Title: Deal
Author: D.L. SchizoAuthoress
Rating: PG-13

a murder by numbers oneshot

'It's not a big deal,' Justin thinks, looking at the gloves that Richard is offering him. Richard stares up at him, begging wordlessly with those blue eyes of his. Does his lower lip tremble? Are those tears glistening in his eyes?

Justin barely represses a sneer. Barely stops himself from saying, "You're laying it on awfully thick, Haywood." Because Richard is. Justin can see right through him. He might be a pathetic weakling, still chained up in society's rules, but no way would Richard Haywood start crying at the thought of some helpless woman at his mercy. No, that's the sort of thing that Richard enjoys.

Justin knows why Richard is doing this. Knows why Richard is breaking their deal and endangering the plan. Justin pulls the gloves from Richard's grasp, and slides them over his hands. 'You can't handle it. I thought you could do this, thought that you wanted to be as free as I am, but I guess I was wrong.' Justin silently mocks Richard in his head.

He crawls onto the bed, straddles the woman's hips - an ironic parody of lovemaking. But no new life will come from this embrace of his hands on her throat. There will be only death.

'You've been staying up late at night, haven't you, Richard?' Justin taunts silently, 'Thinking about what could happen if things go wrong. About what could happen if things go right, even. How we'd have to leave town, leave our old lives behind, to shake the pursuit. And you can't deal with it.'

There are sounds coming from behind the woman's gag. Not words. Just desperate animal sounds. Justin's arms tremble from the effort of keeping his hands locked around her throat, and her head rises slightly just before he forces it down with more power than before.

Her eyes are frozen open, like windows with the shutters flung wide. Her body writhes beneath Justin's, trying to throw him off. But his slender frame and soft features lie, hiding the truth of his wiry, tough strength. She can't budge him. He presses his whole body against hers, making her lie still.

No more sounds. No more sounds, save the harsh drag of Richard's breath and the soft pants of Justin's own. His fingers dig deeper into her soft flesh, paler than her slightly tanned skin, looking like bones. Like the claws of some terrible bird of prey.

Finally, she goes still. No struggle, no sound, no breath. But he stays, for a few moments, making sure. And hidden from Richard's searching eyes, Justin smiles.

'No big deal.'