Back Alley Tangle


dumortier2_icon.gif isis_icon.gif kara_icon.gif

Scene Title Back Alley Tangle
Synopsis The chaos inside The Cat's Cradle spills out into the back alley and gets messier still.
Date January 2, 2020

Back Alley Outside the Cat's Cradle

Poppy said break up the fight.

So here Kara is, breaking up the fight.

Okay, what she actually said was 'bounce the bar', so Kara opted to just get the altercators outside.

It's not her job to be doing it anymore, but the chaos of the moment compelled her to accept the order. When the kitchen door out the back of Cat's Cradle slams open, it's Rene Dumortier she throws out first by the scruff of his coat. But then, Isis is dragged out by her arm, too.

She's a little mad at them both for making her lose sight of the little blonde girl who'd had Eileen's white raven.

"No idea what's going on between you two," and her tone implies Kara doesn't particularly care, until she appends a forceful, "but you're going to sort it out. Now."

OWW-AH!” It’s the whiniest whine that ever was whined. The redhead holding one gloved hand to her face comes shuffle-tripping behind Kara, the alley door swinging closed with a resounding thunk that echoes off bricks and concrete and crunchie gray grime-ice. COLD! Isis’s body screams silently, instantly curling up in-so-much as she can remain standing, with her shoulders tucked to her ears. Her thin gray top with tiny copper rivet accents and ripped skinny jeans are doing no favors… well, not in terms of retaining body heat, at least.

“Alright-alrightalright’lright.” Isis holds up her free hand, gloved palm at Kara and then Rene. She even gives a gentle shrug out of Kara’s grip and shuffles a few steps back along the drippy, littered alley. “Okay. I think we’re good now, right? All’s fair and the like.” Because what really says we’re even for body theft like a good ol’ punch in the face? Isis lowers her hand to reveal a quickly swelling cheekbone, a little split near her eye the bullseye for an area eagerly transitioning from red to violent violet.

Literally being scruffed does a lot for bringing you back to the present. Unfortunately it just makes Rene angrier, kicking gamely at Kara before she hucks him into the alley.

"The fuck?! Lay off, Kara!" Dumortier bounces and rolls, springing up like an angry weasel, hair in his face. When he rounds to Isis, he is seething.

"We're good?! Are you fucked in the head?!" The old cracked asphalt under his feet spiders in lines. Rene only seems cruelly satisfied by the reveal of her face, mouth grinning like a little devil. "You literally took me for a ride, bitch! After I pulled you out of a fucking pitfall!" He steps towards Isis again now, hands in fists and hackles raised. Steam blows from his mouth into the cold air. "How about I break that pretty little face some more? Could always throw you in another hole, right?"

There's something there that may be indicatory of why Dumortier and Miller apparently get on like they do. The asphalt cracks open wide near one boot; wet, slithering brown tendrils snake out from the new escape route.

Isis had clearly done something. Cunning, playful fox that Dumortier could be, it took a lot to get under his skin. At least, to stay under it this badly, anyway. Kara looks back and forth between them both, like a referee determining if perhaps one side was doing a little too well, but not going to pull them apart until a clear victor was established.

The crackle of asphalt turning into puzzle pieces where it had been one solid whole draws her attention instantly as a result. "Hey, hey," she warns strongly, cutting a stony look at him out of the corner of her eye. "Keep it to fists only."

Isis peels off a glove and carefully tests the pads of her ring and middle fingers against the swollen cheekbone. A swift hiss of intaken air coils somewhere inside her… Not like the ache the Sickness had been. Not like the daggers her Fear twists. Just pain. Her focus sharpens as her glassy nails hover a breath's distance over her the small dark cut.

"And a good ride it was…" Her lips pull back to reveal the tip of her tongue pressed against the bridge of her teeth. Isis's hazel-molten gaze flicks briefly to the helter-skelter cracks in the pavement. For a moment, there's a flicker of doubt across her freckled features. With Kara's guidelines echoing, her black boots scoot her carefully away from where the split asphalt has carefully warned her away from further retreat. … Fine.

"All this talk of rides and holes. Someone's a little frustrated." Tut-tut-tut. Isis ticks her tongue on the roof of her mouth, shaking her head in pity and chastisement. Then she stops and peels off the other glove. "Well, come on, then."

