08.25.3013: Falling Off The Wagon
Summary: Nitrim gets a hold of Rook's Red Eye and doses himself. Trouble unfurls like dark wings.
Date: 25 August 2013
Related: None
Ithaca Nitrim 

Nitrim's Apartments — Volkan, The Crescent
A small two-step set of stairs lead into this recessed room that is lit by hooded, indirect lighting that casts a somber, golden glow over its mostly red and black features. Various pieces of art, both photography and moving hypervisual, line the walls. Darkly shaded marble flooring stretches out to a small seating area with a pair of sofas in front of a mounted InfoSphere videoscreen that serves as the centerpiece of the room. To the left of the entryway is a comfortable chair seated next to a table and bookshelf that rest near a wide balcony that overlooks Volkan below. Along the far right wall is a snake habitat on a raised platform tht is protected by a mostly transparent energy shield.

The rear of the room supports another small two-stair reach that leads up to a lavish bedroom setting with a draped four-post bed in black and red dressing. Lastly, a small double door off to the side of the bedding section leads to a washroom with a walk-in shower and a large soaking tub set next to a window.

25 August 3013

A dark, red glare has been cast over the inside of Nitrim Khournas' apartments as he emerges from his washroom wearing a pair of loose-fitting drawstring pants and a baggy, black tank top. Loud, aggressive club music has been playing over the speakers in his room all night, which has been gratefully kept to containment by the soundproofing he's logged the room into. While burning the midnight oil and feeling club-like, he's set the wall screen to a video on loop that displays clips from violent animated movies, images of dancing club girls, and horror movie clips. It's the best ambience in the world really for the man as he lights a cigarette and hops over the back of his sofa with a thud. Datapad in hand, he reclines and starts to tap through his daily messages.

The announcement that his short friend is back, is probably not a surprise, as Rook seems to be getting used to coming to the Blackspyre. She slips inside, closing the door behind her, giving a nod of approval at his music selection. She looks like she's been rolling around in the dirt and mud wherever she's been today, she's pretty much caked head to toe in a mix of soot and grainy mud. He might want to stop her before she sits on anything of value. "Hi," she greets with a half wave as she lowers the hood of his very filthy jacket. It's even in her hair!

Able to hear her over the drown of the music, Nitrim looks up and over the back of the sofa and gives the woman a blank stare. Blink. Blink. Running his tongue over his teeth, he slips up and moves to get a better look at her. "What the fuck happened to you?" He cants his head, checking for bruises as his arm rises and points towards his massive washroom. "If you have a change of clothes, leave them by the door and I'll rush them off to the cleaning staff to fix up. But seriously, though, what the fuck?"

Rook shrugs. "Dropped disc down grate. Crawled in after it. Waste water tunnel on Ring." At least it wasn't sewage. "Near factory." Thus the muddy soot. She dumps her bag at his feet and begins removing clothing bits as she heads for his bathroom. No extra set today, but she leaves the trail of dirty ones for him to give his laundry people. The bathroom door closes and he can hear the shower running for a rinse off while the bathtub fills. He better have some damned bubble bath.

"Well, I guess that's as good an explanation as any," Nitrim muses, handing off his cigarette to her as she walks off. Following behind the trail of clothing left behind by the gradually grown-naked woman, he collects the clothing at each stop until she disappears. Turning his back onto the bathroom door, he looks down to the dirty clothing and leans in just a little to sniff at it. Eyes watering, he holds them at arms length and heads over to his door. Thumbing his door console, he calls for the cleaning service to collect them and run a speed-job on them, leaving them outside of the door. Left alone again, he leans against his front door and turns to watch the video on the screen. Gradually, his eyes slip down to her bag…and a thoughtful look crosses over his face.

Is she singing? She might be croaking along to the music while in the shower. Rook can be heard flipping the shower off, then transferring to the tub. At least she was courteous enough to get the majority of the gunk off her before getting into the uber bath of luxuriousness. "LATEST DATA IN BAG!" she calls out. She printed him off a hardcopy of the latest shared dreams.

"ALRIGHT." Nitrim calls out to the bathroom, hoping that she's heard him from so far away. The man's room is huge by most's standards. With a sigh, he steps over to the bag and picks it up off of the floor. Transferring it to the table with a thud, he reaches inside and fishes for the disk. Having a hard time finding it, he starts pulling out item after item, setting them down on the table. Before he finds the disk, however, something familiar, something bottle-shaped slips into his fingers. He pulls it free and looks down to it, recognizing it as one of the hard-metal vials of Red Eye that he's supplied her. He glances up to the video screen, then the bathroom, and in that moment his eyelid starts to twitch.

