I didn’t sleep. I watched Josie come out sleepily, she tripped over the pajama pants and hit the door frame. I snickered a little too much at that. Her dark blue hair was every which way when she came into the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. I glanced at the time on my phone and was surprised by how the hours passed. Looking around the house I could see Graves hadn’t moved from her position until the sun fully rose and breakfast was laid out. Gallows once more walked out in similar attire than last time to grill his long pig outside. But it was November and not the warmest of months, as he found out. We watched him open the door and close it, walking back into the guest room. He came out with a large blanket wrapped around him and went outside, in bare feet, to grill.
“We don’t have one of those.” Graves commented when I looked at her. “I believe he will want one now, if and when we ever return home.”
I took a sip of the coffee Josie generously supplied me with, along with a tired smile. “Are you worried you won’t be able to?”
“I am unwilling to risk it so long as Mister Creevey lives.”
“I’ll go back to Keystone, but I don’t know what good it will do.” I said as she looked away from the window and back at me. “Darklings are, from what Mystery said, alike to hunger spirits. And while they may differ in intelligence levels they aren’t mindless creatures. Mister Creevey is proof of that and we can all see how clever he is as a lone agent. They might be unwilling to share information even if I manage to get them into conversation. That's betting on if they even know anything."
Graves nodded, “The try is worth it, even if no information turns up or you are killed.”
“…Thanks.” I rolled my eyes. “Look, I don’t know what’s up with your freaky city but if you need assistance you have it. A place to stay, while you guys can’t literally pass the wards I can find a location so you aren’t hounded by proxies perhaps? And if you want to assault the city and Mister Creevey… Well, I’m not thrilled with offering but I’m willing.”
“That is a lot to offer without a deal or a price to be named. You could very well die completing such tasks should we ever call on your assistance.”
I shrugged, taking a sip from the mug. “Born to die, just a matter of when. Why should I give a fuck, as long as I’m doing something I see worth dying for I’ll be good.” I grinned teasingly, “Besides, I will come back as a ghost and haunt the shit out of everyone if I died. I won’t stop, ever.”
Gallows opened the door, cocooned in the comforter as he placed the plate down on the table and sat awkwardly. He tried rearranging himself and found no easy way to eat and remain covered; find it a failure he once more awkwardly got back up and waddled into the guest room. Returning with his open jacket, face blanketed in darkness to eat. I chuckled, getting up and grabbing a plate to get breakfast. Dia came out last, giving Josie a bear hug and smiling at the breakfast laid out once more. I watched her behavior as I sat down, as I would the rest of the time there.
“Bacon?” Josie offered Gallows who looked at the plate before back up at her.
He held up his plate, “Bacon?” He jeered, making her shriek. Cackling he placed the plate down and picked up a strip of meat, flicking it into his mouth.
And once more breakfast was us around a table, being as… Hospitable as possible. Which was severely lacking when Gallows kept poking and attempting to cut Josie. Ughs…
I took Josie out once again for training. She was pathetic all over the place, I ended the session when she tripped over air and fell on her face. Gallows in the background laughing hysterically didn’t help. I sat on the porch and cleaned off her face, careful to tend to the piercings and make sure all the dirt was off them. And once more Gallows didn’t help as he walked by, kicking up dirt in her direction. Day cut short of training Josie I turned to Dia who was watching and motioned for her to come down.
Now Dia, she’s a person who really tries to learn. She’s smart and observant as hell. Position her and she’ll learn it pretty fast, takes a couple of tries now and then but she catches on damn quickly. She can mimic moves pretty well too, maintaining a level of self-control as well she balances out. We kept trying to rile one another up which only resulted in us chuckling and smirking at one another. It was amusing. We spent literally all day just rough housing outside, when Josie came for us we were lazily flopped across the lawn. Gallows spent most of his time on the roof, laying under the sun like a cat. A very pale cat. And Graves stared at everyone without uttering a word.
The evening and night was relatively quiet. I slept a couple of hours, Dia had no nightmares, it was somewhat pleasant. Until morning rounded, I sat down when breakfast was already done and everyone else was eating. For only a few minutes until my cellphone began ringing. It was Joshua.
“Hey.” There was a pause. “I thought about it. We do need to talk.”
