|Don't I know you?|
In what used to be an alley is now a cobblestone path leading into Nowhereto Park. The two buildings beside the path seem to have been literally carved open to make way for it. If this where anywhere but Twisted such a thing would be strange. As you walk further into the park, a fog seems to drift in, clearing once you get inside. Why the wall of fog is there is anyone's guess but it does do a good job of hiding the bulidings or the park depending on what side of the entrance you find yourself standing on.
It should be noted that on the side of one of the buildings is now a single door with a glass window on it which looks into a small waiting room. How long has this been here?
The doors of the Waiting Room burst open and the form of Johnny C comes flailing out of it. Pausing to push his now cinged hair out of his face he smears some soot in his eyes and flails again. With a yelp and scream he rubs his eyes frantically and falls onto his back staring up at the fog filled sky above. "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! ...I really thought those two loonies would take 'wacky' as a compliment..."
That cry rings out across Twisted. In the distance somewhere, a flock of bizarre wingless birds suddenly takes flight at the sound of the maniac's frustration... their wingless wings flapping in the dull, dead air. A few of the multiversal dystopia's residents take a wider birth around the gates of the park, as if by instinct. They've lived through cross-dimensional travel and recent tragedy; they know better than to heed somebody - something - like Johnny C.
Those people will avoid the maniac today. Another is not so lucky... and yet more, she is fated to fall afoul of his path, as dangerous energies align and the strands of destiny come spiralling against one another. The resultant knot could be complex, almost impossible to unravel, but as the athletic, briskly striding form of Samantha Li-Bogard moves through the mists of the park, only a faint hesitation marks her step; before fate is forced to move aside, neglected in its finest hour.
The catgirl wears a deep frown as she faintly adjusts her velocity, sneakered feet slapping against the damp grass as she swerves around Johnny and continues walking. Her brow is not the only thing marred, and those pretty eyes are marked with the stormy signs of great pain and doubt. However, beyond the first flicker of recognition she pays him no heed... she has willed herself not to see her friend...
Johnny pulls out one of his old rubber gloves and uses it to clean his eyes out as a form casually shambles past him. At first he disreguards it as another figment, another blur of lost time stepping past him as they always seem to do. That is, until he sit up and watches her keep walking. His mind free of voices since being adopted into the Hell Council, the maniac isn't sure how to react. It can't be, right? It shouldn't be, right? But... well, nah. Couldn't be.
Determined that he knows real from fantasy, he leaps to his feet and strolls up casually behind the catgirl, shoving his hands into his pockets. "So... I see you decided against the kid thing, huh? It's a good look for you, kinda hard to adjust to... Um, how'd you get back here? I wasn't really thinking too clearly back then. I guess you used the dagger, huh?" He keeps his head down, trying to avoid eye contact.
Johnny mumbles, "I... I'm sorry Tabby..." Of course it would have to be Tabby wouldn't it? Sammy's dead, right? Poor fool.
The gait should be familiar enough; all confident tomboyish swagger, the only real sign of womanhood coming in the faint sway of the hips that accompanies the constant motion of her black-furred tail. But there is something else about Samantha that may speak to a mirror image inside Johnny, whether that thing is still present or just a dwindling memory. It won't be a pleasant memory; almost as foul as the sudden stirring inside the catgirl's gut as her estranged playmate wanders up behind her. A gloved hand goes to her abdomen, fingertips tensing against it.
She does not speak, though, nor make a sound. She merely takes the prickle of intense pain with teeth gritted and head held high. Johnny speaks, and a blackish ripple works it's way between her fingertips, her very skin shifting as an old acquaintance moves within. As it strives to be without. The maniac's words are heard but mostly lost in the struggle not to be heeded. One word breaks through, however, soon followed by another...
"Tabby?" Sammy suddenly echoes, in a voice matured but clearly her own. With a sharp and sudden turn upon her heels, she turns to face the apparition of the past. The hand not pressed to her gut extends outward, stopping Johnny in his own tracks with a firm application of palm to chest. Her eyes narrow to sapphire slits, and for a second or two she simply stares at him, without love in her gaze. "Now I know y'ain't him. We never knew anybody by that name." She pauses, lifts her chin a little higher, "Who the hell are you?"
Johnny stops with a thud into her hand and stumbles a second before blinking and turning to face the girl finally. His eyes glance briefly at her held side and that nagging feeling begins to creep over him like he's missing something obvious, worse still something obvious AND his fault. The thoughts trail away as quickly as they come as the girl speaks. Confusion washing over him a moment before he jumps to his usual rediculous conclusions.
