Motor City Burning
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Vent, Vent, Vent

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Vent, Vent, Vent

Post by Tehrat on Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:14 pm

After the events of the basement, or rather the events just outside the basement, Sara had gone home. She had gotten a cab part of the way there and, being in the mood to feel the wind on her face, had walked the rest of the way. It had not made her feel any better. She found herself needing to vent, to hit something - preferably not another door. Her apartment couldn’t take it.

They had ignored her instructions. Twice. And because of it, Chris had gotten injured. They could have been killed!

And it would have been her fault. She was responsible for their safety! She should have forced them to go back inside; laid out instructions of how things were going to be - they weren’t cut out for the field.
Sara had tried not to dwell on it but, with very little sleep, she had donned clothes suitable for the gym and headed down early the next morning.

The bike, running or rowing machine wasn’t for her - she went straight for the punch bags. She had been close last night, close to losing it and hitting Chris. She would have knocked him out cold, perhaps worse if she hadn’t stopped. But she had held back, stopped herself before doing something she would undoubtedly regret.

It felt good, feeding the leather contacting her knuckles. It felt good, the adrenaline pushing her to continue. Her temperature rose, the bag swung back with more force. Sara drew a couple of stares, concern most likely, but she ignored them. She needed to damage something.

She had set a time to meet Donahue, to have a chat over things, life in general. It had been set a few days ago, but it slipped her mind as she beat the shit out of the bag.

Donahue limped towards the gym. He knew Sara’s route pretty well; it wasn’t difficult to figure out with his tactically trained mind. His broken hips were sore from the business he’d been on. He couldn’t say a damn thing about that, and simply chewed down more of his painkillers. He swallowed the bitter tasting medicine as he pushed the door open.

He leant against the wall, watching the tattooed woman’s hard fists flashed into the bag. He could see the blood seeping through her wraps from here.

“Sara,” he said quietly.

Sara didn’t hear him at first. All that she could concentrate on was the swinging of the bag, waiting tensely for it to return so that she could weave, moved around it and send it back the other way. It wasn’t just a punching bag anymore, it was a person - no different people. People she had taken down, shot, people who had died.

It still didn’t register that anyone had called. What did cut through was a sudden sharp pain in her knuckles. Sara caught the bag, and pressed her hands flat against the stained leather as she studied the damage. “Crappy fucking bandages,” she muttered under her breath.

Donahue limped up behind her, his face a rictus grin of pain as his damaged legs struggled across the mat. Goddamnit, he was not going to be driven to using a fucking cane.

“Captain Lawrence!” he barked, putting the sharpness in his voice that his training had taught him. “Front and centre!”

Her fingers clenched into fists. It stung, but she ignored it. Her head snapped sideways, eyes narrowing as she identified Donahue. “…What are you doing here?” Sara questioned blankly.

“You and I were supposed to be having dinner three hours ago,” Donahue said, his dark, hooded eyes moving over her. “How long have you been in here, Lawrence?”

Sara blinked and reflexively looked down at her wrist to check the time. The watch wasn’t there - she must have forgotten it. “Dinner? It’s about 11 in the morning,” she frowned. There were no windows in the gym, so any natural light was screwed over by four walls.
She scanned the room abruptly. Hadn’t there been other people around here a few minutes ago? Sara stepped back from the bag, letting her bloodied hands drop to her sides.

“It’s 8pm at night, Sara,” Donahue said, his coarse voice echoing in the gym. “You’ve been here for hours. God, your hands are a fucking mess…” the sergeant shook his head. “Thought you were over these… uh… incidents.”

A flash of anger radiated in her green eyes. “I am,” Sara bit out. “I just got over…overenthusiastic. That’s all.” She was trying to convince herself more than him.

“Do I look like a fucking idiot? Get off the mat and come into the Goddamn locker room. You’re lucky you haven’t broken every bone in your hand,” Donahue said flatly. “It ain’t something to be ashamed of, Sara. We all have relapses. It ain’t easy fitting into civilian life after doing what we did.”

Sara stepped down off the mat, holding one hand in the other. Her expression was hard, cold. “It isn’t a fucking relapse. You think I’m seeing ghosts everywhere?” she demanded. “I’m perfectly fucking settled.”

