"Run rabbit run." The words kept repeating in his head as he ran in search of his savior and for his life. He stopped a few times to try and gauge the direction in which the rocket had come from, but he didn't stop for more than a few seconds each time. If Korse caught up with him, he'd be a dead man. He hadn't even checked if his ray gun was working. It'd taken quite the fall when Korse knocked him onto the ground and it was possible that it was completely broken.
"This couldn't get much worse." Poison panted as he ran through the alleyways between the buildings of the second zone, stopping next to the one he'd guessed his savior had been on top of to shoot from that odd angle. He walked around looking for a door, pulling out his ray gun to take a look at it to try and survey the damage done to it.
The creaking of a hinge interrupted his thoughts. Red and black hair, bright red jacket- it was exactly who he'd thought it had been that had saved him. She hadn't paid any attention to him and was walking away. She wasn't holding a gun, but it couldn't be a coincidence that she was here and the same symbol that was on the lighter had been on the rocket. He had to get her attention somehow and get to the bottom of this.
"Hey! Addict!" Why the hell did I call her that? She turned and for a moment he thought she was happy to see him by the look on his face.
He was unbelievably wrong.
"You!" Her eyes widened with rage and instead of expressing concern for the way he'd been pinned by Korse earlier, or telling him how important it was for them to get out of this area as soon as possible, she lunged at him.
"Holy fuck!" His ray gun once again flew out of his hand and to the ground as the small woman landed on top of him, knocking him with more force than he had thought possible from someone so petite. "Get the fuck off of me!"
"Where is it? Where the fuck is it? Give it to me!" Poison coughed as her fist hit his already sore gut. He grabbed her wrist to stop her from delivering a second blow.
"Shit!" She twisted his arm and pinned it to the ground. Practically foaming at the mouth, this woman seemed far less alluring here in the daylight than she had that night in the bar. He mostly blamed that on the fact she was causing a pain in his arm that was nearly blurring his vision.
"Where is it?" She let go of his arm and started patting him down in search of something.
"Whoa! Whoa, hey!" Party Poison grabbed her hands to stop him and she made a move to hit his face this time. He saw the move before she made it and moved his head out of the way, forcing her hand to slam into the ground. She yelled in frustration at the pain surging up her arm but immediately moved to hit him again. He slipped his arm around her and shoved her down into the ground, pulling himself out from beneath her in one motion then stumbling hurriedly to his feet. If he could find his ray gun he could take the upper hand and try to understand what the hell was going on. There was a chance that his gun wouldn't work at all and an even greater chance she'd get up and kill him while he was searching for it in the dust that they'd kicked up. Instead of doing anything constructive he just chose to make a snide remark. "Usually I'm the one doing the groping-"
"Oh shut your perverted mouth you fucking thief!" Frenzy got to her feet, wiping the dirt off of her chest. Poison snapped his mouth shut, she was clearly not messing around with him. "If you don't hand my lighter over right now I'm going to blow your fucking brains out." She pulled her orange ray gun from its holster on her hip and aimed it at him.
"What? Are you fucking crazy?" Poison looked at her in awe. All this over the fucking lighter he'd stolen? Kobra had warned him that she'd react this way. He'd told him that he was an idiot for stealing an arsonist's lighter.
"Do you think I'm bluffing?"
Party Poison opened his mouth to respond that he in no way thought she was bluffing but out of the corner of his vision saw something coming toward them through the dust. The figure was lumbering, stumbling and walking slowly with one hand propped against the wall to keep him steady. It was Korse. How the hell did he make it out of that blast alive? That's why he was the Scarecrow. He wasn't much of a human anymore at all, rather more like a shell of one. It was like the soul of the man that had once been was gone altogether and all that was left was this bloodthirsty meat puppet.
"We have to go!" He shouted at her. She looked taken aback at the very suggestion of having to leave.
"I'm not going anywhere without my lighter and if you make one move then I'm going to kill you! No more talking!"
"If you don't come with me now he's going to kill us both! Then you'll never get your fucking lighter!"
"What do I care if you die? I can take care of myself! Give me my fucking lighter and you can go wherever you want!" She hissed at him.
Party Poison was in full panic mode now. His fingers ran through the messy red hair, gripping it in frustration. Die from the Scarecrow, or die from this crazy bitch in front of him. He could, of course, just give her the damn lighter, but for some reason he didn't want to part with it. He'd initially come all this way and struggled through all of this just to find her, if he gave her the lighter now he'd lose all of his leverage over her.
