A Celebration Of History — Ladies' Room


colette_icon.gif eve2_icon.gif pearl_icon.gif sibyl4_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

Scene Title A Celebration of History — Ladies' Room
Synopsis What should be a private space is invaded by sharp words and sharper teeth.
Date April 7, 2018

Yamagato Fellowship Center

The ladies room provides a flatteringly-lit sanctuary for those who need a break from the dazzling crowds, bright lights, and swirling din of aimless conversation that defines flashy events like these. There was a time when New York City hosted a party of this size every weekend, back before the war, before the country was divided into those with a very specific genetic marker and those without.

Even though it’s stuffy and stifling out in the thick of it, the musky aroma of human sweat cut with too much perfume and cologne that clings to everything also represents a fresh start — even if it smells like the exact opposite.

Women come and go at a clip. Some use the stalls at the back of the room, while others freshen their makeup in front of the mirrors or splash water on their faces to cool off or give the illusion of dewy skin. Once and awhile, they crowd together and share a bump of cocaine when they think nobody else is looking and dart back into the fray with renewed energy and a suspicious spring in their step that Yamagato’s security team will spend too much time overanalyzing.

Sibyl falls into a different category. She’s holding armfuls of her dress under the bathroom’s hand dryer, going section by section as its heat saps vodka stains from the fabric. Either she’s very patient or she’s in no particular hurry to rejoin the party outside; judging by the measured look of zen on her small, pale face, Sasha’s spilled drink might even be a blessing in disguise.

Having abandoned Richard Ray at the bar some time ago, Pearl Valentin has been perched upon the heavy marble vanity for a good long while, small silver flask in one hand, hot pink (travel size magic marker) in the other. She's hitched up there, legs crossed, five inch stilettos dangling over the side, swinging slightly. With the marker, she's coloring in an expanse of sea monster tentacle (this would be the black and grey tattoo on her left arm, not something risen from the depths of an expensively appointed loo). Her full sleeve has touches of color here and there, hinting she's been at this for quite some time. Her hematite beaded clutch is spilled out on the vanity beside her (never fear, there's a whole wall of vanity, and plenty of sinks and mirror space), disgorging a rainbow of travel markers, one lipstick (candy apple red), and a tiny suture kit, sterile and unopened. Some ladies have weirder things in their bags, certainly. With copious amounts of exposed skin tattooed, she's doing her best impression of a silk draped gargoyle. If gargoyles are both coloring and drinking these days.

Pearl glances over occasionally, watching Sibyl dry section after section of her dress. There's a long moment before she finally asks, "Too much to drink or not enough?" The tattooed woman swaps the hot pink out for a bright teal marker, using the pops of color to begin filling in the scales on some other creature inked into her arm.

“Oh thanks baby!”

Can be heard from a stall, the handicap stall. A chorus of giggles can be heard to some whispered joke and an obvious sniffffffffffff sign. BOOM BABY WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! “Fairy dust never gets old!” sniffffffffffff. “Ciao ladies! And don't forget, women first men never!” There’s a few whoops and hollers and the stall door opens to reveal Eve in her blinged out wheelchair, except now she's sporting a pair of outlandish sunglasses, zebra print with large lenses, it does not go with the white corset dress she's wearing. Her leg with the cast is set straight and Eve is careful not to bump anyone as she wheels herself out of the stall revealing three other women who are clearly not leaving the stall anytime soon.

There's a bit of white powder on the end of Eve’s nose and she catches it in the mirror, going to discreetly flap it away with a pale hand. Slamming her big purple purse on the counter with a sigh she rummages through it before she realizes whose in there with her, pale gray eyes narrow in the mirror at Sibyl. Pearl though, is given a bright grin. “Wow that ink, you've been marked and in the best way.”

She's digging through her purse still and her eyes haven't left Sibyl’s in that mirror. There's a quack and the tail of a yellow rubber duckie can be seen. Strange things in the purse is a check, the rest of the contents aren't clear.

“No old men to be laying around with?” It's flat and her head is tilted, eyes are wild, more wild than usual. If Eve drank coffee she would be zany, if Eve snorted cocaine… there's a snort of laughter.

The next person who makes a sex offender joke in Sibyl’s presence is getting punched in the teeth, she decides. As the hand dryer finishes its current cycle, the teen rearranges the folds of otherwise pristine pink fabric and lets it drop back into place. Her eyes study Eve’s reflection in the mirror. “At least he didn’t leave me at the bottom of a fucking well,” she snaps, punctuating her words with a deliberate click. Her clutch pops open.

