crowsong: Gin with his head down, the rim of his hat throwing shadows over his eyes. He's frowning. (I'll drop you off in Harlem;)
[personal profile] crowsong posting in [community profile] featherdown
[It's been quite some time since the events that took place on Fortuna.

He had been trying to play it all off as a very long, deranged dream. It was all unbelievable. He would not speak a word of it to anyone; who would believe him? To claim he'd been held captive on an alien planet, to be a very large and well-dressed lab rat to a group of faceless scientists, and— this is where it all sounds like some depraved fantasy of his— to have killed other residents and watched them come back to life?

It all sounded like something born of his imagination.

He had stopped the car by the side of the road. He hadn't been willing to part with the Porsche since his return, driving it almost constantly, if not, then sitting in it, watching it, feeling it to make sure it was still there... driving familiar routes to reassure himself that this was the Tokyo he left behind.

For now, he watched the snowflakes drift lazily as they showered down from heaven, before hastily winds carried them away in a flurry. Snow gathered on the roof of his car.

It was the first snow of winter, but when did he leave? It was much earlier... February... late February? No, early March. How long was he gone? Vodka claimed he never left, but how could that be? Did they send a copy to claim his place in the world, to cover up his absence?

His hand had found his hair at some point, he only now registered, holding a lock of it and running his thumb over the ends. It wasn't any shorter... but he knew he cut his hair and jaggedly, despite his best efforts, he remembered that! Was it their doing? He hadn't escaped, then— they restored his body and sent him back, perhaps only temporarily... this was another experiment, wasn't it? They wouldn't pay him the good courtesy of healing him before sending him off. Not a single new scar on him, although that torture should've left him sporting several—

He turned on the radio knob, searching for something to chase the unsettling thoughts back to the darkest recesses of his mind. Nothing worked.

For the first time, he felt uncomfortable being in the car, and decided he had better leave. He felt cramped, suffocating... maybe a walk would do him well. He could soothe himself with familiar sights until this particularly cruel experiment was over, then... go into hiding for a while.

Ikebukuro was quintessential Tokyo. It wasn't very large, but it had a taste of almost everything any other district had to offer. ... but really, what was he doing wandering eastwards— as if he were in the right state to head into the red light district...

Maybe he'll stop at a restaurant instead and dine on something that wasn't canned or a single tray of takoyaki. Or something sickly sweet from the wedding of the woman he killed and the man who—

He needed a distraction.]
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([yell] don't-!)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
Che! Even I was ready to shake that guy down -- you know, you've been calmer lately, Shizuo. Something on your mind?

Ah. No. [ Plucking a coveted cigarette from between his lips, Shizuo's eyes drift to the street, away from Tom's curious expression, away from the debtor watching them leave from his flat's porch. ] Sorry, it's nothin'.

[ All of this seemed fleeting. The world, this city, these people. When would the charade end again, as it always seemed to? It'd been longer than the week the occurrences in that place normally spanned; he recalled someone, a young girl, telling him that once. Reminding him that it would all come to a sudden close the moment hopes were sparked.

Shizuo had refused to place faith in this mockery of Ikebukuro. What if it slipped away? His friends, his family -- would they all vanish into smoke like he did, leaving him groping helplessly at the sand again? Would he wake in that stiff cot with the last dregs of his sanity slipping through his fingers?

It frustrated him, this unknown. He harboured a beaten pride, a palpable loneliness that made his chest ache. The bonds he'd formed there -- did they mean nothing? It made his eyes sting whenever he thought too hard about it, made his gut clench with an overwhelming nausea in the morning.

But weren't people expecting Heiwajima Shizuo to routinely move on with his life?

…zuo…? Shizuo? [ Tom regards him carefully, hands in his pockets. ] Listen, all that's left is today's report -- the Boss'll be happy there's no mess to clean up for once, eh? Why don't you go home, take a little time.

[ An idea he would have protested if his shoulder hadn't tapped against another's in his dim awareness; he straightens, catches sight of the long silver hair and blanks. ] Oi, you… HEY!