Not that he had a whole hell of a lot of leverage against her at this point. Why wasn't she killing him though like she was threatening? Something in her eyes told him that she was indeed as ruthless a person as she was claiming to be but she was hesitating to kill him. He couldn't explain how, he just knew that she wouldn't pull the trigger so he decided to take a risk.
"We don't have time for this! The Scarecrow will kill you too!" He ducked suddenly at the sound of laser fire. Korse had gotten close enough to shoot but was too wounded to aim properly. "Fuck! Could you at least pretend to care a little about this?"
"I told you not to fucking move!" She stepped closer to him. Poison grabbed the end of her gun and shoved it to the side. He could feel the metal of it hot as she fired off a few shots. His hand burned and he let go of the gun shaking his hand in frustration.
"You shot at me you bitch!"
"I told you I would!" She yelled, watching him and taking aim again. Poison saw Korse aiming, and at her this time. He grabbed her by the waist and pulled her out of the way just in time the laser narrowly missed them both. He dodged her trying to swing at him, feeling her fist smash into his ribcage anyway. He coughed from the sudden pain but managed to pick his ray gun back off of the ground. There was no time for him to deal with the wounds he'd sustained. He aimed and tried to shoot but the gun was busted as he had thought it'd be. Back into the holster the gun went and without a second thought he grabbed the feisty and venomous young woman around the waist and practically threw her over his shoulder. "Put me down! What the hell is wrong with you?"
"I'm saving your ass, so shut up!" He yelled back at her and began to run. He didn't know where he'd run to or how long he could carry this woman who was beating at his back and yelling at him, but he was going to do his damndest to find them shelter and to get her to shut the hell up.
"I will not shut up! You put me down or I'll shoot you in the ass!"
"No you won't, you want your lighter too goddamn badly! Now shut up!" He wished he could clasp his hand over her mouth to get her to be quiet but couldn't at this angle. If he hid them somewhere they'd be found if she kept yelling like this at him. "If you don't shut up the Scarecrow will get us okay?"
"The Scarecrow?" Fire Frenzy looked up and could see the man limping toward them. She'd ignored his previous outcries on the subject. She'd always made it her business to never meet face to face with this man. She'd heard of his bloodlust and knew he had to be stopped. Despite her obsession with fire and her poor mental health she had always believed the best way to stop Better Living was to do it quietly and not to run in guns blazing. If she made herself a target for them they'd kill her before she even got the chance to make a difference.
That was the flaw she found in the Killjoys methodology. They made themselves known to BL/ind so instead of spending their time actually putting a stop to the organization they spent most of their time fending off the new super villains the company managed to produce. For example, the man chasing them, Korse, better known as the Scarecrow amongst the outlaws, didn't exist until the rebels rose out of the ruined zones to fight against their pharmaceutical overlords. She vaguely recalled when Korse was still human, even then he had been a general amongst wicked generals and once he'd been murdered by the Killjoys they'd impaled him on a stake and left him on the outskirts of Battery City for all to see.
Frenzy could only assume that the Killjoys had been intending to send a message to the people of the city and to Better Living itself but in her mind, it seemed to them like they had given BL/ind the idea to revive him and to make him an unstoppable force against them.
Now he was know as the Scarecrow; the menacing rejuvenated man, the first of his kind to be brought successfully from the dead and to be sent as a ruthless killer. Better Living hadn't been able to produce a second like him since. He protected Battery City like the people were his crop and eradicated Killjoys like they were ravenous crows coming to feast upon the crop he'd been assigned to protect.
"Run faster!" She hissed at the man carrying her. She wanted to kill him, she wanted to get her lighter back and her mind was still practically pulsing with the murderous urges she was somehow keeping in check without the flame to calm her but running into this Scarecrow, letting him memorize her face and add her to the list amongst the hunted, would ruin everything she'd worked so hard for. She lifted her ray gun and held it steady with both hands aiming it not at Korse himself but rather at the ground in front of him.
The dust kicked up with each shot. She knew it was pointless to shoot Korse himself, he wasn't going to die like that. She'd be naïve to think she could ever kill him so easily.
"What the hell are you doing?" Poison tried to look back to see what she was shooting at and nearly tripped, almost dropping Fire Frenzy but he managed to regain his balance. "You can't kill him! You're just pissing him off!"
"I'm blinding him you idiot, now shut up and get us out of here!" She kept firing at the ground in front of Korse until she couldn't see him through the dust and debris she'd managed to kick up. Poison knew he had precious few seconds to find shelter and even then it'd have to be good and secure because they were likely to search all the obvious hiding places in the sector.
