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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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Crisanto Luz had been busy. Some people thought that meant he was in his cave turning it foggier than San Francisco Bay with weed, but no, he really had been busy. The season had started and gone hurtling along and there were so many expectations of last year happening all over again hanging around all their necks. His team and his studies and the blur of parties and nights spent in a woman's arms had been how he got away from his own head, and so many people didn't get that he didn't want to be in his own head long enough to tell them what he was thinking. At least on the mound it was simple, a duel of reflexes and skill where there were only a few possible outcomes, and he didn't have to think about what it all meant all the goddamn time.

Crisanto liked busy. Busy was better than depressed and about as good as high. Who had he even gone to that dance with? Raina hadn't asked him but one of the other girls he went to when they were in one of their down periods had, so he'd gone "why not," and then he'd gotten bored and that party Junko invited him to was kind of wound down by the time he was in a position to get there. He certainly hadn't been ignoring her, he'd sent a few messages and not gotten much in the way of response so he figured he'd let her have her time, allow her to unwind however she did and figure out where her head was. Nobody liked the clingy or overbearing guy, not even Crisanto himself.

Not that he hadn't appreciated her being willing to help out and listen, he just didn't really see it as worth listening to. And then she'd get pissed at him for wanting to deal with things the only way he knew how and wouldn't understand that talking this stuff out with people just plain didn't work. Did he say anything about how much she liked to look at the planets? No. They'd bicker a little and then go cold for a bit and before long one'd open up and they'd be all over each other again, and Cris would wonder every time when they'd just make up their minds about what this all was. Did he love her? Did she love him? Did he know what love even was? It wasn't like he'd never stuck with anyone for a time, but that was mostly because a given girl was a) hot, b) not terrible to be around, and c) wanted to keep seeing him - Raina ticked all three boxes, except those times when she decided whatever they had wasn't enough and pretended he didn't exist for a while, or looked at him like he was supposed to magically know what she wanted out of everything when he'd said who knew how many times whatever she was happy with was fine by him.

Baseball was fun, and so much simpler than all this. Everything used to be simpler, even as recently as when Taro was captain instead of him. The man hadn't prepared him for the position so much as gone "good luck, buddy" and pushed him into the pool. He'd tried to tell her a few times that he wasn't trying to shut her out, there was just so much more to all this than he'd expected there to be, but hell if he knew if it actually got through to her at all.

He knew the Starbucks she meant at least, the one they'd been to more than once, right down from the In-N-Out Burger restaurant he visited but never felt hungry enough to order from. The drive was simple, second nature, done on autopilot like... most things were, honestly, the sun and wind beating down on him and the fire-red Cadillac convertible restored from the days cars were built like tanks. He could put the roof up but the breeze felt good in a way, refreshed him, helped him think. He hadn't liked being separated, really, if he thought about it; sure, he wasn't especially enthusiastic about most things, but he found himself missing Raina. Not just waking up next to her in the morning, but the sound of her voice, how she got all excited about rocks millions of miles away, how with her digging she could make him forget for a while that they were watching the death throes of civilisation itself with every passing second. How even though he was sure he was right and she was wrong, he couldn't really bring himself to try to get her to despair like he did.

The Cadillac glid into a rare open parking spot by the door and let him out, its thrumming engine slowly dying down with the turn of a key. Spring heat blasted down on his shoulders but not as intensely as during the practise today, even though there was still a twinge of soreness running up his right arm from countless pitching drills. The cost of victory, really. Steps were taken automatically, long strides like he might take if intercepting a runner, and the bell on the door heralded his entrance.

If Raina looked up, he'd give her a little wave as he headed up to her table. It was hard to miss possibly the only blue-haired lady in all of Kingman.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 13 2016, 10:38 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.

18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!

16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene

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