She looks up at him, her eyes neutral and even. The moment is over—it’s easy to grasp that old coolness, easy to hide the sickness and the want behind good-natured disinterest. It’s almost tangible to her, like a worry stone that you rub beneath your thumb, worn smooth from constant use. “Them,” Mary repeats, as if it were obvious. “The actual killer.”
There’s nobody in the hallway but them—of that she’s almost certain. At the very least, the person behind, actually, honest-to-God behind the murder of Doran Martell isn’t there, and neither are the police. That’s all she cares about, really. She’s not quite surprised to discover that she doesn’t want the police involved, at least not yet. Mary stoops down to pick up her tweezers, and then approaches the handsome man with her palms faced penitentially skyward. “Easy,” she says, attempting but unable to feign a soothing tone. It sounds flat on her ears, and for a moment she wishes she could sound soothing, sound fawning to the handsome stranger, almost as much she had wanted to use her tweezers on him moments before.
“The boy that was shot,” she continues, once she’s standing a little closer to him and can see his eyes better. “He wasn’t the murderer. Not the real one.”
He immediately turns suspicious. Why would the nurse have any business dealing with the killer? Come to think of it, why would he have any business running after him as well? James frowns, then looks at her. Truly looks at her, with the same discerning eyes that have wheedled rich men away from their obligations. What he sees startles him. There’s a flash in her eyes, a sharpness to them, that makes him shudder, and he wonders idly just what this nurse is. If she really is a nurse.
“Why would you need to find him?” his eyes squint at her, showing as much wariness as the edge in his voice. “Them?”
He runs a hand down his short-cropped hair, smoothes down his beard, until all of the adrenaline has tapered down somewhat that he can manage a notch higher than just suspicion. “You’ll not be able to run them over with those,” he nods at the tweezers on the ground. “And I don’t have anything better on hand than my belt.”
He manages a humorless laugh before he turns serious again. “In minutes there’ll be a hundred more police officers here than the hundreds that already are here. They’ll have better chances of finding this killer than either of us.” He licks his lips, caught up in his own thoughts. “Then what the fuck are we doing?”
• thread: the hounds of morrigan
The echoes of her footfalls stutter to a halt, and her face falls (perhaps incriminatingly so) at the man’s admission. “Then why’d you run?” she coughs, folding over so that her hands are at her knees, as if that would make her lungs feel any better. “You’re not a cop, are you?”
Her hands are red. Swiping her left over her right, her fingers drip with it, adding new splatters to the already sullied floor. Blood. The cut isn’t shallow, as deep as a cut to your hand can be expected to be. The glass is still lodged, sticking out and upwards, only the top glinting, through which she can see her thumb, her nail crusting with red turning dark, while the rest of the glass is obscured by the thick, opaque liquid. It stings, and she hisses every time she moves her hand, the shard shifting and only deepening the wound, tearing through more skin, scratching her bones. Wrapping her now napkin-covered left hand around it, trying her best not to rend that one useless too, she pulls it out, cursing at the pain, the blood only flowing harder once it’s out. Dropping it to the floor, she now wraps the napkin around her right hand, uselessly trying to stem the flow, adding more and more napkins as it seeps through them, makes them stick to her wound, stinging. Finally she gives up and shrugs of her jacket, doing her best to twist it into a bandage of sort, then twisting it around her hand, to the best of her ability. She looks up, snaps at the man nearest to her, telling him to help her, to tie the make-shift tourniquet as tight as he can. He acquiesces, but she can tell he wants to leave, wants to get out of there as quickly as possible. Despite his obvious apprehension at leaving her alone, he runs off at her command.
The glint of something metallic is sharp in the dim light outside and for a moment James thinks that she’ll kill him where he stands. In the bare second that follows, however, the light shifts and he finds the metal not at all resembling a gun but… tweezers, of all things, and the person brandishing it around is someone he can probably topple over with a sweep of his arm. Her stance, however, stops him short, and he knows that while the nurse is skinny and unassuming, she’ll have no second thoughts about using the tweezers on him, in the same way that she may not have had second thoughts about using it as a weapon in the first place.
