4909/Ms. Cottontail

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Ms. Cottontail
Date of Scene: 27 January 2021
Location: Porter House - Theater District, NYC'
Synopsis: During one of Kyle's infamous parties at Porter House, Dez reintroduces herself five years after they last saw each other.

(Content Warning: drug use and creative swearing.)

Cast of Characters: Kyle Porter, Dez

Kyle Porter has posed:
The dust has barely settled from the last soiree at Porter House, yet her master has already organized another; this time a masquerade. The rate of turnover for Kyle's events consistently keeps his majordomo hopping. Even now, with the party already begun, Runcer is snapping out orders like a veteran general as he supervises the delivery of various bottles and kegs to replace empty ones.

The festivities are on the second floor of the house; the entire space is a single, enormous parlor that has been elaborately decorated in tones of green, russet, and gold. The walls have been painted with fanciful scenes from a late summer; there are trees that extend up and across the ceiling, fields of flowers, and even a small pool in the 'distance' where wild horses have paused to drink.  Barely a square inch has been left untouched by the artist.  The serving staff are adorned for the theme with revealing outfits that are reminiscent of fauns and wood nymphs.

In addition to the bar, long tables are heaped with expensive liquor, a wide array of drugs, plus the occasional nude statuette. The combined effect is just shy of tasteful and seems to be fairly popular.  Invitations have been sent to a surprising array of individuals. Expensive prostitutes, soldiers of fortune, and alleged criminals rub elbows with artists, athletes, and actors (adult and otherwise).  Porter House is generally considered to be a safe haven and place of peace for all who enter, which might explain why such a disparate group seems to be enjoying each others' company so much. 

Kyle is currently surrounded by a small knot of guests, entertaining them with a story from his repertoire. He reaches up to stroke a finger along his own mask, which is stark white and features a large, stylized rose as its only adornment. The rest of his outfit is colored to match; a spotless, three-piece suit; white with splashes of red at the throat and cuffs. "Why is your face making that face?  It was a perfectly innocent mistake," he says as he's finishing his tale. "I mean, how many married women //you// know will let a guy like me in the house? In the middle of the afternoon while their husband is in town? I'm just lucky he was fat. Easy to run away from, even with my pants down."

Dez has posed:
And then it's gone. The people. The sound. The chaos. That pressure that seems inherent to a crowded room. It's a pressure that some people seek -- some to a dangerous degree -- while making others feel swallowed up. Drowning. And that's why it stops.

The room is still there; the decorations, the food, even a smattering of accessories littering this couch and that chair. All of the *things* remain the same, but those people he was regaling? They disappear as abruptly and thoroughly as the buzzing crowd beyond them. Leaving... Kyle. For a very, very long moment, it is *only Kyle. Because surely terrifying isolation is better than crowded conversation. Dez is helper like that.

"Still running around with your pants down, Porter? I'd have thought you'd have grown out of that one by now." It's a woman's voice. Girl? A lilting alto, with an accent that heralds back to the Spanish-dominated areas of L.A. Spanglish is a Thing. That voice may be familiar, but one should note that it wasn't being broadcast Morgan Freeman-style the last time he heard it. There's also that little 'people glitch'. Blame the Matrix.

Kyle Porter has posed:
Kyle's got a vintage walking stick in one hand with an ivory head that's been cunningly carved in the shape of a clenched fist.  A quick twist separates the head from the shaft, revealing a hollow that's filled with what is presumably cocaine.  A quick flick of his littlest fingernail delivers enough for a hearty snuff.

That's when the bottom drops out of both the world and the party.  Functionally speaking, that is.

Being abruptly alone and spoken to by a disembodied voice wasn't on Kyle's things to do list for today.  He takes a few seconds to peer into his cocaine-filled cane suspiciously before deciding that it's probably not to blame.  Probably.  Just to be certain, he takes another snuffle up the other nostril before he reattaches the two pieces.  Then, one eyebrow cocked curiously, he spins in a slow circle.  "I was hoping to get my pants off again before the end of the night, but you seem to have eliminated my prospects.  Are you real?  Ahh, who am I kidding? I know from experience that asking hallucinations that question is unhelpful as fuck." 

