Alright, this has just kind of been happen during the night lately. It's been too sticky to sleep and instead of fuming in my bed until dawn, I've been letting my tired mind write this out. I'll still be working on my other story, but I've taken a liking to this one so it'll more than likely be updated more frequently than the other. I hope you guys enjoy this and my blatant disregard for grammatical practices. This is definitely a dive into my mind, style and subject so in essence this story represents a rather semi-naked me. I have tan lines, don't judge.

I don't own one thing other than the storyline I suppose.


Chapter 1

She hated rain.

It was getting in her eyes again. It always did.

She needed a new mask. One that sat better on her face. One that didn't rub on her cheek bones. One that didn't let the rain in.

This mask was like a funnel. Basically like a rain funnel. A rain funnel that eagerly escorted the intrusive liquid right into her eyes.

She shook her head, clearing her vision and adjusted her position on the ledge of the building.

She watched the figures below her. Exactly three.

It was almost unfair, in her opinion. Three was barely a fight. She had hoped tonight would've been more interesting. More of a thrill.

Oh well, one can't always have their way.

Her body braced itself for her move. Muscles shifting, tensing, straining in the places that previously experienced one or many blows.

She was used to it by now, the subtle ache of her body. It was how she worked. She probably wouldn't know how to function without the steady, delicate pulse of her physical pains.

Physical pain. That was her favorite kind of pain. The distracting kind. The kind that kept her from feeling the worst type of pain. The pain that overlooked her body and crept in around the edges, the pain that fed off of idleness and, in such a way that birds are flushed from the ground by an eager hound, flushed her into the sewage filled streets of New York.

No, it was not a love for physical pain that lured her into the midnight shadows of the city, but a fear of the intangible daggers that pierced her heart in an idle night. It was her midnight passion, so dubiously associated with physical blows, that warded off those daggers and suspended the inevitable puncture of her heart, her last shred of soul.

There were other things that urged her to her nocturnal labor: a small ounce of compassion and a desire to keep some part of herself secluded. But mostly it was restlessness spurned forward by her most timeworn mistakes ushered in oh so kindly by the masked sky.

And just as the night was her own heart's masked nemesis, so she was the masked nemesis of those figures beneath. They were currently unaware of this relationship shared with the veiled woman above, but there had been a creeping of late. A sense of awareness and acknowledgement of her role as adversary was slinking bit by bit into the structure. And though these particular figures were unaware of it, plenty other figures knew. Bigger figures. The type of figures that owned little figures. Little figures like these three blundering around in the sodden alley.

She lowered herself onto the fire escape, her movements blurred and muffled by the dark, black suit melded to her body.

The rain made the surface slick, but did little to wash away the evidence left behind by the flying rats.

Pigeons. They'd never done a thing for her. Worthless, unsettling birds that always frequented the higher parts of the city that she frequented.

They stared too often and for too long. She never knew what to say to them.

The woman flipped herself to the outside of the metal railing. She knew from experience that her descent would be better this way; more controlled, more options. She slid smoothly from one landing to the next, stopping only three floors above the figures.

Their voices drifted brokenly through the torrent of rain.

An accumulation of the words delivery, bitches, and payment told her she was stalking the desired quarry.

She brought her feet to rest between the splits in the rail and, after coiling her back, pushed herself off the metal structure.

Her arms stretched gracefully out on either side of her, anchoring her body's rotation in midair.

As her head pulled around and her legs began their downward cycle, the largest of the three figures came back into her view. His location was precisely where she'd anticipated.

Her feet collided with his upper back. The force accumulated from her fall sent him sprawling forward, his body acting as a living springboard in the fallout from her descent.

The uneven contours of his form caused the woman to stumble only slightly as she sprung in the direction of the second figure. He was quickly removed from the equation by a premeditated collision with a dumpster.

The third figure, now wise to the unnaturalness of the situation, reached to the waistband of his jeans but was thrown down by the swipe of a foot, and found his oxygen quickly cut off by a practiced knee.

The masked woman rose gingerly amidst the strewn figures. She shook her head briefly, shutting her eyes.

Rain.

Always with the damn rain.

She needed a new mask. That was on the top of her list, right below blueberries. They were a super food. Completely necessary.

She shook out her shoulders and sauntered over to the brick wall, casually leaning her weight against it, with feet and arms crossed.

This was the worst part. The waiting. She hated it. The idleness. The lack of distractions. And again with the damn rain.

Her silent complaints were bested by the growing chug of a cheap engine. This was what she was waiting for, what the drifting pieces of the now stilled figures' conversation had promised her.

A dark colored van pulled into the alley, its headlights casting a disappointed gaze on two unwelcome sights: three crumpled forms decorating the concrete and one lithe, leather-clad woman coolly meeting its steely glare.

A door was thrown open and an occupant emerged, gun artlessly held in one hand.

"Who the fuck are you?" The voice was gruff, overconfident.

"Tisk, tisk. Is that anyway to greet a lady? Your mother would be very disappointed..."

"Shut your fucking mouth bitch and answer my goddamned question before I blow your fucking brains out." He jostled the gun menacingly.

"Now, I wouldn't consider myself a genius but, shutting my 'fucking mouth' and answering your 'goddamned question' seems like it would be a little difficult. Impossible actually."

"You're in no position to push me Halloween cunt. Who are you? Who are you working for? Xavier? Tony?"

"I don't know if you've noticed my backdrop here but, taking you out would be so boring for me I'm not sure if I want to waste the calories one it. I mean, foods expensive these days. You can't get anything for a quarter anymore."

"I'm gonna give you one more chance to answer my question. Anymore bullshit and I'll be sure to slough you off to a place that'll put your overactive mouth to use."

