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Alone

by Viridian5

     Subject: [glass_onion] Witchblade gen FIC: "Alone" (1/1)
     Date: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 8:30 PM
     
     "Alone"
     By Viridian5
     8/6/02
     RATING: PG 
     SPOILERS: "Lagrimas" and "Hierophant," with a slight spoiler for 
     "Static."
     SUMMARY: Sara tries to sort out her life.
     ARCHIVAL/DISTRIBUTION: Glass Onion.  Anywhere else too, 
     as long as you ask me first.
     FEEDBACK: can be sent to Viridian5@aol.com
     DISCLAIMERS: All things Witchblade belong to Top Cow 
     Productions, Inc. and Halsted Pictures in association with 
     Warner Bros. Television. No infringement intended. 
     NOTES: Seeing as how there hasn't been a follow-up to the events 
     in "Lagrimas" yet, I decided to do my own.  Thanks to Bonibaru 
     for getting me Daniel's other name when I didn't know it.

"Alone"
By Viridian5

Gabriel sat down in the booth across from her and grinned. "This is different. What's the occasion?"

Sara felt so tired, but she still couldn't sleep. She'd even gone to work today, figuring it was better to be doing something other than sitting at home staring at photos of her dad. Maybe after this, she could sleep. "Yeah, but variety is the spice of life. I want to buy you dinner to make up for waking you up at 4 a.m. I already ordered for me."

"Oooh, big spender."

"Hey, you're the one into artifacts. I figured an ancient diner would appeal to you."

"Somebody should do some excavation on the walls. I wonder what they'd find. Aside from grease and more grease."

"You want me to believe that you have a problem here?"

"Nope. Just yanking your chain for waking me up like that. Grease is our friend." Gabriel picked up a menu. "What was the 4 a.m. thing all about, anyway?"

"I had to fight a minion of Satan who looked like my dead father. How was your day?"

"The Satan?"

"'The' Satan? How many other Satans do you know?"

"Could just be a guy with pretensions. The Witchblade seems to draw pretentious guys. Stop looking at me like that."

"This was Satan."

He nodded, then asked, "And, wait a minute, you really had dug up a grave?"

"I told you I did. Remember? Dirty me, confession of grave digging?"

"Yeah, but you can be sarcastic as all hell--sorry--and it was 4 a.m." Then he looked around. "Are we really going to talk about this in a diner?"

"Anyone who listens in deserves what they get."

"You're in a good mood. I like it."

"Finding out that your dead father isn't a psychotic, murdering crimelord tends to do that to you."

"I'll have to take your word for it. It's not like I'm on a first name basis with Satan, either."

"Are you ready?" the waitress asked him. He ordered a cheeseburger platter and a Coke.

"So, Satan," he said once the waitress left.

"That's what it looked like. I think he was also the fortune teller you sent me to."

"What? Sorry. I didn't purposely send you to the devil. Really. If I want someone to go to hell, I'm usually much more direct."

"I figured."

"Well, good." He offered an absent-minded thank you to the waitress when his Coke arrived.

"You and your girlfriend. How's that going?" Sara still couldn't believe that she'd put him on the spot that time, asking him why he'd never asked her out. Okay, listening to him get a phone call from his girlfriend while she was feeling lonely and thinking that everyone had someone but her hadn't helped, but still. How desperate.

Had she even been interested in him, or just desperate for someone, anyone?

"It's not."

"I'm sorry." And yet wasn't.

He shrugged. "It was a species thing. I was a human being; she was a mutant hellbeast."

"Don't joke about mutant hellbeasts around me."

Gabriel always looked almost feral when he laughed. "No, this isn't a job for the Witchblade."

He'd said he hadn't asked her out because she was of another world or whatever, yet when she thought about it she remembered him flirting with her a lot. And getting shot down by her every time.

She always looked at him with her friend or cop eyes, to the point where she'd stopped really seeing him. What the hell did she think of him anyway? Sweet, warm, loyal, smart kid, too knowing for his own good. He was pretty or weird looking depending on the angle. Nobody should have lips that red. When she first met him, she felt like she'd already known him. They'd been way too easy together.

"That Friday night when you called me, what was that about, anyway?" she asked.

