A/N: ZareEraz here! I've had a flood of Ergo Proxy ideas lately and decided to post another one. Enjoy!
The Art of Mutual Destruction
"Just remember this: Someday, I'm going to pull that trigger. So, can you still love me knowing that?" She said that to his face after the third time she pulled a gun on him, the barrel pointed right at his chest. In all honesty, the FP shell could hit him anywhere on his body and he'd die. At least that's what she and Daedalus believed, but his chest was the biggest target so that's where she pointed it. The first time she pointed the gun at him, he was sleeping peacefully in the ship that she'd come to know was "the Rabbit," and at that time, she wasn't so sure that she could shoot a person without knowing if he was a threat. She couldn't pull the trigger when he wore his human face and not when she still had so many questions.
The second time she pointed a gun at him, he was Ergo Proxy, locked in a life-or-death battle with another of his kind. She and Iggy were off to the side of the ditch, keeping clear of the gods' fight. She was kneeling, sweat running down her spine as she stared at the nightmare that terrified her. That sick, grinning mask mocked her terror like it did when shards of glass rained down upon them in her bathroom on the night it all began. Her gun sight was locked onto him, her cold, blue eyes narrowed as she lined up to shoot. But he and the other Proxy were moving around too much…she had to be sure to hit him…with only two rounds, she didn't have the luxury to make a mistake. As the fight raged on between the titans, their strength overwhelming to ordinary humans, she saw the other Proxy dash towards him while his back was turned and without much thought, she pulled the trigger. His sad, blue eyes locked onto her, seeing what she had done and a split second later, the shell hit its mark.
The unnamed Proxy crashed to the ground once the FPrays took effect, killing the god with no remorse. Now, she had the power to end everything.
They faced each other, raw strength and speed pitted against the weapon of his destruction. "If I pull this trigger, I can end you too." Once the words were out of her mouth, a sick grin spread across his face, so unlike the timid, stupid look he usually wore. It was even more disturbing without the white mask across his face, because it was his face, Vincent's face doing the sick grinning, and his vibrant green eyes bright against the darkness of his skin. It took all her strength to face this monster that terrified her so; the only way she even had the courage to do it was thanks to the ice in her veins and the weapon in her hand. Without those, she would've been a quaking mess in the face of her nightmare.
His hands were reaching for her, his voice low and deep, rising up from an abyss of madness. "Kill me? Did you say you were going to kill me?" She almost shot him right then, but he stopped himself, the idiot face reappearing from behind the black hands.
"Re-L…please…" His voice…so sad and broken, as if her seeing him like this shattered his soul. She put down the gun. That was probably when he started destroying her in earnest, worming his way into her heart.
Even when she lost that gun when Iggy took it form her, the only thing that could kill him, Vincent gave it back. She'd been so confused. Why would he give it back to her, knowing that she could end his life? When she asked why, his answer wouldn't have made sense to anyone else besides her. He'd said, "Because…you said you weren't going to shoot me yet, so I'm giving it back to you."
Vincent didn't want to die, but if he had too, if his love wasn't enough to convince her to let him live, he'd gladly die at her hands. Because she'd been destroying him for a long time.
Love has a funny way of making people do things that they normally wouldn't do under any other circumstance.
Vincent was now styling her hair as she sat at the table. His hands, though big, and in the right (or the wrong) situation, deadly, were softly brushing through her hair. Since Re-L still didn't know how to style it like Iggy used too, she made the man do it for her. She could've learned to do it herself, but she liked making Vincent do it for her and eventually, she just liked that he did it for her. She wouldn't have anyone else do it, even if they could. Just like with Iggy, she relied heavily on Vincent. While Re-L had learned to do many things throughout her travels with Vincent, Pino and eventually Kristeva, there were still many things that she didn't know how to do or didn't want to do herself. And this was one of them. She would never admit it, but she loved when he did her hair.
"Are you done?" She asked coldly when his fingers slowed.
"Yeah, you're all done," Vincent replied, his voice soft and timid. The raven shook her head, feeling that everything was in place.
"Good." Before she stood up she felt a soft pressure on both of her shoulders, his hands, and then there was something warm on the top of her head, his lips. The corner of her mouth quirked up in a smile, but she quickly put it away in favor of her usual attitude. "What are you doing?" She asked, turning and raising an eye brow at him.
Vincent took a step back, his hands up defensively. He was panicked and blushing at the same time, his flustered state amusing her. "I-I…uh…um…" He couldn't seem to get his mouth to work properly, which pleased her even more.
"Whatever." She shrugged off the kiss and got up to brush past him, but…she let her hand linger for a moment on his cheek before walking away. As she strode off confidently to start packing up, Vincent looked after her longingly.
Vincent knew the second that he saw Re-L for the first time that he loved her. He loved her so completely that he'd do anything to keep her safe. Now, while that didn't completely blind him of her faults (and she had many), he was eventually able to overlook them and cope with them. Her complaining, for instance, bugged the hell out of him but he learned to work with it and if he could, he'd appease her irritation. Ginger ale helped with that a lot. But from that first moment he'd laid eyes on her in the Immigrant Office, striding confidently by with her entourage, there was no one else for him. Re-L Mayer was his whole world until it burst apart, forcing him to flee Romdeau. Then, even when the world was bigger and he was more complex, Re-L still held most of his heart and his mind.
He'd loved Monad once…but he gave her up to forget the eternal suffering bestowed upon Proxies by the Creator. And she…well, she loved him so much that she'd shouldered the immense burden of taking his memories and letting him go. Even in her wild, misshapen, monstrous form, she'd sought him out until he destroyed her…just like she'd erased the old him. Now that Vincent thought about it…that was the life of the Proxy. They give and give and give and give, only to be cast aside and destroyed by one another. The only way a Proxy could die was at the hands of a fellow Proxy (with the exception of the FP bullets, but as far as he knew, only Romdeau had such technology) or they could step into the sunlight and vanish from the world. But in a way, he was still loving Monad by loving Re-L, as Re-L came from Monad. And they were still entangled in each other's lives and deaths.
