Of course, when they arrived inside Trick's old castle in Edenderry, which had no electricity, either, much to everyone's groaned disapprovals, Lauren was not surprised when she turned around to pick up the bag she left in the entrance only to find they were stuck in here like they were at her own grandfather's castle.
Bo was bouncing around, seeming to touch everything she could in the grand hall entrance. This place was designed differently than the White's Nature Castle. There was a lot of red and a lot of flags hanging from the ceiling, probably signifying that the Blood King once resided here. Normally, Lauren would be able to recall what each of the words on the wall plaques said and who the emblems belonged to, but she seemed to be blank. That would usually bother her, to the point that she had to know the answer and would look it up until she did, but she just didn't care. Maybe it was being in this place. It did have ominous, dangerous, and intimidating qualities to it.
"What the hell does that say?" Lauren looked up again at one of the plaques beside where she was standing. All she could do was shrug, though she had a sudden urge to hit something, or even possibly fuck something. She would be okay with fucking something instead. Bo was looking particularly delicious today in her tight tank top, the girls on apparent display for more than comfort. The sex the other night had been amazing, and Lauren found herself ready to just take the succubus upstairs and bang her silly.
"You tell me; you're the one who speaks the language." Bo leaned over to kiss her cheek, and Lauren's face lit up. Maybe it wouldn't be hard to convince her. She wondered who would volunteer to watch Briann.
The one thing she noticed that was different about this place? The distinct lack of other people. The entire castle, inside and out, looked rundown. It was, for all intents and purposes, a decaying mess. Well, it was empty until a strange old woman appeared from seemingly out of nowhere. Kenzi jumped and seemed to stab herself with something sticking out of the wall. Lauren couldn't keep in her chuckle.
"Ouch, castle. Watch what you're pointing at people." Kenzi turned around to curse at the wall, and Lauren noticed she was bleeding. It was so gross and awesome. There was a lot of blood coming through the once white blouse. It had always been a cute shirt on Kenzi, too; that was a shame. "At least buy me a drink first."
"Your dinner is ready in the dining hall. If you need anything, it should already be there for you." The woman seemed less than enthusiastic to be there, and she disappeared from wherever she came. It didn't really bother Lauren, but it did creep her out a little. She wouldn't let that show, though; she wanted Bo to think she was strong instead of someone who hides behind others in the face of fear. Lauren found herself flexing her muscles a bit, staring at her arms as she did so.
"Uh, Doc, a little help here?" Kenzi was holding her side with both hands.
"Oh, uh, right. That's me. Dr…uh, Lauren…the doctor." Lauren shook her head to clear the cobwebs, moving over to Kenzi a bit. "Ew, Kenzi. What the hell?"
"Here's your bag." Bo moved over to hand her the large leather bag. It was the one Lauren almost left on the porch instead of the one with her clothes. Her workout stuff was in the forgotten bag; maybe she could talk her wife into letting her borrow some of hers. She knew Bo wouldn't mind her working out nude, though; in fact, that sounded like a good idea. They could just ditch everyone and find a place to have sex. "Lauren, you okay?"
"Oh, yeah, babe. Sure, just…" Lauren cleared her throat, opening up the bag in front of her. She stared into it, not really even knowing where to start. "Wow, Dr. Lauren has so many fun tools to play with."
"You okay?" Tamsin came to stand next to her, too. Now, that was one fine piece of ass, too. Lauren smirked and nodded her head in appreciation of the body next to her when the Dark Fae detective stood close to her. Lauren only broke concentration when Bo went territorial. That was hot, too. Lauren wondered if they would be up for a threesome later; maybe then they could get over all of this tension between them. Yeah, she could brag to all her friends back home that she not only married the hottest chick ever but that she bagged two hot chicks at once. "Lauren?"
"Oh, right. Uh…" She started moving stuff around in the bag and came across some bandages. She pulled a small Bandaid from the kit and handed it to Kenzi. "Here. Take this and call me in the morning." She couldn't stop from laughing.
"Lauren?" Bo knelt down beside her, and Lauren had to bite her lip to hold in her emotions. Again, she smiled, trying to send the swagger vibes she had to the succubus next to her. "What's wrong?"
"Dammit, give me that." Vex grabbed the bag and started rummaging through the bag, lifting Kenzi's shirt.
