Saving the city [Ashana x Zaira]

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Nad, Jan 30, 2015.

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  1. The sky was completely dark, and the vague lights on the streets created a scary atmosphere. That night, not even the moon was present to light the city. Besides, from the center of Liberty City it was always hard to see the stars clearly. Anyway, Jade was used to the darkness of those streets, since it was her only way back home from her work. Even if there were many crimes taking place lately, and she definitely looked as a defenseless young woman, she was ready for anything. With some boxing knowledge and a pepper spray within her reach, she felt invincible. It was weird how a person studying crime itself could be so naive about it. But there was still something she was right about. Around those streets, there wasn't only evil lurking around, because as in every aspect in life, bad things are balanced with good ones. And that's why she was sure that all those mysterious animal that had been helping people had something in common, and there was someone out there watching for that city. There was someone saving that city.

    And so, even if the fast pace she was taking was easily confused with a fear, it only hid the wish of getting quickly back home. As every day, it had been a long day for her. But she liked it that way, because there wasn't anything she would hate more than spending some boring time on her apartment. And that was why, after her classes in college, she went directly to her boxing practices and then worked on a restaurant ten blocks from her apartment. And, that way, by the time she got home, there was only time for studying and sleeping, and no boredom in the middle. Anyway, that day, no matter how much she was craving for some rest, she would find a small distraction that would completely change her routine.
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  2. If they were here, they would have shown themselves by now, Damien mused, dodging through late night traffic to vanish into the shadows of a nearby alley. Ears flicking in circles to catch every noise they could, the grey wolf was growing impatient. If they were not here... then the intel he had taken from some of the cartel's members the previous night had been fake, or they had changed it since then; both options were equally plausible, though the thought made him snarl in frustration. Damien was the protector of Liberty City; a role he had assigned himself two years ago. Since then, he had stopped countless assaults and crashed into an abundance of cartel meetings, crippling the members inside to disallow their escape. Still, they pressed on, and so should he.

    Damien's nose twitched with the scent of humans; many of them, most of them male. They stank of sweat, leather, and the cold machinery of guns, their scent mingling in with Liberty City's trademark grit and dirt. His intel had been correct. His grey wolf form – its light coat not ideal for the City's dark and dank alleyways, but he had chosen the wolf for its stamina and powerful jaw more than anything – pressed against the side of the wall, melting into the shadows with ease.

    There were six of them. Half of them were armed with a small pistol, all of them with blades on their belts; nasty ones, with wicked sharp glinting sides reflecting the meagre lighting like a beacon. The cartel members (who else could they be?) were either very stupid, or entirely confident in their abilities. The small area in which they were meeting was directly viewable from the street behind them. If anyone where to walk past... Damien angled his ears towards them, better to catch their words. As they exchanged a package, only low murmurs echoed towards him, despite his enhanced hearing; later, he would blame it on the truck that passed behind him. Snarling, Damien threw caution to the wind and lunged at the nearest member's throat, teeth bared, which served its purpose and made the others yell with surprise. One member down (he would mourn the loss of that life later, he told himself), he whirled on another, dashing forward to take out their kneecap. He screamed and collapsed, so when Damien jumped onto his torso to slam his head into the ground, he was quickly unconscious.

