Whatchoo Lookin At


devi_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Whatchoo Lookin' At
Synopsis Zachery learns the value of having a plan. Devi explains the symbolism of the Raven
Date March 11, 2019

A side street in Elmhurst.

New York in late March. Once upon a time the tall buildings would have created a wind tunnel effect that turned the night into a bitter bite. Now with only partial reconstruction underway in many areas, the first hints of forthcoming Spring can be felt - an underlying warmth and a damp quality of melting slush ever present. Between rubble and washed up litter stuck along the curbs and gutters, it’s not what normally jumps to mind at the mention of Spring, but it’s the ugly truth of NYCSZ.

”Exit light…
Enter night…
Take my hand…
We're off to never-never land…”

The husky voice that carries on a head of a tall, slender woman as she turns down the side street was not made for singing. It carries on with a ghostly quality between a faltering, shuffling step, flitting between the broken and empty buildings on either side of the street. To keep out vagabonds, some windows bear boards, others just jagged, glass teeth.

As the husky cover of that chorus comes to a close, the source steps into the dim, flickering light cast by one of the few remaining, working street lights available. Raven hair has escaped from braid into some hectic nest. Usually impeccable eyeliner and shadows ranging from electric yellow to nightly blue have been smeared into an abstract, bleeding mess around dark eyes. The leather jacket bears an old patch on its back, a raven in wing-spread glory, with a small label: Queen Bitch. Devi’s boots manage one more scuffled step before she slumps, brick of the nearby building offering no help to her reaching grasp and instead ends up only biting at leather and flesh on her way down. And so she sits, riding out some drunk and drugged stupor, mumbling, “Never mind that noise ya hear-ed. It’s just the beasts…

There's something specific about an unfamiliar voice offering up the comfort of a familiar tune. Sailors and their ships don't meet their demise on rocky shores out of habit, after all.

Or maybe… maybe sometimes sirens sink themselves. Maybe it's the sound of a struggle that draws some sailors near.

The pocked ground of damn near forgotten streets sees another pair of footsteps. Distant and slow at first, their sound bouncing from an adjacent alley into this one, off of unyielding stone. It intersperses the noise of the flickering street light trying desperately to make steady contact with its power source, growing steadily faster and more confident. It isn't long before a man in a black pea coat finds himself turning a corner, coming to a halt right underneath the faltering lamp. He is clearly not a fan of the remaining windchill spring still has left, his collar up and hands in his pockets.

Zachery Miller stands, head held high in the flickering light, gaze unwaveringly on the stranger on the ground nearby. No words leave him, and his jaw tightens while he seems to decide what expression to adopt, apart from blank. The only thing that makes it over to Devi ends up being a gift from a gentle breeze coming from behind her observer— the distinct smell of disinfectant and bleach.

Her head is too heavy, it lifts to the sound of approach but lolls back around the other way. Another effort and that chiseled visage, smeared in black ink and melted rainbows, is turned up to the faulty, strobing light and the shadow caste of a sailor above. Her eyes are still closed and yet, “Whatchoo lookin’ at?” It’s all venom and bravado… i.e. drugs and ego.

Devi opens her eyes then, but they are not eyes in the sense of all the usual pieces required - irise, sclera, pupil. When she opens her eyes, irises that are normally a warm, dark chocolate have already been swallowed up in the void of her pupils. Gone. As she tips her heavy head to the side, though, what seems to be her pupils continues to bleed outward and threatens to consume the bloodshot whites of her eyes entirely. Still, somehow, in that silent moment she seems to be looking into the man looming over her…

“It’s all dark.”

What is? The man? The night? Her vision?

She doesn’t get a chance to elaborate and instead slumps promptly, unceremoniously to the side.

"What a fun night you're having." The words leave Zachery as if read from a book, monotone and without attachment to their meaning. It seemed like the right thing to say, perhaps. He seems… distracted. His shoulders twitch slightly forward, hands hidden in his pockets still but not deep enough to hide his restless fidgeting within them. The sight of Devi's state has him narrow his eyes just slightly, but it's as if there's something fighting the display of more than that.

This certainly is… a situation. His brow creases and he swallows dryly, and - as if to prove his tendency for having very poor timing indeed - looks calmly over his shoulder while asking, "Are you alone? Anyone I can," he turns his attention back to Devi, only to find her slumped to the side, "… get? Hey."

