Long Long Way to Go

Summary:
September 11, 2014: Troubled by his actions in Battergate, Shift receives a call for help from Rant. If there's one thing a recovering addict knows, it's how to help someone suffering withdrawal.

Melody's Brownstone - NYC


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
"Long Long Way to Go" - Phil Collins and Sting


555-908-1238: Hi. It's Rant. You said to call. So I'm being rebellious and texting. I know you don't owe me anything nor I you, but can you come over? Address is plugged into your GPS.

There was no sense in cleaning the large brownstone. Something inside of her made her have the fits and she trashed the place. Furniture broken into pieces and strewn across the wall, pillows ripped and feathers tossed all around the place. Glasses broken and windows shattered, knives slammed into the beautiful plaster along with forks and yes.. even a spoon.

Withdraw and addiction were a bitch. Thankfully, the former was nearly done with, but the addiction side of it was messing her up so bad that she flipped shit to wear herself out. Which made everything so, so much worse. Her nanites were failing. It wasn't something that she'd willingly tell anyone, let alone Selina, because then it would mean that the cancer would come back in full force. Possibly dead in three weeks.

But she was at her wits end, everything she tried failed to work since her little machines were stuck in a little loop of battling each other out for dominance. And it hurt. But her little act of aggression quelled the pain enough for her to send that text, she was so ready to go out and find -anyone- who sold the smooth just for another hit but.. he did say to call.

So she did. And forced herself to sit in the middle of a house that was hers, a house too big that she barely stayed in, a house that she wrecked from top to bottom. Right on the damn floor.

-

555-702-3744: Sure. In Gotham. Give me an hour.

Forty five minutes later, there comes the sound of a motorcycle pulling up outside. Kwabena climbs off the bike, snatches a bag from within the luggage compartment, and trots up to the front door, helmet tucked under his arm. Three loud raps hit the door, and he waits.

The Ghanaian tries to hide it from his face, but it's difficult, his poker face failing. There's blood on his hands, which is nothing new, but this time. This time it had been different. His silver eyes, usually quizzically aware, seem almost dead, as if there was little life left in them.

So, he waits… to find out if Rant made it, or if she went off to get a hit.

-

Forty-five minutes, an hour. Two hours. It seemed like time ran together and she was getting antsy. She remained on that floor though, fearing that if she moved, she'd probably get up and get out of the house without even giving Shift the chance of getting there. But she held true, soldiered on without touching her phone, which remained in between the middle of her legs.

The rapping at the door caused her to jump, and for a moment she didn't want to answer. But after thirty, long seconds, she finally pulled herself to her feet with a little grunt, her back slightly hunched as she strolled towards the door with the attempts to straighten up, and opens it.

"Hey." She murmured, looking like pure hell. She bathed, she was clean, she smelled like Dove Vanilla soap, her hair was even washed and brushed but.. it was the veins that appeared upon her arms, hands and feet, which creeped up her neck yet stayed away from her face. At least she had gotten that part clear so that she could venture outside, but it made her pale. She looked like someone from a disease infected horror story.

"Sorry for the mess." She didn't wait for him to enter inside, she moved away from the door and placed her hand upon her back to move towards her phone again, then plops right down into the center of the room. "You said to call, I didn't know what else to do." She sounded dry, just.. plain dry. She wasn't even aware of his state just yet.

-

Thankfully, all Kwabena truly needed was something else upon which to focus. "Hey," he answers, and walks in without hesitation. Some life returns to his silver eyes as he looks about, noting the state of the place. He'd been through withdrawal before, after all. He gets it.

The leather riding jacket comes off and gets draped over the busted end of a couch. The helmet clatters to the floor, noise buffered by feathers and torn cushions. "Well, you called," he answers. "It's a good first step."

For a moment, he watches her, gauges her appearance, trying to piece together where she is in the process. Clearly, the illness part was over with, and this… well, this is the hunger phase. He sits down across from her, legs spreading indian style, and opens the bag. It's contents are dumped out. Two 40's, a bag of cool ranch Doritos, three packs of cigarettes, plain white bread.

"So, who won?" he asks, drily. A few moments pass before a rueful smirk draws it's way across his face. "You, or de house?"

-

That made her happy a bit. He made himself at home; the fallen helmet attested to that fact.

She grunted a reply at the mention of her first step, her hands soon reaching out towards her phone to twist it upon the floor to make it spin. "Yeah. I called." It seems as if she were harping on that, the fact that she bloody called. She really had no conversation for Kwabena other than the fact that she called! Though, once he spills the contents of the bag, her brow lifts weirdly, eyes drifting up towards him with a slight half assed smile. "Dude, forty ounces? What're you? Easy E?"

