Blood and Roses

Kass's head pops up as the house speaks, "Reminds me, I have to change that." The elven woman leans off the couch to retrieve the formula and plop it back on the table and then pokes Aladriel again. "You'll have to tell me in a bit. 'tomi is in a bit of a bad place right now; she had a run go south on her, lots of blood and death. Lil, Janie and I cleaned her up and got her some food yesterday, cleaned that pigstie of a house up."

Currently Aladriel and Kass are on the couch talking quietly. There is any number of magical texts and formula strewn about the room, as if someone was working.

Aladriel's face softens at hearing about Hitomi's misfortune. "Oh did she really?" Ally asks, tsking a little bit. "Hm. I hadn't really pictured her being a….well. I thought she was all computer-ish. Did you all talk to her? Or does she need a lil listening and stuff?"

Hitomi arrives at the front gates- while not back to her usual cheery self yet, Hitomi has at least eaten and bathed today, as well as slept a little last night. She's even dressed in clean clothes, a little plain for her- just jeans and a T-Shirt. She heads up to the main gate, and then pokes the INtercom, "Uhm… Hi?" she ventures.

Kass spreads her hands, "We talked a bit, but .. well, Lilith is Lilith, you know? She wasn't the most sympathetic about it, cause I don't think she had a problem with her first kill. Janie and I tried, but .. I don't know how much sank in. I imagine she could use some listening."

Through the intercom: Kassandra's voice chimes out, "Hey! Come on in, head towards the Living Room. You'll hear our voices."

Ally ooohs and nods her head a bit. "Well then I'll see what I can do. I'm not a psychologist but I've taken some coursework. Helps with patients, so maybe I can be useful," Ally murmurs. Reaching down to clean up some of her spell books and stack them aside, Ally hmms as she figures out how to sit. She settles on pushing Kassandra back onto the couch and then working her legs between Kass's legs so she can lay back on the woman, reclining easily.

Kass is pushed back and doesn't seem to mind, a little smile crossing her lips. "You're plenty useful. I think it'll help her to just talk to friendly people about it."

Hitomi does as instructed, when the gates swing open for her, she heads in, towards the house. Finally stepping over the boundry of the front door, she takes her shoes off- worried about tracking dirt or something. An old habit of hers from her traditional father, when visiting new and expensive looking houses. She then begins to shuffle her way towards the voices.

"Well she's going to find friendly people when she gets in here," Ally murmurs with a double-nod of her head. She closes her eyes and then calls out in a sing-song voice, "Hitomiiii in hereeee!" A little more shifting and Ally is perfectly comfortable laying back into Kassandra. She tilts her head back a bit further to peek at the elf upside down.

Kass quickly crosses her eyes and sticks out her tongue as Ally looks upside down at her. She snickers, calling out, "Yoooooo hoooo! In here!"

Hitomi comes through the door, and she manages a faint smile when she sees the two of them snuggling up, "Hey." She says absently, as she heads into the room proper. "I left my shoes by the door." She informs them, immediately wondering why she'd felt the need.

Laughing at Kass' funny faces, Ally looks straight when Hitomi arrives in their living room. "Hi Hitomi, how are you?" she greets warmly, voice and tone as relaxed as her posture. "Come in, sit down, relax. Have a nice drive up?" she wonders.

Kass plays with Ally's hair idly, nodding to Hitomi. "Ah, hello. Shoes by the door? That's very thoughtful of you, thank you. I'm the maid this week because Maya is taking this week off, so I'd have to clean up any dirt, so I thank you kindly." She winks, nodding to what Ally said.

Hitomi nods her head then, and she carefully edges around books and scrolls and the like to find an unocupied place to sit, and she sits down. "THanks, for… uhm, helping by the way. Yesterday." SHe says to Kassandra, looking at her hands, which are in the lap, as she fidgets.

Ally doesn't say anything right away, instead letting Kass have a moment with Hitomi while the mage considers the otaku.

