Most days, Marina had been doing magic with Percy in the evenings. (Some days they didn't do much in the way of magic, ending up with a few beers and tv instead. Hanging out at Percy's place was more fan than hanging out at her own without anyone there. If Percy was sick of her presence, he'd not yet made any mention of it.)

But late tonight they were at the theatre, Marina walking slowly around the filled tank of water, a sense of excitement building inside of her. This was her first time attempting it under water. She could undo the ropes, she could escape the bonds, but she'd not yet done it with the threat of drowning. It was new. It was terrifying. It was pretty amazing.

She turned over her shoulder and grinned at Percy. When they did this in a show she'd dress the part - the corset, the heels, the waterproof makeup. But tonight was practise and they needed to start slow, so she had taken off her shoes and striped down out of her clothes, leaving only her black tank top and matching boyshorts. She tied her hair up now into a tight bun and asked, "you ready?"
Marina knew that she had to get to Percy before Giles did, or there would be hell to pay. So even while arguing with Giles, she was dialing Percy's number with her other hand. But instead of him picking up it went to his stupid pre-recorded message and Marina swore, pacing her room and waiting for the beep.

"Hi, it's Marina," she said when it went though. "Look, we really need to talk and I hope that the reason this went to voicemail isn't because you're on the phone with Giles right now. Please, just call me back? There's things I need to talk to you about and I need to do it before Giles does because he'll do it bad and there's no way I'll come off looking... god, I don't know, just... call me?"

She hung up and pushed her fingers through her hair, glaring at the computer screen where Giles' words burned.
At first Percy hadn't believed a word Giles was saying. The idea that Marina could kill someone was a ridiculous one. Giles might as well have suggested he had learned how to go invisible and he had used those powers to steal the crown jewels. There was a kind of terrified sincerity on his brother's face, however, as Giles refused to change his story.

Marina was bad news. She had killed someone and made Giles help her dispose of the body. And Percy knew Giles was really only telling him to get him to stop seeing Marina, since he still believed they were together, but he couldn't help that the information terrified him. Sure, their relationship status was a lie, but they were still spending a lot of time together so Percy could teach Marina how to do the more involved escapes and illusions.

He arrived at the bar, nervously playing with this sleeves as he found a table in a corner to sink into. He nursed an alcohol-free beer, not really willing to be intoxicated if he found out that somehow Marina really was some kind of bloodthirsty killer.
Marina didn't dress up to meet Percy at their usual haunt, always feeling like dolling up for a bar meant you were on the pull. Pulling was the last thing Marina was interested in, as usual. So in her white top and dark green trousers, she was one of the less revealing women as she entered the bar, stopping Percy quickly and lifting her hand in greeting as she wandered over.

"Hello, Rudolph," she said, slipping up onto the barstool next to him. "What are you drinking?"
The cafe where Marina waitressed most days wasn't a terrible place. The pay was decent, her workmates were fun and none of them had revealed themselves to be massive bigots of any sort (yet), her boss was fair, and it wasn't too terribly far from her apartment. It wasn't her dream job, but how many people actually got to work their dream jobs? Marina, like most, was working a job to pay her way through life and fine with it meaning little. She didn't need much money anyway; Marina didn't really care about material possessions and she knew how to be thrifty.

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Darker London

October 2014

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