Something about old buildings always interested me. They had a charm to them, something particular that just stood out.
Maybe it was the peeling paint and tarnished insides, the little details that told stories of the people who had been there before.
Or maybe it was because my brain associated run down buildings with fight clubs. But it all could have just been the moldy, sweaty smell of this place getting to my head.
"How many rounds?" I walked up to the two men behind an empty ring. One was average height and toned, the other was shorter and overweight.
"Two." The taller one sized me up. "You sure you're up for it?"
He readjusted his mask and rocked back on his heels. "Seventy five?"
That was only fifty dollars profit. "A hundred."
He nodded, slowly. "I take payment, not necessarily cash. Just in case you can't pay up."
Pervert. I smirked. "Appreciate the concern and lack of condescension, but that's not your concern. We have a deal, aye or nay?"
He shrugged. "You're on. Name?"
"Death's Angel. Your's?"
"Fury. Next empty ring, Angel?"
"Fine." I jogged away to a corner and readjusted my hood, watching everything from afar.
After a thirty minute wait, Fury laid claim on a ring, and climbed in as a crowd gathered to watch. I waited until he was in, then vaulted the ropes and stood on the side opposite him. He nodded, and approached quickly.
I bit my lip and ignored the thrill that swept down my spine.
Fury made the first move, a swing to the left. I dodged his right side, getting in a quick kick to the ribs. He grunted, curling slightly to the side and throwing another punch. I shielded my face, letting the punch glance off my shoulder. He stepped back, centering himself to kick. The moment his foot shot out, I moved behind him, grabbing his arm and twisting it behind his back. His back muscles rippled under his shirt, and he moved awkwardly in an attempt to get free. I put my foot on his back and pulled his arm up, dangerously extending it. He hissed in pain.
Well, he asked for it.
"I'm so sorry." With a crack, his shoulder popped out of place. He cried out in pain, but the sound was cut off when I pulled his head back against my knee. He slumped forward, disoriented.
"Death Angel wins!" The ref called out.
Fury groaned. "Underestimated you. Won't happen ever again, you slut."
Sore loser. Typical.
Well, if it was a good night, I'd have to do three more rounds. It was wishful thinking, but hopefully the rest of my opponents wouldn't be jerks.
But by looking at who was here, that was definitely just a wish.
Four hours, seven rounds later, I was just getting through with the club. I'd made a thousand five hundred, enough to survive on for a while, as well as escaped with no injuries, except for a sore ankle.
Overall, it was good. I wouldn't have to deal with them for a while. Sleazy clubs run by out of town mob bosses were not my favorite.
It was past rush hour, but there were still a lot of people on the street. There was probably a pileup on the highway, people normally tried to avoid this part of town unless they absolutely had to be here.
Couldn't blame them, Narrows wasn't a great place.
"Do you have any money?"
"If you were sober, maybe I would." I shook my head at the drunk and ducked into the Dollar General. Surprisingly, he didn't follow.
One of the clerks swiftly looked from me to the guy outside, then went back to scanning items. I went to the back of the store and picked up a box of crackers and a half gallon of milk, then headed for the makeup aisle, grabbing the dark eyeshadow that was my signature.
"Riana!" Two footsteps pounded up behind me. I knew who it was before turning around.
"Layla, if you don't quit calling me that..." She had two new bruises on her cheek.
"Save it. You won't do nothing to me." She grinned, eyes warning me not to say anything about it.
I wouldn't. Not yet.
"Don't tempt me. Get yourself something and let's get out of here. I don't want people to notice us."
"You've gone broke again, huh?" She scanned shelves, picking and choosing items, shoving some in the basket and others in her sleeves and pockets.
"You know I only go there when I have to." I slid a stick of beef jerky up my sleeve. "Couple hundred only lasts but so long. Self checkout?"
"Yeah, but I scan."
"Sure. I swear, you really want to go back to the system, don't you?"
She glared. "Shut up."
Even with her terrible scan and steal methods, we got out of the store without being caught.
The second we were back on the sidewalk, Layla began picking the pockets of everyone who passed by.
"You really want another bruise, don't you?"
"Be subtle about what you're doing, at least."
She looked at me strangely. "How'd you know I got caught?"
"Took a guess."
"I swear- and besides, you freaking go to clubs. It's so stupid, you could die for a hundred dollars. We've all seen what happens when the wrong person loses, and he gets his buddies to take revenge. Remember that guy they cut in piec-"
"I remember." I cut her off. We'd all seen that. GPD had been finding his body parts for days. "It's alright. I like danger."
She shook her head. "You need to stop. It's not worth it."
