Warning: This author is prone to writing large amounts of drama and displaying their affinity for semicolons. They're also going to get this cruddy author's note out of the way as soon as possible.
I don't do multi-chapters very often. Like, at all. So bear with me, please. Don't hesitate to call me on something. This is a huge step outside of my comfort zone, so this is quite a learning experience for me. So please, by all means, teach me. Its a bumpy start. In perhaps grammatical form and also pertaining to what gets thrown in your face from the start, but don't worry, the wrist cutting session won't last long. Large homages to the great writers of this fandom ensue, as well as an uncomfortable amount of pop culture references. Also, if need be, tell me if I should rate this higher.
And Madame Lady is a wonderful beta. In a way, half of this story is hers.
Don't own the Animaniacs, although I can definitely dream. I also don't own the title, which is actually a Dresden Dolls track. Thought it fit pretty well nonetheless.
And all these years she thought she knew the meaning of the word 'disaster'. All these years she thought she was the very meaning of the word disaster. And while back in the day she acted like a cretin and could be one in reality, she never knew it would come to something like this. Flashbacks of when she used to be smart started popping up in her mind, mocking her and laughing at her misfortune, but the numbness that had taken over the logical part of her wits made them seem like someone else's memories. That wasn't who she was anymore; why pretend that they were?
A few years ago Dot Warner never would have pictured herself where she was now. And that place was in a bathroom stall of the hottest dance club in the district, crouched down on the filthy tiled floor. Her blurred vision faded in and out as she stared at her white fish net tights without focus. A shaky hand went up and pulled on the silver metal lever of the toilet, and she stared elsewhere at nothing in particular as the vomit in the porcelain bowl disappeared. She didn't know how long she had sat there, but time wasn't an issue anymore. Her life hand turned into something not unlike the contents that were in the toilet a few undistinguished moments ago. Dot reached up with her ungloved delicate black hand and attempted to rub the dizziness out of her eyes. What had gotten her this far was her hard earned ability to pretend like everything was okay. But…she honestly wasn't ready for this.
She knew she would pay for sleeping with him, she knew it. And even though it wasn't her fault, or her choice for that matter, she still felt guilty for what was happening. She hated everything and everyone. There was no one she could turn to without having a long drawn out explanation about why everything went down the gutter. Down by her twisted knees there was her purse, and the tube shaped test that she took four days ago peeked out of the opening, bothering the hell out of her.
A few weeks ago, or months, she couldn't exactly recall which span of time it was, but she was at a party. It wasn't one of those 'lets get together and have a wine cooler' kind of parties. More or less everyone was strewn across different pieces of furniture, leaning over assorted coffee tables and snorting various substances into their noses. Dot sat on the arm of a couch as her date threw his head back after breathing at least five pinches of the stuff through his left nostril. Dot said nothing, just sat with a sour face as everyone got high all over themselves. She had tried it once, and only once, because the one time she did try it she ended up donning a revealing loin cloth outfit and tackling members of the district with a giant mallet. If she remembered correctly, she injured at least five toons and three humans in the process. Thank god it was dark; otherwise she would have been in jail. And pictures of her antics probably would've been put up everywhere from magazines to internet sites.
Not to mention she was ashamed of the realization that she could only pull off a good slapstick stunt when she was on something or completely hammered.
It was a sad day when a Warner failed to be comical. Not that she was constantly spewing new material out of her mouth; but it was the spirit of humor that normally kept toons going after their careers ended.
"That's the stuff…" Bimbo sighed hoarsely, brushing some flecks of powder away from the edges of his nostrils.
Dot's lips were painted a flattering shade of pink, and the one on top crinkled upwards into a sneer. It was an ugly look, only reserved for a man as both gracious and hideously disgusting as her boyfriend. The only reason she was even being seen in this dung heap was for the fact that Bimbo was only into the hard drugs. He was a rich bastard; even though Dot didn't know where he got his money, seeing as his earnings from his career had to be all dried up. Later that night they would probably return to his studio, which was unfairly large in an apartment building in the sickeningly rich half of the district, with her letting the canine-like…thing lean on her shoulder as she would try to lay him down to bed, but of course, being the horn dog that he was, he would drag her down and try to 'make love' to her. How he could call it that, she never did figure out.
