slayer_fray: (chilling out)
Mel's still kind of feeling guilty about missing Christmas, even though her stocking and her presents and her industrial strength egg nog were all still waiting for her and she got to exchange the important stuff with Mikey anyway.

But.. there's stuff she's still not really talked about, and for once - she kinda wants to.



This evening, she's choosing to chill out by lying flat on the Laz-EE-Boy, Stampy asleep on her stomach.

This is problemmatic, because she's out of hot chocolate and there's no one to get her a refill and nothing within easy reach to throw at the bedroom door.

Mel's life is sooooo hard.
slayer_fray: (ow!)
Stupid lurks. Why do they always gotta fight back?

Mel and Mike are sleeping in 132 all the time now, so when she slips in 134, it's with the confidence that he won't be there to see her limp stiffly in and over to the guest bathroom, where she grabs a quick shower to wash the blood off. Pulling on the fresh pants and T-shirt she brought with her, she drops the blood stained clothes in the laundry as she limps back out again.

Failing to find an Indy to occupy her, she doesn't intend to stay long. Just long enough to grab a bottle of juice and head downstairs for an hour or so shift while her leg heals.

Super healing. A time honoured Slayer tradition of making sure the ones you love don't notice how beaten up you are every night.
slayer_fray: (Haddyn)
Bar had given them all back packs. It's kind of cute, really, in Mel's opinion. small little things, containing only the essentials - a zapper pistol for each of them, a cross, a stake, a round of PB&J with the crusts cut off, a flask of milky tea, and lunch money (about 20 coi each).

Mel herself just has her own gun and scythe sheathed on her back, as she climbs through the window into her small, beaten up apartment, and holds the door open for them.
slayer_fray: (pride)
It takes Mel by surprise.

Not the lurks - though they're not as common since she killed Harth. Maybe Makita's right and the rutters are killing each other. Mel can only hope. These guys, though, are the lowest of the low, four skeletal corpses of what were almost certainly shooters, not even on the way to being pumps, before they caught vampirism like some sort of disease. She stubbled upon them on the way home from Gunther's and it's almost a welcome diversion, something to play with.

So she launches into them with characteristic lust for violence.

And it's not the ferocity of their attack that surprises her either. From the looks of things they've gone a few days without blood. From the litter strewn aorund their nest, death hasn't exactly cured them of their shooting habits, which is probably why. But a vampire starved of blood is a desperate, dangerous thing, and fights with more violence than usual.

So it's harder to dust them off than normal. They fight back. This is fine. Mel likes to fight.

Nor is it that temporarily they get the upper hand. That's OK, too, sometimes it happens. Mel will get her way up again. Besides, it's almost good. Brings a challenge, makes the blood pump just a little louder and harder, makes her feel alive.

It's not even that when one catches her a nasty blow on her wrist, it bends backwards and she's forced to drop her scythe, sending it clattering across the roof. Temporary setback.

What surprises her is the way that moment brings with it a feeling of sheer utter
panic
, which starts in her centre, seizing her lungs and heart in tight hot claws, driving out the air and sending every once of concentration from her brain. That's what surprises her, and gives the lurk fighting her the opportunity to throw her against a wall so hard blocks of concrete fall onto the roof from a few stories above. Hard enough that Mel's head whips back and hits the wall.

She's still trying to catch her breath when another of the picks her up and knocks her against the wall again and she feels her shoulders crack.

She's still trying to figure out what's going on when he laughs, and tosses her like a doll to his companion, who leers at her with yellow eyes and brings a toothy mought don to her neck.

Of course, that's when she decides she's had enough, and rams her head hard into his face.

Landing on her feet, she kicks him hard enough to send him flying off the roof, and sends the others sprawling as she sprints over to her weapon.

The sense of relief that washes over her as her hands close over the leather bound shaft is tangible. But it's not just relief, she's sure of it.

As the Slayer leaps to her feet, waving the scythe, and makes short work of one, two, three, four vampires, she feels it coursing through her, the power, the knowledge, the rightness of it all. She feels like she belongs.

