|viv (solitairey) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-06-20 11:42:00
|Entry tags:||irene adler, sherlock holmes|
Who: Viv & Elias.
What: Elias bails Viv out of jail, then there is breakfast.. and smiles?
Where: A diner.
Warnings: Some language.
It wasn't Viv's first stint in county lock-up, but it wasn't a favorite past time either. In general, she tried to spend as little of time as possible dealing with the police and the handcuffs and the lousy peanut butter sandwiches that they served on the inside. It was kind of impossible not to spend at least one night in a Mississippi jail as one of the King kids(those fuckers just had it out for her family from day one), although in those days it had always been a juvenile system.. the kind that their mother let them rot in for an entire summer. They served their sentences with not a fucking prayer for bail, and Viv played stronger than she had to back then, she could do the same thing here in this Vegas cellblock. But something told her that her employers weren't going to be so happy about the fact that she lost twenty grand of their money along with countless merchandise. Viv tried very hard not to think about what that meant for her brother... and ultimately herself.
In jail, Viv fit in just fine, really. They'd taken her tacky sandles away because the strings were a suicide risk or something -- they clearly didn't understand that she was far too selfish to ever hurt herself. They gave her gray socks instead, and such things did little to complete the sunset tangerine of her sundress. One of the dress straps was torn, but she'd knotted it together as best he could. As a result, the neckline hung lopsided. The hookers eyed her out of amusement, the drunks eyed her with some strange hostility that left Viv wondering how many people she'd pissed off.. and when? It was impossible to keep track of the faces. So she ignored them, in no mood for a fight or friends, she reclined against one of the metal benches and closed her eyes. Her phonecall to Elias had taken place over two hours ago, but booking liked to complicate things, and she wouldn't be surprised if she was here for the rest of the day. Or if Elias came to his senses and decided not to come at all. In which case she'd just have to kill him.
Her hair was blond and so clean unseen poet laureates whispered about dandelion petals turned to pale wish wisps. The sun was freckling her these days because the desert wasn't kind, but that Comanche blood had always had a thing for the sun. For the stars and the celestial outlines of little beauty marks and freckles in strangely congruent lines. A star map to somewhere, sometimes when she was feeling particularly weak and nostalgic, she liked to think that it was a map to heaven. A map back to her baby girl.
The bruises kept most of the other women from approaching her. The black eye was fading, but those fists had been brutal and slung with all the strength of a cage match apparently. The welts faded down to knuckle notches of blue and green across her chest, the underside of her jaw, her arms. The policewoman documented everything in their lousy resolution lenses, and maybe Viv couldn't keep from cracking a smile when she said, "Why don't you try out that new Nikon you just confiscated offa me, officer.. it's a beauty." The officer didn't so much as crack a smile and soon enough Viv was back in the group cell with the drunks and the workings girls, the cracked out barbies and the strippers with bloody knuckles. Under any other circumstances, this would have been her kind of crowd.
Lying back down on her bench, Viv closed her eyes, and it felt like only second before an officer was slipping a key into the latch. "If I call your last name, your bail has been posted.. Adams, Carrigan, Hendrick, King..." Viv eye's widened with what might have been a smile in the right light. So the artist came through after all.. she tried not to be impressed.
Elias was standing to one side of the waiting area, watching everything without looking directly at anyone unless they got close enough to touch him on one side of the plastic seats. He didn’t want to be here, because the surroundings made him think of a hit, and he tried to avoid things that made him want a hit directly. Some things couldn’t be avoided, things like stress and depression, but the very pinnacle of Elias’ personality was that he did not trust himself, and he actively tried to avoid temptation whenever possible.
He was not naturally a charitable person, being one of those men that had come into money late in life, and having overcome the urge to spend it on everything that came to hand a decade before, he now had a tendency to hoard it against some unknown eventuality. Elias’ living costs were very low, as the hotels that featured his work tended to put him up for free so that he was almost “in residence” and most of his monthly budget went toward art supplies. He had to make three calls to get the money to bail out Viv: one to his rep, one to a man that handled his investments, and another to a friend that helped him with the aforementioned temptations. He got it in the end, having convinced the one it wasn’t her business, the second that it was a personal decision and the third that it wasn’t for drugs or anyone that would give him drugs. He desperately hoped he hadn’t lied to the third.