Donahue leant forwards, his wasted body tense as the skin pinched tight across trained muscles. His expression was deadly serious.

“No, I don’t think you’re seeing ghosts. I think you’re pissed as fuck, and you just battle sighted on a punch bag. You don’t remember how long you’ve been there, you don’t remember anything except that you were trying to kill a fucking bag,” he said quietly. “Been there, Sara.”

Sara hesitated ,and let out a long breath. It wasn’t steadying in the slightest. Absently she raised a hand to massage the bridge of her nose, pausing at the last minute as she remembered the blood. “I just got distracted,” she answered softly. “Jus’ letting out a little anger, is all.”

Donahue picked up his pouch of emergency medical supplies. Maybe it was a bit weird that he was carrying that around with him, but he’d been trained to be independent, to be alone, to be self-sufficient. It wasn’t too unusual. He sat down with a little grunt of pain on the bench, and gently started cleaning the blood from her knuckles.

“I’m the one guy you can be yourself with right now,” he said sharply. “That’s why we both go to the VA meetings, that’s why we both see shrinks. We play it fair, ‘cause we both served our country and we gave up a lot of shit to do that. You gotta take off that cross-hair, Sara.”

Sara sat down, and took off the wrappings before depositing them on the mat. She didn’t answer him for a good few minutes, mulling over the lost time. She couldn’t remember anything except the punch bag and her fists. She had sworn to herself that she would never go back; but here she was again.

Because of fucking civilians getting her back up. Jesus!

“I can’t,” Sara answered, with a swift shake of her head. It wasn’t stubbornness to give it up; there was clearly something else holding her back. Something new. Something that wasn’t there the last time they had spoken.

She had been thinking pretty intensely about something last time; but it wasn’t the same.

Donahue cocked his head. He had a sharp mind, and he knew something was damned wrong for Sara to be acting like this.

“You know what happens to soldiers who can’t take ‘em off, Sara. If you’re lucky, you end up in a quiet nursing home somewhere. That’s if you don’t hurt someone. If you do, you end up as one of those tragic stories they tell the fucking raw recruits to let ‘em know how much life can fuck you in the ass,” the crippled soldier said, disinfecting the stripped cuts.

“I wasn’t hurting anyone, and I don’t fucking intend to.” Except she had almost punched the crap out of Chris. And she hadn’t thought twice about the woman - that had been different though. The woman had been a creature. A fucking monster. And so had the vampire at the club. It had needed to be done. “And I’m not hurting myself.”

“Your hands aren’t lying where your mouth fucking is,” Donahue said flatly, sticking adhesive bandages over the wounds. “But when you start venting like this, you’re not in control. You gotta keep on the ball, Sara.”

“Yeah? I’ve been on the fucking ball too much,” Sara shot back, her voice a low growl of irritation. “I just came here to vent. It’s not like I have a fucking gun to my head.” She felt apologetic almost immediately. There was no one else she could shout at, and he was there. It didn’t make it right.

“Sara, you wanna kick the shit outta me, you’re welcome to give it a go,” Donahue said, his voice just as low of a growl. “I may not be a Goddamn Special Forces Captain, but I can still hurt the fuck out of you.”

Sara leant back against the wall, her head on the brick. “…Sorry,” she stated softly. “I shouldn’t have snapped.”

Donahue studied her. “It’s okay, Sara,” he said quietly. “I told you. Been there. I know where you are right now, and it’s a dark, fucked up place. But I’m here.”

She forced a smile, and gave an slightly uncertain nod. She couldn’t allow herself to be unsure anywhere else; particularly not in front of the civilians. “Yeah,” Sara replied stiffly. “It’s just…had a couple of conversations that didn’t turn out so well recently.”

Donahue leant forwards on the bench. “Trust me, I know how that is,” he said quietly. “Bugs the shit out of me, too. Hard to get your head around why they think like they do. You gotta remember though… they look at you the same.”

“No, I don’t think they think much at all,” Sara muttered derisively. She was being harsh, she knew. But it was…hard. Not just adjusting, but trying to help them to adjust too.

“I know how it feels, Sara. But seriously, fucking trust me here. They think. They just don’t think like us. What we went through… we sacrificed a bit of us, and it changed us from other people. But that’s okay too. That’s why we have reintegration protocols,” Donahue said quietly.

