You're Sick


Daisy_icon.gif Julian_icon.gif Simone_icon.gif

Summary: Daisy and Julian meet for a date-like thing on Christmas Eve, only to have Simone come by and terrorize them both.

Date It Happened: December 24, 2001

You're Sick

Downtown LA

Downtown Los Angeles is widely known as the business hub of the city. Filled to the brim with art institutions, sports facilities, skyscrapers and the corporations who own them, it is also home to unique bazaars (such as the effervescent Grand Central Market) that offer equally unique shopping experiences. Here, one can find much of what makes Los Angeles the city that it is: Union Station, which pumps life into the area by way of the subway and rail networks; the main office of the Los Angeles Times; Parker Center, the headquarters of the LAPD; Little Tokyo, which contains a great deal of Japanese-based businesses, as well as the Japanese American National Museum; and finally, the U.S. Bank Tower — the seventh-tallest building in the United States.

Christmas Eve in Los Angeles - it'd be a shame to spend it alone. That's why Julian has made a phone call to a certain woman, asking her to meet him in front of a sweet little church hidden away in the center of downtown LA. Not many people know of the church, well-hidden as it is, but beautiful music and singing can be heard from within the place. The half-demon hasn't ever been able to shake his fondness for Christmas, and if he can't comfortably (or safely) walk into a house of worship, he can always stand around outside and listen. It's just one day of the year, after all! He stands in the shadow of the church with his hands in the pockets of his waistcoat, an ascot replacing his usual choice of tie. The collar of his shirt? Winged. He's going a little bit more on the fancypants side of things today thanks to the holy celebration.

Daisy was happy to get the call, and not just because most things tend to make her happy, being a naturally 'up' person. Because Christmas eve alone might be enough to bring her down. So she's done herself up and made her way into this end of town. She hadn't known about the church, so it takes a couple of wrong turns before she manages to find the right place, a little breathless once she gets there. "Hey there!" she calls out in chipper greeting as she comes up to join him in the church's shadow, flashing a grin. "Merry Christmas." She pauses to take a look at the church, seeming rather touched by the sentiment of it. "Sorry I'm late, I … got a little turned around." She's not someone who's usually late, which is why she was hurrying so to get here.

When you're as old a creature as Simone, you tend to have time on your hands. Lots of it. Hunger sated by a recent catch (a homeless man - Julian might be relieved), she is taking this extra jaunt not because she is hungry, but because she is curious. The vampire is attired in a black, flaring trench coat and similarly flared pinstripe slacks, choices of clothing that help her blend into the night more than they help her blend with - say - the formal, festive revelers celebrating inside the church. This church she is eying warily, a still form behind a corner two buildings down. She hadn't meant to come this close at all, but there is something that…pulls. She can't quite place the feeling, but whatever it is, she can't wrest her attention away.

And so it is. From somewhere, a pair of unseen eyes watches the meeting between Daisy and Julian.

At the sound of the familiar voice Julian turns to face Daisy, mercifully oblivious of the fact that he is being watched by someone in the darkness. Which is a whole special kind of creepy. He grins at the woman and pulls a single wrapped rose out from under the left side of his jacket where it had been tucked, promptly holding it out to her. It's wonderful! He's successfully landed himself a Date. "Merry Christmas to you, too. No need to apologize - this city is quite complicated. I just found this place while walking a few days ago; it seemed like it'd be nice to start an evening here."

"Oh! Oh my," Daisy replies with pleased surprise as he presents the rose, her cheeks going a little pink and a grin spreading as she reaches out to take it. "You didn't have to, but thank you," she replies with a little laugh, using her free hand to tuck some hair back behind her ear. "Yeah, this city definitely has a lot more wrong turns than I'm used to," she agrees after a moment, nodding adamantly and glancing back at the church. "But this is lovely. I had no idea this was even here. It seems sort of out of place, but … in a good way." She's also utterly oblivious to what lurks in the shadows.

This is just a bit ridiculous. At one point during the seconds that tick by, Simone actually rests her forehead in her palm, trying to deal with the sensation dragging at her nerves. It's like there's a cookie jar right in front of her and she's a little kid trying to resist. When she takes her hand away, lifting her head in the process, the pull has made up her mind for her.

