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Reanimated: » Games » Supernatural » The Road So Far » What goes around comes around: A Romulenna adventure

What goes around comes around: A Romulenna adventure

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Maeglin

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((Angry music fuels Rome's rage.))

Rome knew she had to be bedding down for the night, so it didn't bother him that he wasn't out looking for her. I mean, seriously, was she going to be out hustling pool? This town didn't even have a library, so, no, she was going to ground, and would stay there...

Rome frowned at his laptop.

That's the third one... Rome peered at the screen which showed a newspaper article from the Amarillo Independent of a woman who died violently and under mysterious circumstances: the most recent of three. So far. All married--no--recently divorced women, different ages, ethnicities.

God, this was stupid. Why was he crunching the numbers? Isn't this what he has Lennie to do?

Oh, wait, that's right. She was off having the temper-tantrum of the century, which, for Elenna Fee, was saying a lot.

So it was up to Rome and his laughable research skills--if it wasn't Rule 34, seriously, why bother?--to come up with something. If he was going to track her, he had to track the hunt.

And it was gonna suck out loud.

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Lenna was lying in her pink flower room, the décor made her feel slightly sick. Her cash on her bed next to her. This would keep her from using the credit card again for some time. She went over her notes again. She would go back to the house but for now she needed to find a way to kill a Man in White.

“I think all I have to do is burn the remains. That’s easy. Okay let’s gear up. I need all four symbols two on each wrist.” She took the lighter and the small bag of salt. And just in case her knife. Not really for the ghost but in case she meets humans.
She left quickly and used the darkness as her cover to get back to the house of the ghost.

“How could you do that?”

A shudder ran down her spine. She turned on her flashlight and went through the house. Blair wasn’t here so far, which was probably a good thing.

“I know you are here Blair! It is freezing in here.” Lenna went from one room to the next she knew Blair had shot himself in the living room. That might explained the huge stain on the wooden floor.

Okay hunting with someone makes it less scary. I’m not sure I wanna know what have of the noises I hear are.


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Rome sat at the bus station with his coat pulled up over his face, ostensibly to protect himself from the cold, but also to prevent Elenna spotting him and rabbiting too early.

It was 3 in the morning, so he had made a Mickey D's run to purchase two large coffees, one which was to reclaim his edge, and the second he was nursing now.

It was a quiet town, and pretty, but also a bit too close for his liking. Like, you could walk the whole thing in about twenty minutes. Rome hated towns where you had to walk everywhere. But, on the other hand, a balck Ferrari was pretty easy to spot from, you know, space, so he hid it back at the hotel.

One problem with the size was that the local dive was right next to the other local dive: the bar that drunks got kicked out of at 3 in the morning was conveniently right next to the bus station where they could sleep until they sobered up and/or their wives forgave them.

A pair of bikers stumbled angrily out of the bar. A short blonde-haired woman was telling them to get out.

"It's closing time, Frankie, I'm serious. Bob, your wife called about twelve times. And I don't like kicking you boys out twice in one night, right? First you're getting hustled by sixteen-year-olds and starting fights, next I know you're back and..." She sighed. "Just go home, okay?"

Rome pricked his ears up at that.

Surely she wouldn't...

But if it's Opposite Day because she's trying to put me off the scent...


"Hur hur hur," one of the drunks laughed creepily to the other, "she sure was purdy, wuddn't she? Like to get in a fight with her, if ya know whaddImean..."

"Yeah...hur...all five-foot, eighty pounds of her..."

Rome stood up.

"Excuse me, gentlemen, I'm Detective Raime--" he flashed a badge he'd lifted on their last mission, "and I'm searching for this girl--" Now he had a printed image of her, which he showed them in quick enough succession that he hoped their heads would spin. "Have you seen her?"

"Oh, yeah!" said the drunker one.

"No, sir!" said the still inebriated but slightly more coherent one.

Rome grinned condescendingly. "Really? Because I'd hate to have to take you gentlemen to Dallas for questioning."

"She was juss hanging 'round the bar stealin' stuff, liddle hussy..."

"Never seen her before in my life!"

Rome grabbed both of the men by their collars and slammed them against the brick wall. "Where is she?!" he bellowed. "When did you last see her?"

"Hey, leggo a' me, dirty cop!"

"He ain't no cop..."

"That's right, I'm a detective, wise guy--"

"What're you after her for, huh? She a hooker or some--"

It took a while until Rome realized how seriously he'd stepped in it. Sure, they were drunk, but there were two of them, and they were bigger.

And he'd just punched one of them in the face.

Sonofab*tch.

The fighting that broke out was so haphazard it was comical. Rome actually hit one of them with a plank of wood and it didn't phase him, while most of their drunken swings connected with more air than any part of his body.

But adrenaline had a sobering effect on most people, so Rome didn't expect to remain on top for long.

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“Feuer! Erleuchte!” Four large fireballs were swirling around her head, it nearly looked like a halo. “Where did you go, Blair? What happened to you after you shot yourself?”

Lenna was kneeling over the stained floor again. “Oh gutes Holz gibe es frei!”

The one drop of the blood left the wood floating on Lenna’s hand. Lenna smiled this was really working all her studying was worth it. “Zeig mir den Rest!”

The little blood drop was shaking until it flew right against a wall. Lenna went slowly closer, her fire balls following her.

“This wall doesn’t fit in the room. Erde und Stein breche ein!“

The whole house was shaking like in an earthquake, and the wall collapsed and somehow moved out of Lenna’s way. Lenna widely grinned. “I knew I could do it.”

