"ARE YOU TRYING TO PISS ME OFF?" Bill winced again as he felt his head attempt to explode from War's voice. Looking back over his shoulder, Bill glared at War. "Listen, I would be able to get the key much quicker if you would back up a little" He paled quickly as War glared at him. "Please?" he squeaked, visions of death and dismemberment racing through his head. Cringing, Bill waited for the blow that would split him from stem to stern. After several moments passed, Bill slowly opened his eyes to see War down the hallway, glaring at him, Bucky still tucked unevenly under one arm.
Steeling his resolve, Bill reached back into the gap and retrieved the key. Before he could second think himself, Bill unlocked the door and motioned War to go in. Sweeping past him, War hauled his little brother into the apartment. Bill followed behind, closing the door. Once inside, War moved to the living room and unceremoniously heaved Bucky onto the couch.
"So, uh, what, uh, what h-happened?" Bill's voice betrayed his overwhelming fear of not only the biblical figure before him, but also the situation as it stood. Bucky may be a menace to everyone around him, but it took a lot to injure him, much less lay him out cold.
War sat down heavily in an armchair by the couch. In this setting, the heavily scarred, bearded man did not seem so powerful and awe inspiring. In fact, if Bill didn't know any better, he would have sworn that War looked like a down on his luck veteran who was taking a break from begging for change on the streets. Looking at his hands, War heaved a heavy sigh.
Bracing himself for another head-splitting vocalization from War, Bill prepared for the explanation. War began to talk "Bucky was attacked by Death" his voice barely filled the room, much less crowding out Bill brain with its intensity. Shock registered on Bill's face.
"What, you think I always talk like I've got a megaphone attached to my face?" War stared at him, fire burning in his eyes.
Swallowing loudly, Bill found his voice "w-well... yeah. I mean you're a Horseman of the Apocalypse. A Harbinger of End Times - the destroyer of civilizations. I just couldn't imagine you having any sort of what my kindergarten teacher would call an "indoor voice"."
"FOOLISH MORTAL. DO YOU DARE MOCK ME?" War sprang to his feet, Fire blazing from his eyes, hand on the hilt of his sword.
Bill slammed back against the door, terror gripping his soul. Dimly, he was aware of a warm trickle pouring down his leg. He found it hard to breathe, yet he was consumed with a desire to go next door and conquer the Hendersons.
"Look, that's not why I'm here. I just barely managed to get Bucky out of there before Death got really pissed off. I'm just glad we didn't run into Famine on the way out. He's not nearly as understanding as Death is." War seemed to deflate and sat back down on the chair. He looked back at Bill. "Listen, before we continue this conversation, you need to go change. While you're at it, take a shower... you smell like fear and urine. If you're going to help me figure this out, I can't be getting distracted by two of my favorite scents."
Several minutes later, Bill was dressed in clean clothes and sitting in the living room across from War. The Harbinger had managed to collect himself and was staring steadily at Bill.
Clearing his throat, Bill broke the ice. "So, what did Bucky do that caused Death to beat the crap out of him, and why would Famine be wanting to really injure him as well?"
War stared at Bill for a minute. Taking a deep breath, he exhaled loudly. "For some reason, he was really upset that Death's horse didn't have much color. Don't ask me why, but sometimes, Bucky just gets a wild hair up his ass and does something ridiculously stupid. In this case, he somehow managed to get Death's horse out of the stable without alerting her, and took the damn beast to a tanning salon."
Bill goggled. "He did what?"
"I said, he took Death's horse to a tanning salon; said the beast looked so pale that he thought the damn thing needed a tan." War looked like he wanted to punch something.
"and?" Bill repressed an urge to giggle.
"Well, he managed to find a tanning salon that would allow a horse in the first place, and then when he put it in the machine, all hell broke loose." War's face clouded up with rage.
Bill was beginning to lose the fight for a straight face. "What happened?" A snicker slipped out.
War glared at him until Bill subsided. "It exploded."
Bill lost all control and guffawed loudly... until War grabbed him around the neck and started choking him.
"DO YOU REALIZE THAT A HORSEMAN WITHOUT THEIR HORSE LOOSES THEIR POWERS?" War bellowed in Bill's face. Severely deafened, bill could only squirm weakly in the powerful grip. Suddenly loosening his grip, War dropped Bill to the floor and stomped back over to the chair and sat down heavily.