Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not that way pt5

"Not interested in talking for a few minutes if that's okay? And 'sweet' is something I've never been," he smiled, charmingly, darkly and sweetly in a way that threw that theory far away from their hiding spot. The jumbled memory of 'home' that skittered into the fog in her consciousness made him smile wider. "Home.. is only where you feel comfortable... like this," he murmured, shifting slightly.

"Bet you'd be sweet to me if I kept you." She murmured warmly over his lips, letting that thought linger with the kiss that followed. She curled and shifted with his movement, brushing her fingers tenderly over his cheek. It wasn't the walls that made home -it was the two girls who were all the family any of them had had for the past few years. She nodded to his words though, he was right.

"Who's keeping who?" His head tilted and his eyes shone brighter a moment with the kiss.

"Nobody's keeping anybody but me waiting and a not-so-nice guy holding your ride, Rase. Sector 9 was a b*tch and a half tonight. They must be looking for somebody out there. You steal her off a loader or buy her fresh off the truck yourself?" Joe was back and in a mean mood as if he wasn't to start with, looking impatient and bent up like he'd been kicked at least once.

Her eyes lifted at the sound of the other voice and there was an instant of distrust, where she faltered within on whether she could depend on any of them to get her home safely. The mention of stealing or buying her had her eyes darkening with and anger that otherwise went undisplayed. She wasn't going to voice her doubts as it wouldn't do any good if they were justified.

She'd feel his hand leave her side as it swung out, grabbing his 'friend' in the most uncomfortable of places, pulling hard and giving an erstwhile twist. "Accuse me of that ever again and I'm going to enjoy roasting these over my next campfire and sharing a bite with the new bartender. Clear?" He hissed and the vaporous venomous cloud of fear was directed entirely to Joe as he nearly folded in half around the pain. Rase let go and wiped his 'soiled' hand on the man's painted cheek, patting him and blowing him a kiss. "You go when I say and stay until I say. So glad we could have this little chat. Vara? Sorry about this, but I guess our ride is waiting." He tossed the crumpled man a sour grin and shifted to help her out of the booth.

The interaction was watched with a calm expression, though it didn't lay all her doubt and fear to rest. She had her share of things to hide and she knew that she was likely in over her head. These were not people to be triffled with, but she'd made her choice about what she'd done tonight... and there was no going back. Getting tangled up with Raser wasn't part of the plan, which otherwise had gone well, running into him and the patrol all at once had been an unexpected twist, though she found she didn't mind so much running across him. Vara hoped she wasn't going to regret trusting him. She scooted out of the booth behind him, reaching for his hand and wondering if he already knew her 'secret'.

Joe held onto the table, keeping out of Raser's reach, looking up at the man as if he'd already removed his choice 'appendage' from its socket. He had little to say from behind the fear - wholly terrified to move or speak or even breathe until Raser let him, just like he'd said.

Standing, waiting, Raser held his arm out for Vara to curl comfortably into if she wanted. For her, the touch was refuge and protection, but only for her. "Don't move... don't even breathe," he said quietly to Joe, repeating the man's earlier words as his eyes flared brightly, nearly like lightning-strike.

Joe seemed striken just as suddenly, trembling and gasping for breath, his mouth working on words that failed to come forth, airless and lost. The man's grip on the table was all the held him up only for the moment before he swooned, strangled by nothing but his own fear.

Rase watched him collapse, letting him bounce harshly off the table's edge and again off the floor as he fell. The shine in his eyes dimmed and the man took a pained breath from the floor, clawing incoherently for air or substance or anything that meant his continued miserable life. "Thanks for the ride Joe... merry christmas."

With the display continuing Vara curled into the protection of Raser's arm and shifted up close. She watched Joe crumble and gasp, with her head resting lightly against Rase's chest and shoulder, her arms around his waist. She swallowed and lifted her head to murmur quietly. "..and you're sure I don't need to be afraid of you?"

