Disclaimer: Don't own anything except original characters. All material (c) to respective owners. I write these for fun and make no profit. They're just random plot bunnies that live within my strange mind.
A/N: Just another interesting one that has been collecting dust for a while. I'm done revising for the most part enjoy.
Chapter 1: No Chance!
I worked nights so morning events were not usually my thing. Monday morning would have been fine if it hadn't been for the strangest thing happening to me. I heard a knock at seven in the morning, grumpily I looked up aware of no sign of light and smiled thinking it may have been a bad dream. The knocking came again so it wasn't even close to being the nightmare I thought it to be.
I reach out fumbling for the light switch to my bedside lamp and squint through my blond bangs certain whoever is out there is dumb or suicidal. I opted for both before squirming out of my red bed linens and pulled my carebear blanket off my bed. I stifled a groan feeling the cold wood floor under my feet before eyeing Grumpy bear's face and agreeing with his disposition.
"Coming!" I shout crossly making my way across the icy floor and pausing at the door reaching for the cold brass handle and opening it.
I'm hit immediately with bright sunshine though it is gloomy compared to what I'm used to. I feel the chill hit me and know rain is bound to happen. It wasn't anything new and was a reoccurrence in the small town I had moved to. I look around my small apartment finding the tiny space reassuring before moving swiftly through the blur of violet walls thankful for the warm sapphire colored carpet under my feet.
Fumbling with the locks I stare at my dark red door before wondering several things at once. Who would be waking me in the morning this early that actually knew me and what had I done to possibly get myself in trouble the night before? I remembered going to a dance club with a few girls from work thankful to get out of the bar and off of my shift tending. I didn't get home until almost five in the morning and still felt disoriented from everything.
"Who is it?" I asked growing weary from being woken so early when I hadn't slept long and annoyed at the intrusion into my sleep.
I snuggled into my carebear blanket before brushing my layered hair out of my face pretending the solid violet streak of my bangs wasn't blocking my eyesight. In fact my eyes felt like they were half glued shut and I knew I hadn't taken off my makeup or clothing from the night before, I was most likely a wreck to put it mildly.
"Special delivery post for you Ms. Laverne." I find myself wondering why it couldn't just be put into the mail slot and glance down at the gold door leading to that effect. "I need your signature."
"Ah, that would be why it can't be delivered like a sane person would." Sighing I open the door regarding the man without actually looking at him and reach out sloppily jotting down my signature before being handed a large violet envelope and shutting the door without greeting or saying farewell. I lock my door and drop it on the beige couch before marching back to my peaceful black room and going back to sleep.
Coming around later on I have no idea what time it is or do I care. I have the night off which gives me time to take in some extra sleep and talk to no one in particular. I go out with girls from the bar and find myself enjoying their company but rarely do any of us communicate on a friendship level. Jackie is usually busy taking drinks for idiots, Melody is flirting to get laid which I find a little disconcerting wondering if she cares for her health and Victoria is usually the first to leave already smashed and needing a cab.
Remembering the signature required letter from earlier I sit up still snuggled in my carebear blanket and smack in the middle of my red sheets half on the bed and half off. Groaning I find a slight lack of a hangover refreshing despite the fact I feel desperate for water. So I had not done myself in too early which meant I avoided the worst end of the deal and got the cotton mouth instead. Rubbing my eyes I find grit left over from sleeping and see the hints of icy eye shadow smeared on my hand. I realize I left my unicorn lamp on from earlier and smile snuggling into the warmth of my blanket wondering why I was cold.
Staring around my room I note the shadows before my eyes take in the deep forest green walls and dark wood floor. I see my desk piled with an assortment of ideas that I have yet to get into any real order, the oak desk had been beaten but it worked nicely. I had put it through all its abuse over the years. My dresser is full of assorted hats, makeup, gloves and other accessories. My other dresser is full of thrown around makeup and my perfumes as well as a statue of Grumpy bear that played the musical theme from the carebears show.
Standing I regret it immediately feeling my blanket drop off my shoulders and feel the cold move across my bare shoulders. I think over a list of reasons that it would be cold in the apartment, the first being it's fall and down in the forties. I smack myself in the forehead before moving quickly to the desk and move the pile of smaller papers around finding my utility bill and swear. I forget the wreck I am and reach for my cellphone hoping it isn't too late to make my payment so I can have heat.