She fishes out a tube of lipstick that’s a shade too dark for her complexion and probably belongs to Margaux Maxwell. Sibyl doubts that the older woman is missing it; the last time she saw her, she was one of the partygoers divvying out lines of cocaine on the very same counter that Sibyl is leaning into now.

Her gaze shifts from Eve to Pearl and the intricate inkwork gleaming on her exposed skin. “Do you think they’d let me?” Drink, she means. The United States of America has rules about thirteen-year-old girls and what they can put in their bodies (don’t even go there), but she hasn’t asked anyone about what Yamagato’s policy is on the subject.

She feels like she could use one, anyway.

Pearl's attention is drawn by the exuberant stall-lurkers as Eve rolls forth all coked up ready for partying. She watches her approach the vanity, thump down th bag, and can't help but grin a little in response. She nods to the leg in a cast. Her question to Eve might sound a bit like an echo. "… Too much to drink or not enough?" She shakes her head a little, capping the teal marker. "Thanks, that's sweet. Shop in Sheepshead Bay," she replies, voice rising enough to carry. Even the gaggle of snorters in the stall might hear her so subtle advert for Marked.

There's obviously something between Sibyl and Eve, or at least Eve and Sibyl. Pearl glances briefly between them, choosing another marker before she carries on idly coloring her tattoo with washable pigment. As Sibyl asks her question, the tattooed woman shrugs one shoulder, careful of her marker smudges. "Who knows which country's rules we're abiding by. Rich people do what they want anyway. Everyone's rich tonight. Just don't fidget when you order." Pearl Valentin, corruptor of young people everywhere. "I'd offer you a sip of this," she taps her flask with a marker, where it rests on the lip of the counter beside her, "But you probably want something fruity and sweet for your first go 'round. This ain't that."

“I doubt you’ll be such a smartass when your brain is ripped from your skull.” The word skull is punctuated by a slam of the rubber duckie on the counter, “It was getting in the way,” She offers to both women. To Pearl’s question, “Not enough and don't trust her, she looks young but she's really an old crone.” Eve is still rummaging around her in purse before she procures her wine colored lipstick and leaning forward to apply the lipstick on her lips.

There's a look over at Pearl though and she snickers, “Oh she loves a bitter taste no doubt look at her face.”

“Go on and try it.” Nodding at Pearl’s flask, she pulls out her own which is still halfway full of tequila and takes a swig staining it with her lipstick. “Did you know that mangos increase the high of you're smoking weed? Fascinating.”

The door to the bathroom bangs open. It's noisy. And it makes Tania chortle.

"Shhh! Door." She chastises it for raising its voice, obviously, as she steps in and lets it close behind her. Which is a lot quieter. She's not here for the bathroom, exactly, but for the escapish nature of the ladies room. And to check herself in the mirror, which is where she goes once she's in.

Her hands move as it to fix her hair, but stop halfway there. Because she actually looks at it. And it's still perfect. "Ah," she says, spreading her hands instead, "how reassuring." That's to her hair. She seems to belatedly notice that there are others here, too, but her gaze finds them in the mirror. Flasks get her attention, perhaps. And she can still walk in her heels, so clearly she's not too far gone for another drink. But also. She recognizes Eve. She just can't place her at the moment.

Wedge heels click against the bathroom floor after the door opens again, reunited with her matching clutch, Colette Demsky slides into the ladies room with a ragged expression. Tania spotted elicits a grimace, apologetic in that I'm sorry I freaked the fuck out next to you sort of way. She navigates her way to the sink, leaning over to look at her smudged eye makeup and makes a noise in the back of her throat. “Jesus Christ,” she murmurs to herself.

There's a look over to Eve and the wheelchair, brows furrowed in the mirror, but it passes. Instead, she's fishing for a small package of wetnaps and is doing her damnedest to clean up the black smudges beneath her eyes without ruining everything else.

“Tasha’s headed black to the bar,” Colette explains to Tania, looking at the redhead’s reflection in the mirror. “Sorry about… whatever. I might've had a bit too much t’drink on top of a panic attack?” Her brows furrow and she leans closer to the mirror, trying as best as she can with the limited tools she has to clean up her raccoon eye.

Pearl slips off the vanity, silk dress slippery enough to ease her way a bit more quickly than intended. She catches herself, barely, on the toes of a pair of superiorly high heels, clicking hard and stumbling a little bit. She reaches out to grab hold of the wall, swaying a little before she regains her equilibrium. Whiskey, man. "Whew."

