I can technically use the word "denomination" for a species, right? I know it's usually associated with organized religion, but the dictionary is telling me I can. The goal for me is to get the meaning of "species" without using it, well, I might have to use it.
Theo watched the man transform from a fighter to a wimp in less than 5 seconds. He had to give the credit to the man for that one. It was just a knife cut, one that he had inflicted upon himself. It's not like he had been stabbed in the eye by his own father. He did narrow his eyes at the reaction. Maybe Nike wasn't too cut out for the streets afterall, if he couldn't handle a simple knife cut.
However, the time for judgement was over. He had already made his mind up about the man joining his gang. Guess everybody had a different pain tolerance and he was sure Nike would shape up into a man in greater time. Most of his gang members did after adjusting to his way of life.
He tossed Nike the hankerchief,"Press this on your wound unless you want to bleed to death in a alley." He turned to walk toward his gang's location. It would be Nike's first time seeing where his gang lived and where he would be staying. It wasn't too far away from their location.
"Oh and don't humble yourself too much about your fighting skills. You were fighting two of the weaker members of the gang," They weren't really that weak, they were just skilled in something other than knife or hand combat.
Like Tia, she was an excellant scavenger for food and great at making clothing. She could turn just about anything into clothes. Having her around made it where the gang had to steal clothes less and less. Taurus was also a great scavenger but in a different sense. He was a tool guy, a mechanic persay. He scavanged tool scraps and made things for the gang.
Everyone had different interests, it didn't just make them weak. He just didn't want to go into detail about what purpose each gang member had. It wasn't his business to say.
He led Nike underneath the basement of an abandoned building,"Come on now." His gang had a pretty sweet location,free from rain and they could eat an occasional racoon or squirrel down there. Sometimes they got underneath here and racoon pelts made excellant bedding in the winter.
Niké caught the handkerchief and pressed it against his wound, not nearly as firmly as Theo had but firmly enough to keep blood from gushing out. He followed after Theo with quick steps, trying to ignore the throbbing pain in his hand as he did.
He kept his eyes on Theodore as the man went on about the fighting and something about how he shouldn't be too proud since Tia and Taurus weren't that strong. He stopped listening about halfway through, losing interest. He knew he could fight and he’d fought people who’d put up much more of a fight that those two had.
The man's pale gaze drifted and he looked around a bit as they walked. So far Theodore was showing himself to be a much better man than what the rumors he had heard said. Just something like making sure the bartender got the tips back made Niké like him more, not that he was supposed to like him, he was supposed to make sure he could be arrested and put in prison, liking him might even make that harder…
"Come on now."
Niké looked up at the taller man once more before looking around a bit and then following him down into the basement. The place did bring back some memories, not because he'd been here before, he’d been to similar places though.
It was something that he'd missed quite a bit honestly, it may sound insane to any regular person but he’d missed this lifestyle. Not the crimes and violence but being part of a group and being accepted no matter what your past looked like, living a bit here and there, surviving on what you could find, or stealing from those who didn't need it and always having people to rely on and trust.
He’d lived on and off the streets from around 15 to 18 years old, despite his mom still being alive at the time and always having a room for him, it was a long story but that was the way things had been. He'd had a group of friends that he used to do everything with, legal and illegal, safe and unsafe, just about everything and anything that came to their minds.
Niké sighed quietly as he thought back on those times. He missed those guys, they had gotten him into so much trouble countless times but he had always had fun with them and he’d been able to trust them with his life. It's a shame things ended the way they did but it was for the better, if it hadn't ended that way then he'd never become a cop.
In a way this felt similar but also so different, he wasn't a kid anymore and he would never be able to fully trust these people, mainly because he wasn't being honest with them.
Normally, this would be where newbies would pause and think about their decisions. Some of them grew up watching horror movies and would claim, this is where the bad man would take them. But Nike actually didn't, which was a relief. Maybe the man was more like him after all, knowing the difference between reality that is. Monsters didn't exist, the most evil thing down here would have been himself and Flynn if she was still alive. Of course, that was the good type of evil and not bad. There was the type of evil that acted out for fun and there was a type of evil that would break the law for good.
He was the second part. That's why he returned the tips. He tried to do the good kind of evil and lead the gang toward that direction. Of course, not everything was perfect but he did try. He wanted this gang to be a good influence.
