|Let me ask you a favor...|
As you enter the building you are instantly assaulted with offensive waiting room music. The kind that makes you wonder if it wasn't created specifically for the purpose of sucking out one's will to live. An appropriate thing for a place like this. There are no signs describing what the room is a waiting room for. The receptionist is always busy, and the only door that's not the exit seems to be locked at all times. Occasionally someone will come in from outside and walk through that door letting out a disturbing red light and a destinct uncomfortable presence. Along the walls of this room are several long benches with some horrible magazines stacked atop them. Articles about what color socks are popular in Cuba and things you can cook with salt seem to make up the headlines. There are always people randomly scattered about here, some reading magazines, some looking blankly into space. None of them will speak to you. In fact, most will 'shhh' you if you start making too much noise. There's a purpose for this room, right?
Johnny kicks open the locked door and tugs at the collar of his coat. As the door begins to reclose on it's own, a loud *SMACK* is heard followed by a woman's loud whining. "Owwwwwww!!! You're supposed to hold a door open for a lady!" Johnny looks back in confusion as Tenna walks out of Hell carrying her luggage. "Sure. Sure. And when you find one let me know. A 'Lady' doesn't run around Hell squeaking toys at demons and generally almost causing a bigger ruckus than the Joker did because no one could touch her." He sighs and runs his hands through his hair. "Anyways, welcome back to the land of the living." Tenna squeeks Spooky happily and skips out the door, her luggage swaying in her arms wildley and nearly decapitating a few random people on the way out. Johnny shakes his head slowly. "Oooooh, she's gonna get an ear-full when Devi hears about this."
Samantha has spent several minutes lurking around the concealed entranceway to Hell - barely making it a step beyond the door with each aborted attempt at setting foot in the waiting room. What has turned her back? Anxiety? Trepidation? Fear? Not entirely. Her very first footfall caused a loud creak to emit from the poorly carpeted floor, a sound almost deafening in the silence, and a half dozen glassy-eyed heads all turned to stare at her. It was unnerving. It was discomfiting. It was downright uncivil. The catgirl can deal with adversity, and even outright terror. She can deal with most things at this point. But it turns out there's more than one reason she has never visited a doctor, a dentist or a hospital. Samantha Li-Bogard can walk through Hell, but she has a crippling phobia of the typical waiting room. Luckily, there is always somebody who has a bigger problem... even if their own issue is a little removed from the one at hand. As Tenna flies through the door, leaving it swinging wildly upon its hinges, she barely misses the obsessively pacing Sammy. With a soft 'eep', the nekojin flows around the oncoming blur, all but bending over backward as she simultaneously sidesteps. A gloved hand whips out to catch the door on it's outward swing, and she is able - thanks to her attention still being mostly on the rather alarming, retreating form of Tenna - to step inside the room without hesitation. But eventually her senses make her aware of the situation, and she realises the door has swung shut. She is a good dozen feet into the room by this point, and her eyes are practically bulging out of her head when her frantic gaze finds Johnny. She musters a smile, weak and strained as it is. "H-Hey, just the guy I was lookin' for... how's, er, things? Who was the c-crazy girl?"
Johnny grins as he spots Samantha's briefly crazed moment. Her resemblance to a 'normal' cat so overwhelming for those few seconds that he almost misses her question. "Hey-um-oh! That was Tenna. Devi's friend. She'd asked me to go find her after something with some guy who tried to kidnap her. Apparently Diablo was involved somehow and... eh. I dunno. All I know is she pissed off a lot of demons and nearly had 'Pinhead' out looking for her. I figured I should just kick her out before anything worse happened." Casting a glance back to double-check that the door closed on it's own, Johnny guestures for the exit and begins to walk towards it. "So... you where looking for me? What's up?"
Well, Samantha's tail is flicking back and forth behind her... a certain sign of her irritation at being in this place. She's as much surprised by it as anyone, and tries to keep a positive outlook about the experience - this is a challenge. She likes challenges. Obstacles are things to be overcome. Remembering this is going to be key to getting out of here without incident. But this takes something away from her listening ability, and she just vaguely nods at Johnny's reply, taking it in with half a catlike ear. "That sounds like fun." She replies, tone as non-commital as to be expected from somebody who has no idea how to respond. "She seemed, uh... nice. Fast. Little bit on edge." Is she talking about Tenna now or simply reeling off whatever words come into her mind? After one last darting gaze about the room, she throws Johnny another desperate smile and falls into step behind him. Relief begins to surface almost immediately once she can focus upon the approaching door. "Up?" Yes, she heard that part. "Oh. Well, I've been w-working on that ability I told you about, and there's something I really wanna t-try. If you don't mind? I mean, I don't mind if you're busy or-" she cuts herself off, and draws a slow breath, composing herself and bringing her voice under control. "Can we step out of here? It's kinda hard to focus."
