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 The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)

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PostSubject: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:58 am

It had been a long night already, even if it was just beginning. The evening had been filled with so much already. From heartbreak to rock bottom to crime, if it wasn't fun it was certainly eventful. The kinds of things that songs were made of, but that's just how Life went. Get fucked up, have a tale to tell in the morning. Never a dull moment when you behaved yourself like every day could be your last. For Ritsuko that was certainly true. At any time, any moment someone could kick in the door and everything could change. She despised that. The change. Some people might find it fun and spontaneous, but no event in her life changed the tiny alcoholic for the better. The Eternal Divide was iffy on that. It brought her from one Hell into another, and she was unsure which one was worse. It allowed her to escape the torture and abuse she survived and endured every day up til then, but at the cost of sacrificing everything she knew. Nothing had prepared her for this new, scary world filled with obligations and responsibilities, things like work and bills to pay. No one ever taught her how to do that, she was only instructed on how to kill things. And now here she was, alone and miserable, reeling in culture shock five years later from her social obligations. It was never anything she wanted, but over time it became something she needed to survive her lifestyle. Liquor.

Anything that would numb the ache that would allow her to function into her evening. That's when her negative thoughts were the most prevalent. Her dreams. She kept seeing the faces of the men she killed, she could hear the screams they made. Ritsuko never regretted anything, not even for a moment, but those tortured expressions and shrill wails haunted her. When she closed her eyes for the night she could see people being ripped in half, she could feel the blood sprinkle upon her skin just like back then. But not tonight, or any of night in recent history. People liked to bash alcohol and say it was a waste of time, but it brought her something valuable: dreamless sleep. She couldn't have nightmares if she passed out from intoxication instead. Honestly it was better this way. Some days she felt like swallowing pills or stopping in front of buses, but as long as she could sleep and carry out the chain of events her life had lead her too everything would be fine. Always was. She'd been existing like that for a long time, there really wasn't any reason to stop now.

Kokage was a self-styled upper class bar, with '50's decor. It was relatively ornate, with exclusive clientele or at least that's what the owners liked to think. Ritsuko still made it in fine, probably because she was another woman to hit on. Bars were subjective like that. Women attracted men and men spent money on drinks for women. Anyway the scenery was much too fancy for her own shallow tastes. It was classy. Too classy. It was the kind of joint old businessmen would use to hook up with vulnerable girls such as her. That is, if Ritsuko would ever pay attention to any of that. She preferred to reel in the free drinks, be abrasive, and get fucked up alone yet somehow no one seemed to notice how few people she brought in. Whatever, didn't matter and she wasn't interested. The intimate atmosphere left her relatively undisturbed, taking her assigned seat at the end of the bar. Always the furthest corner away somewhere that wouldn't give anyone an excuse to approach her. She stood out fairly conspicuously anyway although not for a lack of trying. It was difficult to keep a low profile with the guitar on her back and her more punk-rock attire amid collared shirts and slacks and dresses. Sometimes standing out and blending in received the same results. She looked so different, maybe no one would wanna speak with her.

Ritsuko had already had more than a few, but she wasn't quite where she wanted to be yet. Her focus was swimming through thick clouds but it was still there, her body felt unresponsive but she could still move it. To anyone else she appeared to be a little tipsy, possibly after a 3rd glass of wine, but from her practiced tolerance she was well past her 7th hard drink. It took quite a while for her to reach a level of non-prescience that she wanted and more than one bottle at that. Ritz didn't want to remember what happened that night, didn't want anything to come back and haunt her that she couldn't flee from. Nothing was worth recalling, only the pain stood out in her mind. Pain, obligation, trauma, and fear. She wouldn't be rid of it, but for a while and at a price she could ignore they existed. No shackles to hold her to the ground, no gravity to weigh her down, she could drift into the void and escape her issues...

...shit that one's good. I hope I remember it tomorrow.

