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Irina just smiled when he admitted to not knowing much about Greek food either. They were just going to have to hope for the best. It didn’t turn out too bad, the food or the date. They didn’t talk about anything too deep really, but simple stuff. Which was fine by her, it was probably the most normal part, aside from when they’d slip to some little concern or question about their nightly struggle, which was coming up. It was obviously not far from either of their minds, though both of them were also trying to keep that from being the only subject. She let him know about hobbies and things, that she knew how to crochet for some project she had gotten roped into though she wasn’t very good at it, she had a rather impressive collection of tea and coffee she offered to show him sometime, and liked to go to movies when she had time on the weekends along with a few of her coworkers. All in all she’d say the date went pretty well, all things considered with their unusual way of starting things off.
When he asked her to sleep over at his place she didn’t immediately have an answer. It got worse the more he talked. Was it just strategy? Which made sense, she’d woken up just covered in blood but… No, that wasn’t it. Her cheeks were starting to darken to a pink, and then more red. Absolute scarlet when he finally stopped bouncing around and just said he’d like to have sex with her. All she could do was stare at him for several seconds. Did he just say that? And damn, all she could think about was having seen him naked just last night. Not in this world, but still. She’d been waiting for a date, but this was all happening way faster, and stranger, than she had hoped or thought. [#a31200 “I, uh… I… Y-yeah. I mean no. W-wait, I mean…”]
This was a mess. She could barely think, let alone speak. His hands were still on her shoulders, and the physical contact was somehow making everything better and worse because she wondered if he was going to kiss her. They hadn’t even kissed yet and she was already considering if they were going to have sex! This whole thing was Issac was a jumbled mess, but she didn’t want it to stop. [#a31200 “Um…”] Why was it so hard to spit it out? Probably because she still hadn’t come up with a definitive answer herself. [#a31200 “Y-yeah, it makes sense. It could help. For battle stuff. I-it’s not like I don’t want to sleep with you though. It’s just, um, a bit… soon? Maybe?”] Irina shifted a little, obviously a bit nervous. She put her hands on his arms and looked a bit shy,[#a31200 “It’s ah, our first date. And… you haven’t—”]
Of course the cab arrived then. The driver gave an impatient honk when they hadn’t turned right away and Irina jumped, startled. Just when she thought things were getting [i maybe] a little less awkward and a little almost romantic they got interrupted. The driver apparently didn’t want to sit around waiting on them, so they had to get in, her face still red. She was tugging anxiously on the ends of her sleeves. She was sort of worried he’d taken it as rejection when she got interrupted so she asked quietly,[#a31200 “So… um, your place?”]
For some reason, what Irina had to say about how they were changing the way things work struck him more profoundly than he might've thought. They were changing the way things were, weren't they? And he began to wonder if anything like this might have happened in the past. If this battle between Order and Chaos had been going on forever, the odds of it just being them were astronomically small, but at the same time, they did have motivation and literal [i instinct] to kill each other... It may not be [i that] important to think about, but it definitely was something to chew on. What were the odds of these star-crossed lovers?
However, he didn't have [i too much] time to think about what Irina had said or comment on how their date spread around the office like wildfire. He began to feel slightly embarrassed as well, processing what the waiter must have overheard and how easily these things could be taken out of context... Ah, God, [i Derek] too!
[b “Uhhh, yeah, water is... good.”] Issac says trying to gain some semblance of control of the situation and his marbles. He was buying time, but he also wanted to get the waiter the hell out of here. Whether he thought they were killing people at night or... Doing something of a more [i intimate] nature was a situation he didn't want to remain in for any longer than he had to. Plus, when Irina didn't know what she wanted to order, Issac didn't know either and panicked. [b “How about the specials? We can do the specials.”] And the waiter nods, writing down on a small pad before departing. Issac watches him and when he feels like their intruder had gotten a sufficient distance away, he whirls his head back to Irina. [b “I'll, uhh... I'll admit I don't know anything about Greek food... I sort of panicked there, so I hope everything tastes good.”] Honestly, Issac followed some food blogs in his spare time and heard about this place opening up and it happened to be around the same time he wanted to take Irina on a date... It had really good reviews, so here's hoping!
After that, the date sort of went by at a general pace. Issac did his best to get to know Irina some more rather than talk about Battleword, but it leaked in every now and again. It wasn't exactly the type of conversation he wanted or expected on their first date, but it gave them something to talk about... however morbid it was. Hopefully as they progressed through this nightmare together, things would get easier and they could talk about more natural things. Plus, given that even before the date itself they already saw each other naked and there was already gossip about them, Issac was using soft-hand tactics in their conversation. He didn't want to make anything worse... But [i literally] how could he?