He needed a fix at least twice a week, and in this way, it was usually Fridays and Saturdays that suffered the event. At about eight o'clock he'd tell her to put on something nice and they'd head over to the dingy part of town, where they would stay until midnight. Several times Dot thought about how ridiculous this was; how ridiculous everything seemed to be. And funnily enough she was actually starting to think a lot more again lately. Like all of the stupid juice in her brain had finally drained out and lucidity was coming back in its bittersweet glory. Bimbo seemed like a genial mutt at first when he pulled her off the street about two years ago after she blew all of her survival money on clubbing and getting wasted. In the beginning their relationship was like a new breath of life, and she actually felt happy again. They would go out to eat just about every night; they would sit in his gigantic studio and watch his appearances in Betty Boop with immense amusement. Whenever the subject of where he got his money came up, he would simply laugh and say that he paid Max Fleischer some sexual favors and got some extra dough for keeping it quiet. He gave her a place to stay, some kindness, and a way to take her mind off of why she was there in the first place.
'Course, that was before he started doing the blow. If they didn't go out when he said so, he would get…violent. Not the eccentric kind of violence that didn't do any harm if you knew it was going to be used for comic effect. He would be violent with his words. From time to time Dot would find herself being the brunt of his words that he brayed at her like an ass on crack. He would say things like he was the one who took her off the corner, and he could put her back there like the whore she was meant to be, or that she was a failure and that she was probably screwing everyone behind the scenes just so she could get a few words in edgewise on screen. Dot would smirk and say something equally as bruising; she wasn't one to just take abuse and turn the other cheek, she fought back like she knew she should.
Bimbo's eyes were becoming a blazing red color, and occasionally he would moan in pain as a tiny river of blood would trickle out of his nose, but he just kept snorting it. Something clicked in Dot's mind, something that probably should have clicked a long time ago. She daintily slid off the arm of the couch and headed for the door, careful not to catch the attention of the addicts on the way; not that she could break their influenced trances anyway.
Let him kill himself; she was getting the hell out of there. Away from him. Where he could never touch her again.
"Babe…where ya goin…?"
She heard his voice, and promptly ignored it. Dot slammed the door of the apartment as hard as she could on her way out. It was cold out tonight. The northern pacific winds were blowing in this time of year. The night sky was clear, but no stars could be seen through the smog. She tugged the collar of her jacket higher around her neck and walked down the fire escape to the streets; where she was back where she started. This wasn't where she still wanted to be; she hated the streets. She hated the way homeless people, both human and toon always tugged on her arm and asked for different things, whether it was money or the standard "what's the going rate, hon?" Back when the fire inside of her burned a million times brighter, she would have given them a Geena Davis smile, and told them to back off before she castrated them and stuffed it down their throats.
Dot sighed. The streets beckoned to her even amidst her short lived happiness with Bimbo, but she never listened. She knew how to handle herself out on the roads of inner Los Angeles, but at that moment she wished she didn't. Maybe she would be fortunate enough to have some drunkard looking for a good time slap her around for her constant pestilence and finally finish her off.
I must be tired of life if I'm welcoming the thought of being murdered.
Backtrack seven days
To any brainless tourist looking at a two dimensional map for reference, Los Angeles would seem like a winding maze with obstacles obstructing each path. But for the ones who walked its streets as a way of life, it was a well-learned tangled mess of streets. Dot always tried to wear a hood when she was in public, especially at night. If no one saw your face, then there was less of a chance that something would happen to you. She wasn't completely sure why, but that was just a lesson hard learned for her. When she first went out on her own she got mugged and harassed so much she wondered if there was a giant beacon on her head that said in neon letters 'come here if you want to molest someone'.
Tonight, Dot walked the streets not because she was without shelter. Her fiery red cheek smarted even more in this chilly weather. The events that happened only about an hour ago played behind her eyelids and were shaded a sultry unreal blue. Bimbo wanted to go do blow tonight, but she explained over and over again that she was just way too tired to go out. Obviously in his mind that meant that it was either going to a party, or staying in and fooling around.
"C'mon, we might as well. It's not like you're going to let us do anything else to fill up this Friday night." He drawled.
Dot didn't look at him. For if she did, he would have been able to see her hateful stare that was all for him.
"Why don't we just act like normal people for once, Bimbo? It seems like every other night we're either going to one of those freaking parties."