    The others recovered. Gunshots rang throughout the alley and a bullet lodged into his thigh followed by fire. Damien growled, and the world became a blur. He fought instinctively, letting the wolf's instincts carry him, and it took all his self control not to take that fatal blow, but instead to knock them unconscious. He may be many things but a killer was not one of them. The other cartel members, shouting in a language he didn't recognize, eventually realized the futility of their situation, and they lunged forward to grab their fallen comrades and ran. Damien tried to pursue but his leg collapsed underneath him, and as he shifted (slowly, painfully, fur sinking back into skin) into human form that he realized just how damaged and bloody he really was. Scrapes, bruises, cuts – he probably had a cracked rib, and his wrist was sprained, most likely – Damien dragged himself with aching fingers towards the entrance of the alleyway. He almost made it, his thigh burning with searing pain. Damien's vision blurred, pain clouding his vision with red. Distantly, he longed for his stash of clothes just a few alley over, but if he was going to bleed out in an alley, he supposed it didn't matter.
  3. Jade abruptly stopped as she heard a gunshots a few meters ahead of her. A few ones, actually. She had no idea what could be happening, but the fear started to grow bigger inside her. She might be stronger than a girl her age, but she knew that a pepper spray wasn't good enough against a gun. What was she supposed to do? To get back home, she needed to keep walking ahead, directly where the gunshots were heard. And, if she wouldn't go home, where would she go? She didn't know anyone who lived nearby, and she didn't feel like walking by herself at night knowing there were a few lunatics with guns around. Quickly, she took out her phone, maybe calling the police would help. Anyway, she realized her battery was dead, and went back to the same not-knowing-what-to-do state. That was until she heard a growl. An animal growl. That meant... one of the animals was involved in the shooting. That made her feel a bit better, but not much.

    For all that time, she just stood there, in shocked. It wasn't until she saw some men coming out of an alley right a few meters ahead that she threw herself to the floor. It was dark, so she hoped they wouldn't see her if she laid down. Luckily, they turned the other side of the street. Many of them looked badly injured, but... they were still running away. According for what she heard, the animals never left their enemies run away. So something probably went terribly wrong. Just like that, she sighed filling herself with courage, and rushed towards the alley, knowing the men wouldn't see her unless they turned around. Anyway, they didn't look as if they would go after a defenseless young girl with all those members injured. As she reached the alley, she poked her head at the corner to check if it was safe. The first thing she saw was a wolf laying down in the floor. Even if she knew it was probably one of the animals that had been helping the city, she was still a bit intimidated by it, so she didn't approach. Anyway, a second later, she could see how he was... changing. The fur changed his color and became skin, as at the same time his limbs morphed into human ones. If she was shocked before, she was at a whole new lever of being petrified then. The... wolf, human, or maybe both things, dragged himself closer to her, towards the entrance of the alley, and she just stood there. It wasn't until he stopped moving that she realized she needed to do something. Whatever strange thing he might be, at that moment, he was just a boy bleeding out in a dark alley. If she wouldn't help in some way, he would definitely die.

    Just like that, she rushed to meet him. Even if she wasn't thinking clearly, she did her best to remember everything she had learned when she studied medicine. First, he looked for his wound. And, even if he was mostly covered in blood, she could easily spot it. It was on his limb, but she didn't have a clear view from there, since he was laying faced down. "Hey, I'm Jade. I'm here to help you, now I'll turn you around to take a look at your wound." she said, not knowing if he was unconscious or if he could hear her. She then did so and lifted his leg slightly. Quickly, to stop the blood coming out, she grabbed a t-shirt that was with the rest of his clothes and tied it around tightly. Luckily, it would prevent him from bleeding out, but she still needed to get some help. She cursed out loud remembering her phone was dead. What was she supposed to do? Leaving him there and find an ambulance or take him with her? "Hey, can you hear me?" insisted, checking if he was still awake.
  4. Voices. One voice, to be precise. Damien stirred, trying to stand, but pain shot through his leg and he settled for rolling onto his side. Squinting, his vision cleared to reveal a girl. What had happened -- ? Just like that, his memories came rushing back to him and Damien groaned. He had majorly screwed up, and now his whole identity was revealed. She looked worried, though, and it came to his attention that she had wrapped one of his t-shirts around his bloody leg. That was nice of her, Damien mused, considering that he'd have to pry the bullet out soon enough. He didn't have to bleed out while he was at it. Did she introduce herself? He tried to think past the fog of pain but it was more difficult than crawling up the alley had been. Liberty City's alleys were disgusting. Involuntarily, Damien shuddered at the cold, damp ground pressing into his flesh.

    “Yeah, I hear you,” he dragged his mind to the preset and tried to speak, but his voice was rough, which always happened after he shifted into the wolf. Damien had to get used to using his regular vocal cords now. “Uh, thanks for... tying up my leg. And I would really appreciate if you just didn't mention the whole wolf thing to anyone, yeah? Don't think the... authorities would approve...,” Damien's eyes crossed with the effort of staying conscious, brown hair flopping ungracefully across his brow. His head pounded like nothing else, competing for his attention with the cuts on his arms and torso, and the bullet wound in his thigh. Damien heaved a sigh.

