forwardmomentum: (on the back of a natural disaster)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-17 01:38 pm (UTC)(link)
That the clone keeps referring to his father -- their father, Miles corrects himself, because much though his clone won't acknowledge it, they are family -- as the Butcher, nothing else, and Miles has to resist the urge to repeat his father's name every time. It's like an itch. But being combative with Mark right now wouldn't be productive, and Miles is, honestly, a bit too tired to be combative right now. He gulps down the rest of his coffee and gives his clone a small, thin smile.

"What ways?"

Go on. Tell me what lies Galen filled your head with, so I can show you the truth. Show me where Galen distorted the truth where he couldn't lie. Let me justify to you the truth where Galen didn't need to lie at all.
jacksonian: (intense)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-17 01:49 pm (UTC)(link)
The clone shifts in his chair, his expression hard and suspicious and wary, unblinking as he stares into Miles' face. Is he screwing with me right now? This is the sort of game he's used to - being given an opportunity to fuck up. Having the door thrown wide open so he can screw up massively and suffer the consequences. Always easier, after all, than waiting for him to screw up organically...But what'll be the price if he does fuck up? Miles' smile looks natural enough, if exhausted; there's none of the tension in his face that signals that there's some hidden fury there. But anger isn't the only possible outcome of you showing your weaknesses - and anger isn't really Miles' way, either. Head games, that's his way.

So he starts small. Just a single word. He puts it out there like sticking your hand under the spray of the shower, to test...Well, to test whether the water is secretly acid.

forwardmomentum: (nothing says "i miss you")

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-17 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah. Miles settles back in his chair, regarding his clone carefully. A bit unsubtle, but then, Galen believes his father to be a murderous would-be despot, and given his opinions on Barrayar...Miles can't really say he's surprised. He tilts his head to the side, not quite in concession.

"I'd be lying if I said the Barrayaran political scene was a clean one," he says mildly. "You know our history, or well enough at least, I trust -- the Pretendership alone was an exercise in blood politics. But my father..." Miles lifts a finger, then curls his hand into a light fist, gesturing vaguely. "The only murder he's ever committed was on Komarr. His political officer. Just after the Solstice Massacre."

Miles cannot say in good faith that he knows exactly which version of that course of events is the true one. Without his political officer to testify or fast-penta, it was his father's word against a dead man's, and you can't prove a negative. And so it had thusly gone down in history as it had been perceived, but Miles...Miles would rather believe otherwise.
jacksonian: (incredulous)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-17 02:12 pm (UTC)(link)
"To cover it up." Now, this is a story he knows backwards and forwards. He could probably recite the name of every martyr of the Massacre from memory. And it's not exactly that he cares. There was a time when he did care, intensely, deeply - when he practically felt every bullet fired lancing through his own flesh, through his heart and soul. But there came a point, sometime in the last year, where his concern for Komarr and her dead had just evaporated - where he just became too exhausted. Maybe when he realized that all the pain he'd felt for the Solstice Martyrs simply didn't stack up to the pain of the surgery to replace his bones with synthetics. The faint heat in his voice when he speaks isn't for the dead, as it once would have been. It's simply anger at being lied to so transparently.

"Everyone knows that. He didn't get called the Butcher for killing one man."
forwardmomentum: (but i declined)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-17 02:43 pm (UTC)(link)
"Everyone believes that," Miles corrects, maybe a bit stubbornly, but he relents. Without the fork in his hand, his fingertips take to drumming restlessly on the tabletop between them.

"It wasn't a very good cover-up, though, was it? He was still charged with responsibility. Demoted to Captain for it. In fact, killing his political officer was the worst thing he could've done in order to evade responsibility, claim innocence by ignorance of the order given without his conset. But he was angry -- he was so very angry that one of his subordinates not only issued an order without his consent, but shattered his honor in the process, that he killed with his bare hands the one man whose fast-penta testimony could have exonerated him. A dead man can't testify. And so he bore the consequence and responsibility."

Miles has no way of knowing if that's how it really went down, save for asking his father, and he...doesn't know if he can do that. But it's what he'd like to believe. Miles leans forward then, cupping his chin in his other hand.

