Title: The Heart of Friendship, Broken
Character: Trickler, Cedric
Summary: Cedric has a business proposition for his sorta-friend, Trickler.
Word Count: 643
Prompt: 398, desperation
Author's Notes: So this is set in my little cracky superhero AU. I thought it would just be more crack, but a smidge of angst crept in. I also turned to witterprompts again for a bit more help since my brain has turned to mush going back to school.
Trickler sat at his favorite table in his favorite restaurant. He was waiting for someone who wasn’t quite a friend but certainly wasn’t an enemy, either. More of an annoying younger cousin, really. He had been intrigued by the desperation in Cedric’s voice in the voicemail he left him.
The wine he sipped almost made up for the inconvenience of having to wait for the younger man. It wasn’t the most expensive wine he’d ever tasted, but the cabernet sauvignon from Virginia had won him over on a trip to America and he’d introduced it to the owner of the restaurant. Mary made sure to always have some on hand for him.
Cedric sat down with an almost-defeated phlump and held his hand up to signal the waiter that he wanted a drink. His long face was even more gaunt than usual, as if he hadn’t been taking care of himself at all recently. “Give me a shot of tequila. No, a shot of Wake the Dead.”
They sat for a moment, not speaking. “You seem to be troubled, Cedric. What was so important that you had to call your old friend Trickler?”
“I need help. I have a tip about a cache of jewels, but I need a good plan to get it.”
“And you thought I could help you?” Trickler paused as the waiter brought over a tray of drinks, the tequila shooter for Cedric, and a glass of ice water for Trickler. They knew his habits by now.
“Well, frankly, yes.” The caffeine and tequila in Cedric’s drink made his eyes bulge out a little more as he drank, and he coughed lightly, the tequila stinging a bit on the way down.
“Well, I can’t deny that you’re right. At least I get creative with my criminal plans. Yours are always so bland.” Cedric hunched his shoulders as Trickler continued. “Wasn’t there something once about trying to cozy up to the prince? Really, now, Cedric. It involved actual hard work.”
“I almost pulled it off. If it hadn’t been for that stupid Circle.”
“Yes, yes. The magic-users stopped you, didn’t they.” Trickler held out his hand and snapped, a small coin appearing in his palm. It flashed in the dim light of their corner as he passed it between each finger. “And you turn to another magic-user to help you now.”
Cedric took a deep breath. “Yeah. I guess so. Are you interested in splitting the haul?”
Trickler gazed at his companion. “Fifty-fifty.”
“Done, as long as I get the Heart.”
“The what?” Trickler stopped the coin between his thumb and pointer finger before he slipped it back into his pocket.
Cedric’s voice dropped, “The Heart of Cornelius Sigan. It’s a sapphire that is at least five inches across. I want it.”
Trickler held back a shudder. “Cornelius Sigan? This is the job? Robbing Cornelius Sigan’s grave?” He tossed back the rest of his wine and stood, not caring that it was crude and a waste of good wine. “I’m not interested. No self-respecting magic-user will help you, Cedric. Cornelius Sigan means death for any that mess with him. It was true when he was alive, it’s just as true now. I won’t wish you good luck. I’ll wish for you to come to your senses.”
“Sorry, my friend. Stay away from this particular plum. It will cause nothing but trouble.” Trickler turned and made his way to the bar. He’d pay for his drink there and leave. He knew Cedric. There was no way the younger man would give this up. He didn’t understand the power Sigan had held and the fear he inspired in magic-users, even a hundred years after his death. It was too bad. He’d actually kind of liked Cedric. He was going to miss his clumsy, yet amusing, attempts at making a big score.