|It's Brittany, Bitch | Ερις (eristic) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-12-07 14:14:00
|Entry tags:||eris, uke mochi|
you could've been a good friend in mind
Who: Alice and BB.
What: Alice discovers the snow and does not take it well. BB helps her out.
Where: Elevator, second floor.
When: Friday, Dec. 1.
Alice hadn’t seen the message board nor did she look out her window. She had slept in that morning--overslept, actually--and was in a rush to get out of the apartment and to the bakery on time. She had already called and confirmed that the other baker was in, her cover who to be fair had been training to take on more morning baking duties, but she still felt like she was a failure to her employee and an awful business owner.
It wasn’t just that, she was slipping up on other things. Rafael’s behavior had her worried, the events in the apartment complex even more so. She wanted nothing more than to hide away in her apartment with Molly and never go out again. Everything was just too rough, too hard to handle. All ways that Alice formerly dealt with stress didn’t work anymore and now it was like the apartment, her job, her friends, everything was leaning in, putting pressure on her when she had no strength, and she was steadily being ground into the floor.
So it was not a surprise when Alice froze in the doorway of the apartment complex with her green eyes going large at the sight of snow. For a moment, she thought she was seeing things, but then she blinked and realized it was in fact snowing. Not just snowing, but must have been snowing for quite some time because it was covering the cars and piled up enough that she would need a shovel to get out. This...this would not do. Not for this morning when she was already late, not at all. And there it was, just past the land that Pax Letale claimed, sunshine and a growing crowd that stared at the snow just as much as she was doing.
Alice took a step back from the doors, her breath coming out of her lips shaking as her vision narrowed. She promptly turned and headed for the elevators. Work wouldn’t be happening today, definitely not, not with snow. Not with her car buried. Not with everything going on. And there was such a list, wasn’t there? So many things that had happened, so many awful things, and they began to hit Alice one blow at a time, overwhelming her thoughts to the point where she felt she was drifting to the elevator and not really seeing where she was going.
She pushed the keys within the elevator and stepped back, realizing her breathing was hard and she couldn’t quite catch it and she could feel her heart pounding in her head and her pulse in her neck. Her vision continued to narrow to two pinpoints in front of her and before Alice realized it, she was sitting on the floor, gasping for breath as tears fell down her face. She couldn’t control anything in her life. It was all so completely out of control and she had no say, no ability of control. Pressing sweating hands to her face, Alice pressed her fingers into her cheeks, trying to prod the tingling sensation she felt into a solid sense of feeling, and with a hiccup of air she thought of Uke Mochi. Perhaps she was taking over her body again, perhaps she was gaining control. Even before, when Uke Mochi had been so concerned for Alice and wanted to ensure her safety, it was without either of their control that she had taken over. Maybe that was what was happening, Alice was losing the battle and the goddess had won--whether or not she wanted to.
So lost Alice was in her panic attack she hadn’t realized that the floor she had pressed was the second floor, not the sixth, nor that the door had opened on that floor. She sat on the floor, her tight-covered knees pressing against the hard surface and her hands pulling from her face to touch the floor, to brace herself up, as she gasped and tried to catch her breath.
Too impatient to wait for Daniel to come up and collect her, BB had thrown on nearly every scrap of clothing she owned in an attempt to make due for the cold gracing the ground outside. Five shirts, a couple of hoodies, and her rain slicker over that coupled with several layers of jogging pants and her best sneakers, her feet within buried under four layers of socks. She didn't have a hat (well, outside of a Dodger's baseball cap, but that wasn't going to help much) so she just pulled her hair into a loose bun and was currently and ungracefully making her way down the hall with her over-padded arms slung over her crutches.
She'd just been about to press the call button when the doors seemed to magically open at her appearance. Feeling charmed by the building's seeming welcome after all that had happened to her within it, BB grinned—and then the expression faltered when she heard a gasping sound. Wobbling a little to the left, she spied a familiar redhead within the depths of the elevator car.