He wonders idly, in that breath between the nurse’s threat and her withdrawal of it, if this is what fear is. Genuine fear, that is. Not the fear of not paying the bills on time, or failing a case, or going to prison. Those were the kinds of fear that James is intimately familiar with, but standing your ground against a person who has it in them to end your life without your permission—he’s never felt that before. Was this what Doran Martell felt like before the boy pulled the trigger? Did he have time to feel anything at all?
The nurse drops her weapon—tweezers, for fuck’s sake—and James releases a breath, drops his hands. “The fuck did you do that for? Do I look like a bloody murderer to you?” He’s not angry, not really, but he succeeds in sounding like he is, yelling at the top of his lungs like that. But he’d been scared, he realizes that now. Scared. His torso shakes as he drags in another breath and when he ran a hand down his short-cropped hair, his arm shakes too.
He calms down immediately after his outburst, and he waves a hand in the time between knowing that he’s calm and formulating a proper sentence in his head.
“N-no, sorry I mean, no I’m not,” James shakes his head, frustrated. He’s a lawyer, God damn it. “No, I’m not with the police, I’m not anyone really. I just thought I…” he trails on as he recalls her question. “What do you mean them?”
Five years ago, her mum told Mary she needed a hobby. Sewing, perhaps? Knitting was coming back in vogue—wouldn’t that be nice? But Mary, somewhat tempestuously, chose a little something that her mother wasn’t familiar with. It’s like dancing, mum, and that was the end of that.
Who could the waiter have been looking for? The accomplice? The mastermind, even? The waiter certainly didn’t look certain enough to have been the one to think up of the murder himself.
The sound of sirens reaches his ears. Within seconds the Palace will be stormed by the Yard and photographers both and they’ll all be crawling through the hallways that James is wading in and out of now. They’re mostly deserted. The staff who were in the kitchens have probably been herded out as well, or rushed to the Orangery at the sound of the gunshot.
No one’s here, he thinks to himself. No one important.
Where is he? She?
James slows to a stop as he catches his breath. They’re at the back of the Palace, near the service entrance. Piles and piles of boxes and other crates are stacked against the wall. Someone can hide in those; James considers it briefly, turning suspicious eyes on them, but before he can investigate thoroughly, a sound behind him stops him short.
He turns around, and finds—the nurse? James frowns, confused for a moment. “What? What are you doing here?” Then, suddenly panicking, held up his hands that are clearly empty of any weapon. “I didn’t kill him.”
Arya was bored. Having been forced by her dad to make at least the smallest effort at mingling with people, getting to know the different people she’d be associating with in the future, she was wandering around the Orangery, trying her best to glare at anyone who approached her. It worked most…
He’d been minding his own business when the girl in front of him suddenly spun, nearly making him lose his drink in the process. It took a while to register that the girl’s drink made its way on his suit and by then he’d lost all pretense of patience with her. The klutz. Why parties existed to mix the adults with the children, James would never know.
“For fuck’s sake!” he couldn’t help but shout. Thankfully, the noise drowned out most of it, and those that had heard found the wet spot on his sleeve and only gave him looks of pity. Until they also saw the girl, then they turned their heads away and started minding their own business.
Arya Stark, was it?
James knew when to indulge spoiled brats and their clumsy behavior but these instances were, thankfully, infrequent. Unfortunately, they were infrequent enough that James couldn’t rein in the disgruntled expression on his face.
“Could you mind, please, just watch where you’re going would you?” James said, expelling a sigh of annoyance as he put down his drink on a passing waiter’s tray and fished out the kerchief on his jacket pocket. He started dabbing at the champagne. Only champagne. Alright. If it were red wine, he’d completely disregard the fact that an underaged girl was drinking in the first place and jump straight to scolding her for being careless, first, then ruining his jacket second.
• thread: no use crying over spilled champagne • character: arya stark
She’s treating some kid for minor puncture wounds—idiot broke a wine glass, other idiot stepped on it, put bandaids on second idiot, judge them later—when something like firecrackers sound off in the distance.
