Thursday 12/05/2250 – By Rebecca Green
Rhea limped all the way to the infirmary. Adrian nervously followed, keeping an arm around her and letting her keep most of her negligible body weight on him. He had been tempted to carry her entirely, but the profuse amount of blood made him hesitant. And he wasn’t about to swoop her up out of nowhere- she seemed quite determined to make it herself, only leaning on him as much as she had to.
Which was quite a bit. Her adrenaline was gone and the wound in her thigh was deep enough that she could barely walk, and it was only through her own stubbornness that she did.
Adrian reached forward to nudge the infirmary door open and the blue haired nurse was facing away from them, placing some pill bottles in a freezer bag and storing them in a locked cabinet. She turned toward them with a smile, which quickly disappeared as her eyes narrowed and she hurried toward them.
“You’re dead on your feet!” Ourani shrieked, “What in the world did you get into this time?”
“This wasn’t my fault.” Rhea defended herself, “a woman attacked me.”
“His sister, apparently.” Nodding to the man who paled and looked down.
“Trouble with the in-laws already?”
Rhea shot the nurse a glare as Ourani ushered her toward one of the infirmary beds, at the very end in a small alcove separated from the rest. Presumably to keep students from seeing the gore. Even Adrian was unable to look at her thigh without looking vaguely faint.
“Is this really the time for that?”
Ourani scoffed, “Every time you come into my infirmary half dead, I reserve the right to make at least one joke.”
“I’m not half dead.”
“You have been stabbed. Twice, might I add. And your face is covered in blood, your nose looks broken, and God knows what else. This woman really got a one-up on you.”
“She did not!”
“Shouldn’t- Shouldn’t we do something?” Adrian cut in, shifting awkwardly where he stood. “She- my sister-” He looked like he’d swallowed a sour candy, “- is still on campus somewhere. She just ran, what if she tries to hurt a student?”
Rhea hesitated, sitting straight up on the bed as Ourani began to tear away her sleeve to wrap her shoulder. “Shit.” Rhea cursed, “My niece is on campus. Give me your phone, mine is still in my office.” Ourani handed it over and Rhea dialed quickly, the number popping up before she’d typed more than two digits.
Ourani nudged her leg to rest on the bed, elevated, taking a blade to cut away at her pant leg enough to get access to that wound too, quickly cleaning it out. Rhea barely seemed to notice as the phone rang three times, finally answering on the last ring.
“Haki?” She questioned, given an affirmative. “There’s a woman on campus. Tall, long blonde hair in a ponytail, gold eyes, wearing all black. She has weapons and I need you to go to the Ravens’s dorm and keep an eye on my niece. The woman, Veronica, may have reason to go there. Let the others know to keep an eye out. And tell them to be careful- she’s dangerous.” It was a short call, the fallen angel quickly agreeing and getting off the line to void her way to the girl in question.
“So.” Ourani began, interrupting the brief awkward silence that had fallen over them. “She’s your sister?”
“Did you know she was some assassin trying to kill Rhea?”
“We didn’t keep in contact, I haven’t seen her since my mother died five years ago.” Adrian crossed his arms uncomfortably, eyes flickering to the window. “I didn’t know what she did.”
“Well shit on a stick,” Ourani replied conversationally, tilting Rhea’s head up and flashing a light, “Possible concussion. What happened, Rhea?”
Rhea blinked, leaning her head away from the offending light. “I was grading papers, she came in behind me. Nearly silent, I only noticed her right before she attacked. We grappled, she stabbed me in the leg and my arm, I got her in her side. My head banged against the floor. She managed to pin me and hit me several times, which is how my face got like this. I think my nose might be broken.” She gestured to her face as she spoke and Ourani snatched out to grab Rhea’s hand, flattening it out and huffing at the gash there.
“And where did this come from?”
Adrian shifted once more, answering before Rhea could, “She caught a knife. Veronica tried to throw it at me.”
“I think she was just trying to distract me from following her, but she was aiming for your heart so… I guess you weren’t kidding when you said you weren’t close.”
