|Who wants burritos!?|
You walk into a very large restaurant with high ceilings that leave the rafters exposed. Fluorescent lamps hang from the ceiling, adding light to the place and tables. Windows adorn the sides of the place, looking out onto the chaos that is Twisted. On some of the walls are paintings, photographs, and some holograms of different B-movies, and a number of people who tend to visit the UR as they're singing karaoke. The hardwood bar rests at the back of the place, it's surface polished and shiny and all together spotless (most of the time). Behind the bar are various beverages that are served and a giant mirror. There seems to be an inordinate amount of different drinks. A large stage rests in one of the corners of the restaurant, with an amazing sound system and a few microphones strung about it. Multiple round wood tables are in the room, and a swing door leads into the kitchen. Another door leads to the dance club, and another to the gym. And of course, there's an exit to the outside. A large fireplace rests in one of the walls, with a beautiful stone chimney that flows up and out. A long spiral staircase rests near the entrance to the kitchen, leading to a second floor balcony that overlooks the UR itself. The lights up there are a bit dimmer than those down below.
Johnny barges into the room, his robotic eyes gleeming. "BUUURR-IIIII-TOOOOO!!!!" No, wait... that's GIR. Gir's not here. Johnny is and he casually strolls into the room, catgirl in tow. His coat whisping around behind him as he leaps onto a barstool and knocks on the counter. "Two buritos por favor!" The poor woman behind the counter dressed in a sailor fuku with a nametag reading 'Nelly Pamalla Christopher' groans as all random barkeeps do in the UR and sends the order to the kitchen, trying to keep as much distance between the two as possible.
Said catgirl is less 'in tow' and more like 'attached', right up until Johnny pitches himself onto a barstool. Her arm slips back from his as she rises rather more gracefully into the neighbouring seat, performing a hop from raised heels that is almost dainty. Almost. The effect is somewhat ruined as she immediately rests an elbow on the counter and claps cheek to upturned palm. In the process, a quick smile is shot to the barmaid - as if to prove that she, at least, is nice and well-adjusted.
Hey, it's not like she's barging in through the door hurling chi blasts and kunai... like she /used/ to do when she lived right across the street from the place...
For all NNY's enthusiasm, as her eyes slip lazily back across to him, Samantha still holds herself somewhat in reserve. It's subtle, but there are still a thousand questions to be asked, and the heated nature of their 'discussion' just a few minutes ago still weighs at the back of her mind. She's still smiling though, raising her eyebrows as she quips, "Y'know, for a High Lord Regent of the Sixth Layer of Hell you don't make the most dramatic of entrances. Wouldn't the Dark Master be a little peeved at your performance?"
Devi strides in the door, her black trenchcoat flowing out widly behind her. She looks to the rafters first as her top lip flinches. Looks like the Prinniys have been at her again. When she lowers her eyes and sees the pair set up at the bar, she smiles slightly and sits on a stool down from them. "Well, I'm glad to see you are alive and well Sammy. Hey Johnny, how's hell going for ya?"
Johnny blinks at Samantha's question and laughs, "Well... to be fair, you saw me stumbling out after getting blown up. It's sorta hard to do that all dramaticly." He sounds like he's goign to say something else, but Devi's entrance cuts him off. "HEY! DEVI!!! Look who I found!!" He smiles idiotically like a child who's opened his Christmas presents before anyone has woken up yet. As the moment passes he yells at Miss N.P.C."THREE BURRITOS!" He grins again. "And... um... I'm doing okay!" The humor vanishes and his voice drops to one almost too serious, "Word of advice... Wacky is not a compliment to the Joker and his girlfriend when the two are on vacation in Hell... we've lost half of the city of Dis - so you might have to wait a bit before I give you that tour." His mood seems to sour, at least until he remembers who he's here with and smirks again. "I really thought this was gonna be a bad day! Maybe I'm being rewarded for chewing out Satan somehow."
Sammy's fighter sense begins to tingle just before Devi opens the door, and she's glanced around well before the other woman notices her. She blinks rapidly, barely taking in Johnny's reply as she recalls her last meeting with Devi. What the hell can she say when she doesn't even know the why's and wherefore's hersel--- But then, the train of thought derails, leaving the catgirl open-mouthed. Devi knows...?