Dez has posed:
"You've clearly been asking the wrong hallucinations." The words are drawled, tone wry, but there's a taste of amusement there. Whoever -- whatever? -- has decided to bodysnatch him doesn't seem to be menacing. Well, as long as one is kosher with large crowds vanishing into thin air. At least nothing's attacking him yet? There's just the empty room and the voice. And the crack, but that's unrelated. Probably.

"Do you talk to many hallucinations?" That question came from the direction of the fairy statue over by the pond. "Even I don't recommend it as a hobby." That? Well that came from the too-large rabbit that just crawled out of one of the paintings. If the dimensional changes weren't delightful enough, that rabbit's mouth is most definitely moving in time with those words.

"How fucked up are you right now? This could be more fun than I thought." That comes from the furry little animal that has hopped over to perch a few feet in front of him, its dark eyes peering upward. You know, Bambi-like. Dez has even extended the effort to make that voice sound a little bit higher. Disney taught her well.

Kyle Porter has posed:
As stout of constitution as Kyle is, even he has limits.  The appearance of the rabbit is more than he's prepared for.  For a moment he's overwhelmed, dizzy, and unfocused.  His balance teeters and he reflexively uses his powers. 

Teleported from his bedside table, a nearly empty bottle of vodka and a pack of cigarettes appear in his hands.  At least he has priorities. 

Once he's steadied himself, he shoots a mildly irritated glance at his new companion.  "This happens more often than you'd guess, less often than I'd like.  Quality hallucinogens are hard to find."  There's a pause while he glances at the low level of the vodka bottle, this time disapprovingly. That doesn't stop him from popping the cap with a thumb and draining off the three swallows that are left.  Then he pulls a cigarette free from his pack, screws it into his mouth, and shakes a second one halfway loose to offer to Mr. Cottontail.  "Smoke?" 

Dez has posed:
"Thanks, but I quit last year. You have no idea how hard it is to smoke with no lips." The rabbit adds the latter half rather emphatically, before it's lifting its nose to display her... well, lack of lips. She does tap her teeth together a few times, however. For good show. And it *is* a good show. Snark or no snark, every hair on that rabbit looks real. Hey, they've got a raccoon running around somewhere. Maybe he invited a friend?

"Is this place yours?" The question is asked casually, and that little furry nose is even tipped toward the room to presumably clarify 'this place'. "Better than the usual drug dens, I'll give you that." Compliments of Ms. Cottontail. Really.

Kyle Porter has posed:
That's right. //Ms.// Cottontail. Kyle snaps his fingers and relocates himself a lighter, which he has to flick several times before he can get it to light.  Once he's inhaled and exhaled a cloud of smoke, he responds.  "Yeah, it's mine. Don't be snooty.  I don't show up at your little bunny fuckburrow and make fun of how tacky it is.  I bet you've got a thousand kids and no child support, too. What happened? Brer and Peter take off on you? Thumper done you wrong? There, there. Papa Porter will make it all better."

Don't stare directly into the hallucination.  Once Kyle thinks of it, he immediately decides this is a good idea.  Instead, he starts walking his long, spidery fingers across a tabletop until he reaches a bowl full of gummy bears.  One by one, he picks out the greens and blues until he has a modest handful.  Then, naturally, he downs them all in a single gulp.  "What do you want, anyway?  I love guests, but I don't know the rules for entertaining rabbits."

Dez has posed:
"I hardly know, Sir. I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." The movie quote is pristine, all the way down to the sound of the VHS-quality Alice In Wonderland voice. It's probably the wrong character choice, all things considered, but one can't be *too* choosy about quotable media, can they? Even when one is a rabbit.

There's no immediate response to his assumptions about her domestic status. Instead, there's a very long moment of beady-eyed staring, followed but a few shuffle-slash-hops that bring the rabbit closer to that table. Was there a chair next to that table a moment ago? Maybe. Either way, it's certainly there now, and the grey rabbit is scrambling ungracefully onto the seat. There's the soft brushing sound of fur against leather, followed by the cringe-worthy sound of sharp nails scrambling to get purchase. If the rabbit's a hallucination entirely, it's pretty damn thorough. It's also getting onto the table next, fluff and claws alike, and starting what looks to be a beeline toward the bowl of gummy bears.

