poleaxe: (dreamworks face)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-17 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
The guy with the knife for a hand was right, which is a fact Joan hates. No one with a knife for a hand should be right about anything. But if she's really honest, it's the shit-eating grin that sticks in her memory.

Which is to say, yes, she runs out of food. Being holed up in an abandoned house only works for so long. Eventually, even scavenging the local towns turns up nothing. She has to move on.

She travels the roads, aimlessly looking for a ride. There are plenty of broken down cars these days, she just has to find one with enough working parts to fix. Being a junior mechanic is a lot of fucking things, and before the turn, it was mostly the knowledge that she'd never paint her nails. Now it's life or death. The most valuable thing she has after bottled water is a toolbox stuffed with spare parts. Heavy as shit, but if she can find a car that works, who cares. She wants to get out of here.

Of course, the only car she thinks she can make work is on a long stretch of road in the middle of goddamn nowhere. Trees on both sides, no sight lines, and of fucking course she has to squirm under the fucking thing to fix it. Shit, shit, shit. Her luck isn't good enough for something easy, it never is.

She sets up some string around the car, tied to bits of junk she's managed to salvage. You have to kind of wonder how much your life is worth when a plastic bucket and Dora backpack might save it. She loops some loud shit on the string, bits of metal and tools she's not using, in the vain fucking hope that something might trip over the wire and alert her to its presence. It's the best she can do.

But the dumbest thing she does by far is offering up a little prayer before she crawls under that stupid sedan. It's pretty clear from the way things are going that nobody up there is listening.
poleaxe: (angry shit)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-18 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
She realizes her mistake the second it's too late to fix it. Should have brought the gun with her under the car. Shouldn't have left it with backpack on the hood of the car. Stupid, stupid, stupid. She's gonna die, and it'll be nobody's fault but hers.

Well, she's not gonna make it easy for him, that's for sure.

Joan squirms out from under the car because she doesn't have a choice. At least it's not a surprise who finds her. She recognizes that voice, like a shit-eating grin in sound form. Still, when she's out from under the car and lying back with a sour expression on her face, the confirmation is a slap in the face. He was right, and now he's here to gloat. And then, you know, murder her.

"You've gotta be shitting me."
poleaxe: (REALLY angry shit)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-18 03:53 pm (UTC)(link)
She's gonna get murdered by knifearm. Christ. It feels so stupid, like a plot point in one of her brothers' dumb movies. And then Knifearm gutted that stupid bitch like a fish. And she'll deserve it, as far as she's concerned. If he just kills her, she's lucky.

But fear is expensive and anger is cheap. She feels it filling her veins, building slowly, waiting for an opportunity.

Big talk for somebody lying on their back on the ground while some asshole grins at her. She sits up slowly, staring him straight, as defiant as she can muster. "Cut the smalltalk," she says. "What do you want?"
poleaxe: (REALLY angry shit)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-19 04:21 am (UTC)(link)
"Keep looking." This has always been her fucking problem. See someone bigger than you? Pick a fight. Stare down a guy twice your weight with a gun pointed on you, what do you do? Growl at him. Great fucking plan, Joan.

But if she's going to die today, it's not going to be after a polite apology.

She's aware, on some level, that this is a test. That she shouldn't be goaded into giving herself away. But twice he's bested her, and her pride is wounded; she wants to prove her worth, even though she knows its useless. No one like him will ever find her useful.

Even if you were born in prison, you'd miss home eventually. "I was seeing if I could fix it, genius."
poleaxe: (dreamworks face)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-19 03:23 pm (UTC)(link)
The cornered animal act is getting strenuous. She's used to the person cornering her attacking by now. Nobody in her family is particularly subtle, much less patient. Why hasn't he struck her yet? What does he want?

Joan has the very real feeling that she's being played. She's going to lose, she knows, but damn her if she doesn't go down swinging.

"Yeah," she says, finally. She gets up slowly, never taking her eyes off him. "I could. Just need my bag."

The bag on the hood of the car, which, admittedly, does have the supplies she needs in there. Joan was never much for quick thinking where lies are concerned. But more importantly, it has the only gun she's got left.
poleaxe: (at least pissed)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-19 05:11 pm (UTC)(link)
"Away from you," is her first, immediate, unthinking answer. It's a testament to how scared she is that there isn't an insult on the end of that. Away from your ugly ass. She can almost hear herself say it.

But the thing is, that doesn't seem to work on this guy. Goading people on, that always worked on Dad and Matt, but it doesn't do shit here. It occurs to her, fucking idiot, that she ought to stop working off instinct. This asshole refuses to be riled.

What does he want? If he wanted to hurt her, he could have done it by now. She really, really hopes he doesn't want to drag it out. If she were smart, she should interrogate him back. Turn it around on him.

But like always, she opens her mouth and insults fall out. "I don't got shit here, so I'm leaving," she says, still scowling. "You want my social security number too?"
poleaxe: (i am disregarding your input)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2016-12-20 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Joan, champion of putting her foot in it, keeps going for gold. "Only thing I'll find with you is a puncture wound."

It's more grumbled than the defiant snarl of before. She's at the bottom of this particular hole, and he still hasn't struck. The anxiety of her situation gnaws at her, but it's become a low hum at the back of her mind. She wants to get this over with. If he's going to hit her, he ought to hurry up. She knows what to do when that happens. It's this nagging, gloating thing he's doing that's driving her nuts. That's what's making her feel like a real idiot.

Maybe that's the point.

