stbethadettes: (here we go again)
[personal profile] stbethadettes
Once the door is closed behind them, Beth can't help looking back for a moment.

It just looks like an old rickety wooden shed, and out here, in the bright light of day, she remembers exactly how odd it was to step into the bar for the very first time when she'd been going through the back door of St. Bernadette's.

She wonders if Hero thought she'd lost her mind when she found the bar in there.

Surrounding them on all sides are rows and rows of corn, all the stalks taller than the two of them, and the sky is a pure cloudless blue.

Half-smiling at Hero, she nods. "Just us girls now, fearless leader."

Date: 2007-02-06 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Hope you like corn. There's no shortage."

This is familiar territory. Really goddamn familiar, and she's not all that excited to be back here but at the same time, there's an urgency to things now. Her week out there -- up there? wherever the hell the bar is from here -- was really precious, but it was hard. Harder than the first time. It's strange, but she has to shield her eyes from the sun and it was nighttime there.

It'll just mean they sleep like the dead tonight, that's all. She's stayed in the hot suite before. It's not fancy accommodations, but it's a lot fucking better than almost everywhere else. The government knows how to do its thing.

Taking out her trusty low-tech compass, she turns to the northeast. "It's that way. See that silo just visible over there?" She'd give anything for a working GPS so she could pinpoint this exact spot: cornfields all look alike. The best clue to this particular field and this particular shed is its location due southwest of the hot suite's location. That... might not be good enough: she wants Beth and Beth Junior to be able to get back when they want to. She wants to be able to get back when she wants to. Setting down the backpack and reaching into a pocket, she pulls out an t-shirt ("Boston Marathon 2001") and rips it in half: the noise makes the baby giggle. "Yeah, your Auntie Hero isn't crazy, bebecita. She's marking the shed for you." If she stands on her tiptoes, she can reach the roof here: that's just what she wants. Rummaging around in the pack produces a hammer and nail; she nails that sucker right to the roof. The t-shirt's not waving around like a flag, but if anyone gets close they'll see it there... as long as they're looking for it. Otherwise, it'll just look like a shred of clothing. No big deal.

"One less t-shirt to have to wash." With a lopsided grin, she gestures to the silo. "There's only one way to get there and that's walk. You ready?"

She doesn't ask Beth how hard it was to say goodbye. First, it's none of her goddamn business and second, she already knows. She said goodbye to Quinn last night and that was hard enough. And she and Quinn don't have nearly as important a thing as Beth and Spike. If Beth wants to talk about it she'll sure as shit listen, but every woman on this planet's had to leave a guy behind, whether it be husband or lover or brother or father or uncle or nephew or cousin or friend. For them, it's just more of the same.

Date: 2007-02-06 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She almost wishes it hadn't. It's not that she doesn't want the company: she does. It's desperately lonely out here, and she's been alone out here more than she's been with other people despite the voice in her head. But she knows what a fucking sacrifice it has to have been for Beth and if it hadn't worked, she might not feel so responsible for causing even more bad shit for anybody else: she's done enough damage. But none of that's Beth's concern. "Well, it did, and here we are, and... welcome to goddamn Kansas. I like the route you took better than the one I did."

With a laugh, she forges on through the dirt road cut through the cornfield. The leaves are way more than tall enough so they could tickle Beth Junior so easily and really, her niece looks like she's enjoying this a lot. It's a change of pace from what she's used to for sure, and even Hero knows that. "Hey, bebecita. We look at this as broadening your horizons and I swear to Jesus there's no prairie joke in there anywhere."

All that's here is horizon: it's so flat. And endless. She's seen about as much as she wants to of cornfields now. As the silo inches its way closer on that endless horizon, Hero pauses.

"You hear something?"

It's not her niece.

Date: 2007-02-06 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"That's some Stephen King thing, right? I was never a big fan of the guy." Not even when he was alive. "Now my brother... he's the pop culture guy. I think he saw every movie ever made." She doesn't talk about Yorick a whole lot out here. First, it's stupid and second, if walls have ears, then what about corn? That's what they call the damn things: ears of corn.

"But no. Movies weren't ever really my thing. You could say I'm a little pop culture-impaired." They all are now, of course: there haven't been any big Hollywood blockbusters since the plague started, or at least not that she knows of. And that's weird, because society loves its entertainment, even at the worst of times. Then again, ancient Greek and Roman societies were a little more balanced than this one. What's the point of some unattainable romance? And no one wants to see horror, because frankly they've all seen enough of it.

"What about it?"

Date: 2007-02-06 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Shit, mamacita, the last goddamn thing I need is to be creeped out in a cornfield. We still have a little ways to--"

The voice cuts through the air like a shaft of ice. "Be frozen."

Shit! So much for doing a good job protecting Beth or the baby or... the thought Spike's gonna fucking kill me if I'm not already dead really does cross her mind, but the voice continues.

"One small step, and I am executing both your faces."

Those words. That cadence. That voice: she knows who that is, and a wave of relief washes over her at the same time as Beth's hands go up into the air in the universal gesture of don't shoot. "Relax, Natalya. It's me."

"Hero?" Rushing forward, Hero suddenly finds herself with an armful of crazy blonde yelling at her in Russian: "Dobro pozhalovat! [How the hell have you been, you gorgeous maniac?]"

There aren't a lot of people she'll let hug her, but Natalya's definitely one of them. "I have no idea what you just said, but I'd like to introduce you to my new friend... Beth. Beth plural, actually."

Stepping back, Natalya looks over at Beth and the baby. "Ah, so this is American girl Yorick bore me about with many romance stories?"

If Hero had the inclination she'd snicker, if only because Natalya's ten-cent characterization of her brother is so fucking perfect.

Date: 2007-02-06 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's been an implicit promise between her and Beth not to say jack shit about the bar no matter what. Good thing they're both great at keeping secrets, even though part of her feels terrible that they have access to this... amazing place where men are still alive and you can touch them and kiss them and talk to them and drink with them, even fuck them if you're lucky... and women like Natalya don't.

But there's no chance she's going to give it up, no matter how much she likes Natalya. She can just see a goddamn stream of chicks lining up to get in that bar. The last thing she wants is her world invading that space. Stepping between Beth and Natalya, she nods. "We'll fill you in over a pint of that toxic mash you gals figured out how to distill. Right now, we have something important for the astronaut woman's son."

Natalya's expression is a little bit mocking. "More sucking American toys?"

Hero almost laughs. "Not quite. You remember my brother's pet? I've got the last remaining sample of its, uh, fecal matter, which... it's hard to explain, Natalya." She's going to try anyway, language barrier or no language barrier. "But Dr. Mann thinks she might have found a way to... to inoculate males against whatever killed all the other men, or something like that."

Now Natalya -- that crazy goddamn Russian -- looks a little stunned and a little happy, or maybe that's just pollen in her eyes. "So baby Vladimir can finally be leaving his plastics prison?"

Plastics prison: what a way to put it. The goddamn place has kept that baby alive.

Date: 2007-02-06 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Saying I told you so wouldn't serve any purpose, so she doesn't say it. What she does do is grab little Beth's hand for a minute, waving it around. "You got yourself a playmate, Junior."

Turning to Natalya, she nods in the direction of the silo. "Come on, let's beat feet and get the hell out of this corn. I could use a drink."

For a moment Natalya just blinks and looks at her as if she's trying to figure something out. "There is being no hell in corn, zhenshhina. Not today." There's no protest, though. In fact, Hero could swear she sees a little grin on Natalya's face as she leads them through the maze of corn rows toward the hot suite: they were closer than she thought.

Out here in the prairies, distances are really fucking deceiving.


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