Not sure I want to do this or anything or be anyone anymore. Hannibal left for a job and probably won’t ever be coming back home this time.
Maybe there was still a flicker of hope that Hannibal would side with him when the other man walked through the door, but as soon as Aeson saw the scowl on his face, it vanished. That couldn’t be directed only at Danica. Whatever that moment before the other left might’ve promised, it seemed it was gone now. Unwilling to remain on his knees, he sat cross-legged on the hardwood floor. When Hannibal turned to face him, he shot him a glare. “My parents had better things to do than teach me to be someone’s lap dog,” he returned.
The force of the blow sent a shockwave through his jaw. He suppressed a hiss of pain, not wanting to give Danica the satisfaction, and coolly popped his jaw back into place. Then the other’s fist made contact with his gut and he couldn’t hold back a grunt. Blood dripped from the corner of his mouth onto his shirt collar, and he could only guess he’d broken a rib. His hands curled into fists. He spat some of the blood pooling in his mouth onto Hannibal’s left shoe.
Aeson ignored Danica’s order – his jacket remained on. At the next punch, he caught the other’s fist in his palm. While squeezing his fingers, hoping to break bone, he aimed a knee at his groin. His rebellion didn’t last long. The sharp end of his new mistress’s heel landed on the small of his back, and Aeson fell to all fours, coughing up another glob of blood. Still, he hoped the message was clear: if the other man wasn’t siding with him, he had better not get in his way.
"What’s the matter, lover? Run dry already?" she asked, smoke falling from red lips as she gave Hannibal’s crotch a painful squeeze. Nails made lines down his back, careful to hit all the fresh marks from their recent session. "Strapping Midwestern boy like you ought to be able to keep some city tramp from acting up. I was considering putting you in charge of keeping him in line, but if you’re not capable of doing that, I may just have to leave the two of you to our resident muscle." The big guy from earlier, Aeson assumed. He’d staggered over to the nearest wall, leaning against it as he tried to keep his balance and remain standing. "So if you don’t want the extra training, I suggest you show me otherwise and make our guest beg forgiveness for the lack of gratitude toward our hospitality."
One corner of his lips twitched, eyes narrowing. Aeson finally took off his jacket, letting it drop to the ground in a crumpled pile, and rolled up his sleeves. “Sure, do as she says,” he agreed, “if you’re just the manservant around here.”
The splatter of the other man’s blood dribbling down his leather shoe shattered Hannibal’s anger quite suddenly, distracting his brain from the task he’d been assigned. He’d grown accustomed to the sight of his own blood, but being the cause of someone else’s was still something he was getting used to. Slowly, piece by piece, the Talos family would mold him into someone he feared; whether he wanted to or not.
Aeson’s retaliation was to be expected. Of course he’d make this more difficult than needed. He’d been a pain in the ass since the beginning of this fun-filled night. For once he was thankful for Danica’s heel as he took a couple strides away from the sputtering man on the floor. Aeson seemed like a brawler, and people obviously liked his work enough to pay him money for it. Hannibal had no training, no technique or finesse. Learning to fight properly was an unnecessary skill anyhow , the Talos family never played fair.
Hannibal gritted his molars through everything Danica inflicted on him. Thier guest probably thought he was pathetic enough, he didn’t want to imagine the reaction if he’d uttered the pained noise on the back of his tongue out loud. He wasn’t exactly sure why he cared what Aeson thought of him in the first place. It was possibly because he had a glimmer of hope the other man could actually get him out of here. Nothing screwed someone out of a free ticket to the outside world more than being a snake and beating the shit out of them based on some miserable whore’s command.
She expected him to smash and ruin and destroy until their guest screamed Uncle or stopped fucking breathing.
Hannibal wasn’t sure he could do either.
Suit jacket slipping from his body, he carefully folded it so it wouldn’t crumple, laying it over the back of the chair. Red spots striped the back of his button up, still tacky where the welts she’d agitated oozed in response. Instead of a heated brawl Hannibal stood facing Danica, silent and somber, fear making his heart race now instead of anger. His punishment for a failure of this magnitude would be severe, he could see it boiling behind her emerald eyes as she slid off the desk and on to her heels, knuckles making contact with Hannibal’s jaw before he could blink.
