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"We need to get out of here."

He's sitting on the edge of the hotel bed when he says it, sitting with his hands buried in his hair and the tv buzzing local news in the background. Says it to himself and to J, in the room with him. They need to get out of here. Away. The urge -- familiar, but no more pleasant for it -- becomes more and more insistent every day. How out of he doesn't know, where he doesn't know. But they've run up against a wall, and they need to break past it.

(Almost literally, it feels like -- they've run out of west to go toward, without hopping a boat and crossing the ocean, and now they're just floundering up and down the coast, bouncing against that sand-and-sea barrier.)

It's -- God, he can't even find the right words for it. But what J said, barely half a month ago, was right. Everything's changed. They can't do the same cons anymore -- they were getting old anyway, but now their biggest advantage, J's sweet face, has been taken out of the picture thanks to a six-inch hunting knife -- they aren't the same people anymore. They need to get out of here. Go somewhere new.

Date: 2009-11-24 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
J's been thinking those words since he woke up to a new face and --what feels like, at least-- a whole new and different life to live. Something important happened. He can't keep pretending everything's the same. He's glad Mitch can't either. He didn't want to have to leave Mitch behind. He really didn't want to have to kill Mitch first and then leave.

He's been laying on the same bed Mitch sits on, feet on the headboard, occasionally watching the news upside down. His hands seem to open, close, and spin a butterfly knife without his even thinking about it. He doesn't even stop when Mitch speaks and gets his attention.

"Needed to weeks ago. We really need to now. ... Where? North? Back East?"
His tone says he doesn't like either option much. North is cold, empty, and uninteresting. East is too familiar. It's like heading home.

Date: 2009-11-24 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
J isn't the only one whose life has been upended. More visibly, certainly, but the blood on Mitch's hands -- J's, and that of those he killed to save him -- isn't something that will go away.

"I don't know," he admits, rubbing his face and then twisting, leaning on an elbow to look back at the other boy. "South?" Mexico? South America? They're gringos, sure, but some areas, some occupations, that doesn't matter near as much as others. "West?"

Date: 2009-11-24 05:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
The fact Mitch killed those men just doesn't strike J as such a big deal. It's changed how he feels about Mitch somewhat, sure, but those men needed killing.

He thinks about South America. Thinks about machine guns and guerrilla tactics. Drug running, maybe. Not an arena he cares about, but it's something.

"West?" It's a long way to more land, going West. He's never been out of the country before. It's so far, though, and that feels good. "We could... just..ah...well, we need passports, don't we?"
He's gotten fake IDs, but never something that would get him out of the country without suspicion.

Date: 2009-11-24 06:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
Mitch doesn't care much for that realm, either. But if you're going to understand now the criminal world works, you have to understand all of it, right?

He shrugs, clumsily, and shifts more, twisting, to lay down on the bed, on his back, a flipped-over mirror of J. "Unless we want to risk going without." He's thought about this much before, at least. "It's not impossible to get them. You just have to know the right people. And be able to afford it."

Date: 2009-11-24 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
"Mmm. South America I think we could do without. Travel off the continent...well...that takes too long to risk being found out along the way."
It would be really inconvenient to arrive in another country int cuffs. It would be a wholly unfamiliar situation to try and escape from.

He snaps the knife shut and clicks the lock, slipping it into his pocket all with what looks like a single motion. He props himself up on an arm so he can look at Mitch, smirking.
"Not impossible, nooo. But...can we afford it?"
Mitch can. Or could if he really wanted. Sometimes J wonders what his access to old bank accounts really is. He only knows Mitch, though, not who he used to be, so he never asks.

Date: 2009-11-24 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
All those accounts are being watched, he's certain. He could access them, but it would attract attention. (And beyond that, he doesn't want to. That's not a luxury anyone else has.)

"I don't know." He licks his lips, and is quiet for a bit, thinking. Maybe... he remembers, back at Princeton... "I might know someone who would," he says carefully. Getting in contact with him will bring them closer than he wants to get to Bruce Wayne's life, but if it gets them what the need... the guy doesn't have to know who it is that's asking, right?

Date: 2009-11-24 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
Mitch is very lucky that money isn't that important to J. He only worries about what he needs. It would just be convenient sometimes.

J pulls his legs under him and sits up on his knees, head tilted and watching Mitch with far more interest than is really warranted.
"Oh? Who? ... Will it take long? I don't want to spend a lot of time just waiting. We've been waiting long enough already."

Date: 2009-11-25 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
He debates telling J. For all of five seconds. For once, his motivation isn't the protection of the other party. He just doesn't want to mix his past and his present, unable to shake the nagging notion that shown too much of Bruce Wayne, J will lose interest in Mitchell Malone.

"Someone from college. He knows a guy." He looks up at J looking down at him, expression guarded. This is a big risk for him, for a lot of reasons. But if it gets them out of here... "I'll find out."

Date: 2009-11-25 06:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
"Oh." He's actually a little impressed that Mitch is willing to contact someone from college and just a little curious how the boy plans to handle it. "That'll be interesting."

