A Corner Of Normalcy


abby_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title A Corner of Normalcy
Synopsis Chit chat, wrapping presents, a touch of healing and a half afternoon of Normalcy.
Date December 18, 2008

Teo, Alexander and Abby's Apartment in the Bronx

Elisabeth got the message that Abby was home and sent a heartfelt 'Thank God!' in return, along with the message that she'd be by as quick as she could with Abby's things. Well…. 'as quick as she could' didn't turn out to be as fast as Elisabeth had hoped, what with training, and then raids that totally got botched and stuff. So today finds her, finally, standing in Abby's apartment with a backpack containing all of Abby's clothes that were left behind and her cell phone and everything else that was at the hospital. She's wearing casual clothing - jeans, a heavily lined demin jacket over a navy blue hoodie (with one arm dangling empty because her left is tucked beneath the jacket in the sling again), and hiking shoes. "Hey," she greets the younger girl as she steps in, not offering the tight hug that she would like to because Abby made clear her objection to overfamiliarity. "God, it's good to see you," she says with a relieved expression. "You're okay?"

There's wrapping paper, tape, scissors a box filled with every imaginable cheap small boat, bathrobes, some other things scattered across the small livingrom, save for the path she made to get to the door and near a place to sit where Abby's currently clearing. She'd gone out, done her errands early so she'd be back in time for Elisabeth. Normally, she'd be sleeping still, but with the night off, and the night in… "I'm good, she didn't hurt me elisabeth. She treated me as well as she could afford to. Come on, sit" Abby reached out to snag the backpack from Elisbaeth so she can dump it in her room.

Elisabeth looks more relieved about that. "Were you…. able to help her sister?" she asks qiuetly. She unzips her jacket, moving to sit down on the couch once her wounded arm is free.

"I wasn't" Abby filters through the bag, digging out what she wanted and needed. The little gold cross on the delicate chain. She switches it out for the cheapie one she picked up, working the clasp. "I couldn't, and she let me go. There was nothing to fix. It's not a physical issue"
Elisabeth looks saddened, dropping her eyes to the carpet, and she nods slowly. "I'm sorry, Abby… " She looks up and meets the blonde's eyes. "I'm glad she didn't hurt you." It's about the only good thing that's happened this week, so far as she can tell.

'She came in for a job Elisabeth. At the bar. Niki, not Jessica" Abby's steps carry her back to the couch and she holds her hand out for Elisabeth's "get you out of that thing"

Elisabeth looks surprised, and then not so much. "As I'm sure you noticed… Niki hasn't a clue about her alter ego's existance," she sighs. "It's been… interesting to deal with, to say the least." When Abby offers her help, Liz hesitates a moment, and then nods her thanks as she puts her hand into Abby's. The healing done a week ago is fine, there's just a slew more bruising now where she took a bullet to her kevlar in the botched PARIAH raid. "Thanks," she says quietly. "Anyway…. what're you going to do about the whole Niki wanting a job at your bar thing?" She's curious to see what Abby's thinking.

Abby's hand closes around the other womans. She didn't know Elisabeth was in the raid, so she remains oblivious to that. There's a few refrains sung under her breath before the trickle starts, to fix and take care fo Elisabeth's injuries. "I told Isabelle to hire her. Better to keep an eye on her. That and since I don't have my fed anymore, I figure.. hey, if anyone tries to pound the shit out of me and take me from work, that maybe Jessica might rear her head. Wishful thinking i'm sure. But then, i'm a bleeding heart as well. I don't mind being one either.. you have more hurts…" She can feel the soaking in of her gift where the bullet bruise is, the arm stressed a bit more than when she left it. Her eyes look up at Elisabeth.

Elisabeth laughs softly. "Well, you might be right, at that," she replies. "Hessica's a first class bitch, but she does have a kind of skewed sense of…. well, I wouldn't call it loyalty. But you tried, and that means something to her. And Niki…. is one of the nicest people I've ever met. Her husband and son were killed, and she's grieving. So the job? It's a good thing for her." She pauses and then nods slowly. "Yeah…. SCOUT raided PARIAH's headquarters — or I presume it was a headquarters — a few nights ago. It was a massive clusterfu… erm… mess."