“Obviously.” I scowled, shutting the back door behind me and walking towards the woods. “We need to talk about a lot of things. Things you know about me that I don’t remember. You want answers on our friends, right?”
“I want answers on everything, @#$%$%&.”
My lips tugged down further. “Don’t use my real name.”
“Are you that attached to Shady now?” He jeered, it stung.
“Partially, but I don’t know for sure that is my real name. On top of which I can’t risk my identity being known. It’s bad enough a handful know already, I’d rather no one else finds out.”
He snorted, “So what? You’re like a super hero now with a secret identity? Calls being tapped, lone hero that’s gotta save the world? You’re paranoid.”
“This paranoia has kept you alive, don’t fucking forget that.” I scolded, pacing back and forth across the lawn. “And don’t mock me. You know how I feel about heroes. I don’t want to hear that bullshit again.” We both sighed, tension high even on the phone. “And it’s not unheard of. Calls monitored, accounts hacked, emails sent, technology is no barrier. So I’d really rather you used the alias given.”
"Alright, Shady." He spat the alias. "When are we meeting?"
"I'm not home right now. Not-"
"That's not your home!"
"-sure when I will be either." I glanced at the house, ignoring his interjection despite it hitting a nerve. "So I can't say and plan something right now. But I can tell you when I am home."
"Lovely. Then I'll talk to you soon." I said, he hung up just as I finished the sentence. I slid the phone back into my pocket, glaring into the woods at nothing in particular. Josie backed off from the door as I reentered the house, I shot her a look before sitting back down at the table. Gallows proceeded to get on my case, his head tilting towards the window where they had a nice view of where I was. I ignored him, filling my cup of coffee that had grown cold. The day was spent relatively all the same as the previous. I took on teaching both ladies while Gallows and Graves did their own thing. Which consisted of Gallows making jabs our way or chasing wild life with his scythe when he spotted it.
I spoke with Brood that night on the conditions of the mansion, being updated and updating him on certain things. A brief business call and that was that.
"I'm afraid of my own weaknesses and morality."
Dia admitted as we sat within the grass the next day, taking a break from our session. I looked over to her, told her fear over her own weaknesses only empowers them. Being aware of them is good, but she needed to learn to take advantage of them and tolerate her own weaknesses. We spent time conversing on how she was already doing such. Physically she was learning to protect herself, adapting she was capable of and had incredible potential to do. And with the self-defense she was really showing that ability to do so. When it came to the inner workings of ones brain there are blockades. She was no different. There are things holding her back from seeing what she needs to see, understand, adapt to her fullest. So hopefully some physical training will help her gain some confidence in protecting herself at least and motivate her to do the rest.
A fear of death is understandable to me. I don't share the same worry anymore but I understand it all the same.
Josie does what she can to keep up and understand. I spent the day teaching them both on separate levels and balancing their abilities and behaviors. Heh, it was entertaining to see the different levels and personas come together in a single session. Dia assisted Josie when she noticed something was off, Josie helped Dia in return. I decided, starting that day, they would spar together. Dia came out victor in controlled situations, but riling up Josie was a mistake and she became the victor when there was no leash upon her rage. At least, in most situations. Dia began to adapt to her changed behavior, how her berserk side could mean she was just as sloppy as she was forceful.
Dia would try and provoke Josie into being more capable than she was showing. Enticing her rage seemed to be the only way to do so. Dia wormed into her brain, pulled the strings, and Josie danced to the tune. She came at Dia with such force that Dia had to use all her strength to get Josie away from her. But the twig just came right back at her, I had to step in and tear Josie off of Dia by the end it. She attacked me, which I didn't care much for. By the end of it I had her pinned until she calmed.
"Guys, I know you're trying to help me but you can't do that anymore." Josie had said to us. Dia and I looked at one another before back at her. "I can't do that anymore."
"You just need control over it."
"You don't understand, Shady." She heaved a breath beneath me, her eyes as serious as I've ever seen them. "There is no controlling it. You've said yourself, some things just are and this just is."
That was the first time Josie has ever been straight with me. Her face, smudged with mud that allowed the steel colored eyes to shine against the evening setting around us. I got off her and helped her to a stand, telling her to go clean up. She did so without any argument. Dia called my name and I looked at her sternly, there was more to Josie than she let on. I don't mean background-wise, personality, behavior, and the way her mind works. This was known before and now proven. I kicked a rock at Dia's head, watching her quickly dodge it before I jumped in to attack. Some things are best left to dwell upon later.
