Title: Killing Justine Cooper
Character: Justine, Bette
A/N: Crossover between... ye gods, Angel and The L Word. Just a nod to Laurel Holloman's involvement on both L.A. set shows.
Disclaimer: I do not own The L Word or Angel
You can continue being a slave, Justine, or you can live your life. Your choice.
No. It wasn’t a choice.
The truth was Justine didn’t know how to be Justine. For her whole life she’d been Justine and Julia. A starfish, with the center intact, can regenerate what has been lost. A brain, half removed, can assume the functions of the lost half. Justine was neither.
Incomplete, with no means to control this flailing half, Justine Cooper would always be a slave to whichever way the wind blew this convulsing, limp shell. There was only one option left. Justine Cooper would have to die.
She groped for the key, just at the border of her reach. Flesh touched cold metal, and the key slipped just a little further from her. Grunting she strained against the cuffs, grasping at air, until by some miracle her finger managed to catch the tip and drag it closer. As she slid the key into the latch to free herself the sky opened and rain began to pour.
Shuffling through downtown, hair plastered to her forehead, dirt streaming down her face. She would need supplies to get it done, and she found her salvation in the form of a Rite-Aid. It only took a few minutes, but she headed back out into the rainsoaked dawn with a plastic bag and a lighter wallet. She wouldn’t need it anyways.
Steam flooded the room as Justine stepped out of the shower. The hotel room was clean, they were all clean, washed free of everything that came before. Daily, lives and loves and losses would move in and go, and she knew Justine would be wiped clean here. It felt appropriate.
She looked at her face in the mirror, then down at the empty bottles and cardboard box that lay on top of the sink. She sniffed at it, it wreaked of ammonia and frowning she dumped it in the garbage.
Naked she walked out to the bed where thick curtains blocked out the noontime sun. She stood over the plastic bag sitting on the bed and fished out a bottle of Jack Daniels. Unscrewing the lid she lifted the bottle to her lips and drank deep, relishing the burn of the liquid as it rushed down her throat. The sting reminded her that this wasn’t over yet, that she had more work to do. She set the bottle down on the bedside table and pulled out of the bag a pair of scissors, gleaming, silver, and sharp.
She dug out of her discarded pants her wallet and from that withdrew her driver’s license, her credit cards, and her library card. Sitting, legs folded on the bed, still dripping, she picked up the license. Scissors in hand, she cut off a strip of the plastic, half a centimeter wide. When that came off, she slid the scissors another half centimeter down the card and cut free another strip. She repeated this motion continually until all evidence that Justine Cooper ever existed were tiny bits of plastic in a garbage can.
She set the scissors aside and picked up the bottle of Jack and downed another fiery gulp. Amber liquid half drained from the bottle she set it aside and through blurry eyes, turned her gaze back to the scissors looking at them like a promise.
Slowly, she pushed herself up from the bed, metal clasped in her hand as she made her way into the bathroom and locked the door.
Through the front door of The Planet, a tall brunette walked in, chatting away on her cell phone. Something about art, a showing, and being stressed out of her mind, and the fact that the café was crowded to capacity was certainly not easing any of that tension any time soon. She cast a look to the woman behind the counter. A nod an a smile indicated a long standing client/owner relationship and a typical order was about to be filled.
Clicking her phone shut she surveyed the room and found the only seat was at a table with a young blonde woman looking excessively hung over and nursing a cup of coffee like it was the cure-all. With a smile, the brunette walked up along side her, “Having a rough day?” she asked.
The blonde shook her head to clear her vision and looked up at her. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” She nodded indicating that the woman should sit. Something about the stranger felt warm, and good. A connection.
“I know the feeling.” The woman behind the counter set down a large latte in front of the brunette and gave her a little nudge before she walked away. She turned to the blonde, “Sorry for intruding on your privacy.”
“It’s okay, I didn’t feel much like being alone right now.”
“I’m Bette Porter.” The brunette introduced herself.
“My name’s Justi… Tina… My name’s Tina.”