Date: April 29th, 2010
Dominique and Vedette enter into one of their many disagreements. Snack food becomes ballistic.
"Such Sweet Sisters"
The "Get Outta Here" Amusement Arcade
Some time after the schools have kicked out, Vedette can be found in the arcade. If truth be told, she was also here before that time as well, but truancy isn't something she cares about. School happens. But it doesn't have to happen all the time in her opinion. She's at a quiz machine, surprisingly, given her general lack of enthusiasm about things cerebral. She's also winning, which is even more unexpected. She's chewing gum mechanically, jaws moving in bovine rhythms. Now and then she blows a small bubble with a sharp "toc!" noise. And she's got a rather glassy eyed expression, as if she's daydreaming. Or out of her skull, which is always possible.
Dominique nudged the door to the arcade open with one hip, hands occupied by rummaging in her shoulder bag for something. She didn't bother looking up until she was well inside, it wasn't likely that she'd find her sister anywhere else on a mid-week afternoon. Giving up on looking for whatever small item she was trying to locate in the capacious bag, Niq lifted her head and let her eyes scan the arcade. Vee's hair was recognisable in the crowd and Dominiqe lost no time in weaving her way through the room to join the other girl.
*toc!* Another bubble explodes and the surly looking quiz-player stabs at the screen of the game, "Benjamin 'kin Franklin." There's a beep as the game announces a correct answer. She shoves her hair behind one ear and waits for the next question. They're getting pretty tough now, but she's not been known for quitting. She looks over the screen, eyes not remotely in focus. And then stabs at it once more. Correct again it seems…. And then she registers someone there, and waves absently. "Hey. Wait up, 'monna roll." Vedette then purses her lips, and thumbs the screen. Correct again…
She raised an eyebrow, "So what's the next question?" Niq asked skeptically, not that she really expected an answer. In truth she was impressed that her presence had even been acknowledged.
Vedette shrugs with one shoulder, dismissively "Who cares? 's the answers I'm after." She scrutinises the screen again. OK, there is no way that she should know this, but sure enough, she picks out that the pioneer of quantum physics was Max Planck. That done she flips the 'collect your winnings' option and there's a very satisfying rattle of coins falling into the pay out slot. Quite a lot of coins. She shakes herself for a moment and her eyes come back into focus. Her masticating jaws produce a smug little smile. "You wan' go grab a burger or somethin'? I'm buyin'." She shoves the loot into her various pockets, which takes a few handfuls. Of course, nobody else is likely to bat an eyelid at her winnings, unless they know her. But only her sister is likely to suss the secret…
Dominique purses her lips, not in the mood for an argument at the moment. "Wouldn't say no to a coke or something. I ate earlier." A pause. "Do you even know what quantum physics is?" Vedette could be so frustrating at times. She might be able to do this same quiz a week from now, mostly by memory, but she wouldn't have much more of an idea what questions she had answered or what the answers meant.
With another small bubble explosion and a rather smug expression, Vee heads over to the rather insalubrious refreshment-providing spot, all plastic chairs and greasy-haired vendors. "Quantum Physics? What in hell'd I wanna know that anyhow? Don' matter a damn so long as I keep winnin' that thing. I'll give it a rest then play bit more later. Reckon I can get enough to pay Smokin' Jimmy what I owes him." Her grin was ever so slightly wicked. "See, I’m just real good at quiz machines, I guess. I got a talent, so I use it. Diet, cherry or regular?" the shift in topic comes, as with her mood changes, with no apparent warning or trigger.
"Diet." She answered promptly. After a quick inspection the nearest chair seemed to be free from discarded chewing gum at least, best not to touch it with bare skin though. She tucked the hem of her skirt under her and smoothed down her jeans before dropping into the seat, it had been a long day. Vee's grin was infectious and she found herself returning it without thinking. Then, "Who's Jimmy?" She asked quietly.
