Let's not be too hasty
|Chase Cooper||"Gotta keep - one jump, ahead of the breadline."
The boy can't sing. He knows it. Everyone that can hear him knows it. But Chase considers himself a modern-day Aladdin. It isn't a choice, but instead a necessity. Despite it all, he would appear to the world a normal young man. Barely nineteen years of age, he maintains himself if only to force the world to turn him a blind eye. He simply does not fit the mold, and it is a choice.
Homeless, he doesn't appear to be so. Clean clothes adorn him, clean hair lays atop his head, and a fresh face greets each day.
"One swing ahead of the sword!"
The village he resides in now is small, mere kilometers from home. Home is barely what one could call it, but when the only person you care about is there - that really just makes it home. He would be there with her. He was, for years. But he can't. Though he plans to. Biding his time, Chase does what he must to survive.
Which is why, as he stuffs a reusable green bag full of apples from a stand in the local supermarket, he strolls about the place before heading for the door. This is normal. This is how things are done. With no money, he has little choice in the matter.
"I steal only what I can't afford."
"Hey! Kid! You gotta pay fer that!"
"Shít. That's everything!"
Without a second though, he bolts, scampering out of the market and into the sleepy parking lot where someone just has to be driving right where he needs to be walking. But he is skilled in the art of escape, and it is without even a thought that he jumps up and vaults himself over the hood, landing in a tumble before taking off once more.
They don't bother to chase him. What are they going to do, anyway? Nothing. The only problem is that he can't go back, and will have to find somewhere else too get his food. That could be problematic, considering the closest place is exactly where he needs to not be. He can't go there.
It's fine. He has time. He can make this bounty last a few days while he comes up with a solution that will, surely, be an even worse idea than literally shoplifting from the store itself.
So, as breaks away from the sleepy civilization and approaches the abandoned farmhouse that is near expiration, he finds himself humming once more as he slips inside and places the sack upon the crudely kept table. Three legs. It only has three legs, and the only thing keeping it from collapse is the wall upon which it leans.
There is no electricity, and no running water. Chase depends upon the well out in the field, and even then, it is hit or miss. He is no expert on these things, and thus often finds himself with a pail full of muddied water. So, when in town, he gets his hydration from the garden hoses of the homes of working citizens. They would likely never notice, and really, it is a victimless crime.
A single apple is plucked from the bag, and a resounding crunch makes his presence known through the tiny home as he bites into it. Wordlessly, he makes his way through the kitchen and up the stairs, carefully skipping those that have begun to rot. The bedroom is his office, or at least, that is what he would call it.
It is there, upon the wall, that he has drawn a map of everything he knows about the facility where home currently resides. Dead markers adorn the floor, mixed in with the good, and it takes him several minutes to find one that functions before he turns to the wall.
Chase spends hours here, trying to recall details from those fuzzy moments of clarity. Anything that would help. His goal is clear in his mind, yet there is one fine detail he simply cannot wrap his head around. The only place he has never seen. The one place that matters.
"Okay.. so.. I follow the signs.. and uh... get to the girl's dormitory. And then I just unlock all the doors until... someone bites my nose off and I get caught. Stupid."
The marker is dropped, the apple bit once again, and he retreats from the wall.
Down the stairs.
Up to the musty, dirty couch.
And into the softly mildewy cushions with a groan.
It's there, that Chase would doze off, picking up where he left off.
"I can take a hint," he yawns. "Gotta face the facts."
His eyes slip closed.
"You're my only friend.."
|June 11, 2018 15:38|
|Maya Hall||“Pees!!.. MMM… Mmm-mm… Psss…”
Her muffled words are, of course, disregarded, but she still tries to lock her jaw against their prying fingers. There would be bruises on her face, arms, and legs in the coming hours, reminders of battles constantly fought and constantly lost. Finally, she goes slack, allowing them to plop the pills into the back of her throat where she has no choice but to swallow them.
Maya won’t cry. Not in front of them.
He’ll come back for me..
No he won’t. He abandoned you.
He didn’t… He’ll come back…
But her positivity is fading, along with her control. So many downers…
The only thing worse than when they force the medications on her is when they don’t. She’d be locked in solitary, no contact, and one meal a day. Not that she could eat; she’d spend the majority of her time vomiting and shaking, and the rest screaming into the silence, just so she could hear something.
For now, as she waits for the medication to fully dissolve, she curls into the fetal position and pulls his face to memory. That goofy grin… those shining eyes, always alight with mischief… Home. Her eyes drift shut, and she smiles…
When she comes to, she’s being forcibly dragged from the bed. She has no strength to fight it, though, and instead lets herself be led by the arm, feet dragging. Out in the hall, the lights are blinding, and she shuts her eyes against the harsh glare.
They take her to the girl’s common area, where many other drugged out patients await. “Oh, is it time to socialize us?” The words form in her mind, but her tongue pushes them out in a jumble and it’s barely coherent. With a scoff and a snort, the aid shoves her onto one of the couches next to a teenage girl who was rocking back and forth.