"It was no problem at all. Are you feeling a little better? Did you get any sleep?" Kass speaks in a quiet voice, noticing her own fidgeting and leaving Ally's hair alone for a moment. She chuckles a bit, "Sorry about being bossy about the cleaning."

The house quietly alerts Kassandra that a vehicle is coming up the driveway. It's Johny in his Corvette.

Hitomi nods her head, "I did get some sleep, yes. A bit… I woke up a couple of times… but, better than no sleep at all." She says and once again smiles thinly, looking up for a moment before back down to her hands. "It's ok, I should thank you really…" she says to her then about the cleaning.

Ally hmms a little bit at the house's announcement that the man called Sam is on his way. Whatever her thoughts on his impending arrival might be hinted at by the smile that soon comes to her face. Noticing that her hair is no longer being played with, Ally reaches behind her, finds Kass' hand and returns it to her hair.

Kass giggles a little, going back to playing with Ally's hair. She glances at the view screen that just alerted her, nodding absently towards Hitomi. "No need to thank me at all. Just .. a clean house gives you a chance to start over right, a chance to get things in order mentally." She shrugs a little, "I heard that on the Home and Garden Network, so you can take it with a grain of salt."

Hitomi nods her head at that, then, and she says, "I guess that makes sense. it gets frustrating when you keep loosing chips in the mess, and stuff." She comments then, and she says, "I'm sorry to… to interrupt. It looks like you were busy, and I'm probably ruining the good mood and everything." Hitomi says, looking between Kass and Ally.

"Oh no, you're not interupting anything," Ally says with a quick shake of her head, piping back in at last. "Was actually just talking about you a little. Kass said that you had a rough time recently?"
The car pulls to a stop outside with a slight growl of the engine still audible through the sound dampening of the houses construction.

Kass nods, eyes going towards the foyer as the engine growl can be heard. She shakes her head, "No, we were just talking, 'tomi, and we do that all the time. You won't interupt that." She grins down at Ally.

Hitomi nods her head, and sighs, "I'm glad I'm not interrupting, then." She says, and then she goes quiet when Ally mentions her rough time. She stares at her hands for a few long moments, and then she says, quietly, "I killed someone."

Ally's expression doesn't change much. Still pleased, just perhaps a little more subdued with a touch of concern. "I see," she says softly, not the least bit condescending, nor is she treating it lightly. "How did that come about?"

Kass doesn't speak, letting Aladriel take the front on this. She just runs her fingers in Ally's hair, watching quietly and listening.

Boots fall on the front steps as JOhny makes his way in to the house.

Hitomi's shoes are by the front door.

Hitomi sighs then, and she says, "We were going to fight a gang… one of them pulled a shotgun, and the other went to attack so I shot him… then, I sholt another one who was going to shoot one of us. But… but…" she clecnches her jaw, "Then he made me execute one of them. He was already beaten…"

"It was probably for the best." Says Johny as he steps in to the room, closing the front door behind him. "The only thing more dangerous than a man holding a gun to your face, is the one who can get up later and hold it to your back."

Ally's brows arch slightly at the last bit, and then she glances towards the front door as Johny makes his entrance and gives his two yen on the subject. Nodding her head a small bit. "Three….wow. For a first time. And then for the one…" she shakes her head a bit. "Can I ask what part bothered you the most, Hitomi?"

Kass nods quietly to Johny, her hands still slowly moving in Ally's hair. She doesn't seem inclined to speak at the moment, her eyes on the top of Ally's head currently, or maybe her nose. It's hard to say.

