The Stronger Emotion


abby_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title The Stronger Emotion
Synopsis Ladies' night resumes at Eileen's apartment following a rude interruption.
Date February 21, 2010

Fort Greene: Eileen's Apartment

Original hardwood floors and a pair of French doors painted black are the most prominent features of the living space, which has been sparsely furnished with loveseat, cozy chaise, built-in bookshelves and various pieces of smaller furniture to make it feel like more of a home, including a dining table for two and claw-foot chairs. The walls, like the radiator, have been painted white to contrast with the rich colour of the floors and the cabinetry in the modest kitchen, just large enough to fit one person comfortably.

The French doors separate the bedroom from the rest of the apartment. Like the living room and kitchen, it has been decorated with simplicity in mind. The bed itself is a queen-sized platform that takes up most of the space and is covered in a white goose feather comforter for warmth in the winter. A steamer trunk filled with clothes sits at the foot of the bed in lieu of a dresser — there just isn't enough room for anything else except for an antique vanity, its mirror badly water-stained and in dire need of repair or replacement.

Time passes, people come in, people go, phonecalls are made and confirmations are made that no one actually got hurt when Kozlow made his visit to Forte Greene. Two people won't be eating donuts anytime soon, that's for sure. But, as we said before, time passes, and a quick call for delivery yields alcohol, takeout, and chocolate when one waves enough money at the issue. The homeland screening of folks who come in though, is probably a vast surprise to everyone who lives there.

Inside the apartment with it's homesec guard outside in the hall, the stress level is lower, and blood alcohol content much higher. With being legal age all around, there's no compromising the integrity of the people outside the apartment or inside it and even Abby has partaken of the drinks, mixing them even for the other two.

"And I left him in the desert" She bobs her head up and down, pouring out a finger or two of something strong into the glasses. "I broke up, not that we were dating, and I had one last time with him and I left him in the desert with his horse. pale rider. I'll have to tell Hokuto about her cards" She plunks down the bottle, nudging glasses to the others with a far more relaxed smile on her face and lifts her own up. "To getting screwed… in all connotations of that word"

"Did she read everyone's cards?" Gillian asks, favoring the butterscotch schnapps this time around. It's very butterscotch! She made a few comments about how it'd be better with some hot chocolate, but she didn't try to get any either. Irish cream would have been good too. "She told me that people saw me as being nothing but problem relationships, that I wasn't my own person yet— and… something about how the people I care about thinking of me as childish and shit. Which is pretty much exactly accurate."

She downs a generous drink again. "I think my sex life is cursed anyway. Last two guys I slept with died the same fucking day," she mutters, not even looking at Eileen as she says it, though she probably knows half of what she means by it.

"And the only one I do care about took control of my body, forced me to walk to the elevator, and told me to get the fuck out of his life cause he never loved me the way I wanted him to." She swishes her drink around. "Do you have any hot chocolate?"

Taking her medication in front of people is not something that Eileen particularly enjoys doing, which is why she excused herself to the bathroom a few minutes ago to rattle around in her medicine cabinet. She left the door open, however, in order not to miss any of the conversation as she avoids looking at her reflection in the mirror and presses down on the top of the bottle's childproof cap with the heel of her hand. A glance at the label confirms that she's able to consume alcohol in 'light to moderate amounts', though it's a glass of water she uses to wash the pill down after she twists off the cap and empties the appropriate dose into her palm.

"No hot chocolate," she tells Gillian apologetically as she replaces the bottle in the cabinet and then snaps it shut. A moment later, she's flicking off the lights and emerging into the apartment's main living area to take a seat on the chaise with her legs curled under her. "There's some Ovaltine in the cupboard."