"So tell me -- if the Prime Minister of Barrayar solves his political problems with murder -- then how is it that my treason charges were resolved, Vorhalas's plot dismantled, without a single drop of blood spilled?" He leans forward a little more. "Do you know how those charges were resolved?"
jacksonian: (displeased)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-17 02:52 pm (UTC)(link)
The clone bristles a bit at that rhetorical question. "If I wasn't able to get my hands on more than a rumor of the charges themselves, how the hell would I know how the charges were resolved?" he snaps back. Irritably, he speaks those last few words in a flawless imitation of Miles' own voice. He's been using his own natural accent - a sort of melange of Jacksonian and educated Komarran and bits of Barrayaran. The switch back to Miles' accent is both mockery and a firm reminder of who he is, what he is - an enemy, a tool, not a damned prop in Miles' grand theater.

Still, after that reminder, he relents a little, dropping the imitation in favor of his own voice again. "I assume blood was spilled and it was covered up. The Barrayaran government is damned good at keeping secrets."
forwardmomentum: (i guess i still do that)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-17 07:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Miles can't really deny that last point. Imperial Security does a damned good job of keeping the Empire's secrets, and there are a lot to keep. He flinches at that shift in accent, wondering if it sounds just as jarring and abrupt to others when he switches -- but he couldn't possibly have that stinging effect that his clone does.

But he doesn't lean away, just moves to fiddling with his coffee cup, swirling it idly, seeing if there are any last drops he can gather. One cup might not prove to be enough. He can feel some of the energy returning to him, but it feels disconnected, disjointed. It's not quite reaching the rest of his body.

"The charges against me were, specifically, conspiracy against the Emperor and the violation of Vorloupulous's Law -- an edict against assembling private militia beyond a certain capacity -- both of which constituted treason. The conspiracy plot was concocted by some other scheming Vor lord to be used against the Prime Minister -- dismissed once I actually managed to show up and made my case to Gregor. The whole plot sort of hinged on me not making it back on time for my hearing, or at all, because it was utter nonsense. But I did, technically, very much break Vorloupulous's Law by amassing the Dendarii in the way I did -- without even thinking about it."

Yes, he'd been seventeen, and yes, he'd been in a constant panic, trying to take things one crisis at a time, and yes, hindsight might be twenty-twenty -- but he still thinks about that private conference with Gregor and his father and Vorhalas and Henri, how agonizingly tense it had been.

"Vorhalas," he says, studying his empty coffee cup with an odd expression, "had a very serious grudge. He wanted my father to suffer in a very specific and exacting way. Even if they couldn't get me up on conspiracy, there was still plenty of rope to hang me with -- so to speak. As I'm sure you know, the official sentence for treason on Barrayar is death by public starvation and exposure." The thin smile on his face is bleak, razor sharp, but inward. "I explained it all to Gregor, how the Dendarii came to be, that entire debacle at Tau Verde -- everything. At that point, no official charges on that count had been brought before the Council. Gregor certainly had no interest in it. No one in the room but Vorhalas...Vorhalas made my father get on his knees in front of him and beg him for mercy. And my father did."
jacksonian: (brooding)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-17 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Public starvation and exposure catches the clone's imagination for a moment. Is that what's going to happen to him? When all of this is over? A case could be made for him as a Barrayaran citizen, after all, in some weird roundabout way. And if he's a Barrayaran, he's definitely a treasonous one. And Barrayarans like that kind of thing, right? They enjoy public executions. And even if Miles seems...not entirely malicious...what about the rest of them? They'd probably like to watch him die. At least starving to death doesn't have any real terror for him. Or...Well. No. It does have terror. At least it doesn't have any mystery.

"That must have been satisfying for you." The clone's feet swing slightly in his chair. "Seeing how far he'd go for you." It doesn't prove anything aside from that, really. The Butcher would humble himself for his progeny - fine. No real surprise there. Doesn't mean he's soft or compassionate or good or any of it. Just means he defends his own.
forwardmomentum: (with a stanley knife)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-17 10:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Miles's smile turns slightly nauseated. He's decided to let Mark lead this conversation, to let the kid have some measure of control over something in this situation, but it's not just about answering his questions anymore, not at this point. Now he's back to that deep need for his clone to understand.