It is Kara's guidelines that saves Isis from getting strangled by weeds. He wouldn't have killed her, but it would have been a world of shit. Rene clicks his teeth, jaw grinding just a moment at the blonde woman before fixing Isis with a glint of eye and a sharptoothed look.

"At least it was a thousand times better than my ride." If she wants to sass, he'll give it right back. "Not a little frustrated in the least, chere. I have a very fulfilling life." Dumortier is comfortable enough to laugh softly, hands lifting in a shrug. Those weeds at his feet climb up his thighs, encircling up along to his elbows. They coil there and he gives each one a snap, pulling them free from the ground.

Kara said fists.

Thick brown roots and bristly, prickly green snakes around his forearms, then to wrists, knuckles. Roots cling to the rest of him, some peeking out from under his coat collar.

"I won't fall for your same trick twice, voleur de corps." Dumortier darts forward to duck in and up, swinging for Isis' side; it's easy to see the anger in him- - it is certainly raw- - more than his words gave him credit for.

The respect the agrokinetic shows for Kara’s words doesn’t go unnoted, even if it’s hard to track with the way she looks between the two. Isis literally shedding her gloves for the fight, meanwhile Rene suits up… Her attention slides back to Isis in particular, brow lifting. Just what did the bartender do? It certainly sounds like this is all a touch merited, and like she’s owning up to it. Whatever it is.

Kara really should have paid better attention to her Spanish courses she took years and years prior, or if not that, then all the times Rene has teased her and tried to teach her French. Little words and phrases stick here and there, but nothing to help her understand what exactly happened. It does seem to paint a picture though —

One where Isis is Evolved. (Kara supposes this isn’t really a surprise, seeing the types of people Eve liked to orient herself around.) Her eyes narrow, wondering if whatever ability she carries with her is anything similar to the one Lucille leveraged against Finn at the Crucible.

She makes sure to stand far enough back she can intervene if needed without running the risk of being hit in a potential swing. They both need to get it out of their system and she means to let that happen … but if it looks like real damage is a possibility …

Well, Kara will have to step in.

Thump! Isis's hand comes up hard over her heart, her brows furrowed in distress. "Ouch!" She retorts. The sharply cut smile returns in prompt order. "As if you didn't enjoy being tied up." Her nose scrunches once, playful. "Just a little. Besides, the guy that has to tell people he has a fulfilling-…" The crack of wood draws her gaze down to the ground at Rene's feet. A pale brow creeps up over a thickly lined lid, her gaze shooting to the corner to consider Kara briefly. Just enough to see that fucking fantasy-style elder wood body armor somehow doesn't break a rule. "Fuck."

What did he just say about a corpse and-… Isis's eyes widen, drawing a thin line of crimson from the split on her cheek as her hands come up in fists in front of her. Rene is fast. Then again, she already knew that. She'd tramped through Providence wilderness in his skin, muscles, and bones…

The little red fox gives only a half shuffle and curves at the waist - both efforts to absorb, rather than dodge, the assault. The hot fire across her ribs snaps the pressure plate of her reactionary trap. As the air leaves her in a guttural grunt, her knee comes up at Rene's lowered torso and her elbow down towards the back of his head.

If there's anything Dumortier is good at, it is evading the rules. When Kara does nothing to interfere this time, he's glad for it; he can focus on this instead. Isis has a better idea than most, when it comes to what that scrappy body is capable of. Kara, on the other hand, just sort of knows by experience. His punch has a satisfying thump when it connects.

Isis' knee stops the momentum of his chest long enough to lay her jab down, and when he jerks back and up, he can feel the thump of hot nerves at the back of his head. Dumortier finds his feet and looses a straight jab for the throat.

When the connection between Isis's elbow and Rene's noggin reverberates up her forearm, the redhead's expression changes. Where the pain had sharpened and the witty riposte had lit something sinisterly playful, now her eyes widen slightly.