Sara gave a brief nod, and slowly pushed herself to her feet. She still felt wound up, but it was better now. The fury was not longer white hot, just…simmering beneath the surface and crusting over. “Let’s get out of here. I’ll cook something up.” That would make her feel better.

“Yeah, okay,” Donahue said quietly. “Let’s go.” He hauled himself to his feet with a grimace. “And a beer, I think.”


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Re: Vent, Vent, Vent

Post by Kazakin on Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:31 pm

Sara opened the door to her apartment, and moved immediately to the kitchen. “Grab a seat,” she gestured to the couch. Whipping up something quick generally set her mind at ease. It required concentration, but it was fun, something she could do without instructing another person. Sara considered that she spent far too much time alone already, but that was fine. She didn’t necessarily require the company of anyone else. She was a solitary person. She was fine with that.

Without waiting for a response from Donahue she yanked the chopping board out of an overhead cupboard, and pulled a chopping knife from the block close by. A moment later, with a small wince from the movement of her injured hands, she started chopping up peppers and onions, then chicken, chillies and various spices.

Donahue lowered himself onto the couch near to the counter, gritting his teeth gently as he lifted his legs and rested his heels on the coffee table. He was familiar with Sara’s apartment. They’d both visited each other a few times, after all. It wasn’t anything that needed to be commented on.

“What’re you making?”

“Chicken stir-fry,” Sara gave a quick shrug of nonchalance. “Nothing difficult. Grab a beer if you want one,” she concentrated on the food, the scents, the tastes as she sampled the food to determine what needed to be added to adjust the flavour.

Donahue watched her flavouring the stir-fry, not getting up from the couch due to his blazingly sore body. He didn’t say that though, his pride sharply stood in his mind. He would never admit to the pain. He inhaled.

“Smells a damned sight better than MREs, anyway.”

“Yeah, if it didn’t I’d have to look into a different line of work.” She dished the food out of the wok, and onto plates before carrying them over. “Don’t need to stand on ceremony,” Sara remarked gruffly. “Eat on the couch.” She rarely used the dining table anyway - why set it for one?

That was just depressing.

Donahue twirled the fork in his fingers, digging it into the spicy heap of noodles, peppers and chicken. He was hungry; often the medication made him feel either extremely hungry or extremely sick. Today was a hungry day, but it’d be fine to let himself have a good dinner. Hadn’t had a sick day in a while, so he was probably safe.

“Since when did I ever stand on ceremony with you, Lawrence? What am I, your fucking mother?”

“Respect doesn’t enter into your vocab, does it, Mason?” Sara snorted. It felt good, attempting to relax a little bit. It felt normal. She hadn’t had normal in a long time.

“No, it fucking doesn’t. Not in your apartment,” Donahue said easily, wolfing down the stir-fry. It was fucking good Chinese food, too. He privately thought that Sara Lawrence would make a damn good chef when she finished her classes.

Despite herself, Sara gave a small smile. “Thanks, Donahue.” She was feeling more grounded now, the more they spoke. Less angry, more…centred. She didn’t want to contemplate how long it would last.

“For what?” Donahue said, giving Sara her out. He didn’t look up at her, finishing the noodles from the bowl.

Sara didn’t take it, and instead replied in a somewhat easy tone of voice. “For knocking sense back into me.” It was far better to be grounded. She didn’t intend to be a cautionary tale.

“Good. It’s better when you’re remotely sane, Sara,” Donahue said, putting the bowl down. He grimaced as his hip flexed awkwardly. “Makes you look less annoying.”

“Well that’s a relief,” Sara smirked briefly. She finished the food, studying Donahue carefully. “You been taking your medication?”

“Uh, yeah,” Donahue frowned briefly. “Always do. Helps some, if not all of it. You get pretty used to it when you live like this.” He gestured to his legs. “It ain’t nothing.”

Sara looked as though she doubted it, but merely nodded. “You’re wincing more,” she stated softly, concerned.

“Just uncomfortable,” Donahue shrugged. “I told you. Ain’t nothing. I’ve dealt with worse shit that these scratches.”

