Trick and Education

January 8, 2015: Danny and Melody talk about their shared issues. Nothing to see here folks.

Danny's Motel

It could use a little paint.



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Mood Music:

Dan, having not been able to sleep, got up early and went down the street, getting greasy dollar breakfast sandwiches, coffee able to burn through a table if spilled, and a couple of packs of cigarettes. He returns to find her still asleep, for which he can hardly blame her. She dealt with the Rider. Dealing with the Rider, even for people without the burden of guilt on their souls, wasn't exactly going to the movies. It was going to a horror movie in IMAX where the monster is calling you by name and wants to come into your house.

The Rider scared Dan and Dan lived with the monster every day. But, of course, Melody has her…glowing thing. And she's living at a place that she doesn't seem to belong. Mysteries. Shit. Mysteries were for cops.

Good guy or not, Dan still didn't like cops.

She. Was. Out.

She didn't exactly snore, but the chill of the weather outside prompted her to wrap herself within his jacket, her jacket, and even a blanket just to keep herself warm. She was snuggled, nestled into the pillow and blankets, almost like a baby would who was packed too tight and comfortable. She could barely even hear him the night before, moving around, eating, making noise, and sleeping. Even today, she didn't hear him moving around.. leaving.. coming and going.

She could sleep like the dead, but she doesn't. It was the smell of food and coffee that slowly roused her from her cocoon. Sure, he had a devil or something in him, that was fine. If she spit on the ground the concrete would probably get cancer! So once she awakens, she looks around, serious case of bedhead and slightly reddened eyes from sleep. She looks a fine mess, and really didn't care. Why would she? There was no one to impress.

"Is that coffee I smell?" Her voice, it was even a little bit scratchy.

Dan Ketch extends a hand, making a wobbly motion, "That's what they called it anyway. It ain't exactly Colombian shit, but, then, the only Colombian I ever had…" he realizes what he's about to say and just moves on. "I got you a big one. There's a bacony muffin thing there, too. If you're Jewish or something, sorry about the pork."

He lights his cigarette, a perfect counterpoint to the salty, spiced sausage of his sandwich, "Think there might be a hash brown square in there, too."

He sits for a long moment. "I'm sorry you had to see that. I…can't control him. I can call him, but, if he decides to come on his own, the best I can do is slow him down. And slowing him down hurts. A lot."

Melody wriggles her way out of the mess she called her makeshift bed, her bare feet soon exposed as she plants them upon the mattress. Her eyes are rubbed lazily, which soon are blinked to focus in on him and his words. "I'm not Jewish." She confirms, and leans over to reach for the bag. "I'm so hungry.."

Though, once he mentions The Rider, she stiffens considerably. Thinking on what to say, her lips twist back and forth, her eyes slowly meeting his as her head tilts just a little. "He didn't come after me. So stop hurting yourself."

She pauses just a little, then finally takes a huge bite out of her sandwich. "Heef lesh me huf him." Translation: He let me hug him.

Dan Ketch shakes his head, "Apologizing isn't hurting myself. And yeah, I saw that - I can't control him, but I can kinda…I dunno, see what's happening when he's running things. It's like being in a video game, except I'm just watching somebody else play. Which is dumb. Who watches someone else play a fuckin' video game?"

"I don't think he knew what to make of you. You didn't run. Everybody fuckin' runs," he laughs, "I'm not sure if that makes you dumb, crazy or brave as all hell."

Melody shrinks just a little, cheeks gone red as she looks down. The sandwich was put away then, losing her appetite because.. "I do.." Gosh, that had to hurt.

And then he calls her dumb yet again! Her hands are soon thrown up as her gaze looks towards the ceiling, tears soon pooling at the lower lids as she wipes it away with the back of her hand. Notice, she focused on the dumb, and not the other bits. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

Dan Ketch sees the reaction and winces, "Ah, I'm sorry. Shit," he says, "I'm not good with people. Bikes, cars…I know how they go together, but people…I just screw things up. I'm glad you did. I just…people who stay around me get hurt. Broken." he says.

His eyes are haunted as he says it, turning towards the window, unconsciously looking in the direction of the hospital where his sister lies in a coma. Because of him, him being stupid. His mother was probably there, knitting, talking to her, even though Barb barely qualified above a vegetable. Mom was going broke keeping her alive. Dan couldn't talk her out of it. And it was hard to get a steady job to help pay the bills when you get dragged around all night punishing the wicked.