"Ah. No." He doesn't look up from his coffee cup. "It scared the hell out of me."
jacksonian: (incredulous)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-17 10:29 pm (UTC)(link)
The clone shakes his head, his mouth twisting in a mixture of disbelief and confusion. "Why?" he asks incredulously. No. What would be scary would be if he didn't give a shit and left him to die. This meant Miles got to live. What's scary about that?
forwardmomentum: (i used to rely)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-17 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
"Because -- " Miles gropes for a way to explain it, to explain the feeling in that room that day, the tension between his father and Vorhalas. The venom in Vorhalas's voice, even as barely audible as it was to Miles. Shove it, Vorkosigan. Miles's hand opens in a useless gesture, and he closes it again.

"Because Vorhalas hated my father so much, wanted to get back at him so badly that he was willing to have me sent to my death for my own foolishness -- nothing to do with my father at all, nothing he had so much as laid eyes on -- just to get back at him. Just to hurt him. And that threat alone was enough that my father didn't fight back -- didn't even argue. Until that day, I had never seen him bend a knee to anyone but Gregor."

But those sentiments -- he doesn't even know if they would permeate his clone's thinking, if they would mean anything at all. Miles gropes for another angle instead. "You have to understand. It wasn't me Vorhalas wanted to suffer. That was just a means to an end. I wasn't a traitor to him. I was a tool, a handle he could use, because he wanted to get back at my father." He looks up at his clone, then, all traces of hysteria or humor gone, gray eyes utterly serious. "The very same way Galen was going to use you to get back at him."
jacksonian: (looking down)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-18 12:05 am (UTC)(link)
The clone looks away from those eyes. It's not that the sentiment makes him uncomfortable. It's not like thinking about Galen's desire to use him is some uncomfortable, alien thing. He's known he was a tool since the day that the Komarrans came to get him from Bharaputra's labs - no, since even before that. All clones are tools, after all. All clones exist to be used up and thrown away. And they're not unique in that, either - if growing up on Jackson's Whole taught him anything, it taught him that people are always looking for a handle on everyone else. To get power, to get money, to get satisfaction - doesn't matter. When a person looks at a person, all they see is someone to use.

No. What makes him uncomfortable is that Miles talks about it like it's something that ought to shock him. Like he really expects that the clone will be horrified and moved by the knowledge that Galen didn't have his best interests in mind. And who the hell is Miles Vorkosigan, and how the hell did he get to this age and this amount of experience, still acting like that sort of malice is anything other than the norm? And how little have I understood him, all this time?

"And you turned out to be the Butcher's weakness after all," the clone says, swinging his feet a little more energetically, staring down at his toes. "Am I supposed to be shocked by the fact that he's not murderous towards everyone? It's not any sort of revelation. It's always been public knowledge how much Aral Vorkosigan doted on you. That's why they made me look like you - so that he'd think it was his son killing him."
Edited 2017-04-18 00:05 (UTC)
forwardmomentum: (fixed with parcel tape)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-18 02:15 am (UTC)(link)
Miles had had his clone convinced enough of -- enough of something that he helped spring Miles and Duv from that safehouse, but there's still too wide a rift. And every reach Miles makes at trying to close it, to bring his clone closer, seems to be falling short. There has to be a hook. There's always a hook.

But he can't push too hard. Too hard and he risks losing his clone altogether, and Miles -- Miles can't afford that. He can't let it happen. It's starting to feel like trying to push two magnets of the same polarity together. Every time he starts to get close, there's that push back.

"An ultimately much shorter-lived torture than Vorhalas intended," Miles allows neutrally, inwardly scrambling for something, anything. Outwardly, he offers Mark a shrug. "But you asked." A beat, then he tilts his head, genuinely curious. "Still thinking about killing me?"
jacksonian: (brooding)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-18 11:39 am (UTC)(link)
The clone looks up at Miles, and then looks away. He shifts in his chair, squirming uncomfortably at the question. It's...He knows the answer. He wishes, on some level, that Miles were gone, that there was nothing of him, so that he wouldn't have to contend with him any longer. So that there wouldn't be this enormous shadow that just leaves him in darkness. Miles is so much more than he ever dreamed, so much more than the psych reports and vid recordings and mannerisms and history, and sitting across from him - the clone feels tiny. Tinier than he's ever felt amongst people of a normal size. He wishes that he just would dry up and vanish, crumble into nothing, so that he could get a bit of damned sunshine. So that there would be some air to breathe.

