The first time they met was after a murder trial.
The woman in a black leather jacket and boots sat, eyes fixed on the man accused of murdering a woman and her young daughter because she had accused him of rape. She noted his shifty eyes, his pointy nose, the way the vein in his neck pulsed out a disgusting rhythm.
She could have an arrow through it in a second if she wanted to.
The woman in a floral button down sat, eyes closed, ears tuned to hear what she should not have been able to hear from so far back.
But she did. And it confirmed the suspicions of the media, of the public, of her own mind.
The jury broke, and both women found themselves standing in line for coffee down the street. Each had a bagel, a piece of fruit. They sat in separate corners, aware of I think that woman was also at the trial, but not consciously focused on one another.
They returned to the courtroom several hours later.
The jury had made up its mind.
The crowd groaned. Photographers snapped photos. The defendant allowed himself a smile. The family of the dead women sunk, brokenhearted, into their chairs.
He walked out a free man.
But the woman in the floral button-down, her strawberry blonde hair falling gently over slim shoulders, knew he should not be.
And the woman in the black leather jacket, brown eyes staring the murderer down coldly, knew it would only be a matter of time that he continued to breathe.
In the hall, several jurors gathered to speak in hushed whispers. The woman with hair like the sunrise paused at the water fountain as she caught their conversation.
They had lied.
The man was a murderer, a rapist.
But his lawyer had threatened their families if they called him guilty.
So they let him walk free.
And they walked away with heavy hearts.
She caught another conversation, a woman with dark brown hair making plans on a cell phone.
"I know. ...yeah. Tonight, before he leaves town."
The phone call ended, the woman disappeared down the hallway.
A shadow followed her outside.
In a deserted alleyway, she called out.
"You know he is guilty, don't you?"
The woman in leather did not turn around.
"You're going to kill him, aren't you?"
She turned, two pairs of brown eyes meeting from 10 yards away.
"I can help you."
A scoff. "How?"
"I just can."
The taller woman closed the gap in swift strides, confronted the strawberry blonde with nothing but a glance.
She was beautiful.
And the smaller woman did not wince.
"This is not a game," the brunette said, voice low. "I am going to kill a man. There is a bounty on his head bigger than anything his people could have received from him."
"He's going down the back steps right now and getting into a car," responded the strawberry blonde, looking defiantly up.
"A new car, quiet. Headed...west," she said, eyes closing as she concentrated her hearing.
"He'll be passing that way," she said idly, pointing forward, and the other woman whipped around.
A dark Mercedes rolled by at the other end of the alley.
The silhouette of the pointed nose was clearly visible through the tinted window.
The brunette snapped back around.
"How did you do that?" she asked.
The taller woman seemed to wrestle with something internally.
"Fine," she sighed. "I could use you." The beautiful face turned stern. "But don't fuck this up for me. This man needs to die."
"For the morals behind it, or for the money behind it?"
"Problem?" the brunette asked.
"But I will take some of the cut," the shorter woman said with a smirk.
"God, you're assuming a lot."
"No, I'm Lydia."
"Allison. Come on," she said, turning on her heel and walking down the alleyway.
They got into a small black Ford.
"I need to pick some things up," said Allison after a few minutes. She glanced sideways at Lydia, who sat primly with her hands folded. "You know how to use a weapon?"
The other woman chuckled.
"With this hearing ability? I am one."
"An actual weapon."
"I don't need one."
"What, you can hear people to death?"
"No, but death and I have...a connection."
"I could say the same thing," Allison said shortly. "Wait here." She stopped the car outside a dingy-looking building, hopped out, opened a battered red door.
She returned with a large suitcase, set it in the back.
"You know where he's going?" Lydia asked.
"How can you hear shit from far away?"
"I just can."
"Well, then, I 'just can' tell where this bastard is going to be, all right?"
Lydia settled back. Dusk was falling.
Allison pulled up outside of a bank and turned her car off. She turned to Lydia.
"All right, now, I was going to scale a wall and go in through the second floor," she said. "I have a heat-sensing map that can give me a good sense of how many bodies are in there, but you could figure that out, couldn't you?"
Silence. Lydia's eyes were closed.
"Were you listening to me?"
"There are six people in there," she said, eyes fluttering open. "Second floor, it sounds like. Voices echo a bit, so...conference room? Not many lights are on; I can't hear much electricity."
"You hear electricity?"
Allison regarded her with something like wonder.
"Speaking of, there's no security system on the front door. The cameras are off. Most likely they have people from the bank working for them, so they are making sure there is no footage. We could just walk right in. They don't expect anyone."
Allison now looked impressed.
"Okay," she said. "I'm going in loaded to the teeth if there are six of them. If they're with the murderer, they should be punished. Aiding and abetting a rapist. Disgusting."