Maya finds that if she looks around too quickly, her vision blurs, forming all shapes into one massive object. Painfully, her stomach churns, and she instinctively wraps her arms around her abdomen and groans. It’s hard to say if it’s hunger or something else entirely, but either way, she stifles herself. Whatever the problem, the solution is too much to bear.
‘Gotta keep one jump ahead of the breadline…’
Her gaze shoots up, causing her head to spin, but she pushes through. The familiar children’s movie plays on the old-as-sh!t television set, having been a favorite of theirs growing up. “No,” she mutters, watching the scene unfold before her, “no… NO!” The memories are too painful, a reminder that the only person that matters… left her.
The room around her is filled with a loud screaming, and it takes her entirely too long to realize the culprit of the disturbance is herself. Three nurses are on her at once, but she fights, kicking and biting and clawing. Her nails find purchase in flesh and she tears as hard as she can, but it’s a fruitless endeavor.
As she’s dragged off to solitary, her yells fill the institute.
“LET ME GO! HE NEEDS ME! LET ME THE F*CK OUT OF HERE! CHAAAASE!! PLEASE, DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!!!”
|June 11, 2018 16:19|
|Chase Cooper||"Alright, Chase. You just gotta do it."
He'd woken up after yet another restless nap. It had been a fight to sleep, just as it always is. Real sleep is rare. Actual rest only comes when his mind is too exhausted to assault him with nightmares of white uniforms, firm grips, and bleary eyes that would barely see him.
"Listen, mate. You're gonna get bit. It's just a fact of life. You know them. They're not bad. They're just not themselves."
Staring into the mirror at himself, he ignores the dark circles beneath his tired eyes. There is no need to look at his map again. Chase made it. It is engrained into his memory, and there would be no forgetting the details.
"And they're going to see you. It's a fact. But you can run. You know you can. So you just run. And you find her. And then you get out."
Of all the things he could do, pep talks were always his specialty. Realistic, yet oddly optimistic. Even when they made piss poor decisions, Chase had been blessed with a colorful mind. Often, he would put on full blown disertations on various subjects like global warming, the Prime Minister, London's South End, or how there should be no borders, anywhere.
There would be no more hyping himself up tonight, though. Instead, Chase would only give himself a nod before walking out the decrepit door of the farmhouse and through the field. Half an hour and two miles later, the winded young man would find himself outside the very place he never wanted to see again.
But he must.
There is no light that circles the property, no guards, nothing. Just a tall, iron fence that Chase would climb with ease. He ignores the protest his body puts up in the face of hunger, unrest, and physical exersion. That same fence, on the inside, he would scale alongside until he reached the back of the building.
Please, don't leave me here...
And, low to the ground, he would move across the grassy space until he reached a heavy metal door. His ear pressed to it firmly, he listens, and then pushes inside. A groan escapes him, quiet but still too loud, as it creaks with new life. And, heart pounding in his ears, he begins his journey through a familiar maze of hallways and rooms.
More than once, he has to fast find a place to hide as uniforms do their nightly patrol. More than once, he is so sure he has been seen or heard, as their footsteps cease and a flashlight roams in search for something. He would never understand why the halls are always dark at night, when none are allowed to roam free.
And, as he turns a corner, so sure that the silence indicates a clear path - he finds himself face to face with a familiar caretaker.
He pauses, still as wide eyes stare on. And then, he leans into the wall beside him.
"Don't. Move." He mocks, childish and sure.
A glint catches his eye, a needle waiting just for him, and before he can think, he's turned around and running in the other direction into unchartered territory. Dodging around another corner, he waits for the man to pass.
It would be the most feral minutes of his life as he jumped upon the man's back and struggled to obtain the needle, sinking it into his shoulder.
"Shhh.. everything is just fine."
Only then does he turn around, retracing his steps and continuing on the path to find home.
|June 11, 2018 17:35|
|Maya Hall||Maya would do anything to get back to Chase.
Which is why, after weeks without his return, she finds herself in the laundry room with a man at least ten years her senior, a crazy glint in his eye. “You know what I want, pretty little bird.” Putting up a hand to stop him from reiterating, she takes in a soothing breath, her heart aflutter in her chest. There is no sense of pride left for the young woman; she simply does what she must.
When he’s finished with her, he casts her aside and pulls his pants back up around himself. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it?” She grits her teeth and sets her jaw, letting the shame go with a roll of her shoulders.
“I’ll take my payment now.”
A shiv is tossed at her feet, and it takes a moment for her fog-addled mind to catch up.
“Oi! My uppers?”
A snort escapes the man before her as he turns to go. “Maybe tomorrow night, aye?”
Wrong answer. Something inside her snaps, and before she knows it, the shiv is handle-deep in his neck. Warily, she glances up toward the camera in the corner, but everyone knows they aren’t in service…
Later that night, just before bed, the place is abuzz with the news of the patient’s death. There are clumps of staff members down the lengths of the halls, whispering their own conspiracy theories about who it could’ve been and yelling threats toward the prisoners if they ambled too close to eavesdrop. Maya is careful to not draw attention to herself as she makes her way to her room with gingerly veiled discomfort.