Oh yes, he has bubbles, Rook might not come out for a bit. She's humming along to the music he's playing as she shampoos the mud out of her hair. More of the black dye comes out with it, and her hair is close to her natural color at this point, also showing some natural loose curl. All she needs now is a water proof datapad and she'd be in heaven.

Reaching in to the bag, Nitrim finds the disk, but it's almost ignored as he sets it down on the table and turns towards the video on the screen. Strobe-lights flash over the room as the images on the screen shift into scantily clad, tattooed dancers overlayed over a graphic of a pilot in a starfighter gnashing his teeth and spinning through a fur-ball in space, fighting the bad guys. Teeth flashing to the screen, he rubs at his eyesocket and grabs the data disk to hop back over the sofa and settle in to watch the video. He reaches for his datapad and moves to slid the disk into place…but it doesn't fit. It doesn't fit…because he's still carrying the bottle of Red Eye. "Fuck…"

Finally, long minutes later, the tub is draining and the bathroom door opens to admit a soggy Rook back into the room with a towel wrapped around her. She looks clean, smells clean, so that's a good sign. She flops down on the sofa beside him, watching the screen, not yet noticing her Red Eye in his hand.

With a fresh cigarette dangling from his lip, Nitrim's half-lidded eyes glance over to her as she enters with soft, pink skin from the heated bath, smelling like every brand of hair product he owns. He plucks the cigarette from his lip and holds it aloft to the side, tilting his head back to blow the smoke skyward. A cloud, a hazy fog flows over the video playing on the wallscreen as his other hand rises, hovering above his open right eye. His hand is holding something, and seconds later, a blood-red drop falls from the dropper and splashes against his iris, clouding his eye-whites over in blood red. That hiss, that cold, almost death-rattle of a hiss shudders from behind his closed teeth.

Rook's hand snaps out to his wrist, a moment too late to stop him. She frowns slightly, but she doesn't look angry so much as confused. "Why?" she asks. He'd been doing so well off of it. She reaches to take bottle and dropper from him if he lets her, gently if she can, concern visible in her eyes.

Caught in the initial throes of the trip that his body is calling out for, Nitrim's wrist limply gets tugged and the bottle is out of his fingers before he even knows it. With senses, dull like a hindu calf, he looks to her face with one mismatched eye. He opens his mouth to speak, words coming out unsure. "I…" He blinks, not really sure. With a shake of his head, he leans his head back against the sofa and stretches his legs out to the coffee table, sprawling like a cat. "…whatever. I don't know. Life is fucking short." He leaves out the I think. Surely, he has no clue why he's done it.

Rook moves to the table to secure the vial back in her pack, pulling out a tiny little padlock to fasten the zipper pulls together so it can't be reopened without using force or finding the key. She sighs and rubs at her forehead a moment before she goes to his kitchenette to get him a cup of coffee and one for herself. Tonight, the role of babysitter will be played by Ithaca Black. She returns to the couch, bare feet padding silently across the floor, and settles down beside him, giving him his cup and setting hers on the coffee table. "Have long shirt I can wear?" she asks.

Time slows down for Nitrim, as the video on the screen drolls into long, painstaking sequences. While only seconds have passed, Nitrim's skin has already begun to pale a little and his body language has slowed. It's been months, even the small dose is hitting him light a freight train. Suddenly she's there again. "What?" Nitrim blinks, looking up to her with a wave of his cigarette. His hand hoods over the length of the cigarette as he draws in the smoke, then plucks it free and offers it to her. His brain catches up. "You don't need a shirt. You've got that tattoo, right?" His eyes lid exhaustedly as he reaches out to set his cigarette down. His hands claw at the fabric on his back and he pulls off his tank top, offering it to her. "It's fucking hot in here anyway."

"Not hot," Rook corrects. "High." She takes the tank and pulls it on so she can remove the towel. She's nearly a foot shorter than him, so it falls to her mid thighs easily like a minidress. "My fault. Sorry. Should have kept bag with me," she murmurs, before she settles beside him and plucks up her coffee and the offered cigarette.

