Attempted rape in this chapter. Swearing.
The wound in her gut wasn’t life threatening, but it was pretty damn close. She staggered, coughed and kept on moving, despite the fact that the flannel shirt she had been using as a makeshift bandage had long ago soaked through with her blood.
Who knew that the owners were going to come back? Right when she had her hand on their precious safe too, headphones fully inserted into her ears and Nine Inch Nails blaring straight into her nervous system.
Faith grimaced, pulling away the flannel and twisting it so that it came away somewhat drier this time. She pressed it back against the wound, took a long breath- conscious to keep oxygenated even as it felt like everything inside her was being ripped apart and continued walking.
She was losing blood, too fast, way too fast but it’d be a cold day in hell before she asked one of them
Faith stumbled, gasping as the blood began flowing more freely. Goddammit, this was one of the times where she hated having her ability.
What use was her metal ability when she had a hole in her gut and no money to take her home, to her brother, to heal her. Usually she'd have been able to pickpocket easily, but in her current state- people were just as likely to call the cops on her as try and help.
She heard the scream before she could get too bogged down in self-recriminations.
Faith couldn’t straighten up fully, but she lifted her head, narrowing her eyes as she tried to peer into the alley across the street.
She could now hear a girl’s voice, pleading desperately, whimpering with pain and over the noise of the unknown girl’s pain- Faith could hear a man’s sneering tone, low and leering and thick with dirt.
She shook her head. It didn’t matter, what was happening. Not in this
neighborhood, with the girls standing on every second corner and the sketchy strip club open at all hours of the night. It wasn’t her job to get in the middle of a fight between a girl and what probably her pimp, so she didn’t.
Faith began walking again, gingerly putting one foot on top of the other, making good distance between herself and what was none of her business until she heard it again- this time, accompanied by the sound of a hard smack and a thump of what was probably the girl’s head hitting the brick wall of the building.
“Stop,” the girl wheezed and Faith cursed her hearing. If she was normal, then she wouldn’t be hearing this. She didn't want
to be hearing this.
,” the girl’s words were slurred, like she was having a hard time getting her tongue around the blood in her mouth- or maybe Faith was just projecting.
She stood. Unsure of what to do, bleeding from her own wound and wishing with everything she had that she had taken the other route home.
And then she heard it over the sounds of struggle, like a quick flash of clarity- illuminated just for her. The sound of a zipper being opened, and the girl’s low horrified moans of distress.
no,” Faith shut her eyes, knowing full well what she was about to do and turned back.
She lifted her hand away from her stomach, watching the blood drop to the cement in an idly detached way that signaled she had about two hours of consciousness left and she had better use those two hours well.
Faith bared her teeth and picked up speed. She would make sure
When she turned into the alley, she felt nausea bubble up even more- coming to the tip of her tongue at what she was seeing.
The asshole had tied the girl’s hands behind her back with his belt and had stuffed something, Faith didn’t want to think about what it was, in her mouth so she wouldn’t scream. He was big, a burly trucker type wearing a dark puffy vest low enough that she couldn’t see his naked ass. His jeans were hanging around his thighs and Faith would have laughed if she didn’t want to throw up quite so badly.
“Hey,” she cocked her head, stepping into the alley with both her arms raised. “Is this a private party? Or can anyone join in?”
The girl’s eyes bulged and the sounds that she was making sounded like moaning. Faith knew from hard experience that she was screaming as loud as she could behind the gag.
“What’s it to ya?” the trucker sneered, piggy eyes bloodshot from liquor.
Faith could smell the cheap booze on him from where she stood, a rancid combination of alcohol, meat and sweat, all with the salty under-tinge of his arousal.
“Just seems like it’s a shame,” Faith shrugged, easing closer towards where the girl was struggling against her bindings, “letting such an exciting party go by without joining it.”
out, with that same sense of otherness
that told her that her brother was close and felt it, the metal around them. She was leaking iron, she could feel the hemoglobin molecules within her blood and that made it harder- infinitely more stressful and still, she licked her lips and reached with her senses.
The garbage cans, clustered towards the end of the alley, closer to the door of the third rate Italian place where the drunks came to eat their greasy hangover food after leaving the strip club. The thin ping of discarded bottlecaps closer to them and the infinitely longer and reedier twang of the pile of fence posts at the very end of the alley, closer to the chainlink fence that she could have ripped out on a good day, but with a stab wound- all she could do was longingly trace each of the links with her mind, feeling them rattle soothingly beneath her touch.
“You one of them freaks?” the trucker spat at the girl and she flinched away from him, closer to Faith. “You like her
?” he geared up for another hock and Faith made her move.
,” she snapped, launching her body over the girl’s just in case it didn’t work
and she failed and then she wrenched
, feeling the head-splitting agony of the movement as one of the metal posts rose from the deep end of the alley, levitating gingerly. She caught the trucker’s zipper as he whirled around, distracted by the noise and by the time he realized that she was covering the girl as best as she could and roared in rage, his zipper was already torn out of his jeans like a thin line of metal teeth, whizzing towards his dick with the deadly accuracy of a missile silo.
“Fuck!” he screamed, hunching over himself and his bloody stump as Faith worked feverishly at the belt, trying to untie the girl’s hands from behind her.
“Mmmm!” she moaned through the rag and Faith swore, before reaching into her mouth and plucking the saliva soaked cloth from where the asshole had stuffed it almost down her throat.
The girl made gagging noises as Faith took her arm out, spitting with her head low.
“Don’t you dare throw up on me,” Faith warned her, working as fast as she could at the belt, vision swimming with grey at the edges.