But is he willing to kill him for that? By the time he'd set foot on this ship, the answer had been no. Hell, by the time he was out of range of Galen and Galen's grasp, the answer had been no. Murder had always been the Komarrans' ambitions and dreams, and sure, there was a time when he'd shared their dreams. But that time was behind him. No, he doesn't want Miles' death...He just wants -

What? What does he want? Protection. Or power enough that he doesn't need protection. Safety. The...certainty that Galen can't get to him, more than anything else, more than anything in his life, oh, he wants to know that he's away from him. Food when he wants food, instead of when he's earned food. The right to sleep in as long as he wants. To not be hauled out of bed, his sleepy brain trying to catch up to what it was he did wrong. To not hurt for his mistakes. To maybe find a girl who'll look at him with fondness and warmth in her eyes, who'll touch him and kiss him and let him touch her...Nowhere on that list, nowhere at all, is dying on some planet I've never seen for some planet I've never seen. Nowhere on that list is making Galen happy. Nowhere on that list of ambitions is killing.

He doesn't quite say that. Miles' fear of him - if there's any fear of him at all, but here he is just sitting there fearlessly - is at least some measure of power in his hands. If he admits that, no, he doesn't want to kill, he really doesn't want to kill, then it'll be a surrender of that power. So instead, he asks, "Are you planning to make me kill Galen?" The uttering of the man's name sends an unpleasant little shudder through him, but - he keeps it together.
forwardmomentum: (quite like war poetry)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-18 12:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Miles looks startled and a little unnerved at that question. "God -- no. The plan was to get you away from Galen, not send you right back at him."

He rubs his jaw, his brows drawing down. "I wasn't planning on making anyone kill Galen. As soon as we track him down, I'm turning him in to the authorities -- our authorities, if I can swing it. Earth doesn't have an extradition treaty with Barrayar, but I'm hoping the Embassy can finagle some kind of legal judo to get him into our custody." His lips press into a frown, expression going grim. "He has a hell of a lot to answer for."
Edited 2017-04-18 12:02 (UTC)
jacksonian: (stressed the fuck out)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-18 01:40 pm (UTC)(link)
"If the Barrayarans get him, that still means death." What sort of death? Starvation and exposure? The clone thinks that he ought to find that poetic and appropriate, the thought of Galen dying hungry, but it just makes him feel sick. The thought of Galen dying at all makes him feel...But that's stupid. That's so fucking stupid. He hates Galen. Yeah, sure, there was a time when he hadn't, when he'd thought of Galen as the man who rescued him from death in Bharaputra's labs - sure. Yeah. But that was when he was a dumb kid. That was before he saw how clueless and incompetent he and the rest of the conspirators were. That was before -

It's stupid. Who gives a shit if Galen dies? Hell, his own son wouldn't care - he'd spent enough time with David Galen to know that for certain. The other Komarrans wouldn't, either; the whole cell was squabbling and dysfunctional and united by a common purpose more than by loyalty. No one would care if Ser Galen was executed. There was no one in the galaxy who cared about him, truly. And who gave a shit about that? He'd earned that hatred. He'd earned it.

"I don't care," he says suddenly, his voice brittle and a little desperate.
forwardmomentum: (on the back of a natural disaster)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-18 03:35 pm (UTC)(link)
"Probably," Miles concedes, though not for some time; he's sure ImpSec will have plenty of questions for Galen. "But that's a very big if nonetheless. Right now, I'm more concerned with finding the man than what's going to happen to him after."

They'll worry about what to do with Galen once they find him. It can't be a priority right now. Not when Miles is running himself ragged just trying to get to Point A. There's a chance that the Embassy might catch up to Galen before the Dendarii, but it's unlikely -- the Dendarii have more resources, more leeway, more information. Miles looks up at that sudden declaration, eyebrows quirked.

"As long as he's gone," he says a little quieter, finishing, he thinks, the rest of that thought. Miles knows it can't be a blanket statement in truth. There are, in fact, things his clone cares about very much. No one fights this hard just to exist that doesn't care. No one pushes back this hard, this much, that doesn't have a reason for it.
jacksonian: (looking down)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-18 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
A jerky, nervous shrug answers that comment, neither confirmation nor denial. Yet his agitation is clear: the twitchiness, the rime of sweat on his upper forehead, the way he rocks back and forth in his chair - only a little, only slightly, but he still rocks. In spite of that insistence on his indifference, the physical evidence of his terror of Galen is ample.