She giggles a little at that, her gaze finally lifting towards the house as she looks all around her. And behind him. And towards the ceiling, at least she didn't damage that. And then she laughs, a really good one that she hasn't heard in a very long time, which forces her to admit the truth. "The house. It's too big for me to fuck up.. I got so tired."

Instead of reaching for the drink, she grabs the bag of doritos. She hasn't had them in a long time. With a squeeze and a pop, she lets the air out and begins to dig in, but sadly, this wasn't the hunger she want fed. Its a start though. "You know what would be really good with these? Ground beef and salsa mix. With nacho cheese and mexican cheese, with some sour cream. It'll be really, really good. Can you cook?"

-

Pearly whites pop out at the remark about those forties. This precedes a laugh that Kwabena, also, wasn't quite expecting. "Easy E. I dunno, I was thinking more Snoop Dahg?"

He's not gonna disagree on that. The house definitely won.

"In a pinch," he answers, relaxing his back a bit further still. "Shit like dat? No problem, just don't ahspect me to fix up a fucking five course meal on de fahst date." Now, he lifts an eyebrow, and jerks a thumb behind him, toward the kitchen. "You stocked? Or do I need to run to de bodega?"

Now, he's gonna reach for one of those forties. They're nice and cold, having just been purchased from aforementioned bodega. He also snatches up a cigarette. He's not going to bother asking; she just trashed the joint, if she's gonna bitch about second hand smoke, then she's really lost it.

-

Melody gives a quick shake of her head. "No.. not Snoop Dah-guh. That's how you sound. Snoop DAWG. But, people associate 40's with Easy E and Ice Cube and whatever because of Compton and Boys In Da Hood. Snoop Dog though? He's like a marijuana king or something." She stops the conversation in favor of munching and crunching, watching him with the forty and the cigarette, then puts the bag down only to reach over to grab an empty soda can to twist and rip apart. She uses her fingers to fix it back together again, then promptly spits into it just to wet the bottom. Ghetto, right? You don't know the half of it. It was set down in front of him, then the bag taken again so she could continue eating.

Now, had Melody been her normal self, the first mention of the date would have her head hanging low practically towards the ground. In fact, she'd faceplant at that suggestion, blush all crazy, wet-noodle her way out of the room to avoid the situation. But this Melody? She doesn't care. She's trying to keep herself busy from feeling that pain and need. Distraction is welcome. "Its all over the floor. I broke the kitchen." She really did, at least she had enough sense to leave the stove alone. "This ain't a date anyways. This is a.. 'Help me I'm falling and need a distraction' meeting."

She frowns a little, feeling a bit bad from what she just said. "I ever tell you my name?" She changes the subject. "I'm Melody." *Crunch* "Melody Kenway."

-

"I'm from Ghana," explains Kwabena. "Born and raised. English is mah second language." Beat. "Snoop DOG." He promptly produces a cell phone, pulls up Spotify, and following a few taps, the phone begins to chirp out 'Insane in the Brain', Cypress Hill. "You want stonah rap, dis is it."

Kwabena lights his cigarette, smirking appreciatively at the 'ash tray'. If she only knew his apartment in the Bronx. It's right up his alley. "I gave you my numbah. You texted. Date." He gestures about. "Come on, I brought dinnah and fine wine. I'm a man of style."

The frown is noted, as is the fact that she's introducing herself again. A more proper introduction, sure, but an introduction nonetheless. He reaches out with a hand. "You did. I'm Kwabena Odame." His real name, not some alias.

The African's handshake is firm. Not overtly so, but strong. Plus, the skin is covered in a glove of gunmetal gray, part of the sophisticated uniform he wears beneath his clothes. The blood on his hands may have been metaphoric, but he can still see it, he can still smell it, even though it's not there. He's not willing to let another touch his skin yet, however harmless it might be. He recognizes it for what it is, and it gives him pause, some of the life leaving his silver eyes again.

"You don't got rats, do you?" He asks, suddenly standing and taking the cigarette and forty with him into the kitchen. He gathers up the meat, the cheeses, everything she wanted from where it was on the floor, calling over his shoulder, "Don't eat de whole bag!"

-

"Ghana?" That was very far from here, she didn't make note of that outloud though. "What made you come here?"

She grows silent at the music though, bobbing her head slightly, even rocking a little off beat where she sat like one of those college hipsters trying to be cool, even though that music was sort of in her blood. "I guess. Still, you can't get rid of that ol' Snoop Dog swagart." Yep, she said it wrong. But all that was pushed aside for a quick coughing laugh which causes her to cover her mouth with the side of her hand. "Shafubp." Shut up, in full mouth speak.

