Longest Nightmare

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Chapter 24

I didn't want her to show up. She left for a reason, a reason “I” gave to her. Her coming back changes things. Then again I would have had to see her again. I just wished it could have been on my terms.


I kept quiet as I went through the boxes back at the locker. Everyone was in it but Charlene looked the least uncomfortable in the silence. “You two leave,” I said, “I need to talk to Houston for a bit.”

“Welp, I'm not doing much by standing here.” The owner, Alan, said, “I'm gonna go back to my desk and make sure no one tries to do something they ain't supposed to in their lockers.” Alan left, leaving only Charlene, Houston and myself.

We were all quiet waiting for Charlene to finally relent and leave the room. It was slow going but she finally left, “Houston,” I said hushed motioning him to come forward, “I need some files.” I told him,

“Files for what?”

“You remember the Siagon-Chinatown case?” He nodded, “No one else knew about this but I had lost my cowl for a moment. I think someone saw my face.”

“But if they saw your face why would they-.”

“My guess is that even though they saw my face they didn't know how to use that kind of information, Steven's case wasn't handled as quietly as we would've liked so I have no doubt that more than a few cops would know where he was and he might have given them the info they needed once he found out that he himself could use them.” I explained, “Once he heard that I had come back, he must have called in a favor to whoever he had spilled to and pulled getting out for a short time. Leading up to the heist that was pulled. The bullets were supposed to be a clue.”

“I want to find out who was there and especially the names of the officers apprehended and the ones being looked at after the case.” He nodded, “Good.” I said, “Charlene.”

She came back in and I turned back to Houston, “I need you to find out what's going on with Tomassi. Stockholm said something about something going down tonight and we've only got so much time.” He opened his mouth to object, probably because of the file I already wanted him to find for me, “Houston, we don't have much time and right now he's in the wind and I want to know where he is.” I told him. He wanted to fight, but it wouldn't have done anything to help and he took off to find out what I needed.

“Do you need me to do anything?” She asked,

“I did and want you to get back to doing it.” I told her, “Leave.” I walked over back to the cot that I hadn't put up from the first time Alan stitched me up. I must have been more out of it than I thought,

“You look wrecked Chase.” She told me, “You need to rest.”

“You need to leave this locker and get away now.” I said to her as I sat on the cot. She walked over and grabbed my pant leg. I tried to move it away but she lifted it up and showed my leg bleeding through the bandages. The stitches were still kind of raw.

“I'm getting Alan.” She said as he rose. She stopped after I had grabbed her arm.

“No.” She looked at me, “I told you to leave. You're here. Kind of the opposite of what I told you to do.”

“I left, so I did what you told me to. I came back on my own.”

“Why?”

“Because I was worried about you Chase.” She told me,

“Please tell me that's a joke.” I said, “You're not worried about me, you were worried about the guy you met those three years ago who couldn't even save you from a purse snatcher.” She was silent. I tried to get up but she pushed me back down.

“You don't even know how it happened do you?”

“What do you mean?” I asked,

“I was being attacked and you tried to help me as Nightmare.” I didn't change my expression. “You handled yourself well enough but you didn't notice the piece the second guy had and got a shot off.”

“I must have been out of it.” I said,

“You were exhausted because you dropped after the two ran.” She stated, “I was worried and went over to you to see if you were okay.” I looked at her with a sideways glance,

“You looked under the mask.” She nodded,

“Who wouldn't?” She asked, “When I did though, you woke up and you tried to do this scowl of yours; you had obviously practiced for a while, where your eyes narrow and you look all menacing.”

“I must have been out of it.” I said, “It didn't work.”

“Oh no,” She shook her head, “it was definitely scary but I didn't run.” She told me. “I helped you home, we started dating and...here we are.”

“Wow,” I said with a smirk, “Hell of a story huh?” She sat next to me and rested her head on my shoulder.

“Yeah...” It was a nice moment and I could see why the other me wanted her around.

“I'm sorry.” I said under my breath. “Houston.” I called.

“I got it.” He said from outside the lockers opening. “His car was tracked heading towards the slums.” He said as he entered the locker.

“Good.” I said as I stood up. “We need to get going.” I grabbed an extra mask from one of the boxes and we began to move. “It ends tonight.” I meant it one way or another.


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