'Oh, you were there?" There's suprise on her face, then a frown. 'Your arm elisabeth was not ready. Going out on a raid" It's a gentle chiding, softly, her hand still entwined with the other womans. "I'm thinking of registering and then .. seeing what it takes to become an EMT" Her blue eyes look up to see what look Elisabeth will give now. "See if I can do it, while still working at the bar. I'll need to pay for tuition and I hope that it doesn't require medical school because I wouldn't be able to afford it all on loans, and I don't even know if i'm qualified to even think about going and doing that while I only have a GED, but.."

Elisabeth grimaces at the 'you were there' and nods slightly. "Well, it wasn't like I had a lot of options. It hurt like hell, that's for sure. But … it was useful for me to learn some things." And then the EMT information hits home. Elisabeth's expression might not be the one Abby expects. She looks thoughtful, though concerned. "There are some pretty significant risks to being registered, you realize. I'm not thrilled that I had to do it, but it was better than being found out — if you do it voluntarily, they take your word for what you can do instead of subjecting you to Homeland Security's tender mercies." She shrugs a little. "An EMT is a good position for you, if you keep your own limits in mind. It doesn't require medical school. THe community colleges usually have the programs."

'I promised af riend i'd wait a few days before doing anything. He was going to see what i'd need to do to be an EMT and not a paramedic" There, it tapers off, and with a light squeeze, Abby pulls her hand away. "Your all done" Abbys lides down off the couch onto the floor so she can keep wrapping. "There is that. Another friend thought, that if I registered, that there might be someone who would support my tuition, if at all, to go through with it. He suggested medical school, but I don't think that I could do that. The hours.. and if I miss a class, well" She pins the box full of boats closed, grabbing packing tape to start sealing it. "Whats the risks, to being registered? That you see" she already has her own big list of ones.

Elisabeth squeezes Abby's hand in return and smiles. "Thank you. I've decided that I'm not going to protest when you volunteer anymore. Jus tgracefully give in and say thank you." She listens to the rest of the information, nodding here and there, and considers. "Well…. right now, it's primarily harassment. Evolved is sort of the new gay. So if you live in a neighborhood where people don't like it, it's possible you could have some problems. And the laws haven't quite caught up with the situation, so suing someone based on, for example, being beaten up just because you're an Evolved will eventually fall under the hate crimes stuff that covers being beaten up because you're gay, but it hasn't yet because well…. in general, they seem to assume if you're Evolved, you can defend yourself." She grimaces at that.

Elisabeth adds, "In addition…. your name's on someone's registry. Sure, if you have credit cards and a mortgage and such, you're already there. But…. it's sort of like lining up to be discriminated against, to my mind."

"I knew it was on a registry, I looked it up. My name wouldn't be up, or a picture or anything. Just in some database with a "harmless" next to it. only people who would know what I can do, are the officers and whomever has.. whatever master list there is i'm sure. I don't, I still don't think i'm evolved, but, I also know that homesecurity and others, won't care what I think and what I believe, just what they believe. It's a big can of worms" No credit cards, and no mortgage. She has her bank account though. For the most part she keeps her life simple. "If I do it, I take a chance, and worst comes to worst… I can always ask the ferryman for help to get out of it, if it becomes too much. It could og many different ways"

Elisabeth nods to Abby. "Ultimately, if it helps…. perhaps you can look at it this way. "Evolved" is just a human-given label for a gift given by God. I really believe that's the case anyway, so… maybe it'll help you reconcile the idea." She shrugs a little and says, "I've only heard of the Ferryman in the loosest terms. I dn't really know waht they do."

"They help" That's pretty much all Abby can say, because that's all she knows. "When my apartment was compromised, they put me up at a place with others, till I could get the job at the bar and Teo, Al and I could get this place." Abby measures out paper while she speaks, working at getting the box of boats wrapped. Not a christmas tree in sight, but she's strung up some lights and hung plastic christmas bulbs from the window coverings. "They help" Elisbaeth's way of looking at things though, makes her nod, her now blonde hair falling over her shoulder and onto the paper as she reaches for the scotch tape. "I've tried to look at things that way. I think, I will. Al is registered, and nothing bad, i've seen, has happened to him. I can make this all work" She twitches her lips up into a semblance of smile. 'Thank you Elisabeth, for back in the hospital. For trying to protect me"

Elisabeth looks startled. "How could I not, Abby?" She smiles a little bit at that. "It's sort of in my nature. It's why I became a cop in the first place… 'to protect and serve.' I'm just grateful that it worked out the way it did." She hesitates and confesses softly, "I feel bad that I didn't fight her harder to get you back, Abby. I knew all along where to find Niki. I'd helped her get a place not too long ago. I didn't know where Jessica had put you, and what I think doesn't carry much weight with Jessica, but… Jessica came out while I was with Niki, and she swore that she'd let you go unharmed whether you could help or not. I… believed her. And on some level I feel bad that I did because if it had turned out poorly…. " She shakes her head. "I hope you know that if I'd had ANY idea what she was up to, it wouldn't have happened."