Hitomi frowns deeply at Ally, and she says after another long pause, "I… I don't know. The guy who i was with… he executed one after he interrogated him… but cutting hsi throat right open. I didn't even have time to close my eyes… there was one guy who was crying… because I'd killed his friend. He kept asking me why… but… killing someone who was alread half dead and had given up… I… that was when I decided I couldn't do it, so I ran away…"

"This is why, Hitomi." Says Johny, reaching for a cigarette.. "You are a decker. Nice. Safe. Antiseptic. Fieldwork is messy, it's the definition of the uncontrolled environment. If I may, this is what Silk was protecting you from when she just paid for that kid. She could have gone all ninja and killed people, but you'd ave had to as well."

Ally looks at Johny with a trace of irritation hinted in her voice, and very apparent in her look. "Not to poke or anything, but do you think pointing out to her why she shouldn't do what you do, which she's probably already come to her own conclusion about, is going to help her get over what's already happened?" she asks. Considering the words, she's managed to keep the tone itself from being too pissy.

"Yes." Says Johnny then, not taking guff from Ally. "It helps to externalize the obvious sometimes. Why else do therapists make so much money telling people common sense answers?"

Kass quietly looks up from Ally to the other two, fingers lingering in the woman's hair. She says, "Might be beneficial to train with us before you go off with unknowns. I think that, more than anything, is the lesson to take from this. This Benk guy didn't care about you."

Hitomi frowns again, and she says, "Enough." looking back up to Johny in particular, she says, "Do you know… why i took a job like that? That's so… uncharacteristic for me?" She asks him, and shakes her head a bit. "I want to be useful. You have no use for someone who barely knwos which side of the gun is the dangerous end. Someone who falls to pieces at the sight of blood. I did this so that I can help with the Mission." She says to him then, and stares at her hands, "But if all I'll ever be is some decker, I guess it was a mistake." she comments then, her jaw twitching a little, as she blinks a few times. "I didn't want everyone to worry." She adds then, much more quietly.

Ally looked ready to get right into it with Johny, but she's stopped by Hitomi's words. She simmers down a little bit and listens to the girl talk and then, when Hitomi looks away, she gives Johny a 'SEE!?' look. Then motions eloquently for him to go right ahead.

"I didn't say…" Says Johny, coming to stand near by… "That its all your ever going to be. But jumping in the deep end, well… thats about as deep as it gets and coming home alive. Even the Company doesn't give a live kill exercise for several years, hon… I was nearly 30 before I killed a man."

Kass nods absently, "Sometimes you don't get the choice of when you kill someone. But .. yeah. Probably better to work on the basics before getting tangled up in this sort of thing. And we don't think you are just the tech squad, Hitomi. We'll all work together so that you can feel more useful, get more training."

Hitomi laughs a little, though, it's a choked, half-sob kind of laugh. "How do you know that?" When he says he had his firs kill at 30. "You're not even sure when you were born." She adds and then falls quiet, after a moment, she says, "I'm sorry." she adds, realizing that was uncalled for. "Besides, we don't have thirty years right? There's feew enough of us as it is, considering what we have to do. So sometimes, we have to do things a little sooner than we'd like, or we won't get the chance at all."

"Not all of us have to be able to do the same thing," Ally adds gently, a thoughtful look on her face. "Maybe that man needed to die for the safety of everyone. But you didn't have to be the one to do it, and I'm sorry you did. Specially on a first time…its very difficult. Which is no promise that it will be easier, ever, but it takes something unusual to top the first time. Its why we work as a team. If it was us… you probably wouldn't have to do it. And if you did, it'd be for a really important reason. Not just someone being cruel."

"Well." Says Johny then. "I know I was thirty several times. So, logically speaking, theres a high proability one of them was right, given normal human lifespan. And what they say is right. I… I applaud, Hitomi, your desire to expand. And I support it. But I don't support battlefield cleanup. Theres specialized people for that."

Kass nods soberly at Aladriel's remark about topping the first time. "It is good that you want to expand your horizons. But I wish you'd come to us next time so we can have a measure of safety involved. Like you said, there are few of us. I'd rather that you got training with a backup involved .. too many of the people on streets would gladly beat you and take your things while you are being ill over a kill. Many of the so-called 'runners' in this town are little more than petty monsters."

