Do Your Research

Participants:

remi2_icon.gif tibby4_icon.gif

Scene Title Do Your Research
Synopsis First lesson.
Date April 4, 2019

Jackson Heights


Afternoon.

The sun was covered in light clouds, patches in them allowing golden sunlight to bathe certain parts of the street in Jackson Heights, people come and go from various stores and shops. Some on bikes, some on the bus. A frail looking stray cat with matted black fur slinks out of a nearby alleyway, trotting along silently until it gets to a pair of black boots, light skin ankles crossed.

The woman whose feet these belong too stands fairly short and leaning against an old busted newspaper dispenser. Dressed in a pair of jet black shorts of an almost khaki look, an equally dark top and a sleeveless black and gray light coat, that ends past her waist. A pair of dark sunglasses sit atop of her nose shading emerald eyes that flick to and fro over a nearby building down the street a couple buildings. A tilt of her head and a strand of platinum blonde hair cut in a punkish style with the sides shaved falls into her face and one arm that was previously wrapped around her middle lazily reaches up and she flicks it away with her finger.

The woman known as Tibby Naidu raises a cigarette to her lips, puffing softly and steadily as her toe taps against the black felt backpack that sits on the ground next to her. The cat is ignored until it comes close and tries to nuzzle itself on her shin. The small woman stiffens, slowly turning her head downward and away from the windows of Raytech to stare down at the feline that meows and purrs thinking it's found a new friend, maybe a snack in that bag?

Tibby's foot lifts and kicks out at the cat who pounces backwards with a panicked yowl. Smoke wafts from her lips and fingers as the mangy animal hisses and prowls away, Tibby all but ignoring it again.

Filthy creature.

Since coming to this timeline, life has been busy for Soleil Davignon. Somehow, along with trying to learn the ins and outs of this new world and the history that is different while being very similar to her original world, Remi has managed to get herself into a business deal to start up a theater, in partnership with Raytech. She has much to thank the company for; they’re the ones responsible for her being here in the first place, and they’re also the ones responsible for lending her and her friend enough money to buy a very large boat.

She’s just finished up some paperwork in regards to both the investment Raytech made toward the floating theater, as well as working up some contracts in regards to security. They’ll be needing cameras and some security staff in general, and there is no harm in further linking the two companies — Raytech gets to look good for providing a theater and dining experience to the Safe Zone, as well as a pretty good cut of profits.

The woman slips out of the security gate on foot, making sure the fancy-looking messenger bag is securely closed; she is dressed casual today, wearing a pair of jeans that fit her frame like a glove, a pair of chucks, and a loose-fitting t-shirt that has ‘DARE’ written in bold red letters across the front; a pair of oversized sunglasses rests atop her head, holding her hair away from her blue eyes as she slips out into the world.

When the tall redhead exits the building Tibby is ashing her cigarette on the ground and looks up catching the woman in her gaze. She tilts her head, irises dilating behind those sunglasses. After a moment or two the smaller woman just takes another puff of her cigarette and continued staring forward not looking at Remi so much as she is looking through her.

If the blonde recognizes her, it's hard to tell.

There's a rub at her neck and a light wince that follows, ah there's the pain. It creeps up on her like a prickly blanket of thorns. Tibby crouches suddenly looking through her bag before standing with a bottle of pills in her hand, she rattles the bottle taking two out and popping them in her mouth. Calmly dry swallowing them down.

The tallish redhead pauses outside of the gate, digging into the bag to make sure everything is there; then, barely looking up, she slips across the street, unwittingly heading in Tibby’s direction. When her eyes swing forward, however, she suddenly just stops in her tracks.

Tibby.

Her cousin, Tibby.

The last time she saw her cousin, said cousin was a cat in the last library known to man (that she knew of) in a dying world. Her cousin wasn’t alive any more, at least not in her own body. And yet, here she is — there’s no mistaking the hair, or the face, or the diminutive stature.

For a moment, she’s a bit too stunned to put up an act. There’s no mistaking the look of shocked recognition, with a good amount of joy and sadness mixed in. For a moment, she stares rather rudely, blue eyes as wide as saucers.

There’s no acting her way out of that reaction.

She can try, though. Hopefully, Tibby didn’t notice the stare She’s sure that Tibby noticed the stare, but she chooses to just brush it off, turning rather abruptly to the side and marching away from the tiny blonde.

Not the person she was expecting to see today. Or ever.

