Rabbit Feet For Luck


lance_icon.gif weasel2_icon.gif

Scene Title Rabbit Feet For Luck
Synopsis After the insanity in the House of Mirrors, two siblings catch up.
Date October 27, 2018


Though she tagged along for the trip to the hospital, Clara stayed outside while the others took care of the shapeshifter man — hospitals have always been a bit of a terrifying place for her, and Elmhurst is no exception. Something to do with her first memory being waking up in a hospital and not knowing what was going on, and a doctor having her held down to take blood work.

When Lance comes out, the girl is seated on a bench outside; Pepe Le Pew seems to have found his way back to her, the little skunk sitting at her feet, not unlike a dog would sit at its owner’s feet. She has the tiny weasel in her lap, and she’s giving him capfuls of water — the creature is still a bit distressed from his mouthful of Delilah slime, and the teenager has busied herself with consoling the little creature, lovingly petting his fur and wiping his mouth when the saliva comes out.

“Thank you for protecting me, Ron. You don’t have to do that, you know.” She’s always talked to her animal companions like this — even though she can communicate with them with her ability, she still likes talking out loud to them. “You’re the bravest little weasel. And the best hunter.” She nods in agreement with her own statement, running her fingers down the little creature’s back. “We should befriend a mink or an otter. Get fish and rabbits. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

“I don’t think you’ll find any minks or otters in the Safe Zone,” says Lance, who - in typical Lance fashion - slipped up to the bench without making so much as a sound. A grin tugs up at the corner of his lips, “Lotsa raccoons, though. A shit-ton of raccoons, honestly, they’re like rats only less terrifying.”

He reaches over to ruffle the other teenager’s hair, teasing warmly, “So what’s been up with you, Weasel-girl?”

“Minks are everywhere, they just don’t like to be seen. They like eating rats and fish. There probably won’t be any in the Safe Zone proper, but I might find some out there.” She gestures vaguely to indicate that she means outside of the walls. “But yeah, lots of raccoons. They’re scarier than rats, even though they’re way cuter.”

She lifts the small weasel up, nuzzling her face against his fur. He’s mostly recovered from the nasty taste in his mouth — enough to give a sharp warning squeak to Lance at the hair ruffling, though he doesn’t bite since Weasel doesn’t mind him.

“Came here to find you guys, see what the big deal about this place is.” After a moment, the girl sets the tiny creature onto her shoulder, where he promptly crawls into the hood of her jacket and snuggles up to the back of her neck. The skunk snorts a few times, lifting his head and offering a squeaking sound to Lance in greeting. “Been making ends meet selling rabbits that Ron here kills,” she gestures to the little weasel. “Even with that Yamagatah place giving away food, people like eating rabbits.”

“They aren’t giving away that much food,” admits Lance with a roll of his eyes, “We’re getting by, though, scavenging and doing work here and there— I’ve actually got a semi-regular gig at the radio, and I’m looking into a career.” He sounds proud of both achievements, flashing a grin.

He reaches a hand down, crouching to let the skunk smell his hand. “Rabbits are good eating, though; you got a stall in the market down in Red Hook? You could make a killing if you get enough rabbits. Sell the fur, too, people like fur. Maybe rabbit’s feet for luck.”

“Yeah, got me a stall. Have to show up early to get the good ones.” Weasel grins, lifting her feet and crossing her legs on the bench. Pepe Le Pew, for all of the times he’s sprayed Lance, is friendly and even gives his hand a little love-nip. “I should start cutting off the paws and selling those. Just need a jar and some rubbing alcohol.” Her brows raise in thought. “Already making good money with just the furs and the meat.”

She then grins down at Lance. “Seems like a pretty cool place. I might stick around and inflict myself on you and everyone else.” Lance always was one of her favorites, despite his pranks and the fact that she had to ask Pepe to spray him a few times. He was also always the only one who could get her to learn how to shoot a gun.

“In exchange, we can have rabbits for dinner. Sometimes squirrels, but those are harder for Ron to get. Doubt you wanna eat the rats he sometimes gets for himself.” She reaches up, scritching the little weasel on the top of his head. “This is Ron, by the way. He’s the rabbit hunter.” He’s so tiny, it’s difficult to imagine him being the one killing the rabbits.