Johnny says, "Wait... your... your not Tabby?" He blinks, he stares, he ponders. That nagging feeling starts creeping back into his mind that just can't possibly be true. His more insane self would have just assumed the obvious, but now that there's a few less voices telling him what to do he continues down this idiotic course.
Johnny says, "I guess... I guess it's just another perk of being on Twisted. God, I feel like a fucking ass." He takes a second to step back and bow before the girl. Since it can't be HER, it has to be a coicindence, right? "My name is Johnny C, Lord of the Demon Cities, Judge of Retributions, and one seventh Council." He stops mid-bow to raise an eyebrow up at the girl standing above him as if waiting to see if she laughs. If she laughs then he's remembered it wrong. He stands back up a second later to rub the back of his head and sigh, "Wow, that's so much cooler when Diablo says it..."
"There's that name again," Samantha murmurs, letting a faint smile touch her lips as the assuredly fake maniac continues to talk about a person she's never met nor heard mentioned outside of names for housepets. Her tail lashes, whiplike, behind her - a sign of annoyance, and her expression is less than pleased in spite of the smile. It's /that/ kind of smile; the kind that pleads for action, that begs for an excuse to send this miserable excuse for a demon packing back to the Nth dimension...
She continues to stare levelly at what she can only term 'the thing' as it continues to babble, using the name it presumably knows because it wears the form to go with said moniker, and announcing itself as precisely the kind of creature she expected would take this form. The kind that tormented and hunted her for what seemed months on end as she made her way through the scorching fires of Hades. Her expression darkens further, the grim amusement finally culminating in a barked laugh as Johnny finishes his speech.
"It's /cooler/," she spits out, gaze twinkling with vicious intent, "When I'm gettin' on with my life /away/ from you arrogant BASTARDS!" She all but screams the last, her palm retracting from the maniac's chest at long last - but travelling less than three inches before it slams forward. No burst of chi shows itself, but the momentum behind the blow is a couple of steps beyond what the grown-up catgirl would have been capable of in her lesser years. At the point at which she presumes the thunderous palmstrike will land, Sammy has dropped into a firm horse stance, pulling the hand from her abdomen to grip at the hilt of the blade protruding above her right shoulder.
Primed for action, she tosses the silky black hair from her face with a flick of the neck. Her extended palm closes to a fist, unwarmed knuckles cracking just faintly. "I got out of that dump fair and square. Back off, demon-boy."
Johnny's expression is one of hurt, not from pain, but for the reaction his title recieved. Her strike knocks him back and nearly onto his ass, but he manages to catch himself by digging his heals into the soft earth below. His coat seems to whip around on it's own without the aid of the wind as Johnny draws his black bladed dagger and twirls it at his side angrily a second before holding it out before him sideways as he glares angrily at his newfound 'friend'.
Johnny's voice darkens as he growls at her, "Look, bitch. I'm having a bad day. I had a pair of wacky clowns blow up half of Dis because they where on 'vacation', then I stumble into you. I'm fucking sorry I confused you for one of my friends, but that's no excuse to be such a fucking whore about it! Listen you skanky-assed bitch, if your gonna be like that because I was trying to be friendly, you're gonna have one hell of a bad day if I have to drag your ass into Hell kicking and screaming because guess which asshole gets to decide punishments now?"
If it's not blindingly obvious he's proud of his new position....
Darkness spreads out across his form as he holds his dagger ready, his eyes going white as he glares. "Your move..."
Hurt. Yes. There is pain beneath the surface, past the upturned fist and the sheathed blade, beyond the fiery blue eyes and the firm stance of a warrior honed through sweat and time. But Samantha will not allow the pain in. Not at this moment. Some troubles are worth living for, because through acknowledgment one can find absolution - some problems, can be resolved. To come before the visage of a friend whom is long dead and whose actions before death caused so much heartbreak... this is not worth living. There is no end in sight.
The slew of insults is taken with cool disregard from the young woman, her catlike ears twitching once or twice as though to dispel the annoyance - the pain - of hearing herself run down in that unmistakable tone. But it sounds unimaginative in view of the tirades launched at her in the depths of her misery. Hell's minions have done a better job of offending her; a fact which might give her pause were her body not so taut, were adrenaline not rushing through her veins in readiness.
