A Moment In Time - Part Two

February 02, 2019:

Time jumps, but the story continues.

Dreamscape, NYC


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It is late at night, even later than Billy would normally appear even when he is feeling particularly brave and rebellious. But there it is again, that thunk of something hitting against her window. But it is all wrong, the impact is weaker, it didn't even hit the pane of glass, always the upper right of the pane, instead it smacked into the frame. The third impact barely making the lower left corner.
Finally when she looks out the window, it is indeed Billy standing below her. Or at least it looks like Billy. His lower arm is in a cast, his upper arm is encased in some kind of brace and the whole thing is in a sling keeping it close to his chest and immobilizing it yet further. A hood covers most of his features, but really who else would it be here and now?

The sound was….off, but she heard it. It takes her a moment, not much, before she stands and goes to her window. Looking down, she's ready with a smile, only for the expression to fade and fix with worry. Looking around, quickly, she motions with her finger to give her a minute and then disappears from sight. Silent as ever, even with the busted doors and this horrible side of town, she's out without anyone else paying her any attention.
"Christ, Billy…" She whispers, her fingers reaching out to touch him, but pulling back and curling weakly. "What…" Eyeing her house, she presses her palm at the low of his back, urging him to walk with her somewhere, anywhere else, but here.

He tries to offer her a smile but it clearly pains him, his arm catching as it tries to move. Finally he moves his face so that she can see it from under the shadow of night, and it is clear that his injuries don't stop at his arm nor are they disguised by the dark night. They are too severe for that. One side of his face is completely covered in bruises and has swollen up to such an extent his eye is barely visible, his eyebrow is busted and dried blood cakes the fine hairs around his eye.
Now he does offer her a smile, though it is a smile filled with despair and pain. A single tear drops from each of his eyes, running over his tortured flesh before dripping down to the cement. Normally he would try and brush them away but not tonight. He opens his mouth, but is struck dumb. It happens a few more times before he works his jaw and forces some words out.
"Well, lets just say when a grown man tells you that you're pretty? You know nothing good is coming of it."

She had never seen him like that. Usually, it was her sporting a new hue of violet and sickly yellow. A bone busted here, a few stitches there…this was different. Or the same in a terrible, terrible way. Her own wounds of the evening didn't matter now. "W-what…" She hushes out, breathlessly at his confession. Biting at her lower lip, her face twists up before she whimpers and reaches for his face. Shaking, she steadies herself and sniffs deep, her touch feather light as she tries to brush the tear away.
Another sniff, she finally cracks and leans into him, head down and on his chest, careful of his arm, as the rest of her folds around him, one hand cradling the back of his head. She says…something. The word lost under pants and trembling shoulders, bleeding into the fabric of his shirt. Swallowing, she grips tighter to his free side, repeating herself.
"I'll kill him…"

Even with her light touch he flinches away slightly, the flesh beneath her fingers so swollen and hot to the touch. Almost like pressing her hand to a recently boiled kettle made of wax. After she has cleared the tear from his face he turns his head slightly and leans into her touch, placing the least damaged part of his head into the palm of her hand. Enjoying the much more gentle touch as he closes his eyes for just a moment.
And after that she cracks, pressing him back for just a moment before pressing her head into his chest. Even that slight movement causes him to tense, his body tightening and pulling on his injuries. Not used to how he should be moving to avoid them yet. Once again he tries to smile at her but his face cracks, unable to manage the movement as he chokes back tears unwilling to let more fall. "I don't think you will have to. I told Frank, I have never seen someone look like that."

"N-no…Frank's a good guy. We can't, I can't let him go down for something like that." She protests, pulling back and sniffling once more. Looking him over, she cups the side of his face untouched by damage. "Hey," she calls to him gently, still worrying at her glossy lower lip, her eye-liner rolling down her cheeks. "You, um…ever been hurt before? You're tensing, a lot and-and it'll get easier if you breathe. I'll, um…I can show you how to numb it down. How to move a bit." Her jaw tightens before she continues, her other fingers digging desperately against the slack of the back of his shirt. "I-if you want me to."

