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Happy Hour with the Deicide Squad; Evening/Night Day 3; PM for entry please
Topic Started: Dec 12 2016, 08:07 PM (742 Views)
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And I am still hungry.
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((Min-jae Parker, Dorothy Shelly, and Asha Sur continued from Devil's Choir))

Waking up was a slow drag out of deep, dreamless fog, but it wasn't as unpleasant as being awake previously had been. The light through the chapel's windows was fading fast now, casting everything in a dreamy gray light as rain pattered against the roof. The chapel was drafty, and Jae found himself again wishing that he still had his jacket.

He sat up in the pew with a quiet groan, taking stock of which protests his body was most vehemently making before moving to do anything else. Headache was still there, definitely a nicotine craving this time, but it wasn't as bad as it had been. He was still aching, with additional stiffness from sleeping on an unforgiving wooden surface, but his hands were steady as he pulled his bag over and grabbed a water bottle. His stomach reminded him a moment later that he also hadn't eaten all day, and he shoveled down one of the protein bars, trying not to pause long enough to really taste it. What he wouldn't give for... well, just about anything else that constituted real food, and not this crap.

A brief scan of the church confirmed that the barricade Asha and Dorothy had erected had done its job, if anymore uninvited guests had come by, and Dorothy was asleep herself in another of the pews. Asha was lounging nearby.

"Hey," he said, rubbing a hand over his face, voice still slightly slurred from sleep. "What time's it?" Not that any of them had a watch or a phone.

Jae paused to really take a look at Asha as he waited for her reply. His original assessment seemed pretty accurate, in that she didn't look hurt or otherwise much worse for wear. She'd seemed herself earlier, certainly. The first couldn't be said for him, but he wondered if the second part could. Do I seem like I'm going crazy? didn't seem like an appropriate thing to ask right off the bat, now that they actually had a chance to talk. Did you know I was really thinking about killing Michael? Did I look just like Alvaro had?

Better to start off with small talk.
"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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Of course Asha was still herself. For a moment, it was hard to remember why he'd ever thought she might not be.

Jae stretched, rolling his neck and shoulders and arching his back until everything popped satisfyingly. After a moment's thought, he leaned over to slide his boots off and flexed his feet, wiggling his toes to ease any approaching soreness from being crammed into his boots for three or four days straight without relief. The fact that he'd been wearing the same socks that whole time too wasn't great at this point, but what could you do.

"Maybe I'm just getting old and I need my sleep," he quipped back at Asha. It was easy, their back and forth. Easy to act like he still had a chance of growing old someday.

To say the day had been stressful was an understatement, between the almost-attempted murder and the... actual murder that he'd been involved in. Samuel, Brendan, Michael, and Mr. Prospector in short succession would have rocketed him to the top of Danya's list, if he was counting right. How many other lists would he make it onto? Jae wasn't delusional enough to think that just because he hated someone, there wouldn't be anyone else out to avenge them. Hell, Brendan had gone and won a fucking prize for killing someone on behalf of Nancy, sweeping everyone else up into his web of utter failure along the way.

Asha's intervention had meant that he didn't have to wonder about that beyond an abstraction. There was no point on dwelling on it, but the thought lingered anyway.

Jae draped one arm over the back of the pew and leaned back, turning his full attention back to Asha. "Long day aside, how've you been?"
"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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"Holy shit, Asha."Jae couldn't do much more than grimace as Asha recounted what she and Dorothy had been through. You could say they'd gotten off lightly, comparatively, but having her stuff stolen and then a run-in with Isabel of all people had to be its own kind of hell.

He could do something for her in the way of supplies, at least; he had a surplus now. "You should have said something sooner. Did you eat today?" Jae dug a couple of food bars and an unopened bottle of water from his bag and tossed them over near her. "Here."

"Isabel was just sitting there staring at you though? That's fucking creepy." Like the fact that Isabel could legally be classified a spree killer wasn't fucked up enough for her, so she had to go around creeping on people too. It didn't seem like Isabel had attacked them since Asha still had that taser charge and she and Dorothy were both in one piece, but the thought of her sitting there while the two of them slept, with only that single taser charge for protection, was chilling.

Just like the thought of Hazel and Jordan asleep and unaware in the garage, their designated watchman having abandoned his post. Neither of them had a weapon. Jae had left them a handful of protein bars and his jacket and no explanation. Now he was safe and in good company on the other side of the island, and he had no idea where they were or how they were doing. For all he knew, he'd hear them listed off in the morning as helplessly as Asha had listened to Danny's name.