Hitomi nods her head and sighs a little then, and she says, "Right, so. I fucked up AND killed a guy. Makes me feel much better, that does." She says then, and she rubs her eyes a little. "Well you don't have to worry about it happening again, anyway. I don't think I ever want to see a gun again." she says, still rubbing at her eyes and trying to stem the waterworks.

"I don't think anyone said you fucked up, Hitomi. You did exactly what you were supposed to in that situation; what had to be done. You don't like what you did, and thats healthy. We don't like what you had to do because it was in an unsafe, uncontroled environment, and thats healthy. but no one was wrong."
Johny says that.

"We'll do it then," Ally decides, as it goes from a more speculative phase to a concrete one. "Chart out something that we can do. Lili could use it, I'm sure. I'm prolly a little bit rusty myself. Can do something through a channel that at least one of us knows. Someone who has a good rep…"

Ally stops at the last from Hitomi and shakes her head firmly. Johny beats her…but she's a close second. "It's exactly that, Hitomi. You did a lot of things right: You found a job. You did the job. You got yourself home safely. You're not locked up somewhere. You just didn't have the best circumstances. But independently of all of us you did a job and you're alive. Thats excellent. We can just hopefully make it so, ideally, the next time, you don't get pushed to something that's not you."

Kass sighs softly, nodding to what Aladriel and Johny said. She remarks, voice still quiet, "I didn't mean to imply that you messed up. I just want you to be safe, that's all. I worry a lot, ask Aladriel. I just want to be sure that you are taken care of and that you aren't left to the wolves."

She nods absently to Ally's training and job plan, "Yes, ma'am. I'll put something together."

Hitomi sighs a bit then, and she says, "The biggest thing I wanted to do was prove I can look after myself, and here I am bawling my fucking eyes out while you all look after me… I appreciate it, I do… but this isn't what I wanted. I want to be… I want to be cool, and professional. Like you are. I want to be like you." She says, to the group at large.

"Want to know the truth, Hitomi?" Asks Johny, sparking that cigarette to life now. He's probably never smoked in this room before. Odd. He settles down next to the girl. "The truth is, I hate my job. When you stop having issues like this, feeling bad you had to kill someone? Then you need to end the career."

Ally blinks at Kass, "Don't call me that you goose. I'm not in charge," she says, sticking her tongue out at the elf briefly, before looking back to Hitomi. "You kept it together when it counted. It doesn't matter that you're unwinding now."

Kass smirks at Ally, "We'll talk about that later." She directs her next comment to what Hitomi said, "Cool and professional? Let me tell you, it's an act a lot of the time." She shows her left hand, the engagement ring winking there. "I spent an hour bawling on Lilith when Aladriel left with Johny for what I thought was a mission when she actually went to get me a present. I've spent countless hours feeling like crap after a run, because I killed someone. Because I sent someone to die. For any numnber of reasons." She shakes her head again, "Don't beat up on yourself too much; you had a rough time, but we aren't looking down on you because of it."

Hitomi nods her head then, sniffling slightly, "I'm glad you're all there for me, and I'll try to do better next time. if there is a next time. I'm beginning to feel like being decker-girl isn't such a bad thing after all."

Johny watches Hitomi now… "Give it a few weeks. We'll have some fun, do some training. PLay some paintball. Maybe get you laid. It'll work out."

"The best thing after something like that I'm sure is a little time, like Johny said… and then get right back on the horse, as it were," Ally suggests with a big smile towards the otaku. "Love life a little, appreciate it, because you've still got it. And then back to the grind."

Kass hms quietly at horses, giving that a thought as she plays with Aladriel's hair. "What they said." She chuckles a bit, shrugging, "Time heals a great many things. Go party, go dance, meet that guy you kept flashing at the Mardi Gras party. Just sort of relax and take it easy. We have time."

