|Knife To Meet You!|
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 floor 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 holograms of different movies, and a number of people who tend to visit the UR - caught as they're singing karaoke. The hardwood bar rests at the back of the restaurant, surface polished and shiny and all-together spotless (most of the time). Behind the bar are the various beverages that are serveed, and a giant mirror. There seem 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 around it. Multiple round wooden 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. A large fireplace nestles 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.
The shadows in the room abruptly shift as though the source of light was being stolen. Twisting and convulsing the shadows merge into a singular point and then, without warning the entire view before your eyes turns black. There's no noise. No feeling of magic. Just darkness. As suddenly as it begins it's over. The light returns to normal. Only now, at the point where the shadows merged stands Johnny C. The maniac has arrived.
Following the entrance of another patron, the fluorescent-patterned mollusc flows into the restaurant, making a half-roll to slip through the still-open door after him. Serenity straightens up vertically within the thick cloak of suspended water, guiding the field generator along the floor with gentle movements of the alarmingly blue undulatory fins. Serenity is looking around cheerfully and proceeding towards the bar when the lights go out. Ren frown and pauses in place, raising a pair of fins to rub both eyes as if to clear the obstruction.
Johnny spies the room suspiciously before sliiiiiiiiiiiiding over to the bar to see who's working tonight. "I've been sitting in Dis for the past," he glances at his watch-less wrist, "too fucking long. SOMEONE get me some burritos!!" A lone skutter tilts it's claw-head at him in confusion. The maniac points at it dramatically. "YOU! BURRITOS! ¡ÁNDALE!" As it leaves he turns towards the closest thing at the bar and smiles at Serenity. "Yo!"
Shortly behind the other two entering the restaurant, another person enters: the redhead with blonde streaks in her hair slips in through the door quietly, messing with her long hair as she makes her way to the bar. A glance is cast toward the loud, burrito-demanding maniac, though nothing is said; Sun just smiles faintly and waits for her turn to order something delicious to eat.
Serenity twists to look at the loud arrival, following his path to the bar with just the eyes before actually following him to the bar. Ren slips in-between the barstools to 'stand' next to him, offering a small wave from the edge of a fin (extruding a vaguely hand-like shape from it) along with a somewhat puzzled-looking smile. "Hello," Ren cheerily sizzles while looking him over. Ren waves likewise to Sun. "A friend of yours?" Ren surmises, motioning toward Johnny.
Johnny tilts his head as he stares at Serenity a moment. "Y'know, you remind me of an old friend of mine. I mean, yeah, it was a fetus in a jar... but we had some pretty good conversations from time to time." He's kidding, right? He watches Sun as Serenity waves at her, squinting his eyes. "Hmmmm." He leaves it at that. Probably a good thing after the fetus comment.
The tattooed redhead smiles at Serenity. "Hey there. Doing okay here? Did you find a better place to stay?" She glances toward 'Nny as he makes his remark, blinking a few times, before smiling to the bartender that finally comes from the back. "Cheese for my aquatic friend here...right?" She smiles to Serenity, before continuing, "And I will have a rum and coke. Tall. On the rocks." She nods sagely at her cleverness.
"A fetus? Your friend sounds like a young one rather than an old one," Ren replies with an amused hiss and an expression that suggests Ren isn't entirely clear on how literally to take his remark. Ren replies to Sun's question with a shake of the head but no downcast expression. With Sun's order, Ren nods to her and offers a smile. "Thank you, Sun. You did say you work at a restaurant, no?, so I suppose you have a memory for orders."
The maniac stares blankly a moment before bursting out in a fit of giggles. He even has to wipe an eye as the bartender drops off his burrito rather than making a skutter do it. "Oh, that's good. I love that." Taking a step back he makes an elaborate bow, "The name's Johnny C. Friends call me NNY." He straightens up and sits in a barstool next to his plate and twirls a fork around his finger before taking a bite of his meal. With a brief pause mid-chew he looks up again and mumbles, "...Sun?" He squints at the woman again, chewing slower.