She climbed careful over the pile of crumbled stones. She didn’t had to climb far there it was a body. “Oh my... that is nearly too easy.” Lenna salted the body. “Feuer!” One of her fireballs set the body on fire, when she heard an evil laugh behind her.

“Do you think that will stop me? I don’t need this to stay here, b*tch. I will never leave until my job is done.”

Lenna tried not to look or sound scared.

“Your job? What is that kill all women?”

He grinned.

“You’ll see.”

“You can’t kill me. I’m not unfaithful.”

Lenna looked in shock at the ghost. She bit her lip, no matter what the ghost said she was safe.

“Luft!” Lenna captured the ghost in the air. But he just laughed. “You can’t catch me.” He rushed forward and pushed her by moving the air she was holding. She crashed into the dining room table.

“Salz der Erde flieg.”

The salt flew all around the room, hurting the ghost. But she let the air go that hold the ghost. He moved free and he pushed the bookshelf over.

“Edels Holz das hier ist verletzt mich nicht!”

The wood of the cabinet became soft like feathers. Lenna jumped up, and ran back in the hallway.

“Wasser das hier fliest komm zu mir und erstarre!”

A wall of water appeared around her and it froze to a solid wall of water. Lenna didn’t know that she froze all the water in the house. Suddenly a loud cracking was to hear. The large wall of ice broke, just collapsed the sharp ice pieces fell onto Lenna.

“Noooo. Feuer rette mich!”

Lenna was surrounded by a large ball of fire, she felt the flames tingling her skin but it didn’t burn. She felt so safe in there.

“You can’t escape. I will kill you, you don’t deserve to live. You walked away. You left them. They have to find a way to live without you.”

Lenna looked up at Blair. “Luft verbanne ihn.”

A strong wind pushed him out of the house, in the sky. This wouldn’t last for long but long enough so that she could salt all entrances to the house so that she could find the way to kill the ghost. A ghost that wants to kill her.

Again.

“I think I might have a problem with ghost apparently they don’t like me.”




Spell translations:
Fire! Illuminate!
Oh good wood release it!
Show me the rest of it!
Earth and stone collapse!
Fire!
Air!
Salt of the earth fly!
Noble wood that here is, don’t hurt me!
Water that flows here come to me and freeze!
Fire safe me!
Air banish him!


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Maeglin

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A gunshot stopped the fight, but not before Rome had a few bruises and a busted lip to show for it. Then again, you should see the other guys.

"Ladies! Break it up!"

Rome turned. What is it with Texans and their guns? The bartender, five-foot-two in cowboy boots, had taken the shotgun off the bar and was now breaking up the fight.

Rome couldn't even remember why he was fighting, really.

"Frankie? Bobby? Your wives are on their way. I know they don't want to find you here, and neither do I."

It was hard to say no to a girl with a gun, and the two drunks left immediately. Rome was about to follow, when,

"Hold it right there, you." Rome turned back to her, half-raising his hands. "Inside."

"Listen, lady, you don't want to--"

"I ain't asking twice. But if you don't want me to buy you a drink, you go where you wanna."

Rome blinked. Once, twice. Dropped his arms. And grinned, in spite of himself. "Thanks," he said, and followed her inside.

The bar was half-tidied. She immediately proceeded behind the bar to clean a glass. "What'll you have? It's absolutely on the house, as an apology for those yahoos out there. Morons, really. I was glad when that little girl rolled 'em. I have no idea where she got an ID that good, though, couldn't've been older than--"

Immediately Rome was on the alert. "This girl?" he rummaged with his papers until he showed her the picture of Elenna.

The bartender frowned at it, leaning her large breasts over the bar. "Yeah, that was her. Tequila Sunrise. And then totally hustled those idiots out of their money. I shoulda kicked her out, but the ID looked legit, and that was hilarious seeing her do that to them."

Rome did not find this funny. "What was the name on the ID?"

"Uh..." she chuckled. "Is this some sort of get-this-right-or-I-lose-my-bartender-license question? Roberts, I think, was the last name."

Rome nodded.

"Why? Is she in trouble or something? And what did you want to drink?"

"Uh. Vodka Red Bull, thanks."

The bartender nodded, making eyes at him, but for once Rome couldn't summon the energy to care. Silence reigned for a moment before,

"So was she in here long? Did she talk to you?"

"Just ordered the drink, sorry. Left early, before midnight."

"Where might she be staying in a town like this? Thank you," he added as she slid the drink over to him. "And I need to check the bus station in case she leaves. Did she interact with any other people in the bar?"

"Easy, there, tiger," she laughed. "Sounds like you've had enough Red Bull already." She grabbed a rack of dishes and began drying them. "I don't know if she talked with anyone else. Don't think so. And the bus won't actually leave until 4:30, if I know Guy, so you take a load off at least until I clean up the joint. And as for where she'd be staying...well, you tried the motels?"

"Yeah."

"A few of the locals do rentals, B&Bs."

"Can you give me their names?"

She narrowed her eyes. "You're not really a cop, are you?"

Rome paused. Considered flashing the badge, that had a name he couldn't spell, a birthday he couldn't remember, and had jurisdiction over somewhere over 700 miles away.

"You'd...be right."

"So who is she? Ex?"

"No! Oh, hell, no, no. Sister. Len--Summer's my sister."

She raised a skeptical eyebrow, at his stammer, and at the fact that the drink was gone like a shot.

"So...you got a place to stay?"

"Yes."

"Oh. Um, well, should I call you if I see anything?"

Wait. Was she coming onto him?

"Yes. Here's my number."

He had to get out of here and watch that bus stop. Before he let himself get...distracted.

"Thanks for the drink," he said, and walked out.

It was only later, when she was wiping up the bar, that she found a $20 under his empty glass.