Standing in the spiralling clouds of dust, she realises something's changed.
slayer_fray: (happy)
She's sort of getting used to this, going out, working, patrolling, getting a job and so on, then popping into Milliways for shifts and friends and things for a few horus everyday. Mel's life is busy, sure, but busy suits her better than bored.

So she's whistling as she wanders into the suite, tossing an apple up and down in one hand.

But she hasn't bitten into it yet. She suspects it will taste bitter.
slayer_fray: (drowning)
She didn't stop in the bar. She didn't want to talk to anyone. She doesn't even know why she's here. She shouldn't be here.

Oh, right, because she wanted a shower and the window to her broken pipe now goes straight to the bar.

Mel walks straight upstairs at a steady pace, trailing her scythe behind her. Luckily the blood soaking her clothes dried on the journey back home, so she leaves no sticky footprints. Fully dressed in a dress shirt and combat pants, she steps into the shower and turns both taps on full. Then she just stands there, shower curtain still pulled back, and door to her bedroom wide open.

And she waits to start feeling something.
slayer_fray: (distant)
Mel stared out over the rooftops for longer than she could keep track of, accurately. Long after her brother's ashes had blown away or settled wherever they weren't going to move from. On her blood soaked clothes, on in her hair, some even into her partially open mouth.

Silently, she turns her back on the skyline and turns to home, holding her scythe in the same hand, and never in the back of her shirt.

Legs the monkey demon greets her with his usual loud partly-angry screech, which gets angrier when she barely seems to hear him and louder when he sees she's heading right back to the window she's spent most of the day coming in and out of.

Mel needs a shower.
slayer_fray: (worried)
Recovering from Yuppieness isn't easy. First there's the ew, what am I wearing. Then there's the did I bitch out Steph for being fat?,then hoshit I slept with a lawyer then ohmigod Mikey's a turtle again, he didn't wait for me why does this hurt it shouldn't hurt, and then, bigger than everything else: KATYA.

Mel raced out of the bar, not stopping to talk to anyone. She hurtled back into her apartment - hey, am I unbound, then? and pulled on a pair of pants for better fighting. From then, grabbing her scythe, she made her way out into Haddyn.

She knows where the Princess lives. It's just a matter of getting there and checking she's OK.

She's OK, of course she is. Mel's just being stupid.

But she's still chewing her lip when she knocks on the door.
slayer_fray: (attack)

It was a tough grab, but not unusually so. Case had sent Mel after a silver goblet, of all things. Didn't tell her who wanted it or why, or anything, just gave her an address in the uppers and let her deal with it. Which she does with virtually no problems, and heads back to their apartment where they've arranged to meet.

Case isn't alone when she gets in; he's talking to a buddy of his that Mel vaguely recognises. A pump: ruttin' ugly one at that, hair dyed a bright crimson, so marred by grease as to look like dried blood. He leers when Mel comes in, and she shoots him a dry smirk to show she's not happy to see him here. Especially as there's business needs to be done: it's dangerous to hang around with hot property too long.

"Mel, you know Turk," Case says, watching as the pump extends a hand the teenager refuses to take.

"What does he want?"

"I been tellin' him how good you are to me."

"Why?"

She recognises the look on his face when he glares at her. It means stop stepping in to save me in fights. It means stop being such a good grabber. It means stop making me look like a fool.

Bending down, he whispers in her ear. "C'mon, sweetheart, this is just another way you can earn yourself some money round here."

Mel stands up straight, watching the pump called Turk, who hasn't said anything and hasn't stopped watching her with that twisted grin on his scarred face.

"My grabbin's not enough for you?"

Case smiles. She's seen that expression too. It means oh, Mel, you have no idea how the world works, but I like you that much that I don't mind.

Mel rolls her eyes.

Case grins and slaps her on the behind. "Don't use the bed, OK? You wanna give me the grab so I can go get it paid for?"