"Which Friday night?"

Good point. "The Friday after I overheard your phone call with the mutant hellbeast."

"Nothing." He shifted, and his eyes glanced away.

His inability to lie convincingly to her was a plus. "You were weirder than usual." Now that she thought about it.... "And you sounded worried." She hadn't caught that at the time. "I really want to know."

"He bought your drum set that day."

He. Daniel. Cartaphilus. Sara wavered between preferring just to think of Daniel, the man she loved, and remembering that she had good reasons to end his, Cartaphilus', life as he'd begged her to. He seemed like two people to her, the Daniel who'd romanced her and the Cartaphilus who told her that he'd originally intended to kill everyone she loved to force her to kill him. But.... "Wait a minute, he bought the set Friday?"

"Yeah."

They'd just met and spoken to each other for only a few minutes, yet he'd bought her a drum set, already knowing her that well. "How much was it?"

Gabriel kept looking down, paying close attention to the swirl pattern in the table.

"It can't be that much," she said.

"50,000 dollars."

"That's very funny."

"Not really." His mouth twisted. "They are Keith Moon and John Bonham's last drums. The ones you asked about after you tried to sell me the Witchblade."

She hadn't told Daniel about the drums, which Gabriel hadn't even had on the market. "He bought me a $50,000 drum set?"

"Yes." His tone added the "duh!"

Sara put her hand over Gabriel's and hoped the Witchblade could get her a picture. Daniel looked cold and dangerous and a little bit taunting as he picked up a small hourglass--"...belonged to Edgar Allan Poe...."--and deliberately dropped it, letting it smash on the floor. Gabriel looked pissed off, resigned, and a little bit afraid, though his voice just expressed annoyance. Daniel walked around the drums and toyed with an electric chair.

Gabriel pulled his hand out from under hers. "That was rude."

"I got tired of pulling teeth."

Daniel had given her an image of his initial plan for Gabriel, of strapping him to a chair in his office with explosives taped to his body. When he'd walked in that day, had that still been his intention? The thought of Daniel... of Cartaphilus toying with Gabriel made her stomach churn.

Something else.... Sara said, "The check for the drums and hourglass never cleared."

"The money is all tied up in legal difficulties and his--" Gabriel stopped.

And Daniel's weird death.

She knew the right thing to do. "I'll give you the drums back." No matter how much it hurt.

"No! Sara, they're your drums. You're meant to have them."

"50,000 dollars, plus however much that Poe hourglass was. That's a lot of money out of your pocket."

"Whatever. You're supposed to have the drums."

And there it was again, the echo, the deja vu. It all tied in with the weirdly intimate and deep moments she sometimes had with Gabriel.

Gabriel could help her think, just by being there.

If he had asked her out, she would have said no. They were too close already.

But could she bring an innocent into her life while she had the Witchblade? Could she leave some normal guy in the dark about all the people and powers out to kill her? Ian, her lethal permanent shadow, had walked up to Daniel and casually cut his throat. If Daniel had been normal, he would have been dead.

Instead, Daniel, immortal, had needed the Witchblade to give him the death he hungered for.

A normal guy? He'd never survive her life.

Abnormal guys who knew about the Witchblade were Gabriel, Ian, and the undead Irons. Beautiful.

"Sara?" Gabriel asked.

"Sorry. Just depressing myself."

"Don't do that."

"Or else what?"

He smirked and gave her a sleazy, considering look so over the top, with considerable eye and eyebrow action, that she snorted. The waitress distracted him by delivering their cheeseburger platters.

Sara wondered if the mutant hellbeast had been annoyed that her boyfriend called and took calls from another woman in the middle of the night. She couldn't see Gabriel revealing anything about the Witchblade either, so the girlfriend had to take it on faith that his motives were pure.

At least Sara's social life wasn't the only one falling victim to the Witchblade.

"Now you're cheering yourself up with evil thoughts," Gabriel said as he pointed a fry at her. "I can tell. I'm just trying to figure out if that's better or worse."

Feeling much mellower, Sara smiled at him and filched a fry from his plate. "I can't be evil, not since Satan's gunning for me."

"Sure. Try to think that. Whatever helps you sleep at night."

"That's the whole point."

THE END


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