As Rene gets his footing, Isis widens her stance to ground herself, seemingly no longer interested in retreat. The half raised elbow that had rocked Rene's skull allows her to sweep down a forearm, knocking the forthcoming punch off course. So instead of hitting her throat…

"OW!" Isis clamps her arm around her affronted tit. She shuffles backward. That's going to bruise. "Bitch!" She instinctively winds up her free hand and lets swings at Rene's face exactly what every bitch deserves - a slap!

In addition to how he's already feeling- - her reaction to knocking his punch off course only results in his face sneering into a laugh. She deserved that one too. Dumortier just cackles at her shrieking, even through the smack of her hand whipping against his face.

"Takes one to know one, donnit?" One of the squirming gloves on Rene's fists them peels back over his hand when he reaches out to snatch Isis by the wrist and drag her off of her feet to the asphalt.

Kara makes a spinning gesture loosely with her left hand. Were they going to get it out of their systems already? Any catharsis coming? Or perhaps a better explanation of what actually happened?? It's not like she's trying to play voyeur, but the two have been bantering either vaguely or are being overly specific about what actually happened, and she has a feeling it's the former.

"Nobody's going to walk away here happy tonight, but you've got only a few more seconds before I break it up." she warns. "I came out here to see Yi-Min stayed safe and guess who I currently don't have eyes on."

Among other people.

"Didn't you both have that same dream anyway?" Kara wonders aloud. "Isn't that why you're all here?" She sighs from her nose, a thin trail of steam blossoming in the cold. "So much for uniting against it. The end of the world and all." If it sounds like she disapproves of their interpretation of that desire to include uniting each other's fists with the opposite's body

It's because she does.

The backhanded bitchslap sends a resounding slap flitting down the alley. Isis checks her ability's natural instinct to JUMP, adding only a subtly nauseating effect to her touch. Hardly noticeable in the scheme of fisticuffs and adrenaline.

Then there's talking - Rene with the compliments, Kara with the blah-blah-blah. And Rene's cold grip on her slender wrist. There's no time for retort. The world shifts and this time it's her stomach that is lurching when her center of gravity is yanked. Her eyes widen as a trigger fires a round of fear…

Hitting her square in the chest…

Isis slams into Rene's body with such force…

From the outside the sunny-haired man rocks backward and then falls forward, landing with a knee on the redhead's sternum. Isis-in-Rene lessens the impact, one hand braced on the cracked pavement beside a tussled halo of red hair, the other still around a wrist. Panting through a sneer, Isis waits until her new perspective has refocused to wring a growl out of borrowed vocals.

"You ever try to put a woman on the ground in a fucking alley…" She lets the threat hang with a hiss. "Done." Pause. "Now we're even."

Kara is all but background noise. Maybe he will complain later, but Dumortier has bigger problems.

Things technically go as he plans. There's just one problem, and it's that he's staring up at his own face. His chest hurts, his ribs hurt, his face hurts- - Isis-in-Rene's threat doesn't get taken appreciatively.

"You're not the only bitch with problems!" He screams- - not shouts- - up at her, writhing his wrist out from under the grip. Then he can be made out, once the redheaded frame seems to focus and shove a hand into the blonde's face to push him off.

"GET OUT! GET OUT- OF MY- FUCKING- BODY-" Dumortier makes no mask to hide his shrieking rage, hazel eyes tearing up and skin flushing in patches of rose and white.

Oh. Oh, shit. There's the nuance behind being taken for a ride. They're still scuffling, but as promised, Kara is edging in closer. The lack of an accent that came from Isis-in-Rene was immediately noticeable, and accompanied with Rene-in-Isis' screams— she moves with more hustle than she was previously.

"Hey, what did I just say about slice crap," Kara grouses, reaching in to try and physically tear the two apart again. If they're both still in the wrong body when it's done, she'll handle that then.

“I don’t give a flying fuck about your problems!” Isis screeches back, shredding lower vocal cords as they reach an unfamiliar pitch. “The world’s going to end and it might be- -MURMPH MMRHHH GHH!!!!!” The pale little hand clamps down over Isis-in-Rene’s countenance like an alien face-hugger… at the same moment Kara finds a grip on one’s wrist and another’s collarbone. It doesn’t matter whose wrist or collar, because in that moment…

For once the yank at her very core is almost a relief, despite the pain. If Isis’s ability is anything to go by, one’s soul is not stored in the heart or the head, but somewhere in the general vicinity of one’s guts. There’s a yank like that gut-wrenching fear when you aim to take on more step on the staircase in the dark - and that step isn’t there… Then a wrench as the consciousness is slammed through tangible matter and squeezed out the pores. All this is, at least to Isis, entirely… natural.

