The tension that was drawn out between them was cruel and sharp, cutting them both like razor wire. The two were each looking pointedly away from the other. Zxy's shoulders were hunched, but his posture was rigid. Every muscle in Kane's body was taut, and she was leaning forward just enough to give the impression of an animal about to bolt. She looked the way she felt.
"Why does it always wind up like this?" Zxy asked. His voice was soft, belying the shouting match they'd just been having. He stood near the window, and from the corner of his eye, he could see the curtains of his neighbor's house flutter. She had been watching. She'd probably even heard them screaming. It didn't matter to him at all, he couldn't be bothered with what she thought. The only person whose words mattered to him was Kane.
"You're not totally innocent," she said in a small, defensive tone as if she felt the blame being shifted to her.
"Never said I was."
They lapsed into another painful silence.
"You show up here," Zxy started back up, breaking the silence, "after being gone for months at a time, and you stay for only weeks. Somehow it always ends the same way -- you leave angry at me and don't come back until you've cooled off. The only problem is, I have no idea what I've done to upset you."
"You know damn well what you did!" Kane said. Her jaw clenched.
"No, Kane, I don't," he said. His voice was still quiet and reserved, which made it worse. He wasn't angry, not entirely. He was trying to be rational, and that alone put Kane out of her comfort zone, but what scared her most, what really scared her, was the hurt in his eyes. He was in pain. Well, she thought bitterly, so am I.
"Maybe not entirely, but even you realize it. You're not that stupid," said Kane, stressing the word 'that' to indicate that, while he was remarkably stupid, he should be capable of grasping this level of reason. The insult made Zxy's shoulders sag a little more before he shrugged them, closing his eyes and furrowing his brow. She could just hear the seconds ticking away in his mind as he counted slowly, one, two, three
"What am I supposed to be realizing?"
"That you're far too good to be associating with me," she said. His head jerked up, eyes opening instantly.
She tutted, crossing her arms and turning her back to him.
"Everything about you makes me sick."
She bet it hurt, though.
"If it makes you so sick, why do you come here time after time after time?" he asked. His voice wavered. Just slightly. It was steady enough to maybe fool anyone else, but she caught it. When he spoke again, he'd recovered.
"If I make you so sick, why don't you just leave me alone?" His voice rose, giving away how she was getting to him once more. She turned around again to face him, to drink in the anguish and fury on his face. He didn't disappoint at all. His jaw was set just as hers had been a moment ago. His hands were balled tightly into fists, the knuckles sheet white. His eyes flickered with his anger. It might have been intimidating if she didn't know him so well, but she did and she knew that, while he might scream and rage about his house, he would never hurt her. She, on the other hand, would hurt him as much as possible and relish every minute of it. At this point, she couldn't even remember why. It was just that way things had always been. Smirking, she placed her hands on her hips.
"What fun would that be?" she said, her voice lilting tauntingly. He didn't rise for the bait. Instead, he exhaled slowly. He threw up his hands in frustration, only to let them fall to his sides again with a soft slapping noise against his thighs. Her eyes roamed over his body, drinking him in. Gorgeous
"Get out," he said coldly. She blinked a few times. Slowly regaining her wits, her cocky face melted into irritation.
"Fine," she said, "Fine. I will."
And with that, she was gone, leaving Zxy to stomp into the middle of the living room, sinking down onto the couch with a heavy sigh. Massaging his temples, he glanced to the remote beside him. He studied it carefully, weighing his options before reaching over. It wasn't until his fingers curled around it and he was lifting it up to switch the television on that he noticed his hands were trembling. With a frustrated yell, he hurled the device away from himself and into the wall to his right. It smashed into several pieces and remained there as Zxy held his head, gripping his hair. The worst part was neither the fight, nor the accusations. It wasn't even the insults she'd thrown at him, which she'd known from the start would hurt him deeply. It was the fact that he'd be doing it all over again in a few weeks.