Posts by JOHNNY J.

    Jesus, tension built quickly here, didn’t it? Johnny watches, mute, as Ver initiates a new altercation (he supposes it was kind of justified, but the teeth wrap around his head in his memory, and a feeling of injustice arises once more), and so he shrinks into the background until it blows over. Soon enough Speedfreak is running off, spitting spots of blood into the sand, and Johnny fends off a shudder. A light wave of nausea still rises, but he clamps his jaws shut, waiting for it to pass before decided to even try to speak again.

    Now I know why people do things behind closed doors, Ria mutters, and he chuckles lightly, a little sadly, maybe. “Sorry ‘bout yer luck,” he answers her quietly, and paws the bottle closer to himself to take a drink. Was he still young for it? Maybe, but that hadn’t stopped him before (nor had anyone else stopped him), and he’d partied enough to know how it affected him. The wine is bitter and rich as it snakes down his throat, and he stops himself from shaking the taste out of his mouth. Ugh. He much preferred beer.

    Sangria (seemingly truthfully) admits that drinking just isn’t for her, and though Johnny hears opportunity for a new bottle to bring back to the Flights, he decides to push the wine back to her to be polite. Ver is right there, after all, and if the whole Speedfreak thing was anything to go by, he didn’t want to misstep. He has other opinions on alcohol than they do, but the decision about whether or not it would be smart to voice them hangs over him.

    I just like th’ taste, but if it ain’t for ya, it ain’t for ya. No harm in that,” he finally adds, ears flicking. Maybe he can go somewhere to find a new supply. After all, these people had to be getting their drugs and alcohol from somewhere.

    / mobile

    Raids weren’t something he was especially fond of, if only because he was useless in them. Only a few times had he participated, hauled onto Gyro’s shoulders and waving his claws as wildly as his balance would allow, but even then he’d rarely been effective. Gyro was just a trained executioner- he could hit people where it hurt. Now it was a little different; he had some use outside of battle, which was always good, but... was it enough?

    Enjolras called them over and he hung towards the back of the gathering. The tensions hung heavy in the air. He looked to Atlas, and Atlas seemed so ready to go and so capable of harm, he had to look away. Why did this feel different from the raids back then? He pressed his lips together. Maybe it’s because they’re smaller now than before, less inclined to kill or torture or capture. Johnny swallows breath he didn’t know he was holding, and listens as best he can to Enjolras’s instructions. He almost feels disappointed when he’s told that there will be company here in camp, but he’d rather not be the only one left back here for self-defense reasons. Still, he shuffles slightly at the notion, and the man tries to resettle himself quietly.

    Soon enough the preparations are over, though, and Johnny has to face the fact that they would all be leaving shortly.

    Remember when t’ retreat, ‘f ya need to. I want Constantin back as much as anyone, but I’d rather not have anyone else get captured ‘r die ‘cause ‘f it. I’ll be here ‘f y’all need me.

    His words hold a mournful tone, almost, and he guessed that wasn’t too outlandish, because he was always expecting the worst.Expect the worst so you’ll be surprised by the best, he told himself, but the grimness didn’t disappear.

    / mobile

    When he'd signed up for the blind date, he'd convinced himself that he didn't have a partner in mind.

    Of course, convincing himself of something and having it be true were separate entities. Johnny arrived with a certain buzz in his nerves. He'd felt it before, and he was entirely reluctant to feel it again considering what had happened, but it was here nonetheless. The savannah tom decided to take to surveying the provisions that had been laid out. Wine- nice -cheese, some prey... pretty standard stuff, he supposed, but it was a date. How long had it been since he'd been on a date? He hadn't even really dated Gyro, they had just... happened. He wondered if his last true outing had been with some girl back in his racing days. Most likely- it wasn't very memorable, so it must have been that.

    He glanced to the cliff's edge, taking in the scenery, wondering who would greet him. His mind wandered to past relationships, all failed. Gyro had... disappeared (he still struggled with the idea that the wolf had left him of his own volition), he'd never invested himself in any of the girls he'd frisked, and all of the men he'd dated likely hated his guts now. It was difficult for him to place his trust in love again. Maybe he ought to take a leap of faith.

    The tom hummed, tapping his toes against the blanket he rested on.

