AN: Sorry that we haven't updated recently, Christmas got in the way. Hope this chapter was worth the wait.
Disclaimer: See chapter 1
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Two hours after the killjoys had made their escape from Wiselingdon, it was still dark and Kobra Kid was driving as the others saw to Bittersweet.
Hands at the wheel and looking straight ahead, Kobra Kid wanted nothing more than to join the other killjoys, who were discussing what was now the best course of action for Bittersweet. They had already done everything they could with their small first aid kit. Bittersweet was healed to the best of their abilities and she was no longer in danger of immediate death but they couldn't decide if they should wake her or let her sleep, not knowing which would do the most damage.
"We should wake her," Jet Star said, "She could slip into a coma otherwise. It's happened before to others. We don't want it to happen to Bittersweet too."
"But she needs rest," Fun Ghoul pointed out, "We've done all we can do for her and we've treated cases worse than this before. Remember Angel Flames? She was almost burnt to death when the dracs set fire to the village of Hogsmeade and this was after she was shot in the leg. After treatment, she just needed some sleep."
"Angel Flames always needed sleep," Jet Star said, "Besides, she knew she was the only one who could save her son Monkey Poo and - "
Kobra Kid tried to hold back a laugh.
"It's not funny!" Jet Star told KK, trying to hold back a smile himself, "Well, OK it kind of is. I guess that kid really regrets choosing his own killjoy name at 3 years old… he's never going to live it down. He'll be hitting puberty soon… imagine trying to hit a girl with that killjoy name."
The others all laughed.
"But she needs sleep," Jet Star continued, "Don't wake her."
"What sort of name is Monkey Poo?" Bittersweet murmured, her eyes still closed.
"A ridiculous name, that's what," Kobra Kid retorted. He paused.
"How do you feel?" he asked.
Bittersweet's eyes fluttered open.
"Like a military academy," Bittersweet answered and then, to the look of confusion, she added, "Bits of me keep on passing out."
"Riiiiiiiiight," they all said in unison, with the exception of Jet Star, who high fived her and said, "Hey, you sass that hoopy Bittersweet? There's a frood who really knows where her towel is."
All focus towards Bittersweet temporarily moved to Jet Star.
"Whatever he's been drinking, I want some of it," Fun Ghoul said, shrugging.
"OK so one thing's for sure," Kobra Kid said, eyes back on the road, "Bittersweet's definitely awake. Whether she's sane or not, I'm not sure. She's on the same thought waves as Jet Star. That can't be a good sign. Stop sniggering, JS. Maybe we should see if her vision and quick thinking is OK?"
"Sounds like a plan," Fun Ghoul said, "How many fingers am I holding up, Bittersweet?"
"None. Two. Four. Three. One. Two. None," Bittersweet answered, able to give the answers quickly to Fun Ghoul's changing number of fingers, "Five."
"HAHA! No!" Fun Ghoul laughed, "Four fingers, one thumb! HA!"
The killjoys no longer felt worried about Bittersweet. Whatever had happened between Jet Star and Bittersweet previously made no sense but she was obviously still (somewhat) sane and well.
"What about maths?" Jet Star asked, grinning.
"Um… OK. I can't remember the last time maths came in handy as killjoys, with the exception of counting dead dracs," Kobra Kid said, "But OK, go for it."
"What's six times nine, Bittersweet?" Jet Star asked, still grinning.
"Easy one," Bittersweet shrugged, returning the grin, "42." They exchanged another high five.
There was another pause as Party Poison and Fun Ghoul counted on their fingers.
"What? That's not right!" Party Poison said, "It's 54… right? WHAT'S SO FUNNY? Stop laughing, you two, you're scaring me!"
Bittersweet shrugged, the smile slipping from her face.
"My dad used to read to me every night. The last story he read to me was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He couldn't get hold of new books all too often so I was really excited whenever he had something new to read."
"Oh," was all Party Poison said. There was another pause, but this time it was an awkward one, rather than out of confusion.
"Bittersweet…" Kobra Kid said, uncertainty evident in his voice, "Just what were you doing last night?"
Bittersweet sighed and looked down awkwardly.
"I was posting a letter. It was to my mom. I know this is going to sound babyish but I miss her. I just had to send it to her… or at least I had to try and send it to her. I… I didn't want to tell you about me going because I wasn't ready to let you know. I'm still not really but… you deserve the truth. I didn't want to put any of you in danger, I just thought I'd pop out while you were asleep and be back before you woke up. I'm so sorry."
By now, the tears she had been trying to keep back won her over and she started shaking.
For a few moments, there was no sound apart from sniffs and the Firebird engine. Jet Star moved forward and gave Bittersweet a small awkward hug.
"Look… it's OK," he said, "We understand, you know that right? Besides, we'd have been in danger anyway, what with Korse and that drac being there. If anything, it's probably a good thing that we were awake when it happened."
"You weren't there," Fun Ghoul snapped, "It wasn't a good thing, what Korse was doing. Don't say that, even if it's just to cheer her up. She's been through a terrible ordeal tonight. She doesn't need to be told it was for the 'greater good.'"
"Bittersweet, look," he said, turning to her, "We understand. We're all killjoys and we still miss our friends and family that we've left behind and lost. But never pull off a stunt like that again. Tell us next time, OK? We were worried sick about you!"
"OK, I promise," she whispered.
"Now get some sleep," Fun Ghoul told her, "You need it."