Poison turned down an alleyway, then down another. He knew where he was now and luckily he knew a place he could hide. The Scarecrow was coming for him, like in his nightmares, and he had to escape before he could deal with this woman over his shoulder. At the very least, she wasn't hitting him anymore which was a nice reprieve and allowed him to run faster.
Poison kicked the door in on the building around the corner and fled inside. He shoved it closed but knew that it wasn't much of a hiding place. He just needed to throw Korse off of his trail so they wouldn't be found out so easily. He ran through the building, his arms secure around Fire Frenzy. He could let her down of course, but that would risk her running away even though he knew that she desperately wanted her lighter back. Or she could just kill him, that'd be much simpler. Either way, he wasn't putting her down until they were safe.
" Frenzy was getting impatient. She didn't like to be touched and she was not fond of the man who was doing the touching to begin with. If the Scarecrow wasn't chasing them she would've killed him already. Though he had a point earlier; if he didn't have the lighter on him right now and she killed him then she would never get it back.
"Shut the fuck up!" Poison couldn't concentrate with her talking. He had to take precise steps to get them out of there. He ran through the factory floor. No one was working there. Likely they'd all taken cover when they heard the sirens. People had grown accustomed to fearing the sound. He slipped through a side door into another alleyway. He checked the entrance to the alleyway and saw the coast was clear. He ran across the alley and into the building there at the other end. He was careful when he closed the heavy metal door, trying to make as little noise as possible.
Down in the basement of the building there was a trapdoor that led to a cellar the Killjoys used to hide in during riots. It was dark and musty and the last time he'd seen it, it had flooded but with any luck it'd be clear right now and they could wait out the attack in safety. Poison set Frenzy down in the basement and as she went to object to him he pressed his hand to her mouth.
"Don't." He didn't elaborate and pulled his hand from her lips. He searched the floor, being careful of the various pipes and rusted tools that lay on the floor. He brushed his foot over a spot that felt like it had a give in it. He saw the dirt leaking through a crack on the floor. There were many cracks like this on the floor but only this one actually had anything beneath it. An old rusted pipe lay nearby and the end seemed jagged enough to suit his purpose. With a firm grip he shoved the jagged end into the crack he'd run his fingers over and with a creak and shifting of dust about two feet of floor came swinging up and out of the way. Inside was a ladder leading down into the darkness below.
Frenzy was only mildly impressed by this hiding place. She knew that the Killjoys had multiple shelters like this all over the zones and within Battery City to allow them safety and security in situations just like this.
"Get in." He urged but she shook her head. He watched in surprise as she started shifting the dirt around the rest of the basement. Smart girl, leave no trace of us. After she had done that for a few moments Poison walked to her and grabbed her wrist. "Come on, no time." Without another word, but still as furious as she could manage, Frenzy followed him down into the hidden cellar. It smelled damp and musty down there as though it'd recently been flooded and as her feet touched the ground she knew her assumption had been correct.
Her shoes splashed as they touched the ground as she moved to the back corner. She pulled her ray gun up and aimed it at Poison as he climbed down into the cellar. Party Poison made sure that the secret entrance was secured and locked. Darkness encompassed them both and all he could see was black. He didn't realize that he'd left himself susceptible to her until that moment.
Out of sheer habit he reached into his pocket and wrapped his fingers around the lighter he'd stolen from Fire Frenzy, forgetting that it was the reason she was harassing him in the first place. He flicked it on and searched around for the lantern that he knew was hidden down there. They always kept adequate lighting and dry food in these places in case the raids lasted more than a few hours.
"Don't fucking move." Frenzy hissed at him, stepping close to him in the dim light and holding the barrel of her gun up against his back as he was bent over lighting the lantern. He lit it anyway and flicked the lighter off as the lantern illuminated their hiding place just enough so they could see a few feet ahead of them.
"Not this again
" Poison grimaced and made to turn around but she hit him in the head with the butt end of her gun and pointed it at him again. He faced her now regardless, rubbing the spot on his head where she'd hit him. "What the fuck? You're just as bad as those assholes above ground! I should've left you up there to rot!"
"If you had made one fucking move away from me I would've killed you where you stood! Give me my fucking lighter!" She looked mad in this light and it was intimidating. Her blue eyes were blazing with the kind of rage he'd never seen in anyone before. Even the Killjoys who had attacked him in the zones hadn't had that kind of anger reserved for him. Even Korse didn't show rage of any kind, his eyes were more the soulless evil that scared the shit out of him. So much for getting laid at the end of this. He slumped his shoulders in defeat as he held out his arms to show her he wasn't reaching for a weapon.