    Jace's call is familiar, and he approaches almost dutifully. The lion is, after all, his leader in the Ruins. Johnny grins as he gazes upon the old man, ears twitching. "Hey, Jace," he greets simply, then glances back at Runecast and Regis as they arrive.

    Neither face is very familiar to him, but he blames that mostly on keeping himself cooped up within the medicine den. After all, he'd been busy healing, but at what cost? He'd missed plenty of new faces while he was there. Still, Rune's question is sort of cute, and Regis's answer is... unique to the lion, he thinks. Johnny can't help but chuckle quietly.

    "No, there ain't gonna be any fightin'," he explains, "Regis 's right. Parties're fun, not fight-y." Hopefully that would suffice for the child.

    Ah, day drinking. A staple among unstable teens. He'd indulged in the habit more times than he'd like to admit in his past, but had since sobered up quite a bit. After all, people depended on him now. He couldn't suture with shaky paws, could he? And yet, seeing Sangria bottoms-upping her dark glass, he found himself longing for something to just take the edge off with. Maybe then he could be around Ver again and not feel like he might die in her presence alone.

    "Don't encourage it," he mutters as he arrives, speaking to Speedfreak. He'd only smoked a couple times, but that had been enough for him, really. Alcohol was familiar in his family where drugs were not, and he had a complete opposite view than the hyena on such matters. His stance was largely neutral when it came to folks who were already using, but trying to get others on board rubbed him the wrong way. Then again, it seemed like most Ruiners were already druggies, anyway. It seemed odd to him that they were all so indulgent, especially when the Flights was so polar opposite, but the two clans seemed to be polar opposite in many things.

    He focuses his gaze on Sangria, trying to ignore the fact that Ver is there, ears twitching. Wine isn't his favorite (it's way too bitter), but it's better than nothing, isn't it? "Anyway... y' got any extra?" Maybe he could relax a bit now that there were so many other nurses in the Ruins.

    He supposed he was the first Flights member here, but he was also a Ruiner, so he wasn't entirely sure whether or not he really counted as a first arrival. But he was here, and that was what mattered, right?

    The feline had been staying in the Flights following his injury, rarely showing his face in the Ruins if he did at all. Thankfully he'd healed up enough to manage the journey back on his own (going to and fro with assistance was embarrassing; he could do things himself), so here he was now. The bandages that had wrapped his head were now removed, displaying the crown of scars that rested upon it. They'd stopped hurting on their own, and he only occasionally remembered they were there when the now-common headaches came on, but he was still nervous about having them on display. He was already weird-looking. Did he really need to add to that?

    It was with this mild, timid energy that he entered the scene, surveying the blankets and pillows as if trying to sort which one would be the least offensive to sit at. Speedfreak mentioned something about joints and his ears pricked, wondering if he should go over and smoke. He'd smoked a few times when he'd been more in his prime, but had since majorly fallen out of the habit; if he wanted to get intoxicated, there were cheaper ways to do it. He decided he'd just stick to whatever booze Jace had laying around, if he wanted to get boozed-up at all.

    The savannah found a spot in the outskirts of the party and settled there, wondering how many of his clanmates would actually end up coming.

    He was late.

    He didn't remember being late before, at least for meetings here. He couldn't explain it. He just hadn't gotten up in time, or something? The weeks had sort of blended together as he went through the healing process, so as he stepped as quietly as he could into the gathering, he hoped that he'd be offered some grace for this transgression. Johnny settled himself near Littlepaw and Atlas, training his blue gaze up on Enjolras so he could catch the tail end of the meeting. He grinned at the wolf as he was offered the promotion to Vulture of War, hoping that he'd take it. Atlas worked hard; certainly he deserved such an honor, right?

    His smile fell as Constantin was mentioned. He felt guilty for wanting nothing to be done about it; Constantin was someone he was supposed to be watching over and fighting for, was he not? Just because Johnny himself couldn't truly fight didn't mean he would have to stop his clan from properly retaliating. He was a healer for a reason. And yet, the idea of such conflict made his stomach churn. The man shifted uncomfortably in his seat, wondering what exactly would happen.

    "Me please," he rumbled as he approached. Guilt rested residual in his chest for not having completed last week's task; he'd been sent to go collect herbs, but part of him was much too tired for it, while the other part figured he did that regularly enough that he could just skip it. Skipping it felt bad, though. He liked to think he was useful, so not doing the only thing he was really supposed to set off a dissonance of his spirit that he wanted to remedy quickly.

