Log:Picking Up the Pieces
The Addict watches the Rogue go, and his brow furrows. "Poor man," he says quietly, "he's having a rough go of it." He glances down at the additional broken glass. He's really got to start rethinking his barefoot policy. He pours the Deviant a glass of what looks to be some sort of brown liquor. It's in the whiskey family. Then he crouches and sets about picking up the pieces of glass. "I don't think anyone's having an easy time right now."
The Deviant slides his bony ass onto a stool, picking up the glass in his long fingers, toying with it. "Mind if I smoke?" He's already getting out a cigarette, and a book of plain, black matches. "Everyone does seem to be in a bit of turmoil." His inscrutible gray eyes move over Martin's face. "What of yourself?"
The Addict shakes his head and says, "No, I don't mind." He puts a handful of glass in what he can only hope is a trash bin, then goes back to collecting them. He's got a youthful face, dark eyes, and though his expression is troubled, there's nothing of long-term wear and tear on his features, no old trauma weighing him down. "I'm doing all right, I suppose. I lost people, but my lover is here, and he's more or less all right. As much as anyone can be."
The Deviant takes a sip...but a moment later, he's slipped off his stool, crouching on the ground to help the Addict pick up the glass. He takes them up carefully, one piece at a time. "How fortunate for you," he says. Not a ton of inflection to his words, but he seems to mean it well enough.
The Addict looks up and smiles at the Deviant. "Thank you," he says. He throws away more glass, then pats the floor gently with just his fingertips to feel for more shards. He winces, finding one the hard way, pulls it from his finger, and throws it away. It's so small a shard he doesn't even bleed. "I lost my wife," he says, and a daughter I can barely remember. They're not here, though. They were never real. It feels real."
"Feels real, but it wasn't, was it?" The Deviant tilts his head, a bit of greasy hair falling into his eyes. He's kind of smiling, but it's really more of a smirk. "Such a perplexing place. Your lover from there, who's joined you here...who are they, are they somebody I might have met?"
"It's all rather confusing," Martin says. He picks up a few more pieces to throw away, though there's really no way of telling if he won't find another sliver with his feet if he trusts the cleanup job. "You may have met him. His name is Arthur. He's the only one I've seen so far with reddish eyes. He's quite pale."
The Deviant continues to pick up the shards one by one. If they're hurting him, he makes no indication of it. "I may have seen him, yes." He stares at Martin, balancing a tiny shard on the edge of his longer finger. "Aren't you suspicious," he asks, "when mysterious strangers like me appear out of nowhere -- phantom-like, bits of dream, interrupting what remains of your lives?"
The Addict shakes his head slowly. "No more than any of this makes me suspicious," he says. "This is my first time here, though. I have nothing else to compare it to. Waking up here has been the biggest interruption to my life, and it wasn't even a real life." He smiles a little, but it fades, and his gaze falls upon the shard on the Deviant's finger. "You're just another soul trapped in this place, as near as I can reckon. Unless you're not. I have no way of knowing, do I?"
"You don't," the Deviant says, arching an eyebrow -- though he seems rather amused. "And neither do I. I try to see it as more of an opportunity than a trap." The little shard is still glistening on his fingertip. He considers Martin for a moment before venturing, "Perhaps we can all help each other. We don't have much of a choice otherwise, do we?"
"I'm not sure what to make of it," the Addict says. He plucks the shard from the Deviant's fingertip, considers it, then puts it in the bin. "Whatever it is, we're in it, and there's nothing we can do about it. Of course we should be a help to each other. We're all we have." He looks into the Deviant's eyes, studying his face. "I'm Martin," he says, "for lack of another name. I don't know who I'll be tomorrow, but we'll work that out tomorrow, won't we."
"Call me Dirk," the Deviant says. His face is strange, somehow. Good-looking-ish, but weird. He stands back up to his full height, which is mostly leg. "I've got some more measuring to do before the powers that be return us to slumber, but I hope to speak to you another time, Martin." He picks up the glass Martin had poured for him earlier and downs the contents easily before striding from the room, heels clicking on the floor as he goes.