Emory wasn't much of a nice person.
It wasn't as if she was particularly rude, or purposefully went out of her way to wreak grief and terror upon all those she encountered. She was just... mean.
Yeah, 'mean' could work.
For example, she was pretty polite, when she wanted to be. She could be funny, on very special occasions. But right now, Emory was contemplating murder.
The two men in the bar were glaring at her with shadowed eyes, and she threw them a challenging grin in return- all thin lips and no teeth, just like the kind of smiles you expected on school photos- but they still refused to look away. That was irritating.
She sighed a bit, hummed a little tune, scratched at her hair, then pushed away the bar stool. Everything was a bit too noisy for her liking- there was the shriek of sirens in the distance, the scream of people outside the building... She could barely hear herself think.
"Thanks for the drink." Emory grinned at the barkeeper before throwing down a handful of loose change onto the counter. She stretched, continued to hum a bit more, and made her way out of the building, her jacket draped carelessly over one shoulder, the blood clinging to the soles of her boots like over-eager limpets.
Oh yeah, she was covered in blood. I should probably point that out.
Still, when you're an assassin, you couldn't really expect it to be the cleanest job in the world. There was usually a bit of blood, some tears and a generous helping of other various bodily fluids that simply insisted on leaking out from every orifice, and, to be quite honest, it was difficult to keep clear of all of them whilst carrying out a murder.
And, as you can imagine, the dry cleaning bills were simply atrocious.
Stepping out into the cold air, Emory dragged in a deep breath before pulling on her jacket and making her way down the street, shadows trailing behind her as if they were a morbid mockery of a fashion accessory. It was dark- a shiver of moonlight glinting like the ivory fangs of a predator, the odd ashen cloud scuttling through the sky.
Emory shivered; she really, really, really fancied a cup of tea.
Tea was just great. Suitable for every occasion and just generally one of the best refreshments available. Thirsty? Have some tea? Tired? Here, have some more tea. Bored? Keep drinking that tea, y'all.
It took an hour to walk back to her apartment- it wasn't particularly homely, nor was it particularly hers, so to speak. It had been available for let, but she stayed for a week or so whilst the rooms were still empty. She should really be thanked, if anything- she'd cleaned the cupboards, restocked the bookshelves, even replaced the toilet paper.
Despite her flaws, Emory decided that she herself was a pretty okay person, considering the whole... y'know... murder thing.
She sighed, changed into some clean clothes and poured herself a cup of tea. Then it was time to put her feet up, pick out a new book (the only ones she could were the first, second, third and fourth editions of 'The Detailed, Complex And Extraordinary History Of The Large African Snail'. She'd already read the prequel - 'The Detailed, Complex And Extraordinary History Of The Rather Average Sized Snail'- but couldn't help but find the ending slightly disappointing. She'd been hoping that the sequel managed to scramble above the unbelievably low standards she'd set it.
But still, the whole evening could have been worse: the apartment wasn't the best one she'd ever stayed in- it was small, cramped, with an assorted range of guns and knives littering the walls. The majority of those were simply for decorative purposes- so if anyone happened to sneak in, they'd be simultaneously shocked and impressed by Emory's utter badass-ness that they wouldn't even consider confronting her.
But still, Emory was planning on having an easy evening- she was going to finish her book, drink some tea, pack her kit and catch an early night. She could be out of the country by the next morning- another few thousand pounds in her bank account after her latest assassination.
Maybe she could take a holiday. Spain was meant to be nice at this time of year.
But, as all story plots would have it, Emory wasn't going to have that. Instead, there was the sound of tearing plaster, of dust flying and a horrified scream. There was a clatter, another shout, and the sound of something hitting a wall with a thud.
Emory set down her book.
Then the front door was kicked in.
In the doorway stood a tall, imposing figure, with light surrounding their figure like a halo. They were covered in plaster- their neatly pressed clothes stained white and their hair thrown up into ash-blonde spikes on their head.
Emory dropped her tea.
The figure took another step into the room. He looked relatively discombobulated. "Sorry," he said. "I fell through the wrong ceiling."
Emory made a confused sound. Nothing particularly translatable. More of an indiscernible '?!'. Maybe, if one listened particularly closely, you could catch some English in there.
The figure paused. "I've got the correct person this time, right? You're the one who's going to help me?"
She stepped around the broken china and soggy carpet, sliding carefully towards the window. Emory shook her head. "Nope. Nope. You're totally wrong. I don't even know who you are. You should totally go now."
The person cocked their head to the side in confusion, puppy-like as Emory slowly slid open the window. It was only a four-story drop. She could manage a climb like that. "I think you may be mistaken. You see, I am an angel, and I require your assistance in order to save the world."
Emory frowned, one leg hanging through the open window. "Are you... um, okay? Did you hit your head or something?"
You could say what you wanted about her: yeah, she was an assassin, a heartless murderer if you will, but still. You couldn't say she didn't care.
The figure scowled and took another step towards her. "Are you doubting me, human?" He swung out an arm towards the weapons that coat the walls. "Then what are these for, if not for murder and battle? Emory shrugged. "Pest control?"
"Definitely," she nodded. "You can get plenty of... um big... spiders in the Summer around here. Yeah, I always carry around my extermination kit with me, just in case a beetle happens to... attack."
The figure didn't seem to believe her. Emory didn't blame them.
"Human," the figure scratched at his hair. "My name is Nathanial." He paused. "I would really appreciate it if you helped me out here. I'm kind of trying to save the world, here."
"Okay," Emory nodded. Welp, she was trapped in a room with a nutcase. This was just great. Then her eyes widened in mock surprise. "Oh, look! Behind you!"
To be honest, she was actually surprised that the figure fell for it. They spun around with a shriek as Emory dived out of the window, fingers scrabbling at small nooks in the bricks.
Cars scuttled past below, meandering their way down the road as she continued. She could probably just drop down after another few metres. As she lifted her head to peer up at her window, she noticed the same figure leaning out.
"Hello," he waved.
Emory snarled. "What?"
"Nothing really," he shrugged. "I just thought that you should mind the patch of thorns below your left hand."
Emory was about to yell something about distractions as her hand hit the patch of thorns and she yelled, let go and found herself falling, which would have been utterly horrifying if she hadn't been around six feet from the ground.
From the window, the figure raised his hands in a 'I told you so' gesture.
Emory sighed, clambered to her feet, and made her way back inside in order to have a chat with her new guest. She had a feeling that she wasn't going to finish her book this evening after all.