[ Moving away from Tom -- the man just pinching the bridge of his nose before turning to leave the fortissimo to his own devices -- Shizuo reaches and pulls at the man's bicep, tugging him a little too firmly as he circled to get a look at his face. Cigarette falling from his mouth, the blond stares at Gin -- the dead man, the ghost -- startled.

Was this real? Was it a trick? How could he tell, how could he know something like that? All he can do is let go and try to speak around the painful knot in his throat.

You're- [ not the most articulate start, but he scowls in an attempt to process it all ] -Gin.

Date: 2012-11-16 07:06 am (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([growl] grrrrr...)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ His name.

So Gin remembers too -- he's right there standing before him, talking with him, clearly real, clearly tangible. He opens his mouth to speak, to demand some kind of answer as to why he's not dead, if he recalled getting back, if everyone thought he'd been hallucinating too.

A vivid nightmare, some said. Even Shinra discounted his whole story on the impossibility of dimension-hopping.

I- che!

[ Reaching up to instinctively touch his forehead where the finger hit, his eyebrow twitches and his teeth grind. All of the repressed emotion from the past week or so comes bubbling up. Shizuo finally sees someone he knows, finally is close enough to grab them and- ]

You know, I don't got a chip here, Gin -- it's always gloves off!

Cut the shit, you're were dead, I was there- your body was...
Edited Date: 2012-11-16 07:06 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-11-16 07:28 am (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([scowl] are you still here?)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ It's a good thing Shizuo has always been easy to distract. Huffing, jaw clenched, mocha eyes fall to the packet of cigarettes. Foreign. He'd had enough of foreign. But another memory is triggered. ]

Thought you quit.

[ He replies, reaching out to pluck one and set it between his teeth, lighter out to pass politely to the man first. The scent of the new cigarette made him hum; not bad. Hand in his jacket, he thumbs the worn edge of his Natural American Spirits. ]

Date: 2012-11-16 07:50 am (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([blank] tell me more)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
That's weak. [ Shizuo taunts him good-naturedly, lighting his own with a puff off the end.

Gin wasn't joking -- the cigarette makes him wrinkle his nose a moment; he gets used to it soon enough, taking a long, comforting drag. It warms him, makes him forget the flurries clinging to his hair.
] Definitely the latter, no one seemed up to fixin' a shit-hole's flaws.

Aa, though, it's s'posed to storm later. Wind's pickin' up. [ He remarks about the cold in a neutral tone. He was never really one to be bothered by it, but it didn't stop the rosy cheeks and occasional chill. ]

Hungry? Thirsty?

Date: 2012-11-16 08:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ravenchaser
[Gin smirks at the barb.] I don't want to hear that from a lightweight who clearly didn't think things through when he asked if I wanted a drink.

[He adjusted his fedora, the wind whipping through his long silver hair.]

... hungry. [He's lived off liquor and canned food up until now, so is it any surprise?]

That's good. [He's glad Shizuo hadn't been killed. Fortuna was full of dangerous monsters and he did worry about him, to some extent.] We could talk more over a warm meal.

Date: 2012-11-16 05:25 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([blank] looking down)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
I don't drink much. [ He scoffs back. ]

Didn't get to bring the shit you left me back here. Gave away your gun though. [ Shizuo looks rather unconcerned that after the man's death he found all sorts of... interesting knickknacks in his room. Well, he's seen loopier... ]

Aa, I just got off work, I'm starvin'. [ Rubbing his hands together, exhaling a cloud of smoke and fog, he starts walking, expecting the man to follow. Shizuo is always welcome at Russia Sushi, taking Gin there for some soup and sake sounds alright. ]

Never thought I'd see anyone from there... [ A look up. ]

Date: 2012-11-17 03:45 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([blank] minding my own business)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Shizuo's expression looks a bit drawn, eyes hidden behind those old, tinted sunglasses. ] I drank all that.

[ All of it.