"And what, you don't like those?"
God, he was such a dumbass.
Dot turned around, not bothering to hide her anger at her boyfriend. "As a matter of fact, I hate those stupid parties. You know I don't do blow, you know I can't handle it. So…being around a bunch of high pricks doing blow would just be a big blast for me, right?"
"God, what Bimbo?"
"Just come to bed and chill out. You'll feel a lot better, trust me."
Dot knew that getting too smart with him would result in something poor in her favor, but at that point she didn't care. It just seemed like everything she said to the guy went through one of his dog ears and came out the other.
"You mean you'll feel a lot better. Ha, I swear, there's nothing like having your boyfriend seizuring on top of you and then falling asleep in the next five minutes when he's barely even pulled out."
His dazed face was starting to look slightly coherent; a bad sign. But Dot didn't stop. She couldn't. And soon her long slender ears and tornado of wavy hair was swinging wildly as she kept verbally pushing her unstable boyfriend's limits.
"I honestly don't even see why you need me to come to these stupid parties. Just go by yourself, will ya? At least then I'd be able to get some sleep once in a while, what with you always hounding me for what's between my legs-"
The sound of a palm against a soft rouge-colored cheek echoed through the studio. It happened too fast. The look on Dot's face was shock, anger, and realization all mixed into a traumatized expression that was now tearing up. But she didn't have enough time to soak it up, because he came at her again, and this time he grabbed both of her wrists with a frightening strength that made her gasp.
He turned her around and held her in a death grip to his body, and before starting to drag her to the bed in the corner of the studio, he whispered venomously into one of her black ears:
"What else are you good for anyway, sweetie?"
Bimbo was a loser. He was stupid. He was sick and disgusting and he could say horrible things. But she didn't think he would…do this. Never in the death of a thousand stars. Dot fought the urge to vomit all over the both of them and risk getting beaten to a pulp as he moved on top of her, trying his hardest to both hurt her and get himself off. But she had to swallow each projectile goad in order to keep her poise, or what little she still had. This didn't make sense; nothing made sense anymore.
Although it lasted for only about eight minutes, it felt like…so much longer than that. Dot stared at the dark ceiling as her boyfriend fell on the bed next to her in the sea of unclean blankets, fumbling the side table for a cigarette. Then he said something that made Dot want to flee. Just…grab her belongings and flee; which would have been possible if she owned even one thing in the studio.
"See babe? I pulled out that time, didn't I?"
Her breathing, already shallow, hitched at the comment.
Dot said nothing, and wished she didn't hear anything either. She had nothing resembling a problem with an uncouth lifestyle, but her inner radar was spinning madly, telling her to do something. Anything. Bimbo started snoring. Good. Dot silently slipped out of bed, dressed in loose clothing, grabbed her leather jacket and left the studio.
And that's why she was there. On the streets of a rich district in Los Angeles; with her head down and her distressed mentality trying to find even an inkling of peace. There were so many emotions she couldn't pick which one described her the most. She hated feeling like this. She hated the soreness between her legs, and she hated the way the cold seemed to lick at her discomfort with glee.
She also hated that she would have to go back later that night.
What would they say about her choices, she wondered. She wondered about their hypothesized opinions a lot; because something inside of her told her that it was possible she didn't know her brothers anymore.
Dot looked above her at the polluted sky. There wasn't even a hint of a star.
She had been getting sick for weeks. Barfing on some divine impulse, it seemed like. She would be fine one moment and the next running for an inconspicuous alley where she could regurgitate in solitude. However this hell was anything but divine. About five days ago she stole a box of pregnancy tests on a falsely humorous whim. It was just another phase of feigning reality; she was away from Bimbo, what more could possibly happen to her? She was unchained from her isolated little world of domestic abuse and drugs, and she was going to taste her freedom slowly and elegantly. Like a wet tipped finger in a bowl of sweet crunchy sugar.
When she urinated on the strip of the test, it turned blue. And after double, triple taking the directions on the box, she stared at that blue strip like it was the devil in a tube.
She had a child growing inside of her. That alone was chilling in itself. A fresh unmolded soul being brought into the world by a screw up like her; scary. But while half of it was hers, the rest was…
There was no other way to describe it at the time. There was scum growing in her belly. His scum.
