March 06, 2016:

Rant meets up with Two-Face to turn over Snowflame's coke. Is this goodbye?

Grant Park


NPCs: Marco, The In-Betweeners



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

She was free to go. One would think that Melody would be up in arms to get home. But after the words she heard, she remained in that same spot, sipping upon that bottle of water, until Peabody roused her from her daze.

'Melody.' Silence was met from her end as she continued to sip the water, staring off into space. 'Melody.'

'You okay?'
'Am I free to go?'
'Yeah bu—..'
'Send me home, Alex.'

And not too long after that, she was in the shower. The water must have ran on for hours before she finally got out, her hand pressed against her slightly bald head. The hair was already starting to grow back but it was just as if she had a low cut only a few days prior. And then she slept. Awoken with a start of her skin crawling, her fingers digging against her scalp as her hair begins to rapidly sprout against her grasp. It was new. Untouched and harmed by heat and chemicals. Curled naturally and soft as a newborn, as her natural hair was. With a sigh and arms hung upon her kneecaps, she reaches underneath the bed to turn on her flip phone with a wrinkle of her nose in disgust at downgrading. A call was placed to one of Two Face's men. She never called Harvey directly. They weren't that close, she believed. But the meeting was scheduled and soon she drew herself from the bed with a wince of pain and another stretch and shower to get ready.

Hair tied up into a bun to allow some pincurls to fly, bookbag emptied, titanium briefcase's contents dipped inside and she was out the door with the quickness. On the way there, a hiss lingered along in her conscious, her hand lifting to shield one eye as she sees the message played across the screen.

'Your father is here.'

"Whatever Maxwell."

She was off to Gotham. Funny the first person she'd meet is the one who could be done with her so easily.

Two-Face has a bench in the park to himself. He's dressed immaculately in his own style, as usual, his suit creased and pressed on one side, tattered and burned on the other. He has a pair of hot dogs set to the side, one plain, one with the works, but is having a cigarette while he waits. His In-Betweeners patrol along the pathways, steering away any inquiring walkers or potential interruptions. Like the Secret Service - it reminds Harvey of when he was a candidate for DA. He'd needed protection then.

Now the security was more for the safety of others. Two-Face was a hazard they'd do best to avoid.

When Melody arrives, one of his henchman leads her in, eyes hidden behind sunglasses with lenses of red and black. Harvey gestures for her to sit on his good side, but doesn't look directly at her, giving her his unmarred profile - the handsome man, the good Samaritan, the man who was almost king of Gotham before it all came crashing down. A ghost, in some ways, but a good looking one, at least.

"What's on your mind, kid?"

It really didn't take her long at all. The bike that she rode in one was parked on the outer rim of the park on the opposite side, giving her time to think. Probably time to breathe. But there was really nothing to think about. She couldn't recall anything that was on her mind or.. any particular way she felt about something. It was all just a matter of semantics or mechanics that you just go through the motions of doing. Perhaps, she was broken that hard to the point where the last straw effectively killed any trace of the angry, kinda sorta happy, huggy girl that was left.

Who cares, really. At the end of the day.

But as she approaches, the leather bomber jacket she wore was unzipped briefly to reveal a white beater, tucked within her jeans that makes her seem all the more skinnier than she really was. There wasn't a smile in place for the man, only a shrug of her shoulders for the heavy bookbag to thud upon the ground next to her boots as she has a seat upon the handsome side. And.. she had to wonder. Why did he put her there?

"Nothing." She states matter-of-factly, her hand reaching out with a little wiggle towards the cigarette. Trade one vice for another, though the nanites will clean her lungs in short order. "Is there any word out there on the street for Snowflame's stolen stash?"

Two-Face reaches into his pocket, pulling out a silver cigarette case, flipping it open and offering her one. His cigarettes are German, imported by the case…well, smuggled actually, without any of that pesky tax. He keeps his eyes ahead, leaving her on the good side, gazing off at the first sprigs of spring grass starting to desperately try to crawl out of the frozen ground. The try-hards, who'd die again at the next frost. Impatient.

"Pretty standard bounty, but he didn't know your name and I didn't tell him. You didn't give him much to go on and he was too fucked up to notice the necessary details. Hell, he probably forgot about it by now - he doesn't have enough juice in Gotham to make fucking lemonade," he says.

"That ain't what you're here about, though. You're feelin' sorry for yourself, that's clear enough. Probably took a loss or got your ass kicked. Bad flip o' the coin," he says. "That about right?"

Her fingers carefully dig into the cigarette case, her body bending slightly to open up the first pocket upon the bookbag. A lighter was taken out and she flicks it on, drawing in a slight inhale, her chest screaming with the need to let it off for the fresh air that Gotham doesn't have. She wanted to cough, but the watering of her eyes didn't let her. Her arms hang along the bench as she stares forward, her gaze nearly stricken for just a breath of a second. That second that lets her think. But it was gone as he begins to speak.

