With another flustered flick of her wrist, Robin tucked more of the loose brown strands behind one ear and, despite how much she actually loved her new haircut, the constant lack of control concerning her brown tresses when she was working was becoming problematic at the least.
She had cut the bangs just a little bit too much and they refused to be tamed by her usual hair bands or even the occasional pen or pencil she used to secure her locks when she was working long nights… like tonight.
Although her medical issues and the fact that she was not actually English had, at first, been challenging to her work and studies regarding the Council's growing fascination with genetics and all the enhancements it might just be able to pull off, the voices that had vouched for her, however few, had been loud enough to be heard even among the most influential of the Council.
Hence, she got the nice workroom.
The first attempts to separate the Slayers from other versions of humanity had proven to be far more difficult and complex than any of the first scientists had anticipated and, even with the efforts to enhance studies through sorcery and energy manipulation, it had been too intricate for them. After a thorough several months of conferences and meetings, all of those first projects had been scrapped.
The innate potentials of the regular old Joes, on the other, hand had been looked at again with more carefulness and they had found a whole new world to explore, and years of research already started by regular scientists on the psychic potential of the 'enhanced' human beings had led to a reawakening of their curiosity.
Robin, with the connections that her parents had and her own intelligence, had very quickly risen through the ranks of scientists at the main facility and, while she had many weaknesses in her methods—her level of caring towards one dangerous subject especially—she had proven time and again to be a strength to everything they worked to achieve.
Eying the folder at her side, she reached out, fingering the smooth material of the file gently as she read the name she had written on this particular subject. Swallowing, she wiped at her face, overcome for a moment with her emotions before she got a hold on herself, bracing herself as she flipped it open and studied the papers that she had memorized.
Height, weight, eye color, physical build, medical history, research history, psychological examinations… it was everything, everything from his birth and on, as far back as they could find, all condensed into a few sheets of what, to most eyes, would look like nothing but white paper.
In the silence of the mostly dark workroom, she smoothed fingers across the white sheets, before, unable to take it, her eyes shifted to the small photo clipped to the inside of the folder, the last image they had of him, the one that had been passed to everybody in their almost frightening desperation to track him down.
Plucking the photo out of the clip, she leaned back in her chair, running a thumb pad along the smooth edge of the shot, studying it and drinking in the sight, wondering if he had changed anything and knowing, at the same time, that he had no reason to, not with the stuff that he could pull off with such terrifying ease.
No, he still looked the same, something she knew without a doubt and clearing her throat, roughly pushing back strong emotions and even stronger questions that she almost didn't want answered. Blinking rapidly and half expecting somebody to pop up, wondering why she was moping over the picture of the most dangerous enemy they had…
Yeah, great… quickly replacing the photo, she shoved the file into her workbag, quickly returning her attention to her work, and, as Fate would deem it, never picking up the presence of the miniscule camera nearby, keeping perfect track of her movements, and, as Fate would also have it, the act of Robin Scorpio moping over a dangerous enemy of the Council like a lovesick fool.
Which, oddly enough, wouldn't be far from the truth.
Frankie, make-believe woman extraordinaire, sat atop Bianca's kitchen counter, studying the woman moving around restlessly. With dark hair pulled back in a loose braid and, clad in shorts and tank top, she moved around, intent on ignoring the petite ghost swinging her legs and muttering something about peanut butter and chocolate.
Bianca froze, hands stilling in the middle of stacking plates, turning her head slowly to regard the 'girl' sitting there, realizing what she had just mentally addressed her as. Ghost…? Was she a ghost? What would that mean, this Frankie woman being a ghost? Warily, Bianca narrowed her eyes, watching as Frankie started gnawing the edge of a thumbnail, eyes on the kitchen tiles, legs still swing childishly.
In the last two days of Bianca's willing flee from society, which included her hiding out at her home, refusing to answer calls and/or e-mails, she had learned the this 'Frankie'—if that was her real name—refused to leave her be. Every where she went, bam, there was Frankie, following her around like a dog after a bone or a toddler after cookies or Kendall and Greenlee after a new pair of Manolos.
Honestly, Stick Woman and Midget Girl sniffed them out like freaking bloodhounds…
Shaking herself, and with a sudden flood of purpose, Bianca set the last plates up and, wiping her hands on a rag, she cast the 'ghost' one last long look before she left the room, striding resolutely towards her computer. Clicking off the screensaver and thankful for her DSL, she quickly began Google-ing with a vengeance, brows furrowed in concentration and intent on her work.
Aware of the movement, she looked up, blinking at the sight of Frankie sitting cross-legged on the desk next to the computer and knowing that it shouldn't be possible but still able to see the girl, sitting there, not at all looking odd where she was staring right back at Bianca with a slight smirk. "Get away from my computer… ghost girl."
"'Ghost girl'?" she echoed, cocking one eyebrow in amusement. When Bianca glared, she made a noise of amusement, shrugged slim shoulders, slapping palms down on her denim-clad knees. "I've been waiting for you to get off your ass and do something other than mope around." She jerked her head at the monitor, smiled lightly. "The name's Mary Francis Stone."
For long moments, she just stared at the girl sitting there before, not quite sure what to say with those sad eyes gazing at her before, with a rough swallow, she typed in the name, jabbing the ENTER key quick and hard, waiting. A few seconds later, she leaned forward, eyes on the lines of text, on the word that jumped out at her.
With an unusual kind of calm, she opened the window, staring at it, reading it repeatedly before, raising her eyes, she met that slightly sad gaze, looking oddly correct with the smile and the way she sat, looking back at her with an amazing sense of grace on her face. Finally, feeling like an idiot, she whispered, "Sorry."
