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In Chaos and Shadows
Kenzi could feel the numbing sensation in her hand grow as her grip tightened around the cool glass. She gazed emptily into the golden-brown liquid, her light blue eyes tracing the swirls of bubbles as they danced about, tumbling over one another to form new swirls that would eventually be drowned by the thick liquid.
After a long hour of prying eyes and concerned questions, Bo had left Kenzi with a simple, "You're going to have to open up eventually," before running off to join her girlfriend at a table in the far corner of the pub. The conversation leading up to that moment consisted of a poorly narrated recap of the events that had unfolded since Kenzi's 'kidnapping,' which only left the small human with an unsettling sense of betrayal. She had no intention of showing it, but the fact that no one but her best friend and Dyson's new mysterious partner had noticed that she had been replaced left a deep feeling of resentment settling inside of her. They would've let her die.
She heard a chair scraping the floor next to her and her blue eyes trailed up staring in hesitant awe and fear at the blonde valkyrie who took a seat beside her. As if she could physically feel the human's eyeballs attached to her face, Tamsin turned her head sideways and glared.
Kenzi's spine shot straight up and she randomly fixed her eyes on the disgusting gumball on the bar's surface-basically anywhere but the blonde's laser stare.
Tamsin's tone slightly softened when she saw how jittery the human was and with a nod towards the Happy Sunshine Gang in the background, she asked, "Not joining the festivity?"
"Not exactly in the mood," Kenzi muttered.
Tamsin glanced over at the brown liquid in Kenzi's glass, her nose wrinkling in distaste at the paltry alcohol. "Well, you pout better than you drink."
At this, Kenzi's attention was quickly ripped away from the gumball, now focused solely on the blonde. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"That shit," Tamsin said, eying Kenzi's beverage, "isn't gonna do much." She leaned back lazily, letting her head fall back, her cold gaze met by the aged panels of wood that lined the ceiling above her.
"You got something better in mind?" Kenzi asked, her eyes falling back to her glass.
A light sly smile began to play on the valkyrie's lips, her green eyes still surveying what lingered above her. "Maybe."
As if on cue, Trick slid over struggling against the five bottles of vodka bunched in his arms. Kenzi stared in silent shock as he lined each bottle up, one by one, in front of the valkyrie. Wordlessly, he ambled back to the far end of the bar as Tamsin pried open one bottle and pushed it towards Kenzi, her eyes smiling. "Have at it, squirt."
Kenzi's eyes bulged. "Hell to the fucking no! This shit will drop me cold."
"Oh, c'mon! Don't be so... human," was Tamsin's reply. She reached over, taking another bottle in hand. When she noticed Kenzi still not making a move towards her drink, Tamsin rolled her eyes and sighed. "Are you going to mope all day or drink? We're at a fucking bar in case you didn't know."
"Yeah, to get drunk, not die," Kenzi said slowly, shrinking away. "And you're kinda freaking me out here, Barbarella."
The valkyrie performed another exquisite eye roll and swiped the bottle away from the human. "Fine," she gave in. "More for me."
Kenzi played around with her brown beverage. It was a long moment before Kenzi spoke again. "You'd think after so many years, they'd be able to tell the real moi from an imposter," she muttered bitterly.
Tamsin raised her eyebrows, slightly amused. "So that's what this is about."
Kenzi was silent, her mind racing, filling with questions. Finally, she chose one. "How did you know?"
"How did I know what? That that bitch kitsune wasn't you?" Tamsin sighed, pressing the bottle to her lips, taking a swig and swallowing before she spoke. "Let's just say I've been around. I've picked up on a few things," she said, setting the bottle back down onto the bar, her hand wrapped around its neck.
"That's not an answer."
The valkyrie seemed to think about this for a long second, her finger now tracing the rim of the bottle. "Maybe not."
"I just... I could have died. And now-now they act like nothing happened. Like a few 'I'm sorry's and 'Hope you didn't starve in that cave' can make up for... that."
"What do you want me to say?" Tamsin asked. She lifted the bottle back up to her mouth, tilting it back and letting the cool, burning liquid trickle down her throat. She took a moment for the sensation to fade before casting her gaze over to the small human.
