"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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((Raina Rose continued from Coward Mont Blanc))

One could generously say that Raina was having a bad morning.

She and Johnny had made a good move by getting well clear of the crematorium before nightfall, true - she wasn't sure how far the area's borders stretched, and they couldn't have been guaranteed to get clear before losing their heads if they had waited until the morning. Not to mention the rain, they'd managed to avoid the worst of that too. But the morning hadn't brought sunshine, and neither had the announcement.

Oh, they'd been informative all right, and for all the wrong reasons. Alessio was a killer. Someone had fiddled with the cameras and gotten blown up for it. Jasper was indeed dead by Alvaro's hand.

And it was Wayne Cox, of all names, that had set Raina sobbing.

She hadn't even realized he was on the trip. She hadn't seen him. Hadn't even spared a thought for him, wouldn't have unless they had run into each other. They didn't really know each other, after all. But she had known him a little bit, for a little while, and she had gotten an inkling that what she saw of him after the disaster that was Junko's anti-Sadie Hawkins party was something that most other people Wayne knew didn't get to see.

She could see it in her head if she tried, the endless stretch of highway in front of them, the diamond-bright skyline of Las Vegas peeling up over the horizon. The thrill of a little teenage adventure in the middle of the night with a virtual stranger, nobody knowing where they were or what they were doing. Some pseudo-romantic escapade with a boy who didn't really mean anything to her, but here she was sniffling and red-eyed because he had thrown himself off a roof.

Turned out you never really knew who was the type to give it all up after all.

Johnny wasn't helping. He'd made his ever-more cursory efforts at comfort and mostly kept quiet, which was good. What was less good was how little he seemed to care about actually getting anything done. Even though she was kind of a wreck right now, Raina still had purpose. They needed supplies, they needed allies - Penelope and Lily were still out there somewhere, and they weren't murderers - and they couldn't sit around twiddling their thumbs and wait for those things to come to them. She had said as much as they made their way to the warehouse. She didn't think it was really sinking in.

Raina didn't bother calling out to anyone inside or asking Johnny's opinion as she shoved the warehouse door open. Come at me, bro, she thought vaguely at any murderers lurking in the shadows.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Demons Dance Alone · The Warehouse