Pants On The Ground


deckard4_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Pants On The Ground
Synopsis Ongoing aimlessly co-dependent transience sees Deckard invading Joseph's life again. Only one of them has pants.
Date July 15, 2010

Joseph's Pad

This particular room at Gun Hill is rarely lonely. Unless Joseph desires to brave the outdoors and walk both dogs at the same time, with Alicia charging resolutely forward as if it were her mission to drag him along, and the smaller-but-growing, black-faced mutt with ungainly paws and a nervous demeanor flagging along in inquisitive zigzags. Not always, and not today, both dogs pent up in the Bronx apartment while he goes and does a late run for food upon the realisation that he really did not have any. The bookends of bread in folded over plastic, the half stick of butter, a random can of diced tomatoes and a few various pieces of grocery debris don't count when it comes to needing a meal.

The swiftly dwindling light of the day will cast the apartment in half-light and curtain shadows — a simple space, only fleetingly lived in with the bulk of possessions either missing or nonexistent, and he's still living out of his suitcase with the intention— intention!— of finding somewhere else to live. Today and yesterday's newspaper make layers on the kitchen table, dishes stacked in the sink for later, empty dog bowls on the tiled ground of the kitchen, guitar in its case and under the bed, and there's a handgun stashed in his room, and another in the lower drawer in the living space.

Up to the door, he handles grocery bags and one brown paperbag with care as not to drop anything when he unlocks the door, shouldering his way in and carrying with him the scent of fried food.

Food goes to the kitchen, more often than not. Even men who live alone with two dogs and diced tomatoes generally have to start there before they roam elsewhere with their peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

In accordance with altogether different laws of nature, Deckard is already in the kitchen. He's also about 70% naked, give or take a few points for movement and airflow about the towel he has tied artfully (Frenchly?) low on his bony waist. Bony ridge of spine and scapula and tattoos faded taut across lean muscle and more bullet wound scars than are statistically surviveable. Having already buttered a slice of bread for himself, he is splitting it between himself and Alicia, brows knit in grim concentration for the task of keeping his fingers in as little contact with great floppy tongue as possible when the doors creep open and he pauses for half a beat. Three seconds to put on pants, make it look like he is not feeding one of the dogs buttered bread while the other laps placidly at a dab of the same stuff on its nose and vanish from the apartment. He probably has only time to do one of these things, so.

He sticks the rest of the bread slice in his mouth.

The crinkle of plastic from both the opaque white shopping bags, grease-spotted take-out and the pack of dry dogfood under arm are all slightly louder than Joseph's own foot steps, save for the sharper shut of the door before that. He's getting to the kitchen door and wrestling around his burden to wink on the brighter light and replace the kinder shards of late day illumination, but that never happens in favour of startlement jolting up his spine and causing his arms to cinch tighter around dog food which fortunately does not burst open to rain venison-flavoured pebbles all over the black and white checkered tile.

Not that Alicia nor Max would have had issue with this, for all that they're occupied. Meanwhile, there is 70% of nakedness in Joseph's kitchen, which is more than he was apparently expecting as black eyes blink across the room. "… How'd you get in here?" is the obvious question in lieu of greeting after an unsubtle glance over his shoulder to see if he left a window open.

Characteristically narrow cut jaw bulged at both sides by doughy — dough, Flint keeps his brow knit for maximum gravity to back the gestured implication that his mouth is too full for him to answer. In a satisfactory fashion.

He's still wet to boot — the tread of his most recent footprint is fading quickly from its negative relief against a span of black tile. There's still fog on the bathroom mirror too, along with faint outlines of various penis-shaped drawings and something that is probably either a duck with monstrous teeth or a shark. Mysteriously, he kicked off his pants in the kitchen at some point. They're still in there with him on the floor, along with a single dark sock. One might wonder precisely how long he was wandering around naked in here before he decided to do something productive with his nudity and climb in the shower.

"They said you were staying here," is at least distantly relevant to the question actually asked once he's swallowed (part of) the bread down and scrubbed at the scruff of his chin.

"That's right." Groceries make audible his hesitant stop-starts before Joseph is inching his way into the kitchen with averted gaze at his own feet, sidestepping the sprawl of denim that's likely to get coated in black dog hair if Deckard's isn't careful, even in here. Food both fresh and processed, cold and microwaved, are all shoved haphazardly onto the kitchen counter with some relief, hands then lowering to let Alicia put her big head between them and receive ear scratches as is due, Max more occupied with coming to a tentative sit at Deckard's feet, dark muzzle pointed upwards in hopes that the lingering scent of melted butter means there's still some left.

Oh goodness this is all becoming normal. Too normal. "It ain't bad. 'bout the most regular kind of livin' space the network's got, and I've had my fill've, uh, underground tunnels and partially flooded basements. You're— welcome to come by," is a little wry and out of chronology. "Turning his back on the room to peel apart brown paper and get into the cardboard boxed burger quickly cooling, he asks, "How's it goin'?"

"Thanks," granted dryly for Joseph's hospitality, Flint twists the loaf of bread's packaging deftly closed, seating the bunched end under itself to lock out air and mold and dog hair before he tosses it back onto the counter. "Okay," he says next, bland mediocrity about right for the flat affect numbed chemically into the slope of wiry shoulders and length of his face.

« Nobody will sleep with me, not even my insane therapist, » comes out in sulky French, tone conversational while he retrieves the butter and lobs it into the fridge like an empty box of cigarettes, « and your dog is fat. » Clap. The refrigerator door is shut and he tugs absently at the fall of his towel. "I needed a shower."

