Fools Rush In
A/N: I know this is short, but a) I wanted to update and b) it fit like this. :)Fools rush in
The Man who walked out of juvenile hall, or at least the workhouse portion of it, had nothing in common anymore with the boy that had been thrown in so many years before. The young boy had died, along the way and from the ashes arose Rick, a tall man with long arms and legs, carrying the potential for violence with him, like a cloak. Long hours in the workhouse had built strength and endurance, and left him with the promise of a truly imposing physique.
The volatile atmosphere in there had also honed his fighting and survival skills. The inmates were constantly feuding and you either fought back or lay down and died. RB had fought, scrabbling and clawing his way to a reputation that made all but the most stupid think twice about challenging him.
And he intended to use those skills to their full extent and revenge the girl he had known as Half-pint. He had never forgotten the look of absolute terror on her face when she realised she would be taken back to what she had run away from.
Rick had heard things in the workhouse about their oh so virtuous governor. He liked kids. A LOT. Too much. And his daughter had held a special place in his heart the servants said.
Rick had been too late to save Half-pint, that moment had come and gone ten years before, but he would do his damn best to avenge her and kill every son of a bitch that had been involved, starting with her father.~*~
Six weeks after he had first walked out of juvie, Rick was no closer to his objective than he had been the moment he first stepped foot into freedom.
Security was tight around the governor and no ex-street rat would ever be able to get a job in the compound, not when there were so many more ‘deserving and well-connected’ young men to choose instead of him.
It was endlessly frustrating to him and twice already all that emotion had boiled up and led to brawls with the palace guards on two occasions and a six-day stay in goal to cool his heels. If that happened a third time he would be looking at one to three for violating public peace.
Apparently the high-pitched screams that could be heard from the governor’s palace every night didn’t constitute a disturbance of the peace.
“Humanity makes me sick.” he muttered to himself, as he once more stared at the palace doors, from his vantage point of the inn on the other side of the square.
“Oh the folly of youth.” The crusty voice seemed to come from right beside him and he spun in surprise. At the table behind him sat a hairless, toothless old geezer with only one eye. One eye that twinkled with more than a little amused condescension. Rick pointedly turned his back.
“You’re looking’ mighty hard at them guards. Much like a dog’d look at a bitch in heat.”
Rick gritted his teeth, determined not to give into the urge to turn around and shove the geezer’s walking stick down his dried up crusty old throat.
“Is it that you’re sly, boy? Damn shame, strappin’ lad liken yourself. Girls must be three-deep at yer feet an you with a hankerin’ for nice men in uniform.” The cackling laugh rpoved too much for Rick and he turned with a snarl, best ‘don’t fuck with me face’ in place.
“Watch it old man.”
“Or you’ll what?” The twinkle was gone and all of a sudden the old man didn’t look quite so old or harmless as before. The look in his eyes chilled Rick to the bone. It was slightly crazed and filled with fury. Rick wasn’t a stupid man. And so he simply turned away without a word, stood up and left, shouldering his way through the market day crowd and losing himself in the masses.~*~
The nightair was dry and hot, dust heavy on the ground. Rick stood in his usual hiding place just outside the palace walls in a deep well of shadows, listening to the pained wails and pleas that sang out from the east wing and winged their way through the night.
It made him sick. This part of town was mostly commercial, few lived here. And those that did, or whose job took them here at night, watchmen and guards, knew better than to notice anything not in their job description.
A glimmer of movement alerted him to the fact that the guards were changing again. On nights like this, when the governour was indulging himself, they changed more frequently. Maybe they found it difficult to listen to their Lord’s pleasure. Not that it made them do anything about it.
The frequent, unexpected guard changes would make infiltrating this place at night even more difficult than he had anticipated.
“Well, at least we know you’re patient and can hold your temper in check.”
The voice behind him, had Rick jumping a foot in the air, heart pumping double time in his chest. He hadn’t heard anybody approach!
“Not too observant, though and a mite jumpy.”
Turning he saw the old man from the café standing behind him. Except the stick was gone, he seemed to have all his teeth and a patch covered the shattered ruin of his eye.
“What do you want old man?”
“The question shouldn’t be, what do I want, but what do you want?” The man eyed Rick up and down after his cryptic statement.
Rick was confused. Who was this guy? He didn’t know why, but his instincts told him to be honest.
“I want to go in there and kill the governor with my bare hands.”
If he thought this statement would shock the other man, he was sorely mistaken. His counterpart merely nodded.
“Commendable aim. How?”
Rick gaped at him, that was the last response he had been expecting.
“Was gonna join the guards, but they don’t take none right out of juvie. Days is too busy. Was now seein’ if there’n be a way in at night.”
“Hmm, using your brain.” The man frowned into the distance. “You’ll do. I’ll teach you.”
“Teach me what?” Rick scoffed.
The man smirked and then from one second to the other was simply gone.
Rick glanced around in consternation, only to freeze as cold metal appeared at his neck, raising him on his toes as the blade bit into his neck, raising drops of blood to glide along the slick edge.
“How to be a fucking ghost.”