"So defensive," Ms. Cottontail finally decides to respond intelligibly, and when her face tips in his direction, there's a very distinct bout of nose-wiggling. If you got it, flaunt it, right? "You should track down one of those fuckers who can heal." And we're back to casual conversation. "I doubt all of them can do it, but I've met a few who can get rid of tolerances." Perhaps that rabbit knew what was in those green gummy bears? "You're an even pricier date than you were before." And judging by her tone, that is saying something.

Kyle Porter has posed:
"Tolerance is only an issue if you don't have enough money to support your habits.  //Low// tolerance is just a weakling's excuse for passing out early."  Another deep drag from his cigarette and then Kyle murmurs entirely to himself, "Oh, Mother Marlboro.  Once again, I suckle at your smoky teat." 

With the casual disregard of a person who has more money than sense, he flicks his ash directly onto the (presumably) expensive carpet.  It's going to need professional cleaning after tonight either way; it takes Runcer and a small army to restore order after one of these 'intimate gatherings of friends'. 

"So.  Before."  Kyle hooks his toe around a chair and drags it closer, then spins it around so he can straddle it and slump lazily over the back.  "We know each other, then.  Your voice does sound familiar.  The one I'm assuming is your real voice, anyway."

Dez has posed:
"Curious and curiouser," comes her initial reply, and then the rabbit is looking away from Kyle to examine the gummy bears more thoroughly. Up go the paws onto the edge of the bowl, with a twitching nose shoved unceremoniously into the spiked candies. Hallucinations are sanitary, right? If not, whatever remained in that bowl may start ranking somewhere between the cigarette ash and the carpet.

"Paying more than you need to is stupid, even if you have the money," she counters, the words sounding only a little muffled as the pink tip of rabbit-tongue peeks out to presumably taste whatever gummy was unfortunate enough to be closest. "It'd be cheaper to hire a routine healer. I saw it done a few times. They have a steep charge, but when you can get shitfaced off one shot of cheap tequila and not two bottles of vodka, the savings builds up." These are entirely too many words for a rabbit. Then again, how often does one discuss drug tolerance with a bunny? The fact that the creature's now carrying on a conversation like she'd just happened upon him is probably odd enough. Financial strategies aside.

The tongue is back now, leaving a little wet spot on the ear of a red gummy bear. Another few moments tick by, as if the creature were considering her thoughts regarding the candy, before black eyes turn back to Eliot.

"Let's play Rumpelstiltskin. You guess my name, and I'll give your people back." For what it's worth, the rabbit's voice has regressed back to the original timbre and cadence. Her 'real voice'.

Kyle Porter has posed:
"Pfft.  You think I care about those plebs?"  Kyle gives a wave that manages to be both grand and dismissive at the same time.  Then he drops his hand and sighs.  "Well.  Maybe a few of them.  I'll play your game, Rumplesmoothskin."

Another bottle of vodka is retrieved from further down the table; this one via a mighty lean rather than supernatural abilities.  It's the same brand as the first.  Apparently, someone has both expensive taste and likes Chopin.

There's a distinct lack of ceremony in the way he can thumb the cap off of a bottle one-handed.  He takes a mighty swig with the casual ease of a practiced alcoholic, then offers it to his guest.  Never let it be said that Kyle doesn't know how to treat a visitor.  "Alright.  Your voice sounds familiar, but I know I haven't heard it for quite a while.  I'm pretty good at placing things like that.  Give me a hint, you're killing me with this rabbit routine.  I've been a cordial host, I deserve a fighting chance."

Dez has posed:
"Cordial, you say? I believe our conversation began with your assumption that I'm 'as useful as fuck'." And because the talking rabbit isn't enough theatrics for the young puppet master, the 'quoted' words are given in a *very* real rendition of Kyle's own voice. The sound is there, the inflections. Hell, there's even a non-verbal hair flip thrown in for good measure.

