no_sin_but: (profile of a poetspymurderer)
[personal profile] no_sin_but
Stairs are not...let us try this again.

Where would you prefer to collapse, your room or the road? For a stairway is really a road, and this one has heavy traffic, but...

But you do not choose when, you do not choose where, you do not choose who triggers it.

This is why Marlowe is sitting at on the landing of one of the stairs on one of the floors, head against the wall and eye closed. One leg drawn up, the other foot resting on the second stair down; he could just be thinking.

People's knuckles aren't normally so white when they do that, though.

Date: 2007-12-24 10:00 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (thoughts of weakening)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
Mary Anne is on her way to her own room, when she draws up short.

Under different circumstances, her first words might be a tease or a jibe, but she saw an old acquaintance dressed in blood tonight and death (her business, not her Lady) is heavy on her mind.

So all she says when she sees him (sees his hands, knuckles white like the bone beneath, twenty-seven bones and all so fragile) is

"...Kit?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com















"The little queen with a sword. Why is it always you, my Lady?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:06 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (golden)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"Just lucky, I guess," she murmurs, sinking down onto the steps.

Her seat is two steps below where his foot rests.

"You okay?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
He thinks that over, still with his eye closed.

"You could say that."

Date: 2007-12-24 10:11 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (bruised)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
She reaches one hand out toward his (pale as death, can almost hear the bones crack), then draws it back. For now.

"But would it be true?" she asks, even softer.

Date: 2007-12-24 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
He opens his eye and looks at her. It's a grin, sharp as ever.

"Well...no."

Date: 2007-12-24 10:13 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (fair lady)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
She half-smiles back, but she doesn't trust his grin.

"What happened?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
"A Moorish woman, covered in blood. You know me and that."

Date: 2007-12-24 10:19 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (fair lady)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"I do," she says.

And she knows the lady too, in passing, but that's not as important right now.

"But how did all that get you here?"

She thinks she knows, or guesses, but she wants him to tell her, if he can.

Date: 2007-12-24 10:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
Head back against the wall.

"I've told you, haven't I?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:38 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (sometimes you just don't come through)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"I guess you have, but..."

She looks down at her hands (no blood tonight, not even under the nails). "...but I don't understand, because it never quite feels like you say what you meant, or all of what you meant and I want to understand because I think that'll help somehow, which means answers even if I tear them out of you and sometimes I tear too hard and I'm sorry but I don't understand."

Date: 2007-12-24 10:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
Now he does look at her.

Eventually,

"What do you want me to say, Mary Anne?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:44 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (vampire heart)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
She looks up, lips pressed into a thin (bloodless) line.

"That's just it. I don't know."

It's as helpless as he's ever heard her sound.

Date: 2007-12-24 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
"Our house was between the leathers' section and the butchers'. The carts went passed our house. It's the first thing I remember, the smell of blood.

I played in the streets, dodging in and out of the way of those carts with my friends, and we'd get covered in it.

I'm used to it.

And it shouldn't affect me like this."

Date: 2007-12-24 10:52 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (how it is)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
She shakes her head.

"It'll carry you to a point, sure, but when it's from people, when you're--"

Mary Anne never considered herself the squeemish type, even learning how to shoot (live) enemy targets didn't shake her up, but killing someone up close and realizing just how much blood you have to lose before you die--

"...it's not the same."

And he has to know that already.

Date: 2007-12-24 10:58 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (shoulder strap)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"When you're the one doing the killing. When it's not just standing in the aftermath, but a process and you're there from the beginning. When it's not just cold and running in the gutter, but warm on your skin."

Her boys painted red stripes beneath her eyes, with her first real kill. It ran in warm red tears down her cheeks and she never saw her face in a mirror that night, but it became a habit of hers all the same.

Wear it, so you own it.

Date: 2007-12-24 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
"But I'm not!" His voice, always so quiet, is a shout. He clenches his jaw, his fist.

"I'm not. Killing."

Date: 2007-12-24 09:53 pm (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (hands)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
She does what she feels like she should have done from the start and lays her hand over his.

"Then what are you doing, honey?"

Date: 2007-12-24 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
A faint laugh.

"Fucked if I know."

Date: 2007-12-24 11:58 pm (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (laying lying lie-ing)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"One step at a time, then," she says, smiling softly.

"You want to keep sitting on these stairs?"

Date: 2007-12-25 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-sin-but.livejournal.com
"Not sure." He considers for a moment. "Good stairs. Well-built."

He hasn't moved his hand away from hers.

Date: 2007-12-25 12:10 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (golden)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"Serious craftsmanship to handle all the people coming through here."

She doesn't move either.

Date: 2007-12-25 02:40 am (UTC)
song_tra_bong: (the people that we love)
From: [personal profile] song_tra_bong
"Never would have pegged you as a studier of architecture along with everything else."

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