I've never liked this chapter, to be honest. But still...
The dark stranger shifted uncomfortably on the bed as Nyssa tried to dress
his wounds. The Gillian creature had gouged a huge furrow from his shoulder.
It seemed to have stopped bleeding, but Nyssa was taking no chances.
"Stop wriggling this instant!" she demanded, and was both
surprised and pleased by the fact that the stranger instantly went limp. She
fastened the bandage securely; grateful that John had done little damage to
her injured hand before her friend had dealt with him.
The stranger collapsed back against the pillows as soon as
he felt Nyssa's weight shift from his back. The Trakenite's attention was
already elsewhere. She was staring at his guitar case arsenal. There was a
large paper bag visible on top of the pile of guns.
"It was for you," the stranger drawled sleepily in his thick
accent. "Open it."
Nyssa prodded the bag hesitantly, then, fairly certain it
wasn't about to explode, she opened it. Inside was a pile of -
"Chemical formulae!" she gasped, leafing through the wad of
paper. "This research... we could treble the efficiency of Hydromel!" The
stranger continued to regard her, his face carefully neutral.
"I thought, maybe you could take the guns out of Sean, and
keep those in there instead."
Nyssa smiled, casting an affectionate glance at the
ominously bulging rucksack slung over the bedpost. She laid the notes
carefully on the bedside table.
The next thing the stranger knew, the girl was on top of
him, smothering him in her enthusiasm to press her soft lips against his.
The kiss was long, searching and passionate, and only ended when Nyssa
realised Sean was still facing them.
Without shifting her position, she lazily stretched out a
leg to move the peeking satchel, almost blushing as she saw her friend's
gaze follow the limb.
The stranger seemed to be about to get up, so pushed his
head back down on to the pillows and sat on his midriff. She reached out a
delicate hand to explore his face, intrigued by the strange combination of
lust and terror that she saw there.
While still stroking his warm cheek, she reached up to the
collar of her brown velvet jacket and began unfastening it. She was three
buttons down when she noticed that terror seemed to be getting the upper
hand in his face.
"What is it?" she cooed, running her fingers slowly over his
chest. "Is this too fast? Or not fast enough?" She paused, then threw
herself full length on top of him, seeking his mouth again, thrilling at the
sensation of her bared shoulders against his ever-so-slightly downy chest.
Rampant desire was clearly beginning to claim the stranger as he reached to
part her jacket further, revealing a couple of exciting-looking straps, and
a shoulder holster.
"Ack," he choked briefly, and Nyssa froze.
Terror. Bleeding stopped. Sudden whining tone. No, by all
that's sacred, please Keeper, no!
She resumed the kiss, then slid forward, feeling the
stranger's hands slide onwards, down, preparing to hoist the jacket over her
head, his lips grazing against her chin, her throat. By the Source, she
hoped she was wrong about this...
"Weasel!" she groaned.
"Psycho!" replied Adric, almost delirious.
There was a confused couple of seconds, but they ended with
the gun from the shoulder holster being jammed in Adric's mouth, while Nyssa
sat back and tried to get her breathing under control. She realised he was
trying to say something, and pulled the gun back an inch.
"That's three things you've stuck in my mouth in three
He was smirking! Nyssa felt as though she was really going
to cry. A ringing backhanded slap vented some of her immediate frustrations
(... skin on skin... love to love...), and she followed it by wrenching off
his face mask. She reached round to grab at his ponytail, and yanked at it
"That's real!" he squealed in protest.
"I can see cleavage."
With a shriek of rage, she slammed his head back, and tried
to pull her jacket into order. She'd just realised she was nowhere near as
dishevelled as he'd suggested when she happened to notice that he was
holding the gun.
Nyssa slumped, barely noticing she was still sitting on the
"Again," she whispered. "You've done it again, brat." She held up her hand,
the uninjured one. "Well, go on, then," she muttered, shaking. "Shoot the
other one." Adric was shaking, his face white. Nyssa snarled: "What are you
waiting for? Shoot me!" She lunged forwards, shaking Adric by the shoulders
until his teeth rattled, the barrel of the gun digging into her collarbone.
"Kill me!" she yelled. "Kill me, kill me, KILL ME!"
She blinked to clear away the tears, and found herself
toppling sideways, her face burning. Adric was staring at his free hand as
though it had just bitten him. (...Pressing down on those lips... teenage
bum-fluff lining them like velvet...) Nyssa spoke again, and now her voice
was icy cold.
"This is it, Adric. No more games. Ever. If you let me up
now, I'll tear you into pieces so small, you'll never reconstitute."
"Why?" asked Adric, a note of genuine curiosity creeping
into his whining petulance. Nyssa answered immediately.
"For hitting me in front of all those people. For shooting
my hand. For calling me a bitch. For hunting me down, and pretending to be
mysterious, enigmatic and attractive." Her voice cracked slightly over the
last few words and she turned away.
"Did you really think attractive?" asked the Alzarian, a
hint of his usual swagger emerging. He was answered only by a grunt from
Nyssa. He looked at the gun, and looked at the slim girl lying before him,
her hand stretched behind her like a naughty child awaiting a slap from a
ruler. He made a decision.
Nyssa braced herself.
Adric braced himself.
Nyssa felt a cold metal object being pressed into her hand.
"It wasn't me," Adric told her with a sigh.
* * *
They sat side by side on the bed. Adric was examining Sean
"I was changing the barrel of Fox's Nob when he appeared,"
he explained. "An evil twin. I still can't believe it. He asked me how my
plans for world domination were going, and when he didn't like the answer,
he locked me in a cupboard. He took my badge, and told me I wasn't evil
enough to wear it." Nyssa fingered the star-shaped badge absently.
"I heard everything echoing through the pipes," the boy
continued, with a guilty glance at Nyssa's maimed hand. "He took my badge,
he made everyone hate me. I want... revenge for that."
Nyssa smiled softly. "Adric, everyone's always hated you." A
stiff silence from beside her implied that he hadn't been quite as aware of
this fact as she had assumed. "Where did he come from?" she asked gently.
Adric shrugged. "An alternate universe, I guess. Or he might
just be a distillation of my dark side. Something like that, I expect."
"I suppose you're going to kill me now," Adric said
gloomily, but there seemed to be a glimmer of hope in his eyes. Nyssa sighed
deeply and looked around the room. She really should want to kill someone,
she realised, but she was also so tired, and it had been such a long day,
and she had been so... distracted. She made a tentative movement towards
Sean, but her heart wasn't really in it.
Adric still flinched as she handed him his latex mask.
"Wear this," she suggested. "And just maybe it'll be all
* * *
The next morning, Adric was at the mirror adjusting his
mask. As he did so, Nyssa reached for the phone. Things were getting
complicated, and when things got complicated, she needed more firepower, to
be sure that the right person died along with all the bystanders.
"Turlough?" she asked, when the phone was answered. "Is
Tegan there? ... Oh, sorry... er... how fast can you reach Fingals Irish
Bar? Good... Oh yes, Turlough...
"Bring your sheep."
Prologue - Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Five