"Hey! Keep your mitts off the merchandise. I thought we established that was a big mistake." Kenzi slapped his hand away but winced and fell slightly. He held her up and started to mess with her side.
"Yeah, you totally tapped that." Lauren went to high five Vex, who seemed confused but still allowed the gesture. "Good job, man."
"Hey, no tapping was done." Kenzi lowered her voice, as she allowed Vex to do whatever he was doing. Bo and Tamsin seemed a little concerned when Kenzi's wound was cleaned and a big hole was there. "Ow…watch it, Mesmer, before I serve your balls for dinner. A little help, Doc?"
"Kenzi, I don't think that's Lauren." Tamsin seemed to stand in a protective manner, like she was guarding everyone else from this "not Lauren" she was referring to. Lauren just nodded her head to send some swagger her way, too. The detective just smirked in response, though she did roll her eyes.
"No, she's Lauren." Bo walked closer and seemed to be searching for something behind her eyes. Lauren took that as a sign to kiss her, so she did. Bo pushed her away. "Hey! Not that I'm opposed because I'm still running on residual energy from yesterday, but…best friend bleeding with a hole in her body? Kind of takes precedence. Can you help Vex or not?"
"Yeah, doc, I can clean the wound, maybe stop it from it from bleeding for a while with my powers, but this bloody thing is going to be ripe with infections, and as much as I'm loathe to admit it, I'm not the best with a needle and thread." Vex pointed to the hole. "This is going to need some professional stitching. My short-lived stint as a Medic in World War I isn't going to do much good here, now is it?"
"Uh…" Lauren just stared at the hole in Kenzi's body, not sure where to even start. "I don't know."
"Has she gone daft?" Vex looked over at Bo, concern written on his face now. Why was everyone looking at her like she had lost her mind?
"Lauren?" Bo placed a hand on Lauren's thigh, but this time, she got mad instead of turned on by the contact.
"Yes, my name is Lauren. I do know that much." She got angry, as she pushed herself up. "I'm going to find the dining hall. I'm hungry."
With that, Lauren walked away from them. Even if Kenzi's wound was kind of cool looking, she didn't want to be around anybody now. They kept questioning her, and that made her uncomfortable. Not when she had no idea what to tell them.
Bo looked down at Kenzi, who was still holding her side as she lay on the bed shaking. Tamsin had tried stitching, but Vex was right. The hole was too round and needed something advanced from Lauren's medical kit. Her best friend was going into shock right now from the loss of blood and possibly some infection from that old spear she rammed into earlier, and Bo felt helpless. This was Lauren's area of expertise.
Vex ran out to babysit Lauren, who had seemed to decide running and working out around the castle was of more importance than a possibly dying Kenzi.
This was bad.
What made it worse was that Bo was left with Tamsin to take care of Kenzi. The detective was at least being helpful where possible, though her bedside manner was extremely lacking.
"So, the one thing Lauren prides herself on?" Tamsin looked over at Bo, who was sitting on the other side of Kenzi. They had since decided to surround her to make her feel comfortable, since they had no idea where to even start since the stitching hadn't worked.
"Her intelligence." Bo should have known that from the beginning. She had thought that it was just the doctor thing, but too many comments and blank looks pointed to the loss of intelligence completely. She seemed to be nothing but hormones and energy. She didn't even hide her emotions that well. "Dammit, I was really hoping her doctor stuff and smarts would have been separated into two. Now I have no idea what to expect when we get to my father's castle."
"Toughen up, succubus. We obviously have to figure this out, right? That's the test. You've been stripped of your go to gal for knowledge and doctoring. You have to prove you don't need her for just that. You have to prove you're smart enough to figure this out yourself." Tamsin was right, and that just pissed Bo off that much more. She felt an overwhelming need to apologize to the woman now.
"Look, I'm sorry about last night. I shouldn't have tried to strangle you." Bo remembered feeling like it was the only solution at the time. She wondered what Lauren was really feeling right now beyond the freedom to run around and not be bogged down with finding the answers. Even if they didn't pass these tests, Bo could tell they were going to have a better understanding and appreciation of their marriage. This was one test she couldn't fail, though. Failing meant Kenzi died, and that wasn't an option.
