Title: Eurydice's Song
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 04:44 AM (GMT)
She'd skipped work again that morning, calling in sick for an illness she didn't have. Although three times hardly made a habit, it made Flick worried. She'd never called in sick for any of her three jobs -- not ever, which was kind of impressive even if she'd been in them for less than a year. She had a strong work ethic, and she did her work and was proud of it. Well, on principle.
The first time had been for a good reason -- someone had shot up Clancy's, and that meant Ryan could have been hurt, and he was. So obviously that had worked out.
Then she'd called in sick again, figuring it would help substantiate her claims of illness the day before. It had been a flimsy excuse, even to herself, and she'd wasted the day staring at the wall. She hadn't even had an interest in her textbooks. She'd given her father the cold shoulder when he came home that evening, which he seemed grumpily satisfied with. She resolved not to use that tactic today. Today she would make him regret being a huge jerk. She was going to corner him in his study and force him to see that he was being ridiculous.
But this morning, while he was at work, she was at Crater Lake. Not because she particularly liked the place, but because she'd wanted to get outside a little and had been afraid that someone might recognize her and realize she was playing hooky and then think she was a loser hooky-player who didn't take her responsibilities seriously. And judge her.
Nobody else was at the Lake, mostly because it kind of sucked as far as lakes went and had never really become a big attraction.
So Flick had dropped to a sit and hugged her knees to her chest, and proceeded to spend a good chunk of time feeling absolutely sorry for herself, because it felt freaking good to do so. She began to run through ridiculous scenarios in her mind, wherein she died and her father would regret his harsh words to her and wish he'd just let her do what she wanted.
The scenarios were all sorts of ridiculous, but there was quite a bit of satisfaction to be had in them.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 04:52 AM (GMT)
It had been a few days since the Archers had helped patch Michael up, and he was feeling a lot better. He had always liked to fancy himself a fast healer, because you sort of had to be when you were fighting sometimes twice a week and still had a broken rib from the first guy. But with the shrapnel removed, his mobility returned and his body kicked its ass in gear to heal him. Two long days of nothing but laying in bed had left him restless, and in need of something to do.
The Alliance could be anywhere in town, and he didn't feel like having to be so careful about what he was doing and what he was saying, so he opted out and decided Crater Lake seemed an appropriate outlet. Stopping by the general store briefly to grab some new, unshredded clothes, Michael picked out a new pair of jeans and a rather tight white t-shirt, as they apparently didn't have his size in for another week. It didn't bother him much, it was just nice to have a clean shirt that wasn't beyond recognition of a shirt. And it made his arms look bigger than they already were, which made him happy.
There was one main route to the Lake, and that's the route Michael chose. It took him a good hour to finally make it all the way out there with his mobility issues, but it seemed a reasonable time with a limp. By the time he'd made it to the Lake, he was preoccupied by the fact that his leg was cramping because of the limp, and he wound up sitting quickly on a rock trying to massage the cramp out, failing to notice the small from not more than ten yards away from him.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 04:57 AM (GMT)
She stiffened when she saw a figure coming up from the town, relaxing only minutely when she realized that she didn't recognize him -- which meant, more importantly, that he didn't recognize her. Irritated at being drawn from her reverie, she stared at the water and tried to ignore the guy, figuring he'd pass her by on his little walk and she'd be alone again shortly.
Then he sat down, like, twenty feet away, as if there wasn't an entire lake to choose a spot to sit in. Flick made a disgusted noise in her throat, narrowing her eyes and glaring at him from the corners, willing him to sense the hatred radiating out of her.
No, sure, just sit there and massage the leg. Jerk.
"Hey," she snapped, letting go of her knees and letting her legs extend as she leaned back on one arm. "You see how I'm sitting, here?" Flick gestured to herself. "This is the posture of someone who has clearly claimed this half of the lake for private time. And that," she added, pointing at him. "Is the posture of some poor lobotomized soul who doesn't know the rules of the lake. So. If you don't mind?"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:04 AM (GMT)
The fuck?... Michael turned his head slightly to acknowledge the voice to his left. What the hell did she mean 'rules of the lake'. What, she wanted him to walk all the way back when he'd only been out of surgery for three fucking days?
"Make me," came the steady reply, and he returned to massaging his leg. Once thoroughly convinced his leg was in no immediate danger of a Charlie Horse, he stretched it a bit and laid himself out flat on the rock.
