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Metro: Beyond
Rusalka Voronov

Death and Marriage

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In many ways, Anatoly had even less to go on when it came to married relations. His father was away more often than not, as far as he remembered. And those memories were long buried. 

"You should stay away from the window," he repeated himself from earlier, "all it takes is the wrong, angry man to see you there from down below." 

@WisePenny

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Rusalka turned just her head. "And they'll what?" She asked with ice in her voice. "Throw a rock at me?"

No sooner had she spoken than the glass of the window was shattered. Not by a rock, but by a bullet. It whizzed only inches away from her torso and buried itself into the wall just over Anatoly's head. Rusalka screamed and jumped back.

@Dragon

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Anatoly barely had time to process the swell of irritation that followed the question. 

The glass broke. The slug lodged into the wall. The shot rang out. All in that order, All in less than a second's time. 

On reflex, he came out of the chair, tackling Rusalka to the ground. He clamped a hand over her mouth even as they landed, "SHH," he hissed into her ear, keeping her muffled as he strained to listen for any sigh of men rushing up to their door. His heart was pounding in his chest. All he had to defend this place was a puny, six shot revolver. Nothing against a mob. 

There was a rush of movement around them. Voices raised in the street below. Commotion from the apartment behind them, after the bullet lodged through their wall. Then there was a dead silence as their neighbors hunkered down for fear the mob might be coming. 

Near twenty minutes passed, Anatoly kept his palm clamped against her mouth - regardless of whatever protests. Finally he nudged his mouth close to her ear, "Or else you'll be fucking lucky if they shoot you cleanly. Now shut up and gather what you need most." 

@WisePenny

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His quick response was a saving grace, but there was no second shot. They held on the ground in petrified silence for what felt to Rusalka like hours, but the mob never came. Everything was deadly, terrifyingly silent. 

She didn't make any move to say anything, she didn't try to move, she didn't try to fight him off. She held there, stock still in her husband's grip.

When he finally let her go, she slithered away from him and sat up, still well under the bottom of the window. All she did was nod and move to get a couple of bags.

And to think, they'd just finished unpacking.

@Dragon

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Anatoly got to his feet, stepping to yank the drapes shut all over again. His breath was still heavy from the adrenaline, shoulders rising just enough to show it. He removed his revolvr and paused to check it - a familiar, calming moment. 

Everything remained quiet. Finally, he stepped to the back wall and rapped once - thrice - once. He waited to hear the pattern repeated before going to their front door, quietly letting himself out. For a few minutes he left Rusalka alone to converse with the fellow officer in the neighboring unit. Civilians were not typically permitted to carry within the Red Line stations. 

That one had a gun here and now was unsettling. It meant either a rogue soldier had taken the shot at his wife, or a soldier had been murdered; and his weapons stolen away. 

Either way, their time here seemed increasingly sparse. 

@WisePenny

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Rusalka was in shock. She'd never been shot at before. She'd never known it was something that could happen, just like that. Her hands were trembling slightly as she packed things away.

What did you bring when you were fleeing your home? What could they come back for, later on? She looked around the room. Surely this was merely temporary. They'd come home sooner or later. Her biggest concern was not leaving anything permanently - her brain hadn't even gone there yet - but what might some ruffian try to loot while they were temporarily gone?

She settled for locking some of the more valuable items in a closet and packing the key to bring.

In the end, she had two backpacks - Anatoly's old military ones - one for each of them. Inside were a few changes of clothes, some of the food from the kitchen, some blankets to sleep on. She looked at the stuffed full bags anxiously, wondering if it was enough. Wondering if it was too much.

@Dragon

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