delilah_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Burns
Synopsis Magnes finds Delilah pondering her way around a blue fairy, and he doesn't like it. Neither does Teo.
Date January 26, 2010

Village Renaissance Building: Delilah's Apartment

Just entering the apartment, it gives of a feeling of comfortable homeliness; light colors, pastel shades, floral designs, clean and sweet smells, and only accents of dark where it most fits. The front room leads to a den further on, with a large sofa in a coffee cream color sitting opposite a similar chair, and a wooden table in between. There is only an almost retro-looking television off on the other side, but the things hooked up to it show that it is not as old as it seems. Nothing is, really.

To the far end is the kitchen, which always seems to smell like something recently cooked there; the appliances and counters are squeaky clean, but obviously used on a regular basis, and the leftover anything in the fridge can attest to that, as can a perpetual dish of cookies on the table. The bathroom is also squeaky clean, and it seems as if anyone coming out smells significantly nicer than when they had gone in; there is a closet within where the washer and dryer stay. There are two bedrooms, but one is emptied and instead made into a big rainbow-colored sewing and storage room, complete with fabric bolts and racks on wheels centered around a masterfully ordered sewing machine and table.

The actual bedroom is based in those mainly soft colors, yet the lower walls have at least two long, cluttered tackboards home to pictures, clippings, seemingly random crafts, and generally quirky things. A desk in a similar state sits in the far corner by the closet, opposite a low, wide, fluffy-looking bed swamped in pillows and comforters. At least half a dozen stuffed animals peek out from various points.

Early in the evening, Magnes has spent the last half hour or so fiddling with Delilah's fancy soaps and such. But now he's in a pair of blue jeans, shirtless and shoeless, peeking out of the bathroom with water dripping down from his hair. "Delilah? Did you ever eat all those tacos?" he asks before walking out completely, stretching and looking to see where she is.

She'd been listening for a while to Magnes in the adjacent room, doing his thing. Whatever that is. Samson is asleep in the bedroom, though he does have his own bed. He snores a little, sometimes. One can hear it this time. Whatever Delilah was doing, however, she apparently doesn't want Magnes to be in on it; when he peeks out of the door the redhead is slamming shut a plastic case in her lap and turning her head to look up at him. She wasn't really betting on the look, so both that and the young man's short training in spotting things should pay off in a glimpse of familiar and always eerie blue before she clips the black latches shut.

"Huh? Yes, I ate another one, gave the dog the other." Delilah's answer is rather clipped, and her cheeks whitened out of surprise.

Magnes comes walking over, frowning and leaning down to take the case. He looks disappointed already, but he's willing to possibly think this is maybe a misunderstanding. "What's in there, Delilah?" he asks in a pretty serious tone, a lot more serious than she's used to hearing from him, especially lately.

Delilah's immediate defensiveness lets him know already that it is no misunderstanding on his end. She jerks the case away from his grasp, glaring affronted up from her seat on the arm of the couch. She gets up, sidles away from him and towards the kitchen. "None of your business, that's what it is." In being caught with something she shouldn't have, Delilah will either try to laugh and shake it off- or do this, and put up a sudden barricade to hide whatever it was.

"Delilah, what is wrong with you?" Magnes quickly follows her into the kitchen, not even bothering to reach for the case again. He knows she wouldn't get this defensive over nothing. "I spent months investigating that stuff, seeing the people hooked on it, trying to stop it from spreading through the city. What the hell, Delilah? Do you know what that'll do to you? How long has this been going on?"

At this point, she has no use for denial, so the case is set down on the table nearby, and she leans herself on one of the chairs, arms crossing. "I got it free off of someone this weekend, I've never used it before." Somehow, Delilah says it a little bit too questionably- possibly as she is thinking of other things she's done that he has no clue about. Not worse things, just things that would be getting similar reactions.

"It's no big deal, Magnes. Even if I did that one, the downtime's only a week or something, I'd be fine." A swish of her dress as she turns her head away makes Lilah look slightly like she's going to start stomping around, possibly breathing fire.

"You don't get it. It's not hard to get addicted to this stuff, you can't just brush it off like it's no big deal! We need to talk about this." Magnes takes the case, opening it and shaking his head. "You know how much it hurts to think that you could end up some junkie? This isn't fun, it's dangerous."

"No, you don't get it." Delilah raises her eyebrows accusingly and moves to take the case back. There's only one vial in there, still full, but one of the syringes from the spaces happens to already have been used for something, as it is not there. "It's not about fun, Magnes. If I wanted it to have fun I'd be so gone by now."