The redhead smiles to Ren. "Well, an intelligent aquatic creature who loves cheese is a bit memorable, but I guess that has something to do with it, as well. I'm a barista, so I have to remember complicated orders often." She smiles. "I think I saw an old abandoned pool on my way to work. I bet you could fill that up with whatever kind of water you prefer. Probably way more comfortable to swim around in, too." Sun blinks a few times at Johnny, and smiles, offering a friendly wave. Then, he's squinting at her. "Um...yes? That's my name..."
Serenity flashes a smile at Johnny's bow (as much as one can flash without teeth). "Friends here call me Serenity," Ren says, motioning a fin inward, "And I hope to retain said friends by not insisting on my name." Ren nods to Sun, looking interested at her mention of the pool. "I suppose that I don't need actual neighbors if the town is still a short distance away," Ren remarks thoughtfully. "But I thought perhaps the lake might be more comfortable, if I can raise the funds for camping gear."
Johnny grins absently at Serenity as she quips about her name, but his eyes remain locked on Sun. After a moment his eyes go wide and he smacks the bar with a gloved fist. "OH! HEY! IT IS YOU!" He grins behind another bite. "I like the tattoos!" His smile vanishes and an eerie seriousness washes over him briefly. "...but you shoulda let me do them." After that he goes back to his half-eaten meal, intending to let the two ladies converse without further interruptions.
After a moment, Sun smiles to Serenity. "Well, the pool is in town, but really, whatever is most comfortable for you." Then, she blinks, a startled expression on her face as 'Nny seems to recognize her. For a moment, she's quiet, looking something between a deer in the headlights and someone who is afraid for their life. "Um..." she pauses, nodding quietly to the bartender as the cheese and alcohol is served, before her blue-eyed gaze is right back on 'Nny. "Do I know you? Sorry, I have this...memory thing, where some helmeted fucker called me Sun, and then I woke up in a crater on the beach." To emphasize, she points at her head.
Serenity 'blinks' eyes inward a bit at the crash on the bar, then glances from Johnny to Sun. "Perhaps your tattoos are as recognizable as a resident who is aquatic?" Ren suggests. "Or you consulted with one tattoo artist and opted for another?" Serenity thanks the bartender and takes the cheese stick between the edges of the right fins before rasping the plastic off the end.
Johnny snerks at Serenity's logic before spinning his chair towards Sun. Well, AT Serenity, but he leans around her to look at Sun. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. You've got amnesia?" He pauses before coming back with a more important question, "Wait. You don't remember ME?" One eyebrow raises up in confusion. "Neo Tokyo? Metropolis? Crux? Terry? SAMMY?" He narrows his eyes and leans forwards. "None of that ringing a bell?"
The redhead shrugs. "I kinda woke up with these, don't even remember how I got them, or why. They're pretty, though." Sun shrugs, tipping her head toward Serenity. Then, Johnny is asking questions, and the woman blinks a few times. "...Nope, none of it rings a bell." She points at her head again. "First thing I remember is that helmeted fucker calling me Sun, then I woke up to this nice chick, Devi I think? She helped me get an apartment." She shrugs.
Serenity twists and slips back against the bar, dampening it rather than Johnny as the forcefield intersects it. Ren regards Johnny curiously with his questions. "Perhaps you can explain Sun's shape-shifting teeth as well?"
Johnny shoves his plate away forcibly and rises to his feet, one hand drawing his dagger instinctively. "That's a croc of shit! First off, Devi hated you! Secondly... I can accept that you don't remember me, but BULL-FUCKING-SHIT you don't remember Samantha Bogard! After all the bullshit we went through together?!?" His eyes actually tear up a little as it floods back to him again. "I mean COME ON, we fucking CREATED Tabitha in her image!" He pauses and points at the barstool behind Sun. "OUT OF THAT BARSTOOL!" He pauses again and ponders that statement a second. "Well, out of the barstool that USED to be there. BUT STILL!" He doesn't ignore Serenity's question, he just had to get the rest of that out first. With a more calm voice he explains, "She's some half-dragon thing. I never really asked enough questions to understand it."
