A young woman is taking a short cut tonight. Why all shortcuts involve going down dark alleys is anyone's guess. But it's a thing that happens! Nervously she glances around until a pair of bright white eyes open and narrow in her direction from the shadows. The woman draws back with a gasp, at least until a row of gleaming white teeth make themselves seen. With a blood curdling scream she runs into the light, leaving the grinning person clearly frowning. "...every damn time..."
Old Dante isn't sweating it. He can get booze and action where he needs it. Heck, Neo-Edo has become a favorite haunt now too n.- That being said, can't beat good old Twisted. Neither city is SUPER 'grided' obviously but...although the slightly more cosmo feel of NE is nostalgic, he prefers the slightly more suburban-ish charm of Twisted anyhow. Plus, we've got a lot more scenery here. He watches the lady hurtle by with a raised eyebrow, nodding. "Yeah, that seems about right." He steps forward a bit more and snaps up Ebony in the direction of the teeth. "Hey smiley! I'm bored as hell, broke as fuck and I want to hurt something. Why don'tcha stop harassing the ladies, that being my job, and get out here so I can get some target practice in?" He has no idea whom he's dealing with JUST yet. He ignores his supernatural senses quite often, ya see
The shadowed man's eyes shift as he clearly raises an eyebrow. "I haven't done anything... Yet." There's a slight gleam of light as he draws a weapon as well but only long enough to see that it's being drawn. "Look, I didn't come here for you so why don't you just fuck off?" The eyes narrow. "Let's not have to do something we'll both regret."
Dante sighs in a long, protracted way...and casually fires a shot off. Yes, he's trying to hit. He has kind of an idea what he's dealing with NOW though...he pays attention eventually "I'm old now...I forget things, but I think I know what we got here. C'mon out and let's see how stylish you think you are, huh? A strange statement, but...Dante has weird half memories as we all know and love. Twisted has a way of being T-....well, you know.
The shot makes the stranger draw back. The rest of the sentence probably would have worked on its own but no, someone had to shoot first! Johnny charges out of the shadows, his body remaining black save for his eyes and teeth - and the bleeding wound trailing blood as he rushes the devil hunter with his black blade. "I FUCKING WARNED YOU, DANTE!!" No effort is made to protect himself, but maybe rushing head-first will be enough.
Dante laughs out loud as he see's this one. He nods. "I kinda thought so. Alright, well, ya can't just stroll around terrorizin' the ladies EITHER, buddy. I'll give ya a freebie though, so we're even. Maybe we can talk this out after." Talk it out? Dante? Well, THIS guy in particular is an unusual case. Always gotta find out what he's up to before going straight to 'take em down'. Kinda like that Diablo guy, in a way. Ah well, here comes the blade. Dante won't try to dodge or block this one, so if the attack continues, it'll hit him. His player isn't sure how to react yet because he doesn't know where the blade was aimed and so forth n.n
Johnny will have none of this conversing, sir! He doesn't give Dante much of a chance to talk as he moves in and slashes him across the chest, or tries to at least. If he doesn't try to move the maniac will then clamp down his free hand onto the man's shoulder and dig his thumb in as tightly as he can - which isn't a lot at the moment. Guess which shoulder got shot? "YOU SHOT ME!!!!" With his other arm he'll draw back intending to dig the blade into Dante's stomach as deep as he can. "YOU FUCKING SHOT ME!!" The white in Johnny's currently pupilless eyes begins to burn red. "I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!!" It should be noted he won't actually stab him at this point. He'll hesitate even if that brief moment becomes a long one...
