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Log: Vincent and Rebecca, 01-25-05 - Frameshift [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Log: Vincent and Rebecca, 01-25-05 [Jan. 28th, 2005|10:53 pm]



While there were usually several dozen to several hundred someones wandering through MacKenzie Park on anything but the very poorest of air quality days, there were always those times when traffic was light, and the lack of people was made up for by the oddity of those who -were- present.

This was one of those times.

A City holiday had most of the residents out and enjoying a weekend's festivities up the monorail line in the slowly-reanimating colossus of Toronto, and so the crisp morning air in this part of the world was falling solely upon the shoulders and dirt-smudged face of one Dr. Vincent Ignatius Shepperton, who was currently on his belly in the midst of a rhododendron thicket, grass stains on his trousers, glasses resting on his forehead, and an entreating quality to his voice.  "Girls?  Come on out, girls.  Please?  Papa's brought you a really excellent new blend of fertilizer, and I think I got the nitrogen levels right this time, I'm sure of it!"

In answer, there was only a warning rustle.

Rebecca was not one of the girls Vincent was calling.  Fortunate, because Rebecca was as yet out of earshot, and could not respond to Vincent's general "Girls."  It was unlikely that she would answer to anything other than her name in any case -- however, Vincent's voice in and of itself might have drawn her.  To what purpose it might have drawn her, even Rebecca could not be sure.  It depended on her mood and exactly how far she'd penetrated into the park.  As of yet, she hadn't been attacked.  In this mood, she might have merely broken his arm.

Rebecca was not normally a violent person, even around Vincent.  She managed to work with him without attempted murder.  The park . . . did something to her.  She became a post-post-modern werewolf, or the Hyde side of the Jeckel in the park. 

Vincent was responsible, thus, there was dramatic validation in breaking his arm should she bump into him in the park. 

Rebecca held her spray in one hand and her purse in the other.  The purse had once been a fashion accessory.  It was now a weapon.  And contained rocks as well as wallet.

By some sort of fortuitous circumstance, along the lines of the God-given protection granted to fools and little children, Vincent was wedged too deeply in under the rhododendrons to immediately  notice the arrival of his disenchanted inamorata.  In fact, the only bits of him remaining on the path  (And thereby, to his mind, keeping him safe from the attentions of certain overzealous police officers and their views on public ordinances regarding keeping to public paths and lawns in public parks, and the fines to be levied upon infractors thereof.) were a pair of mismatched argyle socks, a pair of vintage-styled penny loafers, and the bony feet and ankles which called them home.

"Girls," he continued to coo to the rustling under the rhododendrons, "Come to me, my girls.  There's my gi-ACK!  OW!  Ow, ow, -OW-!"   The rustling had intensified markedly before being rudely interrupted by a flailing, dirt-covered, and even more disheveled in hirsute matters than normal geneticist crashing out backwards from the thicket of bushes, well-decorated with a garland of writhing roses

Fascinating, Rebecca thought with anger dulled to instinct by experience and experience.  The roses seem to have found a new friend.  If I was an awful person, or even a fashionably amoral one, I could leave the victim to be methodically torn to pieces by the most tenacious thorns ever bred in a completely non-metaphorical sense and make my escape.

To be assaulted tomorrow night. 

There was no point in being fashionably amoral any more.

Rebecca checked the nozzle of the spray bottle, pressed the lever twice, experimentally.  The range was sufficient, the lever moved smoothly like an extension of her hand.  Her reaction time was beginning to get rather good.  She was the post-post-modern were-wolf and this was her territory.  The roses were interlopers to be destroyed.

Something like that.

Rebecca forged forward toward the voice.  She'd forged three steps when her hearing caught up with her instincts and informed her that she knew that voice.

Decisions, decisions.  Oh, this would be a difficult one.  Rebecca paused to ponder.

Vincent had, by this time, switched over from startled yelping to a sort of brittle pleading.  He'd convinced the roses to relinquish their claim to his forehead and ears, like some festively floral crown of thorns  (His mother had been a strong enough Christian that his mind darted nervously around comparing himself to Jesus, even still.) and they were now wrapped 'round his left arm, writhing and shifting in the earthworm-style motion he'd programmed into them, two years previously.  For a moment, he quite forgot about the thorns, smiling fatuously upon the wriggling roses like a parent observing a child take it's first steps.  Or, in Vincent's case, watching a plate of engineered bacteria achieve their first full mitotic division.

It was in this stance that he was to be found, although by the time Rebecca's earshot became eyeshot, the fatuous grin had been replaced with stifled whimpers of pain, and a mournful look in his eyes, the roses having twined to a level of arm where easy one-person removal was no longer an option.  "Girls... play -nice-."

"I'm surprised they don't listen to you," Rebecca said, as morality won over amorality/poetic justice in a tight game of rock/paper/scissors.  The sliiightness of this margin of victory was written in Rebecca's face -- written more in the lacks than in any actual expression she had.  Her expression lacked sympathy, lacked empathy, lacked anything resembling affection. 

If her expression had to be compared to something, it would have to be compared to that of a tired, tired vet tech whose malumute patient just had diarrhea all over the examining table. 

"Perhaps," Rebecca said, as she took another step forward.  "They have a Frankenstein complex.  You should know better, Vincent, than to piece together life just because you can.  You should have spent less time raising mobile mold circuses and more time with Mary Shelley."

For someone whose moral side has won out over their less moral side, Rebecca seemed to be taking a long time about a rescue.

"But I didn't do it just because I could!"  Vincent protested, although his aggrieved tone was somewhat mitigated by the fact that his lady love had deigned to address him. 

