Special Note: A big round of applause to lolwut8898, who commissioned me, for ten times my going rate of free I might add, for a release of a new story for this series to coincide with the birthday of a friend of his (August 17, 2012). Thank you both, and thank you to everyone who enjoys my stories, because there is no reward greater than knowing that people get a kick out of reading my tales. It makes me feel so amazing. Who says you need drugs to get a happy high? XD Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy this story and the many to come, whether it's more BCB or something else.
You know… When I took my girlfriend out for a night on the town, I had expected to have a nice evening with the girl who made me happy whenever she was around, and indeed, for the most part, it did turn out much like that. We had a few drinks, chatted over dinner, and in general wasted time together.
Except for the part, you know, where I was left lying in an alley as blood began to pool around my body, staining the fur of her paws as she tried to keep me from traipsing off the mortal coil. That was certainly not part of the nice evening, to be sure.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? You need context, and hey, I've got all the time in the world. Not like I can go anywhere in my current situation, and if I'm going to die, at least I'll be seeing the face of my angel on Earth one last time, right?
The day had started off amazing. Lucy had recently moved in with me, and I couldn't be happier, and to celebrate our year and a half dating anniversary, I decided to give her a night out, give her a night to remember.
Double entendre not necessarily included.
I chuckled at that thought as I looked over at Lucy from my seat at the dining table. I had picked a fancy restaurant, the kind you see in movies where the lighting seems to be coming out from beneath the tables. I wore my best suit, a black business style piece, and had managed, with the help of industrial strength conditioners and a little bit of crazy glue, to tame my hair, making it halfway presentable.
Lucy, heeding my warning, had rejected the idea of applying any kind of makeup, and had instead focused on what to wear. A dark dress clung to her figure, accentuating curves here and there without going so far as to become skin tight. Hanging from her deaf ear was a small, cat paw shaped earring, the cheap, clip on kind that you could buy at any dollar store. She had chosen it simply to defy the norm of expensive jewelry that always followed the high class society.
As to be expected of a eatery such as this, classical piano music played in the background, quick and frantic, a testament to the speed at which an innocuous glance, a brush of the paw, could quickly become so much more.
"Please tell me you aren't describing the surroundings in your head again, Zero." Lucy said, laughing.
"Writer's are only as good as what they know. Can't create without a source of reference." I replied, grinning as I took a sip of my wine, the sweet taste of strawberries mixed with a sour aftertaste making me long for another, longer drink, but I denied it. I wasn't made of money, and the stuff wasn't cheap. "Interesting metaphor for most things in life, actually."
"I still can't believe you switched to a course in fiction. Whatever happened to programming?" Lucy asked, and I chuckled.
"Remember that week in the spring where I tried to punch a hole in my monitor?" I replied. Lucy winced.
"Yeah, that wasn't too smart."
"Tell me about it." I took a bite of my meal, swallowed, "In my defense, I was working on three hours of sleep over a forty-two hour period of time, with large doses of caffeine. I wasn't exactly in the best of mindsets for the task at hand. Coding is and will always be a hobby, but doing it as my job, all day, every day could be disastrous. Enough about me though, how's your drama and vocals courses coming along? Not like you shouldn't be teaching your teachers, of course."
Lucy blushed, "Oh, stop it. Flattery will get you-"
"Everywhere?" I cut in, grinning deviously.
"Depends on where you want to go…" Lucy replied, her voice suddenly silky smooth and sultry. I pulled at my collar, glancing around.
"Getting hot in here?"
"Or am I just making you hot?" Lucy shot back, quick as a flash, with a smirk. I blinked, surprised at her forwardness, before slowly raising my paw, eyes never leaving Lucy's, and flagging down the waiter.
Now, I really should have seen it coming. I mean, we had dressed up, so we looked the part of a rich couple, an easy grab, and for land's sakes, we cut through a dark alley to get back to my car faster. Even a five year old would tell you that would not be a good idea. It was the biggest cliché I had seen in every single crime novel and TV show. Dark alley, plus lonely couple, plus expensive appearance, equals scumbags.
Regardless, up until the point where I felt something poking hard into my back and Lucy gasped, I was blissfully unaware of my impending doom. I groaned, slowly raising both of our paws. "Stars and stones, they certainly know how to kill a good buzz."
"Shut up or-" A gruff voice growled from behind me, and I snorted, cutting him off.
"Or you'll what? Face it buddy, you shoot either of us, you're gonna have more than just a simple armed robbery charge to worry about. So just take whatever the hell you need, and get out of here." I tossed my wallet back to him, smirking as I heard a satisfying smack and a grunt.
"Perhaps I'll take something extra for that…" Lucy flinched, and I frowned. "Yeah… I think I will… C'mere, lady, you and me are gonna go for a walk!"
I turned around, eyes sweeping over the scene. Lucy, a terrified look on her face, the mugger, a scruffy looking dog leering at her in that particular way that managed to be both creepy, disgusting, and annoying all at the same time, the gun in his paw pointed at Lucy.
I saw red.