"Look, fine! I'll give you the lighter but you've got to calm," he swallowed hard as she pointed the barrel between his eyes, "down
"Give me my fucking lighter." She narrowed her eyes at him and tightened her trigger finger. She had been momentarily impressed with his cunning in saving them from the Scarecrow, but had been reminded he'd stolen from her and tried to deceive her as he had slipped her precious trinket from her possession. Her mind was reeling. Just shoot him, even if he gives it back to you he's a liar and a dealer. She blinked her eyes to try to get the thoughts to quit racing. "Will you be quiet?" She hissed. Party Poison looked around in search of what could be the source of what she was telling to shut up.
I didn't say anything." He said after a moment. Holy fuck, this girl's out of her mind.
"Shut up!" Her hand wobbled as she stepped closer to him with the gun. "Give me my lighter! Give it to me now! I'll blow off your goddamn head if you don't give me my lighter right now!"
"Stop talking and give me my fucking lighter" Her eyes were wide and mad and in that instant Poison relented and held the lighter out to her after pulling it from his pocket once more. Fire Frenzy grabbed the lighter from his hand and held it close to her chest. The ache inside of her stopped and her heart beat normally for what felt like the first time in hours. She turned away from him, her rage having subsided with the possession of her lighter.
Flick, flick, flick - Party Poison could smell the metal grinding together to cause the spark of the lighter like he'd done so many times. He stood with his mouth agape as he watched this woman coddle the lighter like it was a long lost love. Why the hell was she giving it that kind of attention? Maybe Kobra had been right, perhaps it was stupid to mess with an arsonist. And yet, he wanted her attention. He wanted to get what he felt he deserved from this situation. Here she was making this huge deal over him stealing her lighter when she'd, in fact, intended to steal from him that whole night. She had conned him from the moment he had sat down. Though to be fair, she had given him the brush off and told him to get lost.
"Why the hell did you save my life?" The words slipped out of his mouth before he had realized it.
"What?" Fire Frenzy had forgotten someone else was in the room at all. Now that she had her lighter back she'd stopped shaking and her mind wasn't so bent on destruction. She slipped the metallic object back in her pocket but didn't pull her hand away. She wanted to just feel it for a little while. It didn't feel as heavy as it had been when she'd held it last, he had to have used it a lot. She'd have to refill it when she got back to her home.
"You saved me from Korse. I saw the rocket, it had the same symbol on it that's on your lighter." She still looked puzzled. He felt exhausted trying to understand this woman. "Why did you save me if you hate me so goddamn much? You saved me to try to kill me? That doesn't make sense."
"I didn't save you." Frenzy gave him a confused look and shrugged her shoulders.
"Yes you did, Korse was going to blow my fucking brains in and you shot him all to hell. Great shot too."
"Oh. I wasn't saving you. I was saving my lighter." Frenzy answered simply and started to survey their surroundings. There wasn't much down there; just a few old crates that were filled with what she assumed were supplies. Party Poison didn't respond. This girl was really out of her mind. But she was a good shot, if nothing else. And she hadn't killed him despite the fact that she had waved a gun in his face for most of their time together. Plus, she'd given him pretty honest and decent advice the night before. That bitch stole from me
It was like an epiphany. He grabbed her arm once more to stop her from wandering around the cellar.
"You took my fucking pills!" Frenzy smiled as he pointed that out, but didn't respond. There was no way she was going to give them back to him. He'd stolen the good stuff and she had nearly been out of it anyway. Now that she had her lighter back this whole situation seemed comical.
"You're a fucking hypocrite!" Party Poison managed to resist raising his voice but was still angry enough to shove her. Instead of following his instincts he tightened his grip on her arm. "You chased me down for stealing a damn lighter from you when you stole my entire stash!"
"Oh it's not the same and you know it."
"How is it not the same? Not to mention you gave me this whole fucking speech about how you wouldn't sleep with addicts or dealers and then you steal my pills? You're the fucking addict here and you're criticizing me for being a dealer?"
"Back off!" Frenzy shoved at him. "First of all, dealer, I stole something that didn't belong to you in the first place. You stole something very near and dear to me that I've had for years! How are these things remotely close? I owe you nothing and you'll receive nothing from me. You're just lucky I didn't kill you." She twisted her arm from his grip and continued on her rant. "You're nothing more than a peddler of candy to children and I'm far too old to play a child's game. And I'm not a hypocrite
You're twisting my words. I told you that I don't sleep with addicts or dealers and I stand by that. I don't."