"The sun is up, motorbabies," Dr D's voice came through the broadcast, "So it's time for me, Dr D, to sign out from the graveyard shift and say bye bye for a little while. But don't you worry, KLSK listeners, I'll be back in a few hours for more slaughtermatic sounds. Keep safe, tumbleweeds. To play us out is the old Joy Division classic, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart.'"
Dr D sighed as he put down his mic, wondering how the Fabulous Killjoys were doing. He'd spoken to them during the night and their report hadn't been good. Thankfully, they'd escaped but the fact that it had been Korse leading the attack… it was worrying.
At least they all had each other. The only person he got to talk to these days was Show Pony, who chose to spend most of his time alone on scouting missions, and the people who called in to his radio show, some of which made him doubt his faith in humanity. It was enough to get a guy depressed.
Dr D reached for his beloved bottle when he heard the smashing of glass.
"What the…" he murmured, getting up cautiously and then called, "What are you up to, Show Pony?"
"I'm no pony," came an unfamiliar voice. Dr D reached for his gun. He'd had this hand gun for many years now and trusted it a lot more than he trusted the electronic guns that his killjoy friends tended to rely on. He became aware of someone creeping up behind him. Whatever it was, it was treading softly and anyone else might not have sensed it but Dr Death Defying was used to this dangerous lifestyle. He spun quickly and shot the intruder in the heart almost effortlessly, before even recognising that it was a drac. Scarlet spread across the draculoid's outfit and blue eyes widened behind the mask. The drac was dead before he hit the ground.
"Well, lookie here," Dr D murmured, "Who are you then?" He reached down and pulled off the mask. What he saw almost made him throw up. He had dreaded it would have been someone he recognised, a previous killjoy, when really, under the mask was a young boy, no older than 15. He had curly blond hair, slightly longer than was fashionable and his dead face was twisted in fear.
Dr Death Defying shuddered and stared. It was as if he couldn't look away. Who had this boy been? Whose life had he prematurely ended? Had he become a drac by choice or had he been forced? He would never know. In some ways, this was almost better but in other ways, it was far worse. The lad could have been anyone and now Dr D would always wonder how many people would miss this unknown boy.
He reached for the bottle, desperate for its numbing effect. He could never bear to be fully sober these days but sometimes he just wanted to drink until unconsciousness made the world disappear for a short time. It was then that he again became aware of the sound of movement from the diner. This drac hadn't been alone - dracs never worked alone.
Dr D sighed and tightened his hold on the gun, still in his hand. The truth was, although he hated it and himself, it came down to this: it was either your death or theirs, and Dr Death Defying wasn't quite ready to leave this messed-up world yet.
He stood up warily. As quietly as he could, he moved towards the diner. They knew he was here and they'd probably heard the shot. He cursed himself for calling out when he thought it had been Show Pony. Too late now.
"To the god of whisky," he murmured, "Let me stay alive so that you can kill me instead!"
His head peered round the door. He could only see two. Two to one. A bit unfair but if the dracs hadn't planned properly and brought enough friends, that was their own problem. A part of him wanted to feel sorry for their deaths – and there would be deaths – but they were dracs and he was a killjoy. He could feel bad about this later, when he was safe and they were gone.
He aimed his gun from the doorway and shot one of them down. He then quickly stepped into the room and ducked under a table, avoiding a shot from the second drac, whom he hadn't been able to get a clear shot from his previous position. He rolled and fired on the move but the drac was quick and already moving. The draculoid was now behind the counter, firing more shots at Dr Death and ducking before he could shoot back.
Dr D was never going to be able to get a clear shot of this drac whilst under the table. He rolled out from the table and knelt on the ground, firing as he did so. He shot the drac straight in the head but the last shot the drac had fired hit him in his shooting arm.
"Damn," he cursed, a jerk in his shoulder causing him to drop the gun, which slid away on the floor.
Slowly, Dr Death rose to retrieve his gun, glad there was no-one else left to kill.
A bullet sizzled past his neck, burning the skin as it flew past. Dr D spun on the spot and lashed out, knocking the gun out of the new drac's hand. The drac then reached forward and grabbed Dr D by the neck.
Dr D looked straight into the drac's eyes. Even though the drac was holding Dr D by the neck, he was the one who looked scared. The shot he had previously fired had been wild. The kid didn't know what he was doing and he probably was terrified of actually killing someone.
"Your first kill, kid?" Dr D croaked through the tight grip. The draculoid nodded.
"It's never as easy as they say," Dr Death told him, before kicking the drac between the legs. The drac grunted in pain and let go. He then backed away as Dr D straightened up and towered over him.
"Go home, kid," he told him, "This war's no place for a child." Something like defiance flashed in the draculoid's eyes.
"You get one chance," Dr D told him, "Go now or I'll kill you, like I did your friends."
The defiance was gone and the drac scarpered.
"If you want a job done properly…" Dr Death heard a voice say. A shot was fired and the retreating drac fell down dead. Dr D heard footsteps and turned around. An Exterminator stood in front of him.
"You'd be Korse, I suppose," Dr Death grunted, expecting death to come to him any second, but he'd be damned if he went down without a fight.
"Correct," Korse answered.
Before Dr Death Defying could do anything to defend himself, Korse had raised his gun and fired straight into his chest.
The world went blank and Dr Death Defying hit the floor.
AN: Hopefully we'll update quicker next time. We hope you're all still enjoying it.
From Raven Glass and Flash Bandit