Jayken stalked out of the restaurant, nearly bumping into a servdroid as he did so. The door barely slid closed before it hissed open again, Kye stepping harder and faster in pursuit.
"Jayken!" he roared. Jayken didn't turn around, exasperating Kye. "You'll regret this! You go up against me, you're a dead man!"
That did stop him. For a moment, the silence hung in the air, a guillotine hanging over both men. Jayken turned, but it was Kye who severed it.
"You know what I'm capable of," stated Kye, matter-of-factly. The intensity in his gaze as matched by Jayken, but even Jayken could see the fear that lies beneath it.
"And you know what I'm capable of as well," Jayken started, walking closer towards him, until they're standing toe to toe, man to man, one on one. And then, in a lower voice, "I wont' stand back, and just watch you let them die."
Kye's expression changed, the intensity and venom replaced with...something that Jayken can't put his finger on. "You have to play the hero," Kye replied, and at that moment, Jayken knew what it is: sadness. "Even if it kills you."
Jayken stood his ground. Choose, and act. "I'm not playing," he said, balling his fists, "and this is not a game. It's people's lives we're talking about. My friends's lives. And I will do everything within my power, and more, to protect them."
A pause, a moment to let it all sink in. Both had nothing left to say, for beyond this point, action will be the only language spoken.
But both were unwilling to let it end. Yet.
"Your compassion has always been your greatest strength," Kye started, flicking his gaze away momentarily. "That's what I love and respect most about you. At times, I have benefited from it."
Pause. "But you should also know that it's your biggest weakness," he continued, now focusing back on Jayken. "And I shall benefit from it once more.
They held each other's gaze for a long moment, each burning the other deep inside, not willing to flinch or give in, wondering who will give in first.
It was Jayken.
"After the eulogy..." he said, softening his gaze, pushing back the feeling welling in his throat. Pause. Then he started again. "After the eulogy..."
"I know," Kye cut him off. "I remember."
Then he reached out, and put a hand on Jayken's shoulder, squeezing it. "It is done, old friend."
Jayken closed his eyes, feeling the warmth from Kye's touch.
Then he turned and walked away.
*Read Galaxy: The Journey.
*Read Galaxy: Tears of the Son.
*Read Galaxy: Across the Stars.
*Read Galaxy: The Prodigal's Return.