Loss Of Innocence



Scene Title Loss of Innocence
Synopsis In the aftermath of her first Messiah mission, Melissa mourns the loss of something she didn't know she valued.
Date June 30, 2010

Bathroom of the airport in Montana

The explosion at the Pharmatech plant wasn't that long ago, not really. And most of the details are still so fresh, so clear in Melissa's mind. The sound of gunfire and buzzing bees. The weight of the kevlar. The smell of gunpowder and fear. The feel of her pulse in her throat.

The sight of her bullets ripping into flesh and ending the lives of the security guards.

Melissa shakes her head slowly as she moves into the bathroom at the airport. She stops in front of the mirror, leaning against the counter. Her reflection is pale, eyes a little too wide. Her hands aren't quite steady still, and she needs to grip the counter to stop the shaking. The guys are all outside, doing their pre-take off thing. But Mel…she needed a few minutes to herself. A few minutes without them watching her. Judging her.

She'd just killed a man.

Several, actually. She knew it had to be several. She'd fired too many times for it to just be the one. And she'd never killed a man before. Shot, yes. Hurt, oh yeah. But killed? No, she'd never gone past that shaky line of morality before. Never wanted to. Never had to. But tonight she chose to go over, to go past it.

The thought has her turning, a hand slamming a door open so she can dart into one of the stalls, sending it banging against the wall noisily. She sinks down to her knees and promptly loses everything in her stomach. Though she doesn't realize it immediately, she's crying, even as she throws up. Several minutes later, when her stomach is emptied, she turns, sitting down on the dirty floor and leaning against the wall of the stall. The back of her hand wipes over her mouth, then the other moves over her cheeks, and there's a moment of surprise at the salty moisture there.

She closes her eyes, breathing in, shallow and steady. It had to be done, she tells herself. They had to be stopped. All wars have casualties, right? These guards were just casualties of war. They didn't suffer. But she is.

There's a soft sob as she lowers her head to her upturned knees, and she just sits there, crying. Mourning the loss of that last bit of innocence she still had left. A door opens as another woman comes in to use the restroom, and for once Melissa doesn't seem to give a damn about appearances or embarrassing herself. She just lets herself cry. Or maybe…maybe she simply can't stop the flow of tears, the body wracking sobs.

Someone taps lightly on the door to her stall. “Are you okay?” is asked in a gentle voice. “I'm fine,” Melissa replies, though her voice belies her words. The woman outside hesitates, then carries on with her day. Mel is just another soul crying for something lost. One of thousands doing the same thing at the same time.

But over and over in her head, the sight of that first guard falling is replayed, and her mind manufactures things that she couldn't have sensed. His scream of pain and fear. The look on his face. Things she couldn't know, but that will surely haunt her dreams for some time.

A banging on the door startles her. Riggs, telling her to hurry up. She can't miss her plane, now can she? “I'll be right out,” she calls back, her voice as steady as she can make it, and part of her is pleased that it didn't waver too badly.

She pushes herself to her feet, her legs not quite steady just yet, but her stomach is no longer doing flips, rebelling with her mind against her. She moves to the sink, rinsing out her mouth, though she can't get rid of the acrid taste altogether. A glance in the mirror shows her eyes to be red, her mascara and eyeliner smeared and she sighs. The boys will never stop harassing her if they see her like this. Worse, they'll never accept her. She splashes cool water on her face, letting it sooth her irritated eyes, washing away the traces of salt on her cheeks and the dark smudges of her makeup. It makes her feel a little better, but also wipes away the last bit of makeup, leaving her looking younger than her twenty-six years. Younger all except for the look in her eyes. Still, it's better than it was.

There's another pounding on the door and she sighs. Time to go face the world. Or at least a small portion of it. Maybe it'll be better once she's back in New York. Back in her little green house, looking out over the harbor. They're familiar. She moves towards the door and opens it before Riggs can start beating on it again, and as she does she has one final thought.

Too bad her conscience didn't die with her innocence.

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