Safety First


deckard_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title Safety First
Synopsis Or second. Or…third. It's somewhere on Deckard's list of priorities, beneath the one about getting laid paid. Simon just wants something that goes boom, preferably without getting himself shot in the process.
Date May 6, 2009

The Lighthouse - Basement

There's an extra door in the kitchen that leads to the place that Deckard sleeps. It's usually locked.

This morning, it isn't.

Several feet down, a narrow set of steps opens up into a basement just large enough to serve as passable living quarters. A single hooded lamp casts warm light over unfinished walls and a concrete floor, catching harsh on dozens upon dozens of variably long, short, black and silver guns. Guns, guns, guns. Shotguns, rifles, revolvers, a couple of assault rifles. They line the walls in clean racks, classified by a system that defies simple organization. Various components (springs, magazines, spare cartridges and shells) litter a pair of rickety wooden tables in the room's center. In the back corner, a simple cot is currently occupied by a fully clothed and fully asleep Flint Deckard, leather jacket flopped open to reveal yet one more gun snug in its holster against his side. A ginger kitten is curled up at the scruffy join of his jaw and neck, his forehead is furrowed, the sheets are kicked down past his booted feet, and a couple of porn mags lie open on the floor nearby with a worn shirt and a tattered sock. He's snoring.

Simon spent about five minutes in front of the basement door, wringing his hands in suspense. It's not that he's scared of Deckard, he just thinks the old man is crazy and likely to hurt him for disturbing him. Still, he feels it necessary to talk to him sooner rather than later, so his hand is lain across the doorknob and the door is pulled open a moment later.

He descends the short flight of stairs, feet banging against the boards it's composed of. The noise this makes clatters and reverberates against the basement walls, louder than the kid expects. "Deckard? Wakey, wakey, man. Get up," he says as he hops off the bottom step, eyes scanning the room that he's never seen before. The lair of the beast.

And he sees the guns. Lots of guns. His eyes bulge a bit and he thinks for a moment what would happen if the younger kids stumbled in here as easily as he just did. "Oh, shit."

Thunk, thunk, thunk. Each knock of Simon's shoes against ancient boards sinks deeper into his skull until the last springs the bear trap in a messy snap of twisted teeth and metal jaws. One breath he's horizontal, the next, he's on his feet with the gun that was at his side pointed squarely at the base of the basement steps. He looks bigger down here, what, with the low ceiling and bare bricking and wild, panicky fire in his eyes. The guns probably help too. Especially the one he's holding.

Suddenly finding itself without the warmth and support of Flint's face, the kitten tumbles a little stupidly back over onto itself, twee toes stretching fruitlessly over its head in search of something solid to catch again. A (mercifully capped) bottle of whiskey glugs slowly over to fill the depression left by his back.

Simon repeats what he said last in his head, finding himself face to face with Deckard and his gun. Instinctively, the kid's hands fly up like white flags of surrender, because he really doesn't feel like getting a bullet lodged in his body. "Woah, man. I didn't realize you would be sleeping," which is probably a lie considering the time. Definitely a lie, actually.

Slowly, his hands are brought down to his side, and his gaze never wavers from Deckard's. "I, um, wanted to talk to you before it got crazy up there." Kids needing breakfast, running around, being stupid. All that stuff.

He manages a smile, sort of, that he hopes will make Deckard hate him a little less.

Deckard's breath hitches and stutters behind teeth bared into an animal grimace. His hand shakes, but the gun doesn't rattle. It's Simon. Simon the kid. Irritating but relatively harmless barn party Simon. Simon Simon.


Words are falling out of his mouth, only distantly audible through the tinnitus scraping around through the interior of his skull. He's smiling, too. Sort of.

The gun tips down, then lowers the rest of the way. Deckard takes another breath, still shaky, and tucks his semiautomatic back into its holster. "How did you get down here?" The question sounds hollow to his ears, slightly muffled by the hand he's raised to feel over his own bruised face while his eyes cast elsewhere. No apology for the crazy gun thing.

A few beats pass after the question is asked of Simon, and he responds with a simple, "The door was unlocked." That's the truth after all. Let it set him free. He backsteps, feels the railing of the stairs against his arm, and leans there, eyeing Deckard all the while. "I hate to say this, but I need your help with something," Simon explains, taking a moment to look away and let out and exaggerated sigh.

With another look around, he motions to the militaristic decor of the basement. The teeth and nails of the building, lying in wait. "It's these guys. I knew you probably had a few, but shit. This is - intense." His gaze breaks away from a particularly lethal-looking assault rifle to land on the glowing gaze that belongs uniquely to Deckard.

"I want to learn how to use them," Simon states, as if it's nothing major. Because, to him, it's something he was born to learn.

The door was unlocked. Deckard's hands are still shaking — the right tracing out one final trembling path around the orbit of his left eye before it wipes at his nose and falls to his side. Deep breaths. A hard blink later, he finally concedes to look Simon over in earnest, brain working overtime to keep up with a conversation he's only hearing snatches of.

