"What did you steal this time, Iggy?" you asked casually, tossing your bag down on the floor of the examination room by the table.
He grinned at you, "Long time no see, poppet. And why do you call me Iggy?" The green emeralds bore into you, attempting to dazzle you with their charm, but you weren't falling for it.
"You won't tell me your real name, and you're not in the books. You don't exist, and you're a crafty little greedy imbecile. So you're my little Ichabod Crane. And someday I'll trip you up with nothing more that a pumpkin and a horse." you sneered. This man was the bane of your existence. He had evaded capture for so long, you could barely stand it.
He looked at you, "Now that's just not fair, love. I'm nothing like Ichabod Crane. He's tall and lanky, and is out to steal Katrina's fortune. I'm a little on the short side, if I admit it, and I'd never do something so disgraceful. I'm like Robin Hood, I steal from the rich, to help myself, a poor soul."
You looked at him, skeptical. "Iggy it is." The fact that it upset him slightly solidified it for you. "Now why don't you tell me about these robberies you mentioned earlier?"
Iggy turned his piercing green eyes on high, pouting at you. He said sadly, "What if I were to repent? What if I reformed my ways, love?" You laughed. Iggy went on, saying, "I'd pinkie promise!" with such a childish flourish you couldn't help but to find yourself laughing more.
"That's rich," you said, smiling, "I don't think you could keep yourself out of trouble for more than ten minutes out there."
He flashed you a stunning grin, almost catching you off guard. Guys didn't normally look like that. Your Iggy sure was one in a million. Of course, you shook it off. He was the wily fox and you were the hunter. He was nothing but your prey, a little trinket to mount on your wall. He reached over, touching your hand lightly with his own bound appendage. "Love, would you mind so terribly allowing me a glass of water? I'm parched."
Under your watchful glare, he leaned forward upon the skinny table, hiding the fact that he slowly slid your bag over to himself under the table. You just looked at him, sensing he was plotting. Then you sighed. He couldn't get into too much trouble in this little room for a minute, could he? "Fine. But try anything and I'll put you in the common room with the real nasty guys." you threatened. He just smirked, and watched you get up. As soon as the door shut, he shot up, looking around. There weren't any cameras he could see, but he walked over to the mirror cautiously. His shackles clattered to the floor along with your swiss army knife he had used to pick them. Iggy lifted the frame of the mirror, and he smiled widely as it came away easily in his grasp. Those cheapskates, he thought, they wouldn't even spring for a double sided mirror! He tucked the little book in his pocket and made his way up to the window. After picking the window's lock Iggy squirmed through the little hole in the wall and fell to the street below. He landed crouched on his feet, sly little fox that he was.
You came back into the room, noticing immediately the lack of people. "Son of a-" then you dropped the glass. Your bag was open, its contents strewn about. Then you screamed, "That fucker!"
"_____? You okay!?" your coworker called out. You rushed to the bag, looking for what was missing. Surprisingly, your wallet was full, and your swiss army knife was just on the floor. But your book! That book was everything! Why the hell would he take that stupid thing? It had no monetary value, but it meant the world to you. "_____?" your Canadian associate put a hand on your shoulder, making you jump. "Are you alright?"
You hopped up, making sure your appearance didn't waver. "I'm fine. He didn't take anything important." you said, walking briskly out of the room.
"_____, where are you going?" the Canadian caught your arm, turning you to him, unknowing of his own strength. It didn't hurt you, you were simply surprised at the gentle man's concern as you stared back into his violet eyes.
Wrenching your arm out from his grasp you continued to walk, "I'm getting my property back."
Your low heels clicked on ever damp sidewalk. Turning no place in particular, you let your intuition guide you. Your gut guided you, while you were lost in your own thoughts. Eventually (almost an hour had passed without your notice) you ended up standing before a small... Iggy-like shack. It was somehow elegant while being tumbledown. You peaked in a window, wondering if trusting your gut had gotten you anywhere. (e/c) eyes widening in surprise, you saw that shock of messy blond hair. You had found the right place!
"Way to go gut." you said quietly. Then you called out louder, pounding on the door, "Get out here you filthy rat!" Quickly you moved to the half curtained window, and watched him jump up, hitting his head on a desk lamp. Laughing out loud, you drew his attention back to the guest at the door. "Open up, Iggy." you commanded, and to your surprise, he obliged.
Scratching his head he said casually, "Why _____, I must say I wasn't expecting you here."
You placed your hand out expectantly, "Give it back."
"What?" he said, with the most innocent look he could manage, a mischievous smirk.
Reaching for your pistol his green eyes widened in shock, "Hey, hey, calm down! I know you poured your heart and soul into the little book, but that's no reason to shoot me!"
