"Ava. " Beatrice laughed quietly and pushed her hand away. "I'm not interested in your candy."
"You need the energy!" Ava protested.
Beatrice shushed her through her laughter.
It was the early hours of the morning and the others were asleep in the back of the van.
The last few weeks spent on the road hadn't been ideal, actually, it had been pretty stressful and with a definite undercurrent of fear about the forces pursuing them.
But there were still moments about it that Ava loved. The sing alongs with Camila, staying up all night (and regretting it the next morning) with Mary while she drove.
Even the rare moments when it was just her and Lilith awake were nice, if not a bit awkward still.
But the times when Beatrice was driving and it was just the two of them awake? It was the best time.
They were back in Spain at last, after taking as many detours as they could to try and make sure they weren't being followed. It was a lot more comforting because Mary had a much larger network of contacts here and they were finally going to set up in a safe house.
Ava was so ready to sleep in a proper bed.
"You shouldn't be complaining, it's your candy. More for you isn't it?"
"Sharing is caring isn't it?" Ava smiled.
Beatrice rolled her eyes. "You should be sleeping."
"Boring. I'll sleep when you sleep."
Beatrice gave her a side eye.
"Would you prefer me to be quiet?" Ava asked.
Beatrice turned off the main road and hummed thoughtfully.
"No. I enjoy your company."
Ava grinned and threw more candy into her mouth.
She turned back to Beatrice in time to see headlights rapidly approaching.
It immediately felt like she was a child again.
Ava glanced down. Beatrice's seat belt was on.
She threw her arm across Beatrice's chest just as the van hit the drivers side.
The van rolled and Ava could hear the confused yells behind her, the crunch of glass and metal as the van came to a sudden stop.
They were definitely upside down.
"Ava-" Beatrice gasped. "Ava, are you okay?"
She was in pain. There was blood in her eyes and it hurt to blink.
There were men getting out of the van.
"What the fuck happened?" Mary groaned.
Ava spotted the guns and rushed to unclip her seat belt and dropped to the floor… The roof? Being upside down was confusing.
She could see Beatrice struggling with her seat belt as there was a scrambling of noise behind her. As much she was terrified, there was something comforting about the noise around her.
It meant her friends were okay.
Ava knew that ambushes were by nature, supposed to be a surprise, but this was fucked up.
Ava didn't wait for any of the others to reply, she grabbed the sword and phased through the van, vaguely aware of Beatrice calling out her name.
She wasn't about to let a group of assholes hurt her friends.
Beatrice's head was pounding.
Her ears were ringing.
And her damn seat belt was stuck.
"Ava wait!" She called as the other girl phased through the van towards their attackers.
"Get the doors open Lilith!" Mary yelled behind her.
Beatrice tried to shift enough to pull the knife from its holster, her fingers were brushing against the tip of the handle but she couldn't get a grip on it.
Her gaze shifted back to the fight unfolding outside. To Ava taking on half a dozen men alone.
She just needed to get to the knife, cut the belt and get to Ava.
There was a burst of light and Beatrice didn't need to look up to know Ava was using the halo now. She still did and was glad she did.
Faint streaks of blue from weapons at several of the men's hips.
"Mary! They have divinium!" Beatrice yelled and she was fully aware of the panic making its way into her voice.
An angry growl and heavier slams, creaking metal.
Beatrice strained harder and felt her fingers get a grasp on the knife and pulled it out.
She sawed through the belt in a few quick slices and immediately reached for the door handle. Stuck.
Beatrice glanced at the cracked windscreen and braced herself as she started to kick at the corner, willing herself to add more force with each strike.
Ava yelled out as she was struck in the side and hit the ground.
"I know Beatrice, we're trying!"
When there was a gap that seemed big enough to get through, Beatrice threw herself forward herself, ignoring the pain in her ribs and the cuts she could feel as she caught herself on the glass.
She hit the floor gracelessly and adjusting her grip on her knife as she pushed herself up ran towards the attackers.
Her side pulsed painfully.
Ava rolled out of the way of another attack and got to her feet.
Beatrice threw her knife at the closest man, watching it sink into his shoulder. As she reached him she grabbed the knife to pull it out, only for him to throw his elbow back into Beatrice's side.
The burst of white hot pain confirmed her suspicions about a possible broken rib. She tried to push past the pain and punched the man in the throat.
A barrel of a gun connected with her head and the cry of pain she let out was involuntary, as she stumbled to the ground Beatrice saw Ava spin to her, eyes wide with fear.
Ava took a step towards her when Beatrice saw one of the men raise a blue blade and drive it into Ava's back.
Beatrice tried to call out but could only wince as her own blood splattered onto the road, the copper taste was heavy in her throat.
Ava screamed as she collapsed, the halo pulsed with energy, knocking back the man.
Beatrice willed her limbs to move, could feel the gravel digging into the skin as she tried to drag herself to Ava's aid.
"Bea! Ava!" Camila's voice barely broke through the haze of Beatrice's focus.
"Grab her, we need to move." One of the men held. He threw something aside as he pulled Ava off of the ground.
Another quickly got on Ava's other side and together they dragged Ava to their van and threw her into the back.
"Ava…" Beatrice choked out, coughing around another mouthful of blood.
Mary sprinted past her, firing her guns at the van as it peeled away.
Beatrice felt like she was going to throw up.
As the van disappeared from view, Beatrice dropped her forehead to the ground and closed her eyes against the tears she could feel burning behind her eyelids.
A hand pressed against her back.
"Bea, Bea are you okay?"
"Did you get the plate?" Beatrice asked, she grimaced as she tried to push herself up and quickly tempered down the emotion on her face.
"Don't move, you're hurt."
