[DVFP] The Big Night (J 4.4, S 4.3)

edited February 13 in aw2e-dvfp
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Sierra,
You've spent almost a week trying to get word out about the big show tonight. Perfect timing that The Pit's shut down for a private party, but that's just kismet, surely. You get back from that weird trip to Cyberville and head to the room at High Rent that you share with Reese.

Let's see how the promotion and prep's been going. Since this is mostly communication and coordination, I want you to roll+ Hot. On a hit, choose options. On a 7-9, choose two. On a 10+, choose three.
- you find the most amazing outfit at market, you get to detail it!
- the bar will be overfull of people, but security will be a concern
- the bar patrons will be dropping jingle like it's hot!
- you can name two people in DVFP who will show up

On a miss, you've been bumped from the schedule. Oh noes!!!!

Comments

  • OOC: I won't lie, I am freaked out to roll this...

    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 3, 4. Total: 10)
  • Okay my choices are:
    - you find the most amazing outfit at market, you get to detail it!
    - the bar will be overfull of people, but security will be a concern
    - the bar patrons will be dropping jingle like it's hot!
    - you can name two people in DVFP who will show up


    Can I name the two people later? I want to think about that...
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    Can I name the two people later? I want to think about that...

    Yes.
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    It's late afternoon and the sun will be setting in a couple hours. You've got your new outfit from market, and Reese comes knocking to tell you that The Pit is closed tonight, for some reason. They're "under new management", and the rumor is that it's Esco.

    What do you do?
  • I walk out into The Bar, the regulars are there, but not many others - not yet anyway. I've played a couple of impromptu shows this week, but tonight will have been the first planned one. I'm performed in front of hundreds and thousands before, but somehow this is far more intimidating.

    I am desperately trying not to think about Gloriana, she will be there too. Digitally, but she will be there. When I expand the audience count to the feed, there will probably be more people watching then have ever seen me and that, that is fracking zaridann.

    Reese mentioned that there was a rumor about Esco moving in. That sounds like utter grak, Esco is the Diamond, but I can't imagine why anyone would make that up. So, after my shower I go find Peppering.
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    Peppering's behind the bar. Some ancient band called Metric is playing over the speakers. He gives you a warm smile, "There's the big talent. Glad to see you again, Sierra. Was afraid I'd have to send the Ravens out to find you or something. Was almost worried. Tonight's looking really good. Heck, DJ Gnarly wants to broadcast the show, which won't get people drinking, but it will spread you wider. You need some grub?"
  • I smile warmly at him, "Thank you for the concern, but I wouldn't miss tonight for anything it's going to be groshing." I am about to say that I don't need anything but water when my stomach growls angrily. It's been over 24 hours since I last ate.

    Something to eat would be wonderful. I was wondering though, is something going on at the Pitts? I've heard some zaridann rumors. "
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    Peppering produces a small bag of nuts from under the bar and hands it to you before he heads back to actually get something on the grill. "The Irons went belly up. United Front moved on it. Not sure why, but it was a bloody affair. Whoever made it out of Diamond took over The Pit. They've closed the place down for repairs."
  • I bite my lip, The Irons? Belly up? How is that possible. Things start to link up in my head, the UF, Parcher, Gloriana - I push that away. And Fleece, sheet fireFleece.

    Lately my skin had felt on edge, crawling, but now I just feel cold. "Do you know who got out? A lady doctor, named Fleece? Or a guy named Esco?"
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    Peppering stops at the door to the kitchen and looks back, "Fleece, yes. She's here in High Rent, was drinking down here not long ago. Esco? Pretty sure he's running The Pit now. I hear most of his who- his girls are there. Not sure what else, though."
  • I nod, Fleece is here, here here. I need to find out who made it out alright, and what caused it. I can't just barge in on Esco at The Pit. Or I could but I'm a promok and a coward and I'm not sure I can face him and the girls. I'd rather Fleece's steel tones give me bad news than Esco's false bravado or Marigold's tears.

    Frack, Marigold.

    "Do you know where Fleece ended up? Her room or at least a floor?
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    He nods, "She's up on second floor. I can't release room numbers... to staff. Sorry. Policy. But she'll be down here, I'm sure. I'll send a runner up to make sure she knows about the show." He seems to know how important she must be to you. "Now, let's get some food in you, you want to look and feel your best, right?" He heads into the kitchen.
    What do you do?
  • I bite my lip, worry clear on my face. I'm staying at Preenings place, working in his bar, I haven't made myself invaluable enough to start blowing off the management.

