Daisy’s best quality is her strength. It always has been, since she was old enough to fight she made sure she was good at it. She let people underestimate her, see her long hair and doe eyes and hear her called ‘Daisy’ and think she was soft.
But she’s always styled herself a lion, crouched in wait for the chase. Beautiful, yes, but the sunlight that shines on golden manes hides pointed teeth, and Daisy is always ready to bite.
She always follows through. Daisy does not start a chase she will not finish. She will win or they will win (they haven’t yet), but a hunt does not end without bloodshed. She started hunting Jonathan Sims. She held a gun to his head and a knife to his throat and made him bleed and beg and cry, and that was no fun. A chase needs two people, a hunter and a hunted, a lion and a lamb, one to run and one to follow. Jonathan Sims never ran from her. He was scared of her, sure, but he never gave her the satisfaction of running, of letting her hunt him.
It was fine.
She would get him eventually. She could wait, crouched in shadow and long grass as they exploded a house of wax, and then she would chase him. She would follow him and find him and win.
It was Jon that followed her, in the end. She couldn’t hunt, in here. It was too close, too tight, too small. She could barely move her chest enough to breath, her arms and legs were pinned against walls in strangle angles, and all she could claw at was the dirt (was it dirt?) and rocks (where they rocks?) that she was squeezed against.
The only heartbeat she could hear was her own. Not the blood, not the hunt. Just her.
Thump thump, against the walls and floor and ceiling and walls and walls and walls and - Jon.
Jon was here.
For the first time in a long time, as she squeezed and cried and heaved her way through the walls to him - Daisy didn’t want to hurt Jon. She just wanted to hold his hand. Hold it tight, even though everything tight is bad and too close and walls walls walls, Jon’s hand is warm with blood she once wanted to spill. She focuses on the beating heart she can feel through his thin wrists (hers are thinner, she notices. When did that happen? When did he become the stronger one?). She focuses on his beating heart and pumping blood and follows him, but it isn’t a chase. It isn’t a threat.
It’s a promise.
“Oh my G-d.”
The Hunt can pound in her ears again as much as it likes, out of the dirt and wallswallswalls, but all Daisy can see right now is Basira.
Basira whose hand was in the lion’s mouth, Basira who held onto her heart when the monster ripped through everything else.
Basira who saw every disgusting part of Daisy the lion, and now every disgusting part of Daisy the weak.
She knew her hair was no golden mane anymore, limp and matted and dirtbrown. She was no beautiful lion, crouched in wait - she was slumped on the floor, muscles too atrophied to even let her stand.
And Basira was still looking at her like she was something special.
Daisy felt like she was looking at the sun.
Basira was still so beautiful, and it hurt her eyes.