Easy to Do

by Jane Davitt

It shouldn't have been hard to pump bullets into Lash, not with Blair's distant, labored, panicky breathing crowding into Jim's ears, harsh and loud. It filled his head with fear there was no need for now, though he'd craved it earlier, when he was terrified that he wouldn't get here in time. Fear had driven him tonight, spurred him on, prompting him to act in ways he knew he'd pay for later, physically and emotionally, but none of that mattered, because he'd made it in time, he was here --

Shouldn't be difficult at all.

His hand didn't hesitate (did it? Had he --) to mete out justice or punishment; squeeze, release, repeat a few times, and Lash was lying dead, eyes staring up blankly. It was a justified shooting, one he'd have no problem defending.

His brain was assessing his aim with a cool, detached objectivity and giving grudging approval, but his senses -- God.

To Jim's eyes, blurred from exhaustion, Lash had looked, a little, like Blair at first glance. Each breath as they fought brought him a fugitive smell just a little, a very little like Blair, as if the two of them had spent too long too close together. Jim wanted to scrub Blair down in clean, hot water -- but not a bath, God, no, not a bath.

And Lash, at the end, was scared like Blair was.

Not Blair. Just a faded, imperfect copy. An evil twin. A wannabe.

A broken, twisted man, a magpie, a chameleon, a --

A cypher.

Still felt just a little like killing Blair in that imperceptible, fleeting pause before training and instinct combined and Jim squeezed the trigger.

Just a little.

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