    He felt useless enough, but maybe this would be the cherry on that sundae.

    Johnny had spoken to Constantin and Talen about finding a cure for what ailed their homelands, and yet he didn't have any answers. He had pathways to answers; to Rentarou or Scarlet or someone more knowledgeable than he was. But he didn't have what they needed. He didn't have anything that anybody needed most times, it felt like, and he was... sort of tired of it. Why couldn't he be useful?

    He sidled up next to Atlas, having smelled Exiles and making his way over. The scene was upsetting. He'd spoken to Constantin, and though he'd been jealous of the other's and Talen's friendship, he found himself deeply remorseful for being jealous of it at all now that it was potentially lost (hopefully only temporarily). His brows furrowed over his blue gaze, and his ears pricked when Regis spoke up. The lion was an unfamiliar face, but his question hung heavily. Johnny wasn't a strategist for a reason; he disliked warring if only because he was no good at it, but letting this go with no retaliation...? He doubted that was in the realm of possibility. He supposed he'd just have to collect as many herbs as he could before anything serious broke out.

    He wasn't sure if he was exactly an ambassador for the Flights, but he did have a dual alliance- if he were to hear Lola's inner thoughts about how their previous ambassador was doing, he would likely select a few choice words for her and sling them. Fortunately, though, he couldn't read minds, so Johnny wandered over, ignorance and all.

    The tom was still feeling the minor effects of his injury, which mostly explained his lack of presence in either of his homes, but he'd managed to take off the bandages and expose the ugly scars that now curved around his head like some sort of crown. The scent of the Ruins had drawn him over, wondering if it was maybe Rentarou or Romanchoirs (or Ver, Red God forbid) coming to visit, but when he did arrive he found he was disappointed. Lola was still largely a stranger to him, but he knew her face, so it wasn't a bad start. He leaned against Atlas's leg for stability as blue hues took her in.

    "Howdy," he called. "'M Johnny. I'm a nurse in th' Ruins, actually, but I ain't been over in a while. Nice t' meetcha, though. Lookin' forward t' seein' ya." Thank the Red God that his constant nausea had ceased. Now he only seemed to get it when he was doing something particularly rigorous. He'd hated that stupid stutter so much.

    Runecast speaks up with his own question and the tom shakes his head, answering for the girl on their border.

    "Nah, Ruiners live in these super cool ice pyramids. They're huge. N' cold, but... a good kinda cold, I think," he answers emphatically, ears twitching. If he were to judge each clan based on camps alone, he figured he would favor the Ruins. As cool as Volary's temple was, he enjoyed the way the sun gleamed on the ever-glistening bricks of ice, and even though the sand scraped his legs he felt much more open there. But, that was just for territories. He much preferred the community of the Flights. As if to make his point to himself, he pressed against Atlas a little harder.

    He was not good at speaking, truly. He'd had his share of time in the spotlight when he'd been a jockey, racing with the best of them, making a name for himself, but now things were different. Far different, in fact. He was just a medic now, and he was... more than okay with that, really. His thrones had been burnt and his posses had dissipated across Agrelos after his injury, his fall from fame. Living more humbly helped him forget those days, and kept the envy out of his gaze when he saw others living as indulgently as he once did. But, living humbly also meant he'd grown quieter, and growing quieter meant that he'd largely forgotten how to socialize much at all.

    He stares into Constantin, his blue gaze glossy. Do you know of any other healers who might speak to us?

    His forepaws tap the earth they rest on.

    "My old mentor might've been able t' tell y'all more than I can, but I ain't seen her fer months now," he explains, reaching towards the back of his neck to scratch at a sudden itch. He wasn't sure who else he could name, mostly because he only truly knew the Flights and Ruins healers much at all. Abbi also stuck out in his memory, but he hasn't seen the dual-tailed feline for a while now. "Y' could try t' talk t' any allied clans, really. Agrelos 's pretty friendly with their allies- I can't think of a reason they'd turn ya away."

    He watches Talen brush against Constantin and jealousy flares momentarily in his sorry little heart. It reminds him far too much of Gyro- when he'd seen these two the first time, he was reminded of Gyro, and no matter how viciously he tried to forget, the wolf stayed with him. The savannah tom's ears flick backwards then forwards, his jaw firming. He doesn't stop thinking of his old friend until he's asked another question, and his blue eyes blink before he processes what's been said.