Elias wasn’t dressed obviously rich by Vegas standards, but the clean shirt and smooth laced leather shoes belied the casual jeans, hinting at his worth in the world. His expression didn’t. His mouth was pressed together and the lazy movements he was usually prone to had been replaced by a tense stillness, a daring that was somehow large and meant to make anyone out to bother him think twice.
"You came," she said upon approach. The words were heavy with waters of pleasant surprise and maybe something a little untrusting. Viv didn't look any worse off than she usually did, although it didn't seem as if she'd gotten any sleep in at least the last twenty-four hours. The tacky tangerine of her sundress hung a little crooked, and it boasted harsh exposure to the angry remnants of blue and green bruises that pebbled her sun-dusted skin. All kisses from fists and far too faded to be brought on from her night in the slammer. Besides, no offense to her fellow cell mates, but Viv was fairly confident that she could have taken at least half of them if it came down to it. Thankfully, in jail, if you mind your business and share your cigarettes, things tend to turn out more like a fucked up sleepover than a cage match. It was the black eye that was the worse, those kinds of things took forever to heal.
She still had on her gray criminal socks, which she was growing quite fond of in the way anorexics cherished their hospital gowns long after release. You know, just to remember the good times. The sandals swung as a pair in one hand as she got closer, a little plastic baggie of her belongings tucked under one arm. There wasn't much in it; some keys, a fuzzy pink keychain, and a lighter. "You look nervous," she mentioned with closer inspection. An amused tick to her pale eyebrows as she made a partial circle around him. Tacky little shark that she was. "You a wanted man or something?" The idea made her smile a little, the very idea..
Elias painted Viv with emotionless dark eyes that went on forever, black wells of absolutely nothing as he took in the obvious damage to her face and body. He turned away even before she’d come to a complete stop in front of him, leading the way out of the building, long legs make haste unnecessary. By the time she joined him in the open air, he was already lighting a cigarette, and he took a deep addict’s drag before he offered her the pack. He kept his silver lighter; it flashed in the sun before he pocketed it in his jacket.
“No,” he said, as if plucking the finished thought from the air. “Nobody wants me for shit. Let’s keep it that way.” He turned for the first time since they left the building to see if she put on the floppy excuse for shoes yet.
The utter lack of emotion in those inkblot eyes actually made Viv pause, that playful glint on the sword's edge of her smile vanishing immediately. So he wasn't in the joking mood, then again.. she wasn't surprised, he pretty much fucking hated her. Then again, she made a point to keep most of her interpersonal relationships that way. Scowling seemed excessive, seeing as how he'd just put up a few thousand dollars on her behalf. When Elias offered a cigarette, it made her grit her teeth, and she shook her head in refusal. "I quit." It was a lie, but one favor was enough for today. Viv did not put on her shoes, she didn't see any real need to. The socks were comfortable, and they battled the heat of the asphalt just fine. She pulled a pair of sunglasses out of the plastic bag beneath her arm and slid them over her bruised sockets. "Well.. thanks.. again.." Because she didn't know what else to say, she'd already made a promise to pay him back, and she intended to. Not to mention that he seemed to be in one hell of a foul mood, and she didn't feel like competing for Top Bitch. She took a step in retreat, as if she actually expected to walk all the way back to the motel on Fremont. Hailing a cab and subsequently ditching out on the fare was more likely, though.
Elias’ eyes slid to one side, to the clear bag under her arm that clearly boasted the colorful lighter, but he didn’t say anything. To the contrary, he immediately dropped his own barely-lit cigarette, and stepped on it. He exhaled with some regret (downwind and away from her) and then turned to face her when she twitched away. “Breakfast. Remember?” He didn’t make a move to pursue, but he gave her a quizzical look, a twitch of brows, a movement that suggested proceeding across the street to the familiar yellow lights of a chain diner. He brought his rough chin down, and surveyed her feet. He was slowly relaxing; the dark eyes were not quite so bleak. “You better put on your shoes, though.”
