the crack tore through the alley way, cutting through them like a game of red rover with the back splash painted with their blood. they were supposed to be ready, called forth to keep the peace as their skirts flitted around their ankles, sending the women in to do what the men couldn’t. every time words failed, violence reigned supreme, adding one more to the body count and the junkyard, leaving behind a plethora of memories and family members that would scream for blood in retribution.
they were supposed to be the peace, the truce, the white doves sent in like angels to put an end to all the violence. even as the slight sliver of white peeked out from Nat’s lips, she felt none of it, especially as Keera’s hand wrapped around her own, squeezing tight. their stances were strong, resilient even as they wanted nothing more than to turn and run, find a place to hide from the sea of gleaming sharks that swam in their sight. their idea, their plan without the knowledge of the rest back on their side of town, it had promised to be the end of it all but as his fingers slid up her arm, setting her skin to crawl as the grease in his hair slid closer to his collar, neither could help the shudders that their decision had been poorly planned.
"We’re just looking for peace, to be able to both live and thrive without worrying about what dangers are around each corner. For either of us," her voice strong despite the chill settling in her bones as Keera’s back pressed against her side, her eyes following those that circled the two girls. Nat squeezed her hand, hoping to appease some of the nerves that were running rampant behind her dark eyes, they would listen to reason, they would if they wanted this truce as much as the girls did. Too much death, too much bloodshed and torn families between the two gangs, war ravaging a once peaceful and quiet neighborhood that left them skittish and afraid to leave their homes even before curfew was enacted.
"Doll, all we’re looking for is a little peace," his last word punctuated while he leaned in, letting his face linger near her for a moment longer than needed. The murmurs rose up quiet at first, each shuffling for a step closer while nodding and agreeing, a sea of spoken peace but understood war that bubbled just below the surface.
"Then let us go and tell of our agreement," Keera’s eyes rose to meet his while Nat took over gauging the crowd, each played off the other well, there was more than meets the eye over this couple of skirts. Shifting her feet slowly, Nat matched stance as the feeling that came over the crowd slowly started to shift against their favor, tasting the blood lust that settled over the hard glint of each pair of eyes that took them in. More time passed, shortening their skirts, exposing more skin, changing words from their mouths until they said what was being heard despite saying no such thing. The change was swift and telling even before the grip on Nat’s arm was bruising and sharp, tugging her off her feet and towards the swarm of men that bustled to break the line yet waited for a sign from the one dragging her along.
"I think only one of you need to go tell of our agreement, the other can stay and play with us for a while."
Nat’s eyes grew hard, setting her feet in the dirt even as her mary jane’s slipped and gave way to his own path. “That’s not going to happen,” she spat out, grinding her teeth as she tugged against his grip to no avail. He laughed as his hand flew high and wide, a sharp crack that sent her head spinning and body tumbling into his arms as she was caught off guard. That was when the front of the line broke, spewing forth hungry eyes and greedy hands that threatened to overtake both girls as they watched their plans fall apart at the seams. That was until the crack that tore through the night sky, sent everyone diving for cover and looking for the source. Smoke billowed out from Keera’s grip, her jaw set tight, masking the pain from the throwback of the pistol that almost flew out of her grip. “I think it’s time we left, I think we’ve overstayed out welcome. What do you think, Nat?” Keeping the pistol leveled at the leader’s head, she dared him silently to make a move, to put an end to this night and this rivalry right then and there with his blood hitting the pavement.
"Couldn’t agree more," she spoke, sliding out of his grip and plastering herself against Keera’s side.
"Girl’s and their toys, careful now love, wouldn’t want you to poke someone’s eye out with that thing," he crooned, slowly moving closer and in response the circle of men closed around them ever so tighter, shutting off their exit.
"We’ll be leaving now," was her only answer, spinning on her heel and leveling it at one man’s chest with a kiss and a wink before squeezing the trigger and catching him in the shoulder, sending the man sprawling to the ground and everyone else jumping back a few feet. Grabbing Nat’s hand, the pair took off into the night, back towards home as they heard the shouts and feet pounding out after them.
"I thought we said no guns this time," Nat breathed out over their running, careful to keep her eyes open and bright, directing the pair through the various back alleys and dimly lit paths that would hide their trail as they made it across town.
"You know I don’t like going in naked." Keera’s smile was brilliant against the black, cutting through the coarseness of Nat’s tone as if it was nothing more than simple girl talk. "And you and I both know, they weren’t looking to anything more than to see us both that way." Rolling her eyes in response, Nat didn’t say anything, there wasn’t anything to say because they both knew it was the truth. No matter how many times they put themselves out there to put an end to things, it almost always ended up the same; them on the run from the scoundrels that sought to put them in their place. As if either were satisfied with being just the skirts that stayed put, watching as those they knew and cared about threw themselves into the front lines only to let the same song and dance continue with no avail. "Still," Nat said, "we’re never going to accomplish anything if we continue this way but thank you." Swallowing hard, she wasn’t one for apologies or heartfelt admissions as her fingers slipped from Keera’s grasp as they pulled up short, just shy of home.