Where one goes down, another must go UP. Zachery straightens immediately, shoulders back, hands leaving his pockets as he hurriedly takes the required steps forward and kneels down. He doesn't touch her yet, despite being within reach to, opting to try one more, sterner, "Hey," before letting loose something that, in some ways, is maybe more pervasive than a touch. His ability allowing him to ask questions and get answers both comes in handy, sometimes. How, exactly, is this body in distress?

Knowing how capable it is of defending itself in a dark alley, of course, is also important information. You know. Concerned citizen questions.

The person you are trying to reach is not immediately available, please leave your message after the…

Under Zachery’s uniquely intuitive gaze, Devi’s brain stem and spinal cord do the equivalent of the flickering street lamp overhead. Sputtering signals send messages across the body with varying degrees of success, trying to keep the heart, lungs, and brain doing the keystone function of… well… simply keeping a bitch alive. It’s a struggle.

On a good day, this body seems like it would be capable enough - bruises here and there glow like throbbing beacons, though the bodies usual effort to repair the day old damages have been diverted to primary life functions, for now. Muscle tone, scaring primarily around the knuckles and knees. Ouch, that liver has probably seen better days, too. If she’s going for the pickled look, she’s working it. Over all it’s a body that works hard and parties harder, tonight being harder than most.

When there's no response, Zachery simply waits quietly, breath catching in his throat. He stays crouched, upper lip idly curling into what… might either be a sympathetic grimace or a condescending sneer, while the depth of Devi's partying style reveals itself to him bit by bit. His gaze floats steadily downward, though largely out of focus, only for him to start to breathe normally again with a sharp but controlled inhale, followed immediately by a long, drawn out sigh.

"Okay." He mutters, finally, under his breath. After a pause to drag a hand over his face so roughly someone might be convinced it was in an attempt to pull it off, he adds, "Okay. Ah— Alright. Two choices." His fingers rap on his knee, his eyes darting to the woman's face. "Grab your phone, call for an ambulance. Or leave her here."

… His fingers rap on his knees once more. His head angles to the side. "Three choices."

Promptly, then, he reaches forward and out to attempt to snake an arm under one of Devi's, to try and at least prop her up right-side-up. And should there be a lack of resistance? He's getting that arm all the way around her back and she's going ALL the way up. Last chance before that choice is made for you.

“Toaster strudel fairy—- eeeeeehhhh?”

Devi’s lips move, muttering over a breath in a way that mutters out some whispered, drug-addled rubbish. Before the curious case of the toaster strudel fairy can be elaborated upon though, the woman’s trachea spasms and her lungs wheeze in some desperate, whining pull for air. The last inklings of the woman’s body to help any good samaritan actions is lost halfway up the wall, at which point her knees fail to even lock and she hits full ragdoll mode.

The raven-haired woman isn’t short, so it makes for awkward, lanky limbs this way and that, but eventually she is hoisted just so and in her unconscious state seems to melt around Zachery’s support. It takes a few, anxious, stuttering moments before her breathing stabilizes.

Location: ???

It's all dark.

Time has passed. This much is clear. How much, though, might not be as obvious. Devi finds herself sitting upright, having been relieved of her jacket, and accessorized with something that is keeping her wrists and ankles firmly in place. Her mouth, too, has been taped shut with several layers of gray. There's a low hum of water running through pipes, the occasional bird somewhere far off in the distance… and then…

CLICK. A light illuminates a shoddy bathroom tiled in black and at-some-point-white. It just barely contains a clean toilet that looks on the verge of needing to be replaced, a sink with a pile of necessities balanced delicately on a small shelf next to it, and a white, cast iron bathtub shower combo with a chair in it. And that chair contains a Devi, all strapped in with nowhere to go. He'd have gone with zip ties, but what maniac has those just lying around?

Zachery stands, leaning casually against the doorway to said bathroom, a sliver of hallway behind him. He's not wearing his coat anymore either, so he and his visitor match in this way. But he is not restrained with duct tape. It may very well be morning, since his hair's been mussed and he now sports some unflattering black pajama pants and a shirt that states clearly, on the front of it, '2008 Harlem Soup Kitchen Helper Extraordinaire'. And also, he's got a snack. A big bowl of yoghurt with piled with strawberries. One of them is spooned calmly into his admittedly concerned looking face, brow furrowed.

