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Ritual Privacy
by Rage
Companion piece to GIN!, a now-defunct-comic.


She felt faintly ridiculous standing in front of the urinal of some scummy public men’s room at a long deserted gas station. Eyeballing the patterns created by the brown stains smearing tiled walls… Pretending to piss standing up, pretending she’s not who she was when both she and he knew she wasn’t fooling anyone. That no matter how much she wished, she’d never have the plumbing, or the mentality, or the anything except during that weird once a month reverse PMS thing. But he’d never changed his perception of her even then.

Zipping herself up finally, Ginny turned to wash her hands; vaguely amazed and somewhat gratified that water actually came out. Shouldn’t the companies have cut it off already? A useless automatic gesture. She was probably getting her hands dirtier from touching the rusty faucet than if she actually used her hands for…other things.

Self conscious now. He’s just standing there watching as she twitched and wiped her fingers on her jacket, modified German military this time, studiously avoiding to meet his eyes in the cracked mirror. That too knowing gaze that never failed to aggravate her. That scared her more then anything because, Alek, in all his stoned, brainwashed glory probably understood her more than she understood herself and that was entirely too fucked up to even acknowledge. Because she lived entirely in her own head and no one but her had any business knowing what went on in there. What goes in never comes out. A black hole.

Like that toilet on the fourth floor of that one building she had nearly gotten sucked into the other day while sneaking around in snake form…after using all her energy closing up a damn portal some idiot human opened up between worlds without realizing it. Sneaking around praying no one saw her and freaked and call a janitor to kill her or stepped on her. That toilet…he’d pulled her out from at the very last possible second when she realized there was no way in hell she’d be able to hold her breath long enough while in her condition. He’d quietly stuck her under running water that wasn’t ice cold and released her in an alleyway before some Day Guard knew she was there.

She slithered away as fast as she could. Lurking under garbage bags and shadows until she reached the blessedly dark sewers. Trying not to think about how he had tried to kill her previously. And the time before previously. And the time before that. And every other time they’d met. But only in private.

Oh no…better not think about THAT. Because that was entirely too much like one of those fucking old school mating ritual deals and she didn’t need that. Too much of a big wrench that would just about shatter her and every single piece of foggy glass surrounding her head.

Would start that automatic vise that would squeeze her chest.

Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze

Until something inside snapped and something else burst and bled everywhere. And that would be horribly messy and she hated messes….

But he knew that of course…

Bloody know it all.

Ginny snarled quietly and splashed water on her face, running her fingers with too long chipped nails through her short terminally white hair. Finally glaring in to the mirror, into the overly calm stare that had been burning holes into the back of her skull since he followed her into a bathroom that probably hasn’t seen public use in years.

//Pretty Boy.// she mocked mentally. Asshole. Jerk…but a damned good fighter. Vicious even.
Unwillingly, her eyes trailed down that too smooth face.

//Girly man.// she snorted. //Fem-boy./

Down to that place covered by his coat collar. The place she’d bitten during one of their little rooftop battles. Practically to the bone, smeared purple lipstick mixing with bright red blood that glistened and dripped down translucent skin. And he’d refused to let her go, instead choosing to squeeze, crushing her in a mockery of a boa feeding hold, picking her up and pressing her to his chest until the coppery taste of his blood and the lack of air freaked her out enough that she slammed a booted foot into his shin. Ignoring how he hadn’t dropped her immediately like he usually did. Ignoring how this time he’d slowly relaxed his hold until his grip was loose and he was holding her and she was simply standing there like a fool in his arms trying to figure out what kind of idiot game he was up to now.

Only to realize that there was no game. Just him and her and his arms that were entirely too warm, too comfortable. She’d scrambled away at that point, breaking free, scared more than she’d ever been in her life; wiping her mouth trying to get rid of his taste, and desperately trying not to think. Because thinking was bad and if you lived inside your head like she did, then thinking would be far too easy. It would crush you, fill up your brain until you were smothered and Real Life simple wasn’t worth the pain.

Especially not worth the strange fluttery nervous feeling in her gut that made her want to scream and cry and do things she hadn’t done since almost a century ago. Trying not to fly apart as Alek curiously poked at the ripped flesh on his neck and placed blood covered bony //graceful// fingers into his mouth, tasting himself.

His blood, her lipstick.

Wild. Like sex.

And that was entirely too much, so she ran. Ran because this time he’d won. He’d shaken her and it wasn’t FAIR because she was the one that was supposed to do that. And she’d never hit him low like that. She’d only mocked and shattered ideals he himself barely believed in anyway. It wasn’t FAIR.

Asshole. BASTARD. He was playing all wrong…

And she couldn’t even fathom, couldn’t remember…when had it stopped being battle and bloody fight? When had it turned into a game?

Ginny scraped her finger against the corroded tiling on the counter, fiddling with a crack with the pointy part of her pinky nail. Glaring at him through a distorted reflection. Refusing to put voice to questions that hovered in the air and might as well have been said already. He didn’t deserve it. There was no way in fucking hell she’d give him the satisfaction.

And he was doing that damn smirking thing.

Smirking like he knew what she was thinking anyway.

//Which he probably does.//

“Asshole.” She muttered. Her voice sounding too loud, shattering the silence, and she suddenly wished she hadn’t opened her mouth at all.

A quirking of a too fine eyebrow. //Where does he get off having eyebrows like that when Jezel would spend hours plucking only to end up with something ...not as pretty?// A smart ass, shit eating grin. “Bitch.”

And Ginny carefully slipped each of her rings back on and placed a strong fist through that smirking, all knowing reflection. Watching from behind a wonderfully concealing, numbing mental mist as glass cascaded off the wall and cut between the metal encasing her fingers and into her knuckles. Put her fist through the reflection because to do the same to the real one…it would mean she would have to face him and she couldn’t. Not then. Not now. Not yet.

NOT turning around because she somehow knew that Alek wasn’t grinning anymore. His thin mouth pulled down in a frown, something else in his eye. What? Worry? Concern? Laughable….

//See? Gotcha. Don’t know what I’m thinking now do you?//

Best not to think. Be zen. Be one with the cracked porcelain mockery of a sink. Calm?

She was mean. She was strong. //Hear me ROAR! // Badass. But not a bitch. Not anymore because that’s what he called her and coming out of that face and off that tongue, it was entirely too much like an endearment. A pet name.

A pet name to go with what was getting to be disturbingly like some messed up joke of a courtship. Rough, wild, hunter style with enough blood and dominance power play to give even the testosterone freaks enough to wet dream about for a week, or two…or a month…or two. Who did he think he was? Predator class? He was a fucking PIDGEON!

//I hate him.//

“What?” He’s confused now. Had she said that out loud? Good.

Ginny whirled around, slamming a fist into an unguarded gut. Strangely relishing the way the tiny glass shards still trapped in her skin cut further, deeper. Staring down at his crumpled, wheezing form she hoped the grimy floor would give him something itchy and pus filled to worry about. Shoving aside the assorted feelings trying to bubble up into her stomach and focusing on the delicious tangyness of well earned satisfaction she suppressed a half hysterical shriek of what? Laughter?

“I hate you.”

And she strode out the door with confidence, scary aura and swirling coat. Ignoring whatever that meant.

But he probably knew that too.