Just because it would annoy this woman.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:09 AM (GMT)
"Oh, that's cute," she snapped, pushing herself to her feet and brushing whatever dirt or ruckus was still clinging to her jeans off in angry, slapping strokes. "And just when I was sitting here, thinking to myself, 'Gosh, this colony could use another twelve-year old.' You're a freaking miracle." Flick crossed her arms, her scowl deepening when he proceeded to stretch out on the rock like he was going to be staying a while.
Nobody had ever said Flick Hatter had a good temperament. She had a short fuse normally, and now it was pretty much nonexistent thanks to her father's meddling.
Lips thinning into a furious line, she turned to look around, and then picked up a rock. Not too big, just enough to fill her hand, and light enough to throw a good distance. Then she whipped it in his direction with everything she had.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:23 AM (GMT)
Michael almost smiled as he listened to the girl heave and huff about his presence. It wasn't until he heard her get up, and the clicking of rocks did he turn his head again. Just in time to see her throw the rock. Reaching up with his left, he caught it before it impaled his eyeball, and he tossed it to the ground. Fighting had certainly improved his reflexes, and having hands more calloused than an eighty-year old cowboy prevented the rock from lacerating the palm of his hand.
"What's a miracle, is that you have the nerve to toss a rock my direction after all this huff and puff about twelve-year-olds. Grow up."
Michael returned to his casual laid down position. Maybe he would let the next rock hit him and show her that it really was nothing compared to having a mountain thrown at you. Or being thrown at a mountain. Either way.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:25 AM (GMT)
Okay. It was official. She hated him, and wanted to drown him in the lake.
Seething, she began to collect rocks and toss them at him handfuls at a time, hoping one or more would slip through his defenses and give him a bruise worth thinking over.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:31 AM (GMT)
Michael raised a hand to shield the side of his face that was facing his attacker, and waited until the rocks subsided. They stung a little, and hurt a bit when they landed on points of surgery, but it was nothing to get upset over.
"You done yet?"
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:34 AM (GMT)
She ground her teeth together, and stomped over to him. For a second, she glared down at him, thinking that he was probably a little too muscular for her to reasonably drag into the lake and drown. "Nah." She stooped and picked up a handful of dirt, and then held it over his face and let it drop.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:40 AM (GMT)
With a sigh Michael let the dirt fall on his face. Shaking his head briefly and scooping some out of the corner of his eyes with a finger, he spat on the ground by the girl's feet. He was tempted to grasp the girl by the wrists and force her into a submission hold, but that against how he operated. Though might have to do it anyway with how absolutely ridiculous this girl was.
The thought made him laugh, and he stared at her.
"Right, so, now that we've had our fun, mind telling me the name of the girl I've just been assaulted by?" The commented held no heat, and Michael felt relatively calm considering he'd just actually been assaulted. But this girl was small, very fragile looking, and so feisty, he actually rather enjoyed it.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:43 AM (GMT)
Her jaw dropped, and snapped shut as her expression filled with thundering rage. "Fun? You are so alone on that front. I don't know if I should be worried that your tenuous mental grasp of the situation is so far removed from what's actually happening, or relieved that I don't actually agree, since I'm pretty sure the only way I'd be able to force my thoughts to follow yours would be to jam some ice picks up my nose and turn my frontal lobes into pudding."
She crossed her arms. "Look, are you going to get out of my spot, or what?"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:46 AM (GMT)
Michael outright burst with laughter.
"Frontal lobe pudding! I like that! I'll need to remember that for my next cage match!" he through laughter before gripping his side a bit with a small wince. Surgery is such a bitch. He continued to chuckle though.
"No, because it's not your spot. You had a spot, twenty feet that way," he said, pointing past her, "and I have my spot right here. I didn't even know you were there until you started screeching like a little kid in his 'mine' phase. You could've sat there nice and quiet and I might've moved on sooner rather than later. Because I'm not moving," he concluded, smiling at her.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:50 AM (GMT)
He started laughing, and she was caught between confusion and the need to glare some sense into him. The result was a bewildered, unwavering stare. See, it wasn't fun insulting someone if they thought it was funny. She wanted to reduce this man's ego to rubble more than ever.
At his little speech, she threw her arms up with an angry "Grah!" and stomped back to her spot, where she flung herself on the ground a little too dramatically (ow), and resolved to sit there the longest and make him leave first.
Childish? Maybe. But she was going to show him.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:53 AM (GMT)
Her reaction caused him to laugh harder until he was nearly wiping his eyes. He liked this one, she was fun, though he made a slight pouting noise as she walked away. A few dozen steps later, he heard a heavy thud and chuckled, imagining her throwing herself to the ground a little more forcefully than she meant to and probably hurting herself.
