07.01.3013: Shot In the Dark
Summary: Nitrim and Ithaca wake from a prophetic dream to violence. Ithaca saves Nitrim from relapsing on narcotics. They set out to meet with the other Awakened.
Date: 01 July 2013
Related: Takes place the morning after Parental Issues
Ithaca Nitrim 

Ithaca's Apartment - Blue District, The Ring
The door of this musty, basement apartment bears several chains across the spanalong with multiple locks, electronic and mundane. Inside it is almost empty, Spartan to an extreme. There's just one, windowless, main room serving as the entire living space, and a small bathroom. The bedroom consists of a mattress on the floor in one corner. The kitchen is nothing but a counter with a small sink, microwave, mini fridge/freezer, hot plate, and electric crockpot.

Along one wall rests a small tattered loveseat and a coffee table which looks to be an old trunk of some sort. The rest of the space is taken up by computer equipment, resting on scratched up Plexiglas sheets propped on rusted old filing cabinets, stools, chairs, anything that could be used to support the flat surfaces. The walls are plastered with page upon page of code and mathematical calculations. Rook grabs a beer from the fridge and hands it to him. She has an open one already on her coffee table.

July 01, 3013

In the darkness of Ithaca's monitor-glow ridden apartment, Nitrim sleeps fitfully naked beside the unclothed form of Ithaca resting on his chest. His eyes shuffle behind their closed lids as he starts to squirm and struggle, tangling the sheets around his legs. Even asleep, a small ruffle of his aura penetrates to the waking world in the form of a flame-ridden serpent, hissing over his chest for a split second before it dissipates like fallen, orange stardust. A small moan of protest escapes his list and his elbow tightens around the back of Ithaca's neck. His fingertips flex as his eyes start to move rapidly, a sure sign of a potent nightmare.

Then…all of the sudden, his eyes snap open in the dark and he kicks at the mattress, shot wide awake with zero comprehension of where he is. He feels hair in his fingertips. He grabs hard and pulls, thrashing wildly.

The dream is so horrific in its torment, so terrible in its power and pain, that Ithaca too is flaring those dark wings of her aura around her. She reaches out, telekinetically, and jolts awake with a violent struggle, slamming her fists against the thing gripping her hair, holding her down, trying to take her organs. Her scream is visceral and full of blinding rage, not seeing who it is in the dim glow of the monitors.

The man had never even known who's hair he was tugging. Confusion sets in as he suddenly finds himself being attacked. A fist crushed down against his teeth and Ithaca's knuckles pull back with fresh blood on them. All Nitrim can do is fight back as his mind fails to understand that he's awake. He balls his left hand into a fist and strikes back as hard as he can, trying to fight his way to his knees and drag his attacker off of him by the fist-full of hair he's been provided. Seething, unintelligible syllables, each and every one of them a failed attempt at a word of cursing or protest, are all that he can manage. The black room is lit up by the flaring of his aura, casting their unclad, furious bodies in a strobe-light effect of life-or-death struggle.

The struggle is as fierce as it is brief. Blood flies from Rook's mouth as she's struck, her return strike slamming into Nitrim's eye. She screams, and it's a sound not too unlike her laughter, and it might reach through the fog for him. She claws at his chest and arms, in a blind rage.

Like a furious pilot beating on a console out of rage, Nitrim strikes once, twice, three times before he's struck in the face again. Even in the dark he can feel the sting of fresh clawscrapes to his body and the uncomfortable feeling of something dripping down his skin. His arm pulls back again to strike and…hesitates. Her laughing penetrates somewhere into his alligator brain, and although he doesn't understand it, it's just enough comprehension for him to understand that something is not right. Wanting to get away from whatever is happening to him, he lets go of Rook's hair and lashes out, shoving her hard in the direction of where her old, ratty couch should be. Already on his knees, he springs up and…bounces. The ground he thinks he's on isn't so firm, and he's sent stumbling off of her mattress and onto her hard, shag carpeting. The beer bottles on the floor jingle as a resounding WHAM echoes through the apartment.

Then it dawns on him. The mattress. The apartment. Rook. A pained groan escapes his lips, made muted by the tug of his cheek against the floor.