She didn’t hear her name as she sat on the floor, tear streaking down her face and her breathing coming fast and hard. But in Alice’s head, it wasn’t coming easily enough. It was hard to breathe, like the weight of the world was pressing on her chest, and she didn’t realize she was gasping for breath and sobbing all at the same time.
But slowly, there was the lightest peek through her panic attack as she realized the door of the elevator had opened and someone stood there. Weakly, she tried to move away, to brush the tears from her face as she felt a wave of embarrassment that someone was seeing her like this, but maybe, maybe that person could help. Maybe they could help get her to breathe because it was hard, so hard.
BB walked hesitantly into the elevator car, her eyes wide. The toe of her bright green cast came to rest on the floor as she was fully encased in the elevator; the doors closed behind her, but the car did not move.
"Hey." BB could recognize a panic attack when she saw one—she'd never experienced one herself, but she'd caused quite a few. Leaning on her left leg and crutch, she reached out with the tip of her other, poking Alice in the shin. "Hey, look at me. Skittles, hey."
Alice let out a whining noise, her breathing coming in and out in rushed, shallow breaths as she leaned backward and looked up, her tear-filled eyes finally meeting her friend’s but she still didn’t quite seem to see her. Still, she listened, looking up at BB as her breathing came in and out, her fingers splayed over her knees as tears dripped onto her thighs.
"Oh man," BB muttered, sliding carefully and slowly off of her crutches. "You're really gonna make me do this, aren't yah?" Balancing on her left foot, she leaned the crutches against one wall, and then began to sink toward the floor. The cast was unwieldy, but soon she had it stretched out, her other leg bent. She leaned forward, putting a hand to one of Alice's knees.
"OK, we're gonna play a game, and the name... of the game," she rolled out, her voice becoming a little sing-songy at the last bit. When she realized that wasn't going to settle well, BB hurried on. "Is how much oxygen can we get. So breathe in, breathe out, and just...breathe, OK, skittles? Let's just breathe. This is gonna go away, we just gotta breathe." BB took a few breaths herself, sucking in and blowing out air in a dramatic fashion. At one point, her rounded cheeks remained for a moment as her lips inverted to make a fish pucker, hoping to distract the redhead.
Alice looked at her friend and tried to do as she was told. One shaking breath in, one shaking breath out. It was slow moving but after repeated attempts, she was able to have a somewhat regular breathing pattern, even if each breath still shook and her face was deadly white. She cried as well, possibly more than before as she came out of the tunnel vision little by little and began to realize what was happening and who it was who was helping her.
“Your… your leg,” Alice managed to get out with one breath at a time. Her eyes darted to the cast and back to BB, her brows rose in embarrassment and sympathy. She had caused BB to awkwardly get to her level and her horror of it was clear on her face.
"Yeah, it was between green and pink but I decided to shake it up. I've got markers if you wanna sign it!" BB rode completely over Alice's concerns, focused (as ever) on the next best thing. "Probably some glitter pens from when Daniel's leg was broke... How are you feeling?" Her sudden clarity was jarring, segueing from one topic to the next with ease. A hand reached out to brush tentative fingers against Alice's knee.
Alice took in another shaking breath and she could finally feel the floor under her knees, the cold of it on her skin, and when she looked at Brittany, she read the concern on her face. The world that had felt so far distant when she had made it to the elevator now felt more present and within reach. Lifting a hand, she wiped away the mess of tears on her face and looked at her knees. “Um, honestly, not that great,” she replied, a sad laugh rushing out with a breath as she continued to wipe her face. “I felt like I couldn’t breathe and like I was going to pass out. Now I feel just…exhausted.”
"OK, that's cool," BB replied quickly. Her hand stayed where it was, neither seeking permission to touch nor completely touching—just there, an offer if Alice wanted it.
