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They Will Tear Your City Down

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Just as Rosé expected, the slammer sucks. The floor is cold stone, they took her knives (well, the ones they could find) and the captain of the guard is probably the most dense person she’s ever met. And she’s met a lot of dense people. But unlike your regular idiot, he never gets close enough to the bars for Rosé to pickpocket the keys off him, and, unluckily for her, she’d also had her lockpicks taken away!

 

Rosé leans back against the stone wall of her cell and sighs. Grendan had promised to find a way to clear her name, but how could they? She doubts the town guard would even let them into the mansion to investigate.

Murder. Rosé can’t get what she’d seen in that mansion out of her mind. It still her feel sick. She’s done some bad things in the past, sure. Hurt some people, seen her fair share of cuts and bruises. But Rosé couldn’t kill someone.

Though at one point, she thinks she might have been able to be persuaded to.

Rosé shakes her head. It’s not good to ruminate. It takes her attention off the present, and presently, she needs to keep her eyes peeled for any opening she can find, no matter how small. She may not be the most fantastic thief, apparently, but Rosé knows how to run.

There are voices outside the entrance to the town jail. Rosé stands, getting as close as her cell will allow. Another argument, it sounds like, but this one doesn’t feature the explosively loud voice of the captain of the guard.

Rosé recognizes one of the guard’s voices, but not the softer one speaking to it. Soon after she stands, the door opens and a woman walks in, followed closely by a town guard.

“Perhaps it isn’t the best time for you to speak with him Ma’am—“ the woman doesn’t even turn to look back at him. The first thing Rosé clocks about the woman are her expensive looking clothes. The second thing is that— oh shit that’s the lady she saw in the room with the dead body.

She must make some sort of sound, because the woman glances her direction. And then stares. Rosé stares back, dumbstruck. This situation feels all too familiar.

The woman looks largely the same, if you ignore the red-rimmed eyes, likely from crying. She’s still wearing the same dress from last night, but her shoulders are slightly hunched, as if they’re carrying a weight that wasn’t there before.

For that moment, all Rosé can do is stare.

And then everything gets much worse.

The light from the still open door is cut off by a large figure walking into the jail like he belongs there. And a smaller one, following at his hip. The town guard who was following the tiefling woman turns around and somehow deflates even further.

Not seeming to have the read the room at all, York looks down at him. “We…” he looks down to Grendan, who nods up at him encouragingly, “we want to speak to the captain guard!”

Grendan speaks up. “He means the captain of the guard!” The single town guard looks like he’s about have an aneurysm. Rosé leans her forehead against the bars. Oh boy.

As the guard stands dumbfounded, the tiefling’s eyes flick to York and Grendan. “Are you,” her voice is quiet, Rosé has to strain to hear her, “acquainted with the criminal?”

Grendan puffs up a little at that. “Rosé didn’t kill anybody! And we’re gonna prove it! Right York?" York blinks.

“Yeah.”

The woman looks between Rosé and the other two, and for a second, Rosé thinks she sees something behind the mask of grief. But in a flash, it’s gone, and the woman turns back to the poor town guard.

“May I see the captain now?” He nods slowly.

“Alright Ma’am.” He looks back at Grendan and York. “You two can wait out here. And no funny businesses. There’s still a guard outside.” With that, they both enter the door on the other side of the cell block.

Rosé looks at York and Grendan. They look back. The silence stretches for a few seconds.

“I’m going to assume that wasn’t your plan.” For the sake of her sanity, she hopes it wasn’t. Luckily, Grendan nods.

“Yeah, uh, we just wanted to look at the crime scene ourselves. To find the real killer!” Rosé glances at York, who gives her a small nod. As usual, his face doesn’t give anything away. She doesn’t know why he does anything, let alone why he’d want to help her.

He looks towards the closed office door. “Who was that anyway?” Rosé shrugs.

“She’s the one who saw me next the body. She seems pretty important, by the way the guards acted.” Grendan places a hand on their chin

“Could she be part of the Justice family?” Rosé thinks it over. She certainly seemed rich. And she must have been close to Sorin, if she was grieving so heavily.

Just as Rosé is preparing to respond to Grendan, the office door opens. It’s the woman. Following her is Steel. He surveys the room with a scowl, his eyes landing on Grendan and York.

“Alright, what do you two want?” His voice is gruff and dismissive.

“They wouldn’t let us into the mansion to investigate,” Grendan says, “they said to get your permission.” Steel looked down at them.

“Investigate? What are you, a detective?” Grendan audibly swallows.

“N-no… but Rosé is innocent! And we can prove it.” Steel looks about ready to kick Grendan out here and now, but a quiet voice interrupts him.

The woman looks to Grendan and York. “How?” Grendan blinks.

“What?”

She speaks again, slowly. “How could you prove that your… friend is not the killer?” For a second, Grendan seems stumped. But then, Rosé catches a gleam in his eye. He pulls out his journal.

“The guards have not found the weapon, correct?” The woman nods. Grendan turns the journal around, showing an illustrated recreation of one of Rosé’s daggers. “All of Rosé’s knives look like this. If we’re able to find the murder weapon, we can definitively prove it wasn’t her. Especially if it’s in a place she couldn’t have gone before the guards got her.”

Rosé blinks. That is… really clever. Surprising even herself, she feels a warm spark of pride.

It seems Steel and the woman agree. Steel stutters for a moment. “Well, even if that is true, we can’t just let anyone wander around the crime—“ The woman cuts him off.

“Pierce, it’s fine. Let’s see if they can prove their point.” Rosé gapes. Grendan gives her a subtle thumbs up, the subtle point being voided by York very obviously doing the same thing. Still, she gives the two a small smile.

As the group leaves the jail, the last thing Rosé hears is Grendan talking.

“So, uh, who are you?”

“I am Lotta Justice, Sorin’s wife.”

Oh.

Rosé realizes she’d just gotten very, very lucky.