Masochism Monday

July 20, 2015:

Dreamraker disrupts a covert exchange of information, and sends a violent message to Ronnie. (NSFW: language, gore, adult themes, drug use)

The Tin Roof Club - Gotham City

Characters

NPCs: Clubgoers, bartender.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: My Eyes by Nero


Fade In…

The Tin Roof Club's "Masochism Monday" promotion is kind of a sectional thing, but it's where a lead has led Ruby Rowe, and it is not the first time she's had to zip up her vintage white leather go-go boots, get out the black electrical tape, and brave the horrors of a nightclub bathroom in order to change into clothing that fits the scene.

The music is loud, thumping, and mindless. Some things don't change. Ruby leans insouciantly against the bar, working on well drink #3 of the night (it don't bug her none) and attempting to have a conversation with the bartender in between songs and/or short demonstrations of flogging methods in one of the dancer's cages.

Having taken a lengthy elliptical conversation around things, Ruby opts to go for the obvious. "What I'm really wondering about, though, is - I've had these dreams, right and — alright buddy, stop rollin' your eyes, this isn't -" OONT OONT OONT

Ruby grunts in annoyance. The bartender drifts off to get some beers for other people, who want beers and are tipping better.

*

SHIELD teaches disguise. Ronnie Hautzig — desk-bound Agent of SHIELD, reduced to borderline-meaningless data-crunching — considered her options and decided that 'ostentatious' was not the best path. Pomade in her hair, no make-up, a well-fitted three-piece suit (with pocketsquare), some ace bandages, and a zucchini between two pairs of underpants later, and she's surprised at how easy it is for her to pull off the whole 'drag king' je ne sais quoi.

It seriously almost bothers Ronnie, how 'right' it feels. But that is soul-searching for another day.

From Ruby's perch at the bar, Ronnie can be seen showing her phone to someone. Ronnie's looking for anyone who's sniffling, licking their teeth too much inside their lips, babbling about how they're going to play the stock market and then buy 78 acres in Belize, etc. She's flashing a photo of Lynette on the phone — old, old photo from her UK passport. She has a face full of metal in the photo, but there's no mistaking the hair. "You seen her around? I got some stuff she was asking me about," Ronnie says, affecting a deep man-voice, preparing to bat off the advances of yet another clubgoer who thinks she has coke.

(Ronnie actually does have coke. She bought it for barter purposes. But she's not going to tell them that until it's necessary!)

*

Armed with an 8-ball and enough latex to shake a stick at (see what I did there?), Lynette Shackleford is covered head to toe and smashed up between two young men who're having the time of their lives. One is receiving dog-like licks to the face, while the other has a black latex hand grasping an 8-ball of his own.

Its been a long,long time since she's been to a fetish night so old skool and legit. For once, the Scottish hellion is having fun, without the use of her powers.

Fortunately for Lynette, she's taken the opportunity to die her hair a jet black. She's gotten herself wrapped up in something that is, admittedly, over her head. She may be a brash, young bruisette from Glasgow, but she knows a mob play when she sees one. She's watched enough shit movies to know this much.

This may be one of her last nights of true freedom, so she dips a clawed finger into her purse, and lifts it with little bumps of cocaine buried into three of her fingers. One goes to the dude on the left, then to the right, but the largest one goes up her nose like a true blue champion.

Gasping as the rush pierces her nasal cavity, drips down the back of her throat, and floods her brain, the young woman pushes away from the two dudes. "Sorry lads. Need a shot and a cold one. See you in your nightmares."

Silken, curvy limbs of black begin snaking their way through the throbbing crowd, headed for the bar and that adorably cute bartender dressed up like fucking Neo.

*

Ruby squints for a moment as she sees someone walking round in a way that is most decidedly atypical in their gender presentation. Queerness! Well, in the usual sense as well, but something about Ronnie's behavior stinks to her. Not inthe 'I'm looking for my ex' way - though it comes near to that to Ruby's centenarian eye - but in the 'this doesn't fit my extensive knowledge of spanking-based nightclub events.' sense.