He keeps walking in silence a moment, lost in thought. The cigarette gathers ash as he forgets to tap it; it's safe to say he saw the body. He's never seen a dead person before, let alone a dead friend. His gaze drops to the Beretta as an afterthought. He knows it's real, he's not stupid.

It was all a bunch of bullshit anyway, whatever.

[ He's been shot twice before, after all - didn't hurt that much, but... being the strongest in a densely populated city was a tough title to bear. Everyone seemed to want to challenge him. As if he wanted that kind of attention. ]

We're goin' to Russia Sushi. I know the guys and they always got sales goin' on. It's alright. [ Shizuo always settles for "alright" food. ]

Date: 2012-11-17 04:51 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([blank] what do you want?)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Silent when he hears the booming voice of a worker at the sushi shop, Shizuo walks right past him with a neutral lift of his hand when he's called out by the large Russian man. ] Yo, Simon.

[ Holding the door open for Gin, they step in and he directs the man to a vacant off-shoot of the dining room with a table. There are hardly any customers -- maybe because Simon looks so intimidating. Shizuo wastes no time in sitting heavily on the zabuton, pulling off his shades. ]

I want daifuku... [ He mutters to himself, hand on his cheek. Of course, thinking of dessert before the main course is typical. ] Aa, why are you in 'Bukuro?

Date: 2012-11-17 05:20 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([frown] don't piss me off)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
Shitty gang problem's a familiar thing?

[ Shizuo replies, flipping a page of the menu idly. His voice is dull, expression flat. He hasn't genuinely smiled since his return.

He spots what he wants as Simon ambles up to happily ask them if they're ready to order, pushing sushi as the special. Shizuo points out some hot pot soup -- something warm and comforting for Winter. And the daifuku.

Your company lets you travel, that's nice.

[ He wants to live somewhere quiet, the edge of town, maybe in the trees... no jobs out there for him, though. ]

Date: 2012-11-17 05:44 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([frown] uhhh...)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
Uprootin's a drag, I guess. You work for a... [ He thinks. ] I can't remember.

[ Leaning an elbow on the table, Shizuo plucks the glass of water Simon'd set down from the table and sips at it mildly.

He then raises an eyebrow, misunderstanding Gin's words.
] It's... usually quiet in restaurants.
Edited Date: 2012-11-17 05:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-11-18 03:54 am (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([scowl] that's not right)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Shizuo stares at the man. And then he finally understands. He wants to pretend like they're still talking about jobs and meals and frivolities he didn't need to think hard about.

But he supposes it's now or never. Gin could help, perhaps. He didn't want to wake up frightened anymore.
] I don't know if I'll be dragged back -- it happened too quick the first time, so... [ He reaches up and rubs at a tired eye, leaving his fingers at his temple. ]

It's annoying, it's really annoying. [ Especially when no one believes him. ] Don't even know if I've just lost it. I'll wake and be talkin' to a fuckin' tree or somethin'.


Date: 2012-11-21 03:16 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([smile] pillow hug)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Half of the shit Gin says doesn't resonate with him, but the man never liked talking for extended periods of time with other people, maybe he was just an exception.

The grip on his shoulder is comfortingly tight - he's glad someone has the courage to touch him so freely; it's why he's not brushing him off, why he lowers his eyes. He really tries to listen, but it frustrates him a little that these are all things Gin recalls and holds onto. Everything after Discedo... wasn't it supposed to be a clean break?

The moment he opens his mouth to speak is the moment Shizuo looks up to catch the look on his face and he stares - not because it's something shameful, or even that it mimicked his own several days into their return. But because the unruffled man looks negatively affected and that's really all he needs to know.

Reaching forward, Shizuo bats his hand away and knocks that hat off with a neutral expression.
] We're not crazy. We're two guys who haven't seen each other in a while goin' out after a long vacation at one of those back alley bargain resorts - the ones that give you food poisonin' and bad service.