He lead Nikki through the second door which would be the start of the gang. As soon as the door opened, there was sounds of laughter and dancing, followed by the sound of guitar. That's another thing, down here it was safe to have fun. Of course, Theo didn't know the first thing about having fun. He was too old. Mentally, not physically that is.
"I'll help you get situated among the gang after your hand is seen to," He rose his voice to be heard above the noise and stepped inside.
The gang was playing limbo or what appeared to be limbo. Little did newcomers know that there was a twist to it. Each time someone fell or touched the bar, they had to take a shot of Benny's "homegrown" alcoholic drink. In other words, you best not touch the bar unless you wanted to be screwed over big time.
Of course they were singing Hey Ya by Outkast while limboing. It was the only song chaotic enough to match the drinking dancing game. Some couples were dirty dancing with each other to the song, while others were actually trying to play the game. It was chaos, yes, but after a while a person just got used to the chaos.
He lead Nike to the quieter part of the basement, his part. The only thing that truly gave it away was that it was a separate room from everybody else which helped it be more silent. He also had a homemade desk, bed frame, and chairs. He pulled one out and gestured for Nike to sit as he went to grab his supplies for the stitches.
Another thing that gave it away that it was his room was the picture on the desk. It was a photo of 15 year old him and 16 year old Flynn. Flynn was on top of his back, kissing the side of his neck while he was flipping off the camera. He was laughing in the photo though, about the only captured moment of him looking happy.
He was pulled out of his own thoughts when a mix of sounds filled his ears. As he followed Theo through the door he took a look around, watching the gang members have fun, some dancing, some playing limbo, one of them were playing the guitar and all of them were either smiling or laughing. They seemed like a big happy family, an odd family of mismatches but a family nonetheless.
Niké followed the gang leader through the chaos. He could see a few people looking at him, after all he was a new face around here but since he was with Theodore and because they were busy with their dancing and limbo, they didn't seem to waste too much time on him.
Entering a separate room, Theo's own room most likely, the grey-haired man looked around a little, there wasn't too much in the room, just some basic stuff like a desk, chairs and a bed frame. When the man pulled out a chair for him and gestured for him to sit, he did just that without protest, watching the man go get supplies for the stitches.
He looked around the room a bit, looking for anything that could be useful to him but instead his eyes landed on a picture. The man leaned forward slightly to get a better look, it was without a doubt Theodore in the picture, younger though and laughing, it almost looked like a completely different person. Then there was the girl, or he at least assumed it was, he couldn't get a clear view of her face since she was kissing the side of Theo’s neck. Question is, who was she? She was clearly someone important to him, since he had a picture of them on his desk. When learning about the gang leader he hadn't heard a word about the man having a partner. Could it be that she was dead..?
Niké glanced over at Theo, he wanted to know but he also didn't want to ask if it was a sensitive subject, after all, he'd just been accepted into the gang, he didn't need to mess things up already by asking insensitive questions. If he wanted answers then he'd have to be smart about how he'd get them.
His gaze returned to the picture. He wanted to know how that once happy teenager had become this distant and quiet man in front of him.
Theo was grabbed the supplies and started to get ready. He always had medical supplies on hand, a guy never knew when he was going to need one. Some gangs were hostile and agressive toward them, especially since they knew that this gang had good shelter without having to steal everything.
Of course there were a few things stolen, but mostly everything had been made or bought themselves. They didn't have much but every day, he sent out a few beggars among the streets to earn money every single day. People tended to give more money to young decently pretty women like Alleya and less money to gruff and hostile looking men like him and Johnson. It was interesting to see that play out though. Not everyone on the streets could look pretty, he wished people would realize that. But they hadn't, so he had to pick and choose the right ones to beg.
Nike would probably be a suitable begger, with his feminine face. It made him look younger than he truly was. Theo could play around with that and use it to his advantage or well the gang's. But of course, there would be time for that later.
He felt eyes on him as he bent down to grab a couple of old rags. The rags were actually just old shirts that he had torn up. He was probably going to need them.
"Take a picture, it might last longer," He muttered. He truly didn't mind Nike watching him, lots of people did. He just didn't know the reason why to that watching which did make him mind it.
He carried the supplies over and sat everything out neatly on the desk, organizing it in the order he would use it in. He pulled out the other chair and sat down, taking Nike's hand and dipping a rag in water to clean the area before he started.