Once they were finished, Issac pays the bills and walks them outside so they can wait for their cab. Then something struck him. [b “Why don't you sleep over at my place tonight?”] And then the awkwardness struck him. [b “That sounded a lot better in my head... I mean more so for the fact if we wake up and we're injured we can help each other. I know first-aid and I know your powers aren't exactly the most fun.”] He was talking way too much about Battleworld. What if she got the wrong idea here? They weren't strategizing, this was supposed to be a date! [b “Not that I wouldn't want to sleep with you under normal circumstances or anything...”] What?! Backpedal. [b “I mean, I'm not trying to sleep with you in [i that] way! Well... I am, yes, I just... battle... to do...”] Issac was all over the place, but then he takes a deep breath, places both hands on Irina's shoulders to look at her in the face, and suddenly he's more resolute. [b “I would like to have sex with you.”] And despite Issac's slightly darker complexion, his face went beet red.
It was a good plan. There weren’t a lot of them and neither side would be helping them out. No backup, no allies they just needed to find. Irina smiled down at the table,[#a31200 “I mean, we sort of are changing the way things work by not killing each other, aren’t we?”]
The fewer people that figured out about them the better probably. The three of them couldn’t take on too many at a time, but once there were fewer people fighting overall then just maybe it was manageable. The thing was could they really keep out of the fighting that long? It would be tricky, but Irina was hopeful.
Then Issac brought up the gossip about them and her face got hot,[#a31200 “Y-yeah. Word got around fast. It is like high school, but at least the cafeteria is nicer. I had no idea so many people cared if we… went on a date.”] Irina looked up at Issac, wondering if he was serious about this being a date, or if this was just a sort of strategy meeting. She fidgeted with the ends of her sleeves,[#a31200 “Things were kind of boring, honestly. It’s hard to focus on work after what we did last night—”]
Of course that had to be when the waiter made his appearance. He’d heard that, hadn’t he? Did that sound bad? It probably did. The waited held a little notepad up,”Can I get you started with anything to drink? Are you ready to order or did you still need a few minutes?”
Irina hadn’t even been looking at the menu after they started talking. She opened the menu, more to sort of hide behind it than to really look at it,[#a31200 “Water? To start. Ah, I’m not sure what to order...”]
Issac chewed on that a little bit. Maybe Irina was right and Issac's opinion was just clouded by his 'will to kill' Belladonna. It was hard to trust or look at someone objectively when your instincts were literally telling you to kill them or they were going to kill you. She might be a wild card, but perhaps Issac wasn't giving her enough credit with the whole alliance thing... He was still alive after all.
[b “Yes, that's the plan for now.”] He says with a small nod. [b “Since there's just the three of us we don't want to make too many waves; a bigger group might come along and want what we have or think we're challenging the status quo.”] The Terrible Trio from last night came to mind, and he had a feeling that since no one died and he denied joining them, it sort of made things personal. And then there was that other dangerous Chaos member that Belladonna had mentioned. Depending on how much of a megalomaniac he was, perhaps they could make a sort of deal. Thinning out the herd together or having some sort of 'cease-fire' clause would be enticing to everyone since everyone else is trying to kill you... Well, until the end and then all bets were off. For now the goal was to limit the amount of bedlam they got involved with, but it was an inevitable shit-show.
Issac could feel himself beginning to frown and then shakes his head. He was really looking forward to this date and he didn't want to let a war on another planet effect it. [b “How was your day today? Did you hear the latest gossip about us?”] He grinned at that. [b “You'd think we were back in high school all over again and no one had day jobs.”]
[#a31200 “Yeah, right. Me too.”] The high five had caught her so off guard she didn’t react to it fast enough, just gushed out a few words and once he left she started back toward her office. Only to realize halfway down the hall she still had actual business in legal and hurried back a little flustered to fetch the papers she was supposed to get.
At first nothing was weird about the day, besides the fact that she was silently freaking out about her date tonight. Then at some point things change. She wasn’t sure exactly when, but lunch was definitely odd. By then some people who were bigger gossips had already heard, and at lunch it spread like wildfire. People were starting to give her these looks and instead of bringing her into whatever whispered conversations they were having they got quiet or clearly changed the subject.
She figured it had to be about the date. What was the big deal? Maybe it was just a slow day and her love life was just the most interesting thing on a boring day, but it sort of bothered her. Besides that, she was thinking of it like a [i date] date, but was that really what Issac meant? Or was this just a date to discuss the other stuff, and not meant to be romantic? She supposed she could be reading too much into it and he just wanted to be friends. Just a friendly relationship. Which would be nice, but admittedly disappointing and super awkward if she jumped to any conclusions. Especially since she’d be seeing him every night while they tried not to get killed. So far so good on that, nothing seemed to be going wrong so far which meant their other bodies must be sleeping peacefully and safely.
