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Demons Dance Alone; Open
Topic Started: Jan 7 2017, 12:09 AM (677 Views)
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And I am still hungry.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((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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And I am still hungry.
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Oh. Great.

Darius, maybe surprisingly, wasn't a killer. But he was a jerk and Raina basically hated him as much as she could hate anyone, him getting all up in her space with his weird creepy self being the main reason that Junko's party had been a mess for her in the first place. That said, she wasn't looking for a fight.

She wasn't going to fuck off either, though. She was going to fuck right on as much as she pleased, because Darius didn't own the damn warehouse and he didn't appear to be armed, and Lili - not the Lily Raina was looking for, sadly - didn't look aggressive either.

"We don't want anything to do with you, Darius," she said flatly. "We're just looking around." She stepped in and made a beeline for the shelf furthest away from Darius, pointedly ignoring anything else he might have to say.
"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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And I am still hungry.
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Raina didn't say anything in response to Darius. Everything he spewed was nothing but bile, nothing but nastiness, every single word he ever spoke perfectly encapsulating just what sort of person Darius was.

God, she hated him.

He was evil. A petty, irritating sort of evil, the kind that wrapped itself up in incompetence so it could take, and take, and take without ever giving anything of value back. Darius was no great historic villain, no matter how much he might have wanted to be. He was nasty and vile, but hardly a visionary. He would never accomplish anything, and someday, probably someday very soon, everyone would forget he had ever existed in the first place.

It startled Raina to realize how much satisfaction she took from that thought.

It startled her more to realize that as Darius spoke, her hand had crept towards the zipper of her bag, where the grenade lay within.

Darius storming out and Lili speaking up saved her from having to consider all the implications there. She let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding, wondered why her heart was pounding. She spared Lili a glance, curious, almost interested.

"What kind of stuff and where?"

Johnny didn't add anything, and Raina didn't ask him to.
"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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And I am still hungry.
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Raina sighed, airy and almost inaudible.

"No," she said, trying to be firm. "It's Raina." Thanks for nothing, Darius.

General supplies, huh? She and Johnny weren't running low yet. They couldn't build a radio with protein bars, and having the wrong Lily/i on their side wouldn't help much. One more person to look after, one more person they might have to abandon if the going got tough.

But a cursory search made it obvious that there was nothing here for them anyway.

"Maybe," she said softly. 'Maybe' was better than 'I don't know'. Then, "Do you have a plan?" Something besides 'get supplies, don't die'. Something concrete, something real. Something more than Raina had come up with so far.
"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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And I am still hungry.
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And with a smile and a meaningless compliment, Lili was gone, and Raina couldn't explain why she was seeing red.

No plan, Lili had said. Casually. Like it didn't matter that she was staring into the face of certain death and couldn't come up with a single goddamn thing to do about it.

Raina had a plan, the scraps of a plan, the shreds of her first-day false bravado. She had that, and she had Johnny, and wasn't he a fucking ray of helpful sunshine today? Johnny Ray of Sunshine. Ha.

Lili said she needed a minute. Join the club, take a number. Raina slapped the flat of her palm against the side of the shelf in front of her, got nothing but a stinging hand, and spun to glare at Johnny, once again unconsciously banking on the fact that neither of them would comment on her watering eyes.

"I'm going," she said shakily. She didn't know where. She didn't know why. But she couldn't be here anymore, surrounded by useless junk. In her deepest, nastiest, most fleeting thoughts, she concluded that Johnny fit right in at the warehouse. "I'm going for a bit, don't follow me."

Darius, Lili, Johnny, Alvaro, Jasper-

It was too much. Something or other had tipped the scale, broken the camel's back, and now she needed to leave before she came apart like all of her plans and metaphors.

So Raina stepped outside, and thought for a moment about how she wasn't an athlete and was wearing terrible shoes, and then she ran.

((Raina Rose continued in Hemochromatosis))
Edited by backslash, Feb 6 2017, 05:24 PM.
"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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