From then, it seems to happen in slow motion. Mel reaches into her pocket the goblet is stashed in, but brings her hand out empty and balled into a fist. In one fluid motion, she reaches up and connects fist to Case's nose so hard and fast she can feel and hear the cartilege crunching under her knuckles. Case's face explodes into a mass of blood and he flies backwards against the brick wall.

There's a sickening crunch as his head connects and his still body slides to the floor, leaving a thick red trail behind it.

Apparently his friend hadn't had time to move, because he's still in the same place when Mel spins on the ball of her foot and kicks him equally hard. The look of anticipatory terror transforms to a grimace of agony as he crumples down.

That's the last time he'll be paying to rut with fourteen year old girls.

Stolen property burning a hole in her pocket, Mel strides out of the room.

slayer_fray: (fighting)
"Hey, kid."

Mel's seen him around; he comes to roughly the same tavs as her and Case, and occasionally she's seen him argue with her green haired man. Sometimes those arguments devolve into violence. It's tempting on these occasions to join in, but Case doesn't really like his teenage rutmate stepping in to handle his fights, as he mentioned fairly vocally the first couple of times.

Case isn't here now, though. He's off meeting with someone about something, and she's arranged to meet him and whoever here, in this tav. Presumably his absence that's why this other guy comes up to her. This guy's not quite as old as Case, but is bigger and heavier, rippling in muscles under his shirt. He could probably pick Mel up with one hand. Definitely could.

"What?" Mel looks up from the cup of sack she's been nursing, and eyes him suspiciously, utterly unintimidated by his attempts. Not her her lack of intimidation intimidates him - how is that supposed to work, anyway? He just leers at her from where he's standing, cupping his drink in both hands.

"You like workin' for Tassey? He treating you right?"

Treating
her? Mel's now looking at him across her own eyebrows, head tilted down. "What's it to you?"

He doesn't answer, not really looking at her, but directing his leering gaze at the wall behind her. "Ever thought about workin' for someon' else?" he asks. "I mean, how much do you charge?"

She's silent, annoyed, and waiting for him to say soemthing else or go away. Honestly, Case handles her pay, she just spends it. And saves some, in a pouch under the mattress she shares with him.

The stranger continues, "I mean, is the whorin' at the same rate as the thievin'? Or do I hafta go through him for that too?"

Mel's grinning too when she throws him across the bar.
slayer_fray: (nightmare)
Here's the trouble with sleeping with someone else.

When you wake up form another nightmare, when you're plummeting off the side of a building, watching your brother being murdered, when your screams bring you to the surface of sleep and leave you shaking in a cold sweat, then there's someone else there to see you so vulnerable. Someone else to know you're just a little girl. Someone else to loose respect for you.

It's not fair. She's used to being the one woken by her bedmate's nightmares, not the other way around.

Mel just curls up on her side of the mattress, trying to regulate her breathing and hoping Case didn't noticed. That's ruined when she hears an exasperated sigh, and he curls over to spoon her.

Jesu, she hates it when he does that. It's so constricting.

"You OK?"

Breathe in. Breathe out. "Yeah. Fine."

"You shuold do something about those dreams."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. Listen, I know this guy can get you some stuff that'll knock you right out. Have you sleeping through."

"Kay."




"Hey, Mel?"

She's still groggy, face down in the moth eaten pillows, slayed out acorss the mattress while he gets dressed above her. They haven't quite worked out the dosage, yet, because the amount the pusher suggested barely affected her at all. "Mmmmmph?"

"I been thinking. You wanna earn more than the odd coi you grab off people and in cars?"

"Mmmmph." Sure.

Case hunkers down next to her, stroking her hair. "There's this grab I heard about. Nothing special, but the fences are talking about offering eighty coi for it. Trouble is, none of the pumps who're after it are small enough to fit in the vents. If you went down I'd get you about ten percent on it. For half an hour's work."

"Mmmmmph." Sure. She could use something else to do.
slayer_fray: (quizzical)
"Nice hat."

As conversation openers go, it's one of Case's best. He's not really that talented with knowing what to say. But Mel smirks her forgiveness and pulls it over her head.

