger and contempt is like a blow in the face. "Fuck you," he tells her.

"Already been done," she retorts. "So why don't you tell me what you're really thinking now?"

"Reedy ..." Karyn whispers softly, and Jordan glances at the dark-haired girl from where she leans against Stuart. "Reed, just let it go. Please?"

Clarke wonders now if any of the others see this plea for what it really is. He knows that Reed does - he can read it in the sharp twist to her mouth - and he knows that Toria does, because he knows his half-sister that well, but he's not so sure about the others. Maybe even Karyn doesn't know what she's asking.

Genies. You can never take anything they say on face value - even if it's meant simply, which it almost never is - there are so many layers of meaning to be read underneath the basic words, seething with anger and desperation. There is no request to stop fighting with Jordan here - no plea for Reed to be nice for once - Karyn's words were addressed to the world as a whole: take back everything that's happened in the last three hours and make it unhappen.

They all wish this, Clarke knows, and his thoughts carry the kind of self-assurance that only the very brilliant or the very young have. Toria, Stuart, Jordan, Reed - every single one of them was thinking the exact same thing. But they'd done what they'd done, and the world wasn't going to go back - not for any amount of tears or regret, nor for any words Karyn could give.

"We aren't going to cover this up," Jordan hisses, voice breaking the silence. "We can't cover this up and run from the police like this is some kind of bad sci-fi movie -"

Reed's snort is soft and contemptuous. "It already is."

"We have to do the right thing," he tells her, turning to the others now, and Clarke can't meet his eyes, knowing what these words will do to his best friends. "We can't cover this up. We can't pretend it never happened."

"We aren't going to do that," Stuart begins to say. There's a water glass in his hand; he's been holding it suspended in midair for fifteen minutes and not taken a single sip. "That's not what we meant, when -"

And Reed cuts him off, training that intense gaze on Jordan. "And do you always do the right thing?"

"Reed." Toria's words are crisp and snapped off as she comes to life for the first time, seeing the look in both their eyes. The anguished look of sheer pain, the calculation there, the sharpness. "Reed, that's enough. Jordan, drop it."

"We have the choice," Jordan begins wearily. "We have the choice to do the right thing." He can't explain how this is. He wants to stop time and tell everyone that he didn't mean for things to be like this - call his words back into oblivion.

"Then why don't you tell us what the right thing is?" Reed mocks, and now it's her smile that's slow and glittering and malicious. "Since you've done it before?"

"You didn't have to shoot him."

The words come from somewhere within him, as sharp and angry as the smile the girl sitting across from him wears, and the second he speaks them, he sees how he's played into Reed's trap. But it's too late now; the chill has fallen over the room. Stuart makes a single restless motion toward Karyn, as if he can somehow shield her; Toria remains still, her mouth open in the middle of her reproof, and Clarke is silent as his eyes go toward Reed, seeing the calmness in her face, the prescience of pain suddenly all too real in her eyes.

It's been said now. It can't be denied. The guilt is real - it was there before, but it wasn't there. No going back now.

"Reedy," Jordan says at last, his voice reaching out into the silence. "Reed, please ..."

"And aren't you glad we had this conversation?" She bites the words off, tone bitter just beneath the lazy drawl.

"What are we going to do?" It's Stuart who speaks now, and for once, the blonde boy's said something right, because it seems to snap all the teens out of their blank stupor.

"We'll get some money," Karyn begins, spinning the words out as she thinks of people she can call. "I know my father's PIN, I can withdraw some cash, and maybe Jayme or Chrys'll let us borrow their car?"

"Maybe," Toria replies thoughtfully, and now the older girl's taking on her customary role as leader. "Maybe if we call in some favors, we can - Kar, you and Stu've both got licenses, right?" Without waiting for their nods, "If we can all drive, then maybe ..."

"We're not going to do anything." Reed's voice is cool, and Clarke puts his hand tentatively on her elbow. He's surprised when she doesn't shrug him angrily off, only shakes her head and sighs. "We are not going to do anything. You are all going to go home. I am going to the police and telling them what happened. Simple."

"No. It isn't." Toria looks very tired, but the red-haired girl somehow manages to muster the energy to look about at everyone's faces. "You're a genie, Reed. Maybe you don't think that means anything, but it does."

And that sets something off, because Reed gets that crazy look in her eyes again. "I can't bloody help it, Toria," she hisses. "D'you think I asked to be like this? D'you think any of us asked?"

Dead silence. Of course not. But they've still got to deal with it, just the same.

"It wasn't your fault," Karyn tells Reed at last. The same sympathetic tinge from earlier is in her voice again; she looks almost as if she wants to cry. "It isn't."

"I know that," Reed says, and she actually manages a half-smile now. "But I'm not innocent."
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