"These are weak." The rabbit directs the insult toward the damp gummy bear, and for a moment it looks as if she's content to keep staring the gelatinous creature down. "You can do better." Grey ears perk then, as if in response to some noise only the pseudo-rodent could hear, then, "Second floor, bedroom with the lame-ass flower paintings. Don't be late." Yes, the rabbit just winked. Rabbits may not even have eyelids, but somehow, that's probably not the most alarming aspect of the last two minutes.

And then reality rushes back in, abrupt and untamed, with an effect that likely feels a bit like being suddenly submerged. Re-submerged? Whatever the case, that rabbit is gone. The chair's gone, too, though that may be less noticeable with the throng of people who have just reappeared. The drunken flirting and questionable conversations continue around him, buzzing and heavy, like they never stopped. The party guests that had been surrounding him when the rabbit made her appearance are no longer looking at him, but they haven't dispersed. If anything, it looks like everyone in his immediate area is looking... elsewhere. Some are looking at each others. A few are looking at walls. Good party.

Kyle Porter has posed:
"Oh, come on.  At least give me a--" 

Poof.  Everything is back to normal.  Ish. 

"-hint?" Kyle finishes lamely.  He lets out a long, loud breath, then jumps as a newly reappeared guest walks close enough to brush against him.  "Shit!" he curses, startling a few people.  He's not getting any more eloquent in the heat of the moment.  "Shit." 

Still, there are questions that need answers.  He puts out his cigarette, grabs the much-maligned bowl of gummies and his bottle of vodka, and trudges off to the room in question.  When he gets there he jiggles the knob with his elbow and backs in so he won't bump or drop anything.

The bedroom is smallish for a house this big.  From the look of it, it's likely it was designed for a butler, or possibly a live-in maid. Either way, it's clear no one lives in here now, but it's been used during the course of the party.  Coke continues to be popular in New York, there are lines cut out on the bedside table along with a handful of pills in various sizes and shapes. Someone really likes their party favors. The bed is large, comfortable, and situated against the center of the back wall. The only other pieces of furniture are a pair of chairs and a second nightstand, all of which are currently free of clutter. The decor is simpler here, but still summery. Lots of green velvet and plenty of gold trim. And, of course, the lame-ass flower paintings.  

Dez has posed:
Someone else likes his party favors, too. Once inside that door, he'd see that bed being quite occupied. The small woman is seated cross-legged at the center of the mattress, and the plush darkness of the bedspread provides excellent contrast against the grab-bag assortment of pills that she has spread out in front of herself. Judging by the sheer number of them, she probably fished through more than a few of the rooms before settling down here. Slap a pumpkin sticker on a pill bottle and call it Halloween, because Daniela "Dez" Hernandez is nudging those tablets into little piles like children sort Trick or Treat candy. She already played tricks -- now it's time for treats.

Her chin rises slightly as she hears the door open, but she's not actually looking up until he has had time to back his way into the bedroom. Gold eyes flicker upward only as he turns, and one corner of dark-painted lips curves upward. It's a subtle enough expression, but the movement is enough to make the nearby lamplight glint off the stud dimple-piercing that adorns her right cheek. There's a slew of other piercings scattered across her features, from nose to eyebrow, that play their own games with the lighting.

"Hint." Well, at least it's the same voice? And it's not coming from a rodent this time. There's definitely that. "Did you 'borrow' all of these yourself, or you got a local supplier?" She even makes the air-quotes at the appropriate time.

Kyle Porter has posed:
Ass-first, Kyle arrives and calls out, "Lucy, I'm hoooome!"  Mentally, he's resilient.  Then again, he's a drug user so learned that he verges on being an amateur pharmacist.  That level of experience comes with a few perks.  "I'll have you know that I have sources.  Plural.  Good ones, too."

As soon as he sees his guest's eyes, his own widen noticeably and he drops both bottle and gummy bears.  He manages to save the vodka by relocating it back to his left hand with a fingersnap.  Good reflexes, he didn't even look down.  The gummies, on the other hand, hit the floor and scatter in all directions. 

As always, he's quick to regain his composure.  His smile is slow, and crooked almost to the point of being incredulous. "Little Dezzie?  Teeny-tiny Dani?  Girl, you're still little, but you sure grew up."