"Don't screw me over and you won't ever need to be afraid," he snipped, though not meaning to sound harsh to her. It was taking a moment for his anger to shift aside as he let go of Joe's psyche completely. He took a deep breath himself and looked down to her where she curled against him, his eyes shining like they were before, at rest and peaceful, absorbingly warm. "I'm sure," he added, offering another kiss to calm her before turning to head out to the back stairs down to the lower level where their 'car' waited.

She took the kiss but as he turned she started to pull away from him, it wasn't just what he'd said but how he said it. Sure he'd been warm a moment later but she felt he was sincere in the sentiment of getting screwed over. "Rase.. maybe.. We should go our seperate ways right now.. maybe some other time.. you know?" She watched him as she slid her bottle safely away and tried not to think about what else she had hidden in the liner of her jacket or how much her room mates needed it. They had stood up for and with her and gotten torn up because of it. She was lucky in how she was able to heal, medical supplies were not easy to come by. She'd only taken what they needed but still it was serious enough that he might think she was screwing him over by not telling and what if someone had seen her? What if the patrol was out looking for her? She knew it wasn't likely that they could ID her but until she was home that tremor of fear would remain.

"I made a promise to get you home safe. Like he said, sector 9's hot. You're not making it past that patrol on your own. Your business if you want to try, but I'm hoping you won't." He stood, waiting, softened in expression and non-threatening, but he'd only wait so long.

She sighed softly, watching him and wanting to be curled back into his arm, but she also didn't want him pissed at her for things she hadn't told him. It's not like she could tell him when they bumped into each other. -Oh hey, come here often? I'm a Leo, I like cuddling and candle lit dinners.. yeah I stole some medical supplies earlier tonight, and you?- She closed her eyes for a moment and then slowly nodded. He was right again -she'd need help getting past patrol if it came to it and he did have a way with people. "Alright." She stepped back towards him, twisting her hands together a little.

From a few feet away, the memory he glimpsed wasn't as clear with the fog of a hundred other people clouding up what he saw and tried to focus on. He wasn't like a typical telepath that could latch onto words and specific trains of thought and some part was like being an empath drawing off the emotional imagery as well as the physical. His was more the imagery itself, literal, figurative, like watching someone else's dream. Sometimes there was no sense to be made, and sometimes there was too much, blaringly direct and sharp. He smiled, comfortable in not knowing. The emotional imagery alone was so similar to daily thoughts, it was like pulling on a favorite shirt only she was softer and smelled enticingly sweeter. His hand reached out for hers. "I'll make it up to you somehow. You weren't counting on the show tonight... that show anyway... and neither was I. He's just sore that I got sidetracked. We'll iron it out later." He shrugged, back to giggling as if it had only been a punch on the arm between brothers.

He was not like anyone she'd ever met, but that was something she liked about him. His laughter brought a smile to her lips, even if it was only a small one. Vara nodded and reached to let her hand slip into his, there was something comforting about having him near, and it really had nothing to do with the current circumstance and everything to do with him. If not for the pleasant effect of the ink she'd likely be very sore and -she wanted to get home before it wore off or she ran out. This bottle was the last of what she had and she didn't know when she'd be able to get more. "You don't have to make it up.. really. I've had worse days, believe me." She stepped closer, looking shyly to those incredible green eyes of his.

"Not trying for worse, here," he snickered, watching her move. The glimpses were only shadows, familiar ones of angry fists and rapid breaths taken by runners, climbers, those looking to get out and away from where they were, and some not succeeding as planned. He wasn't sure if it was her or her friends or simply something seen by a bystander, but he'd pay attention for other clues. "But yes, I do believe you. Hopefully I can take your mind off all of that... half hour of starts and stops, maybe longer if the sector heats up more and we can't get through for a while."

