The Four Times Reko Almost Punched Shin And The One Time She Did (Or Enemies To I’ll Learn To Tolerate You Because You’re Dating My Brother)
"Without a doubt, someone will die."
The death of one of her allies should be her biggest concern. But Reko can't worry about that when Sou might be more of a threat than her kidnappers. His laugh echos through the grounds as an eerie death chime. A feeling of unity in fear spreads through the group, but it doesn't reach Sou, who stands alone.
Joe, Sara, Nao, and Gin look frightened. She wants to tell them they have nothing to fear, but that's a lie. This man is dangerous, without a doubt. She should lunge across the room and connect her fist to Sou's cheek for making her friends so afraid. But she restrains. There is no use in causing more stress to the group. All she can do is watch with hatred as he smiles.
Shin isn't smiling now. Chunks of wood lay in his hair. He's filled with confusion as he interrogates Sara on the main game.
"Was it Miss Nao? Kai? Joe?! Don't tell me-"
Pure rage passes through her at Shin's mocking. He looks so smug as Sara's eyes well with tears. Reko wants to take his head and bash it against the floor in retribution, but for Kanna's sake, she doesn't lay a hand on him.
But she could.
She's a muscular gal, while Shin's a man of tiny frame. With one punch, he'd go tumbling down. She has to take a breath to settle herself as everyone casts a doubting glance at Shin's way. He won't get away with this.
He got away with it. But right now, it doesn't matter. The view outside is the most beautiful thing Reko has ever seen. Days inside of their prison all ended with an escape through a vending machine.
They split off into groups as soon as their feet hit the ground. Keiji comforts Sara for her losses like a Father. Q-Taro watches over Gin as he runs through the grass in glee. Nao holds Kanna's hand, acting as her sister until they are safely home.
If she looked over, she could see Alice talking to Shin. That beanie bastard helped them escape. She could feel more grateful if it wasn't for...everything else. The view of Shin's face is enough to fill her with loathing.
She should punch him before he gets out of reach, for Mishima and Joe and manipulating Kanna. But she can't bring herself to do it. Shin is a weak man. He's a human, just like the rest of them. It was easy to forget that with his facade, whoever the Sou man he was mimicking was, he seemed far less than human.
The more she thinks about it, the more confident she finds herself that she can't lay a hand on him. Even as he walks away and far from the game, Reko doesn't follow. He's earned his freedom. At least she won't see that man once more.
Why the fuck is she seeing Shin once more?
Shin arrived at her front door in the far too early hours of 8 AM. He looks startled to see her as he tries to peer his head past her and into the house.
"What the hell are you doing here?!"
"I was just in the neighborhood...err, is Alice here?"
With every word, Shin takes a step back. It's like he can feel the urge Reko has to punch him every time they meet.
How did he find her address? Is he stalking Alice? Questions flood her mind, but Shin seems none the wiser. He acts as if he should be here. Like he's anxious to see Alice again. It makes Reko's skin crawl. Alice wouldn't be easy to manipulate. But with such a tender heart, he gives far too many chances. After all Shin pulled, she doesn't want to risk seeing Alice's heart shattered to the floor by the likes of him.
"I don't know what you want with Alice...but if you hurt him, you'll regret it."
Shin's face pales, but he doesn't waver. In fact, he...relaxes?
"Alice!! R-ready to go?! We should hurry before everyone takes the good tables.-"
Turning behind her, Reko sees Alice as he steps out into the yard with Shin. What makes her fists ball up is a horrifying revelation. Going for breakfast on Saturday morning? It sounds like a date.
She wants Alice to be happy with someone. But not with him. ANYONE but Shin. She doesn't have time to complain before Shin ushers Alice away. One day she's going to snap.
Today's the day. When you come into your home, the last thing you'd expect to see is a man-shaped shadow cloaked in darkness. Upon first glance, he looked like a ghost. But then the shadow stepped closer. Its shoes creak on the old floorboards as it moves towards her. Its arm reaches out for the light switch, but it didn't have the chance to make contact. With such a sight before her, can anyone blame her for what happened next?
