"Nice to meet you," Rain greeted him quietly, "I'm Rain." He shook Ruin's hand firmly. Other than that, he couldn't find much else to say. He looked around inside the small shack, it was small--probably too small for all of them to be comfortable in; and things were already uncomfortable enough as it was.
He'd wondered how they were going to sleep in here, now it seems as if they might not be comfortable enough to rest easily.
He scratched his head; "What about food?" he said aloud as he was thinking it. But what he really wanted to ask was something different, and the person who he wanted to ask it to was the one who brought them here.
"Nice to meet you, Louis." Ruin nodded greeting as he shook the man's hand. He did the same for Rain.
"What about food?"
Ruin's first reaction was slight irritation. Isn't it enough I'm inviting you into my house without you asking within the first few seconds about food? Guess not. "I guess we'll go out to eat." He felt it was a lame response, but it was the best he could come up with off-hand. "Why, is anyone hungry?"
Kate shook her head. She had shoveled down a large syrupy pancake only a few moments ago and it was still settling in her stomach. She climbed up on the couch, waving a little dust from her nose. "I'm tired..." She pulled a patched, thin quilt over herself and curled up for what she felt was a well-deserved rest.
"You have a good nap, sweetie..." Cadenza said, sitting on the floor with her legs off to the side together at the foot of the couch. She rubbed her little girl's back and hummed softly to her as she settled in and shut her eyes. Louis came over and draped his vest over top of the small hump she made under the quilt for added warmth, plunking down cross-legged beside the girl's mother. Sitting compacted like that made the space feel a bit less crowded for the fairly tall man.
"If anyone gets hungry later I can just go out and pick something up for us," the woman announced to the group in general once Kate had drifted off. She glanced around the little shack and sighed, realizing just how slowly time was bound to pass, "So, got the place decorated in Early College Student, I see. Ramen noodles on the shelf were a nice touch."
Louis gave her a look, but she couldn't help herself. She was cranky and it was going to be taken out on someone.
"Ya know," she went on, jerking a thumb towards the framed photo on the same shelves, "if you really like that girl in the magazine picture there that much, I think we worked for the same modeling agency once. Pretty sure she was single. Probably could get her number for you."
An awkward, sort of tense silence followed. It was Louis' turn to sigh as he could now see his friend intended to be difficult for most of this visit, save for when she was dealing with Kate.
Kate was already asleep by the time Cadenza said anything, which was a good thing because she probably would have scolded her Mommy the same way she had been scolded to "be nice".
Ruin half-followed the conversation about his decorating poweress. Half of him wanted to give a snappy, sarcastic reply, and half admitted he didn't care enough to. His gaze followed her gestures to the framed photo. "... Thanks, but no thank you. I don't care for her." And that was that. "We aren't all going to fit in here to sleep unless some people sleep on top of others... I think I'll sleep outside."
"Sure, makes perfect sense to frame it then..." Cadenza muttered, mostly to herself. Louis elbowed her in the ribs.
"Cool it, Fritz, I didn't mean anything by it!"
Louis returned her surprised glare with a stern look of his own. "If he wants to frame the picture it's his own personal business, my friend. You could at least apologize to him."
"Apologize for what?" she hissed, keeping her voice down for Kate's sake. "None of us want to be here and he doesn't want us here. Don't expect me to pretend like it's any different. Look--he's already looking for a reason to leave now."
Rain felt the irritation building up in the shack. A little more and it might explode. He didn't mean to cause anything by mentioning food. His mind did run on it, perhaps it should've been phrased better--he'd simply wondered about food when it was time for Kate to eat, mostly. Rain thought that Ruin might not have had enough, since he'd usually cater to just one. He didn't mean that he was hungry right now.
How irritating. The room felt even more stuffed now.
"Wonderful..." He muttered, "Why do we even have to do this?"
"Do you think I like it any more than you do?" Ruin replied. His hearing happened to be pretty good. Unsurprisingly, Cadenza's exchange with Louis had not stung in the least, the words ran off his back like water off a duck. "Your friend is right. If I want to frame it, it's my personal business."
He felt a very slight tinge of irritation that might have showed on his face. The picture was bringing up a tender topic. "You don't have to apologize to me. I know you don't want to be here, and frankly, yes, I don't want you here either. But we're stuck with it because he wants it and unless you want to upset him- I certainly don't..." His thoughts lingered on just yesterday with the burns. "Not after yesterday's fun filled escapade... unless you want to upset him, you'll do what he says."