They aren't mine, is the truth, but it's one of those truths where it probably isn't actually better to explain that they all belong to Brian. "Why? You're — what? Fourteen?" Hint of a sneer there, still too disoriented to pack much heat. Another head-clearing blink further serves to undermine the stiffness bristled into his shoulders and jaw.

Simon watches Deckard as he shakily moves his hand around, but chalks it up to him being tired, rather than whatever it is that plagues the alcoholic. He's a patient kid, and can wait for the man to collect his thoughts before answering. When he does, though, Simon can't help but roll his eyes around in his skull. "I'm eighteen," he says, almost adding in the months, too, but that would just prove Deckard's point. "I hate to play the clich teen, but I'm getting tired of people making an excuse out of my age."

He gives Deckard a hard, almost fed-up and weary look that would have a better home on the face of a man twice Simon's age. "Remember how I told you last night that I ran into something?" Simon points to his face. "Well I didn't. It was the zombie, or whatever you want to call it. Now I want the thing dead."

"Yeah. Meanwhile I'm the creepy old guy living in Brian's basement." Up or down, age is a persistent pain in the ass for both of them. One that's grounds for a certain absence of sympathy. Deckard glances over at the nearest wall anyway, reaching over the curl of his tiny cat to draw a matte black .40 away from the nail it was hanging off of amidst similarly crafted companions. The magazine is popped, the slide racked. Nothing comes flying out, so. He drops the hunk of metal and composite flatly down onto the table between them.

"Treat every gun you encounter like it's loaded. If someone tells you its empty, assume it isn't. If you emptied it yourself five seconds ago, don't take it for granted that it's still empty when you pick it up again. Never point it at anything or anyone you don't intend to shoot. Pay attention to what's behind what you're shooting at. Bullets have a tendency to keep going whether you want them to or not."

Before Simon knows it, the lecture has begun, and he finds himself back in school, only without a pad and paper to write everything down with. Not that he would whip those out now, if he had them. That would be uncool. So he just listens, instead, staring at the hunk of molded metal sitting between him and Deckard. A knot forms in his stomach, but it quickly subsides when he realizes that Deckard knows what the hell he's talking about. He came to the right place.

The kid pushes off from the railing and steps toward the weapon. His hand reaches out, hovers over it a moment as if meeting some opposing force. Eyes flick over to Deckard for a moment, before Simon settles his hand on the gun and wraps his fingers around its grip. He lifts it, feels its weight in hand, but that's all for the moment.

Ignorant of the fact that there are several more rules, much as he fails to comment on the fact that he has a tendency to break all or most of them, Flint swallows away at the dryness in his mouth when Simon looks back at him. He's stopped with the shaking and started sweating a little instead, damp and cold at his temples, brow and throat.

"I have a few targets set up in a field half a mile or so down the sea wall. It'll be three-fifty for the gun, if you decide to keep it. The lesson is free so long as you keep your mouth shut about coming down here."

Simon thinks this is probably the perfect gun to start with, and he has the money, even after losing what Robin Hood stole from him. He doesn't immediately agree, but not commenting on the price and remaining in control of the gun should tell Deckard he's interested.

Instead, the kid looks over Deckard for a moment, noticing the beads of sweat forming on his skin. "Um, are you alright?" he asks. The words surprise even him, moreso because they are laced with sincerity.

"I'm fine." Period. Deckard's voice is more solid than the rest of him, pointed punctuation mirrored evenly by the irritation frosting stiff into the line of his glare. "Are you going to keep quiet or not? I dunno how long it'll take me to come up with a good reason to have left the door hanging open for you to trip through." Pre-existing annoyance takes a more bitter turn there, and brow knit, he turns for another work surface to paw through a mass of squat, brick-like boxes.

Simon narrows his eyes, not believing Deckard for a moment, but also not planning on pushing the topic. Maybe if he cared more. "What would I say anything?" His brow creases into deep valleys as his face contorts into a look of confusion. "I wouldn't want anyone thinking we're friends or something, or that I pay you special visits," he chuckles and grosses himself at the same time.

The subject quickly falls back to the side of guns and violence. "So let's check out this setup you've got.”

One, two, three. The scruffy crook hesitates a few seconds and glances at his watch before grabbing up box number four. Two hundred rounds is a pretty decent start. "Dunno. Maybe because you're a clueless little zombie-hunting prick with nothing to lose."

His backpack is slung up off the floor, yet another representative of his porn collection dragged out and tossed onto the bed before the boxes of ammunition are dumped in. As an afterthought, his bottle of whiskey follows them. Why not?

"I need to brush my teeth. Then we can go." And off into an attached bathroom he steps to do just that, long face leaned back out into the basement proper once he's started brushing to make sure Simon isn't touching anything.


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