"I just didn't want you getting hurt. Which means I shouldn't have let myself forget…" he says. "Forget what I am now."

"No. It's okay." Melody murmurs, sniffling just a bit. She dealt in extremes, especially when it cames to emotions. She could be a raving lunatic on the side of justice one moment, the other could be a turn down towards a dark path into depression, that's when the woe is me would start. "Everyone breaks though. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself."

Renewed, she picks up her bacon bagle type deal and finishes it off, watching his mannerisms, his actions. She shakes her head slightly, then blurts out. "I can't have tattoos." What that meant? She'd explain if he would ask.

"I understand. I mostly only relate to things on the computer and people through the computer because they can't see me and words could take on their own meaning and inflections. I can understand machines better. I may not know how they work but I feel them." She rocks back and forth a little, then reaches out with her hand so that he'd give her the coffee to wash it all down. "I'm thirsty."

Dan Ketch reaches down into a bag nearby, "I've got beer and…beer," he says, wincing. "But I think there's a Coke machine outside, I can get you a soda or, like, a V8 or something," he says.

He blinks at the tattoo comment, "Aw, that sucks. You'd look cute with some ink." he says. "I gotta say, I was never good with computers and stuff. Or school. You'd have probably hated me," he says. "It was better when I dropped out. I was ruinin' it for the smart kids," he says.

"Believe me, if it sounds like I'm hard on myself, you haven't heard my mother's opinion."

Gah. She was hoping he'd have coffee. The mention of beer causes her head to shake almost immediately. "No no. I don't drink. I mean I do, but I shouldn't. I could! But, restraint." She grins just a little, then places her hands upon the bed to boost herself up and crawl towards the edge, ending with a lay upon her belly and a kick up of her feet. She watches him explain, chin placed upon her palms, her brows drawn up as she gives a shake of her head. She really didn't want to hear it. If he was bad on himself..

"Want to see a trick?" She starts off, and even if he said no, she'd show it either way.

"Um.. I'm trying to think of the most common.." Aha! Folding her arms out so that he could see, she closes her eyes momentarily as her skin slowly begins to glow. Little spots which light up, scrawl across her skin to raise false ink of an image of a rose. "This is about as far as tattoos I can come." She states, looking down towards her arms. Once the glow stops? The image remains, but will fade over time. "I'll take the V8, but only if it's fruity."

Dan Ketch looks with genuine wonder at the way the lights play under the girl's skin. For as much crazy shit had happened to him, he hadn't actually gotten to know anybody else with their own crazy shit. Just the usual fuckers from the neighborhood and he wasn't about to try to talk to them about…well, anything anymore, really. They were bad influences and, unbelievably, he was trying to be good.

"It's very pretty. I…what is it?" he says. He holds up a hand, "Lemme get your drink first, I get the feeling this ain't gonna be a short explanation," he grins.

He hops out of the room quickly, returning with the bottle of vegetable-citrusy stuff, "Here is your tomato based drink," he smiles, sitting down beside her on the edge of the bed.

"So…I'm possessed by a Spirit of Vengeance that crusades around chasing down and whipping the shit out of anything or anybody that's spilled innocent blood. What's your deal?" he grins.

"It's.. complicated?" She says, unsure of how to explain it. But once he leaves? It gives her ample time to actually think on how to explain it in words that he could understand. Once he returns, she sits upright, sliding halfway off of the bed to reach for her drink, but she doesn't open it just yet.

"I think yours is pretty cool. In the right context. You saved those people back there. Focus on the good stuff."

When it came time to explain her deal, she starts with a backstory, as everyone has one, whether regular or not.

"Well, when I was younger, I got a rare form of cancer. Pancreatic cancer. With the money my dad saved up from his company, he was able to introduce me into a program that no one really knows about. Well, I'm sure they know now but.." She shrugs her shoulders. "In any case, he wanted to cure me, so he managed to sneak in some nanites into my blood. It didn't work right away, but he had to keep modifying the nanites so that it would actually eat the cancer. And it did, for the most part. But it also gave me extra.. abilities?" She smiles a little, then opens up her drink. "But since they were really unable to cure the cancer, it's still there. The nanites keep me going. It actually heals me and other people too. Which I think is pretty darn cool." And then, there was a thought. "You don't have your high school diploma?"