Vedette gets two cokes and risks all by getting her afternoon food - after all, they're hardly likely to get a decent homecooked meal. So she opts for popcorn, with plenty of sweetening. All arranged, she sits. Cokes are duly distributed, and she starts in on her very healthy meal… "Jimmy? Just this guy." Her gum is removed and stuck under the seat. She's got all the public consideration of a flatulent skunk. "Nobody special. I jus'..y'know. Got some stuff from him an' he said I had to pay back by Sunday"
Dominique rolls her eyes but held her tongue for now. She took the lid off her cola, stirred the ice around with a straw and dipped one finger in it, tasting the sticky dark liquid to make sure she'd got the right thing. A satisfied nod and she replaced the lid and stabbed the straw through it with perhaps a little more vigour than was really needed. "You're a shit liar Vee." The words were flat, no particular tone behind them. "And even if you weren't you'll get hammered at some point and tell me anyway, why not cut the crap and talk to me now?"
Vedette scowls and slumps down further in her seat, biting at the popcorn viciously. For a moment it looks like she is going to shoot back a scathing reply and leave it at that, but eventually she relents. She swallows her mouthful of sweetened papery goo. "Look, I met this guy when I went to see "Ruptured Spleen Dementia" play, all right? He fixed me up some E. Then like, I call him up an' asked if he got somethin' more, or else, or shit. So he does me some resin, right?" She plays with another handful of exploded ears. "Anyway, he says 's all right, he can wait for money. then last night he calls an' he's all hard ass an' wants money afore Monday or he's comin' looking for me, says hell take his payment some other way, an' gives this laugh. Well, by the time I'm through screamin' all sorts of fuckin' crud down the phone, he's already rung off." She then shrugs again. "So. I figure this is as good a place as any to get cash. They make a packet on these machines anyways." that about sums her up. Vee really believes she can pay off her dealer with quarters…
Dominique sighs. "Vee…" Running a hand through her hair she looked as if she was about to speak, mouth open then an inhaled breath that was let out in another long sigh rather than further words. "How much?" That was what it boiled down to of course, how much did her sister owe this guy and how much did he want it back? A stupid question, she wasn't going to think about how he intended taking payment if it wasn't cash - bodily fluids and that was about as far as her mind wanted to take it. Had Vee thought about it? She must have done, it baffled Niq just how her big sister could be so naive.
Vedette isn't normally naive but then again, she's not the most rational of people. And if she'd been drunk at the time, who knows what she'd agreed to. "Not so much. Seventy five bucks. look, I got near half that playin' in here already! You *know* I can do the rest. If I don't get it here then I bet I can borrow it easy enough elsewhere. No way'm I gonna let him touch me. Missy Caine at school, she says she knows him an' she heard the last time he washed below the neck, it was cause his mom made him do it. No thank YOU!" She slirps on her straw viciously. Then shrugs again, a fairly common form of exercise with her. "I'll fix it. You see." Optimism Ten, common Sense, Nil.
"Is that how much the stuff cost or how much he's told you he wants?" So maybe she was being a bit melodramatic, she didn't really care. She had the horrible feeling that if this DID go according to Vee's plan and she made the seventy five with no problem, handed it over, got off the hook (in a perfect world it might be feasible). If it all went as smooth as silk then Vee would be back here in exactly the same position with a higher target number next month. She would dearly love to shake some sense into her sister life sucked, forgetting about it for a while just made it worse when the real world came crashing back in full technicolour and surround sound. "And if he smelled sweeter, bathed twice a day, that would make a difference? You wouldn't mind him…God Vee, what were you thinking?" Her voice rose in both pitch and volume and she had to put the paper cup of liquid down before she crushed it into an eruption of caffinated fizz. "I need a cigarette." Niq stood up sharply and made towards the door, bag swinging in time to her impatient steps.
Vedette scowled deeply at this "Well, he can't lay a finger on me can he? He knows he can't cause if he does then…well." She glowers, "he better not try, that's all." Yes. She's doing her best to look tough, and she's not bad at it given her demeanour, but she's still just some teenage kid with too much mouth and decidedly not enough
trouser. She grabs up the popcorn and her coke and follows. "Look, I owe him. So I give him the seventy five, he's paid, an' then I don't call him again, all right? Sure, he's an asshole and I *get* that now. It'd not be the first time I've had to stop seein' someone as they're a total prick." Given the usual people she's picked out as friends, or even worse, boyfriends, that's hardly a surprise. "Wait up!"
