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 A Helping Hand

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Fuzzy



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PostSubject: A Helping Hand   2013-02-18, 3:34 am

Melissa slammed the receiver back onto its base in a huff. Yet another joyous conversation with her ex-husband had left her fuming. His incessant badgering and shallow threats had no effect on her. ‘He’s an abusive liar and a cheat… What mother would allow their child to be raised by such a man!’ So long as the law was on her side, Melissa would see to it that the bastard never saw Elise again. The angel took a few deep breaths in attempts to calm herself. Her eye color slowly shifted from silver back to their natural green. There was no point in getting worked up over him. Melissa sighed and clapped her hands once. “I think I’ll just relax tonight!” She declared with a smile.

Without her ex around, Melissa was finding a lot less stress in her life. She made more than enough to support herself and her daughter comfortably. So long as she could spend time with Elise and continue to teach, she was happy. She even managed to set aside ‘me time’ to manage herself. Aside from studying to keep her mind sharp and developing lesson plans, Melissa spent as much time as she could with her daughter.

Elise had gone to spend the night at Tala’s house to have a slumber party with Milana. That was just fine with Melissa. She needed to blow off steam every once in a while, and couldn’t bring herself to show such a distasteful demeanor in front of her daughter. That, and Tala was very good with children; especially Elise. Their daughters were inseparable, so they often had play dates when time allowed. This meant Melissa had the house to herself.

When she was done calming herself, Melissa strode into her kitchen and opened one of the higher cupboards. “…Poo.” Melissa pouted a little, lamenting the empty storage space. She’d forgotten to replenish her supply of ‘adult water’ that Elise was never allowed to touch or see. It would be simple enough to stay in and watch some television, but she didn’t much feel like sitting at home alone. It was too quiet and would only leave her alone with her thoughts of… Melissa sighed and glanced at the clock. It was late, but not too late. “I could use the fresh air…” She whispered to herself as she secured her purse and keys.


“Hooo… It’s so nice out tonight.” Melissa let the cool night air wash over her as she walked down the street. She didn’t mind a brisk walk at night; the streets were relatively safe and her destination wasn’t far. Besides, it would be irresponsible to drive knowing where she’s headed. It was cool out, but not cold. The perfect weather for taking a stroll to forget your worries at any time of the day, really.

Her destination drew near quicker than she anticipated. Time really flew when your head was in the clouds. Her heightened spirits had returned to her as she approached the bar. She realized the situation was a bit absurd, an Elementary School teacher being a regular at a pub. It didn’t bother her, or her superiors for that matter, as long as her personal life and ongoings never interfered with her work. Melissa would never let that happen. Plus, she really liked the atmosphere there. You can meet the most interesting and colorful folk at a bar, and this one took care to keep out the belligerent riffraff. Melissa cheerfully grabbed the door handle and pushed her way in. The bell above the door chimed faintly.

“Hello, Gale.” The owner of the bar. He was a very nice man until crossed.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 7:45 pm



"Ooo... *hic* ....ugh..." Haku bowed her head a bit at her table in the corner. She was nursing her.... well, she wasn't sure which drink this was. Judging by the cans and bottles on the table, she'd drank at least... twenty? She had higher alchohol tolerance than a human, but still. She was well and truly drunk, and she preferred it that way. It dulled her mind and senses, which was difficult, considering her mind was a computer. She just didn't want to think... or feel, really. She'd come from a place where everyone hated her, to a place where nobody knew her. She should be happy, but she wasn't. She was completely and utterly alone.

She sobbed slightly as thoughts came back to her, and quickly downed the last of her drink, trying to drown it. She set the drink down, and buried her head in her arms on the table, before raising her arm, signaling for another drink. She'd had to argue with the bartender not to long ago, to get him to keep serving her, when he'd clearly thought she'd had enough, but she was persistant. The music she was listening to with headphones, it didn't fully help either. It was both comforting and painful; it was various songs sung by her sisters.

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Fuzzy



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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 8:38 pm

"Melissa... Come on in..." Gale looked very distracted at the time of Melissa's arrival; this was reflected in his response. She ambled over to him to ask what was the matter. His occasional furtive glances to the woman in the corner of the bar were answer enough. "Got your usual in just a sec, 'Liss. Gotta get to her first..." He didn't sound happy.

"Do you know her?" Melissa idly asked while looking over. She noticed the girl's unique attire for but a fleeting moment. "H-how long has she been here?!" The amount of empty drinks at her table was astonishing for one person.