Her sleeve tattoo is about a third colored in with magic marker. She sweeps them all back into the small clutch, jamming them in before she snaps closed the little bag. She loops it onto her wrist, straightens and smoothes her dress, then turns to check the fall of the dress. It's open to the lowest point on her lower back, the sweep of silk leaving a lot of flesh bare. Satisfied that her dress is where it should be, she steps away from her perch and smiles to the women assembled, including the youngest one, and says, "Shoulders back and bottoms up, ladies." Then breezes toward the door to head out into the gala proper, leaving that flask where it is on the counter. Juuuust in case Sibyl needs it. It kinda seems like she might need it.

What do you know, there's also a neat stack of letterpress business cards for a tattoo shop in Sheepshead Bay called MARKED.

Sibyl picks up Pearl’s discarded flask and raises it in a silent toast to the other woman’s retreating back. She unscrews the cap, still holding Margaux’s stolen tube of lipstick between her fingers, and takes a quick swig.

She knew it would burn, but she couldn’t have anticipated how much. Her face scrunches up and she hisses out a shuddery breath through flared nostrils at the same time she swallows. Hard. This done, she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand and shakes out her fingers.

One is enough. She plunks the flask and the rest of its contents in front of Colette and, forcing her face into a more neutral expression, removes the cap from the lipstick. Her chin lifts. The lipstick follows the shape of her mouth under the guidance of a steady hand.

“I’m not a crone,” she tells Eve around an open-lipped pucker, maybe a little too defensively.

When Colette comes in, Tania looks her way. That look gets an understanding one in return. And when she settles in at the mirror, too, Tania reaches for the dry towels to bring them over her way. She also opens her clutch and peers into it before she pulls out eyeliner (black) and mascara (also black) to set down on the counter. Touch ups are sometimes needed on nights like these.

"It's nothing to say sorry for," she says when she looks back to Colette again. "I thought you handled it well. Sometimes it is difficult to walk away." And she managed it, so Tania can appreciate that. The flask is set down and Tania reaches for it herself, taking a drink before she puts it down again.

Only then does she look over at Sibyl. Who is far too young to be drinking, but Tania isn't going to call her on it. Because it's a special night. "Of course not," she says, as far as the girl being a crone. She might have missed the context, but she doesn't mind jumping into the conversation anyway. "No crone would wear a great dress like that one, yes?" This is logic. She has it.

Sort of.

She turns back to Colette, though, her smile gentle. "We should get Tasha and the others and see if there's a dancefloor at this party." And if there's not one, she has a solution for that, too. "A drink and a dance and you'll feel just like yourself again."

When the art dealer walks in Eve doesn't immediately place her face either but her face gets a study with a furrow of eyebrows, “I know you.”

“Hey Bright Eyes,” as Colette enters the bathroom and Eve smiles widely at the woman. “I saw my Sister Seer earlier, you three look.. it's very touching to see her with support like you, Angels the three of you!” That smile is radiate and that smile is true with all teeth and then that smile is sinking off her face as she looks at Sibyl. Eyebrow quirks and she taps her pale finger on the yellow rubber duckie.

“If it smells like an old bitch, walks like an old bitch and hangs out with other old bitches..” Eve seesaw hands and smacks her lips in the mirror.

Hamson, Sibyl, Adam Monroe, Debbie.

That mantra rings in her head. Pale gray eyes on those deep blue ones of Sibyl’s. She doesn't smile and it might not really scare another woman who can see people before they see her. But with Eve set on this.. path. Who knows. There is a look out the corner of her eye to the large stall that still has the other three ladies sniffing cocaine in it, she debates joining them again.

The look Colette affords Eve in the mirror is the same one someone gives to a loose tiger that wandered into the park. Wary, a little teeth, no direct eye contact. “Yeah she's— Tamara’s great, she meets all kinds of people.” Awkward, too, like a tiger with a lisp wandered in and she's trying not to make it obvious she notices.

Taking Tania’s offered makeup and towel, Colette breathes a heavy sigh of relief and watches the redhead in the mirror as she tries to square away what emotions demolished. “I haven't seen a dance floor, I mean, on the little paper map that came with the ordered tickets. But,” she huffs out a sigh, “I dunno, I guess maybe a drink somewhere else and some space from fucking war criminals might not be a bad choice.”

Winging her mascara just a little, Colette glances askance at Sibyl. There's that awkwardness of sort of knowing someone — a friend of a friend — but not knowing how to interact around them. Instead, she chooses silence and a distant smile. “You know any places around here? I mean — probably not the Park but — in the city? Only club I've even gone to here is Little Darlings. I'm pretty sure that's a one-way dance floor.”

