Log:Washing Away Death
It's not a long trek down the hall from the Creepshow's room, but in situations like these it can feel like miles. The carpeting and door after door seems to stretch for an eternity until they reach that door with the man counting money shaped into the wood grain. The Hunter hasn't removed her hand from his and to do so now would almost be worse; coagulated blood forming a macabre bond between them as a copper-scented reminder of the deed done. Instead, she reaches out with her other hand to open the door so they can pass through.
Other than the words shared quietly regarding the Penitent and her broken state, it's been silence. Time to process, perhaps. Or time to dwell in their own thoughts. Maybe she just hasn't been sure what to say. Maybe it's just the visual snapshot of the Creepshow in the pool of her own blood on that stained concrete floor or how limply she laid in the bed after. Maybe... maybe...
It's only once the door is closed that the Hunter speaks, her voice quiet and faraway, as if she's returning to the here and now from a distant place. "Should I have taken the knife out?"
The bouts of nausea that the Capitalist had first felt when his part of the deed was just ending seems to have gone away, but as they cross the hallway to his room, he felt dizzy and every step taken is heavy as if his feet were made of lead. The journey ahead of him is seen through glassy, almost unblinking eyes and that smell of blood... It reminds me of what just occured in the Creepshow's room. When they come to his door, he doesn't even notice the image on display there, nor the fact that they were now tracking blood into his once pristine bedroom.
The silence is broken when the Hunter speaks and though he doesn't look at her, he does offer a hollow response, "I don't think it would have mattered. She won't notice it now." The lights turn on and the dark, wealthy, if not overly opulent, and professional room that best represents the Capitalist is clearly seen. You would think that he would want to rid himself ot these blood-stained clothes, but instead, he looks as if he needs to sit down for a breather before even that.
"I thought... she might prefer it that way," the Hunter says in answer. Alone, now, the cracks begin to show. He's her anchor. He's her weakness. He's her...
She doesn't even know. She just knows that when the Capitalist is around, she feels. He can steady her and soothe her, yes, but he can also unravel all of her seams. Every carefully constructed fortification comes crashing down when he's around and that happens even now. "But now I wonder if it was just cruel to leave it there."
She takes in a shaking breath and finally extracts her hand from his, dried blood flaking away even as what is still warm, sticky, clings and peels from them. Her hands shake at first as she lifts them to start helping him undress. She saw that look in his eyes; can feel it echoed, if muted, in her own. So she just watches him as she works, pushing away the coat first, then working at the tie. After a moment, she speaks again, but in a softer voice. "Talk to me, Conrad."
Leaning against the edge of his desk now for some much needed support, the Capitalist's gaze drops down to view his bloodied hand again once their connection is broken. The dried and stick bloody stains found there is more than enough to bring back the images from that room once again. He's been trying to block that out of his mind, to return to this sense of normalcy before the awkwardness of any conversation regarding the Creepshow's death, which he knew would come about, happened. But he was not there yet and for a moment, his mind begins to regress to what happened a few minutes prior.
When Maata begins working on his tie to help him rid himself of these bloody clothes, he lets her and though his eyes look to her, there are moment, of course, where you can tell that he's watching her with this intensity, but at other times, his gaze becomes glassy again. It is only after a few moments had passed that he finds his voice to speak, though his words come out dry, cracked, "I don't think it was cruel to leave her that way, with the knife. What I don't know is what is crueler, her suggesting that we do this to her or our wanting her to off herself in the first place."
The woman is silent for a time in the wake of that assessment. She keeps working. Her hands steady as she goes, now that she has a better task. Something constructive to focus on. "We don't know how long we'll be here," the Hunter says finally, her voice distant. Detached, for the moment. "Someone would die eventually. Killed, likely. Too many people in a contained space with little to no means of entertainment. She volunteered. If she wakes, we'll know the result, for certain. We also proved a theory. So if someone else poses the questions, we have the answers. No one else need bloody their hands, need wonder, need... volunteer themselves."