With a deep, silent inhalation through her nose, she eases herself off the wall to begin an easy, casual stride down the sidewalk in the direction of the church. She makes no effort to hide herself or her pace, but the darkness of her clothes, the natural quietness of her steps, and the preoccupation of the two people in front of her might all add up into a slightly nasty surprise once they see her. Once she's physically at the point where it's inevitable that they spot her, she lets a wry greeting of a smile twist first one corner of her mouth, and then the other. "…A secret tryst in front of a church. How — cute, Julian."

Roses always make the best impressions with women, and the trick is to not overdo it. One rose alone can do the romantic work of three dozen, or so Julian has found in his long line of experience. He smiles cheerily back at Daisy with the ever-so-sweet background ambience of Christmas hymns, then crooks one elbow outwards to offer her his left arm. "I haven't been inside and I'd hate to interrupt the service, but it's a pleasure to listen to it. Little spots like these are always the best—" And then there's an interruption. A very, very unexpected interruption. Julian's head whips around and he stares at Simone like a deer in headlights, eyes wide. "…Simone," he says weakly after a pause. "Merry Christmas."

Daisy takes the offered arm with a grin that's just slightly shy or self-concsious. Somehow, she's still managed to remain every bit the innocent farm girl from Kansas. She brings the rose up to take a sniff at it, again looking to the church and nodding, about to offer her agreement when someone steps so abruptly out of the shadows, enough to make her jump, but not as much as she probably shoulder. She looks over at the newcomer, and then to Julian when they greet each other by name. Although not the name she actually knows Julian by, which is slightly confusing, but she won't dwell. "You, uh, you know this woman?" she asks of him, trying to smile politely despite the vibes that are going on here.

"Don't Merry Christmas me," returns Simone with patient irritation, folding her arms across her stomach and curling her fingertips around the collar of her coat. The girl Daisy gets a long, appraising look up and down, as though she's a stack of meat waiting to be sold. Unexpectedly, the blonde woman steps forward again - grandly - once this is over. "Why, my darling, I know this man quite well."

Okay. This is looking bad, which is to say it is looking like Julian may or may not be jilting a girlfriend. Which - might actually be true, depending on how it's looked at. But right now he's not terribly willing to play along with the vampire's games. Instead he reaches his free hand around to grasp Daisy's arm in a way that is intended to be reassuring, though his fingers grip just hard enough that it's probable that he is on the scared side of things. "We know each other. But I'm pretty sure we should be going now."

"Oh, um," Daisy manages eloquently, as she tries to quickly parse the various things being said, the discomforting looks that she's getting, the tight hand on her arm just as she was getting the vibe that maybe she should unhand Julian if he's somehow involved with Simone? It's an awful lot to take in all at once. "I … Well, yeah, okay," she agrees to Julian about getting going, figuring he'd know since he's the one who knows Simone. "Um, merry-" She pauses in bidding farewell to the other woman, recalling how Simone reacted to that salutation from Julian, and amends to, "Happy holidays," instead. An uncertain glance is cast sidelong at Julian. What's going on?

On the contrary, Simone doesn't seem to be upset at all. She takes another large step forward without unfolding her crossed arms, a smirk building. "Don't leave yet, dears. I haven't even had the courtesy of introducing myself properly. Unless you two are in some kind of hurry?" If Daisy will allow her to, she reaches out one hand to settle it on the forearm that Julian isn't holding, the touch meant to simultaneously hold back and reassure. "You're just fine with him, darling. Really, you are. —Is this a gift?" she adds unexpectedly towards Julian. It's unquestionable that the girl had been the source of the pull all along, and Simone will be more vehement than usual, if necessary, for the reeling in of this prize.

"She's not a gift, Simone, she's a delightful evening companion with whom I intend to spend my Christmas." The world would be hard-pressed to produce a man who can say that more primly than the manner in which Julian just did. The small man edges forward to try to put himself more or less between the ladies, trying to separate them without being too ham-handed. "Ah. Daisy, this is Simone. She's an ex of mine." It's true! And also probably an easier explanation to swallow than 'vampire flame from seventy years ago'.