Casting a look from left to right as she enters to make sure no one seems to be taking too much concern with her, she hurries within and shoves a hand down her pants to retrieve her treasure. After a very gentle extraction, she stows the weapon and pills under her mattress. She only has one chance at this, and she could only hope it goes smoother than last time.
An hour later, and the place is deathly quiet, not a light to be found in the halls or within the patients’ rooms. Another patrol for her hallway is due anytime, and her eyes search for the invading light hungrily. Upon seeing it, she firmly grasps the handle of the shiv and rolls out of bed. With a thud, she lands audibly on the ground and rises to her knees. The weapon pressed against her abdomen in a feigning display of nausea, she shoves fingers down her throat to throw up the medication she’d been forced to take not ten minutes ago.
“‘Ey! What’s going on in there?”
A satisfying click of the lock indicates his solo entrance into her room. With determination, she forces her weakened body into motion as he kneels beside her. Maya draws the blade messily across his throat, no remorse in her eyes. He drops to the ground, gurgling loudly, as she downs the uppers and makes her escape.
Hoping the new medication would beat back the fogginess in her mind, she moves silently through the halls. More than once, she has to dodge into an open door to avoid the patrol, and if she didn’t know better, she would think some universal force was on her side. No one seems alerted to her escape, or the murdered staff member.
Just as she’s thanking her lucky stars, she hears movement from ahead. Almost before she can duck out of sight, someone comes running past, followed closely by one of those white-clothed demons. Unable to help herself, she’s drawn into the outcome, and she can hardly believe her own eyes when the guy jumps on the assailant’s back.
“Shhh… everything is just fine.”
Maya almost screams, but manages to clamp a hand over her own mouth. Fighting back tears, she wonders if this is just a product of her drugged up mind. Could it really be him?
As he sneaks by, she reaches a hand out the door and pulls him silently into the room with her. Her eyes rove over his face, but the darkness is so absolute that she can’t make out the familiar features. Breathlessly, she can only hope.
|June 11, 2018 18:56|
|Chase Cooper||He doesn't get far before Chase feels the grip upon his arm and the strong yank that pulls at him. It takes him by surprise; he hadn't heard anyone else. He bites down on his lip hard, suppressing his instincts to scream out as he had so many times before when he found himself tossed around. The staff here are unforgiving in the name of recovery, and would abuse their patients. A rare day would see someone released from their care, and he is still the only person that has escaped - that he has heard of.
Still, a mind clear of drugs and more drugs allow him this, and the only thing he can do is go along for the ride.
Prepared for another fight, defenses up, what greets him is the sweetest voice he has ever known. Chase is forced to blink several times to bring her into focus through the darkness, until it registers in his mind that this might have just been too easy.
Chalk it up to the power of a bond.
Before he can think of their immediate danger, he's scooped her up, arms tightly fashioned around her in an overdue embrace. She smells of cheap soap, sweat, vomit, and copper. Her clothes are loose upon her thin frame, moreso than he remembers. None of that matters.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry, Maya."
There is an overwhelming amount of emotion, and as Chase burrows his face into her mane of hair, he can feel himself break. Tears dampen her dark locks as he mutters over and over again how sorry he is. "I thought you were with me. You were right behind me. You were right there and then you were gone."
He pulls back barely enough, sniffing, to look at the one face that he's known his entire life to be true. The one person he has always been able to count on, the one who never seemed to doubt him. His only friend. Those same shaking hands release her if only to cradle her face, and dread instantly fills him.
"You're alone... Maya... what happened?"
Questions. There are so many questions. Between the two of them, she had always had it worse. They did that, to the girls. It just made things far more complicated for them as they tried desperately to plan their escape in the first place. He had always been clearer, but barely.
Before he can finish uttering her name, a loud noise pierces the air around them. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Strong and low and demanding, alerting the hospital as a whole that something is wrong. The patients, no doubt, would immediately become crazed in their enclosures. The guards and staff would be running toward disaster as it reached them over their radios.
The search would begin in the girl's dormitories, and spread out through the hospital. Chase knows this. It is exactly what happened last time.
"We gotta go."
Already, his ear is to the door, listening for what he knows would be coming sooner rather than later. A glance back, a hand reached out, and he whispers. "Don't let go."
|June 11, 2018 19:31|
|Maya Hall||The irony of the situation is almost too much as he wraps his own thin arms around her. Burying her face into the crook of his neck, she lets the tears flow freely as her shame from earlier that day permeates her mind’s eye. Maya shakes her head to his whispered apologies, as she could never fully accept that he left her there on purpose. They were inseparable and they’d just gotten unlucky.
And he had come back.
