On the third day of Chantal's forced vacation, she haunts a poor reconstruction of her grandma's lakehouse.
It was funny that it was so poorly made—she'd hung out in Venice for a day, before deciding she liked the sound of Hawaii before the fallout.
They were immaculate 'grams, completely glitch-free and interactive. Gorgeous, too. Especially Venice. Chantal never saw it un-drowned before.
They were both so big, so big and so perfect…such gorgeous reminders of what used to be—but when Chantal tries to upload a memory, the textures are freaking out, sometimes the lake and the wind freeze, and the stars just look synthetic.
She spends most of that day sitting on the swing overlooking the lake, just letting the glitching wind rock her back and forth.
She doesn't really think she fucked up so bad. It was one goddamn battle she lost, just one—it was Day's fault, it was always Day's fault when she lost. Some Saint power of his, she knew it.
So he had her under some black magic spell, that's why she lost, that's why they died, it wasn't her fault. She doesn't need this 'vacation'.
Her place is leading the Charlatans, not haunting memories.
And besides, if she even wanted to haunt memories the right way, the way everyone knew you should, she wouldn't be stuck in this inertia, the land of summer, the place where she was a kid forever.
If she wanted to do this right, she would be up onstage, sweating Day's words out of every pore, thrashing and dancing with him doing the same right next to her.
And she would yell her name to the crowd, and they'd yell it back at her.
And she'd yell his name, and they'd yell it back. And he'd laugh his manic, heat-of-the-moment, I'm young and stupid and I know it laugh. And she'd shove the mic into his face, and he'd yell the chorus of one of their songs, no melody in his voice. And the crowd would go nuts, and sometimes he'd take his shirt off and throw it to the ground and throw himself into the crowd, putting his life in their hands.
Chantal never had the courage to do that.
That's what she thinks about, rocking back and forth, she thinks about her spiked jacket and all of Day's different smiles, and that if she has to haunt for much longer she'll flip her shit.
She's watching the synthetic stars make their way across the sky and remembering better days when there's a sharp pain in the back of her head.
And she's not in her memory anymore, she's in reality, staring at the ceiling of the cell she sleeps in.
Delaney, Chantal's second-in-command, is holding the plug in her hand.
Chantal blinks a few times, trying to get her eyes to adjust to the harsh light of the real world. She feels a little sick, and she's starving.
"What's up?" Chantal asks.
"It's…good and bad, Chant, I don't know how else to say it," Delaney says, dropping the plug to the ground.
Chantal tries to sit up, but falls back to the bed. "Tell me."
"Day's disappeared off the face of the earth."
"Not the first time," Chantal says, closing her eyes. This is unremarkable news. She just wants to go back to sleep. Maybe forever. Because now, being back here, back with Delaney, she feels her failures. Laney's eyes, they're just burning these tiny little critical laser holes in Chantal.
"No, for longer than before. Chant, he's been gone for over a week," Laney says, urgency in her voice.
"I've been out for a week?"
"You don't matter. What matters is that now that Day's gone, the Saints are going fucking crazy trying to find him. They've been taking entire clubs into their custody, been using Nova like nuts, and've been killing everyone with a Charlatan tattoo."
"I don't matter?" Chantal finds the energy to sit up. "I don't matter? Excuse me, but who's the leader here, love? Because I do believe it's me."
"You lost your head over a guy, and we lost forty-two Charlatans. I don't even know why I woke you up. The girls convinced me to. I think it was a fucking bad idea," Laney says.
"Maybe it was, but I'm up now, and I'll be damned if I'm going back in there. We're gonna find Day. We're gonna stop the Saints. Now get me a fucking food pill or I swear to God I will tear your head off with my bare hands."
"Get your own fucking pills." Laney puts her hands on her hips and sticks her chin out.
"That's it." Chantal tries to punch Laney, but she steps out of the way and uses Chantal's momentum to take her to the ground.
"You shoulda stayed on vacation," Laney says, walking out of Chantal's cell. Chantal can hear a muttered 'bitch'.
Chantal doesn't really want to get up. She has the feeling that maybe the rest of the Charlatans'll treat her like Laney treated her.
She'll find Day.
Whether she has support or not is an entirely different thing.
A/N: Decent length non-RG reviews will be returned.