    "Rentarou's my mentor now, but he lives in th' Ruins. I could take y'all there 'f you want me to, but I have t' warn ya, I ain't the fastest traveler," he answers quickly, trying to add a bit of humor to his last statement, but largely falling flat. "Uhm... the Ruins're goin' through somethin' similar, if I understand y'all correctly. They've got a Nile that's been poisoned by the Red God they worship, n' they're workin' on findin' a solution to it."

    He finishes, looks up from his place on the earth. He didn't realize he'd been staring at the ground. Hopefully his answers will suffice, though, and he'll be able to either ditch the whole thing, or lead them to the Ruins, and then ditch the whole thing. He feels like if he has to watch them interact much more he might die from his grief and jealousy.

    Johnny listens silently through the announcements, smiling at both Littlepaw and Atlas as they settled alongside him. They were good friends- they brought him peace of mind when other things didn't, and he was grateful for them now.

    He bobs his head in time with the welcomes, the shoutouts, the titles. He stops feeling so joyful when news of Noir's capture hits; he knows the serval has been missing, but hearing it announced like this makes it more real. He shuffles uncomfortably. The Exiles were a group he'd never really scraped elbows with until recently, but it seemed like there was a lot more conflict surrounding them than there had been in his history in the flights. He wonders if he should try to fix up that wagon to make himself a little more mobile.

    Chatter breaks out about asking the Exiles for Noir back, or what kind of group they truly were, and Johnny frowns. He doesn't have the answers. They clearly can't just ask for him back, but can he tell Angeles that? He doesn't have it in himself to tell her the truth, because it would mean that fear would take the place of whatever hopeful fantasy she's built for herself. Would it be worse to let her hopes be crushed, in case Noir came back harmed (or didn't come back at all)? He shuffles uncomfortably, then decides there's not much he can do about it. Julius chirps on his back and he distracts himself by trying to decipher the bird's tunes.

    He sticks close to Rentarou, reluctant to leave the Kirin's line of sight. The Ruins still leaves him far more on edge than the Flights does, after everything that's happened to him here, but he thinks that his anxieties are finally starting to calm to some degree. Returning to the Ruins after his very brief leave (to heal more comfortably) had been the first step in facing his fears. Now he just had to put one paw in front of the other the rest of the way.

    Johnny's ears prick with the menial news, but when he hears his name, he perks up. He knew that he would be training under Rentarou, but for some reason, a promotion to reflect that had never been on his list of expectations. He grins briefly, appreciative of the promotion. Maybe this time around, he could find it in himself to stick. Gyro, you better be proud of me, you son of a bitch.

    Johnny, on the other hand, had an excuse for his lacking upkeep around the clan. Between his training in the Ruins and his healing, he felt that maybe his longer-than-usual stays in the medicine den were justified somehow. But that didn't mean he wanted to just laze around. Maybe that was the case once, but anymore, he just felt... restless.

    "Me too," he calls as he approaches, thanking the Red God that nausea had not chosen to afflict him as he moved today.

    Loneliness was just something he became used to.

    His father was friendly with him at best and neglectful at worst. Nicholas was there for him when he wasn't racing, but races were a lifestyle, not just a job- his brother, as dearly beloved as he was, was also more an absentee than not. And yet, they had been better friends than most of Johnny's others, at least at the time. Though he went out and partied, celebrated his deserved fame as a talented jockey, surrounded himself with men and women alike, there was always a net of isolation that drew him out of that shallow sea at the end of the night. He didn't escape without his wounds. His paralysis was evidence of that, and perhaps his initial trouble socializing was, too. And, even when he had made a friend, that friend had left him for reasons perhaps best left unexplained. Ashes to ashes; one season of isolation to another.

    He's jealous of her, truly. Jealous of her family, stable and happy and loving, a family that he'd never gotten. Jealous of her love, the infinite supply that fed her, from one woman to the next to the next. Jealous of the way she was able to surround herself with support whenever she needed it. How could a demon woman like her have all of those things, and he couldn't? Perhaps that's where the threat had come from in the first place- at the corner of jealousy and weakness. He can't say.