"I don't..." Kenzi took a sip of her own drink, her eyes scanning Trick's wondrous wall of curious alcoholic beverages. "I want you to tell me how. How you knew when none of my friends could tell." She watched Trick pour a drink for another patron at the end of the long bar, a light smile on his face. "I mean," she said, "no offense, or anything... but before a few days ago, you were kind of a bitch to us."
Tamsin let out a short laugh. "Don't tell me that's changed."
The valkyrie paused a little, taking time to process the two simple words from the human's lips. Had things really changed that much? She wasn't sure of what she wanted anymore. After defying that Morrigan bitch, she felt a huge weight lifting off her shoulders. But the new sense of freedom came with it a certain precariousness.
Tamsin drowned her thoughts in another swig of vodka. "It won't happen again. Promise."
Kenzi shook her head in frustration and sighed. "Fine. Don't tell me."
The valkyrie sat there for a minute, taking regular gulps of the burning liquid as she let her thoughts settle. Kenzi hadn't bothered to look back her way. Rather, she kept her distant gaze locked onto the now still alcohol that rested in her glass.
Finally, Tamsin broke the silence, a sincerity in her tone that instantly ripped Kenzi's attention away from her drink. "You have this look in your eye," she said.
"When you look at Bo, you see her as special and normal, all at the same time. You just-you seem proud."
Kenzi stared at the blonde for a few seconds, waiting for her to continue. When it appeared that she had no intention to, the small human decided to push for an answer. "...and?"
Tamsin rolled her eyes. "...and she didn't have that. She looked at Bo with this obsession, this neediness...like she fucking worshiped her with one of those little shrines in her closet and everything."
Kenzi was silent.
The valkyrie coughed. "I'd seen it before in the MO of that crazy kitsune bitch back when I was hired to take her out. I wasn't sure it was her but I was damn sure that it wasn't you," she said, tossing back the remainder of her drink.
"That's all that it was?" The human asked slowly, still unconvinced.
"Of course," Tamsin said, setting the bottle back down onto the bar top. "What else is there?"
Kenzi began to tap her fingers on the bar's surface, many thoughts ballooning in her head particularly one that involved an unpleasant request she had hoped she never had to make. When she glanced over at Tamsin working on her fourth bottle of vodka, the thought died a little inside her.
Without so much as a glance towards the human, Tamsin said, "You're staring at me again. What is it?"
Turning with her full body towards the blonde, Kenzi asked, "Can you drive me home?"
An amused smile played at Tamsin's lips, the rim of the half-empty bottle lingering just before her mouth. "Why are you asking me?" She asked. "Bo's right over there." She nodded over to where Bo and Lauren sat.
"They're being all cuddly and gross, and I so do not want to be in the middle of that sandwich," Kenzi groaned.
Tamsin's smile only grew at Kenzi's statement, her attention falling back to the small human beside her. "What's in it for me?"
"Wow," Kenzi breathed. "Um..."
The valkyrie raised her eyebrows in mute anticipation while the human stammered for an answer.
"Can't you just take me home?" Kenzi asked finally, pleading blue eyes meeting steely green ones.
Tamsin thought about it for awhile though no emotions ran across her face. Finally, she stood up and sighed, slamming the bottle down onto the wooden counter in resignation. "I better not regret this."
Kenzi's eyes brightened. "Is that a yes?"
The valkyrie pushed her chair in and turned towards the door. "Hurry your ass up before I change my mind."
The human jumped up and trailed closely behind the blonde, breathing a sigh of relief as she left the Dal behind her. She didn't really care if they noticed her absence. They never noticed before.
Bo glanced up suddenly, her attention pulled away from the blonde nibbling at her ear.
"What is it?" Lauren asked as she grazed her lips up and down the brunette's neck.
"Nothing. I mean, it's just a feeling."
"Mm, what kind of feeling?" Lauren asked, reluctantly pulling away from her current action to look Bo in the eyes.
"I'm not sure. Something just doesn't feel right."
"A lot has happened lately. I'm sure it's just your mind trying to process everything."
Bo sighed. "You're probably right."
The good doctor studied the brunette and smiled. "Well, you look exhausted. Why don't we head back? It's been a long day."
"Yeah, let me just check on Kenzi first," Bo started to get up. "She looked like she had something to say."