The night was filled with Dia in a cold sweat, once more I was awoken by the duo to handle Dia's nightmares. She was crying, clenching the sheets, her breathing labored. She muttered incoherent words under his breath, I called her name quietly. Dia muttered more, shaking violently before she started thrashing. I grabbed her arms, Gallows on her legs along with Graves, trying to prevent her from hurting herself or anyone else. She cried out, screaming nearly for a man I did not know. Collin was his name, and I'd come to learn later just who he was to her.
After a short bit I managed to wake her up, she sat up instantly and clung, a nervous wreck. I nodded for the duo to get out and comforted her as she spoke in short sentences, telling me enough of what I needed to know. I sat cradling her for some time, a faint tune softly coming to play. A lullaby of sorts. I thought maybe it was just in my head but when I glanced down at Dia I could see her eyes wide. To say the least she didn't go back to sleep, instead she typed on her laptop. Which I guess contributes to those posts about her nightmares. I brought in the blanket from the guest bed I was using, the house itself grew cold, which seemed to be an infrequent thing.
The days were spent in a repetitive motion. A week and a half total was spent with that pattern, training, nightmares on and off. A smashed radio in Dia's room, a cackling Gallows. Dia going to work after a few days of being off due to her injuries. Ha, man Dia, I don't know how the fuck you manage to keep a job while dealing with this shit. Let alone when your job is just as fucked up as both your home lives. But hey, sharpens your silver tongue, eh? And all those years at that college helped in dealing with the fucked up folks. Course, experience really teaches you it all the more. It's amazing how you haven't been fired yet, dear.
Gallows decide it would be wonderful to jump into the training. Sent Josie off to the house, limping in fear. Dia and I tag teamed him which did was entertaining until Graves teleported in and grabbed us by the back of our shirts, slamming us into the ground without any effort at all. She looked down upon us with dead eyes before walking back to the porch and sitting down. Gallows cackled t
The next day was spent with us exhausted. We didn't train, Josie cooked (the only perky one). Gallows flipped through the channels over and over again, Graves near the window, Dia and I were on the couch watching him going over and over through the channels. She eventually snatched the remote from him and put on some movies, which we basically watched all day. Hardly eventful. But I did notice Dia and Gallows bickering a lot of the time, with plenty of innuendo layering it. I rolled my eyes at the sexual tension, it was hard to miss. Made Josie squirm awkwardly, and Graves glanced at the two suspiciously before returning to caring less about it.
I'd come to learn the next afternoon this:
"I fucked up big time."
"I fucked Gallows."
As Dia would so bluntly put. I stared at her for a long time before my first response would be a sigh. I'd come to learn she enjoyed it and, well, didn't exactly regret it. Just was freaked out about what just occurred and who with. Gallows remarkably said nothing on the matter, at my glare he chuckled. Dia was flushed at first and fled the room to shower. As the day progressed she and Gallows began their bickering once more.
I'd come to learn Gallows informed Ferus during some emails on his and Dia's coupling. Which would result in hell on our end. The next day that is (the same day Dia informed me) when Josie and Dia went out grocery shopping.
Graves and I were sitting at the kitchen table, messing around with cleaning the guns and blades. Gallows was positioned on the couch, laying upside-down as he played with his sickle. That was when the first window shattered, and then a second. Graves and I gazed at one another before we both stood, following to where the noise was. Gallows lifted his head to watch us but did nothing as we investigated the noise.
The windows in Dia's room are smashed, Graves bends down and examines it before lifting her head. Another crash, larger than the last comes from where we were before. There's heavy thuds and a slam. I looked to Graves but find her already gone. Knife in hand I run out of the room and down the hall, I enter the room and am immediately slammed into the wall before I can utter a word. Graves holds a hand against my mouth, keeping me silenced as she watches the intruder, not even paying me mind.
And the intruder? Ferus.
"You FUCKED her, Gallows! You're not supposed to FUCK her! You're supposed to KILL her! What the FUCK is wrong with you?" He yelled at Gallows as he shook him.
