1x1 BACKLASH

Discussion in 'NEVER NORMAL' started by CloudyBlueDay, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Fisher Hawkins

    He gestured to the fridge with the neck of the bottle as he lifted it to his own lips. His eyes seemed glazed over, tired. He felt heavy, a weight glued to his chest, stuck in place for years, only growing with time. It hurt, to be dragged along the current. He hated knowing he was powerless to stop her. He’d come into her life and ruined it in one fell swoop.

    Fish let out a sigh. “If I can’t talk you out of it,” he murmured with a shake of his head. “Then I won’t help you either.” He ducked his head into the fridge after she has gotten a beer out, pulling out a carton of eggs. He set those on the counter and pulled out a dish. “What do you want in your omelette?” He said gently, brows furrowed. “Breakfast for dinner.”
     
  2. Delilah Buress

    Heading for the fridge, Delilah pulled out a bottle and popping the top, tugged herself onto the counter to sit, ankles crossed as she glanced over to him. She couldn't be angry. Not really. She'd seen it coming, really. His refusal to help, and it was only fair... What she was doing, at least to him, had to seem pretty self destructive, and if he cared about her the way she thought, he wouldn't want to contribute to that...

    But she wouldn't pretend that it didn't frustrate her, either. He had information she didn't, and it was information they could have used, together. Information that could have taken down Solomon...

    Taking a sip from the bottle, she shrugged, "Been on my own long enough, already. I'll figure it out." The conversation shifted, rather suddenly, and as he disappeared into the fridge, a brow lifted, Delilah sinking back against the cabinets.

    "Like Lena used to make?" Lena had been their nanny for a while, when Miss Mcclain had been too busy to pretend that she wanted to be a mother of four. The old Porteugese woman spoke hardly a lick of English, but she had a heart of gold, and cared more about them than she did herself. She'd been fired when John accused her of stealing from Miss Mcclain's purse... "You have mushrooms? Here... Gimme something to chop up."
     
  3. Fisher Hawkins

    He paused at the mention of Lena. He hadn’t thought of her in a while.. he’d been making omlettes with a strange sense of familiarity but it had just become a part of his every day life. “Heh.. yeah, I guess so. Here.” He ducked back into the fridge and pulled out some mushrooms. “I’ve got onions, and.. tomatoes. I think. On the counter.” He pulled a cutting board out, resting behind the sink handles, and he nodded his head towards the knife block.

    “What else did she make them with?” He began cracking eggs against the dish he had pulled out. “Something green... chives?” He laughed nervously, pausing before cracking another egg. “I don’t... think I have chives.” He blinked and swallowed. He remembered Lena vividly now. It was strange how her memory had been.. buried. He remembered how angry he got at John for taking his mother's money, then blaming it on Lena. He’d foolishly even gone after John, tried to swing a punch. His hand went up to his cheek. Right below the eye was a little scar. John had put on a ring just to punch him in the face. He’d wanted it to hurt that bad.

    The memory seemed to startle Fish. The egg rested along the edge of the bowl in his hand, frozen in time. “I hadn’t thought about that in a while.” He mumbled, shaking his head, shaking himself out of it, breaking the egg against the edge of the bowl.
     
    #62 CloudyBlueDay, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  4. Delilah Buress

    She hadn't meant to reminisce. It had been a long time since she'd allowed herself to go back there. Even with her therapists, she was never quite comfortable discussing the good things that she recalled. It hurt too much to have them analyzed and have holes poked in them... So for so long they had been off limits.

    Hearing Fisher, for a moment, she almost dared to let her emotions come to light again. Lena was another innocent victim in a foolish war of pride... An innocent victim. Like Nick.

    Taking the vegetables, she began chopping, focusing on the task woth perhaps too much scrutiney, "Cheese. We're missing cheese." Looking to Fisher, the knife slipped to the cutting board and swearing softly, her breath caught on a sob.
     
  5. Fisher Hawkins

    He bent down to get the knife with her, words stuck in his throat. It was so long since he’d thought about anything except the bad, maybe his mind has just.. ridden him if all the good. His life had become nothing but a spiral of pity and remorse and anxiety.

    Lena.. made him think about all the times that someone cared. The times when he was willing to fight even if it was futile, for something that was good and right. Now, he was fighting to avenge. Fighting to run away.