Dot got up and brushed off her outfit, then grabbed her purse and put it over her shoulder. Pushing open the door to the stall, she was thankful that everyone in the club was out at the bar getting drinks or on the dance floor and not in the women's bathroom where they could see her. She turned on the faucet and used handfuls of water to wash the acidic taste out of her mouth. Turning off the water, she looked at herself in the mirror for a few long seconds. She used to see her reflection and inwardly smile. She was impossibly adorable as a child, and she grew into a very attractive female toon. But looking in the mirror at that moment, she saw nothing but an unfortunate washed up young woman. Her onyx waves drooped, there were bags under her eyes that were barely covered up by thick blue makeup, and her normally pure white face was now sallow and off color from staying up for days on end and drinking like a fish. The jet black fur that covered her body lost its gloss months ago.
Her neck gently tore her sight away from the mirror. It hurt to look at herself.
The second she exited the bathroom, her carefree smirk was back. No one else could know what had been spawned. She scanned the crowd for her escorts.
"Dot, over here." A high pitched but barely heard melodious voice sounded through the crowd. A gray arm waved to get her attention. Dot made her way over to the direction of the bar to find Sally Swing sipping the remnants of a shot of peach Bacardi. Sally looked at the dance floor with an engaging stare that really lit up her black eyes. Although she wore her exemplified swing outfit that was complete with modest wool skirt and a black V necked shirt, her platinum blonde hair gave a circular frame to her lovely tanned face. Although Sally Swing was never colored, she was no less striking.
And Lord could she dance.
"Are you okay? You were in there an awfully long time." Sally said, her soft dark eyes looking concerned, but like the coy woman she was, she tried to hide it with a nonchalant glance back at the crowd that raged behind them.
"I'm fine," Dot replied, waving her hand in dismissal.
"Pounding down those shots already, Sally?" Dot said, gesturing one for herself from the bar keep. A pretty female white striped tiger nodded and began to mix her drink. "And here I thought you got all your talent from practice."
Sally's dark red lips smiled, but said nothing. She was a good companion. Solitary, bitter, and probably holding back quite a lot of anger that threatened to unleash itself upon the society that chewed her up and spit her back out; but still a good companion. In fact, she wasn't that unlike Dot herself. Which is probably why even after all that time, Dot had kept her as a friend of sorts.
"So why aren't you out there cutting a rug, Ms. Swing?" Dot asked.
"Listen to the music." Sally said.
Dot made note of Snoop Dog's Sensual Seduction blaring on the club speakers, and started to laugh.
"I swear to God. I don't have a problem with change; lord knows I've seen enough shit pass by in my years. But I don't think I will ever, ever, ever…"
Sally took a big gulp of her drink, finishing it.
"…Appreciate this rap crap."
"You're just mad because you can't crump." Dot said, giving an inane imitation of some weird dance move she saw on a Beyonce Knowles music video.
"Oh. Right. Like I really wanna shake my ass meats more than I already do."
"Well you gotta learn sometime, honey. This is the two thousands; you have to at least know how to get your groove on to Snoop Dog." Dot said in a singsong voice, nudging the blonde's hand. Sally withdrew it, and for a split second looked hard faced.
"You can go ahead Dot. I'll just wait until the Squirrel Nut Zippers come back on."
Dot swallowed the last drop of her cup, and pushed it away from her.
"Suit yourself." And she let herself be carried by the crowd into the center.
Sensual Seduction changed to some other song by Outkast, and she couldn't name it. Her hips just began to move with the beat, both oblivious and completely aware of the dozens of other bodies that were rubbing up against hers as the music seemed to fade into a dull buzz. The harder her mind tried to pull her from this place, the harder Dot tried to dance. In fact she could've sworn once or twice she was close to throwing her back out. There was an embryo inside of her, silently pleading her to cut the crap and get out of there. Away from the smokes, the alcohol, this world that seemed so much more appealing and easy from afar. The world that she, like the uncharacteristic moron she became, plunged into like it was some freaking kiddy pool. The music was almost inaudible now; only the bass vibrated through her heels, up her legs and into her body.
Her body couldn't do it anymore, and soon she was just a motionless girl in the middle of the crowd. People were bumping into her, shoving her from all sides, but she still didn't move.