    I am resolved though to find Fleece immediately after. It won't take me long regardless, I've lost my appetite.
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    Do you leave the bar and look for Fleece? Are you planning on knocking every door?
  • I eat lunch, making small talk, and then make my way up to the second floor, just sort of wondering around. Hoping to maybe run into her.
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    You spend a few minutes walking up and down the second floor hall. A merchant comes out of one of the twenty rooms, but you don't see Fleece. You're about to give up when another door opens - room 221. It's Rothschild. Oh, and that's not her room. She sees you and gives a polite wave, then heads towards her room (213).
  • I follow her, thinking maybe she has seen Fleece or might know which rooms are newly occupied, she certainly seems to get around. "Roth, can I talk to you for a second?"
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    She pauses by the door, looks at you, then says, "Sure, you want to head somewhere to chat or something?"
  • I look at her door, "Anyone home? If so, we can chat out here real quick. Don't want to disturb anyone if they are resting."
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    Rothschild leans against the door, gesturing with her head towards the inside, "Just June. She's working on stuff. Plantings and all. Becks isn't back yet. And Reese is with you." She crosses her arms. "What did you want to chat about?"
  • I cross my arms in front of my chest, for some reason it feels like Roth doesn't want me going in. I want to talk to June, I wonder if she even knows about the Irons. "Did you hear about the Irons?"
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    Her face tightens, and she nods, "June told us. It's pretty awful. You were... from there, right?" she meets your eyes, sees it's true. "Did you lose anybody?" There's a moment there where you see she's asked about an emotional thing, but quietly dreads if you're going to up and cry about it. She's not even sure why she broached the subject.
  • edited February 13
    I shake my head and shrug. "It's been something like a home. I honestly don't know who made it, I just heard. I was looking for... I heard Fleece had moved to this floor? I was hoping she could tell me."

    It's starting to really get under my skin, the idea of the Irons just being - gone. That my drumdik little room, my stool, my mattress, just buried. Like Tate and the rest. Like it was never there.

    I tuck my hair behind my ear. "Sorry, it's just, it's a lot."
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    Rothschild's eyes flash when you mention Fleece. She points, "She's a few doors down, room 216. It's smaller than June's. And mine. Our room. Smaller. Filled with her medical stuff, too." Her mouth twitches, "Most all of the Diamond folks made it out. I hear a bunch of miners were caught. They blew up The Irons, I hear."
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    Sierra, the door opens up. June's there, with Bee Bee behind her.

    June, you find Rothschild in the hall chatting with Sierra. Roth looks over at you, tight smile.
  • It's hard to hear. "Good news and bad news. I should go talk to Fleece..." I am about to leave when June opens the door. The sudden need to touch her and feel the reassuring humm of her mind in mine is strong. So strong, I take a step back. I can already feel what is would be like to let her mind in and force mine to something calmer. The desire to reach out is almost insumatt, but I hold back. It's hard to correlate the feelings I have for Fleece with the intensity I experience when I am around June.

    "Attlevey, June. Apologies, I had just heard about the Irons and I ran into Rothchild. I didn't mean to disturb you."
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    "Ah, ladies. Sorry to interrupt, I'm gettin' anxious for Beckett to be back around. I was thinkin' to check on the radio for her.." I give Roth a questionin' eye..

    But, my exploration of the evidence of Rothschild's mood stops when Sierra mentions the Irons, and I glance down. "Yes, the Irons. I lived there for goin' on a year and now it's gone. My old place was like a closet compared to what I have now, but I feel a nostalgia for it."
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    Rothschild takes the hint, "I listened in on Gnarly, and that fugger's going on and on about United Front and the helly that came in yesterday on the Palace. Big stuff. He didn't mention Becks, but I can trade for a call out, see if I can ring her." She pauses, looks to you, Sierra, then back to you, June, "That's my skills, knowing how to get stuff done like that."
    She pulls a small pouch from a pocket and puts it in your hand, June, "I gotcha something, June. Real pretty." After a beat, she says, "Don't wear it for a little bit, though." Then she turns to go.
  • "Everything was smaller there." That is part of why I liked it so much. "It's hard thinking of all of it as gone. It's where I became, no, it's where I began. I'm not making sense. But, yes, I feel a great sense of loss." I cross my arms around my chest.