His inquiries cause her to hang her head in despair. Part of her hesitates to tell him the truth of her escape, as she knows he will blame himself. But they had promised each other long ago that there would be no secrets between them, and she can’t bring herself to lie. So, she opens her mouth to spill her guts, only to be interrupted by the telltale sounds of their demise.
She freezes. Forcefully thrown back into the memory of the last time she’d heard those sirens, it’s as if it were yesterday.. She had been just behind him when the arms wrapped around her waist. Before she could call out, a hand was pressed to her mouth and a needle inserted in her neck. Blackness naturally ensued…
“We gotta go.”
She’s already reaching for his hand when he mimics the gesture, and their fingers tangle in a vice grip. “I’m right behind you,” she whispers, her voice catching in her throat with the aspect of getting caught again.
Chase leads them expertly through the halls while Maya makes sure to watch their backs. Occasionally, she would wordlessly pull him back just as a beam of light shot past them, narrowly missing illuminating their forms. Maya’s head is swimming with the effect of the drugs in her system, but she presses on, only to come to a startling epiphany as they pass the utility room door.
Pulling him to a stop, she fumbles for the keys she’d filched off the staff member who’d checked on her earlier. An alarming amount of keys were shakily shoved into the lock until one managed to activate the tumbler. Quickly, she ushered them inside, only managing to close the door mere seconds before they would’ve been found.
Once sure they weren’t being followed, she turns to her dearest friend in the entire world and gives him an apologetic stare.
“We’re going to have to go through the sewers. It’s the only way we won’t get caught.”
|June 11, 2018 19:53|
|Chase Cooper||We're going to have to go through the sewers.
He presses his lips together in attempt to hide his grimace. Maya knows him better than anyone, and she knows how much he hates to get dirty. It is something he has struggled with since childhood, and never conquered. Chase is unable, still, to tell where it had come from. All he remembers is her will to climb trees, and his refusal, instead standing below ready to catch her should she fall.
It's the only way we won't get caught.
Pale, he nods, trusting and knowing that she is right. Chase squeezes her hand, taking from her the strength to carry on, as he leads the way to the manhole that would ultimately lead to his optimum discomfort. Stubbornness with him as he refuses to release his grip on her, he prys it open with a wrench and sits upon the ground, pushing it off with the sheer force of his legs.
"Maya..." voice unsteady, he can feel his stomach recoil as the stench hits him like a ton of bricks. One glance up at her, one shouted word from the hallway, and he looks down into the slimy depth.
"All you gotta do is jump."
A groan escapes him as he releases her hand, immediately ushering her to the ladder that leads down. After one failed attempt, he would be damned if it wasn't him that got caught this time around. She has to get out.
And he is right behind her.
There is no time to struggle with the sewer's cover, and they are barely ten feet in when he finds himself choking back bile. Each step brings a new gag, and he longs for a shower and fresh clothes.
Finally, he croaks out the one important piece of information. "I don't know where we're going."
|June 11, 2018 20:14|
|Maya Hall||Adrenaline mixed with their reuniting - and, of course, the f*cking drugs - has her head in a spin, and she suddenly realizes that she is laughing hoarsely. It’s a dizzying sensation, but his expression struck something in her and, in hysterics, her body responded.
Still, the shout from the hallway helps her straighten up quickly, and she nods in encouragement as he leads them to their escape route. As he unbars the entrance, she casts a wary glance over her shoulder toward the sound of footsteps collecting outside the door. With their way clear and a few exchanged words of rally, she falls into the pit of despair.
Instantly, she pukes, the acid burning all the way up. There’s no time to dwell, however, and she wipes her mouth with the back of one hand as the other grabs Chase and pulls him along. “We just go until we can’t anymore.” Ever the more laid back of the two, Maya is more inclined to go with the flow rather than have a set game plan. And in this case, they didn’t have any other option.
Now leading, she is running as fast as her nutrient-deprived body will allow her. The sewers are slippery and damp, and she finds herself losing her footing easily, only to have Chase quickly pull her up and set her on her way again. The sounds of staff members giving chase could be heard meters behind them, and it’s sheer b*tch force that pushes her now. There would be no third chance; it’s freedom or death, in her mind.
There’s no telling how long they run for, but when she finally comes to a stop under another manhole entrance, she is breathless and lethargic. Glancing above them, she gently pushes him toward the latter. “Come on, we have to go!” She notes the reproachful expression as he hesitates, and she pushes him harder with a hiss in her tone. “I’m not strong enough to move the cover, now go! I’m right behind you.”
|June 11, 2018 22:45|
|Chase Cooper||This is not at all what he had imagined breaking her out would be. Chase envisioned himself as a white knight, coming in with his battle ax ready, whisking the girl away from the confinement of her ivory tower and into the night, where safety would have them. Instead, they are wading through actual shít, and he is not sure if he should be happy or sickened. Double that with the fact, that the uniforms have actually followed them into the sewer, and he is sure that this might have been the worst plan in history.
If he had made an actual plan, that is.
The things you do for love.