"So." He saunters casually into the room, reaching an arm past the shower curtain to TWIST a knob that creaks in protest. Cold water PLUMMETS down onto Devi, who is seated directly underneath the showerhead. Still chewing, but turning the water back off, he comes to a conclusion— "We both made a couple of bad choices last night."


It's not verbal, but the body language of a rudely wakened, thrashing Devi pretty much says it all. The chair screeches on her behalf, it's legs grating in the large, metal basin in place of her efforts to lash out, kick, flail - full on tasmanian devil has been foiled by duct tape.

The fact that she's down a jacket means she's also down the firearm that was tucked into the back waistband of her jeans. So, let's up the ante on that "couple of bad choices" statement and raise it to a "few", shall we? Devi shakes her head, loose braid and chaotic black locks shedding cold water. She instantly regrets this, head dropping forward with a weighty groan broiling up in her throat to end up muted behind an effective seal of duct tape.

The rise and fall of her chest betray her stillness to reveal the inner turmoil. These are the breaths of one trying to reweave the broken, frayed trail of thoughts splintered by tortured nerves, a serious hangover, and a case of what-the-fuck level fear. If given enough time, though, her breathing steadies, pale skin goose-pimpled by the cold water that's turned her violet beater nearly black. She pulls her head up, one eye remaining closed against the garish bathroom light to spare her hangover-headache any unnecessary piercings by way of optical entry. And so, Devi fixes the man with the gaze of one fiery, dark-chocolate eye from amidst the interrupting, plastered streams of black that look like cracks in the Mardi Gra mask of her face.

The racket of chair legs on metal certainly doesn't do wonders for Zachery's demeanor. He pulls back with a start at all the motion, as though he wasn't expecting the surprise nor stray water that ends up blotting his shirt. A splash of yoghurt spills over one of his forearms in the process of withdrawing against a wall and his back collides with the slightly grungy tiles when he finds himself short on further space.

Once he finds himself safely out of the Thrash Zone, and once Devi's breathing stabilises once more… he breathes out a chuckle. He meets that pointed gaze with one of his own, broken only briefly to glance quickly at what's left of the contents of his bowl. "Alright. Y-yes. Fair." There's uncertainty in his voice but none at all showing on his face, especially when a grin creeps across it and grows until it looks like it can do so no more. "It's not ideal." He takes a small step forward, away from that wall, "… I can't even take a shower, now." He spoons another half a strawberry into his mouth, and points the utensil in Devi's direction as if the problem wasn't immediately clear.

A deep breath in and… snort. The woman’s eyes are alive with all the unspoken barbs that are daming up behind that duct tape. It visibly pains her as if she’s left to literally chew on those thorns. She closes her eyes and tips her head back, the short back of the chair catching in the crease of her neck. Her knees come together and then fall back apart a couple times for want of anything better to do. The gesture is more than a little lewd given her tightly fitted, black jeans, restrained limbs, and wet condition. It’s then that Devi begins laughing. Her husky tones are breezier expelled through her nose, the chortle a subdued version of what it might have been. She opens her eyes, without properly raising her head from the back of the chair, looking down along her sharply angled nose and over to the Helper Extraordinaire ina most expectant fashion. One thin, penciled brow pops up sharply - now what?

As if the owner of the very fancy establishment doesn't know the answer to that question, he just leans a hip against the sink and continues eating his breakfast for a while. Honestly, he looks… mostly calm, setting his bowl down in the sink when he's shot that final look.

"So. We've… got a decision to make." He blinks, pushing away from his side of the room and approaching that bathtub again, weight shifting onto one leg once he arrives within arm's reach, still grinning… nervously? Giddily? Why not both. "Or I guess— I do. Isn't that novel?" He certainly seems to think so, mulling it over for a moment like a new thing he's tasted. A fine thought, good vintage. Kept in the cellar far too long for his liking, but still. "I need to decide what to do when you scream— or when you don't."

Then, without warning, he reaches forward to rip the duct tape off of Devi's mouth, should she stay put for a quick yank.

Fuuuck, me.

