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The Reflections on her Skin

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The Reflections on her Skin
The ides of March bring tidings of blood and hearts.
A Side Story / Omake inspired by TheSleepingKnight's The Mirrors in her Mind

The light was beginning to set as I skipped and danced my way down the street. It was beautiful, in a way, how free everything was when left alone, with shadows striking across everything. When not gouged by the disease of society, tainted by the failings and trappings of people getting in the way, anyway.

It was almost sad that they didn't realize what they were missing out on. But I knew! I knew where this game would end. Together, closer than anyone could ever get, just us.

It was going to be perfect.

Even if she kept fighting it. That was okay. It made the game fun, after all. But picking someone else over me?

No, I couldn't allow that. I wouldn't let her betray me like that. We were meant to be together ever since our eyes connected in that subway.

She'd figure it out.

But first I needed to send a message.

Coming to a stop outside a heavy wooden door, I rapped my knuckles against it hard enough to rattle it in its frame. After precisely twenty seconds I repeated the process, increasing the number of knocks by three. As I raised my fist for a third time the door finally wrenched itself open. A haggard looking man in his forties stared at me with a mixture of anger, apprehension, and a growing fear. Lazily I flicked my rapier up until it was level with his neck and motioned for him to step back.

He did so with a gulp, his adam's apple bouncing like a ball, and I carelessly slammed the door shut with my boot.

"Mr. Elston."

"What do you want?" He asked the question quickly, with but a hint of a tremor, and I knew without a doubt that he was weak. Why was she friends with someone who came from this?

"What I want? Well, that's hardly important, Mr. Elston. It's what I need that matters."

His eyes dart around, looking for anything that can help him, and I see him choose to stall. In minutes he would beg, and then eventually he'd do something drastic to try and be his own hero.

Someone should have told him that heroes weren't real.

"What do you need? If I have it it's yours."

"Really? All mine?"

"Yes, all—"

I laughed at the expression on his face as he stopped mid sentence. The confusion and terror and slow realization that splashed across his eyes mimicking the flowing shades of blue and purple and black that rose from his chest.

Sometimes I got lost in the colors and what came with them. Knowing exactly what was coming and when, seeing it play out slowly before it actually did. It was a special kind of beauty that I imagined only two things could compete with. Maybe it was a kind of irony that they all involved death to a degree.

Mr. Elston collapsed backwards as the panic set in properly, patting and rubbing at the smoke. Amusing that he thought he could put out the fuse.

But he was of little consequence at the moment. The inevitable would occur and then my real work could begin. In the meantime I considered how to proceed. What would be the best way to get my point across? To leave not even a shadow of a doubt who it was for? Not with names, certainly. That was far too impetuous for something as important as this.

A quick search through the house revealed all that I needed. A small violin—likely more for show than use judging by the state of the thing—which was easily extracted from its pedestal. I could almost skip on my way back to Mr. Elston where he laid surrounded by a pool of gore and blood before I grabbed the violin by the neck and promptly smashed it into the gaping cavity that used to be his chest.

People liked it when you showed interest in their interests, after all. And it’s not like I could sing for her since she obviously wasn’t using that anymore.

With a flourish I carved one last piece onto my canvas.

Will You Follow Me Down the Hole, Little Alice?

“So what d’ya think, Frank?” Officer Walsh asked after over thirty minutes of silence of watching yellow tape drift in the light breeze.

“I think it’s fucking wrong, Ryleigh,” the man replied with a huff and shake of his head. “Sending a damn kid into a scene like that? Don’t like it. Can’t say anything about it, though.”

“Heard Oracle’s solved a lot of cases already. Gotta count for something, right?” She looked up into the morning sky, overcast and dreary no matter how bright it was getting. “I hope they got her some specialized training and therapists though. Lord knows I couldn’t stomach it.”

“S’not right. Psycho capes being chased by psycho capes, ain’t a surprise the world’s gone to shit when this is the standard.”


Officer Walsh watched as the Ward left the house, getting into an unmarked car that immediately left, and had to shake her head herself. “So you think it’s a cape?”

“Been doing this for over 40 years. Ain’t see something like that except with capes. A cape with a focus, at that. Closest to this I’ve seen was a stalker in the 70s back when I was where you are now. Guy went off the hinges, but he wasn’t killing people to send his messages. Not that he didn’t eventually try to kill someone, ‘course. But…”

“Another day in the Big Apple, it feels like.”

“Yeah. Don’t like it.”

“So any idea who the message is for?”

“Someone who’d have access to the scene or the info thereof. Protectorate probably, those rivalries and revenge fantasies against them get intense. Like they’re high on the emotions or something.”

“Yeah, I was thinking of Texas a bit.”

“Yeah. Or that shithole Brockton a few hours out or so.”

“The place with the Nazis?”

