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just a picture of a cloud
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For the most part Johnny had kept his thoughts to himself, as they'd made their way across the island.

Johnny often kept his thoughts to himself, and he was good at it, too. It was a skill he'd learned how to as a child - one of the few things his father’d ever really taught him - and the habit had stuck. Habits did that, Johnny reflected, as he lit a cigarette, his lighter sputtering. Louis McKay Sr. had had himself a habit of putting down anything and everything that came out of his son's mouth, and it hadn't taken young Johnny long to discover that life was easier and less painful if said mouth simply remained closed, which of course suited him just fine.

People, Johnny had found, tended to look at you when you spoke up, and even at a young age he’d been aware that people didn't tend to look at him all too fondly. There was unkindness in people's eyes, he'd found, and if his feelings remained his own those eyes tended to look in directions other than his. This was a fear he'd since shed, and now with the obvious exceptions of the cops and the guy behind the counter at the convenience store, Johnny couldn't really care less about who was looking at him. Still, he kept the practice of silence.

If Johnny was pushed for an answer as to why he kept his own counsel, he might well have said that he tended not to share his notions for the simple fact that he doubted anyone had any interest in hearing them, and in that supposition he may well not have been wrong. Certainly now, he doubted what he was thinking would've done Raina any portion of good, and that was because what he was thinking was this:

As cruel an occurrence as it might have been, and despite how sorry he felt for her, it had be noted that Raina was an ugly crier and that Wayne'd always been a dickhole who'd thought he was better than everyone else, and frankly wasn't worth the tears she was shedding. The well of his sympathy, he believed, was probably pretty fucking close to drying up, and the number of different ways he could say "I'm sorry, this is awful, oh no" was near about at its goddamn limit. They were all stuck here, they were all gonna die, it was all very sad and Johnny didn't really want to spend his last minutes on this earth wailing about it.

What he wanted even less, of course, was to spend those minutes with Ray screaming at him, and so these thoughts and all others stayed sealed away, locked inside a little box in his brain labeled "open only in event of tantrum".

As far as deals went it wasn't such a big one - certainly of less import than the aforementioned inevitable demise that all of them were looking at - since Johnny'd perfected the art of silent contemplation a long time ago. Nine kids out of ten at Cochise'd been cunts of one stripe or another as far as he was concerned, and he wouldn't have gotten all that far if he hadn't been able to keep his feelings on them to himself. So what if Raina'd gotten a little whiny, so what? She'd get over it, or she wouldn't.

Didn't make much of a difference in the long run, really.

For her part and to her credit, she seemed pretty content with Johnny's lack of participation. She'd stopped asking him for his input which was smart, since as far as plans went he had sweet fuck all to offer. Wander around with someone pretty and hope that when it was his time to go he didn't go too painful, that was how Johnny'd figured he'd play it, and honestly? It wasn't going all that bad.

That was, until they’d entered he warehouse. Looking back, this was where it all really started to go bad.

He'd stood, still and staring, watching Raina talk and Lili squirm and Darius leave, and tried to shake what he was feeling. He'd ridden a bike along the edge of trailer as a kid on a dare. He'd looked down, just for a second, and seen dogs, wild and hungry, barking up at him. He'd felt then what he felt now - that one wrong foot, one misstep or slip would be all it would take for things to get very, very bad, very quickly.

Johnny didn't want it getting bad just yet, not right away. He had so little time left, after all, and surely he deserved at least a little bit of it to be happy? Just a little?

Everyone, Johnny thought, deserved a little bit of happiness.


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Demons Dance Alone · The Warehouse