It’s not a scream. Come on, that’s not her style. Still, it’s loud and followed by a vehement hiss. What was left of her neon lipstick is stuck to the inside of the duct tape along with a layer of skin, leaving her mouth, and several inches to either side, an angry blushed red. Devi shifts her jaw around and then stretches her lips wide, bearing pearly whites as she tests her working bite a few times. “That really fucking hurts,” she admits with a hint of surprise. The movies ain’t kidding, folks!

The Raven Queen coughs once or twice and runs her tongue over her morning-scuzzy teeth. Late night benders and near overdoses do not lend themselves to minty fresh morning breath. With that, she leans forward, letting her weight catch on her restrained wrists so that she is poised like a half-possessed marionette, tangled at the edge of her bonds. “Oh, buddy boy - you got no choices left to you. There’s only one smart play here and it’s to let me the fuck out. Right. Now.”

"How's that?" This question comes immediately after that thinly veiled command, spoken in an incredulous sort of laugh. All signs point toward this being a hack job, but Zachery shows… very few signs of actual worry. With her lean forward, he does the same, hands idly clasped behind his back. Just outside of headbutting range, he hopes. "Don't get me wrong, I know I fucked up rather awfully, I'd just like to hear your thoughts on the matter, uh— What's your name, by the way?"

Only then does his grin fade a little, and his gaze drops to the floor with what looks to be genuine disappointment, "Oh, I should've gone through your pockets for some ID after putting the gun away. Well. If there's a next time, yeah?" His attention shoots up to meet Devi again.

Slowly, smoothly, a lecherous grin curls up one side of her raw, cracked lips. The scent of stale alcohol clings as much to her person as it does to her words and her mind. “That you need to ask that one, simple question - is exactly why you are outta options. You done fucked up, Tough Guy.” Thick, jagged, wet streams of hair still cling to the sharp lines of her countenance, cutting across tie dye smears and a probing gaze. “Too long and you’re going to have an army crawling up your ass.” Alright, not an army, the Ravens and her friends might not be organized enough to be considered anything military in nature - but they’d prove a good deal more deadly. “But, if you let me walk outta here, you’re chances are better - you’ll only have to worry about little ol’ me.” Mmmm… Not sure that’s much better. She leans back after laying out her terms.

“Just me. Scouts honor,” she promises, smiling finally waning in place of something more stoic and patient.

That confidence coming from the person in his bathtub does not do Zachery and favours. With every new word spoken, his own grin falters a little, until there's no more left and he's left with his gaze darting from one of Devi's eyes to the other. He might finally be properly listening.

He… leans back, and away, straightens up, takes a deep breath, and raises a hand to rub at his face again. Perhaps it's time for some pacing in the ridiculously small bathroom. Perhaps it's finally dawning on him that this is the most stupid, most risky thing he's ever—

Zachery whirls around and reaches right past Devi again, and twists that same knob from before with A PASSION. FFSSSSSSSSSHSHHHHHHHHH. Etcetera. This time it's staying on until further notice.

NOW he turns, to the sink. There's strawberries left and he'll be damned if he dies before he eats them. His grin is back, and he leans against the sink once more to almost painfully enthusiastically exclaim, "I practically saved your life!" Then, though a spoonful of breakfast and with… a strangely amicable tone of voice, "Maniac."

The initial flicker - the little crack in the would-be captor’s bravado - it starts to melt the tensions out of one muscle and then another. Despite being fastened at four corners, Devi someone manages to look the part of a lazy feline… an image that makes the reaction to the cold water all the more apt. Poise and arrogance washes down the drain with the freezing water and more remnants of Devi’s make-up mask.

The singular word strung from many and speckled with colorful cussing would carry on a short while before ultimately falling away to silence. The thrashing, too, starts out vicious and would make a strong advertisement for the strength of duct tape, but it dies off eventually, too. Ultimately, Devi drops her head to spare her face most of the biting, cold shower and shivers, waiting for Tough Guy to grow bored now that’s she’s stopped putting on a show.

Well, luck me,” she sputters amidst the water, by way of thanks.

But Tough Guy (very debatable) leaves the room entirely when the splashing happens again, sauntering out the door with both of his hands dragging down his face again. This is not going as planned. Was there even a plan? The water's staying on.