Meanwhile, the Scottish woman licking on men and grinding and doing cocaine right at everyone? She fits in perfectly.

Ruby steps away from the bar, swerving her hips a bit to just narrowly not quite brush against the back of Lynette on her way towards Ronnie.

"You looking for someone?" she asks her, spreading her arms a little, wriggling her shoulders, and arching her eyebrows. Then she cranes her head to look at Ronnie's phone without asking.

*

Ronnie smoothly hits the button on the side that darks the phone screen, though here's a good second where Ruby can get a glimpse. She's not aware of Lynette's specific presence on the dancefloor. Still, intuition guided her here. It's the second thing about tonight that made Ronnie feel uncomfortable with how right it felt.

"Could be," drag-Ronnie (Ronald?) says coolly to Ruby, looking her up and down with a mild bend in the top lip — sizing her up like a piece of meat and not even bothering to hide it. She has that in common with some of the clubgoers, at least.

"You know where someone is? Because maybe then we have something to talk about. A shared interest, maybe. After all, that's how grown-ups like us make friends." Ronnie punctuates that thought by glancing at a couple walking past, a woman leading via leash a muscleman who appears to be dressed like some kind of naked fox. Ronnie glances back to Ruby and quirks a brow like 'see?'

*

Ruby gets a saucy look from behind the latex hood that conceals all but Lynette's hazel-green eyes, the mane of black hair, and the painted red lips. But then, the coke-fueled woman is moving right along, and ends up at the same bar, but on the far end away, from Ronnie and Ruby.

"Oy, mate," she greets the bartender. "Shot o' Fireball and a tallboy of Old Style." Money or not, she's got a certain trashiness to her that just can't be gotten rid of.

From betwixt holes of black latex, Lynette sizes up the bargoers one by one, until her eyes fall upon Ronald. There they linger, and her lips part in a silent gasp as she stares.

The long stare becomes a rueful smirk, timed precisely when the bartender presents her shot and can. "Put it on the ole' tab, Mister Anderson," she quips, before downing the shot and guzzling at the tallboy.

This is how she gears up, you see.

*

Ruby accepts this ogling. She didn't decide to wear electrical tape as her only top garment to NOT get looked at. She takes a tossing sip out of her cup and says, "I just might. Face looked a little…"

She pauses as a man is led past on a leash. "Familiar…"

She leans a little nearer to Ronald, her earrings jingling slightly. "Why don't we go looking together? But first, let me buy you a drink." Another classic detectiving trick, Ruby is completely heedless that the masked woman is now ogling her too — albeit in a perhaps different, perhaps ALL THE MORE MENACING kind of way.

*

"I'll pass on the liquor. Maybe some licking after the looking." Ronnie says it before she even really processes that she's saying it. She wants to sell herself as some kind of deviant fetishy weirdo, a louche perverted Thin White Duke. It came out on impulse. Self-auditing will follow later. Her poker face remains, though, and her voice stays deep, no breaking.

Ronnie's about to say something else when, for just a moment, she makes eye contact with the gimp-hood who then starts pounding that tallboy, now that she's done grinding those tall boys. She's staring at Hooded Woman for a long moment, then returns her attention to Ruby, though it's clear something's grabbing at her attention elsewhere.

"First… why don't you tell me… where that picture feels familiar from." Ronnie throws another split-second glance at Drinky Hood. She has that feeling like when she's been made. Abort? The rational part of her brain suggests this. But she's getting good at ignoring that lately.

*

Hazel-green eyes narrow momentarily, before closing fully. Lynette draws a deep breath, filling her accelerated mind with all of the sights, sounds, and smells of this place. She was an observant type; that was half the fun in fetish clubs, after all.

Hands of black latex then rise, as if she were conducting the music, or perhaps, officiating some sort of enchantment. In truth, it is the ancient evil that has made her soul it's playground, winding forth to invade her victims.

In the waking world, Ronnie and Ruby simply bob their heads, still sitting or standing at the bar, but going into some kind of trance. A waking dream.

To their minds, however, not a single thing changes. The club goes on, the driving bass permeates all, and the woman in a latex gimp suit rises from her perch and begins swaying her hips toward the two conspiring women with a small yet haunting smile upon her face.

