05 – In Sickness and Health

Sim hopped out, back first, from the large mirror located in the room Amigo and Roy were in. He landed in a kneeling position, where Amigo glowered down at the boy.
“Where’s the girl.”

As Sim stood up, he ran a hand through his feathery white hair with a sigh. “There was another man there. I think it was Q. Dressed in all red and black, grey hair..”
“Yeah, that would be him.” Amigo crossed his arms. Being a friend of Mercain’s had its advantages. Mercain had been in contact with Edmond for about a year now, so he had been privy to all the little information about the Count and his followers. Q was one of them. “What does it matter that he was there?”

“He was after Tali as well. He was able to get to her faster than I could,” Sim responded, walking over to a couch and plopping himself down on it, arms extended over the back in either direction. “That guy creeps me out.” He laid his head back, closing his eyes and crossing his legs, his right ankle on his left knee.

Amigo  hmphed, crossing his arms over his chest. “Well, he shouldn’t.” He lifted a hand, waving it as if absentmindedly shooing away a fly. “He’s just Edmond’s lapdog. He won’t do anything to you unless Edmond orders him to.” He didn’t seem too concerned with the fact that Sim had messed up and didn’t have the girl.

Opening his eyes and looking about, it was at that moment Sim noticed something. Or rather, the lack of something. “Where’s Shoy?” He asked.

Roy, a red-headed androgyne, was sitting on the floor in a corner, his white labcoat stained with blood. His hands were occupied with two human fingers. He appeared to be playing with them as if they were toys. “He’s off to kill the wizaaard~” the madman sang melodically, as one of the fingers ‘flew’ over the other one.

Shoy was a man with long black hair and a trenchcoat of the same color. His main weapon was… An umbrella. But Shoy had a reputation preceding him. There was a legend that told of three swings from his umbrella killing thousands of men… And Shoy didn’t even move from his spot while doing so. Shoy had been sent earlier that day to the Castle of Monte Cristo. Why?
Because Mercain knew Q would be out for the girl, and Edmond’s mental courage had been weakened by whatever it was that happened to his hand. The Count never bled. It was the perfect time to send in his finest to achieve what he had always wanted: Revenge.

While most could not see it, the walls of the office Mercain hardly left were filled with images, drawings, posters, and pictures of Edmond Dantes. All were defaced in some way. Drawn on, ripped, or stabbed with throwing darts. It had been over a year now and it seemed today was the perfect day to finally kill the bastard.

It was only an hour a go when there had been a knock at the castle’s door. William had answered it, but soon Edmond was brought in. The both had enjoyed a cup of tea and were chatting. Each knew of the other’s reputation, and each knew what their meeting meant.

Edmond, after about ten minutes of pleasantries, placed his empty cup of tea on the table. “So, I can only guess why you’re actually here, Mr. Shoy.”

The other uncrossed his legs, placing his own half-empty cup on the table as well. “Yes. Though I do so wish you good luck, Mr. Dantes. Are you going to draw your weapon?”

Edmond stood, drawing his rapier from its scabbard, and holding it in his gloved right hand. He moved away from the table and the couch. “Mr. Shoy, I had a thought…” The Count turned to the other man. “Would you like to go to the sparring room for this? I’d hate to ruin the rest of the castle.”

Shoy smirked to himself, tapping his black umbrella on the wooden floor. “Sure.”

At the top of the castle, Q had jumped to his balcony, and through his open window with Tali over his shoulder. Once inside, he closed the window behind him, and shut the curtains tightly. His curtains were very thick, and once they were closed, the room became incredibly dark. The man pushed his sunglasses up on his head, and flopped the girl down on his bed with a sigh.

He looked down at her, but only after lighting a kretek and taking his first drag. After a moment or two of lingering silence, he sat down next to her and reached out his hand to push her fiery hair out of her closed eyes. When not in a rage about something, or being completely immature, she was rather beautiful…

He exhaled above him before lying his head down on the girl’s chest, listening for a heartbeat. He heard none and sat up, debating on what he should do now. He took a deep breath, but instead of becoming relaxed, he doubled over and began hacking up what felt like his lungs. His cig dropped to the floor, and he promptly stamped it out with his black boot.
As he coughed he made his way to the bathroom. He managed to get to the sink before he puked up a mass of blood into the drain. They seemed like chunks. It didn’t look good, and it didn’t feel good either.

“You shouldn’t smoke.” It was a young, feminine voice. It was sweet, yet full of warning at the same time.  And it was coming from behind the man.

Q was having a hard time breathing, and it felt like his insides were going to come up through his throat. He reached for his dog collar, and pulled on it, to see if it would help lessen his agony, but he dared not take it off.

Behind Q, the little girl, dressed all in white, with long platinum blonde hair and pure black eyes, waved her hand through the air. “There,” she stated. “You are better now?”

Q bent over the sink, his knees bent, and all his weight over the countertop. His voice even more gruff than before, he whispered his reply. “Yes. Thank you, Opal.”
He set his forehead on the countertop, his sunglasses falling into what could only be described as bloody pulp in the sink.

He let out a loud groan.

The little white girl looked up at him. Though she couldn’t see him. She was blind. “You shouldn’t thank me. I am doing you a disservice by allowing you to live.”

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