Sera let the flames flicker over her fingers, making them look as though they were lit. She had been designing claws for the ends of her hands, each of which had a bud that would be set fire to. It would look as though her fingers could harness the flames that she let lick over her every performance. It had taken her months to perfect but she was ready. Ready for a trial run anyway.
"Sera, Sinestro's on the war path again."
"Should I fake a look of surprise?" Sera replied, looking up at Mary, one of the trio, who had just appeared wearing a resigned expression.
"You should have your next big thing ready. He's making Savian fall at the end of the act. The 'fallen angel'."
"He'll kill us one day."
Mary went quiet and only shrugged before disappearing in to the tent carrying her bedraggled costume with her. Sera put out the flames and stared at the sun as it began to set. She loved to watch the colours that were painted across the sky as though on an artist's canvas.
"Do you think you could join me, one day?"
Sera looked at her lover and laughed gently.
"Are you serious?"
"Yes. You could be part of the act. We'd be sensational."
"I thought we already were?" Sera laughed again and crept closer, enjoying the eyes that followed her.
"We are, but can you imagine if we performed together? The crowd would-"
"-You talk too much." Sera put her finger against soft lips and shook her head. "Stop. we don't have long before you move off and I don't want to waste any time."
"But that's what I'm talking about. If you came with me you wouldn't be wasting any time. We'd have all the time in the world."
Sera was snapped from her memories by the rustling of the tent. Someone was brushing against it, and in the dimming light she could see a male figure sneaking along the side towards her. She watched him pause at the opening to the back of the tent, where all of the acts prepared for performance.
Sera had been present six years ago when Sinestro had discovered a spy from Admiral Wiseacre's circus lurking in the tents. She'd even known the man; a stage hand. Carl. She'd never forgotten the snarl of Sinestro's voice, or the hatred that filled his eyes. If this man was a spy, she needed to get him to leave before he disappeared too. But then if Sinestro found out she'd let a spy free....
The man was peering in to the tent, his back to her. She lit one of her sticks on fire and stood up, crossing over the grass to him. He seemed to realise someone was behind him and turned. He jumped and his eyes darted around before settling on the fire, and finally, Sera.
"Oh... hi. I... I watched the show last night? I think I dropped my wallet here and I just wanted to see if anyone had found it." Sera stared at him, aware that she was covered in black smudges from the practice earlier, and that the fire flickering in front of him was probably freaking him out a little. He shifted uncomfortably. "You're the Phoenix right? Seraphina?"
She narrowed her eyes.
"Did Wiseacre send you?"
"Who?" He seemed startled that she'd spoken, and she made sure to keep her eyes narrowed.
"Admiral Wiseacre. Did he send you to spy on us?"
"No... I don't even know who that is."
Sera stepped a little closer and his eyes shifted nervously to the fire again.
"Then why are you scared?"
"Well you are shoving fire in my face so..." He tried to smile and shrugged his shoulders.
"You lost your wallet."
"Better take you to Sinestro then." She reasoned, and beckoned for him to follow her.
The man gulped and nodded. She extinguished the fire in the bucket from earlier and pushed him through the tent flap.
"So... erm..." He glanced around him and seemed to lose his train of thought. Sera had to admit that the first time seeing the back of the circus could be a little overwhelming. People were rushing here and there, colours flying everywhere. Sera was glad the animals would not be brought back here for a good while; she could only imagine his reaction if they were.
"Follow me." She beckoned, and then when he continued to stare she rolled her eyes and pushed him forward. He stumbled a little but quickly regained his balance. "Jim." Sera caught sight of the stage hand cleaning her show sticks. He glanced up and gave her a steady grin.
"Phee." His eyes flicked to the intruder. "Who's that?"
"Guy from last night. Thinks he dropped his wallet. I'm taking him to Sinestro."
"Want me to?"
"No, it's okay. Thanks for the sticks."
"Breaking out the claws?"
She pushed the intruder forward and passed Jim, throwing the stage hand a smile before leading the outsider towards the ring. Sinestro would be out there preparing before the audience began to arrive.
"Claws? Should I be worried?" The intruder joked, obviously a little awkward at how out of place he appeared. Sera ignored him and they finally entered the big top.
"Sinestro! Got someone for you!" She called.