    “D'you know anythin' about first aid? 'Cause I do – I just need to make it back to my 'partment. Or yours! Or...,” Damien rubbed at the base of his nose, his stomach twisting itself into knots; he really didn't appreciate the anxiety building itself in his stomach, or the way it made his tongue sluggish in his mouth. Would she leave him here, at the mercy of his mind's ability to stay conscious? She didn't seem the type, but Damien had also assumed he'd be able to take on six thugs. Lord knows he wasn't thinking straight at the moment (speaking of which, how long had he been out? Damien's mouth felt dry at the question). “Wolf thing. Do you know who I am?” He needed to know. God, his mind was everywhere, his brain's gears churning as if through mud. He hoped the girl would understand him and not leave him in the alley; Damien also fervently hoped she'd help him put on the rest of the clothes he had discarded near him. That would be nice. His eyelids fluttered, and one hand gestured towards the clothes.
  5. She was a little relieved when she heard his voice. He was conscious, and talking perfectly, so she guessed the only serious injury he had was the bullet inside his thigh. Of course, he had some others cuts all around his body, but they didn't look dangerous. Anyway, as he talked, the image of the wolf turning into a boy came back to her head. She tried to leave that impossible to explain occurrence aside to help him, but he just kept talking about it. It shocked her a little, and she remained quiet until he finished. After it, she sighed deeply, trying to recompose her mind and focus only on the important things. After all, she had heard some rumors that those animals might actually be humans, so she shouldn't be so surprised. As he extended his hand towards his clothes, she remembered he was still naked and probably cold. She had been so concentrated in avoiding him to bleed out that she didn't paid attention to it.

    The first thing she did was grabbing his clothes. She had already tied his shirt around his leg, but he still had a jacket, pants and even underwear. "I... won't say anything. Don't worry." started to say, as she helped him sitting up and putting back his clothes. It was only an answer so that he would relax and let her help him, but she guessed she would still keep her words. If he could really be the vigilante she had been admiring, she would never do anything to harm him. "And I do know a few things about first aids." added, taking a moment to think what to do. It would be better to call an ambulance and get him a good treatment, but she had no idea how long it would take her to call one, and get it there. Besides, he would have a hard time explaining everything about his 'accident'. So the best thing, as he said, would be taking him to her apartment. It was two blocks from there, so if he could walk that much, she would be able to work on that injury.

    "I live two blocks from here. Can you walk? I mean, with some help." said, as she crouched to his side. Even if she asked about it, he didn't really have any other choice than walking. She wasn't strong enough to carry him for that long. She placed one of his arms above her shoulder and her arm on his back. Whenever he was ready, she would help him standing up. "And I don't have a clue of what you are. But, right now, you are just someone who needs help."
  6. “It'll be hard, but I probably can,” probably being the operative word. It took all of Damien's willpower to keep himself from slurring his words together. He felt better now that he was clothed, warmer, despite his life's blood that leaked onto the cement. Regardless, air continued to enter and leave his body, so Damien would take what he could. As the girl (she introduced herself, right? Judie? Jane?) slung his arm over her shoulder, Damien shuddered. You are just someone who needs help. He thanked whatever god was listening that someone so compassionate had found him; someone who wouldn't call in the police. They'd probably be there soon anyway – if anyone reported the gunshots, that is. With Liberty City, it was a gamble either way.

