It was an icy, clear morning on the 7th of December. The sun hovered just over the horizon, shining weakly, its heat unable to penetrate the chill air.
Natasha-Rodley Diff was waiting in the shadows, outside HMV. She pulled back the sleeve of her cream coat and checked the time. Five minutes until HMV opened - five minutes more than she could stand. Inception had only been out on DVD for one day, but her burning desire to play it on her own television and repeatedly lick the screen where Arthur's face was had consumed her since she saw the advert months ago. She had seen it in the cinema four times, but it wasn't enough. It was never enough.
On the roof of HMV, Lauren 'Badass' Borton waited irritably for the signal. The cold was starting to seep through her thick coat and she was dizzy with fatigue; Natasha had forced her to stay up all night, going over the plan again and again. This had better be worth it, she thought. Natasha had better buy me that café crème frappucino, like she promised…she flicked her hair out of her eyes and squinted down at the figure that had been sitting perfectly still on a bench for three hours.
Polly Thurpe was numb from sitting motionless for so long. The thick woollen balaclava she was wearing had kept her face warm, but the bench was cold, and she was only wearing a cotton sleepsuit. It was custom-made, true, with her name embroidered on it, but it wasn't insulated, and insulation is what counts in these situations, not fashion.
All three jumped as the shutters of HMV creaked open and an employee unlocked the doors. Natasha's heart was pounding sickeningly, but Badass and Polly had done this before and their training kept them calm. Natasha swallowed nervously, checked her watch once more, and proceeded to scatter coins all over the floor, going "Oh no, my change…"
At the signal Badass let out a piercing whistle. Polly rose to her feet and walked slowly towards the doors of HMV, drawing from within her sleepsuit a small pistol. Natasha finished collecting her change and strode purposefully up behind Polly, just as she crossed the threshold of the building, and shot the employee in the back. Polly had the foresight to use a silencer, so the gun only made a small phut noise, and the employee crumpled silently to the ground.
Polly loved that noise; it was what she lived for.
Taking the key from the young man lying on the floor, Natasha waited until Badass had entered the building, closed the shutters and locked the door. She then produced six large plastic bags from under her coat. Handing two to Polly and two to Badass, she whispered "Now do what I brought you here to do."
And shrieking hysterically, she charged towards the storeroom and piled copies of Inception into the bags. Badass and Polly also scooped armfuls of the DVD into their bags, and before long, the store was empty of Inception. Natasha, sobbing with joy, spluttered 'Now let's get the fuck out of here.' Polly and Badass nodded silently.
As Natasha unlocked the door and stepped out into the freezing street, Polly suddenly froze in the doorway, forcing Badass to stop.
"Polly," Badass croaked, in a voice ravaged by years of chain-smoking and cheap booze, "What are you doing?"
Polly turned to face Badass eerily, her expression unreadable due to the balaclava obscuring it.
"I really like Starbucks frappucinos," she murmured, so Natasha couldn't hear. "I really, really like them." She raised the pistol discreetly and pointed it at Badass's heart.
Badass gazed at Polly, her face veiled by matted blonde hair, an almost smug expression on her face.
"I knew it," she wheezed triumphantly, "I knew you couldn't be trusted, I said it to Lieutenant McBain all those years ago-"
Her accusation was cut short as Polly shot her. Natasha, blissfully oblivious to what had happened, didn't hear the small scream of pain, or the soft thud as Badass fell.
Polly picked up Badass's Bag o' DVDs and left the shop, closing the door behind her. She walked quickly towards Natasha and said "Badass had some things to take care of and can't come to Starbucks. Can I have her frappucino?"
"Sure," said Natasha, who was breathing heavily and rubbing the DVDs on her arms. Beneath the balaclava, a hidden, icy smile flitted across Polly's face.