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Lenna was sitting in her sealed room, she sighed while she kept juggling with her three fireballs. Distracting herself from waiting. But she didn’t understand why Blair was hunting her.

“I’m not unfaithful.”

At some point she lost the concentration and her fireballs vanished. She fell asleep still dressed sitting on the floor next to her bed. THe sun was shining when she woke up, because the stiff back she had. Lenna groaned, rubbed her sleepy eyes.

"Coffee."

Lenna stumbled out of the door to the dinner across the street to get at least one large coffee and it better was good coffee. She had a plan and for that she went with her coffees back Blair's house.

It took three hours to seal the house, every window door and even every crack in the wall was sealed with a line of salt, everything except one door. The front door was unsalted as soon the ghost gets back inside Lenna would seal the door, run out the house and burn it all down. And then she would take the next car she could find and drive as fast as possible away from this unhappy place.

“That is the worst plan I ever had. But it’s the only plan I can come up with. I hope ghosts don't sleep at 2 in the afternoon.”

She was hiding next to the door waiting for it to come in, so she could get out.


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Maeglin

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Bus stop was a disappointment.

Another crawl through motels was a negatory.

So Rome switched gears: he wasn't going to hunt her, he was going to hunt the hunt she was hunting. Which, yeah, made sense to his sleep-deprived-caffeine-addicted brain.

He wasn't even sure how he did it, but somehow he'd gotten a name. Some dick who thought it was cool to beat women had murdered his cheating wife, whatever. Routine salt-and-burn, so once Rome had ID'd the house, he geared up with a rock salt shotgun and, of course, his trusty .44 Magnum, simply because he needed the comfort of it resting under his elbow.

The last thing he expected, then, when he walked through the door of the creaky house--it reminded him of something, although he couldn't quite place it--was a frakking sandstorm.

"Ow!" Rome cried, turning away from the sandblast and shielding his eyes, as he drew his shotgun. He had only just realized that he was actually getting pelted with salt, not sand, when a voice shrieked, in a voice that was music to his ears,

"Rome!"

"Lenna?" Rome blinked. Had he fallen asleep somehow and was dreaming? No, she looked way too pissed off. Nightmare, then?

"What the hell are you doing here?" she demanded.

Suddenly, Rome was angry.

Really angry. He put down the gun and shut the door. His voice was calm, but it was shaking with rage.

"I think I should be asking the questions here. Like, what the hell do you think you're doing? And where the frak have you been?"

Elenna put a hand on her hip. "That is none of your business."

Rome laughed "Like hell it is."

"I can live my life perfectly on my own!"

Rome forced himself to laugh harder, although the words stung. "You're serious?" He took a deep breath and tried to rein in his emotions. This wasn't worth making a scene over. "Okay, look, whatever I did, I'm sorry, so let's skip to the part where you throw your temper tantrum, we'll just get over it, and go home."

"You weren't supposed to be here," she insisted. "Why aren't you at the Safehouse?"

Was she stupid or something? "Umm...because I came looking for you?"

"I told you not to look for me. In my note. I'm fine."

Rome scoffed. "Since when do I ever listen to you?"

Elenna frowned. "That’s the point, you never do."

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“Is this about me grounding you? I'm sorry, I shouldn't have left you home alone. That was mean, and I'm sorry. Can we toast this ghost and go now?”

Lenna looked annoyed at Rome when she snapped.

“Oh thanks for being sorry, do you really think you can ground me? You are a friend and yes I do listen to your advice but I don't follow them like orders and we are not toasting anything. You are going home and I'm finishing my job here.”

Lenna looked around the mess, her salt lines seemed to be all still intact, but the floor was covered in salt where Rome had entered through the front door, she pushed the salt away from the door to have a clear path for Blair. When something in Rome snapped and he said, more angry sounding then he probably meant:

That's what I'm talking about!" he exploded. "You think you can take care of yourself, and you're just a neurotic, confused, tweaky, emotionally crippled little witch-girl who can't even take care of herself, much less anyone else! So, yes, excuse me if I do give you orders!”

Lenna spun around and looked angry at Rome.


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Lenna stomped her foot on the floor, which would have had him laughing if he wasn't so pissed off. "I can take care of myself! I did it long before I met you. And I am not neurotic or confused and I am not at all a witch. Do you even know what neurotic means, such a complicated word?"

"Oh, give me a break!" Rome huffed.

"That’s all you ever do is have a break and let other people do the job."

"What are you even talking about? I pull my own weight!" If he wasn't feeling so confrontational, he would have left, hoping to get away and cool off before he or she said something truly stupid and this got out of hand. Unfortunately, not so much:

"You wait until I found out what we hunt, how to kill it, and then all I have to do is point and say please kill this in that way. And on the way I have to hope you didn't got yourself into trouble with the girl of the town!"

“Hey, at least I'm able to interface with humanity a little better than you..." he blinked, realizing what she had said. "And since when did you take issue with me letting me let you do your job? Your job is to find things to hunt, my job is to kill them!" He couldn't resist. "And look after you!”

No." He expected that. "Maybe I wanna do the killing.”

Rome laughed so hard, spit flew out of his mouth. She didn't know what she was saying. She couldn't. She just could not actually cognitively be registering what it was she was saying.

"You can't even fire a gun! And you cut yourself playing with knives! What exactly do you hope to kill?"

That got her: "That... that is not true. I shot Nick when he attacked you at the school."

"Yeah, when you were insane and half-possessed. And that's exactly what I'm talking about: every other hunt you're going off the wall."

"Maybe I never tried to learn to fire a gun because I knew you wouldn't let me anyway. Because you think I'll shoot myself."