Dominique says, "You don't call him again. And that makes it all ok, he won't contact you, he'll conveniently lose your phone number and not offer you freebies to make up for upsetting you. He's not going to know where to find you, not going to happen to be in the right place at the right time?" The tirade was delivered over her shoulder in a loud hiss. It wasn't exactly a stage whisper and Niq gave the impression more of trying to keep her voice down to stop herself screaming rather than out of any desire for privacy. "How can you be so…so stupid?""
Vedette comes up short and doesn't run into her sister, but only as she's hit with the words. The set of her jaw and change of expression suggest she's also building up into a tirade. "I am NOT stupid! Don't you call me that! I'm gonna block his number, and only places he knows where I go are clubs so it's not like he can catch me alone!
What, you think I'd not take precautions or somethin'? This isn't the first time I ever …" She stops as her voice is rising and attracting attention. She also returns to quieter tones. "I've dealt with dealers before. So what? He's just some stinky two-bit jerk. Not like he's a big time gangsta gonna drive by our house or shit. get some sense of perspective!" She pouts then. "'sides, not like you're a fuckin' genius is it? Least I get the occasional vowel amongst my grades!"
"Oh sure, plenty of U's the occasional E if you're lucky. But wait, that was before…" Dominique stopped and swallowed the words with a visible effort. THAT was a discussion for somewhere a little less public. She walked away, slamming through the doors and letting them swing closed behind her. Before they had stopped rattling she
had a packet of cigarettes and a lighter out of her bag.
Dominique flung herself back against the outer wall of the arcade. The cool air helped to clear her head and she took a few deep breaths, eyes closed as she waited for Vee's appearance and the inevitable explosion.
Vedette shoulders her way outside and snaps out "Yeah? So? Don' matter how I do it, I'm gettin' results. I can get money now an' don't even have to work that hard. You just like tryin' to make a big deal out of anything I do that you see is wrong! Little miss 'kin perfect! I make a mistake and suddenly I'm oh so very stupid! Well, maybe I am, but I'm the stupid bitch who is gettin' cash, can go where she wants to and doesn't have to sink to making big eyes over breakfast or crap. And if you're so very righteous, you tell me where it is you get your cigarettes, huh?" She's still carrying coke and popcorn, and jingling as she walks. It isn't like the coins can make her clothes any more mishapen, but they're a lot louder now.
Dominique smirked now, "Shouldn't leave packets in all your pockets when you chuck clothes at the laundry pile should you?" She had been planning on dropping the cigs back in her bag but now drew one out of the packet and lit it with obvious relish.
She tipped her head back and blew a plume of smoke skywards, the action seemed to calm her, whether it was the nicotine or just the enforced pattern of slow breathing, it worked. "Some one has to worry about you Sis. You don't give a crap about anything, yourself least of all and Mom.." Niq snorted, a sound of pure derision.
With a positively dumbfounded expression, Vee actually throws her drink towards her sibling, though she's a pretty bad aim and misses by a couple of feet, showering the wall with a caffeinated spray of stickiness. "You BRAT! You bitch, I am goin' to make you regret the day I was born!" There's a lot who do already, not the least her teachers … She storms over and makes a grab for the bag, scowling deeply. "Yeah, so *stealing* my smokes is looking after me? Oh so very considerate. And I care about a lot of things. I'll show you how much I care about whuppin' your fuckin' ass soon as I get them BACK!" She lunges again but co-ordination has never been her long suit.
Dominique dodges to one side to avoid the droplets of coke that splatter from her sister's hurled drink when it impacts the wall. "I didn't say that this," She waved the cigarette in her hand, "Was me looking after you. Besides, you'd rather I left them there and they wen't through the wash? Or that I ditched them in the trash?" Keeping on her toes, Niq moved away from the wall, staying out of the furious Vee's reach with surprising dexterity given that she was wearing four inch heels. "I just don't want you getting beat up or raped or worse but some dealer because you were too much of an idiot not to get in debt to him." Although there was a serious undertone to her voice and certainly her words were not frivolous, Niq looked as if she was enjoying taunting her sister. These were the times when people remembered that she was the younger of the two, even if she didn't act like it most of the time.