Daisy allows her arm to be held by Simone, mostly because she just has no idea how to react to this strange little thing she's wound up in the middle of. "…A gift?" she asks, more of Julian than Simone, though at this point, she isn't picky about where the answers come from. When Julian explains that Simone is an ex, that does clear up a few things, and the things it doesn't explain, well, Daisy isn't thinking too deeply about the finer details right now. "Oh, I - I see. It's … nice to meet you, Simone." There's that uncertain flicker of a smile, as she tries as always to be polite.

"… Daisy. What a charming name for such a lovely young lady." Simone's grip lightens, but she keeps it right where it is. Firmly. Behind Daisy's head, she tosses a smile at Julian's prim expression. "Oh, but I do think this is meant to be a gift. Think about what time of year it is. Giving is a…holiday tradition, is it not?" All the girl is missing is the colorful bow stuck to the top of her head.

Julian slides one hand up on Daisy's arm to try to lightly pry Simone's fingers off, smiling anxiously. "Please, kitten, just leave Daisy alone. She's not a gift, and you're not going to have her. You should just run along and enjoy the holiday. Go visit a friend who is not me and is not Daisy." It's a very unsubtle plea for Simone to Go Away.

Daisy lets out a quiet laugh, nerves and awkwardness rather than actual humour. As Julian is trying to lightly pry her arm free, Daisy does help but ever so slightly trying to draw it back. Oblivious she may well be, but the vibes here are pretty hard to miss, and if nothing else, she really doesn't want to be in the middle of a squabble between ex-lovers. "Yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm … not a gift for anyone," she insists, politely but firmly.

But Simone's iron-like fingers are not to be moved. "Just for one night?" she offers in a rushing coo, lifting her free hand to gently place it right beside the other on Daisy's arm. "I'll give her back to you whole and healthy, Julian. You have my word. This one is just so…impossible to resist." Can you feel it, mutha?

"No, Simone." This would probably be the time for Daisy to flee into the church, but it doesn't look like it's going to be happening; the vampire certainly has a good grip on the woman's arm. Julian wedges himself a little further between the two women, his fingers working harder to try to free Daisy. "Please."

Daisy is getting very distinctly not comfortable with all of this. Her eyebrows go up when Simone suggests having her for just one night. "Um," is her sole comment to that, though it's certainly not in the affirmative! It's more as if she has so little idea how to turn down such an offer. She takes a step back as much as Simone's grip will allow. "Yeah, I … I don't think so." Just in case anyone cares about her opinion here.

How awkward. Simone elbows at Julian as her private space is invaded, trying to get him to step out of it, at the same time roughly hauling the girl farther towards herself. "Ten minutes, then? Just ten minutes, and she'll be back in your arms." Clearly, she is not getting the concept of No.

It's a good thing Julian isn't facing Daisy, because otherwise she'd have gotten an unfriendly eyeful of his less-than-human face. The strength of his hands increase considerably and he starts hauling on Simone's fingers. "Really, this is just improper. I'll call you another night, kitten."

"Hey! Ow!" Daisy protests as people start getting really rough with her poor arm! "I don't know what sort of thing you're into, and I don't judge, but … ow … so not going to happen." It's sad she thinks anyone is even listening to her at this point. Since things are quickly spiralling from slightly odd to downright not cool, she puts in more effort to trying to yank her arm free, pulling back against it with the weight of her body. "Please let go," she says in a clipped tone through clenched teeth.

It's too late, too little about that, because as soon as Simone sees and feels Julian's demonic burst in strength, the features on the woman's face morph into the works: heavily wrinkled brows, slanted yellow eyes, and overall unnatural freakiness. Daisy thought her arm was hurting before? Well, try now; Simone is now applying enough pressure to leave painful bruises wherever she's squeezing, mostly in response to Julian. How…like an annoying fly he's being. "I would let go, my dear, but Jack here is being difficult."

A thrill of fear runs its way through Julian. Simone is a scary sort. He swallows heavily and then ducks his head down, his face looking almost identical in its changes to the ones that Simone's has gone through, though Daisy probably can't see them just yet. The man is not the best defender on earth for his date, but he's better than nothing. "Simone, please?" He lets go of the vampire's hand experimentally; maybe she'll let go too.