"She did let me go Elisabeth. She brought me clothes, and food. She called Teo when I asked, she brought me a bible. She yes, chained me to a bed, with a literal chain, but she made sure I could get to the bathroom. It wasn't that bad. Really boring, but wasn't that bad" Abby extends a foot to poke at Elisabeth's foot. 'Help me wrap? The bathrobes for Al. That little box over there's for conrad, you can wrap that one"

Elisabeth laughs softly. "Sure," she says, slipping out of her jackets and then taking her arm out of the sling as an afterthought. "Wow… that feels way way better, Abby. Thanks." Gratefully, she sets the sling on top of the jackets, leaving the pile on top of the couch and joining Abby on the floor to wrap and tape. "If I knew Conrad better, I'd get him a muzzle," she says with a grin. "I think he'd get the joke. But we don't know each other well enough for that kind of joking, I think." She sets about getting paper and cutting it.

'Microphone. well, one of those ones you get for kids that can make an echo and such. I figure.. it's a safe joke and he gave me a present" Indeed it is, in a little cheap cardboard box with a boy and girl demonstrating how to use it. "He's an asshole. But he's a good asshole" She smiles when she says it. "You think, if the cops knew what I could do, that they'd… call on me, to help?"

Elisabeth giggles at Abby's use of the word 'asshole' because she's gotten the impression that the girl wouldn't curse if you paid her. "Yes, yes he is." She shakes her head. "Back when I was in uniform, I must have busted him like … I don't know, half a dozen times. And he was *always* doing something absolutely outrageous and propositioning me and stuff when I handcuffed him." She shrugs and chuckles. "Always good for a laugh, that one." And then she's quiet while she considers the question, wrapping carefully. "I don't know, Abby. I would like to think that they'd call on you to help AND that they'd be smart enough to understand that if you push too hard it could be really bad for your own health. But… I'm not convinced any organization is going to care about your limits." She finally sighs quietly. "I just don't know."

'Telling me i'm a intolerant woman who just needs a little positive attention, while at the same time, trying to get me drop dead drunk. Yup, that's Conrad. What little i've seen of him. But he also.. I don't know. He's like you it seems. Making sure that i'm okay. That I haven't gone and matry'd myself. He bought me a king james bible. With my name on it in gold and everything. Must have cost him a fortune" Fortune being, relative depending upon ones personal interpitation. Abby consideres 40 dollars shoes a fortune. "He wrote "make sure you read it kid" on the inside. He really is an asshole" she does swear. She falls silent though, putting the last piece of tape on hte box and grabbing some twine to tie it up and make a bow. "I like to think.. Elisabeth, that they will. I have to have faith in humanity to a degree. One has to have faith in something to a degree.

Elisabeth nods slightly, her hands doing the wrapping work by rote. It doesn't take a lot of brain power. "If I didn't have a little faith in humanity, I wouldn't bother doing what I do, I guess," she finally says. "And for all the atrocities that I see, Abby…. there are always those small moments of grace. A passerby who calls a cop when he knows it'll get his ass kicked in his neighborhood; a stranger who steps up when a kid screams 'stranger' in a crowded mall to make the person with the kid show an ID; a girl who fights off a rapist and then presses charges only to learn that he's done it twelve other times and no one else is gonna testify but perseveres anyway." She smiles a little. "As a cop, I see a lot of bad side of life, but I make a point to stop and notice those moments… because they're what keep me doing this job."

'So then maybe I need to step up and register, and show that.. not all those blessed with gods gifts, aren't running around with an intent to kill them. That some, are helpful, or use them in miraculous ways" Abby shrugs, putting the present ot the side after scrawling 'TEO' across the top and a little possum beneath.

Elisabeth shrugs just a little and offers as she tapes Con's gift closed, "Only you can choose whether to register. I knew about my abilities for six years before the Bomb. Never told anyone, even my father. Instead, I ran. And I've watched things go in directions I don't like. So…. I'm starting to believe that to change it, you have to work from both the inside and outside. Phoenix and people like them have their place… it's why I'll work with them. But Registered Evolved have their place in this fight too — doing exactly what you're talking about. Proving that we're no different than anyone else. We have rent to pay and bills to pay and we're just as law-abiding — generally — as the rest of the populace."

