Bastards Will Inherit the Earth


doyle2_icon.gif sable_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Bastards Will Inherit the Earth
Synopsis The bad vibes in the Lighthouse bring about a strange one-sided battle between Sable and Tasha, and Doyle gets to play knight in shining armor.
Date May 19, 2010

The Lighthouse

I've got a secret, I cannot say/Blame all the movement to give it away.

Contemporary music has its place, even in the pantheon of a true nostalgic. In moods unromantic, the heavy, relentless riffs of the Queens of the Stone Age have a special allure for Sable, whose head bobs in steady time with the music, her ears pumped full of its reckless sound by the large noise-cancelling earphones that trap her hat against her head.

You've got somethin', I understand/Holding it tightly, caught on command.

A song like this is hard to listen to while standing still. So Sable paces through the Lighthouse, thumbs hooked in the belt loops of her pants, expression one of fixed, interior concentration. She's not really thinking - she's just letting the music course through her, ordering the speed of her steps as she ascends the stairway. She feels good, in a raw, course way. She feels sly, she feels keen. She feels in a groove, which is the obverse of a rut. And then she takes one wrong step.

Leap of faith, do you doubt?/Cut you in, I just cut you out.

The wave of bad vibes grips Sable like a riptide, pulling her out into dark waters. Just one of the little emotional land mines Aaron's augmented ability left for those unlucky enough to stumble across them. The blackest of moods leaks out of the deepest parts of Sable's mind, knitting her brow, curving her lips into a seething scowl. In the often raucous affective landscape of Sable's experience, this kind of sudden swerve is not totally unheard of. Just one of her turns coming on. Her nostrils narrow as she takes a hissing breath, her eyes sweeping around for someone, anyone, she can deem responsible.

Tasha has found a rare, quiet nook in a little-used room, sitting in a window seat. This makes for a chilly perch, given the frigid cold that comes through the glass, biting through the thick quilt she has wrapped around herself as she sketches; a gray pastel crayon held delicately between thumb and middle finger sweeps and curves and dances across the paper. The box of pastels sits open beside her, and she swaps the gray for the red, rattling the little plastic tray that holds the crayons as she does to.

Her full lower lip is caught between her front teeth as she concentrates on the drawing, her head tilting one way to survey her work before going back in with the red pastel this time. Neon-green earbuds in her ears connecting to an Ipod leak a little music, though it's likely unfamiliar to anyone with keen enough hearing who chances to catch a melody line.

Sable's movements and expression are sharklike as she courses through the upper rooms of the Lighthouse, her eyes moving from doorway to doorway, just praying /praying/ for someone to bear the brunt of her rancor, before it inevitably turns back on its bearer. Right now everything is shit, and if she can't find someone whose fault it is, then she'll have no recourse to blame either God, whom she fears but doesn't believe in, or herself.

Whatever you do/Don't tell anyone.

And, as luck would have it, the perfect target presents itself. Yellow eyes, their tinge venomous, catch onto the backlit figure of a young woman in a window. Picture perfect, working diligently: Tasha. Of course. It's so fucking obvious, Sable's disgusted with herself for not figure it out sooner. Ah, but that's the worst of it. Tasha's benignity, her sweet temperament, her bourgeois goodness - all perfect for disarming, deceiving. Sable lurks, stewing in her own freshly acquired hate, for only a few moments before she moves into the little-used room. She doesn't announce herself, doesn't even remove her earphones. She steps across the room, shadow lengthening behind her as she moves towards the window, and the girl perched before it.

It takes a few moments before Sable's presence makes itself known — when Tasha shifts and leans back to look at her work from a different perspective, her dark eyes catch the other girl standing in the room. The artist offers a tentative smile — it's really the first time she's been alone with Sable since learning about Colette's history with the musician — and tosses her pastel into the tray, reaching for the paper towel folded on top of the crayons to wipe away the oil residue. Closing the sketchpad, she then pulls the earbuds from her ears, first left, then right, then reaches down to turn off the music.

"Hey," she says, amiably enough. "I had the headphones on — did you say something and I was totally rude and in my own little world and ignored you? I didn't mean it."

Amiability is just the worst thing Tasha could offer right now. Well, to be fair, almost /nothing/ Tasha could say would do much good. For one, the song is still wailing in Sable's ears, rendering Tasha's greeting into a pantomime, a contentless display that shows only her guileless expression and good natured gaze. For two, Sable's deep inside a world of pain that she very badly needs to share with a lucky someone.

That something is wrong is much too evident. The look on Sable's face, the fevered glint in her eyes, is dangerous. It's not the empty viciousness of a predator nor is it the dull sadism a bully - it's the distilled wrath of the persecuted, the point where vengeance and justice, pain and pleasure, meet. It peaks as Sable's teeth glint in a wide grin, and her hand reaches out, swiftly sinking fingers into Tasha's hair, curling, twisting, getting a firm grip. With as little warning, Sable yanks down and back, trying to pull Tasha off of her perch and down onto the ground by her own locks.