The woman blinks a few times, just...sitting there for a moment with a confused look on her face. "I really don't remember any of that at all...but if you KNOW me, I would love to know what the hell happened to me." At the mention of half dragon, the woman blinks a few times, before baring...a mouth full of sharp fangs. "That's why these are like this? They just got like that one day when I was mad, and I can't get them to change back...I'm a dragon?" She pokes at one of her teeth. "But why don't I have wings? or a tail? Or claws?" There is a popping sound, followed by two very loud ripping sounds, as all three mentioned parts seem to sprout out of the woman's back and rear end. Oh.
Serenity 'blinks' at the sudden exclamation from Johnny. Already against the bar, Ren can't back up any farther at the sight of the blade. That doesn't stop Ren from trying, however, or from shrinking to a more compact shape. The further surprise from the other side has Ren diving for the floor. Ren flows out between the bottoms of the barstools and makes a helical twist while returning to a vertical position. Facing the two with a few feet of safe space, Ren watches with a mild alarm but doesn't attempt to flee further.
Johnny meh's at Sun before twirling his dagger around gunslinger-style. His eyes glance at the empty gap between them and slowly trail around at the brief spots of dampness before noticing Serenity a distance away. "Hey, um. You alright?" Obviously he sees nothing wrong with that outburst. After all it's nothing like how he USED to act. Sheathing the dagger again, the maniac looks back at Sun and eyes her new colorful plumage. "I guess you got more than just tattoos, huh?" Yep. That explains everything. "I can tell you about Sammy and what happened on Twisted since I went and brought you over from Metropolis, but I can't tell you much else. Last I remember you were hanging out at the Arms Hotel and had that nifty skeleton-wing-thing going. I never saw you after Tabitha..." One eye starts to water again. "After we brought her back." He crosses his arms and sits down with a sigh, correcting himself again. "...after Samantha died." He leaves it at that. That's not a happy road for him right now.
At this point, Sun is quite red in the face, considering the fact that her shirt is now ripped down the back, and her shorts are ripped by the large tail that is now swishing behind her in an agitated manner. She glances down at her new claws for a moment, before reaching back to feel the wings and the tail. "...Oh." She blinks over at Serenity, and offers a nervous (and slightly terrifying) smile and wave. Then, she blinks over at 'Nny with raised eyebrows. Again, she pokes at her new appendages. "I guess? I don't know." she frowns a bit. "Anything you can tell me might be good." At the mention of Samantha, she...doesn't seem to feel anything. She does, however, frown. "I -- I'm sorry for your loss?" This is all so confusing!
Serenity simply regards Johnny with a confused expression rather than answering his question. Ren 'stands' a short distance away, still holding the cheese stick outside the cloak of suspended water but obviously distracted from it at the moment. Ren doesn't seem to mind pointy teeth any more than any other sort, responding to the wave with an answering motion of the fins' edge. Ren keeps quiet for the moment, with Johnny's knife sheath, Sun's tail, and both of their facial expressions warring for attention.
Johnny's blood boils at Sun's statement, his body reflecting it by turning solid black. His eyes, now narrow white slits, peer out from the darkness. His teeth appear as sharpened white points when he speaks. "FUCK YOU!!!!" He draws his dagger once again using it to point at the dragoness, "...Of EvERyONe iN thE wORLd, YoU sHOuLD bE tHe OnE HuRT bY heR DeATh MoRE thAN Me!!" He brings an arm up and wipes it across his eyes. His emotions getting the better of him, tears fall freely when he pulls the arm away. "YoU DIdN'T DeSerVe HeR..." The world seems to drop out from beneath him abruptly and the mainaic falls into the darkness of his shadow, vanishing from sight. In half a second the shadow vanishes like a hole closing up in the floor and no trace of NNY remains save for his lingering words and the slight smell of brimstone. ...someone struck a nerve.