Finished with the touch ups, Colette sets Tania’s makeup aside and snatches one of the flyers Pearl left behind. The abundance of tattoos visible on her arms and shoulders shouldn't make that much of a surprise. “I was gonna hit the gallery, probably less likely to run into Doctor Mengele there.”

“Thank you.” Sibyl fluffs her dress in response to Tania’s compliment. She caps the lipstick and unceremoniously drops it back in her clutch, which she pinches shut again in her next motion. The tips of her fingers reach out to graze her own reflection in the mirror. She might not be a crone, but the darker colour on her mouth adds a few years to her face, making her appear older and marginally more distinguished than her pink frills or the youthful halo of blonde curls on her head.

Satisfied, or at least as satisfied as she can be given the circumstances, she turns on her heel, grabs Eve’s wheelchair by its handles and begins pushing her toward the restroom’s door.

Everyone has a breaking point. Sibyl reaches hers when she was pointing a gun at Eve in the middle of the woods a few days ago. She’s hit it again tonight.

“Let’s go for a walk, Ms. Mas,” she suggests.

"You are very welcome," Tania says to the younger girl. There's a look to Eve. She doesn't know Sibyl. Or Eve. And she probably will not remember this tomorrow. But she doesn't like it now. When Sibyl makes her suggestion, Tania watches for a moment longer before she looks back to Colette.

There's a lot of security about tonight. They can probably handle a woman with a broken leg if that walk goes sideways.

"Sadly, I don't. Bars, yes. Nightclubs?" Tania puts a hand on her hip. Fact is, the people she hangs out with are nightclub people. "I'll have to keep an eye out." Because maybe that can change now, given that the Wolfhound girls seem to be a lot more fun than Logan and Sasha tend to be. "But a drink and distance, we can manage that here." War criminals and doctors both bring out a frown, though. "Who is she? The woman." She picks up her makeup, tucking it away again before she offers her arm to Colette. And it seems like she rethinks her question, even after it's out of her mouth, because she goes on a beat later. "The gallery is worth a look, in any case. Or so I hear. They'd been bragging about it," she adds, the last getting a crooked smile.

Colette agrees, tacitly, about the gallery with a nod. Though at the question she looks into the mirror. “Bella Sheridan. She was a fucking… researcher for the Institute. Psychological or something, maybe pharmaceutical. She kidnapped me when I was eighteen. Strapped me to a bed, tortured me, experimented on me with drugs designed to fuck with my mind and my ability.”

Blind eyes regard the mirror with a furrowed brow. “I've tried to kill her twice,” is a somewhat bold admission in a public space, “before the war. Back when…” she shrugs. “I wrote a testimony against her and other members of the Institute for the trials. I didn't know she cut a plea deal.” Colette takes in a slow breath, exhales a sigh. “I wish she'd run instead.”

There's a painful bitterness there, in Colette’s words and expression. “She fucked me up permanently. Psychologically — nightmares and— probably physically. So.” Her tongue slides across her teeth. “Yeah maybe another drink,” Colette states flatly, folding the flyer for the tattoo parlor into her clutch and snapping it closed. “Before I overshare anymore.”

It's a funny thing, breaking points. Because one would say that Eve reached hers a very long time ago. So much so that she's always just free falling, just waiting until the next body comes into view that she might collide with. The manner of that collision is always a mystery until it happens and as Eve is wheeled backwards from the counter she grabs at her purse but misses the yellow rubber duckie. “Ooooohh Cogsworth!”

Eve is all for going on a ride but she's not sure that Sibyl is prepared for this ride. A hand goes out to the brake of the wheelchair, locking it in place with a soft click. A pale hand snaps out and it's reminiscent of that moment a few days ago. When Eve jerked Sibyl back into the bottom of the well. As she grips Sibyl’s hand she bites. Hard. Hard enough to break the skin probably and then she's shoving the girl into a nearby wall.

“The next time you touch me or my bling, I'll slit your throat and feed your brain to Samson myself.”

Another click to unlock the wheelchair.

And the crazy seer is throwing the door open to wheel herself out and down the hall.

Nothing Eve does should come as a surprise to Sibyl at this point, and yet—

“Motherfucker!” She learned that one on Staten Island. Eve throws the door open and Sibyl narrowly avoids getting slammed when it swings back shut. She clutches at her hand, which is bleeding, and directs a steely look in the direction that the seer disappeared.