"Well, I was about to go for it with your honey. All of those hormones flying around me? Even I couldn't control it much longer." Tamsin turned the towel over in her hand, placing the cleaner side against Kenzi's wound. "Lauren is amazing. That's not something I need to tell you, but I don't have a death wish. If we weren't in that situation, I never would have actually done anything. She wasn't even going to do anything at all. She said so enough times."
"Still, I'm sorry." Bo looked at her, trying not to panic that she held her best friend's life in her hands right now. She was so hopped up on chi from yesterday that she couldn't think about anything else. She didn't want to think about the test they knew was coming once they entered the castle. Instead, they took the day in the village to stock up on some supplies and charge their phones where there was electricity. Lauren, proving her intelligence even more, was the only one who had packed universal charger adaptors. When they got here, Bo was kind of expecting it to take longer for the test to manifest. Of course, that's not the way the world worked, so she had to admit the brilliance behind the tests so far. It only made her more nervous about what was to come because she would not fail this one. Kenzi would not die on her watch.
"I've got your back, Bo. This is more than the Morrigan assigning me to you." Tamsin pushed a little harder on the wound when Kenzi tried to move in her passed out state. "I believe in what you're doing, and I'm here to help however I can. We need to think of something quick because I feel my ancestors calling me. She doesn't have much longer."
"Shit." Bo stood from her panic when Kenzi coughed up some blood to further prove the point, causing Tamsin to completely take over applying pressure. "I mean, what do I do? I don't know what to do. Dammit, I should have paid more attention to what Lauren was actually saying instead of just being turned on by her saying nerdy doctor things."
"Think, Bo. Healing is in your genetic code. Remember that you're part of Lauren." Tamsin had to move and grab another towel. The bed, the towels, their clothes, themselves. Everything was covered in blood. The blood of her best friend. Kenzi's blood. "Think, Bo."
"I…" She moved over to stare at her friend, and on instinct, she leaned over and placed her lips over Kenzi's, pushing any reserves of chi she possibly had. It was all she had to give. It was the only thing she could think to do right now.
Kenzi coughed blood into her mouth and Bo leaned back in shock. Her eyes widened when she noticed her friend's panicked eyes and labored breathing.
"Did I get roofied again?" Kenzi managed to croak out as she came to. Looking up at Bo, she narrowed her eyes. "You really need a mint, babe." She tried to sit up but couldn't. Tamsin went about grabbing one of the last clean towels and using it to wash the dried blood around the wound. It had closed but Kenzi still looked pale and weak. Bo assumed it was from the loss of blood. "Is that my blood?"
"Bloody hell!" Bo could hearing Vex screeching, his voice echoing in the grand entrance. They had found the room closest to the entrance so they wouldn't have to move Kenzi far. "Bo! Bo, get your ass out here. We may have a situation, love."
Bo looked down at her best friend, not wanting to leave her side ever again. Kenzi seemed to understand, though.
"Go, Bo. Do your thing." Kenzi tried sitting up again but failed. Despite her lack of a bedside manner, Tamsin seemed to pick up the situation and ran out to see what the problem was. Bo looked down at Kenzi, the reality of her friend's mortality being way too close to them right now. "I'm okay, Bo. It sounded serious."
"Not as serious as this. I don't know that I fixed you completely. You could have infections or something."
"BoBo, all I'm feeling right now is weak." Kenzi looked around the bed to probably assess the damage. "Apparently from the lack of blood actually in my body." She looked back up at Bo. "So, I'm fine. I just feel weak…and like I could lay one on you. Didn't I just go over this with Lauren the other day?" Kenzi looked up and probably saw Bo's amused expression. "I'm just kidding." She laid back down slowly, and Bo helped her, trying to make her as comfortable as possible. "Well, sort of."
"I'm flattered, Kenz. I'll be sure to find that mint." Bo realized that the garlic in that colcannon thing Lauren had ordered for lunch in the village this afternoon was probably not doing wonders for anyone's breath at the moment. Still, she had insisted this was the place Trick ordered them to go for lunch, including the colcannon suggestion. All Bo could figure was that somebody got tired of making separate side dishes and decided cabbage and mashed potatoes thrown together was a good idea. She had to admit it was good, but yeah, Kenzi was right. She did have some bad breath. Was it bad to want to brush her teeth right now?
