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$ breaking rocks never did anybody any harm! oh wait.

Title: Never Had a Better Idea
Theme/Prompt: 46. Writer's Choice
Fandom: Drive Angry
Rating: pg13
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Piper/The Accountant
Summary: Very AU. In the midst of a rebellion, Piper steals into the temple.
Warnings: violence.





It wasn’t like she expected a miracle.

It was more like she wanted something worth it. Something worth the hours she’d spent, the blood she’d seen shed. The people she’d watched die, for nothing more than a few fucking kings and their cesspit of seething ambition.

And this?

This was a fucking rock.

This was nothing.

Piper dropped her bag, let her tools clatter to the ground. She took a step forward helplessly, as though magnetically drawn by the sheer weight of disappointment. There was nothing there on the altar but a beautiful gem, immense – twice the size of her fists put together – and seeming to glow softly as the sunlight from the arch that opened in the ceiling filtered through it, but nothing more.

“This is it?” she said aloud as she approached, the scrape of her boots irreverently loud. “This is – “ She reached the exquisitely carved marble platform. The stone seemed to pulse once, softly, like a warning.

Only kings might touch such a prize, she thought, and a hot wash of rage leapt through her. People had died for this?

She seized it up recklessly and whirled to dash it on the floor.

A warm, dry hand locked with stony, inexorable strength over her arm.

By what she would later count as some unthinking miracle, Piper didn’t drop the stone. Her hand leapt to her knife and she whirled, her hand flashing out – the man holding her didn’t even flinch, didn’t budge, if anything only leaned into the strike, staring at her face with a mild, light curiosity.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“You can let the fuck go,” Piper growled, heaving against him. The knife clattered away, wet with blood.

“Ah,” he said, sounding weirdly reminiscent. “Yes, I could. However, I’d appreciate you returning my jewel.”

If he’d just asked her to drop it, she probably would have. It didn’t mean anything to her, and his touch was making electric prickles of sensation run up and down her arm.

However, he’d said my. And that kindled her temper all over again.

Yours?” she bit out, and her tone was acid.

One eyebrow rose. “Why, yes. Mine.”

“And how do you intend to keep it?” she asked, sardonic, trying again to shrug him off. “‘Cause let me tell you, there are a whole bunch of fuckers out there eager to contest your claim.”

“Mm, well, I do rather have seniority.” He sounded amused, and she hated him a little bit for it, that this conflict that had swallowed her life meant absolutely nothing to him.

“Really,” she said flatly. “Got an army to back that up?”

“Oh, better!” He almost bounced lightly on his heels, shaking out his shoulders briefly He was relaxed, despite the violence raging outside, and the distant sound of siege warfare. And the gem digging into her fingers. “And I really do think you should return it.”

Piper snorted. “Return it? You didn’t have it.”

“Out of sight does not mean out of mind,” he said. “It belongs to me even when it’s not in my hands. Let go of the gem, Piper.”

She bridled, her jaw clenching. “Or what?”

There wasn’t a warning and she barely even registered moving, just the rush of wind in her ears and the sharpness of impact, her head whipping back and only protected from the hard crack of connecting with the pillar by his conscientious hand.

The man smiled down at her, and there was nothing human about it, only a vast darkness in his eyes, shadows collecting where whites and eyelids and the surrounding arch of bone should be. “Or I’ll do what’s necessary to get it back, Piper.”

She shoved her knee up into his groin.

Evidently it didn’t work quite the same on – demons, magic, whatever the fuck he was, maybe he didn’t even have a dick – but it worked well enough. She left hair behind in his grip and maybe a layer of skin from her arm but she could lunge for the dark arch that led to the vast hall and out into the battle, and she did.

Not that it did her much good.

This time he caught her from behind, lifting her easily up. She struggled, kicking and spitting epithets, but he wasn’t bothered in the slightest. He just carried her casually over to the altar and dropped her on it, and suddenly she had no personal space at all and no opportunity to kick him where it hurt because he was between her legs, leaning into her, his tone mildly curious again. “So, Piper, tell me – why were you going to smash it?”

“You have got to be kidding me!” She tried to slam her elbow into his jaw. It had no discernible effect.

“Not at all, I’m perfectly serious. My…curiosity, shall we say, has been roused. Which it hardly ever is. Why, Miss Piper, were you going to break the most powerful weapon currently on this planet, and set loose, well, myself, who would naturally then go on an unrivalled killing spree throughout the citizenship of every country that ever dared use me imprisoned?”

Piper froze.

Something about his eyes and that mild smile – face human again – was so terrifyingly, off-handedly sincere. The bottom of her stomach dropped out and she licked her lips, her mouth feeling suddenly dry.

“I thought it was just a rock,” she whispered.

“Ah. But that still begs the question, Piper – if you thought it was just a rock, why were you compelled to violence against it? A bit of pointless vandalism? I was under the impression that the looting your species is so fond of was typically – “

“It was just a fucking rock!” she shouted. “It was just a fucking rock and people died for it!” She felt hot, furious, embarrassing tears burn behind her eyes and her breath came in heaving gasps, her body rigid. "Now get the fuck off me."

He did.

It threw her so badly she didn't react when he reached out and took her wrist, lifting it gently and turning it to gaze down at her fingers, white-knuckled around - well, apparently it wasn't 'just a rock,' so whatever the hell it was.

“Well then,” he said, tone light and interested, “perhaps you should keep it after all. I don’t have anything better to do.” He was looking down at her and Piper kind of wanted to lurch back and mostly wanted to not give any ground. She stared back, waiting for a clue. After a second he smiled again. “Wholesale slaughter can wait.”

On the surface that sounded like a good thing. But Piper couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d just landed ass-deep in worse trouble than before.