She couldn’t shake that dim memory of the nameless man she’d killed on the night she got her powers.  She hated Marquis in a way she couldn’t articulate, and if the memories that recurred every time she crossed paths with him were any clue, it was somehow tied to that.

It’s not even really his fault that she hates his guts. But it’s not her fault either. It’s an unfortunate coincidence, one that would go on to haunt her as she was tasked with taking care of his child.

She wondered if it was because she liked him on a level.  Was her psyche trying to protect her from repeating her earlier mistake?

Hmm, perhaps.

“Little close for comfort, Brandish dear,” Marquis spoke.

Oh, has she been subconsciously getting closer to finishing him off as her thoughts went on?

She looked down.  She’d unconsciously pressed the blade closer.  When she lifted it, she could see the burn at the base of his throat.


…I love the calmness of him speaking up about that.

I wonder if he feels pain? Immunity to pain would be a reasonable secondary power for someone who regularly manipulates his bones to come out through his flesh and skin.

“Thank you kindly,” he spoke.  There was a trace of irony there.

That cultured act, the civility that was real.  Marquis was fair, he played by the rules.  His rules, but he stuck to them without fail.  It didn’t match her vision of what a criminal should be.  It was jarring, creating a kind of dissonance.

I know, isn’t it great?

That dissonance was redoubled as she looked at the forlorn little girl.  Layers upon layers, distilled in one expression.  Criminal, civilized man, child.

I mean, text-only alliteration is nice and all, but this kinda makes it sound like she’s saying he’s a child.

Maybe “Criminal, civilized man, loving father.” would work better?

Then again, Carol has more pressing things to consider than how her thoughts might be read if written down.

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