A Different Kind of Damsel

Summary:
January 25, 2015: Reese Takeda recovers at Hal Jordan's apartment.

Hal's place.

It actually looks nice


Characters

NPCs

  • Cujo

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Hal finally did get pizza for Reese, just not until he'd let her sleep off her experience at his apartment. Whatever that Phage thing had done to her, she'd slept like the dead (wait, was she, like, undead? He didn't really understand her immortality thing). He spent the morning checking in with his bosses back in California (then promptly ignoring their complaints) and watching a basketball game on TV.

When he hears her starting to stir, he sends in an order on his phone and, twenty minutes later, four pizzas are deliverd to his door. After tipping the delivery boy, he sets them on his kitchen table then goes to check on her. He sits and squeezes her shoulder, "Hey. Got some pizza for you, if you're up to eating. Not traditional breakfast, but you wouldn't want my pancakes anyway." he says. "I got a vegetarian one just in case you don't eat meat. If you do eat meat, we can always donate it to some poor hippie."

The night was long. She managed to keep herself in check as she snuggled in the bed fast asleep. But there were moments she had nightmares and woke up in the middle of the night in a slight sweat, but with the pitbull laying on her legs, she felt comforted. When she /did/ start to stir, the sounds of the dog whimpering loudly and scramping around the room is what Hal probably heard, his tongue flopped from his mouth, waiting on Reese to get out of bed to sit with him and eventually take him for a walk.

But she didn't really get out of bed.

It took a while for Hal to come into the room, but once he did, she drew the blankets up higher to cover parts of her face, and even though she can't see him see her, she still felt like she needed to. She didn't want to be seen; her face was puffy from crying, eyes slightly red. She just looked like death warmed over and her hair was nothing to shake a stick at. All of those years spent being homeless, and now is the time she chose to be wary about her appearance.

"I'm not really hungry." She quietly states. "And the dog needs to go for a walk."
Hal says, "I can take him, no worries." He concentrate for a moment and a leash forms, connecting to the dog's collar and, after a moment, shimmering into a bland, light green, not glowing like it was made of energy even though it is. "Be good for me. If you're not hungry, then your body's lying to you, because you haven't eaten while I've been with you since yesterday afternoon and I know you suffered quite a bit. Your body needs reserves just like anybody else, I'm betting. I'm not going to force you to eat, obviously, but I think you should give it a try at least."

"Giorgio's is awesome anyway," he says, pausing to grab a slice, clearly planning to take it with him as he walks the dog, "Try it with some of the aged parmesan he includes, or some crushed red pepper. Hell, slather the whole thing in ranch dressing, I've got, like, four bottles in the fridge. Somehow I always think I'm out of ranch," he says, "I'll be right back. Don't leave." he says, then giving a grunt as the dog pulls, 'Hold your horses there, Cujo, I'm comin'…"

Her hand slips from the sheets to reach out towards the dog, who in turn begins to lick her hand in greeting, the first and possibly only time she's shown him affection since the encounter last night. Her hand quickly draws away, tucking her hand underneath as she slowly flops along the bed to turn away. "I know when I'm hungry. I know what it feels like.." She really does, she felt it ten times over last night and it actually made her sick to think about.

Even him listing off suggestions made her want to hurl, but her eyes close, blanket pulled up over her head, body curling into a slight ball, the soft words of 'I won't'.. drawing from the blankets as she tunes an ear to hear the door close and distant footsteps in the hallway.

She wasn't sure that he was gone or not, but she continued to lay there, underneath the blankets and quietly crying, often time jerking as random memories refuse to leave.

Hal Jordan returns after about twenty minutes, having given the dog a good run around the block, incorporating his own morning jog into it. He even stops to get the big thing a hot dog from a cart they pass.

When he returns, the leash dissolves and the animal runs over to check on its Mistress, as does Hal. He leans in the doorway to the bedroom against the doorjam, his eyes soft. He's torn between his instinct to coddle her until she feels better and his military training that wants him to make her get up and walk it off. He's had too many drill sergeants. He finally walks over and sits at the foot of the bed, putting a hand on her knee.

"Can I help? Talking, thinking things out…you could punch me a bunch to work out your aggressions. I'm an excellent dummy."

It would have been funny, if she were just bouncing off the walls and a ball full of joy doing backflips and cantrips and anything else that would have wrecked his apartment. But sadly, the truth is she continued to lay there even though he had gone for those twenty minutes. She didn't even poke her head up from the blankets, only the sounds of soft sniffling could be heard.