He paused, expression somewhere between irritation and anger. "If you want me to stay in here and take up half the room, then fine, that's what I'll do. Forgive me for trying to make the place more comfortable..." He walked towards the door and had a seat. "I'm not the only one with a place like this... the least you could do is try not to take your morning crankiness out on me..." He shook his head, sighed and looked up and away. "May God have mercy on your guests if your wedding's early." He was smiling.
"...You... you say that like Marcus is even going to let it happen..."
That was it for her. Marcus' control over them all had brought them all here and kept them stuck together against their wills, but having to admit once again that he had even final say over who she shared her life with was the final straw for Cadenza that morning. She got up, murmured something to Louis about Kate, and made her way to the door without so much as looking at the rest of them.
"Maybe all you big men will have a little more space for an elbow," she paused, and Louis sunk a little in his seat, "if I sat outside on the porch. Call me when Kate wakes up."
The woman went outside and dusted off a spot where the boards seemed stable enough and sat, back against the wall, glad to be out of the little shack and alone with her thoughts. No one to offend out here. She rummaged for her iPod in her purse and stuck one earbud in her ear as was her habit, leaving the other free to be alert.
OoC: Holy jeebus, 108 posts? Can we write or what? xP
Rain sighed softly and looked from Ruin to Kate, and then to Louis. He folded his arms for the same moment as a deafening silence came across the room. Louis looked slightly upset at what Cadenza said; he was with Kate. That was good... She hadn't woken up quite yet. The Grim Angel sighed again and silently stepped towards the exit.
He took a step outside and looked at Cadenza. His shouldered dropped a little as he exhaled, relaxing slightly. Rain noticed this and thought that inside there was a little too stuffed to be relaxed. But even they were outside, things were still pretty uneven. He stepped towards her and sat down next to her, looking at her for a moment and then looking off into the distance. He didn't know what exactly to say, only that he knew that she was upset, and about Marcus's governance, he could tell from what she'd said.
Cadenza glanced over but didn't shift from her seat when Rain came outside. A mellow song still buzzed in her ear, an acoustic guitar trying to soothe her nerves, the frontman of the band singing of problems she wanted to remind herself could be worse than hers. It was a little hard to see that at the moment. All she was seeing was red.
"If you came outside to talk to me, I don't feel like it much..."
Rain simply sat and stared off into the middle distance, lost somewhere possibly in thought, or just going to a happy place. She wasn't sure. He said nothing, just leaving her words to hang in the air.
I should talk to him... we're... someday we're going to be married, gods only know when... and I'm going to have to get better with this communication thing. Not storming off. Even if I don't feel like it. Even if I think he'll just say whatever he thinks will calm me down.
"I hate this."
Not the best start, but a start. It was at least true. She turned off her music.
"Gods! I mean... things are already tough enough!" she went on, through partly-gritted teeth. Her voice was hushed but angry, her hands clenching her arms, "Kate has a new mom and dad that aren't even married or in love. Just friends who couldn't turn their back on a needy kid. Then her mom... me... I come along with a new boyfriend. Another new daddy. And this one has a kid too... and it's enough for us all to have to deal with without this... this added bull****, this pendejada in the mix.
"If I didn't love her so godsdamned much... I'd have taken off down this street minutes ago. I don't get it. All I wanted was a family--why has everything got to be so bloody complicated? I feel like I'm stuck barking at the end of my chain here. A very short one. Complaining about **** I can't change," Cadenza looked over to him, wanting to see if he was feeling the same frustrations she was. His face still looked calm, but that was a common thing with Rain. He might look calm but still be upset on the inside.
"Don't you feel like that...? I don't know how much I can take. I'd never leave Kate, but..." she shook her head, and her hands grew tenser in her grip of her sleeves. She might've been seconds from an angry outburst.
**** Marcus! What does he WANT from all of us? Just to watch us get pissed like this...!?
Rain covered his face with his hand, his fingers curling into his hair as his eyes closed tight. His gritted teeth were exposed, his fangs were in plain sight. He'd felt the frustration building up inside him for a while now; and he'd just never let it out. And like Cadenza, he felt he was at his wits' end.