"Don't be like that, you didn't do anything wrong." Nitrim's voice deepens as the drug takes hold of his veins, forcing him to breathe deeper. Casually, as if it's nothing, he slips an arm around her shoulder to dangle his elbow around her neck, tucking her in close with weakened arms. The Red Eye demands comfort. It takes him a few tries, nearly burning his fingertips in the process, but he gets his cigarette back for a drag as he settles in to watch the screen. "I deserve…a…night off. Dead bodies and dreams and…traitors. You know? Fucking traitors selling us in stock."

"Stronger than that," Rook reminds him. "Get through this. I'm here," she murmurs. She rests her head against his chest, more to keep tabs on his heart rate than anything, but were anyone to walk in it would probably look bad. "What are you thinking?" she asks, because she hasn't known him on the drug, and is curious how his mind works differently.

A secondary observer to his own experience, Nitrim uncurls his arm from her neck to avoid head-locking her and slips his hand to her shoulder. Skin, being the tactile sensation that it is, is revealed as he shrugs the shoulder of her tank top aside to rest his palm on her boney shoulder. His head lulls until his chin taps against the top of her head. "When I was in that mine, I was drugged. I sang to myself about my fears. About burning everything I love down. Fuck, I'm so powerful, girl…" His eyes close to slits, his one eye a dilated pupil in a sea of red. "…and I don't want any of it. I want the money. I want the comfort. It's me, though. It's what I am. I'm a loaded blaster pistol that wanted to be a camera. I should have been born a Citizen, then I could have been great. Instead I was born noble, and no one sees me."

"I see you," Rook whispers quietly, the strap of the tank falling to the crook of her elbow as he brushes it aside. "More than you think you are. Just accept you for you. Worry less about views of others." She grimaces and tries to put her thoughts into a more complete sentence. She's been practicing it. "Anyone who doesn't love you for you, isn't worthy of you. Not your love, your time, or your thoughts." She worked on that one for about four days.

"Everyone sees what they want to see," Fingertips steepling on her shoulder, raising up like a stretching cat, they slide back down onto her skin to splay out like an expanding spiderweb. "Those photographs you took, over mine, I see that you see things the way that I see them. The difference between me and those people in the grime are that there are thousands out there that will give a fuck for me, just knowing my name. They will love me, make me comfortable. Serve me. I could be them. I could have been." He stubs out his cigarette, not into the ashtray but onto the laquered wooden top of the end-table, which explains the dozens of similar burn marks there. On Red Eye, he's dangerous with fire. A sigh crosses his lips, threading over her scalp. "Love is knowing who you'd want to die next to in the fire. Who you'd say goodbye to last. Do you know my thoughts?"

"Yes," Rook murmurs, even as her eyes go white as she uses her psychometry to cryokinetically cool down the wood where the cigarette was stubbed out. When they go back to their black normal state, she reaches a hand to turn his chin towards her. "Others don't matter. How you see yourself matters. Be Nitrim. Self. One. Important."

Too melted and pliable to fight the tilting of his chin, it takes Nitrim a few moments to refocus to the vision of Ithaca before him. His eyelids open just a little more, daring to let more of the room's red-shaded lighting through. "You know what the secret to me is, Rook?" Nitrim smiles a half-smile, drawn deeper into his never-ending drug-fueled introspection. Turning at the hip, he presses his lower back to the arm of the sofa and reaches out for her, inviting her to join him. "I'm not confident. I'm just brave. I'll run through broken glass to save people I don't believe I'll ever save." His eyes lower to her exposed shoulder, holding there in distraction. "I don't want to be the one people look to for hope, but I want to be. I want to be there. I'm a coffin filled with razors, nothing worth resting in."

Rook slides in with him comfortably and she grimaces. Most people would sigh at his words, but she's not much of one for that. "Not you," she insists. "You are flame, draw us like moths. Warmth, light. Also burning. Not coffin. Not razor. Flame."

Once Nitrim feels the fabric of his own tank top wrapping her back press to his bare chest, he closes his eyes and bars an arm across her chest. Fingertips wrapping around her bared shoulder, he frames her side with his knee and lowers his face to her shoulder. Lips brushing across her skin as he speaks, he squeezes her body to him. "And in the end I hope that's what saves you, Rook, and not undoes you. I shouldn't have done this, should I have?" He laughs softly, tracing his fingernail into her skin in lazy circles. "This is so strong. I can barely feel my power. You're not angry. It's so hot in here." His fingertip stops, digging in against her collarbone.