“Ugh,” she girl finally spat out, narrowing dark eyes rimmed with tear stained black eyeliner and then she jerked back, hitting her head against the wall as Faith swore, tumbling forward a little with the movement.
“Jesus, warn a girl,” she shook her head, vision swimming.
And the girl whimpered, “get down,” before Faith felt someone yanking her hair back, tugging it painfully around a large fist.
The rancid smell hit her face first and she gagged, throwing up in her mouth a little bit as the murderous face of the trucker loomed over her. “I’m going to fucking kill
you!” he screamed, spittle landing on Faith’s face as she struggled to get away.
She could manipulate metal and she was fast, but at the end of the day- she was wounded and he was huge, a bear of a man in pain and there was no chance of beating him without cheating.
His hand closed around Faith’s neck and he began squeezing, applying ever more pressure.
Dimly, Faith could hear the girl screaming for help and she could feel her trying to dislodge the angry trucker’s hands but it was all fading fast and she knew what she had to do.
She gathered her senses closer, losing herself to the feel of metal, the familiar, soothing tang of it on her tongue and the thrill of it in her blood. She closed off all her senses, until all she could feel was her connection to it, the one connection in her life that trumped almost everything else except…Don’t think
And then Faith pushed
, pushed with everything she had and finally, finally there was sweet air, better than anything she had ever known, flowing into her lungs and she was free and there was a shower of hot warmth dripping down on her.
She opened her eyes. The girl wasn’t screaming, which was surprising, considering what Faith had done
, she was silently wiping the droplets of blood off her face, holding Faith up with both hands as she dragged her away from where the headless body had thumped onto the hard alley cement.
“Come on,” the girl grunted and hefted Faith tighter, making her scream in pain as her injury let itself be known with a vengeance.
The adrenaline of the fight was winding down and the numbing effects on her wound were wearing off.
Faith could feel everything
again, and it fucking sucked.
“We need to get you to a hospital,” the girl murmured, keeping her eyes trained ahead as she helped Faith step over the trucker’s bloodied head where it lay next to the post that had separated it from his body.
“No hospital,” Faith groaned, she clutched at the girl to stop and then heaved, dry spasms of utter pain as her stomach struggled to bring anything up. Finally, she straightened up once more, wincing as she wiped at her face, her hand coming away bloodied.
“Get me to my brother,” she told the girl, hoping that saving her life was worth it, “he’ll fix it.” She swallowed, “he’s like me,” and took a chance, remembering the trucker’s hate filled words, “like us
… He’ll fix it.”
The girl stood silently, studying Faith with an intentness that was way too mature for her years. “Alright…” she finally said and Faith breathed out a sigh of relief. She could feel darkness encroaching on her vision and she hoped to whatever deity was listening out there, that the girl was strong enough to get them both back home.
They began walking back, keeping to the shadows of the darkened street- two girls that had seen too much and knew too much, now united by an unforeseen turn of fate.
The world was swimming and Faith wasn’t sure whether it was real or not, but they were standing in front of her front door- the smaller girl now hefting Faith’s full weight up. She was stronger than she looked, but even so- she was breathing heavily, swaying like she was about drop.
“You gotta knock,” Faith slurred out, “you gotta knock on the door.” She could feel herself swaying forward and she knew that this time, her unforeseen companion wouldn’t be able to catch her.
It swung open at her words, her brother’s frame filling the doorway. He gaped for a second before darting forward to catch her, before Faith could completely hit the ground. He dragged her into the apartment, before gently lowering her to the floor.
His face screwed up in open horror as he took in her state and he cradled her head to him, before asking the girl in the door who wasn’t looking much better herself.
Faith caught the girl’s gaze and minutely shook her head, feeling like she was jumbling her brains even more as she did so.
Thankfully, the girl was quick on the uptake- “we got attacked,” she said, meeting his furious gaze evenly.
“Alright,” he breathed out, worry radiating off him in thick waves. He lifted his head again, “come in, you helped my sister. Close the door,” he told her.
Once the door was closed, the girl slumped against it, sliding to the floor in a boneless heap. She breathed out a long sigh, wiping the sweat off her forehead.
Already, Faith could feel her brother’s power working- her head was feeling better and she could keep her gaze straight, without feeling like she was inside a carnival fun ride. She hadn’t noticed in the dark, but the girl was quite pretty- mocha skinned with long black hair and full lips. Her dress was in tatters, bruises littering her skin and furiously red welts around her wrists.
“What’s your name?” Faith croaked out, huddling closer into her brother’s warmth for comfort.
The girl’s eyes opened and she watched the two of them for a moment before replying “Angel.”
Faith snorted, staring up at her brother who looked just as incredulous as her before starting to join in on her laughter. He kept his hands on her abdomen, warmth spreading through every molecule in her body even as they giggled about the absurdity of their lives.
“Heh,” he finally calmed down enough to shoot Angel a smile, “I guess we’re never going to go without an Angel, are we?”
Faith rolled her eyes, poking at his stomach before turning to Angel who still looked wary, but now was looking a bit confused too.
“Don’t mind the idiot,” she grinned, “I’m Faith-I’d shake your hand, but ya know- I’m not really feeling up to being a good hostess, what with the concussion and the gaping stomach wound.”
Angel smiled back at her, slow and tentative but alive.
And above her, Faith could see her brother’s grin breaking wide- an uncharacteristic show of emotion for him, even this time. “I’m Oz,” he said and Faith raised her eyebrows, making a mental note to tease him later.
It was funny, she thought wryly, watching as Angel ducked her head, a dark flush creeping up her cheekbones- how much things never really changed, even the second time around.