Why's he doing this? What's there to gain? What's the point of this?! Are we the only ones like this? Why doesn't he go bother someone else?! Why "...can't he just leave us alone?!" His hand was moved from his face and curled into a fist, hitting the ground. "What's his excuse?!" The questions weren't direct at her, or at anyone close by. They were just... coming out.
"I hate this." He looked at her, eyes glinting, seemingly seething with frustration.
"But I won't leave. He won't force me to leave." He turned away and looked up a little; Marcus was probably listening, anyway, "You hear me...?!" Rain exhaled and brought his eyes back down to earth, looking at her, his eyes still shimmering, but with a little less rage behind them. He put his hand on her tense fingers; "I'm here. I'm staying. With you and Kate."
She looked across at him as his hand brushed hers, rested on it. Looked to interlock fingers. Share the tension. She spread hers apart and let his fingers slip between them. More strength between them than apart, the idea was. She needed that about now.
"I know you'll stick around..." her voice became a bit calmer after she saw he shared her feelings, a bit more controlled and reasonable, "but the question is if you'll be sticking around as my husband, or as just my... long-term, live-in boyfriend. It's different. They mean completely different things... And the decision's out of our hands now. That's what... well, that's part of what bothers me."
OoC: The reason a lot of this is in Spanish is a) I'm supposed to be reading more of it so writing more of it is good for me, and b) Marcus felt like it.
He swirled the wine, watched them speak. Anger. He felt it. His eyes rested on Cadenza, this Latina beauty with fury brimming in those words spoken against him. "Usted está enojado. Se espera..." He paused for a moment. "Todo lo que desea es una familia. Sí, por supuesto, eso es lo que quieres. ¿No es eso lo que todos realmente quiere? Muy mal..." His lip curled a little. "Yo no le veo capaz de tener un niña como este en su posesión."
**** Marcus! What does he WANT from all of us? Just to watch us get pissed like this...!?
His eyes focused steadily on her face. "¿Qué quiero? Quiero ver lo que aún tienen que demostrar. Quiero entender lo que no puedo entender."
"...can't he just leave us alone?!" His hand was moved from his face and curled into a fist, hitting the ground. "What's his excuse?!"
His lips curled into a smile. "Lo que puedo hacer lo que quiera. Trata de detenerme si lo desea."
"But I won't leave. He won't force me to leave. You hear me...?!"
"Trata de detenerme..."
Kate was awake by now, rubbing her eyes. It hadn't been much sleep, not enough to completely quell her, but enough to relax her a little and make her more awake. She cringed at the yelling. She hated yelling. Don't fight... don't fight... please no more yelling... It brought her back to what she remembered of her real mother and father. She began to tear up. None of it would have happened if she hadn't come... but what would have happened then?
Ruin noticed the shift in the atmosphere far before anyone raised their voice. He was determined to get this overwith as soon as possible using as little frustration as possible. He looked towards Louis. "I'm sorry you had to be forced into this. Sucks, doesn't it? But we might as well make the best of it..."
"Yes, the less..." the minstrel cringed until the yelling subsided, "...the less excitement and fuss, the better."
"I'm going back in," Cadenza announced to Rain as she released his hand and stood, stuffing her iPod into her purse, "I think we might've woken Kate up... I want to check on her..."
She nudged the door open on its squeaky, rusted hinges and peered in past Ruin and Louis at Kate's distressed face. Tears. She'd heard the yelling. People hard of hearing down the street probably could've. She'd tried to control her volume, but Rain had got a little out of hand, and... well...
She slipped in through the doorway and went over to kneel beside her. Felt a bit self-conscious. Tried to pretend that the others in the room hadn't heard anything. She half-pulled Kate from the sofa into her arms and stroked her back and apologized for waking her up, drying her tears with the blanket. However angry I get... I can't let it get to the point where it'll upset her. I've got to learn to control it.
"Shh... everything's okay, sweetie... Mommy and Rain weren't arguing with each other... we're not mad anymore... I love you, shh..." she cuddled the girl until her little trembles stopped and she calmed again. "Wherever we have to go... and whatever happens, Mommy loves you... more than anything... I wasn't happy until I got my little girl..."
Louis smiled and pat his daughter's back as Cadenza settled the girl into her lap, focused entirely on her. The anger that had been in her eyes had given way to love in the presence of her.