"Shut it, a friend gave it to me."

"Yeah, but it's too big" he points out. "And I can hardly see your face."

"Good," says Mel. "That saves everyone from seein' my ugly scowl." And it does. It covers her hair (black, like his) and shades her eyes (blue, like his) and you can hardly tell she has a hideous disfiguring scar down her cheek (her price for getting him killed)

Case shakes his head and reaches out to take the hat, only to have his hand slapped away so hard it almost dislocates it. "Rut off," Mel snarls, but he smiles sheepishly.

"Just wanted to see your hair," he says.

"Leave it."

Case shrugs. "It'd look good dyed, though. Ever think of that?"

The hat, it is decided by Mel, can stay. And they can sit and chat and laugh and drink as they do almost regularly now. It's funny, how she likes this. He's not like Makita or anything, but he does make her laugh in his own way. He never looks at the scar, he never asks her about her history, or her family, or why she's a fourteen year old girl drinknig in tavs in the lowest shitsink of a warren in the entire of Haddyn. And he's never asked where she sleeps, until tonight.

"Look," Case says, near the end of the night. "Don't stomp me for sayin' this or anything, but you're sleeping out in the foundations, right? That's gotta be freezin' this time of year."

Mel glares at him momentarily for the cheek of asking that, but then collects herself and shrugs. "Got my hat."

Case glances over his shoulder, and Mel suddenly thinks she sees a hint of nervousness, but it's soon gone.

"Look," he says. "I've got an apartment. Well, room, really. Just a block from here, fifth floor. Nothing special, but there's a mattress and an old blanket. Much warmer with two."

The thing is, it is cold, and Mel's been seriously considering taking Makita up on her offer, except the obligation she'd feel would be too much.

"I'm not payin' rent," she says, which means she can't afford to.

"We'll work something out," says Case.
slayer_fray: (Haddyn)
Milliways is cheap. Milliways is warm. Milliways has people - person - that are closer to being called "friend" than anyone in Mel's entire life so far, with the exception of... well, he was more than friend

But Mel still has reasons to go to other tavs around Haddyn instead. Firstly that she's currently sleeping in a warren called Versi, a good hour's walk from the door to Milliways, but also because Milliways won't serve her alcohol, and there're never any good bar brawls. And Mel has discovered that the best way to deal, at least temporarily, with the pain of being Mel is to get drunk and fight people.

She's at a bench nursing a cup of sack; not drunk yet, but the night is young. Not that she necessarily needs to be drunk to fight, if there's reason, and there may well be: She's noticed that a guy by the bar keeps looking at her over his shoulder .

She's seen him before. A lot, actually. He comes here a lot, drinks, watches, fights if someone starts with him, rarely gets involved for the sake of it. She's no good at ages, really, so just lumps him into the category of "grown up". He's clean enough, but not rich, and in better shape than most people around here, except Mel herself. His grass green hair is pulled into a pony tail, and the mechanical fingers on his left hand tap lightly on the many rings hanging from his earlobe, every time he turns to look at her.

Annoyed by the attention when she wasn't even looking for it, Mel eventually settles just to glaring at him steadily until he comes over, looking entirely un threatening, and sits down opposite her.

"You're Mel, right?" His voice is smooth, practically friendly. Mel's suspicious at once.

"Yeah," she says, narrowing her eyes. "Who's asking?"

He smiles, extending a right hand that's missing a few nails but more or less intact. "Case Tassey. Hope you don't mind, the barman gave me your name."

The barman's jake enough, Mel thinks. No one's got anything against her. But she doesn't shake the hand. "Why?"

"Cause I asked for it," he says. "I've seen you around this last week or so, and I just wanted to say: well, I don't know what I wanted to say. I just wanted to talk to you."

"Why?"

"Because..." he hesitates. "'Cause I'm impressed, that's why. You're a rocketship fighter. One of the best I've seen. And people respect you, I've seen it. You got amazing self confidence for a gi... woman your age."