Abby nods, falling silent again. It's a heavy choice. But it is indeed one that she has to make on her own. "So yeah. Niki. I told Isabelle that i'd hire her, if I were here. Bad idea? Good? She seemed like she needs a job and was willing to even waitress drinks"

Elisabeth blows out a breath and laughs. "Hell, I don't know. I think Niki's going to be a stellar employee for Isabelle. Jessica?" She gives that shrug that says 'eh!' "And you should also be somewhat careful about what information you let Niki get hold of. Jessica works for the Company."

"I know that too. I know how she came to be with them, and what they use her for. I know to keep my mouth shut around her. She promised that if she found out they were coming to fetch me, that she'd try and tell them to just ask me to come with them, instead of grabbing and stealing me" Whether Jessica would keep that promise, Abby was sure, She'd kept one so far.

Elisabeth nods slightly. There is so much she'd love to tell Abby about Niki, just to get her impressions and thoughts, but she's promised to keep Niki safe and to do that, she has to keep some secrets. "I worry less about you keeping your mouth shut around Jessica than I do around Niki — when I first met Niki, she actually knew about Jessica. She'd been catatonic for two years after she lost her son and husband. She'd woken recently and was flabbergasted that she had this whole life that she had no clue what to do with. I'd thought she was doing pretty well with it all until the day Jessica came and told me that for Niki's sake, she was wiping all of Niki's memories of Jessica and Jessica's role in life." She grimaces. "So I'm just warning you ahead of time that if something pops up that breaks the block Jessica's got in place, it could get REAL dicey real fast."

'She didn't have a clue who jessica was. I asked. I'll bear that in mind" Abby nods, setting to work on Al's present, popping up a cardboard gift box and arranging it in there with some matching manly slippers. A dark blue. "I'll be careful either way"

Elisabeth sets Conrad's present, wrapped in a green paper, on top of Teo's. "Here, you need to write on that one still." She reaches for another roll of paper and sets it out, ready for the box that Abby's arranging. "But yeah…. honestly, so far, it seems to me that if you deal with Niki squarely, Jessica won't have issues." She grimaces. "That said, the woman's a COMPLETE sociopath, so being careful is a requirement."

"Oh, your jacket is in the closet" She gestures towards one of the amorphous doors that line the side and down the hall. "I had it drycleaned, and your clothes. They're good to go" Careful around Niki, lest it bring out Jessica. That was a given. "What are you doing for christmas? and hows the job working out?"

Elisabeth uhms. "Well, I generally spend Christmas Day when I'm not on duty — so the last two years, and sporadically before that — with my dad. He's got a new girlfriend this year, though, so … I think I'm just going to have dinner with him and let him go meet up with her." She grins a bit, the expression just a hint pained. "Other than that, I'll probably be at home unless the job calls." She shrugs. "As for how that's working out…. well… I'm officially done with training and on probation with the team, but my first foray, obviously, didn't go so well."

"Not everything will go well. The next time maybe" She passes Al's box to her to wrap, taking up a few of the ones for her parents, this and that. "Now your arm's better, you can help fully"

Elisabeth laughs and takes the box to wrap. "Certainly," she says with a grin. "It'll be my thank-you to you." She settles in to sit and enjoy the time wrapping presents. It's nice to pass the time just talking about some of each other's favorite moments at the holiday and other such mundane things.

'What will be your thank you to me?" Abby murmurs, settling into a groove with the older woman.

Elisabeth grins. "well, aside from the brownies that will show up on your doorstep in a couple of days when I've had time to bake, helping you wrap will be my thank-you for the time you spent on me. And for the company. I haven't done this in a while. Just… sat and wrapped and chatted."

"You mean, be normal" Abby murmurs. 'Lets have an short hour of being normal. Before the world wants us to go back ot being… what we are" Abby seems pleased at the idea of brownies. 'the guys will love that"

Elisabeth laughs. "Exactly. Be normal. A short hour of just being…. two girls sitting in a room wrapping presents at Christmas." She winks at Abby. "Just make sure those boys give you your share."

"They will. I'll beat them up if they don't" and with that, the wrapping ensues, opinions asked about a bond movie, how to go to the movies with a guy and not have it be a date, just two people going to the movies and what to wear to said movies and lots of coffee made as well and drank.

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