Achilles' Last Stand
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story by volatilehearted (anomalagous) posted on commaful. read the rest: https://archiveofourown.o...

Achilles' Last Stand

It was snowing in Brooklyn.

That wasn’t new. It snowed in Brooklyn all the time, in the winter months.

Scott McCall was bleeding from a cut on his nose.

That wasn’t new, either. Scott McCall bled in Brooklyn all the time, regardless of the month.

He supposed he should be grateful.

time, it was just a cut on the bridge of his nose. The blood was minimal, and it was running down the side, mostly out of the way.

The biggest annoyance was the way he found himself reflexively licking his lips when the line of blood got to them, and the resultant burst of copper-iron taste in his mouth.

That was fine, mostly. Blood in his mouth beat blood in his eyes, and blood in his

beat some of the alternatives that meant not bleeding at all. It was better than letting the bullies win.

Even from three stories up, the tension that New York seemed to grow out of was palpable.

He could sense it in the air, see it in the way the people moved along the sidewalk, feel it thrumming up through the concrete and steel to vibrate under his hands.

He could hear it in the footsteps below him, climbing up the fire escape ladder to join him on his landing.

It was a city caught between the knowledge that it was at war and the knowledge that the war was still far away, made somewhat unreal by the distance.

Some of them didn’t think about it at all, except for how the rationing and the war effort inconvenienced them, and Scott could see it in their faces.

It drove him just a little bit mad, watching from the other side of that coin where he thought about it all the time. He wouldn’t have considered himself a violent man, and yet -

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