i did forget. until like three days ago.
sorry this is short and sorry if anyone is out of character and and sorry that all the scenes seem rushed and sorry about any typos!!! i didn't edit and i wanted to post it before the new year (it's still 2013 where i am) and i'm leaving in like 15 minutes so i rushed a lot. and i'm bad at writing other people's characters, which is why i don't write star trek fanfiction.
also i wrote this in two days.
Thalia wiped her hand across her face, nose crinkling with disgust as the blood just smeared instead of coming off. She slid her sword back into its sheath and rolled her shoulders. A series of sharp cracks sounded as she twisted from side to side, hands massaging the muscles at the base of her neck.
Then she looked down at the man lying at her feet.
It was the guy in the wife-beater from earlier – earlier, in this case, being about three minutes ago. The gate to the restricted section of the cemetery led into a low, narrow tunnel, and Thalia hadn't even made it halfway to the door at the other end before the knife made sliced open her upper arm and the man was on her. Apparently he had not been as unconscious as she had thought. And now he had a sword wound in his leg and was glaring up at her.
She stepped around him carefully and tossed him a look over her shoulder to make sure he wasn't going anywhere. “Tell me, do you have a family? Friends? People who would miss your continued existence?”
“Don't have much time for that sorta thing when I'm so busy chasing down little brats like you.” The words were spat at Thalia's back and she could feel the contempt in them dripping down her spine, and she made a humming noise in agreement.
“No, I suppose not.”
“I know someone who's looking for you.” Thalia stilled, halfway bent over, one knee pressing into the cold floor, fingers brushing the handle of the man's knife. Her blood was still glistening on the blade.
Something was tapping on the walls of her mind again, this time from the inside. A warning bell. “I'm sorry?” she murmured softly. “Who would that be?”
The man's tone changed, rough and seething hatred replaced by slippery threats and the smug confidence of knowing more than she did. “Dunno 'is name. Didn't ask. Didn't need to know. Said he would pay pretty well if I brought you to 'im. Said he had somethin' that would interest you, make you want to go.” Absentmindedly, she began caressing the knife's handle, tilting her head slightly as she listened. “A friend of yours. Didn't say their name. Just said a friend.”
“Mmm?” The curved handle fit poorly into her palm. It was meant for larger, thicker hands than her own.
The man behind her was struggling to his feet. The sound of his heavy, damp breaths filled the tight space, punctuated by the dripping noise of his blood onto the stone below. He had loud footsteps.
“Is that all you know?” Thalia kept her voice soft and measured. Blood was oozing in rivulets down her left arm, and there was a throbbing pain in her lower back from where the man's fist had made contact before. It beat in time with the drum in her head.
Another footstep. “No, I know that the reward ain't worth it.” She inhaled through her nose, exhaled through her mouth. “I know that you are going to have a lovely scream.” She licked her lips and let her eyes drift close. “I know that I'm goin' to have a great time bashing you around before–”
In one motion, Thalia stood and whipped around, her right hand leading. Blood sprayed the wall, her jacket, her face. The man fixed her with bright, confused eyes. He opened his mouth to say something, to scream, to curse her, but all that came out was a faint gurgling. Thalia smiled grimly as he fell to the floor. His hands scrambled at his throat, trying to comprehend that it had been decorated with a deep, bright gash. His blood started to pool around him. The gurgling noise continued.
She let the blade slip disdainfully from her fingers. A soft chiming sounded from it as it hit the ground.
March shouldered open the front door of the Manor and threw an unconscious Billy inside. He sprawled across the foyer, groaning.
“Shut up,” March muttered. She kicked his head when she passed, fully knocking him out again. A soft cough reached her ears, and she flicked her bright red hair out of her eyes to look.
Israel Elysium was leaning against the doorframe in front of her, one eyebrow raised. He gestured to Billy. “Are you going to explain?”
“Get your shotgun,” March said by way of greeting. “Get some other people too, if you can. We might need help. Also, throw this kid in a closet.”
“I'm still waiting for you to tell me why you threw this poor, innocent citizen on my floor.”
In three swift steps March closed the distance between them and pressed the edge of her frying pan menacingly into his chest. “Listen up, numbskull. Thal is in trouble, yeah? We need to help her.”
Israel's eyes narrowed. “Sorry, but hasn't Circe been M.I.A. for the past eighteen months?”
“Don't call her that. Don't. She's your friend.”
“I'm just trying to figure out how this all works – she shows up out of nowhere after a year and a half of no contact whatsoever, I'm guessing giving you no explanation as to why, and now we're supposed to gather the cavalry and go charging into save her? She is my friend. I care about her.” March dug the frying pan deeper into his ribs. Israel sighed deeply and gently pushed her back. She let him, and the pressure on his chest eased up. “But I don't want to put anyone into any danger unless we know what's going on.”
“She wouldn't have dropped contact without a good reason, Israel. You know that. Remember that time she decided she wanted to be a reindeer herder in Finland?”
“Yeah.” He laughed despite himself. Lying about somewhere was the envelope Thalia had sent them, covered with unnecessary stamps, bulging with polaroids of her and her reindeer. “God, that was a train wreck.”
March nodded solemnly in agreement. “It was. I'm pretty sure at least three people died. But she was only out of contact for three months. Something must have kept her this time.”
“Did she tell you anything?”
“No, we didn't have much time–”
March let out a sharp, angry huff. “Look, cheeseball. Thalia's trying to be all cool and James-Bond-y and pretend like she can go at it alone, but really we all know she's more of a Q-type at heart, and dammit, I don't know where she is or where she's been or what she's gotten herself into now, and for all I know she's probably killed a man since I left her. I'm worried. Whatever was going on was not even our usual brand of fucked up. It's, like, extremely fucked up. I'm going to go check it out, whether or not you or anyone else comes with me. But I would appreciate the backup, got it?”
Israel stared down the small, angry girl in front of him. “...Cheeseball?” was all he said.
Smiling, March stepped away and turned back towards the fallen form of Billy. “We head out in half an hour.”
The first thing that Thalia registered when she stepped out the other side of the tunnel was that she could still hear the rain, but she could not feel it. Her gaze was drawn up and it was like diving underwater during a thunderstorm and looking back at the surface. The rain stopped falling just below the top of the wall, making tiny rings in the air.
The next thing she registered was that it was warm in there. Far warmer than it was outside or in the tunnel. Perspiration was already starting to bead on her upper lip and temples.
The third thing she registered was that her sword was in her hand and that she thrust to the left just as the ghost – shrieking, and reaching towards her menacingly – got within striking distance. The ghost exploded at the same time pain exploded in her back and voices exploded in her head, and Thalia dropped to one knee, breathing heavily.
She looked up. Her face - gaunt, blood-spattered, streaked with rain-ruined eyeliner – was reflected back at her hundreds of times from hundreds of angles in the pearly bodies that were floating around her.
A breathy, humorless laugh escaped her. She dug the tip of her sword into the soft earth and used it to heave herself to her feet.