Irina could barely focus on her work, but somehow it got done. Auto-pilot to the rescue since she was so distracted. By the time she got down to the lobby she was pretty wound up and nervous. At least the taxi ride was short, because she wasn’t sure what to say with the driver right there.
The restaurant was pretty nice, she wouldn’t have noticed it was here really since it was pretty small and she really didn’t spend a lot of time looking at places near work. It didn’t feel too cramped though, and their booth was pretty cozy, and thankfully a little bit isolated in the back.
Irina made a noncommittal noise about the food and glanced over the menu. She really wasn’t sure what to say about the food. She just didn’t know much about Greek food. She liked Greek style salads, did that count for much? Before she could drown in that internal dilemma he had moved the conversation on to their night. She laughed,[#a31200 “I really hope so too. It’d be a shame for them to go to waste.”]
When it came to Belladonna Irina paused. She closed the menu and set it down. Clearly she trusted Belladonna more than Issac did, but he had a point that she [i could] turn on him. She could decide Chaos was more important than their little alliance. She bit the inside of her lip before answering, picking at the cloth napkin still wrapped around the silverware,[#a31200 “I don’t know. I don’t [i think] she’ll turn on us, at least not now. I’m pretty sure as long as she sees us as her best way to survive she’s not going to do anything, she’s more… bark than bite, you know?”] She gave him a smile that was just a little shy. It was funny, he didn’t look that different really, but she was way more nervous, though the topic made it a lot easier to talk somehow,[#a31200 “Still, if we’re trying to lay low until a lot of the others are cleared out on both sides she’s going to have to be good with that and not cause any stir. That’s sort of the plan, right? Not draw too much attention to ourselves, play both sides of the normal people, and just prepare and wait until there’s hardly anyone else left, right?”]
[i 'You blew. You blew it!'] Issac's mind screamed when no words came out of Irina's mouth. Oh man, that was going to make their nightly [i activities] super awkward now. Goddammit, he shouldn't have said anything! She probably has a boyfriend... Shit! Why didn't he find a way to ask her that first?! Dating 101, Issac, you freaking [i amateur]! This stupidity is going to get everyone killed! This is a workplace, you mongrel! You've ruined everything! OH MY G-
His mind suddenly comes to a screaming halt when she agreed. [b “Oh.”] He says without thinking, suddenly smug about proving the voice in his head wrong. [b “Cool, cool. I get off at five as well, so I guess I'll just meet you down in the lobby? Its not too far from here, but I'll call us a cab.”] There's more shuffling behind the door and Issac mutters something offensive under his breath before turning back to Irina. [b “I'd better get back to work before Derek rubs his ear off on the door. I'll see you later tonight.”]
The last sentence awkwardly hung there for a moment. What did he do now? Just tell her 'see you later' or go back in to the office? Did he hug her? Kiss her on the cheek? Friendly pat on the shoulder? ... His mind went blank and his body went on auto-pilot as he slowly lifted his hand up to her... For a [i high-five].
[i 'Wrong choice, Issac.']
[b “Looking forward to tonight.”] Issac says before going back in to the office. Derek was inconspicuously close to the door, shuffling papers that had already been filed. [b “You know those were all in order, right?”] Issac tells him before sitting at his desk.
“Whoops.” Derek says, bringing the pile to his desk. Issac blows out a sigh as he watches Derek, who out of the corner of his eye, could see that he would look at Issac when he thought Issac wasn't looking. This was going to be messy keeping under wraps. Derek was a notorious gossip... Ugh, why couldn't he just kill Derek here and save everyone the trouble?
The work day went by for Issac pretty quickly, however it slowed down a bit for him after lunch. He went to the cafeteria to get himself some food when he noticed a lot of the workers in the hospital stopped talking when he would get closer. Didn't these people have jobs or lives? Why was his and Irina's relationship such a big deal to them? It was frustrating, Issac's patience being really low today, and he may have been a little curt with Derek after his lunch break, but despite that pestering him some he managed to get everything he had to do for the day done.
Like planned, he had met Irina in the lobby and their taxi was waiting outside for them. Soon enough they were outside of the restaurant; a small Greek restaurant that seemed to be quite lavish despite its size, but still comfortable and not too stuffy. Luckily for them it wasn't boomingly busy and they were able to get a booth at the back despite it just being the two of them.
[b “I heard the moussaka here is really good.”] Issac says, trying to get the conversation started... But how did he go from food to war? ... [b “We didn't end up eating those noodles last night. I hope they're still good when we inevitably have to go back.”] Which, in his opinion should be shortly after their date. As much as he wanted to be here and be with Irina, he couldn't help the anxiety he felt that they could be killed any moment they were awake in their regular bodies. [b “I don't know how much I trust Belladonna. She's a loose cannon and if we're going to succeed in our plans we need to find a way to reign her in.”] [i 'Or cut her loose.'] A darker part of his mind said. [b “Any ideas?”]