"I'll have a martini, please. Dirty, two olives,"
she asked of the barwoman emptily. Her dull brown eyes remained glued to the wallpaper with her request, head resting upon her hand with an elbow to the table. The musician wasn't up for bar games tonight. Ordinarily she'd pretend to be short of funds and await some strapping, cocksure man to offer her a drink that she'd pretend to enjoy the company of before freezing him over and leaving, but she wasn't in the mood for it. Even pretending to care was beyond her ability at the moment, not that that was incredibly unusual. Playing nice wasn't a thing she wanted to do tonight, not after being wounded like she was. The last time she dared to play the flirt game someone ripped her heart out, stepped on it, and ground it into the tile, it just wasn't something she wished to experience a second time in nearly as many hours. Ritz sighed loudly, regretting not having anything to distract herself with. Her phone didn't have anything on it and she didn't want to make herself self-conscious by scribbling lyrics in her notebook or doodling, this wasn't the place for it. Nor was it the place to strum on her guitar. Nothing to do but sit quietly and contemplate every bad event that occurred in her life.

The usual, of course. Just like any other night.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:17 am

It was not often that Haru drank heavily. Most of the time he was a casual drinker. You know the sort of person that took a glass of wine after a meal or maybe had a small glass of something heavier that could tide him over for the night as he thought or worked on a project here and there? It was a peaceful sort of drinking that fell in the category of relaxation along side a cigarette or nice long bath. Drinking was a pleasure thing for him most of the time, but sometimes...just sometimes it was also the last resort to drown out shit in his life. While typically running elsewhere could save him from this path, when the hell was in his head it wouldn’t matter where he went. The nightmare would follow remaining as vivid and twisted as always.

He wasn’t sure why this particular nightmare would not leave him be. Why it lingered as if it sunk into very soul, but it did. Ever since his first true job so to speak had happened and ended, his mind just wasn’t the same after what he saw and heard there. The event rattled him to the point that it kept him up and jolted him suddenly out of light dozes if he dared to close his eyes long enough.

With no peace to be gained and knowing without a doubt that running elsewhere would not help matters, Haru did the only thing he knew could potentially give him the peace he sought: he headed out for a serious drink. He wasn’t going to bar hop like some liked too. No that wasn’t his style. What he did instead was found a quiet place to get a meal before moving down the streets to find a place that wasn’t overly crowded and had enough decency in it to sit in without feeling like he’d be stabbed at any moment. He drifted about for a good while before he came across a bar called Kokage and after scoping the place out a bit, he decided to just stay.

Sure the place was could be considered too old for someone like him, but honestly the young man hadn't chosen the place for its style. Instead he chose it because it belonged to the upper class and due to this had a rather particular sort of clientele that made the idol quite certain that he would have to worry about the usual shenanigans that occurred when hanging around the more easily accessible bars, so he would slip right in without anyone batting an eye that a ‘kid” had walked onto their turf.

Not bother by some glances he got from the customers there, he would take a seat one bar stool away from the lady at the very end of the bar. He would give her a glance taking note that she already seemed to be a bit drunk, but he supposed that was alright as long as she didn’t do anything crazy. And who knows maybe she wouldn’t do anything at all. She appeared to be pretty bored or tired, so maybe that was okay.

Keeping her presence in mind, the pretty boy would order a nice red wine from the barwoman who surprisingly didn’t fuss or try to give him lip about the matter. What a nice relief considering how some bars liked to try and read him his rights as if he was some punk off the street trying to pull punches. Finding a place that didn’t do that was a beautiful thing. Not only did it save the bar from losing a customer when things went south, but it saved him a lot of energy that was used to stay calm in such situations. Even more so when his mood was far from tolerant of such nonsense.

So with no strife in his path, Haru would relax a bit as he waited for his drink to arrive. When it was delivered, the bar tender not only gave him a full glass, but she was kind enough to leave the bottle with him. Finding the gesture a bit bold on the bar tender's part, he gave the woman a questioning look, but she only smirked before moving off to serve others. He wasn’t quite sure what that was all about, but hey if she was going to trust him with the whole bottle, then he wasn’t going to complain. Besides….to drown out what was currently in his head, he might need that whole bottle.

