Author's Note: Wow. Haven't done this in a while. Anyway, ICED has taken over my life, and I needed to write this story so I could get back to my original stuff.
I initially intended it to be 6, really short drabbles. I quite honestly don't know what happened. I also intended chapter 6 to end with someone else but clearly my psyche had other plans. Le Sigh.
For fun, I'll include the music I was listening to while writing.
Go away now, just let me go
Are you stupid, or just a little slow
Go away now, I've made myself clear:
Nah, it's not gonna happen, not in a million years
(Lily Allen, "Knock 'Em Out")
i. (Or: Ryodan)
Dani is 15 (and a half, if you asked her, but of course, no one does), and she is fecking PISSED OFF. Ryodan just dumped Jo, and Jo has been crying and won't get out of bed, and like, far as Dani knows, being a superhero don't mean eating ice cream (not that there's any ice cream, so it's just tea, tea and more tea) and bitching about how all men suck, all girlfriend-like. That ain't in the job description! Dani is tired, and overwhelmed, and she wants to kill Ryodan (like, dude'll only come back anyway) but Jo doesn't know that, and Jo won't let her.
"It's not his fault. I knew what I was getting into," Jo says, forlornly staring at her now sparkle-less chest.
Kat and Mac (thank feck, Dani thinks, for small favors: Mac has forgiven Dani and is back to being the second pea in the Mega pod!) share a look over Jo's head, but don't say anything. Kat's is troubled, like she doesn't think Jo's coming back from this anytime soon. Like she used her empath spidey sense and went deep into Jo's head and what she saw in there is no good. Mac's is pissed off, and weary - pissed at Ryodan, Dani bets, for being a dickhead. Dani's not sure why she's weary, but later on her way out, Mac mentions someone named Fiona and suggests lightly to Dani that she best stay away from Chester's.
"Like I want to go to THAT FECKING HELLHOLE," Dani explodes, forgetting at that moment that she still has to report for work at 8 that night.
When 8 rolls around, and Jo insists it's okay that she goes, says she should probably go too, that she doesn't think her contract is up, Dani has had enough. Won't admit it, but frankly is looking forward to getting out of this estrogen filled, sewing circle. Dani wants Dancer, but hasn't been able to find him, not for days. Not about to worry, but ... 's weird, that's all.
When she walks into Chester's that night, she's about to lay into Ryodan. He's standing at the top of the stairs, and taking everyone in - girls, mostly. Jo tries not to look at him, to square her shoulders, but Dani knows. She can see it in the way Jo's hand shakes. At that moment, Dani wants to launch herself at him and pummel the shit out of him for hurting her friend.
Lor appears at her side, immediately.
"Boss wants you." To Jo, he says, "Sweetheart, you don't have to be here. Your contract was ... terminated."
For a second, Dani wants to whoop. "What the feck about my contract? I want to be terminated. This is BULLSHIT."
Jo turns to her, and there is rage in her eyes. "Dani. Stop. Fucking. Fighting my battles for me."
Dani is... impressed. Lor even quirks a smile. Ain't never heard Jo swear. Not once.
Jo turns and leaves. Dani watches her for a second, but she gets lost in the crowd. She's about to follow her out, make sure she's safe, but Lor stops her, restraining her with a hand on her arm.
"Honey, you got somewhere to be."
"He looks busy. Wouldn't want to intrude on the ... head nodding. What skank is it gonna be tonight?" Dani's been trying to cut the question marks out of her speech when she's at Chester's, wants to seem as blase as possible here, but the fact that Ryodan is already trolling for new booty, just like Dani knew he would be, is pissing her off. Frankly, makes her mad, madder than just him fecking over Jo that way, but Dani isn't about to ask herself why.
Lor laughs, then looks her over, with an appraising look.
"You look good, honey. Real good." She put on tight black jeans tonight, tight black shirt. Left her hair down. Has makeup on even, because Mac insisted on doing it. Usually she'd protest, but ... the Mega wears what she wants. Still, she gives Lor a weary glance.
"Dude, you don't like, have a club or chloroform in the vicinity, do ya? Cuz last I checked, I wasn't your type."
Lor just laughs again, and gives her an appraising look. "Honey, we both know you didn't dress that way for me."
Dani feels his gaze on her, and looks up. Their eyes lock. Dani doesn't know what Ryodan's look means; like usual, she doesn't want to know. But things feel tight in her belly and if she could give the thought a name, she'd say - apprehension. Like something huge is about to happen, some big change she won't be able to pull back from.
Ryodan smiles, and there's some promise in his gaze. Dani has to fist her hand, or she'll run it through her hair. Ain't never run from no experience, not once, but suddenly she feels like maybe running is a good idea. As she considers this, Ryodan just nods.
At her! Mother. Fecker.
Just once, one nod, but he extends his hand and starts walking down the stairs.
Dani feels sour to the point of nausea.
"Ain't never gonna be no dude's booty call," she informs Lor, but she's looking at Ryodan, and from the way he freezes, goes absolutely still, she knows that somehow, somehow, dude heard her, too.
She freeze frames out of there so fast, she's pretty sure there's an actual Tasmanian Devil style dust spiral floating behind her.
She leaves too fast to see Ryodan slam his fist into a wall, tear apart his office, and shut down Chester's early.
She leaves to fast to notice Jo, with some of the other kiddie club waitresses, drinking and watching her. Would have seen Jo's horrified look, her swallow. How her gaze went ... bad.
Dani would have been impressed with Jo, too. Who went after Ryodan, punched him a wallop, and read him the riot act before she got thrown out.
"You never. Touch her. You hear me?"
"Don't tell me what to do."
Jo's heart is breaking, but she's not a monster. There was a part of her, she thinks, that always knew she was a placeholder. But Dani is hers, too. Not just his. And she's not about to let him wreck her. He scares her, but not that much.
"Sixteen, actually." His voice is soft, and he looks ... amused.
"Fine. Sixteen. I don't care what world we live in, that's statutory rape."
Ryodan's voice goes even quieter, but Jo has spent enough time with him to be able to read his tells. He's not immune to that fact. Were he, he wouldn't have ever taken up with Jo in the first place.
"Be very, very careful, Jo, about what you accuse me of. There are lines even I won't cross."
When the men come to escort her off the premises, Jo shoves them off.
Dani definitely misses Mac and Barrons, who come in towards the end, just in time to spectate on the tons of wreckage that Ryodan has caused. Barrons looks concerned, or as concerned as Barrons ever looks. Mac laughs her head off.
"You'd think," she tells Ryodan when he finally comes downstairs later, feet swinging from a bar stool as she sips a Macallan neat, "That after however many aeons you've been around, you'd have figured out a smoother approach than that. The nod? You gave Dani a nod? Right after you dumped her friend? What are you, an unkillable frat boy?"
"Get," Ryodan says, slow and soft, "her the fuck out of here, Barrons. Before I take care of her myself."
The next time Dani sees Ryodan, they both pretend the whole thing never happened. Lor just shakes his head at both of them a lot and takes up muttering.
"This is why I don't do serious. No misunderstandings, no complications," he says, but he might as well be telling himself, for all the response he gets from either.