Your name is ROSE LALONDE and apparently, you lost him.
The fury in your eyes is enough to clear the normally crowded hallway, and Deuce is having to sprint to keep up with your much longer strides. Even in flats, he barely comes up to your chest, so when you're rocking your favorite pair of deep purple stilettos, he doesn't even come close. His hands are worrying at his tie as he scrambles on his much shorter legs to keep up, sweat dripping down his forehead and in to his squinted eyes. You've always been told not to kill the messenger, but that didn't stop you from screaming your disbelief right in his face.
The force with which you fling open Slick's office door buries the door knob in to the dry wall behind it, and Deuce cringes as Slick practically startles out of his chair. "You're better be paying for that," he grumbles as he rights himself, raking a hand through his hair.
"Where. Is. He."
Each word is punctuated by a step forward, and you can hear Deuce trying to pull the doorknob out of the wall (with no success). Slick meets you gaze evenly, his jaw working slowly as the scent of cinnamon becomes more pungent the closer you get. "If I knew, don't you think I'd have told you?"
One of the reasons you got hired for this job was the standard of perfection you adhered to. Nothing goes wrong, not on your watch. It means doing most of the work yourself and many sleepless nights, but it's worth knowing that things will run off without a hitch. You'd filled out the forms, waded through the red tape, and assured the traditional politicians that Sollux Captor was not a threat to national security. He was under the protection of your department, and you were going to remove him and debrief him as soon as the paperwork cleared. No security action needed to be taken against him what-so-ever.
But the next thing you know, Deuce is coming in to your office looking more than a little befuddled, saying that an elderly man and a distraught teenager were here to see you and no, they didn't have an appointment, but apparently it was very urgent and related to the Captor case and what the fuck do you mean he's missing?
"So what am I supposed to tell them?" you say, freshly manicured nails digging in to your palms as you level your gaze with your boss. "That despite the fact that he falls under our brach, we have no clue what happened or where he's gone?"
"Look, I don't have the faintest clue what's going on," Slick spits at you, and his eyes are starting to scrunch up along with his shoulders, and you can tell he's getting angry as well. "No one notified me of a transfer, even if this was to keep you in the dark, someone should have fucking told me. This is my department, nothing goes on here that I don't know about."
"Well, apparently it does," you snark back, making him growl warningly.
"Go talk to them, find out what happens, and I'll call the Counter Intelligence Assholes and see why the hell they thought it was okay to snatch someone out from under our noses like this."
You sweep past Deuce who's still struggling with the door, the sea of busy-bodies and book keepers and secretaries eerily silent as you pass, and your office door hasn't been closed for long before you hear Slick screaming orders at them. The solid oak shuts out most of the ensuing racket, and you stand stock still for a moment, collecting your thoughts and drawing your composure around you like a cloak before addressing the two people sitting in the plush velvet chairs before your desk.
"I have to apologize," you say, and you know your cheeks are bright red; nothing embarrasses you more than failure. "This is completely unprecedented. We've never had a breach of this caliber before, but I assure you, we are going to find out what happened and why."
The man nods sagely, pushing his glasses up on his nose, but the young girl next to him doesn't look quite so mollified. Her emerald eyes glint with a righteous fury, and you notice that there's dried blood under her nose and scratches running up and down her arms, something clutched with white-knuckle intensity between her palms.
"What happened?" you ask her, and it seems like she was just waiting for the attention to fall on her, sitting forward in the chair almost desperately.
"I was visiting, like I always do after school when my club doesn't meet. Sollux was watching something on TV, some weird nerd show or something, it's not important, and I was working on a picture for the upcoming art fair. His head doctor came in, which isn't unusual, she doesn't always come at the same time, but she had a couple of other guy with her I'd never seen before. They were big, too big to be doctors, and they just pulled him right out of the bed! I was trying to ask what was going on, but another man came in, he was smaller but still scary, and he was trying to keep me in my seat. But then one of them tried to take Sollux's ring off, and that kind of woke him up, because he started yelling at them to let him go, but his depth perception is shit so he couldn't really fight very well.
Once they had the ring, one of them took the picture I'd drawn, he had it sitting on the bedside table next to him, and put it in his pocket. The biggest one just carried him out like he weighed nothing! I was freaking out, but I knew if I let them take the ring, they'd probably throw it away or something, and it's SUPER IMPORTANT to Sollux, so I kicked the small guy in the balls and ran over to the big guy who had the picture and the ring. I can always draw him another picture, but I needed to get the ring, and he still had it in his hands, so I was scratching and biting him and he was trying to pull me off and ended up elbowing me in the face but I think I ripped one of his fingernails off and that made him let go of the ring, and once I had it I ran out of there all the way home."
You're mildly stunned by the river of words that just fell from the girl's lips, and she breathes heavily for a moment because she certainly hadn't been stopping for air very much during her explanation. "You're Jade Harley, right? One of the kids who saved him." She nods. "That was a very brave thing you did. Stupid, but brave."
She seems to fluff herself a little under the praise, not seeming to mind being called stupid so long as she's called brave as well. "I don't think these people, whoever they are, realize that you or your brother saw the consort as well. But just in case they decide to come after you for resisting, I'm going to have you go talk to Droog about getting a little security at your house."
After fishing a cluster of Hello Kitty band-aids out of your desk, you send Jade and her grandfather on their way, but not before the girl practically pins you to the door with a glare filled with the animosity you're sure she showed the intruders at the hospital. "None of this is his fault, I promise. He's been through enough, so please."
The ring sits on your desk, the purple stone glittering enticingly in the harsh light of your lamp. The band is worn from what you're sure was a nervous habit of twisting it around, and it's slightly tarnished with blood, both Sollux's and now Jade's. It's heavy in your palm as you study it, and you can only imagine what it must be like to be a teenager having the only physical remainder of something everyone tells you is all in your head being torn away from you.
"I promise," you said, with no less conviction. "We'll find him."