Why Don't You Do Right?


dante_icon.gif delia2_icon.gif

Scene Title Why Don't You Do Right?
Synopsis Dante once again runs into Delia, the girl of his dreams, but things don't have a storybook ending and both are left with more questions than answers in the morning.
Date November 4, 2010

In Dreams

"Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'~" The man at the microphone couldn't be doing a worse job at singing the song if he tried. "Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'~" Or had a gun to his head. "Well I find it's quite a thrill~ When she grinds me against her will~" For some reason… the people in the bar seem to be enjoying the guido's rendition, they're singing along and having a righteous good time.

"Yes a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'~"

Sitting in a bar and nursing a beer at the end of a long day is a normal way for normal people to spend their time. Normally. A quick glance at the television set would indicate that things here, just aren't normal. For one, the ticker text underneath the ballgame is all wrong. The Giants lost, they didn't win. The Yankees won… and the Jets tied.

"You need another one, Lupinetti?" The bartender is nice though, dressed in a pair of leather pants so tight you could probably stick a dime in her back pocket and be able to tell if it was heads or tails. The white t-shirt she's wearing is about the same, except no pockets, just the logo of the bar scrawled across the front. Her long hair is tied into a ponytail at the back of her head and she bends to lean up against the bar right in front of the man and wave a hand. "Hey, he's not that great a singer… you want another?"

The man is horrible. Godawful. And the song just makes it worse. So why does Dante find himself tapping his finger on the bar top along with the tune. He's quietly hating himself, it's true.

Finishing off the last of his beer, he turns away from the bar, trying to ignore that music that just seems to be trying to burrow into his ear like a worm. Ugh! He even looks up to the baseball game…and frowns for a moment. Wait, what—

And then there's a bartender. A very attractive bartender, and she's leaning over! That is certainly something that tugs the corner of his mouth up in a smile. "As long as he's singing, keep the drinks coming," he says. That mirror behind the bar is extra appreciated now, and Dante peers over the bartender's shoulder to get a good look of…uh, behind.

That behind is swaying to and fro, just a little bit, to the tune of the horrible singing. The crooked smile on the woman's face as her finger taps along with Dante's to the karaoke is almost unforgivable. Except for the behind that's wiggling in the mirror.

She stays that way for a moment before slapping the bar top and pushing herself to a straighter stand. "One more then!" Reaching into the cooler, she grabs another frosty mug and yanks back on the tap to pour him another lite. "So what are you going to get up and sing? You doin' that same one from last time? What was it… Islands in the Stream or whatever? You an' Big Charlie did a great duet, don't think he's here today though."

A good behind can excuse a lot of behavior. And Dante doesn't even seem to notice the smile at first. And now she's pouring him beer? At the moment, the normally stoic man could forgive her for murder. "I might. Might now. Don't…" Dante frowns, his eyes going a little distant. "I…dont' think I can remember how it goes." Behind them, the Guido starts into a medley including Islands in the Stream. Yet, it still seems to come off as offensive.

The singer up on stage is working his terrible voice to a frenzy of country blues. There's a tear in his beer, an island in his stream, someone's wife left him for another man's dog… All the country favorites. "So I heard you got tickets to that band that plays that stuff, you know the one I'm talking about?" She slings the beer over to Dante just before she leans back down in front of him again, resting her pointed chin on the heel of her hand and gazing over at him with a dreamy expression.

"HEY WANDA!! PHONE!!" The manager of the bar calls the brunette away, pointing angrily to a receiver before scolding. "What'd I tell you about getting calls during business hours?!"

"Hang on to that thought, honey," Wanda purrs before stretching up and wiggling her way toward him. "What? I can't help it if my kids need their momma! I couldn't get a babysitter!"

"Whoah… she's a real winner there, Lupinetti." Another voice comes from beside the agent, a young woman with long curly red hair, clad in nothing but a crisp white cotton dress. She's not wearing shoes and she seems awfully familiar. "So what are you going to sing?" She takes a sip through her straw and then gives him a glance out of the corner of her eye.