And were her adomen not soaked in pulsing black ichor, tight flesh peeling back here and there as a power long-entombed crawls forth into the dim light of Twisted day. It goes unnoticed until after Johnny's final utterance, until Sammy decides to accept the challenge with a hiss of answering breath. She spins into action, leaping off the ground to launch a whipcrack of a kick, heel riding out behind her to catch the maniac in the face...
But it never has chance to reach him, as her movement is abruptly reversed. A throbbing tentacle of darkness explodes from her side, coiling once around her, forceful enough to spin her through a hundred and eighty degrees and send her crashing to the floor with a startled cry. The noise dies before it is fully out; the forbidden taint suffocating Sammy by wrapping around her neck. As if this weren't enough, simultaneously, streams of the stuff begin to pour across the ground toward the maniac. A dark power is coming home. The threads of fate may have been denied this long, but some things will not be; a connection exists here that could not be broken by time, or even by the limits of worlds...
Johnny braces for the impact of the blow that never comes, as the girl cries out and falls backwards he nearly drops his dagger trying to work out exactly what is happening. His mouth instinctively begins to mutter out "Are you okay" but he barely gets a sylibal out before the painfully obvious answer smacks him in the face. His next thought is to leap forwards and try to cut this 'thing' away from her, but he doesn't know if that will help or hurt... instead he asks but a slip of the tounge blurts out the obvious, even to his own unbelieving ears. "Sammy, what should I do?!?"
Something in the back of his mind clicks at the statement. Acceptance maybe? Maybe. But only for a moment. The maniac leaps onto the girl - sheathing his weapon in the process, before trying to untwist the nightmare from around her throat in an effort to help or at least help her answer his question. If only he knew what was happening...
The catgirl may not be able to breathe, but she's able to snarl in spite of it, bucking in the grip of the tenticular mass. Instinctively it starts to turn into a wild grin as the maniac stammers out his desperate question, and she strives to snap out a comeback... for a split-second she feels years younger, the vestiges of time melting away, before harsh reality comes barrelling back into her barely conscious brain. She feels more than properly sees her old friend dive in to assist her, and this feels somehow right; yet so very, very wrong.
"JOHNNY!" She screams, frantically, in warning, the darkness releasing her as it moves to ensare the true target in it's grasp. A single broad limb of power seeks to smack him backward, away from the gasping Samantha, as from behind and at each side the creeping dark upon the floor rises up in waves. They close with fearfully quick finality, threatening to all but crush Hell's seventh council member in reuniting with him. But it's not the physical form he should be concerned about.
Sammy is upon her feet in the instant at which the sides should meet the middle, her gut still open and still coated in the same ichor, now pulling away in droplets which flicker toward Johnny in careless disobedience to gravity. No matter what he does, she has decided on her own course of action, and a hazy field of pale blue begins to emerge around her. At her feet, prickles of blue-white fire flare up in response. She draws in a deep breath, and is just about ready to act...
His eyes going from white to red, the maniac's scream of shock becomes a scream of rage as his form begins to fade in an attempt to simply 'phase' away from this nightmare trying to bind him. After all... Samantha's not the only one here who's technically dead. A red pentagram burns to life on the back of one hand as his other significant recent change boils to the surface - the powers of being on the Hell Council. Flames dance around him trying to burn anything that's not Johnny is attempted to be fed to the fires. Will it work has yet to be seen...
Samantha freezes in place, her fingers ceasing the faint motions they had begun to make, as she watches this violent change come over the maniac. It's all too reminiscent of the past... and for the first time she realises what is happening, understands the power that has surged from her. She has fought it before; she has defeated it before, and more than once. In a life so very long past. In a life that was not her own.
Fire cuts her distant reminiscence short. The very flames of Hell greet not just her vision, but the deepest and most finely attuned of her senses. Before them the darkness appears to retreat, loosing a very loud and literal shriek as it streams away from Johnny and collects in a loose half-sphere about the park. There should not be so much - Sammy could not have contained it - and yet there it lies, battered by Hellsfire and somehow standing strong. The single scream becomes a multitude, the voice of every soul taken by the daggers and the demon that preceded them. The black shudders and balks, then begins to drift forward.
At first it is nearly imperceptible, but it soon increases to a rush, darts of ebon foulness hurtling back toward the figures on the ground. The fire follows, heeding its master's bidding to seek out and destroy that which should not be. Deprived of a vessel, the ichor strives to return to the only safe haven it has known in decades. It is fast, and it is tenacious for all that it lacks the solid foundation backing the maniac's own powers.