"Not long enough to safely put away what she has. I've tried stoppin' her but she definitely ain't havin' that." The bartender turned around and procured another bottle for the girl. "While I'm glad she hasn't keeled over from alcohol poisoning I'm a bit skittish 'bout letting her leave. Whatever's got her down, has her down tough." It didn't take an empath to sense she was insane amounts of depressed. The vibe was nearly emanating from her. Melissa frowned at the atmosphere.

"I'll take her drink to her. Can I have mine, too?" Gale raised a brow and gave her a ruminative look. After a moment's hesitation, he gave in. Dissuading Melissa on matters such as this was nigh impossible. He handed Melissa two bottles and a small glass for herself. Melissa's drink was a hard liquor as well. Thanks to her own tolerance and recovery system, she needed an especially high proof to feel anything.

Wearing her usual happy expression, Melissa meandered over to Haku's table and sat down. There were bottles and the like cluttering the space between them, so she set her hands between the bulk of them and pushed them to the sides. This way a clear path shot down the table between the two girls. Melissa tapped Haku's downed head to get her attention before merrily sliding her bottle to her. She appeared to be wearing headphones, so Melissa waved in greeting.

"Hello! Mind if I sit here?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 8:56 pm

Haku looked up through watery eyes in confusion. Slowly, she pulled one of the ear buds loose. "...I... if you want..." She seemed confused, but that could be part of her drunken stupor. "If you want this table... *hic*... I can move somewhere else..."

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Fuzzy



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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 9:08 pm

Melissa pouted a little. "Oh, don't leave!" She set her own bottle and cup onto the table. "You look like you could use some cheering up. And I could really use a drinking partner. So let's just help each other out, okay?" She poured herself a glassful... and immediately gulped it down. Melissa clinked her cup back onto the table and shuddered as the familiar burning sensation trickled down her throat. It felt good in a way, the feeling had developed a nostalgia of its own.

"My name is Melissa, by the way. Melissa Lockheart. Can I ask your name?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 9:18 pm

Haku was clearly quite confused, but nodded slowly. "...M'kay... I'm... Haku... um, Ando..." She looked at her new drink, then at Melissa's, before downing most of it, curling up a bit on the table.

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 9:30 pm

Melissa watched Haku for a second. She was really depressed. 'If she can do it...!' Melissa picked up her bottle and drank about the amount Haku had of hers. Which... was probably a mistake. She pounded the bottle back down, coughing and gasping for air to cool her throat. "*Cough* *cough* Owowowowoooooooww~..." That was definitely one of her most regrettable decisions. After a few moments of letting the fire in her windpipe die out, she spoke again. "So, Haku. Do you want to talk about what's wrong?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 9:44 pm

Haku peered at Melissa over her arms, a deep sadness showing in her eyes. "...I'm... nothing. I have nothing... mean nothing... am nothing... it's even branded on me, so I can never forget it..." She glanced to the 'DTM' on her left shoulder, tears welling up again before she buried her face in her arms.

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 10:17 pm

Melissa frowned at her playfully. "Now that's not true at all!" She straightened herself up and pointed at Haku 'matter-of-factly'. "You are Haku. You have the biggest drinking record at this bar."

"I'll say she does..." Gale murmured from behind the counter. Melissa continued airily.

"You mean 'doctor' in some forms of Japanese... I think. And you are my drinking buddy! Not. Nothing." She smiled brightly and poked Haku's head again, quite pleased with the turnaround. She drank the remainder of what was in her bottle. "And your tattoo is your tattoo. The abbreviation could mean anything. Department of Turtle Mystics, or Double Taekwondo Master!" It was a little fast for her buzz to be kicking in, but her body processed things a bit quickly. She hoisted her empty bottle and held it toward the barkeep. "Can I have more, please?"

"Not with comments like 'Double Taekwondo Master'." He laughed back sarcastically. Melissa groaned at him and shook her empty bottle. Gale sighed and brought her another.

"So. You can't be nothing. Because you're already something."
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 10:22 pm

The corner of Haku's mouth was starting to twitch upward a bit, up until mention of the tattoo was mentioned. She immediately spiraled back down into depression, taking another drink. "...I know exactly what it means... 'Defective Trash Model'... I was made to be nothing... you... I'm something to you now... but I'm nothing important. You'll throw me away when you don't need me anymore..."

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 10:46 pm

Melissa pressed her hands to the table and stood abruptly. "I would NEVER throw away a Double Taekwondo Master!!" She was... a little tipsy already. "Oooh..." She sat back down dizzily. She drank a few more gulps of her drink. Her cup wasn't getting any more usage at this point. "You don't listen to stupid labels like that, Haku. You shouldn't let people tell you your own worth." She looked up for a moment before returning her gaze to Haku.