What’s not, is the sense of floating… For just a heartbeat there is a feeling of suspended weightlessness. Nonexistence, even. Before she is slammed into flesh. And the others, too…

Isis shrieks, this time a deal more feminine, as she sees her proper body and Rene’s entangled there in front of her. She is in Kara! “You’ve got to be kidding me!” This is not the ménage à trois she’d fantasized. “Can’t you people just keep your hands to yourselves!?” … “Fuuuck.”

"Kara- -" Rene doesn't get his warning out in time to stop her, of course. His hopes of trying to get back in himself are further convoluted by Isis yanking out of Rene's body into Kara's. Once Isis-in-Kara speaks, Rene-in-Isis blanches white. Nooonono.

He may only have a few seconds more before Kara realizes what happened- - that being wrenched out of yourself. Rene uses it to wiggle off of the ground and spring up, the air cold on his borrowed skin.

"Fuck, okay, fine, this is over! Just- - fucking fix it!" Rene snaps. There's a bit of quality panic, but mostly anger. "If you can't control this you shouldn't fucking have it…"

The world is taller.

Why is the world taller.

So is Isis. So is—

A startled note flies from Kara-in-Rene as s/he stumbles back, letting go as her own body is throwing Rene's back. She blames the nausea she has on the dysphoria of seeing that happen, rather than from having her whole self transferred into another body. There's no panicked pawing at her new body— she already knows where she is.

She stumbles back a step further, though, bewildered. "You've got to be kidding me," she echoes her own self, her voice a deeper rumble than normal. The shock of what's happened takes but a moment to pass.

Unfortunately, she now very much understands Rene's insistence on getting a punch in.

"Joanne." comes from Kara-in-Rene coldly, a look given up at herself— as fucking disorienting as that is. She steps forward, Rene's smaller hand balling into a fist, the growth armoring his knuckles scraping herhis skin. Her hand raises— and flies forward faster than it has any right to

right at Isis' actual jaw.

The wooden armor doesn't cling to her anymore, crumbling away from Rene's fist and forearm without the active engaging of his ability to keep it pinned. If she has access to that, what with being in him, she doesn't how to activate it in the first place, much less control it how he does. "Sorry, Rene," she apologizes to the current pilot of Isis' body. "Wanted to land something that'll stick."

She assumes— hopes— no return fire is about to be thrown. With the same hard glare as before, she looks back up again to Isis-in-Kara, hand offered out palm up for her to take. It's a look that says you will take it, you will fix this. If she doesn't, Kara has no qualms about chasing herself down.

Hopefully before Yi-Min finds out any of this happened.

With all parties three spaces removed, Isis-in-Kara holds one hand to the sensitive temple beneath a blonde hairdo. Even she is disorientated by this point.

“If I can’t control it?” Her bitter, venomous hiss undercuts the chaos of the moment, attention snapping to Rene still in her proper body. “You know who you sound li-…?” CRACK Even without being present to feel it, Isis winces at the wallop meant to land on her proper body’s jaw. “That’s going to hurt,” she grumbles.

“Listen!” Isis-in-Kara throws up her bare hands. “I want back in there-…” A point is directed at the battered redhead. “…- just as badly as you all want to beat the shit out of it, hm? But this would go a lot smoother if everyone would just keep their fucking hands… To Themselves.” Suddenly Kara’s girl-next-door beauty takes on a manic edge with eyebrows raised high and smile bordering on breaking. “Okay?” The simple question is drenched in saccharine sarcasm as Isis-in-Kara bends and coils her fingers in some seemingly preparatory fashion. Because, while she has no goddamn clue what she’s doing, she sure as shit aren’t going to let Bruiser 1 and 2 know that!

“Now, uh… If we can all call some sort of truce and you two could sit the fuck down, I can get this sorted.” Maybe.