Meanwhile, still holding firm before her ballistic friend, the catgirl has allowed her newly-acquired survival instinct to take control, and she lies deep in focus. The orb around her flashes now in a steady rhythm - a bubble of liquid film reflecting the surging fire and flame. It shields the heat, but has not prevented the flow of those black energies, and it does not prevent them now as they turn as one and slip like fluid, razor-sharp stilettoes into her bared stomach. The ancient wound begins to close even as Johnny's counter-attack moves in...
"Stop!" Samantha gasps out, widening her eyes upon the maniac, strengthening her magic with a violent surge of inner effort that causes the surrounding sphere to tighten, the surface rearing up in a myriad of small waves. Her fingers twitch with delirious speed, but her gaze remains locked and imploring. "I can control it, Johnny, I've /been/ controlling it..."
Johnny unthinkingly redraws his dagger and holds it at the ready. The flames around him dying down as quickly as they came. Panting for breath he glares one eye at Samantha, the other wide and confused. "Alright... you wanna tell me what the fuck that is...?" In the space in which he leaves his question in the air to be answered one can watch the expression on his face change as his brain fully puts things together and he finally comes to grasp that important fact that even his subconcious knew from the start.
Johnny flails a moment before exclaiming, "SAMANTHA?!?!?! I THOUGHT YOU WHERE DEAD!!?!?!" Yep, there it goes. The final cog in place the wheel starts turning again. Decades of self doubt and lies suddenly reawakening inside him as disbelief battles them away with the help of joy and surprise. The maniac screams a moment as it physically pains him. The darkness vanishing from his body along with that coat he loves so much. For a brief moment the maniac looks like he was when she first met him if not for the age in his eyes.
Fighting for control, he tightens the grip on his dagger and the coat returns once again as well does the other minor changes to his form that have occured since his arrival on Twisted. It's a strange sight to see, but his mental image of himself is strong and strengthened by the time he's spent in and out of his own sanity. For a second a skeleton stands before her wearing his clothes, but then even that vanishes leaving him the same way he arrived today, perhaps a little less covered in soot.
Johnny appoligizes as his mind is forced back on track, "...ow... how've ya been? Feel free to answer my question about what the fuck is going on..."
Control is something that only comes with time, and with knowledge. Samantha's admission strikes her deeply, and even as she struggles to keep back the searing agony left behind by the demon's re-entry to her being, she realises for the first time that she knew about this. That she could have stopped it. The earlier frown returns, and her gaze lingers shamefully away from Johnny as he questions her. It's an entirely different matter, however, that causes her eyes to slide shut, sudden tears boiling up from within as the entire situation hits her in the same way it hits him.
"I was," she whispers, forcing herself to lift her eyelids and turn her full attention back to her old friend. She pulls a smile out of nowhere, failing to remove the bitter edge from the expression, "You should know that better than anybody." She regrets saying it immediately, the words as good as stating it bluntly... 'you killed me'. She remembers. Like it was yesterday. As though she has seen the moment a thousand times. Because she has.
The expected sledgehammer blow of her words fails to hit, however; is instead turned against her by the transformation in the maniac. Her knees tremble, and with a grunt she relinquishes hold of the magicks around her. The sphere scatters to the floor in an ethereal pool as the first teardrops push themselves past the corners of her eyes. For all that she has gone through now, there are precious few remaining who could drive her to tears. She is not the emotional sponge that she was, parts of her hardened almost to rock by the ordeals of the past. But here, now, the tears glisten and fall...
"I thought you were dead too." The admission sounds hollow and dead in the air, her tone holding a flat note as the skeletal form remains burned into her retina. She barely registers the question that follows, until a friendly burst of consciousness kicks her between the eyes. She comes back to the present with a gasp, catching herself, hauling back on the tears. Her shoulders loosen with a roll, and her stance shifts, a semblance of the casual coming to her posture.
"Heh." A smirk, a flash of the devil-may-care girl of old. "How've I been? Do ya want the long version or the Biblical epic?" Disbelief still shines in those sapphires as they try to settle upon the face of a living friend, not the fragmented memory of a lost one. "I..." A final hesitation, followed by a peal of laughter that's more nervous than it is joyous. "I guess I could start by telling you what I know about... this." She brushes at her stomach.