Irina was glad Issac moved first. She was pretty much stunned and trying to figure out how on earth she was supposed to approach him. He mentioned last night and Irina let out a sigh. [#a31200 “Yeah, that was crazy.”] She was so glad to see him, even if it felt like her heart was dancing around in her chest. Somehow having this to talk about it made it easier—no, [i possible] to speak to him.
Then he noticed their eavesdropper and her face went red. Their brief conversation replayed in her head. That sounded really bad out of context. Irina crossed her arms, holding her injured arm close. The ugly pattern on the carpet was bad enough to mess with her vision like one of those optical illusions, but she didn’t look away. Irina felt like she could hardly breathe. He was asking her on a date, an actual date. He’d been meaning to ask her?
Irina looked up, her cheeks red as tomatoes. They still had their eavesdropper, she didn’t quite catch what he said but she heard the hiss of a whisper. Her first attempt to answer no sound came out. She tried again,[#a31200 “Yes. A date. Right. If that’s… if you’re fine with that. I’d love that. Yeah. Oh, um, I get off at uh,”] There was a brief pause. She needed to get her brain working a little harder to retrieve that information,[#a31200 “Five? Yeah, five. Um, s-so where should we meet?]
This was really happening. Irina almost couldn’t believe it. She was so unprepared for this, though she really didn’t know what she was expecting when she met him today. It wasn’t like there was some standard way to handle things like last night, and Chaos apparently wasn’t going to give her any help in this world.
It was funny... Now that he was back at work, Issac had thought he'd feel a lot better sitting in his chair doing a bunch of paperwork. It beat having a bunch of lunatics trying to kill you and figuring out the workings of an unfamiliar world that came straight out of Star Trek. However, his foot tapped on the floor under his desk, he chewed his pen, and he found it very hard to focus on his job. He was asked a few times if he was alright and after the second, he kind of bit back a little harder than he meant to. This was nerve wracking, waiting to go back to a war, but at least he was alive so that meant Belladonna didn't slit his throat in his sleep. Something else he was more anxious about in this body.
He bit down on his pen absently again as he stared at the papers in front of him. It was like [i looking] at white noise at this point, and the harder he tried to think on it, the harder it got. The workings of a headache were beginning. He was about to throw in the towel when suddenly the door to the department was opened, and it was...
[b “Irina.”] Issac says, standing up from his desk suddenly, dropping his pen. She was wearing a red shirt and so was he. One of the other workers, Derek was surprised and made a sound, looking between the two. At first it was curiously, then it was in a sort of accusing way.
“How do you two know each other?” Derek asked as Issac approached Irina. He shoots a look over his shoulder at the man and tries not to frown. Instead he gives him a slight smile that feigned aloofness.
[b “We both work in the hospital, don't we?”] And that was really all Issac spared him, quickly joining Irina in the doorway and shutting it so there was a barrier between his coworker and them. He blows out a sigh and turns to Irina, and immediately his heart flutters. He was glad to see her, in a lot of complicated ways. [b “I'm glad to see you. How is your arm?”] He goes to reach for it instinctively but quickly stops. Not the time or place. [b “I honestly don't know what to say about last night. It was really intense! I can't believe we're going to be doing it together every night now.”] He pauses for a moment thinking. It was going to be hard juggling all of this and work, not to mention briefing and debriefing Irina in person.
He went to open his mouth to say something, but there was a small shuffling noise, and Issac quickly glances over his shoulder. [i Son of a bitch!] [b “Derek, I can see your shadow under the doorway, stop eavesdropping!”]
There was a tense silence for a moment. “... Sorry.” Oh boy, what he just heard must have sounded terrible.
[b “I don't think there's a lot of privacy around here. I don't know if our lunches align, but I, uhh...”] He was suddenly shy, the ceiling becoming very interesting all of a sudden. [b “There's this new restaurant that opened up, and I've been meaning to ask you to check it out with me...”] His heart was thudding in his ears. [b “Like as a date. You know, if that's cool with you and all? We could keep it professional if you want! I'd completely understand if that's-”]
“Stop back-peddling.” A whisper came through the doorway and Issac frowns.
[b “So, uh, yeah, when do you get off this evening?”]
The storage facility wasn’t really what Irina would call cozy, but it looked pretty untouched so it would hopefully be safe for the day. She didn’t know what would happen if someone found them asleep in this world, and she wasn’t terribly interested in finding out.
After they had eaten it was time to sleep. Irina wasn’t sure how she was supposed to fall asleep here. Belladonna gave Issac a shrug,[+purple “I can try. You do the same.”]
