A/N: Here we are. Chapter 8. I'm feeling too lazy to type any author thank-you's, so here's one big THANK YOU ALL FOR REVIEWING! There. Saves time and space. XD
"Otto?" Skinner could hardly believe his ears. He had come rushing to the Nautilus, sword in hand, only to be met with the news that Otto – the very same Otto that Tom had found in the alley weeping over his dead sister… the very same Otto that had found Cabrilyn's parents – was a werewolf. He stood there listening to Mina and Jekyll's explanation, Cabrilyn's sword still grasped rather awkwardly in his hand – Skinner was no swordsman that was evident. After the initial shock of his discovery had worn off, he was finally able to piece together a sentence from his jumbled thoughts, "Where did he go?"
Mina, Jekyll and Nemo exchanged glances that said the same thing: I don't know.
The gentleman thief looked at his three comrades and sighed, "I suppose this is the part where we split up and start searching, isn't it?"
The werewolf looked at Tom, its mouth beginning to slaver. It was hungry… the gun seemed only an afterthought to him, if it was on his mind at all. He saw the young American not as a danger, but as a meal… Meanwhile, Milo McRiley still sat huddled in a dark corner, an odd mixture of fear and anger and insanity bombarding his mind.
Tom was just about to pull the trigger when he met the monster's eyes again… they looked so familiar… That minute pause was all that the werewolf needed. He lunged, violently tearing the rifle from Sawyer's grip, making to sink his teeth into the American's neck when a sharp, white-hot pain seared through his side. The beast reeled around, forgetting Tom all together. At first the werewolf was baffled… his sense of smell told him there was someone there, but his eyes told him otherwise.
Skinner gingerly set Cabrilyn's sword on the floor, and as quietly as he could, crept over to Tom, hoping he would reach the American before the American reached his rifle. Unfortunately for him, the werewolf trusted its nose more than its eyes, and Tom had already located the now beat-up Winchester.
In a single moment, three things happened – Hyde came barreling into the apartment, pushing past Tom and driving the werewolf out the window. Tom misfired, missing both Skinner and McRiley by mere inches. And Skinner stumbled back, slicing his bare foot open on Cabrilyn's sword – the very sword he'd used to stab the werewolf.
"Holy!" Skinner shouted, followed by a wave of cursing.
"Skinner? What are you doing here?" Tom demanded.
Gingerly, the gentleman thief hopped over to the small rickety cot the served as McRiley's bed, still cursing under his breath. "I'm here to stop you from shooting the damn thing," he fumed. The sounds of Hyde and the werewolf struggling echoed in the distance.
"Stop… wha… why?" Tom could hardly believe that Skinner would come rushing in here in the defense of a werewolf.
"Because," the gentleman thief replied, "that beast out there is Otto." Tom didn't respond – he was dumbfounded to say the least. Otto? A werewolf? "Sawyer," Skinner winced, seizing Tom's attention. "Give me a hand, would you?" He paused and waited for tom to realize that he was injured, but then Skinner remembered there was no way Tom could see he was injured. "I think I've cut my foot."
After retrieving his rifle and Cabrilyn's sword from the floor, Tom helped Skinner off of the cot and the pair lest through what at one time resembled a doorway.
Unbeknownst to them, during this entire ordeal, Milo McRiley had finally lost his sanity, and, with the passion of a madman, he swore that he would exact his revenge on the beast… he swore that he would tame it.
The dawn swept through the sky like a wildfire, staining the clouds all shades of red and orange. In a small, cramped alley between the apartment buildings, amongst various upturned trashcans, Henry Jekyll emerged. He had claw marks on his chest, and he was covered in sweat. Behind him, the trashcans rattled and rolled away to reveal Otto crawling out from their midst. He was favoring his left shoulder, and Mina's bats hat left scratches on his face. His wrists and ankles were bruised from fighting the shackles.
The youth looked up at the doctor, his green eyes wide. "Doctor, I didn't… hurt… anyone… did I?"
Jekyll shook his head weakly. "No," he replied, there was a hint of relief in his voice. "And neither did I." He helped Otto to his feet. "Quite a pair, aren't we?" Jekyll commented. Otto smiled and nodded. "Come on, let's get you back so I can fix you up."
Otto raised an eyebrow. "It looks like we both could use some fixing up."
"So when were you all planning to tell me that Otto was the werewolf?" Tom fumed.
Jekyll did not so much as look up from his rather difficult task of mending Skinner's foot. The gentleman thief winced and inhaled sharply.
"Doctor," Tom said, demanding attention.
The doctor shrugged. "How would you have reacted?" Tom didn't respond, so Jekyll continued. "You were so bent on killing it…"
The words escaped Tom's mouth before he could stop them, "For crying out loud! It's a murdering monster!"
It was then that Jekyll looked up, meeting Tom square in the eyes, "Just as I am a murdering monster? Would you have been so quick to kill me?"
Tom wasn't sure how to respond. Would he?
Jekyll went back to his work, and Skinner stifled another wince, desperate to stay out of this conversation.
After a moment of thought, Tom plodded out of the room. He needed to go for a walk. Jekyll's words pounded in his head. He exited the Gray Manor and headed for the docks. He just stood there, staring at his own reflection in the water. What was wrong with him? He'd been so rash lately. A lone raindrop fell, distorting Tom's reflection for a brief moment before it was lost completely in the sudden downpour. With a sigh, Tom turned to go back to the house when something caught his eye – a person was standing at the corner of the building.
Mortie knew she'd been spotted. Tom was already making his way over to her, and she decided it would be best if she stayed put. "Hello Mr. Sawyer," she said casually.
"Hello, Miss Olin," Tom replied, matching her tone. He was resigned to the fact that she wouldn't stop calling him 'Mr. Sawyer' no matter how much he asked. "What brings you to our door?"
"And, what business is it of yours?" Mortie replied coolly.
Tom arched a brow. "Playing twenty questions?" He asked with a small grin. Mortie felt her cheeks flush, and she grinned back in spite of herself.
"Perhaps," she replied coyly. She couldn't believe herself. She was flirting with him! This conversation needed to end… now. "If you'll excuse me, Mr. Sawyer…" she began, turning to leave.
"Leaving so soon?"
At the sound of the voice, Tom visibly cringed. Dorian was back.
"Don't be rude, Agent Sawyer," Dorian said smugly. "Introduce me to your friend."
Skinner hobbled up the stairs on a set of makeshift crutches, his right foot heavily bandaged. He just needed to go to bed. Cabrilyn was at the top of the stairs, having heard someone coming. "Which one are you?" She asked.
"Which one am I?" Skinner responded dryly. "I'm the poor misfortunate one that always ends up maimed in some way shape or form." He sighed. "I really need to stop rushing into things."
"What happened?" Cabrilyn asked, holding out her hand, trying to locate the invisible man. She felt the slick leather of the collar his coat, and she put her hand in his shoulder. In truth, Skinner was a little embarrassed to tell her what happened. "Well?" She prodded.
The gentleman thief gimped into his room, Cabrilyn following, still wanting an answer. "Promise you won't laugh?"
"I… stepped on your sword."
Cabrilyn looked incredulous. "You stepped on my sword?"
"Yes, and why don't you say it a little louder next time?" Skinner spat. He plopped down on the edge of his bed, nursing his foot. It had not been a good evening for him. Cabrilyn felt her way to the edge of the bed and sat down next to Skinner.
"Rough night?" She asked gently.
Skinner sighed. "You don't know the half of it."
A/N: Another chapter under wraps… and things are just getting interesting.