Soldier On


veronica_icon.gif curt_icon.gif

Scene Title Soldier On
Synopsis Agents Sawyer and Lu deal with the aftermath of Minea's betrayal and somehow don't kill each other in the process.
Date June 17, 2009

Primatech Research and Staten Island

When Life gives you lemons, break out the tequila and salt.

The rolling thunder of automatic gunfire makes conversation a impossible. The cordite at the indoor ranges is so thick one can see the haze in the air like a dive bar at 2am on a Friday night, the smell is thick and cloying. Alone in the room Curt's weapon finishes spewing fire and he ejects the clip form it, still smoking if starts to fall towards the ground, before it reaches his belt the next clip is already home and as the first passes his knee is already making the target at the opposite end of the range dance and jitter with impacts. Queries about Lu's location all came with the same answer. The pile of spent brass at his feet is enough to give the Company accountants an anurism and makes walking near him damned tricky. From the looks of things he's cleared a few thousand rounds, a pile of riddled targets are tossed about the floor around him, all, somehow, bear a grinning picture of Minea's face scotch taped to them. Kinko's, it turns out, will totally make you anything if you're willing to pay for it, even personalized targets! Badges help.

Vee coughs a little as she enters the room, her eyes squinting at the acrid scent in the air. She waves a hand in front of her face, as if that will do anything. Truth be told, she looks like shit. Her eyes still bear those bruises from her forehead bruise draining. "We're supposed to be breaking the surveillance team on that brownstone!" she shouts, in order to be heard over the shooting. She comes closer and steps carefully around the shells. She knocks on the side of his shooting stall to try to get his attention without startling him. "We're supposed to meet! You're late!" she shouts again.

Curt's 90 round clip finishes with a CLACK! the slide locking open and he continues to stare down the range for a long moment before nodding. "Lost track of time." he says flatly as he loads another clip into the gun before holstering it. Machine pistols, not that accurate without training. Terrifying with. He turns to her, his feet shuffling the brass out of the way with a symphony of tinkling sounds. He leaves the target up and the mess on the floor, that's what they have maintenance staff for. Once clear of the potential trip hazard of the shells he eyes Vee, "You look like shit Princess." says the target mass murderer.

She glances down at the targets and frowns, brows furrowed as she realizes who the hole-ridden pictures depict. "Shit, Curt, taking something personally?" she says, her own anger rising. After all, she's known Minea longer. Doesn't she have more right to be angry, hurt, betrayed? "I mean, it sucks and all, but this is a bit… mental, to be honest. You should meet with Doctor Who-ever-it-is," she murmurs. Facing her, Curt might smell the whiskey on her breath.

Curt doesn't even pause, "Go fuck yourself." he walks past her towards the door, "And when you're done I'll be in the car." Obviously the ex-soldier and Company Loyalist doesn't like people that turn traitor. Surprise right? Shocking even. "God I hope she happens to walk down the street in front of the stake out. How great would that be?" let's hope she doesn't. Curt's obviously feeling shooty today.

"You read the memo, right?" Veronica says with a frown, starting to follow him but rolling on some of those shells and falling to her knees. Damn It. She's not overly drunk, but enough that her balance is a bit uneven. "This is not okay," she says, picking up one of the targets and crumpling it into a ball which she throws at him, hitting him in the back of the head. Take that. She picks up a fistful of the shells and throws them as well. "Fuck yourself, and forget the stakeout. I'm not sitting in a car with you tonight." Her words catch in her throat, her voice huskier than its normal husky tones.

Curt stops and turns to eye Vee. First the crumpled target then the woman on her knees. His brow knits irritably for a moment, only the edges of his eyes soft enough to show concern. "Fine. Get your ass up." he holds out a hand, "We'll get a beer." which in Curt's world heals all wounds between fellow soldiers. A beer. Beer is like the all-purpose-emo-band-aid. Beer is made of distilled awesome. "Though I'll have to have more then a few to catch up to you I imagine."

