Thirteen seems to just shut down after Jason’s persistent questions. She keeps her back to us as she continues chopping whatever it is she’s making.
I glance over at Devin who looks back over at her and then to me and shrugs, as if to say ‘don’t look at me, I don’t know what to do.’
He turns back to his chess game and glances up at Chase, who is solely focused on Thirteen. I watch Devin switch some of Chase’s pieces, and remove the queen altogether. I shake my head.
“Devin put the pieces back.” Thirteen orders and I watch his mouth drop open in shock.
“How? What?” He stutters. “You had your back turned!”
Chase looks down at the board and glares at Devin. “Where’s my queen?” He questions.
Devin shrugs, a devious look on his face. “I don’t know.” He replies, before getting to his feet and bolting down the hallway, Chase gets up not too long after and runs after him.
Jason stands and looks between me and Thirteen. “I’m going to go for a swim.” He announces before turning and leaving. I turn to Thirteen who’s still chopping away.
“Thirteen,” I start.
“Cody, I really don’t want to talk right now.” She mutters.
I walk up behind her and put my hand gently on her shoulder turning her around to face me, the chopping knife still in her hand. I reach for it cautiously and place it on the counter next to me.
She shakes her head at my actions. “You act like I’m going to stab you.”
“Well, you never know,” I say jokingly. “I’m just trying to live a little longer.” She shakes her head again but smiles slightly.
“What is so wrong with the idea of you and me?” I ask after a moment of silence.
She sighs, “There’s nothing wrong with it but that’s all it is, an idea.” She pushes away from me and heads off down the hall, “I’ll be in the gym.” She mutters.
“Can I give you a suggestion?” I turn and glare at an ‘innocent’ looking Zack.
“No,” I growl sharply. He holds his hands up in mock surrender.
“Well, I’m going to anyway.” He says. “Maybe you should try being her friend first, and then something more.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Look, from what my brother’s told me in the past, she’s got a good reason not to trust people. You might want to try to gain her trust, before trying to gain something else.” He shoves his hands in his pockets and walks off. “Just a thought.” He adds.
I ponder over his words, debating whether or not to listen to him. After all, I don’t know that I can trust him. A crashing sound breaks me out of my train of thought.
“Devin,” I mutter and start heading off in the direction the sound came from. What did he demolish this time?
I turn into the gym, only to see a rack of weights scattered all over the floor, along with a broken table. Except, Devin isn’t the one who’s caused all of this. In the middle of the room, Thirteen and Chase stand on sparring mats, each one going at the other.
I lean against the door frame as Thirteen gets in a good hit, and Chase dodges another. Zack stands slightly behind me in the doorway just as Chase knocks Thirteen on the floor and she trips him onto his back, pinning him down.
“Can you two not destroy my house?” Zack grumbles.
Thirteen looks over at him with a raised eyebrow before getting to her feet and holding out her hand to Chase, helping him off the floor.
“That depends.” She replies to Zack while telling Chase, good match, after.
“On what?” He asks with narrowed eyes. She smirks.
“On how good a fighter you are.” She spreads her legs shoulder length apart and gets into a fighting stance.
He looks scared. Good.
“No way.” He says, waving his hands around as if trying to get his point across to her. I roll my eyes.
“You’re not going to win this argument. The most you can do is save your breath for when you’re about to pass out on the floor.” I tell him. He glares and Thirteen rolls her eyes, mumbling something about childish.
“Fine.” She shrugs as she takes a step off the mat.
“Really?” Zack questions suspiciously. She just shrugs again with her ‘innocent’ look plastered across her face.
“Oh yeah,” She starts, “If you don’t want to fight me that’s fine.” She walks up to him. “I’m sure one of the other boys would love to get a few hits in.” I see him glance nervously in my direction.
“I’d be happy to fight him,” I say, and watch as Chase tries to hide a smile. Zack visibly flinches. Thirteen just shakes her head.
“I know you guys are the best team in the agency.” She starts. “But you guys do have ranks right? I mean Chase is obviously the leader because he’s the best on the team, but what about the rest of you?” She asks me.
“Like you said, Chase is better than the rest of us, me and Jason are pretty much tied for second, and Devin’s in last, but he is a really good agent,” I reply, and she nods thoughtfully.
“Who’s talking about me?” Jason questions as he pokes his head through the door.
“Jason you’re fighting Zack.” Thirteen says, completely ignoring his question.
“Why can’t I do it?” She rolls her eyes at me.
“We both know the answer to that Cody.” She mutters.
“Wait, I don’t want to fight him!” Zack shouts and I turn to tell him to shut up but don’t get the chance as Jason knocks him to the floor and begins throwing punches. Zack curses loudly.
“Someone certainly needed to get some anger out.” Thirteen says simply before leaning on the wall and watching the fight.