He didn’t fight back, even when Danica used a fist full of hair to drag him to his knees and drive a knee into his gut and her heel into his groin, or when the burn of her cigarette being put out on his shoulder made him finally cry out in pain. The insults she spat were creative, but he paid no mind, glad when she relented and furiously headed for the door.
"I’m getting a fucking professional in here. We’ll pick it up again tomorrow bright and early and see what you’ve both learned."
The room was silent as the heavy lock clicked behind Danica on her way out, leaving the two men alone in the room. Hannibal didn’t bother to clean the blood off his face as he stood, legs shaky and unsure, turning to face Aeson with defeat on his face, eyes to the foor.
"Yes or no: do you think you can you actually get yourself outta this mess?" His voice was exasperated, tired and fed up and so, so desperate. He left his biggest question unasked though, too ashamed to let it slip out. Can you get me out of here too?
1. What they smell like: Explosions, leather and gin.
2. How they sleep (sleeping position, schedule, etc): On his stomach or side, though he doesn’t sleep often.
3. What music they enjoy: Whatever will most annoy the people around him.
4. How much time they spend getting ready every morning: 20-30 minutes (most of that time is spent on beard sculpting and gun choosing).
5. Their favorite thing to collect: Weaponry.
6. Left or right-handed: Right.
7. Religion (if any): None.
8. Favorite sport: Baseball.
9. Favorite touristy thing to do when traveling: Drink.
10. Favorite kind of weather: Summer.
11. A weird/obscure fear they have: Being trapped in an unescapable room for a prolonged period of time.
12. The carnival/arcade game they always win without fail: The High Striker.
When she didn’t have commissions or a target to stalk, Delta could be found in the brothel’s gym, teaching the employees a few hand to hand fighting techniques. It encouraged them to stay fit and ensured they could defend themselves if things ever went wrong with a client. She was just finishing a lesson with a few of the girls when she caught a familiar scent, honeyed eyes turning toward the punching bag. She’s silent when she walks over to the Nightstalker, appreciating his fighting form. “Did someone piss you off, or did the the bag insult your mother?” She jokes coming into his view.
Delta’s words snapped him out of his concentration, one hand resting on the bag to settle its residual jiggles and swings. There’s a slight pant to his breath and a light sheen of sweat but he is otherwise composed, plucking the earbud out of his left ear, tongue dragging over a dry lip as he chuckles. “Damn you’re good. How did you know? Lemme guess, the bag insulted your mother too?” he joked, eyes scanning the woman up and down quickly. “Sooo…come here often?”
"Marathons, huh? Funny, I wouldn’t picture you as a marathon runner. Not enough variety in running." He glanced Hannibal over with some skepticism, then added, "But say you were having trouble with, uh… interruptions to your sleep? I used to find a shot or two before bed helps. Still do, but I had to change up the recipe, compensate for the wolf. Either way, I sleep like a baby. Not a great habit, but hey – it works." Aeson maneuvered his head to make sure Hannibal hit that spot behind his ear he liked so much. "That’s nice of you. Stalker-y, but nice. You should try not to work the graveyard shift so much, though. There’s something about being up when the sun’s out that makes everything seem so much… well, brighter."
"What did you have to switch your nightcap recipe to? A bottle of Everclear?" The tilt of Aeson’s head was all the persuading Hannibal needed to hone in on the spot that made his friend’s foot twitch, scritching nails against it. "If I’m not out there working, who will be? Somebody’s gotta be out there to protect the unsuspecting masses. But hey, don’t you worry your adorable little head too much, I see sunlight too. I rest from 0800 to 0900, that leaves plenty of daytime."
[Skellig sighs loudly and exaggeratedly, her hands on her hips.] Oh, Caracatus. [She breathes it out scoldingly, stooping down and scooping up the black cat in her arms, holding him close to her chest and murmuring a few chastising words in his ear while he attempts to nuzzle her.] I’m sorry. [She finally turns her attention to the man, offering an apologetic smile while Caracatus instead offers a threatening hiss.] Did he bother you at all? He’s fond of that. I taught him better, though.
[The cat had followed him a few blocks, though Hannibal had hardly paid it any mind. It wasn’t an unusual occurrence to have beasts stalking him in a new town. He was just glad it was cute and furry and not looking to make a meal out of the side of his throat. …Or at least he hoped that wasn’t its plan, anyways. Turning to face the girl, a smile quirked up the sides of his lips.] It’s no big deal. He wasn’t bugging me. He’s just a lil’ pipsqueak, what kinda damage could he do? No harm done, miss…?
