A/N: I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this. I was going to make this part of Stripped, but it wouldn't exactly fit in. So I'm not… I had this idea one random day after writing the second chapter of Stripped, and though 'How fun. I think I'll write it'. But I couldn't then and there because I was on the bus to school and currently I don't have a laptop. So I had to write it today. Go me.
Well, this author's note is getting a bit too long for my liking, so I'll cut it short… Have fun reading!
Smelly disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters that are owned by Jhonen Vasquez. Because I'm not him, bless his soul. But I do own any character's you don't recognize, such as my original character.
Warning: Wow. I don't know. This contains violence and swearing… And probably some other things that I haven't thought of just yet.
Johnny's knife was plunged deep within the gut of the wailing woman in his basement, her wavy, mahogany red with her own blood. The large knife in the murderer's hand slashed down, creating the slit larger, and then wider as he spun it around. Blood spurted out like a fountain, but the flow died down ever so slightly after a moment. The woman seemed to be trying to say something, but the pain she must have been experiencing would have been too strong for her to do anything but scream pathetically. Pulling his knife out of her, Johnny took a step back, admiring his handiwork.
She was more or less pinned to the ground by two other knives, longer than the one he was currently holding, the blades of said knives piercing her shoulders. She was twitching wildly in their hold, various other cuts and bruises covering her body. The navy blue suit she was wearing was torn to shreds, the only item of clothing still intact being her socks, yet they were covered in blood. Soaked would be a better word.
The man remained silent for a short period of time, watching the woman blubber, tears streaking down her bloody cheeks.
'P-Please… reconsider… I was just p-picking m-my daughter up from school…' the female choked over her words. Death was near, and both the adults knew that.
'And in the process you ignored the helpless cries of a child who had lost his favorite teddy bear. Materialistic, yes, but how would you like it if you were that child and lost your best friend? Strangers all around, but none to help you?'
The woman didn't reply, and just choked as blood began to flow into her windpipe. Blood spluttered out of her mouth, and her breathing grew slower, heart fighting to beat unsuccessfully. Johnny leant forward, her face inches from hers.
'Not nice, is it? Knowing all is lost? Except, you aren't losing your best friend, no, but your life.' He poised his knife above the woman's neck, and before she could utter a word, slashed it fiercely. Before he finished his swipe, the woman was dead, like all the others.
As the thin trail of blood escaped the new orifice, Johnny backed away, letting his knife rest on the ground. In his usual, impassive manner, Johnny turned, and started towards the stairs, leading up from his basement. A loud wail stopped him, however.
The word pierced the stinking air, and it caused Johnny's expression to change into one of utter suspicion. He turned on his heel, and gazed around the moderate sized room. His dark eyes finally rested upon a young, shivering girl, probably no older then eight. She was clutching a pastel pink-and-white bag, a picture of the famous plastic doll known as Barbie smiling on the front. In her hand was a large piece of dark blue material also clenched in her small fist, more than likely ripped from the woman's suit. The girl was crying relentlessly, and it dawned on Johnny that the woman had not been lying: she had indeed been picking her daughter up from school. And this was her daughter.
Now, Johnny was not one to feel compassion for his victims, save the odd few like Edgar Vargas. And he was certain that most of his victims had had families- a husband or wife, children, possibly even grandchildren. Nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, everything a family should have, in the stereotypical sense. But even Johnny knew it would make a child distraught to see their mother be murdered, just as this girl had.
The girl hadn't moved from her spot in the back corner of the room, and Johnny had guessed that when he had bashed the woman over the head for not helping the boy who had lost his stuffed toy in the school yard, her daughter had obediently followed. She had probably even crawled into Johnny's car when he had thrown her mother in the backseat. The thought made Johnny dumbstruck at the girl's utter obedience. Taking a step towards her, just to get a better look at her, the young child took a step back, clutching her backpack against her chest. A tear ran down her cheek and she sniffed loudly. The two, dark brown pigtails swayed slightly, the small tufts of hair under the bottom hair tie swishing against her shoulders. The girl's sniffing and crying was beginning to get on Johnny's nerves, and he had to remind himself that she had just witnessed her mother's murder. The thought especially stuck in his head as he almost tripped over the dead woman's shoe. Cursing loudly, he looked down at his boot, and the girl only wailed louder.
He couldn't kill the child; though her wailing and sniffing and just general sobbing annoyed Johnny, he found it impossible to grab a weapon and strike her with it. She had much to learn about life, and this could be considered one of the lessons- people go. Letting out a sigh, he placed his hands on his hips.