"Now you can't jerk away while I'm working. I'm not going to lie to you, it's going to hurt like a bitch, but you have to keep it still," He didn't have any pain medication, he used the last of it on a gang member that had gotten stabbed multiple times. They ended up dying anyway.
"Now you can't jerk away while I'm working. I'm not going to lie to you, it's going to hurt like a bitch, but you have to keep it still.”
Niké had tensed up already when Theo had just grabbed his hand. He was well aware of how bad it would hurt, it wasn't his first time getting stitches and yet he never got used to it. The fact that this man had both piercings and full sleeves of tattoos was amazing really, but then again, he had used numbing gel each time to avoid feeling pain.
“I know that…'' he muttered, “I can't help it though, it's an involuntary reaction.” The young man was struggling to sound unfazed, he was obviously nervous and one of his legs were anxiously bouncing up and down quickly.
He leaned back in the chair and gripped his own arm with his non-injured hand as he took a deep breath. He absolutely didn't want to look. Not that he got squeamish when it came to any type of blood and gore but because he knew himself and that his reaction would only be worse if he looked
“Just fucking get it over with already!” Niké growled through clenched teeth, not even looking at Theo to see his reaction. He was aware of the fact that he was being ridiculous and probably overreacting in the eyes of others but he couldn't help it, he was sensitive to pain and he had been his whole life. Compared to a few years ago, he was actually way better at handling pain now. Had it been a few years ago, he would probably have been sitting curled up in a ball, holding his hand and not letting anyone even look at the wound while fighting back tears, that's how bad he’d been at handling pain. His instincts had always told him to just leave it alone if it hurt too much, which he knew was wrong and probably the reason he’d have to live with tinnitus his whole life now. You could say that he'd learnt the hard way to not leave injuries untended to.
He closed his eyes, trying his best to stay calm and think of other things but of course, the one time he wanted to focus on other things, he couldn't. He shifted his feet a bit, moving them so that he had them behind a chair leg each, that way he wouldn't be able to kick Theo even if he got the urge to if the pain got too much for him.
((Btw I've made a playlist for Niké because I do that for some of my characters when I'm bored so I'll put the link to it in his character sheet. It's just a few songs I feel fit him and I may add more songs in the future, who knows. It's mostly just for fun but if you're interested and you've got Spotify then you can listen to it ^^ ))
Theo raised an eyebrow and tightened his grip on the man's hand to keep it still as he cleaned it. Clearly the gray-hair man had some issues with pain. He couldn't believe someone with peircings would act like such a big baby to simply cleaning the wound. He hadnt gotten to the part that would actully hurt yet and this was his reaction.
"Just fucking get it over with already!"
"Patience, newbie," He ordered with a stern voice,"If you don't settle down, I might just cut the whole hand off and let it get infected."
Of course he wouldn't do that, he cared too much about people. Plus, infection could lead to death if it wasn't treated. That's how most of the gang members died, infection. He wasn't a monster, he was just trying to do what's right for his gang. He was also just trying to scare him into subtling down, he wasn't a jerk that people sought out to be.
"Sorry to interrupt but I heard screaming, everything okay?" came a voice at the entrance of the room. Theo looked up to see Alleya. Alleya was curious and noisy. She also seemed to be trying to build up a personal relationship with the gang leader but of course it was one-sided. There were rumors going around that she had a crush on him.
"Everything's fine. Newbie here is freaking out on me about stitches," Theo grumbled, his patience lost in the man. He finished cleaning the wounnd and moved on to the stitches part, he got them ready and then went to work.
"Aw poor thing," Alleya sympathized, walking over to Nike and started to rub his back,"Don't pay no attention to Leader Grumbles over there. He wouldn't know how to be kind even if Jesus walked the earth and slapped him across the face."
"Hi, I'm Alleya," She moved to sit on the corner of the desk that wasn't covered in supplies for the stitches. She offered a friendly smile.
Maybe with Alleya distracting the man with her overwhelming and unnecessary kindness, he'd finally be able to stitch the man up without having to worry too much about keeping a death grip on his hand.
"If you don't settle down, I might just cut the whole hand off and let it get infected."
Suddenly he was starting to regret his decision to not kick the man. He wanted nothing but to get out of here but that wasn't an option, he needed to have his hand stitched up or it would never heal and it would just get infected. He knew that and Theo knew that, anyone who knew anything about wounds knew that so all he could do was to try and endure for a few more minutes.