"That is such a lie, and you know it. I'd love to teach you how to hold a gun." Again, he had to go just one step too far. "You're just too scared."

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No he didn’t say this? He…

Lenna blushed and got angry that she felt the heat rising in her face and him looking triumphant at her.

“I’m not scared of anything.”

“Yeah, like you're not scared of guns, or, you know, human beings. If you had it your own way, all you'd ever do is read books! You'd never go outside! Never talk to another human being except to lie to them! Like you're doing to me right now!”

This one hit her hard. Her normally friendly face turned into a mask of stone. She didn’t know what to say to make him understand what she is trying to say.

“I’m not lying to you.”

“And I'm just trying to help you! You need me!”

“You want me to need you.”

“Yes you are you-- I what?.”

Rome laughed again.

He must have a blast of time here, he thinks this is all a joke.

“You need someone to drive you around and keep you occupied when no girls to sleep with are around. I'm not the one denying my powers. I am not the one ignoring the gift I have.”

“I--that's not--I'm not--Look, this is not a gift! It's like...some sort of awful...supernatural...PTSD, or something!”

“You don't even try to stop your nightmare.”

“I do try!”

“Like how? Not sleep?”

“Like--yeah!”

“That works really good.”

“That works!”

“Right.”

“Works enough.....”

“Did you ever think about controlling the powers? Oh wait you don't think. That is my job but how am I suppose to help with your powers if you don't listen to me?”

“Elenna... I.... do think....”

“Yeah about which girl is better in bed.”

“You know what? I'm sick of your attitude!”

“What new Armani watch to buy.”

“Why the hell I put up with you being a brat all the time, and I buy you crap, I look after you, let you drive my car...

“Because you burnt my car!” shouted Lenna angry at him.

“Get you books, take you places, and keep you happy. Yeah, because your equally psychotic brother was going to kill you! Maybe it runs in the family!”

“Yeah that was a bit of a problem but I would have found a way out of this. And yes I know you buy me a lot of stuff.”

“Sure.”

“But all this doesn't make me equal to you. Don't you see it? You buy me things. You let me drive your car. You take me to places. You take care of me and what am I doing?”

“The least you could do for me is stop running away from me!”

“Maybe that’s the only way to be able to do something. I want more than just be the research girl.”

“What? Now you're having a mid-life crisis, is that it? At, what, age 12?”

“See! I am not 12.”

“Because you're acting like an infant.”

“So are you.”

“Am not!”

“Why can't you let me go and do my own thing? Even Bobby let me go and hunt.”

“Why do you want to go?”

“He knew I was able to protect myself. Because you are always there.”

“Bobby didn't care about you like I do! And apparently didn't know much about you!

What? He cared a lot for me. I need to fall burn myself and get hurt to learn…” Lenna bit her lip so she wouldn’t say that last part of the sentence. She wouldn’t be the one giving in admit that she actually knew that she didn’t want to leave.

...and I don’t wanna see you to get hurt because of me.

“What's wrong with that? I thought we were friends, you know, those things that stick together? Those things that don't like to see the other get hurt? You want me to spell it out for you? Or are you too sociopathic to understand what it means to be with someone just because you just like their company?”

Lenna groaned in frustration.

He just doesn’t want to understand me.


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"We are friends," she insisted, rather lamely in Rome's opinion, "but don't you think I need to make my own mistakes?"

"You make plenty of 'em, kiddo, even with my help."

"And I am not sociopathic. Stop acting like you are 20 years older and so much wiser. You are not. You are as much a kid as I am. Maybe I am not always acting like 19, but at least I know that."

"You don't need age to be experienced. We may be practically the same age, but in your head you're like...16! You think running away will solve your problems! You take up with creepy truckers who pick up hitchhikers! If somebody at a party handed you a drink, you'd down it in one gulp!"

"Would not! I am not stupid."

"Coulda fooled me!"

"Okay, the first guy that gave me a ride was a bit creepy but hey, I ditched him. Because--"

Rome interrupted her, the fight forgotten in heart-stopping worry: "Oh my god, are you serious? Did he touch you? I'll tear his friggen lungs out!" He advanced a step toward her. She looked up at him, the hint of a smile beginning, before she looked away.

"You told me to stab them when they get creepy."

"You're damn right, I did!" And then, not for the first time and certainly not the last, Rome took it too far: "But, hey, better idea: don't get in the frakking car in the first place!"

"He didn't touch me, Rome," she ground out.

"Good. Not like I'm not already wanted for first degree, anyway, but still." Rome deflated, took a fortifying breath. He just wanted this whole thing to be in the rearview mirror. They could duke it out later, when they were safe back at Tex's. "Okay, look, Lennie, I'm sorry. Can we just go now? I promise I'll stop...whatever, if you promise to stay put. I've had enough with people walking out on me, okay?" he said, everything short of pleading. The voice and eyes that melted every girl's heart to mush. Her reply was, therefore, startling.

"I'm not coming."

"You...what?"

"Well maybe you should think about why Raws left you." Um. Okay, that came out of nowhere, like an invisible kick in the nuts.

"Don't go there, sister..." He was only going to tell her once.

"I'm finishing this hunt, alone."

"I swear to God, Lenna, don't."

But Elenna seemed glad to have struck a nerve. Maybe it was the only way he'd listen. Maybe she was truly evil at her very core. Either way:

"Or, what, you're gonna hit me? Maybe Raws left you because you act like a spoiled brat who just cries about his horrible powers and he has no idea how to handle them, and Rawson did the best thing he could do by disappearing forever just so he wouldn't have to hear your whining--"

Bam!