"Bo, you're gonna wanna get out here fast." Tamsin came into the room, her shirt now covered not only in Kenzi's blood but torn in several places and exposing the smooth skin beneath. At least she hadn't been cut. "We're under attack."
"What?" Bo looked down one last time at Kenzi, who nodded that it was okay. She jumped up and followed the Valkyrie back to the grand entrance. Sure enough, Vex was holding off three assailants, several people already wounded or dead on the ground surrounding them. "So, he wasn't crying wolf."
"Not unless you count the werewolf whose neck I snapped before running up to get you." Tamsin pulled a sword from the wall and tossed it at Bo. "I've already locked Lauren in a closet downstairs. She was trying to help."
"She's trained." Bo slid down the banister, not even bothering with steps, and tackling one of the other creatures, whose teeth were bare but definitely not a wolf. They almost looked shark like, which could also attest for the gills on the side of his neck. "Ew."
"Should I let her out then?" Tamsin swung around and decapitated one of the creatures rushing in the door. "How many are there?"
"I don't know, love. I kind of stopped counting and started making them stab themselves instead. Seemed a better use of my time." Vex swung his hand to make one of the men attacking them instead stab another one of his own. "If the doc is trained, wouldn't be a bad idea to let her out, eh?"
"Not in this state. Lauren is all brawn and testosterone right now." Bo ducked as she fell the swoosh of the sword flying above her head. She felt it nick her hair a bit, but she focused on catching his neck when she stood back up, pulsing him. Her eyes turned blue, and he started attacking his buddies. "Not a good idea to unleash that. I would like my wife to live through this."
"You just fixed Kenzi, though. Shouldn't she be fine now?" Tamsin was right. Lauren should be okay, but Bo was too preoccupied. There were only two more left, and she wanted answers. Tamsin decapitated one of them, and Bo went to hold the final person, sending a heavy dose of pulse into him and feeding a bit to heal the cut she received and replenish some of the energy she expelled when healing Kenzi.
"Answers. Now." Bo held him by the collar, all succubus right now. "Who sent you? What is this about?"
"You can't make me talk, succubus." The creature, another shark-looking dude, spit blood in her face from where Vex had caused him to punch himself earlier. "We're immune to your powers."
"Yeah, well, are you immune to my knife?" Bo let go with one hand but still kept him close as she pulled the dagger from her thigh and pushed it roughly into his side, not too far from where Kenzi had been stabbed. Bo turned the knife a bit, maximizing the impact, but he almost seemed like he welcomed it. "Talk."
"You're not going to win. You'll never win. We'll just keep coming after you." He seemed to pull himself out of what little trance Bo had him in as he stabbed the knife further in and pulled it up along his abdomen until he was dead. Bo tossed his lifeless body to the ground on top of the large pile of bodies already there.
"What was this? How did they even get in here?" Bo looked to the door and walked over to it. That bag was still standing outside the doorway. She tried to exit but bounced back. "I don't get it. Kenzi's alive."
"You healed the wound, sure; stopped the bleeding, but did you really fix her?" Tamsin walked over to grab the spear that had stabbed Kenzi. "Look, Bo. It's rusted."
"That's no good." Vex pulled the spear from Tamsin's hand and examined it himself. "Whatever remedial medical school the good doctor went to? You may want to figure this out fast before your little pet gets some nasty infection."
"Dammit, somebody find the library." Bo huffed as she almost tripped over a body on her way back to Kenzi's bedroom. She passed the closet door where Lauren was pounding and yelling at them to release her. "And somebody let out my wife!"
Of course the library would be a bust. Modern medicine was vastly different than stone age medicine. The books she found were useless, which only frustrated Bo more. Kenzi seemed to be fine most of the time, but there were a few things that she noticed that weren't usual. She tried to make sure Kenzi was comfortable as possible, even when she started spasming a bit. Vex was on Lauren duty, and Tamsin was helping with the books. Bo may have felt better about Tamsin, but she definitely didn't trust her around Lauren in this state. No, this was like Lauren on steroids. Her IQ seemed to drop a gazillion points, and all she cared about was sex and working out. She kind of reminded Bo of some of the jocks at her high school.