She is curled on her side against the front of her ratty old sofa, her fingers dripping with blood from where her nails gouged him. She is panting, her eyes closed as she focuses on the sound of his voice. "Here." That's her statement, all in one, she's there, she's alive. Her eye is already swelling shut.

"Oh FUCK!" Nitrim barks, anger lining his voice as another thump hits the floor, this time from an angry fist brought down in an armbar against the floor as if tapping out of a wrestling match. Hand coming to his face, where the pain is, he rubs softly and pries himself from the floor to crawl over to her. In the dull monitor glow, the blood on his hand looks purple as he reaches out to her shoulder, immediately expecting her to need consolation. "Fuck, I'm sorry, are you okay? Gods damnit please tell me you had it too…"

"Organs. They took the organs," Rook rasps. She pushes herself up, shaking off his hand of consolation. She wipes the back of her hand across her bleeding mouth and stands, pulling the chain on the overhead bulb. They look like they got out of a warzone, barely. She purses her lips tightly looking at the wounds on his chest. "Sorry."

Nitrim gawks at the sight of her, the blood, and the damage he's done. Knuckles flaring in pain, he wips his hand at the wrist, trying to calm down the aching in his knuckles. It leaves little spatters of blood on her bedding. "Fuck it, whatever, I'm fine. I can't believe I—" He stops and closes his eye for a cleansing breath. "Branded on my forehead, yeah…that's the one." He balls his hands into fists and bares his bloody teeth, turning in a sudden need to kick the sofa, but thinks the better of it. Eyelid twitching, he seems to not care or register his nudity as he takes his first step towards her bathroom with a certain hunger in his eyes. "Fuck this…"

"No." It is sharp and sure, the command from Rook. She reaches to grab his arm to stop him from heading for the Red Eye in the bathroom. "Not because of them," she bites out, an angry rule of her own made up on the spot, not to let the Hostiles push their buttons, let alone take their organs.

Nitrim tries to keep going, though the sudden yank to his shoulder as his arm finds itself needing to drag a human weight stops him. He looks back to her, eyes bloodshot and exhausted. A sympathetic, bitter frown creases his lips as he tugs, hard, ripping his hand out from between her fingers. "Fucki—Rook don't. It's okay. I'm a gods-damned adult, too." He says, voice twinged with reservation as he steals his arm back and walks towards her bathroom with a purpose.

Rook steps between him and the door, barring in with her scrawny, naked frame. "I said no." She grits her teeth, baring them at him. "Mine." She is planted there like an immovable force of will, staring him down with the eye that isn't swollen shut. He can already see the red marks that will bruise later on her upper body.

For just a second, Nitrim bares his teeth back. The hungry, drug-addicted look in his eye is more than enough to suggest that he is a drake and she will not keep him from what he wants. He comes to a stop before her and his eyes lock onto hers, flashing with just enough angry at her sudden protest. His shoulders rise and fall as adrenaline screams through his system like the fuel, and with nowhere else to vent his frustration, he brings a fist into the wall beside the door. It's nowhere near her head, just somewhere convenient. He turns, heading for her fridge.

Rook is trembling, but she doesn't flinch at the strike to the wall. She's not a stranger to violence. As he walks to her fridge he can hear her in the bathroom, flushing the drops. Flushing her drops. Her possible lifeline. She runs water in the sink and begins dabbing at her lip with a washcloth. She's never done that for anyone, thrown out her drugs.

With a pair of beers gripped by their necks in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other, Nitrim moves to lean against the wall just outside of her bathroom. He closes his eyes at the sound of the flushing of her toilet. "Rook you didn't have to do that, you won, okay? I'm not going to do your Red Eye." He calls out to her with a slight air of embarassed defensiveness. He slips the cigarette into his lip and stands there, bleeding with a cold beer pressed to his eye. "I'll get you more."

"Ok." That's her response as she opens the medicine cabinet and pulls out a bottle of whiskey. She pours it on her lip, hissing at the burn of the alcohol in the open wound, but making sure it's clean. If he thought she might chastise him, she doesn't. Just goes about scrubbing the blood out from under her nails violently with a nail brush and soap.