*

Ruby lets out a slightly rusty laugh. She reaches up to toss out her pageboy hairstyle with a fluffing gesture, and says, "I don't know. Maybe I saw it here last week, or maybe I saw it in a dream. What do you -"

Did something happen. Ruby blinks a couple of times, rapidly. No, she decides. "What do you say," she resumes, "you tell me where you got that photo from - oh, I think you've got someone coming up here…"

She shifts around, giving Ronald's zucchini a playful, accenting squeeze asher attention turns towards the approaching woman. "Well, hey there —" Her plan is, perhaps, to foist her off quickly to resume talking to this other personage (and her zucchini), yet this, no doubt, is not to be!

*

There's no 'Loading …' moment for Ronnie like there is for Ruby. She's folded into the dreamworld so easily and seamlessly that it's almost like that's what she wants. Mention could be made of 'the blue pill,' but in the present context that might have another meaning that's less than appropriate.

"A dream," Ronnie says, keeping her composure despite Ruby's grossly inappropriate harassment. "Funny, that." As usual, she has no idea.

Ronald's brown eyes turn again, to observe the latex-queen sashaying their way. She doesn't give a verbal greeting like Ruby. Instead, it's an instinctive and powerful eye-fucking. Still, she doesn't move to separate herself from Ruby — she's like a buck daring the car to try it.

*

"Hello, ladies."

The latex-queen stops, looking over both with an approving grin.

What happens next is virtually in fathomable. Bands of black shoot out from all over Lynette's costume, transforming into serpentine, tentacular torment that wrap and wind around both Ruby and Ronnie faster than the eye can see. They bind tightly - not yet to the point of pain, but to immobilization.

"What are you doing, Ronnie Hautzig?"

A chilling viciousness enters Lynette's voice, paired with a demonic undercurrent that echoes her voice with gravelly depth. Her eyes now blaze with a blue fire, and her lips peel back to reveal razor sharp teeth dripping with blood.

No one else in the club seems to notice.

*

Ruby just likes a good squash. Really. Her lips purse as the latex queen comes closer. Then she erupts into -

Ruby opens her mouth to scream. She gets simultaneously choked and gagged for her trouble, albiet not critically so, not to the point of agony. Wrapped up tightly and ending up on her knees with arms behind her back, she thinks to herself: Fuck! Again!

Her eyes turn up to look at Lynette in all her horrid glory as she attempts to spit out the gagging latex object in her mouth.

*

As usual, Ronnie is the spoilsport wet blanket for Lynette's weird come-ons. She's bound and trussed faster than she can react, sure — but she doesn't lose her nerve. Sure, she's a little shaken. Who wouldn't be? But that's what being a hero is about: pushing ahead with all of your courage in even the gravest and most sexual captivity.

It takes Ronnie a second to answer. Her breath shudders, like she's trying but the words don't want to come out. Perhaps because Lynette asked her a question, Ronnie escapes being gagged, though she does spare Ruby a moment of eye contact, the 'aw shit' moment in every buddy-cop flick.

"Looking—" Ronnie starts in her Ronald voice.

Then Ronnie hesitates, and drops the pretense, continuing in her normal, more feminine way of speaking. "Looking for you. I hadn't heard from you in a while. I— needed to make sure." Make sure of what? Ronnie's so bad at talking about her feelings, isn't she?

"This is a dream," Captain Ronnie Obvious then states. "We're dreaming right now. I might never have even left my apartment…" Ronnie saying this appears to be how she's keeping herself from freaking out. Trust in that it's a dream. For a movie buff, she should brush up on her Nightmares on Elm Street. "Which means you're okay."

*

"I looked for you," answers the Dreamraker, for she has now taken upon that moniker more fully. Her words come with a snarl; something truly vicious and from the mind of someone gone mad. "I looked for you, but I found the fat man instead."

The club rumbles.

MYSELF!!!

The word comes from the walls, the floor, the chairs and the bodies of everyone dancing. It cuts through to the bone, chilling in such a way.