Shaking his head slightly at that thought, he would pick up the glass and take a sip of it before placing it back on the counter as he leaned slightly forward to rest his elbows on the surface of the counter. His strange colored eyes would remained fixed on the red liquid before him as his mind drifted elsewhere for the moment…

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PostSubject: Re: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:21 pm

Her chest ached with the familiar hurt, those tiresome lonesome thoughts eating away at her from the inside. Memories played out on a film reel within her mind, Ritsuko constantly recounting and reliving scene after scene of her own failures and disappointments from script that ran today. Like the time she was floundering at a bus stop and some vicious teenagers ran her away from it. Or how her boss kept hitting her with things at work. The comforting moments were there too, but only for contrast, to make how terrible her miserable existence was stand out a little harsher and more painfully. They were fireflies within the blackness of her life, small sparks that would bring hope that the darkness could be lifted and yet never was, not even for a few moments. It was always there, always had been, always will be, and it would never change. The only thing she had to look forward to were evenings like this when it pained her less after a few rounds of liver-killing poison.

The barfly gave the young man a side glance as he pulled near her, more out of reflex to the approaching of people than anything else. He was certainly a looker with his finely styled hair, immaculately cool apparel, and divine features, but that wasn't what had made her stare for a few seconds longer than she should have. He was different. Just like she was. He wasn't dressed to the nines like all the other men here, he was quite a bit younger too. Even the aura he carried around him bespoke of a differing temperament similar to hers, she could feel it radiating off of him with his cloistered attitude and guarded brooding that she was able to pick up on.

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It may not have been so obvious to most but she already knew how that looked, considering Ritz had been living that for some time. She felt he was there for a similar reason that she was. That is, escaping a problem, a far cry from any other there that were prowling to pick up women or have a good time or happened to do it socially. The musician could tell when people were being genuine and knew this wasn't an act. He was gorgeous, sure, however she hadn't felt as if his stormy demeanor was some sort of act or show for the girls who went for the dark and mysterious type. Girl trouble, she'd bet. It gave her... a twisted sense of belonging, almost. The stranger wasn't struggling to keep his head above water, that was clear when he stepped foot in one of the classier bars on the strip, and he looked like he could have anything if he wanted. Yet there he was, in the same position as a pathetic wretch with a scarred soul and broken heart. It put things in perspective, that no matter what you had or where you came from Life would find something precious from you and take it away. Ritsuko was just a little less lucky and lost quite a bit more.

The musician wanted to talk to him if just to have someone to complain to that might agree with her, but he seemed like he didn't want to be bothered. Which was fine, she herself was much the same, and she had a marked reluctance to attempt to speak plainly with people again. After her genuine attempt at human interaction going south earlier that evening she was hesitant to start a conversation with anyone at all she didn't already know... and all of that disappeared in an instant when her negative point was proven. He'd ordered a fine wine, not exactly a strange choice by looking at him, but his dashing had earned an eye from the flirtatious bartender she'd interpreted. He'd received a bottle for his inquiry and a kinder attitude than she'd received, all before she'd gotten the drink she ordered before he did. So Life wasn't as fair as she thought, was it? No such thing as a level playing field. Ritsuko seethed with a jealousy that could nearly be felt, biting her lip as she kept it to herself. He was someone with troubles, a solemn spirit, but she was nobody in comparison. No one to give a thought to, no one to be favored, forever to be seated at the end of the bar in the darkest corner ignored by those around her, passed over for more appealing souls. It was a life she'd chosen but the bitterness remained. She wanted to be looked at and treated well like that, it wasn't fair!

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"...so what's your problem?" rasped Ritz to the handsome young man with slight hostility in her voice, "...a guy like you looks like he can have whatever he wants, but you're here drinking alone like a loser." The irritable alcoholic didn't turn her face toward the brooding stranger, scratching at the bartop with an impatient finger instead, but she knew he'd hear her. He appeared quite perceptive like that, anyone with issues like theirs would. Ritsuko was well aware that she also implied herself to be a loser and that wasn't a big deal, it was something she knew already. It'd vindicate her to hear him admit it himself, she was petty enough to gain satisfaction from that. How pathetic, dowsing your sorrows in liquor to put out the agony. Where was her own drink, anyway? That catty bitch wasn't going to get a tip.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:44 pm

He took note of the movement from the woman that sat at the end of the bar, took note that she did stare at him, but as long as she did not attempt engage with him, the dark hair male would only give her passing glance before settling into his wine. Staring was nothing new to him. He was stared at all the time no matter if he was on a stage or just trying to walk about the street. His pretty boy nature was a gift, but also a curse. He could not escape the eyes and while typically the stares made him uncomfortable, he wasn’t too bothered by it tonight. Whether it was because the woman wasn’t giggling or gawking at him because he was some pretty object or the fact his mode made him simply not care was debatable...and to be honest a trivial point that would be washed away in red liquid as the time ticked on.