Irina spent a little time looking for something to make a bed out of. She only found cardboard boxes and metal parts she couldn’t identify that had been left behind. She didn’t want to venture too far on her own either. Belladonna had just laid down on the floor seemingly not too concerned, so Irina made do by stacking a few layers of cardboard into a bed and laying down.
Sleep came easily and instantly, but she almost immediately jerked awake again with the sensation of falling. Only she wasn’t lying on cardboard in a storage space, she was in her own bed and there was blood everywhere. [#a31200 “Shit!”]
Irina sat up and put her hand over her arm. It was the same spot she’d cut last night. It took her a second to realize she wasn’t bleeding anymore, just like back in the battle world. She looked at her sheets, which were going to have to be washed, and then at the clock. It was that time already? She needed to get to work. After she was done panicking. If her injuries from there were going to keep showing up here things were going to get hard to explain if anyone noticed.
Irina cleaned up her bed and put on new sheets, then tossed the bloodstained ones in the laundry basket. She had to hurry to get ready, and after bandaging her arm she was stuck staring at her closet. She was going to need long sleeves or someone was going to notice her arm. She picked a long sleeved red shirt, glad she had something both red and long sleeved, and a black skirt. Cute, and most importantly it would keep anyone from seeing her arms.
Now she was actually kind of nervous about seeing Issac, even though she’d basically spent all night with him talking and fighting for their lives. She’d seen him naked! Which made her blush and cover her face even though she was alone. How was she going to face him today? And why was that not a problem in the battle world, but had her worried here? It seemed like all the good stuff Chaos gave her only applied there, but the bad stuff would apply to [i both]. It was all so unfair.
Once she was ready Irina had to rush to work to make it on time. She barely made it, and had to put her hair up at her desk. Now she just needed some excuse to head to legal. Some excuse to go see Issac, which was always her reason for going to legal really. Today it just mattered more.
After a few errors she had to straighten out in the pharmacy about blank spaces or wrong codes she finally got her chance. Legal was supposed to send something about a particular account, but hadn’t yet. Technically they could call, but the papers would need to be carried anyway so it was just faster to send someone most of the time. Her boss also liked how it tended to make the other departments respond faster, it was harder to ignore a person in your face than a phone call or email.
Irina headed to legal with butterflies in her stomach. Would he be wearing red too? Or had he forgotten, or maybe the Issac from last night wasn’t real. No, it felt real, and something told her it was, even as that worry gnawed at her. When she walked into the legal department she did her usual scan for Issac, and stopped with a surprised look when she saw him. He was wearing a red shirt, and she was suddenly not sure what to do now.
It was no surprise to Issac that Belladonna knew what the device was, and he figured she might not have one because they seemed rather delicate. With all this fighting going on it must be hard to keep equipment from breaking, especially considering everyone had super powers and enhanced physical capabilities.
[b “Food sounds great.”] Issac said as he was suddenly aware he was hungry. That was something he had forgotten that needed to be done, and something he must've assumed unconsciously that this body would compensate for. It would be a little inconvenient though; having to sit down and eat would create a vulnerable moment they might not be able to afford... But then again there was also the sleeping. That worried him greatly, especially since he had Belladonna to worry about, although she did seem to be a little less prickly towards him now. Perhaps killing one of his own teammates got it through to her that he was on their side... Well, more so Irina's side, Belladonna was just kind of an ally of consequence at this point, but he was willing to keep her alive.
They made it to what appeared to be a storage facility and so far it looked good. They weren't ambushed and there weren't any nosy civilians around either. He wasn't exactly thrilled to be spending the night in a storage facility, but beggars couldn't be choosers and they could find a better place tomorrow. For now there were only three of them and two sides were against them; they had to make do with what they could find, but once they armed themselves and found a safe place to sleep in, Issac would feel a lot more comfortable... It was a strange way thinking like this. Just yesterday the biggest and anxiety provoking decision was how and when he was going to ask Irina out. Now here he was, looking at a [i storage facility] wondering if he was going to wake up tomorrow night to fight in a war. However, now wasn't the time for profound thoughts. They had to get in to the place and then figure out what was next.
It was locked, which Issac was silently thankful for, so they began looking around for another way in, and when they did, Issac cringed a little bit. It was a tight window, and Belladonna could fit through it, and Irina struggled to fight through it, so how was he going to fit through it? He was a lot more broad and large than the two of them. So when asked if he would like them to open the door, Issac nods and smiles. [b “Yes, thank you, I think that would probably be for the best.”] He says and runs to the door and waits for it to be opened. And once it is, he comes in quickly, closing the door behind him and locking it.
The facility was pretty spacious; large and long racks where they would put crates and boxes, as well as a few smaller rooms dotting the sides of the space. It was very reminiscent of a warehouse back on Earth. There was also some graffiti and such, but it looked like that happened a while ago; the place smelled old and musty, and he couldn't smell the scent of lingering paint.