Vedette lunges again, even though part of her knows full well she hasn't a hope of catching hold of her sister. Niq is far, far too well balanced, graceful and generally a lot of things Vee is not. She bounces off the wall and then spits out some swear word under her breath. "You could just have given the 'kin things to me!" She kicks the wall hard with a *thunk* of boots of steel. "Jimmy would not have the balls to try it. He's a zero. But if you're goin' to be such a tightass about it all, you do better!" She glowered out of the badly over-made up eyes with bones-deep petulance and anger at the world, and Dominique in particular. "Go on, bitch! Bet you can't even FIND someone who sells, let alone know how to go about buyin'!"
Niq's eyes glittered. "Figured you'd have kept them with you, at least in your room, if you wanted them." She looked down at where Vee's boots had impacted the wall, she was half surprised that there wasn't a dent in the brick work. Good thing she was able to get out of the way, she doubted her shins would have fared so well. "Uh huh, so now you want me to find you a dealer who won't screw you because you can't manage to do it on your own?" She taunted. She didn't really want to carry on this train of conversation but found she wasn't sure how to get out of it. Vee was usually happy to row until she ran out of breath or got fed up of being on the losing end and stormed off in a strop.
Vedette kicked the wall again, finding it to be a suitable sister-proxy. "For all I know you came in and TOOK them, brat! And don' you go changin' the subject! I can manage well on my own. never needed anyone to buy my shit before. An' I don't need to now, but you're all so very knowin' and an expert, apparently. How'd you get to be so good at knowin' about screwin' dealers? That what you do when you're at 'dance class' or whatever it is that you say you're doin' late. Dances is it? Horizontal mambo?" She sniffs derisively, determined to get at least one jibe in. the fact that she's got two left feet and no way of getting her own anger out except by being nasty is not a sore point, oh NO!
"Maybe because I don't live wrapped up in my own little world, I actually pay attention to what's going on beyond the tip of a joint." She stepped forwards now, slipping from vicious teasing into something close to real anger. "Maybe because I look at you and see what's happening, because you just admitted to me that some asshole wants money or SOMETHING out of you in payment and I worry about you ending up some kind of crack whore?" She stalked closer to Vee, glaring up into her face; her sister might be taller than her but in one of these moods, shoulders back and chin thrust out in stubborn fury, Niq didn't feel as if she was having to look up to anyone. "And as for my dancing, I dance, I wanna make a career out of it, make a name for myself somewhere other than on a police computer. Maybe if you bothered to stay at school for more than five minutes you'd get to see me rehearse once in a while, that way you'd KNOW what I was doing. Except that would mean you caring about something that wasn't you, or cigs, or booze, or drugs, or making your ears bleed with that shit you listen to at full volume all night, or…or…" Niq paused for breath and balled the hem of her dress in her fists, trying to avoid swinging for Vee.
Vedette backs up a few paces, not entirely out of voluntary actions. She's noticing certain signs. Vee might be the surly, teenage angst bunny in the family, but when Niq gets *really* mad it is wise not to be anywhere within reach as her temper is hotwired into the french blood in their veins. But she's NOT going to admit defeat on this one. No siree! Still, it's time to end or she'll have to explain a black eye, scratch mark or something equally embarrasing. Slapped by boyfriend - bad. Slapped by kid sister - end.of.life.at.school - forEVER. So she just shoulders her way past and as she storms off she spits out "yeah, well dance your sorry ass to the fuickin' moon for all I care. I got skills an' I am goin' to use them. I get enough of this crap at home. Nobody ever seems to get where I come from. But you'll see, one day. So screw you, madam!" And she's past and walking off quickly. But there's the sound of a pause. And then, from round the corner she had slouched around, comes an almost full tub of popcorn, sailing in a beautiful parabola. Shame that she's such a rotten shot. it lands with a papery *thwap* on the sidewalk. As last words in an argument go, it's pretty pathetic, and definitely childish. But that’s Vee all over, these days.