"I can make hot chocolate! If Eileen has milk…" There are a couple bars of plain milk chocolate in bar form and she's already eyeing them as she throws back the liquer and coughs. Oh but if her father could see her now. Gone is the pristine well behaved angelic daughter who ran away from home to heal the world. Now she drinks on occasion, nearly get's wall'd in the alley and she's in like flint with terrorists and freedom fighters and serial killers and underground evo railroad. This was not in the five year plan. But she's also a bona fide EMT and has a presidential letter of thanks and tomorrow she's going to a gala in an expensive dress with someone who's high up there on the social strata. Sorta. Gillian's right, she does live an interesting life.

"You heat the milk, add a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, melt the chocolate and voila, you have hot chocolate! Better than the powdered shit" She's already leaning over to snatch up a hershey bar, no attention paid to Eileen and her medication. Abby won't take her own till the morning and it's in her purse. "She almost stopped reading mine, it was so bad. Everything negative and then, at the end the pale rider. Death, stagnation, almost everything was inverted and as much as I say they're just cards" They just don't seem to be. Or maybe it's just that Hokuto's a good people reader.

"And then a few nights later… she came into my dreams. She taught me how to get away from Logan and the cages and go home, some place safe" Abby smiles at that, getting to her feet so that she can make hot chocolate for Gillian. It's easy! "You Gillian, that sounds terrible. Very terrible and far worse than Flint and I or… or… Francois. Teo slept with Francois. And as such… I can't consider him, can't touch him. I can only crave from afar. But!" A finger is raised. "I have Robert. Maybe. Possibly. Might have just been the once"

"Ovaltine would've worked, but— if you're gonna make something crazy, go ahead, long as there's room for butterscotch on top," Gillian adds, shaking the bottle a bit as she watches Abby and Eileen switch. Both are still in earshot, but no more pill taking, and now Abby's into the kitchen. "Hokuto offered to stop mine a few time too. I got the Tower and Death both, and a bunch of others. I forget what they were, but it pretty much— yeah, accurate enough. All I kept hearing after that was how I don't have respect for people, and how I can't expect anyone to love me until I love myself and…"

She trails off, grouchy face appearing again. Hokuto showed up in dreams. Only dreams she's had left her nearly wanting to jump off bridges if she'd had access to them… "I fucked it up all on my own. When two guys who think they're so different do exactly the same thing to me… They can't both be wrong." But she's too buzzed to think to explain what they both did to her… Except vaguely. "So what ever happened with Victor? You were dating him and then suddenly you weren't anymore, and he never said why."

Eileen rests her arm on the back of the chaise and her chin in the crook created by her bent elbow as she watches the other two women. There is, of course, milk in the fridge — she indicates this with her eyes rather than her voice, directing Abby that way with a tired look from beneath her lashes. Although the milk they'd put in their tea earlier came from a carton, the rest is kept in a bottle on the top shelf along with a jug of fresh grapefruit juice and a small tub of plain yogurt that the Briton probably eats with her breakfast in the morning.

It occurs to her that the stories she has about the men in her life aren't ones she feels comfortable sharing with Abigail or Gillian, which is especially depressing because upon further reflection she also realizes that Abigail and Gillian are the closest female friends that she has. A sigh passes out her nose. She closes her eyes.

She's beyond chastising about language, or maybe Abby just doesn't want to tell Gillian to watch her language. She knows she can get away with it with Teo. "I know a guy, named Magnes. You could try him! He's a little nerdy, or so Brenda says, but he's very… endearing" Who knows, maybe it's what Gillian needs? Someone who will happily cater to her every needs?

Milk is gotten, pots, everything the blonde needs to make the hot chocolate. "This is how they made it before ovaltine or nestle. My momma's make it like this for me, when i was tired after a day of healing. Dah'd park on the couch and just let me rest my head on his knee and momma'd sing hymns in the kitchen and make real hot chocolate" She smiles at that.

Victor though brings momentary pause before carrying on. "It didn't work. It just.. I always felt like he was trying to one up me. I love your brother dearly just… I didn't love him the way he loved me and " There's a shrug, but she doens't finish the sentence verbally. I cheated on your brother with Flint.

