Face it, if she wasn't such a loud mouthed, hard nosed, street trash talking, stubborn little red-headed bitch, I probably never would have noticed her. But if she wasn't such a stubborn, defiant, sneaky, gutter-mouthed, smart-ass bitch, I probably never would have fallen in love with her in the first place.
What drew me to her? Aw, hell, I'm not sure. Face it, before I even saw that body I heard that voice - all the trash talking, fucking swearing, made me curious as to who the fuck was causing such a god damned scene. But then, wow. Then I saw her. Just looked at her without those lips flapping and damn. That long red hair, that clear skin, and so much skin - not like she was wearing much. Hell, I think her hair and her face were about the only things she did care about when I first met her. That and looking for her next fix. Yep, that was my first glimpse of Cinderella. Just another street walking junkie whore. After all, she couldn't hide those glassy eyes, the jitter, how thin she was. Pretty, but broken, or close enough to broken for most men.
But even as fucked up as she was, she was gorgeous. And yea, in spite of their being glassy as fuck, she had the most beautiful eyes. In spite of what she was doing to herself, in spite of all she had already done to herself, she had the most expressive, slightly vulnerable and... yea. And I thought I could see something in them, something more than just a bitch hustling for her next needle fix.
Nah, I'm not being romantic, fuck that shit. I didn't want to cuddle the bitch or even save her skanky ass, not at first. I wanted to play with her. To prey on her. I wanted to see if I was right, if there was actually something real behind all that glitter, brass and sass. Guess I wanted to find out if she was a real girl or just another brittle, breakable toy.
And you know, she had something. Something different, something special. Not sure what it was, but it got me interested in her, and kept me interested - enough to keep her ass alive for a little longer. Another day, another week. She was new and pretty, and enough of a puzzle to keep me coming back for more. And yea, she was some kind of hot in the sack, ok? There, you heard it. After all, what kind of bitch would give you a blow job for fifty bucks and then wipe her mouth and refuse to kiss you on the lips for five hundred? What the fuck, standards from a whore? So I decided, there and then that by god she was going to kiss me, on the mouth, on her own. And I was NOT going to pay her for it.
And you know something? Under the high heels and the big hair, under the trashy underwear and the inches of fucking makeup and the diet of pills and needles? There really was someone alive in there. Something, someone real. Someone dying to get out.
Not that she could see it, or acknowledge it, or allow it - herself - to live. No, couldn't ever be that fuckin' easy, could it? She told me she was looking for her for her Prince Charming but she sure as hell kept her inner princess well buried under a mountain of druggie bullshit. Cinderella, I called her. It was a joke at the time, such a pretty girl, all in rags with dirt on her face, trapped by her own prison. Yea, it was a joke. But only in the beginning, only the beginning.
Shit, looking back - damn. In the beginning I paid her pimp for her time, more than enough to keep him happy no matter what shape I returned her in. No matter how many pieces I returned her in. And yea, I told her that too, wanted her to see how little he cared. How little they all cared. And yea, we had our good and our bad times. She'd piss me the fuck off, and you know? I was paying for her time, and she paid for making me ripshit angry. I left her in rough shape, I won't lie about it. And still, I let her live when I was taking out my true anger on others, dumping their bodies in the ocean, or feeding them to the wolves and the bears out in the woods one piece at a time.
So I hired her away from him, contract and all, and made her my companion exclusively. Exclusive, that meant no other Johns would be dippin' their wicks where they didn't belong. Because her services belonged to me. And yea, I got her off the streets. Got her into my home, got her away from second hand needles and shit that was cut with aspirin or babypowder. Figured if I couldn't get her off it completely, I could at least give her a safer place to do it, and safer drugs to do it with. And even then I didn't know the extent of her habit.
And somewhere along the line, the name Cinderella stopped being a joke and became my pet word for her, and my hope for her future. Not that I'm any fucking prince Charming, oh hell no. I'm more like the Big Bad Wolf, you know. The one in the fairy tale that eats the grandmother, and fucks Red Riding Hood all to hell and back, and shoots that fucking woodsman in the goddamned head with a 45 caliber. That kind of Big Bad Wolf. Fuck fairy tales, I'm not good, I'm not gentle, and I as hell ain't no happy ending.
Not that she'd let me rescue her anyway, or even give me the chance to try. You know, I had two rules, only two. Honesty and loyalty. Don't cheat me, and don't EVER lie to me. I will go to the end of the fucking earth if I give my word, which is why I don't give it much. But when I do? You'd best believe that I will climb over rubble and corpses, I will tear shit up and burn shit down to do what I said I'd do. But don't try to fuck me over, or well fuck. You're just all done.
And you know, she did it every single fucking time? She snuck around, lied to my face while filling her veins with that shit. What, Cinderella - you think that cell phones don't come with GPS and that I couldn't find you? So yea, I got pissed and yea she paid for it. It's the old fire and stove thing. Don't touch a hot stove and you won't get burned. Don't fuck me and you won't get fucked. But she never fucking learned. Never.
