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Who: Jessica Hamby, Dokuro Chrome, Asano Rin, Lenalee Lee
Status: Closed
Style: Action
Where: Raisato
When: Week 11, Day 5, After Dark [Backdated]
Rating: Who the hell knows in this log.
Warnings: None. I think.

[Jessica is a creature of habit of the more social kind. One of her favorite past times were to talk on the phone with friends (when her father allowed it) and going out to favorite haunts with her friends (when her father allowed it.) Over time, Jessica's long list of friends started to whittle away - some moved and others drifted away, while precisely three of them gotten pregnant and gotten disowned by their parents, and one died. In the end, there were only a select few chosen by her parents to be "good enough" for them to be Jessica's friends.

When Jessica was turned vampire, the exact number of friends became zero. None. Nada. All gone, eliminated, scratched off, dropped off at the end of the world. Sookie was nice and considerate, but she was so involved with Bill that Jessica can't really call her a friend. A contact, certainly, if Jessica needed anything but nothing else. Jessica has done her part by forgiving Sookie for being the catalyst of Jessica's transformation.

So: Jessica doesn't have any friends. Well, Matt is one, but Jessica is certain that Matt won't be staying in the "friend" category for long. (So exciting, that.) But still, Jessica needs more than just "a friend". She needs lots of friends. She's not sure why she has this need, but Jessica suppose she needs something to occupy her time now that she has forever to look forward too. Or maybe it's not that, but something deeper, something that Jessica can't grasp or understand herself.

Maybe one day, she will.

But for now, she's going shopping.]


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Oct. 6th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
[ Alternatively, Chrome has never been what you could call a social butterfly, to say the least. Thirteen years and her mother condemned her to death for failing to make a single meaningful connection with another human being? Yes, one could call that a failure at being social. The trouble with being social is that opening yourself to others opens yourself to the possibility of rejection. And it's a vicious cycle: the less you socialize, the more poorly socialized you are, which in turn leads to clumsy attempts, which lead to strange looks, which make you recoil again. So this was Chrome's life. At least the first half.

You might say that the next ten years had been a gradual de-thaw. Mukuro's unwavering, non-judgmental and absolute acceptance (whether he had been doing it to serve his own ends or not, and she's not naive enough to suppose that hadn't been a factor), Boss's kindness, the girls -- the boys, eventually, in their own different, awkward, dorky ways. Each little piece has meant something to her. Has emboldened her a little.

But it's still. Difficult. She still feels like a stranger in her skin at times like this. As if there are little nuggets of personality within the shell of herself which Chrome does not quite feel free enough to express. She can't talk about her past, and she is in no mood to dwell on her future. So: small talk. The bane of Nagi's existence.

Or at least it used to be.

Maybe it's not so bad. Not anymore. ]

Lenalee-san and Rin-san should be here, soon.

Do you know what you want to buy?

Edited at 2010-10-06 12:50 am (UTC)
Oct. 6th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
[It’s hard to say whether or not Lenalee is a social creature. She loves her friends, and enjoys being with them, but can’t say the same of people in general. People seem to usually like her when they meet; a pretty girl with a nice smile, what isn’t to like? At the Order, she was always surrounded by loving people.]

[But in some ways, being away from the Order and starting basically from scratch, having to build her own network of friends (though she never thought of it that way)— it makes her realize how artificial it all was. No less real; no, she could never believe that. She loved her friends there, and still does. Always will. But the circumstances leading to those bonds were less than natural. And it only bothers her because it makes her realize just how new all of this is. Going out to shop with two women she met on her own, in no way affiliated with her way of life. It’s newer than she could have imagined.]

[Enough to make her stomach flutter a little with nerves, though she knows that it’s silly.]

[Lenalee shakes her head a bit, focusing on locating Chrome and Rin. She hopes that they’re here already, not wanting to give herself time to fret over nothing. After another minute of wandering, she sees when looks like the back of Chrome’s head.]