Dez has posed:
That bowl of gummies is having a very bad night. There's an all-too-audible snort from the cross-legged youth as his hands go temporarily slack, and that snort turns into a huffed sort of laugh when he manages to catch the liquor bottle. A pierced eyebrow is arching toward her hairline, casting her features into an expression that somehow manages to lump together fondness and mockery. Surely those things can co-exist. They seem to for Dez, anyway. Advanced emotion.

"Lo siento, Ricardo, esta no es mi casa." She may've added more to that, but it's about the time she hits 'casa' that he hits 'Dezzie', and... well, she's gotten a lot better at glaring. She may not have grown much in size, but more-or-less adult features can pull off 'menacing stare' far better than the twelve-year-old versions could.

That glare is held for long moments -- long enough that, for a moment, it looks like she may not shrug it off at all. And then a small handful of white pills are being hurled casually in his direction, aimed rather precisely at his head.

"Sure did, nino bonito." If she ever called him 'pretty boy' back in L.A., it wasn't where he could hear it. "Are those all infused, or did you just jack up a few colors and call it weed roulette?" That's asked as she tips a look toward the spilled gummies. That eyebrow is still up, but her expression remains otherwise... blase. If the girl had any inclination toward helpful expressions, she probably wouldn't have chosen to cameo as a rabbit. No, it seems she prefers to stare at him in that same unwavering and potentially eery way that Little Dezzie used to. Kids are creepy, okay?

"If you call me 'Dezzie' again, I'll make you *wish* you were on acid." Casual. So casual.

Kyle Porter has posed:
"God, I wish I //was// on acid." Kyle doesn't even flinch when a handful of Percocet buttons and Xanax bars bounce off of his not-inconsiderable nose.  He doesn't take his eyes off of Dez while he takes another stiff drink, either.

Despite not being fluent in Spanish, he manages to sound musical when speaking it.  "El verde es mota, el blanco es...  es... es morfina."  He looks very pleased with himself for managing to remember the proper words for some of his favorite drugs.  "The rest are just gummy bears.  Can't make it too easy.  Questions, bombon.  I have questions.  What the hell have I been doing for the last five minutes?  What the hell have you been doing for the last five years?  Wow, you //really// grew up."

Dez has posed:
"Not my brand of acid, jefe," she assures him, entirely dead-pan, as she studies him from across the room. That eerie-kid-staring is definitely still in effect, though after this long, it may have upgraded to sketchy-teenager-staring. Either way, she's displaying about as much social grace as her furry big-eared avatar. Considering her younger self had no discernible guardian during those years they were introduced, 'polite' probably never made it to table. It may not have even made it to a chair. She did, after all, just pepper him in the face with Percocet.

"You know that's a Camila Cabello song, right? Ain't bad, but it's definitely on the angsty side of the billboard. You *do* have a flair for the dramatic, though. Always have." She's glancing briefly down at her sorted pharmaceuticals, and after what seems to be a very cursory decision making process, she's scooping up a four-pill cocktail and tossing them back dry. "You're gonna have to pick between those questions. Very different answers."

Kyle Porter has posed:
There's a few seconds where Kyle is weighing his conversational options.  He fills them with another sip, then crossing the room to flop down on the bed next to Dez.  He looks equal parts pleased and puzzled.  "I don't even know where to start.  Last time I saw you, things were different.  Everything was different." 

One thing he completely lacks is shame; another is the ability to be self-conscious in a traditional sense.  His gaze makes one slow pass over Dez; head to toe, no inch left unstudied.  He comes to rest on her eyes again.  "What are you doing here?  Not that I'm complaining, it's great to see you."

Dez has posed:
There's the subtlest tension sweeping across the girl at the unexpected closeness, but it's smoothed away almost as quickly as it slipped through. And then it's back to the cavalier half-smirk, with lips that are painted a dark enough red to appear almost black, and metallic eyes that glint all the more distinct by the warm light and dark lashes. If nothing else can be said for the young woman, she's gotten a *lot* better at winged eyeliner. That was not a good day to find out that 'semi-permanent' and 'waterproof' were not synonyms. Certainly not a day when a little girl was doing her damnedest to 'look good enough' for certain company.