"Oh my God!" Daisy exclaims as Simone's face goes all freaky, and she might just fall over if she didn't have two strong people really pulling at her arm now. Which hurts a lot, enough to get a noise of complaint and fear from the young woman as she starts trying to yank it back with more panic. Likely all she'll succeed in doing is hurting her shoulder trying to wrench free, if Simone doesn't opt to just let go.

Only after Daisy's shoulder wrench (oh well; more pain for her) does Simone let both of her hands drop. But she doesn't step back. Instead, the vampire snakes one arm around Daisy's shoulders to pull the girl closer towards her that way, in an almost affectionate gesture. This one is much gentler, mostly because it is made sans superstrength. "That's much better. There, you see? Simone keeps her promises."

Daisy is special, though. The same thing that's driving Simone wild is giving Julian an unprecedented amount of bravado and vinegar, and he moves forward immediately after the woman suddenly get too close for comfort in an attempt to wrench them apart. "Back off, Simone!"

Daisy's arm and shoulder are really hurting, but she's having a hard time caring about it right now since the crazy woman is trying to pull her into what seems to almost be a hug. But while Daisy is usually all for hugging, this is one cuddle she's not so into. "Stop!" she begs the freaky-deaky woman, starting to get shamefully close to tears by now.

Julian's abrupt move is faced by a literal defensive roar from Simone, whose hand moves in a lightning-whip in an attempt to catch his wrist. "You're really starting to get annoying, honey. And you know how I deal with…annoying." Hint: not that well. Is Daisy's whimpering having any visible effect on her? Nope! That's one of the nice things about being a freaky-deaky freak. She sets her lips close to the other woman's ear, just close enough to tickle. "Look at your lover, dearest. Is that what you want?"

But! Well. Simone is a lot faster than Julian is, and he's caught by the vampire with almost pathetic ease. That doesn't mean he's happy about it, though, and those beady yellow eyes of his are settled on her face in an attempt to stare her down. Maybe he'll be intimidating enough to get her to let go of everyone. Who knows! Weirder things have happened. "She doesn't want you, Simone." His voice? More of a hiss than the smooth tone most people are used to hearing.

"I just want to go home," Daisy sobs, struggling one more time against the hold on her, turning her head away abruptly like she's trying to block out Simone's voice, like if she doesn't hear it, this can all be a bad dream. Home would be so nice right now, not out here in front of a church on Christmas eve playing the part of the rope in a demonic tug-of-war.

What in the world? "I don't want care if she wants me, idiot. Do you care if the pigs and- cows on your dinner table want you?" Those yellow eyes actually narrow so they're more like slits than ever. Daisy is still held as firmly as before, Simone's forearm now uncomfortably across the girl's neck, grasp only hardening at the struggling. "You're pathetic, Julian. Pathetic as a human, pathetic as a demon."

Maybe it's time to try another strategy. Julian's demonic features melt away to reveal an ever-earnest expression, honest puppydog eyes fixing themselves on Simone. "Kitten, you'll make yourself sick if you mess around with trying to eat Daisy. Her blood - it's not good. She's got a disease." He reaches up with his free hand to tug very gently on Simone's arm, encouraging her to ease up on the grip. "Please. Don't make me beg." And please, Daisy - stop looking so tasty to the vampire. Hopefully she'll play along.

Daisy is not, in fact, trying to look tasty. She's not trying to do anything other than get free, and now more recently, breathe. It's news to her that she's got some dread disease, but denying this isn't top priority, so play along she will. Inasmuch as playing along consists of crying and working to get free. She just wants to go home! That's not too much to ask, is it? It's Christmas!

Actually- unfortunately- Simone would enjoy seeing Julian beg. "It might have to happen," she comments, the monstrous weight of her brows creasing upwards. "And how would you know, Julian? What kind of disease? —Quit that." This last order is at Daisy. The struggling is distracting.

"One of those new-fangled viruses. Whatever they're called. Retroviruses?" Julian is grasping at straws, but his disconnection from modern events is to his favor in this particular situation. He's supposed to be ill-informed. The demon pulls at Simone's arm again with no more force than that of a child. "Please? She's sick."