The dog, aptly named Cujo now, leaps upon the bed, turning around in circles until it settles down upon the bed, soft whimpering and whines as loud as the day is long is heard, and with a bump of her bottom, he quiets down.

After a moment.. she quietly murmurs.. "Why am I still alive? After all this.. I think it's a punishment and I need to go away. I wish I knew how."

Hal Jordan lays down on the bed across from her, careful not to impinge on her space, but wanting to be able to make eye contact. She's obviously fragile, jagged shards on the inside as a result of whatever the monster had done to her. Hal wasn't particularly good at this sort of thing. He was a concrete person, better at actions than words, and psychology, sincerity, comfort? All of those were out of his skillset.

"Sometimes there aren't reasons for things. Life isn't a book, with some author scribbling in all our lines and deciding what happens next. Sometimes things just are. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're alive. I'm sure I'm not the only one."

Reese wasn't good at talking at all, but she tried really. With all of that which has happened, a lot of pain, regret of living, guilt surfaced within her and it made her want to be rid of it all. Living so long, she wasn't afraid of death. Sometimes she'd wish it when it was too cold for a normal human to survive, and when they didn't, she tried to keep herself busy with.. other things.

"You're almost the only other one who knows me. Knows I exist. The rest, I'm just a blip on the unimportant radar."

The dog shuffles close, whipping his tail back and forth, feeling her discomfort. That discomfort causes her to slowly sit up, wiping away at her eyes as she slides herself towards the edge of the bed to stand, her hand reaching out to feel around as she tries to make her way out of the room. She figures she might as well eat, even if she didn't want to.

Hal Jordan moves quickly and takes her hand, "Let me help," he says, his firm tone of voice indicating that he wasn't going to take any self-sufficient guff on the matter. He helps her find her way to the kitchen, pulling out a chair for her and setting her down, "Three boxes in front of you. Pepperoni, Meat Explosion and Veggie, from left to right," he says. "I kept the meatball one for myself," he says.

He picks up a piece of the meatball, taking a bite and chewing a moment before he responds, 'I sincerely doubt that. I'm sure you're noticed more than you know you are. I know that man you helped yesterday is glad you're alive. I know your heart well enough to know that you spread your healing talent around, to people that others don't often notoice, that wouldn't get any help at all if it weren't for you. They may not know your name or your history, but those things don't matter. The past is past. Just because you have a lot more of it doesn't make it less so."

He sighs, "I'm not preaching at you. Fuck, I'm not exactly a role model for good living. You'll find a lot of whiskey bottles in the garbage can here. We call carry things. Sometimes well. Sometimes badly. But my Dad told me this is the ride you get. You hold onto the saddle until somebody throws you the hell off. Anything else is giving up."

She does try to bat his hand away a little, but she relents, allowing him to pull her into the kitchen and settling into the chair with a little bit of a sigh. As he describes where the pizza is laid, she reaches out and takes a pepperoni, leaving it upon the table just to pick at it slightly with her head down, even though he begins to lecture her through his chewing.

She almost feels unresponsive, but she does smile a little, her eyes closing and head shaking as a bite was taken and soon reluctantly chewed. "Whatever."

She tried to make her tone light, even add in a little smile before it fades away, settling for focusing on the pizza for now.

Hal Jordan puts on a slightly mocking tone, "'Whatever'. Okay, dude," he says with a soft smile. He eats a couple of pieces and closes the boxes. He'll be eating pizza for all his meals for a day or two. Hey, he got different kinds, that's like having variety in his diet!

"I'm sorry for whatever you went through," he says, "I'm sure it's something I couldn't even imagine." he says. He knows all he has is cliches, really - pain didn't disappear because you wanted it to go away. It certainly didn't because some fighter jock superhero tells you to get over it. He opens his fridge, "I'm going to have a beer. Or six. You want any?"

She shakes her head slightly. "People willingly put themselves in that.. sort of position. As did I. You shouldn't have to be sorry. No one should." She quietly murmurs, finishing off her pizza. She didn't feel better, but she felt comfortable talking now, that at least counts for something.

"I stopped drinking back in the 70's. Sometimes it was pointless because I'd only stay drunk for six hours. The 70's were a rough time."

Hal Jordan takes a sip of his beer, "Primitive. I'm sure beer technology has come incredibly far since then," he says. He moves over and, tentatively, puts an arm around her, giving her a hug, "I don't feel sorry for you. I like you and I want you to feel better. And there's nothing wrong with feeling sorry for somebody anyway - sorrow's not a judgement, it's a sign that you give a damn." he says. "I guess I'm here to tell you that I give a damn about you."