"It's not funny."
"I know. But I'll be ok." Believe me, Layla, I know.
"Whatever. I am older than you, though."
"That card got fouled a long time ago." We walked in silence after that, separating when Layla turned to go to the Uptown through Crime Alley.
It was getting darker by the minute, even though the sun had stayed out pretty late today. From in between the buildings, the sunset was visible over Gotham Harbor.
Well, to hell with it. Might as well go to the watershed and climb the shipment crates. They were only a block away anyways, and I hadn't been down there in a while.
Most of the time, the Harbor was deserted except for a few guards. There were few things that were better than scaring them-or people in general.
I climbed up the nearest crate and began jumping from one to the other. My ankle still hurt, but the pain wasn't terrible. It probably would be swollen tomorrow, but that was bearable.
Only four minutes into my failed attempts to imitate Nightwing's Quadruple flip, two red flashes appeared- one dark crimson, the other a slightly lighter shade. I jumped off the taller stack of crates and down to the parked tractor trailers, walking along the tops of them all while keeping in the shadow of the crate.
They kept up with me, staying almost out of sight until we reached the end of the row. Red Robin paused and looked around, groaning under his breath. "Do you see her?"
"You mean to tell me you've lost sight of her already?" Robin snarked.
"If you don't see her, that means you've also lost sight of her." Red snapped.
"Tt." Robin grumbled something I couldn't quite hear, then walked over to the nearest trailer and inspected it. "She could be hiding."
She was hiding, twenty feet away from you, and currently backing away.
I hadn't done anything that would attract their attention, well, nothing they could prove. They had the wrong person, and while watching them work was amazing, I had no wish to join their little merry band. Therefore, time to go to Robbins park and play cat and mouse.
I kept an eye on the Robin's until they were out of sight, still on the crates while I jogged back into Narrows. It would be a little suspicious to see someone dressed in primarily dark colored clothing running at night, but my leggings would make the entire jogger outfit seem legitimate.
It would be fine as long as no one noticed the dried blood on them from the guy who tried to rob me last night. Of course, at that time, the Batclan had been nowhere in sight.
I had the best luck..especially now that the dogs were howling.
Never been superstitious, but still...
Then a person howled back from not far behind. Two stop light colored boys leapt from roof to roof, the younger one behind the older.
Speak of the devils, and they shall appear.
I really do have the worst luck.
They were within seven meters of me, I couldn't move or they'd see me, and the only place to hide was an empty corner store with a CCTV camera pointed almost directly at the entrance. No good options.
Well, you only live once, depending on your circumstances. I slipped my mask back on and pulled my hood down.
"Who are you, and what are you doing?" Red Robin. Yum.
Alright, that sounded really perverted when it was about a person. "I'm standing here, same as you."
"Who are you?" Robin looked down his nose at me.
I was about the same height as Red, which meant I was at least two feet taller than Robin. So how did this little kid manage to look down his nose, and why did he seem so familiar?
Having a lost memory was fun. "Taller than you."
He scowled harder. Red tried not to smile. "Take off your mask."
"Take off yours."
This time he scowled, and the little one snickered, then quickly straightened up. "You're a suspect."
"That's nice. What am I suspected of doing?"
"You attempted to blow up hundreds of people."
"Four days ago. We've been tracking you ever since." Red piped up.
"Pretty sure I'd remember doing something like that."
I could almost hear his eye roll. "You're coming with us." He snatched my wrist and pulled out a pair of bat shaped handcuffs.
I let him start to close it around my wrist, then slid it onto his hand and snapped it shut all the way.
"Sorry, but not really." I snaked my foot around his ankle and tripped him up, making him fall into Robin. The little devil cursed and scrambled to his feet, shoving Red off him.
"Where'd she go?" He demanded.
It would be absolutely hilarious to walk back into his line of sight, just to taunt him, but it wasn't worth it.
Nightwing approached from the north, running right over the building I was hiding next to, and doing his quadruple to the next building.
Wow, the bats were really the most subtle people on earth.
"We lost her again." Red sighed.
"Because of your clumsiness."
"Clock tower it is, then." Nightwing responded cheerfully. "Wait, how'd you get the cuff on your hand?"
"She fooled him. It was a pathetically simple trick, but he still fell for it." Robin informed Nightwing dryly.
"I'm going to kill you." Red hissed.
"Try it." With a loud pop, Robin shot his grappler and swung away.
"Hellchild." Red grumbled as he and Nightwing followed.
"Imbecile." Robin shot back.
"Quit it." Nightwing sighed.
"He started it!" Both Red and Robin yelled in unison.