He realizes he might be taking too much from the statement and making Mitch uncomfortable. J screws his face up in a half frown of thought for a second, then lays back again, resigned into making it a fair trade.
"I didn't meet anyone useful in college."
There. Now Mitch can know something about him. A tiny something, but something.

Date: 2009-11-25 09:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
Is 'very carefully' an adequate answer? It's all that he has, right now, beside the guy's name. Anonymous email, maybe. Or have J call him...

But the little tidbit the other boy gives him distracts him from planning, for the moment. Mitch knows almost nothing about his friend, after all, really. About his past, anyway. "You went to college?" Trying not to sound too curious, too eager.

Date: 2009-11-25 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
If it's all the answer there is, it will have to do, won't it?

J rolls onto his side, curling one arm under his head for a pillow and tracing the pattern of the comforter with the other. He didn't think there would be more questions involved in just setting them on even ground again. He shrugs and watches his hand rather than looking at Mitch.
"Yeah. I did. For a while."

Date: 2009-11-26 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
He can't help being curious. At least he's trying to restrain himself. Easing back when J doesn't exactly jump at the opportunity to tell Mitch about himself.

"That guy was about the only thing I got out of it. Seven years."

Date: 2009-11-26 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
The way Mitch clues in and backs off is noted and appreciated.

"Seven? I could never stay one place that long."
He didn't even do a full four years of high-school. J had to work around a counselor who suggested he wasn't adjusted enough to skip ahead and find someone who would ok him.

Date: 2009-11-26 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
"I tried. I wanted to..." He waves his hand in the air. "To not disappoint." Being the son of Thomas and Martha Wayne came with a lot of expectations. And the thought of letting them and Alfred down was a powerful deterrent any time he thought about giving up.

"But I just -- there wasn't a point to it. I tried."

Date: 2009-11-26 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
He furrows his brow a little. J wonders how Mitch could have felt so strongly about impressing parents who were dead. Was there someone else worth impressing instead? He shrugs. He didn't have anyone who really had much invested in his education or wellbeing.

J reaches out his free hand a little further and plays with the hem of Mitch's pants. See? He's interacting.
"Tried harder than I did? I...I didn't like it."

Date: 2009-11-26 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
He smirks faintly at J's messing with his pants, and pokes him with his big toe, in return. "Tried a couple different majors. Chemistry, engineering..."

Engineering, especially, he liked. He got. But the pleasure it gave him was always fleeting, and followed by guilt that didn't make it worth it. Who was he to be happy?

Date: 2009-11-26 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
Poked? With a toe? "Eww." Ok, maybe he isn't actually grossed out by feet, but it's acceptable for people to be, so he's going with it.

J looks at Mitch when he hears the guy's majors. That's interesting. He sucks at his lower lip and struggles not to chew the insides of his wounds open again.
".... I was going for chemistry..."
This is getting dangerously close to sharing. What has he gotten himself into?

Date: 2009-11-26 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
Mitch pokes him again, when he gets that eww. J's not the only one who can be annoying, you see.

"I can see that. Finding new and interesting ways to blow things up."

Date: 2009-11-26 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
"Yoouu need to cut your toe nails." Not nearly as badly as J needs to cut his, but this appears to be irrelevant.

J smiles almost proudly at that. Maybe. What of it?
"Well, that was one of the perks."

Date: 2009-11-26 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
"And?" Alert the press, Mitch actually looks sort of, maybe, possibly happy. Not unhappy, at the very least. He pokes at J with his foot again.

"What were the other perks?"

Date: 2009-11-26 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
Oh. Oh no you don't. This is war, now! He slaps at Mitch's foot, laughing while trying to look thoroughly offended.
"Annnd, you could end up stabbing someone like that if you aren't careful, you know."

He shrugs.
"I just liked it...and ah...life started with a chemical reaction and often ends with one."

Date: 2009-11-27 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
"So -- why are you complaining?" Oh, that's a grin, now, as he tries to wrap his feet around J's neck, in a clumsy and completely ineffective fake choke-hold.

"Never thought about that, before..." He could give a better-thought-out reply, maybe. But he suspects they won't be staying on the subject of chemistry, or college, for much longer. And that may be for the best.

Date: 2009-11-27 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-bad-joke.livejournal.com
Well, so maybe he wouldn't mind, but that's a cheap shot. Before he can say so, though, J is ...well...more inconvenienced than choked and that starts him laughing.
"Y...you're doing that wrong. I'm almost positive."
He flails rather uselessly, then bites one of Mitch's feet.

Yes. He's done talking about college now. He is, surprisingly, in one of the best moods he's been in since his injury. His brain chemistry pumping out a rare natural high at an appropriate time.

Date: 2009-11-27 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andthethrill.livejournal.com
"Only fools a -- ahh!" Mitch gives a startled laughing yelp at being bitten, and kicks J in the face. A perfectly legitimate instinctive response, he feels, and one he can't be blamed for the consequences of.

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Date: 2013-02-17 09:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rrwt010a.livejournal.com
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Mitchell "Mitch" Malone

November 2009

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