Dante winces a bit against the pain of getting slashed. He lets off a small grunt of pain but, you know, he WAS expecting this. His wound closes up behind it, slowly. EXTRA slowly, in this case. He figures he can spare the 'energy'. The shoulder grip has him grinning slightly without being able to help himself. Aw, that's cute. J's trying to be physically intimidating. He looks J straight in the eyes but still doesn't move to defend a stab. That moment will draw on. He does finally comment "Yeah, sorry about that. It's a sensible reaction to a creeper chasing the ladies around AND, for the record, I was hired to find you. Now, if ya wanna stop being a douchebag for a moment, can we discuss this?" he sighs a bit, looking like an annoyed teenager just briefly "I really AM sorry I shot ya. I wouldn't have LEAD with that if I knew it was you, alright?"
The maniac just shoves him backwards, sheathing his dagger in the process. "...there's nothing to discuss. I didn't have time to do anything." He slowly turns and walks back into the shadows with an obvious look of disappointment on his features. Waving a hand dismissively he adds, "Go do your thing, Hero. Next time maybe you'll do the smart thing and shoot to kill..." He's so cheerful!!
Dante shakes his head just a bit. His look darkens slightly. Well, this guy wants to be extra unprofessional today! Alright. Thing is, still has his job to deal with so if J has nothing to say on the matter...he really MUST insist. He snaps up Ivory, now in his OTHER hand, and snaps a quick shot aimed just in front of where J would be walking... "Now, buddy, I know ya got this whole reputation around here...and...I know you're all dark and powerful and....ya know how I'VE always approached that throughout my career? By not giving a happy flying fart, that's how. If you don't have anything to tell me, then I'm afraid I'm gonna have to drag you in, much as I hate the authorities."
Johnny spins around on his heels, his eyes narrowing once again. "Drag me in? To what? Captain Peacock and the Doom patrol?" He starts to slowly close the distance between them again, gesturing with his hand as he continues to speak. "They're gone. Everyone's gone. You guys ganged up on Diablo and then the population went fuck all to wherever they go." He'd be standing toe to toe with Dante at this point, but odds are he's still holding Ivory so instead he'll walk right up to the barrel. "My friends abandoned me. I've been in Hell so long I can't remember if I'm alive or fucking dead, so go on. Show me which one it is and pull that fucking trigger. I'd do it myself but I made a fucking promise." In one sentence Johnny seems to have shown his hand. Is he really just trying to get himself killed?
Dante's eyebrow shoots up. He doesn't do much as J strolls up to the barrel. He has a bit of a cold, impassioned look on his face for just a moment or two. Slowly this cracks into a grin and then a belly laugh as he lowers Ivory and keels over at the waist just a bit "FUCKING CAPTAIN PEACOCK. HAHAHA. I am SO stealing that one." He shakes his head as he straightens out, slipping E&I away in some kind of move. It's hard to tell because his hands move quickly. "Alright, alright. You win, you broken soul you. I agree that YOUR life, my friend, is a dark, dark room." He sighs a bit, rubbing the back of his head "Go on and do whatever you were going to do. I think this case....might...have nothing to do with you or anything else anyway. I shoulda figured that anything from 'R. Herring MacGuffin' was probably fake. ... For the record, I didn't want to fuck up ANYONE'S good time in the long run. I just wanted to stop having weird half-memories. Made me feel old."
Everything was going just fine until SOMEONE had to start laughing. The darkness burned away from Johnny's form leaving him just the usual sulking asshole he normally is. The observation about his attitude only making him cringe. With a shake of his head he turns and flops against the alley wall, slowly sliding with his back down to the ground. "Nope, no. You've done it. You killed the mood." He lets out a sigh as he kicks up one knee to lean his elbow on. "...I really thought that one was going to work too."
Dante leans back up against a nearby building, wiping his eyes. He stammers back a bit, "N...no, really, I'm sorry! I swear. I didn't m....captain peacock! That's just...I'm ashamed I didn't fucking thinking of that..." He clears his throat. "Yeah, sorry bro. You're going to have to find someone else for an assisted suicide n' all that shit. For the record, my brain meats are fucked up too. I just drink and fuck until the voices shut the hell up, right? Anyway..." He wanders over a bit, holding up...a can of beer? Where the hell did he get it? Eh...where does he keep all those devil arms, for that matter? ... The world may never know. Anywho, he proffers it to J "You should do that too. It doesn't fix anything but...who the hell is going to fix problems like we have, anyway? We're the fixers, not the fixed."