Veronica stares up at him. She didn't expect kindness. Or beer. The tiniest hint of tears in her eyes is bilnked away before she wipes her hand on her jeans and accepts his hand, letting his stable standing weight give her the leverage to pull herself up easily. "Just a flask of whiskey," she says, holding up her thumb and forefinger to indicate the size of the container.

Curt snorts, "Beer." he says again, believing fully that the last thing she needs is whiskey. Besides, anything he drinks she'll get hit with so… "Come on Princess, follow the old man to a decent bar. I'm driving."

"I meant that's all I already drank," she points out. It made sense in her mind. "I'm not drunk, I'm just… buzzed. But yeah, you drive." She follows him down to the Company's parking lot. "Sorry I … I guess everyone deals with shit their own way. That's just a bit more… heavily symbolic than most."

Curt nods his head, "Uh-huh. Look, this is how this is going to work. All those feelings you're feeling right now? You're going to take them and ball them up reaaaaal small, see? Then you're going to cram them deep down in your gut. We're going to drink beer, grunt a lot, maybe eat a killer fattening order of chili cheese fries, watch some Sports Center, bitch about stupid refs and stupider athletes all while you process what you need to process in order to keep that ball of emo-goth-girlie crap locked away. When we're done I'll take you back to your place, hopefully with some random hot chick, who you'll shamelessly have sex with and possibly pass out on. Tomorrow, when I see you again you'll talk about your hangover and that broad you fucked so hard you may need my help hiding the body later after the shift ends. Any part of this you don't understand?" he asks as he opens the door of the Company car and climbs inside.

"Dude, you're the one who took the time to photocopy Minea's face on targets, and you're calling me Emo? You don't know the day I had, buddy. Too many words." Veronica climbs in and moves her hand in the "talk talk talk" gesture, thumb coming up against her four fingers. "And I don't like beer. Can't I have tequila or something instead?" she says with a whine, pulling the seatbelt across her shoulder and clicking it surprisingly easily.

Curt nods his head, "Sure you can, but you get some bitch brew thing and I'll turn you over my knee in the bar. Don't think I won't." his expression would lead one to believe he likely would. He pulls out into the street and drives away. Noteably he doesn't speed, nor does he break even minor traffic laws. He drives like an old man basically.

"We have two options," Veronica says solemnly, ignoring his threats of spanking. "We can either go drink at my place or yours, or we can go to Staten for a bar, because it's goddamn past curfew." She jabs a finger at the clock in the dashboard. Of course it's past curfew. It was dark out when she was at the cemetery. "What do you think?"

Curt snorts, "No place to sit at my place." Because he sleeps in the Holding Cells at the Company, his concrete slab has a wee fluffy thing on it to make it comfy too. And a poster on the wall. No chairs though, that's what he uses Vee's office for. "Your place or Staten."

"Sta..Staten," she decides. Having two inebriated agents together in an apartment leads to awkward sunrises. "You just need to be … good. Like… act tough but don't run your mouth because the way we're carrying, if you get in a fight and it gets found out, we're meat, all right?" She doesn't know if he's been there or not, but she has and knows the rules. "So you can swagger and shit and act like you belong there, but you can't stick your nose or your goddamn mouth where it doesn't belong… There's a guy who rents motor boats if you know where to look." She gives directions to the dock.

Curt heads where he's pointed, "If I get in a fight I don't even bother throwing a punch." he points out. "I just sit there and watch them squirm." He grins, "Doesn't even leave evidence. Really quite funny." once they hit some open road he punches it a little. 5 over the speed limit. Woot.

"God, you drive like my grandpa," she moans. "We have badges, you know. If we get pulled over, you're not going to get a ticket," she points out. Finally they hit the dock and she directs him to the dodgy guy who charges much too much for a motor boat. "You wanna drive it or want me to?" she asks after forking over the cash to "Moe."

Curt snickers and eyes her, "True, but if I hit an oil slick and slide into a car with 2.5 people in it headed back to a white picket how's a badge gonna help me then?" he asks somberly. "Laws weren't put there to protect me, they were put there to protect 'them' /from/ me." Because he's a monster remember? "I can handle a boat. Swamp lands, to and from the rivers, trust me, I can drive a fuckin' boat." which is true. Not tons of it in the jungle but when you do it you do it right or end up without a ride.

