Title: Number Nine
Sequel to: Numberless
Universe: Numbers Series
Characters/Pairings: Chloe/Lucas, Lois, Lucy
Disclaimer: Don't Own
Summary: When the girls reach Edge City they separate to try and find the hidden safe house located in one of the most dangerous cities in the country. No surprise Chloe finds trouble. What *is* surprising is she finds another Number.
"I SAID EVERYBODY DOWN!" One of the masked men screamed, letting off another couple of bullets into the ceiling.
Lucas sighed, shaking his head as he finished his drink and placed it on the counter before easily sliding down the bar to sit, reaching out with a hand and dragging Chloe down next to him in a very bored fashion. Nico had thrown himself down behind the bar from before the first shot had fully penetrated the ceiling, and Lois petulantly sank down on Chloe's other side, arms wrapped around the bent knees pressed against her chest, expression annoyed. Chloe felt a little better knowing she wasn't exactly as terrified as Nico, but she also felt lacking considering she was still much more nervous than Lois and Lucas were. Here were guys with guns, and while they mightn't be Mogadorians they were still very intimidating.
"NOW DO AS WE SAY AND NO ONE GETS HURT!" Another robber declared. "SLOWLY TAKE OFF YOUR VALUABLES AND PLACE THEM IN THE BAG AS IT COMES TO YOU."
One of the shorter men, the one with the bag, began going around, yanking the things off when the owners were too slow for his liking.
Another of the men went around shooting the cameras, even the hidden ones Chloe and Lois hadn't realized were there, proving that they had insider's knowledge. Someone who worked here had tipped of the gunmen that tonight the boss would be gone, and that tomorrow was the day to take all the money to the bank. Someone working there was working with these people, and Chloe wondered who it was. Her investigative journalistic side was in overdrive, going over every single person she could think of, trying them as suspects and going over why they might have a reason to do this other than greed of course.
Lois narrowed her eyes. "Good thing Lucy's still out. She'd have done something stupid and gotten us in trouble."
Chloe had to agree to that.
Lucy was impetuous, hotheaded, and for some reason thought she was invincible.
Women cried as they took off their jewelry, their men too scared to actually do anything about it other than to whisper for the women to hurry up.
Lucas gave a grunt of disgust as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a lollipop, surprising the hell out of Chloe as he unwrapped it and plopped it into his mouth. He noticed her confused gaze and shrugged. "I'm trying to quit smoking." He raised an eyebrow. "Want one?"
Chloe shook her head, incredulous.
"Please." Lois nodded, hand outstretched.
Lucas reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out another, passing it to her.
"Thank you." Lois whispered, unwrapping the treat and plopping it into her mouth as well. She moved slightly, trying to get into a more comfortable position, apparently preparing herself to wait this out.
Chloe looked between them, unable to believe her eyes at how non-chalantly they were taking this.
One of the women screamed, face swinging from the harsh slap she'd received for trying to refuse giving her ring, the man jerking it from her finger ruthlessly.
Lois sucked harder on her lollipop, a muscle jumping in her cheek, but otherwise not seeming about to do anything.
Lucas looked bored.
Chloe gazed between them once more before shaking her head and lowering her eyes.
Lucas didn't seem to be bothered by this, obviously used to the violence that was commonplace in Edge City...and Lois had told Chloe already that no matter what happened none of them could be heroes. Their war wasn't against the violence and crime of this city, it was against Mogadorians, and it wouldn't save the world if they got shanked by some thugs because they had some sort of savior's complex.
"Now you princess."
It took Chloe a second to realize he was talking to her.
She looked up, eyes wide. "B-but I don't have anything valuable."
Which was a lie considering the tips she had stashed in her bra.
He motioned to her neck. "Don't think I don't see that chain."
Her heart went cold, preferring to give up her tips. "It doesn't have other value other than sentimental."
He sneered at her. "I think I'll decide that."
The thug reached out to grab her necklace, and like in the alleyway with that pickpocket Chloe reacted on instinct, grabbing his hand and jerking him towards her, shifting her weight as he fell face-forwards into the bar. Still holding his arm she straddled his back and twisted the arm behind him, using her weight to keep him pinned to the ground.
"Hey! Get off of him!"
Lucas subtly turned his palms upright and the bullets all turned from their course, instead they visibly halted their progression in the air before ricocheting and finding every single light bulb, leaving the place in total darkness.
