"He spent a few minutes thinking about failure and acceptable reactions to it, and thinking that he was perhaps a product of his culture, even though he'd claimed to reject all of its old-fashioned...
The address was in a crumbling building in a crumbling neighborhood, but inside the reinforced steel door were glass cases full of sleek black death in satin-lined boxes. Hojo looked at a few, but, really, any of them would do. He let the man show them off anyway, absorbing as much information as possible without actively asking questions. He paid in cash, tucked the box in his jacket, and was back in the building in less than two hours. No one seemed to have noticed that he'd left.
It went straight into his suitcase, still in his coat pocket, and he tried not to think about it for the next three days. There was no point in even taking it out, much less attempting to use it here. Too many cameras, too many questions. Too great a possibility for failure. Better to wait until he stepped out of the transport and walked slowly through (her) the garden and up the steps to (their) his room. He unpacked the suitcase, putting the wooden box on the table at the foot of the bed. After the room was tidy, he opened the box. He spent a few minutes thinking about failure and acceptable reactions to it, and thinking that he was perhaps a product of his culture, even though he'd claimed to reject all of its old-fashioned ways for the sleek sensuality of science. Using a gun instead of a sword... was all of his so-called rejection like that? Wutai, repackaged?
He looked around the room. Not there. Not in their bed, where the Project had been - ahem - conceived. Down the steps, all of them, into his basement office.
He'd never really examined a gun up close before. It seemed simple enough to use. He managed to load it with a minimum of awkwardness, mimicking the movements of the man in the shop.
The barrel was cold, hard against his teeth. He sat there, with it in his mouth, for long minutes, thinking about Lucrecia. Her blood on his hands. Her blood on his hands. Her blood on his hands. His fingers around the trigger.
Footsteps on the stairs. He put the gun down on his desk, thought better of it, and swept it into his lab coat pocket as he stood.
It was Vincent. Not entirely unexpected; Vincent had often been underfoot lately. His righteous anger fit neatly alongside Hojo's own guilt. Lucrecia was dead, the rock that had split their friendship asunder gone, but it seemed that her absence had replaced the rock with a whirlpool.
The words were full of blame, anger, death, and Hojo found himself screaming at Vincent to shut up, go away, leave him the hell alone. He wouldn't go. Wouldn't go, wouldn't go, and he slid his hand into his pocket and curved his long fingers around the weapon.