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He was never really afraid of scissors. He had them, he used them, he put them away. He wasn't obsessed with them, not in the way Grace- or Roman had been. He supposed that the scissors were probably a more traumatic symbol to her rather than him.

After all, he hadn't been around to find the body, and he certainly hadn't been the one killed for it. So, no, scissors hadn't really bothered him.

Grace's or- Amanda's- (Roman's?) trauma had always manifested itself in her psyche, the scissors and the blood in the artwork she displayed, his had never showed. Perhaps it was in the righteous anger he always felt, a violence he needed to express, a revenge yet incomplete.

However which way he saw it, Grace had clearly more subconscious remembrance than he did.

Frankie's hypnotism, however, changed something.

Grace squeezed his hands and he startled out of his thoughts to see her tired and sad, "They say we can go now."

Mike nodded wearily, following her out of the station. After Frankie's rather brutal murder, they'd called the police, who'd been very alarmed at the bloody sight. It had taken some clearing up, but the official story was that they had discovered the truth of the old Strauss murder and that Frankie had come after them to silence them. The antique scissors used in the murder decades before were proof enough, for now.

Mike winced, his chest pulling uncomfortably, but did not let go of Grace's hand.

She took the driver's seat quietly, letting him sigh as his tense muscles unwound. The silence reminded him of when she had no voice, and was quiet, shocked by those past events.

A few miles later, Grace cleared her throat and he looked across at her questioningly.

She asked tentatively, "What do we do now?"

He looked at his lap, "I suppose we sleep on it."

"But- but we- I... We were married." She gaped unbelievingly at the road in front of them, "I- I thought I was..."

"Grace you didn't know-"

The light turned red and she stomped on the breaks almost viciously, "I shot you." She looked at him, "I shot you."

He shrugged, "Yeah, but I'll get better."

She blinked unshed tears out of her eyes, "But doesn't it bother you?"

He leaned forward, brows drawn down in worry, "What?"

"You were murdered."

He shifted, "Now look-"

Grace continued, fingers white around the steering wheel, "I remembered... Or I saw? I- I don't know- but- I was Roman. I was Roman."

"Well-"

She narrowed eyes at him, "You were Margaret. You saw yourself as her in the mirror didn't you?"

Mike shrugged, "Yes. But I had to be sure. I wanted to check first."

Her bottom lip trembled, "I shot you. I thought I'd lost you."

He pulled her into hug, trying to calm her shaking body, "Hey, hey. You didn't lose anything. We're alright. We're here."

"I thought I'd lost you again."

Mike pulled back, looking in her in the eyes, "We're not truly those people, Grace. It... It was a different life then," he chuckled sourly, "I- I can hardly believe it myself, but I think it would be best if we forgot about it."

Even after the past few days, he was reluctant to admit that the past life was real, that Margaret and Roman and Baker had not been a strange coincidence or lifelike hallucination. Surely he hadn't really seen himself in 1948, surely he hadn't been Margaret-

Grace set her teeth in disagreement, the light turned green, and she slowly sped up, "I don't think I can forget it. It's... It's almost a part of me." She paused, thinking back to her apartment and the frightening paintings and sculptures, "I never wasn't there. Roman was always in the back of my mind... I think I just see him more clearly now that I know."

Mike sat back, "Well, I didn't. I never knew about Margaret. And I'd much rather keep it that way."

Grace pursed her lips, "I don't think we'll be able too."


 

She screamed, or tried to, but words didn't come out, just weak choked gurgles and the copper tang of blood. She couldn't breathe and the pain, oh the pain, was unbearable. Blood bubbled up at her lips, coating her fingers and running slick down her neck. She raised a hand, flailing, grabbing at her attacker. A flash of metal in the darkness, a silhouette bringing the weapon down, and pain pooled in her stomach sharp and jagged.

She screamed again but the only result of her last futile cry were guttural burbles, her fingers finally caught the arm holding the scissors, and her nails dug into her attacker's skin in a desperate bid for freedom.

It was already too late, she had minutes to live at the most.

The slice of metal one last time turned those minutes to moments, a spray of blood painted the sheets in a grotesque and brutal display, and the caged, rapid fluttering of her heart crashed to a grinding halt.


 

Mike bolted upwards gasping for air, hands clawing at his neck. He coughed raggedly, the saliva at the back of his throat slick and hot, like blood.

He stumbled out of his room, clutching at the kitchen sink as he hacked and gagged into it, trying to get rid of something that was no longer there- that had never been there in this body.

Before long a hand rubbed at his back, turning on the faucet as he groaned wearily.

His head rested against the cool metal, Grace's voice was soft and worried, "What happened? Are you alright?" His fingers trembled against the cool stainless steel.

She turned the water off, as he slumped, sliding down the cabinets until he sat on the tile floor. She followed, taking his hand in hers and watching him intently. His words were strained and breathless, "I- I can't... I- I- he-"

She shushed him quietly, "You don't have to talk till you're ready."

He swallowed, voice hoarse, shoulders shaking, "No- I- I want to talk. I want to be heard."

She was silent as Mike continued, "He... He really made sure Margaret was dead. He- he really had something against m- her."

Her voice was infinitely quiet, "You had a nightmare?"

Mike gripped her fingers tightly, breathing slowing as his other hand clutched at his recent bullet wound, "It's very strange, Grace, remembering your murder."

She sucked in a breath, "You-? Are you alright?"

He stared into the middle distance, right at a grey spot on the floor. She examined him carefully, lips thin with worry, "Mike."

"Yes?" He didn't look at her.

"Is there anything you need?"

He finally looked at her, "Do you think we could sleep in the same bed tonight? I-" a hand went to his throat and his mind shifted back almost forty years ago to a different body, a different time, "I don't want to be alone... Not... Not like then-"

She let go of his hand, cupping his face instead, "Of course not. I won't leave you alone. Not again." She carefully pressed a kiss to his forehead.

He closed his eyes, red painted across the back of his eyelids.

He opened them, and Grace, more beautiful than anything he'd seen before, peered back at him. Despite his darks thoughts and the phantom pains in his side, a hesitant smile made the corners of his grimace turn upwards, "I love you."

Grace pulled him to his feet, "I know."

She lead him to the bedroom, their hands clasped.