She takes in a slow breath, looking up at him. "It was cruel of her to make you do it. And to twist it into the act she did. She knew it would affect you more that way." Be more intimate. There's a sigh as the Hunter begins undoing the buttons of his shirt, her fingers slipping against the blood on them, but she gets them undone nonetheless. "Even at the last, she was getting under your -- under my -- skin." The first outright admission that the Creepshow kissing him in that moment really dug at her.
The Capitalist doesn't argue with the Hunter's explanation on why this needed to be done. Even he knew, prior to the event, that they needed to make certain. It was only during the execution, or perhaps the moments leading it to it as well, that he was having second thoughts. His gaze doesn't lower to observe her undressing of him, the way he normally would in more intimate situations, instead he continues to watch her and initially, he had thought that she wasn't affected much at all, by his standards, due to the killing, but then he sees traces that tell him otherwise on her features... but that is in relation to the death kiss.
Finally, a hand reaches out to still one of her wrists and pause her in this task of unbuttoning his shirt. "I can still taste her blood." And to that, he quickly turns as if he were about to retch right there, though he's keeping himself together as best he can now. "I need something to drink." To burn away that taste and hopefully, make him forget it all every happened if that's even possible.
Though the Hunter's admission does garner another look from him, his head turning to face her once again. "It was all a twisted game for her. This desire for her to watch us squirm. She got what she wanted, we got..." They got answers, or a dead body that they can use to help them find answers come morning. But whatever the Creepshow's true intent, it had a definite effect on the pair.
Just like on the island, the Hunter -- Maata -- is able to retain a fairly even-keeled composure around others. She's able to keep going, to press onward and remain a bastion of 'all is well' for onlookers. It's in private that she starts to crumble. She was affected. Perhaps more than she was even admitting to herself. When he catches her wrist, she stops to look up at the Capitalist and meet his gaze. "Unless you have a drink in here, you'll need to wait." Her words are apologetic, brows tilting in an echo of the same. She starts to reach up with a hand to try to wipe away some of the blood on his face, but stalls. Her own hands are even more stained than his own; she nigh bathed in it.
Sighing, she looks back down. "Come on," 'Maata' says. "Let's get cleaned up. Then we'll drink. We'll drink and decide what to do next. Oaky?"
His head shakes when asked if he had a drink in his room. Or even a bar. Unfortunately, he did not. The Capitalist pushes himself off from where he was leaning against his desk and only then does he release the Hunter's wrist, his grasp loosening, then dropping away. Now that his tie and buttons were undone, he works to shrug out of his shirt, the blood making the fabric cling to his skin. "I'm only concerned that she doesn't wake up and that she really died. That we actually killed her." This is said in an even monotone, for this event has not come to pass yet and for now, he was preparing himself as best he could for the possibility.
Dropping the soaked shirt to the floor, he turns to the Hunter and his own gaze looks at all that blood she is covered in. If he were in his right mind, he would have reached out to her, embraced her despite the gore, but at this moment, all that he can muster is to place a hand on her shoulder, one that drifts slowly down her arm in a gentle caress as he guides her towards the bathroom.
"It's a possibility," the Hunter admits, quietly. There's a touch of resolve in her voice. It's a possibility she's considered. "That's why I wanted to be the one to do the deed." She swallows, watching him undress. It's not with the usual look of desire, but instead with a weariness. She allows herself to be guided, moving with heavy steps. "If she doesn't wake..." A swallow, the next words coming slowly; difficult.
"If she doesn't wake, there's sure to be consequences. We say I did it. My hand was last on the knife. I gave the final thrust. It was my hand that truly ended her life. Even Madison can attest to that." There's a slight tremble to her voice; a hint of uncertainty. A fear in admitting to murder, but also a willingness to take that plunge for his sake.