It was hard to say no to Lauren last night, too. Seeing her so free and not overly thinking things? Bo was glad her control was back because she would not have been able to resist her wife like she did last night. With all of the craziness, they had even forgotten to complete the ritual for Briann. Luckily, they managed to get Lauren to stand still long enough to finish it, so at least that was one less thing they had to worry about.
The bodies in the entrance were another story. They couldn't move them outside because they were stuck inside. There was also the possibility of another attack, so she, Vex, and Tamsin took turns on watch duty. One person took Kenzi and Briann/sleeping duty, one person took Lauren/sleeping duty, and the other took night watch of the castle. During her night watch, Bo managed to walk around and explore her grandfather's old, crumbling castle. She could imagine this place was once a grand palace and couldn't help but wonder if this decayed state was the result of the Great Fae War. She really did need to sit down with him and hear more tales of what life was like before the clans existed.
It was the afternoon now, and Lauren had petered out on energy again, just like Briann. It was harder to tell who the actual kid in that scenario was right now. Bo decided to turn on her phone to call Trick. Being in this place, being stuck, she didn't know what to do. When she noticed she surprisingly had four bars on her phone, she decided to actually Google some stuff on infections instead of calling. It would have been easy to call; this test was to prove that she could do this on her own, so she used the tools she had, even if she had only half power on her phone. She would have to work fast. Luckily, the searches didn't take long to come up; she discovered the most likely cause of Kenzi's symptoms was tetanus because of the rusty sword.
Bo had to giggle a bit at the simplicity of finding an answer just by typing in "rusty sword wound" in her phone. After about an hour of searching, Bo went back to Kenzi's room to find her sitting up and reading. Bo just nodded in greeting, since it was obvious she had just finished having a spasm. It was written all over Vex's face, since he seemed extra concerned and alert. It was strange to see him so sensitive, but he had actually transitioned quite a bit since coming on this trip. Maybe it was residual guilt for flashing his junk at everyone.
"Hey, you okay?" Bo came into the room, grabbing Lauren's doctor bag. She needed to find something called post-exposure prophylaxis. No, that wasn't right. The treatment was called that. She needed to find the tetanus stuff. Her wife, smartypants that she was, would no doubt have something in here to treat tetanus, since it was a big possibility one or all of them would be stabbed with a rusty weapon at some point in their journey. Sure enough, Bo recognized some of the names on the vials, all neatly placed in alphabetical order within the carrying case. She pulled out what she remembered and looked at her phone again.
It didn't occur to her that she forgot to look up how much to give Kenzi, where, or even how. She pulled out a needle and alcohol swab, something she had seen her wife do many times. Maybe Kenzi would know what came next; she had helped Lauren as an assistant many times. Kenzi had administered no telling how many of those treatments to fae patients who had that blood STD epidemic Bo passed on to countless fae.
Sure enough, Kenzi grabbed the needle and asked how much needed to be in there. Bo kept looking, but it took her a while to find how much to administer. She told Kenzi, who prepared the needle. It was a good thing her friend did it, too. Kenzi flicked the needle and pushed out the air. Bo would have forgotten to do that, though she recalled Lauren talking about that one day. Something about a nurse forgetting to do it, and that's how Kenzi got the job as Lauren's assistant.
Bo held her breath, not sure this was even right, but what else could she do? This was Lauren's field, and Bo definitely had a better appreciation for how tough being a doctor really was.
Kenzi injected the stuff, and Bo bit her lip, not sure what to expect.
She wasn't expecting Tamsin to be escorting Lauren into the bedroom and rolling her eyes in amusement.
"Your wife has grabby paws." Tamsin's aura said she didn't really mind that, but Bo took the woman at her word that nothing would happen. The moment it did, though, she was ready to take her out. For some reason, their short little heart to heart earlier made Bo feel better about the detective being on the team. While she didn't trust her, especially since she still didn't fully trust Vex and he was like her go to man anymore, Bo could learn to accept her place in their circle.
"I said I was sorry." Lauren rolled her eyes. "Bo, I'm sorry. I seemed to have lost my mind lately. No human being should do 900 pushups a day. My entire body is screaming at me. My serotonin levels must have been on overdrive from…the other night." Lauren moved into the room and saw her doctor bag open, immediately moving to take the vial from Kenzi, who was still gripping it. "Tetanus immunoglobulin?"