"What.. fu-..." That comes when his flop sends her pill piles flying, and the angle of her eyebrow goes from annoyingly quizzical to dismayed. The startled cursing devolves into Spanish muttering as small hands go to begin scooping the pills toward herself. It may be a pharmacy grab-bag again, but damnit, it's *her* pharmacy grab-bag. She walked through a lot of rooms to find all of those. Ridiculously big house.

"Mm." That's her oh-so-illuminating response to 'different'. The lanky man is given another long look, this one a bit sideways, before she's offering a full smirk. Grin? No, no teeth. Let's call it a smile with an edge. "I'm pretty sure I was in the 6th grade the last time I saw you in L.A., so... yeah, a little different."

As unabashed as Kyle is about his study of her, Dez is as gracelessly open about her survey of him. Could her memory be that accurate, after so long? He may not have changed as much as she, but there still seems to be plenty to re-examine. If nothing else.

"Had to get out of L.A." It seems like a simple enough explanation, tone and expression unchanging, but gold eyes are flickering away as the words are offered. She'll just be... staring at her pills for a while. He really must have a good supplier. "Got here a few months ago. Heard down the oxy-vine that you lived around here, so I figured I'd say hi." And take his alcohol. Because that's what she's now trying to do, all hands and no 'please'.

Kyle Porter has posed:
"Well, you clearly have some whammy mojo that you didn't have when you were a wee lil' thing."  The talking rabbit was an impressive surprise for him, to say the least.  Kyle lets out a quiet chuckle and hands over his liquor without a fight.  "Was that whole thing payback for me telling you to go get grown?  If that's the case, you can consider me paid in full."

He likes being looked at.  Attention agrees with him.  He gestures grandly, putting himself on display for inspection.  Almost as an afterthought, he pulls off his mask and tosses it aside.  "I suppose I don't need my armor around you.  I'm not sure if I should be more offended that you only came to my party for the drugs, or because you waited a few months to come find me.  I'm not exactly discreet."  Fact.  The criminal-turned-tailor doesn't actually look offended, though.  He's still parked somewhere between disbelieving and completely tickled. "Here. Try the morphine, it's excellent today."

Kyle dabs a fingertip against his tongue, then presses it to one of the tablets until it sticks. After, he lifts it toward Dez's lips as if he does this all the time. Which, to be fair, he might.

Dez has posed:
Get grown? That earns another snort, and then Dez is doing one of her own lean-reaches to grab the vodka bottle. Trusting, it would seem, in his willingness to give it up. The man has designer drugs scattered around like an Easter egg hunt -- what's a little liquor? That mini-mountain of pills probably cost twice as much as a full bottle of the stuff, if not more. And so she manages to get herself a solid swallow of the stuff before turning her attention back to Kyle. Well, to be specific, Kyle's finger.

Does blinking count as a response? That happens a few times, followed by a flickered glance between the man's features and then back to the offered drug, before she's cooperating. Sort of.

If the gesture was intended as some sort of tease or false-bait, Dez is calling his bluff. Assuming his hand is not withdrawn, her lips are parting just enough to let that fingertip slip between them. There's the graze of her teeth against the pad of his finger as she claims the tablet, and then a little more tongue than one would think necessary for drug acquisition. Her eyes flicker toward his own in the same moment, looking to gauge any reaction, good or bad. Things are most definitely different.

Kyle Porter has posed:
Kyle has always assumed he was born bold.  He can't remember a time when he wasn't, anyway.  He can, however, remember a time when this girl was wearing ratty jeans, Chuck Taylors, and vintage punk rock t-shirts that were primarily swiped from his own wardrobe when he wasn't looking. 

Different, indeed. 

He's less picky about what he puts in his own mouth.  Trusting his constitution, he wets his finger again, then picks a pill at random and downs it. 

"Does it agree with you?"  KP rarely smiles the way most people do.  For him it always looks conspiratorial, as if a secret is being shared.  He never, ever does it without looking someone in the eye.  "It agrees with me," he finishes.