Party Poison couldn't believe she was justifying being an addict, a thief, and a hypocrite all at once. There were no words to describe how irritated he was with this woman. Though, it was nagging at him, she'd been cunning enough to create a lie that wasn't really a lie. She was right. She had only told him that she wouldn't sleep with addicts and that's why she hadn't wanted any of his flirting. But she'd also kissed him. Or had he kissed her? He didn't remember at this point, but he also felt that it didn't matter.
"You kissed me." He argued. "You kissed me after you told me you had no interest."
"That's what you're upset about?" Frenzy actually laughed, walking to the opposite end of the hidden cellar. She leaned against the cool damp wall, not caring if she got herself dirty. Nothing bothered her now that she had her lighter back. It was a better high than the pills she took. Poison felt his face turn red. She had used him, like he had used all the women he'd met at parties before Frenzy. This didn't make him feel guilty but he felt embarrassed. He leaned against the opposite wall, folding his arms across his chest. He watched her from afar, waiting for her to make some kind of contact with him again. She was pacing and playing with the lighter in her pocket, he could tell.
" He muttered under his breath.
"Look. One of us should leave. Obviously you don't want me around and I don't really want you around either. I don't have patience for someone who used to be an addict." Party Poison was left speechless once again.
"Come on, only people who know what it does to them would be as irritated with me as you are. I can see the hatred you have for it. I'll go."
"Thanks." Poison spat out. It wasn't what he'd intended to say but he had to keep her around. Why? Why the hell should she stay? She's done nothing but piss me off since we met! And yet, there was something about her that intrigued him. She'd pushed him since they started talking and he wanted to get the best of her. At least I think that's what I want.
"For what? Not killing you? For volunteering to leave?"
"You may have been saving your lighter but you also saved me."
"Don't thank me for that. I don't want your gratitude."
"Will you just take the damn gratitude? God you're so fucking stubborn."
"And this is why I'm trying to leave."
"I need your help."
"Oh come on."
"Hear me out. My friends told me to meet them at this bar in the fourth zone
Do you know where it is?"
"It's the last bar in the zones." Frenzy shrugged her shoulders, knowing exactly where it was, but still not wanting to help him with anything. It was best for her to get away from him. He was a con and nothing but trouble. He could be trying to find a way to take her lighter again. He'd seemed to really enjoy it, judging by how much it had been used since the night before.
"I need you to take me there."
"What am I? A chauffer?"
"No, it's not like that." Party Poison had initially intended on breaking into the west faction of Killjoys to talk to some of Tiger Beatdown's men to see what was really going on but now that he'd thought about it with a clear head the idea seemed stupid and suicidal. If Tiger was truly the villain behind the attack on him then his men really did believe that he was the evil man and he'd likely be shot on sight. There was a slim chance that Disco hadn't turned on him and perhaps was even telling the truth. Someone lied to him about Tiger Beatdown having turned on the cause and maybe that same someone had lied to Tiger about him doing the same. It couldn't have been Kobra who had turned on him, it wasn't possible. Kobra Kid was his younger brother and the two were too close for such a thing to come between them.
Kobra had said that Death-iNation had been the one to send him the information but how would he check without going to Battery City? Death-iNation was one of the sleeper cells they had working and living in Battery City in one of the less malevolent chapters of Better Living. He had sent information every week for the last year and Party Poison trusted him with his life. Could it have been possible he was being played after all this time? He didn't think it was likely which meant that someone was twisting him and his friends. He could have been wrong with this idea of what was going on but something Disco Bitch had said twisted a nerve.
"Then what's it like? Look I don't want to help you with anything. I want to get as far as humanly possible from you okay?"
"Why? What did I do besides try to seduce you and steal your lighter? And I'm still thinking you didn't hate the first half of that." Party Poison stepped away from the wall, watching her curiously. His confidence was coming back finally. He'd taken a blow to his ego that he hadn't felt in a long time.
"No, because you're a thief, a fucking liar and you're way too horny to get anything done with a member of the opposite sex outside of the obvious and seeing as I don't sleep with dealers, it seems stupid for me to help you."
"I'm not a thief! I'm not a fucking thief and I'm certainly not a fucking liar! Listen, we all have our flaws right? I like to take things from the girls I fuck, because it makes me feel good. Usually it's something benign like a lighter or a pen that was in their pocket
I had no idea you were a nutcase or an addict when I came after you. All I saw was ass and boobs and I went for it okay? I know better now. Clearly." Poison pointed at the bump on his head from where she'd hit him with the gun not too long ago.