"Don't take this wrong, but I hope we can get through." Her smile was weak, but semi sweet. "I just need to get home." Rave and Ni needed her to get home, one had a broken wrist and both had various other injuries. Some burns as the 'thugs' had tried to brand them right in the street before even getting them on the truck! A girl with a brand like that was going to have a lot of trouble anywhere she went. Vara wasn't as concerned with her own marks, she'd manage and could heal with the aid of inks and dyes -the other girls weren't that lucky. The pain was what got to her -it still hurt like hell while she did heal.

"I understand," he nodded, gently compassionate unlike a minute before. He curled his arm around her to keep her safely close to the back door. Being closer, he might get a stronger image to clarify what he'd thought he'd seen. "You tell me if you need anything else, okay? I mean that... anything at all."

She shook her head gently, lowering her gaze though she curled and rested against him. She couldn't reveal their business to him.. yet he was comforting and she felt that she could trust him. "Nothing.. unless you know a good healer and an artist with some ink to spare. There really isn't anything.. thank though for the thought."

The laugh might have been completely unexpected, almost as unexpected as him letting her know the strange truth. "One of each, actually two, brothers and good friends of mine. Go on and tell me more and I'll let you know what we can do for you."

Her face tilted up and her gaze was nearly disbelieving -he knew people who.. what had she done so good to deserve such a twist of luck? "Really?" She asked him softly, her fingers picked absently at the hem of his shirt as she stayed close in this embrace. "The ink would be for me.. it's not only for fun.. it nourishes and will help me heal. This bottle is all I have left and it's not really enough to fix.. everything. My girls.. room mates are in need of healing as well. That's really why I was out tonight. I was trying to get what I could to bring back for them." She swallowed and chewed her lip nervously, she'd just told him a lot -even if not the specific details, though those images flashed through her head as she spoke.

"Make me a list. You worry about your girls and I'll worry about bringing back what you need," he promised, his eyes flaring again gently as he gave her more to call on in memory, names and a way to contact the brothers after tonight. "You'll know them this way, but let me get a hold of them first. Your turf, you decide where, when and how much you really need from them. They'll bend over for anyone that I trust."

She shook her head slightly. "Anything will help.. a lot of cuts, bruises, some burns, and a few broken bones.. I was able to get a few things, but not alot.. only what could be concealed without being bulky. Something for the pain, some ointments but I don't know.. I'm not a doctor.. I don't know if it's enough."

"I couldn't tell you, but my boys can. Let's get you home first." The back passage led down to the area where the music had been pounding loudly. It was only the music, meant to mask the wind and screech of the shuttles. Beyond the next door the air whipped coldly through the tunnels below, where the sun never warmed and heat was no longer piped.

Vara nodded, going with him through the back passage, the loud music made her cringe a little but as they went further she understood why it was so loud. It was cold and her coat only offered so much warmth over the party dress she was wearing. It had served its purpose well, making people notice what she wanted them to and distracting them from what she didn't want them to see. She shivered at the whip of colder air and looked around as they stepped through.

"Sorry, I didn't mention the cold. I can make that up to you too," he teased, or warned. The platform was a few yards away and a man about Joe's age stood watch for them, calling them over. Raser approached, trusting and willing.

She was still wary and cautious as they approached the man, but where Rase appeared to trust him and moved without hesitation, Vara went with him without pulling back. She stayed quiet and close, letting the two men exchange what words they might need to and hoped she wouldn't have to say anything for now. Her mind was busy with the ideas Rase had put there with his simply comment about the cold. Quite the array of ways he could make it up to her or warm her up came to mind and she very nearly blushed. She was thankful the cold could be blamed for any pink that showed in her face.

Hardly a word needed to be spoken. The man on guard was more wary of Rase than Rase was of him. The nose of the metalic eel hissed into place to let them board through 'gils' that slid open part-way, but enough to get inside. Where there had once been lights in the traincar, broken hulls remained of jagged plastic, the flourescent innards having been stolen for an array of misuses elsewhere. The tube was dark, illuminated only by the random lights that still lined the tunnel itself and the two of them, the only passengers to ride. They would strobe past, blurred and virtually unnoticed between the stops. Raser entered first and beckoned to her to join him. "A little over half an hour. They've made some progress and scattered the policers for now. Timing is everything," he winked.

