Ahem. Disclaimer? I don't own anything that I don't own. This is an AU after the first movie, so there's that.

Title taken from the song by The Pretty Reckless. Probably going to change. Who knows?


It smells like crap. Crap and carrots and baby vomit—wait. No, that's from Goldmember. Ignore that.

It hits like a brick wall. I never got that phrase. Who's stupid enough to run into a wall? And the wall obviously isn't moving. Then again, with the world in total hell as it is, it just might. But that's not the point. I'm going off on a rabbit trail. Don't you hate when that happens?

Onward.

It hits like a brick wall. Bricks made of a smoky haze dotted with the glowing red ends of cigars and cigarettes, cemented down with cheap liquors that burn your throat as it goes down, all on a foundation of melancholia and self-loathing and all that jazz. It's really a great place. I don't see why there aren't more people. Don't college kids like these kinds of places?

Oh, wait, that's right. It's in the middle of fucking nowhere.

I stand by the door for a second. For being in the middle of nowhere, there are quite a few people in here. They all look slow though; beer bellies galore in here. Bartender should have some sort of weapon. Hopefully not a gun. Best to take him out first, then anyone else with small weapons.

It's good to have escape plans.

Before anyone notices me, I make myself relax. Kill my posture, shoulders slouch. I leave my hood up though. Keep my head down. Don't draw attention, that's rule numero uno. Someone obviously didn't tell these tards.

The locals stare as I move. Pretty soon, all the talk dies down to whispers. Even the music seems to shut up. Their lips twist in disgust at my outsider stench, because—being the lumberjack hillbillies that they are—I'm sure they can smell it on me. They watch with icy glares. This is their clubhouse. No kids allowed. Especially punks with dirty blue combat boots.

Well then. They're just going to have to learn how to share.

I find an empty stool at the counter, away from everyone else. I can feel them watching as I take off my bag and drop it in my lap. Creeps. If a fight breaks out, I'm gouging out a couple eyes. Keep them as souvenirs.

The Bartender finally notices me. He's a big guy, just like the rest of the Neanderthals in here. His eyes are hard, biased, and bloodshot. Drinking on the job? Drinking is his job. His face is a ruddy red. He carries a dirty washrag, wipes his hands in it. That can't be sanitary.

"Ain't you a little young to be here, girly?" he sneers. I look up at him. Gawd, he's ugly. Balding too. Guy should just shave it all off. It'd look better. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully, for the sake of the people that have to look at him. Like me.

"I'm not here to drink," I say flatly. Barkeep glares down at me. I meet his eyes. Dirty blue eyes. My boots look better.

"Then what'd'ya want?" he demands. I open my bag and pull out my wallet. Open that and pull out a ten and two ones.

"All I have is twelve bucks," I lie. I actually have closer to four hundred. Not telling him though. "What food can that buy me?" I ask, pulling my hood off, revealing my blue beanie. The man holds his glare. I clench my jaw. Come on. Take the money.

The man rolls his head to the side. His neck pops. "Can get you a burger and some fries."

"What about a water?"

"It'll be hot."

"Fine."

We keep up our staring contest. The man's lip pulls up in a snarl before he turns and starts for a door behind the counter. The kitchen hopefully. I let out a small sigh of relief and stick my money back in my wallet. Won't be pulling that out until after I get food in my stomach. My stomach twists at the mention of food. Man, when was the last time I ate something hot?

Chsh, can't even remember my whole name, how am I supposed to remember what I ate?

Slowly, the life starts to trickle back into the other patrons. I can still feel them watching me, but not as many eyes this time. It's getting louder though.

Wait. Is it just me, or is there about twice as many people in here now? I glance around. Shit. Definitely more people in here. There's a door in the back. They're coming out of there; drunk and staggering like a poor parody of a zombie attack. I need to reevaluate my escape plan.

They're all drunk. That can come in handy. Drunks are sloppy. But then again, some of these lumberjacks look like pissed as all fucking hell. A couple look like they had their faces smashed in with a waffle iron. Why a waffle iron? Not sure. I guess because I like waffles. Just don't ask how I know I like them. I don't remember.

I catch a couple of their mutterings. Something about losing money. Guy must have cheated. Fight was rigged.

Oh? Oh. Oh. Balls.

Fighters. These guys are fighters. Crap. Crap. Crapitty crap crap! They're still drunk. I better get a knife with my burger. Or a fork. Hell, even a spoon will work.

They spread out into the bar. One angry as all hell group goes to an empty table, where they glare at a stocky guy. Hairy guy. Spiky hair, like he has bunny ears. I can't help but smile a bit at that. The guy sits at the counter about three seats away from me. He doesn't seem to notice me. Good. Let's keep it that way.

The bartender comes back. He sets a glass of water in front of me. "Food'll be a little longer."

I just nod, not taking my eyes off the water. The cup is clear, or at least I think it used to be clear. It's all muggy now, and it has a chip in the rim. I pick it up and look in it at the water. It's foggy. I crinkle my nose at it and push it away. Gross ass Neanderthals.

I glance around again. People keep shuffling out of the back room, filling the room. Guy sitting kinda by me has a beer now. Has his eyes glued on his bottle like it would disappear if he looked away. I crinkle my nose at him, trying to figure out his story. He stinks of melancholy. It's the dangerous kind, the kind the victim doesn't know about until after he finds himself falling toward the water's hard surface after throwing himself off of a bridge. Yeah.

I look back down at my gross cup. Maybe he's a secret agent. The guy drinking by himself. Maybe he's some sort of James Bond 007 shit, staking out these creeps for some sort of super villain. He just doesn't belong. He has a sort of air about him. The guy takes a swig of his beer, freezing for a split second, the bottle tipped up, his lips around the top, his Adams apple stuck in the middle of his neck mid drink. His eyes slowly make their way to mine. We stare at each other as he sets down his drink.