Mel leans back and smirks. "That's cause I am the best fighter around here," she says smugly.

"I don't doubt it." He nods at the cup in her hand. "You need a top up?"
slayer_fray: (scared)

She's not sure if she made the right decision.

She's not even sure if Makita made the right decision: if all those people who paid for the room ever decide they want something of the pretty little girl with the fierce look in her green eyes...

...well, then, Mel wonders if she should be around to make sure they don't. A thought which is summarily dismissed. It's toy. Mel can't protect anyone, she should know this. She couldn't even protect...

Makita can look after herself. Melaka can't handle what would happen if she fought for her and failed again.

But she's still not sure if she made the right decision.

Mel still hasn't found somewhere to sleep. She's worked out that she can eat as much  as she likes in the bar, and even take food back with her. The amount she grabs simply by picking her victim well more than pays for the food. So the rest of the solid is worn unobtrusively as she saves. But she's still sleeping where she drops: a reputation for being able to fight about anyone in the warrens means she rarely has to fight for a good spot, but she's not ready to try and break into a room. So she sleeps on her own on the streets

And when she awakes screaming in the night, fresh from a dream about her brother being murdered in front of her, when she's soaked through in cold miserable sweat, when she curls up in a foetal ball of quaking misery, sobbing into her knees as she longs for the days when it was her soothing him after a bad dream. When the only good thought she has to hold on to is the reassurance that everyone thinks she's strong and no one was around to see her like this...

...then she knows she belongs out here. On her own.

slayer_fray: (fighting)
There's a group of them, hanging around lazily, swigging from tins of sack, and laughing over the spoils of the night. About three or four, all with guns and knives, and with two rocketbikes between them.

They're big, heavy set men, starting on the road to pump, with drugs and some modifications. So imagine their surprise, when one of them finally spots the tiny little kid sliding his companion's gun out from its belt holster. She must have moved like a stealthbot, for them not to notice her.

"Hey!" he yells suddenly, pulling out his own gun. But the girl just grins, and bodily shoves the man she was stealing from into the blast. The loud cackle of discharged electricity suddenly cut short when he realises he's shooting his buddy.

The other two, hands on their own guns, wait for the mass of the unconscious body to crush this pup of a girl who can't be half his weight, but without even noticing, she's despatched the defender as well by throwing his victim heavily into him, knocking them to the ground instead of her. By the time one of them thinks to shoot, she's ducked under the beam, and lets the fourth thug take the beam. Then he himself screams in pain as she grabs his wrist and twists, forcing him to drop his own gun, and bringing him to his knees in pain.

By now the original shooter has struggled out from under an unconscious body and is ready to fire again, except a heavy kick to the knee results in a loud snap and send his beam up and wild as he also falls. The same foot snaps his arm back and sends the remaining gun flying.

And then this little tiny waif of a street brat is standing over them: two crippled, two unconscious, with one charged zapper in her hand, and the other hand clenching and unclenching excitedly. With a feral grin, she starts backing away.

"I'll kill you, you bitch." That was thug #3: the one with the broken wrist nursed across his chest, now standing, with a knife in his other hand.

She raises an unimpressed eyebrow, then suddenly, with deadly accuracy and bone crunching force, punches out first one, then with a pivot, the other of the bikes' main Catcons. And by the time he's on his feet, she's racing down the alley with a speed not even he seems able to match.

Bitch.
slayer_fray: (attack)
"Hey, kid, you're in my spot."

Mel snorts loudly and rolls over, thinking, but not awake enough to say out loud: Go away, Erin, it's not morning yet.

The status of wake changes rather suddenly when she's bodily lifted out of the doorstep she'd made her bed by a large, muscular man, smeeling of smoke and sack.

"Kid. My spot. Don't make me hurt you."

Mel squints at him through sleep, blearily aware that the bum in the corner on the street is watching this, uninterested.