“And I also know you wouldn’t mention it, even if your leg was falling off,” Sara stated pointedly. It felt good, to concentrate on his problems instead of her own. She wished she could explain what was really going on; but he would never believe her.

“You ain’t gonna nag me into tellin’ you all about my hip. What, you wanna see my stitches? Didn’t know you had a fuckin’ blood fetish, Lawrence,” Donahue growled.

Sara rolled her eyes, and didn’t seem in the least bit perturbed. “Keep your pants on, Donahue. I’m trying to be a concerned citizen over here and you’re making it harder on yourself.” She picked up the empty bowls, and moved into the kitchen with them.

Donahue looked at Sara and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, like you’d want me to take my pants off,” he grumbled, as though it was a major inconvenience to him.

“Like you’d be fucking able to, y’damned cripple,” Sara shot back. The bickering felt normal, too. They both gave as good as they go. She turned around, moving back to the sofa to sit down. “I guess we’ll have to take a rain-check on actual dinner. Next time I’ll make sure I don’t have an inconveniently timed break-down beforehand.”

“Try me,” Donahue baited with a little sneer, before shaking his head. “It’s what I’m here for, Sara. Don’t sweat it. I got your back, you got mine. That’s how it goes, right?”

Sara nodded wordlessly, and she closed her eyes, massaging her temples. “At least you bring a semblance of normalcy. I can barely remember what the last normal thing I did was. I was probably a toddler.”

Donahue paused and studied her. “If I could give you that normalcy, Sara, I would.”

“You already are, Donahue,” Sara replied gently, and patted his shoulder in a companionable gesture.

Donahue nodded to her and gripped her wrist in an equally friendly gesture. “’Long as you’re not sick of me yet.”

“Is it really possible to get sick of a crotchety bastard?” Sara answered, lips twisting into a little smirk.

“Yeah, I figure so. Eventually you’re gonna kick me the fuck out and I’ll go home,” Donahue said dryly.

“Not yet though,” Sara replied thoughtfully. “It’s only been…what…three hours? It’s not been nearly long enough yet.”

“I get pretty fucking annoying after a while,” Donahue said sardonically, his dark eyes gleaming.

Sara shook her head gently. “Like I said. Hasn’t been long enough yet,” she reiterated. “Don’t leave yet.” She frowned slightly, mostly to herself. “I don’t feel normal enough yet.” She turned away. It was ridiculous. Weak.

“What do you want from me?” Donahue said quietly, looking at Sara’s back as she turned away from him on the couch.

“When was the last time you had sex, Donahue?” Sara questioned bluntly.

“…That is possibly the worst fucking offer I have ever had,” Donahue said dryly.

“Polite offers are over-rated,” Sara laughed in a self-deprecating manner. She sobered quickly enough. “I want to feel normal. Just for a little while.”

Then she could go back to being angry.


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Re: Vent, Vent, Vent

Post by Kazakin on Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:58 pm

Donahue woke up as the first shafts of light broke through the cracks in the curtains. Reflexively, he reached on to the bedside table for his bottle of pain pills, and he tossed one into his mouth, chewing on it. He heaved himself up on the pillows, looking at the warm, sprawled form of Sara Lawrence next to him. He tugged his cigarettes out of the pocket of his discarded pants and lit up, leaning against the headboard.


"No fuckin' smoking in the bedroom," Sara instructed. Her face was still pressed against the pillow, and the arrival of morning wasn't a pressing reason for her to move too much. Instead she raised a hand, and let it flail haphazardly in the general area she assumed his face - and thus the cigarette - was in.

Donahue watched her flailing about a foot from his face, and rolled his eyes.

"It ain't lit," he muttered. "Just open a fuckin' window or something, what's the big deal? You didn't seem to mind last night."

"I got a routine," Sara grumbled. "Beer comes first." This time she turned around on the bed, and her eyes narrowed as she studied the offending item in his mouth. She reached up and yanked it out. "Don't make me stick it in....your ear, or something," Sara threatened. She was still a little tired and didn't feel much like being inventive.

She needed something to wake her up. A coffee, or something.

"Yeah, I got a fucking routine too. Take pills, smoke, get up," Donahue grumbled. "Legs don't work so well for the first few minutes of the day, y'know. Gimme that back." His quick hands snatched for the cigarette.

