The Bargain

Patches’ face shuffled from confusion to realization to indignation as her gaze shifted from me to Fianna.  “YOU. I should have known you were behind this.  You just can’t wait to get out from under me, even going so far as to seduce my best apprentice.  What, were you planning on bringing my hopes up with this, then killing Dahlia for cheap kicks!?”

I grabbed her arm and pulled it back ,and a flurry of pins intended for Fianna’s head made a sharp turn for the ceiling, embedding themselves in the rafters.  “Patches!  Do. You. Trust. Me.”

Patches turned from Fianna cowering in the corner back to me.  A look of pure hatred covered her face, a look I’d only seen glimpses of whenever she spoke to or of Fianna.  Instead of her typical bright pink hue, her eyes were a deep black, and her face was draped with shadows.  Met with my stolid face, her eyes brightened back up a little, and she regained a little composure.  “Yes.”

“Then do we have a deal?”

Patches dwelled over the question for a couple very long minutes.  “Yes.  But,” she replied. “I swear by my patches, if so much as a single hair on Dahlia’s head is misplaced, I’ll stitch your heart right here next to hers.”

Step 3: Setup

“How?”

Patches raised an important question.  Just how was I planning on doing this?  And honestly, I didn’t really have  a plan.  It wasn’t like some magical book on resurrection actually existed anywhere.  We’re talking about magic that fits better in the realm of myth than of history, something that gods and legends were capable of, but not anything thought to be truly attainable by mere mortals.

I flashed her a smile and a little wink.  “Just trust me.”

Assuming resurrection was based in restoration magic, there wasn’t much that I had to pull from in the way of runes.  I’d never been much of a healer; most of my patches were for self-defense, things like shields, barriers, and deflectors.  There just wasn’t enough room on my skin for any major healing.  And it wasn’t much better on the patch side.  I still only had four patches in total along with a number of filled-in tattoos.

But then again, I still had the tenets.

Live simply.  I’d done that well enough while I was with Patches.  It wasn’t like I had much before I moved in with her, but what I did have I sold for my apprenticeship materials.

Live purely.  Another check since moving in.  Not like I had any interest in too much impurity anyway.

Trust myself.  Well, I know I can do this if I try.  I guess that’s as much as I need.

Trust the patches.  Again, I know they can do this, too.  I’ve just got to figure out how.

Live selflessly.  I know I’d fucked that up not too long ago, but I think I’ve got it down now.  My strength isn’t just for the betterment of myself, but for the greater good.

But in order to do this, I’ll need to go a step further.

“You do trust me, right?”

Patches’ look of concern folded to one of conviction.  “Of course.”

“Well then, we need to make a deal.”

A look of perplexity draped across her face.  “What kind of deal?”

“To start, in exchange for Dahlia’s life, I’ll need Fianna’s heart.”