“Ey—they puttin’ on a show in the Orangery?” Idiot Number 1 asks dumbly, mouth agape and stretched so wide that Mary can smell the wine-stench from where she’s standing, but Idiot Number 2 only shrugs (dumbly, too) in return.
Then there’s screaming, and the blood rises up in Mary—and she can feel it, hot and thick right down to the smallest of her capillaries. Part of her thinks she ought to be afraid, but for some God-knows-why reason she’s excited. Something feral and sick stretches out across her face, a rough beast slouching from her left ear to Bethlehem, and she’s up like a rocket.
“Oi! You have to finish with me!” protests Idiot Number 2, but she ignores him.
All at once, she’s moving with and against the crowd. Half the partygoes are curious like herself, the other half want no business with what Mary now recognizes were gunshots. She scrambles past these fearful ones, not even caring whose dress she was tearing. Finally she hits a knot of people, and she tears into them, too.
“Move!” she orders, with a rough authority beyond her five feet and three inches.
“Miss, you’re going to have to leave.” The security guard is equally rough, but Mary sees the animal-like fear behind the stoic mask of his face. Everything stinks—of powder, of blood, of the fear that blubbers out of a woman standing not too far off.
“I’m the fucking doctor,” she lies, and the knot of guards part like water to reveal the shattered body of someone (too much blood, hardly any face—he’s something now) she doesn’t know. Time slows but she isn’t afraid. She’s seen death so many times before, exactly like this. She’s used to how the air seems to thicken around her, how it’s like moving through treacle or jelly. The bloody mess at the thing’s feet looks like jelly. She has to fight back a smile at that. Not here. Not now.
“I can’t find a pulse!” someone screams. Sssh, she wants to tell them, can’t you see somthing has died? But that someone is her. Mary comes back into herself, and she squatting, rocking on her heels by the dead thing’s once-face. “He’s gone,” she pronounces. “Dead.”
There was something about the music. That was what James was thinking about, standing off to one side of the hall, watching the dancing and the carousing and whatever else the kids got themselves into. He’d tried mingling in the Saloon, but they were all either too preoccupied with business or with themselves that James couldn’t find a proper conversation to get into. At the Orangery, he’d felt more or less the same, where the guests were more interested in doing anything but talking.
There was something about the music. The beat, perhaps, or the way the band was playing that particular cover of punk rock. Something about the music. The drums? The awkward guitar solos after every chorus?
Something about the music—until the music stopped.
It took a while to register why it did. That the sound he’d just heard was not the drop of a bass but the firing of a gun. James blinked, startled; he had a drink in his hand at the start of this but looking down at the floor he realized that the glass had shattered at his feet.
A scream. More gun shots. He moved, then, as the crowd did, but he didn’t know what he was doing or what was happening. There had been something about the music, he tried to recall, something he was complaining about.
He finally caught sight of something on the floor. When he moved a bit closer to it, he realized it was a body. Two bodies. And someone with a gun—a bodyguard, he presumed—was standing over them, and a few other bodyguards with their guns pointed and drawn were scattered about, herding the crowd away.
Dead, someone said. Who was dead? He peered a bit closer and found one to be a waiter and the other to be Doran Martell. James’ eyes widened in surprise and immediately he thought of Balon Greyjoy, when he’d found out about his death in the morning news.
Immediately he looked around, looking for someone, anyone really, but he knew it was futile. The gunman had been shot and from the looks of it was already as dead as his victim. Looking at the waiter’s face again he found it to be… young. Too young. Why would someone so young want to kill Doran Martell?
Then it hit him; he’d seen that boy before. In fact, not only minutes ago, when he’d caught sight of him wandering into the Orangery. He was a curious sight, looking over his shoulder a few times as if walking into someplace he’d never been to before but waiters ought to know, don’t they? Waiters weren’t just lost where they worked. That was part of the job, knowing where everything was.
The waiter was looking for someone.
James turned around, looking about for someone who might register. Why he felt the need to do so, he didn’t know. But he thought about Balon Greyjoy, his suspicious death, and now this. And suddenly he just had to. He broke into a run, passing kids and adults both who were flocking the hallways and making everything thick with movement. He pushed roughly past them towards the opposite direction. Where would you run, if you’d just murdered someone?