"I got the plate." Mary said.
Beatrice lifted her head and watched Mary pick something off of the ground. Lilith walked over to Mary and took it from her, inspecting it carefully.
"Knife handle, blade is broken."
"It's divinium." Beatrice said. Camila helped her sit up as best as she could. Beatrice wiped the blood from her mouth. "They stabbed her with it."
"Bea, I think you need a hospital." Camila said.
Mary and Lilith were at their side as soon as she said that.
"We need to go after them." Beatrice protested.
"The van is totalled and you look… Really hurt Beatrice." Mary pointed out.
Lilith looked in the direction that the van had disappeared down. "We'll get her back, but we all know that she will be mad if we don't get you help first."
Beatrice dropped her gaze to the floor, taking in the broken glass and blood scattered across the tarmac.
Her sisters didn't seem as hurt as she was and Beatrice knew that there was no level of protesting that would make them change their mind.
They'd find Ava. They had to.
After grabbing what they needed from the van, the group set out to find the nearest hospital.
It was made slightly more difficult by them not knowing where they were and the fact that Beatrice was a lot more hurt than she was letting on.
Lilith had seen the crumpled driver side door, as far as she was concerned it had been a miracle that Beatrice had even walked away from it with her life.
Mary and Camila seemed to only have minor injuries, bruises from being flung around in the back while Lilith had walked away without injury.
She supposed that she had her newfound abilities to thank for that.
When they got to the hospital, Camila opted to go in with Beatrice and leaving Mary and Lilith to wait outside.
"What's our next step?" Lilith asked.
Mary sighed and lit a cigarette. "We need to get a new vehicle for a start. Get to the safe house. We'll need to run that plate, it's the only lead we've got at the moment."
"Those guys weren't from the Vatican." Lilith said.
"Definitely not. This is all Vincent."
"We need to move fast." Lilith pointed out. "Adriel wants the halo and there isn't going to be anything stopping him from taking it now."
Mary's glanced at Lilith. "I know."
"She's still alive."
"Is that a statement or optimism?"
"Statement. I can sense Ava."
Mary raised both eyebrows as Lilith looked away.
Lilith didn't know how to explain it, much like how she found herself at the Vatican, Lilith just knew that somewhere in the edges of her senses there was a soft pulse of energy pulling at her attention.
She knew it was Ava.
"We should split up." Mary decided.
"I agree. I'll stay with Beatrice, you and Camila are much more suited for information gathering."
"Fine. You go and find her." Mary scanned the parking lot. "I'll get us a ride."
Beatrice saw Lilith slip through the curtain while the nurse finished off the last stitch above her eyebrow.
"What's the diagnosis?" Lilith asked.
"I've given her something for the pain," the nurse explained. She stepped away from Beatrice and pulled off her gloves, moving to dispose of them before turning to Lilith. "We're waiting for the x-rays and for a bed, we'd like to keep her in overnight for observation at the very least."
Beatrice watched Lilith nod thoughtfully.
"We thought it would be worse." Lilith admitted.
"Your friend is a trooper, I'll give her that much. Very stubborn though."
Lilith raised an eyebrow at Beatrice. "Oh?"
"Perhaps you can convince her that it's for her own safety."
The nurse cast another look at Beatrice before leaving them alone, as soon as she was gone, Beatrice stood up and grabbed her jacket.
"Oh no you don't." Lilith crossed the room quickly and pushed Beatrice back down onto the bed. "You heard what she said."
"If I was as bad as she thinks I'd already be on a ward." Beatrice pointed out.
"You were spitting blood onto the road!" Lilith hissed.
"And now I'm not." Beatrice said. "I've got fractured ribs and a concussion at most."
"You're not leaving."
Beatrice did her best to glare at her friend. "Every minute we waste here is another minute Ava gets further from us."
"We will figure it out." Lilith said, her own glare was much more intense but Beatrice refused to wilt under it.
"Is still alive." Lilith interrupted. "I can sense her Beatrice. She's alive."
"For how long though?" Beatrice asked. "Until they get her to Adriel? How long will that take?"
"Listen to me." Lilith dropped her voice to a whisper as she glanced around, conscious that the curtains around them only provided the illusion of privacy. "Mary and Camila are going ahead to the safe house. They're going to start tracking her down, but you're not going to be able to help Ava if you've got a broken rib and it punctures a lung."
"We're drawing too much attention to ourselves by being here." Beatrice pointed out. It was a weak argument, but Lilith clearly wasn't about to back down. "What if they call the police? What do we do then?"
"Then we adjust the plan. But until then you're not leaving this hospital."
"You're staying. You're being really suspicious and if you leave then that will be what draws the attention."
Lilith dropped down into the empty seat and crossed her arms, never breaking eye contact with Beatrice.
At this point, Beatrice wouldn't be surprised if Lilith resorted to manhandling her to make sure she stayed put.
"We will find Ava and we will make them pay for this." Lilith said again.
Beatrice really wanted to believe her.
When Ava woke up, it was to a burning pain in her back.
Ava cried out as she rolled over, falling off of whatever she had been lying on and hitting concrete hard.
When Ava lifted her gaze, she took in her surroundings. Briefly focusing on the bars in front of her.
"What the fuck?" She whispered.
As Ava pushed herself to her knees, the pain in her back echoed through the rest of her body, she brought a hand up to press against the centre of the halo and grimaced as her fingers brushed against something sharp.
When she looked down at her hand, it was streaked with blood.
Panic flared in Ava immediately.
Beatrice getting hit and dropping to the ground.
She remembered being stabbed.
Ava's head snapped up at the familiar voice, pulling her from her panic before it could spiral any further.
It was replaced by anger as soon as the source of the voice stepped into view.