"I..." She begins to respond to Devi before she's caught up with the flow, her posture loosening after a moment as she pulls out a weary smirk, "Seem to have a bit of trouble with the whole 'dead' thing. But I'm good, thanks. Nice to see ya." She means it, but it's a little hard to commit fully to the sentiment right now. Rolling her gaze back to Johnny, brow quirked questioningly, she has to wonder if everybody know what's going on except her. At least her dear maniac doesn't know /her/ full story yet. Ha! One up on the situation!
"Don't reckon y'remember me properly, NNY," she murmurs with a laugh uttered beneath her breath, "Can't think of a time we got through a whole day without it turnin' bad." Lifting a hand to her head, she idly twirls at a bang of air, finally finding her rhythm again and flashing a wide, careless grin, "As I recall, the trick is in findin' the bad things fun. Speaking of..."
A glance goes to Devi, along with a pointing finger, "How'd you two meet back up? Last time I spoke to you, Mr. Prince of Hell was missing presumed dead..."
Devi speaks briefly to the barkeep, "Cola please." Turning back to Johnny, she says, "Oh good, I'll keep that in mind if I ever see him again. Wacky is the -best- way to greet someone." She grins impishly."I'll skip the tour too, if you don't mind, I've already seen Hell and got my t-shirt. Devi frowns at Sammy. "Dead thing?" She shakes her head, moving on. "He popped up out of a Rock and we started talking." To normal people that might sound crazy, but to this trio maybe it's not that far fetched."
Johnny ponders that heavily... "Hey, everyone told me that the getting mad for the wacky thing was just me. I took a chance. Clowns are wacky, right?" He doesn't wait for an answer, "...wait, was it a rock? Eh, close enough." The maniac grins once more, for a moment. His grin falls and he's left pondering again. "Wait... never? We never had a good day?" His brow wrinkles as he wracks his tired brain around the question. "Well there was that one tim-um, no. Tried to kill you. Um... maybe when-um... no, that was while I was dead. Huh."
"Oh!" Samantha starts as she sees Devi place her order. Once the politically incorrect waitress is done fetching that drink, the catgirl catches her attention with a cant of the head and an upraised hand. Baring her teeth in a wiiiide grin, she all but chirps, "Strawberry Italian soda, please!" ...and look at that, her tail flicks back and forth as she kicks her feet like an excited child. Ahh, nostalgia.
"Never," she murmurs, turning back to Johnny without a particular darkening of her mood. She shakes her head briskly, but then visibly pauses, suggesting with an upraised brow: "Unless it was the day we met. Y'know, I don't actually /remember/ how we met. But it probably went bad somewhere along the line..."
She tails off with a shrug and glances across to Devi, "He popped out of a rock? That's a new one. Was there any dark energy? Did he cut the rock open with a knife? Did it bleed? Because right now this sounds more like Chinese mythology." She pauses, flickers her gaze up and down Devi, then frowns, looking concerned for a moment, "You're okay though? Things did go crazy here. I wouldn't say it's over yet, but if you need anything..."
Johnny laughs at Devi, "Maybe you just need to find the right guy to try and kill you because a styrofoam display stand told him he needed to preserve the moment." No wait, that's not funny. Someone better laugh because now he's pouting a little. "Damn. WHERE'S MY BURRITO!?!?" Poor, poor barkeep.
It almost goes unnoticed, that name. A lot of time has passed, and most things have been consolidated into the mists of ages gone. But that doesn't mean the deep wounds have faded entirely, and after a few seconds of quiet, after Devi has bemoaned her lifestyle and Johnny has bemoaned his lack of burrito... Sammy just quietly speaks.
"Whose soul?" Her eyes settle evenly on Devi. She's not entirely sure she wants an answer.
Devi nods her thanks to the Barkeep as her soda is passed to her and she takes a long drink. She eyes Johnny as he screams at the barkeep. Devi looks up at Sammy as she asks her speaks, her face open and innocent due to the fact that she doesn't really know the story behind Samantha and Sun, only Tabitha. "Sun. Sun's soul." Devi doesn't see what the big deal it.
Johnny wiiinces as it all comes together. "Hoo-boy." He wraps his fingers on the bartop. "Umm... Devi? eh-heh.. Samantha here used to.. uh.. be an item with Sun for... a long while..." He sorta leans back and stares at the celing waiting for something to disrupt the akwardness. "...and Sun kinda went insane, after a bit. Uhh... maybe a little my fault too. Then we made Tabitha an' Devi and Sun started fighting... um." YES! The food!! He lunges forwards shoving his meal in his mouth quickly so he can't speak anymore. "Mmphmmmphummphhum..." So much for that 'good day' thing, huh?
