Happy New Year everyone!

The story is finished and I will post the rest of it very soon!


Sometimes Bad Guys...

Eliot cursed as he ran, one leg smarting and the other throbbing.

He hated this.

Dammit, hated this.

Leaving Moreau was something he had to do-something that was a long time coming, and he took his sweet time getting there-but this was one of the roughest patches he's ever lived. Turning freelance after being Damien Moreau's right hand man wasn't exactly smiled upon.

He was-he thought-far enough away from Moreau and his biggest factions when he tried to take a job. But that job just happened to be a set up of one of Moreau's biggest supporters. Supporters who weren't exactly fond of him.

But he'd gotten a lucky break.

Halfway through the chase, the thugs that really should have been able to catch up to him heard a crash from a few floors above, and took off for it, thinking Eliot had gone that way. For whatever reason, luck or God was back on Eliot's side, and he didn't bother asking why and took the miracle.

Eliot ran down the hallway of the basement, finding what he was looking for; a heavy metal door that led to the street. Eliot staggered, feeling the pain in his thigh scream at him, but he couldn't stop to catalogue the lucky punches and kicks that the-now dead-men who'd been sent to kill him had gotten in.

But as footsteps pounded on some upper level of the building, Eliot felt the fear tighten his chest because he can't run forever and he kicked on the door.

Cool Amsterdam wind tore through his long hair, and he pulled himself out into the dark.

He hesitated there, back against the cold metal of the door, breathing hard.

He shut his eyes.


Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they caught him.

He was so tired of running. From his old home life, from the bloodstained one he just left, from himself. Maybe there wasn't even enough left of him-the good him-to even bother looking for.


But a shout from a window tore his eyes open.


The shout came from one of the men who'd been chasing him. Eliot looked up to see against the moonlight, the man chasing him leaned out a window. But as Eliot looked, he saw a black clad form of another figure against the fourth story window, held up by a rope and a harness. With surprise, Eliot realized two things at once: this was a thief, who'd chosen this unlucky time as his time to break into the place. And whatever the thief had done had drawn the thugs away from him, stealing their attention.

"Cut the line!"

Not a moment later, the flash of moonlight off a blade preceded a whisper of the cut, and the rope severed, sending the thief falling through the air. Eliot watched in shock as he hit the ground hard, a dozen yards ahead of him.

"Get him, go!"

The three thugs left the window and most likely started for the stairs.

Eliot turned instinctively to run, but a whisper of the conscience he didn't even remember he still had tugged him toward the thief.

The thief didn't move from where he fell; he must be unconscious or dead. If he was unconscious, though…

Eliot had a pretty good idea of what those thugs would do to him.

Eliot froze in that half a moment, caught in conflict.

But finally, he turned toward the thief, running across the dark asphalt. The man saved him, whether or not the man knew he did. And Eliot's chase through the building ruined his heist. Eliot didn't have to run through the building; it was just the best option. And it might have killed this man.

And I left Moreau to wash the blood off my hands.

More and more and more.

Eliot shook himself, approaching the thief cautiously. But he didn't move. Knowing he had little time before the thugs made it here, Eliot bent at his side. "Hey," said Eliot gruffly. He cautiously put a hand on the thief's shoulder, noting with surprise that this was a very small man. Perhaps a teenager?

But when he turned him carefully, Eliot's breath caught.

It was no man.

It was a young woman.

Blond hair spilled out of a hood that fell back. Her face screamed of youth. He wouldn't have been surprised if she wasn't even twenty.

Eliot's chest caught.

Shit, please don't be dead.

Eliot reached two fingers to her neck, feeling with a heavy heart.

But a steady pulse beat back at him.

She was alive.

Thank god.

The pressure of his clock beat in his own chest, and Eliot looked over his shoulder, but the thugs hadn't made it out of the building yet. He looked back to the woman-girl. "Hey, darlin," he whispered. He wanted so badly to shake her awake, make sure she was really all right, but with a three-story fall? Anything could be broken.

Though it's chance moving her now, or let the thugs find her.

And Eliot may not have heard his conscience in quite a while, but it was screaming now.

"All right," said Eliot gruffly, giving a silent apology to his throbbing injuries. "I don't know if you can hear me, darlin," he said carefully, reaching his other hand very cautiously toward her knees. "I'm gonna pick you up. I'm not gonna hurt you." There was no response, and Eliot wasn't sure if he was happy about that. So, just as slowly, he reached one arm around her back and the other around her knees. He slowly and carefully lifted her, hoping she didn't have a spinal break that would kill her if he moved her wrong. But it's move now or leave her to the thugs.

Eliot bit down on his fear for the girl-who had no place on the side of this building, making him wonder just what got someone with a baby face like that into this kind of business-and he lifted her.

He was half afraid she'd wake when he did, but she didn't. The blond hair spilled over his arm. Eliot held her tightly, standing back up. He bit back a groan as her weight pressed and angered his broken ribs. Eliot staggered a little on his injured leg.

"Get the door open, now!"
Eliot whipped his head behind him. That shout came from a thug from inside the building. Inside, but not far.

Eliot ran.

It wasn't the first time he'd had to run with a passenger, as he'd spent far too many nights in a warlit neighborhood helping carry injured civilians to safety. So it wasn't as if it were new, but it wasn't his favorite thing to do. Especially not with broken ribs and whatever the hell was wrong with his leg.

Eliot ran down the first alleyway he found, hearing the door to the building crash open, and escaped into the blackness of night.

The only cape he wore willingly.

Being in the heart of Amsterdam was a blessing and a curse.

A blessing, for there were plenty of connecting alleyways and dark patches to shroud his run that it was easy to get lost in the maze, and lose the thugs behind him.

But a curse, for even if he lost them, he was still majorly lost himself.

Eliot ran until his chest burned and his breath was too labored to keep silent. He stopped down one of the thousands of alleyways, slowly lowering the thief to the ground to catch his own breath. He slid down the wall unceremoniously, groaning as whatever was wrong with his leg decided it didn't like that movement.

It was too dark and too dangerous to spend time here finding out what was wrong, so he'd file that question away and deal with it later.

He looked to the girl, who was visible in the sliver of moonlight from overhead. Her eyes were still shut, and she didn't move except for the rhythmic motion of her chest and shoulders, the only show that she was even still alive.

Eliot blinked heavily, rubbing at exhausted eyes. When was the last time he slept? Two days ago? Three? Years since he slept properly. It seemed that with every year he grew older, his nightly sleep cycle grew younger. He couldn't sleep more than four hours a night without being torn awake by a slight sound in the real world or a scream in a nightmare.

He just needed to find a place to hide out for the night. Somewhere safe.

Well, somewhere safer.

Eliot grudgingly and painfully pulled himself back to his feet, stumbling with fatigue. Biting down a curse, he lifted the girl back into his arms. And he started running.

The Eliot he was a year ago, working alongside Moreau, wouldn't have carried this girl. He would have shut down that conscience with a shot to the head. For so long, he'd felt nothing.

And the time since, he felt… something, come back. Or, maybe it didn't come back for him. Maybe he got out to find it.

But for whatever reason, seeing this girl, in this world, bothered him.

It more than bothered him.

It something'd him.

He didn't quite know what that something was.

Maybe he was going soft.

Or maybe she reminded him of the innocence he once had. The same innocence that had no business in this world.

But he shook off the wonderment and decided to show his conscience some mercy.

So he kept running.

And held her just a little tighter.