By then Sara had rolled over the other way again, and stumbled more than actually got out of the bed. She was used to the bed being emptier, and thus larger for her to move around in. "Fuck," she gruntled. She stuck the cigarette behind her ear and padded into the kitchen, returning with a beer.

"Drinks first. My place, I make the fucking rules." It felt good to swear - she had to kerb it so much around the Priest.

Donahue yawned, stretching awkwardly. His legs blazed as relaxed muscles were forced to start working, and the damaged joints screamed in protest. He grunted in pain and reached for the beer.

"Only one," he grunted. "I can't drink much with these fucking pills." Technically, he wasn't supposed to drink at all.

Sara paused, and quirked a brow. "I can get a water," she offered. "I'm not gonna force you to drink." She cracked her can and took a long drink. God, she needed that. Her throat was parched.

"Hell, no," Donahue snorted. "What am I, a fucking schoolgirl?" He cracked the can open and took a pull from the beer, savouring the flavour.

"I'd hate to disappoint your gentle sensibilities, Donahue but you just can't wear the outfit right," Sara snorted. She moved back to the bed, sitting down and resting back as she took another swig. "It's the hips."

"And the lack of bein' molested by big fuckin' tentacles," Donahue said dryly, swallowing the rest of the can. "...You feelin' better?"

Sara didn't answer straight away. Taking yet another long sip gave her the perfect reason to procrastinate for a couple of more minutes. Ultimately, she gave a quick nod. "Yeah. I'm good."

"Gonna swear to that, Sara?" Donahue said, his voice serious as he leant against the headboard. "Swear to it and give me my fucking smokes back?"

The Captain sighed as though acutely exasperated. "You just want your fuckin' smokes back, don't you?" Sara rolled her eyes.

"Yup. Gimme my fucking smokes," Donahue said with a sardonic smile.

With a little shake of her head, Sara moved from the bed to crack a window open. She paused for a few seconds, staring outside as people started to head off to work. A mailman was wandering by, a couple of kids were rushing to school, a power couple across the street marched to their individual cars, almost running over an old lady as she took her time getting past their driveway. A car honked.

She took the cigarette back outside, and handed it to him. "Take your damned cigarette."

Donahue took the cigarette and lit up, relaxing back against the headboard. He half-closed his eyes as he took a drag, tasting the nicotine. He needed it. It took the edge off the sickness and the hunger that the tablets brought.

"Thanks," he growled out, his teeth gritted as he stood up from the bed. His legs blazed as his hips twisted to keep his balance, and he bit down on the butt of the cigarette as one hand whitened in a grip on the headboard.

Sara peered at him, genuine concern in her expression. "Are you okay?" she questioned, giving him the out to lie. He didn't look alright, in her opinion. Sure she wasn't a fancy medic, but she knew enough.

"Yeah... yeah. Like this every morning," Donahue said, when he could speak again. "I'm used to it, don't worry." Sure, it hadn't helped that Sara and he had fucked the previous night; the stress on his joints was killing him. But it had been good for them both, a nice way to feel normal again without the pressure or responsibility of words like 'love' or 'relationship'. Just two people, indulging in a base instinct.

"That doesn't mean you're okay," Sara pointed out swiftly, but refrained from pressing the matter. She couldn't in all good conscience, force him to talk - not just because it wasn't what they did; but because she kept things back as well.

"Want breakfast? Last chance at a free meal today."

"Yeah, okay," Donahue said cheerfully; perhaps a little too cheerfully, really. "Tell you what; I got a free day. Why don't you and I go hit the ranges? We can pop off at some targets for a bit and grab a burger afterwards."

Sara headed into the kitchen, and presently the sound of rattling could be heard filtering back into the bedroom. She dumped a bunch of different-flavoured pop-tarts into a toaster, unsure of which one she particularly felt like. "No eating in the bedroom!" she called through. She set out the breakfast, fast and easy though it was to make, and juice.

She pulled out a couple of dining chairs, and parked herself to eat.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm comin'," Donahue grumbled, pulling his boxers back on and carefully limping through to the kitchen. He supported himself with his hands on the walls, a small cloud of smoke following him through the house.