Lauren reached out and clamped her hand around Bo's, fingers intertwining. "I'm sure Kenzi just wants some time to herself. We've all been crowding her ever since the incident."
"You're probably right," Bo relinquished. She looked at the doctor and grinned. "Your place tonight?"
Kenzi stepped outside, taken aback by the sudden gust of cool wind that swept across the dark alleyway.
"Dammit, Kenzi," Tamsin said, turning to face the small human. "Hurry the fuck up!"
"Right," Kenzi replied, quickening her pace. "So, where's your truck?"
"Down the road," The valkyrie answered shortly.
"Why the hell do you park it so far away?"
"Because it's safer that way," the valkyrie grumbled.
"On what planet?"
"Look," Tamsin turned abruptly. "Another peep out of you and I'm dumping your body on the side of the road."
Kenzi began to open her mouth but thought better of it and clamped her lips shut. Ahead of her, the valkyrie muttered curses under her breath as she stomped the ground with some unresolved anger. Kenzi did not want to be the source of that anger.
They made their way down the deserted sidewalk, their lengthy shadows stretching along the foreboding path towards Tamsin's elusive truck. The only discerning sound in the darkness was the combined clomping of their shoes against the pavement.
Suddenly, Kenzi heard another pair of shoes interrupting the rhythm.
And then another.
"Um..." she started.
"What is it now?" the valkyrie demanded, clearly annoyed.
"Don't you hear that?" Kenzi said in a shaky voice.
The blonde froze immediately, causing Kenzi to bump into her back.
"What the hell!?" The human snapped in a hushed tone, her eyes nervously darting from shadow to shadow.
"They're all around us," Tamsin said, a serious expression plastered on her face as she calmly scanned the surrounding area.
"You and your fucking truck... tell me again how this is safer?" Kenzi hissed, instinctively stepping closer to the blonde.
"Stay close to me, and don't get in the way." Tamsin commanded in a low tone as she let her hand fall to her waist, her fingers gliding along the cool metal of the Beretta resting in her holster.
"No arguments he-" The rest of Kenzi's sentence was lost when a thick arm wrapped around her neck, pulling her back and away from Tamsin.
The valkyrie's gun was drawn in an instant, her body turned to face Kenzi's attacker when the gun was knocked from her grip. "Shit." She stumbled backwards and fell into the waiting arms of another thug who latched onto her in a crushing hug.
Tamsin twisted sharply, trying to break free, but when that proved futile she decided to jab her sharp elbows into his chest and snap her head back, slamming it into his nose. The large thug yelled out in pain, releasing the valkyrie as he threw his hands up to cover his bleeding nose. "Bitch!"
Tamsin smirked and spun around, landing a solid fist to the side of the man's temple, knocking him out cold. She stood there for a moment relishing in her victory until her attention was torn away by Kenzi's angered cries for help. "Tamsin!" The valkyrie made a move towards the human, her pace picking up as Kenzi's struggle grew more urgent. "Get off of me, dog breath!"
Before she covered much distance, a powerful strike on the back of her neck sent Tamsin sprawling to the ground. Groaning, she picked herself back up and was met with another kick to the side of her face. "You little shits are starting to piss me off!" She yelled to her mysterious assailants, quickly rising up from the ground. Just as she lifted her fists she heard a whistling sound, which was closely followed by a sharp pain in the side of her neck. She clasped her hand over the area, cursing as her fingers grazed against the feathery end of a small dart.
"No! Tamsin!" The valkyrie glanced up at Kenzi. The small human's screams seemed distant as they reverberated through Tamsin's ears.
"Don't worry," Tamsin began as she shakily yanked the dart out of her neck. "I'll get us-" She stumbled to the ground in a heap before she could finish her sentence as Kenzi looked on helplessly, defeat written all over her face.
Moments later, the sound of screeching tires pulled the human's attention to the road, where a large black van skidded to a hurried stop. "Black van. Not good," she said, her captor tugging her towards the road. Despite her struggle, Kenzi was dragged along with ease and thrown inside along with the unconscious valkyrie.
"Snap out of it, Blondie," Kenzi pleaded, slapping Tamsin's face. Before she could say more, a dark cloth was thrown over her head and her hands were bound tightly.
"Quiet," a voice hissed. Kenzi felt the sharp sting of a needle on the side of her arm, and slowly her mind went black.
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