"Oh yeah," Dante says distractedly, patting the front pocket of his suit jacket, feeling the two crisp papers within, "I love…ummm…" The name escapes him for a moment. "…Those guys. Good stuff. Are you a fan?" Already, Dante is leaning in, inhibitions washing away from the beer in his system as he smiles winningly for the brunette. Or maybe there's just something about her…

When she gets called away, Dante's elbow slips out from under him and he almost faceplants on the bar, though catches himself with a disappointed frown. Yet, she's stretching…oh yes, immediately balm for a wounded ego. And yet, that mention of kids gets him blinking.

Glancing briefly over to the woman beside him, Dante mutters quietly before taking a drink, "She's a real cutie, yeah. Probably into me. I dunno, I might…" He stops mid-drink, and looks back to Delia for a moment, frowning deeply and his pale eyes sparking for a moment. "Do I…know you?"

The singing from the stage quiets a little, the singer seeming to get distracted. Sets of eyes turn, one by one, to look curiously at the chatting pair at the bar.

"No, not at all…" Delia answers, turning her head to watch the bartender as she bounces while she's on the phone. "I think you're right, she does like you." There's a wonder, does he dream like this often. Half of it's a nightmare while the other half…

"Dammit Lori, I told you I'm at work. Do you want me to bring home a new daddy or not?" Her voice carries across the bar toward the pair and the redhead flits her gaze to Dante.

To Delia's credit, she's trying not to laugh as she glances between the bartender and Lupinetti, the new chosen baby daddy. Even though there was a denial, the redhead looks too familiar. As she slips off the stool and wanders over a cigarette machine at the end of the bar. Pressing both of her hands against it, they pop right through and when she pulls them out, she's holding a pack of cigarettes. "You know… I've never smoked before. Do you really think it makes a person look sexy?"

Dante's insecurities and fears come out to play when he's asleep. So ingrained into his psyche…who can tell what's a dream and what's a nightmare?

Dante smirks gratefully to Delia, brow still furrowed, and he goes to take a sip of his beer…and sprays it in surprise through the mirror at the back of the bar, hitting himself in the face with a bit of the spray. Wiping at his face, the man looks fairly horrified, as he looks towards the bartender, then back towards Delia. "But…I don't know how to do diapers!" he stage whispers to her. The people around the bar are starting to chuckle derisively, though even in their mirth they seem to keep at least one eye on Delia.

As Delia pulls out that cigarette pack, Dante slips off his bar stool with his beer, head ducked and getting away from the bar. "Sure," he says with a nod, gaze flicking down her body, "I mean, look at yourself. It's working already."

Delia's crisp white dress, so pure and yet so stunning, is gone, to be replaced by a form-fitting, sparkling red dress that clings to her every curve like it were painted on by loving hands. Her cleavage is magnificent, seeming to run a mile as her breasts almost want to bust out of her top. Purple gloves covers her hands and arms, and her red hair is a sultry wave of crimson over one of her eyes. Smoking turns you into a sex bomb before you even open the pack, apparently.

The cartoon proportions and dress slit up to there along with the pouting lips painted so cherry red that they would turn Prince's little corvette green with envy. What is meant to be an admonishing glare turns out to be a sultry gaze, thanks to the man's overactive imagination. Looking down at herself, Delia can only see what she normally is, the woman in the white dress. Not what he sees.

"What are you talking about?" It's spoken in a sharp tone, to his ears a husky murmur. She just doesn't quite get where he's coming from. She's not a beauty queen and she's got no misconceptions. Flouncing back to her stool, she hops up into it and fiddles with the pack of cigarettes, not actually opening them. At the same time, that hourglass figure sashays back to the bar and slides up onto the same stool, crossing her legs at the knee.

Dante just stares in amazement, eyes locked on those swinging, come-hither hips of hers. Delia is practically exuding sexual energy now, though it's a shame she doesn't notice. He leans against the jukebox, letting out an impressed breath, and taking a sip of his beer.

When she slides into the bar stool, a spotlight shines on her briefly, blindingly. As her eyes adjust, people are applauding and whistling excitedly for the redheaded seductress perched like that, long legs falling out of the slit of her red dress. A microphone is perched just before her ruby red lips, and a sultry bass thrumming plays over the speakers as a deep, rich female voice croons.