"An 'item'?" It's spoken just as quietly, as Samantha continues to stare levelly at Devi, digesting the words spoken by the friend beside her. "We were in love, as deeply as I knew at the time I could be in love with anyone. But it was a long time ago." She sounds as though she's convincing herself more than anyone; and she now stares into her own soul more than she sees Devi. "A very long time ago." She takes and releases a long, slow breath, eyelids closing as she straightens her posture, stretching her back and shoulders. A hand strays to her abdomen, gripping for a moment with rather alarming tightness before she suddenly opens her eyes.
"I'm sorry for whatever she did to you." For all that the words are hollow, Sammy maintains her composure, her gaze tearless and focused. "But..." a frown cuts into her brow. She swallows tighly. "If there's anything left, I'd like you to give it to me. Please." Managing a faint smile, she softens her demand with a disarming shrug of the right shoulder, "Never had a chance to say goodbye."
Without removing her attention fully from Devi, she spares a glance for Johnny, directing her next words to the maniac. "So this 'Tabby' y'were talkin' about. She some kind of substitute me? Another clone? Whatever she or it is, you almost got away with it..."
Devi takes a deep breath while her mind pitches itself against... itself. Why is it everyone is after Sun's Soul? Part of Devi wants to be like she was before and casually and coldly dismiss it. But Sammy has been very nice to her, almost a friend. Devi takes a long drink as she thinks for a second. Devi avid wishes that she could just shove her face and avoid answering. Johnny's remarks had her going towards shoving the subject under the rug and moving forward so as to not hurt Sam's feelings. But Samantha's openess voided that option. Setting her glass down, she makes eyecontact with Sam and tries to mantain it with her as she speaks. "I like you Samantha, I think you're real swell, but I'm sorry. I have to tell you the same thing I told Bran. No. I'm sorry for your loss." Devi's eyes convey her sincerity and her firmness on not letting her prize go.
The akward moment got more akward, joy. Johnny's burrito seems to be becoming more and more unappetising. Chewing the bite in his mouth longer than he'd like he listens to Devi's response before chiming in and turning any anger towards himself. "Um. Tabitha. Yeah. Sun wanted you back, like... baddly... and I may have implied I could do it. So I used that old trick of making a shadow puppet, right? But I put my heart and soul in it, and she dumped her magic in it and well.. it was kinda like having you back, but not. She only knew what I remembered of you and it wasn't right." He drops the burrito leaving it half-eaten. "She didn't want to be you because she had my brain in her mind too. I guess she freaked out and someone made her younger so she didn't look as much like you... and... well... I kinda took out my frustrations on her. I didn't want to hurt her, but I had to get away from her..." He pushes the plate away from him and drops his head on the counter top so he doesn't have to look at anyone. "...and I kinda tossed her out of Twisted with one of the daggers to protect her. That's sorta why I figured you where her when I saw you."
Samantha doesn't make the eye contact any harder on Devi than it has to be. She's not stupid. She can read the answer before it comes, and then her second thought at hearing Sun's name comes screaming back... the second of a pair; to hear or not to hear. A violent convulsion starts in her gut, but does not make it to the rest of her body as the emotion and it's physical effect is thrust deep, into the dark and lonely place in the attic of the mind. Why would anybody want Sun's soul? Anybody but her? There are answers she could dredge from the past. But it doesn't matter.
"Okay." It's all she says in response, dipping her chin in a faint nod. She's unable to fight the ash from her face - drained as it has of all colour, but she can turn away, and she listens to Johnny's explanation without reaction. Instead, she reaches around for the soda left behind by the barmaid, taking apparent interest in flicking at the ice cream floater with her straw before drawing several tentative sips. By the time she's done, so is the maniac, and still she makes no contact with his eyes or his face...
She hums briefly, and sets the soda down, nudging it gently back along the bar.
"Don't think I like sweet stuff so much any more." Her head lifts, and with both hands she reaches for her hair, keeping her attention far from either NNY or Devi as she takes her time yanking out the folded fan keeping the silken strands in place. Brushing and lightly tugging with her fingers, she adjusts the whole arrangment, putting it back together without a hair in place. A few seconds in, she has begun to speak again...