Daisy isn't really too concerned about whether or not she's being distracting to the poor old vampire. But she is getting kind of tired, and it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. With a whimper, the overt struggling stops, at least for a moment, replaced by just a general attempt to pull away from the scary lady. A quick glance is cast at Julian, since, well, this is news to her, but she's not going to dwell on that right now. It's not even a conscious attempt to back up his story when she coughs.

Obviously someone needs to go back to high-school biology class. "…What?" Simone says, bemused by this claim. It's not like she would know, either. Daisy gets a glance cast at her, before the full glow of the vampire's attention returns to Julian. And you know what? The awful pressure of her grip lessens. Ever so slighly. Not enough for the human woman to free herself, but enough to leave a small amount of wriggle room. "Julian. You know what? I think you're right."

Julian can't help but stare at Daisy for those few moments during which he is not the subject of Simone's attention, fear plastered all over his face. At least he's trying to save her, right? It's not like anyone else would be in a great position to help the helpless. He's all she's got. Simone, though, seems to be yielding to his requests. He edges a little closer to her and slips the fingers of one hand between the vampire's arm and the woman's throat, not exerting any pressure. "Really?"

Daisy won't turn her nose up at wriggle room! Though she'd like it much more if it were enough to get free. But for right now, she just enjoys it being a little less uncomfortable and that promise of maybe freedom in the near future, yes? Now that she's taking a break from the struggling, she's got the time to look between them, breathless and wide eyed. "Please," she adds tearfully to Simone. No, she's definitely not too proud to beg. The pleading gaze then turns to Julian. Get her out of here, s'il vous plait?

A bitter little smile creases Simone's lips, and her face melts back into that of an attractive, normal woman near her early thirties. "Really," she continues, letting her hand drop entirely. Run free, Daisy. "It's very apparent that someone here is sick, Julian. And it isn't her." She accompanies the word 'her' with a small nod at her newly freed victim, letting her eyes narrow to very menacing slits at Julian for a fraction of a second.

"Don't worry, darling. Simmy will do everything she can to fix you. In the meantime? You owe me." Up come her fingertips to 'affectionately' stroke at Julian's cheek. Upon contact, he will discover that they are unexpectedly sharp.

Oh, thank God. And yes - Julian actually does send a little word of thanks up to the Almighty when Simone releases her hostage. Some of the tension leaves his form and he drops his hand away from the vampire's arm, only to freeze as if beset by actual paralysis when she then reaches for him. "I - I'm not sick, kitten," Julian says slowly, wincing as he feels the scrape of Simone's nails. His gaze snaps over to Daisy quickly, desperately trying to convey that she should step away from the scary lady. She can probably manage this on her own.

For all that she's out of breath, Daisy is very quick to make a break for it as soon as Simone relents with that iron grip. She darts like a rabbit to scoot away from Simone, opting to take up a position behind Julian. She's a girl; she's allowed to cower behind him, right? The thought does occur to her to just run and keep on running, but she's tired from all the struggling as it is, and right now, the thought of taking off alone into the night is completely overwhelming. But she does keep at least several feet back from even Julian, watching them both with a wide eyed stare, again rather reminiscent of a bunny, the tension coiled inside ready to spring at the first false move.

For all the world to see, Simone now wears the expression of a superior, concerned mother. "Mmm," is her last, not-very-reassuring parting comment at this. There is the tiniest of headshakes and a possible "I'll fix you" beneath her breath before she turns on her heel, the bottom of her black trench coat swirling behind her in a confined way. Click, click, click go the heels of her shoes as she strides back down the road away from the church, soon swallowed up by darkness as if nothing had ever taken place.

Strictly speaking, yes. Daisy is allowed to cower behind Julian. But! He is very short, so it might not work out quite as well as she hopes it will. The threat of Simone seems to be leaving, however, and with her goes a lot of Julian's remaining tension. He lets out a long, ragged breath and his shoulders slump, taking one step back while letting a hand come up to his chest. Phew. "…Are you alright?" It takes him only a moment to remember that his rescued damsel is still present, and he turns towards her - the very image of innocent worry.