The blonde does recognize the stare and the weirdness of it does seem to wash over Tibby and she cants her head to the side. Huh. The woman pushes off from her perch and throws her cigarette on the ground stomping her booted foot on it before she stalks over to the wall of the building facing outwards towards Raytech, wrapping a small hand around the handle of her bike. Shouldering her backpack and throwing both arms through the loops.

Wheeling it backwards Tibby leaps up with a shake of her head, the longer part of her hair ruffling in the wind. It's Tibby, it looks just like her. It's Tibby. Landing on the seat she begins to pedal…

In the direction of Remi.

A slow and lazy pace, weaving in and out in large wide circles before closing into a tight line. Still slow, looking forward. Not at Remi, but past her. Her spot is burnt for the day clearly. Time to leave from this ladies… weird stares.

Tibby aims to ride right past Remi if she allows her too.

The redhead hears the bike coming, even if she can’t hear the woman’s thoughts; she stops in her tracks, turning to stare wide-eyed as Tibby rides past. She doesn’t say anything, though, not entirely sure how to address this. Was the other her close with her cousin? Was her cousin even present in the other her’s life?

In her life, they summered together as children. Soleil and Tibby talked about their dreams together. They both ended up in some very different roles in life, but she loved her cousin all the same. It was hard when she found her cousin in the library, being a cat — it was good that she was still around, but it was never the same.

So Tibby just gets another haunted stare as she rides past.

On she sails past without looking to the side at Remi, no hey Cuz. No lift of her lips to a smile at a familiar face, no fresh tears at the sight of what was supposed to be her dead cousin standing in her face. The rattle of the chain of her bike trails after her. The only sound between the two women.

Down the street Tibby rides with her bicycle until she reaches the corner.

Usually after awkward stare downs between strangers one or both go the opposite directions and never see each other again. Going on with their daily lives…

Tibby leans her bike to the left as it slows and her foot grazes across the concrete that noise joining the rattling chain. She's stopped there on the corner, back turned away from Remi and the place she was perched on earlier. Then.

Slowly she turns her head, flicking her emerald eyed gaze out of the side of her eye towards the French woman. A gentle wind ruffles the ends of her hair but she otherwise remains.

The redheaded French woman stands in place for a moment, straightening up a little as the other woman comes to a stop ahead of her at the corner, blue-eyed gaze meeting the other’s emerald eyes. SESA never really told her how to handle something like this.

Clearing her throat, Remi reaches into her bag, fetching out a metal cigarette case. A cigarette is pulled from the box, held between two fingers as she confidently begins to stride forward, this time on an apparent mission. She’s already been seen, she’s already been caught staring — might as well see if this world’s version of her cousin even knows her.

“Hey,” she calls, still using that California accent of hers, just in case. “You got a light?” Remi doesn’t really smoke all that much, unless she’s under stress — and running into ghosts is rather stressful. Might as well own it, right?

Remi's approach has Tibby answering by getting off of her bike again and kicking the stand out, her arms lay lamely at her sides but there is something to her body language briefly seen by the telepath, tension. Her spine pops as she straightens her back and tilts her head looking Remi up and down with eyes shaded by those sunglasses.

When the much taller woman is standing closer she can see Tibby up close, the quality of her clothes is nice. Her legs are covered in scars that have turned a bright white criss crosses and squares of lines.

A hand goes to reach into her pocket and Tibby pulls out a bright yellow lighter, flicking the flame alive. Eyes trained on Remi, she still doesn't speak but the flame is held out in front of the smuggler.

“Thanks,” she murmurs, leaning forward to puff the cigarette into life. After a moment, she steps back, taking a drag as she does so — any glance to Tibby, at this point, is kept brief. She doesn’t seem to balk at the aggressiveness in the other woman’s stance, for whatever reason. She does, however, take a brief glance or three while lighting the cigarette to gawk at the woman who had lost her body in another life.

“Sorry for staring, I looked at you smoking over there and realized I forgot my lighter,” she murmurs in an even tone, taking a few steps back. While she remains rather on edge, the cigarette has its intended effect of draining some of that tension out of her shoulders and posture.

If Tibby does in fact recognize her, there’s so much the same but different about her, from the scar on her upper lip to her frame to the way she moves — she still has that vaguely catlike way of moving about, but it lacks the effortless grace that ballet gave her. That smile, though — aside from the scar, the smile is the same.

Mutely, Tibby nods her head and continues to stare ahead at Remi behind her shades. A fly wanders near her ear and she waits. Waiting for it to draw closer as it lands on her shorts leg and then smack the innards of the insect so tiny that they amount to a damp spot is all that's left.