"Then talk to me." Magnes lets her have the case, leaning back against the counter with his arms crossed, ready to listen. "Tell me why, tell me why you're willing to do this. I want to understand, but, damnit…"

Knock-knock, but it's more of a formality than particularly necessary to get the door open. It's already open: Delilah prefers having a giant dog over a locked threshold, and in a moment ingress is swinging seamlessly open on quiet hinges, allowing a certain Sicilian's tall figure to stoop a broad shoulder in, his shaggy head twisting this way then that. He was going to talk to Cat. He talked to Cat.

He was going to check after Delilah using strictly astral means, feeling awkward from his upcoming departure, but a glimpse through her head gave him something to stare at, his eyes blank in his head, as the elevator grated down toward her floor. Teo can't not check in. Not with Magnes coming as close to yelling at her as he's ever seen. "Li?" he asks. "Varlane?"

"It's not like I just up and decided to find some." Delilah crosses her arms again and moves past him back to the living room. Part of this is to try and discourage him from following her around. "I have so few good memories at all. The only ones I have are from when I was almost too small to even recollect. It's not about fun, its about remembering a time when my world was reasonably good on every level." Li is as close to yelling angrily as she can often get- usually it is all smiles and happy-doo-dah-day, right?

Suddenly, a Teo. Delilah jolts a bit at the knock, still holding the black case when the other man wanders his way in. "Hello, Teo." Not that she sounds sour- well, she does sound sour because of Magnes, and it just so happens to leak into her other words.

"You think my life was all peachy? You think it's peachy now? You think I want to remember the last… god, more than a year really. On that mission, I killed people, a lot of people. And the really screwed up thing is that I can't even remember how many. But I'm not gonna take the easy way out." Magnes turns to start following her in the living room, only glancing at Teo and nodding before he continues. "Yeah, I wanna replace all the crap memories I have, but not that way. I wanna live life as best I can, I wanna make the most out of every day, I wanna have good memories so I can forget the bad. There's no magic button without a price. Christ! Why do you think I stay the night over here so much now?"

Li's angry too. Teo's left feeling quite categorically surprised by this co-occurrence of negative feeling, crackling between and above the two of them like one of those cartoon stormclouds wringing bad mood loose over their respective heads.

"What?" he asks, helpfully, scrubbing a long forefinger over his aquiline nose. The cuff of his sleeve scrapes his beard with an audible contradiction of fibers, but neither the noise nor the twinge against skin manages to clarify the situation any further from him. Or a glance through the room, as if he might locate Samson, who would offer an explanation. Teo's mouth flattens. "Magnes— 'm sure Lilah knows we've been through shit."

"I've tried that for years. Do you really think I'm always happy all the time?" That's news to anyone. It does sort of mark her personality sometimes; while its not wholly an act, sometimes it is apparently one! Sometimes she is just miserable and putting up that happy face for the sake of everyone else. It's only normal, isn't it? "I'll keep trying to make new ones, but right now I have practically none except for the past year, and even the past year's been so full of bull."

Samson, meanwhile is attracted by angry voices, blearily stepping out of Delilah's bedroom door and staring at the room for a moment. He casts a look back as if pondering what could possibly happen if he just went back to sleep.

"I do know, thank you, Teo. This isn't about making light of your life, Magnes. No fuckin' way."

"I know you wouldn't make light of that, Delilah, but… You can't just give up and take the easy way out." Magnes moves a cautious hand to place it on her shoulder, trying to at least offer some comfort while he's lecturing. "You're better than that. It's hard, I know, and I know you're not happy all the time, I know what you've been through, and that's why I try so hard to be good to you, but there's better ways. I'd be a hypocrite if I told you everything would be great any time soon, hell, you are my easy way out, I turned to you the second everything got too hard to deal with, I do it every time, I show up at your door like a damned lost puppy. But I'd rather be dependent on a girl than…" He motions to the case. "That's not gonna make your life better, it'll just get worse."

Something importantly psychological is taking place now. Teo can smell it. Among other things: after all, Magnes Varlane does not just wander around without his shirt on in a girl's home for no particular reason, particularly if he hadn't recently just got done telling a Sicilian that his intentions were-

-well, if not dishonorable, then not exactly witout agenda. Kind of reminds Teo of this other guy he knows, albeit with a little more heart and depth, arguably. "Hey," he says, finally. Pulling his jacket collar up, close to his ruined jaw, he takes another step into the room, yet another effort to determine the source of this dispute. Nothing on television. No blood anywhere he can see, no scars on Delilah's wrists— "What is it exactly he's asking you to choose him over?"

"So your coming here for a shag totally isn't a crutch? I just said that I wasn't giving up, Magnes. I just need a fucking break." Delilah's sarcasm when it comes, tends to bleed all over. She lifts her empty hand to move his off of her shoulder, the case held in her other bumping against her thigh. She sounds more frustrated with his words at this point. A glance is given to Teo when he moves further into the room to try and address this particular mess. While Delilah does not seem displeasure in seeing him here, the expression on her face is not exactly jumping for joy.