"Alright, alright." She slid away from the wall, hands raised in conceit. "I actually wear this mask so people know who I am. If you come closer my name and social security number are actually written on it right he-."

"Oh fuck you." Escaped aggravated lips as the clip of the gun pulled back, spitting its contents toward the woman.

Her body, in anticipation of the snapping of the man's patience, had sprung for the front of the van. Her shoulder rolled across the wet ground, propelling her now crouched form to the driver side door. A lithe and skillful elbow shattered the clear barrier, raining glass down around her feet.

She thrust her hand quickly toward the driver, snatching the knife held in his hand. A swift thrust of the hilt sent the man slumping forward onto the wheel, the dull groan of the horn filled the rain saturated air. More shots rang out and she felt a hot, sticky liquid splatter across her face. The gruff-voiced man had sent a bullet through the driver's head. A hole the size of her fist marred the man's features. Blood sputtered out of the wound, seeping between torn tissue and shattered bone.

The thunder of the gun paused and the alley was filled with the cursing of the only conscious man left. Desperate clicks and a clinking of metal on the ground reverberated off the narrow walls.

He really needed to learn how to reload under pressure.

She hoisted herself across the hood of the van with one hand and launched the knife at the man with the other. It buried itself to the hilt in his leg. Agonized screams filled the night and he dropped to his knees.

"You fucking bitch! Fuck you!"

"The manners of a barbarian my friend, that is what you have." Mumbled out from between her lips, her hand pulling his head back by greasy, slicked hair.

"Fucking cunt! Fuck you! Fuck you!"

"No thank you, but I'm sure there's someone out there who would consent to your charming request." She abruptly brought her knee to his face and the harsh screams died in the now cataleptic throat.

She shook the water from her eyes. Rainy mask.

She moved to the side of the van, her wet fingers tapping out a simple rhythm on its surface.

No answer. She was hoping for some sort of musically witty response.

Something, anything, to make this whole thing less mundane. Less typical.

Regardless of the silence, she wasn't naïve enough to think a van pulling into a New York alleyway at three in the morning was empty. Nope. Definitely not empty.

She cranked the handle in the back and swung the dual doors open.

Women. Probably ten of them. All huddled as far from the doors as possible. Very little clothes, all fairly young.

This was the worst and best part of her nocturnal activities. The best because she'd saved these women from what would've been a horrifying existence. The worst because she could only imagine how many other vans successfully delivered their cargo tonight.

"Hi," she waved somewhat uncharmingly, "you guys are safe now. Come on out." The women shrunk back anxiously from her hand, whispering in familiar but unrecognizable words.

Shit. Spanish. She should've taken that class more seriously in high school.

"Umm…Hola," an awkward wave, "Soy mujer y….los muchachos estan not aqui. So…conmigo por favor. Peligroso, no."

She reached her hand out to the nearest one, trying her best to convey something honest with her eyes. The girl hesitantly took her offered appendage and the masked-woman helped her out of the van.

In a flurry of hesitant movements and whispered but shrill words, all of the women exited their outdated and under-maintenanced prison.

Like a flock of sheep they timidly followed her out to the sign-lit street. Their uncertainty turned to instinct as their bodies were bathed in florescent light, each darting away to some unknown location.

To family she assumed. Or hoped.

There was little she could do for them now. She was more than willing to aid individuals but only when in immediate danger. Their overall wellbeing was up to them and was of little interest to her.

She wasn't a social worker after all. Just a type of extremely badass thug fighter and protector of innocent ladies.

Ugh, and hater of pigeons. Always in the way. They have some balls, making her walk around them on the sidewalk.

She looked around briefly, searching for a safe area to quickly change out of her suit. It folded up nicely and she wore tight running gear underneath it. Perfect disguise and chafe preventer. The tight suit rubbed in the rain.

She turned to the left and jumped backwards as a painful and bright light assault her eyes.

"What the…?!"

"Did you do that in there?" The voice was decidedly uneven and squeaky. Puberty perhaps?

"Umm…"

"Those men and those women. The van. Right there. You got the women out, didn't you?" The excitement in the voice was mixing with the periodic flashes of light, crafting a slight migraine behind her brow.

"I'm sorry kid, I don't really know what you're talking about. I'm in a hurry though."

"Why are you wearing that Spandex? And that mask? I got pictures! What's your name?" Great, pictures. Just what she needed. She'd been able to avoid them thus far in her gallivanting. Guess that nice little luxury was officially annulled.

"It's not Spandex."

"Do you have, like, a codename at least? Where do you live? Do you have a boyfriend?" His questions were eventually drowned out as she climbed a nearby fire escape. The top of a building would have to be her changing room for now.

She reached the roof, stripped her suit, and folded it up neatly before climbing down the fire escape on the other side of the building.

As she rounded the corner she saw a number of navy-saturated figures outside the alley to her right, looking over the unconscious bodies. Their badges glinted slightly as the sun began its first stretches across the man-made jungle. The puberty ridden kid was talking to one of the figures, a camera being pushed frantically into his face.

Double great.

She strolled by like any other disinterested New Yorker would and marched toward her apartment. It was nearing 5am now and the morning street venders were out. Coffee and donuts and fruit annnnnnnnnd…. Aha! Blueberries. Right there.

Her night had ended without a mishap and her morning had started perfectly. Blueberries.

She pushed her way through expensive revolving doors and into an overly impressive cavern of a lobby.

"Good morning Miss Davies. How was your run?" The desk clerk watched her as she strode past, his eyebrows raised slightly in obligated anticipation. A subtle English accent rolled from between his lips.

"Perfect Howard, just perfect."