Everything is a blur until she gives him a push toward a ladder, insisting they go. But Chase, with their last attempt at escape still horrificly fresh in his mind, casts a look in her direction that makes clear his unwillingness to allow her to go anywhere without him following. It doesn't work, and instead he finds himself getting pushed harder toward the metal apparatus.
Jaw set in annoyance, he reaches up and grabs onto a metal step, hoisting himself. "If you aren't on my heels..."
It's an idle threat, but not at all. If she isn't with him, he goes nowhere. Chase would turn around and offer himself up, unwilling to leave her behind again. So, as he pulls and slips his way up, the heavy cover is met with the sheer force of adrenaline as he grunts his way through it.
Naturally, the clattering above as he makes the final effort would call further attention, and he realizes that they have come up upon a street. No time to waste, he pulls himself up and instantly leans back into, sweaty hands gripping tightly to her arm as he hurriedly pulls her with him.
The face below would never be forgotten, least of all as it came closer and wrapped his own around Maya's ankle.
"No! No. No, no, no, no, no."
There is no time wasted as he vaults himself back in, sliding down until his body is a human shield. "Go!"
It would be the last word their tormentor would hear, as the bottom of his shít soaked shoe comes crashing down into his face. Without remorse, he watches as they crash down into the waste. He doesn't even wait to see the wreckage before he begins pushing her up and out, following, and shoving the cover back on as if it were the easiest thing in the world.
Once more, despite the messes that they are, his arms wrap around the girl.
|June 12, 2018 18:29|
|Maya Hall||Fingers wrap around her ankle and she can’t help it - she screams. Kicking with all she’s worth, she hardly notices the assault from above. Her mind only catches up with her as she’s forcefully shoved out of the manhole and onto the street, skinning her knobbly knee as she goes.
There’s no time for her to process before he’s encased her in his embrace again. A truly remarkable endeavor for her friend, considering Maya harbors human waste on her form from all the slipping and sliding she’d done.
As she returns the hug, however, she doesn’t miss the the sneaking eyes and looming people that had just witnessed the two kids that had emerged from the sewers. They don’t look innocent, and already she can see them whisper behind their hands. Sticking her tongue out in the direction of the nearest group of oglers, she lets out a softened laugh before she’s pulling him along to exact their escape.
When they are far enough into the countryside, she slows, tasting the air that freedom allowed. Maya could cry tears of joy, and she surely would at some point, but for now, she’s euphoric. Hooting and hollering with their victory, she only stops when her stomach gurgles ominously. For a moment, a crestfallen look graces her features; she hadn’t stopped to grab anything to make her withdrawals bearable.
But she can’t stand her happiness being dampened so quickly, so she pushes it from her mind, a problem for future Maya. For now, she would celebrate.
“Well? Where’ve you been shacking up lately? And tell me now if you have any broads waiting for you. I’d prefer to not greet your latest beau smelling like a f*cking slum sl*t.”
|June 12, 2018 18:48|
|Chase Cooper||Away from society, Chase allows himself to shrivel up in the weight of pure waste. The filth he currently stews in makes him itchy, and it isn't long before he is shedding clothes - starting with his pants. Running around in nothing but his boxers in front of Maya is nothing new, and even if it were, he would have no shame.
"Farmhouse. About a quarter mile, otherside of that field," he nods forward, indicating their destination. Glancing at her, he smirks. God, he missed her.
"You smell like that, anyway. Fückin' Streetrat."
A bare shoulder would move to bump hers before he thinks twice, glancing her over like the slum slüt she is, and taking a pointed two steps sideways. He can smell her. He can smell himself. And it is goddamn rotten. Instinctively, he scratches at the inside of elbow, and old habit that would die hard.
"No one else is there."
She knows better, though Chase still admits it quietly. Outside of meeting his personal needs, or bargaining for their gain, he never has found himself attached to anyone else. Just him and Maya. Friends forever. Best friends forever. Where she is concerned, Chase is like a lost puppy. Always nearby, always wanting attention, always watching. He follows where she leads, ready to jump into the fray.
As they cross the last of the field, cutting through the thin line of trees that run along it's edge and separate the properties, the house comes into view as a simple silhouette. Dark, tired looking and worn down.
"It's not much. Just for, you know, until you got out. We can find some place good. There's no water, but there's a well. And a little lake. I've been sneaking into the local gym for showers."
|June 12, 2018 20:21|
|Maya Hall||Maya moves to playfully punch the shoulder that he bumps into hers, but before she can land it, he’s moving away from her and pulling a face. Her own expression melts into one of indignation and before she knows it, she’s rolling her eyes and stripping down to her underwear.
No, there had never been any shame between them.
Upon arrival, she demands - nicely, of course - that he take her to the showers. While much less of a clean freak than her counterpart, she also doesn’t enjoy smelling like human sh!t. However, due to her time trapped in that hell hole, she takes her leisurely time and has to get chased out, casting expletives and rude gestures behind her the whole way.
