Trouble with FF- I hope this works and you can read the story now...

A.N.: this is going to be my first ever collab piece- the plan is that phalangesbyfive (from here on out referred to as Em or Emily) and I are going to switch off from chapter to chapter. The AN's at the beginning of each chapter will tell you who is writing it, and will probably contain some dirty reference to the other (beside the point, but fair warning was in order). I (softer) will begin this little story with chapter one.

Chapter One: Losing Track of Time

NOTE- this is so NOT a song fic. I just used the lyrics to help paint the picture. It's not going to be a regular thing or anything like that. Purely a tool used at my disposal.
Yeahyeah.
On with it, she says.

I watch the doorway
quietly wait for you
this is a nightmare
I want to date you

IO Echo blasted in her ears and it was all she could hear as she moved, almost unable to feel. Her fists flew out with precision, slamming into the hard bag, sending it flying. The sheer force she mustered up comes from a mixture of exhaustion she refused to give into and frustration she'd learned to channel. It all flows out of her, like ink out of a pen; an outlet. That poor uppercut bag- it had taken more shit from her than any other. She could lose herself in the rhythm- ever since her first training lesson she was hooked. The body opponent bag was great for realism, and the speedball was great for warming up, but the heavy uppercut- that really got her adrenalin up. No other feeling compared. She envisioned the stress draining out of her with every heavy hit, the bag swinging from the chain it was suspended by perilously close to her.

I want to feel you
I've got to shake you off
I want to hate you.

She dodged it expertly before swinging her left arm around in a swift uppercut, followed by a string of right-lefts, flying so fast she lost count of them. It's right then as the bag once again rebounds her way that the sheer exhaustion hits her harder than the bag ever could, and instead of beating it with another round of vicious punches she grabs the swinging bag, stilling it. She rests her forehead on the bag, the polyester surprisingly cool to the touch.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Inhale.
Exhale.

Her breath was shallow and labored as she struggled to catch it, eyes clenched shut as she focused on the sound of the music flooding her ears, ignoring the burning sensation her muscles endure.

I gotta get out of here gotta get out yeah
I gotta get out of here gotta get out
Cause I'm falling faster
Falling faster

She can feel the bass drumming through her body, generating the energy she can't seem to, her heart rate still racing as the guitars pick up and it's like a tight coil being wound inside of her. No knots, no kinks in the wire, just energy and emotion and electricity.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Inhale.

It's like she has to remind herself to do it.

And then she's calm again. The song reaches its last crescendo and silence takes over, reminding her of her surroundings. When she regained faith in the muscles in her legs, she parted from the bag she clung to, unraveling the cloth wraps around her hands as she made her way to the locker room. She collapsed onto the bench before her locker, pulling one of the white earphones from her ears and letting it dangle on her chest. She grabbed a towel, using it to wipe the perspiration from her forehead and neck, taking another moment to rest her head against her hand. She shrugged off the heavy feeling and reached towards the locker, and it's then she notices- the lock is undone.

Not broken, no.
It was perfectly intact.

It just hung there from the silver metal hook, open.
And she did not leave it that way.

She wouldn't have locked it if she was at the precinct, but she was using her apartment building's gym, and she didn't even want to think of the creepy crawlers that could waltz in there.

She fingered the lock carefully, standing to get a better view, before un-hooking the lock and opening the metal door, warily. She grabbed her clothes out, counting the individual articles.

Gym Bag: check.
Pants: check.
Shirt: check.
Shoes: check.
Socks: check.

Then she reached her arm into the darker depths of the small locker, where she stowed the more important stuff.

Purse: check.
Cell Phone: check.
Gun and badge: check and check.

Her cash was there, her mother's ring was untouched- and that's when she realized.

Where was the watch?

She began shuffling frantically through her belongings, searching desperately for it, hoping that for some reason she had missed it the first time. No such luck.

"Shit," she mutters. It feels good to say it. Somehow the expletive makes her feel a little better. "Shit." This time she practically shouts it and compliments it with a violent kick to the metal lockers, who clang loudly in response.

It was the only response she was going to get, too.


AN- Here is where I pass the baton off to Em. I hope other people get the title...hehehe.

On a side note, I need to give a shout out to Lauren. She left this gorgeous little review to my other fic anonymously, and I just had to find a way to thank her.

L-

I'm so selfishly glad that my writing earned that review- and the honor of it as well. I was a lot like you when I first started, first invisible, then anon, then I made an account. I'm glad you like my work, and hopefully one day you make an account- you meet a lot of pretty fantastic people on here ;D

-J