For a second there was disoriented silence, and then Lucas chuckled darkly. "You shouldn't have done that."
Chaos broke out, things breaking, people screaming, bullets flying wildly, blindly.
Chloe felt Lucas push away, and he was no longer next to her, as neither was Lois.
Grunts and screams filled the night, while the flashes of lights from the gunshots gave a second's view at a time of both Lois and Lucas. Each second of darkness before another shot was fired gave them enough time to change positions drastically, always where the shooter wasn't expecting, wasn't aiming, disabling them quickly and efficiently.
The patrons of the bar, some injured, took this time to try and race out into the streets, screaming for help and calling the police on their phones.
The man beneath Chloe took advantage of the distraction and bucked her off of him, turning them around and straddling her, his hands to her neck, squeezing. Gasping for breath, Chloe struggled beneath him before reaching into her apron's pocket and pulling out her pen, slamming it into his temple. He screamed, falling off of her, tearing at the object lodged in his skull, before Chloe grabbed him and pushed him back against the bar counter. He fell, whether dead or unconscious she'd never know.
The gunshots provided seconds of blinding lights, showing Lucas as he danced around in the darkness smoothly, dodging bullets or using his psychokinesis to redirect them towards those shooting. One of the robbers grabbed him from behind only to have Lucas reach behind himself and grab the man's arm, escaping his hold and turning, twisting, the sound of the arm breaking mingling with the shots as Lucas let go of the arm and rammed his knee into the side of the man's head when he fell to his knees in agony.
Lois was using her tray like a weapon, slamming against faces and heads before flinging it out like a frisbee at the head of another man who'd been firing at Lucas. The brunette ran and fell to her knees, sliding across the ground as she grabbed a shard of glass from a broken cup and used it to slice the tendons in one of the robber's ankles, causing him to fall, gun tilting upwards and bullets flaring furiously up into the ceiling.
Chloe's eyes were wide as she watched the massacre before her, that was probably why she didn't notice the man coming towards her until it was too late and he'd grabbed her, using her body as a shield and pressing a broken shard into her neck. It wasn't hard enough to do much damage, but it was close to piercing the skin.
"STOP OR THE GIRL GETS IT!"
Lucas and Lois finished dispatching the other two men left, before turning towards the man and stopping.
Lois' eyes flashed with worry before they narrowed. "You really don't want to do that."
Lucas didn't say anything, gaze darting all around intensely, obviously calculating different scenarios and moves and outcomes.
"I don't know who you freaks are, but I'm taking this girl with me to make sure that you two don't come after me." He announced.
Chloe was beginning to feel feverish, dizzy, wondering if it was from fear. But she'd been terrified with the Mogadorians and hadn't felt like this before.
Five Crest began to tremble and warm against her chest.
"GET DOWN!" The man snarled at Lucas and Lois. "I SAID GET DOWN!"
Chloe's eyes widened and a gasp of pain escaped her lips as the glass dug in enough to begin drawing blood.
Suddenly Five's Crest began to glow that same blue color that Nine's had in the alleyway, but brighter and more vicious, the bar lighting up as Lucas' crest began to glow just as bright and viciously.
"What the hell?" The man behind her hissed as the light from the crests forced the darkness back visibly, the shadows accumulating and blocking the windows so no one could gaze inside from the street.
The man's voice and even the feeling of the glass to her neck disappeared, her eyes widening as she felt that heat once more, images rushing through her gaze once more, yet this time slower.
Deep in some underground place, she could see three necklaces guarded. They'd once belonged to One, Two, and Three. The pendants began to vibrate before the intense blue light shone through them, causing the Mogadorian guards to roar and turn away.
To her other side she saw two blondes and a brunette sleeping around a campfire, before suddenly the crests the two blonde wore, Four and Six, erupted into the same intense light, waking them up immediately. They were shocked, scared, and then seemed to turn and look directly at Chloe, as if they could see her.
Another image of another number, Seven, in a different location, appeared as his crest lit up brightly, and he too turned to look at Chloe as if he could see her.
The same happened to Eight's crest, and she too turned to look towards Chloe's eyes wide, seeing her.
And then...and then Chloe could see Clark.
He didn't have his crest on him, but like the others he jolted awake where he was sleeping in a tent in some forest. He gasped, holding his heart as if in pain, and then looked up, blue eyes widening as he saw her. "Chloe?"