We had a deal, legal and signed and sealed. A contract for gods sakes. She got the home, the clothes, the jewels and the Ferrari. She got it all. But she had to sneak around and screw around on me with other guys. Guys that for some reason didn't like me very much. Not that they were on my fan list either but shit. Even got pictures of her giving some guy a blow job in a hotel lobby, the fiance of one of her so-call friends. Here I was wanting to put her into satins and furs, and she'd rather be on her knees with a dirty needle in her arm, and kissing the dicks of some of the same men who were trying to kill me.
Yea, bet she didn't mention that little fact, did she? They were trying to KILL me. I even saved her ass when one of them, some dumb-fuck Vamp hunter with the fashion sense god gave a emo-gothboy-slug who's only allowance was spent playing big and bad and buying his clothes at Hot Topic. Fucking Blade. Fuck him, I was no goddamned vampire but nooo. The mother-fucker BLEW UP MY HOUSE and killed over a dozen of my men. Would have killed her too, to get to me. Some friends you got there, lady. But what did I do? I carried her out, got her safely away, and lost everything. Fucking Blade. Fucking Jaydyn. Fucking Fisk. Was there ever a man she screwed that wasn't trying to shoot, stab, or blow me the fuck up?!
And she'd lie, constantly. Fuck! I hate that! If she'd been one of my men, hell if she'd been anyone else I'd a just shot her and put her out of my misery. As it was, I tried to, with my fists and with my feet. Almost killed her a few times, I was so mad. Stubborn bitch just wouldn't die. She'd come back again, flappin' her jaws, diggin' her claws and her heart deeper inside of me. Never wanted to love her, never. But I did, and I think that's what drove me abso-fucking-lutely nuts about the whole situation. And in spite of everything she was doing to herself, everything she was doing to set me off into a killing rage, she, somehow she managed to survive.
Sometimes I think she wanted me to kill her, to put us both out of this hell we were stuck with. She tried hard enough. And it's funny, her eyes never sparkled so bright as when she was fighting for her life, literally or figuratively.
And in the end? When everything had crumbled into ruins around us and I couldn't give her that release she'd been begging so long for? She tried to take her own life. It drove me, well, batshit insane that day. I'd tried everything, tried to get her off drugs, off the street, kept her safe and warm. I gave her money, and clothes, and furs and jewels and a car, and... shit. After all that, she was going to fucking pussy out on me, take the cowards way out and hang herself? Hell, I've killed before and I've killed women before. But this one? This one I wanted to LIVE, and this one, this insufferable, ungrateful, stubborn, infuriating cunt was trying to cut out on me, on us.
Yea, I'll say it again. Drove me batshit insane. I lifted her up to loosen the noose she'd tied around her neck, then dropped her ass again. I don't know if I wanted her dead or alive. And I don't know if I wanted to live without her. Ah, but then fucking Blade had to show up to save the fucking day, save her from her decision, and mine. And I got shot in the process. Fuck, if I hadn't been there to keep her alive a little longer, he'd have gotten there in time to cut down a corpse. Of course that would have been my fault too, right? Of course. Let's make this clear, ok? I didn't put the rope around her neck and I sure as fuck didn't make her jump.
But yea, she was got cut down, and then she got shot, I got shot, everyone got fucking shot. Everyone but fucking Blade that is, fucker's one lucky son-of-a-bitch, that's for sure. She went her way, I went mine. And somewhere along the line I guess she learned to walk again. And somewhere along the way so did I. And you know, even away from me, she couldn't have screwed her life up any harder if she'd tried. Because the next time I saw her... I tried to forget her. No, scratch that, I tried hard to hate her guts. Didn't even come close to succeeding. In fact, only time I ever got busted in my life was in a sting with a hooker who was just as slender, who's hair was, you guessed it.
And the next time I saw her, she was infected by something ten times worse than any heroin addiction could do to a person. She'd been infected by some super vamp asshole, worse than all her past problems combined. And she was starving to death before my eyes, starving because she refused to allow herself to feed. Did I want to hurt her then? Hell yea. And I wanted to save her. So I talked myself into believing that I was going to get her well just to destroy her when the time was right. Me, the man who fucking hates liars, lied to myself that I didn't love her anymore.
But I took her home, kindness of my heart and all that. And I was a right cold hearted fucktard about it too. If she wanted to come with me, she was going to come to me, and come with me. Her choice, all the way. Took her home, got her cleaned up. And it was like - fucking history repeating itself all over again. She was dying in front of my eyes, wasting away. I decided then and there, I'd be damned if I let it happen again, let her kill herself right in front of me.
