The Clockmakers Daughter

Battle Planning

Aliya waited quietly behind Nightmares desk, keeping her aura low. She tried to keep her breathing and heartbeat steady, fighting the grin that wanted to break free. Her stalker had yet to find the new hiding place, she was glad she had stolen a page from Nightmares book. After all, he had had years of practice hiding from Gray and his noxious concoctions.

“Can I help you?” Nightmare asked, popping in beside her, causing her to jump, aura spiking.

“Shit!” she cried, speeding around the desk.

Strong naked arms wrapped around her, pulling her back against a hard chest. “Caught you again, Ally Kat.” Boris whisper against her neck, leaving a kiss there.

She snuggled against him as she glared at the one responsible for her capture. “Damn it, Nighty, I was winning that time.” She pouted prettily.

Nightmare allowed his eyes to run over her. She was decked out in true Aliya style with a tight black halter half shirt, blue and black plaid short skirt with black lace tights, completed with knee high boots, black with her rose climbing the side. Her locket was tied on with a dark blue ribbon matching the one that tied her hair up in a side pony tail where she had tucked an actual blue rose. She had outlined her eyes in black and gray, making them stand out along with her blood red lips. She stole his breath away every time he saw her, but when she dressed like that it was all he could do not to drag her to the nearest bedroom. Or wall. Or floor, or any sturdy surface available. His eyes started to glow, but he tried to shake it off. They had important things to discuss. “Sorry, babe, we can’t play right now.” He motioned for her to sit down, “Boris can you gather every one that is here?” The cat looked as if he would pout as well, but he nodded and slipped away.

“What happened?” She asked, hopping up on his desk, crossing her legs.

“White showed up.” He told her, eyes lingering on her lace clad thighs. Damn, she was so distracting.

Grinning, she leaned forward, “You know, you can touch them if you want to.” She giggled when he groaned and covered his eyes with his hand.

Drawing the hand down his face, he plopped into the chair he had offered her earlier. “Where did you find a blue rose anyway?” He asked, trying to distract himself.

“Father grew them special for me. He says I’m just as challenging as they are.” She smiled, “now you want to tell me what happened? Did you leave him in a gory puddle of his own blood? Or maybe headless?” She asked, images of a disemboweled White playing gleefully through her mind.

“Sometimes you scare me, Rose.” Gray said, walking over to his desk, leaning against it.

“Sounds like fun to me, when can we go?” Ace said, sharing a wicked smile with her. He stood beside where she sat and they took turn poking at each other.

“Aliya!” came a slightly shocked voice at the door. The stunned look on his face just got worse as she stood and came over to hug him. “Please have boys, please.” Julius said almost like a prayer. She just laughed and hugged Blood who waited behind him, smugly.

“What have you been up to today, Father?” she asked, teasing glint in her eye.

He kissed her cheek. “I was teaching your Dad how to hold a gun.” He said, calmly walking passed her as she dissolved in a fit of giggles. The rest of the room looking at her strange, not having heard him, Julius blushing anyway.

After she got ahold of herself, she returned to her perch beside Ace. “So, fathers teaching you to fire a gun?” she asked, pleasantly. She noted the half smile Ace hid. Ah, a partner in crime, she thought naughtily. It takes a twisted mind to see the perversity in the everyday, run of the mill type conversation.

“I thought that I should learn,” Julius said, oblivious to the suggestive under currents. “Blood has the best reputation for it.”

Ace jerked, laying his head down on Aliya’s shoulder as she fought her own smile, Bloods smirk from where he stood behind the man did nothing to help her hold it together. Nightmare and Gray were too consumed in strategy discussion to pay attention to the conversation. “Well, if your gonna have to learn, it’s safest to learn it from the finest at it. It hurts less that way.” She managed with a straight face. She blinked innocently at the narrow eyed look Blood shot her way, having to try to help hold Ace up as he smoother his laughter in her back, his body shaking.

“Is he ok?” Julius asked, giving his longtime friend a weird look.

I know I shouldn’t, I know I shouldn’t, repeated in her head, but restraint had never been her strong point, “I guess he just gets excited about guns.” Though he still laughed, the knight retaliated by nipping at her back, making her squeal.

“You like guns, too, Aliya?” The blue haired man asked, making Blood roll his eyes as Aliya and Ace fell back on the desk, clinging to each other as they laughed. Nightmare and Gray to look up, wondering what they missed, as did Peter, Black, and Boris who finely walked into the room.

“What?” Nightmare asked before anyone else could.

Still chuckling, Ace helped a weak and breathless Aliya off the desk. “Give us just a minute, we’ll be right back.” He said, dragging her out the door, followed by an explosion of humor that echoed down the halls of clover tower.

“They’re in a good mood today.” Julius commented.

“So it seems.” Blood said turning to Nightmare, “I assume that there was a purpose for this assembly?”

“Yes. As I told Aliya, White showed up on the island today. He was trying to collect more spirits for his creep show. I managed to keep him from most of them, and blocked him from ever returning there, along with adding guardians.” Nightmare began to pace.

“Mostly, as in not all?” Peter asked, sitting down.

“I’m afraid not, and he went for power this time. He’s got the jabberwocky.” He said quietly.

“Fuck.” Black said, running his hands through his hair. He was the only other one old enough to remember how bad this could be. “Can he make a physical form for it?”

“Care to explain the bad?” Boris asked, perched on the back of a chair.

Nightmare nodded, “Think large dragon like thing with acid venom and the ability to manipulate the dark along with immense physical strength.”

“Easy,” Ace said, returning with Aliya in tow. “For a dragon, all you need is a knight.” He bounced into a chair, pulling her into his lap.

“Could you be serious for a minute?” Gray growled, annoyed at the cocky knight.

Aliya straitened with difficulty, the knight in question still tickling her relentlessly until she smacked at his hands. “Do we know what he is planning? Without knowing, it does us no good to counteract it. I would suggest that we just stand ready. He will have some of those things he makes, a large knight worthy dragon,” she winked at Ace, “and about a hundred faceless. Plan for war, my friends.” She stood, hand cocked on her hip, “I will promise you this, before he touches me again, I will hang him by his small intestines until they break, then add the big one, hopefully before he passes out from the blood loss.”

“Well that settles that then.” Nightmare said sarcastically while Blood and Ace snickered. “I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on how to imprison or kill him.”

“You can’t so long as he is within Wonderland.” Black said, “Unless you want to stand over him and take turns beheading him every hour.”

“Ok!” Aliya, Ace, Peter, Boris, and Gray said together.

“Lovely,” Nightmare said, laying his head down on his desk. Awesome, war planning with children he thought sadly.

“So, you takin on the knight now, sweet death?” Black sneered, noting that Ace pulled her back down, the two continuing to play.

“I have not decided if I’m going camping with Ace or not,” she smirked not daring to look at Julius in case he caught it this time, “it’s a lot to take in.” she smiled sweetly. The room exploded with laughter and groaning as Ace rested his forehead on her back. Julius face palmed, hiding the redness of his cheeks. Blood decided that their daughter got her perverseness from their Alice, had to have, smothering his smile.

Talks went on until the evening meal, often interrupted by an impish Aliya and her wayward knight, who found everything impossibly funny. They came up with several ideas of how to trap the joker, but Aliya’s words still lingered. The next move belonged to White, they could only stand, ready to fight.

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