'Are you done yet?' he spoke bitterly, hoping to make her so frightened she would run away from him, and leave him alone. The girl didn't reply, but she did stop sniffing, although silent tears rolled down her cheeks. Well, he managed to stop one thing. Another question formed in his mind, and he squinted down at her. 'Are you going to leave now?'
The girl shrugged, and a tremble seemed to cross her. Her crying stopped slowly, and it seemed she had run out of tears. Johnny groaned, and placed his head in a hand, a headache forming. He was good with Squee- the kid was intelligent and in a sense respected Johnny. The older male knew Squee was more or less frightened of him, but he didn't cry in front of him. Then again, Johnny had never killed one of his parents. And a kid needed parents.
His last thought struck him so suddenly, and he couldn't help but look up quickly at the young girl. His sudden movement seemed to frighten her, and she jumped backwards. Johnny took no offence and leant forward slightly. 'Where is your father?'
The girl shrugged once again. Johnny drew in a breath, and was about to speak again, but the girl cut in.
'Mum and Dad broke up when I was five… Mum said he went to Washington, or some place. But I haven't seen him for a while, and Mum says that's a good thing because he was a bad, bad man…'
Johnny nodded, taking all this in. The girl spoke as if it was written down in a book somewhere, but Johnny guessed considering that what just happened, she would be fairly unfazed by her parents breaking up. After a pause, Johnny bit his lip, and asked another question.
'Where are you going to go then?'
The girl shrugged, and hugged her backpack tightly, still clinging onto the ripped piece of cloth. 'I dunno. Gran and Pop died a long time ago, 'fore I was born, and Mum's got no brothers or sisters… Dad might, but I haven't seen him for a long time…'
The man winced, and rubbed his long, thin arm. This situation was getting worse and worse as time progressed.
'What about friends? You got any friends?'
'I just moved here, and I dunno my friend's addresses back at my old house.'
'Do you know their last names?'
'Can't spell 'em.'
Turning his back on the girl, not even bothering to ask if she knew their phone numbers, he retreated back to the staircase. He halted at the bottom of the step, before calling out in front of him, not even bothering to turn 'Follow me' and headed up to the top floor.
The young girl had followed, but it had taken a lot of coaxing. By the time Johnny had managed to get her into the front room, she had burst into tears three times, refused to speak twice and actually sat down in the middle of the steps once. She was more or less obedient, but she was more stubborn. Johnny guessed he would be too, if his mother's murderer tried to get him to go with them. As soon as they entered the living room, the girl had sprinted past him and huddled in the corner, holding her bag in front of her. She had stuffed material into a pocket of her overalls, yet refused to let go of her backpack. She finally set it down beside her when she had set down, though, and had pulled her knees in front of her chest, and clung onto them instead. Johnny sighed as he stood several meters away from her, and occasionally glanced outside his bordered-up window. Reverend Meat was silent, although Johnny figured it wouldn't be for very long. When the girl didn't say anything and just stared at him, Johnny left the room and headed towards another to watch some TV. Mainly because he had nothing better to do and he felt uncomfortable with the girl. He expected her to leave when she grew bored or frightened- whatever came first- and let the mindless noise of the program on the television block out his worried thoughts.
Approximately thirty minutes had passed, when he heard a soft padding coming closer. Lifting his gaze, a strand of blue-black hair falling into his eyes as his eyes settled upon the tiny girl in front of him, her bag upon her back.
'Excuse me sir?' she asked softly, her hands holding her straps tightly. Johnny tilted his head, and frowned.
'Yes…?' he asked warily.
'Do you have anything to eat? I'm kinda hungry…'
Johnny adjusted himself in his seat and thought of the few edible items in his kitchen.
'I have tin spaghetti… You can eat them if you want.'
The girl nodded, and left the room. He turned back to the program on the TV, and was left alone for three minutes, when the girl finally came back, a tin of spaghetti in one hand.
'Where do you keep the can openers?'
Johnny frowned, keeping his eyes on the TV. 'Third drawer, left of the fridge.'
She left once more, and Johnny flopped back in his seat. This time, five minutes passed, until she came back, this time the spaghetti in a bowl, cling wrap being used as a lid.
'I'm too short for the microwave. It's up high.'
Johnny gritted his teeth, his fingers ripping the material of his couch. 'Get a chair then.'
The girl nodded and left. The sound of a chair being pushed into the kitchen filled his ears, and he waited for the soft buzzing of the microwave. However, he heard the girl returning this time empty-handed. Not even her backpack was on her.