The dragon woman blinks a few times at the sudden reaction to her words, brow furrowing. "I...I don't even know who she IS," she calls after him. "I'm sorry, I wish I did!" She watches the man disappear, then, frowning. "I don't even know what I did to make him so angry..." She frowns, before glancing to the bartender, who is...packing his things, grumbling about not being paid enough for this shit. With a sigh, Sun hands him some money, and promptly downs her drink. "...So I'm a dragon, I guess?"
Serenity, who was beginning to relax again, contracts inward again at the fresh outburst. Ren is still staring at the former position of Johnny for a few moments after his sudden departure, but after recovering scoots quickly to into the spot between barstools on the side of Sun opposite Johnny's former seat. "That was... alarming..." Ren remarks uncertainly, relaxing a bit while looking up at Sun.
The dragon girl sets her now-empty glass down, frowning. "I didn't mean to piss him off, I just...don't know who he's talking about, at all." She sighs, before standing up -- only to nearly fall over under the weight of her newfound limbs. She rights herself after a moment, and carefully makes her way behind the bar to grab the liquor and more ice. "Sorry about that? And...sorry about the wings and tail. And claws." She stabs an ice cub with one of those claws, peering at it for a moment before popping it into her mouth and crunching down. "I didn't know I had them."
Serenity watches Sun's movements intently as she rises, then as she circles around to the other side of the bar, Ren sets the cheese stick (with only the very end grated) down on the bar and flows closer to it. "It sounds as though Johnny is more angry at the amnesia and loss of relationships more than at you," Ren observes. "But that was not an abstraction he was waving a knife at." Ren then leans to the side to look behind Sun. "You certainly don't need to apologize for body parts, either."
Experimentally, Sun flexes her wings. Unfortunately, they are much larger than she seems to have estimated, because she knocks the bottle of rum right off of the bar, to shatter on the ground. "...Well, fuck. Now I have to get used to this, I guess. Couldn't make the teeth go away, how am I going to make wings and a tail go away?" She pokes at the iridescent scales. She smiles embarassedly at Ren.
Serenity twitches at the accident, glancing from Sun's face to the robots and back again. "Perhaps it just takes more practice?" Ren offers optimistically. The mollusc briefly extends 'wings' to a full six-foot span, then returns the fins to a smaller width before gesturing with an extruded digit. "And in any case, I don't think the additional flexible muscle does your looks any harm." Ren grins and inclines antennae toward her a bit.
"Wonder if I can fly." More carefully, the dragon girl moves back behind the bar, avoiding the broken glass as she grabs another bottle of rum -- putting enough cash in its place to cover both bottles. "That might be kinda cool." She frowns up at the wings, though. "Weird. This is weird. I have wings." Carefully, she flexes one wing out, this one away from the bar. Her wings likely rival Serenity's, not that there is much of a competition; Ren's wings are likely made for a vastly different purpose than hers. "I guess it's kinda cool, having these. Just...weird."
"It does look that way," Ren remarks, regarding Sun curiously at her comment. "But it's odd, though, that you feel odd. Shouldn't you be comfortable with your body, even if you don't entirely remember it?" Ren adds, "Or perhaps you were in the habit of hiding?"
A shrug rolls over Sun's narrow shoulders. "I mean, I guess it feels...pretty natural, actually. I'm just...not used to it. I've been here so long, not knowing what or who I was, and I was kind of USED to being a normal person." She twitches her wings, watching them. "I guess I kind of feel...better, with these out. There's this weird relief where I guess they were hidden, or something." She pokes at the scales again.
"While there do seem to be a majority of human people about," Ren observes with a smile, gesturing outward to the other patrons of the restaurant (most of whom have stopped staring by now), "you may have noticed that not all of the people are. I'm sure that you will continue to fit in better than I."
"Don't know who all will want to associate with me." She chews on her lip, somehow avoiding making herself bleed. "I mean, I do have sharp teeth and claws...and wings and a tail." Her tail lifts up to her side, and she reaches out, examining it carefully. "A spiky tail. And spikey wings." She tilts her head to one side, poking at the scales. "At least it's pretty. Wonder what kind of dragon I am."