Johny hrms, realizing he was the guy she kept flashing. Thats awkward.

Hitomi laughs, "I flashed him more times than anyone else." She says, indicating Johny over there. "And he already rejected me on valentines." She says then, sniffling a bit, she wipes the tears from ehr eyes.

Johny exhales. "Its cause your like… uh… a quarter my age. Like, the day you were born, I was already -old-."

Kass is on the couch, running her fingers through Ally's hair, who is leaning against her. Hitomi is in a seat, Johny is wandering around smoking. There are books and scrolls and other such things all over the room. The four are talking.

The House Intones: Lilith DeWinter has arrived.

Lilith, for her part, is allowed in by the smartframe, the house displaying a message where the ladies of the home are: The Living Room.

Kass says, "You aren't THAT old, Sam. Are you?"

Johny looks to Kasandra. "It's a little murkey, but I was born somewhere between 2005 and 2015. I am infact, that old, Kassandra."

Lilith wanders in with a couple of bags in hand. "Aladriel, Kass, you left somethings at the house. Image my surprise to find a bag of diapers under the bed and a blankie by the desk…" She trails off, arching a brow at the scene. At hearing Kass's and then Sam's words, she wisely refrains from comment.

Ally shrugs at Sam, not wanting to suggest that he should just do the otaku. Damn. The man just keeps turning down the ladies who want him. 'You're dating my best friend.' 'You're barely legal.' Hmmph! "Hi Lilith," Ally greets with a big smile to the woman. "We didn't take them cause I didn't think we'd moved out!"

And then theres the ever popular 'you're a lesbian'.

Hitomi shrugs, "So?" She asks Johny then, but shakes her head and sits back. "I've already told you I'm not a kid. And it's not like I'm some innocent little virgin, either. I've seent hings that'd even make Miss DeWinter Blush." She says as Lil comes in. Her eyes are red and bloodshot, and her smile is a little strained, but she seems to be cheering up a little.

Lilith blinks. "Well, no, you're always welcome, but the child should stay with a nanny if you plan on visiting…good lord, Hitomi. Don't underestimate me *that* much. It's Mrs.DeWinter now, if you please." She looks vaguely annoyed at the girl's words, but gives the room a general smile. "And good evening, Mr.Wulfson."

Johny tips his invisible hat. "You may not be a blushing virgin, Hitomi, but I've got condoms older than you and I just can't do that."

Kass remarks, "Lil, are you worried that the snake is going to eat the baby again?" The elven woman laughs a little, shaking her head, "I don't think that is going to happen, even if I have to get it an electronic shock collar. Maya will be more than safe."

She glances to Sam and Hitomi's conversation for a moment before remarking down to Ally, "Did I mention my birthday is coming up, speaking of being old?"

Lilith looks back and forth, vaguely confused by the conversation she apparently walked into.

Johny swivels to Kassandra when she mentions her birthday. "Really. How old will you be, Kassandra? What would you like for your birthday?"

"Ew. Too right, rubber that old'll split." Hitomi says to Johny and shakers her head, "Besides, what's the point of eternal youth if you're going to use your real age as a guideline for who's on the menu?" she asks him.

Johny turns back to Hitomi, then back to Kassandra, Lilith, Ally, with a helpless 'help me out here' sort of look.

Aladriel's eyes light up at hearing that Kassandra's birthday is coming up. She sits up on the couch, only to spin aronud and pounce the elf and hug her tight! "When exactly? How old? Mmmm no, whisper it to me…no don't! Don't tell Johny, its such a rude question to ask. But…Kassie….I'm going to throw you the biggest party Denver's seen!"

Lilith blinks again at Hitomi. Then Sam. Then the girls. With perfect grace she moves to Ally and Kass, sitting on the opposite end of the couch. She murmurs quietly. "Hitomi. However old Mr.Wulfson is or will be, the plain fact remains *you* are still a teenager. Most cultures frown on that sort of thing, despite the fact you are legal in portions of the country."