Back at the farmhouse, she can feel the drugs wearing off, and she’s left feeling defeated and so, so tired. The coming hours would prove to be very difficult for her, but it’s a song and dance she’s done many times. Her only real concern is for Chase, and how he would cope with it.
Seated on the couch, she holds a brush she’d managed to sneak out of a bag at the gym. She wills herself to lift it to her untamed mane, but her arms don’t possess the strength. With a sigh, she casts a woeful look toward him, before holding it out. “Please?” There had been many times he’d brushed her hair for her; more often than not, she found it to be too much work. But there’s also something about having your hair brushed that makes life more bearable.
Chase sets to work, always careful to not pull too hard, and an involuntary shiver rolls through her entire body. Shutting her eyes for a moment, she yanks the blanket closer around her slim form as the telltale signs start to set in.
“Where are we gonna go, Chase?”
|June 13, 2018 20:50|
|Chase Cooper||The trip to the showers is hellish. The two rush through in nothing but their skivvies, getting looks from those present in the gym. Chase doesn't care. The only thing he can think of is the fact that they will be washed clean of waste, and everything else that has plagued them for ages now. And, pink from the heat of the water, Chase finds his way around in a towel, going through open lockers and plucking clothes from various bags. He is sure Maya is doing just the same in the women's.
It is when they escape to the house that things begin to turn. He can see it in her, and has seen it in her many times. Maya has done just the same for him. So, when she holds the brush out, she barely has to ask before he is taking it and moving to sit behind her.
It is like they were never apart.
Slowly, as gently as he can, he begins to work out the knots starting at the very bottom. And there it is, the shiver. The first of many things she would suffer without the drugs they had hooked her on. She pulls her blanket all the closer, and Chase mentally prepares himself for a long, long night.
Where are we gonna go, Chase?
There are several minutes pause before he finally speaks up. "London. We can go to London. Or maybe Cambridge. We could even go see about Scotland, if you wanted. Get a flat, a real class place. Chipper will be right across the street."
Her hair is a mess, and despite it all, he knows how soothing this is for her. But how can it possibly soothe her when it is so knotted, it can hardly be something enjoyed? Now is the time to talk. She needs to be distracted, as much as she can be.
"We'll have shít neighbors too, so we will always have something to complain about. And someone to yell at. We can bang on the wall when they're too loud, and make'em wish we never moved in."
He only stops talking when the shivers become more frequent, brush pausing mid-stroke before he carries on again. He can only hope this is not nearly as violent with company, as it had been alone.
"What are we gonna do?" He muses. They can't live here. Too close, too dangerous, and simply not survivable. They would end up at rock bottom. Again.
|June 13, 2018 21:30|
|Maya Hall||She knows what he’s doing in trying to distract her, and she’s more than grateful. Back in the institution, she’d always done this alone, which is enough to drive even the lightest addict insane. But Chase is her knight in shining armor, as classless and unwavering as they come.
The shivering becomes more frequent, and she feels like there is no warmth left in the world for her. Maya can feel the bile begin to burn in the back of her throat, but she swallows it down, fighting back the withdrawal as much as she can. Instead, she focuses on his voice and the careful way with which he detangles her hair. A grin pulls at her features, in spite of her condition, and she finds herself laughing weakly in light of his vision for them.
Things take a turn for the worse, and before she can stop him, she pitches forward and vomits gloriously into the waste basket he’d set before her. Gingerly, she rubs at the back of her head where the brush had surely yanked some hair out with her sudden movement, and a sob that has nothing to do with the pain wracks her lithe frame.
He has so many plans for them, so many glorious scenarios, and all she can think of is how they turned her into the monster they framed her to be. Yes, she had been a junkie street rat, but she hadn’t been a murderer. At least, not until they refused to let her go when she turned eighteen, and she had to take matters into her own hands. All she could think of in that moment was getting back to her home, not how it would permanently affect them thereafter.
She stops him mid-stroke and takes his hand. Her honey colored eyes find his, and the tears well and fall freely. “What if we go to America? What if we put an ocean between us and this godforsaken hell hole?” Another sob, another bout of vomit, and she is shaking like a leaf. “I killed two people, I f*cking killed them.” She stares at her own hands and sees the blood that isn’t there before the digits curl, her nails digging into her palms until they draw real, tangible lifesource from her veins.
“I’m so sorry. I f*cked up, I f*cked up so bad, but I just... I just wanted to come home.”
|June 14, 2018 13:31|
|Chase Cooper||Chase really should have seen that coming. As she lunges forward, he is left with the brush in hand, too slow to react and ripping a large knot of hair from her head. His grimace says it all, and he tries to hide it if only to save her from seeing it. Girls are attached to their hair. While he would never understand it, he certainly wouldn't attempt to undermine that obsession.
And then, as she touches to where it had once been, she lets out a sob.
"Hey... hey, Maya. It's okay."