"Fine, you drive, but there's no 2.5 families out on the water. Move faster or we won't get there til tomorrow," she tells him. She climbs into the passenger seat of the small motor boat, her hair lashing out in the sea breeze. "You been over to Staten?" she asks skeptically as they leave the dock.

Curt hits the gas pulling out of the dock, tipping the front end of the boat skyward. She was right, and he really needs a beer. "Yes." he says as the boat's back end catches up with the front finally and they start skipping over the waves.

Veronica grips the sides of the boat with a yelp, not expecting that from the safe driver. "Oh, shit," she says with a laugh. She turns to watch the island come closer into view as the boat flies over the water. Eventually they get there, and tie up the boat in a hidden place where it won't be stolen. Hopefully. "All right." She's dressed casually in jeans and a hoodie sweatshirt, nothing too stylish or for that matter new. She turns to look at him appraisingly. "Look messier," she murmurs. The cold boat ride sobered her up a little. "Less agenty."

Curt eyes her and then looks down at himself. He's wearing a Pea coat, a t-shirt, and BDU pants with combat boots. He looks like what he is, a ex-vet from top to bottom. He reaches up and while still stareing at her, musses his hair a little. It just sort of sticks up, making him looks stylishly urban chic instead 'messy'. He looks more like a down on his luck vet when his hair was combed, the sort that hadn't lost hope yet. "Better?" he offers.

She walks until they're out of the sand and heading inland, then bends down and digs a bit in the dirt. She brings up a handful, then smudges a little on his t-shirt collar so it's not so stark white. "Better," she says with a shrug. They walk toward the dilapidated and neglected buildings. "Just try not to get me killed, all right?" she says with a smirk.

Curt snorts, "I make no promises." he states as he walks in behind her, letting her take the lead. Hey, it's her bar after all, he's just the guy tagging along with her.

She chooses not to head to the bar that Minea took her too — after all, they thought Min was a cop, so if they recognize her, that might be a bad thing. "This one looks … fine," she says, nodding to a smaller establishment. A peek inside shows it to only have a few patrons, none of which look too scary. There's a pool table and a dart board and most importantly, alcohol. What more can you want? Veronica glances at Curt, and heads in.

Curt follows and eyes the place, "Huh. I expected it to be worse." he admits as he heads for the bar proper like and orders a beer. He glances around the room once more seemingly disappointed. "So what's with you and Staten? Got some history here?"

Veronica orders two shots of tequila. "What's with me and Staten? Nothing. Just… there's no where we can go for a drink after curfew o'clock across the water," she points out quietly, trying not to advertise that they're not locals. "I've only been here a couple times myself. You?" she asks.

Curt nods his head, "Yeah. Everyone has an SI story, everyone." he eyes her, "What's your big tale?" he kicks back a bit in his chair and swigs his beer, grimacing a touch. Hrm. Not /quite/ cold… He'll survive.

"Not really," she shakes her head. She's not about to bring Minea up, and Minea was with her both times. "Came out for a drink once. Came out for a bonfire and a toast to a fallen comrade the other. It's really nothing to discuss." She picks up one of her shots and downs it, not bothering with the salt and lime ritual.

Curt nods his head approvingly of her take on shot drinking. "Seven years in they sent me out here to handle an escapee that they didn't want running lose. Transmutation sort, the kind that likes to screw around with molecular bonds? He enjoyed joining people in odd ways, permanently." Curt sips his beer, "That was a fun one." he grins in cold creepy smile that's part satisfaction and part distaste. "Eleven years in to the Company it was… Oh. Yeah, dead partner, did some toasting out this way then too at a bar that's prolly gone now. That was… I dunno. Good times. Of course that was back when it was just, you know, a regular place. Not this." he waves a hand through the air. "Only been here once since the bomb." he makes a face. "Funny. Didn't have much call to be out this way in the old days."