The artist isn't expecting to be hair-dragged into a scrum, and her positioning isn't one for balance, sitting as she is with her knees up and the sketchbook leaning on her thighs. Getting pulled from the seat, the pastels go flying first, followed by the pad of paper, and finally, Tasha with a gasp and a high-pitched squeal (that will probably seal her label as "bourgie" in Sable's eyes). She grabs for Sable's wrists, trying to pull the other woman's hands out of her hair — which only hurts all the worse.

"What the hell are you doing, Sable?" she manages, trying to scramble away from the other, feet breaking pastels into pieces on the floor.

Look for reflections, in your face/Canine devotion, time can't erase./Out on the corner, locked in your room/I never believe them and I never assume.

I'm sorry, could you speak up? Sable can't really hear Tasha very clearly. She can see her perfectly, though, and a grim satisfaction wells up in her as she discerns Tasha's discomfort. She doesn't let go of the other girl's hair. It'll take more than a tug to loosen the yellow eyed girl's grip. Her other arm reaches around to pull Tasha into a headlock, elbow pressing up under the other girl's chin.

"You just gonna whine? Gonna squeal? Gonna call the fuckin' cops?" Sable hisses, lowering her head, her voice right in Tasha's ear, "Fight your own fuckin' fight. I ain't gonna stop comin' unless you stop me. So /fight me/." Sable releases Tasha's neck and gives the back of her head a forceful shove, fingers sliding out of her hair and letting her fall away from her. She's already falling into a loose stance, cricking her neck, waiting for Tasha to rise to her bait.

Just as her hands come up to break the headlock — something Tasha has actually been trained to do — Tasha finds herself getting pushed back down onto her knees. She coughs hoarsely, one hand coming up to her throat, as she stands and stares at Sable. Her dark eyes wide, they look all the wider due to the magnifying effect of tears welling up, clinging to the ridiculously long lashes as if to refuse to fall.

"What do you mean, fight my own fight? I don't want to fight with you, Sable," Tasha says, shaking her head with confusion as she backs away. "It's… if you think fighting me is going to … she won't like this. Don't do this to her, even if you don't like me, okay?" Another step back, her eyes pleading with the other, before another idea contradicts the first: "Unless you need to get it out of your system, and you can move on? Then go ahead. Hit me, if it will make you feel better. But I'm not going to fight you."


The conflict's interrupted suddenly by a round, bald, bearded face that pops into the room, both brows raised upwards as Eric Doyle asks affably and with evident lack of understanding of what he'd just interrupted, "Have either of you seen…"

Oh, uh. Hi, catfight. That's kind of hot.

The puppeteer steps in with a furrowing of his brow, his wrist wrapped in bandages with a metal brace along its back, bruising still mottling the side of his scalp in patterns of purple and yellow like the splotch upon Gorbachev's head. The difference, of course, that Eric's is beginning to fade away.

"Um. Am I interrupting something? I mean, uh…" An awkward kind of grin curves to his lips, "…if you want, I can go get some Jell-O to fill the bathtub with. Maybe it's not big enough for a lot of wrestling, but you can give it a try?"

Still can't believe there is a lie./Promise is promise, an eye for an eye./We've got something to reveal./No one can know how we feel.

Sable sees Tasha's mouth working, sees those big doe-eyed tears, but there are still no words making it past the grip of those headphones, any more than her sentiments make it past the imposing wall of Sable's unnaturally induced fury. All that Sable knows is that Tasha is not taking her shot, and that just pisses her off /more/. She's about to advance on Tasha, to force the engagement that the other girl is trying to avoid, when Doyle shows up. Sable's eyes dart over to the rotund puppeteer, an unwelcome interruption. She actually hisses, like a cat, really completing the effect of her dark hair and yellow eyes. 'Back off' those eyes say.

The next moment, Sable's attention has returned to its true object. The irate musician flashes another utterly crazy grin, and lunges for Tasha, fist jabbing out at her stomach. She is not making idle threats.

The fight or flight instinct is difficult to ignore. Tasha's fingers twitch and curl into fists; one foot in a polka-dot sock takes a step backward — but then she remembers what she said. She will not fight, and if Sable wants to fight her, to feel better, to move on, then so be it.

Tasha doesn't move, letting that fist connect with her stomach. She exhales with a pained oof as the wind is knocked out of her; her balance thrown off, she does take another step back, and then a hand flies up to rip the earphones out of Sable's ears.

