Vex and Ghastly followed him into the Sanctuary and all the way to Mist's office. He went to knock but froze. Just talking to her was fine, but this was a sudden major jump...Dexter grabbed his wrist and banged his hand against the door for him. "Ow!"
"Come in, Grand Mage." She was laughing a little as she spoke. Very slightly, but he was pretty certain it was there. He pushed the door open, one hand steadying himself on his cane, the other in his pocket trying to hide the velvet box and the spider broach from view. She arched an eyebrow at the sight of Vex and Bespoke behind him. "Elder Bespoke, when did you-"
"We have things to discuss, it-"
"Not just yet...the Grand Mage has something he must ask you..."
Ravel turned to glare at his friend. "If I'm going to do this, I'm not having you two breathing down my necks to tease me every step of the way."
"This is a dream come true, Erskine. I'm staying." Vex replied sharply.
A small crowd began to gather behind them. Ghastly turned to Vex and whispered 'it's more romantic in public'.
Rolling his eyes, Erskine walked further in and managed to get down on one knee before her, presenting her with the little box. Suspiciously, she gently forced it from his fingers and he kept his head down, refusing to meet her eyes or let her see the embarrassment invading his features. He heard her remove the broach and place it none too lightly on the desk. She dropped the ribbon on his head. It tickled the back of his neck but he didn't move. She opened the little velvet box and smiled beneath her veil. "This is it then? Today is the day you ask that question?" There was a moment's silence and he raised his head with a sheepish grin. "Do it properly then." She handed him back the box and crossed her legs, waiting. There was an actual chorus of 'oooh's from the people watching from the door.
He wetted his lips nervously. This would just be pure embarrassment, he knew it, but he smiled and slowly edged the ring onto her ring finger. "Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
She lifted her hand to examine the ring more closely. "I would love to." She said simply. He smiled, a little unsure thanks to her tone of voice, and struggled back to his feet. The crowd gathered by the door began to cheer and whistle.
"You know the sad thing about it all? I quite liked Benedict. We had a child together...not that he ever knew..."
B-J sighed and Arachne changed the subject. "How's Czechoslovakia?"
"The Czech Republic, and I'm not there anymore. My transport needs to recover being worked to exhaustion."
"Exhaustion? To the point of collapsing or...?"
"Not very clever of you to trust that young man, B-J."
She heaved another sigh. The phone line crackled. "You're lecturing me on what's clever?"
"I know...but trust me, I have my orders, and even though they don't think I will, I'm going to follow them."
"Good luck with that. You've lost a lot of support."
"I'm relying in you getting that thing from the Czech Republic. Get back there ASAP and start searching, okay?"
"Yeah, understood..." She was about to say something else when Arachne gave a fearful squeak.
"I gotta go. Someone's coming."
Arachne stuffed her phone under the bed, pulled out the least suspicious book she owned and lay back, pretending to read. A man walked in, a soft smile playing across his face. "Hi, Ara."
"Arachne." She corrected, putting the book down. "What do you want?"
"Mevolent wants to see all the generals and sub-generals...and unfortunately you're the only sub-general left..."
"I've noticed. Thanks to Esra's betrayal and the unfortunate deaths of all the others, our numbers certainly are...depleted. Any idea what this is about?"
"Fair enough." She got up and barged the man on her way past. He made an indignant squeak and followed her out.
Quite frankly Arachne was terrified. Something was telling her she was in trouble...and then she remembered the symbols she had carved in Serpine's room and came to the conclusion that he had been injured by them. To her dismay, she found she was correct. He certainly looked worse for wear...thankfully she had had no idea how the symbols would affect him and so her shocked reaction was genuine.
"Arachne." Mevolent began, making her jump and turn. She had been engrossed in Serpine's injuries. "Thank you for joining us."
Garnet was feeling a lot better. More than ready to tunnel back to the Czech Republic. Naturally he was pretending to be feeling a lot worse than he really was. After all, he had plans, and it wasn't like he was the same pervy kid he was when B-J knew him. Heck, if he was he probably would have already made some move on her or touched her somewhere she really wouldn't want him to touch her. He hadn't made an advance on any girl he had fancied for at least thirty years, probably more. He was a very different person now. He had people to kill before he could help B-J kill her enemies. His kills took precedence. And more so he had not seen Mortis and Jayden for fifteen years or so, and they were his best friends...wow, he thought, I'm one lousy, lonely jerk-off...He swung himself off the table he was sitting on and walked to the nearest bathroom. Vex and Twist were out. He had scribbled over a wall with a marker pen he had found trying to act as a paper weight and then covered it by pushing a wardrobe to the bit of the wall affected, watched television for a couple of hours and was now walking around in the fading light waiting for a power cut to end. He was trying to avoid the other residents of the house. He didn't like them. The only ones he had met were B-J, the vampire and Rachel, but he still didn't like the other two or those three...well, two of those three were quite pretty...He shrugged and opened a window, leaning out as far as he could without being in danger of losing his balance.
