AN: Blah, blah, blah. Writer's block. Anxiously waiting for Kingdom of the Wicked and Cold Days. Please read and review.
Disclaimer: Last time I checked I am female. Nice try, but I know that I'm not Jim Butcher nor Derek Landy.
Title: Apocalypse After
Word Count: 1K
Summary: A skeleton walks into a pub. Dresden is not amused.
It must be a Tuesday
—Buffy the Vampire Slayer
After the eventful and almost arrival of the zombie apocalypse—I could be found at Mac's. I was nursing a monstrous headache from the crazy amount of power that I used to to control Sue. I had my head cradled in my hands, groaning. Stars and stones, no wonder Necromancy wasn't practiced much, the headaches must keep everyone away.
Mac pitied me and gave me free beer. I could only stare morosely at it while my brain was doing the conga. It would take too much effort to use my arm muscles and to hold it close to my lips. Exhaustion prevented me from doing a lot of simple things, really. Like calling a friend to pick me up or to even move.
Pathetic. I'm an official Warden and I couldn't even gather enough energy to drink.
My brooding was cut short when someone's bony finger poked my shoulder sharply. I hissed and looked over to see a man wearing a dark suit. He was talking to a girl who was wearing combat boots that Molly would envy.
"See, Valkyrie?" He took the seat next to me and flashed a lopsided smile. "He's not dead. Just grumpy."
The girl rolled her dark eyes, and I made an intelligent noise. "Egh?"
"He speaks!" the man all but shouted.
I covered my ears and winced. I spoke in a slow, mocking version of his Irish accent. "Grumpy wizard means no helpy wizard."
"Well, grumpy wizard is going have to help." He held out his hand, smiling jovially at my pain. "The name is Skulduggery Pleasant. And this is my apprentice, the wonderful Valkyrie Cain."
"I'm not your apprentice," she argued with the same accent as his. "I'm your partner."
I stared at his hand, wondering if the exhaustion was making it seemed any skinnier than a human hand should be. "I'm Mr Grumpy."
"That I can tell," Pleasant said. He tipped his hat at me. "Enchanted to meet someone with a name less brilliant than mines."
That struck a nerve. I sluggishly sat up and scowled. "Do you need my help?"
"Yes, poor Valkyrie's boyfriend and his stupid hair are missing."
A sudden wind swooshed through the pub, making the fans above rattle. The integrity of the place kicked in and the wind faded away. Pleasant turned to his apprentice, tutting. "Haven't we talked about you reacting like that?"
"Haven't I told you to be nice?" she retorted, arms crossed in front of her chest.
"Well, he is the reason why we're stuck here. The bloody Teleporter. Can't even get a simple address right."
Hells bells. I didn't wanted to do anything today. I found the Word, I rode a zombie dinosaur, and now I had to find someone's boyfriend. "Listen, now's not a good time…"
"Oh, please," Pleasant drawled. His right eye started to slide down his pointed face. The green eyeball was staring at me. Holy…I rubbed my tired eyes and blinked them a few times. "The magic here can't be that different. I've seen you use Necromancy last night, maybe you can do something flashier to fetch Fletcher?"
"That was him?" Cain asked. Her pale face lit up with excitement. "The bloke on the Tyrannosaurus Rex?"
"Don't teach her that," her mentor hastily said. His right eye appeared normal again. "I've been trying to get her to stop practicing."
"You want me to find this Fletcher, and to not teach your apprentice about the fine art of bringing a dinosaur back to life?" I needed some clarification here. Could you honestly blame me?
"Yes, Mr Grumpy Sorcerer." He folded his hands under his chin and waited for me to do something.
"I'm a wizard," I corrected. I narrowed my eyes and focused some of my power to get a better look at the guy. Even sitting away I could tell that he was wearing some sort of glamor. "Where are you from?"
"Haggard, a lovely place in Ireland. You should really visit."
His apprentice coughed into her sleeve.
"Right, sorry. A miserable little place that reeks of a malady known as normality. Very boring. Please don't visit."
I rubbed circles over my temples, now becoming very much annoyed by this conversation. "Can you just give me a damn straight answer?"
Pleasant leaned back into the counter and tilted his hat. He made a dramatic gesture of taking a long draft of his drink that Mac had left. "Oh—god!" he made coughing noises. There was a strange sound of liquid hitting the floor. "How can you mortals drink this?"
"Skullduggery," Cain reprimanded. She looked at me apologetically. "He isn't supposed to eat or drink."
"Tell China to add that to the glamor!" he insisted. "I miss the taste of beer." His glamor started to slip again and I caught a flash of white bone underneath. Pleasant dropped his drink and covered his face with his hands, pulling the skin back up. "Bloody hell."
That pretty much proved any fact that Pleasant wasn't human.
"Listen," I said slowly. "I'm sure that any wizard or sorcerer in this pub would be glad to help you. I don't have the energy for anything today."
"Been told that you specialize in lost objects," Pleasant said through his hands. "Fletcher's an obnoxious object. He's lost and our ticket home."
"Please?" his apprentice added. The innocent look on her face didn't fit right with her dark eyes and pale face. "We really need to get home."