Saved by the whore!
Ally asides to Lil, "You've got a lady or two younger than Hitomi working at your place."

Lilith snaps her eyes to Ally and gives her a look. "I do fucking NOT, Aladriel Cindel, and I do not appreciate your assumption that I would do so."

Hugging Ally tight, she laughs at the various commands she is given, teasing, "I thought you said you weren't bossy!" She spares a glance towards Lil and Sam and Hitomi a moment as the conversation takes an odd turn. "Lil, there are glasses and scotch in the study, if you'd be a dear?"

She looks to Johny and remarks, "I will be terribly old I am afraid. We elves don't count the years the same as you mere mortals. As for presents, hmmm .. that I am not sure of."

Lilith grumbles to herself, muttering at Ally as she moves to get the scotch. There's a definite…well, not hurt tone, but something insulted in her grumblings.

Hitomi shakes her head, "I doubt she does. My SIN doesn't have my real age on it. I'm only Sixteen." she informs ally then. she flops back into her seat, "I just want to make the most of my life. It practically ends at age 25 for me."

Johny eyeshifts about mortal-him. He looks to HItomi then… "Look. You see 25 as old. I see 25 as the -start- of life. Hell, I had just exited college and was backpacking around Kilimanjaro before joining the marines. Great time to end one life, start a nother."

Johny then glances back at Kassandra. Huh.

Lilith swishes around the bar, getting out some glasses, getting the scotch. She calls out into the other room. "Would anyone like ice with their liquor?

Kass calls out, "Just bring a bucket!" She'll glance to the others and shrugs, "Still, you have plenty of years left, Hitomi. Lots of life."

Johny gets called out by a phone call. "I have to take this…"

Lilith wanders back in, glasses in the bucket of ice, scotch in other hand. "You can live lifetimes from 16 to 25, girl."

Kass nods to Johny, her fingers still playing Ally's hair. She seems to get a great deal of joy out of just sitting there fussing with the other's hair, watching the room with a quiet little smile. She'll nod to Lil's comment, "Every day is another miracle, every sunrise, every sunset. Don't think too much on the future. Think about each day as if it were the last you'll every have."

Lilith grunts and sets the bucket and scotch done, beginning to go through the process of pouring. She of course pours Sam's neat, three fingers. "Miracles? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes you age a decade in the space of a month."

Interjecting, Kass says, "I hope not. I'm old enough as is."

Lilith taps her head as she rises, passing a glass to Sam, then Kass. "Mentally."

Lilith says "Mentally aged. I'm 28 in human years now, I was already that old in cynicism at least by the time I was 16"

Hitomi smiles a bit, and she says, "You know, elf years, human years, and ork years are all the same years." She comments, "It's not like the earth orbits slower if you're an alt. If anything, it probably feels like it orbits faster since you get to experience more of them. And, anyway. I may very well survive past twenty five, but I won't truly live past twenty five. Not… as who or what I am now."

Lilith folds herself down into an arm chair. "There's some who've had worse."

"Nope. It's all a marketing scheme we elves came up with. Our years are superior, of course." Kass snickers, not serious of course but entertaining herself nontheless. "I feel like my life has changed several times over the course of time." She looks down to Ally who very well may be scheming or sleeping, "Then again, I feel like it has changed again, for the better."

Lilith nods slowly, sipping the scotch with a contented sigh. "Good stuff, Kass. Or is still Sam's?" She smiles a little. "My life has changed as well, many times in the past and in the present, for the better and worse. One can live through incredible tragedy and still survive, Hitomi."

Hitomi nods, and sighs, "but it's a heavy thing to know, that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you apply yourself, sooner rather than later you are going to loose it all."