Reese shakes her head completely. It was obvious that she wasn't going for another piece of pizza, but she leans in to the hug with a little bit of a slumped shoulder and sigh. She tries to cover though, not ignoring the fact that he gave a damn about her, but just needed to talk about something else other than how he felt, how she felt.. just something. So the topic itself rolled around to beer. Beer and drugs.

"It's not the technology. I'm sure the beer stayed the same throughout the years and only posh people who consider themselves the experts on the taste of beers are full of crap. Baka." Her lip turns up slightly, drawing into story time as she leans against him. "In the 70's. I dated a guy named Swift. He was one of the investors of some old club called Studio 54. Real, solid jack ass.." She admits, shaking her head. "But I didn't care, I was heavy into drugs back then and he had the best blow a girl could ask for."

Hal Jordan raises an eyebrow, "Studio 54, huh? I've heard the stories. I think I saw the movie," he says. "It would've been interesting to meet you in party mode. I sort of think of you like this street saint, going around curing people's ills. I'd like to see your bad girl side," he says.

"I only tried coke once or twice in high school. It was good, but I already knew I wanted to join the service, and they weren't going to let me in if I tested positive for nose candy. Mostly I stuck to liquor. And the occasional joint."

"I think I heard the movie once.." Reese idly comments. "I wasn't a nice person back then, at least in those days. You wouldn't have liked me, in fact, I was disgusting." It was her own little confession to make her feel better, a little smile drawn up at the mention of street saint. That sounds about right, now a days.

"That's what it was essentially. Back then when I was growing up, there wasn't a concept of high schools. Just learning whatever your parents or scholars, or mentors thought fit for you to learn, especially if it was designated to your station."

She shrugs her shoulders. "I did a little bit of everything and had other people joined with me. I pushed it all into their systems and pushed people and myself to the limits and I knew damn well that after a while, my system would heal itself so I could start all over again. It.. it was the people that were addicted, were the addictions for me, really."
Hal Jordan considers, opening a second beer as he pulls a chair up next to you, "I doubt you were disgusting. I'm sure you thought you were - you seem kind of judgemental of you, though, so I'm gonna take it with a grain of salt," he says.

"Things aren't always simple black and white." he says. "You did what you felt you needed to do. Were who you felt you needed to be. Maybe you deserve to cut yourself a bit of slack."

Reese had to laugh at that, reaching out with her hand in his direction to touch his shoulder, and neck, and then his cheek. Final placement.

"Honey, you're wearing rose colored glasses. I was a bitch." She doesn't remove her hand either, taking the time to actually stroke his cheek carefully, and soon the other hand joins to touch the other side, taking little mental measurements just to know how he actually looks.

"No, they're not black and white. And I didn't do what I felt I needed to do. I destroyed a lot of people back then. I'm not a street saint even though I try to be." Once she was done, her thumbs trace over her lips and she smiles. "For a man, you're actually really pretty."

Hal Jordan laughs, "That's the general opinion," he says, not denying it. False humility isn't really his style. "I'd have been a hell of a girl, actually. Playboy quality. Not that it would matter that much to you," he says. "Well, I was raised Catholic. Most of the best saints used to be sinners. Saint Augustine almost took pride in it - the "man, you wouldn't believe the shit I used to get up to" thing. All I know is, you help people, just like I try to do. Probably in some ways better than I can - I mostly just punch things real hard, one way or another. You make people feel better."

She drops her hands down into his lap, idly patting his thigh as she stands. "So do you." She finally says, taking hold of the back of the chair to move herself around it so that she could find her own way to the bedroom. She really didn't offer up any words, she was a little tired of talking. She wanted to sleep the rest of the day away before she heads back to the 'tugboat' or 'steamship' where the rest of the people that lived there, were. She was sure they'd be worried about Cujo by now, they'd just have to suffer another day without him.

Hal Jordan lets her go and get some rest, sipping on his beer, "I'll check on you in a little while," he calls, and he will. His gaze lingers after she's gone, thoughtful. Reese had so many layers, and he still felt like he was peeling her, finding new things underneath. He'd never met anyone like her - and he'd met some pretty strange people. Some strange that weren't people at all.

But he liked her and felt weirdly protective of her, maybe because they'd first met with him rescuing her. He had a little bit of a knight in armor complex, he knew. But Reese…was a very different kind of damsel.


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