"That's a good thing then." She states, her leg crossing over the other, her eyes lifting to watch one of the In-Betweener's stop to gesture another young man away. He didn't look dejected, for once he saw Harvey he immediately turned and practically hit the ground running.

Even though his words were right, she smiles. The first one she's given in a while, her head tilting to the side as she finally gives a shake of her head and a smile. Cigarette was puffed on, inhaled.. exhaled, as she finally lets out a shaky breath. "Something like that, Two-Face. But it's been like that for.." She looks up. "Twenty years?" She inhales and finally wipes away at her face with the back of her head, her eyes slightly reddening. "Someone like me should be used to it all by now but. I get it. Like, I never thought I'd get it before but I finally fucking get it."

Two-Face reaches into his pocket and draws out his coin. He rolls it in his fingers casually, just letting it play over his fingers. The In-Betweeners tense, though, all of them - it's not so much a reaction of panic as just attention. Like prairie dogs suddenly alert after hearing a coyote howl in the distance. The coin means reward and punishment, life and death, pleasure and pain.

"Explain it to me, then," he says. His tone is patient and measured, his lawyer's voice. He used it often in the courtroom, almost soothing in tone, urging someone to give him their point of view, their perspective. Usually right before he tore it to shreds. Even at his most noble, Harvey loved destroying someone on the stand. He made mobsters cry. All but that last one…

He twitches for a moment, eye bulging, a brief flashback of that sizzling acid on his face. He'd never forget. His hand tightens around the coin, the beveled edges digging into the meat of his palm as he awaits the girl's words.

Her eyes rest upon the coin, her brows furrowing slightly as she draws her fingers up to wipe away at a stray tear. "Life." She says, drawing in a deep inhale, now used to the brand of cigarettes and going in between those years of actually having smoked a full one.

"Putting yourself out there and being noticed. Taking the bull by the horns and being a go getter for whomever. For the people. For yourself, for everyone. I mean, most people aren't even surrounded by someone who would tell them the whole cold hearted truth and yet I seem to get those people around me in spades like I'm a fucking moth for their flame."

She sniffs hard, shaking her head, a slight buzzing upon her phone causes her to stop, retrieve, look at the message, then crush within her fingertips, moving the plastic back and forth until it was dropped upon the ground with a shake of her hand.

"And then I just get it." She shrugs her shoulders. "No one cares about who you are, what you can do, long as you're useful and can be used. Even if you're just a warm body to lay down next to at night or a fucking wet hole to fuck, you're useful." Shoulders shrug now as she leans forward, elbows pressed upon her knees. Her gaze rests upon one in-betweener, but she doesn't stray away. "Until you're not. Then you're forgotten until someone brings you right back up because the person forgot to check their fucking guilt at the door."

Two-Face considers her words for a moment. He lifts the coin up for a moment and holds it up to the light, pinched between thumb and forefinger in his bad hand. She can see the marks on it - self inflicted, the man carving the rest of his body to match his face, burned layered upon cuts. Sometimes the wounds were fresh, but today they were older, puckered like leather, his hand discolored from the mismatched jigsaw healing. He barely feels pain there anymore, the nerves long since burned out.

"This was my Daddy's coin. He thought like that. Served as a tool for other men his whole life. Worked a soul-sucking job, came home angry every night. Drank himself stupid. When he was feeling good, I'd just get the belt. When he was feeling bad…I got worse. And he'd always tell me - you're nothin'. Man's just meat in a machine, a cog to throw around. He wanted to show me how the sausage was made," he says.

"The day he shot himself is the day I applied to law school."

He turns his head then and looks at Melody full-on, letting her see that monstrous aspect, the brutalized, wretched wreck of the man she'd been seeing. "But he stayed with me, see. That's why I became a DA, became just a tool of justice. I thought I was in control, but I wasn't. And you're right, when I pushed too far, when I exceeded the limits of the system, I got punished. Punished hard," he says. "But I didn't stay down. I rose up. I lit a fire at the base of it and burned it to the ground. Yeah, nobody cares about you. So don't care about them. Fuck 'em. Rip 'em. Make 'em bleed. Make them the wet hole and stuff your fuckin' dick all the way in till they scream," he says.

"They only hurt ya if you let 'em. I say hurt 'em back. I say hurt 'em first. I say…" he says and flips his coin up in the air, watching it spin for a long moment before it lands in his palm, the scarred side up, sending a shiver down the spines of his servants.

"Justice means taking what you want, when you want it. So…figure out what you want. You feel broken? Good. That means you got sharp edges. Who do you wanna cut?"