It takes less than half a minute for him to return, though what he comes back with may inspire… any number of emotions, should Devi lift her head again. There's something new in his gait— a certain renewed confidence, energy, like a man on the verge of cracking the solution to his newest invention. And apparently this involves him hoisting himself up and over the edge of the bath tub to sit town on the on it with his bare feet in the cold, running water. In his right hand, held between thumb and forefinger, is the reason he briefly left. A scalpel, glistening in the cheap light.

"This is a teachable moment." He speaks louder than before, and the great amount of conviction in his voice may seem ill-measured. Leaning forward to eye Devi while propping his elbows on his knees and letting the newly fetched tool hang between them, he observes his guest with not a grin, but a feigned smile, this time. His eyes just barely manage to betray something else, in that head. Something… much more appropriate for the situation. Fear is fighting to work its way to the top, but not winning over quite yet. "For both of us."

It’s a cinematic moment the way Devi looks up without lifting her head, gaze dark obscured as much by cold, crystalline droplets of water; sharp, ebon tresses; and shadow - as much as it is by inner, grindings, jagged gears. The is reflected as a stark, slicing contrast against all the darkness of her visage.

Hunkered forward into her restraints still, every cord of sinew wound tight with all the availability to pounce at the precariously perched Zachary, Devi licks her lips and lets out a breath quaked by icy shivers. “Oh?” Her husky tones are embellished by her quiet. “Do tell…” But, her eyes - they haven’t left the scalpel.

Oh, how fun. She's playing along. The scalpel is swung ever so slightly back and forth, left to right.

"Let's start with me. Since I seem to be… in control here." The words roll off of Zachery's tongue slowly, like he'd rather linger on them a little. Whatever hesitance was trying to climb through the rest of his demeanor before seems to sink away underneath a layer of newfound confidence, like an imminent drown victim pulled underneath the foam of roiling waters.

"I was told that I should just get things off my chest, a few weeks ago." He angles his head upward, turning his hand so that the scalpel's length falls across nimble fingers while idly running his thumb over to the sharpened blade, pressing softly into the point. "But I didn't. And now we're here." Much as Devi's eyes have found their own subject of interest, Zachery's, in turn, don't leave hers. He sounds… glad? "Now. How about you? What did you learn?"

Sharp objects do have a way of garnering attention. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Devi is every much the patient on the hypnotist’s couch, loyally following the pendulum action of the diminutive blade. What a tricky little tool it is the scalpel - so small and unassuming, and yet so apt at invoking such sobering dread.

“That four years sobriety-” Weed and booze don’t count, man! “-has made me a fucking lightweight.” Devi leans back and rolls her head to the side, squinting past dark locks and droplets that fall and splatter against her upturned cheekbone, clinging to her lashes and falling away down her neck and shoulder. “But if this is all because of your unchecked mommy issues and feeeeelings, you’re barking up the wrong tree.” A deep breath for a pause… “I ain’t your fucking therapist.”

And then she lurches. Duct tape and chair be damned, she throws her weight forward and tries to -… well, let’s not give her too much credit in thinking she had a plan beyond simply driving herself into the precariously perched man. What’s the best case scenario here? He falls back and cracks his head open? And, what - she’s left sitting here freezing her ass off under a cold shower in the middle of… where the fuck is she?! Scratch all that. Patience grasshopper.

The image returns to Devi, head cocked to the side, taking in a deep breath. “I’m ain’t your fucking therapist.” She sighs…

"Oh, I'm aware. You serve a different purpose. Even if I wasn't— sure you'd fit the bill." If the mention of mommy issues hits any sort of truth, Zachery certainly doesn't know it. Although… his pointed stare wavers. "Feelings, though. They've always been tricky. I tend to plan more than I do, and this?" His hands are lifted, both gesturing palm-up toward Devi, with the scalpel precarious balanced. "This was not planned. This was, believe it or not, an attempt at doing something good."

'Good'. It's like the word is a kind of meat he's never had before and he's still trying to make up his mind about what it tastes like. But before he's able to, his hands drop back down and a chuckle escapes him. Scalpel once more in his steady grasp. "But let's go back. You mentioned sobriety. You're going to kill yourself." Said as a fact. An intriguing one, but still a fact. Then, with barely more than a second's pause, tone of voice casual, "Would you like me to turn that water off?"