"You never knew about what I did with Alex and Tsubasa, coz at the time I was in more than one place. You, me, Cassandra, and Benedict, we had our little back-and-forth battle whilst all of this was goin' on. Don't ask me how that works. I still haven't figured that part out, 'cept that I can tell ya more than one somebody seems to want me alive and kicking. It's a long story, what we did, but what it comes down to..." Her she pauses, finishing up her work and thrusting the fan home before she now, finally, looks at her old friend. Her sapphire eyes gleam faintly with reminiscence, and aside from this she remains almost completely emotionless.
"What it comes down to is that someone decided I'd be the perfect model for an army. A whole horde o' little Sammy Li-Bogards, all at least as tough as me an' all cute as buttons. But y'know what? I didn't take that insult lying down. I huffed an' I puffed like so much of a wolf my pop'd be proud," she smiles, a cold and deadly gesture directed at the past, "I took the whole house apart. Killed thousands. Most of those were /me/, and more than a few hadn't even been born yet. I tried to save one - just one - to prove I wasn't a horrible person..."
"...because the people that did that, the people who could /ever/ do somethin' like that, are the worst people of all. Life isn't a game, Johnny, and I'd think everything we'd been through should have taught you that. We're all responsible to each other. Some die because we go to war, and that's bad enough, but to create a life solely to please yourself - for yer own profit?" She nods slowly, drumming her fingers against the bartop as she looks suddenly away, blood throbbing in her veins, "It's sick. You might've had more mercy than me in the end, but how do you think 'Tabby' feels? Answer me that."
Devi goes back to sucking her soda as she watches Sammy, her eyes flickin back towards Johnny as he reacts. She kinda feels back for telling Samantha no, but at least Sammy isn't vowing to cut her nose to navel for it. That's something. Left watching the two, she opts to not offer that she technically killed one of the Tabby clones in a fight with Sun. There must have been more then one, but the one she offd did look quite nice having exploded from concrete.
Johnny doesn't lift his head off the bartop. He doesn't want to see the reactions on people's faces. "I know I screwed up. She shouldn't have been made in the first place and once she was I... I just... I couldn't let a piece of you die. I was set to destroy everything at that point. I'm NOT a good person. I've never claimed to be. I've done some pretty horrible, awful things in my life. Things with salad tongs that still make me shudder when I think about them. I've murdered people who didn't deserve it, I've helped people who've murdered others. I deserved going to Hell even if they didn't even want me there. I won't make excuses."
Unable to keep his head down anymore, Johnny pushes himself off the bar finally and only briefly glances at the two sitting around him before continuing. "The only thing I can say redeems me right now is that for once in my life I don't have a choir of voices in my head telling me what's right and what's wrong. I don't have lawn furnature telling me how they'd be warmer with someone's skin stitched over them. That's why it's horribly ironic that I ended up in the position I'm in now where I'm actually expected to decide how horrible people should spend the rest of their lives suffering because I've suffered enough for GENERATIONS of people."
Johnny stops but only to catch his breath and collect his thoughts. Normally he doesn't pause when he rants. Clearly he's putting a lot of thought into this. "Tabby was like the best parts of me mixed with how I remembered you. She's not an animal. She's a good person. One of the few. If she stayed she'd have become something else. Besides, she's better at using these damn daggers than I am. That's why I gave her the other one when I tossed her out. I figure if she feels she wants to she can find her way back. At least then a part of you is still alive somewhere, even if it's just a memory..." He sighs and looks over at Samantha finally with a shrug. "I guess that's a moot point with you sitting here now." Well duh.
Her fingers continue to beat a tattoo on the unyielding surface, but the rhythm begins to slow as Johnny continues talking, until eventually she sits in silence. Her chest rises and falls as occasional breaths are taken, sharp and short but deep. Unless Devi breaks the flow, the maniac is left to carry on uninterrupted. Samantha continues to look unhappy; angry even, until the last, when she drops her head, twin sweeps of hair closing her features from view.
And then it begins, slowly at first, with a snort of violently contained amusement. Then a giggle that would sound gleeful under any other circumstance... and within seconds the time-stricken catgirl is laughing from the belly, one hand lifting to press against her forehead as tears stream from her eyes and she all but collapses against the bar for support. She carries on for perhaps two full minutes, ultimately gaining control after a collection of highly undignified grunts and sniffles. When she looks around, her face is a mess, strands of hair stuck to damp, flushed skin... it's a small favour she doesn't wear any make-up.