It's all he can do to carry on with her wishes, but she stops him and takes his hand. What comes next, he blames on withdrawal. Go to America? How could they possibly get there while on the run? How would they get the money to get there? And identification? What if the authorities caught them? What if security screened and detected them? They have records.
I killed two people, I f*cking killed them.
Swallowing, he stares, eyes wide and heavily troubled. Chase is having trouble determining if this is real or her imagination, but it seems real. She is so sure. Not only did they pay for a murder they didn't commit, but she would pay for two she had.
I just wanted to come home.
It is sudden as he moves around her, scooting himself so that he may grab her hands and force his own fingers between nail and palm. He can feel the warmth of blood upon his flesh, but he doesn't worry about it. Not right now.
"We are going to get out of here, okay? Just let me worry about that. I'll take care of it. I'm gonna get us as far away as I can."
Mouth dry, he is stopping himself from asking for details. But that fücked up part of him wants them. His mind even argues that he needs to know. How far had she gone? How did she manage to do that? She might be tasteless, just like him, but she'd never been one to cause harm.
It's the drugs. It has to be the drugs.
"...Will they know it was you?"
|June 14, 2018 18:28|
|Maya Hall||I’m gonna get us as far away as I can.
“What if it’s not far enough? What if it’s never far enough?” She’s in hysterics now, her body practically convulsing as she stares down at the blood on both of their hands. There’s no processing it, and she just assumes that it’s a figment of her imagination; some twisted hallucination to show how the blood on her hands would extend to his as well. They are a team, after all.
Will they know it was you?
Lips press together in a tight line, and it’s all she can do to nod. “Th-the second one… he’s in m-my room… I k-killed him to get out.” Suddenly, between the heaving and the crying, it all comes spilling out, every dirty detail. “I got a shiv from Dan, along with some uppers… I told him he could… he could…” Here, she has to swallow, but she shuts her eyes toward the memories and presses forward. Maya wouldn’t give the b@stard the satisfaction of leaving a mark on her; she did what she had to. “He f*cked me, and then he said he wouldn’t give me my sh!t, just the weapon… So I killed him. I don’t know what came over me, all I know is that I couldn’t let him do that to me again, and I had to get out tonight, or I wouldn’t get another chance.”
She can’t bring herself to look at him, in the past, they had both done their fair share of sh!t to get them a leg up. But Dan had been a disgusting human being, and she is not proud.
“I waited until it was lights out, and I made a scene in my room. One of the staff came in and I slit his throat and ran. That’s when I met you.” She wretches once more, the tears beginning to dry on her cheeks. “I didn’t expect you to come… I had waited so long. I just… I was afraid you had left me…” There is obvious shame laced in her voice, as she should have known better than to think he would’ve given up on her. But drugs do a lot to a person, not to mention the abuse and neglect they had endured on the daily.
|June 14, 2018 20:22|
|Chase Cooper||"We're going to get away. It's okay. We can.. we can go to like, someplace with no extradition or something."
She's completely lost it, and Chase is at a loss for what to do. When it comes to Maya, he will never be a clear thinker. Blame the drugs, blame the past, blame whatever you will - but he is completely blinded when it comes to her. The second she presses her lips together, he releases her hands only to gently tug her to him. He knows the answer, her reaction is enough.
And then, she rambles.
Chase remembers Dan. He'd always been creeping about the ward's common area, circling the girls like a vulture. He had been a large part of the reason why Chase always did his best to behave. Solitary helped no one, least of all Maya. He still remembers that greasy hair, and the stale, rotten smell of the guy.
Three words topple it all, and Chase tenses immediately.
Jaw set, he stares sideways into nothingness, and it takes everything he has to remain calm. She's still talking, but he isn't hearing her. She pulls away again to get sick, and still he doesn't react. Everything vein in his body pulses, creating a defeaning thumping noise in his head, and for just a moment, his bloodied fingers twitch to life as stress pushes him to fit for a fix.
"I couldn't just waltz back into the place, Maya."
He's quiet, gaze lifting to look her over. Does she really have no idea how committed he is to her? After years, and battles, wins and losses, this is what she would think of him? And Dan?
"You let that filthy fück touch you?"
Never in a million years did he ever think that, of all the people either of them had been with, he'd find himself competing with the likes of Dan. That shít just hurts.
|June 14, 2018 22:23|
|Maya Hall||Maya has always been more emotional than Chase, and it has always manifested in unpredictable ways. Sometimes she would lash out, and other times, she would completely shut down. This procures a war between the two reactions.
I couldn’t just waltz back into the place, Maya.
She hates when he says her name like that, and it shows in the face she pulls. There is disdain heavy in his voice, and she can’t help but shrink away from him. Maya knew he would be disappointed that she even thought he would leave her there, but she hadn’t expected this. Her eyes brim once more at the prospect of upsetting him so much. She opens her mouth to explain that her mind has been addled, that the treatment she received after their botched escape was heinous, and that she understands it was no excuse to doubt him, but…
You let that filthy f*ck touch you?