    Everything hurt like fucking hell and he couldn’t do anything about it except claw his way through, kicking and scratching. All the scars he had earned had blended into one. The one that mattered had just become like all the rest.

    “I didn’t.. I didn’t even remember that.” He mumbled. “I don’t even have cheese.” His voice broke mid sentence. “I didn’t even remember her.”

    “What are we doing, Lilah?” He whispered, almost afraid to say it. He didn’t like not knowing.
     
  6. Delilah Buress

    The tears that fell, fell almost unbidden and brushing them away, bitterly, Delilah shook her head. She didn't want this... to fall apart. To let it out. She needed to hold onto it. To cling to that anger and that hurt until it roiled into an inescapable void inside her, eating away what was left of conscience and giving her the strength to do what she needed to...

    But she had no control left... no power over the emotional spill. Try as she wanted, she couldn't contain it and as it leaked out, she could feel her resolve crumbling. Anger was easy. Anger was clarifying. But sadness? Sadness had no structure, no foundation to stand on. She desperately wanted to push it away, push it aside, and yet the more she tried, the harder it became.

    Without a word, she pushed herself, instead, to Fisher, throwing her arms around his middle as she buried her face in his chest. It had sounded melodramatic, but she had meant what she'd said earlier. He was all she had left, and she needed him. She needed something to cling to.
     
  7. Fisher Hawkins

    It felt like all his breath had been taken away. The truth had suddenly punched him pin the face, reopened scars. Delilah’s anger suddenly crumbled in front of him, giving way to a part of her he had almost never seen. A part of her that she had refused to show even back then, even when it threatened to tear everything apart.

    Perhaps she was only like this now because there was nothing left.

    He got over his shock and pulled her close, gut wrenching at her sobs. He held her tight, closing his eyes and saying not a word. There wasn’t anything left to say. Words couldn’t help them anymore and he’d finally accepted it. He didn’t know if after this she would still walk away on a path he prayed she wouldn’t. The world was still, and they were alone.

    He’d spent a long time alone, spent by people he knew so well but didn’t trust. He didn’t ever trust. He wasn’t even sure he trusted Delilah. And here he was, holding her in his kitchen, waiting for the world to let them breathe again.
     
  8. Delilah Buress

    It was several minutes before Delilah released him. Pulling away, she shook her head, looking up to meet his eyes with a shake of her head, "I don't want this..." She whispered, voice still shaking with emotion, "I don't wanna feel like this, Fish. I thought... I thought it was finally over. I thought I'd gotten past it. But every time I let go... every time I start to think I can live, something goes wrong."

    Drying her eyes with the hem of his sweatshirt, she laid her head against his chest, and for a moment, fell quiet again, taking slow, deep breaths to steady herself. No more tears. She was done with tears. This was why she wanted to hold it all in. This was why she wanted to hang on, to stay strong. Letting go hurt too much. Losing hurt too much.

    "I don't want to think. Not about what happened... not about Solomon. Or N...or Nick. But I don't know how to stop. He's gone, Fisher. Nick. He's gone, and it's all my fault, and the last thing I said to him was that what I did was none of his business. He told me he loved me and I... I couldn't even say it back. And now I'll never get a chance. Don't you get it? That... that's why I have to do this. It's all I have..."
     
  9. Fisher Hawkins

    He as mulling over something as she spoke, deeply considering. He waited for a long time after she spoke, trying to find what to say. He knew that it was time, but he didn't want it to be true. He didn't even know where to begin, but she had to know.

    "Do you know.. about the vigilante, Knockout?" He murmured, staring straight ahead. "He's.. on the news, sometimes." Fisher let out a deep sigh, rubbing his eyes. "He.. stops... some.. crimes, and.. things. Wears that, white mask, you know? He kinda started.. after we got separated." He could barely form the words, and paused for an uncomfortable amount between each one. "I'll just.. I'll just show you."

    He bent back down and opened one of the lower kitchen cabinets. He pulled out a pot. And once he had taken off the cover, he pulled out a white mask.

    "This one's.. my spare. I keep my suit in the truck." He couldn't find the courage to make eye contact with her; he had no idea what she'd say. He held the mask in his hand tightly before handing it to her. "S'where all my bruises and burns are from. It's what I've been doing.. building.. ever since... seven years ago. I started it because of Solomon, but it became... different. I ended up doing it for Millennium instead.