Vee shakes her head as he talks about things he should not talk about in public. "Wrong place, Lu," she whispers. After all, the bartender's just at the other side of the bar, and while it's not very busy, who knows if any of the patrons might have super keen hearing or god knows what sort of power. "The old days, this was a nice little community," she says with a shake of her head. "But then once upon a time you were probably a nice guy." She smirks at that and takes the other shot glass, tossing it down with a grimace.

Curt barks a laugh at that. Anyone had super hearing they'd be wincing at that one. He grins at her a bit, "In fact I was a dashing and charming man with nothing but good prospects, an exploding business, and a really nice car. I drove a Caddy back in the day, when you could still trust domestics to be better then those forgein little whiney cars that whistle at you like a motorcycle when they go by. Heh. I didn't even cuss back then, least not much. Oh, and I wore suits. No shit, like with a tie and everything. Had a briefcase even."

"I was accepted into Cal as a bio-chem major," she tells him, talking about what-once was. "Changed my major. Otherwise I'd be some doctor now. How's that for trippy? People always think I'm the ditz." She sticks her tongue out and puts up two fingers to the bartender to bring her more shots. "I'd say you'd never guess I was ASB President and the Homecoming Queen and all, but… well. You probably expected that. No one else does, though."

Curt smirks, "Princess." he quips back at her as he takes another hit off his luke warm beer, "That's okay, no one's what they were supposed to be. Not anymore. Everything got kinda… thrown outa whack I guess." he eyes the bar and sighs, "Damn. Not even sports to bitch about."

The tender brings another couple of shots for Veronica. She puts her money up on the table and takes another of the glasses to toss back, putting the dead soldier back on the counter. "Outta whack. Yes." The alcohol is getting into her system. "Not even the things that you think are real are real anymore. Everything's upside down."

Curt shakes his head, "Not everything Princess. Some stuff just /is/. Monsters exsist. Period. Need to be put down. Period. Keep your eye on the prize, the things in front of you, the battles, not the war. Getting into the Big Picture just gets you lost amid the colors. Focus on one thing at a time kiddo and it'll come to you. You think a guy like me hasn't thought the world was turned upside down before?" he asks, eyeing her a bit, "Been there. It gets better, just takes time and grit. Soldier on Nica and you'll make it out the other side, assuming of course I don't kill ya."

"I'm too stubborn to let you kill me," she says, reaching over with the next shot glass and clinking it against his beer bottle before tossing it down her throat. That on top of a flask of whiskey, and she's heading for a nice deep sleep. She sets the shotglass down and closes her eyes, swaying slightly on her barstool.

"You better get that little girl home before you have to carry her, mister," the bartender says with amusement.

Curt eyes the girl in question and nods, "Yeah. She's gonna be vicious pissed in the morning." he tosses a couple extra rumpled buck on the table and snaps his fingers in front of Vee's face, "Come on Princess. Let's get you to a bed before hit another shot and I end up haveing to haul you outa here like a sailor on leave."

Veronica slips off the bar stool, somehow managing to keep her feet beneath her. She does reach for his waist… mostly to make sure she doesn't end up face down on the peanut shells that line the floor. "Coming…" she mutters, for once not arguing with him.

Curt just sighs a bit and reaches down to slide an arm around her. He then stands, taking most of her weight with him. "Come on you." he growls out, drag/helping her through the door and out into the night. He takes his beer with him too. He paid for it. It's his.

For Veronica, the ride back over the water is a blur of water and sky, and the drive back is a slower blur of road, as Curt follows the speed limit.

She wakes the next morning in one of the cells, covered with a blanket and her shoes taken off for her. She stares up at the kitten poster Minea gave him. Hang In There. It's one of those terrifying moments when you wake up in an unfamiliar place with no memory of why you're there. But the memory of yesterday creeps back into her as she slips on her shoes and hurries to the cell door — thankfully open. She needs to get a shower, a giant bottle of electrolyte- and sugar-laden sports drink, and at least four Excedrins.

Soldier on.


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