The madman threw back his head, despite it hitting the wall, and cackled. His legs swinging in a child-like manner as he dangled a few feet off the ground. "I fucked her, don't mean I ain't gonna kill her." He cackled, tossing the sickle at Graves, purposely trying to initiate trouble no doubt.
Ferus' head followed the sickle and its path as it narrowly flew past Graves and landed beside my head. He was really not happy in the least when we noticed us over there. "YOU PIECE OF SHIT! YOU'RE IN A HOUSE FULL OF THEM! AND THEY'RE STILL ALIVE! AND YOU'RE FUCKING COPULATING WITH ONE OF THEM! THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORK! YOU KILL THEM! NO OTHER PRETENSES!" Ferus screamed, slamming Gallows repeatedly into the wall. I would have found it amusing if it wasn't Ferus in all his fury... And me being the only non-proxy there.
Gallows was no doubt grinning by what he just caused. He doesn't even try to fight back against Ferus, he just cackled as he hits the wall over and over again. It's a loud sort of cackle, as if this moment was the best thing in the world. "I CARVE them, I stab and I cut, I make them bleed and rape their minds. Or bodies." He paused with a snicker. "Though... There was that willing one, what was her name? Dia?" He laughed hysterically all over again, not even trying to get off of square one.
And Ferus is back to screaming mindlessly in rage, shaking Gallows like a ragdoll. When he eventually calmed down he pulled out a machete, planting it into the wall behind Gallows. "Here. When she comes back, I want to see you chop her fucking head off."
The skeleton whined loudly, "But that's so easy. I was thinking next time she's on her back," He broke out into hysterical giggles. "I could cut her open, dissect her, see what fun things are inside~" He practically squealed at the thought, his shoes kicking back and forth like a hyper-active child. "But not yet. I wanna play more. I found good toys out in your world, I wanna break em."
Ferus wasted no time in punching Gallows in the face, blood seeping from the bottom of his mask. "Don't cross me, Gallows. I'll end you. Kill her."
The madman tilted his head, cracking his neck before he straightened back up. "I'm sorry, you're under the impression I give a fuck, boyo." He chuckled, onyx eyes gleaming under the light. "I'm gonna kill her. Like you would, given the chance. But you've got your ways of killing, I got mine." Gallows leaned back against the wall, as casually as someone could be in that position and spoke just the same. "Wanna let me down now, Ferus?"
Ferus tilted his head in turn, lifting Gallows higher off the floor. "You don't understand me, Gallows. No more fucking around. When she gets back, it's her or you."
He giggled, as if that was the funniest thing he's ever heard. "Ho ho ho~ why so intent, Ferus?" He asked, his head tilting to look at how high he was off the floor before turning back onto the masked giant.
Said giant tossed Gallows across the room. He walked towards where he landed after hitting the opposite wall, "BECAUSE YOU AREN'T DOING YOUR JOB, GALLOWS! I HAVE ROOMS FILLED WITH PROXIES THAT DIDN'T DO THEIR JOBS!"
The skeleton sat himself up, pulling up his knees and propping his arms over them. "What's my job, Ferus?" He asked, tone dropping a few octaves to sound relatively normal.
It was noticed by Graves, I few her flex by the change in tone. I remember on their blog one of her first posts stated that if Gallows wore anything but a smile someone was going to die horribly and swiftly. But I didn't ever remember anything about this. She obviously knew something, I gave a small squirm but she pushed me harder into the wall.
Ferus obviously failed to notice. He looked down at him, his voice showed evident contempt when he spoke. "You kill people, Gallows. Like everyone else worth a damn, you find a Runner, and you slit their fucking throat."
Gallows looked towards us, specifically at Graves, watching her reaction at Ferus' answer. Whatever it was I could not see, but it seemed to tell him enough. His shoulders shook as he snickered, pulling himself to a stand. "Boyo, dontcha think if my purpose was the same as yours I wouldn't have been locked up in a city that don't exist?" He asked, though not really. Madness laced through every vein in his gaze as he laughed it off without a care. "She's gonna die. Can't fail a job ya haven't even started, boyo."
The two of them match stares for several seconds, the tension is building before Ferus states, "Fine." and pulled out the cricket bat from the leg of his cargo pants, he spun around and pointed directly at me. "But her, she's on my list. I'm going to cave her skull in." He declared, striding towards us as the bat swung at his side.