The bindings around Ruby begin to tighten. It's a physical pain that is altogether real. Real to the mind, and soon enough, real to the flesh.

In the waking world, physical injury begins to manifest in Ruby's trancelike form. Blood will flow.

There, in the dream, the bindings cut like hot steel, carving into her flesh and slicing through her teeth. Yet all the while, the Dreamraker keeps her eyes of blue fire transfixed upon Ronnie, malice pouring from every gleam of black latex.

"Now you have to watch this puny creature die."

*

Ruby's eyes turn towards 'Ronald' as she's reassured by a person with a zucchini down her trousers that this is all just a dream. They're talking, at least. That's informative, Ruby thinks as she struggles to clear her mouth. But she can't say something incisive, witty or distracting, because her mouth is still full.

And then outside -

Blood drips from her mouth in the physical plane as she stands there. It's a slow trickle, the sort that's not, at first, too shocking if you aren't a hematophobe. She must have cracked a tooth or scraped her tongue or something. Except there really is quite a lot of it. Wet red lines appear on her bare sides as well, dripping downwards. People are probably thinking some unsafe play is occuring.

In the nightmare, the bindings start to cut and cook. Ruby feels her teeth crack and her jawbone slice through as she arches her back in sheer agony. It bites, it burns, it's systematically crushing her. She screams into the binding in her mouth as the pressure builds impossibly. SOMETHING has to give -

With a huge, wet noise, something does, and she slumps like a dead animatronic. Her eyes stare at the floor, seeing nothing.

*

In point of fact, this does rattle Ronnie quite a bit.

To her credit, the Agent of SHIELD doesn't close her eyes. Even if she tried, Dreamraker would probably peel her lids off. So she watches this innovative new method of meat preparation in full, down to the last death rattle, her face sort of turning green from disgust. When the whole march-to-murder starts, there's some attempt to pull at her bindings, but they only tighten further and Ronnie is quite captive as an audience.

Ronnie's quiet for a long, long moment. She draws in some long, shaky breaths as she looks at what was once something called Ruby. Then she turns her head, as much as she's able, and pivots her eyes to look at Dreamraker.

"So what now?" is what Ronnie spits out, her tone just as venomous as Dreamraker's is menacing. "Did you get off to that? Did you come all over the place or, or whatever? Fine. Great. So what now? Am I next? Are you going to throw away my life for some senseless, stupid, monstrous little tantrum too? Fuck." Ronnie is too professional to have tears in her eyes, but they wouldn't be inappropriate. "What now, Lynette? Fucking tell me."

*

In the real world, Ruby bleeds. The patrons nearby are spooked, to be sure, but her body is far from death. Her mind, however, has experienced it, and when the ordeal is over, she is released from the nightmare.

What a way to wake up.

Meanwhile, in the nightmare, the Dreamraker turns upon Ronnie and steps closer, closer, even as the latex falls away as if it were flaps of charred skin.

"Now you have to leave me alone, Ronnie dear."

Her words are sad, and a tear dribbles down her face, sizzling when it strikes the floor. She lifts a naked hand and strokes Ronnie's cheek, whispering, "Now you have to leave me alone, forever."

Suddenly, the bindings are gone, and Ronnie is awake. There's no sign of Lynette, save for a napkin upon the bar, and a message written in ruby red lipstick.

'DON'T TRY TO FIND ME, LUV'

*

When Ronnie wakes up, she sees the note. She also sees the bloody mess that Ruby is, and at least makes a token (if addled) attempt to help her get to some kind of medical attention or at least stop bleeding all over the floor.

Only after that's settled does Ronnie find a quiet spot to herself in the alley behind the bar, soundtracked by the semi-distant whir of traffic, and look at the napkin again. That's when Ronnie starts to cry, quietly, bringing her arms up to clutch the back of her head like she's trying to protect herselffrom punches.

Then, later, when Ronnie sleeps and dreams, she'll wake up not knowing if her dream was her own, or a visit from Lynette — and even though it's the former and not the latter, she has no way of truly confirming it, and the uncertainty is enough to ruin the rest of her day.

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