    “One. Two,” Damien inhaled, “three.” They both hauled him to his feet and Damien bit down on his lip to keep himself from screaming. If he leaned more on his right leg, the pain was bearable. He didn't have a choice. Leaning heavily on the woman (Jade! Her name was Jade!), the pair slowly moved out of the alley and into the street. Damien let her take control of where to go and he focused entirely on remaining upright. He wasn't bleeding so much anymore, and Damien silently thanked Jade for thinking of tying a shirt around his leg: if he had tried to speak, he was fairly certain he'd bite off the tip of his tongue. Walking was hard enough as it was. Silently, Damien promised to find a way to repay her later for her kindness. With what, he didn't know. He was a veterinary student, almost done his degree; he didn't have much in the way of money... dismissing the thought for a time when he was in better health, Damien nearly tripped over an uneven patch of sidewalk. He stumbled, leaning more heavily on Jade than was wise. Cursing, he struggled to stand. “Sorry,” he murmured, desperately trying not to push her down onto the ground too; he sincerely doubted that either of them would be able to stand again if that happened.
  7. She nodded at his words, and did her best to help him stand up. Even if they walked slowly, it seemed they would make it without much problems. He did laid much of his weight against her, but it wasn't anything that would bother her for two blocks. Jade was leading him towards her place, but still walking at his pace. When he suddenly leaned towards her more heavily, she was really close of falling over. Not much because of the weight, but she didn't see it coming. Anyway, somehow, she managed to stay on her feet, and got both of them upright a moment after. "Don't worry. Just be careful." answered him, looking at him with a slightly smile. She wanted to make a better smile, but she couldn't stop worrying about what she was doing. What if she wasn't good enough to treat him and things went wrong? She could barely take him to her apartment.

    Anyway, her thoughts were interrupted by the police sirens coming closer to their position. With it, she got a bit more nervous, and hurried her pace a bit, hoping he could make it. Luckily, they were right in front of the building she lived in. She took him inside, hoping she wouldn't meet anyone in the hall, and called for the elevator. When they finally arrived to the 5th floor, she checked for people around and then went back to help him. "We are almost there." said with another smile trying to somehow cheer him up. Her apartment wasn't a great thing, since it only had a living room, a kitchen, bathroom and her room. Besides, even if it was clean, it was pretty messy. But she thought he wouldn't care at all about that things under his conditions. He could rest on her bed, which should be enough after she treated the wounds.
  8. The rest of the trip was a blur to him. Damien was amazed at Jade's strength and he planted a seed of respect for her. As Jade told him to be careful, Damien calmed his breathing and tried to focus on walking beyond the pain. Each step was lightning shocks up his leg, each breath a strain against his ribs. Sirens wailed in the distance, loud and piercing; Damien didn't know what to do until Jade hurried her step, and he nearly tripped again but managed to regain his footing and maintain her pace. He wasn't sure how. Maybe it was a remnant of the wolf he had previous been, or just his body becoming used to the pain in his thigh. Damien didn't want to think about it, so he forced himself to pay attention to Jade when she mentioned how close they were. He couldn't help but smile in return: how could he not, when she was being so earnest?

    Damien realized with a start that they were now walking towards her apartment. Had time really moved so quickly? He blinked and waited for Jade to unlock the door.

    “I can stay on the couch,” Damien coughed, “and then we can look at the, uh, bullet in my leg.” The thought was surreal, but the reality was harsh. There was a bullet lodged in his thigh and he might very well be unable to walk if they couldn't figure it out. Exhaling, Damien promised himself that he wouldn't impose too much on Jade: she had already done so much for him by not hurrying past the naked, bleeding man on the street. It simply wouldn't be fair or right. The world dizzied around him, and Damien readied himself against Jade, his breathing laboured. He could still taste blood in his mouth, a dried coppery tint. Gross. “Almost there,” he repeated her earlier words and eyed the messy apartment. Well, it wasn't any better that his own, and Damien took some comfort in that. Once again, however, he was completely at Jade's ability to navigate the pair of them to a place where he could rest.
  9. As he talked about the bullet in his thigh, she tried not to think about how much pain he must be feeling. And just like that, that was added to the list of things she was trying not to think about. Once again, she pulled everything away to bring the thought that she had to help him. For a moment, she wondered if she cared that much about him because he was the vigilante she had been admiring, but she dismissed it and believed she would always help someone under those conditions, no matter what he did with his life. He had told her he would stay in the couch, but as she came inside and glanced at it, she thought it wasn't big enough for him to be comfortable. Someone without a bullet wound would sleep a lot better on it, so she just lead him to her room.