“Shithole is what it is. Point is that this ain’t normal, and average people like us ain’t the target. This ain’t okay, but there’s only so much people like you and I can do. But we have to stand up against this stuff. It’s our duty, and not just as jobs. It’s why I’ve been doing this for so long.” Frank replied sadly.

“Glory be unto thee,” Officer Walsh said sarcastically.

“You joke but it’s the truth. I just hope whoever that crazy is after is ready for the storm. Cause mark my words; this is just the beginning.”

Chapter Text

The Reflections on her Skin
The ides of March bring tidings of blood and hearts.
A Side Story / Omake inspired by TheSleepingKnight's The Mirrors in her Mind

I could have screamed. I wasn’t going to, of course, but the fact remained that I could’ve. Instead I opted to smash my fist through the bathroom mirror of the house I’d liberated from it’s previous parasitic hosts. How fucking dare she? How fucking dare she try and take what was mine?

Her blood was going to look so beautiful as it ran like a river through the streets.

But not yet. No. I had to do this right, I had to show that I was better than her toy. That’s all she was, afterall, a temporary toy taking the place of one that was lost. This was just playing hard to get, to get the intrigue back into things. By the end it would all be forgotten, behind us. I’d forgive her for picking Oracle when she didn’t know better.

That’s all it was.

I knew Oracle had been at the scene of my note. I knew she’d have gotten the message, that Lily would know by now as well. Everything was going to plan. I knew the plan. Every single step and how every single one of the important pieces slotted into place. I was the sun and they were my planets, following the steps that I laid out so meticulously for them in an orbit of my greatness.

Taking a deep breath I kicked the shards of glass into the corner, readjusting my hare mask, and calmly collected my gear. There were rats that needed to be collected.

What better time of day to collect vermin than just before sunrise, I thought to myself as I strolled down a back alley. The second step in showing Lily what was meant to be meant that I needed a gang. And not just any gang, though too big of one would just bring unneeded heat down on my head for this early in the game. I needed capes, and I needed people who were desperate for a slice of the cheese that they were too weak to take by themselves.

Given this city, well, there were plenty for me to choose from. The closest and most easily disposed of was a small group called the Liquidators. Stupid name, stupid group, if I was being honest. But they’d proven that they were willing to bite when backed into a corner during their many failed heists and shakedowns. A little push would be all they needed to turn rabid.

Nothing could be more satisfying than watching a group of ragtag heathens come together under proper guidance and directions. And no one was as good a piper as I, able to bring about even the most worthless into having a place in the grand scheme of things. Like Huck where he was standing next to the door, ready to break it down upon my command, but too dumb to be trusted with anything else. Sometimes I wondered if he took a few too many hits to the head during the early days of his pathetic cape career. But I was pretty sure that, unlike Maybelline, he was just born with it. Oh well.

“Open,” I commanded. There was no hesitation as he forced his hands into the hinges of the door before ripping it right off of the frame that had held it in place. “Forward. Tarp left. Drool up the stairs at two on five. Sanic pause three.”

And so it went as we stormed the building from the back entrance, quickly and forcefully removing every single gang member inside. Really it was quick, boring, barely even a thrill, despite how perfectly I had everything working. A disappointment, ultimately. Maybe it would have been better to wait for the Wards afterall.

No, that wouldn’t have been better. I needed to leave my messages. Play my part until it was time. She’d appreciate all the work I was putting into things. I knew she would.

“Take whatever you want and go back to the hideout. I’ll be along later, there’s things I need to take care of,” I announced to this shitheap of a group I had brought together. A dismissal. There was no need for them anymore. I’d kill them, but honestly it was just more effort than I needed to go through at this stage.

Thirty minutes later and I was finally alone. Just me and the bodies. Heavy bodies, in some cases, but that was easily dealt with with a few flicks of my blade. An hour of labor was all I needed to arrange them into a message. It was like making a message out of flowers, really. Similar colors, making cute little designs just for her. Really, this was just taking an interest in her job if you wanted to get poetic with it. She fought crime, I just wiped out an entire gang for her. Yin and yang, weren’t we? She was going to be so happy at my little gift.

Speaking of, I had to admire my work. It was rather impressive how much I was able to make a flower out of bodies.

A Gift for my Flower

“So, what do you think?” Officer Walsh asked as she sat across from her partner at a local coffee shop.

“Same thing as last time,” Frank replied gruffly. “Whoever it is is making big moves though.”

“Think it’s a spurned lover? Former friend?”

“Look, kid, I’m not interested in gossiping. People are dying, being mangled. Don’t matter if they weren’t the best of people. Ain’t no one deserves this.”

“Yeah, y’ain’t wrong there…”

“There’ll be more if they don’t catch this psycho.”

“Any ideas what’ll come next?”

“More escalation. It’s the only thing these kinds of people know how to do.”