Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Harry rolled out of the back of the truck, falling onto a tarp covered in tools and a scattered arrangement of screws. When her vision focused, it revealed Will looking down on her, holding a plate of toast and eggs.
“Can I help you with something, ma’am?”
“What are you drunk?”
Harry managed to read out the time and matter of factly stated, “Well it’s 9:30, so no. Will, believe it or not, that’s too early, even for me.”
“It never stopped you before.”
9:30 didn’t sound like the time that she had remembered it being. Clocks weren’t really a device known for lying. Toasters were shifty little devils though.
“Are you going to get up?”
“Only if you make me, Will. I am quite content to remain lying on a tarp on the concrete without my braces on.”
One of the bolts below her was starting to dig in between vertebrae but there was no way Harry was letting that feeling show. She rolled onto her stomach, slowly crawling off the tarp and catching her breath against the pavement.
“Harry, I brought you breakfast. What the hell were you doing down here?”
“Just looking at the portal device we took out of the jewelry store.”
Will set the plate and glass off to the side, helping Harry off the floor and into a standing position, mainly leaning against the side of the van.
“The jewelry store that had an accidental explosion or some other one you decided to help?”
“The very same.”
“Didn’t this thing kill like three people?”
“Probably four.” Coughing in between the statements, she continued, "Based on the amount of blood and bones I saw down in the basement."
Her mind quickly flashed back to the scene from the far corner of the basement. The one that she had made a clear point of keeping Leo away from, so he might have a chance in keeping his breakfast down. It wasn't that she was saying he was squeamish but the sight of bones, rubber toys, and jewelry floating around in a pool of blood...
The job wasn't for the faint of heart.
And even she didn’t want to think about the melted jello texture that she had to walk through to disconnect everything. There must have been another person mixed up in all of that to cause the consistency, a life form with a different solid make up than most of the humans and humanoids that she encountered.
"What's today, again?"
"It's the 23rd, love."
It should have been harder to lose a day in between but Harry had been working down in the shop all night. And she had been avoiding the rest of the population of the building since lunch on the previous day. It wasn't like she had lost an entire day. Just a little over half.
No big deal.
“Do you want to come upstairs to eat or-” Will stopped to pull one of the workshop chairs over and rolled over to where Harry had moved to the bumper.
“Maybe explain your theory to me. You know, the one that you don’t want to share with Leo because you don’t want to scare him.”
There were multiple theories rolling around in Harry’s head about what might have occurred in Beit’s store, none of them appropriate to share with the office audience. It was most likely that Beit was dead. And if by some chance of luck it turned out he hadn’t died when the portal malfunctioned, it meant the poor bastard was tied to a chair somewhere. Hopefully, if he was so lucky so far, he was just getting beaten with a stick and not having teeth cut by a dull saw.
“If Beit isn’t dead already, he’s bound to be dead soon.”
Harry took a bite of the toast while letting Will process the small insight that she managed to offer. It wasn’t much to assume the man was dead. And it was even lesser to assume that he would die quickly. But as she saw an odd look rising on Will’s face, another possible theory spilled out of her lips.
“Or if he wasn’t so innocent in the operations, Beit is probably hiding out on a beach already.”
“Thanks to someone else’s portal that wasn’t bound for disaster.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“I know but I had to.” Harry managed to get the words out in between bites of the toast that were starting to clog up her throat.
“Harry, please don’t choke on that cardboard that you seem to love so much.
In the few moments while the bits passed down, her mind was filled with flirty responses and the unfortunate/fortunate fate of Mr. Beit. While it would be nice to think that perhaps he was just another slimy weasel in the rodent race that was Zinnia. But Harry liked to look for the good in people’s souls. If Leo believed the man was being coerced into the operations of his basement, then Harry would try and believe in this theory too.
It was the least she could do.
“Darling, the only thing I might choke on is you.”
The response didn’t sound as good in conversation as it had intended to be, so Harry drew Will in close with the kiss she had meant to suggest. There was a sudden pain of realization of the fact her leg wouldn’t hold as Harry slid onto the edge of the workshop chair. Some bits were missing from her memory of the past few days, probably due to the explosion, but Harry could certainly remember the incident of the chaise lounge.
“Harry, now’s not the time.”
“Because Leo is standing right behind us. Thought your eighteenth sense would have picked up on that.”
“Sometimes it gets distracted by beauty.”
Harry left one more kiss on Will’s neck before standing from the chair, moving back to the bumper and looking for her braces. Leo came from around the corner where he was hiding and presented the metal frames.
“Looking for these, boss?”
“Yeah. Thanks. What do you need?”
“The uh police detective, Robe? He’s here to see all of us and requests that you join him in the upstairs office.”
Requests my presence.
What a kind way of stating things.
The metal slipped on easily, clinging against bare portions and crushing a few spines that didn’t manage to clear out of the way.
“I bet he does. Guide the way.”