Jason throws several punches Zack’s way and Zack surprisingly dodges every one of them perfectly, until Jason’s able to knock him to the floor again.
They go at each other for a while before Zack finally hits Jason with a solid punch to the jaw, causing him to stumble and Zack quickly knocks him to the floor, pinning him down.
“Not bad.” Thirteen says as she goes and helps Jason up from the floor. Zack glares at her the entire time. “How much training have you had?” She asks, completely ignoring his death glare.
“Enough.” He answers vaguely.
She scoffs. “Yeah, not enough.”
“And why’s that?” He questions, slight anger in his tone. I barely have a chance to blink before he’s on his back and Thirteen’s on top of him, pinning him to the ground.
“Cause you can’t beat me.” She says. I clench my fists on reflex. She stands. “You’re fighting Chase.” She states as she helps him up.
“No, I’m not.” He says stubbornly. She gives him a look that clearly says what’s going to happen if he doesn’t fight Chase and finally he lets out a resigned sigh.
“Fine.” He grumbles.
“How does this help us?” I question her as she leans against the wall next to me.
“It doesn’t,” she shrugs, “But it helps me to know where he stands in skill. So far he’s better than you and Jason, so I’d like to see if he’s better than Chase.”
As soon as she finishes her sentence, Zack is thrown into the wall next to us. She looks down at him as he lies on his back groaning pain with his arms wrapped around his rib cage.
“Huh.” She mutters thoughtfully. “I guess he’s not better than Chase.” Zack glares at her from the floor. “You could’ve done better.” She tells him as she helps him to his feet. “But not bad.”
“Gee thanks, glad I earned your stamp of approval.” He retorts sarcastically.
“That wasn’t my approval, that was me telling you nicely that you need to improve.” She calls over her shoulder as she moves over to help Chase clean up the rack of weights. “Want to fight Devin?” She asks sweetly, I see her hide a smile.
“Yes!” I hear Devin shout from down the hall.
“You want to fight yourself?” I ask in disbelief as he pokes his head through the door.
“What? No.” He grumbles. “I want to fight Zack.” He mumbles something under his breath that I don’t catch.
“I’m not fighting anyone else,” Zack announces.
Thirteen looks over at Devin who stares back at her with hopeful eyes. She gestures with her hand to Zack.
“Go for it.” She says.
That’s all the permission he needs before he’s on top of Zack and throwing punches just like Jason was before. I roll my eyes.
“You said that out of your team Devin was the worst fighter right?” Thirteen questions as she comes up and stands next to me.
“Yeah, I mean he’s still a great agent and all but in fighting skills, he’s at the bottom of the list.” She nods thoughtfully before pointing at him and Zack.
“Then how come he’s beating Zack?”
I look away from her only to see that she’s right, he has knocked Zack to the floor and is repeatedly punching him.
“Zack’s probably tired,” I mutter, trying to come up with a reason.
“Have you ever seen him get angry?” She asks.
I shrug. “Devin doesn’t really get angry, he gets even.”
“You’ve never seen him angry?“She presses.
“No.” I cross my arms over my chest and stare at her. “Why?” She shrugs before making her way over to Devin. “What are you doing?”
“Testing what-” Before I finish my sentence, she has grabbed hold of Devin’s arm and thrown him onto his back, giving Zack the chance to bail to the other side of the room.
“Hey, I wasn’t done beating him to a pulp.” Devin whines.
Thirteen ignores him and throws a punch at him that he quickly dodges.
“What the hell?” He shouts. “I didn’t even do anything wrong this time!” She throws another punch and he takes a step back.
“Fight back.” She orders him and I continue to stare. What the hell is she doing?
He holds his hands up in surrender. “I don’t hit girls.” He states. She raises her eyebrows at him.
Now that I think about it I’ve actually never seen Devin hit a girl...but this is Thirteen she can push you to do anything.
“Why? You scared?” She taunts. He just looks blankly back at her.
“Of you? Terrified.” He answers seriously.
“Good.” She says as she swings her leg around and kicks him in the side, she starts throwing more punches rapidly and harder and he continues to dodge or just take steps back with his hands still up in surrender.
“Seriously stop.” He tells her and she ignores him, continuously throwing hits.
She pins him up against the wall and mutters something lowly to him, something no one else catches.
I watch as his whole body tenses up and his eyes flash in anger. What the hell has she done? I’ve never seen Devin angry before, at least not like this.
She barely has a chance to react before he puts his hands on her shoulders and shoves her. She flips herself and lands crouched down on all fours to prevent herself from falling. She gets to her feet and smiles at him in a taunting way.
“Still don’t hit girls?” She asks in her ‘innocent’ voice.
He glares at her. “I don’t think you count.” He growls before charging at her.
She dodges him and smiles. “Now we’ve got a fight.”