"No way, I know exactly who you're talking about and I've known Magnes longer than you have," Gillian says rubbing her head at the very idea. There'd been twice it almost happened, just cause she was too emotionally desperate to stop it fast enough, but each time it did get stopped before it went past one kiss. Where she wasn't even really kissing him.

"We were internet friends for like three years— he used to IM me about you, and I used to IM him about all kinds of stuff. I didn't realize that he was talking about you until I finally met him after he went nuts in Japan, and we talked and discovered we had all these fucking connections…"

Still cursing. But… "Just no. I don't feel anything like that for Magnes. It would just end up destroying any kind of friendship we might have. And it's not easy to fall out of love, anyway. I'll just have to wait until it happens again…" She glances toward Eileen, as if she would understand, even in her silence, before she asides back to Abby, "It's fine. He didn't seem too broken up by it. No running off short piers or trying to cross the ocean without a boat. So why'd you break up with that Flint guy? You didn't love him the same way either?"

Eileen's eyes are still closed when Gillian glances at her, otherwise she would have exchanged the look in solemn, sober silence. She's never had the misfortune of falling out of love, and while having a loved one taken from her is not quite the same thing, she can sympathize with the emotional struggle that follows it. It's difficult to want to be held, touched, kissed on the mouth and on her eyelids — these are all simple gestures of physical affection, but they don't mean anything unless they're coming from the right person.

"He'll make someone a very happy husband someday" Abby agree's. Flint though, brings about a twitch under her eye and another slight shrug. "No. Because it's not healthy. Because… while we're right for each other, we're not right for each other and it took a slap to the face to realize that" Another wrinkle of her nose and a heavy blink, she's breaking up chocolate into the warmed milk, starting to stir it and add the other necessary ingredients. "I think your brother Gillian, was a good first boyfriend. Everyone else has to now compare, to some degree, to him. I haven't dated since him. Flint didn't do dates. What we had was just.. Carnal I suppose. And I walked away"

But onto something else, she looks over. "I want to see dresses! Come on! What everyone is wearing!'

The oldest woman in the room by a whole two years sighs heavily at the words from Abby about why she broke up with Flint. Gillian needs a moment before she explains, pushing away her drink for a moment and going to find her garmet bag. She'd brought the dress just in case she ended up staying too long and not getting out early enough, while she digs around to get it out, she says quietly, "That's why Peter said he we would never be together— before he said he never loved me. That we weren't good for each other. That we both… left things broken behind us."

Pulling the dark plastic off, it's obvious her dress is black, with black lacey stuff on it for accents. But what isn't obvious is that the black lacey stuff is all there is in most places, making it almost see through… "It's funny— I would have handled it better if he'd told me he did love me and didn't anymore. By saying he never did… it pretty much made me question everything I felt for almost the last year and I just feel completely stupid…"

Eileen forces her eyes open, slits of pale gray-green eclipsed by black, and turns her head just enough to glimpse Gillian's dress. More interesting to her than the lace accents or the semi-translucent material are the words that accompany them. If she had known the full extent of what Peter said to her, she would have either struck him harder or she wouldn't have struck him at all. Right now, she's too exhausted to feel much of anything except for a morose sense of calm amplified by the stillness of the night outside.

It stopped raining several hours ago, and in the absence of water beating rhythmically against her windowpanes, she relies on the sound of her own breathing for consistency. "You aren't," she says. Stupid.

"Men" Abigail sighs, turning off the element to give the hot chocolate a rest now that it's been boiled and mixed and smelling really good. She hasn't peeked at her own dress, somewhat afeared of what Teo picked out and so the blue garment bag in another corner is approached and then unzipped. The white gown within not quite what she was expecting, with it's beading, deep front, and no sleeves. it raises the blonde's brows.