Viv watched him from behind those shades, feeling safe in the dark lenses that guarded her curiosity as his rough exterior slowed into something different. Not inviting, and not kind.. but just a little quieter. It made her feel less like a reprimanded child, although his insistence on the shoes brought that back instantly. This time, instead of arguing, she just smirked and shook her head. It was quick work, planting a palm against the brick wall of the police station as she peeled out of her socks and slid on the sandals a moment later. The gray socks were dropped in a streetside trashcan in passing as she started toward the diner in a slow jaywalk. She could have feigned disinterest over the offer of breakfast, but the truth was she was starving. Her stomach was eating itself alive, but she still was counting on him to lose interest in the story of her arrest. "What's chewin' on you?" She finally asked while partially across the street. "Or are ya just pissed at me?" Somehow she doubted it, he could have told her to go to hell rather than bailing her out.
Elias was back to the man comfortable with all his crazy art and no shirt, and all it took was fifty yards from the front door of the police station. He didn’t want her to know all his weaknesses, and not because he was afraid of her or excessively secretive. He wasn’t sure if she was the type to bring it up at every perceived opportunity or not. “I don’t like the police. Bad shit when I was a kid, they were always around. Some of them tried to fix it, but not always.” That wasn’t it, or at least, not all of it, but that was all he was willing to tell her just then, just that way. He looked down at her when they stopped in front of the diner doors. “...So what did I just pay for?”
"Cops had a thing for my brothers and I when we were little," she offered as some kind of condolence when Elias took a chance and shared that splinter of truth. "We deserved it, but.." A half hearted shrug brought that statement to an end, although it was brushed with more nostalgia than angst. As if getting run down by sirens and cuffed for the small shit could really be considered the good old days. In a way it was, that was before everything began to fall apart. Viv came to an abrupt stop before the diner when Elias did, and she glanced between the metallic gleam of the door handles and his face. "I told you.. they pulled me over, and I.. kind of don't have a license or anything." Damn, why hadn't she taken that cigarette from him? Her fingers twitched and she screwed her unpainted mouth to one side while tugging on the strap of her sundress in an anxious gesture. "They found some stuff in my backseat."
Elias just looked at her. There wasn’t much he hadn’t heard, growing up where he did. Just because he didn’t know whatever stupid slang they’d made up for something in the last year didn’t mean he didn’t know what he was going on in places where people lived who had nothing; or at least, much less than he. “What stuff?” When she didn’t immediately step forward he leaned a long form, tilting more than reaching, and pulled it open. He waited with it propped against his shoulder, eyes still on her.
There was a beat of silence from her when he drew on the door, and she watched his face like the question itself was a challenge. He'd think less of her, if that was even possible, and she pushed the sunglasses off of her molten eyes to give Elias the kind of deadpan stare that said she didn't much care what he thought of her or her trailer park upbringing. "Twelve thousand dollars." She chewed on the inside of her cheek as the detailed list developed, she'd had it recited back to her several times during the course of booking. "Two Rolexes, seven iPhones, a Nikon D3-something.." Viv hesitated, weighing the option of going inside the diner, like she wasn't sure sitting at the same table was a good idea. Her eyes did not soften, let judgement ring. "It's a misunderstanding, and look, I told you.. I'll pay you back." It was the lost twelve grand that worried her the most, she knew they'd hold her responsible for it. God, why was she so fucking stupid? Flinching at the emotion that the sudden realization of her own failure brought, Viv tugged the shades back down over her eyes.
Elias would have been surprised to know that Viv gave a damn what he thought. As it was, he sensed her reluctance, and every word that came out of her mouth was a surprise to him. She was so abrasive that he was always waiting for her to scream and storm off. He snorted at her explanation, smiling, though not in admiration. “It’s not a misunderstanding, don’t bullshit me, Viv. Whose is it? You moving it, or you take it to begin with?” Personally he doubted that multicolor Vivian was capable of acquiring such things on her own. She stood out like a luau in Alaska.
"I didn't take anything," and the words were all bite on the bitch end of her sneer. The kind of sourness that developed from way too many incidences on the wrong side of a shoplifter's candid camera. Ah, youth. If Viv thought for a second that he had the faintest clue of the kind of mess she was really flailing around in, she probably would have spared him the truth entirely. But somehow despite the tattoos and the way he spit out cigarettes just as fast as he lit them, Viv got the wrong idea on Elias from the get-go. It was the hotel suite that did it, so polished and privileged, or maybe just the idea of painting.. the concept that somebody could have the kind of peace of mind that it took to develop a hobby until it harbored into skill. She certainly didn't think that he knew about getting guns crammed in one's face or trunks full of drugs. If she was any further from the truth, she certainly didn't care. In the end, she told him just because the newness of freedom made it almost feel like she owed him something. "I move whatever they want," she said with a minimal movement of pale lips. Her tone went dead hollow with the words, ringing with the truth that she didn't question what it was, where they wanted it to go, or even who they really were. She wasn't sure why she felt like arguing or yelling when there wasn't really anything to argue about, and the apprehension of such steady conversation felt weird. Viv challenged it with a tilt of her busted halo. "You want to give me more hell or can I get something to eat now?"