Johnny's grin widens and unexpectantly he snickers a little as he opens the door for the Nekojin-Demi-Human-catgirl... thing. "Sure, sure. Y'know I have to ask, do you go to a hospital or a vet 'cause right now it's sorta hard to tell." Giving a maniacal grin he follows her outside letting yet another door close or stand open on it's own. "I'd love to see you having to get a shot. I bet you'd claw the shit outta someone." He laughs at himself as he walks towards Twisted Street assuming his friend to follow behind. "...so what're we doing? I'm pretty much good for whatever."
Samantha wrinkles her nose at the comment, reaching up to scratch at the back of her head - taking very noticeable care to resist the urge for the hand to continue around to one ear. "I dunno. Do vets have places like that? It's so quiet, and forbidding. And that /smell/. Makes me think someone's gonna grab me and put something up my- uh." She stops dead, lips forming a little 'o' and eyes widening. A faint blush ripples across her cheeks; something she tries to cover for with an unconvincing cough as she resumes following Johnny. "Look. Don't mention this to anyone, okay?" Not that there are many people he could mention it to. Who is he going to tell? His boss? She cringes faintly. That would actually be quite embarassing. Giving a quick shake of her head, she shrugs the last few minutes off and hops into a quick two-step sprint, pulling alongside the maniac and glancing at him sidelong. "Are you sure you're good for anything? I need you to do somethin' pretty major to me. You game?" She raises an eyebrow questioningly. Did she just say 'to' and not 'for'? She certainly appears serious. Very serious, in fact.
Johnny laughs. "Yeah. Hell's Waiting Room is pretty deliberately crafted to look like a hospital or veterenary waiting room. It's SUPPOSED to make you look uneasy..." He nods his head as she asks him to keep quiet about it, even though he's actually storing that bit of information for later. Who knows, right? That might come in handy some day. Her next question confuses him, making him stop mid-stride and tilt his head sideways. "Wait.. you need me to what? Um... sure? ...I guess?"
Good friends don't keep blackmail material on their friends. It's fortunate that Sammy never inherited Sun's ability to forget a mental link, or she'd be giving her oldest and best an earful - or a brainful - right now. Instead, she nods gratefully as he gives his tentative agreement. Perhaps good friends shouldn't force their friends into agreeing to vague promises, either, but she certainly seems assured of his commitment as she explains herself... "What I need ya to do, is round up a good hefty payload of that power you've been developin' so well over the years, focus it all into one spot, and release it." She smiles, grinding to a halt and turning to face Johnny as he hopefully follows suit. A hand lifts to tap against her sternum. "That spot is /right here/. What I'm saying is; hit me with your best shot. Just energy, mind. Keep the daggers to yourself. There's something I have to try." "And I'm ninety nine percent sure you won't kill me," she adds hastily, giving a curt, businesslike nod and a wide smirk she is unable to restrain. It's almost like looking at the old Sammy Li again.
Johnny stares blankly... While he's used to the oddities that go along with friends like Samantha and normally he's okay with jumping in head-first, this one makes him pause. "Um... Iiiiiii don't know about that. I've never just 'used' it, I always had to channel it through the blade." His eyes narrow suddenly as the night he still believes happened between him and her replays for him. "...and last time I tried you went all crazy on me. Of course, I shouldn't have given you the other dagger... but still."
An eyebrow shoots up at that. Samantha leans back, folding her arms across her chest as she studies Johnny intently, a little confused as her brain makes the most logical leap it can. "Last time, I'm positive I was already crazy. It was only a few weeks ago, an' we talked about it... I explained what it was, and why. Then I told you about my little revelation. I've had a good while to practice up since then - it's not like I do much else around here - so I'm good to go. Promise." She sketches out quick a crucifix upon her chest. "Cross my heart; hope to die. Again."
Johnny lets out a deep breath and closes his eyes. Maybe if he imagines a dagger? Gripping the hilt of a nonexistant dagger tightly, he let's go within himself. Feeling everything in every pore of his body flood into that one shape, that one space, much like he does when he uses his daggers. His body turns black after a moment or two on it's own - now an automatic response as much as anything. Johnny gnashes his teeth, his eyes clinched tighter and tighter leaving him nothing but a black form with gleaming teeth showing. It's at this point that he should probably think about the fact that he's doing this without letting her know he was even starting. Or perhaps that far too often he creates weapons out of the very shadows he's channeling at the moment. Hopefully Samantha will pay attention to the chance that a dagger will form from his concentration even if he's too focused. What does cross his mind, however... is the last time he tried this. The day that gave birth to Samantha's currently lost clone. As the image of the girl's face flashes before his shut eyes he lashes out, weilding the fictional dagger downwards into the general area his friend had pointed towards. Should it connect she may see, for the briefest of moments, exactly what he was thinking of when he made her doppleganger - assuming the strike doesn't kill her first.