She moved to slide between the split of the doors and reached for his hand in a natural gesture that surprised her a little. It would be good to get home, more comfortable clothes, knowing her girls were alright, her own bed.. she really didn't need much in life to keep her happy. A smile from Rase, the feel of him close to her.. were added to her list and her own smile brightened a little.

The tube for all it's damage seemed clean at least, even as the door closed and the air itself seemed to shrink away into shadow. The runners that used it must have given that little something back in return, or simply those that maintained it felt the price they could ask would be higher for the pleasure of the lacking stench. Their guard at the platform stepped a safe distance away and the tube began to shift forward as Rase guided her to a seat.

Her eyes moved around in curious observation of what she could see, she was almost child like as she let Rase guide her to a seat. She'd never been on one of these and it was interesting even in a rundown state. She smiled shyly to Rase as her gaze drifted back to him, a small giggle parting her lips. "Do you do this often?"

The shrug itself was almost a guilty admission, but of what? "Define 'this'. Take the runner's line home? Steal away to a private place with a beautiful girl? Offer candy to strangers?" His comments teased quieter and closer as he relaxed and pulled her closer, the lights fading to hints of grey outside the tube as they sped a little faster.

She laughed softly, moving closer with a sparkle in her eyes, her hands against his chest. "Hmm I was asking about taking the shuttle.. but now I'm curious about the rest.."

Raser was curious about the rest as well, delving in gently to discover bits and pieces of her past and current life between discoveries of taste and touch. He encouraged her to take advantage of their private and dimly lit coach as much as he did, finding her journey hadn't been at all gentle to her so far, each of the sores and scratches making themselves known with the whispers. Luck was on their side, but only to get them through the heavy-fire districts and into her sector without delays. "The boys are good when they try hard for a pretty girl," he said sadly as the cars slowed. "We only have a few seconds to hop off when it stops. There's not a lot out here to buffer the sound and you can bet if they didn't get the policers cleared off, they'll be down in the tunnels in a heartbeat looking to catch themselves a runner. Sorry... did I forget to mention that part?" His eyes lit up a little more, seeming to feed on the danger and excitement that they could draw the fire she'd wanted to avoid.

She'd been pleasantly distracted during the trip, exploring him gently with kisses, whispers, and light fingers that grazed over his torso. She'd discovered, tasted, and felt enough to make her want more and for her eyes to give a very faint glow of their own. His energy tasted delicious and she licked her lips, lifting her head to gaze at him. His words took a moment to sink in and she started to pull away from him somewhat, the small tremble ran through her at the thought of the danger she'd been hoping to escape by taking this ride with him. He'd caught her off guard with his 'confession' and she pouted a little. She wasn't all hard core, tough girl, though she had that side to her and could hold her own in many situations and didn't like feeling weak or helpless. "Yeah.. you did. Anything else you failed to mention?" She chewed her lip gently and tilted her head to the side, regarding him quietly.

He thought about that a moment, but the confident smirk returned as the cars lurched more and came to a stop. "Not that comes to mind. Ready? You can really run in those, right?"

"As ready as I can be.. and yes I can run in these." She sort of smirked in return, reaching to lace into his hand and shifting to follow closely. She'd let him lead her out, not sure what they might encounter when the doors opened.

Like the older subways, there was a platform but no tracks to be wary of under the cars. A narrow space curled away below eye-level and instead of climbing out and away, Rase indicated he was about to jump down into the crevasse as the doors opened as far as they would. "Watch your step..."

Vara wasn't confident that there was going to be enough room for both of them in the small dark space, but of course with it being dark she couldn't be sure how much space there really was. There was also little choice in where to go and no time to waste thinking about it, so she followed Rase down.

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