"This isn't helping your case." Fire Frenzy looked bemused by the entire argument. Did he think she was stupid? Well he was wrong. "I'm leaving now."
"I'll pay you."
"I'm an addict but I'm not desperate."
"Not for that
to get me to the bar."
"Why should I help you? All you've done since we've gotten here has called me an addict and a lunatic."
"Well all you've done is try to kill me, several times I might add, and call me a peddler and a horny idiot."
"That's because you are a peddler and a horny
I don't know if you're an idiot but
" She drifted into silence after a moment.
"Remember that story I told you in the bar?"
"I do. That was during the brief moment of time I might have found you interesting."
"It was true. That part of it was all true. I'm the leader of the eastern faction of Killjoys. My name is Party Poison and last night I received word that the leader of the west faction turned on the cause. I did what you suggested. I sent an assassin to take him out
those people you saved me with on the ground out there? That was them. It seems that my assassin thinks that the man I told her to kill is innocent and someone's duping us both." She merely stared at him, watching him curiously. It was hard to tell if he was lying. He had such a sincere and commanding look to his face all the time that he could've been spinning lies right there and she'd have no idea. "Those Killjoys were told I was the one who turned traitor. I didn't. I had no idea what they were talking about. I need your help. I can't go out in the zones on my own without a weapon now. Mine broke when you knocked me down. You're an arms dealer right? I need your help." He nervously wiped his cheek and pushed his red hair back and out of his face. It fell right back into place of course, but it was a nervous tic he'd been performing all his life.
"We'll need weapons." Frenzy said after a moment, not looking back up at him. "The Dracs will patrol for twelve hours before going back to their posts in Battery City. The Scarecrow never sleeps and he seems to have a hard on for you so
we'll have to keep our eye out for him too."
" Taking a deep breath he leaned his head back against the wall near the ladder leading out of the cellar. It was then he realized he didn't know her name. It was possible Kobra had told him what it was before he'd left but he'd just been bent on the idea of finding her and it had slipped his mind. "Hey, what's your name? You know mine, it's only fair."
"No, I meant your real name. Not your Killjoy name. You know the one you were born with. I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours." His cocky attitude was back. He'd succeeded in keeping this woman nearby, it was a high of sorts. He still had time to find a way to get his revenge.
"I'm not a Killjoy. I never was and I don't want to be. I'm an arm's dealer and you already know that. You said it earlier." Party Poison went to object to her avoiding the question but she continued on. "We should wait for the sun to go down, so we don't stick out so much. It gives time for the Dracs to finish their patrol too."
"Yeah, I'm not too eager to get back out there right now anyway. You know, seeing as I've had
a ridiculous amount of people try to kill me today."
"Let me see your gun." She held out her hand expectantly.
"Well, if you insist." He couldn't help but grin and reach for his belt.
"I'll kill you, you know. I'm still irritated you stole my lighter. Don't mistake my calm for mercy."
"You're no fun." He pulled the yellow ray gun out of its holster and it sparked. It fell from his hand and he hopped around in frustration, shaking his hand out from the feeling of how the sparks had burnt his fingers, right through his glove. "Son-of-a-bitch!" Fire Frenzy bent down and picked up the fallen weapon.
"Well, it's broken."
"Thanks Columbo, didn't take a fucking arm's specialist to realize that did it?" He slipped his thumb into his mouth to nurse the painful burn on it.
"Oh suck it up, you baby."
"Fuck you Fire Frenzy. Fix the damn thing."
"I could just leave you here without a gun, Party Poison. I'd be a little bit nicer."
"Yeah well, life's a bitch isn't it? I don't get to grab your ass so you don't get to see the polite side of me. I think you'll manage."
"Hmph, you're such a charmer. It's a wonder why women fall for you." She muttered. "It's too fucking dark
" She looked down at the gun and slipped her fingers into her pocket, pulling out a thin piece of metal from within. She unscrewed the handle of the gun and looked down at the torn wires.
Party Poison watched her curiously and picked up the lantern. He held it close to her and leaned over her shoulder to watch her work. For someone with no social skills she smells nice. For some reason he'd gotten this image in his head that she didn't shower properly now with what a psychopath she had turned out to be.
"I can't fix this here." She turned to show him, not realizing he was so close. He hadn't anticipated she'd turn either but he could see her cheeks turn pink under the lamplight. She turned away and took a step from him so she didn't have to be so close. A smile crept over his lips, turning quickly into a shit-eating grin. "I need some tools to fix this. The wiring is fried. That's why it shorted out on your hand."