The Capitalist's bathroom is large featuring both a tub and a shower. The shower itself is outfitted with several water jets on each of the walls and a large rain showerhead that takes up a good portion of the ceiling. The tub itself is large and modern and the whole room is tiled in dark marble. It's pristine, until they step foot inside, though by the time he's reached the room's entrance, he's already kicked off his blood-soled shoes. His socks are still soaked in it, having been bled onto when the Creepshow impaled herself.
He was a walking zombie through most of this, but hearing the Hunter's words begin to quickly sober him up as he works on his belt now. "If it comes to that, we tell them the truth. It wasn't simply either of our faults, she told us that she had tried to kill herself once before. Maybe she lied and if so, why would she allow us to do it this time around?"
It's not so easy to just step out of a pair of boots, so the Hunter has to stop. She kneels and starts to work at the laces. At least it's hook rather than eye at the tops. Once the knots are undone, it mostly falls away and she can step free. She almost stumbles, really; her own socks soaked in it. Her hand catches at the Capitalist's arm and she leans into him, then. Her forehead presses to his shoulder and she exhales in a shaking sigh. "Our word against a dead woman," she says, letting out a bitter laugh. "What do you think Madison will say, in her state? Do you think she will care? Or will she just sit back and watch?"
Pushing herself back upright, the Hunter starts to peel away the tank top she wears. It doesn't come in one fluid motion, but rather must be dragged away from her body. It leaves smears of red behind, itself; painting her in the Creepshow's blood. "She allowed you. It was all part of some plan."
He is there when the Hunter falters in her step, the blood on her socks making the floor slippery. With his belt undone, the Capitalist leans slightly into Maata as he undoes the button and zipper of his pants before idly tugging at them until they simply drop away to the floor. He feels a twitch at his arm as he's about to check Conrad's watch to see how much longer they had until night and then the eventual waking hour, only to remember that the watch no longer ran. The only time that it is willing to tell now is the exact moment when the security trailer exploded, a reminder of that incident. Or that is what the Capitalist had figured the frozen time meant.
"And you shouldn't have helped." His words come out quickly, almost as if he were scolding her now. "Even when she asked you to, it should have only been one of us to do it. We could have just let her slowly bleed out or, I could have..." Though, as the memories of that scene return to him, he isn't quite sure if he could have finished the job.
"I had to," the Hunter says, sharply. It's not loud, but it's curt. Just as quick as his words. Not meant to lash out at him or scold him, but the defensive words of a wounded animal. She works out of the sports bra next, though it provides greater difficulty. She finally drops it next to the tank top before moving to sit heavily on the edge of the tub. There's a heavy sigh. "She stole it from me." There's no immediate definition as to what 'it' is. It takes the woman a moment to find her words. She leans over, pushing bloodied fingers through her hair; the last untarnished part of her, now also sullied.
"You said the people you love. People. Plural. You..." There's a couple shaking breaths. Her shoulders shake and the quivering extends to her hands which drop to hang limply from off her knees. "You love me. And the next thing I see is her kissing you."
Leaning forward now so that he can pull off his own bloody socks, the Capitalist makes his way to the shower to at least get the thing started, the hot water slowly beginning to fill the room with steam. All of this felt very familiar, memories of that moment on the island returning to him... there was a dead body then too.
His hand raises to place against the side of the shower, feeling the marble next to glass, leaving a bloody hand print in its wake. His posture leans foward a bit, head tilted down as he's still dealing with the emotional and mental distress cause by the Creepshow's killing. "What do you mean? What did she steal from you?" Here, he turns slowly to regard the Hunter where she's seated at the edge of the large tub.. Though the words which she now speaks to him has him viewing her with a curious look. "Of course I love you. I felt it when we were together on the island. What she did..." It's not an image that he can easily shake from his mind, "I don't know what her intentions were then."