You felt fury over take you. "You. Read. It?" each word was slow and laced with venom. You couldn't get to that gun fast enough.
Two words registered in Iggy's mind as he saw the look on your face. Care to guess? No, it' wasn't some bad words you naughty chidlers, it was: Crazy chick. Then three words added themselves to the aforementioned phrase and made it into a sentence that compelled him to run. Crazy chick with a gun.
Iggy ran back inside the little shack, diving behind an old couch. "Take it! It's on the desk!"
You stomped over to the table, and tucked the book safely inside your coat pocket. Then you walked over to the couch. Yanking out Iggy by the collar of his thin jacket, you said, "Come on, we're going to have a little chat."
"What about, love?" he asked, but was silenced with a look.
A light drizzle dampening the air, you dragged him through the city streets. Eventually you came to an Italian restaurant. You stood there and told the irritable host, "Two. Away from a window." Iggy's eyes widened in fear. His mind raced. What if you were a corrupt cop, with connections to the mob, and you were just doing this to "take care of him"? Should he run? Against all of his instincts he followed you into a back room of the restaurant, and watched you causally slip a fifty to the host saying, "Thanks, Lovi."
"Yeah, yeah." 'Lovi' grumbled and walked away.
Then a waiter came out, and when he saw you his face revealed a bit of fear. "Hey, Feli." you said, without tearing your death glare away from Iggy.
The man named Feli came to your side, and Iggy could only hear him whispering, "Ragazza, I don't have any of that special ingredient anymore, you should have told me you were coming, I'm so sorry-"
He started to ramble, getting louder, when you cut him off, "Calm down, Feli. This," she gestured to Iggy harshly, "this is just a friend of mine."
Feli looked ten times happier, but still didn't open his eyes for some reason. "Oh! Are you on a date?" he asked happily.
"Not really." Iggy noticed the twitch in your eye.
The happy Italian didn't seem to realize your anger and flipped open his notepad, "What'll it be?"
You motioned for Iggy to look at the menu, but he said jokingly to you, "I left in a bit of a hurry, I didn't get a chance to grab my wallet."
"My treat." you said. But it sounded more like 'Order now.'
Iggy just looked quickly for something cheap but decent. "Just pasta, with um, Bolognese."
"That's great! Our signature dish!" Feli exclaimed, then looked to you. "The usual, right?" he asked, when you nodded he rushed off back to the kitchen.
You hadn't once torn your glare from Iggy's face. Finally you broke the silence and said, "How much of it did you read?"
"All of it." he said. You had been afraid of that. Truth be told, you didn't know what you were thinking, what you wanted from this conversation. All your hopes and dreams, favorite quotes, anecdotes, everything you had felt since you were fifteen, was written in that book. "I thought it was beautiful." he told you quietly.
Your face flushed, "What?"
"Everything you wanted, all your feelings, I was even in there a few times. I-I had no idea what you had been through. Losing your parents and sister... It's why you joined the force, right?" he asked.
The years of building up a protective wall, a barrier against the feelings and the outside world, flickered, and the wall tumbled down. You yearned to trust someone again, after having shut yourself in for so long. And his earnest green eyes seemed to be something you could take faith in. "No one should have to suffer what I've felt. I've been on the bastard's trail since I was twenty."
Dinner was occupied with the two of you conversing. Mainly with you relieving yourself of years of pent up frustration, doubt, and mistrust. You told him about how your parents and sister were murdered ruthlessly when you were eighteen, and how that man had kept tabs on you. When you started to love again, and this time it was only a dog, he killed it. He destroyed any of your hopes of finding love again, and in truth, you were petrified to love.
"He killed your dog?" Iggy asked, looking horrified.
You nodded, "He has gotten to every goddamn aspect of my life, and mutilated everything that made life enjoyable for me. I came home one day, and his blood was everywhere. His carcass was in the bathroom, but I had to move to get away from the blood stains."
Iggy stared at you, biting his lip. "My name is Arthur Kirkland, my parents abandoned me and my brothers when I was two in an orphanage, and I ran away with them when I was eight. I've been living in that shack ever since, stealing little bits of things from those that could spare it to feed my family."
Staring at him wide eyed, you asked, "Why would you tell me that?"
"I stole information from you. I thought it best to give some back. I'm a fan of the Robin Hood principle, only steal from the rich, and give it to the poor. I had no right to take the book, and I'm sorry." he said, sincerity ringing through each word. You nodded simply, at a loss for any decent words. It seemed he had stolen your vocabulary along with everything else. "I'm going to help you find him."
Finding your voice, you were now baffled, "What, now?"