Same goes for Magnes though- she's not ecstatic about people all of a sudden. "I got a vial of Refrain from a girl at a party. I haven't actually touched it, but he's already branding me like I'm some kinda crackwhore." She still does not see it as that big of a deal, apparently.

"Alright, maybe it is a bit of a crutch, I'll admit that. But you're someone I trust and care about, so if I had to choose a crutch, well, I'm glad you're that crutch." Magnes keeps figuratively hovering over her, feeling the need to be close if they're gonna talk about this. "That's not how I'm trying to treat you, I'm just saying that using isn't even something you should consider. It seems like a good idea, but it's not. I'm not blaming you for anything, or seeing you differently, I just want you to realize that this stuff, it just isn't an option. You can hate me or never let me in your bed again, but I won't let you mess yourself up."

It's impossible for Teodoro not to be become Self-Aware of a certain level of hypocrisy threatening to bubble up inside his head. Of course, that hypocrisy is only inspired by a certain level of annoyance about this whole Refrain issue, the likes of which Magnes is rather vocally feeling. He can't experience one without the other. His jaw squares and he tilts his head like a raptor. For once, not because he is deliberately concealing the skeletal leer in his split cheek. There's some kind of judgment in the gaze he sets on the girl, before shifting his attention back briefly at Magnes.

"I did that," he admits, at length, with what seems like the difficulty of a physical weight. "More like— fifteen vials. Didn't use a single fucking one. Wouldn't call it my moment of greatest emotional healt, though."

Delilah is ready to spit something else at Magnes when Teo tilts his face back to look at her. Whatever is coming gets swallowed, and she just ends up giving Teo a most defiant glower. A frown comes when he admits his own follies, and Dee peers with eyebrows bent at Magnes. The redhead takes a deeper breath and ruffles her mental feathers.

"If I were like Cat, I could remember everything good- if I had illusions I could make them happen again- but I have none of those, I'm just some girl with a stupid power. I'd have not considered this if I didn't think I needed it. I said before, it's not about fun. It was never about fun with this stuff. I can't offhandedly remember my da's face- that's what it's fucking about. I can hardly remember anything about them both. I remember walking around my burnt up house trying to find something left." At this point her indignance at being caught, admitting something, and defending her (poor)choices has put her anger-volume up rather high. Whatever frustrations made her find a vial in the first place seem to have molten into each other as it is; it's hard to tell why she really thinks she needed to think about trying Refrain. Samson is still standing back in her bedroom door, wary at this development.

"There's other ways, Delilah. If that's what this is about. I promise, Delilah," Magnes walks closer to her again, moving to return that hand to her shoulder. "I promise that somehow, I'll get you those memories back, clear as day. Just promise me that you'll never take this stuff. I want you to trust me on this, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, I will get you what you want, if you want it badly enough to consider something like this."

The look on Teo's face is not easily defined by any category of emotion, which seems like a consistent theme between the three of them. And they're all, normally, such frank and sentimentally straightforward people. Angry, bitter, bored, confused; any of those things at once.

But there are flickers when the Sicilian looks from the boy to the girl, and other shadows that drive his attention entirely away. Across the floor. Down at the cuff of his pant leg. Walter, he thinks, is a little too near, for someone that exists years into a future that will no longer tanspire. "Or you make new ones. That's just fucking weak, Li. You change your story: from how it was just some party, and there was just one dose, to you hadn't touched it, but you're obviously fucking thinking about it, and you're sure as shit after what it'll give you.

"If that's what you want, more'n peace of mind for you and your friends, and if that's what you need bad enough to risk—" Teodoro has tried too many drugs recreationally to actually remember the scientific terms and associated warning labels. He flits an irritable hand through the air. "Why the fuck would you stop at one vial? How's that fucking matter? It either means something to you, or it doesn't. It's a big deal, or it isn't. Don't kid yourself."

Delilah only bats Magnes off again, but it is far less enthusiastic this time. And then Teo virtually unloads himself onto her, and it leaves the redhead looking somewhere between hurt and angry. She knows under the layer of fireballs and flim-flamming that he(and Magnes) are right. But, Delilah is still young, and despite her nature being a mature one, she can be afforded to have a few times in her young life where she literally just tips over the Wagon of Sensibility. Teenagers do it on a regular basis, but Delilah isn't as bad as those ones. This week seems to have become her afforded bout with what she wants versus how she can get it versus the semantics of those.

Her lips flatten together at Teo, and the bottom pulls in as she rakes her teeth over the pink flesh. Li's eyebrows are furrowed like they might be stuck that way. "I don't know what it means. Must mean I'm about as bright as a brown crayon, donnit? I don't know what I fucking want besides a bloody memory or two that isn't covered in ashes or otherwise tromping a fresh path through'em. So fucking what, it'd be sure as hell easier to do it this way." Still, however, she is not sounding all too convincing. Weak, yes, though in her head she denies it.

