Chapter 9: Gotham's Guardian Angel

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"There's no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated." ~ Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora

The English language is, perhaps, one of the most complex human languages with one of the most dynamic and richest histories. Old English – such as The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë or A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – is written so intricately and beautifully with a certain finesse, that very few gifted writers are capable of properly executing it.

Some people communicate in these beautiful, elegant forms of speech as well. Yet, of course, in matters concerning the sophistication and tact of such a skilful way of expression, there will always be at least but one individual that refrains from even attempting such etiquette and delicacy. In the case of Evangeline Mendax Winter, that would, unfortunately and fortunately, be in the form of her closest confidant; Rebecca Daniels.

"Fucking shit balls piss—! Ange! Your face is spread all over these damn papers like jam on toast!"

Well, at least she possesses the decency to throw in a simile.

Eve, still in her cotton pyjamas after enduring the most peaceful and successful night of slumber since arriving in this fixer-upper of a city, runs a sleepy hand through her mop of raven waves, fingers dragging it to the edges of where it ends millimetres below the nape of her neck. Rubbing her lethargic hazel eyes, the North Carolinian momentarily neglects the over-energised blonde with the thick rimmed glassed as she, in a rare moment of inelegance, lumbers into the room, opting for her annual cup of early morning tea instead. "Mm, that's great Bec."

The blonde psychiatrist frowns, black rimmed glasses slipping down her nose in correspondence with her deflation. "You're not listening to me, are you?"

With the water now boiling dutifully, Eve carelessly throws a couple slices of toast into the toaster, absent-mindedly checking the setting isn't too high. "Mm, that's great Bec."

"No, it's not! Now all the Gotham criminals know what your face looks like! You're an official target not only with a name, but a mother fucking face!" Bec attempts to urge the seriousness of the situation upon her drowsy friend, yet doesn't dare to try and stand up to do so. Her legs are too entangled within the sheets of the sofa bed that with any endeavour to untangle herself, it would most likely end up with her landing face first onto the mat and floorboards.

"Mm, that's great Bec."

To hell with face planting, Bec scowls, tossing and tumbling like a gauche fish out of water until the confirming sound and feeling of face meeting floorboard graces the morning air of the Winter household. Maybe I shouldn't have been so hasty.

Springing up like a wack-a-mole, Rebecca Daniels strides over to the kitchen with the crinkled newspaper in hand, slamming it down mercilessly upon the kitchen island counter and abruptly standing in the detective's immediate line of sight to garner her undivided attention. "Riddler, Scarecrow and Two Face won't be the only ones you need to worry about anymore Ange. Don't you get it? I know you were aware of what you were getting yourself into when you started this, but this? You're a dead woman walking."

"Many people have told me I should quit, but I have not yet finished proving them wrong," Eve languidly mumbles, fair arms crossing over one another in front of her loose pyjama top. "I've only just started with this city. Edward thinks he's so smart, thinks he's been playing me since we met – but even he, one person I thought had refrained from underestimating me, is wrong. He thinks that being associated with me now that the criminals in this city are scrambling in chaos from the fall of the Maroni crime family is advantageous to him. And it is, I suppose, in a way. But he thinks that everyone will now have to confer with him if they wish to get to me. He didn't account for two other players on the board."

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