The youngest heir to the Bogard name has grown over the years. She has grown over recent months. Once prone to the most foolhardy errors, for all her natural skill and unnatural dedication she seemed able to miss the critical signals in even the most obvious of opponents. Not so now. Her stance deepens at the very moment Johnny's focus begins to intensity, her sneakers squeaking softly against the sidewalk as she grounds herself, body forming a circuit of flexible strength. Samantha's gaze narrows just slightly, a shallow line denting her brow as she in turn draws her power inward. Her hands drift to her hips, however, leaving her torso exposed, undefended. It could easily pass as an error of the old Li-Bogard school. But the confidence in her expression is not a brash, cocky shell - it has depth and wisdom. It is the certainty of one who has mastered themselves. The next few moments take an eternity in her mind's eye, as she feels rather than watches the maniac's mortal blow. "Syah!" She hisses out between parted lips as the ethereal dagger makes contact with her breast, drilling through weak and flimsy cloth and entering cool, taut flesh. There is no resistance beyond the first springy pressure, though a sudden shift in the catgirl's aura betrays an internal action. A split-second later, her entire frame bucks as though restraining a great force, and as a short, sharp gout of crimson explodes from her chest, she twists sharply to one side, an arm extending and striking out at the air. Darkness ripples down the limb, black tendrils tracing tricep and bicep before flowing off the forearm and down the wrist - lashing out at singular spot a few feet before the nekojin. The only sound she makes is a fierce expulsion of air, a warrior's focusing breath... But the world itself cries out. An unearthly wail somewhere between the scream of a wounded beast, and the tearing of old, dusty parchment. The darkness explodes from a pinprick in the fabric of Twisted, a pinprick which expands before Samantha's widening eyes into a curiously visceral chasm wide enough for either her or the maniac to squeeze sidelong through. It pulses with such a myriad of colour that it appears white, and empty, bleeding at the edges and gaining focus as it joins with the surrounding street. Her intent released, Sammy breathes long and deep in desperate gasps. Her legs, so firmly fixed to the floor, begin to shake and quiver beneath her. She turns wild, glazed eyes onto her old friend, ignoring the gentle drip-drip of blood from her chest as she summons a drunken smile. "I ain't dead, but I might be crazy. Can you see that?"
Johnny's eyes open and he jumps back showing obvious concern. This was a stupid idea his mind screams at him. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I only did what you-!" He trails off as he catches onto whatever the hell is going on around them. "...what the fuck is that?" As he stares into the rift he leans over, shaking Samantha's shoulder and shaking his head a moment. "...and of course your not dead. Then again... you might be. You're bound to me, remember?" He tugs on his coat rather triumphantly, tounge hanging out in the process, before once more returning his attention to the strange disturbance. "Okay... so... what the hell did we just do?"
"It's an opening." Samantha says it almost as though it should be obvious, before catching herself and releasing a short, slightly manic giggle. Shaking her head a moment after Johnny shakes her shoulder, she straightens up and finally pays some attention to her injury, laying a hand over it and applying a small, firm amount of pressure. "I've had a lot worse," she murmurs, partly to herself and partly in belated response to the maniac's earlier outburst. Bound to him? That makes her laugh, as dark as the humour may ultimately be. A more natural and hearty sound than her previous expulsion, she seems to come back into the moment a little more, enough to answer the most pressing question at hand. "What /we/ just did is open a portal to somewhere. I'm not sure where. I can think of several places I'd like to go, but I couldn't focus too well. Y'hit hard, NNY..." She flashes a wry grin at Johnny, then turns her attention back to the tear. "Besides, I'm not too sure it works that way. I'm also not sure what happens if we go through that, but... I've been thinking about this, and I think the only way to find out what I can do is to leap in with both feet. If I'm right about the way this works, then I /think/ my body's gonna remember." Breathing out hard, puffing out her cheeks, she raises her eyebrows at her old friend. A smile slowly spreads before she pops the inevitable question. "So, uh, whaddya reckon? Shall we act like we used to; before we think?"
Johnny stares blankly at giggling in still more confusion. He was talking about their recent 'ruling' in Hell, not... He nods his head as she comments on the portal. "Are you telling me you planned this?" He shakes his head. "Fucking psycho. You coulda told me!" He smirks and shrugs, drawing a dagger and twirling it at his side as he watches the portal do it's thing. "Sure, sure. Why start thinking now? I'd like to think that being on the Hell Council, we can't possibly get TOO lost, right? Fuck it. Just so long as we don't end up in Heaven. Those bunny-things still creep me out." Maybe it's best not to ask about that one.
Samantha's smile turns rapidly to a big ol' grin as the maniac berates her. At this point, it should be worth noting that she is still shaking, and a sheen of sweat can be glimpsed upon her brow following the effort she has just made. If there can be an energy equivalent of punch drunk, then the dark-haired catgirl is the perfect example. She even lets 'bunnies in heaven' slide with merely a puzzled cant of the head, and a flick of one ear. "O-kay. For what it's worth, I'll take full responsibility if this screws up. My theory is that we should pop out somewhere that's attuned to the power you threw at me... but it's not like I've been able to test this." She looks sheepish for a moment, rubbing the back of her neck with a quivering hand, "I tried smacking myself with a power geyser, but all it did was knock me unconscious. Some kinda feedback loop, I guess?" "Er, anyway." She inches forward, reaching out without further hesitation to plunge an arm into the well-christened 'opening'. The grin returns to her lips. "Let's do this."
Samantha (OOC) says, "...tomorrow."