Rubbing her hand on the pants even more Tibby looks back at the Frenchwoman. "…you know me." Her accent is still there but her voice is harsh. It's also not a question seeing how Remi has been staring. Lips curl and then flatten into a line. There's confusion there for Tibby under the surface. She feels like she's missed something. Outwardly Tibby's face is stone. Her body still though she does shiver every now and then. The painkillers would settle in soon.

Taking a finger the blonde woman slowly pushes her shades down the bridge of her nose until emerald green eyes are revealed and Tibby is now peering over the rim of the lenses.

Blue eyes watch the woman as she pulls the shades down, brows raising a bit. The taller woman takes a step back, finally allowing herself to take an actual good look at her cousin now that it doesn’t seem like a taboo thing to do.

Taking a long draw from her cigarette, Remi inclines her head down toward the shorter woman. She draws out the silence as she inhales, before slowly letting the smoke lazily billow out of the side of her mouth as she ponders her words. Man it would be nice to have her ability back right about now — she isn’t as good at reading people as she’d like to be, and she can’t quite tell if Tibby knows her.

Finally, she answers, still in that California accent. “I’m sorry for staring,” she states, blue eyes turning down toward the burning red cherry of the cigarette. “You looked like someone I knew in another life.” She frowns a bit. “I lost her a few years ago, though.”

Nod.

The sense of deja vu is overwhelming for Tibby and she slides her glasses back up to cover her eyes. She's not bothered by the smoke obviously and her eyebrows raise a tick though as she says she looks like someone.

Cool story bru.

Also not totally unbelievable. Everyone was losing someone.

Danger senses flatten and Tibby nods her head again, I see. Before she's turning her back and walking to her bike, kicking her leg over the seat and balancing it while kicking the stand up. She stops. Back still turned before she again slowly turns her back to peer at Remi out of the corner of her eyes. Who was she? Whatever that answer was, Tibby wasn't going to find it here out on the street and with this woman. Especially with her tendency to not like talking.

Her hand does raise though and she gives a weak wave: See ya lady. Tibby pushes off to pedal down the street.

It’s one of the more difficult things that Remi’s had to do, watching her cousin walk away like this. Really, what she’d rather do is gather the smaller woman into an almost-too-tight hug and ask her what’s happening in her life. Catch up with this version of the cousin she adored so much back in her horrible, wet world.

But her hands are tied. SESA paid her a lot of money to keep her mouth shut about the real circumstances around her arrival in this world — and with her counterpart from this timeline being a dead public figure, discretion is even more important — though she’s sure that her appearance at the gala gave them something to sweat about. Just try to get between her and the fame she craves.

“What’s your name?” She can’t help it — she calls out to the other woman, a small concerned frown reaching her face. Did this version of her not know her cousin?

"…"

Tibby is going slow as she was before. Remi's outburst causes her to shift her head again pedaling slow, slow, so slow. There's a pounding in the back of her head and she almost stops wanting to rest her eyes, wanting to ask this woman who she was. Instead Tibby reaffirms his grip on the handles of the bike and pedals faster. "Tibby." Just like rehearsed.

She does not look back again, she pedals faster now. Eyes wide behind her sunglasses.

Before Remi can say anything or before Tibby can inquire the blonde is banking a hard left and disappearing out of view. The chains of her bike rattling after her.


A Few Hours Later


The sounds of fingers tapping on a tablet can be heard in the dark room. A hotel maybe. The bright blue glow washing over Tibby's light face. Her gaze is faraway like she's not looking in the room really whatever she was doing she snaps out of it and looks down at the screen. Pulling from various news sources, looking through Raytech's website. Blonde hair wrapped in a loose half formed bun, loose strands falling into her eyes. She didn't need anymore things obscuring her vision thank you very much.

It doesn't take her long to find the face and name of Remi Davignon. Dead. Gruesome. The woman's face still didn't ring a bell but there was something there-

Rearing back Tibby closed out the tabs of the internet and pulls up a dossier, flipping through the records named for Tibby Naidu.

Do your research.

She was told, taught, she knows this it's ingrained in her bones how could she have.. There under blood relations.. a French ballerina named… Remi.

Closing her eyes and tilting her head back almost touching the wall she reverses the movement bringing herself forward before slamming her head back on the wall with a loud smack from her skull hitting the red brick. A crack of her neck to the side pop pop follows. Her breathing is labored and her heart pounds rapidly in her chest, Tibby takes a deep breath.

And slams her head against the wall again.


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