"You know, I can come help you with that," he offered, oh so generously.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:55 AM (GMT)
She didn't want to reply. She wanted to ignore him until he left, and perhaps ignore him into leaving. After a few moments of tense, hateful silence, she finally snapped, "Help me with what?"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 05:57 AM (GMT)
"Oh, nothing a big girl like you couldn't handle, but I was referring to your attacking the ground with your backside." Maybe she would throw rocks at him again. It was almost like a kinky little game. Year and a half in the slammer, female contact was far beyond welcomed.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 05:59 AM (GMT)
Big girl? She couldn't tell if he was trying to sarcastically imply that she was mature or was just plain calling her fat. "You know what?" Flick laid out flat on her back, crossing her arms over her stomach and squinting at the sky. "I think I consider your pathetic attempts at conversation to be vocal trespassing. Keep your soundwaves in your spot."
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:03 AM (GMT)
"Aww, don't be like that baby! I'm just tryin' to help you out!" he shouted with a chuckle. It suddenly struck him, that he hadn't skipped rocks in forever, and that that sounded like the best idea since annoying the living hell out of the girl down the shore. Standing up slowly, he made his way to the water's edge, and squatted down to look for the perfect rock.
Finding a couple, he stood back up and eyed the center of the lake before snapping his wrist and pelting the rock at the water. One, two, three, fourfivesixseveneightninetenelevenTwelveTHIRTHEN skips!
"Damn, did you see that?! Makes me wanna SING! What's your favorite song?" he asked. It'd been a while since he sang, but it was the only other thing he was good at besides beating the living shit out of people.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:06 AM (GMT)
She groaned and flung her arm over her eyes to block out the brightness of the sky. Flick was aware, at this point, that the man was just trying to aggravate her, and that by giving in to his taunts, she was only fueling this sick, twisted cycle. But she felt physically unable to keep from sniping back at him. He was just so annoying.
"Favorite song? Maybe instead of singing it, you should act it out. In that case, it's probably 'Hit The Road, Jack.'"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:14 AM (GMT)
"Act it out? Nah, I was never much of an actor. Hated acting class! But I'll sing it for ya!" he shouted as he skipped the remaining rocks before turning and walking slowly towards the girl, snapping his fingers to the beat.
"Hit the road Jack, and don'tcha come back no more no more no more NO MORE, hit the roooaadd Jack, and don'tcha come back no moooore," he sang, hints of vibrato coloring the pitch perfect tune. He kept singing as he kept getting closer, and by the time he made it to the second verse he was standing before her. Keeping in time, he grabbed the girl's hands that were covering her face, and hauled her up onto her feet while grabbing her right in his left and hold it away from them, and wrapping his right arm around her waist as he forced her to dance.
"Well baby, listen baby! Don't treat me this-a-way, cuz I'll be back on my feet some daaaaAAAAY!"
Upon completion of the second verse and chorus he released Flick from his grasp and dropped the beat into half time, adding a jazzy swing to his voice to finish the song.
"Say girl, how was that for a song?" he asked, smiling after he'd finished.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:21 AM (GMT)
She hated to admit it, but he actually had a good voice. Like, a good one. One that could make someone famous. Although she doubted he was famous, because famous people did not come to Initium to hang out with the plebes.
Rolling her eyes beneath her arm, she tried to ignore him, even when it sounded like he was getting closer.
When he grabbed her, she squawked in surprise and indignation -- a squawk that quickly turned into stunned silence as he yanked her to him and pulled her around like a ragdoll. Okay, she got that she was supposed to be dancing, but he was doing all the dancing and she was trying to keep from tripping over either of their feet. "Hey, what the--" she began, angrily, and then he released her and she spun out a little, staggering to a stop.
She pretty much stayed in that position as he finished the song, her mouth hanging open in shock that was quickly losing its outrage. When he was done, she stared at him, and then held a hand up.
"You know what, you can have this spot. I didn't realize that you were completely out of your mind when you first showed up."
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:23 AM (GMT)
"What? Didn't you like that song? Fine, you like some o' that old Earthy stuff, I got another good one for you! Or you could just relax, and stop bein' so uptight," he said, his look changing drastically from boyishly happy, to almost somber.
"Come on, lady, you're overreactin'. You've done nothin' but insult me, and I've been tryin' to cheer you up."