Frankie laughed at that, shrugged again, slim shoulders moving flawlessly. "One minute, I'm waiting for big sis to get home and the next thing I know, I don't know anything except for the fact that I'm not anywhere and that, as of right now, I'm completely different." She sighed, shook her head in irritation. "And I never got to wear my new jacket either."
"I've been making a lot of promises to a lot of people since I woke up dead and I have decided, after a long discussion with someone, that I am tired of sitting back and hoping everything goes right. This means, Bianca-la, that if you leave this house, I will follow because as far as right now, the Powers and the Big She or He or They up there have decided that a Seer would be more useful alive and not dead."
A long moment of silence, a pregnant and then Bianca's curious chirp filled the room, staring at the dead girl that she was actually talking to and staring at. "'Seer?'" she asked, eyebrows lifting in questioning.
"And you're sure it's her, Jonathon?"
Jonathon didn't stop in his work, continued speaking to the speaker phone as he began slowly repacking everything he had so carefully cleaned. "The dead ones hanging around her like a fly around honey." He snapped the case shut, set it to the side. "You got the blood samples?"
"Yes, of course…"
He nodded, began putting away the next pieces, insanely relieved. "You can't slip up here, not after all this. We're way too close now to let anything happen to jeopardize this." He snapped that case shut as well and finally stood up, moving away from the table and poking thoughtfully at his new coffee maker, wishing Bianca hadn't brought him so complicated. Grimacing, he put on a kettle, unwilling to have the damn coffee maker growl at him like it usually did. "And what about the others in this town? The Slayer and that guy with the whiney voice?" he asked more loudly.
"They're here for the same reason we are… at least—"
"Basically," Jonathon finished absently, pulling the coffee from the shelf and setting it down. Turning away from the counter, he went back to the table, yanking on his undershirt and then grabbing the holster nearby, pulling it closer and checking the last two guns as he waited for the water to heat completely.
Leaning closer, fingers pausing over the button, he added, almost as an afterthought, "Watch yourself, Wes… my senses are tingling and they aren't tingling in a good kind of way." And then he ended the call, staring at the phone for a few minutes before turning back to the kettle, sighing quietly, sick and tired of having to do all this.
But, hey, that was one of the few things Roger didn't lie about when he said that, for all intents and purposes, Jonathon Lavery lived only to do these things, destroy lives and devastate any hint of something like a good life, tearing it to shreds with a bullet in just the right spot at just the right moment.
He lived to kill.
"And you want me to…?"
"Look—" He broke off and she heard him going through shelves, shuffling through the many papers that he kept at the cabin, the few things that he had refused, point-blank, to let her change when she had cautiously moved in after the vicious divorce that would haunt her to her dying day. "Give me a second," David muttered and she nodded, knowing full well that he couldn't see it but knowing that he got the point anyway.
With phone between ear and shoulder, Greenlee was the last person left in Fusion at the moment and, while some women might be freaked at the prospect of being alone at a time like this, Greenlee's fears usually revolved around her heels not matching her handbag or David going to the hospital without shoes in the middle of the night, something that he had been known to do actually, the reason he kept two pairs there for when he did something like that.
Now, sitting in the darkened office, only the light over her desk on, she studied her nails for a moment before resuming her filing with a steady strength, catching at the edges quickly and buffing them down. Listening to the vague noises of David digging around like a madman, she lifted her eyes, frowning at something for a moment before she shook herself.
When he came back on, she held up one hand, eying them for a long moment with sharp dark eyes as she listened. "I've been trying to cal Bianca for hours and she's not responding. I need you, next time you talk to her, to get the first flight back to pine Valley so I can talk to her."
"That's what phones are for," she murmured quietly and then smiled the slightest bit when he made that familiar noise of frustration when it came to dealing with the shortest of the Kane-Montgomery clan, and that edge of helpless amusement just beneath the irritation brought on only by her. "Besides, with Dr. Evil on her side, she'll be fine."
"Please promise me, okay?"
She set her file down, leaning forward in her seat, eyes once again rising to the shadows around the room, again frowning and not quite knowing why. Sighing, shaking the weirdness off, she rolled her bare shoulders, slipping feet into her heels as she started checking that everything else was ready for her to leave. "Look, if she calls back, I'll tell her to take the next flight home. Is that satisfying, hubby of mine?"
A long silence, more shuffling, this time agitated sounds as he organized them restlessly and then his voice came back, and she grimaced slightly at the touch of weariness in his tone, knowing full well how the last weeks of political movement at the hospital had been draining him and, to judge by the worry evident as well, he was being nagged by something with to do with her step-sister/cousin.
"When are you going home?"
"Joe can't come in tonight so I'll be here for a while." A dry chuckle, humorless but not quite bitter—somebody who loved what he did the way he enjoyed what he did could never really be bitter but, still, he had a right to be pissy about being pretty much stood up by the Martin patriarch.
"Okay," she muttered, standing as her eyes settling where Kendall's desk was, on the other side of the room, a dark spot that nagged her unhappily. "I'll be at the cabin if I can't track down the Stick I call my step-sister," she added darkly before letting him go, dropping the phone back into its cradle and, before she stepped away from her own desk, she snatched up her nail file.
Okay, so it wasn't really all that lethal looking but it was something, right?
Stalking forward, she froze when something moved, her eyes adjusting the shadows slowly and then she threw herself backward, letting out a strangled shriek as she hopped, desperately trying not to tip off her heels and fall on her ass, and, when she found her balance, she lunged forward, stabbing furiously with her not-so-deadly weapon.
And Ryan Lavery let out a yelp of agony when she jabbed him hard right in the face.