Well. There went his good mood.
"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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Well, he'd known they would have to get here sooner or later. "You want a list in chronological or alphabetical order?" Pretty much the only person he'd come across so far who hadn't had a hand in screwing with him physically or mentally was Vanessa, and he supposed Jordan. But Asha wouldn't accept him just dancing around the subject.

Jae heaved a deep sigh. "I ran into Alvaro pretty much as soon as I woke up the first morning, and he tried to tear my fucking face off. Stumbled around like an idiot for a bit, ran into Vanessa and she patched me up. We found Hazel..." He trailed off. What was there to say about what had happened without making him sound like a huge douchebag? By the way, I lost my virginity last night and it was awful. And I don't think I'm into girls, great time to figure that out, right? "Vans went her own way, and I stayed the night with Hazel and her friend. And then I left."

Yes, and then he left. Like a fucking coward. Running from probably the only person who had ever tried to love him because he had lied to her face that he loved her back and didn't want to face trying to explain why it wasn't true.

"You know the rest, after that."
"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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"I'm glad you're alive, too." Jae closed his eyes for a moment. What else was there to say? For days, he'd been bursting at the seams with the need to spill everything out to someone. He almost wanted Asha to grill him for it, so he'd at least have some excuse for going off on a rant.

"I fucked up, Asha." There, that about summed it up. "You can say that, if you're thinking it. I know I fucked up. I got pissed off, I got- I got scared. I ran away and..." He made a sweeping hand gesture, which he supposed was now sign for "I fucking murdered someone". "The last time I walked up to someone I didn't completely trust without considering they might fucking kill me, Alvaro almost did."

And now he was here, making excuses to someone who had never asked for them. He and Asha were pretty much on the same wavelength, spiritually. He didn't have to worry about her damning him to hell or telling him that Samuel's ghost might show up to haunt him, or something stupid like that. He couldn't say the same for most other people, even the ones who knew him.

There was a lump in his throat, and he futilely tried to swallow past it. "I should have said no," he mumbled, more to himself than to Asha.
"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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Be careful not to hurt anyone else. It was a nice thought, Jae supposed. A nice intention.

Good intentions had rarely gotten him anywhere, and he had a habit of hurting people even when he wasn't trying to. Brendan was chock-full of good intentions, and look how that had ended up for him and everyone around him. Maybe Jae was a scorpion where Brendan was a swan, but they were both going to drown regardless. If Jae had any say in the matter, he wasn't going out passively, even if most of what he believed dictated that he'd be better off if he did. It was hard to care about how many lives you had lived and would live when all you were aware of was this one. Jae rather liked this life, current dilemma notwithstanding. The thought that it might all have been a waste weighed down until it crushed him.

"I can try," he said, leaving a million what-ifs unspoken. What if they saw Isabel again? Michael? Some other motherfucker with a gun and the intent to use it? Asha might be cool with death as an abstraction, but when it was real and visceral and in your face, it was a lot less mysterious and attractive.

God, he wanted to stop thinking. Keep talking. Find something, anything, to go on about.

"Okay, you want another bombshell?" Jae barely paused for an answer before plowing on ahead, needing to speak before he chickened out again. "I think I'm gay."
"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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There it was, out in the open. The first time he'd really acknowledged it, much less said anything out loud. For a moment, there was a brief flash of champagne bubbles on his tongue and the stifling heat of a room at someone's house party, but Asha spoke up again and it was gone as quickly as it came.

"I don't know what else there is to say about it," Jae said. What he actually meant, of course, was that with everything that could be said, there wasn't much he wanted to say. He'd never spoken about what happened with Isaac and the fact that he'd never heard anything about it said Isaac had done the same. What had happened with Hazel in the garage was only between the two of them. (Hopefully. God, he hoped Jordan had been soundly asleep through the whole thing.)

Maybe later he could talk about it, if they had time. What he wanted more than anything was just more time.

Dorothy's sudden exclamation made Jae jump, and for a second he had the ridiculous thought that she was reacting belatedly to his confession. Turning to look at her, it was obvious she'd just woken up. Dreaming, probably, or getting hit with the sudden realization once again of where she was and what was going on.

"You, uh... you okay?"
"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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"Nope," Jae muttered. "Sharing time floor is yours, if you want it. I guess." Sharing time for him was over, at least. He didn't know Dorothy like he knew Asha, and continuing to spill his guts in front of her would just make things awkward. He was still coming to terms with everything himself - trying not to think about the fact that he probably wouldn't be able to come to terms with it all before he died - and he didn't need to bring yet another person into the mix.