    Knockout means.. everything to me." He murmured, finally turning to her. "I guess it's what I.. sunk myself into, you know? Maybe as Knockout, I'd have a better chance, finding him. But believe me when I say, I've,, I've seen a lot. I've fought a lot. And that's why I know that Solomon.. is going to be a lot harder to even reach then you might think. I'm already too deep into this. It's not something you can just walk away from. I.. I can't force you, Lilah. I can't force you to do anything."
     
  10. Delilah Buress

    She couldn't have guessed where he was going... Not when he first started. She didn't follow the news much, but it had been impossible to miss the details about the vigilante hero. But when he pulled out the mask, it was all she could do not to gawk at it like an idiot. It was like waiting for the punchline of a joke and never receiving it... except the situation wasn't funny. Not at all.

    Staring, she shook her head, "...Fish... This is insane." And a part of her was almost angry. He had tried to talk her out of going after Solomon, yet here he was, underwear over tights, taking the law into his own hands. His lecture seemed suddenly condescending, almost as if he didn't think she could handle it.

    But she knew it wasn't true. That she was just looking for an excuse to be mad again - to justify her thoughts, her actions.

    Pinching the bridge of her nose, she pushed away from the counter and reaching, picked up the mask, delicately, "Does anyone else know?"
     
  11. Fisher Hawkins

    He thought a while about answering that question. She wasn't the only person who knew. Among the Underground, Fish was known for his alter ego. It wasn't something he could avoid, and he needed the connections. He'd gotten roughed up too many times with nowhere to go. The underground was one of the best things that had happened to him in terms of his vigilante career.

    "No." Fisher said. "No one knows."

    "I could show you my boots and my gloves too," He seemed a little bit prideful. "I mean, if you don't.. believe me.." Fisher murmured, a little bit flustered. "But you.. you do, right?" He shook his head. "Never mind. I just needed to tell you. I'm not trying to be condescending, I swear, I just.." He grumbled. "I don't know what to say. This is just.. it's what I've been spending my life on. I'm more Knockout then I am Fisher Hawkins. When you think about it, I guess it's kinda.. embarrassing. Is it really that insane? I guess it kinda is. I've been doing it so long, it feels almost normal."
     
  12. Delilah Buress

    And like that, the anger was gone. This was Fisher. Whatever he said, whatever he thought. He could put on a thousand different costumes and identities, but he would always be Fisher. That anxious, fidgeting kid she'd sit next to on the bus... Her best friend, and for so long, her whole world. And superhero or vigilante or whatever he was... that didn't change.

    Shaking her head, she set the mask down again and turned back to him, "You don't have to show me. I believe you. It's just... it's a lot to wrap my brain around. And after all that's happened, I dunno... it just seems kind of ... surreal." Pulling herself back up onto the counter, she looked him over, shaking her head, "Shouldn't be embarrased. You're a superhero, Trout. Just like you wanted to be when we were kids."

    They'd all had dreams... but it seemed she was still waiting for her turn to experience her own, "It's like you said earlier though. We'll never be normal. It's not something we're ever gonna have. Especially now." A sigh escaped, and she looked down at her hands, brushing her thumb over the scrapes on her knuckles, "I'm scared, Fish. I'm scared of... of trying to process all of this. It's like... I know eventually it'll hit. And I afraid of who I'll be when it does."
     
  13. Fisher Hawkins

    Fisher's eyes glimmered with pride. He'd been praised by many strangers. Even more so criticized by others. Never had anyone he really cared about praised him. Because he didn't care about a lot of people. "It is a bit surreal, huh?" He smiled weakly. "Just like when we were kids.." He murmured nostalgically, eyes twinkling.

    "I don't know if I.. mind being.. not normal." He said with a shrug. "But you can't run forever. You can't run from yourself. You can't even run by putting on a mask. I know." He said, gesturing to the mask that she held in her hand. "It'll take time.. I know I'm no where near, but, maybe if you accept that the bad things have to be processed before you can let in the good, maybe it'll be worth it."

    He looked at her with sad eyes. "Maybe you need some rest. You can take the bed. I still need to shower." He smiled her again, gesturing to himself, covered in all the ash and grime.
     