That the most Deckard might say in any given conversation is in a foreign language is unfair. French is recognisable enough, being French and all, Joseph sending a glance backwards over his shoulder as he's picking up a knife to neatly saw his burger in half, which is already threatening to spill lettuce, tomato and condiment everywhere. The tip of serrated steel works to separate the raw, slimy tomatoes out away from his actually edible food, ignoring Alicia when she insistently nudges her big head against his hip for scraps.

"Then 'm glad you got one," is a swift reply, ever tolerant, head ducking to take a bite of food and waiting 'til it's swallowed to talk again. "When'd you learn French, anyhow? I never got my head around it in highschool."

Not to subject Deckard to pleasant smalltalk, but he probably deserves it for being naked and feeding his dogs butter at the same time?.

"I didn't," is a simple, true and utterly uninformative explanation, which is the way Flint likes them best.

Keen eyes on Joseph's burger, he stops short of following Alicia's example and stoops to collect his jeans instead, taking a moment to satisfy himself that Joseph is thoroughly distracted by beef and buns before he drops the towel and steps to pull them on. Not all that quickly, either. He's not the most coordinated of ex-cons.

"I need a place to sleep, too."

Already using the side of his knife and just the tips of fingers to lever the other half of his dinner— the side that still has tomatoes in it— into the carton it came in, Joseph only furrows a frown at the response about how he didn't learn French when the man had been clearly speaking it. I didn't is different to I dunno, too. But he has a habit of not pressing once an initial stab of prying doesn't pan out. "Well, I got a couch now, if that works for you," he states, knife set aside to better pick up dinner.

He's used to sharing. He lives with one and a half dogs, and the half will probably turn out to be giant too, with his luck. Joseph turns to offer the half out. Keeps turning instead, hastily sets the carton down on unused stove nearby Deckard as he goes and all the way around to facing his own meal, hands waving in a vague gesture that expresses the desire to unsee.

Retarded-like, Flint jerks self-consciously to cover himself when Joseph starts to turn, like he somehow didn't anticipate this as a possibility. Junk is effectively shielded in time. Skinny ass is not.

So it goes.

He finds it in himself to look indignant, too, adjusting himself with a dirty look angled Joseph's way before he gets the waistband all the way up, checks twice and delicately does up the zipper. Sans any attempt at underwear. "Couch is fine. And shut up. I've seen you naked more often than God."

"I didn't say nothin'!" is indignant enough back at him, hands raised in defense for all that Joseph is waiting for a few seconds after the zipper-sound to turn. Leaning his back against counter, he's picking at his food before stealing another bite, leg nudging the newfoundland dog back now and then, for all that inches won are inches immediately lost again. Just trying to avoid drool from the determined canine. "And no you— heck I don't wanna know," is a quieter, harried mutter. "Just eat your food."

"I'll eat it later." Like at 3:00 AM when the sound of him raking around in the fridge after half a burger is ideally primed to stir Joseph and Friends out of an otherwise peaceful sleep. Scrubby chest scratched at while he leans to get a mundane glance at the meal-to-be, Flint adjusts his jeans again and pads back towards the bathroom from whence he emerged not all that long ago. The subject of nakedness is dropped as easily as one about the weather, which. For Deckard, at least, one is nearly as common as the other.

"I've been asked to do some contract work on the side. Someone's asked me to do a pickup." There's a clatter while he rakes around after a package of spare toothbrushes he already knows is there. "You can come, if you want. I'll let you borrow my holster."

Obligingly, Joseph goes to put a future midnight snack into the fridge — rights the butter carton while he's in there, and can't help but take a cursory glance up and down to see what else might be wrong or missing, despite the fact there wasn't much in there to begin with. Half-listening to Deckard's actual words and half-listening to what the other man happens to be doing, Joseph sets about getting the dogs their proper meal, although fake deer biscuits might not stand a chance against buttery treats.

Dry food rains down into the brightly plastic bowls, allowing that to finish before responding. "Uhhh." Not particularly eloquent, if a little distracted. A splash of hot water in each dish later, dinner is set down for the canines. The answer is mostly simple if mildly suspicious: "Sure. What's the pickup?" Back to groceries, food is taken out. Food is shelved. "An' when?"

"I dunno," says Deckard from the bathroom, now partway through the process of prying plastic packaging open to expose the bristles that lie beneath. "Science stuff."

Or something.

"I dunno when either. I'll call you." The cursory glance he casts aimlessly about the rest of the apartment while he pries pretty much confirms the assumption that leads him to believe it'll work out that way: Joseph isn't busy doing anything else.

A protest begins and dies before it can actually be voiced, mouth going into a line irritation that doesn't get seen. That he can hear an implication in that doesn't so much speak of Deckard's articulacy that it does Joseph's own self-awareness. He does things!! For the record. They don't involve friends, particularly. Days approximately as full as, say, when he had a church. "Science stuff," he repeats, quieter and more to himself, but probably just volume enough to encroach on the edges of Deckard's hearing range. "Science and I don't usually get along, but if you're sure, you know how to find me."

"We won't have to do any." Science, presumably, drawing from Flint's exaggerated reassurance while he leans out from squeezing minty paste onto virgin bristles.

A brief (very brief) moment spent studying himself in (bland, fluorescent-washed) technicolor and a push of finger pads around neck and scarred up sternum later, he formally dissolves his end of the conversation into resolute brushing. He will call.

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