Luck is on my side for a change and I get my heating bill in order before doubling checking the others. It's odd that I missed the one that seemed most important at the time, shrugging I open my door glancing out in the afternoon light astonished to see sunlight still pouring into the large living room window off to my left. Searching the room I account that everything is in its place moving slowly past the bookcase assorted with my favorite novels to my right and turn flopping among the beige couch. I reach behind me for the blue camouflage throw blanket and wrap it around myself before reaching for the envelope that I signed for this morning.
"No return address…I hope this isn't one of those letters again." Sighing I reach for the corner and use my long rich crimson nail to file the envelope open before finding exactly what I didn't want. "It would seem after three ignored mail messages, many deleted phone messages and three blunt refusal return letters this would stop." I smile despite myself reading over the letter and find lift a brown frowning at the small gold card that falls into my lap.
He needs you. I think he's slowly falling apart and despite not knowing what happened I think his darker side may be the undoing of his competitors and the factory. I have no idea what happened in the past, what drove you apart but I know that the little guys are worried. I'm worried and my family is worried of what they've driven him to do. He needs your skills back in his life despite the fact you chose the way out of your own.
Sincerely, A protégée that cares
Sighing I wrinkle the letter into a ball and aim for the garbage can at my side. I smile feeling better hearing the sound of it thump to the bottom before eyeing the familiar gold card in hand. I find myself astonished it is still around before dropping that also into the garbage and leaning across for the black remote on my oak coffee table. Looking ahead at the wall mounted television I flick through the channels before settling on a cartoon movie and relaxing.
Almost to the end of the movie it gets interrupted by a news broadcast, I make a face knowing that I won't finish the movie but also already know the end due to the fact I grew up on it. I go to change the channel before pausing and looking up at familiar names mentioned on the news. Listening to the story I feel my eyes widening before biting my lip worried about how this story would turn out in the future.
"He's never in the damn news…not voluntarily anyway." Remarkably I lean forward in my seat for once captivated by the local news and find myself twisting my long finger through strands in my hair before covering my forehead in annoyance. Despite swearing I would not go back to that world or get involved in any fashion with my old job I know I have no choice. I liked bartending it had become much safer than being a private investigator and the idea of knowing what people were really like in the world outside.
I had prided myself on the fact that I could help people; I could do well with my skills and still have a decent lifestyle. It had been a wonderful dream until reality set in. People were self-serving and often times cruel to one another for the most petty of reasons. I had accidental chosen a case that got me into a world of the rich and most dirty of those people. I had watched a good person go down in flames and had watched that person turn into an obsessive recluse before finding reason and talking didn't work on him anymore. I saw what become of his plan to find a protégée to hand his business down to and found myself grateful to the kid for seeing around the goblin he had become. Granted being hurt did change people, but I couldn't sit there and watch him become enthralled with the paranoia that would consume him.
His life had turned around thanks to that small boy but it had not worked out for me. I had watched a good friend turn his most wonderful world upside down and had chosen to leave despite any doubts. I hadn't looked back and I had not gone back into being a P.I. since.
"I am not going to go back into that world." I firmly force myself to push the button to change the channel and in doing so only find six more channels of the same news story. I keep repeating to myself that I won't get involved and decide to climb to my feet. I navigate my way past the blur of violet walls and my case of books before pausing outside my bedroom door.
I move in shoving open the closet off to my right and pull out clothing before moving to the left to the small bathroom. I flick on the switch glancing around the mint green tiled floor and light yellow walls that almost look white before walking to the deep emerald green counter and glance in the mirror. I flinch making a face seeing makeup smeared around my eyes and my hair in a wild mass of rich blond tangles with the violet bangs neatly blended off to my right.
I attempt to run my fingers through my hair wincing seeing my blue eyes are red in color due to lack of sleep. Scolding myself I tap the counter hearing the steady click of my nails before I shake my head and head for the off yellow shower.
I turn on the hot water getting a soothing temperature that won't scald me before climbing in and using the melon scented body wash and shampoo hoping to get my mind of the past. The news story didn't bother me so much as the fact that things had become a lot worse than I remembered in that world of sweets and love of life.
Drifting off in thought I find my memories coming back of those first few days watching him follow his dream. Seeing him gradually begin to turn his world into something amazing before finding that even the most colorful and sweetest of dreams can be ruined by the opposing force of unkind people, I saw the way that world changed over time and hadn't liked the end results.