For just a second, Rene thinks Kara is going to punch herself in the face. Nope.

Rene-in-Isis gets socked in the face, stumbling back several paces and holding their hands to face. The noise he made was a reverse snort, a sharp inhale interrupted by the compression of face into mouth and nose. Everything is so swimmy. Kara knows how to punch effectively. That's the difference.

"Fuck- - fuck, ow, Kara, Christ- -" Rene spits blood and saliva into his hands when he takes them off of the borrowed face. Just a chomped lip, it's fine. "I'm done. Give me my body back." The demand comes with a bloodied up squaring of jaw. Grinding teeth. "…Please." It's like something sour in his mouth. Be Nice to the lady with the keys to your car.

Rene’s features collapse into something flat and unimpressed. He’s too pretty too look this sullen, yet here they are. Kara continues to level a dark look up at her own body, trying to keep any doubts about how this might turn out firmly to herself. A thought’s just struck her. What if—

dear god what if

Isis figures herself out and not either of them.

Well, for one, she’s the most injured out of them, it would seem, so it’s not likely she’d make it far before being pinned down again and forced to correct this switcheroo.

Kara-in-Rene’s features lighten at that small solace for the situation. Then, she directs his eyes back over to Isis Rene-in-Isis with an extension of his hand toward her. “It’s touch, right? So… all three of us, what, hold hands?” It’s not like she means to sneer about it, but one come from her anyway. She holds up her other hand toward herself, still, but tries to keep from glaring at her body’s current occupant as openly. It might make her nervous, after all. “Let’s just get this over with.” The statement sounds like it ought to contain a four-letter word.

Isis-in-Kara steps forward. Just one of the three paces necessary to bring her back in line with the edgy displaced victims of this cluster fuck. She bobs her shoulders as if Kara’s skin were a jacket just a little too big for her. “And then I walk away,” she adds in a carefully clipped tone.

With that, she steps forward and holds out both hands. “Now, calm your shit. Think less ‘murder-y pounce’ and more ‘no place like home’, ‘kay?” There’s a little echo of the clap as she takes both their hands tightly in strong borrowed fingers. The blonde body goes rigid, the taste of copper at the back of her mouth where her tongue has been bitten in focus and effort…

Isis aims to steer the slippery consciousness back where they belong. In some ways it’s easier than expected. Rene and Kara truly do wish to return, after all. But, her own subconscious is a bit heavier…

"There's time," … "Time enough to… figure out how to do it right. Sabotage this whole thing so that there's nothing left. No one left."

GASP Isis’s opens hazel eyes with a snap - the pain of a busted lip, split cheek, and bruised ribs all rushing to welcome her home. She staggers back and rests against the cold clammy alley wall.

"Walk away." Rene echoes in a clipped tone. They'll be done with this. It was still satisfying, getting his licks in.

The only sensations he gets upon flooding back into his own bones is that jerking yeet of consciousness, and words that come in a non-committal jumble. Do it right? Yes, you better. Or you'll get it next time.

As soon as the agrokinetic is certain that he is himself, skin familiar and warm and not bleeding like Isis' was, he waits until the women stir with certainty before yanking himself away from the little kumbaya. For several seconds he angles a venomous glare to Isis in her own body, seething. He could do a lot. He has broken promises before. Depending.

Dumortier decides against it. Sometimes sense outweighs the desire to sink your claws in. And beyond that, he's the surviving type. Don't write checks you can't cash.

The nausea from the jump persists this time, Kara looking unsteady for a moment in a way she so rarely does. Her hand flies out to steady Isis by the arm— or is it to steady herself?— when it seems for a moment like she might fall. For all she was frustrated, she still has a certain sense of chivalry about this. Everyone would get their punch in and walk away only scuffed, ideally.

“Sorry.” she says. And perhaps she is a little.

She turns to regard Dumortier with a heavy look, one to indicate they’re done. Otherwise, he just might find himself walking home when they left here. Kara shakes her head at it all a moment after, expression relaxing. “I’m getting a drink, and then we’re going. Be ready.” This place, if not this entire city, had a certain type of crazy to it she was looking to leave behind. Even with her uncertain standing in Providence, it still was better than…

Whatever the hell you could call what happened here today.

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