Epilogue: Daddy Fearest
Clio had left earlier in the day, to visit her cousin, and Logann was out as Incubus, meeting the Batman for Lord-knew-what reasons. The lights were all off save for the one on the nightstand next to the couch, where the remote was lying within reach of her fingers. Growling in frustration, she grabbed the remote and flipped through the channels, more to preoccupy herself than out of any real desire to watch something. This had been her life for the past week since she'd escaped from the laboratory, confined within Clio's little apartment, unable to step foot outside. Two messengers had arrived for her: the first was Rook, trying to get in contact with her on Erin Knightly's behalf. The second was an irritable blonde man with his hair in a long, curly ponytail who introduced himself as Lance's butler-cum-secretary, Gerard Montaine.
She'd sent both of them away almost immediately. She didn't want to talk to anyone, didn't want anybody to see how small and frightened she felt after the loss of her scythe. It was stupid, really. But all the same, she couldn't help it.
No doubt sooner or later I'm going to get a message from Ink berating me about this. I wonder how she and Jonathan are—Hello, what's this?
She stopped on the news, where Summer Gleeson was standing outside of a courthouse, talking at a rapid-fire pace to the audience, and turned up the volume.
"—despite his involvement with the mutant incident last week, the courts have released Professor Achilles Milo on probation." Summer said over a click in the background as the doors on-screen behind her opened to admit a crowd of people. And indeed, Milo was walking out, several reporters in his carefully placid face as he shoved his hands in his pockets, dark eyes flashing. She shivered and watched his progress before the rest of Summer's words started registering.
"It has been rumored that Roland Daggett, the same man who paid Milo's bail, was the figure in fact responsible for the mutant-weapon project."
A figure's face was shown in the top corner of the screen, a middle-aged, redheaded man with a receding hairline and the face of a business shark. He looked familiar, and almost at once, Wraith took over for Guen, clenching the remote in fury.
We saw him! He was there, at the museum when you stole the dragon box! she heard Guen say in shock.
You're right, Wraith agreed, And the worst part was that he recognized our face.
She glared at the image of Daggett on the screen, wishing he'd drop dead.
You're the one responsible for doing this to us. You'd better watch your back, Daggett. Because I'm a ghost with a vendetta.
But the scythe—!
Guen protested, and Wraith felt her bluster falter.
Without the scythe, they were nothing.
Summer focused on Milo again, this time directly asking him a question, and he paused before answering, staring at the camera with blazing dark eyes, as though he could see her where she sat. Shuddering, she lifted the remote and turned the television off, silence filling the room, save for the sound of breathing, and for a moment, she did nothing.
"Well." Wraith said at last, fighting to keep her voice neutral. "You gonna say something or what?"
There was a pause, and then a gravelly voice replied, "Half of me thinks you want to jump his bones."
"Gross," she remarked, standing and turning to face the door, where the figure was just part of the shadows, "And the other half?"
"Thinks you want to run him over with a tank."
She grinned at that. "Something to that extent. So what are you doing here?"
"You haven't forgotten my offer, have you, kid?"
"No," she answered, fighting the urge to become indignant at his use of the word "kid." She waited for him to say something, but instead she heard the rush of displaced air and raised her arm, catching the thrown object just before it hit her in the face.
"Can't exactly take me up on it without a way to protect yourself, can you?"
"My scythe!" she gasped upon recognizing it. "But how did you find it?!"
"You dropped it at the lab when you saved Eddy Nygma. You two going steady?"
"Not at the moment, no." Wraith bit the inside of her cheek when she realized she was blushing at the suggestion. "I'm taking some time away to work out my feelings for him." More to change the subject than because she was interested, she opened the scythe with its switchblade click, and stared, stunned.
He'd not just found the scythe, he'd had it fixed!
The blade was polished smooth, no longer showing any signs of wear and tear, gleaming wickedly as the silver crescent shape sliced through the air with ease. Slowly she began to rotate it, only to be surprised further.
He'd also added to it, the other side of the blade now a deep, obsidian black.
"No way," she gasped, her eyes going wide.
"Like your color scheme," he said in that scratchy voice, "Black on silver. You know, you ought to work that a little more. Perhaps dye half your hair silver."
She chuckled. "You flatter me. So would that be my color scheme if I take up with you? Black and silver, since you called white?"
"Preferably," he answered, "But I won't impose on your identity too much. You gotta build a rep, and you're off to an okay start. Just rework the colors; you can keep the ghost theme."
"Thanks," Wraith said, "I appreciate that. So you're serious about this whole family kind of thing?"
"I told you I liked you, didn't I? You remind me of myself, in several ways."
"So this is for real? No strings attached?" she asked, arching an eyebrow as she grinned, "You know, we're both taking a risk on that. How do I know you won't…double-cross me?"
"Like I said, kid, I like you…"
Two-Face stepped into the light, holding his coin before him so she could see it clearly, as his scarred face twisted in the semblance of what was once probably a handsome smile.
"And that's something I don't gotta flip on."