anger with a guilt chaser

who: jesse and saj
where: the park
when: mid day

Jesse had waited until Owen and Joy had left. He didn't know where the hell the other chick that lived with them was. He'd also passed Joy's room, and spotted the bar sitting in there, and he stole a bottle of whiskey. Which sure, could possibly come to bite him in the ass later. But right now, he could not summon the energy to care. In fact, he couldn't summon the energy to do anything but want to drink himself into a coma. So he'd taken the bottle, needed to get the hell out of the house, and he'd bundled up and gone for a walk. And kept walking. He didn't go wherever everyone else was headed--hell, he didn't even know where that was.

His mind wouldn't shut up. Even if he'd already killed about a quarter of the bottle? it still kept right on going. Grinding over everything. About how he'd been waiting for months to hear a single word, and the first thing he gets told is that she's there--but their daughter isn't. And no actual idea where she was. Oh, and the real kick to the teeth--that she 'can't do this right now'. What the shit was that? Talking about suffering. His feelings were all mashed together, none of them positive. Not after that initial rush of relief that she was here. Not when she wouldn't even talk to him and refused to see him. Because she couldn't do this right now. Because his time had been a piece of cake. And where the hell was their daughter? God. Jessie.

Swirls of anger, mixed with honest to god pain were ruling about half of him, and the other half was dedicated fully to self loathing and guilt. It wasn't a great combo. So, sitting on the bottom of the slide at the little playground in the park, he just...stared out at the distant tree line and drank, hoping that eventually here, he'd at least kill one of the stabs of badness that sliced heavy through his chest.

 - .

Saj was still listening to the CD on repeat as he left the house. The buzzing, tinny static was killing him. As was the fact that that was a huge-ass box of blank CDs. What if there were more with her on? Or worse: what if their wasn't and he hadn't had the luck to dig this one out of the box? Fucked. The whole thing was fucked.

Saj had needed to get away from the Christmas music. He had ignored the request to meet up at the Town Hall because frankly he didn't cre about any of this crazy bat-shit wierdness anymore. He just wanted Carly back, safe, to know Morris hadn't got her, to know that everything was alright.

He walked through the park with an uncharacteristic scowl - that lifted slightly when he noticed Jesse. Just the man he wanted. Who was aparantly downing big-ass bottle of whiskey. That wasn't fabulous as omens went, but whatever. He walked up to the man, clapped him on the shoulder and reluctantly removed his headphones.

"The fuckery's getting to you too then, mate? Good to see you though. What did you get for Christmas? I ain't enevr had a Christmas present before yeah? And the one they gave me is more fucking confusing than I'd like"

he grinned half-heartedly. It was good to see Jesse again. The outlaw. Someone he had a bit of trust and respect for.

 - .

Jesse looked up as he got clapped on the shoulder, and supposed he should have heard the guy coming. He'd been a little too lost in his own world, though. "Drink?" he offered the man, glad to see him in a distant sort of fashion. Normally he would have been very happy to see him. He'd have been happy to see a lot of the people from his experiment. Cam, Bri, Scott...but right at the moment he was having problems summoning even a smile.

"It's less the fuckery tossed at us by the scientists, and more the fuckery being tossed my way in general." he admitted, glancing down. "I don't know where my daughter is." he said, his voice quiet. Distant. He'd found Ronnie--who apparently didn't want to speak to him. Or see him. Or ask him what his time was like, or tell him what the fuck had happened to her, or what the fuck had happened to their daughter. Oh, and even if she hadn't said it, he could. He'd put her through this. It had been his idea. His fuck up. So, anger towards her aside, she had a right to not want to talk to him. To not see him. Probably to come at him with a sharp object of choice, really. He took another long pull on the bottle, the thought occurring to him that hey, she might have to take seconds, if Joy got to him first with a knife. It could happen.

 - .

Saj gave a comical grimace at the offer of alcohol, "I technically shouldn't. And unless you've got a pint of Stella for me I'm sticking to my staunch religious guns."

The boy scratched his head slightly and looked up at Jesse with a befuddled expression. "You didn't know where she was before though, did you? Unless - were her and your old missus in that rehab center they put us all in? Maybe you're lucky and they've been sent home. Fuck. There's too many people missing. Too many people who should be safe here and aren't. Check this out."

He handed his headphones up to Jesse, the CD player lined up to a section where Carly could be heard saying "I don't know where I am" underneath the crackle of static. Maybe Jesse would be able to make heads or tails of it. Saj couldn't. All he knew was that it made his gut do back flips. Maybe it was time to finally buy in to all that paranoia shit like everyone else was doing.

 - .

Jesse glanced at the bottle and winced faintly. "Sorry." he said. And usually he would have remembered that. His head was just a jumbled mess of badness, so he hadn't. Shit. That was just never a good sign. "Ronnie didn't have her. And then she wouldn't talk to me either." he said. "So while before, I thought she was with her mom at least--now, I don't know where she is at all." he said.

He didn't really want to check out whatever Saj was asking him to, but he did anyhow. He put the headphones on his ears, and listened. "....'I don't know where I am'?" he said, looking at Saj for confirmation that that's what was being said.

 - .

Saj shrugged and grinned faintly. "No worries," It wasn't like he was particularly strict about the n-booze clause, anyway. He tried but sometimes the odd beer was too much of a temptation. Besides, it was an easy way to integrate with people back home, "and that is shity, about your kid. I know how much your family means to you, bruv. Maybe she got put somewhere safe though, yeah? I ain't seen any other kids running around, you know? No-one has mentioned anything. You'll work something out. You'll find her. You can do anything, man!"
He believed it, too. The conviction that Jesse was a strong, take-no-crap kind of dude, who could do whatever he put his mind to. It was a little disconcerting to see him so dejected, even though it was reminiscent of how he'd been at the start of the experiment. But you couldn't blame a guy for worrying about his family, could you?

