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Real Dead Ringer

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“Soo... what do you do?” Scaramouche's question was glib, her arms folded over her chest and an eyebrow raised in questioning. Compared to the girl next to her, she was tiny but then again she was used to this. What she wasn't used to was that this … person was being called one of the new Wild Childs of the West End. There wasn't a lot she held on to, considering she didn;t have much, and Scaramouche wasn't about to give up a hard fought title like that.

“I … I'm with Strat,” Raven said with a shrug, a tranquil smile on her face as she stared with those wide and heavily kohled up eyes. Seriously, considering how much eye-make up was on them, Scaramouche was actually fairly impressed with how wide the girl could get them.

“Anything other than bein' with the bloke you're shagging?” she tried with a shrug.

“My Father told me about sex,” Raven cut in, frowning. “But it's not... we were joined.” The emphasis on the word made Scaramouche stare a bit. Raven put her hands to her forehead, looking troubled for a moment. “The sun was staring at the sea as it crashed against the sand and nothing was every going to change, nothing ever did.” Her voice ached with teenage pain. There was a long silence between the two.

“So... you just come out with a load of pretentious bollocks then,” Scaramouche sighed. Raven gave a look.

It didn't change anything, nothing ever did.


“It seems to me to the contrary of all the crap they're going to put on the page,” Galileo Figaro stared at the blond rocker as he spoke, “that a wasted youth is better by far than a wise and productive old age!” The blond rocker – Strat – turned to stare.

“Yes!” He stepped forward. “I've been saying that, but no one listens. No one ever listens.” There was a moment, as he paused. “The Lost have to be better than growing old and … becoming.” There was a sense of something else in his voice though, like he didn't quite believe his own words. “It's like my words fade in the air.”

“Everything f-fades,” Galileo said. “The w-words keep coming but their meaning f-fades. People f-forget. I don't. I remember everything.” There was a moment, Strat staring as though he'd heard the words before when the darker haired youth shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Well, I'm m-mad, you see.”

“No one's mad,” Strat tried to assure him. “We just … see things differently.” Galileo shook his heard.

“No, I … actually am m-mad. I hear things. Words, sounds, phrases,” he shrugged again. Tapping at his forehead, he went on to explain a little better, or so he hoped. “Words from the past. They're all up h-here. I h-have to remember them because no one else can.” Strat looked horrified.

“That's...” he couldn't find the words. His eyes with wide with fear as he looked at the other boy. “How can you cope?” Galileo's face was pale.

“The vision fades, a voice I hear... listen to the mad-man.”

It didn't explain anything.


“So, when you say you an' this bloke are joined, you mean...?” Screw it, she was curious and no one would ever accuse her of being capable of being subtle. Her bluntness was her nice side, after all. Raven blushed and Scaramouche began to wonder if the girl was just really painfully naive.

“We celebrated our union, and when the waves crashed intothe sand the sand shifted and parted to let it free.” The other girl's voice was heavy with a tone that – in Scaramouche's humble opinion – did not come into certain areas of public discussion. “We met and it was perfect and why should we be apart any longer than world had forced us to be.”

Wait...

“Wait, you mean you'd just met this bloke and suddenly you went and got hitched to him?!” Scaramouche's voice was incredulous. “Hullo, idiot, we don't run off and marry the first bloke who looks at us.”

“He wasn't the first!” Raven said. “But he came for me. Broke through the glided tower and stole me from my Daddy in the dead of night.” Her voice was soft, her face lost in – what was, for her – a happy memory of an amazing night. The skepticism in Scaramouche's expression had only grown, and the incredulous tone had gotten worse.

“So he breaks into your home, at night, when you're sleeping,” she said slowly, trying to make sure she was getting the right picture, “kidnaps you, and then you decide to marry him?” Her voice was clear, so clear that Raven couldn't help but nod, beaming once again.

The two girls stared at each other, one in delight, the other in shock and disbelief. Eventually, Scaramouche thought of something.

“The phrase rhymes with clucking bell.”


Eventually, as the story goes, the girls met up with the boys. Raven ran to Strat and their meeting came with lips colldiing, gripping on to each other as thought every second of being apart was too much for them to bear with. Judging by the look on Raven's face as they broke apart for air, it just might have been

“Never leave me,” she whispered into his jacket, pulling the battered and soft leather closer to her, dragging the boy along with it. He smile, tossing his hair back and leaning forward to whisper softly into her ear:

“I won't do that.”

In comparison, Galileo and Scaramouche's reunion was very underwhelming.

“Y'alright, Gazza?” She poked at his shoulder, giving a grin as he smiled back, pushing hair out of his eyes. Really, she thought, he needed to get that seen too. Just don't let Charlotte near it when she was drunk, and then he might have hair when it was done.

“Alright, Scaramouche.” Okay, so his smile was one of utter devotion and love. Hers softened, it always did, when he said her name. He gestured over to the other couple, who seemed to be rather preoccupied with the idea of exploring each other's mouths with their tongues. “They're … um … they're...”

“Obsessed with each other?” Scaramouche suggested with an indelicate snort. “That's not even getting close to it, Gazza,” she told him. “Swear to God, she,” her thumb jerked over at Raven, who had yet to come up for air, “comes out with more bollocks than you do.” Galileo blinked.

“...Seriously?”

“Well, almost.”

Eventually the other couple pulled apart, and Strat brought Raven over. “Galileo Figaro, this is … the melodious and beautiful Raven,” he introduced them, looking directly at her as he spoke, unable to look away. “Raven this is, this is Galileo Figaro.” Raven glanced at him, giving a nod ans she kept her hands clinging to Strat's arm. Galileo stared with confusion, only remembering himself when Scaramouche nudged him with her elbow.

“Um, yeah,” he started slightly, “this is... this is Scaramouche,” his lips quirked into a grin, as he turned to her. “She's, uh, she's...”

“She's got him lost for words, and that never happens to take advantage to talk now before he starts again.” Scaramouche's tease brought a musical laugh from Galileo, any edge in her words taken away by the soft stroke of a finger on his cheek. “I play the guitar, he sings.”

“You play?” Raven said, looking round. “I play.” There was a tight smile on Scaramouche's face.

“Of course you do,” she muttered, her voice tight. New Wild Child, of course she'd play. Being taller, prettier, that she could handle. Being able to play? Galileo's hand reached down, squeezing hers lightly. Raven brought forward a guitar of her own, white polished wood and shiny chrome in the right places. It looked brand new and gleamed in the dim light of day.

“Here,” Raven said, sitting down gracefully and holding her instrument with a delicacy that Scaramouche had never tried, and she worshiped her Axe. “Let me show you.” Raven glanced down at the guitar, runniing her fingers over the fret board, trying to chose something. After a minute, the right idea came to mind.

The tune she picked out on the strings was... nice. It was rock, so at least it had that going for it, and they couldn't say Raven didn't have talent. It's just that overall, the feeling was just... nice. When she was done, it was Strat who applauded the loudest. Raven smiled over at Scaramouche.

“How about you show me now?” There was a tone in the girl's voice, one that made Scaramouche frown a little. She hadn't hear that kind of tone for a long while now, and hearing it here, now? A smirk crawled on to her face. She picked up the Mighty Axe, touching the precious instrument of freedom with a reverence that no one could match.

“Well,” she said, “if you insist.”

If Raven's music could be described as 'nice', the sound of Scaramouche shredding could only be described as life-changing. Then again, she did restore the Lost Riffs to the world.

There wasn't really a contest on the real Wild Child.