Rome actually didn't cognitively register the movement. His body went on autopilot, muscle memory, maybe from the Marines, maybe from something else. Yeah, like he made such a habit of beating up women.

All he knew was that suddenly his hand hurt, and Elenna was against the far wall, holding her cheek where he had struck her, and it was way too late to apologize.

((OOC: Oh, God! I can't believe I just did that!!!!!! Sad Rome will have to suffer a great deal now, before I forgive him!!))

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((I'll forgive him, she was a brat and deserved it))

A moment of shocked silence.

“Lenna, I—“

Why does guys always hit so hard that you fly through a room?

“You what, want me to let you hit me again? Do you think now I will go with you?”

Lenna got up holding her cheek and looking more angry than ever at Rome.

“No! Dammit, Lenna--

“You are a proper psycho.”

“Lennie, I'm--”

“I don't care how sorry you are.”

“Elenna, you...”

“Yeah maybe it was mean to say the things about Raws but that doesn't give you the right to hit me.”

“I...”

“You called me a witch did I trap you in a ball of water? No I can handle my temper. Not unlike you. You act on instinct without thinking. Just leave me alone! I don't need another brother who hurts me.”

“Elenna, chica, don't say that...”

"F*ck you!“

Rome looked shocked at Lenna.

“Do whatever you want but I'm not going with you anywhere. We are done, forever!”

“Elenna, you gotta believe I'm sorry. I--I'll do anything, please. You're right, I've been an ass--”

“Really anything?”

“Yes. I swear.”

“Let me go my own way.”

There was another long silence.

“...You're serious? You...actually...for reals... We're not...”

Lenna looked at Rome with tears her eyes but still determined, with one hand holding her sobbing cheek.

“Oh God, I'm sorry, let me take a look at it—“

“Don't touch me! I'm leaving, and don't you dare follow me, or I swear I'll… I’ll call the cops!”

Lenna marched passed Rome out of the house away from it. She would get her stuff and be out of Happy. Happy was the biggest piece of shit ever. She wouldn’t stay another minute in it. She ran back to her Guest House got her things and stole the first old car that didn’t have an alarm system. She didn’t even pay attention in which direction she drove. Just away from him! But if she would have paid attention she would have realized that all she can do is drive circles around Happy.


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Rome stood, petrified, as Elenna walked out on him.

And he let her go.

He deserved it. He couldn't believe this, but he had to, because it was more than he deserved, frankly. He couldn't believe what he had just done. He couldn't believe he had so grossly misjudged...everything. Rome didn't often misjudge his relationships, of any kind. How callous he'd been, how absolutely perfectly retarded. How had he missed this? What kind of d!ck had he been that his best friend--his two best friends--in succession, within a year--had both left him? God, what was his problem?

He stood there, unmoving, for many minutes. When he finally moved, he noticed tears standing on his cheeks. Everything was blurry. Everything hurt. He needed to sit down, and as soon as the thought registered in his brain his legs gave out and he just sat there on the floor.

He stayed there for at least an hour, by which time he had more or less collected himself and felt ready to face the world without beating in the head of the next living creature he saw.

He straightened his back, his hair, hid both his guns, and wiped the red from his eyes. He needed a drink. Or, you know, twelve. He needed to drink himself to a stupor, glean whatever rest he could from that, sober up, find a local girl or three to forget his troubles, and then drive as far as he could from this place. Rome took hold of the handle to open the front door.

But the door didn't open.

Rome jiggled the handle. Nothing. He peered at it. This was definitely the door Elenna had left through, with no trouble at all. Had she locked him in? Why? Rome put his shoulder against it, but the ancient wood that should have splintered, didn't even budge.

Okay, something was up.

Oh, crap, of course! This was a ghost hunt, after all! This place was haunted! Both guns were out.

"You cannot leave this place alive," a strange voice hissed in his ear, and, before he could react, an invisible force hurtled him through the house, through two walls, and down a flight of stairs, whereupon at some point Rome cracked his head against a wall, and he knew no more.

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Lenna stopped, not knowing where she was or who she got there but she had no gas left. Leaving the car behind she kept walking on food, her head hurts and it was a miracle that she didn't have an accident by all the crying. It seems as if she couldn't stop. This was not fair. She was supposed to start to get used to the feeling of being alone, but he hit her.

Why did he do that?

Not knowing where she was she sat down in the dirt pulled her knees as close as she could and hoped for some miracle. She hope for her real Romeo to come and pick her up. This guy couldn't be her best friend.

He would never hurt me.


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Rome woke feeling...squished.

Yeah, his head hurt, hell, most of his body hurt, certainly his heart and soul ached...but the most pressing, urgent discomfort was that he felt squished. He was crushed into a small space, his muscles already cramped.

Rome opened his eyes, confused at the world and feeling more than a little betrayed by it.

"What the..."

Now he could add a rapid heartbeat to the list. He appeared to be in a...hole...in the ground? It was dark, almost pitch-black, perhaps indicating he had been there for a while.

If he was even in the same house.

If he was even in the same universe. Who knew, in this day and age, in this line of work?

There was faint light coming from above. Rome flexed his muscles, as if to stand, when his head--clang!--ran smack against something cold, hard, and metal.

"Ow!" He cussed and fell back with a splash.

Wait. Splash?

His feet and ass were numb. Because he was sitting in glacier-cold water. Rome's breathing sped up. He could almost feel his breath clouding in front of him, although he couldn't see it. He raised his hands above him, only to meet with a metal grate, like bars on a cage. He pressed against it, strained with all his strength, but it didn't budge. He felt all around him, discovering along with hard-packed earth and roots and bugs and sludge and general grossness, a plethora of bruises and injuries that hadn't been there last time he was conscious.