"Frank is smart, he wouldn't get caught for something like this. I think he will be smart…" He says it like he really wants to believe it, but really can't as hard as he tries. Honestly that was the first time he had ever seen a fully grown if somewhat older man completely gripped by rage.
"I've been hurt plenty. But not like this." He tries to breathe smoothly but his breath catches multiple times as he tries to hold back tears, whether from pain or emotional exhaustion it is hard to tell. He looks towards her and manages to calm his breathing to a more steady level even if it is clear he is a moment short of breaking. "Sure, but first….can I stay with you tonight? I don't want to go back there. Not now. I know I can't really, but i'll be quiet."

"Step-dad's out on parole…" She whispers, looking back toward the house. "Mom's on a bender, I…" Nodding, she looks his way. "Give me a sec to grab some cash. I'll be right back, ok?" She promises, looking into his eyes. "Two seconds…" Brushing his cheek, she finally pulls away, albeit reluctantly.
Turning, she's back in the house and out again in less than a minute. Tossing her bag onto her back and shoving something down the front of her snotty shirt, she takes his good arm and starts walking. Slowly, oh so slowly. "Just make it down to Oliver and I'll get us a cab. We'll stay in a hotel outside of the burrow." She explains, going at a snail's pace if he needs to.
"Remember to breathe, ok? If you don't, it'll hurt more."

He can manage to walk, although he is grateful for the somewhat slower pace even if you disregarded the broken bones he is in a lot of pain and an even worse emotional state. "I don't want you to do too much, I just need a night away. Just one, then I can go back. Frank will have taken care of it. I am sure he will have."
When they finally make it, he is oh so glad to see that familiar yellow of a cab. And lucky for them they look just pitiful enough to pick up. And they are still small enough to not seem at all threatening. That being said the Cab driver looks at them oddly, cautiously. They are awfully young, it is very late and this is a pretty bad part of town.

"Hey, Benny." She greets the cabby, allowing Billy to enter first before following after.
"Regular spot, sweet heart?"
"Nah, a few blocks down. Somewhere comfortable."
"Alright, sugar." Once they're in, he reaches up and turns off his 'In Service' sign, the cab fare read out remaining at 0.00.
In the back, she rests her hand on his own, curling their fingers together and looking out the window as the care slowly, smoothly even, drives along. Blocks and blocks away now, she squeezes him now and then, a reminder she's with him, even if she's shaking like a leaf by his side.
Once at a somewhat decent hotel, she slips out and pays for a room. Dropping the cash, no ID needed, she helps Billy out and waves to the cabby. "Later, Benny. Tell June I said hey." With a good luck to them both, he drives off, the light flicking back on. Holding his arm, the low of his back, she helps him move into their room, which is thankfully close by. Working the key, she opens the door and turns on the lights, her fingers digging at the heater on the wall to get it running.
"I'll go get some ice.. I'll help you do whatever you need or want, ok?"

"Ice would be good, and maybe some towels and a cloth. I could use some help cleaning up, feel like a bit of a mess." He tries his best to be suave, but his smile is brittle and his wounds prevent his normal boyish good looks from working their magic. He works his jaw a couple of times. "And a drink please, don't think I can eat anything yet though." He doesn't look happy to be asking her for so much, especially when he knows she has little to give. But now between her and Frank? It feels like it is all he has left after today.

Nodding at everything he asks for, the girl doesn't pause as she leaves the room and walks down to the small service area of the hotel. Before long, she'll return, with everything he asked of her, and pain killers. OTC, aspirin, really, but it's better than nothing at all. "We'll find a movie and I got you some soup. You can sip the broth and the noodles will be easy to chew."
She thought about this, all of it. It was horrid to think that, by now, this was normal to her. The only difference was it hurt more and it wasn't even done to her. "I can help you see if you'd like, you'll have to trust me is all. Have to, um, let that bleed a lil. Pull the pressure off." She offers and goes about putting his dinner in the tiny microwave the room had to offer. The ice is by the sink, wrapping up in a plastic back and then around a towel.
The drink is ready, as is the medicine. "Here, " she offers. "Easy swallows, ok?"