Gallows shrugged, "Ok."
I backhanded Graves' hand aside, "You fucking asshole, I'll slit your throat!" I yelled at Gallows, we locked eyes and his gaze was indifferent. He looked to Graves and I felt myself slam back against the wall, her gloved hand secured around my throat.
The tall woman tilted her head up towards Ferus, who was in turn still quite a bit taller than her. "You're making a mistake." Graves' hollow voice spoke from behind the bandana.
Ferus swung the bat onto his shoulder, stopping in his advance, the mismatched eyes met Graves. "I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you correctly. Hell, if I was out of my damn mind, I'd say you were just telling me not to kill her. Which hardly seems professional."
The hand around my throat tightened, pushing me harder against the wall. "I am." She stated as a matter of fact. Her free hand reached back and grabbed the double barrel shotgun off her back. It rested at her side, as a warning. I was completely and utterly in awe at this display of loyalty to our truce. "She's our bait. Mister Creevey's species was identified because of this female. She can gather further information. My job is to protect Gallows. This falls under that contract." Graves vaguely explained, ignoring me as I held a knife to Graves wrist in my own warning.
Ferus chuckled. "Don't care. My job is to kill for Him. Your job is to protect that worthless piece of shit who's more concerned about fucking the enemy than killing them. My job takes priority. You'd best stand aside." He took a stride forward.
Graves tilted her head to the side, and then we were gone. I found myself thrown onto to the ground like trash, behind Graves on the other side of the room. There was a wall behind me and only Graves in front, her shotgun aimed on Ferus. "You underestimate the job of a guardian." She stated flatly, "One of us at least remembers. You best leave, Ferus." Her gaze flickered to Gallows briefly in acknowledgement as he walked over to us, placing a foot on my side and kicking me back against the wall. Just further out of the way of a brawl that was preparing to break out.
Our intruder turned slowly around, the bat still slung over his shoulder. "Well shoot me, then. Hell, why haven't you already? Gallows is bound to have some bruises, and who knows, maybe I'll come back. Maybe when he's with Dia. Two birds with one stone."
"Bruises are minor and well deserved." Graves stated. I looked up at Gallows as he stared towards Graves, completely unfazed and arms loosely crossed. The serious demeanor was completely unlike him, it was the first time I had seen him so focused and calculating over a situation. Graves turned slightly, shoving the gun into his arms and made sure it was trained on Ferus as she pulled away. "Indirect threatening of Gallows life does not warrant immediate death." She teleported, her person appearing before Ferus, no doubt aware he could strike her. "Offer: We leave to settle matters, or I drag you."
Ferus cocked his head to one side, looking upon her as he contemplated an answer. "Let's go, then."
That was all she needed to hear. Graves didn't spare us a single glance as she placed her hand upon his forearm and teleported them both to who knows where.
I pulled myself off the floor and stood, glancing at Gallows who stood motionlessly. I wondered briefly if he was even concerned for her safety, at the possibility Graves might never come back. That Ferus could use that opportunity to eliminate his guardian. But again, he just looked indifferent, not even acknowledging me for the first few seconds. Then his gaze slid my way, our eyes met before I turned away and began cleaning for the next half hour.
I swept up the glass and taped plastic over all the busted windows for now. It wasn't that difficult of a fix, I'd have to go out and get supplies after the girls came back. Like hell I'd trust Gallows to explain it. Picked the glass up from outside, picked it out of the bushes and grass. Hell, even out of the lamp pot that oddly enough had a gas mask sitting in it. I picked it up briefly and gave it a look over before putting it back, my eyes scanning the area as suspicion took over. Something to bring up on a later date. Everything was taken care of, I wrote out a list of needed supplies in order to fix the windows.
And then Dia came home. Oh man, she put down the groceries and grabbed Gallows by the collar, screaming at the mess he made. Demanding to know what he did and why. I didn't say a thing as he slapped him a few times, and he didn't react a first. The serious demeanor melted away and he chuckled, complimenting her and saying how he didn't do a thing. Graves teleported back in, grabbed Dia's hand as she looked down upon her.
A simple, "It was not him." ceased Dia's movement.
"Then who? Who fucked up my house?"
I was leaning against the counter in the kitchen, next to a window I was surveying and the list. "Ferus."