"My spot now," she says, hands on his arms. His wrists are too tick for her to fit her hands around, and her feet aren't touching the ground, but she liked that spot. It was large enough for her, sheltered from light and falling garbage, and that's' been the best night's sleep she's had since that weird bar. She's not about to give it up for this rutter.

"Don't be silly, kid," he says. "I don't want to hurt you," and then he tosses her aside, dropping her to the ground, "but I will if you don't scram. Unless you want to stay and keep me warm."

Mel lands heavily on her shoulder and scrambles to her feet quickly, scowling at him. He's already trying to make himself comfortable, but she interrupts him by kicking him hard in the hip. Hard enough to send him flying across the flyway and landing heavily on the ground.

"My spot," she says.

He laughs at the idea of the girl fighting him. But the laugh soon fades after his re-approach results in a bloody nose, a dislocated shoulder and more bruising than he wants to count yet.

And all because she hit him again.

He glares at her and runs away. Mel goes back to sleep.
slayer_fray: (passed out)

Suite 132 has been empty for a couple of months now: a 20 year old Mel was briefly in the bar, but she seemed to think she has another room. Now all there is is a fourteen year old lying on her side on the couch, drooling quietly onto the cushion.

Really, someone oughta roll her over so she doesn't drown.

slayer_fray: (betrayed)
She's nothing.

Well, that's that, then.

The doctors didn't say anything when Mel discharged herself. Why should they? She emptied her own cred account to pay part of the bill, and after a moment's thought, gave them Erin's cred number as well. Bitch can whine about it to herself, Mel doesn't care. They're done. Through.

She's NOTHING

She couldn't quite bring herself to go in to Harth's, even though she knows the number. It doesn't matter. Mel doesn't need that money. She's going to go on her own now. She's strong, she's fast, she can grab. She doesn't need her brother's money. She doesn't need her sister.

(God, she needs her brother.)

She left the hospital, and wandered out into the streets, a list of things-to-do in her head.

Something to eat, which doesn't take long, as soon she's running from a deli with a filled sub in her hand.

Somewhere to sleep takes longer than she expected. She had hoped to find an empty apartment, but apparently they're rarer than she looks. And soon she's running from door after door that had looked deserted but had someone guarding it jealously. Usually a few someones. Mel's back is beginning to ache: her breath is shorter than usual, and her heart hurts. She doens't want to fight. So she runs. And she swipes a coat against the cold, and she keeps looking.

Keeps looking.

She doesn't tire easily, but  for some reason she's spent so much of today running from people, that she find the desire to sleep anywhere getting greater than the desire to find a new home. Maybe she'll just have to sleep outside. If she can find somewhere warm, and dry.

Much longer and she won't be anywhere near as fussy.
slayer_fray: (wet)
The lurk across the river were dealt with easily and without fuss. Mel doesn't even think they were Harth's boys: just a bunch of restless idiots that had caught the eye of one of Erin's work mates.

Mel worked her way through the gang with little fuss, returning to Versi with just a couple of bruised rub and a fading black eye for her troubles.

The Princess hadn't been at the tav. This, Mel reflects, is kinda odd, as she was expecting her to be all flush with the spoils of the grab she'd passed to her. But to be honest, it was a little bit of a relief. Princess' idol worship had got a bit wearing, and Mel doesn't really like the attention. Specially as some point soon she's gonna have to make sure the kid knows that Mel's not interested.

So it was a good night. Mel had a bit to drink, had a fight (and Jesu, it's easy to get back into the habit of regular fights in a tav), then passed out in her hammock.

Mel's apartment doesn't have a bathroom - it's really just a single room split off what used to be a much larger home - so if the thief wants to wash in a morning, she has to improvise. A while ago she discovered a hot water pipe passing through the gap in the buildings which serves as one of her only sources of light, and with a lot of innovation and a little super strength, she broke the pipe open and fitted a valve that let it spill out into the abyss below, so someone versatile enough can stand with one foot wedged against either wall, hundreds of feet above ground, and wash in the spillage.

It's part of the routine, climbing out of the window stark naked, and Mel's not even thinking of anything beyond the first grab of the morning.
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