And then there was pain. And sickness. And all around feeling like crap. A groan escaped as that lone cobalt opened against better judgement just to lay there dead. "W-what the f-**** happened..." A moan to the world at large as he worked to will his noodly arms to function.
She went willingly now, firmly attached and eternally grateful. The other inhabitant, though unseen to her for now, she felt the overwhelming urge to avoid at all costs. Her shining soul followed him back to the physical, a soft warm glow, soothing and comforting, settled into the tiniest corner she could find. There she would curl up and sink deep into the folds.
Her poor little body, now infested with something, writhed, every inch of it staticky with pins and needles. Fresh wounds from the most recent healing attempt knit and repaired slowly but surely. Weak, but gaining strength with each passing moment, she sat up and groaned, her voice deeper than usual. Taking a cursory glance around, blurred shapes swirled. Too soon.
"Where am I?" She rasped to no one in particular?
Mach flopped a few times, a curse escaping as he rolled into the heart kicker syringe still sticking out of his chest. This would be pulled out with much less vigor than he'd hope. Dammit he just felt drained. Drained. Cold. Crappy. Pained. And somehow alive. Damn that Alexia and their meddling! Then again closing up the most egregious wounds before he shoved her away was probably why he was still of the land of the living... if just so. Rolling to his back he totally regretted this as his low volume of blood sloshed, sending his world reeling for a good minute before he was able to focus on fishing out a vial from his belt which he tucked away in sleeve not wanting the fae to handle it. An epogener with included bolus of iron for making blood, to be taken when Lexi wasn't around.
Hearing a voice the man looked over to the curled figure. A voice? Something seemed off about that tone though perhaps the odder thing was the manner. "What?" Asked to the non-stuttering Lexi. Did... did they heal him so hard he broke their stutter!
Images slowly steadied. Those hollow dark brown eyes turned to the barely alive Mach and regarded him with a coldness even a perfect stranger would take issue with. Eyes narrowing, she shifted into a kneel with one knee down and one foot planted on the floor, not quite steady enough to rise. Yet.
"Hey... friend," she tried again to survey the room, taking note of the blood and bodily fluids, bandages, the overall wreck of the immediate vicinity.
"Be a lamb and remind me where we are, would you?" Those rapidly pinking lips parted into a smile that existed only on a paper thin surface.
Resting as he could, the schmooze sort of watched Lexi as they moved, a chill holding to those usually warm yet timid features. This rose alarms in the hunter who was always watching, always taking note of the world around even when playing the fool. This was abnormal and abnormal usually meant trouble. Still, it wasn't like he knew an awful lot about the girl, maybe this was just a thing. She was pointy ear touched after all, they tended to be an eccentric lot.
Moving carefully he rolled onto his side, a thought before his hand slipped behind to support him. "Lamb, eh? Have a little fun and already forget my name?" A woozily cheery smile offered. "We're at your home at the university... I think. Why?" Friendly and dopey, that was Mach as he lounged there looking a few shades of blue.
The word 'fun' called her attention down to her lower half, now clad only in a modest undergarment. One could almost see the wheels turning in her head. A soft chuckle spilled from her lips and her smile leaned into the seductive side.
"Sorry about that... Tiger," Sultry tones poured from her like honey. "You know how it is when things get rough and kinky." She moved a touch closer, trying to get a better look.
It wasn't the best idea, but it was all she could come up with at the moment and she rolled hard with it. Her movements lengthened into a feline like crawl. To the common dupe he pretended to be, it would seem she was just angling for round two instead of trying to locate weapons, advantages and disadvantages, and an exit strategy.
"Oh, you minx." That grin curled wickedly. "We ****ed things up so badly last time, yeah? And you wanna go at it again? s***... guess a fella can only be so lucky going doing something they love. Why not take off the shirt so I can see that bounce, yeah?" He motioned to her chest as she crawled towards him, a lurid look to his eye as he all but licked her down with his gaze.
Whether they took the bait or not it would only require a moments distraction for Mach's hand to snap back around from behind, sidearm in tow and thrust forward towards the center of mass of the slender fae. His gaze turned hard with a quickness as he stared down the woman. "I ain't sure who or what you are, but you ain't Lexi. Hands up, ankles crossed. Make any sudden move and I'll drill you."
His tone was cold, hard, steady. This was the hunter, for as much bluff as he could muster. His caster would have been much better for this sort of thing but he didn't have a spell in him that wouldn't kill him at the moment. Just what the hell happened to Lexi!? Was... was this really a thing or was this an abnormality? His mind raced as he stared down the gangly woman before him.
