Back to binary
The memories break in and Yomiel passes out. It seems like the only logical thing to do, really, to hybernate for a while and shut out all the different brands of pain and guilt that are finding their ways through his synapses.
If only the rest of the world would shut up.
The detective stays.
He does not scare the kid by attending the wounded until she is well gone, which is good – no, not “the kid”, “Lynne” and Yomiel hazily glimpses what she will not and could have been, how she will grow confident under that comb of red hair, how that same base stubborness can generate compassion even when no mercy is deserved.
He cares for Sissel, which is better. Huge priority there. Good. Yomiel can rest.
Or he could, if the rest of the world, in the person of Detective Jowd, would just shut up for a minute. He limps and sits beside him until the ambulance comes, a gesture of which Yomiel doesn't quite know what to think. If he could think. Too many emotions to sort through at the moment, not all of which belong to him except they do.
“Are you alive?”, Jowd asks. He must be going through the same – his voice dropped the surprise and got concerned all of a sudden. “Did we make it? Can you hear me, Yomiel?” And again: “Are you alive?”
“Cut the tough stuff, Detective. It's not funny.”
And he coughs. His lungs say Hello, this hurts, there is air going out, a rasp in his throat, something that may taste like blood and wait it does, this is what blood tastes like, this is what taste tastes like. Yomiel is once again aware of how physical pain feels under the pressure of ten years of nothingness and his first thought is: Amazing.
“Except”, he groans. That hole under his shoulder isn't getting prettier and he finds out that breath is a commodity that is rapidly falling in short supply. “Except it is not hard anymore, is it Detective? I guess...” He tries to straighten himself up and settles for straightening his shades, mustering a drained, solemn grin. “Ambulance permitting, I guess my answer is a yes. I am still alive.”