Lance rubs the top of the skunk’s head with his thumb affectionately, and then glances up to Weasel again with a wry smile. “Just be careful of the rats,” he cautions, “There’s something weird down there in the sewers, with the rats…”

A slight lean in, brows up, “Slice rats. They can turn into electricity.”

“I saw those flyers that are all over the place,” Weasel replies, watching fondly as Lance pets Pepe, who lets out a little trilling squeak sound to indicate his contentment. Then, the girl reaches into her ever-present backpack, pulling out a bag of jerky. A small piece is offered to Ron, who busies himself chewing on the dried meat. Another is offered to the skunk, who happily takes it and curls back up to enjoy his meal. Finally, Weasel takes a piece for herself, and offers the bag out to Lance.

“Thankfully, neither of my boys likes going down there. Gross and wet and no food, and smells don’t stick down there because of all the other smells.” The girl grins. “And I don’t like it because it’s too dark. I like Park Slope, though. Been camping there.” She would like it there. “The raccoons like to nest there, when they don’t invade people’s attics.”

She takes a bite from the jerky — it’s rabbit, of course. After chewing, she points the food at Lance. “Where you staying, and who all’s with you? I’m gonna crash with you sometimes too.” Knowing her, she’ll steal Lance’s bed once every few weeks.

“Yeah? We put those out— I mean, Brynn made them,” Lance admits with an easy shrug of his shoulder, pushing himself up to his feet with a bouncing motion and reaching over to accept one of the pieces of jerky from the bag. “We wanted to make sure nobody else got ‘et.”

Popping it into his mouth, he talks while he chews, “Thanks. I’ve got a place over in Phoenix Heights— Brynn stays there with me, Joe’n Squeaks are in and out— oh. You wouldn’t know Squeaks, she’s new. We adopted her.”

Taking another bite of the jerky, Clara leans toward Lance as she chews thoughtfully. “Sounds cool. I’ll have to swing by, keep you guys stocked on bunny food.” She grins, putting the bag of jerky back into her backpack. Then, she’s leaning down, picking up the skunk and snuggling him into her lap. Pepe Le Pew does not mind in the slightest.

“We adopt everyone,” Weasel replies, grinning. “Just like you guys adopted me.” And after, Brian broke her of her habit of running off into the wilderness — even at the cost of being sprayed by Pepe at one point. “She’s gotta be cool if you guys took her in. How’s Brynn?” She was never close to the deaf girl, not much in common, but she likes her as much as any of her siblings.

“She’s doing alright. Got a job at a tattoo parlor,” Lance shrugs, leaning up against the wall beside the bench and kicking a foot up to brace against it. A bite of jerky’s taken, he chews, swallows before waggling it at her, “Still figuring out what she’s doing, I think, but I think we all are.”

His gaze lifts up to the sky, and he notes, “Before’s all done. After… that’s being tricky to figure out.”

“Sounds right up her alley,” Weasel replies, lifting the skunk and nuzzling her face against his. Ever since her power manifested, the little striped skunk has always been by her side — he’s an old man now, and his muzzle has a few little gray hairs, but he’s still kicking.

“I don’t think we’ve had enough time to figure out the after parts.” Her gaze follows his to the sky as she snuggles the little skunk. “Hailey’s just barely twenty, you’re barely nineteen…we’re young.” She tilts her head toward Lance.

“Speaking of Hailey, how is she?” Weasel always got on with the Gerken siblings the best, but her and Hailey always had more of an understanding than most due to their mutual closeness to animals.

“What can I say,” Lance flashes a grin back to her, eyebrows raising a little, “I hate standing still. There’s always something to do, and I don’t want to fall behind…”

His nose wrinkles up a bit, “Justin has everything figured out, and he’s less than a year older than me. Juniper’s doing good for herself too…” He shrugs, then, “Hailey’s— Hailey. At least she’s not living in the Bronx anymore, she’s living with Gillian…”

“You’re always way too ahead of yourself.” It’s not really much in the way of criticism — Lance always was Clara’s favorite among the boys. “S’what I love about you.” The smaller girl offers a wide grin up to Lance, before planting a kiss atop Pepe’s head and setting him gently back down on the ground.