    Talking about it, makes it hard not to think about it, and not thinking about is the only thing keeping me from coming a part. I nod when Roth tells me her skill and was about to walk away, but linger minute longer.
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    I close my hand around the pouch, brow furrowin'. "Helly? Sheetfire, what have we been missin' these days?" Pheww, Roth is plainly tryin' to compete with Sierra in some way. "Thank you, doll, for this and the radio run. We should talk when you get back from checkin' on Becks."
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    Rothschild nods, June, meets your eyes, and gives a faint smile, before she turns, gives you both a goodbye, and heads down the hallway towards the stairs.
  • When June reassures Rothchild, at least what it feels like, I feel distinctly like a guest whose made some sort of social misstep. I bite my lip and look at June. I don't know what to say about Roth, so I don't say anything. "I'm trying to find out who made it out, or who I need to be grieving for. I heard Fleece was staying on this floor, I thought she might be able to tell me." I step forward, I can't help it, "When do you think we can have our next lesson?"
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    "Fleece might know. So might Cinch and Esco's road crew. I think you should reconnect with the livin'." I give Sierra the best advice I have, before giving the space Roth left behind a brief look. What a torn moment, here I am wonderin' how to handle Claire's frightened young feelings and Sierra's powerful curiosity, all because I've been careless in my understandin' of how seriously I'm bein' taken.

    I'm too piqued about bein' danced around, and scared, too, to simply and calmly tell Sierra that I'm not available at the moment. And I don't like how exposed I feel right now. "I'll be handlin' inventory pretty heavy for the next day or so. Call on me in three, I think."
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    I swallow and take a step back. I know a gentle refusal when I hear one. Gloriana's rich alto whispers into mind, creeping from the corners of my subconscious, Darling, I'll listen to the piece when I return. Remember the rules, I'll be back soon... Later, lover, later..."

    I step back again. "You know where to find me. Will you be at the show tonight. Reese and I could use the support." I feel parts of me panicking at the same time parts of me calm. My breathe is even my heart beat slow, a reaction of following the unspoken command to back down, but I can't helpwondering what I may have done wrong.

    I lick my lips, "216, right?"
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    I nod in response to Sierra's question. "216, just so."

    Her show..well, the last time I got a show from Sierra it ended poorly, but things are much different now, already. "I'll be there with bells on. If luck will have it that she's back by then, I know Beckett would love to see you play, and maybe Missed and Roth, too."

    I give Sierra a pat on the shoulder. "I'll come see you when it's time for another lesson."

    Speakin' of lessons, I have Bee Bee's to get back to.
  • edited February 14
    "It would be great if Beck's makes it back. I'll reserve you all a table. " I don't react to the contact, it's not meant to be meaningful. Just a dulled semi-sense of cloth against cloth. I nod, "I hope you enjoy the show. "

    Smiling softly, I turn around and head towards Fleece's room. I'm jumbled a bit, scared of what I might find out, excited about seeing her, but weirdly calm. I don't know how to reconcile my feelings about June, so I turn them off.

    I walk up to 216 and knock.
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    Sierra, Bee Bee comes up to watch you leave, but doesn't say "goodbye" or anything. Please go here.
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    Phewww, lordy, I just need a moment to thaw the frost and settle back in. Damn but I would press Sierra into a mattress if I were free to do so. And I don't fully understand the girl.

    "Bee Bee, where were we? Maybe you'd like a little tea before we get back into it?" I don't wait for an answer, but get started on tea for two in the kitchen either way. "How are you feelin' about your time here so far, and about the garden?"
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    "I grew some food back at Cyberville. The big ones took it, mostly. Who will keep big ones from taking this food?" Bee Bee moves back over to a particular flower, she seems fascinated. What is it?
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    Rosa canina, a climbing rose with small flowers and productive hips. Perhaps in a fit of theatricality, I'm tryin' to get her to grow around the garden frame.

    "You'll fit right in here, then. I keep big'uns from taking this, mostly, but I'd like to think Beckett and Roth would protect it, and just bein' here in High Rent means hardly anyone will even see it if I don't want them to." I stir some cooler water and honey into our tea and step over with hers first.

