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21 April 2007 @ 06:24 pm
HL50 Prompt - Enemy  
Here's another one for the fifty...

Past Indiscretions
 
“Even if I do say so myself,” Richie crowed as he examined himself in the mirror, “I do look good in a tux.” Duncan rolled his eyes and pushed Richie away from the mirror and into the exhibition. They were attending yet another black-tie fundraiser for the university, an exhibition of the university’s most recent archaeological finds. Richie flashed Duncan his patented Grin No.4. “Don’t get me wrong, Mac,” he continued, “You scrub up well too.” Duncan casually grabbed two glasses of champagne and passed one to Richie in an attempt to shut him up. It failed. “I have always wondered why you never wear a kilt though.”
 
Before Duncan could come up with a suitable retort their conversation was interrupted by the Buzz of another Immortal. Unnoticable to any untrained eye, they scanned the room for the source, locating it as a tall, dark-haired man, quite handsome and looking in his late thirties. On spotting him, Richie nearly choked on his champagne and quickly manoeuvred himself so he was hidden behind a display case. “Oh shit.” He muttered.
“Friend of yours?” Duncan enquired with a raised eyebrow.
“Not exactly. Do you think he saw me?” Duncan glanced in the direction of the other Immortal, who was busy chatting with the Dean.
 
“I don’t think so. Come on.” He ushered Richie into the hallway and found a quiet corner. “So what did you do now?” Richie looked abashed and a little scared.
“It’s not so much now as…Oh man, I would never…I didn’t know he was one of us, I didn’t even know Immortals existed.”
“What did you do Richie?”
“I robbed him. But it was years ago, before I met you.”
“Well then, I doubt he’ll even recognise you. And even if he does, do you really think he’ll challenge you? I presume you were caught?” Richie nodded.
 
“Yeah, but Mac, you don’t know this guy, I was lucky not to end up dead then. Phillipe Bermont is a mob boss.”
“Phillipe Bermont? I know that name; he collaborated with the Nazis in World War Two. I never met him, but he has a bad reputation. What were you thinking robbing an Immortal mob boss?”
“Well I didn’t know he was Immortal then, and I didn’t know who he was until the cops told me. I know I was a stupid punk kid, but I wasn’t that stupid.”
 
“Still Rich, even if he does recognise you, I hardly think ripping him off is a reason to challenge you if he got it all back.”
“Ah, yeah, about that. See I kinda smashed a priceless Ming vase. That was how I got caught, the noise woke up the security guard.” Richie rubbed his brow before downing his champagne. “I’m just gonna go, he can’t challenge me if he can’t find me.” At that moment, Bermont came through the door into the hallway. He pointed a finger at Richie.
 “Vous bâtard voleur ! I'll ont votre tête !” he yelled at him.
“Too late.” Duncan said, with a trace of amusement.
 “You owe me boy. Step outside now.” Bermont said, in English this time.
“Can’t we talk about it? It was such a long time ago. Perhaps I can replace the vase?”
Fils d'une putain! You insult my honour! Outside, now!” He marched toward the door and out into the parking lot, followed by Duncan and Richie.
 
“You don’t have to do this, you can walk away.”
“Do you really think he’ll let me Mac?” Duncan shook his head.
“Then let me…”he began.
“No Mac. This is my mess, you have no reason to fight this guy, and I don’t need protecting any more.” Duncan nodded his understanding.
 
Bermont and Richie went between two buildings, and Duncan waited at the entrance, standing watch. He watched Richie enter the alley with a mix of pride and anxiety. The maturity his protégé was showing impressed Mac, he was proud of how far Richie had come in such a short time. But Richie was still too young, and although he had beaten Kristov, Duncan had no real idea of his ability in combat. The sound of metal on metal rang out from the alleyway, the fight lasting what seemed an interminably long time to Duncan. At last the sounds died, but instead of the Quickening, Duncan could hear voices.
 
“I’ve beaten you.” Richie said, “Surely if I let you live, that is repayment enough for what I did to you? We can let this end now.” Bermont looked at Richie and spat at him.
“I will hunt you to the ends of the earth. Once an enemy of Phillipe Bermont, always an enemy of Phillipe Bermont. There can be only one.” Richie nodded, his eyes filled with the cold detachment he summoned in fights.
“There can be only one.” Richie said as he swung his sword.
 
After the Quickening subsided, Duncan ran into the alley, sword ready to avenge Richie’s death if necessary. Instead he found his student kneeling on the floor and smiled. He stashed his sword and helped Richie back to his feet. Surveying the state of his friend’s tuxedo, and tugging at the tatters, Duncan said,
“I don’t think we should go back inside. Lets go home.” Richie smiled and replied,
“Yeah, but I still look good even in a tattered tux.” Duncan chuckled good-naturedly.
“Trust you Rich.” Richie looked at him puzzled, so Duncan elaborated, “Only you could make an enemy before you were Immortal.” Richie looked at him for a moment, before breaking into a broad grin and the two of them headed back to the car, laughing.
 
 
 
Carol Bartholomew: Kitten on blockcarolhelga on April 22nd, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
Cute, and I like it. Two things to point out, though. First, wouldn't Bermont had known Richie was "pre-immortal"? Duncan and Conner knew...

Second, I'm not sure about your sentence: Unnoticeable to the untrained eye, they scanned the room for the source, locating it is a tall, dark-haired man, quite handsome and looking in his late thirties. First off, I think that should be 'unnoticably' (the adverb) if you're going to stay with it. And the 'locating it is' should be 'locating it as.' To be honest, that whole sentence seems awkward to me, though I know what you mean. Maybe you could just get rid of the whole first phrase? I hate to be so picky. :/
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Richie2idontlikegravy on April 22nd, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up on the is/as, shall be changed asap.
Bermont wouldn't necessarily pick up on it, Richie interacted with loads of immies who never showed signs of noticing, and I never said he didn't know - he isn't necessarily suprised by Richie's status, just his presence.
Carol Bartholomew: Duncancarolhelga on April 22nd, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
Okay, that makes sense, I guess. I've had a long weekend, so I'm not all alert like I would like to be.

Makes me wonder if Duncan ever meets Immortals who weren't when he first saw them...and didn't recognize their incipient immortality.

Now there's an idea to play with...
Alicia: animals ~ dog ~ lmao!diamond9697 on April 24th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
Richie flashed Duncan his patented Grin No.4.

This line cracked me up!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: happinessidontlikegravy on April 24th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
It made me smile when writing, but I'm never sure if others will get my jokes, so I'm glad you liked :)