Johnny takes the offered can, holding it with the tips of his fingers like some alien relic and inspecting it as if trying to decide if it would really solve all his problems. Squinting at it to read the label he ultimately decides to pass it back. "Ehhhhhhhhh, I think I'm enough of a downer as it is without drowning my brainmeats too." He does gesture at the chunk of concrete beside him welcomingly. "Shit used to be so much simpler before it all had to be shaded in grays." Is he referring to his existence as a comic? Not quite, but good guess. "Then it's like, NOPE. GOTTA MAKE SHIT COMPLICATED. GOTTA FUCKING CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE." He leans back again, crossing his arms. "I used to just kill the assholes. Felt like I had a purpose, made the world a better place! Now..." He trails off staring intently at the buckles on his boots. "...now I wonder where the fuck everyone else has gone to and feel like I amount to some dog shit that got stepped on so long ago that the stink has already faded away."
Dante nods, copping a squat on the proffered seat (of sorts) and offering J a light pat on the shoulder. He's more than happy to pop the tab on the beer himself and chug it in one, practiced move. He flicks it into the air, snaps his fingers which leaves time seemingly to stand still for just a moment (Or J might just perceive a short amount of time that's unaccounted for, depending on how he reacts to that sort of thing) and RIGHT after time manages to unfreeze itself...the can's path aligns with a stray bird who gets bonked lightly. Angrily squawking as it flies in a different direction, the can lands in a trash bin. He sighs, muttering about being old and responsible. He nods over to J, "It's like some grand design as a throwaway tool, ain't it? Some philosophical shit like that anyway." He nudges J lightly, "That being said, you kinda embody this whole place. Don'tcha feel kinda connected in some weird hippy dippy way?"
The maniac only watches silently with his eyebrow raising as the can hits it's mark. The squawking making him chuckle of course. The rest of Dante's speech just gets a sigh and a long stare at the sky. "Well, yeah. That's because I created this reality." His words hang in the air for far too long before he decides to elaborate on that statement. "I didn't create TWISTED just the reality that Twisted currently exists in." He looks over at Dante's expression and regardless goes on the defensive, "Don't look at me like that!! It's true. I.. I tried to run away and failed miserably. Spent a bit too long floating in nothingness and reality rebooted itself around me." He gestures around at everything around them. "Didn't you ever figure out how Diablo took over Twisted? He fused the two together." His voice lowers, "So... I kinda did that..." Another long pause. "At least this time reality didn't reset because I fell asleep." He rubs the back of his head nervously, "...last time I did that I had this fuuuucked up dream about Sun turning me into a girl." He shudders, "Don't ask."
Dante doesn't say anything for a few moments, just nods. He finally speaks up. "So, did Diablo have some kinda control over you? A hand in why you are whatcha are? Or was he just using you? I think..." He ponders, starts again, "I think I've been used more times than I care to count. I don't mind if it involves chains and hot succubi but...the other kind drives me fucking insane."
Johnny just shrugs, "I dunno, who WASN'T Diablo using? Thanks to him I've got a fucking kid now." He grumbles under his breath, "...liked her better when she was just a clone." Whether or not Dante can make any sense out of what he says, NNY at least comes off as sincere. He believes what he says, even if it doesn't make sense to the person having to listen to it. "Funny that she pops into my head now. I totally only made her to try and turn Sun evil." He bites his lip a moment and sighs again. "I do that a lot, don't I? Try to make people evil? Try to fuck shit up? Maybe I -do- belong in hell...?" He mutters under his breath again, "...and the things I've done with salad tongs..."