"These are amazing, though I would make a limit so the children don't float too high." I smiled hearing his laughter of agreement before seeing those violet eyes come alive with energy and vigor to make his work perfect.
"Arctura do you really think that children would test the limits?" He gave me a skeptical sort of look before I smirked my pink tinted lips turning up teasingly. "Right, a limit is a good idea." He made a note in the small notebook at his side.
I shook out of my memories coming back to earth and wrapping myself in an oversized sunshine yellow towel. He had been so spirited and happy back then, before those idiotic thieves began to tear apart his dreams one shiny piece at a time. I still hadn't known how we developed a friendship but I had been there not just as a P.I. but was there for protection, I did all the background checks and had failed in my duty to my friend.
"That's why you don't make friends with your clients." I said aloud staring at my reflection and seeing my hair fall in waves down my shoulders. "Also why you don't make a promise that you know is impossible to keep." I found the vivid violet streak a pleasant reminder and a painful one but had never let it fade.
I had been told I punish myself due to my nature to not want to face I can't stop everyone from being hurt. I had chosen to ignore that because it is my job to at the very least protect him and I failed on more levels than I chose to face. Sighing I try to comb the tangles out of my hair flinching at each new knot I find before getting it to lay in a wave around my shoulder. I looked like hell and did not feel the need to go back to work due to that fact, I had the night off but it didn't mean I wanted to stay there and sulk.
Ring, ring, ring
I jerked surprised by my cellphone going off and reach over for it. "Hello?"
Furrowing my brow I listen to the silence before contemplating the idea of flipping it closed. I go to do just that before hearing a strange noise on the phone and squint in confusion. I try 'hello' a few more times before deciding to give in and pause.
"Arctura…I need your help." I freeze glancing at my reflection and can see myself go white. "I know Charlie has tried to contact you, I know you said you wouldn't come back. I do need help because you knew me best. I'm scaring them." I didn't say a word barely being able to breathe finding that familiar voice strangely different and cold compared to what I remembered it being.
"Alright," I hear myself say though I had been saying no to myself all morning. "I'll be there soon…I need to sort some things and call off from work." I go to end the call hearing his voice again.
"You should pack some things," I heard the phone call end from his side before shutting my phone and eyeing the bright blue object in my hand.
I set my phone down gripping my bathroom counter for dear life. He sounds so different than I remember, distant and cool. I didn't like it and now wondered why I even told him I would be there. What right did I have to go back to that magical place and fail all over again? Why did he want me? What could I do that would be of any use to him? My mind wouldn't shut off those dark questions forcing myself to tear up I glance down seeing my hands are virtually white due to holding onto the counter so tightly. Sniffing I release my grip and brush at my eyes before turning to enter my room.
Mechanically I go to my closet and pull out a duffle bag beginning to pack things I would need for a few days. I sort out my schedule at the bar and am grateful to the one person I love in my line of work, my boss Glen who said he would hold down the fort for as long as I needed. It was a good thing to be favored by the place where you worked, it meant I would have a job when I was finished closing the book on my former life.
Staring around my room I snap my purse shut with cookie monster on it before shoving it into my duffel bag. I reach for my black conductor hat and stare around the familiarity of my small apartment one more time before going out into the richly painted red walled hall of my apartment and lock the door behind me.
I walk slowly down the gray carpet staring at each red door as I pass before pausing at the black elevator doors and the red exit to the stairs. I detested the elevator because it took longer than I usually wished to wait, that morning though I chose to take it despite thinking I lacked time. I had thrown on my black jeans, oversized rainbow sweater that had sleeves covering my hands and sighed softly.
I scuff my white sneakers with blue trim against the floor looking up when the doors open. Stepping in I hit the 'G' button for the main floor of the building and wait patiently staring up as the light blinks across each floor from the second floor, first floor and then to the lobby or ground floor. Stepping out I pay little attention to anyone and march to the double glass doors leading to the exit on the street.
I glance up behind me at the two story apartment building finding myself protected under the white and red striped overhang before glancing down the road and out into the distance. I hadn't even left the small town the factory was in. I wasn't even thirty miles out of view of the place; I had avoided that part of town for the most part but had never gone far enough away. I didn't understand that but in this case I chose to bite the bullet so to speak and waved down a cab.