    After she placed him on the bed, she sighed, a bit tired for the effort of bringing him there. She looked at him, with another smile, and grabbed a few pillows to put them under his head. "This doesn't look like your lucky day, but you are a bit lucky. I've studied medicine for a year, so I know something about it. Of course, I've never taken a bullet out of someone's body, but we'll figure it out." told him, trying to make him feel better somehow. Although she wasn't sure it worked. With it, she hurried to grab some things to treat him. She had a first aid kit, and a few more stuffs from her med year, including some painkillers. Besides, she grabbed a glass of water from her kitchen. When she went back in the room, she sat at the edge of her bed, about the same height as his leg. She offered the water to him together with a pill. "That should help with the pain." said and sighed once again. "Okay, we should... take a look at it." added, waiting for him.
  10. Well, he was on the bed, which Damien couldn't complain about after seeing what passed as Jade's couch. He let out a long hiss as he rearranged himself to be as comfortable as he could, but he twisted in place so that his bloodied thigh was facing the ceiling.

    “I'm just a vet,” Damien said sheepishly, “in training, too. I know enough about the theory of taking a bullet out, but --,” he tried to shrug, but the action didn't communicate past a weird flapping motion. He accepted the painkillers and the water gratefully; he downed them as fast as he could and took a shaky breath. It was now or never. It was clear that Jade was waiting for him, and a small flower of embarrassment bloomed in his stomach. Damien figured it was pretty irrational, considering she had just seen him bleeding and naked in an alleyway not even an hour ago. Sighing again, Damien wriggled out of his pants as best as he could, wincing at the blood that stuck to it. Setting the pants beside him, Damien untied the shirt that Jade had wound there examined the wound. It was messy and bloody, and it was impossible to tell where skin ended and wound begun. It was also impossible to decide how badly the muscle itself was damaged. It was clear that Damien would have to go into the hospital soon enough. Perhaps after the chaos of the night had passed.

    “It needs to be cleaned,” Damien said. “If you could get a clean, damp washcloth, and uh... some hydrogen peroxide – just something to make sure it doesn't get infected, y'know? Do you think you have anything like tweazers – something long – that could be used to probe it?” While he may have sounded confident, inwardly Damien was trembling. He told himself that he had to appear strong, however; it wouldn't be right to appear to have second thoughts.
  11. She heard about what he said and thought it was a bit ironic. A vet who actually was an animal. Well, it was more right than ironic. As he took off his pants, she looked away and moved a bit farther to give him some space. It was a bit awkward for her as well, but she had already seen him naked in an alley, right? It was just silly, but she couldn't help it. She looked back at him when his wound was exposed, and so she focused on it. It looked pretty bad, even worse than she expected. Gladly, she had seen some similar things in the past, because she was sure that seeing all that blood and even flesh would have made her throw up otherwise. She just stared at it thinking how to treat it right, and it was then when he talked once again.

    As he spoke, she reached for the things she had brought. She had tweazers that should work perfectly fine to remove a bullet, she could get the washcloth, and she had some rubbing alcohol to prevent the infection. Jade even had the necessary elements to make some stitches, if he needed them after they took the bullet, but there was still one problem. "No hydrogen peroxide, sorry. The ethyl alcohol should work to prevent an infection... but, those pills won't be enough for the pain. Of course I have no morphine for the probing either. Maybe, you'd prefer that I take you to a hospital?" offered him, with a bit of a worried expression.
  12. "Don't pour it directly onto my skin," Damien breathed, mourning the lack of hydrogen peroxide. At the mention of a hospital, he bristled. However much he wanted to deny it, they would be better suited to taking out a bullet. Damien didn't have accelerated healing, either, and would have to spend some time in the form of an animal who grew back flesh quickly -- perhaps as a green anole lizard? Damien dragged his brain back to the present, and to Jade, who stared at him with such concerned eyes. "Some more painkillers, if you would, and some tough cloth that I can bite through. I'll try not to scream," which would be impossible to do, but Damien found himself saying it anyway despite it.