"You had plenty money, 1922…"

Dante leans forward on his own stool, in his own spotlight on the stage, just smiling as he admires Delia beside him. His own microphone is held before his lips, but he hasn't begun singing. Yet.

A leg that goes for miles juts outward toward one of the wolves nearby, pointing at him invitingly. Her foot waggles in a sort of no-no motion when he gets a little too close and she slips off the stool again, the microphone held to her lips as she sings.

"You let other women make a fool of zzzzzzzzzt—"

The music stops as Delia stares, gaping, at the mirror. She's finally seeing what Dante sees and it all just stops. Leaning toward him, she pokes at his chest as she begins the countdown of absolutely everything wrong with the picture. "You can't just turn someone into something they're not because you feel like it! I'm not some floozy with big boobies that you can stare at all night because you feel like it!"

Unfortunately, she can't change what he sees… not this time. So he still doesn't see the young woman for what she really is.

The men around the room, all dressed in stylish 50s garb as they sit around the nightclub, being waited on by cartoon penguins with glasses of scotch. The one getting close just gapes and sits back down, while others are crowding in close, grinning and gazing up wantonly and fondly at the gorgeous redhead. When she stops singing though, there's a muttering of disapproval, and the looks of arousal and enthrallment from the all-male crowd turns suspicious as they gaze up at her.

Dante, on the other hand, looks surprised when Delia suddenly gets angry. When she leans in, poking at his chest, he's almost pushed off his stool as her huge breasts push up against his chest, so his hand comes up to grab hold of her wrist for balance.

Slowly, the look of confusion on Dante's face changes to understanding…and then exasperation as he looks up into the angry face of his adopted sister, and he rises to stand. "Alright, Isa," he says, starting to head towards the door, tugging her along, "Time to go home, if somebody has already pissed you off."

Blinking in confusion, Delia is wrenched by the wrist, stumbling on her bare feet toward the door. "Isa… Who is Isa?" Catching her reflection, she sees a woman that she recognizes as the surly woman from Vietnam. "Oh geez… from sex bomb to her?" She doesn't know that the potty mouthed Japanese woman is the man's sister.

Though she's still being yanked toward the exit, the dream walker waves her free hand. Suddenly, Dante's perception changes and she is the young redhead in the white cotton dress that was sitting beside him before. "Where are you taking me? Your house? Why are we going to your house and not — " Not where? Certainly not to her house.

"Not in the mood for games, Isa," Dante says with annoyance as he leads Delia towards the front door to the club, and just beyond she can see a sparsely furnished apartment living room. However, as they're getting to the doorjamb, Dante looks back…and does a double take. That look of frustration melts away to his confusion, and the setting about them blurs around the edges as he loses focus. He's finally starting to realize that this isn't real life, and he's never been good at lucid dreaming.

"You…" His hand tightens on her wrist and he turns towards Delia, jaw setting firmly. "I've been looking for you."

He's not the only one that's confused, a twitch of Delia's eyebrows toward the middle would suggest that she's in much the same situation. "Why?" Looking beyond the door into his apartment, she steps forward and over the threshold but she's forced to stop by the tight grip around her wrist. "This is where you live? Do you live with Charlie?" The nickname his sister earned in Vietnam.

Behind them, the bar disappears and she leans to the side to peek around one of the corners. Is that a bathroom or a bedroom behind the door? Glancing back to him, she catches his eye and then slowly lowers her gaze to his hand on her wrist. The redhead twists her hand, a hint that perhaps she wants to be let go.

Dante blinks in surprise. "Charlie?" he asks, clearly confused. In that moment, when Delia twists, her wrist forces itself out of his hand, even while his fingers stay locked together. Dante doesn't seem to notice.

"I live here with Isabella. But you…" Dante steps forward towards Delia, backing her into his apartment. And yes, towards that bedroom. "Mr. Ryans…your father is in a lot of trouble. We will find him and, if he keeps running, things won't be pretty when we catch him."

"You're looking for my dad? Why?" Delia's bright blue eyes grow dark with anger as she narrows them. A breeze blows stiff through the apartment, causing her hair to fly and outside the windows the sky turns a murky shade of gray.