He didn't have any words of comfort for Dorothy regarding her nightmare. He hadn't had any dreams that he could recall in the times he'd managed to sleep here. He was probably lucky in that regard.

With a sigh, Jae sat forward and eased his feet into his boots again before returning his water bottle to his bag and discarding the protein bar wrapper without care. He spared another glance for the window; what was left of the light was rapidly fading away as the rain began in earnest now. It was going to be the kind of night that merited curling up with a book and a cup of tea and his favorite music in the background. Three more items to add to the rapidly-growing list of things he would never have again.

Another draft blew through the building and Jae shivered. "Don't suppose it would be a good idea to try starting a fire in here..." he said to nobody in particular. Did they even have anything to burn? The meager plant life poking through the cracks in the floor wasn't very promising, and all of the wooden furniture was too sturdy to try burning unless they could break down one or two of the chairs. They should have taken Michael's axe.
"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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Jae couldn't help but snort in amusement at Dorothy's remark. The idea of burning down the chapel in the morning had a certain appeal to it. It definitely sounded cathartic. He didn't have his lighter, but he was pretty sure there were some in the first-aid kits. The building was probably too solid to burn without some kind of fuel, unfortunately. "Probably won't work, but it's fun to think about. Might as well cross arson off the bucket list while we're here."

Asha's sense of humor always did rub off on him when they spent time together.

"But nah, I've been here for like twenty-four hours and I want to get a move on in the morning. Places to go, people to see, you know." He paused, absently scraping the heel of his boot over the floor. "...I'll stick around though, if you guys want me." He didn't want to leave Asha, and Dorothy was alright. There was a little more bite to her than Jae would have first assumed.

"You should get some sleep though," he said to Asha. "You guys can penguin huddle or whatever, I'll stay up now." A watchman probably wasn't really necessary with the barricade they'd erected, but it wasn't like he had much else to do.

He settled back against the side of the pew and set the crossbow in his lap, and waited.




Jae had dozed off again in the early hours of the morning, but he awoke as the sky outside lightened through the stained glass windows, sending a weaker image of the rising sun across the floor again. The rain had petered off, though the light was still soft and gray instead of sunny. He stood and stretched, noted Asha and Dorothy still soundly asleep nearby, and made his way over to their barricade at the front of the chapel. The announcement would come soon, and they couldn't afford to waste any time if they needed to jump ship.

With a grunt, Jae began pushing the chairs and pews out of the entryway. It was hard not to wonder whose name he would hear - Brendan? Michael? He wouldn't be overly surprised if either of them had gotten themselves killed. He wasn't sure he would mourn, either.

That was the thing, still. Most of these names, under normal circumstances, he wouldn't have mourned. Michael could have driven his stupid motorcycle into a brick wall a week ago, and maybe it would have been a rude shock, to know that someone he saw almost everyday was gone and never coming back, but Jae couldn't honestly say that Michael's loss would have hurt him personally. Same for a lot of other people. He had thought about that before and hadn't been sure what, if anything, it said about him. He still wasn't sure.

Jae stopped to lean against the wall and catch his breath once he had cleared a decent pathway. The girls were starting to stir, probably roused from the noises of moving furniture.

Danya didn't keep them waiting long.

And almost immediately, instead of the vague loss and disquiet, there was horror.

Cameron? Vanessa's Cameron? Dead - and how she had died, that was the kicker. Alessio Rigano. Pickaxe. Jae wouldn't have had a face to put to that name, had he not seen it less than a day ago.

"Son of a bitch, are you kidding me?" They'd seen him. They had seen Alessio and the blood on the pickaxe, and Jae had never really paused to consider whose it might be. Had Vanessa found her, before-?

Jae was still sputtering his disbelief as Danya went on, barely hearing the next few names. Cameron Herrig. Alessio Rigano.















Henry Spencer.

















"What-"

He couldn't breathe. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't see, there was static in front of his eyes, and that wasn't right, he couldn't have heard right.

Henry Spencer. Alessio Rigano. That wasn't right. Henry couldn't just be fucking dead without them so much as seeing each other in passing. Alessio was nobody, what gave him the fucking right to be alive when Henry wasn't?

"Wha- I-"

Henry wasn't alive anymore.

"I should have shot that little fucker right in his fucking face!"

Jae couldn't see. He couldn't breathe. He pressed his hands over his face and screamed like a wounded animal through his clenched teeth.
"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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