Rain watched her go inside, nodding when she said she was going to. He turned to look back out, staring into space, and for a moment, he sighed before getting to his feet again. Rain walked back to the entrance of the little building and looked inside, from Ruin to Louis, and then to Kate cuddled in Cadenza's arms.
"I'm sorry," He said softly, looking at them. His eyes were gentler, now, he was more relaxed as he looked on, "It was inconsiderate... We're okay, now, though." He smiled softly at the little girl.
Kate soon calmed down enough to compose herself, nuzzling into Cadenza's arm and even giving Rain a small smile. "It's okay..." She looked to Ruin, face hopeful. "Do you have anything to play with?"
This was what he had known she would ask, and this was what he had prepared. It wasn't much... but it might be enough to keep her occupied.
"Mommy, can you go get something?"
His eyes left the spot where his creation stiffly lay, returning to the little girl. Well... so much for that idea. "... Sleeping here for all of us is going to be impossible. I'll see what I can do." Without another word, he slipped out.
She whipped off a play-salute and left her with a kiss and a hug for Louis to look after. She figured since she had now been here once, she would be able to make a Dome door to come back when she needed to. That opened up her options a bit for places to go.
Cadenza stepped out onto the porch and briefly glanced at the brown-haired man as he seemed to be mulling something over. Tall freakin' bastard. Does he always look vaguely annoyed when he thinks? At first, she didn't plan on saying anything to him, but after a few moments of silence, both parties trying their hardest to neglect one another as nonchalantly and yet as nonconfrontationally as possible, she relented and decided it wouldn't hurt to tell him at least something. Putting aside a bit of her stubbornness might make the day go easier for Kate and them all.
"...I'll get food and toys and a few other things. Mattresses maybe," she paused, considered waiting for a nod, pushed that notion aside and just added, "Be back soon."
She didn't wait for an answer after that part, instead just waving her hand and calling up a large Dome door to leave through. Let him wonder what that was or how she made it if he liked. Either way she didn't care.
Hasta la vista and thank gods I get ta leave ya mistah.
"It's not muuuch, but until your mommy gets back..." Rain looked at Kate and smiled, pulling out from his pocket a wallet, a phone and some keys. He knew it wasn't a lot, or that it might not even keep her happy; but it was worth trying anyway.
He threw the jingling keys up into the air first, and then his cellphone and wallet followed right after. The keys landing in his hand was sent straight to the other, only to be thrown up again. The cellphone and wallet followed suit. To him it wasn't impressive juggling just three items all alone; he just hoped that Kate would find it nice. To add a little spice, he would mix things up a bit, lifting his leg and throwing one up from under there, or catching one behind his back.
She was thrilled with this performance. It seemed like an immense feat for someone nearly six years old. Needless to say, she was impressed. "Yay!" She clapped for him. "I've never seen somebody juggle before!" She nodded to Louis, happy in his lap. "Can you juggle, Papa?"
Ruin lifted his hand as if hailing a taxi, leaving it up for a moment before replying, since she didn't seem to want to leave before he replied. "I'm going to see Marcus. If nothing else, for the girl... she needs better conditions than mine. See you later..."
She seemed to want to make contact with him as she turned, but he was already gone, wisps of gray smoke left in his place.
"...I didn't ask!" the embarrassing fact that Cadenza had only turned around to find herself yelling at an empty spot of ground was not lost on her. She quickly calmed down to a more subdued sourness in order to save face, clenched fists relaxing at her sides. "Not like I cared anyway..." she muttered more quietly, crossing her arms in a slight huff, "Hmph, better for Kate... well, okay, we'll see..."
The grumpy gypsy sighed in defeat and went through her door, leaving the shack behind for her errands.
"Me..." Louis repeated, "...juggle? Ohhh... I used to do it at the fair almost every year! Apples and pears and ears of corn, you name it! People would give me coins and applause! But... mostly because I was funny," he chuckled, "not always because I was good."
The minstrel took out his wallet and his handkerchief and hammed through a performance that had little of the finesse of Rain's, but plenty of slapstick humor. Kate giggled and clapped and cheered through the whole thing, courteously making her bunny pretend to clap too.
"Thank you, thank you, you're a lovely audience!" he laughed as his wallet came plunking down on his hat for the second time. He privately wondered if this shack had ever been so full of laughter before.
OoC: I meant to imply Cadenza didn't bother to wait and had left in my last post, but we can work with this too. x3 No biggie anyway.