But that wasn't the problem.

The problem was, he was trapped in a tiny hole in the ground. And the crowning turd in the toilet bowl was, of course, the water level was rising.

"You shouldn't have let her go...You cannot leave this place alive..."

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Lenna got up from the dirt went to the car took her stuff and walked to the bar she saw, she didn’t care where she was, she went back to the bar she saw earlier.

Booze and sex to make me feel better! Lots of booze and sex.

Lenna walked in the bar flashing her ID on which she was 21 and ordered vodka-red bull.

“Drinking alone? Would you like some company?” The stupidest pickup line ever but the guy next to her used it anyway and she didn’t care.

“Sure. I could use some company.”

Lenna looked once up and down the guy and well he wasn’t great looking but it was enough. She didn’t need to make an effort to get him where she wanted him. He knew from the first moment that he wanted her naked.

Another four vodka-red bulls later she followed him to his van which had a mattress in the back instead of seats. She couldn’t remember to get her clothes off that quickly ever before but hey she already forgot why she was here. Maybe it were the drinks, but maybe also the guy who had apparently more to drink then she had. He fell asleep after he did his duty. Lenna stared at him hugging her knees, feeling more than before dirty and completely useless.

What am I doing here?

She was shivering and could see her breath, which was a bit weird.


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The water was up to his chest now, and still freezing.

Rome had no clue how long he had been sitting there. His phone, his watch, both gone, along with his guns--even his knife. The water was rising slowly, but it was rising. Maybe an hour? Maybe two?

Now Rome's eyes had become more or less used to the darkness. Or there was moonlight shining in from a window. Either way, Rome could see for sure what he already suspected to be true without the aid of sight:

He was in a hole in the ground. The hole was covered by a grate. The grate was solid, immovable, and locked by a padlock. Water was trickling down on him from above. Apparently this basement place was flooding.

And he was going to drown if he didn't get out of there.

He looked around the room as best he could, his frozen, bruised and battered body screaming at him all the while. He saw his stuff lying scattered around the ground: his phone, his gun, both getting wet. Crap.

Why the frak did he care about his phone and his gun if he was going to die?!

Rome began to struggle in earnest. Good thing he couldn't feel his hands anymore, really, because he was sure he was beating them to a pulp trying to claw the grate open...

"It won't do you any good," a voice said, creepily calm.

Suddenly, if that was possible, it was colder in here.

Rome's eyes snapped up, only to be met by a flickering faint-blue image of a man. Crap. The ghost. The psycho wife-murdering SOB who was responsible for all this...

"Hey! Hey, let me out of here, you weirdo, you've got the wrong guy!'

The ghost laughed. "Don't think I didn't see that little exchange. You let her go, you coward. If I didn't know all women were blackhearted fiends, I'd say she deserved better. But she won't leave this town alive, either..."

"If you touch her, I swear to God, I--"

"You'll what?" The ghost laughed. "You'll die here, for letting her go. I was almost rooting for you, when you hit her, made her stay, that was good. But then you backed off, you let her go, like a perfect coward. You're an embarrassment. You should thank me for putting you out of your misery."

"God, you're a sick frakker," Rome sighed, putting his head in his hands.

And then he started to get really worried.

The ghost had his eye on Elenna. She wasn't going to leave this town alive if--if she didn't finish this guy off first. He had to warn her. She had to come back and finish up the hunt, since he'd done such a fan-freaking-tastic job on that. It was his fault she'd left, and now it was his fault she was heading towards her death, all because he couldn't even manage a salt-and-burn.

Psycho ghost-boy had a point. He was an embarrassment.

Rome knitted his brow, concentrating. He'd never tried this voluntarily before, but it was worth a shot. He wouldn't even know if it would work...how it worked... This psychic thing usually just happened, usually panic-triggered--he was surprised it hadn't already worked--and he'd only ever "called" one person successfully before:

Rawson. Maybe he should call Rawson!

With no clue what he was doing, Rome concentrated, and started talking.

Raws. Rawson, old buddy, bro. I need you something bad, here. Um. I'm probably dying, and I'd like for you to save my ass, but...but there may not be time. So I need you to come to Happy, Texas, got it? Happy, yeah, stupid name, I know. There's a haunting, I need you to ice this ghost, otherwise Elenna will die.

And then Rome went on, speaking to the person he truly trusted the most, without even knowing who he was talking to for sure:

Lennie, I'm sorry. I really am. You gotta believe I--would never. I never meant to do that. But you gotta get back here, Lennie, or you're gonna die. This ghost's gunning for you, chica, you gotta clean house before you leave. If you get here in time, you know, I wouldn't mind you saving my ass, either, not one little bit, but, you know, just so you get out of here alive, whatever. I don't blame you. I'll let you go.

Flash!

I'm sorry.

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Time passed by, Lenna's lover was still sleeping, well hopefully he look a bit dead.

I think he is breathing.

It was an awkward feeling she wouldn't had acted like this but she knew exactly who would have. She was the smaller copy of Rome the guuy she tried to run away of.

"You won't run away again! I won't let you!"

Lenna jumped up hit her head and looked around but no one was there.

"Ouchy"

This day turned out to be a complete nightmare. She got dressed but didn't had anywhere better to go so she curled up in a ball and did something completely stupid. Fell asleep in a car of a stranger.

She was running as fast as possible, running from a person, a man. She knew this man she trusted him once, but why was she running? Right he couldn't control his temper and had slapped her. He was dangerous, right. But it hurt so much to run from him, he was once her best friend. The one person she could go to no matter what her problem had been. And then he hit her, like she meant nothing to him. I have to run, I can't let him get me. I can't let him hurt me again. Ever.