"Wait. No. Listen to ME when I say your worth, because I'm NOT stupid." She brushed a bit of Haku's hair from her eyes. "You are important to me because you are a very good drinking buddy. I know we haven't drunk much yet, but I'm still alive, so that's a start. You are important to Gale because he loves all his customers! But mostly because he wants your money." She whispered that last bit in jest. Melissa then pointed to another random patron. "And you're important to that guy over there because I said so! Isn't that right, Random Guy?!" She literally called him 'random guy', to which he responded with a hearty "Hell yeah!"

With a giggle, Melissa rested her head on her upturned hands. "Heehee... That guy's actually nice. But only when he's not drunk. I flipped him into a trashcan once when he got grabby. But you're still important to him!" She leaned in closer and hushed her voice a bit. "And I'm never going to throw you away. As long as you promise to do the same for me, okay?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 10:56 pm

Haku just stared at Melissa, blinking once or twice. "...Those aren't real reasons... you don't really mean it..." Haku had decided she was done here, Melissa's attempts at cheering her up only making her more upset. She was sure Melissa's words were either drunken rambling, or a way of mocking her. It's all she knew, except from her sisters, but they were a special case. Haku stood up. "You... don't know what it's like... being... being hated by everyone around you... spat on... mocked... to... to have someone hold out their hand and tell you it'll be okay, just to pull it away... for... for the only two people who... who ever really cared, to be just... gone..."

She turned to leave... and promptly fell over, hitting her head on a table as she went. She cut her head fairly badly, but it healed quickly. As drunk as she was, though, she was knocked unconscious. The real surprise, however, was the fact that her head smashed through the table and, when she landed, her body also smashed the floorboards beneath her. She was not a light girl, despite seeming almost fragile to look at.

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 11:44 pm

"AAAAGH, FUCK!!" Gale had suffered his fair share of scraps and collateral damage within his bar, but never had he seen such destruction from one person falling over. Haku's drop surprised the hell out of him. Melissa jumped up and scooted down to Haku's side. After quickly checking her over she saw she was fine. "MY TABLE! MY FLOOR!! What is that girl MADE of?!" Gale was wildly flailing in a conniption fit while Melissa stood up, teetering toward the bar. She clasped her hands together and spoke to him sweetly.

"I'm so sorry~! But at least she's okay!" Her drinks were starting to hit her pretty hard. She was practically glowing with optimism. Gale wiped his face in frustration.

"Grrrrrrr, dammit. You're sure she's okay?" He was starting to calm down a little. Just a little.

"Uh-huh~! Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaase don't be mad at her? I'm reeeeaaaally sorry! I can pay for the damages, if that's okay?" Gale was frantically waving her off.

"No, no. Just. Just go home for the night and I'll get this taken care of. Maybe call her a cab or something..." He'd need help with her. Gale knew he was no where near strong enough to lift someone who could drop like that.

"Nooooooo... I don't think that'll work." Haku didn't sound like she wanted to go back to wherever it was she came from. "I know! I'll take her home! I can pay her tab, too." She removed a card from her purse wallet and slid it over the counter to Gale. "Here you gooooo~!" Gale was starting to get very nervous about letting her leave so quickly. He was about to say something when Melissa quickly turned and knelt next to Haku. "GMM!! HIYYYYYYYYYYAH!!" With a bit of effort, she managed to pick her up, much to the surprise of everyone in the bar (everyone except for 'Random Guy'). Melissa stumbled toward the door, mainly because of the sudden shift in balance. "Bye, byeeee~ everyone!" The other patrons waved to her nervously. Gale plopped onto a nearby stool and rubbed his temples.

She forgot her card.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Whenever Haku found the strength to awaken, she would be neatly tucked into a futon in an unlit room. While the room's furnishing was sparse, the decor and fragrance strongly hinted that other women lived there.
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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-17, 11:51 pm

Haku groaned softly as she opened her eyes. The alchohol had already been burned through by her system, but she felt odd, as always. She never really got the painful side-effect of a hangover; she just got woozy. She sat up slowly, and reached to her right... and paused. Clearly, this wasn't the building she'd been squatting in. If it was, there would be a bottle of alchohol on the night atand. There wasn't. "...Where am I...?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Helping Hand   2013-02-18, 12:17 am

Melissa thought she'd heard a noise, so she padded down the hall and poked her head into her guest room. She smiled and greeted her in a low voice. "You're awake! Good." She reached her hand into the room to flick on the light, but quickly remembered to decide against it. During the night, she had drawn the shades closed so Haku wouldn't be disturbed in the morning. "Oop. Let's leave that off... I'm making breakfast if you want to come out and eat." She started back down the hall toward the kitchen. "If you wait too long, I'll just eat in there with you!" Melissa had determined to cheer her up, even if it was just the slightest bit.
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A Helping Hand

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