  14. Delilah Buress

    In her heart, she wanted to go back... to wax nostalgic with him, but in her mind she knew that it would be too much. She was exhausted, mentally, and she couldn't push herself further.

    It didn't bother him - not being normal, but she had worked for so long to find even just a semblance of a real life. And she had gotten so close with Nick. Whether or not they would have lasted, she had no idea - she cared for him, deeply... maybe loved him, and she knew that he loved her in return - but what mattered the most was how safe, how pure it all felt. He had never pushed her beyond her comfort, never tried to drag her out of her slumps. He had held her hand on the bad days and encouraged the good days. And she would miss that... miss him, so desperately. Even when the shock faded, she would miss him.

    Blinking back tears, she looked to Fisher, and sliding off the counter, she nodded slowly. Rest. It wasn't likely to be easy, but she would need to try to sleep. Tomorrow, her mission would begin, whether it was right or not, and it would require focus. It would require absolute focus.

    Yet the idea of lying alone in a strange apartment was both terrifying and draining. Breathing out, she lowered her gaze, plucking at the hem of his sweatshirt, "Would um... would it be too much if... if I asked you to stay with me? I don't wanna be alone, Fish. I don't think I can, right now."
     
  15. Fisher Hawkins

    He blinked, processing her question. "Oh.." He murmured, wondering what she even meant by it. Sleep on the floor? Sleep beside her? On the bed? "Of.. course." He said softly, He'd figure it out later. "But I can shower first, right?" He laughed and set down his beer, moving out of the kitchen. "If you need anything else, like pillows or something like that, it should be in my closet. Some pajamas too."

    With that, he headed to the bathroom. It was a welcome thing, the shower, especially to be able to mull over the whole day under the hot water. He forced the image of Solomon and of the explosion out of his mind. He thought about Joshua, the man he had rescued. Fish hoped he was alright. He thought about Delilah, in his apartment. It was something he had never imagined would happen to him. Truthfully, he began to wonder if he'd ever see her again.

    The amount of dirt.. was.. quite impressive. And the hot water went out a little faster then he would've enjoyed, Likely because of Delilah before him. Still, he was clean and refreshed. He walked into the bedroom with a towel around his waist, shaking water out of his ear. He pulled on a shirt over his head, scars and bruises on full display. It felt very nice to be clean.

    "Delilah? You okay?"
     
  16. Delilah Buress

    In a way, she was glad he didn't ask for clarification, because in truth, Delilah wasn't entirely sure what she meant, either. There had been plenty of times, even with Nick, that she had been on her own. It shouldn't have frightened her, but then, she had never been afraid of herself before. It hurt to admit that that was part of it. That she was afraid of her own thoughts and actions... Of what she could become...

    Having Fish around made her aware of herself, so much more than she was used to, and she couldn't pretend she didn't care about her irrational thoughts when he pointed them out so blatently. Even without meaning to, he reflevted a version of her that she hadn't been for so long. A version of her she wasn't sure she could ever be again.

    As he showered, she made her way into his room and for a few minutes, she looked around, taking in what she could. He had changed, too, but in so many ways he was still Fish... So Fish.

    Finally, wiggling out of her jeans and opting for the comfort of his sweatshirt, she slid beneath the covers. It wasn't long before he emerged. Inexplicably, at first, her heart gave a jolt at the sight of him, then she honed in on the multitude scars and bruises and understood. It was a map of wounds he had endured... A constellation of pain. And he had been alone to face it.

    "Fish..." She murmured, frowning gently. Swinging herself out of bed, she moved closer, shaking her head, "There's so many..."
     
  17. Fisher Hawkins

    Fisher blinked, holding up his arm to examine what she must have seen. "Hm," He murmured. It was true he was covered in a number of scars, head to toe, but he didn't see a web of suffering. He saw a journey, of learning and exploration, or triumphant wins and embarrassing losses. The public grew to love him more and more because he fought with integrity. He wasn't an unstoppable machine. He was more human than any vigilante they had ever seen.

    "Not that many.." Fish murmured, smiling. "I don't mind them. I've got stories for each one." He pulled out a pair of pajama shorts and headed back into the bathroom, coming out a moment later. "But the one from the hospital's healing really well. I don't know what I would've done without.." Fish paused, looking back at Lilah as he cut himself off before saying his name.