'Well, at least I won't be a tart" Nose wrinkle at the depth that the front plunges down to. "Not what I would have picked but, I guess, in a way, that's why I asked Teo to pick it out for me yes? or I'd end up with something to my neck and Robert'd run screaming"

"Stupid enough to still think he loved me even when he says he didn't," Gillian quietly murmurs, before settling her eyes on Abby's dress. "Guess I'm just into self-destructive things… or maybe I don't think we'd be as bad for each other as he seems to think…" Did he even love her in the future? In many ways she can't help but wish she'd just gotten her memory erased… But would memory eraser remove gut feeling? That's a question she's sure one person in the room could answer.

"White suits you— I can see why Teo picked it," she says, trying to keep her mind off the guy who wanted her out of her life.

Eileen has difficulty picturing Abigail in a colour other than white, or at least when it comes to ball gowns. Teodoro is — in her mind — very astute. Her temptation to backtrack and address Gillian's anxiety is tempered by the knowledge that discussing her bizarre relationship with Peter isn't likely to ease what she's experiencing. Instead she says, "I'm chartering a boat next weekend, getting away from the city for a few hours. You should come with me."

White is good. White is a sunday color and all things good and holy and Christian are white. "I'll have to forgive him now. Stop being mad at him" The dress bag being zipped up with it's shoe box at the bottom and little pouch with the necessary jewelry.

"You should go Gillian. Get away from the city in a trip that doesn't culminate in running through jungles and flying mechanical fire breathing crabs and floods and ends of the world. Really, it would do you good, a bit of a vacation" She's not including herself, she's got stuff to do, her parents, psycho killer Russian healers and their boss to deal with. "I think it'd do you good"

"All right," Gillian says without much argument, even smiling a bit. Just enough that her dimples are there for a moment, but it fades again when she reaches up to scratch at her hair. "A trip out where I'm not going to need to throw myself into danger would be nice. I kinda liked running around Argentina, though. At least there the people who treated me badly didn't claim they'd wanted to be my friend while they did it."

Running a hand through her hair, she adds, "I deserve better than that." Both Argentina, and here. "So a boat trip could be good— though I don't know anything about boats, so I hope you won't make me handle sails or anything."

Morose amusement crinkles around the corners of Eileen's drooping eyes. "I wouldn't call it a vacation." Because nothing the Briton does in what she considers her leisure time is without a secondary purpose. If it weren't for the security personnel posted outside her apartment door, she might go into more detail — as it stands, she can't afford to do anything else except promise, "No crabs or running through jungles or floods at the end of the world. Sandwiches, maybe. Pastrami and chopped liver."

She lifts her head from her arm and her arm from the back of her chaise. "No sails, either. A little tug. I'm paying good money."

"A tugboat?" Once can almost imagine Abby picturing Eileen and Gillian at the helm of a little fat tugboat that's chugging along with it's rubber bumpers and it's enough to caught the blonde to break down into giggles, holding her glass close to her. "Oh, that's too cute"

"Better not be any sharks out there. I had my traumatic water attack experience already this lifetime," Gillian says, moving to stand up again, heading toward the kitchen to check on that hot chocolate that was being heated, so she can pour some of it into a cup finally. Butterscotch will be added on top, and sturred in, until she looks back in. "I'll look forward to even a small outting in a boat. Won't have to worry about running into Peter out there."

"I'll trade you Peter for my parole officer," Eileen offers. "Agent Epstein lets himself into my apartment when I'm not home, eats my cereal, goes through my things and probably takes the sheets off my bed to make sure I'm not hiding anything under the mattress." Exhaustion drains most of the heat from her voice when she speaks, making her sound more irritated than angry.

As Gillian fixes herself a cup of hot chocolate from the stove, she leans back and shifts positions on the chaise so she can rest her head on its arm rather than her own. She hasn't yet changed out of her clothes and into something more suitable for sleeping; the wool material of her cardigan is rough against her cheek as she tucks her chin against her shoulder and closes her eyes again. "What do you think is the stronger emotion: anger or love?"

