Where Do We Begin?

Summary:
September 12, 2014: Whether Shift slept or not is debatable. He's fixed Melody's house up, and he's made breakfast. What comes next may be a surprise to them both.

Melody's Brownstone - New York City


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
"Where Do I Begin?" - The Chemical Brothers


Morning comes with rays of sun shooting sharply through slatted oak. In the kitchen there comes the sound of sizzling, alongside the delicious smells of eggs, bacon, and coffee. Everything the body needs.

Melody's place has also been cleaned up. Shit's been put in order, trash has been taken out, and a smart phone is blasting the tight jams of the French techno duo called 'Justice'.

In the kitchen, Kwabena is dancing. Really, he's just moving his hips around with style, one hand holding a spatula, the other pinched around a cigarette. One forty has been emptied; the other? Pretty damned close.

-

Stiff.

That's one word to describe Melody as she woke up, she was in full aches and pains, she even left a bit of a Melody shape in her bed with how soaked she had woken up. Not to mention, the smells had gotten to her, made her stomach turn even though she loved eggs and bacon with a side of toast and jam. Just thinking about it made her stomach growl and turn all at once. Without even going into the kitchen or letting him know that she was up, she slowly walked her way towards the bathroom and got into the tub, turned on the shower fully clothed and just.. sat there.

The food probably was done, the 40 may have been drank, Kwabena possibly well and good into his drunken state before she decided to get out. Or.. at least it felt that way. Could have been five minutes easily.

Dressed though not fresh, she ambles her way down the stairs, taking a slight step at a time, her body tensed to ease the pressure of the pain she felt only to toss those feelings and that hurt aside to see.. her place was clean. Whut?!

"Kwabena?" She calls out, a little bit alarmed. What if someone.. or.. her dad namely came over and put the guy out? That would have been so rude! "Are you still here Kwabena?"

-

"'Course I'm still heah, you dumb fuck!" calls Kwabena. "Kitchen!"

The Ghanain isn't exactly drunk, but he's certainly not sober. It's been all night, after all; whether he's slept or not is debatable. Either way, soon as he knows Melody is awake? He's busy preparing the essentials. Coffee, black, no arguments. A very tall glass of water. And, a small pill, the aforementioned Loritab. When Mel comes in, he stuffs the pill into her hand. "Take it. Don't ask questions. Yah pain will be history." It's also am opiate, FDA approved. Baby steps and all.

"You hang yah clothes to dry?" he asks. Clearly, the African remains well aware of Melody's 'morning procedure'.

-

"Nice. I'm a dumb fuck now." She mutters to herself as she slowly treads her way into the kitchen. Which, was clean and actually looked used and lived in for the .. third time since she's lived there. WHich was sad, that she could actually count on one hand how many times she's used the kitchen herself.

Immediately being bombarded with the Loritab, her purses her lips tight and rears her head back as if she smelled something awful. "Well, what is it? Cause the last time a man gave me something…" Eh. There was no sense in complaining and questioning, she popped the pill and swallowed without any water before Kwabena ever replied.

She was used to popping pills before, so it came easy for her now.

His question though caused her to frown, her head shaking a little as she shuffles towards the idle chair near the slightly, awkward leaning table. "They need to be washed.. I.. how did you .. were you looking?" Not like she was naked, though! Her eyes soon scan the kitchen briefly, settling on the half filled 40 of beer. "It's too early to drink.. did you sleep at all?"

-

"Don't worry," explains Kwabena as she takes the pill. "It will kill yah pain cause you have it. It won't make you high."

When Melody asks if he was looking, he answers with a disappointed look. "Really?" He sets the spatula down and gestures toward her with his cigarette wielding hand. "Look, sistah. If you want me to see you naked, I'll see you naked. But I sure as hell won't do dat when you're in such a bad spot. Nigga' got morals, you know."

Kwabena turns back to the food, flipping the eggs to form an almost perfect omelette. "And yeah. You're a dumb fuck cause you let yahself get shot up by a couple of hit men. S'ok dough." He smirks. "We're all dumb fucks once ah twice."

It only takes a few momentsto get the good ready. "You sleep alright?" he asks, suddenly losing a bit of the abrasive, jeering nature. Yeah, Melody needed her ass kicked a little, but only so far. "You want to drink dat watah before you dig in."

-

She just.. stares at him. The pain wasn't gone just yet, but she could feel it ease up enough for her to completely forget about it for the moment. Mind over matter, and all of that. "You smashed my cousins friends head in easily, but you won't look at my naked when I don't want you to." She pauses. "You're weird." And so was she, probably even worse than him.