[She hurries forward— and stops dead in her tracks. That woman beside her… Lenalee can’t quite remember her name, but she does very much remember that the woman happens to have fangs.]
Oct. 6th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
[Rin and people, that's a bit of an issue. She is, on principle, an amicable girl. Not especially outgoing, but also not a recluse. And definitely someone who likes being around people. She doesn't need crowds, but she does need company.

And so she played with the neighborhood children and the children of her father's friends and the children at school, and she got along reasonably well with them, and considered some of them good friends.

Nonetheless, the most important people in her life, her mainstay, were her parents -- so when they were taken from her she was uprooted so thoroughly that she woke up after to find the world a different place, and herself a different person. She was de-centered, once removed from life. Suddenly, she found herself but a spectator as life around her went on at a faster pace than she did.

Those were the years she found out she hated being alone.

It got better after she met Manji -- she had Manji, and suddenly, there was someone in her life again. Back then, she latched onto him with all her might. And she met other people, too, good and bad ones, and at least one of the good ones stayed in her life.

Now she's here, and she isn't quite sure what to feel about it. In a way, it's a repeat of things, and a more severe one. She's removed from home with no discernible chance at going back, and she's removed from people, too, even as she knows more of them. Before she "left", she's been holding back so much. Impossible girl in an impossible world.

But she's decided to break out of all that, which is in a way much the same thing as what she really did when she swore revenge: not allowing her fate to consume her. And it's also new, because for most of her life, challenged have thrown themselves at her, allowing for natural progress. This time, it's her turn to reach out.

That is why she's here now. Because she was invited, and how did she manage that? It's a bit of a miracle to her yet.

A shopping trip. It makes her feel girly, and young. And almost normal.]

Gee, I think like an old woman.

[Muttered to herself, those words, as she goes through the bustling streets of Raisato, marveling at how changed the place is. She nearly doesn't recognize it. With people actually living there, it's like the nightmares of her first few weeks in Kannagara have been chased away.

Well, she hopes that'll hold true.

Finally, she sees a group of girls she recognizes as Chrome, and a bit further away Lenalee, and -- there with Chrome is someone she doesn't know. Though she thinks she's seen her on the network before.

With a tentative smile, she goes up to the three, even while sensing the bit of dread in the air.]

Hello, everyone! Nice to finally meet up with you all.
Oct. 6th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
[Summary: it's just fucking nice to have girlfriends.]

Oh, that's cool. We girls need to stay together, safety in numbers, stuff like that?

[She looks around at the stalls, seeing all the fabrics and the ceramics with a careful eye until she spots two girls - both of them without the forehead markings - approaching them.]

Oh hi. [Jessica waves a dainty, pale hand.] I'm Jessica.

[She turns to Chrome.] I like to check out some of the fabrics, but you guys want something to eat or something before doing anything else? It's not like I need anything from that department, anyway.
Oct. 6th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
[ Learning to reach out had been the hardest part. But Chrome cannot forget the night that she had gone to bed early, declining food from her hosts, only to find I-pin in her room, insisting that she accept the buns. She cannot forget Bianchi, and Kyoko, and Haru, and the onsen; the talk amongst them, the girls, in their own little world. And yet, of them all, Chrome had been the most involved with that other world, hadn't she? Bianchi and I-pin had trained her, and she had bled for them, but the training was such that she would go out as a Guardian. A girl amongst the boys. Sometimes.

Her body was not always that of a female, but this was another story. And with her underdeveloped figure, her scrawny legs and countable ribs and the flatness of her chest, Chrome had not then been a woman: in that, if woman was binary to man, and in opposition to men -- well, the male gaze would not fall on her. She hadn't thought of it exactly like that at the time. Mostly, she still doesn't.

But in a certain light, Chrome's sex had seemed somehow more forgettable before puberty finished with her. Before the gazes, and the socialization with the girls, and the excursions to Italy. Before sliding little by little into a space which has been carved in so many crystal glasses, glinting forks, and the nooks of elbow space. But no, that, too, is another lie. She is a Guardian, still.

Chrome wore a suit to the battle with Byakuran.

She wore a bridesmaid's dress at Boss's wedding.

