Oh geez, here comes the nadstat. Hopefully it's not too unbearably bad, but I'll try to improve regardless.

demonbarber14, I certainly intend to make Ira a 'tough' character, but hopefully realistically so; I'm glad you find her interesting, however!

And Miroheen, This was one of those times where I got tired of waiting and made one myself; I hope I can live up to your expectations and not let you down too quickly. XD

wellllll here we go!

The meeting with her mother had gone just about the way she expected it. Glares, tongue-lashings, and disappointed sweeps of the head in directions concealed to her vision, these were the staples of the usual spat between Ira and her mother. Or at least, if that was what you wanted to call them- More often than not, she would simply adopt a behavior of 'don't speak unless spoken to,' mumbling back only when a cool demand was uttered towards her between long twisting lectures.

This was not to say that she didn't fully accept the verbal punishment. Coming home at this hour, and fairly cut up and bruised, no less, was a gigantic offense and basis for discipline. However, she often found herself wishing that the argument could end as soon as possible and allow her to immediately set to work redeeming herself. She was thoroughly tired of disappointing everyone, but such redemptions were far and few on her part. It was a feeling comparable to when one is busily planting fragile foxglove seeds, only to have some greedy rodent dig them up and leave you with no real explanation to give those who were so eagerly expecting them.

"I thought I told you, Ira, nine o'clock and no later than that- It's as if you're consciously trying to give me a heart attack! I almost called the police! Do you even know what time it is?!" She yipped, "Shall I lend you your father's watch?"

Ira stared into her blankly through her dark tufts, fighting off an inner voice. They were going to soil her! It screamed, Leave her for dead! I thought I was raised to intervene when faced with things like that.

"Eleven-Thirty," she sighed finally.

Now, her mother was a reasonable woman, and also not stupid. Her rigid expression relaxed upon seeing the utter resignation in her daughter's eyes, but only a smidge, retaining an expectant and slightly confrontational edge.

"Look Mum, I'm sorry. " She pleaded, breaking her previous monotone, "I really am. But…"

She was silenced with a stare that could laser ice. The pepper-haired woman paused, drew in a great deal of air, and released it in one hot breath, eyes never leaving her daughter.

"Just go and get yourself to bed." She ordered, waving her hand dismissively. Ira edged cautiously towards the hall and only froze when she added sternly, "This will not happen again."

The girl was thankful to get away with that much and did not bother to affirm or agree with this last bit. She rushed hurriedly into the hall and out of the scrutinizing gaze of her parent.

Her room was terribly plain looking to the average person, rescued only by the presence of some bunting. Under closer inspection, a small artificial Christmas tree lit one corner. She had refused to put it away for ages much to the displeasure (and confusion) of her parents.

She heaved a sigh and plopped onto the bed. The coarse fabric of her work uniform came up and over her arms, only to be interrupted with a horrible stabbing sensation, causing her to clutch her side and roll painfully off of the bed's edge. Her ears briefly caught the sound of the object hitting the floor with a frantic clacking noise.

"Bloody hell!" She murmured exasperatedly, immediately scanning the floor to see where exactly the object had clattered off to. Her expression darkened considerably upon realizing that it had been Ludmilla's switchblade.

She quickly snatched it in her slender fingers only to hurl it at the wall again.

Frustrated and tired out of her mind, it wasn't long before she slid down and fell asleep directly on the floor.

A malevolent creature plodded home, smirking and still quite giddy about the night's success. Street lamps cast over him in lazy orange stripes as he passed through the nightscape of the city, bowler hat tipped close to his nose, obscuring all features except for his piercing blue eyes. If one had been unfortunate enough to be close, but smart enough to hide, they might have been able to see the small reddish specks adorning his all white attire. Yes, it had been a horrorshow night indeed; and the ending was somewhat humorous and quite unprecedented.