She finishes chewing, then wipes her hand upon her pants, reaching out to grip his own in a shake, though frowning from the fact that his glove was still on. It felt funny against her skin, not because of the fabric, but because of her own aversion to touching and now her being so raw. "Kwah-bee-nah." She sounds out slowly, quite possibly pronouncing it wrong.

She draws away from him as he stands, her gaze following him only half way before she drops the bag and stands to follow as well, a slight pained limp to her step, yet no hand holding her back upright to keep her steady. There was a little wince as she leans against the door frame to the kitchen, both hands soon held up disarmingly.

"I put the bag down. But you might want to take your gloves off so the meat doesn't mess up your stuff." She gestures a little. "Plus, that makes me think you're one of those weird ass germaphobes."

-

What made him come here? Kwabena presents her with a long look. "Long story."

He's halfway through getting stuff ready for some stoner-style cooking when she makes that remark about his gloves. He eyes them for a moment, before lifting the cuff of his shirt, revealing the gloves to clearly be part of a uniform. Fingers slip between seams, and the gloves are stripped off one after the other. His cigarette remains perched between two lips while he fires up the stove and gets to work. The gloves are carelessly tossed aside before he finds a spoon and starts cooking.

"It's 'Kwabena'. KWA-bin-uh." He's silent for a moment, before casting a glance her way. "When my mutation first manifested," he explains, "I was driven out. Ended up being taken from de village into de system, lived with some few fostah families, den came here. Fah school. I nevah finished." He shrugs. "Not dat it mattah much. I've made do without de student loans."

The cigarette comes out and is ashed, the forty snatched up and drawn from. A nice, healthy pull. "How bad'a de pain, Melody?" he asks, before rummaging around for some spices. This meat needs some TLC, after all.

-

Melody wanted to say that she had the time, but it wasn't her business. She remains silent none the less, her height getting incredibly shorter as she continues to stand. She even looks a little winded, favoring for sitting upon the ground instead of standing, which she does just as slow as she possibly could.

"Kwa-bin-uh.." She repeats, nodding her head to get those words and pronunciation in so that she doesn't cause disrespect or upset in the future. She even listens to the store with the most attention that she could give, her reaction all frowns and quiet little sighs and a shake of her head. "If you really want, I could probably get you into school if you want to finish. Full ride, no cost at all. All it takes is a little bit of research and you get free learning for the cost of.. well.. nothing." What could she really ask of him? She was already taking up his time.

The question he asked though, it took her off guard. She assumed that he would figure that because she trashed the house, she was really, really tired.

"It's enough to make me cry." But she doesn't. "I don't know what it is. It's like.. dull. And every now and then? The pain shoots up so bad that I can't move. I can feel something inside of me dying, and then being reborn again, only to die again…" It was her nanites, they both had their secrets that they wouldn't tell yet.

"I was really sick a long time ago. Like, deathly sick. It is like that, but I'm aware and not on morphine or being helped by chemo. My hair isn't falling out. I'm not throwing up or anything. But.. it's that drug not being in my system and that sickness coming back again. Weird, I know." She smiles a little, her hand waving to dismiss it all.

"Wake me up when you finish cooking? I meant it when I said I was tired."

-

"I do well enough on my own," answers Kwabena. Then, he thinks about what he just said, and stifles a wince. "Without school."

Its enough to make her cry? The meat is left, it needs time to cook anyway. He turns to look at her, eyes finding themselves mixed between grief and anger. Grief, for what she's going through, topped with a dusting of empathy. Anger, because after all he's done, after all the dark deeds he's been a part of lately, the smooth is still out there, destroying lives.

He was going to offer her something. Loritab, a class II narcotic that's illegal without a prescription. However, mention of chemotherapy has him second guessing himself, so it becomes yet another secret that remains sadly concealed within his discarded leather jacket. He simply looks on and listens, stoic and yet somehow, understanding.

"I'll wake you in de mahning." He grins, for there's no way she's going to engage in a simple catnap. "Dere will be eggs and bacon."

Kwabena looks at Melody for a long moment. The empathy soon grows more powerful than the anger, so he snuffs out the cigarette into that spit-laden soda can, and walks forward to take the wounded woman up into a hug.

"You'll get through dis," he whispers. "Just got to stay strong." Melody will feel what might be a surprisingly tender kiss touching the place between her ear and her cheek, and when he steps back, he's holding her shoulders with now-gloveless hands. In his silver eyes is a look of encouragement, broken after a few seconds by a smirk and a nod of his head. "Go. Lie down. I got all I need."

Because he damn well isn't going to leave her alone to her own devices.

Besides, there are plenty of busted up pillows with which to form a makeshift bed.


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