She let it go now, favoring a deep frown and a near to tears moment, she probably had PTSD after all of that went down, even a high adversion to needles if she hadn't already. "I couldn't fight back.." She murmurs, probably unheard by him. Her cheeks turned a bit red through sickly pale skin as she reaches up for the glass of water, turning half way to avoid looking towards him as she takes a few sips here and there. Her head shakes though, her answer quiet. "It was too hot. Woke up a few times." Her hand reaches up to lightly rub at her nose as her eyes close, "I lost my connection to electricity. Pretty sure the rest is going to go in a couple of days." She didn't sound too sad, more or less disappointed.

Taking the focus off of herself, she continues to nurse the glass of water, and still keeping her gaze away from Kwabena. "What were you doing before you got here though? I'm sorry I didn't send you more files.." Cause.. well, if she lost her connection to electricity, she was saving the 'internal internet' for something more important. Like getting herself fixed.

-

"Dose way yah cousins?" asks Kwabena. "Well, sorry, but dey deserved it. Dey should do more research about who dere gonna fuck up."

He stops, suddenly noticing the tear-stifled moment. The cigarette is snuffed out, and he walks over toward Melody, suddenly far more serous. "Mel." He reaches out and rests a hand on her shoulder. "Listen to me. K?" He pauses for a few seconds, letting her gather her thoughts.

"Little ovah a year ago, I was a piece of shit, lying addict. A junkie. I did it of my own choice, I wasn't victimized by anything but mah own ego. Thought I was invincible, and in some ways I was. But you know, drugs don't care who you ah, how you can jump from a building and live." He smiles encouragingly. "I'm just giving you a hahd time."

Kwabena looks at Melody for a long moment. Whether she looks at him or not, she'll find his fingers strafing through the tips of her hair, messing with it for a moment before combing it and tucking it behind her ear, fixing it a bit. It would seem, for a moment, that he was admiring her.

The smile fades. "Dose bastahds have it coming, Mel. What dey did to you? It won't go unanswered. I promise."

-

"No, not my cousins. My cousins friends. No blood relation. I feel bad though.." She admits this much, she obviously learned to deal with being a murderer by proxy.

But, she doesn't look at him, not really, it was like she stared through him for a time until she finally focuses in on his words, a slight frown drawing upon her lips. "Well stop giving me a hard time, I can't handle hard times. Obviously." She was referring to the house, her hurt feelings, being an addict.. and.. not in pain. Okay! That was one good thing she had going for her right about now.

She turns slightly away from him now, reaching for the glass of water, fingers gripping it then letting go, all the while he plays with her hair. It was an awkward moment for her, remaining incredibly still yet, she was comforted. His promise soothes her even more, that tenseness she felt from him touching her eases away with a slight sigh and slumped shoulders, her eyes close for a moment as her hand reaches out to grip his to try to tug him closer so that he could at least hug her for a bit.

"You don't have to promise me anything but to let me help. Cause I'm getting a little feeling that you're trying to take on the world by yourself, you know? Like, it's all your fault. Who is that guy to you?"

-

There is a touch of regret as Melody pulls him close. Kwabena always keeps people at arms length, usually because he's convinced that he's going to hurt them in some way. He does live a dangerous life, after all. Still, he allows himself to be drawn in, holding Melody's hand for a moment before wrapping his arms around her. The hardened mercenary, the murderer… he holds her.

Its a comforting moment for Kwabena as well. He carried his guilt deep, and it ran like a poison in his mutated blood. There comes a long silence, during which he wrestles with what to say. A long sigh comes. He doesn't let her go.

"Two months ago," he explains, "When de smooth first stahted cropping up, I had a lead. Said dis guy, who ran a big trafficking op in New York, was behind it. Richard Dackleman. So, I went to his place, made some few threats. But I said too much. He… wasn't behind it, like I thought he was. But when he found out about it, he got hungry. He's well connected. He knows his shit."

Kwabena's usually strong body, his firm embrace, it weakens. For but a moment. "Dis.. is all my fault."

Thats who Richard Dackleman is; a demon of Kwabena's making that must be banished.

The moment of tenderness seems to begin passing, and Kwabena's grasp tightens upon Melody's shoulders. "I'm gonna make him burn, Mel. I have to."

-

The embrace was met with a head upon his shoulder, she didn't return the hug; it was just her way. But it seemed as if he needed the comfort too. And she listens. From start to finish, she understands in that moment why he took it upon himself to rid the world of Dackleman, because he felt he made the man who he was just by those few words. But, she couldn't believe it, not one bit.

"People are going to do what they're going to do, no matter who says what. You should know that by now, dumb ass." It was an ode to his earlier 'hard times', but her voice lightened just a little when she said it. "You can't take the blame for something that was possibly the plan all along." Her hand reaches up, hesistates, then lightly lays it upon his cheek. "You'll be older, you die faster, you got to let that way of thinking go or else it's going to eat you up."

She does grow stiff once he squeezes her hard enough, she doesn't mention that she could bruise easily now that she was defunct, but she does suck in a little bit of breath and tries to lightly shrug her shoulders to get him to ease up, all the while attempting to snake an arm around him to return the hug to let him know it was okay to stay there.

