A/N: Thanks for being patient~
"T-tell me your joking," Claudia stammered, her voice shaky. Somewhere in her head, she already knew that there was no way Alice was joking, but she didn't want to think of that. Alice was kind and caring, there was no way she'd burn down a Warehouse. She wouldn't murder agents, even Regents.
Claudia was answered with a cold chuckle. Alice shook her head with a smile on her face that had no humor in it. "But then I'd be lying to you, Claudia."
"But… Why would you…" The redhead shook her head slowly, then stopped and took a deep breath. "No. It's okay, Alice, I'm sure-"
Suddenly, Alice stood with a step forward, standing mere inches from Claudia with her head bowed slightly to glare into the younger woman's eyes.
"Don't think I regret it," she hissed. Her gray eyes, which could look so happy and carefree, were burning with pure rage. "The Regents were corrupt, controlling. They acted like kings- and we, the pawn, could not whisper a word against them." Alice spoke with a bitterness, a loathing, Claudia had never heard in anyone's voice before. "They were disgusting. They needed to die."
"No!" Claudia insisted, taking a step back. "No one deserves to die, Alice! And the regents are here to help protect the Warehouse, and it's agents!"
"No they are not!" Alice's voice was gaining in volume, and anger. As she spoke, she strode forward, forcing Claudia to continue to back away. The young Warehouse agent could feel herself shaking, her eyes locked onto the almost alien eyes that were Alice's, alight with a fury almost animal. "You think they care about you? They don't, Claudia, they have never cared about anyone who has worked for the Warehouse. They manipulate agents like puppets, and would throw them to the dogs for the sake of an artifact! Those bloody bastards had what they got coming. I killed them for a damn good reason, and I hope they thought about that as they burned with their precious accursed collection!"
Claudia felt her lower back was pressed against the desk as Alice stopped all too close to her. Then, suddenly, the anger and hate faded from her eyes. It was replaced by horror and pain, as she registered the terror on her friend's face.
The Brit raised a slightly trembling hand, which Claudia flinched away from, and let it hover by the redhead's cheek.
"You fear me," she said quietly, her gaze lowering.
Claudia didn't answer, but she didn't have to. Yes, she was scared- terribly so. She had just watched a woman she'd come to trust suddenly turn into a seething beast of hate, after confessing to murder.
"I'm so sorry…" Alice let her hand fall and her gaze meet Claudia's again. "I'm sorry," she repeated, her eyes seemingly begging for forgiveness.
But Claudia turned and ran out of the Warehouse, the only thought in her mind being to get away from the woman she apparently did not know at all.
"Hey, have you seen Alice?" Pete asked Leena. It was almost dinnertime, and the Brit had failed to return to the B&B with Claudia.
"Not at all today," Leena answered, but she was focused on cooking.
"What about Claudia?"
"She went up to her room as soon as she got home. Now, if you don't mind, I'm trying to make dinner."
Pete frowned and wandered out of the kitchen, wondering why on earth he was getting such a bad vibe.
Leena hadn't been lying; the second Claudia had stepped through the door of the B&B, she'd headed up to her room and shut the door. No one bothered her, leaving her to her thoughts.
She first sprawled on her bed, staring at the ceiling in a numb state. Then, finally, her mind had begun to work.
Alice had murdered Regents in cold blood, burned them alive. Claudia actually wasn't nearly bothered by this as much as she was by the awful truth that the awkward but kind Alice she'd come to know was not the truth. The Brit had anger in her, and a cool capability of killing.
But did Pete and Myka not have that as well? Claudia tried to tell herself that she was overreacting. Perhaps she didn't know Alice as well as she thought she did, but nor did she really know the regents.
Another thing tugged at her mind: the look on Alice's face, just before Claudia fled. It was a look of broken regret and anguish, not just from anything that had just happened, but also from years of buildup. She'd seen it before; shortly after she'd gone into the mental health hospital, on the face of a girl named Samantha. It was the look that had been on Samantha's face on the night she fashioned a blade out of some metal thing in her room and indulged in wreaking havoc on her wrists.
With a long sigh, Claudia sat up. Alice wasn't that kind of person, she told herself. She just needed space for a little- they both did. And just before they sat down for dinner, Claudia would tell Alice that it was okay and she wasn't scared of her.
Unfortunately, Alice didn't show up for dinner. Claudia didn't see her at all before the Brit and Artie boarded a plane to Colorado City, Arizona.
A/N: Okay I'm gonna stop there, or I'll end up turning the story super angsty XD I'm just in one of those moods~
Please review with your thoughts and opinions. I think I kept Claudia in-character, but I'm not totally sure. Oh, and if Leena's out of character, that's just because I don't like her that much so I've never really toyed around with writing with her at all XD