(Source: jaimelannistersendshisregards, via )
OOC: James’ outfit to Sansa’s birthday. He’s gonna be there because of reasons. ;-)
sup, guys. i’m bronson and i’ve got an assassin who’ll kill your loved ones but he also happens to be the junior partner of a ~prestigious~ finance law firm that handles the accounts of some very very big companies. so chances are, he may have gone to your company’s formal dinners and galas charity functions and all that. and he would’ve had a good time of it too. it just so happens that he also hates you all and the lifestyle you promote and probably plots your demise in elaborate index cards on saturdays while waiting for a football match. over chips and a guinness, most likely. so yes, i’d be up for plotting if you guys are! random scenes, random run-ins, if you guys are bored and just wanna write, i’m all for it woot woot. i’m fleabaggers on skype and ye can always reach me via the ask on my personal blog. can’t wait to start interacting with all y’all.
NAME: James Ellis / “The Handsome Man”
CURRENT OCCUPATION (IF ANY): Tax lawyer and senior partner for Allen & Overy, one of the top finance law firms in the country that happens to represent some of very powerful companies.
PUBLIC ALLEGIANCE: N/A.
PRIVATE ALLEGIANCE: Currently doing what he does for his own interests. Eventually, he’ll find kinsmen in The Faceless Men and ally himself with them.
CHARACTER INFO: Being born to middle-class means left nothing to be complained about. Sure, studying at a British public school had had its fair share of the Queen’s English and Welsh and Cornish and Yorkshire accents being pounded to malleability to fit what was 1) “proper”, and 2) romanticized. Britain in the 80s, after all, had an image it wanted to emulate and emulate it did, in some aspects, but not quite to everyone’s expectations. What had been the Tories’ promising politics ended in an amassed wealth of hate and dissent among the middle-class, and James was one of them. He was only a student at the University College London at the time (the university that practically had an army of student activists), idealistic and somewhat enthusiastic for “good” things, “better” things, things that could be hard-earned, things that didn’t have to be inherited, things that didn’t require a solid patrilineal line or blue blood or some hyphenated name or a lordship in the rural north. He wanted to be someone, to earn the right to do so.
Disillusionment came, hard and fast, after the fall of the Targaryens. The Arryn/Baratheon tandem only turned out to be the lesser of two evils, not the herald of change that was virtually prophesied to overhaul the system. James wanted to get rid of them as well, but the spark of revolution had already died down, the idealistic youth had already aged, and exhaustion, it seemed, settled over London like a thick, disarming blanket. People went on the daily grind, the Arryns bowed out to the Baratheons, and everything that was supposed to change did not.
After the dust had settled, even a veteran of the streets like James was cowed by the very intimidating future of poverty if he kept at his bitterness and did onlythat for the next few years of his life. So he did something with his First in Philosophy and Economics; he went on to study Law at UCL, he sat his exams, passed the bar, earned his Esq. and his license, and, predictably and with more than his fair share of self-flagellation, went on to work for the very people whose buildings he peppered with Molotov cocktails barely a handful of years previous. He became a tax lawyer, helped the middle-class anguish over their cumbersome obligations to their government, and the upper-class stew in the excess of their relatively untouched wealth. It was a job that his old underground brothers would’ve crucified him for, but he was earning what he could, and making a name for himself; in a way, he was doing what he’d always wanted to do, but, horror of horrors, not in the manner that he felt that he would. But that was life after rebellion, and eventually, when he could finally afford a car for himself and a slick apartment in the heart of the city, James mistook discontent for peace and went on with his life.
The death of Balon Greyjoy, however, startled James out of his complacence. Here was one of those who had risen well and risen quickly during the brief post-Targaryen surge of commercial growth among the companies of Arryn-Baratheon cohorts. It was clear to anyone that his death was no accident and that it made waves among the Greyjoy family, the ripples of which had yet to reach the shores of wider scope: Parliament. Now, James was beginning to grasp at a renewed sense of purpose. He was a tax lawyer, after all; he had files upon files on the dirtiest and most hidden transactions of many of London’s kingpins, and if one death could do so much, then what could a hundred actually achieve?