Limping slightly as sweat ran into her eyes, Sonya walked unsteadily toward her friend and partner. He was bleeding from multiple lacerations, but he would live. Through blood covered teeth, Jaxx smiled at her.
"Hey, partner, how ya holding up?"
"I’ll live, Lieutenant. Thanks for your concern." He held up his hand in a thumbs up gesture, then opened his hand. Sonya clasped it firmly, and they shared a look of relief and finality. They both won their fights. Sonya’s face fell into a frown as she felt cold metal pressed into her other hand. Jaxx was giving her a gun.
"In case we run into any other gang members hiding out around here."
She nodded and placed the gun in her belt. "Where’s Johnny?" Jaxx closed his eyes and laid his head down on the wet concrete.
"Last I saw, he was kicking Balford’s ass into the next zip code. Over there, on the dock." Sonya turned her head, and in the distance, she could see a figure walking towards them. Slowly she reached for her gun before standing and approaching him. As he came closer, she could make out the form of a smaller being upon his shoulder. Sonya smiled and laughed with relief as they came into view.
"Sonya-san!" Kaoru wiggled out of Johnny’s arms and ran toward Sonya, who fell to her knees and let the little girl plow into her. They clung to each other in love and support. Upon her shoulder was a strong hand of comfort. Sonya looked into Johnny’s compassionate eyes as she whispered to him.
"Thank you." For everything they accomplished, for every goal they achieved, for saving the life of a child that made them feel as complete as a family. For saving themselves… Kaoru pulled away and smiled at Sonya.
"Sonya-san, where’s Jaxx-sama?" Sonya brushed the little girl’s bangs aside and wiped away a tad of blood from a knick on her brow.
"He’s resting until the ambulances show up."
"Like I’d ever be laying down on the job."
Kaoru yelled and ran at the tall black man. He lifted her up and swung her about.
"Ah, my little munchkin doll face!" Sonya watched the affection display, surprised that Jaxx actually had that much of a soft side, when a hand caught her vision. Johnny helped her to her feet, remaining silent when he wrapped one arm about her waist as his opposite hand caressed her cheek, smoothing away the blood and dirt from her fight with Kyoufu, or Nise, or whoever the hell she was. She stared at him until he placed a chaste kiss to her forehead. At that point, Sonya lost it. With a quiet sob, she buried her head into his chest and gripped at him like a lifeline. He rocked her while he stroked her hair. His peripheral vision caught sight of Jaxx slipping away quietly with Kaoru to give them some privacy.
"It’s over," he whispered. "It’s finally over."
"I know," she cried. Her head remained down as she pulled away, and she cleared her throat before looking at him. "I know." A large smile split his face while he pulled her closer, his lips met hers, and the storm broke again. Upon the blissful couple it poured. Sonya laughed into the kiss, enjoying his presence, but mainly at the stupidity of the situation. Johnny pulled away and looked at her with questioning eyes.
"Here we are, bleeding and exhausted after saving the world from an international drug gang bent on creating drug compelled super soldiers, making out, in the rain." Johnny laughed also.
"Yeah, I’m telling you, can it get any worse?" he joked sarcastically. Sonya’s smile faded slightly as her eyes became serious.
"Dear God it better not," she groaned. Johnny laughed loudly for a moment, before returning his intense gaze on her. Slowly his smile disappeared as he leaned down to kiss her again. Her body jerked upward, and for a moment, time stopped. Johnny couldn’t feel the rain. He couldn’t hear the storm over head. His wounds stopped hurting, his head stopped pounding… his heart stopped beating. All he could see was Sonya’s eyes, filled with shock, as blood trickled from her lips. And all he heard was a gunshot echoing in his ears.
"Joh-Johnny-" Her body was becoming limp, and she began to slip.
"Sonya," he whispered. "So-Sonya." His voice cracked as he slowly lowered them to the wet cement, and he gently laid her down beside him. "Son- Oh, God." Her face turned ashen, the blood flowing from her mouth and nose a bright contrast to the paleness of her skin. As he pulled his hands away from behind her back, he stared in horror at the deep crimson that covered his fingers. It hit him.
"JAXX!" Frantically, but as gently as possible, Johnny rolled her onto her side. "No…" Her white top was stained red around her left shoulder blade, and with each beat of her heart, more blood squirted from the gunshot wound. A damaged artery. A bullet to the heart. A fatal wound. Johnny’s breath was coming in ragged gasps, his mind was frozen, his jaw locked. ‘What do I do. What do I do?’ Sonya’s body jerked as she went into an erratic coughing fit, and Johnny rolled her onto her back. Groans and incomprehensible words passed her bloody lips.
"Oh, God. What do I do? No, dear God, please, no. Sonya, Sonya!" Johnny wrapped an arm under her head and lifted her up slightly. "Oh, please, no, please this isn’t real," Johnny whispered over and over. "No, no, we won, we- Oh, God no."
"I’m so-sorry." Johnny looked down at his gasping love as she whispered to him. "I-I’m sorry." Johnny’s world was crumbling too quickly. With every painful breath she took, his heart bled as much as her own.