The young woman stumbles a little and falls back against the door, her eyes brightening with surprise to a brilliant shade of blue. "You're not going to find him… He's too smart. He's survived the war… Charlie saved his life." The bullet wound the redhead had tried to help out with but ended up failing miserably in a surprise action of sticking herself with morphine instead.

"We want to talk." Dante didn't mean it to sound that ominous, honest. Still, the tall, athletic man advances against the redhead. When she falls against the door, two strong hands slam against the wood on either side of her head, penning her in as pale eyes drill into her like two morphine needles. "Ryans was a good boss. He was a good man. I don't want him to have to run all his life." Dante's face contorts briefly, and Delia can feel herself start to sink into the wood, like it were wax growing warm from her body against it.

Closing her eyes, a small smile forms on Delia's face for the brief moment it takes her to sink right through the door. On the other side, where Dante can't see her, she shrinks from inside the thick waxy skin the door gave her, leaving behind a statue. The construct is frozen into a reaching form, her position as she sank through the door.

The young woman is nowhere to be found.

A little wriggle of red ribbon snakes under one of the pillows and disappears. Between the mattress and the wall, Delia crouches, trying to make herself as small as possible. Her eyes are closed as she hides there, waiting.

Dante blinks as Delia goes through the door, and he gives a cry of surprise. There's the THUMP of his fist against the wood before he wrenches open the bedroom door…and stops.

Tucked away in her little corner, Delia can hear Dante enter the room…but then even his breathing stops, and for a moment it sounds like she might be suddenly alone. But that hope is washed away when the sound of boots against carpeting is heard, soft and light, with the creak of a floorboard underneath. And then a moist crack, subdued…followed by the thump of something heavy and soft hitting the floor.

"Nice trick," Dante murmurs, and there's the click of a door being closed, "But I know you're still in here somewhere. And I'm very good at finding things. Come out now, I'm not going to hurt you…"

From under the bed, the tiny sprite's eyes widen with fright at the sight of the hollow wax head hitting the floor. After sliding down the leg of the bed, she rolls across the carpet until she hits a stray dirty sock. Being so small, the smell is overwhelming and it causes her to clap her hand over her nose and mouth in order to stop from gagging.

A shadow passes by her hiding place, did he hear her? Shuddering, she crawls on her hands and knees into the sock and holds her breath. As much as she wants to keep an eye on the bright space, she closes her eyes in fear. He can't find me, he can't hurt me, he can't find me…

As Delia scurries across the floor, the shapes above her rise high like skyscrapers up above, the shapes distorted by distance. Dante is a lumbering giant as he moves around the bed, and she can just barely make out his head turning this way and that, scanning the room.

She disappears into the sock at just the right moment, it seems, as his booted heel comes down where she'd been standing moments before, crushing the rope-like fibers of the carpet underneath the sole. His shoe pushes away, and she sees a huge wall of denim descend as Dante kneels. There's the sound of the mattress being yanked away from the wall, and a frustrated snort.

"How would you fit back there?" Dante murmurs, his deep voice sounding like a rumble of thunder, due to her smaller size.


Peeking out from her hiding place in the sock, Delia sprints from under the bed and takes a flying leap into the air. She winks in and out of existence, all except that long swath of hair that jerks and wriggles through the empty space until it lands splat against a picture hanging on the wall. Then the young woman becomes visible as she tries to crawl into something that looks like a graduation photo. It's black and white, she is not. Nevertheless, she's certain that he won't be able to find her there.

Striking a stoic pose, much like the rest of the people with her, she looks in the same direction. Her white dress is so much different than the dark uniforms they wear, but she's mixed into the second row so most of it doesn't show.

It's that sudden bolt of movement that will be her undoing. Dante whips around as she goes flying, and his hand snatches at that ribbon of hair. It comes away in his hand, snipped off by the transition of reality into photo, like the barrier were a sheer blade.

That wasn't what Dante was expecting, and he blinks as he pulls his hand closer, eyeing that lock of red in his hand. And then he starts scanning about the room again, clearly perplexed.

From her vantage point in the picture, Delia can see Dante starting to look around again, apparently having lost her. She's safe…or so she thinks.

