When we stop in the middle of the highway and Gemme runs off, I know I should be doing something - healing away the tired fog, running after her. Something. But all I seemed able to do was sit there, staring down the road as Gemme vanished out of sight.
I rub my head and get up, unsteady as I stumble around. The other guys are coming down, but all I can think about is "why is Gemme running away?"
She said something about Alice, right?
"Where're you going?"
"To get Alice back."
Back? Where could a five year old kid run off to on a bus? I heal away the fog at last and go upstairs to see if she's hiding and... well, I guess not. Dead driver guy and Alice's bed empty. Okay... maybe getting high was a really bad idea?
"Gemme, where are you?"
"I dunno, on the highway somewhere. I don't know, why do you care?" well that kinda stung. Why do I care? Well, I love Gemme, and I've gotten kinda fond of Alice, now.
"Because the knight in shining armor isn't supposed to be passed out on the floor!"
"No, he's not meant to take drugs either!"
"Fucking hell, you say that like I wanted to!" because I didn't. I wanted to stay sober for you, Gemme, I really did, but you have no idea.
"Whatever, I need to concentrate." Oh for fuck's sake.
I go to my bag, strap my knife to my arm, shove my knuckledusters in my pocket and abandon the other guys to their come downs. Running in the same direction I saw Gemme going, I concentrate on my pace and on not passing out - I've not eaten, I'm thirsty as fuck and these are not things you can heal away.
A few miles down the road, I see her not far ahead of me.
"Gemme!" I call. She doesn't say anything, just keeps running and I can't understand why she's ignoring me. I'm trying to help, aren't I? I sprint the last of the distance, closing the gap between us. She ignores me still and I feel stung again. As much as I want to make her stop and tell me why she's ignoring me, I don't. I don't need her to tell me how much Alice means to her to be able to figure it out.
"Why are you ignoring me?" I ask, running at her speed now, grateful that she's going slower than I was to catch up to her. My head is beginning to pound and I really wish I'd stopped to have a drink before leaving the bus.
"I'm trying to concentrate, fool!" She growls, suddenly taking a hard right. I follow her, but I don't say anything more. There's a woodland on the right of the road and I keep up with her, dodging branches and various other things trying to smack me in the face. When I look up, she's doing the same, dodging trees and roots ready to trip us up.
Finally, we reach an old building, kinda like a cottagey type thing and Gemme stops dead. I stop too, not especially out of breath, but my head is pounding and I'm trying to keep my thoughts quiet for Gemme to concentrate on... whatever it is she's concentrating on.
"So is she here?" I ask doubt after a moment. I can't help but doubt it. This place is kinda small, and real quiet. I kinda doubt there's much room in here for a kidnapper.
"No, I just thought I'd bring you here for the fun of it," Gemme snaps and I hold up my hands.
"Okay, okay, it just looks kinda small, that's all. No need to bite my fucking head off!" I mutter keeping my voice down anyways. I wander up to one of the windows, peering in. "Doesn't look like anyone's home," I mutter, rolling my eyes. Why would they be? We're in the middle of fucking nowhere.
"Underground passageways. They're not stupid," she pauses, "Huh. Well they are for enraging me like this," she growls, sprinting round the back. "Bastards! You better be ready." She unsheathes her sword, kicking the wooden doors in. I hadn't realised she'd even taken that with her in the first place. Kooky girl. I pull out my knife and follow her in - she's the one with the mind reading thing anyways. Though I can't help but feel like I should be the one leading us in. It's like a mental castration. Knight in shining armor, my ass.
I can't help but wondering why they would build a house in the middle of the woods to hide their passages. Why not just build a bunker or something?
"You brought your knife on tour with you?" She whispers, sneaking down the corridor, her back pressed to the wall. I don't bother pressing my back to the wall, I just walk normally. Someone comes at us, they're fucking dead. I'm not in the nest of moods, right now.
"You brought a sword!" I hiss back. The only time in all the years I've had a knife, the only times I've been without one was when we went to England and Japan, and look how that turned out.
"Good point." She half laughed. "Be prepared, Knight." I hope she wasn't saying "knight" sarcastically there.
"As ready as I'll ever be," I mutter back. At least I'm as ready as I can be in a foul mood with a pounding headache and a stomach reminding me that it's there.
"Good." She mumbles, sprinting round the next corner toward two men. I see them as they notice Gemme and I make them freeze, giving the pair of them a heart attack. They collapse to the floor and I feel a small amount of my masculinity is restored. Just need to get the rest of it back. I slip my knuckleduster onto my left hand and tighten my grip on my knife with my right.
"We'll split up here." She murmurs as we reached a junction in the corridor. I open my mouth to argue. I'm not in the mood to take any orders, but she just keeps talking, "You go left, two rooms about six guards. I'll go right, we meet at the top. One final corridor till we get to Alice," she explains it and I just shake my head, wandering off to tackle these guards she was talking about. If four cops with guns and tasers took half an hour to make me stop, six guards with just guns should be easy.
I've not had a decent fight for ages.