[ Clapping him hard on the bicep, Shizuo pushes Gin's water closer, then leans back, crossing his arms. ] I'm pissed you got your old coat back, the drool on your sleeve was a nice touch. [ A sigh, as he tries to work out how to soothe this tension. Sociability has always been difficult for him. ]

We're not crazy. Well, you aren't, I was crazy to begin with, you know?

Date: 2012-11-21 04:16 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([blank] if you're sure...)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Good, yes, a smile's what he wants to see. ]

If you give a shit about that kind of thing. [ Shizuo nurses his own water. ]

Several spares- I figured. [ He wouldn't make fun of that, since he was also guilty of it. Hell, he wore a bartender's uniform every single day due to the spares from his little brother he keeps in his closet. ]

So you're a trouble-maker yourself, then. [ He's used to hearing about these things. ]

Date: 2012-11-21 04:32 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([frown] not my problem)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Pressing that hand back against his cheek, leaning on his elbow, Shizuo wishes he had something like a toothpick to chew on; his eyebrows are raised, eyelids low, looking particularly lazy. ]

Aa, I keep some extra uniforms. Can't remember the last time I wore casuals. [ Perpetually dapper? Too bad he doesn't act it. It's a part of the whole Shizuo experience. People called him a bartender or a butler, ordered him around and he'd remind them of who exactly they were dealing with. ] It's a smart thing, then you don't gotta worry about buyin' and matchin' all this other shit.

[ He waves a hand as if to illustrate this, then holds eye contact with a hum. ] You in some kinda gang? That's all there ever is around here. Yakuza, gangs, criminals, people who don't pay their debts, idiots who cause trouble. Why can't things be peaceful.

Date: 2012-11-21 09:07 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([smile] hey you ok?)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
Me? [ Shizuo hangs his head and chuckles, shoulders shaking. ]

As if I'd ever waste my time with that. Now I'm a dating service debt collector - how the fuck does that work. [ Really, it was all thanks to Tom and that accommodating boss of theirs. The man had the patience of a saint, even pays the bills that pile up from the path of destruction Shizuo paves. ]

Even if you say it like that, I don't much care if the world's peaceful, just my life. I wanna- [ and he doesn't normally share this information ] -move somewhere, in the mountains or somewhere foresty. [ Thumbing at the condensation on the outside of his water glass, he hums. ] Get a quiet job, live a quiet way. I can't do that with all these people startin' shit with me.

[ And who did he have to thank for that? Orihara Izaya. ] I can think selfishly sometimes. It'd make this city safer. [ Exactly the opposite; with the strange forces residing in Ikebukuro, it's ironically Shizuo's violence that keeps it as calm as it can be. He doesn't know it. He wouldn't care. ]

I don't know if you can, you're not gonna hear me rat ya out. [ Simon does bring the food then, though, setting it down with some coupons he always seems to have a pocketful of; he doesn't mention the smoke. Russia Sushi had always been an unorthodox restaurant.

His daifuku looks yummy. He seems to be weighing his options: eat it now or later.

Date: 2012-11-27 01:38 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([sad] pretty lost)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Oh, he's eating alright. It helps him ignore that niggling craving for his next cigarette. He's pretty sure it's an oral fixation. He slurps at the noodles in the soup, munching away methodically. He'll save the dessert, that's always when it tasted best, anyway. ]

Aa, I'd need a job. [ He had too many debts to pay already; ironic, considering his line of work. ] Gotta keep the fleas outta town too, don't want that bastard in my city. [ Ugh, Izaya. ] Everyone's still here, though, it's... weird...

Date: 2012-11-29 08:48 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([frown] pouty pout)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ He does expand on it, his derailed train of thought eventually finding its tracks once more as he dabs his mouth politely with a napkin. ]

Y'know... I didn't think they'd all be livin' like we never went away at all. For some reason I thought we were taken, or in a coma, but everything was just frozen. [ He's obviously irritated by this. ] See, Izaya's here. But he didn't come back with me, no one did. But he's here, being the shitty person he always is.

I tried to talk to him 'bout it, but I ended up scarin' him off... he thought I was psycho before, but now... it's like he doesn't remember. Or maybe it's not him at all. Fuck, I don't know. He was there with me. I know he was...!