"I hope you like poptarts - didn't feel like cooking again. Too fuckin' early in the Goddamn morning for that." She would never want to be a breakfast cook then...

Sara squinted at the clock. It was actually 11am, but it had been a busy night. A sleep in was a necessary requirement. "We got cookie, chocolate, raspberry, strawberry. Take your pick, but they're all getting eaten."

Donahue grabbed the chocolate one out of the toaster, tossing it from hand to hand as it cooled down before biting into it. He grinned at Sara.

"This stuff is shit," he said lightly, lowering himself gently into a chair. "Reminds me of MREs."

"No, can't be MREs. They don't taste of chicken," Sara remarked casually. "I like 'em. They're not made by me," she flashed a quick grin, and grabbed one of the raspberry tarts.

"I prefer food that's made by you. Tastes awesome," Donahue grumbled, scarfing down a cookie pop tart. Too much fruit made a guy edgy.

Sara already had one of each flavour that she possessed, on her plate. It was in an order of fruit, chocolate, fruit chocolate. She had a very specific mornning routine, precise and strange though it may be. "Thank you, but I still like poptarts. Reminds me of being a kid."

"My dad would've beaten me senseless if he'd caught me eating this shit when I was a kid," Donahue grumbled, but he still ate the rest of the tarts. Not the fruit ones though. Fuck fruit.

"You have a lot of poptarts to catch up on then," Sara teased between bites. She bit off the edges first, and then worked her way into the middle where the tasty innards could be munched on to her hears content. She didn't seem to realise she was doing it.

"So, anyway. The shooting range sounds good," Sara stated, harking back to his comment of thirty minutes or so ago.

"You're so fucking anal about your food," Donahue grumbled, watching her eat the poptarts. His were already gone. He ate food fast. It stopped him from puking for a reason he suspected was totally psychological. But he perked up a bit. "We can throw cash on it, if you want to spice it up a bit."

Sara stared at him archly for a moment, before stating: "I am not anal about my food." She wasn't. She was a little particular, and there was a huge difference. She finished the first and moved onto the second.

"But yeah. What did you have in mind?"

"Call it a hundred bucks and dinner out to the winner? Some place nice. With like, napkins and shit," Donahue said cheerfully. Sure, he had a massive advantage, but he also knew Sara never backed down from a bet.

Sara contemplated the offer, lips pursed in concentration. She couldn't turn down the bet because her damned pride wouldn't allow; and Donahue sure as fuck wouldn't let her live it down if she tried. "You're on," she reached out across the table to seal the deal.

On some level she knew that with his stakes she would have to get out of the damned apartment and do something fun. It wasn't such a bad idea.

"Excellent," Donahue grabbed her hand and pumped it firmly. "We'll rent out some of those godawful civilian rifles and pop off a few rounds. Mind if I use your shower first?"

"Knock yourself out-," Sara gestured with the third poptart.

Donahue limped back into the shower, and a moment later, the sound of running water filled the apartment. He was only about ten minutes, and came back through, drying his cropped hair with a towel.

"Thanks, Lawrence. You ain't so bad," he said lightly.

Sara jumped in the shower and was back out again within fifteen minutes, another few minutes later and she was holding the door open for Donahue. "Alright, let's bounce. I'll drive. Let you rest."


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Re: Vent, Vent, Vent

Post by Kazakin on Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:44 pm

Sara headed into the shooting range, and rented out a couple of lever-action rifles as per Donahue's preference. "So how do you want to do this, hot shot?" she commented, as she strode eagerly down to the range itself. She tended to favour her fists and her knife when in combat, but it never hurt to practice a little with a gun every now and then.

Donahue grinned, gesturing at the furtherest range targets the shooting range offered. He aimed at it with his finger. It'd be fun to have a bit of a friendly bet and a competition.

"Five shots, five bulls," he said with a little nod. "Best outta five. We alternate. Sound good to you?"

Sara nodded briskly. "Sounds good. You're gonna pick out the smallest fucking targets, aren't you?" she guessed.

"Why? Scared you won't be able to manage to keep up?" Donahue said pleasantly as he leant himself down, by means of the wall. He felt more comfortable shooting on his belly. He started adjusting the rental rifle's sights, levering it with his thumb until he felt comfortable with it.

