I am thou, thou are I, from the sea of thou soul I come forth. Pity a man who yearns for their own protection, and become the spearhead that pierce through the oppression! -- Anon Guest
[AN: Thee, thou, and thy are hard pronouns to use. My grammatical arse had to provide a correction to balm my soul: "I am thee, and thou art I, from the sea of thy soul I come forth." I have no idea why, but I can conjugate 'Thee' on instinct. Call it a gift. This is also something possibly three other people on the whole world care about. Also: Offensensitivity warning for depictions of domestic abuse]
Sometimes, you can actually hear the moment when an intelligent being snaps. Sometimes it's just a crack, like someone realigning their knuckles. Sometimes, it's a sound similar to glass surrendering to immense pressures. When Shan snapped, it sounded like a slab of granite sundered by a sudden impact.
"You're right," she said. It was Shan's voice. It was his body doing the talking, but the new being with those words wasn't the Shan who had been progressively whittled down to less than nothing by his abuser. "You could kill me in so many ways. You can make certain the world never knows I'm gone. You can beat me and hurt me and make my life so very painful." His arm moved of its own volition. Striking out so suddenly as if it had forgotten the carving knife in his hand. "You made me need you, but I don't need you."
The knife sunk in. Past clothing. Past skin. Through internal organs and only halting when it was embedded in bone. The creature who was now within Shan regarded it all with clinical fascination. She will threaten jail. She will say I owe her. She will threaten. She will hurt me. Shan was used to it all.