Until finally, she broke away. She pushed her way back to the bar, where Sally Swing was farther away, a cigarette gracefully placed between her index and middle finger, and trying to fend off yet another guy trying to get into her panties. Dot considered staying, just for her friend's sake, but even thinking that Sally was helpless was no different than petting a rabid wolverine just because it was wearing a pink tutu. Dot grabbed her purse from the bar table and made her way to the exit. She met a lot of toons on these homely streets; and every single one of them, no matter how small or dainty they seemed, were very capable of taking care of themselves.
She wished she could still say the same about herself.
Coming out of the club she got elevator eyes and leers from the bouncers and people still waiting in line to be admitted in the club. She passed through easily each time she went. Her looks helped, but mostly it was because of the string-pulling of her acquaintances Sally Swing, Jessica Rabbit, Harley Quinn, and…
But thinking about her made her feel even more like an idiot than she already was.
It was a rough crew to be with, but it ensured her survival.
Such habits were not allowed anymore. When she first found out she was pregnant she figured that if she just played it cool, went out of the limelight of the underground scene for a little while, it would just blow over like all of the other bad things that had been happening. It would just blow over…
Why, why did it have to happen? Or more importantly, how? She and Bimbo had engaged many times, and never before did it result in a pregnancy. How on earth did it suddenly happen now? The answers weren't certain, but her haze of stupor vaguely wondered if it had to do with the last time they were together, where ittook place with a blatant lack of consent. But she didn't care…she needed somewhere to go. After she left Bimbo she had been couch hopping in abandoned buildings housing addicts, or dissident brothels that remained obscure to the eyes of the public. In her current state, that kind of life would no longer be enough.
Dot walked far, hoping that eventually she would lose her way in the streets, and maybe lose herself in the process. But no; everything looked familiar as ever. Her shoes were cutting into her feet, and she knew she should stop somewhere, but her legs wouldn't listen to her. They just kept walking, even though her muscles screamed from exhaustion. Like being stationary would damage her even more. She finally collapsed under her own weight, and leaned up dazed against a building that had probably been pissed on hundreds of times. Once again she wished she didn't know where she was. Hours passed, and she just sat there. Even when the homeless toons asked her what the hell she was doing, she didn't answer, resulting in them walking away and muttering obscene insults under their breath.
All they had to worry about was their next shipment of hooch. She didn't expect them to understand.
Some lights shown brightly down the road. The car crept closer, and Dot ignored it until a soft but direct voice called out to her.
"Dot, get in."
Dot shielded her eyes from the bright car lights to see who it was that spoke to her. She didn't need to; it was the voice of Sally Swing, driving a really nice car that couldn't possibly be hers. Not budging, she heard Sally sigh heavily, and get out of the driver's seat. She walked over to Dot and reached for her arm. Dot didn't resist, but moaned in weak protest as the swinger held her close and helped her into the passenger seat of the cherry red viper.
The car had the heater on, and it felt nice.
"Look," Sally said, one arm abandoning the wheel to light a Marlboro medium. "I don't know what the hell is wrong with you lately, so spill it." Her voice was always soft, but the words stung the girl like acid would.
Dot didn't want her to know. She didn't want anyone to know. She didn't want to know. She would have preferred to just go through the nine months thinking that she was just gaining weight or growing a very malignant tumor. The smell of the cigarette reached her nostrils; her lips almost formed the words to request one for herself, but a voice she swore came from the pit of her stomach told her to resist.
"Threatening to throw you out isn't going to work, because you love the streets as much as I do, am I right?" Sally said. "I don't like caring for people, but you're an exception. You've never run out of a club alone before."
Dot still didn't say anything.
"I can't drive all night, hon. Gas costs money that I don't have, and I don't have the energy to go find any either."
Sally didn't act surprised, but the tension inside the car multiplied by ten fold.
Ms. Swing snubbed out the cigarette in the ashtray.
"Well that's not good."
Dot almost chuckled. If only she still had her ability to be offhand about everything.
"You know damn well you're not going back to Bimbo with it, right?"
"Well where else can I go, Sal?"
"You know for a fact that I don't normally give a shit where you go. But this changes everything."
Yeah, it sure did.