He remembered the conversation out in the wilderness of the world, right after Iggy had died. He handed her gun back to her, a shocked look on her face. He made her promise him and she agreed.
"If I can't be me anymore…I'd rather it end. You understand?" His green eyes had been so serious and deeply sorrowful, but determined. "I'll need you to kill me."
"That's the plan. I'm saving this last bullet for you." At the time, she'd felt no love for him, only an instinctive attraction. But their relationship had taken another step. There was almost nothing more intimate that holding someone's life in your hands and Re-L was not going to let him go. And he wouldn't let her go either. If anything ever happened to her, he would probably die as well.
Vincent thought about this all day while they were traveling, and continued to think about it when Kristeva came to relieve him of the helm. He'd gone back inside the cabin to rest, but ended up just mulling everything over again while he sat down to take his boots off.
"What are you thinking about over there?" Re-L's voice interrupted the man's musings. He trained his green eyes on her, her beautiful, blue eyes gazing back at him. She was sitting at the Rabbit's small table, writing in a notebook that they'd swiped from a dome a couple of weeks back.
Before he could stop himself, what he had been thinking about took a walk out of his mouth and into the open air. "I was just thinking that without you, I would die."
That definitely made her pause.
"What does that mean?" She asked, raising one of her eyebrows.
"Uh…I guess it means that…I wouldn't want to live without you." He was looking everywhere but her face, this eyes flitting from one thing to the next while he hurriedly explained himself. "O-or if I had to die, I'd want you to kill me…like I asked before…that kind of thing…" he sighed, realizing that it kind of sounded stupid when he said it out loud. Now he was looking at his feet bashfully, feeling Re-L's gaze boring into him. She didn't say anything for a few moments, the words hanging in the air between them. And when she finally stood up, he flinched, but once she reached him, her hand came up to gently cup his face. She straddled him, sitting down in his lap and his arms automatically came up to rest around her waist.
"I guess I feel the same way." She whispered, her breath ghosting over his ear as she came in close."At this point, I don't think that I could live without you." The words coming from her mouth were startling; Re-L never talked like this. She kissed his head much like he'd kissed hers this morning, her hands delicately combing through his hair. Vincent's blood started pounding through his veins, his whole body focused on just the fact that his Re-L was close to him. She was not the affectionate type, but today was turning into one of those days and he didn't have any complaints. Re-L brought his face up to meet hers, leaning in for a kiss. They stayed like that for a while, just kissing, hands tangled in hair, bodies pressed close. When they parted their gazes locked onto one another, blue and green.
"I guess when we go, we'll go together," she smirked, her plump lips looking perfectly kissed. "That's not such a bad thing to want, is it?" She asked, leaning in to kiss the corner of his mouth and thread her hands back into his hair.
"No…" he sighed, breathing her in, his hands going for her clothes. "I don't think so. We'll go together if that's what you want." His hands were everywhere on her body, touching caressing, undressing. Re-L sighed as her love began to indulge himself and she long for him as well, this talk of death making her want to feel alive. He made her pulse race, and that was proof enough that she was still a part of this world. When she kissed his neck and felt his own pulse, she knew that he was still a part of it too.
They barely made it to the cot that served at their bed, but once they were in it, they didn't leave it for hours.
Re-L was sleeping now, her soft breaths puffing against his bare chest, her bare body wrapped up in his warmth and in all the blankets the Rabbit had. Vince was idly petting her hair, loving the feel of it between his fingers, and tangling their legs together more. She shifted in her sleep, but didn't wake up. He stared at her peaceful face, wanting to sear the image into his brain; her life was so precious to him, so precious that he'd do anything to keep her in his arms forever. But the morning would come, and she would kick him out of bed to rush to the bathroom first and bully him into letting her use more water than he did. She'd probably push him off the Rabbit too, even if he hadn't done something to annoy her. But that was just Re-L, prickly and yet enchanting when she wanted to be. Her kissed her forehead, savoring her warmth as his thoughts drifted.
Once, Vincent had a conversation with Kazkis Proxy about the nature of the world, of people. This was right after Vincent and Pino had been in Charos and all the people there had died or were killed. Out of all the things that were said, one thing now stuck out in the man's mind. Kazkis had said the people had "shied away from the fact that they'd been abandoned and only found a way to live through mutual destruction." As he held Re-L in his arms…he realized that they'd done something similar. Vincent himself, no…Ergo Proxy had been abandoned with all the other Proxies by the Creators, left to rebuild a dying world, sent to suffer and labor, only to die when they weren't necessary anymore. When this great abandonment came to light, he had chosen to leave his city in the hands of another, rather than destroy the citizens of the dome, as many other Proxies had done. Re-L had once explained to him that she had been disillusioned with Romdeau for a long time, unable to be embraced by the city around her. She was never able to fit in with all the other Fellow Citizens, and because of this difference, she never truly belonged there. She only found her purpose, her drive her ultimate truth, by finding Vincent and chasing after him. She had fled as well, in order to find the truth. It was only when they met again that they both truly held each other's lives in their hands. Ergo Proxy could easily kill anyone, but he would never kill her and Re-L could've killed him at any time, but she eventually fell for him. It was only through their suffering, the abandonment and the destruction of their whole lives that they could find the truth and live on with it.
He held her even closer, cradling her against his chest. He kissed her again, softly, tenderly. Theirs was a fate entwined, unable to be stopped. When that fate ended, they would go together.