DiabloCat: Ha ha! I still live! And I'm currently on a wonderful two week holiday! Ah, so blissful. And since I no longer have to worry about handing in a dozen assignments, I figured I should do a little writing. I even rented out LXG again, so the characters are nice and fresh in my mind. The following story is relatively pointless. It's just some amusing banter.
I present to you:
"Are you bleeding badly?"
"Hell, I dunno," ground Skinner through gritted teeth. "I'm bloody invisible!"
"You should at least be able to tell if you're bleeding or not," Mina snapped.
"I can tell," he snapped right back. "I just don't know how much!"
"Well, at least tell me where you are bleeding. And Tom, will you stop hovering over my shoulder!"
Tom crouched back guiltily. "Sorry. It's just…is it bad?" he asked anxiously.
The look on the vampire's face softened slightly. Tom had a rather useless ability to fret over things he couldn't really control in the first place. It was almost cute. Almost. "Well, I can't quite tell, as Skinner happens to be invisible…"
"That's what I said," muttered the thief.
"…and he seems incapable of judging how bad the wound is himself."
"Hey, listen lady; it ain't as easy as it sounds."
Mina sighed wearily. "Just tell me where you are injured."
"Ugh…the mongrel got me through the shoulder."
"Hmm," Mina mused. "I'd say the bullet went right through, or we'd no doubt see it."
"Is that good?" asked Skinner.
"Oh yeah," said Tom, nodding emphatically. "Do you have any idea how much it hurts to get a bullet pulled out?"
"Speaking from experience?"
"Right through the leg," said the American, miming the passage with his hand. "Hurt like hell."
"Great," the invisible man groaned, slumping back. He jerked upwards with a yelp as Mina began bandaging his shoulder. "Argh! Could you poke any harder?"
"I could poke a lot harder," she answered snippily. "And if I poked any less hard, you would bleed to death."
Skinner considered this for a moment. "Poke away."
Tom decided to try and get his friend's mind off the pain. "So, what went wrong?"
"Just about everything. Firstly, there were – oww – more than we expected. Heaps more, all armed with big – mmph – guns. Cranky bastards too."
"So how'd they find you?"
Skinner's tone changed slightly, though to what, Tom wasn't sure. "I dunno…I guess they musta known about us somehow–"
"Wait a second – known about us? How could they know about us?"
"Tom, we're the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen! We're bloody famous. And you'd be amazed how fast info passes on the streets. It's like – BLOODY HELL!"
"All done," Mina said mildly.
"Didja have to give it that one last tug?" Skinner managed to grind out.
"If I wanted it to stay on, yes."
The thief gingerly moved his shoulder, wincing as it throbbed. But, all in all, it hurt a whole lot less than it had. "Thanks."
"Any time. Though I would advise ducking next time."
"I tried. Believe me, I tried."
"If he'd tried any less, you'd be bandaging his head," Tom commented wryly.
"Forget bandaging, you'd be digging a hole," said Skinner, propping himself up on his good elbow.
"What makes you think we would dig you a hole?" Mina said, deftly packing away her medical kit. "There is plenty of ocean. We would merely need to go off a little way, give you a nudge…"
"You wouldn't – would you?" Skinner sounded somewhat doubtful. He sighed. "Then again, I guess I can't really put anything past you lot."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" Tom exclaimed indignantly. His only reply was a quiet snicker.
The American scowled, and decided to change the subject before the thief could make any more cracks. "But Skinner, even if they'd known about you, you're not exactly the easiest guy to find. You managed to vanish on a ship where everyone knew about you."
"Yeah, well, it's a pretty big ship."
Mina turned to stare at where she assumed the invisible man's head was. "Skinner, you are avoiding the question." Her voice hardened. "What happened?"
"Uh, you see…" The bandage shifted uncomfortably in midair. "I sorta…sorta…"
Tom's patience ran out. "Sort of what?"
"I sneezed, okay!" Skinner snapped. "I was wetter'n the Nautilus cos of the rain, I was naked in the wind, and I was freezing! Just cos I'm invisible doesn't mean I don't get cold. I sneezed. There, you happy?"
There was a brief silence.
"You sneezed?" Mina repeated, sounding somewhat amused.
"That's what I said, didn't I? I sneezed; the bastards turned around, put two and two together, and started shooting at me. Bolted for the exit, nearly bowled over another guard and had to duck to avoid being worm food. Or fish food, from what Mina said."
"I heard the shots," said Tom, nodding. "Didn't hear a sneeze though."
"I'm glad you heard the shots in any case. Wasn't good enough to just put a hole in my arm, no. They had to keep chasing me too."
"You're just lucky you reached me before they reached you. Besides, what were you expecting? That they'd just shoot you and let you run off?"
"Woulda been nice," grumbled Skinner. Scuffling sounds and the movement of the bandage indicated his rise to his feet. "I don't suppose someone could chuck me a coat? I'm still freezing."
Tom laughed, whisking his coat off and throwing it to the thief, who slung it one in one, smooth movement, seemingly unhampered by his wounded shoulder. Said shoulder wriggled slightly, accompanied by a sharp hiss.
"Be careful," warned Mina. "Though, while I would not advise lifting heavy weights with that shoulder, a few small exercises would help get it back into shape sooner."
"Yeah, I know. I 'ave been shot before, you know."
"During a 'job', no doubt," said Mina, raising one eyebrow enquiringly.
"Right on mark. Got a little too confident, didn't case the place first."
"Case?" asked Tom, looking confused.
"Check it out. Entries, exits, guards – that sort of thing. Thought my invisibility would be enough. Learnt the hard way that just cos they can't see you don't mean they can't hit you." The coat shrugged. "But I lived, and I learnt."
"As you will do this time," remarked Mina.
"Well, as much as I can anyway. Don't know how I can really stop something like this. Hankies and umbrellas floating in midair is a bit of a giveaway."
"If I were you, I'd just stay out of the rain as much as you can," Tom said, clapping Skinner on his good shoulder. "Now come on – we've got to meet Nemo and Jekyll for the report."
"And you can explain to them why the enemy is now aware of our involvement." There was a touch of wicked humour in Mina's voice.
"Aw, give me a break. They already guessed we were here or they wouldn't've got me!" protested Skinner.
"Yes, but now they know for certain." Mina smiled menacingly, then turned and swept out the door.
Tom patted the thief sympathetically, and followed her. Skinner stared mournfully after them.
"God, sometimes I hate you lot," he muttered. With a resigned sigh, the invisible man tugged the coat shut tighter and strolled out after his team mates.
DiabloCat: Hey, it's not too bad either. I've done much worse than that. Hope you enjoyed it. Reviews, as always, are more than welcome.