"We're on my floor; do you want to go back to my apartment? I've got hot cocoa and I think some leftovers. I can call Daniel and make him get us Taco Bell or something." She wiggled her foot, though did not call special attention to the variety of still-fading bruises and cuts visible on her face and hands. "There's a silver lining to this, you know."
Alice stared at Brittany, her face blank, but slowly she began to nod. Little by little, she got to her feet, sniffed, and pushed her hair from her face. “Do you need help? I’m so sorry you had to get on the floor. You look… you look pretty awful.” She laughed again, lightly, weakly, but there was a small shadow of a smile.
BB made an impolite fart sound to imply what she thought of Alice's comment, but extended her hands regardless; there was simply no way she was going to get to her feet on her own, especially in the middle of the elevator car. Once she was up, she steadied herself on her left, balancing, and got back on her crutches. She had Alice hit the open door button, and together they started moving out of the elevator and back down the hall. The first thing, she realized upon moving again, BB was going to do once she was back inside was strip out of the ridiculous amount of layers because she was feeling overly warm.
"So... can I ask what brought that on? Just... stuff?" The question was careful and tentative, handled like glass, since BB was still uncertain about their personal footing in each other's lives.
“Uh…” The look on Alice’s face mirrored BB’s uncertainty. They were both walking on ice, exploring this new, awkward territory. But Alice needed someone right now and that someone was her oldest friend. She found comfort in it, which surprised her, and she allowed herself to confide in her old friends. Beggers can’t be choosers. “The snow? Honestly? This… this apartment. It’s too much. All of it. I turned into Uke Mochi not once, but twice. Other people have been possessed by deities. The floors change all the time. You went missing and then a werewolf dumped you out of a bag. Then monsters appeared and Uke Mochi had all the power over my body and I couldn’t do anything and Rafael is sick and now it’s snowing.”
She forced herself to stop, her breathing coming fast again and her eyes welling with tears. “I just… I can’t handle it anymore. It’s too much. It’s all too much.”
"OK, OK, OK..." BB came to a stop, her hand rising away from her crutch to land on Alice's shoulder. "Let's talk about something else... You got a cat, recently, right? How's... Mittens or Spot or Whiskers doin'?" She didn't mention that she'd heard the information through the grapevine, that she'd been a little stung to learn the info secondhand; for once, BB was being an adult and handling things well. Which, in her favor, seemed like something she was overdue for.
As she asked the question, she drew her hand away and continued toward her apartment in the same slow, steady gait, eventually gaining the door and opening it as quickly as possible. She waved to usher Alice inside.
Alice looked at the door frame and stepped in, realizing she was holding her breath as she went inside and feeling her shoulders sink once she was within. She began to think of the last time she had been at BB’s apartment but brushed it aside, feeling the hurt of it stabbing into her belly right away. This was a good meeting, BB was helping her, and by the looks of BB, she could use some help too. “Um, yeah, I got a kitten. Isobel took me to this cat show thing and they had cats to adopt so I got one. Her name’s Molly.” She glanced around the apartment for a moment before reaching into her bag. “I have a picture if you’d like to see her…”
"Sure!" BB chirped happily as she kicked the door closed behind her (the cast was solid enough and her leg didn't hurt too much, that's what pain meds were for) and strutted her way across the room to her couch. Trash was everywhere, mostly due to the unit's tenant being the human equivalent of a booted car. She leaned her crutches against the furniture and immediately began to strip off her many-layered tops. She did not glance over her shoulder or make any bigger deal than she already was in loosening what she'd planned to wear out in the snow.
Once she had, the whole act taking only a handful of moments, BB grabbed the crutches and turned back around, heading for the kitchen. "You want milk or water for your coco?"
“Milk would be nice, thanks,” Alice said as she inched closer to the kitchen and withdrew her phone to pull up a picture of Molly being the little fuzzy fluff that she was. Holding the phone out, Alice nodded toward the counter. “Do you need some help? I can’t imagine it’s easy to move around on crutches. What did your parents say about the break?”
