aj_crawley: (baby it's cold outside)
aj_crawley ([personal profile] aj_crawley) wrote2010-03-14 10:40 am

(no subject)

It's a picture-postcard sunrise as Crowley ghosts back through the streets of L.A., headed towards Raguel's apartment, and it gives his face a little colour. He feels strange - flattened and insubstantial, like nighttime in the desert has eroded something out of him, worn it away with cold and dust, from right around the time when he found that it hurt too much to breathe. He mostly just sat, after that.

Crowley's clothes are dusty - everything is dusty; his face is smudged with it and his hair is streaked with it, and nobody looks twice as his shadow, long and thin in the early light, glides through street junctions like a stick clattering along a picket fence. The roads are so regular here, predictable as graph paper or prison bars, laid down upon the landscape. He'd do well here, Crowley thinks distractedly, trailing exhaustion beneath a particularly shameless billboard. Under other circumstances, of course. He'd do well here, in this city with its squeaky-clean boulevards and grimy back alleys, its sunsets and sunrises ripe and pink, glorious with air pollution, its smooth, silicone denizens talking the talk and walking the walk, feet on the ground but heads in some celluloid dream. They've all sold their souls to get here, one way or another; in highway rest stops and bankers' offices, in doctors' waiting rooms and studio car parks. What's one more name on the bill of sale? Just name your price.

Crowley could wear this city like a coat, all fashionable angles and hungry grin, designer sunglasses and unrealistic cheekbones. When you get by, it's called 'making a living'. When you succeed, it's called 'making a killing'.

Los Angeles. City of Angels.

He can see why Raguel hates it here.

It still hurts to breathe.

The door to Raguel's building opens without putting up a fight, and it's early enough (for a Sunday, at least) that he doesn't meet anyone on the stairs. It's still cold in here. His shoes don't make much sound on the floorboards, because that's what happens when you trudge, and when you feel so insubstantial that you're barely there at all. He half-expects his fingers to pass through Raguel's doorknob when he reaches for it, but they don't. The door opens when he leans against it, creaking. And then he stops.

Just stops.

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