    She speaks, steps forward, and even though she is calm, pacifistic, he presses further away. Suddenly the idea that she didn't want him dead was more convincing, but it didn't mean he trusted her. He shuts his eyes against the mounting tension in his head, tears still leaking slowly, heart still quick. Lay back down, don't be stupid.... He knows he should rest, but he can't let himself throw his guard away so easily. His rational mind tells him that she really doesn't have any intent on attacking, but his fear is powerful. Her whisper grazes his ears. Calm the fuck down. As abrasive as it is, she's right, isn't she?

    "Get th-th-th..." he trails off, unable to form the words he has ready. "G-get th' fuck away, you bitch, you bitch," he pleads. His ears pin to his skull. His limbs shake beneath him more notably now. "I c-can't see... why you'd even pretend t' give a damn 'bout how I'm doin' unless you're t-tryin' t' cover yer own ass." His words are hot, accusatory, but not venomous. In fact, his confusion rings genuine and clear in his words. He doesn't want to prolong her visit, by any means, but he can't help himself. What a fatal flaw.

    He supposes there is humor in the irony of attending this training.

    Johnny rests his blue gaze gratingly on Ver. "I'll watch," he says briskly, with the crisp coldness of a spring morning. Show me what I could have done differently when you had your teeth around my head. He feels a steady rise of nausea, but he's not jostling himself around, and it feels different from those incurred by his head injury. This one is just... disgust, he supposes. He has myriad feelings about Ver anymore, but none of them are pleasant, and they all rise to the back of his throat in one swift motion. Still, he steels himself, swallows them down; this is no time to be sick.

    It wasn't like it was particularly unusual for him to sit out of fighting exercises, though. He'd done it with Atlas's combat training in the Flights, he's doing it now. He's in no condition to attempt to fight, even in practice, and even if he wasn't suffering... whatever the Hell he was suffering, he's paralyzed. He's an easy target. That fact was made clear to him not long ago.

    The tom settles himself on the outskirts of the training.

    He supposes he should be used to Helios’s fetching him by now.

    The hawk flies urgently, impatiently ahead of him, guiding a winded Johnny towards the scene. He’s got a bag of herbs at his side, slapping against him with each strained step. A few times he fears vomiting. The nausea that comes with moving so urgently after his injury is overwhelming, enough to make him want to pause and rest, but there’s someone at the other end of Helios’s journey that needs him. He swallows his sickness and presses onwards as fast as his forepaws can carry him.

    Thankfully when he arrived, blue eyes grazing the stranger and his friends for injuries, nothing seemed too serious. Besides, Sleepy was there already, asking for permission to heal. It just so happened that he’s a little more headstrong- Johnny sidles up next to her and then pushes even further forward. Her confession is at the front of his mind, and based on the poppies sprouting around her, he wonders how able she is to complete this task.

    H-h-howdy,” he stutters through suppressing gags, “’m Johnny. Here t’ help.” He grabs marigold from his pouch and chews it quickly, attempts to rub the poultice on the scratches (they aren’t too deep he thinks, but no harm in patching them up- they could avoid infection that way), then tries to seal it with cobwebs, working methodically. He’s good at replacing bandages. His own injury and Littlepaw’s have helped him learn it.

    He hears bits and pieces of the Exiles conversation through his concentration, focused on his work and righting himself in the spinning world and hoping he isn’t offending Sleepingsunrise by taking charge like this. You’re helping her this way, he thinks, but he isn’t sure if that’s true. His blue gaze flicks up to Atlas and Enjolras as they question about Exilers, and worry prickles in his stomach. Exiles... he’s dealt with them sparingly, but they’ve been terrorizing Agrelos more and more lately. His attention turns to Atlas as the wolf growls, but this time not out of fear, but concern. He keeps his mouth shut and returns to dressing the scratches.

    / mobile & slightly ninja’d :’- )

    Johnny approaches with Julius settled gingerly between his shoulder blades. His head is no longer a suitable perch, still covered in bandages just to ensure no reopening of the freshly-closed wounds. The eaglet totters on his back and whistles softly to itself, a song that Johnny cannot translate. He settles near the edges of the meeting, his pale blue gaze resting on Enjolras half-lidded. He just thanks the Red God he doesn’t have to squint all the time anymore.

    / mobile