Speaking of that red liquid, he supposed he could get started on the real drinking now that the initial step of sipping the drink just to taste it and savor it for a bit was over. Picking up the glass again, this time he took a heavier drink from it than before. It was the sort gulp that would have a beginner reeling relatively fast; however, for this young man it wouldn’t have that immediate effect. No he would need to get past at least two or so glasses for the full effect to hit him, thus why he liked wine. It was a slow hitter in comparison to the other stuff he didn’t quite care for or simply didn’t want to get knocked out of the game so quickly by. Besides he slept off wine better than any other drink, so it was a win-win for the idol.

Setting the glass down with almost half the liquid gone on ready, the young man would remain quiet as he watched the red liquid in his glass for a bit before his eyes drifted lazily to the area around him. He would watch some bar goers drift in and out of the place before his eyes drifted to the bar tender who took her sweet time in getting the lady at the end of the bar’s drink. He watched as she served one other person and even paused to flirt with them for a while before remembering she had an order to fill. She would get the requested drink and give it to the lady, but unlike with him the woman was only nice to the other in so far that it was part of her job to be nice to a customer.

While he didn’t say anything to the matter, he did find himself shaking his head inwardly at this whole matter of how looks, money, or whatever gave you the edge over another always seemed to get the one underneath the shorter end of the stick. Maybe it was because he was in a bad mood, but tonight the behavior was more annoying and ugly than ever. It was true the woman most certainly didn’t look like she belonged in this place, but even so that didn’t mean she had to be treated like she was a nobody by those that were better off. The scene left a bitter taste in his mouth and what better way to wash the annoyance away then with another swallow of red liquid that soon become venomous with his plan for the night?

He would take that swallow and just as he was placing the glass down he would hear the woman at the end of the bar speak. However, her voice wasn’t sweet or nervous. It was rough and even a bit hostile. It was a sound he rarely heard, especially from strangers that were typically giggle or just didn’t know what to say to him. Rather than taking offense at the way she spoke, he actually appreciated it because it was something real and not something brought about by people trying to charm him with their ways.

The young man’s pretty face would turn to the woman his expression serious and devoid of friendliness as he gave her a look up and down, his coldness matching her hostility.

“Problem?” he would pause and scoff lightly, a bitter sound as he shook his head. “Got too many list and no amount of money or charm is going to send them away. So gotta take them out like any loser would. The old fashion way.” He would pause as he picked up his glass and took another drink from it and then holding it in his left hand, his eyes would drift back to the other. “And you? What’s your deal?”

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PostSubject: Re: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:56 pm

The pathetic degenerate seethed with an elbow propping her head up, staring emptily ahead at the space in front of her as if it would apologize and move out of the way. There were just too many things to be angry at to focus her hostility properly. Kano, that chick from the coffee shop, her boss, her coworker, herself, the government... it was draining and exhausting. And now this lackadaisical bartender and the pretty boy. Well... he didn't do so much as be there and be handsome, wasn't really his fault at all. Still didn't change the fact that she despised him for it. People like that never knew how hard Life could be, it was insulting to be placed in a similar tier as them. When it came down to losing you could only lose everything that wasn't relative to what you were, something that could never be taken away from you. And while he was so lucky to inherit beauty she was coated in invisible scars for her trouble. Nothing would be as easy for her as it was for him, that was an undeniable fact of existence. Ritsuko had known for a long time that Life wasn't fair, but it never stopped her from feeling cheated by it.