    "Some of this we'll eat ourselves and some of it we'll sell. This place isn't like Cyberville." I gather and sip my own tea.
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    "Every place is like Cyberville. There are always big ones. Beckett and Roth won't protect it. The big ones will take it. Hiding is smart. The big ones are blind sometimes. That's how you keep." Bee Bee says this as she gently traces a finger over the flower, tracing its beautiful lines.
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    Well, if that isn't a logical bulwark I don't know what is. "You are very close to right, Bee Girl. The rules of Cyberville aren't far from anyplace, but here and now this place runs on Depot rules. When big'uns use their strength to steal, small folks like us have to use our smarts to fool 'em and protect ourselves."

    "I've had this garden for a year, and I'll have it for another, come what may." Idly, I tug open the pouch that Roth handed off to me, to see what's inside.
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    Bee Bee isn't versed on non-verbal responses. She doesn't nod acceptance, she doesn't seem to understand what a smile is, either. her face rarely expresses emotion other than curiosity, which is an open mouth as she focuses on figuring out what's in front of her. She doesn't directly challenge your moniker for her, but does mumble, "Bee Bee" under her breath.

    Inside the pouch is a small socket wrench, a small hammer, and a phillips-head screwdriver, all three in excellent condition, a matched set.
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    Well, if she thinks I didn't hear.. "I'm sorry for gettin' your name wrong, Bee Bee, I was tryin' to give you a nickname, but it seems I mis-stepped." I know I've seen Bee Bee smile before, at the end of Sierra's 'story'.

    I smile gently at the toolkit. 'Don't wear it for a while', you little sneak.

    I may start to work on Bee Bee's social issues soon, but I think it's more important to just model things for now and keep her fed, watered and looked-after, with a safe place to sleep. With somethin' productive to do. She's a tough little nut. I need to work out new eyelids for her, too.
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    "A... nickname? Oh." she looks at you with that curious expression. "I haven't had a nickname before. I didn't have a name before Parcher called me Bee Bee. Because of my eyes."
    She sees the toolkit, too, and reaches for the little hammer, eager to feel it in her small hands.

    You continue work for a while, perhaps an hour, when Roth returns.
    "Got hold of Becks. She had to sweep south and come back up. She'll be here in a couple hours. Missed wants to get drunk, I told her all she gets is pickle juice." She comes up to you, hands sliding around you, looking up into your eyes.
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    "Well, you may pick up more of them with that cute face o' yours. People give you nicknames when they feel like they have a unique connection to you." I work together, easily and quietly, with Bee Bee. I show her things to elicit that little curious face until Rothschild comes back with good news.

    Oh, what a relief. I make a matching noise in my throat, then comment. "So I should make pickle juice you can get drunk on is what you're sayin'? But seriously, thank you. And my little gift." I wrap her up comfortably, fittin' against her.

    "I was thinkin' we might treat ourselves fancy and buy a whole bath." I watch her eyes, pretty and clear.
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    Bee Bee continues slowly cleaning some old jars for a future batch while you chat with Rothschild.
    "A bath? How wasteful, June. All that water. We obviously should conserve the water and share it." Rothschild says as she reaches for your non-existent tie, then pouts. "My little leash is gone." After a beat, she remarks, "I'll have to steal you a new one. I... I like giving you gifts, June Weaver. I do."
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    "Obviously, to make the most of it. No lie, though, I plan to wash my suit up in the spent water after." I trace the line of Roth's cheekbone with my thumb. Can't throw my thrift entirely to the wind.

    I smile and lean down a bit for her, almost as though she were tuggin' on the tie anyhow. "It'll be back soon enough, no hurry. I like your gifts, but I hope sincerely I won't have to destroy someone who comes after you for some trinket. That would make me feel passin' low."

    I peel away from this embrace to lead us to the bathroom. "Bee Bee, we're goin' to be indisposed. Help yourself to food and water, knock if you need us, and if Beckett stops by she's got keys to let herself in and that's okay."
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    Bee Bee nods seriously, watching you both with those unblinking eyes.
    Roth shuts the door, and quickly moves her hands to your clothes, greedy for skin. "June Weaver, I don't want you to destroy anyone," she says as she kisses inches of your pale skin that she reveals, "I just have so much trouble seeing nice things that aren't yours." She drops to her knees and helps you step out of your clothes, "Have a seat, lover. I'll draw the water. Do you want it hot? Or cool?"
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    My suit is still in a partially folded heap in the corner of this room, waitin' for my attention. I let her peel me out of my clothes, tryin' to steal her face closer to mine to kiss it, haltin' the things I say. "Well, just..keep in mind. I enjoy your pamperin' me..but..it ought to count."