"Sounds like you need a better parole officer. I can let Matthew know, if you like. Matthew Parkman" Not that she's meaning to namedrop, Abby doens't tend to do it on purpose. The question offered up though, distracts her from asking really whats the upset about peter.

"Love. Anger has only one focus, it's so narrow an emotion. You are either angry, or you aren't. But love. Love is so much stronger. It shines even in the darkest of places, there are so many varieties of it and even a tiny spark of it can be fanned into so strong a thing that it can overcome nearly any obstacle. People die for love, but they also find the will to live, just for it"

"Right now, I think anger is," Gillian says, sturring the butterscotch in as she moves back to find her seat. It's too hot to drink quickly, so she just she just takes a sip. "Your parole officer does sound like a jackass. You should put spiders in your cereal and keep what you'll actually eat in another place." Pranks are fun, cause— yeah, right now anger is stronger. "I tried the fighting and dying for love bullshit, and it didn't get me anything except heartbreak. The tiniest spark gave me hope— which only ended up hurting more. Anger's not getting me anything either, though. So maybe both strong emotions suck."

Eileen makes a small, non-committal sound at the back of her throat at Abigail's answer. Gillian's gives her pause, or maybe she just needs time to determine how she wants to phrase what she asks next: "Love or pride?"

"Love or Pride?" That's another thinker and Abigail's chin comes to rest on the lip of her glass and she rocks back and forth, legs crossed. "Love. I still say love. Pride can be a downfall and cause you to loose much, but so does love" She glances over to Gillian. It's like a game of would you rather, but more intellectual. Well one would assume it is.

"Pride is selfish," Gillian says with a soft rasp. A sip on the heated chocolate, milk, and butterscotch schnapps, before she lowers it again. "Love a different kind of selfish. I guess I'll say love, this time, cause it has a tendancy to completely destroy your pride." No, she's not the least bit a bitter drunk— or well, she really is.

Eileen's questions are gradually becoming more and more specific — also increasing is the duration of her silences. The building creaks, pipes knock in the walls, and the sound of residual runoff dripping down from the roof onto to the windows continues to trickle in the background in place of rain. "If you asked someone to choose between living forever or being with you, what do you do if they pick immortality?"

Without hesitation, from Abigails lips falls her answer. "I'd enjoy my time with them, till it was my time to go forth to the kingdom that waits for us" The devout blonde replies with a surity in her voice that shows she's perhaps thought of this a time or two. Known that for a brief bout of time, she herself would have had immortality and didn't know it. Accounts for why she looks younger than her 21 years.

"If they chose living forever over being with you, you might not get to spend that time with them," Gillian says, seeming the or as one or the other, and not being able to get a little of both. "I would probably just go and do something else with my life. It would depend on if they still wanted to spend any of that immortality with me, or if they would rather me stay out of their life. If they wanted me around, I'd be around, if not— I'd just live out the rest of my life. Probably be pretty pissed off that I wasn't picked, though."

Eileen draws her legs up into her chest, wraps one arm around them with slim fingers curled around the edge of her calf — it's something similar to a fetal position, or at least as close as she can come to one without disturbing the material of her skirt. Her free hand smoothes it under her palm, then runs down the length of her left leg, skin bone pale beneath her nylons. Her toes have no definition.

"If love was stronger than pride," she says, "he wouldn't."