"Oh god," she hisses out, shaking her head back and forth as she frantically wipes at her features with both sides of each hand. "We're idiots!" That exclamation derives another quick giggle, forced away with a loud clearing of her throat. Tucking her remussed hair around her feline ears, she settles back in her stool with a sigh, looking between NNY and Devi both. Finally, settling upon him.
"You've got a job working for Satan, an' I'm supposed to be surprised you've done a lot of bad shit... /I/ just spent what felt like years suffering in your workplace bein' punished for crimes I know damn well I committed and here /I/ am taking the high horse. Bad people? Evil? Bastards?" She barks out a short laugh this time, and jerks a thumb up at herself. "If we're judged by our punishments, I must be one o' the worst! And /you/!" She thrusts the same hand at Johnny now, letting her palm slap against his shoulder none too lightly. "Whining! Apologising! Is this how demons operate? I think ya gotta check yer job description, Johnny..."
Swallowing another guffaw, she reaches for her soda and takes a desperate gulp, wrinkling her nose afterwards, "Baka... both of us..."
Devi sits back, her lips tightly gripping her straw as she sips her drink some more. "This is healthy." She nods like she knows what she's talking about, but then she's gone through it before. She doesn't offer anything else to the conversation right now though, as this feels like it's been in the making before she even came around to Twisted...
Johnny's face goes from looking hurt to looking embarrased. Then to top it off he steals her angry mood right as it leaves her. "Fuck off." He sulks. "I try to be human for a minute and look where it get me." Snatching the burrito back off the plate he munches off another bite of it, taking out his aggressions on his food. As soon as it's gone he grumbles again. "Fuck it. I don't care. No more judging me if your gonna laugh at me. I'm the one who's supposed to be doing the judging." He glances at Devi and points a finger in her direction. "Same goes to you. I've done my time. I'm due a few fuck ups. At least I can put that shit behind me when it comes time to get my shit together."
Samantha lets Johnny say his piece, but she barely moves - aside from rolling her gaze back toward him, tears of mirth still visible in those ethereal depths, but a certain amount of softening goes with them. She continues her own speech as though she hadn't missed a beat.
"...But despite that, I'm sorry. You might've killed me once, but you weren't the only one. And you didn't choose to tear half my soul away an' leave me stranded on a brave new world." Not that she's mentioned that part just yet. She leaves it for now, reaching against for Johnny's shoulder, this time to settle her hand and squeeze gently. "If I'm gonna go away, I gotta take responsibility for those I care about. I didn't; whether I could or not, I /didn't/."
She glances heavenward, breathing out slowly, and smiles. "We probably should it call quits. I'll stop blamin' you if you stop apologisin' to me." She tries to catch her old friend's eye, and offers her hand, curled for a warrior's grip. "Deal?"
Devi arches an eyebrow at Nny. "Watch where you're pointing that finger. I havn't judged anyone and I'm in full knowledge that I'm in no position to. I didn't laugh at you and neither did she. When shit hits the fan Johnny boy, my shit is very together, so you can just go somewhere with that finger and you're accusations." Sammy may be willing to play nice, but Devi refuses to let Johnny speak to her that way and just let it go. She worked her ass off to try and save him and where she may have not done much good, her heart was in it. At least Devi kept herself calm enough to not cuss. Which is a once in a life time thing, we're sure.
Johnny simply arches an eyebrow back at Devi as she counters. In his mind he was partly being sarcastic. "I didn't SAY you where judging me. I'm just... pfft." The maniac shakes his head. "No more appoligising. No more blaming unless it's riteously deserved because we're probably already killing ourselves over it." He shakes Samantha's hand if it's still offered. "But no more dropping off the face of the Earth without a 'see ya later' first." Yeah... that's fair, right?
"Hey," Samantha replies with a broad grin, firmly gripping Johnny's hand before she retracts her own, "Next time a divine power tries to manipulate my astral form against my will, I'll /kick their ass/. That's a P-R-O-M-I-S-E." She gives a firm nod and turns to the bar, ping-ponging her gaze between NNY and Devi.
"So I think this might be the first time I've ever said this but..."
"Does anyone else need a /real/ drink?"
Devi's glass vanishes. "Real drinks sound good. Real good." She nods and stands up, her hands automatically thrust in to her coat pockets. "Nny, why don't you lead the way?"
Johnny scoffs. "Like I know where to get drunk? Do I look like I drink?" He stands and adjusts his coat, "Eh, fuck it. To the Red Light District! There's gotta be something there worth checkng out..."