“We are in such deep shit.” Inigo glanced back down the alleyway to find it empty aside from the tall young man beside him.

Niadh nodded as they walked. “Most of which came out of your end, I might add.” He sighed and let his brown fringe trail over his eyes.

Inigo scowled slightly. “We’re in the middle of nowhere, being chased by just about everyone for something that we have no control over, and you’re still blaming me for that one incident.”

“Yeah, I am.” Niadh’s eyes flashed dangerously despite the darkness of the alleyway. “That ‘one incident’ set this whole thing going. If it wasn’t for you, we’d all be safe at home right now.”

“Hey, Niadh, maybe you hadn’t noticed, but we were never safe. Ever,” he emphasised. His pace increased. “You know, you really are just that dumbass from school still. You’re smart and the girls think you’re handsome, and you try to act like that’s all that matters. But underneath that, you’re so insecure you don’t even realise it. You act your whole life so you don’t know who the hell you are, and when something goes wrong, you blame it on the scapegoat before anyone can suggest it might be your fault.” Niadh was still walking at the same old pace, tattered jacket rustling in the wind. Inigo turned to face him. “But at the end of the day, the only people who give a damn about you are fucking airheads anyway.”

A strong hand was gripping Inigo by the neck before he knew it. Niadh pushed him against the wall, other hand clenched into a fist. “If you ever insult Jen again, I swear I will personally break you into pieces small enough for Satch to analyse under a microscope,” he hissed.

Inigo’s face drained itself of all emotion. “Whoa, raw nerve,” he said tonelessly.

Niadh loosened his grip and let Inigo fall to the floor. “In case you’ve forgotten,” he said, continuing down the alley, “we have a building to find. Or are you that much of an idiot that you can’t even manage that?”

Inigo rubbed his neck before scrambling to his feet. “Course I can,” he called ahead. “Bet I’ll even beat you to it!” He ran to catch up with Niadh and the two raced off down the alley, grinning like maniacs.

The End

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