Moving in to the bathroom, Nitrim crosses the discolored tile on his bare feet to stand behind her. He watches her quietly as she tends to her wounds and reaches out to place a hand onto her shoulder. It's an apology. Giving it a soft squeeze he turns and steps over the edge of her tub and draws the shower's curtain around him. Beer cocked up onto a high perch, he turns on the faucet and starts to wash the blood off of his body. "I'm going to call the first meeting, then. Do you want to come?"

Rook doesn't pull away from the hand, she actually covers it for a moment with her own. The apology is clearly accepted. "Yes." She then opens the curtain to join him in the shower, wincing as the water hits any open wounds, and sluicing away the blood in crimson whorls at their feet. There's a cut on her temple that might need a bandage. She may have hit the corner of the trunk in front of the sofa.

Turning his back to the faucet, Nitrim steps back and lets Ithaca get to work. He frowns deeply, tilting his head to inspect the cut to her temple. Reaching out, he brushes back her slick, black hair to get a better look at it. "I…should probably admit that I've never hit a woman in my life, not unless it was training." He smirks quietly. "Or one of my sisters, but not like this."

"Been hit a lot. Not your fault," she says, wincing as he tilts her head to look and the droplets hit it, sending a thin rivulet of red down the side of her face. "I'm ok. Gave better than I got." She almost smiles, but then her lip reminds her that'd be a bad idea.

He takes the moment to look over his own body, a mess of clawed scrapes and already forming welts from her punching. An almost sick laugh crosses over his lips and he thumbs the line of blood away from her jaw. "Yeah, but I'm not that person." He admits and leans in, pressing a kiss to her jaw, another apology. With careful steps he slips past her, giving the run of the shower. "Fucking Hostile."

"Future or Past?" Rook asks, leaning into the kiss on her jaw for a moment before he's sliding away from her. The King's death was a future vision, but this one might be a past one. She shuts off the water and climbs out, toweling off and throwing on her discarded t-shirt from the night before as she slides into the chair in front of her computers and begins typing. She brings up the news broadcasts about the rescue of hostages near Phylon. She gestures. "This maybe? Them?" There are rumors of horrible torture and cutting instruments.

"I don't know." Nitrim calls out from the bathroom as he takes up her bottle of alcohol. Grazing over the label, he lets out a sigh and decides it's better than nothing. Using a small cloth, he upends the bottle's mouth into the rag as if its a cotton ball and starts to dab at his many wounds. "Could be present, yeah, I heard about that fight. I'm leaning to future, though. That's the second time I've seen mention of Hostile and gods. I'll be gods-damned if this isn't going to get personal."

"The Brand," Rook says quietly, frowning at her screen. "Maybe the Chantry is bad too? Did something to those people? Or to us?" meaning the Awakened. She reaches for a bottle of aspirin and dry swallows a handful as her head starts to ache.

"Or they're pulling us apart and assimilating us into what their gods want us to be, and our gods are heretical to them." Reappearing from the restroom, dried and aching, he steps over to the pile of clothing discarded from the night before. Off in her peripheral vision, he slips into a pair of black boxer-briefs and reaches down for his pants and swordbelt. "I think the Chantry will be a target."

"Maybe." She tosses him the aspirin bottle as she scans the news feeds for anything like their dream having happened while they were having it. Nothing. She sets a web crawler to keep looking as she gets up, a little wobbly, and opens the trunk, fishing out some clothing. It seems to be the entirety of her storage. She pulls on panties, leather pants, and a clean t-shirt before heading into the bathroom to bandage her temple and put on her armor, that black makeup of hers.

By the time she returns, he's fully dressed and tapping on his tablet. Leaning just beside her front door, he glances up to trace the work off her makeup. A little regret, a little admiration filters into the smirk he gives her as he makes one final tap to his screen. "Reservations are set, messages are out." He pauses, locking his eyes onto hers. "Are you ready for this?"

"No," is the reply, but she heads for the door anyway with her backpack in hand, stopping only for a moment to crush her bruised lips to his in a show of solidarity.

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