Glare
Katherine Hana Li spin_kick_snap
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Baltimore, Thursday Evening, Right Before Sunset
Things that really plucked Kathy's last nerve: 1) turning around and seeing a giant mountain of luggage behind her at the gym when she was perfectly well-adjusted, thank you, and 2) turning around and seeing a trail of mooks trussed like the Thanksgiving turkey behind her on patrol the night before when she was perfectly capable of handling herself, thank you. Never mind that she hadn't noticed at least three of them on her tail--in fact, that just made it even more annoying You know what made someone feel even more resentful? Knowing that she should be feeling grateful instead. Ugh! Not that she had any idea who this 'mysterious benefactor' was--the brief glimpses she'd caught of him showed that he was too tall to be Eliot and too compact to be Mr. Hardison. Which meant that Eliot had farmed this...this...this baby-sitting job off on someone else, because he couldn't be bothered.

So, yeah. She'd gone to sleep fulminating over that and woke up with a duffel bag at the foot of her bed that said Never going to be good enough and you know what? Kathy was just done. The baggage had only gotten worse throughout the day until Kathy had shoved her gi into a backpack and lit out for Baltimore after lunch. Anything to be away from that stupid island for the rest of the day. And, hey, maybe that would make it a lot ha.rder for her obnoxious shadow to find her, too.

Honestly, could today get any worse?

[For them that know who they are, please! NFB]

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Eliot had spent his own day trying to cram a very, very large number of small handbags and clutches into closets. Along with an army-issue duffel bag marked "father issues" and an extremely heavy teddy-bear backpack he outright refused to look too closely at.

Honestly, the trunk labeled "Kathy" that showed up in his office at the school had practically been a relief.

Even more of a relief, though, was finally getting word from Hardison that the Butcher had made it to town. Thanks to Shelley's intel -- the man had apparently been all over this city -- he now had that narrowed down to a neighborhood. He managed to keep his stalking around like a serial killer to a minimum as he moved through the streets, but people still cleared out of his way as he went. Probably some sort of horrible glint in his eye or something.

But, well. This was one bag he would not regret adding to his pile.

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)

"...Oh, no, it's his eyes that scare me! I swear, he just looked right through me! I'm telling you, Helen, he had serial killer eyes."

Kathy was standing at the crosswalk, waiting for the light to change, trying not to eavesdrop on the gossiping women behind her. But the phrase 'serial killer eyes' had her head snapping up, looking around to see if she could spot the guy they'd been talking about. In all likelihood, they were probably talking about some poor teen, minding his own damn business, but Kathy wasn't so preoccupied with sulking that she'd forgotten there was an actual serial killer coming to Baltimore with a vendetta against her alter-ego.

Even looking, she might not have spotted him if his cellphone hadn't started ringing at that exact minute. "Dammit, Spencer!" she snapped, trying to glare a hole through Eliot's chest.

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Eliot's head jerked in surprise at the sound -- he'd gone a little tunnel vision there, he'd have to watch out for that -- and he glared back even as he answered his phone.

"Yeah, Shelley. I see her. Thanks." He hung up before Shelley could get chatty, glanced over to make sure there wasn't any traffic headed for him, and started across the street towards Kathy, unconcerned with any laws against jaywalking. "Are you freaking kidding me?" he hissed, trying to keep his voice down. The last thing he needed was someone deciding he was harassing an innocent teenage girl.

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Which, you know, he totally was. She had every right to be here, and she was telling him so with perfect posture and arms folded tightly across her chest.

Go ahead, Spencer. Grab her and try to drag her off and tie her to a chair. She dared you.

Helen and the other women practically fled, with the chatty one stage whispering, "See? I told you so! Serial killer eyes!" while Kathy stood her ground, tapping her foot.

"What do you want?" she demanded once Eliot had joined her on the far sidewalk. "Did my other baby-sitter have to cancel?"

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)

"What part of 'professional killer' wasn't clear to you?" Eliot asked, voice dangerously low. He stepped just past her, scanning up and down the block. "Do you want to die?"

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)

"I wasn't aware the Bu--" Kathy stopped herself, eyes scanning the crowd. "--that our friend was in the habit of attacking random Asian high schoolers. Or did you not notice how less-than-colorful I am right now?"

Granted, her gi was in the bag slung over her shoulder, but right now she looked like one of any number of normal girls going about their normal, non-superhero business in the streets of Baltimore.