Dan Ketch shakes his head, "Nope. What's a nanite? It sounds like it's pretty cool, if it can get rid of cancer. My aunt Sophie had cancer, nasty shit. All her hair fell out. I miss her brownies," he says.

"So…like, what kind of other stuff can you do? Other than be the coolest lava lamp ever. I mean, seriously, if I ever get a bag of weed again, I'm going to call you and just get blazed and check out this show."

Nanites are tiny little computers mixed in with machines. Like really tiny. You can barely see it almost." She frowns at the mention of his aunt, then takes a quick drink of her tomato citrus juice.

She thinks, then looks up towards the ceiling as the lights begin to flicker and dim, then becomes bright again. "I can do that.. I can also travel anywhere I need to go without ever leaving the room. I can find any information as long as it's online. I could even check your background…" She pauses. ".. which is why if I asked if you had a high school diploma. Yes, I can find out but I really don't want to be rude."

She takes another swing of her drink. "That's kind of rude to be nosy."

Dan Ketch shrugs, "I have terrible manners, I ain't gonna lie. Most of what I've seen, manners is just people lyin' and pretendin' shit so other people don't get their feelin's hurt. But, if what I really think hurts your feelings, shouldn't you know that shit? Anyway, you can always tell me to fuck off, I don't take it personal none," he says.

"Feel free to look up anything you want. Mostly gonna be me gettin' picked up by the cops and shit. Not lately. I'm retired from my old racket. I was a damn good car thief, though," he says.

Melody cracks up laughing. Nothing that he said was funny, it was all serious in context, perhaps it was his wording that made her laugh and giggles so much to the point a snort sneaks itself through the haze. She jerks a little, her hand reaching up to cover her mouth, her cheeks burning red with a few flecks of red and purple lights sprinkling upon the surface. "You're right." She says with a muffled tone.

She scoots back upon the bed more, just so that she could cross her legs, waiting to take another sip in fear of bursting out into a giggle fit. "I'll give you a diploma and your ASC if you want. It's going to cost you though." She doesn't look at him as she says this, her latter words mumbled.

Dan Ketch laughs, taking a sip of a freshly opened beer, assuming the girl's joking but then, "Wait…seriously? I mean…the high school thing I don't care much, but my certs would help a lot…" he says.

"I admit, I don't got much money to pay ya, though. Couple hundred, although I have a job next week, detailin' some dude's car, should pay a half thou under the table," he says.

"I…why would you wanna help a guy who almost got you tied up with a crazy demon?"

Melody wasn't joking. Her jokes were terrible. She'd make a joke about a radeon type computer being rushed into traffic by an ATI and maybe no one would get it. And that was fine, she'd make herself laugh.

"The school thing is necessary if you want your ASC." She points out, tilting her juice bottle towards him. She does smile though, the mention of money drawing her head to a shake, his question causes her head to tilt as if she were part machine.

"Because everyone deserves it. And you're nice to me. And that demon was nice to me. He spoke to me and said that my blood sings. I thought it was beautiful the way he said it." She was weird. "It made me feel pretty at least."

She sighs a little, a slight frown drawing upon her lips as she puts the bottle away. Her mood had shifted, and she didn't want to look at Dan with a frown, only smiles. She lays upon her side, bunching his jacket and hers together, hugging it against her chest as she curls into a ball.

Dan Ketch is pretty damn happy about the possibility of getting his stuff taken care of. He doesn't care about the legal niceties - he's pretty sure the Rider won't find him an unworthy host or try to get back at him just because he slipped around a few of the State of New York's pesky regulations.

"Wait, why wouldn't you feel pretty? I mean…" he says, and he sees the way she curls in on herself. Dan isn't very reflective - he's not dumb, he's just always been a guy who didn't spend much time thinking very hard. There was always too much to do.

He finds himself scooting over and, hesitantly, reaching out to put a hand on her knee, "Hey…hey, it's okay, Mel. I…I'm sure it heard something pretty, it just…doesn't always know what to do with pretty things. Hell, I don't and I'm at least a person," he says. "But, y'know…you're pretty on your own, even without singing blood or glowing or anything."

"It's not that.." She states, reacting to the touch upon her knee. She draws it up, then lowers it again, attempting to be comfortable in her own skin. "Physically, I know I'm pretty, and mentally, I know that it won't last long."