Adrian gave a hollow laugh, “Nice to know she’d go as far as to kill me as a distractionary tactic.”
Rhea hesitated, looking at Adrian with more reservation. She had little idea what could cause such a relationship, knowing nothing more than love and affection between her and her own brother. Even with her own estranged sister, Rhea would never harm Alexis and she was positive the same went for the raven haired woman.
“Anyway,” Adrian continued with a thick swallow, “I’ll run and grab Rodney.”
Rhea pursed her lips, “Be careful. I don’t know her like you do, but she may still be on campus.”
Her words made him hesitant, looking at her with worry. “What if she comes back for you?”
Rhea thought for a moment, “I can handle myself, but I have a gun in the lowest drawer in my desk.” She would have grabbed it, but there hadn’t been much time to reach. “I take it home with me every night to keep a student from getting ahold of it, but it’ll keep me safe.” And if necessary, she would make herself get up to fend off the woman, but a gun would surely make it a lot easier.
Adrian raised a hand to rub the back of his neck, giving a slow nod. Handling a gun- okay. Even though the first time he’d ever held one had been when he and Rhea visited the range just a couple weeks before. He was heading out a moment later.
Between her and Ourani, they remained fairly silent. The nurse tending to each of her wounds, tutting every so often at Rhea’s ‘recklessness’ though it was hardly Rhea’s fault that she had been attacked. Rhea merely rolled her eyes. It was perhaps ten minutes until the headmaster himself came through the doors, followed shortly by the librarian. Eyebrows furrowed, his concerned eyes fell upon the defense professor.
“How is it that two full grown adults manage to find themselves in more trouble than all of my students combined this year?” He began with a troubled sigh. “How are you holding up Ms. Vander?”
“If you figure that one, you let me know… I’m fine, stabbed twice and probable concussion, but alright. I’ve had worse.”
“That isn’t too comforting.” Rodney commented, raising a hand to rub his chin in thought, “Have you any idea why this woman would want to kill you?”
“Probably because of me.” Adrian spoke gloomily, both arms crossed as he looked off into the distance of the window once more. “She’s always loved to torment me. And she tried to throw that dagger at me.”
Rodney looked at Adrian in surprise, “How are you acquainted with this woman?”
The librarian stilled, letting out a puff of breath as he admitted, “She’s my sister.”
There was a beat before Rodney blinked. “That certainly is an interesting turn of events. I do remember your sister, she was quite the troublemaker even in school. Never graduated, if I recall correctly. Never imagined she’d grow up to be a killer.”
“It’s not your fault, anyway.” Rhea interrupted, watching Adrian carefully. “Like I said, I have reason to believe that she’s been watching me for longer than I’ve even been working here. Besides, if someone truly wanted to mess with you and she doesn’t seem to care for family, she would have gone after your grandparents. I’ve only known you for a couple of weeks, what would killing me matter?”
Adrian didn’t immediately respond, instead looking at her quite suddenly with a hint of confusion. Unsure of that thought – it made sense to him that this was his fault. Veronica had always loathed him for kicking her out of her status as an only child. She’d been nothing but cruel and he only wished he’d known just how messed up she had become. As if he might have been able to do anything. Rhea, though, he couldn’t imagine why Veronica would go after her, and the thought unsettled him. Angered him, even, and it showed as his arms tightened, folding together and looking away once more. Why did Veronica always insist on ruining everything for him?
“Yes, I do agree with Ms. Vander,” Rodney continued her thought, “Unless your sister has been keeping a close eye on you, she would have no idea of your relations. Now, Rhea, could you expand on what happened? Professor Calver only got as far as that you were the victim of an attempted murder in your office and he came across.”
“She came after me in my office, yes,” Rhea began, sitting up a little straighter to the annoyance of the nurse, who shot her a glare. “She brought a knife and a flash. It was sort of like flash grenade, but she didn’t have to throw it and it was reusable. I’ve seen something similar before and I have no idea how she managed to get ahold of something like it… “ The only way was for her to have stolen it from some highly sensitive locations, or persons. “We fought, I was thrown against a desk, hit against my face three or four times, stabbed in the shoulder and my thigh. I managed to get a hit on her side with a dagger I keep in my boot.”