The devotchka seemed like a creature in her own right, with pin straight hair just above her shoulders and peculiar wavy tufts above her eyes that seemed like they didn't really belong there at all. For a moment, he thought he was going to be quite bolnoy if she really did take that steaming piece of cal to the hospital, and maybe even have to give her a surprise. He wasn't entirely sure if he had really viddied such a veshch like that in all his jeezny.

But it was lovely to see that bolshy sod get what was coming to him. He looked down at his boots, still shining with unidentified fluids, and grinned, And little more of what he deserved.

Whistling what would be an otherwise harmless tune, his mind wandered to veshches of far more pressing importance as he disappeared into the shadows of the apartment building.

The next day offered little refuge from the night's events. The school buzzed faintly with the latest gossip, how Ira had come in with cuts and scratches all over her body. Maybe it was her father, or maybe her mother, or perhaps… and this was the one that bothered her most… perhaps she had finally accepted the offer from Ludmilla and her lot, resulting in some sort of twisted initiation.

Regardless, things quieted and life continued as usual. Drab surroundings, coupled with nosey teenagers. She could only continue in her usual resigned manner and ignore those who had no personal ties with her.

Yes, things started going a little more smoothly.

That was until she crossed paths with the sly she-devil and her cronies.

"Ira!"

Her walking picked up dramatically.

The obnoxious blonde cut in front of her, blocking the way. The tufted teen sighed as Ludmilla caught her shoulder in a friendly gesture usually given when someone was going to get their arse handed to them. However, she seemed genuinely pleased to see Ira, and doubly pleased upon examining the bits of damage on her cheek.

"Ho Ho, so you were in a good old drat again, eh?" Ludmilla chuckled loudly, "It must have been horrorshow, from the looks of ya!"

"Indeed." Ira breathed, "Horrorshow."

"I knew it," the blonde waggled her finger, "I knew you had it in you. So if you're not particularly busy this nochy-"

"I have work, Ludmilla." She responded curtly, "REAL work. Tim and Shelley need-"

"Oh come on, it'll be a great raz. It's not…" the young gang girl thought for a moment, choosing her words carefully. She then proceeded to squeeze the words out in an almost painful fashion, "It's not all about the bitv- I mean, fights. Besides, you can't possibly be the only employee they've got. The girls will get along with you real dobby, right girls?"

Looking over her shoulder, Ira could see two other girls who had been standing idly up until this point and were now nodding their heads with little interest in Ira, if any at all. She drew her attention back to Ludmilla.

"No." she affirmed. She started to continue past the lot of them when she caught a particularly eerie smile forming on Ludmilla's face.

"I messeled as much. I didn't want to bring this up, Ira, but…" She grinned widely, "I heard that there was some very, very merzky lubbilubbing last nochy between you and Billy Boy. It might break your em's poor heart, should I govoreet to her about it."

Confusion briefly rippled across Ira's face, taking in the ridiculous sound of the nadstat and trying to wrench some meaning out of it. "What on earth is that supposed to mea…"

All it took was one vulgar hand gesture from the other two girls to make her understand. Her face flushed deep crimson and assumed a downright indignant disposition.

"You can tell her whatever you like. She'd never have any reason to believe the likes of you." She almost shouted, "Whatever any of those low life gits told you about me is a complete lie, anyhow, and I will absolutely not-!"

"Oh, she wouldn't?" Ludmilla retorted, "Malenky Ira… You have a whole bunch of secrets. You're gloopy to have let anyone know, and far gloopier to think I wouldn't use them. Or perhaps, you'd like me to share with more than just your em?"

Secrets? Ooohhh… That damn ex of hers.

The threat lingered in the air, even catching the interest of the two other girls and some onlookers.

"What the hell do you want…" she growled back finally, a strong note of defeat in her voice.

"Just one nochy, that's all." The victor grinned sweetly. She strode closer, until they were only about an inch apart, "Be at the corner tonight. You know which one."

With that, the blonde strode away with her attendants in tow.

And Ira was left wondering how this ever happened.

Okay okay, I promise something more exciting will happen next chapter. And Alex will be written a little better. But, we'll tackle one thing at a time, eh?