[b “So I guess this is our humble abode for now.”] Issac comments before turning back to face both women. [b “I think now would be a good as time as any to get some rest, we can regroup tomorrow and carryout our plan.”] Tonight they were just getting their bearings after all. Tomorrow was where they upped their game. [b “Try not to slit my throat while I sleep please.”] He says, finding a box, breaking it down and then using it as a sleeping pad.
And it was surprising how fast he fell asleep. Almost like it was a trance. He closed his eyes and then suddenly there was darkness. And then that sudden falling feeling again.
[b “Son of a bitch!”] Issac exclaimed, sitting up in his bed. It took him a second to orient himself, but once he did, he saw that yes, he was in fact in his room again. And looking at the clock it was almost time to get ready for work... Which was good, now he could see Irina without having to censor himself in front of Belladonna... But this also came with its own sets of problems. He had very different feelings right now than he did last night, and HOLY CRAP was he SORE! He groans to himself as he pulls himself out of bed and in to the shower. Once he was done, he dragged himself out, wiped the mirror, and... Wait, what?
His lip was still split and bruised from last night... Did they share the same injuries as their warrior bodies? Did that mean Irina would have her cuts and bruises as well... Oh boy, this wasn't going to be fun or easy to explain when the fighting got amped up.
Once Issac was done inspecting his body , he quickly dresses himself, and as instructed by Irina on the Battleworld, he put on a red dress shirt. He quickly goes on his way to work, thinking heavily on what had transpired last night and how they were going to deal with it if it affected them in the real world.
A stalker? Irina followed Issac’s gaze toward the alley. It was pretty clear what had happened, more or less. She should have felt something more. All she felt was the relief that he was no longer a threat, but where was the remorse? Or anything like grief? Issac had just killed a man, but that didn’t really bother her, she was just glad he was alright.
Belladonna seemed pretty impressed that he’d taken down another Order member, but before she could give him any sort of praise he’d put his arm over her shoulder and she wanted to throttle him. It would be so easy to just tear into his side. He wouldn’t stand a chance, not once she poisoned him. She grit her teeth and clenched her fist.
Irina wasn’t bothered, not in that way. Her cheeks felt a little warm and her heart was aflutter. She tried to pay more attention to the little device in his hand. It looked sort of like a cell phone, minus everything but the screen. How weird, but there was a [i map]. [#a31200 “Oh wow. That’s an amazing find. That sounds good, and we can take a closer look at the map.”]
Belladonna sighed irritably, but still sounded pretty happy despite her annoyance,[+purple “Cool, you found one that isn’t broken. That’ll be a help. It’ll be easier to do stuff tomorrow. It’s pretty late and a lot of normal people are asleep, and they’re the people we want right now.”]
Irina gave Issac a smile that was a little shy,[#a31200 “We got food, too. Apparently we still need to eat like this.”]
Belladonna was looking around, away from Issac. It was easier to resist clawing his guts out that way,[+purple “Yeah. Somewhere here should be good. The sooner we’re under some cover the better. Most people out right now are going to be like us. Here.”]
The first storage facility Belladonna spotted she went for. She slipped away from Issac and went ahead. The place was still in pretty good shape, probably only recently abandoned. A few windows were busted, and there were names and messages painted on the walls and doors. Belladonna tried a door, which was still locked. No one had busted it open,[+purple “We better find another way in. Maybe try some windows. Otherwise it’ll be pretty obvious [i someone] broke in and is sleeping here. Just asking to get our throats slit that way.”]
With that she followed her own suggestion and found an already broken window. It was easy enough to reach in through the broken glass and unlock the window, then crank it open. It swung open, the top tipping in and the bottom swinging out, but didn’t leave a huge opening in either the top or bottom. It was a big window though, so Belladonna leaned in and put her food inside, then climbed in through the narrow opening at the bottom. She was pretty thin, so it was awkward but possible. [+purple “Come on, Iri.”]
Irina’s turn next. Irina looked at Issac and smiled,[#a31200 “Here it goes, hope I don’t get stuck.”]
Irina passed her bag to Belladonna then climbed in. Irina wasn’t as tiny as Belladonna, she had more in the way of curves. It was a tight fit, but she squeezed through with just a little scratch on her arm from a jagged edge she hadn’t been paying attention to while trying to squish herself through. Once she was in she looked at Issac,[#a31200 “Your turn. But I think you might get stuck. Want me to open a door?”]
