Hooray. This is a quick piece about two characters from my story "Massacre Opera". They're two special agents assigned to the case. And Domino is obviously not Domino's real name. He goes by it because his real name embarrasses him.

Yay, slight slash.

Enjoy?


"What the fuck do you want, Kimora?"

Rave knows he should have anticipated getting this reaction from Domino, of course. This is just the way he is, he tells himself as he stands in the doorway looking with slight amusement at the blonde, who is trying desperately to look threatening but failing miserably with his unkempt hair and crooked red sunglasses that do nothing to conceal the newly empty right eye socket. He tells himself that this reaction is just a way of making up for how vulnerable Domino feels at this moment. But of course, he knows better. Domino would have reacted the same on a normal day.

"Hey," the words leave his mouth automatically, his customary greeting, and he shoves his way past the shorter man and into the room behind him; it's the only way he's going to get in, since Domino seems in no mood to cooperate. Sometimes, on a good day, he might. But chances were always slim.

"Hey, fuckface," Domino answers idly, and it's obvious that the reply is just one of those answers Domino has stored so he doesn't have to think when it comes to conversation. "What did you come here for?" Domino's apartment is by far the shittiest he has seen, and Rave has to allow himself to gawk at the ridiculous mess for a few moments before he answers.

"I was worried about you… I came to see if you were okay."

"Well, I'm alive, fuckshine. So I guess your mission is complete, right?" Domino is leaning against the wall and avoiding looking at him and Rave moves cautiously forward, knowing that any false move could send him on a random rant at a time like this.

"Alive isn't necessarily okay." Domino's short blonde hair, usually carefully gelled, has obviously not been brushed for days. This is a fact that secretly scares him. Though Rave knows he's just as bad, it's well-known that Domino shares the same sense of vanity as a shallow schoolgirl, always paying great attention to his appearance, though he'd rather not admit it. But now, the long-sleeved black shirt hangs loosely from Domino's frame; he has lost weight. Where there would normally be tight, chocolate-brown leather pants there are a pair of old jeans, worn so thin in old places that they are beginning to fall apart. He looks like an underpaid radio announcer. This fact terrifies him. Domino usually looks like he has much more money than he does.

"Fine, I'm okay. Is that better?" Domino snaps, still avoiding Rave's gaze.

"So you're okay."

"Yeah."

"So, coming back to headquarters pretty soon?" Rave knows it's a stupid question… knows asking something like this could even be dangerous, knowing Domino. His behavior is erratic at best, and at times it can be downright violent. But the reaction is not what he expected… instead of any kind of outburst, Domino laughs. This is, if possible, even scarier. It's something the old, less crazy Domino would have done, back when his name was just Joel and spent his days loafing around New York subways toting a pistol without a gun license. But this laugh is different from those old ones… his one remaining eye-- chocolate brown but so dark that Rave mistakes it for black when they're not in the sun-- glints with a sick kind of madness he can't recall seeing there before. It scares him. This, along with the others, makes up a large sum of things that scare him about Domino on this visit. And so he feels obligated to ask…

"What's so funny?"

"That you think I'm coming back like this!" in one fluid motion, Domino seizes the sunglasses he's wearing between two fingers-- they look expensive, Rave wonders where he got them-- and removes them, hurling them to the side with reckless abandon. "look at this! I'm a fucking freak!" he points with one finger to the empty, black socket where his other eye once was… the one that was slightly lazy, but Domino had always called it his winking eye. "My eye is gone. Not damaged, not blind… gone."

"Domi-"

"That fucking Phoenix took my fucking eye. I should have known it was him… I always thought he was kind of crazy, but I never imagined he killed people! And then the little fucker chains me down like we're in some kind of fucking kinky porno and gives me a full confession to the fucking murders! Who confesses to murders when there's no proof they did it, when they're on the fucking task force, when they aren't even a suspect?! And then he takes a switchblade to my eye! And you know what the really sick part was? He ate it! He ate my goddamn eye, right in front of me! And I got off on it! I don't know what's wrong with him, what's wrong with the world, or what's wrong with me. But you can take that as your answer that I am not coming back to headquarters anytime soon, alright!?"