Whatever. He bit his lip as Jesse listened to the recording and frowned slightly. He wanted to be told what to do. He needed some fucking instruction or something. "It's Carly man. The whole CD. It's just static and fuzziness. A one point someone mentions the date, but I can't figure if there's someone else talking to her or if it's a recording or what. Like...they've fucking got her somewhere man! I dunno what to do! I promised to look after her, innit? After what fucking happened to us...we were the only ones that survived. And now she's fucking gone."

 - .

Jesse looked at Saj for a long moment, noting that conviction in the guy's tone. like he could do anything. And sadly, Jesse was aware that that was manifestly untrue. He was a fuck up at heart. It was what he did best. Not getting things done was pretty much his M.O. He also didn't believe that Saj was right, that everything would be okay and it would be fine. It was his daughter. And she was without both of her parents. Nothing made that okay.

"They had to have gotten it from somewhere. They could have got it during the experiment." he pointed out, trying to be gentle about it. "She could be coming in any day now." he said. "Every day people are getting dropped in here. She could be here tomorrow." He was trying to be positive. He really was. At least for Saj's sake. He even managed a smile.

 - .

"Looks like we're both just going to have to wait and see then, don't it? I suppose you're right. I'm being a dickhead over nothing. Probably it's a fake recording," Saj laughed at this. Gah, he'd been hanging around crazy people too long. This town was starting to get to him. Or maybe it wasn't - maybe it was just the weirdness of hearing Carly, "sod it, anyway. You found Ronnie, right? I'll find Carly. You'll find Jessie. Yeah. We'll be ai'ight." He nodded and tried to put as much conviction behind it as possible.

"You're alright though, yeah? Sorted out your crazy horny lady problems?"
Saj winked and nudged at Jesse. That was funny, that was. Hell - at least someone was trying to get laid. Probably it'd do everyone the world of good to get their bang on.

 - .

Jesse was thinking if Joy was the problem he was actually worrying about right now, he'd take it. But she'd drifted back in his mind, wasn't even properly registering. He couldn't get past the fact that his daughter was just...gone. Ronnie was here, and Jessie was missing. And he had pictures of her, and she was smiling, but who the fuck knew. She wasn't with either of her parents, and hadn't been for months, and she was probably at the mercy of the sadistic fucks that ran this place.

Oh yeah. And it was all his fault. There was that.

He twitched a little half smile for Saj's benefit. The kid was trying. He'd give him that. "I think she might murder me in my sleep, because I stole this from her." he said, gesturing with the bottle. "So...if she does, it's up to you to take care of the girls and all." he told Saj. "You and Scott, look after Bri and Cam. Look in after my Ronnie, too." It was meant to come out a lot less dire sounding than it did. Fuck.

 - .

Saj puffed up his chest and tried to look serious for a moment,
"Pfft. Like anything'll happen to you because of some bunny boiler. But yeah - 'course I'd look after your chicks. I looked after Carly in the wild didn't I? When Morris went bananas..."
It was an empty claim. Until she'd been shot, she'd been the one in charge. And of course he hadn't beenable to look after her well enough for her to not go missing, but he wanted to impress Jesse. And he regretted mentioning Morris. Jesse didn't know that particular tale of cowardice, and he wasn't sure how to dress it. How to even mention that two people they'd both been friends with had their brains splattered across some Russian wasteland. He cleared his thoat and tried to change the subject once more.

"Anyway look, man, you don't need to sound so down and out, yeah? Sure people are loco right now, but you dealt with that before. You were the main man when the food ran out! Your kid'll be safe. As screwy as people say these scientist blokes are they're not about to shove some 12 year old in solitary. Bloody hell."
Probably the wrong thing to say, but when Saj was uncomfortable the foot-in-mouth syndrome got particularly bad.

 - .

Jesse frowned a touch, looking at Saj more fully than he had been. "What happened with Morris?" he asked. And then Saj went on, and talked about putting a girl in solitary, and that visibly made him flinch, and he looked away. He just...didn't have anything to say to that. Because no, he didn't especially think that they were above doing shit like that, because according to other people, they'd been through hell. Their lot had had it easy. And he just...yeah. He had nothing.

 - .

Saj bit his lip again. He was making a bit of a pig's ear out of this, wasn't he? Saj couldn't be a shoulder to cry on. He didn't even know how to handle it - not from Jesse. And now he wanted to know about Morris. Hesupposed everyone had to know eventually. That at least two of their number were dead.
"Morris wasn't an accountant. Morris was a batshit crazy fuck. And Josh broke his leg in the woods, so Morris..." Saj screwed up his eyes and held two fingers to his head like a gun. He could still see the red splatter bursting across the ground and seeping into the mud.
"And when Tania complained he did her, too. So me and Carly we...well. We didn't know what to do. He had a fucking gun, didn't he? It's not like I'm bulletproof. It was so fucking stupid of her to run for him and...I dunno. He got her in the shoulder before she knocked him out. It happened too quickly for me to do anything, didn't it? But I looked after her. I stopped wolves getting her, even if I didn't stop him. Fuck."
Saj opened his eyes slowly and looked at Jesse again, removing the pistol made from his index and middle finger. He looked ashamed and fidgety. He cleared his throat and scratched at the back of his head with some serious nervous energy.
"We all just do our best, mate. It's all we can. Allah watches over us, and we just do our fucking best."

 - .

Jesse stared as the story came out and he didn't even know what to say to that. Then spoke anyhow. "God...I didn't know, I'm sorry you had to go through any of that, Saj." he said honestly. That was... "Did you tell the others?" he asked. Because they would probably need to know. Probably not want to know, but need to.