Ursa grinned, darting to the side and catching Harrison by surprise by throwing a cushion at him. He then darted to the Australian man's side and kicked his legs out from underneath him. Harrison spun to the ground with a cry and tried to grab Ursa's legs with his own in a scissor movement, but the other man was far faster than anything Harrison had ever encountered before. Further more, he had no idea what his magic discipline was, and so he was a foe to consider rather warily. He snapped out his palm hoping to hit a pressure point but all too quickly the man was out of reach and disappearing into the kitchen. Why he wanted Van Dreg dead was beyond Harrison as he scrambled up to follow the man through. He burst into the kitchen as Borealis slammed the heel of his palm into Kat's forehead, seemingly effectively knocking her out. Hibernia pushed at the air from behind but he managed to move around it and elbow her in the solar plexus. She doubled over gasping and Borealis reached into his sleeve, only to be charged by Scaramouch. He was quickly launched off by the newcomer's legs. The flabby mage collided with the cupboards and slunk to the floor with a groan. Ursa was reaching into his sleeve again as he walked towards Van Dreg, only for Harrison's arm to wrap round his throat. He didn't seem fazed as he pulled a rather thin, sharp, long dagger from his voluminous sleeve. Kat screeched, throwing herself at him and whacking her elbow against his ear over and over. Growling, Hibernia joined the fray, grabbing the arm holding the weapon and kicking his shins. Scaramouch picked himself up and began delivering punches to Borealis' stomach. The man tried to break from the multitude of grips he was caught in. He was stronger than Hibernia and kept almost loosening his arm with the knife. He caught his foot not being kicked by the blonde around Scaramouch's ankle and pulled, making him fall forwards. The whole group juddered and he felt his knife slip into someone's skin...
He parted the curtains a little and looked out. No doubt within him that tension was high. He trusted the tension around. He trusted it meant something was coming. Something bad. Something possibly unstoppable. He could feel it. He wasn't known for his feelings, but he often didn't tell anyone about them. It was probably something to do with how long he had hung around Darkside.
Edsel the janitor cleared his throat. He was sat sandwiched between Mirth and the possible relative of Binding on Heatwave's leather sofa. He was in dirty slacks that seemed to be rubbing off on the material. "We're here because...?"
Memphis sighed. "I guess we're definite non-fighters. I didn't ask for you specifically, just the non-fighters if Mevolent should return, which is a distinct possibility. I have a notion that there's someone in the Sanctuary not on our side. I'm ruling out all of us and at the same time I have something to ask of all of you."
"I'm not doing your dirty work." Binding's possible brother stated darkly.
"I'm not asking you to. I'm not asking you to do anything for me other than live. No way to escape this, because they're coming back...I think there's a difference can be made by us, only not in the fight."
"This makes no sense." Melantha whispered to Edsel, who nodded. Memphis smiled patiently.
"It will when the time comes, honest."
B-J sighed and lay back on her bed. It wasn't fair. She was stuck here fighting to stop the Faceless Ones returning...why? Why was she? Was it because of Erskine? Because of her deal with Arachne? Was she loyal to them or to her Gods?
The thing was, despite being more morally inclined, she was a strong believer in the Faceless Ones. For this long she had been going with the so-called good guys and why? Because they were her friends? Because she had a silly crush on the Grand Mage? Suddenly she felt stupid. The phone that wasn't hers was in her grip. It belonged to some mortal girl that Garnet had known or something. Her thumb hovered over it, itching to call her dad and tell him it had all been false and she wanted to come back. Then an idea struck her. Arachne was looking for this weapon to use against Mevolent and the Faceless. If B-J found the object, she could use some help and make a fake, present the fake to Arachne and keep the real one for herself. Of course the others here had no wish to see the Faceless Ones return, so she would possibly tell them that she was giving the fake to Mevolent to lull him into a false sense of security or whatever and keeping the real one for the so-called good guys. Yes, that sounded like a good plan.
((Right, Rist might die down a bit now, no idea what the hell I'm doing with Memphis and just realised I had been playing B-J a little OOC considering she is a FO supporter and stuff...fixed that now though...plus I just remembered the symbols Arachne put in Serpine's room. Long-forgotten details=this chapter.))