"Would depend upon the immortality" Abby interjects, lifting her glass away from her chin. "What if through that immortality, they can extend your life, you may not live as long as them, but if you could end up living a significant period of time? Or what is they had no choice but to choose it? Sometimes even having a choice, is no choice at all" The blonde opines. "I suppose it's something that… you'd only know your real answer if it happened to you and were presented with it in truth"

Abigail wrinkles her nose. 'I was going to live forever. Till Tyler Case took it away. I have spent maaaaany a night, wondering afterwards, when I found out, what it would have been like to live forever" She'll spend many a night probably thinking the same thing still. "If love is stronger than pride, no, he wouldn't. He would stay with you, so that he can remember you." There's another wrinkle of her nose. "Immortality must be very loney"

The texture of her drink seems to be very interesting, until Gillian glances over at the young woman practically curled up. It reminds her of how she feels right now. Pride. Strong enough pride. It reminds her of a conversation, it feels like so long ago… And Abby would have lived forever, if she hadn't lost her ability… "You probably wouldn't have lived forever, cause that power jumps around from person to person. Right? Though I guess you would've lived on in that power." A weird way to look at afterlife… "Until it got kaboomed in Mexico." As far as they know!

"And if it was the right person… you wouldn't need forever. Might not even want forever. A little while might be enough."

This time, there's no response from Eileen whatsoever except for the steady rise and fall of her back and shoulders, the quiet rasp of her breathing.

"Okay, I might have lived forever. Or at least, have lived a very long time. Long enough. look at Francois, he's lived, he lived 70 years, not counting the fifteen that Eileen and I skipped to bring him here. He wouldn't have needed us to do that if Dreyfus hadn't been after him then. But yes, it goes, from person to person, best I knew. But it was passed on. It didn't… flee" Best she knew, which was very little since she didn't get along with it very much when it conversed with her.

Abigail glances over at Eileen when Gillian does, "I think she's sleeping" Abigail murmurs quietly, placing her cup down so she can grab a blanket from off the bed. It's laid over the other woman on the couch, a slightly drunken giddy smile on her face as she carefully tucks the woman in. "I think we should try and do the same. You okay sleeping in the bed with me? If not, I can take the floor"

"I wish I could skip ahead a year or two," Gillian says, looking over at sleepy Eileen and dimpling slightly at the sight of her. "Figures she'd doze off while after we start being all profound and shit," she even seems to laugh, breathily. Fell asleep just as she said something vaguely profound. It's how she managed not to regret losing Gabriel. She had a little while. For a while, it was even really nice.

"I can share the bed with you, though you may have to push me away if I decide to cuddle. My experience of sleeping with people lately has been them needing me as a human stuffed-animal. Right now I kind of want to be a human stuffed animal." Just being held right now would be nice— even if it's not from the people she wishes would hold her. "I'm gonna finish up my drink first," she says, drinking deeper now that it's cooled down while they talk.

"I think, that I can endure a night of that Gillian" She did it for Liz in Russia a few times. She's wasted enough she's sure she'll sleep only fairly crappily thanks to Kozlow. She smiles at Gillian, tiptoeing away from Eileen so she can start to clean up, and at least move stuff into the kitchen proper so that they can get some sleep.

Take some advil too and water, so as to avoid the impending hangover.

The cooler it is, the faster that Gillian can drink. Once she's done, she stands up, carefully walking to the kitchen to dispose of the cup and the spoon, before she reaches over and pushes against Abby's upper arm, lowering her voice into a raspy whisper, "Victor will be jealous if I get to accidentally grope you."

It's totally a joke, but at least she's smiling now. Better than earlier in the evening.

There's a bit of a gasp at that and jaw drop. "Gillian, you wouldn't! I got in //enough.. trouble about you from him when I saw you more often" Her cheeks start to turn red though, and a small smile at that. "We never even got to that Gillian. Really. We just.. it was only ever a kiss. Hand to bible I swear"

"I'll do my best to keep my hands to myself," Gillian says, raising her hands above her head. "I may be lonely, but I'm not so desperate that I'm going to do something that'd risk a friendship, or— well. I always liked guys better." It's punctuated with a small laugh, keeping her hand on the other girl's shoulder for a moment. A small gentle slap later, and she's moving toward the bedroom. She might help clean up, but she's starting to become sleepy drunk.

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