"I… I- I- I-…" Daisy doesn't know what to make of the whole situation, just staring after Simone's wake with wide eyes for a moment, before finally snapping with it enough to bring that gaze around to settle on Julian. "No." She brings her arms up, hugging herself tightly, wincing at the pain it causes in her new injuries but not stopping with the attempt at self-comfort, even though it's doing not much at all. "What- What-…?" She can't even finish that thought since there are way too many questions right now. "Oh my God!"

Daisy's obvious distress is causing distress for Julian, which is just unacceptable. He starts towards the girl, hands held unthreateningly outwards. "You're okay, you're okay. She's gone. We should get you home before you have a fit." And let's hope that she's not prone to fainting, because carrying an unconscious girl through LA would be… uh. Awkward.

Daisy nods rapidly, several times. Home, yes. She likes home. There aren't crazy strong people there, and there's a bed with covers that are perfect for hiding under. She's still obviously on edge, tense as a spring, as Julian comes towards her, but thankfully, there is not bolting like a skittish colt. And no fainting either. Just a lot of tearful and terrified staring. "What … the hell … was that?" she asks in a hoarse whisper, once she can actually formulate a coherent sentence. She is not the type of girl who uses 'hell' casually, but this time, it actually seems apt.

This is a somewhat difficult question to answer, and before Julian even attempts to answer it he bends down to retrieve the fallen rose, dusting it off for a moment before holding it back out to Daisy once he gets close enough. "I'm afraid this wasn't the best Christmas Eve you could've had. I'm terribly sorry. …And that, as I said, was an ex-girlfriend of mine. She's rather aggressive."

Daisy takes the rose in such a shellshocked way, she'd probably take a live grenade if he held it out to her. Thankfully it's not yet another thing trying to kill her? "Aggressive?" she echoes, her eyebrows lifting as she considers the vast, vast understatement of this. "That's… What was /wrong/ with her face?" And yours, is the unspoken addition there, from the way her gaze flickers that way. But she seems to realize now is not the best time for asking question, her shoulders slumping as the adrenaline begins to wear off, leaving her just tired and aching. "Can I just … Can I go home now?"

"It was just a trick of the light, darling." The half-demon really doesn't think that his excuses are going to be bought, but he can always try. Julian steps forward to wrap a comforting arm around Daisy's waist, pulling her in so he can begin to guide her towards the sidewalk, free arm lifting into the air to try to flag down a cab. "She has some very nasty expressions when she tries. It doesn't compliment her features."

"I- No," Daisy replies, a fleeting moment there where she almost wants to believe the lies, but … that just doesn't add up. She doesn't press further right now, instead allowing him to guide her towards the sidewalk, out of the scary place and back to her apartment. She's trembling just slightly, a mix of nerves and tired muscles from all the struggling in vain she did. "You… Thank you. For saving me," she adds, as the events slowly begin to trickle through processing.

The appreciation draws a smile from Julian, who looks fondly at the girl beside him. He gives her waist a gentle squeeze - a far cry from Simone's deathgrip of PAIN - and then takes a half-step back when a cab rolls to a stop in front of the damp curb. "You're very welcome." Julian lets go and then reaches forward to open the cab's door for Daisy, standing aside to let her in first.

Daisy tries to pull it together, at least a little bit, wiping away the tears and ruined make up with her good arm, holding the other one somewhat stiffly as the pain in her shoulder is also becoming a more conscious thing. She gives him a weak smile, nodding further thanks as he opens the door for her. She then wastes no time ducking into the cab and sliding across the vinyl seat. There's no desire to linger here.

It's not hard to pick up on Daisy's anxiety. Julian is right after her and into the cab, shutting the door behind him with an almost-slam to give her a bit of reassurance that the sidewalk where she was almost horribly murdered should be nothing more than a memory within mere moments. He'll pay the cab fare once the woman's home is reached, too. He feels responsible.

Daisy hunkers down in the seat a little more once Julian slams the door, a little jumpy but also content with the finality of the gesture. Crazy women out there, them safe in here. That sounds better. She's content to pass the ride in relative silence, staring blankly at the no smoking decal on the window, and trying to take the time to process what just happened, for good or ill. Ordinarily, she might insist on paying her own way, but tonight, well, it's likely she doesn't even notice such formalities as paying for the trip.

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