Speaking of being cheated, her inattentive server finally arrived with her drink. Not exactly her drink, but a drink. It was a martini, but that was about it. No olives in it. Dumb bitch, probably forgot as she was flirting it up with gorgeous young studs.
"There you go, one martini," announced the bar girl politely, gingerly setting the glass before the alcoholic Japanese woman. Ritz's eyes floated upward, turning that sharp stare straight into her auburn eyes. She held her scowl to her for a few moments, watching her squirm under the heat of her gaze, witnessing that perky smile turn to a wooden façade of etiquette. Without taking her eyes away, Ritsuko reached her hand into her vest to grab her money clip, folding out a twenty dollar bill and sliding it across the counter.
"I expect full change back," she flippantly dismissed. Not that she cared where the money went, it technically wasn't hers. Five dollars of Kano's money could go wherever the fuck it liked, if she gave a damn the guitarist wouldn't be at a flashy establishment. It was more about the statement it made. Poor service means no tip. She wasn't about to complain about the specifics of her drink order because it would mean it'd take another fifteen minutes to get another drink that might be wrong, but she could show her displeasure in other ways.
"Sure thing, I'll be right back with your change."
Ritz could hear the twinge of frustration in the server's voice, could read the tenseness in her body language.
Customer service is a bitch, huh? Maybe if you'd do your fuckin' job you'd have a better experience, but no, you're gonna go home and bitch and moan to whoever'll listen about that one rotten asshole at the bar treating you the same way you treated her. Fuck you. You wanna get paid then fuckin' work for it.
Her scowl broke into a twitch of a grin as she watched the bartender quickly stride away, taking a small mouthful of her poison. This could be fun for a little while, messing with the waitstaff for being slow. It'd be lying if Ritz had said that being difficult the rest of the night wouldn't make her feel a little better. She was just getting what was coming to her...

The musician's sly grin disappeared as she locked eyes with the pretty boy, stating his case. That was... kind of shocking. If anything she had expected him to get up and move or give some half-hearted retort or flip his lid and get holier than thou or anything along those lines. Her held tilted slightly in curiosity as he spoke... although she couldn't maintain staring into his mismatched orbs for too long. It was... eerie. Although her own glare burned soft his was a piercing sort of look. There was something frightening about it, but she couldn't place her tongue on just what. But, in any case, she would play his game. It wasn't often she got to play games like this, most people never wanted to participate. They got defensive or angry, and it was fun for a little while but it never lasted. Maybe he'd be just a bit different... Ritz broke away from his penetrating gaze with a slight smirk on her lips.
"Me? Can't you tell?" she feigned surprise as she ran a hand through her unruly black hair, "All night I keep having men approach me with their silver tongues and dashing good looks, I just can't stand it! I thought that maybe if I found the darkest corner I could find and indulged myself with a drink or two that maybe they wouldn't notice me, but here you are anyway! Ah ha ha ha ~!" Ritsuko cackled an icy, mocking laugh as she poked fun at the handsome young man, mimicking the problems she perceived him to have. Not as if she were about to tell her what really bothered her but in a way she already had. If he was smart he could read between the lines, but Ritz could never find anyone that clever, she'd all but stopped counting on it to happen. Instead it was a little game she played. As she settled down her face fell immediately into the hard scowl it always was, her hand reaching for her drink to take a gulp of pure, burning alcohol. With no olives. Stupid bitch.

"*gaaa...* ...if money and charm isn't doing anything, just try something else. It's not that hard. The rest of us get by, nothin' stopping you." Her words had a conceitedness to them. To her it was simple, but nobody liked to think outside of the little boxes they walled themselves. Money and charm, charm and money, it was probably the only way he knew how to tackle issues. Probably because it was all he ever had to do. People always defaulted to the usual way they did things, Ritz was no different in that respect. What set her apart from everyone else was that she knew that and could change it if she wanted to. But she'd let him figure that out, see how smart he really was.

...the fuck is my goddamn change?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:24 pm

The hostility from the lady that he chose to interact was real and perhaps to a normal person or maybe one in a different mindset, this behavior could be trigger points for the justice harper or even the aggressive one looking for a fight; however, Haru wasn’t either of those and neither was he the hero type as he let the bartender handle the aggressive customer on her own. As long as shit wasn’t flying and nobody was really getting hurt, the young man saw no reason to poke his hand in a flame that honestly wasn’t his to deal with.

