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More of the snake crossover.



Jian stands very still, the MP5 pointed in the general direction of the little girl and Drin and…Dance, and waits.

“The Chief,” Wren says, voice thready with exhaustion and something else, and he twists his neck to look at her. She’s standing, holding onto the doorframe of the Chevy, her skin pale except for her lips, which seem somehow darker than usual, as if they’re suffused with blood. She looks the same way when she’s been working out hard enough and long enough to leave her panting and sweating on the bench in the locker room at HQ. She’s staring past him at the little girl.

Jian’s Spanish is all but non-existent, and his other romantic languages not much better, but he knows without asking that Wren is referring to the words the little girl just said to Drin with that small, strange smile on her face, her eyes roaming over all of them. Everything is soaked by this point, the rain coming down hard enough that being out in the open for even this long is more than enough to coat them all in water.

The bag of Dance’s vomit with the bones mixed in it is on the floorboard of the Chevy. Jian sees that Wren has tied the top closed so none of it can spill out, and he looks at her more closely. If she’s feeling enough out of it that she isn’t up to going through a sample like that, something is still off, despite Dance’s antivenom dose.

Or maybe, the quiet, always skeptical part of Jian’s mind points out, it’s because of the antivenom that something is off.

She’s bracing herself, using the car like a crutch, but she doesn’t look like she’s going to go down anytime soon. Actually, she looks like…

He blinks, stares.

“He’s not going to hurt anyone. At least, not anyone we don’t want to see getting hurt. As long as we give him his space,” Wren mumbles, and Jian realizes after a moment that she’s talking about Dance, his tail – because it is, there’s no denying that, and Jian wonders at how jaded he’s become, that it doesn’t even give him pause to think such a thing – hovering in the air, ready to strike, his skin throwing light beams like some kind of toned-down laser show, the falling drops of water occasionally catching the radiance, refracting it, splitting the colors up even more. Jian nods, lowers the MP5, then thinks better of it and turns, begins to survey the woods around them with the still-hot muzzle raised, following the path of his eyes across the foliage. Everyone else is focused on the standoff between Dance and Drin and the little girl. Someone needs to keep an eye on the other possible angles of attack. Dance rather obviously doesn’t need any back-up at this point.

And once they’re somewhere secure, or at least not in the middle of an open road with a tropical storm descending on them, surrounded by the stinking remains of bug – Dance’s tail moved so fast that some of the bits were flung all the way to the Chevy, and beyond – and in imminent potential danger, he’s going to get Wren onto a bed and keep her there until he figures out what, exactly, is wrong with his partner.
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Kiyakotari

2017

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