They say when you need to make a decision, flip a coin. Not because of the perfect 50-50 chance, but because at the moment when the coin reaches its peak, you find yourself wishing for what side it lands on.
You never got that. Justice can’t be biased, you can’t be biased. Things must be black and white, no matter how much you like colors.
Except now. The coin is falling, and for the first time you know what you want. You want her to stay, you want to make things right again. You want to end this stupid rivalry that’s half-game and half-serious. For the first time you want to stop screwing around and work with each other call each other sisters again but
It skitters on the ground, spider-like, and for an instant it looks like things might turn for your favor. But…well, she does have all the luck. The scar shows, almost smug, looking more like a wound than it ever has. You can practically hear her smirk.
Well that settles that a voice says from far away. The sprinkle of blue is sweet in the air as she readies stained glass wings, turning with a grandiose flourish. An orange-armed hand sweeps the air in casual farewell. Later, Redglare.
Your throat tastes like copper, your tongue is dry and working around words that won’t come out. The cane opens quietly in your hands, as easy as if some animal had opened its jaws. You know what you have to do.
(but I can't)
But you have to. You can see it in the back of your head, like a half-forgotten memory. Scenes jump together, flickering, flashing, but enough: Thief and Slayer meeting, Slayer departing, appearing, a crackle of sour green electricity out of air blade flash noise crash steel teal yellowgreenindigo red RED criss cross the floor sweet like candy bitter like metal and heat heat heat swallows the world and
No. You’re not letting this happen. This is the only hope you have left, the only chance. You raise the blade
(but I CAN'T)
Her wings give a twitch, another flicker of blue, and your grip tightens on the cane. It’s almost as if she’s teasing, waiting for the stab in the back. She knows you too well.
Your knuckles feel too tight under the gloves. All of a sudden none of your clothes feels right. You aren’t her. But she would know what to do. Damn it, YOU know what to do. Now or never Redglare. It’s just another game, another wooden sword in the back, back when the clothes were too big for you both, when you had all your arms and eyes between you and it was fine and it was good just another trial Redglare do it Redglare but you aren’t her never her it isn’t black and white anymore but it has to be just for now just another prosecution just do it in and out in and out
The sound is smaller than you expect. The blade comes out softly, almost delicate between her shoulder bones. A million miles away a spot of blue blooms on a field of orange.
Anyone can smell blood. Any one of the others could have stood in your place, flipped the coin. Any one of them would have described the sour sweat, the strange metal-organic mishmash of blood
if they were sensitive enough, perhaps the saltwater of tears...but you’re the only one who could recognize each color.
Cerulean is a very particular hue of blue. Like every color, it invokes not only smell or taste, but memories. The blood swells slowly, and with it the memories spread through your mind unbidden, fast as an illness claiming a body. You didn’t want to remember the blueberry stain of sweat in her old costume, the two of you waving wooden swords like maniacs. You didn’t want to remember bandaged bruises as the moons began to fall, pounding fists and calling it a draw.
How can one stupid particular blue be so many things? You can see it all. The makeup hot and sticky on both your faces applied by hands too young and too foolish, you both agreeing the stuff was stupid while secretly approving yourselves in the mirror. The drool stretching between a spider’s massive mandibles as she smiles smugly, proving hers to be the best lusus. The text on ancient paper, the stories she read you once and only once in hushed tones under a quilt one quiet day, your cheeks blooming with color for once not from heat...
but it doesn’t matter how vivid the memories are. You still see her knees buckle, orange working against vermillion, colors working, failing to stay standing. For one moment she looks like she just might get up, but…Vriska Serket collapses.
Blue eats orange, slowly as a microbe moving, and you can’t look at it. It shines sticky on the blade and unthinkingly you wipe it on your outfit. Stupid. It paints a bright cerulean stripe against the red.
You have a feeling it won’t be coming out anytime soon.