Asheyna sat on the roof watching for any movement on the street below. Her eyes would occasionally wander back to the figure suspended on the side of the building, she could hardly wait until he was done and she could see the tag. She chuckled a little as she recalled their conversation before climbing up the fire escape...
“I can't ask you to do this, if you want to turn back and leave me to it. I'll be ok with it...” His voice was so sincere, but she wasn't about to abandon him now. There was too much fun and adventure to be had. He hadn't said much about her change of attire; hadn't said much at all since then really. She hoped he liked it.
The streets were quiet. Late night cafes and pubs drew far less clientele without any music to entertain. Soft moonlight illuminated the sleeping ferret next to her when she heard movement on the roof, heavily booted foot steps and Afro's voice, he was cursing and shouting something about not going out like this. He'd been seen!
She grabbed Reeza and held her close as she snuck quietly towards the ladder. Praying they'd be making too much noise to hear her she started making her way down the ladder. With all eyes focused on the illuminated scene of Afro as he swayed unsteadily on the side of the building she slid down unnoticed. Looking up she saw him giving the LitPol agents the finger, she bit back a smile and the tears.
Suddenly Reeza jumped out of her arms and hit the ground running. “Reeza no, come back here sweetie! I can't lose you both!” she hissed as she ran after the ferret. Reeza stopped next to a dark pile on the ground. “We have to stay out of sight, come on.” She reached for the ball of white fur only to see it disappear into the dark pile, Afro's pack! He was still going to need it if she had anything to say about it.
Tthe ball of white fur reappeared, but it seemed to be pushing something. She reached down, it was a tazer. Unable to help herself she grinned, Afro certainly was a resourceful man. Picking up the backpack she zipped it closed, Reeza would be safe there.
She drew the dagger out of the folds of her skirt and carefully climbed the ladder. The hardest part was keeping her eyes off Afro. Their insults infuriated her, they didn't even bother hauling him up, leaving him instead to hang on the side of the building while they had their fun. She tried to pick out the different voices, it sounded like there were two, maybe three. She could handle that, she hoped.
There were three of them and they hadn't seen her yet. As she watched one lean over the edge and she wondered, could she just push them over the side?
Asheyna froze, the world seemed to stop all around her as she fully grasped what she was about to do. They were enemy soldiers and this was a war. A war where her friend was in trouble and there wasn't anyone else to come save him. As the weight of it, the guilt and the fear, settled on her she almost stumbled to the ground. How could she even consider a violent approach after she'd come down so hard on Spockeh and his friends for it?
No, she shook her head to clear the self-doubting thoughts away, this was different. She wasn't anything like them. She didn't ask for this, she didn't want to play hero-girl. This was something she had to do, whatever the consequences were later she would deal with them. Right now she had to rescue Afro, nothing else mattered.
The LitPol were only a couple of feet from her now. Putting aside caution in favor of a surprise attack she rushed at them, tazer in one hand, dagger in the other. As she reached the closest one she gave a hard push, being careful her own momentum didn't carry her over the edge. He barely had time to yell as he stumbled and then disappeared off the side. She turned and quickly fired the tazer at another. He went down, his body jerking as the electricity flowed through him. Before she could face the remaining agent he threw himself at her, wrenching the dagger out of her hand.
She screamed as her right arm started to burn. He must have been new; the success of his attack, evident by the bright red gash on her arm, startled him. His face went pale and he dropped the weapon. Seizing her one chance she launched herself at him, her shoulder connecting squarely with his chest sending him reeling backwards and over the edge of the roof.
Asheyna fell to the ground. Before the remaining LitPol agent could recover from the tazer she crawled over to him but she couldn't bring herself to throw his body over the edge. Instead she took the now dead cables from the tazer and used them to bind his hands and his feet. Someone would find him eventually.
Unable to see what was going on Afro couldn't figure out why they'd stopped mocking him until he heard the distinct sounds of fighting and then someone fell past him. His heart had froze, oh god not her! Then he heard her scream, there was no mistaking it, and the sound of another body rushing to the ground below followed by silence.
Those moments were the longest of Afro's life. He dared not call out and draw more attention to himself, he couldn't see how many agents were around. Then he heard it, the sweetest sound.
“Afro hun, are you ok?”
Her voice floated down to him and he could tell she was trying to pull him up. Even though he couldn't see he could still scale a building. Asheyna breathed a sigh of relief as she saw him orient himself to start walking up the wall, he was ok, at least physically.
Ignoring the pain in her arm she put all her strength into pulling the rope up. As soon as he was over the side and onto the roof she rushed forward and threw her arms around him. She looked up into his face and immediately knew something was wrong; he wasn't looking at her, he wasn't looking at anything.
“Oh no not you too,” she whispered.
“It's ok,” he responded, his voice was deceptively strong. “It's not the same as your friend, she didn't get hit with anything.” He could feel Asheyna was starting to go to pieces; her whole body was shaking as the impact of what she'd just done was starting to hit her. “We need to get out of here before more of their buddies arrive.” He gave her a reassuring hug and hoped his facial expression matched.
“Can you make it down the ladder?” Her voice was soft and worried.
“Yeah no problem, just show me where it is.” Asheyna took one of his hands and pulled his arm over her neck, supporting some of his weight. He wasn't sure if that was for his benefit or hers, but he didn't mind either way.
She didn't let go of his hand as she started moving slowly, guiding him to the fire escape. When they stopped she took that hand and placed it on the cold hard metal. Before she let go she asked him again,
“Are you sure you can do this?”
Instead of answering he gave her hand a squeeze and started carefully climbing down.
When they'd both reached the bottom she took back his hand and started leading him quickly through the maze of buildings to their hideout earlier that day. No one followed them as they made their way inside. She helped him sit down and then knelt in front of him. She put her hands on his chest and looked at him, his eyes didn't look like Robyn's did, they didn't look any different than this morning. So this was different right? Just temporary?
He could feel her hands, even though she kept her touch light and gentle. He appreciated it, the contact let him know she was nearby. Even without being able to see he could tell she was looking at him. He squeeze his eyes shut, on the way back to their hideout he thought he'd been able to see some shadows. The sun was coming up, his eyes barely registered the light.
When he opened his eyes everything was a blur. He blinked, now he could see her blond hair, wavy and wild. He focused on her face, she was crying.