Didn't she?

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)

"Oh, right, your impenetrable disguise." Eliot rolled his eyes and started down the street again, constantly scanning. Kathy had just made his night several thousand times more difficult. Why couldn't she just let him fix this for her?! "That's definitely fool-proof. What was I thinking."

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)

"Probably something along the lines of 'Oh, there's Kathy, let me go remind her that I think she's stupid and irresponsible and that she should give up this cute little hobby of hers and let the grownups handle this'," she said, tone biting. "Sound about right?"

Kathy, the narration is begging you to be less seventeen. Please.

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Eliot actually paused at that. "I never said any of those things!"

Well, not in those words, anyway.

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)

"Yeah. Right. Sure, you didn't," Kathy said, rolling her eyes. She knew that with every word she was just proving him right, but she just couldn't seem to stop. "You looked at me and you told me that you didn't have any faith in me at all and it doesn't matter what words you used, that's exactly what you meant! The one adult I thought actually believed in me--" She stopped, lips thinning, and swallowed back the rest of her retort. "I am not getting into this with you. I'm sure you have somewhere very important to be and heaven forbid I take up any more of your precious time with my childish antics."

Besides, there was some guy watching them argue and it was getting super-creepy.

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Eliot just looked at her, baffled. That was what her huffiness had been about? "Kathy, there is a man trying to --"

"Spencer!" He was a hulking older man, with a good foot on Eliot, and a nasty mass of burn scars on his right cheek. And he was now walking extremely purposefully in their direction.

"Move," Eliot said, turning to face the man and reaching back to push Kathy towards the nearby alley. "Go up. Butcher doesn't use guns, but he's probably not here alone."

"Spencer!" the man shouted, moving faster now. Well, at least he wasn't shouting about killing them in the middle of the street.

Edited at 2015-11-19 08:06 am (UTC)

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)

"That's him?" Kathy asked, trying to get a good look at the man who had caused all this trouble. Not just to gawk, but because she needed to know what the guy after her looked like.

Those burns on the side of his face looked like they had a story to them. As did the way the Butcher had zeroed in on Eliot and the terrible expression on his face. Kathy didn't think the Butcher had even noticed her, never mind figured out who she was. Not when he was busy bellowing Eliot's name and looking like he wanted to play soccer with Eliot's head.

"He's definitely brought some friends along," she told him, craning her head still further. "I'm counting five--no, at least six. I recognize some of them, too." The heaviest of heavy hitters among the mafia here in Baltimore. Banzai had tangled with most of them at least once. Three of them were supposed to be in jail at this very minute.

Looked like Eliot was right about prison not holding the Butcher for very long.

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)

"All the more reason to move," Eliot said again, backing up himself, always keeping his eyes on the Butcher, always keeping himself between him and Kathy. As they reached the mouth of the alley, the Butcher sped up, pulling a cleaver out from under his jacket.

Because what else would a guy called 'the Butcher' carry around for a weapon? Eliot hated fighting cleaver people.

He didn't have another second to spare to make sure Kathy actually started retreating. "This time, I will kill you," the Butcher growled, and raised his cleaver high and charged at Eliot. Eliot danced back just far enough to avoid getting his nose sliced off, grabbed the Butcher by the bicep, and redirected him straight into the wall.

spin_kick_snap

2015-11-19 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)

No time for subtlety; Kathy had leapt up onto the third level of a fire escape and peeked over the edge, watching the brawl in the alley. She almost cheered when Eliot steered the Butcher into the wall--he hit so hard he practically bounced off of it.

Was--was that it? Could Eliot really have taken him down so quickly? For a split second, Kathy dared to hope...

vdistinctive

2015-11-19 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)

If that was all it would take, Eliot wouldn't have spent the last week and a half quietly freaking out.

The Butcher rebounded off the wall with barely a more than a few staggering steps. Eliot bounced back, keeping on his toes, and grabbed the nearest usefully shaped object he could find: a plastic trashcan lid.

Not the most useful, but it was handy when the Butcher came at him again, a knife in both hands now, and hacked down at him with his cleaver. Eliot brought the trashcan lid up to parry, and the cleaver nearly split it in two before getting jammed against the thick, curved plastic.

A few of the Butcher's men hung back by the mouth of the alley, hesitating. Unsure if this was a battle the man preferred to fight on his own or not.

Edited at 2015-11-19 08:33 am (UTC)

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