Bricks were shat and we explained the situation. Dia promptly punched Gallows for telling Ferus and anyone else, her face flushed red before she regained control and left the room. I grabbed the bags of groceries off the floor, glancing at Josie who was paler than usual.
"Ferus was here?" Was the only thing she uttered out, I stared at her suspiciously but she shook her head and began bringing in the rest of the groceries as I put them away.
After an exhausting day the night was spent with Dia's nightmares. I kept her company while she suffered through them and while she was awake afterwards. We spoke on the incident earlier. I comforted her that what she did with Gallows was not as severe as it was made out to be. Especially after what she said to me. How she liked Gallows because she saw him as someone honest. He was honest with himself about who he is, what he does. He murders, he fucks, he doesn't hide what he wants or desires. He says what's on his mind. He wasn't in the business of tricking people about who he is, he didn't care to waste time with that. Despite what he does to people, he's one of the most honest people she knows.
And I respected her for that. Because it's those perspectives that allow humans to evolve beyond slitting each others throats.
When she finally fell asleep I found time to look over something from the corners of my eyes. From under her mattress poked the corner of what looked to be a notebook. I pulled it out and glanced at Dia, who was borderline unconscious by now. I stood up and walked to a window, allowing the moonlight to provide me with light. I examined the notebook slowly, taking in everything I could and memorizing everything. It was... Disturbing. I'm not going into details as of now.
The next morning Dia and I were in the kitchen after breakfast, Josie was cleaning up the dishes while the duo was in the other room. I informed Dia that the splintered wood needed to be stripped, she needed whole new windows which would be easier to get anyways. Simple to pop in. I handed her the list and she took Josie back out with her, throwing the three of us a cautious look after the day before.
Graves and I sat at the table for a short time before she lifted her head and stared out the window. Wordlessly she fired Gallows a glance before disappearing.
I was at the counter, washing the dishes Josie didn't have time to clean herself. Gallows snaked his way behind me, no weapon in hand. At first it was from a distance he spoke in short taunts.
"Gonna slit my throat, eh?" He began with, leaning against the table behind me. "Were ya that upset? Girlie, I keep allies as long as I keep whores. Which ain't long."
I put aside a knife to dry on the counter, my hands dipping back under the water. "We made a deal-"
"Uh, uh, uh, you and Graves made a deal-"
"That consists of you being apart of it because it cut you off from attempting to murder us." I glanced over my shoulder, "And from any of from attempting to murder you."
His eyes narrowed, I could feel the grin beneath the mask. "Ho ho ho~ lookie you, girlie. You're becoming a vicious little minx ain't ya?"
"As vicious as I need to be." I dully replied with a roll of my eyes.
"It ain't got nothin' to do with that birdie ya found?"
I was outside, stripping the splintered wood from the window frame. I was out there for about an hour, threw away the useless shit and brought the tools back into the house. I went to go back outside to get a kit from my car when I found it there, a dead mockingbird right there. I looked around before I crouched down to examine the dead animal. The eyes were both scarred, a blade had carefully made X's over both eyes and slit the eyeballs and skin around the eyes open. No doubt while the poor thing was awake. A thing string was coiled around the bird's neck, securely knotted like a noose. A blue feather bound to the bird and secured by the string. I buried the bird near the edge of the woods with a scowl and forgot about it for a bit.
--and turned to Gallows with a scowl. "You know something about that?"
"Graves wouldn't go rushing off if danger wasn't around." He said cryptically. I shot him a withering look. "Graves is well informed in proxy matters with people we are connected with, just sayin'."
"Do. You. Know. Something."
Gallows planted himself off to the side of me, in close proximity. "I know you're on the verge of cracking. That you're gonna snap if you don't do somethin' about it, girlie. You're gonna end up just like the bitch with the beak you oh so hate."
My fingers curled around the handle of something weighted and metal. "Wrong answer." I said, turning swiftly and pulling a frying pan from the sink. The water splattered everywhere as I hit Gallows in the side of the head with it. He stumbled backwards, wincing and hissing. I advanced, both hands holding the handle as I swung again, hitting him on the other side of the head. It sent him against the kitchen counter. Before he could get a word out I hit him a third time, getting the fucker on the floor and beat him until he was motionless.