"You see that don't you? Evil is going to be evil no matter what, it's going to hurt whomever because it can. None of this is on you. Not one bit. And if you keep believing that, you at least got me to say.. 'Kwabena didn't do this. I'm in his corner cause he's my hero.'"

Ew. Mushy.

-

Deep down, Kwabena knows that she's right. His mind flashes to those stories told in his Ghanaian village, of the books he'd read growing up. Where the hero overcomes great odds to save the day. He believes that there's a part of him who can he just that.

He lightens his grasp the moment he senses that it's too much. The particulars of why aren't important, at least not in this moment. A dozen words try to come to his tongue, excuses to explain how it is his fault, how he's done so many horrible things. The memory of digging out a pimp's eyes with the mans own knife, so brutally fresh in his mind.

It takes a long moment for any words to form. It takes the snaking of Melody's arm to convince him that he can trust her. Though he's unlikely to divulge the breadth of his dirty deeds, they rise to the surface, causing his frame to tremble just a touch.

Then, she has to go and refer to him as her hero.

"I… I didn't sleep." Kwabena doesn't explain how. The words themselves don't even make much sense; at least, they wouldn't from the perspective of a third party. But no, here, in this moment, they make all the sense in the world.

Its a rare occurrence. So rare, in fact, that Kwabena can't remember the last time he let himself feel so free. His hands rise to twine into Melody's hair, not harshly, not exactly tender. There's a need in the gesture, finally admitting that he's just as flawed as anyone else, and it comes in the way his hands finally find their way to the base of Melody's skull. A tender touch, and a motion of unexpected need.

A long, well overdue sigh escapes the African's mouth. His head dips, but not to rest upon her shoulder. He needs the comfort of another person's eye, and he seeks it with irises of silver. So deep is the expression; of pain, of regret, of determination, of vigor.

Kwabena simply doesn't want to look away. She understands him, and that's more than anything he might have expected.

-

She sinks into him more as he relaxes, her shoulder rolling just a little to work out the placed kinks there, her hand squeezing into the fabric of his outfit, still determined to keep him in place. She really couldn't say much, even if she wanted to chide him for not sleeping. She didn't sleep as much as she would have liked to either, but to think that he stayed up all night cleaning up her messes were just admirable.

"Oh.. Kwabena.." She murmurs sadly, her eyes looking into his as the grip to her hair and scalp sends chills down her spine. Her own eyes had the option of change, but it was slowly dying away like the rest of her. Could she tell him? Maybe.. at least at the last minute if she couldn't be fixed. And at least, she finally found her hero.

The hand that doesn't grip him presses into his shoulder so that he could move away from him, so that she could stand and move towards the stove to turn off the omelet lest it burns. But she would still carry that grip of his clothing even if she had to find another spot to hold on to just to keep him with her. She was going to take care of someone for once, other than herself.

-

Eyelids flutter, and Kwabena looks to the stove. Another minute, thirty seconds maybe, and the omelette would have been singed beyond reasonable edibility.

It doesn't matter. He's tugged along easily enough, rumpled shirt at least some sign that he did catch an hours worth of sleep.

As soon as Melody has shut off the burner, Kwabena reaches a hand around, gloveless, and pulls her closer with a tug against the space just below and between her shoulders. The other hand lifts her chin, and he presses lips against hers. There is hunger in the gesture, need, even; though a tenderness comes in the way he holds her for a long moment, not wanting to let go. Only after a few moments do his lips part, a tease of the tongue to suggest the attraction he feels for her.

-

It was a quick movement, all done with one hand, knob turned and omelet forgotten; left to simmer in the pan and left to it's own devices, or to rot with the way she felt. Hunger was the least of her worries if there were any for her at that moment, for the lift of her chin caused edibles to be forgotten and a slight tinge of red within her cheeks became her biggest threat of backing away from the man that she held on to. She didn't, she remained still as ever, allowing the maneuvering and the kiss that was given, her lips forming with his to mimic movements to avoid awkwardness, that tight grip upon his shirt draws knuckles to whiten from the intensity.

The tease of the tongue draws her back, her eyes wide with mild surprise, the unspoken language of her movements told she was surprised by this, equally attracted, but surprised. The grip loosens as she takes a step back, bare feet turning by heel to take on a gentle stride as she leads him out of the kitchen proper towards the stairs which led to her bedroom; not trashed but obviously slept in.

No words were needed to fill the moment of her intentions, just guiding hands and movements that directed him towards the inevitable. Albeit slowly and careful of course, she was still stiff and the reaction to the memory of pain was still there. Once the room was reached, she let go, the bed soon reached and once sweat soaked sheets were tugged and pulled from the mattress and tossed upon the corner. She felt the need to clean at least, to make it magical and memorable, but all she could do was stand there, frozen. What the fuck was she doing? What -is- she thinking? Who does this?


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