Almost running right in to the two, Issac freezes. It was a very... strange feeling being surprised by two Chaos people, even if they were technically now on the same team. He couldn't help the fight or [i fight] feeling in his chest or how his heart rate increased. He huffs out a breath and bends over, grabbing his knees. [b “You guys scared the crap out of me.”] He mostly said to himself, but looks up when inquired about his lip. He frowns a little bit at that but Belladonna beat him to the punch.
[b “It was, uh, Order. Could sense Chaos over long distances and had apparently been stalking you guys for a bit. He's...”] Issac glances in Irina's direction and then back at the alleyway. He just killed someone and didn't feel much. He chocked it up to Order doing stuff to their mind, but what would Irina think about him now? It was a war after all, but that didn't really mean much did it? Issac was never a violent person, but here he was, had his first fight earlier tonight and no his first kill. [b “Not going to be a problem anymore. He wanted to ambush you guys with me.”]
He felt like he was forgetting something, but Belladonna was right, they needed to get out of here before any attention was drawn, but where? And that's when it struck him. [b “Oh, right, so.”] He wraps his arms around both of their shoulders and begins walking them in the opposite direction before speaking again. He knew Belladonna would want to rip him apart, because he wanted to do the same, but this was the best and quickest way to get them away from the scene and so he could talk to them at the same time. [b I found this... Device.”] He flicks it in to his hand and a map shows up again. [b “I think if we can figure out how to use this technology it'll be hugely useful to us. A few streets down there's an industrial sector of the city, and there will no doubt be abandoned warehouses or storage facilities we can hole up in. I think right this second finding somewhere to hang our hats takes priority. Tomorrow we can go along with our plan. Any objections or better ideas?”]
Belladonna took the lead down the street. She figured backtracking a bit would be better than pushing forward farther into this Alder guy’s turf. She thought being reasonably close to the train stop wouldn’t be a terrible idea, since it could make for a quick getaway if they needed to. But too close might make it too easy to track them down. So many choices, she had to pick a side street to go down soon.
She kept walking slowly until she heard something. It sounded like something hitting the ground somewhere ahead of them. Had to be one of the alleys or side streets since the main street was pretty clear.
Irina heard it too, and the two silently exchanged a look. It could be nothing, but being cautious was smart. They needed to check, so they approached slowly. Belladonna peeked down the first street she saw. It was all clear, no sign of anything odd. They were about to continued to check the next one when Issac stepped out from it and onto the street. Irina let go of Belladonna’s hand and walked over at a quick pace,[#a31200 “What happened? Your lip…”]
Irina reached for his face, worried he might be hurt worse than she could see, but Belladonna came up behind her and put a hand on her shoulder, making her hesitate and then lower her hand. Belladonna looked him up and down,[+purple “Looks like you had fun while we were gone. I take it you took care of it? Order or Chaos? If it’s done we better go before more ‘friends’ show up.”]
Belladonna was also looking behind him, like she was worried whoever it was might still be lurking around. She was on edge in a way Irina just wasn’t, some of that was Issac’s presence. Seeing him made her just want to fight, while Irina was obviously not having that reaction to Issac.
They came to blows again, and this guy wasn't anything to sneeze at. In his day to day life he must've been used to fighting and if it wasn't for Issac's sort of... 'Intuitive combat aptitude' power, he would've been man handled by this guy. So far he didn't let the knife touch him, but its come close a few times already. However, the hardest part of this seemed to be trying to call forth the killer instinct to deal with this guy, and he could tell the man was having the same difficulties. This felt more like sparring than it did a fight to the death.
“You know we can take the two of them.” The man says when there's a lull in the fight. The two circle around each other like sharks, peering in to each others eyes and waiting for a moment of weakness. Issac's stance adapted to the fight and he already felt like he knew what to do. It was only a matter of time before Issac would take this guy down. They circle again and something like recognition dawns on the mans face. “They're controlling you, aren't they?”
[b “They aren't.”] He tells him. Absurd.
“That's exactly what someone who was being controlled would say!” And he breaks off in to a sprint towards Issac. He holds his position to defend, but at the very last second, the man jumps over Issac's head and to the edge of the roof. He turns to look at Issac. “I'll break the spell, don't worry!” And he leaps to the next roof.
[i Shit!] And Issac sprints, leaping over the edge as well, landing on the next and slightly lower roof in a roll. The guy jumps to the next and so does Issac, this time hes able to gain on him, and quickly jumps and tackles the man at leg level. They both go down in a tangle of limbs, but his opponent recovers quicker, kicking Issac in the face as he got to his feet. It disorientated him and split his lip, but he quickly gets to his feet as well, watching as the man makes another break for the edge of the roof.