"Don't tell me you're gonna try and spin fairyland to me again. Come on. What to do you want?"

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poleaxe: (angry shit)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2017-03-15 02:55 am (UTC)(link)
Joan stays a month, mostly spent making plans. Merle put enough effort into getting her here that it'd be a bad move to just bolt. And this place is a shitshow, all the bad memories of her childhood shoved into a little town high on its own fumes, but the food is free and regular if she pulls her weight. Joan doesn't know how to not pull her weight, Dad saw to that, so she does her part.

That doesn't mean she gets on with the locals. She gets shoved into the building the orphans are stuck with, and while she doesn't have to go to their little 'school', she still has to sleep and wake up there. Even without her shithead brothers looming over her reputation, she gets along with the Woodbury kids just as well as she did the kids in fucking Shivley. She gets into a few fights, spends two weeks with a black eye, and knocks out a kid's teeth. She decides to leave when she narrowly avoids getting her arm broken, and she's genuinely surprised when they just let her walk. She was planning on having to make a break for it. But they let her right out the door, and it doesn't feel earned. Puts her on edge, not feeling like she deserves the victory. Fighting for it's so much more... comfortable.

It's still a surprise when she sees someone in the clearing ahead of her, and if she squints, she can recognize the shape of his thick skull through the trees.

She should run. She doesn't. She should shoot him. She doesn't do that either.

She's a fucking idiot, and a hypocrite too. She's killed people she knew better, cared for more, than fucking Merle Dixon. Still, something stays her hand, and she doesn't examine the impulse, not wanting to find whatever the truth really is.

She does draw her pistol, keeping it up and pointed at him before she enters the clearing. "I'm not going back."
poleaxe: maximum joans. (Default)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2017-03-21 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
"You drag me back, I'll fight you." He doesn't know what a threat that is. "Not like last time." Joan knows it doesn't sound like much; he's never seen her fight. And there's no guarantee she'll win. She doesn't care. A fight, for her, isn't about hurting or winning or striking down the enemy. It's about making everyone involved pay. He'll win, but it won't be fun for either of them.

She won't try to kill him, she knows. It's not about killing, for him. Go for what hurts, she thinks. Shoot off his other hand.

The thought sits uncomfortably in her mind, but more comfortably than killing him. For some reason, she can't let herself do that. She can't. If she does, maybe she can't come back. You kill too many old men, you become something else. You take on whatever they were. You inherit the sin like debt.

"Away. We already talked about this."
poleaxe: (terminal crazyeye)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2017-04-03 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
He does that smile that starts the I know you know I know game, except it means he knows she's not going to shoot him in the head. She lowers the gun, but she's still holding it. Her finger is still on the trigger.

If she shoots off his hand, he'll kill her. It's be a good ending. Come full circle.

It's a very dramatic thing to think, and that appeals to the part of her that's seventeen and angry with blood on her hands. The only thing that doesn't work is the very real knowledge that it won't be fast. How could it be? He won't have any hands.

"We both know that's not why you're here." She rolls her eyes and doesn't look him in the face. Shit. She doesn't want to kill him, but if she's going to die, she wants to be taken seriously. With that same stupid dramatic interest from before, a plan forms in her mind. "Come on," she says, "I'll show you something."

She turns her back on him, and starts walking down a hill to their left.
poleaxe: (i hate to be the bearer of bad news)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2017-04-03 03:03 am (UTC)(link)
"I didn't find it," she says. "I put it there."

She's never showed anybody this, but by the time it was there, there was nobody to show. She thought she'd stick by the area, haunt the place or something grandiose like that, sleeping in the house and biding her time until she ran out of food. Once she decided to move on, this fucker stopped her.

Maybe it's a sign. God is trying to tell her something. She did a terrible thing, and when she tried to leave it, something keeps stopping her. Maybe it's meaningful.

Maybe it's not, and she'll die stupid in the woods. That works, too.

The little shack they were staying in is up ahead. It's a beaten up thing, and there are still a few cars sitting in front of it, all missing tires and engines and spare parts. The shack still has their sleeping bags in it. Most importantly, it still has the little twin mounds at the back of it.

Joan gives it a wide berth, standing on the outskirts. "You're not a complete idiot," she says. "We were staying here." She was going back to it, she realizes, going back out of blind habit before this asshole stopped her. Stopped her again. God, she's a fucking idiot sometimes.
poleaxe: (terminal crazyeye)

[personal profile] poleaxe 2017-04-10 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
It's almost a disappointment that he's not being rough on her now. She doesn't want his pity. She definitely doesn't want his gentleness. It feels wrong, so she ignores it.

"The only ones that matter," she says, and points to the larger mound. "I killed him for killing my brother." Her tone is hard. She's never admitted this to anyone, but... well, it's true.

"My father. He was bigger than you." She looks over him with disdain. "So don't give me shit about taking it easy."
poleaxe: (dreamworks face)

a billion years later........

[personal profile] poleaxe 2017-05-02 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
He's wrong; it's the reaction she wants, and it's not the one she expects. Winning hurts worse, in a way. The respect means, what, exactly? It means she's a part of this. That she's fallen into the world, his world, the world of petty violence and treachery. No, no, she never fell. She walked, and maybe she was always there. And he's, what, acknowledging it?

She doesn't like it, but it's what she asked for, so she'll just have to suck it up, huh?

"I ain't staying anywhere," she says, and then turns to him. There's still something they haven't finished, here. "You gonna let me go, or you wanna do something dumb?"

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