-I'm sorry this took so long to get out, writer's block everywhere! D:
Listen to: "We Are Young", Fun. (My seat's been taken by some sunglasses, ask him 'bout a scar and I know I gave it to you months ago; I know you're trying to forget, but between the drinks and subtle things, the holes in my apologies, I know it's hard to take it back…)
1 March, 1959
"Susanne, this is a bad idea." Kiki wrung her hands anxiously, walking alongside her friend. Susanne was rolling determinedly down to a sort of rally that was happening, yet another one of Atlas' revolutionary groups.
"No, Katy, this is a very good idea." She shot back, turning a corner. "Ryan needs to go down. Atlas is this city's future."
"What are you talking about?" Kiki asked breathlessly, stopping. Susanne stopped as well and turned to face her. "Since when were you this…this?" She gestured at the blonde. "I never thought I'd say it, but…I want the old Susanne back. Just—what the hell are you thinking, going down there anyway? You could be killed!" She sighed. "What I'm trying to say is, Atlas isn't going to change anything."
"I became this when I realised that the wealthy are just a bunch of entitled shits!" Susanne cried. "I'm not part of that anymore! And, oh, I'll get killed? What a fucking tragedy! Have you seen me lately? I half hope I do die!"
Kiki, too shocked at the outburst to say anything, watched with her mouth agape as Susanne turned and started back down the hall.
It took several minutes for Kiki to get a grip. After several deep breaths and running her hands through her hair, she blinked and remembered where she was. "What am I doing?" She whispered, holding her head and turning in a few quick circles. "What am I doing?" She looked up the hall, bounced on her heels, and started running. "What am I doing? Susy! Susy, come back!"
Susanne was still fairly close, though they were now in the hall with the rally. Someone was up on a makeshift stage, a few barrels and crates stacked up. He was yelling things that Kiki couldn't make out to the gathered protestors, who roared back in agreement. She wondered if it was Atlas himself; probably not. Atlas had many very devout followers who would do all the dirty work without ever being asked.
A man shoved past Kiki, tossing something at her. "Down with Ryan!" He yelled. A tyre iron. Before she could say anything, he was running past Susanne as well. "Down with Ryan!"
Susanne caught the butcher's cleaver and raised it high. "Down with Ryan!" She yelled back, like it was a greeting.
"Susy, come on, we're going home." Kiki tapped her shoulder and gave the wheelchair a little tug. "This is madness."
"Let go! Katy, let go! Stop!" Susanne turned and metal glinted, a quick glance of shiny steel. Pain burned into Kiki's arm, and she stumbled away with a cry. Blood seeped down her upper arm, oozing between her fingers. Susanne gave her a look, almost apologetic, but her eyes hardened and she rolled silently towards the rally, the bloodied knife in her lap.
Kiki ran her finger thoughtfully over a scar on her arm, a little white line a few inches long but fairly deep. It didn't hurt anymore. Not physically, at least. She closed her eyes a moment and let her head fall back. "Do you have any scars, Jack?" She asked and looked up.
Jack, opening a box of sugared cereal, shook his head. "Nothing big."
"I love scars." Kiki mused. "Well, I love them when they're healed. They help keep me going. Like this one," She tapped her arm. "First one I got, right before the war got really bad. A parting gift from my friend."
"The woman in that hall?"
"How did you…oh, I must have been drunk. Yes, Susanne was always a passionate person. Once she got wind of Atlas' revolution, there was no stopping her." Kiki accepted the box of cereal and started eating the dry stuff. "I like your tattoos, by the way." She said, indicating the chains on both his wrists. "When'd you get those?"
"A long time ago." Jack opened a box of his own and began eating. "Or, it feels like a long time."
There was a comfortable pause while they ate. It had been a week since Kiki had taken a tumble into the electric traps, and though she was healing quickly, it wasn't nearly fast enough for her tastes. She had calmed down, however; in the first day or two of being awake, she had tried to simply get up and continue on. It had taken Jack to bodily sit her down in order for her to stay still. Now she had settled, though reluctantly. Since it had been a whole week, however, she was getting even antsier then before. Atlas wasn't really much better. He was none too happy about having to wait a few extra days to kill Ryan. Jack was less than happy, as well—in fact, no one involved was pleased about the situation.
"I hate this." Kiki suddenly voiced their thoughts in three words. "I hate being a bloody invalid." Putting a hand on the wall behind her, she shoved herself up to two feet. Jack stood as well, hands out as if to catch her, but through sheer willpower alone Kiki was able to stand steady.
"Okay," She put her hands out like a balancing tightrope walker. "Okay. This isn't that bad." She touched her bandaged torso, the spots of dried blood. "Much better."
"These need changing." Jack nodded to the bandaging.
Kiki gave him a look. "Do they really?"
Jack nodded. "Yeah, the old bandages shouldn't be on the healing wounds too long."
The ginger sighed with exaggerated reluctance. "Fine." She raised her arms obediently, standing still like a manikin. Jack paused, and then began unwinding the strips of cloth. Kiki ground her teeth together as the bandaging peeled away from the burnt skin.
The new wounds wrapped in thin, deep lines around her torso, down her arse and then stopped just before her ankles. There weren't many on her arms, but one line reached all the way up to her neck. Here and there, four puncture marks marked where the bolts' ends had latched into her. A little blood welled at some deeper cuts, but it had been healing well for the most part. Jack looked away as much as possible while he fetched new bandaging; Kiki would cover herself, but it hurt a bit more without any binding. She flinched a little as Jack applied the new bandages on her legs, her muscles contracting in pain.
"Sorry." He muttered, standing to reapply her torso. He worked up and tied it off next to her arm, a little above her left breast.