Her body goes rigid, her eyes narrowing to slits. Of all the people to make her feel guilty and disgusting and used, she didn’t think it’d ever be Chase. Vibrating uncontrollably, she’s unsure if it’s from the withdrawal or the anger that pulses through her tiny form. She wants to hit him, to throw things at him, but she knows she’s too weak and it would just push her over the edge. Instead, she rises shakily from the couch, grabs her puke bucket, and marches unsteadily toward the door. She wants to walk away from the situation but her pride - god, her f*cking pride - stops her.
“You know what, go f*ck yourself, Chase. I did what I had to get out of there. What was your precious f*cking plan anyway, to open every single f*cking door to these crazies who’ve been assaulted, abused, and drugged and just hope one of them didn’t give you away until you found me? Because that would’ve worked, huh? Your plan was to get caught, so what, that we’d never be able to get out of there? I did what I f*cking had to, and not you, not Dan, not f*cking god himself will make me feel bad about that! I did what I f*cking had to to survive! You don’t know what they did to me in there after you left, you snivelling f*cking tw@t, you f*cking got out and left me there for weeks! I don’t f*cking need you, Chase, I’ve done this a million times without you, I can do it one more f*cking time!”
There are tears streaming down her face as she turns to go down the stairs, and her head spins dangerously with emotion and lack of drugs. Still, she curses him halfway down, between wracking sobs and stopping to puke into her bucket. It’s when she hits the sixth step that she misses the stair entirely and takes a pretty hard tumble onto the landing below.
Collapsed into a heap, she revels in the pain of everything. Maya doesn’t even bother to stifle the sobs now, as she’s sure this is her heart finally giving out on her.
|June 15, 2018 08:58|
|Chase Cooper||It is so obvious that she is angry, and Chase simply doesn't care. His pride is wounded, not that it has any right to be. He doesn't care about that, either. He isn't quite sure how much more obvious it could be to her, his feelings for her. But still, she persists in ignorance. And now, she would use herself to go this far? Nah. No. Nope. He's simply not having it.
So, when she gets up with her puke bucket and goes to leave, he doesn't stop her. There is nothing in him that wants to stop her, because currently, all he can think of is goddamn Dan.
Dan, with his greasy hair and creepy smile. His rotting teeth. His filthy hands. His long goddamn nails with dirt caked beneath them. The sheen of days old sweat that was consistently coating his face. Honestly, the man was so horrible that the staff had to restrain and hose him down once a week.
It's enough to have him running for the puke bucket, just thinking about it.
But she stops, and just has to get in the last fifty words.
I did what I had to get out of there.
"You sure fücking did, Maya!"
Because that would've worked, huh?
"Probably better than fücking KILLING people!"
...I can do it one more f*cking time!
"GO RIGHT AHEAD!"
He couldn't help it. He really couldn't. His bellowing, interjecting into her stubborn show of independence, just happened. Chase is shaking like a leaf, furious energy fueling him as he watches her retreat and disappear as she continues to curse him.
"Yea, fück you too, Maya," he growls quietly to himself. Before his next shítty remark can escape him, he is interrupted by wretching, follwed by a loud thud, which brings several more. Paling, he calls out tentatively.
Thirty seconds pass without answer, and he rises slowly. Careful steps take him to the top of the stairs, and he barely has to glance before he is practically flying down them. Vaulting himself over her, he is fast beside her on the landing and looking her over carefully.
Bile, everywhere. Tears. It is all he can do to choke back his own vomit.
But he doesn't want to touch her, because what if.
Still, despite threat of sick, his previous bellow is nothing more than a soft, sweet whisper to the broken
"...Did you break anything?"
|June 15, 2018 17:51|
|Maya Hall||...Did you break anything?
“Everything... everything’s broken...” She’s babbling, her breathing coming in slow, ragged form and it’s all she can do to keep upright. Her whole body aches, so it’s hard to discern what hurts from the fall.
Maya drags her gaze upward, remorse evident all across her features as she takes in his visage. A smile, small and sincere, pulls at the corners of her lips; his face was the only thing that got her through her last month of imprisonment. Which only made his accusations hurt all the more.
“I would’ve done anything to get back to you, Chase. I won’t apologize for what happened, and if I had to, I’d do it all over again.”
A sigh escapes her, and she pulls herself up, simple determination the only thing that helps her to her feet. Shakily, she assesses the damage - she’s sore, but no lasting effects. Her hands feel through her hair and her face and over her body, and she lets out another hefty sigh. Muttering about a wasted shower, she picks up her bucket and makes her way into the night, unsure - and rather uncaring - as to whether Chase would follow.
The stars loom down at her from the uncharacteristically clear night sky as she ambles down to the lake. Her feet find the water, and she shivers at the sudden cold. Still, she presses on, scooping handfuls of water to rinse herself of her own sickness. It’s a tedious process, but what she takes on with care. Plus, for the time being, it helps her focus on something that’s not presently all-consuming.
It helps her feel in control.
|June 16, 2018 14:09|