"I'm not fighting you, Sable," she repeats, though it's the first time it will be heard by the musician. "Hit me if it makes you feel better, but it isn't going to solve your problems. I'm sorry if you hate me, and once this snow clears, if it ever clears, except for Ferry stuff, I'll try to stay away from you, so you don't have to see me, but for Colette's sake — this is stupid. Please — don't do this."

A tear finally makes its way past the lower lash line to run into the corner of Tasha's lips.

Of course, Eric isn't completely thick, so he realizes within a few moments that this is a little more serious than some kinky wrestling-play. Really, he probably realized that to begin with, but optimism springs eternal, right?

"Whoa, whoa…" The big man steps along into the room, hands - one good, one still restrained by the wrist brace - spreading palms open, "…what the hell's going on here? Hey. Cut it, let 'er go, Sable."

Whatever you do/Don't t-

The earphones are yanked away from Sable's ears, and she is struck by the incredible /quiet/ in the room. Without the thunder of drums or the roar of chords to fill her head, the room, illuminated softly by natural light, feels like another world. Tasha's appeal finally reaches Sable, and the girl's deranged appearance of grisly good cheer collapses, the twisting of her face finally matching the ugliness of her emotions.

"You cowardly /shit/," Sable snarls, "You have no fuckin' /clue/ what this is about! I have had /nothin'/ given t' me. Everythin' I have, I've /taken/. You have /everythin'/ and think givin' up a little makes you a fuckin' /saint/. Too fuckin' pure to put up an honest fight. Gotta burn like a martyr, while th' rest of us burn like sinners. FUCK YOU!" These last words come an instant before Sable flings herself bodily at Tasha, hands going for her shoulders, her small, hyperkenetic form becoming a living projectile. Pouncing like she pounced at that dog. The dog she tried to savage with her teeth.

Those tearful brown eyes widen and Tasha's brows knit together, finally in anger, though she has no time to react before Sable flings herself at her. Moving backward only manages to bring her down all the more easily, and she lands on her back with Sable falling forward on top of her. "You don't know anything about me, Sable," Tasha grunts, scrambling to get away again, pushing with hands or feet if she must, but trying not to kick or claw or hurt the other girl.

"I'm not a martyr and I'm not pure. I just don't want to fight with you. There's enough fucking war and fighting without us turning on each other, damn it, just — !" The last words rise and then cut off with a sob.

"Uh huh." A single brow crooks up upon Eric's brow as he observes this little fracas from the door, his head canting twenty degrees to one side and a rue-touched smile tugging up to one corner of his lips, "Much as I'd like to see all the clothes-ripping and hair pulling, I think…"

One hand lifts upwards - his good hand - fingers dangling downwards and palm drawing up as if to pull strings upwards towards the ceiling. The puppeteer's power snaps out to seize control of Sable's body, muscles tensing and pulling back to force her to stumble to a halt, arms and elbows raising upwards like a literal puppet. He just lays claim to her body's motions below the next for the moment, leaving her plenty of freedom to talk if she likes. And she probably will.

Slowly, he walks along inside, asking mildly, "You all right, Tash'?"

Tasha refuses to give Sable a reason to /really/ hurt her, which only increases her desire to deliver more pain. Her teeth are bared, her prominent canines much too close to Tasha's face as Sable tries to take the other girl's arms, to pin her, to get her in a position where fighting is her /only/ means of escape. She just needs to take one blow, just that one spark to set things off, to allow for their mutual combustion. It's a hunger, a /need/ that she feels. Pain for pain.

And then her own body betrays her. Sable is yanked up and back, off of Tasha, eyes widening with surprise and alarm. She tries to struggle, but she's got nothing to struggle with. Instead her head just lashes back and forth, the tendons of her neck standing out as the only muscles she still commands strain. Her eyes cut over to Doyle, quickly equating the position of his hand with the direction she's been yanked in. Her face flushes with futile anger.

"What the /fuck/!" Sable yowls, "Let. Me. GO!" Her anger is now yanked in two different directions, but given no expression beyond her words. "This ain't yer fuckin' concern! This is b'tween me 'n' her!" Her eyes slash over to 'her'. "'f course. Of /fuckin'/ course. Can't land a blow yer poor sweet self, can you? Gotta wait f'r someone else to step in. Let someone else get their hands dirty. This shit won't last! Yer hands are soft and yer /weak/. You can't keep it all. You /won't/. What you got, you ain't earned it. And when I /take/ it, you'll cry and cry and wonder at how unjust the fuckin' world is, to dare to favor someone else for just /one/ /fuckin'/ /second/!"