Hurried steps carry her back toward the sink. She cranks the faucet as hot as it will go and thrusts her hand under water’s flow.

It runs diluted pink down the drain.

Tania looks over at Colette when she explains. There's nothing that will sober a girl up faster, really. She reaches a hand over to rest on Colette's shoulder. But she seems to think this isn't enough because she pulls her into a hug a moment later. "That should not have happened to you," she says quietly. "I am so sorry."

And for a moment, she considers leaving it at that.

There's a heavy sigh before she goes on. "And you're not alone." Her hand returns to Colette's shoulder, to give her a squeeze. Her gaze drops to the cold tile floor, a foot tipping over onto an edge in a way that makes her seem younger than she is for a moment. When she looks back to Colette, she has steadied herself. "I was a guest— " by her tone, that is the entirely wrong word, "— of the Arcology. We will get many more drinks." So so many more.

It's Sibyl's shout that draws her attention back over to the other two.

"After we call security." For the biting.

Of all the things Colette thought she'd find at the gala, a kindred spirit in shared traumas was not one of them. Through the hug, Colette is momentarily tense and then tiredly heavy. There's a strength behind the way she returns the embrace, one visible in the subtle contour of muscles in her arms and back. But the serenity of that moment is cut short by whatever just happened there.

Jerking away from Tania, more out of shock at the noise than anything, Colette looks over to Sibyl’s rush to the sink and Eve’s cackling wheelchair departure with abject disbelief. “You go get security, I'll make sure she's ok,” Colette rests a hand on Tania’s shoulder and exhales a surprised breath that comes with a disconcerted noise at the back of her throat.

As she moves away from Tania, Colette quickly crosses the distance to Sibyl and hovers near her, looking down into the sink at the pinkish quality of the water, then to meet Sibyl’s stare in the mirror with a what the fuck was that expression painted across her face. “Hey, I'm— gonna stay here with you, ok? My friend's gonna go get some help.”

Tania gives the pair of them a quick nod in confirmation— and maybe reassurance for Sibyl— before she slips out of the bathroom after Eve. And off to track down the nearest guard to report to. And probably to make sure some first aid makes its way to Sibyl. Biting is so unsanitary.

“It’s fine,” Sibyl assures Colette. “I’m fine.”

She waits until the restroom has completely cleared before tipping a look up at the older woman. Her fingers flex under the water without too much difficulty; it seems unlikely that Eve has done any permanent damage. “Gillian’s here,” she says. “They came here together. Do you think she can do it without causing a scene? I don’t want anyone to get into trouble.”

She doesn’t want to get into trouble.

Colette’s brows shoot up. “Hey, woah, she fucking bit you. Unless you bit her first I'm pretty sure that's dirty. I barely know her and she tries to play like we’re friends, it's weird and she makes me super uncomfortable. Has she been harassing you?”

Edging a bit closer, Colette eyes the marks on Sibyl’s hand but keeps herself out of the younger girl’s personal space. “You should probably go to the emergency room. Bites can get really infected. I can let — Christ, you're here with Vlad the Impaler aren't you?” It has a double meaning, but Sibyl wasn't there during the war. The cape, too, admittedly.

“Look, I get it. From the minute I saw you looking like a stray cat at Gillian’s.” Colette’s voice is lowered, conspiratorial. “There's two discreet doctors here,” though she doesn't realize that one of them is why Sibyl is in here in the first place. “If you want I can get you out of here, somewhere safe so they can get a look at your hand.”

There's a tentative motion, a hand raised toward Sibyl’s shoulder but not touching it. A wordless ask of do you need someone? “I kind of imagine hook hands aren't as cool as they sound.”

The faucet dribbles off and Sibyl uses the freshly-laundered folds of her dresses to wrap the wound. It’s angry. Pink. So is she, even if none of that negativity is directed at Colette.

“My papers won’t pass a real inspection,” she confides, because Colette already seems to have her figured out, and their last encounter involving the hawk she rescued from the water has given her reason to trust her.

Epstein does, too.

That’s enough for Sibyl.

“Not Elmhurst,” she agrees, shouldering her way out of the restroom. They can discuss the specifics on their way back to the party.

There's visible concern, for the bite, for the nature of her arrangement with the papers. Nodding, Colette curls her fingers of the raised hand at her palm and exhales a slow, uncertain sigh. She has the mind to retrieve her clutch, catching sight of herself in the mirror for just a moment before following Sibyl out.

This wasn't quite how either of them expected their night to go.

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