And yet even so, he goes on, "No. I don't care. Do whatever with him." Another twitchy shrug. "I'm not sticking my neck out for him, but it's not like anything good will come of him dying, either." Except my freedom. And that's not his to give any longer. Though back then - back amongst the Komarrans - he'd always known that Galen's death wouldn't set him free, either...He'd thought about it sometimes, kicking a little harder, kicking a little higher, turning a sparring session into something fatal. But he'd always known that if Galen died, they wouldn't set him free - they'd just turn him into so much biomatter, to be incinerated, like any leftover parts of a clone. And he's always wanted to live. That's always been the goal. Not revenge, not glory, not Komarr - just life.

And how does Galen staying alive serve that? Well, it's not like his lack of malice is going to do anything to spare Galen's life. Barrayar won't kill Galen for what he's done to some Jacksonian clone. They'll kill Galen for the dead Barrayaran soldiers, those past tales of murderous glory that had bored him so very many times.
forwardmomentum: (stomping on your fingers)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-22 08:51 pm (UTC)(link)
The naked terror in Mark's posture is discomfiting, and Miles shifts unconsciously in his seat. It doesn't come as a surprise to him, but to see it like that, to see his clone so uncomfortable and afraid of a man who isn't even in the room. He has to stop himself from reaching out, because comfort is...not something his clone would accept from him right now. Maybe it's what his clone wants, but he wouldn't want it from Miles. That much Miles is sure of.

So instead he just looks at Mark, shrugs in mild agreement, and toys with his fork, his own food still only half-finished. He doesn't have much of an appetite. He tilts his head at his clone. "Doesn't seem to me like you're thinking much of killing at all right now."
jacksonian: (stressed the fuck out)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-24 01:50 pm (UTC)(link)
The clone flinches slightly, because that comment is very, very true. He snaps at himself internally - the fact that he guessed that doesn't mean that he has some magical insight into you, it's not like you're being subtle - but there's more to it than simply alarm at being transparent to Miles. It's also...Well. Being reluctant to kill - to fulfill his mission - has always been very, very dangerous.

But dangerous to Galen. Galen was the one who wanted him killing. Miles doesn't. He'd looked like he was going to shit himself when the clone had asked about killing Galen. So, in a sudden burst of berserker courage, he tells the truth. "Why would I want to kill anyone?" He clenches his hands in the fabric of his uniform trousers to stop them from shaking. To absorb the sweat. "Killing isn't power. If you're the sorry bastard who pulls the trigger, that means you're pretty close to the bottom of the heap. Power is never having to get blood on your hands. And that's what I want to do."

Power is having enough money to send other people to do the killing for you, too. Power is getting a vid-recording by fast courier of Vasa Luigi getting his face scorched off by plasma arc - But that's too much honesty.
forwardmomentum: (but i declined)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-24 06:20 pm (UTC)(link)
"Why indeed," Miles agrees mildly, secretly deeply relieved, but knows there's more to it than that. Only confirmed by what his clone follows up with, with the implications in it. Glaring implications, if Miles reads them right. He shifts in his seat, crossing one leg over the other, his foot tapping restlessly on the ground.

"But you're only half-right," he goes on. "It doesn't matter whose hand is on the trigger when it's pulled. In the end, it's about responsibility. It doesn't spare you the blood on your hands -- only sends it by proxy."

He spreads his own hands, as if to demonstrate the blood Mark can't see, spilled like invisible ink over his hands. Talking about this doesn't make Miles any more at ease than anything else they've talked about thus far, but he won't lie. He's a soldier, and a commander, at that. Much though he's never once relished in it, he knows he has blood on his hands. Starting with that one jump pilot he'd permitted Bothari to torture, all those years ago...

"You don't need power not to kill," Miles says, leaning forward to tap his fingers on the tabletop. He fixes his clone with a serious gaze, lips pressed together, another entreaty to listen, to understand. "Unless the only distinction you're only interested in making here is whether or not you do it with your own hands. But sending someone else to do your dirty work? You still ruin more than one man in the process."
jacksonian: (angry)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-24 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
"So what?" he snaps back. He leans forward in turn, a sudden burst of anger burning in the pit of his stomach. You ruin more than one man - "Is that supposed to be some deterrent for me? Am I supposed to give a shit about ruining other people? No one exactly ever gave a thought to ruining me." He shakes his head, the emotion in his stomach turning to a wailing miserable sort of despair for a moment before it slides back to anger again.