"You're right, no one deserves what you've been dealt. I'll help you catch him. You don't know the underbelly of this city, and I know it like the back of my hand. I'll sniff him out for you." he looked at you with his clear green eyes.
You almost felt tears prick at the corners of your eyes, but you held them back. If you showed that you appreciated him as anything more than an acquaintance, your friend would attempt to remove him from your life. You only had two words to possibly express your feelings.
With Arthur's help you were finally able to track down the bastard. His name was Francis, but to you an animal as such deserved no name. He was a beast in your eyes, and ought to be treated as such. You and Arthur had become closer as well. As he was still living in the shack, you invited him to use your spare room. Under your watchful eye, he was able to stop stealing and along with looking for your killer look for a job.
You had always had nightmares, and you were used to waking up in a cold sweat, it was normal. But Arthur was there now. He had read about your nightmares, and your wishes to no longer be alone. Arthur offered himself as company, and you gratefully let him into your life. When you woke screaming in the night, he was there instantly, and he would take you into his arms, comfort you. You were only afraid that, like everything else, he would be taken from you.
As you prepared yourself for the confrontation tomorrow, you decided that you wouldn't let that happen.
"Wait! Don't you guys have some bulletproof vests or something?" Arthur asked, worried about you. He had no clue that the second you were shown the bastard's location you would charge in there. You turned to him, feeling the exact opposite.
You went to your trunk, "Good idea." After smirking at the stunned look on his face when you threw him the vest you started walking towards the house. But Arthur caught your arm.
"I'm not wearing this, you are." he said sternly.
You shrugged, "Then you're not coming with me."
"I'm not letting you do this on your own either." he said, his green eyes filled with compassion and concern you hadn't seen in years.
You nodded, taking the vest and standing yourself up to slip it over his head. "This guy has killed everyone I've ever loved, and I'm not letting you join them." He stood there, baffled at the backhanded confession you had just given him, while you walked towards the doorway.
Flinging the door open you startled the blond haired, blue eyed man inside. Arthur scrambled in after you, both of you with guns in hand. You stayed near the door, shielding your Iggy behind you. The man stood, a weapon of his own in his hands in seconds.
Then, a glimmer of recognition shone in his face. "Hey, I know you! You're that little kid! I always leave one left alive, you know. Someone to remember me." the guy had the most annoying smirk on his face, and his french accent grated on your nerves.
He looked down on your (e/c) eyes in disbelief. They sparkled, gleaming with fury and determination. Francis had never seen such a look in a woman's eyes, and it shook his very core. He had thought he had broken your spirit long ago. "Aw, the little fille grew up, didn't she?" he sneered, both of you still holding your weapons. "Well how about I put a stop to that?" the man said, ignoring those unsettling feelings, ready to take pleasure in the final kill.
Two shots rang out. You watch him crumple, the stunned look on his face, combined with the bullet hole in his forehead was enough to make you grin. Until you registered why you had shot him. He had fired his weapon. You looked to Arthur, and saw the horror painted on his face. Before you could ask about it, you felt a pain spreading in your abdomen, at least ten times worse than any pain you had ever felt.
Arthur caught you, and the world narrowed singularly to his green eyes. Before the black overtook you, you managed to release a choked whisper, "I really do love you, Iggy."
It was white.
It was a bright white light, near blinding really.
It must have been something trying to break through into your vision.
But it couldn't have been heaven, you had just killed a man.
Then another sense kicked in, and the dense aroma of sterile hospital equipment assaulted your nose.
A slight pressure was applied to your hand, and with that squeeze, the rest of the feeling came back to your body. You could feel the stabbing pain in your gut, somewhat better than earlier, but still excruciating. Moaning, you tried to go back to sleep.
But then you became confused again. For surely that's what angels sound like, right? Sexy brits?
"_____, love, are you awake? Please, you've been out for days. I-I-" the voice broke off. Hey, that wasn't just any sexy brit, that was your sexy brit. And you were sure as hell that Arthur wasn't dead. Actually, by now the dead theory was out the window. You attempted to open your eyes and show him you could hear him.
But your lids felt so heavy. You did manage to squeeze his hand back, prompting a, "_____? Can you hear me, love?"
Though your throat was sore and dry, you decided you were to scared of what you might open your eyes to see. "How bad is it, Arthur?" you asked, keeping your eyes shut.
You felt him shift excitedly, "You're healing up quite nicely. It didn't hit anything important, and you're going to be alright. You're almost well enough to go home. Come on, now _____, I want to see those beautiful (e/c) eyes."
Cracking open your eyes you met his green ones filled with relief. Lightly he wrapped his arms around you, and you released his hand to bring an arm around him.
"I thought I'd never get a chance to tell you," he whispered in your ear, "I love you too, _____."