Smudged in dirt and most likely compost too, with the roses detaching partially to rise up and wave themselves lazily towards Rebecca at catching the first whiff of her scent signature,  Vincent looked entirely ridiculous, and faintly puppyish as he entreated an ever-hopeful "I made them for you."

"Oh, yes, technically.  I think we've been over this.  How many times have we been ov--"  Rebecca paused, swaying slightly on her heels in time with the roses' wave, her eyes narrowed in cold antipathy.  She raised the spray bottle.  Simultaneously, she drifted her fingers close to the upturned "faces" of the roses.  Slow, cautious, like dragging a dead bloody mouse in front of a snake.  Same basic concept. 

"Vincent, next time I let them kill you," Rebecca warned softly through teeth nearly clicked shut with mental effort.  The mental effort might have had more to do with somehow not spraying Vincent in the eyes and running for it.  One can never know.

Vincent seemed, once again, quite oblivious to anything not within the single focus of his attentions.  Previously, it had been the roses.  Now, it was the roses' removal from him, as the weed killer misted gently about him, and the roses retreated with an aggrieved  rustling.  They flared their petals at Rebecca in hybrid floral/faunal outrage, but soon vanished back into their rhododendron lair.

To recuperate.

Vincent's natty button-down shirt now featured a few blood stains starting to blot through the fabric of the sleeve, but the beam he turned upon Rebecca, avenging angel of love, was not in the least bit dimmed.  "You were -fantastic-!"  he praised.  "Amazing.  Amazon of the urban wilderness!  Although..."  He glanced to where the roses were hiding.  "They wouldn't kill me. Really."

"I wouldn't be so sure, Vincent," Rebecca said, lowering her spray down to a less aggressive waist level.  Where it could pop back to ready as soon as the situation became hazardous again.  "I mentioned Frankenstein.  These things always eventually kill their masters.  Come on."  Rebacca, choosing to leave unacknowledged any accusations of amazonry, began to walk away from the attack scene . . .  although, out of the goodness of her heart, she did pause and look backward over her shoulder to make sure Vincent was capable of leaving the scene in question.  And not still transfixed with wonder.  Or whatever he was transfixed with.

Vincent remembered his mission just long enough to venture under the rhododendron bush once again, this time to deliver the promised fertilizer with its promising new levels of nitrogen, and other alterations to hopefully soothe his savage flowers.  He then scrabbled back up to his feet, empty pail in hand, and the other one brushing off his clothing as he pattered after Rebecca to catch up.

"I really think I've figured out what went wrong with them,"  he said.  "Really and for sure.  It was the pheremonal programming.  I borrowed the gene sequences from a species that used them to -hunt-."  No worries about leaving Rebecca in the dust with his explanation... perhaps that was the reason for his initial attraction to her?  "So, I picked some complexes from a more passive species, and used carnations instead of roses, and I think I've got it now.  You like carnations, right?  Any colour, I can do it."  Apparently "No" only meant "Find another way" to such a one as Wonder Vinny.  The world owed a great debt to his mother for teaching him to treat others (especially girls) with respect.

"Vincent," Rebecca said, keeping her pace steady and her eyes forward.  He was Vincent.  He had a limited set of expressions and she knew them all.  Pertaining to her specifically, Vincent only had one expression and Rebecca knew it like she knew her own face.  This did not come from any lengthy study of Vincent's face and emotions.  Vincent's one Rebecca-centric expression simply wasn't that complex.

"Vincent," she repeated, slower this time.  "I know that certain things never occur to you until after the fact, but wouldn't using a predator's predative pheromes for flowers be obviously a bad idea?  I'm surprised it took you that long to figure that out."  She takes a deep breath.  "Would it be too much to ask?  No flowers?  Do I even want to know what pheromes you used this time?"

Vincent shuffled.  The idea was blindingly obvious to him now, but as someone whose most intimate experience with Nature, red in tooth and claw was an unfortunate incident involving a trip to the Toronto Zoo as a child, and an escaped mongoose, it had rather slipped his mind before.  He shuffled a little more, and slumped a little at the refusal of further flowers.

Rebecca chanced a glance back at her paramour.  She remembered he did not deserve pity.  But while her silence would be the most pitiless thing to give him, she found herself speaking.  "Vincent.  If you wanted to win back my affections, I would suggest another route."  Perhaps that was, ultimately, more pitiless.  And foolish.  Rebecca wondered if she could bribe some of her brain specialist friends into a chemical mind wipe formula.  Still, she couldn't take it back.  Vincent's kicked-puppy-dog gait hadn't lost all of its effectiveness in person.  She would remember that for the future.

We'd submit that the effectiveness of Vincent's despondant shuffling had everything to do with the fact that it arose from a place of emotional innocence, with no thought taken for whether or not it was working.  In any case, the shuffle was short lived, as Rebecca's grudging suggestion caused him to brighten again, rubbing his hands together in a glee ill-concealed as an attempt to dust the last bits of dirt from his hands in what he fancied was a suave fashion.  "Well, then, you give me hope, my lady of plant taming,"  he bowed to her, adding an affected little flourish that came off as more hyperactive than smooth.  While he'd learned his lesson not to attempt to kiss her hand, or even get too close to his goddesses' personal space, he nonetheless bowed again, before he headed back down the path in the opposite direction, nearly trotting. "I know just the thing!"

Rebecca sighed.  A long drawn out sigh that she briefly considers transforming into a primal scream.  In Vincent's eyes, she had encouraged him.  Encouraged him past persistant hope and into a Vincent form of estacy which he normally reserved for his exciting projects.  She was an exciting project.  Hello.  She would scream at home.  Her first priority, she reminded herself, was to be -able- to scream at home.  I.e. get home before the roses recovered.  She picked up her feet and headed homeward with all due speed.