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:24 AM (GMT)
"Yeah," she said, slowly, agreeing with what he'd said. "Now, has it occurred to you that that's weird?"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:28 AM (GMT)
"Come on. You're out here, all by yourself, in such a terrible mood that you gotta come round tryin' to bring me down. Sure, maybe to you it's weird for someone to go on tryin' to help ya out of the blue, but I ain't about to just letcha suffer like this. Now come sit back down and I'll sing ya another tune. Promise not to make you dance this time," he said, sitting down beside her original spot and patting the ground for her to join him.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:29 AM (GMT)
Flick stared at him, and then looked at her surroundings suspiciously. "What is this?" she muttered, mostly to herself. She held her hands out as if to inspect the air. "Am I dreaming?"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:30 AM (GMT)
"Maybe. So how about enjoyin' it instead of tryin' to turn it into a nightmare?"
You certainly had to give him props for trying. And being so dam persistent about it, too.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:33 AM (GMT)
"It's like talking to a toddler," she muttered, shrugging very slightly, as if she just couldn't be bothered to try and resist the man's stubbornness anymore. "I was fine moping by myself. I was enjoying it," she informed him with a scowl, finally plopping herself back on the ground.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:35 AM (GMT)
"And when's the last time a toddler showed you a good time? Now hush up, close your eyes, and give me another song to sing. One you actually enjoy. Or maybe I'll just make one up for you," he offered, immediately searching his surroundings for inspiration for an improv song.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:38 AM (GMT)
She was about to just roll her eyes and tell him to make something up, but she stopped, and smiled. Then she gave him the title of a song that had come out in the year prior, sung by a girl band known for their rather daring falsettos.
Ha. She laid down, put her forearm back over her eyes, and waited.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:43 AM (GMT)
Are you fucking serious. He almost wanted to sing a different song, but he knew he had to give it a try.
"You're a clever one, you are," he said before clearing his throat.
He began to sing the rather upbeat song softly. It helped him manage the falsetto better, and made the whole experience a little more personal. He struggled in a few parts, but kept at it and finished strong.
"How was that?"
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:45 AM (GMT)
Her smug smile slowly faded, and by the end of it she was irritated again. "Not bad," she said, grudgingly. "Which sort of cements my belief that you're some sort of freak that probably escaped from a mad scientist somewhere."
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:47 AM (GMT)
Michael laughed a bit, before turning his gaze on her.
"Nah, not quite, but have been spending a lot of time with the Archers. You heard of them? They run that bar, Clancy's or whatever. They're a handful, lemme tell ya," he replied with a chuckle. He imagined any sane person trying to work with them and talk with them would go mad. Luckily, he already was mad. Sorta.
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:48 AM (GMT)
She removed her forearm suddenly, and was blinded by the sky. "Augh," she muttered, squinting up at him. "You know Ryan?"
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:50 AM (GMT)
"Yeah, I know Ryan. I'm helpin' out down at his bar now. Little extra..." he paused a moment, unsure if he should divulge this information, but he figured that it wasn't hard to discern anyway if one walked into Clancy's and saw him standing intimidatingly in the corner, "a little extra muscle, you might say. Keep the place secure."
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:51 AM (GMT)
She frowned. "Never seen you there before," she said, suspiciously. Then again, she didn't really look around at the help all that much.
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:52 AM (GMT)
"You a regular? I just started a couple days after the place got hit," he said, figuring she knew what the word 'hit' would mean in this particular context.
"You a friend of Ryan's?"
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:54 AM (GMT)
She wasn't really a regular. Actually, she wasn't supposed to go to Clancy's at all, according to Ryan. "Oh. Yeah, been friends with him since we were kids. And no, not a regular, I guess. I'm not really allowed in. Ryan says it's too rough a place for girls."
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:55 AM (GMT)
"Hm, well, you can handle yourself, but I s'pose it's best not to go gettin' Ryan all riled up. Though if it ain't no place for girls, why's he got his sister up there, 'specially after all that stuff went down?"
Ursula Hatter - December 29, 2010 06:56 AM (GMT)
"I don't know. Ryan's got it in his head that I'm this delicate flower or whatever and doesn't want me to do anything except wander around picking posies. He'd probably make his sister do the same if she ever listened to him."
Michael Dawson - December 29, 2010 06:58 AM (GMT)
"Why not be more like Hannah, then?"
Michael almost smiled. They were having an actual conversation, though he wondered how long he could keep it up before the resorted to another fit and tried to maul him.