Rook swallows at he begins crossing that line he seemed adamant on not crossing with her. As his finger digs into her collarbone he can feel her heart leap where he is pressed against her back. "Isn't what you want," she says quietly. "The drug. That's all." She covers his hand with one of hers to try and make sure he can stop himself. Her collarbone feels as fragile as the rest of her. All those layers she usually wears hide how thin she is. "Think, not what you want."

"It's not?" Feeling her hand over his, his fingers splay out wide to lace between her knuckles. Curling her hand over his into a fist, his hand lowers back to her body. His forehead, having gone just a little clammy as his body fights to cool down, presses against her ear as his words are delivered directly to the back of her neck. His nose presses in and his head turns, brushing aside her long, damp hair. "I don't think when I trip, Rook. Thinking isn't is. Sleep gets dark and there's nothing to think about till morning." He drags their connected hands to the center of her chest. "Take some Red Eye. Trip with me."

Rook is torn. She's already past her time for her usually nightly dose, as she got distracted by chasing down her dropped datacard. But she's a little afraid of what might happen if she doses along with him. He's already been way more handsy than his wife-to-be would be happy with. She shakes her head a little, but she doesn't pull away from him. "Bad idea," she murmurs, her eye twitching a bit and the shakes just creeping in around the edges.

The video suddenly erupts in a new round of strobe-effect as the images replay from the beginning. With a whir, the music switches to the original track, accenting the dark, shadowy creatures with blood-rimmed eyes on screen nicely. The sudden change forces Nitrim to turn his head toward the screen, his forehead pressing to the back of Rook's head. "Bad idea because you don't want me to do more, or bad idea because you don't want to fuck me?" If anything, it's an honest question. "Did you know you were the last girl I was with?" More honesty as he lets out a sigh across her other shoulder. Like the genius he is, drugged and lost to himself, he reaches for the other shoulder of her tank top. "When I'm married, I'll have my own, separate bed. My own cold space. Everything I fought for will be replaced with Landing. I want to be free forever."

"You will regret in morning," Rook whispers. "Don't want to be your regret." She doesn't pull away though, but her throat sounds tight with those words. "What do you want?" she asks, sincerely. "What do you really want? Not right now— tomorrow morning." Her eyes flit to her bag as she shivers faintly, having to close her eyes to try and control the twitching, her own skin a little clammy from withdrawl.

"I'm going to look into my eyes in the morning and hate that I took it." Knowing himself, even through the drug-fueled haze, Nitrim reaches for her hair and peels it back behind her ear to press a kiss just beneath her earlobe. "It's what I always do, the same way every time." His arms wrap around her in a coccoon, pressing her in close for what amounts to a weak hug, a need for closeness, and he buries his face into the crook of her neck. "I want a world without pain, something I can never have. I want you tonight, but we know, don't we? I become thoughtless. I toy with souls." Making his decision after a few soft breaths, he nods against her skin. "Dose with me. Don't fuck me. Sleep in my bed and if I ever touch it again, hurt me. Let's do this once. Please?"

She shouldn't. It's a bad idea. With both of them dosed and needy, things could go either way. But Rook misses sleeping with his arms around her. And she needs her dose, badly. "Ok. Once. Please. Don't hate me." That's all she can ask of him, hopefully he'll remember that in the morning. She disentangles herself from his arms and moves to her bag, quickly dosing both eyes with the speed of someone who has to do it every day, several times." She then moves to his bathroom and flushes the remainder of the vial, so he can't get more in the middle of the night. It's a cost, and it means she'll be without in the morning, but she feels responsible for his current state. She folds down the sheets on his bed and slides in. "Come," she murmurs.

Nitrim has to peel himself from the sofa as the sound of her voice wakes him from his chasing of the drake. Eyes fluttering, the bared muscles in his shoulders coil and unfurl as he presses against the sofa to rise. With a flash of his aura, he presses the button beside the wall-screen from a distance, blanketing the room only in the ambient red lighting, which is made only more red by their altered state. Bare feet crushing against the carpet, he pads across the floor to the side of his bed and reaches for his belt-buckle. Dressing down to just his smallclothes, he slides into the bed and instinctively reaches out an arm, giving her room to press in against him. His eyes close as her weight matches with his, and though he stares at the ceiling of his bed for what seems like hours, the man loses track of just how long he's spent paying attention to the tactile sensation of Rook's body against his. Somewhere, sometime, he drifts off to the coma-like sleep he's not felt in months.

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