His ruse had worked. She had in fact pulled back to rest on her haunches and begun lifting the hem of her blouse in that alluring cross-armed style. It seemed like a half decent idea. He was certainly good looking enough. Granted he seemed more metal than man but that never stopped this particular being before.
She hadn't made it far, just enough to expose smooth if not questionably thin midriff. His command had her crawling backward like a cornered animal, a sharp toothed hiss twisting her features.
"A hunter," she all but spat the words. "I might have known." She growled as she once again observed the intense blood spatter among other things on the floor.
As she backed into the space below a quaint little window seat, a cruel smile spread with realization.
"You won't hurt me. The way you say her name? No, it's all bluster. You'd never hurt your precious Lacey." She gave her newly mended legs a test step and found herself slowly rising. She took the opportunity to rip off the small thin curtain and begin to fashion a less eye catching attire than simply bottomless.
Mach kept up that ruse with ease as he used that age old way to lie like a champ, include a hint of truth. Not that broken skeletal girls were his jam or anything but there was enough interest in the girl in the right ways to stretch for believability. Helped that he was generally terrible too.
Hearing that title come from the woman in a hiss as they retracted gave him pause. So they knew that term and used it with revile. That told him something even if his brain swam in it's hypoxia. Damnit, keep it together!
He couldn't quite figure out what was going on, didn't have enough in him to piece things together but he did know a bad situation when he saw one and something bad was going on with ‘him and his’ which did not sit well at all. Moving against his warning he watched the woman rise, mocking him as it crafted some modesty. His gaze didn't change as he tensed up in, was that impotent rage?
No, it was stabilization as he pulled the trigger. The first round snapped high and to the right sinking into the wall next to the woman. Adjusting his aim the second would drill them in the right shoulder with 220 grains of full metal jacketed 45 ACP. Not the best round for dropping squishy targets but beggars couldn't be choosers. Besides, he knew she could heal and had health potion on board but that didn't mean he wanted to grievously mame her! For all he knew Lexi was still in there begging for him to stop!
This was all a gamble and one he played seriously as he centered that semiautomatic again. "I said don't move. You know how hunters are, we care for nothing but our prey. Now. Hands up, down on knees, ankles crossed or I'll drop you." He called it as his expression hardened, his muscles tensed as he held that gun level and true selling the threat.
The first shot into the wall made her start, invoking rage as her eyes widened. But before she had a chance to become indignant, the next shot blew her shoulder back like it was hit with a battering ram. A terrible shriek from deep within, almost primal. Her good hand flew to the wound as she sank slowly to the floor.
"Bastard!" Her voice guttural and venomous. "Alright! Alright!!" Frustrated, she relented, shifting carefully to cross her ankles, only the one good hand rose.
Holding that deathly glare the man raced through his options. Damnit, he hadn't thought this far! He knew he needed to stop them but then what? It wasn't like he was in any shape to really apprehend them and he couldn't do any magic to try and fix this somehow. Damnit! Maybe it would have been better to let them get all up in the Mach popsicle before he drew the gun so at least they'd have been in his arms already! Then again he wasn't really sure even he could be such a bastard as to assault the girls body even for her own good. Seemed there were lines the man didn't cross even if he denied such.
Moving cautiously he broke the top off the epogener vial, the contents sucked back without taking his eyes off the woman. Steam escaped his lips as the potion took hold and he slowly moved to rise to his knees, hand stabilizing him as he went though that gun would remain thrust forward.
He held onto that glowered threat, his bluff of control as he found his knees, free hand now moving to fish out a pair of cuffs which he tossed over, a mental curse as he wobbled when he did this. "Put those on, behind your back." His jaw flexed as he bit down hard, fighting gravity as it stole precious blood from his brain giving him an ashen appearance. "Hurry up!" A snap and an internal plea.
A single eyebrow quirked, slow and high. The bloodied shoulder was given a deliberate look before turning those barren eyes onto the pair of cuffs on the ground, then back to the hunter, a slow, cruel smirk pulling at one corner of her mouth.
"And how do you propose I do that, Tiger?" Saccharine dripped from her words. Still keeping the demanded posture, she pulled her lower lip in to tease and torture with pearly white teeth. Meager as it was, her chest still held plenty of appeal when she pressed it forward, letting what remained of her top, and any waning modesty, slip down.
"Come on, now, handsome. There's gotta be something we can work out?" A throaty, salacious chuckle worked its way through.
"I'm not all that bad... unless you want me to be..." It wasn't as though she actually expected any of that to work, but really, would anyone blame her for trying? Anyone besides the innocent counterpart lodged in his existence, that is.
"No?" Soft lower lip jutted out in a tempting pout and long feathery lashes bat a few times. Soon enough, the act would drop and an almost bored expression took its place.