That was the thing about Elias. If you didn’t take the surface assessment than you got a different one, and he just didn’t work hard to alter any impressions people made. He didn’t talk enough, for one. Or lie enough. It had been a rough few weeks, and the typically easy-going Elias was all bleak edges and hidden blades. He waited until they got all the way into the restaurant. They took a booth, they sat down. Elias ordered coffee and put three packets of sugar in it. The sugar packets were stacked one atop the other, and then he took them in his long fingers and started folding them into some strange angled confection. Knowing the menu well enough to order without opening it, he nudged it aside on the sticky table with one elbow and leaned back. Then, when she was good and comfortable, he said, “So who are you going to jail for?” It was like he’d been a cat crouching in wait, tail lashing, for the chance to spring.
The silence made her uncomfortable, and bruised eyes kept Elias tapped from behind the bug lenses of her thrift store sunglasses when they made their way into the booth. Viv ordered a sweet tea, and when the waitress gave her a crooked expression that clearly said while this was a diner, it wasn't the deep south, Viv huffed with an exhausted correction, "Lemonade." She flipped through her menu as a means of ignoring the quiet that was anything but peaceful. The occasional tick of mudbug eyes rose above the thick frame of her shades to regard the strange sugar packet origami he was constructing. Then down again, already stiffening because she could see how relaxed he was, and maybe she could just sense the burning tiger smirk waiting to rear up and show its teeth. The distrust came strictly from his masculinity, and maybe the lack of cream in his coffee.. whatever she could grab at in this moment. "Fuck you, Elias." The hiss came without intention, but she didn't back down from it because how dare he ask her that. Like he even deserved to know. Then, she was dropping her eyes to the menu as a means of escape, only now understanding that this was a mistake.. calling him, breakfast, everything. Viv couldn't stand the way he looked at her sometimes, and she didn't know why. ".. Just.. don't worry about it." The waitress approached and Viv was thankful for the distraction, quietly ordering a mountain of blueberry pancakes.
Elias was untroubled by her venom, unexpected though it was. People had said worse and probably would do so again before he died. He didn’t smile or blink, and the crow’s wing black of his eyes were back. He was thinking, considering her, not weighing, just trying to figure out what made her up besides neon flip flops and directionless anger. It was a long stare, one of the ones he inflicted on others without realizing he was doing it. He was abruptly distracted by the piece of amber light her cheap sunglasses shed on the curve of her bruised cheekbone. His knuckles twitched. “...I think I will. I just put a few figures down on it. I think I need to know. It’s important to me.”
"No, it's important to me," she snapped again. Or tried too. The poison in her voice gave way like a faulty cellar, and underneath there was all the anguish a person could handle. Maybe more judging by the way she went suddenly quiet, desperately taking a hard swig of her lemonade. The concoction was more bitter than sweet and that just irritated her more, but she dropped an elbow onto the table, and she tossed that small plastic bag of belongings with the bold words Clark County Detentional Facility emblazoned like a scarlet letter. She captured the bruised side of her face with a palm, that elbow still pinning the table's ledge, and Viv cast her attention to the bag because it was easier to look at that than Elias. The fuzzy pink bear keychain in it's plastic cage, she fought the urge to rip it out and let it breathe.. what if it couldn't breathe -- goddamnit it, it's just a keychain. "My brother's in lock up, and he owes some people a lot of money.. so now I owe them a lot of money." Attention flicked up behind the glasses to regard Elias.