"You do, you pick it up." Kenzi was the first one to truly smile. "Welcome back, doc."
"How long was I out of it?" Lauren must not have been smart enough to figure out they were under a test. She did seem extra one-track minded and simple. Bo dropped the remaining vials she pulled onto the bed beside her friend before moving to pull Lauren into a hug. "How long was I out?"
"Just a day, but it was the longest day of my life." Bo leaned back and placed a quick warm kiss on her wife's lips. "Remind me to never take your work for granted again. I'm going to get frustrated as hell that you pick it over us sometimes, but I understand how hard it is what you do, and you're the best at it."
"Thanks, I think." Lauren kept her arms around Bo for a second more before releasing the embrace and going to sit next to Kenzi.
"So, that creepy old lady? What happened to her?" Tamsin was the first to break the trance of watching Lauren dote over Kenzi, assessing her as order was restored once again.
"She was the first one I killed last night. She was the one that brought those buggers in." Vex looked over at Bo after sending a quick glance to Tamsin. "I'd say she was sent by the resistance. They all were."
"We can't move her, Bo. She needs proper medical help. We can't take her with us." Lauren stood to put stuff back in her bag. "I have to stay with her."
"What? No." Bo felt panic all of a sudden. There was no way she was leaving her wife and best friend behind in this dilapidated castle; not when there was too much risk of an attack. "No. I'm not leaving you."
"I'll be alright. It's just long enough for Peggy and Gram to transport her back to the farm. I'll call Janelle, and she can fix her there." Lauren pulled out the phone from her medical bag. Bo had to smile that it was the instant information age that had saved their butt this time. "You did good, Bo. Now, let's get her back so we can get her treated fully."
"Don't I get a say in this?" Kenzi still looked weak, and there was no way Bo was going to let her argue, so she didn't say anything in reply. She just sent her a look that Kenzi clearly read. "Okay, okay, chill. I'll do what the doctor ordered."
"That's two tests down; what comes next?" Since they were all here already, Bo decided to pull together an impromptu meeting. "With the resistance, should we send for more backup?"
"No, I think we'll be fine. We just have to be careful. They're going to hit us when we're the most vulnerable." Lauren finished packing her medical bag before laying it on the floor. She looked up, body still glistening slightly from sweat. She must have really pulled out those 900 pushups hard. Bo was very appreciative of seeing her wife's muscular arms on display, though. "They must have found out about the trials somehow; they must be following our moves."
"So, more backup is bad…how?" Tamsin took the words right out of Bo's mouth. It only fortified that the woman really was a strong warrior; she was an asset to the team. Lauren was right to have her join them on this trip. If she hadn't, then the little blindside they experienced last night might not have gone so well with just Bo and Vex.
"It's a tactical move. The three of you are strong enough to handle, what, 23 attackers? There very well could have been more but they retreated. It's because they knew they couldn't best you in this situation." Lauren plopped down into one of the chairs in the room, relaxing and rubbing at her muscles. "If we show confidence and can be smart about putting up barriers and watches, then we'll be more prepared. They will no longer have the advantage of surprise."
"Makes sense, but I still say we call for more backup just in case." Tamsin wasn't used to seeing Lauren's resolve and super intelligence at work like this. Bo was, though, and she trusted her wife knew what she was doing.
"Okay, we do it your way, but if we get attacked again, we call for more backup. Deal?" Bo came to stand behind her wife so that she could rub her neck and shoulders. The initial wince went into relaxation and appreciation, so she continued her ministrations. Lauren had done this very thing for her several times after a grueling fight or workout. Bo was more than happy for an excuse to pay her back in kind.
"We need to prepare for that possibility." Lauren leaned back to look up into Bo's eyes. "We need to move as fast as possible. The sooner we finish these rituals and tests, the sooner we can get back to home base and make our next offensive move. I hope you're ready, Bo, because it looks like we're taking the throne a lot sooner than we thought."
Lauren was right. Bo looked around the room, noticing Briann asleep in her makeshift bed, Kenzi smiling warmly at her, and Tamsin and Vex looking at her with respect. Bo felt loved in this moment. She had actually, on accident, assembled a good war team. With Hale on their side and when Dyson fully came back to himself, they would be a formidable team of Light, Dark, and Unaligned. They were going to be the future of fae. They were going to make a better world.