Suddenly he heard the voice of a girl and he turned his head to see the red-haired chick from earlier in the alley, now standing in the doorway and looking at them. He listened to Theo’s grumbling, regretting his decision to not kick him once more. He wanted to snap back at him but since he was the one doing his stitches and could decide how gentle he wanted to be, he stayed quiet.
Instead of saying anything to the gang leader, he turned his attention towards the short woman who’d entered the room and was rubbing his back. He wasn't one of those people who hated physical contact but a stranger just coming in and rubbing his back did freak him out slightly, he couldn't understand how people could be so touchy and stuff with people they barely knew.
Thankfully she did remove her hands from him and sat down on the desk before he felt the need to push her hands away. He looked at her as she sat down and listened as she introduced herself.
“Niké,” he managed to reply, not returning her friendly smile, if he would have tried it would probably have come out more as a weird grimace than a friendly smile. It was nice to have something else to focus on though, rather than the pain and Theo’s grumbling, even if that something else was a stranger who was a little too touchy for his liking.
“So uh… God that hurts…” he paused and took a deep breath before continuing, “How long have you been part of the gang?” He asked while clenching his left arm with his right hand, doing his best to keep it still for Theo. Mostly the question had just been to get her to talk to him, it wasn't a well thought out question but the first one that came to his mind, if he got some useful information out of it then that would be great but he also doubted it.
"You'll get used to her touchiness," Theo said, looking up to notice that Nike seemed to uncomfortable with Alleya's touch. She was just friendly, noisy, and touchy. He wasn't saying those qualities were necessarily bad but they could be flaws that drove others crazy eventually. But she was new, and he knew it was just something that he would have to adjust to. He just felt relieved that he wasn't the only one that didn't like her touchiness.
He continued to work on Nike's hand, holding back his grumbles and aggitated attutide to focus in on the task. He had to admit, that he could be short tempered sometimes. He just didn't like being around a lot of people, especially new people. he was still trying to get used to Nike's presence and now he had Alleya too. But if she did a good job distracting Nike, he wouldn't make her clean out the area they made the restroom which was essentially a hole in the ground but it needed to cleaned and dumped every few days in order to keep flies away and to be hygenetic. Normally the gang member that pissed him off the most per week got to clean it.
"It'll feel better soon," Alleya promised, hearing Nike say his hand hurt. Theo just huffed, he was being gentle and working fast. He could practically fix Nike's hand up in his sleep. She chuckled a little and continued,"What always distracts me is thinking of certain gang members or leaders in their underwear ."
Theo bit back a sharp response and brought his focus to Nike's hand and away from Alleya's voice. She was definitely getting restroom duty tonight for that comment. Nike could help her.
"Oh, I haven't been here long. Maybe 5ish weeks?" She wasn't sure, she lost track of time a long time ago. She ran a hand through her thick red hair and shrugged,"Just long enough to piss off Theo and not get slapped."
"What always distracts me is thinking of certain gang members or leaders in their underwear ."
Niké’s eyes widen slightly at that comment, his eyes flicking over to look at Theo before looking back at Alleya. She was clearly into the gang leader but it was clear that he wasn't into her, the slightest, in fact he didn't seem interested in anyone at all. Niké glanced at the picture of Theo and the girl again, he really wanted to know more about her.
His gaze went back to the woman on the desk, making a mental note to stay fully clothed around her constantly, he did not want her or anyone imagining him in his underwear. It was pretty safe to say that he and Alleya would not be getting along too well, not because she was rude or anything like that, she was just a lot, too much for him. Didn't mean that he planned on being rude, he'd just keep his distance from her.
"Just long enough to piss off Theo and not get slapped."
“Yeah I think it's the same for me, except I've been here for less than a day,” he muttered. Mostly he was just annoyed at himself and his inability to handle pain. He needed to get close to Theo, irritating him wouldn't help. Nor would the nosy redhead who'd just walked in while the two had been alone, sure, she was a good distraction though so it would have to be okay this time.
Niké turned his head to look down at his hand and see how much Theo had left to stitch up, afraid that if he asked the man he would actually get slapped. When he saw his own hand there came an involuntary whimper from him and he looked away again. It's not the blood and needle that he minded, he’d seen worse, but it was as if it hurt more when he could see it be done rather than just feeling it.