Someone born into money, or even safety, would have told her to stop it, then. Maybe someone more callous would have told her to forget the brother, or at least let him deal with his own debt. Elias didn’t come from either of those places. He waited through her anger--he was realizing that this was the best tactic with her--until she squirmed her way into a different place to talk to him. He kept his hands back off the table to give her room for her belongings and her elbows, as if she might need to flail and scream and he was willing to wait through that, too. The waitress stopped by to refill Elias’ mug, which was already half empty, and when he caught her staring at Viv’s things, Elias slowly tipped his chin up and her and waited until the black empty stare chased her back behind the counter. When she finally got to the point where she was speaking to him, he righted his gaze. “Oh,” he said, simply. “Are they still pretending you’re paying a little at a time, or they just own you outright?”
This freedom was less than an hour old and already bittersweet, Viv couldn't help but to wonder if the man behind the curtain was angry with her. They could tack the losses onto her bill, but if they did anything to her brother on the inside, she just.. she'd die. Her expression was a film reel of realization and desperation as the thoughts swam in a wild bloom. No, the prison would call her if anything happened to him, right? Distracted by the waitress, she glanced up a little dazed and a little late. Viv barely caught the tail end glance of judgement and suspicion cast upon her bag of jailhouse oddities. She would have liked the time to hiss and bite, but the woman was chased back with her lousy pot of coffee, and Viv's attention moved back to Elias with the realization that it was him who'd done so. No fits of rage required, apparently. Maybe she'd learn that some day. Fucking karate kid zen master. The idea made her smile, but his question gave her pause. She shrank back against the comfort of her booth and thank god for the sunglasses because for a moment, her eyes betrayed everything. Wonder, skepticism, and maybe a little fear. "What do you know about these kinds of things?" His questions were a little too spot on.
Elias was an artist and he watched how people and objects moved for a living. For Elias it was mostly color and shadow, thoughts and emotions shifting like living beings over skin, but he noticed, no matter the form. “Big groups of guys in my old neighborhood. Gangs. They work like that, only higher up.” He didn’t know what to make of her lava lamp movement from smile to shrinking strangeness. He stared more intensely to try to make it out. “Smaller, they’re friendlier. They know the family and help you out when you can’t make the bills, only then next month they want you to drive here, or do this, or smoke that.” He shrugged, as if that was the way it was. “So you got something in place where you can get out, or it’s them or you and your brother?”
She knew nothing of gangs, and the mob was different enough to keep her clouded. Viv finally pulled the sunglasses from her face and set them on the table, whether her bruises would offend him or not. She'd learned that a long time ago, that people felt uncomfortable in the eye of violence. "He can't take care of himself inside. I pay for his care, his safety, whatever he needs." There was a beat of a pause when the waitress passed by again, this time giving a long stare to the fresh exposure of Vivienne's facial bruising. "If I don't pay, he's not safe, and he's not.." There was a new softness here, more than fond, too fearful for fond. Love. "He doesn't belong there, he can't make it in there.." She sometimes got so wrapped up in the anxiety of it all, that one day they'd call her and with the news of oh geeze he just hung himself, miss. Viv stiffened, suddenly impatient for her damn pancakes, and her gaze turned around the restaurant like a feral cat. "I'll pay you back," she repeated.
Elias was watching her, pleased despite himself that there was so much beneath the surface to explain the things he was seeing. It added much to the story of the woman across from him, and for the first time he thought his money was probably well spent. He sat back in his seat. "Yeah." Elias knew the value of debt, not value to him, but to others. The poor, especially the poor, could weigh their debts as heavily as their wealthier peers. He respected that. "But there's not a hurry." The breakfast came, a huge omlette skillet for Elias, who proceeded to pack it away at an incredible rate, and Viv's pancakes. "You better tell them that I'm in stupid puppy love with you or something to explain the money. If they think I've still got anything, though, they'll work you for it, so we better stage a big break-up." The idea of theatrics appealed to him. He was suddenly in a much better mood.
She dug a fork into her pancakes, but failed to take a bite despite the growl in her stomach. "You think they'd know you bailed me out.. I mean, isn't that shit anonymous or something?" Naivete somehow still existed in the woman with the rabid junkyard sneers and the chocolate honeycomb eyes. How would they.. of course, money could buy them everything, so it made sense. She stilled, fork still lodged in that stack of syrupy blue starch. Viv watched him from across the table, the way he ate like he hadn't tasted eggs in a hundred years. "You didn't have to come get me.. you could have said no." Her expression hardened, like she wished for that option somehow. Like it would make her dislike of him easier to maintain. Finally, fingering her fork for the longest time, she took a bite.