Her fists went flying, and the figure dropped to the floor, holding its face in pain. Its groaning and form in the darkness seem...similar to a scene she saw before, like a man laid out on the floor faking having amnesia. Wait a minute-
Reko flicks the light on to find Shin getting his bearings. He seems stunned by the force as he tries to make his way to his feet.
"AH SHIT!! Are you okay?! WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE?!"
Shin puts his hands up in surrender. It only takes a glance to see his hands aren't empty. He's holding a striped bag that belongs to Alice.
"Wait-This isn't what-Alice gave me a house key!! He left his bag at my house and asked me to bring it here!! You-you can call him!!"
On further thought, Alice did mention in passing he was missing a bag. And that he left it with Shin.
His face is already swelling from the punch. A bright red bruise is left under his eye that he tries to cover with his hand.
"Damn it, sorry. Want some frozen peas for that?"
"Urk...if it's not too much trouble."
Shin takes the peas without much to say. She allows him to sit on the couch and nurse his injured face.
"You sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine. Ahaha, it doesn't even hurt."
He winces as the ice hits wrong against his face. Reko has come close to punching him so many times, but now that it happened, she's filled with guilt. Alice isn't going to be happy about the black eye on his boyfriend's face either.
"Hey, Reko, do you know when Alice will be back? We're going to see a movie."
"Should be any minute now. Are you going to see that comedy Alice keeps harping on about?"
"Just don't take him to see horror. Unless you want to pick thrown popcorn out of your hair."
"Haha, I figured that out. Say...what was Alice like as a kid? Did he watch a lot of movies?"
It's weird to see Shin like this. They've never really talked outside a death game. He doesn't seem so scary here. It's odd to know she could have punched him out this entire time. It's even odder to see him as someone friendly. But if this is the guy Alice wants to see...she could at least make an effort to get to know him without the urge to punch him in the face. She did just get it out of her system.
She can't say with certainty they'll ever be friends, but she can try to tolerate him. At least for Alice's sake.
"Nah, he was more of a reader. Before all the stripes, he had a goth phase, though. Let me tell you all about it!"
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“Silver,” says he, as if borne from a dream. “Hast thou heard of the runesmiths of Orzammar? Of the dwarves whomst canst nakedly touch the lyrium veins hidden away all inground amidst the Deep Roads? Dost thou know the Deep Roads, Lord?” inquires he, curiously.
“Levitation!” expounds he, whispered in breathless serenity, and mindful of their current environ. “Marvelous, unbound! Art there Places still where the tide of the Fade is thin, and art all made mage from those metaphysical wounds. Hath I sum in Mind.” And doth Roland openly ponder, his lips pursed; his hands aiding the last of the fallen stacks into their places amongst eternity.
“Perchance in Ferelden, if the Path is adventurous. There is a forest there, riddled with spirits and old ghosts, that couldst proclaim a happy breadth of Wander’ng.” And dost Roland’s eyebrows bounce in thrice, happy in cleverness. “Dost this please thee, my Lord?”
Dirthamen frowned at the mentioning of dwarfs. In his memory the relationship between the kingdoms underground and the Old Realm has always been strained at best. But Roland spoke of them with unbiased wonder. So the old god held his tongue, reserving judgement for later. Many things have changed in his absence. Why not also the old animosity between the People and the Titan's Children?
His next account had Dirthamen perk up, however. A place where the veil is thinned enough for spirits to pass over easily? Not only would that serve as a good place to teach Roland the old paths of magic... it might also provide Dirthamen with the right environment to properly replenish the pathways of his own magic, refasten old connections, that got severed during his imprisonment and... possibly... search for those still lost.
With his own center of power - his foci - currently unavailable to the old god, he found himself limited in ways, that were cumbersome at best and downright dangerous at worst.
"I think", he answers, after a moment of contemplation, "You should first show me that Fereldan forest, you're speaking of. Only when I'm there, can I decide whether or not it would suffice to support the spells, that are currently lost to the world."