So while that all played out, he would drain his first glass and then reach over to the bottle to refill it though this time around he didn’t drink it immediately as he rested the bottle back on the counter. He would stay quiet, his mind dealing quietly with his own issues until he was drawn out of them as the hostile woman decided to place her attention back on him and ask him question that he answered more or less in his own way.

As he responded back and the woman reacted, the young man would hold her heated gaze easily enough not flinching under it at all as he regarded her with an icy look that he would give anyone trying to face off or intimidate him. He’d admit the woman was a nasty piece to deal with, but at the same time that is what made her so appealing to the young man. She was mess, but not your typical mess. She wasn’t the sort that was just sitting there in misery or looking for someone to pity her or anything. Instead she took that vile nature of hers, embraced it, and lashed out at whatever happened to be around and on the surface it would appear to be just that. A woman lashing out and being bitter; however, Haru saw more under that as he took in the way she tilted her head at him seeming curious about something before she was looking away with that smirk of hers upon her lips and speaking again.

To what he heard, Haru would give a light "hmph" of amusement as he took a swallow from his glass before refocusing on the woman, a smirk of his own in place. However, there was no humor to be had here. He was quite bitter and in a way upset, but having something to direct his frustrations at and in turn have someone direct their own hostility back at him somehow worked to sooth and bring pleasure to the young man in a way he had never known was possible. Heh. Guess even if one came from a different background sometimes common ground helped them get along in strange ways. Either that or the alcohol churning through the pair was giving them some sort of courage unintentionally. Who knew?

Haru most certainly didn’t care as he responded back, his mind picking apart what she had said. Heh. Her words couldn’t be further from the truth of the matter, could they? Even so, he would play her game of bitterness easily enough as he took the mocking words easily enough and rolled with them. “Oh poor baby. So much attention to escape from. It must really be hell to be bothered,” he would say his face easily shifting to a face of pity for the woman before him, but if she was clever she would be able to take note, he had no pity for her at all.

He figured her words were mocking him for things she assumed he had problems with, but in turn she may have had issues with as well. Issues in the fact that her lot was maybe the opposite of his in many regards and in turn brought up things like jealousy and hate. Even so he didn’t get offended by it as he simply accepted the assumptions that said nothing about him, squaring off with the lady in his own way as he held his ground easily enough against her hostility. Now how the lady took this? That was up to her. Either way it didn’t seem her tactics to make him break or cry were going to work as some part of him took great pleasure in this change up in the usual game.

It was very rare he was faced with something this genuine and raw. Sure to some it was unbearable, but for this guy and his mode it was just what he needed. Just like a good drink. Regardless of the pleasure this was causing Haru face would shift to seriousness as he rolled his eyes at the next comment.

“Tch! Please,” he would begin as his lips curled back with slight disgust. Not at the woman, but rather at the situation as a whole. Regardless of how unfriendly the action seemed, Haru was apologetic for it as he took a swallow of his drink. “You think, I haven’t tried other options already?”

His voice was blunt and direct. No mercy behind anything he said. Honestly, if one thought for two seconds he was just some rich joe about to pine over his issues because he couldn’t get his way, well then that person had another thing coming. It was true Haru could indeed buy his way out of alot of things, but that just wasn’t his way. He preferred to knock the shit out whatever was bothering him than try and shoo it away for a bit with money or charm. That might’ve worked well for others, but for him. Nope. That just didn’t sit well at all.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lies We Live (Night)[SL](Haru)   Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:24 pm