"Fine. Your loss. But, really..." She cocked her head toward the blasted shoulder.
He growled threateningly as the stranger teased him, making him really second guess his strike zone. Oh who was he kidding, the man had certainly made considerations and could tell there was a beauty under and that gangly ragamuffin. Didn't change the fact that it was very uncomfortable being tempted with such by what was most probably not Alexia. Like, yes, but, like, very no! That lone colbalt did roam a bit pissing on the skeleton of his 'good' conscious though it never lulled far from the target at hand.
Damn, they made a decent point though he knew they did it just to get him close. He knew he didn't look like he could put up much of a fight and honestly a paper bag could probably stave him off in his condition. s***. s***!
"Bad on command, huh? Right. My loss but that ain't yours to give, yeah?" A prod testing out what theory his mush brain had concocted. Maybe this was possession in which case where the hell was Alexia!?
Making a few considerations he'd begin to scoot over. "Turn around, lie down, ass up, arms to your sides, palms to the sky."
That foreign seductive smile returned as she slowly lowered her arm, the other still hanging, immobile.
"Change your mind, did you?" A delicately pink tongue slipped out to moisten her lips. His expression didn't let her keep up her tease for long. She laughed snidely as she moved to follow his new instructions, which proved difficult using only one hand already slick with blood from her wound.
"Oh, don't be such a sour pus, I'm playing nice, see?" Her back to him now, she lowered herself deliberately slow.
"Har, har, get on the floor." He'd watch as the woman slowly lowered themselves to the floor, half expecting them to 'accidentally' lose the makeshift skirt and modest undergarments beneath simply to try and tempt him more. No, this most certainly wasn't a different 'side' to the fae or else he was sure he'd have heard about it in the circles he traveled. So the only option was possession which meant he'd have to capture the body and drive out whatever had taken residence. Considering a moment he pulled out another vial from his belt, the contents thrown back quickly as the woman settled onto the floor.
He'd shudder, his heart pounding as the potion took hold whipping his body to push forward even as it burned through what little energy he had left. Shuffling the rest of the way over he'd plant the barrel of the gun into the back of the woman's head, the cuffs snagged before he grabbed to shackle the useless arm first.
As her injured arm was grabbed, she hissed in pain.
"Easy!" She growled, turning just enough to glare back at him. "You really gonna shoot poor Lizzie's brains out?" She snarked at him,
He leaned in, that injured arm wrenched uncomfortably as he bore that gun barrel into the back of her head painfully. "Would I? Yes. In my profession it's the kind thing to do in these situations. And the name’s Lexi." The words an angry growl spit into her ear as he made his point. It was stupid letting them get under his skin but then Mach wasn't really up to thinking straight. Pushing back up he wobbled a little as that pistol was drawn back and shoved into it's holster so he could grab the woman's other hand to feed to the cuffs.
Another grunt of pain tore from her lips. It easily turned into a humorless chuckle as he corrected her. Call it a small victory regardless of whether misnaming the poor little fae was on purpose or not. Angry words forced into her ear pulled an involuntary shudder and moan and she almost pouted when he pulled away, turning again as the pressure to the back of her skull was relieved.
In that flash of a moment, her demeanor shifted. No longer taunting and crude, but calculating. She didn't know that the reason her shoulder had almost immediately knit back together after dramatically soaking what little shreds of clothing remained was majority in thanks to the capsule the hunter had shoved down the halflings throat earlier, and she didn't care. But she would make full use of that nifty little piece of information.
Dropping the feigned immobility, she wrenched out of his grasp to put both palms on the floor and push up with full force. She waited for her head to connect with his face just enough to stun him, not enough to further damage this shiny new vessel, and scrambled up and out the nearest door.
It was a rookie mistake as he focused on the prize and not the situation. Then again his brain was mush and his body whipped dry so he had to be given a pass, right? He saw the one hand pull away and grabbed for it only giving the other a chance to do the same... and then he saw stars. He cursed as the world spun, his mind reeling for much longer than it should have. Damnit, move!
Stumbling to his feet he started after the woman drunkenly, everything heaving and yawing by his perception. He'd hit the door frame which spun him, throwing his world into disarray, everything just falling apart. "D-Damnit! G-Get b-back here you-!" Everything went sideways and suddenly black as his head struck hard cobbles robbing him of consciousness on the drying puddle of blood where he'd been found.
In that lithe, dainty little frame, she slipped away easily, laughing as she did.
"Don't worry, I'll take real good care of sweet little Lexi for you, Tiger!" Her taunt echoed and bounced off of trees and backs of university buildings. She was gone.
(Written with the talented Alexia Longbow