"Uhhhh, they were mad," BB started, ungainly reaching for a metal teapot sitting in her sink. Her voice rose a few octaves at the end, as though she were lying or trying to downplay it. "But, I mean, not a whole lot they can do from all the way over here. I think Gus is gonna get it worse, but you didn't hear that from me." BB leaned over and looked to Alice's phone, nearly dropping the kettle in the process of filling it. "Oh my god, skittles, you have to let me pet sit for you, she is just adorable—" BB immediately pulled her foot off of her mental gas pedal, lifting the kettle precariously over to the stove.
"And, uh, yeah, you could help. Grab the milk? I'll just toss a cup of that in the microwave. There's almond milk on the fridge door." BB turned to the other side of the kitchen to reach for two mugs, which forced her to pause in place for a moment as she considered how she was going to hold both the mugs and her crutches.
Alice was already moving to the fridge to retrieve the milk and carrying it back to the counter when she saw BB looking perplexed at the cabinet. “Here’s the milk,” she offered, sitting it on the counter as she reached up to retrieve two mugs. “Um, will these do?” She glanced at her friend and felt it was alright to push a little further and be honest. “And I’m sorry your parents were upset, although I can get why. It was scary...I thought you were dead when you first appeared. I’m glad it’s just a break, honestly.”
BB's mouth opened and closed, her struggle to find the right words—a shocking proposition for her, of all people—clear on her face.
"Yeah, me too. It was... It was kinda scary." Those were the first words she'd put to the encounter, which she had brushed questions off about. Between trying to find satisfactory but not too revealing stories for both the police and her parents, built off of what Daniel had told the EMTs upon their arrival at Pax the night of the Halloween party, there hadn't been a lot of room to discuss the actual event. Now that she had a moment to do so, unassuaged by other people's problems, BB found that she didn't want to.
"Skittles, I wanted to say I'm sorry. And yes, those mugs are good, you can put them down because you look like you're about to club me over the head with 'em." BB shifted on her crutches, moving back enough to lean against the counter under the cabinet Alice had pulled the mugs from. "But, seriously. I am. Sorry, I mean, for what I did. It was shitty, and I... I should've been better about it. I... miss having you as a friend." BB was quite aware that she didn't have many to begin with. Her face screwed up with concern as she tried to find her way through the difficult minefield she'd entered. "Are we... are we OK?"
Alice had become frozen the moment Brittany began to apologize, her eyes large and the mugs still in her hands as she stared at her friend. When she finished speaking, it took a moment for Alice to blink and, in fact, sit the mugs down as requested. “Thanks, Brit,” she began, her voice little as her gaze now fell to the mugs. “I miss you too. It’s been so hard and when I saw you were missing, I was so frightened for you. It kind of made everything that happened seem… little.”
She looked back at BB and smiled softly. “I think we’re on the road to ok... let’s… let’s make the hot cocoa and then get you to a couch. Maybe...maybe I can tell you about Uke Mochi. A lot’s happened since we talked about her last. Of all the weird, awful stuff that’s going on, she’s been I guess the nicest part of it all and I’ve wanted to tell you about it. Would that be okay?”
BB nodded, the movement rocking her gently back and forth on her crutches. Her smile was wide and genuine.
"Yeah, tell me all about it, 'cause you know Daniel, he's so far up Ares' ass you'd think he lives there..." BB didn't even think about the fact that she'd easily name dropped the deity without a second thought, instead slowly inching away from the counter and out of the kitchen.
"Not gonna lie, I think I missed out since I was unconscious... Sounds like everyone had a wild as fuck party and there I was, passed out stone cold on the pool table..."
The petite Asian continued to natter on as she crossed the space and thunked down on the couch, ready and waiting for both hot cocoa, her dear friend, and a long, detailed story, the kind she lived for.