Summary: She's a thief masquerading as a school girl. He's an assassin disguised as a butler. They know nothing about each other except that each stands in the other's way. They have nothing in common. He's been a killer since birth. She's steals because life got boring. Perfect match no?
A/N- Well this chapter's a long one. I don't know when's the next time I'll update because I'm still thinking about where this story is going. Thanks for being patient and enjoy ^^
The Perfect Contradiction
Chapter 13: Things Have Changed
Deep down Artemis knew what it would mean if she crossed over to Hades. She would probably lose everything- her life, her friends, her…no wait that was everything.
"You're insane Nightingale, completely out of your mind," Kyle finally said after listening over to the thief's plan.
Artemis glared at her screen stubbornly,"There's no other way."
"But to go there in person, and by yourself no less, is suicide," the hacker replied angrily.
The Tigress gave a sad smile, "I know, Kyle. But Cat is worth it. I don't think I could live myself if I knew there was a way to save her and I didn't try it," she grimaced as she watched her friend try to come up with a better solution, "And don't think of this as a goodbye, but as a see you later, you know," she added, grinning.
Kyle remained unamused, "Just promise me to come out alive," he said seriously.
Artemis chuckled, "One can only hope."
The long ebony haired girl, signed off before her hacker could go on. Artemis had made up her mind and she was going to go through with her plan- not that she really had a plan anyways. The note wasn't specific about any location and she had no clue where the Hades' base was located.
The was a light knock on her door followed by, "Lady Artemis,"
"Yes?" she inquired politely, walking over and opening the door.
"Your bath is ready," her maid mumbled, staring at her feet.
"Thank you," she replied curtly, slamming the door shut. Artemis quickly opened the door again, a wide smile spread across her face, "Oh and can you call Lady Penelope Maxwell and arrange a late afternoon lunch for tomorrow? Thank you," Artemis slammed the door shut and returned back to her desk. Now that she knew who the Black Dove was, she knew exactly where his nest was. But why, with an infamous reputation like his, would he settle for serving others? He didn't seem like the type of person to enjoy tending to someone else's needs.
Artemis didn't like not being able to do anything. She had to wait an entire day- who knows what that Kira bastard was doing to Cat. But there really wasn't anything useful Arty could do other than that lunch with Penelope. That girl was the only chance Arty had at saving Catherine. She just hoped it would work.
Artemis let out a troubled sigh and reluctantly headed out her door and down the hall towards the master bathroom. She tossed her clothes to the floor and grabbed a large towel which had been left out just for. She wrapped it around her slender body and walked up the little steps and across the white marble floor to where the lagoon shaped bathtub awaited her. She placed her towel on the floor and then stepped down into the hot water.
She leaned back, propping her elbows up in the marble floor and gazed up at the bright lighting. The hot water brushed gently against her bare skin allowing her just a tiny moment's peace. All her thoughts and problems dissolved leaving her mind blank. She wasn't the Tigress, just Artemis, an ordinary girl taking a normal bath. Or so she wished it was like that. But trying to forget about her problem only made her feel guilty and so they just came back to her.
Artemis dove under the foamy surface and swam to the end and back before getting out. Her relaxing moment was over and now she had to prepare for tomorrow. There was a lot Artemis had to do before she met with Penelope Maxwell and there wasn't that much time left.
x x x
"Welcome Lady Artemis!" exclaimed the rich, snow haired, maiden.
Artemis inwardly sighed, this girl tried way too hard. She presented Penelope with a gracious smile as she walked towards her, "Thank you for accepting my invitation," she said.
"Well I must say I was surprised with such a sudden invitation, but how could I say no?" Penelope asked.
Artemis rolled her eyes but nodded her head for the spoiled brat to continue.
"Kira!" she barked, clapping her hands twice.
Artemis snickered under her breath as she watched Penelope summon her assassin disguised as a butler like a dog. Her violet orbs narrowed at the sight of the man dressed in a long sleeved white dress shirt with a black vest, black pants and a matching black bow fitted under the collar of his shirt.
Kira stopped in front of the two ladies and placed one arm across his chest and gave a slight bow, "Good afternoon, Lady Artemis. How nice to see you again," he said, grinning.
Artemis pursed her lips, she was going to wipe that arrogant smirk off his face as soon as the rich heiress wasn't looking, "Thank you,"
"So Artemis, why don't we go to the sun room and have some tea. Kira go fetch the tea my father brought back with him," Penelope ordered, guiding Artemis towards a large room that had been built to mirror a green house except there were no plants.
As Penelope began to talk, Artemis began to think of a way to talk with Kira without having the hostess present. She could always drug her, but then the other maids and butlers of the estate might have a tiny problem with her. How was she supposed to get the black dove alone?
"Here, for you, Assam tea, Lady Artemis," Kira said, pouring a dark red liquid into a porcelain white cup. He flashed her a smile, his eyes challenging her to do something.
"Thank you," she replied. Artemis just wanted to throw the hot liquid onto his ugly face and burn him. An idea formed as she was imagining throwing the tea into his face. As she drew the cup closer to her lips she stopped a couple of inches before and tilted the cup towards her as if she was taking a sip. The liquid burned her chest and it took all her will power not to leap up and scream bloody murder.
"Oh my god, Artemis, are you alright?" Penelope gasped, leaping backwards and gaping at the sight.
No she was in extreme pain. It had been hotter than she had expected. Maybe she should have let the tea cool off a bit before she decided to dump all of it down her shirt. She masked her pain with a smile as she spoke, "I'm fine, just a little clumsy I guess."
"Kira, ice!" the girl snapped, rounding on her butler.