Dante can't help but crack up a little, aiming a good natured back slap at J. "Salad tongs, this guy says! I do love someone who's a master of their craft. ... Especially if we're talking strippers or moonshiner's." He shakes his head just a bit, trying to be more serious. You know, when you're old, your mind wanders and t-...see? Even your narration can wander. - Dante can only offer a shrug, "I'm not an expert on the matter, but you've kinda implied that ya kept this little reality of yours from crapping out for the longest time BECAUSE you're all dark n' scary. I mean, it sucks to watch an eagle kill a mouse but the bird's gotta fucking eat too." He pauses, then switches gears, "Clone? So...ya didn't GET any but ya still have a kid? Talk about the biggest gyp on the planet. Fuck."
The maniac ignores what could have possibly been the most profound thing ever said to him only to decide to go on a rant about the clone business. "YEAH. Right?? I made it to fuck with someone and now she's all alive and shit." His eyes narrow, "AND she killed probably my best friend before suddenly growing a conscience." He takes out his dagger and starts twirling it. THE ORIGINAL FIDGIT SPINNER. "Sure, sure, making a shadow clone of Sammy was /probably/ pretty fucked up to begin with, ESPECIALLY when I made her just to fuck with her ex... But maaan. Now Tabby's all calling me 'Dad' and Sun is somehow her 'Mom'." Don't try to figure that one out. "FUCK my life was easier before I tried to leave my house." He's back to muttering under his breath, "...never shoulda gotten on that plane."
Dante doesn't say anything for a moment. His voice has taken on a flat, but VERY uncharacteristic tone. "Tabby? ... Do you mean Tabitha? ... She's your clone?" Yeah, he doesn't always know ALL the meta. Especially since he's forgotten some things, remembered others....Twisted is kind of like a giant case of Alzheimers in some ways! He doesn't seem to have anything further, just glances over at J looking like he expects some kind of explain here.
Johnny just blinks. "Yeah. Tabitha. She's the clone of Samantha I made to fuck with Sun. I just said that." He stares a moment. "She's the one who killed Sammy too. You didn't know any of this did you?" He lets out a sigh and begins to explain. "At the time Samantha was dead and I was trying to get people on my side. I convinced Sun to help me if I would make her a copy of Samantha - which I'd already done earlier as a zombie thing to fuck with her. So we're standing in the UR. I make the clone. She does this thing with a barstool to give it a body so it doesn't fade away, and there you go." Suddenly he snerks as he realizes exactly what he just said, "Yep. Tabitha's a barstool." This makes him laugh for some reason. "Anyways I couldn't stand to look at her. She was made of my memories of Samantha and it was just a constant reminder that she was dead. Finally I had enough of her and I threw her off Twisted with one of my daggers to protect herself with. Eventually Sammy comes back and reminds me that I've done this, so we go to find her. She starts with this whole 'I've been so lonely' crap, follows us back to Twisted..." He lets out a heavy sigh, "...and murders her with my dagger while giving her a hug. Sammy never came back after that. Twisted's God said she didn't want to come back." His voice is beginning to crack a little but he keeps on. "So that's about the time I ran away. I cut a hole in reality and tried to just seal myself away into nothingness, but it's like that BECAME a universe. Diablo figured it out and took that version of things and somehow merged it with the real thing until it BECAME the real thing. Took me forever to figure out what was going on and by that point I just couldn't care." Putting his dagger away, Johnny crosses his arms again. "So long story short, that's when Diablo got inside Tabby's head and rewrote her but it was too much and she cracked. At least, that's the best I can figure. As a /person/ she's better now... but apparently I'm responsible for her somehow." He raises a brow and tilts his head to the side, "Although I think technically I'm more her Mom? I dunno. It makes my head hurt."
