Family

I sat down the other day and really watched Sin City. After taking the time to again appreciate the film, and more importantly Jessica Alba, I reread all the novels. Okay, I'll admit, I am a pig, but it got me wanting to write a Sin City story. All I ask is that you humor me. As for the fic itself, let just say that it takes place after The Hard Goodbye and The Yellow Bastard. Also, I own nothing except my characters; I think that goes without saying, but whatever.

Enjoy, and take it Easy.

-N


The rain was pouring down when he finally got to the building. He had only gotten back home that morning, and it had gone from cold and windy, to cold and windy and wet. He could deal with it though, just like he had dealt with everything else in his life. He could deal with the fact that his boss hadn't kept his job like he said he would. He could live with the fact that his girlfriend was waiting for him when he got home, with his shit backed and her boyfriend on his bed. But the thing that pissed him off the most was that the only place in the city renting was in Old Town.

Hell, he knew it shouldn't bother him as much as it does, but he still didn't know why he was here. He knew what Old Town was; any guy over fifteen with a working pecker knew what Old Town was. It was a place that people went to when they had an itch that needed to be scratched. Even before his deployment, he had spent a night there, and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't fully satisfied by what had happened then. Still, as the rain poured down, soaking him and his gear, he wished that there was someplace else he could go. That's bullshit though.

He couldn't go to a church for shelter. They only granted shelter to those that donated. He had only enough cash to last him a few weeks, he couldn't give it to a place that would just line its own pockets with it. Hotels were just as bad; here in Old Town, he could rest knowing that the girls were safe doing what they did here, but outside, they were taking risks and they damn well knew it. Speaking of women, he scanned the area, and except for the occasional car, he saw nothing. According to popular rumors, and personal experience, he knew that he should be seeing tens, if not hundreds, of women. But as the rain fell, he saw nothing except the worn brick building that he hoped would give him refuge.

He finally swallowed his pride, and raised his hand to the beaten callbox, ringing for the manager. The line was dead for several seconds, and he keyed it again, and again nothing. "No one home, of fucking course." He was getting ready to just walk away, let the rain clear his head before coming back when he heard the voice.

"Yes?" He was and wasn't surprised that it was a woman who spoke. Rumors were that no men were allowed to live here, so if anything, that showed how desperate he was. The way his luck was running, the second she found out what he wanted, she would laugh and kick his ass out of the building.

"I'm here about the room for rent." He waited, knowing that the screw you was coming, she was just pausing for effect. But when she spoke, he realized that this wasn't the case.

"You got money?" He chuckled then, hearing her question made him realize that this was the side of Old Town he was used to dealing with.

"Its as green as everyone else's."

"Come up, room 1414, don't make me come and find you."

"10-4." She didn't responded, but he heard the faint whine of a lock being disengaged. Quickly, he stepped inside, shaking the rain from his skin. The hall wasn't exactly what he expected it to be. He was thinking that the interior would match the outside; peeling paint with the halls littered with used condoms and cigarette buds. Instead the walls were covered with clean, if faded, white paint and inconspicuous beaten wooden doors showed that, like its tenants, there was more to this place than met the eye. As he walked towards the elevator, conveniently at the end of the hall, he kept expecting to see someone, because he could hear them, feel them; the faint click of a high heeled shoe, the whisper of fabric over skin, and the unique scent that all women seem to give off. When the doors slid shut, the scent seemed to intensify, but silence deafened him.

When the doors opened, the phantom sounds appeared and continued to follow, he kept looking out the corners of his eyes, and sometimes he caught a shadow, and he had to force himself to relax. He knew the rumors of Old Town, how the women here called all the shots and handed out justice as they saw fit. He knew they were true; more than one guy from his unit went missing after they left to visit this place. Granted, they were all pains in his ass, and he wasn't sad to see them gone, but knowing what the women did, and getting the feeling he was going to experience what that justice was, those were to very different things.

Eventually he found her door, again conveniently furthest from the elevator, which seemed to be the only exit. When he reached the door and raised his fist, he knocked twice, the sounds echoing throughout the hall. The scent seemed to focus itself behind him, and he had to resist the urge to turn around. It was his training he knew; whatever was behind him was another predator, one that he should face and prepare for. But he wasn't there for a fight; he was just looking for a bed, nothing else. The door opened, and again he reminded himself, only the bed, nothing else.