    He shrugged. "I haven't been out n' about in a while, though. Trying to keep myself from a permanent limp." Fisher rubbed the back of his head, sitting down on the edge of the bed. "I wonder if the city's been doing alright without me." He laughed. "Don't worry about them though. They're like trophies, kinda. And the diner excuse seems to just about cover every big injury I get. Not sure why." Fisher grinned at her as he referenced her introduction to Diego. He pointed at the scalded flesh on his thigh that traveled up to his waist, the burn that had been credited to scalding coffee. "Nasty fire metahuman. That was not my proudest moment."
     
    #76 CloudyBlueDay, Jan 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  18. Delilah Buress

    Frowning, Delilah shook her head, "Trophies? You know that sounds basically just insane, right?" But while she couldn't pretend that she understood his perspective, she understood why he might feel that way. Still... The concern was evident in her eyes.

    At the near mention of Nick, she expected to feel a twinge of pain... Of anger... But the sadness seemed to overwhelm all else, and she pulled her knees to her chest, chin resting on them.

    "You shouldn't be doing it alone, Fish. There are others out there. Other people like... like us. They could help you. Keep you safe." Looking up at him, her eyes misted over, "If anything happened to you? If I lost you... I couldn't..." Biting her lip, she lowered her gaze, "I can't lose you, Fish."
     
  19. Fisher Hawkins

    "It's not... that insane.." Fisher mumbled, scratching his chin. He wrapped an arm around Delilah and squeezed her tight, trying to make up for tripping over Nick's name and remind her that he wasn't being silly about this whole vigilante thing.

    "I've got some friends," He insisted. "I fight alone, but I have some connections. Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere." He nudged her gently, desperately trying to lighten the mood. "I'm not.. I'm not careless, Lil. Maybe I was when I started," He coughed. "Hence crazy fire meta, but.. I'm not stupid. I know what I'm doing, and I definetly know how to control my powers, better then ever. I think of the scars as trophies because I know that I learned. I know that I improved.

    You're not going to lose me. Okay?" He looked her in the eyes. He meant it. "The metahuman underground is surprisingly.. welcoming. Maybe you'd want to meet some people, sometime? I know a couple other vigilantes, and there's people who make suits, and like, equipment. There's so much stuff. It's kind of crazy."
     
  20. Delilah Buress

    She could appreciate his attempts to cheer her up, even if it wasn't necessarily as effective as he might've hoped. She was exhausted, mentally and physically, and her heart hurt.. For Nick. For Fisher. There was even a small part of her that felt for Solomon, despite knowing what had to be done.

    Shaking her head, she smiled dryly, leaning back against his shoulder, "I'm not so sure it's my thing, Fish. I had enough trouble with waitressing. Besides... You were always better at it. Embrassing the... You know... What we are. I know we had plans."

    Her smile brightened, just slightly, "Wisp and what was it? The Fist of Fury. We were gonna be comic book heroes. Do you remember sitting around the home, drawing our costumes?"
     
  21. Fisher Hawkins

    "Are you kidding?" Fisher said excitedly. He jumped up from the bed and opened up the nightstand drawer, pulling out a piece of paper, gently folded but worn with age. A crayon drawing, the scrawled date proving true. Wisp and The Fist of Fury, costumes and all. "Look, even the boots are the same," Fisher murmured, pointing at the drawing, a look of absolute glee on his face. It was clear he loved this drawing. "I mean, if you're really a true Wisp 'n Fist fan, you should've recognized Knockout's boots!"

    He sighed deeply, giving her the drawing. "I've.. had it for a long time." He swallowed. "And.. no, it didn't survive the fire. I had it with me." He smiled. "Keep your dreams close, right? Is that a saying? Is that something they say?" He shuffled awkwardly, cheeks a bit red.

    "I heard somewhere on TV that some artist was thinking about doing a Knockout comic series," He teased. "Trying to get in touch! Maybe they'll even make.. plushies! Collectibles! The possibilities are endless."

    He flopped down on the bed. It wasn't very plush, and he regretted the decision. "I think I'm knocked out." He laughed very feebly at that. "Seriously, though.. long day, for sure." Fisher swallowed. "Ready to hit the hay?"