"Alright, so it can wait. You're just going to have to protect me." Party Poison walked back to her and took the gun from her hand, lingering there. "You know
we have some time
"Don't finish that thought."
"Oh admit, you like me."
"You have no idea how to read a person do you?"
"I think I'm reading you pretty clearly."
"I liked you better when you were afraid to talk to me."
"Again, you are unarmed and making very stupid mistakes." Fire Frenzy hated that he was getting to her like this. She wasn't handling it very well at all. She retrieved her lighter and turned away from him, flicking it again. The fingers of her opposite hand brushed through the flame unharmed. It was such a rush to touch the fire like this and it calmed the nerves that had been on edge since he'd gotten nearer to her again.
He watched her and for the first time since he'd realized she was a bit off kilter he felt bad for her. What the hell had happened to make her this way? Addicted to those awful pills and clinging to a piece of metal filled with fuel for comfort- that was no way to live. He'd back off for the time being.
Minutes turned into hours and they spoke on and off. She was actually pretty interesting even though she was vague in most of her answers about her personal life she was good conversation on other topics. Poison found they had a lot in common, even if Fire Frenzy didn't seem to think so. She was still being short with him. She'd started building up a wall between them, he recognized it immediately. He'd have to take it for what it was, there was nothing else he could really do about it.
"The sun should be long gone." Fire Frenzy headed up the ladder to the cellar. Poison watched her go with a content grin on his face. The next few days would be trying, he knew it was likely the Killjoys would disband, he knew it was likely that he'd die, but he still managed to smile.
"Yeah, now is as good a time as any. You'll have to cover me. I don't have any weapon now. Whatever happened to the rocket launcher you used?"
"I left it on the roof. It's stupid to carry something so big when planning an attack."
"Seems like a waste of a perfectly good gun."
"To you. I build them and then sell them. They're nothing more than currency to me. Plus I just like building things." They continued to talk as they headed through the building. All seemed quiet. There was no sign of the Dracs patrolling the streets and no sign of the Scarecrow.
"It's like something scared them off." Poison muttered as they walked. The walk was long but neither one of them had transportation to Zone Four. Her bunker was close enough to the bar that Frenzy planned on letting them walk there too rather than taking her motorcycle. She wasn't going to give this guy any excuses to touch her. She had decided to treat him like something dirty she didn't want getting on her. As fun as it could be to play with him, she didn't have time to mess around like that. There was too much for her to accomplish, she couldn't let a man get in the way just because he amused her.
"You live here?" Poison looked around at the bunker half buried in the dirt.
"Doesn't look very inviting."
"I only sleep and work here. It's a means to an end."
"I'm the same way. My home's pretty unused."
"You talk too much."
" Party Poison froze in the doorway of her home. The walls were practically lined with weapons she'd completed, schematics for new ones, and the shelves all around had supplies stacked on top of them. There was a work bench in the corner nearly covered in tools and a small cot that was also covered completely in supplies. It didn't seem like she slept much at all.
Fire Frenzy ignored his reaction and sat down at her work bench. Poison just stared open mouthed at the walls as he walked over to her. He set his gun down in front of her and just kept staring.
"I think I'm in love
" He joked, walking around to inspect the room. It was small and uncomfortable, but he assumed that she found enough comfort in her lighter so she didn't require it elsewhere.
"Don't touch anything." She remained hunched over the poorly put together table, pulling wires out from his gun. She had to rewire the whole thing. It wouldn't take very long since she'd done it so many times before, but it was still something she had to concentrate on.
"Oh come on, that's like putting food in front of me and telling me not to eat it."
"I don't really care. Don't touch anything."
"Yes, mother." Poison rolled his eyes but kept walking around. "I've got my hands in my pockets, don't you worry."
"Just don't touch anything!" She snapped at him. Her hands were starting to shake. She'd been out longer than she expected. She'd have to take another dose of pills before they went back out. Her vision was blurred. The burning of her eyes felt like a relief as she closed them and then she continued on her work, listening to the sounds Party Poison was making behind her.
" Poison said in a sing song voice but he was more curious with what was hidden behind these boxes now. He could see something along the wall and it was more cluttered here than it was anywhere else in the small room. It was like she'd gone out of her way to purposely bury this area. Upon further inspection he could see that despite it looking cluttered it was pretty simple to maneuver the boxes and shelves out of the way so he could get to whatever was hidden back there.