She was something that he could appreciate that, he didn't doubt that. Long blonde hair, hourglass figure, smooth skin, she easily fit any number of fantasies he had. Hell, the leopard print, he didn't know whether to call it a dress or a body stocking, showed him everything she had. He couldn't help but think that his cousin, Marv, he would have enjoyed the view. Nothing else though, Marv was a guy who only looked, never touched, it was something he could always be proud of him for. He had the self-control that most men dreamed of having. Gotta call him soon; see how him and his mom are doing. He watched as she surveyed him, and again he got the feeling of a wolf staring down a deer, looking for the easiest way to bring it down. Slowly she pulled out a cigarette and after lighting it, seemed to take great care to blow the smoke into his face.

"What makes you think we have a room for rent?" Grudgingly, he fished the ad from his fatigues pocket, and shoved it into her hands. He took a moment as she stared at the paper to really look at her. She had the true Aryan look going. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and yet, he felt like he had seen her before. When his eyes found hers, she was staring at his with an unimpressed smirk. "See something you like," it sounded forced, but he wasn't going to take the bait. He was just here for a room, let the dame think what she wants.

"Yeah, a one bed, one bath that's for rent." She chuckled then, and stepped back into the room.

"Sorry, the rooms for my girls, and unless you're just really 'homely', you aren't getting the room." She started to close the door, but he caught it with his hand. He had come too far, and was tired. He wanted that room, even if it was just for the night.

"Listen Lady, I" she cut him off, fixing him with a hard stare.

"Let go." He heard the order, but refused, she might be a predator, but he saw no gun and he was bigger. He wasn't leaving without a room key.

"No, I want," he stopped when he felt it. The scent behind him intensified until it burned his eyes and pressed something to his neck. Dropping his gaze, he could make out the blade, it gleamed in the dim light of the hall, and the way it was pressed to his throat, he knew its wielder was only waiting for an order to take his head off.

"Before I let Miho kill you, tell me something, what's your name?" When he swallowed, he felt the edge drag against his skin, followed by the cool sting of metal as the blade pressed closer.

"Nikolas Hartigan." He watched as her eyes widened slightly, and then they hardened, and he waited for the scent behind him to kill him.

"You related to the pervert cop?" He growled then, and the blade gave him a warning slice before resuming its position at his neck. He resisted the urge to cup the blood that wept from his skin, and forced himself to speak calmly.

"John was no pervert."

"He raped little girls then killed them, and then when he got out, he killed himself after killing a few others. If he was innocent, why did he off himself?"

He answered her question with a question. "If he was doing that shit, why did it continue after he was locked up? If you call off your killer, I can prove that he didn't do it." The blade didn't move, but the woman lowered her hand.

"How?"

"In my bag, I have a file. I was deployed when I found out what happened to John. I started collecting evidence; comparing photos, DNA tests, all that shit. He wasn't the one that was hurting those girls. I can prove it to you, if you let me show you the file." She stared at him for what seemed like hours, before nodding.

"Miho, bring him inside, and check him for weapons." The blade never wavered, but he felt a small hand press against his back. He watched as the first woman bent down slowly, her eyes never leaving his, as she retrieved his bag, and stepped back, allowing the two into the door.

When they were inside, he heard the door shut, and that hand danced over his back, moving to his shoulders, and eventually down to his hips and legs. He resisted the urge to speak as that same hand moved over his body, grabbing and squeezing everything. Eventually it stopped, and he was pushed to the center of the room. "Turn." The same woman spoke and he obeyed. When he faced her, the owner of the blade, Miho, he noticed was gone. He knew it, he could no longer hear her, and her scent had faded to be replaced by hairspray and cigarette smoke. She threw him the bag, and as he dug for the file, he prayed that the rain hadn't destroyed it. Granted, the girl she called Miho was gone, but he knew she wouldn't have brought him in if she couldn't kill him.

Eventually he found what he was looking for, and was grateful that it was the one thing he owned that the rain hadn't totaled. When he passed it over, he noticed that she had changed. She wasn't the woman who answered the door. Someone who looked like she would be perfect for a night. She was a killer now, like him. She was just playing with him now; she could kill him before he knew what happened. As she flipped through the papers, he waited. He didn't expect her to shoot him, but he knew that she could kill him. Not with a knife, gun, or whatever, she was too classy for that; she would sick that phantom, Miho, on him and he'd be down before he knew what happened. "Okay," he looked up from the floor, and saw the file was open on her lap. She was watching him, and frankly it scared the hell out of him. Like he thought, this woman was cold and calculating, deadly.

"Okay what?"

"Let's say I believe you, why should I give you a room?"