A white flash of light made her stop running.
I'm sorry!

Lenna stumbled still half asleep out of the van with her stuff, it took her a couple of steps to fall on the ground and think.

"Rome!" She had no idea why she ran but she ran back to the house suddenly knowing she never left Happy.

I know he doesn't want me to come back but I have to go and I mean I don't have visions with white flashes. I'm not like him.

"You are lying to yourself you are not going back because he called you. You are going back because you don't want his blood on your hands. All you do is run and let him see you running to hurt him more!"

"I'm not running."


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"Even if you should manage to contact her, she won't come."

Rome rolled his eyes, settling back in his ice-water bath to nurse his splitting headache. "You still here?" he grumbled. Then, "Wait. How did you know what I was doing?"

"I have heard a great deal about you, Remington."

Part of Rome was flattered, another part morbidly curious: "Sure you don't mean my brother?"

"Him, too."

"Ah."

"So....what have you heard?"

The ghost smiled. "Nothing good."

"Awesome," Rome replied, feeling anything but, and suddenly wanting to change the subject. "So, what, you just gonna sit here while I drown, or what? Because I gotta tell you, people watching me die makes me uncomfortable."

"I will be with you until my work is done."

"Well, that's comforting."

Rome frowned. On some level, death might be nice. No dreams, at least. He was tired, bone-tired, and not just from his latest stint of going without sleep. Rawson might worry, if he ever bothered to try looking him up again. He hoped the Ferrari went to a good home. He'd miss Georgie, and Aly, and he'd miss never having slept with Morrigan, but, you know, that probably wasn't going to happen in a million years. If he thought about it, there were about six billion women he still hadn't slept with that he wanted to, which was a disappointment, but, hey. As Gandalf said, it's what you do with the time given to you, right?

And as for Elenna--it hurt even to think her name--God, what kind of softy was he now?--well, she was a smart girl. She'd come back here, gank the ghost, get over him, and go on with her life.

The water was up to his chin now, he mused. Wouldn't be long now. Maybe half an hour or so. Less if he didn't press his lips to the bars trying to suck air for as long as possible.

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It was dark and the house look more dangerous than ever.

“I’m back! Do you hear me sucker?” shouted Lenna at the house.

“All you want is to calm your conscious. You won’t stay. As soon you see it you will leave because you know there is nothing you can do. You will run, like you always do.”

Lenna looked angry at Blair. She started to dislike Blair, actually she hated him. Lenna check the symbols on her wrist. All that was left was the symbol for earth.

“I guess that must be enough.”

The door burst open with a loud crashing sound as soon Lenna stepped to it, she wasn’t sure if it was her powers or Blair’s that opens it.

“You will run. That’s all you do leave the people you love.”

Lenna looked around water was running and dripping everywhere.

“That is weird, oh wait I froze some water earlier maybe I froze more than I thought. Oops.”

Lenna grinned innocently when a noise from the basement caught her attention, that nearly sounded like someone shouting, but what…?

"Why the hell is someone yelling in a house where a ghost is? What a stupid idea...wait. Stupid. You know who's really stupid? Rome. He's pretty stupid. But he wouldn't...." Lenna listen from where the voice came and suddenly recognized the voice....

"Rome!"

Lenna spun around to face Blair. "What have you done to him?" The shock was written all over her face. She didn't wait for his answer and just run half fell down the stairs.


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There was noise above him. Someone else was in the house. Could it...

No. Probably just a civie. Crap. Even worse. More blood on my hands, fan-freaking-tastic.

Rome started shouting, though he doubted whoever it was could hear him:

"Hello? Hello, up there! You shouldn't be in here!"

There was silence for half a second, and then footsteps pounded down the stairs.

The water was almost up to his nose, and he strained his aching body, pushing himself up as far as he could go, bringing the water level to his chin as he pressed his face against the grate and tried to see who was there.

"Rome! Rome!" he heard, and he almost didn't believe it.

"El...enna?" he asked, slowly, afraid, and then,

"Rome!" she cried again, rushing to the edge of the hole, splashing water down on him. "Oh my God, Rome!"

"Lennie!" Rome was suddenly, inexplicably ecstatic, though he still was staring death in the gonads. "Lennie, thank God, I knew you'd come!" He was grinning, in spite of everything. "Listen, Lennie, you gotta gank this ghost, he's not going to let you leave town alive, you have to burn the bones or--"

Elenna interrupted him. "Rome! Shut up about the ghost already, you're drowning!"

Rome felt a pang of joy in his heart. Then she did care? She was here to rescue him?

"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" Rome asked, grinning manically, the happiest condemned man on earth.

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Lenna smiled for some reason she felt unbelievable happy, well glad he was happy to see her.

“Rome shut up there is no time for your movie references and this would make you Princess Leia and I don’t wanna be Luke, I can’t handle to know I killed my father too, my brother is enough. Anyway Let’s get you out of your wedding suite.”

Lenna pulled with all her strength at the lock but it didn’t open. She looked panicked around. For a moment she looked at Rome’s gun but…

Rome’s knife, maybe I can pick the lock somehow with it.

While Lenna took the knife she asked. “How much air do you have left in there?”

“What kind of question is that? Do you want that answer in PSI, cubic inches, or minutes?!”

“Okay, um maybe I try something else.” Lenna starred at her left wrist the symbol for water was mostly faded, but maybe it was still enough. She didn’t explain Rome her plan so he couldn’t stop her.

