The first shot grazed his forehead. A trickle of blood emerged just above his right eyebrow and traced a lazy path down his face. He was stunned. She was stunned. They were stunned together. It was as if someone outside their togetherness had fired that shot, as if someone ELSE had stunned THEM.

--back when--

He told her that if she walked into that death trap, she would die alone. She walked in, ski-mask down over her smile, aggressive as all hell, gun drawn. The guard slumped to the floor. A suit drew. It would've been all over, but she knew it wasn't going to end that way, not for her. He drew. The suit slumped to the floor. She walked up to the counter. Her words had all been used up. She held out the duffel bag, the clerk filled'er up, and all was well. Later he told her that her barging in without his approval was a sign of how things stood between them. "You have no respect for what's mine" (my opinion, he meant). She had a different spin on what had happened. "I trust you with all that's mine" (my life, she meant).

--back when it all started--

Farishta had always been different. Even when she hadn't been formed yet. When the clay was wet and the scratches were still being put in. Even then, he noticed the difference; it drew him to her. Their first conversation was like walking into a warm room from the cold. "At last, Civilization", he thought to himself. After a while they stopped talking. They just stood by the fire.

Her pinky grazed the back of his hand.

--when things got bad--

One betrayal she could handle. Then a little voice inside her said "forgive him". Two treacheries was too much.

Before she'd discovered his betrayal, she'd seen the Truth of his devotion in his eyes. Even now she didn't doubt that what she had seen was the Truth. She had too much pride, that was the problem. Too much pride to accept the hand she'd been dealt, too much pride to face the facts. It was staring her in the face, the whole unfairytaleness of it. The phrases collided in her head, tumbled one after another, confused her. The rage tried to get out, but ran into her broken heart.

"He knows he has it in him, he knows what his eyes carry. He flaunts it, thinks it'll save him. Not this time, mister".

--when things were good--

Everything about them worked. Their quirks sandpapered each other and no one resented the dust that fell. She had a habit of smiling at him when he didn't know she was looking. Since they'd been together, he hadn't had a single dream. "My life is now the dream", is how he explained it. What a sap.

--back to now--

"Snap out of it", Farishta said to herself. Her second shot killed him.