So I cut my own veins, sliced open my arm and held it to her lips as you hold a baby's bottle to it's mouth. I made her feed from me, I forced her to. Forced her to live, to struggle and hang on just a little longer. At least until I could find a cure for the shit that was eating her up inside. And to get the cure? I went to my worse enemy, I... that fucking white hat, goody two shoes Derek fucking Bliss. I still don't know what she ever saw in him, except maybe that he was probably the only man to ever turn her ass down when it came to getting laid.
But yea, I owe him one, I owe him one to this day. An' I'd do it too. Because I gave my word. But you know something? In the end that asshole came through. And she - she was, she was something. And yea, we were something.
For the first time, she just let me be me, and she.. well, she let what was on the inside show on the outside. And as they say, it was good. It was real good. Better, maybe the best you know? And even when fucked up things happen, as fucked up things do - we worked through them, together. People make mistakes, hey it happens I understand that. They make decisions, bad decisions and they pay for them.
Like that dumb fuck that hurt her, oh about two years ago I think. Some john out of her past decided to take by force from my woman what he used to get cheap. A washed up pussy named Stanton I think. He made a bad decision. A really, really bad decision. And he paid for it; him, his fucknut friends, and his entire fucking family - all the ones I could find. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her, either to protect her, or in that case? To avenge her.
And I held her in my arms as she cried, gave her the chance to confront him, then stabbed him up through the throat after cutting off his fucking dick. See? It was a bad decision. And he paid for it. I held her in my arms letting her see that he had no power over her. That he took something from us, more than that, he took something from her. And I would make sure she got it back. I... I held her close, and - fuck. I never wanted to let her go. She was my princess then, and hell, maybe sometimes the bad-guy does win and gets the girl.
Time goes on, and we learned to trust again, I learned to trust her, she learned to trust me. Least that's what I thought. And we got hitched. And let me tell you, that came with it's own set of complications. More people trying to kill me. Trying to kill us. Some blast from my past with a penchant for dressing like a horror-show mime, called himself the Crow. Fucking repressed musician who couldn't get over the fact that his girl was dead and that technically? He was too. WHAT THE FUCK! Can a man not have some peace and serenity at his own fucking wedding? We ended up saying our vows over the rubble of buildings, over the bodies of our enemies.
And then she got pregnant. Wasn't sure how I felt about it, after all, wasn't much time for us to learn to be us. But the idea grew on me fast. And when she wanted to move out to California, I didn't want to go. But I did, because that's what she wanted. And I started making a life for us out here, someplace safe I thought. Someplace new for us and the babe. And yea, that was good too. Real good. And I wove a Crow feather into her hair to remind her that together we can overcome. Wove one into mine as well, do it every day, even now. Every single god-damned day.
And then? Just before the baby is due to be born I find out that she's back on the pills, back on the booze, and she's starting to lie again. Drove me fucking nuts, right there. Boom. I don't have time for her shit so I shove her into the limo and deal with other business and...
And then she was gone. Vivian, the limo driver, our baby. All of it, gone. Vanished into thin fucking air, the limousine left on the side of some deserted road all smashed to shit and her purse left there. No ransom note, phone calls, no demands, no credit cards taken, no money to speak of, no clothes, no jewelry. Nothing, nada. So I, damn. Called in debts, made promises, put the word out to every single underworld figure and group I could think of to try and find her, to bring her back. And then when that didn't work, I looked harder for someone, anyone just to bring me word that she was alive, even if she didn't want to come back. I spent more money than some large cities do for their annual budget, ignored business, dropped clients.
Found her though, finally. At least I think I did. At least it looked like her photo on some grainy picture on the back page of some New York City newspaper. She was a 'Jane Doe' who'd survived the destruction of some financial building or some such shit.
So I took some of my boys and went to New York to have a looksie. And I found her trail. Followed it to Florida, and it died there. It just - fuck, so frustrating. Makes me wanna shoot someone. Shoot a lot of someones, and burn the world down around their curb stomped, ass-raped, bleeding corpses.
So now I do what I gotta. I wait, I search and I try to keep from going fucking insane, hoping that she's still alive. Praying that she'll decide to come home to me, her and our baby. I curse myself for being a fool, for trusting the bitch and letting her in so deep, letting her into my heart not once, but twice. I hate myself that I can't push her runaway ass back out of it. And I hate the fact that even now, after all this fucking bullshit, goddamn it, I still love the bitch. And if she were to walk through that door today I'd...
Oh fuck it all to hell. Cinderella, come home. Come home now.
Cinderella, please. Come home?
Name: Top Dollar
Fandom: The Crow
X-posted to: tenebrae_nostro
Prompt #60.1 D: "You must never allow the world to know your true feelings, especially those feelings that they can use against you." all_forme
This is a loving tribute post to a very, very dear friend and role play companion - the writer of viv_ward who I have interacted with more years than I want to admit I am that old! Thank you for some of the most thrilling, amazing, violent, pain and angst filled, and bizarrely tender rp I have ever had.