"Because the army had no more use for me, I am a good man from a good family, and I just need some place to stay until I find someone." And kill the fuckers who destroyed my family.

"Who?" He noticed her lips quirk up at his speech. The other woman was back, the flirt. God, she has more sides to her than Marv.

"I doubt you'd know who he is."

"Nikolas, is it?" He noticed she got the pronunciation correct. Many people simply assumed that it was Nicholas, but he was named after his mom's father, and he was Russian, whenever someone pronounced it properly, it made him feel respected. "I have met many men here, if he lives in Basin City, I've probably been hit on by him."

"Doubtful. Marv, as far as I knew, was never with a woman. Guy's kinda self-conscious of how he looks, ya know." He didn't miss her face change. The predator was back, and she was holding something back. She knew who Marv was, and that bothered him. Marv never really 'knew' any woman, and the fact that this high-dollar whore did, didn't make any sense.

"Hes dead, the state executed him two years ago for the murder of eight women, and two men, one of them a cardinal." Her statement hit him like a bullet in the chest. Marv was dead? While he knew the guy was going to die eventually, he figured it would have been a lucky shot in a bar brawl, not in the electric chair. And killing women, unlikely; Marv worshipped women the way most people worship God. He had never even been with a woman, and for someone to say he killed seven, he couldn't believe it. "I was there when they buried him. He didn't do it." He looked up when she said that, he could see the tears in her eyes. Most guys would say that it was just anger there, and it was, but there was also sorrow. She cried for Marv.

"I know he didn't. Marv was a killer, yeah, but he never hurt girls. I don't doubt that he might've killed the other two, but the women, not a chance." She nodded, and he resisted the urge to wrap his arm around her. He'd seen troops like her before. People who carry the world around on their shoulders, and let the shit bury them when no one is around to see them suffer. "What happened to his mom?"

He watched her rise, and go over to a closet, when she opened it; he noticed a leather duster hanging in the back. He knew it was way too big for her, and the thing looked beat to hell, and if he wasn't mistaken, stained with blood. Definitely Marv's. "She stayed with us for a little while, she knew he didn't do what the papers said, and knew that if she made any noise about it, they would kill her too. She died a few months ago, I think out of grief."When she came back, he noticed that she was holding a key. Wordlessly she passed it to him, and he stood, digging into his pocket for the pathetic bundle of twenties that was his life savings. "No," she stopped him when he tried to hand it to her. "What's your name?"

"Wendy."

"Well Wendy, I don't take charity." He threw the bundle onto the floor, and gripping the bag, stormed out of her room. He refused to show weakness in front of her. She thought she knew his family, his brother, his cousin; she didn't know shit. True, they had their problems, but it was all he had, all he had had. He stomped to a random door at the opposite end of the hall, and with a silent prayer, turned the key into the lock. Grateful that it opened, he took in the plain setting. A single, large, empty room and what he assumed was a bathroom off to the side. It was more than he had before. Dragging his things into the bathroom, he slung them over the shower bar, hoping that they'd be somewhat dry by morning.


When the window broke, he didn't panic. He spun around on the improvised mat on the floor, his hand already pulling the 1911 from his bag. Slowly, his eyes adjusted to the darkness, and he could see the broken glass on the floor from the single window. He crawled slowly, half-expecting a red dot to dance across the cheap wood paneling, but saw none. Instead, he could make out what looked like a steel rod, pinning an envelope to the floor. With some force, he pulled it free and after opening it, a pile of crisp twenties fell to the floor, along with a piece of metal. Lifting it, he saw it was his money clip; he could even make out his sergeants bars that were engraved into the steel. It was then the scent filled the room, and he felt a sharp point at his side. It wasn't enough to break the skin, but enough to let him know it was there.

"You finally going to kill me now?" He didn't expect her to answer, she hadn't spoken before, why start now? That was when she didn't something he never expected. He felt a soft breath near his ear, and he tensed even more.

"The women of Old Town don't accept charity either." With that the point was gone, the smell disappeared, and he knew he was alone. Stooping, he picked up the cash and walked to the window, the rain had stopped and the moon was out. Across the street on the roof, he could just make out the silhouette of a woman, and the gleam of steel. "What the fuck have I gotten myself into?" Maybe the church would have been better after all?


I know, kind of random right? Humor me though, and give me a review. Tell me it sucked, tell me it rocked, whatever, I'm not picky. If I get at least one 'favorite story', 'story alert' or review, I will write more. As far as Nikolas goes, I did not write myself in. He is a combination of about five people I know; I just gave him an old family name.

Take it Easy,

-N