    I take a seat on the edge of the bath. "Hot, but not so hot it makes us fall asleep." I purr.

    "Claire." I enter into the new topic with her hidden name since we're more or less alone. "I feel like we should put a stronger name to what we are to each other. Define what we can and can't do within the boundary of that name."
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    Rothschild's started the water as you sit at the tub, and she's not at all opposed to your interruptions to her process. In fact, she hovers near you to make it easier. When you use her name, her head pops up to look at you. You explain that you want a "name" for your relationship with her, and expectations.
    She stands up, and starts undressing, first pulling her shirt over her head, then her pants, followed quickly by her underwear. "What's changed? You didn't want a name or boundaries before. Is it Sierra?" She almost manages to say Sierra's name without a hitch in the second syllable.
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    I drink in our eye contact and watch her undress, the end of one pinky tucked at the corner of my mouth. Can't imagine Claire thinkin' I didn't notice that.

    "Hmmmm, have you ever heard someone say that love's knowledge is sufferin'? I think of foolin' with her and then the thought that it might hurt you if I do causes an ache in me." I test the water with my hand, not fully lookin' away from Claire. "So I thought we might talk about it. The truth is I've been puttin' it off, worried about spookin' you, or me, even.." I let out a small chuckle.

    "Am I makin' sense?"
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    The water is delightfully warm, just about perfect.
    "You're making sense, yeah." Rothschild answers without meeting your eyes. "She's really weird. And she won't last a day in the heat on her own. Of course, folks will come running to help her." She lightly splashes you, "What if she likes me better?" Rothschild smirks a little with the question.
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    "Ho ho! What if she does indeed?" I splash her back. "Lovely, brave, clever and a student of all work, it doesn't look good for me, does it?" I smile wide, glad to be gettin' scorch from her again, and I settle in, my knees well above the water.

    "Can't believe you can drive a rig! But you're right, she's a different kind of girl. Bein' helpable is her number one skill after music." I wonder if Claire sees the similarities she has with Sierra. Oof but I'm still bein' a coward.

    I like the position we're in, facin' each other, it's conversational. While I wait for more sass, I stroke Claire's calves with both hands, lightly.
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    "I have... lots of talents you havent discovered, June. If you're busy with helpable songbird, you just might miss out." She pulls a leg up, over your head (flexibility demonstration - confirmed) and places it into the water, then she slides into the tub.
    "Come in here with me, June."
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    I let out a low, theatrical whistle as her leg crosses over my head. "Oh, I will." And I do, sliding in behind her, feeling the decadent water and the softness of her back all against me.

    I tuck my nose into the fluff on her scalp and sigh. "I love you, Claire. You'd have to put in work to lose me. So tell me what you really want."
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    You feel her shoulders tighten when you tell her you love her, but then she relaxes and lets her head droop forward like you released a little tension. "Oh gods June, I love you. Don't tell anybody. Only bad things come from it. They will use it to hurt us, take things." She reaches back for your left hand, pulls it around her. "I don't mind if you wander. I just need you to come back home. I want to be home. If you'll do that, and tell me when you don't want to come back, and I'll be alright."
    She huffs a laugh, "I might scrog Becks, though. Just to make it weird."
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    "Oh, I'm familiar with how people use love to rob lovers." I hold her in both arms, nuzzle into her neck. "I'll be careful to be as mistaken by others as possible. Just not you. And you'll see me at home, time and again."

    I snort with a dissatisfaction that's half-play, half-real. "You can't scrog Becks! That's too weird. Wait, do you think she would?"
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    Rothschild takes up a sponge and pulls your left arm up out of the water to gently rub it with the sponge, "I don't think she thinks of me that way, no. But I'm pretty convincing when I wanna be. And I'm the best at stealing, June Weaver. I could steal Beck's affections." She pulls your hand up to her lips, brushes it lovingly.
    "Why... am I not enough?" the question comes out quiet, more curious than pained.
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    "I believe you could."

    I grumble with pleasure at the sponge and reach for some of the gentle smellin' stuff I keep in here with my right arm. Settin' the bottle on the side of the tub, I lean in and kiss Roth's temple.

    "Day in, day out, workin' for me and in the bedroom, I think you're more than I deserve, Claire. I feel like a thief." I add with a grin. Then I really think about her question, wrap my left hand over to her shoulder and smooth my fingertips over her collarbone.