"No, Sonya. No, you’ll be fi-fine, I promise." Johnny put his forehead to hers. "I wo-won’t let you-." Johnny tore his head up to the sky. "JAXX! JAXX, PLEASE! GOD, NO! No! No no no!" He pressed her head into his chest and wrapped his arms around her as his chin clenched above her. "No, God Sonya, you can’t leave me here, don’t leave me like this," he whispered into her hair.
"I’ll never-never leave… you." Pain surged through his veins; tears blurred his vision. The anguish was unbearable. He looked frantically about, trying to think of something, when he saw a body crawling toward him.
"Nise…" Johnny’s heart leapt to his throat when there was a flash off a gun in her hand. Slowly, she dragged herself to her feet as she used a fish cutter for support. It was then Johnny noticed that his ex-homicidal girlfriend was short a leg, the blood from the open gap leaving a trail of red upon the pavement. Her head fell toward the bleeding woman in his arms, and when she met his gaze, her bloody and broken face was lifted in a gruesome smile that only Satan could love.
"An eye for an eye," she giggled deliriously. "Get it, my brother? An eye for an eye!" The deranged gang leader laughed hysterically into the pouring rain and growling thunder. Two more gunshots pierced the air and Johnny watched as his adversary flailed about while blood splattered across the deck. Her head was gone from her shoulders, and her body crumpled in a heap of blood and muscle. But Johnny’s pain didn’t die with the dangerous Australian beauty. He wanted to reattach her head to her body, revive her, and then kill her again. There was a clatter of metal, and Johnny looked down to see the steaming gun next to Sonya’s pale hand. Her voice broke into his thoughts.
"Do you trust me?" Johnny’s head tilted down and he looked into Sonya’s fading eyes. "Joh- trust m…" The distraught actor shook her as her eyes began to close.
"Sonya, Sonya, please."
"T-trust me?" Her eyes opened and held his with conviction as she repeated her question.
"Yes, I trust you," he answered softly.
"I’ll never… leave…"
"Johnny! God, no, SONYA!"
"-Never leave- Johnny-"
"I’ll never leave you." Her body went lax, and Johnny felt his spirit being torn away. Sobbing, he pulled her tightly to him and kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her closed eyes while Jaxx and Kaoru kneeled beside him. The little girl sobbed and Jaxx stared numbly. Sirens screeched nearby, and in moments the paramedics were running across the docks. Into the loud wailing sounds, Johnny let himself become detached, and he passed out into a welcome blanket of darkness.
It’s called a changeover. The movie goes on, and nobody in the audience has any idea…
I heard a story once, a while back. It was about a time when all people had four legs and two heads. And then the gods threw down thunderbolts, and split everyone into two. Now everyone had two legs and one head. But the separation left both sides with a desperate yearning to be reunited. Because they both shared the same soul. And ever since then all people spend their lives searching for the other half of their soul. Stupid, foolish, romantic ideals, I know. And to think I got it off of Xena, the type of show with cheap moral lessons and family values. But did you ever wonder if maybe it was true? Did you ever believe that maybe there was someone else in the world who made you complete? Did you ever think that they were right there, in front of you, but you were too blind to notice? Is it possible to never meet that person that makes you whole? Could they die before you realize the truth? Could your soul die with theirs?
I’m afraid. God, for the first time in my life, I’m actually afraid of living. What am I supposed to do when I have nothing to live for? Such a small and tender soul that quakes beside me. The soul for which you sacrificed yourself. And now, I have found strength there. You have stepped out of my life, to let another step in. You changed me in more ways than I thought possible… Now I’m going to use those changes to live again. You taught me who I really was, and what I can do with my life. You showed me the potential if I could just believe…
Kaoru’s grandparents were murdered a little after we took her under our care. Her life has been utterly devastated by the Devil’s Destiny, but there’s no more threat to her or any others. Again, thanks to your dedication. And now, I’ve taken her under my care. What can I say, Love, she’s too special to let go of. Just like you. But I understand that I can’t live in the past forever. Beside me she will stay, she’s told me repeatedly, and I trust her. She is the rock in my ocean of sorrow, and she will support me until I can again stand on my own. You gave her that strength, I believe. She’s not your child, yet so much of you seems to live inside of her. I can see your courage, I can feel your determination, and I know that Kaoru has a future brighter than I can imagine. I know you’ll be the voice in her ear to help her do what’s right.
But will you be there for me, too? I need you now, and you said you’d always be here. Where are you? Are you smiling at me from the blossoming flowers that cover your grave? Are your tears apart of the rain that falls in tender sheets about me? Are your words of comfort drifting to me on the whispering wind? Something in me burns, while my heart palpitates. Is it your love? A hand squeezes mine. Is that your touch giving me the courage to continue? Kaoru’s face is shining up at me, and I see you there. You’re in her eyes. And you’re pleading for me to live.
I smile back at you, and a weight lifts from me. I trust you to be with me, forever, until we again meet. I carefully pull a single red rose from the array of flowers upon the seeping ground, and drops of rain roll off like the tears of a weeping mother. Kaoru’s fingers wrap around the stem, and together we turn to leave. Her hand never leaves mine, and though my tears begin to burn more as I put my back to you, I know that with her there, you will always be there, too, just one step behind.
That’s the end, my wonderfully dedicated readers. Thanks for staying along for the ride. I hope you enjoyed the story, though I know it was lacking in some areas, and I hope you’ll check out any new stories I put up soon. Take care.