Author's note: It's good to write again, but I must thank for tearing me out of my funk. I mean, I've been writing a few original fics without much hassle, but didn't feel much inspired with regards to fanfics in general. But anyway, I asked for prompts in a recent post and came up with this: "Fever series, Dani/Ryodan. Dani, Hall of All Days with sword, goes wherever, ends up with a few good bar stories to tell when at Chester's a few years later." I obliged, although this is pretty different from the prompt itself. Ah well, can't be perfect.
That said, my fellow Fever afficionados may be very interested to learn that KMM recently got two new book deals (a Fever graphic novel that will span the five books, and three spin-offs, which I'm guessing will be about Dani). Dani's actually not my favourite character ever, and she even occasionally annoys me (there, I've said it), but the spin-off may be very interesting, specifically if it also features Ryodan. Hey, I think you've made me a (kind of) shipper, ! That is a feat unto itself, lol.
Now, on to the fic.
Kill, Kill, Kill
Well you could wash out my brain
You could tear out my heart
But I would never forget you... never...
Well it's an ache I can't shake.
- The Pierces, "Kill! Kill! Kill!"
Slap! "One pint of whatever I just had." The wilted bill barely even held up anymore as it exchanged hands. "Keep the change," the young woman muttered to the barman despite the loud music blasting from the heart of the pub behind her. Dani swayed as she watched the deep amber liquid froth into her third and future bottoms-up. Fecking hell, she was looking forward to it.
"Little girls shouldn't be drinking themselves to death." The deep, dark rumble caressed like a callused finger through her self-imposed haze.
Dani looked up into a face she knew well. "I'm seventeen. I get to decide. Fuck off."
The older man leaned forward, eyes narrowed to piercing slits, nostrils flaring – everything about him screamed warnings to tread carefully. Or be trod on, most painstakingly. "Unfortunately, my premises, my judgement. Go home."
Dani stared flatly, nursing her drink which was starting to lose its tang on her tongue, daring him openly to just do it, throw her out – she'd kill him. "Haven't you heard?" she slurred out sweetly, "I'm persona non grata just about any-fucking-where I go. So, thanks, but I'm fine here thank you."
Ryodan's mouth curled upwards as he didn't just lean forward so much as invade her comfort zone. Unfortunately for him, she didn't have one when alcohol was involved. Glancing at the crowd behind her, he replied sotto voce, "You're just a liability I'm not keen on cleaning up after, whether dead or covered in someone else's guts." Pause. "I know exactly what's strapped to your thigh."
How the hell could he know? Dani crossed her legs, reassured when she felt the familiar weight and shape of the sword and sheath over her denim-covered thigh. After a long pull of fire down her throat, she leaned back in, nose to nose, anticipation knocking at her ribs almost painfully. "Come and get it, then. If you can."
Dark amber eyes flashed. For a moment she thought he'd moved an inch, a predator readying to swoop in for the kill, but then the muscles underneath the black shirt he wore relaxed. Even so, his words were anything but amiable, despite his misleading friendly tone. "You so much as touch anyone or anything in here, Dani-girl, and I will personally tear you apart limb from limb and enjoy every second of it. Do you understand?"
Slowly, ever so slowly, Dani swivelled around in her seat, taking in the pub scene beyond the bar area. The first time she'd come here, there'd been more humans than Fae. Now... "I don't see many anyones," she shot back over her shoulder, the loud bass notes preventing conversations from being overheard. She swivelled back around to face him again. "But maybe you're just after the money, not honour..." A thought suddenly occurred to her booze-muddled brain. Squinting, she considered him anew. "Can you even see them? How the hell can you live with yourself? You're disgusting."
"Thank you," Ryodan replied shortly, his half smile not quite reaching his eyes. "And you're a childish brat, but I accept your like in this world anyway."
Dani choked on her drink, sputtering like a hissing wildcat. "Brat?" Sheer rage made her gape at him for an instant. "Who the hell do you think you are?" she roared at last, shaking from her own forced restraint, yet knowing full well that she was far too bolloxed to stand and charge him, even over the stained counter. "You have no idea what I've been through..."
"Actually," Ryodan drawled, "I do. And I can see them, do not worry yourself. There is such a thing as buying and biding one's time. But perhaps we all should charge like daft idiots at them like you." He paused, considering her flaming red face and ears before striking as true as if he'd actually slapped her. "That is how Mac died in the Hall of All Days, is it not? It was your fault, was it not?"
Dani glared up at him darkly, resolving to kill him within the next – but then she collapsed, resolving nonetheless to save her pride and keep the blasted tears inside. "You have no idea how it – it happened too fast – I couldn't –"
The Hall of All Days danced its macabre dance of bloody memories in her mind's eye, putting her right back in the moment when she'd failed her sister utterly... when she'd failed, springing hell on earth.
"Poor Dani," Ryodan crooned, that patronising tone making her instantly want to gouge his eyes out. "The fastest sidhe-seeron the planet, but when in dire straits she can't even slow down time like she's been boasting to be capable of doing for years. Dear me," he continued, leaning forward ever closer to deliver his venom, "what a failure you've turned out to be. Perhaps it's time you grew some balls and killed the whole fucking world and yourself in it."
As his taunts assailed her, Dani shook uncontrollably, barely able to restrain herself from fecking leaping over the counter and tearing Ryodan's tongue right out of his mouth.
He even had the gall to smirk slowly, as though he could read her mind. Dani tried to remember if he indeed could, but her brain would not cooperate. "I welcome your fruitless attempts," he murmured almost tenderly, cutting into her musings.
Scowling, Dani shot back, "Oh, they wouldn't be fruitless, believe me. And I'm a perfectionist," she added, deadpan, smiling slowly. "One try, one kill."
Ryodan stepped back, subtly but surely, crossing the thick bands of his arms over his barrel chest thoughtfully. "Tell that to your dead girlfriend," he said, then seemed to think better of it. "No, better. How about you take a step back and tame that hard-on you seem to have for total annihilation at all costs. Because, I repeat, someone dies here tonight, even you, and I'll tear you out of hell itself to kill you all over again." From over the counter that had separated them from the beginning, his hard face suddenly softened – a fraction, not even that noticeable, but damn her hide she always seemed to notice these things when it came to the insufferable asshole – and he reached out to lift her chin up a notch. "Life goes on, Dani-girl. Death is a dish best served cool-headed." And he grinned, truly grinned, one corner of his mouth going up substantially at last, making him appear... too sexy for words.
Dani's guts did a few crazy flip-flops even after he'd turned away to head into the back and leave her to herself. "Ryodan?" she called out forcefully, feeling emboldened by the booze.
His cool swagger halted. He looked over his shoulder enquiringly.
Dani held his rich gaze with her own, forcing out the cross words that couldn't seem to connect with her mouth as readily as they usually did. "I'm not so little anymore," she said, brushing a hand through her breast-length Arabian Nights curls to push them back. The sinuous movement brought out some tightly sheathed but definitely curvaceous attributes into focus.
Watching his eyes veer south and just as quickly blink back to her face, jaw tight, Dani's blood heated under her skin, making her breasts ache, her legs weaken.
He scowled at last, something hot and dangerous in his expression. "Run along, Dani-girl," he growled before storming away.
Leaving Dani to grin into her nearly empty glass of whatever, suddenly feeling a strange new lightness within her. "No, that would be you..."