From her position beneath Sable's flailing, furious form, Tasha cannot see Doyle's hands pulling invisible strings that pull her adversary away from her. The relief once Sable is off of her is fleeting, however, when the other snaps out vicious, biting vitriol that rubs salt into Tasha's proverbial wounds. It takes her a moment to sit up and stare at Sable's philippic. Her face grows white and she stands, slowly, then glances over at Doyle. Her brows knit together, trying not to cry more than she already is, silent tears streaming down her face, Tasha gives a nod of thanks to the puppeteer, understanding he's her savior here — though she's not sure how.

She moves toward the couch, bending slowly, a little painfully, and with shaking hands, begins to pick up the broken and smashed pastels, putting them in the tray and closing it. She picks up the sketch pad as well, as flips it to the page she was working on.

Moving closer to Sable, she drops it at her feet, since her hands are a bit tied up.

"It's what I was working on," Tasha whispers, and heads out of the room, head down.

On the sketch pad are two sketches, apparently a proposed CD cover — one, a man's chest tattooed with a radiation symbol where his heart would be, tribalized and ominous. The other, a man's back tatooed with a mushroom cloud, a skull leering from the cloud's bulbous head. The words "Atomic Heart," Sable's project, doodled around in various scripts.

"Yeah, I think that's a big no," Doyle replies with a roll of his eyes at the demand to let her go, his hand turning to finger-walk through the air, then lower - forcing the girl's limbs to move along, a jerky step or two forward, then knees bend in a crouch, neck bending forward in a mockery of a bow to let her look at the picture.

The puppeteer offers Tasha a faint smile as she moves to depart, and he walks past her to regard the sketchpad as well, one brow leaping upwards as he looks back up to Sable. "Hm. Band name or something?"

This is the lowest of all low blows: kindness. Sable's hate is a fire that needs constant fuel, and Tasha's tears and refusals were gobbled up with ease. But the sketch, drawn with skill and good intentions, smothers this flame like a great wet blanket. Sable's breaths start to come in ragged gasps, pulled through clenched teeth, much, much too close to the rhythm of sobs. Her eyes lock tight, blocking out the images she's been forced to kneel over.

Doyle receives just two hushed words in reply.

"Fuck off."

"That's the worst you've got for me? C'mon, I've been called worse before…" Doyle steps along past to the window, his braced hand raising to brush the curtains aside to look out at the snow, his voice quiet, "…you hurt her a lot more'n you know, Sable. You know— it's funny."

A faint, humorless smile as he turns, brows leaping upwards on his high forehead, "When you all met the dogs, that time? She thought she was worthless, compared to you'n Magnes, because she couldn't do anything to them. She thought that you were just… just amazing…" A sweep of his hand, eyes widening as if he'd seen a rainbow, then it falls and his eyes half-lid, voice turning flatter, "But. I guess you're just like all the other bastards in the world, aren't you?"

This just keeps getting worse. She was /already/ in a bad mood. Her eyes remain resolutely shut - its one of the few freedoms she has left in this state. See no evil. Still, Doyle's goading has the reverse effect of the sketch Sable refuses to look at. Her breathing steadies and her face becomes less tense. Abuse she can endure. Abuse she's used to. Abuse feels like home.

She even manages a faint snort, the ghost of bitter laughter. Her voice carries this sardonic edge. "The bastards will inherit the earth."

"No." Doyle's steps lead him to the door, his head shaking slowly, "No, we'll just all kill each other off. And we'll all die alone, cursing each other's names, thinking we were right all along." He pauses in the entranceway, his hand dropping as he releases the 'strings' of his power, glancing back over his shoulder, "Guess it's up for you to decide on that one. Feel right and justified, or keep the bunch of friends you've got."

A mirthless chuckle, a smile with no warmth, "Don't really care, myself. It's your life. You pull a stunt like this again in the Lighthouse, though… I'm here to protect the kids. No fighting." Then he's heading out into the hall, head shaking.

A bastard is merely someone who has no proper father. Uneducated though she may be, Sable understands this distinction - it's has no small meaning for her. Being a bastard means you can turn your back on your forebears, reject your lineage, be the young, the new. This is a notion Sable heartily embraces. And Sable /knows/ Tasha has her own parental strife, that, despite her having a father, she may still be making the bastard's choice. Her line of thought is coming free of the vicious tangle it was caught in, and with it come realization after inconvenient realization.

Sable's body returns to her, and her shoulders slump, hands pressing against the floor as she kneels over the sketches. She has to open her eyes eventually, and when she does the drawings are still there, toxic in their kindness. In silence, Sable gathers them up into her hands, staring at them for as long as she can bear, before hiding them against her chest. She looks to the window, paradisiacal in its glowing whiteness. A few steps, and she's kneeling in the same spot she found Tasha. She leans forward, forehead coming to rest against the pane of glass. She lifts the headphones back over her ears. If she listens hard enough, the song may just crowd out her thoughts. She can hope.

The cold sinks into her heated brow.

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