I swung an arm out, slapping the gun out of his grip, prompting a yelp of pain. I followed through, my fist connecting with a resounding crack against his mouth. He fell to the ground, clutching his mouth in pain. For a moment I was tempted to do my impersonation of Christian Bale's Dark Knight, but I resisted. I was pissed at this guy, but not enough to make him puncture a lung from laughing too hard.
"Don't you ever point a gun at my girlfriend again, or you'll pay dearly." I hissed, kicking him in the ribs for good measure. "Come on Lucy, let's get out of here." I smiled, grabbing my wallet and looping my arm in hers as we began leaving the alley.
A sound from behind me caught my attention, and I turned. Before my eyes time seemed to slow, allowing me to watch as the mugger grabbed the gun, a look of anger on his face, Lucy still walking, her deaf ear causing her to miss the sound of the mugger getting up as soon as I did, the thug drawing a bead on her.
I shoved Lucy, sending her careening into the wall as the muzzle of the gun flashed, the crack of thunder as it pushed its load forward not reaching my ears as I felt the bullet slamming into my chest, driving the air out of my lungs. I flinched, forcing myself to move forward, tackling the mugger to the ground. It was becoming progressively more difficult to draw breath, but I ignored it, slamming my fists into the bastard's face, bloodying his nose, a tooth arcing at a, to my adrenaline high brain, almost comically slow speed from his mouth.
I forced myself to stop as I felt Lucy's paw on my arm, and I turned, gasping quietly, noting the darkness seeping into the edges of my sight.
"Lucy…" I murmured, turning fully from the unconscious criminal and attempting to stand. It seemed fair that the pain I had been ignoring come flooding back at that moment, and I grunted; clutching my chest, paw coming back stained red. "That's blood, that's my blood, that's a lot of my blood," I groaned, falling to the pavement.
"Zero? Zero! Oh god, no, no, no! Oh my god-" Lucy screamed, tears in her eyes.
"Left jacket pocket, phone…" I groaned, blood bubbling from my mouth.
"Oh god, hold on Zero, just hold on!" Lucy babbled as she grabbed my phone, and I flinched as I remembered the photo I had set as my wallpaper, one of myself and Lucy happily grinning at the camera, arms around each other. Not exactly a memory to remind her of as I lay on the damp pavement, red quickly overtaking black.
"Lucy… Babe…" I said as she dialed, "Lucy… no matter what happens, know that I love you, and I'll never regret the time I've spent with you."
My vision went black, accompanied by Lucy screaming my name.
I woke, or at the least, whatever dead people are supposed to do when they first get to wherever they go when they die, to a constant, quiet beeping, a weight on my right leg and a slight pinching pain on the top of my left paw.
With a great effort I managed to open my eyes, which I regretted moments later as blinding light poked daggers in my eyes. I groaned, and the weight on my leg shifted, yawning. For a moment the beeping continued, before I felt a paw on my thigh, and I instinctively moved my own to hold what I knew was Lucy's paw.
Not dead then. Definitely an improvement and the fact that I had feeling in my legs was a good sign. I made another attempt at opening my eyes, and after a moment of resisting the urge to close them again, my eyes adjusted, taking in dull halogen bulbs behind a beveled plastic screen, and small areas of cheap ceiling panels greeted me. I noted the gauze and cotton wrapped around my left paw, covering the intravenous feed inserted beneath.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate needles? I pulled my paw back from Lucy's, covering my mouth as the acidic taste of bile threatened to turn this heartfelt moment decidedly sour. No pun intended. I sat for a short while, breathing as I fought back the urge to regurgitate my decidedly expensive dinner.
I shifted eventually, sitting up, taking in my state and Lucy, whose expression was one of surprise mixed with relief.
"Anyone get the license plate number for that bus that ran me over?" I joked, frowning at the raspy quality of my voice.
Lucy just pulled me close, tears flowing freely onto my shoulder. "I thought I lost you…"
"Takes more than a chump with a gun to put this good-looking cat down." I groaned, "Came pretty damn close, though."
"You almost died and your still cracking jokes?" Lucy said, and I detected a hint of anger in her tone.
"That's what I do, Lucy." I grinned, "I'm not leaving you alone, not anytime soon, I swear to you. Besides, this makes us even."
"Even? For what?" Lucy asked, frowning.
"Back in spring a year back, at the park?" I asked, seeing if it rang any bells, "You fainted and I had to take you to a hospital and got to meet your parents? Well, you scared me back then, and I scared you now, so were even! Be glad I'm letting you off the hook regarding the bit about meeting your parents." I grinned.
"Ugh." Lucy groaned, crawling onto the hospital bed and sliding under the paper thin covers, wrapping her arms carefully around my torso. "How can you be some charming and stupid at the same time?"
"Very, very carefully." I replied, returning her embrace, smiling.
Author's Note: Once again, a big Happy Birthday to lolwut8898's friend. Enjoy the feeling of your body slowly growing weaker with each passing year. X3
But really, enjoy your special day. Thanks for reading, please review, favorite and watch if you have the time, and I'll see you all in the future!