    "I'm..very curious about Sierra, what she really is, where she's really from. And the only way to answer my questions may be to mesh with her. Without that question, I could just resist."




    I'm seated on a window bench, smokin' and admirin' the green outside as some sweet blur of memory chooses a record from a slatted wooden box. I'm fairly sure this is a woman. Just one of them. But if you put a gun to my head I'd choke on the answer.

    "I can't believe you have this! Did you steal it from a fuggin' museum, June?"

    "Sort of. Took a photo, reconstructed a 3D model from that, printed it in my home lab. You only love me for my record collection, don't you?" I start a game.

    "Huh, if that's true then you only love me for my grades."

    "Hmm, well observed! But certainly I know you only love me because I can't run away."

    The intake of a shocked breath. "You are..the worst!" They say in mirth and swat my head with a record sleeve. We laugh.

    It's a good day.
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    "I am the greatest prize, June, keep that in mind." Her skin is smooth under your touch, and she hums lightly for a moment, enjoying the sensation. "You make me feel safe. Here. With you. I haven't felt safe since before I was chum, probably not even then."
    She nimbly slides around to face you, rising up on her knees, and takes your face in her hands. "I love you." She kisses your lips gently. "Sate your curiosity. Help the permanently helpable. It's one thing I love about you." She kisses you again. "You're generous where I'm selfish, and you make up for my slights there." Another kiss, then she turns your chin to lean in closer, whispering in your ear, "Come back home when you have the inkling. And when you don't, tell me so I can go. I work for you and it's fun. I love you and it fills my heart. But if you don't love me anymore, the work won't be fun, and my heart will break for a while. I'll need to go.... okay?"
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    All the things in her life that I know and she can still say she's the greatest prize. I love it.

    Certainly right now I'm the one who feels selfish. But I rest my hands on Claire's back anyway, kiss her back with an openness. I want to keep this space Roth and I make good and feelin' safe. Perhaps even more, somehow.

    "Mm, well don't spread it around that I'm generous. I have a serious business to run." I tease between kisses, making space for her with my legs as best I can.

    With her mouth next to my ear and mine likewise, I lower my voice. "I'll tell you if my love for you goes anywhere. But I doubt it will..I need someone clever, who challenges me and still lets me show off a little bit. You're my favorite project, and you remind me to keep the lights on. Why am I so stupid and yet so lucky?" I kiss her neck like I'm goin' to steal the answer from her skin.
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    As you kiss her, Rothschild preens and arches her back to give you more skin to steal from. "I'll keep mum about your generosity. But what you're doing for Missed. And Bee Bee. And helpable. It's pretty obvious to anyone who pays attention." A low moan breaks in her throat as the conversation seems to leave her for a bit and she simply enjoys the intimacy.
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    "Hm..well..nobody pays much attention." I walk my kisses down a little before heading back up her neck and to her mouth again. It's a good place to leave the conversation for a while, we can talk with our hands and bodies for a while..

    With Roth's nimble help I get settled in the water, her over me, as I spoil her with attention.
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    Rothschild hungrily accepts your mouth, and things escalate from your shared attention. Let's fade to black here.

    This delve into Claire brings you to a time when she's in her teens, and she's standing on a spongy track, it's her high school track team. They're dressed in different styles, it's obviously some kind of practice. There's another girl with almond eyes and a long, willowy frame, Tally-wa. She's talking some major trash to Claire, telling her she's soolka and tosky, obviously goading her. When Claire takes the bait and snaps back at her, nearly the entire team takes Tally-wa's side.

    Claire challenges her to a race. A bet ensues. Hair. Tally-wa tricks Claire into betting her own hair on the race, and Tally-wa agress to shave her head if she loses.

    The race wasn't even close.

    Claire still shaves her head, even though she doesn't know why anymore.

    -----------------------

    You come out of the delve and Rothschild is already rising out of the water, moving to get you both towels and helping you get up and out of the tub safely.
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    I blink a little, wonderin' how lost I may have been in that space. Such a pride in young Claire. I can't fault her at all. Certainly I'd go very far indeed to prove I wasn't weak at that age.

    Roth helps me up and I brace against the wall, carefully, when I'm stood up. I stroke her scalp with my palm, murmuring affectionately. "I do like this, hair kept so short has a spring to it you can't feel any other way."