She finally draws her knee away from his hand in order to sit up to face him.

"This is all going to go away one day. Me, you.. and seeing it last night put almost everything into perspective. I didn't stare into it's eyes like you told me not to but, it kind of makes me wonder what I'm doing with my life. I just, sit at the Tin Roof, work on the security stuff. I barely go out, I sometimes meet people and make new friends but.."

She sighs a little. "Pretty only gets you so far. One day, I want to do something good that everyone will remember. Maybe save a .. no. Not one, a whole bunch of lives." She smiles a little. "My employer, she does that. She saves a bunch of peoples lives and takes care of them. She makes sure that everyone is okay in the end and she protects them. Animals too, you know? She does everything. I want to do something like that. I want to do something that would make people finally proud of me and glad to know me instead of being a person in the sea made of pretty."

She looks towards him, eyes begging for understanding. "Does that make sense?"

Dan Ketch runs a hand through his hair, "Well…yeah, sure. You wanna get something done. I think everybody does. Not that I don't…have the same thoughts. I mean, right now, I'm just kind of a…horse, with the Rider…that's what he's called, the Ghost Rider…pulling on my reins."

"And now I"m just talkin' about my shit. Seriously, with the stuff you can do? I mean, computers is like…everythin' now. Even in cars, fuck, it's killin' me a little bit, although I can deal with it some there because…I dunno, 'cause I get cars and it's computer for a car and…"

"And I'm doin' it again. Look, yer a cool chick, Mel. You should do what you wanna do."

As Melody watches him, her brows raise higher and higher. For some reason, a little smile draws upon her lips, the gaze she forces upon him rather weird as he turns the conversation back upon himself. And he knows it! He would be comedy gold, placed in an awkward situation. Mel even sees this.

"Okay. I'll take your advice."

She lets out a little relieved sigh, then stands from the bed, her hands soon reaching over towards his face to grip him and plant a kiss upon his forehead. "You're awkward, Dan Ketch. And it makes you look handsome, kinda." No.. that's not right. "Not awkward, no. Weird. That's the word. You're weird."

And an after thought. "And it's going to cost you that burger and greasy stuff I wanted."

Dan Ketch knows he's handsome. It's the main thing he's had going for him, other than being good with his hands. Girls always liked him, cut him breaks, even when he was a lousy boyfriend. Which he always had been. He'd even ripped off a couple of girls - well, their parents anyway. God, he was such a little shit when he was a teenager. If he met fifteen year old him, he'd beat the crap out of himself.

"I kinda figured I was weird the first time my head caught on fire," he grins. "But I'm learnin' t'be okay with it. And that sounds like a god damn plan to me. I know this place, it's just a fuckin' food cart, but it's run by this dude, Pablo? He's like some sorta Aztec or some shit, weird ass ink. Anyways, he makes these burgers but he stuffs Mexican shit inside it. Like, jalapenos and cheese and salsa. His truck has some bullshit fuckin' nobody can say it name, so everybody in the neighborhood called it Taco Burger. You and me, we're gonna get some fuckin' Taco Burgers, with his spicy fries and sodas so big we can fuckin' drown in 'em." he grins.

She runs her fingers through his hair, then messes it all up as she takes a step back. Listening and.. hearing about Pablo? Gosh, her face lights up as if it were christmas. It sounded so unhealthy, and so delicious, her mouth nearly waters and her stomach nearly had the means to growl.

"Oh god, that sounds so nice.." She says wistfully, her eyes growing vacant with the thought.

"So it's a date. Uh.. a meeting. Or whatever. You know where the Tin Roof is?" She asks, on her way to the bathroom. Once the door closes, the shower sparks up. "Just pick me up from there. I should have your cards ready by then. You're already certified, by the way, I just did it a second ago!"

Dan Ketch blinks and laughs, "Wow, that's…okay. Shit. That's cool," he says. He'll have to start looking for jobs, although he'll still have to find something flexible enough to account for the midnight forays. The Rider would hunt, regardless of what Dan needed - it cared only for its mission.

"You can call it a date. That way, if I try t'kiss you, it ain't like you ain't been warned it's a possibility," he says. "Yeah, I can find the roof. Fair warnin' - you might want to double check to make sure there ain't any murderers on the premises when I show up. If he gets a whiff of 'em…ain't nothin' I can do."

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