“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!”
Christoph chuckled. Talk fast Medic. Talk very fast.
Drai seemed to materialize at the shout. “What happened?” he said, eyes wide, but then he heard Medic’s hasty summary, and relaxed. “Oh.”
“Oi, teme, where’d you go?” Shinji asked, appearing in the door. “She done yet?”
“Patience, light-weight,” the Arab retorted. “Go find some crackers.”
“Pfft. Whatever.” The Jap disappeared out of the door again.
Focusing on the rapid words of the doc in the room interspersed with the short growling tones of Tiger, caused the blond to relax. If Svorak wasn’t ripping Medic’s head off, then the smaller man was keeping within the limits.
The first clatter of a sniper bullet in a metal dish had him breathing out in a sigh. Good. That’s one. Inside the room, Svorak swore, long and colourfully. Medic rounded on him with a harsh, “Shut it!”
Christoph shook his head and waited for the second bullet.
Drai frowned and started to pace, diverting Shinji back to the kitchen once more, when the man popped in asking about sweet stuff. Privately, he didn’t think Shinji needed anything sugary, but if it kept the man out of his hair… well.
The second they heard the second ping and clunk of the last bullet, he plopped onto the couch and sunk into it bonelessly, sighing. “They’re out…”
“Finally,” the blond added, then considered their vibrating guest who had almost pranced up the hall to join them. “Lady mentioned a Shinigami shooting her in the head before. Was that you?”
Shinji shifted under his gaze. “Er… Yeah…” he mumbled, looking uncomfortable. “She uh… Was a contract. Shot her, but she got back up and started threatening to turn me into things… toads and stuff.” He rubbed his cheek, looking away. “I panicked and jumped out the window. She’s scary!”
Drai blinked. “You jumped out a window? Really?!”
“Yes!” the Jap snapped back at the Arab. “Lady just popped up, like a daisy! I wasn’t sticking around to see if she’d eat my face off!”
“You are a fucking wuss,” Drai returned, scoffing.
Lifting a hand to still the bantering, the chemist questioned Shinji. “The bullet went straight through? She got up? How long did that take?”
Shinji nodded. “Yeah, bullet passed through clean. I usually collect them after the body’s down, but I didn’t since she was doing the zombie thing… Er… She was up in a few seconds, maybe half a minute at most,” he said, brows furrowing. “Why?”
The blond offered him a thin smile. “We’ve seen burns, blood loss, sliced throats, exposure, this is the first for brain damage. Medic is sure her body will rearrange the brain mass back to normal, but I’d like to have reassurance.”
Shinji blinked, thought about it, and perked. “Ohhh! Well, she seemed fine. Went to try again a couple of hours later, she was passed out bloody on the floor of some ho-” He stopped. Gaze flickered toward the door into the other room. “Oooh. That’s where I saw him. Yeah, your friend there was in the hotel hall when I went back for her. Was gonna let me at her and everything, but she woke up and did her freaky demon trick.”
“Sounds about right,” Christoph murmured. So, Lady will be up and active literally as soon as the Medic closed her skull.
There was a thread of Svorak’s voice, the tone questioning. Medic grumbled something back. The muted voices buffered by the door.
Three heartbeats later, the stocky man opened the door. “Head’s done. You guys can come in.” He shook his head in wonder, eyes dancing. “Her skin closed up tight as I watched. Didn’t even need stitching,” the doc murmured. He disappeared back into the room, leaving the way open.
Drai was already up and moving, though Shinji hung back. The Arab stepped into the room, eyes locked on her lax face. Her eyes were closed as if she was asleep. He moved over to her side and took her hand, waiting.
Behind him, Christoph walked past to return to Svorak’s side, the two men trading a speaking glance. Svorak sneered for a moment, before subsiding. “Medic was way too happy,” he reported softly.
His partner sighed. “It’s an old argument.”
Grimacing, the other merc grunted. “Yeah.” Lifting his voice a little, Svorak spoke to the Arab. “The sedatives have been shut off, she should be waking soon.”