The woman and the mafiosi: sometimes, only sometimes, the distinction blurs, crosses over itself. But here, the latter is, at least, irrelevant. ]

Food -- [ That had been what she hadn't known how to accept, once. Hospitality, really. ] . . . I'd like that.

I think --

Some of us are from different time periods. Cultures.

What I would normally buy might not apply here.

Edited at 2010-10-06 04:37 am (UTC)
Oct. 6th, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)

[Lenalee’s throat is suddenly dry. She would like to greet Rin properly, but finds herself preoccupied with the fact that there is a vampire standing in front of her. A vampire named Jessica, who seems perfectly nice but is a vampire.]

[Lenalee glances at Chrome, shooting her a somewhat desperate and very confused look. It seems like Jessica is here with her. They had not discussed this beforehand, and the two are talking about food. With a real blood-sucking vampire. Lenalee does her best to remain composed. Would the rose cross ward her off?]

Food sounds good. Um, so you’re coming shopping with us, Jessica?

[Smiling, not wanting to sound rude but more than a little worried. The thought that Chrome might not know that Jessica is a vampire crosses her mind. Lenalee glances at Rin. She doesn’t look scared either.]

[Lenalee comes to the conclusion that either she is the only one who knows of Jessica’s vampiric nature, or the other two women have established some sort of understanding that they are not to become food during this outing. Even then, Lenalee isn't entirely sure that she's comfortable with this.]

[... That or they just really, really like shopping and are distracted.]
Oct. 6th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
[Rin was smiling at all three of them, a smile that got honestly bright for a second, but then wanes again when she notices Lenalee's insecurity. It is kind of hard to miss.

She wonders if there's bad blood between any of them. Likely between Lenalee and Jessica -- after all, Chrome invited both Lenalee and Rin herself to this. But Rin didn't know Jessica was coming, so it was likely that Lenalee didn't, either.

This is going to be fun, isn't it. Rin thinks Chrome really should've told them Jessica was coming, because you never know just who is your potential enemy, but she's not honestly upset enough to actually remark on this.

Instead, she just shrugs, resolving to play along with the "try to act normal" thing for now.]

I could use some food, too. I'm, uh, Japanese, and I know most of the stuff here. It's actually pretty similar to home. So if you have questions, I'm all ears.
Oct. 6th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
[Oh, Jessica now sees what's going on here. Everyone is scared that Jessica might kill everyone. That she's a loaded gun, like Bill said, so don't come near her and run for the fucking hills. She's a bloodsucking monster, spawn of Satan, a temptation against God, a fanger.

But the problem is that Jessica is getting hungry. But she can learn to fucking control herself and prove to Bill - provide that he somehow gets here, which she hopes to God he doesn't for so many reasons - that she can manage quite well with or without his help.

Not that his help mattered in the long run.

Jessica smiles at Lenalee, despite everything.]

I am! I never really got a chance to really shop with anyone for ages, you know?

[But Jessica will talk about her vampirism. She'll take her time, though.

Actually, it might be better to let Chrome talk about it. They might not believe her from her word alone.

Best to get it out of the way now so Jessica can shop.]

Well, you guys can eat if you want. I can't eat practically all of the food here and I already feed before I got here. [That's a complete white lie, she hasn't gotten anything remotely like blood but at this time it's needed to save face.

Jessica points to the stall nearby, showing some varied fabrics.]

I'm gonna check those out, in the meantime, okay? I can find you guys later.

[And she can. Hard to hide from a vampire anyway.

Jessica gives a Chrome a look that says, Care to cover my back while I let two girls I don't know talk decide to talk shit about me? and takes her leave.

Her temporarily leave, to be more precise.]
Oct. 6th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
Perhaps you could lead the way, then, Rin-san.

[ But, so saying, Chrome pauses. Glances around a moment, feet instinctively turning inwards out of her age old habit. She catches herself, rectifying her stance and posture, but -- ahh. A look at Lenalee's expression, and Rin's. All right. Something is amiss here. Isn't it? . . . Yes, definitely amiss, and Chrome cannot help stiffening her shoulders slightly in response to Lenalee's apparent anxiety and Jessica's . . . abrupt departure.

Why would she run off? They were going to get --

-- food?

