Icy wasn't one for dwelling on the past nor clinging to memories of one person.
To be frank, she thought she was above such.
And yet she refused to cry, at least on the outside, as the pain tore her apart on the inside. Betrayal and loss hand a firm hand squeezing at her heart.
Not that anyone would know.
To them she’d still be as cold and unfeeling as ever.
As it should be.
How she longed for her mask to be real. Between the homicidal merman with anger issues and Valtor—maybe Darkar too—Icy decided she was done wearing her heart on her sleeve. She’d close off the already small crack in her wall. She didn’t need it.
She was done being used.
And so she sat on the park bench, watching the leaves fall. At least it was something to do. A distraction. At least something could fall faster than she.
Icy picked up one of the dead leaves and twirled it between her fingers. The only difference between the two of them was that the leaf was dead inside and out. Icy was only dead on the inside…
for the time being.
He sat down uninvited.
Next to her.
A violation of her space. Anywhere within ten feet of her was too close.
She gave her little guest a rather forceful shove. “Did I say you could sit here?”
“Didn’t have to. Public bench, love.”
Icy cut him a sharp glare. “Charming as ever, Darko.”
“As charming as you are sarcastic.” He shrugged.
Icy drew on leg up onto the bench. The conversation had fallen short. She couldn’t really argue with the honest truth.
A chilly gust of wind sent another swirl of leaves spiraling off the tree. Icy watched them fall to the pavement. Just like old times.
He brushed one of her curls behind her ears.
She slapped his wrist and moved it back into place. Her bangs were fine the way they were. She folded her arms over her chest with a half-frown half-pout.
“What crawled up your ass and borrowed there?” Darko asked as casually as one could ask such a question.
“My ass isn’t the problem. The fact that yours is placed next to mine on this bench is…”
If there was anything that made Icy’s rage simmer, it was that. People weren’t supposed to laugh when she insulted them. They were supposed to cry, or at the very least humor her with some back-sass. Darko either laughed or back-talked.
“Really though…why are you so mad?”
And it was true. She was more upset. Hurt. Than angry.
“Okay. Why are you so bothered?”
“Why are you so curious?”
And the silence fell heavy again. Icy could hear the breezed shuffle the leaves. And an occasional sparrow cry had filled in when the wind had gone.
“Because I care.” Darko answered at last.
That one earned a bitter laugh. They all ‘cared’ about her. And they all left.
“I always have.” He added.
“Yeah. You care…you care about what I have to offer.” Icy muttered. “So what is it? Power? Money? A night in some room with the doors locked?”
Darko opened his mouth to answer.
“And then after you get whichever it is that you desire, you’ll be on your way.” She said with a lazy flick of her wrist.
“No. I want you.”
“So a night in bed then? What do you think I am? I'm not that easy.”
“I never said that. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. I just wanted to sit here and talk, go see a movie. I don’t know, just spend some time with you.” Darko replied. “Why would you think I want something from you?”
“Because that’s all they want. They don’t want me, they want my belongings…or my virtues—what’s left of them anyhow, and then they leave. The last guy wanted power. Said we were going to rule the world together. Guess by ‘we’ he meant himself and his anger issues.” Icy shrugged.
“Who is this guy?”
“Dead. He’s dead.”
“You killed him!?”
“I wish. No, he killed himself. He had this fixation with toxin; they gave him power. He overdid it…maybe it was my fault—he used his dying breath to ask for my help. I didn’t give it to him.”
“To think, I always assumed that you’d get less morbid as you grew up.” Darko mused.
“What a ridiculous thing to assume.” Icy mumbled. “Shouldn’t you be somewhere…anywhere?
“It’s a Tuesday night. What is a person to do—alone—on a Tuesday night?” Darko asked. “I’m open to suggestions.
“We’re in Magix’s largest city, there are about ten restaurants on this block alone and a few dance clubs a little ways down the road!”
“Perhaps we can go to one of those restaurants? I’ll pay.”
Icy rolled her eyes, but her smile spoke at a higher volume to him.
He took her hand and helped her off the bench. He didn’t know which restaurant they were going to, or if they were even going to a restaurant. But he was content to go wherever she dragged him off to.
The park bench now left desolate. The leaves spiraled around the bench. The tree waiting for its rebirth.
Do you know how much I wanted to type “I never said that. I came out here to have a good time, and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.” Instead of “I never said that. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. I just wanted to sit here and talk, go see a movie. I don’t know, just spend some time with you.”