Drai nodded. “Yeah…”
Arana’s face shifted from peaceful to annoyed, and her eyes opened slowly. “I feel worried looks,” she deadpanned, and winced. “Ouch. What happened?”
“Bullet to the head,” Drai reported. “Two. The asshole got away, though.”
She gave him a look of mild confusion. “Two? I… that’s right, I revived…” She shook her head.
“Simply amazing,” Medic marveled from the bathroom entrance. “Speech, sight, recognition, flawless memory reconstruction, intact personality…”
Two sharp gazes from the far side of the room had him scowling. “I’m leaving, I’m leaving.” And he stalked out of the room. There was a snarl on the other side of the door as he encountered Shinigami, but that was it.
“What was that about not angering the medic?” Svorak teased Christoph.
The blond huffed. “You’re as guilty as I am.”
“So long as he doesn’t try to turn her purple,” Drai muttered, even as he felt Arana tense. He looked at her. “You okay…?”
“Lucy…” Memory had fully returned. Icy sapphire eyes, a gun lifting, yellow pigtails ending in curls. And no recognition. Just chilly professionalism. “It was Lucy.”
The Arab blinked. “Eh? What was Lucy? Like your sister?”
“The shooter. It was Lucy,” she said, sitting up and trying to move off the bed.
“Oy, lay down,” he protested, shoving her back again. “You musta been seeing things–”
“I know my own sister, jackass!” she snapped furiously.
“Hoy…” Svorak called from the other bed. “If she says it was Lucy, it was Lucy. It’s not like we don’t have stranger things in this room.”
Beside him, his blond partner tilted his head in thought. “It sounds like we have a conflict of interest though,” he added. Tapping the side of his head with two fingers, he looked at Lady. “She didn’t know you?”
She thought back, and shook her head slowly. “No, I don’t think so.”
Drai sighed. “Shinigami!” he called, and when the Jap poked his head inside, continued. “Describe the shooter you saw again, in as much detail as you can remember.”
Shinji stepped fully into the room, brows furrowing. “Um, small, probably female. Dressed in all black, light hair–maybe blonde, white, or light red, it was dark, so I couldn’t tell for sure. The hair was up in tails on both sides of the head.” He hummed, rocking back and forth on his heels with his usual energy. “Had a sniper case. Caucasian.” He shrugged. “That’s about it.”
“If it was her, she was working for the opposition, Kitty,” Drai pointed out, frowning. “And she didn’t recognize you.”
“Hmm, working for the opposite side yes, but probably now without a contract,” Christoph pointed out. “Since their charge is now obsolete. Perhaps introductions are in order to jar a few memories?”
“She’s not going to be another immortal, Goldie,” Svorak countered, then blinked as honey-brown eyes swung around to meet his one blue. “What?”
His lover lifted a brow. “Maybe it’s reincarnation,” he proposed, turning back to regard Lady. “Is that possible?”
Her eyes widened, then narrowed. “I’ve never seen any evidence to prove it, but of course that means there’s no disproving it either,” she admitted. “But if that’s true, then how could she possibly remember me?”
“The grace of the gods?” Shinji offered, and shrunk back at her sour look. “Sorry…”
Drai patted her arm. “We’ll find her, see if she’s approachable or not. Okay?”
She huffed. “Fine.”
“You may not find a sister,” Christoph told her, “but you may make another friend.”
Lying back down on the bed, the dark-skinned merc snorted. “Just watch, she’ll be just as invincible as all of us.”
“Maybe,” Arana mumbled. “But Lucy was always frail…”
“Doesn’t mean she is now,” Drai inserted stubbornly, poking her in the side.
Shinji coughed. “Er… I’m gonna go get the pay…” He shrugged.
Arana snorted and looked at Drai, who frowned back at her. Her brows furrowed and he pursed his lips. Finally, he huffed and shook his head. “Hey, guys, keep an eye on her?” He smirked at Svorak, who lifted a single finger in response, before quickly escaping.
Chuckling, Christoph leaned over and kissed the frown between his lover’s brows. “I think the eye-patch is sexy.”
A dark hand came up to swat his shoulder. “Fuck you,” was the embarrassed response.
And now we’re on the new arc: Finding Lucy!