Frenzy was still working, he could maybe get to what he suspected was a door if he moved quietly and quickly enough. He had to try. One by one he slid the boxes across the floor, periodically checking to see if Fire Frenzy had caught him in the act. She hadn't. She remained hunching over the gun, engrossed in her work.
The shelves had been harder to move quietly and he'd nearly fallen over trying to move one but he'd managed to do it silently. He got cockier as he continued on and moved faster, checking on the woman who'd built such beautiful weapons less and less.
It was a door as he had suspected. A big heavy steel door nearly completely hidden by all of the things he'd just removed. He let his fingers trace the seam of the door against the wall. She'd clearly built this whole place. His fingers traveled down the length of the door to the handle.
"I told you not to touch anything." Her voice was cold and he could feel the metal of a gun in the back of his neck. "You're smarter than you let on but I swear to you if you turn that doorknob, your brains will be the newest decoration for my wall." He didn't doubt for a second that she was serious. He lifted his hand from the handle, and though his curiosity had piqued even higher now that he knew she was reacting like this, he had to let go. At least for now.
"I'm backing off." He spoke very calmly as he tried to reassure her. Turning to face her he could see how angry she was. What the hell was she hiding in there? "I'm sorry."
"I fixed your gun." She seemed distant now, even more so than she had been before. He could see the beads of sweat on her forehead and knew partially what her problem was.
"This I see." She still had it pointed at him. He took a risk and grabbed the barrel, pulling it slowly from her grasp. His heart was racing as he watched her. She seemed different now, darker than before. Whatever secrets she was hiding, they scared her. "Thank you. You're an artist you know."
"You're welcome. Pick a second gun and I'll give you a knife. Then we're heading out." She began to put the boxes and shelves back in their place. He made a move to help her but she shot him a look that told him if he did she'd cause him some kind of harm.
"I want something longer range, more accurate than my handgun." He folded his arms. It was an honor to be receiving any one of these guns. "No wonder Kobra comes to you for weapons, these are amazing."
"Here, take this one." Frenzy pulled one off of the wall nearest the door and handed it to him. "Long range, scope, and about eighty-eight percent accuracy for a steady hand. When it overheats though it needs awhile to cool down so don't just go crazy with it. Short bursts, short breaks." She held it up and peered through the scope, then checked it over to make sure it was in working order before letting him take it from her hands. Party Poison practically drooled over the weapon and touched the detailing on it with his callused fingers.
"Here's a knife, strap it to your leg, I suggest letting it hide in your boot. Of course you should keep the
uh sheath on or you'll maim yourself." Frenzy handed it to him, without looking up at him. She had no patience for this anymore. It was like she was suffocating even though there was plenty of air in the room. He'd nearly found her hiding place, the things she hid from the world and she'd let her guard down enough to let it happen.
She hid her knife in the lining of her holster for her gun which she
put back in its place after making sure it hadn't been damaged. Her back was purposely turned toward Party Poison so he couldn't see what she was doing as she dug for her pills in the drawer she'd built beneath the table.
Poison could feel that she didn't want him watching her but he did anyway. He balanced on one foot so he could tilt himself to see what she was doing. His heart sunk when he saw the pills that she'd stolen from him the night before. If he hadn't stolen them she wouldn't be taking them. He was kidding himself with that thought; she would've found some elsewhere to get them if he she hadn't gotten them from him.
"You don't need these." He grabbed he wrist before she could pop them into her mouth. He wondered how long it had been since she'd taken her last dose. Just twelve hours without them would cause withdrawal to set in. She'd been showing worsening symptoms for hours but she carried herself well regardless.
"I can't afford to be off of them." Frenzy said after a moment, avoiding eye contact with him. Party Poison held her wrist to keep her from taking them for a moment. She was right. If he didn't let her take them right now she'd be useless to him. It'd cripple her for weeks and he didn't have that kind of time to wait and neither did she. He let go of her wrist and walked out of the bunker. He hated himself for letting her take the pills, but he had no other choice. If nothing else he wasn't going to watch her drug herself.
"Come on. Before the sun is up." Frenzy joined him a moment later, looking rejuvenated. "The bar isn't very far from here and Harvey will let me in at any hour."
"He owns the bar. He let me know where to find you."
"Bastard." Poison chuckled, trying to break the tension that had formed between them but he felt as if nothing could at this point.
"Shut up and get walking." Frenzy headed off without him. Party Poison watched her walk away for a moment then hurried to catch up. With any luck, he would hopefully be getting some insight to what was happening amongst the Killjoys soon.