She wasn’t entirely certain if that was appropriate or not, but she never left home without at least four separate weapons on her person. Dagger in her boot, a belt that held numerous devices such as her garrote, her cross that fared well against demons, and her gun that she then placed in her desk. Often times, poison vials, hairpins that acted as picks, stunners disguised as lipstick, and whenever she wore a skirt there was a knife strapped to her thigh. Thankfully, Rodney didn’t seem to think much of it.
“I fled because I knew she had the upper hand and when I turned a corner and saw Adrian, I told him to run. But the moment she saw him, she fled herself. Must have been shocked to see him. She threw a dagger at him first, I think to distract me from following her myself.” Rhea raised her now bandaged hand, “That’s how I got this.”
“I’m surprised she ran.” Adrian commented bitterly, “I would have thought she’d stick around and make me watch. She always loved sadistic things like that.”
Rodney gave Adrian a side glance while Rhea watched him further, both unsure of how to take his attitude toward the matter. Not that Rhea could blame him – it must be quite jarring.
“I shall inform the authorities. I will make sure Professors Muya and Vinci are aware of the situation as well, as they will be most adept at handling a dangerous person. As much as you may dislike it, I’ll let Professor Blackhall know as well.”
“I’ll be speaking to a few of my former colleagues, as well.”
“What did you do?” Ourani suddenly asked, speaking up from where she had been slowly rolling up some dirty gauze that she had to throw away.
Rhea smiled, “Well if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret, now would it?”
“C’mon, you can tell us. I’m sure it wasn’t that amazing.”
“Legally, I can only say I worked for the government. Sorry ‘Rani.” The nurse huffed, and Rhea suddenly looked back toward Adrian, “Or did you want to keep this on the down low? She is your sister.”
“Not right now, she isn’t.” He immediately debunked, “Just catch her. I’d be happy to see her get what’s coming for her.” Adrian hesitated for a moment before going on, “I really am sorry that she’s done this to you.”
“You have no fault in the matter,” Rodney assured him, clasping a hand against his shoulder. “That being said, I’m sure Ms. Vander will need her rest to recover. You’ll have to take another break from physical teaching.” Rhea groaned at the thought, but he overlooked it. “And I’m sure you’ll rest as well, Adrian.” He pointedly glanced at the man. “Goodnight to you, Rhea.”
“Night, and be careful. See if you can send someone to the Owl House to keep an eye on them, maybe Haki. I wouldn’t want any of the kids to be in danger tonight. Max could be sent to help Lana with the Ravens.” Rodney nodded to the suggestions.
“I’ll do that. Take care, come Adrian, give her rest.”
Adrian took half a step to follow Rodney, but then halted. “I’ll be right after you, sir.” He waited until Rodney had made his way out of the room to turn back to Rhea. Glancing once at Ourani, but the nurse had crossed the room and busied herself with putting supplies away in the many cabinets. He reached under his jacket, pulling out the gun she’d asked him to retrieve with extreme care and handing it over to Rhea as if it might explode at any moment.
“Are you sure you’ll be alright?” He couldn’t help but ask anxiously.
“I’ll be fine,” She assured, “Just get some rest okay? It really isn’t your fault. I can’t believe you’d be related to something like that, anyway.”
“Neither can I.” Adrian gave a low whistle, hesitating on the brink between walking away and sticking close. “Do you want me to stick around? Bring you something? It’s still a little early to go to bed.”
Rhea smiled, but shook her head. “Thanks, but I’ll be okay. You head off and rest, I know that was a little exciting.”
“You could say that… Alright, I’ll head out, but just call if you need anything.”
“I will, night Adrian.” The man smiled back at her, his arms falling to his sides as he gave her a slight wave.
“Night Rhea.” He finally turned away, heading toward the door and glancing back at her, hesitating until Rhea grinned widely and he snorted before closing it behind them. The moment it was closed, Rhea sunk down with butterflies in her stomach, and Ourani snickering in the corner.