|Hare and Hatter
Author: GRINtelligencer PM
Because Break is Mad Hatter and Liam is March Hare. Which made it all inevitable in the end. AUish. Liam-centric.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Drama - Reim L. & Xerxes B. - Chapters: 47 - Words: 65,120 - Reviews: 263 - Favs: 147 - Follows: 155 - Updated: 04-07-13 - Published: 01-18-10 - id: 5678417
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hare and Hatter
Once more I'm late. I apologize. Real life has a habit of stealing a person away.
"What?" Mister Gregory looked shocked and Liam didn't blame him in the slightest. One enemy would have been bad, but three were disastrous.
"Contractors, possibly illegal ones or Baskervilles," he said briskly, shoving his glasses back onto his nose, "Headed this way."
That made Mister Gregory wince. "Would should we do?" There was the thin thread of panic in his voice.
"Come over here." Liam said immediately as he blinked to get his vision back to normal -why did that take so long here? "Help me get Break up."
Between the two of them they managed to drag the still unconscious Break to his feet, draping his arms over their shoulders they were even able to keep him there.
"How good a fighter are you?" Liam asked Mister Gregory in a low voice. He wasn't sure how fast the contractors were traveling, he didn't want to risk the chance that they would be in earshot.
"Not good enough to take on three at once." he admitted, also dropping his voice.
"Then we find cover." Liam said firmly, since he had no intention of taking on three potential Baskerville. "Look around, is there a cave or something?"
They both went silent for several tense moments, scanning the rock around them, looking anything that would get them out of sight. There was nothing but bare rock, there weren't even shadows deep enough to take cover in.
"Let's just move," Mister Gregory whispered. "Maybe we can get out of their path."
Liam nodded in leu of saying something, the voice of Hare was whispering, soft and insistent, "Danger. Danger. Danger. They are coming."
The direction the picked was one to the side of the direction the contractors had been going in, hopefully that would mean they would pass them by by a wide margin but since the crater was a jumble of rocks it was likely that the contractors would find one way blocked and have to backtrack to continue. Their own way slowed by the same problem, they had to carefully pick their way through the rocks, there were many gaps that they couldn't take, burdened with Break as they were.
But what really worried Liam was that all during this time Break didn't stir in the slightest, even when Mister Gregory tripped on a rock and almost dropped him. They needed to get him to a doctor, this was neither normal nor healthy.
"Look over there, sir!" Mister Gregory's urgent whisper jerked Liam's attention back to the present. He looked where the field agent was pointing and he felt hope rise at the sight of a crevice in the rock that appeared like it might be wide enough to conceal all three of them.
The only problem was that it was still quite far away, it would take them at least twenty strides to get to it and they might not have that long. Liam glanced over his shoulder and though he couldn't see anyone following Hare was chattering away in the back of his mind with fear.
"We need to get under cover." Liam said urgently and something about his expression must have conveyed the urgency he felt because Mister Gregory went pale.
"Hold on." the other man said and reached over Break's shoulders to grab the back of Liam's coat. The surroundings blurred into streaks as Liam felt a sharp tug on his coat as something definitely happened.
He was positive of this fact mostly because his face was now pressed very firmly into a wall of rock that wasn't there before. Or, he realized as he tilted his head so he could turn it to the side, they weren't where they were before. Instead they were in the crevice that, moments ago, had been too far away to reach.
Carefully Liam eased Break to the ground, making sure neither his arms or legs were sticking out of their hiding spot. Once he'd managed this he shot Mister Gregory a look that demanded explanation. The other man touched the middle of his chest where Liam knew his contract mirror would hang if he was wearing it around his neck and shrugged.
While Liam knew that Mister Gregory was a contractor he wasn't aware what power his Chain had, though he had heard that it was the Sheep. Usually he tried to keep track of what contractors had what Chains and what they did -since he could easily access this information- but sometimes he would be too busy to look a particular Chain up, as in this case. It was a shame he didn't dare speak, he would have loved to ask Mister Gregory about the exact nature of his Chain's power, if it was dimensional bending or simple acceleration.
Either way, he was very glad they had made it to cover, it made the voice of Hare calm somewhat. He turned and sat with his back to the crevice wall so he could see if anything came by. The opening was low, they would have had to kneel to get in if they'd walked, but Liam was glad of that because that reduced the likelihood of them being seen. On the other side of Break Mister Gregory also sat, drawing up his legs so they wouldn't stick out into the open.
Seeing him looking Mister Gregory mimed taking off glasses but Liam shook his head, he couldn't afford to be blinded when the contractors were close. Mister Gregory looked curious and might have tried to mime something else but they were both distracted by the sound of rocks being dislodged nearby.
That made both of them freeze, especially when it was followed by what was clearly footsteps. Liam kept his eyes on the low lip of the crevice, waiting for a glimpse of the illegal contractors.
The first thing he saw the massive paws of a lion as it passed right of where they hid. A hand, from their perspective seemly dangling in midair, came with it, along with the edge of a red cloak. Was that someone sprawled across the back of the lion? And why a red- Baskerville!
He pressed his back against the rear wall and held his breath.
Two feet, human ones, followed the lions. From the size and the ribbons on the shoes Liam guessed they belonged to a woman, probably no more than a girl. Just above them hung the hem of another red cloak.
"Lily, there's no one here." the voice came from farther away and seemed too old to belong to those shoes. "You must have sensed wrong."
"But they were right here!" this was definitely the owner of the ribboned shoes speaking and her voice had a pout in it. "I know I sensed contractors."
"This place is so all over, you might have been mistaken."
"I was so sure…" there was a hint of uncertainty in the closer Baskerville's voice.
There was the sound of footsteps coming closer and pair of woman's shoes joined the girl's. "It's alright, Lily. It was just a little mistake. Now why don't we get back, Zwei is bleeding all over Leon."
The, "Mkay," was a little watery, as if the speaker was tearing up.
"Come on." The woman apparently led the girl away because both sets of shoes left view and the lion's paws soon followed.
The voices of the two women and their footsteps faded away after that but both of them didn't move from their hiding places for some time after that. Then, without even discussing it with each other, they each grabbed one of Break's arms and dragged him out of the crevice. They headed toward the edge of the crater as fast as they could go.
Three Baskervilles. There had been three Baskervilles. Liam was going to demand explanations from Break as soon as the man woke because there had to be something going on here to lead that many Baskervilles to this place. In fact, he might just do that before he strangled him for being such a pain.
They met the group returning with the stretcher not much later, who were baffled when they saw them dragging Break, looking disheveled and harried. Liam gave an condensed version of what had happened and it was generally agreed that they were lucky to have gotten away without having to fight the Baskervilles. There was some discussion about sending a few Pandora agents to search for them but it was agreed that that was too dangerous because of the unstable nature of the crater.
That Break's health was also a concern was something that everyone knew but no one wanted to mention out loud.
One agent asked about Lord Zai, who apparently hadn't been seen after he went ahead of their group previously. Both Liam and Mister Gregory admitted they hadn't and this inspired frowns all around. A important Lord missing was not a good thing for them, especially since he went missing on their watch.
But no one wanted to venture into the crater to look for him with Baskervilles on the loose. In the end they all returned to the orphanage, met with the rest of the group, and the majority of them got on the train to the Pandora Headquarters with only a few left behind to look for Lord Zai when it was judged to be safer.
Liam ended up in the train car with Break's stretcher, which they shared alone. He spent that long trip back watching Break's face for faintest hint that he was regaining consciousness. The flicker of an eyelid, the twitch of a finger, anything.
But there was nothing.
Except the whispering of Hare in the back of his mind.
"Master… master… why…"