I’m feeling generous today,
so I’m going to give you thirty
seconds to explain why you’re
on my island, starting now.
A boat. …Possibly a helicopter. How else would people cross large bodies of water? Wait, wait— rewind. Did you say how or why? I’m always getting those mixed up. Lemme try again. How many more seconds do I have left, princess?
"You’re one, too? Have to say, that creeps me out a bit. Sounds a little too twinsie.” Shrugging, he added, “Hey, maybe we’re doing too much running around and squat-thrusting during the day. Works its way into our sleep. I’ll have to do some research on it. I’m all good, though. Like I said, active sleeper.” From the tone of his voice and the look on his face, even down to the regularity in his heartbeat, it was obvious he believed every word he was saying. With a tilt of his head and a slight frown, he asked, “You always do these ‘nightly rounds’ of yours?”
"If it creeps you out less, I wasn’t always so active." Hannibal scooted from his seat on the edge of the bed until he was sitting against the headboard, looking down at his friend. "Not until I started…running marathons fifteen years ago." He was perfectly fine playing along with the denial game. After all, it was one of his strong suits. Aeson’s question brought a chuckle out of him, ruffling his sleep mussed hair gently. "Almost always. When I don’t have something big going on. Vampire hunter, remember? I’m up every night."
So maybe this wasn’t the way Hannibal had seen his ideal afternoon going, but he’d wiggled himself out of worse situations before. He’d always been pretty shitty at dying anyways. Getting the hell beat out of him on the other hand… Still, he trudged forward through jungle, aiming to find a freshwater source he could follow upstream. He could have sworn he’d once read people liked to build civilizations near fresh water. That or the sore bump growing on the back of his skull had made it up. Either way it was worth a shot, so he continued on, large silver blade easily tackling any hanging foliage in his way.
The brush trembled and shook, and Hannibal immediately turned to face the approaching whatever, knife brandished and ready. Maybe it would be a deer. A meal was sounding pretty good right about now to his grumbling belly. Standing still and silent, he waited with anticipation for whatever was headed his way.
'm sure ya are, love, but I
really don’t wanna deal with
t’is at tha moment.
[Nick calmed down, her voice lower and softer as she spoke.]
Alright, look. Obviously we
started off on tha wrong foot.
Granted it was mainly yer
fault, an’ I am not apologizin’,
but maybe we jus’ shouldn’t
be dicks t’each ot’er, yeah?
Hey, you’re the one who got your panties in a wad about literally everything that came out of my face. I’ll cool it if you do, though. Just don’t spit fire if you can’t take a burnin yourself, sister.
Now, let’s start again. Hello. I’m Hannibal King, vampire shit-fucker-upper extraordinaire. How are you on this fine, not offended evening so far?
If his daughter hadn’t played her hand quite so well, or if he weren’t begrudgingly proud of her for displaying the ruthlessness he’d worked so hard to instill within her, Ben would have instructed his driver to head for the freeway, leaned over to open the door, and shoved the larger man out. He wanted to, very much. Hannibal’s crassness grated on him. Intentionally, Ben was sure.
"I’m glad we have an understanding… and you would do well not to refer to my daughter so crassly within my hearing, Mister King.” The congressman lifted his glass of bourbon -crystal and expensive, of course- to his mouth, taking a decent swallow.
He waited a moment before speaking again. “I also trust that we have an understanding that you will mold yourself into a model citizen? Your past is going to be quite a challenge, but we can sell a redemption story, especially when the ‘love of a good woman’ is the catalyst.”
"Model citizen? Oh, of course. It’s like I told my parole officer, I would never, ever transport illicit substances from point A to point B for a little extra cash.” This guy had a face that begged to be punched. No wonder he got into politics, where everyone was too busy fucking each other financially or socially to throw a right hook. “Or break a man’s knee caps. For fun. Never….Until my parole’s up.”
Hannibal wasn’t going to play along with Ben’s little game to protect his public persona. The other man’s pride was of no concern to him. If the congressman really wanted him to play quiet and nice there was only one available option. But until the green was in his hot little hand, he wasn’t biting.
"This is what this is all about, huh? The press. For someone in your fragile, voted-in position in the public eye, I reckon they can make or break a man’s career. What a tough break, Mr. Congressman. Life is hard. But hey, easy come, easy go.”