Turning on her heel, her eyes roamed over Keera, fixing a stray hair here, straightening her skirt, making sure nothing was out of place while the other girl did the same to her. Keera didn’t say a word, letting her hands say it for her as she plucked a stick from her friend’s shirt but her eyes fell on the arm that was surely to bruise underneath the sleeve. There would be little hiding that from anyone if they got a peek and knowing who waited for her, it was going to be a hell of a show to see when they did. Still, it wasn’t her place to say anything, it never was, Nat had made that perfectly clear all those years ago even if it didn’t sit right with her then or now. “Smile,” she said, lifting her eyes from the bruise to Nat’s face, hoping that she at least looked more put together than she felt as she hid the pistol in the many folds of her skirt. “Someone’s watching,” Nat replied with a smile of her own as they turned back towards the group of people they called family, at least for now.
the night shift; should have been easy → save [lillian]
Easy, smooth, gliding among the masses as if untouched by the poison that seeped into each of their bodies, eating at their lives until there was nothing left but the shiny cover packaged for resell. It was so easy to be that smooth, gleaming in the midday sun as well as slinking into the dark corners of the night life. Clinging to another warm body, whispering the words they paid to hear only for the next forty minutes until they were left emptier than when they approached her. she worked well, keeping both her toes and hips in line, never crossing a line she couldn’t bend to her will. It was enough, should have been more than enough, watching her work to the beat of the club radiating out from just down the street. Cheap, easy and enticing, eyes open and shining like a casino, letting everyone who walked by they were a winner if they paid the right price, just that easy.
That’s all it should have been, all it was supposed to be, easy. Easy to let them think it was love with a tight grip and curved mouth. Nothing difficult, nothing below the surface touched as they worked the cover they were given, adapting and pleasing to the eye, to the touch, to the highest bidder. Names were all but forgotten, hidden beneath the flavor of the month that kept the attention to the skin, glistening from the heat of the day or of the moment, he would never be able to say for sure, not if she did her job right. None of them would but this one, his grip tightened, proving to be more than a bug caught in a bright light as his mouth curved downward, trying to take her with him. Her glamour slipped, just for a breath of a moment but it was more than enough to destroy it all, leaving both her knees weak as well as her walls as the blood fell from her face. He let his hands say what his tongue couldn’t, swallowing the anger at being tricked once again that threatened to overtake him completely, letting the shaking out as his fingers tangled and pulled on the back of her head. Angled differently, no one would be able to tell the difference between anger and passion, even as her body gave way to his, moving with each blow, letting them hit without resistance.
Easy, to fall to her knees, to let it all end as world swam in her view, leaving her there to call forth the black and fall into it’s cold embrace. A slight smile touched her bruised face, splitting a crack on her lip and let another trickle of blood mix with the rest. A secret she held then, letting him know without saying a word, never made a sound the entire time, even as he hit harder, tore at her deeper, struggled to hurt her the way he loved to do to all those before her. Each one deserved it, letting him feel shamed for having to pay for the false lies that fell easily from their tongues, but this one, she did it without saying a word. He barely let the money pass hands before he felt it, one look form her spoke worlds, that he was beneath her even though she was the one who was that took to her back for a living, if he could call it that. She deserved each hit, each kick, each thought that gave way to his anger as he let every poisonous memory, saturated in his failures, work through his body and bruise her’s.
He fell, easy, no longer a weapon to his actions, no longer able to spread the pain and hurt onto others as a shadow walked out from the darkness that clung just shy of the corner that worked harder at night than during the day. A smile, lit up with a silencer that still smoked, a sight one never got quite used to no matter how times it was seen. Just like an eclipse, it was there, and then it wasn’t, making one watching think they had only imagined the whole thing as her hands were free to help the woman up off her knees and free the knots that bounc her with practiced ease. Words weren’t said out loud, but felt as she rubbed her wrists, eyes locked while the pair stood over the dead man’s body. A clean up crew would need to be called, sort out the mess they had found themselves in taking on the side job, one not sanctioned nor arranged outside of the duo, they worked better that way. Eyes scoured, scrubbing the wounds raw as they examined the damage left to show the world on her skin, while the ones inside were a bit harder to see, they shone just as brightly.
Easy. That was the word she chose then, could it still be said now, standing off against each other with trigger fingers itching to reach for their guns. Maybe at one point, two would have been the same as one, nothing more than a stain on a sidewalk, mingled with the vengeance laid out at their feet, but even lines are drawn, they can be smudged a bit. If only for a night, or a body count, or until it hurt a little bit less. Turning her back on the bleeding girl, it was all a part of the game, letting choices dictate their movements even if they moved a bit slower, a bit harder, a bit quieter. It didn’t make it any easier to forget or forgive and it suited them both just as well, neither was in the position to be forgiven, just not ready to be forgotten.
