...Mightier Than the Sword
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Disclaimer: I do not own The Pretender or anything affiliated with it. It is owned by TNT, NBC, and Craig and Steve. No infringement is intended and no profit is being made.

Season Two, “Past Sim”
Author’s Note: I’m mildly disturbed that I find it so easy to write for this character… Oh well. I guess this can count as a response to the Why? Challenge of fanfic100.
Dedication: Happy Birthday, Blade Mistress. I hope you like your present.

Summary: “What does a guy have to do to lose a thumb?” – Mr. Lyle (“Past Sim”)

by: chopsticks
p g - 13


The world was shattering around him. Fragments of light and color shone around him, swirling as it all fell away. The world descended into darkness, and all that he was aware of was the pain.

It was pain that was utterly indescribable. If he were ever asked to explain what the sensation was like, he would be unable to. There were no words for this kind of pain.

What does a guy have to do to lose a thumb?

Stupid question. He knew the answer now.

Getting involved with the Yakuza was probably the worst idea he had ever had. And there had been some really bad ones in his relatively short life.

He felt the world slip away at unreal speeds as his body went lunging forward. Forward and out, to be precise.

Everything came into sharp focus as his body smashed into the dirt, rolling ungracefully into the ditch. Pain etched its way up his arm and he cradled his left hand protectively against his body, watching the world fall to pieces around him.

Everything had shattered, including himself.


Ten minutes prior.

“This…is the last straw.” The large man glared down at him, grinning malevolently and absent-mindedly opening and closing the switchblade. It was a mark of someone that knew the uncompromising way of the blade.

The voice spoke again. “You have insulted us for the final time.”

“I can get you the money.” He was pleading for his life. He had never considered himself the pleading type, but sometimes life has other ideas.

“We don’t care about the money. It was never about the money.” Tommy Tanaka slipped into his line of vision, and he was struck by just how effortlessly the other man moved around.

“Then why are we here?”

“You took something from us. Our property.”

He stared at the Asian man dumbly.

“Let me clarify for you. Two years ago, you were traipsing around the Asian Continent. One of your friends was our friend as well. You left her in a ditch.”

The light of comprehension lit his face as he realized what this was really about. He had nothing to say.

Tommy Tanaka smiled grimly and held out his hand to the larger man. The switchblade was placed carefully in the hand of its new owner, and Tommy advanced on him.

“Do I at least get some kind of anesthetic?”

Tommy kept the smile in place as he leaned down, his lips just barely brushing against his ear. “I want to hear you scream, Mr. Lyle. Just like she did.”

His left hand was forced down on the table next to him and shackled into place. It seemed they had more in common than he originally thought. They were as well-prepared for their business as he was for his.

He felt the cold of the blade as it was gently pressed to his skin, and he shivered involuntarily. Slowly and carefully, the edge was rubbed over the junction of hand and thumb.

The gentleness of it surprised him, and he found himself remembering the long-forgotten feeling he had when she had writhed beneath him, afraid but undoubtedly turned on by his skills with the blade.

As it began to puncture his skin, he felt a thrill shoot through him. He’d often wondered what sort of ecstasy his victims had experienced during his own ritual. He figured this was pretty damn close of a comparison.

Slowly, though, and with a gentle touch, Tommy began to slice deeper and deeper, the pain shooting through his arm with increased fervor. He gasped harshly as the blade made contact with nerves. He could feel the heat of his own blood warming the skin around his thumb, pooling on the table.

It was a unique experience.

The blade gently touched on the bone, and he could hear the grating as the bone was filed away. The delicious pain of it all became overwhelming, and he was again reminded of what she looked like beneath him, crying out in ecstasy, terror, and something he had never been able to identify until now.

He screamed just like she did, and the world began to shatter around him.


the end.

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