The abuse that she had suffered from her ex boyfriend was enough to make her want to do something that surprisingly enough, most women had trouble doing: leaving. It appeared that she cared enough about herself that she knew she had to get out. Bimbo was an ugly wasteful sack of ink, but even out of his physical clutches, he still somehow managed to reach into her life. Not only did he plant what she thought was a vile seed inside of her, but it tied her to him.
"I might be able to get rid of it." Dot said suddenly.
Sally glanced at her. "That's a bad idea. They don't do abortions for toons last time I checked. You'd have to find an alley." By 'alley', she meant an illegal abortionist, one that treated both humans and toons, and had a death toll of about one in seven from infections. When Dot didn't reply, Sally smirked.
"I knew that would turn you off of that idea."
The buildings were getting ritzier the longer they drove. Dot looked at the dashboard and got the impulse to smile as she saw the full tank of gas. They were going to be at this for a while. But she didn't mind; Sally was an old gal, and had a lot of interesting things to say. Maybe she could help.
"Don't you have family, Dot?"
Tension grew by twenty fold.
"Yeah. I do." She said, her voice grim.
"I take it you don't talk to them?"
"No, they'd rather sip their champagne and chat it up with their bullshit on-stage Shakespearean monologues."
Sally laughed quietly. "If they've got the dough, what could it hurt?"
"I haven't spoken to them in three years. Besides, I can assure you that Yakko would rather shoot himself in the face five times than see me again."
"And why's that?"
This time it was Dot who laughed. But it was a stale laugh. "Because I made his life a living hell. Enough said."
"What about your other brother?"
"What about him?"
"God damnit Dot, stop it. I'm going to be straight with you; you can't get rid of it, and there's no way either of you will survive hanging around Bimbo. You gotta find a place to raise a baby, because the streets aren't the place little lady."
Dot yearned to argue, but it was useless. Sally Swing was soft looking, soft spoken, and a complete bitch when she wanted to be.
"I doubt he wants to see me either."
"Well how about instead of being yellow you go and find out whether that's true or not?"
"Because I'd rather drive around aimlessly with you discussing my future, that's why."
Sally sighed. But Dot could hear a smile in there somewhere. "You're impossible. Tell you what. We'll find your brothers, or at least one of them. Then you can do what you want when you're presented with the possibilities."
"I don't see where you're getting this whole idea of me having 'possibilities'. Three years ago I made the biggest fucking mistake of my life and stabbed my brothers in the back. I know where they live, both of them. I'm a master of these streets, Sal. I pretty much know where everyone is at every time of day. If I wanted to go see those bastards I could have a long time ago."
Dot stared out of the viper's clear glass window, her reflection carrying an ugly look staring back at her.
"And for the hundredth time, they don't want to see me."
Sally slammed on the brakes and they stopped in the middle of the empty road. Dot stared at her friend with wide black eyes.
"You must think you're so strong, don't you?" Sally said, her beautiful voice dripping in toxicity. "Going back to some dickhead who will probably hug you like a newlywed and then beat you senseless when he finds out you're pregnant. Wake up and smell the coffee, you moron. You don't have a fucking choice but to go to your brothers."
Sally turned to her. "And if they're anything like you, then chances are they'll treat you like shit."
She let up on the brakes and they started driving again. Dot's heart hammered against her black chest.
"But I'm betting that's not true. Now tell me where they live."
Dot's breathing refused to go back to normal. Sally's outburst scared her well enough, but now she was practically forcing her to face the two people that she was quite sure didn't want to see her, and vice versa. But they lived in completely different places. Yakko was probably still laying golden eggs in Burbank, being a consultant, producer, and director of…well, whatever the hell he could possibly get his hands on. In the old days, back before she ruined everything, the three of them lived together; just like always. After she left, Wakko left too. Yakko wanted to strangle her, there was no doubt about that. The last time she saw him he was so angry at her she almost feared for her life. Wakko felt the sting of her betrayal too, but…strangely, she decided that she would rather face him than the oldest Warner sibling.
Dot mumbled her desired destination inaudibly.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Sally said, craning her neck as if to hear well.
" Huntington Beach." She said.
Sally said nothing. Her foot pressed harder on the gas pedal. For a brief moment Dot wondered again where she acquired this magnificent car. In that thing they would make it there in no time. The platinum blonde said no more. She didn't even smoke. Dot stared ahead down the road, knowing that soon the epic rise of the sun would meet them on the way to the beach.