Chapter Eight

Strike


Where did he go?

Where the hell, did he go!

He was late for his workout, she hadn't seen him for lunch, and nobody had seen him for the past three hours!

Rounding a corner, Domino sighed irritably as she examined her clipboard. She had his first few lessons planned out, lock picking and disabling alarms, and wanted to get it started that day. Hell she had told him that morning that they would be starting his real training later on in the day.

But he was a no show!

Whatever reason he had for not showing up better damn well-

"You lying piece of shit!"

Her eyebrows drew together.

"I-I didn't take anything!" What… What the hell did he do?

Turning a corner, an eyebrow arched as she saw her trainee cornered by two higher up Grunts, "Don't give us that! You god damn followed us and stole our-"

"Search me!" Ash exclaimed pulling his pockets out, "I'll drop my pants if you want," Domino blinked, "But I swear to you I didn't take anything from you guys!"

One of the grunts grabbed him by the collar and drew back a fist, "Tell us where it-"

"Might I ask why you have your hands on my recruit?" She asked stepping in before Ash was injured.

The blond and brunette glanced away from Ash and to her, "This punk stole our- uh," The blond paused and glanced at the brunette who still had his fist cocked backwards.

"Our lunch bag!" The brunette finished with a shrug.

"I didn't take anything Dom I swear!" Ash exclaimed desperately, "I swear I didn-"

"Ash, stop," She said it quietly, but her tone told him not to make a sound, "You two are going to injure my recruit over a miss placed lunch?"

Both grunts had blood rush to their cheeks and glanced to Ash, "I-It was expensive!" The blond muttered.

"From outside of the building,"

She shook her head slightly, "Let him go, and get out of my sight."

They stared at her with frustration, before the gaze shifted back to Ash with anger, "Now," The brunette released Ashs collar as if he had been scald at the underlining of ice in her voice.

"This ain't over between us," The blond growled at him before stalking away with the brunette right beside him.

Ash let out a grateful sigh and slumped down against the wall, "So how did you get involved with that may I ask?" She asked tapping her clipboard with her index finger.

As he stood himself up, he shrugged awkwardly, "They uh… Thought I stole something of theirs, they came after me…"

She stared hard at him, "What did you steal?"

For a moment, she actually thought he was going to lie to her, tell her he stole nothing, but then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a silver wristwatch.

Her eyebrow raised, "A watch?" He nodded not meeting her gaze, "How?"

His eyebrows drew together, and he pulled out a box of cards from his other pocket, "It's a card trick, I picked it up some time ago… Asked if they wanted to see one, and… Well…"

Her head nodded slightly, she wasn't angry. No, she was far from it… In fact, she would say that she was happy. But her unsmiling face showed none of that.

So he could steal she realized, "Was he wearing the watch?" He nodded, "So you took it off of him when-" She stopped as he nodded a second time.

So he could do distractions fairly well then, "But what about the lunch," She asked slowly, "Surely that was an overreaction, they wouldn't have come down on you if it wasn't something else,"

Silence and zero movement greeted her, after a few seconds, "It was something else wasn't it?"

What the hell had he stolen?

"Ash?" She used a parental voice, one a mother might use on her child if they were hiding something from her.

His hand went to his forearm and he scratched at the same spot on his arm, and her eyes narrowed dangerously, and her previous happiness had been replaced with a twinge of anger, "Ash… What did you steal?"

Without meeting her gaze, Ash went over to a trash can and removed the lid. Peeling back the garbage bag, he reached beneath it and pulled out a rolled up paper bag before holding it out towards her.

She stared at it, before looking to him.

He was scared; she could see it without seeing his eyes. His bangs were in front of his face which was staring intently at his shoes, while the one hand held out the bag.

She took the bag, and unrolled the top.

She knew what she was going to come across, she didn't want to know.

But she did.

Opening the top, she bit her tongue to keep from lashing out at him.

Pot.

He had skipped eating and working out.

For pot.

God-Dammit! She thought tearing her eye away from the dried green plant and to him, what would she say? She couldn't yell at him, well she could. She really wanted to, but it would do nothing but scare him and revert him back into a shell.

Dropping the bag on the ground, she reached forward and grabbed his wrist. With his palm facing upward, she yanked back his sleeve and cursed.

"Come with me," She growled pulling him towards the infirmary.

His arm was scabbed, cut, and terribly rashed.

He should have told her.

He should have fucking told her.

Dragging him through the doorway to the infirmary, she shoved him down onto a chair and went over to a nurse, "I need you to take a look at his-" She pointed directly at Ash, "arm,"

The nurse went over to Ash immediately and looked at his arm, "This irritates you doesn't it?" She asked softly, "Itches, burns?"

He didn't answer.

"Ash," Domino said lowly.

"Yes…"

The nurse nodded and went over to a cabinet, "I'll put some ointment on for the rash, then wrap your arm to prevent you from getting at it," He nodded wordlessly as she applied a white cream to his arm and then the bandages over top.

When she was done, she went over to her desk and pulled open a drawer. Taking out a packet, she handed it to him, "Whenever you feel… Ya know," She said knowingly, and Ash merely nodded, "Have a piece of gum, I take it you haven't had a, umm, high in some time?"

"Yeah,"

"Well the gum will help, but if you feel sick come here immediately alright?"

He nodded, "Thank you," Domino said quietly keeping her eyes fastened on Ash, "Come on, you've still got work to do today,"

On her way out, she grabbed his elbow and yanked him out of the room.

Once they were in the hall, she gripped his collar and shoved him hard against the wall, "If you ever miss practice for something…" She huffed out a breath, "For something as stupid as this again, I swear I'll be done with you!"

He had gone pale, and his eyes wide with fright, "I don't care if it's the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning. If you ever feel like you need a fix desperately, I want you to find me. Do you understand me?"

He nodded, and she gave his collar a tug, "I want you to say it!"

"I-I understand… Domino, I-I understand I'm sorr-"

"Don't, apologize," She whispered seriously. She released her grip on his collar and spun on her heel, clutching the clip board in a vice grip, "And don't call me Dom ever again,"

Ash let out a shaky breath, he'd done it. He had royally fucked up this time.

His second chance had been given a strike.

And he wasn't sure how many were left till he was out.


AGP's next chapter is complete, I'm just getting a little ahead in writing to make sure that it moves smoothly along with the rest of the story.

I've started on another story, but I doubt that will be out for the longest time. That is if I go ahead and finish it.

Second semester start's tomorrow, and I'll have far less time to write because of it. I'll have homework from each class if I'm correct every night.

So updates will be slowed most likely.

Any thank you all for reading, and thank you all for your feedback. It's great, and if you wouldn't mind please drop in a review and let me know what you thought of the chapter!

Thanks again!