[ Snap, go his chopsticks. Staring down at them and his shaking hand he tosses them onto the table and wrings his fingers in his lap, frowning. ]

Date: 2012-11-29 09:36 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([sad] what do i do?)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
So I'm talkin' to a fake Izaya... or a clone or- che...

[ Shizuo drags a hand over his face and remains still for a moment before Simon brings him another set of chopsticks without even having to ask. He pinches the bridge of his nose and waves his thanks as the large man moseys back out, leaving them to their own devices with new waters. ]

That coulda been it, but I didn't die, I never died. I thought that's how you left, how everyone went home; it happened to you I saw you, I buried you. Are you still there?

[ He looks concerned -- he'd never been good at suppressing raw emotion. ]

Date: 2012-12-06 04:48 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([scowl] oh you motherfu-)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ God, this conversation is hurting his head. ]

But, you... che, forget it. [ He stops himself before he can start again. Smoothing a hand over his face, he's quicker still in slamming his fist down onto the table, rattling the soup, leaving a rather shallow impression of his hand -- he's gained far more control since being to Discedo...

It'd do him no good to keep dwelling on it; he can't help it, but he can ignore it when something else irritating him steals his interest instead.

Stop fuckin' smilin', or I'll wipe the look off your face for you! I know you're not a god damned... furniture salesman or mover or whatever the fuck you said you did -- you're a dime a dozen. [ Oh yes, he's pointing at you now, Gin, but his posture's not hostile. ] I'm not nearly as stupid as everyone makes me out to be, I'm not blind; you got a gun on you right now and you think I don't know, or you find it funny I do.

[ Tucking his fingers in his hair, messing the blond locks up in a much more careless display, he picks up his new chopsticks and stabs them into his soup, grumbling under his breath... quite loudly... ]

Everyone's a god damn criminal, can't get a moment's peace in this shit-hole. Look, this place is full of psychos, just try to act like a normal person when I'm sittin' here or somethin'. Can't have a normal fucking friend.
Edited (omg i'm so sorry for all these HAHAHA OTL) Date: 2012-12-06 04:49 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-06 10:37 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([blank] too little buttons)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Just smelling the smoke seems to be enough to keep him in a steady mood; he can't help but stare at the patterns though, the lazy drifts and curls.

He balances his hand on his cheek, peering down into his soup blandly when the guns are chosen as their conversation piece.
] I don't know what any of that means. [ Meaning he's not as impressed as some other people he knows would be. Or irritated that Gin's carrying guns on their turf. Shiki, the Yakuza head for their district -- among others -- was quite the dangerous man.

Not that he'd held many a conversation with him. He liked to keep off their radar, despite Izaya wanting to constantly test him by sending thugs out to play with him. The bastards.

I wasn't just talkin' about them. [ Pointed stare. ] Don't disturb the peace.

Date: 2012-12-06 11:13 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([frown] what're you on...)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
[ Oh, cars. He could appreciate cars -- he's a little boy in terms of things that interest him. ]

You got a Porsche? Aa, if I had money, I'd buy something nice. [ He hums at his soup. ] I like walking though, everything's close by.

[ Lips drawing thin, his eyebrows crease. ] So long as you always think that way, then we don't got a problem.

Date: 2012-12-06 11:42 pm (UTC)
shortestfuse: i think i am subconsciously trying to ruin my own life. ([scowl] the end is nigh)
From: [personal profile] shortestfuse
... What?

[ Oh. Dear. Lord. The car talk is abruptly forgotten.

I remember you said you had a brother.
You said you had a brother.

His brother. Kasuka. He's talking about Kasuka. He's threatening Kasuka.

The chopsticks snap in his fingers.

His other hand splinters the edge of the table as his fingers dig into the wood.

And it's upheaved, soup, water and his strawberry daifuku smashing and quite possibly soaking Gin's clothes.

It's the man's first taste of Shizuo's overwhelming brother complex.


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