Lilith shrugs. "The All Father wove the skein of your life long ago, Hitomi. Go hide in a hole if you like, it won't make a whit of difference." She smiles, perhaps quoting something. "So what's the point of moping? Why do you think your life is over because you know it'll happen someday?"

"It's whatever you folks have been drinking. I just asked Marcus who was supplying for them and put in a standing order for a few cases a month. At the rate people drink it, it won't last." Kass grins a bit at that, listening to the slow sounds of Ally's breathing. She looks down at the other for several seconds, her expression very sober. She says quietly, "The only difference between you and others is that you know that something *might* happen at a certain time. But everyone has only a certain amount of time before they die, or their natural gifts wear out. Some get older and lose the ability to see, or hear, or walk .. unless you throw cyberware into the mix. You will lose something more special, but I do not think that it is all there is to *you*."

Lilith nods in agreement with Kassandra.

Hitomi sighs, "They might, I will. And even then, most people keep their talents well past twenty five." She says and sighs, "But sure, there's more to me. I could get a deck, or maybe I could even do something else for a living… but, every moment I'm away from the Deep Resonance, I feel alone, naked, frightened. It's terrifying to consider an existence like that."

Kass nods, her fingers twined in Ally's hair as she considers the magician. "It is defiantly not something I would wish on you, Hitomi." There seems to be something under the surface, unsaid there. She continues, shaking that off, "As I said, we have time on our side. Maybe something will come up tomorrow that will make such a thing unlikely, some artifact or finding. The world is full of infinite surprises."

Lilith sips her drink quietly, enjoying the smooth burn of alcohol. "Who knows what the future will hold. Ha." She chuckles a bit.

Hitomi sighs and nods, "Maybe, but I doubt it. I doubt any 4th world artifact will tell us anything about a truly 6th world phenomenon." She says a little dejectedly. "But, like you say, who knows."

Nodding, Kass says quietly, "So you plan for the future but you don't let it consume you. If you spend your time worrying about what you may lose, you will most certainly lose everything you already have."

Lilith shifts a bit in her seat, and gives the girl a sympathetic look. "I am sorry for your worries, Hitomi. I hope it'll work out for you."

Hitomi nods, and she says, "Thanks, everyone, again for helping m through this." She says, and goes quiet then, her expression contemplative.

"It is no problem, Hitomi. We don't mind listening and Goddess knows most of us don't mind talking." Kass laughs a bit at that, "And I imagine we'll all talk about it again. We'll work on the other problem to."

Lilith smiles a bit. "What other problem?"

Kass says, "The whole shooting people thing."

Lilith winces. "Ah, yes. I am so sorry, Hitomi."

Hitomi looks away a bit, and says, "It's alright. Not like I can expect people to shy away from the topic forever. I mean, ultimately, a lot of what we do is killing things." she offers a shrug.

Lilith nods. "It hurts, but you'll adjust. There's not much else I can say, myself. I'm not good with the whole sympathy thing."

"*Some* of what we do is kill things, hopefully things that need to be killed." Kass considers, "It all goes back to the bathing suits arguments. Sometimes, we are called upon to do horrible things in order to make sure that the big picture is taken care of."

Kass continues, "I can't say that you'll never be asked to kill again. I can tell you that Johny is usually pretty good at putting people in situations where they don't have to do things that go against their .. beliefs."

"You don't have to shoot a gun ever again, Hitomi. You don't *have* to take a job like that again. But. You should be ready, just in case, to defend yourself and your loved ones should the time comes."

Lilith nods slowly. "And if it helps at all, a lot of the time the people we'll have to shoot…will be nasty people, people who the world is probably better off for, people who would like nothing more then to hurt your friends and you."

Hitomi nods her head, "The guys I killed- they were evil, horrible people. They killed for no real reason. Just because they hated metahumans, or they needed to make themselves look tough, or even just for fun. I don't know, but I know that they killed more people than I ever have. But they also had friends. For all I know there might be a wife out there with a dead husband, or a son with a dead dad thanks to me."