On the wall was a piece of pipe and Issac rips it off, charging it with his power, and just as the man jumped, he threw it like a spear. The man was midair but he heard the loud [i snap!] of his spine and watched as he plummeted out of view. Issac quickly runs over to the edge, glancing in to the alley below to see the man face down and spread eagle on the ground, blood beginning to pool around him. And what a strange feeling he now had... well, not exactly. More like the absence of feelings. Looking over the edge at the corpse did just about as much as looking at a bug he just stepped on. Except he felt a sense of vindication about slaying someone threatening his team... Despite the kind of backwards feelings he got when he thought about them being Chaos. He shakes his head. What a day.
He descends down carefully and cautiously approaches the motionless body. He takes a knee beside the man and presses two fingers to his neck. Yup; didn't get any deader than that. He then began patting him down and searching his pockets. He didn't have a wallet or anything, as one would imagine in this situation, but it was worth checking. He had the long knife from earlier on him, some strange small metal shapes, and what appeared to be a cell phone sized translucent piece of glass with light metal filigree at each edge. He taps it speculatively and the screen moves like water before displaying what appeared to be a map.
[b “Good find.”] Issac says to himself before he scrolls it a little more to see more of the streets. They'd have to familiarize themselves with this; knowing the area would be a great advantage to them. Not to mention now they could use this to find somewhere to rest. He pockets the strange map and conceals the knife before stepping out on to the street again.
He made sure to remain vigilant since they were near both Chaos and Order territories, and his little rooftop battle probably would garner some attention. It was probably best they got out of here or they did whatever it was that they wanted to do quicker.
Irina turned her head to watch Issac leave, until she lost sight of him. She understood why it would be better for him to stay out of sight until they were sure it was safe, she didn’t like him being out of sight. She would rather be sure with her own eyes that he was alright.
Belladonna gave her hand a squeeze,[+purple “Come on, we’ll just take a quick look. Maybe get some food, too. Need to make sure this isn’t actually that guy’s turf.”]
Irina nodded and let Belladonna take the lead down the street. It wasn’t too busy, but this was one of the main streets of the area. A few restaurants were still open, and Belladonna led them into one a little farther down the street. This one was nearly empty.
Belladonna went up to the counter and leaned against it, she acted nonchalant and asked in a casual way,[+purple “So, you look like a guy who knows stuff. Tell me what’s going on around here, who’s in charge?”]
The man behind the counter was balding and nervous looking. Belladonna was smiling slightly, but there was a coldness in her eyes. He looked to Irina briefly, seeing her standing close to Belladonna. His gaze lingered on the cut on her arm long enough for Belladonna to shift closer impatiently. The movement got his attention again and he stammered out sounding confused,”I-in charge?”
Belladonna sighed and looked at her nails like she was examining a manicure,[+purple “Yes, in charge. Who do you pay your protection money to? Can you guess who we are? Answer, or your protection money isn’t going to be worth shit.”]
He didn’t need three guesses to figure out who the two women were. Their attitude and maybe some survival instinct told him. He wiped his hands on his apron, clearly a bundle of nerves. He wanted them out of his shop as soon as possible,”His name is Alder. I… I’m not sure where he is. He’s new. His people come and I pay, that’s all I know. I paid yesterday.”
Belladonna rolled her eyes,[+purple “Not a lot of help, but it’ll do. At least make us some food, make it fast. Enough for three. Then we’re gone.”]
Irina was looking at Belladonna. Once the man had hurried back into the kitchen Irina asked Belladonna quietly,[#a31200 “Food? We can’t pay.”]
Belladonna put an arm around Irina with a grin,[+purple “Yep, but he’ll give it to us anyway. Listen, I’m worried this Alder guy might be [i that] guy, so we should keep a low profile tonight and find a different spot tomorrow night.”]
Irina nodded, not entirely sure about taking the food, but she had no better ideas herself. Belladonna had been here longer, even if it wasn’t much longer. Belladonna started to raid the cooler with bottled drinks, and after picking out about half a dozen reached behind the counter for a bag and dumped them in. She handed the bag off to Irina. Irina took a peek into the bag, but stopped when the man came back.
He had several boxes of food that he put into a bag in a hurry. Irina took a look at the menu while he dumped utensils in. Looked like this place mostly served noodles of some kind. Hopefully it wasn’t too weird. While Belladonna took the food Irina tried to smile in a more friendly way,[#a31200 “Thank you.”]
The man mad a shooing motion with his hands. Irina thought he looked kind of scared,”I don’t want trouble.”
It was pretty clear he didn’t want them around. Belladonna took Irina’s hand and headed out of the restaurant,[+purple “Awesome. This is a start. Let’s find a good place to hunker down safely. Iri, you sure we don’t want to ditch your Order buddy?”]
Belladonna nudged Irina in a friendly way, playing it off like she was joking. Irina gave her a half smile,[#a31200 “Not a chance. We should meet up with him.”]
[+purple “Soon. Yeah. Not yet, we should scout out a bit more.”]
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