"I'm coming with you."
"I do have a weapon, you just can't see it." She closed her eyes, grabbed her stomach as she felt a wave of nausea. "Shit."
"Five, only five people up there now," she groaned.
Allison shook her head. "I have no idea what the hell kind of person you are-"
"But I'm helping you."
"But I don't care. It's amazing." She got out of the car and quietly unloaded gear. Black leather gloves. A knife on each hip. More knives in her boots. And a quiver of arrows across her back, accompanied by a sleek black crossbow.
She handed Lydia a small pouch.
"What is it?"
"A hamburger," said Allison with a sigh. "No, it's a gun, I can't have you going on this suicide mission without something I know can protect you."
Their fingers brushed.
"Thank you." Lydia said simply.
The door to the bank opened quietly. Lydia heard them now, heard the voices individually. She shivered. She felt death.
The two young women crept up the stairs, Lydia holding the gun awkwardly even though she knew how to shoot, but she also knew she didn't need it.
She held out a hand to stop Allison on the second floor. The door to the conference room was on their right.
"When I signal," she whispered firmly, "Cover your ears for five seconds. Then bust in and do what you have to."
Allison looked confused, but she nodded.
They took a stance outside the door. Brown eyes met in the dim light.
Lydia counted down from three with her fingers, then pulled open the doors and opened her mouth.
The scream permeated the hallways, the air ducts, rattled the windows, covered every inch of the floor. Allison grimaced through the pain, but the men in the conference room had no chance to defend themselves. They dropped like flies, heads pounding suddenly with the force of the sound, confusion and fear taking over.
The sound stopped, abruptly, and Allison had an arrow into a fat man's neck before any of the criminals knew what was happening. He gurgled, gasped, fell. The other men were yelling, reaching for guns, but Allison had kicked one's head so severely that his teeth flew across the lush navy carpet.
Another arrow was at the ready, this time, shot swiftly through a man who was fumbling for a shoulder holster. Lydia felt them fall, could hear their last breaths as vengeance stole their beating hearts.
The man who was just on trial was crouching, gun in hand, but Allison saw him move and kicked it out of his hand before he even had a chance to aim. She knelt, swung her fist, collided her crossbow with his face. He toppled, and she sprang up, planting herself firmly on his back as she unleashed another arrow into the final henchman.
The murderer struggled, but Allison kicked his arm with such force that Lydia heard it break.
"Don't you fucking try to get away," she snarled. "You should have been sent to death row and you think you can fucking walk out a free man."
He whimpered. Lydia watched, wide-eyed.
"I have a special arrow for you," she said softly, crouching. She pulled one from the quiver, caressed it with a gloved hand. "You won't feel a thing."
She raised her arm, brought it down sharply into the back of his neck.
Lydia gasped, feeling the death in her bones, and Allison pulled something out of her pocket.
"Nous protégeons ceux qui ne peuvent pas se protéger eux-mêmes," she whispered, placing it by his cheek.
She turned, meeting Lydia's shocked expression.
"A silver bullet," she said quietly. "I leave them."
She stepped delicately over the bodies, looking at Lydia with a measured expression.
"I have met a lot of people, but none quite like you," she said. "I wish you all the best in your journeys. Thank you for your assistance."
"Where are you going?" Lydia asked.
Allison shrugged. "Wherever I am needed. I hear there is a case in the Midwest where several men are responsible for assaulting and beating a young woman. She recently committed suicide. I may pay them a visit."
"You're a vigilante of some sort?"
"I'm not sure what I am, to be honest. What are you?"
Lydia smiled. "I'll tell you in the car."
"Your work would be a lot easier with someone else on the job with you. Someone like me. And...I'm the only one like me I really know. I think we could work well together"
"Lydia," Allison said with a tone of self-importance, "This life isn't easy. It's not all Ralph Lauren blouses and good hair. It's blood and it's sleeping in my car and it's having to-"
"And I'm the one who can sense death," Lydia interrupted quietly. "I sensed it on that man even before I overheard that he was threatening the jurors. You don't think that with that power comes some strength? That there's nothing more to me than painted nails and arched eyebrows? I am not just some girl with a voice and good hearing who is too weak to face up to this world."
Allison frowned. "I...my apologies. I shouldn't have assumed."
The shorter girl smiled. "To be honest, I've been looking for a purpose for some time-a way to use my powers. If you are using your skills to bring some kind of justice, then maybe I can, as well."
"It does get lonely," Allison said, a crack appearing in her mask of stoicism.
"Well, at least I can talk your ear off. Until you kick me out, that is."
"Come on then." Allison shouldered her crossbow. "Time is wasting already."
Author's note: Hey guys! Thanks for reading! I was thinking of keeping this a one-shot, but if I get motivated I will write more. :)