"Oh no," Artemis said, "No…umm I would rather just use your bathroom, if you wouldn't mind."
Penelope gave her guest an unconvinced look but allowed her to do as she pleased, "Kira, show Artemis to the bathroom."
"Of course, my lady," he replied smoothly.
Once out of earshot the facades disappeared. He was no longer a butler and she was no longer a school girl. Of course things were kept civil between the two, but there was no pretending.
"So, Lady Artemis," Kira said, mocking her title, and handing her a towel, "What brings you here today?" he asked, placing a finger to his chin and smirking at the younger girl.
Artemis snatched the towel from his hand and pressed it against her chest, "I want to make a deal with you," she snarled, glaring at him.
"I really don't think that tone of voice is necessary," Kira commented in an amused voice.
Artemis ignored his words and continued on, "In exchange for the Panther, I will pledge my loyalty to Hades. That is what you wanted, isn't it?" she sneered in disgust.
Kira frowned, "I couldn't care less about what you did," he stated, "But, there is someone who can't wait to meet you," his tone had an underlying meaning.
"Who?" Artemis asked sharply, catching his tone.
"You'll have to wait and see," he responded cheerfully, "And in regards to your friend, well…she's just dying to see you."
x x x
Artemis wouldn't let his words get to her. She knew he was just taunting her and she wouldn't fall for the bait.
"Nightingale, will you please tell me why we're out here in the middle of nowhere?" Talak complained, scowling at her. He did not appreciate being dragged out in the middle of the night to a random place and then be forced to sit and wait around.
Well she really couldn't tell him why they were in this exact spot. The assassin gave her the directions and what time to meet. If it had been up to her, she would have met in a less creepier place. "Not yet," she muttered, glancing at her phone. She couldn't tell Talak why he was here or what she was up to. She had stolen Talak because he was the only person she trusted to get Cat back safely.
Why was taking Kira so long? He was supposed to be here ten minutes ago. Artemis didn't sense any double crossing…at least not yet. A sudden movement caught her eye and she whipped out her gun, her finger lingering on the trigger. Talak copied her movements, aiming his weapon in the same direction.
"Jesus, Nightingale," he exclaimed, as his eagle eye vision caught sight of three figures approaching out of the darkness.
"I'll explain later," she mumbled, her eyes focused on the butler.
"Hello Tigress," Kira greeted in a pleasant voice. He frowned at the sight of her comrade.
Cassandra joined his side, the Panther hung loose in her arms. She chuckled as she watched the Tigress stare in horror. Cassandra tossed the limp girl across the room with a swing of her arm, "Here." she said.
Talak caught the unconscious girl, "What the-" his said, recognizing the distorted figure. He kneeled down, placing the Panther on the ground. Talak looked towards Artemis, confusion in his eyes.
Artemis first looked at Kira who nodded his head. She bent down and pushed her friend's hair out of her face. Arty took in the appearance of her friend. Her clothes and hair were matted with dried and fresh blood. Her face was swollen and multiple parts of her body were purple and blue. Someone had literally kicked the crap out of Catherine. She placed her gun into her friend's hands and looked directly at Talak.
Talak seemed to understand what was going on, "I hope you know what you're doing, Nightingale, because there's no going back after this," he said solemnly.
The thief smiled, "I know. This is good-bye."
He grunted, standing up with Cat in his arms. He began walking out towards into the night and not once looking back.
Artemis waited until he was gone before rising. She sent both members of Hades a furious glare.
Kira shrugged while Cassandra laughed with glee, "Allow me to properly introduce myself, Tigress. My name is Cassandra. This is going to be fun, isn't Naoto?" the blonde grinned, turning to the dark haired man.
"Yes," he replied.
The iron fist reached out and grabbed the thief by the arm with bone crushing force. She grinned as Artemis winced in pain.
x x x
Kira and Cassandra led Artemis through the underground to reach the main body of Hades. The interior of the organization was red and hot and even scarier than Saturn. The color scheme ran along hell itself. Truth be told, Artemis actually preferred Saturn better. She was dragged towards a door much like the one in Saturn and she knew she was about to meet the head. She just hoped whoever was behind the doors wasn't as terrifying as Faust.
What Artemis didn't expect was to find herself being presented to a woman. This woman was dressed all in black contrasting to Faust's white attire. She had medium length black hair. She wore a black off the shoulders top that exposed her midriff and low rider black jeans with a sliver studded belt and a pair of black stilettos. She was so not what Artemis had been expecting.
"Hello, Tigress," the woman spoke in a cool voice, "And welcome,"
Artemis felt herself be pushed roughly down to the cold steel floor. She glared up angrily.
The woman threw back her head and laughed, "You may call me E. I'm glad you've come to your senses and decided to swear loyalty to me."
It's not like she really had a choice in the first place.
"Cassandra," E said, "Leave."
The Iron Fist dipped her head respectfully and left quietly.
"Now, Tigress, one thing you should know about Hades is, it is home to only the best. So consider yourself the best at what you do," E said, her black orbs narrowing at the legendary thief in front of her.
Kira nudged Artemis with his foot, "Don't be rude," he hissed.
"Thank you," Artemis forced herself to say, avoiding eye contact with E.
E laughed again and then directed her attention to her personal assassin, "Kira," she said, a smug smirk forming on her face, "I'm assigning the Tigress as your partner."
The butler merely smiled.
"And Tigress, there's nowhere for you to hide so don't even think about running."
Merry Early Christmas!
Thanks: hehehaha94 Cat can't die lol she has a big role in future chapters, TheSmilesThatWin9, and savethemadscientist thank you so much for reviewing, they make me so happy, they really do. Hearing from you just makes my day :)