Actually…I don’t think I need anyone to tell me that…Well, maybe I would need them to tell me I’m concussed…but…I just…I know what happened…even if it is mostly a blur…I know…just as I know that…I’m lucky to be have made it out with only a few injuries…let alone the fact that I’m still alive… [Saying all of that, she wasn’t sure if she was talking to Natasha or herself. Though she was surprised she was even saying it at all, normally she shied away from admitting things like her own pain or the fact that she had almost died. And admitting it in front of people, usually embarrassed her beyond comprehension, especially people she didn’t know, and she considered Natasha Romanoff one of the people she didn’t know, despite how much they had talked. It just hadn’t been them talking to each other. Maybe it was the shock, or maybe it was just the fact that Natasha’s presence alone was strengthening. Either way, it was easy for her to ignore her usual awkwardness, and just be in the calm environment.]
Hey, look at that, step in the right direction. Least you’ve stopped looking like you’re expecting angels to pop out from under the bed to whisk you away to some puffy cloud in the sky. [She didn’t know Elle’s whole story or how she ended up in the bed but it wasn’t any of her business, being there as a favor. whatever the reason, she came out on top, maybe a bit battered and bruised around the edges but she made it back in one piece.] Alive is good.
Sorry…I guess I’m just…confused… [she looked around the room, examining it further and noticed that she was indeed hooked up to an assortment of machines and she frowned, realizing that maybe she wasn’t dead after all. Why would she need the machines that were meant to keep people alive, if she was?]
And concussed. Though I’m sure you want a actual doctor to tell you that. [leans back against the wall, not really sure what to say to Elle, she wasn’t expecting the woman to wake up while she was in the room. they hadn’t said but a few sentences to each other and it was always with other faces, never just their own.]
It’ll catch up eventually. Just remember, no means no, if you don’t want to go all the way, that’s your decision and you shouldn’t be pressured into doing anything you’re not ready for just because it’s prom.
Do you mind if we skip all this; hi, hello, i’m fine but you’re clearly not, no you’re not dead, yes i’m really here, James asked me to check in, yes i’m positive you’re not really dead and no, i’m not here to kill you. Does that cover just about all the questions we can just skip instead of spending the next hour answering them? [stands back, arms crossed as she keeps her back to the doorway] How are you feeling?
…too much white… [Elle murmured, quietly as she tried to see through all the white light that obscured her vision. She took a slow, deep breath, feeling like she did on those days when she would over sleep. Slowly blinking a few times, in hopes of clearing her vision, she looked straight ahead waiting for shapes to reveal themselves, until she realized the reason she was still seeing white was because she was staring at a white wall. She shifted her eyes to the left and saw more white, white drapes over a window to be exact. And as she moved her gaze down to the bed sheets, she wasn’t all that surprised to see they were white. She frowned, most of her mind was just hazed blankness, but other parts of her mind were wondering what was with all the white, and where she was. And it slowly all came back to her. Leaving the Academy, going back to her hometown, the lonely drinking, the dream, the emails, and…] Curtis… [She whispered closing her eyes again, her chest throbbing painfully as she came to the conclusion that, she was dead, and in some sort of cliche, empty version of heaven.]
I keep telling them to add some color to this place but who really listens to someone whose uniform consists mostly of black. Still, the white is overwhelming.
I think that if I don’t do it by the books, there will be plenty that end up very, very hurt. Just saying is all. I’ve been successful at avoiding all the dances so far… until now and until Keera has decided she’s going. I hope you get to wander around in another 5,000 dollar dress. Mocking. Mocking. Mocking. That’s pretty much all I heard… though Barton has that down - I can’t even stand being in the same room as him and Adler for longer than five minutes before I’m threatening death. So you could care less… meaning you care about his heart? How sweet.
You don’t cry, you’re incapable of tears, you were born without tear ducts. Barton told me, said it was a Russian thing.
People get hurt all the time, no matter what choices we make, just have to make sure it’s not you lying on the ground when the dust settles. Well I’ll be sure to raise a glass in your honor while you’re stuffed into that room with everyone else like sardines in a can. It burned up nicely, just like all the other ones before it. Oh hon, that’s nothing, I’m pretty it’s a mutual feeling expressed by most if not all of those who go or work here. It’s just a talent most would kill them for abusing. I’m not completely heartless, I’ll make sure the door doesn’t hit hard enough to break bones, a fracture is all that’s needed to get a point across when someone tries to come crying to me.
That’s how bad you’ve hurt me, to make someone incapable of crying, cry. Now that’s commendable. He says a lot of things.
Good. I don’t prom either. So I’m taking that as a yes. Smiles widely in Nat’s direction and shrugs, swaying back and forth. Should be interesting, right?
Definitely interesting. [bringing her laughter back under control, she shuffled the papers in front of her back into an orderly stack as she smiled] I’ll be somewhat sorry to miss it but I’m sure someone will give me the painstakenly detailed run-down later.