He really doesn't look sure even about chewing soft noodles, his jaw seeming almost wired shut when he isn't forcing himself to talk. But in the end his stomach makes up his mind for him, growling loudly enough to be heard across the room even with the noise of the city behind her. He has gone more than a day without food now. A lot less than some, but more than he would ever care too.
He does everything he can to smile at her again, his eyes filling again with tears but this time they seem to stem from a different emotion. "Something funny, but not too funny." He nods to her again as she mentions letting his eye down a little. "Sure, I trust you. And what is a little more pain right?"

"It'll only sting, I promise." She offers up. It would be brief, and with a good enough blade you don't even know you've been cut until after the fact. She makes sure he drinks first. Takes the pills, but set the soup aside to cool for a moment. "I got a straw, just in case." Stalling, she stares down at him and frowns. "I'm sorry…if I'm babying you too much, I just…" Shrugging, she stops herself before her own eyes well up.
Huffing, she leaves him be for a moment, pulling a knife from her pocket and washing it off in water so hot he can see the steam rolling off and away from the sink. Grabbing a few towels, she moves back in beside him. "Ready?"
She waits for the ok before reaching up and resting her palm on the top of his head. Skull steady, she does as she promised. Two cuts, that's all it'd take for now, just to let the pressure go, the blood to flow. Setting the knife down, she's quick to rest the damp towels over the cuts. "It'll stop in a second, but you'll get your eye back for a bit."

"It's ok, like I said I trust you." He drinks a little, enough to wet his throat and slake some of his thirst. But his stomach rebels against it a little, too much adrenalin, too many emotions and not enough going into it forcing it into a tight knot. He lies back and tries to remain calm as the knife lowers towards his face. Luckily with one eye swollen closed and the other eyes squeezes shut, he doesn't even know it is happening until he feels that almost cool sensation of a sharp blade parting his hot flesh delicately.
He reaches up and takes her hands in his moving them slowly away from the damp towels before replacing her previous hold with his own hands. He tries to lighten the mood a little, needing her not to cry because if she does god help his own raging emotions. "So what movies do we have?"

"I haven't looked, pretty." She whispers, just hovering for now and brushing back his hair. "You soup should be ready to drink. Did you want that straw?" Shifting, he can feel the bed move with her leaving it, hear her walking around on the carpet. "I know you're hungry, I can hear it and feeling it, but you have to go slow. You can't brain freeze from soup, but you can throw up. You will /not/ like that right now." She warns, trying in her own way to light the mood, too.
Setting straw and cup by his bedside, she lets him decide before taking up the remote and flicking through the channels. Don't stare, don't linger, stop thinking. Her leg starts to bounce, and her shoulders shakes briefly.

"I'll manage." Slowly he sits up properly keeping one hand firmly on the damp towels pressed to his slowly deflating eye. "You really are never going to let me live that down are you? Even at a time like this, unbelievable." He shakes his head, perhaps for the first time that night feeling a little like the Billy he was two days ago. And sounding like it. Slowly he sips from the soup, his mouth twisting slightly as it hits the raw side of his mouth, but that is easily solved with a tilt of his head. He lets it run down the other side of his mouth before he swallows it loudly, unable to fully keep his mouth closed as he does.
Still though he isn't acting at all like his normal self moving towards her to rest his head against her hip, cherishing the gentle contact.

Looking down his way, she smiles. "No, never." And that was a guarantee. She touches his back, telling him she was going to move for just a second. She locks the door securely, sets the heat, and then slips out of her boots and jeans. Pressing back into the bed, she rests a pillow on her lap and allows him to lay down on the good side of his face, keeping his wounded shoulder up and away from the pressure of the mattress. Her fingers brush along his hair, soothingly and gently, her other hand holding the remote out and flicking at the channels. "Just say when."

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