"It happened a long time- a whole /lifetime/ ago. I was somebody else, then, an' I was attacked by an enemy I'd never met before. I've never seen him since either. But if I'd known then what I know now..." She cants her head to one side, tail swishing slowly behind her, "Don'tcha recognise it, Johnny? That power? It's yours. It used to be his. It used to be-" lips shape themselves around a name that should have remained forgotten, "Benedict's. I've died again since it became part of me, but then it's really a part of you, isn't it?" She smiles, and this time the expression is soft and almost friendly, "I guess when I put myself back together, I wanted to keep somethin' I remembered. Just the kinda thing I would do, right?"
Johnny stares blankly as he listens to her catch him up on things. It's certaintly not what he expected or wanted to hear and as always the need to be sarcastic becomes greater than his acceptance of what's been said to him. His eyes seem to glaze over as he ponders back through his muddled past of centuries of madness. "Hey, you remember back in Metropolis? I make a deal with a demon, we battle it out in the middle of the city, you killed me? I have a secret, Sammy." He leans forwards and snickers, "I never really recovered from that. Took me a lot of years to finally accept that, and the second I did I was thrown into Hell for all the shit I caused. You know what I realized after that? Man, I realized we led some pretty fucked up lives." He grins. That bastard.
Walking slowly around the girl and watching that wound he ponders what the next best thing to do for her would be... "Hell, look at it this way: You killed me... I killed you... we're even right?" He forces a laugh as he shakes his head slowly, his pace putting him face to face with her again. "I can't leave you like this. Do you have any ideas how to get that out of you for good?"
The tides of time have given Terry Bogard's wayward daughter a humility she never had when she was younger. She feels able to look back on herself and address her mistakes for they were, and what they are; mistakes and nothing more. There's very little guilt at her more poorly-informed actions, nor shame at the decisions she made to endanger herself time and again. She feels this knowing even that many of those judgements were made for purely selfish reasons, but that their impact on others was and remains deep indeed. Perhaps this is all only an evolution of her arrogance, because as Johnny speaks she feels a sudden flare of outrage.
Buckling the sensation in, keeping it to her breast, she watches him pace and ultimately stop. And then, she takes his last question like a slap to the face. A snort of breath escapes via the nose as Samantha takes a step forward, a fist clenching unbidden at her hip.
"Leave me 'like this'? Like what? Haunted by the apparitions of your past, by something you agreed to do so you'd have more power? Don't you /dare/ tell me I hurt you when I did what I did! Only one of us acted for ourselves, Johnny C." She tears into his name like a hunk of jerky, ripping it from her lungs with venom that would surprise her were she not so rooted in heartfelt pain. "/You/ made a deal with a demon, and /I/ was /forced/ to take up reins I couldn't control because some mystical hussy decided my boots fit her best!"
"Bastard," she spits, taking a chance to breathe and spinning away from the maniac in the process. She doesn't care about his self-proclaimed guardianship of Hell - not now - nor about the danger she could place herself in by stepping up to a being who summoned what she just saw. This is about friendship, trust and betrayal. What's a fifth death anyway? Folding her arms about her midriff, she glares sidelong at the judger of punishments, remembering a night so long ago... a night when he first received that title...
"So this is how you judge me, huh? Just another vessel to be cut open. I'm not your damn enemy, /NNY/! I never was. I loved you! I put my life in your hands, gave myself completely because I trusted you more than I trusted myself. Despite what anyone else thought! In spite of the /world/!" Her lip curls, and her eyes have reddened considerably where she holds back further tears, burns them away with the heat of anger. "Yeah, we led 'fucked up lives'. An' now the very thing you chose to accept is comin' back to you through me. You wanna let me deal with it, you wanna let me protect you again, or are ya gonna slice me apart just to let it out?"
She raises her chin, breathing in hard exhalations, "Make yer mind up."
Johnny stares blankly if not emotionlessly as she rants. Only the wideness of his eyes showing reaction as she yells. As she finishes he slowly tilts his head to the side letting out a careless, "...huh." The maniac's at a loss for words for a change and his mouth opens and closes several times as he tries to find the right words to use to respond but finds none. Eventually he rubs his forehead as if to lessen the mental strain and promptly sits down on the ground before her.