    "You were in your high school track. Makes sense, since you're such a quick, light thing." I figure I can't keep these clues inside forever.
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    When your nails stroke her scalp, Rothschild leans into it like a cat, enjoying the intimacy. Her eyes are half-lidded for a moment until you reveal the track memory. She looks at you curiously, then smiles, "I cut my hair to be faster? That's crazy. I like it." She lowers herself to the floor and dries your legs, then helps you step into clean clothes, another amenity of High Rent. "I always have. Figured it was to keep people from snatching me. Should I..." she looks up at you. "Should I grow it out?"
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    I shake my head. "You lost a childish bet, and you stuck with it to put other people's pettiness on display, to be proud."

    With my legs dry, I drape my towel over her shoulders, still warm enough from the water to leave my chest and back bare for a few minutes. "You should do whatever you fuggin' want with your hair. I like it how it is. I'll like it if it changes. That it's attached to you is the important part."

    I spot myself in the mirror. While we're on the subject, I could probably use a trim.
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    Rothschild grins, "It's really sexy when you use saucy language, Doctor Weaver." She spends some time getting dressed slowly, enjoying the quiet moment between the two of you, the sense of comfort.
    Out of nowhere, "I'll keep trimming it." Rothschild decides aloud. "Now I know why I started, and I know why I'll keep it up."
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    "What, like 'fuggin''? I will keep that in mind." I reply with a grin. "Normally I resist the urge, 'swearin' makes you sound like you have a limited vocabulary' and all."

    My loose, soft shirt spills down over me as I put it on, comin' to rest low on my shoulders. I smile. "Good."

    Ahh, now I'm rememberin' the asymmetrical cut I got after the 'incident', a dangerous close shave next to my hardware on the left and the long part over my right side. "I need a trim, some kind of thinnin' cut, otherwise it gets too hard to manage."
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    Your declaration sparks sudden interest in Rothschild. She tilts her head to the side, "Oh? Well, if you want a trim, I'm good with a knife. And scissors." She finishes dressing, slipping a shirt over her head and foregoing the wrap she wears outside for something simpler. The shirt's a light yellow color, which sets off her eyes. "I plan on getting righteously drunk at Helpable's thing. We aren't taking on anything important tonight, right?"
    She starts rummaging around for a pair of scissors and a shaving knife.
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    I'm interested, too, really. "I've noticed, actually. We've got no important work on for tonight, I'm still rolled over. Tomorrow is inventory and build out on the clinic. Day after that, probably the same."

    I dump some launderin' soap into the tub and get my suit in to soak, agitatin' it with my hands. "I'll be holdin' back on liquor tonight, but noted. Say, now, I've thought for a bit that you'd make an excellent surgical tech. You into that?" I wouldn't call my hands unsteady, but Roth's are simply better, and durin' an operation I'm used to oversight and assistance.

    I get a stool under my butt and frown at a particularly ruddy stain, stingily tryin' to milk this water for all its worth in use.
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    Rothschild watches you work on the suit, realizing it's a task you've chosen for yourself. She sits on the edge of the tub near you, pulls up a foot to start checking it over carefully before switching to the other. It's all an excuse to be near.
    "That sounds interesting. Keep my idle hands busy, show me your trade. I'm into that." She smirks at you, then leans over to pull a knife from her pile of dirty clothes and starts gently working on a small blister on the side of her big toe.
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    "Good." I smile, then back to the cleanin' for me. I pause a moment, realizin', "Sorry, I just can't leave this to anyone else. If I get it done now it might be dry and tidy by the end of tomorrow, too."

    Truth be told? I can't remember where I got this suit. Don't know where I'd see one again..probably have to buy it off a Fipper.
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    "Don't need to apologize to me, Doc. I like that suit. I like it vurry much. So clean away. You need any help, you ask." Rothschild flexes her toes and looks them over, then moves on to checking out her nails. "Helpable has a whole makeup and oils kit. Did you know that? It's really nice."
    The suit is coming clean. A few spots won't go away completely, but it will be presentable in the morning.
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    At the very least, the suit is black. I'll be on the hunt for a new shirt, but it will keep. "It'll do."

    I lean over and spy on Roth's routine with herself. "Is that so? I suppose I could have guessed but I've hardly thought about those things in a year. Hm. You know I can't recall the last time I wore anything more fancy than a foundation and nude lipstick. Welllll before I landed in here."
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