The eye roll the "complete mess" gave the pretty boy could've registered on the Richter scale as she brought her sickening elixir back to her lips. Despite her frosty exterior, Ritsuko was enjoying herself. No one ever wanted to participate in her little "Let's Piss People Off and See What Happens" games. He was fun to banter with, he didn't hop straight to the defensive like most people. Usually when she tried to mess with people like that it turned into a dick measuring contest and wasn't fun anymore. At least he got the concept. It was all about sniping people. She wasn't such a fragile little snowflake that she couldn't take a hollow insult or two. He listened, paid attention, and not just to form up some strawman argument against something she didn't even give a shit about. Tiny little people and their precious little egos. So delicate, so precious. Ritz found the whole concept hilarious and a big motivator for why she enjoyed her testing of the waters so much. It was a shame that not everyone knew, but if you were comfortable enough with yourself to just not give a shit what other people thought without instantly diving to the trenches and returning fire it was a sign of strength in her eyes. It meant you had grit, that you weren't so pathetic that someone's minor comment could bring you down to their level. That was a rare quality today. Most people were too busy defending what little they thought they had to realize that they could let it stand against it all and come out looking strong. But he had it. Admirable, she'd admit. Even if he was an insufferable prick.

Keeping her eyes on him, she took a large gulp from her nerve toxin and nearly drained the glass to the dregs and scrunching up her face in disgust. It was expensive but at least it was strong. Sweet was okay, but Ritz much preferred drinks that bite. The burn meant it was good. She could feel herself becoming looser, more lightheaded, and less focused, but at least she could fake being composed for a little longer. She'd had a lot of practice in that area.
"I- *phew* ...I think you haven't tried hard enough," stated the guitarist coolly, a fist in front of her mouth to stifle a belch. "Or the right things. This?" Ritz held up her own drink by the stem, her other hand underneath it, smiling lightly as if displaying it before tilting it to her darkened lips "*pha!* ...is a last resort. The fact that you're here right now throwing a pity party tells me you gave up. Life got just a little too hard for you so you retreated to the bar where you won't have to face it, no, I understand." He wasn't the only one who could cruel, although the brand of vitriol between the two were completely different. His was a bit more heartless, like a cold-blooded snake while hers was much more spiteful and sadistic as she enjoyed laying into him. Still, just as before and always her words belied hidden meaning. Ritsuko did understand how that was, she did that quite frequently. Although, her problem was a bit different from what she assumed his would be. Must be sooooo haaaaaard being attractive, being psychologically tortured and filled with experimental drugs just couldn't compare! Pssh, shyeah right.

There was familiarity in his sarcasm, however, familiarity not long passed. Just as she had alluded to her own true issues she believed he might have as well, though, not problems with romance. Maybe problems with attention? She could imagine that everyone would want a piece of him, he was certainly attractive enough. To the abrasive musician that was a non-issue of course. She didn't like attention either but she did something about it and could usually get people to leave her alone if they didn't flat out ignore her in the first place. Speaking of which, she was getting sick and tired of waiting on her inattentive server. Being patient for a drink was one thing, but now she had her money. Money that didn't belong to her. That wasn't something she'd stand for. Ritsuko placed her fingers in her mouth and rudely whistled for her server, busy slacking off and chatting someone else up. The musician drummed her fingers impatiently as she awaited some goddamn service for once, witnessing the brunette jumping slightly and then finishing her conversation for another minute before going back to what she's paid to do. Ritz simply stewed in her own anger, biding her time.

"How can I help you?" she politely chirped with that same wooden smile.
"...my change...?" seethed the tiny woman.
"Oh, right. I apologize for that, Miss." Ritsuko wordlessly glared at the auburn bartender as she took a five dollar bill from her apron and handed it to the insufferable alcoholic, taking no hesitation in leaving to join her previous chat session. Ritz scoffed, staring daggers into her back as she left while reaching into her vest to place her cash with the rest. Certainly the last time she'd come to Kokage for certain, she could get shitfaced anywhere else and not be treated like a piece of furniture and spending her life savings. Even if it wasn't hers. Seriously, how fucking hard was it to make change for a twenty?
"Whatever," growled the small lady, "Lazy bitch." Unabashedly she would reach for the pretty boy's wine bottle, filling her martini glass with the good stuff. She didn't think he would try to stop her or anything, he seemed the type to let something like that go. Besides, not like she was getting any other kind of real service.
"You should try something you couldn't ever think of," Ritsuko spoke casually, "...if you've run out of options." He seemed sharp enough, the young man might pick up on what she meant by it. Besides, if he didn't she could keep playing their game. She set his bottle back down by him, lifting her glass by the stem and looking at him with a neutral expression.
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