"Thanks." Kiki breathed, holding back a hiss of pain. She looked up at Jack, who had left his fingers linger on the knot. He traced his fingers across her shoulder, eyes absent. He brushed the slightly jagged scar that she had pointed out earlier. "Jack…" She murmured, observing the chains on his wrist and reached up to wrap her fingers around that wrist. Jack stopped and seemed to realise what he was doing. He leaned down a little so they were closer but jerked back right after. Kiki let out a little breath of surprise, smirked and moved forward, a dare. He moved away in return, with just enough hesitation that his breath brushed her face.
"Okay, mister," She finally grinned and rolled her eyes. "Either you kiss me or you don't."
"Well, when you put it like that…" Jack leaned forward again, but stopped at the spluttering of the radio.
"Would you kindly stop flirting and get a move on?" Atlas asked. "The lass is good enough to walk now, hop on to Ryan. Let's finish this."
Jack nodded and moved away from Kiki. He frowned a little as he handed her shirt to her. "That was odd."
"What was? The unabashed flirting?" Kiki pulled on her shirt, groaning at the stretching. "Because that's usually my thing, it is a little odd to see you participating in my sport."
"No, I…" He searched for the right words. "I wouldn't have pulled away, but it felt like I…had to. Like I was being forced to."
"Hmm…" Kiki thought that through, rubbing her chin. "The plot thickens." She perked up suddenly. "Well, I'll think on that some more. For now, though, I'm looking forward to killing things." Limping determinedly to the crawlspace, she crouched through and stepped, wincing, into the secondary main area. "Oh, wait, Jack; you got the bomb thing?"
"Here," Jack grunted, and began shoving the bomb through the crawlspace. Kiki grabbed and started pulling, heaving the thing through despite a sudden stinging pain in her side. After much sweat, pain and much, much swearing, they got the bomb to the other side.
"Good god," She gasped, holding her side. Jack emerged through a second later and held her up, but she waved him away. "No, no, I'm fine. Furnace Boy, you aren't making me any less hot with that mad jumper and body temperature like the core of the Sun."
"You're bleeding again." Jack observed, gesturing to her side, where blood stained the bandaging. "I just replaced those…"
"I know," Kiki grinned in pain. "You were going to kiss me. Go ahead and resume that whenever you like."
"Oi!" Atlas quickly hopped in. "At least kill Ryan before you try getting a leg over, boy!"
"Oh, for god's sake…" Kiki muttered. "I can turn off the radio whenever I want, I hope you know."
"I do know! But killing Ryan is in all of our interests, girl, so let's keep on and you two can go and screw like rabbits up on the surface once everything down here is solved, and everyone lives happily ever after."
"Fine." She huffed back, taking one side of the bomb and carrying it with Jack, who was looking more and more okay with the situation as the conversation went on. "But this gives me permission to snog him when ever, I, feel like it, drunk or not."
Atlas made a noise, like he'd turned away from the microphone to sigh. "Okay, fine, fine. Whatever keeps you going."
"Good." Kiki nodded once in agreement. "Now, let's get this thing to that thing."
Jack did most of the dragging and hefting of the bomb, while Kiki kept guard. She was overjoyed to be up and about again, and just as trigger-happy as ever. When there weren't any Splicers, she did what she could to help out, but in all they had their jobs. The stairs in the main lobby area gave them some trouble, as the Splicers were coming fast and furious and Jack was getting tired.
"I can't keep this up." Kiki gasped, sweating bullets and bleeding again. She reloaded as quickly as she could, stumbling back on the stairs and shooting at the Splicer below her.
"You're telling me." Jack grunted and hefted the bomb up another step.
Kiki switched to using plasmids, and began shooting small storms of lightning at the oncoming enemies. The Splicers' numbers began to dwindle, and she changed to Winter Storm to freeze the rest of them to statues of ice. She collapsed on the steps, laughing in a sort of fake sobbing manner. "Oh, god…this was a bad idea. All of it. Coming to Rapture, following you, trying to kill Ryan…"
She laughed, already exhausted after just crawling up the steps. "What the fuck are we doing, Jack?"
Jack hefted the bomb onto the landing. He wiped sweat off his forehead with the sleeve of his jumper and lay back, breathing heavily. "Planning a murder." He sighed, voice dry from exercise.
"Well…yeah." Kiki chuckled and lay next to him the same way, pressing a hand to her bleeding wounds. Her chuckling turned into laughing, and the laughing turned into cackling. Jack cracked a grin, and even let out a chortle of his own. They sat there giggling like idiots for a few minutes, getting it out of their systems.
"Okay," Kiki wiped her eyes, still grinning. "Okay, let's keep going. I'll help you this time." She patted Jack's shoulder and sat up. "Come on, let's pop off."
"Don't strain yourself." He stood up and grabbed the bomb. Kiki held the other side and they picked it up. It was easier going on flat ground, and they could walk faster with both of them working. Together, they carried the bomb up and back into the hall of the dead. Kiki stopped here, as the pain had grown and Jack had recovered enough to drag it the rest of the way.
Looking up to the pillar, Kiki held her sides and stared at the broken body of Susanne. The scraping of metal on metal stopped, and an almost uncomfortably warm arm squeezed around her shoulders.
"Give me a lift, will you?" Kiki whispered. Jack knelt and locked his fingers into a foothold. Kiki stepped back, holding herself against the wall and he lifted her up to Susanne's level. She couldn't look at the body, but she was able to reach up and wrench the bolts from her hands that nailed her to the wall.
Susanne's body crumpled down, and Jack let Kiki down. She knelt beside her deceased friend. She straightened her limp legs, folded her arms on her decaying bosom, and fixed her lackluster blond hair.
"Don't worry, Susy." She smiled sadly at the corpse. "Ryan'll get his for this. I swear."