“If it isn’t too inconvenient,” Devi hisses through chattering teeth. The chair creeks, the duct tape straining again the way her body tries to curl in on itself, shivering, to maintain any sense of body heat and warmth. Her sneer, though - that’s plenty searing enough. Back to the topic of her extracurricular activities and addiction, she gives a simple retort: “We all die some time.” It’s so casual. So factual. And yet, it’s not spoken in the way of someone expecting to die today in a cold, shallow bath. Nor anytime in the near future. No, it’s more a promise…

In response to that hiss, Zachery leans forward as though to get up… and then back again, accompanied by a small splishy splash of his feet in the water that hasn't yet completed its journey into the drain. Maybe it IS too inconvenient. Seems pretty comfortable over here. Grinning a happy little grin. Looking weirdly… in his element, halfsplashed with water, talking to a prisoner whose reason for being present even he seems vaguely confused about.

"You know, I think you're wrong. N-" He catches himself, lifting his free hand as if to motion for Devi not to try and to argue, "Not about the thing where we all die. Because we do. Though I've known a few… people who've brought that particular matter into question." He rises, a little too quickly to be anywhere near graceful, and just stands there for a moment, looking down at his 'guest'. Sharp tool in one hand, the fingers of his other hand fidgeting idly at his side. His grin pulls a little more strongly to one side, a little brighter, as a new thought occurs to him. "In fact, I'm well aware that I may die in the next five minutes. That's a thing, isn't it." There's no time for an answer. He's gone into RAMBLE mode, and leaves no space for such a thing. "—But I think you're wrong about your reason for being here. I think I've figured it out. You," the scalpel is pointed forward, and he straightens, kicking one leg out into a slightly wider stance. He's SURE about this one: "… You need a friend."

There’s a squint - an ‘Oh, fuck me. I’m really going to have to play this game’ squint. Devi indulges a slow blink ; whether it is brought on by her hangover or the prospect of this new game afoot is hard to say. “Friends don’t tie friends to… “ Wait, real friends totally tie friends to chairs. That soggy mane of disheveled black hair falls forward, her chuckle echoing in the hollow made by her body and reverberated still by the acoustics of the dank little bathroom and large basin tub.

The husky chortle fades away, leaving behind it only the raw, torturous grating of her post overdose condition. It’s like her blood has gone sour, turns to sludge and coagulated bits that pump begrudgingly through her. A vehicle needs oil - Devi needs a hit. She groans, downturned face wrinkled as her arms give a sharp, uncontrolled twitch. It takes a moment before she seems to remember the topic at hand - and all that hangs in the balance of the precarious game with a Mad Man.

“Wha-,” she coughs and clears her throat as much as she can. “What about you? Huh? Tough Guy got something to bring to the friendship table?” She’ll play along - she’s still breathing, afterall.

"You've gone and read my mind." Presumably not literally. But who knows, at this point? Certainly not Zachery, who reaches - with his free hand - to grasp Devi's right wrist, fingers wrapping around that duct tape. Then sliding his hand forward until it's juust past the haphazard restraints, skin on skin. "I'll give you two things."

His gaze lifts again, to the other pair of eyes, and for a split second he looks ever so slightly distracted as a new, clearer flood of knowledge is granted to him. Simultaneously, quite a lot of the water is splashing onto him now too, starting to saturate his shirt and pajama pants in streaks. A shoulder twitches back at the splats of cold. "The first thing is honesty. I took a risk. It was a very big one. It was, honestly, a little stupid. A lot stupid. So I'm ending this." Unceremoniously said, like he's merely ending a conversation and not… whatever this situation is.

The weight on her wrist is increased, as that shoulder rolls forward again. The scalpel's blade is slid underneath the duct tape of that right wrist, and tears through the restraint with nary a sound, like any properly sharpened tool should. The tape splits open like an overripe fruit, but the skin underneath remains whole. THIS, he knows how to do properly. "And the second?" Staring directly into her eyes, still, grin faltering only ever so slightly as that nervousness from earlier creeps back onto his face, he sliiides the less sharp end of the scalpel into the grasp of Devi's yet held down hand, blade downward and out.

Tough Guy has made a lot of bad decisions in the past twenty-four hours, and as far as Devi is concerned this - the cold scalpel in her even colder fingers - its the worst of them yet. Her fingers grip the stainless steel handle hard enough that her shivers elevate to subtle twitching, convulsions of her arm beneath Zachery's pinning grip. Her tongue is a visible, little, pink nub bitten harshly between her pearly teeth as her gaze cuts past cold, spattering drops and meets his own.