“I went to the Bronx. I liked it,” she murmurs, leaning back in her seat on the bench and stretching her legs a bit. “Met up with Miss Huruma a while back. She told me to stay away from Staten Island, so I haven’t gone there. Yet.” She wrinkles her nose a bit, before reaching out to poke Lance in the side. “Take me back to your place, I haven’t slept in a real bed in weeks.”

Knowing her, she’s telling the truth, and she hasn’t slept in a bed since she left home.

“You and Hailey, I swear to God. There’s no electricity in the Bronx and the place is swarming with human traffickers. They tried to grab her awhile back,” says Lance with a shake of his head, “You should stay in the Safe Zone if you can.”

Brows lift, “You don’t have your own place? Not even with the other recent arr— wait, you did go through all the paperwork and shit, right?”

“I don’t need electricity.” The girl’s shoulder rise and fall in a shrug. “And when I’m outside of the Safe Zone, I’ve been gathering Raccoons to keep an eye out. I haven’t gone in a while, though, just wandered a bit when I first got here.”

“I’m not registering,” is Weasel’s first response to that question, pursing her lips lightly. “Saw that fucking camp, I’m not staying there.” The girl shakes her head. “Too many people, I don’t like it.” She gestures in the general direction of Park Slope. “I’ve just been camping out at Park Slope. It’s quieter and nobody bothers me, and nobody says shit about Pepe and Ron.”

Most people are a bit nervous about having a skunk around after all, despite Clara having a close relationship with the creature.

“Yeah, well, Hailey had a whole zoo and that didn’t protect her,” says Lance darkly, frowning at her, “And you should register. You don’t have to stay at the camp — you can stay wherever, until the lottery pulls you a place of your own. I mean, I took Brynn out of there rightaway.”

Deaf girl her age, alone in the camps? Not safe.

“I’m not even an American citizen,” Clara points out, shrugging. “I don’t know how they’d handle that one.” She shrugs, reaching up to scratch the little weasel that rests on her shoulder. “Technically I’m just here visiting.”

“But if they’d be cool with that, maybe.” She frowns. “I don’t really like being on a list though. Like, I don’t want people to be able to look at me and then look at a stupid paper and know what I can do, you know? I mean, not everyone walks around with an intact skunk and a weasel on their shoulder, but that doesn’t give it away immediately.”

The girl shrugs again, crossing her arms.

“You don’t have to register your ability, anymore,” observes Lance with a shake of his head, “If you got a commercial license with it you could make money, though, like— I don’t know, non-lethal pest removal? Chase raccoons out of people’s yard.”

He grins, but he’s only half-teasing. “I don’t know about the citizen thing. Talk to Gillian?”

“They’re not pests,” is Weasel’s first comment on that, frowning. “They’re just living their lives, trying to survive as well as they can.” That being said, money is good. She could probably help whatever raccoon families she is dispatched to remove find new homes. Or she could run a neat scam — raccoons are greedy little things, and it’s not difficult to bribe them.

“I’ll think about it.” The teen frowns at Lance. “And talk to Gillian about it too.”

“Exactly. So you can make sure they don’t get killed or anything,” Lance encourages, reaching over to push her shoulder lightly, “We don’t gotta hide anymore, Weasel-girl, we can stand proud in the open now.”

He raises both brows, “I’m gonna ask her, too, to make sure you did talk to her.”

“Ugh, why you gotta hold me accountable?” Weasel makes a slight pouty face, before grinning. “You have a point, though.” She could do some good, and probably make some good money in the process. “Ron wouldn’t have to hold us up with his rabbit killing any more if I did that. He works really hard.” He also likes killing the rabbits, but it’d be nice if he could enjoy his kills instead of going right back out again.

“Fine. I’ll talk to her.” She doesn’t know Gillian as well as the others do — Gillian officially left before Weasel was taken in. “Tell me where to go. Also, I really want a bed. I’m going to steal yours tonight.”

“Fine,” Lance rolls his eyes, “Just one night. Anyway, she knows how to do all the paperwork stuff, and it’ll help you out in the end… and someone’s got to keep all of you accountable.”

He smirks, “You’re all terrible at living.”

“Could say th’same about you,” the girl replies, returning Lance’s smirk as she raises to her feet, Pepe standing and stretching his front legs out with a toothy yawn. “Bet you couldn’t survive a week out in the wild.”

She nods her head to Lance. “Let’s go.”

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