Lilith shrugs. "Then it's not your fault, it's the man you shot. He's the one that hurt his family, he's that much more a bastard for inflicting his hate on others and leaving his wife and children behind to suffer."

"If they were doing all that you said, you also saved more than a few people, and their families, from suffering. Does it make it 'better', somehow? That I cannot say." Kass shrugs, stroking Ally's hair.

Hitomi nods her head, "I… I like to believe that helped prevent deaths with what I did. I don't want to get vengeance because that's an endless game, even if you call it something else like retribution, punishment or even just karma. I want… I want to help people."

"I'd say you did a pretty good job, then. You removed a threat from the community, the way you would if wolves or coyote were trying to eat people. Same thing, just these had two legs. There were't thinking beyond their next paycheck, their next meal. They got off on terror and pain."

Kass shakes her head, "The only person that can really absolve you is yourself, in the end. I think you have come to terms with what happened, it is just .. sort of a shock. It always is, even after all these years. You were .. fortunate .. if that is the right term. You ended him with a gun, from a distance."

Lilith nods, watching the other girls. She sighs and fusses with her glass. "I probably should head back to the Apple. I'm afraid there's not much else I can add. Kassandra is somewhat…better with her words then I in this regard." She gives an faint smile and rises to her feet. "Unless…well, I can always let you come see Nerissa up close, Hitomi. If you're into that sort of thing. She's big, but very intelligent for a snake."

Lilith attempts to find something to help Hitomi feel better.

"You do just fine with words, Lilith, don't be so hard on yourself." Kass chuckles, nodding to both, "She is a pretty snake. I'll have to show Maya her one day."

Lilith wrinkles her nose. "Through the glass then. Perhaps I'm over cautious, but I'd be very nervous to have the two in the same room. Nerissa's big enough to eat a full grown human or elf, for goodness sake."

Hitomi glances at Kassandra and then Lilith, and she grins and shakes her head, "I doubt the snake would do something like that. Not if it's handled properly. People probably don't taste as good as… what do you feed it, anyway? Chickens?"

Lilith grins this time. "No. Sheep."

Lilith says "It's a big bloody snake, my dear"

Kassandra laughs a little laugh, "Lilith, let me show you a magic trick." The elf raises one hand from off of Ally's head, showing both the front and the back carefully. "Still watching?"

There is a sudden sense of movement, a blur in the air and then Kassandra is holding a matte black pistol.

"I am not worried about Nerissa, Lilith. I'm almost positive down to the picosecond how much faster I am than she." With that, Kass slides the pistol back into the cushions of the couch.

Kassandra adds quickly, "Not that I'd shoot her, but I bet I can move away faster than she can strike."

Lilith rumbles softly. "Point taken." She rolls her neck. "Anyways. Hitomi, do you want to come by? It might provide some distraction and I'll let you toss her a steak, maybe. You can even get your picture taken with her."

Hitomi nods her head then, and smiles, "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. I'll get out of Kass and Ally's hair… and I'll think about what to get Kass for her birthday."

Kass looks up, her hands back in Ally's hair and the gun nowhere in sight, "You needn't make any fuss over me. I imagine I may do something quiet around here for my birthday, maybe cook for everyone, assuming I can keep this one out of mischief long enough."

Lilith chuckles and polishes off her drink, setting it down. She nods to Kassandra, winks at Ally, and then drifts to the door. "All right, I'll take you over…now, now, Kass. You'll let us spoil you, of course." She winks again. "C'mon, Hitomi, I've got my Shelby out front."

Laughing, Kass looks down at Aladriel, who is either napping or off in Astral Space, "I am already spoiled, Lil, I don't think I can be *more* spoiled."

Hitomi gets up and follows Lil out, offering Kass a little wave as she goes.

Lilith grins and waves, without saying another word, and slips out.

March 02, 2009

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