Is it harder to murder someone when you stare directly into their eyes?

Devi's head, and what weight of her body is made available despite restraints, lurches forward with every intent of colliding with Zachery's own. The Raven mistress shows no regard for her own safety or pains - every inch of her either numb or aching with each bitter sensation vying for more ground across her tall frame. She doesn't wait to see if he goes down, but cuts away at the silvery restraints on wrist and ankles - the duct tape no contest for the bloodthirsty little tool designed for layers of live tissue. "There's a reason I don't have many friends…" Devi hisses. He's got the few seconds it takes for the dark haired woman to free herself in which to collect himself and react…

The confidence with which Zachery holds still in that dangerously close proximity does him absolutely no favours. The blow lands JUST as his reflexes try to kick in and he lifts his head only to have the bridge of his nose meet with a forehead that's much less willing to yield. "HkkhhaaAA!" It's… a yelp, a laugh, both?

He doesn't go immediately down, exactly, but his attention is certainly shifted quite dramatically— every drop of it now turning inward as he reaches to clasp one hand onto his face, and one for the side of the bath. Maybe he should have turned that water off, because the wet cast iron tub edge is slippery and his attempt to steady himself only results in him exiting the bath a little more quickly than intended— sideways, at that. He lands on his side with a heavy, wet splat of limbs and a quieter, "… Ohho. You're going for the boring route."

He moves the hand covering his face, and slams it onto the toilet seat lid to start to help himself back up, smearing blood over the nice, clean white surface as more red starts streaking down from his nostrils, helped only by the water already present. Once his eyes find Devi again, his grin reignites. But that hint of fear, ever lingering before, is gone entirely.

One doesn't start a Motorcycle Club without having to test their mettle a time or two. One doesn't maintain hold of a State Island, gun-running, drug-smuggling group of biker gangsters without a little…. creative license. War and running has taken the woman out of Staten, and well, you know how the phrase goes…

Four years semi-sobriety and (apparent) good behavior may subdue some. In Devi's case, it's left an itch worse than any detox she's ever known - just there under the surface, kept at bay by milder amusements and busy hands. But now? Everyone falls off the wagon sometime.

"Shhhhhhkt." The last piece of duct tape parts like butter and there isn't a moment wasted. Limbs stiffened by the unrelenting coldspray, Devi lurches forward and falls out of the shower - every part a soggy, lumbering zombie that seeks to fall mindlessly, ravenously onto her prey. Assuming she catches him before he rises fully, she straddles his form and sets the scalpel against his cheekbone with a none-too-careful shivering already likely to leave little stings and bloody kisses to match the abstract spray of crimson already drooling from his nose.

"Boring?" She shake her head, water dripping off her hair, nose and lashes. "No. No-no-no-no. NO!" The scalpel twitches. "Why Ravens, huh?" She lifts chin, exposing better the Raven tattooed on her throat. "We're friends now, so you should know - you wanna know: Why the Raven?" She shivers as she dips forward. "I peck their eyes out…" She suppresses the chattering of her teeth with a groan. "But, maybe you saved my life. So, I'll only take one. Left or right, Tough Guy?"

With the pain of a possibly freshly broken nose still clinging to him, and the unexpected tumble having sent him reeling, Zachery's hand slips back off of that toilet lid as his feet slip away from under him thanks to the new gush of water that Devi carries with her.

There's a wince as he falls back onto his ass, and the scalpel digs into his face all too easily. This may be the first time he's felt like maybe he maintains his tools a little too well. The cut created is so clean it doesn't even hurt, at first, until it does, reddening rapidly until it starts adding a crimson hue to the water still dripping down his cheek.


… 'Uh?' His eyebrows lower in confused annoyance for a moment. Surely he's got something… better to say than that? But for the first time since they met, he seems to be at a loss for words. His hands grasp idly for— something for his nimble fingers to latch onto. The floor? Devi's beater? If only he could grab an answer, but it seems instead replaced by a nervous breath of a laugh, spluttering out through bloodied teeth. But for all of that, he's still looking directly at the person now on top of him, amusement present still, now, fading in and briefly out with every shuddering breath. When he does finally find one, it is simply,


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