"Anyway, aren't you a mercenary army commander? I'm pretty sure your bread and butter - the way you make your living - is by sending other people to do your dirty work. Huh? So don't get all high and mighty at me. And don't think that I'm all soft and squeamish, either," he adds with a little more ferocity still. "Because I'm not. I'm not like you at all."
forwardmomentum: (nothing says "i miss you")

[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-04-26 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
"High and mighty? No, just pointing out an important distinction -- one I can assert from firsthand experience."

Miles is almost smiling, but not quite. There is a distinction between murder and combat casualty he'd like to make here, but he doesn't think Mark would hear it.

"I'm a soldier. I don't have any illusions about what running an army entails. But you're right -- you aren't me. You aren't like me at all. You don't command a mercenary fleet. For all that you've been trained for it, you have, as far as I can gather, dealt very little in death. So you say you don't want to kill. Well, I've got great news: you don't have to. In fact, it's a very easy thing to avoid. Lots of people go their entire lives without taking the life of another." Miles shrugs. "You don't even need power for that."
jacksonian: (intense)

[personal profile] jacksonian 2017-04-26 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
But the clone's jaw is set. His lips are tight. He is, after all, intensely, fatally Jacksonian, and there's a way that Jacksonian lives work. "Grubbers get kicked around," he responds. "Get killed or eaten alive. I'm not going to be a grubber." He hunches and glares intensely at Miles' half-finished food. (What would happen if he tried to take it? He's still hungry.) "Anyway, I bet you'd like that, wouldn't you? Me fading away into nothing. No one to ever challenge you or anything. But I don't intend to, not for one moment. Not while everything is still going on."

Everything, however elliptically, meaning the clone business. He might not speak the name of it aloud, but it makes his face settle into a taut sort of anger; his expression becomes boilingly, ferociously hostile.
Edited 2017-04-26 01:25 (UTC)
forwardmomentum: (as you'd think it might)


[personal profile] forwardmomentum 2017-07-17 11:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Miles tracks his clone's gaze to his own food, starting to grow cold on the plate. Ought he to push it toward Mark, or would the offer itself serve offense? He realizes he's been tapping the edge of the table in a useless jitter tic and drops it on the plate, as if in surrender. If Mark tries to take it, Miles won't stop him. He's curious to see what his clone will do.

"You're not on Jackson's Whole anymore," Miles points out, though perhaps uselessly, considering what this discussion seems to circle back around to. With that look. Given the way this conversation has gone, it's not hard to figure out what his clone is alluding to. He sits back in his chair, his fingertips drumming on the arm in absence of the fork.

"Good," he says bluntly, studying his clone's expression while trying to keep his own unreadable, but maybe not altogether successfully. For the clone to want some life of his own, to have some goals of his own -- that's what Miles wants for him, isn't it? If his clone doesn't want to be his brother -- a stinging thought, however quickly Miles tries to brush it off -- then at the very least, isn't it enough for him to want to be his own person? Because some faded shadow, some thoughtless entity can't have hopes and dreams. To have goals, you've got to be a person.

It makes sense in Miles's head, anyway.

"You're wrong on one point. I don't want you to fade away. In fact, I'd rather very much you didn't. I think we've been over this part already, but if I wanted you dead, I could've accomplished that half a dozen different ways by now. Besides -- " Another half-hysterical laugh escapes him. He can't help himself; he hasn't had enough caffeine. Or too much caffeine and too little sleep. Whatever. He'll work it out later. "Even if you did, ah -- fade away -- that wouldn't leave me with no one to challenge me. It'd just make the line a little bit shorter."

(no subject)

[personal profile] jacksonian - 2017-07-17 23:26 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum - 2017-07-18 01:06 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] jacksonian - 2017-07-18 01:21 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum - 2017-07-18 02:21 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] jacksonian - 2017-07-18 02:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum - 2017-08-14 02:27 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] jacksonian - 2017-08-14 02:40 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum - 2017-08-15 17:05 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] jacksonian - 2017-08-15 17:30 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum - 2017-09-14 22:51 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] jacksonian - 2017-09-15 02:19 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] forwardmomentum - 2017-09-18 02:02 (UTC) - Expand