I stood over his form, watching his chest rise and fall. Merely unconscious, good. The house was finally fucking quiet. I set the pan down on the table and took a sweat at the kitchen table next to Gallows. His body in my view as I looked at the dented pan and sighed.
Dia came in the door a moment later, wondering what happened as she set the bags down on the table. I didn't even glance at Gallows, flashed a smile and said he hit his head. She looked at me skeptically before shrugging it off, sensing now wasn't the time to discuss it. Josie didn't even bring it up, she looked at the kitchen and went straight to the guest room to read.
I waited there until Gallows woke up, watched as he pulled himself off the floor steadily. His hand on his head as he regained focus and lifted his eyes to meet mine. "So..." I said, the dented frying pan in front of me as I looked at him blankly. Oh, but the smile in my voice I couldn't contain as I looked at him. "Want to try that again?"
He stared a me, his gaze narrowing, brows furrowing, mind working at a response before he stood up straight and settled with an indifferent gaze. "Ask Graves." Was his response before he walked away and left the house.
Graves came back in shortly after, I looked at her as I did him until we both went our separate ways.
I fixed the windows that afternoon for Dia. Josie tried to help. By try I mean nearly break all her fingers with the hammer, heh. Afterwards, with time left in the evening and some tensions high Dia decided we should go to town. Which... Well, turned interesting.
I don't know how it happened exactly. All I know is one moment we were in town with plenty of people around, out and about Christmas shopping and the likes. The next moment there was a bang, mad cackling, and Gallows standing on top of a car with his scythe in hand. Not his sickle, his scythe. Graves next to the car, sirens already heading down the street. The building behind him set aflame, Graves lifted a bag (which was from a weapons store a few buildings down) and he pulled out what looked to be homemade bombs. Another building went up in flames, glass blowing apart everywhere.
Dia was screaming at him to stop, but he didn't. He leaped towards us, I picked up a pole and blocked off the attack against his scythe.
"Get Josie out of here."
"Get her the fuck out of here!" I yelled, trying to keep the scythe in place where I caught it. Dia hesitated, "Now isn't the time to fight, use your training and get her the fuck out!"
And she did. She grabbed Josie and bolted through the flaming streets for cover. Trying as she did so to rally others to safety as well. Josie was top priority, because I had no idea of the consequences should she die. Outside of a city that doesn't exist, her ties with Mister Creevey, there was a lot that could happen and I've seen dead bodies do plenty of strange things already.
Graves was at my side out of nowhere, a sharp punch knocked me aside and sent the pipe rolling. I narrowly dodged the scythe as it came down, the tip breaking off with the force he use. It flew off into my arm, I pulled it out as I got up, just as he raised the scythe. Uncaring of its condition he was prepared to use it all the same.
Which was when gunfire broke out. He stumbled forward as bullets impaled themselves within his still human body. Graves acted instantly, teleporting him behind a car. But the cops were closing in from all directions. A auburn haired woman with a shotgun nearly blew his head off, the captain radioing for them to surrender. Gallows whispered something to Graves and she did not acknowledge. There were gone, at the Captain's squad car a moment later. Gallows buried his scythe into the man's chest, carving his entire torso open. Launching off the old man he swung his scythe, slicing numerous figures in uniforms apart and tearing others open to bleed out. The woman screamed, firing the gun that almost hit him again. Shrap metal tearing through his clothes, he hunched over coughing. She came close, the butt of her gun cracking him in the head. Graves swung her shovel, hitting the woman in the head. She was down, unconscious with one swing. Gallows was coughing up blood, I could see it soaking through the white skeleton design.
Dia came up behind me, when I threw her a look she told me the others were in safe distance. She helped me up as I applied pressure to the wound, trying to stop the bleeding. Glancing over my shoulder I could see Gallows watching us, the fire dancing in his onyx eyes. Graves bent over him, supporting him as she teleported them out for good. I looked to Dia as she looked forward then down to me. I could see it plain as day written across her face. He tried to kill everyone, he was going to burn down the town.
The three of us returned to her house, I didn't want to bother with the hospital. It wasn't a bad injury, I stitched it shut just fine and made sure it was cleaned and wrapped too. The three of us sat, covered in smoke and other debris on Dia's couch. Completely exhausted after the stunt the duo pulled.
But I couldn't help but look at the positive side of things, "Least the windows look nice."