“Wasser dieser Erde, ich befehle dir bleibe stehen!“

Lenna felt the energy rising in her chest and leaving her body through her hand but her knees got wobbly and she fell down. Not knowing if she made any difference in Rome’s hole at all.
Lenna gasped for air before she asked weak. “Rome? Did it work? The water should have stopped.”




Spell translations:
Water of this earth, I command you stay still!


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Rome held his breath--which probably wasn't a good idea, in the circumstances--daring to hope as Elenna recited the incantation. Which, okay, weird, but he'd seen her do party tricks before, this was like that, wasn't it?

“Rome? Did it work? The water should have stopped,” she called, sounding breathless.

The water had appeared to stop rising. It swelled back against the sides of his prison and reverse-dripped up the grate back onto the floor.

But then, like the rapid fall in tide before an impending tsunami, all the water rushed back, double or triple in force and volume, splashing back over his face. With a muffled cry, Rome jerked his head back from the flood of water, only to crack it against the grate above him.

He inhaled, an accident from the shock of cold and pain, and spluttered, coughed, took in water again. Disoriented, he tried to duck his head back again, only to be met again with unforgiving earth and metal. His fingers reached up as he struggled, poking through the grating as he strained futilely for freedom. He choked again and, spluttering, managed to turn his face upward until he could breathe again.

There were barely two inches between the top of the sloshing water and the grate that entombed him.

Elenna was shouting at him.

"Rome! Rome, are you all right?"

It sure was hard to clear your lungs with your face upturned, Rome mused, with gravity working against you. Gross, and he was sure he swallowed a bug or a stick or a clump of mud or something.

"Hurry, Lennie," he managed after a moment.

"Okay, Rome, I'm going to pick the lock, but--"

"There's no time!" He told her, frustrated with his own helplessness, banging on the grate. "Get my gun. Is my gun there?" He spit, as a little water sloshed into his mouth. "You have to shoot the lock off, Lennie."

She didn't move. Why wasn't she moving?

"Elenna! Dammit, did you hear me? Elenna, please, you have to shoot the lock!"

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Lenna felt like a deer in the lights of a car unable to move. She knew he was right but…

“I told you, you will run. You will let him die.”

The ghost was right, right know all she wanted was to mumble I’m sorry Rome I can’t and then run as fast she could.

“Rome, there must be another way. Let me try another spell--"

“No, don’t.”

She couldn’t stand here and watch him die, but using his gun pretty much meant the same.

“Rome I can’t--“

“Lennie you have to!”

Lenna was standing next his gun looking terrified at it.

“You will run!”

Lenna looked at Blair considering his words, when her gaze went to Rome’s prison.

No not this time.

She took a deep breath and picked up the gun, it was heavier than she remembered.

“Rome? I think I forgot how to shoot.” Lenna felt miserable. “I don’t wanna shoot you Rome. What if I hit you and not the lock?”

The way back to Rome’s prison seemed to be so long. Holding a gun didn’t make it short. And even more in Lenna’s eyes Rome’s gun looked like the gun she shot Nick with.

“Rome it’s a bit wet, does it still work?”


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Rome's mouth fell open, and not just because he was gasping for air like a landed guppy.

Elenna was using a gun.

God, how could this get any more perfect? How did they get in this situation? Here he was, dying, and there she was, the only way to save him was to point a gun at him. Like that didn't bring back any traumatic flashes. This would either completely cure her, or, more likely, turn her into an inconsolable wreck, forever. Rome wasn't sure he wanted someone with traumatic flashbacks pointing a gun at him, but right now, his options were that slim.

Rome's voice was suddenly calm, suddenly comforting, suddenly a voice that could be trusted, and he would keep it so if it was the last thing he did. Which...didn't bear thinking about.

"Lennie, baby, it's okay, I promise. The gun's not gonna hurt you, and, well, it might hurt me, but that's a risk I'm willing to take, okay? Look at me, chica. I'm okay with that. I--" water in his mouth, he choked, "trust you. Okay?"

"Ok-kay." Her voice was trembling. He wanted nothing more than to pause, time-out, and go give her a hug, and not only because that would mean he was out of this stinking hole.

"Now you'll need to pull the slide back, just grab the top of the gun and slide it towards the handle, and see if there's a round in the chamber. Point it away from you and--whoa--away from me."

Rome waited, listening to metal sliding on metal, and Elenna's quickening breathing.

"Yeah, there's one in there."

"Good girl, you're doing great." Rome realized he probably didn't have time for this, but it was important she felt safe, or this lock was not coming off until he was a bloated, putrefied, disgusting corpse.

"Okay, Lennie, the safety should still be on. It's a little switch on the side, okay, that locks the trigger. Flick that over one notch."

"Okay."

"Good." Now, the moment of truth. "Okay, Lennie, I need you to point the gun at the lock. Hold it with both hands." More water splashed into his mouth, and he spluttered. "Get as close as you need to." He looked up, and could see the whites of her eyes. That was somehow foreboding.

"Okay, you should only have to shoot it once, but keep firing until it comes loose."

"Rome, what if I--" she couldn't even finish. She looked terrified. He was almost ready to give up and let her let him die in here, if it meant he didn't have to deal with that look.

"Lennie, baby, chiquita, stay with me. It's okay. You won't hit me. I'm going to duck under the water, and it'll probably dampen the shot, won't even get to me, most likely, unless it's a very determined bullet. But the only way I'm for sure going to die is if you don't pull that trigger, got it? I love you, baby."

Why on earth had he said that? What stupid last words!

"No matter what happens, chica, you keep shooting, and you get me out of here," Rome said, taking as big a breath as he could and crouching as far below the water line as he could. He'd seen this Mythbusters episode, he was reasonably sure it would work. At least, it was worth the risk, because he'd be dead either way.

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