Sara watched as he settled down onto his belly, and it was incredibly easy to imagine him doing the same while on a mission somewhere. She did the same, keeping them on an even playing field. If it was to be fair, she intended on having the exact same view. Sara followed suit, adjusting the sights and her position as she peered at the target.

"Considering you like talking about how good you are; professionals first."

Donahue moved back and forth a little on the floor until he was settled. He then aimed, his breathing slow and patient. A moment later, he squeezed the trigger. The bullet hit the small target dead-centre, punched through it, and buried into the centre of the target directly behind the first one. Two perfect bullet holes stared back at Sara like eyes from the bullseyes.

Sara smirked, and inclined her head to study Donahue. "Nice," she commented appreciatively. She knew where to give credit where credit was due. She waited until she was comfortable, took sighted out the bullseye and took careful aim. Depressing the trigger, the bullet hit the centre. "Sweet."

"Not bad, Lawrence. But I'm still one up on you," Donahue laughed, relaxing into the second shot. He took his sweet time, but when he depressed the trigger, the shot rang out clearly and the bullet hit the third bullseye, passed through, ricocheted off the wall and took out another target through the outer rim.

"You've been practising," Sara murmured, but mostly concentrated on her own shot. The second hit nearer to the centre than the first, and she smiled slightly. Improvement was definitely good.

"Practising my fuckin' ass," Donahue sneered. His next two shots hit the bullseye perfectly, and the final one was another spectacular ricochet, smashing straight through the rim of another target from behind. He glanced across to Sara, assessing her shots.

Sara let out a soft chuckle. It felt good to throw digs at each other, knowing it meant nothing and no offence was taken. Her next two shots winged the edge of the target, and she cursed under her breath. The next bullet hit the centre again - somewhat disappointing overall, but it ended on a something satisfactory. Then again, Sara was notoriously hard on herself. She pushed herself too hard.

"So, you won," Sara remarked lightly. "Where'd you want to eat?"

Donahue laughed, standing up and shaking his head. "You pick. You know the restaurants around here better than me. But I want reservations in like a week, right? You and me. We'll have a few beers, eat some fuckin' good food and take you outta yourself a bit."

"I'm...I'm outta myself," Sara responded as she rose to her feet. She dusted herself off, but nodded a little. "But...alright. I'll call you."

"Yeah, you can bring my hundred bucks with you," Donahue said easily, heaving himself back to his feet with a little grimace. "I'll need the money for beer."

"Yeah, I'll bring your fucking hundred bucks. I said I'd abide by the stakes, and I don't go back on my word." She moved back to the gun locker to return the rifle. "So what would you say to teaching a couple of civilians to shoot? Nothing fancy."

"You want me to teach civilians to shoot?" Donahue said, with a little frown. "Huh. I dunno, Sara, that ain't really my thing."

Sara paused in mid-step. "Like I said, it's nothing big. Just teach 'em how to load and not shoot themselves."

"This is just some hobby thing, right?" Donahue said suspiciously. "Why not just get some guys at the rifle range to run 'em through stuff?"

"Probably couldn't pay for it, and I ain't handed over my cash," Sara replied with a derisive snort. "I want the best, Donahue."

"...Yeah, okay," Donahue said after a moment. "But if I check these guys out and they give me like, a mob vibe or something, fuck no. I don't want any of that heat. You get me?"

Sara's expression twisted into a dry smirk. She shook her head sharply. "Please. They're not the fucking mob." She sobered a moment later, resting a hand on his shoulder. "And if they were, I wouldn't hand them off to you, Donahue."

Donahue gripped her hand firmly. "I know you're in on some shit at the moment, Sara. I'm just looking out for you, you know that," he said quietly. "I'll show up. Just gimme a time and date, and I'll see about showing your guys some tricks."

"Thanks," Sara nodded firmly. She didn't explain anything else; she couldn't, however much she wished otherwise. He would never believe her.

Shooting contest:
Donahue sniping at targets: First shot: 7 successes
Second shot: 4 successes, 9-again 2 successes
Third shot: 4 successes
Fourth shot: 4 successes
Fifth shot: 5 successes

Sara sniping at targets:
1 Success
2 Successes
0 Successes
0 Successes
2 Successes


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