"Clark?" She whispered, confused, shocked.
And then all the images shattered and broke, falling away to nothing like pieces of broken glass, and when Chloe took in a deep breath she found herself in Lucas' arms, being carried away. They were outside in the darkness, the sound of sirens in the distance. He was carrying her easily due to his use of psychokinesis truly being what kept her up, not his own strength, his arms merely anchoring her to him. This was soothing, because Clark had learnt to do this as well once his psychokinesis had activated.
"What exactly happened back there?" Lois asked, in the shadows you could tell she was carrying something heavy as well.
It was the bag of valuables.
Apparently she and Lucas had decided to steal from the thieves.
"Alfred, my Cepan, had a theory that the crests had a deeper purpose than just being a protection charm." Lucas murmured, voice like dark velvet. "He didn't know exactly what this deeper purpose was, but he said one day someone would arrive who wasn't a Number, who could give us the answers."
"That's why you were locking her up in basements and such, huh?" Lois sighed. "You were watching to see if she'd use Clark's crest in some way. You think Chloe's the person your Cepan was talking about."
"I'm sure about it, now." He replied, accommodating the girl in his arms. "I was attracted to her, and then my crest responded to her, I didn't know it could light up or anything like that until she came. I knew she had to be the one Alfred spoke about." He frowned. "She mightn't know what she needs to know yet, but one day she will, and that will be the key to unlocking the true meaning of our crests. She needs to be protected, especially if the Mogadorians know this. They won't stop till she's dead so that the mystery of the crests dies with her."
Lois sighed. "At least we have a better idea now as to why the Mogs want to kill her."
"I cannot understand how Five didn't understand this and protect her." Lucas snapped. "Is he stupid or something?"
"Hey, don't talk about Clark like that when Chloe's conscious. She's never going to forgive you." Lois warned darkly. "And I think, I think maybe she had to be in the presence of two crests for whatever happened to activate, you know? Like they charged each other or something."
He was silent.
"Lois!" Lucy's voice was a little distant, but the sound of rapid footsteps was audible. "I saw what happened on the news and-! Chloe! Is she okay? What happened?"
"Calm down, she just fainted." Lois replied soothingly. "It's a long story, but we need to get somewhere safe."
"Was it Mogadorians?" Lucy whispered. "The news said masked men, and I know Edge City is Crime Central, but...was it...?"
"It really was masked men." Lois replied. "But this isn't the type of publicity we need. If we're mentioned in some way, or if they were able to get shots of us somehow, the Mogadorians can track us here."
Lucas cleared his throat. "I have contacts in the Edge City forensic department. They'll make sure that our prints will be too corrupted to be read."
Chloe's eyes widened as she looked up at him in shock.
"Wait, what's Nine doing here?" Lucy wanted to know, just seeming to notice him.
"You don't have to bother about Chloe's and mine. They won't find our prints." Lois assured him softly, expression matching his own. "Our fingerprints have all been burnt off."
Chloe closed her eyes tighter at the memory of the painful incident.
"We had our real fingerprints scanned and digitalized, guarded and saved somewhere in case we should need to use them again." Lois went on to inform him. "They can be made into ultra thin-like gloves we can put on when needed, but Aunt Moira said that our ability to stay hidden and out of the system was more important than our identity, so we all had them removed the second we arrived at our hideaway."
"Why are we sharing information with him?" Lucy wanted to know.
"Because he saved our lives in there, especially Chloe's." Lois informed her sister sternly.
Lucy was silent.
"You can remove fingerprints?" Lucas' seemed surprised.
"Well, with the right equipment and ingredients? Yeah." Lois nodded. "Or, at least, Aunt Moira could."
"Who's this Aunt Moira?" Lucas wanted to know.
"Chloe's mother." Lucy responded.
He went tense.
Chloe frowned at that reaction.
"Where is she now?" He finally asked.
"The Mogs have her." Lois responded. "They also have Chloe's dad..."
Lucy sighed. "They probably have our father too."
"This really isn't something we should be discussing out in the open like this." Lois mumbled.
"She's right." Lucy agreed.
Lucas took in a deep breath. "We'll swing by your motel room to get your things, then we're going to my place."
"Why do we need our things?" Lucy grumbled. "We don't want to live with you."
He ignored her, continuing walking, fixing Chloe's position in his arms once more.
There was a moments silence before Lois and Lucy caught up.
They needed to stay together now more than ever.