He has old eyes. Eyes that have seen shit that no one should see. Eyes that have seen friends and family die, eyes that have burned with rage and hatred, eyes that have seen the very heart of hell and clawed their way out again.

Well, maybe not that last one, but you get the point.

I don't drop my gaze. This is one staring contest I intend on winning. I can tell he's doing the same thing I did. He's trying to figure out my story. They aren't threatening, just alert.

The barkeep comes back to where I sit. He drops something in front of me. A fork and knife wrapped in a napkin. I arch an eyebrow at him.

"Usually this comes with food," I deadpan. He narrows his eyes at me.

"It's coming." He looks over my head. Something flashes in his eyes and I swear the dude smirks. He steps back and goes back to the other patrons. Somewhere behind me, a chair makes a gross screeching sound as it scrapes against the blood and alcohol stained floor.

The air feels heavy. Feels muggy and sticks to my skin, sticks to my lungs when I breathe in.

Oh, balls. There's someone behind me, isn't there?

"That's my seat." I slowly turn around, one hand gripping my bag, the other sliding its way to the fork and knife. Big guy stands there, smashed up face. Must have been in the fights. Must have lost. I take a breath and immediately regret it. Guy smells like B.O. and stale alcohol. Makes my nose sting.

"Do you realize how elementary you sound right now?" I ask flatly. The guy clenches his bruised jaw.

"Little girl, you aren't from around here, are you?"

"Why no, no I am not," I say brightly before deadpanning, "whatever gave it away?" I stare the guy in the eye. "Now shove off. I'm a paying customer."

Something flashes in secret agent's eyes and I realize I said the wrong thing. "Paying customer?" Bruised Jaw barks in laughter. I narrow my eyes at him as he moves in closer. "I don't see your drink, princess. What're you paying for?"

"Sir, I recommend you step back." I keep my voice calm and even. Deadly. I wish I could remember whom I learned it from. Then I could thank him. The man looks about ready to crap himself. Then he grows a pair, remembering that he's supposed to be scaring a fifteen-year-old kid. He looks ready to reach out when a hand falls on his shoulder.

"Leave the kid alone," a gruff voice growls. I look past the tard to see the secret agent. His eyes are hard. He means business.

"Mind your own business," Bruised Jaw snarls, pushing the secret agent away. He reaches out, catches a fistful of my jacket, and pulls me out of the seat. My bag falls to the floor with a clatter.

I should probably think before I act. But the time you spend thinking is just enough time to get you killed.

Therefore, I do not think. I act. And because I act, I'm still alive.

I drive the fork into the man's shoulder. It's thick, full of muscle. He still cusses when I twist it though. The hold on my jacket is gone. I drop a bit, kicking out. My foot connects to the side of the man's knee and the room is filled with a sickening crack followed by a scream. I jump up as the man fall, catching his head and slamming it into my knee. He falls into an unmoving heap. He isn't dead though. Least I don't think he's dead. Didn't slam his face with enough force.

The secret agent seems to be fighting his own battle. Must have been Bruised Jaw's buddies. Or maybe just some people looking for an excuse to do some damage. Who knows?

A hand closes around my arm and I'm whirled around. I find myself face to face with what has to be the ugliest person I have ever seen. He sneers, and a sickening mixture of tobacco and alcohol rolls off of him like a midnight fog.

I left the fork in Bruised Jaw's shoulder, and the knife is still on the counter. Behind me. Crap.

I do not think. I act. Because I act, I might just get myself killed.

I swing at the man. As I do so, I feel the air hardening in my hand. I grip the new club tighter and feel my hand shake when it connects to the man's head. As I did so, I felt another hand on my shoulder. I whirl around, and the blunt edge of the club sharpens. I point it under the man's chin, the man that thought it would be a good idea to touch me.

He freezes and the bar goes silent. Every one stares at the translucent green bladed club in my hand, something I didn't have ten seconds ago. The man in front of me has a knife in his hands. Really? I look around. Everyone is still. Silent. Eyes wide in fear. I meet the eyes of the secret agent. He has three knives to another guy's throat. Wait a second…

Ho. Ly. Shit. Those knives are coming out of his knuckles.

The secret agent looks past me, and his eyes flash with rage. Before I can turn around to see why, I feel something pressed into the small of my back. Something small. Despite my jacket, I can feel that it's cold. I tense.

Chk-Chk

Damn.

I close my eyes, inwardly scolding myself for not remembering the bartender. I was supposed to take him out first. I slowly turn around and see him glaring at me with hate filled eyes down the barrel of a shotgun.

"Drop it, girly," he growls, gesturing to my club. I pull it away from the man's throat and bring it to the bartender's view. Once he can see it, I let it go. It falls about a foot before it dissolves, little green specs floating and disappearing into the air. Once it's gone, I take a step back. Claws steps up, puts himself in front of me. The gun swings around to him.

"Now. I don't want any freaks in my bar," the bartender growls. I clench my jaw.

"Guess that means I don't get my burger?"

The bartender's face twists in disgust and he points the gun past Claws's head at me. Crap.

He does not think. He acts. Because he acts, I'm still alive.

There's a shiny flash and the gun falls into three pieces. Claws stands a lot closer to the barkeep. His shoulders are tense. He looks like he wants to stick his claws in the guy's gut. I wouldn't have stopped him.

"You better think twice before you go pointin' that thing at a kid," he growls, low and mean, like a pissed off dog. Every one is silent, paralyzed with fear. Nobody makes a move as he stoops down and grabs my bag off the floor. Pushes it into my gut as he stalks by.

"Come on, kid."

I do not think. I act. Because I act, I am alive.

I follow him out the door and into the cold night.