Dante doesn't say anything, very atypical for him, as he goes over the information. Some of it brand new, some possibly something he knew some vestige of sometime but....still fuzzy. Still kinda fuzzy. You know. He reaches up with another beer. "Ya SURE ya don't want one?" - "...Tabs is a good kid, most of the time. At least I guess she is now. Just as broken as the rest of us though." He trails off, giving a beat or two before continuing (More dramatic that way sagenod) "I'm kinda glad that all happened. Wouldn't have her as a buddy if it didn't. That being said...I hope you're done with that shit? I don't think we can reconcile any more 'toying with life' incidents. ...I mean, don't we have enough of that shit ANYWAY?..."
Johnny slowly turns his head with his eyebrow raised, "You realize how long ago that was?" He shakes his head, "For that matter, do you realize how OLD I am right now? I watched a fucking universe get created." He lets out another sigh. "I don't want to do this anymore, but I'm not going to break a promise." He adds after a moment's thought, "...sides if I'm already dead I can't die again anyways." Suddenly he snaps his fingers and laughs, "No! Wait! I -am- dead! I totally killed myself in the UR last week while singing!" He lets out a manic cackle. "That settles that, then."
Dante waves off the whole 'time' issue, muttering about being old enough to be senile himself. He does give J another raised eyebrow at that last little assertion. "Are ya, now? The fuck you tryin' to get me to shoot you for, then? ... Can I call ya dead-face from now on?..." He snickers a bit, "Jokes aside, c'mon back to us, buddy. Don't let the sirens entice ya out to sea or...some shit like that. I always said if they had nice enough tits, I'd be up for trying to survive it. S'just me though."
Thinking it over Johnny stands up and dusts himself off. "Tell you what. I'll lay off the suicide bit for now but I won't promise not to fling myself face first at the next thing that comes along that might be able to kill me. I didn't ask for any of this. I was happy murdering preps in my basement for the mad beast that lived in my wall and drank blood." With a grin he adds, "Although y'know, if you kill me you get to be the new Judge of Retributions and Lord of the Demon Cities of Hell. Just throwin' that out there." He smiles and holds his hands out as if he's offering the deal of a life time. JUST $99.95 PLUS SHIPPING AND HANDLING!
Dante nods with a grin, offering a thumbs up. "You gotta deal, bud." He listens up as J offers him this prestigious title and position that....seems to make his life even MORE hellish than before so...yeah. Can't wait to get in on all of THAT. Dante instead shakes his head. "Gotta tell ya...that sounds just awful." That grin gets a bit wider at that. He rises to his feet and offers a hand to shake. "Good luck to ya."
His grin quickly falling Johnny goes back to sulk mode a moment at the latest observation, but he does shake Dante's hand in return. "...yeah. Last time I got to kill someone, I really shoulda been in the right mind to see what I was getting into. Still, bitch deserved it." And in the end, that's what really matters.
Dante decides that he can't stop pondering over this new information and it leaves him a little....lonely wouldn't be the word, in his case, but maybe a bit nostalgic. Even Dante misses old friends. (His brother, too, but don't insist that around either of them n.-) He speaks up before anyone has a chance to pick up and leave the situation, "Hey, Johnny?...Do you KNOW where Tabs is? I don't wanna, you know, seem oblivious to your plight or...some other smart comment, but I haven't actually seen 'er in a long time now. ... We could see how she is?" A rather tender statement coming from the old half-demon.
Johnny's mouth goes to work before his brain fully grasps that statement leaving him soundlessly practicing syllables. "Uhhhh. Yeah, I guess so. She's supposed to be living with Sun, I think. That's uh..." He crosses his arms and strains to remember. "...oh! By the park." He ponders a moment longer, "I could probably take you if you want. I think I could find it easier on foot than giving you directions."
Dante nods once, slapping his hands down on his knees and rising to his feet. He cracks a few of his knuckles, maybe his shoulder joint...and grins a bit. "Sounds like a plan to me. Ready when you are, short, dark and dangerous." His toothy Dante grin is a perpetual reminder of how rarely he's serious. He DOES start to miss Tabs a bit when long periods of time pass without any 'playing catch up'.
"SHORT?! You've only got a couple of inches on me, asshole."