She watches him, even though she wanted to continue to cry or actually make some noise or look away. She watches, wiping away at her burning eyes, yet turning her gaze away so that she could stare out again, even as he turns to face her. Full on. There wasn't a half and half. It was just Harvey Dent, or Two Face, looking her on as she finally looks back towards him, her face slowly dissolving into one of true.. true.. absolute pain that probably has never been felt by her in her life. Or, she's felt it, but chose to ignore it.

"Who do I want to cut?" She nearly speaks with panic. Drawing away from him and leaning back against the bench hard enough that it cracks just a teeny bit. "The entire world. I don't care. Innocent. Bad. Good. Wholesome. I want it to fucking burn and I don't care how it happens but god, I want it to burn Harvey.." She nearly, nearly hyperventilates, but her head lowers and soon, the cigarette was taken its final hit from, her head lowered, fingers rubbing against her eyebrow as she continues that silent mourning.

"But.. I know me. I get in my own way a lot. I know I'm just throwing a tantrum and after a few nights to myself everything will be right as rain again.."

She was nuts.

Two-Face grins, a rather eerie sight with his disturbing, split mouth. "Sounds like yer of two minds on the subject, kid. I can relate."

He considers for a moment, taking a long drag on his cigarette, "I ain't much for life advice. I say do what ya feel. When ya feel like burning it all, burn it all. When ya feel like takin' a nap, take a nap. Do what you wanna do," he says. He looks down at the coin. He didn't have that luxury. Fate and justice were tied to his soul, binding him, sometimes against his will, to paths of light and dark. He envied her the freedom of choice, in some ways.

"Marco, come here," he says. One of the In-Betweeners walks over in a slow shuffle and leans forward, "Yeah, bos-?" he says, only to be cut off as Harvey casually drives a pen-knife into his throat, slitting sideways. The thug falls to his knees, blood spattering on the grass beneath him, gurgling until Harvey plants a foot in his chest and kicks him over to fall on his back, bleeding out into the soil.

"See? I felt like doing that and I did it. And it felt good. It felt damn good," he says, his voice getting that little sinister snarl in it he gets when his dark side is active and thriving.

"How can you live like that.." It wasn't as if she were faulting him for doing it. She truly wanted to know how. She always had a narrow view in life. There was good, there was bad. Sometimes loyalty fell in the waysides after it took priority over the things she once considered good. Her views, they were practically non-existant. What is, is what is now.

She doesn't say much, now was the time she actually sat and thought. Allowed her mind to question what she wanted to do, nearly lost in thought until the man approached the bench. For a moment, she was curious as to what would happen. But once his life was taken in front of her, there wasn't a flitch or a twitch to show that it actually registered on her radar.

She just stared at the man as he rolled over and began to twitch and tremble, the last of his life leaving his body. "I get it." She says quietly, then leans forward, snagging her bag before any blood could hit. She unzips it briefly, then looks inside, drawing out a little sigh. And.. oddly enough, her foot reaches out to nudge at the deadman's leg, checking to see if there was anything left.

And there wasn't.

"I'm giving you this. Snowflame's coke. I don't need it anymore." The bag was dropped upon the other side of Harvey as she leans across his lap to place it there, drawing back with her hands joined together, squeezed and released. "You.. you never really told me any lies. You were always straight with me and respectful even if I wasn't that way to you. And I want to thank you for that. Really."

Her lip quirks just a touch. "And whenever I need you, you're there. You just have this.. fucked up way of making everything make sense to me." She stands then, tugging down her leather jacket.

Two-Face doesn't ask questions, really, although he can tell the girl is saying some sort of goodbye. He takes the coke, whistling as one of the other In-Betweeners comes over, handing it to him. "Put that in the car. Intact. And have Rey come and throw Marco in the trunk. We'll dump him off the bridge on the way home," he says.

He stands up and straightens his tie as the dead body is dragged away, the coke transferred into his possession.

"I probably told you lies. I do that sometimes," he says. "Not about anything important, though. I don't have to lie. That's because nobody owns me anymore. Nobody tells me what to do," he says. That, of course, is another lie, but a subtle one - the part that tells him what to do, after all, is a part of him. He argued with no one more than he argued with himself.

"Take care, kid. You ever want a steady job, I'd give you a free hand. You got smarts. Ain't enough in this business that do."

Melody watches as the men heed to his call, her hands tucking deep into her pocket, thumbing the keys to the kawasaki that she rode in over on the way there.

"If they were lies. I didn't notice. Probably for the best." She smiles a bit then, then takes that step forward, tracking her way into the blood that was left behind to draw her hand free to lean in and.. hesitantly give him a hug. It wasn't like her other hugs, they were once filled with something.. something that was close to warmth. A little bit of innocence. Now she was just cold.

"I'll think about it Harvey. But you and that coin.. I think I'll meet a hard and fast end by the flip of it." She pulls away, giving his arm a squeeze and leaves. Probably tracking blood through part of the park.

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