Elias dumped hot sauce on his omlette. "I could have, yeah. But I didn't." It was obvious he'd already thought about that, thought about the connection between her and her crime, and now between her and him. Elias didn't need fucking Sherlock Holmes to tell him that, thank you very much, and he could get himself in and out of his own trouble without the insufferable arrogance of the British detective. The two of them had recently brokered a separation that allowed them to recede far enough to give the other a certain peace of mind. It had helped the questionable sanity and the rising tide of Elias' impulse and addiction problems, and allowed Sherlock to brew on his conundrums in quiet.
"So, after this, storm the fuck out and make a big deal about it." He flashed a wide white grin at her and emptied his coffee cup again.
She smirked on the edge of a forkful of pancakes, tonguing blueberry juice from her lip before taking a new swig of lemonade. Remembering it wasn't sweet enough, she set the glass back down to be forgotten once more. "Still painting, Degas?" Yeah, maybe she'd done some reading up on painters in her free time, so what? Not that she associated him with classic art of ballerinas, and she sure as hell wasn't trying to impress.. it was probably an insult. She took another mouthful of pancakes and glanced casually around for a no smoking sign. She didn't see one, but that didn't mean a damn thing these days. Restaurants these days were gestapo era; no smoking, no alcohol, no public indecency. "Mind if I bum that cigarette now?" She lifted her eyes to him from across the table, dragging that artificial blue syrup off of her fork with a small smile. Storm the fuck out.. she liked that. She could sense Irene in her head, very nearly saying something, but the woman must have sensed this precarious balance, and silence thankfully remained.
Elias was visibly pleased to be compared to Degas, the impressionist sweep of his brush all movement and calm color, exactly the kind of thing that spoke to him in the most stereotypical way. His grin flashed again, so white through all that rough stubble, and he stabbed at a few more bites of egg. "Not paint, at the moment. Graphite pencil. Gray and silver. Just some studies, nothing final, yet." He gave her more detail than she asked for, or even wanted, simply to talk about it, and for no other reason.
He lifted one eyebrow. "I do mind. You said you were quitting, and I'm not helping you change your mind." Gently. "Sorry." He reached out with his fork to take a chunk of her remaining purpled pancake.
"I lied," she said through carefully clenched teeth. An admission that came too easily to have ever been anything deceptive in the first place. "So, please," and that word was loaded with more threat than thank you. Her eyes followed the movement of his forked hand, cautious as the approach of a viper when he took a chunk of her pancakes. Retaliation was key, although rather than stab him in the hand with her own implement, she reached out and scooped a wild forkful of his omelette, most of which ended up on the table between them when she brought her fork back across enemy lines. But she got a bit of egg into her mouth before smiling her most pretty, false little smile. Except it wasn't so false, even if she tried. "Cigarette."
Elias' smile was wicked. "You can get to the storming any time." Maybe she had been lying, but now she'd done it, and she wouldn't get a smoke from him. He wasn't even likely to smoke in front of her. He licked his fork.
Viv dropped her eyes to what remained of her pancakes, and her smile was minimal when she picked a blueberry loose from with fork and sucked it free from steel tongs. Dropping an index finger into the dark purple syrup, Viv played idly on her side of the table, hidden behind the plate for a moment before she licked that syrup free and shrugged. Hey, whatever man, whatever. Reaching for her lemonade once more, the entire diner was unprepared for what came next when she hurled its bitter yellow - plastic tumbler and all - into his face. "FUCK YOU! YOU LOUSY SON OF A BITCH!" Viv didn't even stick around for the satisfaction of witnessing his eyes water from all that sour and sugar blitzkrieg. She was already shoving up from her side of the booth and hightailing it out the door. The diner seemed to freeze amongst the commotion, and in her wake, it might have been easy to miss.. except to an artist's eye. That glistening purple syrup scrawl on her side of the table. All fingerprint and sloppy goo, it said thank you against the pale formica. Easy to wipe away. But she was out the door with her bag of oddities, sunglasses crammed against the accusatory sun, and maybe she smiled when she hit the street. Even if she didn't look back in taking off.. the smile was small. Small like her shadow when she rounded the street corner into the bustle of a Vegas afternoon. Thank you.