"It'd be easier, but the consequences, Delilah. I feel so horrible for taking this away from you, but the consequences are too high to risk. I really will try, I'll ask, poke, and prod, I'll try and find someone who can help your memory." Magnes sounds absolutely sincere about that; he'll definitely try as hard as possible. "But in the meantime, no matter what, I'll always be here when you need me, Teo's here too, all your friends are. No matter how hard it gets, you do have people looking out for you and willing to help you. You don't have to keep all your problems bottled up inside, especially not from me. I like to think we at least got a little closer this week. You can be all smiles and stuff, but when we're alone, you can bawl and be as sad as you like, and I'll do my best to make you feel better and pick up the pieces. You don't have to hide."

In Teo's head, blood is kicking the walls of his skull. His fingers are in knots, and her bared teeth and scowl are met in kind. Because the paragon of maturity is what they're after, here, with narcotics in the next room and the nuclear apocalypse only inches behind them, a war being waged between mutually-exclusive genetic demographics. "Brown like bullshit, yeah. Maybe you should fucking figure out what it means, for a change?

"Mix it up a little. Try something other than spreading for the first histrionic Police Academy dropout who knocks, baking, hiding up here or on Staten or up Roosevelt Island's derelict asshole and walking your Goddamn Yeti. Try thinking, Li." The words are out of his mouth before he can spark two braincells together around the synaptic command to stop, and his voice has turned into a harsh and ugly thing.

Teodoro straightens as suddenly as if he'd been burned, shoulders squaring around the severity of wrought iron geometry underneath his jacket, his ears red and his gums white.

Teodoro seems to jar something loose up in Delilah's head, whether on purpose or not. Her brown eyes are wide and shocked, not to mention betrayed. The scowl warps into an open-mouthed frown, the shape like a blemish on something otherwise good. It's a kneejerk reaction once she plugs one thing into another- her hand lifts up to strike Teo across the cheek with her open palm.

"What the fuck do you think I've been doing? I've done so much thinking that sometimes I feel twice as old as I am." Wetness wells up in her eyes, turning white red with little effort. "Maybe you should do a little bloody thinking! How dare you-" If there was something that she had to hate the most, it was his insinuating that she's some kind of slut. Perhaps that was the slap.

Magnes stands, quiet but clearly ready to say something, walking up to stand directly in front of Teo. "I know we're helping Delilah, and that's fine and all, I don't mind the yelling if you get across how you feel, but…" He steps to the side, so Delilah's in Teo's field of view again. "I'm gonna need you to apologize for what you just implied about her." The 'or else' is heavily implied.

Crack. Teo's head creaks over five degrees to the right, his cheek washing scarlet where the connection pressurizes skin cells that have honestly taken worse, but a blow's a blow. A blow from Delilah is something worse than a blow from some drunk football hooligan, though. It hurts. An ache that goes deeper than the bone-cloying residue of Kozlow's ability reverberating in his mutilated jaw, and burns warmer than the flare of temper that had invited it.

His neck creeps back on-center, an uneasy straightening of laddered vertebrates. "I didn't imply shit. I said she's thinking about the wrong shit. And I'm saying, if she doesn't throw that vial out—" His lips go white; he doesn't know how to end that sentence before he's grinding it out as onerously as Sisyphus moves his stone. He shifts a step backward, stiff as a corpse, twisting his head to look away. "There's nothing to fucking cry about yet."

"Get out. Both of you. Just get the fuck out. I don't want to even look at either of you right now." Well, this is one way to get people to leave her alone. She swings her arms in a wide gesture at the front door, almost flinging the case across the room in the process. Delilah elsewise is lifting her chin and trying her best to save her remaining dignity in order to expel these Invaders. Whether or not she is absorbing it is left up to wonderment on the outside; but someone that can read her well, such as these two, will probably recognize that it has all flooded in- and that she needs to be alone- that she needs to think as Teo has so eloquently put it.

"Alright, I'm going. But I'm coming back tomorrow, and… please don't use that stuff, that's all I'm asking." Magnes offers a weak and rather uneasy smile, then heads out the door. Once he's out there, he starts heading for the elevator, not intending to wait around for Teo or go back to bug Delilah more, at least for now.

Sicily was already on the retreat, but he slows to let the gravitokinetic beat him to the exit. Adolescent defensiveness has his shoulders hiked up and his face red, now, but he has the wisdom enough now to keep his trap shut, at least. Teo isn't saying a word. His footfalls are the only sound of him, a clockwork-regular cadence beating into the floor behind the younger man.

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