    Inwardly, he vibrated with anxiety. Sweat beaded on his brow and Jade hadn't even touched his leg yet. "Don't look so worried," he tried to smile but it came out as a grimace. "If you don't want to do this, just... bandage me up again so I don't bleed out and call for an ambulance, okay? I'll even pay the outrageous fee as thanks." Damien really didn't want to seem ungrateful for all that Jade has already done for him. Without her, he would literally be dead. Bled out in an alley. Who would have found his body? His mother probably wouldn't know how her son died, and the thought creased his brow. It must be the fatigue that made his thoughts wander so; forcefully, he stared at Jade, willing her to make a decision one way or another, though a part of him hoped that she would pick up the cloth and dab away the blood herself.

    As if to speed along a decision, he smiled again.
  13. She heard him, keeping the same worried expression than before. Why didn't he just make her call an ambulance? His screams would probably make a few neighbors alert of something weird happening on her apartment, but that wasn't at all what disturbed her. She simply didn't feel like seeing someone screaming of pain, especially because of her treatment. And she doubted any normal person would. That was why his words trying to make her less worried didn't works so well. Besides, he was somehow making look that calling an ambulance would be like giving up on him. But he still gave her the choice. Why was she the one who had to decide? She had no idea what would be better for him. Or for her.

    Jade sighed at his smile, knowing she needed to give him an answer, no matter how much she hated it. "I'll do it." she just told him. It just felt as the best thing to do, mainly because she didn't want him giving stupid excuses that might put him under a police radar or paying any outrageous fees. Or maybe she just didn't want to give up at that point. Just like that, she stood up to get more painkillers, and quickly brought them to him. On her way back, she also grabbed some clean clothes and gave them to him to bite, just as he requested. She grabbed some gauzes and, after pouring some alcohol on them, she began softly cleaning the area surrounding his wound. It might burn him slightly because of some minor cuts, but she made sure she didn't accidentally touched the bullet wound. She wanted to take off the blood around it first, and before going on, Jade looked at him as making sure that he wanted to go on.
  14. Clenching the cloth between his teeth, Damien was determined to make no sound. Jade's gentle patting and rubbing at the blood around his wound did sting, but it didn't hurt. I've been through worse, he told himself, and internally grinned ruefully. He was going to go through worse. Inhaling harsh breaths through his nose, Damien mentally prepared himself for what was to come. He had never been through this before; not on a person and certainly not on himself. He had read all about it and just prayed that Jade's year of medical school was enough. Damien hadn't realized he had screwed his eyes shut until Jade had stopped, and he peeled them open to watch her.

    Damien nodded, trying to look as determined as he could. Sweat beaded and cooled on his forehead and Damien knew he was running out of time. He really needed Jade to get that bullet out; once out, he could shift, and once shifted, he could heal faster than any human. Nerves ran along his system and he forced himself to take slow breaths to calm himself. It wouldn't do to be jumpy, not with Jade probing his leg. That could never end well. He made himself watch her: watched her breathe, watched her focused gaze. It was better than focusing entirely on his wound and the pain that was to come.
  15. Jade couldn't tell why she felt so bad for him. Seeing him as nervous and in pain as he was made her want to stop, but that wasn't a choice. That would be worse for him. With another sigh, she gently passed another gauze through the wound. She did it slightly, not trying to completely disinfect it yet, but mainly to remove some blood. She didn't want to be looking for the bullet inside his thigh for long. After it, she quickly grabbed the tweezers and cleaned them with some alcohol to make sure they were sterilized. Even if she wanted to look at Damien to see how he was doing, she made sure she held the urge. Only focusing on the wound, as if he was just another simulation, would be the best.

    It was then when she started probing for the bullet. She couldn't see it, but as the wound was clear enough, she could assume where the bullet should be. But, of course, not with much accuracy. The first going in with the tweezers was the most difficult one, because after she did it, she could finally ignore the pain he was going through and concentrate. But, still, she did her best to not cause him unnecessary pain. It took her actually less than she expected to find the bullet; but taking it out was another deal, because she had to dig a bit more to be able to grab it. After she could successfully remove it, she took a quick look at it and just left it on her bedside table. It was then when she looked at him once again, because she wanted to check on him before going on with the disinfection. "How are you holding up?"
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