"A bit of hard-earned self-assurance will go a long way toward alleviating anyone's concerns," Ren assures. Serenity leans over the bar, which one would hope is water-resistant, and extends a pair of fins over the bar to feel the lifted portion of Sun's tail too. "I might be a bit biased, but I think that dancing would be a fine way to acquire that self-assurance." Ren adds, "Perhaps among trees, for immediate feedback on whether you'd moved as intended?"
The scales are rough, and yet extremely smooth, and rather warm to the touch. A tilt of her head, and Sun smiles. "Maybe dancing would be good. Trees would be good, too, surely I can't do too much damage to those, right?" She glances up at Ren, smiling faintly. "Thanks, I kinda...needed the reassurance. I might have had a panic attack if not." She pets her tail, curious. "Feels like a snake, but a little...sharper."
Serenity feels the scales for a moment, brushing with a damp extrusion from the fin edge to feel the preferred direction of them, then returns to simply leaning over the bar without reaching over it. "Yes, that's why I suggested trees," Ren agrees. "But I doubt that you'd have panicked. You didn't panic today when you had every reason to do so," Ren says, gesturing toward her.
"Eh...maybe not. I don't know why, but that kind of thing doesn't really...worry me, if that makes any sense." She shrugs nonchalantly, leaning back against the bar, her tail returning to the ground. "My shirt and pants are all ripped up, though. I need to figure out my wardrobe, now." She frowns back at the rips in her clothing. "I liked these shorts, too..."
"Hh..." Ren remarks with a puzzled frown. "I, for one, /am/ worried by violent outbursts involving a knife. In fact, that's the first such I've seen in person." Ren then flutters backwards a few feet and motions inward to the oval garment with tie-dye-type patterns of green and yellow. "I might offer to lend you an outfit, but I don't think that I'm your size," Ren says with a smile.
"I heard about that once, that people get kinda crazy in this restaurant." Sun glances up at the rafters, before shrugging and turning back to Ren. "Probably not, and I wouldn't want to rip your clothing anyhow." She smiles faintly to Ren, chuckling...before popping the top off of the bottle of rum and taking a long swig. "I'll figure something out. These are going to be an obstacle to getting a shirt on right." She reaches back, poking at the shredded cloth remaining on her back after the sudden appearance of wings and a tail. "I have a feeling I'm going to be wearing baggy clothes until I can figure out how to get cute clothes on."
"People have gotten 'kind of crazy' in here before?" Ren repeats uncertainly while glancing about. Ren then returns to regarding Sun's back and wings (the intervening bar explaining the lack of attention on her tail). "Perhaps you could still take a cue from my clothing, though. While human people might not /need/ self-adhesive clothing, there must be some shop here that sells it. Or perhaps something like clothing glue?"
"That's what I hear, at least. Just don't piss anyone off like I apparently did." Sun chuckles softly, fiddling with her hair a bit, before taking another gulp of the liquor. "Adhesive clothing might be something. I'm sure there's SOMETHING around here to accomodate people with wings and a tail, like me. I'm sure I've seen people with both around here." She smiles, leaning against the bar. "I'll probably end up scaring someone when I run up and ask them how they get clothes on with the extra appendages." She looks thoughtful. "Halter top might work with the wings...maybe a skirt for the tail. Wish I could sew..."
"While you know the culture here better than I," Ren points out, "people here don't seem to find talking with strangers to be strange. If anything, wouldn't asking about someone's taste in clothing be a compliment?"
"Probably," replies the Dragon lady, shrugging. She glances up at her wings again, before taking another drink of the rum. "Hopefully I won't get killed for asking, at least." A chuckle escapes her throat. Straightening up, then, she nods toward Serenity. "I hate to drink and run, but...I kinda want to change clothes." She turns around, gesturing to the ripped clothing. "Or try and figure out how to even do that." She smiles again, and moves toward the door. "Come see me at the coffee shop, I'll show you that abandoned pool!" Allowing Ren time to respond, she is pretty quickly out of the door.