julie_icon.gif sasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Accessory
Synopsis In the immediate aftermath of unexpected carnage Julie is laser-focused on Sasha's deception.
Date December 18, 2018

It's cold outside. Birds are dead on the sidewalk. It's preferable to the alternative.

Emily and Geneva are arguing over what to do with Sibyl inside, and neither Julie nor Sasha volunteered to be a part of that conversation. Julie had a different one in mind.

How long have you been off the drugs?

Julie punctuates her sentence by sucking in a lungful of smoke from a cigarette held in a trembling hand, watching the sleek frame of Sasha Koszlow from beneath a ragged fringe of dark lashes. They're both bundled up from the cold, standing in the midst of a dozen dead birds with broken necks, just a scream away from the broken front window of her ground-floor apartment.

Sasha’s answer comes in the form of a shrug that’s too telegraphed in its laziness to be convincing. He scrubs at the ginger hair growing on the cusp of his upper lip with his free hand. The other, like Julie’s, has a cigarette dangling from between two meaty fingers.

“Long time,” he mutters against his knuckles, and tips back his head to blow a steady stream of smoke through his pursed lips. The Russian leans a shoulder into the brickwork behind him. He’s put on some weight in the last few months, more fat than muscle, but his shape still cuts a somewhat lean-looking silhouette under the street lamp’s flickering glow.

“Is making me sick, this medicine.” He flicks ash onto the pavement amongst the small, broken bodies. “Hippocratic Oath say: Do no harm. So I do no harm, but to myself.”

Julie’s lips press into a thin line, pupils dilating in the way they do when she accessed her ability. The frustration showing as a furrow between her brows is evident — her power says nothing about whether an ability is suppressed or not. Snorting, she takes a step over to Sasha, expression softening in spite of her stiff posture.

“When were you planning on telling me?” Julie asks in a conspiratorial tone, adding a small addendum of, “and never is an honest option, if it's true.” Her pale eyes flick from side to side, searching Sasha's for something that isn't necessarily just an answer. It's never that simple with her.

In this way, she is unlike any woman Sasha has ever been with. He’s preferred more submissive partners in the past; most of his girlfriends were small and soft and malleable, like clay in his palm. Even Eileen Ruskin, when they were together, was all gentle whispers and a warm mouth.

But Julie—

Julie reminds him of the cigarette pinched between his knuckles: bitter and thin and bad for him. He also can’t quit her. Needs her with the same low, yearning, unhappy hunger that makes him itch for nicotine and tar.

His free hand reaches up, cupping her jaw in his open palm so his thumb can curve along her lower lip and settle in her chin’s diminutive dimple.

“When I am ready.”

In the end, though, the spectrum of their relationship is less like an addiction and more akin to parasitism. Or, when viewed through the right lens, symbiosis. Julie’s expression is difficult to ascertain, blue eyes searching up at Sasha, still under the touch of his hand at her chin. The silence between them emphasizes the sounds of the city beyond them, the rumble of distant vehicles, the far off sounds of boat horns at the coast, the buzzing of the flickering light directly overhead.

“You’re more than a hippocratic oath,” Julie says with a turn of her face toward Sasha’s palm, words felt as subtle breaths against calloused skin. “Your ability is more than a doctor’s tool. I want you to find what you haven’t in yourself,” she lifts one hand up to rest against the back of his, “find what you can do when you’re in control, not someone else.”

Narrowing her eyes, Julie takes a slow step forward. “If you’re going down that road, regardless of whatever nightmare of a distraction Sibyl is, I want to see where that road takes you. What you can become.” Julie squeezes his hand, gently.

“What I can help you become.

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