Black and white eyes slide towards her from the kids around her. They're all smiling so brightly as heads turn, looking chipper and happy. One girl, with braces and narrow glasses, hisses out through her teeth in a sing-song whisper, "You don't belong here," without moving a single muscle.

Behind her, there's the rustling of clothing that sounds like newspaper, and the girl is starting to feel a little crowded.

As the students crowd around her, the young woman starts feeling just a little uncomfortable. Things are not happening as they should. She is not in control. Hokuto would be so very disappointed.

Closing her eyes, she takes a deep breath and inward and her head tilts forward. The entire world spins around the two of them in a colorful blur, the young woman growing and growing, from the tiny sprite to normal size. Right before his eyes. Right in front of him.

Lost in a haze of clouds, she finally opens her eyes and lifts her head to face him. "I am in control. Not you." Remembering a trick she learned from a puppetmaster, she lifts her hands up and from the sky coils of threads drop down. The ends wrap themselves around his wrists, knees and throat, holding him at her mercy. "Tell me why you want my father. Tell me what you want to talk to him about."

Like a tape rewinding, the students zip back to their pleasantly smiling perches, all facing forward, before the world starts to swirl. As the colors bleed together, Dante stumbles and falls to a knee, hands out to keep himself from falling over, eyes wide. Then there's Delia standing before him, and he sneers.

Before he can get a word out, however, those threads fly down, and Dante gives a strangled "hurk!" of surprise as he's lifted up, arms akimbo and chin tilted upwards. His eyes are wide as saucers as he stares down at Delia. "Th' fuck did you do that??" he asks, amazed and honestly a little terrified.

Even as she holds him, however, he starts to blur around the edges. He's starting to wake up, being pulled out of the believability of the dream.

Panicked, Delia drops her hands and rushes forward. She grabs him by the wrists and pulls him toward her, trying to prevent him from fading completely. Trying to keep him asleep. "No no no no… don't go don't… please you have to tell me… Tell me why do you want my dad…" Her plea is almost tearful.

Even then, her own body begins to shimmer and go translucent as she's cast out of his mind. "Nooooooo.." The long whimper from the young woman sounds desperate and nearly pathetic as she clambers with her hands to grip him harder. "Don't, don't, ssshhhh, stay.." She whispers, trying to lull him into remaining, one of her arms goes around him and her other hand moves toward his hand, petting his hair. "Stay here, I promise I'll be good. I'll be…"

The jolt of Delia grabbing onto Dante has him solidifying for a moment, and he gives her a penetrating look. That distant expression of someone seeing through the fog of their mind's eye sharpens, and for a moment he sees her, completely clearly in his mind. Even as she pets him, he still looks down at her, apparently flabbergasted, while still tied up by those threads. "This is a dream, isn't it? Oh, son of a b—"

POP! goes the world, Dante winking out of Delia's arms, and the world goes with him an instant later, sending her tumbling.


Thrown back into her own body, Delia sits up with a start. It was dangerous to come here, stupid, but before leaving forever it had to be done. Looking around the room, she spies the sleeping form lying in the bed. One of her closest friends from childhood. They'd come across each other a chance meeting and Delia spent the night, unbeknown to her entire family.

Crawling out from between the puffy panels of the sleeping bag, she creeps to the window and stares across the street to the empty home she used to share with her family. Mrs. Wilson's porch light blinks on and off as the cats from around the neighborhood play havoc with its motion sensor. Somewhere close by, Lupinetti is awake too. But where?

It's with a gasp and a start, Dante jerks out of bed, his arm sweeping up to grab at…thin air. The motion sends him reeling to the side, and he falls out of his warm bed to the cold carpet with a yelp of surprise and frustration. Dammit! He almost had… wait…

Sitting up, hand running through his hair, the Institute man looks around in bafflement at his familiar bedroom, and it takes a moment for him to come to his senses. Groaning, he stands up, pulling the covers off his bed to wrap over his bare back, and he peers groggily out the window, looking up and down the street, his jaw working silently. Somewhere out there is Delia Ryans, the girl in his dreams. But where?

And does she know she's in his dreams?

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