Oh. Oh. It must be. Oh, that. Could it be? Chrome hadn't -- really considered the matter too much. Yes, Jessica is a vampire, but Jessica is Jessica. And Chrome, being mafia -- ally to the likes of Hibari and Mukuro -- is not one to throw stones. Jessica is a nice girl. Friend. Yes. Jessica's body has some strange needs, but. Chrome, after all, supplements herself with illusions and fictional organs. Some would call her disabled. Disfigured. And she's had substance abuse issues in her history. Her body has been as far from perfect as could be conceived of. Maybe that's why Chrome has not given Jessica's need for blood too much thought.

Jessica never asked for an existence as a vampire anymore than Chrome asked to be run over and emptied out. The other woman is merely satisfying her own need -- and with a willing partner. So. Ah. How to explain . . . ]

Lenalee-san, is something wrong?

Jessica --

-- is nice. She wouldn't hurt us.

Edited at 2010-10-06 07:47 am (UTC)
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
[Now Lenalee is conflicted between being uncomfortable about going on an outing with a vampire, and being uncomfortable over causing an unpleasant start to their outing. Just, uncomfortable in general. She forces a better smile, determined to fix it.]

No, it’s— she seems very nice. Does she… not bite people?

[Hearing that Jessica already “fed before getting here” doesn’t do much to alleviate her worry, though Lenalee supposes that if she’s going to spend the night with a vampire it’s better that it not be a hungry one. She feels bad, thinking about Jessica that way. Everything she’s seen of the other woman indicates that she’s a perfectly good person, but… it’s just not quite that easy to get over her fear completely.]

I’m just sort of afraid of vampires.

[Is that really so unreasonable? Not that she wants to not include Jessica, or make her leave. But she wasn’t expecting this and it would be nice to have some more assurance that their night won’t end bloodily.]
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
[Okay, they lost her there. Rin looks on as Jessica leaves, obviously uncomfortable, and she wants to call out to her, but then the other girls continue talking and Rin focuses her attention on what's going on between them. She doesn't really get it.

So she looks back and forth between Chrome and Lenalee, blinking and looking confused.]

Ba-- Vvvampaiahs? [Those damn Vs, she still trips over them. Her own pronunciation difficulties fluster her.]

What's that? What did I miss?

What would she bite us for?

[Rin feels highly uncomfortable and mostly really stupid for not being in on the information, for having to ask what is so clear to the other two women.]
Oct. 6th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
[Jesus Christ, Jessica really wish she can't hear for shit. They are really talking about her. And one of them doesn't even know what a vampire is.

Jessica puts up a fur-lined clothe - a blanket? - and put it to her face in embarrassment. Digging her own grave is sounding like a wonderful option.

"That'll be two ryo," the guy behind the stall says, looking nervous. It's either he realize he's talking to a vampire, or a customer that he has never seen the likes before is potentially mucking up his merchandise.

Jessica looks up and gives the man a bleary stink eye. He swallows nervously.]

Just lookin', [she grunts, dropping the cloth back to the table, where it slides off and lands on the ground. She goes to the next stall, this time with jewelry. To Jessica's disgruntlement, most of them are silver.]
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
[ Chrome maintains an effort at looking studiously distracted so far as Jessica's affairs are concerned. This is awkward in and of itself: speaking of someone when they have removed themselves from the group -- when that person probably realizes that they are an object of conversation. Chrome remembers being in this position.

Drifting in and out of consciousness on a hospital bed, with her mother's and step-father's voices filtering in from the outside. Her mother had said that that child had failed to make a single human connection -- that no one wished for her to live, and the mother of the girl would certainly never sacrifice her own body for an organ transplant. Chrome had overheard. Every word.

Later, with Ken and Chikusa, there had been no viable recourse. Chrome could do nothing but stand there, clutching her trident, as Ken's violent recriminations slid over her skin; a hot fountain of words.

It didn't feel good either time. Doesn't feel good to be discussed. Doesn't feel good to be an object of suspicion or dislike. And sometimes there isn't much you can do but stand there and think "please, please stop", because the alternative is saying something and being forceful and therefore causing even more trouble. And that's where Chrome has been, usually. It's nice to think you can just walk around being assertive with others and have them heed you, but not everyone has that luxury, and she most certainly didn't. Not as a girl.