With a deep breath he finally begins to speak. "Wow... I know it's been a good number of years on my end, y'know with getting stuck on Chronos for CENTURIES... but... wow. Have I really been so screwed up in the head all the years that I missed something really important or something because I'm really lost here." He starts counting on his fingers as he attempts to trace his steps over the decades. "Alright, so I swore I'd protect YOU to your Dad, right? After I fucked up and all and you riteously smeared my ass across the street when I was convinced you'd betrayed me. We stood together against Captain Spooky-pants and his miracle grow diet... aaaand, then I got tossed off world by the little bitch who crawled up your ass because I was" his voice drips with annoyance, "DANGEROUS... I spend a few hundred lifetimes trapped on Chronos with Emi until I become CONVINCED you don't exist, I find my way to Twisted, see myself KILL YOU AGAIN, because I did so when I was thrown out of Metropolis, or so I thought... then Caliga gets in my head and rewrites everything so his fucking ass can run around with my memories because the dipshit wouldn't let my wastelock do what it was ment to do... then, oh, and this gets good.. I become a slave to ANOTHER demon because she convices me she's you!!"
At this point Johnny rises to his feet, his voice getting louder with each word. "I nearly KILL everyone still alive I care about, finally come to my senses and help kill the bitch. They give me HER seat on the Hell Council - OH BUT YOU WANT TO GO ON SOME RANT ABOUT PROTECTING -ME-!?!?" Johnny spits as he yells the last word, wiping his mouth afterwards on the back of his still gloved hand. "AND NOW! /NOW/ YOU WANT TO GIVE ME SHIT FOR BEING CONCERNED WITH SOME FUCKING DEMON SPAWN SHIT LIVING INSIDE YOU!?!!? FUUUUUCK!!!!!!"
He pants for a few seconds before adding, "...you keep this shit up and I'll take back the offer for a burrito I was about to make to you..."
Nothing quite takes the wind out of a crazy person's sails than making them realise they're the last person who can claim to be stark raving bonkers. As Johnny embarks on his countering rant, Samantha starts out with the same challenging anger scrawled across her features. Very rapidly, it begins to fade to nonplussed uncertainty, and then what would be outright confusion if she did not understand this individual perhaps better than anybody else ever has. With slow blinks of widened blue eyes, she absorbs the entire tirade, attempting to wrap her head around the huge leaps of comprehension she's forced to make...
She fails abysmally, and by the time her dearly departed friend is finished and panting, she feels just about as tired of the entire argument. Ever so slowly, a wry grin ekes it's way across her features, pulling at weary lips and forcing a cool breeze through a brain hot and hungry for some kind of grasp on the situation. She'd almost forgotten what it feels like to grasp insanity by the horns and cling on for the ride. Sometimes, maturity and sound logical reasoning are vastly overrated character traits. Sammy breathes a long, lazy sigh, her cheeks puffing out as she continues to gaze upon the maniac.
"Okay," she manages after several more moments, "This ain't gonna go anywhere until we both get caught up with one another." Lifting a hand, she scritches idly at an ear, brushing back a few strands of silky hair as she rolls her shoulder toward the park gates. "How about that burrito? We'll talk this over... then come back to rip each other to pieces later..."
Johnny grins that manic grin of his and relaxes as if literally a huge weight has been taken off his shoulders. "Good! Awesome! That's the sanest thing I've heard said all day!" He runs his hand through his hair and adds, "...and that's saying alot too. This morning I'm screaming at the Devil for several hours because he's being a wuss... now I'm screaming at you. I need to eat something, damnit." He guestures towards Twisted Street and away from the park, letting her start walking before matching her pace. "The only reason I sneak out of Hell is for burritos. That should totally be an advertisement for the UR..."
Samantha returns the grin with another, smaller one of her own. For all the suffering they've been through, and despite the years of unresolved issues between them, she has to admit it feels good to see her psychopathic comrade again. The flood of memories is still almost too much to bear - and if truth be told she still carries that weight, both on her shoulders and in the tightly wound coil of evil power stored within her centre. But it's a little easier to stand tall when you're not alone; first she found Xue, and now she's found perhaps the most important person of all... because all those issues? They need to be resolved.
For now, though, she allows herself a light and breezy laugh, quite naturally falling into step with Johnny and almost unconsciously slipping an arm through his. She doesn't even think that he wouldn't allow her to do it, and how many people could possibly claim that? Yeah. It feels good. "So, Lord of the Demon Cities, huh? How's that workin' out for ya?"
...but never let it be said that 'good' and 'weird' can't be one and the same...