It was well established within the ranks of Boston’s smugglers that Tess didn’t take shit from anyone, under any circumstances. It was practically law — she just wasn’t to be fucked with.
However, this didn’t stop people from trying. On occasion, when some asshole was feeling confident, or just had nothing to lose, they would try to take her down, in hopes of narrowing the competition and earning the bragging rights that such an achievement would bring.
Of course, they always failed, and usually ended up rotting in an alley somewhere.
Tess could never quite understand why people just never learned.
[[MORE]]Her most recent run-in had left her a little banged up — a busted lip, a bruised eye, and a decent-sized gash running diagonally across her forearm, gifted to her by a beast of a man wielding a tactical knife. She’d had worse, but it hurt like hell, to say the least.
And, of course, the incident would happen as she was on her way to catch up with Marlene. Apparently, she simply wasn’t allowed days off.
So, cringing at the idea of ruining yet another piece of clothing with bloodstains, she’d tied her bandana around her injured arm and continued on her way, quickly traversing the half-mile to Marlene’s new favorite hideout (a rundown, inconspicuous bakery near the middle of town. It wasn’t fancy, but it worked). Upon arrival, she let herself in to find the other woman poring over paperwork, journals, maps, and written reports fanned out about her neatly. Marlene’s gaze snapped up as Tess walked in, a hand unconsciously going for gun up until she realized who it was. Marlene spent a moment looking her over, and then quirked a brow.
"Run into trouble?"
Tess shrugged. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.”
Marlene stood, folding her arms loosely across her chest as Tess approached. After a moment of consideration, she sighed, turning and striding behind the bakery’s counter and reemerging a moment later toting a clunky plastic case.
She gestured toward a wooden chair near the wall, and then, once Tess was seated, knelt beside her.
"It’s gonna need stitches," Tess warned, as Marlene began to unwrap the bandana from the wound, the fabric, turned from blue to a muddy red by the blood, peeling away from Tess’s injury unwillingly.
"No," Marlene murmured, unlatching the plastic box and retrieving a rag and alcohol. "There’s no need for that. I can fix this up more easily."
She flipped the bottle on its head and held the rag against its mouth, soaking the cloth before beginning to dab at Tess’s arm gently.
"I’m assuming they’re dead?" Marlene asked, glancing up to catch Tess’s eye.
Tess raised an eyebrow. “Guys that did this?” She smirked. “You really need to ask that? You’re smart — you already know the answer.”
Marlene gave a low chuckle. “I thought as much.”
After a pause, she added, “Why’d they do it?”
Tess shrugged one shoulder lazily, absentmindedly adjusting the strap on her tank top. “Same as always — they were feelin’ lucky, I’d wager.”
"At the rate you’re going, you’ll have as many enemies as I do," Marlene said, setting the bloodied rag on the floor and retrieving a rather worn looking box of butterfly bandages from her med kit.
"That’s the idea," Tess drawled, giving the throaty chuckle that Marlene had found charming ever since she’d first heard it.
A comfortable silence fell between them as Marlene set to work, closing up the wound with the bandages and then wrapping it neatly in gauze.
Once Marlene had finished, Tess looked down at her handiwork admiringly.
"I think you missed your calling," she mused, reaching out her free hand to trace over the bandaging. "You could’ve made a great nurse — I wouldn’t thought you could pull that off without stitches. Where’d you learn to do it?"
Marlene was silent for a moment.
"I picked it up from someone a long time ago."
Her eyes turned to Tess’s, and, for a fleeting moment, she saw green eyes instead of brown, auburn hair in place of brunette, a smattering a freckles.
She dropped her gaze, examining the bandaging again. “She was better at it than I am.”
"Well," Tess said, "either way, you did a helluva job."
Marlene felt slender fingers grip her chin, and looked up to find Tess smirking.
"So," Tess purred, "I guess I’ll have to find some way to repay you."
Marlene found herself smiling.
"Sounds good to me."
An accurate representation of tumblr right now
Ellie felt her cheeks heating up. What was happening now?
“Um…” She stuttered, trying to play it cool. Riley was right next to her, looking through the sketchbook they shared. Doodles filled half the page, lousy scribbles of the pair with profanity decorating speech bubbles. It was a silly, fun way to pass the time.
“Hm?” Riley said, as though her playing with Ellie’s hair was a natural thing. Something they did all the time. It wasn’t, for the record.
“Nothing.” Ellie said, but it came out as a whisper, one that didn’t reach Riley’s ears. Her fingers were at the back of Ellie’s head, spinning a lock of hair around her finger slowly. A shiver went down Ellie’s spine.
“Say again? You got to speak up if you want me to hear you,” Riley said in amusement, “Geez, it’s a good thing I like you so much.”
Again, Ellie’s nerves shot on fire. She bit her lip, leaning closer to Riley, pressing her pencil back onto the page.
“Are you flirting with me?” Ellie asked before thinking it through. Her hand didn’t stop, but Riley tensed for a moment.
“…Do you mind?”
Ellie had been waiting for Riley to tease her for the obvious redness of her face. She looked over and met her eyes, seeing Riley looking at her curiously. She was still playing with her hair, fingers threading through and massaging her scalp. Ellie hummed in approval and smiled.
“No. Not really.”
- "Wait right there, don’t move!"
- "That’s a good look for you."
- "Could you repeat that?"
- "Hey, have you seen the…? Oh.”
- "Everything’s going to be fine."
- "This isn’t exactly what I had in mind."
- "Are you flirting with me?"
- "Must be a day ending in y."