It's a little better now. Maybe. ]

It means that Jessica-san has . . . needs, Rin-san.

She'll die without human blood. [ Chrome inhales. ] But she knows a man who supplies her.

[ A faint smile. ]

It's only her body.

If that man -- did not give me my organs, I would also --

It's frustrating. What a body goes through.

[ All its needs, and wants, and exhaustion. And Jessica is more than her body, isn't she? More than just a shell. She's a woman. They all are. She has her hopes and dreams. Her special and beloved people. It's tiring to need injections and pills and check-ups for health concerns; you just start to feel the limitations of it, sometimes, and Chrome's been feeling her fatigues and her borders all of her life. Always hitting her skull on the glass ceiling of her own powers. It's just hard. Breaking through, when you've got this body holding you down.

So she gets Jessica. She understands. Maybe. And she can't fault her. It's nothing either of them chose. ]

You can't really control what life turns you into. You just have to . . . find proper outlets for your needs.

Edited at 2010-10-07 04:49 am (UTC)
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
[Lenalee shifts from one leg to the other, distinctly avoiding Chrome’s gaze. When Chrome talks about it like that… it makes her feel guilty, makes her want to erase the fear or simply rip it off and stuff it away where no one else can see it. It’s not about Jessica; she doesn’t know Jessica. It’s about suddenly having a storybook monster that feeds on blood right next to her, and while Lenalee has plenty of experience fighting monsters there is something unnerving in the unfamiliar. But certainly, if Jessica was like that then Chrome wouldn’t have brought her.]

Of course, that’s not her fault. I just… don’t really know her, and wanted…

[What? To ensure that Chrome wasn’t bringing a murdering demon shopping with them? Kind of. More to simply understand how much of what she knows of vampires is true. But it seems that “feeding” really isn’t going to be a problem (she can’t allow herself to think too much about a man supplying the woman with blood), and Chrome clearly trusts her, so… Lenalee resolves to try to focus on Jessica, not the vampire aspect of her.]

[She smiles, nervously.]

Wanted to know her.

[Goodness knows that most everyone she loves has been called a monster at one point or another. If Jessica is not a threat, then… the “what” doesn’t have to matter.]

[Even if Lenalee has a little trouble shaking that fact that she is kind of terrified of vampires. She can bury that, for a quiet evening of shopping. Probably.]
Oct. 7th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
[Ah, there is the explanation. Sort of, anyway. It takes Rin a while to really process the information, and for that while she feels a little irked, feels left out. But then, she doesn't really want to be included in the special needs club.

So Jessica bites people to drink their blood, the way you'd drink a rich soup -- probably. That, if Rin really thinks about it, would probably be disgusting, and in that, she can feel sympathy for Jessica. She certainly wouldn't want to live that life, because eww.

Now, Rin has heard one or another story about such beings, and generally, they are monsters. They prey on humans, and in the stories, they have no personality except greed for human flesh or blood and being evil. But Jessica, she seemed like just another human so far, even if she was rather on edge since the beginning.

You can't do anything about what the world turns you into, Chrome said, and Rin knows someone like that, too. Manji, he's immortal, and his "condition" even seems like an advantage, but he's made it clear that it's not. He never wanted immortality, and to him it's just being slashed up to the point where he should die and beyond, and just keeping on being alive instead, never freed of the pain.

So, with the way Chrome puts it, Rin thinks she can deal with this. It doesn't sound too bad. Of course, it might be that Chrome herself is insane enough to find it normal, so Rin will be -- not alert, exactly, but she'll be conscious of her surroundings.

In the end, she shrugs.]

Well, if that's the case... I'm taking your word for it, Chromu-san.

[And Chrome hinted that she has her own body issues, which makes Rin curious, but this is not the time to ask. It's a time that is supposed to be pleasant, even if Rin hasn't come here expecting that it wouldn't turn into something else. But she can play her part in making it pleasant, at least.]
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