'How long should I put it in for?'
'Thirty seconds should do it.'
She left, and didn't return. The loud beep of the microwave filled the top floor of the house, and Johnny let out a sigh. Within seconds though, a bloodcurdling scream filled the air. Leaping to his feet out of instinct, Johnny ran as fast as he could to the kitchen. He found a mess in the kitchen, made of random pieces of wood and spaghetti. The girl was lying on the floor, her backpack in one corner, safe from the mess. The chair the female must have been standing on to reach the microwave, which was on one of the top shelves of the numerous shelves of his kitchen had broken under her weight, although she would most likely weight less than eighty five kilos. Hot tin spaghetti was all over her. She was wailing once more, although his time from physical, not emotional, pain. Instinct continued to take over the man, and she leant down beside her.
'Are you okay?' he asked frantically, pulling the hot food off of her. The girl just screamed, and Johnny rushed her to his bathroom. The door was slightly stuck, yet he managed to open, but the bloody floors, wall, and bathroom pieces caused the girl to scream again. Or perhaps it was the rotting limbs in the bathtub, which Johnny hadn't bothered to depose of for six months. Either way, she pulled from his grasp and ran away. Johnny just ran after her, and found her huddled in the corner she had been hiding in previously, still covered in spaghetti. She whined quietly, hugging her knees. Johnny let out a sigh, rubbing his head, a splitting headache suddenly making him nauseous.
'Um… I… Er…' he wasn't sure what to say, and it appeared the girl didn't either. Finally, he dropped his arms, feeling miserable. Reverend Meat's voice filled his head.
Johnny's in a bit of a fix, isn't he now? A more or less orphaned girl stuck with him, and now she's covered in spaghetti! And now she's scared witless of him because she witnessed her mother's murder, and a bathtub full of rotten body parts. Deary me, whatever are you going to do Nny? You can't keep her, can you? After all, that means you're going to look after her… and you know what happened when you looked after something- it ended up being dead. Poor NailBunny.
Johnny groaned, and shook his head. 'Look, kid… What is your name, anyway?'
The girl let out a choke, and she appeared to be swallowing a lump in her throat. 'D-Danielle.' She stuttered. Johnny took a step forward, and sighed.
'Okay, Danielle. My name is Johnny… You'll… probably have to stay with me for a while… until we sort things out for you, okay?' He scratched the back of his head, and he heard Meat curse in his head. He was unsure as to where the Burger Boy had disappeared off to- the figurine had gone missing a few weeks back, but his voice was still present in his mind.
The girl seemed rather frightened at the prospect of staying with the man, even for the shortest of times, and a strand of spaghetti fell off of her head, her eyes growing into saucers.
'Stay with you?' she repeated, her voice choking. 'But I have school… and… and… stuff. And you killed my Mum!'
'I'm sorry! Fuck, I really am sorry now, because now I'm stuck with you. It's not going to be easy for me either, okay?' Johnny paused in his rant, and considered the effects of what he had said would have on the girl. Drawing in a deep breath, he tried to calm himself, and spoke quietly, and quickly. 'Look, I can take you to school, that won't be much of a problem. It'd do me good to have a different routine each day, now, anyway, I need it. And I can pick you up too. There's a nice little boy next door who I guess you could get to know, and… well, I guess I could look after you… I guess.'
The prospect of looking after Danielle was frightening for Johnny, but he didn't really want to turn her out. And Danielle honestly didn't look to pleased at either future- becoming a homeless child or becoming the adoptive daughter of a homicidal maniac. She nodded, though, but kept in her corner. Johnny looked over his shoulder, before glancing back at the girl.
'How old are you?'
'Seven.' She replied lightly, still hugging her knees.
'Okay… Look, I'll get you're a towel to get the crap off with, and make you another bowl of spaghetti.'
'And I'll get your bag, too.'
This seemed to change the girl's mood, and she leant forward slightly. 'Do you…'
Johnny raised a brow, and stared at Danielle. 'Do I…?'
'Know how to play Barbie's?'
Inside his head, Meat cackled inanely.
A/N: *snickers* Come on, Nny playing Barbie's would just be hilarious. Anyway, I am thinking of continuing this… And no, no, no, no- Danielle is not going to grow up, realize she likes Nny and then they make many, many babies xx; NO WAY IN HELL…
*coughs* Nah-ah, never in this fic. Honestly.
Well, review and I'll be a happy puppy ^_^ I'll continue as soon as possible!