Rave stands still, watching Domino's shoulders heave as he slowly calms down from his latest rant. It's definitely not the first time he's seen him like this. Rave Kimora has known Joel Courtney for years… since before he became Domino, certified crazy person and the last guy you want to piss off. But these rants are nothing new… these rants have been happening for the past ten years of their friendship, and Rave just watches the heaving shoulders, the bloodshot eye, the moment of complete rage that covers a seething well of vulnerability hiding just beneath the fractured surface. And for the first time since Rave has been here, Domino raises his remaining eye and looks at him.

The result is something Rave is unprepared for… something that tears at his gut and makes him have to be the one that looks away this time. It's a kind of pain, a kind of sympathy no one should feel, and with his bizarre abilities, it is acute, burning inside Rave's chest like a blue-hot fire. He wants to reach out, he wants to help, he wants to stop this raging pain that he can sense as plainly as if he could see it. But there is really nothing he can do that Domino will allow, and he knows the most he can do is sit and watch as the older man so subtly falls apart.

"Domino?" he asks calmly, brushing a strand of the chin-length, pale silver hair-- that he keeps so carefully dyed-- from his face. A force of habit makes his hands brush at his own hair this way, still so carefully brushed and conditioned while Domino's sits a matted mess.

"What?" the blonde snaps, raising that bloodshot black eye to rest on his face once more. That single eye locks with both of his somehow… he never will know how Domino manages to do that. They stare in silence for one strange moment, and then Domino does something quite unexpected; his head droops, his eyes close, and he stumbles backward to drop onto the sofa, dropping his head into his hands. Rave can do something but stare.

"Domino?" he asks finally, taking a step forward. "…Joel?" he tries again.

"Eeeurg," the moan is the only reply, the only sound that drowns out the deafening silence that fills the room. Rave knows that the battle of wits has ended for now… moves forward and takes a seat… almost dares to put a hand on Domino's shoulder. For a while, there is silence. When Domino speaks again, his voice is strained, as though he is holding back something immense. "Why does it have to be like this, man? I don't even know what's going on anymore, you know?"

"Yeah, I know." because Rave does know, feels it every time he opens his eyes in the morning. Doesn't understand this new pulse that has awakened itself in the world. Pain and madness and fear.

"I don't know if you do." Domino's breath is unsteady. "Things just used to be about having fun, you know? Even when I became an agent, I didn't expect things to be like this. I never expect them to… affect me. Nothing affects me like this. It's… fucking scary."

"I know."

"No, you don't know!" his voice becomes more unsteady with each syllable, laden with warning. Rave has never been good at heeding these warnings. He has never allowed himself to leave Domino at times like this. "I don't even… it's just fucked up, beyond all reason this time. I have no idea what's going on. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. Something… something about what Phoenix said to me while he had be locked up… it keeps me awake, keeps me from really breathing."

"What did he say?"

"He said… 'it's never worth your soul'. Now, I don't know what the fuck that means, but I feel like I left my soul behind a long time ago." he's shaking now, and for Rave, it hurts. He touches the blonde's shoulder, and Domino recoils as though burned, but slowly settles into the touch. The trembling doesn't stop. He wants it to stop needs it to stop can't breathe if it doesn't stop.

"I'm sorry," he whispers, but doesn't know why he's saying it… doesn't even know if he's talking to Domino. And there's Domino's face, sallow, dark circles under his eyes from recent sleepless nights, coming closer, and he realizes that they're not staring, they're kissing.

The sound of the gunshot and the sudden burst of pain are one and the same… he can almost feel the pain before he hears it. He can feel the blood immediately, leaking from the hole in his arm that wasn't there when he arrived at the apartment. When did Domino grab a gun? Has he had it all along? Rave's thoughts come in large dollops, and there is Domino, standing now, the gun still in his hand as he trembles, his one remaining eye screaming "WHY!?" there is Domino, crazy again. He is always crazy, with tiny bouts of sanity that give off rays of false hope. "WHY WHY WHY!?"

But Rave has no answers. He has never had the answers. Domino is the one with the answers… always has been. But he has no answers now and he storms from the apartment, leaving Rave on that sofa, left echoing with a thousand questions that come up, and each starts a new one, and endless cycle, falling like a chain of dominoes.