With fumbling fingers, the Hunter starts to pull her socks off, then works at her own belt. The rope she'd brought slips, slides, and coils free; tumbling to the ground beside her. "I'd... I thought then that it was just a play thing," she explains, awkwardly. "Trauma. Fear. That it couldn't be actual love. I didn't know how to process it, so I didn't. And back there you said it so easily. Like it was just-" She swallows down past the lump that seems to have formed itself in her throat. She has to stand then, to finish undressing it. "Like it was second nature. And it should have been me in your arms. Not her."
It's all so unlike the Hunter -- even unlike Maata -- who does not usually give in to such things. Yet it's also raw. Also open and honest. It's a revealing, telling display, so reminiscent of that moment when they first really became undone around one another: when they first found a confidant in each other. Someone they could just open up and allow that raw nerve to be shown with.
"I was tired." The Capitalist says with a sigh, his head shaking slowly now as he stares at the marble patterns on the wall that he's facing. "I was tired of struggling to get those closest to me to remember who they really are... at least with Madison." But he remembers what the Hunter had said prior to all of this, that despite the way they may feel for each other, she didn't really believe that she was Maata, but this is something he doesn't bring up outright. So I said love, because both you and Madison are the only ones that I truly care about and I feel like I'm losing one of you right now."
The details of the Creepshow's death mentioned makes him take pause, his eyes searching the Hunter's again. "She died there, or... her life was slipping away in my arms. I'd rather that happen to her than it happen to you."
Finally undressed, the Hunter casts a look to the shower. Part of her wants to just step into it. To begin washing all of this away. The day. The blood. What they did. Even this conversation. Her hands shake, but she steps away from her clothes... and not towards the salvation of heat and cleansing. Towards the Capitalist. She reaches for him, smearing hands across his cheeks and jaw. "Not to die, Conrad." She stares at him, eyes searching his intently. She swallows.
"The first time I hear you say that you love me, it should be me kissing you." Overwhelmed by it all, she's almost on the verge of tears herself. "Not someone else." Her hands slip down towards the sides of his neck, thumbs still against his jaw, towards his cheeks. "We're all losing ourselves," she says in a quieter voice. "But sometimes I feel like you're the only tether I have to anything at all. This place makes me feel like I'm going mad."
Sensing the Hunter's approach, he turns to accept her, his own arms reaching out, blood red hands placed on her shoulders; his own eyes looking deeply into hers, listening to her speak. He notices her own bloody hands extend towards his face and he doesn't flinch nor turn away. He can feel that stickiness rubbing against his rough cheek, then along the lines of his jaw, feel his skin being further coated in that other woman's blood.
"We weren't given that choice. But I would do anything if I could give you that one moment back." The journey that her hands make brings some sense of comfort to him, this feeling of connection though they are both smeared in the Creepshow's blood. "I love you." He knows that just these words won't make up for that one lost moment, but he tries anyway.
Her hands finally slide down to his shoulders, fingertips curling into place there to hold fast. The Hunter breaks eye contact only after those three words to lean into him as she presses close to rest her forehead into the space beneath his chin. She lets out a breath she didn't quite realize she was holding. "I love you," she says in return, voice soft.
A moment is spent there, in that space. Both of them covered in blood not their own. When she finally finds a center and calm once again, she leans back and looks up to him once more, hands moving down his arms to find his hands. A step back is taken, towards the shower, bringing him along. "Let's clean up so we can go get that drink."
For now, the Capitalist draws her into him, his arms wrapping behind her back. He would be lying if he said that this closeness now wasn't somehow marred slightly by memories of the dying and bleeding Creepshow, but he does what he can to push those images out of his mind. Hearing those words as they trail off quietly from her lips is enough to give him that additional strength that he desparately needs now. Breathing in deep, he lets his eyes close as he places a kiss atop her head, brushing both chin and cheek against her there. There was so much blood...
The steam of the shower was waiting for them, the comfort to wash away the events of the day is just a few steps away. Slowly, he opens his eyes, loosening his grip on her as he pushes the shower door open so that the both of them can finally be free of everything.