Pepper and Spice

Storm and Wind talked for hours, catching up on the lost time. Storm told Wind about Iris, about Aqua, about Petal, about everything, and Wind told Storm about how Hammer left him, how he had fallen apart when he realized he'd left Storm without thinking, how fucked up his life had become. They fell asleep on the couch, Wind's head resting on Storm's chest, and as Storm began to drift into a relaxing, deep sleep, he realized how he'd become the strong one, how, without knowing it, Iris had helped him. More than he could ever say.

As his chest began slowing to a steady rise and fall, the only sound in his apartment was the sound of Wind breathing, and Storm smiled sleepily. He was going to be okay.

Master Thunder felt only slightly guilty leaving Mistress Lightning on her own. She had the twins to take care of. And besides, hadn't she said they were "just friends?" He couldn't help but feel bitter. He stood in front of the apartment, only ten minutes away from Mistress Lightning's house, gazing up at the window. It had been a week since Iris's funeral. Exactly one week. He gazed up at the apartment. The lights were all out. All except one, one window with the dim light peeking between a crack in the curtains.

A face appeared in the window and smiled at him. Master Thunder smiled back, went to the main door, and rang the buzzer.

Eve saw them walk past the house, Salt and Sugar, hand in hand with two men, one red-head, one with peppery gray hair. She frowned, studying the men for a moment, and then she knew why she found them so curious. One of them was wearing a necklace. A delicate necklace with a small, silver cross, a ruby in the center that caught the sunset's golden rays, reflecting it back at Eve. She knew that necklace. That was her necklace. She'd lost it the day those men had raped her. Two men. And there were two men with Salt and Sugar.

It wasn't a coincidence. She heard Lotus's voice, so faint, so soft, telling her to get them, to stop them. To save Salt and Sugar. She ran as quickly as she could, down the three flights of stairs, turning the corner as quickly as she could to try to catch up to four of them. She could feel her heart pounding, as though it were going to burst out of her chest. It seemed like forever that she was running, until finally she heard their voices. Salt and Sugar's protests. Salt was loud, rude, yelling at a man named Spice to leave Sugar alone, snapping at another man named Pepper.

Eve was about to round the corner when she heard a gunshot, a scream. Eve turned the corner and saw Salt laying on the ground, her eyes wide, her mouth hanging open, blood leaking from beneath her somewhere - her stomach? - and Sugar just stood there screaming. Another gunshot, and Sugar fell too, silenced immediately, the bullet lodged in her forehead.

Eve felt tears sting her eyes, the twins dead on the ground, and without thinking she started screaming at the men. "You killed them! You killed them!" The men, Pepper and Spice, looked up at her, surprised. She saw the flicker of recognition on their faces. "Don't you remember me? You only did to me what you were going to do to them! And you killed them!" She didn't even stop when she saw Spice raise his gun, aiming at her. She kept screaming, until suddenly a voice interrupted her, a shout. She turned and saw Master Thunder, a girl standing next to him. Eve stared at the girl, puzzled. She recognized her, yes, but she had no idea from where. Master Thunder was running toward Spice and Eve used the distraction to charge Pepper. She lept on him, knocking him on his back, and dug her teeth into his neck, immediately tasting blood, not sure if she had broken his skin or bitten her own tongue. She kneed him in the groin and watched him double over, then straddled his waist, wrestling the gun from his hands. She was ready to shoot him, her finger on the trigger, when she heard a gunshot. She froze in horror, knowing she hadn't pulled the trigger yet.

She was afraid to turn, afraid to look, afraid of what she would see - what she knew had happened, but she did anyway, and she saw Master Thunder fall to his knees, a small gurgle of pain escaped his lips, and he fell back onto the ground, dead. Eve felt it crush her throat, she couldn't breathe, Master Thunder couldn't breathe, and neither could she. She did the only thing she could, she shot Spice. Spice fell, and Eve ignored him, turning her attention to Pepper who was still trying to wriggle away from underneath her. She chuckled softly and stopped him immediately, shooting him in the throat, so he would feel what she felt.

She looked back up at the girl, the girl that had been with Master Thunder, and suddenly she remembered her. Iris's little sister. The girl Master Thunder had driven home on the day of the funeral because she was dizzy. Now that Eve thought about it, he had taken awhile to come back home.

Eve stood, and struggled to walk. Her legs felt like jello, but she had to know. She still held the gun in her hands. The girl opened her mouth, as though to talk, and Eve grabbed her by the throat and pushed her against the brick wall. The girl winced in pain, her eyes terrified. "Why was he with you?" Eve snarled, but the girl only shook her head, and closed her eyes. Eve sneered at the girl, and thought briefly about killing her.

But, no, she thought. What would Lotus think? Instead, she brought down the butt of the gun on the girl's eye and listened with satisfaction the anguished scream as the girl clutched her eye, falling to her knee as Eve released her.

While the girl sobbed, Eve inspected Master Thunder's body. His face was twisted with fear and pain. Eve winced, looking away. It wasn't the way she'd wanted to think of Master Thunder. She lowered her lips to his, feeling the bubbles of blood still resting on his lips pop as hers descended onto them. She whispered a soft, "I love you," and with that, she left.

What else was there to do? Eve looked around the alley. Leave Eden? No one ever left Eden. Kill herself? She wouldn't allow herself to be that weak. Master Thunder would never forgive her.

She thought about Lotus, about the rose bush, and she knew there was only one place she could go. Eve threw the gun to the ground and began the walk home. There was a fairy in a rose bush waiting for her, and Eve didn't want to keep her waiting.

24. June. 07 - Author's Note: This may seem like an abrupt ending, and I'll admit, it is. I apologize for that, but I had written this around a year and a half ago, so you can understand that writing the final chapter a year and a half later...Anyway, the extra chapter was Chapter 9 (Goodbye). If you're interested, I am going to be posting the sequel to Eden: Adam and Eve within the next few days. Unlike this story, the sequel is completely finished and there is no risk of me not finishing it for a year and a half. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed!